March 12, 2023

Bank of London submits formal bid to buy Silicon Valley Bank UK

The clearing bank, founded in 2020, is likely to face some competition

Amy Lewin

2 min read

The Bank of London, the two-year-old clearing bank, has confirmed that it has submitted a formal proposal to buy the UK subsidiary of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which failed on Friday.

"A consortium of leading private equity firms, led by The Bank of London, confirms it has submitted formal proposals to His Majesty’s Treasury, The Prudential Regulation Authority at The Bank of England and the Board of Silicon Valley Bank UK," reads a statement shared on Sunday evening.

“Silicon Valley Bank cannot be allowed to fail given the vital community it serves. This is a unique opportunity to ensure the UK has a more diversified banking sector, whilst allowing continuity of service to SVB’s UK client base. It would be deeply disappointing for this moment to lead to further consolidation of power among big banks," said Anthony Watson, group CEO and founder of The Bank of London, in a statement.


The UK government is currently working on plans to support SVB UK customers with short-term operational and cashflow needs as a result of the insolvency proceedings begun by the Bank of England on Friday. An announcement is expected by Monday.

👉 Sifted will be running a webinar next week with experts giving advice to founders on the SVB situation next week. Register interest here.

Other buyers circle

The Bank of London is the only potential buyer to have confirmed its interest at the time of publication, but several other banks are reported to be looking at the deal.

Sky News has reported that UK challenger bank OakNorth is in talks to buy SVB UK.

The FT has reported that a Middle Eastern buyer has expressed interest to the government.

The Evening Standard, meanwhile, has reported the government is looking to line up Barclays as a buyer. Barclays has a history with UK tech; it controversially won the £12m contract to support startups previously awarded to Tech Nation, and has run entrepreneurship programmes for years.

Amy Lewin

Amy Lewin is Sifted’s editor and cohost of Startup Europe — The Sifted Podcast , and writes Up Round, a weekly newsletter on VC. Follow her on X and LinkedIn