The majority of small and medium-sized business owners now believe their bank would approve any reasonable application for lending, according to research by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks.
Around three fifths of those surveyed said they are confident their application would be accepted – but many are looking for the banks to do more to protect the finances they make available to businesses.
The survey found that 51% would feel even more confident about borrowing from their bank for purchasing equipment and premises, or hiring new staff, if the bank were to ring-fence that money.
Paul Shephard, director for business and private banking at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said: “At the moment, UK businesses are viewing the economy with increasing levels of confidence and preparing themselves for the opportunities which come about as a result.
“To take advantage of the improving conditions, many businesses are innovating, investing in new staff, expanding or purchasing their own premises and entering new markets.”
In the wake of the recession, it seems many SMEs are becoming more prudent about their cash flow in general, and looking to minimise their financial risk.
The survey found that 64% of business borrowers want it to be easier to repay lenders for the money they have obtained in loans, and 35% have simply reduced their total exposure to debt since the onset of the recession.
Mr Shephard added: “We believe many businesses have the appetite to invest but some remain uncertain as to whether their bank will support them, or how they might go about securing additional funding.
“The starting point is a conversation with someone who understands you and the potential of your business and the sector in which you are operating.”