Multinational bank HSBC is investing £500m in the UK tech sector through its 2022 £15bn lending fund for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).
Further allocations of the fund include £2bn for internationally trading businesses, £1.2bn in agriculture and £500m for franchise businesses.
“Small firms are the lifeblood of the economy, and they must be paid fast and fair, and if they are to have the confidence to invest and build the resilience, they’ll need to weather the storms ahead and they will need the support of funds like this more than ever,” said Liz Barclay, small business commissioner.
According to FSB, SMEs represent three-fifths of UK employment and around half of UK private sector turnover.
The SME fund is joined by the £250m Grow Lending Fund aimed at high-growth tech businesses to help them scale.
Recipients of the 2021 SME fund include Eco Charger, an electric quad bike startup from North Devon. Eco Charger used the funding to ramp up production and investment in its supply chain.
The £15bn fund joins the $1bn lending fund and support programme unveiled by HSBC last month for funding female entrepreneurs.
“This extra funding builds on the support available through government schemes like Help to Grow and Start Up Loans to help small businesses grow and reach their full potential,” said Paul Scully, small business minister.
HSBC’s annual SME fund has lent over £90bn since 2014.
“We want to make a significant contribution to economies across the country, driving employment, local wealth and growth by providing funding, when and where it’s needed most,” said Peter McIntyre, head of business banking, HSBC UK.
In April HSBC announced a three-year collaboration with IBM to explore the use of quantum computing in the banking industry.