Credit Management APRIL 2019




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CM<br />

<strong>APRIL</strong> <strong>2019</strong> £12.50<br />



All the fun<br />

of the Fair<br />

FairShare and the<br />

debt advice sector<br />

80<br />

YEARS<br />

Sean Feast speaks<br />

to Phil Andrew at<br />

StepChange. Page 18<br />

How reliable is data<br />

in a credit report?<br />

Page 24

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<strong>APRIL</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

www.cicm.com<br />


18<br />



12 – INSOLVENCY<br />

Michelle Thorp outlines the key benefits<br />

of the regulatory framework.<br />

14 – INTERVIEW<br />

Sean Feast FCICM meets John Pears to<br />

discuss collections, customer focus and<br />

his love of flying.<br />

22 – OPINION<br />

Peter Wallwork and Henry Aitchison<br />

ponder how confusion over debt advice<br />

will impact future funding.<br />


TRADE<br />

This month’s round-up of the biggest<br />

stories in global trade.<br />

52<br />



35 – ASK THE EXPERTS<br />

David Kerr gives his view on the newly<br />

published HMRC consultation.<br />

50 – HR MATTERS<br />

A closer look at the legalities of<br />

checking employee criminal records.<br />

54 – CAREERS’ ADVICE<br />

Karen Young looks at the evolution of<br />

recruitment within credit management.<br />


14<br />



President Stephen Baister FCICM / Chief Executive Philip King FCICM CdipAF MBA<br />

Executive Board Pete Whitmore FCICM – Chair / Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad) – Vice Chair<br />

Glen Bullivant FCICM – Treasurer / Larry Coltman FCICM, Victoria Herd FCICM(Grad), Bryony Pettifor FCICM(Grad)<br />

Advisory Council Sarah Aldridge FCICM(Grad) / Laurie Beagle FCICM / Kim Delaney-Bowen MCICM / Glen Bullivant FCICM<br />

Lauren Carter FCICM / Brendan Clarkson FCICM / Larry Coltman FCICM / Victoria Herd FCICM(Grad) / Philip Holbrough MCICM<br />

Laural Jefferies MCICM / Diana Keeling FCICM / Martin Kirby FCICM / Christelle Madie FCICM<br />

Julie-Anne Moody-Webster MCICM / Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad) / Ute Ogholoh MCICM / Bryony Pettifor FCICM(Grad)<br />

Allan Poole MCICM / Phil Rice FCICM / Chris Sanders FCICM / Paul Taylor MCICM / Pete Whitmore FCICM.<br />

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

area, and click on the tab labelled ‘<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> magazine’<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> is distributed to the entire UK and international CICM<br />

membership, as well as additional subscribers<br />

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

not, unless stated, reflect those of the Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>. The Editor reserves the right to<br />

abbreviate letters if necessary. The Institute is registered as a charity. The mark ‘<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>’ is a registered<br />

trade mark of the Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>.<br />

Any articles published relating to English law will differ from laws in Scotland and Wales.<br />

Publisher<br />

Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham<br />

OAKHAM, LE15 8NB<br />

Telephone: 01780 722900<br />

Email: editorial@cicm.com<br />

Website: www.cicm.com<br />

CMM: www.creditmanagement.org.uk<br />

Managing Editor<br />

Sean Feast FCICM<br />

Deputy Editor<br />

Alex Simmons<br />

Art Editor<br />

Andrew Morris<br />

Telephone: 01780 722910<br />

Email: andrew.morris@cicm.com<br />

Editorial Team<br />

Imogen Hart and Iona Yadallee<br />

Advertising<br />

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Telephone: 020 3603 7946<br />

Email: grace@cabbell.co.uk<br />

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ISSN 0265-2099<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 3


A cacophony of confusion<br />

over debt advice funding<br />

Sean Feast FCICM<br />

Managing Editor<br />

I’M pleased to see that since <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong> first dared to raise<br />

its head above the parapet on the<br />

issue of future funding for debt<br />

advice, there are plenty of others<br />

who are now more than happy to<br />

stick their two penneth in and add to the<br />

debate.<br />

Peter Wallwork and his colleague from<br />

the CSA, Henry Aitchison, refer to it in<br />

our lead article (see page 22) as a ‘money<br />

merry go round’, a cacophony of confusion<br />

over funding channels and sources. They<br />

believe firmly that any future funding<br />

contributions need to be fair, equitable and<br />

transparent, and that any future thinking<br />

also remembers that it is not only the<br />

financial services sector that benefits.<br />

John Pears of Lowells (see page 14)<br />

agrees. He is far from precious about the<br />

mechanism, but thinks, simply, that if you<br />

benefit from it, you should pay for it. He says<br />

there is currently a £20 million shortfall in<br />

funding, and believes that if everyone paid<br />

their fair share, this gap could be closed.<br />

He also thinks that Lowell’s clients could<br />

help, perhaps by not selling to those who<br />

take out, without putting in.<br />

Phil Andrew, Chief Executive of<br />

StepChange Debt Charity also takes a<br />

refreshingly honest and open stance on<br />

future funding (see page 18). He recognises<br />

full well the need to demonstrate further<br />

efficiencies in the services StepChange<br />

delivers, and has grand ambitions around<br />

the benefits of early intervention.<br />

He echoes John Pears’ sentiments: “If<br />

everyone paid who should, we would receive<br />

£69 million a year from FS firms, and not<br />

the £48 million we receive currently, and<br />

that would make a significant contribution<br />

to our future growth plans.”<br />

What they can all agree on too is that the<br />

need for debt advice is growing, and that<br />

intelligent and well-informed collaboration<br />

and co-operation is what is required moving<br />

forward. Peter Wallwork says as much<br />

in his piece: “There is general consensus<br />

that ‘something must be done’ and it is<br />

pleasing to report that following many<br />

conversations, debates, and discussion<br />

alike, actionable steps are now being put in<br />

place.”<br />

We look forward to learning more about<br />

these steps in future issues.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 4

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The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 5<br />



CMNEWS<br />

A round-up of news stories from the<br />

world of consumer and commercial credit<br />

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM and Alex Simmons<br />

Poor awareness impacts<br />

effectiveness of PPC<br />

POOR awareness, and the<br />

reluctance of small businesses<br />

to challenge larger businesses<br />

into the conduct of their payment<br />

behaviour, continue to hamper the<br />

success of the Prompt Payment Code,<br />

and its perception amongst stakeholders<br />

and the media.<br />

This was the view expressed by<br />

Philip King FCICM, Chief Executive<br />

of The Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong> at a Workshop on Late<br />

Payment hosted by Bill Esterson MP,<br />

Shadow Small Business Minister<br />

involving senior executives from<br />

business organisations and industry.<br />

Philip said that while the Code had<br />

succeeded in collecting £3 million, and<br />

resolved issues involving high-profile<br />

transgressors such as Diageo, there<br />

was still much more that could be done:<br />

“The reluctance of small businesses to<br />

challenge the Code, and the failure of<br />

trade associations and business groups<br />

to challenge on behalf of their members<br />

are impacting how the Code is perceived<br />

and used,” he explained.<br />

He also highlighted the limited<br />

resources available to the CICM to<br />

administer the Code, and the lack of any<br />

historic funding from Government as<br />

having an impact: “The administrative<br />

challenges and costs associated with<br />

running a compliance board cannot be<br />

underestimated,” he added.<br />

But he also said that one solution<br />

was for more effective regulation: “As<br />

suppliers are reluctant to come forward,<br />

effective regulators, with the power<br />

and resources to investigate, publish<br />

findings and impose punitive fines would<br />

inevitably be more effective, but might<br />

have unintended consequences.”<br />

Within the discussions, it was<br />

highlighted that there was no process or<br />

powers for there to be an independent<br />

verification of the accuracy of signatories<br />

to the Prompt Payment Code.<br />

Smirnoff: A Diageo brand.<br />

Bill Esterson said that the spotlight<br />

on Carillion made it clear that the<br />

Prompt Payment Code, despite having<br />

more than 2,000 signatories, was not<br />

working effectively. Carillion had a<br />

reputation as a notorious late payer,<br />

with suppliers waiting up to 126 days to<br />

receive the payments they were owed. In<br />

clarification, Philip King pointed out that<br />

no challenge had been received about<br />

Carillion, and as such, no investigation<br />

had taken place since the Compliance<br />

Board did not have the authority – or the<br />

mandate – to investigate.<br />

It was suggested that the PPC<br />

Compliance Board must have the powers<br />

to refer to itself to investigate. The<br />

duty to report information had led to<br />

transparency in larger companies, but<br />

further reporting and transparency was<br />

needed, and cross-verification with the<br />

Code.<br />

The Cabinet Office and Crown<br />

Commercial Service had undertaken<br />

a consultation on Prompt Payment by<br />

Government Suppliers, and this included<br />

measure from September this year<br />

for contracting authorities to exclude<br />

suppliers from contracts of a value<br />

greater than £5 million if they cannot<br />

demonstrate fair and effective payment<br />

practices with their suppliers. There<br />

was little evidence yet that the new<br />

complaint handling website established<br />

by the Small Business Commissioner<br />

was making it any easier for small<br />

business owners to resolve late payment<br />

disputes.<br />

Bill Esterson suggested that more<br />

pressure needed to be applied on<br />

the Government’s biggest suppliers<br />

to meet the commitment to pay 95<br />

percent of invoices within 60 days,<br />

and move towards adopting 30 day<br />

payment terms as the norm. He also<br />

said that strict criteria on payment<br />

practice needs to be embedded in the<br />

Government’s procurement policies.<br />

promptpaymentcode.org.uk<br />


PHILIP Hammond, the Chancellor, has announced a crackdown on late payment by<br />

insisting that big companies should appoint a non-executive director who would be<br />

responsible for reducing late payments to smaller suppliers. They must also publish<br />

payment practices in their annual reports. The Government already obliges larger<br />

companies to publish their payment data twice a year on a website.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 6

Mercedes accelerates out of the block<br />

MERCEDES-Benz is to pilot blockchain<br />

technology with the potential to<br />

‘fundamentally revolutionise its<br />

procurement processes’.<br />

The carmaker has developed a<br />

blockchain prototype containing contract<br />

clauses, including around sustainability<br />

requirements that can be viewed by all<br />

participants in the supply chain. The<br />

system, which makes use of blockchain’s<br />

secure distributed ledger technology, also<br />

offers opportunities to track and trace<br />

components and raw materials.<br />

Sabine Angermann, Head of Purchasing<br />

and Supplier Quality for Raw Materials and<br />

Strategy at Mercedes-Benz Cars, says the<br />

transmission of contracts to each member<br />

of the supply chain is the prerequisite of<br />

cooperation with our suppliers, especially<br />

in terms of sustainability and ethical<br />

conduct: “The blockchain prototype<br />

opens up completely new ways to make<br />

purchasing processes simpler and safer.”<br />

Mercedes and software company<br />

Icertis teamed up to create ‘a consistent<br />

documentation of contracts in the supply<br />

chain’. The carmaker said it ‘requires its<br />

direct suppliers to vigorously pass on<br />

and control standards and contractual<br />

obligations with regard to working<br />

conditions, human rights, environmental<br />

protection, safety, business ethics and<br />

compliance within the supply chain’.<br />

“The prototype allows a transparent<br />

mapping and understanding of this<br />

transmission across the entire supply<br />

chain. Should one of the sub-suppliers<br />

deviate from the contractual obligations,<br />

this becomes visible in the blockchain,<br />

similar to a secure accounting system,”<br />

Mercedes says.<br />

“Acceptance by suppliers and partners<br />

is now being tested in a pilot project and<br />

feedback is being obtained. Consistently<br />

establishing blockchain technology with<br />

all suppliers in the respective supply<br />

chain is a fundamental requirement for the<br />

achievement of the goal: close cooperation<br />

for more sustainability.”<br />

mercedes-benz.co.uk<br />

>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />



THE Technical Committee met<br />

recently and discussed a number of<br />

important topics relevant to members,<br />

such as: HMRC consultation entitled<br />

‘Protecting your taxes in insolvency’<br />

and preferential creditors status from<br />

April 2020; vexatious claims and<br />

discussions around the potential size<br />

of the problem; data sharing with<br />

SMEs; Pay.UK’s ‘Confirmation of Payee’<br />

service which aims to reduce the risk<br />

of payments sent to the wrong account,<br />

and benefits/risks associated with<br />

the service; and the CICM responses<br />

to recent consultations including<br />

BEIS ‘Creating a responsible payment<br />

culture’, HM Treasury’s ‘Breathing<br />

Space policy proposal’ and the Ministry<br />

of Justice ‘Review of 2014 enforcement<br />

agent reforms’.<br />

Poor management<br />

THE Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has<br />

found that three asset management firms<br />

– Hargreave Hale, RAMAM, and Newton<br />

– breached competition law – the FCA’s<br />

first formal decision under its competition<br />

enforcement powers. The FCA has fined<br />

Hargreave Hale £306,300 and RAMAM<br />

£108,600. The FCA has not imposed a fine on<br />

Newton because it was given immunity<br />

under the competition leniency programme.<br />

Self-employed growing<br />

DATA from the Office for National Statistics<br />

(ONS) revealed the number of selfemployed<br />

people in the UK rose by 63,000<br />

to 4.84 million in the last quarter of 2018.<br />

The nation’s strong labour market is being<br />

powered significantly by the self-employed<br />

sector, which now equates to almost 15<br />

percent of the UK’s workforce – almost as<br />

much as the entire public sector.<br />

ons.gov.uk<br />

Clever Thinking<br />

SHAWBROOK Bank has provided<br />

data firm DueDil with a £3.5 million<br />

Growth Capital facility to help fund the<br />

company’s expansion plans. DueDil’s<br />

API and web platform use proprietary<br />

matching technology to link billions of<br />

company data points from authoritative<br />

sources, providing insight through its<br />

Business Information Graph. Companies<br />

leverage this information to build<br />

their go to market strategy and create<br />

a seamless customer onboarding<br />

journey. The London-based firm works<br />

with more than 400 companies across<br />

financial services, fintech and technology<br />

sectors, including big brands such as<br />

Transferwise, Santander, Growth Street<br />

and Paymentsense. shawbrook.co.uk<br />

Billhop launches card collaboration with Visa<br />

BILLHOP has launched a collaboration with Visa to enable small<br />

businesses across Europe to pay their suppliers using a card,<br />

regardless of whether or not the supplier accepts card payments, to<br />

help improve working capital for small businesses. The collaboration<br />

with Visa will allow Billhop to expand across Europe, including<br />

markets such as France, Italy and Spain in the first half of <strong>2019</strong>.<br />

