Business news 21 February 2024

Late payments holding back fast growth heroes . Small Businesses desperate for help in the Budget.  And more business news that we thought would interest our members.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Late payments holding back fast growth heroes

Goldman Sachs research shows the number of small companies in the UK is now 400,000  higher than before the financial crash.

But the UK lacks high growth productivity heroes.

Goldman Sachs blames the shortage of talent, Brexit, difficulties accessing finance, late payment by customers and poor digital infrastructure.

As a result the number of businesses increasing staff numbers while also achieving productive revenue growth at a greater rate, is down by 3,000 from 39,000 (4.8% of established small businesses) to 36,000 (3%) today.

The report says: “The lack of productivity growth among small businesses is likely to be a significant factor in the historically low productivity rates impacting the UK’s economic growth.”

adding “Creating the right conditions for growth has the potential to add at least £100billion to the UK economy and create close to 90,000 jobs.”

CPA is doing what it can to tackle the late payment culture in the UK.

Small Businesses desperate for help in the Budget

Small businesses face serious challenges, with the highest number of insolvencies since records began in 1960 seen in the final quarter of 2024 – 25,158, a 9% increase on 2023.

In a survey into what 540 struggling SME’s want from the Spring Budget, Asked what type of additional support they would like from the Government,  45% said would like tax incentives and relief measures. 35% would like increased funding for skills and workforce development and 24% would like support for technological adoption and digitalisation.

These smaller businesses need the help. A quarter of firms (25%) said their business was not yet back to its pre-pandemic health.

A majority (55%) cited “rising costs/inflation” as one of their top three challenges in 2024, followed by cash flow (34%) and employee retention (28%).

CPA has been helping SME’s improve their cash flow by prompting late payers for over 100 years.

Public Sector Net Borrowing

UK Public Sector Net Borrowing, excluding public sector banks, was in surplus in January 2024 by £16.7 billion, which was more than double that of January 2023. It was the largest surplus since monthly records began in 1993 in nominal terms, the ONS noted.


Europe’s biggest bank, HSBC, has posted an almost 80% jump in its pre-tax profit which rose to $30.3bn (£24bn) in 2023, fuelled by high interest rates. But a slowdown in China’s economy has meant that HSBC’s profit was not as high as expected.

However in the fourth-quarter profits plummeted 80% to $1 billion. This largely reflected a $3 billion impairment charge relating to an investment in associate Chinese bank BoCom, the sale of retail banking operations in France and a further writedown on commercial real estate.

BAE Systems

BAE Systems reported better profits than it had predicted for 2023 and with a record level of orders said it expects growth to accelerate this year. Sales from the defence contractor came in at £25.3 billion for the past calendar year, up 9% on the previous year and ahead of its guidance of £23.3 billion. The board recommended a final dividend of 18.5p, bringing the total dividend in respect of 2023 to 30p, an 11% increase on the year before.


Glencore said revenue in 2023 dropped 15% year-on-year to $217.93 billion from $255.98 billion, as net profit plunged 75% to $4.28 billion from $17.32 billion. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation dropped 50% to $17.10 billion from $34.06 billion, “primarily reflecting the rebalancing and normalisation of international energy trade flows, with coal and LNG, and to a lesser extent, oil prices materially declining”, Glencore said.


International law-enforcement agencies arrested two members of LockBit, a large ransomware gang, and seized control of numerous websites, servers and cryptocurrency accounts. The arrests were made in Poland and Ukraine; another two people, both Russian nationals, were indicted by America’s Justice Department. LockBit has extricated some $120m from 2,000 victims worldwide.

Latest Insolvencies

Appointment of Liquidators – ZASH TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – IFAS CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – GOLDFINCH ESTATES (ASCOT) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BLACKSTEP CONSULTANTS LTD
Appointment of Administrator – SHIRDI SAI’S OIL LTD
Appointment of Administrator – ON ASSOCIATES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SCARLET IBIS LS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – THE PAY INDEX LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PHILIP BECK LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – FMG SERVICES LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – MISSION202 LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – MARVO GING LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – BLUESCRIPT STUDIO LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – MARION SYSON CONSULTING LTD
Appointment of Administrator – PRECISION STONE LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – BLACKSTONE HOMES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ODUM SOFTWARE LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SA GIFTS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – A & R PIKE INTERIORS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MINTUN 1 LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – IMPEL IT LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – HOME FARM PROPERTY RENTALS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – JOHN WILLIE (FURNISHERS) LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – REDDSAND LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – MEM INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – IAHP GROUP HOLDINGS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – UNIQUE POSITIVE SOLUTIONS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – MAY HASWELL MANAGEMENT LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – INTEGRA ENERGY (UK) LTD.
Appointment of Liquidators – WIMPOLE INVESTMENTS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – PSITTACUS SYSTEMS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – RANDOM PUFFIN LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – TWO SPIRES DEVELOPMENTS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SDD ENGINEERING HOLDINGS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – DCS WHOLESALE GROUP HOLDINGS LTD

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.