Business news 22 December 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Here are CPA we want to share the business news stories we have seen that we think will affect our members and readers. Many of us are busy fighting to protect our businesses and therefore might have missed some of the news that could impact small businesses, their owners and those that sell on credit.

New Covid virus strain triggers market slump, double dip predicted

The pound slumped on Monday along with global markets amid concern over the new strain of coronavirus identified in Britain, which has led to tighter restrictions, and the continued failure of the EU and the UK to agree a Brexit trade deal. Ruth Gregory, senior UK economist at Capital Economics, said the new lockdown measures “raise the chances that the economy stagnates, if not contracts, in the first three months of 2021.” Ms Gregory continued. “If the economy is heading for a double-dip, at least the second leg down will be much smaller than the first. But this is only because activity in some sectors never fully recovered and therefore cannot fall as far this time.” Howard Archer of the EY Item Club concurred, stating: “If there is no free trade agreement, then I believe first quarter contraction will be inevitable and there would be a formal double-dip recession.”

Close to 40,000 retailers in significant distress

Begbies Traynor has found that 39,232 retailers were experiencing severe financial problems in the three months to 9 December. The research included both online and bricks-and-mortar operations. Julie Palmer, a partner at the firm commented: “While many industries have been hit hard, retail, which was already suffering a crisis of confidence, has been shaken to its foundations. High-profile administrations such as Arcadia Group and Debenhams not only threaten thousands of jobs, they also raise questions over the future of the high street as we know it, and I expect there to be more as we enter the new year.”

House prices ‘unlikely to be sustained’

UK house prices are expected to fall next year when the stamp duty holiday ends and unemployment levels rise, according to the Halifax housing market outlook for 2021. The latest predictions from the lender reveal that prospects for next year look weaker compared to this year. House prices could drop as unemployment levels rise and the furlough scheme comes to an end. Russell Galley, Managing Director at Halifax said the market this year has remained buoyant despite the coronavirus pandemic having a detrimental impact on the economy. This year has seen house prices rise at their fastest rate since 2016, with mortgage approvals also at their highest levels for over 10 years. Mr Galley explained that the property market boom has largely been driven by the stamp duty holiday, with people bringing their transactions forward to 2020, rather than waiting until next year. More people working from home has also led to a “shift in demand”, accordi ng to Mr Galley, as more people desire space. He added: “Unprecedented government support for furloughed workers and the self-employed has prevented a sharp fall in earnings for many households.”

FCA publishes climate-related disclosure rules

The Financial Conduct Authority says its new disclosure rules for listed firms should help reduce the risk of consumers buying unsuitable and mis-sold products. The FCA has confirmed it will enforce a rule for premium listed companies, including advice firms, that mandates better disclosure around climate-related risks and opportunities. The new rules will require firms to include a statement in their annual financial report setting out whether they have made disclosures consistent with the recommendations made by the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

Covid-19 general news

There were 33,364 new cases (total 2.07m) in the UK yesterday with 215 more deaths (total 67,616).

Globally 541,155 new cases brought the total  to 77.3 million with 1,703,900 deaths.

Taiwan had its first locally transmitted case since April. Australian, South Korea and Thailand who had previously done well controlling the virus and now facing a second wave.

Demand for the U.K.’s coronavirus test kits will outweigh supply in coming weeks according to the Financial Times

The new strain of the virus spreading through the South East and Wales, dubbed B.1.1.7 that is said to be 70% more transmissible has acquired 17 mutations compared to its most recent ancestor, puzzling scientists at its rapid rate of mutation.

The European Medicines Agency recommended the authorisation in the EU of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine


Yesterday the FTSE 100 closed at 6416 down 1.7% and the 250 Closed at 19692, down 2.1%.  Sterling is at 1.099 Euros and 1.343 US Dollars. Brent fell almost $2 to $50.20 per barrel and Gold was at $1872. The S&P 500 dropped -0.39% and the NASDAQ dropped -0.10%.

US Markets fell slightly in volatile trading to start the holiday week as enthusiasm over a stimulus deal was overwhelmed by worries over the new Covid mutation

Asian Markets were broadly lower overnight as investors grew increasingly worried about a spike in new coronavirus infections.

