North-east finance survey 2012
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ATOROUGH, P., 2012. North-east finance survey 2012. Aberdeen: Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce.
Customer trust and confidence in the North-east’s finance sector appears to be recovering, but overall public perception of the sector is still negative according to this survey. Finance businesses continue to struggle to increase their market share as competition has increased and consumers have shown less brand loyalty. The sector is focused on rebuilding confidence, improving lending to SMEs, containing costs through tight controls on staff numbers, and growing market share.The UK finance sector has had a difficult run in recent times and just as it appeared to have emerged from the global financial crisis, revelations surfaced about some sector players which created a new source of concern for stakeholders and the wider business community. In summary, the finance sector in the North-east has performed very well during the period reviewed, but has witnessed stiff intra-sector competition, a persistently negative perception from the public, reductions in staff numbers, and an inability to improve lending activity to small businesses, especially micro businesses. However, the sector’s businesses appear to be aware of the challenges identified and are focused on improving in these areas, with the primary wish in the next 12 months being to improve lending to SMEs.