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Airbus lead the way

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Airbus have welcomed the british governments amended approach to brexit and after last weeks timely warnings we should not be surprised. My view was that the story of possible job losses and disinvestment came about at a very convenient time for a number of parties, not least the PM. Collusion? Who knows but it would certainly not be a surprise.

But what may well be overlooked in the flurry of current events is the following significant statement

The UK government now appears to be moving in the right direction on Brexit and the EU should be “similarly pragmatic and fair”, according to Airbus chief executive Tom Enders.

Has Airbus taken control of brexit? Maybe not but the message certainly isn’t fired in one direction

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Uncategorized

KPMG under pressure

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The regulators may at last be keeping true to their word and digging deeper to examine the actions of the big four accountancy firms and their “audits”.

KPMG state that in this particular case they are “disappointed” but perhaps not as disappointed as lenders and (more importantly) unsecured creditors ?

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Guest blog on GDPR

From my friend Tony Groom of K2 partners who are leaders in the turnaround sector

https://www.k2-partners.com/smes-approach-marketing-post-gdpr/

Categories: Uncategorized

KPMG. Let off too lightly

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According to the FRC, which is itself under heavy pressure to demonstrate a tougher approach to monitoring the audit market, half of KPMG’s audits of FTSE 350 clients required “more than limited improvements”.

Half?

This is outrageous. How many other professions would get away with such shoddy performance? The big four auditing firms are a huge problem and it is past the point of slaps on the wrist and “warnings”. A new book covers this very subject and I anticipate posting a review sometime soon but the key is what action should be taken?

In view of the above regulators comment then surely the firm should be stripped of its audit licence for a set period of time (five years?) and the responsible partners banned for the same period of time.

Their seedy craven behaviour has led to any number of suppliers and customers being hammered by the collapse of firms (Carillon) who were trading illegaly

Auditing has to be opened up to firms outside of the cartel

This is a subject I will be returning to

Categories: Uncategorized

Clydesdale to Virgin. Why???

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When many of us think of Richard Branson’s businesses we think of Virgin Media with its dated websites and quite shocking customer service. We also think of the train company which is the only one I know to pettily charge for wifi usage (might surprise many to know that the best wifi is on Southern). We do not buy into its self image of being ever so cool and customer friendly. Tacky is a word that springs to mind.

Virgin, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank are about to merge under a banner of CYBG. It is said that the whole group will rebrand under the Virgin label in a bid to win new customers. I wonder…

Clydesdale are a bank with whom i have had some excellent dealings and their staff are generally very high quality. As a banking brand, I would suggest they are as strong as you will find in the UK and are most certainly well respected (from experience I cannot comment on Yorkshire bank, but I have not been aware of negatives). They are strong in the SME business banking market and this is crucial to the future because I simply find it difficult to see my clients instinctively taking “Virgin Money” particularly seriously, especially given that another rather noisy consumer driven challenger bank has gained quite a poor reputation in the business sector.

Clydesdale and Yorkshire have been shunted around for years and probably underachieved as a result but the brand name is still good and there is genuine goodwill towards banks just outside of the major players. Whether that goodwill extends to Richard Bransons branding is a different matter

I would suggest that they think this through carefully

Categories: Uncategorized

Are the big lenders losing interest in invoice financing?

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With one notable exception, the major banks appear to be pulling away from invoice finance. Naturally they will never publicly admit a lack of interest or appetite to lend so its down to the broker to ascertain the market through their actions as well as information on their behaviour within current clients. I have become aware of a number of very interesting recent case studies

With a couple of the major lenders the attitude towards SMEs and invoice financing has changed markedly in recent months. Prices have been raised and more significantly, little effort is being made to keep clients seeking to move. With that mindset you can be assured that service will not be a priority but perhaps even more importantly, borrowers will not be obtain the leeway and flexibility that is often required in invoice financing.

When you or your client wins significant new business, the support of the lender can be crucial. Also there may be times which are a little difficult due to seasonality or simply cashflow.

The other side of the coin is that the independent lenders are as hungry as ever and they know that they have to deliver.

Remember that there are over 50 lenders in the market. Many brokers will not explore all the options but you or your client can be assured that that is my guarantee.

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60 Bank branches closing a month

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The figure suprised me too. Not surprising that branches are closing and frankly many have little real purpose now but the rate is extraordinarily high. It is also interesting to note the variations between one bank and another. Barclays are certainly intent on a slower rate of closures

 

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Categories: Uncategorized