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Barclays on the front foot: Bank visits 25,000 small businesses across the UK in a single day to help support them through Brexit

Barclays on the front foot: Bank visits 25,000 small businesses across the UK in a single day to help support them through Brexit

Barclays mobilised its 1,500 Business Banking relationship managers to visit 25,000 small and medium sized businesses in a single day, to give support on preparing for Brexit.

On Wednesday 10th July, Barclays On the Front Foot was a UK wide initiative that saw Barclays making personal visits to 25,000 SMEs to help them become Brexit resilient.

On high streets and industrial estates up and down the country the team listened to the concerns of small businesses, and offered support and practical solutions for the challenges they face such as managing cash-flow, finding labour, and exporting goods abroad.

Ian Rand, Chief Executive of Barclays Business Banking, said: “Barclays is proud to have one of the biggest networks of relationship managers of any high street bank. We know that SMEs want to hear from local experts on the ground in their communities, which is why our colleagues went out and about to help businesses in towns and cities across the country, opening up the conversation. From planning to resilience, our team is helping SMEs - the lifeblood of our economy, to navigate any changes.”

Barclays is backing small businesses through Brexit and beyond with a package of support including a £14.2bn dedicated lending fund to help SME’s to succeed and flourish, and the delivery of over a hundred Brexit clinics and seminars run in local communities across the country.

Regular free digital webinars on a host of topics including fraud prevention and Brexit preparedness are also available for businesses, and they can find information on how to plan for when the UK leaves the EU at www.barclays.co.uk/business-banking/brexit

Top 5 Brexit concerns we hear from small business:

1) Will Brexit affect my labour supply?

Consider how staff shortages would impact your business, and whether you employ a high percentage of people from the EU. Help your staff by ensuring they are aware of the EU settlement scheme.

2) How can I access additional finance to see me through any turbulence?

Contact your bank and ask what support they are providing for small businesses. Barclays has a £14.2bn dedicated lending fund to help SME’s thrive through Brexit and beyond, and could provide up to £100,000 in unsecured lending within days.

3) How will currency movements affect my business?

It pays to keep track of exchange rates, and businesses that trade regularly overseas should consider how currency movements might affect their revenue and their costs. Barclays accounts are available in 20 of the most commonly used currencies, with no minimum balance, allowing businesses to transfer funds when it’s most cost effective for them.

4) Will my cash flow support me through Brexit?

A cash flow forecast can benefit your business – it can warn you of challenges ahead, help you achieve steady growth and steer you through a downturn. If your forecast shows a cash squeeze is on the horizon, extra funding such as an overdraft or loan can see you through. Check out Barclays tips on mastering cash flow management for help getting started.

5) Is my supply chain at risk of disruption?

Businesses should consider whether they have any EU suppliers in their supply chain, and whether they are taking the necessary steps to plan for all eventualities. It pays to plan ahead and there is lots of good advice on the gov.uk website.

New report from Barclays and Cebr challenges nation to think differently about wealth

New report from Barclays and Cebr challenges nation to think differently about wealth

‘Wealthy’ is a status that many aspire to but new research from Barclays and Cebr shows that wealth – at least in its traditional form - cannot buy happiness. Brits think you need over a million (£1,017,483) to be wealthy, yet the majority (54 per cent) of those who have achieved this level of personal wealth would not give themselves this title.

Furthermore, one in three (33 per cent) believe they would be happier if they earned more money. However, the route to happiness is in fact much simpler than your salary or the amount of money you have to your name.

The new report from Barclays and Cebr, ‘Living Lagom – challenging perceptions of wealth’, looks at how Brits could boost happiness and wellbeing by taking lessons from one of the world’s happiest countries, Sweden1, and focusing on little and often.

Cebr analysis2 shows that boosting the amount of money you save each month has a bigger impact on life satisfaction scores than an increase in income. In fact, the report findings show that if a person saved an additional 10 per cent of their monthly pay cheque, the likelihood of them reporting a high life satisfaction score increases. What’s more, the impact of this increase in savings on life satisfaction is greater than that of being happily married, and the same as enjoying good health. In the long term, those who consistently have a savings account are over six per cent more likely to have a higher life satisfaction score.

Dirk Klee, CEO of Savings, Investments & Wealth Management at Barclays, says, “It’s easy to underestimate the benefits of saving or investing a regular amount each month. No matter what the amount, it will build to give you that peace of mind that you have something set aside for a rainy day, and move you closer to your goals.”

The report’s findings challenge people to stop thinking about wealth in terms of money and to start seeing their finances alongside all the other important factors and goals in their life – channelling the Swedish art of lagom, meaning “just the right amount”.

