Global uncertainty mustn’t stall SME ambitions

Posted on Posted in Brexit, Exports, French elections, SMEs, Uncategorized, Uncertainty

We are living in times of such political unorthodoxy there is arguably a danger that economic commentators will start to sound like a broken record. Uncertainty, or rather what Mervin King the former Governor of the Bank of England calls radical uncertainty, is a dominating factor in the global economy. This is the kind of uncertainty that pollsters and skilled economists find difficult, if not impossible to predict. Events such as Brexit, a hung Parliament […]

Efficient business. Efficient Britain.

Posted on Posted in Brexit, Efficiency, EU, SMEs, Theresa May

The results of the latest SME Confidence Tracker report show that the final months of 2016 were a time for collective belt tightening and falling investment as rising costs started to take hold for many businesses in the UK. Prior to the referendum, just one in 10 SMEs cited rising costs as their biggest challenge. In the final months of the year, this had more than doubled. As input costs rise due to a weakened pound, there are […]

Brexit: the impact so far

Posted on Posted in Brexit, Exports, Investment, Midlands Engine, Northern Powerhouse, SME Confidence Tracker

At the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham this month, Theresa May announced that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty would be deployed by the end of March 2017, signifying the UK’s intent to leave the EU by summer 2019. Although this was expected sometime before the end of the year, the announcement sent the pound spiralling to a new 31-year low against the dollar as the impacts of the UK’s exit from the EU were […]

Should you loosen your belt when you’re on a diet?

Posted on Posted in Bank of England, Brexit, Capital requirements

I have mixed feelings about Mark Carney’s speech yesterday, when he announced that the Financial Policy Committee would ease banks’ capital requirements, encouraging them to lend. Relaxing capital requirements to ease funding availability for individuals and SMEs may work. It’s a bit like targeted QE and if we can stabilise sentiment and continue growth with a weaker pound, it may prove a masterstroke. But I can’t help the nagging feeling that it’s a bit like […]

The unholy Trinity?

Posted on Posted in Bank of England, Brexit, Financial Conduct Authority, The Treasury

  It would be tempting to blame Brexit for any forthcoming downturn, but its roots run deeper. The Government seem hell bent on increasing home ownership again. Probably because it brings with it increases in Conservative votes. So, it was with some surprise that we witnessed the Chancellor attack its existing supporters by increasing the stamp duty on Buy to Let purchases, reducing the tax efficiency of such purchases and complicating the taxation process too. If […]