SMEs turning towards alternative finance, says study

An increasing number of SMEs are turning towards alternative finance methods, according to a recent survey.

Figures from alternative lender Amicus revealed that 51 per cent of SMEs felt that the greater flexibility offered by alternative providers made them a more attractive option than high street banks when it came to securing finance.

Furthermore, Amicus’ study found that 31 per cent of small and medium-sized firms had lost out on a deal or investment opportunity due to difficulties securing finance terms with a mainstream lender.

A further 16 per cent of SMEs surveyed said that, at some point or another, they had been turned down by a big-name bank – up 5 per cent from the same survey conducted in 2015.

John Jenkins, chief executive of Amicus, said: “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.”

Of the SMEs surveyed by Amicus, 28 per cent said that they thought demand for alternative finance products was likely to increase within the next two years.