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HSBC's acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank UK increases technology visibility for Hong Kong financial institution customers and start-ups

HSBC's acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank UK increases technology visibility for Hong Kong financial institution customers and start-ups


Just over a year after HSBC Holdings Plc bought the British unit of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) for $1 ($1.27), wealthy clients in Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia are eager to explore investment opportunities in tech start-ups, according to one executive.

HSBC, Europe and Hong Kong's largest lender, bought Britain's Silicon Valley Bank in March last year after its U.S. parent collapsed under a run on banks. Three months later, the newly acquired unit was rebranded HSBC Innovation Banking.

Although the acquisition took place in the UK, there was growing interest among HSBC's wealthy clients in potential investment opportunities with SVB's start-up clients. SVB had been the go-to bank for Silicon Valley startups since the 1980s until its collapse.

Maggie Ng, head of wealth and personal banking at HSBC Hong Kong, said: “After acquiring Silicon Valley Bank UK, many high-net-worth clients started showing interest in the bank and its start-up clients.” Ta.

Maggie Ng (left) and Kai Cheung, heads of wealth banking and personal banking for HSBC Hong Kong and South Asia, respectively, at HSBC's headquarters in Hong Kong. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

The acquisition will accelerate HSBC's digital innovation and also leverage the bank's global footprint, she said, adding that it now has direct access to SVB's platform to connect with start-up customers.

Silicon Valley is home to some of the world's biggest technology companies, including Apple, Google, and Meta. The tech hub is home to 63 unicorn startups valued at at least US$1 billion. It is one of the richest regions in the world, reportedly home to 84 billionaires. The presence of many innovative start-ups also attracts the establishment of major venture capital firms.

HSBC organized a three-day networking program in California last week as part of an effort to connect high-net-worth clients with startups, other Silicon Valley executives and investors, and 25 private bank clients in Hong Kong and Asia. The company was invited to visit its technology base in the United States.

A welcome dinner on May 14 will see HSBC customers mingle with tech executives and startups, followed by a full day of discussions with venture capitalists including Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Ventures, Lux Capital, and Sendana Capital. We had a meeting.

On the final day, clients visited the offices of startup and venture capital firms such as Playground Global and Stanford Medical Center, and concluded their visit with an optional wine tasting tour of Napa Valley.

HSBC CEO Noel Quinn said the acquisition of SVB UK sent a clear message that HSBC is a bank that wants to be deeply involved in innovation.

According to Pitchbook in January, fundraising by U.S. startups in 2023 fell to the lowest level since 2019. Venture capitalists invested $170.6 billion in about 15,000 deals in the U.S., down 30% compared to 2022, according to the research firm.

Meanwhile, a survey released Wednesday by HSBC Global Research found that eight in 10 global investors have a positive view of venture capital and private equity investments over the next 12 months.

The survey was conducted in April and interviewed 204 professional investors who collectively manage US$2.3 trillion in assets.

Frank Fang, head of commercial banking at HSBC Hong Kong and Macau, said in a statement accompanying the survey results that HSBC Innovation Banking provides a globally aligned proposition to venture-backed companies and their investors in the UK, US, Hong Kong and Israel.




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