In March 2023, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) suffered a devastating bank failure that sent shockwaves through the entire banking industry. However, SVB has not gone away. Purchased out of Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) receivership by First Citizens Bank, it continues to offer the same products and services that made it a trusted bank for startups and tech companies for years.
Despite the stigma of the failure tied to SVB’s brand, First Citizens Bank continues operating SVB under the same name. If you are a tech company or startup, the new SVB may be a good choice for your business.
History of the Silicon Valley Bank Failure
On March 10, 2023, United States regulators shut down SVB following a run on the bank’s assets the previous two days. A shell bank, known as the Deposit Insurance National Bank of Santa Clara, was set up by the FDIC.
The initial push for a sale resulted in no deal, and it appears SVB and its assets were headed to bankruptcy. SVB filed for Chapter 11 protection on March 17, 2023.
Only 10 days later, the FDIC struck a deal with First Citizens Bank. The bank purchased about $110 billion in assets from SVB, including $56 billion in deposits and $72 billion in loans1.
First Citizens Bank posted a lengthy frequently asked questions (FAQs) section on the SVB website, which addresses most of the concerns current and future SVB customers would have. The biggest takeaway is that the new SVB would still offer the same products and services and many would have the same terms and pricing.
If you are still unsure whether you are ready to put your money into a bank associated with a large-scale bank failure, we have compiled a list of the best SVB alternatives. Mercury, the biggest benefactor in the SVB collapse, is in the roundup. More than $2 billion in investments moved to Mercury after the SVB failure. Check out Mercury’s website for more information.
Is Silicon Valley Bank Safe?
While some businesses will never fully trust a financial institution carrying the name of a previously failed bank, and understandably so, it is First Citizens Bank operating SVB. So, whether you trust SVB comes down to your comfort with First Citizens Bank, which has been operating for more than 120 years and has FDIC-insured deposits of up to $250,000. Customers who wish to use the new SVB should feel safe opening a new account.
However, it is important to ensure your business funds are FDIC insured. Plus, there are steps you can take to see to it that you are protected from business bank failure. This will guarantee that your company’s finances are safe in the event of future bank failures.
For companies considering SVB again, our Silicon Valley Bank business checking review starts below. For alternative accounts, see our list of the best small business checking accounts.
How Silicon Valley Bank Business Checking Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Cash Deposit Fee
Minimum Opening Deposit
Up to 4.91% on linked money market accounts
$2 per paper item
Up to 5.43% on treasury accounts
Visit Mercury Provider is a financial technology (fintech) platform backed by and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)-insured through a supporting bank partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust.
2.00% for qualifying balances of $250,000 or less
$4.95 per transaction via Green Dot retail locations
Visit Bluevine Provider is a financial technology (fintech) platform backed by and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)-insured through a supporting bank partnership with Coastal Community Bank.
When SVB Business Checking Is a Good Fit
- You need flexible lending options: When you’re looking for growth opportunities and you need additional funding, SVB extends venture debt, growth capital, and working capital loans to meet your expansion plans and short-term operational costs.
- You want to save on monthly fees for your first three years of operations: The SVB Edge business checking account waives monthly fees for the first three years upon account opening. Meanwhile, the SVB ScaleUp business checking account waives monthly fees for the first year upon account opening.
- You want discounts on business software: SVB offers discounts on some of the most widely-used business tools, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Zoom, and Slack.
- You want to earn rewards on credit card purchases: With an SVB business checking account, you can qualify for an SVB Innovators Card. The charge card is made for startups that can pay balances in full every month, lets you earn 2x unlimited points, and has no annual fee. SVB also offers as many free employee cards as you need.
- You want to earn competitive interest on savings: The SVB Edge account comes with a free startup money market account, which earns interest at a rate of up to 4.91% APY.
When SVB Business Checking Isn’t a Good Fit
- You want to bank without a monthly fee: While SVB charges no monthly fees on your first three years of using SVB Edge (or your first year of using SVB ScaleUp), it charges a steep $50 monthly fee after that period. If you are looking for free business checking for your tech company or startup, check out our review of Mercury business checking.
- You want a bank with a strong branch presence: SVB only has branches in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. A better alternative would be Chase, which has 4,700 branches across 48 states. See our Chase Business Checking review for details.
- You want to earn interest on checking deposits: SVB business checking accounts do not earn interest. Bluevine offers 2.00% APY to accounts that meet its activity requirements. Read our review of Bluevine Business Checking for more information.
Silicon Valley Bank Business Checking Overview
Silicon Valley Bank Business Checking Requirements
To open a business checking account, you will need to follow the Silicon Valley Bank business checking requirements listed in this section. You can apply through the bank’s website or by visiting a branch location. You will need to provide the following information:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Tax identification number (TIN)
A driver’s license or other identifying documents will be required for beneficial owners, authorized signers, contracting officers (individuals authorized to transact on your behalf, such as making withdrawals, writing checks, transferring funds, stopping payments, and obtaining ancillary services), and other designated signers on the account.
You also need to provide legal business documents depending on your business entity type. Examples of required documents include:
- Certification of trust
- Court orders
- Partnership agreements
- Certificates of limited partnership
- Filed articles of incorporation
- Filed fictitious business name statements
SVB Business Checking Features
SVB offers two small business checking accounts with no monthly fees for a set period, online and mobile banking, startup resources, and an SVB Innovators Card.
