“It’s encouraging to see some positive news for UK SMEs. After several years of contraction in SME lending, 2015 has seen four consecutive quarters of positive net bank lending to smaller businesses. Particularly promising is the fact that the alternative finance sector saw business lending grow by a staggering 75% to £1.26bn in 2015. Whilst I expect to see this growth slow slightly, I am optimistic that we will continue to see high single digit growth through 2016. The Government’s commitment to the housing market means we expect to see continued high demand from the construction sector and companies from all sectors will continue to invest in technology, again driving demand for funding. “What was perhaps most startling about the British Business Bank’s findings is that approximate a quarter of SMEs denied funding who then appealed had the decision overturned. This is a clear indication that too many providers are saying ‘no’ before properly assessing applications. More must be done to remove automatic ‘no’ responses. Failing to think about how we might help businesses, instead of coming up with reasons not to, wastes time and resources and crucially lets down promising SMEs that require investment to grow.” **Ends** For further enquiries, journalists can contact: Niamh Baker-Loughlin, Cicero Group Phone: 020 7947 5321 Email: Niamh.Baker-Loughlin@cicero-group.com Ian Burge, Aldermore Phone: 020 3553 4292 Email: Ian.Burge@aldermore.co.uk Notes to Editors For further information about Aldermore, our financial backers and our PR contacts, please review our Notes to Editors page.