£10bn SME support fund launched by HSBC

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A considerable investment scheme for UK SMEs has been launched by HSBC (image credit: iStock)

Banking and financial organisation HSBC has announced the launch of a new £10 billion fund, which the lender will use to better support the nation's small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the coming year.

Set to be allocated on a regional basis across the country, businesses will have the chance to apply for mature lending facilities as part of the initiative that will be targeted at enabling firms to expand more easily.

In addition, customers will be given free banking facilities with the lender of up to 18 months for start-ups and 12 months for established firms.

The structure of the fund will ensure equal access to investment as part of the programme, no matter where in the country a company is based, be it England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

It forms part of the lender's ongoing commitment to make banking cheaper and more straightforward for the nation's businesses.

Ian Stuart, head of UK commercial banking at HSBC, said: "SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy and at HSBC we are committed to providing the finance and support they need to realise their business goals.

"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. 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."

Specific details of HSBC's 2016 SME Fund include:

  • Reduction in the lender's Personal Guarantee Fee from £80 to £10 for any lending facility above £10,000
  • Launch of the new online tool - the Business Lending Eligibility Checker
  • Free text alerts when customers make use of any informal overdrafts

This latest tranche of funding follows the success of the lender's 2015 scheme, which offered £8 billion in support for UK firms. Overall, the lender's own data highlighted an 89 per cent approval rate for its SME loans scheme in the last year.

Responding to the launch of the new HSBC fund, small business minister Anna Soubry commented: "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."