The Bank of England’s Agent for Wales, Neil Ashbridge, recently addressed a number of Lloyds Bank customers in an off-the-record seminar about the state of the economy in Wales.
In his presentation, Mr Ashbridge, who travels all over Wales on behalf of the Bank of England, stated that during his visits to businesses across the country he has found economic confidence to be very much on the increase and predicted that the economic growth for the fourth quarter of 2013 may well be higher than forecast.
Mr Ashbridge said: “Business people I have been talking to over the past few months are noticeably more optimistic that they have been for a number of years. A large percentage of the Welsh economy is manufacturing and if that section does well it will have a knock on effect.”
Ciaran Leaden, Director, Wales SME Banking for Lloyds Bank, said: “We were thrilled to welcome a number of our customers and Neil to this informative event. Neil’s insights were fascinating and really underlined what we’ve been saying at Lloyds Bank for a few months now, that optimism is on the up in the business sector and that the economy is strengthening.”
Mr Ashbridge’s presentation was followed by a short presentation by Lloyds Bank’s Wealth/Trust department focussing on the ways in which individuals can safeguard their company and personal wealth via Trusts, and to highlight ways of mitigating Inheritance Tax through various methods of effective tax and Trust planning.
Ian Butcher of WCS Environmental, said: “As a busy Director of several different companies it is rare that I make time to attend business events. However, I thought that Mr Ashbridge gave a very precise analysis of the UK which gave me a lot of confidence in the future running of the UK economy and indeed the much maligned banking industry.”
Mr Ashbridge became Agent for Wales in August 2009. He joined the Bank of England’s Liverpool branch in 1973, before transferring to Threadneedle Street in 1976 where he undertook a number of roles in the Bank’s exchange control, banking and international divisions. In 1992, he returned to Liverpool as Assistant Agent, covering North & Mid-Wales and parts of the North West. When the Bank’s two North West offices merged in 2000, he became Deputy Agent for the North West.