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Money Transfer firm agrees with FCA after payment failures

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Money Transfer Firm fails to pay thousands to customers
Emptied wallet: customers sending money via Trans-Sending Limited (LCC) didn’t have funds paid in

Payment services firm Trans-Sending Limited (LCC), also known as Small World Money Transfer, Express Funds, and Global Link, among other branding names, has officially closed to new business and stopped accepting funds from customers following action from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.

As reported by Euronewsweek over the weekend, the company, until recently, was offering money transfer services to over 180 countries. Launched in 2005, Trans-Sending Limited (LCC) had offices in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.

The FCA invited LCC to sign a formal agreement in which the company pledged to remain closed to new business and stop accepting funds from existing customers. However, the link to send money remained live on the Small World Money Transfer (LCC) portal over the weekend, days after the agreement was signed between the money transfer company and the British Financial Conduct Authority.

Across Spain, the UK, Switzerland, and other European countries, many customers are facing issues accessing funds they have recently paid in.

“Since June 10th, Small World LCC has given me many different versions of what is happening. Mostly, they say they don’t know when they will return the money I have sent,” says Vianela Custódio, who lives in Spain and has used the company before, despite previous delays in payments being completed.

“All Small World offices have been closed for days, and they do not answer the phone. They say they have laid off all their employees and the company has closed. We are very afraid because we sent € 9,000 Euros on June 7th to purchase a land in the Dominican Republic to build a family home for my daughters. Now, we are days away from losing the money that had been given as a deposit in advance to the vendor for the purchase of the area. We face losing all our savings,” says Vianela, who plans to start legal proceedings against the collapsed company soon.

Another former customer of Small World LCC also shared with Euronewsweek about her struggles trying to recover money sent with the company.

“It has been over a week, and the €800 I sent to Brazil to help my son with his university costs and general maintenance hasn’t arrived,” says worker Nara Baracho, who lives in Switzerland.

Trans-Sending Limited (LCC) also operated under the names Swiss Transfers, UNO, Bayba (UK), and Universal de Envíos, resulting in thousands of customers in Europe being impacted by the sudden closure of the business. On Friday, June 14th, customers going to physical branches in England, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland encountered a “Suspension of Services” message affixed to Small World LCC’s closed doors, informing them that the company would not be able to make payments.

Student Jennifer Cortegana, who lives in Peru, has been waiting for funds sent by her father, a transportation worker based in Spain, since June 7th. “The money is intended to pay for my university and health bills. He used Small World LCC before and had no problems. Now they don’t respond to any form of contact. Their offices are closed, and they do not respond to calls or emails,” worries Jennifer.

Customers turned up and found all Small World LCC branches closed

“The week before last, I used a Small World LCC branch in London to send £210 to Brazil to help with the purchase of tickets for family members to visit me. On Wednesday, after many days without the transaction being completed, I returned to the same location and was informed about a delay in the system and assured that funds would be available shortly,” says auto paint technician Adilson Mamede, another victim of Small World LCC. When he returned to the branch once again, the location was closed, and he has not received his money, refund, or any communication from the company to date.

The closure of Trans-Sending Limited (LCC) comes a few months after the company was fined £139,500 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom for breaching competition rules alongside two other transfer firms. 

In that case, the British regulator found that Small World, Hafiz Bros, and Trans-Sending Limited (LCC) coordinated on certain exchange rates offered to customers in Glasgow for converting pounds to Pakistani Rupees when transferring money. 

Since June 14th, Euronewsweek  has made several attempts to get hold of a Trans-Sending Limited (LCC) representative to get an update on whether customers will be refunded. All their phone numbers available for customer service, as well as individual branches in the United Kingdom, Spain, Switzerland, and Italy, are not answering.

Contacted via LinkedIn, Rana Shahzad, Head of Sales, UK & Ireland at Small World Financial Services replied stating “Unfortunately, we don’t have any instructions with regards to communications. It is best to keep trying the numbers that you are.”

Euronewsweek also reached out twice to Equistone Partners, one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity firms, which invested in Small World Financial Services back in 2018 – but received no reply from its UK office.

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Why Potholes are a Problem for Businesses and What to Do About Them

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A silver car on the road passing by a big pothole
Potholes are a common issue across the country, with the RAC estimating more than one million of them in the UK.

Unless you run a garage, potholes are bad for businesses. The deep holes in a road’s surface can cause many vehicle issues, such as tyre damage or deflation, wheel rim bending, broken suspension springs, or alignment problems.

Unfortunately, potholes are a common issue across the country, as the RAC estimates there are more than one million in the UK.  So, why are they a problem for businesses, and what can they do about them?

What Causes Potholes?

A pothole develops when water seeps into the tiny cracks in a road surface, which commonly form due to excess traffic. The water may then freeze and expand, causing the cracks to become large once it thaws. It weakens the surface while allowing more water to enter, and the potholes could be exacerbated by heavy rainfall. Heavy traffic over the weak road causes a small hole to develop, which will grow due to the pressure of passing cars.

Why are Potholes Bad for Businesses?

Businesses have a duty of care to their employees, which is why potholes are a big problem, as they can pose a risk to employee safety on the road. Also, they could increase the risk of a collision with one or more motorists, pedestrians, or cyclists.

Potholes are a threat to businesses dependent on efficient road infrastructure and transportation, such as courier firms or logistics companies. If a pothole causes significant damage to a vehicle, a small business might be unable to operate for many days until the necessary repairs are complete. As a result, it could lead to a loss of business, customer dissatisfaction, and reputational damage.

