THE majority of small and medium sized enterprises in Scotland may undervalue themselves with many also failing to take advantage of government schemes that could boost investment in growth, according to a Clydesdale Bank survey.

The bank found only around a third of SMEs value non-physical assets like their brands and patents, although these could be worth significant sums.

While the failure to value intangible assets may reflect concern about the potential costs and difficulties involved, the bank found many SMEs appear to be aware they may pay a price for inaction.

Clydesdale Bank said SMEs may not be making the most of growth opportunities as almost half, 49 per cent, of those questioned said they didn't think their bank, shareholders or other lenders had an accurate understanding of their business' intangible assets.

Alastair Christmas, Regional Director for Business and Private Banking at Clydesdale Bank, in Scotland said: "With many firms having few or no physical assets it becomes increasingly important they have a full understanding of their business' true value. Having this knowledge could significantly enhance the possibilities of accessing finance for growth."

The research suggested many firms may not be fully aware of the incentives available to them to invest in activities such as research and development that could boost growth.

The bank found only 13 per cent of Scottish SMEs had ever accessed government research and development incentives. Only one in five has a dedicated R&D budget.

The bank said the findings were based on an online survey of 753 SME business decision makers from 10th to 29th of April.