HSBC has launched a £1 billion lending fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the West Midlands, as part of a broader commitment to helping British businesses realise their ambitions for growth.
The fund is part of a wider £10bn fund for SMEs across the UK which has also been launched today.
HSBC continues to be open to lending, having approved 91% of small business lending applications in the last year.
Martin Hanson, HSBC’s Regional Director for the Midlands, said: “The launch of this fund reaffirms our commitment to support the growth of West Midlands based SMEs of all sizes, from start-ups to established businesses.
“We have so many ambitious businesses in our region who are keen to grow locally, nationally and internationally. This fund is all about helping those businesses make investments that will enable them to achieve their goals while stimulating our local economy and creating jobs.”
A major focus of this year’s fund is to encourage small businesses to feel confident about exploring opportunities for export. A 2016 FSB Report noted that one-in-five (21%) small businesses currently export, but there is potential to double this figure with the right support*.
Amanda Murphy, Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC UK, added: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, and for many there is an opportunity and appetite to grow their business through exporting.
“HSBC can provide access to new trading networks for businesses of all sizes, help them to understand how they can consider exporting with confidence, and has the expertise to help businesses navigate change by being responsive, flexible and nimble.”
Halesowen-based manufacturer, photobooths.co.uk was one of the West Midlands firms to benefit from last year’s SME Fund. Photobooths.co.uk, the leading manufacturer and supplier of portable photobooth systems, secured a £600,000 finance package from HSBC to assist in the purchase of a new commercial premises to allow the company to significantly increase its business capacity.
With a geographic network covering more than 90% of global trade and capital flows, HSBC is uniquely placed to help businesses to understand the available markets and overcome the obstacles to growth.