Pay levels fall at record rate – Business news 17 June 2020.

17 June 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

We look at pay levels falling at a record rate, a new drug to treat covid, market news, a call for more support for SMEs the latest survey from Barclaycard on the impact for SMEs, insolvency news, football, remote worker tech, switching mortgages, calls for an emergency budget and a lot more.

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

Cheap steroid drug, Dexamethasone appears from a new study to be most effective for treating Covid-19 patients needing ventilation. The British study found it reduced deaths by a third.

It is estimated that if this had been used from the start, Doctors could have prevented overall deaths by  10% or 4,000-5,000 lives since the country’s covid-19 epidemic began.

Dexamethasone can be used immediately for covid-19 as it is a cheap generic drug that hospital pharmacies usually have in stock, with a course costing as little as £5.

Beijing ordered all schools to close as it struggles to halt a new coronavirus outbreak which has already spread to neighboring provinces. The city reported 31 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, taking the total number of infections to 137.

Meanwhile, New Zealand called in the military to enforce border controls after two women who arrived from the U.K. were allowed to leave quarantine early and later tested positive for covid-19.


Shares in Londons FTSE 100 rallied strongly yesterday after the announcement of the FEDs plan to buy corporate bonds in the US and concern began to ease over a second wave of Covid-19 and then positive news on a possible treatment having been found.. Shares across Europe rallied around 3% and overnight US shares climbed almost 2% on the news.

UK Inflation fell to a four-year low in May as covid-19 hampered demand across the global economy, leaving the Bank of England with a green light to boost its stimulus programme again. The Consumer Price Index dropped to 0.5% last month, falling from 0.8% in April, in line with expectations.

Pay levels fall at record rate

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show that April saw pay levels fall at the fastest rate on record, with workers taking home an average of £503 per week in regular pay during the month, representing a drop of over £6 in real terms compared to the previous month.

Nomura’s George Buckley stated: “Clearly this reflects the operation of the furlough scheme, with many of those on furlough reporting that they are taking home 80% of their pre-virus pay.”

Meanwhile the total number of workers furloughed has seen the joint-smallest rise since the job retention scheme was introduced, increasing by 200,000 to 9.1m with nearly £21bn claimed under the scheme.

JPMorgan economist Allan Monks said the scheme “is playing a key role in limiting the rise in unemployment,” while Berenberg economist Kallum Pickering noted a risk of “a massive wave of layoffs” when the programme is wound down.

Meanwhile, separate ONS data have revealed the largest increase in benefit claims for a century, with a record 2.8m claims.

Tony Wilson, director of the Institute for Employment Studies, remarked: “If the public health crisis is just starting to ease, the figures show that the unemployment crisis is only just beginning.”

Meanwhile, Yael Selfin, chief economist at KPMG, said the true impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the labour market “is likely to only be revealed once the job retention scheme starts unwinding in the second half of the year”.

Think-tank suggests share plan to support SMEs

A report for the Social Market Foundation by MP Bim Afolami suggests that the Government should invest £15bn in SMEs in exchange for shares that would one day be sold to the public.

The Unlocking Britain report proposes that the Recovery Fund would be floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Mr Afolami, who is expected to raise the idea in Parliament today, says the £15bn could be borrowed and invested via the Government’s British Business Bank.

SMEs expect big impact from COVID-19

Research from Barclaycard has found that close to 75% of SMEs think the coronavirus pandemic will have a significant impact on their business for the next three months, with 20% foreseeing a heavy impact a year on.


Poundstretcher considers closures

Poundstretcher could close more than 200 stores, with the discount retailer considering plans to shut half of its 450-strong estate as part of a restructuring plan designed to stem losses.

KPMG will oversee a CVA, with the firm’s Will Wright saying the CVA “seeks to safeguard the future of the business, across a smaller, more sustainable estate”.

With the retailer looking to cut rents by up to 40% at 84 stores, KPMG said the future of a further 253 will be decided “depending on the commercial merits of each store” after a six-week negotiation period with landlords.

Boohoo eyes Oasis and Warehouse

Boohoo is set to buy Oasis and Warehouse, snapping up the retailers two months after their collapse into administration.

