Weekly Digest – 9 August 2023

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

HMRC late payment interest rates to be revised after Bank of England increases base rate

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee announced an increase to the Bank of England base rate from 5.00% to 5.25% on 3 August 2023. HMRC interest rates are linked to the Bank of England base rate. Because the base rate has changed, HMRC interest rates for late payment and repayment will increase.

Fines hiked for firms employing illegal migrants

Fines for businesses and landlords who knowingly support illegal migrants are set to triple under new rules announced by the government.

When will interest rates fall? Experts warn of ‘more pain to swallow’ after latest hike

The Bank of England has pushed rates to a new 15-year peak of 5.25 per cent as it seeks to tame stubbornly high inflation, causing further pain for mortgage-holders and businesses with loans. While last month’s improved inflation figures have buoyed hopes that the cycle of rate rises could peak by the year’s end at around 5.5 per cent, some economists now fear it may be as long as 2025 before the central bank’s rates start to fall again.

New tech partnership to stop the boats

A voluntary partnership between social media companies and government will accelerate action to tackle people smuggling content online, such as criminals sharing information about illegal Channel crossings, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced.

London landmark tax avoidance scheme named

A tax avoidance promoter based in The Shard has been exposed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) with users warned to withdraw or risk large tax bills.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to assess the de-banking situation

The City watchdog has said it will question banks over the number of customer terminations, following a letter by Jeremy Hunt, chancellor of the exchequer, that demanded to know what the Financial Conduct Authority was doing over the debanking debacle.

UK service sector slows to weakest growth for six months

The UK’s services sector grew at its slowest rate for six months in July as subdued consumer demand and higher interest rates weighed on businesses, according to new data.

The UK must make commitments to digital literacy and invest in digital skills

Digital skills shortages are becoming urgent. The UK’s relatively low ranking in the global skills table highlights the need for the UK to update skill sets nationally

Business investment is critical to boosting the UK economy

Business investment is critical in boosting the performance of the UK economy.  Last week, HSBC Bank released a survey of 500 UK businesses which examined their capital expenditure (capex) intentions as well as their strategic priorities during a very challenging global and national economic environment.

UK house-building falls again as rate hikes bite

Britain’s construction sector returned to growth in July but house-builders suffered another sharp contraction due to higher interest rates and fears about the outlook for the economy, a survey showed on Friday.

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