Here’s another fresh set of business, entrepreneurship, and political stories we have in store for you this week!
We start with a rather gloomy news story brought out by The Mail on Sunday on how bank branch closures are impacting small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) throughout UK.
Not all is so bad, however, as the UK commercial property market is steadily picking up after the Brexit-induced plunge in June.
Our third story concerns Germany, or more specifically its financial capital Frankfurt, which could face a potential influx of around 20.000 bankers should London lose access to the single market.
Lastly, we take a look into the ever-so-present pay gap in British companies: according to a study by Xactly, unequal pay between men and women is still very much present in top UK businesses today.
Now grab yourself a cup of tea, and enjoy the reads!
Recent closures of bank branches across the country are especially hard on SMBs in the rural areas and small towns, writes Vicki Owen. The article describes how the lack of communication and engagement with customers about ongoing structural changes within banking companies are imposing a substantial hit on the small business owners and entrepreneurs.
One small business owner described this highly inconvenient trend of bank closures in smaller and less populated areas: “The biggest problem is where to get change from. Even if I put £100 to one side, it affects cash flow and I can get through that in a couple of hours. I then have to drive to the next town, leaving the shop a person down.”
Because cash is ‘still vital to the operation of many local economies’, as quoted from the latest report by the Federation of Small Businesses, some villages and towns are literally running out of money. What’s more, the relatively high cost of small electronic transactions is discouraging a lot of small businesses from investing in new payment technologies.
Demand from British businesses for commercial property is slowly but surely growing after the historical drop in June this year, reports Reuters. Foreign investors are also helping the real estate market get back on its feet, mostly due to a weakened pound. Net occupier demand rose to +12 between late September and early October, up from zero in July’s release. However, these numbers are still considerably below the pre-referendum figures. Will the British property market and general economy going to prove resilient despite the aggravating circumstances and a weakened currency? The answer should reveal itself in the following two years when the Brexit negotiation talks will be taking place.
BBC brings out a story on Frankfurt, the financial capital of Germany and Europe that often gets overlooked but is, as the journalist Rhea Wessel puts it, “so much more than what meets the eye”. And things are likely to step up a notch, as it is estimated that around 20,000 additional bankers may be moved to the city during the course of several years. Namely, if London loses access to the single market because of Brexit, it is predicted employers will want to secure access to the European Union by moving their bankers to Germany.
The software solutions company Xactly recently published a report that has shed light on an ongoing problem of our country: the gender gap is still present in the UK, and it is happening in large and small businesses alike. What’s most vexing is that 85 per cent of CEOs admit that the main culprit for this continued unfairness is – prejudice. And such a phenomenon is not only harmful to women and society in general, but to the economy itself. “Until we get the most out of every person and reward them fairly, we cannot hope to tackle our country’s productivity gap.”, says Tom Castley, Xactly’s VP EMEA. However, continuing efforts are poured in closing that gap – such as the Government’s requirement taking effect in April 2017, by which all large employers will have to start calculating their gender pay gap and publish the results. This is only one of the ways we can finally move past the gender gap – one “that has no place in the modern world”, concludes Castley.
We tried to give you an all-encompassing overview of this week’s most relevant and interesting business news, from the Brexit-induced multi-faceted changes (property market fluctuations; potential shift of banking staff to other financial hubs in Europe), to other related trends and phenomenons affecting our daily lives and business operations (branch closures in smaller areas; persistent gender gap).
Join us in a week for another round of useful links and reads – until then, we wish you and your business a plain sailing and fantastic numbers!