Flying the flag

Steve Pateman, Executive Director, Head of UK Banking, reflects that, despite continuing economic uncertainty, many British businesses are thriving.

Weathering the financial storm

This remains a period of ongoing economic turmoil, yet it is important to acknowledge those businesses that continue to achieve great things in the face of it. British brands have long enjoyed an association with high production values, resilience, and excellent customer service, among other qualities – and this reputation is not confined within the UK border. There are also heartening examples of cutting-edge innovation and fresh approaches, with talented UK-based business people championing the ideas coming out of this country and flying the flag for Britain all over the world. The Queen’s Jubilee and Olympic Games have given companies in the UK an excellent platform to highlight this aspect of their offering here and elsewhere, and to join in with people celebrating what it means to be part of this country’s unique business environment.

Championing the mid-market

A recent study from Warwick Business School has suggested that mid-sized firms have weathered the financial crisis better than most. Although large corporate firms cut 1.5 million jobs between 2007 and 2010 in Europe’s big four economies, the middle market added 192,000, with SMEs creating 94,000 jobs in the same period. The German Mittelstand was the most significant employer, but the UK was also up there in its hiring patterns. Middle-sized firms can often be overlooked by financial services and policymakers, which tend to focus more on helping start-ups or investing in established multinationals. At Santander, we recognise that companies at this middle stage are at a critical point in their ongoing journey and often require support to get to the next stage, particularly when beginning to export.

We mean business

As Santander solidifies its position as a leading provider of financial services in the UK, we see part of our role as providing the support required by British businesses – large, medium, and small. We understand that times are hard and are determined to be open with you about the challenges we are all facing, whilst being realistic in our expectations. We assure you that we will continue to invest in our business customers, so you can work on reaching the potential we know you are capable of.

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John Carroll - Helping businesses achieve International success. Head of Product Management & International Business, Santander UK