As you’ve surely noticed by now, different reports on the same subject don’t always agree, and it’s best not to put too much stock in any particular one. Just the same, new data from the Forum of Private Business indicates that small businesses are still having trouble with loans in the UK.
A recent survey asked about lending conditions in February, and the FPB reports, "Just 2% of respondents saw an improvement in accessing finance, while almost one in three (32%) experienced a deterioration." Which of course sounds like a move in the wrong direction.
What’s more, "While the terms and conditions of loans improved slightly for 3% of the small businesses surveyed, 91% experienced no improvement and 6% a deterioration, despite the introduction of the EFG [Enterprise Finance Guarantee]." So even the businesses that are making it past the access obstacles haven’t had that much luck.
Phil Orford, the FPB’s chief executive, stated as a result, "Research carried out by the FPB shows that the EFG is not working to ease the banks’ fears and free up finance sufficiently. We understand that many of the banks themselves have called for this cap to be removed."
So although we’ll go ahead and reiterate the standard warnings about sample sizes and participants’ sectors, it looks like another UK loan storm may be brewing.