2009 Start-up Rates Higher than 2008

High levels of unemployment and the need to earn a living caused more people to start a business last year than in 2008, Barclays has claimed. Commenting on new statistics on start-up rates produced by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), Barclays’ head of SME research, Richard Roberts, said the total number of businesses started in 2009 will exceed the 525,000 set up in 2008. According to the BBA survey, which measures start-up rates based on new banking relationships, fewer businesses were set up in the first ten months of 2009 – 460,000 compared to 468,000 in the same period in 2008. However, Roberts said that the total figure for start-ups in 2009 is likely to be higher when the last two months of the year are included. “We know from our own figures that more... »

Banks Gaining Monopoly on Lending, Warns FSB

Banks Gaining Monopoly on Lending, Warns FSB

High street banks could soon have a monopoly over lending to small businesses, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned. The business lobby group is concerned that recapitalisation, bank mergers and initiatives targeted at stimulating bank lending are stifling competition and choice for firms seeking finance.  “Business owners who are refused finance with a major lender have few alternative ways to secure credit,” said an FSB spokesman. “We want to see more alternative sources of finance provided locally, such as through post offices, financial intermediaries and Regional Development Agencies. “Struggling banks should not be sold off to other high street lenders, as this would create massive institutions which would curb competition,” he added.... »

Sole Traders Opting Out of Business Banking

Sole traders and home-based businesses are shunning business banking in favour of personal accounts, writes Farah Jifri. According to research by, more than a million owner-managers are choosing to stick with their retail account rather than take advantage of specialist services that may accompany business banking, the survey suggests. The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) believes this is largely because owner-managers do not get around to changing their accounts as their business that started as a hobby evolves., however, claimed the main reason was the wide gap between interest rates available on personal and business accounts. A high street bank might offer up to eight per cent interest on balances up to £2,500 in their personal accounts... »