Midlands automotive firm driving mobility forward with HSBC support
Sirus Automotive, the UK’s leading provider of Upfront Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs), is supporting its customers (some of the most vulnerable in society) by driving mobility forward – during lockdown whilst securing a six-figure loan from HSBC UK through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
Sirus converts and adapts vehicles for disabled people using pioneering technology and design, currently supporting over 1,500 customers across the UK. Its innovative WAV’s enable people with limited mobility to drive from a wheelchair or travel upfront as a passenger. The business has supported over 13,000 drivers and passengers to overcome every-day mobility issues through their car adaptation service.
The funding from HSBC UK will assist Sirus to recommence full operations as it exits lockdown. Sirus has continued with key operations including the development of new products and continued to support its vulnerable customers by maintaining a compliment of key staff, comprising field service engineers who are on call to provide help for those in need.
One of these customers was Doctor Catherine Wight, a pathologist at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire. Dr Wight received support from one of Sirus’ field service engineers during lockdown who was able to repair her vehicle at her home, instead of taking it back to Sirus’s workshop, which ensured she was able to travel to work that day.
All Sirus Automotive field service engineers comply with the government’s two-metre social distancing rules during customer calls, as well as offering an essential shopping service if required.
Simon Pearson, Managing Director at Sirus Automotive, said:
“During these unprecedented and uncertain times, we know that our customers rely on us now more than ever. That’s why it was crucial for the business to remain partly operational, despite the situation, to help keep our customers on the road with access to work, if essential, and local grocery stores to buy their food. Thanks to our Relationship Manager at HSBC UK, Alex Richards, we have the support required to confidently resume business as usual as and when appropriate, and continue to provide an exceptional level of service to ensure our customers can stay on the road”.
Doctor Catherine Wight, a Pathologist at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire and customer of Sirus Automotive, said:
“Without my Sirus vehicle conversion which I drive, I wouldn’t be able to go to work. I work 48-hours a week, so if I didn’t have my vehicle, I would have to catch two buses which would be very time-consuming! I really couldn’t be without it for any period of time at the moment. Since I have been a Sirus customer, I feel like I’ve got more mobility than ever.”
Ian Coulson, HSBC UK Area Director West Midlands Business Banking, added:
“HSBC UK is committed to supporting its customers during this period of uncertainty. We were delighted to support the Sirus team who are now able to operate with a skeleton staff and continue to go above and beyond for their customers.”
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 BBILS, 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