Western Europe’s best bank for SMEs 2021: HSBC
HSBC, with big operations in the UK and France as well as a presence on the ground in 20 markets across Europe, wins the award for the region’s best bank for small and medium-sized enterprises this year, against strong challenges from UniCredit and Santander.
In March 2021, HSBC launched a record £15 billion loan fund to finance recovery for UK businesses. Peter McIntyre, head of small business banking at HSBC UK, says: “We were quick to react to the introduction of the government loan schemes to support businesses, lending more than £15 billion and granting 18,000 capital repayment holidays to our customers when they needed it most. We worked hard to be accessible, opening over 71,000 accounts for non-customers, enabling access to the Bounce Back Loan scheme.”
That was unusual. Most banks struggled to cope with requests from existing customers and lacked capacity to onboard new ones.
Fintechs are renowned for their agility but HSBC’s people, inspired by chief executive Noel Quinn, showed their adaptability.