47. United Kingdom

The developments in SME finance markets in the United Kingdom in 2020 were unprecedented due to schemes to support smaller businesses introduced by the UK government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The main measures of bank lending to SMEs surged to record highs, driven by the usage of UK government-guaranteed loan schemes.

Gross flows of bank lending (excluding overdrafts), the principal component of SME finance markets, rose by more than 80% in 2020 to GBP 103.8 billion, an unprecedented level. This, combined with a relatively modest rise in repayments, resulted in net lending widening to a record GBP 46.5 billion. The outstanding stock of bank lending also rose sharply to GBP 213 billion, the largest on record.

Outside of bank lending, the usage of most other types of finance fell sharply in 2020. Among the commonly used forms of alternative finance, the value of invoice finance dropped 33% and asset finance declined 21%. There are signs that the weakness was due to factors including some SMEs temporarily pausing or permanently ceasing trading, postponing investment, and using government-guaranteed loan or other support schemes (such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) to cover their working capital needs rather than traditional forms (such as invoice finance) and to replace asset finance. While limited data is available for peer-to-peer (i.e. marketplace) business lending in 2020, it is likely that lending volumes also fell. In contrast, the UK equity finance market performed well, with the value rising 9% to a record GBP 8.8 billion and the number of deals up 5%. The main driver was venture capital, which increased by 33.3% from 2019 to almost GBP 3 billion.

On the demand side, surveys show that overall SME demand for external finance fell in 2020. The share of SMEs reporting using any type of repayable external finance dropped to 37%, a two-year low, from 45% in 2019. The fall was driven by lower use of bank overdrafts, credit cards and leasing/hire purchase/vehicle finance. The demand for these types of finance waned as some SMEs simply reduced their activity while others used the government loan schemes or other government support schemes, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, instead.

The value of SME deposits, and the share of smaller businesses holding large credit balances, rose to a record high in 2020. This is consistent with reports that the high uncertainty associated with the pandemic led to precautionary behaviour, and that some of the SMEs accessing the government-guaranteed loans put them on deposit, at least initially.

The UK government, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the British Business Bank will continue to work with a wide range of partners to support businesses across the UK as they recover and grow following the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were 6.0 million private sector businesses in the UK at the start of 2020, ie before the Covid-19 outbreak, according to business population estimates from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This was 1.9% higher than in 2019, largely due to a 2.5% increase in the number of firms with no employees (of which there are 4.6 million). Firms with no employees comprise approximately 76% of private sector businesses, generate 18% of employment and contribute 7% of turnover in the private sector economy.

In contrast, the number of firms with employees was broadly unchanged in 2020 from the previous year. The annual rate of growth was highest amongst medium-sized firms employing between 50 and 249 employees (1.4%), closely followed by large firms with 250 or more employees (1.3%). Growth amongst small firms with 10 to 49 employees was somewhat lower at 0.2%. The number of micro firms with between 1 and 9 employees – which comprise 82% of all employers in the private sector economy – was up only 0.1%1.

The contribution of employing firms to the stock of private sector firms, employment and turnover varies substantially by size of employer (headcount). In general, the ratio of employment and turnover per firm increases the larger the firm’s workforce. Micro firms (1-9 employees) comprise 19% of private sector businesses, 15% of employment and 14% of turnover. However, large firms (250 or more employees) account for only 0.1% of all businesses but contribute 39% of employment and 48% of turnover in the private sector.2

Gross flows of bank lending (excluding overdrafts) to SMEs, the main component of SME finance markets, surged to a record high in 2020. The Bank of England (BoE) reported gross bank lending totalled GBP 103.8 billion in nominal terms, up 82% from 2019 and the highest since the data series began in 2012. This compares to an average of GBP 57.8 billion between 2016 and 2019. The extremely large rise was driven by the usage of government guaranteed loan schemes introduced in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. The main schemes of relevance to SMEs were the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) (see the Government policy response section for more detail). Gross lending to large businesses also increased in 2020 but not by as much (9%). This led gross lending to SMEs as a share of total lending to rise to a record 43% in the second quarter of the year.3

