More than two thirds (70%) of the UK’s SME business owners are confident that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will have no impact on their ability to access finance. This is according to the Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey of UK SME owners and senior management across a range of sectors and regions.
Only in Greater London did over half of businesses (57%) answer ‘yes’ to the question ‘do you expect your access to finance to be impacted by Brexit?’. In contrast, in Northern Ireland and Wales, only 14% and 18% of business owners, respectively, answered ‘yes’.
“Overall, UK SMEs feel that despite the outcome of the EU referendum, their access to finance has not been noticeably disrupted, and nor do they expect it to be,” said Neil Davies, CEO, Close Brothers Asset Finance.
“Apart from Greater London businesses, all other regions feel that Brexit will have a limited impact on their ability to raise finance.
“We have consistently said that despite the outcome, it’s very much ‘business as usual’ and that we will continue to provide our customers with funding, as we’ve historically done through all economic cycles and periods of uncertainty. We even took out a full-page advert in the Sunday Times on 10 July saying exactly that.”
There was a degree of variation within Close Brothers Asset Finance’s key sectors, with some expecting to see more of an impact than others. The breakdown of ‘yes’ responses to the question ‘do you expect your access to finance to be impacted by Brexit?’:
- Construction – 28%
- Engineering – 48%
- Manufacturing – 33%
- Transport – 37%
- Print – 47%
(Source: Close Brothers Asset Finance)