CBI Welcomes New Credit Conditions Survey Findings

Approval Rates For Small Business Loans Are Rising, New Report Shows

10.01.2014

Fergal Dowling, Partner | +44 (0)121 214 5476

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has welcomed a new Bank of England (BoE) report, which suggests corporate loans are becoming easier to secure.

According to the Credit Conditions Survey, overall credit availability to the business sector "increased significantly" in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Small enterprises and large corporations in particular found it much easier to gain access to finance, while there was little change in the amount of money being offered to medium-sized firms.

In fact, the net balance of lenders who reported an upturn in credit availability for small businesses was at its second highest point since the fourth quarter of 2009. Additionally, the proportion of small business loans being successfully approved has now risen for four consecutive quarters.

Even so, the BoE found the demand for finance among small companies remained broadly flat in the final three months of last year, while medium-sized firms were far more proactive in searching for new credit options.

Director for competitive markets at the CBI Matthew Fell welcomed the news.

"This data shows that the availability of finance for growing business is improving and is likely to get even better this year. This news should give another boost to business confidence, especially for smaller firms, where demand for finance is still subdued," he commented.

Mr Fell added that the cost of financing is also falling, which will make it easier for entrepreneurs to get their hands on the credit needed to expand their enterprises.

He thinks initiatives such as the Funding for Lending Scheme should be focused on making life easier for small businesses in particular.

The CBI representative also suggested that impending changes to the UK's banking sector need to be made in a "clear and predictable way", so that structural alterations do not break up the momentum that has been built in recent months.

Expert Opinion
We have seen numerous reports in recent months highlighting that access to finance has been a key concern for many small businesses, so any suggestion that availability is growing will be widely welcomed.

“If small businesses are going to be the driving force behind the economy that many people expect and hope they will be, they need support of all kinds.

“This can come in the form of tailored legal advice on matters including employment, real estate for instance, or in the form of access to vital funds which allow them to develop and grow.

“Hopes are high that 2014 will mark a key point when finance availability for SMEs will really improve and it will be interesting to see how things develop in the coming months.”
Fergal Dowling, Partner