2017…What Lies Ahead

With 2016 now in the history books, it’s interesting to look back and see if actual events followed their expected path or not, and then look to 2017 and portend what may lie ahead.

In terms of looking back, from a corporate perspective, while still facing a competitive lending environment, Celtic Capital had a decent year. We had our swing at bat with deals on the table, won our fair share, and predominantly hit our sales objectives. The year was pretty much status quo and consistent with our forecast.

With our continuing goal to provide exemplary service to our clients, in 2016, we converted to a new operating system. The new system has an improved client interface and provides our borrowers with better visibility to their current availability. It’s a live system, available 24/7, and provides more real time information to aid our clients in running their businesses more efficiently. We’ve had great feedback and we’re pleased that our borrowers are experiencing the benefits the new system provides.

Looking ahead to 2017, I see the trend of the proliferation of cash advance players continuing. I think fintech is here to stay, at least for the time being. What we, in our business, need to continue doing is learn from these firms. Our industries are not mutually exclusive and we need to understand how these companies are finding their borrowers and then strategize how to compete with their business model. It’s important to continue to think longer term on how fintech will evolve. At Celtic Capital, we’ve started on a path to that end which we hope will bear fruit in the years to come.

What other trends, changes or predictions do I see for 2017? At this point, there are a lot of things that remain to be seen. The lending climate has not changed much over the past three to four years and unless there’s something specific to trigger a change, I see more of the same. That being said, a trigger could come from any number of areas, including:

  • our new President and his plans to loosen the reins on regulation
  • banks loosening up their lending parameters
  • the economy – with possibilities of new policies spurring a faster growth rate
  • a continuation by the Fed to raise interest rates – most indicators say raises will continue (depending on policies) now that the election is behind us
  • business expansion – the current climate is pro-growth

So for now, at Celtic Capital, we’ll continue to stay on our current path until we see what regulatory changes come along, how they affect banking, economic growth and the general business climate overall. We’re starting 2017 with an optimistic view and we hope we’re not proven wrong along the way.

All the best for a successful 2017!

Mark Hafner
President & CEO
Celtic Capital Corporation