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Business News/ News / Ex-CEO Greg Becker of failed Silicon Valley Bank defends pay, refuses to return $10 million

Former Silicon Valley Bank CEO Greg Becker, who has been heavily criticized for the bank's collapse, is facing backlash as he refuses to commit to returning any of the $10 million he received annually from the failed lender.

Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, Becker attributed the bank's March demise to unprecedented events, interest-rate hikes, and negative social media coverage, deflecting blame from mismanagement. While he expressed willingness to cooperate with regulators in reviewing compensation, he repeatedly declined to pledge any financial restitution.

When questioned by Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren, Becker stated, "I promise to cooperate with the regulators as they do a review," without offering a commitment to give back any of his substantial earnings.

Becker's decision to sell $3.6 million of company stock under a trading plan shortly before the bank disclosed significant losses has further fuelled criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Becker defended the legality of the stock sales, emphasizing that they were approved by the bank's legal team. He also defended his own compensation, asserting that the bonuses certain employees received for their 2022 performance prior to the bank's seizure were not irregular or accelerated.

Scott Shay, former chairman of Signature Bank, also faced scrutiny and declined to commit to returning any of his pay during the hearing.

Lawmakers highlighted that the bank failures had cost the government's deposit insurance fund billions of dollars, necessitating replenishment from other financial institutions.

Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman said, “The Republicans want to give a work requirement for SNAP for a hungry family," referring to the government food assistance program. “Shouldn’t you have a working requirement after we sell your bank?" he said about the sale of SVB by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC).


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Updated: 17 May 2023, 09:47 AM IST
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