SMEs in cashflow black hole as they wait for £24bn in late payments

Late payments up more than £10bn in a year

15% of British freelancers spend 4 hours and above a week chasing invoices

CEO of ETZ Payments, Nick Woodward, provides commentary on how late and inconsistent payments are hurting businesses and freelancers alike

Today, new research showed that Small and medium-sized companies are waiting to receive £23.4billion, up from £13billion in 2018. More than half of businesses are chasing money owed, with the bill for trying to collect it hitting £4.4billion, says retail payment authority Pay UK. This comes as ETZ Payments reveals startling national representative research that shows that nearly a sixth of freelance and contract workers spend over 10% of their working week chasing invoices and payments. The new research from PayUK showed that the average amount owed to each firm had risen from £17,000 last year to £25,000 today. This demonstrates that across the board, self-employed contractors, freelancers, and small businesses are under strain. As we near the general election and with almost guaranteed further Brexit uncertainty, SMEs and workers are going through one of the most turbulent periods of their existence.

Nick Woodward, CEO of ETZ Payments, a back-office solution provider for the recruitment sector, offers the following commentary:

“This year and next year will undoubtedly be a turbulent period for small businesses and workers alike with myriad political and economic issues and an increasing amount of late payments. This issue is seriously harming cash flow, investment and growth across the UK economy. There are over 2 million freelancers and 5.7 million SMEs today, and with financial constraints such as chasing invoices, this will harm productivity and profit, and more needs to be done by the next government to ensure that these entrepreneurs, business owners, managers and workers, are paid justly and on time to keep the economy moving.”

Cardstream Works With Banking Circle To Create Unique Lending Service

Joint white label solution allows Cardstream’s Partners to offer their merchants flexible and affordable business loans

www.bankingcircle.com

London, November 2019 – Independent payment solutions provider, Cardstream, has partnered with Banking Circle to pioneer a unique joint white label lending solution. Each of Cardstream’s more than 200 Partners provides payment services to many hundreds of SME merchants. Now, with the launch of this new initiative, they can offer these merchants access to affordable, flexible business loans which could make the difference between their success or failure.

To help smaller businesses access essential business financing more easily, Banking Circle entered the SME lending sector in 2018, launching Banking Circle Lending and Banking Circle Instant Settlement. These revolutionary new solutions were built in response to an SME study involving more than 500 businesses, which revealed the impact of high interest rates, high arrangement fees and inflexible repayment options when accessing funding through traditional lenders.

Cardstream identified that the Banking Circle Lending solutions would provide an important added-value for its Partners as CEO Adam Sharpe explained:

“Cardstream’s Partners enjoy strong and trusted relationships with the merchants to whom they provide our white labelled payment gateway service under their own trusted brand. Now, with this new service developed with Banking Circle, they can offer loans to any of their merchant customer businesses based on their online payments revenue.

“The loans are risk free to the Partner, who is able to retain a share of the revenue generated if this falls within its business model and merchant agreement. We believe it’s a win-win for both sides.  The Partner enhances its merchant relationships and the merchants have quick access to valuable funding, whether to fill a cashflow gap or to support business growth.”

Anders la Cour, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Banking Circle added: “Banking Circle is committed to providing market infrastructure as a real alternative to traditional banking solutions, with the aim of increasing financial inclusion. As part of this, we wanted to deliver a more accessible lending solution for businesses in need of a financial boost.

“Now, through our partnership with Cardstream, more than 200 payment providers have access to our unique lending solution, meaning tens of thousands of small businesses can access the cash they need to expand, restock or simply survive a quiet period. In the past, these SMEs would have been unable to borrow the vital funds, which could have meant letting employees go or even business failure.”

About Banking Circle

Banking Circle is a next-generation provider of mission-critical financial services infrastructure leading the rise of a super-correspondent banking network. Banking Circle empowers banks and financial tech businesses to support customers’ trading ambitions – domestic and global – whilst reducing risk and the operational cost of transactions. Banking Circle solutions are increasing financial inclusion by helping thousands of businesses transact across borders in a way that was previously not possible.

In 2013 Saxo Bank formed a new entity, Saxo Payments A/S, with the purpose of using Saxo Bank’s core capabilities within the non-cash payments market. In October 2015 the company launched the Banking Circle – its ground-breaking product for payments and FX to the Financial Tech industry. In October 2017, the company launched its new identity for Banking Circle, to reflect its position as a financial utility, servicing Financial Tech businesses and banks. In September 2018, Banking Circle was acquired by EQT VIII and EQT Ventures, in partnership with Banking Circle’s founders.

