Banks To Be Forced To Refund Victims Of Fraud

Banks could be forced to refund all victims of fraud in plans being proposed by the payments regulator, even retrospectively, if mandatory refund rules are introduced. There has been a rise of more than 36pc in complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) this year compared to 2019 concerning how banks have dealt with victims … Read more

How SMEs Can Best Prepare For Post-Brexit Trading

Across the UK, many SMEs are still unaware of the need to prepare to do business with the EU after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31. As a sense of panic sets in, businesses are realising how much they need to take on board. Katrina McWhinnie, of the McWhinnie Consultancy, who gives advice … Read more

UK Govt Lowers Gigabit Broadband Target To 85%

Plans to roll out gigabit broadband to every home in the UK have been regarded as highly ambitious, but is the decision to reduce the target to 85pc the right call? Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced last week, as part of a broader spending review, that the erstwhile plans for 100% coverage of gigabit broadband by … Read more

PM Targets High Spending To Boost Recovery Prospects

PM Boris Johnson’s strategy is to pursue high levels of spending in order to stimulate a strong recovery, despite warnings from Chancellor Rishi Sunak over the budget deficit. Although it has been a terrible year so far, with more than 54,000 deaths from Covid-19, the latest economic forecasts, due out on Wednesday, will show the … Read more

£3bn Home Grants Scheme Stalls Weeks After Launch

The process of accreditation is discouraging builders and installers from joining the home grants scheme to improve the energy efficiency of homes in England. Tradesmen are failing to sign up to the Government’s plan to insulate draughty homes, leaving thousands of households unable to apply for the £3bn green home grants. The scheme, offering up … Read more

Self-Employed Warned Of Tax Sting In SEISS Schemes

SEISS, aka the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, was extended last week to provide ongoing support, although those working for themselves have been warned of the tax implications of the scheme. SEISS was implemented earlier in the year as the impact of the coronavirus, especially of the lockdown, began to be felt by the self-employed. Initially … Read more

Financial Support For Self-Employed ‘Being Considered’

As England prepares to enter a second lockdown on Thursday, Michael Gove, Minister for the Cabinet Office, has hinted that the self-employed could be given additional financial support. The support would last for the duration of the new national lockdown and comes after the furlough scheme, which had been due to end in October, was … Read more

SME Housebuilders Forecast Lower Growth

A majority of SME housebuilders have forecast lower growth due to the pandemic, a new survey by the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and Close Brothers Property Finance reveals. Overall, 65pc of SME housebuilders have forecast subdued growth. 39pc of these predict business will fall by 10-50pc, while 26pc expect a reduction in the region of … Read more

Banks To End Free Accounts If Rates Turn Negative

Banks could start charging for basic services if interest rates turn negative, the boss of Virgin Money has warned. CEO David Duffy said, to test which services customers would be willing to pay for, banks would make ‘slow and incremental’ changes over the next three to five years. He added that although a decision will … Read more

Sunak’s New Plan To Protect Firms Forced To Close

On Friday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an expansion of the job support scheme to protect workers and firms forced to close during coronavirus lockdowns this winter. The development comes against a background of slowing economic growth, new government restrictions and increasing job losses as the first furlough scheme is about to come to an end, … Read more