More detailed analysis shows significant variation by quarter during 2020. Gross lending to SMEs surged in the second quarter to GBP 46.9 billion, the highest on record. This was the same quarter in which the CBILS and BBLS opened for applications. Gross lending subsequently fell sharply, ending the year at GBP 18.5 billion in the fourth quarter. However, this was still above the quarterly average prior to Covid-19 of GBP 13.1 billion. Gross lending to large businesses peaked at GBP 74.1 billion in the first quarter before declining in the following two quarters and starting to rise again in the fourth quarter. The most recent data show gross lending to SMEs fell to GBP 16.1 billion in the first quarter of 2021, the lowest in one year, but subsequently rose to GBP 20.5 billion in the second quarter. Similarly, gross lending to large businesses fell to GBP 44.2 billion in the first quarter of the year before rising to GBP 45.4 billion in the second quarter. This resulted in gross lending to SMEs as a share of total lending falling to 26.7% in the first quarter of 2021 but rising to 31.1% in the second quarter.4

Repayments of bank loans by SMEs totalled GBP 57.3 billion in 2020. This was the highest on record and up 4% from 2019 . Total repayments fell short of gross lending, resulting in net lending of GBP 46.5 billion. This was the largest net flow on record and compares to GBP 2.1 billion in 2019.5

There was some variation by quarter during 2020. Repayments reached a record high of GBP 15.5 billion in the second quarter. This is consistent with the British Business Bank’s market contacts reporting that some SMEs borrowed via the BBLS and repaid pre-existing loans. However, repayments fell sharply in the third quarter before starting to rise again in the final quarter of the year. A probable explanation for the weaker trend in the second half of 2020 is that under the BBLS no repayments were due in the first 12 months, while many lenders offered loan repayment holidays to business customers with existing facilities adversely affected by Covid-19. The latest data show SME repayments rose to GBP 14.6 billion in the first quarter of 2021 and again in the following quarter to a fresh record high of GBP 23.2 billion.6

The outstanding stock of bank lending to SMEs rose sharply in 2020, broadly in line with gross lending. This followed several years of little change. The BoE reported a total of GBP 213 billion in fourth quarter of 2020, the highest on record. This compares to an average of almost GBP 166 billion between 2016 and 2019. The sharp rise in 2020, combined with a large fall in the stock of bank lending to large businesses, led the percentage share of lending to SMEs (i.e. as a proportion of total lending to private sector non-financial services firms) to increase to an unprecedented 40% in the fourth quarter of the year. The most recent data show the stock of bank lending to SMEs rose to GBP 216 billion in the first quarter of 2021, a fresh record high, but fell to GBP 214 billion in the second quarter. The stock of bank lending to large businesses fell in both the first and second quarters to GBP 313 billion and GBP 310 billion respectively. This led to the percentage share of lending to SMEs to rise to a fresh record of 41% in the first quarter of 2021 and be broadly unchanged in the following quarter.7

UK Finance data for the seven largest banks in the UK show there has been a sharp rise in the value of deposits held by SMEs, while conversely the value of overdrafts used by smaller businesses fell significantly.8 The total value of deposits in December 2020 was almost GBP 260 billion, a record high and up 29% on the same month in 2019. This compares to the value of deposits held by small and medium sized firms rising by 24% and 25% respectively between the fourth quarters of 2015 and 2019.9Similarly, SME Finance Monitor data show the share of smaller businesses holding GBP 10,000 or more of credit balances rose to a record 33% in the fourth quarter of 2020. This was the third consecutive quarterly rise ad compares to 23% in the first quarter.10 The British Business Bank’s market contacts report the uncertainty associated with the pandemic and the UK’s future trading relationship with the European Union (EU) led to precautionary behaviour among some SMEs. They also report that some of the SMEs accessing the BBLS and the CBILS put the funds borrowed on deposit, at least initially. The latest data show the total value of deposits held by SMEs rose to fresh record highs of GBP 262 billion in March 2021 and GBP 266 billion in June.11 The share of SMEs holding GBP 10,000 or more of credit balances rose to a record 35% in the first quarter of 2021 but fell to 31% in the second quarter.12

