Unemployment rate at 5 year high  -business news 23 February 2021.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Unemployment rate at 5 year high, firms urged to consider “psychological safety” of staff, doubts staff will flood back to offices post-lockdown, covid-19, market and other business news.

Here are CPA with our large SME membership we want to share the business news stories we have seen that we think will affect our members and readers. Many of us business owners 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.

Unemployment Rate Rises to Highest in Almost Five Years

U.K. unemployment rose o its highest rate in almost five years in the fourth quarter as the economic toll from the covid-19 pandemic continued to climb. The number of unemployed people rose 121,000 from the third quarter, taking the unemployment rate to 5.1%, the highest since early 2016, the Office for National Statistics said this morning. The number of people in employment dropped 114,000.

“Every job lost is a personal tragedy,” Chancellor Rishi Sunak said in a statement. “That’s why throughout the crisis, my focus has been on doing everything we can to protect jobs and livelihoods.”

The Bank of England expects the jobless rate to peak at 7.8% in the third quarter if the furlough program finishes as currently planned. That’s almost 2.7 million people, compared with 1.7 million the end of last year.

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said the headline labor market figures conceal the “incredibly hard choices” that firms are having to make. He urged the government to cut employer national insurance contributions, a payroll tax, and reinstate bonuses for firms that retain workers.

Firms urged to consider “psychological safety” of staff

The Financial Conduct Authority has warned that workers in the financial services sector are suffering from “lockdown fatigue”, with high performers given huge workloads. Bosses are being urged to consider “psychological safety”, or ensuring that all employees feel confident about speaking out and challenging opinions. David Blunt, the FCA’s head of conduct specialists, said at an online conference: “During this third lockdown, there has been a greater impact on mental wellbeing, with many people struggling with job security, caring responsibilities, home schooling, bereavements and lockdown fatigue.” He added: “The impact of COVID-19 is creating a huge workload for those considered to be high performers, while the remote environment potentially makes it much more challenging for those who were previously considered low performers to change that perception.”

Gig economy workers to capture 20% of financial services jobs

According to research from PwC, gig economy workers will soon make up between 15 and 20% of the workforce at financial services firms, with the change driven by cost pressure and the need to access digitally skilled talent. John Garvey, PwC global financial services leader at PwC US, said: “Leaders in the industry are looking seriously at their workforces to evaluate which roles need to be performed by permanent employees and which can be performed by gig-economy workers, contractors or even crowd-sourced on a case-by-case basis.” Garvey added that remote working has enabled firms to assess outside of a firm’s physical location, including outside the country.

Doubts staff will flood back to offices post-lockdown

With Boris Johnson outlining his plans to ease Britain out of the pandemic lockdown the Telegraph notes that people working from home will not be back in the office before June 21st. A KPMG survey reveals that a quarter of financial services staff would like to remain working from home full-time even after restrictions are lifted. KPMG is one of a swathe of firms redesigning its offices to prioritise meeting spaces and video technology over the banks of desks that traditionally dominated City offices, the paper adds, while PwC is investing in virtual reality headsets to make video meetings more enjoyable.

Economists voice concern over rise in inflation

The Times reports on concerns among investors that as countries emerge from the pandemic lock-downs economies will overheat and inflation will run rampant, causing central banks to turn off the taps and tighten monetary policy. George Lagarias, chief economist at Mazars, said: “We know that market performance is still driven by exceptional monetary stimulus. Accommodation will most probably remain elevated for the year, but 2021 will challenge the iron resolve of central bankers, as inflation figures are expected to materially climb. While we believe that this inflation will probably be transitory, a result of supply chain pressures, stimulus and mere year-on-year consumer price comparison (against the horrid second quarter of 2020), we need to remain vigilant in case it overshoots or overextends its welcome.”

SMEs deserve the tax relief, not private equity

In a letter to the FT, Phillip Oppenheim says tax reliefs for investors should not be stripped away from entrepreneurs who take great risks. He suggests the tax treatment of carried interest for private equity should be targeted instead.

Changes to solvency rules could free up £9bn

A report written by KPMG and commissioned by the Association of British Insurers argues that loosening the EU’s Solvency II regulations post-Brexit and giving them more freedom over how they invest their assets could free up £95bn for City insurance firms to reinvest into the economy. KPMG said the formula that determines the cap on how much capital insurance firms must hold at any one time to stave off insolvency “is overly-sensitive to very low interest rates” and that it forces “insurers to hold billions of excess capital for no purpose”.

Chancellor can raise funds without disrupting economy

The Times’ Philip Aldrick contends that Rishi Sunak can still raise taxes in his Budget but this does not mean he has to take money out of the economy, which most analysts agree is not the right thing to do at this point. Aldrick suggests offsetting a rise in corporation tax or a new online sales tax with investment inducements or a reduction in rates for high street retailers, arguing that such measures would support growth and do not constitute fiscal tightening. Additionally, prudence calls for the country’s debt to be acknowledged, and paying that down while rates are so low is not a bad idea.

