The Bank of England just released their periodic Trends in Lending report.
“The annual rate of growth in the stock of lending to UK businesses remained negative in the three months to February. The stock of lending both to small and medium-sized enterprises and to large businesses contracted over this period. Mortgage approvals by all UK-resident mortgage lenders for house purchase continued to rise, on average, in the three months to February. The annual rate of growth in the stock of secured lending to individuals rose to 1.1%. The annual rate of growth in the stock of consumer credit continued to be strong..”
Adam Tyler, Chief Executive of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) commented on the report stating;
“Against the backdrop of a more healthy economy, this morning’s figures will add to the frustration that SMEs are already feeling towards the banking sector. Borrowing does not seem to be getting any easier, and SMEs will no doubt question why they are not getting the support they need.
“Banks’ apparent unwillingness to lend is only half the picture. Accessibility and knowledge are also serious barriers. There are 150 banks and financial institutions in the UK who are able to lend to credit-worthy SMEs, but most small businesses either don’t know they exist, or are too busy to search for them. The good news is that we have a solution – hundreds of independent brokers on high streets across the UK who are already helping SMEs to unlock the finance they require.
“We need to change the way SMEs look for finance in this country. Specialist commercial finance brokers are perfectly placed to SMEs in their area, and the challenge now is to ensure small businesses know that they can help.”
It may be interesting to note that recently the UK Peer to Peer Finance Assocation (P2PFA) published a report indicating their sector had more than doubled versus same period year prior.