HSBC launches £1.25 billion fund to supports SMEs in the North West

The ShinDigger Brewery team

HSBC UK has launched a £15bn lending fund for small and medium-sized businesses with £1.25 billion ring-fenced to support local economies, employment opportunities and drive growth across the North West.

Whilst concerns about the broader market remain, HSBC’s customers are thinking about growth via investment, acquisitions and capital expenditure. Businesses have told HSBC that they are ready to invest for growth and are confident about the prospects for their own businesses. They point to the biggest areas of opportunity as sustainability (12%) and digitisation (11%).

This year’s fund also includes ring-fenced funding for businesses trading internationally (£2 billion), in the agriculture sector (£1.2 billion) the tech sector (£500m) and franchise businesses (£500m).

It is also aligned with the Green SME Fund (£500m) for businesses of all sizes to transition and thrive in a low carbon economy and the new Growth Lending Fund (£250m) for high growth tech businesses to support well-equitised, high growth, loss-making scale-ups early in their growth journey.

Since launching the SME Fund in 2014, HSBC has lent more than £90 billion helping businesses to make the most of their money.

In 2021, the HSBC UK SME Fund enabled a Manchester-based brewery to extend its premises and diversify its sales channels with the support of a six-figure funding package. ShinDigger Brewery expanded its cold store premises at its central Manchester site with support from HSBC UK. The 5,000 sq ft addition helped the popular brewery meet increased levels of consumer demand from across the UK.

Small Business Minister, Paul Scully said: “This new fund puts HSBC on course to have lent more than £100 billion to UK small businesses within a decade, which is a great milestone for HSBC and even better for the communities across the country being helped to thrive.

“This extra funding builds on the support available through government schemes like Help to Grow and Start-Up Loans to help small businesses grow and reach their full potential.”

Peter McIntyre, Head of Business Banking at HSBC UK, said: “SMEs are vital to the UK economy, and our customers have told us they are ready to invest for growth. The £15 billion fund will help businesses to expand internationally, as well as here in the UK, supporting key sectors and driving investment across the regions.

“We want to make a significant contribution to economies across the country, driving employment, local wealth and growth by providing funding, when and where it’s needed most. We know our customers are innovating and adapting at pace and British businesses need their bank to be flexible, supporting future growth opportunities.”