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Home > Statistics > Explanatory Notes - Monetary financial institutions loans to non-financial businesses, by size of business

Explanatory Notes - Monetary financial institutions loans to non-financial businesses, by size of business


These data relate to loans and advances in all currencies made by UK monetary financial institutions (MFIs) to UK non-financial businesses, including to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  The data cover amounts outstanding, changes and growth rates.  The data also cover gross flows, meaning flows of new lending to and repayments of lending by businesses, and net flows, defined as gross lending less repayments.


Data on gross and net flows of lending, by size of business (SMEs and large businesses) and by major industrial sector are available on a monthly frequency from April 2011. These data are also available by both size of business and by major industrial sector on a monthly frequency from January 2016. Data on amounts outstanding of loans both including and excluding overdrafts are available by size of business on a monthly frequency from April 2011, and by major industrial sector from January 2016.  Data on growth rates are available from later periods, depending on the definition.
Data are not seasonally adjusted.  Publication of data will usually occur on the 21st working day of the end of the period in Tables A8.1, A8.1.1 and A8.1.2 in Bankstats (Monetary and Financial Statistics) or subject to the published Statistical release calendar.


The data source is form LN Lending to Businesses, introduced in April 2011.  Form LN is designed to be consistent with form AL Analysis of Lending, in that it uses the same definition of loans and advances, and, within ‘businesses’, corresponds to the same counterparties and top level classification of industry segments.
The form LN is presently reported on an individual entity basis and is designed to ensure a target coverage of at least 75% of UK MFIs’ lending to private non-financial corporations.  Data are grossed up to all-MFIs estimates using standard approaches and additional information.
The amounts outstanding of loans are consistent with those non-financial series reported on form AL and within Bankstats Table C1.2 and Table F in the Money and Credit statistical release.  There may be differences in the net loans reported in Table A8.1 and Table C1.2 due to differences in the reporting population, grossing up methods used, and other changes in the value of assets such as write offs, and foreign currency revaluation effects. Further details can be found in changes, flows and growth rates.


Lending is defined as loans and advances (including overdrafts and claims made under sale and repurchase agreements) and finance leases granted to non-financial businesses, in all currencies.
Data on gross flows of lending, meaning flows of new lending to and repayments of lending by businesses, are defined with respect to loans excluding overdrafts.  Overdrafts are excluded from the definition of gross lending flows because it is recognised that this concept is difficult to define sensibly for credit products with short-term revolving characteristics.
Gross flows of lending and repayments and thus net lending, are defined so as to exclude the effects of write-offs, revaluation effects and loan transfers.
For non-financial businesses, amounts outstanding of loans (excluding overdrafts), and of overdrafts, are measured exclusive of accruing interest payable. 
Gross lending and repayments flows are measured after the application of any interest charges to the loan accounts.  This means, for example, that gross lending data include the application of any ‘capitalised interest’ and repayments data are measured after the deduction of any interest charged to the account.    
‘Roll-overs’, meaning automatic or discretionary immediate renewals of loan facilities, are excluded from gross flows of lending and repayments.  Reporters are asked to measure gross lending as the aggregate of all net increases over a calendar month in loan accounts of business borrowers, and repayments as the aggregate of all net decreases.
Lending to non-financial businesses is defined as lending in all currencies to all UK non-financial businesses classified to non-financial industry sectors, that is any lending that would be recorded under lines 1 (agriculture, hunting and forestry) to 14 (recreational, personal and community service activities), inclusive, of form AL.  As well as non-financial businesses, this definition may also include unincorporated businesses and counterparties in the non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH) sector, public corporations and certain institutions classified to the general government sector. 
Non-financial businesses are also classified by size of business.  For this purpose, SMEs are defined as those with an annual debit account turnover on the main business account of up to £25 million.  Those with an annual debit account turnover on the main business account above £25 million are termed ‘large businesses’.  It should be noted that reporters are allowed to apply alternative definitions by agreement with the Statistics Division and subject to meeting satisfactory quality standards.

Valuation and Breaks


Movements in amounts outstanding can reflect breaks in data series as well as underlying flows.  For changes and growth rates data, users are recommended to refer directly to the appropriate series or data tables. Further details can be found in changes, flows and growth rates.

The Bank of England has published a regular assessment of the latest trends in lending to the UK economy since April 2009, in the form of Trends in Lending. This has been replaced from 2015 Q2 by the Credit Conditions Review which sets out the trends in official and survey data on bank funding conditions and household and corporate credit conditions.

Standard Industrial Classification codes

The SIC codes associated with the series shown in Tables N and O, Money and Credit statistical release are available below.


Key Resources


Frequently asked questions


‘Publication of additional data relating to monetary financial institutions’ lending to businesses’ Baiden, A, Brind, S and Fields, C (2017), Bankstats, December 2016.



 ‘Lending to Businesses – a new data source’ Lyon, M and Srinivasan, S (2012), Bank of England Bankstats (Monetary and Financial Statistics), March