Author: GBS Marketing

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.

Brexit or no Brexit, the world is truly a global market place. Competition to attract inward investment into cities and countries has never been more frenetic for city mayors, business forums (such as Chambers of Commerce) and national business ministers.

One of the starkest stories of Brexit, or Britain’s uncertain approach to delivering Brexit, has been the rise of the Netherlands as a potential new global business hub.

The Japanese Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands welcomed over 20 new members last year – a rise of ten percent.

Asian investors seem particularly worried. Some fifty percent reported to business consultants EY in the UK “Attractiveness Report” that they were worried about EU market access (compared to 39% elsewhere).

In 2018 Japan’s electronics giant, Panasonic, stated that they were relocating their Bracknell, UK, HQ to central Amsterdam.

Likewise, in 2017 Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group filed a license application to open a subsidiary in Amsterdam too. Japanese bank, Norinchukin have joined them. (Others, Mizuho, Nomura, and Daiwa chose to move their European head offices to Frankfurt.)

Why is the Netherlands becoming more attractive?

“The infrastructure is very good, including roads, air links, and ease of logistics into the wider European continent,” said Richard Bingley, Managing Director of the Global Banking School, GBS. “There is generally a low-tax and efficient government support-base for business, as well as a strong financial infrastructure with close access to reliable financial services and investment pots. Moreover, the quality of life is good for executives and employees,” Bingley added.

However, according to Rudlin Consulting, the Netherlands still provides a mix of potential political and bureaucratic obstacles.

Japanese business consultancy experts, Rudlin Consulting, reported:

“Japanese companies who are looking at moving their base to Amsterdam have one increasing headache, which is the uncertainty of the Dutch political situation.  In a survey from 2016 (i.e. before the election where Wilders’ Party for Freedom did not do as well as feared) of the members of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands, political, economic and social environment came second as an increasing area of concern, after worries about employment (being able to hire or bring in Japanese employees, tax, pensions and ability to lay off workers).

“The third biggest area of concern was for expatriate visas and the process of obtaining ID cards.  The fourth was the legal and regulatory framework – obtaining permits, approvals, meeting standards and whether those standards are appropriate.”

Rudlin Consulting concluded:

“There is a concern that if the Netherlands cracks down on immigration, it will be difficult to hire a diverse labour force – one of the UK’s traditional strengths and attractions for Japanese companies.”

Contrary to what doomsayers tell us, good business practices can mean that companies flourish in unstable business environments. Well-run oil majors, defence companies, tech firms, eco-car manufacturers, investment houses (not just those betting on shorts), have all extracted healthy profits, or sustainable capacity expansion from the back of ailing sectors and wounded terrains.

But, 2019 has already thrown up some difficult headlines for business communities. That’s without considering Brexit. Goldman Sachs’ CEO has issued an apology for the so-called 1MDB scandal, which saw billions of dollars embezzled from the Malaysia State Development Fund.

Closer to home, iconic retailer Marks & Spencer have announced the closure of 17 UK stores. Japanese firm Hitachi has frozen work at a UK nuclear plant and Parliament is still yet to decide on approving Sainsbury’s merger with Asda. If approved, we will see another historic British retailer, ultimately, reporting to US mega-retailer Walmart and American regulators.

The Guardian newspaper, fond of the EU, blamed “UK political turmoil” for taking “its toll” on sluggish Christmas retail figures at John Lewis, Halfords and Sainsbury’s. John Lewis’ fashion and homewares division reported drops of 5-7% in sales.

Yet Tesco and Next – both considered economic ‘bellweathers’ – increased sales. The telling data here shows that online sales grew by 15% at Next but fell almost 10% in its shops. In fact, according to the UK Office for National Statistics, year-on-year online sales have grown by 13.9%, and up to 17.8%, when we consider new innovative seasonal promotions such as Black Friday.

Yesterday, the head of the UK CBI, which has been deeply pessimistic about Brexit, told the BBC that: “I don’t think there will be a single business this morning who is stopping or halting their no-deal planning.”

But, Tom Bohills at the Alliance of British Entrepreneurs’, and other pro-Brexit business leaders (including Wetherspoons’ Chair, Tim Martin), explain that the continued reference to “No Deal” by UK politicians and media is, actually, a misnomer: “We would simply default to WTO (World Trade Organisation) trade rules,” explains Bohills, “which are designed precisely to deal” with uncertain conditions including international disagreements.


