UK Business Spotlight 26th October

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Business Spotlight 26th October

As part of our ongoing mission to support UK businesses with innovation and funding, our business spotlight section contains news and resources which your company may find useful.

Banks and Debt Collectors combine to retrieve Bounceback loans

Following the huge £40bn Bounce Back scheme, due to the global pandemic, , banks are turning to debt collectors to assist in the recovery of these loans. UK Finance is outsourcing specialised debt collectors, such as Arrow Global, Capita, and Cabot Credit Management, in the hopes they’ll support the scheme. 

The Financial Times predicts that the task is too onerous for just one company to handle. This is due to the forecast that a great deal of small businesses will run into trouble, increasing the likeliness of fraud and defaults. While the scheme is government-backed, bank must demonstrate they have made a strong effort to receive the money from these small business before they can request the money from government. 

The employment of external debt collectors allows for debt collection to be regulated and credible to ensure an appropriate and sensitive system. In addition to this, the recoveries will begin with loan recipients that have no other outstanding loans from their bank. These business owners will first be contacted by the bank, then by the debt collectors. 

Reclaiming this money from small business must be done sensitively. A number of banks, including Lloyds TSB, RBS, and Nat West, have been accused of poor treatment of small businessses in the past, particularly around the 2008 financial crisis. 

Senior Business Travellers Could Potentially Bypass Quarantine

Recent discussions in the UK government have been surrounding a possible exemption from the 14-day travel quarantine for business travellers in senior positions. Senior Bankers, Deal-Makers, and Executives could all be exempt from travel quarantine restrictions as a means to promote UK business in the Brexit climate.

There is a possibility that self-isolation could be completely void for all senior workers travelling internationally. Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, explains that dropping quarantine for senior business travellers could be a good way to ‘promote global Britain.’ 

Yet, not all MPs are too happy about this idea. Shadow business minister, Lucy Powell, was clear in her opposition to this idea. She explained to The Times that it was a clear example of ministers ‘bending the rules for high net worth individuals rather than ficing their broken test, track, trace and isolate system.’ 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is currently in the process of assessing the policy on international travel. There have been talks of reducing the quarantine time, as a way to gain more compliance from the UK population. 

Marcus Eklund, Global Managing Director for FCM Travel Solutions, explain to Business Travel Magazine why business travellers need to be exempt from quarantine. ‘Business travellers get the deals done and build relationships which drive global trade. That’s going to be even more vital not only in rebuilding the British economy post-pandemic, but also post-Brexit.’ He went on to explain that ‘the Government should consider exempting business travellers from quarantine completely as their risk of contracting the virus is extremely low.’ 

The government is yet to have any official comment on their plans on quarantine time periods and travel quarantine exemptions. 

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