Survey suggests many SMEs 'opting to self-fund'

A survey carried out by market research group BDRC has suggested that many UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are choosing to fund their expansion and growth plans using their own finances.

The survey, which quizzed over 130,000 SMEs, revealed that UK businesses are ‘more likely to be self-reliant’ when it comes to sourcing finance for their expansion plans, with many self-funding via retained profits, trade credit and credit balances.

Of those firms who did seek to secure a loan during 2017, 41% were confident that a bank would lend to them, the survey revealed.

Some 38% of SMEs made use of external finance last year, with 31% using ‘core finance’, including loans, overdrafts and credit cards.

Commenting on the findings, Stephen Pegge, Director of Commercial Finance at UK Finance, said: ‘It is encouraging that increasing numbers of small firms are looking to use finance to grow their business in the year ahead.

‘However, most SMEs are still self-funding, with the vast majority not seeking any new external finance in the past year.’

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