By Mark Jones, director of Carmarthen-based Clay Shaw Butler chartered accountants and business consultants. The Money Matters column appears in the Pembrokeshire Herald, the Carmarthenshire Herald and the Llanelli Herald newspapers.
Over the festive period, the Money Matters column has managed to avoid using the dreaded ‘B’ word . . . Brexit!
But it cannot remain on the shelf for very long. Brexit is still very much front and centre when it comes to the economy.
The Government has published a collection of documents in preparation for the scenario of the UK leaving the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement – the so called ‘no deal’ Brexit.
The guidance states:
‘The Government does not want or expect a no deal scenario.
‘However, it is the duty of a responsible Government to prepare for a range of potential outcomes, including the unlikely event of no deal.
‘In the event of leaving the EU without a deal, legislation will be necessary to ensure the UK’s Customs, VAT and Excise regimes function as intended after the UK leaves the EU and so, on a contingency basis, HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs will lay a number of Statutory Instruments (SIs) under the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018 (TCTA) and the EU Withdrawal Act 2018 (EUWA).’
As always, the team at Clay Shaw Butler chartered accountants will endeavour to keep you informed of the latest developments.
Meanwhile, you can access the Government’s latest Brexit guidance documents on the following website – https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/customs-vat-and-excise-regulations-leaving-the-eu-with-no-deal
Lending to British consumers grew at its slowest pace in nearly four years in November and the number of mortgage approvals fell.
That’s the news gleaned from the latest Bank of England (BoE) data. The data points to signs of a pre-Brexit slowdown in the economy.
The annual growth rate in unsecured consumer lending slowed to 7.1 percent from 7.4 percent in October, the BoE figures showed, the slowest increase since March 2015.
There have been signs from many retailers that British consumers reined in their spending in late 2018, faced with the possibility of the country leaving the European Union without a deal to smooth the economic shock.
Prime Minister Theresa May faces a make-or-break vote on her Brexit plans in the week starting January 14th, little more than two months before Britain is due to end its membership of the EU.
A survey of Britain’s dominant services industry suggested the economy grew by just 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with the previous three months, as uncertainty about Brexit mounted.
The BoE said the number of mortgages approved for house purchase fell to 63,728 in November, the lowest figure since April and down from 66,709 in October.
The figure was below all forecasts in a Reuters news agency poll of economists.
Britain’s housing market weakened in 2018 with major mortgage lenders reporting price growth at a five-year low.
The Nationwide said that prices fell in December by the most in monthly terms since mid-2012 and rose at their slowest annual pace in nearly six years.
The BoE data showed net mortgage lending, which tends to lag behind approvals, at £3.453 billion in November, up from £4.089 billion in October.
BoE Governor Mark Carney warned last month that in the event of a “disorderly” departure from the EU — which is not the central bank’s base-case scenario — house prices could slump by 30 percent as part of a broader economic shock.
The central bank has also said demand for consumer lending had been subdued by Brexit uncertainty, but might ramp up again once the situation is clearer.
Figures for November alone showed a £924 million net increase in consumer lending, slightly weaker than economists’ forecasts.
You can find out more about money matters on the Clay Shaw Butler website (under our news for business section) –
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