SMEs urged to look for alternative finance

The Royal Bank of Scotland withdrew £2.2bn of credit from small businesses in the last nine months of 2013.

Fletcher said: “Rather than relying on banks what about using peer-to-peer lending platforms for instance, or crowdfunding or raise equity finance?

“There a myriad of ways if financing a business, you no longer have to rely on transitional methods.

“Some good businesses are not getting what they need simply because the pendulum has swung too far the other way in terms of risk appetite.

“By now though if businesses have not refinanced after five years of living through the financial crisis then they really only have themselves to blame.”