BREAKING NEWS – top 5 stories 10/03/2021
FINANCE CHIEF OF PROPERTYMARK RESIGNS – SEVEN DEPARTURES IN 10 MONTHS
Following on from our reporting yesterday Kate Hawkins Chief Finance Officer has resigned to ‘seek other opportunities’.
Also a non-executive Helen Herniman has resigned, this means that in the last 10 months;- the Chair has left, David Cox has left, Mark Hayward has left, a new CEO Tim Balcon was appointed and left in five months, an interim CEO Nathan Emerson is in place, Kirsty Finney left six months into her role, Kate Hawkins and now Helen Herniman has gone, and Mark Hayward has returned with a new title.
Do members feel that this organisation is fit for purpose?
In its annual accounts 2019, it states. ‘The Finance department has undergone a major review of its processes, systems and procedures. As part of gaining that financial stability we have identified that our tax position was not properly ordered and that has led to a significant payment to HM Revenue and Customs of outstanding VAT which has arisen through mis-definition of our liabilities and exemptions over a number of years.’
It is hard to see how Properymark can present itself as an organisation that helps agents ‘regulate’ themselves, teaches agents to be financially competent, and be the choice for ‘government’ as the driving force for any changes in statutes.
VAT fraud can mean a custodial sentence, fine and often directors are struck off; as well as HMRC in the future taking a particular interest in companies who ‘forgot to pay the VAT’. Who was at the helm, who knew, how much was underpaid, was there a fine? Surely members are entitled to know the truth.
BAN ON EVICTIONS IN SCOTLAND EXTENDED UNTIL END OF SEPTEMBER
In line with other temporary eviction bans, Scotland has now confirmed that the temporary stopping of evictions will extend until the end of the present Furlough scheme in the UK.
GOVERNMENT INJECTS CASH TO FUND TRAINING OF 500 ASSESSORS TO SORT CLADDING
The government has earmarked nearly three quarters of a million pounds to assist in the training of 500 extra specialists who can help to quantify the problems caused by the cladding scandal. At present there simply are not enough assessors to sign off buildings, which means mortgage lenders will not lend, trapping tens of thousands of homeowners nationally. It is hoped that this inniative will fill the ‘skill gap’ and help all stakeholders.
CONNELLS CONTINUES TO BUY UP AGENCY BRANDS
It seems that there is no end to Connells strategy of buying the market as it has just announced the purchase of the three-branch independent Holroyds in Yorkshire, clearly Skipton building society have very deep pockets.
COMPLETIONS UP BY 24% IN JANURARY 2021
Unsurprisingly the amount of completions recorded at HMRC showed a huge uptick, by nearly a quarter of the volume, previously recorded, the official figure was over 121,000. It will be interesting to see with the new SDLT holiday deadline – the end of June, if a similar peaking of completions takes place through the year, throwing out the usual seasonal ebb and flow of the 1.1M annual completions.
If you have a view – please let us all know by emailing me at [email protected] – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor – moving property and proptech forward.