Coolest Brands 2016: Silicon Valley Bank

Fintech’s ‘Community’ Bank

  • Philip Ryan
  • February 16, 2016
  • 2

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / gunnar3000Silicon Valley is coming to banking? Nonsense. That happened long ago — just ask Silicon Valley Bank, a financial institution built to serve the world’s center of innovation. Few bankers can claim better knowledge of what the tech giants are up to. Startups, you say? SVB claims it banks a staggering two-thirds of the region’s early-stage companies. It runs a fintech accelerator with MasterCard. At a time when most banks are struggling to gain access to innovation, SVB’s setup is certainly enviable.

And that name. “At one point, in the early 1990s, a name change was considered, to something like Technology Bank of America,” former CEO Ken Wilcox said. “Boy, am I glad we didn’t do that. We would have forfeited the cachet of the name Silicon Valley, which has come to symbolize the idea of innovation throughout the world.” No doubt — but come to think of it Tech Bank of America sounds pretty cool, too.

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Philip Ryan is Associate Editor of Bank Innovation. He worked as a web developer for the Fund for the City of New York for six years, and was an HTML developer at Ocean-7 Development back in the go-go ’90s. He has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism. He can be reached at

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Fintech’s ‘Community’ Bank

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