Latest News Summary

GDPR Aide Memoire for Sole Traders and Small Businesses

As sole traders and owners of a small business return to our desks at the dawn of 2019, it is time to review our Data Protection requirements.  The new EU rule, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became law in May 2018, there is still a great deal of confusion at SME and sole trader level. Many small businesses do not have the time or resources to ensure they fully comply with the new GDPR

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Christmas Opening Hours

We would like to thank all our loyal clients, introducers and partners for working with us in 2018. Christmas Opening Hours:Friday 21st                     9am to 1pmChristmas Eve               9am to 1pmChristmas Day                         ClosedBoxing Day                            

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Easy access to Unsecured Business Loans for instant working capital

Almost all businesses will need to borrow money at some point in their life.  Whether you are a brand new Start up business looking for some working capital to establish yourself, or a large established business exploring new markets or need to fund the cost of that new contract. Whilst your bank may be willing to look at assisting you up to a certain point, once past their comfort zone the barrier goes up or

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Buy-to-Let Landlords facing re-mortgage issues

Many buy-to-let landlords with two and three year fixed deals that are coming to an end at the moment and early 2019 are facing difficulties in their quest to remortgage their property.

A number of landlords obtained two or three year fixed rate mortgages in March 2016, looking to avoid the 3% surcharge being introduced for new buy-to-let and second home acquisitions a month later.

As the end of these existing deals is rapidly approaching, it is evident that many landlords will struggle to refinance.  Many will therefore automatically be transferred on to the standard variable rate set by their lenders, which tends to be significantly more expensive.

Why, I only want to Re-mortgage at the same level?

Compared to two years ago when the attractive mortgage deals were agreed, there are now much tighter lender criteria that may prevent landlords from securing new deals.

With a significant lack of refinancing options and the difficulty in finding the finances that they need, Greg May, director of financial services at Romans, is among those that believes many landlords will now exit the private rented sector.

May said: “Landlords who bought before the stamp duty increase in 2016, are not only at risk of overpaying by being automatically transferred to the lender’s standard variable rate product, but may also find securing a new deal increasingly difficult due to the changes in mortgage lending criteria.”

May added: “Landlords who borrowed at the higher end of the loan to value threshold are likely to feel the changes to lending criteria the most.  “Those who are unable to remortgage may be able to transfer onto a different product with their current lender but this does mean that their options are extremely limited.

“Ideally, landlords want to be able to pick between a number of different products from a variety of lenders in order to find the right deal for their circumstance.”

The team at Elite Corporate Solutions have access to a broad range of lenders who offer flexibility for landlords who are looking to re-mortgage at the end of a fixed term loan and can help save you thousands of pounds.

Please contact a member of the team on 01482 635400 or click here to leave your details and a member of the team will contact you to review your Buy-to-Let mortgage. 

Welcome – April 2018

…to our first newsletter of 2018

As the implementation of GDPR approaches on the 25th May 2018, we are keen to keep the conversation going with our key professional colleagues and would like to ask you to confirm your subscription to our mailing list.

Please click the link below and tick your preferences before clicking submit.

ECS Group continue to work with a wide range of innovative lenders who offer our advisors the flexibility to understand the needs of the clients you introduce to us, then create a range of funding facilities to meet their current and future cashflow needs.

In December 2017 we introduced our new website which now has a cleaner and dynamic feel to it. Please take a few minutes to visit our website – www.ecsgroup.co.uk.  Please make sure you sign up for our Professional Advisors newsletters whilst you are there.

In the coming weeks we will be producing a series of case studies that highlight the range and diversity of clients we work with together with the financial solutions introduced.

Finally, you will find a couple of interesting news articles from our website which may be of use to you when discussing finance with the clients.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and please get in touch if we can help you or your clients.

Best Wishes,

Andrew Craggs

No solution in sight for UK’s productivity crisis as small businesses say it is not a priority

 

sme

Productivity Crisis

By Anna Isaac, economics correspondent,
The Telegraph

Hopes that a “dynamic movement” among small firms could solve the UK’s prolonged productivity crisis have been dashed after business owners said it was not a priority.

Just 7pc plan to make it a priority next year, with SMEs citing the state of the UK economy as a much greater concern.

Economic growth will average just 1.4pc over the next five years, according to the OBR, down from the 1.8pc it predicted in March.

