HSBC launches £14bn lending fund for SMEs

HSBC has launched a £14 billion lending fund to support small and medium-sized businesses across the UK.

The fund, originally launched in 2014, has already seen HSBC commit more than £60 billion to UK SMEs and bosses hope this latest tranche can be used to help businesses grow after Brexit.

HSBC UK’s 2019 Fund, which is its largest to date, includes increased ring-fenced pots for international businesses and for the agriculture sector.

The allocation for international business has been doubled to £2 billion to help companies grow overseas, while the agriculture pot has increased to £1 billion from £300 million last year.

Regional allocations across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will ensure that companies throughout the country can benefit from the fund.

Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking at HSBC UK, said: “This £14 billion fund will help UK companies seize new opportunities for growth at home and overseas.

“We’ve always supported ambitious UK businesses, and we see it as our responsibility to be there for our customers whether conditions are benign or challenging.

“This year’s record fund is therefore part of a broader range of initiatives that we have in place to support British business as they navigate Brexit in a fast-changing world.”

The launch comes as HSBC revealed new data showing nearly 72% of businesses have taken steps to prepare for Brexit and almost a fifth of internationally trading businesses have looked at opportunities to trade outside the EU after Brexit.

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