Bureau Buttercrane Ltd

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Bureau Buttercrane Ltd's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Bureau Buttercrane Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.bureaubuttercrane.com

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | BUREAU BUTTERCRANE LTD
Founders John and Marie
Gildea
Bureau Buttercrane Ltd specialises in providing physical
foreign exchange services and electronic payment services
to businesses and consumers. With over 25 years’
experience trading in currency markets, the company has
developed expertise in making cross-border currency payments
between the United Kingdom and Europe. CEO John Gildea
tells
The Parliamentary Review
that after 15 years as a currency
dealer, he founded the company in an effort to tackle the
dominance of high-street banks and to offer customers an
affordable, accessible and FCA-regulated alternative.
We are based in a unique part of the United Kingdom – in the city of Newry,
Northern Ireland, which is close to the border with the Republic of Ireland. Much
of this area is dual-currency, meaning that many local businesses accept payment
for goods and services in both pounds and euros. In this area, cross-border
trade is strong, with many individuals regularly commuting across the border for
work, school, business or leisure. Despite an economy with a strong demand for
competitive, accessible foreign exchange services, I believed that banks weren’t
fulfilling customer needs and having worked for 15 years within a large bank, I
knew more could be done to address customer pain-points, and so our company
was born.
When the company was founded in 1995, our mission statement was simple: to
offer fair, transparent pricing and a personalised service for small and medium-
sized businesses and consumers. Our mission today is just as important as it was
then and we believe that, in an era when banks are taking a step back from the
customer by culling their staff numbers, closing branches and ATM machines,
raising bank charges and pushing small and medium-sized business customers
away from phone-dealing to online platforms, that our personal and supportive
approach is more relevant than ever.
We recognise that as banking infrastructure shrinks, that we should step-up our
efforts to remain accessible to our customers across as many channels as possible,
such as in branch, over the phone or online. Giving small and medium-sized
businesses and consumers choice in accessing financial services is something the
Access to Cash
review, published in March 2019, supports. The review cautions that
“people will be left behind” in the march towards a digital, cashless society and
that small businesses and rural communities are particularly at risk. We have been
tackling this issue head-on by positioning ourselves as a hybrid foreign exchange and
payments company – one that is accessible to our customers both online and offline.
This helps keep our customers connected to integral payment services, at a fair
price, while offering them the friendly, personal support that they require. By
taking this approach, we have gained expertise and become a market-leader in the
Northern Ireland-Republic of Ireland payments corridor and process large volumes
AT A GLANCE
BUREAU BUTTERCRANE LTD
»Founders: John and Marie
Gildea
»Established in 1995
»Based in Newry, Northern
Ireland
»Services: Competitive,
personalised foreign exchange
and payment services for
businesses and consumers
»No. of employees: 10
»FCA-authorised payment
institution and HMRC-
registered money service
business
Bureau Buttercrane Ltd
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | BUREAU BUTTERCRANE LTD
Founders John and Marie
Gildea
Bureau Buttercrane Ltd specialises in providing physical
foreign exchange services and electronic payment services
to businesses and consumers. With over 25 years’
experience trading in currency markets, the company has
developed expertise in making cross-border currency payments
between the United Kingdom and Europe. CEO John Gildea
tells
The Parliamentary Review
that after 15 years as a currency
dealer, he founded the company in an effort to tackle the
dominance of high-street banks and to offer customers an
affordable, accessible and FCA-regulated alternative.
We are based in a unique part of the United Kingdom – in the city of Newry,
Northern Ireland, which is close to the border with the Republic of Ireland. Much
of this area is dual-currency, meaning that many local businesses accept payment
for goods and services in both pounds and euros. In this area, cross-border
trade is strong, with many individuals regularly commuting across the border for
work, school, business or leisure. Despite an economy with a strong demand for
competitive, accessible foreign exchange services, I believed that banks weren’t
fulfilling customer needs and having worked for 15 years within a large bank, I
knew more could be done to address customer pain-points, and so our company
was born.
When the company was founded in 1995, our mission statement was simple: to
