SMALL and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland have signalled they remain cautious about borrowing from external sources to fund growth plans, writes Scott Wright.

A survey of 165 SMEs by KPMG found 46% planned to use their own resources to grow this year, with 21% saying would raise finance from outside. Of the 32 polled in Scotland, 40% said they would draw on their own funds to expand and 26% planned to borrow.

Craig Anderson, senior partner at KPMG in Scotland, said: "Despite the majority of businesses feeling confident about their prospects this year, there's still a great level of caution, with many businesses unable to forget the lessons learned in the recession and continuing to be risk averse.

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"Fewer Scottish businesses said they weren't willing to take on any risk associated with external finance to leverage their business, despite the reported optimism levels.

"This is an indication that companies are still very uncertain about the banking market."