In its regular bulletin, the Bank of England recently released its bank lending figures to the end of December 2017. This showed bank lending to businesses has fallen again.

The amount fell by £1bn in December alone, and loans to SMEs, i.e. those with less than £25m turnover, fell by £0.4bn, the largest decline since December 2014.

The sixth month trend for SMEs was down by £0.8bn with the biggest fallers being agriculture and construction versus the largest increases which were in the professional services sector. However overall, the numbers continue to decline.

These facts seem to fit well with the findings of the Close Brothers survey looking at SMEs and their relationships with the banks for advice and finance.




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