Date of release: Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Professor David GrayThe reasons why banks approve or reject financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is the subject of a research project being carried out by the university’s Business School.

Working in partnership with Surrey Business School, university experts will explore the criteria and processes that banks apply when considering requests for finance by SMEs. The project, commissioned by top 20 accountancy firm Kingston Smith, will include face-to-face interviews with five of the UK’s major banks and challenger banks. Business owner-managers from various sectors will also be interviewed, so that opinions are heard from both sides of the process.

Professor David Gray, Chair in Leadership and Organisational Behaviour at the Business School, who is co-leading the research, says: “There is a common perception that banks are not lending sufficient funds to SMEs. Meanwhile the banks are saying they are open for business and want to lend more.

“This study will go straight to the heart of the matter and reveal some genuine insights into why there is such a discrepancy between the two perspectives and, crucially, what practical steps SMEs can take to improve their position and acquire the funds they need.”

The research will be completed this year and findings will be published in the autumn.

The new project follows a report carried out by the same team of academics in 2012 that identified the factors leading to innovation and business success among SMEs.

Professor Mark Saunders of the University of Surrey adds: “We are excited to be working closely with SMEs and senior decision-makers at several of the country’s top banks and gaining their unique insights into this key issue.”

Chris Lane, Partner and Head of the Entrepreneurial Businesses Group at Kingston Smith, says: “We keenly anticipate the unique insights this project will reveal and look forward to sharing them with business owners across the UK.”

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Story by Public Relations