SVB Financial Group
SVB FINANCIAL GROUP (Form: 10-K, Received: 02/27/2013 16:48:43)
Table of Contents

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
 
FORM 10-K
  
 
  (Mark One)
x
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012
OR
¨
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from          to         .
Commission File Number: 000-15637  
 
SVB FINANCIAL GROUP
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
Delaware
 
91-1962278
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
3003 Tasman Drive, Santa Clara, California
 
95054-1191
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (408) 654-7400
 Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
 
Name of each exchange on which registered  
Common stock, par value $0.001 per share
 
NASDAQ Global Select Market
Junior subordinated debentures issued by SVB Capital II and the guarantee with respect thereto
 
NASDAQ Global Select Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:      None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  x  No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes  ¨  No  x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes  x  No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes  x  No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.     ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer   x     Accelerated filer   ¨     Non-accelerated filer   ¨     Smaller reporting company   ¨
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes  ¨  No x
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity securities held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2012, the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter, based upon the closing price of its common stock on such date, on the NASDAQ Global Select Market was $2,607,341,459.
At January 31, 2013 , 44,758,956 shares of the registrant’s common stock ($0.001 par value) were outstanding.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Parts of Form 10-K
Into Which
Incorporated  
Definitive proxy statement for the Company's 2013 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed within 120 days of the end of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012
Part III


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
 
Page
 
 
 
 
PART I.
Item 1.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 1A.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 1B.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 2.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 3.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 4.
 
 
 

PART II.
Item 5.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 6.
 
 
 
 
Item 7.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 7A.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 8.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 9.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 9A.
 
 
 
 
Item 9B.
 
 
 
 
PART III.
Item 10.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 11.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 12.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 13.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 14.
 
 
 
 
PART IV.
Item 15.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Glossary of Frequently-used Acronyms in this Report

AICPA – American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
ASC — Accounting Standards Codification
ASU – Accounting Standards Update
EHOP – Employee Home Ownership Program of the Company
EPS – Earnings Per Share
ESOP – Employee Stock Ownership Plan of the Company
ESPP – 1999 Employee Stock Purchase Plan of the Company
FASB – Financial Accounting Standards Board
FDIC – Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
FHLB – Federal Home Loan Bank
FRB – Federal Reserve Bank
FTP – Funds Transfer Pricing
GAAP - Accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America
IASB – International Accounting Standards Board
IFRS – International Financial Reporting Standards
IPO – Initial Public Offering
IRS – Internal Revenue Service
IT – Information Technology
LIBOR – London Interbank Offered Rate
M&A – Merger and Acquisition
OTTI – Other Than Temporary Impairment
SEC – Securities and Exchange Commission
TDR – Troubled Debt Restructuring
UK – United Kingdom
VIE – Variable Interest Entity

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Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K, including in particular “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” under Part II, Item 7 of this report, contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In addition, management has in the past and might in the future make forward-looking statements orally to analysts, investors, the media and others. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. Broadly speaking, forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following:
Projections of our net interest income, noninterest income, earnings per share, noninterest expenses (including professional services, compliance, compensation and other costs), cash flows, balance sheet positions, capital expenditures, liquidity and capitalization or other financial items
Descriptions of our strategic initiatives, plans or objectives for future operations, including pending sales or acquisitions
Forecasts of venture capital/private equity funding and investment levels
Forecasts of future interest rates, economic performance, and income from investments
Forecasts of expected levels of provisions for loan losses, loan growth and client funds
Descriptions of assumptions underlying or relating to any of the foregoing
In this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we make forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, those discussing our management’s expectations about:
Market and economic conditions (including interest rate environment, and levels of public offerings, mergers/acquisitions and venture capital financing activities) and the associated impact on us
The sufficiency of our capital, including sources of capital (such as funds generated through retained earnings) and the extent to which capital may be used or required
The adequacy of our liquidity position, including sources of liquidity (such as funds generated through retained earnings)
Our overall investment plans, strategies and activities, including venture capital/private equity funding and investments, and our investment of excess cash/liquidity
The realization, timing, valuation and performance of equity or other investments
The likelihood that the market value of our impaired investments will recover
Our intent to sell our available-for-sale securities prior to recovery of our cost basis, or the likelihood of such
The impact on our interest income from mortgage prepayment levels as it relates to our premium amortization expense
Expected cash requirements for unfunded commitments to certain investments, including capital calls
Our overall management of interest rate risk, including managing the sensitivity of our interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities to interest rates, and the impact to earnings from a change in interest rates
The credit quality of our loan portfolio, including levels and trends of nonperforming loans, impaired loans, criticized loans and troubled debt restructurings
The adequacy of reserves (including allowance for loan and lease losses) and the appropriateness of our methodology for calculating such reserves
The level of loan and deposit balances
The level of client investment fees and associated margins
The profitability of our products and services, including loan yields, loan pricing, and interest margins
Our strategic initiatives, including the expansion of operations and business activities in China, India, Israel, the UK and elsewhere domestically or internationally
The expansion and growth of our noninterest income sources
Distributions of venture capital, private equity or debt fund investment proceeds; intentions to sell such fund investments

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The changes in, or adequacy of, our unrecognized tax benefits and any associated impact
The realization of certain deferred tax assets, and of any benefit stemming from certain net operating loss carryforwards.
The extent to which counterparties, including those to our forward and option contracts, will perform their contractual obligations
The condition and suitability of our properties
The effect of application of accounting pronouncements and regulatory requirements
The effect of lawsuits and claims
Regulatory developments, including the nature and timing of the adoption and effectiveness of new requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act (as defined below), Basel guidelines, capital requirements and other applicable laws and regulations
You can identify these and other forward-looking statements by the use of words such as “becoming,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “predicts,” “potential,” “continue,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “seeks,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” the negative of such words, or comparable terminology. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, we have based these expectations on our beliefs as well as our assumptions, and such expectations may prove to be incorrect. Our actual results of operations and financial performance could differ significantly from those expressed in or implied by our management’s forward-looking statements.
For information with respect to factors that could cause actual results to differ from the expectations stated in the forward-looking statements, see “Risk Factors” under Part I, Item 1A in this report. We urge investors to consider all of these factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. All subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. The forward-looking statements included in this filing are made only as of the date of this filing. We assume no obligation and do not intend to revise or update any forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, except as required by law.

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PART I.
ITEM 1.
BUSINESS
General
SVB Financial Group ("SVB Financial") is a diversified financial services company, as well as a bank holding company and a financial holding company. SVB Financial was incorporated in the state of Delaware in March 1999. Through our various subsidiaries and divisions, we offer a variety of banking and financial products and services to clients across the United States, as well as in key international entrepreneurial markets. For 30 years, we have been dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed, primarily in the technology, life science, venture capital/private equity and premium wine industries. We provide our clients of all sizes and stages with a diverse set of products and services to support them throughout their life cycles.
We offer commercial and private banking products and services through our principal subsidiary, Silicon Valley Bank (the “Bank”), which is a California state-chartered bank founded in 1983 and is a member of the Federal Reserve System. Through its subsidiaries, the Bank also offers brokerage, investment advisory and asset management services. Through our other subsidiaries and divisions, we also offer non-banking products and services, such as funds management, venture capital/private equity investments and business valuation services. Additionally, we focus on cultivating strong relationships with firms within the venture capital and private equity community worldwide, many of which are also our clients and may invest in our corporate clients.
As of December 31, 2012 , we had, on a consolidated basis, total assets of $22.8 billion , investment securities of $12.5 billion , total loans, net of unearned income, of $8.9 billion , total deposits of $19.2 billion and total SVB Financial Group (“SVBFG”) stockholders' equity of $1.8 billion .
We operate through 28 offices in the United States, as well as offices internationally in China, India, Israel and the United Kingdom. Our corporate headquarters is located at 3003 Tasman Drive, Santa Clara, California 95054, and our telephone number is 408.654.7400.
When we refer to “SVB Financial Group,” “SVBFG,” the “Company,” “we,” “our,” “us” or use similar words, we mean SVB Financial Group and all of its subsidiaries collectively, including the Bank. When we refer to “SVB Financial” or the “Parent” we are referring only to the parent company, SVB Financial Group.
Business Overview
For reporting purposes, SVB Financial Group has three operating segments for which we report financial information in this report: Global Commercial Bank, SVB Private Bank and SVB Capital.
Global Commercial Bank
Our Global Commercial Bank segment is comprised of results primarily from our Commercial Bank, and to a lesser extent, from SVB Specialty Lending, SVB Analytics and our Debt Fund Investments, each as further described below.
Commercial Bank . Our Commercial Bank products and services are provided by the Bank and its subsidiaries to commercial clients in the technology, venture capital/private equity, life science and cleantech industries. The Bank provides solutions to the financial needs of commercial clients through lending, deposit products, cash management services, global banking and trade products and services, and investment services. It also serves the needs of our non-U.S. clients with global banking products, including loans, deposits and global finance, in key international entrepreneurial markets, where applicable.
Through lending products and services, the Bank extends loans and other credit facilities to commercial clients. These loans are often secured by clients' assets. Lending products and services include traditional term loans, equipment loans, asset-based loans, revolving lines of credit, accounts-receivable-based lines of credit, capital call lines of credit and credit cards.
The Bank's deposit and cash management products and services provide commercial clients with short- and long-term cash management solutions. Deposit products include traditional deposit and checking accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts and sweep accounts. In connection with deposit services, the Bank provides lockbox and merchant services that facilitate timely depositing of checks and other payments to clients' accounts. Cash management products and services include wire transfer and automated clearing house payment services to enable clients to transfer funds quickly. Additionally, the cash management services unit provides collection services, disbursement services, electronic funds transfers, and online banking.
The Bank's global banking and trade products and services facilitate clients' global finance and business needs. These products and services include foreign exchange services that allow commercial clients to manage their foreign currency needs and risks through the purchase and sale of currencies, swaps and hedges on the global inter-bank market. To facilitate clients'

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international trade, the Bank offers a variety of loan and credit facilities guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The Bank also offers letters of credit, including export, import, and standby letters of credit, to enable clients to ship and receive goods globally.
The Bank and its subsidiaries offer a variety of investment services and solutions to its clients that enable them to effectively manage their assets. Through its broker-dealer subsidiary, SVB Securities, the Bank offers clients access to investments in third party money market mutual funds and fixed-income securities. Through its registered investment advisory subsidiary, SVB Asset Management, the Bank offers investment advisory services, including outsourced treasury services, with customized cash portfolio management and reporting.
SVB Specialty Lending . SVB Specialty Lending provides banking products and services to our premium wine industry clients, including vineyard development loans, as well as community development loans made as part of our responsibilities under the Community Reinvestment Act.
SVB Analytics . SVB Analytics provides equity valuation services to private companies and venture capital/private equity firms.
Debt Fund Investments . Debt Fund Investments include our investments in debt funds in which we are a strategic investor: (i) Gold Hill funds, which provide secured debt to private companies of all stages, and (ii) Partners for Growth funds, which provide secured debt primarily to mid-stage and late-stage companies.
SVB Private Bank
SVB Private Bank is the private banking division of the Bank, which provides a range of personal financial solutions for consumers. Our clients are primarily venture capital/private equity professionals. We offer a customized suite of private banking services, including mortgages, home equity lines of credit, restricted stock purchase loans, capital call lines of credit, and other secured and unsecured lending. We also help our private banking clients meet their cash management needs by providing deposit account products and services, including checking, money market, certificates of deposit accounts, online banking, credit cards and other personalized banking services.
SVB Capital
SVB Capital is the venture capital investment arm of SVB Financial Group, which focuses primarily on funds management. SVB Capital manages approximately $1.5 billion of funds, largely venture capital funds, primarily on behalf of third party limited partner investors, and on a more limited basis, SVB Financial Group. The SVB Capital family of funds is comprised of funds of funds and direct venture funds (or co-investment funds). SVB Capital generates income for the Company primarily through management fees, carried interest arrangements and returns through the Company's investments in the funds. Most of the funds managed by SVB Capital are consolidated into our financial statements. See Note 2-“Summary of Significant Accounting Policies-Principles of Consolidation and Presentation” of the “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements” under Part II, Item 8 in this report.
For more information about our three operating segments, including financial information and results of operations, see “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Operating Segment Results” under Part II, Item 7 in this report, and Note 20-“Segment Reporting” of the “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements” under Part II, Item 8 in this report.
Revenue Sources
Our total revenue is comprised of our net interest income and noninterest income. Net interest income on a fully taxable equivalent basis and noninterest income for the year ended December 31, 2012 were $619.8 million and $335.5 million , respectively.
Net interest income is primarily income generated from interest rate differentials. The difference between the interest rates received on interest-earning assets, such as loans extended to clients and securities held in our available-for-sale securities portfolio, and the interest rates paid by us on interest-bearing liabilities, such as deposits and borrowings, accounts for the major portion of our earnings. Our deposits are largely obtained from commercial clients within our technology, life science, venture capital and private equity industry sectors. Deposits are also obtained from the premium wine industry commercial clients and from our Private Bank clients. We do not obtain deposits from conventional retail sources.
Noninterest income is primarily income generated from our fee-based services and returns on our investments. We offer a wide range of fee-based financial services to our clients, including global commercial banking, private banking and other business services. Our ability to integrate and cross-sell our diverse financial services to our clients is a strength of our business model. Additionally, we seek to obtain returns by making investments. We manage and invest in venture capital/private equity funds that invest directly in privately-held companies, as well as funds that invest in other venture capital/private equity funds. We

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also invest directly in privately-held companies. Additionally, we recognize gains from warrants to acquire stock in client companies, which we obtain in connection with negotiating credit facilities and certain other services.
We derive substantially all of our revenue from U.S. clients.  We derived less than 10 percent of our total revenues from foreign clients for each of 2012 , 2011 and 2010 .
Industry Niches
In each of the industry niches we serve, we provide services to meet the needs of our clients throughout their life cycles, beginning with the emerging, start-up stage.
Technology and Life Sciences
We serve a variety of clients in the technology and life science industries. Our technology clients tend to be in the industries of hardware (semiconductors, communications and electronics), software, cleantech (energy generation, storage and efficiency) and related services. Our life science clients tend to be in the industries of biotechnology and medical devices. A key component of our technology and life science business strategy is to develop relationships with clients at an early stage and offer them banking services that will continue to meet their needs as they mature and expand. We serve these clients primarily through three practices:
Our SVB Accelerator practice focuses on serving our “emerging” or “early stage” clients. These clients are generally in the start-up or early stages of their life cycles. They are typically privately-held and funded by friends and family, “seed” or “angel” investors, or have gone through an initial round of venture capital financing. Typically, they are primarily engaged in research and development, have little or no revenue and may have only brought a few products or services to market. SVB Accelerator clients tend to have annual revenues below $5 million.
Our SVB Growth practice serves our “mid-stage” and “late-stage” clients. These clients are in the intermediate or later stages of their life cycles and are generally privately-held, and many are dependent on venture capital for funding. Some of these clients are in the more advanced stages of their life cycles and may be publicly held or poised to become publicly held. Our SVB Growth clients generally have a solid or more established product or service offering in the market, with more meaningful or considerable revenue. They also may be expanding globally. SVB Growth clients tend to have annual revenues between $5 million and $75 million.
Our SVB Corporate Finance practice serves primarily our large corporate clients, which are more mature and established companies. These clients are generally publicly-held or large privately-held companies, have a more sophisticated product or service offering in the market, and significant revenue. They also may be expanding globally. SVB Corporate Finance clients tend to have annual revenues over $75 million.
Venture Capital/Private Equity
We provide financial services to clients in the venture capital/private equity community. Since our founding, we have cultivated strong relationships within the venture capital/private equity community, particularly with venture capital firms worldwide, many of which are also clients. We serve in the United States and worldwide more than 600 venture capital firms and more than 150 private equity firms, facilitating deal flow to and from these firms. We may also, through SVB Financial or SVB Capital funds, participate in direct investments in their portfolio companies.
Premium Wine
We are one of the leading providers of financial services to premium wine producers across the Western United States, primarily in California's Napa Valley, Sonoma County and Central Coast regions, and the Pacific Northwest, with approximately 300 winery and vineyard clients. We focus on vineyards and wineries that produce grapes and premium wines.
Competition
The banking and financial services industry is highly competitive, and continues to evolve as a result of changes in regulation, technology, product delivery systems, and the general market and economic climate. Our current competitors include other banks, debt funds and specialty and diversified financial services intermediaries that offer lending, leasing, payments, investment, advisory and other financial products and services to our target client base. The principal competitive factors in our markets include product offerings, service, and pricing. Given our established market position within the client segments that we serve, and our ability to integrate and cross-sell our diverse financial services to extend the length of our relationships with our clients, we believe we compete favorably in all our markets in these areas.
Employees
As of December 31, 2012 , we employed 1,615 full-time equivalent employees.

