HSBC sorry for saying it won't lend to pubs

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Hsbc Bank Lloyds tsb

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HSBC has admitted one of its staff told a licensee the bank won't lend to pubs — and has apologised.

HSBC has admitted one of its staff told a licensee the bank won't lend to pubs.

The bank apologised and re-iterated its stated policy of lending to any viable sector, in an email to licensee Jo Anderson.

She told the Morning Advertiser she had been informed by her bank that HSBC is not lending to pubs.

Other licensees say they've been told the same thing by HSBC and other major banks. But in a letter to the MA earlier this month, HSBC's general manager of UK commercial banking Noel Quinn denied it has such a policy.

Quinn told Anderson this week: "I would like to offer my assurance that, as indicated in both the article featured in the Morning Advertiser and also in your email, we at HSBC do not have a blanket policy against lending to the hospitality industry.

"After investigating the case, however, it is clear that this has been miscommunicated to you by your relationship manager, for which I apologise."

He said, "the issue has now been discussed and clarified" with the manager.

Anderson, Enterprise lessee of the Rose & Crown in Welling, Kent, asked for HSBC to release her £20,000 security bond, but the bank declined.

Quinn said: "This decision regarding security is not a reflection on the sector in which you operate, but instead reflects our commercial lending criteria attaching to term loans of this nature."

However, the bank is set to meet her this week to discuss the possibility of getting a £20,000 loan. The licensee said: "It's only because this has been in the Morning Advertiser that they pulled their finger out."

Meanwhile, Santander has become the fourth major bank to deny it has a blanket policy of not lending to pubs and similar businesses — HSBC, Lloyds TSB and Clydesdale have already done so after being written to by the MA and trade groups.

Sue Hayes, boss of Abbey Business, which is part of Santander, said: "No such blanket policy is in place."

• Has your bank said it won't lend to any pub? Email wbua.uneevatgba@jvyyvnz-errq.pb.hx​.

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