UK banks remain ‘business unfriendly’ to SMEs » SMEInsider

UK banks remain ‘business unfriendly’ to SMEs

Banks are still failing to adequately service their SME clients, according to a new survey. Business loan providers LDF conducted the research, talking to 850 small business owners, and found that over half of those responding believed their banks to be business unfriendly. The news came on the day that Lloyds Bank announced it was to close around 200 branches, leaving many smaller firms without a local branch manager.

In addition, the survey showed that 30 per cent of SMEs said that finance was the biggest difficulty they faced when setting up a new business, closely followed by insufficient capital (29%) and too much red tape from their finance provider (25%

LDF managing director Peter Alderson noted that 2015 figures from the department of business, innovation and skill showed that 99 per cent of private sector firms are SMEs.

“Whilst this sector is clearly thriving, our survey sheds light on the harsh financial realities faced by start-ups and established businesses alike,” Alderson said.

The research also included an SME Map of the UK, which revealed what businesses are thriving where in the country. Of the cities surveyed, Liverpool is the education leader with 12% of start-ups in this sector, whereas Southampton comes top for IT (18%) and Edinburgh and Newcastle for finance (10%). Cardiff leads the way in manufacturing with 18% of its SMEs focused on manufacturing. Arts and culture is flourishing in Bristol (10%) and professional services is big business in Southampton (18%)