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Franchise News: Banks commit to further support UK business

October 20th, 2010 by Cathryn Hayes in Franchise Finance, Franchise Industry News

Cathryn Hayes - HSBC Head of Franchising

Bank finance has generated significant interest during the past two years in the wake of the financial crisis.  ‘Supporting UK Businesses’, published on 14 October by the Business Finance Taskforce in association with the British Banking Association (BBA), aims to address the concern that banks are not adequately supporting viable businesses.

Noel Quinn, Head of HSBC UK CMB said that the report, “Is a significant milestone for UK businesses and we fully support the recommendations.  Our lending position has not materially changed during the past two years and, compared to many competitors, our strong balance sheet has meant we have remained open for business throughout the financial crisis.  That said, it’s also important to recognise that we must do all we can to responsibly support businesses.  These recommendations are therefore a further positive step for all UK businesses and will help under-pin the UK’s recovery.”

The Business Finance Taskforce includes representatives from six UK banks, government and a number of trade bodies.  In July, the Taskforce agreed to review the support banks provide to small and medium sized businesses and ensure UK businesses have access to secure and sustainable sources of finance.

The report makes 17 recommendations, listed fully in the BBA summary and report, which focus on three key areas:

  1. Maintaining better customer relationships
  2. Ensuring better access to finance
  3. Providing better information and understanding

This is obviously positive news for the UK franchising industry and HSBC fully supports the implementation of the recommendations during 2011.

Additional information about the Business Finance Taskforce can be found at:

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2010 bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Award – Winners Announced

October 5th, 2010 by Cathryn Hayes in Franchise Industry News

Cathryn Hayes - HSBC Head of Franchising

I had the pleasure of announcing the winners of this year’s bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards, co-sponsored by Express Newspapers, on 30 September during a black tie event held at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham.

Of the 16 Regional finalists  5 regional winners were announced, each receiving £500 courtesy of HSBC, who then went on to compete for the coveted title of ‘bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year’.

Collecting the Gold Award, a cheque for £5,000 and the title of bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Award was Gerald Thompson who operates 2 McDonald’s outlets in Manchester and Oldham. We clearly saw that “Gerald’s key to success is the relationship with his local community, particularly among young people.  Despite being part of a global corporation, he has successfully created local restaurants for local communities”.

The Silver Award and a cheque for £3,000 went to Frank Sutherland who owns an Autosmart franchise, covering Aberdeenshire. Frank dramatically reorganised his business by delegating all non-sales duties and converting travelling time into selling time.  He has twice as many customers as the average Autosmart franchisee and runs the highest earning Autosmart territory in Scotland.

Collecting the Bronze Award and a cheque for £2,000 was Peter Morrison a Granite Transformations franchisee running an outlet in Cambridge.  This tightly-run family business revitalises kitchen and bathroom surfaces.  Peter has developed this into a multi-million pound franchise and his unique marketing strategy has been adopted by the UK wide network following his success.

The other Regional winners were:

  • Guy Whittaker, Dairy Crest, Guildford
  • Nick Bourne, Cash Generator, Weymouth.

Many congratulations to all of the winners and finalists!

For more information about all 16 regional finalists and photos of the event please take a look at the photo album on the HSBC Business Network site.

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British Firms Primed For Great Business Future

June 16th, 2010 by Cathryn Hayes in Franchise Sales and Development in the UK

Cathryn Hayes - HSBC Head of Franchising

British businesses are set for success, retaining the core qualities which drove our nation’s historical economic achievements and adapting them for the future. The Great British Business report finds that, as has happened following previous downturns, new business trends and ways of working are developing in post-recession Great Britain. It predicts that future success will be driven by thinking businesses, those that recapture the essence of British entrepreneurialism, and put innovation and adaptability at the heart of their company.

The report, from HSBC Commercial Banking and trends researchers The Next Big Thing, investigates how UK business has evolved over time and identifies what businesspeople of today and tomorrow can learn from history. It finds that the qualities current business leaders cite as central to historical British business success – including innovation (44%), the ability to trade internationally (33%), entrepreneurialism (33%) and adaptability (26%) – remain constant today.

The report identifies that successful UK companies will adopt and adapt core strengths and make them relevant to today and tomorrow. Indeed the 500 respondents questioned said that the two most important qualities for British companies going forward are the ability to innovate (51%) and adaptability (43%), with the report summarising that: “Tomorrow’s successful business person will actually need many of the same qualities that have made British business great in the past.”

Many of the qualities cited in the report are exactly those that franchisors are looking for in their franchisees, which may be one of the reasons the industry has remained robust during the recession.

Noel Quinn, HSBC head of commercial banking UK, said: “Our report shows that the qualities that have made the nation’s businesses successful in the past are the foundations for a great British business future. Britain has established a business heritage to be proud of and we are working closely with companies across the UK to continue this story going forward, helping businesses to make the most of opportunities to trade in domestic and international markets. So far this year we have helped an average of 2,600 businesses start up every week and we’re seeing a significant increase in export activity. We also recently launched Business Thinking 2010, an initiative to support and fund the UK’s most innovative and forward thinking companies.”

If you would like a copy of the report, please email HSBC Franchise Unit at

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