Business news 18 January 2024

Rate cuts still expected despite inflation uptick. UK house prices fall at fastest pace in more than a decade.  And more business news that we thought would interest our members.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Rate cuts still expected despite inflation uptick

Inflation rose slightly in December due to an increase in alcohol and tobacco prices. Economists had forecast a slight fall, but inflation rose to 4%, up from 3.9% in November. The rate of price rises has fallen sharply since peaking at 11.1% in October 2022 and markets still expect the Bank of England to cut the base rate from its 15-year high of 5.25%, albeit not by as much as previously thought. Ruth Gregory, deputy chief UK economist at Capital Economics, said she expected inflation to fall below the Bank’s 2% target in April, leaving policymakers in a position to cut interest rates by June. But Thomas Pugh, an economist at RSM UK, said because services inflation was still tracking well below the BoE’s expectations “the door is still open to a first interest rate cut coming in May.”

UK house prices fall at fastest pace in more than a decade

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show UK house prices fell at the fastest pace in more than a decade in November. Average prices dropped by 2.1% in the year to November 2023, down from a 1.3% fall in the 12 months to October. This marks the largest annual drop since June 2011. The decline was driven by sharp falls in London, which registered a 6% annual contraction. However, experts said the data was several months out of date and that confidence in the market had improved since. Separate figures from the ONS showed UK rental prices rose 6.2% in the 12 months to December 2023 – the joint highest annual percentage change since data collection began in January 2016.

Contractor hit with reduced credit limits after CCJ blunder

Chester screeding firm William Lea Ltd suddenly started getting calls from suppliers last year after the Copyright Licencing Agency mistakenly lodged a CCJ in their name, rather than against a printing firm with a similar name. Months later, William Lea are still fighting to clear their name and restore their credit limit despite having nothing to do with the CCJ mistakenly lodged against their name. Credit Agencies can’t restore the credit limits until the CCJ is removed but that application is tied up in an overworked court system.  Owner, Colin Jones said “We are totally innocent yet our good name and reputation built up over many years can be hit like this by an admin mistake which takes months to be corrected and we have to do most of the legwork to put things right. All the while our business suffers in terms of day-to-day running and winning new work.”

It goes to show it is important to check your own credit report regularly to make sure everything on your credit record is correct and nothing amiss has happened with the official record. CPA Members are able to monitor themselves and get an email notification of any significant action on their credit report.

Royal Mail

International Distribution Services said it achieved its best Christmas operational performance for four years. The group saw a marked improvement in performance in the three months to December 31 it said. Royal Mail said it met its customer commitment to deliver items posted by the last recommended posting dates in time for Christmas.


Oil Prices rose today as OPEC forecast relatively strong growth in global oil demand over the next two years and the market eyed disrupted US oil production amid a cold blast, as well as geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.


Apple lost its appeal over the patent dispute with Masimo Corp regarding the Blood Oxygen monitor in it’s latest watches, so will disable it from the watches going on sale.

Red Sea

Another commercial vessel was hit by Houthi rebels continuing the disruption to world trade in the strait.


Fujitsu took a $1 billion hit to its market capitalization after accepting some responsibility in the Post Office scandal.


Sheryl Sandberg, Meta’s former chief operating officer, announced she was quitting Facebook’s parent company board. She said that after 12 years it felt “like the right time to step away”.

HMRC job ad says no tax knowledge needed

A “support officer” role advertised by HMRC insists that applicants do not need “any existing knowledge or experience of tax to apply” despite responsibilities including “resolving customer queries and complaints in a courteous and professional manner”. HMRC said the role was administrative and not a “tax professional” role, adding that candidates receive relevant training. But Chris Etherington at RSM said allowing new hires to learn all their tax knowledge on the job could leave taxpayers struggling to find adequate help. “Some HMRC staff receive as little as two weeks training before they are put on the phone helplines,” he said. “Taxpayers are already dealing with poor customer service, which has been struggling ever since the pandemic.”

Billionaires demand the introduction of wealth taxes

More than 250 billionaires and millionaires, including Abigail Disney and Valerie Rockefeller, have signed an open letter calling for the introduction of wealth taxes at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The signatories argue that taxing the richest individuals will not significantly impact their standard of living but will instead turn extreme private wealth into an investment for the common democratic future. A recent poll of the super-rich shows that 74% support higher taxes on wealth to address the cost of living crisis and improve public services. The poll also found that 58% support a 2% wealth tax on individuals with more than $10m and 54% believe extreme wealth poses a threat to democracy. The UK’s Trades Union Congress suggests that a 1.7% wealth tax on the richest 140,000 people in Britain could raise over £10bn ($12.7bn) for public services.

FCA to probe firms on sexual misconduct and bullying claims

Banks, insurers and brokers will be questioned by the Financial Conduct Authority on the level of sexual harassments and bullying complaints in their workplaces, the regulator’s executive director for markets and international, Sarah Pritchard, told MPs on Wednesday. Ms Pritchard was speaking at the final evidence session held by the Treasury Committee into culture in the financial services industry. A summary of evidence the committee had taken anonymously behind closed doors from women who work in the sector revealed little had changed since the committee’s last report on sexism in the City in 2018. Pritchard said the survey would inform the FCA on how cases of non-financial misconduct are resolved.

Latest Insolvencies

Appointment of Liquidators – BROAD CHURCH PROPERTY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – THE C & C GROUP LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – VICARAGE FREEHOUSE & ROOMS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – EACHBASE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PROFITFLOW INSIGHTS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – TAILOR-MADE FURNITURE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – TONNISON LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MICOLIN PROPERTIES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BEECHRISE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – EMS ADVISORY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – THREESTUP LTD
Appointment of Administrator – ABLRATE ASSETS LTD
Appointment of Administrator – THE EDIT MAN LONDON LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – JAMES PUBLISHERS LTD
Appointment of Administrator – THE COURTHOUSE CHESHIRE LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – TWO SEATS LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – FLAT CAP HOTELS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – FMCT CONSULTING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – DESIGNER STONE SHOWER TRAYS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – RETAIL DIGITALISATION LTD
Appointment of Administrator – AVIATION AND TECH CAPITAL LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – CAMP HILL ORGANICS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – VAPEVINE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PATRAM LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MNIL LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – JASSA LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – DORBY INNS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – LLOYD ANDERSON LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CYPRUS MEZZE LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – HAYNES AND SMITH LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ABACUS LAW (MANCHESTER) LLP
Appointment of Liquidators – ZOOVU TOPCO 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.