HSBC has allocated £3bn to support its business customers in the UK to tackle the COVID-19 disruption


Image: HSBC office in London. (Credit: HSBC Group.)

HSBC UK has rolled out new measures to support its business customers who trade internationally to deal with the challenges caused by the spread of COVID-19.

Across the UK, businesses are facing disruption in supply chain, with delays in receiving both goods and payments. The situation is leaving many with a gap in their working capital cycle.

To cover this short-term gap, the UK-based bank has taken new steps that build upon the package of support announced by the bank recently.

HSBC has recently announced a support package of £5bn to help businesses in the UK. The package was allocated from the bank’s £14bn SME Lending Fund.

The bank is now offering £3bn to importers and exporters that need additional support. It has also pre-approved 60-day extensions on trade loans for customers with sound trade loan or financing record.

It is also providing a one-hour turnaround on issuing Shipping Guarantees, to enable customers to quickly transfer or receive goods from their counterparties.

HSBC sets up a helpline connecting customers directly with trade finance specialists

HSBC has set up a helpline connecting customers directly with trade finance specialists. The line will be open between 9AM and -5PM between Monday and Friday. Additionally, the support is also being offered by relationship managers.

The trade specialists are claimed to have been talking to importers and exporters to discuss about the financial support that they might need during such an hour.

In the recently announced package, the bank also provided repayment holidays to free up cash within businesses.

HSBC UK trade head Ian Tandy said: “Our international customers are telling us that they are concerned about short term working capital, ability to forecast their cash position in the short term and access to finance.”

“As one of the world’s leading trade banks, we are committed to supporting importers and exporters in the UK. Our trade finance specialists are keen to understand the challenges that currently face these businesses and are doing all they can to tailor financial solutions to alleviate some of these challenges.”

“We’d ask all international business customers to contact their relationship managers or the dedicated number as soon as they begin to see strains in their working capital cycle so that we can move quickly to minimise disruption.”