Comment – Hope Capital comment on property sales stats from HMRC

Commenting on property transaction figures from HMRC published today, Jonathan Sealey, CEO, of specialist lender Hope Capital said: “With property sales in October up by almost 10% on the previous month (seasonally adjusted), the sector is clearly heading in the right direction as recovery from the lockdown in March continues.

“Certainly, it reflects the level of business we’ve seen in recent months. But the challenge now is for people who are still looking to benefit from the stamp duty holiday as the system is straining under the weight of demand.

“Even with the positive news around vaccines, there is still a huge amount of uncertainty around the economy as we look beyond Christmas, such as the number of people coming off furlough schemes and possibly into redundancy.

“At the same time demand in the housing market is likely to increase further during the first quarter of the new year, if the March 31 stamp duty deadline stays in place. And it’s not clear whether high street lenders are in a position to deal with that.

“That’s why it’s crucial for brokers and borrowers right now to consider alternative finance or specialist lending in order to get the deal over the line more quickly. There is more than one route to making that deal, whether it’s a straight forward residential transaction or buy-to-let, and the deals are there to be made.”

United Trust Bank appoints new Senior Manager for Property Development

United Trust Bank (UTB) is continuing to expand its Development Finance Division with the appointment of a new Senior Manager supporting housebuilders and developers in the South and East of England.

Achi Ejikeme has joined UTB from Oaknorth Bank as a Senior Manager – Property Development and has nearly 15 years of experience in property finance. Achi worked for Lloyds Bank for seven years dealing with a wide range of customers operating in the property sector including national and SME housebuilders as well as institutional residential and commercial property investor clients. Prior to joining Oaknorth, Achi spent 18 months with Secure Trust Bank.

Achi is based in London and will work closely with UTB Property Development Director Phil Kirkwood. He is predominantly responsible for promoting UTB’s development finance offering amongst SME house builders, developers and property investors in the South and East with a particular focus on businesses operating in and around Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Essex and Surrey.

UTB has continued to lend throughout this year overcoming the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and supporting existing and new borrowers. The Bank is on target to complete a record level of new property lending in 2020.

Adam Bovingdon, Senior Director – Property Development, United Trust Bank commented: “We’re continuing to expand the Property Development team at United Trust Bank by recruiting experienced property finance professionals with the skills and drive to support SME developers and housebuilders across the country. Achi brings with him nearly 15 years of experience working with a wide range of customers on a variety of development projects and most importantly he shares our passion for delivering outstanding customer service. He is a valuable addition to the UTB team.

“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re having a busy year with strong demand for our CBILS products as well as our standard funding solutions. Our reputation for reliability and approachability has been clearly demonstrated in 2020 and we expect interest in our service and products to keep increasing. SME housebuilders need supportive lenders more now than ever. They have a vital role to play in helping to deliver the many thousands of new homes the UK still needs as well as employing significant numbers of people and contributing to local economies. At UTB we’ll do everything we can to help keep SME housebuilders building now and in the future.”

Ahead of the Spending Review – Azets urges the Chancellor to take 5 practical steps that will support business and help deliver growth across the regions.

Ahead of the Spending Review, Azets, the UK’s largest regional accountancy and business advisor to SMEs, urges the Chancellor to take 5 practical steps that will support business and help deliver growth across the regions.

Commenting, Fraser Campbell, Head of UK accounts and Business Advisory Services, at Azets, said: “SMEs are at the heart of UK business. They employ one in every two people in the UK and are the foundation of tomorrow’s business champions. Many SMEs are run by individuals and families that have put huge effort and risk into building their business. For the most part, those are viable businesses that could prosper in the future. For that to happen, all they need is the right targeted support to take them through the pinch points of the next few months.”

Key for the Chancellor to act on, as part of this spending review is to:

  1. Address the issue of the forgotten 3 million before it cascades into wider business failures and impacts employment
  2. Support the young, whose skills will be key to supporting business in the future and have been disproportionally impacted by the pandemic
  3. Incentivise urban regeneration, before hospitality and retail becomes irreversibly damaged, driving long term change to our city centres
  4. Reinstate the ‘Job Retention Bonus’, on which businesses based their budgets, in order to prevent a cash crunch and stalling business in early 2021
  5. SME recapitalisation plan, to enable business to grow and not stagnate, supporting the public purse, employment and growth through access to funds

Commenting, Carina Contini, Director, Contini Restaurants Edinburgh, said: “Many hospitality, as well as other similar businesses, are in desperate need of finding ways to preserve cash, so they can avoid a potential cliff edge early next year, post what is looking like a challenging Christmas trading season. What’s needed now is a deferral of corporation tax, due in January, extend rates relief, a further moratorium on rent and an extension to the 5% VAT levy. A longer term look at VAT would help the industry properly back onto its feet.”

