Business news 25 August 2023

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Construction insolvencies up 16.5%. Retail Sales. More people seek help over energy debts. BNPL debt hits £2.7bn. Majority of owners could not afford their house now.  Interest rates to peak at 5.5%. And more business news that we thought would interest our members.

Construction insolvencies up 16.5%

UK construction companies are going bankrupt at a faster rate than at any point in the last decade due to a decline in housebuilding, inflation, and delays to major Government infrastructure projects. In the year to June, 4,280 operators entered insolvency, a 16.5% increase compared to the previous 12 months. Smaller subcontractors have been hit the hardest, accounting for 60% of the insolvencies. Larger firms are also experiencing an increase in insolvencies due to the knock-on effects of firms going bust further down the supply chain.

Are you owed money by construction companies? Talk to CPA about how the tools we provide members can help support you.

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.

Retail Sales

UK Retail Sales volumes fell in the year to August at the fastest pace since the covid pandemic lock-downs in March 2021, according to new data from the Confederation of British Industry. The balance of retailers that reported a sales decline rose to 44%, a level seen only once between the pandemic and the global financial crisis in 2008, according to a weighted poll of CBI retailer members.

More people seek help over energy debts
Citizens Advice has warned that more people will be behind on their energy bills as they head into winter. A total of 46,431 people with energy debts contacted the charity for advice in the first six months of 2023, a 17% increase on the same period last year. While the next energy price cap is expected to set a typical annual household bill at about £1,926 from October, those who contacted Citizens Advice for help had debts averaging £1,711. This is up a third compared to 2019. A poll for Citizens Advice found that 12% of respondents had resorted to a loan or credit card in order to pay their energy bill.

Winter Energy Bills

Ofgem has announced that its price cap will be lower this winter, marking the second fall this year and its lowest level since August 2021. Priced at £1,923, the cap will place the maximum suppliers can charge for energy at 27.35p and 6.89p per kilowatt hour of electricity and gas respectively.

BNPL debt hits £2.7bn
Bank of England analysis shows that around 3.1m UK households owe £2.7bn in buy now, pay later (BNPL) borrowing. Research by Bank economists Gerry Gunner and James Waddell looked at a survey from March 2023 and found that 11% of UK households reported owing money on BNPL. The average balance was £866, meaning a total of £2.7bn is owed. The study shows that 68% of BNPL users are concerned about their borrowing, compared with 45% of other borrowers. They are also more likely fall behind on repayments by two months or more. Rocio Concha, director of policy and advocacy at consumer group Which?, believes regulation is needed to protect BNPL borrowers, saying: “With several providers not offering clear information of the risks attached to using BNPL … some consumers are entering into agreements without the full picture.”

Majority of owners could not afford their house now
Analysis by data science company Outra shows that the majority of homeowners could not afford their house under today’s mortgage rates. The research looked at more than 30m households and found that just 0.9% of homeowners of working age could afford to buy their own home again now or expand into a larger property. It was also shown that in June 2023, just 5.9% could afford their home but only with more favourable mortgage terms – or with help from a shared ownership scheme. This compares to 22.3% in December 2022. Of those who could not afford to buy their home in the current market, 24% were aged 20-30, while 22% were between 50 and 60.

Interest rates to peak at 5.5%, experts predict
Economists predict that interest rates will peak at 5.5% in September. Despite inflation falling to 6.8% in July from 7.9% in June, all but one of the 62 economists polled expect the base rate to rise by 0.25 percentage points – from 5.25% to 5.5% when the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee meets on 21 September. The remaining analyst preferred a half-point increase to 5.75%. While the economists polled expect inflation to average 6.8% this quarter before falling to 4.7% in Q4, they do not expect price rises to fall below the Bank’s 2% target until at least 2025.

Consumer confidence climbs in August
GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index improved five points in August, although it remains in negative territory at minus 25. Confidence in the general economic situation for the next 12 months increased by three points to minus 30. The major purchase index rose eight points to minus 24, while the personal finance 12-month forward index rose four points to minus three. Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “Although the headline figure remains strongly negative at minus 25, hopes for our personal financial situation for the coming year are heading back towards positive territory.” Linda Ellett, UK head of consumer markets, retail and leisure at KPMG, commented: “Consumer price inflation is slowing, but costs remain elevated and will continue to test many household budgets for months to come.”

HMV tycoon eyes Wilko rescue
Doug Putman, the Canadian tycoon behind HMV, has made a last-minute attempt to rescue Wilko. He is understood to be in talks with Wilko’s management team and administrators from PwC over an offer that keep around half the discount retailer’s 400 shops and 3,000 to 4,000 of its 12,000 workers. However, some industry sources believe PwC will opt to put Wilko into liquidation as this would produce higher returns for creditors, including restructuring firm Hilco.

IFS: UK should broaden tax burden
Britain should increase certain taxes to fund more spending on public services and welfare, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) think-tank. IFS deputy director Helen Miller said: “Better designed taxes would make us more productive, and therefore ultimately richer,” adding: “Taxes could also be fairer if we stopped taxing very similar people in very different ways.” The IFS said lower tax rates on income from capital, compared with those on employment, were distorting the labour market by encouraging self-employment. This, it said, is leading to people with similar earnings facing vastly different tax bills. The report says lower taxes on wealth and the exemption from capital gains tax of sales of primary homes are creating an intergenerational divide. It also suggests that uncertainty about investment incentives are hurting business investment. Suggesting that “better-designed” taxes could support higher economic growth, the report said: “Tax could and should be part of the solution to future challenges rather than part of the problem.”

