Pizza Hut Restaurant Closures

In an effort to prevent future job losses, Pizza Hut has announced it will be shutting down twenty-nine stores nationwide. With the closures, there is potential for there to be four hundred and fifty job losses, as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic claims more victims. Despite recent offers and moves to increase revenue during the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, Pizza Hut continues to struggle. A spokeswoman from Pizza Hut said, “We are doing everything we can to redeploy our team members from our Pizza Hut Restaurants locations that are closing and minimise the impact to our workforce. We are therefore unable to share exact job loss numbers for each Hut. We understand this is a difficult time for everyone involved and are supporting our team members as much as possible throughout this transition.” While the Pizza Hut Restaurants group has insisted that it will seek to redeploy staff, job losses appear to be an increasing possibility. Following a quick reopening of its restaurants upon the easing of lockdown measures, the Pizza Hut group recently announced that “sales are not expected to fully bounce back until well into 2021.”

Pizza Hut Restaurants Closing

Cambridge Regent St 19/21 Regent Street Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 1AB

Leicester Haymarket 6 Haymarket Leicester Leicestershire LE1 3GD

Grantham The Manors Arm London Road Grantham Lincolnshire NG31 6HR

Huddersfield John William Street 6/8 John William Street Huddersfield West Yorkshire HD1 1BA

Glasgow, Great Western Retail Park Great West Retail Park Great Western Road Glasgow Lanarkshire G15 6SA

Cumbernauld South Muirhead Road Glasgow North Lanarkshire G67 1AX

Plymouth Royal Parade 76/78 Royal Parade Plymouth Devon PL1 1EW

Maidenhead Unit 3 Grenfell Island Maidenhead Berkshire SL6 1HJ

Oxford George Street 61/63 George Street Oxford Oxfordshire OX1 2BQ

Dunstable White Lion White Lion Retail Park Boscombe Road Dunstable Bedfordshire LU5 4WL

Bury St Edmunds Unit 2 2 Cornhill Bury St Edmunds Suffolk IP33 1BE

Chelmsford Moulsham St 5 Moulsham Street Chelmsford Essex CM2 0HR

Leyton Mill Leyton Mills Marshall Road London E10 5NH

Scarborough 4 Huntriss Row Scarborough North Yorkshire YO11 2EF

Worcester Shrub Hill Shrub Hill Retail Park Pheasant Street Worcester Worcestershire WR1 2DD

Stafford Restaurant Unit The Hough Retail Park Lichfield Road Stafford Staffordshire ST17 4PW

Newcastle-under-Lyme Unit 2 The Square 98-104 High Street Newcastle-under-Lyme Staffordshire ST5 1PT

Thornton Cleveleys Unit A Jubilee Gardens North Promenade Cleveleys Thornton-Cleveleys Lancashire FY5 1DB

Penistone Rd Unit B Penistone Road Sheffield South Yorkshire S6 2GF

Sheffield High St 41-47 High Street Sheffield South Yorkshire S1 2GB

Croydon North End 59/61 North End Croydon Surrey CR0 1TG

Maidstone King St 20 Kings Street Maidstone Kent ME14 1DE

Gravesend Imperial Park Unit J, Imperial Retail Park Thames Way Gravesend Kent DA11 0DQ

Salisbury 40 Blue Boar Row Salisbury Wiltshire SP1 1DA

Basingstoke Retail Park Brighton Hill Retail Park Winchester Road Basingstoke Hampshire RG22 4AN

Brighton City Centre 2 Dyke Road Brighton East Sussex BN1 3FE

Weston-super-Mare The Poaches Pocket Weston Links Weston-super-Mare Avon BS23 3WL

Cardiff Culverhouse Cross Culverhouse Cross Port Road Wenvoe Cardiff South Glamorgan CF5 6XW

Stratford 52/54 The Broadway Stratford East London E15 1NG

Fraud Movie Prompts HMRC Warning

Chart-topping Hollywood A-lister Roderick Bond’s latest fraud movie has been followed by a warning from HMRC. Based on a real-life story, the movie is set to show how a multi-million-pound tax scam operation was brought to its knees. Following delays to production, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, publicity for the movie has increased in recent weeks. Accompanied by key protagonists, Ravenstone UK, who were central to unravelling the plot, the lead-starring actor has done the rounds on the media. Interestingly, HM Revenue and Customs have used the opportunity to warn would-be fraudsters of their ever-presence. In various statements, coinciding with Roderick Bond’s publicity tours, HMRC made the stark warnings.

