Business news 4 December 2023

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Minister calls for small business support. Tax returns,  Manufacturing, house prices, digital pound, car insurance, bitcoin, obesity, stagnation, fraud, insolvencies & more business news that we thought would interest our members.

Minister calls for small business support

A poll for American Express has seen 61% of small businesses say the festive season has yet to be the same since the pandemic. While 74% believe it to be “increasingly hard” to rely on Christmas trade due to the cost-of-living crisis, 86% said the peak festive season is still crucial to their finances. Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday UK, said the research shows how “uncertain” this time of year is becoming for smaller firms. Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake commented: “If we all make a conscious effort to support our favourite small businesses, we can collectively turn this situation around… Small businesses need us this winter, just as much as we need them.”

Nearly half of micro-businesses delay tax returns until last minute

Nearly half of micro-businesses and sole traders wait until less than three months before the 31 January deadline to file their self-assessment tax return, according to a survey by Intuit QuickBooks. The survey found that 25% of micro-business owners file their return in the final month, while 22% have previously missed the deadline and incurred fines.

Manufacturing decline slows

The manufacturing sector exceeded analyst expectations in November, recording a slowdown in decline. The S&P Global/CIPS UK PMI for November came in at 47.2 on an index where a reading above 50 represents growth. This marked an improvement on October’s 44.8 reading and was higher than the 46.6. that had been forecast by economists. November’s PMI marked the third consecutive monthly rise and the reading was the highest since April. The analysis shows that production slowed due to weakened domestic demand, reduced new export business, and destocking by manufacturers and their clients. Business confidence increased slightly in November. While 53% of companies expect production to increase in the coming year, only 10% expect a contraction. Martin Beck, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, said manufacturers continue to face a significant obstacle to demand posed by uncertainty stemming from geopolitical tensions, adding that the manufacturing sector faces the same sluggish outlook likely to hit the wider economy in the near term. Cara Haffey at PwC commented: “Despite indicating a contraction in output for the past 16 months, November contained some encouraging signs for the manufacturing sector.”

House prices climb in November

Data from Nationwide shows that house prices rose for a third consecutive month in November. The average rose 0.2% month-on-month to £258,557, with prices having already climbed by 0.9% in October and 0.1% in September. While prices were up on a monthly basis, year-on-year they fell 2% in November. Nationwide said market has improved after the Bank of England opted to hold the base rate at 5.25%, prompting hope that soaring mortgage costs will start to drop and boost activity in the sector. Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, said: “There has been a significant change in market expectations for the future path of the bank rate in recent months which, if sustained, could provide much-needed support for housing market activity.” Gabriella Dickens, a senior economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the month-on-month rise would likely “reverse in the very near term,” adding that a material recovery in house prices “still looks a few months away yet.” “The outlook for next year, however, is brighter,” she added. Martin Beck, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, said: “The housing market’s fundamentals are looking a little healthier of late.”

Elsewhere, Rightmove predicted that UK house prices will end the year 1% lower than they started it. Rightmove said the market is continuing to “transition to more normal levels of activity following the frenetic post-pandemic period”. “Motivated sellers are likely to have to price more competitively to secure a buyer in 2024, and agents will work even harder to build chains, especially at the bottom end where first-time buyer affordability will remain stretched. Mortgage rates will settle but remain elevated, tempering some buyers’ budgets, especially in the lower and middle market sectors,” Rightmove added.


Bill Gates has said the world probably won’t meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping temperature rise below 2C, let alone the 1.5c target. He said 3C was still possible. But he praised COP28 for making progress on tackling climate change despite geopolitical tensions. “Climate progress is moving ahead even though we won’t meet our highest aspirations,” he said in a Bloomberg TV interview at the annual United Nations meeting in Dubai, citing the biggest-ever attendance and new food and health initiatives.

UK digital pound could put financial stability and privacy at risk, MPs warn

A report from MPs on Saturday warned of the risks to financial stability and personal privacy of a UK central bank digital currency. MPs on the Treasury select committee said that while it was true that the rollout of a central bank digital currency could spur innovation and competition in the payments sector, serious questions remained about whether the positive effects outweighed the risks and costs. The MPs warned that the ability to rapidly switch into digital pounds could accelerate bank runs and the digital currency would also push up borrowing costs for all customers taking out loans. In a joint statement, HM Treasury and the Bank of England said: “We have always been clear [that] a digital pound would only ever be introduced alongside cash, and that protecting individual privacy is paramount in any design.”

Consumers pay as car insurance payouts soar

The cost of parts, repairs, and second-hand cars has led to car insurers paying out a record £2.54bn in claims between July and September, up 21% from last year. The increased cost of servicing claims, with vehicle repairs and replacement cars rising 32% and 47% respectively, has contributed to the higher bill. Rising costs have affected insurance premiums, with the average rising 29% to £561. The Association of British Insurers has called for a cut in insurance premium tax to save customers money. EY forecasts another 11% rise in car insurance premiums next year. “The need for the sector to rebalance its books unfortunately means that consumers will face a sharp rise in their premiums,” said Richard Reed from EY.


Bitcoin passed $40k for the first time since May 2022.


