alfords, the UK’s leading provider of motoring and cycling products and services, has secured £25m of additional funding from its existing lending syndicate, in which HSBC UK participates, as part of the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).
The funding, which was equally split between HSBC UK and two other high street banks, will support the business as it continues to navigate Covid-19 and provide vital services to help keep people moving by car and bike.
As an essential retailer, most of Halfords’ 800+ stores and garages across the country remained open during lockdown, giving customers access to bikes, car repairs, and other important products and services. With more stores now opening up with social distancing measures in place, this important funding will ensure Halfords can continue to trade confidently over the coming months.
Loraine Woodhouse, chief financial officer at Halfords, said: “While our market-leading Motoring and Cycling businesses have strong macro tailwinds, this additional contingency funding gives us even greater confidence in our ability to trade our way successfully through the current uncertain environment. We would like to thank our lenders for their ongoing support.”
Akhil Shah, relationship director at HSBC UK, added: “Whether you’re travelling by bike or car, Halfords has played a particularly important role in keeping the country moving in recent months. However, like all retailers, the business has faced unprecedented challenges. As the lockdown restrictions ease and more of its stores open, this additional funding gives Halfords the confidence and the headroom to continue serving its customers effectively.”
HSBC UK is working closely with the Government and UK Finance to identify emerging issues and make sure customers and businesses have the advice and support they need. For tips and advice for businesses around planning for any possible disruption, visit www.business.hsbc.com/novel-coronavirus.
HSBC UK’s package of support for business customers includes:
- Launched BBLS, CBILS, CLBILS and CCFF.
- Allocated £5bn to help businesses that need support.
- Removed the £100 Small Business Loan fee to relieve the pressure faced by SMEs across the country.
- Removed informal overdraft fees – As of 1st April we will no longer apply any Informal Overdraft fees.
- Offering repayment holidays to free up cash within businesses.
- Stopped all unauthorised overdraft charges.
- Reviewing overdrafts or trade loans to allow stock to be held for longer.
- Offering companies involved in the supply and manufacture of ventilators preferential pricing, extended repayment terms on loans and fast track approval times to support the unprecedented demand on UK hospitals.
- We have also extended that support to customers that can give immediate help to essential public services and vulnerable people. We are contacting clients involved in the manufacture and supply of Personal Protective Equipment to offer preferential finance and, where possible, the direct purchase of supplies and equipment for essential public services.
- We will also offer similar terms to clients involved in the wholesale of food.
- Our relationship managers have been proactively contacting customers to see what help their businesses need.
- We’ve launched a coronavirus helpline to support any customer queries and a dedicated coronavirus hub on our website.
- For businesses trading internationally:
- £3bn to importers and exporters that need additional support.
- pre-approved 60-day extensions on trade loans for customers with a sound trade loan/financing record.
- a one-hour turnaround on the issuance of Shipping Guarantees, enabling customers to transfer or receive goods from their counterparty faster.
- a dedicated helpline that connects directly with trade finance specialists (0800 783 1300, open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday), in addition to the support being offered by relationship managers.