• 39% of SMEs reported using any form of external finance, the lowest recorded by the report.
• SME confidence that their bank will agree to a future lending request dropped to 40% in Q1 2013, from 43% in Q4 2012.
• Amongst ‘would-be loan seekers’, 40% said they had felt that ‘discouragement’ had stopped them applying for a loan.
• For those with any appetite for future borrowing, 27% cited access to finance as a major barrier to running businesses in the next 12 months. The current economic climate (43%) was still seen as the biggest barrier to running a business
Commenting on the independent SME Finance Monitor for Q1 2013, published today, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:“The latest figures from SME finance monitor are concerning because they show a continued deterioration in companies’ confidence when dealing with financial institutions. It is disheartening to see that the availability of external finance remains a barrier to growth for many businesses. Although it is understandable that first-time applicants remain among the least successful when applying for loans, many of these will be young and fast-growing firms who aren’t getting the funding they need to expand. This is why we need to see a swift delivery of the British Business Bank with both the scale and the infrastructure needed to help dynamic businesses to grow.”