Posts Tagged ‘bank finance’

Shock! More Businesses Than You Think Get a Yes From Their Bank

Posted on: September 19th, 2015 by blsuser1 No Comments Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Business Finance News

During the depths of the credit crunch access to finance was consistently quoted as the number one barrier to growth. This concern led to a swath of initiatives to encourage banks to lend more, none of which can claim to be a huge success.

However, whilst the access to finance barrier remains steadfastly in place for some businesses, there is clear evidence that many SMEs have successfully overcome this hurdle and got a ‘yes’ from their bank.

Throughout the credit crunch an independent research group, the SME Finance Monitor team, have been engaging with up to 5,000 SMEs each quarter to find out about their experiences of dealing with banks.

The findings have been a fascinating insight in to what is really going on and the last report to the quarter-ended June 2015 reveals that more businesses than you may think are getting a ‘yes’ from their bank.
With an improving economy the myth that the majority of businesses are struggling to get finance is slowly being eroded.

In terms of a successful outcome to a finance request what does the latest SME Finance Report reveal?
For mature businesses which applied for a new or renewed loan and/or overdraft facility in the 18 months to June 2015 the team found that a staggering 79% ended up with a facility. Higher than you thought?

The success rate has steadily been climbing with the latest result moving up from 67% seen in the previous 18 months to quarter 4 2013.

What do the figures look like for loans or overdraft requests on a separate basis?

Of the businesses that applied for an overdraft facility 84% were successful compared to 69% for loan applications; you will be more successful if you apply for a short-term facility.

Let’s drill down further; what about businesses that applied for finance for the very first time? Perhaps not too surprisingly they struggled more than repeat borrowers in getting what they requested. The outcome for first-time applicants was that 58% were successful; more work to do here!

The one finding that always comes as a shock to some is exactly how many businesses actually want to borrow. The assumption is often that a large majority of businesses are in need of finance. Each quarter though the SME Finance Monitor team blows this view out of the water.

In the latest report, when asked whether they have borrowed in the last 5 years or plan to seek finance in the next 3 months, those SMEs who answered ‘no’ are termed as Permanent Non-Borrowers. The result was that 49% of SMEs fell into this category and this has steadily increased over time, up from 34% in 2011. That means that almost half of the SMEs questioned have no interest in borrowing!

When the question on appetite to borrow is focused on a shorter period the figure is even more surprising. On being asked if they have borrowed over the previous 12 months, those SMEs answering ‘no’ were classified as Happy Non Seekers and 80% fell into this category. I’m sure you’ll agree that this figure is higher than most people would assume.

The message here is twofold: don’t automatically assume you’re going to get a ‘no’ from your bank because the majority of your fellow business owners are getting what they need. And secondly don’t fall into the trap of thinking that all businesses want to borrow; many are perfectly happy where they are.

Bank Said No? Do You Run for the Hills or Stand Up and Fight?

Posted on: September 13th, 2015 by blsuser1 No Comments Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Business Finance Tips

There’s nothing more demoralising or agonisingly annoying than hearing the word ‘no’ from your bank.

What to do? Silently walk away shaking your head as you unceremoniously put your Business Plan in the nearest bin or do you decide to fight back because you feel your bank has misunderstood the opportunity?

If you’re a fighter, and you genuinely believe the bank has got the decision wrong, there is a way to get the bank to re-look at your request. Yet despite there being a formal appeal process many business owners don’t realise that such an avenue exists.

The Origins of the Loan Appeal Process

Back in 2010, during the depths of the credit crunch, the government spearheaded the formation of the Business Finance Taskforce. Made up of all the major banks the aim of the taskforce was to come up with actions to make access to finance easier.

One of the 17 actions was that each bank was required to establish a formal Loan Appeal Process whereby businesses which felt that the ‘no’ from their bank was unfair had a route to ask that their application be re-considered.

Who Can Appeal?

There are three key eligibility criteria which have to be met before a lending application appeal can be launched:

1. The company’s group turnover must be less than £25 million
2. The appeal must be made within 30 days of the decision being communicated
3. No previous appeal requests have been made in respect of the same application

The Appeal Process

If you have satisfied the eligibility criteria and you wish to appeal the decision you can request details on how to proceed directly from your bank, either via your Relationship Manager or by searching on the bank’s website.

Alternatively you can visit the Better Business Finance website and fill in the form with all your key details.

Once your appeal is lodge an independent team, which was not involved in making the original decision, will review your application. In carrying out the review of the original decision they may contact you for further information or clarification on certain points.

Typically the bank has to get back to you with an answer within 30 days of you lodging the appeal.

How Successful Has the Initiative Been?

In requesting each bank to establish its own Loan Appeal Process it was realised that the banks needed to be held to account to ensure the process was robustly implemented.

To fulfil this role Professor Russel Griggs an external, independent reviewer, was appointed to conduct regular on-site and off-site monitoring of each bank’s appeal process. Professor Griggs and his team report on a quarterly and annual basis and his findings have proved to be a useful insight into how banks are dealing with appeals.

Latest Loan Appeal Request Findings

The latest review covering the quarter from April to June 2015 revealed that there were 858 appeals of which 196 were successful. That equates to a 23% overturn rate and resulted in businesses successfully borrowing an additional £1.5m.

But how does the success rate compared to previous years?

In the latest report Griggs notes that in his first review for the year to March 2012 the overturn rate was 40% compared to 23% in the last quarter. On first glance it would appear that the banks are going backwards with fewer successful appeals. However, Griggs explains this apparent slippage by saying that the banks are now better at weeding out marginal applications early on by providing more proactive support. The outcome of this is that those applications which make it to appeal are more marginal and hence the overturn rate is declining.

So if you are at the receiving end of a rather blunt ‘no’ from your bank, and you feel that the decision is wrong, take control and start the loan appeal process.

Business Finance Bulletin Epsd 71: Business Confidence, Apprenticeship Funding & Selling Yourself to Your Bank

Posted on: April 24th, 2015 by blsuser1 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Business Finance Bulletin

In the latest Business Finance Bulletin episode Rob Warlow looks at the latest result from the Begbies Traynor Red Flag report which provides insight into how businesses see their financial condition in the first quarter of 2015.

Having the right skill set within a business is often cited as one of the barriers to growth and Rob looks at a new programme from Close Brothers, the asset-based lending bank, and the University of Sheffield designed to support businesses looking to take on apprentices.

With many alternative providers of finance looking forward to 2016 when banks will be required to pass on clients they cannot assist, one alternative funding platform reveals the extend of help they think UK small businesses will need.

In the Business Finance Tip of the Week Rob chats with sales mentor , author and international speaker Steve Clarke about whether there is any difference between selling products to customers and selling your idea to your bank.

If you would like the podcast version to listen to either on your phone or in the car click below to either listen to or download.

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