More than half of the UK's small and medium-sized businesses say that banks are not business friendly.
A survey of 850 SMEs by business loan specialist LDF found that 52 per cent complaining about the banking sector's support.
30 per cent said that finance was the biggest difficulty they faced when setting up a new business, while one in four complained of too much red tape from their finance provider.
Worse still, one in ten said financial “blocks” almost led to them closing down.
LDF managing director Peter Alderson noted that 2015 figures from the department of business, innovation and skill showed that 99 per cent of private sector firms are SMEs.
“Whilst this sector is clearly thriving, our survey sheds light on the harsh financial realities faced by start-ups and established businesses alike,” Alderson said.
However, a spokesman for the British Bankers' Association replied that eight out of 10 businesses applying for finance in the past 18 months had been given the green light.
“Banks are firmly committed to helping SMEs do what they do best – drive economic growth and create jobs right across the country,” they said.
"It is now easier than ever for SMEs to do their banking and apply for finance”