As we kick back with a mince pie and maybe a glass of sweet sherry or two to reflect on 2016 and consider what’s happened and what’s been achieved, I think there will be many of us who say quite simply: wow – what a year!
Many things have marked the 16th year of this century as a bit of a game changer. Unexpected outcomes - such as Brexit and Donald Trump - have rocked nations; while closer to home, industry rules such as the Mortgage Credit Directive have changed how the housing sector operates. And on a personal level, the recent launch of Masthaven bank is a major milestone for me.
Since 2008 the finance industry remains under the closest of scrutiny, but under the leadership of Mark Carney in the Bank of England and the stability of the base rate, I think we can breathe a sigh of relief; we can get on the starting blocks for 2017 on a reasonably level playing field, with a decent confidence level amongst the top brass (or is this just my “glass half full” attitude?)
The new year will certainly bring challenges, of that I have no doubt. The doom and gloom merchants are almost predicting a buy-to-let crash, and the impact of Brexit on life in general remains uncertain. But I am reassured by one certainty: when we start back in January 2017, customers will need financial services and they will expect top-class support from the firms providing them.
I’m energised and enthused about what Masthaven will bring to the financial services industry in the new year - I look forward to the challenges lying ahead; and after the roller-coaster ride of 2016, I can’t wait to find out what 2017 has in store