Latest Business News



18th October 2019.

James Salmon, Operations Director.


Auditors in focus as Select Committee looks at Thomas Cook
Mark Kleinman in City AM looks ahead to Thomas Cook’s auditors going before the Business Select Committee next week, considering what issues may be raised in regard to the collapsed holiday firm and asking if EY and PwC, Thomas Cook’s two most recent auditors, will “seek to throw each other under the bus.” He says the matter could “strike at the heart of what politicians regard as the purpose of professional auditing: a backward-looking scrutiny providing vital but limited assurance to investors, or an inviolable guarantee of future solvency.” Meanwhile, Mr Kleinman also notes that Sir John Kingman this week “rapped ministerial knuckles” for failing to implement his call for a new audit regulator swiftly enough. He welcomes Sir John’s intervention, saying: “Under its former leadership team, the Financial Reporting Council (FR C) became jaded and discredited, rocked by a series of corporate accounting scandals that reinforced its cosy, consensual relationship with those it oversees.” Noting that Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom insists she is committed to abolishing the FRC “as soon as parliamentary time allows”, Mr Kleinman muses: “Given recent history, that doesn’t augur well for anyone with an interest in robust auditing.”
City AM, Page: 13


Fall in Scottish firms folding
Analysis by KPMG shows that the number of companies entering into administration, receivership or liquidation in Scotland decreased by 34.7% in the last quarter. There were 158 corporate insolvency appointments in the three months to September 30, down from 244 in Q2 and 242 in Q3 2018. The analysis shows 140 cases involved liquidation, compared to 232 in Q2. There were 18 administration and receivership appointments – up from 12 in the previous quarter – and 43 HMRC appointments, down from 93 in Q2. Blair Nimmo, head of restructuring for KPMG, said: “With ongoing political and economic uncertainty increasing pressure on the UK’s retailers, there have been a number of particularly high profile administrations and liquidations in the last quarter, but our latest insolvency data offers up some cause for optimism.”
The Scotsman, Page: 34 The Press and Journal, Page: 27

Investors question administrator fees
Investors in the failed Layezy Racing gambling syndicate are considering legal action after administrators estimated their fees will exceed £1m, which is over a quarter of the money recovered to date. Duff & Phelps have recovered just over £4m so far and hope to get back more than £5.7m, but some syndicate members have hit out at “excessive expenditure” by the firm, which has claimed £813,000 and estimates that by the end of the year the figure will be close to £1.1m. A spokesperson for Duff & Phelps commented: “All fees were agreed by the Creditors Committee after offering a 20% discount.”
Daily Mail, Page: 98

Wirecard rebuttal provokes further questions
The FT looks at fintech firm Wirecard’s rebuttal of suggestions sales and profits were inflated, noting calls for an independent review of the audit work conducted by EY.
Financial Times, Page: 17


FCA: Firms saw 4.29m complaints in H1
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published the complaints figures for regulated firms for the first half of 2019, with the data showing an increase in complaints from 3.91m in the second half of 2018 to 4.29m for the first half of 2019. The increase can be largely attributed to a 34% climb in the volume of PPI complaints, which rose from 1.58m to 2.12m and accounted for 49% of all complaints received. Complaints not related to PPI dipped 6% from 2.32m in H2 2018 H2 to 2.18m in H1 2019. The FCA figures show that the average redress per complaint upheld increased from £175 to £200 between the last six months of 2018 and the first six months of 2019, with this average not including redress related to PPI. The FCA said 94% of complaints made were closed within 8 weeks, excluding those relating to PPI, with 57% of these upheld.
The Daily Telegraph Daily Mirror


FSB: Small firms will be relieved at Brexit deal
With the announcement that a Brexit deal has been agreed, Mike Cherry of the Federation of Small Businesses commented: “After three years of uncertainty that has stalled planning, hampered investment and slowed growth, a last-minute Brexit deal now seems within reach. Many small businesses will be relieved.” He added: “The devil will be in the detail, and we will now take time to examine the intricacies of the deal to make sure it works for all small businesses. ”
The I, Page: 11

NatWest increases small businesses fund
NatWest is increasing the size of its Growth Funding programme to £8.2bn after thousands of smaller businesses were identified as facing potential disruption from Brexit. Paul Thwaite, managing director of commercial banking at NatWest, commented: “During a time of such uncertainty, it is imperative that we do all we can to support our customers.” Small business minister Kelly Tolhurst responded: “Financial support from banks is often crucial to the success of an SME… So it is great to see NatWest reaffirming support for their business customers through our new SME Finance Charter.”
City AM


Road toll would plug tax shortfall
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has recommended the introduction of a toll that would see drivers pay for every mile travelled, with the levy designed to replace declining revenue from taxes on petrol and diesel which are being lost due to increasing uptake of electric vehicles.
The Times, Page: 15 The Scotsman, Motors, Page: 8


How student debt became a cause célèbre
The FT looks at education fees in the US, noting that PwC is among firms that have added student loan repayments to the benefits they offer staff.
Financial Times, FT Wealth, Page: 50


Businesses face lending squeeze
The Bank of England’s (BoE) quarterly credit conditions survey suggests British businesses are facing the biggest lending squeeze in a more than ten years. It found that a balance of -13.5% of lenders expect to restrict access to credit over the next three months, marking the weakest reading since the beginning of 2008. Lenders expect default rates for total unsecured lending to consumers to increase in the period, with default rates on loans to corporate entities also expected to rise. The BoE survey found that a net balance of -12% of lenders saw a rise in demand for loans among small businesses over the last quarter, with a reading of -3.1% for medium sized businesses. Brexit uncertainty is among factors said to be behind muted expectations on demand in the next three months. Howard Archer, of the EY Item Club, commented: “This suggests that lenders are increasingly cautious about their corpor ate lending as the economy struggles and faces a myriad of uncertainties. Obviously Brexit uncertainties have recently been at a peak, but there is also the weakened global economy and fractious trade environment.”
The Times, Page: 46 The Independent, Page: 48

Consumer growth stalls with retail sales stagnant
Office for National Statistics data shows that UK retail sales were flat last month after a decline in August, with volumes in the three months to September up 0.6% on the previous quarter. An increase in online sales in July was largely responsible for the growth. Sales were up 3.1% year-on-year in September, up from the 2.7% year-on-year increase recorded in August. The statistics for last month lead some analysts to conclude that poor business confidence is spreading to the consumer sector. This comes as employment reaches near-record highs and real wage growth increases. Considering the climate for retailers, Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, commented: “Retailers continue to brace themselves for a tough Christmas.”
Daily Mail, Page: 93 Financial Times The I, Page: 53 City AM

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 you 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.

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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See all our latest news here!

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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.

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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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Avoid insolvency – Don’t let your money go up in smoke

As insolvencies rise, could you spot these warning signs in your customers?

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