Business news 11 September 2023

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Insolvency firms face crackdown. Output and hiring slows as borrowing costs rise. Interest rates, greedflation, mental health, cascading crisis, Brexit 2.0, Gas prices, Heathrow, fraud & more business news that we thought would interest our members.

Insolvency firms face crackdown

Insolvency firms are set to be formally regulated for the first time under Government reforms. The Insolvency Service, which is part of the Department for Business and Trade, is planning new rules that will bring insolvency firms in line with the rules governing providers of audit and legal services. The reforms will see firms as well as individuals face sanctions for misconduct.

The shake-up comes nearly two years after a consultation that proposed the creation of a new independent regulator to sit within the Insolvency Service. Under the current system, firms providing insolvency services are overseen by Recognised Professional Bodies including the Insolvency Practitioners Association and the ICAEW. Reforms will nevertheless fall short of a pledge to establish a new watchdog.

Output and hiring slows as borrowing costs rise

Businesses are pulling back on hiring and slowing their output under the strain of rising borrowing costs, according to a study by BDO. The survey indicates that higher rates were to blame for slowing business output growth. The analysis shows that while output in the services sector slipped slightly in August, manufacturing marginally returned to growth, for only the second time since October 2021. The study suggests that businesses are more optimistic about the future. With forecasts suggesting that inflation will fall towards the Bank of England’s 2% target, many firms said they planned to retain staff in the event of an upturn. Kaley Crossthwaite, a partner at BDO, said businesses are reacting to the higher interest rate environment with conservative decisions about hiring, “yet some optimism prevails.” She said: “Caution is the watchword,” adding: “Predictions for a recession paint a weaker picture for the economy, and we can expect a slump in output, optimism and employment in the final months of 2023 as a result of rising unemployment and higher rates for businesses.”

End of rate hikes on the horizon, experts predict
While markets had previously predicted that interest rates could peak at 6%, economists say it now appears unlikely that the rate will climb that high. While interest rates have risen a record 14 consecutive times to 5.25% since December 2021, Michael Saunders, a former member of the rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), believes that another base rate increase this month would “probably” be the last in the current cycle. Stephen Millard, deputy director at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, said a “best guess” was one more rise, either in September or November. However, Willem Buiter, a former external member of the MPC and ex-chief economist at Citigroup, believes that difficulties in controlling both the headline and core inflation rates mean it is “very likely that we’ll see Bank rate at 6% by early 2024.” Andrew Bailey, governor of the Bank of England, last week told the Commons Treasury Committee that the period when it was “clear that rates needed to rise going forwards” was now over.

Bank of England report points to greedflation
Analysis suggests that inflation may not fall as quickly as the Bank of England has estimated due to a rebound in corporate profit margins. A study by Bank economists shows that 45% of companies plan to increase their profit margins in the coming 12 months, while 32% expect “no material change” to margins and only 23% expect to see a decline. With the top 10% of profitable businesses having successfully driven their margins to approaching 30% and set to make further progress towards this target over the next year, the researchers said: “Margin rebuilding could make some contribution to inflation persistence.” The survey found that on average, firms are on course to increase margins to a record high of almost 10%. Sharon Graham, general secretary of Unite, said: “Ever since the greedflation crisis began, the Bank of England has been attacking workers’ wages while downplaying corporate profiteering. Now the central bank’s own analysis supports what Unite has argued all along about inflation.” She added: “Companies are raising prices simply to boost their own profit margins.”

Mental health worsens amid cost-of-living crisis
A poll from lender Creditspring shows that 30% of Britons say their mental health has deteriorated since the start of the cost-of-living crisis, with the rate rising to almost half among 25 to 34-year-olds. Among this age bracket, 36% of respondents said their mental health was the worst it has ever been as a result of money worries. Mark Rowland, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said: “The cost-of-living crisis has exacerbated both financial strain and poor mental health, creating a public mental health emergency.”

Cascading Crises

The G20 nations in Dehli warmed of cascading crises that are threatening long term economic growth. Highlighting uneven growth, banking turmoil and the need to help the poor.

UK SMEs not ready for ‘avalanche’ of Brexit 2.0 rules and taxes
UK SMEs, including a number of exporters, are completely unprepared for an impending “avalanche” of new EU regulations and taxes, according to a British Chambers of Commerce poll of 733 firms.

Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk’s new and much hyped obesity drugs could have sales potential of $33 billion, according to JPMorgan. The market excitement over the drugs has already propelled the company to the top market capitalisation in Europe.


BMW are to  invest in the 110-year-old Oxford plant where 3,400 work at the home of the Mini brand, after receiving UK government for support to build EVs there and secure the factory’s future.


The UN has warned that world is not on track to meet its climate goals. Countries had agreed to limit warming to 1.5°C , but the UN said that reaching that target would require an additional 20 gigatonnes’ worth of carbon reductions this decade.

Gas prices

European Gas Prices moved sharply higher on Friday as workers at Chevron’s Australian natural gas facilities went on strike, prompting fears that a prolonged halt to production could squeeze global supplies. The industrial action at the Gorgon and Wheatstone projects in Western Australia follow talks this week to try to come to an agreement. The negotiations ultimately failed, however, to resolve a long-running dispute over pay and job security.

Heathrow & the CMA

The Competition & Markets Authority has provisionally found that some errors were made in a decision on how much Heathrow Airport can charge airlines. The CMA said it proposes to require aviation regulator the Civil Aviation Authority to reconsider certain aspects of its conclusion. In February, the CAA said the cap on Heathrow’s average charge per passenger must be reduced from £31.57 for 2023 and last year, to £25.43 over the next three years.