Billhop, which has already launched in Sweden and the UK, is a<br />

payment service enabling businesses to pay invoices with cards<br />

regardless of whether the end beneficiary accepts card payments or<br />

not. No onboarding of the end beneficiary is required allowing Billhop<br />

to enable 100 percent of supplier payments on card instantaneously.<br />

On the back of card payments made by small and large businesses,<br />

Billhop says it has experienced a significant pace of growth in<br />

Europe generally. Small companies benefit from the grace period on<br />

their existing credit cards, whereas larger corporations use bespoke<br />

credit cards as a working capital financing solution when paying<br />

larger ticket suppliers through Billhop. billhop.com/gb<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 7

NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Big banks join forces<br />

LLOYDS Banking Group, Royal Bank of<br />

Scotland and Barclays have opened the<br />

first jointly-run business banking hub<br />

in Birmingham in response to concerns<br />

about branch closures and rising costs. The<br />

scheme will see six business banking hubs<br />

being piloted across the country, and will<br />

allow businesses to pay in large volumes of<br />

coins, notes and cheques and complete cash<br />

exchange transactions. The hubs will also<br />

have extended opening hours from 08:00 to<br />

20:00, seven days a week.<br />

Accounting error<br />

KIER Group has announced that its debt was<br />

higher at the end of last year than previously<br />

indicated, despite efforts to reduce it, with<br />

shares falling as a result by as much as 16<br />

percent. The firm’s net debt position for the<br />

end of 2018 was adjusted from £130 million to<br />

£180.5 million, as a result of hedging activities<br />

and a reclassification of debt associated with<br />

assets held for resale. Liberum analyst Joe<br />

Brent said the company’s situation was the<br />

result of an “accounting error’’, which led to<br />

the "restatement of £40 million of net debt<br />

from assets held-for resale to underlying net<br />

debt.’’ kier.co.uk<br />

Law maker<br />

LAW firm DWF has listed on the main market<br />

of the London Stock Exchange with a market<br />

valuation of £366 million. Sir Nigel Knowles,<br />

DWF Chairman, received shares worth £3.3<br />

million, while its 243 partners will share £232<br />

million of shares equivalent to 63.5 percent of<br />

the business. dwf.law<br />

New government body<br />

THE Financial Reporting Council is to be<br />

scrapped and replaced by a new regulator<br />

for accountancy firms, the UK government<br />

has announced. The Audit, Reporting and<br />

Governance Authority will have enhanced<br />

powers and be able to make direct changes to<br />

accounts, instead of applying to court.<br />

frc.org.uk<br />

Growing nest<br />

STARLING is to open a new office in<br />

Southampton by the summer. The move<br />

comes after the digital bank won a £100<br />

million grant aimed at boosting competition<br />

in the business banking sector.<br />

starlingbank.com<br />

Apology<br />

IN the supplement of the March issue of <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong> (page 42), we credited the wrong<br />

company with having sponsored the Legal<br />

Team of the Year Award at the recent CICM<br />

Awards. Our generous sponsor was, in fact,<br />

Court Enforcement Services, and we extend<br />

our unreserved apologies to them for our error.<br />

Smaller customers present<br />

greater risk in payment cycle<br />

LARGE companies continue to<br />

pay late, but do pay their invoices<br />

eventually, whereas smaller buyers<br />

often present a greater risk.<br />

This was one of the principal take-outs<br />

from an excellent presentation from Dun &<br />

Bradstreet’s Markus Kuger, Lead Economist<br />

and Country Risk Analyst, at a recent<br />

meeting of the Thames Valley Branch of the<br />

CICM.<br />

In a highly informative and broadsweeping<br />

discussion, Markus said that<br />

while big businesses are those most in the<br />

firing line for their payment behaviour,<br />

suppliers into larger businesses will get paid<br />

eventually, whereas a smaller customer<br />

that is paying late is more likely not to<br />

pay at all. Of all of the sectors he explored,<br />

the Government is the slowest payer;<br />

agriculture is the best.<br />

Speaking positively about the current<br />

UK economy, Markus revealed that<br />

unemployment is at its lowest level<br />

since the 1970s and wages are growing<br />

robustly. Some three quarters (75 percent)<br />

of companies report difficulties in hiring<br />

new staff, an issue that especially affects<br />

those in manufacturing. The challenges, he<br />

said, are not unique to the UK; many other<br />

countries across Europe are experiencing<br />

similar issues.<br />

On the downside, however, Markus<br />

warned that the UK economy is slowing,<br />

and that 2018 growth was the slowest for<br />

a decade. Again, however, he highlighted<br />

that this was not unique to the UK. He<br />

also stated that the slowdown had begun<br />

before the word Brexit had even entered<br />

our vocabulary. While there was good news<br />

Digital roadmap will lead<br />

to greater productivity<br />

A research report has laid out a digital<br />

roadmap that could catalyse up to a £57<br />

billion productivity payout for UK SMEs over<br />

five years.<br />

It is claimed that Making Tax Digital (MTD),<br />

the digitisation of VAT in April <strong>2019</strong>, will<br />

immediately catalyse an annual benefit of<br />

£6.9 billion, or £46 billion over five years in<br />

net gains in turnover and growth for the UK<br />

economy. If all SMEs in Professional Services<br />

were catalysed by MTD, the sector would see<br />

an annual benefit of £1.1 billion.<br />

These are the major findings of The<br />

Productivity Payout: UK Small Businesses<br />

and the Digital Economy – a research report<br />

and first of its kind economic model released<br />

by Volterra Partners association with Intuit<br />

QuickBooks. This new economic model<br />

– built on predicted behaviours of small<br />

business owners as a result of social and<br />

financial drivers – demonstrates that once<br />

businesses integrate technology to become<br />

around consumer spending, companies<br />

had short arms and deep pockets, and were<br />

adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach when it<br />

came to investing.<br />

“All of the indicators regarding economic<br />

health are deteriorating,” he said, “but this<br />

is a pan-European trend. While companies<br />

are still more optimistic than pessimistic<br />

(according to barometers such as the<br />

Purchasers Managers’ Index), the indices<br />

are dangerously close to negative, and the<br />

Macroeconomic picture is deteriorating.”<br />

Philip King FCICM, Chief Executive of the<br />

Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>,<br />

said that Markus’ comments around<br />

payment behaviour were particularly<br />

interesting: “They bear out something<br />

that we have often said, that certainty<br />

of payment is often just as important as<br />

whether you are paid in 30 or 60 days, as<br />

it allows you to manage your cashflow<br />

accordingly.<br />

“Whereas big companies are often the<br />

ones castigated in the media for hanging on<br />

to their cash for longer – which some might<br />

say is good credit management on their part<br />

– they are still invariably a safer bet than<br />

doing business with a smaller customer.”<br />

dnb.co.uk<br />

All of the indicators<br />

regarding economic<br />

health are deteriorating,<br />

but this is a pan-European<br />

trend.<br />

MTD compliant, a ‘digital snowball’ effect is<br />

likely to occur as they experience so-called<br />

spill-over benefits.<br />

These spill-over benefits will drive<br />

increases in SMEs’ levels of productivity, for<br />

example by better enabling better cashflow<br />

and human resources management, and<br />

freeing time for more productive activities<br />

such as sales, marketing or training. Having<br />

adopted one form of digital technology,<br />

businesses tend to adopt others, in turn<br />

saving more time and reaping the rewards<br />

from cumulative productivity benefits from<br />

digital interoperability.<br />

Despite the huge gains to be made from<br />

the adoption of digitisation of traditional<br />

business practices, one in seven SMEs in<br />

Professional Services are still unaware of<br />

MTD and its associated impact.<br />

gov.uk/government/publications/makingtax-digital/overview-of-making-tax-digital<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 8

Victory for CICM and EFTA<br />

on short-term fraud<br />

THE CICM and The European Freight<br />

Trades Association (EFTA) are<br />

claiming victory after Companies<br />

House added a warning to its<br />

website that the information available on its<br />

site has not been independently verified.<br />

Philip King FCICM, the Chief Executive<br />

of the Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong>, and James Campbell,<br />

Secretary of EFTA, succeeded in their<br />

representations to Companies House to<br />

challenge the alarming increase in shortfirm<br />

fraud.<br />

Companies House has now taken steps<br />

to display a more prominent warning on its<br />

website regarding the efficacy and accuracy<br />

of the information it holds, confirming that<br />

such information has neither been verified<br />

nor validated. Companies House has also<br />

agreed to create a dedicated email through<br />

which businesses can raise concerns over<br />

bogus accounts leintel@companieshouse.<br />

gov.uk.<br />

Philip King says he is delighted with the<br />

way that Companies House has responded to<br />

their approaches: “We raised the issue, they<br />

listened to us, and they have taken action,<br />

and they should be commended<br />

for it.<br />

“<strong>Credit</strong> managers use information at<br />

Companies House on which to base risk<br />

decisions, and need to be aware that the<br />

information cannot always be trusted.<br />

Companies House data is useful as one<br />

part of the decision-making process when<br />

it comes to granting credit, but should<br />

never be relied upon as the only source of<br />

information.”<br />

Short-firm fraud happens when criminals<br />

set up an apparently legitimate business<br />

intending to defraud its suppliers and<br />

customers. The business buys goods and<br />

pays suppliers promptly to secure a good<br />

credit record before executing its ‘sting’,<br />

sometimes taking companies for many tens<br />

of thousands of pounds that they cannot<br />

recover. gov.uk/government/organisations/<br />

companies-house<br />


ALMOST one in four (39 percent) of baby boomers have admitted that they have zero risk<br />

appetite when it comes to their investments, while a further 28 percent described their risk<br />

appetite as low, according to research by Aegon. Just three percent of 55 to 73 year-olds said<br />

that they were confident that their investments would deliver strong returns over the next<br />

five to ten years. Brits aged 55-73 hold more than a third of the UK’s wealth, yet the majority<br />

still take a highly risk-averse approach to their investments. Some 44 percent of people of<br />

baby boomers told Aegon that they prefer to avoid risk at all costs. By comparison, just 36<br />

percent of those aged 18-34 said that they were risk-averse. Despite their caution, just one<br />

quarter of baby boomers have sought advice from a financial adviser. aegon.co.uk<br />

Education conference on<br />

learning curve<br />

THE annual CICM Education Conference<br />

is being revamped and refreshed this year,<br />

and given a new name.<br />

Now called the CICM Learning<br />

Conference, it will be a gathering of<br />

CICM members and partners to facilitate<br />

learning in all areas of credit. There<br />

will be three main streams: one for<br />

CICM members of all levels and their<br />

colleagues (and a chance to be updated<br />

on best practice with case studies from<br />

organisations that have a story to tell);<br />

one for CICM Studying Members (with<br />

qualification specific workshops and<br />

support); and a third stream for CICM<br />

tutors, coaches and partners (with update<br />

workshops).<br />

Watch this space for announcements<br />

about our speakers this year, as well as<br />

a new exciting range of mini drop in<br />

sessions on technical learning – back to<br />

basics in credit.<br />

>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />


NOMINATIONS for Fellows of the Future<br />

have been received and the application<br />

process now moves to round two.<br />

Nominated members have been asked<br />

to tell the CICM about their career and<br />

their aspirations so that the content of<br />

the scheme can be tailored to fit their<br />

needs. If anyone wants to nominate they<br />

can put themselves forward for round two<br />

which will be later in the year. The final<br />

list of candidates/participants will be<br />

announced in April, as well as an outline<br />

of the programme and aims.<br />

cicm.com/fellows-of-the-future.<br />

Sudden Yolt<br />

YOLT for Business is now opening its<br />

technology stack to businesses across<br />

Europe to enable all open banking<br />

capabilities including payments. Yolt for<br />

Business claims it will offer a single API that<br />

covers account aggregation services (AIS)<br />

and payment initiation services (PIS) along<br />

with an ambitious future roadmap that will<br />

continue to develop dynamic solutions for a<br />

fast-changing market – enabling businesses<br />

to achieve their goals quickly, easily and<br />

affordably. yolt.com<br />

Cashflow squeeze<br />

PROACTIS has secured £20 million in<br />

funding from HSBC UK to bring to market<br />

new technology to tackle the liquidity<br />

squeeze felt by SMEs. The global e-commerce<br />

business says the funding will allow it to roll<br />

out proprietary technology that will deliver<br />

‘frictionless cashflow’ between businesses. It<br />

both accelerates and incentivises payments,<br />

helping SMEs in particular to invest in<br />

growth through improved liquidity. The<br />

technology will also help larger businesses<br />

to manage their supply chains, easing the<br />

impact on working capital and improving<br />

their relationships with suppliers. Proactis<br />

will launch its Accelerated Payment Facility<br />

later this year. proactis.com/uk/<br />


A new area has been launched on the<br />

CICM website called ‘Industry Roundup’.<br />

Available to all members and<br />

non-members it will include a summary<br />

of news, consultations, and regulatory<br />

changes.<br />

https://www.cicm.com/industry-round-up/<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 9

NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

New collection service<br />

DEBT recovery firm DSL has launched a<br />

specialist service to help local authorities<br />

collect sundry debt after a recent pilot for a<br />

single inner London council delivered a 54<br />

percent success rate. Sundry debt covers<br />

a range of commercial invoices from bin<br />

collections and licensing fees to nursing<br />

home overpayments, service charge arrears<br />

and planning fees.<br />

Mike Brooks, director of DSL, says sundry<br />

debt is notoriously difficult to collect: “With<br />

conservative estimates suggesting these<br />

debts could amount to millions of pounds<br />

across the country, there is a real incentive to<br />

recoup more of these monies.<br />

“Our Local Authority Debt Collection<br />

team focuses exclusively on these more<br />

challenging debts, combining new technology<br />

with traditional investigation techniques<br />

honed over years in the industry to trace<br />

those who are liable and secure missed<br />

payments.” dsluk.net<br />

P2P lending tops £9.5bn<br />

PEER-to-peer cumulative lending jumped<br />

by almost half to £9.5 billion last year<br />

according to data from the Peer-to-Peer<br />

Finance Association (P2PFA).<br />

Loans originated by firms lifted by 44<br />

percent in 2018, split between more than<br />

288,000 business borrowers and individuals.<br />

Loans to businesses totalled £5.5 billion,<br />

with the remainder accounted for by<br />

consumer loans. Firms originated £6.6<br />

billion of loans at the end of 2017.<br />

Platforms arranged loans worth nearly £3<br />

billion during 2018, with them performing<br />

strongly in the final quarter of the year.<br />

More than £800 million of new lending was<br />

originated by these firms in the final three<br />

months of last year. Businesses accounted<br />

for £527 million of these loans, while £282<br />

million of this lending went to consumers.<br />

p2pfa.org.uk<br />

CICM Essentials<br />

Recent briefings includes a trailer for the<br />

new ITN programme – <strong>Credit</strong> Experts, details<br />

of the next Fellows Lunch, a summary of<br />

local branch AGMs and events including a<br />

distillery tour, and the <strong>Credit</strong> Academy midcourse<br />

evaluation survey.<br />

Study shows SMEs ‘failing<br />

to innovate’ and invest<br />

RESEARCH reveals a sharp divide<br />

between how important SMEs<br />

think new technology is to the<br />

future of their business and how<br />

much they actually invest in it.<br />

Over three quarters (79 percent) of SMEs<br />

see investing in technological innovation as<br />

important, yet one in ten haven’t invested<br />

in any new technology at all in the past<br />

12 months, according to Collaborate UK,<br />

CitySprint’s sixth annual survey.<br />

In addition, a quarter of SMEs have spent<br />

less than ten percent of their budget on<br />

new technology, compared to over half (56<br />

percent) who have spent between 11-30<br />

percent. This lack of investment could<br />

mean that the small businesses that spend<br />

less are falling behind their peers in terms<br />

of innovation.<br />

The findings, drawn from over 1,000 SME<br />

decision makers, found that over a third<br />

(34 percent) of SMEs would be more likely<br />

to adopt new tech in the future if there was<br />

increased Government support or bursaries<br />

available, while over a quarter (27 percent)<br />

of businesses have said they would like to<br />

see more information available on what<br />

would work for their specific business.<br />

Previous research from the Confederation<br />

of British Industry (CBI) suggests that<br />

by encouraging more businesses to take<br />

advantage of existing technologies,<br />

management practices and business<br />

support – such as cloud computing, mobile<br />

technology and e-purchasing – the UK<br />

economy could receive a £100 billion boost<br />

and see a five percent reduction in income<br />

inequality. While businesses understand<br />

the importance of implementing new<br />

Manufacturing output steadies<br />

THE output for Britain’s manufacturers<br />

remains stable and above the long-term<br />

average, according to a survey by Make<br />

UK, the manufacturers’ organisation,<br />

and business advisory firm BDO LLP. The<br />

gap between orders and output, however,<br />

continues to hint that stockpiling activities<br />

are inflating output production levels.<br />

The Make UK/BDO Q1 Manufacturing<br />

Outlook survey reports that output balances<br />

(+22 percent) were once again higher than<br />

orders (+14 percent) suggesting that at<br />

least part of output production is related<br />

to stockpiling activities rather than actual<br />

demand coming from customers.<br />

Although still in positive territory,<br />

expectations for the next quarter are<br />

weakening. Output and order balances for<br />

the next three months are forecast to fall<br />

to 17 percent and 13 percent respectively,<br />

with uncertainty around Brexit a prominent<br />

factor.<br />

For the first time since 2016, the balance<br />

of domestic orders is stronger than exports.<br />

technology, a clear list of barriers has<br />

emerged which are preventing SMEs from<br />

making the investment needed: a lack of<br />

budget comes out as the most cited reason<br />

(38 percent), followed by concerns about<br />

security (26 percent) and that staff would<br />

have to be trained to use it (24 percent).<br />

Nearly a fifth (18 percent) would be more<br />

likely to adopt new tech, like AI, blockchain,<br />

or automation, if they worked with other<br />

businesses of a similar size and scale to<br />

increase their chances of success.<br />

The top three reasons SMEs use<br />

technology in their business are cited<br />

as being: improving IT infrastructure (40<br />

percent); reducing business costs through<br />

automation (31 percent); and using tech to<br />

protect information through cyber security<br />

(28 percent). Just 17 percent of SMEs –<br />

fewer than one in five – are currently using<br />

AI or machine learning algorithms, and<br />

only 23 percent plan to use such tech in the<br />

future. citysprint.co.uk/collaborate-uk<br />

Over three quarters<br />

(79 percent) of SMEs<br />

see investing in<br />

technological innovation<br />

as important, yet one<br />

in ten haven’t invested in<br />

any new technology<br />

at all in the past 12<br />

months.<br />

Exports have been unable to recover since<br />

the very sharp drop in the previous<br />

quarter, which resulted in a disappointing<br />

end to 2018 for the sector. The UK’s export<br />

balance has been particularly badly<br />

hindered by a slowdown in import appetite<br />

from Asia. Europe continues to be the top<br />

market opportunity for manufacturers<br />

but, also for the first time since 2016, the<br />

balance for demand coming from Europe is<br />

lower than 50 percent. This drop is tied in<br />

part to Brexit uncertainty, with companies<br />

concerned that goods may be stuck at<br />

ports, as well as a more general economic<br />

slowdown happening across Europe.<br />

Compared to last quarter, employment<br />

and investment balances show some signs<br />

of pick-up, however employment balances<br />

are significantly higher than investment,<br />

indicating that manufacturers may be<br />

opting to hire a flexible workforce in the<br />

short-term rather than make long-term<br />

investments in a period of uncertainty.<br />

makeuk.org bdo.co.uk<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 10

Utility Week Conference focuses<br />

on vulnerable customers<br />

PHILIP King FCICM, the Chief Executive<br />

of the Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong>, successfully chaired The<br />

Utility Week Consumer Debt Conference<br />

in February, which had a strong focus on<br />

managing vulnerable customers.<br />

More than 20 speakers presented at the<br />

conference, including Ross Betts, Head of<br />

Collections, Customer Service at Thames<br />

Water. He gave an overview of how the<br />

utility company has been working with<br />

FICO and Equifax to analyse its customer<br />

databases to further improve its collections<br />

approach and manage its debt risk. He also<br />

explained how Thames Water was using<br />

FICO’s debt manager to build dedicated<br />

collections strategies to manage different<br />

customer segments, especially the<br />

vulnerable.<br />

During the conference, representatives<br />

from Ofgem and Ofwat answered the most<br />

pressing issues facing utilities companies<br />

during an on-stage live interview; Peter<br />

Jackson, Southern Water’s Chief Data<br />

Officer explained how he built a team to<br />

transform the customer journey. Further<br />

discussions were held during a series of<br />

rotating roundtables, notably on how best<br />

to support vulnerable customers.<br />

The conference was held at the<br />

Birmingham Conference and Events<br />

Centre.<br />

Report reveals challenges<br />

of cashless society<br />

THE Access to Cash Review<br />

has published its final<br />

recommendations calling on the<br />

Government, regulators and banks<br />

to act now or risk leaving millions of<br />

customers behind.<br />

The review concludes that digital<br />

payments don’t yet work for everyone and<br />

around eight million adults (17 percent of<br />

the population) would struggle to cope in a<br />

cashless society.<br />

The Review’s action plan to protect<br />

cash access calls for: Government and<br />

regulators to step in urgently to ensure<br />

cash remains viable; a ‘Guarantee to Cash<br />

Access’ for all, including those in remote<br />

and rural areas; those providing essential<br />

services to be required to allow consumers<br />

to pay by cash; and a more efficient,<br />

effective and resilient wholesale cash<br />

infrastructure to ensure that cash remains<br />

viable as its use declines.<br />

Cash is only used for three in every<br />

ten transactions, down from six in ten<br />

a decade ago and is forecast to fall to as<br />

low as one in ten transactions within<br />

the next 15 years. This shift away from<br />

cash towards digital payments is placing<br />

significant strain on the UK’s cash<br />

infrastructure which currently costs<br />

around £5 billion a year to run.<br />

As bank branches and ATMs continue<br />

to close, the economics of handling and<br />

accepting cash will lead an increasing<br />

number of retailers to go cashless. Given<br />

these pressures, the review warns against<br />

leaving access to cash to market forces,<br />

and urges the government and financial<br />

services regulators to take action to ensure<br />

cash remains viable for as long as people<br />

need it.<br />

Natalie Ceeney, Independent Chair<br />

of the Access to Cash Review says if the<br />

UK sleepwalks into a cashless society,<br />

millions will be left behind: “We need to<br />

guarantee people’s right to access cash<br />

and ensure that they can still spend it.<br />

“If we want to protect cash, we need to<br />

innovate, not preserve the past in aspic.<br />

Why can’t we get cash at local shops,<br />

through cashback, as well as at ATMs?<br />

Why can’t we support small businesses<br />

by letting them deposit their cash in<br />

lockers or smart ATMs rather than face the<br />

security risks and costs of a weekly trip<br />

to their bank branch? There is huge scope<br />

for innovation, not just in digital payments<br />

but also in cash.<br />

“We need leadership of this critical<br />

issue from our regulators and government,<br />

but success will rely on banks continuing<br />

to properly support their customers who<br />

rely on cash.”<br />

The review gathered evidence from<br />

more than 120 organisations from across<br />

the leisure, retail, financial, charity and<br />

business sectors. It also travelled the<br />

country, taking evidence from thousands<br />

of people including workshops in places<br />

including Shetland, Porthmadog, and<br />

Bournemouth to understand the current<br />

needs of consumers and groups across the<br />

UK. The review also explored the lessons<br />

learned from Sweden and China.<br />

In its interim report ‘Is Britain ready<br />

to go cashless’ the review identified<br />

approximately eight million people that<br />

would be left behind. The risks to people<br />

include the viability of rural communities:<br />

where broadband and mobile connectivity<br />

is poor, and where the local cash<br />

infrastructure is reducing.<br />

The panel will meet again in September<br />

to discuss the impact of the Review<br />

and to assess whether further action is<br />

necessary. accesstocash.org.uk<br />

“We need leadership of this critical issue from our regulators<br />

and government, but success will rely on banks continuing<br />

to properly support their customers who rely on cash.”<br />

>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Firms turning to<br />

Islamic finance<br />

A growing number of non-regional (GCC)<br />

organisations are turning to Islamic<br />

finance, and in particular to sukuk<br />

instruments, to raise funds for their<br />

infrastructure and development projects,<br />

a UAE-based investment banking expert<br />

has suggested.<br />

Zahid Aslam, Managing Director of<br />

Investment Banking at Dalma Capital<br />

<strong>Management</strong>, says the firm has seen<br />

an almost one-third jump in enquiries<br />

regarding Sharia-compliant bond<br />

issuances from corporations outside of<br />

the GCC. The news follows S&P Global<br />

Ratings predicting in January the global<br />

issuance of Sharia-compliant foreign and<br />

local currency bonds is expected to reach<br />

as much as $115 billion this year.<br />

dalmacapital.com<br />

BEXA awards<br />

THE GTR-BExA Young Exporter Award,<br />

now in its 15th year, and Young Export<br />

Financier Award, new in <strong>2019</strong>, are open<br />

to candidates aged 35 or under and<br />

employed in the export or export finance<br />

department of a manufacturing, trading<br />

or financial services company registered<br />

in the UK.<br />

The successful candidates, selected<br />

from a shortlist of interviewed candidates,<br />

will have typically played a key role<br />

in winning or closing financing of a<br />

significant order or achieving a series<br />

of smaller orders, or in establishing a<br />

new business process which has led to<br />

increased export competitiveness.<br />

Nominations are now open for the<br />

<strong>2019</strong> award, and close on 14 June. For the<br />

submissions process visit bexa.co.uk/<br />

export?award.<br />

New Chair for FCA<br />

THE Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)<br />

has appointed Wanda Goldwag as the<br />

new Chair of the independent Financial<br />

Services Consumer Panel for an initial<br />

three-year term. The appointment has<br />

been confirmed by HM Treasury.<br />

Wanda will be the public face of the<br />

panel, leading and providing strategic<br />

direction by representing the Panel’s<br />

views to the FCA board and to the<br />

senior staff within the FCA, as well<br />

as representing the Panel outside the<br />

FCA. She will also lead the<br />

development of the Panel’s<br />

work and ensure that<br />

performance goals are<br />

met. Wanda succeeds Sue<br />

Lewis. fca.org.uk<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 11


Standard bearer<br />

The strengths and benefits of the<br />

regulatory framework.<br />


Michelle Thorp<br />

SINCE my first column in<br />

January, my main focus has<br />

been to explain the change<br />

programme that the IPA has<br />

initiated to make its regulation<br />

processes more modern,<br />

responsive, transparent, and efficient. As<br />

part of this process, we are refreshing our<br />

committee membership. In March the IPA<br />

is seeking nominations for our Council<br />

and new committees following our review<br />

of governance and regulation.<br />

As part of this work, I have been<br />

speaking to partners about how we can<br />

increase our lay representation. Diversity<br />

of committee membership is important,<br />

from insolvency professionals working in<br />

firms of all shapes and sizes, including<br />

those who work in restructuring, to<br />

lay representation from the creditor<br />

community, to making sure we are<br />

attracting women and people of different<br />

ethnic backgrounds.<br />

There are a multitude of benefits for<br />

those who join our committees, including<br />

a better understanding and appreciation of<br />

the rigours of regulation. And in turn, we<br />

gain from a greater depth of experience,<br />

broader perspectives, and importantly, we<br />

make sure that the creditor voice is at the<br />

heart of regulation. If you are interested<br />

in being a member of an IPA committee,<br />

you can find details here: insolvencypractitioners.org.uk/membership/gettinginvolved-with-the-ipa.<br />