Linnea Dunne, author and lagom expert, says: “Lagom isn’t about extremes, it is about ‘just enough’ – and I believe applying the principles of lagom to all areas of your life can be hugely beneficial for your overall wellbeing and happiness. It is certainly clear from the new report from Barclays that, when it comes to our finances, living a little more lagom can genuinely improve our overall life satisfaction.”

Challenging the traditional concept of wealth

Currently, just seven per cent of the UK consider themselves to be ‘wealthy’, which is unsurprising when the report shows that the average Brit thinks you need £1 million to justify this title.

Dirk Klee continues, “Wealth is often seen as a bad word, something unachievable and for the lucky few. However, the reality is that money or ‘wealth’ is just a means to an end. It helps you to achieve a key life moment or personal ambition so, in fact, wealth should be seen as relative to your lifestyle and your goals.”

Taking a new approach to looking at wealth, focusing on achievable goals and balance rather than a particular figure, could help to improve happiness and life satisfaction.

Indeed, individuals who felt they were “living comfortably” or “doing alright” financially – regardless of income – were 11 per cent more likely to be mostly or completely satisfied with their life.

Generational attitudes to wealth

This approach to wealth is already more common than you might think, as analysis of different age groups shows that perceptions have already started to change and younger generations are learning that there is more to a rich existence than simply money. Those aged 18-34 set their definition of ‘wealth’ at £383,375 – significantly lower than the average £1 million – and one in 10 would say that they are wealthy.

The generational divide doesn’t end there, as just under half (49 per cent) of 18-34 year olds feel they would need to earn over 50 per cent more to feel wealthy whereas almost two thirds (63 per cent) of those over 55 feel this way.

So who are the happiest Brits?

When we look at the UK, there are regional variations when it comes to life satisfaction.

wealth.jpg

Interestingly, each generation’s happiest Brit comes from a region where the average salary is nearly half that of Londoners (£42,605.70), yet they prioritise saving a portion of their salary each month.

A quarter (24 per cent) of Brits3 admit that they never or rarely save but when looking at the report findings and the happy Swedes, who collectively saved nearly a fifth (17 per cent) of their disposable income in 20184, there appears to be a clear case for prioritising it.

The little guide to living lagom

To help the nation apply the principles of moderation and balance to their finances, Barclays has teamed up with author and lagom expert, Linnea Dunne, to create a ‘Little Guide to Lagom’.

Within the guide, which is now available online, Linnea offers her top tips on living the lagom way with regards to your finances and beyond.

To find out more, read the Barclays Living Lagom report and Linnea’s ‘Little Guide to Lagom’.

Barclays Announces £14bn Fund to Help Businesses Succeed After Brexit

https://home.barclays/news/2019/04/sme-lending-fund/

Barclays Bank has announced it is establishing a new £14 billion lending fund which forms part of an overarching initiative designed to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) ‘flourish’ after Brexit.

Focused on building SME resilience during uncertain times, the package of support includes:

• A £14 billion dedicated lending fund for those businesses that are deemed important to the UK economy (turnover of £0-£25 million).

• More than 100 SME Brexit clinics and seminars being run in local communities across the country.

• An established network of on-the-ground relationship management experts and industry specialists, based across the UK.

The bank says these initiatives are designed to help SMEs think about managing cash-flow and working capital, as well as exporting goods abroad, labour, supply chain management, and broader issues of preparedness.

This fund is intended for SMEs at several stages of growth and development. It includes a range of business lending services, including:

• Business loans, commercial mortgages and overdrafts up to £250,000 working capital.

• Cash flow funding for investment in growth, management buyouts and business acquisition.

• Loans for innovative businesses looking for growth funding, capital and environmental investment.

• Maximising government schemes like The Enterprise Finance Guarantee programme.

Launching the fund, Barclays Group CEO Jes Staley, said:

"Barclays stands ready to help local businesses in towns, cities and rural communities, up and down the country, during this period of uncertainty.

"Today’s £14bn fund, along with our broader package of support, shows our commitment to the local businesses that are the backbone of the UK economy – we are here to help them plan for the future and invest for growth."

Beating January blues could cost more than a week in paradise

People are at risk of losing thousands to villa scams, according to new data from Barclays. The data revealed that more than a third of reported villa scams result in losses of over £1,000.

To help holidaymakers stay safe this January, Barclays is issuing a new warning against the dangers of villa scams – where criminals hijack the details of overseas villas, or use fake details to dupe unsuspecting tourists.

Research suggests that all consumers need to take greater care when booking accommodation online to help prevent them from losing their holiday fund. One in seven of those surveyed (14 per cent) admitted they would still book holiday accommodation despite knowing there is a risk of being scammed, and a quarter (26 per cent) would be prepared to put themselves at risk just in the hope of bagging a summer bargain.

