The Competition and Markets Authority is launching a campaign to raise awareness and clamp down on illegal cartels who cheat customers by forcing up prices. The CMA’s research found that just 57% of firms knew that fixing prices was illegal and almost half thought it was legal to discuss prices with competing bidders when quoting for new work. The campaign is specifically targeting industries including construction, estate agents and property management and maintenance, which were identified as being particularly susceptible to cartels.

Financial Times, Page: 2 The Herald The Independent, Page: 67

Posted 22/10/2018

The Environment Secretary has said he will urgently consider calls for a “Natasha’s Law” to improve food labelling after the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse. The 15-year-old suffered a fatal allergic reaction to a Pret A Manger sandwich that failed to highlight sesame as an ingredient. Michael Gove said: “Of course we’ve got high food standards, but we’ve got to make sure we never have a case like this again.” The Mail reports that Pret routinely puts allergy stickers on food it donates to the homeless prompting questions as to why it doesn’t do the same for the paying public. The family’s lawyer, Jill Paterson, of Leigh Day, said: “Simple labels show at a glance what allergens are contained in the food. This is common sense. This could be done by large food businesses quickly and shouldn’t need a change in the law, particularly when you are talking about a matter of life or death.”

Daily Express, Page: 4 Daily Mail, Page: 4 The Sun, Page: 8, 26 Daily Mirror, Page: 17 The Times, Page: 20

Posted 02/10/2018

 

French minister of state Delphine Gény-Stephann writes in City AM that Paris is creating an international commercial court that will apply common law and work in English. The court’s judgments will be enforceable throughout the EU.

City AM, Page: 17

Posted 12/07/2018

 

A new PPI bill could threaten British banks after a court ruling that even if a PPI policy was not mis-sold, buyers may still be able to claim because the commissions paid were excessively high. Simon Evans, chief executive of the Alliance of Claims Companies, remarked: “This ruling is hugely significant and sets a new precedent”.

The Guardian, Page: 22 City AM, Page: 3 The Times, Page: 44

Posted 03/07/2018

A report from Oliver Wyman and Clifford Chance has estimated that a move to World Trade Organization trading rules after leaving the European Union would cost around £27bn for UK exporters. The firms calculated the cost to UK exporters from tariffs, customs declarations, product certifications and border delays under WTO rules and found Britain’s small businesses are most at risk.

City AM, Page: 6 The Times, Page: 13

Philip Hammond has brought forward a cut to businesses rates meaning from April 2018 rates will rise in line with the lower CPI measure of inflation, not the RPI. Business rates were due to go up next year in line with September’s RPI of 3.9%, while CPI was 3% that month. The move is worth £2.3bn to businesses over the next five years, the Chancellor said. Mr Hammond also promised a change in the law that led earlier this year to companies receiving much higher rates bills if their offices were in communal blocks and spread over several floors or separated by corridors shared with other occupiers.

BBC News Independent i, Page: 15 Financial Times, Page: 8 The Sun, Page: 10 The Times, Page: 9 The Daily Telegraph, Budget 2017, Page: 3

Posted 23/11/2017

 

 

RBS has settled a case with businessman Stuart Wall, who accused the bank of mis-selling an interest rate swap. He lodged a claim worth about £670m after his firm collapsed into administration in 2013. The case “has been settled without any admission of liability by the bank. The terms of the settlement are confidential,” a statement said.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 26   The Times, Page: 48

Posted 24/08/2017

Emergency services are set to face a £113.6m business rates tax increase over five years, new data reveals. Police stations will be hardest hit, with police chiefs across England and Wales needing to find an extra £60m. Jerry Schurder, head of business rates at Gerald Eve, suggested that a particular impact of the omission is that local authorities will no longer be given the powers to reduce business rates locally: “Firms will be furious that, despite their protestations earlier in the year and government promises of action, there will be no reform of a rating system desperately in need of modernisation,” he said.

BBC News

Posted 23/06/2017

 

 

 

New data protection rules coming into force next May will change how companies are required to process information, such as customer lists and employee records. But a survey of more than 1,000 small companies, commissioned by Irwin Mitchell, found that 78% had not heard of the new rules, while 86% were not aware of the threat of fines. Only 11% had started preparing for it. Matthew Pryke, partner at Hamlins, said: “Too many businesses are complacent. Those who leave it to chance and don’t prepare now could be left high and dry if the ICO finds that businesses breach regulations.” The FSB warns the new rules will add to costs for SMEs and has called on the government to launch an awareness campaign over the summer.

The Times, Page: 51 

Posted 20/06/2017