Earlier this year Business Minister Matthew Hancock stated that small and medium enterprises are leading our economic recovery and claimed that there has never been a better time to embark on your venture. He also said that the government’s aim was “to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business” and it just might be yet. With increased funding opportunities and financial support, 2015 could well be the golden age for UK SMEs.
This month HSBC announced that it has set up a brand new lending provision that aims to support and nurture both start-up and existing SMEs across the UK. The loan fund is worth a whopping £8billion and has been established to help financially sustain SMEs nationwide and to also help new businesses get off the ground. Loans will be available to HSBC clients as well as customers who aren’t already registered with the bank.
The fund will be allocated across 43 areas including major cities such as London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool. London will be receiving a sizeable sum from the money pot and will be benefitting from £2.1bn while Manchester and Birmingham are amongst those set to receive £400m. Liverpool and Cheshire will reportedly have access to the princely amount of £150m.
According to HSBC UK Head of Commercial Banking Ian Stuart, the package has been designed with the nation’s small and medium sized businesses in mind to demonstrate the bank’s commitment to the growing SME market. As Hancock pointed out earlier this year, despite their size, smaller firms are having a huge effect on economic recovery and so need to be boosted to continue this positive impact.
“We’re hugely proud of our unique international network, but too often we’ve heard smaller, domestic businesses ask whether we are as committed to them as we are to big global firms.”
In addition to the multi-billion pound fund, HSBC has announced that it will be waiving security fees on all business loans worth £1,000-£30,000 until 31st July 2015, as well as hosting over 300 tailored workshops. The bank will also be offering 18 month fee-free banking to start-ups and 12 month fee-free banking to any existing SME choosing to switch to them, joining their one million-strong portfolio of small business clients.
Stuart also said:
“I want to show UK businesses that we are right behind them, whatever the size of their ambitions. We currently approve more than 85% of lending applications […] but we want to do more. Our £8billion is an aspiration, not a limit, and waiving fees from our business loans could save the average firm hundreds of pounds.”
If you are a small business owner who has benefitted from bank funding, we always enjoying hearing about your experiences so leave us a comment below. On the other hand, if you own your own SME and have had trouble securing bank loans and want some guidance when it comes to alternative funding, click here.