Business news 17 May 2024

Brits support legal obligation for ethical businesses. Too early to cut rates. Struggling graduates, markets, insolvencies & more business news that we thought would interest our members.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Brits support legal obligation for ethical businesses

Over three quarters of the British public believe businesses should be legally obliged to safeguard people and the planet alongside making profit, according to new research by B Lab UK. The research shows that 76% of the public support calls for a ‘Better Business Act’, which aims to align the interests of stakeholders like workers with those of shareholders. The proposed change is backed by voters across the political spectrum, with 85% of Labour supporters and 70% of Conservative voters in favour.

Mary Portas, chair of the Better Business Act, stated that the British public wants businesses to have a legal responsibility to look after people and the planet. The proposed change is similar to the one made by the Business Roundtable in 2019, where CEOs committed to leading their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Too early to cut rates, says MPC member

Bank of England policymaker Megan Greene has said that without evidence of pay growth coming under control and proof that inflation in the services industry is continuing to wane, it remains too early to cut interest rates. Inflation data for April, due next week, is expected to show that consumer price inflation has fallen back to around the target. But Greene said that falling inflation was largely a result of declining energy prices.

Too early to cut rates, says Watches of Switzerland boss

Watches of Switzerland, the Rolex seller, is urging for the return of VAT shopping in the UK. The company, which also owns the Goldsmiths and Mayors chains, expressed disappointment over the lack of VAT-free shopping and its impact on tourist spending. The tax break was abolished in 2021, leading to a decline in demand for luxury goods. Watches of Switzerland CEO Brian Duffy hopes that strong evidence will convince ministers to reconsider. Despite the challenges, the company reported a 4% increase in revenue to £380m for the quarter ending April 30. Full-year revenue also rose by 2% to £1.5bn.

Struggling graduates face tough job market

Nearly two-thirds of recent graduates are struggling to find relevant work as employers cut back on recruitment. A poll by Robert Walters found that 62% of graduates surveyed reported difficulty in finding a professional position. More than half of UK employers stated they are hiring fewer graduates this year due to limited budgets and a focus on hiring more senior talent.

The job market for graduates is drying up at double the pace of the rest of the labour market, with stiff competition for vacancies and flat salaries. Habiba Khatoon, director of Robert Walters UK, warned that failure to establish a graduate hiring and retention strategy can lead to talent bottlenecks in the future.


Yesterday, markets stepped back from previous highs and the FTSE 100 closed down 0.08% yesterday at 8438.65 and the Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 0.56% at 5072.45.

Overnight in the US the S&P 500 fell 0.1% to 5297.10, the Nasdaq fell 0.26% to 16698.32. The pound is currently worth $1.2655 and €1.1671. Brent is at $83.34, Gold is at $2383. The FTSE 100 is at the time of writing down 0.39% at 8405 and the Eurostoxx 50 is down 0.4% at 5052.


BT Group rose sharply yesterday after its new CEO, Alison Kirkby promised to cut £3bn from costs and reduce investment in broadband infrastructure. The new CEO raised the BT dividend by 4% to 8p per share despite a 31% drop in profit to £1.2bn and a rise in the pension deficit to £4.8bn from £3.1bn and a rise in net debt to £19.5bn from £18.9bn.

Reddit & AI

The price of Reddit shares soared after the social-media platform agreed to share its content with OpenAI. The agreement will allow OpenAI to use posts on Reddit to train its AI chatbot. In return Reddit will be able to embed AI tools on its website. Earlier this year Reddit struck a similar deal with Google to make data available for the search engine’s AI models.


Japan GDP shrunk at a 2% annualised rate during the Q1 period above the -1.5% rate forecast due to weak consumer spending.


China reported data today that pointed to slower growth on the consumer side while industrial activity remained robust. Retail sales rose by 2.3% in April from a year ago, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That was less than the 3.8% increase forecast by a Reuters poll, and slower than the 3.1% pace reported in March. Industrial production rose by 6.7% in April from a year ago, beating expectations for 5.5% growth. That was also a marked pickup from 4.5% in March.


GSK has announced the sale of 385.32 million ordinary shares in Haleon at 324p per share, raising approximately £1.25 billion. With this sale, GSK has fully exited its stake in consumer side of its business that it spun off  and no longer holds any ordinary shares in Haleon.

Mortgage rates

HSBC reported it will trim its mortgage rates tomorrow across its full product range though it did not say by how much. Barclays said it has cut its 5 year mortgage fix for purchases from 4.47% to 4.34%.

UK delays sustainability standards endorsement

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) has announced a delay to its work on sustainability disclosure standards, based on those of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). The department said it aimed to make endorsement decisions on the first two standards by Q1 next year, having previously set the deadline for July this year.

Meanwhile, the DBT has also appointed Sally Duckworth as chair of its Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). Duckworth has called the ISSB’s standards “pivotal for advancing sustainability and transparency in financial practices”. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) will provide the secretariat for the TAC. The regulator welcomed the appointment of Ms Duckworth, calling her background impressive and her expertise invaluable.

Sage shares fall as revenue forecast is trimmed

Sage Group shares fell to a six-month low after the company trimmed its full-year revenue forecast, citing lower growth expectations in the United States. CEO Steve Hare stated that while US growth in the second half is expected to be more modest, Europe is experiencing stronger growth. The company now expects its full-year growth to be in line with the 9% recorded in the first half, down from the 10% forecasted in November.

Sage Group, which provides accountancy software to small and medium-sized businesses, reported an 18% rise in underlying operating profit. The company’s shares dropped 9% and were the worst performer in the FTSE 100 index.

Latest Insolvencies

Petitions to wind up (Companies) – OLATUNDE ASHAOLU ASSOCIATES LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – HEALTH NAVIGATOR LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – CORPORATE CULTURE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – AZUR UNDERWRITING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – TRIDENT GRAPHICS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – EMMAE LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – WJ BROWNLEE LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – SILVERTOWN GARAGE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BROWN SQUARED ANALYTICS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BOXMOOR DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – AVON SELLER LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BICHARD PROPERTIES LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – MCCATHIE GROUP LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – B. TEMPLETON LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – KELLWOOD ENGINEERING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CLOVER CONSTRUCTION (LINCS) LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – PRUDHOE WEST LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – DTMC PRODUCTS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – JSG DESIGN AND BUILD LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ESHER MECHANICAL SERVICES LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – KUBICO LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – S.J.RECYCLING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – NUDO SUSHI BOX LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – RAW GALORE LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – HOUSE OF CASHMERE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – J.S. KELLY BUILDING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – 29ML LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – D HOBBS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – OASIS METAL PRODUCTS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PJC70 LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – DANJOLST LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ALEXANDRA FIVEY LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – TNJP LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – COUNTRYWIDE CENTRAL LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – PRESTEIGNE BROADCAST HIRE 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 last one was particularly deadly for suppliers fand we are still seeing elevated insolvencies as businesses struggle.

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.