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Supervision and Regulation
Our bank and bank holding company operations are subject to extensive regulation by federal and state regulatory agencies. This regulation is intended primarily for the stability of the US banking system as well as the protection of depositors and the Deposit Insurance Fund (“DIF”). This regulation is not intended for the benefit of our security holders. As a bank holding company and a financial holding company, SVB Financial is subject to primary inspection, supervision, regulation, and examination by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (“BHC Act”). The Bank, as a California state-chartered bank and a member of the Federal Reserve System, is subject to primary supervision and examination by the Federal Reserve Board, as well as the California Department of Financial Institutions (“DFI”). In addition, and to the extent provided by law, the Bank's deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) and the DIF. SVB Financial's other nonbank subsidiaries are subject to regulation by the Federal Reserve Board and other applicable federal and state regulatory agencies, including the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”). In addition, we are subject to regulation by certain foreign regulatory agencies in international jurisdictions where we may conduct business, including the U.K., Israel, India and China. (See “International Regulation” below.)
The following discussion of statutes and regulations is a summary and does not purport to be complete. This discussion is qualified in its entirety by reference to the statutes and regulations referred to in this discussion. Regulators, Congress, state legislatures and international consultative bodies continue to enact rules, laws and policies to regulate the financial services industry and public companies and to protect consumers and investors. The nature of these laws and regulations and the effect of such policies on the Company's business cannot be predicted and in some cases, may have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and/or results of operations.
Regulation of Parent: SVB Financial
Under the BHC Act, SVB Financial, as a bank holding company, is subject to the Federal Reserve's regulation and its authority to, among other things:
Require periodic reports and such additional information as the Federal Reserve may require in its discretion;
Require the maintenance of certain levels of capital;
Restrict the ability of bank holding companies to service debt or to receive dividends or other distributions from their subsidiary banks;
Require prior approval for senior executive officer and director changes under certain circumstances;
Require that bank holding companies serve as a source of financial and managerial strength to subsidiary banks and commit resources as necessary to support each subsidiary bank. A bank holding company's failure to meet its obligations to serve as a source of strength to its subsidiary banks will generally be considered by the Federal Reserve to be an unsafe and unsound banking practice or a violation of Federal Reserve regulations or both under current law, and will be a statutory violation under the Dodd-Frank Act, as described below;
Terminate an activity or terminate control of or liquidate or divest certain subsidiaries, affiliates or investments if the Federal Reserve believes the activity or the control of the subsidiary or affiliate constitutes a serious risk to the financial safety, soundness or stability of any bank subsidiary;
Regulate provisions of certain bank holding company debt, including the authority to impose interest ceilings and reserve requirements on such debt and require prior approval to purchase or redeem our securities in certain situations; and
Approve acquisitions and mergers with banks and consider certain competitive, management, financial, financial stability and other factors in granting these approvals. Similar California and other state banking agency approvals may also be required.
In addition, bank holding companies must serve as a source of financial strength to any bank subsidiary. In that regard, SVB Financial must have the ability to provide financial assistance to the Bank in the event of financial distress.
Bank holding companies are generally prohibited, except in certain statutorily prescribed instances including exceptions for financial holding companies, from acquiring direct or indirect ownership or control of more than 5% of the outstanding voting shares of any company that is not a bank or bank holding company and from engaging directly or indirectly in activities other than those of banking, managing or controlling banks, or furnishing services to its subsidiaries. However, subject to prior notice or Federal Reserve Board approval, bank holding companies may engage in, or acquire shares of companies engaged in, activities determined by the Federal Reserve Board to be so closely related to banking or managing or controlling banks as to be a proper incident thereto. As a financial holding company, SVB Financial may engage in these nonbanking activities and certain other broader securities, insurance, merchant banking and other activities that are determined to be “financial in nature” or are incidental or complementary to activities that are financial in nature without prior Federal Reserve approval,

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subject to the requirement imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act that SVB Financial will be required to obtain prior Federal Reserve approval in order to acquire a nonbanking company with more than $10 billion in consolidated assets.
Pursuant to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (“GLBA”), in order to elect and retain financial holding company status, all depository institution subsidiaries of a bank holding company must be well capitalized, well managed, and, except in limited circumstances, in satisfactory compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”). In addition, a financial holding company is also required to be well capitalized and well managed. Failure to sustain compliance with these requirements or correct any non-compliance within a fixed time could lead to divestiture of subsidiary banks or require all activities to conform to those permissible for a bank holding company.
Because we are a holding company, our rights and the rights of our creditors and security holders to participate in the assets of any of our subsidiaries upon the subsidiary's liquidation or reorganization will be subject to the prior claims of the subsidiary's creditors, except to the extent we may ourselves be a creditor with recognized claims against the subsidiary. In addition, there are various statutory and regulatory limitations on the extent to which the Bank can finance or otherwise transfer funds to us or to our non-bank subsidiaries, including certain investment funds to which the Bank serves as an investment adviser, whether in the form of loans or other extensions of credit, including a purchase of assets subject to an agreement to repurchase, securities investments, the borrowing or lending of securities to the extent that the transaction causes the Bank or a subsidiary to have credit exposure to the affiliate, or certain other specified types of transactions, as discussed in further detail below. Furthermore, loans and other extensions of credit by the Bank to us or any of our non-bank subsidiaries are required to be secured by specified amounts of collateral and are required to be on terms and conditions consistent with safe and sound banking practices.
SVB Financial is also treated as a bank holding company under the California Financial Code. As such, SVB Financial and its subsidiaries are subject to periodic examination by and may be required to file reports with the DFI.
Securities Registration and Listing
SVB Financial's securities are registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. As such, SVB Financial is subject to the information, proxy solicitation, insider trading, corporate governance, and other requirements and restrictions of the Exchange Act, as well as the Marketplace Rules and other requirements promulgated by the Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc.
As a public company, SVB Financial is also subject to the accounting oversight and corporate governance requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, including, among other things, required executive certification of financial presentations, increased requirements for board audit committees and their members, and enhanced requirements relating to disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
The events of the past several years led to numerous new laws and regulatory pronouncements in the United States and internationally for financial institutions. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”), enacted in 2010, is one of the most far reaching legislative actions affecting the financial services industry in decades and significantly restructures the financial regulatory regime in the United States. The Dodd-Frank Act broadly affects the financial services industry by creating new resolution authorities, requiring ongoing stress testing of capital, mandating higher capital and liquidity requirements, increasing regulation of executive and incentive-based compensation and requiring numerous other provisions aimed at strengthening the sound operation of the financial services sector depending, in part, on the size of the financial institution. Among other things, the Dodd-Frank Act provides for:
Capital standards applicable to bank holding companies may be no less stringent than those applied to insured depository institutions;
Annual stress tests and early remediation or so-called living wills are required for larger banks with more than $50 billon assets, as well as risk committees of its board of directors that include a risk expert, and such requirements may have the effect of establishing new best practices standards for banks below that size, such as SVB Financial Group;
Repeal of the federal prohibition (Regulation Q) on the payment of interest on demand deposits, including business checking accounts, and made permanent the $250,000 limit for federal deposit insurance;
The establishment of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) with responsibility for promulgating and enforcing regulations designed to protect consumers' financial interests and prohibit unfair, deceptive and abusive acts and practices by financial institutions;
The CFPB to directly examine those financial institutions with $10 billion or more in assets for compliance with the regulations promulgated by the CFPB;

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Limits, or places significant burdens and compliance and other costs, on activities traditionally conducted by banking organizations, such as originating and securitizing mortgage loans and other financial assets, arranging and participating in swap and derivative transactions, proprietary trading and investing in private equity and other funds; and
The establishment of new compensation restrictions and standards regarding the time, manner and form of compensation given to key executives and other personnel receiving incentive compensation, including documentation and governance, proxy access by stockholders, deferral and claw-back requirements.
As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, federal regulators published for comment proposed regulations to (i) increase capital requirements on banks and bank holding companies, and (ii) implement the so-called “Volcker Rule” of the Dodd-Frank Act, which would significantly restrict certain activities by covered bank holding companies, including restrictions on proprietary trading and private equity investing. Final rules are expected in 2013.
Many of the regulations to implement the Dodd-Frank Act have not yet been published for comment or adopted in final form and/or will take effect over several years, making it difficult to anticipate the overall financial impact on SVB Financial, our customers or the financial industry more generally. Individually and collectively, proposed regulations resulting from the Dodd-Frank Act may materially and adversely affect our businesses, financial conditions and results of operations. Provisions in the legislation requiring revisions to the capital requirements of SVB Financial and the Bank could require SVB Financial and/or the Bank to seek additional sources of capital in the future.
Regulation of Silicon Valley Bank
The Bank is a California state-chartered bank, a member and stockholder of the Federal Reserve and a member of the FDIC. The Bank is subject to primary supervision, periodic examination and regulation by the DFI and the Federal Reserve, as the Bank's primary federal regulator. In general, under the California Financial Code, California banks have all the powers of a California corporation, subject to the general limitation of state bank powers under the Federal Deposit Insurance Act to those permissible for national banks. Specific federal and state laws and regulations which are applicable to banks regulate, among other things, the scope of their business, their investments, their reserves against deposits, the timing of the availability of deposited funds and the nature and amount of and collateral for certain loans. The regulatory structure also gives the bank regulatory agencies extensive discretion in connection with their supervisory and enforcement activities and examination policies, including policies with respect to the classification of assets and the establishment of adequate loan loss reserves for regulatory purposes. If, as a result of an examination, the DFI or the Federal Reserve should determine that the financial condition, capital resources, asset quality, earnings prospects, management, liquidity, or other aspects of the Bank's operations are unsatisfactory or that the Bank or its management is violating or has violated any law or regulation, the DFI and the Federal Reserve, and separately FDIC as insurer of the Bank's deposits, have residual authority to:
Require affirmative action to correct any conditions resulting from any violation or practice;
Require prior approval for senior executive officer and director changes;
Direct an increase in capital and the maintenance of specific minimum capital ratios which may preclude the Bank from being deemed well capitalized for regulatory purposes;
Restrict the Bank's growth geographically, by products and services, or by mergers and acquisitions;
Enter into informal or formal enforcement orders, including memoranda of understanding, written agreements and consent or cease and desist orders to take corrective action and enjoin unsafe and unsound practices;
Restrict or prohibit the Bank from paying dividends or making other distributions to SVB Financial;
Remove officers and directors and assess civil monetary penalties; and
Take possession of and close and liquidate the Bank.
California law permits state chartered commercial banks to engage in any activity permissible for national banks. Therefore, the Bank may form subsidiaries to engage in the many so-called “closely related to banking” or “nonbanking” activities commonly conducted by national banks in operating subsidiaries, and further, the Bank may conduct certain “financial” activities in a subsidiary to the same extent as may a national bank, provided the Bank is and remains “well-capitalized,” “well-managed” and in satisfactory compliance with the CRA. The Bank continues to be in satisfactory compliance with the CRA.
Regulatory Capital
The federal banking agencies have adopted guidelines governing risk-based capital and allowable leverage capital levels for bank holding companies and banks that are expected to provide a measure of capital that reflects the degree of risk associated with a banking organization's operations for both transactions reported on the balance sheet as assets, such as loans, and those recorded as off-balance sheet items, such as commitments, letters of credit and recourse arrangements.

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Under current capital guidelines, banking organizations are required to maintain certain minimum risk-based capital ratios, which are calculated by dividing a banking organization's qualifying capital by its risk-weighted assets (including both on- and off-balance sheet assets). Risk-weighted assets are calculated by assigning assets and off-balance sheet items to broad risk categories. Qualifying capital is classified depending on the type of capital. For SVB Financial:
“Tier 1 capital” consists of common equity, retained earnings, qualifying non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock, a limited amount of qualifying cumulative perpetual preferred stock issued prior to May 19, 2010 and noncontrolling interests in the equity accounts of consolidated subsidiaries (including trust-preferred securities), less goodwill and certain other intangible assets. Qualifying Tier 1 capital may consist of trust-preferred securities issued prior to May 19, 2010, subject to certain criteria and quantitative limits for inclusion of restricted core capital elements in Tier 1 capital.
“Tier 2 capital” includes, among other things, hybrid capital instruments, perpetual debt, mandatory convertible debt securities, qualifying term subordinated debt, preferred stock that does not qualify as Tier 1 capital, and a limited amount of allowance for loan and lease losses.
As a bank holding company, SVB Financial is subject to three capital ratios: a total risk-based capital ratio, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio and a Tier 1 leverage ratio. To be classified as “adequately capitalized”, the minimum required ratios for bank holding companies and banks are eight percent, four percent and four percent, respectively. Additionally, for SVB Financial to remain a financial holding company, the Bank must at all times be “well-capitalized,” which requires the Bank to have a total risk-based capital ratio, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio and a Tier 1 leverage ratio of at least ten percent, six percent and five percent, respectively. Moreover, maintaining SVB Financial at “well-capitalized” status provides certain benefits to SVB Financial, such as the ability to repurchase stock without prior regulatory approval. To be “well-capitalized,” SVB Financial must at all times have a total risk-based and Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least ten percent and six percent, respectively. There is no current Tier 1 leverage requirement for SVB Financial to be deemed “well-capitalized”. As of December 31, 2012, both SVB Financial and the Bank were considered “well-capitalized” for regulatory purposes.
The federal banking agencies may change existing capital guidelines or adopt new capital guidelines in the future pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the implementation of Basel III (described below) or other regulatory or supervisory changes. For instance, the Dodd-Frank Act further requires the federal banking agencies to adopt capital requirements which address the risks that the activities of an institution poses to the institution and the public and private stakeholders, including risks arising from certain enumerated activities. Notwithstanding these capital ratio requirements, pursuant to federal regulatory guidance, banking organizations are expected to operate with capital positions well above the minimum or “well-capitalized” ratios, with the amount of capital held commensurate with its risk exposure.
SVB Financial is also currently subject to rules that govern the regulatory capital treatment of equity investments in non-financial companies made on or after March 13, 2000 and held under certain specified legal authorities by a bank or bank holding company. Under the rules, these equity investments will be subject to a separate capital charge that will reduce SVB Financial's Tier 1 capital and, as a result, will remove these assets from being taken into consideration in establishing SVB Financial's required capital ratios discussed above.
Banking organizations must have appropriate capital planning processes, with proper oversight from the Board of Directors. Accordingly, pursuant to a separate supervisory letter from the Federal Reserve, bank holding companies are expected to conduct and document comprehensive capital adequacy analyses prior to the declaration of any dividends (on common stock, preferred stock, trust preferred securities or other Tier 1 capital instruments), capital redemptions or capital repurchases. Moreover, the federal banking agencies have adopted a joint agency policy statement, stating that the adequacy and effectiveness of a bank's interest rate risk management process and the level of its interest rate exposures are critical factors in the evaluation of the bank's capital adequacy. A bank with material weaknesses in its interest rate risk management process or high levels of interest rate exposure relative to its capital will be directed by the federal banking agencies to take corrective actions.
Proprietary Trading and Certain Relationships with Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds
The “Volcker Rule” under the Dodd-Frank Act restricts a bank's proprietary trading activities and a bank's ability to sponsor or invest in certain funds, including hedge or private equity funds. Proposed implementing regulations for the Volcker Rule were issued, and final rules, which the Dodd-Frank Act directed to be completed by July 2012, have not yet been issued but are expected in 2013. In a separate rulemaking process, regulators issued a final rule setting forth the schedule for affected entities to bring their activities and investments into conformance with the prohibitions and restrictions of the Volcker Rule. Pursuant to that “conformance period” rulemaking, banking entities generally have two years from the effective date of the Volcker Rule to bring their activities into compliance with the Volcker Rule. The conformance period applicable to investment in or sponsorship of covered funds may be extended, and in the case of certain illiquid funds, may extend to as long as ten years from the effective date of the Volcker Rule.

