Thomas Cook Collapsed in September – we cover how the story developed

23rd September 2019.

Updated 23rd December 2019 – see update below.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

The worlds oldest travel agent, Thomas Cook Group Plc has collapsed this morning, under a mountain of debt after talks with creditors failed, forcing the British government to charter planes to bring home more than 150,000 stranded customers.

The 178-year-old U.K. company filed for insolvency early Monday on 23rd September after last minute talks with investors led by potential acquirers, China’s Fosun Tourism Group failed.

The insolvency means all bookings, flights and package tours are now canceled, sparking chaos for travelers.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the tour operator had “ceased trading with immediate effect”.

What happens to customers?

Travelers on Thomas Cook vacation packages and flights were advised by the British government not to cut short their trips, with the civil aviation regulator planning to repatriate customers as close as possible to their booked return date. The government will also cover the cost of accommodation for Thomas Cook customers.

Customers can visit the CAA’s special Thomas Cook website. Those scheduled to return to the UK within the next 48 hours or who are having problems with their accommodation or need special assistance can ring 0300 303 2800 in the UK or +44 1753 330 330 from abroad.

If you are on a package holiday, you are covered by the Atol scheme.

The scheme will pay for your accommodation abroad, although you may have to move to a different hotel or apartment.

Atol will also pay to have you brought home if the airline is no longer operating.

If you have a holiday booked in the future, you will also be refunded by the scheme.

If you have booked a flight-only deal, you will need to apply to your travel insurance company or credit card and debit card provider to seek a refund.

What the Government will and won’t do

In what it called the “largest repatriation in peacetime history,” the UK government has said it will work to return travelers over the next two weeks.

The government has chartered 45 jets to bring customers home and they will fly 64 routes on Monday, in an undertaking dubbed Operation Matterhorn. The size of the fleet will make it temporarily the UK’s fifth-largest airline.

However the U.K. government pushed back Sunday against suggestions it should step in to rescue the company, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab saying there was no strategic national interest for doing so.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended the decision to refuse a government bailout of £150 million. “That’s a lot of taxpayers’ money,” he told reporters on his way to New York for the United Nations General Assembly. “It sets up a moral hazard.”

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the BBC the government should have bailed out Thomas Cook, “if only to stabilise the situation while a real plan for the future of the company could be addressed”

The tour operator’s failure puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK.

Structural change in Travel

The company is the victim of a structural change in the way we book holidays.

With the proliferation of discount airlines and online booking platforms,  Europeans travellers are now able to book their own flights and hotels and cut out middle men package-tour operators such as Thomas Cook and arrange their own trips.

The industry hasn’t been helped either by the economic slowdown, terrorism or Brexit which has increased the number of those having a staycation to take advantage of the improving summers in the UK (thanks global warming).

Thomas Cook’s share have been sus suspended while shares of German rival TUI AG rose as much as 11%.

British Airways parent IAG, Easyjet Plc and Ryanair Holdings Plc stock also jumped as traders speculated on who would benefit from the operation to fly home stranded passengers at the U.K. government’s expense, as well as less competition in the future.

Condor, Thomas Cook’s German airline, said it will keep operating flights and has applied for a bridge loan from the German government. The company’s German tour operating arm said it’s sounding out “final options” and warned that it might have to file for insolvency, too.

Two years ago, Monarch Airlines, a U.K. carrier that unsuccessfully tried to switch from charter to scheduled low-cost operations, also collapsed as people switched from charter flights to self booked travel.

What happened?

The collapse of Thomas Cook comes after months of talks with its investors.

We wrote about it back in May on the following two posts.

See our previous post – What  if Thomas Cook collapses?

See previous post from May 2019 – Thomas Cook secures extra funding as financial woes worsen

Fosun, which owns the Club Med resort brand, had discussed taking control of Thomas Cook’s tour operations and a minority stake in its airline.

Thomas Cook had secured a £900m rescue deal led by its largest shareholder Chinese firm Fosun in August, but a recent demand last week from its banks to raise a further £200m in contingency funding caused the deal to unravel.

