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Trust and estates sector maintains steady confidence, says survey

The trust and estates sector has held significant gains made last year after poor results in 2012, according to the STEP’s quarterly Business Confidence Survey for Q2 2014.

The Long Term Index, measuring confidence for the next 12 months has increased slightly from +33.13 index points to +34.8 since the last Business Confidence Survey – similar to the +35 level achieved in Q2 2013, and well up on Q2 2012 when confidence dropped sharply to +22.
Additionally the Near Term Index, measuring more immediate business confidence over the next three months, also held steady at +18 and has not changed so far in 2014. In early 2013 the Near Term Index was at +5, meaning short-term business confidence has more than tripled in the space of 18 months.
STEP chief executive David Harvey says the relative confidence of the sector is welcome news following six months of industry change and apprehension associated with the implementation of the Foreign Account Taxation Compliance Act (FATCA).
He says: “That the industry’s confidence has wavered very little in the past six months is welcome news; all the more so given the widespread apprehension that many practitioners worldwide held over the implementation of FATCA.
“Concern over what was actually required of practitioners to ensure they fully complied with FATCA and the potential implications of non-compliance could have had an adverse impact on business confidence. I think ultimately the industry has navigated the new challenge of FATCA gracefully and without fallout.
“Almost 60 per cent of respondents to the latest business confidence survey reported that their company’s business has grown in the past year with a further 30 per cent saying it has remained consistent.
“We will continue to monitor business confidence and the issues that shape it so we may best support our members and the industry through enhancing training and professional development and engaging with policy makers.”

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