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Businesses abandon £65.5bn of investments

14 November 2016 – A third of all British businesses have abandoned investments totalling £65.5 billion as a result of the Brexit vote, according to Hitachi Capital and the CEBR (Centre for Economic and Business Research) in a study into British businesses.

Over a fifth (22%) of senior decision makers surveyed cited the fall in the pound as one of the reasons behind their decision, with 21 percent reporting uncertainty over the UK’s future membership of the single market and 21 per cent over domestic-economic health as drivers for abandoned or postponed investments. If left unresolved, it is expected that these factors will continue to impact upon planned investments for 2017 and beyond.

Of those surveyed, medium-sized companies’ investment decisions were the most sensitive to Brexit-related factors with 44 percent postponing or delaying compared to just 23 percent for smaller companies, positively reflecting the fact that they are less exposed to changes in the export and foreign direct investment environment.

The results come from a survey of 1015 senior British business decision makers commissioned by leading financial services company, Hitachi Capital and conducted by YouGov and the CEBR.

Robert Gordon, CEO of Hitachi Capital, comments:

“Hitachi is calling on businesses, which are the drivers of the UK economy, to adapt to these uncertain times and seize the opportunity to forge new partnerships globally whilst continuing to engage with the single market. 70 percent of businesses would be likely to resume investment if uncertainty of the UK’s membership of the single market is resolved, but they must remember that access is different to membership and this is how both China and the US are able to engage with the EU.

“Exports from the EU to the UK totalled £290 billion in 2015 firmly cementing the UK’s place as a crucial trade partner. With this in mind, businesses must not forget we are in a strong position when it comes to ensuring that the UK negotiates the best possible trade deals. We must pull together and continue to make investments to send this message to the rest of the world.

“Looking outwards, not inwards, is how the UK will thrive in a post-Brexit world.”

Gordon continues:

“The fact that nearly three quarters of businesses would resume with investment if current pressing issues were resolved sends a clear message from businesses to the UK government – act quickly to prevent further losses.”
For businesses looking to press ahead with investment plans in Q4 and beyond, finance providers like Hitachi Capital provide tailored forms of funding that remove financial barriers and help businesses lead the way in growing in the economy.

Businesses abandon £65.5bn of investments

  • 42% of large and medium companies have changed investment plans due to Brexit

  • Uncertainty is the most common cause of abandoned investment  

  • Hitachi Capital calls on businesses to continue with investment plans and forge new partnerships globally