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HSBC boosts its annual lending fund for small firms

19 September 2018

HSBC boosts its annual lending fund for small firmsThe bank is to lend £12 billion to UK small businesses in the coming year, up by £2 million since 2017.

The annual lending commitment from HSBC is the highest to date since its SME Fund was launched five years ago. The bank has also revealed that the 2017 fund was fully used by UK SMEs; it brings the total funding so far under the initiative to £46 billion since 2014.

For the first time, HSBC has ring-fenced £1 billion to help boost overseas trade. The bank's research has shown that 72% of British 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."

The small business minister Kelly Tolhurst has welcomed the increased funding commitment. She said: "With more than 1,000 starting up every day, the UK's 5.7 million small businesses are the backbone of our economy."

As before, the fund will be allocated to regions across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to ensure the support is offered nationwide; it will also include a minimum of £300 million for UK agricultural businesses.

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