"It is really encouraging to see that the UK as a whole is benefiting from business loans, not just those in London."
London is no longer the SME capital of the UK, with lenders 15% more likely to loan money to businesses in the South East than any other area of the UK, according to research from Capital on Tap.
The research found that London ranks only in fifth position for approval rates in business loans.
The South East has a 15% higher approval rate than the national average, followed by the East (9%), the South West, (6%), the East Midlands (4%).
Other areas of the UK are also benefiting more from loans than those in the capital. SMEs in the North East and Wales are granted the highest proportion of their requested loan amount. By contrast, Londoners may request the highest total amounts for loans, but they get their hands on the lowest proportion of the amount listed in their application.
When it comes to paying back on amounts borrowed, the Welsh are 18% less likely to make late repayments on their business cards than the rest of the UK.
While Londoners are best for paying off the full balance on their cards (13% more likely to pay the full amount than the national average), those that do pay back late are among the worst offenders. They take the second longest of all regions to clear their balance (35 days late), behind only Northern Ireland (41 days), and also ranked fourth for the highest proportion of repeat late repayments.
David Luck, CEO of Capital on Tap, said: “It is really encouraging to see that the UK as a whole is benefiting from business loans, not just those in London. It is vital for the British economy and standard of living that the country as a whole is thriving. That’s why it is especially pleasing that we have increased our investment in UK SMEs almost 12-fold since 2015.
“With the rising prices in the capital and the added flexibility of remote working and varied hours, there may be a case of ‘brain drain’ from London, as business talent starts to move to nearby areas such as the South East. This would lead to higher investment rates in promising SMEs from areas outside the capital, which is what we’re seeing in our data.”