ACCESS TO finance eased for many manufacturers during the second half of this year.
In a survey published today by manufacturing organisation EEF it says that the balance of small firms reporting an improvement in finance availability was the highest in more than a year, moving from -1% to +4%, while the proportion of companies reporting a decrease in the cost of finance edged higher.
The report also showed that access to finance from parent companies improved, while more than a fifth of firms expect to demand more external finance to support investment in the year ahead.
Commenting on the report EEF North West director David Ost said: “We’ve seen a few quarters of modest improvement in lending which is encouraging.
“With companies, on balance, expecting their demand for external finance to increase next year, progress on increasing the flow of credit and getting the cost down has to be sustained and built upon going forward.”
He added: “We are yet to see the details of the new Business Bank but, what it must do, is start to provide a long term solution to the underlying problem of a lack of competition in small business banking.”