PLANNING FOR THE UNEXPECTED

As we look back on 2016 it’s fair to say that it has been a year of plenty of unexpected outcomes.  Who would have thought this time last year that David Cameron would have resigned, Britain would be heading out of Europe and that Donald Trump will be the President of the United States in just a few weeks time?

The reality however is that throughout our lives we are often faced with the unexpected and it is those who are able to best adapt to the new situations that survive and even prosper.  This is also very much the case in business.

There are countless businesses out there that face change on a daily basis whether it’s due to external factors such as SMEs who face changes in government funding, through to businesses that lose an important customer in unforeseeable circumstances or even those affected by an unexpected 10% change in dollar exchange rates since June.

It’s at these moments that often cashflow or business plans take a hit.  Unfortunately, the days of a call to a friendly bank manager are over as the processes becomes more faceless and banks tighten their lending criteria.

The good news however is that access to finance is more available than ever through organisations such as PFC who can access finance for client businesses from a panel of more than 30 specialist business lenders.

Unlike banks, decisions can also be taken quickly offering clients agreement on finance typically in less than 24 hours and with cash deposited in the bank often within 48.  Being regulated by the FCA, we are able to work with a range of commercial organisations of all different sizes and business sectors to offer unparalleled access to finance whether unsecured business loans, asset based lending, invoice finance, bullet loans, commercial mortgages or personal loans.

Having a range of loans available and a team dedicated to finding the right access to finance to meet a client’s needs means that whatever the year ahead may have in store, there is quick, flexible and easy access to finance available.  As you relax this Christmas and look ahead to the New Year you can at least relax in the knowledge that whatever the future has planned for you, your finances can be taken care of.

 

BREXIT – IT’S BUSINESS AS USUAL

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.