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Cautious optimism that flexible UK economy will get us through Brexit…

A hot topic this week was the strong hint from the Bank of England that it would not change rates again this year…

With the economy performing better than expected after the EU referendum and with employment and wages remaining high, it is no surprise that the Bank is leaving interest rates unchanged – for now.

Of course, it is still too early to predict the kind of Brexit deal that Britain will end up with. In fact, we are still experiencing some uncertainty that is continuing to overshadow the UK economy, including the recent High Court judgment that the Government cannot trigger Article 50 on its own.

However, despite previous warnings that the economy would suffer a severe post-referendum crunch, the market appears to be resilient and the near-term outlook for activity is much better than it was just after the referendum.

I am remaining cautiously optimistic that our flexible economy will ultimately help us to navigate our way through the Brexit process.

John Phillips, Spicer Haart and Just Mortgages

…so it’s no surprise MPC decided not to cut rates again after all

It’s perhaps unsurprising that the Monetary Policy Committee has decided not to alter the Bank rate.

In August, when the rate was cut to a record-low 0.25 per cent, there were clear signals to expect another decrease before the end of the year. But we are in a period of economic unpredictability following the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

Since August, we have seen a further sharp decline in sterling, combined with stronger-than-expected growth. The weaker pound, combined with stronger demand, means that inflation is forecast to be higher than the MPC expected earlier in the year.

The minutes confirm that the prospect of a further cut to interest rates is now effectively off the table for the foreseeable future.

Andrew McPhillips, Yorkshire Building Society

Equity release sector on another high and set to exceed £2bn with ease

Equity Release Council figures found that lending in the sector reached record highs in Q3…

The latest record high for equity release lending, both for Q3 and the year to date, demonstrates how the market is going from strength to strength and is firmly established as a major part of the retirement planning market.

As retired homeowners increasingly become aware of the wide range of options available to them to improve their retirement finances, we expect the market to break through the £2bn barrier with ease.

Increased competition, lower rates and a focus on product innovation have made equity release an attractive option for retired homeowners who continue to be squeezed by both historically low annuity and interest rates.

Dean Mirfin, Key Retirement



Housebuilders predict growth despite uncertainty

Housebuilders are forecasting growth and investment in the sector, despite uncertainty following the EU referendum. The second annual Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking report on the UK housebuilding sector analyses the state of the industry today, and found confidence, despite challenges including the current planning system, a skills shortage and uncertainty following the Brexit vote in […]

Comment: Released into the mainstream

As equity release gains increasing acceptance by lenders and borrowers, the number of intermediaries selling it will grow It is predicted the equity release market could reach £2.3bn by 2019. Indeed, given the UK’s significant pension deficit issues, it is clear the need for the sector will rise and it will become a viable solution […]

Honest broking: London Money’s Martin Stewart

Martin Stewart founded London Money as a provider of simple, honest advice. He believes brands are vital to the sector and small firms need a leg-up As the straight-talking, wise-cracking founder of London Money, Martin Stewart needs little introduction to the mortgage broker market. A self-confessed work­aholic, Stewart has built up the London-based financial advice […]

Abe and Modi

India: Modi, reform and the oil price fall

Nearly 12 months since sweeping to power, prime minister Narendra Modi has overseen a significant turnaround in India, which is now on track to become one of the most pro-growth, pro-investment economies in Asia. While the market has rallied 48 per cent over the last year in response to Modi’s reform agenda, what is the potential for further progress?


Neptune video: Abenomics: the impetus for Japan’s fast-track recovery?

The remarkable performance of the TOPIX over the past year has caused many sceptical equity investors to look again at the Japanese market. These returns have come despite very significant problems facing the Japanese economy. Chris Taylor, manager of the Neptune Japan Opportunities Fund, discusses these problems and whether Abenomics will be able to overcome them, enabling the market to continue to rise.

In the video, Taylor addresses the following:

• The size and speed of Japan’s unprecedented monetary policy
• Abenomics and the implications should it fail
• Corporate Japan and beneficiaries of government policy


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