Building societies – “people will cash in their savings if HMRC becomes “judge, jury and executioner”

The Government has watered down controversial plans that give HMRC the power to raid taxpayers’ bank accounts in order to settle unpaid debts.

The new powers were quietly ushered in as part of George Osborne’s Budget in March to recoup tax from 17,000 “recalcitrant debtors” who owe £1,000 or more.

Criticisms have led to HMRC bowing to pressure to provide additional safeguards for new plans to recover debts, including meeting all debtors face-to-face before taking action.

The Building Societies Association (BSA), represents all 44 building societies across the UK, had opposed the new powers, which would allow HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to access personal bank accounts of individuals’ to reclaim money it claims is owed to the Exchequer.

The BSA say the continued many examples of HMRC aggressively chasing debts that are not due could rush to cash in their savings and keep their money “under the mattress” as the public lose trust in the tax system.

Robin Fieth, chief executive of the BSA, said: “We do not agree with the proposed new power for the direct recovery of tax debt without judicial oversight. Under the new proposals HMRC effectively becomes judge, jury and executioner.

“What we do want to do is to work with Treasury and HMRC officials to find a way of achieving the Government’s objectives to collect tax that is due whilst ensuring the appropriate safeguards for UK citizens.”

To make sure your affairs are in order and you are prepared for HMRC’s evolving power, please contact SFB on (024) 7638 4171 or email

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Have you booked your place at the next Hinckley Business Association event yet?

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to network and learn about the local developments that will affect your business!


Venue: The Grove Suite, Sketchley Grange Hotel, Burbage, Hinckley, LE10 3HU
Time: 4.30pm – 7.00pm
Date: Tuesday 2nd December 2014

To book places for you and your guests: Please RSVP to Cheryl Stanley by emailing

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SFB’s Cheryl Stanley has been spotted in ‘Post People’ after attending the recent Ladies First Professional Development event

Bham Post LF Oct 001

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FREE WORKSHOPS – Superfast Leicestershire Business Support Programme

Superfast Leicestershire - Business Support Programme

Superfast Leicestershire is an £18.6m project funded by Leicestershire County Council and the European Regional Development Fund which will bring high-speed fibre broadband to 96% of homes and businesses in Leicestershire by March 2016.

As part of this project Leicestershire County Council has secured additional funding through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Part of this funding will be used to provide support to Businesses online.

Leicestershire County Council is pleased to announce that we are working in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Ebusiness Club to provide a programme suited to Leicestershire’s business needs.

Throughout the programme, there will be a number of free business support services that Leicestershire’s businesses can take advantage of. Digital events and demonstrations will be held around Leicestershire, highlighting the benefits of using broadband based technologies. There will be a comprehensive range of full day strategic action planning workshops covering a number of subjects to enable you to put knowledge into practice

Information about the workshops and events available in Oadby Wigston and Hinckley can be found at:

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Register for our forthcoming Info2Grow event NOW!

Info2Grow - Embracing the Modern World Invitation

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Hinckley event for businesses…register now!

HBA Invitation - 2nd December 2014

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SFB & Ludgate Finance support local business to secure £500k investment

A Leicestershire-based engineer is looking to future proof his business after securing half-a-million pounds of investment to complete a partnership buyout.

Ian Mustard, director of Milturn Precision Engineering, on the Dodwells Bridge Industrial Estate in Hinckley, secured the six figure loan through the new peer-to-peer lending network Money&Co to buy out retiring business partner Brian Kemp.

(from left to right) Ian Mustard (Milturn), Paul Carvell (Stewart Fletcher & Barrett), Richard Mason (Ludgate Finance) and Shelley Harvey (Stewart Fletcher & Barrett)

(from left to right) Ian Mustard (Milturn), Paul Carvell (Stewart Fletcher & Barrett), Richard Mason (Ludgate Finance) and Shelley Harvey (Stewart Fletcher & Barrett)

He was supported throughout the fundraising process by Ludgate Finance, which is a leading specialist in raising business loans in the fast paced peer-to-peer lending market, together with Midlands-based accountants and business advisors Stewart Fletcher & Barrett, who are part of The SFB Group.

It is the first deal to have been completed by Ludgate Finance since it set up a new city centre location at Victoria Square in Birmingham.

Milturn was established in 1997 and supplies high quality precision components to a wide range of industry sectors including aviation, automotive, film, motorsport, printing and photography.

The company, which employs 16 people, has built up a large client base right across the UK including supplying components for award-winning Leicestershire-based lens manufacturer Cooke Optics.

Mustard said: “It was largely about adding consistency to the business. The buyout had been planned for some time but we needed to raise enough capital so that I could take over Brian’s share and move forward with the business.

“We sought advice from our accountants Stewart Fletcher & Barrett who completed a valuation of the business and also put us in touch with Ludgate Finance who are experts in raising alternative finance.

“It was a very interesting process and we were delighted with the result as it means I will be able to continue to drive the company forward as sole director.

“We have witnessed consistent growth over the last few years and I will be looking to expand the company by another 25 per cent over the next five years.”

Money&Co, is a new crowdfunding service connecting lenders and investors with businesses seeking finance. It is the first time Ludgate Finance has worked with the network.

Richard Mason, director of Ludgate Finance, said: “Without the £500,000 investment, secured through Money&Co, Ian and Brian would not have been able to put their retirement strategy in place.

“Unfortunately many banks are unwilling to lend when shareholders or directors wish to exit the business, so peer-to-peer lending networks such as Money&Co often provide the best alternative to secure the deal.

“It is fantastic to see that the investment will allow Milturn to put its plans for future growth into action and I wish Ian the best of luck as he takes over as sole director.”

Stewart Fletcher & Barrett has worked with Milturn for many years and assisted the company with the set-up of the retirement strategy.

Shelley Harvey, director at Stewart Fletcher & Barrett, said: “It is important for companies to think about their retirement plans and to seek advice about how to implement the best exit strategy for both the company and the individual.

“After valuing the business it was a case of raising an investment that would facilitate the company’s plans and the deal secured through Money&Co was well-suited to meet the needs of the business going forward.”

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