12 million struggling with debt –  business news 22 October 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

12 million struggling with debt, Chancellor to reveal fresh package of support for business, Inflation, a  spending review, call for extension to insolvency rules IOD puts forward its ideas for late payments,  insurers decide to pay out on business interruption claims, brexit, 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.

FCA says 12m in UK set to be left struggling with debt

The Financial Conduct Authority is urging borrowers affected by coronavirus lock-downs to seek support from their banks, as its figures show 12m Britons are likely to struggle with bills or loan repayments.

Some 12 million people in UK have low financial resilience which means they find it hard to pay bills or make loan repayments, according to research by the City regulator.

This is a rise of 2 million from the 10 million struggling with debt reported in February.

31% of U.K. adults have suffered a decrease in income during the pandemic

It found that those from a black and minority ethnic background have been more likely than most to be affected by Covid-related falls in income, with 37% of those surveyed taking a hit.

Also, people aged between 25 and 34 were the most likely, by far, to have had a change in employment as a result of the pandemic.

Banks deferred 4.4 million mortgages , credit card  and loans during the pandemic.

Chancellor to reveal fresh package of support for business

Rishi Sunak is expected to unveil a new support package for businesses impacted by lockdown measures. The Chancellor is reportedly looking at options for hospitality businesses, which are forced to close under Tier 3 lockdowns, as well as measures to help companies hurt by Tier 2 restrictions. Hospitality businesses that are forced to close under Tier 3 restrictions are entitled to state grants, and their workers can have 67% of their wages paid by the Chancellor’s new job support scheme, but these measures are not available in Tier 2 areas. Mr Sunak will make a statement in the Commons today after briefing industry leaders.

Critics say not enough is being done for companies in tier two areas that have seen demand collapse without being formally required to shut.

Mr Sunak’s original winter economic plan was based on a V recovery model with declining infections and a recovering economy, as we have been hit by a second wave and seen return to lockdowns in large parts of the country, new measures are absolutely necessary to avoid permanent damage to the economy.

The have been warnings that unemployment could rise as high as 8.5% in the first half of next year without more government support for  businesses struggling under lock down.

Spending review announced after record borrowing spree

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has launched a spending review intended to set out financial plans for 2021-22. The review, which had been expected to cover a three-year period, will be shortened to one year as a result of uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic. Tax hikes that could help to address the deficit will not be included, given the risk of damage to any economic recovery. The move comes after official figures showed a record £208.5bn was borrowed in the first six months of the financial year. At the end of September, the national debt was £2.06trn, equivalent to 103.5% of GDP, a 60-year high, according to the ONS.

Insurers decide to pay out on business interruption claims

RSA is among six insurers that have decided not to challenge to a High Court ruling demanding they pay out on business interruption policies. The insurers will start to assess claims for certain policies but may still challenging the court’s decision on others. Nevertheless, Sonia Campbell, a lawyer at Mishcon de Reya who is representing policyholders, said it is “a huge win”’ for the businesses, but added: “Given the insurers’ approach to policyholders’ claims to date, businesses should not expect it to be plain sailing. Every policyholder has to prove its loss, and this is where we expect insurers to continue to frustrate the process.”

IoD calls for insolvency rules break to continue

The Institute of Directors has called on the Government to extend a relaxation of insolvency rules granted to directors during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The group’s director of policy Roger Barker said: “Without this protection, the pressure is on directors to simply shut up shop when faced with difficulty.”  Otherwise viable SMEs struggling with debt continue to need help navigating through this period.

Inflation rises in September ahead of possible quantitative easing

UK inflation was up last month, with consumer prices rising 0.5% on an annual basis, up from 0.2% in August. Paul Dales, chief UK economist at Capital Economics, said of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee: “It’s hard to think of reasons why the [MPC] won’t launch another £100bn or so of QE at the November meeting. And despite public borrowing still jumping, the Government may yet spend more.”