The total value of overdrafts used by SMEs in December 2020 was GBP 5.5 billion. This was down 34% on the same month in 2019 and the lowest since the series started in 2011. It compares to the average value of overdrafts used by small and medium sized firms falling by 17% and 6%, respectively, between the fourth quarters of 2015 and 2019.13 The fall is in line with the British Business Bank’s market contacts reporting some SMEs had used the BBLS and the CBILS to finance working capital rather than traditional forms such overdrafts and invoice finance. The most recent data show the total value of overdrafts used by SMEs trended higher in the first half of 2021 to GBP 6 billion in June, a seven-month high.14

Demand side surveys show that, in overall terms, SME use of external finance fell in 2020. The SME Finance Monitor showed an annual average of 37% reported they were currently using external finance. This was eight percentage points below the level in 2019 (45%) and the lowest in two years. However, there was significant variation by quarter during 2020. The use of external finance in the first and second quarters of the year (32% and 30%) was markedly lower than in the fourth quarter of 2019 (43%). However, the use of external finance in the third and fourth quarters of 2020 (40% and 44% respectively) was broadly in line with that during 2019. The fall in the annual average use of external finance in 2020 was driven by declines in the use of most repayable external finance. The use of bank overdrafts, credit cards, and leasing/hire purchase/vehicle finance all fell. In contrast, the use of bank loans/commercial mortgages increased due to the government support schemes made available as a result of the Covid-19 disruption .15 The most recent data show the use of external finance in the first and second quarters of 2021 (42% and 45% respectively) was broadly unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2020.16

The share of SMEs applying for bank facilities rose in 2020 after trending downward since records began in 2011. The proportion of SMEs applying for a bank loan or overdraft rose to 7% from 2% in 2019. This was the highest since 2015 (8%) but remained around half that in 2011 (12%). The increase was solely driven by the share of SMEs applying for a new facility rising to the highest since 2011.17 This is consistent with the British Business Bank’s market contacts reporting some of the SMEs that applied for the BBLS during the pandemic were borrowing for the first time. The reports have been backed up by the SME Finance Monitor for Q2 2021 showing 11% of all SMEs now borrowing where they weren’t before.18 In contrast, the proportion of SMEs applying for renewed facility was 0.4% in 202019. A probable explanation is the terms and conditions of the government guaranteed loan schemes were more favourable than those for existing facilities.

The percentage of SMEs happy to use finance to support business growth picked up in the second half of 2020 to more than one-third (35%). This followed a downward trend in recent years and was the highest since 2016 (43%). Similarly, the share of SMEs reporting growth plans based on what they can afford to self-fund increased in the second half of 2020 to 86%, the highest since that series began in 2016. This had previously been broadly steady at around 80% between 2016 and 2019. However, the proportion of SMEs stating they would rather accept a slower rate of growth than borrow also rose in the second half of 2020 to 80% in line with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. This maintained the upward trend since 2018 and was a record high20 The most recent data show an increasing minority of SMEs were happy to use finance to grow in the first half of 2021 (37%)21.

The SME Finance Monitor shows the percentage of secured bank loans to SMEs was 15% in 2020. This was 24 percentage points lower than in 2019. The large fall highlights that under the BBLS no security was required, while under the CBILS lenders took no security for facilities below GBP 250 000. However, the change in the design of the survey questionnaire from the first quarter of 2018 onwards would need to be considered when interpreting the data for 202022

Supply and demand-side reports indicate that credit conditions for SMEs remained relatively accommodative in 2020. This was despite some tightening towards the end of the year, particularly in sectors most affected by the pandemic. The BoE Credit Conditions survey, reporting the views of lenders, showed a net increase in the availability of credit provided to small businesses in the second quarter that was the largest since the data series started in 2009. It subsequently reported a modest net increase and a small net fall in the third and fourth quarters, respectively23The BoE Agents Summary for Q4 2020, reporting the views of businesses, noted that although the government loan schemes are supporting credit availability, especially for the smallest companies, there have been some reports of bank credit conditions tightening. This was particularly in sectors that had been most affected by the pandemic, and where insolvencies were expected to rise24The latest data shows both lenders and SMEs reported the availability of credit was little changed in the first and second quarters of 202125 However, SMEs continued to report the availability of credit in the sectors most affected by the pandemic remained tight26

