With Andrew Bailey of the Bank of England and Colonel Sanders of KFC both grimly predicting increased and ongoing woes for the UK's economy for the foreseeable future, we in the NTI newsroom choose to cheer you up with some news about director prosecutions and disqualifications.
It's true, Yum! Brand (owner of KFC) said yesterday (Thursday 3 November) that sales in the UK had declined by 7 per cent year-on-year. Whilst the brand saw its worldwide system sales grow 7 per cent in the third quarter of 2022, with 5 per cent same-store sales growth, its buckets are much less full here in Britain. This was not explained by David Gibbs, CEO of the holding company, who chose to say: "the company is driving transactional growth through an omnichannel approach”, even though the sentence, and many of the words within it, had no meaning.
On a similar note, Andrew Bailey of the Bank of England said that the UK would be in recession all of next year, inflation would stay above 10 per cent for the next six months, and above 5 per cent for the whole of 2023 and unemployment, currently at a 50-year low of 3.5 per cent, would end next year above 4 per cent.
"Coleslaw with that, Andrew?"
On a brighter note, Christopher Bateman and his business partner, Nicola Fairweather have been banned for 25 years from directly, or indirectly, becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company, without the permission of the court. Their unregulated company, GCC Management, offered people the opportunity to invest in the purchase of care homes, with the promise of fixed rate returns of 10 per cent to 30 per cent (which would just about keep up with predicted UK inflation).
They did this by persuading people to transfer funds from their pensions, whilst failing to advise investors to seek independent financial advice. When GCC went into Liquidation it was discovered to owe investors £13.2 million. Investigators calculated that at least 243 people invested more than £11.6 million with GCC Management. 166 of these investors transferred more than £7.8 million from their existing pensions.
On a similar note, the Insolvency Service has announced Vicki Holland and Darren Robert Trutt, directors of Crepe Heaven Ltd in Harlow, Essex, have been disqualified for a total of 16 years after falsely claiming a £20,000 Bounce Back Loan. In 2020 the directors applied for the Government-backed loan stating that Crepe Heaven’s turnover for 2019 was £100,000. The company received a loan of £20,000 in August 2020, but at the point of Liquidation in October 2021 the company had debts of almost £21,000.
Just up the road, Brendan Michael Gaughan from Glasgow has been disqualified as a director for 12 years, after using his companies to take out Bounce Back Loans totalling £135,000 that the companies were not eligible for. Gaughan was director of three separate property management companies: Gaughan Group Ltd, Gaughan Property Ltd, and Rentl Property Ltd. They were only incorporated in February 2020 and did no business until April 2020.
Gaughan transferred all the funds into a single account and proceeded to use the money to buy a property worth nearly £160,000 in August 2020. He then sold the property in March 2021 for just over £140,000, and on the same day transferred £100,000 of the proceeds to his personal account.
It's a mystery, isn't it?