HSBC has launched a £450 million lending fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland, as part of a broader commitment to make banking cheaper and simpler for customers.
The £450 million fund is the largest package of support to be announced by HSBC for SMEs in Scotland. It has been introduced to meet growing SME demand across the country and is a significant increase from the £400 million fund allocated to Scotland in 2015.
Susan Rowand, HSBC’s Head of Business Banking in Scotland, said: “We want to be the bank of choice for Scottish SMEs, reinforced through our desire to lend more to local businesses, by committing the funds to do so, and by making banking easier and cheaper to help our customers grow. There is a strong desire from ambitious local SMEs to grow their businesses, and we are responding by ensuring HSBC is providing the funds they need to realise these ambitions.”
HSBC’s Head of UK Commercial Banking, Ian Stuart, said: “Right across the UK there is a wide range of innovative new and established SMEs, proving that location is no barrier to a great business idea. SMEs are the driving force of the UK economy and we are here to support them, whether they are a start-up or established business, focused either on the domestic market or looking to trade internationally. This fund underpins our support by putting SMEs in a stronger position to be making investments that will stimulate local economies and create more jobs.”
Small Business Minister, Anna Soubry has encouraged small businesses to capitalise on the services being offered by lenders to support their growth.
“We have a record number of small businesses driving our growing economy and while the picture is improving, access to finance remains an issue for many of them. It’s absolutely right that banks such as HSBC continue to develop their support for smaller businesses. I also want to see more of these businesses taking advantage of what’s on offer, both from banks and alternative lenders, to help them grow, invest and create jobs for people.”
HSBC has also recently launched the Entrepreneurs Exchange in partnership with 40 of the UK’s most successful business founders and the Government. The series of events, happening across the UK on May 18 2016, will give entrepreneurs who want to grow their business a chance to be inspired, gain practical advice and build vital networks with other entrepreneurs.
In the Edinburgh, Peter Williams, co-founder of retailer Jack Wills, and Amy Livingstone and Julie Wilson, founders of children’s accessories business Cheeky Chompers, will share their insights at Merchants Hall. In Glasgow, John Vincent, co-founder of Leon restaurants, and Mark Simmers, chief executive of innovative new renewables company Celtic Renewables, will address the audience at the IET Glasgow, Teacher Building. Visit www.entrepreneurs-exchange.co.uk for more information.