Chief Executive Officer Peter Fankhauser said“Although a deal had been largely agreed, an additional facility requested in the last few days of negotiations presented a challenge that ultimately proved insurmountable”

Fosun Tourism Group said in a statement Monday that it was “disappointed” Thomas Cook was unable to find a solution.  “Fosun confirms that its position remained unchanged throughout the process, but unfortunately other factors have changed,” the company said. “We extend our deepest sympathy to all those affected.”

AlixPartners LLP was named an adviser and will work with the aviation authority to bring customers back to the U.K.

The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association blamed “reckless actions of the creditors” for the collapse. The labor union for workers in the travel industry said it’s seeking an urgent meeting with administrators to sell the company as a going concern.

It’s History

Thomas Cook was founded in the 1840s by a Victorian entrepreneur of the same name, Thomas Cook started out by running train trips through the English Midlands. The business expanded as Britain’s growing middle class discovered they had more time and money  to discover the delights of continental Europe.

Briefly absorbed into the state rail company soon after World War II, the company got its biggest boost in the 1970s and 1980s as Britons sought cheap holidays in the sun.

The ad slogan “Don’t just book it, Thomas Cook it” caught the mood.

But Thomas Cook laboured under its large debt burden and the costs associated with maintaining a high-profile high street presence across the country.

Lower cost online rivals took into the company’s core business and a succession of turnaround plans failed to take hold, while the sluggish European vacation market and uncertainty over the economic impact of Brexit also impacted.

“This marks a deeply sad day for the company which pioneered package holidays and made travel possible for millions of people around the world,” CEO Fankhauser said Monday.

Update 24/09/2019 – Thomas Cook management faces probe over collapse

Andrea Leadsom, the business secretary, has asked the Insolvency Service to launch an investigation into the collapse of Thomas Cook, specifically “the conduct of directors immediately prior to and at insolvency, but also whether any action by directors has caused detriment to creditors or to the pension schemes.”

Elsewhere, speaking in New York, Boris Johnson has said high pay and bonuses for directors who send companies “down the tubes” must be questioned.

Meanwhile, FCA filings show nearly 11% of Thomas Cook’s shares were being shorted by hedge funds ahead of its collapse.

The FT points out that some bondholders also held credit-default swaps (CDS) (there were $250m of CDS bets on Thomas Cook’s outstanding debt in mid-August) adding complexity to Thomas Cook’s restructuring talks.

The Mail reports that Cliff Weight, director of investors group Sharesoc, said it was “early days but the body was looking at the role of auditors EY. Mr Weight said: “We are concerned at the disconnect between management rhetoric and reality, and we question the role of auditors in reviewing trading updates.”

The Times notes that EY warned the company to “strengthen the process over the identification and approval of separately disclosed items”. As well as one-offs, goodwill is likely to be a focus in any examination of Thomas Cook’s accounting.

Update – 25/9/2019. FRC mulling Thomas Cook investigation

The Financial Reporting Council has announced that it is considering investigating the collapse of travel company Thomas Cook.

The move comes amid reports that Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank had called for extra funding at the beginning of August – much earlier than CEO Peter Fankhauser had claimed.

EY took over as Thomas Cook’s auditors in 2017 from PwC. In 2018, it “strongly recommended” the travel firm strengthen its accounting procedures and voiced particular concern about the firm’s use of one-off costs.

The business select committee said it wanted answers about the collapse. Its chair, Rachel Reeves MP, said: “There are serious questions to answer, including about the company’s accounting practices, its remuneration policy and practice, and about the stewardship of the company.”

Update – 26/9/2019 Thomas Cook executives could be stripped of their bonuses

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said Thomas Cook executives could be stripped of their bonuses as the backlash over the company’s collapse worsens.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Shapps also noted that Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom had written to the Financial Reporting Council “to ensure they prioritise as a matter of urgency an investigation into both the causes of [Thomas Cook’s] failure and the conduct of its directors and of its auditors.”

The firm’s accountants EY and PwC are set to be investigated by the industry watchdog.

Update – 27/09/19 MPs to launch inquiry into Thomas Cook collapse

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee said on Thursday that it would seek to question Thomas Cook executives over the travel firm’s collapse on Monday.

MPs will be focussing on the company’s accounting practices, executive pay, and the role of its auditors.

