Threat of war divides FDs

Link: Green Budget: £1bn war chest announced

Almost half of all finance directors expect their businesses to suffer if there is a war with Iraq.

Of those who believe business is destined for a downturn in the event of war one said he had already lost a contract with Iran while others expect consumer spending to plummet.

The latest Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question showed that 48% of FDs anticipate poor business if the current standoff over Iraq turns into open warfare.

Ian Fleming, FD at BELL, said: ‘Oil prices will rocket, share prices will continue to crumble. All of this will directly impact the economy.’

Another, who wished to remain anonymous, said his travel business, which relies on bookings from North America, would be vulnerable. ‘Any conflict will have a major, though short lived, effect. Most Americans will cancel international travel and even domestic travel will suffer as they watch the war on television.’

Businesses with connections to the Middle East face an obvious problem.

‘10% of our business is in the Middle East. We’ll all be affected due to fuel cost increases,’ said one FD.

Around 55% of the 250 respondents felt business was not facing such a high risk. One FD said: ‘Unless bombs are dropped over Ipswich properties then we should be OK.’

Another added: ‘Supplying the MOD may do us some good.’

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