Despite the improving economic picture small businesses and SMEs have still struggled to access bank credit over the last three months, according to the latest survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). 47% of FSB members that had applied for loans had been turned down by their bank, even taking into account the extra money provided to banks to lend to small businesses through the Funding for Lending (FLS) scheme. It also found that 56% of businesses felt that banks didn’t care for smaller businesses, whilst only 16% felt the big banks were being supportive to them.Alternative sources of business finance were said to be helping fill the void, with awareness of other options increasing amongst business owners. National chairman of the FSB, John Allan, said: “As much as [we need] a culture change in the banks, we must diversify the lending landscape as a whole”. Invoice finance is one such option which is proving popular amongst SMEs, which allows businesses that issue invoices to get hold of the cash they’ve earned quickly and simply. Click here to find out more about invoice finance.