Of the 120 executives taking part in the Lloyds Bank Commercial survey, who together oversee a combined revenue of around £530bn, more than half (56%) shared the view that the economy will remain resilient.
Around three quarters (76%) felt that the UK economy would keep in pace with, or outpace, the average growth among other G7 nations, which the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has forecast as 2% for 2017. A fifth of the executives (22%) believed that the economy will even improve upon last year.
Despite the generally positive outlook there were still fears from many of the executives. The biggest related to the ongoing uncertainly over the UK’s position over Brexit, with 63% citing this as the biggest challenge in 2017.
Almost two thirds (65%) are scared of losing financial passporting within the EU following the triggering of Article 50. Half of the executives are also concerned about barriers to trade.
Despite these fears, only 18% or respondents suggested they would move their business out of the UK. However, of these, 91% said they they would move between 1-25% of their operations.
“[There are] clear signs that firms are committed to maintaining a significant presence in the UK. While some do plan to transfer certain operations overseas, the number intending to do so has not risen significantly since before the referendum result, and in almost all cases they are only looking at a partial move”, said Edward Thurman, managing director, head of financial institutions, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
Number 10 today confirmed that Article 50 will be triggered on 29 March.