The latest quarterly figures from the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) show that lending to businesses is growing, with total advances from ABFA members at £14.59bn this quarter, a growth of 2% from this time last year. ABFA members are now advancing more than they were at any time in the last year. This growth indicates that members’ clients are feeling more confident about drawing on funds available to them.
Sales have also risen strongly, with total sales from firms financed by asset-based finance increasing this quarter from £49.4bn to £52.4bn. Sales have improved steadily since the trough of 1Q09 and have nearly reached their previous peak seen at the end of 2008.
However, net borrowing from sources other than asset-based finance has been falling, with HM Treasury figures showing the flow of net lending to businesses declining by £3.5bn in June, representing a fall of some 8.1% from a year ago. Wider net lending has now been falling continuously for the past nine months.
Kate Sharp, chief executive officer (CEO) of the ABFA, said: “This is the good news we’ve been waiting for. Sales and advances are at the highest they’ve been in a long time, indicating a potential turn around for the UK economy and showing that banks and financiers are still very much open for business and our members are lending large amounts to UK firms.”
The ABFA statistics also suggest that UK firms are continuing to expand their horizons outside of the UK to find new business opportunities, with firms who use export invoice discounting reporting an all time high, since the ABFA started releasing quarterly statistics, of £2.96bn in sales.
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