“What we are talking about here is not faceless organisations but family businesses, built on years of hard effort and risk. Should they fail the impact on local communities will be immense. They employ and train local people, keep an army of local producers and suppliers going and, in many cases, are the vibrant centre to the community and its way of life. We simply have to act now before it’s too late as once these businesses are gone the impact will be felt for a very long time.”

Support for the forgotten 3 million

The 3 million limited company directors and freelancers who cannot benefit from furlough are desperate for some form of meaningful support. Failure to address this risks many smaller businesses cease trading, as owners face possible personal bankruptcy, leaving employees without a job and potentially wasting millions invested in retaining jobs through the furlough scheme to date.

Support the young

Power up the kickstart scheme. Young people need to have relevant and up to date skills to enable business and regions to prosper. They are the future of this country but are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, putting their future and the future of regional business at risk, through skills shortages created by extended unemployment.

Sector specific targeting, under the Kickstart scheme, holds the key to potentially overcoming many of the issues currently facing the under 25s. Sectors include growth areas, such as technology, manufacturing and industry. Enhanced support for those sectors that will revive in time, such as hospitality, travel, tourism and general leisure, should also be included.

Currently the Kickstart scheme is broad in scope, targeting employment of under 25s, so long as they’ve been on universal credit prior to employment, regardless of sector and it prospects.

Establish urban regeneration plans & funds

Without support now, we threaten long-term damage to urban infrastructure, along with the businesses and sectors they are based around. This risks having a material impact on our city centres and way of life.

Urban regeneration can be achieved through incentivised targeted funding support for hospitality & retail businesses, enhanced tax breaks to repurpose buildings, for mixed residential, retail, hospitality and commercial use, and super enhancement where this offers low cost social housing.

These initiatives will breath much needed new life into urban areas; attracting new and different groups of people, more than offsetting the loss of footfall from changes in working and shopping habits, and creating interesting and vibrant places for people to spend time.

Reinstate the Job Retention Bonus

The job retention bonus was central to the planned budgets of many SME businesses, allowing them to retain more employees then they would have done, pay overheads and keep the lights on while restrictions remain.

The removal of this support scheme potentially places many SMEs on a knife edge; when combined with a challenging Christmas trading period, a difficult first quarter and deferred tax demands, along with other foreseeable cash constraints.

The hospitality and retail sector are amongst the most exposed but there are many other sectors and individual businesses that will struggle during this period due to no fault of their own.

Planning is key for business. Without planning business owners can’t manage their supply chain, cost base, operations or their sales process. Stability in the regulatory and support framework within which they operate is a key for them to be able to navigate through this period.

SME recapitalisation plan

Many businesses, post the pandemic, will be unable to attract investment and grow, potentially impacting employment, regional growth, productivity and ultimately living standards.

SMEs now have unparalleled amounts of debt, with recent figures suggesting the levels of business borrowing has increased five-fold this year, to £43.2bn. At these levels, many businesses will be unattractive to equity investment and have limited scope to take on additional debt for investment.

Repayments on government support loans starting in the second quarter of next year will likely exacerbate the situation, further stretching cashflows and working capital. For many businesses, it is simply too early to see additional cash flowing out of the business, with the lingering effect of trading under the pandemic still being felt.

Plans need to be put in place now to help manage this debt if we want to see these businesses thrive and drive growth next year and beyond. Plans need to be more than payment holidays, which only serve to store up future problems. They need to be a long-term solution, based on rebalancing these companies.

Establishing an equity fund, with government support, to specifically recapitalise SME businesses that are viable but over indebted as the pandemic eases is a clear solution. It not only favours business, it offers the opportunity to repair the public purse. Incentives could be further enhanced through tax breaks for equity investment where is replaces government supported debt.

Online sales boomed over 60% in October to lead the retail fightback

October’s retail sales estimates, released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), reveal sales volumes soared by 5.8% YOY, up 1.2% from September’s results.

