logo

Category

Customer Service

Mixed Forecasts from London Businesses

After a year that’s been bad for both businesses and consumers, it might be assumed that business forecasts are going to be negative. However, a survey of London businesses late in 2023, gives mixed signals. Most expect difficult times in the first half of 2024 — but a surprisingly large number also expect to increase their profits this year. Fears for Economic Activity in 2024 In a survey of 500 London-based b
Read More

Are IVAs Being Mis-sold? The Insolvency Service Investigates

An IVA (individual voluntary agreement) can be an invaluable resource for any individual person facing mounting debt. It offers the chance to protect yourself against action by creditors, and to structure repayments in an affordable way. However, like any financial product, there’s the potential for abuse. The Insolvency Service has announced that it’s investigating whether IVAs are being mis-sold. What i
Read More

Risks of Debt Among Financially Vulnerable People

The cost-of-living crisis is hitting us all, to some extent, but it’s hardly a surprise that the worst hit are the most financially vulnerable people. For many, the only way out seems to be taking on debt, which can lead them into a debt spiral it’s hard to break — and this is especially a risk over Christmas. Debt Patterns in 2023 Recent figures show that, on average, 22% of people in the UK have fallen
Read More

Company Liquidation — How Does It Affect a Director?

In any time of economic uncertainty, there’s likely to be an increase in companies going into liquidation. The recent collapse of Wilko has focused our attention on this issue, and no doubt many company directors are feeling nervous. The position of a director of an insolvent company can be problematic in certain circumstances. In general, however, there shouldn’t be too much to worry about. Insolvency fo
Read More

How High Will Monthly Mortgage Repayments Rise?

With the recent steep rises in the Bank of England’s interest rates, it was inevitable that mortgage repayments were going to rise. However, a recent survey suggests that the position is worse than most people expected. It’s now expected that monthly repayments will rise by an average of £617. The Research Results According to research by The Mortgage Lender (TML), 80% of homeowners are concerned about rising rates,
Read More

Pay Attention to a Company’s Cash Flow Before Making a Decision

There are various reasons why you might need to examine another company’s books. You should certainly do so if you’re considering investing in the business, but you may also want to get a better idea of their finances before offering credit. But what should you be looking for? Turnover? Profit? Or is it better to look at cash flow? Why Is Cash Flow Important? Profit and turnover each give only a very partial picture
Read More

Good News and Bad News for International Business

During the pandemic, SMEs worldwide assumed this was as bad as it got, and by this time things would have improved. In fact, 2023 seems to be even worse than the height of lockdown — in fact, the worst the economy has been since 2008. Strangely, though, this doesn’t appear to be causing gloom among business owners. A recent survey suggested that the vast majority of SMEs in the international business community are op
Read More

Buy Now Pay Later — Flexibility or Debt Trap?

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) has grown massively over recent years, with options to defer payment being offered for everything from clothing to groceries. Used responsibly, this can be an effective method of obtaining credit to give flexibility in budgeting. However, it can also lead consumers into spiralling debt. The government promised to introduce regulation for the sector, but recent reports suggest they’re consider
Read More

Are Supply-Chain Delays Killing Your Business?

Business owners generally focus most on the sales that bring in the income, rather than on their suppliers. That’s understandable, but it can also be short sighted. Recent research by retail bank Aldermore has found that well over half of SMEs have suffered supply-chain problems in the past year — and this has cost a total of £1.9 billion. Why Are There Supply Chain Delays? Disruptions to supply chains have been goin
Read More

FCA Ban for Debt Packagers Charging Referral Fees

In these times of financial stress, large numbers of people, both consumers and small business owners, are seeking debt advice. A good deal of the advice out there is excellent, but there are exceptions. There’s been concern expressed for some time about the referral fees charged by debt packaging companies and whether this creates bad advice. It seems that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) share this concern, an
Read More