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New research: alternative SME lending services are essential

While the decision to strip ex-Royal Bank of Scotland chief Fred Goodwin of his knighthood is grabbing the headlines, there has also been some important SME lending news, putting a focus on bank SME finance and alternative SME credit services such as invoice finance.

So Sir Fred is now just plain old Fred, a move that should buy the Prime Minister some capital and, maybe, will allow the government to focus on improving conditions surrounding small business finance. The recent launch of the new Business in You campaign, designed to inspire people to start or grow their own businesses and help small businesses to understand the help available to them, is certainly a step in the right direction.

As part of the campaign, the government will offer access to information on alternatives to SME bank loans. Such a move is timely, not just because a recent report has shown some optimism in the SME sector for 2012, but also because another study has illustrated the continuing lack of confidence that the SME sector has in bank small business lending.

According to new research from HSBC Commercial Bank, nearly 85% of SMEs believe they will grow over the next 12 months, with one in five aspiring to grow market share and over 50% expecting to increase turnover.

At the same time, another new report has shown that, despite government initiatives and bank announcements promoting SME lending, small businesses believe they will need to seek alternative ways of SME funding in 2012. These findings shine a spotlight on alternative small business credit products such as invoice discounting, factoring and asset finance, whose popularity has grown strongly in recent years.

Looking ahead for 2012, it seems clear that, in terms of small business lending, SME finance strategies will increasingly encompass both mainstream and alternative SME loan facilities.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact us on 01903 602211 or info@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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