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Subject to certain exceptions, the Volcker Rule prohibits a banking entity from engaging in “proprietary trading,” which is defined as engaging as principal for the “trading account” of the banking entity in securities or other instruments. Certain forms of proprietary trading may qualify as “permitted activities,” and thus not be subject to the ban on proprietary trading, such as trading in U.S. government or agency obligations, or certain other U.S. state or municipal obligations, and the obligations of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae. Based on this definition and the exceptions provided under the currently proposed regulations, we do not believe that we engage in any proprietary trading that would be prohibited under the Volcker Rule.
Additionally, subject to certain exceptions, the rule prohibits a banking entity from sponsoring or investing in certain funds, including a hedge fund or private equity fund. While a banking entity may “organize and offer” a hedge fund or private equity fund if certain conditions are met, it may not “sponsor” a covered fund, nor may it acquire or retain an equity partnership or other ownership interest in a fund except for certain limited investments. The Volcker Rule also imposes certain investment limits on banking entities. When effective, the Volcker Rule is expected to limit covered banking entities to a de minimis investment in a hedge fund or private equity fund. Such a de minimis investment will be defined by the rules to be immaterial to the banking entity but in no case may the aggregate investments of a banking entity in hedge funds and private equity funds comprise more than three percent of the institution's Tier 1 capital. During the transition period, Federal banking regulators may impose additional capital requirements and other restrictions on any equity, partnership, or ownership interest in or sponsorship of a hedge fund or private equity fund by a banking entity.
Based on the regulations as currently proposed, the Volcker Rule prohibitions would apply to SVB Financial, the Bank or any affiliate of SVB Financial or the Bank (including SVB Capital and our strategic fund investments), unless an exception applies. Based on the proposed rules, SVB Financial maintains investments in certain venture capital and private equity funds that may exceed three percent of its Tier 1 capital and/or may be determined to be material. In the absence of a change to the current Volcker Rule proposal, SVB Financial (including its affiliate SVB Capital) may be required to reduce the level of its investments in covered funds, would be prohibited from serving as the “sponsor” of funds and would be required to forego investment opportunities in certain funds in the future. SVB Financial would be obligated to come into conformance with all these requirements in a period of time to be determined by regulators but not to exceed ten years from the effective date of the Dodd-Frank Act.
Basel, Basel II and Basel III Accords
The current risk-based capital guidelines that apply to SVB Financial and the Bank are based upon the 1988 capital accord of the International Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, a committee of central banks and bank supervisors, as implemented by the Federal Reserve. In 2008, the Federal Reserve began to phase-in capital standards based on a second capital accord, referred to as Basel II, for large or “core” international banks (total assets of $250 billion or more or consolidated foreign exposures of $10 billion or more). Basel II emphasizes internal assessment of credit, market and operational risk, as well as supervisory assessment and market discipline in determining minimum capital requirements.
On September 12, 2010, the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision, the oversight body of the Basel Committee, announced agreement on the calibration and phase-in arrangements for a strengthened set of capital requirements, known as the Basel Capital Adequacy Accords or Basel III. Basel III increases the minimum Tier 1 common equity ratio to 4.5%, net of regulatory deductions, and introduces a capital conservation buffer of an additional 2.5% of common equity to risk-weighted assets, raising the target minimum common equity ratio to 7.0%. Basel III increases (a) the minimum Tier 1 capital ratio to 8.5% inclusive of the capital conservation buffer, (b) increases the minimum total capital ratio to 10.5% inclusive of the capital buffer and (c) introduces a countercyclical capital buffer of up to 2.5% of common equity or other fully loss absorbing capital for periods of excess credit growth. Basel III also introduces a non-risk adjusted Tier 1 leverage ratio of 3.0%, based on a measure of total exposure rather than total assets, and new liquidity standards. The Basel III capital and liquidity standards are expected to be phased in over a multi-year period. The final package of Basel III reforms was published at the end of 2010, and is subject to individual adoption by member nations, including the United States.
In June 2012, the Federal Reserve Board issued proposed rules intended to help ensure banks maintain strong capital positions, enabling them to continue lending to creditworthy households and businesses even after unforeseen losses and during severe economic downturns. Taken together, the proposals would implement in the United States the Basel III regulatory capital reforms from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and changes required by the Dodd-Frank Act.
In particular, the notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPR”) entitled Regulatory Capital Rules: Regulatory Capital, Implementation of Basel III, Minimum Regulatory Capital Ratios, Capital Adequacy, and Transition Provisions, would apply to all depository institutions, bank holding companies with total consolidated assets of $500 million or more, and savings and loan holding companies. Consistent with the international Basel framework, this NPR would:
Increase the quantity and quality of capital required by proposing a new minimum common equity tier 1 ratio of 4.5 percent of risk-weighted assets and a common equity tier 1 capital conservation buffer of 2.5 percent of risk-weighted assets, and raise the minimum tier 1 capital ratio from 4 percent to 6 percent of risk-weighted assets;

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Revise the definition of capital to improve the ability of regulatory capital instruments to absorb losses, including the elimination of trust preferred securities as a component of tier 1 capital over a multi-year period;
Establish limitations on capital distributions and certain discretionary bonus payments if additional specified amounts, or "buffers," of common equity tier 1 capital are not met; and
Introduce a supplementary leverage ratio for internationally active banking organizations.
The Basel III proposal would also revise the Board's prompt corrective action framework by incorporating the new regulatory capital minimums and updating the definition of tangible common equity. Prompt corrective action is an enforcement framework used by supervisors to constrain the activities of banking organizations based on the level of regulatory capital.
Additionally, the NPR entitled Regulatory Capital Rules: Standardized Approach for Risk-weighted Assets; Market Discipline and Disclosure Requirements, also would apply to all banking organizations. This NPR would revise and harmonize the Board's rules for calculating risk-weighted assets to enhance risk sensitivity and address weaknesses that have been identified over the past several years.
To promote short-term resilience of a bank's liquidity risk profile, the Basel Committee developed the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (“LCR”). This standard aims to ensure that a bank has an adequate stock of unencumbered high quality liquid assets consisting of cash or assets that can be converted into cash at little or no loss of value in private markets to meet its liquidity needs for a 30 calendar day liquidity stress scenario. The LCR is the ratio of the “stock of high-quality liquid assets” to “total net cash outflows over the next 30 calendar days.” In January 2013, amendments were adopted to the liquidity coverage ratio to begin on January 1, 2015, and will start with a minimum LCR requirement at 60%, rising in equal annual steps of 10 percentage points to reach 100% on January 1, 2019.
We believe the Federal Reserve is likely to implement changes to the capital adequacy and liquidity standards applicable to SVB Financial and the Bank in light of Basel III and the overall regulatory environment, which would increase the capital requirements of financial institutions generally, including SVB Financial and the Bank.
Prompt Corrective Action and Other General Enforcement Authority
State and federal banking agencies possess broad powers to take corrective and other supervisory action against an insured bank and its holding company. Federal laws require each federal banking agency to take prompt corrective action to resolve the problems of insured banks.
Each federal banking agency has issued regulations defining five categories in which an insured depository institution will be placed, based on the level of its capital ratios: well-capitalized, adequately capitalized, undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized, and critically undercapitalized. At each successive lower capital category, an insured bank is subject to more restrictions, including restrictions on the bank's activities, operational practices or the ability to pay dividends. Based upon its capital levels, a bank that is classified as well-capitalized, adequately capitalized, or undercapitalized may be treated as though it were in the next lower capital category if the appropriate federal banking agency, after notice and opportunity for hearing, determines that an unsafe or unsound condition, or an unsafe or unsound practice, warrants such treatment.
In addition to measures taken under the prompt corrective action provisions, bank holding companies and insured banks may be subject to potential enforcement actions by the federal regulators for unsafe or unsound practices in conducting their business, or for violation of any law, rule, regulation, condition imposed in writing by the agency or term of a written agreement with the agency. In more serious cases, enforcement actions may include the appointment of a conservator or receiver for the bank; the issuance of a cease and desist order that can be judicially enforced; the termination of the bank's deposit insurance; the imposition of civil monetary penalties; the issuance of directives to increase capital; the issuance of formal and informal agreements; the issuance of removal and prohibition orders against officers, directors, and other institution-affiliated parties; and the enforcement of such actions through injunctions or restraining orders based upon a judicial determination that the agency would be harmed if such equitable relief was not granted.
The FDIC may terminate a depository institution's deposit insurance upon a finding that the institution's financial condition is unsafe or unsound or that the institution has engaged in unsafe or unsound practices that pose a risk to the DIF or that may prejudice the interest of the bank's depositors. The termination of deposit insurance for a bank would also result in the revocation of the bank's charter by the DFI.
Safety and Soundness Guidelines
Banking regulatory agencies have adopted guidelines to assist in identifying and addressing potential safety and soundness concerns before capital becomes impaired. The guidelines establish operational and managerial standards generally relating to: (1) internal controls, information systems, and internal audit systems; (2) loan documentation; (3) credit underwriting; (4) interest-rate exposure; (5) asset growth and asset quality; and (6) compensation, fees and benefits. In addition, the banking regulatory

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agencies have adopted safety and soundness guidelines for asset quality and for evaluating and monitoring earnings to ensure that earnings are sufficient for the maintenance of adequate capital and reserves.
Restrictions on Dividends
Dividends from the Bank constitute a primary source of cash for SVB Financial. The Bank is subject to various federal and state statutory and regulatory restrictions on its ability to pay dividends, including applicable provisions of the California Financial Code and the prompt corrective action regulations. In addition, the banking agencies have the authority to prohibit the Bank from paying dividends, depending upon the Bank's financial condition, if such payment is deemed to constitute an unsafe or unsound practice. Furthermore, under the federal prompt corrective action regulations, the Federal Reserve Board may prohibit a bank holding company from paying any dividends if the holding company's bank subsidiary is classified as “undercapitalized.”
It is the Federal Reserve's policy that bank holding companies should generally pay dividends on common stock only out of income available over the past year, and only if prospective earnings retention is consistent with the organization's expected future needs and financial condition. It is also the Federal Reserve's policy that bank holding companies should not maintain dividend levels that undermine their ability to be a source of strength to its banking subsidiaries. Additionally, in consideration of the current financial and economic environment, the Federal Reserve has indicated that bank holding companies should carefully review their dividend policy and has discouraged payment ratios that are at maximum allowable levels unless both asset quality and capital are very strong.
Transactions with Affiliates
Transactions between the Bank and its operating subsidiaries (such as SVB Securities and SVB Asset Management) on the one hand, and the Bank's affiliates (such as SVB Financial, SVB Analytics, or an entity affiliated with SVB Capital) on the other, are subject to restrictions imposed by federal and state law, designed to protect the Bank and its subsidiaries from engaging in unfavorable behavior with their affiliates. The Dodd-Frank Act further extended the definition of an “affiliate” to include any investment fund to which the Bank or an affiliate serves as an investment adviser. More specifically, these restrictions, contained in the Federal Reserve's Regulation W, prevent SVB Financial and other affiliates from borrowing from, or entering into other credit transactions with, the Bank or its operating subsidiaries unless the loans or other credit transactions are secured by specified amounts of collateral. All loans and credit transactions and other “covered transactions” by the Bank and its operating subsidiaries with any one affiliate are limited, in the aggregate, to 10% of the Bank's capital and surplus; and all loans and credit transactions and other “covered transactions” by the Bank and its operating subsidiaries with all affiliates are limited, in the aggregate, to 20% of the Bank's capital and surplus. For this purpose, a “covered transaction” generally includes, among other things, a loan or extension of credit to an affiliate, including a purchase of assets subject to an agreement to repurchase; a purchase of or investment in securities issued by an affiliate; the acceptance of a security issued by an affiliate as collateral for an extension of credit to any borrower; the borrowing or lending of securities where the Bank has credit exposure to the affiliate; the acceptance of “other debt obligations” of an affiliate as collateral for a loan to a third party; any derivative transaction that causes the Bank to have credit exposure to an affiliate; and the issuance of a guarantee, acceptance, or letter of credit on behalf of an affiliate. After a transition period, the Dodd-Frank Act treats credit exposure from derivative transactions as a covered transaction. It expands the transactions for which collateral is required to be maintained, and for all such transactions, it requires collateral to be maintained at all times.
Loans to Insiders
Extensions of credit by the Bank to insiders of both the Bank and SVB Financial are subject to prohibitions and other restrictions imposed by the Federal Reserve's Regulation O. For purposes of these limits, “insiders” include directors, executive officers and principal stockholders of the Bank or SVB Financial and their related interests. The term “related interest” means a company controlled by a director, executive officer or principal stockholder of the Bank or SVB Financial. The Bank may not extend credit to an insider of the Bank or SVB Financial unless the loan is made on substantially the same terms as, and subject to credit underwriting procedures that are no less stringent than, those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with non-insiders. Under federal banking regulations, the Bank may not extend credit to insiders in an amount, when aggregated with all other extensions of credit, is greater than $500,000 without prior approval from the Bank's Board of Directors approval (with any interested person abstaining from participating directly or indirectly in the voting). California law, the federal regulations and the Dodd-Frank Act place additional restrictions on loans to executive officers, and generally prohibit loans to executive officers other than for certain specified purposes. The Bank is required to maintain records regarding insiders and extensions of credit to them.
Premiums for Deposit Insurance
The FDIC insures our customer deposits through the DIF up to prescribed limits for each depositor. In recent years, due to higher levels of bank failures, the FDIC's resolution costs increased, which depleted the DIF. In order to maintain a strong funding

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position and restore reserve ratios of the DIF, the FDIC increased assessment rates of insured institutions and may continue to do so in the future. In 2009, the FDIC also adopted a requirement of institutions to prepay their assessment fees through 2012. We are generally unable to control the amount of premiums that we are required to pay for FDIC insurance. Any changes in FDIC insurance premiums may have a material effect on our results of operations.
All FDIC-insured institutions are also required to pay assessments to the FDIC to fund interest payments on bonds issued by the Financing Corporation (“FICO”), an agency of the federal government established to recapitalize the predecessor to the DIF. These assessments will continue until the FICO bonds mature in 2017 through 2019.
Other Regulations
The Bank is subject to many federal consumer protection statutes and regulations, such as the CRA, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the National Flood Insurance Act and various federal and state privacy protection laws. Penalties for violating these laws could subject the Bank to lawsuits and could also result in administrative penalties, including, fines and reimbursements and orders to halt expansion/existing activities. The Bank and SVB Financial are also subject to federal and state laws prohibiting unfair, corrupt or fraudulent business practices, untrue or misleading advertising and unfair competition.
Regulations have significantly expanded the anti-money laundering and financial transparency laws, including the Bank Secrecy Act. Material deficiencies in anti-money laundering compliance can result in public enforcement actions by the banking agencies, including the imposition of civil money penalties and supervisory restrictions on growth and expansion. Such enforcement actions could also have serious reputation consequences for SVB Financial and the Bank.
In recent years, examination and enforcement by the state and federal banking agencies for non-compliance with consumer protection laws and their implementing regulations have increased and become more intense. The advent of the CFPB further heightens oversight and review of compliance with consumer protection laws and regulations. Due to these heightened regulatory concerns and new powers and authority of the CFPB, the Bank and its affiliates may incur additional compliance costs or be required to expend additional funds for investments in their local community.
Regulation of Certain Subsidiaries
SVB Asset Management is registered with the SEC under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, and is subject to its rules and regulations. SVB Securities is registered as a broker-dealer with the SEC and is subject to regulation by the SEC and FINRA. SVB Securities is also a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. As a broker-dealer, it is subject to Rule 15c3-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which is designed to measure the general financial condition and liquidity of a broker-dealer. Under this rule, SVB Securities is required to maintain the minimum net capital deemed necessary to meet its continuing commitments to customers and others. Under certain circumstances, this rule could limit the ability of the Bank to withdraw capital from SVB Securities. In addition, following completion of various studies on investment advisers and broker-dealers required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC has, among other things, recommended to Congress that it consider various means to enhance the SEC's examination authority over investment advisers, which may have an impact on SVB Asset Management that we cannot currently assess.
International Regulation
Our international-based subsidiaries and global activities, including our a banking branch in the United Kingdom, our joint venture bank in China and our non-bank financial company in India, are subject to the respective laws and regulations of those countries. This includes laws and regulations promulgated by the Financial Services Authority in the United Kingdom, the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the Reserve Bank of India.
Available Information
We make available free of charge through our Internet website, http://www.svb.com, our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. The contents of our website are not incorporated herein by reference and the website address provided is intended to be an inactive textual reference only.
ITEM 1A.
RISK FACTORS
Our business faces significant risks, including credit, market/liquidity, operational, legal/regulatory and strategic/reputation risks. The factors described below may not be the only risks we face and are not intended to serve as a comprehensive listing or be applicable only to the category of risk under which they are disclosed. The risks described below are generally applicable to more than one of the following categories of risks. Additional risks that we do not yet know of or that we currently think are

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immaterial may also impair our business operations. If any of the events or circumstances described in the following factors actually occurs, our business, financial condition and/or results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
Credit Risks
Because of the credit profile of our loan portfolio, our levels of nonperforming assets and charge-offs can be volatile. We may need to make material provisions for loan losses in any period, which could reduce net income and/or increase net losses in that period.
Our loan portfolio has a credit profile different from that of most other banking companies. The credit profile of our clients varies across our loan portfolio, based on the nature of the lending we do for different market segments. In our portfolios for emerging, early-stage and mid-stage companies, many of our loans are made to companies with modest or negative cash flows and no established record of profitable operations. Repayment of these loans may be dependent upon receipt by borrowers of additional equity financing from venture capitalists or others, or in some cases, a successful sale to a third party, public offering or other form of liquidity event. Due to the overall weakening of the economic environment from 2008, venture capital financing activity, as well as M&As and IPOs - activities on which venture capital firms rely to “exit” investments to realize returns --- slowed in a meaningful manner. While there has been some improvement in overall economic conditions since then, particularly during the past few years, if economic conditions worsen or do not continue to improve, such activities may slow down even further, which may impact the financial health of our client companies. Venture capital firms may continue to provide financing in a more selective manner, at lower levels, and/or on less favorable terms, any of which may have an adverse effect on our borrowers that are otherwise dependent on such financing to repay their loans to us. Moreover, collateral for many of our loans often includes intellectual property, which is difficult to value and may not be readily salable in the case of default. Because of the intense competition and rapid technological change that characterizes the companies in the technology and life science industry sectors, a borrower's financial position can deteriorate rapidly.
In our portfolios of corporate technology and other large corporate clients, some of our loans may be made to companies with greater levels of debt relative to their equity. We have been continuing to increase our efforts to lend to larger clients, as well as to make larger loans. These larger loans include loans equal to or greater than $20 million to a single client, which has over time represented an increasingly larger proportion of our total loan portfolio. Additionally, in recent periods, we have increased our efforts to make sponsor-led buyout loans, which are leveraged buyout or recapitalization financings that are typically sponsored by our private equity clients. These buyout loans tend to be larger in size, many of which individually are greater than $20 million. Increasing our loan commitments, especially larger loans, could increase the impact on us of any single borrower default.
We may also enter into financing arrangements with our clients, the repayment of which may be dependent on third parties' financial condition or ability to meet their payment obligations.  For example, we enter into factoring arrangements which are secured by our clients' accounts receivable from third parties with whom they do business. Or, we make loans secured by letters of credit issued by other third party banks, or we enter into letters of credit discounting arrangements, the repayment of which may be dependent on the reimbursement by third party banks. These third parties may not meet their financial obligations to our clients or to us, which could have an adverse impact on us.
In our portfolio of venture capital and private equity firm clients, many of our clients have lines of credit, the repayment of which is dependent on the payment of capital calls or management fees by the underlying limited partner investors in the funds managed by these firms. In recent periods, we have increased our efforts to make these capital call lines of credit. These limited partner investors may face liquidity issues or have difficulties meeting their financial commitments, especially during unstable economic times, which may lead to our clients' inability to meet their repayment obligations to us.
We also lend primarily to venture capital/private equity professionals through our Private Bank. These individual clients may face difficulties meeting their financial commitments, especially during a challenging economic environment, and may be unable to repay their loans. We also lend to premium wineries and vineyards through our SVB Wine group. Repayment of loans made to these clients may be dependent on overall grape supply (which may be adversely affected by poor weather or other natural conditions) and overall wine demand and sales, or other sources of financing or income (which may be adversely affected by a challenging economic environment).
See “Loans” under “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations --- Consolidated Financial Condition” under Item 7 of Part II of this report.
Based on the credit profile of our overall loan portfolio, our level of nonperforming loans, loan charge-offs and allowance for loan losses can be volatile and can vary materially from period to period. Increases in our level of nonperforming loans or loan charge-offs may require us to increase our provision for loan losses in any period, which could reduce our net income or cause net losses in that period. Additionally, such increases in our level of nonperforming loans or loan charge-offs may also have an adverse effect on our capital ratios, credit ratings and market perceptions of us.