What Can Businesses Do About Potholes?

Businesses cannot force local councils to fill potholes across towns and cities, but they can prevent the deep holes on their premises. Improve road safety on-site with a dependable pothole repair kit, which you can apply straight from a bucket and use in all weather conditions.

It will allow your business to create a safer, usable environment for all on-site vehicles. You can use it to fill gaps on various surfaces, such as drives, paths, cycle tracks, and manholes. It will minimise road safety issues and prevent your vehicles from sustaining damage on the premises.

Also, your business could request its employees avoid driving over potholes, but only when it is safe to do so. If it isn’t safe, they will have no option but to drive over them. However, they could decrease damage by reducing their speed or distancing their vehicle from other motorists if possible.

Potholes can pose a risk to employee safety and cause substantial damage to many business vehicles. If a vehicle experiences damage on the road, a company might have no other option but to spend a large sum on essential repairs to get it back on the road, which can drain its profitability.

Also, a lengthy vehicle repair could impact a business’s operations, affecting its revenue, customer satisfaction, and reputation. Unfortunately, you cannot change the UK’s roads, but you can repair potholes on-site and teach your drivers how to safely drive over them to prevent accidents and minimise repairs.

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Chocolate Lovers Wanted as Cadbury Seeks 48 Tasters in the UK

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Chocolate Lovers Wanted as Cadbury Seeks 48 Tasters in the UK
• The roles involve tasting iconic brands such as Cadbury, Toblerone and Milka, and providing feedback to support product development.

Mondelēz International is recruiting 48 Sensory Panellist job roles at its historic Bournville site in Birmingham. The part-time roles, also known as chocolate tasters, will play a crucial role in product development by tasting and providing consistent, objective and honest feedback on new chocolate products, including iconic brands such as Cadbury, Toblerone and Milka.

Successful applicants will bring a passion for food, a desire to try new and inventive products, as well as a communicative personality to collaborate with other panellists. Full training is provided, including helping successful applicants to develop their taste buds and learn the specific vocabulary required to communicate feedback.

The Sensory Panellist roles are part of ongoing investment being made at the iconic Bournville site, the home of Cadbury, with the brand celebrating its 200th anniversary year. The roles, which were previously located at our Reading Scientific Services site in Wokingham, will now be based out of Mondelēz’s Global Centre of Excellence for Chocolate research and development at Bournville.

The roles play an important role in Mondelēz International’s commitment to world class innovation, ensuring it continues to adapt to changing consumer trends and delivering choice for consumers. Recently it has continued to enhance its health and wellbeing portfolio. In 2023 it launched Cadbury Delights, a new range of confectionary under 100 calories per bar, and in April this year it launched Cadbury Brunch Light, new non-HFSS (non-high in fat, salt and sugar) range of Cadbury Brunch Bars with each bar containing less than 100 calories.

“We are hugely excited to be recruiting 48 Sensory Panellists to join our amazing research and development team in Bournville. Often called a ‘dream job’ for many, the tasters will play an invaluable role in helping to develop the perfect taste profiles for our amazing products. Previously our Sensory Panellists have helped develop consumer favourites including Caramilk and Toblerone Truffles.

“We currently have around 600 employees working in a variety of research and development roles in the UK and are looking forward to welcoming our newly trained chocolate tasters to the team. They will enable us to continue to innovate and lead the future of snacking,” says Afsha Chugtai, Section Manager in the Consumer Science Team at Mondelēz International.

This year Cadbury is celebrating its 200th year anniversary. To mark the occasion the chocolatier has released a national television advert that reflects its core values of generosity; launched Cadbury Dairy Milk bars in stores with packaging designs from 1915 to the current day; and partnered with Alzheimer’s Research UK, donating £200,000 to support research to one day find a cure for dementia and drive awareness of the condition.

To find out more about careers at Mondelēz International and apply to become a chocolate taster, visit: https://www.mondelezinternational.com/careers

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Left-Wing Coalition Surprises in French Elections

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Left-Wing Coalition Surprises in French Elections
Non, merci: Far-Left Coalition shrinks Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen in surprising French elections. | Photo: Peter Curbishley

When the New Popular Front (NFP), a coalition of four left-wing parties, came together in June to present a united front and keep the National Rally from winning a majority in France after President Emmanuel Macron called the snap election, few predicted the surprising results of the legislative elections across the country.

Having won 182 seats in the National Assembly, largely thanks to tactical voting in Sunday’s second-round election, the New Popular Front is now the largest political group in France. However, this number of seats is still less than the 289 required for an absolute majority.

France’s latest election results risk slowing down decision-making in the European Union’s second-largest economy. Despite leading after the first round of votes, Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN) party and its allies won only 143 seats, while President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Ensemble alliance secured 163 seats.

The second round of the legislative elections in France took place on July 6 and 7. On July 6, voters cast their ballots in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélemy, French Polynesia, and in embassies and consulates located in the Americas and Caribbean zone. On Sunday, July 7, citizens voted in mainland France, Réunion, Mayotte, New Caledonia, and in embassies and consulates outside the Americas and Caribbean zone.

According to the French Interior Ministry, the second round of the legislative elections had a good turnout, reaching 59.71% at 5 PM on Sunday, July 7, 2024 – a significant increase compared to 2022’s turnout of 38%.

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