Santander Trade Barometer Suggests UK Businesses Growing In Confidence as They Step Up Brexit Planning

Hard or soft; divisive or united; Brexit is coming – or is it? – but British businesses seem to be ok with the prospect, according to research carried out by Santander.

The Spanish headquartered bank that has significant interests in the UK regularly keeps tabs on the state of British SMEs via its “Trade Barometer”; a research report based on interviews with thousands of business owners who have one thing in common; they possess the “size, scale or ambition to trade internationally or expand beyond the domestic market.”

In the latest update to the report, covering the start of the summer months, Santander says that more than 73% of businesses questioned expect to grow in the next three years – up from a figure of 65% for the previous quarter – and that the most optimistic businesses of all were those that plan to enter overseas markets.

This optimism is in part due, the report says, to a combination of firms ability to find new clients to trade with (51% mentioned this) and an expectation that the economy was improving (40% referred to this).

Inevitably, businesses are wary of the threat Brexit poses: 43% of businesses listed Brexit as a “future risk”, whilst 43% were also concerned about an economic slowdown, and just over 35% saw currency fluctuation as an issue. Yet, despite the chaos, it seems firms are responding proactively to the challenges they may face. Nearly one third of respondents indicated they would look to set up an overseas bank account (up from just over 25% in the last quarter), whilst 28% expect to freeze headcount, or reduce it.

Freezing headcount reflects fears that firms dealing internationally have about geo-political factors affecting their ability to trade successfully: 77% of firms felt these threats could restrict their ability to hire new staff, while 76% say they could hinder expansion into foreign markets.

According to Santander’s data, however, companies that want to trade internationally are more ambitious than any other types of businesses. 90% plan to make new hires, whilst 61% of businesses reported improvements over the past year.

85% of businesses that aspire to do business overseas were confident or very confident of growth, and 85% planned to invest in product development. Santander points out that there are caveats for any businesses planning to do business overseas, suggesting perhaps that businesses can be overconfident about their prospects.

Confidence and enthusiasm have an important part to play in the success of any business, domestic or foreign, but perhaps what’s most important about the data is that it shows that firms are taking the threat of Brexit seriously, and trying to understand the opportunities that a new trading environment will present.

From a currency perspective, the Brexit effect has been nothing short of disastrous, with the pound dropping nearly 30% against the euro and the dollar since the referendum on 23rd June 2016. All the more reason for always looking to get the best deal when you are making transfers of money overseas. Using The Money Cloud to discover the best rates offered by leading brokers and money transfer agencies could save you as much as 80% on fees, per transaction. It’s easy to use and guarantees you get all the facts before making a decision that can save you a substantial sum.

Visa & MoneyGram Announce Joint Partnership To “Modernize & Digitize” International Money Transfers

2 financial services giants; Visa in the payments space, and MoneyGram in the overseas money transfer sector; are set to join forces to further streamline the process for consumers of sending funds overseas. Read more “Visa & MoneyGram Announce Joint Partnership To “Modernize & Digitize” International Money Transfers”

Google Is Cleaning Up It’s Payments Act, Merging Apps & Offering Enhanced Services; Could International Money Transfer Be Next?

This month, Google announced some sweeping changes to its payment services, which had become a little confused, and confusing. Read more “Google Is Cleaning Up It’s Payments Act, Merging Apps & Offering Enhanced Services; Could International Money Transfer Be Next?”

Brexit White Paper Deep Dive – What Are The Implications For UK and EU based Financial Services?

Yesterday, we described the circumstances relating to the release of the UK governments much anticipated White Paper, which outlines how the UK intends to go about leaving the EU on 29th March 2019, and briefly described some of the ways that Brexit is expected to disrupt international trade between the UK and EU. Today let’s look at financial services in more detail. Read more “Brexit White Paper Deep Dive – What Are The Implications For UK and EU based Financial Services?”

What Type Of International Money Transfer Services Are You Using (& What Type Should You Be Using)?

The technology industry is sometimes guilty of over-hyping its influence over the world, and over-exaggerating the usefulness of its products. Is a restaurant food ordering app really so very different from a takeaway menu leaflet? Was a taxi-cab rank genuinely the inconvenience that it is made out to be today? And remember when dating meant face-to-face contact over dinner or a drink, rather than swiping left or right in a couple of milliseconds?

In the case of money transfer, you could be forgiven for concluding that, despite the hype about mobile wallets, blockchain remittance services, superior exchange rates offered and fees reduced to all-time lows, you’d rather stick with the tried and tested. Read more “What Type Of International Money Transfer Services Are You Using (& What Type Should You Be Using)?”

How To Make It To Russia To Watch England Play Sweden In World Cup QF – & Save Money!

It’s coming home. England’s nerve-shredding victory over Colombia last night was watched by an incredible 23m of the population, and whilst many may have been hiding behind the sofa as the goals, fouls, and penalties flew in, a nation is celebrating, and contemplating an unprecedented run all the way to the final of Russia 2018. Can you get to Russia in time for the QF? Maybe, just maybe. Read more “How To Make It To Russia To Watch England Play Sweden In World Cup QF – & Save Money!”

