Financial services SMEs 'optimistic about future prospects'

E-mail us

Your login

Use the link below to access your online portal.


GRENKE partner portal

GRENKE customer portal

We're here for you.

Would you like to know more about our services? 

Call us on: +44 (0) 1483 4017 00

Credit: Squaredpixels via iStock

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the financial services sector are particularly confident about their prospects, a new survey has found.

According to research by Hitachi Capital Business Finance, SMEs in the financial services sector were more likely to forecast growth in the next three months than those in any other industry.

SMEs in the manufacturing sector were also confident, with the proportion of firms expecting steady and organic growth in the coming quarter standing at 49 per cent.

This compared with 30 per cent when the same question was asked six months ago.

By contrast, sentiment is not so positive in the retail market, with 17 per cent of SMEs in the sector worrying that business will contract in the next few months.

Across the SME sector as a whole, 46 per cent anticipate business as usual in the near future, while a further 40 per cent are confident of growth.

Confidence was also found to be particularly high among businesses that have been trading for the least amount of time.

More than half of SMEs that had been up and running for up to five years expressed confidence, whereas just 33 per cent of those that had been trading for at least 20 years felt positive about their prospects.

Gavin Wraith-Carter, Managing Director at Hitachi Capital Business Finance, believes the findings suggest that small businesses in the UK are "paving the way for business development".

"SMEs are less inclined to subscribe to the uncertainties felt by their larger business counterparts," he observed.

"Global businesses fear the implications of changing trade negotiations that are being carried out under an uncertain political climate, while many SMEs are taking the view of opportunity over loss."

Mr Wraith-Carter also noted that many SMEs are feeling that Brexit could open doors for them in the future, due to new trade deals being signed and the sense they will be "more in control of their own destinies".

Hitachi Capital Business Finance went on to point out that the Bank of England had forecast prior to last year's European Union membership referendum that Brexit would cost the economy about £30 billion by 2019.

However, the organisation said these latest figures show that SME confidence has "remained consistently bullish" throughout the last 15 months.

"The only exception was a short-term fall in confidence in the weeks immediately after the EU referendum vote," it stated.

Hitachi Capital Business Finance went on to add that while London is a world economic centre, SMEs in the capital are not actually as confident as those in some other parts of the country.

Just 43 per cent of SMEs in London anticipate growth in the next three months, compared with 44 per cent of those in north-west England and 50 per cent in East Anglia.

Confidence was less strong in Wales, however, with just 26 per cent predicting net growth in the coming quarter.