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The European Legislation That’s Giving Businesses a Better Deal with Banks


The European Legislation That’s Giving Businesses a Better Deal with Banks

New legislation has been rolled out across Europe with the aim of increasing competition in the financial services market – and America is taking note.

Open Banking’ legislation forces the big financial institutions who dominated the market place to share data belonging to businesses and individuals with their competitors. This happens only when the customer has requested it – and is designed to help the customer to get a better deal when managing their money.

Using these Open Banking provisions, third-party financial institutions can access things such as balances, transaction information, spending details, borrowing and overdraft use. It means those institutions can then analyze the data and use it to offer linked services and offers. Only specific data that is required to enable a particular service is shared and only when the customer has consented. That consent can be withdrawn at any time.

Across Europe, legislation – in the form of the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) – is now in place to require banks to engage with Open Banking and enable customers to consent to the sharing of their data in this way and sign up for services that require it.

Though the concept of financial firms sharing customer data to enable products has been around for a while in Europe and the US, the European Union’s PSD2 legislation has arguably been a driver in making the way it is done more secure and raising the profile of the opportunities it creates across the globe.

Open Banking is certainly allowing individuals and businesses to access a wider variety of financial services.

Mastercard firm Finicity, with corporate headquarters in Utah, is an established Open Banking provider and recently announced a data access agreement with Brex, a finance management system for businesses.

Finicity CEO and co-founder Steve Smith said: “Finicity has been collaborating in earnest with financial institutions in signing data access agreements with banks and other traditional financial institutions.

“With our agreement with Brex, we are now extending our approach to fintechs. We look forward to working with Brex in pioneering the way financial data is utilized to help businesses grow and achieve their goals.”

The growth of Open Banking is undeniable.

In the UK alone, more than two million customers were said to be accessing Open Banking services by September 2020, according to the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE).

Apps and services using Open Banking have made a wide variety of business banking services easier or more affordable.

Open Banking makes it feasible for a service provider to create an app that links directly to a business account to assess how much tax is payable and to move those funds into a tax account, for example.

In one of its simplest forms, Open Banking allows accountants, financial personnel, and business managers to set up and access a dashboard where accounts held across a multitude of different institutions can be viewed and managed in one place.

Disrupter services are also forcing intensified competition on things like fees and charges for overseas spending and transaction costs.

One aspect of Open Banking allows merchants to tap into new streamlined options for accepting payments and making refunds directly between customer accounts without the need for credit or debit cards.

Kieran Hines, Senior Banking Analyst at financial services technology research, advisory and consulting firm Celent, said: “Open Banking on the face of it is a quite alien concept. If you say to people ‘there is this great new concept where third parties can access your bank account information’, people are naturally quite hesitant and tend to reject the concept.

“What we will see happening, and to some extent is already happening, is that people will engage with Open Banking services because they provide value. Customers will be less and less aware of the realities of what happens to power these services and more interested in taking advantage of what they can offer.

“In the same way that people don’t need to know how an ATM works in order to use it. What we need to know with Open Banking is ‘if I provide consent to this mobile app to see my data, they can give me something better than I have now’.

“Over time, Open Banking will become something that is just part of the experience customers have and they’ll be aware of how that can be used to improve the services they receive.”

The Pros and Cons of Hiring and Buying Equipment

You may have a potentially big project in the pipeline or too many demands to meet. You may want to choose to change to a flexible working style, or want more structure when you plan your work. Deciding on whether to hire or to buy equipment will depend on the nature of your business. Here are the pros and cons of hiring and buying equipment for the industrial, manufacturing and construction industries.

The Pros:

-Depending on the length of your project, hiring equipment can be a cost-effective option, especially if you only need to hire for a short period of time.

-If you have a small working environment, hiring equipment can be a great way to help you with your project, yet free up space when it’s not needed. This will allow you to work with a flexible approach.

-When it comes to the manufacturing industry, one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. Buying your own equipment means you have the opportunity to customise what you buy to ensure it’s exactly what you need to suit your business. Airblast Eurospray for example, not only gives you the opportunity to hire facilities but they can also custom build blast rooms and supply equipment to suit the requirements of your business.

-Buying equipment means you’ll know exactly how to use it and its capabilities. When you hire, you have a limited amount of time to work out how to best use the equipment.

