increased-lendingThe Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) has recently announced that it is setting aside $250 million to lend to small and medium enterprises in Australia to help them expand their business overseas. The initiative coincides with a plan to increase its retail footprint in Australia, in a push to grab some business off the main retail banks.

HSBC spokesman Paul Edgar explained that the loans would be made available to businesses turning over more than $10 million a year for importing, exporting or expansion overseas and mentioned that the bank was interested in industry sectors where it had a ‘great risk appetite’ such as wholesale trade.

HSBC are making a point of how they are better placed to help businesses involved in import/export, giving the example of an Adelaide based fashion business where the bank was able to introduce the business to alternative suppliers based in China, after the company had difficulties with reliability and quality issues with their previous Indonesian suppliers. The business then went on to expand into the UK and the US and double its turnover year-on-year over three years.

HSBC is capitalising on a trend in small/medium businesses of appointing independent advisory boards which are increasingly recommending companies review their banking arrangements.

Quite coincidentally the ANZ bank announced on the same day that they would double their $1 billion lending facility announced last April to $2 billion, aimed at startup businesses.

Clearly there’s never been a better time to kick off or expand your import business!