When we took a good look at how we<br />

manage our regulatory processes, we<br />

found there was much to change. But we<br />

also found a lot of strengths. And we didn’t<br />

want to introduce change for change’s sake.<br />

Maintaining these strengths will be vital as<br />

the insolvency market and expectations of<br />

the creditor community evolve.<br />


The UK’s insolvency framework is still<br />

ranked one of the best in the world by<br />

the World Bank. The ranking is based on<br />

measures including, cost, outcome, and<br />

recovery rate. This ranking shows that the<br />

UK’s framework works well and can be<br />

trusted.<br />

There are always improvements to be<br />

made – the Government is introducing<br />

new measures when parliamentary time<br />

permits to achieve that goal, but it’s clear<br />

that the fundamentals work well and so<br />

should be something that we should strive<br />

to maintain and protect.<br />


There are five Recognised Professional<br />

Bodies (RPBs) regulating the UK’s<br />

insolvency practitioners (IPs). Although<br />

there are five, just two of the RPBs (the<br />

IPA and ICAEW) regulate 86 percent of<br />

appointment taking IPs. And the IPA is<br />

the only one that focuses solely on the<br />

often complicated business of insolvency.<br />

Having an organisation that cares deeply<br />

about insolvency as its primary concern<br />

is important: insolvency work shouldn’t<br />

always come second best to other<br />

professions.<br />

Having more than one regulatory body<br />

encourages competition and innovation.<br />

An example of this is the IPA’s lead in<br />

devising and introducing new IVA Volume<br />

Provider regulations and new measures<br />

to strengthen its own framework. Here,<br />

the IPA has shown that it can lead positive<br />

regulatory changes, swiftly, that are<br />

responsive to the changes in the insolvency<br />

market, including the expectations of<br />

creditors.<br />

A competitive regulatory structure<br />

also benefits from stable regulatory<br />

fees. If a new regulator increased the costs<br />

of regulation, those costs would be<br />

passed on to IPs, and ultimately creditors.<br />

Increased costs could also lead to a<br />

reduction in the number of IPs in the<br />

market, which would weaken price<br />

competition and choice for creditors.<br />

Other models wouldn’t allow the same<br />

benefits to be realised.<br />

The current system is also value<br />

for money for the taxpayer, with the<br />

Government receiving an income through<br />

levies charged to IPs.<br />


Standardised processes are in place<br />

to ensure regulatory consistency; an<br />

important part of making sure that the<br />

regulatory system is simple for creditors<br />

(and one of the accurate criticisms levelled<br />

at the regulatory environment but no<br />

longer relevant now we have the single<br />

gateway for complaints and cohesive,<br />

functioning quality assurance processes).<br />

The ‘Joint Insolvency Committee’<br />

(JIC), a regulatory forum of the RPBs, and<br />

lay members including the Chartered<br />

Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>, develops,<br />

improves and maintains insolvency<br />

standards including regulation, ethics<br />

and best practice. The lay members are<br />

fundamental to the checks and balances<br />

that ensure regulation is working as it<br />

should. Without creditor representation,<br />

insolvency regulation would not be as<br />

strong as it is today.<br />

In 2013, the Government set up a<br />

common ‘Complaints Gateway’ through<br />

which creditors can make a complaint<br />

about an IP. This portal is designed to<br />

ensure that the complaints process is<br />

accessible and easy to use for anyone who<br />

has concerns about the work of an IP.<br />

There are other examples too, but these<br />

two highlight the main strengths of having<br />

standardised processes within a system<br />

that still encourages flexibility and value<br />

for money.<br />

With the Government due to review the<br />

regulatory system later this year as part of<br />

its assessment of the regulatory objectives<br />

introduced in the 2015 Small Business,<br />

Enterprise and Employment Act, it will be<br />

important to ensure that these strengths<br />

and benefits of the regulatory framework<br />

are at the forefront of their work so that<br />

they can be maintained and protected. We<br />

should be careful not to throw the baby out<br />

with the bathwater.<br />

Michelle Thorp is CEO, Insolvency<br />

Practitioners Association.<br />

The The Recognised Standard Standard / www.cicm.com / / March / April <strong>2019</strong> <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE / PAGE 12 12


As simple as ABC<br />

Assume nothing. Believe nobody.<br />

Challenge everything.<br />


Philip King FCICM<br />

THE world of credit is rarely<br />

dull, and even leaving<br />

aside the machinations of<br />

Government and The Opposition<br />

regarding Brexit,<br />

there has been enough<br />

news in recent months to fill an entire<br />

issue of this magazine!<br />

One of the biggest announcements was<br />

news that Patisserie Holdings PLC had<br />

finally entered administration. This was<br />

no real surprise given the story that has<br />

unfolded since October of last year, and I<br />

sense that the story still has a little way to<br />

run.<br />

How does a business that had reported<br />

holding cash of almost £30 million earlier<br />

in the year suddenly have to reveal two<br />

undisclosed overdrafts totalling c£10<br />

million and a black hole of £40 million? It<br />

had auditors, it had an audit committee,<br />

the Financial Reporting Council approved<br />

the quality of the audit, and yet nobody<br />

noticed? Nor did anyone apparently<br />

notice the thousands of false entries that<br />

were made to company ledgers.<br />

If you look at the accounts signed off<br />

on 24 November 2017, there is nothing<br />

that would cause alarm. On the contrary,<br />

there are words and charts showing<br />

an expanding business in rude health.<br />

They will even assure you that the Audit<br />

Committee monitors the quality of<br />

internal controls and ensures that the<br />

financial performance of the Group is<br />

properly measured and reported on.<br />

I’ve chaired two audit committees in<br />

my time, as a Trustee of a charity and<br />

as a non-executive director. I’m not a<br />

qualified accountant but we took our<br />

responsibilities very seriously and I like<br />

to think were diligent and thorough in<br />

our oversight of both the organisation’s<br />

finances and its auditors. The question<br />

of culpability will rumble on as serious<br />

questions are asked, and rightly so, but<br />

I’m interested in the lessons for suppliers.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> risk decisions need to be made<br />

using the full range of tools available:<br />

company accounts, credit reference<br />

agency information, personal knowledge<br />

and/or investigation, industry reputation,<br />

media and web coverage, directors’<br />

history and record, product strategy and<br />

potential, information gleaned by sales<br />

force and other internal contacts, and so<br />

much more.<br />

We know ‘they’re too big to fail’ and<br />

‘they’ve been around for years’ don’t hold<br />

water, and the business environment<br />

is more challenging with every passing<br />

week. Good credit decisions are vital to<br />

allowing businesses to survive and thrive.<br />

What’s the advice then? I would refer to<br />

two sets of initials: KYC and ABC.<br />

KYC, or know your customer,<br />

means using every available source of<br />

information and data to ensure you<br />

have the fullest possible picture of who<br />

you’re investing money, goods or services<br />

in. This has to be proportionate to the<br />

level of business, of course, but more<br />

is always better. <strong>Credit</strong> professionals<br />

have to be inherently cynical, suspicious<br />

and discerning, and ABC sums it up<br />

nicely: Assume nothing; Believe nobody;<br />

Challenge everything.<br />


Amid the ‘bad’ news from the High Street<br />

there is better news from within our<br />

own Chartered Institute, not least the<br />

launch of the new ‘Fellows of the Future’<br />

initiative. One of the key objectives of the<br />

CICM is to support people throughout<br />

their careers and this is a great example of<br />

us doing exactly that. We were inundated<br />

with nominations, and we will bring you<br />

further news in a future edition.<br />

I was reminded recently of a comment<br />

from Chris Sanders, our Head of<br />

Accreditation for the CICM’s CICMQ. He<br />

spoke about the objectives of the Institute<br />

as defined in our Royal Charter and the<br />

objective of the CICMQ programme. The<br />

first is to advance the education of the<br />

public concerning credit management,<br />

and to encourage the study and practice<br />

thereof. The latter is to improve standards<br />

in credit management. One of the ways in<br />

which these objectives are met is through<br />

our extended credit ‘community’ and<br />

especially via our branch network.<br />

I was privileged to host an event<br />

organised by our South Wales branch,<br />

supported by one of the CICM’s Corporate<br />

Partners, Atradius in Cardiff last month.<br />

The event was titled ‘Are the robots<br />

coming or are they here already? What<br />

will you do?’ It featured two expert<br />

speakers, Gideon Jones and Tanya Giles,<br />

and a far less expert contribution from<br />

me. It was a great breakfast event, with<br />

the opportunity for extensive networking<br />

among those attending.<br />

More recently I attended another<br />

breakfast event in Marlow, organised<br />

this time by our Thames Valley branch<br />

and hosted by another of our Corporate<br />

Partners, Dun & Bradstreet. We heard<br />

some fascinating insights on the state<br />

of the economy and where it might be<br />

heading, focusing on aspects of particular<br />

interest to credit professionals, the current<br />

UK political context and turmoil, and the<br />

impact of Brexit on credit insurance.<br />

Both of these events were organised<br />

by dedicated CICM branch volunteers<br />

for their colleagues in the CICM credit<br />

management community. Afterwards I<br />

felt enriched with more knowledge than<br />

I had when I arrived, and I know other<br />

attendees did similarly. Chris was right<br />

when he said that if you are in credit<br />

management at any level, get involved in<br />

the CICM, and encourage others also to<br />

engage. Become a member, go to branch<br />

meetings, attend conferences and events…<br />

go to cicm.com. It really is the recognised<br />

standard in credit management.<br />

Philip King FCICM, the Chief Executive<br />

of the Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong>.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 13


FLYING<br />

VISIT<br />

Sean Feast FCICM speaks to<br />

John Pears about collections,<br />

customer communications, and<br />

the flying characteristics of the<br />

De Havilland Chipmunk.<br />

JOHN Pears never intended to work<br />

in credit but always wanted to be<br />

a high-flier. His dream was to be a<br />

pilot, and even chose his further<br />

education based on whether there<br />

was a University Air Squadron<br />

(UAS). Sadly, the Government’s controversial<br />

‘Options for Change’ put paid to any real<br />

plans for a career in the Royal Air Force<br />

(RAF) and he was obliged to find a ‘plan B’.<br />

Born in New Brighton on the Wirral,<br />

John comes from a comparatively modest<br />

background. His father worked in Finance<br />

for Stanley Racing (and played in a rock and<br />

roll band) and his mother was a part-time<br />

cleaner. Educated locally at Mosslands, he<br />

did well enough in his exams to secure a<br />

place reading Geography at the University of<br />

Liverpool. The real draw, however, was the<br />

opportunity to fly: “We moved house when<br />

I was about five and I remember that the<br />

previous occupants had left several large<br />

model aircraft behind. From that point on I<br />

was interested in aircraft and wanted to fly.<br />

With the Air Cadets and at University I got to<br />

take the controls of a Chipmunk, a Bulldog<br />

and a Tutor T1. I liked the Chipmunk in<br />

particular; it’s the closest thing you’ll ever get<br />

to flying a Spitfire. She is very responsive on<br />

the controls and tight turns and aerobatics<br />

were never a problem.”<br />


Within the UAS he not only got to fly<br />

different types of aircraft, but also meet<br />

some fascinating characters. One of these<br />

was the Harrier Display pilot who perfected<br />

the art of the ‘air show bow’, a nodding<br />

farewell to the crowds after a breath-taking<br />

series of low-speed manoeuvres and highspeed<br />

runs.<br />

A desired career in the RAF came to a<br />

grinding halt with ‘Options for Change’, a<br />

major restructuring of the British Armed<br />

Forces in the early 1990s. Airbases were<br />

closed, aircraft fleets reduced, and some<br />

aircraft types withdrawn: “Training was<br />

being put on hold,” John recalls, “and some<br />

of the RAF trainees went off to become<br />

airline pilots but that, to me, was like being<br />

the driver of a very big, very fancy bus, and<br />

so I had to think about a different path.”<br />

John quickly realised that his BA (Hons)<br />

degree in Geography, although enjoyable,<br />

did not especially equip him well for the<br />

wider world of employment: “I decided to<br />

take a Diploma in <strong>Management</strong> in the hope<br />

that it gave me some business credentials,”<br />

John laughs.<br />

It worked, after a fashion. On graduating,<br />

he joined the Child Support Agency working<br />

in collections. It was not a good experience:<br />

“It showed me a lot about what bad<br />

management and poor leadership look like.<br />

It was good learning experience, if not an<br />

enjoyable place to work,” he says.<br />

After the CSA, he joined MBNA, the bank<br />

and credit card company, in collections – it<br />

wasn’t his first choice of role but it was to<br />

be his making. It was the start of a happy<br />

nine years with the firm, during which<br />

he rose through the ranks and took on<br />

greater responsibility: “MBNA had a really<br />

interesting, positive culture – everyone<br />

understood it and bought in to it,” he<br />

explains. “They were customer obsessed.<br />

Our European CEO was General ‘Chuck’<br />

Krulak who served in Vietnam, the Gulf War,<br />

and Operation Desert Shield. As a leader<br />

he was exceptional; he was one of the first<br />

leaders I’d ever come across who said ‘thank<br />

you’ when you’d done a good job.”<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 14


When MBNA was sold to Bank of America,<br />

John found a new role and a huge<br />

opportunity to develop his career: “I was<br />

exposed to the broader lending piece,” he<br />

continues, “looking after what they called<br />

‘foreign’ risk but what they actually meant<br />

as being ‘Europe’. Bank of America was<br />

hugely professional; everything about the<br />

way they operated, the frameworks, the<br />

processes, the discipline, was incredible.<br />

They were also one of the first to really<br />

push the digital agenda as a platform<br />

to extend and improve the customer<br />

experience.”<br />

During his time at Bank of America,<br />

John was particularly exposed to the<br />

sub-prime market, and when various<br />

portfolios in Spain and Ireland were<br />

sold, he recognised an opportunity to<br />

move, joining Shop Direct, the owners<br />

of Very and Littlewoods: “This was a<br />

retail proposition,” he explains. “What we<br />

decided to do was to digitise the entire<br />

business, moving away from agents and<br />

printed catalogues, and going 100 percent<br />

online. The whole experience there was<br />

very positive and diverse. One minute<br />

you could be having a conversation about<br />

high fashion, and the next around fraud.”<br />

After more than six years with Shop<br />

Direct, latterly as <strong>Credit</strong> Risk & Operations<br />

Director, he accepted an approach from<br />

James Cornell at Lowell in April 2018 to<br />

become its UK Managing Director. As<br />

a Lowell client at Shop Direct, he had<br />

a clear view of them and had seen the<br />

benefits of a strong partnership. There<br />

was now an opportunity to learn about<br />

the business from the inside out: “I had<br />

always found Lowell to be very customercentric<br />

and ethical in the way that they<br />

dealt with customers and clients alike.<br />

They were also one of the first companies<br />

in debt purchase to really embrace data,<br />

automation and scoring, and to use these<br />

tools to their advantage.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 15 continues on page 16 >


AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM<br />

“What was particularly interesting was that with<br />

my risk/lending background, we had been analysing<br />

millions of people and their behaviours to profile our<br />

customers to provide services – all of the ‘happy’ stuff.<br />

What Lowell recognised, however, was that as soon as<br />

you ran into financial difficulties, the customer journey<br />

and the ‘experience’ simply stopped. Even the brand that<br />

the customer dealt with changed. And this was, and still<br />

is, their focus: to provide a fair, personalised service to<br />

each customer, and in doing that they also recognised<br />

the commercial benefit of that.”<br />


John believes the wider industry has been slow to adopt a<br />

more customer-focused approach, especially in the way<br />

that it communicates: “The old ‘notice of assignment’<br />

letters,” he notes, “are pretty awful. You’re trying to<br />

engage with someone who’s probably vulnerable using<br />

a legalistic letter that’s either going to confuse or scare<br />

them. And people wonder why there are low response<br />

rates! What these letters need to be saying is that we are<br />

here to help you, but if we can’t help you then we will find<br />

you a partner who can, you’ve just got to get in touch:<br />

‘Talk to us, let’s have a conversation’. It needs to suggest<br />

that the customer’s account is being ‘handed over’ to<br />

a specialist that can support their situation, not like<br />

they’re being ‘sold’ as though they were a commodity.”<br />

John says part of the problem, however, is that some<br />

firms’ promises do not match the experience: “It is<br />

important that customers understand that the quicker<br />

they get in touch with the agency then the quicker a<br />

solution can be found. But if the experience does not<br />

match the promise, then you have lost.”<br />

As UK Managing Director, John has a team of around<br />

2,000 colleagues based primarily in Leeds. Having<br />

worked on the other side of the fence, as a client, and<br />

having also earned his spurs on the collections floor of<br />

the Child Support Agency, John feels he can connect<br />

with people better: “Few if any ‘brands’ in credit services<br />

are known to the consumer and no-one expects or wants<br />

to be a customer of a debt collector. They are worried,<br />

scared, embarrassed. So as a company and as an industry<br />

we need to be more transparent.<br />

“In the consumer world, the interactions are open<br />

and easy, and we need to do the same. We need to build<br />

trust and credibility. We need people to understand that<br />

we provide a service: making an affordable payment<br />

arrangement or getting them the advice they need,<br />

or even writing off a debt. The service needs to be<br />

personalised, and you can only do that if you truly<br />

understand your customer.”<br />

The industry, John admits, faces a number of<br />

challenges, not least in the way that debt advice is funded.<br />

He believes that all financial services firms who benefit<br />

from the free debt advice sector should pay towards it:<br />

“I am not actually precious about the mechanism,” he<br />

confides, “but if you benefit from it, you should pay for<br />

it. There is currently a £20 million shortfall in funding,<br />

and I believe that if everyone paid their fair share, this<br />

gap could be closed. Our clients could also help, perhaps<br />

by not selling to those who do not contribute – they each<br />

perform due diligence with prospective purchasers or<br />

collections service provides, in that they ask about CSR<br />

and Governance, they could also ask whether companies<br />

pay towards the Free Debt Advice sector.”<br />


In terms of whether the debt advice sector should<br />

consolidate, John’s view is clear: “There are a lot of<br />

different organisations out there, and while they<br />

each operate differently and some in certain niches,<br />

there is clearly overlap, duplication and some missed<br />

opportunities to leverage economies of scale. How they<br />

address that is important because it has both an impact<br />

of the quality of service available to consumers (shared<br />

data could drive better advice) and their finances. It’s<br />

difficult for them to ask for more funding when there are<br />

those clear opportunities to improve efficiency,” he adds.<br />

“The debt advice sector needs to demonstrate value, and<br />

be better at sharing outcomes.”<br />

As for wider industry consolidation, John thinks that<br />

any major M&A within the UK activity is unlikely: “There<br />

will always need to be an efficient and functioning debt<br />

market,” he says, “and while there may be some further<br />

consolidation among smaller firms in the UK, I think<br />

it’s more likely amongst companies based in mainland<br />

Europe.”<br />

At the forefront of representing the industry is the<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Services Association, and John says that there is<br />

an opportunity for the CSA to step up to a new level: “As a<br />

founding member of the CSA, we’ve been very supportive<br />

and have seen how the organisation has developed. I<br />

think there’s now a growing need and desire for them<br />

to really drive a change in perceptions of our industry<br />

amongst consumers and decision-makers. The challenge<br />

of building trust isn’t easy. Our industry will always be<br />

judged by the lowest performer. The activities they have<br />

planned are a step in the right direction, and I hope<br />

that they can also not just drive but accelerate positive<br />

change within the industry, as well as the perceptions<br />

of it.”<br />

While John didn’t get to fulfil his career as an RAF<br />

pilot, he still finds his current role challenging and<br />

exciting: “I’m a firm believer that we have a positive<br />

role to play in people’s lives; making a difference by<br />

doing business the right way.” But what about the thrill<br />

of aerobatics, does he still yearn for that? “You find<br />

your thrills in different ways. I love sea-kayaking and<br />

climbing mountains. Home is nestled about half-way<br />

between Snowdonia and the Lakes, and the Lancashire<br />

coast is half an hour away – I’ve got sea, cliffs, lakes and<br />

mountains – you can get all the thrills, or indeed peace<br />

and quiet, you want.”<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 16

CICMQ<br />

Shell maintains high<br />

standards with fifth CICMQ<br />

DESPITE a further period of<br />

re-organisation to reduce costs<br />

and increase efficiency within the<br />

business caused by continuing low<br />

oil prices, Shell has achieved CICMQ<br />

accreditation for the fifth time.<br />

“We are in a similar position to two years ago<br />

with more jobs moved to shared service centres<br />

or made redundant and again we looked to the<br />

re-accreditation to get an outside view of our<br />

processes and see whether we have gone too far or<br />

missed anything,” says Thomas Thies, Global <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Policy and Governance Manager at Royal Dutch Shell.<br />

“CICMQ praised Shell for its flexibility and<br />

ability to permanently adjust the organisation to the<br />

business needs and for our ongoing aim to realise<br />

efficiency gains. We are pleased with the outcome,<br />

passing the accreditation with no issues raised and<br />

also receiving special praise for our results expressed<br />

in DSO, Overdue percentage and loss ratio.”<br />

Chris Sanders, CICMQ Assessor, says Shell’s<br />

results remain at the very highest level: ‘These<br />

are exceptional results by anyone’s standards, but<br />

add the level of change, the migration of work, the<br />

growth of the <strong>Credit</strong> Operations Centres and the<br />

number of new staff, to populate these centres, which<br />

continue to grow and the complexity and size of the<br />

business, these numbers are even more remarkable.<br />

It is a testament to real and sustained focus on credit<br />

management excellence.<br />

‘Shell remains an extremely structured and<br />

controlled environment for credit management and<br />

there is very little that can be improved upon.’<br />

AB Agri has recently become CICMQ<br />

accredited for the fourth time. Since the<br />

previous accreditation in 2016 there have<br />

been two new team members. This is due<br />

to the growth in the international side<br />

of the business – 40 percent of the team<br />

are bi-lingual. The credit team scored 90<br />

percent in the latest company ‘Great Place<br />

to Work Survey’.<br />

“The company uses CICM training<br />

SPECIALIST recruitment experts Hays<br />

has secured CICMQ re-accreditation<br />

for the third time, with the assessor<br />

highlighting the ‘well trained team that<br />

are aware of their specific responsibilities<br />

especially in relation to the specific<br />

compliance requirement set down by the<br />

company and industry’.<br />

Mark Phillips MCICM, <strong>Credit</strong> Control<br />

Sowing the seeds<br />

as a specialist tool, i.e. export training –<br />

each of the team are experienced credit<br />

controllers, but with the ever-changing<br />

international economic environment,<br />

there’s always scope for our team to learn<br />

something new, especially in some of<br />

the more exotic international territories<br />

that we now trade in,” says Frank<br />

Anderson FCICM, Group <strong>Credit</strong> Manager,<br />

at AB Agri.<br />

Just the job<br />

Support Manager, Finance Shared<br />

Service Centre says the team challenge<br />

themselves on a daily basis: “We are<br />

always looking for ways to improve<br />

the way that we work and the service<br />

we offer to the rest of Hays. The reaccreditation<br />

gave us a deadline to meet<br />

some of these challenges and we now<br />

focus on the future and continue to look<br />

CICMQ Assessor, Pam Thomas FCICM<br />

said in her report: ‘The credit management<br />

processes are well controlled, documented<br />

and regularly audited both within the<br />

department and also through internal<br />

and external auditing. It is a stable and<br />

experienced team strengthened by the<br />

addition of two new team members who<br />

bring another level of expertise with their<br />

language skills.’’<br />

to improve further.” CICMQ Assessor<br />

Pam Thomas FCICM said in her report:<br />

‘There is a wealth of experience within<br />

the department which is complemented<br />

by the trainee controllers we have<br />

brought through. The team works very<br />

closely with all other departments in the<br />

Finance Shared Service Centre to support<br />

the business’’.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 17



Sean Feast FCICM speaks to Phil Andrew<br />

about debt advice, future funding, and<br />

the dangers of catastrophic glacial<br />

decantation.<br />

PHIL Andrew is a happy man.<br />

He is, in his own words, ‘having<br />

a blast’. After years in senior<br />

financial and managerial roles in<br />

major corporates, he is now the<br />

Chief Executive of StepChange<br />

Debt Charity, fulfilling a long-held desire for a<br />

job with true social purpose: “It’s a chance to<br />

live my personal values at work and get paid for<br />

it. Never have I enjoyed life so much.”<br />

In fairness, it is not actually Phil’s first<br />

venture into the world of doing social good.<br />

Prior to joining StepChange, he was Chief<br />

Executive of Working Links, providing – in<br />

official language – innovative interventions to<br />

disadvantaged and socially-excluded groups<br />

within the UK, Ireland and the Middle East.<br />

It is a long way from his early life in<br />

Middlesbrough, where he grew up, although<br />

it is precisely his childhood experience that<br />

led Phil to where he is today, and the empathy<br />

he has for those who are most socially<br />

disadvantaged: “I grew up with a family that<br />

was constantly dipping in and out of work.<br />

The shipyards and steelworks were closing<br />

down and in some parts of the town there was<br />

70 percent unemployment. My mother and<br />

stepfather held down two jobs each and we<br />

still struggled. It taught me that hardworking<br />

people can find themselves in difficulty despite<br />

their best efforts and at no fault of their own.<br />

It also gave me the emotional drive throughout<br />

my career.”<br />


This emotional drive manifested itself in a<br />

desire to earn as much money as quickly<br />

as possible, to support his extended family.<br />

Winning a scholarship to Yarm, he read<br />

Geography and Glaciology at the University<br />

of London. “It sounded fun,” he laughs, “but<br />

perhaps I hadn’t fully thought it through. My<br />

degree included nine weeks in Iceland studying<br />

the impact of catastrophic glacial decantation!”<br />

Thinking hard about a future career, he recounts<br />

his father’s advice to either do something<br />

that no-one else wants to do, or do something<br />

that anyone can do but be exceedingly good<br />

at it. With this advice ringing in his ears he<br />

joined IBM as a graduate trainee, initially as a<br />

Mainframe software pricer. He also worked on<br />

a ‘Person-to-Person’ programme that enabled<br />

video calls via a modem dial-up to facilitate a<br />

face-to-face conversation – a technology that<br />

IBM stopped developing as it felt it would never<br />

take off!<br />

While at IBM he studied and qualified as<br />

a Chartered <strong>Management</strong> Accountant (“We<br />

all have to make unsavoury decisions in our<br />

lives and mine was to become an accountant,”<br />

he jokes) and moved into Money Markets,<br />

later becoming IBM’s Head of Capital Markets<br />

(Europe). It was another exciting period in his<br />

life, living in Ireland and taking on the Treasury<br />

function.<br />

By now married and with a child on the<br />

way, he moved back with his wife and young<br />

daughter to the UK to take up a job with<br />

British American Tobacco (BAT) as the Head of<br />

Corporate Finance. His first task was to raise<br />

$6 billion in four months: “BAT had a revolving<br />

credit facility of $6 billion with 78 banks, but<br />

was in breach of its covenants. Tobacco was<br />

toxic, there were class actions underway in<br />

the US, and Europe was about to introduce a<br />

common currency.<br />

“We decided to launch the first ever Euro<br />

denominated bond, and it flew out the door.<br />

The first bond raised €1.7 billion and we never<br />

looked back.”<br />


It was the start of an enjoyable eight years with<br />

the business in a variety of posts that took him<br />

all over the world, from Regional Treasurer<br />

(Asia Pac) in Malaysia to Financial Controller in<br />

Russia, one of BAT’s largest subsidiaries with a<br />

c£900 million turnover.<br />

With two young children, however, the<br />

constant disruption to their schooling and home<br />

lives prompted him to look for a job nearer<br />

to home. Having also dispensed his financial<br />

responsibilities to his family, he felt it was time<br />

for a job that gave something back. A meeting<br />

with an Anglo-Armenian businessman, Herb<br />

Nahapiert, proved a life-changing moment.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 18