Stamp duty holiday saves movers £11,500

Research by Halifax shows the stamp duty holiday has saved the average house mover £11,566 in tax as well as boosting property prices by 15.5%. Movers in England and Wales spent an average £431,000 per property in the six months to December last year, a rise of nearly £58,000.

File tax returns now to prevent penalties

HMRC is urging self-assessment taxpayers to submit their late tax returns by 28th February of face a £100 late filing penalty. While 10.7m taxpayers filed their return by 31 January, more than 1.5m taxpayers missed this deadline and are still to file their tax return. They are accruing interest on any unpaid tax liabilities but still have time to file and pay without incurring penalty charges. Those who owe tax have until midnight on 1st April to pay any outstanding tax or set up a payment plan to prevent a 5% late payment penalty.

London’s super-rich gain more than all of north of England

Campaign group Tax Justice UK says figures from HMRC show a group of 1,600 ultra-wealthy Londoners made £9bn from assets in 2019, more than the entire population of the north of England, which made £8bn. Tax Justice said that the figures underscored the need for the government to equalise capital gains and income tax rates.

Tax havens tycoons could lose their knighthoods

A Cabinet Office spokeswoman has denied claims reported by the Times that the honours committee has created a “Ratcliffe clause” allowing for knighthoods to be withdrawn if the recipient moves abroad to avoid taxation. The rule allegedly refers to Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire Ineos boss who moved to Monaco after receiving a knighthood for services to business

Covid-19 general news

There were 10,641 new cases in the UK yesterday (total 4.13 million) with 177 more deaths (total 121k).

Globally 287,199 new cases brought the total  to 111.7 million with 2,474,351 deaths.

209 million vaccine doses have now been given worldwide.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared the end of the pandemic is “in sight” for England, as he set out his aim to ease lockdown rules in a series of stages over the next four months. In the House of Commons yesterday PM Johnson said that non-essential retail can open from April 12th and schools would re-open from the 8th March 2020.  Covid-19 Restrictions will be lifted in England by late June under the Prime Minister’s roadmap for exiting lockdown, as the government grows increasingly confident in the UK’s ongoing vaccine roll-out. Announcing the timeline in the Commons, Boris Johnson said that “all of the legal limits on social contact can be removed no earlier than 21 June” in England. Shops, hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality will reopen on 12 April in England if strict conditions are met, under plans being set out by the PM.

Sanofi & GlaxoSmithKline initiated a new phase 2 study with 720 volunteers to select the most appropriate antigen dosage for phase 3 evaluation of their Covid-19 vaccine candidate, both companies said on Monday.

New findings in the U.K. show that shots provide a high level of protection against infection and illness after a single dose.

Joe Biden held a moment of silence as America’s death toll from covid-19 surpassed 500,000.


Yesterday the FTSE 100 closed at down 0.18%  at  6612.24 and the 250 closed down  0.26%.  The Euro Stoxx 50 was down 0.37% and the 600 was down  0.44%. Benchmark bond yields are surging and signs of coming inflation are hitting frothier parts of the market such as the tech sector. Overnight in the US, the DOW rose 0.09%, the S&P 500 dropped -0.77% and the NASDAQ dropped -2.46%. Asian Markets edged higher this morning as investors assessed the market outlook after a jump in bond yields and commodity prices amid expectations of faster economic growth.

Covid-19 linked companies moved sharply. Gym Group rallied 9p to 259p after the statement given the April 12th re-opening. Go-Ahead Group jumped 36p to 1126p, JD Wetherspoon was up 102p to 1338p, Capital & Counties Properties jumped 6p to 173p. Airlines rose sharply despite the fact that there was little specific commentary from the PM on overseas travel except “no foreign holidays or travel until mid May”.

The PM’s statement in the Houses of Parliament helped sterling rise to $1.4053 its highest level against the US dollar in three years. Sterling is now at 1.158 Euros and 1.407 US Dollars.

US dollar earners on the FTSE continued to suffer, GSK fell 9p to 1205p despite announcing a new Phase 2 study for its Covid-19 candidate, Unilever fell 76p to 3829p.

Oil Prices rose in afternoon trading as the slow return of US crude output cut by weather conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic. While investors bought Gold as a hedge against inflation and a weak dollar. Brent Crude is at $66.1 and Gold is at $1807.

Bitcoin fell 7% after Elon Musk tweeted a concern about prices having risen too quickly.

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 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.

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.

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 fancy an extra 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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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

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see our blog – 15 steps to avoid invoice fraud

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

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