It is widely acknowledged that small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs) are vital for the functioning of a modern
economy. While most of the newspaper headlines are made by big
companies, SMEs are vital for creating jobs and generating economic
Since the financial crisis broke in 2007, many SMEs have found
it hard to get access to finance. According to SMEs, banks have
become ultra conservative in their lending policies, locking them
out of access to funds, while from the banks' perspective there has
been a lack of demand for funds from SMEs.
Whatever the merits of these arguments, understanding how SMEs
bank and access financeis a crucial question for UK plc: put
simply, a dysfunctional SME banking system will limit the UK's
ability to restore its economic health to anything close to the
This report seeks to understand how SMEs bank, how their banking
has changed in recent years and how SMEs view the services they get
from their banking and finance providers.
full Table of Contents.