Bank looking to lend £1bn to SMEs in the North West

Amanda Murphy

A major bank has launched a £1.05bn lending fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises in the North West.

The war chest is part of a wider £12bn SME Fund for businesses across the UK launched today.

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 businesses looking 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.

Mike Hemingway, HSBC UK’s regional director for the North, said: “This latest fund highlights HSBC UK’s unwavering commitment to supporting the growth of SMEs right across the North 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 North West economy.

“This year is no exception and with an extra £150 million added to the fund we hope to see many more local businesses taking advantage of it 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 £1bn 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 added: “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 £1bn 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.”

Kelly Tolhurst, small business minister, added: “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.”

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