Former HSBC Head of Economics will be helping delegates at the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) annual conference understand the resurgence of inflation and the challenges that it continues to bring (January 28 until 31, 2024).
Mark Berrisford-Smith, who worked for the bank’s Commercial Banking division in the UK until June this year, will be sharing his experience and expertise with attendees on Tuesday, January 30.
GCA Chairman Elect for 2024/25 Will Blake, whose role involves organising the 2024 conference, says: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Mark to the stage at our annual conference, which takes place at the De Vere Cotswold Water Park Hotel near Cirencester, Gloucestershire from January 28 until 31, 2024.
“He previously came and presented to members back in 2013 and has been a popular request as a returnee down the years, so we thought it would be great to invite him back again this year, especially as the state of the economy is such a hot topic within the industry.
“Mark is an experienced public speaker, having undertaken more than 2,000 talks during his time working for HSBC. In the past year or two, his presentations have focused on the once-in-a-generation challenge posed by the resurgence of inflation. In particular, he warned in the summer of 2021 that the acceleration of inflation was not a temporary phenomenon.
“With interest rates now at their highest in 15 years, and with the economy again flirting with recession, Mark will be discussing the outlook for the next few years. In particular, he will focus on how long it’s likely to be before borrowing costs start to come down and consumer spending revives.”
Ex HSBC Berrisford-Smith now freelance consultant
Mark, who now works as a freelance consultant and public speaker, has degrees in economics from Sussex and London Universities.
From 2012 until 2023, he was Head of Economics for HSBC’s Commercial Banking division in the UK, where his role involved advising the bank’s senior management and its clients on developments in the global and UK economies.
An important part of his job was to speak at client events organised or co-hosted by HSBC, as well as at conferences sponsored by the bank.
His work has involved making sense of the causes and consequences of the global financial crisis of 2008-09, and the subsequent debt crisis in the Euro Area; detailing the economic consequences, and practicalities, for businesses of Brexit; and explaining the long-term damage done to the UK, and other major economies, by the Covid pandemic.
Peter Burks, GCA CEO, says: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming Mark back to our conference this year. His presentation in 2013 was very informative and valuable to all those who heard it.
“He will be speaking at our 2024 conference about what the economy is doing, where it is likely to be going in the future and the implications this will have on our garden centre members and associates, who are suppliers to the industry. It’s a not to be missed presentation that is vital for everyone who owns, runs and/or manages a business.