SME Access to Finance: Getting Applications Match Fit

Simon Goldie, Director of Advocacy

Since the credit crunch, SMEs have said that they sometimes face challenges accessing finance. Asset finance has been the exception by supporting smaller businesses quickly after the credit crunch and continuing to do so since.

The problem is that other types of finance have been more difficult to obtain. There is now a range of initiatives to help SMEs find the right finance: British Business Bank (BBB) guides, the bank referral scheme and work we have done with bodies representing SMEs to explain what asset finance is and who provides it.

Despite all of this, we are told anecdotally by the Federation of Small Businesses and others that SMEs continue to face challenges when accessing finance. We have seen in our data and the BBB’s Small Business Market Report, that FLA members have been funding a significant section of the SME community. However, we are aware of other SMEs that either don’t apply for finance, apply at the wrong time, have the wrong information or ask for the wrong finance.

To address these issues, we are looking at potential changes to public policy such as modifications to the bank referral scheme as well as providing practical help, particularly for smaller businesses.

So, watch this space for new developments in the coming months.


Published 17 May 2023

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