Domiciled  in the European Union, Banking Circle specialises in providing global banking services including accounts, payments, lending and foreign exchange services to financial institutions, including FinTechs, banks, acquirers, payment service providers, FX brokers, money transfer businesses, e-wallets, and alternative payment providers.

About Cardstream

FinTech success Cardstream is the UK’s largest independent provider of white label payment software and services. Its mission is to become the global standard for white label payment provision. Everything the company does is designed to give its partners the freedom, flexibility and control to deliver the unhindered achievement of their business objectives.

Cardstream’s breadth of relationships, advanced portfolio of features and acquirer independence ensures that its partners can build a payment proposition they control and that delivers the maximum financial return.

For further information and inteviews please contcat the Cardstream Press Office:

Leon Lee – Commercial Director

T: 0345 0099575

E: [email protected]

The Link: The world’s biggest taboo we dare not discuss

Although it should be a relationship we are all most concerned about, it remains under wraps. “The Link”, as we call it, is the critical connection between equal opportunities for women, overpopulation and the problem of climate change.

Let us start with demographics. The world is heavily overpopulated, and according to some estimates by as much as 300%. This not only has an impact upon things like housing availability and the level urbanization, but also – more fundamentally – on consumption of the world’s finite and barely renewable resources and its vulnerability to famine. Overcrowding on a wide scale is strongly correlated with poverty, social unrest, crime, pandemics, large scale economic migrations and, in turn, to pollution and climate change.

But what makes this subject a political “hot potato” is the fact that women, given true equal rights, will self-limit population growth and the coexistence of rapid population growth in some regions and fears of depopulation in others. Germany, Italy and China, for instance, face the prospect of reducing indigenous populations as women marry later (or not at all), have smaller families or do not have any children at all. Even though this should be an advantage to a country in the face of growing automation, it is a political crisis because governments see population numbers as correlating with their country’s status in the world.

Companies also want population growth, because more population equals more consumers and available labour. However, the biggest driving force in population growth is the cultural norm of “the family”. In many countries the pressure exists from within the extended family to conform through marriage by a certain age and the production of children. This right is also sacrosanct and even discussing it can be a tricky process. Moreover, even in the developing world it is increasingly being supported through statutory family friendly employment policies.

Back at the turn of the century books were even being published such as “The Baby Boon: How Family-Friendly America Cheats the Childless” by Elinor Burkett. There was then even the vestiges of a movement to assert the rights of single, childless (never called “child free”) workers and claim parity with those who received often generous employee benefits. But nothing truly came of it. Yet, it remains the big issue because it not only costs the employer and taxpayer a large slice of GDP to support those expanding their families, but there is also a direct link between every birth, the drain on finite global resources and other social/environmental problems.

Robin Chater, Secretary-General of the Federation of International Employers (FedEE), has addressed this issue at conferences several times, knowing that invariably the message will be seen as an attack on the family. However, because the issue is sensitive does not mean that it should be ignored. Robin reflects: “I can recall standing up at an international conference organised by ‘The Economist’ in Athens a few years ago. I produced lots of evidence to illustrate how much the world was overpopulated, then linked it directly to climate change – on many fronts, as well as more people equals more CO2 – and finally demonstrated that population growth was strongly linked to women’s rights. The more equal the society the more well balanced a society’s population will be. At the end of my talk the audience of around 200 people was momentarily silent and then up stood the vast majority of the women in the room and clapped. Not the men present, just the women.

What is FedEE?

The Federation of International Employers (FedEE) is a leading corporate membership organisation for multinational companies. It was founded in 1998, with financial assistance from the European Commission. Today it is an independent body with corporate members all around the globe. 

Three reasons why Corbyn’s Labour manifesto will bring economic chaos

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party’s radical Marxist manifesto will bring far-reaching economic chaos for Brexit-battered Britain, affirms the boss of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

The founder and CEO of deVere Group, Nigel Green, is speaking out as the Labour leader unveils his party’s manifesto on Thursday ahead of next month’s general election.

Mr Green says: “Labour’s Marxist manifesto is the most radical and dangerous in decades.

“It would bring far-reaching economic chaos for a Brexit-battered Britain already on the brink.

