In the annual SME financing research conducted by Linkflow Capital, an SME loan consultancy firm, more than half of SMEs experienced improved access to financing in 2020, a significant increase from 39% in 2019.
According to Linkflow Capital, up to 52% of SMEs were eligible for financing in 2020 with an average loan quantum of $310,909 secured within their platform, a 134% increase from average loan quantum of $132,500 in 2019.
“We observed a higher number of SMEs with stronger revenue and credit profile seeking financing amidst the Covid-19 pandemic compared to previous years. Also, with the various government financing schemes introduced in 2020, this could explain why financing eligibility and average loan amounts secured last year was markedly higher.” said Ben Teo, a spokesperson for Linkflow Capital.
Research data and statistics are derived from Linkflow Capital’s SME loan comparison portal launched in 2017. For this latest survey, data was generated from over 4281 unique users for the period January to December 2020.
Consistent from the data in 2019 and 2018, for SMEs who were not able to access financing in 2020, the major hurdle remains a combination of low revenue and poor cash flow.
Other interesting data point observed in this year’s SME finance survey includes a surge in financing applications which peaked during the circuit breaker period, and the resulting delay in average application processing and funds disbursement turnaround time from 22 days in 2019 to over 45 days in 2020.
Linkflow Capital expects business lending to remain measured this year as government-imposed loan moratoriums starts to wind down from December 2020. Within the context of a K-shaped recovery taking shape, lenders might also adopt a more selective approach in when underwriting specific sectors and industries.