The F.D.I.C. on Saturday started an auction for Silicon Valley Bank that was set to wrap up Sunday afternoon, according to a person familiar with the matter. Bloomberg earlier reported the news of the auction.

And if that push to find a buyer were to fail, the government was considering safeguarding uninsured deposits at the bank, another person said. But no decision had yet been made.

As the Treasury, Federal Reserve, F.D.I.C. and White House pushed for a solution, economists and politicians worried that companies that have big and uninsured bank deposits might grow nervous as they watched some Silicon Valley Bank customers face down losses -- prompting them to pull their own deposits out of other regional banks.

"The risk is to regional banks, having their assets flee," said Representative Ro Khanna, a California Democrat.

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