Herb ran a business called Kalyx, a<br />

name derived from the part of the flower<br />

than protects the petals as they develop.<br />

In headline terms, the business ran<br />

prisons, but what Kalyx really did was<br />

take people at their lowest point and help<br />

them get their lives back on track: “It was<br />

this,” Herb told Phil, “that gets him out<br />

of bed every morning, and as soon as I<br />

understood that, it changed my life.”<br />

Subsequently rebranded as Sodexo<br />

Justice Services, Phil served as Chief<br />

Operating Officer and then Managing<br />

Director, before being appointed Chief<br />

Financial Officer for the wider Sodexo<br />

group in the UK and Ireland. “This was<br />

at the time of the Olympics, and I well<br />

remember we were given 12 days to get<br />

everything set up on site to provide food<br />

and hospitality at the Olympics, despite<br />

many of the utilities having been buried<br />

under tarmac. It often felt that we were<br />

never more than twenty minutes away<br />

from disaster. I also remember we served<br />

three million portions of fish and chips<br />

during the Games!”<br />

After almost two years as CFO he was<br />

tempted away to join Working Links, until<br />

it was sold five years later to a German<br />

Private Equity business, and in October<br />

2017 took over from Mike O’Connor CBE<br />

as CEO of StepChange Debt Charity. It was<br />

everything he expected and more.<br />

“It sounded fun, but perhaps I hadn’t<br />

fully thought it through. My degree<br />

included nine weeks in Iceland<br />

studying the impact of catastrophic<br />

glacial decantation!”<br />


One of his early tasks was to organise a<br />

series of staff roadshows, going around<br />

the country and listening to his teams’<br />

ideas on how to make a good service even<br />

better. This in turn helped further refine<br />

what has now become a four-year strategy,<br />

with the concept of early-intervention<br />

very much at the forefront of future plans.<br />

Current statistics show that<br />

StepChange helped a little over 300,000<br />

individuals a year through full debt<br />

advice to a solution, its preferred measure<br />

of success. Phil acknowledges that this<br />

is a mere fraction of the total number<br />

that need help, and as such the charity is<br />

investing over £20 million in a process and<br />

IT transformation project to update its<br />

systems and infrastructure with a target<br />

of a 35 – 40 percent uplift in operational<br />

efficiency.<br />

“Being a charity as opposed to a<br />

corporate, it is even more important for<br />

us to demonstrate efficiencies,” he says,<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 19<br />

continues on page 20 >


AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM<br />

“especially since every pound we save is a<br />

pound we can spend on helping more people.<br />

We currently receive £55 million in funding,<br />

and need around £89 million by the end of<br />

2022 if we are to achieve our target of helping<br />

double the amount of people through full<br />

debt advice to a solution.”<br />

Phil stresses the point that this increase<br />

will be achieved through efficiencies and<br />

better use of technology, rather than a huge<br />

increase in the number of staff, although a<br />

further 200 employees will be required to add<br />

to the 1,500 already employed. The additional<br />

investment, however, is also going towards<br />

widening its services to prevent customers<br />

falling into crisis debt in the first place. “We<br />

want customers to see StepChange as helping<br />

them throughout their journey to becoming<br />

more financially capable, such that we<br />

become ‘business as usual’ rather than crisis<br />

intervention,” Phil continues.<br />


The early intervention strategy is certainly<br />

interesting. The ambition is to have 150,000<br />

customers in the programme by 2022, but<br />

again Phil admits that is barely scratching<br />

the surface. A pilot involving the banks for<br />

customers with persistent credit card debts,<br />

however, and the launch of a dedicated<br />

StepChange helpline is proving the concept.<br />

“If we can reach customers early, we can<br />

identify if they are likely to fall into serious<br />

debt and help them fix the problem before<br />

it becomes a crisis. The challenge is to get<br />

funding, of course. Banks are positive towards<br />

the concept of pre-arrears intervention, but<br />

it needs to be properly resourced.”<br />

Of the funding StepChange currently<br />

receives, £48 million comes from Fair Share,<br />

£3 million from the Money Advice Service<br />

(MAS), and the balance from voluntary<br />

contributions and donations. But is Fair<br />

Share fair? Phil smiles: “Banks, collections<br />

agencies and other financial services firms<br />

are understandably upset if they pay and<br />

others don’t,” he says. “To put the significance<br />

of this into perspective, if everyone paid who<br />

should, we would receive £69 million a year<br />

from FS firms and not £48 million, and that<br />

would make a significant contribution to our<br />

future growth plans.”<br />

Quality is an issue that has also been<br />

raised and for which Phil has a robust<br />

answer: StepChange uses very sophisticated<br />

decision logic and a complex algorithm<br />

that analyses the information taken<br />

by its teams and prioritises a series of<br />

recommendations. Whereas the teams<br />

must have the necessary skills, empathy<br />

and understanding to uncover the right<br />

information, the system significantly guides<br />

the process. “There is very little scope for<br />

‘free-styling’,” Phil explains, “and that enables<br />

us to be consistent in the quality of advice<br />

given. It also satisfies the needs of the FCA.”<br />


And what about the issue of consolidation?<br />

Phil certainly doesn’t rule it out, and<br />

concedes that StepChange is not unique.<br />

But what he does say is that there is already<br />

too much demand and too little capacity,<br />

and with his plans for <strong>2019</strong>, any talk of<br />

consolidation would be an unnecessary<br />

distraction. “I know it may look like we are<br />

constantly kicking the can down the road,<br />

but both the issues of future funding and<br />

consolidation are a distraction at this time.<br />

They are, however, worthy of future review,<br />

but not now when we are all struggling to<br />

keep up with demand.”<br />

He does like the idea being floated about<br />

creating a new gateway for debt advice<br />

through the new single financial guidance<br />

body. The proposal is for customers to be<br />

able to access debt advice through a single<br />

hub, where their case would be triaged,<br />

and allocated based on availability of<br />

resource. This would avoid the confusion of<br />

a multiplicity of debt advisors and, hopefully,<br />

improve the customer experience.<br />

That, as Phil admits, is a conversation for<br />

another time, although perhaps not too far<br />

into the future. For the time being he has<br />

more than enough to occupy his day, and<br />

away from work continues to enjoy spending<br />

time with his family and visiting unusual<br />

destinations. A recent tick on his bucket list<br />

was a holiday in the Faroe Islands: “It is how<br />

a Disney cartoonist would draw an idyllic<br />

island,” he says.<br />

Personally, I still prefer Ibiza.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 20

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 21

SHOW ME<br />


The money merry-go-round of debt advice is confusing<br />

how future funding should be raised and spent.<br />

AUTHORS – Peter Wallwork MCICM and Henry Aitchison.<br />

FEW, if any of us, working in<br />

the financial services sector,<br />

would deny the need for debt<br />

advice. The argument, if that<br />

is not too strong a word, has<br />

been more around how such<br />

advice should be funded, and by whom.<br />

The debate has not been helped by<br />

a clear lack of transparency and data<br />

regarding the current funding channels<br />

and sources. Little surprise, therefore,<br />

that the Single Financial Guidance Body<br />

(SFGB) and its predecessors also found it<br />

difficult to unravel the ‘money merry-goround’<br />

of debt advice, and why the CSA<br />

is keen to work with them, in finding a<br />

workable solution. And it is important<br />

to note at this point that we are not at<br />

loggerheads over this issue. Far from it.<br />

What all of us can agree on, is that any<br />

future funding contributions should be<br />

fair, equitable and transparent, and that<br />

any future thinking remembers that it is<br />

not only financial services businesses that<br />

‘benefit’ from debt advice and informal<br />

debt repayment plans. There are clearly<br />

firms and organisations that benefit<br />

from debt advice, but who currently<br />

contribute nothing towards it. They may<br />

contribute in other ways, but without<br />

data, the conversation can quickly fall on<br />

deaf ears. Transparency is also an issue;<br />

without transparency on who contributes<br />

currently, the industry ends up blaming<br />

one another and pointing fingers, often in<br />

the wrong direction.<br />

What we hear is that funding needs not<br />

only to be fair, but also clear about where<br />

and to whom it is going. What is also<br />

critical is that any money spent is spent<br />

well in delivering real help to the consumer<br />

and not being lost in inefficiency and<br />

un-necessary overhead. Our members<br />

tell us that a better understanding on<br />

these points is an essential next step in<br />

the funding debate. There may also be<br />

other ways of contributing to help debt<br />

advice agencies more directly, to help<br />

drive efficiencies to enable the funding to<br />

go further.<br />


There is, however, a sense of<br />

understandable frustration among many<br />

about the lack of clarity and meaningful<br />

data to support the value that debt advice<br />

ultimately returns. Economic impact<br />

papers from the SFGB suggests a value is<br />

there, but do not perhaps tell the whole<br />

story.<br />

What we do know – and most of that<br />

has to be estimated – is shown in the<br />

infographic. The size of the funding pot<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 22

for <strong>2019</strong> is about £172 million, divided<br />

into three parts: £56.3m in the SFGB debt<br />

advice levy; £55.7m in fair share; and<br />

approximately £60m made up of ‘other<br />

contributions’ being donations, grants<br />

and similar. We also know that in addition<br />

to the above, firms are now being asked<br />

to contribute to the £20 million FSCS debt<br />

management levy – a fund that customers<br />

interacting with our members, can never<br />

benefit from and that would be better<br />

spent on free to use debt advice, than<br />

effectively bailing out debt management<br />

firms that go bust!<br />

To give some idea of where the money<br />

has been spent historically, in 2017/2018<br />

Money Advice Service (MAS) spent<br />

£43.3 million on 487,000 debt advice<br />

sessions. This means that almost half<br />

of all advice sessions in 2017/2018 were<br />

funded by industry payments to the<br />

debt advice levy alone. Unfortunately,<br />

our understanding starts to falter at that<br />

point as we try to understand which<br />

organisations have received some of this<br />

money, and how many sessions each<br />

organisation produced. Analysing annual<br />

reports can help fill some blanks but even<br />

then, we enter the realms of guesswork,<br />

with money moving between advice<br />

providers, partnership arrangements and<br />

so on. Beyond this, however, the picture<br />

becomes even more opaque.<br />

Indeed, this gets to the very heart of<br />

the current problem; the industry has no<br />

clear global idea of what its contributions<br />

pay for, or visibility of their true impact<br />

beyond broad statements we have to take<br />

on trust. We have no clear idea how the<br />

fair share percentages are calculated,<br />

how those percentages could be reduced<br />

(i.e by widening the pool of contributors)<br />

or how many debt management plans are<br />

in existence. Similarly, we do not know<br />

the cost of creating a debt management<br />

plan, or what services need to be funded<br />

(e.g initial consultation, negotiating with<br />

Little surprise, therefore,<br />

that the Single Financial<br />

Guidance Body (SFGB) and<br />

its predecessors also found<br />

it difficult to unravel the<br />

‘money merry-go-round’ of<br />

debt advice, and why the<br />

CSA is keen to work with<br />

them, in finding a workable<br />

solution.<br />


AUTHORS – Peter Wallwork and Henry Aitchison<br />

creditors, annual reviews etc) in order to<br />

have one agreed.<br />

What we do know is that it is wholly<br />

wrong for the funding of debt advice to<br />

continue to fall primarily into the lap<br />

of the financial services sector, and the<br />

concept that ‘all who benefit should pay’<br />

is similarly questionable; many creditors<br />

benefit beyond those that appear on a<br />

debt management plan. Thankfully, and<br />

amongst this web of questions, there is<br />

general consensus that ‘something must<br />

be done’ and it is pleasing to report that<br />

following many conversations, debates,<br />

and discussion alike, actionable steps are<br />

now being put in place.<br />

Peter Wallwork is CEO of the <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Services Association (CSA) and Henry<br />

