2020 shaping up well for the UK.

19th February 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

UK was third fastest G7 economy in 2019

Despite all the negativity around brexit and the surrounding uncertainty along with the UK stagnating in the final quarter of last year,  it is worth noting that the UK had the third-fastest growing economy in the G7, expanding by 1.4% in 2019.

France, Germany and Italy, grew by 1.3%, 0.5% and 0.2% respectively.

Only the US and Canada, which posted growth of 2.2% and 1.5% respectively, were ahead of Britain.

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, said: “2019 was a real yo-yo year for the economy, with its performance being particularly distorted by the two scheduled Brexit deadlines.”

But Ruth Gregory, senior UK economist at Capital Economics, says: “All this backward-looking news is less important than the timelier data which suggest that the economy has returned to growth in quarter one.”

Carney: Johnson’s election win sees confidence rebound

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, says Boris Johnson’s general election victory has prompted a “rebound in confidence” in the economy for 2020, adding that Britain is moving to address its main economic problem – weak productivity.

In a Reuters interview in which he was quizzed on the potential upsides for the economy resulting from Brexit, Mr Carney said: “In an environment where everything is getting a fresh look, it’s fertile ground for taking a step back and making bigger changes than otherwise might have been made.”

He added: “It’s early days but there are several initiatives – the budget will be telling – that suggest that some of these opportunities are being grasped.” He went on to say that while data shows it is “absolutely clear” that Brexit has had “a notable impact on investment,” Britain’s departure from the EU could prove to be “a conceptual positive’” for the UK and is “prompting a reassessment of economic policy, structural economic policy.”

On the election result which brought an end to uncertainty over Brexit, Mr Carney said: “We are already seeing a rebound in confidence, business confidence and to some extent a firming of consumer confidence.”

Average home value expected to rise 3%

Economists forecast that the value of the average home is expected to rise by 3% over the next year.

While the London market is expected to remain subdued, some regions could see property prices climb by 4%.

The EY Item Club, which uses the Treasury’s own economic computer model, has raised its forecast for house price growth from 2% to 3%, with its chief economist Howard Archer saying: “There is pretty compelling evidence that there has been a pick-up.”

Asking prices up £2,500

Analysis by Rightmove shows that asking prices are up by more than £2,500 over the past month, with the average hitting £309,399 in February – just £40 below the all-time record.

The figures are based on the 108,107 asking prices recorded on the site over the past month, equal to 95% of the UK market.

Retail growth expected

Retail sales figures set to be released by the Office for National Statistics this week are expected to show a return to growth after five months of either flat or declining sales.

While December’s data saw the volume of retail sales fall by 0.6% compared with November, January’s figures are likely to show growth, with the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) sales monitor, which covers the period to January 20, showing sales had picked up.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said that while January saw a return to growth, “recent political uncertainty and a decade of austerity appear to have ingrained a more thrifty approach among consumers.”

With January’s figures the first since the election, Peter Dixon, international economist at Commerzbank, said: “It will be interesting to see if the Boris factor has positively affected consumer sentiment,” while Alasdair McKinnon, manager of Scottish Investment Trust, commented: “I would not expect any fireworks, but I am interested to see how the first full set of post-Election figures turn out.”

Meanwhile, the Observer highlighted that retail sales are expected to recover from -0.6% in December to +0.5%. It notes that while the BRC / KPMG health check of the retail sector found that total sales rose by 0.4% in January, sales were unchanged once increases in floor space were taken into account.

Household finances hit record outlook

IHS Markit’s UK Household Finance Index (HFI) hit 47.6 in February, from 44.6 in January, as UK households’ perceptions of their financial wellbeing rose to its highest ever levels.

Joe Hayes, an economist at IHS Markit, said: “Post-election survey data so far scores a fairly good chance a first quarter GDP pickup following a flat end to 2019.”

The Future Household Finance Index – which measures expected change in financial health over the next 12 months – also rose to 52.7 in February, from 49.6 last month, in a further sign of the UK’s positive outlook.

A third of Brits would add debt

However a poll by R3 shows that a third of adults would take on extra debt if they got an unexpected bill or lost a job.

The survey saw 13% say they would turn to a credit card, 11% would ask family and friends for a loan, 7% would take out an overdraft and 3% would apply for a bank loan or use payday lenders.

Less than half of those polled said they had savings

UK wages top 2008 peak as employment hits record high

UK wages topped their pre-financial crisis peak for the first time at the end of 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), as UK employment hit a record high of 32.9m people.

