Author: GBS Marketing

The UK has signed continuity trade agreements with non-EU countries so that trade can continue with minimal disruption after the UK leaves the EU.

Richard Bingley, Managing Director at GBS said:

“UK news coverage around Brexit is quite emotive and personalised at present; it’s quite difficult therefore to translate the macroeconomic situation. But the solidity of these UK trade arrangements and their international reach will give UK investors and employers, some confidence about future growth, as well as opportunities for diversification.”

These countries account for 63% of trade currently covered by EU agreements for which the UK is seeking continuity.

The agreements have replicated the EU trade agreements as far as possible. However, there may be some changes to ensure that new agreements work for both countries.

Signed trade agreements
The UK has signed trade agreements with:

  • Andean countries
  • CARIFORUM trade bloc
  • Chile
  • Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) trade bloc
  • Faroe Islands
  • Iceland and Norway
  • Israel
  • Liechtenstein
  • Pacific states
  • Palestinian Authority
  • South Korea (agreed in principle and expected to sign shortly)
  • Switzerland

The countries which will be covered by the UK-Andean Countries Trade Agreement are:

  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru

The countries which will be covered by the UK-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement are:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • The Commonwealth of the Bahamas*
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • The Commonwealth of Dominica
  • The Dominican Republic
  • Grenada
  • The Republic of Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Saint Christopher and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • The Republic of Suriname*
  • The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

*Approved in principle and expected to sign shortly

The countries which will be covered by the ESA-UK Economic Partnership Agreement are:

  • Madagascar*
  • Mauritius
  • Seychelles
  • Zimbabwe

*Approved in principle and expected to sign shortly

The countries which will be covered by the UK-Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement are:

  • Papua New Guinea
  • Fiji

Signed mutual recognition agreements

The UK has signed mutual recognition agreements with:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • United States

EU students starting university in 2020/21 academic year will have guaranteed home fee status and financial support for the duration of courses in England, the Universities Minister has announced today (28 May).

UK Minister Chris Skidmore announced that EU nationals who start a higher education course in England in the 2020/21 academic year will remain eligible for undergraduate and postgraduate financial support, whether a deal for leaving the EU is in place or not.

The announcement follows the UK Government’s existing commitment on student finance for EU nationals starting courses in England in the 2019/20 academic year or before.

According to the Department for Education, the latest 2019 application cycle data shows more than 37,000 EU students have applied for full-time undergraduate courses in England – an increase of 1.9 per cent on the previous year.

Universities Minister Chris Skidmore said:

“We value the important contribution that international students, including those from the EU, make to our universities and it is a testament to our world-leading higher education system that so many students from abroad choose to come and study here.

“It is important that we remember that while we have chosen to leave the EU, we are not leaving Europe, and our universities thrive on the diversity of being global institutions.

“We know that students will be considering their university options for next year already, which is why we are confirming now that eligible EU nationals will continue to benefit from home fee status and can access financial support for the 20/21 academic year, so they have the certainty they need to make their choice.”

The International Education Strategy, which aims to maintain and support further growth of the UK’s world-class education sector, included a commitment to extend the post-study leave period to six months for undergraduate and master’s students and a year for all doctoral students.

Further information can be found at the UK Government website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/eu-student-funding-continued-for-202021

The Small Business Index 2019 has shown that the top two Cities in England for business are London and Birmingham, both GBS bases.

Richard Bingley, Managing Director of GBS said: “Birmingham is one of the fastest growing economic centers in Europe and we feel that it helps us enormously to be teaching business and wider management courses in such an entrepreneurial and thriving city.”

Spain seems to be a rising star for small businesses taking the European top spots, taking both first and second place with Valencia and Madrid respectively.

Germany is the winner in respect of the number of cities in the top 20 with Berlin, Essen, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, and Duisburg all landing in the top twenty.

GBS was proud to join the rest of the UK in promoting Mental Health Awareness Week between the 13th – 17th of May 2019 at its Bow Road Campus in London. 

Posters, decorations and stalls were put up in the library, the student common and reception to encourage staff and students to look after their mental health. Information booklets on how to manage stress and anxiety; handouts with helpful tips and advice on sleeping better and how eating can affect your mood; and leaflets to promote open and healthy conversations about mental health. They were all available for all students to read and take away.

Academic Support Lead, Andrea Kondeatis organised the week to be a reassuring and helpful experience, knowing that students can suffer anxiety and stress not just when they are studying, but in their personal lives too. 

