Business news 26 January 2024

EU pushing ahead with late payment reform. 66k high-growth companies in ‘financial ill health’. Consumer confidence hits two-year high and look to local business.  And more business news that we thought would interest our members.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

EU pushing ahead with late payment reform

After its call for evidence in March 2023 and the publishing of it’s proposals to tackle late payments last autumn, the European Union (EU) has said it is going ahead with it proposed strengthening of the late payment directive and expects it to be adopted and implemented into a regulation withing the next 26 months (March 2025 expected adoption – March 2026 regulation expected to come into force)  with the aim of strengthening the protections for suppliers facing late payments and protect them from insolvency.

The regulations will impose a maximum of 30 days from the date of receipt of invoice, providing the goods or services have been received with no extensions legally permissible.

The systematic enforcement of the payment of late payment compensation and interest whenever payments exceed the due date.

The setting up of an authority at national levels to enforce the compliance to the regulation.

It will be interesting to watch from a distance to see how this affects the late payment culture.

One wonders if the UK government would follow suit if it proves effective. The enforcement of penalties for late payment is something that should change the attitude of businesses. CPA has been trying to enforce late payment compensation as an effective deterrent for many years now.

Talk to us if you are plagued by late payers.

66k high-growth companies in ‘financial ill health’

Analysis by The Growth Company and Red Flag Alert shows that more than 60,000 UK companies are showing “distinct early signs of financial ill health,” despite being predicted to grow by a fifth in the next 12 months.

The Growth Flag Annual Report shows that while 13.1% of businesses are likely or very likely to grow by 20% in the following 12 months, over 66,000 of these have been identified as at risk.

The report calls for targeted support to tackle potential barriers to growth, adding: “In the challenging economic context, picking up on signs of distress that may harm the chances of growth being realised and taking action could have transformational impacts in kickstarting broader growth in the economy.”

Red Flag Alert chief economist Dr Nicola Headlam said: “Evidence-led strategies on the ways in which places can identify and support SMEs with propensity for high growth could be transformative.”

Consumer confidence hits two-year high

Consumer confidence has hit the highest point in two years, with an index published by GfK increasing to -19 points in January from -22 in December. Improved optimism in household finances over the next 12 months drove the increase in the overall index, while the personal finance expectations index was flat in January, marking the first time in two years that it has not been negative.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said that “consumer confidence has started the year well”, adding that “despite the cost-of-living crisis still affecting many households across the UK, consumers appear to be encouraged by the positive news about falling inflation.”

Consumers look to local businesses

Amid ongoing pressure on budgets, shopping habits are changing, with Virgin Media O2 Business’ Annual Movers Index showing that 64% of consumers preferred to shop local last year. Jo Bertram, managing director of Virgin Media O2 Business, comments: “With tighter purse strings, consumers have become more considered about how they spend, opting to invest money back into the local community.” With the report showing that 70% of British consumers plan to increase their local spending habits in 2024, Ms Bertram said: “Looking forward, this shift in spending should further benefit small businesses as they navigate a challenging business landscape.”

Retail sales see sharpest slowdown in three years

Retail sales in Britain have fallen at the sharpest pace in three years. The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) monthly retail sales balance has fallen to -50 in January from -32 in December, the lowest reading since January 2021. Martin Sartorius, principal economist at the CBI, expects a similar rate of contraction next month due to higher interest rates and forthcoming rise in business rates. Official figures show that British retailers experienced a record drop in sales volume last month, with a decline of 3.2%.

ECB keeps rates on hold

The European Central Bank (ECB) has opted to keep interest rates unchanged at 4%. ECB President Christine Lagarde said policymakers needed to be more confident that inflationary pressures have definitely subsided before moving towards cutting rates. Madison Faller, a global investment strategist at JPMorgan, said it is “not a surprise” that the ECB held rates steady, “especially as speakers have been fairly clear that they need to see more confirmation that inflation is moving sustainably back to its target,” while Colin Finlayson, fixed income investment manager at Aegon Asset Management, said that although Ms Lagarde “attempted to push back on the current market expectations of rate-cuts in the coming month, she did have to concede that both underlying inflation and inflation expectations have continued to fall.” Seema Shah, a strategist at Principal Asset Management, commented: “The ECB is clearly data dependent, but the data they focus on are pointing to a rate cut within the next few months, potentially April.”

US economy sees faster than expected growth

The US economy grew faster than expected in Q4 2023, with data from the Commerce Department showing that the world’s largest economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.3% over the three months to December. While this was down from 4.9% growth seen in Q3, it exceeded the 2% increase many analysts had forecast. The data shows that the US economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5% last year, up from 1.9% in 2022.


US markets closed higher on Thursday, extending recent gains.The S&P 500 closed the day up at its fifth consecutive high, up 0.53% at 4894.16 and the Nasdaq closed with a 0.18% gain at 15510.50. The UK market is up over 1% this morning above 7600. The pound has gained against the dollar ($1.273) and Euro (€1.17). Brent oil is at $82

Canada UK trade talks

The UK-Canada trade talks have broken down over beef and cheese as the UK bans hormone treated meat.


In a response to an EU law, Apple said  that in a major overhaul to its business model, it would allow alternative app stores and in-app payment methods on its iPhones and iPads in the European Union. But developers who distribute their apps through a non-Apple app store will still have to pay a fee after hitting 1m downloads.


