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Pay rises resume for UK workers

NEARLY a third of UK businesses have rewarded their staff with pay rises over the last 12 months.

Over 60% said that these increases were in line with inflation, while a further 22% stated pay rises were actually above the rate of inflation. These figures come from the most recent Close Brothers Business Barometer, a survey that canvasses the opinion of SME owner managers from a variety of sectors across the UK on a range of financial and economic issues.

CEO of Close Brothers Asset Finance, Mike Randall said: "While corporate balance sheets are still being squeezed to the last penny, it's encouraging to learn that UK employees are beginning to see an increase in their pay packets."

"The last few years have been challenging to say the least, hopefully this is a sign that things have begun to pick up," he added. The Business Barometer has also revealed that 15% of UK firms anticipate giving staff a pay rise within the next 12 months.

"While this is good news, the survey has shown that the picture may not be quite so rosy in other areas. Almost one in ten UK firms have been declined access to bank lending in the past six months, and a further 9% have admitted that while they have identified opportunities for growth, they have been unable to take advantage of them due to a lack of adequate funding," said Mr Randall.

"It is essential that these SMEs are aware of their financial options if they are to safeguard any tentative progress towards recovery."

"Asset finance is one of the fastest growing forms of commercial lending and is an extremely viable option for UK firms. It’s a flexible method of funding ideally suited to businesses who wish to purchase new assets, raise finance for expansion or make other investments into their business," he added.

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