-When you hire you’re open to trying out new technologies without investing too much of your resources if the equipment doesn’t meet your requirements.

The cons

-Buying equipment outright is simple enough if you have the funds to do so. If you’re a small company, or just starting out you may not know what projects are around the corner. Because of this, buying expensive construction, manufacturing or industrial equipment could be a big risk to take.

Hiring equipment means you have to be organised. You’ll have to plan and factor in the time it takes to source the right equipment. You should also have back up retailers that you can use if you find your first option has sold out.

-Buying your own equipment will also mean you’re responsible for transporting and the cost of transportation to different sites. This is an extra cost and one you may not have thought of at the time of purchase.

-When you buy equipment, you could be stuck with the same technologies for quite some time before you see a return on investment. This could mean that you unintentionally put yourself behind new advances in technology, which may impact how well you perform against your competitors.

-When buying equipment, you’ll need to factor in any costs for maintenance and repairs. This can be less or more than repeatedly hiring new machinery throughout the year. You’ll have to look at its purpose, how many times you require it and the cost for security deposits or collateral if you were to accidentally break the equipment during a hire. From this, you can discover the best option for your company.

Investors in companies with shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade seek dual citizenship.

Caribbean region is the top destination for investors looking for second citizenship

The 2018 CBI Index—a special report published by the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management magazine—has revealed that Caribbean nations remain the top destinations in the world to apply for second citizenship.

The league table

Of all 13 citizenship by investment (CBI) jurisdictions worldwide, Dominica spearheads the industry, scoring perfect marks in five of the seven pillars against which each program is evaluated. Four fellow Caribbean nations follow shortly, with CBI pioneer St Kitts and Nevis as a strong contender. The programs assessed in this year’s CBI Index include those offered by Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cyprus, Dominica, Grenada, Jordan, Malta, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Turkey, and Vanuatu.

The CBI programs on the list, ranked according to the index, are as follows.

  1. Dominica
  2. St Kitts and Nevis
  3. Grenada
  4. Antigua and Barbuda
  5. St Lucia
  6. Vanuatu
  7. Cyprus
  8. Malta
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Turkey
  11. Austria
  12. Jordan
  13. Cambodia

Why apply for secondary citizenship?

Post-Brexit debates have raised awareness of the value of one’s citizenship and the certainty—or lack thereof—that it may hold.  “People in the UK and Europe have become much more aware of dual citizenship post-Brexit,” said Micha-Rose Emmett, CEO of CS Global Partners, specialising in residency, citizenship, immigration and foreign investment law.

“Freedom of movement is becoming a key factor at a time when immigration policies are getting more restrictive around the world,” said Shelby du Pasquier, head of the banking and financial services practice at Geneva lawyers Lenz & Staehelin, one of Switzerland’s leading experts in tax and wealth management. “It is not surprising there is so much interest from Russia and Asia.”

CBI programmes, he believes, also offer an “alternative” back-up plan for nationals of jurisdictions threatened by political turmoil or instability. “Many
of the people affected by these threats are looking for an additional citizenship as a precautionary measure in case the situation should worsen in their country of origin,” said du Pasquier.

How is the index calculated?

The CBI Index measures seven areas, or pillars: due diligence, freedom of movement, standard of living, minimum investment outlay, ease of processing, citizenship timeline, and mandatory travel or residence. Independent researcher and architect of the CBI Index, James McKay, considers these the most critical elements of an investor’s decision-making process when choosing a second citizenship. McKay explains the relevance of the study for the investor immigration industry: “The CBI Index is rapidly becoming the leading tool for investors to accurately measure the performance and appeal of global citizenship by investment programs.”

You can take a look at a visualisation of these seven pillars below. For a detailed breakdown of the 2018 CBI Index results, please refer to the full report, available for free download here.


World leaders impact currency values for shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

How world leaders impact markets

We live in turbulent political times, with the prospect of a trade war, the rise of populist leaders and Brexit all posing a real and present danger to the established world order.

It’s at times like this that the link between politics and economics comes into sharp focus. With political matters precarious, it’s no exaggeration to say that the fate of businesses rests in the hands of world leaders and their ability to navigate a course through choppy waters.

But how much power and influence do individual leaders have? What is the fallout from a tweet from Donald Trump, a speech from Theresa May or a snap election from Shinzo Abe?

