Net lending to businesses continues to contract

Nia Williams

October 23, 2013

The figures show there was a strong increase in total non-financial business borrowing levels in September but annual growth overall continues to contract. Within that, however, SME borrowing levels are stable.

Adam Tyler, CEO of the NACFB commented: “High-street lenders remain very selective in granting finance which is stifling small businesses and slamming the brakes on economic growth, particularly jobs and wages.

“With no underwriting for their potential losses, high street lenders are still reluctant to support SMEs – leaving many choked of funds they need to make their ambitions a reality.

“Alternative options from leasing and asset finance to peer-to-peer lending are taking up the slack and plugging a vital gap.

“SMEs need to be encouraged to seek alternative forms of finance and the pick-up in lending activity through commercial brokers shows a growing awareness and understanding of the available options.

“The job is far from done, however, and we need a collective effort if the UK is to adequately support entrepreneurship, boost job creation and achieve a full and permanent recovery.”

Analysis of data from the NACFB shows:

• small business funding through leasing and asset finance grew 12% from 2011/12 to 2012/13

• asset finance now provides 22% of alternative loans to SMEs – up from 7% in 2007/8

• the value of peer to peer lending and other new forms of small business finance also grew by 80% in 2012/13.

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