SME Statistics

Banking support for UK small and medium-sized enterprises.

30th Jun 2017 Back to top
  • Bank Support for SMEs – 1st Quarter 2017

    Mike Conroy, BBA, Executive Director, Corporate and Commercial Banking said:

    “The first quarter of this year saw an upturn in applications for loans and overdrafts from SMEs, although volumes were lower than at the same time a year earlier. Some 8 in 10 applications were approved and around £5.3bn of new lending was provided to support SMEs across regions and industry sectors”

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9th Mar 2017 Back to top
  • Bank Support for SMEs – 4th Quarter 2016

    Mike Conroy, BBA, Executive Director, Corporate and Commercial Banking said:

    “Our SME lending data consistently show that banks say ‘yes’ to 8 in 10 applications for finance and in Q4 2016, over £5 billion of new lending was approved across the regions and industry sectors. Total lending to SMEs stands at £110 billion and within that, use of structured loans increased by £1.5bn (net) last year, suggesting improved business investment. However, total applications for bank finance were 9% lower last year, as businesses explored alternative options such as leasing finance, or continued to build their cash reserves to finance operations.”

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1st Dec 2016 Back to top
  • Bank Support for SMEs – 3rd Quarter 2016

    Mike Conroy, the BBA’s Managing Director for Business Finance, said:

    “The BBA’s latest data show that £5.6bn of lending was approved for SMEs in the third quarter. So far this year we have continued to see a modest expansion in net lending.

    “Application approval rates remain very healthy and over 80% of businesses are getting finance when they apply. But there is clearly lower demand for finance from businesses overall than in the same quarter a year ago. ‎This subdued demand reflects reduced or postponed investment plans and continued deposit holding, particularly by smaller firms, as they operate within an uncertain trading environment. However, we are seeing regional differences. In Scotland, Wales, Yorkshire and the North West, demand for credit has increased moderately compared to the same period last year.”

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8th Sep 2016 Back to top
  • Bank Support for SMEs – 2nd Quarter 2016

    Mike Conroy, the BBA’s Managing Director for Business Finance, said:

    “Banks are firmly committed to helping SMEs do what they do best – drive economic growth and create jobs right across the country.

    “This data shows that there has been a continued net expansion in SME borrowing this year, with around £6 billion of new lending approved each quarter.

    “The first half of this year saw a drop in loan applications amid uncertainty around the EU referendum, and lower business and consumer confidence. SMEs increased their cash deposits as a buffer in response to this uncertainty.”

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15th Jul 2016 Back to top
  • Bank Support for SMEs – 1st Quarter 2016

    Commenting on the latest BBA figures, Mike Conroy, Managing Director, Business Finance said:

    “The BBA’s data for Q1 2016 are pre-Referendum but show some nervousness ahead of the result. For example, Q1 showed high lending approval rates against a backdrop of reduced demand, with some £6 billion of new lending facilities approved and the level of lending support has been stable over the past year. It is difficult to predict the impact of Brexit on commercial lending, but as Mark Carney said last week, the Bank of England’s reduction in capital requirements is designed to support bank lending of up to £150 billionn to households and businesses in the months ahead despite interest rates being held today.

    “We are continuing to see small and medium-sized businesses build up their cash deposits which, alongside reduced credit applications, suggests that SMEs are uncertain about their own business growth in the uncertain domestic and global economic environment. While SMEs may be finding the uncertainties tough, bank lending will nevertheless continue to be available through 2016 to support their businesses.”

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3rd Mar 2016 Back to top
  • Bank support for SMEs – 4th Quarter 2015

    Commenting on the latest BBA figures, Mike Conroy, Managing Director, Business Finance said:

    “Net lending to SMEs of £2bn last year was the first positive annual figure in this data series, despite applications for loans and overdrafts being lower than in 2014. While alternative products such as leasing and invoice discounting are playing an increasing part for SMEs, the fact that their deposits are growing by 7% annually means that the need for external finance has been lessened. However, for those SMEs seeking loans or overdrafts, more than 8 in every 10 applications are approved, so the fact that more than £6bn of new lending was approved quarterly last year and that there was positive net lending across 2015 are encouraging signs.”

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14th Dec 2015 Back to top
  • Bank support for SMEs – 3rd Quarter 2015

    Key points:

    • Cash holdings continue to grow, reducing SME needs for bank finance. Deposit levels are growing by 8% annually and substantially exceed SME borrowing, by more than £60 billion.
    • Finance applications from 8 in 10 smaller businesses and 9 in 10 medium businesses are approved. However, the number of applications from smaller businesses continues to slow down.
    • New loan borrowing by medium businesses is continuing to rise.
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3rd Sep 2015 Back to top
28th May 2015 Back to top
  • Bank support for SMEs – 1st Quarter 2015

    • The start of 2015 has seen stronger lending to medium-sized enterprises and a higher number of loans being approved for small businesses. The first quarter saw 35,500 loans approved for all SME’s.
    • Most industry sectors and regions saw more lending facilities approved in Q1 2015 than in Q1 2014.
    • SME demand for finance continues to be moderated by growth in cash holdings. Deposit levels are 10% higher year-on-year and significantly exceed borrowing, by around £54 billion.
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26th Feb 2015 Back to top
  • Bank support for SMEs – 4th Quarter 2014

    Key points:

    • SME cash holdings continue to rise.  Deposit levels are 11% higher year-on-year and now exceed borrowing by more than £54 billion, no doubt playing a part in curbing SME demand for finance.
    • £29.2 billion of new SME borrowing was approved throughout 2014, 9% more than in 2013.  Borrowing demand from medium-sized businesses strengthened in Q4, continuing a recent expansion in their net borrowing.
    • Compared to previous quarters, approved borrowing overall was lower in the final quarter, although it remained broadly‑based across industry sectors and geographic regions.
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