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Published 27 April 2023

HSBC UK Business Loans Review: Pros, Cons & Features

Read our review of HSBC UK business loans, including pros, cons, and key features.

Many or all of the products and brands we review are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and the product we choose in our ‘promotion’. However it doesn’t influence our reviews. Our opinions are our own.

HSBC business loans: at a glance

HSBC offers borrowing options for a range of business types and sizes, including for sole traders, limited companies and partnerships.

Generally, both new and existing HSBC customers can apply for an HSBC business loan, provided they meet the eligibility criteria for the borrowing solution they are applying for. 

However, businesses may need an HSBC business account if a debenture is required. This is a loan agreement registered at Companies House between a business and a lender that gives the lender security of the business’s assets.

HSBC provides a Small Business Loan, a Flexible Business Loan and an HSBC Kinetic Small Business Loan, as well as other lending solutions, such as commercial mortgages, business overdrafts, credit cards and asset finance. 


HSBC Small Business Loan

  • Representative APR
  • Representative Example
    7.1% APR representative (fixed). Based on an assumed loan amount of £13,000 over 60 months at the AIR of 7.1% p.a (fixed). Monthly repayment £256.73. Total amount payable £15,404.01.
  • Available amounts
    £1,000 – £25,000
  • Available Terms
    1 – 10 years
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This product may be one of a range offered by this provider. Always check terms & conditions for suitability before applying.

Learn more about how we bring you our review.

HSBC business loans pros & cons


  • You can borrow over a term of up to 10 years (Small Business Loan & HSBC Kinetic Small Business Loan) or up to 20 years (Flexible Business Loan).
  • Access to customer service is via the lender’s website, phone helpline and mobile app. 
  • In-branch support available in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • You can borrow up to £10,000 (HSBC Kinetic Small Business Loan), up to £25,000 (Small Business Loan) or a potentially unlimited amount (Flexible Business Loan).


  • The phone helpline is not specifically for lending queries but for all Business Banking customers.

These pros and cons are based on an exclusive survey of UK business owners on what they found important when selecting a range of business products, conducted by NerdWallet in December 2022.

HSBC business loans key features

HSBC business loans full review

Founded in Hong Kong in 1865, when it also opened its first bank in London, HSBC is an international bank that now serves more than 40 million customers in 63 countries around the world. It is the largest bank in the UK.

It offers a variety of credit and lending facilities, including small business loans, overdrafts, commercial mortgages and asset finance.  

Businesses can currently apply for loans from HSBC either online, over the phone, or in branch, and can manage repayments using internet banking. 

In addition, like many lenders, HSBC offers loans with flexible term lengths and loan amounts, so you can choose a loan that best suits the needs of your business.

In the table below, you can find out everything you need to know about HSBC business loans.

Amount borrowableUp to £10,000 (HSBC Kinetic Small Business Loan)
Up to £25,000 (Small Business Loan)
Potentially unlimited (Flexible Business Loan)
Term lengthUp to 10 years (HSBC Kinetic Small Business Loan and Small Business Loan)
Up to 20 years (Flexible Business Loan)
Web-based customer serviceVirtual assistant
Web chat with customer service agents
Via the HSBC Business Banking app
UK customer service number03457 60 60 60 (Business Banking team)
AppYes (iOS and Android)
Face-to-face customer serviceYes
Access to loans without pre-existing accountYes (subject to eligibility)
Trustpilot rating1.4 out of 5 (as of 7 February 2023)

HSBC business loan features

Below, you can find some key features to look out for when considering a business loan from HSBC.

Loan amounts and terms

Among the business owners that NerdWallet surveyed, flexibility of loan-term length is the most highly ranked factor when looking for a business loan. The maximum amount you can borrow, however, ranked fifth most important.

How much your business can borrow and the length of the loan term are determined by the type of loan you take out.

Small Business Loan

With an HSBC Small Business Loan, you can borrow from £1,000 to £25,000 over a term of between 12 months and 10 years. 

This type of loan has a fixed interest rate, which means that your repayments will stay the same across the loan term. 

Repayment holidays are available at the start of the loan term, but will result in you paying more interest overall.

Flexible Business Loan

With a Flexible Business Loan from HSBC, you can borrow from £25,001 (up to a potentially unlimited amount, subject to approval). You can repay either monthly or quarterly, with a choice of loan terms from between 12 months and 20 years. 

However, Flexible Business Loans are available to existing customers with a total lending exposure (the amount of money it risks losing if the loan isn’t paid back) above £100,000, excluding government loans schemes, or for new customers requiring lending above £100,000.

Interest rates on this type of loan can be fixed or variable. If you choose a variable interest rate, it can change in line with the Bank of England Base Rate, subject to eligibility and approval. 

Repayment holidays for the first 24 months of the loan term (or a shorter length of time if desired) may be available on variable interest Flexible Business Loans. Bear in mind that taking a repayment holiday will increase the total amount of interest charged and therefore the cost of the overall loan, as payments will be higher to ensure your loan will be repaid at the end of the term

You may be required to put up an asset as security for a Flexible Business Loan. You should be aware that the lender may repossess and sell this asset to cover the value of your loan if you are unable to keep up with your repayments. 

