Corporate Outlook 2024

2024 Corporate Outlook

Focusing on the bigger picture in 2024.

See the big picture

A forthcoming general election means uncertainty around the direction of government policy, but we should be moving into a less volatile economic landscape.

David Farrow

Head of Corporate Banking

Looking back, looking forward

A look back at 2023 reminds us that we saw a number of major economic shocks, along with aggressive rate hikes by central banks and a global bond sell-off – a catalogue of events that are surely unlikely to be repeated this year. It was at least a year of relative calm in UK politics following a more turbulent 2022.

This year will almost certainly see a general election and that, of course, brings some uncertainty. However, I think our clients may generally be entering 2024 in a slightly more optimistic frame of mind. While the year ahead is likely to be tough for growth, there are definite signs that the economy is feeling the effects of tighter monetary policy, inflation has eased and the consensus remains firmly behind some form of economic soft landing.

Embracing the future

I’m expecting businesses to continue to be transformed by digital technologies in 2024 and beyond. Many have already embraced automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to drive efficiencies, while others are just starting their tech journey. Having a clear strategy on how these technologies can drive businesses forward will be critical in the year ahead and I would recommend working closely with knowledgeable partners, including Barclays, to understand both the potential benefits and risks.

Battling cyber-crime

We’re seeing an alarming rise in incidents of sophisticated cyber-crime and fraud. More and more businesses are being targeted by scammers tricking staff into making or authorising fraudulent payments by impersonating banks or other organisations using emails, phone calls or texts that look and sound amazingly genuine. We’re urging all businesses to stay alert and put the right measures in place to protect themselves, including educating staff on the latest scams that fraudsters might use.

Looking ahead

With interest rate reductions now very much on the horizon in the next 12 months, now might be the time to revisit growth plans that may have been shelved previously. Finance can unlock opportunities faster than self-funding investment, creating first-mover advantage. Based on our 2024 industry and regional outlooks, I expect a measured appetite for growth as businesses identify new opportunities. We remain very much open for business and committed to increasing the amount of finance provided to our clients to help stimulate growth, productivity and adoption of emerging technologies in 2024.

Seeing the big picture

Our focus is on helping our clients see the big picture. We look beyond the numbers so that we can provide useful insights, ideas and opportunities across the various industries and UK regions we serve.

With our dedicated regional and sector specialists and the power of the wider Barclays network we can act on those insights together to help you achieve your goals. Whatever your industry or location, we have a team that can combine specialist and local knowledge with innovative financing solutions and the know-how to tailor them to your needs.

Keeping fraud front of mind

Fraudsters are as active as ever across the corporate sector, impersonating our colleagues and attempting to defraud our clients. To help protect you and your business we have a wealth of resources available. You can view our quarterly fraud webinars and take a look at our other educational resources on our Fraud Protection Hub.

Remember, Barclays will never:

Ask you to make payments or move money to a ‘safe’ account

Call and ask you to provide or enter your PIN or use your biometric device, for any reason

Take control of your computer.

Get in touch

Request a call back from our team and see how we can help you develop strategies for managing your business.

Under £6.5million (please visit https://www.barclays.co.uk/business-banking/‡ or call 0800 515 462)

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2024 Outlook

2024 Outlook

What’s in store for 2024? Our Industry and Regional Heads share their thoughts on what challenges and opportunities businesses can expect in the coming year.