SMEs and accessing finance
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are struggling to access finance and working capital, according to a report published by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
The ACCA’s data showed that small firms are struggling to access finance for a range of reasons, including rising interest rates. 57% of firms reported that borrowing in order to manage cashflow has proven more difficult over the last quarter when compared to the previous 12 months.
47% stated that supplier credit is now harder to access, and 27% said that accessing support from HMRC’s Time to Pay initiative is harder.
Small firms also found late payment to be a ‘persistent problem’ in the UK, creating barriers for cashflow throughout supply chains and leading to adverse consequences for some businesses.
Internet link: ACCA website
HMRC re claiming Child Trust Fund cash
HMRC has urged almost 430,000 young people with an unclaimed Child Trust Fund (CTF) to claim their cash.
CTFs are tax-free savings accounts that were created for every child born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011. The government contributed an initial deposit of at least £250. Family and friends can contribute up to a maximum of £9,000 in any one year into an existing CTF account.
CTF accounts began to mature in September 2020 when the first children turned 18.
HMRC revealed that there are currently 5.3 million open CTF accounts, and that more than 500,000 matured CTF accounts have been claimed or transferred into an ISA since September 2020.
Cash payments on the increase
The number of payments made with cash rose for the first time in a decade in 2022, according to data published by UK Finance.
According to UK Finance, the total number of payments made last year increased to 45.7 billion from 40.4 billion in 2021. 50% of all payments in the UK were made using debit cards, and the number of cash payments rose to 6.4 billion.
Adrian Buckle, Head of Research at UK Finance, said:
‘During 2022 we saw increased use of contactless, online banking and mobile payments, although cost-of-living challenges meant that some people preferred to use cash to help with their budgeting.