Business news 31 October 2023

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Sharp rise in firms at risk of collapse .Apprenticeships fall, HSBC’s UK expectations,interest rates, consumer spending, food inflation, taxes, mortgages, savers, insolvencies & more business news that we thought would interest our members.

Sharp rise in firms at risk of collapse

There has been a sharp rise in the number of UK companies at risk of going bust, with analysis by insolvency experts Begbies Traynor revealing a 25% increase in firms in “critical financial distress” in the last three months.

Official insolvency figures are expected to reveal that 2023 is on course to see the highest number of company failures since the financial crisis in 2009.

Higher inflation, borrowing costs, weaker consumer confidence, and demand are contributing to the situation, while support measures during the pandemic have fallen away, hitting company bottom lines and customers’ pockets.

Julie Palmer of Begbies Traynor said: “Tens of thousands of British companies are now in financial dire straits now that the era of cheap money is firmly behind us,” adding: “Businesses that had loaded up on debt at rock-bottom rates, and were only able to cling on during the pandemic thanks to government support, must now deal with a financial reality check as higher interest rates hit working capital for the foreseeable future.”

Apprenticeship starts fall 31%

The number of apprentices starting at SMEs has fallen by 49% between 2017 and 2021, from 241,000 to 123,800. At large companies, there has been a 14% decline in new apprenticeships. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) report shows that across firms of all sizes, overall starts are down by 31% since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017.

The repost shows that investment in training per employee in the UK has declined by 19%, from £2,191 to £1,778, while six in ten British employers provided some sort of training in the past 12 months, down from two in three in 2017.

Lizzie Crowley, the CIPD’s senior policy adviser, said: “Skills and labour shortages continue to be a real problem across the UK and all sectors of the economy and we need to get apprenticeships and vocational education right if we’re to tackle these challenges.” Martin McTague, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, has called for reforms which “must work to reverse the dramatic fall in the number of starts.”

HSBC’s UK expectations

HSBC is now expecting the UK economy to grow next year, as it lifted forecasts on signs of resilience to high inflation and rising interest rates The Asia-focused bank now expects UK GDP to increase by 0.4% in 2024, after previously forecasting a contraction of 0.6%. It also said the UK housing market was likely to perform better next year than it previously expected, with house prices to fall around 4.7%, up from a previous forecast of a 5.7% fall.

Analysts expect Bank to hold rates

With the Bank of England’s latest interest rate meeting taking place on Thursday, most analysts expect the Monetary Policy Committee to hold the base rate at 5.25%. With a majority of economists at HSBC forecasting that the rate will be kept at 5.25%, the bank said: “The latest inflation and wage growth data moderated, supporting our call, albeit they remain high.” HSBC also expects “some small upward revisions to the medium-term inflation forecasts,” and for rate setters “to keep the door open to future tightening.” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC, said: “There ought to be enough evidence this week for a majority decision to hold rates,” while Martin Beck, chief economic advisor to the EY Item Club, noted that past rises in interest rates “seem to be increasingly weighing on economic activity.”

Consumers plan to spend less this Christmas

Deloitte analysis shows that almost three in 10 UK consumers plan to spend less in the festive period this year than last year, reflecting the impact of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. However, the data also shows a rise in the number of UK consumers who intend to spend more in the last three months of 2023, with the proportion up from 19% in 2022 to 26% this year. It was also found that many UK consumers are looking to spread their spending across the quarter, with 32% planning to buy most of their gifts in November, taking advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions.

Food inflation falls

Data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and NielsenIQ shows that food price inflation has fallen to its lowest point in 15 months. Grocery prices increased by 8.8% over the year to October, marking the sixth straight month of price increases slowing down and a decline on the 9.9% growth recorded in September. BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Retailers have been battling to keep prices down for their customers in the face of rising transport costs, high interest rates and other input costs.”

Hunt to reject calls for tax cut extension

Jeremy Hunt is poised to reject calls to extend a £10bn tax cut aimed at boosting corporate investment in the UK, despite growing concerns over the economy. Introduced in April to soften a rise in corporation tax from 19% to 25%, full expensing allows firms to claim back the cost of investments in IT equipment and machinery by allowing them to write it off against tax on their profits. Industry leaders are preparing to lobby for the three-year policy to be extended in the Autumn Statement. However, it is understood that Mr Hunt will say constraints on public finances mean he is unable to extend the tax break, pointing to a sharp rise in Government borrowing costs.

Mortgage approvals slide in September

The number of homeowners who remortgaged with different lenders fell to its lowest rate since 1999 in September, according to figures from the Bank of England. Net approvals for remortgaging dropped to 20,588, from 25,083 in August. The number of mortgages approved by banks slid to an eight-month low in September, hitting 43,328.  This was the lowest figure since January, when there were 39,892 approvals.

