HSBC has launched a £650 million lending fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises in Scotland through Brexit.

The bank has also set up a dedicated helpline for customers with financial concerns related to the EU departure.

It said the move is part of its “commitment to help businesses realise their ambitions for growth and navigate Brexit” and part of a wider £14 billion fund for SMEs across the UK.

The bank has had more than 15,000 conversations with customers about Brexit so far this year.

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Mike Hemingway, HSBC UK’s banking director for Scotland, said: “This fund is all about helping businesses like to take new opportunities and grow and we want to reassure them that we’re here to support them achieve their goals.”

It has provided a fifth-generation farm in Fife, A Milne and Sons Farm, with £500,000 for equipment to produce craft malt for Scotland’s brewers and distillers under the Crafty Maltsters name.

Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking at HSBC UK, said the fund will “support British business as they navigate Brexit in a fast-changing world”.