However, the home delivery specialist ParcelHero says that High Street stores cannot take too much comfort in these figures, as they don’t reflect the impact of Lockdown 2.0, which only started in November. ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, also warns the lion’s share of the increase was led by online sales, up 60.1% YOY.

David says the online results are especially encouraging but they point to increasing delivery problems over Christmas.

‘There are some truly astonishing figures for online sales this October. Food sales were up 99.2% YOY to gobble 10.4% of the entire groceries market. All in all, e-commerce now grabs 28.5% of all UK retail sales.

‘To put this into perspective we only need to look back to February, the last month before the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Compared to that pre-lockdown period, overall High Street and online sales have increased by 7.9% which is encouraging. However, this has been largely driven by a strong increase in sales online at 52.8%, in comparison to reduced store sales at minus -3.3%.

‘All this is great news for online retailers, who even saw a 4.1% jump in sales over September’s strong results, but this surge in home deliveries points to an intensely busy seasonal peak.

‘Both consumers and retailers need to carefully plan this year to avoid the impact of this Mount Everest of Christmas peaks.”

Slight drop in value of contract awards in October but activity remains strong

The total value of construction contract awards in October 2020 was £4.9 billion based on a three-month rolling average. This is a decrease of 9.4% on September and follows three consecutive months of good growth. Annual comparisons show it as 1.1% lower than for October 2019.

In the three months to October 2020, total contract awards were valued at £14.7 billion which is 75.7% higher than for the previous quarter and is also 1.3% higher than for the comparable quarter ending October 2019. There was an increase of 8.7% for contract award numbers this month at 871 compared to September. Annual comparisons show marginal (0.8%) improvement.

The latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review from industry analysts Barbour ABI, highlights levels of construction contract values awarded across Great Britain.

The North West was the leading region in October with 19.8% of awards and a total of 120 projects. The second largest region was London with value share of 13.8%, whilst tying for third place was the East of England and Scotland both with 11.1% of awards.

Analysis by sector indicates that residential maintained lead status in October accounting for 36.8% of awards. Underpinned by some major civils awards, infrastructure was the second largest region this month with 22.2% of awards and 131 projects.

Commenting on the figures, Tom Hall, Chief Economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research said, “The value of contract awards decreased from £5.4 billion in September to £4.9 billion in October but the number of awards continued to increase month on month. It is encouraging that since coming out of the first UK-wide lockdown, contract awards remain at long-term average levels. While there remain many downside risks, more positive news has emerged over the last month, not least construction sites staying open over the second lockdown plus positive vaccine trials. We therefore have a greater level of confidence that activity will be maintained over the short term.”

Recovery Tracker Survey Shows Further Deterioration in Economic Activity

The results of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s seventh GM COVID-19 Recovery Tracker show a further deterioration in economic activity. The recent imposition of the second national lockdown following a period of Tier 3 restrictions in Greater Manchester has lowered demand levels and undermined business confidence. The latest survey, covering the period October 26th – November 13th, found that customer demand, both domestic and international, are now at levels similar to those recorded in June 2020, a considerable worsening compared to the levels recorded in September.

In the latest survey, the balances relating to domestic sales and advance orders stood near -35, the lowest in over four months. Likewise, sales to and advance orders from overseas customers have also declined to their lowest levels since the publication of the second quarter’s Economic Survey results in June.

Subrahmaniam Krishnan-Harihara, Head of Research at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “A ‘lockdown’ of the nature currently in place stifles both supply and demand sides of the economy. When shops, bars and restaurants are forced to close in the lead up to what is probably the busiest trading season of the year this leads to a significant loss of custom.

“The combination of supply and demand side constraints are reflected in the results of the Chamber’s seventh COVID-19 tracker survey. The picture that is emerging is one of a regional economy that has lost steam and weakening confidence levels. The Government has also encouraged people to work from home because of which footfall in many town and city centres has reduced. This will likely dampen and prolong the recovery of town centres. As we had previously identified, any gains made in June and July have now been lost.”

There is a lot of concern around rising unemployment with ONS data showing that there were redundancies in October. Since March 2020, the number of payroll employees has fallen by 782,000 across the UK. Business confidence is also subdued with half the respondents saying they are worried about being able to maintain their revenues and margins in the coming weeks. Diminished cash reserves and poor business confidence will likely constrain any expansion of productive capacity, so not many businesses are likely to be recruiting in the next few weeks.