The announcement follows requests from Andrea Leadsom, the business secretary, to the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the Insolvency Service to expedite investigations.

The Insolvency Service has launched an investigation and the FRC said it was reviewing “as a matter of urgency” whether to join that probe.

As part of the government inquiry, BEIS chair Rachel Reeves said the committee would follow up on its “longstanding interest in corporate governance, executive pay and audit reform”. Ms Reeves has also written to Ms Leadsom to raise concerns about the “slow progress of audit reform”.

The audit work of EY and PwC, who had audited Thomas Cook since 2008, before handing the reins over to EY in 2017, will come under intense scrutiny from the FRC should an investigation take place.

Meanwhile, Government figures suggest the cost of Thomas Cook’s failure will exceed £500m with industry sources suggesting it was likely that the total could almost wipe out funds held under the Air Travel Organisers’ Licence (Atol) scheme. The Times’ Alistair Osborne points out that if insolvency reforms following the collapse of Monarch had been put in place the state could have saved tens of millions.

Update  – 28/09/2019 The consequences of changing airline insolvency rules

Duncan Swift, president of insolvency trade body R3, suggests changing airline insolvency rules could have unintended consequences.

After Monarch collapsed reforms were mooted that would enable carriers to continue running planes to repatriate holidaymakers. But this could see aircraft impounded abroad until debts were paid, putting crew at risk.

The costs of repatriation would also “deplete the value of what the insolvent airline can repay to creditors”, Swift said, which may deter lenders from financing airlines or suppliers from trading with them.

Thomas Cook was profitable for some

The Telegraph’s James Burton considers the role of advisers and executives in the collapse of Thomas Cook.

He cites Unite’s Oliver Richardson, who says: “The directors, lawyers, accountants and auditors advising the company all played a huge role in the collapse of Thomas Cook. Their focus appeared to be about maximising their income rather than what was in the long-term interests of the company.”

Elsewhere, accounting professor Prem Sikka writes in Left Foot Forward about some of the accounting methods used by Thomas Cook, noting the continued use of “one-off” costs and rolling over goodwill regardless of how worthless it had become would have inflated performance related executive pay.

He points out that Financial Reporting Council rules enable companies to show goodwill in their balance sheets almost indefinitely, adding: “The FRC itself is arguably culpable as its rules permit companies to engage in dubious accounting practices.”

Update – 29/09/2019 – Thomas Cook – CEO blames the banks, staff blame the Tories

The collapse of Thomas Cook is widely covered in Sunday’s papers, with Geoff Ho in the Sunday Express noting that the Financial Reporting Council is considering an investigation into the holiday firm’s accounting practices.

Thomas Cook is accused of classifying regular costs as one-off “exceptional items” in its results and of failing to reduce the goodwill of MyTravel for years after it was acquired in 2007.

EY, after it took over from PwC as auditor in 2017, challenged some of the treatments, the Observer notes. One insolvency expert told the paper: “If you remove the MyTravel goodwill then it’s been bust pretty much since it bought the thing.”

The paper goes on to suggest that the probe by the BEIS should not be distracted by the idea corporate greed brought the company down – it was “incompetence and hubris in the boardroom.”

The paper also reports that Thomas Cook staff are set to hold protests at the Conservative party conference over the Government’s decision not to step in and save the company from liquidation.

Finally, Peter Fankhauser, the company’s CEO, insists in an interview with the Sunday Times that he did everything he could to save Thomas Cook and accuses the banks and bondholders of failing to move quickly enough to stave off its demise. Fankhauser also speaks with the Mail on Sunday, hitting back at claims he is a “fat cat” and insisting he is “deeply sorry”.

Update – 30/09/2019 – MPs urged to stop posturing over Thomas Cook failure

City AM picks up on the Thomas Cook story noting that the Financial Reporting Council may investigate EY and PwC, which audited the company.

The Financial Conduct Authority is said to be considering the levels of market disclosure in the run-up to the travel firm’s collapse.

The paper says MPs probing the failure may well focus on bosses’ pay, but it is more likely the directors are “open to charges of incompetence and arrogance.”

Update 02/10/2019 – FRC to probe EY over Thomas Cook collapse

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has launched an investigation into the collapse of travel firm Thomas Cook, which will examine EY’s audit of the company for the year ending September 30 2018.

