Despite the gloomy outlook for the UK economy as a result of Brexit uncertainty businesses are still buying and investing. Derek Money, Head of Glasgow Sales here at White Oak UK, explores the opportunities for Scottish brokers to grow new business in the current climate.
We can’t fail to escape recent headlines around the outlook for the UK economy and uncertainties around Brexit.
It is clear to see that there are a several factors that could cause some disruption to SMEs across the UK, and with an estimated 1.2 million jobs created by SMEs in Scotland alone, access to finance is more crucial than ever.
Data from You Expert Group suggests that the Scottish specialist lending market is predicted to double in size over the course of 2019, and contributing to this will be a mix of new and emerging brokers.
Whether we are referring to smaller so-called ‘bedroom brokers’ or larger corporates, it’s about adding value, giving the customer access to more sources of finance and the ability to stand out from the crowd.
It’s essential for brokers to remain competitive in order to attract new business and even more so to build loyalties with the client. The goal is to build close and long-serving relationships and this can only be achieved by doing right by clients and their businesses.
White Oak UK has a key concentration in Scotland, where we have been able to build a strong and trusted face to face business over many years. Furthermore, the areas of specialism play a large role.
For example, our clients in Scotland typically fall into key sectors such as haulage, construction, energy and agriculture. By their very nature, these industries tend to be rural, which poses its own set of challenges in respect of accessibility.
Our recent move to Glasgow from Stewarton allows us to be closer to our growing client base and affords us the ability to focus on developing new secured and unsecured products to serve the evolving needs of our customers and brokers.
This ability to better support our clients and brokers has never been more important, as we battle against the uncertainty of the current geopolitical environment. Encouragingly, we have seen no visible signs of a behavioural shift to date, though clearly this is something that we will continue to monitor.
The post-Brexit landscape is unknown, but there is, however, a notable resilience amongst businesses, a ‘we’ve been here before’ mentality. Businesses are still buying and they’re still investing.
The hard asset market, for example, is mature and well established, but a change in mindset is required across the industry to increase the level of unsecured options offered.
Essentially, we are positioned to provide a single solution to brokers, backed by our rapid turnaround, flexibility and ease of use – and with uncertainty ahead, these factors will become increasingly important.