According to a report from the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) small business lending via NACFB brokers has increased 20% to £12.7 billion from July 2013 to July 2014. The data was published as part of the annual broker survey that showed the year over year boost. The results show the largest increase in business completed by NACFB brokers in one year since pre-recession times. The results include traditional banks and peer to peer (P2P) lenders. This year’s lending total is almost double the £7 billion that NACFB lenders facilitated during the peak of the financial crisis in 2009.
Some of the highlights of the report include:
- Lending levels by new types of business finance such as peer to peer and crowdfunding continued to accelerate, increasing 25% to £624m
- Vehicle finance increased by 106%, from £405m of SME loans in 2012/13 to £835m in 2013/2014 – indicating growing confidence among small businesses
- Buy-to-let finance saw a 30% increase to over £3bn, as the struggle to become a homeowner continues to boost the rental market
- Traditional forms of finance such as Leasing, Asset Finance and Commercial Mortgages showed moderate levels of growth in comparison. Invoice Finance registered a small fall of -2%
- The number of SME lenders working with NACFB has increased from 45 during the recession to a record 115 in 2014
“If you were a small business seeking finance to expand and grow back in 2009, it was incredibly difficult to find a lender that would say yes. Fast-forward to 2014 and it’s a different picture. There are now more than 100 SME lenders operating in the UK and the market is diversifying at an incredible rate.
“Availability of funds is no longer the issue, but there are still significant barriers facing SMEs who are looking for finance. Foremost among these is awareness. Small businesses don’t have to rely on their high street bank for credit, but few are aware of the full range of alternatives out there – or that an independent broker will be able to match them with the best lender for their needs.
“As the SME lending market evolves, so too must the way that small businesses think about finance. Look beyond the high street, and you’ll be amazed at the sheer number of lenders who have the appetite and infrastructure to provide finance to SMEs who are ready to grow.”