“Corbyn and McDonnell’s agenda would create a nightmarish scenario that would hit those very people the most that it is proclaiming to try and support and protect.”

He continues: “There are three fundamental reasons why the Corbyn-led Labour manifesto would damage the UK economy.

“First, it would drive down already stagnate business investment in the UK. 

“The mammoth nationalisation programme will leave companies thinking ‘who’s next?’ Plus, the snatching of 10 per cent of the shares in every big company and a significant increase in trade union power, including a return to collective bargaining, will leave UK and international investors justifiably concerned that their investments will not be safe under Labour.

“This will seriously erode any attempts to generate long-term, sustainable economic growth.”

Mr Green goes on to say: “Second, it would trigger an exodus of some of the most successful and wealthiest individuals.

“This would likely be due to concerns regarding Labour’s stance on inheritance tax, income tax, stamp duty and capital gains tax, potentially even capital controls, and the slashing of pensions tax relief.

“Typically, these people have the resources to move to safe lower tax jurisdictions if the tax burden in Britain becomes too great. 

“Should these largely job and wealth-creating, tax-paying individuals quit Britain, the government’s finances will suffer significantly because they contribute a disproportionately large amount to the state’s coffers. Indeed, they prop-up the system.

“And third, a renegotiation of the Brexit deal, which would be put to a second referendum, would create many more months of uncertainty for businesses.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “Labour’s economic agenda is a risky gamble. Its potential for serious adverse consequences is massive. 

“And whilst the radical plans are already far-reaching, this might be just the beginning, with more misguided policies to come.”

Opening Your First Account: What to Look for in a Bank

Are you considering opening your first bank or looking for one for your child? Don’t just go with the one down the block due to convenience. There are actually more options out there than you realize – and some that can save you money and keep your cash safer for the long term!

Read on for our top tips on what to look for in a bank so that you can store your wealth the smart way. 

1. What Kind of Account Do You Need? 

Some banks offer you more perks for checking accounts versus savings accounts, and the other way around. This can be due to higher interest rates, convenient mobile checking deposit options, or banks that don’t charge you monthly fees. 

If you don’t want your money to stagnant in a savings account and want to save more, then a high-interest savings account may be for you. Although many brick-and-mortar banks don’t offer very high interest, many online banks do. 

Perhaps you want to replace your current checking out. Larger banks offer more options if you want flexibility, and there are also high-yield checking accounts that are offered by online banks, credit unions, and community banks. 

2. Avoid Minimum Balances

Some banks require you to have hefty minimum deposits, which essentially locks your money up in an account for the foreseeable future without earning much interest. Online banks such as Ally Bank and Capital One 360 offer checking accounts that don’t require a minimum balance. Smaller banks and credit unions are also less likely to require minimum balances. 

3. Avoid Overdraft Fees

Overdraft fees are one of the biggest penalties to hit consumers. Banks can charge $35 or more for each overdraft to your account if you’ve opted for overdraft protection, which can become a vicious cycle. The bank is essentially giving you a loan with a hefty fee attached. 

Overdraft protection isn’t required, even though banks will try to push you towards it. When you don’t have overdraft protection, your purchases or ATM withdrawals are simply declined if you have insufficient funds. Remember to read the fine print of whichever bank you choose and go with the option that has fewer fees, or no fees at all. 

Some banks will allow account holders to link a savings account or credit card to your account and transfer money if you have insufficient funds. You’ll avoid large fees, but you’ll also be able to complete your purchases. 

You’ll also want to see if your bank is capable of sending you text alerts if you have a low-balance or have crossed a threshold you’ve indicated. With banks that offer mobile apps, you’ll have a much easier time monitoring your account’s balance. 

4. Consider Accessibility 

Although online banks come with a lot of perks, they can lack the convenience of big brick-and-mortar banks. If you’re having issues with an account or need to deposit cash, this is much easier with a traditional bank. 

Many online banks require you to mail in your cash if you need to make a deposit. If you’ve noticed any fraudulent activity on your account or need some assistance, you’ll need to chat with a customer service representative online or call. Depending on how effective their customer service is, this can either be a convenience or a major hindrance. 

Carefully think about your accessibility needs and choose the bank that makes your life easier for the longterm. 

5. Consider Spending Habits

You’ll also want to consider your lifestyle. If you’re making an effort to save money, many financial advisors recommend you go with a bank that allows you to open and name multiple accounts. This enables you to have one checking account and separate savings accounts for all your different savings goals, such as emergency money, gift funds, and travel funds. 

