Preparing for change

Posted on November 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

As providers move cautiously amid continuing economic uncertainty, PAUL BIRLEY, head of healthcare at Barclays, talks to Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON about strategies for survival and future growth.

While Paul Birley’s outlook for the coming 12 months is quite positive, he says the prevailing mood is one of caution:

‘What we have seen over the last 12 months is that banks have gone back to basics, that is, looking at how debt can be serviced and concentrating on getting to know their customers.  Relationship banking is therefore that much more important in terms of understanding what clients need and regular communication is key in this kind of uncertain climate.

‘The world has changed, we have an economy that is in recession, two of the main four banks have been nationalised, an election is looming next year, there are interest rates at historically their lowest ever levels, the Government is continuing to pump money into the economy – I don’t think we have ever seen anything like it and therefore does anybody know quite what the ramifications might be for the economy overall?’

*Fewer deals*

‘Many of our customers are taking a more cautious approach which

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