Bridging positivity surges as uncertainty around Brexit negotiations eases

Michael Lloyd

January 15, 2018

Confidence around the prospects for Association of Short Term Lenders businesses and the UK economy has risen significantly whilst the uncertainty around the Brexit negotiations has lessened.   

The sentiment survey from ASTL lender members reveals that members are more optimistic about the long-term prospects of the UK economy.

Half of members (50%) are positive, up from 43% in June. Just 20% of members are not feeling confident about the long-term prospects, dropping from 34% that had no confidence in June.

Benson Hersch, chief executive of the ASTL, said: “Whilst there is of course still some caution around Brexit, lenders’ confidence for their businesses and the UK economy continues to grow significantly.

“In addition, the measures announced in the Budget are likely to have a positive impact on the housing market, although it remains to be seen whether they will actually be implemented in 2018.

“We hope to see this positive attitude and potential growth in the sector remaining high whilst worry over political uncertainty and its impact continues to decline.”

Lenders are particularly positive about the outlook for their own businesses, with 75% believing that volumes will grow over the next six months.

This confident outlook was also shown in the results as none of the lenders expect business to fall off over the next few months.

Over half (51%) of members expect growth in the sector to increase, a huge rise from the 19% of lenders forecast growth post Brexit results in 2016.

Additionally, 50% expect an increase in competition in the sector, the lowest figure seen since November 2016.

Almost half (46%) of members expressed their concern for the outcome of Brexit negotiations, decreasing from the 64% of members that were concerned in June.

And almost a third of members (29%) stated they are not worried about the outcome, increasing from the 21% that expressed this in June.

Some 48% believe the measures proposed in the recent Budget statement could have a significant impact on the housing market, but are remaining sceptical until the government delivers.

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