Belfast Telegraph

HSBC says £100m funding for NI firms up for grabs

By Staff Reporter

Banking giant HSBC has launched a £100m fund to support small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Northern Ireland.

The fund is part of a wider £10bn fund for SMEs across the UK which has also been launched today.

HSBC said it had approved 91% of small business lending applications in the last year.

Nial Douglas, the bank's area director for Northern Ireland, said: "The launch of this fund reaffirms our commitment to support the growth of Northern Irish SMEs of all sizes, from start-ups to established businesses.

"We have so many ambitious businesses in our region who are keen to grow locally, nationally and internationally. This fund is all about helping those businesses make investments that will enable them to achieve their goals while stimulating our local economy and creating jobs."

And the bank said it would be focusing on encouraging small businesses to look into exports.

Last year, Hannon Transport in Aghalee, Co Armagh secured funding from HSBC.

The family-run company used a £5m finance package to start a new steel business, buy a warehouse in Dublin, and embark on replacement of its fleet.

Sister company Hannon Coach is also aiming to start a Belfast to Londonderry express bus service.

Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking at HSBC UK, added: "SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, and for many there is an opportunity and appetite to grow their business through exporting. HSBC can provide access to new trading networks for businesses of all sizes, help them to understand how they can consider exporting with confidence, and has the expertise to help businesses navigate change by being responsive, flexible and nimble."

The bank said its network around the world covered more than 90% of global trade and capital flows.

Belfast Telegraph