For September 8th to 14th 2023
The past week feels like the end of a chapter in a book – and the beginning of a new one.
Leaves are beginning to turn and be shed, schools and colleges are taking in a new cohort of pupils, the old ones are starting new educational journeys or careers and thousands of people are returning from their summer holidays and coming back to their jobs.
So before we move full steam ahead into Autumn, take a last chance to catch up on all the interesting business and insolvency news stories from the past seven days.
So whether you’re interested in finding out what happened to Wilko, why companies who took future fund loans are now looking down the barrel, how food and drink manufacturers are facing a tough time and what the practice of moneyboxing is – you can read these and lots more here!
6Towns Credit Union
A West Midlands based credit union has announced its closure.
6Towns Credit Union was formed in 2005 and operated in Worcestershire and South Birmingham taking its name from the six towns that comprise the borough – Wednesbury, Tipton, West Bromwich, Smethwick, Oldbury and Rowley Regis.
The provided savings and loan facilities and current account provisions as well as a facility for landlords to ensure tenants’ rent payments were made on time which protected tenancies.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) announced it would return money to the 7,416 members within seven days from when the Credit Union defaulted. They estimate that the total compensation paid out will be just over £1 million.
Joanna Dai, founder of the self-named Dai Womenswear brand has announced that the business will be closing in December ending six years of trading.
In a statement she said: “We kept hitting record sales, received countless major press coverage, dressed unbelievable women and opened eight prominent store locations including in Covent Garden.
“We built a community of over 65,000 with our timeless designs, and as a result, we were able to meaningfully support the Smart Works UK charity. We felt like we were making an impact but it still wasn’t quite enough.”
She said the reasons for the closure included: “the cost and challenges of upholding our vision for our people and planet became insurmountable. And to survive, yet alone achieve fast-paced commercial growth, it would have meant taking shortcuts which would have compromised our integrity.”
She confirmed that the brand’s autumn/winter “Greatest Hits Collection” , a compilation of new designs and bestselling pieces, would also be its last.
A regulated financial advice company has gone into liquidation after an application was made by the Financial Conduct Authority.
The company failed to provide the FCA with information requested about its clients, its financial position or details of a Financial Ombudsman Service award it was due to pay out.
The award was based on a complaint from a client who thought a deposit had been used to invest in a bond but no evidence was found that the money had been invested and it was found that some of the money had been transferred into the personal account of the director.
The FCA said: “We are also concerned about the ability of Independently East to comply with their regulatory requirements, overall cooperation with the FCA and have concerns over how they have used consumer funds.
“In order to protect consumers we have taken action to place the firm into liquidation.”
An electric car leasing company which raised tens of millions of pounds from institutional investors such as Legal & General has gone into administration.
Onto Holdings had assembled a fleet of 7,000 electric vehicles from Fiat, Peugeot and Vauxhall and a subscriber base of 20,000 customers.
Despite previous funding injections, Legal and General announced in the summer that they would not be injecting any more capital into the business.
A statement from the business said: “Onto suffered from the steep fall in electric vehicle residual value in the first half of 2023, rising interest rates and the squeeze on disposable income and was unable to secure additional funding from shareholders.
“After entering administration, the company will continue to serve existing customers as administrators explore strategic options.”
Huddersfield based bakery Hadfields has filed a notice of administration placing 74 positions and 13 shops across West Yorkshire in doubt.
Owners Daniel and Becki Birmingham said the business has been through some difficult times which has seen takings and sales dropping and costs rising. The couple bought Hadfields in 2016 but the lockdowns, costs of living crisis and Ukraine conflict have all contributed to the ongoing difficult conditions that have seen sales fall 20% in the past two years alone.
Rising energy costs have also contributed to the business’ problems.
A statement from the owners said: “We are doing everything in our power to keep it going. We want to make sure that this Huddersfield institution doesn’t disappear.”
So whether you’ve had a summer to remember or you’ve forgotten most of it already – it’s time to get back to work including how you want the rest of 2023 to play out for your business.
One of the best ways of getting a jump start on this necessary work is to get some impartial professional business advice on what options your company has.
We offer a free initial consultation with one of our team of advisors who can help you better understand what choices you can make now to benefit your business in the days, weeks and months ahead.
Make an appointment at a time and day convenient to you and start the rest of the year in the strongest way possible.