Aitchison, Head of Policy.<br />

£56.3m<br />

Debt Advice<br />

Levy<br />

Who else is<br />

contributing<br />

and how?<br />

Is all funding<br />

going on advice<br />

and plans?<br />

£55.7m<br />

Fair Share<br />

How are those funds<br />

entering system?<br />

What do funds<br />

pay for? £172M<br />

How have they<br />

been calculated?<br />

Is funding being<br />

distributed fairly?<br />

Does funding<br />

favour particular<br />

advice models?<br />

Why isn’t there<br />

clearer data?<br />

What all of us can<br />

agree on, is that<br />

any future funding<br />

contributions should<br />

be fair, equitable and<br />

transparent, and that<br />

any future thinking<br />

remembers that it<br />

is not only financial<br />

services businesses<br />

that ‘benefit’.<br />

£60m<br />

Other contributions<br />

Where are<br />

levy funds<br />

going exactly?<br />

How much exactly<br />

in Fair Share<br />

contributions?<br />

How many debt<br />

management<br />

plans?<br />

Who is offering<br />

advice services?<br />

Can efficiency make<br />

money go further?<br />

Is there effective<br />

competition in<br />

advice provision?<br />

What does<br />

each cost?<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 23


Data Reliability<br />

Is the data in my automated credit<br />

report up-to-date?<br />

AUTHOR – Christina Massaad<br />

THE reliability and freshness<br />

of the data contained within<br />

is of fundamental importance<br />

when investing in a business<br />

credit report, especially if you<br />

are buying in bulk through<br />

a package or subscription. However, there<br />

are fundamental differences between the<br />

availability of commercial data in the developed<br />

world and that in developing countries, so it is<br />

wise to ensure you are aware of potential pitfalls<br />

when purchasing international reports.<br />

The composition of a robust business credit<br />

reports relies on five overriding factors:<br />

Firstly, the origin of the basic registration<br />

and activity data, for example: whether it<br />

has been extracted from official sources<br />

or collated from other less reliable sources<br />

such as business directories, social media or<br />

the subject’s website. Not every country has<br />

commercial registration data available online<br />

and if it is online it may be in the local language<br />

and may not be free of charge to access.<br />

Secondly, the date the data was last updated is<br />

crucial. Whether it has been updated within 24<br />

months, six months or was a fresh investigation<br />

will make a huge difference. It is advisable for<br />

the data to be as updated as possible, especially<br />

when you’re dealing with extending large<br />

amounts of credit; but registry information<br />

is usually only updated annually or even less<br />

frequently in many countries.<br />

Financial statements add great depth of<br />

knowledge to a credit report but these are not<br />

available in several countries, simply because<br />

filing of accounts is not a legal requirement.<br />

In any case, it should always be noted that<br />

accounts, even if available, are merely an<br />

assessment of the previous year or quarter.<br />

The next important factor is perhaps<br />

surprisingly the original language of the data.<br />

Misinterpretation or incorrect translation<br />

of crucial information can lead to errors in<br />

correct identification of a company, or overlook<br />

important links to other companies, directors<br />

or shareholders because of mistranslation that<br />

may affect the overall risk analysis. Correct<br />

matching of international standards such as<br />

activity codes (UKSIC/NACE) or International<br />

Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is essential<br />

for the data to be transferred automatically into<br />

various formats around the globe – especially<br />

important if receiving credit reports via API or<br />

CRM (system to system applications).<br />

Lastly, an informed and accurate credit<br />

opinion is a key factor which relies on all of the<br />

above.<br />

Consequently, due to the variety of factors<br />

that a reliable automated instantly available<br />

credit report should contain, we must recognise<br />

the differences in the developed world with data<br />

availability from developing countries.<br />


In the Middle East as well as other regions there<br />

are strict limitations on non-publicly available<br />

information that can be lawfully obtained. One<br />

of the more serious barriers to data accessibility<br />

is the practice of offshore registration and freezone<br />

entities. The latter concept is evident in the<br />

Middle East, and, more specifically, the United<br />

Arab Emirates (UAE). When a company registers<br />

with free-zone authorities, they may well be<br />

seeking the higher degree of secrecy that these<br />

zones can offer. Through legal protection of<br />

ownership rights, free-zone jurisdictions uphold<br />

strict limitations increasing the difficulty to<br />

draw data on these companies. Free zones offer<br />

complete confidentiality, where beneficial<br />

owners are offered anonymity and guaranteed<br />

no disclosure of Ultimate Beneficial Owner<br />

(UBO) to local authorities. The UAE contains<br />

over 100 free trade zones, each with their own<br />

laws and jurisdictions. Free-zone companies, in<br />

this respect, parallel with offshore companies,<br />

especially in the sense that they are not subject<br />

to federal commercial law and are considered<br />

outside the country’s jurisdiction.<br />

There are other obstacles too. In Egypt, for<br />

example – home to around 100 million people<br />

and reportedly one of the fastest growing<br />

economies in the Middle East company<br />

registration data is still held on hand written<br />

paper registers or in pdf files; not even digitised<br />

let alone structured, so bringing this data online<br />

is a slow and laborious process. Obtaining<br />

copies of corporate records involves sending<br />

someone in person to find and photograph<br />

the correct page, so knowing the commercial<br />

register number or the date of incorporation in<br />

advance is mandatory.<br />


Automated data has revolutionised the business<br />

intelligence scene, providing fast, efficient and<br />

reliable data at the click of a button. However,<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 24


Data Availability<br />

Developing Countries<br />

Developed Countries<br />

Christina Massaad<br />

Managing Director<br />

of Cedar Rose.<br />

UK vs UAE Japan vs Saudi Arabia Norway vs Algeria Australia vs Qatar<br />

Data from Open Corporates Registry<br />

have we taken for granted the efficiency of<br />

automated data in the developed world? Do<br />

our over-expectations of this automated data<br />

blind side us to the harsh realities in developing<br />

countries?<br />

Automated data throughout the developed<br />

world allows companies to make practical<br />

assessments of companies in a timely manner.<br />

Company registration data may be instantly<br />

updated via data feeds or system applications<br />

(APIs), so if the registered address, company<br />

directors, shareholders, activities, legal status or<br />

financial status change this will automatically<br />

update in your credit report download,<br />

subscription or credit file. There is also a culture<br />

of information sharing through trade references<br />

and filing of financial statements, as well as<br />

easy open access to mortgage charges and<br />

insolvencies.<br />

So how does automated data in the<br />

developing countries compare? The scoring<br />

system below is based from 0-100 and takes into<br />

account all available data from official sources<br />

according to OpenCorporates which is tackling<br />

the excruciatingly difficult task of bringing<br />

company registration data for the whole world<br />

online. Data fields that generate these scores<br />

include: freely searchable, freely available,<br />

director’s information, accounts information,<br />

shareholder information and licensing (open or<br />

not). We can take the first comparison, between<br />

the UK and the UAE, and assess that the UK –<br />

through Companies House – provides much<br />

more access to company data from official or<br />

free sources than the UAE. This is due to many<br />

reasons including the free-zone entities, but also<br />

a regional and historical culture of privacy. We<br />

must remember also, that the UAE in its current<br />

form is not yet 50 years old and while technology<br />

Financial<br />

statements add<br />

great depth of<br />

knowledge to<br />

a credit report<br />

but these are<br />

not available<br />

in several<br />

countries, simply<br />

because filing<br />

of accounts<br />

is not a legal<br />

requirement.<br />

is advanced, bureaucratic processes are still<br />

lagging behind the UK and financial filing is<br />

only required for publicly listed companies.<br />

Commonly throughout the Middle East<br />

commercial registration data is not centralised,<br />

not structured and often only available on<br />

official sites in Arabic or the local language.<br />


At present, until more data is made available<br />

to credit reference agencies automatically and<br />

instantly worldwide, a freshly investigated<br />

credit report should always be the best route<br />

way to receive the most up-to-date and reliable<br />

information.<br />

Yet when you conduct business with<br />

developing countries there are some extra<br />

measures that may need to be taken. It is<br />

important to use an experienced credit agency<br />

that understands the region and has the<br />

expertise to acquire and translate data from the<br />

correct sources. If using a local agency, ensure<br />

they divulge the date of the data fields provided.<br />

When relying on automated credit risk scores,<br />

be confident that there is enough information<br />

provided in the report for an assessment to be<br />

accurate or ask your credit reference agency<br />

which quantitative and qualitative factors they<br />

use in their risk analysis to be sure they provide<br />

accurate scoring.<br />

While there are still vast differences in the<br />

way data is collected, there are also innovative<br />

companies that are leaps ahead of the local<br />

governments making the best use of technology<br />

and working extremely hard to close the<br />

information gap to bring the world’s credit data<br />

online.<br />

Christina Massaad fom Cedar Rose.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 25



