Key data highlights:

  • There were 69,300 new loans approved to SMEs across the UK for a value of £7.1bn in Q2 2018.
  • Banks approved eight out of 10 applications for SME finance.
  • SMEs continue to be net depositors (cash held in current and deposit accounts exceed borrowing through loans and overdrafts).
  • The second quarter showed an improved demand for credit from SMEs.

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

“Banks approved almost 70,000 loans to SMEs this quarter and success rates remain high, with eight out of 10 applications getting the green light.

“Demand for finance amongst SMEs has increased, particularly among production and manufacturing industries.

“SMEs also increased cash balances and paid down existing lending, leaving outstanding borrowing little changed overall.”

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 250 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 businesses with under £25 million turnover, although other business metrics may determine reporting coverage such that data in this update reflects the SME sector.
  5. Quarterly figures may not be directly comparable between years due to a re-segmentation of businesses.
SME Update Q2 2018 – SME loan approval rates remain high
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