Business news 28 November 2023

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Small businesses call for change in utility contracts. Rates need to stay higher for longer. Hitting inflation target will be ‘hard work’. PM welcomes foreign firms’ £29.5bn ‘vote of confidence’. Metro Bank,  COP28, the US dollar & more business news that we thought would interest our members.

Small businesses call for change in utility contracts

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is urging Ofgem to address the issue of high utility bills faced by small businesses. FSB national chair Martin McTague said: “While the fall in October’s energy price cap contributed to the slowdown in inflation, it’s important to point out that business tariffs are not protected by the cap, and many small firms are still living with higher utility bills, putting them under continuing stress.” In a poll of more than 800 small firms, 57% said that utilities were the main cause of rising business costs in the third quarter. The FSB is calling for flexibility from Ofgem, including a “14-day cooling off period” to cancel contracts and a freeze on standing charges. It is noted that Ofgem has opened a consultation on how to better support business customers in paying their energy bills and will soon be consulting on license changes and the spread of energy standing charges.

Rates need to stay higher for longer, analysts warn

Analysts at S&P Global Ratings have warned that interest rates will have to remain higher for longer in order to meet the Bank of England’s inflation target. The report says monetary policy “will have to remain restrictive for longer to return the inflation rate to 2% on a sustainable basis.” The credit ratings agency has forecast that the Bank will not begin cutting base rate until the second half of 2024. S&P also warned that Britain faces “yet another year of economic weakness in 2024 with GDP growth of just 0.4%, as interest rates remain restrictive for an extended period.” Meanwhile, Mark Haefele, global wealth management chief investment officer at UBS, says better than expected business activity has dampened expectations of impending rate cuts. He said the chance of the Bank of England cutting rates before June is down from 97% on November 20 to 36%.

Bailey: Hitting inflation target will be ‘hard work’

Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey says getting inflation down to the Bank’s 2% target will be “hard work,” saying that while recent falls have been driven by surging energy costs falling back, “the rest of it has to be done by policy and monetary policy.” He went on to warn that policy is “operating in what I call a restrictive way at the moment – it is restricting the economy.” Inflation, which last year hit a peak of more than 11%, has since fallen to 4.6%. The Bank of England says it does not expect inflation to return to the 2% rate until the end of 2025. Mr Bailey also warned that, despite recent falls in inflation, interest rates will not be cut in the “foreseeable future” as the Bank looks to hit the 2% target.

Workers unimpressed by wellbeing schemes

A study by the London School of Economics suggests that workplace wellbeing schemes are a waste of employers’ time and money, with employers likely to see more benefit from concentrating on reducing negative aspects of the workplace such as bullying, favouritism, burnout and lack of career progression. Interviews with workers across banking, finance and professional services found that none were in favour of workplace wellbeing initiatives. A third said the demands of their job, a lack of flexibility in how they fulfilled their responsibilities and the way they were treated significantly exacerbated mental and physical health conditions. The poll also saw 51% flag the benefits of autonomous working conditions, with staff given decision-making power over how, when, and where they completed their work. Dr Grace Lordan, director of The Inclusion Initiative in the LSE’s department of psychological and behavioural science, said: “If employers care about happiness they should provide a decent wage and give enough work-life balance so employees can pursue their own happiness.”

PM welcomes foreign firms’ £29.5bn ‘vote of confidence’

As he hosts a group of leading business figures at the Global Investment Summit, Rishi Sunak says £29.5bn of new investment has been promised by foreign firms. This, the Prime Minister says, serves as a “huge vote of confidence” in the UK economy. Australian funds IFM Investors and Aware Super will invest £10bn and £5bn respectively, while Spanish power giant Iberdrola will invest £7bn. Microsoft will also invest £2.5bn in AI infrastructure. At the last summit, which was held in 2021, companies promised to invest nearly £10bn in the UK. Figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development show that foreign direct investment (FDI) into the UK rose in 2022 to $14bn compared to a $71bn drop in the previous year. While France has overtaken Britain as the European country with the highest number of new FDI projects, analysis by EY has found that the UK lags France and Germany in perceived attractiveness for FDI.

Metro Bank

Shareholders voted in favour of a rescue deal to secure the bank’s future, raising £225m in new equity and refinancing £600m in debt. The challenger bank has got in to trouble and is struggling to remain viable. Shareholders have already seen the share price drop from £40.00 to £0.39 since 2018. Colombian billionaire Jaime Gilinski Bacal will become Metro’s controlling shareholder with a 53% holding, putting £102m in. A spokesperson for Metro Bank said: “We are confident that that the proposed transaction represents the best outcome for shareholders”

The US dollar

The dollar is falling! In the past couple of weeks GBP/USD rocketed up from $1.22 to a high of $1.26, while EUR/USD jumped from $1.06 to $1.09.  During this period, we’ve seen GBP/EUR climb from €1.14 to €1.15, while EUR/GBP slipped from £0.87 to £0.86.


EasyJet released its FY23 results this morning, it noted that pre-tax profits came in at £432m, versus a loss of £208m a year earlier. They have also reinstated their dividend, declaring 4.5p a share. Revenue grew to £8.17bn, versus £5.77bn YoY. Despite this, the company did state that early winter results for FY24 will see an impact from the conflict in the middle East.


