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Today’s news in brief – 19/2/2024

HWB Accountants has promoted Nick Whitemore to associate director after a year with the firm. As a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Whitemore, previously a senior business adviser, will work closely with clients, focusing on accounts, advice, and tax services for individuals, SMEs, and owner-managed businesses. He will also actively participate in monthly directors’ meetings and collaborate with the board to drive business advice services growth at HWB.

Gary Ward has joined Evolve Corporate Finance as a partner, bringing over 30 years of dealmaking, private equity, and business growth expertise. Formerly a partner at Gresham Private Equity, Ward will lead the firm’s business development strategy, strengthen client relationships, and enhance ties with the advisory community. His appointment aligns with Evolve’s goal of becoming a national, partner-led practice, focusing on acquisitions, disposals, and raising finance for owner-managers, founders, and institutions.

Begbies Traynor has successfully sold T.G. Howell and Sons Limited, trading as Terry Howell Timber and Builders’ Merchants, out of administration to Robert Price (Builders’ Merchants). The sale secures jobs for all 53 employees, retaining the builders’ merchant stores while closing the wholesale business. Despite challenging trading conditions in the timber market, the sale safeguards employment and represents a positive outcome for the company’s future.

BDO’s FraudTrack report has revealed a surge in reported UK fraud, reaching £2.3bn in 2023, more than double the previous year’s £1.1bn. While high-value cases (over £50m) increased by 60%, the total reported cases rose by 18% to a three-year high. Factors contributing to the rise include increased online scams, phishing, system breaches, and spikes in Authorised Push Payment transactions. The report warns of a likely underreporting and highlights the trend of rising fraud cases and larger amounts involved over the past decade, fueled by new fraud-enabling technologies and AI.

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