HMRC urged to investigate WFH tax break
HMRC has been urged to investigate individuals working from home and claiming tax breaks, with concern that people are claiming homeworker tax relief even though a majority of workers can now go into the office. HMRC has forecast that it will pay out £80m in working from home tax breaks for 2022/23. Calculations suggest that around 1.5m people were still claiming the relief in the 12 months to April. This is despite the tax office declaring in April 2022 that people can only claim if they have no choice but to work from home. HMRC relaxed the homeworking relief rules at during the pandemic, allowing anyone who worked from home at any point to claim a yearly sum of up to £125 in tax relief. MP Henry Smith said he doubted such large numbers were still unable to attend the office for work. He has called on HMRC to do more to find and punish workers incorrectly claiming the relief, saying it is “a significant cost to the taxpayer.” Chris Etherington of RSM comments: “HMRC has created an issue of their own making, as many people claiming probably do not qualify for this relief anymore – the tax office needs to address its internal processes as a matter of urgency.” “Many people are still benefiting from this relief, and it is costing the Exchequer millions of pounds,” he added.

Financial crime fines fall 88%
Data from compliance firm Fenergo shows that the value of fines handed to banks and financial services firms over financial crime violations fell in the first half of this year. Regulators issued 97 financial crime-related fines in first six months of the year, with the total value of fines coming in at $189m. This marked an 88% decline, year-on-year, with regulators worldwide pulling in over $1.5bn in fines in H1 2022. While the majority of the fines were issued by US regulators, UK agencies issued $14.2m in fines in the first half of 2023. Globally, Wells Fargo saw the largest fine, with a penalty worth $97.8m issued for failures on sanctions oversight. US institutions paid out 83% of the total fines, despite making up just 10% of enforcement action. The data also shows that crypto fines made up a third of the global total.

Work Visa’s

A record 321,000 visas were issued to migrants allowing them to work in the UK in the first six months of 2023 to June as employers scrambled to recruit from overseas amid ongoing staff shortages, according to official figures from the Home Office.

Jackson Hole

All eyes are on Jackson Hole for any revealing words from the worlds central bankers on future monetary policy.

AI Summit

Rishi Sunak will host an international summit on Artificial Intelligence on the 1st and 2nd November.

Latest Insolvencies

Petitions to wind up (Companies) – BRAZILIA CAFE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – JORBELLA CONTRACTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – J HESKETH CONSULTING LTD
Appointment of Administrator – ALLMA CONSTRUCTION LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SINGH MM LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – MKL (CHERTSEY) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – FORTEL SOLUTIONS LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – FULL HOUSE PROPERTIES LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – WENTWORTH MOTORS (SOUTHBOURNE) LTD.
Appointment of Administrator – SOURCE PERSONNEL LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ST CUTHBERT’S HOUSE LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – AC DATA LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BEN LLOYD CONSULTING LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ECOSEALNI LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – MOTHY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ENDESIGN LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – EXTREME PARTITIONS AND FITOUTS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ACTIVE BUSINESS CENTRE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – KIGTEK ELECTRICAL LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – RUMANA786 LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CITY BANKING COLLEGE LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – DECORWISE LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – MEET HAPPYCO LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ALF HAULAGE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CAUTLEY CONSULTING LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – URBAN CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT UK LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – PHF HOLDCO LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – RS SPEDITION LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – POST PRESS SERVICES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BOLTON BIRCH SURVEYORS LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – A C PLC
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – MOYARD PROPERTIES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – KDI FOOD WHOLESALE LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – POOCH CONSTRUCTION LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ELECTRICAL NETWORK SYSTEMS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BREAK70 LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – TANKVET LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ZONE 360 LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – FENESTRAL LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – AKASO CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SUBLAND LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – HANCRAFTED LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – NOOTKA LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – VISION CHEMICALS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – RAYNESWAY INTERIORS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – YK SPARKS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – INVENTIVE OUTCOMES LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CELTIC RETAIL LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – FINNDON LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SALOCAN LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – HOC LONDON LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – NOSEY PARKERS INTELLIGENCE LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – ARDENT ANALYSIS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – TIMBER DIRECT (NE) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ANURAG RAY IT CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – U.K. SOLUTIONS FOR SECURITY LTD
Winding up Order (Companies) – CEASED TRADING 12272867 LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – FGW DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED
Winding up Order (Companies) – DTN LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – DIAMONDS BLOCKS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – MASTER CHEF GLOBAL LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – COUNTY TANKERS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – HANSA MARITIME LIMITED
Winding up Order (Companies) – BINTI MARINE HOLDINGS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – QUICKSTEP HOLDINGS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – KEY42 LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SOFTWARE SCIENCES LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – KEPI INTERNATIONAL SOLUTIONS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SSL (MASTER DEVELOPMENTS) LIMITED
Winding up Order (Companies) – KEATES & CO LLP
Appointment of Liquidators – MACHINERY ASSET FINANCE LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – MEDINCHARM LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – RED SHED DIGITAL 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!

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.

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.