Early repayments are permitted, but if the loan is repaid in full early you will have to pay a prepayment fee. Fees for prepayments in a fixed rate period may also apply. 

HSBC Kinetic Small Business Loan

If you’re a sole trader or run a limited company where you’re the sole director, and have an annual turnover up to £2 million, you may be eligible for an HSBC Kinetic Small Business Loan.

You can borrow from £1,000 to £10,000 with this type of loan, over a loan term of between one year and 10 years. It has a fixed interest rate, so your repayments will stay the same across the loan term.

Customer service

When looking for a business loan, the business owners that NerdWallet surveyed are keen on access to customer service. The second, third and fourth most important factors in a business loan are the ability to contact customer service online, over the phone, and via an app.

You can contact HSBC customer service on the lender’s website by using the automated chat bot 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also contact a customer service agent during opening hours (8am-8pm weekdays, 8am-2pm Saturdays) for general queries. 

If you’re logged in to online banking, you may be able to discuss queries specifically related to your business. It’s also possible to get support through the chat function on the HSBC Business Banking app (or the HSBC Kinetic app, for HSBC Kinetic Small Business Loans).

You can call the Business Telephone Banking team on 03457 60 60 60. The phone line is open 8am-8pm on weekdays, and 8am-2pm on Saturdays. If you’re seeking support for an HSBC Kinetic Small Business Loan, the number to call is 0345 587 3529, weekdays between 9am and 5pm.

HSBC also has branches across the UK where it may be possible to seek help and advice about business loans.


Most business lending is unregulated. However, if you are a sole trader, a partnership with fewer than four partners, or an unincorporated association, then business lending of up to £25,000 generally falls within Consumer Credit regulation. 

This means a lender must be authorised and meet the standards set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Under these rules, if you take out a loan of £25,000 or less from HSBC, and are one of the business types mentioned above, then your borrowing should be regulated.

HSBC’s Small Business Loan may fall under Consumer Credit regulations, as it is offered to sole traders and partnerships with a maximum of £25,000 borrowable. 

HSBC’s Flexible Business Loan is unlikely to be regulated as Consumer Credit, as loan amounts start at £25,001. 

Customer reviews

HSBC UK, as a whole, has a ‘Bad’ Trustpilot rating of 1.4 out of 5, based on over 7,300 reviews. However, these may be from both personal and business customers and are not necessarily specific to the loans products covered on this page. 

The lender’s app, on the other hand, has much better reviews:

These scores are accurate as of 7 February 2023.

HSBC business loans eligibility

To be eligible to apply for an HSBC business loan, you must:

To be eligible for a Flexible Business Loan from HSBC, you must be an existing customer with current lending commitments above £100,000, or a new customer with borrowing needs above £100,000. 

You can use HSBC’s business lending eligibility checker to see whether you’re likely to be approved for a Small Business Loan without formally applying for a loan, which will require a full credit check. 

How to choose a HSBC business loan

When deciding between different HSBC business loan offerings, or when comparing HSBC to other business lenders, it may be useful to ask yourself the following questions:

It may also be worth looking at other borrowing options provided by HSBC or other lenders – such as business overdrafts, credit cards or asset finance – and considering whether one of these may be a better option for your business.

How to apply for a HSBC business loan

If you’re an existing HSBC customer, you can apply for a Small Business Loan by logging into your internet banking. If you don’t currently bank with HSBC, you need to call 0800 587 0644.

If you want to apply for a Flexible Business Loan, you can speak to your Relationship Manager if you’re an existing HSBC customer. Alternatively, new and existing customers can call 03457 60 60 60 (8am-8pm weekdays, 8am-2pm Saturdays).

HSBC takes into account a huge range of factors when deciding whether or not to accept your loan application, including learning more about your business, its plans, and your skills and experience, how much you have already invested in the business, the amount you want to borrow, and your requested repayment length. 

If you’re a new business, this can be evidenced in your business plan and cash-flow forecasts, while established businesses can use their historic trading figures.

You may also need to provide details of assets you could use as security, other business interests, your business strategy and accounts from previous financial years, if you have them.

Review methodology

At NerdWallet Ltd UK we base our reviews on the results of surveys we conduct to understand what key product features are important to those who use them, and align them to the product we review.

Product details reflect the information that was available at that time but may have changed since. We strive to give you a review on as many products as possible but it is likely there are others available that we have not reviewed. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability of your financial circumstances.

You can view our review methodology here.

About the Authors

Henry Williams

Henry is passionate about writing great content that helps individuals and businesses stay informed and find the perfect products and services for their needs. Over the last eight years, hes…

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Kristina Fox

Kristina was a writer at NerdWallet who focused on writing finance content for small businesses, as well as young people and students. A recent graduate trading French for finance, she…

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