Lloyds Banking Group announces £18bn lending commitment for British businesses
Lloyds Banking Group is committing to £18bn in new lending for British businesses. The funding is aimed at entrepreneurs looking to start a new business, micro-businesses seeking to scale up and small businesses considering trading internationally for the first time. It will also support established mid-sized businesses and large, multinational corporations seeking further growth. Full story at Business Money
Business & Legislative News
Santander launches largest ever programme to support women in business
Santander has launched its largest-ever programme to bolster its support for businesswomen across the UK – the ‘Women Business Leaders’ mentoring programme, which pairs budding female entrepreneurs with established business leaders across all sectors, business sizes and geographies. Recent data revealed that the proportion of investment in female-founded businesses declined to just 9% in 2019 – a drop from 15% four years earlier in 2015. Despite this, approximately 25% of high growth companies in the UK have a female founder. A separate report by Women Ahead and Moving Ahead, showed “effective mentoring is not only turning the gender dial but is paving the way for a more inclusive, connected and diverse workforce and society”. The bank is calling on all businesswomen who feel they would benefit from mentoring – as well as both male and female business owners who think they can add value by becoming a mentor – to sign up quickly to the programme as spaces will fill up fast. Full story atBusiness Money
Airbus commits to post-Brexit Britain
Airbus has said it will undertake a major expansion of its British business after the UK’s exit from the European Union. The company’s boss, Guillaume Faury, commented that the House of Commons passing of Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill has increased the certainty of the plans. He said: “While global uncertainty won’t end with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, Brexit is, at least, now for certain,” adding, “But the nature of the future relationship between the UK and EU is still to be determined.” Full story at The Daily Telegraph
Scotland becomes global fintech hub
Scotland is now home to 119 fintech firms, up from 72 last year, according to FinTech Scotland. It said the growth has been driven by start-ups such as Visible Capital, SecureTheFile, Open Banking Research, Contract2Pay and Digital Future Capital. Firms also relocated to the country from Australia, Hong Kong, Norway and the US.
Brexit certainty boosts CFO optimism
The Conservative election win that broke the Brexit deadlock in December caused business optimism among British finance chiefs to rise at its fastest rate in 11 years, according to a Deloitte CFO survey. The research, published today, found that 53% of respondents said they had a more positive outlook between December 16 and January 6 than three months earlier, compared to 9% in the previous quarter. Many businesses are now upping investment levels and are planning to increase recruitment. Deloitte chief economist Ian Stewart said: “The fog of uncertainty that has lingered over the UK since the EU referendum is lifting. CFOs’ perceptions of external uncertainty have fallen from one of the highest ever readings to near-average levels, and they are beginning 2020 with sentiment levels that would have been unimaginable at any time in the last three years.” Full story at The Times
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