KPMG issued its audit report for the parent company of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), SVB Financial Group, on February 24, 2023, and the bank’s assets were taken over by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation regulators on March 10. Although depositors began fleeing SVB in February, deposits declined by 13 percent during the preceding fiscal year. SVB invested substantially in long-term government bonds, whose value plummeted due to significant Federal Reserve interest rate increases, and the classification of the securities prevented their conversion to cash to meet depositor demands. Alongside explaining management and regulatory failings that led to SVB’s collapse, this paper formulates an argument of possible alternative actions the auditor could have pursued during the audit or upon release of its audit report. Due to inaction, KPMG may hinder its ability to defend against current litigation.

This content is only available via PDF.