What the excess death rate teaches us -Covid-19 lock-down business news update 3 June 2020.

3 June 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

The Covid-19 lock-down continues and we are having to make do in a new normal.

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.

Covid-19 general news

In the week ending 22/5, 13,800 people died, 2,500 more than statistically would have been expected but this is an improvement over the peak of the pandemic when the rate was double the expected rate. Overall, there have been 190,000 deaths during the pandemic – nearly 62,000 above what would be expected. This excess death rate is the said to be the best way of calculating the overall impact of the virus.

Lock-down has proved a boon for Zoom. Revenue at the tech firm, which provides a videoconferencing service, hit $328m during the quarter ending 30th April, up 169% on last year. Net income rose from $0.2m to $27m.

Some 265,000 firms with over ten employees are now signed up. Zoom, unknown to most of us 3 months ago, is an almost ubiquitous verb now under lock-down. Will its fortunes continue long term though?

Italy will partially reopen its borders today after more than two months of virtual isolation. European Union citizens, those from non-EU countries in the Schengen area and British citizens will all be welcome.

The FTSE 100 continued the rebound from Monday as the Germany market rallied strongly after being closed on the first day of the week, with the FTSE 100 closing 53 points up at 6220.

World stock markets hit their highest levels since March and oil prices leaped today as signs of a global economic recovery from the covid-19 pandemic offset concerns over the worst civil unrest in the United States in decades.

Asian Markets (NikkEI up 1.3% and Hang Seng up 1.4%) jumped with optimism over the re-opening of global economies as authorities ease the covid-19 induced lock-down measures continuing to keep investor sentiment afloat.

US Markets ended higher for a second straight day (S&P 500 up 0.8%) as investors trained their attention on the prospect of fuller business activity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, rather than the fresh round of civil unrest in major US cities.

Oil prices rose today to near three-month highs on expectations that major producers will agree to extend output cuts during a video conference likely to be held this week.

Brent has doubled in the past six weeks helped by supply cuts by OPEC+. But oil prices are still 40% down this year.

The pound rose to its highest level in over a month against the dollar on speculation this week’s Brexit talks might start to yield a hint of progress. Britain is expected to signal a willingness to compromise on issues like fisheries and trade rules
Just half of CBILs approved

New figures show that companies have borrowed £31.3bn from banks through the Government’s three main coronavirus loan schemes, but only around half of loans on its flagship Coronavirus Business Loan Interruption Scheme (CBILs) programme have been approved.

City groups have said EU state aid rules could be to blame for problems with the CBILs programme, with regulations excluding highly indebted or loss-making firms from receiving loans.

More than two-thirds of the £31.3bn lent to businesses under coronavirus support schemes has come via the Bounce Back Loan Scheme for smaller firms, with £21.3bn handed to SMEs.

The data show that over 963,000 businesses have asked their banks for support as part of the three bailout schemes, with almost 750,000 firms successful.

8.7m workers furloughed

300,000 more UK Workers have been furloughed in the past week as Government figures show that 8.7m workers have now been placed on furlough as part of the UK job retention scheme, accounting for more than a quarter of the 33.1m person workforce.

That means more than a quarter of the workforce is now being supported by the £14bn-a-month scheme. Another 200,000 self-employed have taken up government grants, meaning 2.5 million have been handed out.

The HMRC data show 1.1m businesses are using the job retention scheme..

Household borrowing hits lowest on record

UK households sharply cut back on borrowing and repaid loans at a record rate in April, according to Bank of England (BoE) figures. A net £7.4bn of consumer credit was repaid.

This is the largest net repayment since records began and double that of March, which was the previous record. £5bn of net consumer credit repayments were on credit cards.

Households and businesses continued to increase their bank deposits in April, the BoE added.

Holdings rose by £37.3bn in April, after an increase of £67.3bn in March.

The Bank also said the cost of borrowing fell precipitously in April. The effective rate on overdrafts, including fees, was 10.9% in April, or 15 percentage points lower than in March.

