At the start of September, the pound fell to its lowest level since the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum result in 2016. On that occasion, its value quickly rallied as markets and currency exchanges adjusted to the new political reality. This time, with the UK in a state of political turmoil and a no-deal Brexit looking ever more likely come 31st October, there are concerns Sterling could endure at its weakest value in 35 years for the forseeable future.
A weak pound means a weak economy. Forget all attempts to dress it up otherwise. And on the front line feeling the sharp edge of its effects are the small businesses trading overseas which are having to deal with eroding margins and turbulence in their supply chains.
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.
While economic growth continues to be sluggish at home, plenty of UK businesses are finding opportunities to do business abroad.
Latest figures show that UK exports outside the EU are enjoying a surge. They rose by an impressive 8.3 per cent in 2016 to a value of £311.6 billion, compared with exports to the EU amounting to £235.9 billion.
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.
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.
A fine example of how not to carry out debt collection appeared in Singapore newspapers this week after three men were jailed for their part in a farcical incident.
Andra Chew Keng Leng, 40, Lim Boon Tiong, 43, and David Tan, 37, all employees of a debt recovery firm called Double Ace Associates, were sent with three colleagues to collect a debt from a food stall owner at Singapore’s Funan Digitalife Mall.
In the current political climate, you can hardly move for hearing talk about borders, trade agreements, slamming shut doors and opening the windows of opportunity.
But let’s face it, for many in business, such talk is a mere distraction. Money talks, and the world is just one big open market of opportunity. Wherever a deal can be done or an investment can be made, business will follow.
Irish courts are experiencing sharp spike in the number of cases linked to international debt collection. A recent flurry of media coverage has brought attention to the operations of so-called ‘vulture funds’ as they apparently step up debt recovery in Ireland.
Vulture funds are financial organisations such as investment trusts, private equity firms and hedge funds which look for opportunities to make a profit from debt collection. They buy up debts at a discounted rate from organisations which no longer wish to be liable for them and then seek to recover more than they paid.
The scourge of unpaid invoices threatening the survival of small and medium sized businesses is an international problem. In Australia, things have got so bad that some companies are turning to desperate debt collection methods to try to recover money owed to them.
As a new report revealed that the average Australian business is typically owed £23,000 in outstanding invoices, one industry spokesman suggested hard pressed firms are ready to return to an old and infamous solution - biker gangs.
They call it the greatest show on Earth. With 11,000 athletes from 207 countries taking part in 306 events, the 2016 Rio Olympics did not disappoint in terms of size, delivering a mammoth festival of sport unrivalled by anything else on the planet. But with mammoth size comes mammoth challenge, namely the gigantic task of organising and running the show. Staging the greatest show on Earth demands one of the biggest logistical operations - and a truly global effort.
If a French client owes you money, you can apply a certain amount of pressure to encourage payment, and many clients will pay up eventually. But in some cases, you’ll need to instruct a lawyer in France to collect the money you’re owed.
Debt collection in France is a slightly different procedure, compared to debt collection in the UK. This blog provides a rough guide to your options and the types of court action you could bring.
French courts will uphold court judgements made in other parts of the EU and, in some cases, outside the EU as well. For the purposes of this article, we are referring only to court action taking place in France against clients who live and work there.
When you work with a company in the same country, you have a common legal framework that links you and its a relatively simple process to track down errant debtors if payment problems occur. Dealing with clients overseas is more hazardous, and the risks can catch out many small businesses. Here are some practical tips that can prevent significant problems when dealing with overseas clients.
Greece's government has imposed capital controls and closed banks until after a July 5 referendum on a deal with European creditors.
The following information is provided for any company concerned about customers based in Greece and the impact the capital controls will have on their cashflow in the short term. This guide covers basic credit control information, if you have customers already behind on payment arrangements allowing further credit is at best ill-advised.
If you deal with customers in the Americas - including not just the USA, but also Canada, Mexico and Brazil - you should be aware of the increased likelihood of a very late payment becoming an uncollectable bad debt.
According to a report from credit insurers Atradius, a whopping 52% of the most overdue payments in the region are simply never collected, compared with 35% in Europe.