At our March conference, we welcomed our new CEO, Paul Coles, and said “au revoir” to Dr Robin Daniels. “Au revoir” because we will be working with Robin as we grow our work around Natural Capital, which is rapidly expanding.

Turning to traditional forms of capital, our conference posed the question “Where’s the money?”. The answer from our speakers was loud and clear: to a very large extent, there is plenty of it and a range of avenues our members can explore both from regional and national sources.

At SWBC we were particularly pleased to follow on our hosting of the Governor of Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, at his first regional event by then having Jonathan Hall as a speaker at our conference. Jon comes with huge experience in Finance and currently sits on the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee as an External Member.

Jon highlighted the £160bn that UK households have saved with these savings being disproportionately held by retirees and high/middle-income earners. Perhaps the recovery will be largely shaped by the extent to which people get spending? Finally, with Jon living in the South West, it was heartening to hear him say that we have plenty of opportunity and, along with other speakers, he posed the question “what does the South West want to be known for”. At SWBC we certainly want to play a role in shaping that.

Of course, we have also had a budget to analyse; one facing up to the difficulties (and opportunities) that we have over the short, medium, and longer terms. It will be very interesting to see whether the mix of capital allowance super deductions; new ways of working brought on by the pandemic and access to finance play a role in finally changing our productivity performance

Our next conference is in the planning and will be timed with the G7 so we look forward to seeing you there!

Special thanks to our conference speakers:

  • Paul Jones, Senior Manager South West, British Business Bank
  • Dr Christine Allison, Chair, SWIG Finance
  • Tom Torkar, Partner, Michelmores / MAINstream Angel Investor Network
  • David Bird, Director, ISCA Ventures LLP
  • Camille Sixsmith, Debt & Capital Advisory, PwC
  • Symmie Swil, Head of Business Banking, Starling Bank
  • Tony Greenham, Executive Director at South West Mutual
  • Jonathan Hall, Member, Financial Policy Committee, Bank of England

More information from all these presentations will follow with video clips soon. If you would like to know more or wish to join SWBC as a member, please contact us.