Government ‘flying blind’ on fraud, MPs warn
MPs have warned that the Government is “flying blind” on its exposure to fraud, which has quadrupled since the start of the pandemic. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) also said that while most of the £21bn of taxpayers’ money lost to fraud during the pandemic is unlikely to be recovered, ministers should be doing more to recoup as much as possible. Citing estimates from the Public Sector Fraud Authority, the PAC said the Government may have lost up to £28.5bn to fraud and error. This is on top of around £16.4bn lost to tax and benefit fraud in the past year. PAC chair Dame Meg Hillier said the Government is “flying blind on the levels of fraud and corruption perpetrated against it, despite widespread awareness of the toxic threat posed by these despicable crimes.” “It is time for some noisy reporting back from the most senior government officials on how seriously it is tackling this worsening problem,” she added.

Hunt urged to dismiss business tax proposal
Treasury adviser Sushil Wadhwani has proposed an additional tax on businesses that award pay rises over 3% as a possible way to curb inflation. Mr Wadhwani, who sits on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Economic Advisory Council and is a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, suggested that the Government could “implement a tax whereby each firm who grants a wage increase above 3% would be required to pay a 100% tax on the excess.” He believes such a measure would “directly operate to bring inflation expectations down without necessitating a rise in unemployment.” A number of Tory MPs have urged the Chancellor to dismiss the idea, with David Jones arguing that “those who do a decent day’s work should get a decent day’s pay. And employers who do that should not be penalised.” Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Darren Jones commented: “Under the Conservatives we have the highest tax burden in 70 years, with 24 Tory tax rises since 2010,” adding: “Now Jeremy Hunt’s closest advisers are plotting a huge tax raid on British businesses that will leave them even worse off.”

Rising rates threaten fight against inflation, warn major businesses
Increasing taxes risks “severely undermining” the fight against inflation, major British businesses have warned. Corporate leaders, including the CEOs and chairmen of Tesco, Aldi, Ikea, Greggs, and M&S, have written to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt expressing concerns about an anticipated rise in business rates. They argue that the expected jump in rates next year will increase costs and make it harder to cut prices. They also suggest that an increase could increase pressure on firms and potentially lead to store closures and undermine investment. The signatories call for the Government to freeze the business rates multiplier at its current level to support efforts to tackle inflation. British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson describes business rates as a particularly harmful tax that can cost jobs and hurt the economy. The Treasury has noted that the multiplier has been frozen for three consecutive years and that all taxes are kept under review.

Sunak: UK and India can ‘work through’ trade deal obstacles
Rishi Sunak has suggested that the UK is on track to conclude a trade deal with India after saying the two countries can “work through” the final negotiation hurdles. The Prime Minister, who is in India for the G20 summit and has met with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, said there is “a desire on both of our parts to see a successful trade deal concluded.” Mr Sunak added: “The opportunities are there for both countries, but there is a lot of hard work that is still to go and we need to work through that, as we will do.” Downing Street said ministers and negotiating teams will continue to work “at pace” towards a free trade deal.

2.2m Brits live in ‘banking deserts’
More than 2.2m people in Britain live in areas without any banks, while millions more have access to only one branch, forcing them to travel long distances for face-to-face services. Major UK banks have closed over 80% of their branches in the past eight years. This means over half of the UK’s banking network has disappeared since 2015, with 5,597 branches shut down. The decline in bank branches has hit vulnerable and older people, many of whom are not online or confident with mobile banking. The closures have also affected businesses, leaving high streets struggling and forcing them to travel long distances to make deposits. The closure trend is set to continue, with 636 sites scheduled to close by the end of December and another 42 banks earmarked for closure in 2024. The issue of bank closures and the need for local access to cash and bank branches has been raised by MPs and regulators, with Treasury Committee chairman Harriett Baldwin saying the committee “regularly raises this issue with banks and regulators.” She added: “It’s important people can access cash. That means local access to bank branches and free cashpoints.”

Latest Insolvencies

Appointment of Liquidators – HANSAM ENG LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – PALERMO CHEESE LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – OHSO GORGEOUS HAIRDRESSING LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – OMG FINANCIAL PLANNING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SIENNA SPORT LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – MAKKAH SUPERMARKET LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – AON RISK SERVICES (NI) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – WILCE MEDIA GROUP LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – JLC (SCOTLAND) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – TEND MARKET LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – DAVID COUPLAND JOINERY LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – AERONA CLINICAL LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – H MUIRHEAD LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – MAMBO JAMBO LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – COGNITEL SYSTEMS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – J K JOINTING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – WAVEMAX LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – GLUNZ (UK) HOLDINGS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ELEMENTO CONSTRUCTION LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – THINK TANK (UK) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CAPTAIN’S TABLE LIMITED(THE)
Appointment of Liquidators – JACKO TRADING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – IC CONCEPTS LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – ACTIVE SOLUTIONS UK LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MONECOR (LONDON) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – KEITH BRUMFITT LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MACKENZIE (HAYLING CLOSE) LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – GREYHOUND ACQUICO LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – LWSF LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – JACKA TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – M G R CONTRACTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ATRACK MANAGEMENT LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – DENBY DALE SUPERMARKET LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – DEBT ACQUISITION 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.

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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.


Get compensated for previous late payments

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

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

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