Further evidence that the economy could be on the verge of emerging from the recession has been revealed.
According to the latest research from Santander Corporate Banking, businesses are looking to increase their borrowing as their future outlook brightens.
Three quarters of businesses said they were confident about their prospects in the next six months, with one in seven looking to increase its borrowing as a result.
Encouragingly, twice as many companies want to borrow to expand their business than who want to increase funds to keep their companies afloat.
Steve Pateman, head of Santander Corporate Banking, said the downturn had focused minds and businesses had adjusted accordingly.
"It is up to banks to adjust as well and for the role of banking in the UK economy to be redefined. Banks need to focus on customer relationships and taking prudent and sensible commercial risks."
The research comes shortly after it was revealed the number of business failures in the UK had dropped quarter on quarter for the first time in over a year.
The latest Equifax Business Failures Report showed the number of firms that went under in the third quarter of 2009 fell in all parts of the country and every business sector compared with the second quarter.
"This must give businesses in general and the UK economy as a whole some confidence that the extreme difficulties we have been experiencing may be lessening," said Neil Munroe, external affairs director at Equifax.
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