UK Consumer spending rises – business news 8 September 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

UK Consumer spending rises, sterling drops, Business struggle with covid debt plus 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.

UK consumer spending exceeds last year’s level for first time since lockdown

Data from Barclaycard indicates that consumer spending grew 0.2% in August, compared with the same month last year, up from a 2.6% contraction in July and the first expansion since February. Separately, the British Retail Consortium and KPMG retail sales monitor reported retail sales rising at an annual rate of 3.9% in August. Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, said: “We continue to experience mixed fortunes and not all retailers are where they should be at this point in the year. Fashion sales did start to rebound somewhat although this was mainly driven by children’s back-to-school purchases. Likewise, the focus on home-related products, including furniture and computing equipment, continued – no doubt aided by many consumers remaining mostly at home.”

Sterling drops as Brexit tensions escalate

Sterling dropped about 0.5% against the USD in early European trading yesterday ahead of another round of Brexit trade talks between the UK and EU. The prospects for a deal were dealt another blow overnight after news that the UK Government is preparing to override previous agreements with the EU

Business will struggle to repay Covid debt, BCC warns

A survey of service sector and manufacturing businesses by the British Chambers of Commerce and TSB has found that more than one in four companies may need to scale down their operations to repay debt accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses will need to be given flexible repayment options if an “unsustainable debt crisis” is to be avoided, the BCC said. A quarter said they would have to change their investment plans because of their debts and more than one in ten feared that they may be forced out of business. The groups’ director general Adam Marshall commented: “If not addressed, large debt burdens could stifle the recovery, threatening jobs and constraining business activity and investment.”

HMRC boss says £3.5bn of furlough cash could be suspect

Jim Harra, the top civil servant at HMRC, told MPs yesterday that its working assumption is that between 5% and 10% of furlough claims may have been paid out in error or because of fraud. The Government has so far paid out £35.4bn in furlough cash, meaning somewhere between £1.75bn and £3.5bn could have been wrongly paid out. Mr Harra said HMRC would not be seeking to root out employers who have made legitimate mistakes, but will instead be focusing on tackling abuse and fraud. HMRC expects businesses to check their claims and repay any excess amount, Mr Harra added.

Halifax figures show record UK house prices

Halifax has reported that pent-up demand and the stamp duty holiday have seen UK house prices reach a record high in August, with managing director Russell Galley stating: “A surge in market activity has driven up house prices through the post-lockdown summer period.” The price of the average UK house now stands at £245,747, with Andrew Burrell of Capital Economics noting: “Pent-up demand will soon be expended. A weak economy, cautious lenders and the end of the stamp duty cut will weigh on prices.”

Higginson tells Chancellor to hit avoiders with windfall tax

Companies that shift profits offshore to minimise their corporation tax bills should be hit with a windfall tax to help pay for the COVID-19 crisis, Andrew Higginson, the chairman of Morrisons has said. Instead of raising taxes for workers and companies that pay their taxes, multinationals using complex structures to funnel profits overseas should be targeted instead, Mr Higginson wrote in a note for clients of the stockbroker Shore Capital, where he acts as a senior adviser. “The easy cry is to raise taxes on those that already pay. The better choice is to target those who don’t. Windfall taxes should be the Government’s weapon of choice,” Mr Higginson added.

CGT rise could stifle investment

Treasury proposals to increase the rate of capital gains tax “could stifle entrepreneurialism and slow down investment simply to generate short-term tax revenues,” Richard Churchill, a partner at Blick Rothenberg, has claimed. Mr Churchill said: “Serial entrepreneurs may well conclude the incentives are no longer sufficient to warrant risking their own funds and simply sit on their hands during the next few years which would be a further blow to the economy during a period which will undoubtedly be difficult for UK plc.”

EFL clubs told to settle tax debts

The Mail reports that English Football League clubs are facing a funding crisis as HMRC demands taxes due after their four-month COVID-9 payment holiday are paid in one lump sum. The clubs lost a combined £50m through missing gate receipts after lockdown and a further loss of £200m is expected if significant crowds are kept away this season.

