Comments from Mark Collings on the Bank of England business lending data
Comments from Mark Collings, chief commercial officer of the debt finance platform CODE Investing:
- Despite a continuation of what the bank’s Governor Mark Carney has described as “Brexit Fog”, it’s encouraging to see that overall bank lending to business picked up in April.
- The passing of the March 29 Brexit deadline, with all its inherent symbolism, appears to have made some businesses more bullish.
- Drill down into the detail, however, and large manufacturing firms account for most of this increase.
- The annual growth rate of lending to the UK’s millions of SMEs was an anaemic 0.2%.
- SMEs continue to bear the brunt of tougher lending criteria from banks, especially those that are exposed to the export sector.
- It’s no surprise that a growing number of SMEs are turning to alternative sources when traditional lenders are putting more and more obstacles in their way.
- What we’re seeing are SME owners who need fast, flexible access to finance, not endless form filling and unrealistic demands.
- Today’s Bank of England data highlights once again that it is now more important than ever that alternative providers plug the funding gap created by the high street banks.