HSBC unveils £15 Billion SME Fund to empower UK businesses

HSBC has unveiled a groundbreaking initiative with a £15 billion financing fund to improve market access and foster the growth of SMEs.

One of the top banks in the world, HSBC, has unveiled a ground-breaking program to help UK small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) reach new heights. The bank wants to improve market access and support the expansion of current businesses with a whopping £15 billion lending capital. The SME Fund, a vital component of HSBC UK’s commitment to supporting British businesses, is set to turbocharge expansion efforts both domestically and abroad.

The significant funding opportunity opens doors for UK businesses seeking overseas ventures, with a shocking £2 billion allocated specifically for such opportunities. Moreover, industry-specific funds have been earmarked, including £1.2 billion for the agricultural sector, and £500 million each for tech and franchise enterprises.

As part of a broader initiative to support SME expansion across the UK and internationally, HSBC introduces the SME loan fund. A comprehensive breakdown of the lending allocation from the £15 billion fund reveals an impressive distribution strategy. SMEs in the North will receive £3.3 billion, while those in the Midlands will receive £2.7 billion. A sizeable £4 billion will be available for SMEs in the South, with £1 billion set aside for SMEs in Scotland, £750 million in Wales, and $250 million in Northern Ireland.

Peter McIntyre, Head of Business Banking at HSBC UK, is aware of the potential of the country’s dependable, creative, and quickly growing companies. He believes that with the bank’s support, these companies can seize opportunities and thrive. McIntyre emphasises that the support program aims to provide businesses with the necessary resources to navigate the challenges they face in the current climate. Notably, businesses can access the SME fund regardless of whether they are HSBC clients, fostering inclusivity and support for all UK SMEs.

Additionally, the agricultural sector will receive £1.2 billion from HSBC, and the tech and franchise sectors will each receive £500 million. Mclntyre noted that businesses can access the SME fund regardless of whether they are HSBC clients.

The significance of SMEs to communities and the economy is not lost on Business and Trade Minister Kevin Hollinrake. Hollinrake acknowledges their role in job creation, opportunity generation, and resilience. He commends HSBC for its commitment to supporting commerce through the SME lending fund and other assistance programs. The government, through the British Business Bank, also plays a vital role in helping firms secure financing to launch, scale, and grow.

HSBC’s recent acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank UK for a symbolic $1 demonstrates the bank’s dedication to bolstering its services. Now, with the introduction of the SME fund, HSBC continues to deliver on its promise. The bank plans to unveil the SVB redesign at London Tech Week later this month, underscoring its commitment to supporting tech innovation.

This latest SME fund initiative is not a one-off event but part of HSBC’s ongoing commitment to supporting businesses. The 2021 SME Fund, which allocated over £10 billion with a regional focus, successfully empowered businesses across the nation, stimulating local economies, generating job opportunities, and fostering growth. It also included ring-fenced funding for franchise businesses (£500 million) and the tech industry (£500 million), along with substantial allocations for enterprises engaged in international trade (£2 billion for overseas business opportunities and £1.2 billion for the agricultural sector).

The COVID-19 era has brought to light the challenges faced by small firms, including late payment and cash flow issues, as highlighted by Interim Small Business Commissioner Philip King. Recognising the vital role SMEs play in the economy, King believed that programs like the lending fund will ease access to loans and aid in the post-pandemic business recovery.

To address emerging needs, HSBC introduced, again in 2022, the Green SME Fund (£500 million), enabling businesses of all sizes to transition to and thrive in a low-carbon economy. Additionally, the new Growth Lending (£250 million) initiative supports high-growth, well-equipped, loss-making scale-ups in their early growth journey, providing much-needed backing for high-tech entrepreneurs.

The impact of HSBC’s support for UK SMEs is profound, as highlighted by Paul Scully, the Minister for Small Business. Scully notes that the new fund puts HSBC on track to lend over £100 billion to UK small businesses within a decade, a remarkable milestone that benefits communities nationwide. He emphasises that this additional cash complements the support offered by government programs like Start Up Loans and Help to Grow, facilitating expansion and the realisation of SMEs’ full potential.

Since starting its annual SME Fund in 2014, HSBC UK has lent more than £90 billion to businesses, assisting them in making the most of their cash both now and in the future while also providing our clients with a wealth of opportunities. The bank’s dedication to assisting UK companies at every step of their development and advancing them toward greater success and prosperity is embodied in the SME Fund.