The employment rate reached 76.5% over the three months, while unemployment fell by 16,000 to 1.29m. Average regular pay rose to £512 per week in December, which in real terms is £1 higher than it was in August 2007.

Access to Cash review urges action by chancellor

Separately, we thought the following would interest our readers.

The authors of the Access to Cash review, led by the former Financial Ombudsman Service boss Natalie Ceeney, are urging new chancellor Rishi Sunak to include measures protecting access to physical money in the budget, cautioning that over 8m adults in the UK would struggle to adapt to a cashless society.

With around 13% of free-to-use ATMs in the UK closing and the proportion of ATMs which charge a fee increasing from 7% to 25%, Ceeney remarked: “The UK is fast becoming a cashless society – without knowing what this really means for consumers or for the UK economy.”

Jenny Ross of consumer group Which? noted that: “Without legislation many more communities will be cut off from cash or forced to pay hefty fees to access their own money. The new chancellor must seize this opportunity and guarantee long-term access to cash in the budget, while developing a clear strategy to ensure that the transition to digital payments doesn’t leave anyone behind.”

Budget will go ahead on March 11

The Budget will go ahead on 11 March as planned, new Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed. He is due to meet Boris Johnson today to discuss the Budget, amid expectations that the Prime Minister wants more leeway to borrow large sums to fund infrastructure projects in the North.

Do you sell on credit?

With pressures on the cash flow it is essential that you stay on top of the credit limits you grant customers and watch carefully for any late payments.

Those customers will look for the easiest option  to boost their cash-flow. Don’t let it be you.

You can’t just assume your customers can and will pay you eventually, no matter how big their name is.

It is essential to have credit management systems in place to monitor and check your customers credit worthiness.

It is also best practice to use a trusted third party like CPA to make sure you are paid on time by customers, no matter how good a name they have.

About CPA

The Credit Protection Association can help!

Formed in 1914, CPA has been providing credit management services to SMEs for over 100 years.

At the Credit Protection Association, we provide first class credit information that can help you avoid being over extended to customers who are at risk. Our monitoring service can flag up warning signs long before the end, giving you the chance to adjust and reduce your exposure. We provide recommended credit limits and credit scores on a traffic light system and can help you set appropriate credit policies for your customers.

We regularly publish lists of the latest insolvencies but by then it is too late. Our credit reports however predict approximately 96% of company insolvencies long before they arrive.

Companies in trouble usually have very bad cash flow and they try to deal with it by delaying payment to their suppliers, increasing your exposure to them.

If you supply on credit, help us help you identify the risks.

Why use a third party collector?

As a third party collector, we can also get your payments prioritised over those who are not as hot on collections. When your customer receives a letter from the Credit Protection Association regarding their outstanding account, they are going to want to get that resolved as a priority. Our overdue account recovery service can get your unpaid invoices to the top of their “to do” list and get your invoice paid.

Over the years we have collected billions in overdue invoices for our customers.

Our debt recovery and credit management services give our members the financial freedom needed to grow and prosper, while our new Late Payment Compensation department could unlock hidden potential and offer the compensation needed to springboard your business to success.

You might be hesitant about contacting a debt collection agency. What are they going to be like?

Can they help your particular type of business?

There is no need for concern. CPA are courteous, helpful and very probably have had direct experience of working with your type of business.

Debt collection agencies are not all alike.

Success lies in both recovering money and keeping customers happy. The Credit Protection Association was founded in 1914 and  has helped tens of thousands of UK businesses to collect outstanding payments and reduce the risk of incurring bad debt. We believe that creditors deserve to be paid for the work or goods they have supplied but we fully understand the need to maintain
the best possible relationship with customers!

At The Credit Protection Association, we provide solutions, advice and back-up in all areas relating to the supply of services or goods on account. Client-members receive everything they need from a single source to reduce debtor days and write-offs.

The Credit Protection Association has helped has assisted tens of thousands of UK businesses with their credit control requirements, since the First World War.

We are polite, firm and efficient when it comes to recovering outstanding debt.

“We have used CPA for a number of years now. The website is easy to navigate around with lots of helpful reports. The staff are always at hand and very friendly. CPA has  helped us reduce our debt over the years and keep track of potential issues with our customers.”
~ CPA client in Buckinghamshire

“The service from CPA has proved to be everything that you said it would be. We have already seen a huge benefit. We have had a number of overdue accounts paid promptly and directly to us. It is also a huge weight off our mind to know that once we have passed an overdue payment over to you, you take care of everything whilst keeping us informed.
~ Credit Controller client in Warrington

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections


Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

CPA is passionate about late payment

The Credit Protection Association has been protecting smaller firms against poor payment practices for over 100 years.

