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Taking Harris to the world – and investing in a community

When companies of all sizes want to grow, we’re there to help. But we don’t just help take them to the world, we support them in boosting their own communities.

Isle of Harris Distillers hail from the remote, picturesque, Isle of Harris in North-West Scotland.

“We wanted to do something to re-energise the economy of Harris and in doing so create a business that provided long-term employment,” said Ron MacEachran, Executive Chairman and CFO.

“HSBC demonstrated an understanding of the challenges a young business had, particularly one that was quite distinctive by its location, and that relationship has evolved and developed ever since.

“To succeed internationally is absolutely vital for us. Fundamentally, as a Scotch Whisky business, we have to succeed internationally in order to secure our future.”

We have worked with Isle of Harris Distillers since 2016 – right from the start of their journey. And it’s been a rapid growth story.

“We’ve got a wonderful, positive relationship,” said Stephanie Betant, Head of Global Trade Solutions (GTS) UK, HSBC.

“We’re very much aligned in our mission and it’s a fantastic opportunity to support a young, dynamic ambitious business that need financing to grow, but also need advice when it comes to international expansion.

“It’s hugely valuable to be able to provide that insight into what makes international companies successful, but also what are the financial tools that are available to them.

“We have a vast international network. We cover more than 50 countries and 90% of international trade flows. So it’s hugely significant to our customers that have these international ambitions.

“HSBC is of course a powerhouse in Asia, so seeing them expand, helping them to do that, is truly very exciting for us.”

Isle of Harris Distillers’ growth has also proven hugely beneficial for the community of just under 2,000 people on the Isle of Harris.

“I don’t think we ever imagined that something like this could be so successful here and we’re hugely proud of it,” said Shona Macleod, Master Blender.

The distillery’s team also hope to see their work benefit future residents of the remote Western Isles.

“It’s not what we’re doing for ourselves, it’s what we can do for the future for the generations to come behind us,” said Sandra Fraser, Guest Team Supervisor.

“I’ve got two boys myself and to think there is a possibility of them wanting to work here at the Isle of Harris Distillery one day, that for me means more than anything.”

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