Thursday 2 April
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) orders banks to lighten the load on customers
The independent financial regulator has ordered UK financial bodies to enact a raft of measure to help those hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. From 9 April, banks will be expected to:
- Offer the first £500 of customers’ overdrafts interest free from three months
- Ensure that overdraft customers are not paying more than they did previously after recent rate changes
- Freeze payments for a period of three months on:
- Credit and store cards
- Catalogue debt
- Provide assurances that customers’ credit scores will not be jeopardised by applying for payment holidays
For the FCA’s full statement, see here.
Wednesday 1 April
Banks warned over COVID-19 relief funds
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said that it was “completely unacceptable” for banks to refuse funds to “good businesses in financial difficulty”, and urged financial institutions that were bailed out by the taxpayer in the 2008 financial crash, to “repay that favour”.
He stated that the chancellor, Bank of England and the Financial Services authority have written to the CEOs of British banks to ensure that that benefits of the UK Government’s loan schemes (CBILS and CJRS) are passed on to business owners and consumers alike. Chancellor Rishi Sunak will make further announcements on the Government’s efforts to make sure that businesses are getting the support they need in the coming days.
- NHS Nightingale hospital has officially opened at the Excel centre in East London. The 4,000-bed hospital, was built with the assistance of the Army, will help to reduce pressure on existing health services
- Boots UK is to donate over 200,000 toiletries to vulnerable people and NHS workers to use between busy shifts. The donations will include hand cream, shower gel and toothpaste
- Streaming service, Netflix donates £1 million to the BFI (British Film Institute) and their Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund to provide short term relief to crew that have now found themselves out of work
Thursday 26 March
Government announces Self-employed Income Support Scheme
Chancellor Sunak announces Self-employed Income Support Scheme to benefit 95 per cent of self-employed workers from June 2020.
A taxable grant, equal to 80 per cent of median monthly wages over the last three years will be available to every self-employed person with trading profits over £50,000. This will cover salaries up to £2,500 per month backdated to March. The scheme will be available for three months and then reviewed.
Self-employed workers will be able to claim the grant and do business, and the support is targeted at those who make a majority of earnings from self-employed income.
This will only be able to those with a tax return for 2019, and the deadline has been extended for one month for those who missed filing in January.
- Fuelmywebsite are offering a free 30 minute call to GS1 UK members selling or interesting in selling on Amazon
- #ClapForTheNHS commemoration launched at 8pm across the UK to show appreciation for healthcare staff working hard during the current climate
- Amazon to make available millions of 15-minute coronavirus testing kits
- Enterprise Nation, our community partner are hosting daily lunch and learns to offer expert advice and give people a boost
- Supermarkets put measures in place to protect staff and customers
Monday 23 March
Closure of non-essential businesses
Prime Minister Johnson ordered the closing of all non-essential businesses and premises for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. For a detailed list of those affected, click here.
- Brewdog to deliver hand sanitiser to Aberdeen Hospital
- Water companies halt payments for customers who have lost their jobs or had income cut during Coronavirus
- British companies to produce ventilators for the NHS
- YouTube reduces streaming quality worldwide to ease increased pressure on the internet
- UK mobile firms prompted to send messages to customers to spread lockdown message
Friday 20 March
Government to pay up to 80 per cent of wages
Following on from the unparalleled steps outlined to bolster British business in the 2020 Budget, Chancellor Sunak announced a further raft of measures in an extraordinary week for UK plc, including the state payment of salaries for those threatened with unemployment.
Prime Minister Johnson orders the closure of all pubs, restaurants, gyms and any other social venues across the country for the foreseeable future.
- GS1 UK chairman, Chris Tyas appointed by the Government to help ensure the nation’s supply chain integrity
- UK supermarkets announce thousands of new jobs
- BT gives all customers unlimited broadband to deal with working from home
- Uber Eats waives fees for ordering takeaways
Tuesday 17 March
Emergency state support for business
Chancellor Sunak announces a package of emergency state support for business with £330bn-worth of government-backed loans and more than £20bn in tax cuts and grants for companies threatened with collapse.
What are GS1 UK doing to help members?
Even during the current climate, we are continuing to provide support for our members, as well as direct help from our partners and offer some light relief.
See how we're helping