Business news 4 April 2024

Not all economists see clouds ahead. Gold hits new high. FSB criticises FCA. London jobs plan.  And more business news that we thought would interest our members.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Not all economists see clouds ahead

Consensus estimates for 2024 suggest the UK economy will grow only 0.4%, well below the UK’s long-run average. But Simon French, head of research at Panmure Gordon, is less gloomy believing the UK economy could grow as much as 1.2%. French argues that household balance sheets have never been healthier and prospects for global growth also have improved over the past few months while energy costs have come down. However, French is not encouraged by an increase in household savings and a potential deterioration in the labour market.

Gold hits new high as investors hedge against inflation

Gold prices have surged to a new all-time high – touching $2,295 a troy ounce on Wednesday – as traders moved to protect themselves against the risk of a rise in inflation. Investors were responding to signals that the US Federal Reserve was preparing to cut interest rates later this year even as inflation remained stubbornly high. Potential for an escalating conflict in the Middle East and rampant buying by central banks and Chinese consumers were also drivers. Silver rose 3.1% to $26.92 per ounce and was trading at its highest level in over two years.

FSB criticises FCA over ‘super-complaint’ approach

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is at risk of losing the confidence of small businesses in its investigation into bank lending, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The FSB has criticised the FCA’s handling of a “super-complaint” it filed, specifically regarding personal guarantees requested by banks from company owners. In a letter to the FCA, the FSB expressed concern that the investigation’s scope excludes over 1m limited company directors in the UK. The FCA responded by stating that much of the lending in question falls outside its regulatory jurisdiction. But national chair of the FSB, Martin McTague, accused the FCA of side-stepping the core issue: “Small businesses deserve better and we are seeing what other options are available to us now the FCA has said it’s walking off the pitch.”


The Government is so far rejecting pressure for the UK Taxpayer to foot the bill and  to bring Thames Water into special administration and expects the company to sort its own finances.

DS Smith

Mondi and International Paper’s battle to takeover DS Smith, the maker of packaging for everything from breakfast cereal boxes to Amazon parcels, is hotting up with both parties having until 23rd April to submit formal offers.

Apple’s mobile Robot

After dropping it’s car plans, Apple are now looking at developing a personal robot that will follow users around the home performing mundane tasks

Royal Mail

Royal Mail is proposing to cut second class deliveries to every other weekday after Ofcom suggested Royal Mail could reduce delivery days to just three per week from six presently.


Recovery from yesterdays earthquake is underway and global trade sighed in relief as TSMC resumed production of the key advanced chips it makes for Apple, Nvidia and other tech giants, saying none of the critical equipment had been damaged.

Vodafone & Three

Vodafone’s planned merger of its UK division with Three faces a Phase 2 probe after both companies said they would not be offering measures to ease regulatory concerns ahead of the deadline of 2nd April. The Phase 1 probe had concluded the merger would substantially lessen competition in the sector.

Eurozone inflation

Eurozone inflation fell to 2.4% in March 2024 down from 2.6% in February and better than expected. Expectations of a cut in ECB interest rates in June have been raised.

PMI update

S&P Global release composite purchasing managers’ index for UK in March has been updated to 52.8 against the initial flash reading of 52.9.

Walt Disney

Walt Disney has won a boardroom battle against its critics with 94% of shareholders backing its strategy. Activist investor Nelson Peltz and former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo were denied seats on the board.


US Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell said the US central bank has time to assess the data before deciding to cut. The expectation remains rates will fall at some point in 2024 but the committee needs more evidence inflation is on a sustainable path back to 2%. Deutsche Bank reports investors are pricing in a 64% chance of a US rate cut in June with a total of 71 points of cuts by end 2024.

Labour joins London Mayor to launch jobs plan

Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, has joined Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, to launch a plan to create 150,000 high-quality new jobs in London. The jobs will be in sectors such as finance, retail, hospitality, health and life sciences, and fintech. Reeves stated that a Labour Government would reset the relationship with London and put an end to the Tory Government’s approach of talking London down. The plan aims to deliver the extra jobs by the end of Khan’s anticipated third term in office. Tory mayoral candidate Susan Hall responded: “Sadiq Khan’s jobs claims are nothing but sketchy projections, and completely ignores the jobs and businesses he destroyed with his disastrous Ulez expansion and his failure to support our night economy.”

Brits could face ‘unexpected’ bill due to little-known tax quirk

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has warned that thousands of UK workers who are paid on Thursday April 4 or Friday April 5 may owe extra tax because of receiving an “extra” paycheque in the 2023/24 tax year. Meredith McCammond, technical officer for LITRG, explained: “Where employees are paid weekly, the PAYE system is designed to assume you are paid 52 times a year. Each week, you get a 1/52 proportion of your tax-free personal allowance, at £242 a week so by the end of the tax year, you normally would pay the right amount of tax. But for years in which 53 paydays fall, as happens this year if you are paid at the end of the week on a Thursday or Friday, the system gives you an extra £242 chunk of tax-free personal allowance.” The amount owed could be significantly higher for those paid fortnightly or four-weekly. HMRC will send a tax calculation called a P800 and will try to collect the tax owed.

