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Business Accounts Over A Barrel

Jan 12, 2008
Anyone with a business account is always in for a bumpy ride this time of year.

Newspapers reports doom and gloom for business's when consumers haven't spent as much as they were predicted to. Shortly after, they report the madness with everyone rushing to spend, spend, spend at the January sales. Next you will see media reports of the debt we all get into around Christmas time to perk up our dreary lives.

The only business accounts to usually thrive around Christmas time are the accounts of the credit card companies. The average person will go to the max on their overdraft and push the limits of their credit card bills to have a 'wonderful' Christmas, drinking away the worry of repayments until the New Year.

Of course, it's not just the average Joe Public that suffers this unpredictable worry of profit and loss. Business's also have to keep a very close eye on their business accounts, especially when many shut down for at least a week over the holiday period.

Consumers have a certain amount of say when it comes to which companies make it and which ones don't. Bad publicity can cause a company to be boycotted, rapidly leading to the collapse of that business. Obviously, this is something they all strive to avoid.

And sometimes, it would seem, the public don't have a choice. Take a look at the uproar surrounding the hike in petrol prices every year. Not so long ago, petrol companies were boycotted and everyone went without to try and force a review of fuel prices.

However, this type of action is not sustainable. Everybody wants to go about their normal life and to do that, we have become reliant on fuel. From getting to work in the morning whether it be by public transport or our own car, we need fuel. To get our food, or any products come to that, to any store, the transport companies need fuel. The price of their fuel is added to the price the customer pays for the end product.

However, you may be interested to know that those who run oil giant BP, have been dealing with their own business account worries of late. After a legal wrangling spanning over five years, they have just agreed to pump 191 pounds million into the settlement of a tax dispute. This is due to the Alaskan suppliers of oil to BP having increased their own taxes to 25%. Now they know how it feels!

A cut in Alaskan investment plans by BP is expected in response to this assault on BP's business account. It is said that the hike in taxes was a backlash against suspected corruption and bribery among oil giants in Alaska. Details of the dispute were not announced but BP have been targeted after problems with corrosion in some of their pipelines in Alaska which caused a major oil spill.

As hard as this must be for the business account of BP, doesn't it make you feel warm inside to know they understand what it's like to be held over a barrel regarding the price of an essential commodity? No doubt we will soon see the knock on effects and the tax will be filtered down to the lowly car driver!
About the Author
Expert banker Catherine Harvey looks at how business accounts fluctuate over the festive period. To find out more please visit http://www.lloydstsbbusiness.com/accounts/index.asp/
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