Promoting economic growth by facilitating access to business information

Current Activity

Business Innovation and Skills have published a discussion paper on "The Register of People with Significant Control (PSC Register)"

December 2014

BIPA has responded and welcomes the proposal to establish the PSC Register in the form described and looks to support its successful implementation.

BIPA believes that more information is always better than less information and that the provision of this data in an accurate, consistent and easy to understand format will aid BIPA members in the accurate credit scoring of businesses. This should facilitate more trade by improving the decision making process when companies extend trade credit to customers and further help in the fight against fraud. In overall terms BIPA welcomes the proposals and believes that making them statutory is necessary to ensure consistent compliance for all businesses. BIPA’s response can be accessed here.

Business Innovation and Skills have published a discussion paper on – UK Implementation of the EU Accounting Directive.

October 2014

BIPA has responded to the above and welcomes the opportunity to comment on the consultation.

BIPA believes the government has an opportunity to consider its position in respect of legislation for small and medium size companies to file abridged accounts. In the positive environment of “Open Data” and “Transparency”, with the focus on lending to SMEs, it is a contradiction to make less information available on registered companies. Less information prevents organisations from forming a positive and accurate view about trading with a business, reduces the free flow of trade credit and new lending opportunities. BIPA believes that the continued reduction of accounts filing in the UK is a backward step.

The Bank of England publishes a discussion paper on - Should the availability of UK credit data be Improved?

August 2014

BIPA believes that its members’ positive contribution to the economy will always be enhanced by the promotion of wider access to relevant information which enables company credit reports and scoring to be completed with greater levels of assurance. As a result members’ customers can be more confident in their decision making and more readily provide access to all forms of credit.

BIPA believes that the current regulatory regime and framework for sharing data here in the United Kingdom is both well-developed and robust and is recognised as such internationally but we also recognise that the opportunity exists to improve the existing arrangements should further information be made available. This can be achieved through an evolutionary process rather than the building of a new central credit structure as we must be wary of the "law of unintended consequences" in making any major changes.

Government presents Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill to Parliament.

June 2014

The Government has today included the previously discussed proposal to make non-financial VAT registration data available as part of its Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill which has been presented to Parliament.

The Government proposes to make this data available in order to help assess a Company’s creditworthiness, aid compliance with regulatory requirements and to help combat fraud.

BIPA is pleased to support this important Bill and believes the availability of this data will generate significant economic benefits to the UK economy. BIPA members took part in a tightly controlled project to analyses this possible impact and as a result the Department of Business Innovation and Skills believes that potentially up to £1.8 billion more trade credit could be available within the economy providing a welcome boost to British business.

BIPA strongly believes that this is a significant opportunity for the UK economy and will also be looking to engage with the wider business community to promote its successful implementation.

If you have any specific questions for BIPA concerning this or wish to comment further please contact BIPA

Government to legislate on VAT Registration data

March 2014

The Government’s budget statement delivered on 19 March 2014 included the following statement:-

“The government will legislate to provide for a controlled release of nonfinancial VAT registration data for specific purposes (principally credit scoring) and to a small number of qualified parties (like credit reference agencies) and will continue to explore options for the public release of a limited subset of VAT registration data as open data”.

BIPA is delighted to support this proposed development as it believes the availability of this data will generate significant economic benefits to the UK economy. BIPA intends to continue its engagement with government on this important initiative.

Following the publication of the Breedon Review in March 2012 BIPA has actively engaged with HMRC to show how the release of VAT registration data could allow smaller corporate and non-corporate businesses in particular to improve their access to trade credit and lending and thereby stimulate economic growth.

After on-going meetings and discussions HMRC published a consultation paper “Sharing and publishing data for public benefit” in July 2013 which BIPA and BIPA members then responded to. In December 2013 the government published details of the outcome of this consultation and announced the establishment of a trial research project to understand the potential impact of sharing or publishing VAT registration data on credit assessments and other services provided by business information providers. As a result a number of BIPA members engaged in a tightly controlled project to complete this analysis.

A full review of that project is expected to be published shortly and BIPA looks forward to its publication and to having the opportunity to work with government further as legislation is prepared in the coming months.

BIPA is of the view that this is a significant opportunity for the economy and will be looking to engage with the wider business community to ensure its beneficial implementation.

If you have any specific questions for BIPA concerning this or wish to comment further please contact BIPA