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Our allowance for loan losses is determined based upon both objective and subjective factors, and may not be adequate to absorb loan losses.
As a lender, we face the risk that our client borrowers will fail to pay their loans when due. If borrower defaults cause large aggregate losses, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. We reserve for such losses by establishing an allowance for loan losses, the increase of which results in a charge to our earnings as a provision for loan losses. We have established an evaluation process designed to determine the adequacy of our allowance for loan losses. While this evaluation process uses historical and other objective information, the classification of loans and the forecasts and establishment of loan losses are also dependent on our subjective assessment based upon our experience and judgment. Actual losses are difficult to forecast, especially if such losses stem from factors beyond our historical experience or are otherwise inconsistent or out of pattern with regards to our credit quality assessments. There can be no assurance that our allowance for loan losses will be sufficient to absorb future loan losses or prevent a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The borrowing needs of our clients may be unpredictable, especially during a challenging economic environment. We may not be able to meet our unfunded credit commitments, or adequately reserve for losses associated with our unfunded credit commitments, which could have a material effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and reputation.
A commitment to extend credit is a formal agreement to lend funds to a client as long as there is no violation of any condition established under the agreement. The actual borrowing needs of our clients under these credit commitments have historically been lower than the contractual amount of the commitments. A significant portion of these commitments expire without being drawn upon. Because of the credit profile of our clients, we typically have a substantial amount of total unfunded credit commitments, which is reflected off our balance sheet. Actual borrowing needs of our clients may exceed our expected funding requirements, especially during a challenging economic environment when our client companies may be more dependent on our credit commitments due to the lack of available credit elsewhere, the increasing costs of credit, or the limited availability of financings from more discerning and selective venture capital/private equity firms. In addition, limited partner investors of our venture capital/private equity fund clients may fail to meet their underlying investment commitments due to liquidity or other financing issues, which may impact our clients' borrowing needs. Any failure to meet our unfunded credit commitments in accordance with the actual borrowing needs of our clients may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and reputation.
Additionally, we establish a reserve for losses associated with our unfunded credit commitments. The level of the reserve for unfunded credit commitments is determined by following a methodology similar to that used to establish our allowance for loan losses in our funded loan portfolio. The reserve is based on credit commitments outstanding, credit quality of the loan commitments, and management's estimates and judgment, and is susceptible to significant changes. There can be no assurance that our reserve for unfunded credit commitments will be adequate to provide for actual losses associated with our unfunded credit commitments. An increase in the reserve for unfunded credit commitments in any period may result in a charge to our earnings, which could reduce our net income or increase net losses in that period.
Market/Liquidity Risks
Our current level of interest rate spread may decline in the future. Any material reduction in our interest rate spread, or a sustained period of low market interest rates, could have a material effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.
A major portion of our net income comes from our interest rate spread, which is the difference between the interest rates paid by us on amounts used to fund assets and the interest rates and fees we receive on our interest-earning assets. We fund assets using deposits and other borrowings. While we offer interest-bearing deposit products, a majority of our deposit balances are from our noninterest bearing products. Our interest-earning assets include outstanding loans extended to our clients and securities held in our investment portfolio. Overall, the interest rates we pay on our interest-bearing liabilities and receive on our interest-earning assets, and our level of interest rate spread, could be affected by a variety of factors, including changes in market interest rates, competition, regulatory requirements (such as the repeal of the interest payment restrictions under Regulation Q), and a change over time in the mix of the types of loans, investment securities, deposits and other liabilities on our balance sheet.
Changes in market interest rates, such as the Federal Funds rate, generally impact our interest rate spread. While changes in interest rates do not produce equivalent changes in the revenues earned from our interest-earning assets and the expenses associated with our interest-bearing liabilities, increases in market interest rates will nevertheless likely cause our interest rate spread to increase. Conversely, if interest rates decline, our interest rate spread will likely decline. Sustained low levels of market interest rates could continue to place downward pressure on our net income levels. Unexpected or further interest rate changes may adversely affect our business forecasts and expectations. Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors beyond our

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control, such as inflation, recession, global economic disruptions, unemployment and the fiscal and monetary policies of the federal government and its agencies.
Any material reduction in our interest rate spread or the continuation of sustained low levels of market interest rates could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Liquidity risk could impair our ability to fund operations and jeopardize our financial condition.
Liquidity is essential to our business, both at the SVB Financial and the Bank level. We require sufficient liquidity to meet our expected, as well as unexpected, financial obligations and requirements. Primary liquidity resources for SVB Financial include dividends from the Bank, its main operating subsidiary, and periodic capital market transactions offering debt and equity instruments in the public and private markets. Client deposits are the primary source of liquidity for the Bank. When needed, wholesale borrowing capacity supplements our liquidity in the form of short- and long-term borrowings secured by our portfolio of high quality investment securities, long-term capital market debt issuances and, finally, through unsecured overnight funding channels available to us in the Fed Funds market. An inability to maintain or raise funds through these sources could have a substantial negative effect, individually or collectively, on SVB Financial and the Bank's liquidity. Our access to funding sources in amounts adequate to finance our activities, or on terms attractive to us, could be impaired by factors that affect us specifically or the financial services industry in general. Factors that could detrimentally impact our access to liquidity sources include an increase in costs of capital in financial capital markets, a decrease in the level of our business activity due to a market downturn or adverse regulatory action against us, or a decrease in depositor or investor confidence in us. Our ability to borrow could also be impaired by factors that are not specific to us, such as a severe volatility or disruption of the financial markets or negative views and expectations about the prospects for the financial services industry as a whole. Any failure to manage our liquidity effectively could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition.
Additionally, our credit ratings are important to our liquidity and our business. A reduction in our credit ratings could adversely affect our liquidity and competitive position, increase our borrowing costs, and limit our access to the capital markets. Moreover, a reduction in our credit ratings could increase the interest rates we pay on deposits, or adversely affect perceptions about our creditworthiness and business, or our overall reputation.
Equity warrant assets, venture capital and private equity funds and direct equity investment portfolio gains or losses depend upon the performance of the portfolio investments and the general condition of the public equity and M&A markets, which are uncertain and may vary materially by period.
In connection with negotiated credit facilities and certain other services, we often obtain equity warrant assets giving us the right to acquire stock in private, venture-backed companies in the technology and life science industries. We also make investments through SVB Financial or our SVB Capital family of funds primarily in venture capital funds and direct investments in companies, many of which are required to be carried at fair value. The fair value of these warrants and investments are reflected in our financial statements and are adjusted on a quarterly basis. Fair value changes are generally recorded as unrealized gains or losses through consolidated net income. The timing and amount of changes in fair value, if any, of these financial instruments depend upon factors beyond our control, including the performance of the underlying companies, fluctuations in the market prices of the preferred or common stock of the underlying companies, the timing of our receipt of relevant financial information, general volatility and interest rate market factors, and legal and contractual restrictions. The timing and amount of our realization of actual net proceeds, if any, from the disposition of these financial instruments depend upon factors beyond our control, including investor demand for IPOs, levels of M&A activity, legal and contractual restrictions on our ability to sell, and the perceived and actual performance and future value of portfolio companies. Because of the inherent variability of these financial instruments and the markets in which they are bought and sold, the fair market value of these financial instruments might increase or decrease materially, and the net proceeds realized upon disposition might be less than the then-current recorded fair market value.
We cannot predict future realized or unrealized gains or losses, and any such gains or losses are likely to vary materially from period to period. Additionally, the value of our equity warrant asset portfolio depends on the underlying value of the issuing companies, which may also vary materially from period to period.
Public equity offerings and mergers and acquisitions involving our clients or a slowdown in venture capital investment levels may reduce the borrowing needs of our clients, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
While an active market for public equity offerings and mergers and acquisitions generally has positive implications for our business, one negative consequence is that our clients may pay off or reduce their loans with us if they complete a public equity offering, are acquired by or merge with another entity or otherwise receive a significant equity investment. Moreover, our capital call lines of credit are typically utilized by our venture capital fund clients to make investments prior to receipt of capital called from their respective limited partners. A slowdown in overall venture capital investment levels may reduce the need for our

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clients to borrow from our capital call lines of credit. Any significant reduction in the outstanding amounts of our loans or under our lines of credit could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The soundness of other financial institutions could adversely affect us.
Financial services institutions are interrelated as a result of trading, clearing, counterparty, or other relationships. We routinely execute transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, investment banks, payment processors, and other institutional clients, which may result in payment obligations to us or to our clients due to products arranged by us. Many of these transactions expose us to credit and market risk that may cause our counterparty or client to default. In addition, we are exposed to market risk when the collateral we hold cannot be realized or is liquidated at prices not sufficient to recover the full amount of the secured obligation. There is no assurance that any such losses would not materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Operational Risks
If we fail to retain our key employees or recruit new employees, our growth and results of operations could be adversely affected.
We rely on key personnel, including a substantial number of employees who have technical expertise in their subject matter area and/or a strong network of relationships with individuals and institutions in the markets we serve. In addition, as we expand in international markets, we will need to hire local personnel within those markets. If we were to have less success in recruiting and retaining these employees than our competitors, for reasons including domestic or foreign regulatory restrictions on compensation practices or the availability of more attractive opportunities elsewhere, our growth and results of operations could be adversely affected.
Moreover, equity awards are an important component of our compensation program, especially for our executive officers and other members of senior management. The extent of available equity for such awards is subject to stockholder approval. If we do not have sufficient shares to grant to existing or new employees, there could be an adverse affect on our recruiting and retention efforts, which could impact our growth and results of operations.
The occurrence of fraudulent activity, breaches of our information security or cybersecurity-related incidents could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
As a financial institution, we are susceptible to fraudulent activity, information security breaches and cybersecurity-related incidents that may be committed against us or our clients, which may result in financial losses or increased costs to us or our clients, disclosure or misuse of our information or our client information, misappropriation of assets, privacy breaches against our clients, litigation, or damage to our reputation. Such fraudulent activity may take many forms, including check fraud, electronic fraud, wire fraud, phishing, social engineering and other dishonest acts. Information security breaches and cybersecurity-related incidents may include fraudulent or unauthorized access to systems used by us or our clients, denial or degradation of service attacks, and malware or other cyber attacks. In recent periods, there continues to be a rise in electronic fraudulent activity, security breaches and cyber attacks within the financial services industry, especially in the commercial banking sector due to cyber criminals targeting commercial bank accounts. Consistent with industry trends, we have also experienced an increase in attempted electronic fraudulent activity, security breaches and cybersecurity-related incidents in recent periods.
Information pertaining to us and our clients is maintained, and transactions are executed, on the networks and systems of us, our clients and certain of our third party partners, such as our online banking or reporting systems. The secure maintenance and transmission of confidential information, as well as execution of transactions over these systems, are essential to protect us and our clients against fraud and security breaches and to maintain our clients' confidence. Increases in criminal activity levels and sophistication, advances in computer capabilities, new discoveries, vulnerabilities in third-party technologies (including browsers and operating systems) or other developments could result in a compromise or breach of the technology, processes and controls that we use to prevent fraudulent transactions and to protect data about us, our clients and underlying transactions, as well as the technology used by our clients to access our systems. Although we have developed systems and processes that are designed to detect and prevent security breaches and cyber attacks and periodically test our security, our inability to anticipate, or failure to adequately mitigate, breaches of security could result in losses to us or our clients, result in a loss of business and/or clients, cause us to incur additional expenses, disrupt our business, affect our ability to grow our online services or other businesses, subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny, or expose us to civil litigation and possible financial liability, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
More generally, publicized information concerning security and cyber-related problems could inhibit the use or growth of the Internet as a means of conducting commercial transactions, or cause damage to our reputation. As a result, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

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We face risks associated with the ability of our information technology systems and our people and processes to support our operations and future growth effectively.
In order to serve our target clients effectively, we have developed, and are continually developing, a comprehensive array of banking and other products and services. In order to support these products and services and for the Company to operate effectively, we have developed, purchased and licensed information technology and other systems and processes. As our business continues to grow, we will continue to invest in and enhance these systems, and our people and processes. These investments and enhancements may affect our future profitability and overall effectiveness. From time to time, we may change, consolidate, replace, add or upgrade existing systems or processes, which if not implemented properly to allow for an effective transition, may have an adverse effect on our operations, including business interruptions which may result in inefficiencies, revenue losses, client losses, exposure to fraudulent activities, regulatory enforcement actions, or damage to our reputation. For example, we are in the process of enhancing our core banking system, as well as implementing and enhancing other systems to support specific business units, including our international operations. We may also outsource certain operational and other functions to consultants or other third parties to enhance our overall efficiencies. If we do not implement our systems effectively or if our outsourcing business partners do not perform their functions properly, there could be an adverse effect on us. There can be no assurance that we will be able to effectively maintain or improve our systems and processes, or utilize outsourced talent, to meet our business needs efficiently. Any failure of such could adversely affect our operations, financial condition, results of operations, future growth and reputation.
Business disruptions and interruptions due to natural disasters and other external events beyond our control can adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our operations can be subject to natural disasters and other external events beyond our control, such as earthquakes, fires, severe weather, public health issues, power failures, telecommunication loss, major accidents, terrorist attacks, acts of war, and other natural and man-made events. Our corporate headquarters and a portion of our critical business offices are located in California near major earthquake faults. Such events of disaster, whether natural or attributable to human beings, could cause severe destruction, disruption or interruption to our operations or property. Financial institutions, such as us, generally must resume operations promptly following any interruption. If we were to suffer a disruption or interruption and were not able to resume normal operations within a period consistent with industry standards, our business could suffer serious harm. In addition, depending on the nature and duration of the disruption or interruption, we might be vulnerable to fraud, additional expense or other losses, or to a loss of business and/or clients. We have implemented a business continuity management program and we continue to enhance it on an ongoing basis. There is no assurance that our business continuity management program can adequately mitigate the risks of such business disruptions and interruptions.
Additionally, natural disasters and external events could affect the business and operations of our clients, which could impair their ability to pay their loans or fees when due, impair the value of collateral securing their loans, cause our clients to reduce their deposits with us, or otherwise adversely affect their business dealings with us, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We face reputation and business risks due to our interactions with business partners, service providers and other third parties.
We rely on third parties, both in the United States and internationally in countries such as India, China, Israel, and the United Kingdom, in a variety of ways, including to provide key components of our business infrastructure or to further our business objectives. These third parties may provide services to us and our clients or serve as partners in business activities. We rely on these third parties to fulfill their obligations to us, to accurately inform us of relevant information and to conduct their activities professionally and in a manner that reflects positively on us. Any failure of our business partners, service providers or other third parties to meet their commitments to us or to perform in accordance with our expectations could result in operational issues, increased expenditures, damage to our reputation or loss of clients, which could harm our business and operations, financial performance, strategic growth or reputation.
We depend on the accuracy and completeness of information about customers and counterparties.
In deciding whether to extend credit or enter into other transactions with customers and counterparties, we may rely on information furnished to us by or on behalf of customers and counterparties, including financial statements and other financial information. We also may rely on representations of customers and counterparties as to the accuracy and completeness of that information and, with respect to financial statements, on reports of independent auditors. For example, under our accounts receivable financing arrangements, we rely on information, such as invoices, contracts and other supporting documentation, provided by our clients and their account debtors to determine the amount of credit to extend. Similarly, in deciding whether to extend credit, we may rely upon our customers' representations that their financial statements conform to U.S. GAAP and present fairly, in all material respects, the financial condition, results of operations and cash flows of the customer. We also may rely on customer representations and certifications, or other audit or accountants' reports, with respect to the business and financial

