Big improvement in banks lending to small businesses – SME report
THE banks are making more money available to small firms than any stage in the last four years, according to a new report.
The latest ISME Quarterly Bank Survey found that the demand and availability of bank credit improved sharply during the last three months, while companies now wait about four weeks for a credit decision, down from the five weeks it had been.
The report shows some 44pc of companies who applied for funding in the last three months were refused credit by their banks, down from 52pc previously.
More than 40pc of respondents had requested additional or new bank facilities in the last 3 months, showing an increase on the 35pc in the previous quarter.
Commenting on the survey results, ISME boss Mark Fielding said: "the headline results of the survey are positive and hopefully are the start of a trend back to 'normal' banking.
“However, the fact that both interest and charges are increasing across the board emphasises the fact that we must maintain a close eye on the bankers in the reduced market, with only two and a half main banks servicing the SME sector,” he added.