United Trust Bank

Brokers more positive about economic outlook than their customers



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More than a third of brokers (36%) feel that the majority of their customers have a negative view of the UK's economic outlook, according to the latest research.

The broker sentiment poll from United Trust Bank (UTB) found that 20% of brokers claimed their customers took a positive view towards the outlook of the UK’s economy for the next three years, while 40% said their customers were neutral (the remaining 4% were classified as ‘don’t knows’).

The survey of 140 property and asset finance intermediaries also asked the brokers their view regarding the UK’s economic outlook for the next three years.

This found the brokers to be more optimistic than their customers: 35% said they were positive, 30% admitted to feeling negative, while 35% said they were neutral.

Despite being more positive than their customers, this poll result represented a decline when compared with the survey carried out by UTB in July 2016 which found that 56% of brokers were positive about the UK’s future outside the EU.

Harley Kagan, group managing director at United Trust Bank (pictured above), said many business people looked for certainty when making important decisions and he felt the UK wasn’t offering this as it moved towards Brexit.

“This lack of a cohesive view of how the UK will operate in just 18 months’ time coupled with almost daily reports of political infighting among those in charge of the process is bound to be detrimental to business confidence.

“In addition, companies may be devoting huge amounts of money and resource to working out just how they will continue to operate post Brexit.

“That resource may, in normal circumstances, have been employed in driving growth and investment, something which may have been moved to the back burner for the time being.”

Harley added that UTB’s position had always been that change would continue to happen and it must be prepared not only to adapt to the new environment, but be ready to take advantage of opportunities.

“Brexit certainly ups the stakes, but whether it’s political change, change caused by market forces or technological advancements disrupting or even destroying existing business models, nothing stays the same for long.

“Brexit hasn’t stopped UTB from having another successful year and the same can be said for brokers and businesses the length and breadth of the UK.

“There will, of course, be more uncertainty ahead.

“Some businesses will find that a good enough reason to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm.

“Others will look to make the most of the stronger winds.”

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