Barclays has identified that there are several warning signs people are ignoring when booking their holiday. Research shows that 43 per cent would not hear alarm bells if they were asked to pay for a holiday via bank transfer, and less than half (45 per cent) would check their booking is with a member of a trade body or consumer protection scheme such as the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), leaving them susceptible to less protected companies.

In addition, more than half (55 per cent) would not be put off booking a holiday, even if it seemed ‘too good to be true’.

Ross Martin, Barclays Head of Digital Safety, said: “Trying to escape the January blues may seem like an appealing prospect, but fraudsters are preparing to take advantage of sun-seekers at this time of year. We must all be aware of the risks and make sure we are carrying out proper safety checks to ensure our online security and enjoy a scam-free holiday.”

Barclays top tips for staying safe while booking holidays this January:

  1. Is the offer too good to be true?

Do your research. If a villa is advertised at half the going rate and has great availability in peak season when everywhere else is full, this should tell you something. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is

  1. Do an internet search on the location

If the villa in question appears to be advertised by other companies under another name, this may also be a warning sign. Be sure to do thorough research before making any booking

  1. Are they asking you to pay by transfer?

Scammers love bank transfers. The money goes straight from your account to theirs and then they take it straight out and it disappears. By the time you realise that something is wrong, they are long gone

  1. Look for companies that have a real location and real phone numbers

Be suspicious of businesses that will only communicate via email and mobile phones. It’s worth checking the address or even looking at the location through an online street map. Make sure you check that the travel agent and website is certified, and that your payment is going to the right people

  1. Before you commit to anything, stop and take time to think

If it is a legitimate company, five minutes isn’t going to make any difference – and it could save you thousands of pounds and untold heartache.

 For more details on how to stay safe, visit www.barclays.co.uk/security

Barclays backs Take Five to Stop Fraud – a national campaign from UK Finance and Government offering straight-forward advice to help everyone prevent financial fraud.

BARCLAYS BACKS NEXT GENERATION TO BOOST BRITAIN’S FARMS

BARCLAYS BACKS NEXT GENERATION TO BOOST BRITAIN’S FARMS

  • Number of farmers aged over 65 in the UK has increased 70 per cent in last decade

  • Just six per cent of millennials in the South East view farming as a desirable career, despite over half saying they want to work outdoors

  • Barclays teams up with TV presenter, former JLS boyband star and now successful Kent based turkey farmer JB Gill to encourage farmers to plan for their farm’s future and inspire under-30s to consider a career in agriculture

Barclays has today launched #FarmtheFuture, a nationwide campaign encouraging farmers to plan for their future and tell young people about the benefits of a career in agriculture, as new data reveals that Britain’s farming population is ageing rapidly.

The bank has teamed up with TV presenter and former JLS boyband star JB Gill, who has swapped pop stardom for a rural life of turkey and pig farming in Westerham, Kent, to show the younger generation that farming could be their perfect career.

The number of British farmers aged over 65 has increased by 70 per cent in the last decade, while the proportion of under-25s running farms has dropped by two thirds (63 per cent) over the same period. The average age of the British farmer is now 55.5 years old, with almost four in ten (38 per cent) aged 65 or over.1

Just six per cent of the 18-30 year olds in the South East surveyed by Barclays said they would view farming and agriculture as a desirable career, despite the job meeting many of the criteria young people look for in employment.

Over three quarters of millennials (76 per cent) in the South East said staying physically fit and healthy while working was important to them and over half (58 per cent) said they would like to work with animals.

A lack of understanding and a perceived lack of resources appear to be the key things putting young people off a career in farming. Over half (59 per cent) believed they wouldn’t be able to afford to become a farmer, while 48 per cent thought they needed to inherit land.

While many farm businesses traditionally pass down through families, farmers with no direct succession are now exploring alternative options, including share farming agreements. These allow new entrants to farm in partnership with the farm owner with much less capital required than starting out alone their share of the business can grow over time through profit share.

JB Gill, TV presenter and former JLS boyband star, said: “There’s a lot of misconceptions among young people about what a career in agriculture really means. It’s hard, physical work so it keeps you fit, you get to work with animals, you’re your own boss and you can keep up with the trends by posting everything on Instagram for everyone else to see.

“The farming community is really welcoming, providing newcomers with knowledge on everything from tending to animals to financial advice. You don’t need to have your own land to work in agriculture, there are many options from farm management through to the service industries and I would encourage anyone interested to give it some serious consideration – it’s a life like no other!”

