The Finance & Leasing Association has today published its recovery plan for the economy – Shaping the UK’s future prosperity: recognising the opportunities for recovery – which recommends a phased approach of short, medium and long-term measures that will ultimately position the UK to meet the Government’s key objectives of achieving a net-zero, low carbon economy by 2050, enhancing economic productivity, and creating a diverse and inclusive prosperity by levelling up the regional economies of the UK.
The short-term imperative is to rebuild consumer and business confidence, and that begins with ensuring that lenders are in a position to lend during the recovery. Over the last three months, so much assistance has been provided to customers in the form of payment deferrals that the availability of new lending to help fund the recovery will be severely curtailed – especially in the case of non-bank lenders which have been supporting customers from their own reserves. The FLA therefore proposes:
The medium-term focus must unlock investment for core economic growth, so the FLA proposes:
The long-term priority must be to improve our regulatory regime so that it can provide protection in times of crisis, rather than act as an obstacle to quick and effective solutions for customers in financial difficulty. The FLA therefore proposes:
Commenting on the recovery plan, Stephen Haddrill, Director General of the FLA, said:
“The Chancellor’s Economic Statement set out a range of short-term stimuli, but these measures need to be consolidated with substantive plans for long-term growth – and all of this must start with ensuring that the UK’s providers of business and consumer finance are in a position to lend.
“This is not the case at the moment and without their input, the recovery on High Streets and Industrial Estates will stall.
“We have set out a credible plan that puts the UK on a path to a more sustainable and prosperous future. This is the point when businesses will be planning their next move in terms of investing in new equipment to make them more agile – the Government needs to ensure that funders are in a position to support these ambitions, and that consumer finance lenders are in a position to support the demand for goods.”