HSBC launches £400m SME support package


HSBCHSBC – which is moving its retail division to Birmingham – has launched its most ambitious package of support for the city’s small and medium-sized companies (SMEs).

The bank has unveiled a £400 million SME fund in the region, one of more than 40 funds to support smaller firms across the country.

The newly announced fund is HSBC’s largest yet, double last year’s. The funds are immediately available to SMEs in Birmingham.

And in a move to make it easier and cheaper to borrow, arrangement and HSBC security fees on qualifying business loans of between £1,000 and £300,000 will be waived or refunded through to the end of July, which the bank says could save the average small business hundreds of pounds on borrowing costs.

Stephen Peart, area director of business banking in Birmingham, said: “Today we are announcing our largest ever package of support for SMEs in Birmingham including a £400 million fund for lending and a promotion designed to make it cheaper and simpler to access funding. SMEs in Birmingham are ambitious and we are open for business and ready to help them invest to grow.

“Too often, I hear customers say they weren’t aware just how closely HSBC works with SMEs and start-ups in Birmingham. We want to change that perception and reaffirm our commitment to businesses of all sizes.”

Ian Stuart, head of HSBC’s UK commercial bank, said: “We’re hugely proud of our unique international network, but it’s vital that businesses across the country, from start-ups and sole traders upwards, know that HSBC is there to support them.

“We currently approve more than 85 per cent of loans, and our net lending to business is up in 2015 – but we want to do even more. This fund is an aspiration, not a limit, on our ambitions, and removing fees from our business loans could save hundreds of pounds for the average firm.”


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