The new covid-19 variant is all the focus at the moment with countries around the world (40 so far) suspending travel with the UK, the new variants epicenter. The duration and impact of the tier 4 Christmas lock-down and its implications for the UK economy are of particular concern to UK businesses.

The World Health Organisation tried to calm fears, saying that the new strain was not out of control (contradicting Britain’s health minister). Still, Share prices tumbled, oil prices fell and sterling lost as much as 1.3% against the euro and 2% against the dollar. The continuing impasse in talks on a post-Brexit trade deal also weighed on the pound. The British government again insisted that it would not seek to extend the transition period that ends on 31st  December.

Travel and retail took the biggest hits but oil majors also fell.

Downing Street has ruled out extending the deadline for reaching a post-Brexit trade deal into 2021, amid a deadlock in talks and a growing Covid crisis

Four key tax changes to prepare for

The Express talks to Hillier Hopkins about possible tax changes in 2021 with the firm suggesting there are four significant changes in the pipeline as the Government tries to bolster public finances. Debbie Wilson, a director at Hillier Hopkins, suggests there will be new restrictions on inheritance tax with lifetime giving rules an easy target. Pension tax relief is an “obvious target” adds Wilson. Agricultural Property Relief (APR) could also be subject to change, she continues, as many suspect the relief is being abused by investors buying land with little or no intention of farming it simply to avoid Inheritance Tax. Her colleague Antony Smith says HMRC could adopt increasingly aggressive measures on residential landlords and property investors and he advises them to “make sure their affairs are fully in order well before the Spring Budget.”

UK tax evasion prosecutions fall by half in 5 years

The number of people charged for tax evasion has halved in the past five years, leading to questions over whether HMRC’s criminal investigation strategy is working

Amigo touts restructuring to stop insolvency

In an attempt to avoid insolvency, Amigo Loans is asking borrowers to back a restructuring that will result in lower compensation payouts for customers sold unaffordable loans by the firm. Boss Gary Jennison said: “The counterfactual to a scheme of arrangement, we think, is insolvency. And that means that creditors [would] get nothing.” Mr Jennison went on to accuse claims management firms of launching a slew of spurious claims and said the Financial Ombudsman had been less than supportive of the company.

City Chic buys Evans following Arcadia collapse

The administrator to Philip Green’s Arcadia empire, Deloitte, has confirmed that the Evans clothing brand has been bought by Australian company City Chic for £23m. Evans’ five bricks-and-mortar stores are not included in the deal which is just for the Evans brand and its online business. Arcadia – which also owns Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Wallis and Burton – crashed into administration at the start of this month.

Harrods mega-spender must reveal source of wealth

An attempt by a woman who spent £16m in Harrods to overturn the UK’s first Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) has been rejected by the Supreme Court. Zamira Hajiyeva, wife of a jailed banker, may now lose her £12m London home – and a separate golf course – if she can’t explain her riches. The court said her challenge to the UWO raised no arguable point of law. Mrs Hajieyva’s husband is in jail in Azerbaijan for embezzling millions of pounds from a state bank.

Don’t let Covid-19 bust your business!

It will if your cash flow dries up, either sooner or later.

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 sometime to come.

CPA eases cash from tardy debtors – Efficiently, Effectively, Economically and Ethically. Above all tactfully, because maintenance of goodwill is paramount.

To meet the needs of creditors in the current crisis, we have designed a “critical care” package especially tailored for the situation.

  • The annual package costs start at very low rates
  • A minimum performance warranty is provided
  • Several complimentary services included

Clients instruct CPA on-line via their PC or phone, completely user-friendly. Your late paying customers are told to pay you direct (not to us).

A very recent report shows a 23% increase in the number of unpaid invoices since March 11th THIS YEAR – are you getting a build-up of late payers?

Right now, overdue accounts must be a concern and CPA has a great track record of encouraging slow-payers to pay their suppliers quickly.

It takes less than 17 minutes to see how you would benefit, do you have the time now?

No face-to-face meeting required – 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.

