It’s now a couple of months since Britain took the brave step to exit the EU. Since that time we’ve seen a new Prime Minister and Cabinet appointed, a volatile stock market and turbulent exchange rates as well as interest rates reach record lows.
Although only few may have predicted this situation at the start of the year, the reality is that the world continues to turn and that this economic environment is the new ‘norm’. The good news however is that British businesses have been fast to react and return to business as usual.
According to the first estimate of the Office for National Statistics, GDP growth strengthened to 0.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2016, although much of that increase in activity was concentrated in the earlier part of the quarter, with a falling away seen in May and June as uncertainty crept in.
Although figures released this month show that the UK economy contracted by 0.2 per cent in the month following Brexit, the latest forecast from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) is that it’s increasingly unlikely that Britain will tip into recession.
Last week the Bank of England also forecast that the economy would narrowly avoid a recession, largely because of its decision to cut interest rates to a new historic low of 0.25 per cent and restart its Quantitative Easing monetary stimulus programme.
With the various initiatives in place to stabilise the economy and confirmation from Teresa May that Britain will leave the EU, we are however seeing more certainty and with it confidence return to the marketplace.
As a company that’s built a reputation for lending to a range of businesses from private practices to larger corporates, SMEs and individuals, we believe we are a good barometer of what’s happening in the UK.
Since Brexit we have seen the volume of requests for finance and actual lending increase by more than 20%, when compared to this time last year. This is clearly a sign of confidence in the marketplace.
In addition to this, the number of funders willing to lend has also increased and we are pleased to announce that our panel of lenders has increased by nearly 10% allowing us to open even greater access to finance than ever before.
Having a wide range of funders willing to lend means that we are able to offer the most appropriate access to finance for the company’s requirements. In the last few weeks we have provided an eclectic range of funding from six figure personal loans to invoice finance, VAT and tax funding to asset finance.
These are new and exciting times for the UK’s economy, with an unprecedented opportunity to take advantage of the low interest rates and more financial institutions with an appetite to lend, the outlook for SMEs that provide the backbone of British economy is extremely positive.