Subrahmaniam added “On the business support front, a lot has happened since we published the results of the sixth Recovery Tracker late in October. The Chancellor first announced a short-term extension to the furlough scheme, followed by a further extension to March 2021. The latter extension is particularly positive for businesses as it provided a degree of certainty. Nonetheless, the delayed announcement about furlough extension is likely to have forced businesses to start redundancy consultation. An earlier announcement would likely have saved some jobs.

“Our recovery forecast remains muted. Current levels of most indicators are much lower than initially expected and the current lockdown has caused a longer period of stagnation. It is still unclear whether lockdown restrictions will be relaxed in December. The rate of spread in Covid infections indicate that some restrictions are likely to be in place for some more weeks. The best-case scenario is an increase in demand during the key festive trading season although it does depend on what type of restrictions are in place then.”

ESL powers up new contract with working capital plug from Reward Finance Group.

Renewable energy consultancy, Electek Solutions Limited (ESL), is continuing its impressive growth with a short-term working capital injection from Reward Finance Group, to help meet the increasing demand for its services from across the UK and help win a major new contract.

The Newcastle-based company audits companies’ energy performance and supplies and installs solutions to reduce consumption, save costs and protect the environment. Solutions include LED lighting, solar panels, PV and battery storage, and advanced energy monitoring systems.

ESL, which retained the Consultancy of the Year title at the 2020 North East Energy Efficiency Awards, works across all sectors including local authorities and housing association, schools, colleges, hospitals, manufacturing facilities and offices.

The cash injection from Reward Finance Group will enable ESL to buy the energy saving products needed to complete a large project it has recently been awarded, as its working capital was tied up in ongoing contracts.

Commenting on the impressive growth for the company, director of ESL, David Hutchinson, said, “It is interesting to note that 53% of SMEs have no environmental and energy efficient management systems, despite it being a Government requirement to have a strategy in place.

“The rapidly changing needs of the energy sector and changes to the laws now involves high-level reporting and control. If these are not in place companies could be breaching environmental laws.

“The demand for our services has really grown during the pandemic, possibly because organisations have had more time to review their energy consumption in response to legislation. This has led them to recognise the commercial and financial benefits which will be gained through a review and overhaul of their current energy systems.

“As well as reducing operating costs, organisations will also enhance their environmental credential which could help them access new markets and provide a competitive differentiator.

“We were asked to tender for a large project but, as our working capital was tied up in completing other contracts, we considered turning it down.

“However, Matt Lister, of commercial finance intermediary Corporate and Commercial Business Solutions Group, introduced us to Reward Finance Group. The team at Reward recognised our growth potential and track record and provided us with the funds. It meant we could tender for the contract with confidence, knowing we had the additional working capital to purchase systems and products needed to complete the job, which we were subsequently awarded.”

Reward Finance Group’s senior relationship manager, Alan Sanderson, was impressed with the company and had no hesitation in providing the funds.

“David and his team have built a business which has an excellent reputation with a blue-chip client list,” he said. “This has led to many new contracts which require a significant investment to complete.

“When we were advised about the invitation they had been given to tender for a large contract we worked quickly to turn around the Business Finance funding in a few days so they did not miss the opportunity to take on this profitable project.”

Plain sailing: Together saves £3m seafront property deal with four-hour funding

Specialist lender Together rescued a £3million deal by providing a short-term loan in just four hours for an investor to buy an exclusive waterside property.

Mathew Rees, director of a company which owns about 200 buy-to-let properties, was looking to expand his portfolio by buying the £2.85m, six-bedroom home in the Cornish holiday resort of St. Mawes.

The detached luxury house, called Pendragon, has its own private boat mooring, views across the picturesque Percuil River and harbour, and is surrounded by sweeping National Trust countryside.

Mr Rees’ firm, Manchester-based St. Mawes Estates, had previously agreed finance with another specialist lender and had exchanged contracts with the owner of the coastal property.

However, the deal hit choppy waters the day before the vendor’s completion deadline when solicitors emailed Mr Rees demanding additional information about the company and its directors – potentially scuppering the purchase.

He said: “We were buying the house under our limited company, but a second property we were using to secure the loan was in personal names.

