Business news 16 April 2024

Fall in annual inflation will raise rate cut hopes . Geopolitical tensions prompt UK firms to form friendly supply chains. A record insurance payout. World Bank warns of worsening poverty gap.  And more business news that we thought would interest our members.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Fall in annual inflation will raise rate cut hopes

Pressure is growing on policymakers at the Bank of England to lower borrowing costs for the first time in four years, with figures from the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday expected to show annual inflation fell to 3.1% in March, the lowest rate since August 2021. This should encourage the Bank of England to cut interest rates, with traders predicting the first rate cut for June or August. Economists will be watching food and services prices inflation, as well as core inflation, which is set to decline from 4.5% to 4.1%. In comparison, inflation is at 2.4% in the eurozone and rose unexpectedly to 3.4% in the United States.

Geopolitical tensions prompt UK firms to form ‘friendly’ supply chains

Almost a third of UK businesses have plans to bring supply chains closer to home or shift them to allied nations due to geopolitical tensions, according to a survey by Santander. One in four companies with supply chain parts in China also intend to restructure their production network away from the country. The move, known as “friendshoring,” aims to reduce the risk of supply chain disruption caused by conflicts or trade wars. However, analysts warn that it could increase production costs and limit global trade volumes.

A record £4.86bn paid out in insurance to UK homes and businesses

UK homes and businesses received a record high of £4.86bn in insurance payouts in 2023, with weather-related home claims reaching a new peak. The Association of British Insurers reported an 18% increase from the previous year, attributing the rise to storms causing damage to properties. Insurance companies globally are facing higher claims due to climate change and building in areas exposed to extreme weather. Storm losses in northwestern Europe led to insured losses of over $4bn. The ABI is urging the Government to invest in flood defence and maintenance, as well as implementing changes to the planning system. The average UK home insurance premium rose by 13% in Q4 2023.

World Bank warns of worsening poverty gap

The World Bank has warned that poverty reduction efforts have come to a halt in many nations, leading to a widening income gap with developed countries. In a report released during its half-yearly meeting, the World Bank highlighted that half of the world’s 75 poorest nations have seen slower income growth compared to developed countries over the past five years. The report also revealed a surge in food insecurity and debt distress since 2019. The World Bank called on governments and the private sector to do more to address this “great reversal” and urged donors to provide generous funding to support poor countries. The extreme-poverty rate in the most affected countries was found to be more than eight times the global average.

HMRC staff overpaid millions of pounds

Tax inspectors have overpaid themselves more than £12m in the last 10 years, according to the Telegraph. Some inspectors were mistakenly overpaid by more than £1,000 in a single year. HMRC has recovered £12.3m from staff, but there is still a £300,000 shortfall. Jonathan Eida, researcher at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers will be fuming that tax officials have been filling their pockets with more than they’re entitled to, even if it’s by accident.” He added: “To overpay staff is a shocking error, but even worse is the fact that a lot of the cash hasn’t been clawed back. HMRC’s bosses shouldn’t rest until every last penny has been reclaimed.” HMRC claims that its monthly payroll accuracy rate is 99.54%, exceeding the corporate benchmark of 98%. The overpayments can occur due to various reasons such as reporting delays, part-year pay averaging contracts, and late notifications of sick leave or career breaks.

IESBA sets ethics standards for business tax planning

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants has released a set of ethical standards for business tax planning in response to concerns over tax avoidance by multinational companies. The standards aim to establish a framework of expected behaviours and ethics for accountants, providing a global benchmark for tax planning services. They come in the wake of tax avoidance strategies exposed through leaks of confidential documents, such as the Panama Papers and the Pandora Papers. The standards stress the importance of accountants’ duty to the public interest and provide guidance for navigating ethical decisions in the complex area of tax planning. Accountants are expected to exercise professional judgment and consider the reputational and economic consequences of tax-planning arrangements. The standards will take effect on July 1, 2025.

Body Shop hopes for tax cut deal if it exits administration

The Body Shop is seeking approval for a plan to reduce its tax bill and provide extra cash to creditors. The company’s administrators have proposed retaining tax benefits worth £66m to protect tax losses that could be used in the future. Creditors will have the opportunity to secure a dividend reflecting the value of the tax asset if they vote in favour of the company voluntary arrangement. The proposed plan does not include rent reductions for landlords. The Body Shop’s private equity owner, Aurelius, has drawn up the proposal with restructuring advisers at FRP Advisory. The closure of 75 shops and the loss of 489 jobs have been announced as part of the restructuring.

More FTSE companies look to boost executive pay

The number of FTSE 100 companies seeking pay rises for their chief executives has increased, according to analysis by Deloitte, with 16 firms planning to revamp pay policies this year. This comes despite the average salary for a FTSE 100 boss reaching £4.5m. AstraZeneca recently faced an investor revolt over a pay deal that could see its CEO earn up to £18.7m while other companies, such as Smith & Nephew and the London Stock Exchange Group, are also facing scrutiny over executive pay. The push for higher pay is driven by the need to compete with US rivals, where salaries and bonuses are typically higher, says Mitul Shah, partner in Deloitte’s executive remuneration practice. He added: “The coming AGM season will be an interesting test of proxy and investor appetite for pay practices that move away from current UK market norms.”

