June 11 (Reuters) - SVB Financial Group's banking unit Silicon Valley Bank said it would open its first international branch in London, as the lender looks to tap into the technology startup sector in the United Kingdom.
The international expansion, which comes at a time when other lenders are closing branches and facing contracting margins, highlights the bank's strategy of focusing on the needs of entrepreneurs and the venture capital industry.
The bank, which has been offering financing solutions in the UK since 2004 through an affiliate, already counts chipmaker Icera, music service Shazam and venture capital firms Index Ventures and Balderton Capital among its clients in the UK.
The new branch will offer current and deposit accounts, loans, cash management services, trade finance and foreign exchange to startups in the country, Silicon Valley Bank said in a statement.
Silicon Valley Bank also has offices in Israel, India and is expected to open a joint venture bank in China with Shanghai Pundong Development Bank Co.
Shares of the bank closed at $56.75 on Friday on the Nasdaq.