Small businesses are among those still struggling to get access to finance, according to one expert speaking after disappointing lending figures were released.
The Bank of England (BoE) revealed this week that lending fell by £2.1 billion in December following a decline of £2.5 billion in November.
And with net lending to businesses falling by £18.7 billion overall in 2012, experts are concerned that businesses are not getting the funding they require.
Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: "These figures clearly demonstrate that the difficult credit environment remains a significant drag on economic growth in the UK.
"Some of our youngest and fastest growing firms who stand ready to pull the UK economy out of stagnation are being left out in the cold, because they can't get access to the finance they need to expand."
It comes after the Confederation of British Industry called for greater investment in UK businesses from government.
Posted by Thomas Fletcher