“Everybody knew this from the start and it shouldn’t have been a surprise for the solicitors, but the day before the completion deadline, we were contacted by them asking us to provide information that would take us two weeks to put together.

“This put us in danger of missing the completion date and losing the property altogether, which would have meant the contract would be null and void. This would cost us around £3million in all. It was incredibly stressful.”

Mr Rees, who is the CEO of London-based mortgage network Beneficial, had dealt with Together previously during his 25 year career in property and finance.

He said: “Knowing the speed at which Together can turn around bridging finance applications, I gave them a call. Within five minutes I had a call back from their commercial CEO, Marc Goldberg. He said he’d seen the valuations, and knew me and my background, and agreed to release the money that day. That was at about 11.15am and the deal was done by 3.10pm in the afternoon.

“It was absolutely fantastic. The underwriters and Together’s solicitors, Priority Law, were amazing in doing all they could to make sure we could complete the deal. We were put in a really difficult situation to start with by the initial lender but this was an incredibly quick completion and a great result.”

Together agreed the £3m commercial bridging loan, secured against the Cornish property and a property in Manchester.

The latest purchase is the second executive let owned by St. Mawes Estates. The firm is now looking to boost its portfolio by investing in a third in the area, Mr Rees said.

Marc Goldberg said: “Pendragon must be one of the most prestigious properties in the area. It’s in a beautiful coastal setting and will be a fantastic investment.

“We knew when we first had the call from Mathew Rees that this deal made sense. We looked into his background, the property and the popularity of the area, and we were happy to be able to offer him the finance he needed to rescue the purchase and expand his company’s portfolio.”

Credit Market Report September 2020 Shows Card Spend Rise Stalling

Global analytics software provider FICO today released its analysis of UK card trends for September 2020, which shows the continuing impact of COVID-19 on household finances even while furlough and payment holidays remained in place during the month.

“The big challenge for credit providers right now is understanding the true level of financial difficulty consumers are facing because of the support being provided by furlough and payment holidays,” explained Stacey West, principal consultant for FICO® Advisors. “Our UK card data suggest that many people are becoming more prudent and reducing their card balances, but those who can’t reduce their card use are increasingly struggling.

“The recent announcement concerning the furlough extension and increase in percentage paid, along with the extended payment holidays, will result in increased debt levels being delayed until further into 2021. Christmas spending is likely to add to that longer-term debt burden. Of particular concern is that average balances on accounts missing two or more payments is higher and growing. Cash usage on cards has also increased month on month.”

Spend on UK cards increases marginally

Average spending on UK credit cards increased by only £1 in September to £640. Average spend is now only 2.9 percent lower than a year ago.

“Regional lockdowns and the end of the school holidays appears to have curbed the increase in spend seen over the previous three months,” said Stacey West. “With the introduction of the tier system, with stricter regulations reducing spending opportunities, October could see this stabilisation continue. The early part of November could well reflect extra spending ahead of the month-long national lockdown.”

Monthly payments continue to increase

The percentage of payments to balance increased for the third consecutive month; it is now 2.9 percent above September 2019. This is the first time since April that payments have exceeded those of 2019. The percentage of cardholders paying less than the full balance fell and the proportion paying the full balance increased and is now 8.4 percent higher than a year ago.

“The higher proportion of payments to balance is, of course, good news. Even if it’s a direct consequence of lower balances and the furlough and forbearance arrangements, it is encouraging to see consumers trying to manage their debts responsibly,” adds West.

Two and three month missed payments increase

The one missed payment rates decreased in September after two months of growth. But the average balance on accounts missing two payments is 9 percent higher than a year ago and the three missed payment rates increased for the first time since May, with the average balance 11.3 percent higher year-on-year. There is a segment of customers who could not afford to make their payment in July who continued to miss payments into September. The October data will show if this impacts 4+ missed payment rates.

West added: “Whilst it is positive to see the one missed payment rates falling, the true scale of the debt at risk of being unpaid will continue to be masked for many months due to the announcement of the continued support, extended payment deferrals and the introduction of more forbearance measures by issuers. Enhancing analytics by using better tools and increasing the data available will help issuers effectively identify the customers that need support so that they can communicate appropriately. Open banking transactional data will remain an important source and it is anticipated its use will expand in 2021.”

