BCC: access to funds tough

MORE companies had difficulty accessing finance over the past quarter, according to a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br />Despite the Bank of England flooding the economy with &pound;200bn, banks are still being tight-fisted, posing a &ldquo;serious problem for British businesses&rdquo;, according to the BCC<br /><br />Its Monthly Business Survey, published today, found a third of companies reported that finance had been more difficult to secure over the past three months.<br /><br />In the June quarter one in five companies said financing was more difficult.<br /><br />In the latest quarter, the number of firms reporting an improved situation fell to three per cent from six per cent.<br /><br />BCC director general David Frost said: &ldquo;It is clear that the huge sums that have been injected into the financial system by quantitative easing are still not reaching small and medium-sized businesses in anything like the scale required for business to invest for future success.<br /><br />"The Pre-Budget Report on December 9th must include measures that encourage companies to invest and improve confidence. Announcing that 2011&rsquo;s planned increase in National Insurance contributions will be scrapped would be a good start.&rdquo;<br /><br />While accessing funds remains a persistent headache, most businesses nominated their biggest challenge over the coming year was the lack of money being spent during the recession as people fear for their jobs and those employed pay down debt.<br /><br />Of the 400 companies surveyed by the BCC, 64 per cent said a lack of customer demand was their biggest challenge.<br />