LSBF Blog - Global Matters

Financial services firms feeling confident about their prospects, study shows

Financial services firms feeling confident about their prospects, study shows

A study from accountancy firm Smith & Williamson has shown that financial services firms are feeling confident about their prospects, with three in four expecting improvements over the next 12 months.

The study of more than 1,000 businesses found that nearly half believe that their prospects will improve significantly over the next 12 months, with businesses feeling mostly positive about recruitment.

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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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Apprenticeships could help to tackle UK skills gaps, study shows

Apprenticeships could help to tackle UK skills gaps, study shows

Research from City & Guilds Group and Emsi has shown that apprenticeships could be the key to tackling skills gaps in the UK.

The study, entitled “People Power”, surveyed more than 1,000 UK C-Suite employers and found that more than 35% are mostly planning to recruit apprentices in the next three-to-five years, while 38% plan to use an apprenticeship programme to attract candidates.

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The LatAm Edge Awards 2018 – 14th June 2018

The LatAm Edge Awards 2018 – 14th June 2018

London – 14th June 2018, the LatAm Edge Awards will be taking place during London Tech Week at the Global Ecosystem Summit, with experts from all five continents converging to debate the current state of tech ecosystems worldwide.

This is the only awards show to specifically focus on Latin American scale-ups looking to expand business to the UK and Europe.

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UK banks sign up to group to examine fair business banking

UK banks sign up to group to examine fair business banking

Several UK banks have signed up to a group that will focus on the fairness of business banking for SMEs.

Lloyds, RBS, Barclays, Santander, HSBC, Triodos UK and Clydesdale are among the banks that have joined the group, which is run by UK banking and financial services trade association UK Finance and the Lending Standards Boards (LSB) in partnership with the all-party parliamentary group (APPG).

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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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UK named tech unicorn capital of Europe

UK named tech unicorn capital of Europe

New figures have shown that the UK is the tech unicorn capital of Europe, with 37% of Europe’s tech firms that are unicorn status being based in the UK.

The figures, which coincide with London Tech Week, show that the UK is home to 13 of Europe’s 34 unicorn firms, which are companies that are valued at £1bn.

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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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Government wants businesses to help run schools

Government wants businesses to help run schools

Education Secretary Damian Hinds is to issue a “call to arms” to school governors and trustees while urging skilled professionals and leading businesses to support education and schools in the UK. Hinds’ keynote speech to the National Governance Association saw him call on leading employers to do their bit to help “the next generation to thrive”.

Businesses are going to be asked to provide their expertise in filling the roles of governors and trustees all around the nation, with 10% of such school posts currently being unoccupied.

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Overseas investment doubles in UK tech firms

Overseas investment doubles in UK tech firms

The technology sector in the UK is moving far ahead of its European competitors, with data revealing that in 2017, the UK was able to attract more venture capital investment than France, Germany and Sweden put together. Tech businesses in the UK pulled in £7.8bn in funding in 2017, nearly twice as much as the year before.

Research from Tech Nation and Dealroom demonstrated that venture capital investment in the UK in 2017 was far ahead of the £3.2bn total of Germany and the £2.8bn brought in by France. The boost to the tech sector has also assisted with propelling foreign direct investment growth in the UK, enabling it to remain the number one destination for this kind of funding.

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2.3% public sector apprenticeships target exceeded

2.3% public sector apprenticeships target exceeded

The Department of Education has exceeded the target that it set itself for the recruitment of apprentices in 2017. The apprenticeship levy was first launched in April last year, with public sector bodies being obliged to make certain that a minimum of 2.3% of the workforce is made up of apprentices each year.

After just over a year, the Department has succeeded in meeting and even exceeding that target, and is now giving until the end of September for all of the other eligible public bodies to release their own figures.

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Digital innovation transforming financial services

Digital innovation transforming financial services

The ways in which people are managing their money are being transformed by digital innovation – with apps at the forefront of the changes – as consumers in the UK logged into their banking apps as many as 5.5 billion times in 2017.