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, added: “Many people have already lost their jobs, despite the supportive government measures, and others will be worried that they may lose their jobs with the furlough scheme ending in October. Additionally, many incomes have been affected. This is likely to keep consumers price conscious for some time.”

IOD puts forward its ideas for late payments.

The institute of Directors have commented on the governments review of the Prompt payment code.

Late payments over 50,000 small firms out of business each year in the UK, without the effects of a global pandemic.

Many SMEs are now struggling with debt owed by their customers at a time when cash is hard to come by.

The Business Department wants to strengthen the Prompt Payment Code as a way to improve practices across companies and organisations of all sizes.

The IOD have  highlighted the need for an effective enforcement mechanism, and pressed for a transparent and published process for dealing with Code suspensions, removals and reinstatements.

They have also called for a traffic light system to be put in place to make it easier for business leaders to identify companies with poor payment records. While this would certainly be helpful to suppliers, it would also help motivate large firms to take the issue more seriously, especially if the simpler presentation of reporting resulted in increased negative profile of companies with poor payment practices.

However, the IOD also made clear that the major issue they regularly hear from IoD members around late payments relates to culture and the leverage big businesses have over smaller suppliers.

This is the main reason why small firms are often reluctant to file complaints to the Small Business Commissioner. Many IoD members running small businesses have saidthat they would be reluctant to report their client that pays late to an authority or mediator simply because they would be cautious not to damage the relationship and risk losing future business.

The IOD have therefore argued that the administrators of the Code should be able to approach signatories on the basis of an anonymous complaint by a third party, for example a trade body on behalf of their member, to discuss their payment practices.

CPA also see that SMEs are unwilling to address the late payment culture because of the threat to goodwill.  However, we have been pioneering a method of collecting late payment compensation from business customers after the relationship has ended.

Once you have stopped trading with a customer, CPA is helping SMEs go back and calculate the late payment compensation claims on previously late paid invoices.

The business customer can no longer threaten to take their business away. They’ve already done that.

If businesses thought than in the future their supplier might turn round after the relationship ended and claim late payment compensation on late payments, then they will be far less likely to be blasé about paying on time.

They might stop paying late as a matter of course.

They might stop viewing late payments as a free way to boost their cash flow.

Were you been paid late by business customers you are no longer trading with?

Discover NOW the potential value of late payment compensation hidden in your sales ledger!


EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier has said a Brexit deal is still “within reach”, stressing the bloc’s willingness to compromise and move to “legal texts” – one of Boris Johnson’s key demands.

The U.K. and EU have agreed to re-start Brexit trade talks and intensify negotiations, a U.K. government spokesperson said.  Talks are due to start today and run to 25th October.

The aim is to reach an agreement by the middle of November.

A statement from the government said “we are ready to welcome the EU team to London to resume negotiations later this week” in a bid to get a deal done before the end of the transition period on 31 December

Meanwhile, the UK has signed a temporary agreement with Norway to ensure trade of goods can continue between the two nations in the case of a no-deal Brexit after 31st December

Covid-19 general news

There were 26,688 new cases reported in the UK yesterday to bring the total to 789,229.

With 443,751 new cases worldwide, the global total passed  41 million with 1,131,528 reported deaths.

In the past seven days, seven countries (Argentina, Brazil, Britain, France, India, Russia and the U.S.) have reported at least 100,000 new cases of covid-19.

A volunteer in AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine trial died, raising concerns about the trial in Brazil before it came out that the deceased man had not received a Covid-19 trial vaccine. The trial continues.

Germany’s new infections jumped to a record 12,331, while Spain and France became the first nations in Western Europe with 1 million coronavirus cases as the continent struggles with an escalating outbreak. India has topped 7.7 million.


