Credit Management magazine December 2017

credit

The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals

CREDIT MANAGEMENT

CM

DECEMBER 2017 £12.00

THE CICM MAGAZINE FOR CONSUMER AND

COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

INSIDE

2018 DESKTOP

CALENDAR

Face to Face

Sean Feast speaks

to Business Minister

Margot James

The rise and rise of

Peer-to-Peer alternative

finance. Page 13

The story behind the

collapse of Toys R Us.

Page 36


STAND OUT

FROM THE

CROWD

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13

PEER PRESSURE

ROBERT PETTIGREW

24

POLAND –

ADAM BERNSTEIN

DECEMBER 2017

www.cicm.com

CONTENTS

11 – INSOLVENCY

David Kerr examines the Insolvency

Service’s review of how complaints

against IPs are handled.

13 – PEER PRESSURE

The Peer-to-Peer Finance market is

booming – Sean Feast talks to Robert

Pettigrew, Director of the P2P Finance

Association about what the future

holds.

18 – DOWN TO BUSINESS

Margot James, discusses what

influenced her career choices, a passion

for small business and a love of French

wine.

26 – THE PRICE IS RIGHT

Philip King explains the change in

membership fees and how they are

designed to help those starting out on

their career.

31 – FROM THE ARCHIVE

An article from the Credit Management

archives written 45-years ago –

‘The Computer An Aid to Credit

Management’.

36 – TOY STORY

The decline of the world-famous toy

store and the lessons to be learned.

46 – BUILDING SKILLS

A look at how the CICM is helping

employees at Saint-Gobain gain

qualifications and progress their

training.

@Credit_Magazine

Publisher

Chartered Institute of Credit Management

The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham

OAKHAM, LE15 8NB

CICM GOVERNANCE

President Stephen Baister FCICM / Chief Executive Philip King FCICM CdipAF MBA

Executive Board Laurie Beagle FCICM – Chair / Glen Bullivant FCICM / Sue Chapple FCICM

Larry Coltman FCICM / David Thornley FCICM(Grad) – Treasurer / Pete Whitmore FCICM – Vice Chair

Advisory Council Laurie Beagle FCICM / Jason Braidwood FCICM(Grad) / Glen Bullivant FCICM / Sue Chapple FCICM

Larry Coltman FCICM / Kim Delaney-Bowen MCICM / Victoria Herd FCICM(Grad) / Edward Judge FCICM

Christelle Madie MCICM(Grad) / Robert Marr MCICM / Debbie Nolan FCICM / Bryony Pettifor FCICM(Grad) / Allan Poole MCICM

Phil Rice FCICM / Charlie Robertson FCICM / Chris Sanders FCICM / Richard Seadon FCICM. / David Thornley FCICM(Grad)

Debra Weston FCICM Pete Whitmore FCICM

View our digital version online at www.cicm.com Log on to the Members’

area, and click on the tab labelled ‘Credit Management magazine

Credit Management is distributed to the entire UK and international CICM

membership, as well as additional subscribers

Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden without specific permission. Opinions expressed in this magazine do

not, unless stated, reflect those of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management. The Editor reserves the right to

abbreviate letters if necessary. The Institute is registered as a charity. The mark ‘Credit Management’ is a registered

trade mark of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.

Telephone: 01780 722910

Fax: 01780 721333

Email: editorial@cicm.com

Website: www.cicm.com

CMM: www.creditmanagement.org.uk

Managing Editor

Sean Feast

Deputy Editor

Alex Simmons

Art Editor

Andrew Morris

Telephone: 01780 722910

Email: andrew.morris@cicm.com

Editorial Team

Imogen Hart and Iona Yadallee

Advertising

Anthony Cave

Telephone: 0203 603 7934

Email: anthony.cave@cabbell.co.uk

Printers

Stephens & George Print Group

2017 subscriptions

UK: £108 per annum

International: £140 per annum

Single copies: £12.00 ISSN 0265-2099

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 3


EDITOR’S COLUMN

The worst and the best of

British politics and politicians

Sean Feast

Managing Editor

IT has been an interesting few

weeks in the corridors of power,

as Members of Parliament

get their collective knickers in a

twist, quite literally it appears,

over a series of allegations of inappropriate

behaviour and misconduct

that will feed the Red Tops with salacious

gossip until Christmas at least.

It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious,

with one MP taking his own life and alleged

incidents that go far beyond the realms of

drunken misjudgement and into true and

quite horrible crime – if they are proven

to be true. Perhaps the most unedifying

spectacle for me, however, is watching

my media colleagues circle like a pack of

hyenas, having sensed blood, and turning

a hand on a knee into the crime of the

century. I once interviewed a well-known

musician who spent the entire 40 minutes

constantly touching my knee. Twenty years

of counselling and I think I’m over it now.

Unhappily, and again without wishing

to simply shrug one’s shoulders in a Gallic

suggestion of ‘c’est la vie’, it all rather

distracts from the business of Government,

and it is easy to forget that while some are

fully absorbed by the scandal, others are

quietly getting on with the day job. Among

them is the Minister for Small Business,

Consumers and Corporate Responsibility

Margot James, who took time out of her

busy schedule to take part in our exclusive

interview (see page 17).

Some of the work Margot and her

colleagues have been doing is impressive,

not least in the £3.4 billion of finance

provided to almost 60,000 firms via the

British Business Bank programmes, and

creating 38 local growth hubs which

make it easier for start-ups and existing

businesses to access the support they

need.

But I am more impressed with her

acknowledgement of the help provided

by the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management in tackling late payment. She

describes the CICM as being ‘instrumental

in driving forward Government priorities

in improving payment practices’ and

this is a tremendous credit to the CICM

team, and the Chief Executive, in being

a constant and consistent voice on

improving payment practice, and the

vital importance of professional credit

management.

Oh, and Happy Christmas, if you’re

still allowed to say such things.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 4


CMNEWS

A round-up of news stories from the

world of consumer and commercial credit

Written by – Sean Feast and Alex Simmons

ITN and CICM combine to

present new ‘Credit Champions’

news documentary

Philip King

Chief Executive of the CICM

“CICM members are

experts in their field,

and will welcome this

exciting initiative

that will highlight the

critical importance

of professional credit

management in managing

cashflow and supporting

business success.’’

IN what is being described as a

unique communications partnership,

the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management (CICM) and ITN

Productions are producing a news and

current affairs-style programme exploring

the impact credit management has across

the supply chain and the need to support

the growth of businesses and the economy

through healthier cashflow.

Credit Champions’ will aim to promote

excellence in credit management and raise

awareness of its vital role within business

and the community.

The management of credit has

unparalleled influence on the 5.5 million

small businesses in operation across the

UK, and their supply chains. Late, or prompt,

payment can significantly impact the

success of a business, as well as its ability

to expand and innovate. ‘Credit Champions’

will bring to life why relationship-building

between creditors and debtors is so

important by illustrating examples of best

practice and highlighting solutions to

underlying problems.

The programme will also look at how

poor credit management or lengthy

payment terms can have a significant

and detrimental impact later down the

line including the mental health of those

involved in the supply chain.

Drawing upon ITN’s 60-year heritage

and expertise in storytelling, the newsstyle

piece will be anchored by national

newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky to combine

key interviews and reports with sponsored

editorial profiles from leading organisations.

Credit Champions’ will premiere during

British Credit Week in March 2018, and

form part of an extensive communications

campaign featuring CICM members,

industry partners, government partners,

as well as relevant journalists, writers and

bloggers.

Phillip King, Chief Executive, CICM

is delighted with the initiative: “CICM

members are experts in their field, and

will welcome this exciting initiative that

will highlight the critical importance

of professional credit management in

managing cashflow and supporting

business success. We anticipate it will be

an important contribution to the ongoing

debate amongst businesses and within

Parliament as to the best ways of improving

the payment culture, through a better

understanding of best-practice credit

management principles.”

Simon Shelley, Head of Industry News,

ITN Productions, added: “We’re delighted

to be partnering with the Chartered

Institute of Credit Management to produce

a programme exploring how credit

management effects so many aspects of

business across the supply chain. We want

to bring to life a profession that impacts

significantly on the success of a business.”

>TOKEN GESTURE

A new ‘London Fundraising Token Manifesto’ has been launched with the backing

of the Long Finance community. The manifesto – created by Professor Michael

Mainelli, Executive Chairman of Z/Yen Group – is a voluntary code of conduct

created in collaboration with the finance industry and blockchain technology

leaders. The manifesto aims to establish new standards for initial coin offerings

(ICO) and initial token offerings (ITO), the fundraising mediums that enable investors

to back companies using cryptocurrency. The Manifesto has been modelled on the

Chartered Institute of Investment & Securities' code of conduct and features eight

principles, including honesty, integrity and fairness when dealing with consumers.

longfinance.net/nstm

>STOP PRESS

AT the time of going to press, The Times was reporting that

Cabot Credit Management’s IPO had stalled, as shares in the

business were struggling to sell, despite being reduced in price.

Shares in Arrow Global, arguably Cabot’s biggest rival, were also

reported to be down, with one fund manager taking of a ‘lack of

momentum’. Hedge Funds have been shorting debt collection

agencies and claim Cabot is over-valued.

cabotcm.com

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 5


American Express named as

Headline Sponsor of CICM British

Credit Awards

American Express has been announced

as the Headline Sponsor of the 2018 CICM

British Credit Awards, the most prestigious

Awards in the credit and collections

calendar, recognising best practice

and outstanding individual and group

achievements. The award winners will be

announced at a glittering celebration in

London in February.

Philip King FCICM, Chief Executive of the

Chartered Institute of Credit Management,

said: “We are thrilled to have American

Express on board as Headline Sponsor of our

Awards. The event has grown each year and

having such a well-known, leading brand

in the financial services sector associated

with the Awards is testimony to the high

profile the CICM British Credit Awards now

enjoys.”

Mike Jackson, Vice President and General

Manager Merchant Services UK, at American

Express said: “As a provider of Business

to Business payment solutions, American

Express works with credit professionals

who constantly innovate to drive growth

and support their customers. As such we are

thrilled to sponsor the CICM British Credit

Awards which are truly the recognised

standard in the credit industry and further

raise the profile of American Express in this

sector.”

For all table bookings please contact

Natasha Witter on T: 020 7484 9876 or

E: natasha.witter@incisivemedia.com

>NEWS

IN BRIEF

MARKETINVOICE

REBRAND

MARKETINVOICE, the peer-to-peer

invoice finance platform, has rebranded to

coincide with a new product offering. The

company will now be offering unsecured

business loans ranging between £10,000

and £100,000 over a 12-month term with

no early repayment fees. MarketInvoice,

which claims to have channelled more

than £1.6 billion to UK businesses through

its invoice finance products, said it is

looking to support a wider range of

companies. Its business loans will be

available to slightly younger firms – that

have been trading for as little as six

months – with a minimum turnover of

£70,000.

marketinvoice.com

PAINT BY NUMBERS

WEST Sussex-based art supplies

manufacturer Chameleon Art Products

has received a £1 million funding line from

Bibby Financial Services (BFS). The maker

of art and craft products exports to a large

number of countries around the world.

Established in the UK in 2013, Chameleon’s

flagship item is a pen that uses two nibs to

produce a gradient-like effect.

bibbyfinancialservices.com

15 YEAR MILESTONE

November 2017 marked the 15th anniversary for CoCredo, a provider of online company

credit reports and related business information within the UK and overseas. The business

was established as part of Wyse Leasing and became a stand-alone private limited

Company in 2005. Dan Hancocks, the Managing Director, and CICM Think Tank member,

has been with CoCredo from the start and took over complete ownership of the business

in 2015. He says has seen the company go from strength to strength over the last few years

with profits increasing and the reputation of the business escalating within the B2B arena.

cocredo.co.uk

CASH CROPS

ULTIMATE Finance has launched a

purchase finance product to help SMEs

buy goods. The new product is completely

unsecured with the SME funding partner

instead considering the ongoing trading

performance of a business. Purchase finance

is described as a flexible line of credit

that covers any type of stock purchases,

including raw materials, work-in-progress

and perishables.

ultimatefinance.co.uk

Work together to stop late payment

BRITAIN’S culture of late payment requires

a mix of government action, peer pressure

and persistence, a leading boss of a

business organisation has warned.

Speaking at the Telegraph Festival of

Business, Philip King, Chief Executive

of the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management (CICM) claimed there was no

panacea: “There is no silver bullet,” he said.

“In order to get paid on time, it is

important that businesses know who they

are dealing with, including whether their

client is a limited company or a sole trader,

what their reputation is like and if they are

in good financial health. Suppliers should

always confirm terms up front,” he added.

“If you don’t agree payment terms until

after you’ve supplied, you’re on to a loser.”

Successive governments have

introduced new legislation to tackle the

problem, but seemingly to little avail. One

third of payments to small businesses are

late, according to the Federation of Small

Businesses (FSB), causing 50,000 firms to

fail each year.

Richard Gilkes, Managing Director of

SME Stort Chemicals, warned against

seeing it as a “them and us” situation. “The

majority of our customer base is SMEs

and we have good payers and bad payers,”

he said. “The most important thing to

understand is things can get better.”

Sandra Cotton, Aviva’s Business

Manager of Accounts Payable, said new

rules requiring large businesses to publish

how quickly they pay suppliers will help.

“Reporting will raise the profile internally

so we can see who is paying on time and

who isn’t,” she said.

Ms Cotton said that when dealing with

large organisations, it is important also

to have contact details for somebody who

works in accounts payable: “Often the

person who instructed you in the first

place is not the person who will pay your

invoice,” she said.

“If you don’t agree

payment terms until after

you’ve supplied, you’re on

to a loser.”

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 6


Rising costs threaten survival

of UK restaurants

A fifth of UK restaurants are at risk of going

insolvent according to new figures from

Moore Stephens, which warned that rising

staff costs and food prices were putting a

strain on operators.

The research showed a total of 14,800

restaurants were faced with the prospect

of going under, not helped by a weakening

pound. The pound has decreased in value

by over 13 percent against the euro and 12

percent against the US dollar since the UK

voted in a referendum to leave the European

Union last year, Moore Stephens said.

Since the UK imports over half of its

food, with 75 percent coming from the EU,

restaurants have been faced with a decision

to either raise their prices or reduce their

profit margins. The National Living Wage

also increased to £7.50 an hour in April, up

from £6.70 in 2015, and will rise to at least

£9.00 an hour by 2020.

Moore Stephens also cited business rates

as a factor. A recalculation of rates has seen

restaurants in London facing a maximum

42 percent increase in business rates in

the first year, according to the Mayor of

London’s office.

Byron, Prezzo and Jamie’s Italian have

all closed outlets in the past year owing

to tough trading conditions. Handmade

Burger Co went into administration earlier

this year, further highlighting the problems

facing the sector. Insolvency Service data

shows that the number of restaurants

entering insolvency has increased by 13

UK insolvency slips in

worlds rankings

THE UK Government needs to kick-start

its stalled corporate insolvency reforms in

the wake of the UK insolvency framework

falling from 13th to 14th in the World Bank’s

rankings, according to the Association of

Business Recovery Professionals R3.

R3 is warning that with other countries’

insolvency and restructuring frameworks

improving, and with Brexit potentially

creating barriers to resolving crossborder

insolvencies from the UK, the UK

is at risk of seeing its current competitive

advantage in international insolvency and

restructuring diminish unless reform efforts

are renewed. A less competitive insolvency

framework would have a detrimental

impact on the wider economy.

The Government announced insolvency

reforms in May 2016, but limited progress

has been made since. The Government is

yet to respond to its own ‘call for evidence’

on the reforms, which closed in July 2016,

while plans for reform were absent from the

Queen’s Speech earlier this year.

Adrian Hyde, R3 President, says

corporate insolvency reform should be a

priority for the UK: “We currently have a

world-class insolvency and restructuring

framework, but we can’t stand still. Others

percent in 2016/17 to 1,544 from 1,363 in

2015/16.

Jeremy Willmont, partner at Moore

Stephens, says the sector is one of the

most competitive for a business to survive

at the best of times and current market

conditions make it even tougher: “The

increase in the number of insolvencies in

the last year is indicative of how difficult the

market conditions are now. Finances can be

uncertain in the restaurant sector, but this is

beyond the norm.

“In such a competitive market,

restaurants need to be wary of building

up losses and debt now in the hope of

future profits, as the industry looks to be

facing a prolonged period of tough trading

conditions.”

moorestephens.co.uk

are catching up to us and over-taking. EU

member states and places like Singapore

have embarked on ambitious insolvency

reform projects in a bid to tempt investment

and businesses to their countries.

“Meanwhile, the UK Government has

gone cold on its own reforms, and Brexit

risks making it harder to resolve the

insolvencies and restructurings of large,

multi-national companies from the UK.

Insolvency reform would be a welcome step

to making sure the UK economy is prepared

for Brexit. It’s not something we can leave

until after we have left. That might be too

late.

“An effective insolvency and

restructuring framework is an absolutely

vital part of any economy. It helps

rescue businesses and jobs, and provides

lenders, investors and trade creditors

with confidence that they can get at least

some of their money back when things

go wrong. The flexibility and practicality

which underpin the UK’s insolvency and

restructuring framework help to attract

business to the UK; if we don’t continue to

improve the framework, the whole economy

will suffer.”

r3.org.uk

>NEWS

IN BRIEF

SINGING FROM

THE VALLEYS

THE Secretary of State for Wales Alun

Cairns has called on Welsh SMEs to take

advantage of the new UK governmentbacked

export finance opportunity to help

gain access to global growth markets.

The Secretary of State highlighted

the new UK Export Finance (UKEF)

partnership – supported by five high street

banks – which is designed to enable Welsh

SMEs to access support directly from their

bank in seconds, without needing to apply

separately.

The fund will support businesses such as

those on the Fast Growth 50 list to become

part of major export contracts around the

world. Since it was established in 1999, the

551 companies that have featured on the

list are said to have created over 34,000

jobs and generated an estimated £18 billion

for the Welsh economy.

gov.uk/government/organisations/ukexport-finance

SMES RESIGNED TO

HARD BREXIT

MORE than a third of UK SMEs (35 percent)

are resigned to a ‘hard Brexit’, according to

Bibby Financial Services and its latest SME

confidence tracker which has reported

a fall in confidence following prolonged

negotiations between the UK and the

European Union.

The survey found that just 20 percent

of SMEs expected Brexit to be achieved

by March 2019. The vast majority of SMEs

(71 percent) were clear that Brexit would

happen, with 51 percent anticipating a

transitional phase before the UK can leave

the European Union.

Figures also revealed that 26 percent

of SMEs felt that an uncertain economic

environment in the UK was holding back

investment, with other barriers including

rising costs, declining sales, building up

cash reserves, and uncertainty arising from

the exit from the EU.

bibbyfinancialservices.com

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 7


Equifax US attack leaves 700,000

UK residents seeing red

READERS who have had their personal

data stolen following the cyber-attack

on Equifax, the credit reference agency,

have reacted with surprise and concern

to a letter sent by the firm that admits

that hackers have had access to critical

personal information for more than six

months.

The letter, sent to almost 700,000 UK

residents, says that hackers have had

access to their data since May 2017, even

though Equifax in the US did not discover

they had been attacked until July, did not

reveal the breach until September, and

victims in the UK were not informed until

the second half of October.

They have also expressed some surprise

that data such as UK driving license

numbers was being stored by Equifax’ US

business.

Equifax was at pains to point out that

its UK business, Equifax Ltd, had not been

attacked, and had responded within days

of being informed, but that 15.2 million UK

A new guidance paper has been released

to help directors better understand and

meet their obligations when it comes to

financial reporting.

The paper, ‘Directors Responsibilities

for Financial Reporting: What You Need to

Know’, is designed to help directors avoid

the pitfalls of financial reporting.

The work is a joint publication

between Chartered Accountants Australia

and New Zealand (CA ANZ) and ACCA

(the Association of Chartered Certified

Accountants).

Maggie McGhee, Director of

Professional Insights at ACCA, says it’s

important for directors everywhere to

take their responsibilities seriously: “As

well as important details on practice and

process, this paper provides the questions

records dating from between 2011 and

2016 had been accessed. Equifax admitted

that the storage of historic data in the

US had been the result of a ‘process

error’.

Initially, Equifax had issued a press

release saying that 400,000 UK customers

had been affected, but this figure almost

doubled when further data was analysed.

One CICM member, who did not

wish to be named, said: “Whereas I

understand that data can be hacked, I

still don't understand why it has taken

them six months to tell me, nor do I

understand why they are storing details

of my driver’s license in the US? I am

also underwhelmed that their solution

appears for me to store more of my data

with them!”

Credit Management understands that

since the attack, Equifax has increased its

investment in cyber-security to prevent

such attacks from happening again.

equifax.co.uk

SSEN returns excessive profits

CITIZENS Advice has welcomed news

that Scottish and Southern Electricity

Networks (SSEN) will make a voluntary

contribution of £65.1 million to consumers,

relating to its electricity transmission

business.

Earlier this year Citizens Advice

highlighted how energy network companies

are said to be making billions of pounds

worth of ‘unjustified profit’ from customers

and called for this money to be returned to

people via lower energy bills.

Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Gillian

Guy says energy network companies have

enjoyed profits at the expense of people

overpaying on their bills: “So it’s very

welcome news that Scottish and Southern

Electricity Networks (SSEN) has listened to

our call to return money to its customers.

“As we head towards winter the prospect

of rising energy bills will be weighing on

the minds of many families and energy

network firms are a key driver of these

costs. It’s good to see SSEN leading the

way by making a voluntary contribution

to customers. We hope to see other energy

network companies following suit soon.”

citizensadvice.org.uk

Accountants launch new

reporting paper

directors need to be asking to make sure

the financial reporting process is sound,

and the output of that process provides

meaningful information to investors and

other users.

“It’s a helpful reminder to our

members across the world, particularly

entrepreneurs and those working in

and for small and medium businesses,

of this crucial aspect of corporate

governance. This global overview of

directors’ responsibilities at different

stages of the financial reporting process

will hopefully provide an opportunity to

start a conversation in the boardroom

about financial reporting, and corporate

reporting in general.

charteredaccountantsanz.com

accaglobal.com

>NEWS

IN BRIEF

SUPERMARKET SWEEP

METRO Bank has provided Capreon – the

asset manager of the Alhambra Shopping

Centre in Barnsley – with a £17.3 million

capital injection. The capital will assist with

operations and management of the centre.

The Alhambra Shopping Centre is a duallevel

centre located in the heart of Barnsley

town centre, and is home to over 40 stores,

including Primark, Wilko, Next and TK

Maxx. metrobankonline.co.uk

CALL FOR EVIDENCE

THE Government is issuing a call for

evidence to gain further insight from the

debt advice sector and creditors about the

scale of the current debt crisis and about

how best to design, implement, administer

and monitor a six-week breathing space

scheme and statutory debt repayment plan.

The informal consultation closes on 16

January 2018.

CITY AM AWARD

Moore Stephens has won the Accountancy

Firm of the Year at this year's City A.M.

Awards. The CICM Corporate Partner beat

off competition from EY to achieve the

accolade. The eighth City A.M. Awards

were held at the Grange Hotel, in the

shadow of St Paul's Cathedral where 12

individuals and businesses collected

gongs from host Julia Hartley-Brewer.

moorestephens.co.uk

WHAT A CARVE UP

Lowell, backed by the Permira funds and

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, has entered

into a definitive agreement to acquire the

carve-out business from Intrum Justitia.

The carve-out comprises Lindorff’s entire

business in Denmark, Estonia, Finland and

Sweden as well as Intrum Justitia’s entire

business in Norway and was specified by

the European Commission as a condition

of the combination of the two companies

earlier this year. The transaction is valued

at €730 million on an enterprise value basis

and is subject to the approval of Lowell as

purchaser by the European Commission,

as well as customary competition and

regulatory approvals. It is expected to close

in H1 2018. lowell.co.uk

CICM In Brief

This month's briefing includes details of the

free CICM Law Conference at the 'Walkie

Talkie' on November 30, the discounted rate

for CICM members to attend Credit Week,

CICMQ successes for Tata Global Beverages

and Amari Metals, and the white paper on

Bitcoin and Blockchain technology by Phil

Ariss, Regional Cyber Crime Unit (RCCU)

at East Midlands Special Operations Unit

(EMSOU).

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 8


The state of the credit

management nation

THE CICM is seeking the views of members

in a new survey – ‘The State of the Credit

Management Nation’ – being launched and

conducted by students at Sheffield Hallam

University.

The survey, commissioned by the

CICM’s Think Tank, a group of 25 senior

credit industry executives, will explore

every aspect and specialism of the credit

MAT’s bailiffs figures disputed

by Enforcement body

LOCAL authorities across England and

Wales have referred debts to bailiffs on 1.8

million occasions in the last 12 months,

according to figures obtained by the Money

Advice Trust. The charity issued Freedom

of Information requests to all 374 local

authorities in England and Wales.

However, the figures have been disputed

by the Civil Enforcement Association

(CIVEA) and described as ‘misleading’ as

many authorities re-issue previous years’

debts when issuing a debt for the current

year.

Kevin McCarthy, President of CIVEA,

says what is of considerable concern is

that of those authorities listed in the top

10, 50 percent now have an in-house bailiff

team: “Such in-house bailiff teams are

normally set up on the basis that it will give

the Council greater controls to protect the

vulnerable, whereas these figures indicate

that Councils with an in-house enforcement

agent team are more likely to move more

often to enforcement, hence incurring more

fees more quickly for debtors.

“A check of one of the Councils cases

in the list shows that for every 1,000

bailiff cases issued there are actually 540

properties. A Council with an in-house

team has a self-interest in moving a case

quickly on to the bailiff stage as it generates

additional income for a council, this is not

the case where an external enforcement

agent is used.”

