Moving Finance Forward - a banking and finance review

Thank you very much to all of you who participated in our survey, we are pleased to report on the survey of businesses in the South East. The report gauges borrowers' appetite for finance, their current views of banks and other lenders, and their receptiveness towards alternative sources of finance in the business community. View the full report.

The report is particularly relevant at a time when the government is starting to address the perceived mis-match between the funding needs of small or medium sized businesses, and the capacity of banks to meet those needs in a tougher regulatory environment. This week saw the launch of the National Loan Guarantee Scheme and the publication of a report from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills into alternative sources of finance for SMEs.

As you will see, our key findings are that businesses remain keen to take on further debt funding where possible. There is a pretty even division between borrowers who are generally satisfied with their banks and consider that funding is available on acceptable terms, and those who feel that funding is either not available to them or is overpriced and have some concerns about the service they are receiving from their banks and other lenders.

There is an appetite to consider alternative forms of finance although it appears that most recipients need to understand more of the options on offer.

Our findings will be useful for borrowers and finance providers in understanding businesses' needs and wishes, identifying current sentiment and issues of common concern, and raising constructive suggestions which may play a part in moving finance forward.

We believe there will be an interesting evolution and diversification of funding sources for SMEs over the next few years, and we will be actively involved in advising lenders and borrowers in the developing landscape.

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