Portioning out your money this way makes it far easier to budget. When you access your account online, you’ll see right away how much money you have available to spend and how much you need to save. 

6. Digital Features

There are a lot of digital features available now that make your life a lot easier and your account more secure. This includes the ability to transfer funds, deposit checks, and pay bills all through an app.

Some banks offer the ability to immediately lock a debit card or customize it to not allow international purchases or purchases out of your local area. Overall, banks are pushing towards more high-tech solutions, including utilizing IoT

If you’re predominantly a debit card user, this kind of peace of mind is invaluable. Make sure to browse a bank’s website and read their app reviews to see how convenient and developed their digital features are. 

7. Read Terms & Conditions

It may seem unnecessary, but you really should read the fine print before opening a bank account, especially one that you’ve found online. Here are a few things you should check for: 

  • Monthly service fees
  • Out-of-network ATM charges
  • FDIC insured savings accounts
  • Promotional deals that are expiring

You need to know exactly what you’re getting into before you join a bank or open one for your child – this saves you future headaches. If you find that you want to open a checking account with one bank and savings with another, ask yourself if this will suit your lifestyle and if you’d be able to keep up with it. 

What to Look for in a Bank: Secure Money that Grows

When you consider what to look for in a bank, it’s all about finding one that suits your lifestyle, keeps your money secure through insurance and smart digital features, and doesn’t let your money stagnate.

For instance, if you have thousands of dollars worth of savings, keeping it in a savings account with a low interest rate for years will actually be losing you money. Inflation rates rise while your purchasing power diminishes. You would do better to store this in a CD or high-interest savings account.

If you have a teenager that’s opening his or her first bank account, maybe they would do better with an account that offers the ability to open multiple savings accounts. This will help them learn how to budget effectively.

If you found this article helpful, keep reading our banking section for the latest news and analysis of banking policies around the world!

Atos and Fintech Circeo develop innovative loan management solution for major worldwide retailer

A solution to help run Loan Management from a hybrid cloud leveraging Google Cloud Platform

November 20, 2019 Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, and Circeo, a leading Fintech in developing next-generation retail loans software, today announce the development of an innovative loan management solution built with Google Cloud Platform. Developed initially for the bank subsidiary of a major worldwide retailer, Atos and Circeo will soon begin bringing the solution to market for other customers.

This offering is based on a hybrid cloud solution which combines Google Cloud Platform (GCP) together with Atos’ expertise in end-to-end cloud orchestration and management, and infrastructure services and support. It enables users to benefit from the advantages of a fully-managed and secure cloud service which is seamlessly integrated with Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

With this joint solution, clients can run Fintech software built on Oracle technologies on hybrid cloud infrastructures, and thereby benefit from elasticity, resilience, innovation and pay-per-use models – without the need to redevelop their existing systems. The Google Cloud Atos partnership ensures that the client benefits from direct, secure and high-performance network connectivity, for faster and optimised access to Google Cloud resources.

This new solution from Atos and Circeo will help the end-customer manage peaks of activity in Loans, particularly during sales and specific events such as black Friday thanks to the elasticity and resilience of GCP.

Circeo is an innovative Fintech delivering a next generation flexible digital lending platform, based in the Cloud, which enables tailor-made financial products to be made within just a few days. It is part of Atos’ FinTech Partner Program and one of Atos’ most dynamic Fintech partners.

“This solution demonstrates the unique value we deliver to our customers thanks to our ambitious Fintech Engagement program which aims to bridge the gap between banks and Fintech.” says Wim Los, SVP, global Head of Atos and Google Cloud enhanced Alliance at Atos. “Developed by Atos and Circeo, it is a framework which will be replicated for other clients, on other markets”.

“We are glad for this unique opportunity leverage our global partnership with Atos to promote and implement the Atos-Circeo Retail Lending Factory platform” says Laurent Clerc, Founder and CEO at Circeo“By delivering unique value with Atos, we expand existing client portfolios and onboard new clients into production.”

We’re delighted that Atos and Circeo chose to develop this solution with Google Cloud Platform,” said Rayn Veerubhotla, Director, Partnerships at Google Cloud. “With this solution, customers can modernise their existing infrastructure and begin to take advantage of the core capabilities of Google Cloud.”

Atos was recently recognised as ‘Global breakthrough partner of the year’ by Google Cloud.

