New research, conducted by Hampshire Trust Bank in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has analyses the latest full year British Bankers Association (BBA) lending figures to reveal a decline in SME lending of around £2bn.
The research shows that across the UK’s 10 major cities, outstanding lending dropped by 6 per cent (£2 billion) between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015. Alongside that, figures show a 12 per cent (£4 billion) drop in lending levels since Q2 2013, when this data started to be collected.
Cebr states that the reason for the decline in SME lending is two-fold. According to Cebr, “Tougher lending criteria set by banks have meant that those SMEs that wish to borrow have found themselves unable to do so. On the other hand, some firms have reduced their investment intentions and their need for borrowing, partially as a consequence of an unstable economic environment.”
Meanwhile, despite the findings showing that SME lending has fallen in the past, when looking to the future in to
2017, almost three in five (58%) UK SMEs feel confident about securing finance over the next 12 months.