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April 4, 2019

Wyelands Bank: UK manufacturers missing out on £183bn revenues

Wyelands Bank said UK mid-sized manufacturers could be missing out on £183bn in revenues due to insufficient access to finance. 

By Brian Cantwell

Wyelands Bank said UK mid-sized manufacturers could be missing out on £183bn in revenues due to insufficient access to finance.

The research, completed in November 2018, surveyed 305 UK mid-sized manufacturers turning over £10m-£300m.  Respondents were senior financial decision makers from a range of manufacturing areas including the machinery and components, computers and electronics, and electrical equipment sectors, amongst others.

The research found that nine out of ten firms (89%) suffered a lack of finance, while each firm said that the difficulties raising finance meant they had missed out on an average of £20m in revenues and an average of 11 new contracts.  This would have enabled each firm to create 10 new jobs.

These figures suggest that the 23,000 mid-sized manufacturing businesses in the UK have collectively missed out on 163 thousand contracts. Wyelands said these would have created 175,000 jobs.

Iain Hunter, chief executive of Wyelands Bank, said: “Helping individual businesses unlock growth along the manufacturing supply chain would help tackle the UK economy’s productivity challenges.  Mid-market firms can have a disproportionate effect on growth and job creation, but first they need to be understood as individual businesses.

“It takes time and effort to understand a firm’s specific challenges and identify how to help them.  This must then be underpinned by a range of flexible financial solutions to help shape the right answer.

“To make it easier for firms to raise finance, financial institutions should be straightforward to deal with and speak the same language as their customers.”

Wyelands Bank research shows that difficulties in raising finance also prevent 70% of firms from investing in new equipment or technology.  Half (50%) have also been held back from entering new markets and 45% have been prevented from moving to a new site or premises.

“Mid-sized firms, turning over £10-300m, are often too big to benefit from the attention that is rightly given by policymakers to small businesses.  Yet they are generally not big enough to benefit from the economies of scale of larger firms,” said Hunter.

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