Businesses struggle to access credit despite the governments multi-billion package

According to an association of accounting firms, SMEs are still struggling to access credit despite business secretary Lord Mandelson’s multi-billion package to unblock the credit market.

Safeguard your business from the risk of bad debt

In the current turbulent economic conditions, it is crucial that businesses police new customers and monitor the performance of existing ones to guard against the risk of bad debt.

More businesses are actively considering moving their tax residence

The number of companies thinking of shifting their tax base away from the UK has more than doubled since 2007, KPMG’s annual survey of tax competitiveness has found.

A reflection of declining levels of service offered by banks

Small businesses are increasingly seeking financial help from accountants rather than their bank on account of declining levels of customer service, the Forum of Private Business claims.

Burden on SMEs impacts on profitability

New research reveals small businesses in the UK are devoting more than a sixth of their overall expenditure to meeting tax requirements.

European model could become more commonplace
The UK property market could be heading towards the European model where it is commonplace for people to rent, as opposed to buy somewhere to live. So what should landlords consider to maximise future rental incomes?

Standard variable rate
Your repayments have the potential go up and down in line with any Bank of England base rate changes.

Figures published last December by the Land Registry, showed house prices fell 12.2 per cent in the 12 months to November.
The official data put the average house price at £161,883 in November, a fall of 1.9 per cent on the month before. This puts house prices at February 2006 levels.

Significant population movements across the UK
Figures released by Halifax Bank of Scotland on January 8, 2009, have revealed 2.2 million people moved to the South-East in the last decade. The figures also showed how, during the same period, some 1.6 million people moved to London from elsewhere in the UK, and almost 2 million people moved out of London to other parts of the UK.

The lowest interest rate level since 1694
The Bank of England cut its official base rate for the fourth month in a row as it attempts to shore up the economy. For the first time since 1694 interest rates have fallen below 2 per cent. On January 8, 2009 interest rates were cut to 1.5 per cent, the fourth time since October last year.

Hamptons International, the UK residential agent, have produced a list of ‘positives’ for why this year shouldn’t be all doom and gloom in the property sector, and outlined why 2009 might not be as bad as we all think.

Further base rate cuts and other measures needed to curb the drop in prices
Property prices in London fell by 13.3 per cent last year, compared with an average across the UK of 12.8 per cent, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) house price poll-of-polls, commissioned by Chesterton, the estate agent.

Economic conditions drive market fortunes
According to the Knight Frank Prime Central London Index, the number of £1 million plus sales of London homes was down 49 per cent in 2008. Properties costing £1 million to £2.5 million have been hit hardest and are 22 per cent down on their March 2008 peak.

Underlying factors in the recovery of the market
The Nationwide’s, chief economist, Fionnuala Earley, form Britain’s largest building society, believes the housing market predictions for 2009 are unrealistic in such a fickle climate and may even add to uncertainty.

New rules aimed at helping struggling homeowners
Mortgage lenders will have to prove they have tried to help struggling homeowners avoid losing their property, under new rules brought in by the government on October 22, 2008 aimed at reducing repossessions.