Package holiday businesses to comply

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating suspected holiday package businesses for suspected breaches of consumers protection law. The CMA expects Package holiday businesses to comply with the package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 and Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018

Under this law, consumers are entitled to a full refund within 14 days of cancellation of their holiday packages due to COVID-19 outbreak.

The Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

Holiday package businesses shall comply with the Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. By being honest to consumers about their statutory rights. Giving inadequate or misleading information to Consumers about their statutory rights may potentially breach of this regulation.

The Competition and Markets Authority has issued an open letter to package holiday businesses today (10 July 2020) asking businesses in this sector to comply and be fair to their customers/consumers.

Open letter to holiday package businesses

In the open letter, the CMA outlines what are unfair conducts to the consumers by package holiday businesses.

1. Consumers not being offered and/or provided full cash refunds in accordance with their statutory rights. This includes consumers not receiving refunds without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days after the package travel contract has been terminated. It also includes consumers only being offered a voucher or the right to rebook a holiday instead of a refund.

2. Consumers losing their deposits and/or being charged cancellation fees when exercising their statutory right to terminate a package holiday contract and when they are entitled to a full refund.

3. Consumers not being provided with clear information and/or being otherwise misled about their statutory rights.

4. Consumers facing significant barriers when trying to exercise their statutory rights. For example, consumers being asked to request a refund on their terminated package booking by telephone, but being unable to readily contact businesses in this way.

5. Consumers being unable to contact businesses effectively to discuss other concerns, such as wanting to pay their balance in order not to forfeit their deposit as a result of late payment.

letter by: Cecilia Parker Aranha, the Director, Consumer Group

You can read the full open letter here.

The CMA is investigating holiday package businesses with suspected breaches of consumer protection law. You can read about the CMA’s investigation work here which is published today, 10 July 2020.

Companies House filings during COVID-19 pandemic

Companies House also gear up to support UK businesses during COVID-19 pandemic. They automatically extending companies’ filings deadlines. This will help your company to avoid a late filing penalty if you are unable to deliver your company accounts on time during this pandemic. You do not need to do anything. Go to Companies House website to check your new filing deadline.

On the same note, your confirmation statement filing deadline will also be extended. You would have 6 weeks to file your confirmation statement. Similarly, for the events driven filings, you will have 42 days (6 weeks) to notify Companies House instead of the usual 14 days filing deadline.

In addition, Companies House also created an interim paperless filing service to accept documents which would normally require a live signature.

You are also encouraged to submit your documents online to Companies House during this COVID-19 outbreak. You can file the following documents to Companies House digitally.

To file online, you would require your company’s authentication code. The authentication code is the electronic equivalent of your company’s director(s) signatures. Keep safe your authentication code.

If you require help with your company’s filings, contact Our accountants. They will be more than happy to assist you.

Access to Companies House offices during COVID-19 pandemic

Access to Companies House offices during COVID-19 pandemic to deliver papers documents is restricted. Opening hours for all offices vary. Before sending your paper documents, check your company name and number are correct and avoid the common mistakes.

For this reason, Companies House encourages companies to send their documents online and to contact them by email.

Companies House helpline

Companies House contact centre is closed during this pandemic to protect the welfare of their staff.

If you have any questions about your company’s filings, you may email Companies House during this time.

Companies House London office – CLOSED

Companies House
Ground Floor
80 Petty France
Westminster
London
SW1H 9EX

Companies House London office is closed to the public until further notice. You would not be able to deliver your paper documents to this office not even through the letterbox because there is none there.

It is best to send your documents to Companies House Cardiff office.

Companies House Cardiff office – 24 hours

Companies House
Crown Way
Cardiff
CF14 3UZ

DX 33050

The Cardiff office is open 24 hours for receipt of documents.