Will The UK Remain In Single European Payments Area Post Brexit? EPC Issues New Guidance

Now that it is all but official that the UK will leave the EU on the 20th March 2019, there will doubtless be a flurry of activity by firms, particularly within the financial sector, to try to establish what the various scenarios and implications of Brexit will mean for them. Read more “Will The UK Remain In Single European Payments Area Post Brexit? EPC Issues New Guidance”

Ant Financial Introduces Low Cost Blockchain Money Transfers for Lucrative Hong Kong Philippines Remittance Channel

Filipino workers in Hong Kong, of which there are more than 180,000, received a potential boost to their finances this week as Jack Ma, the billionaire co-founder of Alibaba, which counts fintech firms Ant Financial and Alipay as subsidiaries, made good on a promise he had made years ago to help his Filipino friends spend less on fees when sending money back home to friends and relatives. Read more “Ant Financial Introduces Low Cost Blockchain Money Transfers for Lucrative Hong Kong Philippines Remittance Channel”

If The London Property Market Is Creaking, Does It Make Sense To Start Looking Overseas?

Ever since Britain joined the European Union in 1973, property in London has represented about as sound an investment as anybody could hope for. But now that Britain is set to cut ties with the EU, is the city’s property market about to suffer a correction, and is it worth looking at alternative options? Read more “If The London Property Market Is Creaking, Does It Make Sense To Start Looking Overseas?”

Cheaper, Faster Overseas Money Transfer Options Are Inspiring Customers To Embrace Digital MTOs

In a recent article in Finextra, Lakshmi Narayanan at Travelex discusses the contrasting approaches taken by the Pakistan and India governments to the problems inherent in their countries remittance industries.

India is the largest market for inbound remittance in the world, receiving more than $72bn of inbound money transfers from overseas, whilst Pakistan also has a large inbound remittance market worth around £19.3bn. Read more “Cheaper, Faster Overseas Money Transfer Options Are Inspiring Customers To Embrace Digital MTOs”

Duke Of Cambridge Gives Exporting SMEs Royal Seal Of Approval Ahead Of International Business Festival In Liverpool

Prince William told The Times last week about how he recognises the importance of Britain’s SMEs trading overseas, and praised the Commonwealth, describing it as “the mother” of all business networks. Read more “Duke Of Cambridge Gives Exporting SMEs Royal Seal Of Approval Ahead Of International Business Festival In Liverpool”

Grand Prix Aside, The Most Sought After Prize In Monaco Is Citizenship By Investment

I recently returned from an event of bucket-list ticking importance in my life. It may have “only” been Thursday Free Practice, it may have been the cheap seats (home straight, watching the cars come blasting out of Anthony Noges, the last corner) but my brief and surprisingly affordable experience of the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix is definitely one that will stay with me for a long time. Read more “Grand Prix Aside, The Most Sought After Prize In Monaco Is Citizenship By Investment”

International Students Worth More Than £22 Billion Net To UK Economy, Report Reveals

Research published by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and Kaplan International Pathways has revealed that international students in the UK are worth more than ten times more than the costs associated with supporting their studies; £68,000 per typical EU-based student, and £95,00 per non-EU student – a total of more than £22 billion overall. Read more “International Students Worth More Than £22 Billion Net To UK Economy, Report Reveals”

The Week In International Payments; Partnerships Galore, & Currencies Direct Tests Blockchain Solution

It’s been an eventful week in the world of international money transfer. Whilst Trump launches trade wars with Europe, China, Canada, and Mexico (to name a few), which is guaranteed to lead to tricky exchange rate calculations for many businesses (don’t forget to check the latest rates and save up to 80% on fees using The Money Cloud), there has plenty of activity in the consumer international payments market too.

Here’s how the big stories have broken down in the past week or so. Read more “The Week In International Payments; Partnerships Galore, & Currencies Direct Tests Blockchain Solution”

The Best Money Transfer Apps of 2018 So Far…?

Modern technology, and mobile tech especially, is making a multitude of lifestyle services easier to deal with; provided you are up to speed with the latest tap, swipe, scan and track technology, many things, including sending money overseas, can be done faster, easier, and cheaper using apps. Read more “The Best Money Transfer Apps of 2018 So Far…?”

Medifinance Partners With The Money Cloud To Help Medical Professionals Discover The Best Deals On Overseas Money Transfers

London, May 15th

Medifinance, the Intelligent Financial Lender for Healthcare Professionals, and The Money Cloud, an award-winning provider of international money transfer price comparison, are delighted to have agreed a partnership to supply medical professionals with a real-time, sophisticated and reliable overseas money transfer solution. Read more “Medifinance Partners With The Money Cloud To Help Medical Professionals Discover The Best Deals On Overseas Money Transfers”

World’s First Blockchain Based Trade Finance Transaction Completed By HSBC Using R3’s Corda

There is nothing unremarkable about a shipment of soybeans from Argentina to Malaysia; nor is it surprising when a transaction of this nature is financed using a letter of credit, issued by one bank, on behalf of the buyer, to another. Read more “World’s First Blockchain Based Trade Finance Transaction Completed By HSBC Using R3’s Corda”

It’s The Little (Financial) Differences That Have The Biggest Impact When You’re Spending Time Overseas

I’ve recently returned from the Costa Del Sol -Benalmádena, to be precise. I am a freelancer, an avid Airbnb’er and, providing I abide by all the various regulations, from time to time, when somebody decides to book my central London property, I can swap London living for some exotic far-flung location. Read more “It’s The Little (Financial) Differences That Have The Biggest Impact When You’re Spending Time Overseas”

Spain Most Popular Destination For UK’s 0.8m Expats In EU, But Australia and New Zealand Attract Majority of Brits Living Abroad

When it comes to relocating abroad, British citizens certainly seem to know what they like, and stick to it, if data released by the Office for National Statistics last week is to be believed. Read more “Spain Most Popular Destination For UK’s 0.8m Expats In EU, But Australia and New Zealand Attract Majority of Brits Living Abroad”