Customers are increasingly making use of new technologies to consult with experts away from normal banking hours instead of having to do so during their working day, with over 5.5 million customer web chats taking place last year, according to the major banks.

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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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Emerging market parents ahead in education help

June 07 ,2018 | by LSBF Blog Staff

Emerging market parents ahead in education help

One of the biggest gaps in knowledge when analysing the education system of emerging economies has been the opinions of parents, who have the biggest influence on youngsters. Despite some cultural stereotypes, there has been a dearth of real data on the subject – until now.

A comprehensive worldwide study has been undertaken by the Varkey Foundation to examine the fears, hopes and opinions of more than 27,000 parents in as many as 28 different countries, and has revealed that the view of education in emerging markets is quite different from those of parents in the West. Parents in the emerging world spend far more time assisting their kids with education than is the case in the developed world.

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Funding applications encouraged for smart tracking of waste

Funding applications encouraged for smart tracking of waste

Up to £40,000 is to be invested by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs into projects that make use of digital technology to track the way that waste moves through the UK economy.

The investment represents one aspect of the UK government’s GovTech Catalyst project, which aims to give businesses incentives to create intelligent solutions to challenges in the public sector.

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Hopes rise for increase in skilled visas cap

Hopes rise for increase in skilled visas cap

The UK government is paying close attention to the impact of a cap on skilled visas that resulted in over 1,000 doctors being refused entry to the UK between December 2017 and March this year, it has been revealed by Downing Street.

On Sunday, Home Secretary Sajid Javid increased hopes of the cap being lifted by noting that he was giving a fresh look to the policy, putting pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May to have the restrictions loosened.

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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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Schools get free website to advertise new jobs

Schools get free website to advertise new jobs

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has decided to clamp down on agencies that he believes overcharge schools for advertising vacancies and trying to recruit new staff members in a bid to save money and allow teachers to stay focused on their main priority.

 

Supply teachers are relied on by many schools at some time during the school year in order to cover both long and short-term vacancies, and schools often have to pay for advertisements in order to recruit necessary staff members. They are often charged very expensive finder’s fees by agencies if head teachers decide to give their supply staff permanent positions. These agencies often do not make clear the full nature of their fees in addition to the basic wages that are given to supply staff.

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Merger offer raised by CYBG with Virgin Money

Merger offer raised by CYBG with Virgin Money

CYBG, the owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, has reportedly given Virgin Money a revised offer of £1.7bn in order to merge and create a challenger bank that would be worth £4bn.

CYBG’s interest in Virgin Money surfaced early last month, when a preliminary approach was made by the company, which valued the latter at £1.6bn, offering 1.1297 of its shares in return for all shares of Virgin Money.

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Being Global - Future-proof your career in accountancy

Being Global - Future-proof your career in accountancy

There are many routes into accountancy, are you confused whether to go into audit, statutory reporting or management accounting amongst others? Which one is the right one for you?

LSBF ‘Being Global - Future-proof your career in accountancy’ conference on 11th June has been designed to give clarity and advice on which is the right career path for you.

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Small business retention deposit schemes supported by accounting body

Small business retention deposit schemes supported by accounting body

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is the first accounting body to lend its support to a multi-business, cross-party campaign aimed at introducing retention deposit schemes targeted at SMEs. The new scheme would put an end to the practice of withholding payments for unreasonable amounts of time and remove the risk of losing retention costs via contractor bankruptcy.

Conservative MP Peter Aldous kick-started the campaign with the introduction of a Private Members’ Bill in order to protect retention deposits in conjunction with construction contracts. 

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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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Coworking affects small business and start-up innovation

Coworking affects small business and start-up innovation

Coworking is increasingly big business in the UK. Those who decide to cowork when building a start-up enterprise, those who are running a team remotely, and big corporations offering greater autonomy and flexibility are contributing to the coworking market’s massive growth, which is showing no indication of declining.

According to a forecast from the Global Coworking Unconference Conference, there will be as many as 5.1 million paid coworking members and 30,432 spaces all over the world, with an annual growth rate at an average of 24.2% in the market since 2007.

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