Kevin O’Leary grilled on why he kept money at SVB

“Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary faced a grilling Tuesday night for allowing his companies to do business with Silicon Valley Bank – despite repeatedly referring to doomed firm’s management as “idiots” this week.

During an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” O’Leary admitted that “many companies” in his private equity portfolio had deposits in SVB prior to its collapse.

That included the crypto firm Circle, which had a whopping $3 billion tied up in the bank.

“This bank was run by idiots with an incompetent board. It’s one bank, no one ever heard the name before,” O’Leary said.

The response led the show’s host Sean Hannity to press O’Leary about his decision to park his money at SVB.

Sean Hannity grilled Kevin O’Leary about his business with SVB.
Fox News

“Kevin, you’re a smart guy,” Hannity said. “Why did you keep your money there if it was run by idiots?”

O’Leary, who did not reveal the extent of his financial exposure to SVB, quickly went on the defensive.

“It’s one of many, many banks I keep my money in,” O’Leary replied. “And look, I’m a big boy. And my whole point is, if you have more than $250,000 in any institution, you’re basically a hedge fund or a savvy investor or a business. You understand your risk and you act accordingly.”

“So, I think the Fed’s mandate about keeping FDIC insurance at $250,000 makes sense to me. But we changed all that over the weekend,” he added.

Federal regulators stepped in to guarantee all deposits at SVB and Signature Bank of New York this week as they aimed to shore up confidence in the banking system and avert fears of a nationwide run on banks. Under existing FDIC rules, only deposits of $250,000 or less are insured.

O’Leary, a prominent investor in tech startups and other sectors, blasted federal officials over the bailout, which, he argued, will effectively “nationalize the American banking system.”

Follow The Post’s coverage of Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse

“What I would have preferred is to allow this bank, run by idiots – and I’m sorry to say these harsh words, but it’s a fact,” O’Leary said. “Silicon Valley Bank is the poster boy for idiot management now. That brand is radioactive waste.”

Mediate earlier reported on the exchange.

SVB was shut down last week.

SVB’s collapse is the latest setback for O’Leary, who was previously caught up in the fallout caused by the collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange last year.

O’Leary was a paid spokesperson and equity holder in FTX, which crumbled into bankruptcy last November amid allegations that its disgraced founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, bilked investors out of billions.

In December, O’Leary said he lost $15 million when FTX went bust.