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Fewer small businesses are bothering to apply for loans and overdrafts but those that do are often successful revealing a mixed picture in the SME credit landscape.
Getting access to funds has been a bugbear for SMEs for the last few years and as a result many have given up or assumed that based on the current economic situation there is not a great deal of point trying.
Recent figures from the banks themselves revealed that they had missed targets to lend to SMEs as part of the Project Merlin scheme.
But the latest research of the credit landscape from BDRC Continental shows that although the number of small firms applying for overdrafts and loans last year almost halved to 7% from 13% just shy of 80% of those that applied were successful.
More small firms were prepared to describe themselves as 'happy non-seekers' who did not want to apply for finance. But there was still a large portion of the market 20% who could see themselves changing that status in the future.
Shiona Davies, director at BDRC Continental, said that demand for finance remained muted last year.
"Most applicants were successful, but smaller SMEs in particular were less likely to get approval for new funding. Looking forward, there are some signs of optimism - larger SMEs are more likely to be considering applying for, or renewing, external finance in the next three months, and almost half of all SMEs (44%) plan to grow in the next year," she said.