Consumer complaints over financial advice suitability soar

The number of consumer complaints over the misselling of financial advice being upheld by the Financial Ombudsman Service have soared over recent years. In the 2022/23 financial year, there were 884 complaints against financial advisers for misselling in the suitability of advice, compared to just 570 in the previous year. Some 62% of complaints over the issue were upheld in 2022/23, a much higher proportion than previous years.

Low stock levels keep rental demand high

A monthly survey of Propertymark member agents across the UK reveals that demand for rental property continues to outstrip supply due to a reduction in stock levels. Despite a decrease in the number of new applicants, around 10 new prospective tenants registered for each available property in February. Nathan Emerson, Propertymark chief executive, stated that while tenant demand has slightly decreased, stock levels have also decreased, resulting in an ongoing imbalance between supply and demand. Additionally, UK Finance reported a significant decline in new buy-to-let lending, along with an increase in interest rates for buy-to-let loans. Despite these challenges, rental demand remains strong, and landlords are encouraged to seek support from mortgage lenders if needed, researchers at UK Finance said.

Ageing super-rich set to transfer $5.2tn to their heirs

Research by Forbes magazine has found that every billionaire under 30 has inherited their wealth. There are 15 billionaires aged 30 or under and 2,781 worldwide in total. Experts at the Swiss bank UBS said: “During the next 20 to 30 years, over 1,000 of today’s billionaires are likely to transfer more than $5.2tn to their heirs.” According to the consulting firm Cerulli Associates, a total of $70tn is expected to be inherited by the next generation over the next 20 years with the massive transfer of wealth expected to make millennials the richest generation in history.

Latest Insolvencies

Appointment of Liquidators – SCHOLES & BROWN LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – AE CONTINUATION LLP
Appointment of Liquidators – H & Q FARMING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PWTC LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – AE SERVICES CONTINUATION LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – PRESTON TRADERS LTD.
Appointment of Liquidators – TKNT LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BENJAMIN CHARLES HOLDING LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – C.A.T.S. CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SHINE RECRUITMENT LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BLUE NIRVANA LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – BOLSONS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – WEST END AND CITY HOLDINGS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – EPILOGUE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CHITTLEBURGH & SON LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CENTRAL CASE MANAGEMENT LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SHIPSERV HOLDINGS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – DB OUTDOOR LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MEZEAL CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – VILLCARE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – WEST END AND CITY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – WARNERS ASSOCIATES LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – ARMSTRONG CRAVEN LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CEP BIOMASS ENERGY LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – WESTBORNE MANAGEMENT LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – THE YELLOW FRONT DOOR CO. LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PARI PASSU GROUP LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CROSS UK PROPERTIES LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – LEDIAN GROUP LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – KWIKVAN LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – D J COX CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ROH REAL ESTATE LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – LOGISTICS GROUP LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – FROZEN INGREDIENTS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – DARCELLA LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – SOUTH COAST FOODS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – AVANTI LANDSCAPE SUPPLIES LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – ZUSE LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – KALAMATA LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SPACE TO HELP (SOUTH)
Appointment of Administrator – R & S LASER CUTTING & FABRICATIONS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – VICTORIA TANDOOR LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MOSELEY DISTRIBUTORS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – BFE ELECTRICAL LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – BLACKFERN CONSULTANCY LTD

Why should you become a CPA member!

The Credit Protection Association (CPA) has been assisting thousands of UK businesses to get paid, since 1914. We have seen many financial crises, this one will be particularly deadly for suppliers for some time to come.

CPA eases cash from tardy debtors – Efficiently, Effectively, Economically and Ethically. And we provide credit information so you can monitor and assess your key customers.

Unlike other credit management companies, we offer our members a fixed annual subscription regardless of how high the debt value maybe!

Just call Peter Uwins, CPA’s National Sales Manager, on 020 8846 0000 (business hours) or email today.

When you see your money come in, you will be so glad you used CPA.

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


Do you have a commercial late payer that is causing you grief? Use CPA’s no-win, no-fee, commercial debt recovery service!

If you have a particular business customer who is late paying and causing you sleepless nights, why not offer it to CPA for purchase on recourse?

CPA’s collection department will then pursue the debt. We will be liable for any costs incurred and then when we have recovered the debt, we will pay you the net principle debt recovered less our percentage.

Once you have enjoyed that success then you can consider the more cost effective membership which includes our Overdue Account Recovery service and Status/Credit reports as well as a range of other complimentary services.

Just call  020 8846 0000 and ask for Godfrey Nelson or Cris Shirley (business hours) or email today.

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


Get compensated for previous late payments

Have you been paid late by business customers in the last six years?

Maybe you no longer work with them. Under legislation, you are entitled to  compensation you for those late payments you have suffered.

You put up with the PAIN – now claim the GAIN!

Claim late payment compensation (LPC) from former business customers who paid you late in the last six years!

CPA (LPC) Recoveries is using our bespoke software and decades of experience to do just that for our clients

Check our compensation calculator to see how much your business could be owed!

Discover NOW the potential value of late payment compensation hidden in your sales ledger!

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