business news 16 February 2021.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Vaccine optimism pushes up the pound, Tech investment could boost the economy by £232bn, Men hit harder by pandemic job losses, 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.

Vaccine optimism pushes up the pound

The pound has hit its highest level in almost three years amid increasing optimism about the UK’s coronavirus vaccine rollout. Sterling rose above $1.39 for the first time since April 2018 – reaching a high of $1.3918. Sterling was also up against the euro, reaching €1.1463 – a level not seen since April 2020. With the pound boosted by optimism that the UK economy could be one of the fastest to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, some forecasters say it could hit $1.45 this year. This would mark the highest point since before 2016’s Brexit vote. Despite the gains and optimism, Societe Generale strategist Kit Juckes warned that as the UK’s economy is global, it will only see a full recovery once the rest of the world is vaccinated.

Tech investment could boost the economy by £232bn

Analysis from Virgin Media Business and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) think-tank suggests investment in digital technology could boost the economy by £232bn by 2040. The report sets out three factors that would be needed to deliver the biggest economic growth: a prolonged investment in connectivity; higher spending on collaboration technologies; and better enterprise resource planning systems. These, it says, will enhance productivity and output across the private and public sectors. It adds that in the medium term, making the sufficient investments could add £74bn to the economy by the middle of the decade.

Men hit harder by pandemic job losses

While analysis from economists at Citi shows that female employment dropped by up to three percentage points more than male employment across major economies amid the initial wave of the pandemic, Office for National Statistics figures suggest the UK bucked the trend, with men accounting for three-quarters of the fall in employment.

It has also been shown that the UK has not seen unemployment surge as much as the US or eurozone amid the crisis, with the jobless rate at 5% in November compared to 4% before the pandemic.

Insight into the data suggests the UK’s unemployment rate was prevented from spiking by the furlough scheme. In regard to the gender divide, the varying types of work undertaken by men and by women is said to be factor, with men more likely to work for themselves and women far more likely to work for the public sector. Vicky Pryce at the Centre for Economics and Business Research notes that women are more likely to have suffered cuts to their pay or hours, while childcare issues may have had an impact on the hours they can work.

Green growth

The Guardian looks at the green economy, with Chris Doran of the University of Salford saying the green agenda “will form the bedrock for regeneration from COVID-19” and “drive innovation, growth and employment”. Local Government Association analysis suggests that 700,000 new jobs in low-carbon sectors could be created by 2030 – and over a million by 2050. Siobhan Gardiner, climate change and environment lead at Deloitte Ventures, comments: “Over the past decade, the public’s awareness of climate change has soared.”

Pharmacies at risk

The Mail looks at the climate for the UK’s independent pharmacies, noting EY analysis suggesting that three-quarters of the often family-owned businesses are either closing or under threat of closure.

Covid-19 general news

There were 9765 new cases in the UK yesterday (total 4.05m) with 230 more deaths (total 117k).

Globally 339,840 new cases brought the total  to 109.1 million with 2,409,131 deaths.

176 million vaccine does have now been given worldwide.

PM Boris Johnson  is planning to gradually start lifting lock-down restrictions on socializing, shopping and traveling to work, and aims to set out target dates for when the curbs will be eased. While tthe priority is schools, that easing will be “cautious but irreversible” and that no decision have been taken on the re-opening of schools on the 8th March. There is some speculation this re-opening will be limited to primary schools. However the PM also said there are no plans for covid-19 passports for activities like pub & restaurant trips. “We want this lockdown to be the last,” he said at a news conference from 10 Downing Street on Monday. “We want progress to be cautious but irreversible.”

Studies of Israel’s vaccination program  suggests that the Pfizer/BioNTech jab is 94% effective in preventing symptomatic covid-19 infections, meaning it is as effective in “real life” as under lab conditions.

The World Health Organisation has approved the relatively inexpensive and easily distributed vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University for emergency use.

The U.S. recorded 65,336 new infections on Sunday, the lowest daily number since 25th October. France recorded 60,972!

Unlike the first wave of Covid-19 lock-downs, which sent people on road trips and to second homes, the second wave has globally triggered a desire for more permanent, warmer, far-flung escapes. In the U.K. and Europe, the wealthy have flown to such warmer climates as Dubai, the Maldives, and Spain to escape winter lock-down, says Justin Huxter, founder of U.K.-based Cartology Travel. “People with lockdown fatigue have realized they can continue life in places with a lot less stress and a lot more room to breathe,” says Jack Ezon, founder of Embark Beyond.


