Business and Other Briefings

HMRC: A series of online, bite-sized video guides for new & small businesses has been launched by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The 10 videos, fronted by TV presenter Dan Snow, provide a helpful overview on a range of tax issues, including setting up in business, income tax for the self-employed, corporation tax and VAT.  The videos also provide handy links to further online information and help.
 
In addition, HMRC is also following three people as they set up in business in a new video diary series called "The Start-up Diaries".  It will follow three people - Ruth, Nick and Hannah - as they explain, in their own words, what it's like to go it alone.  An introduction to the series (plus episode one of the diaries) is also now available.  Episode 2 of the "Start-up Diaries" is scheduled for April 2009.
 
A free guide for new and small businesses has also been launched alongside the videos, entitled ‘Giving your business the best start with tax’.
Press release ~ Start up diaries ~ Bite –sized videos ~ Giving your business the best start with tax ~ Business Link – Starting up
 
FSA:  The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has written to all firms still selling single premium Payment Protection Insurance with unsecured personal loans (SP PPI UPL) asking them to withdraw the product as soon as possible, and by no later than 29 May 2009.  The letter asks for a written response to the request to withdraw SP PPI UPL to be sent to the FSA by 31 March 2009.
 
The letter from Jon Pain, the FSA’s managing director of retail markets, reminds firms that the Competition Commission’s final report on its PPI market inquiry, published on 29 January, included a remedy that prohibits the sale of single premium PPI policies after 1 October 2010
Press release ~ Dear CEO Letter ~ FSA&r squo;s update on PPI on 20 January 2009 ~ Moneymadeclear ~ PPI comparative tables
 
HM Treasury: The Government made 2 announcements to further enhance financial stability & support increased lending to homeowners and businesses:
* Firstly, the Treasury has announced the details of the Asset Protection Scheme, which aims to remove continuing uncertainty about the value of banks' past investments
* Secondly, the Treasury has an agreement in principle with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to participate in the Scheme and other financial support to meet its objectives of economic and financial stability
Press release ~ Statement on the government’s Asset protection Scheme ~ Asset Protection scheme
 
FSA:  The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published a draft code of practice on remuneration policies relevant to all FSA regulated firms.  The aim of the code is to ensure that firms have remuneration policies which are consistent with sound risk management, and which do not expose them to excessive risk.  
 
It is not concerned with setting levels of remuneration, which are a matter for the boards of companies and their shareholders. The FSA will consult on the code and further proposals for remuneration policy in March.
Press release ~ Code of practice on remuneration policies
 
Preventing Unwanted Sensitive Data Acquisition on Government Networks