Key data highlights:

  • There were 69,980 new loans and overdrafts approved for a value of £7.0bn in Q3 2018
  • Banks approved eight out of ten applications for SME Finance
  • Cash held in both immediate and notice accesible SME accounts continue to rise

Commenting on the data, Mike Conroy, Director of Commercial Finance at UK Finance said:

“Banks approved nearly 70,000 loans to SMEs in the third quarter of 2018 and success rates remain consistently high, with eight out of ten applications for finance being given the green light.

“Firms continue to build cash deposits and demand for finance remains subdued and steady across the UK’s regions and sectors, suggesting businesses are exercising caution in the face of future uncertainty.

“However, some businesses are now increasing the use of their agreed overdraft facilities in order to manage current cash flow but not leveraging these to their full capacity.

“The finance industry is well placed to help businesses with additional finance and working capital lines should demand for financial support increase in the coming months”.

Notes to Editor

  1. For more information please call the UK Finance press office on 020 7416 6750 or mail
  2. UK Finance is the collective voice for the banking and finance industry. Representing more than 250 firms across the industry we help drive forward positive change to enhance standards, support customers and promote innovation.
  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.
  5. Quarterly figures may not be directly comparable between years due to a re-segmentation of businesses.
SME Update Q3 2018 – SME loan approval rates remain consistently high