Commenting on the latest Bank of England figures Dr Louise Beaumont, Head of Marketing & Public Affairs at GLI Finance said:
“Although today’s figures from the Bank of England highlight a modest overall increase in lending to SMEs over the last 12 months, the figures mask the longer term problems that SMEs have faced. Since 2011, SMEs have had £5.7m withdrawn a day in small business overdrafts alone cutting available credit by a staggering £8.4bn, a drop of 40% in four years.
“Recent figures from the FSB also highlighted that fewer firms are even applying for finance now because they know that when they ask they are in danger of having their existing overdraft slashed or removed. It is clear more needs to be done to create an environment in which SMEs can thrive in order to allow them access to the finance they need to grow as they are the lifeblood of the UK economy.
“A recent report produced by GLI Finance in conjunction with the University of Cambridge in November 2015 highlighted that raising awareness levels amongst SMEs of options available through alternative finance could add up to £20 billion to the UK economy by 2020. The UK Government has made important progress in raising the profile of alternative finance as a complementary force in the financial services landscape by implementing supportive legislation and regulation. It is now crucial that it continues to build on these initial successes by working closely with the industry and key stakeholders to ensure SMEs are more aware of the benefits of being able to access the right type of capital at the right time.”