Poor growth attributed to poor lending, suggests expert

Onlookers groaned as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its quarterly GDP figures earlier this week, with the report indicating a significant slowdown in overall growth.

At just 0.3 per cent, the figures revealed the slowest rate of growth since the first quarter of 2016.

Retailers, hotels, and restaurants suffered heavily, in part due to rising inflation and the falling value of sterling.

But one expert suggested a different story.

Paul Aitken, CEO of Borro, a secured bank lender, claimed that business growth is falling due to the stagnant pace of business lending.

“Bank lending speeds have remained static despite improvements in technology, consumer credit checks and a steadier market,” he said.

“If the industry is serious about supporting business growth in the UK, its critical lending speeds are improved. We know business owners are missing out on opportunities to expand purely due to lack of available cash.”

Borro said 80 per cent of its clients are business owners who require cash to fund investment opportunities or expand business ventures.

However, a separate study revealed that 19 per cent of UK SMEs have missed out on at least one new business opportunity in the past 12 months due to a lack of available finance.

“The average bridging completion time in the UK is 48 days,” Mr Aitken added.

“There’s no reason the banking industry can’t improve its valuation methods to offer a better service for its customers, especially business owners in need of a quick turnaround so investment decisions can be made.”