Silicon Valley Bank, the iconic California-based bank that has been integral to the US technology boom, has opened its first branch in the UK, offering commercial banking services for "innovation businesses".
The bank, which already has UK clients including Shazam, Mimecast and The Foundry – with US clients including Cisco, Mozilla and Pinterest – will offer such services as current and deposit accounts, loans, cash management services, trade finance and foreign exchange to both local and international businesses.
It has had a UK presence since 2004 through its affiliate SVB Financial Group UK, which provides access to financing for UK-based technology companies. Venture capital companies Index Ventures and Balderton Capital have also worked with Silicon Valley Bank in the UK.
The bank's chief executive, Greg Becker, described the UK branch opening as a "key milestone" for the bank, and added that it showed "how important high-growth technology, life science and clean tech businesses and their investors are to the global economy".
Keith Lovell, chief financial officer of Silicon Valley Bank client Shazam spoke positively about SVB's impact on its business.
"SVB understands our business and clearly wants us to succeed as much we do," he said. "They are a true partner, offering flexible financing solutions, great networking opportunities, excellent and personable client service and an in-depth knowledge of the global innovation ecosystem."
Chancellor George Osborne said that the launch proved that "the UK is fast becoming the technology centre of Europe".
He added: "The knowledge, expertise and dedication that Silicon Valley Bank brings to the ecosystem is another important step toward our objective to make the UK the best place to start and grow the great technology companies of the future."
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