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Leading Yorkshire firm calls for lenders to raise their game

13 November 2012

A leading East Yorkshire firm has urged lenders to do more to help support business as a new survey from Deloitte revealed entrepreneurs’ confidence in banks has hit a new low.

David Heuck, Finance Director at Hull success story Heron Foods, says the firm’s recent success has been built with help and understanding from lender, Handelsbanken.

Heron Foods started in 1979 and now boasts 231 stores nationwide and, in tough trading climate for many retailers, has continued its investment to develop warehouse space and refurbish stores.

But he said the supportive attitude from their current lender was not necessarily reflected by others, and that as a result, confidence in banks generally had plummeted.

Heuck’s comments come following the publication of Deloitte’s latest Entrepreneurship UK report that just 18 per cent of all Northern entrepreneurs see banks as the most likely source of finance to grow their business.

Meanwhile, a record number of entrepreneurial businesses (57 per cent) are relying on cash they generate themselves to fund expansion.  This is an increase from 54 per cent last year and compares with 36 per cent who were doing so in 2009, in the immediate aftermath of the credit crunch.

Heuck said: “Things have been tough for everyone over the past few years, though the discount food sector in which we operate is, to some degree, recession proof.

“Our lender went a long way to understand our business, and our priorities, and it has helped us achieve success that is perhaps bucking the general trend in the retail sector.

“However, regardless of success, borrowing can be difficult to achieve at reasonable rates. Firms get hit with uncompetitive APRs or sky-high initial fees and this is strangling progress.

“It’s not conducive to achieving growth and, while we are delighted with the progress we have made as a business, there is obviously a lot more that can be done by lenders to help.”

Stephen Hall, partner in charge of entrepreneurial business at Deloitte in Yorkshire, said: “There are success stories out there, and entrepreneurial businesses such as Heron Foods are perfect examples of what can be achieved when the right support is provided.

“It has pride of place at the heart of the East Yorkshire economy and its commitment to development and investment is laudable.

“Whilst discussions on this subject have focused on what can be done to get banks lending more freely, the evidence from our report is that many entrepreneurs no longer trust banks enough to borrow from them, and that is concerning. The relationship of trust between entrepreneurs and banks must be rebuilt.”

For more information on Deloitte’s Entrepreneurship UK report and to download the full publication, visit



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n this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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