Feb 26, 2020 | Foreign Exchange

At the helm during turbulent times

How Western Union and Mersey Maritime support one of the UK's most vital sectors.

When considering national economic factors, the maritime industry in the UK often gets overlooked. However, according to a report published by Maritime UK in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) this sector facilitates 95% of all national trade and is larger than both the automotive and aerospace transport industries. For an island nation such as the UK, the report found that “Maritime will continue to be the primary mode of transport for international trade in the foreseeable future”.

In its policy paper, “Maritime 2050: navigating the future”, published in January 2019, the Department for Transport reiterated its focus on preserving and strengthening the sector by outlining what it called “strategic ambitions”. Ranging from investments in clean growth and technology, to a liberalised trading regime and a commitment to nurturing a diverse workforce, these ambitions highlight just how important maritime will continue to be for the UK as it charts its new path post-Brexit.

It is therefore not a surprise that a company such as Western Union Business Solutions has chosen to pursue partnerships in this crucial sector.

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Now in its second year, our collaboration with Mersey Maritime, the regional cluster organisation for the maritime industry in the Liverpool City Region and the greater North West, is key to this approach. As businesses strive to steer towards growth in uncertain times, Mersey Maritime sits at the heart of its membership, listening to its worries and attuned to its needs. They benefit from knowledge which they share to provide deep dive empirical understanding of the sector at a regional level. With their national profile, they have also facilitated conversations between us and other players across the UK and have introduced us to many of their contacts as a trusted partner, which drives credibility and ease of working.

Our role here has been to make our currency services and international payment capabilities available to maritime companies. By providing expert services and dedicated support, we help businesses to better understand their exposures and payment patterns with various suppliers and currencies. We strike to utilise our world class foreign exchange network to help reduce time and cost. Our tools can give them instant access to cashflow projections, upcoming invoices, holding balances, and forward positions in one consolidated view, to help them grow the bottom line and expand confidently across borders.

Another benefit to this relationship with Mersey Maritime is the opportunity it provides us to work in the Liverpool area and help promote it as a world class centre of excellence. Last year, we launched a joint initiative, entitled the “International Trade Forum” where we help businesses understand the practicalities required when moving into export markets, such as documentation, tariffs, transport, currency risk and cultural considerations.

If you are a maritime business looking for world class business and cross-border payments services, please contact us at partners@westernunion.com and we’ll be more than happy to talk about how we can help you grow your business.

© 2020 Western Union Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. 
This article is a financial promotion and has been prepared and approved by Western Union International Bank GmbH, UK Branch. The information contained within this article does not constitute financial advice or a financial recommendation, is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Western Union Business Solutions is a business unit of the Western Union Company and provides services in the UK through Western Union’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Western Union International Bank GmbH, UK Branch (WUIB).WUIB (Branch Address:131 Finsbury Pavement, London, EC2A 1NT) is a branch of Western Union International Bank GmbH (registered in Austria, company number FN256184t,VAT Number ATU61347377, with its registered office at The Icon Vienna (Turm 24), Wiedner Gürtel 13, 1100 Vienna, Austria), which is licensed by the Austrian Financial Market Authority (Finanzmarktaufsicht). WUIB is subject to limited regulation by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of WUIB’s regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority are available from WUIB on request. This article has been prepared solely for informational purposes and does not in any way create any binding obligations on either party. Relations between you and WUIB shall be governed by the applicable terms and conditions. No representations, warranties or conditions of any kind, express or implied, are made in this brochure.