Business Information
UK Businesses brush off prospect of rate rise – but 1-in-5 would struggle. According to the latest Business Distress Index from R3, while the vast majority of businesses (72%) say they would be unaffected by an interest rate rise, nearly one-in-five (19%) of businesses in the UK say they would be put in financial difficulty. The survey also found that 4% of businesses – equivalent to 77,000 companies – say they would struggle to repay their debts if interest rates were to rise.  To read R3's news release go to
Mid-market firms are essential to the UK's economic recovery. BDO had advised that the UK’s mid-sized businesses (firms with a revenue between £10 million and £300 million) are a thriving area of the UK economy, growing turnover by nearly 55% in the last five years (from £0.65 trillion to £1.02 trillion) and, despite making up only 1% of UK companies in 2014/15, accounting for nearly a third of all private sector turnover and 1 in 4 private sector jobs. Furthermore, in terms of profitability, the UK’s mid-sized firms can boast profits up 110% compared to a FTSE 100 shrinkage of 3%. To read BDO's news release go to
UK economy is resilient against turbulent background. The CBI has advised that the UK economy remains resilient in the face of wider fears for global growth. The CBI’s quarterly forecast reveals solid growth, despite a modest downgrade for 2015, from 2.6% in August to 2.4%. Next year the business group expects the UK economy to grow at 2.6%, down from 2.8%, as a somewhat gloomier global outlook means that net trade will drag on growth. The business group has also unveiled its first forecast for 2017, predicting solid UK growth at 2.4%. To read the CBI's news release go to
Carlsberg enters the FPB's Hall of Shame again. Carlsberg have been entered into the Forum of Private Businesses’ (FPB) Hall of Shame for a record third time after giving their supplier just 14 days to adjust to new payment terms, which were the end of the month plus 93 days. A subsequent letter to the Forum, indicated that Carlsberg was “surprised” that any of their suppliers would complain and advised their suppliers that “parties are free under English law to agree payment terms longer than 60 days”. To read the FPB's news release go to
The legal right UK businesses have to claim late payment compensation is being stymied by a fear of upsetting their customers. A recent survey of credit personnel within small to medium sized businesses by Lovetts has found that 58% would not claim late payment compensation for fear that doing so will upset their customers and lead to loss of business. However, 23% businesses are being paid on average 1-2 months late, 49% are paid within the following month and only 22% get their bills paid within terms. Charles Wilson, Chairman of Lovetts commented: "The perception that action will lead to loss of custom is actually quite far removed from the reality in our experience and as such, it is a real concern that so many businesses live in fear of upsetting their customers by claiming what is rightfully theirs. " To read Lovetts' news release go to
Emerging Europe sees stronger growth ahead, but faces new risks. According to the latest IMF’s Regional Economic Issues report, the regional outlook for Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CESEE) shows a mixed picture this year, as countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) continue to grow at a solid pace, while Russia and other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are in recession. Although growth for the region as a whole is expected to turn positive next year, as CIS economies stabilise and start recovering, risks have shifted to the downside as new risks (decline in the import demand from China, volatility in emerging markets the refugee crisis) have emerged. To read the IMF's news release with a link to the full report go to
Q3 UK insolvency figures decrease. The Insolvency Service has released insolvency statistics for July to September 2015 which show that an estimated total of 3,539 companies entered insolvency in Q3 2015 - 4.4% less than Q2 2015 and 10.2% lower than Q3 2014. Phillip Sykes, president of R3, commented: “The unique conditions of this recovery – low interest rates and creditor forbearance – meant we never saw the traditional post-recession spike in corporate insolvencies. . . According to R3’s most recent membership survey, the most common recent causes of business struggles have been the underperformance of particular products, the failure of long-term business strategy, or a mistake by the business. At the moment, it is more likely that businesses are causing their own problems rather than any particular economy-wide headwind.” To read R3's news release go to
Slump in export growth and confidence dominates Q3 trade outlook. The latest Quarterly International Trade Outlook from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and DHL reveals a drop in both export growth and confidence among UK exporters. While export orders have remained constant for just over half (54%) of UK businesses, and 50% report that export sales have remained the same as in the previous quarter, both have fallen to their lowest level since Q2 2009. The report also finds that confidence in expectations over turnover and profitability have worsened, with 13% reporting that they expect a fall in turnover (from 7% in Q2), and 16% expecting a fall in profits (from 11%). To read the BCC's news release with a link to the full report go to
About this Issue's Sponsor: HCC
HCC International Insurance Company PLC (HCCI) is a subsidiary of HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, with group offices across the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Ireland and Germany.
 HCCI is a UK domiciled specialty insurer with a high ‘AA-’ (Very Strong) rating with Standard & Poor’s, and has successfully developed a book of niche products ranging from Professional Indemnity, Liability, Energy, Credit and Surety through to Film Production and Event Cancellation.
 HCCI’s Credit division is based in Leicester and London and provides the full suite of insurance structures to a wide range of industries, with specific expertise in construction, factoring, paper and publishing, food and drink, recruitment, metals and retail. HCCI’s offering is focused on excellent customer service and clear product wordings delivered through the specialist broker network.
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