HSBC UK today launches a £12 billion lending fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK.
Now entering its fifth year, HSBC UK’s dedicated SME Fund 2018 is the largest to date – increasing £2 billion on last year after the 2017 fund was fully utilised by British businesses seeking to expand.
The SME Fund 2018 is double the first SME Fund of £6 billion – launched by HSBC in 2014 – and brings total funds committed to SMEs over the five years to £46 billion.
HSBC UK’s 2018 SME Fund also includes a ring-fenced £1 billion to help UK companies grow their business overseas as well as a broader package of support.
The fund will again include a ring-fenced minimum pot of £300 million to support the UK’s agriculture businesses. Ensuring the fund remains truly UK-wide in its support of ambitious companies, it will be split and allocated to specific regions across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking at HSBC UK, says that many SMEs in the UK are ambitious, entrepreneurial and ready to expand, ‘British companies are optimistic about their trade growth prospects but it’s important they can get the finance they need to achieve it.
‘With this in mind, we have set aside £1 billion of the fund to support international businesses in the UK. We cover more than 90 per cent of global trade and capital flows and are uniquely placed to help these businesses trade overseas.’
HSBC research revealed that over two-thirds (72 per cent) of UK businesses expect their cross-border trade to increase this year.
Small Business Minister, Kelly Tolhurst, says that with more than 1,000 starting up every day, the UK’s 5.7 million small businesses are the backbone of our economy, ‘Through our modern Industrial Strategy and industry-led initiatives such as this, the Government and industry are building an environment in which businesses all over the country can thrive.’