Asset-based lender Venture Finance reported growth above the national average among its customers in the Birmingham area last year.

The firm showed a 27 per cent increase in new clients being supported from the final quarter of 2008 to the same quarter in 2009 in the region, compared with Venture’s national figure of 15 per cent.

Venture said on a national scale the number of new clients taking out bad debt protection to shield against unforeseen unpaid invoices rose from 33 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 56 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Debbie Bell, regional director, Venture Finance said: “Whilst there have been some rays of hope in the form of Government stimulus packages and the local manufacturing sector celebrating its best commercial month for the past two years, subdued lending is set to continue and credit opportunities remain scarce.

“Services like Invoice and Asset Based Lending are the funding options of choice. They will be fundamental in helping Birmingham businesses meet the recovery with strength.”