Business news 10 January 2024

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Global economy will slow again in 2024, World Bank predicts.  Semiconductors, bonds, activist investors, bitcoin & more business news that we thought would interest our members.

Global economy will slow again in 2024, World Bank predicts

The World Bank says high interest rates, persistent inflation and sluggish trade will see the global economy slow for a third consecutive year in 2024. It has forecast growth of just 2.4% in 2024, marking a slowdown on the 2.6% growth recorded in 2023, the 3% seen in 2022 and the 6.2% rate posted in 2021. Indermit Gill, the World Bank’s chief economist, said: “Near-term growth will remain weak, leaving many developing countries – especially the poorest – stuck in a trap.” The World Bank predicts that global inflation will hit 3.7% in 2024, with this a decline on the 5.3% recorded last year. It expects the rate to fall again in 2025, to 3.4%.

Blackrock’s UK election warning

Blackrock has warned investors of a potential revolt on the UK bond market as the political parties are likely to ramp up spending promises ahead of the election.


The rise of AI has halted a fall in semiconductor sales. Global chip sales rose for the first time in over a year as global revenues hit 4.8 billion dollars. A 5.3% rise year on year.


Greggs said 2023 sales rose 19.6% to £1.81 billion from £1.51 billion the year before and with like-for-like sales growth of 13.7%.


European scientists at Copernicus have confirmed measurements of global surface air temperature show  2023 was the warmest calendar year in global temperature data records going back to 1850. 2023 had a global average temperature of 14.98°C, 0.17°C higher than the previous highest annual value in 2016.

Fujitsu will be held accountable

Fujitsu will be “held accountable” if it is found to have been negligent in the Post Office scandal, the government has said. After more than 700 Post Office branch managers were prosecuted in the biggest miscarriage of Justice in British history after faulty Horizon software provided by Fujitsu made it look like money had been taken.

Fujitsu said it was sorry for its role in sub-postmasters’ suffering. Calls are growing for the Japanese software giant to explain its role and to pay compensation to victims.

Vennells returns CBE

Former Post Office boss Paula Vennells is handing back her CBE after facing mounting pressure over the Horizon IT scandal. She is accused of pushing for the continued prosecution of the  sub-postmasters long after the faults with  the Horizon software were discovered and overseeing a culture of denial over the issue and the blocking of justice.


The CEO of Boeing has admitted the airplane manufacturing giant was at fault after one of its new aircraft belonging to Alaskan Airlines suffered a door blow-out shortly after take-off in the USA.

Speaking to Boeing staff, Mr Calhoun said: “We’re going to approach this number one acknowledging our mistake. We’re going to approach it with 100% and complete transparency every step of the way.”


Persimmon expects the housing market to remain “highly uncertain” in 2024 although it delivered more sales than expected in 2023. But the housebuilder said moderating build costs should benefit new home completions in 2024 and the long-term outlook for new homes is still favourable. The company said it completed the sale of 9,922 new homes in 2023, ahead of previous guidance, with a particularly strong delivery in the fourth quarter.

Activist investors target UK companies

British firms could be targeted as activist investors ramp up their hunt for targets this year. A report by Alvarez & Marsal says Britain is a particular lure because UK firms offer good value, with analysis showing that British companies targeted by activists typically had a 9% rise in their valuation after five years. Alvarez & Marsal’s Malcolm McKenzie said: “Boards should expect increased scrutiny and challenge from activists.”

VC investment in UK start-ups fell in 2023

Investment in UK start-ups fell to $21.3bn in 2023, down from $31.3bn in 2022 and a record $41bn in 2021, according to a report by HSBC Innovation Banking and Dealroom. However, there were signs of a tentative recovery, with companies raising $12.6bn in the second half of 2023 – a 46% increase on the previous six months. Erin Platts, CEO of HSBC Innovation Banking UK, said: “This data demonstrates a significant positive trajectory for the UK’s innovation economy, despite what has been a challenging period globally.” She added that she was “hugely optimistic” about the sector in 2024.

Financial services sector contracted in Q4

The UK’s financial services sector contracted for the first time since June 2020 in Q4 2023, according to a Confederation of British Industry (CBI) survey. A weighted balance of -23% of the 124 firms polled saw volumes fall in the final quarter of last year, down from +27% in the previous quarter. While banks and insurance firms reported a drop in volumes, investment management firms returned to growth in Q4. CBI chief economist Louise Hellem said: “With business volumes falling and both sentiment and profitability stagnating, 2023 ended on a flat note for financial services firms.” She added, however, that it is “encouraging to see that many businesses are still looking to grow their workforce and increase investment going forward.”

Crypto and fintech groups fined $5.8bn in global crackdown on illicit money

Regulators fined crypto and digital payments companies $5.8bn over failings in customer checks, anti-money laundering controls and upholding sanctions last year, while penalties for traditional financial services groups totalled  $835m.


Bitcoin climbed higher before as speculators awaited an SEC decision about a Bitcoin ETF. The coin jumped to a 21-month high yesterday after the SEC’s X account was hacked and a fake post on the account claimed that the SEC had approved an ETF.

HMRC criticised over service

Taxpayers have voiced concern over the service being offered by HMRC, with callers facing hour-long waiting times to get through and cases where letters are going unanswered. Some taxpayers are waiting up to nine months to receive acknowledgement of their correspondence. With taxpayers trying to contact HMRC ahead of the January 31 tax return deadline, some have questioned the tax office’s decision to reduce the service on its helpline. HMRC says it will only take “priority calls,” with everyone else directed to its website. Last year, taxpayers made 1.2m calls to HMRC in the eight weeks leading up to the tax return deadline, with an average of 41,000 calls per day. Robert Salter of Blick Rothenberg says a tax office chatbot “isn’t the magic answer that HMRC wants it to be,” adding: “I didn’t find it easy to use — it was awkward and frustrating.” “HMRC has developed lots of technological solutions but in reality, they are not the solution, it is just a fudge that can slow the process down even more,” he warned. Andy Gibbs, a chartered tax adviser at TaxAssist Accountants, said the situation is frustrating “because people just want to pay their taxes. They don’t want to overpay and wait for their money back or underpay and face a fine.”

Latest Insolvencies

Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ALMASKOOF RESTAURANT UK LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – QUALITY PLUMBING SUPPLIES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CYBERAID HOLDINGS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – WIMIBO CONSULTING LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – IMMA LTD
Appointment of Administrator – TOM YAM LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – LENDING OPTIONS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – GANNAA LTD
Appointment of Administrator – CROSSGROVE ASSOCIATES LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – POP EYED LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SURFACE PREPARATION SERVICES LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – PML RESTAURANT LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – REGENERATOR LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CB ESTATES LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – LEVITY LIFE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PACIFIC LIFE RE HOLDINGS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – GAUNT HALL LIMITED

Why should you become a CPA member!

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


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


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