Helping businesses navigate the complex world of international trade

Western Union Business Solutions

International trade is a vital part of business in the UK. Small-and-medium sized businesses (SMEs), whether importing or exporting, contribute to a vibrant British economy.

Out of all the businesses that traded internationally in 2017, 98.7% of these were SMEs, according to the Office of National Statistics.

But cross-border trade can be complex, particularly for SMEs who are juggling a multitude of other responsibilities.

From managing currency fluctuations to chasing payments from international vendors and suppliers, there are a variety of concerns and considerations for businesses.

Take currency fluctuations as an example. These can have a significant impact on a business – particularly if you’re an SME where even small movement can really affect your bottom line.

Over the last year, Sterling has seen a lot of volatility caused by political and economic uncertainty, which has impacted businesses across the UK, particularly those who import goods into the country.

One thing is for certain: businesses should be preparing for, and managing, their currency risk strategies.

For many however, foreign exchange (FX) planning can be complicated, not least because identifying currency risk is challenging in itself.

An important step towards robust FX planning and management is understanding the wider environment in order to be able to forecast rates and take steps towards addressing any predicted volatility.

At Western Union Business Solutions, we help businesses across the UK to manage the complexity of FX planning and cross-border payments.

Here in the West Midlands area, I work with businesses to help them find solutions to the challenges they face in trading across Europe and beyond.

Born and raised in the West Midlands, I have over 17 years of experience in the financial services industry and I work to provide bespoke solutions for my clients.

Getting out and about to meet people is one of my favourite parts of the job. It’s crucial for me to understand what businesses are saying, to understand the challenges they are facing and to look for opportunities to help them achieve their goals.

Once I have a clear picture of what a company wants to achieve, we can together build a strategy that helps them get there – whether that involves stimulating international growth, mitigating currency risk, or increasing efficiencies.

Essentially, I aim to reduce the time businesses spend on their day to day administrative tasks, like watching the currency markets, to free up their time to focus on their priority growth area.

Right now, I’m working with numerous members of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and I am keen to speak to more businesses within the community to see how I can help them make the most of the opportunities available to them in 2019 and beyond.

Paul Faulkner, CEO, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, comments: “Western Union Business Solutions are showing our members that implementing a strategic approach to planning your foreign exchange requirements can have a real benefit to the ability of businesses to manage risk and uncertainty in the current climate.”

If you would like to arrange a discussion with Kulvinder, he can be reached via email at or by ‘phone at 07753 460 536. © 2019 Western Union Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

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. Services in the UK are provided by Western Union International Bank GmbH, UK Branch and Custom House Financial (UK) Limited (which does business under the trade name of Western Union Business Solutions).

Western Union International Bank GmbH, UK Branch (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 Schubertring 11, 1010 Vienna, Austria), which is licensed by the Austria 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. Custom House Financial (UK) Limited (registered in England, Company Number 04380026, Registered Office Address: 200 Hammersmith Road, London W6 7DL) is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (Register Reference: 517165) for the provision of payment services and is registered as a Money Service Business with HM Revenue & Customs (Registered No: 12140130).

Kulvinder Singh Shokar 
Senior business development manager
Western Union Business Solutions