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condition of our clients. Our financial condition, results of operations, financial reporting and reputation could be negatively affected if we rely on materially misleading, false, inaccurate or fraudulent information.
Our accounting policies and methods are key to how we report our financial condition and results of operations. They require management to make judgments and estimates about matters that are uncertain.
Our accounting policies and methods are fundamental to how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. Our management must exercise judgment in selecting and applying many of these accounting policies and methods so they comply with U.S. GAAP and reflect management's judgment of the most appropriate manner to report our financial condition and results. In some cases, management must select the accounting policy or method to apply from two or more alternatives, any of which might be reasonable under the circumstances yet might result in our reporting materially different amounts than would have been reported under a different alternative.
Changes in accounting standards could materially impact our financial statements.
From time to time, the FASB or the SEC may change the financial accounting and reporting standards that govern the preparation of our financial statements. Also, our global initiatives, as well as continuing trends towards the convergence of international accounting standards, such as rules that may be adopted under the International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”), may result in our Company being subject to new or changing accounting and reporting standards. In addition, the bodies that interpret the accounting standards (such as banking regulators or outside auditors) may change their interpretations or positions on how these standards should be applied. These changes may be beyond our control, can be hard to predict and can materially impact how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. In some cases, we could be required to apply a new or revised standard retrospectively, or apply an existing standard differently, also retrospectively, in each case resulting in our revising or restating prior period financial statements.
If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results. As a result, current and potential stockholders could lose confidence in our financial reporting, which would harm our business and the trading price of our securities.
If we identify material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting or are otherwise required to restate our financial statements, we could be required to implement expensive and time-consuming remedial measures and could lose investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports. We may also face regulatory enforcement or other actions, including the potential delisting of our securities from Nasdaq Stock Market. This could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, including our stock price, and could potentially subject us to litigation.
We face risks associated with international operations.
One important component of our strategy is to expand internationally. In 2012, we opened a banking branch in the United Kingdom, as well as a joint venture bank in China. We also have offices in India and Israel. We plan to expand our operations in our current international markets. We may also expand our business beyond those markets. Our efforts to expand our business internationally carry with them certain risks, including risks arising from the uncertainty regarding our ability to generate revenues from foreign operations, risks associated with leveraging and doing business with local business partners and other general operational risks. In addition, there are certain risks inherent in doing business on an international basis, including, among others, legal, regulatory and tax requirements and restrictions, uncertainties regarding liability, tariffs and other trade barriers, difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations, incremental requirement of management's attention and resources, differing technology standards or customer requirements, cultural differences, political and economic risks, and financial risks, including currency and payment risks. These risks could adversely affect the success of our international operations and could have a material adverse effect on our overall business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, we face risks that our employees and affiliates may fail to comply with applicable laws and regulations governing our international operations, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, U.K. Bribery Act, anti-corruption laws, and other foreign laws and regulations, which could have a material adverse effect on us.
Legal/Regulatory Risks
We are subject to extensive regulation that could limit or restrict our activities, impose financial requirements or limitations on the conduct of our business, or result in higher costs to us.
SVB Financial Group, including the Bank, is extensively regulated under federal and state laws and regulations governing financial institutions, including those imposed by the FDIC, the Federal Reserve, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), and the California Department of Financial Institutions, as well as the international regulatory authorities that govern our global activities. Federal and state laws and regulations govern, restrict, limit or otherwise adversely affect the activities in

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which we may engage, may affect our ability to expand our business over time, may result in an increase in our compliance costs, including higher FDIC insurance premiums and may affect our ability to attract and retain qualified executive officers and employees. In addition, a change in the applicable statutes, regulations or regulatory policy could have a material adverse effect on our business, including limiting the types of financial services and products we may offer or increasing the ability of nonbanks to offer competing financial services and products. These laws and regulations also require financial institutions, including SVB Financial and the Bank, to maintain certain minimum levels of capital and meet other minimum financial standards, which may require us to raise additional capital in the future, affect our ability to use our capital resources for other business purposes or affect our overall business strategies and plans. Furthermore, the Bank for International Settlement's Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has adopted new capital, leverage and liquidity guidelines under the Basel Accord and the Federal Reserve Board has proposed new capital requirements on banks and bank holding companies, all of which may have the effect of raising our capital requirements beyond those required by current law and the Dodd-Frank Act. Increased regulatory requirements (and the associated compliance costs), whether due to the adoption of new laws and regulations, changes in existing laws and regulations, or more expansive or aggressive interpretations of existing laws and regulations, may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. See generally “Business - Supervision and Regulation” under Item 1 of Part I of this report.
If we were to violate international, federal or state laws or regulations governing financial institutions, we could be subject to disciplinary action that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and reputation.
International, federal and state banking regulators possess broad powers to take supervisory or enforcement action with respect to financial institutions. Other regulatory bodies, including the SEC, the Nasdaq Stock Market, FINRA, and state securities regulators, regulate broker-dealers, including our subsidiary, SVB Securities. If SVB Financial Group were to violate, even if unintentionally or inadvertently, the laws governing public companies, financial institutions and broker-dealers, the regulatory authorities could take various actions against us, depending on the severity of the violation, such as imposing restrictions on how we conduct our business, revoking necessary licenses or authorizations, imposing censures, civil money penalties or fines, issuing cease and desist or other supervisory orders, and suspending or expelling from the securities business a firm, its officers or employees. Supervisory actions could result in higher capital requirements, higher insurance premiums, higher levels of liquidity available to meet the Bank's financial needs and limitations on the activities of SVB Financial Group. These remedies and supervisory actions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and reputation.
SVB Financial relies on dividends from its subsidiaries for most of its cash revenues.
SVB Financial is a holding company and is a separate and distinct legal entity from its subsidiaries. It receives substantially all of its cash revenues from dividends from its subsidiaries, primarily the Bank. These dividends are a principal source of funds to pay operating costs, borrowings (if any), and dividends, should SVB Financial elect to pay any, as well as share repurchases. Various federal and state laws and regulations limit the amount of dividends that the Bank and certain of our nonbank subsidiaries may pay to SVB Financial. Also, SVB Financial's right to participate in a distribution of assets upon a subsidiary's liquidation or reorganization is subject to the prior claims of the subsidiary's creditors.
Strategic/Reputation/Other Risks
Concentration of risk increases the potential for significant losses.
Concentration of risk increases the potential for significant losses in our business while there may exist a great deal of diversity within each industry, our clients are concentrated by these general industry niches: technology, life science, venture capital/private equity and premium wine. Our technology clients generally tend to be in the industries of hardware (semiconductors, communications and electronics), software and related services, and clean technology. Our life science clients are concentrated in the medical devices and biotechnology sectors. Many of our client companies are concentrated by certain stages within their life cycles, such as early-stage or mid-stage, and many of these companies are venture capital-backed. Our loan concentrations are derived from our borrowers engaging in similar activities or types of loans extended to a diverse group of borrowers that could cause those borrowers to be similarly impacted by economic or other conditions. In addition, we are continuing to increase our efforts to lend to larger clients and/or to make larger loans, which may increase our concentration risk. Any adverse effect on any of our areas of concentration could have a material impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Due to our concentrations, we may suffer losses even when economic and market conditions are generally favorable for our competitors.

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Decreases in the amount of equity capital available to our portfolio companies could adversely affect our business, growth and profitability.
Our core strategy is focused on providing banking products and services to companies, including in particular to emerging stage to mid-stage companies that receive financial support from sophisticated investors, including venture capital or private equity firms, “angels,” and corporate investors. We derive a meaningful share of our deposits from these companies and provide them with loans as well as other banking products and services. In some cases, our lending credit decision is based on our analysis of the likelihood that our venture capital or angel-backed client will receive additional rounds of equity capital from investors. If the amount of capital available to such companies decreases, it is likely that the number of new clients and investor financial support to our existing borrowers could decrease, which could have an adverse effect on our business, profitability and growth prospects.
Among the factors that have affected and could in the future affect the amount of capital available to our portfolio companies are the receptivity of the capital markets, the prevalence of IPO's or M&A activity of companies within our technology and life science industry sectors, the availability and return on alternative investments, economic conditions in the technology, life science and venture capital/private equity industries, and overall general economic conditions. Reduced capital markets valuations could reduce the amount of capital available to our client companies, including companies within our technology and life science industry sectors.
Because our business and strategy are largely based on this venture capital/private equity financing framework focused on our particular client niches, any material changes in the framework, including unfavorable economic conditions and adverse trends in investment or fundraising levels, may have a materially adverse effect on our business, strategy and overall profitability.
We face competitive pressures that could adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and future growth.
We compete with other banks and specialty and diversified financial services companies and debt funds, some of which are larger than we are, which offer lending, leasing, payments, other financial products and advisory services to our client base. We also compete with non-financial services, particularly payment facilitators/processors or other nonbanking technology providers in the payments industry, which may offer specialized services to our client base. In addition, we compete with hedge funds and private equity funds. In some cases, our competitors focus their marketing on our industry sectors and seek to increase their lending and other financial relationships with technology companies or special industries such as wineries. In other cases, some competitors may offer a broader range of financial products to our clients, and some competitors may offer a specialized set of specific products or service. When new competitors seek to enter one of our markets, or when existing market participants seek to increase their market share, they sometimes undercut the pricing and/or credit terms prevalent in that market, which could adversely affect our market share or ability to exploit new market opportunities. Our pricing and credit terms could deteriorate if we act to meet these competitive challenges, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and future growth. Similarly, competitive pressures could adversely affect the business, results of operations, financial condition and future growth of our non-banking services, including our payments services, as well as our access to capital and attractive investment opportunities for our funds business.
Our ability to maintain or increase our market share depends on our ability to meet the needs of existing and future clients.
Our success depends, in part, upon our ability to adapt our products and services to evolving industry standards and to meet the needs of existing and potential future clients. A failure to achieve market acceptance for any new products we introduce, a failure to introduce products that the market may demand, or the costs associated with developing, introducing and providing new products and services could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, growth prospects and financial condition.
We face risks in connection with our strategic undertakings.
We are engaged, and may in the future engage, in strategic activities domestically or internationally, including acquisitions, joint ventures, partnerships, investments or other business growth initiatives or undertakings. There can be no assurance that we will successfully identify appropriate opportunities, that we will be able to negotiate or finance such activities or that such activities, if undertaken, will be successful.
In order to finance future strategic undertakings, we might obtain additional equity or debt financing. Such financing might not be available on terms favorable to us, or at all. If obtained, equity financing could be dilutive and the incurrence of debt and contingent liabilities could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our ability to execute strategic activities successfully will depend on a variety of factors. These factors likely will vary based on the nature of the activity but may include our success in integrating an acquired company or a new growth initiative into our business, operations, services, products, personnel and systems, operating effectively with any partner with whom we elect to

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do business, hiring or retaining key employees, achieving anticipated synergies, meeting management's expectations and otherwise realizing the undertaking's anticipated benefits. Our ability to address these matters successfully cannot be assured. In addition, our strategic efforts may divert resources or management's attention from ongoing business operations and may subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny. If we do not successfully execute a strategic undertaking, it could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, reputation and growth prospects. In addition, if we were to conclude that the value of an acquired business had decreased and that the related goodwill had been impaired, that conclusion would result in an impairment of goodwill charge to us, which would adversely affect our results of operations.
Our business reputation is important and any damage to it could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our reputation is very important to sustain our business, as we rely on our relationships with our current, former and potential clients and stockholders, the venture capital and private equity communities, and the industries that we serve. Any damage to our reputation, whether arising from regulatory, supervisory or enforcement actions, matters affecting our financial reporting or compliance with SEC and exchange listing requirements, negative publicity, our conduct of our business or otherwise could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our risk management framework may not be effective in mitigating risks and/or losses to us.
We have implemented a risk management framework to manage our risk exposure. This framework is comprised of various processes, systems and strategies, and is designed to manage the types of risk to which we are subject, including, among others, credit, market, liquidity, operational, financial, interest rate, legal and regulatory, compliance, strategic, reputation, fiduciary, global, sovereign, and general economic risks. Our framework also includes financial or other modeling methodologies, which involves management assumptions and judgment. There is no assurance that our risk management framework will be effective under all circumstances or that it will adequately mitigate any risk or loss to us. If our framework is not effective, we could suffer unexpected losses and our business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects could be materially adversely affected. We may also be subject to potentially adverse regulatory consequences.
ITEM 1B.
UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.
ITEM 2.
PROPERTIES
Our corporate headquarters facility consists of three buildings and is located at 3003 Tasman Drive, Santa Clara, California. The total square footage of the premises leased under the current lease arrangement is approximately 213,625 square feet. The lease will expire on September 30, 2014, unless terminated earlier or extended.
We currently operate 28 regional offices, including an administrative office, in the United States as well as offices outside the United States. We operate throughout the Silicon Valley with offices in Santa Clara, Menlo Park and Palo Alto. Other regional offices in California include Irvine, Sherman Oaks, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Helena, Santa Rosa and Pleasanton. Office locations outside of California but within the United States include: Tempe, Arizona; Broomfield, Colorado; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Newton, Massachusetts; St. Louis Park, Minnesota; New York, New York; Morrisville, North Carolina; Beaverton, Oregon; Radnor, Pennsylvania; Austin, Texas; Dallas, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; Vienna, Virginia; and Seattle, Washington. Our international offices are located in: Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, China; Bangalore and Mumbai, India; Herzliya Pituach, Israel; and London, England. All of our properties are occupied under leases, which expire at various dates through 2021, and in most instances include options to renew or extend at market rates and terms. We also own leasehold improvements, equipment, furniture, and fixtures at our offices, all of which are used in our business activities.
Our Global Commercial Bank operations are principally conducted out of our corporate headquarters in Santa Clara, and the lending teams operate out of the various regional and international offices. SVB Private Bank and SVB Capital principally operate out of our Menlo Park offices.
We believe that our properties are in good condition and suitable for the conduct of our business.
ITEM 3.
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
The information set forth under Note 23-“Legal Matters” in the “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements” under Part II, Item 8 in this report is incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 4.     MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.

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PART II.
Item 5.
MARKET FOR THE REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Market Information
Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol SIVB. The per share range of high and low sale prices for our common stock as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, for each full quarterly period during the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011, was as follows:
 
 
2012
 
2011
Three months ended:
 
Low
 
High
 
Low
 
High
March 31
 
$
47.54

 
$
67.49

 
$
51.47

 
$
57.99

June 30
 
54.12

 
66.07

 
55.27

 
60.73

September 30
 
55.09

 
62.85

 
35.70

 
63.40

December 31
 
52.40

 
62.49

 
33.15

 
49.15

As of December 31, 2012 , SVB Financial had no preferred stock outstanding.
Holders
As of February 8, 2013, there were 830 registered holders of our stock, and we believe there were approximately 16,659 beneficial holders of common stock whose shares were held in the name of brokerage firms or other financial institutions. We are not provided with the number or identities of all of these stockholders, but we have estimated the number of such stockholders from the number of stockholder documents requested by these brokerage firms for distribution to their customers.
Dividends and Stock Repurchases
SVB Financial does not currently pay cash dividends on our common stock. We have not paid any cash dividends since 1992. Our Board of Directors may periodically evaluate whether to pay cash dividends, taking into consideration such factors as it considers relevant, including our current and projected financial performance, our projected sources and uses of capital, general economic conditions, considerations relating to our current and potential stockholder base, and relevant tax laws. Our ability to pay cash dividends is also limited by generally applicable corporate and banking laws and regulations. See “Business-Supervision and Regulation-Restrictions on Dividends” under Part I, Item 1 of this report. SVB Financial did not repurchase any of its common stock during 2012 .

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans
The information required by this Item regarding equity compensation plans is incorporated by reference to the information set forth in Part III, Item 12 of this report.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities and Use of Proceeds
None.

