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Banks removing £5m in small business overdrafts every day

1-minute read

Mark James

9 November 2015

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With bankers keen to reduce their risks, small business overdrafts appear high on their hit list.

The devil is in the data

The figure comes from recent data analysis conducted by the Bank of England, and points to a post-credit crunch panic to tighten up on lending.

Tellingly, overdrafts began being cut at £5m per day during 2011, with the UK still struggling its way out of recession. Since then though the trend has continued – despite growth returning – with little apparent let up in the overdraft cuts…

Reductions all round

In addition to the Bank of England’s research, Funding Options investigated the trend, their own research suggesting that one in five small businesses have seen their overdrafts removed altogether.

A total of 30 per cent had seen reductions imposed in the last 24 months, whist a similar study by the Forum of Private Business has pointed to a decline in overdraft usage. According to their research, usage has dropped from 25 per cent in 2011 to just 17 per cent this year.

No money, more problems

Speaking on his company’s findings, Conrad Ford, Founder and CEO of Funding Options said "The withdrawal of overdraft facilities is a significant problem for SMEs. A big reduction in the level of working capital available is not just a one-off blow for a small business but presents on-going problems until replacement funding is found or built up.”

What with the problems poor cash flow can pose small businesses this news is pretty troubling, but do bear in mind that there's alternatives to the banks if things get fraught.

Have you had your overdraft reduced or completely removed? Tell us your story in the comments section.

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