Business news 22 January 2024

Late payment is the most annoying customer habit. Retail, Inflation, unemployment, Green investment, employee health, & lots more business news that we thought would interest our members.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Late payment is the most annoying customer habit.

Direct line conducted research that the late payment is the most annoying customer habit.

47% of tradespeople say they have walked away from a job due to be annoyed by a customer.

41% said they had argued with customers because of their behaviour.

The most common annoying behaviour was late payment at 62% with the average tradesperson owed £6,984 in late payments.

The top 10 most annoying customer habits according to tradespeople:

  1. Late payment – 62%
  2. Customers trying to tell you how to do your job – 57%
  3. Adding additional jobs on top of what you have agreed to do – 39%
  4. Customers nagging you to finish faster – 39%
  5. Customers checking up on you or hovering over you while you work – 36%
  6. Customer indecisiveness or changing their mind on something – 33%
  7. Children hovering over you while you work – 31%
  8. Not keeping pets out of the way while you work – 29%
  9. Not being able to start at the agreed date – 27%
  10. Customers trying to get involved or help – 26%

Tradespeople also revealed there top five warning signals that would prompt them to turn a job down in the first place:

  1. telling them that they can get someone else to do the job for less 49%.
  2. Dictating how much a job should cost 47%
  3. Dictating how long a job should take 41%
  4. wanting to cut corners to reduce cost such as using cheap materials 45%,
  5. and asking for a discount with a sob story 43%.

MPs to examine support for small businesses

The cross-party Commons Treasury Committee will this week investigate whether small businesses are receiving sufficient support from public bodies such as the British Business Bank, Financial Ombudsman Service, and Business Banking Resolution Service.


The rich and the powerful left Davos on Friday. What was the summary? That the world was movingto a form of normalisation after major economic shocks. That a deep recession was unlikely and despite geopolitical issues in Ukraine, the middle east and connected to the US election, the global economy appears to be repairing itself.

December sees biggest monthly decline in retail sales in three years

Retail sales volumes in the UK fell by 3.2% in December, marking the sharpest drop since the country was in a Covid lockdown. The decline in demand for goods was accompanied by a decrease in food sales leading up to Christmas. Non-food product purchases fell by 3.9%, according to the Office for National Statistics, with department stores being the hardest hit. Food demand also dropped by 3.1%. Lisa Hooker from PwC noted that there were fewer large family gatherings, resulting in fewer gifts being bought overall. The fall in retail sales was the largest since January 2021, with the volume of goods purchased in December being the lowest since May 2020. Supermarkets reported strong sales, while non-food stores had mixed results. The British Retail Consortium predicts a challenging year ahead for the sector.

Easing inflation expected to lift economy and house prices

The EY Item Club predicts that UK GDP will grow by 0.9% in 2024, with recent falls in inflation set to boost economic growth and lift house prices. The forecast is higher than the 0.7% growth the group previously expected. The housing market is expected to stay stable, with prices no longer predicted to drop 4% this year, while interest rates are expected to be cut from 5.25% to 4% by the end of the year. Martin Beck, the Club’s chief economic adviser, said: “Although it remains possible that the UK may have slipped into a technical recession in the fourth quarter of 2023, the mood music around the economy is justifiably improving.” However, he warned there were risks that his forecast could be undermined by global events. “Ongoing geopolitical tensions could push up energy prices, which may slow the decline of inflation and increase costs for households and businesses.”

Modest rise in unemployment expected this year

The number of workers at risk of redundancy in UK businesses rose by 58% in 2022, reaching 278,149. The increase reflects efforts by businesses to cut costs and offset the impact of weak demand and higher interest rates. Despite this surge, redundancy notices remain significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels. Historically, an average of 381,000 dismissal notices were sent to the Government annually between 2016 and 2019. Yael Selfin, chief economist at KPMG UK, said the figures indicated that there would be “a gradual rise in unemployment over the coming year, but may not point at a significant acceleration”. Ellie Henderson, an economist at Investec, said that government support to cushion the blow to the economy from the pandemic “artificially prolonged the life of struggling companies, effectively preventing redundancies that would likely have happened had the schemes not been in place”.

IR35: contractors complain of being misclassified

A survey reveals that 43% of contractors believe they have been wrongly classified as “employed for tax purposes” by their hiring companies, three years after controversial rules on freelance workers were launched.


The Oil price struggled to push ahead with Brent at $78.7 as economic headwinds pressured the global oil demand outlook and offset geopolitical concerns in the Middle East and an attack on a Russian fuel export terminal over the weekend.

US Consumer Sentiment

US Consumer Sentiment soared in January, boosted by their year-ahead inflation expectations dipping below 3% for the first time since 2020. Consumer sentiment in January to its highest level since July 2021, according to the University of Michigan, whose consumer sentiment index rose to 78.8 from 69.7 in December.

