THE total amount of lending secured by UK businesses through invoice finance exceeded £20 billion for the first time.

The milestone was reached after the amount of invoice finance tapped into by British companies grew by five per cent to £20.3bn from £19.3bn the year before.

It means the overall sum borrowed by firms under the lending model has leapt by 27 per cent in the last five years, according to figures from the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA).

The organisation attributed the record high to an 18 per cent in the amount drawn down by the UK's largest businesses. Firms turning £100 million and above secured £6.9bn in invoice finance last year, up from £5.8bn.

The ABFA notes that invoice finance has become increasingly mainstream as big businesses reduce their reliance on traditional loans, highlighting that concerns over a Brexit-related credit crunch may lead to further moves to disversift credit sources.