Mixed messages on the future.

25th February 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Business surveys paint positive picture for Q1

We see positive messages coming from SMEs.

The latest IHS Markit purchasing managers’ index indicates that the services, manufacturing and construction sectors are all now expanding with a flash estimate putting the index at 53.3 – any score above 50 indicates growth.

The figure is the joint-highest reading since September 2018 and above the 52.8 forecast by analysts.

Tim Moore, associate director at IHS Markit, said: “The recent return to growth provides a clear indication that the UK economy is no longer flat on its back.”

Small businesses upbeat about the year ahead

The Small business news is echoed by Barclaycard.

Barclaycard’s inaugural Small Business Barometer has found SMEs across the UK are optimistic about the year ahead, forecasting a 6.3% rise in revenue over the next 12 months.

Businesses in the North East, Yorkshire and The Humber were the most upbeat – forecasting quarterly revenue growth of 5.3%, and an annual uplift of 7.9%.

Additionally, 10% of those surveyed said they intended to start trading internationally in 2020.

Housing market set for spring surge

The housing market is also looking bouyant.

New figures from HMRC show the number of homes sold rose to 102,810 in January, a 5.2% rise on the year before, a 4.1% rise on December and the highest figure since July 2017.

North London estate agent and former RICS residential chairman Jeremy Leaf said: “The increase in transaction numbers is particularly striking as they reflect sales which were agreed mainly in September and October.

If they are like this now, numbers are set to be even stronger as we approach the peak spring-buying season.” Commercial property sales were also up in January, by 10.7% on the year before.

Inflation rises to six-month high

The increased activity is bumping up inflation.

UK inflation hit a six-month high of 1.8% in January, according to the Office of National Statistics, up from 1.3% in December but below the Bank of England’s 2% target.

The primary drivers of the increase were rises in the housing and household services, and transport, which rose 0.2% on rising fuel pump prices.

The retail and hospitality sectors also recorded rises.

Rishi Sunak faces tough balancing act

However not all signs are positive.

New figures show Britain had a budget surplus of £9.8bn in January, down almost £2bn on the year before and missing estimates of £11.4bn.

Although tax receipts on income were up 3.4% on the year before, spending was higher and income from other taxes fell.

This meant government borrowing for the first 10 months of the fiscal year was £44.8bn, £5.8bn more than in the same period the previous year.

Yael Selfin, economist at KPMG, commented: “If the chancellor intends to stick to the current fiscal targets, he will have relatively limited room to increase spending compared to the ambitious objectives the government has set.”

Global stock markets plunge as coronavirus panic sets in

A rise in coronavirus cases in Iran, South Korea and Italy sparked a sell-off in the US and Europe yesterday with investors shifting from equities to safe havens such as gold and bonds.

US stocks had their worst day in two years with the S&P 500 falling by 3.4%; the Nasdaq Composite by 3.7% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day 3.6% lower.

Transport stocks were among the worst performers. UK stocks had their worst day for five years with the FTSE 100 ending the day 3.3% lower while the Stoxx 600 fell 3.8%.

EasyJet shares fell 17% and Ryanair were down 13%. Italy’s MIB index dropped 5.4%. The price of oil slumped to just over $55 a barrel with traders concerned that a global pandemic will cripple travel and trade.

Unaffordable flood cover punishing small firms

The cost of insurance to cover flooding is forcing small businesses to close down, the Sunday Times reported.

Some brokers are said to be demanding more than £100,000 for cover in new policies following successive storms this month.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling for small companies to be permitted to join Flood Re, a government-backed initiative to make flood cover more affordable.

The FSB warned that up to 75,000 companies would not be able to find the money for flood insurance, costing the economy over £1bn.

FSB warns of business closures due to new immigration rules

Finding the rifght staff is also a concern for business.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned that without special help many businesses will close as a result of the Government’s new immigration policy.

Four in ten companies have been struggling to hire staff over the past year, the FSB says, with many citing the unwillingness of UK citizens to work in their sector as a reason.

Visa costs would also be a barrier to hiring staff and the FSB said visa fees needed to be reduced to below £1,000.

New approach needed if ‘levelling-up’ to succeed

A report by EY examining the prospects for regional economic growth in the UK has said the imbalances between the north and south of England will widen further over the next three years unless greater action is taken.

The study found that employment in the country’s biggest cities was poised to grow at twice the rate as in towns.

Mark Gregory, chief economist at EY, said the UK was one of the most regionally unbalanced developed economies in the world. He added: “If we are to succeed in ‘levelling-up’ the economy, a more radical and segmented approach is now urgently required.”


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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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.

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

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