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Britain Remains a Global Leader in Foreign Business

global leader

Despite the concerns raised in regards to new customs rules that took effect last month and fears that the UK would lose its allure for foreign businesses post-Brexit, new data suggests Britain remains a global leader. 

Data from 3S Money shows that between 2019 and 2020, the fintech scale-up saw a 332% increase in non-UK businesses looking to open a local UK IBAN account. In the last year alone, there has been a 108% increase in non-UK businesses setting up accounts in Britain. Two years on since Brexit, there’s been a significant rise in foreign businesses looking to trade in the UK, with DIT statistics showing that foreign investment helped created more than 50,000 new jobs in 2021.

‘Brexit was one of the most uncertain economic milestones in British history. And ‘uncertain’ is a word no investor wants to hear. Yet, despite fears we’d lost foreign investment become of this, the UK still present an extremely attractive business opportunity, especially for high-tech start-ups. Financial inclusion and accessibility are the two main drivers for non-UK businesses choosing to do business in the UK. Despite Brexit, London remains the most multicultural city in Europe. Looking at the nationalities trading in the data – the UAE, Russia, Turkey, Israel – their experience of doing business in the UK versus Europe will be very different. The UK’s banking infrastructure and legal system promotes far greater entrepreneurialism, access, and opportunity.” Ivan Zhiznevskiy, CEO of 3S Money

“The biggest challenge to trading in the EU has been arranging banks accounts for non-EU organisations. To sponsor a non-EU national for immigration and visa applications, you need to prove the business is financially stable – that requires a bank account. The red tape involved in getting an EU bank account isn’t ideal for the fast-paced construction industry we operate in. Amid COVID-19, establishing our business in Sweden with a soliday UK base is the best decision we have made as a business. The UK’s banking infrastructure continues to be the most entrepreneur-friendly in Europe and has been the most solid base from which to trade with the EU.” Sam Cox, CEO of FiveFour Engineering Services

Although the data provides reassurance that the UK’s relationship with foreign investment remains stable, we are yet to fully grasp the potential impact of new customs rules. UK businesses could face high import tariffs, supply chain hindrances, and long waiting times at UK ports. The lack of clarity in regards to new compliance regulations and complicated changes will likely leave UK SMEs at a severe disadvantage within the unsteady international trade market and global supply shortages.

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