Exeter manufacturer secures £9 million from HSBC UK to diversify during Covid-19

News Desk
Authored by News Desk
Posted Monday, June 22, 2020 - 11:18am

The UK’s first and only manufacturer of aluminium composite panels (ACPs) has secured a £9 million finance facility from HSBC UK to diversify its product range, move into new markets and safeguard the future of the business amid the coronavirus crisis.

Multipanel UK, which is based in Exeter and typically makes ACPs for industries such as sign making, exhibition stand design and architecture, has used the funding to make changes to its core product to meet demand from other industries for screen materials that can be used in shops, offices and leisure facilities. The funding was also used to stabilise cash flow at a time when many of the company’s existing customers were closed due to coronavirus.

Five million pounds of the loan was secured from the government-backed Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and £4 million was in extended trade loans and invoice finance facilities.

Andrew Cock, Chairman of Multipanel UK, said: “We’ve been working with HSBC UK for the last 13 years and in that time the team has really got under the skin of the business to fully understand our often complex funding requirements. The mutual respect we have for each other meant that when coronavirus hit, both parties were able to move without hesitation. Having the flexibility and freedom to adapt quickly has enabled us to be agile with our customers, both new and old. This latest round of funding has been instrumental in allowing us to really concentrate on the business and even upgrade some projects which are now complete six months ahead of schedule.”

James Jordan, Head of Corporate Banking, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, HSBC UK, added: “Multipanel UK is a fantastic example of a successful Exeter business with international reach which has gone from strength-to-strength despite the onset of the coronavirus crisis. The funding put in place by HSBC UK has essentially bookended the company; giving it the headroom it needed to diversify and keep its working capital buoyant at the beginning of lockdown, while ensuring the company is in the best possible position to continue operating after lockdown.”

Multipanel UK, which is also the largest stockist of ACPs in the world, works with approved distributors in more than 60 countries across five continents, giving customers global access to its range of high quality, rigid substrates. It has a manufacturing plant and distribution centre, both based in Dover.

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.

The new measures build upon the package of support that HSBC UK has already announced for business customers:

  • 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


Share this