Do you sell on credit?

With pressures on the cash flow it is essential that you stay on top of the credit limits you grant customers and watch carefully for any late payments.

Those customers will look for the easiest option to boost their cash-flow. Don’t let it be you.

You can’t just assume your customers can and will pay you eventually, no matter how big their name is.

It is essential to have credit management systems in place to monitor and check your customers credit worthiness.

It is also best practice to use a trusted third party like CPA to make sure you are paid on time by customers, no matter how good a name they have.

About CPA

The Credit Protection Association can help!

Formed in 1914, CPA has been providing credit management services to SMEs for over 100 years.

At the Credit Protection Association, we provide first class credit information that can help you avoid being over extended to customers who are at risk. Our monitoring service can flag up warning signs long before the end, giving you the chance to adjust and reduce your exposure. We provide recommended credit limits and credit scores on a traffic light system and can help you set appropriate credit policies for your customers.

We regularly publish lists of the latest insolvencies but by then it is too late. Our credit reports however predict approximately 96% of company insolvencies long before they arrive.

Companies in trouble usually have very bad cash flow and they try to deal with it by delaying payment to their suppliers, increasing your exposure to them.

If you supply on credit, help us help you identify the risks.

Why use a third party collector?

As a third party collector, we can also get your payments prioritised over those who are not as hot on collections. When your customer receives a letter from the Credit Protection Association regarding their outstanding account, they are going to want to get that resolved as a priority. Our overdue account recovery service can get your unpaid invoices to the top of their “to do” list and get your invoice paid.

Over the years we have collected billions in overdue invoices for our customers.

Our debt recovery and credit management services give our members the financial freedom needed to grow and prosper, while our new Late Payment Compensation department could unlock hidden potential and offer the compensation needed to springboard your business to success.

You might be hesitant about contacting a debt collection agency. What are they going to be like?

Can they help your particular type of business?

There is no need for concern. CPA are courteous, helpful and very probably have had direct experience of working with your type of business.

Debt collection agencies are not all alike.

Success lies in both recovering money and keeping customers happy. The Credit Protection Association was founded in 1914 and has helped tens of thousands of UK businesses to collect outstanding payments and reduce the risk of incurring bad debt. We believe that creditors deserve to be paid for the work or goods they have supplied but we fully understand the need to maintain
the best possible relationship with customers!

At The Credit Protection Association, we provide solutions, advice and back-up in all areas relating to the supply of services or goods on account. Client-members receive everything they need from a single source to reduce debtor days and write-offs.

The Credit Protection Association has helped has assisted tens of thousands of UK businesses with their credit control requirements, since the First World War.

We are polite, firm and efficient when it comes to recovering outstanding debt.

“We have used CPA for a number of years now. The website is easy to navigate around with lots of helpful reports. The staff are always at hand and very friendly. CPA has helped us reduce our debt over the years and keep track of potential issues with our customers.”
~ CPA client in Buckinghamshire

“The service from CPA has proved to be everything that you said it would be. We have already seen a huge benefit. We have had a number of overdue accounts paid promptly and directly to us. It is also a huge weight off our mind to know that once we have passed an overdue payment over to you, you take care of everything whilst keeping us informed.
~ Credit Controller client in Warrington

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections


Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

CPA is passionate about late payment

The Credit Protection Association has been protecting smaller firms against poor payment practices for over 100 years.

We are extremely passionate about breaking the late payment culture that holds back the UK economy and threatens many SMEs, with cash flow difficulties being the single biggest killer of Britain’s small businesses.

If you were regularly paid late we can help. Those former customers used you to boost their own cashflow, regularly paying you late.

As a result you had extra costs, you had the distraction of having to chase payment, you had opportunity costs because your capital was tied up in their late invoices.

Under little used legislation, you are entitled to compensation for those late payments.

You put up with the PAIN – now claim the GAIN!

Now you can boost your own cash-flow.

CPA can help unearth the those hidden treasures.

We have the technology to reveal the compensation you are due and we have the extensive experience and expertise to then turn those claims into cash.

Did you know that your business is entitled to a minimum of £40 for every commercial invoice paid late to you over the past 6 years?

