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Help to Buy but what about help for SMEs?

The headlines are full of the government’s Help to Buy scheme and news of an upturn in mortgage lending, but obtaining SME finance remains challenge, underlining why invoice finance is so vital.

It’s hard to miss mention of the Help to Buy scheme at the moment – the mortgage market is enjoying a long-awaited upswing, with mortgage approvals hitting a 17-month high in June, according to the British Bankers’ Association, while the new figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders puts lending to first-time buyers at a six-year high.

However, despite a multi-million pound injection into the Funding for Lending scheme aimed directly at boosting small business lending, there has been scant improvement in terms of SME lending from banks. Only last week, BIS entrepreneur-in-residence Lawrence Tomlinson issued a damning report on banks’ conduct in relation to SME lending. A few months ago, the Bank of England released new data showing a £452 million drop in SME lending as part of a £1.27 billion fall in overall business lending.

These figures underline just how important invoice finance has become to small businesses, in particular coupled with persistent doubts over the structure of the British Business Bank and its capacity to tackle bank cautiousness and trigger a much-needed upturn in SME lending.

Invoice finance has gone from strength to strength and led a boom in alternative finance products. Although invoice finance remains a minority player in the overall SME finance marketplace, it is set to earn an increasingly large part of the pie thanks in no small part to its flexibility, transparency and affordability.

Where is help for SMEs going to come from? As more and more SMEs turn to invoice finance, arguably, it is already here.

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

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