According to a new study by specialist lender Amicus, one in six (16%) owners seeking finance say they have been turned down by a mainstream lender (i.e. a high street bank), up from 11% in 2015.
Nearly a third (31%) of SME owners reported that their inability to secure finance terms with a mainstream lender meant they had lost out on a business deal or investment opportunity. As a result, this has led to greater interest in alternative finance – including forms such as property finance, crowdsourcing, invoice finance and asset finance.
The findings highlight how over twice as many small firms believe that mainstream lenders are unable to reach quick enough decisions (15%, up from 6% in 2015). More than one in ten (12%) SME owners highlighted the inflexible lending conditions and 8% the insufficient knowledge and experience as reasons for mainstream lender underperformance.
Over half of SME owners believe that the greater flexibility offered by alternative finance providers makes them more attractive than traditional lenders, up from 45% in 2015.
John Jenkins, CEO of Amicus commented:“It’s clear from this research that the demand for alternative sources of finance is continuing to grow in popularity. Mainstream lenders are falling short in terms of the agility and speed that is required by SMEs seeking finance.
“Having built a strong business base from our property lending expertise, we have responded to the rapidly growing demand for alternative sources of finance, and are broadening our proposition into other areas of lending. Our relationship-based approach resonates well in specialist lending markets that are poorly served by mainstream lenders.”