According to a Deloitte survey of 122 chief financial officers, the finance chiefs of Britain’s biggest companies have revealed that their appetite for risk has returned. The poll demonstrated that they believe bank lending access will ease this year, enabling them to expand and hire more staff.
In the first nine months of 2013, the economy of Britain reported some of the fastest growth of any major industrialized economy that was largely driven by consumers. Meanwhile, the Bank of England had warned that exports and business investment need to strengthen if growth is to be sustained.
The poll revealed that bank borrowing was now the most attractive source of funding, the first time chief financial officers have said that since the financial crisis began. Some 57 percent of those surveyed said it was now a good time to take risk onto their balance sheets, the most positive response since the survey started six years ago.
“There has been a dramatic change,” said Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte. “If you compare how CFOs felt going into 2013, with how they feel about 2014, there has been a dramatic decline in perceptions of risk, particularly in relation to the euro zone, a big fall in the fears of recession and further improvements in credit availability.”
“If we were looking to deliver a CFO survey that would cheer up the Bank of England and Treasury, this probably would be it,” Stewart said. “It vindicates the idea of a continued recovery and one that, crucially, big corporates are playing a much bigger role in.”