Mark Suthern, national head of agriculture at Barclays, said: “Barclays has over one hundred and fifty agriculture relationship managers working the length and breadth of the UK to support businesses within their local communities and help them plan for the future.

“Every industry needs new talent to innovate and look to new markets, and the next generation will be vital as the sector strives to boost productivity and drive growth.

“British farmers have proven time and again their ability to diversify, innovate, and weather tricky economic conditions, so the skill and experiences the older generation can bring are vital. But the next generation need to learn the skills to carry businesses forward in the future. The best place to make your first enquiry on a road to a farming career is your local agricultural college or university.”

Find out more at barclays.co.uk/agriculture

UK faces employability skills gap as nearly 54% of adults in the South East lack the full set of core transferable skills

UK faces employability skills gap as nearly 54% of adults in the South East lack the full set of core transferable skills

·         54 per cent of adults in the South East failed to demonstrate all the core employability skills needed for the future world of work: proactivity, adaptability, leadership, creativity, resilience, communication and problem solving

·         A third of employers aren’t planning to offer training in these skills in the near future, meaning people will need to take control of their own lifelong learning

·         To help address the problem, Barclays will be extending its LifeSkills programme to the whole of the UK workforce, aiming to help 10 million people by the end of 2022

The South East is facing a significant skills gap as the public fail to demonstrate core employability skills, such as leadership and creativity, a major new study from Barclays LifeSkills can reveal.

The report, “How employable is the UK?”, which surveyed and tested over 10,000 16-65 year olds, 600 employers and 500 educators from across the UK, found that more than half (57 per cent) of over 16s are failing to demonstrate all the employability skills needed to succeed in the future workplace. In the South East this figure falls to 54 per cent, 3 per cent lower than the UK average.

These skills are crucial in preparing the UK for a world of work where, due to the speed of change, we are unable to accurately predict what the jobs of the future will look like and what technical skills will be needed. The seven employability skills are what humans are best at – they cannot be replicated by robots and will become even more valuable in the future, as global patterns of work change and automation, freelance working patterns and the average working age all increase.

The study showed that traditional sources of these skills, like in-work training and formal education, are not currently set-up to tackle the employability skills gap. Despite the majority (79 per cent) of UK employers rating the skills as important to their industry in the next ten years, a third (34 per cent) do not plan to offer any training in the near future. Research among teachers from across the UK revealed that 22 per cent don’t think their institution is effective in developing employability skills for pupils, with just 6 per cent feeling that their students are fully prepared with these skills when leaving the school gates.

The report highlights that, if we are to be successful in addressing this employability skills gap, educators, businesses and the Government must work more closely together. There is a clear need to raise awareness of the importance of these skills and increase the support available to people of all ages – ultimately helping the UK to thrive in the working world of tomorrow.

 

PEOPLE IN THE SOUTH EAST OVER CONFIDENT IN THEIR SKILLS

Respondents from the South East showed that they were over confident across the seven employability skills. 18 per cent of people in the South East had a confidence gap, with a mismatch between their high self-assessed skill levels and the reality of their test results. In comparison, 24 per cent of Londoners had a confidence gap, the highest skills confidence gap of any region.

GENERATION GAPS

The research findings showed Millennials as the lowest performing age group, with just 4 in 10 (39 per cent) of 25-34 year olds able to display all of the core skills. This generation risks being overtaken in the increasingly competitive employment landscape by the younger Gen Z (16-24 year olds), a slightly greater proportion of whom (41 per cent) can demonstrate all seven key skills, despite only just having entered the workforce. Across younger respondents however, the study found high levels of over confidence when matching actual abilities to how they rated themselves, showing the need for ongoing support in building skills.

In comparison, almost half (47 per cent) of Baby Boomers (51-65 year olds) had the full range of employability skills but rated far lower in their self-confidence, meaning those who are working later into life may need support in using their strong skillsets to their full advantage.

GENDER DIFFERENCES

For every skill, women outperformed men, with 46 per cent of women able to demonstrate they had all seven skills, compared to just 39 per cent of men. Despite this gap, men were much more likely than women to be highly confident in their own skills, particularly when it came to adaptability (19 per cent of men compared to 14 per cent of women).

Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK, said: “Today’s findings show the importance of lifelong learning, whatever your age or chosen career path. I firmly believe that education should not stop at the school gates – businesses, educators and the Government all have a role to play.

“We need to work together to agree a core set of transferable employability skills, giving people of all ages the tools needed to upskill and ultimately creating a competitive workforce that will support the UK economy.

“That is why Barclays is backing the UK by announcing the expansion of our LifeSkills programme to all ages – by the end of 2022 we’re committing to helping 10 million adults build the employability skills they need to succeed in the future workplace.”