This year’s fund also includes increased ring-fenced pots for businesses trading internationally (£2 billion), the agriculture sector (increased to £1.2 billion) and new ones for tech (£500m) and franchise businesses (£500m). Some 62 percent of UK businesses say they intend to increase investment in their firms in the next year, according to research from HSBC, with the focus on four key areas: employee well-being, customer experience, cash flow/capital management and security.
Almost three quarters of UK businesses expect to have returned to pre-pandemic levels of profitability by the end of 2022 and a fifth by the end of this year. Nearly half of British companies are projecting sales growth.
Since launching the SME Fund in 2014, HSBC has lent more than £75 billion to UK SMEs and over £14bn during the pandemic.
Small Business Banking head Peter McIntyre said: “Now it’s time to turn our minds to what comes next. The £15 billion fund will help businesses to expand internationally and here in the UK, support key sectors and drive investment across regions.”
HSBC’s Tomorrow Ready online resource hub with resources and insights about cashflow management, webinars and events is available to help businesses adapt.