How many of your invoices are paid late each month – 20, 50, 100 or more?

At £40 per invoice that’s claim of £57,600, £144,000, £288,000 plus interest. The more invoices the bigger the claim! 

At £100 per invoice it’s £144,000, £360,000, £720,000 plus interest.

Discover NOW the potential value of late payment compensation hidden in your sales ledger!

For over 20 years, CPA has calculated and recovered Late Payment Compensation on behalf of Clients!  

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cash-flow.

Don’t let your bankers control you, contact CPA today.

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.

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

The “Why” of the late payment culture.

New PM should walk the walk and back small firms over late payments

Paying late is “crack cocaine” to big business.

Late payment culture risks “spiraling out of control”

visit our late payment compensation page

See our full blog and FAQ on late payment compensation

Do you realise you could be sitting on a fortune?

Late payments often result in a cash flow crunch and leave SMEs in need of a cash injection.

If you sold B2B on credit then there may be a hidden source of capital you can call on.

If you fancy an extra bit of extra cash in your business, rather than jumping through hoops with your bank, you could look to uncover the resources from an unexpected source within your own business.

Not many are aware but there could be a hidden fortune within your business, sitting there, just waiting to be uncovered and released.

We can help you uncover the pile of gold, you didn’t even know you were sitting on.

If you trade with other businesses and were often paid late then you could be entitled to significant compensation.

Under little known and under-utilised legislation your business could be due huge amounts in compensation that you didn’t even know about.

Let’s be clear – this is not a way to weaken any customer relationships you value. It is one that identifies who’s been paying late and then recover the potentially significant sums in compensation using Late Payment Legislation from businesses where the relationship has already ended.

You can pick and choose who you want us to follow up – but once we’ve agreed which companies you’d like to pursue compensation from it’s a fast process and there’s no financial outlay to you whatsoever. My team at CPA put its expertise to work to recover the compensation due and fight late payment culture.

That compensation could provide the cash boost your business needed.

But don’t delay, that compensation evaporates if not claimed within six years of the late payment.

How can CPA help?

CPA has developed a unique technology to dig into your accounting records and discover the cash injection you are due by means of compensation. The software does all the hard work. Our software interacts over the cloud with over 300 different software packages, working directly with your accounts package, just so long as it’s stored on a computer.

We recognise that most companies do not have the resources to spend time on the identification and calculation of Late Payment Compensation. Our service can produce an Analyses within just a few days with (usually) less than 30 mins of co-operation from our clients. We work directly with over 300 accounting packages but can also work with bespoke accounts packages. Indeed, speed is essential as the oldest invoices may fall foul of the 6-year time limit.

Once the Sales Ledger Analyses is made available to clients, all that is required is that management decide which commercially sensitive ex-customers to remove from the list and return it to us.

CPA then uses its years of collection experience to explain and recover the Late Payment Compensation Claims. Clients do not handle any part of the recovery process as our team will take all communications from the companies against who the claims has been made. Often, it’s simply a case of explaining the legislation, sometimes we have to go all the way and enforce the legislation through the courts.

The result is that we are realising clients’ claims worth tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds which, of course, is pure net profit. You may also be among the recipients of “hundreds of thousands of pounds” should you elect to take advantage of our services.

We do the work, you receive the cash.

If you have supplied goods and services to businesses on credit and were regularly paid late then you could be due significant sums in late payment compensation.

We are talking to companies and unearthing claims in the hundreds of thousands from former business customers who paid them late. Large business customers who abused their power to inflict unfair and sometimes illegal payment practices.

We are helping business owners who are looking to boost the returns from their business before they retire. We are helping businesses who have lost major clients after years of loyal service to get properly compensated for systematic late payment. We are helping companies that were looking to close down, who looked insolvent and finding that cash injection they need to avoid insolvency.

Those former clients who regularly paid you late can finally be made to pay.

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.

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Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

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Read our Cash Flow Advice

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Read our blog – What is credit management?

Read our blog – How to select a debt collection agency

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see our blog – 15 steps to avoid invoice fraud

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The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.