The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers’ (NACFB) annual survey found that brokers arranged £12.7bn worth of funding for SMEs from a wide variety of providers, almost double the amount facilitated during the peak of the financial crisis in 2009.
There has been a particular hike in alternative funding, such as P2P loans and pension funding, facilitated by brokers, which has grown by 25 per cent to £624m.
Vehicle finance increased by 106 per cent to £835m but invoice finance fell slightly to £658m.
Adam Tyler, chief executive of NACFB said: “If you were a small business seeking finance to expand and grow back in 2009, it was incredibly difficult to find a lender that would say yes. Fast-forward to 2014 and it’s a different picture. There are now more than 100 SME lenders operating in the UK and the market is diversifying at an incredible rate.
“Availability of funds is no longer the issue, but there are still significant barriers facing SMEs who are looking for finance. Foremost among these is awareness. Small businesses don’t have to rely on their high street bank for credit, but few are aware of the full range of alternatives out there.”
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