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NEWS - BUSINESS & ECONOMY

NEWS - BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Proposal made by FCA for new Directory of financial service workers

Proposal made by FCA for new Directory of financial service workers

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is proposing a new Directory to help boost the protection of consumers and businesses by making it easier for them to access the history and status of individuals working in the finance sector.

The Directory will enable consumers to access information on staff working across a number of different areas in the sector, including investment advisors.

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FCA announces fourth round of firms for fintech sandbox

FCA announces fourth round of firms for fintech sandbox

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced the fourth round of successful businesses for its fintech sandbox.

Part of the FCA’s commitment to boosting innovation in financial services, the regulatory sandbox enables businesses to experiment with new products, services or business models in a live environment under appropriate protections.

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Banks can use Open Banking to boost customer engagement

Banks can use Open Banking to boost customer engagement

A new report from Equifax has revealed how banks can boost customer engagement through Open Banking.

The study identified the best ways that lenders can capitalise on the Open Banking initiative, which was introduced earlier this year and requires banks to share customer data with third-party companies.

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Financial services employment rises at fastest pace in a year

Financial services employment rises at fastest pace in a year

A survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has shown that financial services firms increased hiring in the second quarter of 2018 despite uncertainties over Brexit, with employment in the sector rising at the fastest pace in 12 months.

The study, which surveyed 100 Square Mile firms, found that 24% increased hiring in Q2 2018, while 70% are planning to increase investment compared to last year, with information technology being a main driver of investment.

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London business confidence higher than rest of UK, research shows

London business confidence higher than rest of UK, research shows

The latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking has shown that businesses in London are the most confident in the UK, despite concerns over the economy.

The research, which surveys 1,200 businesses every month, also showed that London businesses are resilient despite uncertainties and are set to go ahead with their hiring plans, with 48% expecting to recruit more workers over the next 12 months. This is up by four points from last month.

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London named best city in the world for work

London named best city in the world for work

A study from management consultant firm the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has named London as the best city in the world to work in.

The research was the largest-ever study of workforce migration trends, with 366,000 workers from nearly 200 countries being surveyed.

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Nationwide launches £50m fund for fintech businesses

Nationwide launches £50m fund for fintech businesses

UK building society Nationwide has launched a £50m fund aimed at financial technology businesses in the UK.

The fund will enable fintech companies to develop innovative products and services, with senior members of Nationwide’s staff also providing support to businesses.

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Lloyds Banking Group to become first founder of LORCA

Lloyds Banking Group to become first founder of LORCA

Lloyds Banking Group is set to become the first founding partner of a government-funded cyber innovation centre that has opened in London.

The London Office for Rapid Cyber-security Advancement (LORCA), which was launched by Digital Secretary Matt Hancock and is based in East London, will provide support to cyber-security start-ups, with a focus on businesses in the financial services sector.

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Magpie businesses could boost UK economy by more than £100bn

Magpie businesses could boost UK economy by more than £100bn

The Confederation of British Industry’s Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn has highlighted the importance of businesses taking a magpie approach and seeking out new technologies, stating that it could help to boost the UK economy by more than £100bn.

Fairbairn is also set to call for more support for Britain’s medium-sized businesses (MSBs) at the CBI’s MSB Summit to help them be more productive and improve the UK’s economic growth.

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French banking group to offer business loans to UK SMEs

French banking group to offer business loans to UK SMEs

French banking group BNP Paribas is to offer business loans to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK for the first time.

The company has already issued its first UK business loan, which was between £500,000 and £5m – higher than the amount offered by peer-to-peer lending company Funding Circle, which currently lends a maximum of £500,000 to SMEs.

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SMEs could boost UK economy by £57bn by improving productivity

SMEs could boost UK economy by £57bn by improving productivity

Research released by NatWest and conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has shown that SMEs could add £57bn to the UK economy if their productivity levels matched those of German SMEs.

The study, entitled “Productivity in focus: Germany vs. the UK”, found that SMEs in the UK generate £147,000 worth of output each year on average, less than half that of SMEs in Germany, which generate £335,000 per year per worker.

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Department for International Trade launches FinTech investment drive

Department for International Trade launches FinTech investment drive

Britain’s Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP is to boost the UK’s FinTech sector by launching a FinTech investment drive.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) will be setting up a FinTech steering board as part of the initiative, which was announced at the end of London Tech Week.

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UK business angels favour fintech, according to report

UK business angels favour fintech, according to report

A report from British Business Bank has shown that fintech is popular with business angels in the UK, with 24% citing the sector as their top area for investment.

The UK Business Angels Market report showed that fintech outperformed other areas for business angel investments, including healthcare and life sciences.

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British Business Bank launches investment programme to boost business growth

British Business Bank launches investment programme to boost business growth

British Business Bank has launched a £2.5bn investment programme to help businesses have access to the finance that they need to boost the UK’s innovation economy.

The British Patient Capital programme will focus on investment in innovative businesses in the UK that have high-growth potential.

