Accessing investment funds a ‘challenge’ for funeral directors

The majority of the UK’s funeral directors have desires to invest in business, despite a large number of them finding it difficult to seek funding.

Some 70 percent of funeral directors in the UK and 63 percent Ireland continue to find access to finance a challenge, research from Braemar Finance reveals.

The findings are based on a Lightspeed survey conducted on behalf of Braemar Finance in May 2018, which canvassed the opinion of 830 professions SMEs across the UK and Ireland.

Only around one in 10 funeral directors in both the UK and Ireland are finding it easier than previous years to access the funding they need from lenders while a further 14 percent in the UK and 25 percent in Ireland said they had never having had a problem accessing funding.

Focusing on funeral directors’ enthusiasm to invest, the results are among the highest of all eight professions surveyed, and they show a clear similarities between the two regions, with 62 percent of UK-based funeral directors answering ‘yes’ to the question ‘do you plan to seek funding for business investment in the next 12 months?’. In Ireland the figure rises to 75 percent. Only 20 percent (UK) and 25 percent (Ireland) responded ‘no’ to the same question, while 17 percent in the UK are ‘still making up their mind’.

In the UK, the funeral director’s finance advisor is their primary source of financial support and advice, while in Ireland it’s their accountant.

Aileen Boyle, managing director of Braemar Finance, said: “There is a common perception that there is a strong appetite from funders to lend to the businesses in the professions sectors. What our research shows is that there is a far more nuanced picture out there, with some firms still finding it a challenge accessing the funds they need to invest, despite businesses wanting to do just that.

“Interestingly, no firms in Ireland are sitting on the fence about whether to invest or not while in the UK it rises to 17 percent. This reluctance – in the UK at least -most likely comes from the difficulty they have faced in securing finance in the past.”

She added: “These results are consistent across the professions. It’s clear that professional and knowledgeable advisors have a big role to play in guiding and helping firms to unlock the doors to finance and investment.”

Q: Thinking about access to funding, is it….

A major challenge Ireland 38 percent
  UK 25 percent
A minor challenge Ireland 25 percent
  UK 48 percent
Becoming easier Ireland 13 percent
  UK 10 percent
Never had a problem Ireland 25 percent
  UK 14 percent
Don’t know Ireland Zero percent
  UK Three percent

Q: Do you plan to seek funding for business investment in the next 12 months?

Yes Ireland 75 percent
  UK 62 percent
No Ireland 25 percent
  UK 20 percent
Still making up my mind Ireland Zero percent
  UK 17 percent

Q: Where do you (as a business) mainly go for financial support and advice?

Accountant Ireland 50 percent
  UK 28 percent
Bank Manager Ireland Zero percent
  UK 17 percent
Finance Advisor Ireland Zero percent
  UK 45 percent
Peers Ireland Zero percent
  UK Zero percent
Online Ireland Zero percent
  UK Seven percent
Friend/family Ireland 25 percent
  UK Three percent
Solicitor/lawyer Ireland 25 percent
  UK Zero percent
Other Ireland Zero percent
  UK Zero percent

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