Andrea Kondeatis said: “My philosophy has always been- I teach the student, not just a subject. In thinking this way, I want all our students to feel supported in every way, not just academically. Because our students are mature and come from such varied backgrounds, each student has such interesting and incredible stories of from their past. Many have faced hardships and it’s important for them to know they were not alone. Mental Health Awareness Week encouraged students to have conversations between staff and their peers, knocking down existing walls, previously built to protect themselves and hide their past or their issues. This open dialogue empowered our students, making them realise we all share many of the same problems and with GBS’s help, they can keep going.”

Move aside British business pessimists! Brexit might not be bad for our £143bn-per-annum Hospitality Industry, after all.

According to Eduard Elias, Managing Partner at Cycas Hospitality, “immediately after the Brexit vote, when the pound dropped in value, pre-paid bookings in our London hotels went through the roof.”

What about regulations? Won’t the UK have to establish new food hygiene regulations and mirror Brussels-led legislation, in order to satisfy our continental export markets?

Not at all, says the World Health Organization (WHO), who set international standards that serve in many countries as the basis for their own domestic laws. Moreover, Hazard Awareness and Critical Control Points codes (HACCP), developed by US scientists in the 1960s, also form the basis of food safety practices the world over.

“It is true that the falling pound, and other events around the world, such as the tragic rise in terrorism in Paris, have played to London’s advantage in relation to the hospitality sector,” said Richard Bingley, Managing Director at GBS (Global Banking School).

Business services experts, the ELAS Group, reported recently that: “In France, terror attacks hammered visitor numbers, with the number of Japanese tourists in Paris falling by nearly a half, Italians by a quarter and Russians by a third.”

“But tragedy and confidence about Brexit, should not eclipse some very serious underlying strategic questions,” argues Bingley. “The hospitality sector employs some 4.5million people in the UK, one tenth of our workforce. We therefore need government support and strategy – including through simplifying apprenticeships and reducing other policy uncertainties – to drive our hospitality industry forward and embed its longevity. Just in the way that US and China’s policy-makers do.”

With just 48 hours to go, Europe’s most senior politicians have decided to give Britain breathing space, extending the possible time for the UK to leave the EU until October 31, 2019.

The UK’s leading economic newspaper, the Financial Times (FT), lukewarmly welcomed the move, whilst other news agencies on either side of the dispute predictably bemoaned the UK government’s weakness.

Meanwhile in the markets, the pound failed to rally, whilst European stocks slipped further. “Brexit, or no Brexit, this flatlining is expected to be the direction of travel for Europe’s markets for the next couple of years, at least,” said Richard Bingley, Managing Director at GBS (formerly, the Global Banking School).

Mr. Bingley added:

“Investor appetite is relatively low into the EU at present but FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) into the UK is high. The fact that yesterday’s permitted delay ushered in, potentially, a six-month-period of stability, is likely to provide reassurance that the Brexit transition will be smoother than many commentators thought possible at the beginning of this week.”

Brighter trade news also appeared from Washington D.C. yesterday evening, reported the Wall Street Journal.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the U.S. and China had agreed enforcement mechanisms for a new trade accord, potentially bringing to an end a serious trade dispute (mainly about tariffs) between the world’s two largest national economies.

GBS News reported back in January that this U.S.-Sino rift had been rated by the IMF as the world’s highest rated economic risk to growth.

“One day in the future, April 10th 2019, might be reviewed as a quite pivotal day, whereby politicians restored some order back into the business environment,” reflected GBS’s Managing Director. 

Move aside British business pessimists! Brexit might not be bad for our £143bn-per-annum Hospitality Industry, after all.

According to Eduard Elias, Managing Partner at Cycas Hospitality, “immediately after the Brexit vote, when the pound dropped in value, pre-paid bookings in our London hotels went through the roof.”

What about regulations? Won’t the UK have to establish new food hygiene regulations and mirror Brussels-led legislation, in order to satisfy our continental export markets?

Not at all, says the World Health Organization (WHO), who set international standards that serve in many countries as the basis for their own domestic laws. Moreover, Hazard Awareness and Critical Control Points codes (HACCP), developed by US scientists in the 1960s, also form the basis of food safety practices the world over.

“It is true that the falling pound, and other events around the world, such as the tragic rise in terrorism in Paris, have played to London’s advantage in relation to the hospitality sector,” said Richard Bingley, Managing Director at GBS (Global Banking School).