Separate BoE data show that credit remained very affordable for SMEs in 2020 by historical standards. The annual average interest rate for SMEs fell to 2.15%, the lowest since the series started in 2016, from 3.41% in 2019. This followed the BoE reducing the Bank Rate by 65 basis points to a record low of 0.1% in March 2020 to support the UK economy as the pandemic escalated. The average interest rate for non-financial private corporations (NFPCs) was 1.87%, 28 basis points below that for SMEs and the narrowest spread on record. According to the most recent data, the average interest rate for SMEs subsequently rose to 2.50% in the second quarter of 2021. The average interest rate for NFPCs saw a much smaller increase to 2.15%, leading it to remain below that for SMEs27

The share of SMEs needing collateral to obtain bank lending fell from 39% in 2019 to 15% in 2020. This was the lowest since the series started in 2011. It largely reflects that there were no collateral requirements under the BBLS.

Asset finance volumes fell significantly in the second quarter of 2020 but returned to more normal levels as the year progressed. Data from the Finance and Leasing Association show that new asset finance (leasing and hire purchase) taken up by SMEs totalled GBP 15.9 billion in 2020. This was down 21% from 2019 and the first annual fall since the financial crisis. Weak business investment, driven by uncertainty about both the pandemic and the UK’s relationship with the EU in the run up to the end of the transition period in late December 2020, was a major driver in the reduction in asset finance in 2020. In addition to the impact of falling business investment, market commentary has suggested some SMEs may have utilised government-guaranteed term lending in place of asset finance. The latest FLA data show new SME asset finance totalled GBP 8.9 billion in the first half of 2021. This is up around 27% on the same period in 202028

Outstanding advances of invoice finance and asset-based lending (factoring and invoice discounting) to SMEs averaged GBP 7.9 billion in 2020. This was down 33% from 2019 after being broadly steady at around GBP 12 billion in the previous three years. Advances to businesses overall also fell in 2020, but by slightly less in percentage terms than to SMEs. This resulted in the percentage share of advances to SMEs declining to 52% of the total advanced to all firms in the UK, the lowest since the series began in 201129 The most recent data shows outstanding advances to SMEs in the first quarter of 2021 was GBP 5.6 billion. This was around 8% higher than in the previous quarter but down 37% from the same quarter a year earlier.

British Business Bank analysis of Beauhurst data show UK equity finance performed well in 2020 overall, with GBP 8.8 billion invested in UK SMEs. This was a record high and up 9% on 2019. It was also the third year in a row that equity investment was above GBP 7 billion. Similarly, the number of deals completed rose 5% to 2,044. The most recent data show the value of investment in the first quarter of 2021 was GBP 4.5 billion, the highest amount recorded in a single quarter30

British Business Bank analysis of Beauhurst data also show the main driver of the GBP 8.8 billion invested in 2020 was venture capital. Venture capital increased by 33.3% from 2019 to almost GBP 3 billion. While seed capital rose by a modest 3.6%, growth capital fell by 1.4%31

Marketplace lending, which was previously commonly referred to as peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, describes the principally online market mechanisms intermediating between lenders and borrowers. Unfortunately, in 2020 some marketplace lenders have chosen to reduce their public reporting via data aggregators and, as a result, it is not possible to accurately compare like-for-like figures for lending with previous years. Without an aggregated and standardised data source, it is impossible to accurately track how much the overall marketplace values changed in 2020. However, the decrease in reporting from the industry suggests that many have had a tough year and it is clear from market contacts and – where available – published accounts that marketplace business lending values have fallen for the first time since the industry began. The decrease highlights that, after the onset of Covid-19, demand for non-government guaranteed unsecured small business loans plummeted as first the CBILS and then the BBLS attracted those who may have otherwise turned to marketplace lenders for finance. Consequently, several marketplace lenders reported deal flow drying up while some chose to stop writing new business, at least for a few months, and concentrate on supporting their existing customers. Not only was new origination a challenge, as marketplace lenders had a more complicated and time-consuming route to accreditation to lend via the CBILS than many traditional lenders, but they found some of their existing customers paying off their loans.