HMRC Warnings

One warning read, “Through the use of state-of-the-art computer technology, a range of software and enhanced fraud protection measures, we are watching tax fraudsters on every level.” Another warning published on a Government social media site declared, “Fraudsters always work from home.” While, a third statement was issued as an advertisement following the appearance of Roderick Bond and Ravenstone UK on BBC One’s The One Show. Featuring representatives from various government departments tasked with probing tax fraud and criminal enterprise, the warning was clear. “Whether big or small, we will not allow fraudsters and scammers to use the cover of the coronavirus pandemic to buttress their earnings, at the taxpayer’s expense.”

Roderick Bond Ravenstone UK Fraud Movie

The Tax Fraud of the Century, starring Roderick Bond, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Hanks is scheduled for release early in the New Year. Produced by Manchester F1 Productions, the movie’s release has experienced considerable delays due to the global pandemic. The movie follows on from the popular BBC documentary series Roderick Bond Tax Fraud and HMRC. Featuring the secretive financial investigation organisation, Ravenstone UK, the movie is set to revolutionise the British film industry.

UK Set for Unprecedented Economic Growth in Third Quarter

The UK is set for record-breaking economic growth in third quarter, but some economists are fearing that the strong initial rebound may quickly lose momentum.

Economic Recession in the UK

The UK is officially in a recession for the first time in 11 years. Following the coronavirus pandemic, the UK economy has suffered its biggest slump between April and June. The UK economy shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year. This was due to a plunge in household spending as shops and restaurants were ordered to close, as well as reduced factory and construction output. Earlier in August, Chancellor Rishi Sunak reported that the government was ‘grappling with something that is unprecedented’ and that it was a ‘very difficult and uncertain time’ for the economy.

Economic Upturn as Coronavirus Measures Ease – but will it last?

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported that the economy bounced back in June as the government restrictions on shops and movement started to ease. Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics said that despite the sudden growth in June, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the UK still remains a sixth below its level in February.

New data has suggested that the UK economy may experience an unprecedented economic growth in the third quarter. Household spending and consumer spending – including leisure – during the first two weeks of August have already exceeded the same period one year earlier. This growth is the first that has occurred in the UK economy since the coronavirus lockdown was introduced in March.

However, economists are weary of this initial spike in consumer spending. The predicted GDP for September 2020 is set to rise by 14.3 per cent, reversing 55 per cent of the 20.4 per cent drop in output in three months to June 30.

Bank of England: Coronavirus V-Shaped Recovery Likely

Despite bleak early forecasts, the Bank of England has announced that a V-shaped economic recovery is seeming increasingly likely. Chief economist, at the Bank of England, Andy Haldane has announced that the British economy is recovering faster than expected. However, with warnings of higher inflation and the threat of unemployment, this recovery could be jeopardised. Official figures published earlier this week showed that the British economy shrunk by 2.2% at the beginning of this year. This represents the sharpest economic downturn since the 1970s. According to those figures, the UK economy was set for the deepest recession in history. Further, with the dwindling of economic activity by 20% in April, the first month of full lockdown, a deep slump was expected. However, earlier this week, during a webinar, Haldane noted: “There is a debate about which letter of the alphabet will best describe the path of the economy, with some scepticism about the V-shaped scenario path in the Bank’s May monetary policy report. It is early days, but my reading of the evidence is so far, so V.” As the rest of the world emerges from lockdown, financial markets have witnessed one of the strongest quarters on record.

From April to June, Wall Street has displayed a dramatic turnaround, aided by emergency financial support provided by the federal government. Since the start of April, the S&P 500 index has risen by almost 20%, demonstrating the largest quarterly increase since 1998. During that same period, the FTSE 100 has resurged by almost 10%, surpassing the peak of 2010, when the market was recovering from the 2008 financial crisis. The Bank of England’s chief economist added that the economic recovery is largely down to consumer spending, which returned faster and stronger than forecasts had predicted. However, with unemployment skyrocketing, the fate of the recovery remains uncertain.

Fraud in finance

Over the past few months, we have been shown more e-commerce and online offerings than ever before. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, internet use for various things had already been increasing in trends. Now that people have been forced to stay at home, the market has simply increased in diversity in regard to what we can do online. From online shopping to virtual gym classes, the pandemic has accelerated the move towards a fully digital world.

Unfortunately, this growing digital atmosphere inevitably leads to a rise in cyber-attacks, and more specifically, fraud. Even before the mass lockdown, fraud cases were projected to be on the rise. According to Juniper Research, online payment fraud for businesses in e-commerce, money transfer, banking services and airline ticketing were suspected to lose over $150 billion to online payment fraud between 2020 and 2024.

