HSBC UK has launched a £500 million lending fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the East Midlands, as part of its broader commitment to helping British businesses realise their ambitions for growth.
The East Midlands fund is part of a wider £12 billion SME Fund for businesses across the UK.
Now entering its fifth year, HSBC UK’s dedicated SME Fund 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.
Martin Hanson, HSBC Regional Director for Business Banking for the Midlands, said: “This latest fund highlights HSBC UK’s unwavering commitment to supporting the growth of SMEs right across the East Midlands, no matter whether they’ve just started out or are an already established business.
“With the East Midlands at the heart of the UK’s manufacturing and industrial success and continuing increase in business productivity in the past year, the region will be able to tap into our £500 million funding pot to keep riding this wave of growth.
“Each year, the fund helps and encourages businesses to grow locally, nationally and internationally, in turn helping them achieve their ambitious goals and create jobs for the West Midlands economy. This year is no exception and we hope to see many more local businesses taking advantage of the fund over the next year.”
Amanda Murphy, Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC UK, said: “Many SMEs in the UK are ambitious, entrepreneurial and ready to expand. After the success of last year, this increased SME Fund 2018 will help more businesses plug the gap between ambition and reality, supporting their growth. We are committed to help British businesses innovate, evolve and grow.”
The new SME Fund includes a ring-fenced £1 billion to help UK companies grow their business overseas. HSBC research revealed that over two thirds (72 per cent) of UK businesses expect their cross-border trade to increase this year.
Amanda Murphy continued: “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.”
Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “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.”