Unused credit a risk as Christmas approaches

The percentage of the card limit utilised on active accounts reached another over two-year low. September saw a second consecutive decrease in the average card limit to £5,404. While the highest proportion of accounts, 29.3 percent, have a limit in the range of £5,001 to £10,000, the average balance for these accounts is only £1,242. Those with limits of more than £10,000 have an average balance of £2,366.

Exposure on inactive accounts is at 34 percent and 72.3 percent of exposure on active accounts is unused.

“These figures clearly show the level of unused credit in the market. Despite the lockdown Christmas is expected to push spend up and a large proportion of consumers will have existing credit available to use without checks being in place to determine if the extra spend is affordable,” West adds. “Up to 80% furlough payments until at least the end of March, the Job Support Scheme and the extension of mortgage, loan and credit card payment holidays will give some consumers confidence to continue to spend in the short term.

“Higher card debt levels in 2021 is, therefore, a risk and issuers will be taking proactive steps to address this with increased customer interaction to understand the true existing and delayed financial impact. It is likely that digital communication will come more into play as a result. It is potentially easier to ask personal questions and for consumers to respond via digital channels. But this puts the onus on lenders to ensure they have the systems and contact details in place now.” A recent FICO survey showed that nearly one in five Britons say their bank doesn’t have their mobile number.

Accounts over their limit remain stable

September saw a decrease in the proportion of accounts exceeding their limit and this number is 42.9 percent lower year-on-year. However, the average amount over limit started to increase again and is 30 percent higher than September 2019.

Cash spend on cards continues to increase

The percentage of consumers using credit cards to get cash increased for the second consecutive month, after a significant fall during the first national lockdown. Although increasing 2.8 percent, levels are still 53.8 percent lower than a year ago.

This has resulted in a 2.6 percent increase in cash as a percentage of total spend. Both monthly increases were higher than those seen in 2019. However, it may be many months until we see the levels of cash usage reach pre-pandemic levels, and they may not rise that high again.

Fiduciam provides £1.18million loan to fund Cornish hotel beyond Covid

Fiduciam, the institutionally funded short-term lender to SMEs and entrepreneurs, has just completed a £1.18million loan to finance a popular hotel in Cornwall. The loan which falls under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), will enable the hotel to continue operating until the end of 2022.

2020 has been a year of contrasts at Hustyns Hotel and Spa in Wadebridge. After closing for three months during the lockdown, it reopened in July to experience its highest demand for rooms in recent years, only to be affected once more by this second national lockdown.

Fiduciam’s loan provides Hustyns Hotel and Spa with secure commercial funding for 24 months. Financing costs have been reduced thanks to CBILS, and the absence of early repayment charges gives the borrower added flexibility.

Ravi Gupta of Hustyns Hotel and Spa, comments, “COVID-19 has posed unique challenges to the hospitality industry – it’s been a real year of volatility. 2020 was expected to be a significant year as we had invested in the hotel with a refurbished restaurant and a new ‘glamping’ offering coming on stream.

“We know that we have a good business model and strong demand, but after strong revenue and profit growth in 2019, the lockdown meant we experienced a difficult spring and early summer 2020 when we couldn’t let out rooms or lodges. Once the lockdown was lifted, we had to immediately scale up operations and staff levels for full occupancy. The loan from Fiduciam means that we cannot only weather this latest lockdown, but we can make the investments we want to into our resort and know that our business’s future is secure for the next two years.”

Marc Morris, Underwriter at Fiduciam, says, “Hustyns is the perfect fit for our CBILS offering. Pre-COVID the hotel was performing well and deleveraging. The CBILS loan provides 12 months of space for Hustyns to maintain resilience and rebuild its accounts before the borrower returns to servicing interest. In the medium term, the borrower plans to refinance onto a term product.”

Fiduciam has been accredited by the British Business Bank to offer loans under the CBILS. Delivered through British Business Bank accredited lenders, CBILS is designed to support the continued provision of finance to UK smaller businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak. The scheme enables lenders to provide facilities of up to £5m to smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow.

All economic downturns cause significant economic scarring in addition to any structural change. Short-term liquidity problems faced by even the best placed firms can quickly become solvency concerns, particularly as the result of an asymmetric shock such as a pandemic. Within this setting, Fiduciam continues to see pro-active businesses seek robust provision for their liquidity requirements over a 12 to 24-month time horizon.