More than one-third of SMEs (36%) reported receiving trade credit in 2020. This highlights its importance as a source of short-term finance for SMEs, helping sustain business-to-business trade, healthy cashflow and liquidity. The purchase of products and services on credit continued to increase in line with size of firm (headcount). The share of firms reporting the receipt of trade credit rises from around one in two micro firms (53%) to two in three medium-sized businesses (72%)32 The latest data show the share of SMEs using trade credit was steady in the first quarter of 2021 but rose slightly in the second quarter (39%)33

The percentage of SMEs reporting access to finance as a major obstacle to business operations rose in 2020 to 8%, a seven-year high. This was the second consecutive increase following the share being stable at 5% over the three years to 2018. The rise occurred despite the government guaranteed loan schemes introduced during 2020. Similarly, the proportion of SMEs reporting cash flow and issues with late payment increased in 2020 to 15%, the highest since the series started in 2012. This maintained the upward trend of recent years34

The number of insolvencies in the UK was fell sharply in 2020 to 13,348. This was down 28% from the previous year. The overall numbers of company insolvencies have remained low since the start of the first UK lockdown in March 2020, when compared with pre-pandemic levels. The Insolvency Service has indicated that the fall in 2020 was likely to be at least partly driven by Government measures put in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including reduced enforcement activity by HM Revenue & Customs since the first lockdown and enhanced Government financial support for companies and individuals35

The British Business Bank was established as a national development bank by the UK government in November 2014. The aim of the Bank is to make finance markets work better for small businesses in the UK at all stages of their development: starting up, scaling up and staying ahead. The Bank has a variety of funds and programmes to increase the provision of both debt and equity finance to smaller businesses. As at March 2020, the Bank’s programmes had supported funding of GBP 8 billion of finance to over 98 000 smaller businesses 36

In response to the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, the UK government made a full range of business support measures available to UK businesses.37 These included government-guaranteed loan schemes to support businesses facing financing difficulties such as lost revenue and disrupted cashflow. The Bank delivered the CBILS, the BBLS, and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS. The schemes most relevant to SMEs were the CBILS and the BBLS. The Bank also delivered the Future Fund to support UK innovative businesses that had been unable to access other government business support programmes, such as the CBILS, because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit and typically rely on equity investment. The range of business support measures made available by the UK government also included the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (which helped eligible employers to pay wages) and tax relief (which deferred bills for VAT and business rates).

The CBILS opened for applications in March 2020 and was available through a range of lenders and partners accredited by the Bank. It enabled smaller businesses with annual turnover of less than GBP 45 million to apply for a maximum of GBP 5 million on repayment terms of up to six years (for term loans and asset finance) and up to three years (for overdrafts and invoice finance facilities). The UK government covered the cost of set-up fees and interest payable in the first 12 months after the drawdown of the facility38The scheme gave the lender a government-backed guarantee for the loan repayments. However, the borrower remained fully liable for the facility. Between March and December 2020, 69 758 loans with a total value of GBP 17.68 billion were drawn down. The average percentage utilisation rate, based on the volume of loans offered and drawn, was 95%. The scheme closed for new applications in March 2021.

The BBLS opened for applications in May 2020 and aimed to assist businesses requiring smaller loans from GBP 2 000 to GBP 50 000. The UK government set the interest rate at 2.5% per annum and a repayment term of six years with no repayments due during the first 12 months. The scheme gave the lender a full government-backed guarantee against the outstanding balance of the facility (both capital and interest). The government subsequently announced that borrowers under the BBLS can use Pay As You Grow (PAYG) to help manage their cashflow to have a better chance of getting back to growth. PAYG enables borrowers that have started repaying the loan to request an extension of the term to 10 years at the same fixed interest rate of 2.5%, reduce their monthly repayments for six months by paying interest only (up to three times during the term of the loan), and take a repayment holiday for up to six months (once during the loan term).

