Gap Between United States & United Kingdom Remains Wide For Crowdfunding

The United Kingdom and the United States continually consult on foreign policy issues and global problems and share major foreign and security policy objectives. Regarding Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, “Nationalist” and “Republican” groups seek a united Ireland that includes Northern Ireland, while “Unionists” and “Loyalists” want Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom. U.S. priorities continue to be supporting the peace process and devolved political institutions in Northern Ireland and encouraging the implementation of the U.S.-brokered 1998 Belfast Agreement, also known as the Good Friday Agreement, and the 2006 St. Andrews Agreement. U.S. Assistance to the United Kingdom The International Fund for Ireland (IFI), created in 1986, provides funding for projects to generate cross-community engagement and economic opportunity in Northern Ireland (the United Kingdom) and the border counties of Ireland. Since the IFI’s establishment, the U.S. Government has contributed over $500 million, roughly half of total IFI funding. The other major donor to IFI is the European Union. Bilateral Economic Relations The United Kingdom is a member of the European Union and a major international trading power. The United Kingdom is one of the largest markets for U.S. goods exports and one of the largest suppliers of U.S.

I use proportion here as the size of the US Market is roughly 5x the UK market which would make comparing on absolutes a bit lopsided. With that in mind, here are a the top 3 reasons the UK will continue to lead: Government tax incentives for investing in start-ups: While the US has flirted with tax incentives in the form of reduced capital gains tax on early stage venture investments and even reduced capital gains on these investments to Zero for a short period of time as a part of the Small Business Jobs act of 2010, the UK governements Enterprise investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme offer not only Capital Gains Reductions but also tax liability reductions and loss relief in the event that the start-up fails. For investors who dont owe capital gains, the SEIS relief can cover over 70% of the investment meaning investors are only at risk for 30% of what they put up. Fewer Angel Investors: The UK Business Angel Association sticks Angel Investment in the UK at roughly 850 Million per annum. In the US the figure has surpassed the $20 Billion mark and is continuing to grow. Where most would look at this as a negative, for crowdfunding this is actually a positive as there is a large unfilled need for seed capital which can be filled by the crowd. History: Now this point is contentious but worth mentioning. Companies in the UK have had a longer time to get it right and will be able to export their more refined models to the rest of the world more quickly than those in the US. Even as we speak many of the big names in the UK are receiving authorisation to operate in many EU countries and its just a matter of time before we see intra-EU investment rounds being completed. Though a UK only company may not be able to take on the US market, a company with experience operating in multiple EU, and potentially beyond, countries will stand a fair chance. For these reasons the UK platforms will continue to lead at least in the short term.

Fitch Downgrades United Kingdom to ‘AA+’; Outlook Stable

KEY RATING DRIVERS The downgrade of the UK’s sovereign ratings primarily reflects a weaker economic and fiscal outlook and hence the upward revision to Fitch’s medium-term projections for UK budget deficits and government debt. Despite the loss of its ‘AAA’ status, the UK’s extremely strong credit profile is reflected in its ‘AA+’ rating and the Stable Outlook. – Fitch now forecasts that general government gross debt (GGGD) will peak at 101% of GDP in 2015-16 (equivalent to 86% of GDP for public sector net debt, PSND) and will only gradually decline from 2017-18. This compares with Fitch’s previous projection for GGGD peaking at 97% and declining from 2016-17 and the ‘AAA’ median of around 50%. – Fitch previously commented that failure to stabilise debt below 100% of GDP and place it on a firm downward path towards 90% of GDP over the medium term would likely trigger a rating downgrade. Despite the UK’s strong fiscal financing flexibility underpinned by its own currency with reserve currency status and the long average maturity of public debt, the fiscal space to absorb further adverse economic and financial shocks is no longer consistent with a ‘AAA’ rating. – Higher than previously projected budget deficits and debt primarily reflects the weak growth performance of the UK economy in recent years, partly due to headwinds of private and public sector deleveraging and the eurozone crisis. Fitch has revised down its forecast economic growth in 2013 and 2014 to 0.8% and 1.8%, respectively, from 1.5% and 2.0% at the time of the last review of the UK’s sovereign ratings in September 2012. The UK economy is not expected to reach its 2007 level of real GDP until 2014, underscoring the weakness of the economic recovery. – Despite significant progress in reducing public sector net borrowing (PSNB from a peak of 11.2% of GDP (GBP159bn) in 2009-10, the budget deficit remains 7.4% of GDP (excluding the effect of the transfer of Royal Mail pensions) and is not expected to fall below 6% of GDP and GBP100bn until the end of the current parliament term. The slower pace of deficit reduction means that the next government will be required to implement substantial spending reductions (and/or tax increases) if public debt is to be stabilised and reduced over the medium term. The Stable Outlook on the UK’s sovereign ratings reflects the following factors.