HSBC launches £650m fund to help SMEs in Scotland flourish
HSBC UK has today launched a £650 million fund for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland.
The pot is part of a broader £15 billion lending fund to support SMEs across the UK, as part of the lender’s commitment to help British businesses innovate and grow as the country looks to rebound from the Covid-19 health crisis
The fund, which includes more than £10bn of specific regionally focused allocations, will seek to ensure that companies throughout the country can benefit, supporting regional economies, employment opportunities and driving growth.
The bank has also found that despite the challenging economic environment, 62 per cent of UK firms intend to increase investment in their business in the next year, with key focuses comprising employee wellbeing, customer experience, cash flow/capital management and security.
Almost three quarters expect to have returned to pre-pandemic levels of profitability by the end of 2022 and a fifth by the end of this year.
Doug Baikie, HSBC UK’s regional business banking director for Scotland said: “We are committed to supporting businesses in Scotland and we know that companies are adapting at pace and looking at what comes next.”
He also highlighted the bank’s recent support of Cumbernauld-based workwear firm Suresafe with a six-figure sum, to help pivot its business model amid the coronavirus crisis and supply personal protective equipment to frontline workers, with the backing of the SME fund.
“This fund is all about helping businesses to take new opportunities and grow and we want to reassure them that we’re here to [help] them achieve their goals,” Mr Baikie added.
Peter McIntyre, head of small business banking at HSBC UK, said: “With the vaccine rollout there is light at the end of the tunnel and businesses in Scotland are starting to look ahead again. We’ve helped British business get through the last year with more than £14bn of Covid-19 lending support.
“We know our customers are innovating and adapting at pace and British businesses tell us that through these uncertain times they need their bank to be flexible, provide funding when they need it most and to support future growth opportunities – that is exactly what this year’s fund intends to achieve.”
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