Unemployment stats questioned and household finances –  business news 18 August 2020.

18 August 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Unemployment stats questioned and household finances weaken. Call to support SMEs, retail footfall figures, new planning rules, brexit, covid-19 and more 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.

Unemployment stats questioned

A report from the London School of Economics’ centre for economic performance suggests that official unemployment statistics are under-reporting the number of people being made redundant and the figures for self-employed people who are losing work.

Analysis of rising joblessness since February shows a decrease in employment between February and June of more than 15 percentage points, while official figures show unemployment as stable.

The report says: “With hours worked only at 80% of the level from February, the picture is bleak”, going on to suggest that the economy is “on track to suffer its biggest unemployment shock since at least the 1980s recession”.

Household finances weaken

Household finances fell in August, with rising levels of unemployment hitting average incomes and driving a cutback in spending.

UK Households suffered a fall in wages in August and reported increased fears about job security.

The IHS Markit UK household finance index was down following steady increases through May, June and July, dipping from 41.5 in July to 40.8 in August on a scale where a figure above 50 indicates an improvement in household finances.

IHS economist Lewis Cooper said the findings point to the “continued strain” on family finances brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

He warned that the report also “hints at some worrying trends when put in the context of the significant recession facing the UK,” adding: “Although lockdown measures are looser, households are spending less, earning less and unsure about their jobs, all of which has the ability to add severe friction to the pace of the economic recovery.”

It’s time to ease the debt woes of small companies

TheCityUK chief operating officer Marcus Scott voices concern over debt faced by SMEs, citing TheCityUK and EY research which suggests around a third of government-guaranteed lending to businesses will become unsustainable.

Retail footfall sees marginal rise

Analysis by Springboard shows that retail footfall climbed 0.8% last week, although the number of people visiting the high street fell by 0.5%. Visits to shopping centres rose by 2.4% week-on-week, but footfall was still 37% lower than a year ago. Diane Wehrle of Springboard said that overall footfall was “largely lacklustre”, noting that customer activity across retail destinations “rose marginally” from the week before but the increase was less than a third of that recorded in the previous week.

Labour warns over planning rules

Labour has warned that new planning rules allowing developers to turn empty shops into flats could see 50,000 high street stores turned into low-quality housing. This estimate is based on figures obtained by Duff and Phelps, which found 15.9% of all shops and retail outlets lay empty last year.


Having already released results for A-levels, a school-leavers’ qualification, exams regulator, Ofqual, changed how they are awarded. Previously they were decided by an algorithm which took into account teachers’ assessments and schools’ past performance—leading to an outcry when students from poor areas were disproportionately downgraded. Students’ grades will now be whichever is higher: the algorithm’s the teachers’ predictions.


The latest  round of talks over Britain’s post-Brexit trade relationship with the EU starts in Brussels today. After five rounds of formal negotiations, the U.K. and European Union are still far from reaching a comprehensive trade agreement. Britain and the bloc want to reach a deal before the negotiations are scheduled to conclude on 2nd October but, so far, neither looks willing to make the necessary concessions. Downing Street says we are still on course to deliver a deal and that they would “continue to plug the gaps”. A number of issues remain unresolved, including those on competition rules, fishing rights and how a deal would be enforced.

Covid-19 general news

Global cases rise by 209,672 yesterday to 21.7 million with 776,000 deaths reported so far.

Starting today, Google will employ the tactic of demonetization and stop placing ads alongside web content that “contradicts authoritative, scientific consensus” about the virus and will ban ads promulgating misinformation about the coronavirus in order to crackdown on misleading websites.

Germany is looking at maintaining its subsidies to protect jobs for longer as a spike in covid cases raises the threat of a return to lockdown. Here in the U.K., employers are anxiously awaiting to see whether mounting pressure on Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will force him to also extend the furlough scheme to protect against a wave of redundancies.

Looser lock-downs were a factor in allowing covid-19 to flourish in the U.S. compared with some European countries, said Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease specialist.


The FTSE 100 was up 0.6% yesterday as strong Chinese data boosted mining companies and Pharma stocks were also boosted by recent merger news in the industry.  In the US the Nasdaq was up 1% to another record close and the S&P 500 rose 0.27% to 3382 as Goldman sachs raised its forecasts for the index to 3600.

Gold has rallied above $2000 again as US manufacturing figures disapointed as the US dollar remained one of the weakest major currencies with the pound buying 1.315 US dollars and 1.1059 Euros. Oil prices are climbing too as China said it would increase imports of US crude.


Diageo said it has reached an agreement to buy the Aviation American gin brand for up to $610 million, as part of the distiller’s plan to expand into “super-premium” gin segment in the US. Diageo, which also makes Johnny Walker whisky and Guinness, has agreed to buy Aviation Gin LLC and New York-based wine and spirits distributor Davos Brands LLC, which has a majority ownership in the Aviation American gin brand.

Trade War

The United States said it plans further restrictions on Huawei Technologies in a bid to limit the company’s access to electronic components. The actions will aim to stop the Chinese company buying computer chips made using US technology, even if they are made abroad. It will also add 38 names to a blacklist of firms linked to Huawei.

Budget Airlines scale back

Ryanair today said it will cut its flight capacity 20% during September and October after increased covid-19 restrictions hit bookings. The budget airliner said a recent upswing in coronavirus cases in some European countries had particularly hit business bookings.

