Silicon Valley Bank opens in the UK to support tech and science

Silicon Valley Bank opens in the UK to support tech and science

Making a statement of support for the UK and European tech market, Silicon Valley Bank has opened a branch in London to serve international and local business.

The bank is known for its work in the technology, life science, cleantech, private equity and venture capital sectors and is one of the first US banks to open up in the UK for many years.

Silicon Valley Bank UK opened today and is offering a full suite of products and services to innovation businesses, including current and deposit accounts, loans, cash management services, trade finance and foreign exchange.

The bank already serves companies you may recognise to say the least. Its client list includes Cisco, Evernote, Mindspeed, Pinterest and Mozilla as well as some of the top investors in the sector including NEA, Sequoia Capital and Silver Lake. According to its site, in the US, 50% of the venture capital-backed technology and life science companies work with Silicon Valley Bank. Not a bad track record it seems.

Commenting on the launch, Greg Becker, CEO and President of Silicon Valley Bank, said:

“The opening of a Silicon Valley Bank branch in London signals a significant step in the evolution of the technology sector in the UK at a time when there is strong government support for a thriving community of local innovation businesses.

The UK branch opening is a key milestone for us and, more significantly, an example of how important high-growth technology, life science and cleantech businesses and their investors are to the global economy. Our clients are doing remarkable things. We are excited to be a part of their success and thrilled to be open for business in the UK.”

According to the BBC, the bank already has UK clients including Shazam and The Foundry. It seems that the bank has already been working hard in Britain, Phil Cox, SVB’s head of UK, Israel and India, told the BBC: “We’ve already lent hundreds of millions in the UK but we’re looking to increase this to billions very quickly.”

Mr Cox said the bank would be making loans of between £300,000 and £30m to established companies looking to expand.

Although naturally a bank is made up of its services and rates rather than presentation, it is clear from the UK website for Silicon Valley Bank that this is an institution with a very particular focus. There are not too many banks that have a dedicated page for video that features Guy Kawasaki.

Supporting small and medium businesses

Earlier this year the Chancellor George Osborne launched a bank lending scheme aimed at small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK.

Barclays, Lloyds, Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland all signed up to join the National Loan Guarantee Scheme (NLGS), to provide access to loans with interest rates one percentage point lower than those available outside the initiative.

With the arrival of Silicon Valley Bank and its experience with growing businesses in tech and science, it will be interesting to see how the existing UK banks will react to attract companies in a competitive way.

Image Credit: William Warby

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