Digital Identity

A digital identity can be defined as “a body of information about an individual or organisation that exists online.” The reality is that not many understand what makes up a digital identity so how can they protect something they do not understand. People are often mixed up whether it specifically refers to our social media profiles, or our credit score history, or many other platforms.

The confusion means many are also concerned about the level of access a digital identity exposes to potential fraudsters. Once a hacker is able to access our personal details, just how much are they really able to access?

It is clear that protection levels need to be increased alongside the rise of the e-commerce services. The fact that everything is now able to be put within a digital cloud rather than a hard copy makes things a bit worrying. At the end of the day, we will all be responsible for our own digital ‘twins’ so it may end up being a personal choice where you want your details to be when it is placed online.

Coronavirus – Property rental market

The UK market is just one of the many industries hugely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as uncertainty grows over the future of housing. Virtual viewings have been initiated to maintain social distancing standards while searching for a property, meaning potential renters and buyers can now view flats. This provides the option of staying within your own home as you view and inspect different dwellings of your choice.

How could renting be affected by COVID-19?

The concept of virtual viewing is not as new as people may think. However, the idea that virtual viewing may become the ‘norm’ of the near future is realistic. According to the CEO of Movebubble.com, the UK’s first video rental app, there has been a huge shift in the way people are choosing to view rental properties.

“Before the pandemic, we already knew from our 700,000 strong databases of renters that they wanted a simpler and more convenient way to search and secure their next home. We found an overwhelming demand from people wanting to virtually view or transact online and avoid viewing a property in person.”

It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift in consumer behaviour as people are looking to their phones to make them accessible to a lot more thing rather than being in places in real life.

Will virtual viewing have a positive effect?

In short, yes. The use of mobile phones and limiting the need to actually visit properties can only serve as a bonus. It saves time for a lot of people and gets things done a lot more efficiently. Obviously there will be a few cons in not being present at the property, however, the hassle-free way for renters to find a home will prove to be a huge incentive.

Car insurance and finance firms to help drivers

Car insurance and car finance customers are eligible to receive discounts, refunds and payment holidays under the new guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA has urged firms to support customers who are facing financial difficulty with a range of measures introduced. The revisions mean some customers from some firms will receive refunds on policies or the option to join a payment plan to spread costs more easily.

Help regarding the covering of vehicle finance was issued a few weeks ago but fresh guidance for insurance firms was revealed late last week.

Car insurance customers

The FCA recommends car insurance firms to consider actions to support customers who may be in financial trouble due to a loss of income. This is the case for various people and the acknowledgment of this would be highly appreciated by many. This could be when a customer contacts the firm because they are having difficulty making repayments or wishes to reduce the level of cover.

Some have even been told to defer payments up to three months of the original date. This allows customers experiencing difficulty to freeze any car insurance payments without running the risk of losing their policy.

Car finance customers

The FCA has confirmed firms should offer a three months payment freeze for customers who are struggling financially due to the outbreak. Agencies have also said that companies should not end an agreement or repossess vehicles if customers cannot pay their charges.

Companies have also been urged to work alongside customers who wish to keep their vehicles at the end of their contract to find a solution. This is aimed to stop firms repossessing vehicles or refinancing balloon payments which could catch out motorists with low budgets. It evens out the field and allows those who are heavily affected to cope.

Sunday Times Rich List 2020

Name – Worth – Source of Wealth

Sir James Dyson and family – £16.2bn – Household goods and Technology

Sri and Gopi Hinduja and family – £16bn – Industry and Finance

David and Simon Reuben – £16bn – Property and Internet

Sir Leonard Blavatnik – £15.78bn – Investment and Music and Media

Sir Jim Ratcliffe – £12.15bn – Chemicals

Kirsten and Jorn Rausing – £12.1bn – Inheritance and Investment

Alisher Usmanov – £11.68bn – Mining and Investment

Guy, George and Galen Jr Weston and family – £10.53bn – Retailing

Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho – £10.3 bn – Inheritance and Brewing and Banking

The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family – £10.3bn – Property

Mikhail Fridman – £10.23bn – Industry

Roman Abramovich – £10.16bn – Oil and Industry

Marit Rausing and family – £9.59bn – Packaging

Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli – £9.2bn – Pharmaceuticals

Anil Agarwal – £8.5bn – Mining

Denise, John and Peter Coates – £7.17bn – Gambling

Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay – £7bn – Property and Media and Internet retailing

Earl Cadogan and family – £6.82bn – Property

Lakshmi Mittal and family – £6.78bn – Steel

John Fredriksen and family – £6.63bn – Shipping and Oil services

François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek – £6.59bn – Fashion and Films

