Business news 23 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.

Confidence rises among employers

Employers’ confidence in hiring and investment decisions rose by six percentage points in the three months to November, compared with the previous three months, according to the latest jobs outlook from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation. The reading of +1 was the first in positive territory since the three months to March. Demand for permanent workers increased both in the short term and the medium term, the survey found. However, confidence in the economy was down two points to -51. Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said: “Our report points to a more hopeful future for the UK jobs market, if we can begin to get through the crisis as the vaccine rolls out.”

Start-up overtakes national fusion labs

Oxford-based nuclear fusion technology start-up First Light Fusion has raised $25m (£19m) to speed up the development of its fusion plant which it hopes to have completed in the 2030s, ten years earlier than the Government has been anticipating. Chief executive Dr Nick Hawker said he was certain that start-ups would be the one to solve nuclear fusion. “It’s not going to be someone in their basement. An individual cannot solve this problem. And the national labs are going too slow.”

Government borrowing reached record high in November

Figures from the ONS show government borrowing reached £31.6bn last month, the highest November figure since records began. That is also the third highest monthly figure ever. Since the start of the financial year, the UK has borrowed almost £241bn. The total national debt has hit £2.1trn. Meanwhile, official figures show the economy bounced back in the third quarter more strongly than previously thought. In those three months the economy was up 16%, while remaining down 8.6% across the year. However, those figures came before the latest virus fears and there is now a growing expectation that the economy will slump again post-Christmas, leading to a dreaded “double-dip” recession.

Covid-19 general news

There were a record 36,803 new cases in the UK yesterday with 691 more deaths.

Globally 646,791  new cases brought the total  to 78 million with 1,717,580 deaths.

The government is considering moving more of the UK into tier 4.

As more countries consider travel bans with the UK, with over 50 already in place, , the US, Germany and France say the new strain has possibly already made it to their shores.

France will today open its borders to EU citizens and French residents travelling from Britain, provided they have tested negative for covid-19 in the previous 72 hours.

The European Union’s 27 member states will try to co-ordinate restrictions on links to the UK, after dozens of countries suspended travel amid alarm over a new coronavirus variant. On Tuesday, the European Commission recommended countries lift restrictions and allow essential travel to resume.

The coronavirus reached Antarctica. The Chilean army reported 36 cases of covid-19 at its General Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme research centre. All of those infected were evacuated. It follows three crew mates on a ship delivering supplies to the station testing positive for the virus. Covid-19 has now been recorded on all 7 continents.


Yesterday the FTSE 100 closed up 0.6% at 6453 and the 250 closed up 1.3%.  Sterling is at 1.101 Euros and 1.342US Dollars. Brent Crude is at $50 and Gold is at $1870.

Overnight, the DOW dropped -0.67% the S&P 500 dropped -0.21% and the NASDAQ rose 0.51%.

In the US, Trump has refused to sign the stimulus deal agreed by both parties, calling it a disgrace. Meanwhile he issued pardons for mercenaries who committed a massacre in Iraq in 2007 and political supporters who had been found guilty of lying to the FBI over Trumps dealing with Russia and of financial crimes.

UK Car Production

UK Car Production fell again last month as the industry urged Brexit negotiators to “seal the deal”. New figures from industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), factories produced just 106,243 vehicles, last month.

Apple v Tesla

A report revealed that Apple is aiming to produce a driver-less car for consumers by 2024.  Meanwhile Elon Musk revealed that Apple’s Tim Cook refused to take a meeting years ago to discuss buying Tesla. Shame, as Apple could have snapped it up for a 10th of its current value. Instead they look like becoming competitors.

Royal Mail

Royal Mail has reached an agreement with the Communication Workers Union over pay, hours and operational change, ending two years of dispute. The deal includes a 3.7% pay increase backdated to April ’20 and a one-hour reduction in the working week. Royal Mail said revenue to November was £380 million higher compared to the same period last year.

VOA writes off office business rates

Almost £500m-worth of offices’ business rates are to be written off by the Valuation Office Agency following weeks of negotiations. Robert Hayton, head of property tax at ratings advisory Altus Group, said the Agency had been “brilliant.” He said we “must now focus on full reductions and other property types, especially retail hospitality and leisure where the current rates exemption ends on March 31.”

Transparency needed to help justify use of consultants during pandemic

Writing in the Telegraph, Michael O’Dwyer runs through some of contracts handed out to consultants to help the Government navigate the pandemic and roll out various programmes. Tamzen Isacsson of the Management Consultancies Association says: “It’s been absolutely imperative for the Government to use the expertise, capability and skills of the consulting sector in this critical period,” But O’Dwyer cites a report from the National Audit Office which found procurement processes were opaque and delays in publishing contract details had “diminished public transparency”. O’Dwyer concludes: “If the Government and consultants are to win the argument that heavy private sector involvement was crucial in avoiding more missteps in the pandemic response, they will first need to come clean about exactly how much was spent and how.”

Opinion: It will never be the right time for a wealth tax

Former Grant Thornton tax director Mike Warburton dissects the proposals recently put forward by the Wealth Tax Commission which it predicted would raise £260bn through a one-off 5% tax on net wealth above £500,000, with a married couple enjoying a £1m allowance. Mr Warburton fears such a tax would become permanent as so many do despite starting as a one-off. He goes on to highlight the chief flaws in the WTC’s arguments and states that ultimately the plans fail Adam Smith’s four basic principles on tax: fairness, certainty, convenience, and efficiency. Warburton concludes with the hope that the Chancellor and his successors stick with the belief, as put forward by Rishi Sunak in July, that it will never be the right time for a wealth tax.

Britons urged to utilise ISA and pension allowances ahead of tax hikes

Experts are warning UK savers to make the most of their investments ahead of likely tax hikes next year as the Government seeks to rebuild public finances following the pandemic. AJ Bell analysts Tom Selby and Laith Khalaf suggest ISAs and pension allowances are utilised fully before current tax breaks are withdrawn.

Landlords cash in on Rishi tax break

The Hamptons Monthly Lettings Index shows 15% of property sales in November went to landlords amid concern that the stamp duty holiday is turning into a “tax break for the rich”, as young buyers, furloughed workers and the self-employed struggle to take advantage. Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said buyers are disproportionately larger landlords expanding portfolios: “In many cases, they are buying up homes from smaller landlords.” Separately, HMRC figures show 115,190 transactions took place in November 2020, marking an 8.6% increase compared with October and 19.3% higher than in November 2019.

Wales hikes tax on second home sales

Wales has increased the rates of land transaction tax (LTT) on property sales with the change coming into immediate effect. Property investors will pay 4% on sales of second homes and buy-to-let properties up to £180,000, up from 3%, to rise in increments of 1% to 16% on homes worth £1.6m or more. Sean Randall, a partner at Blick Rothenberg, said: “The measures are a proportionate response to the effect of the pandemic in Wales. Pressure will now be on the UK government to pass similar measures.”

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.

25 excuses for late payment and how to get around them.

Read our Cash Flow Advice

Read about our overdue account recovery service

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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As insolvencies rise, could you spot these warning signs in your customers?

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