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Equity investment in to London’s smaller firms surged past £10bn in the first three quarter of 2021 as investors looked to capitalise on the economic recovery of businesses in the capital, fresh data has revealed.

Cash pumped into smaller firms in London jumped 152 per cent in the first nine months of the financial year, surpassing the £5.8bn seen across the whole of 2020, according to figures from the state-owned British Business Bank (BBB).

London dominated the funding landscape across the UK, with smaller businesses in London attracting 70 per cent of total investment.

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Steve Conibear, the British Business Bank’s South and East of England network director, said investment still had a key role to play in driving recovery.

“In London, we’ve seen record growth of equity investment and through our programmes, the British Business Bank will continue to support the capital’s smaller businesses by improving access and options to secure external finance,” he said.

The UK in general also recorded an uptick in investment in the first three quarters of 2021, with £14bn invested over the same period, a 130 per cent increase on 2020 levels.

UK debt markets are also returning to pre pandemic levels, the BBB found, with soaring debt levels beginning to settle and debt repayments taking up less of business lending.

Challenger and specialist banks like Starling and Monzo snapped up a record share of half of the bank lending market with 51 per cent, up from 32 per cent in 2020.

The report found that access to finance remains an issue for ethnic minority-led businesses, however, despite being more open to using finance for business growth.

Half of Ethnic Minority-led businesses are open to using finance for growth compared to a 32 per cent of white-led businesses.

By CHARLIE CONCHIE

Source: City AM

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