Survey Shows Small Firms Get Small Change From Banks

Commenting on the figures, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said, “There has been considerable concern expressed by the business community in recent years that they are not getting access to the financial support needed from banks to grow their businesses. “Official statistics released today confirm that businesses are much less likely to have been successful in obtaining a loan or an overdraft in 2010 compared to 2007. The decline was particularly marked for the micro business population where success rates halved over the period.” The Minister added,  “Access to finance on reasonable terms is essential to grow our way out of the current economic downturn. I would encourage the banking sector to work more closely with businesses to their mutual benefit, particularly in the high valued added export-led sector.” The percentage of SME’s applying for finance from any source remained relatively constant over the period. In 2007, 38% of SMEs applied for finance (loan, equity or other finance including overdrafts) and in 2010 39%. Northern Ireland SME’s (42%) were more likely to indicate that the willingness of banks to provide finance (of any type) had worsened over the period, compared to their counterparts in the UK (33%). Twenty nine per cent of all Northern Ireland SME’s expect to seek a bank loan before 2013 (25% in the UK) compared to 16% who applied in 2010. The Northern Ireland Business Access to Finance 2007 and 2010 press release can be accessed via]]>