Lending to small businesses on the up, claim banks

January 6th, 2011 by Chris St Cartmail

Banks across the UK have reported that credit availability for small businesses – defined as those with an annual turnover of under £1 million – is on the up.

According to the Bank of England's fourth quarter Credit Conditions Survey, lenders have reported that they have increased the access to funding over the last three months, and plan to increase it even further over the next few months.

They expect to see a definite rise in availability within the first quarter of this year. Following months of tight lending criteria, it should now be easier for small businesses to secure necessary credit, enabling them to continue with their growth, acquisition and expansion plans.

This positive news follows a report published by the Bank in December of last year which revealed that lending to small businesses had fallen by 4.5 per cent over the 2010 period.

But, despite the increasing availability of credit to small firms rising for the last three successive quarters, demand from such businesses is flat and, if the banks are correct, could fall further.

In terms of medium-sized businesses, neither the level of demand or credit availability changed.