London attracts biggest share of small business bank loans

Tim Wallace
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LONDON’S small businesses account for more than one-fifth of bank loans to the sector, data from the British Bankers’ Association showed yesterday.

As a result the capital’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) currently owe around £35.8bn. The south east came next with 13 per cent of the UK’s stock of SME loans, worth £22.2bn.

However, the data also shows London’s SMEs make 29 per cent of UK small business turnover, indicating they are borrowing a disproportionately small amount.

“SMEs in London are more likely to have difficulties sourcing funding for research and development, sales and marketing and capital expenditure than any other region in the UK,” said Neil Sevitt from tax accountants Baker Tilly. “With London being the heaviest populated area for businesses, this could mean that the pace of recovery among SMEs in London and the south might be slower than out in the wider regions.”