Are banks backing your business?

SMEs tell us how the banking situation is affecting them.

John Hole, owner of tile company John’s Tile Centre.

We’ve been trading for 32 years, and I was just about to get ready for retirement when this happens.

I’ve had a good relationship with my bank for the past 15 years, but then in September they wrote to me to say my overdraft rate was increasing by three per cent.

Now with the hardening of our overdraft and a slowdown in business, it’s a dull picture for us. The bank is supposed to be there to support us.

Michael Thommes, owner of business finance broker General Finance Centre.

For the past 19 years we made a profit, but over this last year our revenue has dropped from £2.5 million to £500,000.

Our repayments in interest charges have gone up like everyone’s, but for us the actions of the banks has had a direct impact on our business as we make commission on brokering commercial loans.

We have no shortage of requests for credit, but a lot of the banks are just not prepared to lend at reasonable rates.

We were brokering a deal with a smaller lender who admitted they were not interested in making the interest rates favourable, when instead they could get away with doubling them and then repossess the property when businesses defaulted on the payments.

The banks are really not playing fair they need to be made to lend.

Alla Pashynska, owner of travel and medical tourism company Allo Travel.

With the current climate, people want to shop around more for cosmetic surgery and dental treatments, so we’ve actually seen an increase in interest.

The problem is that because we are in a growing stage, we really need more money to advertise and make people aware of what we’re offering. I haven’t even tried to approach the bank because I know they won’t agree to lend.

The government definitely needs to do more to encourage banks to lend to small businesses. Lending money to successful SMEs operating in a niche market will help the economy to recover.

David Thomson, chief executive of Close Invoice Finance, which specialises in lending money to SMEs

Because LIBOR [The rate at which banks lend to each other] is high, the extra cost is getting passed on in interest rates, so to some extent I can understand why they have increased.

From our point of view, it’s quite irritating that we have to compete against banks that have a government-backed guarantee because they’re perceived as safer.

However, we are still able to lend money to SMEs as we are well capitalised.

For small businesses wanting to raise money, the biggest asset for many is the outstanding invoices, and we are still providing up to 90 per cent against that.

See also: Looking for alternative funding to banks

Related Topics

Bank lending

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