HSBC launches new £450m SME warchest

HSBC has today launched a £450 million lending fund to support small and ­medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Scotland in 2016 to meet 'growing demand'.

HSBC is aiming to support more SMEs. Picture: Getty Images

The bank said the fund represented a “significant increase” on the £400m it allocated to Scotland in 2015, and included a free banking offer of up to 18 months for business start-ups north of the Border and 
12 months for switchers.

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Susan Rowand, HSBC’s head of business banking in Scotland, said: “There is a strong desire from ambitious local SMEs to grow their businesses, and we are responding by ensuring we are providing the funds they need to realise their ambitions.”

The bank’s head of UK commercial banking, Ian Stuart, said the group wanted to back SMEs “focused either on the domestic market or looking to trade internationally”.

The bank employs 3,700 people in Scotland, including in its two call centres in Edinburgh and Hamilton.