UK survey: trade finance most familiar alternative funding option

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According to a new survey conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce and Bibby Financial Services (BFS), trade finance is the most familiar alternative financing option available to UK businesses.

The survey of more than 1,000 UK companies found that 46.1% of respondents were aware of this funding option.

The least familiar was mezzanine finance (18.8%), followed by angel finance (38.9%), and peer-to-peer funding (41.6%).

The survey – which was completed before the EU referendum result – found that 47.7% of respondents applied for finance in the past year.

Of those that were successful in securing finance but rejected the terms offered, 54% did so owing to high interest rates while 39% said the collateral required was too high.

Firms were most familiar with bank overdrafts (92.8%), bank loans (88.2%), commercial credit cards (86.1%) and leasing/hire purchase facilities (86%).

David Postings, global chief executive of BFS, said that while traditional sources of funding seem to be the first port of call for many SMEs, “there are a growing range of options available”.

He added that “a weaker pound provides opportunities for businesses selling overseas so export and trade finance may be better suited than loans or overdrafts”.