A third (36%) of UK businesses plan to adapt their strategies to navigate financial challenges over the next six months, new research from HSBC UK reveals.
The findings demonstrate how resilient UK businesses are, with 29% stating that they had to adapt their business strategy over the past five years to survive. 12% said this adaptation enabled them to increase their profits.
One in five (20%) businesses feel optimistic that business will get better, despite a similar figure (22%) reporting that the current challenges were having a worse impact on their business than the Covid-19 pandemic.
The research reveals the top three issues currently affecting businesses are rising energy bills (77%), travel costs (76%) and rent (23%).
Business and trade minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “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.”
Peter McIntyre, head of business banking at HSBC UK, added: “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.
“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.”
HSBC UK has committed to putting a comprehensive range of support in place to support SMEs that may be struggling with cost-of-living challenges, including a dedicated £15bn fund, cost-of-living customer webinars, a new Financial Worries and Wellbeing Hub and support from HSBC UK’s specialist financial support team for customers showing early warning signs of financial difficulty.
The HSBC UK package includes a dedicated £1,100,000,000 lending fund for small and medium-sized businesses in the South East of England.
The fund is available to businesses across the country and includes allocated funding for businesses trading internationally (£2 billion), in the agriculture sector (£1.2 billion) the tech sector (£500m) and franchise businesses (£500m).
HSBC UK is also offering SMEs the following package of products and services:
- Capital Repayment Holidays
- Extending CBILS repayment profiles up to six years (or 10 years for cases in forbearance)
- BBLS Pay As You Grow scheme
- Reducing fees or interest margins for Relationship Manager managed borrowers
- Partial or total refinancing or restructuring of a facility
- Signposting within Letter of Concern/ 5Cs letter
- Extension of recovery/ collection periods
- Trade Loan Extensions