Business lending continues to fall

The annual rate of growth in lending to UK businesses decreased by £0.5 billion in the 3 months to February 2014, according to the Bank of England.

However, the fall was not as large as the £3.3 billion decline in the preceding 3 months.

Key findings:

  • the stock of lending in the real estate sector - which has the biggest stock of business loans - fell by 8.1% in the year to February 2014 
  • demand for credit across all business sizes increased in 2014 Q1, according to respondents to the Bank of England's Credit Conditions Survey
  • £15.3 billion of new gross syndicated lending was granted in Q1 2014 was, 20% lower than the same period last year.

Launched in April 2009, the Bank of England's Trends in Lending report assesses developments in lending to the UK economy.

Key figures since 2009:

  • the annual rate of growth for lending to businesses by UK financial institutions has been negative since mid-2009
  • the pace of decline in the stock of lending to UK businesses has eased slightly since the start of 2013
  • lending growth rates for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were stronger than for businesses overall in 2009.