LSBF Blog - Global Matters
Lloyds and TSB have agreed to a £1.7bn takeover by the Spanish Banco de Sabadell.
TSB, which rejoined the stock market less than a year ago, has agreed to a £1.7 billion takeover by Spanish bank Sabadell. The deal will also see Lloyds sell its remaining 50 per cent stake in TSB to Sabadell for 340p per share.Read more >>
An alternative lending startup has received $40 million in Series B round funding.
The rise of financial tech startups has been a hot topic of late as a number of schemes, both government and private, have been set up to support these budding new businesses. However, few small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) take it upon themselves to raise money in order to fund others - but that’s what FundBox aims to do.Read more >>
Five top innovative startups have emerged from this year’s Cleantech Forum in San Francisco.
The theme of this year’s Cleantech Forum centred around the adoption of renewable energy, and how utilisation of the cloud, big data, and the internet of things could help further this goal.Read more >>
The US central bank changed its stance on rate increases, but how will it affect the economy and businesses?
After years of rock-bottom rates the US Federal Reserve has finally modified its stance on interest rates and opened the door to a potential hike this year, perhaps even as early as June, although the likelihood remains rather low. An increase in interest rates is definitely on the US horizon, but how will this impact the American economy?
Read more >>
OECD’s latest growth forecasts puts UK economy in second place out of G7 nations.
According to forecasts from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) the UK’s economy is set to record the second fastest growth rate in 2015 out of the G7 countries. Economic growth in the US is predicted to take the top spot, with Britain coming next, despite a slight downgrade to expectations.Read more >>
The British economic recovery was further showcased by the latest round of labour data.
Britain’s healthy economy received another boost on Wednesday after labour figures showed a record number of UK residents are in work. It’s welcome news for Chancellor George Osborne ahead of May’s general election, and great news for the economy.Read more >>
With the chancellor’s 2015 Budget revealed this week, what effect will it have on UK residents and businesses?
In the run up to the Budget, Chancellor George Osborne promised ‘no giveaways and no gimmicks’. But has he done enough to persuade voters that all the books have been well and truly balanced, in what is likely to be his last chance to boost his reputation ahead of the election?
Here is a rundown of Wednesday’s announcements and how they will affect businesses.Read more >>
The growing prevalence of cyber security threats has been highlighted at Gartner’s Identity and Access Management (IAM) summit 2015.
At the London-based event the research group outlined how it believes in the likelihood that companies will end up having to utilise cloud-based security services in order to focus on bigger issues.
As we’ve noted before, cyber security is one of the biggest challenges facing the modern business. There are existing schemes ensuring that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are better prepared for digital threats.Read more >>
Apprentices across the UK are set to see their pay boosted by a fifth this October.
The 20 per cent increase on apprentice pay packets has been announced following the rise in the national minimum wage, with the British government exceeding the recommendations for apprentice pay from the Low Pay Commission (LPC).
The LPC suggested a 7p increase in the hourly rate for apprentices, which applies to those aged 16 to 18 and those that are aged 19 or over and in their first year. However, the government has managed to secure an increase of 57p an hour in the trainee rate.Read more >>
The number of job vacancies in the City of London is almost double the amount of people seeking employment there, according to recruiter, Robert Walters.
Robert Walters claims that London’s financial district has more jobs available than candidates to fill the positions. The recruiter noted that the shortage of jobseekers could prevent finance firms from achieving their full growth potential unless more workers are encouraged to change jobs.Read more >>
Recent research has shown that the London startup scene is likely to grow to record levels in 2015.
A combination of research from Startup Britain has highlighted that UK startups enjoyed a record-breaking year in 2014, particularly in the London tech sector, which bodes well for their performance in 2015.
Startup Britain, run by the Centre for Entrepreneurs think tank, found that 581,173 businesses were registered with Companies House in 2014, which easily surpassed the previous record of 526,446 in 2013. Furthermore, nearly a third (32 per cent) of these businesses were set up in London, illustrating the importance of the UK capital as a hub for entrepreneurial activity.Read more >>
Experts from the EU and UK head to India on a mission to give green guidance to SMEs.
Green initiatives will be introduced to India following a project with backing from the UK’s Aston University and Kolkata’s Jadavpur University.
The project will bring experts from the UK and the EU to India to bring their expertise and knowledge of best practices in the supply and value chain.Read more >>
Study finds business performance is linked to the number of women on the board.
