Over half of brokers shrug off downgraded UK growth forecast and predict a successful 2018 for their businesses
United Trust Bank’s most recent broker sentiment poll has revealed that despite the challenges presented by Brexit uncertainty, a downgrading of UK economic growth and a cooling of the residential property market in some areas, most brokers enjoyed a successful 2017 and are positive about the year ahead.
The poll, carried out amongst over 140 intermediaries operating in property and asset finance, found that one third (33pct) achieved better business results than expected last year and a further 43pct found their performance to be around what they’d planned. 22pct described their year as slightly below target and just 2pct felt they’d had a poor 2017.
When asked about the outlook for their businesses in 2018, 56pct of brokers predicted it would be a good year and a further 35pct expected it to be ‘steady’. However, the remaining 9pct were concerned that 2018 could be a difficult year for them.
Looking at the economic challenges which may lie ahead, UTB asked brokers if they were concerned that the Office for Budget Responsibility had downgraded UK economic growth forecasts for the next three years. Although 45pct of respondents who expressed an opinion said they were worried about the more pessimistic outlook, over half (55pct) dismissed the forecast.
Harley Kagan, Group Managing Director at United Trust Bank, commented, "I’m very pleased to see that an overwhelming majority of brokers achieved or exceeded their business plans in 2017 and this reflects UTB’s experience in delivering another record breaking year for lending. Like most brokers in the survey, we also have an optimistic outlook and have developed our teams with a view to increasing our business volumes across the country whilst maintaining the consistency and reliability our broker partners have come to expect.
“We will also continue to explore and implement opportunities and innovations such as the substantial Enable Guarantee, provided by the Government backed British Business Bank, which we announced in November last year. This will allow us to significantly increase our development finance lending to SME house builders, assisting them in their vital contribution to the delivery of much needed new housing."