Covid-19 lock-down business news update 21 May 2020.

21 May 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

The Covid-19 lock-down continues and we are having to make do in a new normal.

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.

Covid-19 general news

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned of a long battle ahead in the fight against covid-19, after 106,000 new cases were recorded worldwide, a record daily increase. The number of confirmed infections has now passed 5 million. The disease is now taking hold in less wealthy countries just as western countries start lifting restrictions. The outlook for Latin America is particularly dark. The number of people with Covid-19 who have died has now reached 328,000.

The Japanese government will decide today whether to lift its state of emergency in the few prefectures where restrictions are still in force. Though the government has no legal power to restrict its citizens’ movements, its call to stay home has been widely heeded. Social distancing has helped Japan avoid a large-scale outbreak, despite limited testing

AstraZeneca said it would begin first deliveries of University of Oxford’s potential coronavirus vaccine in September 2020 after it received orders for at least 400 million doses and secured total manufacturing capacity for one billion doses so far. AstraZeneca received more than $1 billion in U.S. government funding for THE experimental Covid-19 vaccine from the University of Oxford which is currently in human trials, a boost to one of the world’s fastest-moving projects to develop a covid vaccine.


Shares in London were mostly higher yesterday with the FTSE 100 rising by 1% to finish at 6067.

The pound also held its ground despite comments by Andrew Bailey the Governor of the Bank of England that they would not rule out negative interest rates (see below). Bank of England gov Andrew Bailey has said the central bank is “not ruling out” negative interest rates but is “not ruling them in” either.

Talk about negative interest rates has increased in recent days. Speculation in the money markets have indicated that they could be put in place by the end of the year.

The UK Government sold a bond yesterday with a negative yield for the first time ever, meaning investors want to hold government debt so much that they will pay to do so. The three-year bond sold at an average yield of minus 0.003 per cent. The bond has a “coupon” of 0.75%, but because investors paid above face value for the bond their returns will be negative.

The Oil Price firmed on signs of improving demand and a drop in US inventories, but worries over the economic fallout from the covid pandemic and weak refining margins limited gains.

The price of  Gold also edged higher as fears of prolonged global economic weakness leapt to the fore, pushing aside premature excitement about a possible covid-19 vaccine, as investors again rushed to the  safe-haven of Gold bullion.

Insolvency law shake-up to protect UK companies during pandemic

Legislation introduced in the House of Commons yesterday temporarily bans landlords from making legal claims for rent owed by businesses hit by COVID-19.

The move, described by Colin Haig, president of restructuring trade body R3, as the biggest shake-up of insolvency laws for two decades, is designed to head off a rash of coronavirus-induced bankruptcies.

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill also includes a relaxation of “wrongful trading” provisions that hold bosses personally liable if a firm continues to operate when insolvent and introduces “light-touch” administration to allow companies hit by the pandemic more time to get back on their feet.

The new Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill will create more opportunities to save companies in difficulty and offer better protection from creditors during the pandemic, according to a statement Wednesday. Under the bill, U.K. companies will have access to new tools to restructure their debt in order to keep operating through the crisis.

The rules temporarily suspend wrongful trading provisions, allowing companies to keep operating without the threat of personal liability to directors. They also suspend the use of written warnings from creditors and winding up petitions against companies that are unable to pay their debts due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis. The goal is to protect “otherwise viable companies” from collapse.

In addition, the rules temporarily lift regulatory requirements on the timing of annual general meetings and allow extensions to deadlines for submitting information to Companies House, the government body which deals with the regulation of limited companies.

Don’t increase debt, Bailey tells companies, raise equity instead

Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has told large companies that they must take responsibility for the debt they accrued prior to the covid-19 crisis.

Mr Bailey told MPs on the Treasury select committee yesterday that overleveraged businesses unable to access cheap government-guaranteed debt should look to raise finance on equity markets instead of adding to their debts. “They were over-indebted before coronavirus came around and I’m afraid they will have to take responsibility for sorting that out,” he said.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Scheme to launch next week

A new online service will launch on May 26th for SME employers to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to employees due to the coronavirus, the Government has announced.

Employers are eligible if they have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started before 28th February 2020 and they had fewer than 250 employees before the same date.

SMEs suffer worsening mental health amid COVID-19 pressures

The latest weekly ACCA UK and The Corporate Finance Network (The CFN) SME Health Tracker finds that 89% of accountants say their SME clients have reported feeling more stressed than usual amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with 78% stating a worsened mental health condition, 56% unable to cope and 11% sharing the fact they’ve had suicidal thoughts.

Six new lenders accredited to British Business Bank CBILS

The British Business Bank has announced that it has approved six new lenders for accreditation under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS): Bibby Financial Services, iwoca, Scania Financial Services, Triodos Bank UK, Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT), and Woodsford TradeBridge.

Following their approval, each lender will be putting in place the operations required to start lending under the scheme and will confirm shortly the dates from which they will be ready to start receiving CBILS applications from smaller businesses across the UK.

Bonds with negative yield sold by UK government for first time

Policymakers are coming under increasing pressure to take new action to boost the economy, as the UK sells bonds with a negative yield for the first time.

The sale reflects rising expectations that the Bank of England will increase its £200bn bond purchase programme next month.

Meanwhile, BoE governor Andrew Bailey told MPs that the possibility of negative rates was being kept under review. Such a move could be used to persuade companies to spend rather than pay to hold money in banks.


The government las admitted there will be post-Brexit-deal checks on some goods travelling to Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom, despite having promised previously there wouldn’t. Britain had agreed that Northern Ireland will continue to follow certain European Union standards to avoid introducing a hard border with the Republic.

ONS reveals price fluctuations as inflation rate falls

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the UK’s inflation rate fell last month to its lowest since August 2016, while the prices of games and toys was up, which the ONS attributed to people spending more time at home.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS, commented: “While the coronavirus limited the availability of some goods and services, its effect on prices was more muted.” Meanwhile, average petrol prices dropped by 10.4p a litre between March and April, while clothes retailers launched more discount sales than usual

The euro area, meanwhile, recorded an annual inflation rate of 0.3% for April, down from 0.7% in March.


Rolls-Royce confirmed that it will cut 9,000 jobs, mainly from a civil-aerospace division that makes jet engines, as part of a bigger plan to reduce costs. With Air travel having virtually ground to a halt during the Covid pandemic, the company has warned that the industry will take “several years” to recover. Most of the job losses are to be in Britain.

Court win for supermarkets over cash machine tax

The Supreme Court yesterday ruled against the government’s Valuation Office Agency and said supermarkets did not have to pay business rates on cash machines. Colliers International has estimated that retailers are due refunds of up to £500m.

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.

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.

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cash-flow.

Don’t let your bankers control you, contact CPA today.

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