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Together we can power your future

Whether you’re looking to innovate, refocus, or start your journey to a more sustainable future, the right banking partner can help connect you to possibilities. Read our real stories to learn how.

Birchall Tea: Sustainable future

Combining commerciality with sustainability

A family-owned business with a history stretching back to 1872, Birchall Tea is firmly focused on creating a more sustainable future.

In 2017, the company had located the ideal site on which to build a new, greener factory in Amesbury, Wiltshire. Managing Director Daniel Graham emphasised, “It was vital we moved quickly or we could have lost the site and the opportunity.”

The company had banked with Barclays for 45 years, so approached us about helping to finance the build. Barclays responded with a loan in principle within 24 hours, allowing the opportunity to be realised.

As Karen Johnson, National Head of Retail & Wholesale at Barclays, noted, “Speed of execution was critical and we were delighted to deliver.” Barclays’ close understanding of the company supported this, Daniel commented, “It’s a relationship of individuals as well as businesses.”

Birchall Tea went on to build the UK’s first solar-powered tea factory, with over 460 solar panels and air source heat pumps supplying double the energy the factory uses.

They’ve since become the first tea company in the world to achieve the Carbon Neutral International Standard and to join the UN's Climate Neutral Now initiative. With a new objective to completely remove plastic from their tea bags by the end of 2020, Birchall Tea’s commitment to sustainability is as strong as ever.

Five ways to improve your business’ sustainability

Daniel Graham, MD, Birchall Tea

 

Birchall is a family run independent tea company.  We have offices in Mombasa, Kenya where we have a 62,000 square foot factory and from where we will export approximately 50 million kilos of tea to 30 countries worldwide this year.  Our head office is in London and then here in Wiltshire we have our brand new solar powered tea packing factory.

 

I’m the 5th generation of my family to go into the tea trade, it’s always been a passion of mine.  

 

I don’t know where Britain would be without a cup of tea.

 

We’ve been banking with Barclays since 1974, they really understand our business, they know what we’re trying to achieve and they go out of their way to help us achieve our goals.  

We’re very proud to have achieved carbon neutral status for the company and all its products earlier this year.  We where issued the gold standard and we were the first tea company to sign up to the UN Climate Change Now initiative.  We’re also removing plastic from all of our products.

This factory here in Amesbury is completely run on solar power, we have about 450 solar panels on the roof which produce twice the amount of energy that we need.

We went to Barclays for financial support to help us part fund the factory.  They were outstanding in reacting quickly. We needed quick decisions otherwise we would have had to run the possibility of losing out on the option to buy the land and build the factory.  

 

Andy Rivers, Relationship Director, Barclays 

 

When Dan and the team at Birchall came to us at Barclays and asked us to help fund their new sustainable tea factory, we knew it was an opportunity that we wanted to support the business with. 

The move to this factory for Birchall gives them unparalleled benefits from a commercial standpoint,  that they’re set up both now and for future growth. 

 

Daniel Graham

 

It’s very important for us to have a partner that is committed to sustainability and Barclays certainly are, they are definitely committed. 

 

Andy Rivers

 

Sustainability’s at the heart of everything that Barclays is doing and trying to achieve moving forward. We have a whole host of green products that enable us to help support businesses like Birchall who have an ethos and a grounding in sustainability and the environment, and we recognise that for businesses like Birchall, there’s common ground because it’s the same for them. And to be a trusted partner for them for another 45 years, we need to ensure that our goals, our ethos and values are shared.

 

The future for Barclays and Birchall together is really positive. The business has spent a number of years positioning itself for growth with the investments its been making, not only the development of this wonderful sustainable tea factory, and there’s now many new exciting projects that Dan has got his eyes on moving forward that we would love to help him with.

 

Daniel Graham

 

I see us continuing to work with Barclays in the future, we have a great working relationship, I enjoy working with them, they understand us.  We don’t have to explain everything every time and we will continue to work with Barclays to achieve our goals. 

What we’ve achieved wouldn’t have been possible without Barclays. They made the complex financing needed really simple

Daniel Graham

Managing Director, Birchall Tea

Could switching banks enhance your corporate business?

Switching to Barclays was very straightforward. The online portal was so helpful to track progress and I regularly spoke to James too. It was handled really well.

Nick Longley

Group Financial Controller, Titan Europe

Titan Europe: Seamless switching

Switching was seamless

Titan Europe manufactures wheels and undercarriage systems and distributes tyres for off road vehicles as part of the global Titan group.

Having been with a US bank for several years, they wanted a financial partner to better understand their operations in the UK and to support them with the complexities of managing their finances across territories.

Titan chose Barclays after discussions with a number of banks. Nick Longley, Group Financial Controller at Titan, explained the decision: “Barclays made the effort to get to know Titan. They took a more granular approach and took the time to understand our business. It was important to us that our Relationship Director would be based a few miles away, not overseas.”

James Hodgson, Barclays Relationship Director, said “Learning about Titan’s business and using that to tailor our solutions has been a real pleasure. I look forward to strengthening our relationship even further.”

Titan already uses a range of Barclays solutions, including a working capital facility, day-to-day banking products and clearing in Sterling, Euro and US dollars. Nick is also discussing foreign exchange solutions with James, working through how our international capabilities could support Titan’s future growth plans both in the UK and overseas.

Asta: Innovative growth

Boosting innovation in the global insurance market

Asta creates and manages underwriting businesses, currently managing a number of Lloyd’s of London syndicates.

Innovation is vital if businesses are to survive and thrive – particularly in challenging times. As the lead third-party managing agent at Lloyd’s, Asta has been key to supporting the innovative ‘Future at Lloyd’s’ programme which aims to show the Lloyd’s market as a global leader in insurance innovation.

As part of this programme, the Syndicate-In-a-Box initiative is designed to more quickly introduce entrepreneurial entrants in order to evolve and grow the market. With Barclays’ help, Asta is perfectly positioned to help entrepreneurial and innovative underwriters access Lloyd’s in this way. And because entrepreneurial syndicates require funding support, we also provide a range of financing products for Asta’s clients that are vital to their launch.

Julian Tighe, CEO of Asta, commented, “Innovation is vital for us to stay relevant. It’s incredibly important for Asta and our clients to have an international banking partner that’s innovative and understands the industry.”

James Nicol, Barclays Corporate Banking Relationship Director, noted, “Close collaboration with our colleagues across the Corporate and Investment Bank allows Barclays to create solutions to support investment into the global insurance market. This is in addition to supporting the day-to-day needs of participating syndicates.”

We’re proud to support Asta as they continue to introduce new underwriting businesses into Lloyd’s.

Hear from business leaders at the forefront of innovation

Can innovation power business growth?

Barclays has made this innovation possible. They will find solutions for us and be innovative in doing so, which gives us a great deal of confidence.

Julian Tighe

CEO, Asta

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