About Atos

Atos is a global leader in digital transformation with over 110,000 employees in 73 countries and annual revenue of over € 11 billion. European number one in Cloud, Cybersecurity and High-Performance Computing, the Group provides end-to-end Orchestrated Hybrid Cloud, Big Data, Business Applications and Digital Workplace solutions. The group is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and operates under the brands Atos, Atos Syntel, and Unify. Atos is a SE (Societas Europaea), listed on the CAC40 Paris stock index.

The purpose of Atos is to help design the future of the information technology space. Its expertise and services support the development of knowledge, education as well as multicultural and pluralistic approaches to research that contribute to scientific and technological excellence. Across the world, the group enables its customers, employees and collaborators, and members of societies at large to live, work and develop sustainably and confidently in the information technology space.

Money remains the biggest conversation taboo

Money is a bigger taboo than sex, religion or politics, according to a survey by one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organizations.

In the global survey, conducted by deVere Group, 56% of those polled ranked personal finance as the most difficult subject to discuss with family, friends and colleagues.

It came ahead of sex (18%), politics (12%), religion (8%) and health issues (6%) in the poll of more than 700 clients in the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australasia.

Nigel Green, the founder and CEO of deVere Group, comments: “We’re moving towards the holiday period when people, typically, are more likely to get together with loved ones than at any other time in the year.

“But the survey shows that what they are least likely to be discussing is personal finance – including income, taxes, pensions, debt, savings and expenses. 

“Money remains the biggest social taboo.”

He continues: “The taboo of talking money needs to be broken down and normalized.

“We need to recognise and celebrate how money can truly provide individuals and their loved ones with incredible life-enhancing opportunities.  

“In addition, high-net-worth individuals tend to be society’s primary wealth and job creators, major tax contributors and philanthropists.”

He goes on to add: “The de-stigmatization of talking money would also help banish the ‘head in the sand’ attitude to personal finances that prevents many from achieving their financial goals.

“Plus, when money is an awkward topic of conversation, it is easier for people to get an unfair deal. These people typically tend to be women, younger people and ethnic minorities. Silence about money issues can often allow the unfairness to continue unabated.”

Mr Green concludes: “Finances can be complex and are specific to each individual. The answer is to seek independent, expert help from professionals who will be able to signpost people in the right direction.

“We use money every day, it’s an essential part of our lives. Therefore, we need to get more comfortable discussing it. 

“Beginning a conversation about money is the first step, but it should become a normal occurrence, because as our lives change so do our financial needs and wants. Tackling the money conversation taboo is likely to lead to enhanced financial freedom and security.”

deVere Group is one of the world’s largest independent advisors of specialist global financial solutions to international, local mass affluent, and high-net-worth clients.  It has a network of more than 70 offices across the world, over 80,000 clients and $12bn under advisement

CitySprint recruiting over 500 couriers across the UK for peak season

London, UK, 19th November 2019: CitySprint — the UK’s largest same day distribution company — has announced that 500 additional couriers are required across the UK ahead of the Christmas rush.

Christmas can often be a make-or-break time for many businesses — especially those who operate online and rely on an efficient delivery service to get their goods to their consumers. Peak season traditionally runs from the end of October until the New Year — with CitySprint completing an incredible 600,000+ deliveries during this time lastyear.

New couriers will add to the 5,000-strong fleet to support with seasonal demand — with the business focusing primarily on van couriers to cover increased delivery volume. These couriers are needed across the UK, with a specific focus across the following cities:

  • Central London
  • Manchester
  • Bristol
  • Birmingham
  • Nottingham
  • Leeds
  • Telford
  • Letchworth
  • Cambridge
  • Reading

Speaking about the benefits of delivery work, Stephen Gray, a courier in Wales says: “A friend recommended I apply to be a courier with CitySprint sixteen years ago, so I bought a van, tried it out and I haven’t looked back since. I love the freedom of being a self-employed courier; I meet different people, travel across the country and experience different situations every day — it keeps things exciting! Plus, the team at CitySprint are fantastic. Honestly, if you’re looking for a satisfying job which gives you choice, flexibility and financial security then I suggest you give CitySprint a call!”