The findings dampen hopes that a bottom-up productivity transformation could solve the UK’s biggest economic headache.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, has argued that a “dynamic movement” involving thousands of businesses could add as much as £130bn in Gross Value Added to the UK economy each year.

Sir Charlie Bean, of the OBR, as well as the OECD think-tank have suggested that the productivity crisis is a far greater problem than Brexit for the UK.

Four times as many businesses are worried about a possible slowdown as a worry, a survey of more than 1,000 businesses by HSBC has shown.

It comes after productivity growth was revised down by the Office for Budget Responsibility for the seventh year in a row.

FAQ | Productivity

What is productivity?

Simply put, it’s the rate of output per unit of input expressed as the value per worker. The UK’s ONS measures this as the relationship between wage and labour costs on one hand and the value of goods and services on the other.

Is productivity important?

With low productivity, companies find it hard to award workers pay rises, so low productivity is associated with falling standards of living.

How is the UK’s productivity?

In short, not good. Low productivity has long been a bugbear of successive Labour and Conservative governments. In particular, the 2008 financial crisis put such a serious dent in productivity that the country endured almost a full decade of productivity stagnation.

UK productivity still remains some 30 per cent behind the United States and 18 per cent behind the G7 average.

What causes low productivity and can it be improved?

There are three factors that influence productivity and it’s useful to look at other national statistics to identify the correct culprit.

  • Investment capital, or lack of it
  • Technology, such as computer systems, assembly lines, transport and communications infrastructure
  • Human capital, for example a skills shortage or lack of organisational expertise

HULL WILL BE ‘INCREASINGLY CONFIDENT’ AFTER CITY OF CULTURE SUCCESS – GREEN

Hull will be an “increasingly confident” place to be in four years’ time as it continues to reap the economic benefits of its time as UK City of Culture, the man behind the year-long programme of events has told Insider. Martin Green said the event has “greatly exceeded” his expectations, discussed the responsibility of taking on the project and doled out advice to the Coventry 2021 team.

The city’s year-long stint as the successor to Derry/Londonderry 2013 is coming to an end, having hosted more than 2,000 events, exhibitions and cultural activities, and welcomed millions of visitors.

Nine out of ten residents have attended, or taken part in, an event as part of Hull 2017 and the city has welcomed more than £1bn of investment since securing the title four years ago.

Reflecting on the 12 months, Hull 2017 director and chief executive Martin Green has told Insider that the year “greatly exceeded” his expectations.

“I don’t think anyone could’ve conceived that it would take off in the way it did and keep that energy going right through the year,” he added. “It’s been down to the fact that the year has been a collective act; it hasn’t been driven by a single person or agency.

“The whole city came together on this. Whether it be the council, arts institutions, the police, health services or the public, everyone got on board and did their bit.

“They were paid back by the sheer volume of visitors we had.

“With something like this there’s always a danger that it is being done to those who live here, as oppose to for or with them, but there’s a real sense of ownership. They’ve embraced it.”

Regarding the initial reaction to Hull being named UK City of Culture back in 2013, Green said: “Cynicism is natural and good. It keeps everyone in check and gives you a huge sense of responsibility.

“I think there’s an enormous amount of energy in the city now and you can see that in the public realm works being done, the refurbished art gallery and theatre, Hull City Council being awarded £15m from the Heritage Lottery Fund with regards the Maritime City, more small businesses opening here over the past two years; plenty of stuff.

“You can’t lay all of this at door of the City of Culture success but when somewhere like Hull is in the spotlight, it’s noticed as people see the city in a way they never have done before.”

Asked whether Hull will still be feeling the benefits of 2017 four years down the line, Green said: “I hope so. It’s been a real economic driver so far.

“Businesses are reporting that they’re able to attract better staff, we’re building more housing; I expect you’d see an increasingly confident city in four years.”

Coventry was recently named as the successor to Hull as UK City of Culture, and will begin its 12-month reign on 1 January 2021.

Advising the team behind the initiative, Green said: “It’s simple; do it your own way.

“There’s no model or blueprint for something like this.

“If you’re going to speak for the city, you have to do it in the way the city wants, is capable of doing and how the infrastructure will allow.”

Earlier this month, two new names were appointed to take the reins at the organisation responsible for driving Hull’s City of Culture 2017 legacy.

Katy Fuller, currently executive producer at Hull 2017, and Emma Morris, who is a University of Hull alumnus and most recently executive director at Eastbourne’s Towner Art Gallery, joined the Culture Company as creative director and executive director respectively.