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  Performance Graph
The following information is not deemed to be “soliciting material” or “filed” with the SEC or subject to the liabilities of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, and the report shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any prior or subsequent filing by the Company under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act.
The following graph compares, for the period from December 31, 2007 through December 31, 2012 , the cumulative total stockholder return on the common stock of the Company with (i) the cumulative total return of the Standard and Poor's 500 (“S&P 500”) Index, (ii) the cumulative total return of the NASDAQ Composite index, and (iii) the cumulative total return of the NASDAQ Bank Index. The graph assumes an initial investment of $100 and reinvestment of dividends. The graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.
Comparison of 5 Year Cumulative Total Return*
Among SVB Financial Group, the S&P 500 Index, the NASDAQ Composite Index, and the NASDAQ Bank Index
 
*
$100 invested on 12/31/07 in stock & index-including reinvestment of dividends.
Fiscal year ending December 31.
Copyright © 2013 S&P, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
 
 
December 31,
 
 
2007
 
2008
 
2009
 
2010
 
2011
 
2012
SVB Financial Group
 
$
100.00

 
$
52.04

 
$
82.66

 
$
105.26

 
$
94.62

 
$
111.05

S&P 500
 
100.00

 
63.00

 
79.67

 
91.67

 
93.61

 
108.59

NASDAQ Composite
 
100.00

 
59.03

 
82.25

 
97.32

 
98.63

 
110.78

NASDAQ Bank
 
100.00

 
78.22

 
68.07

 
82.40

 
70.08

 
82.33



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Item 6.
SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA
The following selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and supplementary data as presented under Part II, Item 8 of this report. Information as of and for the years ended December 31, 2012 , 2011 , and 2010 is derived from audited financial statements presented separately herein, while information as of and for the years ended December 31, 2009 and 2008 is derived from audited financial statements not presented separately within.
 
 
Year ended December 31,
(Dollars in thousands, except per share data and ratios)
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
Income statement summary:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net interest income
 
$
617,864

 
$
526,277

 
$
418,135

 
$
382,150

 
$
368,595

Provision for loan losses
 
(44,330
)
 
(6,101
)
 
(44,628
)
 
(90,180
)
 
(100,713
)
Noninterest income
 
335,546

 
382,332

 
247,530

 
97,743

 
152,365

Noninterest expense excluding impairment of goodwill
 
(545,998
)
 
(500,628
)
 
(422,818
)
 
(339,774
)
 
(312,887
)
Impairment of goodwill
 

 

 

 
(4,092
)
 

Income before income tax expense
 
363,082

 
401,880

 
198,219

 
45,847

 
107,360

Income tax expense
 
(113,269
)
 
(119,087
)
 
(61,402
)
 
(35,207
)
 
(52,213
)
Net income before noncontrolling interests
 
249,813

 
282,793

 
136,817

 
10,640

 
55,147

Net (income) loss attributable to noncontrolling interests
 
(74,710
)
 
(110,891
)
 
(41,866
)
 
37,370

 
19,139

Net income attributable to SVBFG
 
$
175,103

 
$
171,902

 
$
94,951

 
$
48,010

 
$
74,286

Preferred stock dividend and discount accretion
 

 

 

 
(25,336
)
 
(707
)
Net income available to common stockholders
 
$
175,103

 
$
171,902

 
$
94,951

 
$
22,674

 
$
73,579

Common share summary:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Earnings per common share—basic
 
$
3.96

 
$
4.00

 
$
2.27

 
$
0.67

 
$
2.27

Earnings per common share—diluted
 
3.91

 
3.94

 
2.24

 
0.66

 
2.16

Book value per common share
 
41.02

 
36.07

 
30.15

 
27.30

 
23.40

Weighted average shares outstanding—basic
 
44,242

 
43,004

 
41,774

 
33,901

 
32,425

Weighted average shares outstanding—diluted
 
44,764

 
43,637

 
42,478

 
34,183

 
34,015

Year-end balance sheet summary:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Investment securities
 
$
12,527,442

 
$
11,540,486

 
$
8,639,487

 
$
4,491,719

 
$
1,784,397

Loans, net of unearned income
 
8,946,933

 
6,970,082

 
5,521,737

 
4,548,094

 
5,506,253

Total assets
 
22,766,123

 
19,968,894

 
17,527,761

 
12,841,399

 
10,018,280

Deposits
 
19,176,452

 
16,709,536

 
14,336,941

 
10,331,937

 
7,473,472

Short-term borrowings
 
166,110

 

 
37,245

 
38,755

 
62,120

Long-term debt
 
457,762

 
603,648

 
1,209,260

 
856,650

 
995,423

SVBFG stockholders' equity
 
1,830,555

 
1,569,392

 
1,274,350

 
1,128,343

 
991,356

Average balance sheet summary:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Available-for-sale securities
 
$
10,685,564

 
$
9,350,381

 
$
5,347,327

 
$
2,282,331

 
$
1,338,516

Loans, net of unearned income
 
7,558,928

 
5,815,071

 
4,435,911

 
4,699,696

 
4,633,048

Total assets
 
21,311,172

 
18,670,499

 
14,858,236

 
11,326,341

 
7,418,303

Deposits
 
17,910,088

 
15,568,801

 
12,028,327

 
8,794,099

 
4,896,324

Short-term borrowings
 
70,802

 
16,994

 
49,972

 
46,133

 
304,896

Long-term debt
 
518,112

 
796,823

 
968,378

 
923,854

 
980,694

SVBFG stockholders' equity
 
1,735,281

 
1,448,398

 
1,230,569

 
1,063,175

 
720,851

Capital ratios:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SVBFG total risk-based capital ratio
 
14.05
%
 
13.95
 %
 
17.35
%
 
19.94
%
 
17.58
%
SVBFG tier 1 risk-based capital ratio
 
12.79

 
12.62

 
13.63

 
15.45

 
12.51

SVBFG tier 1 leverage ratio
 
8.06

 
7.92

 
7.96

 
9.53

 
13.00

SVBFG tangible common equity to tangible assets (1)
 
8.04

 
7.86

 
7.27

 
8.78

 
7.64

SVBFG tangible common equity to risk-weighted assets (1)
 
13.53

 
13.25

 
13.54

 
15.05

 
9.31

Bank total risk-based capital ratio
 
12.53

 
12.33

 
15.48

 
17.05

 
13.79

Bank tier 1 risk-based capital ratio
 
11.24

 
10.96

 
11.61

 
12.45

 
8.66

Bank tier 1 leverage ratio
 
7.06

 
6.87

 
6.82

 
7.67

 
9.20

Bank tangible common equity to tangible assets (1)
 
7.41

 
7.18

 
6.61

 
7.50

 
7.38

Bank tangible common equity to risk-weighted assets (1)
 
12.08

 
11.75

 
11.88

 
12.53

 
8.58

Average SVBFG stockholders' equity to average assets
 
8.14

 
7.76

 
8.28

 
9.39

 
9.72

Selected financial results:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Return on average assets
 
0.82
%
 
0.92
 %
 
0.64
%
 
0.42
%
 
1.00
%
Return on average common SVBFG stockholders' equity
 
10.09

 
11.87

 
7.72

 
2.13

 
10.21

Net interest margin
 
3.19

 
3.08

 
3.08

 
3.73

 
5.72

Gross loan charge-offs to average total gross loans
 
0.44

 
0.41

 
1.15

 
3.03

 
1.02

Net loan charge-offs (recoveries) to average total gross loans
 
0.31

 
(0.02
)
 
0.77

 
2.64

 
0.87

Nonperforming assets as a percentage of total assets
 
0.17

 
0.18

 
0.22

 
0.39

 
0.86

Allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total gross loans
 
1.23

 
1.28

 
1.48

 
1.58

 
1.93

 
(1)
See “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Capital Resources-Capital Ratios” under Part II, Item 7 in this report for a reconciliation of non-GAAP tangible common equity to tangible assets and tangible common equity to risk-weighted assets.

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ITEM 7.  MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions, which are subject to risks and uncertainties. See our cautionary language at the beginning of this report under “Forward Looking Statements”. Actual results could differ materially because of various factors, including but not limited to those discussed in “Risk Factors,” under Part I, Item 1A.
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and supplementary data as presented in Item 8 of this report. Certain reclassifications have been made to prior years' results to conform to the current period's presentations. Such reclassifications had no effect on our results of operations or stockholders' equity.
Overview of Company Operations
SVB Financial is a diversified financial services company, as well as a bank holding company and a financial holding company. SVB Financial was incorporated in the state of Delaware in March 1999. Through our various subsidiaries and divisions, we offer a variety of banking and financial products and services. For 30 years, we have been dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed, especially in the technology, life science, venture capital/private equity and premium wine industries. We provide our clients of all sizes and stages with a diverse set of products and services to support them through all stages of their life cycles.
We offer commercial and private banking products and services through our principal subsidiary, the Bank, which is a California-state chartered bank founded in 1983 and a member of the Federal Reserve System. Through its subsidiaries, the Bank also offers brokerage, investment advisory and asset management services. We also offer non-banking products and services, such as funds management, venture capital and private equity investment, and business valuation services, through our subsidiaries and divisions.
Management’s Overview of 2012 Financial Performance
Overall, we had another strong year in 2012 , which reflected the strength of our clients and our business. We had record high net income available to common stockholders of $175.1 million , and diluted EPS remained strong at $3.91 in 2012, compared to $3.94 in 2011. EPS in 2011 included $0.52 from the sale of certain available-for-sale securities, compared to $0.06 in 2012. In 2012 , compared to 2011 , we experienced strong growth in net interest income as a result of exceptional loan growth during the year with record high average balances of $7.6 billion . Our total client funds, which consist of on-balance sheet deposits and off-balance sheet client investment funds, also increased, reflecting growth from our existing clients and new clients. In addition, overall credit quality remained strong, and we saw continued growth in fee income and solid gains from our investment securities and equity warrant assets. Additionally, our liquidity and capital ratios continued to remain strong.
2012 results (compared to 2011 ) reflected strong performance across all areas of our businesses and included:
Average loan balances of $7.6 billion, an increase of $1.7 billion, or 30.0 percent. Period-end loan balances were $8.9 billion, an increase of $2.0 billion, or 28.4 percent.
Average deposit balances of $17.9 billion, an increase of $2.3 billion, or 15.0 percent. Average total client funds (including both on-balance sheet deposits and off-balance sheet client investment funds) were $38.1 billion, an increase of $4.8 billion, or 14.5 percent. 
Net interest income (fully taxable equivalent basis) of $619.8 million, an increase of $91.6 million, primarily due to an increase in interest income from loans attributable to growth in average balances of $1.7 billion. This increase was largely offset by a decrease in the overall yield of our loan portfolio from a continued shift in the mix of our loans that are indexed to the national Prime rate versus the SVB Prime rate,.
Our net interest margin increased to 3.19 percent, compared to 3.08 percent, primarily due to growth in average loan balances (higher-yielding assets) and lower cash balances from deployment into available-for-sale securities. These increases were partially offset by lower loan yields from a continued shift in the mix of our loans that are indexed to the national Prime rate versus the SVB Prime rate, as well as an increase of $27.7 million in premium amortization expense on our available-for-sale securities portfolio reflective of an increase in mortgage prepayment levels for fixed rate mortgage securities.
A provision for loan losses of $44.3 million, compared to $6.1 million. The provision of $44.3 million in 2012 was primarily due to net charge-offs of $23.6 million and period-end loan growth of $2.0 billion. Net charge-offs in 2012 were 0.31 percent of average total gross loans, reflecting the strong overall credit quality of our portfolio.
Core fee income (deposit service charges, letters of credit fees, credit card fees, client investment fees, and foreign exchange fees) of $136.9 million, an increase of $18.4 million, or 15.6 percent. This increase reflects increased client activity and continued growth in our business, primarily from credit card fees, foreign exchange fees and client

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investments fees. See “Results of Operations—Noninterest Income” for a description and reconciliation of core fee income.
Gains on investment securities, net of noncontrolling interests and excluding gains on sales of certain-available-for-sale securities, remained at strong levels of $31.5 million, compared to $32.7 million. See “Results of Operations—Noninterest Income—Gains on Investment Securities, Net” for further details and a reconciliation of gains on investment securities, net of noncontrolling interests.
Gains of $5.0 million from the sale of $316 million U.S. agency securities that were held in our available-for-sale portfolio.
Net gains of $4.2 million from the sale of certain assets related to our equity management services business.
Noninterest expense of $546.0 million, an increase of $45.4 million, or 9.1 percent. The increase was primarily due to higher salaries and wages expense related to an increase in average full-time equivalent employees (“FTEs”), which increased by 9.0 percent to 1,581 average FTEs, compared to 1,451 average FTEs. In addition, we saw an increase in premises and equipment and professional services expenses to support continued growth in our business and IT infrastructure initiatives.
Overall, our liquidity remained strong based on the attributes of our period end available-for-sale securities portfolio, which totaled $11.3 billion at December 31, 2012, compared to $10.5 billion at December 31, 2011. Our available-for-sale securities portfolio continued to be a good source of liquidity as it was invested in high quality investments and generated steady monthly cash flows. Additionally, our available-for-sale securities portfolio continued to provide us with the ability to secure wholesale borrowings, as needed.
Overall, SVB Financial and the Bank continued to maintain strong capital positions. The Bank's Tier 1 leverage ratio increased by 19 basis points to 7.06 percent at December 31, 2012, compared to 6.87 percent at December 31, 2011. The increase in the Bank's Tier 1 leverage capital ratio was primarily the result of strong earnings, partially offset by growth of average deposits.

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A summary of our performance in 2012 compared to 2011 is as follows:
 
 
Year ended December 31,
 (Dollars in thousands, except per share data and ratios)
 
2012
 
2011
 
% Change  
Income Statement:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Diluted earnings per share
 
$
3.91

 
$
3.94

 
(0.8
)
Net income available to common stockholders
 
175,103

 
171,902

 
1.9

  
Net interest income
 
617,864

 
526,277

 
17.4

  
Net interest margin
 
3.19
%
 
3.08
 %
 
11

bps 
Provision for loan losses
 
$
44,330

 
$
6,101

 
NM

Noninterest income
 
335,546

 
382,332

 
(12.2
)
  
Noninterest expense
 
545,998

 
500,628

 
9.1

  
Non-GAAP net income available to common stockholders (1)
 
169,569

 
147,515

 
15.0

  
Non-GAAP diluted earnings per common share (1)
 
3.79

 
3.38

 
12.1

  
Non-GAAP noninterest income, net of noncontrolling interest and excluding gains on sales of certain assets (2)
 
240,408

 
222,682

 
8.0

  
Non-GAAP noninterest expense, net of noncontrolling interest and excluding net gains from debt repurchases (3)
 
534,662

 
492,184

 
8.6

  
Balance Sheet:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Average loans, net of unearned income
 
$
7,558,928

 
$
5,815,071

 
30.0

Average noninterest-bearing demand deposits
 
12,765,506

 
10,237,844

 
24.7

  
Average interest-bearing deposits
 
5,144,582

 
5,330,957

 
(3.5
)
  
Average total deposits
 
17,910,088

 
15,568,801

 
15.0

  
Earnings Ratios:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Return on average assets (4)
 
0.82
%
 
0.92
 %
 
(10.9
)
Return on average common SVBFG stockholders’ equity (5)
 
10.09

 
11.87

 
(15.0
)
  
Asset Quality Ratios:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total period-end gross loans
 
1.23
%
 
1.28
 %
 
(5
)
bps 
Allowance for loan losses for performing loans as a percentage of total gross performing loans
 
1.16

 
1.23

 
(7
)
  
Gross loan charge-offs as a percentage of average total gross loans (annualized)
 
0.44

 
0.41

 
3

  
Net loan charge-offs (recoveries) as a percentage of average total gross loans (annualized)
 
0.31

 
(0.02
)
 
33

  
Capital Ratios:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SVBFG total risk-based capital ratio (6)
 
14.05
%
 
13.95
 %
 
10

bps 
SVBFG tier 1 risk-based capital ratio (6)
 
12.79

 
12.62

 
17

  
SVBFG tier 1 leverage ratio
 
8.06

 
7.92

 
14

  
SVBFG tangible common equity to tangible assets (7)
 
8.04

 
7.86

 
18

  
SVBFG tangible common equity to risk-weighted assets (6) (7)
 
13.53

 
13.25

 
28

  
Bank total risk-based capital ratio (6)
 
12.53

 
12.33

 
20

  
Bank tier 1 risk-based capital ratio (6)
 
11.24

 
10.96

 
28

  
Bank tier 1 leverage ratio
 
7.06

 
6.87

 
19

  
Bank tangible common equity to tangible assets (7)
 
7.41

 
7.18

 
23

  
Bank tangible common equity to risk-weighted assets (6) (7)
 
12.08

 
11.75

 
33

  
Other Ratios:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating efficiency ratio (8)
 
57.15
%
 
54.98
 %
 
3.9

Non-GAAP operating efficiency ratio (3)
 
62.16
%
 
65.56
 %
 
(5.2
)
  
Book value per common share (9)
 
$
41.02

 
$
36.07

 
13.7

  
Other Statistics:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Average full-time equivalent employees
 
1,581

 
1,451

 
9.0

Period-end full-time equivalent employees
 
1,615

 
1,526

 
5.8

  
 
 
NM–Not meaningful
(1)
See "Non-GAAP Net Income and Non-GAAP Diluted Earnings Per Common Share” below for a description and reconciliation of non-GAAP net income available to common stockholders and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share.
(2)
See “Results of Operations–Noninterest Income” below for a description and reconciliation of non-GAAP noninterest income.
(3)
See “Results of Operations–Noninterest Expense” below for a description and reconciliation of non-GAAP noninterest expense and non-GAAP operating efficiency ratio.
(4)
Ratio represents consolidated net income available to common stockholders divided by average assets.

