ICSM Credit's November Newsletter: James Bond, lockdowns and the return of the bad old habits of the banks - plus who has gone bust recently

James Bond and the massive impact he has on the economy

James Bond, lockdowns and the return of the bad old habits of the banks

Hello and welcome to our monthly newsletter,

Like most blokes I wouldn't mind swapping roles with James Bond - not for the high octane car chases, fights or near death experiences but the cocktails, sports cars and of course the Bond girls. 007 may have a licence to kill but he also has a massive effect on the British economy. By postponing the screening of the latest Ian Fleming inspired movie No Time To Die until next year the night time economy has taken a massive hit. Pubs have have already been subject to lock downs but cinemas, theatres, cafes, restaurants, bars, taxis, public transport, night clubs, 7-11 shops and a whole host of related workers such as actors, musicians, professional dancers and bar staff have also been denied a living. All are related and have an effect on each other. All also make use of other businesses from printers to suppliers of food and from IT consultants to cleaners. No Time To Die was billed as saving cinemas from closing this year but now those hopes have been dashed along with the hopes of many related businesses. What we really want is a James Bond with a licence to do business.

Those of us who can recall the dark days of high bank interest rates of the 1980s and 1990s will not be shocked by the actions of the UK banks this month. Firstly HSBC is reported to be considering the reintroduction of standard bank charges - so customers are charged for every cheque they sign and standing order sent - even when they are in the black. Members of ICSM Credit have been reporting that another unhelpful practice is returning: that of demanding personal guarantees on business loans. Members representing all sectors of UK industry and commerce have taken out the Government backed Bounce Back Loans and the CBILS loans have said when they ask for an extension to the loans for an increase in the amount they are expected to put their homes on the line - this despite 80% of the loan is guaranteed by the Government. 

ICSM Credit is here to support our membership. This winter is going to be tough for many people and in particular for business so make sure you keep in touch, let us know any concerns over late payers and use our FREE legal letters to ensure payment. And our debt recovery department is always on hand - having already recovered hundreds of thousands of pounds for members this year.

In this issue there is plenty of news about liquidations and firms using CVAs to stave off their creditors. I can't recall a time like this - but as someone who has seen recessions come and go - if you can survive this winter then things can only improve. 

There's lots more news on the website and on our social media on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn - stay in touch and keep on keeping on.

Best wishes
Ian Carrotte
Proprietor of ICSM Credit
For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

ICSM Credit, the Exchange, Express Park, Bristol Road, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 4RR

Not a member? Normally you can join for less than a tank of diesel and protect yourself from late payers but we have a special free temporary membership offer this winter. Use our free legal letters to chase unpaid invoices.

For a video on how to send a FREE LEGAL LETTER visit: https://youtu.be/AIycysoFhYo

ICSM Credit Print Industry News: Covid 19 causes more printers to call in the administrators, plus anger over the firm taking five years to pay suppliers

Incompetent management, bad debts or a lost client can all sink a business, but there’s a new one that Ian Carrotte is increasingly angry about: Covid-19.

“We are seeing on a daily basis perfectly viable businesses going to the wall because of the Government’s policies on suppressing the virus by shutting down entire economies,” he said, “shops, pubs, hotels, printers – you name it and firms are going bust like it was the Wall Street Crash. And it is all unnecessary as if we adopted the Swedish model, the economy would not be hit so bad. If you look at the statistics deaths per million there are no different from countries adopting the nuclear option and imposing lock-downs or Sweden that allows business as normal with sensible precautions.”

Westdale Press in administration

The print industry trade publication Print Week have reported the down fall of Westdale Press whose demise has been caused by Covid-19.

Jo Francis reported: “Administrators from Menzies were appointed at the Cardiff-based company yesterday (15 October) by managing director and owner Alan Padbury. Padbury told Printweek that he had strived to find a way to save the business, which employed around 85 staff. It previously had sales of £13m but had been ‘limping along’ at about £8m this year.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said the firm was highly respected but had been made unviable by the economic fall-out from the government’s business shut-downs.

