Brexit, financial policy, interest rate changes and increases in demand for alternatives to bank loans are all on the banking agenda in 2017 – so what are we likely to see? And how can businesses make the most of expert predictions?
Cyber Security to be tested
At the end of 2016 Tesco Bank was hacked and around £2million removed from customer accounts. Forecasters suggest that in 2017 further attacks on high street banks will be made, with a view of removing cash from accounts and showing the weaknesses in global banking security. As such, many banks will be set to increase cybersecurity protection with some likely to hire specialists to hack into systems to exploit current weaknesses. For small businesses cybersecurity should be considered also, particularly when dealing with customer data such as names, addresses and card details. Ensure all systems are up to date and secure and keep this maintained. Further, additional layers of security, such as login redirects on admin portals, firewalls for DNS and mass service attacks and encryption across sensitive data offers both safety and peace of mind.
Alternatives to business loans
Banks are loathing to lend in a market of uncertainty and businesses are increasingly looking for alternatives to bank loans which have often seemed too expensive, offer little value for money or do work in direct correlation with the business itself. Merchant cash advances are seen by many as a better alternative as businesses pay a set fee for the loan and this loan is then paid back based on money coming into the business each month.
Brexit, Trump and other politics
It seems we cannot turn on a TV, laptop, tablet or phone without seeing a mention, video, bulletin, comment or article on Brexit or Donald Trump. This is unlikely to change in the coming months but is likely to influence the banking sector. Potentially, banks will move some operations out of the UK with fears of reduced access to the single market and trade deals with the USA may take effect, causing a shift in a number of market areas.
The Bank of England base rate
The Bank of England base rate is currently at a record low of 0.25% and Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, has suggested this will have to be maintained due to the uncertainty in European markets. However, forecasters suggest over the next three years we might see an increase of up to 3% in the base rate, so comment, opinion and insight to the base rate need to be maintained in order to ensure business who are borrowing understand the level out outgoings which will be impacted. Overall 2017 is set to be an interesting year and the banking industry is likely to be at the forefront of any changes we see.