This is a free business checking account for new startups. It charges no monthly fees for three years and offers free online banking, unlimited incoming wires and automated clearing house (ACH), and unlimited outgoing wires, including foreign currency, bill payments, and mobile deposits. After three years, SVB will charge you a monthly maintenance fee of $50 and outgoing fees for both domestic and international wires.
SVB ScaleUp is optimal for rapidly growing startups and venture-funded businesses. It comes with a $500 monthly credit to cover the service fees, and its monthly fee is waived for the first year.
The account provides access to remote deposit capture, lockbox services, online banking (with foreign exchange), SVB Transact Gateway for payment automation, domestic and international wires for US dollars (USD) and other currencies (incoming and outgoing), and fraud control services.
SVB Mastercard Business Debit Card
On account opening, you can choose to apply for a free SVB Mastercard Business Debit Card. The card is protected from fraud under Mastercard’s Zero Liability Protection policy.
You can conduct banking transactions online through the SVB website or mobile app. The app lets you do the following:
- Manage accounts
- Manage cards
- Deposit checks
- Schedule and approve payments
- Transfer funds
However, the app has mostly received negative reviews, earning a rating of 3.1 stars on the App Store2 and 2.5 stars on Google Play3. According to past users, the app lags often and is difficult to navigate and log into.
- Fraud prevention: Startups can rely on SVB to lower the risk of fraud through Positive Pay, where cleared checks are compared with issued checks. It also uses ACH Blocks and Filters to keep unauthorized ACH debits and credits from posting to an account. Additionally, SVB secures online transactions with the IBM Security Trusteer Rapport software, adding more protection from financial malware, and offers online controls through dual administration and alerts.
- Remote capture: You can easily deposit your check using your mobile device or scanning several checks through a desktop scanner. SVB also provides a remote lockbox facility for a high volume of checks and remittance documents.
- Bill Pay Plus: You can automate bill payments by setting payment schedules. It also allows you to sync with leading accounting apps, such as QuickBooks, NetSuite, Xero, and Intacct for greater efficiency.
- SVB Direct Connect: Direct Connect lets you sync current and past account data automatically to the bank’s Open Financial Exchange service for better cash management. It allows you to add popular financial management apps such as QuickBooks, Quicken, Xero, Expensify, and others.
- SVB Transact Gateway: To improve productivity, this feature allows you to automate payment initiation, processing, account reporting, and reconciliation by linking your company’s accounting software and back-office systems with your company’s online banking payments and data.
- Discounts: Silicon Valley Bank provides discounts on accounting and human resources (HR) software, infrastructure products, and other business services. Among them are Gusto, Google Cloud, AWS, Zendesk, Bioverge, and CipherBio.
Other Silicon Valley Bank Business Products
Silicon Valley Bank also supports startups and venture-funded firms by providing business market accounts, business credit cards, and lending options.
Businesses with high transaction volumes should choose SVB’s Analyzed Checking account, which offers a full suite of cash management services. Although the account charges a monthly fee of $32, it lets you waive fees through earnings credit, which is based on your balance.
SVB Edge also provides a money market account with an APY of 4.91% on balances of $4 million or less. Balances exceeding $4 million earn interest at a rate of 1.00%. Interest is accrued daily and credited monthly.
SVB offers two types of credit cards:
- The SVB Innovators Card provides high credit limits that scale with your business needs. It earns 2x rewards points on purchases with no caps for points earned. You can also issue cards to employees. You can learn more about it through our review of the SVB Innovators Card.
- The SVB Multi Card Mastercard is designed for larger businesses. It also offers scalable credit limits and expense management controls for employee cards.
The SVB Virtual Card Program lets you create single- or multiuse virtual cards for employee use instantly. You can customize transaction and authorization controls to limit when, where, and how cards will be used.
SVB offers venture debt, growth capital, working capital, and mezzanine loans.
For international expansion, SVB has banking solutions that include opening multicurrency accounts, foreign exchange risk services, and global trade finance.
SVB Business Checking Reviews From Users
Because of the bank failure with SVB, there could be additional negative reviews pulling down SVB’s score.
There are very few Silicon Valley Bank reviews from users available online. The bank has a rating of 2.5 out of 5 on WalletHub4, from about 30 reviews. However, past users have not published written reviews on this platform. On Trustpilot5, the bank received a rating of 2.8 out of 5, but from only around 10 reviews. G26 users gave the bank a rating of 4 out of 5, from about 10 reviews.
Because there are so few reviews, it is difficult to paint an accurate picture of customer satisfaction. Other than two comments calling the bank’s website interface “confusing,” there are few common threads unifying the bank’s negative reviews; most complaints seem to talk about isolated experiences or minor transgressions.
However, the few positive reviews available agree that Silicon Valley Bank is quick to respond to customer concerns and questions. Customers praised the bank for having a personable team with a good knowledge of tech industry needs.
Silicon Valley Bank is back, thanks to being purchased by First Citizens Bank, which seems intent on offering the same products and services that made SVB so popular with startups and venture-backed businesses for many years. Because the name of a failed bank remains attached to this financial institution, some companies will never want to return. However, as long as First Citizens Bank continues to be a solid bank, the new SVB could be a good choice for startups once again.