Asset finance drives SME lending to pre-crash levels

Tim Wallace
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Leasing and asset finance are among the biggest drives of growth in the sector as small firms seek alternatives to traditional bank loans, figures from the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) show.
A combination of caution from banks, new capital rules making it expensive to lend to SMEs, and firms’ own reluctance to borrow has driven down borrowing levels.
But loans secured on assets, leases, invoice finance and vehicle finance have all shot up in the last year.
Brokers with the NACFB arranged more than £1bn of finance for small firms in May, its highest level since the crisis struck. The biggest component was asset finance and leasing, at £230m and up 19.8 per cent on the year.
Commercial mortgages were next, raising £225m, up 25.7 per cent on May 2013.
And buy to let lending was next at £200m, down from £203m in the same month a year ago.

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