FPB raises concerns over bank lending to UK SMBs

Monday 2 September 2013

City of London

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) is concerned that the banking sector could put a brake on private sector growth in the UK by failing to support small companies.

Phil Orford, chief executive of the organisation, said data from the latest BDRC Finance Monitor highlights the urgent need for banks to lend to businesses looking to grow and employ.

"Without further support for Britain's small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), a key driving force behind the economy, the recovery could stall before it has been given a chance to take hold," he claimed.

The BDRC Finance Monitor found that while 51 per cent of SMBs are looking to grow over the next 12 months, just one in three are using loans, overdrafts, commercial mortgages and credit cards.

This figure was almost unchanged from the last quarter at 33 per cent, maintaining the downward levels witnessed over the past two years.

Mr Orford said businesses need to have access to more information about the current finance support schemes, more comprehensive advice on the alternatives available and easier access to the appeals process when an application fails.

He said there has been increased interest among SMBs about crowd and peer-to-peer funding in recent months.

"However, it is the high street banks that have the capability to power growth as businesses look to finance expansion and investment," the FPB chief claimed.

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Posted by Steve Williams