Business services experts, the ELAS Group, reported recently that: “In France, terror attacks hammered visitor numbers, with the number of Japanese tourists in Paris falling by nearly a half, Italians by a quarter and Russians by a third.”

“But tragedy and confidence about Brexit, should not eclipse some very serious underlying strategic questions,” argues Bingley. “The hospitality sector employs some 4.5million people in the UK, one tenth of our workforce. We therefore need government support and strategy – including through simplifying apprenticeships and reducing other policy uncertainties – to drive our hospitality industry forward and embed its longevity. Just in the way that US and China’s policy-makers do.” 

Though the UK is currently undergoing its departure from the European Union, many sectors of British business are almost booming, seemingly impervious to the political turbulence.

UK exports have risen by £14 billion in one year, showing that Britain is hardly stalling as we teeter uncertainly towards exiting the EU.

Richard Bingley, Managing Director of GBS Global Banking School said:

“UK Plc is hardly in a gloomy place. For example, the UK technology sector alone is one of the largest and strongest business sectors on the planet, estimated to be the third biggest tech market after the US and China.”

Last week, Bank of England policy-maker, Silvana Tenreyro, predicted UK productivity growth acceleration. And the CEO at retailer Urban Outfitters said that cheaper rents are boosting many high-street margins.

With small businesses contributing £2 trillion into the UK economy every year, smaller British exporters have seen the slight weakening of the Pound as a positive. It has enabled them to be more competitive on price than their EU rivals.

Richard Bingley added:

“London was recently ranked, again, as the best city in the world to conduct business. The UK has grown slowly and steadily since the financial crisis a decade ago. What is interesting is how, for most businesses, the political turbulence in Westminster is having little effect upon levels of investment and optimism in the City of London, and the wider UK economy.

“Nevertheless, with some political studies professors predicting that the process of Brexit withdrawal might take up to a decade, this is hardly ideal and, at some point, the political uncertainty might begin to seriously hit several key sectors of the UK economy”.

International Women’s Day is being celebrated by millions of women (and men) around the world today.

At GBS, formerly the Global Banking School, some 500 female students, and staff are joining these celebrations too.

More than a century old, the first national women’s observance day occurred in New York in 1909. European human rights movements were quick to follow.

In Germany, Russia, Denmark, and Great Britain, human rights groups, including suffragette movements, took to the streets to campaign for the right to vote and extensively improved employment rights.

The first international women’s day occurred in 1913 in pre-revolutionary Russia, then again in 1914 in pre-war Germany. The iconic March 8th date then became embedded as the emerging international calendar date for this campaign event.

Richard Bingley, Managing Director of GBS, said:

“A century on, sadly, many of these human rights are still challenged by poor business and government practices, and also by poor education access for women around the world. This is a moral failure for local, national and international leaders to urgently address.”

Mr. Bingley added:

“Here at GBS we are very proud that some fifty percent of our students and staff are female. Many balance job roles, family duties with the pressures of study and learning. They are an inspiration to us all, and we are proud to serve society alongside them.”

Finance News has reported that London has taken the crown back from New York in an annual ranking of the world’s top cities for the wealthy, despite concerns about Brexit affecting its attractiveness.

The UK capital topped property agency Knight Frank’s City Wealth Index, published as part of its annual Wealth Report.

Richard Bingley, Managing Director of GBS, London’s Global banking School said:

“This is not surprising news. London is at the forefront of banking transactions, finance infrastructure, tech funding, and political leverage in an increasingly multilateral political environment. Rumours of London’s demise, triggered by Brexit, are not just premature, but wildly inaccurate.”

According to FN, the Knight Frank index scores cities based on the number of individuals with net assets of more than $1m, property investments made by wealthy individuals and family offices in those cities, and lifestyle factors such as education and security.

London has again topped the rankings for wealthy populations, lifestyle and the overall ranking. New York came second overall, down from first last year, and topped the ranking for property investment.

The report said London’s 4,994-strong population of superrich people — so-called ultra-high-net-worth individuals, who have assets of more than $30m — is greater than any other city.

“Hard Brexit, no Brexit, Brexit-lite: whatever the outcome, London will remain the leading global wealth centre in 2019,” Knight Frank’s analysts wrote in the report, adding that New York is the city’s “only serious rival”.

GBS’s Richard Bingley added:

“The other issue UK down-beaters have is that London is actually a generally pleasant and spacious place to live, compared to other international cities. For example, 40% of Greater London is actually Green Space.”

The other cities in Knight Frank’s top five are Hong Kong in third position, followed by Singapore and Los Angeles.