According to MAT’s figures, there is

variation across the 374 different local

authorities in England and Wales as

to how frequently bailiffs are called in:

Birmingham City Council (the largest

local authority in the UK) referred debts to

bailiffs on 82,329 occasions in the last 12

months – equivalent to 17 percent of total

properties in the city. The London Borough

of Newham Council referred 55,652 cases

to bailiffs – equivalent to nearly half of the

total properties under its authority.

Merthyr Tydfil Council referred 6,094

debts to bailiffs, equivalent to 22 per cent of

the total properties under its authority.

Joanna Elson OBE, Chief Executive of

the MAT, says it is not economically or

socially responsible for local authorities

to continue to use bailiffs so frequently:

“Local authorities seem to be assuming

that anyone not paying debts is a ‘won’t

pay’, rather than a ‘can’t pay’. In today’s

economy, with real incomes having fallen

consistently for many years, more and

more people are falling into the ‘can’t pay’

bracket – sending the bailiffs in to collect

these debts can be very destructive, both

financially and psychologically.”

moneyadvicetrust.org

civea.co.uk

Philips & Cohen strengthens

senior team

PHILLIPS & Cohen Associates has moved to

strengthen its senior leadership team with

a significant re-organisation; Nick Cherry

moves up to the role of Chief Operating

Officer for the global organisation.

Cherry, who has been with the business

since 2010, previously fulfilled the role of

Managing Director of PCA International and

oversaw all group activity outside of the US

mainland. Cherry will now be responsible

for overseeing all aspects of collections and

digital strategy, operations, HR, recruitment

and training for the global group.

In conjunction with Cherry’s new global

role, the group has moved to strengthen its

executive leadership in both markets.

management lifecycle.

Philip King, Chief Executive of the CICM

urged members to take part: “This is one of

the most important initiatives to come from

our Think Tank group and will be used to

inform the thinking and direction of future

credit strategies,” he said.

The survey closes on 15 December, 2017.

The report will be published in Spring 2018.

Stuart Webb, formerly of New Day,

Santander and Barclays, has joined the UK

management team as Site Director. Stuart

brings with him operational collections

and risk management experience, which

will further re-enforce PCA’s position as

the leading provider of deceased account

management services in the UK.

Similarly, Andrew Worrall, whose

career with PCA spans 12 years, has

been appointed as Site Director of the US

Headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.

Andrew has fulfilled several prior roles

at PCA, most recently VP of Client and

Acquisition Services.

phillips-cohen.co.uk

Brits trapped in

working poverty

ONE in five people (21 percent) in the UK

are still earning below the real Living Wage,

meaning that an estimated 5.5 million

employees are struggling to get out of

in-work poverty, according to a new report

published by KPMG.

The research, conducted by IHS Markit for

KPMG, found that the total number earning

below the real Living Wage is down slightly

by 100,000 compared to last year, when

an estimated 22 percent of all jobs and 5.6

million roles paid less than the real Living

Wage. This is the first reduction in five

years, but still leaves the total of one million

more people earning below the real Living

Wage than in 2012.

For five years in a row, the research finds

that women are considerably more likely

to be paid below the real Living Wage than

men. With nearly 225,000 more women in

work than last year, this year’s data shows

that just over one in four (26 percent) of

female employees earn less than the real

Living Wage, compared to 16 percent of all

males. In numerical terms this equates to

3.4 million female employees versus 2.1

million male employees.

Around 3.1 million part-time employees

earn less than the real Living Wage,

compared with 2.4 million full-time

workers. Part-time jobs are around three

times more likely to pay below £8.75 per

hour (or £9.75 in London) than full-time

roles. Some 42 percent of part-time workers

now earn less than the real Living Wage,

compared with 13 percent full-time workers.

Indeed, the difference is so stark that

despite accounting for less than one-third

(28 percent) of all UK jobs, part-time roles

represent more than half (56 percent) of all

jobs paying less than the real Living Wage.

Regionally, Northern Ireland has the

highest proportion of jobs earning below

the real Living Wage at 26 percent, followed

by the East Midlands, Yorkshire and

Humber, Wales and the West Midlands all

at around 24 percent. The lowest proportion

of employees earning less than the Living

Wage is found in the South East at 17

percent, Scotland at 18 percent and London

at 19 percent.

However, by number of people rather

than proportion, London at around 750,000,

followed by the South East and North West

at an estimated 635,000 each, are the areas

with the highest levels.

ihsmarkit.com

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 9


NEWS SPECIAL

ALL RISE

With news that the Bank of England has raised

interest rates, and future rates are only heading one way,

Credit Management asked experts in the world of credit

and financial services for their views of what it all means.

Richard Carter, Managing Director, Equiniti Credit Services

“NOW that interest rate rises have finally

begun, homeowners will become increasingly

anxious to secure the best mortgage

deals available. Lenders will be under

growing pressure to pass the new rates on

to their customers, but with 60 percent of

homeowners on fixed-rate products, the

majority won’t suffer the hikes just yet.

This gives smart lenders a window of opportunity.

Agile technologies can quickly

reduce operating costs enabling lenders

“OUR figures show that 8.8 million people

are using credit for everyday living

expenses, including 1.1 million turning

to high cost credit. Many people are just

hanging by their fingertips currently,

but are increasingly at risk of falling into

financial difficulty. While the rise in interest

rates was small, we estimate our

clients with mortgages need to pay on

average £20 more monthly, which could

to pass these savings onto consumers in

the form of new lower-rate products.

“By bucking the trend for inflating

rates, lenders can immediately stand out

in a new market of increasingly uneasy

homeowners, retaining existing customers

and securing new ones. Lenders that

have been mulling automation and intelligent

credit systems should act now – this

is a golden opportunity to grow their businesses.”

Peter Tutton, Head of Policy at StepChange Debt Charity

Ted Winterton, UK CEO at Bibby Financial Services

“THE increase is a mixed blessing for

SMEs. On the one hand, it signals that

the Monetary Policy Committee is more

confident about the economy, but the rise

in interest on loans could hit some micro

businesses who’ve become used to a decade

of rock bottom rates. Our Global Business

Monitor research recently found

that over half (56 percent) of businesses

expect to be affected by an interest rate

rise and two fifths (39 percent) believe

Paresh Davdra, CEO and Co-Founder of RationalFX

“CRUCIALLY, the BoE indicated that

further rate rises would be gradual over

the next three years, highlighting the

cautious mood amongst policymakers.

The pound has fallen against its peers

in response, with analysts disappointed

that this does not signal further rises in

the immediate future. The BoE

highlighted the impact of Brexit on the

economic outlook, suggesting that this is

behind the hesitation in promising future

push one in ten clients into a position

where they can’t cover essential bills.

Those who are just about managing will

need help to adjust. Future rate increases

could pose problems given the squeeze

on household finances from rising inflation

and sluggish wage growth. A clear

Government strategy on supporting those

struggling with problem debt is therefore

long overdue.”

that this would negatively impact their

business.

“With the Bank of England forecasting

two additional rate rises by 2020, businesses

are likely to become even more

stretched. It is therefore crucial that SMEs

review their business plans to account for

future rate increases, while also leaving

enough room for the funding they need to

invest in their business so they can continue

to grow.”

rises. Their concerns were underlined

by release of the UK’s construction PMI,

which showed weak growth from 48.1

to 50.8 pecent and business confidence

at its lowest since 2012. Investors will

be watching closely in the coming

weeks- with the pound lower against

its peers after the long-awaited interest

rate decision, analysts will be looking

for future key drivers that can boost the

currency.”

Markus Kuger, Senior Economist

– Europe, Dun & Bradstreet

“THE Bank of England’s decision to raise

interest rates to 0.5 percent, up from

their all-time low of 0.25 percent, was not

unexpected, as several MPC members had

been openly talking about this possibility

in recent times. The fact that inflation

reached a five-and-a-half year high of

3.0 percent in September put additional

pressure on rate setters, leading to the

UK’s first interest rate rise in more than a

decade. “The Bank of England is currently

in an uncomfortable position: inflation

is significantly overshooting the target

rate of 2.0 percent, but, at the same time,

growth has slowed significantly since the

start of 2017. The decision to raise interest

rates should, together with base effects

and the slower rate of economic growth,

help to bring inflationary pressures down

in the coming quarters. However, the

MPC’s move will add to the headwinds

the British economy is already facing

in the wake of Brexit. Dun & Bradstreet

forecasts that 2018’s inflation and real

GDP growth levels will be lower than the

values estimated for 2017.”

Mihir Kapadia – CEO and Founder

of Sun Global Investments

“WHILE the interest rate hike bodes well

to support the pound, it also increases the

borrowing costs for consumers and business.

It will mean an increased squeeze on

consumers with loans and mortgages, thus

nipping their spending and in turn affect

the economy. It may well turn out to be a

vicious loop, especially as Brexit woes continue

to weigh down on the UK’s economy.

“The last time the Bank of England had

increased the interest rates was in July

2007, when it pushed the cost of borrowing

to 5.75 percent months before cutting them

during the onset of the financial crash

of 2008. Today’s increase comes at a time

when the economic framework has stabilised

and careful credit scrutiny is in place

to prevent another crash. The interest rate

hike may well deter consumers from accessing

cheap credit”

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 10


Joanna Elson OBE, Chief Executive

of the Money Advice Trust

“THIS first rate rise in more than a decade

could be a turning point for many households.

Future interest rate rises are likely to be slow

and gradual – but even small increases in

costs could cause significant problems for

many households. High levels of household

debt, a renewed squeeze on wages and now

the prospect of higher interest rates threaten

to be a dangerous mix for many households.

Calls to National Debtline are already up

10 percent this year, and we expect demand

for debt advice to increase significantly in a

higher interest rate environment. It is vital

that lenders, government and advice agencies

work together to make sure people affected

receive the support they need.”

Ian Stewart, Chief Economist

at Deloitte

“SHORT of walking down Threadneedle Street

wearing a sandwich board telling us that

the Bank was about to raise rates Mr Carney

couldn’t have made his intentions clearer. The

Bank is on a tightrope, it wants to dampen

down inflation and consumer borrowing

without knocking out the UK consumer.

Incomes are shrinking and households need

cheap finance. The rise is a warning shot, not

the start of quick fire campaign of rate hikes.

With the Bank labouring the risks to growth,

we are heading into the most cautious,

tentative rate hike cycle in modern history.”

Angus Dent, CEO, ArchOver.

“THIS rate rise of 0.25 percent is largely

symbolic. At the same time, it’s also a year

too late. Dropping the interest rate below 0.5

percent was the wrong decision in the first

place. The Bank should have pushed rates

up to 0.75 percent as a show of strength that

would have driven inflation down as the

pound rose. Although this rise is unlikely to

have any major material effects, it is a return

to the trajectory we should have been on for

the past year, and a good sign for a bolder

policy. For many, the move towards a higher

interest rate will simply mean business as

usual.”

DCAS urged to prepare

for card payment ban

THE Credit Services Association (CSA)

has urged members to start preparing

for the Government’s decision to ban

additional charges for certain future

card payments.

From 13 January next year,

businesses, including CSA

Members, will no longer be able to

charge surcharges for certain card

transactions, but will still face the

costs for processing card payments.

John Ricketts, President of the

CSA, says this could have ‘serious

implications’ for debt collection

agencies managing card payments for

outstanding debts, and they need to be

prepared: “Members need to act now to

ensure their websites and letter suites

are updated or they will be breaking

the law,” he explains.

“Although a simple enough initiative

on the outside, it may involve

significant changes to IT processes

and call processes, all of which will

need to be in place before the January

deadline.”

Mr Ricketts is also concerned that

the plans will add yet another layer of

cost that will ultimately have to be met

elsewhere.

“While Her Majesty’s Treasury has

stated it will engage with businesses

regarding whether more can be done to

help them with these charges, and the

Government has previously capped the

costs businesses face for processing

card payments, further costs appear

unavoidable,” he says.

“While the transaction charges may

appear small to the outside world,

they can represent a large percentage

of the total commission for the work

undertaken, especially when only

nominal payments have been agreed.

Multiply these charges by the many

thousands of accounts an agency may

handle, however, and it can add up to a

significant sum of money.”

As part of the Government’s new

Payment Services Regulations 2017

(PSR 2017), alternatives to card

payments are being more actively

promoted. Where the customer gives

their explicit consent, authorised third

parties, including financial technology

firms, will be able to access data from

all of the customer’s bank accounts in

order to provide information services

and make payments on behalf of

customers.

“The intention is that a range

of alternative payment options

may be available to consumers,”

John continues. “This may enable

innovations such as managing all

bank accounts from one app or making

automatic payments between bank

accounts when funds are running low

to avoid overdrafts.”

In the longer term, John believes

this will be of benefit to creditors and

customers alike, but in the short term,

prohibiting the charging of fees will

make a difficult job more difficult still:

“For agencies who are used to passing

on these costs, this will no longer be an

option,” he concludes.

csa-uk.com

Research claims businesses

are taking an alternative path

MANY small businesses are turning to

alternative finance options, including

peer-to-peer lending, to support their

growth plans in 2018, according to new

research from Worldpay, the payment

processing company.

A poll of 1,000 small business owners

by Worldpay found 52 percent are

concerned that traditional routes to

finance, including bank loans, might

not be available at the same levels in

the coming year. Nearly a third (30

percent) have already encountered

difficulties securing funding through

these traditional channels.

Meanwhile, 40 percent of younger

business owners claimed the growth of

alternative finance options has made

them less reliant on banks for funding.

The poll found alternative funding

options are almost on a par with

traditional bank lending in terms

of popularity among start-ups and

younger business owners. Although

21 percent of business owners aged 44

or under said they are still most likely

to apply for a bank loan when looking

for funding, 17 percent said they are

more likely to look at crowdfunding, 11

per cent P2P lending and six per cent a

business cash advance.

The survey also suggests small

business owners are concerned about

political and economic uncertainty

in the year ahead. Just 43 percent

thought trading conditions would

improve in 2018, with Brexit the most

popular reason for their concern.

Only 32 percent of businesses in

London said they are optimistic about

the economy in 2018, compared with

54 percent of those in Birmingham and

the West Midlands.

Despite their concerns, more than

half of the small business owners

surveyed stated they are planning to

grow in 2018.

business.worldpay.com

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 11


INSOLVENCY

Compensation for creditors?

There is a fine balance to be struck between the right of

redress and compensation claims.

AUTHOR – David Kerr MCICM is the Chief Executive of the Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA).

David Kerr

IN its role as the oversight regulator,

the Insolvency Service (IS)

(an executive agency of BEIS)

undertook a review of how the

regulators handle complaints

against Insolvency Practitioners

(IPs). One of its recommendations was for

the regulators to enter discussions with

IS to consider the feasibility of a regulatory

mechanism whereby compensation

can be paid by IPs to complainants where

they have suffered inconvenience, loss or

distress as a result of IPs’ actions.

This is based on a trend towards

increasing the number of complaints

from consumers, and a Government

desire to see some form of redress for

complainants generally, applied mostly

in cases of minor error, mistake or

alleged poor practice on the part of IPs.

It is also related to the relatively new ‘fair

treatment’ statutory objective for the

insolvency regime.

However, some careful consideration

of the need for ‘compensation’ as such is

required. There is a concern among some

that payment of compensation by IPs for

matters that would otherwise be brought

to the attention of the regulators may

adversely impact on effective regulation.

There is a current Insolvency Guidance

Paper on Dealing with Complaints, and

this already makes provision for IPs and/

or their firms to have in place proper

procedures for dealing with complaints,

and covers the need for explanation,

rectification where appropriate, and

apology. It doesn’t expressly provide for

compensation, but before this or any

other mechanism is used to explicitly

introduce compensation as part of the IPs’

procedures, the circumstances in which

that might (or might not) be appropriate

should be explored.

IPs are generally acting for the

collective benefit of creditors, and their

acts and dealings will usually affect

creditors generally. Financial redress to

one creditor in a class would ordinarily

not be appropriate, unless that creditor/

complainant has suffered some particular

financial loss as a direct consequence of

an IP’s acts or defaults. That could apply

in some personal insolvency cases where

the debtor is the complainant, but even

their IPs’ decisions are likely to impact on

creditors generally rather than the debtor;

where debtors complain about perceived

delay, for example, they are not likely to

have suffered any loss.

Unfortunately, some degree of distress

or inconvenience is not uncommon among

those affected by insolvency proceedings,

as a result of the financial circumstances

of the insolvent entity and the consequent

loss creditors and others suffer, or just

as a result of a lack of understanding of

insolvency processes; can IPs be expected

to compensate for that?

Regulators are required to address the

conduct of IPs. There is scope with the

published Common Sanctions Guidance

for the regulators’ committees and

tribunals to take into account mitigating

factors such as efforts by IPs to resolve

and remedy complaints, and by that IPs

are not discouraged from rectifying a

matter where that can be done.

As part of the complaint form for the

Government’s online Complaints Gateway,

complainants are required to say whether

the matter had been brought to the

attention of the IP. If IPs and complainants

have resolved matters through an apology

or payment of compensation, it would

not seem appropriate for the regulators to

then reconsider those matters (other than

to consider that redress in the context of

mitigation), but matters amounting to

misconduct should arguably not be dealt

with between IPs and complainants;

instead they should be brought to the

attention of the regulators and dealt with

appropriately by them. There is a separate

question about the processes that may

then ensue, and a consistent redress or

dispute resolution system operated by

regulators is a worthy discussion topic.

The present recommendations from IS

is focused on IPs’ paying compensation.

Where less serious matters are resolved

by some rectification/redress/apology,

the complainant should not ordinarily be

permitted to progress the matter further.

Some complainants would see that as a

restriction.

Policing a compensation scheme

operated by IPs outside of the regulators’

complaints regime can only be reviewed

after the event, realistically through

routine monitoring. That is done already

to some extent. But while a review of IPs’

procedures and their application might

be expected, neither complainants nor

the IS could reasonably expect regulators

to second-guess whether what was

agreed between the parties was fair or

reasonable.

So, the balance here is to consider

redress mechanisms with regard to the

seriousness of the matters in a complaint,

to assess the complainant’s wishes, and

to ensure as far as possible that serious

conduct matters are not ‘paid away’.

It is also important to appreciate that

complaints processes are not primarily

geared towards compensation, but instead

designed to address conduct issues in

the context of the regulators’ overall

responsibilities. Perhaps the public

interest and confidence in the insolvency

regime should be primarily focused

on the broader regulatory framework

and the assurance it can provide rather

than on compensation (though it may

have a place) but instead on the broader

regulatory framework and the assurance

it can provide.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 12


OPINION

AUTHOR – Sean Feast

PEER

PRESSURE

The Peer-to-Peer finance community is currently

going through something of a purple patch with new

players and platforms being launched on a regular

basis. In part one of a two-part article, Sean Feast caught

up with the Director of the P2P Finance Association,

Robert Pettigrew, to find out more.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 13

continues on page 14 >


OPINION

AUTHOR – Sean Feast

Robert Pettigrew

Director of the P2P

Finance Association

THE Financial Conduct Authority

(FCA) uses the term

‘crowdfunding’ to encompass

both equity crowdfunding and

debt-based (peer-to-peer) lending;

this term tends not to be

used by the Government (Treasury), and it is

not conducive to improved understanding of

the sector to conflate the two activities. Peerto-peer

lending involves the facilitation of

debt-based finance via an electronic platform

by means of direct contracts between investors

and borrowers, with some investment funds

from retail investors (including high net worth

individuals). In terms of the risk/return profile,

peer-to-peer lending tends to represent less

risk than equity-based investments, including

crowdfunding, though as an investment product,

it also represents more risk than bankbased

deposit products.

SF: WHAT SORT OF BUSINESSES BENEFIT

THE MOST FROM P2P LENDERS?

RP: Peer-to-peer lenders in the small business

lending market do not lend to start-ups and

in consequence, tend to be focused on firms

who are seeking capital for growth or who require

relatively swift decision-making in their

application for a loan. As the market for peerto-peer

lending has evolved, so different platforms

have developed their business models to

serve different parts of the market: typically,

platforms compete with banks primarily on

the basis of consumer experience, speed of

decision (and access to the loan), offering prices

which, whilst competitive, tend to be relatively

consistent with those offered by more

established incumbent financial service institutions;

in that sense, most platforms can be

deemed to be price-takers in the market, and

compete on other terms.

SF: HOW WELL IS IT UNDERSTOOD?

RP: Peer-to-peer was established in the UK by

the platform Zopa in 2005. It grew substantially

following the financial crash, particularly

as bank lending retracted from the small business

and consumer lending markets, and the

opportunity for financial disintermediation

combined with a focus on consumer experience

came into focus. The development and

mainstream availability of the internet has

played a significant part in the development

of peer-to-peer lending, and the competitive

impact in mainstream financial services has

been noteworthy.

SF: WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ISSUE/BARRIER

TO THE WIDER GROWTH OF P2P?

RP: As knowledge and awareness of peerto-peer

lending expands, the emphasis on

transparency is crucial. The Association’s

Operating Principles commit all of our

members to high levels of disclosure and this

is important in establishing and maintaining

confidence in the market. Peer-to-peer

lending platforms are eager to maintain their

prospectus as available for retail investors,

and ensuring that the disclosures mandated

of platforms is meaningful, with consistent

methodology across the sector, is useful. The

P2PFA requires this of all of its members,

and there is scope for the adoption of very

unambiguous sector-wide standards to ensure

that confidence continues to be enhanced as

knowledge and awareness increases.

SF: WHAT REGULATORY PRESSURES DO

P2P BUSINESSES FACE AND ARE THEY

INCREASING?

RP: Since 2014, the sector has been subject

to statutory regulation (for which the P2PFA

had long advocated and encouraged) under

the FCA. The regulator has embarked on a

post-implementation review of crowdfunding

regulation, whose initial observations were

published some months ago: the P2PFA agrees

broadly with the themes and issues identified

by the regulator for making amendments to

the current regulatory regime. The P2PFA will

continue to supplement the basic regulatory

requirements established by the P2PFA, and

to require members to commit to the highest

levels of transparency and good business

practice.

SF: IS TECHNOLOGY STILL A KEY

DIFFERENTIATOR IN THE MARKET

(BETWEEN THE VARIOUS PLAYERS)?

RP: Platforms have, inevitably, invested a great

deal in the development of technology systems

for their operations – though it should not be

under-estimated the priority afforded to credit

risk assessments on which the success or

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 14


OPINION

AUTHOR – Sean Feast

failure of any individual platform rests. Primarily,

platforms compete with the banks and

other financial institutions on the basis of consumer

experience and speed of decision; competition

between different platforms reflects to

a large extent the nature of the specific markets

being served and the requirements/appetites

of particular lenders and borrowers: e.g.

consumer, small business, real estate sectors,

difference in risk-appetites, basis for lending

and length of loan etc

SF: HOW SUPPORTIVE IS GOVERNMENT/

BEIS TO ALTERNATIVE FINANCE?

RP: The Government, regulator and other

policy-makers have demonstrated considerable

support for the effective competition and

access to finance which alternative finance

represents. The establishment of the

Innovative Finance ISA is clear evidence

that there is recognition of the role which

alternative finance can play in the financial

services landscape. Similarly, the P2PFA works

closely with the Government and with the FCA

to ensure that the regulatory regime continues

to reflect the evolution which has taken place

in the peer-to-peer lending market, and that

important issues which improve consumer

protection and sector-wide standards are

adequately considered and, where necessary,

addressed. The role of the peer-to-peer

lending sector as a sustainable part of the UK’s

financial services landscape is supported by

policy-makers within the parameters of an

effective market where platforms continue to

be able to demonstrate the value which they

can bring for borrowers and lenders through

efficient financial disintermediation.

SF: WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR

P2P AND IS IT NOW ESTABLISHED AS

‘MAINSTREAM’ WITHIN THE ‘ALTERNATIVE’

FINANCE SECTOR?

RP: Ultimately, there is likely to remain a market

for peer-to-peer lending alongside banking

as part of the financial services landscape in

the future. The extent to which peer-to-peer

Figures for the period between July and

September 2017, appear to confirm the

continued steady growth in levels of new

lending and in the number of borrowers

facilitating loans through peer-to-peer

lending platforms. More than £700

million was lent over the period of which

more than £472 million of loans went to

businesses during these three months.

Cumulative lending at the end of the

same period in 2016 for P2PFA platforms

was £4.2 billion; this figure stands at £7.1

billion for the end of September 2017’.

The P2PFA was established in 2011 by the

largest platforms in the UK market as a

representative and self-regulatory body

for debt-based peer-to-peer lending. The

P2PFA seeks to inform and educate, promote

high standards of business conduct, and

work with policy-makers, regulators and

opinion-formers to ensure an effective

regulatory regime – particularly for

consumers (both borrowers and lenders).

The Association currently comprises

seven member platforms (Folk2Folk,

Funding Circle, Landbay, Lending Works,

MarketInvoice ThinCats, and Zopa), who

are required to commit to high levels of

transparency – including publication of

their loan books and various other data on

returns performance, credit risk and bad

debt as set out in its Operating Principles.

Most platforms operate under Article

36(H) of the Regulated Activities Order

under the Financial Services & Markets

Act (2000), and platforms operating such

a model require authorisation by the FCA.

Platforms which were operating in the

market before 2014 (when the regulator

assumed responsibility) are permitted

under interim authorisation whilst their

applications are considered. All of the

P2PFA’s platforms which have sought

authorisation have now achieved it.

