Plant Hire Vacancies Could Grow with Alternative Lending

Work to ensure construction SMEs can access alternative lending could be good news for plant hire vacancies as any increase in funding for construction should lead to greater demand for machinery and equipment.

Since the economic downturn began back around 2007-08, the banks have tightened their lending criteria on everything from mortgages to business loans.

But construction lending has been particularly hard hit, with several of the banks significantly reducing their level of risk on built environment projects.

The Federation of Master Builders is now welcoming government proposals to ensure that SMEs turned down for bank loans are referred to alternative lenders for consideration.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “Accessing bank finance is often difficult for SMEs.

“Over the past five years the problem has been particularly acute and the construction sector has been hit harder than most.”

Alternative lending is a fast-growing source of funding, and channels like peer-to-peer lending were given a further boost in the Budget by being brought under the umbrella of investments that can be included in an ISA.

Together, these measures should help to allocate more funding through all channels in the years to come, with knock-on benefits for plant hire vacancies in the process.