New York-based swimwear company Andie Swim founder Melanie Travis was caught unprepared by the sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, she told CBS News.
On Friday, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the 16th-largest U.S. bank with $210 billion in assets, was seized by California regulators after depositors rushed to withdraw funds over concerns the bank might become insolvent.
SVB catered to envelope-pushing tech startups, internet and software companies, as well as firms in the life science and health care space, and premium winemakers.
Andie Swim was among the bank's customers and Travis told CBS News that she was "panicked and flustered," upon hearing the news of the bank's closing.
Travis said she and her team knew there was a crisis looming and they were working on moving to another bank Friday midday during which she learned SVB had collapsed.
She told CBS News that the bombshell led to three minutes of silence on the phone as she pondered: "Did our company just go bankrupt like this? Did we lose everything?"
"I've never had a feeling like that in all my years of working and certainly not since I started Andie," she said.
Travis told CBS News she was concerned the bank's collapse would cause her small, 32-person company to fail, too.
"I thought, 'Wow, maybe this is the final nail in the coffin.' And we lived through COVID, we got through that. For this to be the end, I just was in shock," she said.
But Biden administration officials announced Sunday that depositors with accounts at Silicon Valley Bank will have access to all of their money beginning Monday, and "no losses associated with the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank will be borne by the taxpayer."
The emergency action "fully protects" all depositors, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Martin Gruenberg said.
Travis confirmed that the company's money is secure but that she has not been able to move it or access it. Upon hearing the news of the collapse on Friday Travis said she "ran" to open up a new business account at JPMorgan Chase.
"We sell product on a website that consumers buy; we needed a bank where their money for the product would go," she said.
She said she plans on moving all the money from SVB accounts into their new Chase account and said in the future she will diversify and not rely on just one bank account.
On Monday, President Biden sought to reassure Americans that they can have confidence in the U.S. banking system and quell any concerns about the fallout from SVB's abrupt failure.
"Americans can have confidence that the banking system is safe," Mr. Biden said in brief remarks from the White House. "Your deposits will be there when you need them. Small businesses across the country that deposit accounts at these banks can breathe easier knowing they'll be able to pay their workers and pay their bills, and their hard-working employees can breathe easier as well."
Aimee Pichee and Melissa Quinn contributed to this report.