Clydesdale Bank urges Cambridge businesses to chase international contracts

From: Fame Publicity Services
Published: Fri Apr 02 2010

A leading figure in the Cambridge banking sector is calling on businesses to actively pursue new international trading opportunities in an effort to counter the UK economic downturn.

Martin Guildford, Clydesdale Bank’s managing partner for Cambridge, said the diverse range of sectors operating in the East of England meant the region was well placed to capitalise on the international demand for UK products and services.

As well as being home to one of the world’s leading technology clusters in Silicon Fen, the extensively rural region is also the base for major agricultural businesses and a flourishing food and drink sector.

Martin said: "A number of years ago, Far East exporters were able to profit from the huge demand for cheap consumer goods on the basis of cost. Following the international downturn, there has been a flight to value for money and quality, and we are well-placed to benefit in this region.

"Countries such as Russia, India and China are experiencing a tremendous growth in the classes with high disposable income. The skills, expertise and products on offer from East of England companies are being exported around the world in growing numbers. More companies should be riding that wave of demand during a period when their domestic market may have contracted."

Many of the region’s firms and business have cited a lack of bank funding for hindering expansion plans, not just internationally, but also in the domestic market. Martin counters that argument with the fact that the Bank’s doors have remained open for business throughout the economic downturn.

Last year Clydesdale Bank lent £4.1bn to UK businesses and at the end of 2009, pledged its commitment to the East of England economy with a further lending commitment of £1bn over the next two years to business and mortgage customers.

Martin said: "Ultimately, the lending decision has to be a commercial one based on the information available to the bank, the perceived risk and of course the business’ continued ability to meets all its financial commitments, not just those to the bank.

"Banks want to lend money to sound businesses and are committed to helping SMEs and larger corporate organisations find financial solutions to meet their individual needs."

While there are a host of opportunities available for East of England businesses, Martin said companies should also be aware of a number of issues such as the security and stability of the country in which they are hoping to trade, international legislation, letters of credit and varying exchange rates.

He added: "A stumbling block for many businesses in their pursuit of new international markets is a not necessarily a lack of bank funding but a lack of local knowledge, particularly in the areas of international exchange rates and the basic question of – ‘Will I get paid for this?’"


Clydesdale Bank
Financial Solutions Centre
1st Floor Terrington House
13-15 Hills Road

Contact: Martin Guildford, Managing Partner

Tel: 01223 444000

Clydesdale Bank

Clydesdale Bank is part of the National Australia Group. Clydesdale Bank was established in 1838 in Glasgow and has a proud history of innovation and support for Scottish industry and communities. With over 150 retail branches and a network of Financial Solutions Centres, Clydesdale is one of Scotland's largest banks. The Bank is currently expanding its operations into the South of England with its innovative Financial Solutions Centres, offering customers a highly integrated business and private banking service.

Financial Solutions Centres

Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centres (FSC) offer Members a tailored range of business and private banking services under one roof. A team of specialist partners, each with considerable local experience, work together to provide Members with end to end solutions for their business and private banking needs. In addition to banking services, the FSCs also operate as a hub for local business, with a range of networking opportunities and meeting facilities available as a benefit of membership.

Over 70 FSCs are located around the UK and in 2006 represented over half of the National Australia Bank Group’s UK income.

The Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre in Cambridge is a founder member of the Elite Cambridge Business Circle.

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