CCR Magazine

CCRi banner ad
You are here  :Home arrow News arrow Less than two in five SMEs expect to grow in Q1 2016
Contact Us Newsletter Signup RSS Feeds

Latest News Headlines


Commercial Credit News


Less than two in five SMEs expect to grow in Q1 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 January 2016

Only 36% of UK SMEs expect to grow in the first quarter of 2016, as a muted outlook takes hold amongst the nation’s smaller businesses, according to business funder, Bibby Financial Services (BFS).

BFS’ latest SME Confidence Tracker shows that growth expectations plummeted by ten percentage points from Quarter 3 to Quarter 4 2015, while almost one in five (17%) small businesses surveyed expect sales to decline in the first three months of the year.

Of all parts of the UK, Scotland appears worst hit with only 29% of Scottish business owners and decision-makers expecting sales to increase, compared to the national average of 36%.

David Postings, Global Chief Executive of Bibby Financial Services, said: “Recent ONS data shows growth in the UK economy slowed in 2015, with third quarter growth cut from 0.5% to 0.4%. Our latest SME Confidence Tracker reflects this dampened outlook amongst the country’s small businesses.”

The Tracker for Quarter 4 2015 indicates that SMEs will enter 2016 with muted investment plans, with over a third (35%) saying that they do not intend to invest over the next three months.

Top of the list of reasons for holding off on future investment is the uncertain economic environment in the UK. Almost a third (29%) of small business owners and decision-makers cite this as a barrier to capex, up from 21% in Quarter 3.

Mr Postings commented: “SME confidence is plummeting, while investment is only being made if it is essential. Concerns over the uncertain UK economic environment are strengthening, suggesting that SMEs believe the recovery is losing steam.”

Where businesses are planning to invest over the next quarter, their reasons for investment are focused on maintaining “business as usual” activities, such as replacing outdated equipment and keeping ahead of competitors. Despite investment in existing and new staff topping the list of planned investments, only one in ten SMEs say that “ensuring the business attracts and retains the best talent” is a primary reason to invest.

Mr Postings continued: “The Q4 Tracker presents a gloomier outlook than seen before. While in Quarter 3, small business owners were sensing dark clouds on the horizon, they now appear to be preparing for the storm.

“Government and policymakers would be wise to heed the reality of SME experiences and hold off on any major changes to monetary policy. Small businesses need certainty in the UK economy and as much ‘forward guidance’ as possible, if they are to lift themselves out of this downward spiral.”
3 October - Guoman Tower Hotel, Central London 

CCRInteractive, in association with Marston Holdings , is the largest and leading one-day conference from the publishers of CCRMagazine – a truly national and international event for the credit industry.

This landmark event allows delegates to: Learn best practice of how to increase profitable sales in today’s economy. Understand the key compliance issues and how they will impact upon you. Discuss the legislative and regulatory framework and how it will effect you. Consider the potential effects of Brexit on your business. Discover the latest innovations in the market to improve your collections. Motivate your staff to achieve ever improved results.

To book to attend in 2017, contact Stephen Kiely  or Alison Lucas. To find out more about being part of this landmark event, please contact Gary Lucas

 Forums International Ltd

Forums International Ltd

 Attendance at your first meeting is free of charge, and please quote reference 'CCR2016' to receive the special 10% discount off of your first annual subscription.

Find out more here.

latest issue

CCR Cover

The latest edition of CCR Magazine, the leading editorial publication in the UK credit industry, is out.

Read the latest issue online

The Credit Excellence Awards


Tuesday 3 October - Guoman Tower Hotel, Central London

Do not miss your chance to meet and network with the Winners and Finalists at the Credit Excellence Awards, in association with Hoist Finance.

To book your place to attend, please contact Alison Lucas.


CCR is the premier magazine for consumer and credit professionals. It provides an independent voice to the industry, breaking major news stories and running in-depth features.

As a magazine, it works with and campaigns on behalf of the credit industry to promote its importance as a centre of potential profit and business development to the wider business world.

Subscribe to CCR Magazine

CCR World Magazine


Providing information and analysis for thousands of senior credit professionals worldwide, every quarter.

Find out more

GTS Media Ltd
81 Cambridge Road

Registered in England No: 05483197