The UK's manufacturing industry is has been suffering a "hangover" from the financial crisis of 2008, according to EEF, the manufacturers' organisation.
New research from the EEF shows that just a third of manufacturing firms were more likely to borrow funds for investment than two years ago.
Fifty-three per cent of those surveyed suggested they would delay their investments if they could not use their own funds.
The EEF highlighted the period of growth experienced by the industry between 2005 and 2008, before the economic crisis. It started to grow again between 2010 and 2012, but has fluctuated between growth and contraction since then.
Lee Hopley, chief economist at the EEF, said: "Manufacturers' reluctance to rely on external finance is a persistent hangover from the credit crunch, where trust and confidence in the banks stalled and never quite recovered.
"But with the Brexit vote dampening investment intentions and adding to uncertainty, this pre-existing condition could now become further aggravated, posing a risk for growth.
A separate study by the BDO found that business confidence, particularly among manufacturing firms, dropped to a three-year low.
Peter Hemington, of BDO LLP, said: "Brexit has compounded the continuing slowdown of the UK economy, but there is opportunity as well as challenge ahead for UK businesses.
"The Bank of England's decision to lower interest rates is a step in the right direction. We now need a concerted effort from government to lay the foundations for future growth.
"That means taking advantage of cheap borrowing costs to invest in UK infrastructure, encouraging prosperity across the regions and improving productivity."