Crunch time in November – business news 27 August 2020.

27 August 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Its crunch time in November, CBI urges staff back to work, masks in the workplace, tourism, house prices, payment holidays, covid-19, market and other business news.

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.

Crunch time in November when furlough and mortgage holidays end

Borrowers will not be able to use Covid as a reason to request a mortgage holiday from their lender from 31st October, the Financial Conduct Authority has said.

The rule change comes at the same time as the taxpayer-funded furlough scheme is axed, meaning November could reveal the true extent of the economic havoc wreaked by COVID-19.

The announcement by the regulator coincides with a survey from the CBI predicting swathes of job losses in the services sector.

CBI: Firms need to get staff back to work

The Director General of the Confederation of British Industry has called on Boris Johnson to urge UK companies to get workers back into the office or risk commercial centres being turned into permanent “ghost towns”.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Carolyn Fairbairn called on the prime minister to “do more to build confidence around getting people back into offices and workplaces”.

Ms Fairbairn’s comments come as a survey by the BBC found that 50 of the country’s biggest employers have no plans to return all staff to the office full-time.

Earlier this month data showed just 17% of people had returned to work in the UK’s 63 biggest cities, with only 13% in London.

Andrew Carter, chief executive of the Centre for Cities think tank, which compiled the data, said: “The number of people returning to their offices this summer remains unchanged. Unless more office workers return in September, the chancellor should consider further measures to support people working in city-centre shops.”

Making masks mandatory would deliver a crushing blow to small firms

The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that any new rule imposing face masks at all times and on all small firms would risk stifling efforts to get more people back into work.

Mike Cherry, chairman of the FSB, said: “Any further changes need to be carefully thought through and accompanied by direct financial assistance.” The concern comes after France ordered all office workers to wear masks from Tuesday.

WTTC in tourism sector warning

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced that the UK economy could see losses of £22bn this year as a result of the coronavirus crisis, following a warning from the Association of British Travel Agents that the hospitality and travel sector “desperately” needs further government aid.

Gloria Guevara, president and chief executive of WTTC, commented: “International coordination to re-establish transatlantic travel – for business and leisure trips – would provide a vital shot in the arm for the travel and tourism sector.”

House sales at 13-year high

House sales reached a 13-year high in July as buyers rushed to take advantage of cuts to stamp duty. The National Association of Estate Agents said average sales per branch hit 13 during the month – the highest figure since June 2007 and 44% higher on the same month last year.

UK banks told to be flexible when payment holidays end

Lenders have been ordered by the Financial Conduct Authority to offer various repayment options to mortgage borrowers affected by coronavirus and not take a “one size fits all” approach as homeowners lose the option of taking a payment holiday after the end of October. The furlough scheme also ends on Oct 31st. About 2m borrowers have taken a mortgage holiday, and as many as 9.4m workers were put on furlough.

Hospitality chains extend discount deal themselves

A string of restaurant and pub chains have extended the Eat Out To Help Out scheme into September, funding the 50% discount themselves as eateries continue to face an existential threat from the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest figures from the Treasury show more than 64m meals have now been claimed by diners since Chancellor Rishi Sunak launched the scheme at the start of the month.

Mike Cherry, chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “This scheme is one that genuinely works in helping to get people out into small businesses.

A nationwide one-month extension would go some way to helping many firms which are still only just about managing in this time of crisis.”

Meanwhile, the Grosvenor Estate, one of London’s biggest commercial landlords, said it will subsidise the Chancellor’s discount scheme until the end of September for its restaurant tenants in an effort to boost patronage.

Sturgeon’s case for independence takes a blow

The SNP’s Government’s General Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (Gers) figures for 2019/20 reveal that each Scot received £1,633 (12.4%) more than the UK average in public spending thanks to the Barnett Formula.

Tax revenue north of the Border was £308 less per head than the UK average. With Scotland’s notional deficit now the equivalent of 8.6% of GDP, more than treble the UK figure and nearly three times the 3% required for EU membership, the figures represent “a hammer blow” to the SNP’s drive for independence, according to Murdo Fraser, the Scottish Tories’ shadow finance secretary.

Covid-19 general news

The number of global cases passed the 24 million mark with India recording a recod numbe rof new cases and South Korea, Italy and France reporting the most new daily infections in months. Deaths passed 825,000.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government will pay workers on low incomes 13 pounds a day if they are self-isolating during the pandemic, starting from 1 September and will focus on areas under local lock-down

Phil Hogan, the European Union’s trade chief, resigned over his attendance at a golf dinner in his native Ireland that violated the country’s coronavirus restrictions. His departure means Ireland will have to nominate a new commissioner.

Italy and France joined Spain in ruling out imposing new nationwide lock-downs despite the continued rise in covid-19 cases.

Pandemic restrictions pushed the world’s major economies into a near 10% economic slump in the second quarter, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Meanwhile, in worrying news, the discovery of covid in the bathroom of an unoccupied apartment in China suggests the pathogen may have wafted upwards through drain pipes.

It was revealed that Trump administration officials urged America’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to advise that people without symptoms should not take a covid-19 test—even if they have been exposed to the virus. President Donald Trump has worried that mass testing leads to higher case counts, making America look bad.

Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. top infectious disease doctor, told CNN that he is concerned that the CDC’s new coronavirus testing guidelines will make people believe “that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern, when in fact it is.”

Moderna presented new safety data from an early trial that provides evidence of how its vaccine candidate stimulates the immune systems of older people. In a phase 1 trial, Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine produced “consistently high levels” of neutralizing antibodies in those over 55.

Abbott Laboratories won U.S. clearance for a 15-minute Covid test that will be priced at just $5.

A World Health Organization team that was meant to investigate the origin of the coronavirus concluded their trip to China without a visit to Wuhan, the Financial Times reported, citing the UN agency.


The FTSE 100 closed modestly higher yesterday, up 0.14%.  The 250 which is more UK centric, faired better.

US Durable goods jumped in July, rising 11% on a monthly basis beating forecasts of a 4.3% improvement. The move took them back to pre-pandemic levels. The US Commerce Department said orders for transportation equipment rose to $74.7bn up from $19.6bn in June. But it is not all good in the US as Hurricane Laura has strengthened to Category 4 with winds of up to 90 mph as it reached Louisiana and Texas overnight. 310 offshore facilities have been shut reducing Gulf of Mexico oil production by around 84%, the biggest weather related shutdown since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Oil prices rose on the shutdowns and Gold rose modestly too to $1935.

The stock markets though continued their rise from high to high as the  S&P 500 (up 1.02%)  and NASDAQ (up 1.73%)  surged strongly overnight to new record highs. But Asian markets are mixed, with weakness seen in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Dollar weakens broadly today but selling is so far not decisive.  The NASDAQ is close to having doubled in the last 20 months.

All eyes turn now to the virtual Jackson Hole meeting hosted by Jerome Powell of the Federal reserve  to see what way central banks are going.

More landlords caught out for not declaring income from holiday homes abroad

Tax on income from rental properties overseas has jumped by 17% amid a series of crackdowns by HMRC, according to data collected by Moore, with an extra 3,000 holiday home owners a year caught out for not declaring rental income. The firm’s Matthew Grief said: “We expect the value of income declared will be even higher this year as HMRC has been really turning up the heat on overseas landlords and there is no sign activity in this area will slow down soon.”

Don’t underplay auditors’ role in fraud prevention

Accounting Professor Jan Bouwens says that by “pointing out the very few mistakes auditors make while delivering adequate audits in tens of thousands of cases worldwide the contribution of the auditor is unduly marginalised.”

Advisers’ use of platforms surges

Financial advisers’ use of platforms continues to increase, according to figures from CoreData Research. All of the advisers polled by CoreData now use platforms, with 68% using them daily. Some 79% of high-net worth focused advisers used platforms daily, up from 73% in 2019, while the proportion of mass market advisers working on platforms every day has risen from 48% to 63%. Advisers also report higher levels of satisfaction with platforms.

Landlords displeased with New Look’s CVA plans

New Look revealed yesterday that it was hoping to slash costs by switching its store leases to turnover-based rents in an effort to weather the crisis and protect over 11,200 jobs as part of a proposed CVA. The British Property Federation said: “New Look is using this CVA to permanently rewrite its leases. This proposal is not about a time-limited rescue plan. Property owners are increasingly supporting turnover-based rent models underpinned by collaboration and transparency, but CVAs should not become a mechanism to enforce this.”

The EU is weaponising money laundering and tax rules

Caribbean economist Marla Dukharan says the EU has engaged in “unacceptable economic warfare” by weaponising “anti-money laundering and tax rules and disproportionately imposing them on non-white former colonies.”

Pension funds to warn of climate change risks

Pension funds are to be legally required to report the risks that climate change could have on members’ investments. Climate change is expected to have a significant impact on pension assets and returns both through the risks of a warmer planet and moves towards a lower carbon economy. Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey has now announced plans for the 100 largest schemes with assets of more than £5bn each to be required to publish climate risk disclosures by the end of 2022.

Pension savers turn to higher risk assets

Research by My Pension Expert suggests the coronavirus crisis has pushed pension savers towards riskier assets.

The advice firm found one in eight savers had moved their pension funds into a higher-risk investment to make up for lost value during the market turmoil caused by the pandemic. Meanwhile, 12% of savers have withdrawn from their pension during the crisis without seeking financial advice.

A separate survey by workplace savings provider Cushion shows concerns about saving for retirement reduced by 20% in May compared with last year, while 73% of those polled agreed the coronavirus had made them realise that having accessible savings was “equally important” to pensions.

More than 800,000 UK employees short-changed on pensions

New research by the Resolution Foundation estimates that one in 20 employees are not receiving the pension they are due, with the low paid at much greater risk of being excluded from workplace schemes.

A third of Wahaca restaurants to close

Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca is to shut more than a third of its 28 sites as it looks to shore up its cash reserves. Rental costs in city centre locations made running the sites untenable, the company said.

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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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.

25 excuses for late payment and how to get around them.

Read our Cash Flow Advice

Read about our overdue account recovery service

Read our blog – What is credit management?

Read our blog – How to select a debt collection agency

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see our blog – 15 steps to avoid invoice fraud

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