“As an international bank with a significant presence, HSBC has a responsibility to support the economy and the Australian Business Growth Fund is an opportunity to help SMEs to achieve their goals,” said Noel McNamara, Interim Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Australia.
“HSBC has witnessed the benefits generated by similar funds in the UK and Canada, and we believe this successful model, which allows companies to expand their market presence and employ more people, can be replicated in Australia,” Mr McNamara said.
According to the agreement reached by prospective shareholders, the Australian Business Growth Fund will take initial minority stakes of AUD5 million to AUD15 million in companies with turnover of AUD2 million to AUD100 million. It will fill a gap in the market that exists because SMEs often lack sufficient security to obtain a loan and can find it difficult to obtain private equity investment on suitable terms.
“The UK BGF has invested GBP2 billion in 285 companies since it was established in 2011 by major banks including HSBC, and the businesses in its portfolio employ more than 50,000 people across most sectors of the UK economy,” Mr McNamara said.
“We would encourage more banks and financial institutions to become shareholders in the Australian Business Growth Fund. The success of the concept in other countries is proof of the benefits that long-term, patient capital bring to a company and the economy in which it operates,” he said.
HSBC BANK AUSTRALIA
In Australia, the HSBC Group offers an extensive range of financial services through a network of 44 branches and offices. These services include retail and commercial banking, trade finance, treasury and financial markets, payments and cash management and securities custody. Principal HSBC Group members operating in Australia include HSBC Bank Australia Limited (ABN 48 006 434 162 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 232595) and The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (ABN 65 117 925 970 and AFSL 301737)