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'Critical' Financial Problems Facing 148,000 UK Businesses


Almost 148,000 UK companies are facing ‘significant’ or ‘critical’ financial problems, whilst those with ‘critical’ problems alone are struggling with nearly £53 billion worth of liabilities, according to the latest quarterly Red Flag Alert, issued today by Begbies Traynor, the UK’s leading business recovery specialist.


Insider Trading and Money Laundering: Senior Manager jailed for 27 Months


Neil Rollins, a former senior manager of PM Onboard Limited, a waste industry firm, was today sentenced to 27 months in prison for insider dealing and money laundering. Rollins was also ordered to pay £197,000.66 in confiscation.


Bank Business Lending Continues to Fall


Today the Bank of England released its quarterly ‘Trends in Lending’ statistics. The report revealed that the stock of lending to UK businesses contracted by around £5 billion in the three months to November.


Gross Mortgage Lending Subdued in December


Gross mortgage lending in December was an estimated £11.0 billion, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. This represents a 6% drop from £11.7 billion in November. December was the fourth month in a row where the monthly outturn has been the weakest since 2000 (£10 billion).


Empty Properties Tax Could Tip Businesses into Insolvency, Warns Leading Business Organisation


The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is concerned that small firms that have empty properties could have to pay thousands extra in business rates with changes to the exemption from paying empty property rates due to come into force from April this year.


CPI Inflation Will Hit 4% in Early 2011


Andrew Goodwin, senior economic advisor to the Ernst & Young ITEM Club; and David Kern, chief economist for the British Chambers of Commerce, comment on the latest inflation figures:


Barclays Fined a Record £7.7 million


The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined Barclays Bank plc (Barclays) £7.7 million for failures in relation to the sale of two funds. Barclays will contact customers and pay redress where appropriate.


Financial Regulators to Increase Co-operation on Audit Issues


The Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) have today agreed a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enable a greater degree of co-operation and information exchange between the two regulators.


Tax Return Deadline Approaches


Any outstanding 2009/10 returns must be filed online by 31 January 2011. If you submit your return after this date, you could receive a £100 late-filing penalty.


Higher Producer Price Figures Will Complicate Monetary Policy Committee’s Task


British Chambers of Commerce's David Kern comments on the producer price figures for December published today by the ONS