HSBC UK CEO Ian Stuart calls SVB acquisition ‘a galvaniser’

Ellie Duncan
31 Oct 2023

Ian Stuart, chief executive officer of HSBC UK Bank, has called the bank’s acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) UK earlier this year as a “galvaniser of the organisation”, with the integration now “99% complete”.

Speaking at the UK Finance Digital Innovation Summit today (31 October), Stuart told delegates that the “acquisition has given us a boost in early innovation ideas”.

HSBC bought SVB UK for £1 in March, following the collapse of SVB in the US.

In June, HSBC rebranded SVB UK as a standalone entity, HSBC Innovation Banking.

When asked how the bank has married the risk appetite of HSBC Innovation Banking with that of HSBC, Stuart acknowledged that the “different risk policy” is “why we’ve kept it separate”, so that they can “ringfence it” and “protect what we’ve got”.

However, he added, SVB UK had a “good quality book” at the time of the deal.

Although Innovation Banking sits as a separate entity, Stuart explained that HSBC can “overlay” its expertise in capital markets and private bank on top.

Back in June, HSBC announced HSBC Innovation Banking’s newly-formed innovation teams in the US, Hong Kong and Israel, with a 40-strong team assembled across the Bay Area, Boston and New York City.

In Israel, more than 20 bankers were being recruited in Tel Aviv, while in Hong Kong, around a dozen bankers were being onboarded to serve Hong Kong and Asia Pacific.

Speaking at the Summit, Stuart said that HSBC Innovation Banking can now “link up” its clients internationally, with the US, Middle East and Asia being the “biggest corridors”.

He also predicted that the current investment cycle will “bottom out in the second half of 2024” and investment in fintech will pick up once more, pointing to the $50 billion of “dry powder in Europe waiting to be invested”.

Despite this, the UK remains the number one destination for venture capital investment in Europe, according to Stuart.