LSBF Blog - Global Matters

Confidence in UK economy grows following low unemployment

December 23 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The UK economy is improving following lower unemployment numbers and improved wage growth. According to the Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report, “perception of employment situation and own job security” increased in November, corresponding with a seven year low in the unemployment rate.

The report also showed lower figures for spending growth, with spending in November being 1.6% lower than it was at the same time in 2014. Recently, concerns have been voiced over Britain’s high streets as sales hit a low. However, recent figures did show that retail sales growth exceeded expectations in November. 

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SMEs vital for growth of UK economy, shows research

December 23 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

SMEs are vital for the growth of the UK economy, according to Alex Hazell of the SME-focused bank Aldermore. Hazell discussed the topic of SMEs seeking funding in a blog post, stating that they face a “plethora of challenges” when it comes to funding business growth.

Despite this, figures from the Federation of Small Businesses show that 99% of the estimated 5.4 businesses in the UK private sector are SMEs. 

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Petition launched to scrap digital tax plans

December 22 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

A petition has been launched to scrap plans to transform the tax system. The new system will see self-employed individuals and small businesses having to update their tax accounts digitally four times a year instead of filing just one return.

The changes were outlined by the HMRC and MP David Gauke last week in an online report, titled “Making Tax Digital”, and described an outline of how the “bold vision” of the transformation of the tax system will be achieved by 2020. 

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Business leader Sarah McVittie offers advice on entrepreneurship

December 22 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

Sarah McVittie has offered advice to budding entrepreneurs in her latest column for Elite Business magazine. The entrepreneur shared her experiences of running a start-up, stating that she learned what she should and shouldn’t do when running and growing a business at the same time.

McVittie runs Dressipi, a fashion tech start-up that is based in London, with co-founder Donna Kelly. She brings shareholding and sales experience to the business, while Kelly focuses on the products. 

 

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Number of small businesses accessing finance rises, shows report

December 22 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

The number of small businesses obtaining finance for development has risen in the past year, according to figures from Albion Ventures’ third Albion Growth report. The report showed that 44% of small businesses were approved for development finance in 2015, compared to 27% in 2014.

Out of the 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses studied for the survey, research showed that 29% were seeking finance for new equipment, 24% for the development of new products and 17% for research and development. 

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Important bodies in the world of accountancy

December 21 ,2015 | by LSBF Blog Staff

As with any long-established and widely-respected field, there are many different official and semi-official bodies in the accountancy sector with large numbers of members that influence the industry. Here are the best known and most important of them.

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Free trade talks resume between EU and India

December 20 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Discussions aimed at working out a bilateral free trade agreement between the EU and India will start up again in January, senior EU officials have announced.

The EU's new ambassador to India, Tomasz Kozlowski, told reporters that negotiations will take place next month, and a date is being arranged for the next India-EU summit, which will be held in the first half of the year.

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KPMG now ranks as the Big Four's smallest firm

December 19 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

A drop in profits has seen KPMG fall to fourth place in the 'Big 4' grouping of the accountancy sector's most famous firms.

Its UK profit falling 7% for its last financial year means that the company is now behind rivals EY when it comes to revenues, making KPMG the smallest operator out of its peer group.

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US Fed interest rate rise welcomed by international stock markets

December 18 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

In the wake of the US central bank increasing interest rates for the first time since 2006, stock markets around the world have rallied and welcomed the news.

The FTSE 100 index in the UK rose by 1.5%, and the main share indexes in Germany and France increased even more, with Frankfurt's Dax going up by more than 3%, while the Cac 40 in Paris saw a 2.4% boost.

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Bonus pot doubles for UK accountants

December 18 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Accountants in the UK are likely to share a bonus pot of up to £4 billion this year, according to research from recruiter Marks Sattin.

This would be double the figure that was paid out a year ago. In addition, 81% of the accountants who took part in the poll said they expected to get a bonus - an increase from 55% last year.

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HMRC gets £8.1m in UK corporation tax from Starbucks

December 18 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

The UK arm of multinational coffee chain Starbucks has handed over £8.1m in corporation tax to the Treasury in 2015 after changing the complex tax structures that had seen it pay a similar sum in total over its first 14 years of operations in the UK.

The company bowed to pressure and relocated its European HQ to the UK after research in 2012 had revealed that the multinational had only paid £8.6m in tax on £3bn in sales since 1998.

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ICAEW warns pensioners about risks of secondary annuity market

December 17 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has issued a warning to anyone thinking of selling their retirement income stream under the new changes to the laws governing the annuity market.

The government's newly-unveiled secondary annuity market might end up only being of benefit to a handful of people and could leave many more out of pocket, according to the accountants group.

