State Treasurer Riley Moore today confirmed the West Virginia Board of Treasury Investments, which manages the $10 billion Consolidated Fund of short-term investments for the state and local governments, has no exposure to Silicon Valley Bank or other recently failed banks.
“I want our taxpayers to rest assured we did not have any funds or holdings invested in Silicon Valley Bank or the two other high-profile bank failures, Silvergate and Signature Bank,” Treasurer Moore said. “Our Board of Treasury Investments works with well-respected investment management firms and maintains a rigorous credit process and extremely conservative approach with our investments. Our citizens can have confidence their public dollars are invested in a safe and secure fashion.”
Treasurer Moore said the Board of Treasury Investments and his Office are closely monitoring the situation in the national banking system. He believes West Virginia’s banking sector – particularly the regional and community banks that serve the state – will be largely unaffected by the Silicon Valley Bank fallout.
“I have absolute confidence in the regional and community banks that serve our state,” Treasurer Moore said. “These banks are based in our communities and do a tremendous job of protecting consumer and business assets and managing risk in the interest rate markets.”
Treasurer Moore said the Silicon Valley Bank collapse was an extreme circumstance that left that bank and those closely tied to it especially vulnerable.
“Silicon Valley Bank did an extraordinary amount of lending in the high-risk venture capital and technology space,” Treasurer Moore said. “As the Fed hiked interest rates and tightened financial conditions in response to the extreme inflation of recent years, this bank simply could not keep up with the liquidity demands to adjust to this rising rate environment.”
Treasurer Moore also said the Silicon Valley Bank collapse exposed the risks of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) movement in the banking sector.
“Silicon Valley Bank set lofty social goals of being carbon-neutral by 2025 and targeting diversity, equity and inclusion standards and lending practices, yet this company failed to employ a chief risk officer for the majority of 2022 as the Federal Reserve raised rates at the fastest pace in generation – a colossal failure for any lending institution,” Treasurer Moore said. “This demonstrates what I and others have been saying for years: Banks need to return to being simply banks and focus on actual financial matters rather than subjective social and political goals. This is the best way to ensure our banking system remains sound and secure, and reliably serves the people of our country.”