Business news 21 December 2023

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Inflation, markets, house prices, government borrowing, the largest wind farm, a massive merger, a deal with Switzerland and more business news that we thought would interest our members.


CPA is shutting down for the holidays tomorrow at 1pm and opening again on Tuesday 2nd January 2024.

UK inflation falls to 3.9% in November

Inflation fell in November to 3.9% from 4.6% in October, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This is the lowest rate of price increases for more than two years with a fall in petrol prices the chief driver of the surprise fall. Slowing prices for food and household goods also contributed. Most economists had expected inflation to fall to 4.3% last month. The drop will likely put more pressure on the Bank of England to cut interest rates, which remain at a 15-year high of 5.25%. Martin Beck, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, said the Bank would now find it harder to justify its “high for longer rhetoric around interest rates”. Goldman Sachs advanced its expectation on the timing of interest-rate cut by the Bank to May from June, while maintaining the size of cut at 25 basis points per meeting until the policy rate reaches 3% in May 2025


The much hoped for Santa rally hit in London yesterday as the indices reacted positively to the latest UK inflation numbers. Inflation was 3.9% for November which was the lowest annual reading since September 2021, and below market expectations. In response the FTSE 100 and 250 were both sharply higher with gains of 1% and 1.5% respectively as markets interpreted the effects for UK Businesses and increased the odds of an interest rate cut.

However, US markets slipped as optimism faded of a early US interest rate cut by the FED. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 both dropped 1.5% Wednesday with some profit taking.

Meanwhile Oil prices hovered around $80 a barrel on Wednesday amid jitters over global trade disruption and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East following attacks on ships by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi forces in the Red Sea and Gold was steady above $2000. Oil has however started to slip on Thursday morning.

House Prices

UK House Prices fell at a steeper pace on an annual basis in October, according to official figures on Wednesday. The Office for National Statistics said average house prices in the UK fell 1.2% in October from a year before. This was faster than the 0.6% annual fall in September, which was revised downwards from a 0.1% decline.

Government borrowing

Government Borrowing was higher than expected in November amid greater benefits costs and increased interest payments, according to official figures. However, it was lower than the same month last year after the Westminster government spent significantly less on energy support for households, PA reported. The Office for National Statistics said public sector net borrowing stood at £14.3 billion in November, reflecting the fourth-highest November total since monthly records began in 1993.

Worlds largest Wind farm

Orsted, a Danish renewables company, announced it will build the world’s largest offshore wind farm off the coast of Britain.

Warner Bros & Paramount

The two mega media companies have reportedly held talks on a merger.

UK to sign post-Brexit financial services deal with Switzerland

The UK will today sign a new financial services agreement with Switzerland. The deal is expected to make it easier for financial companies to offer cross-border services relating to insurance, banking, asset management and capital market infrastructure. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will travel to Bern to sign the mutual recognition deal. “The Bern Financial Services Agreement is only possible due to new freedoms granted to the UK following its exit from the EU,” the Treasury said. “The agreement will enhance the UK and Switzerland’s already thriving financial services relationship.” David Henig, UK director at the European Centre for International Political Economy, said the deal may well prove to be better than the equivalence framework with the EU that Britain would have had were it still a member.

Scotland’s high taxes will add to an exodus of middle and higher earners

The number of Scottish workers being pushed into higher tax brackets has doubled under SNP control, according to the Scottish Fiscal Commission (SFC). About one in four workers, approximately 866,000 people, will be in the higher, advanced, or top tax bands within four years. This compares to 317,000 workers in 2017 and an expected 647,000 by 2025. The SFC chairman, Professor Graeme Roy, highlighted the lack of assessment on the long-term impact of tax divergence, such as whether the tax policies are deterring anyone from moving to Scotland. Judith Cruickshank, managing director of commercial mid-market at the Royal Bank of Scotland, said she had heard “many anecdotal stories” of higher earners deciding to live in cities such as Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool. SNP and Green Party ministers are hoping for further tax cuts in England and Wales, as this would result in extra funding for Holyrood through the Barnett formula.

Lenders gearing up for ‘mortgage January sale’

Mortgage lenders are expected to cut rates further in January as falling inflation raises hopes that the Bank Rate will come down faster than expected next year. Following the inflation drop, swap rates have fallen with rates on long-dated loans expected to drop to between 3% and 4%. The cost of a five-year fixed-term mortgage has fallen below 4% for the first time since May. Brokers say lenders are keen to lower rates further to draw in business and capitalise on the expected jump in activity in January.

Cost of private renting rising at fastest pace since 2006

The cost of renting a property from a private landlord in the UK is rising at the fastest rate since 2006, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Despite the fall in overall inflation and lower house prices, rents increased by 6.2% in the year to November. Renters in Wales experienced the sharpest increase (7.3%), followed by Scotland (6.2%) and then England (6.1%). London saw the highest annual jump in rents, registering a rise of 6.9% in the year to November, while the north-east had the lowest increase (4.7%). Barret Kupelian, chief economist at PwC UK, said some of the increase in rents was being fuelled by higher earnings in the labour market, leading to higher demand at a time when supply was dropping. “For 2024, we expect rental growth to moderate as the labour market and earnings, in particular, start to cool. However, we still think that rental growth will remain above historic rates for most of next year.”

HMRC urges seasonal workers to check pay rates

HMRC has issued an urgent warning to thousands of workers on short-term contracts, reminding them to check their pay rates. Seasonal staff, including those working in warehouses, restaurants, and Christmas markets, should be on the National Minimum or National Living Wage. In the previous year, HMRC found that 108,000 part-time workers had been underpaid for Christmas jobs, amounting to £13.7m. The department is now urging seasonal staff to review their payslips and ensure they have received the correct amount, including payment for additional tasks and deductions for uniforms or tools.

Latest Insolvencies

Appointment of Administrator – CARBON METRICS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – RMM GROUP LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BRIAN LOWE AUTOMOBILES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SONNING HOMES LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ORIENTAL RUGS OF BATH LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – RRAT LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – TOM GALLOP LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – J B FENCING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – STANSELL LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – OMANKO LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – HELLO ELEPHANT LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – PERIGORD LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – K L & R LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CREATION FIT OUTS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – FORT FARMING LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – A GHONEIM LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – G & P PROPERTY WEST LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CPC LONDON LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – GRASSHOPPER HOTELS (GLASGOW) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ISLA SOLUTIONS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – CULMINGTON LTD
Appointment of Administrator – STORY TERRACE LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – BRIAN HANCOCK (HULL) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ROBERT KIME DESIGN LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – JARK INDUSTRIAL LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – LEAR UK ACQUISITION LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SAXBY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ALPHA FMC GROUP LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ROBERT OWEN LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CQS CONSULTING (INTERNATIONAL) LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – TRB (LONDON) LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – Y L ADVERTISERS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – AEQUI LIBRA LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – STEVE’S SNACKS LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – ECO CHARGER LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – AVENIR DIGITAL LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CAXTON LEGAL LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – BIRDSONG LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BLUE PRISM CLOUD LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CAERUS:UK LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – OKSYGEN LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ILLUSION STRATFORD LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – PEAR UK WEST LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – EVENTS GEAR LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – RIF HOLDINGS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ARRI (NI) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – VITA-MIX EUROPE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BROYONIE DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – BETH HOMES ORGANISATION LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PARKING GLASGOW LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – REEF FACTOR LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – ONSTAR EUROPE 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.

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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


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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?

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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.

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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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Maybe you no longer work with them. Under legislation, you are entitled to  compensation you for those late payments you have suffered.

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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.