More than half of brokers predict a good to excellent 2018 – However, 30% expect zero growth next year

United Trust Bank’s most recent broker sentiment survey has found that 51% of brokers operating in the property and asset finance sectors are expecting their 2018 business results to be either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ with them exceeding their targets set at the start of the year.

A further 35% described their 2018 performance as ‘satisfactory – around projections’ and just 14% rated their year as ‘poor’ or ‘terrible’.

Looking at the business you’re likely to complete this calendar year, which of the following best describes your 2018 business performance?

Satisfactory – around projections 35%
Good – a little more than projections 31%
Excellent – substantially above projections 20%
Poor – a little below projections 13%
Terrible – substantially below projections 1%

The survey also asked brokers whether they were forecasting growth in their businesses next year, and if so, what level of growth they were aiming for. 30% of brokers indicated that they would be looking to maintain the levels of business achieved in 2018 whilst nearly a quarter (24%) were aiming to grow their businesses in excess of 20% next year. 8% expected their business volumes to contract in 2019.

Are you forecasting growth in your business next year? If so, by how much?

Maintaining 2018 levels 30%
Growth in excess of 20% 24%
Up to 5% growth 14%
11-15% growth 11%
6-10% growth 8%
Forecasting a contraction 8%
16-20% growth 5%

Harley Kagan, Group Managing Director – United Trust Bank, commented:

“2018 hasn’t been easy for many brokers. Uncertainty surrounding Brexit, a cooling of the residential property market and instability within the Government have all contributed to a challenging year. It is therefore pleasing to see that more than three quarters of brokers operating across the property and asset finance sectors have either achieved or surpassed the targets they set themselves at the start of the year.

“We should know in the next few days whether the Government’s proposed Brexit deal with the EU will be accepted by Parliament but at the moment it appears to have few fans in Westminster. It’s perhaps unsurprising then that many brokers are looking to simply maintain their 2018 business levels or aim for modest growth in 2019. Whether or not you like the terms being offered, greater certainty will be warmly welcomed not only by the British public but by housebuilders, developers and SMEs across the UK.

“UTB has enjoyed another strong year thanks to our talented and dedicated people. We have grown our loan book, taken on our 200th member of staff, won numerous awards and created a new Motor Finance division. Our aim in 2019 will be to keep doing what we’re best at; providing excellent service to our broker partners and borrowers, offering competitive products, and supporting those businesses and individuals who seek out opportunities despite the challenges before them.”