Bristol-based courier, Filip Boshnakov, adds: “Before joining CitySprint in 2017 I’d been considering working as a courier for a while. Ultimately, I chose CitySprint because I wanted to work as a self-employed person and valued the freedom attached to the role. The flexible hours, opportunity to meet different people, and the ability to visit different places mean that I can combine work and family commitments whilst also still enjoying the work that I do. Working with CitySprint makes you realise that your job isn’t just a job; you can relish your work and the experiences you face every day here. I would highly recommend joining our team to all of my friends.”

Paul Gisbourne, Chief Operating Officer at CitySprint, commented:With just 36 days to go until Christmas, businesses are gearing up for the busiest time of the year. Bolstering fleet numbers will allow us to continue to deliver a first-class service and ensures we stay ahead of our competitors. We know that the Christmas season brings increased pressure, demand and competition for our customers, which is why we are committed to going the extra mile at a time when it matters most.”

For more information on becoming a CitySprint courier, visit and apply today: www.citysprint.co.uk/couriers/christmas-jobs

About CitySprint

  • CitySprint is the UK’s largest privately-owned same day distribution company and is one of the top five same day distribution companies in the world.
  • CitySprint supports businesses across the UK with a range of delivery solutions, including same day, UK overnight and international delivery, bespoke logistics design and specialist services for key sectors such as retail and healthcare.
  • CitySprint has several brands under the CitySprint name, supporting their specialist services. These include CitySprint Health, CitySprint Office, On the dot and Transworld.
  • CitySprint has a regional network of 30+ service centres across the UK with a fleet of over 5,000 vehicles.
  • CitySprint is backed by leading, independent equity house, Dunedin, and private equity specialists, LDC.
  • CitySprint’s unique national same day delivery network can reach over 88% of mainland UK within 60 minutes (source: Crimson & Co.)
  • Download CitySprint’s free app and quote, book and track your courier from the palm of your hand: Google Play / iTunes
  • Website: citysprint.co.uk

Sickness absence is severely impacting UK business – yet take up of key protection benefits is low

Long-term sickness absence is a serious issue with over two-fifths (44%) of UK SMEs reporting at least one employee absent for four weeks or more in the last twelve months, according to research from leading employee benefits provider, Unum.

The majority of SME bosses also said that long-term sickness (absence over six months) of a key employee would have a significant (44%), or even critical (24%), impact on the future success of the business. More than half (55%) said they would do everything they could to aid a member of staff back to work after a period of illness.

Despite the business impact of long-term absence and the employer’s desire to help employees back to work, another recent study by Unum and the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC), found uptake of core protection benefits to be very low.

According to the Unum and BCC study, only 8% of UK businesses surveyed offered income protection, one of the core products to help businesses and their employees through sickness absence with financial assistance and rehabilitation support. 22% surveyed said they offered Life Insurance, just 9% offered Critical Illness Insurance, while 22% said that they provide nothing at all in the form of financial protection benefits.

Alongside financial protection and rehabilitation support, fast access to early clinical help can be invaluable to employers and their employees. With that in mind, Unum has launched a new easy to use app ‘[email protected]’ as part of its Group Income Protection product to give employees and their families fast access to remote GPs, second medical opinions, physiotherapy and mental health services.

Peter O’Donnell, Chief Executive Officer, Unum UK, said: Illness and long-term sickness absence can have a serious impact on individuals and their families as well as to businesses of all sizes and across every sector. At Unum, we want to help businesses of all sizes put in place the necessary services and products to enable them to manage this effectively.

“As evidenced in the recent Government consultation – ‘Health is everyone’s business’ – the government is also placing greater importance on the role of employers in keeping people in work. Good employers want to support employees when they are unwell as our research shows, and making our services more modern and helping them better understand how products like Group income protection can help, is an important place to start.”

About Unum

Unum is a leading employee benefits provider offering financial protection through the workplace including: Income Protection, Life insurance, Critical Illness, and Dental cover.

Our Income Protection customers have access to medical and vocational rehabilitation expertise designed to help people stay in work and return to work following illness and injury.

Unum LifeWorks, our Employee Assistance Programme, provides help and advice on a range of work/life issues.

Our Critical Illness customers can access our Cancer Support Service, providing personalised support for employees with a cancer diagnosis.

We are committed to workplace wellbeing for both employees and employers. We have a wide range of tools designed to help businesses create or enhance their employee wellbeing strategy, including our Mental Health Pathway and Wellbeing Calendar.

At the end of 2018, Unum protected 1.4 million people in the UK and paid claims of £314 million – representing in excess of £6 million a week in benefits to our customers – providing security and peace of mind to individuals and their families.

