LSBF Blog - Global Matters

UK business confidence reaches two-year high, research shows

UK business confidence reaches two-year high, research shows

Research from Lloyds Bank has shown that business confidence in the UK has reached its highest since the EU referendum in 2016.

The Business in Britain report surveyed more than 1,500 UK businesses, mostly small and medium-sized firms, to measure confidence and outlook and found that 25% were feeling confident about their expected sales, orders and profits over the next six months, up from 23% in January 2018.

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Metro Bank to shake up UK banking with developer portal

Metro Bank to shake up UK banking with developer portal

Metro Bank plans to launch a developer portal in a bid to help consumers and businesses have access to more choices and opportunities when it comes to managing their finances.

The portal will enable third-party companies that are registered with the financial regulatory body, the Financial Conduct Authority, to have access to the bank’s platform and build services on top of its APIs to develop more products and services for consumers.

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UK returns to top spot for venture capital investment

UK returns to top spot for venture capital investment

A report from KPMG has shown that the UK has once again taken the top spot for venture capital (VC) investment in Europe.

The Big Four accountancy firm’s Venture Pulse Q2 2018, which explores global trends in the VC market, showed that £1.55bn was invested in businesses in the UK across 244 deals in the second quarter of 2018, up from just over £1.1m in the first quarter.

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Trade body launches Digital ID to benefit consumers and fintechs

Trade body launches Digital ID to benefit consumers and fintechs

The Tax Incentivised Savings Association (TISA) has launched a project that aims to help consumers have better control over their finances and boost their financial well-being.

The trade body, which focuses on improving the financial well-being of people in the UK, is now piloting Digital ID, which the association believes is a revolutionary project that will benefit consumers, fintech firms and the UK economy.

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Accountancy firms top list of UK’s best social mobility employers

Accountancy firms top list of UK’s best social mobility employers

The UK’s biggest accountancy firms have been named the best social mobility employers for 2018 in the Social Mobility Foundation’s index, which was created in partnership with the City of London Corporation.

All Big Four accountancy firms made it into the top ten, with KPMG taking the number one spot for social mobility in this year’s index.

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Nationwide supports Open Banking challenge to boost financial inclusion

Nationwide supports Open Banking challenge to boost financial inclusion

Nationwide is backing an Open Banking initiative that aims to connect financial technology companies with debt and money charities to help boost financial inclusion.

The building society will be inviting the fintech community to develop solutions using Open Banking technology to help one in four households in the UK to improve their lives.

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Women in Finance Charter gets 67 new signatories

Women in Finance Charter gets 67 new signatories

An additional 67 companies have signed up to the Women in Finance Charter, bringing the total number of signatories to 272 and covering more than 760,000 UK employees in the financial services sector.

The initiative, which is run by HM Treasury, aims to increase the number of women in leadership positions in financial services.

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UK remains top location in Europe for financial services investment

UK remains top location in Europe for financial services investment

A report from EY has shown that the UK continues to be the leading destination in Europe for financial services investment.

The Big Four accountancy firm’s UK Attractiveness Report showed that while there has been a decline in investment projects since last year as a result of Brexit, the UK still brought in a higher number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects than any other country in Europe, with 78 projects being registered.

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Infrastructure spending could boost UK economy by £33bn

Infrastructure spending could boost UK economy by £33bn

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is urging the government to increase spending in national infrastructure after research commissioned by City Hall found that investment in infrastructure schemes could help to boost the UK economy by £33bn.

The report, which was carried out by consultancy firm Greenwood Strategic Advisors and entitled Mind the Gap: Funding and Financing City Investments in the 21st Century, analysed a number of schemes, exploring how London responds to public investments.

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UK businesses feeling confident about performance, report shows

UK businesses feeling confident about performance, report shows

The latest Business Trends Report by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP has shown that businesses in the UK are feeling confident about their performance over the next six months, despite a drop in output growth.

BDO’s Optimism Index showed what businesses expect in terms of output development over the next six months, with optimism hitting 101.85 in June, up from 101.74 in May and higher than the long-term trend.

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Finance sector jobs thriving across UK, report shows

Finance sector jobs thriving across UK, report shows

A report from financial and related professional services membership body TheCityUK has shown that the financial services sector is thriving, with many areas of the UK seeing job growth.

