Last week, HSBC UK launched a new £12 billion UK-wide fund for growth-focused SMEs.
This was much reported in the news with Amanda Murphy, Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC UK, quoted saying: “Many SMEs in the UK are ambitious, entrepreneurial and ready to expand. 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. We are committed to help British businesses innovate, evolve and grow.”
As indicated, the concept of the SME fund is not new and is now entering its fifth year – the fund is £2 billion bigger than 2017’s.
So what do we know about the SME Fund 2018? Well we have read that:
- It includes £1 billion for UK businesses wanting to expand overseas and a £300 million pot for agricultural firms
- It is allocated in 43 local tranches nationwide, including £1bn lending fund to support SMEs across the South West
- It was praised by small business minister Kelly Tolhurst who apparently commented: “With more than 1,000 starting up every day, the UK’s 5.7 million small businesses are the backbone of our economy. “Through our modern industrial strategy and industry-led initiatives such as this, the government and industry are building an environment in which businesses all over the country can thrive”
- The Small Business Loans have fixed interest rates for lending between £1,000 and £25,000.* (*Subject to credit status)
- It also includes a personal guarantee fee from £10 for any lending above £10,000 and a £100 arrangement fee of loans up to £25,000
- You can find out in just two minutes if you’re likely to get the money your business is seeking with their indicative Business Lending Eligibility Checker
Other funding options are available…
As part of team here at PKF Francis Clark that engage with a number of finance providers (and do not wish to upset any of them!) I feel I have to say HSBC are not the only source of funding for growth focused SMEs in the South West.
There are a number of different sources of funding for SMEs in the South West including other high street banks; challenger banks; asset finance providers and ‘alternative’ market including institutional and peer to peer – and that is for debt. There are also sources for equity; rewards and grants active in the region (although the grants are not as prevalent as they have been – see other blog posts).
But can I finish with giving full credit to HSBC for making it a news item that a bank has funds to lend to growth focused SMEs…