logo

Category

Regulation

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

Small Businesses Are Confident About 2024

The Federation of Small Businesses reported that, for the 4th quarter of 2023, 40% of small businesses reported a fall in revenue, and confidence had also plummeted. Which makes it more surprising that, according to research by three separate organisations, optimism is high among small businesses for 2024. Expectations for Growth in Turnover In a recent poll by lender Iwoca, 47% of small businesses were expecting an
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

Late Payments — What Difference Will the Autumn Statement Make?

Small businesses doing business with giant corporations have traditionally had no choice but to put up with accepting the customer’s payment terms — sometimes having to wait months before getting their money. This can leave their cashflow in a dangerous condition, even threatening their ability to continue trading. The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, on 22nd November, addressed this issue. The measures he
Read More

Do You Need to Pay HMRC First if You’re Insolvent?

If a company enters into any form of insolvency, whether it’s a company voluntary arrangement, a pre-pack administration or a restructuring plan, it’s likely that one of the major creditors will be HMRC. It’s often believed that any taxes owed have to be paid first, before any other debts have to be considered. However, the situation is far from simple. Some recent cases have supported HMRC’s claims, while others hav
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

Business Insolvencies Soared in May

There have been many signs recently that the economy is in trouble, most obviously the most recent announcement of interest rate rises. Another troubling sign, though, has been given less publicity — a sharp rise in business insolvencies in May. What’s behind this, and what does it mean for you as a business owner? The Rise in the Figures Business insolvency figures have been rising for a while, but it’s been possibl
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

Administrations at Their Highest Since Before the Pandemic

During the Covid pandemic, surprisingly few companies went into administration. This was because a raft of government support measures, such as furlough and bounce-back loans, allowed struggling companies to survive. But this is over, now, and it’s showing, with new issues adding to the effect. The number of companies entering administration in March 2023 was the highest for three years. The Covid Effect on Administr
Read More

SMEs and Open Banking — A Booming Combination

One of the major financial innovations of the past decade has been the rise of open banking. This term describes the use of open APIs (application programming interfaces) to allow users more control over their banking. While uptake has been limited among consumers, it’s proved popular with SMEs. Recent research has shown more than 750,000 SMEs using it in the UK. What Is Open Banking? Open banking is the general term
Read More