60% of commercial finance brokers responding to United Trust Bank’s most recent Broker Sentiment Survey have indicated that they are substantially reassessing the outlook for their businesses in 2020 as a result of the Coronavirus crisis. At the end of 2019, 37% of brokers were predicting their businesses would grow by more than 10% in 2020.
The latest survey, carried out in March amongst over 100 brokers working in the fields of property and asset finance, also revealed that most brokers were yet to put plans in place to mitigate some of the potential impacts the spread of Covid-19 might have on their businesses.
47% of brokers said they were prepared to deal with staff shortages and 45% said they had plans in place to manage short term financial implications due to lower revenues/income. Worryingly, 11% of respondents said they had no contingency plans in place and no intention of making any.
Have you made contingency plans to manage potentially detrimental effects of the outbreak worsening?
|Covid-19 Contingencies||% of Brokers|
|We have plans in place to deal with staff shortages
|We have plans in place to manage a significant reduction in business volumes||30%|
|We have plans in place to manage short-term financial implications due to lower revenues/income||45%|
|We have plans in place to manage diminished services provided by third parties||23%|
|We have not made contingency plans yet but are now preparing them||15%|
|We have not made contingency plans and do not intend to
Harley Kagan, Group Managing Director of United Trust Bank, commented: “2020 got off to a very busy start at UTB with record levels of new originations. However, with the actions taken to manage the spread of the disease affecting all our daily lives, it’s too early to tell how deeply Coronavirus will impact trading for lenders and brokers for the rest of this year.
“Most importantly we are doing everything we can to help our staff stay healthy and maintain our service to brokers, borrowers and savers.
“We have implemented comprehensive changes which allow us to continue serving our customers with very few staff in our offices. Our teams are now working remotely or in rotating shifts to adhere to the Government’s latest directives asking people to stay at home. Although this is inevitably affecting our usual service, we are assisting our regular customers by lending across our property, asset and motor finance divisions, providing decisions on funding applications and completing loans daily.
“The Covid-19 outbreak is presenting unprecedented challenges to businesses and individuals, but I would like to assure our broker partners that United Trust Bank is well prepared and we continue to support house builders, SMEs and individuals across the UK in these difficult times.”