Four months ago, the name Silicon Valley Bank may have brought to mind sleepless nights and frantic calls for much of the tech industry.
But this week bosses at the now-HSBC–owned tech and start-up lender are set to headline London Tech Week in the bank’s first big public relations push since it was rescued from collapse in March.
The lender, reportedly set to be renamed HSBC Innovation Banking, will post speakers across the three day flagship event at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster, with boss Erin Platts set to address delegates alongside HSBC UK chief Ian Stuart on the topic of ‘fuelling UK entrepreneurship’.
Among a number of other sessions, the bank’s venture, early stage investment and transformation bosses will opine on ‘why the UK is a leading opportunity hub’ and targeting the right investors.
The speech alongside Stuart will mark Platts first major public engagement since the implosion of the start-up focused lender, and will likely begin a public rehabilitation campaign after an unenviable year at the helm.
Platts’ handling of the crisis angered some after she said the UK arm was a ring-fenced entity in a bid to settle fears rippling across the Atlantic, but was then forced to withdraw her comments hours later after the bank collapsed.
HSBC then swooped in to buy the UK unit for one pound as part of an eleventh hour rescue deal to save the bank from bankruptcy.
HSBC bosses have also been on a major charm offensive in a bid to keep customers with the bank.
One tech customer of the lender, which had all its cash tied up in HSBC, told City A.M. they had stayed with the bank in part because they had met with HSBC bosses in the wake of the collapse.
“We’ve kept all our money with SVB UK largely because the service and relationship with SVB has continued to be excellent,” Ash Ramrachia, the founder and chief of Manchester-based tech talent firm Academy, said.
“We have the added security of HSBC firepower. We now also benefit from the international banking capability of HSBC which materially improves the product offer,” Ramrachia added.
Ramrachia said they had also met personally with HSBC’s group chair, group CEO and UK CEO who “underscored their commitment to tech as a key industry”.
Academy was among scores of firms fearing for their survival in March when they were unable to access their cash.
HSBC has also publicly committed to continue lending to start-ups and tech firms, with Stuart telling a conference last week that it will continue to such firms from “seed funding to IPO”.
SVB UK did not respond to a request for comment.