February 23, 2024

We're going to protect what we've got in Silicon Valley Bank UK, new owner HSBC says

Silicon Valley Bank UK will continue to serve startup businesses from “seed funding to IPO,” the chief executive of its new owner, HSBC UK, said Tuesday.

“We’re going to protect what we’ve got,” Ian Stuart told CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal at the Money20/20 fintech conference in Amsterdam.

“We are going to keep it ringfenced within our own ringfenced bank, it will have its own board, it will have its own risk policies, we are going to protect what it’s got today.”

HSBC UK bought the London-headquartered subsidiary of Silicon Valley Bank for £1 ($1.21) in March after its U.S. parent company collapsed. Despite not having a major customer base in the U.K., hundreds of founders and VCs said the bank’s failure would be highly damaging to the tech sector, and the government stepped in to facilitate a deal over the course of a weekend.

HSBC UK Bank CEO explains how UK arm of Silicon Valley Bank was bought for £1

Some have expressed concern that HSBC, a traditional financial institution, is not well placed to enable Silicon Valley Bank UK to continue to finance the kind of tech-focused startups and small businesses that it used to specialize in.

However, Stuart said the bank wanted to reassure customers that wouldn’t be the case.

“Our plan is we’ll take it from seed funding all the way through to IPO, customers will never have to go outside of that network to meet their funding requirements,” he said, but with the addition of HSBC products and services.

After migrating back-end systems and processes from the U.S. and relaunching under a yet-to-be-announced name — which sources have told Sky News will be HSBC Innovation Banking — Stuart said they wanted to take the operation global.

“We want to be global very, very quickly, setting up infrastructure in the U.S., U.K., Israel, Middle East and Asia. So it’s a really comprehensive plan,” he said.

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