Over a third of SMEs find it challenging to access finance from banks


The survey revealed that SMEs identified an increase in the availability of finance as the most important factor in their region which could help them grow and prosper, with 41 per cent of SMEs surveyed saying it is the most important development in their region.

The research also highlights that 41 per cent of those businesses based in the regions – outside of London and the South East – believe they do not have access to finance on an equal basis to businesses located in London. This underscores the critical role that banks focused on the UK’s core regional economies play in supporting economic growth.

Furthermore, 24 per cent intend to use the finance to hire new staff whilst 20 per cent plan to invest in new infrastructure or capital equipment. Differently, 20 per cent plan to buy or refurbish premises, 18 per cent would use new finance for working capital whilst 9 per cent said they would invest in Research & Development.

Gavin Opperman, Group Customer Banking Director, CYBG, commented: “With our rich and longstanding heritage across core regional economies, we recognise the important role local businesses have in forming the backbone of the UK economy, by providing employment and financial security for business owners and their employees.  CYBG has been acting as a regional economic champion for over 175 years and we have a history of supporting businesses at critical moments in their growth.

“Our focus on developing lifelong relationships with our customers via our business banking centres and regional managers means we have developed the expertise to understand the varying challenges businesses face at different stages in their life cycle.  With more than £2 billion in funding available in 2017 and £6 billion over the next three years, CYBG is proud to finance the innovation and creativity of small and medium enterprises across the UK.”

Margot James, Small Businesses  Minister, commented: “Today’s announcement from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank will be welcome news for SMEs across the country that want to access the finance they need to grow and prosper.  Supporting business to grow is one of the ten pillars of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper and we are committed to creating the right conditions for SMEs to thrive as part of our plan to build an economy that works for all. I am especially pleased to see that 90 per cent of this credit facility is destined for businesses outside London and the South East, with a focus on Yorkshire.”

Tom Riordan, Chief Executive, Leeds City Council, commented: “Small and mid-sized businesses are a central part of our economic growth story, employing hundreds and thousands of people across every sector. Access to finance is a critical part of helping them to grow and play an even bigger part in the local economy, so I’m pleased to see Yorkshire Bank’s continued commitment to increase lending to them, particularly here in their Yorkshire heartland”.