Haleon it has agreed to sell the ChapStick lip balm brand to Suave Brands Co for around $430 million in cash. The Surrey-based consumer healthcare company said it will also receive a passive minority interest in Suave Brands, which is a portfolio company of Yellow Wood Partners. At the time of entering into the binding agreement, Haleon said this minority interest was valued at approximately $80 million.


BHP and its Brazilian partner Vale have been ordered to pay £7.7 billion (R47.6bn) in compensation from the Samarco disaster in 2015. A federal court in Brazil ruled that Samarco, the joint venture company owned by BHP and Vale that ran the mine, was liable for “moral damages” and emotional distress caused to victims and people in the areas affected. Public prosecutors had claimed original compensation of R155bn (£24.8bn).

Bank of England: Ensuring privacy a ‘core design feature’ of Britcoin

The Bank of England and the Treasury say privacy would be a “core design feature” of the digital pound, saying: “Just as with other forms of money, ensuring trust in a digital pound issued by the central bank would be essential.” Over 50,000 people responded to a consultation on the introduction of Britcoin, with widespread concerns about privacy. A response paper from the Bank said legislation introduced by the Government for a digital pound would guarantee users’ privacy, with officials committed to exploring “technological options” that would make it impossible for the Bank to access personal data through its core infrastructure. Bim Afolami, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: “We will always ensure people’s privacy is paramount in any design.”

Grants help professionals secure recognition deals abroad

Professionals looking to use their UK qualifications in overseas markets are being encouraged to apply for grants to help cover the costs involved in the process. The Government has allocated £500,000 for the initiative, saying it is keen to “make it easier, quicker and cheaper for UK professionals to have their qualifications recognised overseas.” ICAEW director of policy and strategy Jonathan Jones said the scheme offers valuable support in its efforts to facilitate trade in accountancy services, commenting: “The complexity and associated costs of striking these deals means the government’s assistance can be the difference between success and failure.” Greg Hands, the Minister for Trade Policy, said: “This new round of funding will help open new doors for UK-qualified professionals, allowing them and their firms to focus on winning contracts, exporting their expertise abroad and growing their businesses.” It is noted that while selling professional services into Europe has become more difficult since Brexit as EU rules covering the mutual recognition of qualifications obtained in the UK ended in January 2021, the Financial Reporting Council has since agreed mutual recognition deals with its New Zealand and Swiss counterparts, allowing UK audit firms to sell their services more easily in those countries.

Latest Insolvencies

Appointment of Liquidators – VAP PROPERTY HOLDINGS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – STREAM RISE PLUS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – AUDIOTELLIGENCE LIMITED
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Petitions to wind up (Companies) – PMC HOLYWOOD LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ROTARY CONSTRUCTION LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – AVON CAR SALES LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – R.S.H.INVESTMENTS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – INTEGRITY TRANS LINK LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – NKM HEALTHCARE LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – WRIGHT ENGINEERING LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – LIME TREE INTERNATIONAL LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – NALA RETAIL LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – HEALTHTECH LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – TRAVELDEAL LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – DRIVER BUILDERS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – JAYMIRE LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ZYNTAX LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – BMAGIC LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – METIS PROFESSIONAL SERVICES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – M CRASTON CONSULTING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ULOCKERS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SELPLAS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – KINRA TRADERS LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – UINNEAG CONSULTANTS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – TOWD POINT MORTGAGE FUNDING 2019-VANTAGE2 PLC
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – K4 CIVILS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – JOHN BREWIS AND CO., ACCOUNTANTS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – RMR BUILDERS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – BELAC GROUP LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – EXPONA ESTATES LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – GANITA WEALTH LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – GENERAL HAULAGE LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – NEDERPAC FOODS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SKYLET ANDREW LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ROSIE JOE’S LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SPILSBURY PLUMBING AND HEATING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – HIGH STANDARD WINDOWS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – DMC LAW LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – LC LEEDS BIKE SHOP LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CRESSING MAINTENANCE LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ASSIST ENVIRONMENTAL LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ALLWOOD TIMBER CONSTRUCTION LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – NATAL TELECOMS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – OILGASPROCEDURES LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – NOVA GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SUBWAY UNIVERSAL LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SDS ENERGY LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SIAMO FIRE AND SECURITY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – UNDERRIVER PROJECTS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MMFA LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – METTA SOLUTIONS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – WARE WITH ALL LTD.
Appointment of Liquidators – NOBLEDEAN LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – UX DIGITAL SYSTEMS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ALAN GREEN PHD LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – C.C.S. WINDSCREENS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – IVAN FIXING LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – RENEW LAND PROJECTS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – INCOVO LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – 50 BROOK STREET LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SOUTHEAST DEVELOPERS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SWIPEN LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – EMA CONTRACTS LTD.
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SKYLINE DESIGN LONDON LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – DARI2013 LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – GLOBAL EVENTS AND ATTRACTIONS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – BOLTON SECURITY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – VSQUARED SOLUTIONS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – OJ WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD
Appointment of Administrator – INOVENTIA LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – WALNUT ESTATES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – KENAND CONSULTING LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – KNIGHTS FISH & CHIPS LTD
Winding up Order (Companies) – BLUE LIGHT LEISURE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – HOME ENERGY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ADDUO LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – IGP CARE LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – BYM BURTON 1 LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SHIRE OAK INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – HELIANTHUS HOMES LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – PARKER BUILDING CONTRACTORS LIMITED

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.