A new fund worth £600 million aimed at supporting SMEs in Birmingham has been launched.
HSBC UK, which is also headquartered in the city, is part of the bank’s broader £15 billion lending fund aimed at supporting small businesses across the UK.
First started in 2014, this year’s SME Fund includes increased ring-fenced pots for businesses trading internationally, worth £2 billion, and £1.2 billion assigned to the agriculture sector.
A total of £500 million each has also been allocated for businesses in the tech sector and franchises.
The bank’s own research suggests that, despite the challenging economic environment, 62 per cent of UK businesses said they intended to increase investment over the next year, with a focus on areas such as employee well-being, customer experience, cash flow management and security.
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It added that 71 per cent of those surveyed expected to return to pre-pandemic profit levels by the end of 2022 and a fifth by the end of this year, plus 49 per cent of British companies were projecting sales growth.
Roger Pratt, HSBC UK’s regional business banking director for the central region, said: “We are committed to supporting businesses in Birmingham and we know they are adapting at pace and looking at what comes next.
“This fund is all about helping businesses to take new opportunities and grow and we want to reassure them that we’re here to support them achieve their goals.”
Peter McIntyre, head of small business banking at HSBC UK, added: “With the vaccine rollout, there is light at the end of the tunnel and businesses in Birmingham are starting to look ahead again.
“Now it is time to turn our minds to what comes next and how we help companies grow again, opening up a world of opportunity and contributing towards a sustainable future society.
“The £15 billion fund will help businesses across the Midlands to expand internationally and here at home, support key sectors and drive investment across regions.”