The IMF certainly views a “no deal” Brexit as one of the potential triggers behind slower growth during 2019 (at least) in its World Economic Outlook Update, January 2019. But, according to the IMF, the big-ticket stress items for the global economy omit Brexit and include, principally:

-Tariff issues between the US and China – the 90 days hold-off from tariff proposals agreed on December 1stwas welcomed, but the new deadline for a positive deal is looming

-Germany’s new automobile and fuel emissions standards

-High levels of public and private debt

-Larger contractions than expected in key, large emerging markets (Turkey cited).

The IMF’s summary, ‘softening momentum, high uncertainty’ is apt. Oxford Economics research institute reported today that global growth could almost freeze over the next couple of years due to a significant (now likely) combined slow-down in China and America.

We can feel it here in London – the “most coveted place in the world to live” (according to Boston Consulting Group) – where consumer demand has dropped in key sectors and property sales are sluggish, indeed tumbling in some zones.

But, as we at GBS open new campuses in Birmingham (2018) and Manchester (September 2019), our prediction is that the so-called ‘second-tier cities’, with their lower cost base and improving transport infrastructure, will still experience forward momentum, after what is going to be – for sure – an uncertain opening to 2019 for everybody.

Happy New Year.

Richard Bingley

Managing Director, GBS

The Student Representative Committee for Undergraduate Programmes at GBS has identified five areas of ‘good practice’ during their recent review. Areas of good practice include:

  • Support of dedicated Programme Managers for each course
  • Allocation of Personal Tutors for each GBS student
  • Formative (informal) assessment and feedback that enables students to learn from, and correct errors in approach, prior to undertaking formal (summative) assessments
  • Dedicated Academic Writing tutorials from in-house PhD qualified GBS staff
  • Course Representatives for each programme, chaired by a student, rather than staff members

“We’re delighted by this feedback from our own hard-working students and appreciate them taking the time to formulate the report. In addition, we are carrying out further enhancements to facilities and online learning support technologies, to help our students achieve their goals.” – Richard Bingley

GBS’s campus in Bow, is very close to the London Underground, DLR and major bus routes. GBS has also recently opened a campus in Birmingham.

“Many of our students are motivated to become tomorrow’s leading entrepreneurs and business leaders. Offering such good value and support for our students, within the busy context of diverse and dynamic city centers, in our own successful business model.” – Richard Bingley

Last night UK Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a crucial speech on the future of UK and global business environments to the traditional annual gathering of the City of London’s Lord Mayor.

British Prime Ministers have given speeches before industry bosses at the ‘Lord Mayor’s Banquet’ in London for more than 200 years.

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

“The PM’s speech gave a fascinating overview of the UK government’s perspective of international financial organisations, partnerships, regulation, and the direction of travel for emerging technology. Mrs May’s speech is an excellent read for business and finance students who seek to understand the challenges that political turbulence and rapid technical advancement pose to managers and organisational leaders.”

At the annual banquet, UK Prime Minster Theresa May said:

“We are in a time of unprecedented interconnectedness.”

She later told the audience:

“A damaging trade war with spiralling tariffs is in no-one’s interests. But we must be honest in identifying problems and do more to work together to fix them.

“So we need an ambitious and urgent process for reform of the World Trade Organisation.

“This includes increasing transparency so countries can see whether rules and commitments are really being honoured – whether on the declaration of subsidies or respect for intellectual property rights. And updating dispute settlement processes to ensure they operate fairly and efficiently.

“It also includes promoting trade in services and digital, not just physical goods.

“For while services now account for 65 percent of global GDP, recent trade negotiations to deliver more ambitious trade in services have stalled.

“And while companies like Amazon and Alibaba have changed the nature of consumer behaviour, the World Trade Organisation has been struggling to remove barriers to e-commerce trade for almost two decades.

“So, these reforms must ensure the rules themselves remain relevant to the modern economy.

“But even as we work to bring the rules up to date, we need to go further.

“For we are now living through the most extraordinary technological transformation.

“A time when flows of data account for a higher proportion of growth than trade in physical goods.

“When Artificial Intelligence could almost double the value of the global digital economy to $23 trillion by 2025.

“And when it could increase global GDP by 14 per cent by 2030.

“In this new context, our standing in the world – and our ability to retain our position as a global economic hub – will depend not only on the steps we take to innovate at home, but crucially also on the role we play in shaping the rules that will define this new era.