Like the CBILS, the BBLS was available from a range of accredited lenders and partners, the government covered the cost of set-up fees and interest payable in the first 12 months, borrowers remained fully liable, and it closed for new applications in March 2021. Between May and December 2020, 1 426 800 loans with a total value of GBP 43.46 billion were drawn down. The average percentage utilisation rate, based on the volume of loans offered and drawn, was 99%. Following the closure of the CBILS and the BBLS to new applications, the government launched the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) in April 2021 to provide financial support to businesses across the UK as they recover and grow following the coronavirus pandemic. The RLS is also delivered by the Bank.39

The Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG), an existing government-guaranteed loan scheme delivered by the Bank, was suspended when the CBILS was launched in March 2020.40 The EFG commenced in 2009 with the aim of facilitating lending to smaller businesses that are viable but unable to obtain finance from their lender due to having insufficient security to meet the lender’s normal security requirements. Between January and March 2020, 499 loans with a total value of GBP 51.7 million were drawn down. The average percentage utilisation rate, based on the volume of loans offered and drawn, was 101%. The rate of slightly more than 100% suggests that some of the loans that were offered to businesses before the start of 2020 were drawn down in early 2020 as the Covid-19 outbreak escalated. The data for EFG in between January and March 2020 is not comparable to that for previous calendar years or the CBILS or the BBLS.

When the CBILS, the BBLS and EFG are taken together, they accounted for 1.5 million loans with a value of GBP 61.2 billion drawn down between January and December 2020. Both the total number and value of loans drawn down were unprecedented.

The Future Fund opened for applications in May 2020. The Fund enabled UK-based companies to apply for a convertible loan of between GBP 125,000 and GBP 5 million to support continued growth and innovation in sectors as diverse as technology, life sciences and the creative industries. The government has made an initial £250 million available for investment through the scheme. Private investors – potentially including venture capital funds, angel investors and those backed by regional funds - will at least match the government investment in these companies.41The Fund provided GBP 1.1 billion of Convertible Loan Notes of GBP 125,000 to GBP 5 million to 1,190 UK equity-backed businesses affected by the pandemic. Without the Fund, there would have been a lower number of equity deals in 2020 than in 2019. 21% of announced equity deals in 2020 were supported by the Bank - compared to 10% in 2019. The Fund is estimated to have supported 11% of announced deals in 2020.42The Future Fund closed to new applications in February 2021. However, Future Fund: Breakthrough - a new GBP 375 million UK-wide scheme which will encourage private investors to co-invest with government in high-growth, innovative firms - is due to launch in summer 2021.43

The Bank also continued to support SMEs through a variety of existing programs. These include the ENABLE programmes (ENABLE Guarantee, ENABLE Build and ENABLE Funding) and regional programs (the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, and the Cornwall Isles of Scilly Investment Fund). 4445 In addition, as of March 2020 British Patient Capital - a subsidiary of the Bank designed to enable long-term investment in innovative companies with high growth potential across the UK - had invested more than GBP 1 billion of the GBP 2.5 billion of capital available in over 500 companies.46British Business Investments, a commercial subsidiary of the Bank, also continued to increase the overall supply and diversity of finance – both product and provider – on offer to UK businesses.

Separately, a series of UK tax reliefs continued to encourage investments in small unquoted companies carrying on a qualifying trade in the UK. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) data shows 4,215 companies raised a total of GBP 1.9 billion of funds under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) in 2019-20. Since the EIS was launched in 1993-94, 31 365 companies have received investment and GBP 22 billion of funds have been raised (noting that companies can raise funds in more than one year). The number of raises and value of investment increased by 3.8% and 2.0% on 2018-19, although these are likely to increase as more returns are received.