offer fair, transparent pricing and a personalised service for small and medium-
sized businesses and consumers. Our mission today is just as important as it was
then and we believe that, in an era when banks are taking a step back from the
customer by culling their staff numbers, closing branches and ATM machines,
raising bank charges and pushing small and medium-sized business customers
away from phone-dealing to online platforms, that our personal and supportive
approach is more relevant than ever.
We recognise that as banking infrastructure shrinks, that we should step-up our
efforts to remain accessible to our customers across as many channels as possible,
such as in branch, over the phone or online. Giving small and medium-sized
businesses and consumers choice in accessing financial services is something the
Access to Cash
review, published in March 2019, supports. The review cautions that
“people will be left behind” in the march towards a digital, cashless society and
that small businesses and rural communities are particularly at risk. We have been
tackling this issue head-on by positioning ourselves as a hybrid foreign exchange and
payments company – one that is accessible to our customers both online and offline.
This helps keep our customers connected to integral payment services, at a fair
price, while offering them the friendly, personal support that they require. By
taking this approach, we have gained expertise and become a market-leader in the
Northern Ireland-Republic of Ireland payments corridor and process large volumes
AT A GLANCE
BUREAU BUTTERCRANE LTD
»Founders: John and Marie
Gildea
»Established in 1995
»Based in Newry, Northern
Ireland
»Services: Competitive,
personalised foreign exchange
and payment services for
businesses and consumers
»No. of employees: 10
»FCA-authorised payment
institution and HMRC-
registered money service
business
Bureau Buttercrane Ltd
35BUREAU BUTTERCRANE LTD |
FINANCIAL SERVICES
of pounds sterling and euro payments
in this corridor and other UK and EU
corridors every day.
Turning challenge into
opportunity
Given our deep involvement in cross-
border payments, and our status as an
FCA payment firm, it is fair to say that
we rely heavily on the existing financial
services “passporting” arrangements
between the UK and EU. However,
the shadow of Brexit has threatened
to remove these passporting
arrangements, potentially rendering us
unable to make payments across the
border and internationally.
In the face of this threat to our business,
we knew we had to come up with a
comprehensive Brexit contingency plan.
In doing so, Brexit forced us to re-
examine our business model and take
decisions that in fact proved beneficial
to our customers and our business.
As a direct result of Brexit, we have
established a new Irish entity which has
been authorised by the Central Bank
of Ireland for the provision of payment
services. In doing this we have secured
our business model irrespective of the
final political outcomes arising from
Brexit. In addition, Brexit has spurred
us on to open an additional branch in
the Republic of Ireland, which would
not only act as a gateway into Europe,
but also improve our accessibility
to our customers who reside in the
Republic of Ireland, helping also to
achieve our objective of growing our
national footprint.
Lastly, Brexit forced us to re-examine
and refine our cross-border operational
and marketing processes. In doing so
we were able to make cost savings
and marketing gains in this area. In
this sense, we were able to turn the
challenge of Brexit into an opportunity
and we feel very positive about
thefuture.
Leading on from this, we have
developed a strategic roadmap for the
next five years. We have implemented
a robust succession plan to allow my
wife Marie and I, to take a step back
and allow our son, Colum (pictured
above), and daughter, Fiona, to step
forward in to more strategic roles.
Both Colum and Fiona bring
substantial experience to the table,
having previously worked for large
financial institutions such as ITG and
Citigroup in London. Collectively, we
are on track to open additional offices
in Ireland in the coming year, helping
counter any adverse effects of Brexit
and improve customer accessibility.
We are also on track to harness
the latest technological advances,
through investment and upgrade
of our existing online platform and
payments infrastructure. Last, but not
least, we are intent on promoting our
services to our target audience of small
and medium-sized enterprises and
consumers and growing our customer
base on a national level.
More generally, and as it has been
from the outset, our goal is to continue
to fill the gap left by high street
banks and to act as a comprehensive
FX and payments provider for small
and medium-sized businesses and
consumers across the island of Ireland.
FX and
payments
services
should be
affordable,
accessible and
personalised
to business of
all sizes and
consumers,
not just the
elite few

www.bureaubuttercrane.com

This article was sponsored by Bureau Buttercrane Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development