Silicon Valley Bank

Silicon Valley Bank
Industry Financial Services
Headquarters Santa Clara, California, United States
Key people
Greg Becker - President and CEO
Services Banking
Number of employees
2,000+ (2016)
Parent SVB Financial Group

Silicon Valley Bank (NASDAQ: SIVB) is a U.S.-based high-tech commercial bank with offices in a number of other countries. The bank has helped fund more than 30,000 start-ups.[1] SVB Financial is the holding company for the bank.


The company focuses on lending to technology companies, providing multiple services to venture capital and private equity firms that invest in technology and biotechnology, and also on private banking services for high-net-worth individuals, in its home market in Silicon Valley.[2] In addition to taking deposits and making loans, the bank operates venture capital and private equity divisions that sometimes invest in the firm's commercial banking clients.[3]

By June 2009, the bank was third in market share in the San Jose, California area, with deposits in the region of $7.1 billion, an 8.11% share of the market. A year earlier it was ranked No. 7, with $4.5 billion in deposit, a 5.67% share.[4]

As of October 2011, the bank had more than 1,400 employees.[1] As September 2012, it had offices in the United Kingdom, Israel, China and India, plus more than 20 offices in the United States, and $21.6 billion in total assets.[2]


Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was founded in 1982; its first office opened in 1983. The bank’s main strategy was collecting deposits from businesses financed through venture capital. It then expanded into banking and financing venture capitalists themselves, and added services aimed at allowing the bank to keep clients as they matured from their startup phase.[5]

In 1993, the bank's founding CEO, Roger V. Smith, was replaced by John C. Dean; Smith became Vice Chairman of the bank.[6] Smith left in 1994 to launch the Smith Venture Group.[7]

In 2002, the bank began expanding its private banking business, which up to that point had been done primarily as a favor to wealthy venture capitalists and entrepreneurs,[8] through an office opened in downtown San Jose in 1988.[9]

In 2004, the bank opened international subsidiaries in Bangalore, India, and London; in 2005 it opened offices in Beijing and Israel.[10] In 2006, the bank began operations in the UK and opened its first branch there in 2012.[3]

In December 2008, SVB Financial said it would get $235 million from the U.S. Treasury through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”).[11] In December 2009, the bank repaid the loan, and repurchase the outstanding stock warrants held by the government, funding this through a stock sale of $300 million in November.[12]

In March 2011, the bank was named "Bank Of The Year" by the Ex-Im Bank.[13] In April, Ken Wilcox, who had been CEO since 2000, left that position, while remaining Chairman of the Board; he was replaced by Greg Becker.[14]

In November 2012, the bank announced a 50:50 joint venture with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPDB) which will provide capital to start-up technology entrepreneurs. It plans to begin with lending to tech businesses in the Shanghai region, and then expand to other Chinese cities. [15]

In July 2015, Silicon Valley Bank’s joint venture bank in China, SPD Silicon Valley Bank, was granted approval by the China Bank Regulatory Commission (CBRC) to operate in renminbi (RMB), the official currency of the People’s Republic of China. This license allows SPD Silicon Valley Bank, a 50/50 joint venture between Silicon Valley Bank and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, to provide banking products and services to its clients in local Chinese currency. [16]


  1. 1 2 John Boudreau (October 16, 2011). "Silicon Valley Bank works to import startup culture to China". San Jose Mercury News.
  2. 1 2 Philip van Doorn (November 13, 2012). "Bank of the Tech Stars: a Great Stock to Own". The Street. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  3. 1 2 Richard McGill Murphy (October 22, 2012). "Silicon Valley Bank: The bank for startups". Retrieved 2012-11-14.
  4. "Silicon Valley Bank jumps to No. 3 in market". San Jose Business Journal. October 16, 2009.
  5. Ben Rooney (November 14, 2012). "Microsoft's Karia Jumps Ship to Silicon Valley Bank". Wall Street Journal.
  6. "Silicon Valley Bank Picks CEO to Succeed Smith". San Jose Mercury News. April 13, 1993.
  7. "Banking on Entrepreneurship, Smith Returns to the Beginning". San Jose Mercury News. March 5, 1994.
  8. Sarah Lacy (August 17, 2003). "Silicon Valley Bank targeting San Jose for private banking". Silicon Valley Business Journal.
  9. "Getting Personal: Silicon Valley Bank Branches Out Downtown". San Jose Mercury News. December 17, 1988.
  10. Sarah Lacy (September 12, 2004). "Silicon Valley Bank extends reach to Bangalore, London". Silicon Valley Business Journal.
  11. "SVB Financial Becomes Second Local Bank To Partake In TARP Program". The Mercury News. December 3, 2008.
  12. Mark Calvey (December 18, 2009). "Silicon Valley Bank's parent to repay all its $235M in TARP money". San Francisco Business Times.
  13. "Silicon Valley Bank Wins "Bank Of The Year" Award From Ex-Im Bank". PR Newswire. March 29, 2011.
  14. Mark Calvey (January 20, 2011). "CEO of Silicon Valley Bank's parent stepping down". San Francisco Business Times.
  15. Phil Muncaster (August 20, 2012). "Silicon Valley comes to China to spur tech innovation". The Register. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
  16. "Silicon Valley Bank's Joint Venture in China Receives License to Transact in Local Currency". PRNewswire. August 6, 2015. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
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