UK Arm of Silicon Valley Bank Now HSBC Innovation Banking

HSBC is reportedly set to rename the U.K. arm of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).

The European banking giant will next month announce the rechristening, dubbing the bank HSBC Innovation Banking, Great Britain’s Sky News reported Monday (May 29). 

The report quotes a “tech veteran” who said the name change could spark worries among entrepreneurs that by making SVB UK a part of the HSBC brand, the bank would give up the level of independence that had helped SVB stand out in the small business banking market.

PYMNTS has contacted HSBC for comment but has not yet received a reply.

HSBC purchased SVB UK for a single pound in March following the collapse of SVB’s parent company, which set off a worldwide banking crisis.

“This acquisition makes excellent strategic sense for our business in the U.K.,” Noel Quinn, HSBC Group CEO, said in a news release. “It strengthens our commercial banking franchise and enhances our ability to serve innovative and fast-growing firms, including in the technology and life-science sectors, in the U.K. and internationally.”

According to a Bloomberg News report at the time, Quinn and HSBC UK Head Ian Stuart let investors know they had no plans to significantly change how SVB UK was run.

“We were hugely reassured,” Suzanne Ashman, general partner at venture investment firm LocalGlobe, told Bloomberg. “They don’t want to lose the DNA of what they bought.”

James Hickson, founder and CEO at European revenue-based lender Bloom, praised the purchase when speaking with PYMNTS later that week.

“HSBC is a good safe haven for depositors,” he said. “It was the right decision.”

However, Hickson said it also presented a conundrum: How can a legacy bank like HSBC, which wasn’t necessarily founded with entrepreneurs in mind, keep up “the energy” that a tech-focused challenger bank like SVB brought to the sector?

“A challenge they’ve got is to ensure that the culture does not get destroyed in the process and that all the factors that made SVB successful, including its ties to the VC [venture capital] community, are not lost,” he told PYMNTS.

Earlier this month, Quinn said his bank’s purchase of SVB UK will help set the stage for a global tech operation.

“I want to take that capability globally,” the CEO told Bloomberg Television. “I’m also setting up teams in other parts of the world that are the equivalents of SVB in the U.K. So we bought a business in the U.K., but I want to create that capability globally.”