The Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are currently investigating Goldman Sachs’ involvement in the purchase of Silicon Valley Bank’s securities portfolio prior to the bank’s collapse, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter.
According to the article, both agencies are looking into Goldman Sachs’ behavior during the unsuccessful capital raising that preceded SVB’s demise. As part of its investigation into SVB, the Justice Department is also said to have sent a subpoena to Goldman Sachs.
According to insiders, the Federal Reserve and SEC are especially interested in collecting papers linked to Goldman Sachs’ dual role as buyer of SVB’s securities portfolio and consultant on the bank’s capital raising. The agencies are allegedly looking into whether there were any unlawful discussions about the sale of the portfolio between Goldman’s investment banking business and its trading division.
Goldman has responded by saying that it is “cooperating with and providing information to various governmental bodies in connection with their investigations and inquiries into SVB, including the firm’s business with SVB in or around March 2023.”
Goldman Sachs was reportedly engaged in the closing days of SVB’s demise to aid the bank in obtaining money. Simultaneously, its trading branch acquired “SVB’s $21 billion portfolio of available-for-sale debt securities at a discount.” According to the WSJ, it is unusual for banks to operate as both an adviser and a buyer of a company’s assets at the same time, unless in times of financial trouble.
However in response to the allegation Goldman Sachs spokeswomen stated that ,Goldman Sachs stated SBV in writing to not act as their adviser on the sale and shall neither rely on any advice from the bank in the matter instead hire a third party financial adviser.