2018 for you and your business

An expert panel’s predictions

From the best place to book a holiday to what tech trends are emerging for businesses, here’s what the experts predict next year will hold.

Digital drive for businesses post-Brexit

From digital tax to Open Banking – expect new ways of working in 2018, says Hedgehog Lab CEO Sarat Pediredla.

“It’s likely that businesses will see an increased focus on digital, with more employees working remotely and from home. This will spur major changes in what we regard as ‘normal’ working practices. And, while businesses may be wary of costs in other areas, we see technology investments increasing – which is good news for the British IT industry.

“Certainly, Brexit will pose some real challenges, both for attracting quality staff and freedom of movement for customers in the EU. However, it also presents an opportunity to expand business horizons well beyond Europe. We foresee a positive outlook for global growth in the digital industry throughout 2018.”

Investing in the UK

Considering your investments for 2018? With continued uncertainty due to Brexit negotiations, the UK economy could see disruption – but investors should remain positive, says Barclays Head of Investment Strategy Will Hobbs.

“There will be inevitable disruption and expense from disentangling the UK from its largest trading partner, and lower immigration coupled with higher barriers to trade could make the growth rate suffer. However, a little further out, the threats and opportunities remain roughly the same for the UK economy. It should continue to benefit from a flexible and growing workforce, first-rate institutions and a stable rule of law. These will help to attract international investment.

“For 2018, an increasingly vibrant global economic backdrop, and the effect that has on corporate profits, should ensure that UK shares continue to comfortably beat the returns available from UK bonds.”

Ready to take control of your investments? Explore our Smart Investor service, designed to help you make your own financial investment decisions.

Smart Investor doesn’t offer personal investment advice. If you’re unsure, seek independent advice. Please bear in mind that investments can fall in value as well as rise; you may get back less than you invest.

Getting to grips with GDPR

Want to know what General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) might mean for your business? Whether you keep a record of customers’ phone numbers or have a more sophisticated database of spending habits, GDPR could affect you. Here’s what you need to know from Barclays UK Data Privacy Compliance Director Lisa Moore.

“GDPR comes into effect on 25th May next year – and it’s important to be prepared. Essentially, GDPR aims to strengthen individuals’ rights over their personal data and ensure more transparency over how their personal data will be used. Any business or charity wishing to interact with anyone from the EU must comply – and could face significant fines of up to €20m or 4% of the company’s global annual turnover of the previous financial year, whichever is higher, for the most significant breaches if it doesn’t.

“A good starting point is to make a record of what data you hold and how you use it. Most businesses in the UK, regardless of their size or nature, will hold personal data on their customers – from email addresses to more sophisticated tracking of customers’ habits online. By checking what data you hold, you can review your processes to ensure you comply with the changes.

“One of the changes GDPR brings is enhanced rights around customers’ requests to access their own data, so you need to make sure you have a process in place to make this happen within the reduced timescale of within 1 month of the request (although in some complex cases you may extend this to 3 months).”

To find out more about what GDPR means for your business, see our guide or visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website. Please note that not all businesses are the same and this guide shouldn’t replace professional advice.

Control over your data with Open Banking

Open Banking is launching in early 2018. It’s part of an industry-wide initiative designed to give you more control of your financial information and help you benefit from a wider range of products and services. Barclays Managing Director of Transaction, Insurance and Mass Market, Catherine McGrath, explains more about this new initiative.

“Open Banking will enable you to give permission for your bank to share your account transaction data securely with other companies, known as third-party providers (TPPs). In 2018 we will be launching our Open Banking services. We’re working to ensure you get the most out of this new service while continuing to benefit from our existing mobile banking services to make payments, move money between accounts and view your balances and transactions – all safely and securely."

Learn more about Open Banking and what it means for your data with our guide .

Property market predictions

Whether you’re considering selling your buy-to-let investment or looking to help someone onto the ladder, estate agent Savills’ Head of Residential Research Lucian Cook outlines the key trends to expect in 2018.

“Uncertainty over what Brexit means for the UK economy and how it will impact household finances will increasingly act as a drag on the property market. House price growth is expected to slow next year, but should pick up in 2019-20 if employment, wages and the economy swing back as well.

“In buy to let, we’ve seen the earliest signs that investors may be selling stock. If you’re entering the market, look very carefully at yields. We expect that to put the spotlight on urban markets outside the capital.

“We expect people to be trading up the ladder less often in 2018 and, even with the Stamp Duty announcement in the Autumn Budget, first-time buyers will largely remain heavily reliant on the bank of mum and dad or government initiatives such as Help to Buy.”

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Travel inspiration to help you holiday-plan

Know where you’re going on holiday in 2018? Here are the latest trends to help you make the most of your budget from our partners at Expedia.

“British holidaymakers appear to be committed to Europe, with bookings to key European cities rising dramatically. The top increases include Paris and Copenhagen – with Frankfurt and Reykjavik close behind as growing hotspots.

“Looking for a holiday further afield? Follow in the footsteps of fellow Brits with a trip to Dubai, where bookings have been on the up since 2016. If you’ve got your eye on east Asia, Tokyo is also seeing a big increase in UK bookings. And with the Winter Olympics set to kick off in South Korea early next year it could also see a boost in visitors.

“For most domestic markets, we’re still seeing airplane tickets booked 21 days or more in advance see the best prices – especially for trips within Europe.”

You can get up to 6% cashback on hotels and holidays when you book online with Expedia through us. Plus, if you have Barclays Blue Rewards, you’ll get an additional 1% cashback1. Terms and conditions apply. Retailer exclusions apply.

Must-watch movies for 2018

Already on the edge of your seat for next year’s blockbusters? Here’s what to keep an eye on from Picturehouse Cinemas.

“For film, it's been a year of building worlds and expanding on stories – with a rise in prequels and sequels. Viewers can expect that trend to continue into 2018, and there’s several big ones on the horizon. From Marvel’s Blank Panther, Ant-Man 2 and Avengers: Infinity War, to strong animation efforts with Coco from Pixar and Early Man from Aardman, there’s something for everyone.

“On the awards-prospects front, we have new Paul Thomas Anderson film The Phantom Thread, a new Steven Spielberg film The Post, and awards front-runner The Shape of Water. Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird could be the award season wild card – it’s from a first-time director but it's currently the highest ever rated film on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Cinema trends will see more exclusive and boutique experiences continue to grow as audiences seek out something different from what they get at home.”

You can enjoy a year’s free membership with Picturehouse Cinemas, including free and discounted tickets, with Premier Rewards.