Forex experts DailyFX have taken these questions and used them as the basis for a new research project. Looking at 59 key dates for six major world leaders it assessed the impact of their words and actions on the value of their respective currencies.

Browse the results to find out which events had the biggest impact—and which were merely measured in terms of their political fallout. To access the interactive information, click here.


Industrial mapping is important for companies with shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

Up With Precision

When the topic turns to the most difficult and dangerous jobs in industrial environments, the general public may not think of mapping. Anyone who has ever worked in an industrial environment, however, knows the onerous, endless hours of manpower that go into industrial mapping. They know those long hours are spent in harsh and often unsafe environments, and they know that no matter how careful you try to be with measurements, plotting and data capture, the end results can be imprecise and detrimental to overall operations.

Anyone who has ever worked in an industrial environment also knows there has to be a better way. A way that’s a cut above, so to speak. Enter the automated industrial UAV.

The automated advantage

Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been the buzz in a wide variety of industries for a few years now, and while any high-quality industrial UAV is capable of providing the aerial data necessary for improving the mapping process, only automated UAVs have the potential to truly revolutionize industrial mapping.

Automated UAVs generally require little to no human intervention in order to complete its operations. This means launching, flying, landing and data collection and processing can all be completed automatically by the drone. Leading UAVs can even swap their own sensors to make a wide range of applications possible, as well as complete their own routine maintenance such as battery changing.

All in all, automated drones offer major advantages over standard industrial drones by eliminating the significant cost of a drone pilot, the time spent waiting for a pilot to report for an on-demand mission, and the downtime required for routine maintenance between flights.

If an automated UAV can do all that to improve UAV operations, just think of what it can do for mapping.

Uncharted territory

To improve the mapping process across industries, automated UAV mapping has five main objectives: simplify the mapping process, prevent human employees from being exposed to dangerous conditions and environments, save time, save money, and produce maps with more accuracy and precision than can be achieved through traditional mapping methods.

With an automated drone, the industrial mapping process is as simple as the industrial mapping process gets. Pre-defined missions are flown exactly as scheduled and planned and not a single business process needs to be interrupted to allow a limitless number of measurements or photographs to be taken or for any other data to be captured. This is contrast to how operations may need to be halted to allow human mappers to complete their jobs without facing additional hazards on top of the ones that naturally exist in industrial environments.

Speaking of human mappers, the only way UAV mapping can unquestionably keep employees out of hazardous mapping situations is by saving companies significant time and money. Otherwise, some companies may find traditional mapping methods to be more cost-effective and keep putting human employees at risk for the sake of mapping. This is where a drone being automated is essential, as the substantial cost and wait time for a human drone operator is entirely eliminated. Both scheduled mapping missions and on-demand missions are notably faster and less expensive to complete, making it unreasonable to send employees out for anything from a comprehensive mapping project to a double-check of a single measurement.

Further, leading automated drones have the ability to automatically collect unlimited aerial data with precise measurements, and with their data analysis and processing capabilities can in turn create highly detailed and accurate orthophotos, terrain maps and digital elevation models. With an automated drone, there is also no possibility of the quality of a map being affected by human error in flight, data collection or map creation.

Better, simpler, faster, cheaper, and with no risk to human employees. If UAV mapping needed a slogan, that might be it.

Finding the way

As automation continues to make its way into industry, many will naturally think of self-driving haul trucks or other robotic heavy machinery as the major innovations. Those driving change in industries know, however, that automated innovations big and small are revolutionizing operations across the globe by decreasing costs, increasing efficiencies and protecting human employees. Automated drones are at the forefront of this push, improving processes ranging from incident response, inspections and surveillance to stockpile evaluation, surveying and, yes, mapping. When such a tedious, time-consuming, hazardous and necessary process can be improved, the benefits can be remarkable.

Energy industry impacts shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

What Is The Future For Nuclear Power Plants?

With an ever-growing need for power, countries across the globe are constantly looking for the most economical, logical and sustainable solutions to meet demand. At the same time specialist recruiters such as NES Global are filling top positions within the power and energy industry with forward-thinking people.

As a result, fossil fuels are gradually being replaced by greener alternatives such as solar power and wind turbines. But many questions remain such as, What is the future looking like for nuclear power plants?

