Retail employment falls sharply – business news 26 August 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Retail employment falls sharply, Chancellor urged to extend dining out scheme, employment, tax, 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.

Retail employment falls at sharpest rate in more than a decade

Retail employment fell at the fastest rate in more than a decade in the year to August as high street firms cut jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Confederation of British Industry’s monthly distributive trades survey also showed an even sharper decline is anticipated in the 12 months to September. The decline was broad across sectors, with only grocers, furniture and carpets, non-store and “other” goods sales achieving growth. The balance of employers saying they would reduce their headcount was -20 in May before weakening to -45 in August and -52 for the three months to November. “The furlough scheme has proved effective at insulating workers and businesses in some of the worst-hit sectors during the pandemic, but these findings reinforce fears that many job losses have been delayed rather that avoided”, said CBI lead economist Alpesh Paleja. “As a result, further support may well be needed for the retail se ctor if demand continues to disappoint. Extending business rates relief will go a long way towards alleviating pressure on retailers’ cash flow”.

Chancellor urged to extend dining-out scheme

The Federation of Small Businesses is calling for Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out initiative to be extended for another month to help out small hospitality businesses. More than 64m meals have been served under the Chancellor’s scheme at an estimated cost to the Treasury of around £320m. Mike Cherry, FSB chairman, called the deal “a success”, adding: “We now need to see it extended to continue the critical support that it is providing for small firms as we enter a period of economic make or break.”

London workers optimistic about future prospects

A survey by job board CV Library has found that 40% of Londoners expect to be awarded a pay rise in the next year, with some 22% expecting a promotion. Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library remarked: “It’s understandable that professionals in London are looking to regain some of their lost income in the coming months, particularly if they’ve been placed on furlough. However, the government’s Job Retention Scheme will come to an end in October and a second wave of the virus could make the job market even more competitive in 2021.” He went on: “The data clearly shows that professionals in London are hopeful about the future of the job market. While we are seeing an increase in the number of job opportunities available in the capital, job seekers may find that there is more competition for top roles.”

JPMorgan and Linklaters make remote working policies permanent

JP Morgan has told staff in London and on Wall Street that they will be continuing to work remotely on a part-time basis. London-based Daniel Pinto, head of JP Morgan’s investment banking arm, told CNBC that staff will in future cycle between office-based shifts and home working. The move comes as Magic Circle law firm Linklaters also tells staff they are allowed to permanently split their time between home and the office after the COVID-19 crisis. Linklaters has told employees worldwide that they will be allowed to spend between 20% and 50% of their time working remotely once all COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. The policies are likely to spur more City firms to follow suit, cementing fears for the prosperity of central London and Canary Wharf. The news follows plans from Aviva Investors to make flexible working permanent while PwC said that most of its 22,000 UK employees will never return to the office full-time.

Covid-19 general news

Global cases top 23.9 million and deaths pass 819,600

The government has backtracked on previous guidance and said that due to updated World Health organisation advice, that secondary school pupils will have to wear masks in school corridors and head teachers will also have flexibility to introduce masks in their schools.

Germany extended its program that has kept millions of people from losing their jobs to help Europe’s biggest economy recover from the coronavirus crisis. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition agreed to provide job-preserving subsidies until the end of 2021 and allow companies to hold on to workers during an economic shock.

German coalition parties are close to agreeing on a compromise that would allow overly indebted companies to hold off from filing for insolvency until the end of the year, the Boersen Zeitung reported. The extension wouldn’t apply to companies suffering cash shortages, which would have to file for insolvency from October, the newspaper said, citing unidentified industry sources. The proposal still needs cabinet approval. Insolvency rules have been suspended since March as part of government measures against the pandemic.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez rejected a new national lock-down to contain covid-19, putting pressure instead on regional authorities to come up with a response to the nation’s resurgent coronavirus outbreak

Japan’s virus czar said the country faces a second wave of Covid-19 cases larger than the first.

South Korea ordered striking doctors back to work


European  stock were boosted yesterday by better than expected Germany business sentiments, as well as smaller than expected Q2 GDP contraction. Renewed optimism over a U.S.-China trade deal also fueled gains in European stocks

In Asia, the Nikkei closed down -0.03%. the Hong Kong HSI is down -0.12%. China Shanghai SSE is down -1.38%. Singapore Strait Times is down -0.80%. . Overnight, the S&P 500 rose 0.36% to new record of 3443.62. The NASDAQ also rose 0.76% to new record of 11466.47.