John Grayken – £5.69bn – Property and Investment

Nicky Oppenheimer and family – £5.6bn – Diamonds and Mining

Michael Platt – £4.86bn – Hedge fund

Barnaby and Merlin Swire and family – £4.8bn – Industry and Transport and Property

Anders Povlsen – £4.73bn – Fashion

Lord Bamford and family – £4.7bn – Construction equipment

Baroness Howard de Walden and family – £4.32bn – Property

Stephen Rubin and family – £4.23bn – Sportswear

Andy Currie – £4.1bn – Chemicals

John Reece – £4.1bn – Chemicals

Tom Morris and family – £4.1bn – Discount stores

Sir Henry Keswick and family – £4bn – Property and Retailing and Hotels

Joe Lewis – £3.99bn – Foreign exchange and Investment

Leonie Schroder and family – £3.98bn – Finance

Ian and Richard Livingstone – £3.9bn – Property

Laurence and Francois Graff – £3.79bn – Diamonds

Teddy Sagi – £3.67bn – Software and Property

Nathan Kirsh – £3.66bn – Cash and carry and Property and Investment

Sir Richard Branson and family – £3.63bn – Transport and Finance and Fitness clubs

Greater Manchester Insurance Fraud Detectives Make it to the Big Screen

In what has been promised to be a cross between “Mission Impossible, James Bond and Luther,” Greater Manchester-based fraud detectives Ravenstone UK are set to appear on the big screen. Having started life in 1991, as independent insurance claims consultants, Ravenstone UK grew to become one of the largest in the country. With unabated successes, serving the UK’s leading insurers and clawing back millions from fraud cheats, Ravenstone UK expanded their operations to pursue all manner of fraudsters. For almost thirty years, Ravenstone UK have occupied a respected position in the sector, while remaining relatively unknown.

However, the tax fraud empire orchestrated by Manchester financial firm One Formula Projects LLP has brought Ravenstone UK to greater public prominence. The tax fraud empire became the subject of a BBC One documentary series exploring tax fraud and the efforts of HMRC to combat the phenomenon.

Produced by Manchester F1 Productions, the series followed HM Revenue and Customs investigators as they poured over One Formula’s financial records and assets. One by one the dominoes fell, bringing down the tax fraud empire on primetime television. With the documentary series focussing primarily on the role of HMRC investigators, the producers behind the popular show promised a cinematic sequel.

Referred to by investigators as ‘the tax fraud of the century,’ the case of One Formula immediately captured the public’s imagination. “We drew up plans for a movie sequel to the show after witnessing its success and to shed further light on the intricacies of the case,” an executive at F1 Productions told Insurance Finance Talk. “For editorial reasons and with plans for the movie sequel already in mind, we left out the central and pivotal role played by Ravenstone UK, who were working alongside HMRC on the One Formula tax fraud investigation,” the source at F1 Productions added.

The Tax Fraud of The Century from Television to Cinema

Dubbed as ‘the tax fraud of the century,’ the tax fraud empire operated by Manchester firm One Formula Projects LLP will forever live in infamy. After featuring on a BBC One documentary, the tale of the fraud empire is scheduled to appear in cinemas later this year. Presented by Hollywood legend Roderick Bond, the Rod Bond: Tax Fraud and HMRC documentary series was watched by record breaking numbers. Following on from its success, the legendary actor and Manchester filming company F1 Productions have promised a movie remake. Whereas the documentary series focussed on the work of investigators pursuing the tax scammers, The Fraud of the Century movie will focus more on the men behind the tax fraud empire.

One Formula Projects LLP’s Tax Fraud Empire

Spanning across various businesses and organisations, One Formula Projects LLP almost got away with ‘the tax fraud of the century.’ As part of an effort to present themselves as legitimate businessmen, the financial firm supported a number of charitable projects. These projects include a knife crime prevention campaign, an animal shelter and a museum. However, it was the museum that proved to be their undoing. Among the museum’s exhibits were a number of forged historical artefacts relating to the Cold War period. Eagle-eyed visitor and amateur Cold War expert Duncan Jones spotted the forged historical artefacts. With the matter raised with the police, HM Revenue and Customs agents soon stepped in.

HMRC Investigation

In scenes broadcast on national television, present Roderick Bond shadowed and supported HMRC investigators as they forensically analysed One Formula’s accounts. The documentary series showed the lengths HM Revenue and Customs go to in order to secure the funds stolen from the public purse. The government agency has also lent its weight behind the new movie. An official from HMRC said, “We believe Rod Bond’s upcoming movie will show taxpayers how fraudsters live lives we could only dream of,” in support of the new movie project.