64% of brokers believe that SMEs are becoming more aware of the potential for using asset finance as a means of raising short term working capital for their business.
A recent survey, carried out by United Trust Bank, also found that 89% of brokers believe that SMEs will continue to use asset finance even if the High Street banks start to increase their lending.
One of the reasons why SMEs may continue to employ asset finance for working capital raising is the flexibility of the product, UTB said. 23% of brokers responding to the survey indicated that of all the asset finance cases they’d placed in the previous 12 months, over half required some flexibility from the lender with regards to payment structure, security or guarantees.
UTB said another reason why asset finance might be proving so popular with SMEs is the speed at which cases can proceed from application to the funds being released. 25% of brokers said with most asset finance loans the money was made available within just a week of application with 34% indicating an average transaction time of one to two weeks.
Martin Nixon, head of asset finance at United Trust Bank, said: “United Trust Bank works exclusively with brokers on asset finance and they are doing a fantastic job in helping SMEs to raise vital working capital. The High Street banks continue to be restrictive with their lending and specialist banks such as UTB are consequently providing asset-based credit solutions for a diverse range of business purposes. We have been extremely busy in 2013 and have expanded the team considerably in order to meet the extra demand whilst maintaining a high level of service.
“It’s interesting to note that an overwhelming number of brokers believe that SMEs will continue to employ asset finance as a means of raising working capital even if the High Street banks make credit more available. Customers which have experienced the flexibility, speed and high levels of service provided by brokers assisted by specialist lenders like UTB, when they were perhaps turned down by their own Bank, may not be easy to win back when the High Street lenders eventually loosen their purse strings.”