Gross lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the first quarter of 2021 was £7.6bn, down from £9.6bn within the fourth quarter of 2020.
Nevertheless, general the most recent lending figures from UK Finance painted an image of a enterprise neighborhood on the mend, as demand for enterprise finance tapered off forward of the reopening of the financial system.
Whereas SME financing was down quarter-on-quarter, volumes had been nonetheless greater than they had been earlier than the pandemic.
SME confidence was up, and a large 87 per cent of enterprise mortgage purposes had been authorised throughout the first three months of the 12 months.
“Within the first quarter of 2021, the lending atmosphere was broadly secure,” stated Stephen Pegge, managing director of economic finance at UK Finance.
“Gross lending was elevated in contrast with pre-pandemic ranges, however had tapered again from the height seen final summer season.
“Forward of the financial system reopening companies had been persevering with to fulfill their finance wants with a mixture of ‘enterprise as typical’ lending and that also on supply by government-backed schemes.”
UK Finance additionally famous that there have been indicators of some enhance in mortgage repayments, significantly amongst smaller enterprise and quicker rising sectors.
“Whereas the financial image is wanting extra constructive, we anticipate a multispeed restoration throughout completely different segments of the financial system,” Pegge added.
“It will drive variations in future demand for added finance, debt repayments and progress plans throughout companies.”
John Cronin, an analyst at Goodbody, stated that general the information is “just a little backward-looking at this stage, the continued return to extra ‘regular’ funding situations is in step with the themes captured in different information and commentaries.”