Small Business Banking: Lending Continues to Fall

Bank of England Trends in Lending Report January 2011Today the Bank of England released its quarterly Trends in Lending statistics. The report revealed that the stock of lending to UK businesses contracted by around £5 billion in the three months to November.

However, a contraction in September and October 2010 was partially offset by an increase in November, the first positive net figure for lending since February 2010.

James Meekings, co-founder of Funding Circle, the innovative online social lending marketplace, had this to say about the latest figures:

“These figures are another deafening blow to the banks’ claims that they are lending. Look even closer and you will see how situation is getting worse for small businesses – the stock of lending is falling faster and the interest rates being charged are putting them off applying for loans in the first place. Little wonder creditworthy small firms are looking to other sources for cheaper, simpler, fairer finance.”

“The demand we have seen at Funding Circle is testament to this. Our lenders compete against each other in auctions to lend to small businesses, which keeps the rates competitive – the average interest rate is 8.2%.”

“The future of Britain’s small businesses is being put at risk by the dearth of funding available from traditional sources so it’s no surprise firms are looking elsewhere to secure their future.”

Whilst business lending by the banks has been supressed in recent years, Funding Circle, as we reported in November, lent £1M to small businesses in just 10 weeks.

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