HSBC Business Loans Review

In this article, we provide you with the facts you need to decide if HSBC could be the right way to fund your business.

HSBC was opened in 1865 and has grown to become one of the largest banks in the world, serving millions of customers globally every year. The bank helps many different people, from individual savers and SMEs, to some of the world’s biggest companies.

If you’re a small business owner, or you have your own start up, HSBC can offer you a commercial mortgage, commercial lending and business overdraft. Here’s everything you need to know about the bank’s small business loans.

HSBC business loans at a glance

Small business loansFlexible business loan
Loan amount£1,000 to £25,000£25,000+
Duration12 months to 10 years12 months to 20 years
Setup fee?YesYes
Interest rateFixed but based on your circumstancesFixed or variable
Secured or unsecuredBothBoth

Every care has been taken to ensure this information is accurate. All information was correct as of 11th March 2020

Wannt to compare more business loan products? We've got guides on Royal Bank of Scotland, Esme, Santander and more.

Frequently asked questions:

Am I eligible for an HSBC business loan?

To be eligible for an HSBC business loan you must be over 18 years old, a permanent resident, and have a good credit rating. You’ll also need to be able to prove that you have a consistent income that supports your existing debts and loan amounts.

How do I apply for a business loan from HSBC and what documents are needed?

You can apply for an HSBC small business loan in a number of ways; in branch, online, or by phone. If you want to apply for a larger flexible business loan, you can do it by phone or in branch. You will need a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID as well as recent bank statements and business tax forms. You could need extra documentation, depending on your funding option.

Will HSBC perform a credit check?

Once you have submitted an application, HSBC will perform a credit check to assess your credit score. The bank says it does this to “fairly and openly” assess the risks involved in lending to your business. If your application is declined on this basis, you can contact the bank’s business lending appeals process to have the decision reviewed.

How long does it take to be approved?

If you are already an HSBC account holder then you might get approved for a loan immediately. Other customers should be contacted with a credit decision within five working days, but you could be contacted sooner.

Will I need to provide security?

Not necessarily; HSBC business loans can be secured or unsecured.

Can I pay off an HSBC loan early?

Yes, you can. But it might cost you; if a small business loan is repaid early the bank could still charge you interest for an additional calendar month and 28 days.

Can I make overpayments on an HSBC loan?

Yes, you can and there are no charges for overpayments with a small business loan. Once you’ve taken out an HSBC small business loan you can repay it monthly or quarterly over a term of one to ten years. You are given a three-month repayment holiday at the beginning of the term, but interest will still be charged during this period, so it will cost you.

Coronavirus information

HSBC are an accredited CBILS lender, offering business loans up to £5m to SMEs hit by the effects of coronavirus. We’re also an accredited lender – visit our CBILS page to see if you could apply, or view the full list of accredited CBILS lenders.

What are the advantages of an HSBC business loan?

  • HSBC can offer flexible repayment schedules
  • You can get specialist expertise from a large global bank
  • Business perks: HSBC offers a number of other services for small businesses, such as business banking, deposit account services, debit and credit cards, cash management services and business protection.

What are the disadvantages of an HSBC business loan?

  • An HSBC business loan can be difficult to access if you don’t have a high credit score or a high enough income.
  • Interest rates will depend on factors like your working capital, cashflow, the amount you’re applying for, the duration of the loan, your credit rating and income.
  • It will probably take longer to set up if you’re not already an existing HSBC customer.
  • HSBC UK also has a low Trustpilot score at just over 1 star.

How iwoca can help

If coronavirus is making running a business difficult for you, and you can’t access a loan through HSBC, don’t give up – there are alternatives.

We're an accredited lender for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), and are excited to provide small businesses with the finance they need throughout this pandemic. With an iwoca CBILS loan, you could borrow between £50,001 and £350,000, and you won't have to worry about making any repayments for the first 12 months. Learn more about our CBILS loans.

Further considerations

When applying for a business loan, there's a lot to think about and it can feel overwhelming. You need to consider your personal and business credit history, your income, and the collateral you would be happy to secure as assets. But there are lots of options available to you.

If you'd like to look at other financial support options, use our coronavirus support tool.

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Abby Young-Powell is an award winning writer, reporter and editor. Having worked for The Guardian for over six years, she began her freelance career writing on subjects such as tech, women’s rights, education and social justice. She has also written The Telegraph, Huffington Post, The London Evening Standard and The Independent.

Article updated on: 17 June 2022

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