However, some forms of direct lending

(such as invoice finance) does not require

Article 36(H) authorisation, and, as such,

MarketInvoice is not authorised under that

provision.

has a potential to ‘capture’ and sustain a proportion

of the market depends on the response

to the competition which this form of alternative

finance brings, and how economic conditions

for lending and borrowing through

platforms develop: however, it seems credible

that, for consumer lending and small business

lending, this could be a significant part (perhaps

between a third and a half of that lending

activity). Peer-to-peer lending comprises a

very significant part of the overall alternative

finance sector (in terms of the size of the respective

components), and peer-to-peer lending

has experienced sustained, steady levels of

growth in the last few years. As awareness of

the opportunities and risks involved with peerto-peer

lending continues to expand, and the

emphasis placed by consumers on the lending/

investing experience, it seems likely that there

will continue to be impressive, steady growth

in the future.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 15


CICMQ

Marston's pulls the perfect pint

with CICMQ accreditation

Marston’s Beer Company

MARSTON’S Beer Company,

the largest cask

ale producer in the UK

and part of Marston's

PLC, has joined the

growing list of CICMQ-

accredited companies and in the process

has become the first brewer to gain this

award.

Marston’s PLC is a fully integrated Brewery

and Retail model, operating six breweries

and owning well over 1,700 pubs and

lodges, with brands that include Pedigree,

Hobgoblin, Wainwright and Young’s and

Courage.

There are 12 members of the team which

generates around 10,000 invoices a week

from circa 6,000 customers. Its customer

profiles can be varied from Free Trade accounts,

national retail companies, the main

supermarket chains and export accounts.

Paul Bramley, Senior Manager Credit

and Loans, Marston’s Beer Company

says CICMQ was initially considered in

raising the profile and standards of the

Marston’s Beer Company's credit and

loans department both with its internal

and external customers. “It has promoted

our standing throughout the business

and with our extensive customer base,

and re-affirms that we are doing all the

right things with our customer relationships.”

Sharon Adams FCICM (Grad) says the

team worked collaboratively and with other

departments to develop the methods

and procedures to meet CICMQ Standards:

“They enhanced their current system

to produce a ‘one way of working for all’,

this in turn enhanced the team spirit and

brought them together creating a sense of

camaraderie.”

The team recently won the Department

of the Year award at its own company

conference.

Adecco places faith in its people

Adecco UK & Ireland

‘In a business where people are the trading

commodity, the focus in this business is on

the welfare of its people, the service to its

customers and the effective collection of

cash,’ says Assessor, Sharon Adams in her

report on Adecco, the recently three-time

CICMQ re-accredited company.

Adecco UK & Ireland is the largest

recruitment company in the UK and the

world. The credit team consists of 59

members of staff, split into six specialised

teams collecting approximately £200

million per month.

Elisabeth Doppelhofer, Senior Credit

Manager of the Adecco Group UK & Ireland

says failing to apply to renew CICMQ

accreditation was simply not an option:

“It makes us feel immensely proud that

an external organisation rubber stamps

the processes and procedures we abide by

daily.

“Through our internal REACH and

LPMS programmes we have a vigorous

continuous review process which paved

the way for the assessment. Our Shared

Services Director, as well as heads of the

other SSC departments, are very supportive

and helped us pull out all the stops to ensure

we gained the re-accreditation.” This year

the company has seen a number of people

pass their CICM Credit Management exam.

The training programme will continue next

year with more team members lined up to

gain this qualification. “We believe that a

trained, educated credit department is the

best way forward,” Elisabeth adds.

‘The teams are engaged, producing

excellent results for their business in

an environment that is organised and

professional, but at the same time, energetic

and fun with a real sense of camaraderie,’

Sharon’s report concludes.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 16


Kier achieves gold after

creating Northern powerhouse

Kier group

CONSTRUCTION giant Kier Group has recently

achieved CICMQ accreditation and

been praised by the assessor for ‘the excellent

use of modern technology, the links to

video presentations included in emails is

revolutionary and a great way to personalise

the delivery of departmental information’.

Kier is a property, residential, construction

and services group that operates across

a range of sectors including defence, education,

housing, industrial, power and

utilities. The Group employs over 21,000

people in the UK, the Middle East and Hong

Kong. The credit team is part of the Order

to Cash department and made up of 25 people

with two senior managers who manage

over 30,000 live accounts, with a turnover of

more than £3 billion.

Martin Kirby, Head of Order to Cash

at Kier Group says in the muck and bullets

of the construction world, it wanted to

assure customers that it operates to the very

best standards, and has them at the core of

everything it does:

“In creating one of the largest Finance

Shared Service Centres in Manchester it was

key for the company to understand from

the outset what level of performance Gold

Standard members deliver to qualify for the

CICMQ award.

“It was essential we trained our staff in

the new ways of working, being respectful

to the old ways but ensuring we upped our

game, while also ensuring our stakeholders

were aligned to this vision and realised the

value the accreditation gives.”

The assessor’s report also highlighted the

roll out of the OTC-FSSC, which had been:

‘managed to an exceptionally high standard

with objectives set and achieved in a

relatively short amount of time and key

achievements documented along the way’.

2018 CICM EVENTS

NOT TO BE MISSED

Personal Skills Workshops

Law Conference

Webinars

Industry Workshops

Fellows’ Lunch Education Conference

CICM Best Practice

Just another great reason to be a member

See full programme at www.cicm.com/events

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 17


INTERVIEW

DOWN TO

BUSINESS

Sean Feast caught up with the MP and

Business Minister Margot James to

discuss her early influencers, careers

advice, and the role of Government in

supporting SMEs.

MARGOT James is a wellknown

face as the Minister

for Small Business,

Consumers and Corporate

Responsibility, and owes

some of her impressive

political career to her A-Level politics teacher.

“When I was at school, there was very little

vocational careers advice. If you wanted to

apply for university there was good advice and

support. Fortunately, I had a brilliant politics

teacher which may have something to do with

my career path. But I’ve had an interest in both

business and politics from a young age, so I’m

fortunate to be a business Minister.”

Growing up in Coventry, around where

many of her family and friends still reside,

Margot went to Kingsley School in Leamington

Spa and Millfield in Somerset before gaining

a place at the London School of Economics

where she read Economics and Government.

As a student, Margot chaired the Conservative

Association, was elected to the Student Union

Executive, and continues to support the

institution through her role as a governor.

During her studies Margot worked as a

researcher for Sir Anthony Durant MP and

after graduating spent a gap year in the press

office of Conservative Central Office.

THE WINE TRADE

Her early career, however, suggested little of

what was to come: “I had a few jobs early on,”

she explains, “but my first career step was in

the wine industry. I enjoyed living in France

and learning about wine – France remains

one of my favourite destinations and I enjoyed

completing all the exams to get the Wine and

Spirit Certificate and Diploma.”

Working later for her father, in the sales and

marketing team at Maurice James Industries

(MJI), a business he started in the 1930s, she

gained valuable experience in business across

the West Midlands. In 1986, however, she took

the bold step to start her own business: “My

father was a self-made businessman so, growing

up, I had a lot of exposure to conversations

about business,” she says. “The idea of starting

my own business came naturally to me. I also

liked the idea of being my own boss.”

The business was called Shire Health,

a Public Relations and medical education

business. It did well: Shire Health was voted

‘Consultancy of the Year’ three times and Margot

was voted Communicator of the Year in 1997.

After 12 years of running the business Margot

sold Shire Health to the WPP Group, and was

appointed Head of European Healthcare for its

advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather.

“Through running my own business, I felt

first-hand the administrative and financial

costs brought about simply by not being paid on

time,” she continues. “Late payment is harmful

to a business’ cash flow and can jeopardise

their ability to trade let alone grow, invest or

innovate. Smaller businesses in particular, due

to their position in the supply chain, are most

at risk from late payment and in the worst cases

can lead to insolvency.”

So how has she been able to apply these

experiences to her role as an MP and Business

Minister?

LATE PAYMENT

“Understanding late payment as an issue has

enabled me to prioritise and drive forward

a number of measures to improve business

payment practices,” she explains, “and

specifically the newly introduced requirement

on large business to report on payment

practices and performance and establishing

the UK’s first Small Business Commissioner.

These new measures help provide transparency

in payment practices, giving small businesses

the confidence to challenge bad payment

behaviour and drive a greater payment

standards culture.”

So what does she see as the biggest challenge

facing small businesses today? “It depends on

the sector, but for many the increased costs

connected to the introduction of the National

Living Wage and pensions auto-enrolment,

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 18


for example, have become a pressure. I

am glad that the Chancellor was able to

mitigate the effect of the recent business

rates re-valuation on small businesses,

particularly high street traders.”

The Government, she says, has been

prioritising support to SMEs with a number

of new initiatives. “Supporting Britain’s 5.5

million small businesses is at the heart of

this Government’s Industrial Strategy and

tackling issues such as unfair payment

practices will help support our goal to

create an economy that works for all,” she

explains.

In terms of specifics, the list of

actions looks impressive: Since 2010

the Government has invested in: British

Business Bank programmes supporting

£3.4 billion of finance to over 59,000 smaller

businesses; over 50,000 Start-Up Loans

worth over £348 million; a network of 38

local growth hubs which make it easier for

start-ups and existing businesses to access

the support they need; and an additional

business rates package, announced at the

Spring Budget, providing £435 million

of further support for businesses facing

significant bills in England.

SMALL BUSINESS COMMISSIONER

The Government has also, very recently,

appointed a Small Business Commissioner,

which begs the question as to what the

commissioner will be doing that the

Government hasn't already addressed?

“Complementing existing Government

measures to help small firms thrive,

the Commissioner will empower small

businesses to resolve payment disputes

with their larger customers and avoid

future issues by encouraging a culture

change in payment practices and how

businesses deal with each other,” she

continues. “The Commissioner will instil

confidence in small business to challenge

unfair payment practices by providing a

new independent advice and guidance

service, services they have not had access

to before.”

The Government, she says, has also been

ready and willing to engage with various

business organisations to seek guidance

and advice on such challenging issues as

driving a better payment culture. To this

end, she welcomes the support that the

Chartered Institute of Credit Management

(CICM) has been providing:

“The CICM has been instrumental in

driving forward Government priorities in

improving payment practices, particularly

the Prompt Payment Code. Using industry

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 19

continues on page 20 >


INTERVIEW

AUTHOR – Sean Feast

Margot James and Philip King FCICM Chief Executive

of the CICM,

experts to champion prompt payment

practices can really help stamp out the

culture of late payment and provide a

gold-standard for businesses to model

themselves on. I would like to thank the

CICM for all their work in support of this

effort.”

So away from the world of politics,

what does Margot miss most about her

former business life, and the advertising

world in particular? “The main highlight

for me,” she recalls, “was building a senior

team of people who were committed to

the business. I am still in touch with my

former colleagues, but I miss the day to

day interaction and the speed of decision

making in the private sector.”

She admits that if not an MP, she

might enjoy one last hurrah in business:

“If I wasn’t working as a Minister I’d

likely spend more time in the voluntary

sector; I’ve been fortunate to spend time

as a charity trustee and mentor. On the

other hand, I learned so much about the

workings of a large global business, when

I sold my company to WPP, that I would

enjoy one last big challenge in the private

sector.”

And what advice would she give

to a young person starting out today?

“Qualifications have an important

role and I’d encourage young people

to explore the full range of options

available to them, including university

and apprenticeships. No matter which

road you take,” she concludes, “believe in

yourself and remember that employers

will be looking for talent, interpersonal

skills, a strong work ethic as well as formal

qualifications.”

POLITICAL CAREER

Margot James stood as the Conservative Party’s Parliamentary candidate in Holborn

& St Pancras at the 2005 General Election. Whilst coming third, she succeeded in

expanding the Conservative Party’s share of the vote and gained an above average

swing of two percent.

At the end of 2005, David Cameron appointed Margot to the position of Vice

Chairman of the Conservative Party for women’s issues, a position which she held

until 2010. During this time, she formed the Women’s Policy Group under the

chairmanship of Eleanor Laing MP and contributed to the policy review process

underway in the Conservative Party.

In 2006 Margot was elected as a Councillor in Kensington & Chelsea and selected

as the Conservative Party Candidate for the constituency of Stourbridge. In 2008,

she stood down as Councillor in Kensington & Chelsea to concentrate on her work

in Stourbridge. The 2010 general election saw Margot elected as the Member of

Parliament for Stourbridge, thirty miles from where she was born. The victory

constituted a gain from Labour, with a swing of 6.9 percent and a majority of over

5,000.

Since entering Parliament, Margot has been very active. Between 2010 and 2012,

she sat on the Business, Innovation, and Skills Select Committee, and the Committee

on Arms Export Controls. She also sat on the Joint Committee on the Draft Care and

Support Bill in 2012/13, which scrutinised the reforms the Government proposed to

social care in Britain.

During the 2012 reshuffle Margot was promoted to Parliamentary Private

Secretary to Lord Green, the Minister for Trade and Investment. She enjoyed

working with officials from the Business, Innovation, and Skills Department and

the Foreign Commonwealth Office to raise awareness of the important work that

the Government is doing to support British exporters. In support of this Margot set

up the All Party Parliamentary Group for Trade & Investment, which she chaired, a

forum for businesses, trade organisations, and politicians to meet and discuss trade

issues. Margot consequently worked for Lord Green’s successor, Lord Livingston,

until she became PPS for then Leader of the House, the Rt. Hon. William Hague

MP in 2014. Margot was also previously appointed to the No. 10 Policy Advisory

Board, under the chairmanship of Jo Johnson MP. In this role Margot focused on the

economy, business and trade.

Margot was re-elected as Stourbridge’s MP in May 2015 with an increased

majority of 6,694. She was subsequently appointed Assistant Government Whip,

with responsibility for Education and Equalities. On 18th July 2016, Margot was

appointed by the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, to serve as Minister for Small

Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 20


FROM THE CHAIR

Time to reflect

The Chair of the CICM reflects on a busy and

eventful year for the Institute.

AUTHOR - Laurie Beagle FCICM, EIICM is the Chair of the CICM Executive Board.

Laurie Beagle

ANOTHER year is almost over.

Doesn’t time fly? So with

Christmas nearly upon us,

here is a little story to get you

into the Christmas mood:

Wealthy Mr. Scrooge, after

living a hard, lonely life and always paying his

debts late, is visited by three CICM members

and faces the fearful facts about his future. You

need to sign up to the prompt payment code

he was told. With no close family or friends,

Scrooge's visions and encounters with the

Spirits remind him of the person he once was

and the person he still can be. Life lesson? "I

will join the CICM and honour Christmas in

my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will

live in the Past, the Present, and the Future and

pay my debts on time."

We can’t say that this year has been

uneventful, what with Brexit and other

tensions abroad. I hope your year has had fewer

challenges and been fulfilling and rewarding.

Looking back at the CICM’s year I was

reminded of all the things we have achieved.

Membership has been a continuing focus

and theme of my articles so the launch of the

CICM Superheroes (the ‘member get member’

scheme) is very exciting and will not only earn

you vouchers, but also enter you into a prize

draw to win tickets for the CICM British Credit

Awards in February 2018.

For those who have never been, this is the

premier event for the credit profession. As well

as being great fun, it’s a chance to salute the

award winners and network with your peers.

Remember our credit profession has many

facets; not everybody is a credit controller

or manager. The titles are too numerous

to mention in full but from commercial to

consumer, credit information to consultancy,

from debt recovery to legal to insolvency,

the list is exhaustive. They have one thing in

common: all are welcome as members of the

CICM.

Other notable schemes have also been

devised towards increasing membership. The

Launch of our apprenticeship scheme with

21 companies now signed up and over 50 new

credit controller/collector apprentices are two

examples. We have also increased our presence

at university and college careers fairs, with

great support from our branch representatives,

all backed up by our new Member Engagement

team at HQ to enhance our relationship with

members. I would like to thank them and their

colleagues for all of their hard work; they do a

sterling job.

Some of the other tangibles this year

include the introduction of several initiatives

as a result of our strategy review announced

late in 2016. This includes the introduction of

an Advice and Support framework allowing us

to learn from expert members and feed their

input into future plans and activities.

We also launched a new ‘Managing Cash

through Brexit’ Guide in collaboration with the

Federation for Small Businesses in February

and I am pleased to report increased use of

the CICM Advice Line which has led to a wider

range of enquiry topics. Last but not least, we

have continued our close cooperation with

BEIS, working closely through the introduction

of the Duty to Report requirement for large

companies, and seeing the Prompt Payment

Code hit 2,000 signatories. These include all of

the Government’s 32 strategic suppliers.

Next year looks to be even busier and Philip

King writes about some very exciting initiatives

elsewhere in this magazine.

We will also be actively engaged with Credit

Week in March, and our involvement includes

a heavy discount for CICM members for the

2018 Credit Summit which will incorporate the

CICM Trade Credit Conference. It is also worth

remembering that Elections to our Advisory

Council will take place next year and members

will be able to register interest on the CICM

website early in 2018

As we sign off in 2017, I’d like to offer my

thanks to everybody who is involved at the

branches, in our governance through the

Advisory Council & Executive Board, our other

specialist committees, those providing services

to our members, and our Corporate Partners.

You all work so hard to create the invaluable

CICM credit community. I have been able

to meet many of you during the year and

hopefully many more in 2018

May I wish you and your families a Very

Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful

New Year.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 21


HQ PROFILE – FINANCE

MEET THE TEAMS

Concluding the profiles on CICM HQ teams,

Credit Management speaks to the Governance and

Technical Services, and Finance teams.

Anne Strahan

Head of Finance

ORIGINALLY from Lancashire, but with

a love for Norfolk, Anne relocated to

East Anglia some ten years ago. But life

has a habit of taking you in unforeseen

directions and her career has brought her

to the Peterborough area, where she now

lives and works.

During her early career, Anne cut

her teeth working for large corporate

organisations (Whitbread, Crown Paint,

Barclaycard) but as her career has

progressed she has found being part of

a close-knit team much more rewarding.

She joined CICM at the end of October

and has been very warmly welcomed by

the whole team.

Anne’s role is to provide guidance

and support to the senior management

team in the planning, implementing and

monitoring of all financial aspects of

the Institute’s activities, in order to drive

successful financial performance. This

typically will involve the preparation of

monthly management accounts, annual

budgets and interim forecasts, alongside

cashflow and investment management

and various secretariat duties.

Outside of work, Anne is keen to travel

and see as much of the world as time (and

money) allows. She likes to read, is an

avid jigsaw puzzler and manages to get to

a gym a couple of times per week. Anne

is also a keen gardener and loves nothing

better than pottering around outdoors on

a warm summer’s day.

Deborah Woods

Accounts Assistant

DEBORAH started working at the

Institute straight from college 23 years

ago! She began as an Admin Assistant

in the Training Department, assisting

with open training and in-company

training, Deborah’s job title later changed

to Finance Administrator when her

role evolved to include invoicing and

managing budget sheets.

When the Training Department

merged with Education, Deborah became

part of the Learning and Development

team and continued to manage the open

training, but also began to manage and

help develop the Virtual Classrooms.

With an aptitude for numbers and a

keen interest in accounts, in 2016 Deborah

changed roles and moved to the Finance

Department, merging the finance aspects

of her previous role with the day-to-day

tasks of the Accounts Assistant. Deborah

has completed the CICM Level 3 Diploma

in Credit Management and is an Associate

Member of the CICM, she is also currently

studying for Association of Accounting

Technician (AAT) qualifications. Deborah

has two children and fostered her 16-yearold

nephew until he became 18. She

enjoys reading, cooking, walking her Jack

Russell and socialising with friends.

Angela Cooper

Accounts Administrator

AS described in her previous profile in

the October issue of Credit Management,

Angela holds a dual role within CICM, both

in retention activity in the Engagement

Team and membership accounts in the

Finance team.

She has worked in the finance

department for over eight years. Her

previous customer service, finance and

confidentiality experience have been an

advantage in helping to advise members

on concessionary rates and processing

members subscriptions by various method

of payments. Maintaining mandates and

collection of direct debits form part of her

varied tasks within a small team of three,

in a very busy department.

Outside of work Angela is kept busy

with her three-year old grandson and has

been supporting a local family friend with

her adopted Guatemalan twin girls for

ten years since they were diagnosed with

cerebral palsy.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 22


HQ PROFILE – GOVERNANCE AND TECHNICAL SERVICES

Tracy Carter

Head of Governance,

Social Media & HR

TRACY joined the Institute in 2008

following several years in a variety of

industry sectors including construction,

engineering, recruitment, investment

banking and Government which included

working across party conferences with

ministerial teams and international

media organisations.

Tracy heads up a fast-paced team

whose remit includes: the Prompt

Payment Code; giving members the

opportunity to respond to Government

consultations; CICM Advice Line; coordinating

PR activity; social media;

supporting the Chief Executive;

Governance activity including committee

work; administrating CICMQ Awards; HR

for the CICM HQ team; and CICM Think

Tank.

Tracy’s next big thing is to launch

and oversee the CICM Advisory Council

Elections in 2018. Outside of work Tracy

has a daughter, plays the occasional

game of hockey and is looking forward to

visiting Canada and Alaska next year.

Nicola Harris

Governance & Technical Services

Co-ordinator

PRIOR to joining CICM, Nicola held

several positions over 15 years within the

Global Banking and Financial Services

sectors. Her last role was as a Client

Experience Manager, providing her with

valuable administrative and customer

service experience working with clients

across Europe and the USA.

Nicola joined CICM in 2014 and is

currently Governance and Technical

Services Co-ordinator. In addition to

providing administrative support to the

Institute’s Advisory Council, Executive

Board and Technical Committee, Nicola’s

role has recently expanded to focus on

reviewing and summarising Government/

professional body consultations and

assisting with collating and writing

responses. She is also responsible for

the co-ordination of the monthly CICM

Technical Briefing, and providing support

for the increasingly popular CICM Advice

Line.

Nicola currently lives in Stamford with

her husband and young daughter.

Joanna Bray

Governance & Prompt Payment Code

Administrator

JOANNA is a recent recruit at CICM,

joining the Governance team to work

closely on the Prompt Payment Code

(PPC), which is administered by CICM on

behalf of the Department for Business,

Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Her role also involves monitoring and

posting on CICM’s social media accounts

(LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter), along

with assisting PR activity and CICMQ

Awards.

Prior to joining CICM, Joanna

was working for a busy PR agency,

developing PR campaigns for a highprofile

housebuilder. She will be using

her PR skills and experience to assist in

the development of PR activity across the

CICM Advice Line, Technical Services and

particularly on the introduction of new

developments to increase visibility of the

Prompt Payment Code.

Outside of work Joanna continues

to enjoy learning and reading, and

completing her Masters degree via a

distance learning course.

CICM Advice Line

Prompt Payment Code

Social media

Human Resources

for CICM HQ team

GOVERNANCE

PR and media

coverage

Technical Committee,

Think Tank, Advisory

Council, and Executive

Board

CICM UK Credit

Management Index

The office of the Chief

Executive

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 23


COUNTRY FOCUS

The small print

The concluding part of the country focus on Poland,

looking at employment law and some of the finer details.

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein is a freelance business writer

A firm handshake and

direct eye-contact is

important, greeting

each person in turn.

However, men should

wait for a woman to

extend their hand, and

some Polish men may

kiss a woman’s hand

as a sign of respect.

Warsaw skyline

POLISH law allows for employment

contracts to run for

a trial period of up to three

months, a fixed term of up to

33 months, or non-fixed term.

Contracts need to be written

and signed no later than the day the worker

starts, and variations to contracts must be set

down in writing.

As with other EU member states, employees

have protection against dismissal when

they’re on leave (holiday or maternity), sick

leave with a doctor’s certificate, within four

years of pension age, or where they’re trade

union activists. Breaches of these rights can

lead to court action and/or reinstatement and

compensation – the employee can choose

which remedy to pursue.

Working hours are limited to eight hours

in 24 or 40 hours over a five-day period. There

are common-sense exceptions where production

schedules require it. It’s worth pointing

that while overtime is permitted, it’s only to

a maximum of 150 hours a year per worker

unless collectively or contractually agreed.

Holiday entitlement is 20 days a year for those

with less than ten years of service, but is 26

days for those with more than ten years of

service.

As of 1 January 2017, the minimum gross

monthly wage is 2000 pln (£427) and employers

have to pay 9.76 percent towards retirement,

6.5 percent towards disability, 0.4 to 3.6

percent towards accident (varies according to

sector), 2.45 percent towards a labour fund,

and 0.10 percent towards a guaranteed employee

benefit fund.

TAXATION

Under Poland’s tax law there are 12 different

taxes to comply with, nine are direct – corporate

income tax, personal income tax, tax on

civil law transactions, real estate tax, tax on

transport, inheritance and donations tax, agricultural

tax, forestry tax, and a tax on dogs.

The other three are indirect and are VAT, excise,

and on gaming.

The four of real concern here are corporate,

personal, VAT, and property taxes.

Corporate tax is charged at 19 percent (there

are variants up to 20 percent) and it permits

losses (up to 50 percent in any one year) to be

carried forward for up to five years.

Personal income tax covers all global income

for those with a residence in Poland

while those living elsewhere are taxed only

on their Polish income. For those earning

up to 85,527 pln the rate is 18 percent; if over

85,528 pln, it’s 14,829 pln plus 32 percent over

the surplus over 85,528 pln.

VAT is generally charged at 23 percent, but

is reduced to eight percent for some foods,

medical products, hospitality services and

community housing. It’s ‘super-reduced’ to

five percent for certain foods such as bread,

dairy, and meat, and selected publications.

Property tax varies according to usage and

are summarised well in section 5:

paih.gov.pl/index/?id=9fa83fec3cf3810e

5680ed45f71 24dce.

