Key data highlights:

  • There were 73,971 new loan approvals to SMEs across the UK in Q1 2018, a slight increase from 72,272 in the first quarter of 2017.
  • The number of new loan approvals in the production and manufacturing industries increased to 23,707, up from 22,868 in the same quarter last year.
  • Total net deposits in the SME sector amount to £173bn, exceeding outstanding borrowing of £95bn.
  • There was little net change in the stock of SME lending in the first quarter, as amounts of both new lending and repayments were more than 10 per cent lower than in the same quarter a year earlier.

Commenting on the data, Stephen Pegge, Managing Director, Commercial at UK Finance said:

“The number of new approved loans to SMEs grew slightly in the first quarter of the year, driven in part by increased demand in the manufacturing and production industries.

“SMEs should feel confident about applying for credit to grow and expand, with banks continuing to approve eight in 10 applications for finance.”

Notes to Editor

  1. For more information please call the UK Finance press office on 020 7416 6750 or mail
  2. UK Finance is a trade association formed on 1 July 2017 to represent the finance and banking industry operating in the UK. It represents around 300 firms in the UK providing credit, banking, markets and payment-related services. The new organisation brings together most of the activities previously carried out by the Asset Based Finance Association, the British Bankers’ Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Financial Fraud Action UK, Payments UK and the UK Cards Association.
  3. This update relates to the business of mainstream SME financing banks in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, representing around 60 per cent of all debt finance for SMEs in the UK.
  4. Small and Medium-sized enterprises are identified by banks notionally as those businesesses with under £25million turnover, although other business metrics may determine reporting coverage such that data in this update reflects the SME sector.
Number of new loans to SMEs increases in Q1 2018
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