NEWS

The latest from Balance for Business

High street banks charge small firms 20% interest

Big banks are charging some business customers more than 20% in interest — despite receiving billions in taxpayer support to ramp up lending, new research reveals. NatWest and Santander are the most expensive of the big five high street lenders, according to the financial information start-up DueDil. NatWest, owned by taxpayer-controlled RBS, charges up to […]

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HMRC targets small businesses in tax avoidance crackdown

Small business owners have been urged to improve their record keeping, as a new report reveals HMRC has tightened its grip on tax avoidance by increasing investigations into the UK’s smallest firms. Research from accounting group UHY Hacker Young revealed HMRC collected an additional £474m in corporation tax from small business owners as a result of investigations in […]

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One in 8 ready to quit pension scheme

Research by Aviva indicates that one in eight workers are considering leaving their workplace pension scheme when contributions rise in April. Five percent of an employee’s salary will be required to be paid into their pension from next April, rising to 8% in 2019, but there are concerns that the increases could lead to more […]

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Government to ease tax on asset managers to boost post-Brexit Britain

The Treasury has issued an Investment Management Strategy II paper, intended to support the country’s £8.1tn asset management industry. The paper says the government recognises the importance of the UK’s tax and regulatory systems in facilitating growth post-Brexit and will consult on maintaining the UK’s competitiveness in the asset management industry, including changing the tax […]

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Housebuilders issue Brexit plea

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has said one in six builders are from the EU as it called for a permit system for skilled workers to build more homes and ease the housing crisis. The federation highlighted a survey of 37,000 housebuilding workers across Britain which shows that 17.7% are from the EU. More than […]

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Small firms fear bank branch closures

RBS is to close 259 branches, provoking concerns about a lack of support for small businesses. FSB chairman Mike Cherry said access to cash was “a big issue” for trade in thousands of towns and villages, especially in rural areas. Andy Willox, Scottish policy convener of the FSB, added: “Ultimately, these changes will make it more […]

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Check out the Fast Track 100

The Sunday Times has published the 21st annual Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table, a ranking of Britain’s private companies with the fastest growing sales. Introducing the list, Richard Branson notes that the 100 firms’ combined sales grew by an average of 65% a year over the past three years, from £860m to £3.9bn. Companies also more […]

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Rural businesses ‘unprepared’ for Brexit

Many small rural businesses are not preparing adequately for the impact of Brexit, according to Scotland’s National Council of Rural Advisors. The panel, which was set up to advise the Scottish Government on rural policy, said a smaller labour pool will increase competition for workers, increasing costs – particularly for family firms.   Click here […]

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Penalty system for late tax returns to be reformed

Automatic £100 fines for filing tax returns late will be scrapped under Treasury plans and replaced with a driving licence-style points system where fines are paid after four points are accrued. HMRC sources said the changes were part of a new “holistic” approach from the taxman to go after “people who really don’t care about […]

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SME confidence ‘at eight-year high’

The SME sector is registering its strongest performance levels in eight years, according to Sebastian Burnside, senior economist at Royal Bank of Scotland. Speaking during a visit to Yorkshire Mr Burnside said SME growth was one of the key reasons that the UK’s economic performance had been better than anticipated in recent months. “There is […]

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