Plans for new reactors worldwide

In many parts of the world, you’d be forgiven for thinking that nuclear power is a thing of the past. Plans to reignite the nuclear industry have been abandoned in Italy and with a nuclear phase out in Germany it’s clear that nuclear energy is dying in many European states. Belgium, Spain and France are also decreasing their dependency on atomic energy, but despite public opposition in many regions against power plant construction, nuclear energy is not a spent force.

In fact, the capacity for nuclear energy is increasing steadily worldwide. According to the World Nuclear Association, there are some 440 nuclear power reactors operating across the globe today with a combined capacity of over 385GWe. What’s more, over 60 power reactors are currently being constructed in 13 countries including China, South Korea, the UAE, and Russia.

There’s also thought to be a further 500 proposed plans which, if approved, could see a record number of nuclear plants shoot up at some point in the future. Of course, many of these plans won’t be carried through but the fact governments are considering ploughing time and money into the nuclear industry shows there’s still life left in it yet.

Nuclear energy key to Britain’s energy security

As many countries wave goodbye to nuclear energy and continue to rely on power sources such as coal, the UK are championing nuclear power with plans to build a fleet of power plants over the next couple of years including Hinkley Point C which has recently been given the green light.

The energy secretary explains: “It is imperative we do not make the mistakes of the past and just build one nuclear power station. There are plans for a new fleet of nuclear power stations, including at Wylfa and Moorside. It also means exploring new opportunities like small modular reactors, which hold the promise of low cost, low carbon energy.”

The aim? To keep the lights on while simultaneously slashing carbon emissions which contribute to global warming. Indeed, the UK have been challenged to reduce carbon emissions to at least 35 per cent (below 1990 levels) by 2020.

Foreign investors keen to back UK enthusiasm for nuclear

Nuclear energy may be facing an uncertain future overall, but in the UK many proposed plans are being keenly backed by foreign investors, with South Korea supporting plans for a power station in Cumbria. Britain’s enthusiasm for nuclear power is giving hope to nuclear construction giants across the globe with Japan, France, and China also showing interest in the UK’s nuclear activity.

Maintaining euipment is important for companies imnvolved with shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

Why Maintaining Industrial Equipment Is Crucial For Your Business

If your business is engaged with heavy industrial processes, then you’ll be reliant on the right equipment in order to do this successfully. The best equipment should act like the best football referees – it’s there and works but you don’t notice it. The moment you start talking about your equipment it normally means something has gone wrong.

Maintenance is absolutely key to making your equipment work well – to ensuring that it carries on in the background and let’s you go about the business of making money.

Here are some of the key benefits to be had from effective maintenance of the industrial equipment used in your organization:

You can nip a problem in the bud. The earlier you spot a problem, the easier it will be to fix it. Proper maintenance of equipment allows you to spot and jump on relatively minor issues when they are cheap and easy to fix.

Downtime can be avoided. When your equipment isn’t working, you’re not working. That’s a huge problem for any business and one that an effective maintenance program can help to prevent this.

Your workers will stay safe. Faulty equipment doesn’t just hamper your productivity as a business – it also puts your workers at risk. You can’t afford to place your employees in harm’s way, and keeping your equipment maintained will cut the risk of workplace accidents.

Items will last as long as they are supposed to. Astute businesses are the ones that plan properly. When it comes to equipment that means costing it out and projecting how long this will last. Maintenance is the key to making it last as long as you expect and keeping your plan on course.

Equipment can be given another life. Many pieces of industrial equipment can be redeployed in another way if they are looked after properly. Taking an item into spray painting booths to remove one coating and prepare for another will, for example, leave it looking as good as new and ready to go.

You will maintain the value of your assets. Your equipment costs a lot to buy and it’s also worth a lot as an asset. Should you get to the stage where you no longer need an item then it’s important that it’s in a good condition so that it can be sold on. Effective maintenance will keep it in good shape and help an item retain as much of its value as possible.

You can avoid harming your profit margins. You have to have an eye on your money at all times as a business and much of the benefits spelled out above will help to avoid wasting your hard-earned profits. Fixing small problems before they escalate, minimizing downtime, avoiding injuries, making the most out of your equipment and protecting your assets will all have a cost benefit to your business. The alternative means forking out for big repairs or replacement equipment.