Statement in response to the publication of the SME Finance Update Quarter 2 2018

Stuart Mansfield, Finance Partner at Arthur Cox, said:

“With the 2,672 new loans approved for small and medium enterprises in Northern Ireland during the second quarter of 2018 equating to 91 per cent of applications made, businesses in the region remain more successful in receiving finance from traditional banks than their counterparts in the rest of the UK.

“Banks approved eight out of 10 applications in the UK as a whole for loans during the period, totalling £7.1 billion in value.

“For the second successive quarter, the total value of lending to Northern Ireland SMEs was £384 million although the figure for the three months to June was marginally lower than the same period in 2017.

“This compared favourably to other regions of the UK with Scottish SMEs receiving £590m in loan approvals while those in Wales were approved for £262m worth of lending.

“In keeping with what our Finance Team is seeing in the marketplace, the’ Real Estate and Professional & Support Services’ sector accounted for the largest proportion of lending with approved loans amounting to £91m over the period.

“It was followed closely by businesses in the ‘Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry’ sector which received approvals worth £82m.”