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(5)
Ratio represents consolidated net income available to common stockholders divided by average SVBFG stockholders’ equity.
(6)
Our risk-weighted assets at December 31, 2012 reflect a refinement in our determination of certain unfunded credit commitments related to the contractual borrowing base made in 2012.
(7)
See “Capital Resources–Capital Ratios” for a reconciliation of non-GAAP tangible common equity to tangible assets and tangible common equity to risk-weighted assets.
(8)
The operating efficiency ratio is calculated by dividing total noninterest expense by total taxable-equivalent net interest income plus noninterest income.
(9)
Book value per common share is calculated by dividing total SVBFG stockholders’ equity by total outstanding common shares at period-end.
Non-GAAP Net Income and Non-GAAP Diluted Earnings Per Common Share
We use and report non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP diluted earnings per common share, which excludes, in the year applicable, gains from sales of certain available-for-sale securities and net gains from note repurchases and termination of corresponding interest rate swaps, as well as gains from the sale of certain assets related to our equity management services business. We believe these non-GAAP financial measures, when taken together with the corresponding GAAP financial measures, provide meaningful supplemental information regarding our performance by excluding certain items that do not occur every reporting period. Our management uses, and believes that investors benefit from referring to, these non-GAAP financial measures in assessing our operating results and related trends, and when planning, forecasting and analyzing future periods. However, these non-GAAP financial measures should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for or preferable to, financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP.
A reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP net income available to common stockholders and non-GAAP diluted earnings per common share for 2012 and 2011 is as follows:
 
 
Year ended December 31,
(Dollars in thousands, except per share data and ratios)
 
2012
 
2011
Net income available to common stockholders
 
$
175,103

 
$
171,902

Less: gains on sales of available-for-sale securities (1)
 
(4,955
)
 
(37,314
)
Tax impact of gains on sales of certain available-for-sale securities
 
1,974

 
14,810

Less: net gains on the sale of certain assets related to our equity management services business (2)
 
(4,243
)
 

Tax impact of net gains on the sale of certain assets related to our equity management services business
 
1,690

 

Less: net gain from note repurchases and termination of corresponding interest rate swaps (3)
 

 
(3,123
)
Tax impact of net gain from note repurchases and termination of corresponding interest rate swaps
 

 
1,240

Non-GAAP net income available to common stockholders
 
$
169,569

 
$
147,515

GAAP earnings per common share—diluted
 
$
3.91

 
$
3.94

Less: gains on sales of certain available-for-sale securities (1)
 
(0.11
)
 
(0.86
)
Tax impact of gains on sales of certain available-for-sale securities
 
0.05

 
0.34

Less: net gains on the sale of certain assets related to our equity management services business (2)
 
(0.10
)
 

Tax impact of net gains on the sale of certain assets related to our equity management services business
 
0.04

 

Less: net gain from note repurchases and termination of corresponding interest rate swaps (3)
 

 
(0.07
)
Tax impact of net gain from note repurchases and termination of corresponding interest rate swaps
 

 
0.03

Non-GAAP earnings per common share—diluted
 
$
3.79

 
$
3.38

Weighted average diluted common shares outstanding
 
44,764,395

 
43,636,871

 
 
 
(1)
Gains on the sales of $316 million and $1.4 billion in certain available-for-sale securities in the second quarters of 2012 and 2011, respectively.
(2)
Net gains of $4.2 million from the sale of certain assets related to our equity management services business in the second quarter of 2012.
(3)
Net gains of $3.1 million from the repurchase of $109 million of our 5.70% Senior Notes and $204 million of our 6.05% Subordinated Notes and the termination of the corresponding portions of interest rate swaps in the second quarter of 2011.

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Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
Our accounting policies are fundamental to understanding our financial condition and results of operations. We have identified four policies as being critical because they require us to make particularly difficult, subjective and/or complex judgments about matters that are inherently uncertain, and because it is likely that materially different amounts would be reported under different conditions or using different assumptions. We evaluate our estimates and assumptions on an ongoing basis and we base these estimates on historical experiences and various other factors and assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.
Our critical accounting policies include those that address the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses and reserve for unfunded credit commitments, measurements of fair value, the valuation of equity warrant assets and the recognition and measurement of income tax assets and liabilities. Our senior management has discussed and reviewed the development, selection, application and disclosure of these critical accounting policies with the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors.
Allowance for Loan Losses and Reserve for Unfunded Credit Commitments
Allowance for Loan Losses
The allowance for loan losses is management's estimate of credit losses inherent in the loan portfolio at the balance sheet date. We consider our accounting policy for the allowance for loan losses to be critical as estimation of the allowance involves material estimates by us and is particularly susceptible to significant changes in the near term. Determining the allowance for loan losses requires us to make forecasts that are highly uncertain and require a high degree of judgment. Our loan loss reserve methodology is applied to our loan portfolio and we maintain the allowance for loan losses at levels that we believe are appropriate to absorb estimated probable losses inherent in our loan portfolio.
Our allowance for loan losses is established for loan losses that are probable but not yet realized. The process of anticipating loan losses is imprecise. We apply a systematic process for the evaluation of individual loans and pools of loans for inherent risk of loan losses. On a quarterly basis, each loan in our portfolio is assigned a credit risk rating through an evaluation process, which includes consideration of such factors as payment status, the financial condition of the borrower, borrower compliance with loan covenants, underlying collateral values, potential loan concentrations, and general economic conditions.
The allowance for loan losses is based on a formula allocation for similarly risk-rated loans by client industry sector and individually for impaired loans. Our formula allocation is determined on a quarterly basis by utilizing a historical loan loss migration model, which is a statistical model used to estimate an appropriate allowance for outstanding loan balances by calculating the likelihood of a loan being charged-off based on its credit risk rating using historical loan performance data from our portfolio. The historical loan loss migration statistical model considers: (i) our quarterly historical loss experience since the year 2000, both by risk-rating category and client industry sector, and (ii) our quarterly loss experience for the one-, three-, and five-year periods preceding the applicable reporting period. The resulting loan loss factors for each risk-rating category and client industry sector are ultimately applied to the respective period-end client loan balances for each corresponding risk-rating category by client industry sector to provide an estimation of the allowance for loan losses.
We apply qualitative allocations to the results we obtained through our historical loan loss migration model to ascertain the total allowance for loan losses. These qualitative allocations are based upon management's assessment of the risks that may lead to a loan loss experience different from our historical loan loss experience. These risks are aggregated to become our qualitative allocation. Based on management's prediction or estimate of changing risks in the lending environment, the qualitative allocation may vary significantly from period to period and includes, but is not limited to, consideration of the following factors:
Changes in lending policies and procedures, including underwriting standards and collections, and charge-off and recovery practices;
Changes in national and local economic business conditions, including the market and economic condition of our clients' industry sectors;
Changes in the nature of our loan portfolio;
Changes in experience, ability, and depth of lending management and staff;
Changes in the trend of the volume and severity of past due and classified loans;
Changes in the trend of the volume of nonaccrual loans, troubled debt restructurings, and other loan modifications;
Reserve floor for portfolio segments that would not draw a minimum reserve based on the lack of historical loan loss experience;
Reserve for large funded loan exposure; and
Other factors as determined by management from time to time.

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A committee comprised of senior management evaluates the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses.
Reserve for Unfunded Credit Commitments
The level of the reserve for unfunded credit commitments is determined following a methodology that parallels that used for the allowance for loan losses. We consider our accounting policy for the reserve for unfunded credit commitments to be critical as estimation of the reserve involves material estimates by our management and is particularly susceptible to significant changes in the near term. We record a liability for probable and estimable losses associated with our unfunded credit commitments. Each quarter, every unfunded client credit commitment is allocated to a credit risk-rating category in accordance with each client's credit risk rating. We use the historical loan loss factors described under our allowance for loan losses to calculate the possible loan loss experience if unfunded credit commitments are funded. Separately, we use historical trends to calculate the probability of an unfunded credit commitment being funded. We apply the loan funding probability factor to risk-factor adjusted unfunded credit commitments by credit risk-rating to derive the reserve for unfunded credit commitments. The reserve for unfunded credit commitments also includes certain qualitative allocations as deemed appropriate by management.
Fair Value Measurements
We use fair value measurements to record fair value for certain financial instruments and to determine fair value disclosures. Our available-for-sale securities, derivative instruments, marketable securities and certain non-marketable securities are financial instruments recorded at fair value on a recurring basis. We disclose our method and approach for fair value measurements of assets and liabilities in Note 2—“Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” of the “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” under Part II, Item 8 in this report.
Fair value is defined as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability (the “exit price”) in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. ASC 820, Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures, establishes a three-level hierarchy for disclosure of assets and liabilities recorded at fair value. The classification of assets and liabilities within the hierarchy is based on whether the significant inputs to the valuation methodology used for measurement are observable or unobservable and the significance of the level of the input to the entire measurement. Observable inputs reflect market-derived or market-based information obtained from independent sources, while unobservable inputs reflect our estimates about market data. The three levels for measuring fair value are defined in Note 2—“Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” of the “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” under Part II, Item 8 in this report.
It is our practice to maximize the use of observable inputs and minimize the use of unobservable inputs when developing fair value measurements. When available, we use quoted market prices to measure fair value. If market prices are not available, fair value measurement is based upon valuation techniques that use relevant inputs derived from primarily market-based or independently-sourced market parameters, including interest rate yield curves, prepayment speeds, option volatilities and currency rates. Substantially all of our financial instruments use the foregoing methodologies, collectively Level 1 and Level 2 measurements, to determine fair value adjustments recorded to our financial statements. However, in certain cases, when market observable inputs for valuation techniques may not be readily available, we are required to make judgments about assumptions market participants would use in estimating the fair value of the financial instrument, and the significance of those inputs in the entire measurement.
The degree of management judgment involved in determining the fair value of a financial instrument is dependent upon the availability of quoted market prices or observable market parameters. For financial instruments that trade actively and have quoted market prices or observable market parameters, there is minimal subjectivity involved in measuring fair value. When observable market prices and parameters are not fully available, management judgment is necessary to estimate fair value. For inactive markets, there is little information, if any, to evaluate if individual transactions are orderly. Accordingly, we are required to estimate, based upon all available facts and circumstances, the degree to which orderly transactions are occurring and provide more weighting to price quotes that are based upon orderly transactions. In addition, changes in the market conditions may reduce the availability of quoted prices or observable data. For example, reduced liquidity in the capital markets or changes in secondary market activities could result in observable market inputs becoming unavailable. Therefore, when market data is not available, we use valuation techniques requiring more management judgment to estimate the appropriate fair value measurement. Accordingly, the degree of judgment exercised by management in determining fair value is greater for financial assets and liabilities categorized as Level 3. Our valuation processes include a number of key controls that are designed to ensure that fair value is measured appropriately.

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The following table summarizes our financial assets and liabilities that are measured at fair value on a recurring basis as of December 31, 2012 and 2011 :
 
 
December 31,
 
 
2012
 
2011
(Dollars in thousands)
 
Total Balance  
 
Level 3     
 
Total Balance  
 
Level 3     
Assets carried at fair value
 
$
12,244,783

 
$
859,141

 
$
11,372,081

 
$
799,962

As a percentage of total assets
 
53.8
%
 
3.8
%
 
56.9
%
 
4.0
%
Liabilities carried at fair value
 
$
13,437

 
$

 
$
16,868

 
$

As a percentage of total liabilities
 
0.1
%
 
%
 
0.1
%
 
%
 
 
Level 1 and 2
 
Level 3
 
Level 1 and 2
 
Level 3
Percentage of assets measured at fair value
 
93.0
%
 
7.0
%
 
93.0
%
 
7.0
%
As of December 31, 2012 , our available-for-sale securities portfolio, consisting primarily of mortgage securities and debentures issued by the U.S. government and its agencies, represented $11.3 billion , or 92.6 percent of our portfolio of assets measured at fair value on a recurring basis, compared to $10.5 billion , or 92.6 percent , as of December 31, 2011 . These instruments were classified as Level 2 because their valuations were based on indicative prices corroborated by observable market quotes or valuation techniques with all significant inputs derived from or corroborated by observable market data. The fair value of our available-for-sale securities portfolio is sensitive to changes in levels of market interest rates and market perceptions of credit quality of the underlying securities. Market valuations and impairment analyses on assets in the available-for-sale securities portfolio are reviewed and monitored on a quarterly basis. Assets valued using Level 2 measurements also include equity warrant assets in shares of public company capital stock, marketable securities, interest rate swaps, foreign exchange forward and option contracts, loan conversion options and client interest rate derivatives.
To the extent available-for-sale securities are used to secure borrowings, changes in the fair value of those securities could have an impact on the total amount of secured financing available. We pledge securities to the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and the discount window at the Federal Reserve Bank. The market value of collateral pledged to the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (comprised primarily of U.S. agency debentures) at December 31, 2012 totaled $1.5 billion , all of which was unused and available to support additional borrowings. The market value of collateral pledged at the discount window of the Federal Reserve Bank in accordance with our liquidity risk management practices at December 31, 2012 totaled $561 million , all of which was unused and available to support additional borrowings. We have repurchase agreements in place with multiple securities dealers, which allow us to access short-term borrowings by using available-for-sale securities as collateral. At December 31, 2012 , we had not utilized any of our repurchase lines to secure borrowed funds.
Financial assets valued using Level 3 measurements consist of our investments in venture capital and private equity funds and direct equity investments in privately held companies, as well as equity warrant assets in shares of private company capital stock.
During 2012 , the Level 3 assets that are measured at fair value on a recurring basis experienced net realized and unrealized gains of $104.7 million (which is inclusive of noncontrolling interest), primarily due to valuation increases in underlying fund investments in our managed funds, as well as gains from liquidity events and distributions. Additionally, we had strong net gains in 2012 from our equity warrant assets. During 2011 and 2010 , the Level 3 assets that are measured at fair value on a recurring basis experienced net realized and unrealized gains of $176.9 million and $67.2 million (which is inclusive of noncontrolling interest), respectively.
Non-Marketable Securities
Our non-marketable securities carried under fair value accounting consist of investments in venture capital and private equity funds and direct equity investments in privately held companies. Our managed funds that hold these investments qualify as investment companies under the AICPA Audit and Accounting Guide for Investment Companies, and accordingly, these funds report their investments at estimated fair value, with unrealized gains and losses resulting from changes in fair value reflected as investment gains or losses in our consolidated statements of income. The estimated fair value of these securities is based primarily on financial information obtained as the general partner of the fund or obtained from the funds' respective general partner.
For direct private company investments, valuations are based upon consideration of a range of factors including, but not limited to, the price at which the investment was acquired, the term and nature of the investment, local market conditions, values for comparable securities, current and projected operating performance, exit strategies, and financing transactions subsequent to the acquisition of the investment. These valuation methodologies involve a significant degree of management judgment.

