The lessons of the 2008 banking crisis seemed obvious. Economic growth built on the shaky foundations of unsustainable debt was nothing more than a house of cards ready to come crashing down.The lessons of the 2008 banking crisis seemed obvious. Economic growth built on the shaky foundations of unsustainable debt was nothing more than a house of cards ready to come crashing down.

A decade on, it’s hard to make a case that much has changed. On the face of things, there is a renewed mood of optimism that we might be on the verge of good times again. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook upwardly revised its prediction for global economic growth to 3.9 per cent for 2018 and 2019, up 0.2 per cent from its forecast just six months ago

Contractors and SME suppliers in the UK could finally be in line for legal protection from losses in the event of a client collapsing.

In the wake of several high-profile insolvency cases such as that of Carillion, which raised fears that suppliers could be left billions out of pocket in unpaid invoices, the government has launched a review of corporate governance regulations for companies entering insolvency.

The collapse of construction giant Carillion could spell havoc for the UK’s small business economy, the country’s SME trade body has warned.

The massive building services conglomerate has been forced into liquidation with debts in excess of £2bn, putting 20,000 jobs at risk. As a major government contractor, there are immediate concerns over infrastructure and maintenance projects covering schools, hospitals and transport.

Wholesaler Palmer & Harvey has entered administration after failing to restructure significant debts owed to suppliers. The Palmer & Harvey Group, the UK’s fifth-largest privately owned business and the country’s largest tobacco supplier, had been in takeover talks with Carlyle, the private equity firm.

But after talks broke down, directors from several Palmer & Harvey group companies made an application to London’s High Court to enter administration to help ease an increasingly unmanageable debt burden.

New figures have revealed that UK construction contractors have been hit by £700 million in cash retention losses caused by insolvencies in the past three years.

The figures, which come from a report commissioned by the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), have rightly been described as ‘shocking’ by the trade body the SEC Group.

The SEC claims that the brunt of those losses have been borne by small sub-contractors who, sitting further down the feeding chain, are less likely to recover monies owed to them if a client or main contractor goes bust.

After Monarch went bankrupt and left thousands of passengers stranded, it looks like Air Berlin, the second largest German airline, looks likely to be the next carrier to close down operations.

While Air Berlin is fizzing out slowly, in contrast to Monarch’s overnight collapse, as many as 9,000 redundancies are expected once it finally winds up with many small and medium sized suppliers braced for significant losses.

It is every supplier’s worst nightmare. You have finally secured a lucrative contract with a big name global brand, giving you what feels like a sense of security and assurance for future earnings.

Then, all of a sudden, the unthinkable happens - the company goes bust. From a position of relative comfort, you now find yourself at the back of a long queue chasing unpaid invoices you may well never recover.

Depending on how reliant your business is on that one big client, you could easily find yourself in jeopardy too, unable to absorb the loss.

Reports that Canadian subscription box supplier Nerd Block has gone to the wall is bad news for an army of suppliers waiting on months of unpaid invoices.

Subscription boxes are big business, and the market is growing by the day. With the success of major brands such as Loot Crate charging £20 or more for a monthly box of goodies delivered to your door, similar companies have sprung up around the world.

Vertu Corporation Limited, the well-known British manufacturer of luxury smartphones, has finally filed for insolvency after being passed between owners since 2012.

The company was known for its spangly, jewel-encrusted handsets which came with equally ludicrous price tags. Its entry-level handset cost a cool £6,500; prices stretched to more than £250,000 for the garish Vertu Signature Cobra.

The UK’s supermarket watchdog has published its annual grocery code compliance list, naming and shaming supermarkets for poor treatment of suppliers and other breaches of the industry code of practice.The UK’s supermarket watchdog has published its annual grocery code compliance list, naming and shaming supermarkets for poor treatment of suppliers and other breaches of the industry code of practice.

This year, Asda has secured the dubious honour of having the poorest relationship with its suppliers, leapfrogging its West Yorkshire rival Morrisons which topped the shame list last year. Iceland, meanwhile, was ranked worst for overall compliance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice in the past year.

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