BBC News reports that, according to the EY Item Club, Bank lending to businesses is set to rise year for the first time since 2008.

The forecasting group reported that lending peaked at £575bn in 2008 but has declined each year since. However, £4.3bn of extra lending banks offered in the first five months of 2015 suggests a year-on-year rise this time, although the growth will only be 0.25{06aeb1921e0b802d2bd9c766bc98fb11cc6a46c2b0593ed9c88a0e29cf417a34}.

“With the economy growing at a steady pace and business investment set to rise at an annual average of 6.5{06aeb1921e0b802d2bd9c766bc98fb11cc6a46c2b0593ed9c88a0e29cf417a34} over the next three years, the forecast suggests that the days of lending contraction are in the past,” said the group.

Omar Ali, EY UK head of banking and capital markets, said: “Consumer credit finally turned the corner in 2014, and now business lending will hopefully follow suit.

“The rising demand from businesses for new loans is good news for the banks, but the June drop in net lending shows how vulnerable they are to bigger businesses, with access to alternative sources of finance such as bonds, paying off overdrafts in preparation for rising interest rates.”