Companies House Belfast office – Weekday 10 am – 4 pm

Companies House
Second Floor
The Linenhall
32-38 Linenhall Street
Belfast
Northern Ireland BT2 8BG

DX 481 N.R. Belfast 1

Public access to Companies House Belfast is restricted. However, you can deliver your paper documents to the reception desk on the ground floor of The Linenhall from Monday to Friday between 10 am to 4 pm. Your documents must be in a sealed envelope.

Companies House Edinburgh office

Companies House
4th Floor Edinburgh Quay 2
139 Fountainbridge
Edinburgh EH3 9FF

DX ED235 Edinburgh 1

Access to this office by the Public is restricted. However, you can still deliver your paper documents to the Companies House Edinburgh external letterbox next to the office building.

We are still accepting deliveries from Royal Mail (except Wednesdays) and DX post.

With access to Companies House offices during COVID-19 outbreak restricted, Companies House is committed to maintaining their great service to their customers.

Companies House filings during COVID-19 pandemic

Even though access to Companies House offices is restricted during COVID-19 pandemic but the service level is maintained. You can file the following documents online using the Companies House webfiling service.

To file online, you would require your company’s authentication code. The authentication code is the electronic equivalent of your company’s director(s) signatures. Keep safe your authentication code.

In addition, Companies House also created an interim paperless filing service to accept documents which would normally require a live signature.

On top of that, Companies House announced they will automatically extend your company’s filing deadline. This would help businesses that were severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak to avoid a late filing penalty. You do not need to do anything. You just need to go to Companies House website to check your new filing deadline.

On the same note, your confirmation statement filing deadline will also be extended. You would have 6 weeks to file your confirmation statement. Likewise, for the events driven filings, you will have 42 days (6 weeks) to notify Companies House instead of the usual 14 days filing deadline.

If you require help with your company’s filings, contact Our accountants. They will be more than happy to assist you.

Register a Lasting Power of Attorney

Register your Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) with The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Usually, the registration of your LPA would take about 40 working days. However, it may take longer during this COVID-19 outbreak.

Use the OPG’s online service to make your Lasting Power of Attorney if you are in England or Wales. This online service will allow you to track your application progress.

You must print your LPA form and get it signs by several people.

The Lasting Power of Attorney to be signed in this order

  1. The donor must sign first.
  2. You must have a witness to watch you sign your LPA. Your witness will sign your LPA straight after you signed the form.
  3. Thereafter, your certificate provider must sign after the donor signed it.
  4. Followed by your attorneys and replacement attorneys to sign. They must have someone to witness their signing too.

Register your signed LPA form

After your LPA form is signed, dated and complete. You may send your documents to the Office of the Public Guardian’s office to register your Lasting Power of Attorney to make it official. Without registration, your LPA is useless.

Office of the Public Guardian
PO Box 16185
Birmingham
B2 2WH

Read the full guidance on registering your LPA during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Companies House filings during COVID-19 outbreak

Companies House also working together with the government to help UK businesses during this pandemic. They grant an automatic extension for the following filings on 27 June 2020.

  • Company accounts filing deadline extension for private limited companies limited liability partnerships, Overseas Companies, PLCs and SEs.
  • 6 weeks to submit your confirmation statement under the new law, The Companies etc. (Filing Requirements) (Temporary Modifications) Regulations 2020. Previously, you must submit your confirmation statement within 14 days deadline.
  • Events driven filings deadlines also extend to 42 days. For example, you have moved your registered office to a new address. You also have 6 weeks to notify Companies House.
  • Mortgage charges registration has a further 10 days, a total of 31 days to submit the document with Companies House.

Report price gouging business

The Competition and Market Authority (CMA) encourages the public to report price gouging business during this Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. You can do this online. The CMA has received many complaints about huge price increases for essential products needed during this pandemic.

such as hand sanitizer, paracetamol, flour, meat, toilet roll, rice and eggs.

The price gouging businesses are taking advantage of consumers during this pandemic. This is poor business behaviour and should stop. If you encounter any such poor business behaviour, please report them to the CMA using the link below.