The FRC said the investigation would first look at whether EY had a case to answer, and if it did so then the two sides would convene at a tribunal where the accountancy firm – or individual accountants – would have a chance to defend any allegations against them.

MP Rachel Reeves, chair of the Commons Business Select Committee, has vowed to grill both EY and PwC as part of its own investigation into Thomas Cook’s demise.

EY took over as Thomas Cook’s auditor from PwC in 2017 and Bob Moritz, global chairman of PwC, has claimed that the collapse of Thomas Cook will intensify the politically charged debate in the UK over what should be expected from an audit.

The FT’s Matthew Vincent says that arguably, the FRC’s investigation “should find the auditor did no wrong.”

Meanwhile, Thomas Cook’s operations in Belgium have officially been declared bankrupt.

Update 07/10/2019 – Thomas Cook paid advisers £20m as collapse neared

Thomas Cook sought help from more than 30 advisers as it sought to secure a rescue deal, including the Big Four accounting firms, 20 law firms and restructuring advisers.

With the firm, which collapsed last month, spending more than £20m on the advisors, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said Thomas Cook staff and customers “will look on aghast at the feeding feast that has taken place at this company by accountants and advisers,” while MP Rachel Reeves, who chairs the business select committee, said the issue “raised serious questions about the role of auditors, consultants and advisers”.

Anne Diamond in the Sunday Express however, questions Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s criticism of Thomas Cook after it was revealed that the travel firm spent millions of pounds on advisers as it sought to prevent its collapse.

Mr McDonnell said it was a “disgrace that the accountants and lawyers were paid for their advice”, but Ms Diamond suggests that seeking as much expert advice as possible was the right call.

Report warned of £10bn Thomas Cook claims

And finally the suppliers have been considered!

A report prepared shortly before the collapse of Thomas Cook warned that creditor claims could exceed £10bn, with huge debts owed to hoteliers, intermediaries and other suppliers.

The report from advisers AlixPartners – which is handling the liquidation of the company alongside KPMG – says many suppliers could expect to recoup just 3.4p in every pound owed to them, while bondholders whose debts stand at more than £1bn may recover just 2.3p per pound.

Update 10/10/2019 – Hays Travel pledge to save 555 shops and 2,500 jobs

Sunderland based travel agent, Hays Travel has pledged to take on all all 555 Thomas Cook shops and save up to 2,500 jobs.

Hays Travel have 190 stores so this would represent a major expansion. Some stores where there is a clash with existing stores will probably be at risk but for the majority of the store based staff this will be tremendous news.

John Hays, who set up the  firm 40 years ago, said he hoped the shops would reopen within days.

It had been an emotional day, he said, with many staff crying when they were told their jobs were saved.

He said it was difficult to give cast-iron guarantees about every Thomas Cook shop, because there would now be talks with individual landlords.

However, “it is certainly our intention to take on all the staff; to welcome them back,” he added. The shops will be branded under the Hays name. 

Hays still firmly believe in the ability of travel agents to sell on the high street and compete with online agents. The move though will be a shift for the stores as Hays are agnostic on what holidays they sell. Hays Travel is not like Thomas Cook, which owned hotels and an airline. So rather than focus on selling their own holidays, they look to find the best deals for their customers across the full range of providers.

The deal still requires some renegotiation of leases with landlords. The business is thought to have a licence for six months to occupy Thomas Cook stores, giving Hays time to strike new deals with landlords.

Update 11/10/2019 – Former Thomas Cook directors to be questioned by MPs

The BEIS Committee has begun its inquiry into the collapse of Thomas Cook.

The inquiry will focus on issues around the stewardship of the company, executive remuneration, accounting practices and the role of auditors.

Five former executives who were at Thomas Cook when it failed, including the chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, will appear in the first evidence session on Tuesday.

The head of Thomas Cook’s remuneration committee, Warren Tucker is likely to face questions about the company’s pay policies.

The Committee will also question Thomas Cook auditors PwC and EY, the Financial Reporting Council and Insolvency Service, former Thomas Cook CFO Bill Scott, and former CEOs Harriet Green and Manny Fontenla-Novoa.