He said: “I know the owner had fought long and hard to save the business even selling his car to raise cash and had tried every avenue there was. Sadly this is becoming a common event: viable businesses destroyed by the way the Government has handled this crisis.”

Creditors meeting for Publishing House

Insolvency practitioners Lisa Jane Hogg and Gemma Louise Roberts of Wilson Field in Sheffield have set a date on October 26, 2020, for a meeting of creditors for the Sunderland based firm Ogilvie Publishing.

Ogilvie Publishing was established in 2001 following a UK management buy-out from Houston-based Hart Energy. Ogilvie published three newsletters on the oil and gas industry:  E&P Daily, European Offshore Petroleum Newsletter and Asia Oil and Gas Newsletter.

One of the aspects of the Covid-19 crisis is the knock on effect to the oil trade. Industry commentator Arthur D Little said: “With the oil and gas industry currently locked into a cycle of oversupply, low prices and volatility, the economic downturn created by the COVID-19 crisis is likely to deal a major blow to many companies. Investors have found the sector increasingly unattractive over the past 10 years. Any further, prolonged period of low oil prices is likely to see them divert their capital elsewhere as the traditional oil and gas business model becomes even riskier and less commercially attractive.”

Ian Carrotte said the bottom had fallen out of the oil industry which has caused ripples across multiple sectors from redundancies to publications covering the business.

More jobs go in Belfast

The Irish Times have reported on the downfall of Ards in the city of Belfast. Gary McDonald the newspaper’s business editor reported: “Forty jobs will go after long-established Newtownards firm Peninsula Print & Design in Newtownards went into administration. The family-run company blamed the decision on the ‘catastrophic downturn in business’ over the last six months and also the ‘inestimable impact’ of the tragic loss of its founder and managing director Gary Withers in May. Peninsula provided print services for organisations across the business spectrum - from large multinationals and government departments to small businesses and self-employed sole traders.

“The company said that while every effort was made to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 by utilising the government furlough scheme, a significant drop-off in new orders meant the administration process was the only way forward.”

Ian Carrotte commented that it was another case of a viable business hit by a number of factors but finished off by the way Stormont had enforced Westminster’s Covid-19 rules.

Anger over Helloprint’s 'antics'

Earlier this year the owners of Helloprint contacted ICSM Credit’s Harry Mottram complaining about his story on ICSM’s website.

They wanted a positive spin to be put on their business rather than the one also reported in Print Week by Jo Francis over the online print firm’s request to suppliers to be paid over five years rather than the usual 30 days.

Based in Holland but with a wide base of customers and suppliers including many in the UK the firm operates online by taking orders with upfront payment unlike traditional printers. It was this aspect that so infuriated the industry as the company had managed to run up millions of Euros in debt with suppliers.

Now Helloprint have announced they have had fresh funding which means they can continue in business. Print Week reported in September: “Earlier this year the print aggregator experienced a massive drop-off in sales and asked its print suppliers to help it survive by either accepting a percentage of what they were currently owed, or a deferred payment of the total amount plus interest, to be paid over five years.”

Jo Francis reported that the MD Scheffer had said that fresh funding of €5m (£4.5m) had now been secured over the summer, and “everything is back on track” blaming a 90% drop in orders on Covid-19.

“I note that Scheffer has blamed Brexit along with a software problem on their website,” said Ian Carrotte, “but they take cash up front and then take time in paying suppliers. They still owe creditors millions and these antics prompt real anger. You only have to see the comments on Print Week's website about the story to realise how the print industry feels about this. I urge suppliers not to supply them with goods as their track record is terrible.”


Massacre of the innocents: firms liquidated as a result of the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 regulations

There’s a growing body of opinion in the Conservative Party and the commercial community that believes the Government’s Covid-19 regulations are systematically destroying businesses. Not the zombie firms who stagger from one bail-out to another but fiscally sound businesses whose customers have been taken away by the regulations and deemed unviable by the chancellor.

