BANKS remain the lender of choice for Britain’s small and medium-sized enterprises, a survey has revealed.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that four out of five SMEs expecting to need finance in future anticipate seeking the funding from banks.
The ONS said 42% of SMEs sought finance in 2010 against 35% in 2007. For those seeking loan finance last year, about three-quarters of them approached banks for the cash. That compares with about 90% in 2007.
Some 83% of firms said they expected to approach banks for future funding ahead of leasing companies or other financial institutions.
More than half of firms said future financing would be used to maintain the business as a going concern or to expand its domestic activities. Only 9% said it would be used for innovation or research and development while just 6% said it would help finance export sales.