New analysis from ThinCats, a fintech lender to mid-sized SMEs, shows Leeds-based businesses have been quicker to use new sources of finance to fund their growth plans than every other major city in the UK.
Before the 2008 financial crisis three-quarters (75%) of Leeds SMEs’ loans were sourced through banks. This figure has come down to 40% more recently which compares with a UK average of 57%.
ThinCats has identified around 2,700 SMEs in Leeds where it could provide funding. This may be to expand their teams, to help service new contracts or to invest in new equipment.
ThinCats is urging Leeds business owners that still rely on their banks for funding to follow the lead being set by their local business community.
Ben Kimball, Director Regional Business Development at ThinCats said: “We analysed more than 200,000 businesses across the UK and found Leeds businesses have been very astute and innovative in funding around 60% of their loans through non-bank sources.
“We estimate there will be more than 350 Leeds SMEs looking for funding during 2019. As Leeds has a higher proportion of growth companies than the UK average and high street banks find it harder to fund this type of business, it is encouraging that Leeds is finding alternative funding from lenders such as ThinCats.
“ThinCats has almost £1billion of capital from institutions and other long-term investors waiting to be deployed across the UK. Our message to business owners looking to fund their growth plans in 2019 is speak to your accountant or business adviser and look beyond the banks.”