Struggling Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and Credit Suisse bet big on Democratic candidates over the past three election cycles, according to a Post review of fundraising data.
The banks — through their employees and affiliated PACs — donated nearly $1.2 million to Democrats between 2017 and 2022, according to the government transparency group OpenSecrets. Republican candidates got fewer than $750,000 over the same period.
All three banks spent big to defeat former President Donald Trump in 2020, collectively giving $198,926 to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.
SVB, Signature Bank and Credit Suisse jointly gave just $17,597 to Trump in 2020 and $5,516 to his upstart run in 2016.
Since 2016, the banks have also donated $89,322 to the Democratic National Committee, as well as tens of thousands more to the individual Senate campaigns of Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), among others.
Tester was seen Monday night rubbing elbows with a partner at SVB’s law firm during a posh Palo Alto fundraiser. And Kelly reportedly asked on an emergency congressional call Sunday evening if “misinformation” about the banks’ failures could be censored to prevent a run on other financial institutions.
SVB’s board of directors also included a Hillary Clinton mega-donor, a former aide to then-President Barack Obama, and a major donor to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and its affiliated House members also received thousands through the banks’ political generosity, which included donations to Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and former New York congressman and DCCC chair Sean Patrick Maloney.
North Carolina GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry, chair of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, has taken $203,850 from the banks over the past six years — the most of any Republican congressman.
Failed Pennsylvania Senate candidate David McCormick also took $19,892 from the institutions during his 2022 Republican primary run.
SVB and Signature Bank both failed within days of each other this weekend — two of the three biggest financial institution collapses in US history.
The failures prompted President Biden to reassure that his administration would fully protect deep-pocketed depositors who had invested their money in the institutions.
“Thanks to the quick action of my administration over the last few days, Americans can have confidence that the banking system is safe. Your deposits will be there when you need them,” he said Monday morning.
More than 93% of SVB domestic deposits exceeded $250,000 — normally the cap beyond which money is no longer insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Under Biden, however, the Treasury Department backed a plan late Sunday night for the FDIC to use funds to allow all depositors the chance to withdraw their money. He also pledged that executives who fomented the crisis “will be fired.”
Republican politicians blasted the president on Monday for having bailed out SVG’s wealthy and “woke” investors.
“Joe Biden is pretending this isn’t a bailout. It is,” GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley said in a statement. “Now depositors at healthy banks are forced to subsidize Silicon Valley Bank’s mismanagement. When the Deposit Insurance Fund runs dry, all bank customers are on the hook. That’s a public bailout.”
GOP critics also pointed to “woke” initiatives pushed by executives at Silicon Valley Bank in particular as another reason for its fall.
“This bank, they’re so concerned with DEI and politics and all kinds of stuff, I think that really diverted from them focusing on their core mission,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
The beleaguered Credit Suisse could be the next institution in need of a bailout after its shares hit an all-time low Tuesday.