Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Business West and HSBC team up to help businesses build back better from Covid

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Ian Larrard


Business support service Business West has teamed up with international banking group HSBC to deliver webinars to enable Swindon and Wiltshire businesses in the tech and sustainable technology sectors to get to grips with the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and plan effectively for financing future growth.

Aimed at SMEs and MMEs, the events series offers business leaders the opportunity to gain unique insight into the future shape of the business and financial landscape and put their burning questions to HSBC’s business banking heads: 

Roland Emmans, head of technology sector at HSBC UK | Tuesday, May 11

Roland is a career banker but is not out of the traditional mould. He is a big fan of psychology, and how human beings interact with each other and technology.

Roland spends a lot of time cutting through the ‘buzz words’ to what tech change really means to us here and now as well as in the medium term. In his spare time Roland coaches and referees rugby as well as being a powerboat instructor.

Roland heads up HSBC’s technology client banking business for the UK, helping growing businesses from start-ups all the way to large, quoted multinationals.

He is a 25 yrs+ career banker having worked in a wide range of roles and geographies, for the last 12 years he has focussed purely on the tech sector. Roland jokes that he spends much of his time translating what tech firms do into a language banks can understand.

Roland is aware that he is very lucky to gets to meet more than 200 innovative tech firms per year, getting to hear the inside story, giving him a big network and broad perspective on the sector.

Roland’s current areas of interest include remote working driven culture change, hybrid working models, and Covid-19 accelerated digital transformation.


Robert King, head of sustainable finance at HSBC UK | Thursday, June 17

Robert King is head of sustainable finance for HSBC UK and is responsible for promoting and developing their sustainable finance proposition and supporting their corporate clients in their transition to a more sustainable, low carbon economy. Robert has over 15 years’ experience in structured, asset and project finance.

The importance of sustainability and climate change has been brought into sharp focus as a result of the pandemic, and Robert will highlight how sustainable practices can save businesses money by driving energy and cost efficiencies, waste reduction and innovation.

In addition, Robert will overview the green financing marketplace, including the raising and investment of capital into projects, products and companies that contribute to a more sustainable, low-carbon and climate-resilient economy.


Ian Larrard, director of the Swindon & Wiltshire at Business West, said:  “The pandemic has caused many businesses to push the reset button and assess their long-term growth plans in the face of sweeping economic, technological and environmental changes.

“Whether it’s business finance, the challenges of working remotely or a growing emphasis on climate change, now is the time to put plans in place to build back better after the pandemic.

“That’s why we’re partnering with HSBC at this crucial time to enable businesses to benefit from their global expertise and gain insight into what next is next for businesses as we emerge out of lockdown.”

Peter Greaves, relationship director at HSBC UK, said: “Beyond the terrible human toll, the COVID-19 crisis has precipitated the worst global recession since the Great Depression. This crisis is also a catalyst to long-term change.

“To enable Swindon & Wiltshire businesses to thrive against this background and to help build the economic resilience of this region, our experts will be engaging directly with the business community to change and adapt.

“As an organisation that works with 23,000 businesses across the region, by partnering with Business West we are confident of having the greatest impact empowering SMEs and MMEs to get to grips with the challenges they face.”