The forex markets continue to stay in rather tight range today, shrugging off strong movements in the stock markets. Yen is generally soft but there is no sign of breakout yet. Similarly, Dollar is also struggling to find a clear direction, staying as the second weakest for the week next to Yen. Australian Dollar is currently the firmer one, together with Sterling.

Oil prices pushed higher yesterday, supported by production cuts in the US Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Laura was forecast to become a major hurricane, although rising coronavirus cases in Asia and Europe capped any gains made. Gold prices conversely fell as hopes surrounding a potential COVID-19 vaccine and positive signals on the US-China trade front lifted risk sentiment.

DFS Furniture

DFS Furniture today said online and showroom trading has been strong in the past six weeks, significantly beating the living room furniture retailer’s initial expectations. The Doncaster-headquartered company reported year-on-year order intake growth for the past six weeks, equivalent to around £70 million of revenue. This puts trading “significantly ahead” of the company’s initial expectations and sits alongside a solid opening order book that is expected to generate an additional in year revenue benefit of approximately £100 million.

Torsten Bell: brace for 1990s-style tax rises rather than spending cuts

Writing in the Times, Torsten Bell, the director of the Resolution Foundation think tank, says we won’t be able to judge how to react to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic by looking at our immediate past – it won’t be a rerun of the financial crisis. Bell predicts that, “with spending cuts difficult technically and politically, and the pandemic likely to leave the UK with a lasting deficit, the years ahead are much more likely to include a rerun of the tax rises of the 1990s than the spending austerity of the 2010s.”

More than £30m lost to pension fraud since 2017

Men in their 50s have been identified as the most likely victims of fraudsters who target people’s long-term pension savings. More than £30m has been lost since 2017 to pension fraud, according to Action Fraud, as unauthorised “advisers” tout unrealistic investments. In response to the figures, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Pensions Regulator have launched a campaign against scammers fronted by the football commentator Clive Tyldesley, who will use a raft of football analogies to raise awareness among savers about how to avoid scams.

British workers have ‘no idea’ how their pensions work

A survey for Hargreaves Lansdown has revealed less than a third of workers in the UK are aware of where their pension savings are invested. Just a fifth of women in the UK are aware that their pension savings are invested in the stock market, the research showed. Maike Currie, investment director at Fidelity International, says that financial inequality at retirement is one of the “greatest challenges facing women today.”

HMRC probes 250 wealthy taxpayers for evasion

According to freedom of information requests submitted by law firm Pinsent Masons, 250 taxpayers as well as 23 of the 2,100 largest businesses in the UK were referred to the taxman’s evasion teams in the year to March 2020. Andrew Sackey, partner at the firm, said: “HMRC clearly now has the behaviours of a number of the UK’s biggest businesses in its sights. If a case is referred to the tax evasion referral teams then detailed investigations are almost certain to follow. For large corporates that do find themselves in the tax tribunals for alleged evasion, the reputational risks are substantial.” Looking forward, Mr Sackey said furlough fraud was going to be of “particular interest” to HMRC over the coming months and years and urged businesses that discover that they have received furlough monies that they weren’t entitled to urgently consider taking specialist advice.

Royal tax affairs could be leaked after US move

The Daily Express features a report on the Duke of Sussex’s tax affairs, noting that should his earnings be subject to the US’ IRS instead of the UK’s HMRC, his tax returns may be released. Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers noted that if Prince Harry made any corporate deals that could be frowned upon, these would become public knowledge should his tax returns be published. He noted: “You spoke about the tax arrangements, well that is very interesting, because if they spend 183 days of the year in the US then all of their tax affairs will need to be going through the IRS in the States and that poses a particular problem for the Royal Family as well, because their tax affairs are very, very closely guarded.”

Finablr accounts delayed as problems mount

Finablr, which earlier this year admitted it had discovered $1bn (£760m) of previously undisclosed debt, has announced that it will miss the deadline for filing its annual accounts. It stated: “The company is currently unable to adhere to this deadline and will provide an update on the anticipated publication date when it is able to do so.” This comes after Finablr’s former chief executive, Promoth Manghat, was accused of being part of a group of executives and employees who forged documents and siphoned off funds from firms.

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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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