HSBC bank has started a fresh push for growth in the Small and Medium Sized Enterprise market in Scotland by announcing it will provide £650m funding for sector players in Scotland over the next year.

The London-based giant said the debt funding formed part of a broader commitment to helping British businesses realise their ambitions for growth through the provision of record amounts of support.

The bank has increased the size of its dedicated fund for SMEs in the UK by 20 per cent to £12bn, from £10bn last year.

The Scottish fund is 30% bigger than the £500m initiative HSBC launched in Scotland last year.

HSBC said last year’s fund was fully utilised.

Mike Hemingway, HSBC UK’s Regional Director for the North, said: “This latest fund highlights HSBC UK’s unwavering commitment to supporting the growth of SMEs right across Scotland no matter whether they’ve just started out or are an already established business.”

Scottish firms that accessed last year’s fund included Moray-based WooHa Brewing. HSBC supported a £700,000 funding round completed by the firm as it aimed to increase exports.

It emerged last month that HSBC Scotland chief executive Alison McGregor will leave the Glasgow-based post at the end of the year to pursue a portfolio of non-executive directorships.

The bank said then Ms McGregor would not be replaced but its appetite for growth in Scotland remained undiminished. HSBC said a Scottish leadership group would work to raise the bank’s market share.