US Markets

The Nasdaq soared to a new record on Friday, closing up 1.7% at 15,310.97. The S&P  500 also hit new highs, climbing 1.23% to 4839.81 as investors bet on the likelihood of a soft landing of interest rates. The S&P 500 is now above the previous high set in 2022.

Study backs green investment plans

The UK should invest £26bn a year in a low-carbon economy to revive prosperity instead of planning tax giveaways that will lead only to further stagnation, according to leading economists. A paper by Nicholas Stern, a former chief economist of the World Bank, and colleagues from the London School of Economics, claims investing at that level would be likely to generate about twice as much accompanying investment from the private sector and would quickly pay off in higher productivity, efficiency savings, economic growth and carbon reductions. Dimitri Zenghelis, the lead author of the paper, said: “This does indeed mean that Labour’s £28bn a year green investment plans are of the right magnitude, consistent with investing in the structural change associated with a sustainable and resilient transition.”

IPPR warns of ‘profound’ fiscal threat to UK unless action on health is taken

Escalating levels of illness and health-related economic inactivity in the UK are exacerbating inequality and posing a significant fiscal threat, according to research by the IPPR Commission on Health and Prosperity. The study reveals that one in four working-age Britons without a job reside in just 50 local authorities. Individuals living in deprived areas are one and a half times more likely to experience economic inactivity and twice as likely to be in poor health. Illness is linked to low productivity, high poverty, and persistent unemployment, resulting in “bad health blackspots” across the country, the IPPR says. The Office for Budget Responsibility has warned that the rising number of people moving into inactivity and on to benefits is becoming unaffordably expensive. The IPPR emphasizes that health-related inactivity is one of the most profound fiscal threats faced by the UK. It suggests tackling the issue at a regional level with new health zones that have the power to invest, raise local taxes, and set missions.

Britain’s workforce at risk of burn-out

The UK is at risk of becoming a “burnt-out nation” as a worrying number of people take time off work due to poor mental health caused by stress, according to Mental Health UK. A YouGov survey found that 35% of adults faced high or extreme levels of pressure at work, with 20% requiring time off in the past year. Chief executive Brian Dow called for government intervention and better support for the workforce. The survey also revealed that many workers do not feel comfortable voicing concerns about stress, and almost half of them believe their employers lack plans to address chronic stress. Mental Health UK urged Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to hold a national summit to create healthy workplaces and support workers.

Money worries linked to worse biological health, study finds

Money worries can have a significant impact on biological health, according to a study conducted by researchers from UCL. The study found that interactions between the immune, nervous, and endocrine systems were worse in individuals experiencing financial strain and other stressful experiences. The paper’s lead author, a PhD candidate, Odessa Hamilton, said: “When the immune and neuroendocrine systems function well together, homeostasis is maintained and health is preserved. But chronic stress can disrupt this biological exchange and lead to disease.”

An absent boss may encourage workers back to the office

New research suggests that a third of hybrid workers with the option to work from home say they would come into the office more regularly if their boss wasn’t around so much. The study found that cost, location, and workspace quality were the main factors influencing workers’ decision to work remotely. Over half of the respondents cited cost-of-living as the reason for wanting to work from home more often. Additionally, 54% mentioned that a better location would encourage them to go into the office, while 38% wished for a better workspace. The survey also revealed that 30% of hybrid workers do not have the desired working arrangements offered by their employers.

Number of women in work hits record high

The number of women in work has reached a record high of 16m, with thousands of over-50s returning to employment. Last year, 130,000 older women rejoined the workforce, helping to boost the total number of jobs in the economy to almost 37m. Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, expressed satisfaction with the progress, stating, “Two million more women in work since 2010, alongside record female employment and job levels, shows our plan is working.” The Back to Work plan aims to provide extra support to 1.1m people not working. Economic inactivity has also decreased by nearly 335,000 since the pandemic peak.

HMRC accused of holding back entrepreneurs

The slowness of the UK’s tax authority HMRC is causing frustration among entrepreneurs, according to business group Buy Women Built (BWB). The group claims that its members have struggled to access tax incentive schemes designed to support start-ups, with delays in receiving tax credits leading to difficulties in paying bills. Female-founded companies are particularly affected, as they currently receive only 2% of venture capital in the UK. R&D tax relief and EIS tax relief are among the incentives that entrepreneurs are struggling to access. An urgent review is being called for to address the problems with HMRC.

UK’s super-rich not leaving for tax reasons, research says

The UK’s super-rich have no plans to leave the country for tax reasons, according to research by experts at the London School of Economics (LSE). The study, which interviewed 35 members of the UK’s richest 1%, found that none of them would consider moving to a tax haven due to the fear of being bored in “culturally barren” places. Sam Friedman, a sociology professor at LSE and the lead author of the research, said: “We need to challenge the prevailing assumption that if you tax the rich, they will leave. The rich are not only strongly embedded, but they are also acutely aware of the stigma of tax migration of being seen as unduly self-interested or moving to places others consider culturally barren and boring.”