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE

Polish is the second most-spoken Slavic language

after Russian, and shares some of its

vocabulary with other neighbouring Slavic

countries such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia,

Ukraine and Belarus. English is the most

common foreign language spoken in Poland.

A firm handshake and direct eye-contact

is important, greeting each person in turn.

However, men should wait for a woman to

extend their hand, and some Polish men may

kiss a woman’s hand as a sign of respect. Unless

invited to do so, first names are rarely

used in business, but professional titles can

be used. Business cards should be translated

into Polish on one side.

Poles say what they think and address

matters directly – especially when saying no.

This ‘low-context communication’ is very different

in style to more indirect communication

in the UK. Especially if irritated, frustrated,

or angry, Poles would probably not hide

their emotions.

Lastly, one key point to keep in mind is

not to refer to Poland as part of Eastern Europe

because it’s a politically-charged term.

Instead use ‘Central Europe’. Many Poles may

interpret referring to Eastern Europe as associating

the country only with its Soviet-dominated

past following World War II.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 24


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The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 25


OPINION

The price is right

Philip King reports on a series of changes to membership

criteria, benefits and fees to be introduced in 2018.

AUTHOR – Philip King FCICM Chief Executive of the CICM

Philip King

WITH any leading membership

organisation,

one of our greatest challenges

is ensuring we

continue to deliver the

benefits and support

that our members need, at an annual fee that

is proportionate, appropriate and comparable

with that which similar-sized professional

organisations who have a Royal Charter

charge. When comparing our pricing with

those organisations, the CICM typically falls

significantly short of the norm, and that

places constraints on what we can offer.

Crucially, it is not only about supporting

the members of today, but also about how our

more senior members can help those who are

just starting out on their credit management

journey. With this in mind, we have been reviewing

our membership offer and fee structure

to improve the service we offer to all our

members. The details below represent just

some of the improvements we are currently

planning.

As a result, as from 2018 we will be completely

restructuring our membership fees so

that some will pay a little more, while others

will pay a little less, and the outcome will represent

a better ‘balance’.

From next year, Fellows’ and Members’

fees will increase to £195 p.a. and £180 p.a. respectively.

Associates’ and Affiliates’ fees will

similarly rise to £130 p.a. and £95 p.a. respectively.

Conversely, members who are actively

studying will see a reduction in their fees to

£57 p.a, while our members who are retired,

on maternity leave, or have suffered redundancy

will see a stabilising of their concessionary

fees to £50 p.a. across all grades.

Discounts will be available to those paying

by direct debit, whether monthly or annually,

and following this restructure, all membership

fees will increase by no more than inflation

for the next three years.

A principal driver behind these increases

is to help fund the new generation of learners

coming through the ranks, which is why they

will pay less. It is one way, and I speak as a

Fellow myself, of giving something back.

We already offer learning opportunities

and qualifications, awareness and discussion

of the latest legislation, regulations and best

practice thinking that impact us as credit professionals.

We also provide access to key support

resources and networking opportunities

both face-to-face and through social media.

Belonging to the CICM community continues

to be a focus and key benefit of CICM membership.

The research leading to our ‘Tomorrow’s

CICM’ document highlighted that members

want up-skilling in areas beyond technical,

that continuing professional development is

important, and a mentoring service would

be valuable. Building on these findings and

on the broader strategy outlined in that document,

we have been working hard to improve

and add even more value to these areas, and

we will continue to expand member resources

further in the coming months.

With the proposed rate increases we will

deliver even greater benefits to all of our

members, especially in the area of professional

development. First among these is access to

our new online learning environment covering

business and personal skills development

as well as credit-specific training, and our new

mentoring service. Both of these are scheduled

for launch early in 2018. These initiatives

are designed to make our current good services

better, and ultimately to be ‘the best’, and I

will speak more about them in future articles.

We will also be introducing clearer criteria

for all grades of membership, especially

those wanting to upgrade from Member to

Fellow, and the process will be simplified.

More information and details about this will

be shared when the feedback from the recent

pilot scheme has been captured and reviewed.

The changes I am setting out have been

widely and passionately discussed and debated

by your Executive Board, and agreed as

achieving the right balance for a modern professional

association.

Being a Member of the CICM, a Chartered

Institute, not only delivers value in name but

also in the remuneration you can demand.

Research some time ago showed that holding

membership of a professional institute

can increase lifetime earnings by £71,000,

and increase annual income by as much as 50

percent. CICM professional letters, and our

professional status, open doors to even greater

opportunities and, as we look to a future

which will include the possibility of enhanced

‘Chartered Member’ status, it is up to all of us

to keep those doors wide open both now and

in the future.

If you would like to share any thoughts

on the proposed changes or our plans for

the future, please email me anytime at

ceo@cicm.com.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 26


TRADE TALK

What now for UK traders?

Brexit negotiations are at an impasse, but what could be

next on the agenda and how can SMEs best prepare.

AUTHOR – Mike Josypenko is the Institute of Export and International Trade’s Senior Director of Special Projects.

Mike Josypenko

AS we approach the halfway

point between the Brexit

referendum decision in June

2016 and the intended date of

Brexit in March 2019, many

UK businesses are still uncertain

about UK’s future relationship with

the European Union, and what implications

it will have for them. Despite months of negotiations,

discussions on issues of trade and

customs have still not begun.

The UK Government has published a

series of position papers on various subjects,

including the UK’s future trade policy and

future customs relationships with the EU.

The document on future customs

relationships considers two main options

for a future customs relationship with the

EU, offering different degrees of ‘frictionless

trade’, one of the Government’s key goals. The

document assumes that the UK will not seek

to remain a member of the EU’s Single Market

and Customs Union, as set out in the Prime

Minister’s speech in January 2017.

In the meantime,

businesses are continuing

to plan for the worst case,

meaning tariffs for EU

trade, customs formalities

physical examinations,

and increased costs and

administration.

The first option, known as the ‘highly

streamlined customs arrangement’ between

the UK and the EU, recognises that the UK will

become a ‘third country’ when trading with

the EU, requiring both inbound and outbound

customs formalities whenever goods are

moved between the UK and the EU. It seeks to

minimise the impact of customs and security

formalities and possible delays by proposing

cooperation and data sharing between the

UK and EU, by using technology, such as

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR),

to identify and oversee in- and out-bound

freight vehicles, facilitating the removal of

customs formalities away from the border and

continuing access to transit procedures. The

impact of customs formalities would also be

reduced by providing customs simplifications,

(even including self-assessment) to trusted

traders.

The second option, known as a ‘new

customs partnership with the EU’, seeks

to replicate many of the benefits of the EU

Customs Union by seeking to align the UK’s

customs legislation directly with that of the

EU, in the expectation that this may reduce

or eliminate customs procedures. However,

this conflicts with the UK’s determination to

conduct an independent trade policy, which

could see UK customs tariffs diverge from

those of the EU. The report gives little detail

on how the overall proposal might work.

So how have businesses reacted to these

options? At first glance the second option may

seem more inviting, as it offers a scenario

that is closer to the current free movement

of goods without customs. However, the

paper is lacking in detail on how it could

be implemented, and many observers are

sceptical about whether it is achievable, given

the relative positions of the UK and EU and

the current stage of negotiations. The first

option, even with the best possible outcome,

will mean increased customs administration

and costs for all businesses trading with the

EU, and will bring many tens of thousands

of companies – including many SMEs – into

contact with customs procedures for the first

time.

It should also be remembered that the

EU has not even begun to consider these

proposals, and there seems little prospect

of any final agreement before the final days

of the negotiation period, if at all. In the

meantime, businesses are continuing to plan

for the worst case, meaning tariffs for EU trade,

customs formalities physical examinations,

and increased costs and administration.

Businesses should also seriously consider the

option of applying for Authorised Economic

Operator (AEO) status as soon as possible, as

it seems highly likely that this will become a

significant step towards obtaining customs

simplifications, which may be important in

post-Brexit trade.

The Institute of Export & International

Trade can advise businesses on preparing for

the effects of Brexit. To find out more visit

export.org.uk.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 27


INTERNATIONAL

TRADE

Monthly round-up of the latest stories

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.

SHIFTING SANDS

EGYPT is, you might say, a

'challenged' economy;

tourist numbers have

fallen from 14.7 million

in 2010 to 4.8 million last

year, and high inflation

remains a problem, as does security.

But this year the country seems to be

beginning to get back on track. The IMF

reports that it's doing well, and the fact

that the floating Egyptian pound has

halved against the dollar has helped

the country by relaxing the pressure on

foreign exchange reserves. Credendo

has upgraded the country's political

risk, and the stock exchange has

become a regional hotspot with several

large IPOs planned.

Oil and gas is benefiting from a

significant amount of foreign direct

investment, and remains a key

opportunity for exporters. But there's

also a huge amount of money headed

for renewables – the European Bank

for Reconstruction and Development

(EBRD) is spearheading a £1 billion

investment in the sector.

Infrastructure, education and retail

are also big markets – retail is

recovering fast with annual growth

forecast at ten percent. Even better

for UK exporters of consumer goods,

supermarkets and chains are making

an impact on what had been a very

fragmented market of tiny traditional

shops.

But watch out. Getting paid can be

an issue – and the Egyptian pound isn't

the world's strongest currency!

POLITICAL risk is a nasty thing. Political

risk used to be something that affected

emerging markets – Africa, South-East

Asia, the Balkans, the Stans, Latin America.

Europe, the US and Canada had managed to

reduce political risk to within very narrow

confines – a few points more or less on

the stock market indices, not much more.

(Even economic risks seem to have moved,

with the US and UK underperforming the

rest of the world economies according to

Coface.)

WHILE everyone's waiting to see who

will be the next head of the Fed, one thing

seems sure; the era of cheap money is

coming to end. With both US and UK

inflation surprisingly on the upside

recently, banks are likely to hike rates –

but the Fed is also starting to reduce the

size of its balance sheet. That all adds up

to a great deal of fiscal tightening – at odds

with Donald Trump, who wants to run the

THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN

Things have changed. According to

Oxford Analytica, businesses now see

the US as the top source of political risk.

Certainty has evaporated; tough talking

about trade with China, the possibility of

pulling out of North American Free Trade

Agreement (NAFTA), possible sanctions

on Russia, and the war of words with

North Korea, could all exacerbate a tense

situation – besides a protectionist rhetoric

that could threaten world trade. At the

same time, Trump's willingness to govern

THE END OF CHEAP MONEY

economy as 'hot' as possible.

Higher rates will put pressure on the

'just about managing' businesses that

are currently managing to service their

debt, but not pay it off or improve their

balance sheets. But interest rate hikes

will also lead to currency volatility; the

dollar is likely to strengthen, and that

could worsen the US balance of payments

and lead to further protectionism on

through executive orders is creating a

nightmare situation for some sectors, as

businesses face seeing regulations change

almost overnight.

Couple that assessment with a schedule

of rising interest rates and something

says to me that we're going to see some

major currency volatility. But also, that

Europe and emerging markets are going

to be, possibly, rather easier places to do

business than the US over the next few

years.

Trump's part, or even to full scale

'currency wars' with China. So, watch

cross rates carefully; and don't get

caught out with mismatched currency

exposures.

And of course, if sterling starts

strengthening after its long bout of

weakness, there'll be some major impacts

on exporters. Hedging might not be such a

bad idea.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 28


SMES AND CREDIT INSURANCE

ACCORDING to credit management

company Nimbla, even though 89 percent

of SMEs admit to having suffered bad debt

problems, only 24 percent use trade credit

insurance. (Imagine a world in which 89

percent of us have been burgled or had a

house fire, and only 24 percent had home

insurance).

When you look at some of the trade

credit policies available, though, it's

understandable – they're designed for much

larger companies with much larger credit

management departments. So, it's good to

see Atradius launching a product aimed

at the SME market (up to £5 million

turnover). Modula Freedom has a fixed

pricing matrix, making it easier to use.

Do you think if Nimbla carries out another

survey next year, the numbers might have

changed?

CURRENCY UK

FOR THE LATEST

EXCHANGE RATES VISIT

CURRENCYUK.CO.UK OR

CALL 020 7738 0777

Currency UK is authorised and regulated

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

HIGH LOW TREND

GBP/EUR 1.1425 1.1088 Up

GBP/USD 1.3397 1.3189 Up

GBP/CHF 1.3305 1.2996 Up

GBP/AUD 1.7351 1.6986 Up

GBP/CAD 1.7135 1.6658 Down

GBP/JPY 151.658

149.224 Up

BITCOIN 2.0 ON THE HORIZON

BLOCKCHAIN – the technology that enables

cryptocurrency Bitcoin – has entered the

world of trade finance. AIG has partnered

with TradeIX to offer trade finance through

a Blockchain-based open ledger that offers

real advantages – improved transparency,

quicker transaction times, and real-time

visibility of customer terms and credit

risk.

Blockchain could also revolutionise

cross-border payments. IBM is currently

piloting crossborder cryptocurrency

payments across Asia, working with Thai,

Indonesian, Australian and Japanese banks.

It hopes to simplify transfers and move

transaction times from several days to just a

few minutes.

It's still a relatively new technology.

But there's no doubt we'll be hearing more

about it – and early adopters could benefit

from lower finance charges and better

management tools, so watch this space!

IVORY COAST COMES GOOD

AN only recently ended civil war, corruption,

an inefficient and slow court system, and

high debt servicing requirements; Cote

d'Ivoire doesn't sound a great place to do

business. The good news, though, is that it's

beginning to come good. Political stability is

allowing the Government to get to grips with

some of the country's problems, and despite

soft prices for its major exports cocoa and

coffee, it's seeing some of the fastest growth

in sub-Saharan Africa. GDP is expected

to rise at seven percent a year in the next

couple of years, with huge government

investments in infrastructure priming the

pump.

CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS?

You could be forgiven for thinking that Spain is in crisis. The Catalonian independence

referendum has thrown the continued existence of the state into doubt, even if the

declaration of independence has been 'suspended'. There's rioting in the streets, and

rumours that Spain will use emergency powers to take over control from the Catalan

authorities. But the financial markets are telling us they’re not worried. True, after the

referendum result was announced, bond yields moved up a bit – but not much. And they've

now fallen back to pre-referendum levels; the market's saying that there really isn't any more

risk than before. The credit ratings agencies haven't downgraded Spanish debt, either.

So, for the time being, it seems, you should worry more about getting pickpocketed on Las

Ramblas in Barcelona than about your Spanish receivables.

Britain already exports cars, dairy

products, and textiles to Ivory Coast, but

there are huge opportunities in other

sectors. Oil and gas and mining are

developing sectors, while the move to

secure greater value added from agricultural

products before exporting is seeing

investment going into agribusiness and

food processing.

Fly in the ointment? You may find

more Ivorians speak French than English,

but that's not a major problem. But their

currency, the CFA Franc, is tied to the

euro – so Brexit worries could make it

volatile.

EXPORTING IS IN

FASHION!

IT'S nice to know that British fashion is doing

well in the export game – including exporting to

Paris, the native city of haute couture. 2016 saw

exports hit a 21-year high, up eight percent on

the previous year to £10.7 billion. Burberry and

Mulberry are well-known, but smaller houses

and young designers are doing their bit – for

instance Baia Bags, which started in a spare

bedroom and is now exploring international

markets.

At the same time, traditional family

businesses like cashmere house Johnstons of

Elgin has had a makeover to appeal to today's

markets – Johnstons has worked with Vivienne

Westwood and Kylie's designer Christopher

Kane, and now has offices in Tokyo, Dusseldorf,

Paris and London.

Now the Department of International Trade

has set up a programme with the British Fashion

Council to target international buyers and match

them up with British designers. Let's hope our

exporters set another record this year.

NO MORE JUNK!

PORTUGAL has finally won back the investment

grade credit rating it lost in 2012 after accepting

an EU/IMF bailout. Its bonds aren't junk any

more – and to celebrate, they staged a massive

rally, with the yield dipping to 2.5 percent. (At the

height of the credit crunch, yields on Portuguese

bonds were over 16 percent.)

Portugal still has an horrendous pile of

Government debt, but the economy is growing

at two percent, unemployment has been cut,

and the budget deficit is being tackled. The UK

is the fourth largest investor in the country, and

the sixth largest exporter to Portugal, so there's

a strong relationship to build on, particularly in

technology – areas such as fintech, environmental

controls, and life sciences. If the country has really

turned the corner, this could be a good time to

start exporting – or to start giving Portuguese

customers a bit more leeway on credit.

Mind you, it's only S&P that's improved its rating.

Moody's and Fitch remain, so far, unconvinced – or

are they preparing their own upgrades?

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 29


INTERVIEW

FECMA Country Profile

Sean Feast speaks to Ludo Theunissen at the Belgian

Instituut voor Kredietmanagement – IvKM.

BELGIUM, officially the

Kingdom of Belgium, is a

sovereign state in Western

Europe. It is a small, densely

populated country which

covers an area of 11,787

sq miles and has a population of about 11

million people.

Belgium has two main linguistic groups:

the Dutch-speaking, mostly Flemish

community, which constitutes about 59

percent of the population, and the Frenchspeaking,

mostly Walloon population, which

comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians.

Additionally, there is a small one percent

group of German speakers who live in the

East Cantons.

Belgium is a federal constitutional

monarchy with a parliamentary system of

governance. It is divided into three regions

and three communities, that exist next to

each other. Its two largest regions are the

Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the

north and the mostly French-speaking

southern part of the Wallonia region. The

Brussels-Capital Region is an officially

bilingual (French and Dutch) enclave within

the Flemish Region. A German-speaking

Community exists in eastern Wallonia.

Belgium's linguistic diversity and related

political conflicts are reflected in its political

history and complex system of governance,

made up of six different governments.

Belgium is one of the six founding

countries of the European Union and

hosts the official seats of the European

Commission, the Council of the European

Union, and the European Council, as well

as a seat of the European Parliament in the

country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is also a

founding member of the Eurozone, NATO,

OECD and WTO, and a part of the trilateral

Benelux Union. Belgium is a developed

country, with an advanced high-income

economy and is categorised as ‘very high’ in

the Human Development Index.

Belgium has a globalised economy and is

at the heart of a highly industrialised region

– the world's 15th largest trading nation

in 2007. In January, it had a population

of 11,303,528, and last year an estimated

nominal GDP of $470 billion. Belgium is

the world leader in terms of export per

capita and can justifiably call itself the

'world's largest exporter'; its main exports

are machinery and equipment, chemicals,

finished diamonds, metals and metal

products, and foodstuffs.

Ludo Theunissen

How many members do you have?

We currently have 95.

How is the Intituut run?

We don’t have a branch network, as

such, because it is only a small country,

but every year we have a members’

conference, and throughout the year

we organise a series of seminars and

workshops. We also have an annual

Credit Manager of the Year Award.

We don’t, however, run any formal

qualifications.

What is Belgium’s cultural attitude to

late payment?

Professional credit management is only

really evident within larger business,

and many of the smaller companies

appear not so aware of how critical

professional credit management can be.

In terms of late payment, many smaller

companies simply ‘accept’ that they will

be paid late. Statistics for the average

DSO for the country vary depending on

the source, but are anything from 45 to

52 days.

Are there any specific laws to protect

against late payment?

None that are specific to Belgium,

beyond the EU Directive on late

payment which is EU wide. There are,

however, a number of private initiatives

underway to create better awareness of

the issue and the regulations.

What support do you provide to fellow

FECMA members?

We collaborate closely with our

colleagues in the Nederlandse

Vereniging voor Credit Management

(VCVM) in the Netherlands and the

Bundesverband Credit Management

(BvCM) in Germany. We also publish our

own magazine.

Contacts for further information:

Ludo Theunissen

E: ludo.theunissen@ivkm.be

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 30


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The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 31

Follow us:


From the

ARCHIVE

Credit Management

Journal from exactly

45 years ago.

In an age of AI and the talk of

robots, here's an article from

72

19

the Credit Management

archives. Enjoy this snapshot

from 45 years ago.

MICROFILM

Computer file information can be output

directly on to microfilm and this can

be a very useful method of holding

information. The microfilm can be

coded so that particular items can be

automatically selected for retrieval and

display on the microfilm reader.

THE COMPUTER

The computer is basically able to operate at very high

speeds, and therefore handle large volumes of data and

make a great number of detailed checks and comparisons

of the data it is handling.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 32


The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 33


HAYS – SALARY GUIDE

RISING STOCK

How credit managers are seeing salary increases

and optimism prevail over Brexit uncertainty.

AUTHOR – Karen Young FCICM is Director of Hays Credit Management

THE credit management

market remains positive,

with employers seeking

talented individuals and

candidates looking for new

and exciting opportunities.

As we move through Brexit proceedings,

most organisations are keeping the

mantra of ‘business as usual’ even while

the outcome of the referendum remains

uncertain.

Employers, however need to work

hard to attract talent and businesses

will find that if they are offering salaries

below market rate, coupled with a noncompetitive

choice of benefits, they will

struggle to recruit against the current

outlook.

SALARY INCREASES

Pay for credit professionals increased

by 2.4 percent across 2017, significantly

higher than the overall increase seen for

finance professionals at 1.4 percent and

higher than the overall UK salary increase

(1.8 percent). The findings from the ‘Hays

UK Salary & Recruiting Trends’ guide

show that the average salary for credit

professionals recruited by Hays Credit

Management within the last 12 months was

£37,292, 2.4 percent up from 2016.

Although the average increase of

salaries for credit professionals is lower

than the data last year (3.7 percent), the

majority are still enjoying above average

salary increases. However, 53 percent of

credit professionals still aren’t satisfied

with their salaries this year, and 48 percent

are hoping for a pay increase in the coming

year.

Similar to our findings last year, salary

increases were not isolated to London,

with a number of regions receiving above

average increases to the rate of pay in the

finance profession. Credit managers in the

East of England for example saw a nine

percent increase in pay, followed by a six

percent increase for the same role in the

North West, and five percent in the South

East. Credit controllers in Northern Ireland

received a five percent increase, as well as

controllers in the East Midlands.

For credit professionals, there is a

positive outlook and demand especially

within the permanent market. In London

particularly, candidates with specific

industry knowledge, such as legal or

property are in demand as employers look

to hire experienced talent who can hit

the ground running. Language skills, and

good technical acumen are also in demand

across the UK, in particular in areas where

there is a concentration of shared service

centres, so candidates with this potential

can expect good opportunities and offers.

From a regional perspective, in the

South we’ve witnessed a rise in employers

looking to hire risk or credit analysts

specifically. In the North West, there

has been a notable recent increase in

roles available for senior professionals,

including head of credit, credit risk

manager and credit team leader

opportunities.

EMPLOYER OPTIMISM

Positively, the majority (95 percent) of

finance employers are optimistic that

their organisation’s activity levels will

either increase or stay the same. Our

results indicate that those predicting

growth is lower than last year, at just

over half (52 percent) compared to 58

percent, however this is recognised due

caution in light of political and economic

uncertainty. Similarly, fewer employers of

finance professionals are looking to hire

(57 percent) over the next year, compared

to the UK average (71 percent).

Skills shortages remain challenging

for employers, with the majority saying

they have experienced either moderate

or severe shortages when recruiting this

year. Nearly two-thirds of employers

believe that competition for job roles is

the main cause of shortages in the sector,

followed by a lack of talent pipeline.

Worryingly, skills shortages are impacting

more than just productivity as employers

reported significant impacts on employee

morale, business development, expansion

and profit.

CAREER PROGRESSION

There is cause for concern for employers

as credit professionals are worried at the

lack of career progression and are willing

to move roles if they feel they aren’t

progressing; two-thirds said they felt

there was no scope for progression within

their current organisation, significantly

higher than finance professionals overall

at 57 percent.

Some 49 percent of credit professionals

are also planning to move roles within the

next 12 months, with a third saying the

main reason for doing so would be a lack

of future opportunities in their current

organisation.

Employers are warned that if they don’t

start to invest sufficiently in promoting

clear career paths for credit professionals,

as well as opportunities for training, they

are unlikely to attract and retain the talent

they need.

Employers who want to attract the right

talent should expect to offer salaries at a

market rate or above, as well as generous

benefits and career development or

training opportunities. As more and

more job and person specifications

include a request for candidates who have

studied or are studying for their CICM

qualifications, those employers who

actually offer a study support package as

an element of the overall package, can

certainly help themselves stand out.

Counter offers are commonplace

as employers look to retain talent, as

is the likelihood of someone receiving

multiple offers, particularly in London, so

employers recruiting should expect this

during the hiring process and act quickly.

Employers should also ensure that

opportunities for personal development

and career progression have been clearly

and carefully positioned all the way

through the interview stages.

Hays UK Salary and

Recruiting Trends 2018

In early Summer 2017 Hays surveyed

over 100 employees working in credit,

and 1,089 accountancy and finance

employers.

