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Barclays has a very large global trade business.
We support over 16,000 clients in 14 different countries across continents of the world.
In the UK, 2018 has been about Brexit and we’ve been trying to advise and stand by our client base to support them through that journey.
Elsewhere, more globally, while Brexit has often been on the agendas of our clients, there it’s more about larger macro-trade wars between the US and China and other geopolitical uncertainty.
So throughout those trends what we have tried to do is provide advice to our clients while still providing them with all of the working capital finance and trade financing needs that they require to sustain their businesses.
So looking forward to 2019 the key opportunity I see is to become more client-centric.
We’ve already I think made good roads into that journey, but for 2019 we’re adapting a new five-pillar strategy.
We have adjusted our organisational structure all with a view to becoming more client-centric.
I think what our clients will see is that, being underpinned by our approach to solutions.
While we continue to develop our existing trade and working capital solutions we are already working on new more structured solutions for our clients, not just utilising more structured financing techniques but also utilising technology, and being prepared to be more open and agnostic in terms of working with FinTechs and other technology companies to really provide the very best and most flexible services and solutions to our clients.
On the service side we will continue to optimise service levels.
We made a lot of progress in 2018 and we will continue to do that in 2019.
Throughout 2019 we will be laying the foundations for a digital upgrade to our business in 2020 which will again allow us that opportunity to sustainably grow our business in the future by providing yet more solutions and optionality to our customers.
In 2019 geopolitical uncertainty is here to stay.
From a Barclays standpoint, we will continue to stand by our clients.
We’ll continue to advise them, we’ll continue to support their needs from a trade and working capital perspective I see that as an excellent opportunity to deepen the partnerships that we have with our clients and to establish new partnerships with new clients along the way.
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