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Small business lending enjoys record levels

According to the latest figures from the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers, small business lending has increased by almost 30 per cent over the past year.

The total figure has now reached £20.7 billion, with the figures taken from business written by NACFB brokers between July 2015 and June 2016.

Overall, lending to SMEs in the last year actually exceeded the pre-recession high of 2007.  The amount also represented the seventh consecutive year of growth in lending to small businesses.

Traditional forms of lending – such as commercial mortgages – enjoyed an impressive year, increasing by over £5.3 billion; a 54.8 per cent increase on the previous twelve months.  More contemporary lending methods – such as peer-to-peer and crowdfunding – slowed however.

It’s believed that the commercial mortgage business in particular has benefited from renewed confidence in long-term lending.  There are a wide assortment of deals available on the market, with appetite for lending amongst traditional high street loan firms higher than in previous years.

Commercial mortgage business written by NACFB members has more than doubled on the £2.23 billion taken in 2014.
A number of other areas have also enjoyed strong growth, with finance rising by 22.8 per cent, leasing and equipment finance up 10.5 per cent, development finance up by 49.8 per cent and bridging finance increasing by 74.6 per cent.

Adam Tyler, chief executive for the NACFB, said:

‘With the UK’s SME community showing a real appetite for growth, despite the uncertainty of Brexit, we have seen small business lending at levels above even those registered before the financial crash.’

‘The alternative finance sector has grown at such a pace that it was inevitable that rate of growth couldn’t be sustained. Peer-to-peer will always have its place, but alternative forms of funding are no longer the only future; they are just one of many forms of finance available to small and medium sized businesses.’

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