Leading fintechs call for end of Stamp Duty on buying shares

London’s fintech “supremacy” is at risk of being lost to New York, according to the UK CEO of Revolut. Speaking at the Innovate Finance Global Summit on Monday, Francesca Carlesi highlighted the depth of US capital markets and the attraction of top talent as factors that could tempt companies away from London. Carlesi expressed confidence in the UK’s prospects for fintech, stating that it is the global leader in the industry. However, she acknowledged the risk posed by New York’s concentration of human capital in financial services. Carlesi is also a co-chair of the Unicorn Council for UK Fintech which has drawn up a list of policy recommendations for the Government to support fintech investment and London IPOs, including scrapping the tax on share trading. Members include Revolut, Monzo, Zilch, Clearbank, Primarybid and Oaknorth.

Hospices face ‘devastating’ financial crisis

Hospices in the UK are facing a devastating financial crisis due to rising staff costs, putting their services at risk. The sector leaders have called on the Government to provide more funding, as the recent increase of 1.2% is deemed unfair and inadequate. The UK hospice sector is reporting a collective deficit of £77m for the 2023-24 financial year, with staffing costs being the main driver. Hospices struggle to match NHS pay rises, resulting in a surge of 11% in payroll costs. Without a new funding model, hospice care services could be severely impacted, leading to halting vital services and devastating consequences for patients, families, and the NHS, the chief executive of Hospice UK, Toby Porter, said.


Markets are in risk off mode despite the Isreal-Iran tensions. The dollar is strengthening, the yen weakened and oil rebounding. China’s economy grew 5.3% in the first quarter.


Tesla is axing 14,000 jobs (10%) globally in response to falling sales.


The US Government is to give Samsung a $6.4bn subsidy to build semiconductor factories in Texas, where the South Korean chipmaker already has a presence. Last week they announced a $6.6bn subsidy for Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC to do the same in Arizona.

US Retail

US Retail Sales increased 4% year-on-year in March, following an upwardly revised 2.1% gain in February. Month on month, retail sales surged 0.7%, more than doubling forecasts of 0.3%. Non-store retail, forecourt, home improvement and food and drink sales contributed to the beat, partially offset by weak clothing, electronics, general merchandise, auto and furniture sales.

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs smashed Wall Street expectations for first-quarter revenues and earnings as its trading teams delivered record numbers. Net revenues of $14.21 billion came in 16% higher than a year ago and up 26% on the fourth quarter of last year, also well above the $12.92 billion consensus forecast, per LSEG. Earnings per share landed at $11.58 for Q1, surging from $8.79 a year earlier and almost triple the Q4 figure of $5.48, not to mention beating the Street’s $8.56 estimate.

Latest Insolvencies

Appointment of Liquidators – TIMJSTONE LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – PACE EXPORT (UK) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MADDOCKS HOLDINGS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – BEYARD SERVICES SCOTLAND LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – TOPOLYTICS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – BAINES WEALTH LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – IT TRAINING ZONE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SADDLER STEELE LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – NEW POOL FINANCING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CITY COURIERS DIRECT LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – DXY NEWCASTLE LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – WORZELISE LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – SAI GLOBAL UK HOLDINGS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SMP ANALYTICS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – ARCH MANAGEMENT LTD
Appointment of Administrator – DESIGN VINTAGE LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – G&G INTERIORS LTD
Appointment of Administrator – UTILITIES DESIGN & PLANNING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MANZANAS (SOUTHERN) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – GCPD LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – CAFE TARIFA LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – FIRE HOSPITALITY LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – BLUE TOMATO TECHNOLOGY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – KATE HOLLAND BOOKS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – LGBT COOPERATIVE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – JOHN CROAN LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BINUTEC LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – BOR TRADING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – MAGIK CLEANING SERVICES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SJB CONSULTANTS UK LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – GST COMMUNICATIONS UK LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BLINKWOOD LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – DCS (FOOD INGREDIENTS) LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – FIELDSIDE INTERIM SOLUTIONS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – KRS CONSTRUCTION NW LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – FMB SOLUTIONS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ABELL ENGINEERING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – D & S TYRES LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – PREMIER COMMERCIAL INVESTMENTS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – THE CADCENTRE (UK) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – RYLO LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – PACE COMMERCE LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – COSMONAUT LEISURE LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ACME PHARMA LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – 4B PROMOTION LIMITED
Winding up Order (Companies) – MAID SERVICE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – G M R SURVEYS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ELFLOCK LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – LIVE IN DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – JOHNSON & AKAM,LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CFHR 2024 LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – RECHARGE PRODUCTION UK LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MEIKLE DEV LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – EMERGING EQUITY LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – GWP ARCHITECTS 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.