Shares in London (which due to its international income, tend to move in the opposite direction to sterling) tumbled yesterday as the pound soared following comments made by the EU’s chief negotiator Michelle Barnier, who said “a Brexit deal is still within reach” stressing the bloc’s willingness to compromise and move “legal texts” which has been one of Boris Johnsons key demands. The FTSE 100 plummeted 1.9% to  below 5800 at the same time as the pound rose 1.2% to reach highs against the Euro of 1.108 not seen since the 9th September and against the dollar it rose 1.7% to 1.3164.

Overnight the DOW dropped 0.35%, the S&P 500 dropped 0.22% and the NASDAQ dropped 0.28%. Asian markets are also in negative territory as the IMF downgraded its growth forecast for the Asia-Pacific area.

The Oil price eased after a surprise build-up in US crude stockpiles raised concerns about a global supply glut and a spike in global Covid-19 cases fuelled fears of stalled demand recovery. Gold prices rose to a one-week high  as the US dollar weakened on renewed hopes for a new US stimulus package ahead of the 3rd November election.

Negative rates

Bank of England deputy governor Sir Dave Ramsden said that high levels of economic uncertainty and a bruised banking system  struggling with debt mean now is not the time to experiment with negative interest rates. Ramsden struck a more cautious tone on the novel monetary policy than his colleague Gertjan Vlieghe did Tuesday. Vlieghe said he thought the risk that negative rates would be counterproductive “is low”.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill seeks delay to administration

The CEO of Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Philip Day, will attempt to secure a delay in appointing administrators after the “circuit breaker” lockdown in Wales caused havoc for the company’s logistics. Mr Day applied for a notice of intention to appoint administrators earlier this month, which means he has until Thursday to bring in a firm – expected to be FRP Advisory – to oversee the process with more than 21,500 jobs at risk. He hopes the High Court will grant a ten-day extension to buy breathing space.

FRC to review auditors’ responsibilities to identify fraud

The Financial Reporting Council has launched a review into the international accounting standard outlining auditors’ responsibilities to identify fraud. The FRC is proposing revisions to the standard to provide “increased clarity as to the auditors obligations” on fraud, as well as bolstering the requirements for auditors to identify “risk of material misstatement due to fraud and the procedures to respond to those risks”.

Chancellor warned against tax raid

Rishi Sunak continues to face calls not to raise taxes although the Government is struggling with debt. This time in the wake of figures showing record UK borrowing. Paul Dales, of Capital Economics, urged Treasury officials to back away from tax hikes and spending cuts or risk derailing the economy. He said: “The best way to fix public finances is to make sure you have a stronger, bigger economy after this crisis. The worst thing to do is try to fix them too soon, make the economy smaller, and that makes it harder to fix in the long run.”

BEIS calls for update on audit reform progress

The Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee has written to business secretary Alok Sharma to demand an update on the Government’s progress implementing audit reforms following a series of high-profile accounting scandals. Committee chair Darren Jones asked Sharma to outline which reforms recommended by two recent reviews into the sector have been implemented, and which the Government plans to implement.

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 struggling with debt 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 nsm@cpa.co.uk 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.

Don’t wait until you are struggling with debt.

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 struggling with debt 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 struggling with debt but  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.

Struggling with debt?

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. This may have left you struggling with debt.

Under little used legislation, you are entitled to compensation for those late payments.

You put up with the PAIN – now claim the GAIN!

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.

Did you know that your business is entitled to a minimum of £40 for every commercial invoice paid late to you over the past 6 years?

How many of your invoices are paid late each month – 20, 50, 100 or more?

At £40 per invoice that’s claim of £57,600, £144,000, £288,000 plus interest. The more invoices the bigger the claim! 

At £100 per invoice it’s £144,000, £360,000, £720,000 plus interest.

Discover NOW the potential value of late payment compensation hidden in your sales ledger!

For over 20 years, CPA has calculated and recovered Late Payment Compensation on behalf of Clients!  

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cash-flow.

Don’t let your bankers control you, contact CPA today.

Discover NOW the potential value of late payment compensation hidden in your sales ledger!

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 are struggling with debt,  and need 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.