HSBC UK has introduced a £15 billion lending fund to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) across Britain as they recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund, which includes over £10 billion of specific regionally focussed allocations, will seek to ensure that companies throughout the UK can benefit, supporting regional economies, employment opportunities and driving growth, explained HSBC.

This includes amounts set aside for businesses trading internationally (£2 billion), businesses in the tech sector (£500m) and franchise businesses (£500m).

“With the vaccine rollout, there is light at the end of the tunnel and businesses are starting to look ahead again,” commented Peter McIntyre, head of small business banking at HSBC UK.

“We’ve helped British business get through the last year with over £14bn of Covid-19 lending support. Now it’s time to turn our minds to what comes next and how we help companies grow again, opening up a world of opportunity and contributing towards a sustainable future society.

“The £15 billion fund will help businesses to expand internationally and here in the UK, support key sectors and drive investment across regions.

“We know our customers are innovating and adapting at pace, and British businesses tell us that through these uncertain times they need their bank to be flexible, provide funding when they need it most and to support future growth opportunities, and that is exactly what this year’s fund intends to achieve.”