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Buy Now Pay Later — An Opportunity or a Trap?

In difficult times like these, resorting to Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) can seem like a lifesaver. Used carefully and with full understanding, it can be a good way of spreading costs for items you can’t immediately afford. The problem is that many consumers don’t fully understand the terms and, as recent research by TotallyMoney shows, repayments can very quickly build up. What Is Buy Now Pay Later? BNPL is
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Crisis in Private Rentals — Bad News for Landlords and Tenants

Figures just out show that private rents increased in the past 12 months at a rate well above inflation. At the same time, as prospects seem to be diminishing of the renters reform bill passing before the election, record numbers of tenants are being forced to move. It might seem at a casual glance that this is all great news for buy-to-let owners, but it’s actually not that simple. If you’re a private la
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Are You Ready for the Changes in Employment Law?

If you employ people in your business, you already have plenty of things to remember for their terms of employment. Well, since 6th April there are two more — and not being ready for them could land you in trouble. Changes to Flexible Working Rules The Covid lockdown finally put paid to the already dying traditional model of working, where everyone came into a workplace and stayed from nine till five. Depending on th
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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
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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
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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
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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
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SMEs Are Targeting Growth in 2023 — But There Are Challenges

With rampant inflation and a cost-of-living crisis in progress, it would be easy to assume that businesses would be consolidating and cutting costs. While some may be, though, the attitude where SMEs are concerned looks surprisingly optimistic. There are challenges, however. So, should you go for growth or concentrate on playing safe? SMEs Planning for Investment A recent survey by retail bank Aldermore has revealed
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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
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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
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