And it seems that uncertainty is reflected across UK industry too.
With recent murmurings in the media of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, many UK companies are looking into contingency plans to try to mitigate any future impact on their business, with some shifting millions of pounds of investments offshore as a result of the Brexit vote. In an interview in June, the President of the CBI Paul Drechsler said there was a limit to how long businesses can put up with uncertainty.
But has this uncertainty affected the UK economy? According to The Office of National Statistics (ONS) in Q1 the UK saw the weakest quarterly growth rate since 2012 and this impact is being felt by some sectors more than others.
Construction, which constitutes around 6% of UK output, was down by a huge 3.3% whilst manufacturing, around a tenth of the economy, could only manage growth of 0.2% – well below the 1% plus growth rates recorded by the sector in the second half of 2017.
UK growth has since gained pace during Q2 (0.4%) and the start of Q3 (0.5% forecasted) due to increased retail spending (aided by the Royal Wedding and summer heatwave) and significant recoveries from the manufacturing and construction sectors. Despite the uncertainty that Brexit brings and the slow growth rate within certain sectors, so far in 2018, Assetz Capital has lent in excess of £180million to businesses in the form of SME term loans, bridging finance and residential refurbishment loans to help boost British industry.
Stuart Law, CEO says, “Assetz Capital continues to offer loans to British businesses to help them grow, funded by our 28,000 investors who are able to benefit from some of the most competitive peer-to-peer interest rates on the market.”
Continually low interest rates should make loans more accessible and more attractive to businesses looking to borrow. Yet according to evidence submitted to a parliamentary inquiry, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are finding it tougher than ever to take out bank loans.
A case in point is Robin Hood Farm – Christopher & Caroline Fairest, a husband and wife team from Derbyshire, wanted to purchase a successful B&B business but were unable to raise the necessary capital. After being turned down by the banks, we were able to offer them a tailored Commercial Mortgage that made their dream a reality, all funded by our lenders.
Even in these challenging economic times, we offer options for both individual investors wanting a worthwhile return, and businesses that require a monetary boost to help them flourish and prosper.