London buyers increasingly opt for ‘marathon mortgages’
Figures from Experian show that 27% of under 30s in London taking on a mortgage this year did so with a term of 35 years plus – up from 11% in 2020. The data also reveals that 38% of Londoners currently have a home loan that will continue beyond the typical retirement age of 67 – exceeding the overall UK rate of 33%.

Big banks do little for savers, MPs warn

MPs on the Treasury Committee say that big banks are doing “as little as they can get away with” when it comes to higher savings rates for loyal customers, hitting out at the returns being offered at a time when interest rates have risen. Harriett Baldwin, who chairs the Treasury Committee, said: “The big four banks have been far too slow to reward savers through better rates on instant access savings accounts,” suggesting that figures from HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and NatWest “still show signs that the banks are trying to do as little as they can get away with to reward our constituents for saving.” A spokesman for UK Finance said: “Savings rates have increased a lot recently and the market is highly competitive,” adding: “What’s more, recently published financial results have highlighted that customers are moving money into savings accounts.”

Savers missing out on higher interest rates
While interest rates for savings have been on the rise, many savers are failing to take advantage of these new deals, according to research from Paragon Bank. The bank’s analysis of CACI data shows that almost one in six new savings accounts opened in the past year had a rate of 1.5% or less. This suggests that savers are not shopping around for the best deals offered by high street banks and building societies. The report shows that £28bn was placed in accounts earning 1.5% or below, with £26.5bn in instant access variants. In comparison, 3.9m savings accounts were opened with rates above 4%.

City job market shrinks as firms cut costs

Job openings and the number of jobseekers in the City’s financial services sector have fallen for the second consecutive quarter, according to Morgan McKinley’s London employment monitor. The number of available jobs was down 31% year-on-year in Q3, while the number of professionals looking for a job in the City decreased by 34%. The report also shows that workers who moved to a new firm saw an average pay rise of 20%, marking a 7% increase on Q2’s average. Hakan Enver, managing director of Morgan McKinley UK, noted the “aggressive hiring post pandemic,” saying: “Many firms ended up with too many people and spiralling salaries caused falling staff attrition rates and reduced demand with lots of underutilised employees.”


Oil Prices slipped more than 2% on Monday as concern eased about the Israel-Hamas war affecting supply from the region and as investors adopted caution ahead of this week’s US Federal Reserve meeting and other indications of global economic health.

Latest Insolvencies

Appointment of Liquidators – FYRECROFT ESTATES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – AM CONSULTING (EUROPE) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ALEX GUIDE LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – EPICURIA LONDON LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – MAGIC MAN LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ROBERT FORBES & SONS,LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – K INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – FINTECHSYS LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – S & L SERVICES (STOKE) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SOLAND – LUCK UK LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – EPICURIA LORD LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – M&A SYNERGY LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – GIPFEL LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – THE CRAB COMPANY (SCOTLAND) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BEAUTEC BEAUTY ACADEMY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – GRUBWOOD CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – STORAGE DISTRIBUTION LTD
Appointment of Administrator – JB ELECTRICAL & MECHANICAL SERVICES LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – CASS (UK) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – RP ROAR HOLDINGS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – MS OAKLANDS LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – AXIOM INCE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – TREFFEISEN LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – NWR SOLUTIONS LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – ANDREWS INFINITY PARTNERSHIP LLP
Appointment of Liquidators – DWMC LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CARRDALE (LANCS.) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – STIRLING GLAZING LTD.
Appointment of Liquidators – BERENGROVE LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – O&C LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – GOR CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – MB MASONRY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – LENUS TRADING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SEEBECK 77 LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – WRIGHT IT AND HOUSING LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – RM HR CONSULTING LTD
Appointment of Administrator – THESSCO LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – RT DEZIGNS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – LT GIFTS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – TOP SCORE INVESTMENTS
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – MASE.KAM LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – LIMESQUARE VEHICLE HIRE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – FULL SCOPE ENGINEERING LTD
Appointment of Administrator – M IGOE LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ESSEX SALMON IMPORTERS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CONIGITAL LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – FORK LTD
Appointment of Administrator – NOVALOANS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – TOM ALLAN IMC LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PSKINETIC LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – BASINGSTOKE HOLDINGS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – MANTON HOUSE PRINTING LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – THALASSIC PROJECTS 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.

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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


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


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Maybe you no longer work with them. Under legislation, you are entitled to  compensation you for those late payments you have suffered.

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Claim late payment compensation (LPC) from former business customers who paid you late in the last six years!

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