According to the latest SME Finance Monitor from BDRC Continental, eight out of ten UK companies have been granted access to finance in the past 18 months, while SME confidence is at its highest level since 2011.
And, as SMEs begin to better understand the different finance options available to them, these numbers are likely to continue increasing. For example, the take up of asset finance by smaller businesses increased year-on-year by 14 per cent in 2014, reaching £25.4bn and further demonstrating a readiness from SMEs to consider alternative funding routes, rather than simply going with traditional bank options.
The trend is also supported by the most recent figures from the Federation of Small Businesses, which reported that 60 per cent of loan applications were approved in Q1 2014, compared with 45 per cent in Q1 2013.
In fact, only six per cent of companies interviewed by the SME Finance monitor cited access to finance as an obstacle, way behind the current economic climate (13%), legislation and regulation (12%), and cash flow and late payments (8%).
Philip Brennan, head of businesscomparison.com, said
“With more lenders than ever before, businesses should be able to access the credit they need. However awareness of available options is still an issue.
Hopefully the Funding for Lending Scheme is finally having a positive effect, with net lending of participating banks in the black.”