Letters – 5 November

Cantrade ‘miscreants’ get the (long), sharp shock treatment

I was interested to read your report (22 October) of the Cantrade case in Jersey.

You omitted to mention – possibly because it would have spoiled the story – that Robert Young and Alfred Williams were both sentenced to long prison terms.

As they hone their rock-breaking skills in La Moye prison, Messrs Young and Williams will no doubt be comparing their fate with that of sundry UK defendants, notably the lawyer who was not prosecuted for a multimillion-pound mortgage fraud on the grounds that he wasn’t feeling very well, and Roger Levitt (sentenced to community service for similar offences).

They have probably concluded that using Jersey as a base for their fraudulent activities was unwise.

Philip Gartside, Jersey

Big business must pay

I agree with the various comments in your paper (22 October) that the Late Commercial Debts Act will create bad feeling from customers. Something must be done about late payment, however, and an interest rate of base rate plus 8% is a handy weapon to wield, even if never used.

As an accountant in a small company, I have responsibility for debt collection.

The excuses used for late payment can border on the offensive, and come just as regularly from large companies, including public companies. It is this despicable behaviour that makes it difficult for small companies, where cash is king, to remain in business. Why should big business expect to borrow from small business without paying interest?

Name & address withheld

Euroland – the battle

I would like to congratulate Peter Broadley (‘Letters’, 22 October) upon daring to voice what lesser mortals dare only to think.

As a director of a company which exports approximately 75% of its production, it would be fair to say that we are not fixated on Europe.

Our market is global, with the result that only one-third of our exports are destined for Euroland’s customers. Given the need to remain competitive in areas other than Europe, it is interesting to ponder what might arise when we ultimately become members of EMU.

For example, it is not inconceivable that we could lose our competitive edge to non-EMU countries, as a result of the policies pursued within EMU to support the economies of its weaker members. If this situation materialised, our non-EMU competitors would have an inherent price advantage.

Finally, I have been unable, despite my attempts, to find a precedent in history to support EMU’s anticipated longevity.

Nigel Collin, MA, FCA


In John Stokdyk’s article (22 October), he claims that only Exchequer Software ‘can handle this parallel requirement’. I am sure he meant to say that, of the 40 members of BASDA, only Exchequer can.

Although we are only a small software developer, we have implemented multicurrency in our software which allows invoicing in euro and reporting in sterling or euro, whichever is required. I am sure we are not the only other UK software developer to have such a solution!

Roger Key, Coltec Systems

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