Tuesday, 15 April 2014

So which one is it then?

From City AM (August 2013):

BRITAIN'S top 30 consumer firms are sitting on a £16bn warchest, according to research out today by Deloitte, raising the curtain for renewed mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity as confidence returns to the sector.

The seven largest listed firms have amassed £13bn alone after rebuilding their balance sheets following the recession and reining back on their spending.

From City AM (November 2013):

THOUSANDS of heavily indebted firms are holding back the UK's recovery, kept above water by historically low interest rates, according to a new report published today.

According to research by the Adam Smith Institute, a Westminster think tank, 108,000 so-called zombie businesses across the country are only able to service the interest on their debt, preventing them from restructuring.

From City AM (January 2014):

RBS is acting like a "vampire," sucking the cash out of troubled firms as soon as it becomes available, Lawrence Tomlinson told MPs this afternoon.

Tomlinson caused a storm last year when he published a report into the treatment of small firms by the bank, arguing it took businesses with strong balance sheets and squeezed them hard, ultimately taking their assets and making money for the bank.

From City AM (March 2014):

REJECTED small business loan applications will be offered around alternative lenders, under plans announced by the chancellor yesterday, so the firms have a better chance of getting credit.

It comes after SMEs complained it could take a damagingly large amount of time and effort to apply to lender after lender for a loan.

From City AM (March 2014):

AGAINST a range of improving economic indicators, one metric has remained stubbornly sluggish: business investment. A well-balanced recovery requires a significant rise in corporate investment and a shift away from consumer-led growth.

Deloitte's most recent CFO Survey found that risk appetite is at a six-year high, while just 20 members of the FTSE 100 hold cash reserves worth $144bn. The desire and ability to invest appears to be there, but action has yet to follow.

Can't they just cut out the middleman, the banks, and have the profitable/cash-rich businesses take over the failing/zombie businesses and pay off their debts, or doing peer-to-peer lending/investment with promising smaller businesses, thus cancelling out a large chunk of bank balance sheets on both sides and getting them out of the bloody way of 'the recovery'?


James Higham said...

Fascinating but so is the way we've already defaulted as GBplc and yet are still trading. Showing that countries are nothing like businesses - they can't default.

Mark Wadsworth said...

JH, that's widening the debate a bit but yes, agreed.