Easyjet has confirmed it will close its airport base at Stansted from 1 September, as the covid pandemic severely dents demand. The budget airline is also shutting its bases in Southend and Newcastle, putting hundreds of jobs at risk. Stansted and Newcastle will remain part of Easyet’s route network, and some in-bound flights will continue.

Looking into exit taxes

A proposed new law in the Netherlands would see multinationals leaving the country charged an exit tax. With legal opinion sought on whether the plan is compatible with Dutch and EU tax law, the FT says political parties in the Netherlands have indicated that they would back the levy if it is ruled lawful. Matthew Lynn in the Telegraph says exit taxes are becoming increasingly popular, with former French president Nicolas Sarkozy imposing a levy on entrepreneurs looking to shift away from France’s “increasingly punitive” tax regime, while various US states “have dallied with them”, and the European Union is looking at imposing exit fees “as part of its drive to harmonise the tax base”. He argues that such taxes may become more common as governments seek ways to balance the books to cover the economic blow dealt by the coronavirus crisis. Mr Lynn argues that while it is “possible to understand the superficial attractions of an exit tax”, they are likely to damage countries that impose them. He says they are “almost certainly” illegal under European law, are essentially a retrospective tax and may deter businesses and entrepreneurs, suggesting firms may opt against operating in a jurisdiction they are not free to step away from without being charged.

Tenants wring concessions from landlords

The average length of commercial tenant leases was shortened by 10 months between February and June to 27 months, property data group Re-Leased has revealed, citing the effects of coronavirus.

HMRC fines Purplebricks over money-laundering breach

Purplebricks has been fined more than £260,000 for breaching laws on money laundering, with HMRC saying the online estate agent was guilty of “failures in having the correct policies, controls and procedures, conducting due diligence and timing of verification”. Rules rolled out in 2017 say agents and buying agencies are responsible for carrying out checks on the financial background of their clients so as to stop money being laundered through property transactions. A Purplebricks spokesman said that it had improved its practices since the “retrospective and historical fine” .

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.

Now you can boost your own cash-flow.

CPA can help unearth the those hidden treasures.

We have the technology to reveal the compensation you are due and we have the extensive experience and expertise to then turn those claims into cash.

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

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

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

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

The “Why” of the late payment culture.

New PM should walk the walk and back small firms over late payments

Paying late is “crack cocaine” to big business.

Late payment culture risks “spiraling out of control”

visit our late payment compensation page

See our full blog and FAQ on late payment compensation

Do you realise you could be sitting on a fortune?

Late payments often result in a cash flow crunch and leave SMEs in need of a cash injection.

If you sold B2B on credit then there may be a hidden source of capital you can call on.

If you fancy an bit of extra cash in your business, rather than jumping through hoops with your bank, you could look to uncover the resources from an unexpected source within your own business.

Not many are aware but there could be a hidden fortune within your business, sitting there, just waiting to be uncovered and released.

We can help you uncover the pile of gold, you didn’t even know you were sitting on.

If you trade with other businesses and were often paid late then you could be entitled to significant compensation.

Under little known and under-utilised legislation your business could be due huge amounts in compensation that you didn’t even know about.

Let’s be clear – this is not a way to weaken any customer relationships you value. It is one that identifies who’s been paying late and then recover the potentially significant sums in compensation using Late Payment Legislation from businesses where the relationship has already ended.

You can pick and choose who you want us to follow up – but once we’ve agreed which companies you’d like to pursue compensation from it’s a fast process and there’s no financial outlay to you whatsoever. My team at CPA put its expertise to work to recover the compensation due and fight late payment culture.

That compensation could provide the cash boost your business needed.

But don’t delay, that compensation evaporates if not claimed within six years of the late payment.

How can CPA help?

CPA has developed a unique technology to dig into your accounting records and discover the cash injection you are due by means of compensation. The software does all the hard work. Our software interacts over the cloud with over 300 different software packages, working directly with your accounts package, just so long as it’s stored on a computer.

We recognise that most companies do not have the resources to spend time on the identification and calculation of Late Payment Compensation. Our service can produce an Analyses within just a few days with (usually) less than 30 mins of co-operation from our clients. We work directly with over 300 accounting packages but can also work with bespoke accounts packages. Indeed, speed is essential as the oldest invoices may fall foul of the 6-year time limit.

Once the Sales Ledger Analyses is made available to clients, all that is required is that management decide which commercially sensitive ex-customers to remove from the list and return it to us.

CPA then uses its years of collection experience to explain and recover the Late Payment Compensation Claims. Clients do not handle any part of the recovery process as our team will take all communications from the companies against who the claims has been made. Often, it’s simply a case of explaining the legislation, sometimes we have to go all the way and enforce the legislation through the courts.

The result is that we are realising clients’ claims worth tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds which, of course, is pure net profit.  You may also be among the recipients of “hundreds of thousands of pounds” should you elect to take advantage of our services.

We do the work, you receive the cash.

If you have supplied goods and services to businesses on credit and were regularly paid late then you could be due significant sums in late payment compensation.

We are talking to companies and unearthing claims in the hundreds of thousands from former business customers who paid them late. Large business customers who abused their power to inflict unfair and sometimes illegal payment practices.

We are helping business owners  who are looking to boost the returns from their business before they retire. We are helping businesses who have lost major clients after years of loyal service to get properly compensated for systematic late payment. We are helping companies that were looking to close down, who looked insolvent and finding that cash injection they need to avoid insolvency.

Those former clients who regularly paid you late can finally be made to pay.

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

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

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