Update – 12/10/19- Failed airlines to fly passengers home

Insolvency legislation is set to be reformed to enable bankrupt carriers to be put in “special administration”, meaning their aircraft and crew can continue flying.

The collapse of Thomas Cook last month triggered a £100m operation by the Civil Aviation Authority to repatriate almost 150,000 stranded tourists on a fleet of 62 chartered jets.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “I’ve personally spoken with Peter Bucks, the chair of the Airline Insolvency Review, and plan to draw on his expertise and bring in airline insolvency reforms as quickly as possible.”

The legislation is expected to be outlined in the Queen’s Speech when MPs return to Parliament on Monday.

Update 14/10/19 – Questions MPs should ask Thomas Cook bosses

The Guardian’s Rob Davies proffers some questions he thinks MPs should ask Thomas Cook directors tomorrow when they appear before the BEIS committee, such as how were successive directors allowed to borrow so much.

Mr Davies adds that the committee will also want to know why auditors, “already under intense scrutiny in the wake of a series of high-profile business failures, such as Carillion and BHS, signed off the accounts as the debt piled up.”

Update – 15/10/19 – Enhanced CAA powers should help prevent another Thomas Cook

Measures outlined in the Queen’s Speech will give the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) greater powers to examine airlines’ finances for indications they could be in danger of failing.

Regulators will also be given the power to grant temporary operating licences to carriers which go bust so that customers can be repatriated despite insolvency.

The Telegraph notes that Thomas Cook lobbied against the introduction of a levy that would have extended protection for passengers, arguing that “insolvency of airlines is a far less common occurrence than in other sectors”, adding that airlines should not be “singled out”.

Aerospace analyst Howard Wheeldon called the plans a “long overdue and very sensible measure”. But Duncan Swift, head of the R3 trade body, said that practitioners would not be happy because they would be personally liable if anything went wrong.

Thomas Cook’s former bosses, including former CEO Peter Fankhauser, former chairman Frank Meysman, and former finance chief Sten Daugaard, face questions from MPs today over the firm’s collapse.

Update 4/11/2019 – Thomas cook set for online relaunch after name bought

Thomas Cook looks set to relaunch as an online travel agent after former shareholder, Chinese company Fosun agrees to purchase the name for £11m and use it on their own website.

The Chinese firm will use the name to market its own holidays, as well as take over all Thomas Cook brand hotels, Casa Cook and Cook’s Club.

Qian Jiannong, chairman of Fosun tourism group, said: “The group has always believed in the brand value of Thomas Cook.  The acquisition of the Thomas Cook brand will enable the group to expand its tourism business building on the extensive brand awareness of Thomas Cook and the robust growth momentum of Chinese outbound tourism.”

 Travel Weekly says that Fosun was not the only company that put forward a bid for the Thomas Cook brand. However joint liquidator AlixPartners, with KPMG, accepted Fosuns bid over that from rival Tui, as Tui did not want to own the Thomas Cook brand outright.

Update 5/11/2019 – MPs urge audit reform after Thomas Cook collapse

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has been criticised for displaying an “extraordinary lack of interest” in travel firm Thomas Cook prior to its collapse, with MPs saying failures in corporate governance, audit and government support contributed to its collapse.

Reforms to the audit profession are also being called for by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, which last month described auditor EY’s signing Thomas Cook off as a sustainable business “inconceivable” and flagged a conflict of interest at former auditor PwC.

Committee chair Rachel Reeves said it is “a matter of fact that many of the necessary measures on audit, on executive pay, and on corporate governance have been sitting in the Government’s in-tray for months”.

“A new Government needs to put this right and ensure the Queen’s Speech in a new Parliament includes the laws needed to make this a reality,” she added.

The committee also said they were disappointed that the Government had not pressed ahead with plans to replace accounting regulator the Financial Reporting Council with a new body, the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority.

Update 11/11/2019 Budget airlines buy Thomas Cook slots

Easyjet and have bought prime take-off and landing slots at London Gatwick and Manchester airports from Thomas Cook, which was placed into liquidation at the end of September after failing to secure a £1.1bn rescue deal with lenders and shareholders.

The Government’s official receiver is running the insolvency with AlixPartners and KPMG assisting.