UK stocks continued to their uphill climb welcoming declining covid-19 infections globally and the UK government’s 15m vaccination target being met. There is a growing view that the covid-19 vaccination programme is ahead of schedule and will allow an earlier easing of lock-down restrictions. Yesterday, the FTSE 100 closed at up 2.52%  at  6756.11 and the 250 Closed up 1.81%.  The Eurostoxx 50 was up 1.04% and the 600 1.32% . Strong risk-on sentiments continue yesterday even though US (Presidents day) and China were on holiday, with the Nikkei rising 1.3% this morning and the Hang Seng 1.9%.

Sterling is leading the way up as Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised yesterday to detail his roadmap for lock-down exit on February 22. Sterling is at 1.1464 Euros and 1.3933 US Dollars.

Oil also rose with the continued optimism and with shuttered production in Texas which has been hit by the cold front. The disaster has left 5 million without power and has been declared a national emergency. Brent Crude is at $63.2 and Gold is at $1823.

World Trade Organisation

The WTO, more important to the UK than ever outside of the EU has elected its first female head. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former finance minister, was unanimously elected as the director-general of the World Trade Organisation by its members. She is the first woman and first African to lead the international trade organisation. She described the issues facing the WTO as “numerous and tricky but not insurmountable”. She also urged WTO members to reject vaccine nationalism.


Jaguar Land Rover announced that its Jaguar brand will go fully electric by 2025. The British carmaker, owned by Tata Group of India, plans to make “almost zero” vehicles with an internal-combustion engine for its other brands by 2036, the year after Britain bans sales of new ones.

IFS: Sunak should avoid tax rises

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) believes the Chancellor should look to avoid any tax rises in his March 3 budget, although it has warned that “sizeable net tax rises” may be needed at some point to help cover the Government’s coronavirus-related spending.

IFS director Paul Johnson said: “A reckoning in the form of big future tax rises is highly likely, but not as yet inevitable.” The think-tank is calling on Rishi Sunak to “secure the UK’s economic recovery” and “set out plans for how to help the economy recover and adjust to a new normal”, suggesting “well targeted” extensions to current emergency coronavirus support measures should be rolled out.

Separately, Mark Littlewood, director general at the Institute of Economic Affairs, has said the UK “has reached its taxable limit,” adding that over the medium term “public finances are going to need to be repaired by expenditure reductions not tax rises”. Meanwhile, the FT says that while the Chancellor may be considering tax rises to cover pandemic-related spending, many Tory MPs oppose tax rises in the short to medium term.

Stride calls for one-off wealth tax

Mel Stride, chair of the Treasury Committee, has suggested that a one-off wealth tax could help boost public finances and balance the books following vast coronavirus-related spending. He suggested that a one-off levy may be preferable to raising taxes across the board or an annual wealth tax. Mr Stride noted that several European countries have tried to introduce annual wealth taxes only to withdraw the idea, saying “it is highly complicated and very difficult”. Mr Stride’s remarks follow a report from the Wealth Tax Commission which last year suggested that a one-off wealth tax could raise up to £260bn if levied at 5% of assets worth in excess of £500,000. City AM notes that Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who is set to outline tax and spending plans in his March budget, has reportedly said that a one-off wealth tax would go against Conservative Party values.

100k buyers could miss out on stamp duty deadline

One in five home buyers who agreed a deal last July when the stamp duty holiday was announced have not completed their purchase yet – and Rightmove has estimated that around 100,000 buyers will fail to complete by the March 31 cut-off for the relief. The analysis suggests that of those buyers who agreed a purchase last July, one in five remain stuck in the “logjam” more than six months later. Meanwhile, Rightmove says the average asking price has increased by 0.5%, or £1,522, this month. Property inquiries in the first week of February were up 18% on the same period last year, and agreed sales were up 7%. This marks a decline on a post lockdown peak seen last year, where agreed sales jumped 60% year-on-year in August.

Hamptons research reveals new generation of BTL investors

Research by estate agents Hamptons International shows that the stamp duty holiday has led to a “new generation” of first-time investors, with figures showing that 50% of landlords purchased with a mortgage in the last six months of 2020, representing the highest share since the firm’s records began 12 years ago.

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.

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