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Open Banking

If you don’t already know what Open Banking is, you should, because it affects every single person who maintains an account at any one of the nine biggest banks in the United Kingdom. The general idea of Open Banking is that the major banks are forced to allow authorized companies to access their data in order to streamline the customers’ process. On January 13th, 2018, the process of launching Open Banking began, dubbed “managed roll out”. During this time, startups applied to the FCA in order to obtain permission to access the data that will eventually be provided by Open Banking. Then, on April 17th, this phase ended and now approved companies were allowed to offer Open Banking services to their consumers.

Obviously, one of the main concerns is safety, but the Financial Services Authority has vetted all of the companies with access to the bank data, and have assured the public that it is as safe or safer than online banking. Also, if anyone feels uncomfortable with their data being shared, they can simply opt out of the program and keep it private.

How will this affect you? There is no way for the banks to release your data without your explicit approval, so if you haven’t given it yet then it is potentially something to look into. If you have a small business, this should help you because you can now work with companies that have access to extraordinary amounts of banking data. Furthermore, this will allow SMEs the ability to take out loans much more easily, as they will have a simple, accessible online record of your balance sheet.

To hear more about Fintech, and other Open Banking related news items, come to our event on July 25th and listen to our panel of experts speak!

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Business Funding, Growth & Alternative Finance

Mark your calendar! Budget Mastermind will be hosting a wine tasting and networking event in our office building CityPoint on Wednesday July 25th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Come find out about business funding, growth & alternative finance from a panel of extremely experienced speakers! Join us for a fun and informative evening wine tasting, with guest speakers giving expert advice on a wide variety of business funding and growth opportunities available in today’s market. Hear about alternative finance and discover the latest options while you speak with experts about questions that are fundamental to your business. We’re sure you’ll leave with a great insight into what support your business could gain.

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London Heathrow Airport Expansion

Heathrow airport is already by far the largest airport in the London area, and they’re not done yet. The Airport Commission is pushing for a third runway at Heathrow in the near future. If this project is undergone, it would make Heathrow the busiest airport in all of Europe.

A third runway would mean significantly more capacity for planes both inbound and outbound; increasing Heathrow’s yearly flights by roughly 250,000. This would include extra room for shipping and also increase the number of destinations from Heathrow. This additional runway would increase London’s potential for international trade because of both the extra capacity and the new prospective partners. There have been predictions that roughly 70,000 new jobs could be created within the next 30 years if this addition is successful.

Multinational corporations would not be the only ones to benefit from the new runway, as small businesses would also reap the rewards of the expanded airport. The Federation of Small Businesses even goes as far as to say “without it, the long-term economic health of the UK is at risk”.

The huge expansion of Heathrow means that business as a whole in London will also be looking to expand, with some corporations growing, and others being newly established. The near future could potentially be one of the best times in recent history to either initiate or expand your small business!