Five easy pieces: review of March 2017

 

March was a very interesting month for our industry, and just in case you missed anything we thought we’d pull together a little recap of the five most important changes we saw over the month.

The Controversial Budget…

Hammond’s latest budget was seen by many as an attack on Britain’s entrepreneurs. Perhaps if there was one quote we could use to sum up the general consensus among small business owners it would be that of Mazars’ Tim Davies, who labelled the spring budget as “not a nice budget for SMEs”. Hammond set out plans to increase Class 4 National Insurance contributions for the self-employed from 1% to 10%, whilst also reducing the dividend tax free allowances for small business owners. Not only would these changes increase the tax burden on the self employed, they would also break one of the party’s key manifesto pledges, leading to a substantial amount of criticism from some big names in business…

The Controversial U-Turn on the Controversial Budget…

After coming under fire for breaking Cameron’s “Five-Year Election Promise”, Hammond abandoned his plans, admitting they “breached the spirit of the manifesto”. Like the budget itself, the U-turn split opinion, with a number of back-benchers left embarrassed after vigorously defending the NIC changes. We must now wait until the autumn budget to find out how the Chancellor will fill the 2 Billion-pound void left by the move.

Changes in Our Insurance Cover…

In case you missed the news, we’re now offering unrestricted insurance cover for Peer-to-peer lending. Here’s what our CEO, Paul Goodman, had to say on the changes:

“This makes NACFB’s exclusive cover the only policy in the market specifically designed for commercial finance brokers which covers an unlimited amount of brokered loans with peer-to-peer lenders”

“Peer-to-peer lending is booming and it’s fantastic that our members can now use it as much as they like, safe in the knowledge that they enjoy protection arranged by NACFB Insurance Services.”

 The Rise of the Midlands…

A recent survey from Rightmove showed the East Midlands as having the fastest pace of house price rises in the UK, up by 5.7% year-on-year. The price of property coming to the market in the region is at a record high, breaking through the £200,000 barrier for the first time to £200,620. The West Midlands region has the second highest annual increase with prices up 4.2% and matches the East Midlands’ 2.1% monthly rise.

Rightmove data also demonstrates that two areas have seen asking prices fall compared to last year. In Wales, the average asking price is down 0.6% year-on-year, and in the north east of England asking prices are 1.1% down from last year.

Article 50 Was Triggered…

On 29th March we saw the delivery of Theresa May’s letter to President Donald Tusk, signalling the official triggering of Article 50 and setting the wheels of Brexit in motion. The delivery of the letter was followed shortly after by a statement from Mrs May to the House of Commons, where she stated that now was “the moment for the country to come together”. In terms of what this means for the industry, we’ll start to get more of an idea after June, when negotiations with other EU countries are expected to start.

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