Analysis from the Tony Blair Institute, published by The Times, says Britain’s obesity problem is costing our economy almost £100 billion a year and will leave us a “sick and impoverished nation”

Stagnation Cost

The resolution foundation reports that Britain’s economic stagnation/decline over the last 15 years has left the typical UK household £8,300 poorer than neighbours  in France and Germany, as we have failed to keep up with productivity growth.

Starmer: Labour ‘won’t turn on spending taps’

Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer will today promise not to “turn on the spending taps” if his party wins the next election. In a speech to the Resolution Foundation, Sir Keir will say economic growth “will have to become Labour’s obsession if we are to turn around the economy”. But he will argue that decisions taken from the Government and previous Conservative administrations for the past 13 years “will constrain what a future Labour government can do”.

Thames Water

Thames Water’s parent company may run out of money by April if shareholders don’t inject more equity into the debt-laden utility, its auditors have warned.

The UAE’s renewable energy firm, Masdar is taking a 49% stake in RWE AG’s £11 billion UK Dogger Bank South offshore wind farm, part of the world’s largest such project.

New SFO boss ramps up recruitment to strengthen capability

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is planning to hire 150 new investigators in an effort to repair its reputation and reverse a drop in the number of cases brought to court. The new boss of the SFO, Nick Ephgrave, aims to increase the organisation’s army of fraudbusters to 600, the maximum allowed by spending limits. Ephgrave believes that recruiting more permanent staff will make the SFO more efficient, as it currently relies on temporary workers. The SFO has suffered setbacks in recent years, with several cases collapsing and earning it the nickname “Serious Farce Office”. Ephgrave, the first non-lawyer to lead the agency, is focused on prosecuting cases involving large numbers of victims. He said: “Fraud wrecks lives and damages the economy. I am committed to building SFO capability and creating the team this country needs to tackle complex economic crime.”

CBI faces Q3 deadline to refinance rescue funding

Sky News reports that bank financing put in place to keep the CBI afloat after its sexual misconduct scandal is due to be refinanced in the third quarter next year. The business lobby group intends to extend the facility if required, according to its accounts. While the size of the facility is unclear, sources have said it is likely to be several million pounds.

Tougher scrutiny of voluntary carbon markets proposed

A global securities watchdog, IOSCO, has proposed 21 safety measures to improve integrity, transparency, and enforcement in voluntary carbon markets (VCMs). The measures aim to combat climate change and ensure the success of VCMs. IOSCO launched a 90-day public consultation on good practices for national regulators to apply. The proposal seeks to standardise terminology in VCMs and address concerns over the quality and double counting of carbon credits. The sector is expected to grow from $2bn in 2020 to about $250bn by 2050. The measures include requiring companies to disclose their use of carbon credits and implementing anti-fraud and market manipulation safeguards. Good practice could include “comprehensive disclosures on the project development process, verification and auditing methodologies, and the entities responsible for measurement, reporting, and verification,” IOSCO said.

Latest Insolvencies

Appointment of Administrator – VIVENSE (UK) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CHELVERTON GROWTH TRUST PLC
Appointment of Liquidators – LINKSTEP R&D TAX SERVICES LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – RCS (NORTH WEST) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – VDS TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SIYANI LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – SRINIVASA LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – SCOTT HUGHES DESIGN LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – ANDREW COOMBES ASSOCIATES LTD.
Appointment of Liquidators – S.W. OFFICE CONSULTANTS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SARGEANT TURNER AND SONS,LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – DG3 HOLDINGS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – AEROFLEX TEST SOLUTIONS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PEAK ENERGY ASSOCIATES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – THE FLOAT GLASS NETWORK LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – STRATAGEM EVENTS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – HUNTER PAGE PLANNING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MARTO DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – D. BOWSKILL SERVICES LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – PSB GROUP LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – SWIFT CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – FUTURE VISUAL LTD
Appointment of Administrator – W.J.CAPPER TRANSPORT LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MPSK CONSULTANCY LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – UPTON MCGOUGAN LIMITED

Petitions to wind up (Companies) – JC FOOD LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – RAJSHAHI CATERING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CHARLEW DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – DURHAM GIN LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – VICES LONDON LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – MAJHA TRANSPORT LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MODERNELITE LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – D & R WINDOWS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – MORELAND AND CLARKE LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – HAYERS SUPERMARKET LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SEEN CAPTURE LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – AERO HYDRAULICS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SWITCH HAULAGE LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – STADEN LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – EAST COAST RETAIL LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – GIBBARD TRANSPORT LTD
Appointment of Administrator – RATIONAL FOREIGN EXCHANGE LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – J S K RETAIL (GLW) LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – ENVIRTUAL LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ABCD PROPERTY LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – THE BRADING GROUP LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – XENDPAY LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ANDIAMO CONSULTANCY LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ASAMU CONSULTANCY LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – LANDPOINT SURVEYING LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – EDWARD HODGETT LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – RAPID SURVEYORS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ATELIER HOMES LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – PHARMADEX LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CENTURION RETAIL LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – ELLITE CONSULTING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ALL STROKES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SELWOOD CONSULTING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – PARAGON NETWORK SERVICES LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – DARK ANGEL LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – TROYSTONE LIMITED

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.