UK SMEs provide the engine that drives the economy and it is vital that they receive the support they need to grow, providing jobs and creating opportunities that benefit us all. At Hampshire Trust Bank we are proud to support smaller businesses in the sectors in which we operate and are committed to helping fund this sector now and in the future.
In 2017, we funded the construction of more than 700 homes, working with SME housebuilders across the country. In total, last year we funded and provided savings accounts for more than 4,500 firms as well as 4,500 individuals, financing everything from vans and agricultural equipment, through to mortgages and property development.
We are looking forward to the year ahead and helping SMEs make the most of the opportunities that present themselves. This is a challenging time but British businesses are resilient and we are seeing promising signs of growth, with confidence in the longer term showing signs of recovery.
We are encouraged to see that GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index increased by four points to -9 in January 2018. In addition, the latest Hampshire Trust Bank SME Growth Watch Report shows 51% of SMEs are feeling optimistic about their long-term economic prospects.
We recognise that there are challenges ahead and that difficulties surrounding Brexit negotiations are not creating the certainty that businesses need to plan for the future. However, we are positive that SMEs will dig deep and carry on, as they always do. Hampshire Trust Bank will be there to help fund their growth wherever we can.
Chief Executive Officer
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