Historic school liquidated

Barbara Speake School of Performing Arts was founded at the end of the Second World War but after 75 years the network of dance, singing and acting schools is being liquidated. The school in Acton in London was up sale for £2,750,000 but has been withdrawn from the market. Alumni includes the model Naomi Campbell, the rock star Phil Collins and actor Kwame-Armah.

Sandwich shop folds

The Hog and Hedge sandwich shop and cafe in Newbury has shut down. It closed its doors this summer and has since been listed by the Insolvency Service as defunct. A string of cafes, sandwich shops and pubs have closed due to a lack of customers this summer in part due to the Government’s policy of encouraging office workers to work from home.

Rover doesn’t return

Another sector hit by the regulations is the holiday and travel business with the latest casualty closing down after 70 years in business. Rover European Travel said: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we have made the very difficult decision to close the doors and cease trading. The pandemic has had a devastating effect across all areas of our business with a complete loss of revenue for our private hire, day tours and holidays in what is usually our busiest time of year.”

The firm based in Nailsworth in Gloucestershire organised coach trips to Europe, theatre excursions and holidays in the UK and abroad.

Photography studio liquidated

A round a million plus freelancers and sole traders have had not help from the Government’s Covid-19 schemes including photographers. Based in Buckinghamshire All The World’s A Studio has been liquidated after work more or less ended on March 23 with the lock down. No customers and no business.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said: “Perfectly good businesses are being ruined by the restrictions – with no end in sight with the Covid-19 virus not going away. We need to live with it and allow all businesses to reopen with common sense precautions.”


You’ve been warned: this defender of the under-attack night time economy whose liquidated firms owe millions of pounds is a serial defaulter


ICSM Credit issues a red warning light to firms who supply care homes with anything from brochures to blankets as the numbers closing or being liquidated rises after ITV's shocking report

Are the DVLA selling your commercial vehicle details to cowboy parking firms? Plus hauliers collapse into administration due to Covid-19


October’s Retail Armageddon: French Connection, Peacocks and Edinburgh Woollen Mill in trouble but Poundstretcher plans on opening new stores despite agreeing a CVA to slash rents as ICSM Credit slams it as 'the new normal'



ICSM Credit News: historic railway goes bust; Call Print leaves creditors with £1.2m in unpaid invoices; and family firm Clarks shoe shops seek CVA

The Covid-19 rules are destroying perfectly good businesses is the view of Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit. Politicians don't seem to understand what they are doing to the business community as the rules are taking away customers and increasing unemployment more rapidly than any fiancial crisis he said. The failures include heritage railways and shoe shops - let alone pubs hit by the 10pm law.

Running out of steam

That bastion of good old fashioned news reporting the Cumberland and Westmoreland Herald has recorded the sad news that the South Tynedale Railway operator has entered administration with the loss of five jobs on the heritage line.

The newspaper said: “The company which runs the narrow gauge line between Alston and Slaggyford, has become insolvent and is no longer active, with five of its employees, based in Alston, having been made redundant. However, the separate South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society — which has run and developed the line since 1983 — is still going strong and its trustees and volunteers believe they might be able to keep their popular steam locomotives operating in future years. The line has been shut this season because of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said any business that is only allowed 20% of its usual customers due to Covid-19 restrictions will fail. He said: “The Government needs to show more common sense in imposing the rules on all forms of business. You can squash onto a tube in London but not take your place next so someone on a heritage railway carriage. It’s leading to the demise of perfectly good operations.”

The trustees and volunteers will look after the railway site over the winter while consideration is given to a new business model under which the line could be run on a voluntary basis.

The end extended

Print Week’s Jo Francis has reported this week on the administration process for Call Print Group Ltd and Call Print Services Ltd which has been extended again.

