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News & Views

Equals Money survey finds Labour pro-business

Over half of UK financial leaders say they will be voting Labour on Polling Day, according to new research from Equals Money that reveals that 56% of survey respondents believe a win for the party will have a positive impact on their business.
In the research, 45% of respondents say that a Conservative win would be bad for their business, with 37% agreeing a Reform win would have a negative impact, although responses on whether the Liberal Democrats would have a positive or negative impact were evenly split at 26% positive, and 27% negative.
In response to the snap election announcement on 22nd May, 39% of businesses undertook currency hedging to mitigate the impact the election result may have on the value of the pound.
“Financial leaders cannot guarantee the future, but they can do things to manage costs,” says Thanim Islam, Head of FX Analysis, Equals Money.  “By locking in current rates ahead of any major currency value swings the election may cause, it makes it much easier to predict the costs of doing business, especially overseas.”

On the back of the General Election on 4th July, the survey found 80% of UK businesses intend to change their investment and business growth plans, with 88% saying that despite the possible disruption that the general election may cause, 9 out of 10 businesses are confident in their international growth plans moving forward. When it comes to picking a new market to expand to outside of the UK, economic stability (61%), market size (54%) and value of local currency (41%) were cited as the most important factors.
However, businesses still face a number of hurdles in expanding outside of the UK into new regions.  Contending with existing competition in international markets (31%) and a lack of brand awareness (27%) were among the chief concerns.  A recurring theme was issues with the payments process.  Costs associated with using foreign currency (29%) and slow cross-border payments (27%) were noted as significant challenges.
In terms of what support businesses would need to feel more confident in their growth plans, working with a trusted partner (53%), guidance on international compliance (47%) and international investment (44%) were the main priorities.  Nearly 40% of respondents say that a cost-effective FX provider would make them feel more confident in their growth plans.
“The power of third-party help is undeniable in the face of an unpredictable economic future and expanding internationally, so businesses shouldn’t be afraid to reach out.  Finance teams need to have a leading role from the beginning of any international growth plans, as cross border payments will be some of the greatest challenges businesses face,” continues Islam.

“Having a trusted partner to support with foreign exchange rates and handling multiple currencies takes a huge burden off of internal finance teams, freeing them up to focus on the wider expansion strategy and managing any unexpected hurdles.”
The research, commissioned by innovative payments solutions provider Equals Money, surveyed 400 UK financial decision makers in businesses with 250 or more employees and found that 91% of those surveyed were clear on who they would vote for on Polling Day.

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