Update 23/12/19 – Thomas Cook went bust with liabilities of £9bn

An Insolvency Service report on the failure of Thomas Cook shows it collapsed with total liabilities of £9bn!

It went bust owing £585m to customers and £45m to employees, with £5.7bn owed to other group companies and £1.7bn owed to banks and other lenders.

The report refers to 26 Thomas Cook Group companies which were wound up on September 23, with a second report to focus on a further 27 UK companies in the group which were wound up on November 8.

The notice to creditors shows that between £176m and £244m has been recouped through selling off Thomas Cook assets

Update 23/12/19 – FRC extends probe into EY audit of Thomas Cook

The Financial Reporting Council has added an extra year to its investigation into EY’s audit of Thomas Cook, which collapsed in September.

The FRC said it will consider EY’s audit of Thomas Cook’s financial statements for the year ended September 30 2017, extending a probe which it had previously said concerned the 12 months ended September 30 2018.

The watchdog is looking at whether EY, which replaced PwC as Thomas Cook’s auditor in 2017, missed any opportunities to spot problems at the business.

The FRC added that it will continue to keep the scope of the investigation under close review. Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom welcomed the FRC announcement, saying: “There are serious questions to be answered about the way in which Thomas Cook was managed and audited in the period prior to its collapse, and so I welcome that the FRC are going to look into the years preceding 2019.”

A spokesman for EY said: “We will be fully cooperating with the FRC during their enquiries.”

Commenting on the FRC announcement, The FT’s Matthew Vincent suggests the probe should be extended to cover PwC, those who prepared the financial statements, and the directors who signed them off.

What about the suppliers?

What’s yet to be really mentioned are the suppliers.

Many many millions will be lost.

If ever another message was needed that “we only supply blue chip companies” does not mean your business is safe, this is it.

If you supply on credit, your money is at risk, simple as that, no matter who you supply. Make sure your business has the right tools in place to limit risk, minimise exposure, avoid loss and ultimately get paid!

With pressures on the cash flow it is essential that you stay on top of the credit limits you grant customers, no matter how big they are 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.

Big companies can be the worst late payers. This shows they can also be a huge credit risk.

It is essential to have credit management systems in place to monitor and check your customers credit worthiness.

It is also best practice to use a trusted third party like CPA to make sure you are paid on time by customers, no matter how good a name they have.

About CPA

The Credit Protection Association can help!

Formed in 1914, CPA has been providing credit management services to SMEs for over 100 years.

At the Credit Protection Association, we provide first class credit information that can help you avoid being over extended to customers who are at risk. Our monitoring service can flag up warning signs long before the end, giving you the chance to adjust and reduce your exposure. We provide recommended credit limits and credit scores on a traffic light system and can help you set appropriate credit policies for your customers.

We regularly publish lists of the latest insolvencies but by then it is too late. Our credit reports however predict approximately 96% of company insolvencies long before they arrive.

Companies in trouble usually have very bad cash flow and they try to deal with it by delaying payment to their suppliers, increasing your exposure to them.

If you supply on credit, help us help you identify the risks.

Why use a third party collector?

As a third party collector, we can also get your payments prioritised over those who are not as hot on collections. When you customer receives a letter from the Credit Protection Association regarding their outstanding account, they are going to want to get that resolved as a priority. Our overdue account recovery service can get your unpaid invoices to the top of their “to do” list and get your invoice paid.

Over the years we have collected billions in overdue invoices for our customers.

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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.

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Now you can boost your own cash-flow.

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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.

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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!

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Protecting Your Business isn’t Half As Painful As You Think

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – recognising the types of payers you do business with!

See our blog on how to communicate with your debtor early and clearly to set the framework for prompt payments

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Debt Recovery (But Were Afraid To Ask)

Understand the “why” behind late payments

Read our blog on what to do when not paid on time

10 Bad Habits Every Credit Controller Should Give Up

The Credit Controller’s Best Friend

Debt Recovery: It’s Easier Than You Think!

How Managing Your Cash Flow Can Make You (and Your Business) A Success

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

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.

How to overcome 25 of the most common excuses for non-payment

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

20 ways to avoid identity theft

see our blog – 15 steps to avoid invoice fraud

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

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