She wrote: “In their latest progress report to creditors sent at the end of last month, joint administrators Philip Duffy and Benjamin Wiles of Duff & Phelps said that the administration had been extended by order of the court to 31 August 2021. An administration usually comes to an end after one year. The Call Print Group and Call Print Services process was originally extended on 1 August 2019.

“A year ago Printweek revealed that the administrators had found “material misstatements” in the group’s previously filed accounts and had deployed forensic accountants as part of an investigation into transactions that took place prior to its administration. A number of creditors were known to have flagged concerns about the sale of Callprint’s Dubai-based business, Call Print Express, to the group’s then-managing director Steve Cheek less than a month before the business filed an NOI (notice of intention to appoint administrators).”

Duffy and Wiles said in their latest report: “Previously, several letters before action were issued with a view to recovering funds for the companies, based upon evidence uncovered in the joint administrators’ investigations. The joint administrators cannot, at this stage, detail the nature of the claims made, as doing so could hamper any further actions which may be required.”

The majority of Callprint’s trade and assets were acquired by Hobs Group in a pre-pack deal. Callprint owed trade creditors more than £1.2m at the time of administration.

Shoe shops in trouble

Business Report have highlighted the plight of struggling family-owned footwear retailer, Clarks, as it seeks a settlement with its creditors.

They said: “A Company Voluntary Arrangement is being mooted, led by LionRock Capital. The CVA would involve up to 50 shop closures as well as a switch to turnover-based rents. Also upon the CVAs approval would be more than £100m fresh capital investment from the Hong-Kong based private equity fund. This would be the first time that the founding family shareholder would loose majority control over the company, in all of its 195-year existence.”

Runners and Riders
Below is a collated list taken from the Government’s London Gazette of various businesses who are experiencing problems in the last few weeks. They are a reflection of how Covid-19 restrictions on business have caused firms to go under through no fault of their own in most cases. The print industry had been hard hit before the pandemic struck with the latest casualties including Process Print (Labelling and Design) Limited, while despite the Eat Out To Help Out scheme pubs, restaurants and cafes have been closing at an all time record. The list gets longer each month as the recession builds with many household names such as Clarks Shoes, French Connection and Ann Summers threatening to join the list of woe.

