Silicon Valley Bank made Forbes’s annual list of America’s Best Banks – just weeks before regulators seized control because it couldn’t meet withdrawal demands.
The bank advertised the achievement on Twitter last week and even pointed out it had made it onto the list for five consecutive years.
In the last decade, prestigious lists prepared by Forbes have been mocked for championing people and businesses that have later gone on to ungraciously fail.
Public figures to have been celebrated by the publication before suffering unglamorous demises include Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX, Adam Neumann of WeWork and Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos.
Worried customers queue up outside the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank on March 13 to withdraw their money. It came just over a week after Forbes magazine recommended it as one of the best banks in America
In a since-deleted tweet posted on March 6, Silicon Valley Bank advertised that it has made the Forbes list five years in a row
‘Proud to be on @Forbes’ annual ranking of America’s Best Banks for the 5th straight year and to have also been named to the publication’s inaugural Financial All-Stars list,’ SVB tweeted last Monday.
The bank has since deleted its Twitter account and its website has been taken down.
After the SVB bankruptcy an update to the 2023 America’s Best Banks page on the Forbes website had an editorial note added.
It read: ‘[Editor’s Note: After this list was published on February 16, 2023, SVB Financial Group’s Silicon Valley Bank collapsed and was placed under FDIC control on March 10 due to a bank run prompted by fears about its interest rate exposure.]’
The high-profile collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and its sister company Alameda Research were other recent events to impact those once heralded by the American business magazine.
Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX and Alameda Research, both of which dramatically collapsed at the end of last year, featured on the cover of Forbes in October 2021
In October 2021, Bankman-Fried featured on the cover of the magazine as a member of the 40th annual Forbes 400 list, which features the 400 richest Americans.
A story accompanying the list saw Bankman-Fried described as somebody who was trying to make as much money as possible so that he could put it to good use.
‘He is an ‘effective altruist’, which is sort of a Silicon Valley slant on philanthropy that relies on reason and data to do the most good in the world,’ read the story.
Late last year his exchange was rattled by a surge in attempts to withdraw funds and due to a lack of liquidity it eventually collapsed.
The 31-year-old was extradited from the Bahamas, where he had headquartered FTX, to face criminal charges in a Manhattan court. He has been released on bail and is awaiting a fraud trial on October 2.
Adam Neumann was once heralded as one of the most eligible young business leaders in the world by Forbes. He featured on its cover in October 2017
The 43-year-old Israeli American co-founded WeWork in 2010 with the aim of disrupting the commercial real estate industry but after a failed IP was forced to stand down as its CEO
Adam Neumann was also once heralded as one of the most eligible young business leaders in the world by Forbes and appeared on the magazine’s cover in October 2017.
The 43-year-old Israeli American co-founded WeWork in 2010 with the aim of disrupting the commercial real estate industry.
Like some of the others to enjoy their own celebration on the cover of Forbes, Neumann flew too close to the sun. After a huge investment in the unsustainable expansion of WeWork, and then a failed IPO in 2019, he stood down as the company’s CEO.
The dramatic story of WeWork and its meteoric rise and collapse was even documented in the television series WeCrashed.
The series starred Jared Leto as eccentric Neumann, who was known for walking around bare foot, smoking weed and drinking tequila.
Forbes listed Elizabeth Holmes as one of the richest women on the planet in 2014 but the following year a Wall Street Journal Report cast doubt on the technology advertised by her startup, Theranos
In 2014, Forbes listed Elizabeth Holmes one of the richest woman on the planet and she was put on the cover of the September 2015 issue.
Holmes was the founder of Theranos, an ambitious startup claiming to revolutionize blood-testing.
But the technology started coming under the scrutiny and a damning Wall Street Journal investigation in 2015 marked the beginning of Holmes’s demise.
The WSJ report found that the vast majority of its tests were done with traditional vials of blood drawn from the arm, and not the ‘few drops’ taken by a finger prick as was initially claimed.
In November 2022 Holmes was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison for wire fraud and defrauding investors of hundreds of millions of dollars.