Salary data has been compiled using

information gathered during 2017

from Hays offices across the UK, and

is based on job listings, job offers and

candidate registrations.

hays.co.uk/salary-guide

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 34


HAYS – SALARY GUIDE

CREDIT SALARIES UK2018

Credit

Controller

Senior

Credit Controller

Credit Risk

Analyst

Credit Control

Supervisor

Credit

Manager

Group Credit Manager

/ Head of Credit

Credit

Director

Region 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018

East of England £24,500 £28,000 £40,000 £30,000 £38,000 £55,000 £70,000

London £26,500 £32,000 £50,000 £36,000 £55,000 £72,000 £95,000

East Midlands £22,000 £25,000 £40,000 £29,000 £38,000 £58,000 £75,000

West Midlands £23,000 £25,000 £40,000 £30,000 £48,000 £65,000 £85,000

North East England £20,500 £24,000 £30,000 £26,000 £36,000 £58,000 £70,000

North West England £22,000 £25,000 £40,000 £28,000 £37,000 £55,000 £75,000

Northern Ireland £22,000 £25,000 £30,000 £27,000 £40,000 £45,000 £70,000

Scotland £20,500 £25,000 £28,000 £27,500 £39,000 £50,000 £65,000

South East England £26,000 £30,000 £40,000 £33,000 £42,000 £65,000 £85,000

South West England £24,500 £26,000 £42,000 £27,000 £38,000 £55,000 £70,000

Wales £20,000 £23,000 £30,000 £27,000 £36,000 £52,000 £65,000

Yorkshire and the Humber £21,000 £24,000 £30,000 £27,000 £36,000 £57,000 £70,000

National Average 2018 £22,708 £26,000 £36,667 £28,958 £40,250 £57,250 £74,583

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 35


OPINION

TOYS R BUST

In an article adapted from a recent CICM Breakfast

Briefing, Bodhi Ganguli examines the recent capitulation

of Toys R Us and the importance of global risk

management.

AUTHOR – Bodhi Ganguli is Lead Economist at Dun & Bradstreet.

IN September 2017, Toys R Us

filed for bankruptcy in the

United States and Canada – and

the news was all over the press.

It appeared that the iconic toy

brand that many of us grew

up with was set to become the latest

retailer consigned to the history books.

As a consumer, the loss of a well-known

business may be saddening, but as a

business it could be deeply concerning.

Naturally, for the suppliers and creditors

of Toys R Us, the bankruptcy could

represent a disaster. But for others,

it offers important lessons about the

current business environment and its lack

of certainty.

In these unpredictable times,

understanding risk is more important

than ever before. But it’s not enough just

to look within your own organisation,

or even at your closest trading partners.

All business leaders must take a 360

degree, global view of risk. Keeping up

with country as well as credit risk is

key to ensuring long-term success. But

what is the current global outlook – and

how can businesses navigate current

developments at a time when markets are

changing faster than ever before.

A CRACKED GLOBE

The truth is that at present we are

operating in a highly complex global

environment, in the US, the UK and

beyond. Many of the assumptions that we

have been working with for many years

are now changing, particularly with the

current swing towards deglobalisation.

In the last couple of years, there have

been indications of anti-global sentiment

in several economies, in an apparent

backlash against recent moves for

connectivity. An early manifestation came

in the Brexit vote of 2016, followed by

the widely unexpected victory of Donald

Trump in the US Presidential election.

But where has this wave come from?

Globalisation was always likely to create

winners and losers, but it was thought

that the winners would compensate and

pass on prosperity to ‘losing’ parties.

However, that’s not necessarily come

to fruition. Take the example of the US

manufacturing industry. In many areas,

production has been moved overseas

and there has been no reskilling or

reinvestment in the local community,

creating pockets of poverty. These are

the hidden ripples of globalisation, that

are sparking deglobalising sentiment,

unpredictable political environments and

increased uncertainty.

According to Dun & Bradstreet’s ‘Global

Risk Matrix’, we’re seeing a deteriorating

risk outlook for cross-border business

worldwide. Many of the systemic risks

stem from the US. This is not because

it is an unstable economy, but because

there is a lack of clear fiscal policy and

indeed a lack of clear political direction at

present. And all of this uncertainty is bad

for business.

THE DOMINO EFFECT

The consequences of this uncertain

environment are felt around the

world. Despite anti-global sentiments,

businesses are more connected than

ever before, with global supply chains

and global consumers. Everything is

interlinked, from politics and cyberspace

to economies. As a result, global risk

has evolved, with multifaceted factors

impacting business worldwide like

dominoes. Perhaps counterintuitively,

the globalised economy means that

deglobalising forces represent a bigger

threat than ever before.

All in all, this is holding businesses

back. Although this should be the best

time ever for the global economy, we’re

being hampered by uncertainty and

seem to be unable to move beyond a

mediocre two to three percent global

growth. Investor, consumer and business

sentiment has waned; the confidence that

takes seconds to fall can take months to

grow again – and across the world, we’re

seeing this unsurety hampering global

growth.

ON TOP OF THE WORLD

To ensure ongoing success in this

highly connected, volatile environment,

businesses must look beyond their own

walls and take a global view of risk. It has

never been more important to understand

the markets in which they are buying,

selling or investing and anticipate and

respond to challenges as they arise.

Businesses can draw on the latest insights

on country risk, which are based on the

credit environment, supply environment,

market environment and the political

environment, and thus plan accordingly.

The bankruptcy of Toys R Us is a

reflection of the complexity of the

current trading environment. In itself,

the company’s failure does not indicate

a problem in the US or even with the

strength of the retail market. People are

still buying toys, and the US economy

is still driven by retail consumption. It

is instead an indicator of overarching

trends: how the retail landscape is shifting

with the rise of online platforms such

as Amazon, the risk that every industry

faces from digital disruption, shifting

consumer demands and how quickly

markets are changing at present.

Across the board, we operate in a

highly complex global environment that

is constantly evolving. Keeping up with

country risk will help companies ensure

their prosperity and continued relevance

for the future.

For further insight on the Toys

R Us bankruptcy, visit dnb.co.uk/

perspectives/finance-credit-risk/toys-rus-bankruptcy-business-impact.html

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 36


OPINION

AUTHOR – BODHI GANGULI

ANALYSIS

Business Volumes

The volume of active businesses in this industry is

very small. This is around 1,700 businesses.

The bankruptcy of Toys

R Us is a reflection of the

complexity of the current

trading environment.

In itself, the company’s

failure does not indicate

a problem in the US or

even with the strength of

the retail market.

OOB & Business Failure By Year

The favourable out of business rate increased in

2016 from the previous year. In 2017 the out of

business rate remains at the same level as in the

previous year. The business failures remain stable

over the last three years. Although the percentage

of business failures went up from 2016 to 2017, the

volume is not significant.

Business Size

Some 85 percent of the businesses are micro.

Only a small percentage of businesses (five

percent) are large.

Financial Information

The number of business with financials is

approximately 600 (35 percent), based on the most

recent financial information. Total Assets, on

average, have experienced an increase in the last

three years as well as the total debt. The increase

in total debt has been lower than that of the total

assets.

The current ratio indicates that the industry

has sufficient short term assets to cover its

short term debts. However over the last three

years the current ratio has been decreasing.

The indebtedness has been reducing over

the time period analysed. The portion of the

companies' assets that are financed by debt has

been reducing. The debt to equity ratio shows a

decreasing trend over the last three years.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 37


PAYMENT TRENDS

Better than average

The latest monthly business to business payment

performance statistics.

AUTHOR – Jason Braidwood FCICM(Grad), Head of Credit and Collections at Creditsafe Business Solutions

WE do not learn from

experience…we learn

from reflecting on experience,”

said John

Dewey, the American

philosopher, psychologist

and educational reformer. It’s a

hard statement to challenge and there is

no doubt that reflecting on previous efforts

can often generate the most improvement

in our problem-solving capacities and ability

to achieve desired goals. Under cold

bright lights, however, reflection can also

mean we realise that little has changed or

improved over time.

My apologies for kicking-off this month’s

payment performance figures on quite

such a glum note, but unfortunately this is

true of where we currently stand in terms

of the UK’s payment practices. Reflecting

on this time 12 months ago, we can see that

the average number of days beyond terms

(DBT) has increased by 11 percent to over

13 days, which is also the highest average

monthly DBT since January 2017.

We’re at somewhat of a standstill

compared to a year ago, which is not

entirely surprising when you reflect on the

business uncertainty that has shaped the

UK economy in 2017.

On a happier note, payment performance

figures year-on-year are showing signs of

improvement. We have been tracking this

data since 2014, when the average DBT

across all sectors stood at 19.6 days. In

2015, this dropped to 17.6 days, and again

a decrease in 2016 to 14.9 days. We’ll hold

back from revealing the 2017 average until

we reach the end of the year, but I think you

can take an educated guess based on the

trend we’ve seen over the last few years.

Sometimes, reflecting on the bigger

picture brings about a more satisfying

outcome than looking at the detail, but it

is the detail that this column must focus

on, so here’s a closer look at the sector and

geographical trends in the UK’s payment

performance and practices.

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT

Some 85 percent of the industries we

monitor saw an increase in their monthly

DBT, which is up significantly from

last month when 60 percent of sectors

increased their DBT by some margin. The

worst offending industry is the Transport

and Storage sector, which saw a jump

from a DBT score of 8.7 last month to 13.6.

Interestingly, this sector saw the largest

percentage increase (up 6.7 percent) in

employment figures, according to the UK

Business Register and Employment Survey,

so the sector isn’t experiencing a squeeze on

staff recruitment. Here’s hoping a squeeze

on poor payment follows suit next month.

After two consecutive months of an

improving DBT score, the Financial and

Insurance industry has slipped back to old

habits and returned to a DBT of 13.6, a 46

percent increase. It will be interesting to see

how the rise in inflation and interest rates

impact not only the financial sector, but

all of the 20 sectors that we monitor. Late

commercial payments will be hit by the rise

in statutory interest rates, meaning that

prompter payments and recovering debt in

business to business transactions will be

even more critical. The interest rate rise will

also give SMEs more leverage when chasing

late payments, but there is still some way to

go and efforts need to be improved to tackle

late payment more aggressively.

It is an about-turn for the Professional

and Scientific sector – the industry had

performed poorly with a DBT score that

had risen by over nine days to 17.7. The

drop is still some way off the sector’s best

for the year of 8.3 days, but a drop to 14.3

days in comparison is still a significant

achievement, and puts it at the top of the

getting better list.

In line with our mood for reflection, it’s

interesting to see that seven sectors match

their DBT score with the corresponding

month in 2016. In some respects, and

given the market volatility, it’s some sort of

achievement to see like-for-like scores. On

the flip side, this lack of change indicates

an endemic response to poor payment

practices, which is concerning.

REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT

In a strange twist, London is the only

region to see an improvement in payment

performance – a very marginal 0.6 decrease,

but a fall in the right direction nonetheless.

Every other region saw an increase – for

some, such as Scotland and the South East,

the rise in DBT was minor, for others, it is

quite a staggering change.

Wales and the East Midlands both

saw days before payment rise by over five

days, placing their DBT at 16 and 15 days

respectively. For both regions, this is their

worst performance of the year to date.

It is difficult to assess the reason behind

this sudden change – both regions are

comparatively smaller than say, the London

market, with potentially more fragmented

business sectors. This may mean that

delayed or late payment relatively higher,

and the ability to demand timely payment

is relatively limited. These are assumptions,

but what we do know is that based on

past trends, neither of these regions has a

history of late payment as poor as it is – so

we could be looking at an anomaly.

Perhaps a little early, but it’s interesting

to reflect on which regions have performed

the best overall for the year to date. The

competition is fierce between the South

West, with an annual average DBT of 10.6,

and East Anglia with an average DBT of

10.9. It’s all to play for!

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 38


South West

PAYMENT TRENDS

Sector

Scotland

11.7 DBT

Getting Better

Getting Worse

Professsional &

Scientific

-3.4

Transportation

& Storage

+4.9

Public

Administration

-2.3

Business Admin

& Support

+4.4

Hospitality

-1.6

Financial &

Insurance

+4.3

Manufacturing

+0.7

Business

from Home

+3.9

Mining &

Quarrying

+0.8

International

Bodies

+3.9

Northern

Ireland

15.7 DBT

+1.8 North West

+5.2 Wales

Top Five Prompter Payers

+2.5 Yorkshire & Humberside

+3.3 East Anglia

+3.4

+4.3

Sector

Wales

16.7 DBT

North West

13.5 DBT

Northern Ireland

South West

Top Five Prompter Payers October 17 Change from September 17

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing 9.5 1.0

Education 10.4 1.7

Yorkshire Wholesale & & Retail Trade 11.3 1.9

Humberside

Entertainment 11.4 2.5

13.1 Water DBT & Waste 12.1 3.1

West

Midlands

11.9 DBT

East

Midlands

15.2 DBT

East Anglia

11.7 DBT

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Sector In line with our mood for

reflection, it’s interesting

Region

to see that seven sectors

match their DBT score with

the corresponding Professsional & Public month in

Scientific Administration Hospitality

2016. Getting Better In some -3.4

Getting

respects, -2.3

Better

and -1.6

London -0.6

given the market Transportation volatility,

Business Admin

Getting Worse

Bottom Five Poorest Payers October 17 Change from

Business from Home 15.9 3.9

Energy Supply 15.9 2.2

Business Admin & Support 15.7 4.4

Health & Social 14.3 2.1

Professional and Scientific 14.3 -3.4

& Storage & Support

+0.2 Scotland

it’s some sort of +4.9 achievement

+4.4 +4.3

London

+0.8 South East

Region

14.6 to see like-for-like scores.

DBT

+1.2 West Midlands

Professsional & Public South East

Mining &

Scientific Administration Hospitality Manufacturing Quarrying

South West

13.4

12.8

Region

DBT

+1.8 North West

Getting Better -3.4 -2.3 -1.6 +0.7 +0.8

DBT

Top Five Prompter Payers +2.5 Bottom F

Getting Better

Yorkshire & Humberside

Transportation Business Admin Financial Top & Five Prompter Business Payers International

Getting Worse

October 17 Change from September 17 Bottom Five P

& Storage & Support

Insurance from Home

Bodies

London -0.6

+3.3 East Anglia

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing 9.5 1.0

Business fro

+4.9 +4.4 +4.3Education +3.9 +3.9

10.4 1.7

Energy Sup

+0.2 Scotland

+3.4 Northern Ireland

Wholesale & Retail Trade 11.3 1.9

Business Ad

Scotland

Change on

+0.8

September 17

Entertainment 11.4 2.5

Health & So

ottom Five Poorest Payers

South East

+4.3 South

11.7

West

DBT

Water & Waste 12.1 3.1

Professiona

Getting Better +1.2 West Midlands

+5.2 Wales

Sector

Region October 17 Top Change Five Prompter from September Payers +1.8 North 17 West

Bottom Five Poorest +5.3 PayersEast Midlands

London Top Five -0.6 Prompter Payers October 17 Change from September 17 Bottom Five Poorest Payers Getting Worse October 17 Change from September 17

Wales 16.7 5.2

+2.5 Yorkshire & Humberside

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing 9.5 1.0

Business from Home 15.9 3.9

Northern Ireland 15.7 Education

+0.2 3.4

10.4 1.7

Energy Supply 15.9 2.2

Scotland

+3.3 East Anglia

Northern

Ireland

Wholesale & Retail Trade 11.3 1.9

Business Admin & Support 15.7 15.7 4.4

DBT

East Midlands 15.2 Entertainment 5.3

+3.4 11.4 Northern 2.5Ireland

North West Yorkshire &

Health & Social 14.3 2.1 Scotland

13.5 Humberside

DBT

London 14.6 +0.8Water -0.6 South & Waste East 12.1 3.1

Professional and Scientific 14.3 -3.4 11.713.1 DBT

DBT

+4.3 South West

North West 13.5 1.8

+5.2 Wales

East

+1.2 West Midlands

Midlands

15.2 DBT

+5.3 East Midlands

Top Five Prompter Payers

Bottom

Getting Worse

East Anglia

Top Five Prompter Payers

Region October 17 Change from September 17

East Anglia 11.7 3.3

Scotland 11.7 0.2

West Midlands 11.9 1.2

+5.3

South East West Midlands12.8 4.3

Yorkshire and Humberside

Getting Worse

13.1 2.5

Region

West

Midlands

11.9 DBT

Financial &

Insurance

Manufacturing

+0.7

16.7 DBT

11.7 DBT

Region October 17 Change from September 17 Region

London

East Anglia 11.7 3.3

14.6 DBT

Wales

Scotland 11.7 0.2

South Northern

East

South West

13.4 DBT

West Midlands Northern 11.9 1.2

East Midla

12.8 DBT

South West Ireland 12.8 4.3

London

Yorkshire and Humberside 15.7 13.1 DBT 2.5

North West

North

Yorks

We

13.5 Humbe

Change on September DBT 17

13.1

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Wales

Region October 17 Change from September 17

Wales 16.7 5.2

Northern Ireland 15.7 3.4

East Midlands 15.2 5.3

London 14.6 -0.6

North West 13.5 1.8

Wales

16.7 DBT

West

Midlands

11.9 DBT

B

fro

+

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 39

1


LEGAL MATTERS

Back to the drawing board

James Perry examines Lord Justice Jackson's

fixed-costs proposals and how they might be avoided for

debt recovery claims.

DD +44 113 261 6533 E james.perry@dwf.law W www.dwf.law/recover

James Perry

Director – Technical Recoveries

AS Vice-Chair of the Civil

Litigation Committee of the

Law Society I was fortunate

enough to ask Lord Justice

Jackson a question at our

Autumn Conference. As

you may be aware, Lord Justice Jackson has

been the architect of many Court reforms

in recent years and is currently proposing

a system of fixed-fees for certain types of

claim. One of those are defended debt

claims, therefore credit managers need to

keep a close eye on these reforms should

they eventually be adopted. I wrote about

this previously, and since then, I have been

scrutinising the proposals. The question I

asked Lord Justice Jackson has attracted

media attention.

My question was as follows: ‘A very

high percentage of the claims that fall into

your fixed-fee regime will be debt recovery

or contractual money claims. In your

report, you pay regard to this and confirm

where there is a contractual entitlement

to cover your costs whatever the claim

value your fixed-fee regime will not apply.

Consequently, how can you convince me

today that, because many businesses are

likely to change their terms to avoid your

fixed-fee regime, your proposals will not

lessen the judiciary's grip on the question

of proportionality, and your proposals will

not unintentionally exacerbate the very

problem you are trying to resolve?’

Some 80 percent plus of all claims

encompassed by this proposed fixedcosts

extension will be debt recovery or

contractual money claims. This means

that 80 percent plus of Jackson's proposals

could be sidestepped by businesses

having a simple clause in their contracts

for the recovery of their legal costs.

For credit managers, an indemnity

clause for costs in your contracts gives

you a greater chance of making a better

recovery. It also raises the point that if

there's a better way for credit managers

to recover their legal costs, then failing

to take that opportunity would be foolish.

At DWF LLP we offer a fixed-fee service

where we provide you with a suitable

clause for your contracts. For further

details email Neil Jinks neil.jinks@dwf.

law.

Jackson explained primary legislation

would be required to change the law

so that contractual clauses could not

sidestep his proposals. Importantly, he

stated that this would involve nothing less

than a Law Commission report. He also

didn't think Parliament will allocate time

to civil justice reform of this nature. So, it

seems businesses that provide credit will

be able to take the benefit of an indemnity

clause for a long time to come.

Jackson also continued that though

the problem of having a contractual term

to recover costs is not widespread; if it

were there would be a strong case for

legislation.

I disagree. Firstly, I don't believe

we know exactly how widespread the

‘problem’ is. I do know it should already

be widespread though because Credit

Managers should be taking the benefit of

this clause.

Secondly, I don't agree it's actually a

‘problem’ at all. Save for limited situations

concerning consumers, the actual value

of the bargain parties enter into is not

usually of any concern to a judge for good

reason – and it certainly shouldn't be

changed just to suit a system of arbitrary

fixed-costs. A fundamental change of

contract law, at any point, would seriously

damage our economy and push access to

justice further away from claimants.

Ultimately, if the reforms are adopted,

Jackson's fixed-costs will drive lawyers

and businesses to change their terms and

I cannot see anything wrong with this. In

over 80 percent of claims, the very thing

Jackson has been trying to avoid would

then be exacerbated because there would

be more time spent considering bills of

costs; but at least you would recover more

than you will under a fixed-fee regime.

Under a fixed-fee regime it's likely there

will be a shortfall on costs or you will be

overcharged if a stage fee is triggered, and

the case is settled quickly.

The key aim of Jackson's proposals is

to reduce the cost of litigation, which will

take the pressure of dealing with costs

away from the courts. He aims to also

simplify the costs process, improve access

to justice and improve proportionality.

However, these reforms could actually

increase the amount of court time spent

dealing with costs – meaning the status

quo regarding access to justice and the

question of proportionality prevails for

this type of case. If indemnity cost clauses

become the norm for contract claims,

then the judiciary could find itself back at

square one.

Without a cork to plug this leak in

Jackson's fixed-costs dam, his proposals

for contractual claims might never have

to be applied.

James Perry is a Director at DWF LLP

and Vice-Chair of the Law Society's Civil

Litigation Committee. A version of this

article first appeared in the Law Gazette

(lawgazette.co.uk) on 26 October 2017.

This information is intended as a general

discussion surrounding the topics covered

and is for guidance purposes only. It does

not constitute legal advice and should

not be regarded as a substitute for taking

legal advice. DWF is not responsible for

any activity undertaken based on this

information.

AS A CICM MEMBER YOU CAN RECEIVE FREE LEGAL ADVICE FROM

DWF VISIT THE CICM WEBSITE AND CLICK ON THE FREE ADVICE LINE.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 40


THE RECOGNISED

STANDARD

CICM British Credit Awards 2018

8 February 2018

Royal Lancaster, London

The shortlist has just been announced

Book your table today!

The entries are in... and the shortlist has just

been announced! To see who made the shortlist

for the 2018 awards, please visit:

www.cicmbritishcreditawards.com

Don’t miss this fantastic evening of networking and

celebration of all of the incredible achievements

across the credit and collections community, and

with a fabulous line up of entertainment it’s the one

event in the credit calendar that’s not to be missed!

The CICM British Credit Awards is central to our

ethos, rewarding outstanding achievement and

innovation shown by individuals and organisations.

BOOK YOUR TABLES TODAY AND

JOIN US ON THE NIGHT WHERE ALL

WINNERS WILL BE REVEALED

www.cicmbritishcreditawards.com

Table bookings

Please contact Natasha Witter on:

T: 020 7484 9876

E: natasha.witter@incisivemedia.com

HEADLINE SPONSOR:

SPONSORS:

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 41


OPINION

Making the

magic happen

New trends in cash allocation and finance, and the

impact they can have on a business’ performance.

AUTHOR – Chris Sanders FCICM is Head of Accreditation – CICMQ

ELEMENTS of the ‘Order to

Cash’ process are a mystery

to many people. Generally,

people understand the

concept of credit control,

but tend to simplify this

into ‘you guys are the debt collectors

right?’ But things like billing are never

truly understood ; it is as though orders

enter a big cloud with ‘then magic

happens’ written on it, and hey-presto,

out pops an invoice.

Other areas of mystery include the

elements that sit at the end of the process,

for example cash allocation, and some

of the more interesting new finance

arrangements that organisations use

to manage net working capital. These

things may seem unrelated, but if the

processes that you have as a business are

not managed properly the effects can be

catastrophic.

A couple of years ago I was running

a workshop with a large cross-functional

team from a UK business. This group

was essentially a shared service centre

with team members involved in order

management, customer service, billing,

credit control, collections and cash

allocation. The workshop was to find

ways to improve cashflow, and after about

30 minutes the cash allocators asked why

they were there, given that this was a

‘collections issue’ and nothing to do with

them.

So, I asked what they think happens

if they stop allocating cash? Surprisingly,

not many of the cash allocators

could answer. It was the collectors and

the credit controllers who understood

their importance to the overall process.

They thought after about three days

cash collection activity would have to

stop. At this point in the discussions, the

cash allocators became more engaged.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 42


OPINION

AUTHOR – CHRIS SANDERS

Chris Sanders

If any proof were needed that this was the

case, one multinational collections function

was brought to its knees a few years ago for

that reason – taking months to recover not

only equilibrium in its sales ledger, but also

the reputational damage caused with customers.

Trust, or lack of it, in credit management

can take a long while to recover.

Cash allocation is so much more than

a transactional process that can just be offshored

or outsourced without too much

thought, and unless you are an operational

credit manager, it is often difficult to comprehend.

It is usually the ‘finance’ people that

do the defining of what can and cannot, or

should and should not, be offshored and outsourced,

and as credit managers – how many

poor decisions do we see? It is therefore very

good to know that such critical processes are

now gaining even greater recognition, not

least in the level of effort organisations are

putting into developing new and innovative

software solutions. As the average Enterprise

Resource Planning (ERP) system only has a 54

percent auto allocation rate, it doesn’t take a

rocket scientist to figure out what a 90 percent

auto allocation rate will do to a business.

To reach those levels takes a credit manager!

PAYMENT HABITS

Capturing data on payment habits is becoming

critical; as I have mentioned before, ‘you

can automate anything where there is a predictable

outcome’, but you only know what

the outcomes are if you are gathering the

data in the first place. Again, this information

is becoming recognised as the driver for

collections activity. This sort of automation

percentage now makes us question whether

the accountants made the right decision to

migrate this activity offshore, other than to

make it someone else’s problem. These offshore/outsourcers

are now looking for ways

to combat this shift in thinking by creating

teams or implementing new ways to deliver

automated solutions. Trust me, when these

guys do this, you know that there is something

they are concerned about.

Ultimately of course, everything is

about the customer and their experience,

and this is what we should really be considering.

Too much offshoring is about reducing

cost, not improving the experience of the

customer or effectiveness of the process. Being

a professional organisation is about how

you treat all other organisations you interact

with.

In the work that I do I meet many organisations

with brilliant credit management

teams, yet their accounts payable seem to

have in-built processes designed to delay

payments not necessarily deliberately, but

because they are done to a cost not a quality

standard, and this impacts reputation. Why

spend huge sums on new collections and

credit management software, and not consider

what happens when the cash is paid? With

new specialist systems, the ‘transactional’

cash allocation process has come of age and

is helping drive the upstream processes of

collections and risk assessment.