Administrators Appointed
Armondi UK Limited
Brown and Mason Limited  44103
Cote Group (Bidco) Limited  44103
Cote Kitchens Limited  44103
Cote Restaurants Group Holdings Limited  44103
Cote Restaurants Limited  44103
Cramlington Renewable Energy Developments Hold Co Limited
Createability Limited
GBK Restaurants Limited
GBK Retail Limited
Gourmet Burger Kitchen Limited
Greenfields Meat Limited  44103
I.O.W. Tours Limited
Jackson and Rye Restaurants Limited  44103
Portsmouth Language College Limited
Promo International Limited
Taste Bidco Limited  44103
Compulsory Liquidators Appointed s 136
Cardinal Security Limited  44106
Goco Property Services Limited  44106
Mike De Courcey Travel Limited
Renaldy Hotels Limited
Shepherd Cox Hotels (Croft on Tees) Limited
Sky World Media Limited  44103
Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation Deemed in Consent Meetings
A.B. Logistics Midlands Ltd
Acton Finishing (Stourbridge) Limited
Applied Business Minds Limited  44106
Artwork Design (M/C) Limited
Cardiff Bay Leisure Ltd.
Cobain Roofing Limited  44106
Crew Construction Ground Works And Civils Limited  44106
Cut & Run Limited
DCG Media Limited
Devon School of English Limited
G2S Group Limited
Hindsight Media Services Limited
K Cruises Trading Limited
Jon Haywood Logistics Limited
Maijestic Couriers Limited
N Jeeves Transport Limited
Newcastle Oil and Gas Limited
Online Marketing Now Limited
PB Tranport Limited
Power Graphic Displays Limited
Powerline Transport Limited
Quality Care Midlands Limited
Ran Ales Limited
Townend Weaving Limited  44106
West Ewell Stores Ltd  44103
Liquidators Appointed
A C Cooper (Neg and Print) Limited  44103
Barry Bensons Limited  44103
Baxter Fawcett Design Studio Limited  44103
Best And Scholes Dental Laboratories Limited  44103
Blackfriars Wine Bar Limited
1 Logistics Nationwide Limited  44103
Blue Lotus International Limited  44106
Brixton Beds and Furniture Limited  44106
Chemiphase Limited  44106
Chevron Transport Limited
CKL Building Solutions Limited  44106
Continental Europe Express Limited  44106
DCG Media Limited
Eazy Printing Limited
E Haul Limited  44106
Eco Energy Go Warm Solutions Ltd  44106
EMP Publishing Limited  44103
Everything Hospitality Limited
Experience Theatre Ltd
Fox Marketing Services MC Limited
Girotondo Schools Limited  4410
GGS Photo Graphics Limited
Harrier Direct Limited  44106
Innovation Logistics Limited  44103
Kanter Transport Limited  44103
Magnum & Larder Limited  44106
MLR Media Limited  44106
N & P Logistics Limited
Odessa Print Group Limited
Power Start Garage Limited
Quadrant Recruitment Limited  44106
RMJ Ceramics & Building Services Limited  44103
Rosehill Press Limited
SEO Manchester Agency Limited
Sharrow Bay Hotel Limited
STA Travel Limited
South Tynedale Railway Limited  44103
Superimpose Studio Limited  44103
Speedifix Pools Limited  44106
Three Halves Communications Limited
Trinity News Leeds Limited  44106
Truckfast Truckserve Holdings Limited  44106
Tunnel Brewery Limited
Umbrella (South East) Limited  44106
Universal Tyres (Harrogate) Limited
West Somerset Motorsport Limited
Wight Bay Hotel Limited
Wms Care Services Ltd
Xpress News And Mags Limited  44103
Yellow Van London Limited
Members Voluntary Liquidations
Alldesign Limited
Applejack Estates Limited  44106
Aria Consultancy Ltd  44106
Arc Media Consulting Limited
Aviation Adventures Limited
Beta Baboon Limited  44106
Booth Homes Limited
Bowler Hat Solutions Limited
Braemar Property Services Limited  44103
Bridgepoint Funding II Limited  44103
Cammock Investments Limited  44103
Campus Construction Limited
Castle Reed Motors Limited
Charter Manufacturing International Limited  44103
CME Marketing Europe Limited
Craftsmanship Limited
Effective Marketing Solutions Limited
Eleco Media Limited
Empire Design London Limited
Gosford Meat Supply Company Limited  44103
Loyallypop Limited  44106
Millane (Holdings) Limited  44106
Minium Financial Technology Ltd  44106
PCR Deliveries Limited  44106
Peter Lowe Design Limited
Purple Spark Solutions Ltd  44106
Quercus (Nursing Homes) Limited
Retail Interests Limited  44103
Surrey Sports Limited  44106
The Harrison Stickle Group Limited  44106
WMS Logistics Limited
Petitions to Wind Up
All England Gas Services Limited
BHB Partnership Limited
DJ Consulting (U.K.) Limited  44106
Electricians 24-7 Limited  44109
I And I Media Limited
Premier Paving South West Limited  44106
Process Print (Labelling and Design) Limited
Winding up orders
All England Gas Services Limited
AMFI Logistics Ltd
Commercial Foods Limited
HD Design and Construction Ltd
Macclesfield Town Football Club Limited
MK Scaffolding Specialists Limited
Unlockd Media Operations Limited


For information on ICSM visit www.icsmcredit.com or call 0844 854 1850.
ICSM, The Exchange, Express Park, Bristol Road, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 4RR. Tel: 0844 854 1850. www.icsmcredit.comIan.carrotte@icsmcredit.com


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