The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data has shown that UK retail sales were flat last month after a decline in August, with volumes in the three months to September up 0.6% on the previous quarter. An increase in online sales in July was largely responsible for the growth. Sales were up 3.1% year-on-year in…

Business lenders Ultimate Finance and Bibby Financial Services (BFS) has announced its support for the Business Finance Council’s SME Finance Charter, in a bid to improve access to finance and help for businesses during Brexit and beyond. The Charter provides a framework for financiers to outline specific commitments to SMEs in relation to preparing for…

Paul Uppal has stepped down from his role as Small Business Commissioner. Fiona Dickie, the Deputy Pubs Code Adjudicator, will provide oversight in the Small Business Commissioner role until early November, pending the appointment of an Interim Commissioner. An open recruitment campaign to appoint a new Small Business Commissioner will get underway immediately. The role…

Over three quarters (76%) of freelancers have experienced mental health issues as a result of late paying clients in the last 12 months, according to new research. In its latest report Late Payments: The Cost to Business and Our Health, Hitachi Capital has investigated the mental health impact of late payments on the UK’s SMEs…

One third (33%) of UK businesses are concerned about the potential impact Brexit will have on their suppliers and customers, according to new research from R3, the insolvency and restructuring body. The research, a survey of 1,200 senior business financial decision-makers, carried out for R3 by BVA BDRC, found that 11% of businesses have reviewed…

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has commenced an investigation into the audit by EY of the financial statements of Thomas Cook Group for the year ended 30 September 2018. The investigation will be conducted by the FRC’s Enforcement Division under the Audit Enforcement Procedure. The FRC will keep under close review both the scope of…

The Insolvency Service (IS), the executive agency responsible for overall authorisation and regulation of the insolvency profession (including supervising the insolvency regulators) conducted its annual monitoring on the Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA) in April 2019 as is standard protocol in insolvency regulation. The report has now been published and details improvements that the IPA has…

More consultation is needed before the Government progresses plans to change how planes are used in airline insolvencies, R3, the insolvency and restructuring trade body, has warned. On Wednesday (25th September) during a ministerial statement on Thomas Cook, the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Grant Shapps, said: “Firms need to be able…

An investigation by the real estate adviser Altus Group has revealed that, during the last financial year (2018/19), over 78,000 non-domestic properties from shops to restaurants to pubs to factories were referred to Bailiffs to levy ‘distress’ and to seize their goods having fallen into arrears with business rates. Bailiffs are instructed by Councils, once…

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the tour operator has “ceased trading with immediate effect” after winding up orders were made against Thomas Cook Group plc and associated companies. The court appointed the Official Receiver as the Liquidator. The court has appointed Special Managers to assist the Official Receiver with the liquidation. Insolvency Practitioners…

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