‘Business Bank’, for increased lending to businesses has been announced by business secretary Vince Cable, who is ‘working with the Chancellor to develop a state-backed institution that will combine up to a billion pounds  of new government capital with a larger private sector contribution’.  It will be supported by guarantees and equity for long-term lending to SME’s by buying-up bank loans: not providing loans.  Replacing the National Loan Guarantee Scheme, final details are to be announced in December’s Autumn Statement.

Changes to the law of occupation of vacant residential property, without the owner’s permission; squatting,  mean that owners and tenants are now able to bring  in the police if there are obvious signs and proof of a forced entry by a ‘squatter’: who could face the combination of a £5,000 fine and 6 month jail sentence because of the changes in the law (section 144).

As @brewdog recently tweeted – about their  groundbreaking licence application case against Leeds City Council – ‘yeah we did it’ – might be the phrase of many; not so, micro-breweries.  As, according to CAMRA, there were 158 startups in the last 12 months. Figures for pubs closing continue an increasing trend, so too does the choice of beer available –  East Yorkshire alone has ten breweries in its region.

How high street banks cope with software glitch prevention has been requested by the FSA and ‘to ensure the overall resilience of critical infrastructure and banking processes’, so has the names of those responsible and their contingency plans.

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards  has released its written evidence responses to seven questions on banking.  Barclays suggested setting up a Chartered Institute of Bankers and is considering setting up an externally run hotline for whistleblowers. HSBC suggested a ‘behavioural monitoring audit’ and Which? wants ‘big change’. Recommendations from the review are expected before the end of the year.

Some statistic from social landlords  who are charging an average of 68 per cent of market rent for homes built through the affordable homes programme. The average rent charged by housing associations rose by 6 per cent in 2011/12, to an average of £81 a week. The average weekly rent across all providers, including local authorities, was £76. Two thirds of lets were for general needs, with the most common type of household taking up new general needs lets, being single adults under 60 without children (30 per cent).

There is to be a ‘greater role in self-regulation’ by asset-based finance industry’s trade body ABFA  following allegations about the conduct of some invoice finance providers who abuse their preferred creditor status, profiting from struggling businesses or insolvency.

Employers are able to access grants of £1,500 via the Apprenticeship scheme when taking on an apprentice between the ages of 16 – 24, following the Holt Report.  Made in a single payment new employers to the scheme can support up to ten apprentices.

The time limit extension for planning permissions have been clarified by the Chief Planner and confirm a one year extension to the temporary provision introduced in 2009 – when a permission might have lapsed, to extend the time limit and be granted a new time limit for implementing the permission.  Effective from 1 October 2012 for live permissions granted on or before 1 October 2010, there will be a requirement for local authorities, from December 2012, to include a statement on every decision letter stating how they have proactively and positively supported the applicant.

Some businesses might be able to save money on their annual accountancy and administration costs  under reduced auditing and reporting requirements which allows more companies to make a commercial decision about whether or not to have a statutory audit,  if they meet two out of three criteria relating to balance sheet, turnover and number of employees for accounting years ending on or after 1 October 2012.

Image and Article credit: Copyright SUF 2012