January 27, 2012 06:18 ET

HSBC Highlights Commitment to UK Business in 2012

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Jan. 27, 2012) - HSBC has announced a number of commitments aimed at supporting UK businesses in 2012. The bank will continue to provide strong support for businesses which trade or aspire to trade internationally and commits to providing lending facilities to support business growth(i) and job creation.

The bank has confirmed that it met its Merlin lending intentions in 2011, which were agreed with the UK Government, exceeding the full year target to provide £38.8bn of lending facilities to UK business customers and supplying gross new lending facilities of more than £11.7bn to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Having met its Merlin intentions in 2011, HSBC plans to lend even more to SMEs in 2012, providing there is suitable demand. In addition, to reinforce the bank's strategy to be the leading international trade and business bank(ii), HSBC will further support UK businesses by committing to:

  • Recruit around 50 additional International Commercial Managers, ensuring customers involved in overseas trade are fully supported. This will bring the total number of International Commercial Managers to 180;

  • Support export trade to the tune of £7bn through our Trade Finance capabilities;

  • Look to manage £30bn of invoices for customers trading within the UK or internationally, providing critical working capital for these customers;

  • Look to approve at least 80% of applications for finance from SMEs; and

  • Extend the availability of HSBC's International Business Overdraft, which offers reduced interest rate for each overseas country a small business is trading with, up to a maximum discount of 3% for the first 12 months.

Jacques-Emmanuel Blanchet, Head of Commercial Banking UK at HSBC, said: "HSBC is committed to supporting UK business. In 2011, the Merlin intentions gave focus to SME lending, and we continued to enhance our support, launching new innovative products and holding hundreds of events across the UK and the world, to encourage UK businesses to share their knowledge and develop long term relationships internationally.

"In 2012 we will further increase our support for SMEs looking to grow and internationalise, across all sectors and all regions. Many of our customers are experiencing growth by trading in new markets and we are very well placed to support this, through our growing team of specialist International Commercial Managers and HSBC's enviable global network, to give UK businesses the best chance of success."



HSBC Bank plc: HSBC serves 16.1 million customers in the UK and employs approximately 52,000 people. In the UK, HSBC offers a complete range of personal, premier and private banking services including bank accounts and mortgages. It also provides commercial banking for small to medium businesses and corporate and institutional banking services. HSBC Bank plc is a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc.

The HSBC Group: HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 7,500 offices in 87 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$2,691bn at 30 June 2011, HSBC is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organisations.

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