Simon Healy, Managing Director of Savings, says: "On my Christmas list I would like to see Government policies that reward and encourage UK consumers and businesses to save more and to save prudently. For example, greater flexibility within individual ISA allowances or a higher limit would benefit savers enormously."
"I'd also like customers to vote with their feet and eschew the traditional banks in favour of the better deals and more personal touch offered by challenger banks. It's just as easy, if not easier, to open a new account with a smaller provider online as it is to open one with a traditional High Street bank."
"Unfortunately I predict there will be continued decline in overall UK savings as people struggle with the cost of living and are turned off by low rates due to the base rate remaining flat."
Charles Haresnape, Managing Director of Residential Mortgages, says: "For Christmas I would like to see an increase in the volume of lending and the improvement in the housing market to continue next year - something I'm confident will happen."
"With Aldermore joining the Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee scheme, I expect to see a marked increase in activity in the housing market in 2014. As it grows, mortgages for new households will improve new lending over and above the normal churn from mortgages and counteract the recent trend of overpayments, redemptions and downsizing."
"In 2014, we will need to address the issue of heightened demand. 2013 has seen a marked increase in the number of first-time buyers, but house prices will continue to rise until the housing stock increases, so I hope Santa will build more new houses."
Rob Lankey, Managing Director of Commercial Mortgages, says: "My wish is that in 2014 brokers will continue to work with lenders to develop new and better products for the consumer."
"I expect we will see increased activity in the residential investment and commercial mortgage markets, lenders becoming more innovative, capital values continuing to increase albeit slowly, and finally, the buy to let market reaching £25 billion. There's likely to be an increased volume in new build property development, stimulated by Help to Buy and increasing consumer confidence."
Carl D'Ammassa, Managing Director of Asset Finance at Aldermore, says: "Dear Santa, for Christmas I would like to see the economy continue to show signs of improvement, as well as more SME friendly economic policies from Government to encourage growth and investment."
"I predict that SME confidence will increase further next year as businesses start to see light at the end of the tunnel with the economy growing. There will also be greater funding options for good credit quality end-users as new entrants come into the market. 2014 will be a year where Asset Finance will be viewed as a credible alternative funding source to help SMEs fulfil their investment plans and ambitions."
Damon Walford, Managing Director of Invoice Finance, says: "For 2014 I would like to see UK businesses see the value of using invoice finance to fund their businesses. Too many SMEs struggle with cash flow and exhaust typical funding options such as overdrafts, loans and using friends and family to help ease their cash flow. There are many great businesses across the country who should be growing but continue to struggle as cash is locked up in unpaid invoices."
"I hope Santa will spread the word to SMEs that they can and should utilise alternative funding options and give them financial breathing space to take advantage of the rising confidence in the economy. I'd also like to see more Government assistance for SMEs in terms of increased access to investment funding and an up scaled provision of advice and mentoring to help business owners deliver their ambitions."
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