11/06/2012 05:14 BST | Updated 10/08/2012 06:12 BST

Silicon Valley Bank Opens First UK Branch, Boosting Tech Start-Up Ecosystem

An investment bank dedicated to funding technology start-ups has opened its first UK branch.

The Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), with assets of more than £13bn, is offering loans and banking services to tech companies, as well as life science and venture capital businesses.

The move is the first attempt by a US-based bank to open a commercial branch in the UK in several years, SVB said.

It will offer a full range of services for tech companies, including current accounts, loans and foreign exchange.

SVB has previously banked for Pinterest, Mozilla and Evernote, as well as investors including Sequoia Capital.

It will offer loans of up to £30m for UK companies wanting to grow their business, based at its office on 41 Lothbury, in the City of London.

The move was hailed by Chancellor George Osbourne, who said it would help make the UK "the technology centre of Europe".

Greg Becker, CEO of SVB,today 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."

Chancellor George Osborne said: "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."