Big fall in bank lending to SMEs over last 12 months

Access to funding is vital for businesses trying to expand
Access to funding is vital for businesses trying to expand

Bank lending to smaller companies has fallen in more than half of the country in the past year, a new study suggests.

Research by debt advisers Hadrian’s Wall Capital indicated that 74 out of 132 postal areas of Britain saw falls in the value of bank loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Some of the biggest falls in lending were in cities of former industrial and manufacturing heartlands, including Birmingham and Sheffield.

“Small businesses have spent the last 10 years since the financial crisis struggling to secure finance, and Brexit uncertainty is compounding this,” said Marc Bajer, CEO of Hadrian’s Wall Capital.

“Having access to finance over the long term can be very important for small businesses planning for the future.

“If they are unable to access finance to secure a deal or fund an expansion, that could be very detrimental to growth.”