As yet, the long-term effects on the global economy are difficult to predict. The knock-ons, though, are easier to see.
There have already been a series of brutal short-term hits to the travel (notably airlines) and leisure industries. The number of pubs in the UK was already on the wane; smaller, weaker airlines such as FlyBe were already in trouble. Hard-line free-market economists might see this as a weeding out of the weak, and that the market will ultimately take care of us all.
As for us here at Money&Co., we have already moved to implement alternative working plans to ensure that our services to lenders and borrowers remain unaffected. The challenge is to retain a sense of community and common purpose when face-to-face meetings (the essence and origin of community) become rare, difficult or – in extremis – impossible to arrange.
The gyrations of the stock market also cause alarm in some quarters. As we’ve consistently pointed out, one of the great attractions of platform lending is its lack of correlation with equity returns or interest rate fluctuations.
Our lenders have achieved gross yields of over eight per cent across five years of loan facilitation and more than £20 million of funding. Base rates may have dropped yet again, but this will have minimal effect on the returns lenders are enjoying.
The long-term effects are difficult to predict, as we’ve already stated – but rest assured we’ll be monitoring events, and will keep you fully informed.