Mark Sismey-Durrant, chief executive officer at Hampshire Trust Bank | 16:57 Wednesday 28th February 2018
While we have seen a slight dip in the latest revised GDP figures, there are plenty of positive signs of growth for the year ahead.
At this crucial time in our economic recovery, we believe specialist banks have a vital role to play in helping to fund this growth and enabling UK SMEs – the engine room of the economy – to invest in the future.
According to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics, productivity levels are on the rise, with the UK experiencing the strongest two quarters of growth since 2008. This will be welcome news to policymakers that have struggled to fix the productivity problem that has blighted the UK since the financial crisis. In addition, the Bank of England is signalling that the economy is recovering to some degree, which is positive news and shows the resilience of the SME sector, which makes up the vast majority of British businesses.
Confidence levels also appear to be on the rise. Indeed, our SME Growth Watch report found half of all small businesses (51%) feel confident about their long-term economic prospects. In addition, GfK's Consumer Confidence Index increased by four points in January, showing a rebounding sense of optimism.
What's important now is how we help businesses harness this opportunity to succeed in the year ahead and that we continue to fund growth, so we can continue to see positive economic progress throughout 2018 and beyond.
At Hampshire Trust Bank, we are proud to support smaller businesses in the sectors in which we operate and are committed to helping fund this sector now and in the future. In 2017, we funded the construction of more than 700 homes, working with SME housebuilders across the country. In total, last year we funded and provided savings accounts for more than 4,500 firms as well as 4,500 individuals, financing everything from vans and agricultural equipment, through to mortgages and property development.
We are looking forward to the year ahead and helping SMEs make the most of the opportunities that present themselves. We recognise that there are challenges ahead and that difficulties surrounding Brexit negotiations are not creating the certainty that businesses need to plan for the future. However, we are positive that SMEs will dig deep and carry on, as they always do. Hampshire Trust Bank will be there to help fund their growth wherever we can.
SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER TO RECEIVE MORE NEWS LIKE THIS STORY
STB Commercial Finance opens Leeds office
Secure Trust Bank (STB) Commercial Finance has opened a new office in Leeds as it continues its national expansion...
Starling expands payment services and banking-as-a-service offer
Starling Bank is expanding its banking-as-a-service and payment services offer to enable other companies to offer retail banking and make payments...
Tandem launches Journey Card
Digital bank Tandem has launched a new credit card to help users who don’t have a credit history to build a strong profile...
Starling set to launch business accounts for multi-director limited companies
Starling Bank has announced that the bank would soon open its business accounts for limited companies with multiple directors...
Aldermore increases rates on business savings products
Aldermore has increased rates across its fixed rate and customised fixed rate (CFRA) business savings accounts...
Teachers Building Society amends lending criteria
Teachers Building Society has updated and amended its lending criteria to provide intermediaries with a detailed overview of its requirements for both teacher and non-teacher applicants...
What lenders look for when financing hotel projects
This week, I’ll be at the Annual Hotel Conference in Manchester where I’ll be speaking on Thursday about the funding options available to hotel businesses when it comes to financing future projects...
Bank on Dave launches funding round to support bank plans
Burnley Savings and Loans Limited – known as Bank on Dave – has launched a funding round of £2.5m on crowdfunding platform Seedrs...
Klarna partners with H&M
Swedish bank Klarna has entered into a global partnership with H&M group to further integrate H&M’s digital and physical stores...
ICC Banking Commission announces long-term agreement with GCD
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Banking Commission has signed a long-term partnership with Global Credit Data (GCD) to strengthen analysis within the ICC Trade Register...
OakNorth provides £42m loan to nationwide pub operator
OakNorth has completed a £42m loan to Red Oak Taverns to support the national pub operator’s continued expansion across the UK...