Employers urged to assist savers looking to transfer out of DB schemes

A report from Royal London and Lane Clark & Peacock is calling for employers to provide greater assistance to those workers who want to transfer their defined benefit pension plan into a scheme that they can manage themselves. The report warns that unless such advice is made available, there is a danger that savers could end up dealing with rogue advisers who go on to strip them of their pension. The report found only 29 out of 750 IFAs surveyed (4%) have been appointed by a scheme. LCP partner Steve Webb comments: “Pension schemes have an important role to play in ensuring that members are fully informed about their options and can access high quality advice.” Research by Royal London and LCP also reveals nearly half of advisers are unsure whether they will still be giving defined benefit transfer advice in a year’s time. New rules including a ban on most contingent charging will come into force from the start of next month.

Providers should have power to stop risky transfers

A study of 13 pension providers by the People’s Pension and policing think tank the Police Foundation shows over 900 people with combined savings of £54m were potentially targeted by fraudsters in 2019. Phil Brown, director of policy at the People’s Pension, said: “Currently, pension providers can flag a potential scam to a customer, but we can only stand by and watch if the individual chooses to proceed with a risky transfer that could result in them losing all their savings. We’re calling on the Government to provide pension providers and regulators with the powers to stop risky transfers, and ensure victims of fraud aren’t hit with having to pay tax penalties on their lost savings.”

Forget philanthropy and tax, tax, tax

Paul Vallely explains at length in a piece for the Guardian why philanthropy does little to resolve wealth inequality. Rather, it serves elite causes, enables billionaires to dictate policy and instead of making the world a better place, undermines democracy. Vallely goes on to point out that tax relief adds the money of ordinary citizens to the causes chosen by rich individuals, but attempts to reform the tax relief continue to hit brick walls. Vallely cites Rutger Bregman, who, when asked at Davos in 2019 how the world could prevent a social backlash rising from the growth of inequality, replied: “The answer is very simple. Just stop talking about philanthropy. And start talking about taxes – Taxes, taxes, taxes. All the rest is bullshit, in my opinion.”

Covid-19 general news

The Government added seven Greek islands to its quarantine list amid an ongoing increase in domestic cases. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the “concerning” rise in U.K. cases is being driven by young people, a big worry with universities across the country about to fill up with students

Spain became the first EU country to report 500k Covid-19 cases today following a second surge that has seen more young people affected.

India is fast becoming the center of concern about virus infection rates and is on track to eclipse the scale of the outbreak in the U.S. as Covid-19 hits the country’s rural areas.

In the U.S., Democratic presidential candidate Biden said he’d follow the advice of scientists on whether to get a virus vaccine and called for transparency on any treatment that could be used, while President Trump hinted the U.S. may approve a vaccine in October, ahead of the election.


Thomas Cook could be relaunched “within days” according to its owner Fosun which hopes to offer an internet only booking service. The timing of the relaunch is dependent on UK authorities according to Sky News.

The UK government via Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab made clear yesterday that fishing rights are not part of the Brexit negotiations and London will retain its right to decide state aid rules which at present are subject to Brussels approval.

Oil prices were lower on concerns over Saudi pricing of Asian crude oil cargoes and Saudi Aramco’s apparent willingness to undercut other OPEC suppliers.

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

Keep up to date with the latest news by following us on social media:-

CPA on Linkedin

CPA on facebook

CPA on twitter

See all our latest news here!

Housekeeping: Opening a New Account

Late payments are never good for business. What can you do?

Get paid earlier by understanding why late payments happen.

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.

25 excuses for late payment and how to get around them.

Read our Cash Flow Advice

Read about our overdue account recovery service

Read our blog – What is credit management?

Read our blog – How to select a debt collection agency

20 ways to avoid identity theft

see our blog – 15 steps to avoid invoice fraud

Overcoming 5 common reasons for disputed invoices

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

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