Oasis and Warehouse’s online business and intellectual property assets were sold to Hilco Capital in April. The deal would see Oasis and Warehouse reunited with fashion labels Coast and Karen Millen, which Boohoo bought for £18m last year.

All four were previously owned by Mosaic Fashions. The deal could reportedly be announced today when Boohoo posts its first-quarter results.

Investors look to score football bargains

The Times says football clubs facing financial turbulence amid the COVID-19 crisis could become the target of investors, with investment funds weighing the possibility of buying into troubled clubs at discount prices.

“Private equity is emerging as the main option for distressed leagues. Firms have realised that the crisis … presents opportunities,” suggest François Godard of Enders Analysis.

Deloitte analysis suggests England’s top 20 clubs are likely to report a £1bn shortfall in revenues for the financial year ending this month, with top flight teams possibly seeing a permanent loss of £500m.

However with football coming back tonight, it does feel like another step toward normalcy.

NHS and private hospitals explore link to cut lists

The FT reports that private hospitals taken over by the Government amid the coronavirus crisis are in talks about extending the arrangement, noting that KPMG acted as independent assessor on the deal.

PwC tech focuses on remote employees

PwC is trialling wearable technology for its staff, with the system using anonymised data and machine learning to monitor how employees are coping with lockdown and to help them to manage stress.

PwC partner Euan Cameron comments: “Not only will this anonymised data help us assess how people are coping with work, it will help us to see how we can then manage things better – not just now but with remote working in the future.”

The Telegraph notes that PwC has also developed a facial recognition tool that will allow clients to monitor when staff are not at their computers while they work from home.

School debate continues

The Scotsman’s Martyn McLaughlin looks at debate over the reopening of schools. He notes that PwC has branched out into schools in recent years, highlighting that its education and skills lead suggested in 2016 that online teaching tools “could be used to support regions of the UK where recruiting from a dwindling pool of teachers is becoming increasingly challenging”.

SEISS tax warning

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group has warned that self-employed workers who have turned to Government support initiatives during the coronavirus pandemic may not realise they could have to pay back a third of their grants in tax and national insurance by January 2022. HMRC figures show that more than 2.3m people have utilised the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, to the tune of £6.8bn.

Consistent audit regulation should be the aim

Gareth Rees QC, a former executive counsel at the Financial Reporting Council, looks at audit sector regulation and the alignment of requirements for preparers of financial statements with those for auditors. Financial Times, Page: 20


Lenders let homeowners switch early

Analysis from mortgage broker L&C shows that lenders are allowing homeowners to move to a better mortgage rate before the end of their existing deal without issuing and penalties.

While banks often let borrowers agree a new rate up to six months in advance, there is often a fee to transfer before the current deal concludes. However, Nationwide, Santander, Clydesdale, TSB and Halifax are all offering the chance to transfer in advance without exit fees.

Santander is offering a fee-free switch four months before the existing deal expires, with Halifax allowing the jump to be made two months early. The remainder allow borrowers to switch three months before the existing deal comes to an end.

Shadow chancellor urges emergency Budget in summer

Anneliese Dodds, the shadow chancellor, is urging an emergency summer Budget and stimulus package. She said: “We are increasingly worried that the slow and confused health response is now being followed by a slow and confused response to saving jobs.”

Insisting that the “window is closing to protect existing jobs and encourage firms to invest in creating new ones,” Ms Dodds, who voiced concern over an OECD estimate that UK GDP could slip 11.5% this year, called for a “back to work Budget that has one focus – jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Jesse Norman, financial secretary to the Treasury, said the Government would do “whatever is needed” to support the economy.

Scottish sales fall by a quarter

The latest sales monitor from the Scottish Retail Consortium and KPMG shows that total sales in Scotland were down 27.6% year-on-year in May.

This marks an improvement on the 40% dip recorded in April. Total food sales increased by 3.6% on a year ago, while total non-food sales slipped 53.2%.

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, commented: “June could become a crucial month as the sector, and consumers, come to terms with a very different looking high street.”

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