HSBC has unveiled a £15 billion lending fund for UK SMEs.

The bank, which acquired struggling Silicon Valley Bank UK in March for just £1, said the HSBC SME fund will look to lend up to £3 billion to small companies in London, with £3.3bn to firms in the North and £2.7bn earmarked for the Midlands.

SMEs in the South have been allocated £4bn, with £1bn for Scotland, £750m for Wales and £250m for Northern Ireland.

However just £500m of the total £15bn funding is dedicated specifically to the tech sector.

£2bn will be put into overseas trading firms, £1.2bn into agriculture and £500m into franchise businesses.

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“SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy. During the pandemic, many businesses had to act fast to successfully adapt, and we’re seeing the same resilience again now,” said Peter McIntyre, head of business banking at HSBC UK.

“The UK is home to many fast growing, robust and innovative businesses who, together with the support of their banks, can seize opportunities and become stronger. HSBC UK package of support is designed to give businesses access to the help they need to weather the current challenges they are facing.”

Business and Trade Minister Kevin Hollinrake commented: “British SMEs are vital to our communities, creating jobs and opportunities, and they have shown great resilience in the face of challenging circumstances.

“Through the British Business Bank, the government is helping more businesses to access the finance they need to start, scale and grow. It is great to see HSBC doing their bit to back business through their SME lending fund and other support services.”

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