Since the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) was launched in 2012-13, 12 040 individual companies have received investment through the scheme and GBP 1 174 million in investment has been raised. In 2019-20 SEIS recorded 2 090 companies raising total investment of GBP 170 million. Compared to 2018-19, the number of raises fell by 1.6% and the value of funds decreased by 0.6%. As with EIS, these numbers are provisional and likely to be revised upwards as more returns are received. Based upon historic revisions of the data, the consistently increasing numbers of raises and value of funding confirm the continued importance of business angel funding to smaller UK companies.47

References

Bank of England https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/ and https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/tables

BoE (Bank of England)

(2020), Credit Conditions Survey - 2020 Q4. https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/credit-conditions-survey/2020/2020-q4

(2020), Agents' summary of business conditions, 2020 Q4. https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/agents-summary/2020/2020-q4

(2021), Credit Conditions Survey - 2021 Q2. https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/credit-conditions-survey/2021/2021-q2

(2021), Agents' summary of business conditions, 2021 Q2. https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/agents-summary/2021/2021-q2

BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy

(2020) BEIS, Business population estimates 2020. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/business-population-estimates-2020

Brismo (2020): data provided directly to British Business Bank

British Business Bank

(2021) Small Business Equity Tracker Report 2021. https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Equity-Tracker-2021-Final-report-1.pdf

(2020) Annual Report and Accounts 2020. https://annualreport2020.british-business-bank.co.uk/?_ga=2.166278585.647268253.1623940900-1532444422.1509557270

(2021) Recovery Loan Scheme. https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/recovery-loan-scheme/

(2020) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/new-coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-opens-to-smaller-businesses-across-the-uk/

(2021) Future Fund: Breakthrough. https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/future-fund-breakthrough/

Wholesale solutions – our ENABLE Programmes. https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/wholesale-solutions/

Regional Programmes. https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/regional-funds/

(2020) British Patient Capital, Annual Report and Accounts 2020: Fuelling innovation, powering growth. https://annualreport2020.britishpatientcapital.co.uk/assets/uploads/BPC_Annual-report_2020.pdf

BVA BDRC

(2020) SME Finance Monitor (SME FM) Q4 2020 Report. https://www.bva-bdrc.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/BVABDRC_SME_FM_Q4_2020.pdf

(2021) SME FM Management Summary Q2 2021 https://www.bva-bdrc.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Management-summary-FINAL.pdf

(2021) SME FM Chart Pack Q2 2021 https://www.bva-bdrc.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SME-charts-Q2-2021-FINAL-all.pdf

Finance & Leasing Association (FLA). https://www.fla.org.uk/asset-finance/

Gov.UK

(2020) HM Revenue & Customs, May 2020, Enterprise Investment Scheme, Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme and Social Investment Tax Relief. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/enterprise-investment-scheme-seed-enterprise-investment-scheme-and-social-investment-tax-relief-statistics-may-2020

(2020) National Statistics, Insolvency Statistics: October to December 2020. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/company-insolvency-statistics-october-to-december-2020

(2020) Financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19). https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19

(2020) Future Fund launches today. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/future-fund-launches-today

UK Finance.

(2020) SME lending and deposits. https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/data-and-research/data/business-finance/sme-lending-and-deposits

Notes

← 1. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Business population estimates 2020 (Annual business population estimates for the UK and regions in 2020). https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/business-population-estimates-2020*

← 2. BEIS, Business population estimates 2020.

← 3. Bank of England, Statistics Database. https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/boeapps/database/

← 4. Bank of England, Statistics Database.

← 5. Bank of England, Statistics Database.

← 6. Bank of England, Statistics Database.

← 7. Bank of England, Statistics Database.

← 8. UK Finance. https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/data-and-research/data/business-finance/sme-lending-and-deposits (The seven largest banks in the UK are HSBC Bank plc, Lloyds Banking Group plc, NatWest Group plc, Barclays Bank plc, Santander UK, Virgin Money UK and The Co-operative Bank)

← 9. UK Finance.

← 10. BVA BDRC SME Finance Monitor (SME FM) Q4 2020 Report, pp. 57. https://www.bva-bdrc.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/BVABDRC_SME_FM_Q4_2020.pdf

← 11. UK Finance.

← 12. BVA BDRC, SME FM Management Summary Q2 2021, pp.3. https://www.bva-bdrc.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Management-summary-FINAL.pdf

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