Examples of Poor business behaviors to report

  • Unfair prices for products or services I’m buying for me and/or other people
  • Unfair prices for business-to-business sales
  • A business making misleading claims about products or services
  • Problems with the cancellation, refund or exchange of products or services
  • and any other unfair behaviour you encountered

The most commonly reported price hiked products are listed below. To report, you must provide a description of the product, the current raised price and the original price before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Food products

  • Long life milk
  • Pasta
  • Meat
  • Halal meat
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Rice
  • Fruit or vegetables
  • Baby formula
  • Other food product
  • Hygiene & personal care products

Hand sanitizer

  • Toilet roll
  • Other hygiene product

Medical products

  • Paracetamol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Antiseptic
  • Other medical product
  • Other product

Similarly, If the product or service you would like to report not listed above, you can provide a description of the product, the current raised price and the original price before the pandemic.

You must indicate in the online form where did the poor business behavior happen? whether online or in store etc.

Do take note of the business name and address where you encounter this poor business behaviour and also the date of the event. Even better if you could provide evidence such as a screenshot, a photograph or a receipt.

You must declare if you are happy to be contacted for more information. Then you click SUBMIT the complaint form.

Companies House filings

During this COVID-19 outbreak, Companies House encourages its customers to submit documents online.  You can submit the following documents online.

All you need is your company’s authentication code issued by Companies House. The authentication code is the electronic equivalent of your company’s director(s) signatures. Keep safe your authentication code.

Companies House announced temporary changes to filing requirements on 1 July 2020. You will get an automatic extension of your company account and confirmation statement filing deadline. You can check your document’s filing due date from the Companies House website.

Companies House has also created an interim paperless filing service to accept documents which must be delivered on a paper form with a live signature.

If you require help with your UK company’s filings, contact us. Our accountants can help you.

Exchange UK old banknote

You can always exchange your UK old banknote with the Bank of England. This is an alternative way of exchanging your old banknote with the Post Office and at your local bank.

Bank of England accepts UK old banknote by post from individual and also businesses based in the UK and overseas. You must complete the exchange of banknote application form and photocopies of your ID. You can download the application form from the Bank of England website.

Send in these documents together with your old banknote to the following address.

Exchange old bank note by post

Department of NEX
Bank of England
Threadneedle Street
London EC2R 8AH
Source: Bank of England.co.uk

How Bank of England pay you

You can have your money be paid to you in one of the following:

  • Pay into your UK bank account.
  • Pay into your overseas bank account. For this, you must provide your BIC/SWIFT Code and IBAN or Account number. Your overseas bank account must accept Pound Sterling (GBP) currency.
  • Send you a Sterling cheque. You can cash the cheque at the Bank of England counter. Please 24 hours notice for this.

Businesses wish to exchange UK old banknote

If you are a business wanting to exchange your UK old banknote, i.e, your £20 paper banknote, you must complete a BUSINESS banknote exchanges application form and together with the following information:

  1. A covering letter on your company’s letterhead with your company name, registration number, registered office and business address.
  2. You must also state how do you want the Bank of England to pay you. If to pay you into your bank account then you provide your UK bank account number and sort code.
  3. Additionally, you must also provide proof of ID and address of the person signing your covering letter.

A similar procedure applies when the Bank of England issues the new polymer £50 note in 2021.

Expect that there will be a delay during this COVID-19 outbreak.

Other convenient services for UK businesses

Support and help available from Companies House for company directors that currently abroad to comply with their UK company’s legal filings requirements.

 You can use the Webfiling service to submit the following documents online to Companies House.

All you need is your company’s authentication code issued by Companies House. The authentication code is the electronic equivalent of your company’s director(s) signatures. Keep safe your authentication code.

If you are unable to complete your company accounts due to the interruption from this COVID-19 outbreak, you can apply to Companies House to extend your company accounts filing deadline without incurring a late filing penalty.

Companies House also created an interim paperless filing service to accept documents which would normally require a live signature.

If you require help with your UK company’s filings, contact us. Our accountants can help you.

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