Experts welcome NI holiday plan

With Chancellor Rishi Sunak said to be considering a national insurance holiday for employers as part of an economic recovery stimulus package, it has been suggested that the measure, which would cut costs business face, could save hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance estimates cutting the tax could save or create between 595,000 and 892,000 jobs. John O’Connell, chief executive of the Alliance, said scrapping employers’ national insurance “would cut wage bills and kickstart hiring”, adding that this would deliver a “welcome boost to employment … and a meaningful long term simplification of the tax system”.

Tony Wilson, director of the Institute for Employment Studies, said that while it would cost the Treasury “multiple billions per month” to waive the tax entirely, “there would be longer-run benefits because it would support job creation and that supports growth.”

Federation of Small Businesses national chairman Mike Cherry also backed such a measure, noting that employment costs are consistently identified as the number one cause of rising outgoings among small firms.


UK Shop Prices suffered another notable decline in May, with non-essential retail again experiencing a bruising month due to high levels of promotional activity.

The British Retail Consortium-Nielsen shop price index showed a 2.4% annual fall in May, worse than the 1.7% slip recorded in April.

House prices fall at fastest rate since 2009

House prices fell 1.7% in May from the previous month to an average of £218,902, the largest monthly fall for 11 years, according to Nationwide.

As well as the biggest monthly slump since February 2009, annual growth in house prices slowed to 1.8% from May 2019, down from 3.7% in April and the slowest rate since December.

Recent Nationwide research indicated that one in eight people had put off moving because of the lock-down.

The drop in Nationwide’s house price index in May “is just the start of a protracted decline over the remainder of this year,” warns Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Hotel firm eyes £140m rent reduction

Travelodge is set to launch a radical overhaul of its business, hiring Deloitte to oversee a CVA as it looks to secure rent cuts of more than £140m.

Rejection of the CVA could see the firm call in administrators, the Telegraph notes. A source says 90% of owners will be given at least 50% of rent until the end of next year, bettering a previous proposal of 38%, while landlords will be entitled to 50% of any profits above £200m over the next three years.

The hotel chain reportedly plans to raise £100m of debt from bondholders, with shareholders injecting up to £40m more by buying new stock.

Poll sees people back tax increase to cover social care

A Daily Express poll shows 41% of people would back a penny increase in income tax to boost funding for social care, with the proportion supporting such an increase climbing to two-thirds among respondents aged 55 and over. The paper notes that a percentage point rise in all rates of income tax would raise around £5.5bn.

Report calls for stamp duty rethink

A Cass Business School and Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation report suggests people over 65 looking to make their final property move should be granted a cut in stamp duty in a bid to free up homes.

Analysis suggests the UK has 15m surplus bedrooms in under-occupied homes, with it estimated that the total will hit 20m by 2040, with 13m of these in pensioners’ homes.

Professor Les Mayhew of Cass Business School suggests stamp duty should be waived for last-time buyers, granting older buyers the same tax break as first-time buyers, who do not pay any stamp duty on property purchases of up to £300,000.

Virus put football clubs at risk

Bryan Jackson, a consultant at Johnston Carmichael, has warned that the coronavirus pandemic has left some Scottish football clubs at risk, saying: “It’s a very difficult question as to whether there will be any formal casualties.”

He warned: “It wouldn’t surprise me if there are one or two casualties, with no income for quite a period where it’s expenditure only,” but, on a more positive note, added: “the football industry is now quite robust and might just see its way through it.”

US to probe Britain’s digital tax

The US has opened a trade investigation into several countries’ plans to make large technology companies such as Facebook and Amazon pay more in local markets, saying plans for digital taxes would “unfairly target” American firms.

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer announced the investigation into digital taxes, with the probe covering jurisdictions including the UK, Italy, Spain and the EU as a whole.

Mr Lighthizer said: “President Trump is concerned that many of our trading partners are adopting tax schemes designed to unfairly target our companies. We are prepared to take all appropriate action to defend our businesses and workers against any such discrimination.”

Britain’s digital services tax, which came into force in April, consists of a 2% levy on revenues from advertising and online marketplaces generated in the UK, with it forecast to raise £500m a year.

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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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