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Businesses will pay out “more than £1bn” for National Living Wage

December 17 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

The introduction of the National Living Wage next year is likely to cost UK businesses more than £1bn, according to Government advisors.

The change to the minimum wage laws will mean that companies will have to pay out £804.4m in extra wages and staff costs if estimates by Government advisory body the Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) are correct.

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10p introductory level for Scottish Rate of Income Tax

December 17 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

The new Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT), which marks a major overhaul of the UK tax system, won't actually affect those living in the country when it is introduced next year.

Scottish resident taxpayers will still be paying the same as their counterparts in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland after Scotland’s finance minister John Swinney set the rate at 10 per cent.

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Video: Great Minds Series - LSBF interviews Ian Pittaway, Senior Partner at Sacker & Partners LLP

December 16 ,2015 | by LSBF Blog Staff

In an interview with London School of Business and Finance (LSBF), Ian Pittaway, Senior Partner of Sacker & Partners LLP, said he believes that the pensions sector will face new challenges because of a continually rising life expectancy.

Speaking with Nadim Choudhury, LSBF’s Head of Career Services & Employability at as part of the LSBF Great Minds series, Mr Pittaway discussed the issues that will affect the pensions sector in the near future.

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Materiality and governance should be focus of 2015 annual reports, says FRC

December 16 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has written a letter to audit committee chairs in larger listed companies to highlight areas they want directors to focus on in annual reports.

The move, which comes ahead of the reporting season, puts an emphasis on corporate governance and reporting risks that a company may be exposed to as part of a process of disclosure.

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UK house prices are increasing faster, reveals ONS

December 16 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

October saw annual house prices increase at a faster rate for the third month in a row, according to the latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, the news came with a warning that there could be a surge in buy-to-let purchases before April when new regulations covering landlords come into force, which may have serious knock-on effects for the wider UK economy.

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£80.5bn tax bill paid by big UK business, analysis shows

December 16 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

The Treasury's coffers gained £80.5bn in tax contributions from big business in the UK this year, according to analysis by Big 4 firm PwC.

The report, which was made for the 100 Group of finance directors, noted that companies are paying higher rates of tax in spite of the continued reduction in the rate of corporation tax.

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HMRC launches personal tax accounts

December 15 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has officially launched the new system of personal tax accounts that will lead to the end for annual tax returns.

The new accounts will offer greater flexibility to taxpayers and be similar to online banking, says the authority.

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Fall in confidence will hit UK economic growth, says ICAEW

December 15 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) expects the UK economy to have grown by 2.4% this year before slowing to 2.1% in 2016.

The accountancy body warns that a slowdown in the wider economy could undermine Government plans for public spending and the aim to hit a budget surplus by 2020.

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‘Stealth tax’ will cost contractors £16.6bn, shows research

December 15 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Contractors in the UK will suffer under new plans to scrap tax relief on travel and subsistence expenses, claims a national accountancy firm.

Research by Danbro shows that more than one and a half million workers could be affected, leading to negative effects for the continued growth of the UK economy.

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Four qualities essential for graduates to become successful entrepreneurs

December 14 ,2015 | by Prof Maurits Van Rooijen

In the US, graduation is called ‘commencement’, as it is perceived as the beginning of the rest of your life. The end of study, the start of reality.

For many, commencement - or indeed graduation - marks the beginning of the traditional job hunt season for thousands of people. Of course, there is always the option to startup your own business, however, to be a successful entrepreneur, academic knowledge and professional skills alone are not enough. In my eyes, there are three main ingredients for entrepreneurial success.

 

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Invoice malware warning for finance departments

December 14 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Unsolicited email attachments in the form of unpaid invoices could pose a danger to finance departments, cybersecurity analyst Graham Cluley has warned.

The threat is part of a malware campaign being waged by hackers and online criminals who are targeting businesses computer accounting systems.

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Wear and tear allowance for landlords reformed in Finance Bill 2016

December 13 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The draft legislation announced in clauses of the Finance Bill 2016 confirms that new rules will operate in regard to the wear and tear allowance for let property.

Clause 40 of the Bill and its accompanying schedule shows that the allowance will be replaced by a deduction for the replacement of furniture for both corporate landlords and for individual landlords who let residential property that is not a qualifying furnished holiday letting business.

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Bank of England votes to hold rates at 0.5%

December 11 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The nine member Bank of England panel that decides the interest rate have voted to leave it unchanged at 0.5%.

The members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted 8-1 to keep things as they were and also predicted that inflation in the UK would remain below 1% until the second half of 2016.

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