Carys Williams, ambassador for Wales at Lloyds Banking Group

The UK’s digital economy is recognised as one of the strongest in the world, and a recent report from Nockolds showed that the Welsh digital economy is currently the fastest growing outside London.

Yet, our latest Business Digital Index revealed that a staggering 45 per cent of businesses and charities in Wales lack basic digital skills. Our research showed that UK businesses could generate an additional £85bn in turnover by harnessing the power of digital, meaning that there’s a clear growth potential for Welsh firms to tap in to.

A solid foundation of digital skills has developed across Wales, with 55 per cent of firms across a variety of industries and sectors having full basic digital skills. However, according to Digital Communities Wales, 15 per cent of Welsh adults aren’t online at all, and 37 per cent of Welsh businesses don’t have a website or use social media.

One of the most common barriers that hold businesses back from doing more online are concerns around security – with a majority feeling they don’t have skills to prevent online fraud and scams – as well as time-strapped business owners not having time to set up their online presence.

Perhaps what’s more concerning is that 82 per cent of businesses aren’t investing anything in digital skills, and 28 per cent don’t see being online as being relevant to their business.

At Lloyds Banking Group, we believe that digital skills are relevant and hugely important to businesses across all sectors.

Digital is a key link to a firm’s success. In simple terms, the more digitally-engaged the organisation, the more productive they are, the better the balance sheet and the greater the savings on costs. The most digitally-minded small business leaders are three times more likely to report increasing turnovers. According to our research, firms are as much as 11 times more likely to operate internationally using digital tools.

We’ve pledged to provide digital skills training for 2.5 million individuals, SMEs and charities across the UK by 2020.

Education and training is necessary to ensure businesses are maximising the benefits of going digital and changing the behavior of leaders to support future development and ensure they are confident they’re safeguarding any important information.

At Lloyds Bank we are supporting the digital transformation, providing three Digital Knowhow Workshops across the nation in recent months, and will be hosting many more in 2019, as well as working closely with the Superfast Broadband Exploitation Advisory Board to support their digital strategy across the region and grow digital skills across all SMEs in Wales.

Firms looking for ways to reap the benefits of a greater online presence can find out more about training, resources and further support available by visiting or contact