HSBC UK has launched a £1bn lending fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the South West, as part of its broader commitment to helping British businesses realise their ambitions for growth.
The South West fund is part of a wider £12bn SME fund for businesses across the UK.
Now entering its fifth year, HSBC UK’s dedicated SME Fund is the largest to date – increasing £2bn 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 £6bn – launched by HSBC in 2014 – and brings total funds committed to SMEs over the five years to £46bn.
Across the South West region the fund has increased by £100m since 2017.
Nigel B. Davis, HSBC’s regional director for the Western & Wales region, said: “This latest fund highlights HSBC UK’s unwavering commitment to supporting the growth of SMEs right across the South West, no matter whether they’ve just started out or are an already established business.
“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 South West economy. This year is no exception and we hope to see many more local businesses taking advantage of the fund over the next year.”
An establishment which has been aided by the SME funding is Bristol restaurant Pigsty which opened its second restaurant in less than two years after securing a six-figure finance package from HSBC.
Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking at HSBC UK, added: “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 £1bn to help UK companies grow their business overseas. HSBC research revealed that over two thirds (72%) of UK businesses expect their cross-border trade to increase this year.
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.”