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Technology firms to invest £2.3bn into UK economy

Technology firms to invest £2.3bn into UK economy

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that technology firms are to invest more than £2bn into the UK economy, which will create 1,600 new jobs.

The announcement was made at a roundtable event, during which it was also revealed that a number of initiatives will be launched to support businesses in the UK and attract foreign tech entrepreneurs and investors.

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UK employment rate remains at record high, ONS figures show

UK employment rate remains at record high, ONS figures show

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown that the UK employment rate remains at a record high.

The Labour Force survey showed an increase in the number of people in work between November 2017 and January 2018 and February and April 2018, with 32.39 million people in employment.

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Freelancers expected to boost UK’s economic growth

Freelancers expected to boost UK’s economic growth

A study from Instant Offices has shown that women and millennials have helped to boost the UK’s freelance economy over the past decade.  

Key demographics show that the number of female freelancers has increased by 55% since 2008, with new mothers contributing to the rise as they search for more flexible job roles.

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Northern Powerhouse to be boosted by new airport routes

Northern Powerhouse to be boosted by new airport routes

An announcement has been made by two airlines – Ethiopian Airlines and Jet Airways of India – regarding the launch of new services to and from Manchester Airport UK by the end of the year.

The fact the airlines have been attracted to Manchester Airport is a coup not just for the airport, but also for the concept of the Northern Powerhouse, which aims to turn the North of England, which has a population of around 15 million, into a serious economic competitor to the South East and London.

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UK economy to be boosted by 2,500 new Amazon jobs

UK economy to be boosted by 2,500 new Amazon jobs

Amazon is to create 2,500 permanent new jobs in the UK this year, which will see the total number of jobs in the country provided by the e-commerce giant rise to 27,500 by the close of 2018.

Over 650 permanent new positions are to be created in Amazon’s development centres as well as in the Amazon Web Services division, and there will be hundreds of new roles in the company’s head office, according to the company.

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UK economy to be boosted by World Cup

UK economy to be boosted by World Cup

In two weeks, the 2018 FIFA World Cup will get underway in Russia, and according to estimates from a new report, the UK economy could be boosted by as much as £1.33bn, potentially even reaching £2.72bn if England get to the final.

With retailers and brands expecting a spending spree, UK-based digital marketplace VoucherCodes has broken down the expected consumer spending across categories in a new study, which also forecasts how much is likely to be spent at the different stages of the tournament.

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OECD upgrades UK growth forecast

OECD upgrades UK growth forecast

The OECD has upgraded the growth forecast for the UK in spite of previous worries over the Brexit issue while still noting a failure to improve in terms of productivity. The influential worldwide organisation said that the UK economy is set to grow quicker across the rest of this year and in 2019 than was previously believed, despite continued uncertainties over the country’s withdrawal from the EU.

The most recent Economic Outlook report, which is published twice a year, points out that the economic growth of the UK remains relatively modest in comparison to other major economies, projecting the GDP to rise by 1.4% this year, a revised upward projection from the 1.2% that was predicted in the previous forecast.

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Strong growth expected by UK SMEs

Strong growth expected by UK SMEs

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of SME owners believe that a bright future is on the way with forecasts of growth of up to as much as 40% over the course of the next two years, according to the annual survey of SMEs in the UK carried out by Wesleyan Bank, the specialist commercial finance provider.

The SME Heroes or Zeros 2018 report shows that 54% have greater confidence regarding the prospects of their companies in 2019, with the possible impact of Brexit a source of concern for just 11% of respondents. Even in spite of the uncertain economy of the UK, the findings demonstrate that there has been a significant shift from business owners in terms of defiance.

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Small increase in UK economy consumer confidence

Small increase in UK economy consumer confidence

This week, UK economists are looking for hopeful indications of a rise in consumer confidence following last week’s confirmation that the nation’s economy put in a poor performance during the first quarter of 2018. According to consensus, business expectations indicate that the consumer confidence data set to be published on Thursday by GfK will show a marginal pickup from the negative nine to eight reading, Trading Economics has reported.

Consumer confidence is a crucial bellwether for the future of economic growth in the Gross Domestic Product, especially given how heavily dependent the UK economy is on services.

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Employers feeling more confident about UK economy, study shows

Employers feeling more confident about UK economy, study shows

A report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has found that more employers are feeling positive about the UK economy, with confidence reaching its highest level since August 2017.

The study found that 30% of employers in the UK are feeling confident about the future prospects of the economy, compared to 29% who believe that economic conditions are getting worse.

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Report shows increase in number of UK scale-up businesses

Report shows increase in number of UK scale-up businesses

A report from accountancy, tax and investment firm Smith & Williamson has shown an increase in the number of scale-up businesses in the UK.

The study, entitled Dream bigger: the scale-up moment, found that young entrepreneurs are the main driver of growth in scale-up businesses, with more than 40% of these businesses being founded by people aged 34 and under.

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