HSBC UK has upped its financial support for Scottish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to £650 million, to help small firms grow and expand overseas.
The banking group today announced a £650m lending fund to support SMEs in Scotland, as part of a wider £12 billion fund for smaller businesses across the UK.
Now entering its fifth year, the bank’s dedicated SME Fund for 2018 is its largest to date, with an additional £2bn compared to last year. In Scotland, the fund has increased by £150m since 2017.
For the first time, the amount includes a ring-fenced £1bn to support overseas growth, after the group’s research revealed that 72 per cent of UK businesses expect their cross-border trade to increase this year.
Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking at HSBC UK, said: “After the success of last year, this increased SME Fund 2018 will help more businesses plug the gap between ambition and reality, supporting their growth.
“British companies are optimistic about their trade growth prospects but it’s important they can get the finance they need to achieve it.”
Mike Hemingway, HSBC UK’s regional director for the North, said: “This latest fund highlights HSBC UK’s unwavering commitment to supporting the growth of SMEs right across Scotland no matter whether they’ve just started out or are an already established business.
“Each year, the fund helps and encourages businesses to grow locally, nationally and internationally, in turn helping them achieve their ambitious goals and create jobs for the Scottish economy. This year is no exception and we hope to see many more local businesses taking advantage of the fund over the next year.”
The new lending fund is double the inaugural £6bn established in 2014, and brings the bank’s total funds committed to SMEs over the past five years to £46bn.