99% of firms finding credit difficult to obtain

5 January 2009

UK companies are facing a lending drought, with 99 per cent of chief financial officers (CFOs) saying it is hard to obtain credit despite official efforts to thaw the market, a new survey has found.

The figure, from the latest quarterly study from accountancy specialist Deloitte, is up from 55 per cent a year ago.

Meanwhile, 95 per cent of CFOs believe credit is expensive - up 31 per cent over the past 12 months.

Over half of those questioned - 56 per cent - said they now plan on reducing existing debts, while 11 per cent said they will increase their borrowing.

Lending difficulties have increased despite the Bank of England cutting interest rates to the lowest level in 58 years. Its monetary policy committee is expected to take the base rate to an all-time low of one or 1.5 per cent when it meets on January 7th and 8th.

Deloitte's Ian Stewart said: "Tighter credit conditions have brought about a dramatic shift in corporates' attitudes to debt.

"A year ago the balance of opinion among CFOs was that the UK sector was under-geared. Today, the view is that corporates have too much debt."

Become a bobsguide member to access the following

1. Unrestricted access to bobsguide
2. Send a proposal request
3. Insights delivered daily to your inbox
4. Career development