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Daily business and finance update 28th March 2023

Silicon Valley Bank snapped up

Good morning. Could Blockbusters be making an unlikely comeback? The website of the video rental company has mysteriously been reactivated with a cryptic message that has left fans asking if a return is on the cards. At its peak in 2004 Blockbuster had 9,000 stores worldwide but went bankrupt in 2010 with the advent of streaming services like Netflix. 

Big Stories

Silicon Valley Bank snapped up

First Citizens Bank has bought the US arm of recently collapsed lender SVB, including assets of $110bn, deposits of $56bn, loans of $72bn and 17 branches. As a reminder, SVB was a key lender in the tech industry and became the biggest US bank to fail since the 2008 global financial crisis when regulators seized control of the bank earlier in the month. The sale is meant to “instil confidence in the banking system,” the CEO of First Citizens said, and it seems to be working for now: shares in the bank jumped 50% as well as partially reversing some of last week's market weakness stemming from the concerns over Deutsche Bank’s financial health. SVB’s UK arm was sold to HSBC for £1 in a rescue bid two weeks ago, a deal that calmed tech sector nerves in the country.

Twitter valuation slashed

Elon Musk is reportedly offering Twitter employees stock awards based on a $20bn valuation of the social media company, less than half what he paid for the company last October. But the Twitter CEO said he’s optimistic the company would eventually be worth more than $250bn, resulting in a 10x increase in employee remuneration. But Twitter will have to overcome Musk-related hurdles to get there: since he took over the site has lost 50 of its top 100 advertisers, it has $13bn of acquisition debt that is costly to service as interest rates rise and Twitter has experienced more frequent outages, bugs and glitches in recent months.

US crypto clash

Binance and its CEO, are being sued by US regulators for “wilful evasion of US law” in the country’s most significant move against the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The complaint alleges that Binance let Americans trade crypto derivatives – which is illegal in the US if you haven’t registered with the financial regulator, something Binance has not done. US authorities claim that the crypto firm has grown its US business despite publicly stating its intent to block Americans from accessing the platform. Binance said the lawsuit was “unexpected and disappointing,” adding that it has made “significant investments” in the past two years to ensure that US-based investors are not active on the platform.


Grounded: British Airways is cancelling around 32 flights a day to and from Heathrow Airport at the start of the Easter holidays.

Taking over: Next is in advanced talks to buy Cath Kidston in its latest swoop on a prominent but troubled retail brand.

Energy controversy: More than 94,000 prepayment meters were installed in homes in Britain throughout 2022, government figures show.

Shutting down: Barclays will close another 14 branches at sites across the UK, the latest in a long line of closures announced this year.

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Number Of The Day


Leaving the EU has made the UK economy this much smaller, according to the chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility.

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