A US-based bank dedicated to supporting firms in the technology sector today opened its first UK branch.
Silicon Valley Bank, which claims to back more than half of all venture capital-backed technology and life science firms in the US, including software giant Cisco, said it was the first US bank to open a commercial branch in the UK for several years.
The bank, which has also recently launched in Israel, India and China, already supports some British firms such as mobile music app firm Shazam and visual effects specialists The Foundry.
The branch in the City of London will provide a full range of financial services, including current and deposit accounts, loans, cash management services and currency exchange.
Phil Cox, head of UK, Israel and India for the bank, said the UK's universities, entrepreneurial and business ownership culture and the Government's support for the sector were the main attractions.
Chancellor George Osborne hailed the arrival of the bank, saying its increased UK presence was proof that the country is fast becoming the technology centre for Europe.
Silicon Valley Bank posted strong results for the year to 2011, with record loan and deposit balances.
The bank's UK launch coincides with the opening of the new Cambridge & Counties Bank, which targets small- to medium-sized enterprises.