The report, entitled “Enabling Growth across the UK 2018”, highlighted the importance of financial and related professional services to the UK, with the sector making a significant contribution to economic output and employment across all regions.

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HSBC reveals new banking careers of the future

HSBC reveals new banking careers of the future

HSBC has revealed which banking jobs will be necessary for building a career in a digital-enabled financial services industry in the future.

The bank highlighted the importance of upskilling staff as demand for individuals with an evolved set of skills looks set to rise among banks.

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Finance leading the way for cyber security investment, study shows

Finance leading the way for cyber security investment, study shows

A study from SavoyStewart.co.uk has shown that the finance and insurance sector is leading the way for cyber security investment.

The study, which analysed Gov.uk data from over 800 companies, comes after separate figures from the Business Continuity Institute showed that more than 50% of business believe that cybercrime is their biggest threat.

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Financial services M&A activity is thriving, figures show

Financial services M&A activity is thriving, figures show

Figures collected by Big Four accountancy firm EY have shown that M&A activity in the financial services sector is thriving, with more than 80 deals being completed in the first half of 2018.

The surge in deals comes as a result of financial services firms facing tough competition in the sector, while low interest rates have also contributed to the boost in M&A activity.

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Demand for financial services drives UK service sector growth

Demand for financial services drives UK service sector growth

A report from IHS Markit has shown that the UK’s services sector saw an increase in activity in June, with demand for financial services being one of the main drivers of growth.

The financial services firm’s Purchasing Managers’ Index increased to 55.1 last month, up from 54 in May, with activity in the UK’s services sector growing at its fastest rate since October 2017. The increase was higher than expected, with analysts predicting that the index would remain at 54.

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Accounting one of top industries for pay increase, research shows

Accounting one of top industries for pay increase, research shows

Research from UK job board CV-Library has shown that some of the UK’s key industries saw a significant increase in pay in June, with accounting making the list.

The study compared data from June 2018 with figures from the same period in 2017 and found that advertised salaries for new jobs increased by 1.2% across the UK.

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Boosting wellbeing of self-employed workers will benefit UK economy

Boosting wellbeing of self-employed workers will benefit UK economy

A report from the Centre for Research on Self-Employment (CRSE) has highlighted the importance of improving the wellbeing of self-employed workers.

The report, which is entitled “The Way to Wellbeing” and was released on National Freelancers Day, shows how boosting the happiness and wellbeing of self-employed workers can help to improve business performance and benefit the UK economy.

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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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Finance Innovation Lab calls for purpose-driven approach to financial regulation

Finance Innovation Lab calls for purpose-driven approach to financial regulation

Financial start-up support charity The Finance Innovation Lab has released a report calling for a new regulatory compass, with financial regulators in the UK being urged to adopt a purpose-driven approach to financial regulation.

The report, entitled The Regulatory Compass: Towards a purpose-driven approach to financial regulation, suggests that regulators change their approach to make sure that the financial sector can deliver for the UK economy and society after Brexit.

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Report reveals what finance professionals want from their employers

Report reveals what finance professionals want from their employers

A study from recruitment firm Hays Accountancy and Finance has revealed what workers in the finance sector want from their employers.

The recruitment firm’s What Workers Want study surveyed 14,000 professionals, more than 2,000 of whom were finance professionals, and revealed the top reasons for workers being deterred from a job role, as well as the most important factors to consider when deciding on a job role.

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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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Facebook expands initiative to boost UK’s female founders

Facebook expands initiative to boost UK’s female founders

Facebook is expanding its #SheMeansBusiness programme as the social networking website looks to boost the number of female founders in the UK and strengthen the economy.

The programme has so far provided support to 13,000 women by helping them to achieve their business aspirations.

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Strong interest in UK’s financial services drives services exports growth

Strong interest in UK’s financial services drives services exports growth

Figures from the Department for International Trade (DIT) have shown that a strong global interest in the UK’s financial and travel services is helping to drive services exports growth, with a 4.2% rise in services exports.

Exports of goods and services from the UK hit a record high of £620.2bn in the year leading up to March 2018, with demand for high-quality services from Britain remaining strong.

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