In the latest annual SME financing research conducted by Linkflow Capital, more than 60% of SMEs were not eligible for financing in 2021, a significant increase from 48% in 2020.
According to Linkflow Capital, average loan quantum secured within their platform in 2021 fell to $224,398, a 28% drop from a high of $310,909 in 2020 during the height of the pandemic.
“We observed a higher number of young SMEs with smaller revenue and weaker credit profile seeking financing in 2021, compared to 2020 during the onset of the pandemic. Together with the gradual unwinding of various Covid-19 relief support schemes, this could explain why financing eligibility and average loan amounts secured last year decreased.” said Ben Teo, a spokesperson for Linkflow Capital.
Research data and statistics are derived from Linkflow Capital’s SME loan comparison portal. For this latest survey, data was generated from over 2176 unique users for the period January to December 2021.
Although financing eligibility and average loan quantum dropped on a year-on-year basis, it is noted that credit conditions remain accommodative. Average 2021 SME loan size secured is still 69% higher than 2019 pre-pandemic. Interest rates remain at a historical low from the past 12 years. Total government assisted loans disbursed in 2021 was S$8.6 billion, four times that of pre-pandemic years 2019 and 2018.
Linkflow Capital expects overall credit environment to remain accommodative for SMEs this year until the end of third quarter 2022 when the main government assisted financing scheme, the Temporary Bridging Loan, is scheduled to end in September.
Cost of financing for SMEs is expected to head north sharply after 3Q 2022 in line with escalating interest rate market conditions.