More than a quarter of UK SMEs say they have had difficulties accessing finance from their main banks, according to new research.
The research, commissioned by embedded finance and payment fintech Sonovate, found that 26 per cent of firms surveyed had trouble accessing finance from their bank while over a third (38 per cent) say their main bank doesn’t understand their business needs.
Another finding was that around two in five businesses (41 per cent) think banks’ lending policies haven’t kept pace with modern business needs while 35 per cent said that banks provide them with no other service or support beyond lending.
The findings follow a recent announcement by the FCA warning banks to improve their treatment of small business owners after a review found ongoing instances of lenders treating small businesses unfairly over several issues including ensuring fairness.
On the other hand, those surveyed recognised the benefits of using non-traditional banks. For example, over a third (37 per cent) of businesses surveyed say that alternative lenders make it easier to access funding.
Additionally, around three-quarters (76 per cent) say that invoice financing tools have greatly benefited their business, with around two-thirds (64 per cent) citing faster transactions and business processes as key advantages. But only five per cent surveyed secured a loan or accessed invoice finance from an alternative lender in the past 12 months.