Our parent company, Unum Group, is a provider of employee benefits products and services in the United States, including group and individual disability insurance. Premium income for Unum Group and its subsidiaries totalled $9.0bn in the year ended 31 December 2018, with reported revenues for the group totalling $11.6bn and total assets of $61.9bn.

A.M Best has given all rated Unum Group companies an Excellent rating for Financial Strength, with a stable outlook.

For more information please visit http://www.unum.co.uk.

Unum Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Unum Dental is a trading name of Unum Limited. Registered in England 983768.

About the British Chambers of Commerce

The British Chambers of Commerce surveyed 1,000 business leaders online between 29 April and 16 May 2019. Around 91% of participants were SMEs.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) sits at the heart of a powerful network of 53 Accredited Chambers of Commerce across the UK, representing thousands of businesses of all sizes and within all sectors. Our Global Business Network connects exporters with over 50 markets around the world. For more information, visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

Helsinki, World’s First City as a Service Is Not Just a Joke – Attracts Over 6500 applications from +100 cities

Helsinki, World's First City as a Service Is Not Just a Joke – Attracts Over 6500 applications from +100 cities
Helsinki, World’s First City as a Service Is Not Just a Joke – Attracts Over 6500 applications from +100 cities

 Helsinki and some of Finland’s most renowned tech companies launched a talent attraction campaign in September branding Helsinki as the world’s first City as a Service (CaaS). The campaign reframed the value that Helsinki offers to its “users” (current citizens) and potential “demo users” (tech professionals looking to relocate) using familiar vocabulary and tone of voice for international tech professionals. The campaign received close to 7,000 applications of tech professionals interested to relocate to Helsinki.

Now Helsinki is bringing its potential tech professionals to visit the city. Tech talent from Tel Aviv to New York will experience their potential new hometown Helsinki and its work-life balance during one of the world’s largest startup events, Slush, on 19–22 November. The visit is hosted by City of Helsinki along with Supercell, Smartly, Slush, Relex, and MaaS Global (Whim). 

“Finding the best talent in the world is critical for us and other tech companies in Helsinki. It is a great place to live and work, with the best education system, best healthcare, opportunities to families, amazing international companies and happiest people in the world! It is easy to demonstrate that when we bring people here,” says Kristo Ovaska, CEO of Smartly.

Clever and engaging campaign noticed by the global tech community

The campaign turned city into a digital product of this decade and pitched Helsinki as a Service, highlighting its multiple perks: Helsinki’s 640,000 daily active users, key features such as free world-class education and healthcare. Helsinki’s bugs – darkness, snow and the flat skyline – were mentioned as carefully considered features. The city’s Mayor Jan Vapaavuori was recruited to act as the CEO of CaaS, encouraging potential demo users to apply for a free demo trip to Helsinki during Europe’s leading startup event Slush. 

The stunt was described as clever and engaging by Trendwatching and chosen as their Innovation of the Day. The results speak for themselves. In less than a month Helsinki received close to 7,000 applications from the wished target group of professionals in tech from software engineers, developers, AI researchers etc. 

“Helsinki has all it takes to make you feel like home but the problem was, not too many knew about its beautiful features. To make the world aware of what Helsinki has to offer, the city just needed a little repackaging.” says Alexander Pihlainen, CEO of brand company Bou behind the creative concept. 

Helsinki steps up efforts to attract international talent

This year the Finnish growth companies attracted the most venture capital investments to GDP in Europe, and hundreds of millions of euros in foreign capital have been invested in startups here. With a new approach to branding Helsinki, the city wants to improve the city’s image as a place to live. 

“Helsinki is located in one of the world’s most secure countries and inhabited by the world’s happiest people. The majority of foreign experts who have settled in Helsinki are satisfied with the quality of life here. The experience of a happy, good life is a combination of tangible – like housing, transportation, jobs and infrastructure – and intangible things. The intangibles – sense of trust and community, equality, closeness to nature – are essential values in building the quality of life”, says Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki.

Campaign site: www.myhelsinki.fi/caas

For more information, please contact:

Laura Aalto
CEO
Helsinki Marketing (Helsinki)
+358 40 507 9660
[email protected] 

Helsinki Marketing is a company owned by the City of Helsinki. It is responsible for operative city marketing and business partnerships for Helsinki. Helsinki Marketing interacts with local residents, visitors, decision-makers and experts.