HSBC has announced an extra £1bn of loans will be made available to small and medium-sized businesses looking to expand worldwide.
The development of the bank’s existing SME loan scheme, aimed at financing businesses with an annual turnover of up to £25m, comes after a successful pilot of HSBC International SME Fund.
Launched in February 2012, the fund has already lent £4bn to small and medium sized businesses that are trading, or aiming to trade on an international scale. The scheme is part of the bank’s wider 2012 initiate to loan at least £12bn to UK SMEs.
Trade-driven businesses are serving as the foundation of HSBC’s lending policy, with the bank’s Global Connections Report revealing that businesses which trade internationally will be the first to recover from the economic slump. According to HSBC, UK exports increased by 13% in 2011, while the bank’s export related business cultivated growth of 33% in the same period, with 91 per cent of this due to trade finance lending.
The bank now projects that the Britain will increase its global business activity by more than 60 per cent over the next 15 years.
HSBC has reiterated that SMEs make an extensive contribution to the overall value of exports and the bank is placed to provide significant levels of support to these companies.
Head of commercial banking UK and deputy head of commercial banking Europe, Jacques-Emmanuel Blanchet, stated that future universal trading will not only be vital for British companies who want to stay competitive, but also for the wider UK economy.
Blanchet added: “The success of the International SME Fund highlights that UK businesses recognise the need to seize opportunities to trade with new markets. In the future trading internationally will be critical, not only for the many British companies who want to remain competitive, but also for the wider UK economy. The International SME Fund highlights HSBC’s continued commitment to supporting growing businesses, and also forms part of the bank’s strategy to be the leading international trade and business bank.”
HSBC’s statement coincided with the a public pledge by business secretary Vince Cable to create a £1bn British Business Bank, with the possibility of being leveraged up to £10bn, that would lend exclusively to SMEs through current lenders.