FIRE AND FORGET

The ‘fire and forget’ approach to financing

from years ago has also thankfully

changed. Back in the day, invoice financing

‘factoring’ was not something

that many organisations wanted to discuss

or admit too, since it was associated

with organisations in difficulty or without

the skills or resources to manage

their cash collection effectively. Additionally,

the ‘factors’ had a poor service reputation

largely because they were not too concerned

with an ongoing business relationship with

the debtor as they saw them. This is very different

today.

There is significantly more due diligence

carried out when financing, the impact of the

2008 credit crunch has provided more rigour

in this regard, and financing is being seen

as a real opportunity for improving working

capital, especially at times of seasonal increases

in revenue. Better to have the money

in the bank than on the sales ledger. Financing

arrangements are fast becoming more

commonplace and customer focused, providing

the company with the money and the

customer with extended terms. With more

acceptance comes innovation.

One organisation in the building trade

facilitates finance arrangements like this for

their customers, the builders, to help them

with short-term financing. By doing this, not

only are they getting paid quicker but the customer

experience is also such that they are

less likely to change suppliers. This service

is offered with a suite of other ‘products’ like

assistance with collections, credit insurance,

risk assessments. This particular organisation

started offering these services two years

ago.

Here are two activities at the back end of

the order to cash process – cash allocation

and financing – that are at last gaining greater

recognition and understanding for their

importance to a business’ cashflow. Neither

of which were glamourous, but both considered

mysterious and unwanted by most of the

business, and are now being de-mystified as a

result. Organisations that are managing these

processes well are really benefiting both the

business and their customers – proof that a

more holistic approach to credit management

is now needed.

For more information about the CICM

Best Practice Network please contact or visit

the CICMQ page on the CICM’s website cicm.

com.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 43


ASK THE EXPERTS

What is the best way to get

Board buy in to investment

in credit department

development training and

accreditation?

AUTHOR – Phil Rice, Head of Credit at Aggregate Industries UK is this month’s expert.

Phil Rice

SIX years ago, I started on a

journey to get the Board to buy

in to invest in our department.

I initially embarked on the

process on obtaining the CICMQ

accreditation. It demonstrated

our capabilities, achievements and with

the road map and stakeholder involvement,

showed the business what we could achieve

– with the appropriate levels of investment

in training and development – in terms of

improvement in KPI’s customer service and

interaction and support for the business.

There was no budget for this initial

accreditation, but I knew that the end result

in terms of engaging our business and the

awareness and prestige that it would bring

for the department and company simply

outweighed the initial cost, so was worth

the risk. As a manager, I needed to take that

important first step as I saw this as a way of

getting more investment. This really did open

the door for a larger budget.

It is also important to make sure that the

business is aware of your achievements and

capabilities and being able to demonstrate

that with a budget for training, this investment

can be returned many times over in terms of

improved performance. Really the business

is investing in its core asset, which is people,

and with the right training and support

these people can make a huge impact on

the performance. Investing in training and

process raised our level of professionalism

and this reflected in improved results.

It is also important to discuss your

investment plans and requirements

individually with each Board member and

explain your rationale. You need to explain

where you want to be, why you need the

funding, and what this will bring to the

business. This way, when it comes to the

important budget meeting, all the groundwork

has been done and there is hopefully less of a

debate as most of Board members are already

convinced that the request for investment

is worthwhile. Oddly, another way is to

take your CFO and CEO to the CICM British

Credit Awards; they then can see first-hand

what their investment can produce and how

rewarding it can be!

Accreditation also differentiated us from

our competitors, so being able to be CICMQ

accredited is highly desirable to our business.

It also demonstrates our abilities to our

customers. This desirability for differentiation

brings along a training budget so the

investment starts to be self-perpetuating.

Any buy-in or investment won’t bring

instant results of course. Our journey took

over five years in which we transformed into

a world class Order to Cash (O2C) function.

Along the way there was a failure or two, and

we learned from these and we must not be

afraid to deal with failure. Failure can be a good

thing and is an important part of the process,

so you can understand when going forwards

how to ensure success. However, I wouldn’t

suggest here that you fail at everything as this

may have career implications for you. If you

haven’t failed at anything then you haven’t

done anything, and I guess you won’t be

needing a budget or investment!

There was no budget for

this initial accreditation,

but I knew that the end

result in terms of engaging

our business and the

awareness and prestige

that it would bring for the

department and company

simply outweighed the

initial cost, so was worth

the risk.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 44


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The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 45


EDUCATION – SAINT-GOBAIN BUILDING DISTRIBUTION UK

Corporate Membership

Building Skills

Saint-Gobain includes some of the best-known

and respected companies in the construction sector.

HOW do you build greater

credit knowledge and

understanding when

your team is based

across numerous sites?

This was the challenge

facing Paul Cahill, the National Credit

Services Manager for SGBD UK and three

of his senior Credit Managers: Ben Wade

(Huddersfield); Claire Daniel (Coventry);

and Julie Bitters (Glasgow). The ambition

to train, support and nurture staff with

varying educational experiences led the

company to the CICM and more specifically,

Corporate Membership.

THE SOLUTION

With its inclusive ethos, CICM Corporate

Membership provided a flexible route of

training and qualifications to inspire the

team. The programme was launched with

a hugely successful one day Telephone

Collections training course held in

Glasgow, Huddersfield and Coventry.

Attendees’ feedback showed an immediate

positive impact, with comments such as: ‘I

have learnt the importance of every single

step of a phone call and the effect it has

on cash collection.’

Not surprisingly, this taster led to

enthusiastic uptake of the two year CICM

Level 3 Diploma in Credit Management

qualification programme which includes

both assignments and exams to suit the

personal circumstances and educational

ambitions of the learners.

As a company which strongly promotes

personal development, SGBD UK has made

full use of the various study methods

on offer to help students through the

programme. Larger groups have attended

face-to-face or virtual classes whilst small

groups have benefitted from coaching

through the CICM Learning Support

service or have chosen distance learning.

The results speak for themselves.

THE OUTCOME

In the last two-years, the SGBD UK

credit teams have shown an outstanding

commitment to the CICM qualification

programme which has had an immediate

positive impact on skills, confidence and

performance.

Additional benefits also include greater

interaction across teams within the department

and an increased awareness of how

the credit team impacts the wider business.

The exceptional success of the programme

is due to the continued encouragement

of the managers, underpinned by the

Corporate Membership arrangement.

THE FACTS:

• 49 people have achieved one or more

CICM awards.

• 30 learners now have the CICM

Certificate in Credit Management

• 17 students have achieved the CICM

Diploma at Level 3 and earned the

prestigious professional letters,

ACICM.

• The company is one of CICM’s topperforming

corporate clients and

(out of 14 companies) is currently

the CICM Corporate Member with

the most Diplomas at Level 3 and

has examination pass rates above the

national average.

• Team Managers have fast-tracked

through college courses to achieve

the Diploma and their gateway to

the CICM Level 5 Diploma in Credit

Management.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 46


EDUCATION – SAINT-GOBAIN BUILDING DISTRIBUTION UK

“The breadth and success

of the programme has

significantly improved

engagement and has led

to employees working in

non-credit roles applying

to move into jobs within

credit control.”

IN BRIEF:

Saint-Gobain in the UK includes

some of the best-known and

respected companies in the

construction sector including:

Jewson, Graham, Gibbs & Dandy

and Minster.

THE CHALLENGE:

To train, support and nurture

staff with varying educational

experiences across numerous

sites.

THE SOLUTION:

To develop a consistent

programme of training across the

group linked to qualifications and

CICM corporate membership.

THE OUTCOME:

Immediate impact on skills,

confidence and performance.

Excellent qualification

achievement with consistently

high results.

“The key to our success was ensuring engagement and

involvement at all levels across all sites. The site champions

encouraged a collaborative team effort in which everyone

wanted to succeed both on a personal but also group level.”

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 47


Would you like to be CICM qualified?

Plan now to start studying in January

Now is the time to think about starting your studies in January and speaking to your

employer. Our education advisers can give advice on how to get started and the options

available. Partly qualified? Find out which units you could complete to gain a CICM

qualification. You could replace an exam with an assignment for example, telephone

collections. Study options are explained below.

EVENING CLASSES

CICM Teaching Centres offer classroom-based learning in

Credit Management (Trade, Export and Consumer), Accounting

Principles, Business Law and Business Environment towards

the CICM Level 3 Diploma in Credit Management and some offer

study towards the CICM Level 5 Diploma in Credit Management.

VIRTUAL CLASSROOM

The CICM Credit Academy offers the opportunity to study in a

virtual classroom through the web for the Level 3 Diploma in

Credit Management examined units Credit Management (Trade,

Export and Consumer), Accounting Principles, Business Law and

Business Environment and Level 5 Diploma subjects. Classes are

led by an experienced tutor, are interactive and you have plenty

of opportunity to ask questions and test your knowledge.

IN-COMPANY CLASSES

Some Teaching Centres and the CICM Credit Academy offer

in-company classes for CICM qualifications. Contact CICM

Learning and Development for further details. Fees depend on

location, length of course and are generally cost effective for

groups of ten learners or more.

SUPPORTED HOME STUDY

Supported home study suits those who wish to receive

tutorial support, but would like some flexibility. A practical

option if you are unable to attend college on a regular basis

for the Level 3 Diploma in Credit Management examined

units or CICM Level 5 Diploma in Credit Management

Supported home study providers:

CICM Credit Academy Learning Support Service

OLC (Europe)

Haddoum Training, Milton Keynes (including three Saturday

classes)

UNSUPPORTED HOME STUDY

This provides the cheapest and most flexible option to study for

Level 3 Diploma examined units and Level 5 Diploma units. As

a minimum requirement, you would need to purchase relevant

study texts and guides prepared by the CICM for these units and

specialist text books. This is not a correspondence course and in

using this method you work alone.

CICM TRAINING

CICM offer open and in-company training days, linked to CICM

assignments. (see CICM website for details). Works well for all

CICM qualifications (Credit Management, Debt Collections and

Money and Debt Advice). In some cases, the Institute can link

organisations own training to CICM awards and CICM would be

pleased to advise on this.

CONTACT DETAILS FOR

EVENING AND VIRTUAL CLASSES

Basingstoke

brenda.linger@btconnect.com

Birmingham

Deborah.filgate@blueyonder.co.uk

Avnet, Bracknell

Brenda.linger@btconnect.com

Pecunia (2016) Ltd, Kent

courses@pecunia2016.co.uk

Leeds City College

Karen.odgers@leedscitycollege.ac.uk

South Leicestershire College

info@slcollege.ac.uk

Scorpion, Wolverhampton

petercartwright@debtman.freeserve.co.uk

London Metropolitan University

professionalcourses@londonmet.ac.uk

Haddoum Training, Milton Keynes:

Haddoum.training@yahoo.co.uk

Malta Association of Credit Management

info@macm.org.uk

Pecunia (2016) Ltd, Kent

courses@pecunia2016.co.uk

Portsmouth

brenda.linger@btconnect.com

Southampton

brenda.linger@btconnect.com

Stoke-on-Trent College

Mdodd1sc@stokecoll.ac.uk

CICM Virtual Class

creditacademy@cicm.com

The Organisational Learning Centre, (OLC Europe) CICM

Credit Academy, Manchester

greg@olceurope.com

For further details contact

professionalqualfications@cicm.com

or telephone: 01780 722909

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 48


THE CICM MAGAZINE FOR CONSUMER AND

COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

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CREDIT MANAGEMENT

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THE INDUSTRY SPEAKS OUT

ON THE EU REFERENDUM

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TO SUBSCRIBE CONTACT: T: 01780 722903 E: ANGELA.COOPER@CICM.COM

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TAKE PRIDE IN

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The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 49


HR MATTERS

Employee snooping

A recent decision by the Grand Chamber of the European

Court of Human Rights has brought the question of

employee monitoring to the forefront of employers'

minds once again. Gareth Edwards reports.

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards is a partner in the employment team at Veale Wasbrough Vizards. gedwards@vwv.co.uk

THE decision in Barbulescu v

Romania highlights the fine

balance between an employee's

reasonable expectation

of privacy and an employer's

right to check the activities

of those working for them. It was not sufficient

for the employer to simply inform

the employee that there was an internet usage

policy in place but instead, the Grand

Chamber found, the employee should also

have been made aware of the extent and

nature of the monitoring activities that the

employer was putting in place.

In the UK, the monitoring of employees

is heavily regulated by existing legislation,

which places limitations on the powers

of employers to monitor their employees'

private communications, including the

Data Protection Act 1998. The decision

reinforced that employers must provide a

legitimate reason to justify the monitoring

of an employee's communications. This

requires some form of assessment to be in

place in order to decide whether legitimate

reasons are in place.

Ultimately employers must be satisfied

that they have achieved the correct balance

between protecting workers' privacy and

the interests of the business. Carrying

out an impact assessment in relation to

communications monitoring is one way

in which employers can demonstrate that

they have achieved this. Employers should

also ensure they have a communications

monitoring policy in place and where

possible this should be backed up with

specific training on the use of IT and email

systems.

DRUG AND ALCOHOL MISUSE

The extent to which employers will need to

monitor their employees' use of alcohol or

indeed drugs, will depend on the particular

environment in which the business is based.

For instance, in some circumstances it may

be appropriate for employees to consume

alcohol while entertaining clients. In other

sectors, however, employers will need

to be much more cautious about their

employees' use of alcohol or drugs. Those

whose staff use vehicles as part of their

jobs, for instance, will need to maintain a

higher level of vigilance in this respect.

Employers may want to consider

whether it is necessary to carry out drug

screening or alcohol testing. This will

of course only be relevant in particular

industries, however, for those where this

is likely to be an issue then employers

should ensure that reference to screening

or testing is included in a policy given to all

staff.

Even with a drug screening or alcohol

testing policy in place, employers will

not be able to require staff to submit to

testing without their specific consent to do

so. One option is to draft the monitoring

policy to say that withholding consent is a

misconduct offence in itself.

TRACKING

Employers whose staff work 'off-site' –

for instance when driving – may find it

particularly difficult to know the exact

movements of their employees during

their working hours. Improvements in

technology have, however, made employee

accountability in the workplace much

easier in recent years. Again, industries

which rely on employees driving may find

this kind of technology particularly useful.

GPS, for instance, will highlight if drivers

are diverting from their planned routes

or if there is traffic preventing them from

reaching their destination.

If employers do intend to monitor

vehicles they should ensure that they

provide a policy which sets out the nature

and extent of the monitoring. Employers

should satisfy themselves that their

employees are aware of the policy that is

in place, what information is recorded and

the purpose for that recording. Where the

vehicle is used for both private and business

use employers should be particularly

wary, as monitoring movements when the

vehicle is being used privately will rarely (if

ever) be justified.

CONCLUSION

Monitoring employees can take place

in a variety of ways and employers

should carefully consider which form of

monitoring is necessary for their business,

without being unnecessarily intrusive to

the privacy of staff. Carrying out impact

assessments is often a useful way of

determining whether the monitoring is

truly justifiable.

Case law such as Barbulescu v Romania

clearly demonstrates that the courts take

the privacy of staff in the workplace very

seriously. In order to reduce the risk of

employee complaints, employers should

try to be transparent and honest with

employees about monitoring which they

may be subject to.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 50


OPINION

BLACK OR WHITE

The economy could be heading for another 90s

style blip, but it’s not cut and dried.

AUTHOR – Kevin Reed is a freelance journalist and former editor of both Accountancy Age and Financial Director.

Kevin Reed

There certainly isn’t a

clear-cut direction for

the future. Or, as Michael

Jackson sang in 1991, it’s

not Black or White.

ARE we finally heading

back to the future? There

are certainly some in the

credit industry who have

been pining for the days of

shellsuits and some bad,

bad music. That’s right folks, 1991 might be

just around the corner.

First kicking off in mid-1990s, the

UK recession ran through to Q3 1991,

with factors including high interest

rates, high inflation and subsequently

negative equity on properties (and soaring

mortgage repayments) leading to personal

bankruptcies.

Overstretched businesses collapsed

at a rate of knots during the period,

and it all kept the insolvency profession

(‘professionalised’ and role as ‘rescuer’

clarified post-1986 Insolvency Act)

extremely busy.

So, where are we now? I’m certainly no

economist (as seems to be the case with

many who claim to be an economist), but

let’s consider some of the factors that may

impact on IPs’ future ‘prosperity’.

Interest rates have finally ticked up –

but we’re not exactly threatening double

figures here. Then again, house prices,

particularly in the south-east and London,

are still piping hot. Salaries have not kept

pace with inflation, and I still get that gut

feeling there’s a ‘spend in haste, repent at

leisure’ attitude among many of our good

citizens.

And then there’s the banks. Rightly

vilified for atrocious risk management

and governance leading up to and beyond

the credit crisis, they certainly talk the

game around more vigorously testing the

financial situation of people looking to take

out a credit card or take on a mortgage.

However, politically and reputationally, one

wonders if they’d want to be seen managing

large portfolios of properties falling into

their hands from distressed debtors.

Of course, on the corporate side many

advisers have bemoaned the availability of

finance for their clients from the traditional

ports of call. Yet many businesses have

secured long-term financing, while

insolvency practitioners are now in the

10th year of waiting for a slew of zombie

businesses – those paying off interest and

loans, but not expanding or progressing - to

keel over. Clearly, a 25 basis-point increase

isn’t going to push them into their graves.

There businesses are other factors that

could see some business perform better in

the short-term, such as sterling’s weakness

and therefore better exporting conditions.

But recent stats from the National Institute

of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)

show just a gentle pickup in exports, and

imports growing. And that’s all one Brexit

away from seeing trade barriers that will

dwarf sterling’s weakness.

I then look at the hardy, never-saydie

Brits that are setting up their own

businesses, particularly using e-commerce

and e-marketing to great effect and utilising

new funding platforms and models – but

we have a Government that seems set on

hitting the self-employed and business

owners with tax rules and regulation that

will likely stifle, rather encourage.

And that stubborn inflation figure is

still there, in the background, making the

pennies go less far than they did the day

before.

It’s difficult to not see more insolvencies,

personal or corporate, around the corner.

But it’s equally difficult to make a case that

it will lead to a boomtime for the insolvency

profession.

There certainly isn’t a clear-cut direction

for the future. Or, as Michael Jackson sang

in 1991, it’s not Black or White.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 51


LEGAL MATTERS

CONTRACTS

AND ALE

The tale of a meeting in the Horse and Groom pub,

when a judge then had to decide whether it resulted in

a binding agreement to pay £15 million.

AUTHOR – Peter Walker

LET’S go down to the pub, have

a few beers, make a multimillion-pound

agreement,

and let the courts sort out the

mess later. But, watch out,

you boozing business people!

There are the cautionary words of film

tycoon Sam Goldwyn, ‘a verbal contract

isn’t worth the paper it is written on.’ That

is a satire on the way business could be

done, * but a High Court judge recently had

to resolve a colourful dispute arising from

some happenings in a boozer.

The judge was the Hon. Mr Justice

Leggatt in the Commercial Court, and

the case was Blue v Ashley [2017] EWHC

1928 (Comm). Some people might also

regard the Defendant as being colourful

too, because he was the founder of Sports

Direct International Plc (‘Sports Direct’).

Behind all this colourfulness were some

sober contract-law principles.

A contractual background to the case

was a Management Services Agreement,

whereby the company of Jeffrey Blue, the

Claimant in the case, provided consultancy

services to Sports Direct. He was to look

at strategic acquisitions in the UK and in

Europe, but in the event, did other work. He

was involved in the search for a corporate

broker for Sports Direct, and an Investment

Bank was interested.

In this context, on 24 January 2013 three

representatives of the Investment Bank,

the Claimant, and the Defendant all met

at the Sports Direct London Office. The

Defendant is founder of Sports Direct, and

owned most (60 percent) of the shares in

the company.

This was the formal start to an evening

as a prelude to an intended chat of half an

hour or so in a pub. They all walked around

the corner to the Horse and Groom in Great

Portland Street, and started an evening of

drinking. The Claimant said that he drank

two or three pints of lager before he went

home at around 8.30pm. About half an

hour later the others left for a pub in Soho,

and at midnight some of the them went to

another bar. One of the party thought that

he had drunk eight to ten pints of beer

throughout the evening, and according

to Leggatt J, the judge in the case, it was

‘likely’ that the Defendant ‘drank a similar

amount of alcohol’ – I don’t know how they

managed it!

Everyone had a good time, and football

played a large part of the conversation.

The Defendant owns Newcastle United

Football Club, so it seemed to have been a

laddish evening. The Defendant also spoke

enthusiastically about the Claimant. One

of the investment bank representatives

thought that his intention was to make

the Defendant the main point of contact

between Sports Direct and the Bank.

BEER AND FOOTBALL

The conversation therefore was not all

about football, because, shortly after the

party had arrived at the Horse and Groom,

there was a discussion about the share

price of Sports Direct. They talked about

the effect on the value of the Defendant’s

shares according to various levels of the

share price. The Defendant pointed out that

if that price was to double, Sports Direct

would have the same capitalisation as that

of Marks and Spencer.

The Claimant then alleged that the

Defendant asked rhetorically what he

could do to incentivise him. If the Claimant

could double the share price in the next

three years, the Defendant would pay him

£10m. There was further discussion and

a suggestion that the figure should be

£20 million. The Claimant asserted that

the Defendant responded that he would

split the difference to £15 million. The

Defendant is supposed to have added, ‘yes,

that sounds fair.’

The Defendant did not recall any

suggestion of paying money to the

Claimant. He said that there was ‘general

banter’, and that they must have had four or

five pints in the first hour. Leggatt J did not

accept all the claims – ‘flights of fancy’ – but

he accepted that the drinks were flowing

freely. It would have been difficult to make

notes of the meeting, and none were made.

In the weeks that followed, the Claimant

on a few occasions mentioned to one of

the investment bank representatives the

prospect of an incentive payment. During

this time, the share price in Sports Direct

began to rise, until in February 2014 it was

£8.01.

MONEY TALKS

It was the moment to raise the topic of

money with the Defendant, who had

several conversations with the Claimant.

The Defendant paid over £1 million,

which he said was a reward for all that

the Claimant had done, but after a while

the Claimant resigned. During his threemonth

notice period, he wrote to explain

his point of view about various events, and

about his claim for £15 million. When there

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 52


LEGAL MATTERS

AUTHOR – Peter Walker

was no response, he appointed solicitors,

and this time there was plenty of paper,

including attendance notes of telephone

conversations. Now Leggatt J had to work

out whether there was an enforceable

contract, albeit not evidenced in writing.

He started with the basic requirements

for a contract. There must be an

agreement intended to be binding in law.

It must be supported by consideration,

and it must be sufficiently certain and

complete to be enforceable.

It suggests a case familiar to students

starting to study the law of contract, Carlill

v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co [1892] 1 QB 256.

A company advertised that it would pay

£100 to anyone who contracted influenza.

To make a claim that unfortunate person

must have used the smoke ball for two

weeks in accordance with the printed

instructions. The company refused to

pay the claimant, who had fulfilled all

those instructions yet who had caught the

‘flu. The company had, however, paid a

deposit of £1,000 into a bank as proof of

its sincerity, so the court ordered it to pay

the £100. The deposit was evidence of the

formation of a binding contract.

There are other points in Blue v Ashley,

such as consideration, and the need for

certainty and completeness of terms.

That was the difficulty in RTS Flexible

Systems Ltd v Molkerei Alois Mueller

GmbH & Co KG [2010] 1 WLR 753. There

was a Letter of Intent for the supply and

installation of equipment for £1,682,000

subject to a detailed final contract. Work

began anyway, although there was no

formal agreement. There was a draft that

was never signed.

This apparent lack of a complete

agreement was a difficulty, when there was

a dispute about the work done. The judges

of the Supreme Court resolved the dispute

by considering the communication, by

words and conduct, between the parties.

They decided on an objective test that the

draft amounted to an agreement. Legatt

J suggested that in some circumstances,

the subjective understanding of the

parties may be a good guide. That

subjective understanding was admissible

evidence in Carmichael v National Power

plc [1999] 1 WLR 204 in the decision as to

what obligations were established by an

oral agreement.

FALLIBLE MEMORY

In Blue v Ashley there was another factor

as evidence, the testimony of witnesses

based on their respective memories.

Leggatt J was wary and referred to a

published paper by Howe and Knott, ‘The

fallibility of memory in judicial processes:

Lessons from the past and their modern

A legally binding

contract without

wishful thinking can

be made in a pub,

but there must be

plenty of evidence to

substantiate what has

been agreed. These can

include notes of the

meeting and made by a

sober person.

consequences’ [2015] Memory, 23, p

633. He reviewed the testimony of the

witnesses, and ruled that the substance

of the supposed agreement was that the

Defendant would pay £15 million, if the

Claimant would get the share price to £8.

There was more to making a

binding agreement, although Leggatt J

commented that the pub setting would

not by itself prevent a contract from

being made. It was, however, an unlikely

setting in which to negotiate such an

agreement. The meeting was furthermore

unstructured and ‘the conversation was

largely social or general chat…’. The offer

was vague, and there were many other

indications against the view that there

was a binding agreement. Leggatt J did

not accept that the subsequent work by

the Claimant was the result of any such

agreement.

Leggatt J furthermore was sure that

the subsequent payment of £1 million

had nothing to do with any obligation to

pay £15 million. The alleged agreement

furthermore lacked an essential term, the

period within which the share price was

expected to increase to £8.

There had been what Leggatt J referred

to as ‘a jocular’ conversation in the pub,

when everyone laughed at the suggestion

of a payment of £15 million. ‘They all

thought it was a joke.’ Leggatt J concluded

that the Claimant had later convinced

himself that there was a legally binding

contract. He commented that it ‘shows

that the human capacity for wishful

thinking knows no bounds.’