The number of women on the board of a company can be correlated with business performance, according to a recent study. The report, Diversity Matters: Adding Colour to Boards in APAC, found that businesses with at least a tenth of board positions taken by women see, on average, a 3.6 per cent higher return on equity (ROE).Read more >>
A list released by the Centre for Entrepreneurs has highlighted the UK’s fastest growing women-led companies.
The Centre for Entrepreneurs report states that Britain is “without a doubt” one of the world’s best countries for women in business. Their recent Fortuna 50 index aims to draw attention to the quality of British businesses that are run by women.Read more >>
Britain’s economic recovery continues to flourish, according to new economic forecasts from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR).
Both forecasts indicate that the UK’s economy is rebounding from a disappointing fourth quarter in 2014. This news will be welcomed by the Chancellor ahead of this year’s budget announcement next week.Read more >>
What are the three top expectations that UK SMEs will be looking for after the results of the general election?
Ahead of the election, promises are already being made as political parties attempt to secure the support of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the 50 per cent of the private sector that they employ.
The main difference in this year’s general election is that this time round, the UK’s small business community knows what it wants and has voiced its expectations for what the new government should bring.
So what is it that they will be looking for?Read more >>
Traditional and well established banks control the majority of the market, but is the sector ready for disruption from challenger banks?
It seems like the theory is sound, as well-entrenched institutions are more often than not wracked with inefficiencies. However, with control of 77 per cent of the personal account market and 85 per cent of small business banking, the established banks won’t go down without a fight.Read more >>
The number of new tech start-ups coming out of China’s Silicon Valley rises to 49 every day.
China’s technology hub, Zhongguancun, is producing 49 new start-ups every day, according to Wan Gan, the minister of science and technology in China.
Speaking at a briefing for the National People’s Congress in Beijing, Mr Wan outlined how the region now has over 1,600 technology incubators, making it no surprise that entrepreneurs are flocking to the area.Read more >>
Plans to recruit one million women drivers by 2020 were recently announced by Uber.
The taxi app company, Uber, has revealed it plans to hire one million women drivers by 2020 in a collaborative effort with the United Nations (UN) sub group; UN Women. It would be a significant move towards gender equality and go a long way towards rectifying the negative publicity the firm has received during the last few months.Read more >>
Financial institutions seek startups to deliver cutting-edge, innovative solutions in The Future of FinTech competition from Innovate UK.
The latest competition to hit the FinTech scene comes from Innovate UK’s IC Tomorrow program and works with some of the industry’s leading financial firms. It challenges startups and small businesses to come up with commercial, creative and technical innovation that deals with any of a range of themes, such as financial literacy and compliance.
Read more >>
Twitter has opened a new office in Hong Kong as it looks to expand its reach in the Chinese market.
Twitter is looking to develop closer ties with businesses in China with the launch of the social media firm’s first office in Hong Kong.
Despite currently being blocked in mainland China the company seems keen to exploit Asia’s biggest economy. Even if users cannot access the site, its physical presence in Hong Kong will enable the San Francisco-based company to tap China for potentially huge advertising revenues.Read more >>
Tech giant Apple has revealed its latest range of products - the smartwatch.
Apple’s new collection of smartwatches was brought to the public at a press event in San Francisco and immediately the internet burst into a flurry of mixed reactions.Read more >>
The UK government has sold further shares of Lloyds, raising £500m from the sale.
A further tranche of Lloyds Banking Group shares have been sold by the UK government as part of its plan to return ownership of the part-nationalised bank fully back to private investors.
The government took advantage of a recent jump in share prices to sell another one per cent of its stake for £500 million and lowering its overall ownership to 22.9 per cent.Read more >>
Prolonged low oil prices would boost employment in the UK, according to a PwC report.
The UK could experience an employment boost of 121,000 by next year if oil prices settle at $50 per barrel, says a PwC report, when compared to a scenario where prices remained around their mid-2014 highs at $108 per barrel. Furthermore, a prolonged period of low oil prices would increase overall economic activity in the UK.Read more >>
A £95,000 competition to create a healthy living app using Disney characters has been launched by the media giant.
Disney has opened up a £95,000 competition in partnership with Creative England, to find a software specialist that can come up with a new app that uses Disney’s characters to encourage healthy living. It seems the media giant is looking to take advantage of the recent trend that has seen fitness related wearable technology and apps gain popularity with consumers.Read more >>