Small Business Lending Slows

Rue Irving

A report by the British Business Bank reveals net lending to SMEs shrank to £500m last year, compared with £700m in 2017. The study also shows a dramatic slowdown in the growth of alternative forms of funding, including peer-to-peer lending and asset finance. Lending through peer-to-peer platforms rose by 18% last year, compared with 51% in 2017, while t he value of equity investments in small companies increased by 4% in 2017, having risen by 79% the year before. “We have seen a relatively recent drop in small business confidence and that is leading people to recognise more of the downsides of Brexit,” said Keith Morgan, the bank’s chief executive. More than a third of small businesses said they expected Brexit to make it more difficult to access finance, although half said they still expected to grow in the next 12 months.