A legally binding contract without

wishful thinking can be made in a pub,

but there must be plenty of evidence to

substantiate what has been agreed. These

can include notes of the meeting and

made by a sober person. Credit managers

should be wary of supposed contracts

made by people, who have lubricated

their minds with several, perhaps too

many, pints of beer.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 53


MEET THE PARTNERS

THEY'RE WAITING TO TALK TO YOU...

For further information and to discuss the opportunities of entering into a Corporate

Partnership with the CICM, contact Peter Collinson, Director of Business Development

and Marketing on 01780 727273 or email peter.collinson@cicm.com

Hays Credit Management is the award winning national specialist

division of Hays Recruitment, dedicated exclusively to the recruitment

of credit management professionals in the public and private

sectors. Whether you are looking to further your career in credit

management, strengthen your existing team, or would simply like an

overview of the market, it pays to speak to the market leaders.

www.hays.co.uk

HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated

Receivables solutions for automating credit, collections,

cash allocation, deductions and eBilling operations.

The solutions are delivered as a software-as-a-service

(SaaS) or as SAP-certified Accelerators for SAP

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and increasing operational efficiency, HighRadius

solutions help teams achieve payback within a year.

www.highradius.com

We offer the most powerful comparable data

resource on private companies.

We capture and treat private company

information for better decision making and

increased efficiency, so we’re ideally suited to help

credit professionals.

Orbis, our global company database has

information on 250 million companies, and offers:

Standardised financials

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Extensive corporate structures

www.bvdinfo.com

Sanders Consulting is a niche consulting firm

specialising in improving Credit Management

Leadership & Performance for our clients.

We provide people and process focussed

pragmatic solutions, consultancy, strategy days and

performance improvement workshops and we

are proud to manage and develop the CICMQ

Programme and the Best Practice Network on

behalf of the CICM. For more information please

contact: enquiries @chrissandersconsulting.com.

www.chrissandersconsulting.com

Key IVR provide a suite of products to

assist companies across Europe with credit

management. The service gives the end-user

the means to make a payment when and

how they choose. Key IVR also provides a

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credit management environment, these services

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CreditForce by Innovation Software is the leading

Collections and Working Capital Management

Systems used globally in over 26 countries and by

over 20 percent of the Top 100 Global Law Firms.

Our systems improve cash flow, reduce DSO,

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generate intelligent workflows and tasks, speed up

query resolution and manage the entire end-toend

collections cycle. Fully integrated with over 40

leading ERP and Accounting systems and delivered

locally or through Microsoft-Azure’s secure cloud

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American Express is a globally recognised provider

of payment solutions to the business sector

offering flexible collection capabilities to meet

company cashflow objectives across a range of

industries. Whether you are looking to accelerate

cashflow, create a competitive advantage to drive

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in their growth American Express can tailor a

solution to support your needs.

www.americanexpress.com

Credica are a UK based developer of specialist

Credit and Dispute Management software. We

have been successfully implementing our software

for over 15 years and have delivered significant

ROI for our diverse portfolio of customers. We

provide a highly configurable system which enables

our clients to gain complete control over their

debtors and to easily communicate disputes with

anyone in their organisation.

www.credica.co.uk

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 54


Proud supporters

of CICMQ

With over 90 years’ experience, we have an

in-depth understanding of the importance of

maintaining customer relationships whilst efficiently

and effectively collecting monies owed, we deliver

when it comes to collecting outstanding debts.

Our Client focus is reflected in the customer

relationships. Structuring our service to meet your

specific needs, providing a collection strategy that

echoes your business character, trading patterns

and budget.

www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/

Graydon UK provides its clients with Credit

Risk Management and Intelligence information

on over 100 million entities across more than

190 countries. It provides economic, financial

and commercial insights that help its customers

make better decisions. Leading credit insurance

organisations, Atradius, Coface and Euler Hermes,

own Graydon. It offers its seamless service

through a worldwide network of offices and

partners.

www.graydon.co.uk

Rimilia provides award winning Cash Application

& Cash Allocation software products that deliver

industry leading tangible benefits like no other.

Having products that really do what they say

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friendly team that are focused on new and

ongoing benefit realisation and you have the

foundations for successful long term business

relationships.

www.rimilia.com

Safe’s Credit Control module manages the entire

credit lifecycle, from credit checking through to

cash collection and beyond, providing detailed

analysis of performance. Safe’s single, intuitive and

easy-to-use application seamlessly brings together

the necessary data and tools you require to

achieve your objective of creating a profit centre

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www.safe-financials.co.uk

Dun & Bradstreet grows the most valuable

relationships in business. Whether your customer

portfolio spans a city, a country or the globe, Dun

& Bradstreet delivers the data, analytics and insight

to grow your most profitable relationships and

obtain a global, unified view of your customer

relationships across credit and collections.

www.dnb.co.uk

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps

businesses pay and get paid. Businesses and banks

rely on Bottomline for domestic and international

payments, effective cash management tools,

automated workflows for payment processing

and bill review and state of the art fraud

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making complex business payments simple, secure

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Data Interconnect provides integrated e-billing

and collection solutions via its document delivery

web portal, WebSend. By providing improved

Customer Experience and Customer Satisfaction,

with enhanced levels of communication between

both parties, we can substantially speed up your

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www.datainterconnect.com

DWF is one of the UK’s largest legal businesses

with an award-winning reputation for client service

excellence and effective operational management.

Named by the Financial Times as one of Europe’s

most innovative law firms and independently

ranked first of all top 20 law firms for quality of

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www.dwf.law/recover

Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade

credit intelligence for credit insurers and for

corporate customers. The company’s B2B

Credit Risk Intelligence solutions include the

Tinubu Risk Management Center, a cloud-based

SaaS platform; the Tinubu Credit Intelligence

service and the Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory

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Moore Stephens is a top ten accounting and

advisory network. Our national creditor services

team has expert insights in debt recovery. This,

combined with unparalleled industry and sector

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www.moorestephens.co.uk

Organisations around the world rely on Company

Watch’s industry-leading financial analytics to drive

their credit risk processes. Our financial risk

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The Recognised Standard

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 55


FORTHCOMING EVENTS

Full list of events can be found on our website: www.cicm.com/events

CICM

EVENTS

1 December

CICM Sheffield and District Branch –

End of year Christmas social

SHEFFIELD

Fantastic party evening * Free Prosecco on arrival

Extensive Set Tapas Menu (Vegetarian Options

Available) * Drink and dance till late in the Salsa

bar

Contact : Emails and Enquiries:

sheffieldanddistrictbranch@cicm.com

VENUE : Cubana Unit 4, Leopold S, Sheffield, S1

2JG

5 December

CICM Thames Valley Branch – Data

Analytics and GDPR Breakfast Briefing

(2 CPD hours)

MARLOW

Hear from SAS as they give insights into the

importance of reporting, big data, analytics and

how to make the most of your data

Herring Carmichael will then provide an update

on GDPR including what it means to you and

your business. There will be an opportunity

for open discussion as well as a Q & A session

Details to follow. Speakers: Iain Brown – SAS UK

Alistair McArthur & Matthew Lea – Herrington

Carmichael. This is a free event and food and

refreshments will be provided.

Contact : E: thamesvalleybranch@cicm.com.

VENUE : SAS UK Wittington House, Marlow,

SL7 2EB

6 December

CICM South Wales Branch – Bowl your way

towards Christmas

CARDIFF

Our pre-Christmas party and bowl at the

Hollywood Bowl, Cardiff Bay at 19:00. Come and

enjoy some Welsh fun as we party the night away.

Numbers are limited for this event so book early

Contact : southwalesbranch@cicm.com

VENUE : Hollywood Bowl Red Dragon Centre,

Cardiff Bay, CF10 4JY

6 December

CICM Wessex Branch – General Data

Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Is your

business ready? (2 CPD hours)

SOUTHAMPTON

The biggest changes in data protection for 20

years are coming into force on 25 May 2018, in the

form of the General Data Protection Regulation

(GDPR). The GDPR will affect how you gain the

consent of your customers and employees to

process and store their personal data. It will also

affect how you store this data.

Contact : To book your free place please email

wessexbranch@cicm.com.

VENUE : PWC Savannah House, Southampton,

SO14 3TJ

7 December

CICM North East Branch –

Christmas Quiz 2017

NEWCASTLE

Teams of up to six welcome (in the interests of

fairness please do not exceed this number – you

can always submit two smaller teams). Book early

to avoid disappointment!

Contact : Email northeastbranch@cicm.com by

Thursday 30 November 2017.

VENUE : The Old George Inn Old George Yard,

Newcastle, NE1 1EE United Kingdom

17 January

CICM Yorkshire Ridings Branch – AGM and

Annual Conference 2018

LEEDS

Credit 18 -Yorkshire Ridings CICM Branch Annual

Conference and AGM

Conference 09:30 – 12:30

AGM 13:30 – 15:30

Contact : E: yorkshireridingsbranch@cicm.com

VENUE : DWF Leeds Bridgewater Place, Water

Lane, Leeds, LS11 5DY

TRAINING

DAYS

6 December

DEBT RECOVERY THROUGH THE COURTS

VENUE : London

6 December

WORKING WITH COMPANY ACCOUNTS

VENUE : London

7 December

COLLECTING WITH CONFIDENCE

VENUE : London

12 December

CICM WEBINAR –

CREDIT MANAGEMENT IN A NUTSHEL

VENUE : ONLINE

12 December

CICM WEBINAR –

TELEPHONE COLLECTIONS

VENUE : ONLINE

18 January

GETTING STARTED IN CREDIT CONTROL AND

COLLECTIONS

VENUE : London

OTHER

EVENTS

7 & 8 December

Forums International – International

Telecoms Risk Forum (ITRF)

LONDON

Contact : For more information email

itrf@forumsinternational.co.uk

VENUE : Vodafone, London

12 December

Forums International – Export/International

Credit Forum (ECF & ICF)

LONDON

Contact : For more information email

ecf@forumsinternational.co.uk

VENUE : Moore Stephens London

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 56


New CICM members

The Institute welcomes new members

who have recently joined

MEMBER

NAME

COMPANY

MEMBER BY EXAM

NAME

COMPANY

Lawrence Chambers

Adrian Dante

Sophie Eden

Michael Hoare

Geraldine Irwin

Simon Merrett

Caterpillar Financial Services (UK) Ltd

MHA MacIntyre Hudson

TLT LLP

RateSetter

Northern Ireland Water

Cerberus Receivables Management Ltd

Elizabeth Ash

Carol Fraser

Helene Johnston

Airclaims Ltd

Honeywell Control Systems Ltd

ASSOCIATE

NAME

COMPANY

Patricia Brooks

Emma Keddy

Lucy-Anne Messer

Eva Olave Martinez

Pure Contribution limited

NFT Distribution Ltd

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Fujichem Sonneborn Ltd

AFFILIATE

NAME COMPANY NAME COMPANY

Achillea Achilleos

Liska Allen

Kevin Avery

Jane Badger

Nicola Billingham

Adam Booth

Susan Brayshaw

Angela Carolan

James Cartwright

Dagmara Chrzastek

People Ltd

Julie Coghlan

Joanne Corbett

Louisa Cover

Abbigail Creed

Marie-Clara Dacosta

Najma Dadar

Emmanuel Di Noia

Paul Douglas

Reece Dupres-Ferrigi

Sandra Dworkin

Alina Ene

Donna Fredriksen

Karen French

Kelly Gibson

Gary Goy

Leigh Ellen Griffiths

Wendy Hall

Jill Hannah

Sarah Hardacre

Daisy Harvey

Jonathan Hayter

Ian Hooper

Rebecca Hotchkiss

Danielle Howson

Ian Jamison

Rachel Jones

University of Liverpool

Marston Holdings Limited

Big K Products UK Ltd

Rightmove Group Limited

FSS Canine Patrol Ltd

DWF LLP

Northern Ireland Water

Prime Time Recruitment Ltd T/A Cordant

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust

Ingram Micro UK Ltd

Axol Bioscience

Bristow & Sutor

Tecfoods

Veri-Credit Trade Exchange

Bio - Rad

Carpin Capers

Chandlers Limited

xoserve Ltd

DB Schenke

RSK Plc

Castle Point Borough Council

Hills Group Ltd

24hr Bailiffs

Brake Bros. Ltd

Biocomposites Ltd

Cloudreach Europe Ltd

Sodexo Services Group Ltd

0-Two Maintenance

HSBC Bank Plc

Rational UK Ltd

Turner & Townsend

Magnet Limited

Northern Ireland Water

Brakes

James Jose

Sannah Khan

Kieran Lambert

Maria Lawlor

Geraldine Lawrence-McFee

Danielle Lewis

Xiao Liu

Natalie McManus

Malachy McVeigh

Michela Molinari

Laura Morgan

Thomas Nicol

Lauren Oswell

Sean Palfrey

Concepcion Perucha Ramos

Samantha Poil

Mark Prescott

Mark Richings

Georgina Robinson

Stephanie Schneider

Angela Seeland

Salma Shah

Emma Springhall

Laura Squibb

Peter Stevenson

Romina Tartan

Tracey Tighe

Kirsty Tippett

Mark Turner

Joseph Walker

Adam Walker

Coral Williams

Bryn Williams

Susan Wood

Matthew Wynn

Stanislav Zvonov

We Fight Any Claim

Magnet Limited

Andrew Wilson & Co

Sambro International

Berry Brothers & Rudd

Long Harbour Ltd

The Enterprise Fund Ltd

Chestertons

NIE Energy Ltd

Safenet Uk Ltd

Hertz Accident Support

Northumberland County Council

KP Snacks Limited

ARP Enforcement Agency

Clere Care Services

Brakes

Grosvenor Services Group Ltd

Stroud District Council

R S Clare & Co Ltd

Electronic Arts Ltd

Hilti (Gt Britain) Ltd

Paradigm Housing Group

Rightmove Group Limited

DAC Beachcroft

Court Enforcement Services Ltd

Zonin UK Ltd

Kerry Logistics UK Limited

Brakes

Andrew Wilson & Co

Bristow & Sutor

Nobia UK

Castle Point Borough Council

Phoenix Healthcare Distribution Ltd

Naylors Timber Recovery Ltd

South Cambridgeshire Distict Council

Pfizer Pharmaceuticals

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 57


For more information call 01206 322 575

info@safecomputing.co.uk

www.safe-financials.co.uk

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 58


BRANCH NEWS

THE North East Branch

recently collaborated

with its Association of

Accounting Technician

(AAT) counterparts and

shared a thought-provoking

evening, welcoming both FRP Advisory

and Muckle LLP to deliver an ‘Insolvency

Insights’ presentation. Martyn Pullin

and Iain Townsend from FRP Advisory,

presented an introduction to insolvency,

informed members of how to spot early

warning signs and how to protect sales,

as well as an update to recent changes

surrounding insolvency.

Kelly Jordan and Bev Oliver from

Muckle LLP, consolidated the evening’s

learning with an overview of the types of

debt recovery tactics that can be employed

and the relative merits. The presentations

were well received and armed both the

credit and accounting professionals with

a deeper understanding of the powers and

discretion available, particularly around

Retention of Title when supplying goods,

and the use of Equitable Lien as a bargain

Fraud, risk and cybercrime conference

East of England Branch

BRANCH Chairman Richard Brown and

Karen Young from Hays welcomed 68

credit professionals to the free conference,

including CICM members from seven

different branches, that was chaired by

CICM President Stephen Baister, at Hays’

London office.

Jeffery Davidson of Honeycomb

Forensic Accounting, gave a fascinating

talk about dawn raids, who can carry

them out, and how to react when they

happen.

We learned about risk management

and protecting the bottom line from David

Clark of Smart Currency Business.

Rory Cleland, CH2M talked about

his experiences in the military using

biometrics, and detecting patterns of

behaviour to identify fraud.

Combating the fraud challenges in

the card payment industry was outlined

by Martin Warwick, FICO, who later

presented a bottle of wine to Advanced

Collection Systems’ Robert Anthony,

winner of the Business Card draw.

Branch Committee member Katherine

Bailey from Valor Hospitality, described

the work of the 2017 Branch Charity

‘Unlock a Life for Lockey’, and accepted

Insolvency Insights

North East Branch

tool when you’re an unsecured creditor,

especially when the Administrators come

calling to recover their assets.

The evening culminated with food,

drinks and networking between the 40

guests in attendance, forging new and

Photo, L to R: Martyn Pullin and Iain

Townsend, FRP Advisory and Kelly

Jordan and Bev Oliver, Muckle LLP.

useful relationships. We look forward to

joining the AAT again in the New Year and

working with FRP Advisory and Muckle

LLP again in the future.

Author:

Paul Card

the generous Smart Currency Business

donation handed over by David Clark on

its behalf.

After a splendid buffet lunch, Barry

Clark of Centrify, took us through best

practice in credit management to avoid

cybercrime, and the impact of a data

breach.

Tara Owens of The Metropolitan Police

FALCON unit gave a fascinating and

informative presentation on how to spot

and avoid computer scams, including the

dangers of putting too much information

on social networks, and just how quickly

passwords can be broken.

The lively Q&A Speakers and Expert

panel were joined by Stephen Cowan of

Yuill & Kyle, and Jill Trebilcock of IISP.

Stephen Baister thanked hosts Hays

for kindly sponsoring the day; the

speakers for giving their time voluntarily;

Smart Currency Business and FICO for

their donations; conference organisers

Carol Baker and Richard Brown; and

everyone for attending and participating

in this highly enjoyable and successful

conference.

Author:

Richard Brown.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 59


TAKE CONTROL

OF YOUR CREDIT

CAREER

EUROPEAN CREDIT AND COLLECTIONS

MANAGER

SUPPORT BUSINESS CHANGE

Crewe, £45,000-£50,000 + benefits

This leading global manufacturing business was

founded over 140 years ago and now operates in over

200 production sites in more than 40 countries. Due to

continued growth and success, it is seeking a European

credit and collections manager. You will be responsible

for minimising the exposure to credit risk and improving

working capital through the continuous reduction in

customer overdue. You will be a proven credit and

collections manager with experience within a finance

department of a multinational company, as well as

a commercial business acumen. Ref: 3159585

Contact Rachel Woolliscroft on 01782 958910

or email rachel.woolliscroft@hays.com

CREDIT MANAGER

BECOME A SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT

Birmingham, up to £40,000

An exciting opportunity has arisen at a growing

and evolving software company that is moving its

headquarters to Birmingham city centre. As a subject

matter expert, you will provide guidance, support and

expertise to the clients, understanding and consulting

on their end-to-end AR processes. To be successful,

you will need extensive experience in credit, as well as

a management or supervisory post. CICM qualification

is highly desired but not essential. In return, you will

receive fantastic training and development.

Ref: 3151598

Contact Peter Kidd on 0121 212 3301

or email peter.kidd@hays.com

CREDIT MANAGER

MAKE AN IMPACT

St Helens, £35,000-£40,000 + benefits

An experienced credit manager is required to make a real

impact into a market-leading construction manufacturing

organisation. You will assess processes and streamline

current procedures in order to gain the best out of the

credit team which includes three credit controllers,

to reduce the overall aged debt of the business and to

develop key relationships. You will need to be extremely

organised and structured for this role and diplomacy is

a key factor for this candidate to be successful within the

business. Benefits include pension, 28 days holiday and

time off at Christmas.

Ref: 3130083

Contact Thomas Powell on 01925 654305

or email thomas.powell@hays.com

ASSISTANT CREDIT SERVICES MANAGER

DEVELOP YOUR CAREER

Sheffield, £26,000-£29,000 + CICM study support

This leading provider in its field is looking for an assistant

credit services manager to join its team and develop

their career. The company is easily accessible and

invests strongly in its employees. Reporting to the Credit

Manager, you will take a pivotal role within the Credit

team and work with the wider business that will ultimately

see you develop through your career and potentially your

chosen qualification. You will develop the team to deliver

a responsive service to internal and external customers,

couple with processing new account credit requests and

assessing credit limits. Ref: 3162054

Contact Jack Curtis on 0114 273 8775

or email jack.curtis@hays.com

hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 60


STANDLONE CREDIT CONTROLLER

LEAD YOUR EXPERT FUNCTION

Leeds, £26,000 + CICM study support

A professional services company located in the Leeds

city centre is looking for a standalone credit controller

to head up its credit function. Answering directly into

the Financial Controller, you will be solely responsible

for the maintenance of various ledgers, handling client

queries and pre-legal assistance to partners. This provides

an exciting opportunity with real scope for personal

growth and development. The company is looking for an

individual currently studying towards CICM qualifications,

where it will provide support to becoming fully qualified.

Ref: 3156380

Contact Jonathon Brand on 0113 200 3735

or email jonathon.brand@hays.com

CREDIT CONTROLLER

ACHIEVE YOUR FULL POTENTIAL

Leeds, £22,000

Due to a period of extensive growth, an innovative

professional services business based in the Leeds

city centre is looking for a credit controller to join its

expanding transactional finance team. Working within

a team of credit controllers, you will be responsible for

reducing the aged debt within their insurance division

through the effective liaison with partners and clients

to ensure prompt collection or resolution of aged

receivables. This is an exciting opportunity to join a Top

5 professional services business looking to nurture and

develop you, helping to achieve your full potential.

Ref: 3135950

Contact Jonathon Brand on 0113 200 3735

or email jonathon.brand@hays.com

SENIOR CREDIT CONTROLLER

WORK FOR A LEADING RETAIL BRAND

Manchester, up to £24,000

A fantastic opportunity has arisen at one of the most

recognisable retail brands in the UK at its international

head office in Manchester. Working in this busy team,

you will support the Credit Supervisor and work with

key accounts, resolving escalated queries from the

wider team. You will develop relationships with key

stakeholders both internally and externally to ensure you

maintain a low DSO and improve the accuracy of cash

flow projections. You will have a real passion to progress

your credit career and be driven to improve both your

own performance and processes in place.

Ref: 3148688

Contact David Busfield on 0161 236 7272

or email david.busfield@hays.com

JUNIOR ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE CLERK

TAKE THE NEXT STEP

London, £18,000-£20,000

A market-leading international travel business is seeking

a junior AR clerk to join its finance team. This entrylevel

role will involve weekly invoicing, processing

debit and credit card transactions and the creation of

various reports. You will be responsible, enthusiastic and

motivated to learn. Strong Excel skills are also essential.

In return, you will be fully supported with training

and work with friendly colleagues in a vibrant office

with a work hard/play hard culture. This is an exciting

opportunity if you are taking a first step into the world of

work, or have office or admin experience with the desire

for a career in finance. Ref: 3160610

Contact Julia Foster on 020 3465 0020

or email julia.foster2@hays.com

This is just a small selection of the many

opportunities we have available for credit

professionals. To find out more email

hayscicm@hays.com or visit us online.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 61


DO YOUKNOWTHE TRUE

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Call us now to book afree demonstration on:

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Or visit us online:

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SmartSearch delivers UK and International Business checks in the UK and International

Markets with inclusive Worldwide Sanction &PEP screening, Daily Monitoring, Email

Alerts and Automated Enhanced Due Diligence.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 62


Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

FOR INFORMATION,

OPTIONS AND PRICING

PLEASE EMAIL:

anthony.cave@cabbell.co.uk

ANTI MONEY LAUNDERING

COLLECTIONS LEGAL

CONSULTANCY

THE ONLY AML RESOURCE YOU NEED

SmartSearch

Harman House, Station Road,

Guiseley, Leeds, LS20 8BX

T: 01132387660

F: 0113 238 7669

E: info@smartsearchuk.com

W: www.smartsearchuk.com

KYC, AML and CDD all rely on a combination of deep data with

broad coverage, highly automated flexible technology with an

innovative and intuitive customer interface. Key features include

automatic Worldwide Sanction & PEP checking, Daily Monitoring,

Automated Enhanced Due Diligence and pro-active customer

management. Choose SmartSearch as your benchmark.

COLLECTIONS

Controlaccount PLC

Compass House, Waterside

Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove

B60 4FD

T: 01527 549522 (Sales dept)

E: sales@controlaccount.com

W:www.controlaccount.com

Controlaccount has over 30 years of Credit Management and

Debt Recovery experience, helping National and International

SMEs and blue chip organisations, across a wide range of sectors.

We provide a fast, proactive collection service on a no-collection,

no-fee basis, and for some clients a zero cost option,

utilising the late payment act to fund collection procedures. Our

trained collectors take into account your need to recover debts,

whilst maintaining your reputation and preserving customer relationships.

If we can’t recover your outstanding debts through our

collection process, then our service won’t cost you a penny; and

with our additional in-house legal & Trace service as well as our

credit reporting and corporate monitoring services we are ready

to help you every step of the way.

Atradius Collections Ltd

3 Harbour Drive,

Capital Waterside,

Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ

United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)2920 824700

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/

Atradius Collections Ltd is an established specialist in business

to business collections. As the collections division of the Atradius

Crédito y Caución, we have a strong position sharing history,

knowledge and reputation.

Annually handling more than 110,000 cases and recovering

over a billion EUROs in collections at any one time, we deliver

when it comes to collecting outstanding debts. With over 90

years’ experience, we have an in-depth understanding of

the importance of maintaining customer relationships whilst

efficiently and effectively collecting monies owed.

The individual nature of our clients’ customer relationships is

reflected in the customer focus we provide, structuring our

service to meet your specific needs. We work closely with clients

to provide them with a collection strategy that echoes their

business character, trading patterns and budget.

For further information contact: Hans Meijer, UK and Ireland

Country Director (hans.meijer@atradius.com).