The Post Office scandal and the weak Corporate State

Experts warn that it may be too late for Post Office to sue Fujitsu for compensation funds for sub-postmasters harmed by the Horizon debacle because, under the Limitation Act, claimants have a maximum of six years to launch legal action for a wide variety of claims. The latest the Post Office could have known about the Horizon case was 2013, when barrister Simon Clarke advised there were serious problems with evidence in a criminal trial pertaining to the software. Dan Neidle, from the Tax Policy Associates think tank, said: “We’ve spoken to leading commercial litigation lawyers, and we’re concerned the Post Office’s own failures mean there is little prospect of recovering the £1bn from Fujitsu in the courts.” Elsewhere, John Naughton in the Observer criticises the corporate governance at the Post Office along with the decision within Whitehall to persist with Fujitsu as a supplier despite its poor performance. “The truth is that the British state has been hollowed out to the point where it is so dependent on the corporations to which it has outsourced critical services and functions that it dare not rein them in.”

French shipping firm to buy UK logistics company Wincanton

CEVA Logistics, a unit of French shipping group CMA CGM, has announced its acquisition of British logistics firm Wincanton in an all-cash deal worth nearly £600m. The offer of 450 pence per share represents a premium of 52% to Wincanton’s closing stock price. The acquisition will expand CEVA’s contract logistics offering in the UK and Ireland, leveraging Wincanton’s expertise in partnering with grocers and retailers. Wincanton operates across various markets and has over 170 sites. CEVA will acquire Wincanton through its newly-formed entity, CEVA Logistics UK Rose Ltd.

Battery cell maker AMTE Power goes into administration

Battery cell maker AMTE Power has gone into administration after failing to raise funds and requesting government support. The company, based in Thurso, Scotland, has appointed FRP as an administrator but is currently in advanced negotiations with a third party for a potential sale. AMTE Power, which produces batteries for high-performance cars and heavy goods vehicles, was founded over a decade ago and went public in 2021. The company’s shares were suspended last month due to financial difficulties.

Latest Insolvencies

Appointment of Liquidators – CLEWLOW CREATIVE LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – DRUMMOND CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – INVESTEX GROUP LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – BIG BUNS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – OLYMPIA & YORK LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – JJC ALTMORE LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – THE ESPLANADE HOTEL WEYMOUTH LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BREAD INC LTD
Appointment of Administrator – FORMAPLEX TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – LUXE PROPERTY HOLDINGS LTD.
Appointment of Liquidators – WALLICHORUS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – PAPA DELS LONDON LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – THE HERON PUB CO LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CONVIVIA ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – MISTERELECTRICS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CLOUDRPO (GROUP) LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – GRAMM CLOTHING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – COURTYARD DEVELOPMENTS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – EVERSMART HOME SERVICES LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – MPA WHOLESALE TRADING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – KUNLUN LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – REGALETTE HOLDINGS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PAWWS MUSIC LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ECODOMESTIC WINDOWS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – AMETHYST SACKVILLE LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – BECCANOR LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – NEEM LONDON LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PPNL SPV B3 – 1 LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – TCL (GFH CAPITAL MF 1) LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ORKNEY SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CORBET HOMES (NI) LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – JANAT FIRST LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CALEY HOLDINGS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – GLS GROUP LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – LAKESIDE EVENTS NOTTINGHAM LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – FISHER COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION LTD
Appointment of Administrator – WARWICK PARK HOUSE LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – OLD GOLF HOUSE DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – THE PLOUGH AND HARROW LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – RTA GLOBAL LTD
Winding up Order (Companies) – ENERGY GENERATOR HIRE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – RADLETT PARK (2020) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MEATLIQUOR CPC LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – THE CABIN STRABANE LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – FASHION SPACE CLOTHING LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – GLAZE ALUMINIUM FACADES LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – EUROPEAN NUTRIPHARM LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – NEWTON PROPERTY MAINTENANCE LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – FERN LEA PRESTIGE LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ARRIVAL UK LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ARRIVAL AUTOMOTIVE UK LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – INSURO TECHNOLOGIES UK LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BRESOLIN CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – A.B.M. PRECISIONS (HOLDINGS) LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SOUTH LOGISTICS LTD
Appointment of Administrator – HANTONA LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ECO PACKAGING PRODUCTS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – DLC CONSTRUCTION SERVICES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – AMALFI CO 7 LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – MARCUS & CO LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – GENERATIVE ENGINEERING LTD.
Appointment of Liquidators – TEC FAST LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – LEO JAMES WELLS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – JPBCO SERVICES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CAPITA IT SERVICES (BSF) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ACE (GB) LTD.
Appointment of Liquidators – MALSWEENIE DATA LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – INSIGHT ENABLED LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – LILLEY MANAGEMENT LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – KK TAYLOR LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – BROOKTECH LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – FLEETTEQ LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – GALAXY LETTINGS 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.