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The valuation of our venture capital and private equity funds is primarily based upon our pro-rata share of the fair market value of the net assets of a fund as determined by such fund on the valuation date. We utilize the most recent available financial information from the investee general partner. We account for differences between our measurement date and the date of the fund investment's net asset value by using the most recent available financial information available from the investee general partner, for example September 30 th , for our December 31 st consolidated financial statements, adjusted for any contributions paid, distributions received from the investment, and significant fund transactions or market events during the reporting period.
The valuation of non-marketable securities and equity warrant assets in shares of private company capital stock is subject to significant judgment. The inherent uncertainty in the process of valuing securities for which a ready market does not exist may cause our estimated values of these securities to differ significantly from the values that would have been derived had a ready market for the securities existed, and those differences could be material. The timing and amount of changes in fair value, if any, of these financial instruments depend upon factors beyond our control, including the performance of the underlying companies, fluctuations in the market prices of the preferred or common stock of the underlying companies, general volatility and interest rate market factors, and legal and contractual restrictions. The timing and amount of actual net proceeds, if any, from the disposition of these financial instruments depend upon factors beyond our control, including investor demand for IPOs, levels of M&A activity, legal and contractual restrictions on our ability to sell, and the perceived and actual performance of portfolio companies. All of these factors are difficult to predict and there can be no assurances that we will realize the full value of these securities, which could result in significant losses. (See “Risk Factors” under Item 1A of Part I above.)
Derivative Assets-Equity Warrant Assets
In connection with negotiated credit facilities and certain other services, we often obtain equity warrant assets giving us the right to acquire stock in primarily private, venture-backed companies in the technology and life science industries. Equity warrant assets for shares of private and public companies are recorded at fair value on the grant date and adjusted to fair value on a quarterly basis through consolidated net income.
We account for equity warrant assets with net settlement terms in certain private and public client companies as derivatives. In general, equity warrant assets entitle us to buy a specific number of shares of stock at a specific price within a specific time period. Certain equity warrant assets contain contingent provisions, which adjust the underlying number of shares or purchase price upon the occurrence of certain future events. Our warrant agreements typically contain net share settlement provisions, which permit us to receive at exercise a share count equal to the intrinsic value of the warrant divided by the share price (otherwise known as a “cashless” exercise).
The fair value of our equity warrant assets portfolio is reviewed quarterly. We value our equity warrant assets using a modified Black-Scholes option pricing model, which incorporates the following significant inputs:
An underlying asset value, which is estimated based on current information available, including any information regarding subsequent rounds of funding for the entity issuing the warrant.
Stated strike price, which can be adjusted for certain warrants upon the occurrence of subsequent funding rounds or other future events.
Price volatility or the amount of uncertainty or risk about the magnitude of the changes in the underlying asset price. The volatility assumption is based on historical price volatility of publicly traded companies within indices similar in nature to the underlying client companies issuing the warrant. The actual volatility input is based on the median volatility for an individual public company within an index, averaged for the past 16 quarters. The weighted average quarterly median volatility assumption used for the warrant valuation at December 31, 2012 was 45.2 percent , compared to 52.5 percent at December 31, 2011 .
Actual data on cancellations and exercises of our equity warrant assets are utilized as the basis for determining the expected remaining life of the equity warrant assets in each financial reporting period. Equity warrant assets may be exercised in the event of acquisitions, mergers or IPOs, and cancelled due to events such as bankruptcies, restructuring activities or additional financings. These events cause the expected remaining life assumption to be shorter than the contractual term of the warrants. The remaining life assumption used for the valuation of our private warrant portfolio was 45.0 percent at December 31, 2012, compared to 40.0 percent at December 31, 2011. The increase was made to reflect market conditions and trends.
The risk-free interest rate is derived from the Treasury yield curve and is calculated based on a weighted average of the risk-free interest rates that correspond closest to the expected remaining life of the warrant. The risk-free interest rate used for the warrant valuation was 0.4 percent at both December 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 .
A discount applied to all private company warrants to account for a general lack of marketability due to the private nature of the associated underlying company. The discount is based on long-run averages and is influenced over time by various factors, including market conditions. The marketability discount used for the valuation of our private

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warrant portfolio was 22.5 percent at December 31, 2012, compared to 15.0 percent at December 31, 2011. The increase was made to reflect market conditions and trends.
The fair value of our equity warrant assets recorded on our balance sheets represents our best estimate of the fair value of these instruments. Changes in the above inputs may result in significantly different valuations. For example, the following table demonstrates the effect of hypothetical changes in the risk-free interest rate and volatility assumptions on the valuation of equity warrant assets directly held by SVB Financial Group at December 31, 2012 :
 
 
Volatility Factor
(Dollars in millions)
 
10% Lower(40.7%)
 
Current
(45.2%)
 
10% Higher (49.7%)
Risk free interest rate:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Less 50 basis points
 
$
70.7

 
$
73.6

 
$
76.4

Current weighted average rate (0.4%)
 
71.3

 
74.1

 
76.9

Plus 50 basis points
 
72.0

 
74.8

 
77.6

 
The timing and value realized from the disposition of equity warrant assets depend upon factors beyond our control, including the performance of the underlying portfolio companies, investor demand for IPOs, fluctuations in the price of the underlying common stock of these private and public companies, levels of M&A activity, and legal and contractual restrictions on our ability to sell the underlying securities. All of these factors are difficult to predict. Many equity warrant assets may be terminated or may expire without compensation and may incur valuation losses from lower-priced funding rounds. We are unable to predict future gains or losses with accuracy, and gains or losses could vary materially from period to period.
We consider our accounting policy for equity warrant assets to be critical as the valuation of these assets is complex and subject to a certain degree of management judgment. Management has the ability to select from several valuation techniques and has alternative approaches in the calculation of significant inputs. The selection of alternative valuation techniques or alternative approaches used to calculate significant inputs in the current methodology may cause our estimated values of these assets to differ significantly from the values recorded. Additionally, the inherent uncertainty in the process of valuing these assets for which a ready market is unavailable may cause our estimated values of these assets to differ significantly from the values that would have been derived had a ready market for the assets existed, and those differences could be material. Further, the fair value of equity warrant assets may never be realized, which could result in significant losses.
Income Taxes
We are subject to income tax laws of the United States, its states and municipalities and those of the foreign jurisdictions in which we operate. Income taxes are accounted for using the asset and liability method. Under this method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax-basis carrying amount. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date. A valuation allowance is provided when management assesses available evidence and exercises their judgment that it is more likely than not that some portion of the deferred tax asset will not be realized.
We consider our accounting policy relating to income taxes to be critical as the determination of current and deferred income taxes is based on complex analyses of many factors including interpretation of federal, state and foreign income tax laws, the difference between tax and financial reporting bases of assets and liabilities (temporary differences), estimates of amounts due or owed, the timing of reversals of temporary differences and current financial accounting standards. Actual results could differ significantly from the estimates due to tax law interpretations used in determining the current and deferred income tax liabilities. Additionally, there can be no assurances that estimates and interpretations used in determining income tax liabilities may not be challenged by federal and state taxing authorities.
In establishing a provision for income tax expense, we must make judgments and interpretations about the application of these inherently complex tax laws. We must also make estimates about when in the future certain items will affect taxable income in the various tax jurisdictions, both domestic and foreign. We evaluate our uncertain tax positions in accordance with ASC 740, Income Taxes. We believe that our unrecognized tax benefits, including related interest and penalties, are adequate in relation to the potential for additional tax assessments.
We are also subject to routine corporate tax audits by the various tax jurisdictions. In the preparation of income tax returns, tax positions are taken based on interpretation of federal and state income tax laws as well as foreign tax laws. We review our

37

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uncertain tax positions quarterly, and we may adjust these unrecognized tax benefits in light of changing facts and circumstances, such as the closing of a tax audit or the refinement of an estimate. To the extent that the final tax outcome of these matters is different than the amounts recorded, such differences will impact income tax expense in the period in which such determination is made.
Results of Operations
Net Interest Income and Margin (Fully Taxable Equivalent Basis)
Net interest income is defined as the difference between interest earned on loans, available-for-sale securities and short-term investment securities, and interest paid on funding sources. Net interest income is our principal source of revenue. Net interest margin is defined as the amount of annualized net interest income, on a fully taxable equivalent basis, expressed as a percentage of average interest-earning assets. Net interest income and net interest margin are presented on a fully taxable equivalent basis to consistently reflect income from taxable loans and securities and tax-exempt securities based on the federal statutory tax rate of 35.0 percent.
Analysis of Net Interest Income Changes Due to Volume and Rate (Fully Taxable Equivalent Basis)
Net interest income is affected by changes in the amount and mix of interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities, referred to as “volume change.” Net interest income is also affected by changes in yields earned on interest-earning assets and rates paid on interest-bearing liabilities, referred to as “rate change.” The following table sets forth changes in interest income for each major category of interest-earning assets and interest expense for each major category of interest-bearing liabilities. The table also reflects the amount of simultaneous changes attributable to both volume and rate changes for the years indicated. For this table, changes that are not solely due to either volume or rate are allocated in proportion to the percentage changes in average volume and average rate.  
 
 
2012 compared to 2011
 
2011 compared to 2010
 
 
Year ended December 31,
increase (decrease) due to change in
 
Year ended December 31,
increase (decrease) due to change in
(Dollars in thousands)
 
Volume
 
Rate
 
Total
 
Volume
 
Rate
 
Total
Interest income:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Federal Reserve deposits, federal funds sold, securities purchased under agreements to resell and other short-term investment securities
 
$
(2,701
)
 
$
360

 
$
(2,341
)
 
$
(6,017
)
 
$
1,543

 
$
(4,474
)
Available-for-sale securities (taxable)
 
22,564

 
(16,150
)
 
6,414

 
78,196

 
(40,169
)
 
38,027

Available-for-sale securities (non-taxable)
 
(160
)
 
69

 
(91
)
 
(224
)
 
(62
)
 
(286
)
Loans, net of unearned income
 
109,952

 
(30,636
)
 
79,316

 
93,713

 
(23,423
)
 
70,290

Increase (decrease) in interest income, net
 
129,655

 
(46,357
)
 
83,298

 
165,668

 
(62,111
)
 
103,557

Interest expense:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NOW deposits
 
58

 
15

 
73

 
119

 
(57
)
 
62

Money market deposits
 
391

 
(953
)
 
(562
)
 
1,668

 
(1,845
)
 
(177
)
Money market deposits in foreign offices
 
(10
)
 
(160
)
 
(170
)
 
124

 
(102
)
 
22

Time deposits
 
(408
)
 
(98
)
 
(506
)
 
(462
)
 
(222
)
 
(684
)
Sweep deposits in foreign offices
 
(231
)
 
(806
)
 
(1,037
)
 
(411
)
 
(4,728
)
 
(5,139
)
Total (decrease) increase in deposits expense
 
(200
)
 
(2,002
)
 
(2,202
)
 
1,038

 
(6,954
)
 
(5,916
)
Short-term borrowings
 
102

 
10

 
112

 
(52
)
 
(15
)
 
(67
)
5.375% Senior Notes
 
11

 
14

 
25

 
13,814

 
85

 
13,899

3.875% Convertible Notes
 
(4,210
)
 

 
(4,210
)
 
(10,457
)
 
520

 
(9,937
)
Junior Subordinated Debentures
 
(10
)
 
9

 
(1
)
 
(13
)
 
277

 
264

5.70% Senior Notes
 
(1,619
)
 
605

 
(1,014
)
 
(856
)
 
(55
)
 
(911
)
6.05% Subordinated Notes
 
(712
)
 
(53
)
 
(765
)
 
(1,562
)
 
(271
)
 
(1,833
)
Other long-term debt
 
(429
)
 
227

 
(202
)
 
(95
)
 
111

 
16

Total (decrease) increase in borrowings expense
 
(6,867
)
 
812

 
(6,055
)
 
779

 
652

 
1,431

(Decrease) increase in interest expense, net
 
(7,067
)
 
(1,190
)
 
(8,257
)
 
1,817

 
(6,302
)
 
(4,485
)
Increase (decrease) in net interest income
 
$
136,722

 
$
(45,167
)
 
$
91,555

 
$
163,851

 
$
(55,809
)
 
$
108,042


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Net Interest Income (Fully Taxable Equivalent Basis)
2012 compared to 2011
Net interest income increased by $91.6 million to $619.8 million in 2012 , compared to $528.2 million in 2011 . Overall, we saw an increase in our net interest income primarily due to higher average loan balances and growth in our available-for-sale securities portfolio, which has increased as a result of our continued growth in deposits. These increases were partially offset by lower yields earned on our loans and available-for-sale securities.
The main factors affecting interest income and interest expense for 2012 , compared to 2011 , are discussed below:
Interest income for 2012 increased by $83.3 million primarily due to:
A $79.3 million increase in interest income on loans to $469.1 million in 2012, compared to $389.8 million in 2011. This increase was reflective of an increase in average loan balances of $1.7 billion, partially offset by a decrease of 49 basis points in the overall yield on our loan portfolio. The decrease in yields was reflective of a continued shift in the mix of our loans that are indexed to the national Prime rate versus the SVB Prime rate. We expect our loan yields will continue to be impacted by this shift in the mix of our loans in 2013, as we expect we will continue to index more loans to the national Prime rate, instead of our SVB Prime rate. The national Prime rate was 75 basis points lower than the SVB Prime rate as of December 31, 2012.
A $6.3 million increase in interest income on available-for-sale securities to $177.3 million in 2012, compared to $171.0 million in 2011. The increase of $6.3 million was comprised of the following:
A $22.4 million increase related to higher average balances of $1.3 billion.
An $11.6 million increase related to higher yields, reflective of a shift in our portfolio to a smaller proportion of lower-yielding variable-rate securities as we did not purchase any of these securities in 2012. For 2012, average variable-rate securities were $2.1 billion, or 19.7 percent of our portfolio, compared to $2.7 billion, or 28.9 percent for 2011. The coupon rate on these securities resets based on changes in the one-month LIBOR rate.
A $27.7 million decrease related to higher premium amortization expense, which increased to $55.6 million in 2012 from $27.9 million in 2011. The increase in premium amortization expense was reflective of an increase in mortgage prepayment levels on our fixed rate mortgage securities. As of December 31, 2012 , the remaining unamortized premium balance on our available-for-sale securities portfolio was $115.0 million. As such, in 2013, we expect our interest income from available-for-sale securities will continue to be impacted by mortgage prepayment levels, to the extent they impact our actual, as well as forecasted, premium amortization expense.
Interest expense for 2012 decreased by $8.3 million primarily due to:
A decrease in interest expense of $6.2 million related to our long-term debt, primarily due to the maturity of $250.0 million of our 3.875% Convertible Notes in April 2011, as well as the repurchase of $109 million of our 5.70% Senior Notes and $204 million of our 6.05% Subordinated Notes in May 2011.
A decrease in interest expense from interest-bearing deposits of $2.2 million, primarily due to decreases in rates paid on deposits throughout 2011, which was reflective of market rates.
2011 compared to 2010
Net interest income increased by $108.0 million to $528.2 million in 2011, compared to $420.2 million in 2010. Overall, we saw an increase in our net interest income primarily due to higher average loan balances and growth in our available-for-sale securities portfolio, which has increased as a result of our continued growth in deposits. These increases were partially offset by lower yields earned on our available-for-sale securities and loans.
The main factors affecting interest income and interest expense for 2011 compared to 2010 are discussed below:
Interest income for 2011 increased by $103.6 million primarily due to:
A $70.3 million increase in interest income from loans to $389.8 million in 2011, compared to $319.5 million in 2010. This increase was reflective of an increase in average loan balances of $1.4 billion, partially offset by a decrease of 50 basis points in the overall yield on our loan portfolio. The decrease in yields was reflective of a continued shift in the mix of our loans that were indexed to the national Prime rate versus the SVB Prime rate.

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A $37.7 million increase in interest income from available-for-sale securities to $171.0 million in 2011, compared to $133.3 million in 2010. This increase was primarily reflective of growth in average balances of $4.0 billion due to new investments, which were purchased as a result of our continued deposit growth. This increase was partially offset by lower investment yields available on purchases of new securities in the low rate environment and the effect of sales of $1.4 billion and $651 million in higher-yielding securities in 2011 and 2010, respectively, which resulted in pre-tax gains of $37.3 million and $23.6 million, respectively.
Interest expense for 2011 decreased by $4.5 million primarily due to:
A $5.9 million decrease in interest expense from interest-bearing deposits, primarily due to decreases in rates paid on deposits throughout 2010 and 2011, reflective of low market rates. This decrease was partially offset by an increase in interest expense related to an increase of $519.6 million in average interest-bearing deposit balances during 2011.
An increase in interest expense of $1.5 million related to our long-term debt, primarily due to a $13.9 million increase in interest expense from the issuance of $350 million in 5.375% Senior Notes in September 2010, partially offset by a $9.9 million decrease due to the maturity of our 3.875% Convertible Notes in April 2011 and a $2.7 million decrease due to the repurchase of $109 million of our 5.70% Senior Notes and $204 million of our 6.05% Subordinated Notes in May 2011.
Net Interest Margin (Fully Taxable Equivalent Basis)
Our net interest margin increased to 3.19 percent in 2012 , compared to 3.08 percent in 2011 and 3.08 percent in 2010 .
The main factors affecting our net interest margin in 2012 were as follows:
An increase in net interest margin from an increase of $1.7 billion in average loan balances (higher-yielding assets).
An increase in net interest margin from lower cash balances as a result of deployment into available-for-sale securities, which has resulted in a favorable change in our mix of interest-earning assets.
An increase in net interest margin from an increase in yields on our available-for-sale securities, which was reflective of a shift in our portfolio to a smaller proportion of lower-yielding variable-rate securities.
A decrease in net interest margin from a decrease in the overall yield on our loan portfolio resulting from changes in loan mix.
A decrease in net interest margin from an increase in premium amortization expense on our available-for-sale securities portfolio.
The main factors affecting our net interest margin in 2011 were as follows:
An increase in net interest margin from an increase of $1.4 billion in average loan balances (higher-yielding assets).
An increase in net interest margin from a decrease in rates paid on our deposits.
A decrease in net interest margin from significant growth in deposits, the majority of which were invested in available-for-sale securities (lower-yielding assets), as well as paydowns and sales of higher-yielding securities throughout 2011 being reinvested in lower-yielding securities given the low interest rate environment.
A decrease in net interest margin from a decrease in the overall yield on our loan portfolio resulting from changes in loan mix.
Average Balances, Yields and Rates Paid (Fully Taxable Equivalent Basis)
The average yield earned on interest-earning assets is the amount of annualized fully taxable equivalent interest income expressed as a percentage of average interest-earning assets. The average rate paid on funding sources is the amount of annualized interest expense expressed as a percentage of average funding sources. The following tables set forth average assets, liabilities, noncontrolling interests and SVBFG stockholders’ equity, interest income, interest expense, annualized yields and rates, and the composition of our annualized net interest margin in 2012 , 2011 and 2010 :

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Year ended December 31,
 
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
(Dollars in thousands)
 
Average
Balance
 
Interest
Income/
Expense
 
Yield/
Rate
 
Average
Balance
 
Interest
Income/
Expense
 
Yield/
Rate
 
Average
Balance
 
Interest
Income/
Expense
 
Yield/
Rate
Interest-earning assets :