Blaser Mills LLP

Rapid House

40 Oxford Road, High Wycombe,

Buckinghamshire. HP11 2EE

T: 01494 478660/478661

E: Jackie Ray jar@blasermills.co.uk or Gary Braathen

gpb@blasermills.co.uk

W: www.blasermills.co.uk

Established in 1888, leading multi-disciplinary law firm Blaser

Mills specialises in services for businesses and individuals.

The Firm has particular expertise in Dispute Resolution and

Debt Recovery working with experienced credit managers and

finance directors providing solutions to both contested and

uncontested claims.

Blaser Mills provides an experienced team including CICM

qualified legal representatives and the Firm is cited in the

Legal 500 law directory based on quality of work and strong

client feedback.

Offices in Aylesbury, London (Central), London (Harrow), Old

Amersham, Rickmansworth, Staines-on-Thames.

Lovetts Solicitors

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway, Old Portsmouth

Road, Guildford, Surrey GU3 1LR

T: +44(0)1483 457500 E: info@lovetts.co.uk

W: www.lovetts.co.uk

Lovetts has been recovering debts for 30 years! When you

want the right expertise to recover overdue debts why not use a

specialist? Lovetts’ only line of business is the recovery of

business debts and any resulting commercial litigation.

We provide:

• Letters Before Action, prompting positive outcomes in more than

80 percent of cases • Overseas Pre-litigation collections with

multi-lingual capabilities • 24/7 access to our online debt

management system ‘CaseManager’

Don’t just take our word for it, here’s recent customer feedback:

“...All our service expectations have been exceeded...”

“...The online system is particularly useful and is extremely easy

to use... “...Lovetts has a recognisable brand that generates

successful results...”

STRIPES SOLICITORS LIMITED

St George’s House, 56 Peter Street, Manchester, M2 3NQ

W: www.stripes-solicitors.co.uk

T: 0161 832 5000

95percent success rate in disputed

litigation cases over several decades

Stripes technical excellence, tenacity and commercial insight has

led to this 95 percent success rate over several decades. We have

been particularly recommended as a leading law firm by the Legal

500 in the litigious field for representing clients with significant and

complex issues.

Our specialist commercial debt recovery and insolvency team work

with businesses ranging from SMEs to larger PLCs recovering

business debts on a no cost or fixed fee basis and often

recovering debts within days. We aim to understand your business

and tailor our services to suit your requirements. Our online service

provides you with 24/7 access to manage your account, to upload

new debtor cases and to generate new legal instructions.

Sanders Consulting Associates Ltd

T: +44(0)1525 720226

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com

Sanders Consulting is an independent niche consulting firm

specialising in leadership and performance improvement in all

aspects of the order to cash process. Chris Sanders FCICM, the

principal, is well known in the industry with a wealth of experience

in operational credit management, billing, change and business

process improvement. A sought after speaker with cross industry

international experience in the business-to-business and businessto-consumer

markets, his innovative and enthusiastic approach

delivers pragmatic people and process lead solutions and significant

working capital improvements to clients. Sanders Consulting are

proud to manage CICMQ on behalf of and under the supervision

of the CICM.

COURT ENFORCEMENT SERVICES

Court Enforcement Services

Wayne Whitford – Director

M: +44 (0)7834 748 183

T : +44 (0)1992 663 399

E : wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk

W: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk

High Court Enforcement that will Empower You!

We help law firms and in-house debt recovery and legal teams to

enforce CCJs by transferring them up to the High Court. Setting us

apart in the industry, our unique and Award Winning Field Agent

App helps to provide information in real time and transparency,

empowering our clients when they work with us.

• Free Transfer up process of CCJ’s to High Court

• Exceptional Recovery Rates

• Individual Client Attention and Tailored Solutions

• Real Time Client Access to Cases

CREDIT INFORMATION

Creditsafe Business Solutions

Bryn House, Caerphilly Business Park, Van Rd,

Caerphilly, CF83 3GG

T: 0292 088 6500.

E: ukinfo@creditsafeuk.com

W: www.creditsafeuk.com

Creditsafe is Europe’s most used supplier of credit & business

intelligence. Creditsafe have helped over 60,000 customers

across Europe and the USA with a range of products which

includes our UK, European and International Company Credit

Reports, which reach over 129 countries and 90m companies;

customer and supplier Risk Tracker and our 3D Ledger product

which has captured over 35 million Trade Payment Data

Experiences since its launch in 2012. All of which will help

companies manage their exposure to risk, make informed

decisions in relation to credit limits whilst looking at how you

can identify gaps within your sales ledger to prioritise collections

and leverage sales.

continues on page 64 >

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 63


Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

FOR INFORMATION,

OPTIONS AND PRICING

PLEASE EMAIL:

anthony.cave@cabbell.co.uk

CREDIT INFORMATION

CoCredo Limited

Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD

T: 01494 790 600

E: customerservice@cocredo.com

W: www.cocredo.co.uk

Celebrating 15 years in business, CoCredo’s award winning credit

reporting and monitoring systems have helped to protect and secure

over £27 billion of turnover on behalf of our customers. Our company

data is updated 500,000 per day and ensures customers have the

most current information in the market place. Access to the online

portal is available 365 days a year 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

At CoCredo we aggregate data from a range of leading providers

across the globe so that our customers can view the best available

data in one easy to use report. We also offer customers XML

Integration and D.N.A. Portfolio Management.

From simply looking at a prospect through to acquisition, to

monitoring, we pride ourselves on helping our customers every step of

the way. CICM members receive their first five credit reports for free.

Graydon UK

66 College Road, 2nd Floor,

Hygeia Building, Harrow,

Middlesex, HA1 1BE

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk

W: www.graydon.co.uk

Graydon UK is a specialist in Credit Risk Management and Intelligence,

providing access to business information on over 100 million entities

across more than 190 countries. Its mission is to convert vast amounts

of data from diverse data sources into invaluable information. Based

on this, it generates economic, financial and commercial insights that

help its customers make better business decisions and ultimately

gain competitive advantage. Graydon is owned by Atradius, Coface

and Euler Hermes, Europe's leading credit insurance organisations. It

offers a comprehensive network of offices and partners worldwide to

ensure a seamless service.

Credica Ltd

Building 168, Maxell Avenue, Harwell Oxford, Oxon. OX11 0QT

T: 01235 856400E: info@credica.co.uk

W: www.credica.co.uk

Our highly configurable and extremely cost effective Collections and

Query Management System has been designed with three goals in

mind:

• To improve your cashflow • To reduce your cost to collect

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business

Evolving over 15 years and driven by the input of 1000s of Credit

Professionals across the UK and Europe, our system is successfully

providing significant and measurable benefits for our diverse

portfolio of clients.

We would love to hear from you if you feel you would benefit from

our ‘no nonsense’ and human approach to computer software.

Company Watch

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,

LONDON. EC3N 2ER

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300

E: info@companywatch.net

W: www.companywatch.net

Organisations around the world rely on Company Watch’s

industry-leading financial analytics to drive their credit risk

processes. Our financial risk modelling and ability to map medium

to long-term risk as well as short-term credit risk set us apart

from other credit reference agencies.

Quality and rigour run through everything we do, from our unique

method of assessing corporate financial health via our H-Score®,

to developing analytics on our customers’ in-house data.

With the H-Score® predicting almost 90 percent of corporate

insolvencies in advance, it is the risk management tool of choice,

providing actionable intelligence in an uncertain world.

BUREAU VAN DIJK

Northburgh House, 10 Northburgh Street, London, EC1V 0PP

T: +44 (0)20 7549 5000E: bvd@bvdinfo.com

W: www.bvdinfo.com

We offer the most powerful comparable data resource on private

companies. We capture and treat private company information for

better decision making and increased efficiency, so we’re ideally suited

to help credit professionals. Orbis, our global company database has

information on 250 million companies, and offers:

• Standardised financials so you can assess companies globally

• Financial strength metrics using a range of models and including a

qualitative score for when detailed financials aren’t available

• Projected financials

• Extensive corporate structures so you can assess the complete group

– or take the financial stability of the parent into account

Credit Catalyst is a platform where you can combine information from

Orbis with you own knowledge of your customers and get dashboard

views of your portfolio.

Register for your free trial at bvdinfo.com.

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

Prof. Schumann GmbH

innovative information systems

Weender Landstr. 23, 37130 Göttingen, Germany

T: +49 551 38315 0 F: +49 551 38315 20

E: info@prof-schumann.de W: www.prof-schumann.de

Our Credit Application Manager (CAM) is a leading credit risk

management solution for major corporations, as well as insurance,

factoring and leasing companies. In their daily work, CAM allows

credit and sales managers to call up all the available information

about a customer or risk in a few seconds for decision support: realtime

data from wherever they are. CAM keeps an eye on customers

whose payment behaviour stands out or who have overdue invoices!

CAM provides an up-to-date forecast of customers’ payments.

Additionally, CAM has automated interfaces for connecting to

leading suppliers of company credit data, payment record pools and

commercial credit insurers. The system is characterised by its great

flexibility. We have years of experience in consulting and software

support for accounts receivable management.

Top Service Ltd

2&3 Regents Court, Farmoor Lane, Redditch,

Worcestershire, B98 0SD

T: 0152 750 3990.

E: enquiries@top-service.co.uk

W: www.top-service.co.uk

Top Service is the only credit reference and debt recovery

agency to specialise in the UK construction sector. Top Service

customers benefit from sector specific information, detailed

payment history intelligence and realtime trade references in

addition to standard credit information. There are currently

3,000 construction sector companies subscribing to the service,

ranging from multi-national organisations to small family firms.

The company prides itself on high levels of customer service

and does not tie its customers into restrictive contracts. Top

Service offers a 25 percent discount to all CICM Members as

well as four free credit checks of your choice.

Innovation Software

Innovation Software, Innovation House,

New Road, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1BG.

T: +44 (0)1634 812300

E: jay.inamdar@innovationsoftware.uk.com

W: www.creditforceglobal.com

Innovation Software are the authors of CreditForce, the leading

Collections and Working Capital Management Systems. Our solutions are

used in over 26 countries and by over 20 percent of the Top 100 Global

Law Firms.

Our solutions have optimised Accounts Receivables processes for over

20 years and power Business Intelligence, with functionality to:

• improve cash flow • reduce DSO • control risk

• automate cash allocation • speed up query resolution

• improve customer relationship management

• automatically generate intelligent workflows and tasks

• manage the entire end-to-end collections cycle.

Fully integrated with over 40 leading ERP and Accounting systems,

including SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics and product partners with

Thomson Reuters Elite we can deliver on either your own computing

infrastructure or through Microsoft Azure’s award winning and secure

cloud service.CreditForce remains the choice solution for world class

businesses.

Book a demonstration by calling T: +44 (0)1634 812 300 or visit

www.creditforceglobal.com for more information.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 64


Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

FOR INFORMATION,

OPTIONS AND PRICING

PLEASE EMAIL:

anthony.cave@cabbell.co.uk

FINANCIAL PR

Safe Computing Limited

20, Freeschool Lane, Leicester, LE1 4FY

T: 0844 583 2134

E: info@safecomputing.co.uk

W: www.safe-financials.co.uk

Designed to manage your customer credit accounts effectively,

Safe Credit Control enables your credit management team to:

• Improve cash flow

• Reduce debtor days

• Increase customer service

• Cut the cost of cash collection

• Eliminate manual processes

• Speed up the query resolution process

Safe’s unique approach is centred on changing the perception

of the credit control function from a series of reactive processes

to proactive ones. Credit controllers are traditionally regarded

as an essential element in business to chase late payments

and respond to customer queries. Safe Credit Control has taken

the concepts of customer relationship management (CRM) and

applied it to the credit control function, providing a softer,

service orientated team of customer service representatives.

STA International

3rd Floor, Colman House, King Street Maidstone , ME14 1DN

T: +44(0)844 324 0660.

E: enquiries@staonline.com

W: www.stainternational.com

GETTING BUSINESS PAID

STA is an award winning B2B and B2C debt collection, confidential

credit control and tracing supplier. ISO9001 quality accredited, and

with the CSAs Collector Accreditation Initiative, duty-of-care is as

important to us as it is to you. Specialising in international debt, in the

past 12 months we’ve collected from 146 countries worldwide. “Your

Debts Online” gives you transparent access to our collection success

and detailed management information, keeping you in control of your

account. We look forward to getting your business paid.

Tinubu Square UK

Holland House,

4 Bury Street, London . EC3A 5AW

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /

E: uksales@tinubu.com W: www.tinubu.com

Tinubu Square offers companies across the world the appropriate

SaaS platform solutions and services to significantly reduce their

exposure to risk, and their financial, operational and technical

costs. Easy to implement, our solutions provide an accurate

picture of a customers’ financial health through the entire

order-to-cash cycle, improve cash flow, and facilitate control

of risk across the organization whether group-wide or locally.

Founded in 2000, Tinubu Square is an award winning expert in

the trade credit insurance industry, with offices in Paris, London,

New York, Montreal and Singapore. Some of the largest

multinational corporations, credit insurers and receivables

financing organizations depend on Tinubu to provide them with the

means to drive greater trade credit risk efficiency.

Data Interconnect Ltd

Unit 7, Radcot Estate, 7 Park Rd, Faringdon,

Oxfordshire. SN7 7BP

T: +44 (0) 1367 245777 F: +44 (0) 1367 240011

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk

W: www.datainterconnect.com

Data Interconnect provides integrated e-billing and collection

solutions via its document delivery web portal, WebSend. By

providing improved Customer Experience and Customer Satisfaction,

with enhanced levels of communication between both parties, we

can substantially speed up your collection processes.

Proud supporters

of CICMQ

Rimilia

Corbett House, Westonhall Road, Bromsgrove, B60 4AL

T: +44 (0)1527 872123 E: enquiries@rimilia.com

W: www.rimilia.com

Rimilia excels in the design, development and implementation of

Intelligent Finance Solutions that drive value from existing manually

intensive finance processes associated with accounts receivable,

cash allocation, credit management, bank reconciliation and cash

forecasting. Based in the heart of the UK, our operations extend to

Europe, USA and Asia. Experienced in the field of technology and

accounting, our approach to business revolves around integrity

and enabling organisations to unlock their full potential though

innovation. Rimilia is proud to be a leading innovative supplier of

finance solutions that make a positive change to the blue chip clients

it supplies.

HighRadius

T: +44 7399 406889

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com

W: www.highradius.com

HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated Receivables

solutions for automating receivables and payment functions such

as credit, collections, cash allocation, deductions and eBilling.

The Integrated Receivables suite is delivered as a software-as-aservice

(SaaS). HighRadius also offers SAP-certified Accelerators

for SAP S/4HANA Finance Receivables Management, enabling

large enterprises to maximize the value of their SAP investments.

HighRadius Integrated Receivables solutions have a proven track

record of reducing days sales outstanding (DSO), bad-debt and

increasing operation efficiency, enabling companies to achieve an

ROI in less than a year.

DATA AND ANALYTICS

Dun & Bradstreet

Marlow International, Parkway Marlow

Buckinghamshire SL7 1AJ

Telephone: (0800) 001-234 Website: www.dnb.co.uk

Dun & Bradstreet grows the most valuable relationships in business.

By uncovering truth and meaning from data, we connect our

customers with the prospects, suppliers, clients and partners that

matter most, and have since 1841. Whether your customer portfolio

spans a city, a country or the globe, Dun & Bradstreet delivers the

data, analytics and insight to grow your most profitable relationships

and navigate credit risk. By combining your insights with our own,

Dun & Bradstreet facilitates a global, unified view of your customer

relationships across credit and collections.

Gravity London

Floor 6/7, Gravity London, 69 Wilson St, London, EC21 2BB

T: +44(0)207 330 8888. E: sfeast@gravitylondon.com

W: www.gravitylondon.com

Gravity is an award winning full service PR and advertising

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the best

in its field. It has a particular expertise in the credit sector, building

long-term relationships with some of the industry’s best-known

brands working on often challenging briefs. As the partner agency

for the Credit Services Association (CSA) for the past 13 years,

and the Chartered Institute of Credit Management since 2006, it

understands the key issues affecting the credit industry and what

works and what doesn’t in supporting its clients in the media and

beyond.

INSOLVENCY

Moore Stephens

Moore Stephens LLP,

150 Aldersgate Street,

London EC1A 4AB

T: +44 (0) 20 7334 9191

E: Brendan.clarkson@moorestephens.com

W: www.moorestephens.co.uk

Moore Stephens is a top ten accounting and advisory network, with

offices throughout the UK.

Our clients range from individuals and entrepreneurs, through

to large organisations and complex international businesses. We

partner with them, supporting their aspirations and helping them

to thrive in a challenging world.

Our national creditor services team has expert insights in debt

recovery which, combined with their unparalleled industry and

sector knowledge, enables them to assist creditors in recovering

outstanding debts.

LEGAL MATTERS

DWF LLP

Neil Jinks FCICM – Director

M: +44 (0)7740 179 515 T: +44 (0)121 516 7462

E: neil.jinks@dwf.law W: www.dwf.law/recover

Described by market commentators as “blazing a trail”, DWF is one

of the UK’s largest legal businesses with an award-winning reputation

for client service excellence and effective operational management.

Named by the Financial Times as one of Europe’s most innovative

law firms and independently ranked first of all top 20 law firms for

quality of legal advice and joint first of all national law firms for service

delivery and responsiveness. DWF offers a full range of cost effective

debt recovery solutions including pre-legal collections, debt litigation,

enforcement, insolvency proceedings and ancillary services including

tracing, process serving, debtor profiling and consultancy.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 65


Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

FOR INFORMATION,

OPTIONS AND PRICING

PLEASE EMAIL:

anthony.cave@cabbell.co.uk

PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

American Express

76 Buckingham Palace Road,

London

SW1W 9TQ

T: +44 (0)1273 696933

W: www.americanexpress.com

American Express is working in partnership with the CICM and is

a globally recognised provider of payment solutions to businesses.

Specialising in providing flexible collection capabilities to drive a

number of company objectives including:

•Accelerate cashflow

•Improved DSO

•Offer extended terms to customers

•Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive

growth

•Reduce risk

•Create competitive advantage with your customers

As experts in the field of payments and with a global reach,

American Express is working with credit managers to drive growth

within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional lever

to help support supplier/client relationships American Express is

proud to be an innovator in the business payments space.

Bottomline Technologies

115 Chatham Street

Reading

Berks RG1 7JX | UK

T: 0870 081 8250

E: emea-info@bottomline.com

W: www.bottomline.com/uk

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses pay

and get paid. Businesses and banks rely on Bottomline for domestic

and international payments, effective cash management tools,

automated workflows for payment processing and bill review and

state of the art fraud detection, behavioural analytics and regulatory

compliance. Businesses around the world depend on Bottomline

solutions to help them pay and get paid, including some

of the world’s largest systemic banks, private and publicly traded

companies and Insurers. Every day, we help our customers by

making complex business payments simple, secure and seamless.

PROFESSIONAL BODIES

Chartered Institute of

Credit Management (CICM)

The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham,

OAKHAM, LE15 8NB

T: 01780 722910 E: info@cicm.com

W: www.cicm.com

The Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) is Europe’s

largest credit management organisation. The trusted leader

in expertise for all credit matters, it represents the profession

across trade, consumer, and export credit, and all credit-related

services. Formed over 70 years ago, it is the only such organisation

accredited by Ofqual and it offers a comprehensive

range of services and bespoke solutions for the credit professional

(www.cicm.com) as well as services and advice for the

wider business community (www.creditmanagement.org.uk).

CICMos (CICM Online Services) WWW.CICM.COM

T: 01780 722 907. E: training@cicm.com

W: www.cicmos.com

CICMOS has been designed to help busy credit managers by

providing them with a suite of online tools to support and

quickly develop their teams. The virtual learning centre is an

open platform system, accessed via the website, which is

easy to use, modular and each module is completely optional,

which means the system can be tailored to suit specific

requirements and time constraints. This wide ranging system

is more than just a training tool it is easy to set up and use

and can be accessed securely via the CICMOS website for a

low annual subscription.

RECRUITMENT

PORTFOLIO

CREDIT CONTROL

Hays Credit Management

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN

T: 07834 260029

E: karen.young@hays.com

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

Hays Credit Management is working in partnership with the CICM

and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs and

credit management jobs. Hays understands the demands of this

challenging environment and the skills required to thrive within

it. Whatever your needs, we have temporary, permanent and

contract based opportunities to find your ideal role. Our candidate

registration process is unrivalled, including face-to-face screening

interviews and a credit control skills test developed exclusively

for Hays by the CICM. We offer CICM members a priority service

and can provide advice across a wide spectrum of job search and

recruitment issues.

ATTENTION

PRODUCT

& SERVICE

PROVIDERS

You can connect with them

all now by having a listing in

CreditWho.

FOR JUST

£1,247 + VAT per annum:

- your business will be listed in

Credit Management magazine,

which goes out to all our

members and subscribers and

has an estimated readership of

over 25,000.

TO BOOK YOUR

LISTING IN CREDITWHO CONTACT:

ANTHONY CAVE ON: 020 3603 7934

Portfolio Credit Control

Portfolio Credit Control, New Liverpool House,

15 Eldon Street, London, EC2M 7LD

T: 0207 650 3199

E: recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com

W: www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com

Portfolio Credit Control, solely specialises in the recruitment of

permanent, temporary and contract Credit Control, Accounts

Receivable and Collections staff. Part of an award winning

recruiter we speak to and meet credit controllers all day everyday

understanding their skills and backgrounds to provide you with tried

and tested credit control professionals. We have achieved enormous

growth because we offer a uniquely specialist approach to our

clients, with a commitment to service delivery that exceeds your

expectations every single time.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 66


MONTHLY PRIZE CROSSWORD

CREDIT CONUNDRUM

For all email entries for the crossword please email: andrew.morris@cicm.com

Puzzle by © 2012 Mirroreyes Internet Services Corporation. All Rights Reserved

NAME ....................................................................................................................................

ADDRESS ..............................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................

POST CODE .................................. TELEPHONE NUMBER .....................................................

The CICM is registered with the UK’s Information

Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998 (the

"Act"). All the data contained on this form, is held and

processed electronically in accordance with the Act.

The Institute holds and processes your personal data in

order to give you the full benefits of being a member and for

administrative purposes.

We might from time to time notify you by post or email of

details of CICM events or other similar CICM services or

products which we think September be of interest to you. If

you do not wish to receive such notification please

tick here q

If you subsequently decide that you do not wish to

receive such notifications please email the Institute at

unsubscribe@cicm.com or write to the Data Controller at

the address given below.

The Data Protection Act gives you the right at any time to

see a copy of all the data that we hold about you. If you

would like a copy, please send a letter requesting this

information together with a cheque for £10 payable to :

The Chartered Institute of Credit Management

to: Data Controller, CICM, The Water Mill, Station Road,

South Luffenham, OAKHAM, LE15 8NB.

£20 CROSSWORD PRIZE

THREE PRIZES OF £20 DRAWN EVERY MONTH

YOU NEED TO BE A MEMBER TO ENTER

ACROSS:

1. Scour

6. Cypher

10. Parts of aprons

14. Delete

15. Cain's brother

16. Wings

17. Notes

18. ___ fide

19. Give as an example

20. Apathetic

22. Sounds of reproof

23. Female sheep

24. Abounds

26. Deep blue

30. Anagram of "Peril"

32. Wavelike design

33. Sometimes found in gravy

DOWN:

1. Collections

2. Prune

3. Hindu princess

4. End ___

5. Beleaguer

6. A steel wire rope

7. Double-reed woodwind

8. Lairs

9. Rubber bands

10. Germs in the blood

11. Site of the Trojan War

12. Pieces of insulation

13. Views

21. Pair

25. Startled cry

26. Rapscallions

27. Person, place or thing

28. Calamitous

37. Happy cat sound

38. Aquatic mammals

39. Quick note

40. Stealthiest

42. Fuzzy fruits

43. Anxious

44. Frothy

45. Small boat

47. Charge

48. Drunkard

49. Unchallenged

56. Biblical garden

57. Forsaken

58. Accustom

59. Urgent request

60. 57 in Roman numerals

61. Wealthy man

62. Express in words

63. Blabs

64. Visitor

29. Illogical

30. Stage

31. A jaunty rhythm

33. T T T T

34. Recent events

35. Send forth

36. Optimistic

38. Wickedly

41. Hemp

42. Retaining

44. Aye

45. Move furtively

46. Drop to one's knees

47. French for "The end"

48. Cried

50. Exploded star

51. Trickle

52. Two-toed sloth

53. Pipe

54. God of love

55. Money owed

CLOSING DATE: 13 January 2018 for December's crossword

LAST MONTH'S

CROSSWORD WINNERS

Zena Maher, Colin Fyles MCICM and Lynne Von Der Recke ACICM

For the chance of winning £20, forward your completed solution to:

Art Editor, Andrew Morris, Chartered Institute of Credit Management,

The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham, OAKHAM, LE15 8NB.

U

W

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / December 2017 / PAGE 67


There was once a Credit Controller named Jane Smith.

She worked for The Big Recruitment Co. One day Jane

made the small mistake of emailing an invoice to

Roger White at The Small Bank. It was intended for

Roger Whythe at The Big Bank, and included the


Never one to miss an opportunity to negotiate,

Roger White forced The Big Recruitment Co. to lower

their rates immediately and match those of The Big Bank.

Jane’s small mistake had big repercussions. A big result

for The Small Bank but The Big Recruitment Co. lost a lot


If only The Big Recruitment Co. had Email Guardian.


to the wrong people. And the big news is — it’s free.

Prevent small mistakes from turning big.

Get the full story and download your free copy today!

www.e-mailguardian.com

tel. +44 1634 812 300

info@e-mailguardian.com

e-mailguardian.com

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