Two UK banks join the ranks

THE British commercial banking scene gained two new parties yesterday as the Silicon Valley Bank and Cambridge & Countries Bank joined the UK market.

Silicon Valley Bank – the first US bank to open a commercial banking branch in the UK in several years – claims to be the only global bank dedicated to the innovation sector.

Silicon Valley Bank boss Greg Becker said the opening of its London branch is “a significant step in the evolution of the tech sector in the UK”.

Cambridge & Counties, a joint venture between Cambridge University college Trinity Hall and Cambridge Local Government Pension Fund, also claims to have spotted a niche in the UK market and will target small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The new bank said it was an “opportune” time to launch, citing data that shows that £3bn worth of loan applications from SMEs were rejected by banks in the last half of 2011.