Building a stronger UK economy through exporting
Creating jobs and prosperity by supporting UK exports was the key focus of a speech delivered by Jes Staley at London’s King’s Business School. Speaking to an audience of academics, students, policymakers and business leaders, Staley commented on how exporting remains critical for the long-term health of the country and the need to not only increase exporting of products but to develop new markets for UK goods.
Jes Staley voiced his support for moves to rebalance the UK economy. With 43% of the UK’s exporting businesses based in London and the South East and only 1.2% are in the North East of England, Staley outlined Barclays’ ongoing ambitions in overcoming regional imbalances. Emphasising Barclays’ involvement in the Northern Powerhouse, the launch of a £370m Midlands Growth fund and the doubling of Barclays agricultural fund to £200 million, the Group CEO showed how Barclays is backing the UK: “We’re demonstrating our commitment to this agenda today with dedicated regional and sectoral growth funds, skills programmes and specialist support for our clients all to help more businesses in the UK, export more goods and services, to more places.”
Capital Markets and Brexit
Crawford Spence, Vice Dean of Corporate Relations at King’s Business School fielded questions from the audience which varied from the impact of Brexit, potential trade wars and if London will remain a key financial hub. Staley was keen to emphasise the role of banking during times of economic uncertainty: “We believe London will remain the second largest financial centre of capital market – one of the changes that has come about because of the financial crisis is that global economies are relying less on bank balance sheets to fund themselves and more on the capital markets, where a company issues a bond which is underwritten by an investment bank.”
Jes Staley added “We are one of the largest underwriters of capital markets debt for European companies, for European countries, and we are the largest in the UK for British firms. So keeping the capital markets functioning, providing financing for European countries and UK companies is a critical role for Barclays as we work ourselves through Brexit.”
We want to work with a range of partners to really understand the exporting challenge, and to come up with practical solutions.
Partnering to drive change
Today’s event marks Barclays and King's Business School new partnership. This collaboration brings together the expertise of both institutions to examine what is required to help UK businesses export more. The partnership will see a practical piece of research released in the summer of 2018 presenting a series of policy solutions to help unlock the UK’s export potential.
Jes Staley spoke about the need to bring people together to work on some of the long-standing challenges facing the UK economy:
“I see this partnership with King’s College Business School as an important part of fulfilling that ambition. We want to work with a range of partners to really understand the exporting challenge, and to come up with practical solutions.”