Friday 9 December 2016

HSBC To Offer Payment Relief For Small Businesses


The moves could also encourage more workplace diversity, says the bank of its relief package which includes interest-free overdrafts, repayment support for small business loans and capital repayment holidays.

Employees of either gender going on parental leave, including maternity and shared parental leave, adoption and surrogacy, are covered.

Available from January 9, it is open to small firms with fewer than five employees and a turnover of up to £1 million.

Among the key elements are : no interest charged or arrangement fees paid on new or existing business overdrafts up to £5,000 for 12 months; repayment support for customers with an existing small business loan through an additional interest-free limit on business overdrafts; and a capital repayment holiday for up to a year for customers with existing variable rate flexible business loans or commercial mortgages.

The bank says it has come up with the package because so many small businesses are concerned about costs and how to cover gaps. However a recent HSBC and YouGov survey found that while the financial impact is their greatest concern, 57 per cent of small UK enterprises didn’t have a plan to deal with it.

The research suggested 41 per cent would delay or cancel their business investment plans if an employee went on parental leave, with 58 per cent believing it would have a negative impact on cash flow.

James Cliffe, HSBC’s head of UK business banking, said:“The additional costs and cash flow challenges often lead to these entrepreneurs holding off on growth opportunities and limiting their investment plans.

“Through providing greater financial support we’re ensuring our customers are better equipped to deal with these challenges, which we hope will further encourage small UK businesses in becoming diverse employers.”

Martin McTague, national policy director of the Federation of Small Businesses, added: “Parental leave can present challenges to micro-businesses, many of whom find it time-consuming, complicated and potentially disruptive to how they operate.

"As well as pressing Government to minimise administrative burdens, we welcome initiatives such as this and want to see creative new products and services to overcome financial barriers."

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, three in four working mothers say they’ve experienced pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

“We know first-hand from feedback from our members that the cost of parental leave is a challenge that some businesses look to avoid,” commented Griselda Togobo, managing director of business support networking group Forward Ladies.

“We are delighted that HSBC is leading the way with a package which will encourage small businesses to employ the best person for the job so they can thrive and prosper. This package will help remove one of the biggest obstacles to gender equality while helping small businesses.”



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.