“So, I am determined that we will lead the way.

“At home we will continue to pursue our modern Industrial Strategy: matching the innovation of our world-class scientists and entrepreneurs with growing public investment in research and development and a regulatory environment designed to encourage, not stifle change.

“Internationally we will build on our role as an innovator in technology policy and cyber security, and a trusted economic hub between East and West, to position the UK as a pivotal innovation-driven digital economy with global reach and ambitions.

“Our new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation will work with partners across the world to advise on the rules and best practice needed to build the best, most trusted, most innovative AI and data ecosystem in the world. An ecosystem that will help build the foundation of public support for the tech economy that is so critical to its future success.

“And we will use our influence in organisations like the Internet Governance Forum, meeting in Paris this week, to establish global norms for free and open development of these technologies.”

“Because this is not just about economics.

“It goes to the heart of who we are and the kind of society we want to build.

“Being an open democracy means standing up for our values and freedoms whilst protecting intellectual property and safeguarding against those who would abuse or misuse the access to information that technology brings.

“So, the global rules and norms we need are those that ensure these transformative technologies develop in line with our values and secure the trust of our citizens.

Mrs May concluded:

“…The UK will be at the centre of this global agenda.”

For a full transcript of the UK PM’s speech please go to: www.gov.uk/government/speeches/…

Colleges and universities are often rightly asked by quality assurance agencies to explain their student learning activities and how we can improve learning experiences? Such initiatives are often referred to in our trade as ‘academic enhancement’

It is an excellent question though.

Just sometimes, under the anxious spotlight of formal reviews and paper submissions, learning providers often forget to mention lots of the good work that they already do, or are about to embark upon.

Here at the Global Banking School (GBS), at our London and Birmingham (UK) campuses, our own Learning and Teaching Strategy is very much supported by the following methods of continuous academic enhancement:

  • Programme Committees that actively gather feedback and introduce improvements for each course
  • Online course and career development content and ‘Live Online’ teaching provision
  • A student-run Global Banking Society that takes the leadership role in helping to deliver career events
  • Graduate Challenge, whereby business students carry out real-life business challenges
  • Global Valuation Olympiad, whereby Investment Banking students from around the world visit our campus and value international firms in a television-apprentice style competition and cash prize
  • Academic support and IT support workshops embedded into our curriculum
  • Professional journals, presentations and group-work used for assessments
  • Live-projects undertaken by student teams to address topical business issues, such as EU GDPR strategy and implementation
  • Professional development workshops and university partner review sessions for tutors and programme managers
  • Healthy staff/student ratios and one-to-one academic support for all students

To refresh and deepen our approaches, here’s a couple of excellent short articles that provide further ideas to underpin our work practices as supportive tutors:

The first, from the UK Higher Education Academy, Engaged student learning strategic enhancement programme:

https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/engaged-student-learning-strategic-enhancement-programme

Then there’s an excellent recent publication – Enhancing Student Learning: Seven Principles for Good Practice – from Winona State University, over in the United States:http://www.crlt.umich.edu/gsis/p4_6

An annual competition run each year for business students, hosted at the London-based Global Banking School (GBS), has seen a German University claim the top prize.

“This year’s final saw ten teams from around the world visit our London campus and provide detailed presentations about how companies can be valued on the financial markets for investors. Teams flew in from Warsaw, Mumbai, Raipur, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur and other global financial centres.” – Richard Bingley

Every year over 5,000 student-candidates participate in the ‘Global Investment Banking Valuation Olympiad’. Student teams are filtered down after completing preliminary online tests and the second stage of presentations.

The final stage of group presentations was held at GBS’s campus in Bow, London, on 26th October 2018, in front of a panel of four senior academics and investment managers. The winning team received a cash prize of £1,000.

The winning team was led by Master’s Degree student, Christoph Willecke, at Germany’s Otto-Friedrich University in Bamberg.

“In my opinion it was a very tough and even close competition. For us, it was a pleasure to meet other high-educated finance students from all over the world. At the end, it was more about learning instead of winning.” – Mr. Willecke

“The level of expertise demonstrated by each team of students was exemplary. GBS’s main focus is to bring the world of business into the classroom. What these groups of students achieved will stand them in good stead for major executive roles in the not-too-distant future.” – Richard Bingley