An overwhelming majority of brokers are feeling very positive about the UK’s economic outlook with 94% expecting the recovery to continue throughout this year.
The findings of the most recent United Trust Bank broker survey also revealed that 83% of brokers were feeling upbeat about their own businesses as well, with 47% being very optimistic and 36% expecting 2014 to be ‘a good year’.
However, 9 out of 10 brokers think Mark Carney should keep interest rates on hold even if the rate of UK unemployment drops below 7% this year. The Governor of the Bank of England has previously suggested that he would not consider increasing interest rates until unemployment fell to 7% or below.
In addition, 85% of brokers would like the government to maintain its planned deficit reduction at the current pace whilst a further 7% would like to see it speeded up. Just 6% of respondents said that they would like to see more focus on increased investment even if this meant increased borrowing or taxation.
Harley Kagan, Managing Director at United Trust Bank, commented;
“It’s great to see that so many brokers are feeling optimistic about the economic climate and the outlook for their own businesses. After a challenging few years there now appears to be a wave of confidence and positivity sweeping across the country and this provides excellent opportunities for brokers to help individuals, developers and businesses to secure the funding they will need to accelerate investment after a spell in the doldrums. It’s interesting to note that most brokers do however feel that interest rates should not be increased prematurely. Increasing financial pressure on individuals and businesses whilst trying to encourage investment could slow or stifle the recovery and we would certainly support a cautious approach to raising the cost of borrowing.
“Despite increasing confidence we expect the High Street Banks to remain quite conservative about lending be it for housing development or business. More flexible ‘challenger’ banks such as United Trust Bank are well placed to fulfill the increasing demand. Also, whereas smaller, specialist lenders may have previously been viewed as ‘alternative’ funders I believe we are now often the first choice because of our ability to provide bespoke lending at competitive rates and with an attention to detail and service.
“Building on the success of last year when we won the NACFB “Short Term Lender of the Year” award, our current business levels indicate that 2014 is shaping up to be yet another year of growth for United Trust Bank. As such we will continue to develop our products and services to meet the changing needs of our broker partners and their clients.”