Oil prices rose above $80 a barrel on Tuesday, ending a three-day decline. Investors await the outcome of the OPEC+ meeting later on this week, after it was delayed earlier this month.


More than 70,000 politicians, diplomats, enviromentalists, money men and business leaders are due to arrive Dubai to talk about tackling the climate catastrophe. Wars have taken climate off the front pages but climate and the enviroment are still hurtling towards disaster. 2023 is set to be the hottest year on record!  Greenhouse gas emissions are increasing year on year and moves by governments and businesses to cut CO2 are woefully inadequate. And the hosts are being accused of using the whole event as an opportunity to negotiate oil deals! One can only hope!

A green transatlantic flight

The first transatlantic flight fuel with sustainable fuels is set to take off at 11.30 am  from London for New York. 90% of the Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787’s fuel is derived from waste fats; the rest is from the wastes of US corn production. The Air industry says such fuels can lower “lifecycle emissions” by up to 70%.

London retailers face £575m business rates bill

Analysis by Altus Group shows that more than 60,000 retail, hospitality and leisure properties in London could be faced with an extra £575.55m in business rates next year. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced a £4.3bn business rates relief package that includes an extension of the 75% rate relief scheme for another year.  However, the 61,650 non-domestic properties in London which have a rateable value exceeding the £51k cut-off point for the rates relief will see their bills rise by 6.7% in April. Tim Attridge, head of rating at CBRE UK, has warned that failing to extend the support to larger properties will have a “detrimental impact” on the retail market. He said: “The lack of support for these businesses is both surprising and hugely disappointing.”

Built environment puts pressure on net zero goal

Chris Hayward, policy chair of the City of London Corporation, says that while the City is on course to become operationally net zero by 2027, “there remains a lot of work to do” within the built environment sector. He notes that this sector accounts for around 42% of the City’s total carbon emissions. Mr Hayward says the corporation has issued advice on how planning applicants can ensure that carbon emissions resulting from development are reduced as much as possible. The corporation, he adds, is moving towards a “retrofit first” approach, where the reuse and refurbishment of existing buildings, structure and materials must be given serious consideration in any planning application. Deloitte’s Winter Crane Survey shows that there are 124 office projects in progress across London, with 34 buildings retrofitted.

Cyber-attack hits home sales

Property buyers have seen home completions delayed after CTS, a company which provides IT services to law firms, was hit by a cyber-incident. The issue at CTS is having a knock-on effect on firms involved in property completions, with around 80 law firms believed to have been affected. CTS said it is “working closely with a leading global cyber forensics firm to help us with an urgent investigation into the incident and to assist us in service restoration.” The property law regulator, the CLC, has confirmed there has been disruption to some transactions. The regulator says law firms need to work together to avoid disruption.

PM tells investors taxes are being cut

Rishi Sunak has hinted at further tax cuts, with the Prime Minister telling investors at the Global Investment Summit: I believe that by allowing you to keep more of the return on your capital, our country becomes more competitive as a place to invest, grow and create jobs … And make no mistake, we are cutting taxes.” At an event attended by executives including JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, Mr Sunak put a “low tax approach” at the centre of a pitch designed to attract international investors. This comes after the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement set out a package of cuts focused on business, including a permanent extension of full expensing to allow companies to claim back on the cost of investment.

Black Friday transactions down 0.63%, says Barclays

Data from Barclays shows that payment transactions on Black Friday were down 0.63% year-on-year.

Latest Insolvencies

Appointment of Liquidators – NORWOOD OFFICE SERVICES LTD.
Appointment of Liquidators – HDD BUCKTON FIELDS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – WOODVILLE CAPITAL LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – WAINWRIGHT DIRECT (TRADE) LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – EDGE ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – LYONS (UK) LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – ESSINGTON CEMETERY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – KELPER LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CRK IT SOLUTIONS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – J & L DUNCAN LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ALTERNATIVE RESEARCH LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – AMY WEIR AND ASSOCIATES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – T.K. PROPERTY DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – HARKEN SOLUTIONS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ACORN EXPRESS LOGISTICS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – PELLICOM LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – PCT GROUP SALES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – E-TESTQA LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CERTAN LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – DYMA ENERGY LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – FRANCE ECLAIR LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – MASDAR (U.K.) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – INNERGY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BLACK ISLE TUBULARS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MARKETS SOFTWARE LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – HPD CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – DE FACTO DESIGN LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SID TROIS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – IKKUNA CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – GASI LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – RUBI ENDODONTICS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PGH MOTORCYCLES LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SHARROCKS AND SONS DEVELOPMENT LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ROUNDPEG FINANCE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SUNSHINE ITALIAN LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ANCHOR HOUSE (BROAD HAVEN) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MRI – DEVICES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – D DAMANY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – DOLGUOG ESTATES LIMITED
Winding up Order (Companies) – OLD2 LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – REEDS COURT LIMITED
Winding up Order (Companies) – PHILLWELL DEVELOPMENTS 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.