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Cost of finance too high for SMEs

25/11/2013 / Comments 0

Cost of finance too high for SMEs

The perceived high cost of finance is driving many British SMEs to seek out cheaper facilities when they come to review their existing funding arrangements.

An overwhelming 45% of businesses said they hope to secure lower costs as part of the benchmarking process, according to the latest SME Trends Index conducted by commercial finance broker Hilton-Baird Financial Solutions.

This is significantly more than the 28% who review their facilities with the aim of securing additional funding, with 25% looking for greater flexibility.

Encouragingly, given the evolving commercial finance landscape, 63% of the business owners and finance directors questioned in the survey had reviewed their existing finance arrangements within the past six months. Of concern, however, is that almost one in five admitted to not reviewing them inside the past year (19%).

Following recent figures from the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers indicating that the use of non-bank lending has reached a five-year high, Hilton-Baird’s survey also found that asset finance (used by 28%) and invoice finance (22%) both increased in popularity on an annual basis.

Commenting on the findings, Managing Director of Hilton-Baird Financial Solutions, Evette Orams, said: “We believe it’s vitally important that businesses are always monitoring the changing lending landscape. The commercial finance industry never stands still and, particularly when combined with the improving economic picture, what might have been right for a business six months ago might no longer be the optimum solution.

“However it is important that businesses consider the overall value of any facility rather than simply focusing on cost. Often, reductions in headline costs can cost dearly as the impact of that one poor buying choice could be a significant hindrance.

“Other factors such as service levels, flexibility and, of course, the level of funding it would provide should be the main focus and consideration, in order that the facilities secured will enable that business to achieve its objectives.”

-Ends-

For further enquiries, please contact Jamie Weeden at Hilton-Baird Group on 02380 706637 or email jamie.weeden@hiltonbaird.co.uk.

Note to editors:

Hilton-Baird’s latest research was undertaken among 296 businesses across a wide variety of business sectors, providing a representative sample of the UK’s SMEs. The research was conducted in September 2013, with the results providing a snapshot of current business sentiment and a fascinating opportunity to establish a graphic picture of business trends.

Evette Orams is Managing Director of Hilton-Baird Financial Solutions, which is part of the Hilton-Baird Group of companies. As an independent introducing agent, Hilton-Baird’s aim is to clearly identify their clients’ funding requirements and introduce them to the relevant funding solution. The Group prides itself on maintaining excellent relationships with a broad spectrum of lenders and constantly delivering positive and innovative financial solutions.

The business’s affiliations to the leading financial industrial bodies, the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA), the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) and the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB), ensures it maintains the highest level of standards for its clients.

Hilton-Baird Financial Solutions helps businesses of all sizes to fulfil their potential by introducing the most suitable cash flow solutions. Read recent success stories here.

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