East Anglia: Invoice finance lender calls for review of schemes to provide funding for banks

Sharon Wiltshire, regional managing director for East Anglia at Bibby Financial Services

Sharon Wiltshire, regional managing director for East Anglia at Bibby Financial Services - Credit: Archant

A leading provider of invoice-backed finance for businesses in East Anglia has called on the Government to review measures designed to boost lending to small firms.

Bibby Financial services says that research it carried out among small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) during the second quarter of 2013 found that many businesses are still concerned over the issue of funding.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of the firms questioned said increased access to fuding would help them to achieve their business aspirations, despite schemes already in place such as Funding for Lending launched by the Government and the Bank of England to encourage bank lending.

Following the recent announcement by Royal Bank of Scotland that it is to review its lending to businesses after uncovering £20billion in untapped cash, Bibby has now put in a written request for schemes such as Funding for Lending to be reviewed.

Sharon Wiltshire, East Anglia regional managing director at Bibby Financial Services, said that the schemes were not framed in a way which enabled alternative providers to access the funds alongside banks.

“The news that RBS has an abundance of cash comes as no real surprise as the banks are extremely risk averse and too often decline funding applications,” she said.

“As a result, government lending channelled through banks has not been reaching as many businesses in East Anglia, as the banks are only lending to those at the safer end of the spectrum.

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“But these aren’t necessarily the businesses that require funding the most, so there is an element of cherry-picking going on.”

She added: “Our research suggests that East Anglia SMEs see access to funding as an important driver for their growth aspirations and we want to help them with this, which is why we feel a more wide-ranging review of the funding system is so vital for moving forward with growth.”