Owner-managed businesses (OMBs) in the UK are saying no to taking on additional debt at present, as they try to sort out their existing finances, according to a report from Bank of Cyprus UK.
The financial services provider has published its latest OMB Barometer, which reveals that in the past quarter, a third of OMBs have put personal funds into their business in order to pay for investment, innovation and expansion, while almost three in five had no need for external funds from any source.
Only 12%, around one in eight of those surveyed, plan to seek finance from their bank in the next 12 months – but almost as many (11%) say the lack of access to funds is a significant barrier to growth.
Spokesman Tony Leahy said: “Whilst businesses are right to keep a tight grip on their credit management and cash flow until recovery is more evident, it is disappointing that many respondents lack confidence that their bank would support them with additional facilities if needed.”
He added that banks and OMBs should maintain an open dialogue “to avoid any shocks”; however, businesses who feel they have been all but abandoned by their banks in recent years may prefer to focus on maintaining an open dialogue with their customers, to encourage prompt payment.
Doing so can allow invoices to be settled faster, keeping companies’ cash flow looking healthier, and ensuring that rather than being locked up in overdue invoices, funds are released ready for use in investment and expansion projects.
In turn, this places OMBs to be able to weather any further financial shocks without external assistance, and to capitalise on the opportunities for growth that are likely to appear in the recovering UK economy during the years to come.