Almost two thirds of SMEs have not sought any extra finance over the past two years from banks or any other form of lender according to a recent YouGov report, ‘SME 2013 Banking’.
Bank Lending Falling
At the same time, lending to UK firms by foreign banks is reported to have plummeted nearly 40 percent since the credit crunch began. Figures show that the value of loans has dropped by from £221 billion in 2008 to just £137 billion today. (In contrast, lending by UK banks has fallen by around half this rate, from 21% from £380 billion in 2008 to £302 billion.)
Experts say that the sharp fall is largely due to overseas lenders focusing on domestic markets. European banks that have cut their exposure to UK firms include ING, which has withdrawn from asset finance in the UK.
Syscap, the firm that carried out the research, pointed out that European lenders have come under political pressure to support their own economies first.
Asset Finance Growing
Meantime , UK Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) members report that new business provided to fund investment in construction equipment grew this October by 41% (to £134m), and by 13% over the last twelve months (to £1.2bn). Overall, the UK asset finance market reported growth of 4% to £1.9bn in October for new business deals of up to £20m. This market has grown each month since April 2013, with new business up in the first 10 months of the year by 2% to almost £17.7bn compared with the same period in 2012.
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