We are extremely passionate about breaking the late payment culture that holds back the UK economy and threatens many SMEs with cash flow difficulties being the single biggest killer of Britain’s small businesses.

If you were regularly paid late we can help. Those former customers used you to boost their own cashflow, regularly paying you late.

As a result you had extra costs, you had the distraction of having to chase payment, you had opportunity costs because your capital was tied up in their late invoices.

Under little used legislation, you are entitled to compensation for those late payments.

Now you can boost your own cash-flow.

CPA can help unearth the those hidden treasures.

We have the technology to reveal the compensation you are due and we have the extensive experience and expertise to then turn those claims into cash.

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cash-flow.

Don’t let your bankers control you, contact CPA today.

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

The “Why” of the late payment culture.

New PM should walk the walk and back small firms over late payments

Paying late is “crack cocaine” to big business.

Late payment culture risks “spiraling out of control”

visit our late payment compensation page

See our full blog and FAQ on late payment compensation

Do you realise you could be sitting on a fortune?

Late payments often result in a cash flow crunch and leave SMEs in need of a cash injection.

If you sold B2B on credit then there may be a hidden source of capital you can call on.

If you fancy an bit of extra cash in your business, rather than jumping through hoops with your bank, you could look to uncover the resources from an unexpected source within your own business.

Not many are aware but there could be a hidden fortune within your business, sitting there, just waiting to be uncovered and released.

We can help you uncover the pile of gold, you didn’t even know you were sitting on.

If you trade with other businesses and were often paid late then you could be entitled to significant compensation.

Under little known and under-utilised legislation your business could be due huge amounts in compensation that you didn’t even know about.

Let’s be clear – this is not a way to weaken any customer relationships you value. It is one that identifies who’s been paying late and then recover the potentially significant sums in compensation using Late Payment Legislation from businesses where the relationship has already ended.

You can pick and choose who you want us to follow up – but once we’ve agreed which companies you’d like to pursue compensation from it’s a fast process and there’s no financial outlay to you whatsoever. My team at CPA put its expertise to work to recover the compensation due and fight late payment culture.

That compensation could provide the cash boost your business needed.

But don’t delay, that compensation evaporates if not claimed within six years of the late payment.

How can CPA help?

CPA has developed a unique technology to dig into your accounting records and discover the cash injection you are due by means of compensation. The software does all the hard work. Our software interacts over the cloud with over 300 different software packages, working directly with your accounts package, just so long as it’s stored on a computer.

We recognise that most companies do not have the resources to spend time on the identification and calculation of Late Payment Compensation. Our service can produce an Analyses within just a few days with (usually) less than 30 mins of co-operation from our clients. We work directly with over 300 accounting packages but can also work with bespoke accounts packages. Indeed, speed is essential as the oldest invoices may fall foul of the 6-year time limit.

Once the Sales Ledger Analyses is made available to clients, all that is required is that management decide which commercially sensitive ex-customers to remove from the list and return it to us.

CPA then uses its years of collection experience to explain and recover the Late Payment Compensation Claims. Clients do not handle any part of the recovery process as our team will take all communications from the companies against who the claims has been made. Often, it’s simply a case of explaining the legislation, sometimes we have to go all the way and enforce the legislation through the courts.

The result is that we are realising clients’ claims worth tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds which, of course, is pure net profit.  You may also be among the recipients of “hundreds of thousands of pounds” should you elect to take advantage of our services.

We do the work, you receive the cash.

If you have supplied goods and services to businesses on credit and were regularly paid late then you could be due significant sums in late payment compensation.

We are talking to companies and unearthing claims in the hundreds of thousands from former business customers who paid them late. Large business customers who abused their power to inflict unfair and sometimes illegal payment practices.

We are helping business owners  who are looking to boost the returns from their business before they retire. We are helping businesses who have lost major clients after years of loyal service to get properly compensated for systematic late payment. We are helping companies that were looking to close down, who looked insolvent and finding that cash injection they need to avoid insolvency.

Those former clients who regularly paid you late can finally be made to pay.

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections

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See all our latest news here!

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Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

25 excuses for late payment and how to get around them.

Read our Cash Flow Advice

Read about our overdue account recovery service

Read our blog – What is credit management?

Read our blog – How to select a debt collection agency

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see our blog – 15 steps to avoid invoice fraud

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As insolvencies rise, could you spot these warning signs in your customers?

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections