UK Finance’s most recent report indicates that the number of new loans to UK SMEs increased slightly in the first quarter of 2018. There were 73,971 new loan approvals to SMEs across the UK in Q1 versus 72,272 in Q1 of 2017. A report by UK Finance published in May stated, “UK business borrowing contracted slightly by 1.7 per cent in the last 12 months.”
The CEO of iwoca, Christoph Rieche, said the data from UK Finance which shows the dire state of banking support for SMEs in the UK.
“UK Finance data shows that since 2011, the number of approved business overdrafts has declined by nearly 30%, despite consistent growth in the number of active small businesses – businesses with £1m to £2m in turnover. Meanwhile in Q1 of this year, iwoca approved nearly 3,700 small businesses for its Credit Line, equivalent to 9% of the total number of small business overdrafts approved by all the banks combined.”
Rieche said this situation cannot continue, especially at a time of weakening economic growth.
“Access to flexible finance is critical for small businesses to improve productivity and compete.”
Rieche noted that iwoca has doubled its loan volume in the last year and is committed to “reversing the disturbing decline in SME lending.”