Is it time for lenders to break the cycle<br />

of ‘Big Four auditor-only’ covenants?<br />

AUTHOR – Kevin Reed<br />

Kevin Reed<br />

WHILE the ‘B word’ has<br />

consumed more column<br />

inches and created more<br />

existential angst than I<br />

would care to consider, ‘the<br />

A word’ has also bitten a fair chunk out of<br />

the business pages in recent months. And by<br />

that, I mean ‘A for audit’ of course.<br />

You would have thought that the rightful<br />

responsibility placed on big audit firms for<br />

their role in failing to understand banking<br />

business models, failing to spot their inability<br />

to continue as going concerns, or report any<br />

misgivings when they had the chance, would<br />

have given the profession a real shakeup.<br />

Well, various select committees dished out<br />

verbal warnings (at auditors, regulators and<br />

stewards), but the audit profession – despite<br />

facing mandatory tendering and swapping –<br />

emerged with little more than a bent ear.<br />

Carillion, it would seem, was one step too<br />

many for ministers. Various reviews were<br />

launched, and as part of that process, a new<br />

regulator will replace the Financial Reporting<br />

Council.<br />

The fact that the Competition and Markets<br />

Authority wants to split the firms between<br />

audit and non-audit is somewhat ironic,<br />

considering competition regulators waved<br />

through the Price Waterhouse/Coopers and<br />

Lybrand merger in 1998.<br />

While ministers and regulators would like<br />

to take more drastic action, they are slightly<br />

hamstrung in that they don’t want to create a<br />

chain of events where they’re responsible for<br />

the collapse of the capital markets (again,<br />

somewhat ironic considering current Brexit<br />

discussions).<br />

What needs to change? Well, the three-way<br />

relationship between stakeholders (including<br />

investors and lenders), auditors and the end<br />

businesses needs to be modified; it needs to<br />

become more transparent and fairer.<br />

One example is in Big Four auditor-only<br />

banking covenants. How and why do these<br />

still exist? In reality, of the UK businesses<br />

requiring an audit, 95 percent could be<br />

handled by a top 20 accounting firm. And of<br />

those clients that are too big, multi-national<br />

and complex, there are still a few firms below<br />

the Big Four that could do the job – Grant<br />

Thornton, BDO, Mazars, please stand up.<br />

While data on Big Four auditor-only<br />

clauses is a bit fuzzy, there are numerous<br />

instances reported that they exist, including<br />

separate research by both Grant Thornton<br />

and academics, the latter on behalf of<br />

the Competition Commission. The firms<br />

themselves admitted they exist, during postbanking<br />

crisis interrogation.<br />

Their existence plays into the familiar<br />

troublesome twins that are the ‘old boys<br />

network’ and ‘you won’t get sacked for<br />

picking a Big Four firm’. These covenants are<br />

unfairly restrictive, and indicative of laziness<br />

to appreciate or understand anything about a<br />

business’ auditing requirements and who can<br />

provide that service. It also drives conflicts<br />

of interest – but you could have guessed that<br />

anyway.<br />

Perhaps we’ll see such covenants made<br />

illegal, or at least require ‘comply or explain’.<br />

It would require the Government, regulators,<br />

auditors and lenders to take action, which,<br />

based on the previous audit existential crises,<br />

may be asking a bit too much.<br />

If the Big Four’s audit stranglehold is to<br />

be broken, then it’s precisely this kind of<br />

situation that requires a new attitude. Perhaps<br />

the cycle can’t be broken by the older players.<br />

Perhaps it’s alternative lenders and startup<br />

borrowers that will take an alternative<br />

approach to gaining assurance.<br />

Kevin Reed is a freelance journalist and<br />

former editor of both Accountancy Age and<br />

Financial Director.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 26



The outcome of Brexit discussions will have different<br />

repercussions for different businesses.<br />

AUTHOR – Lesley Batchelor OBE FCICM<br />

Lesley Batchelor<br />

BREXIT will affect our<br />

exporters in thousands of<br />

ways – because there is<br />

simply no average exporter.<br />

It’s time to stop talking<br />

in terms of averages and<br />

start looking at international trade as the<br />

diverse entity that it is. Let’s be clear there<br />

is no average tariff, there is no average<br />

sector and, although this is sometimes<br />

inconvenient for the media, no one market<br />

solution for all industries. A no-deal<br />

Brexit will have thousands of differing<br />

repercussions for UK businesses.<br />

For example, tariffs for pharmaceuticals<br />

tend to be zero percent rated, whereas<br />

ceramics can vary from five to 25 percent<br />

depending on the component parts and<br />

materials, and agriculture can range from<br />

30 to 45 percent or even more when you<br />

consider constituent parts as well. Some<br />

countries have differing rules of origin<br />

and some operate on different trade<br />

agreements. There is no average.<br />

With UK businesses set to be faced with<br />

significantly altered trading conditions<br />

in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it is<br />

imperative for our businesses to become<br />

more adept at understanding how customs<br />

procedures, tariffs, duties and World<br />

Trade Organization (WTO) rules operate.<br />

According to the Institute for Government,<br />

there are 140,000 businesses who currently<br />

export only into Europe. These businesses<br />

will be new to many of these trade<br />

administrative requirements. After Brexit,<br />

to continue selling into Europe, they will<br />

need to complete customs declarations<br />

and, in the event of a ‘No Deal’, they will<br />

need to understand the duty payable for<br />

importation into and from the continent<br />

under the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ rate set<br />

by the EU to the WTO.<br />


There are approximately 5,300 article/<br />

product descriptions arranged in 97/99*<br />

chapters in the Harmonized Commodity<br />

Description and Coding System (HS),<br />

each given its own HS Code (a six-figure<br />

product classification number). Exporters<br />

and importers need to know what code a<br />

product is given to be able to establish<br />

what duty or taxes are payable. The code<br />

also triggers other factors including antidumping<br />

duty, quotas and licences that<br />

relate specifically to those goods being<br />

moved between the UK and the EU (or<br />

indeed the rest of the world).<br />

In essence, in the event of new<br />

tariffs being introduced for goods<br />

moved between the UK and the EU, UK<br />

businesses will be required to pay duties<br />

set by the EU tariff schedule to the WTO.<br />

They will need to know which of the 5,300<br />

HS Codes relates to their product and<br />

understand the duty that will be payable<br />

for their goods to be paid under that code<br />

as a ‘third party’ country. This impacts on<br />

the cost of importation which is usually<br />

paid by the importer or buyer.<br />

Although this charge is usually paid<br />

by the importer, exporters will need to<br />

accommodate this cost to their European<br />

customer or partner in their overall<br />

pricing to maintain competitiveness.<br />

UK importers of goods from the EU will<br />

need to pay duties according to the UK’s<br />

independent tariff schedule to the WTO,<br />

which has not yet been set.<br />


In the event of a no deal Brexit,<br />

businesses will need to have determined<br />

their HS Code and identified how they<br />

will be affected when trading under WTO<br />

rules. This will also apply for businesses<br />

trading with markets like South Korea<br />

and Canada, who the UK currently has<br />

preferential tariff rates with through its<br />

membership with the EU.<br />

The UK Government lodged a tariff<br />

schedule mirroring the EU in July 2018<br />

and this was published on the gov.uk<br />

website in December. However, it is still<br />

not published as a UK Integrated Tariff,<br />

or, more specifically, as Volume 2 of the<br />

tariff, which is the official source for<br />

operational use.<br />

Unfortunately, it had hoped to<br />

replicate the EU’s current tariff schedules,<br />

but some WTO members have refused to<br />

ratify this, opening up the need for the<br />

UK to negotiate its schedules with other<br />

WTO members. However, WTO members<br />

do often trade with each other under nonratified<br />

schedules while the proposed<br />

schedules are being negotiated.<br />

Whatever happens with Brexit,<br />

businesses need to be prepared for altered<br />

trading conditions, including trading<br />

under WTO rules with several of our<br />

major partners. The Institute of Export<br />

& International Trade provides online<br />

and offline training courses teaching<br />

the processes of international trade,<br />

including understanding how WTO rules<br />

and Free Trade Agreements work.<br />

* There are 97 chapters in the WCO’s system and 99<br />

chapters in the EU’s.<br />

Lesley Batchelor OBE FCICM is Director<br />

General of The Institute of Export and<br />

International Trade.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 27


TRADE<br />

Monthly round-up of the latest stories<br />

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.<br />





NO, this isn’t anything to do with<br />

President Trump. Instead, it’s a<br />

pointer to a UK Government website<br />

– opportunities.export.great.gov.uk<br />

– which, at the time of writing, has a<br />

filterable list of 17,710 export sales leads.<br />

Searchable by product and service sold,<br />

or by country, it’s possible to find a<br />

multitude of opportunities.<br />

So, if you’re selling ophthalmic<br />

lenses and like the idea of Hungary, you<br />

manufacture emergency shelters and<br />

fancy a trip to Barbados or have digital<br />

offset printing equipment you want to<br />

hawk to the French (in Martinique), then<br />

you really ought to visit this website.<br />

Unfortunately, MAGA still sounds<br />

better than MBGA.<br />

ACCORDING to data<br />

reported on Reuters,<br />

China’s January exports<br />

and imports are likely<br />

to have fallen again for<br />

the second month in a row, adding to<br />

concerns that the Chinese economy<br />

is at risk of a sharper slowdown.<br />

Now that China is the world’s largest<br />

trading nation these declines will<br />

be closely watched by international<br />

investors and policymakers as<br />

anxiety grows over waning global<br />

demand.<br />

According to the median estimate<br />

of 30 economists in the Reuters<br />

poll, imports are expected to fall<br />

10 percent in January from a year<br />

earlier, the biggest decline since<br />

July 2016. Now compare that figure<br />

to that for December – 7.6 percent –<br />

and there’s cause to worry.<br />

Looking at China’s exports in<br />

January, they are expected to fall<br />

3.2 percent from a year earlier,<br />

compared with the previous month's<br />

4.4 percent decline. A little less<br />

precipitous, but nevertheless a<br />

downward trend.<br />

What will happen in the near<br />

term will depend on how caustic<br />

President Trump wants to be and<br />

how well Sino-US trade talks get on.<br />

In light of positive negotiations, the<br />

cliff edge 1 March deadline when<br />

US tariffs on $200 billion worth of<br />

Chinese imports were scheduled<br />

to increase to 25 percent from ten<br />

percent has been postponed. But, of<br />

course, postponement isn’t the same<br />

as cancellation. So, while it’s been<br />

said that ‘when America sneezes the<br />

rest of the world catches a cold’, we<br />

could actually be looking at China<br />

catching the flu. (Interestingly, the<br />

phrase was first used by aristocratic<br />

Prussian diplomat Klemens Wenzel<br />

Furst von Metternich in Napoleonic<br />

times when referring to France).<br />

The advice? Be careful in the East.<br />


FOR A BABY?<br />

THOSE involved with maternity, baby<br />

and child-based products should be<br />

paying attention to Hungary. Why? The<br />

government there is planning to boost the<br />

number of babies born by incentivising<br />

women to have four children or more<br />

by exempting them for life from paying<br />

income tax.<br />

Quite simply, the government sees it as a<br />

way of defending Hungary’s future without<br />

depending on immigration. There is some<br />

logic in the move as Hungary’s population<br />

is falling by 32,000 a year, and women there<br />

have fewer children than the EU average.<br />

As part of the measures, young couples<br />

will be offered interest-free loans of ten<br />

million forint (£27,600/$36,000) that will be<br />

cancelled once they have three children.<br />

Other points in the government’s plan<br />

include a pledge to create 21,000 nursery<br />

places over the next three years; an extra<br />

$2.5 billion (£1.95 billion) to be spent on<br />

the country’s healthcare system; housing<br />

subsidies; and state support for those<br />

buying seven-seat vehicles.<br />

The message? Make hay while the<br />

sun shines – the Hungarians will be.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 28

New trade deals on the way<br />

NO matter which side of the Brexit fence<br />

you’re on it’s a safe bet that you’ll be<br />

hoping – like the rest of us – that the UK<br />

Government can put some trade deals in<br />

place before we leave the EU.<br />

The issue is that when the UK leaves<br />

it will cease to be a party to the EU’s free<br />

trade and investment agreements with<br />

some 70 countries, covering some 11<br />

percent of UK trade.<br />

In the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK’s<br />

trade with these countries will default to<br />

WTO terms – including the re-introduction<br />

of customs duties and non-tariff barriers<br />

– unless each country agrees to roll over<br />

its EU deal so that it continues to apply to<br />

the UK.<br />

The problem is that the deals the<br />

Government has promised have been<br />

illusive to say the least because, as it’s<br />

said, the UK is unable to hold full trade<br />

negotiations with other countries for so<br />

long as it remains an EU member state.<br />

So, where are we?<br />

Law firm Dechert, based on information<br />

made public by various sources reckons<br />

that we’ve some way to go. Agreements<br />

signed or expected to be signed shortly<br />

relate only to Comoros, Madagascar,<br />

Mauritius, Seychelles, Zambia and<br />

Zimbabwe; the Faroe Islands; Chile, the<br />

CARIFORUM states; Switzerland; Guernsey<br />

and Jersey; Isle of Man; and the Palestine<br />

Liberation Organisation.<br />

Israel; Canada; Pacific states including<br />

Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa; the<br />

Southern African Customs Union; and<br />

Norway and Iceland are apparently close<br />

behind. But the US, Japan, and the other<br />

behemoths are nowhere to be seen.<br />

Until we leave the EU we’re stuck and so<br />

it’s time to put contingency plans in place<br />

if you’ve not already done so.<br />

Irish eyes are smiling<br />

IRELAND is sitting pretty at present<br />

reckons Chartered Accountants Ireland.<br />

In December it predicted that the Irish<br />

economy would see GDP grow by 4.2<br />

percent as growth will ‘remain robust<br />

and above trend due to the strength of<br />

the domestic economy.’ The body noted<br />

rising levels of employment coupled<br />

with increasing wages and higher levels<br />

of government spending all providing a<br />

solid platform for <strong>2019</strong> growth.<br />

However, Ireland’s economy is<br />

closely tied to that of the UK and<br />

Moody’s, the ratings agency, has<br />

recently gone on record to say that<br />

Ireland’s outlook is presently as ‘good<br />

as it gets’ but that Brexit is a<br />

Good news – UK plc is exporting well<br />

ACCORDING to figures released in<br />

January by the Office for National<br />

Statistics (ONS), exports (both goods<br />

and services) in the year to November<br />

2018 were worth £630 billion – up £13.9<br />

billion on the previous year.<br />

The ONS says that there have now<br />

been 32 consecutive months of export<br />

growth on a 12-month rolling basis.<br />

As the UK looks to future free<br />

trade agreements with the likes of<br />

the USA, Australia, New Zealand and<br />

the Comprehensive and Progressive<br />

considerable risk for the economy.<br />

At a conference organised by Moody’s<br />

in Dublin a few weeks ago, the firm’s<br />

lead analyst for Ireland and the UK,<br />

Sarah Carlson, commented that at best,<br />

a no-deal Brexit will be avoided, but that<br />

a no-deal Brexit would hurt the UK’s<br />

GDP by four percent with the knock-on<br />

impact on the Irish economy. It’s worth<br />

noting that Moody’s once rated Ireland’s<br />

debt as ‘junk’ during the financial crisis,<br />

but currently has it on an A2 grade with<br />

a ‘stable’ outlook – five levels below its<br />

top-notch Aaa rating.<br />

That could all change if the UK cannot<br />

reach agreement with Europe so take<br />

precautions where possible.<br />

Agreement for Trans-Pacific<br />

Partnership (CPTPP), it appears that<br />

exports to these countries have done<br />

well. To the US exports are up 6.9<br />

percent to £54.9 billion; to Australia,<br />

up 2.9 percent to £5.1 billion; New<br />

Zealand, up 3.8 percent to £869 million;<br />

and to CPTPP, exports are up 4.2<br />

percent to £28.4 billion. Other notable<br />

export growth to non-EU markets<br />

includes Nigeria (up 29.2 percent), India<br />

(up 27.3 percent), and Thailand (up 18.5<br />

percent).<br />



THE bubble that is Australia seems to be<br />

showing signs of a cooling economy in<br />

anticipation of a general election being called<br />

in May. It looks like a two-year hiring burst<br />

that has cut Australian unemployment by<br />

almost a percentage point to five percent<br />

(four percent in New South Wales and<br />

Victoria) is starting to slow down. Bloomberg<br />

reckons that businesses are hunkering<br />

down on hiring and investment pending the<br />

electorate’s decision.<br />

From comments made by the Reserve<br />

Bank of Australia, its optimism in recent<br />

times has been based on a strong labour<br />

market. However, slower hiring and a jobless<br />

rate drifting higher would make it tougher<br />

to maintain its ‘glass half full’ approach.<br />

Some are waiting to see what sort of tax cuts/<br />

fiscal stimulus will flow from the upcoming<br />

April budget and the outcome of the election<br />

before making a judgment on the Australian<br />

economy. If you’re heavily invested in that<br />

market you may want to be certain of the<br />

stability of the sectors you serve.<br />


NON-recyclable coffee cups have been in<br />

the headlines over the last year or so, most<br />

certainly since David Attenborough’s Blue<br />

Planet II series rounded on the (mis)use of<br />

plastics – of which coffee cups are but one.<br />

A story on the Huffington Post has drawn<br />

attention to the rise of the reusable coffee<br />

cup in that it tested nine of them on the<br />

market. What’s interesting – apart from<br />

the price range (£7.99 to £24.99) is that the<br />

market for ‘reusables’ seems to be hotting up<br />

(pun intended).<br />

But just as reusables are doing well, so<br />

the UK is, says a BBC report, still managing<br />

to export its plastic waste. China’s banned<br />

the stuff, but 611,000 tonnes of recovered<br />

plastic packaging has nevertheless gone to<br />

Malaysia, Turkey, Poland, Indonesia and the<br />

Netherlands.<br />

Where there’s muck there’s brass.<br />




CALL 020 7738 0777<br />

Currency UK is authorised and regulated<br />

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).<br />


GBP/EUR 1.1702 1.1331 Down<br />

GBP/USD 1.3317 1.2798 Down<br />

GBP/CHF 1.3325 1.2862 Down<br />

GBP/AUD 1.8745 1.8015 Down<br />

GBP/CAD 1.7720 1.7016 Down<br />

GBP/JPY 148.176<br />

141.522 Down<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 29



There may be differing views on the<br />

financial health of the debt collection/<br />

purchasing sector – but most industry<br />

watchers are positive about the<br />

prospects of its leading firms.<br />

AUTHOR – Lawrie Holmes<br />

WHAT is the real value of the<br />

debt collection/purchase<br />

sector? It’s an intriguing<br />

set of questions as two<br />

very different camps are<br />

making calls about how<br />

much these companies are actually worth.<br />

On the one hand, Arrow Global, the UK’s<br />

only major quoted company in the space after<br />

its rivals Cabot <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> and First<br />

Financial were recently acquired, is one of the<br />

most shorted of all UK listed companies, with<br />

at least 12 percent in the hands of short sellers.<br />

Although the value of Arrow Global’s shares<br />

has more than halved since last year to less<br />

than 200p, most equity analysts covering the<br />

company have a target price of at least 400p.<br />

What’s going on?<br />


To get a sense of the confusion around the<br />

intrinsic value of Arrow Global and its peers,<br />

Encore Capital Group, the US owner of Cabot,<br />

First <strong>Credit</strong>-owner Intrum Justitia, listed in<br />

Stockholm and its Scandinavian peer Hoist<br />

Finance, you just have to pore over investor<br />

bulletin boards. Investors note how hedge<br />

funds, responsible for the short selling, have<br />

made good over the last year, but recognise<br />

positive signals coming out of the industry.<br />

The hedgies piled in on sceptical assumptions<br />

about how the sector would fare in a prolonged<br />

consumer slowdown. Their rationale would<br />

have been based on more competition in that<br />

market, lower margins, and increasing leverage,<br />

says Gary Greenwood, a sector analyst at Shore<br />

Capital.<br />

He argues the sector leaders are leveraged<br />

from M&A activity rather than because of a lack<br />

of cash generation, which he says the hedge<br />

funds are trying to pick up on. Intrum Justitia<br />

acquired Lindorff for €4.1 billion in 2016, and<br />

Encore acquired Cabot. Last year Arrow Global<br />

made two purchases in Italy. “There is a lot of<br />

extrapolating stuff and manipulating data, to<br />

justify their arguments,” he says.<br />

In October 2017 Bybrook Capital, the Londonbased<br />

hedge fund, said in a presentation that<br />

both Arrow Global and Intrum Justitia ‘have<br />

no equity value’, arguing that valuation metrics<br />

used in the sector disguise the underlying<br />

economics and that ‘these companies do not<br />

make enough cashflow to grow their book’. The<br />

firm declined to comment for this article.<br />

Shore Capital’s Greenwood, who has<br />

maintained a price target of 400p for Arrow<br />

Global, says; “I think what you’re seeing at<br />

the moment is the industry trying to respond<br />

to those concerns, which is what we see with<br />

those share prices, not just Arrow but some of<br />

the other quoted stocks in the sector, including<br />

the Stockholm-listed Intrum Justitia and Hoist<br />

Finance. “Their share prices have come down,<br />

so they’re starting to respond to that by setting<br />

new targets for reducing financial leverage.<br />

Arrow is not alone, others have been doing that.”<br />

A NEW TONE<br />

Last year Arrow Global Chief Executive<br />

Lee Rochford set the tone by announcing a<br />

programme debt for the next six years, meaning<br />

the group will not need any refinancing in a<br />

downturn and is locked in at low interest rates.<br />

He said the company expected to generate<br />

£1.6 billion of cashflow before any debt needs<br />

refinancing.<br />

“One of the problems the industry had during<br />

the credit crisis, like many financial services<br />

companies, was that they were very short-term<br />

funded. Debt collectors and purchasers tried to<br />

seek as much money as they possibly could out<br />

of the customers, but you had a double squeeze<br />

– a drying up of the cash coming in but at the<br />

same time, an inability to roll over wholesale<br />

funding,” says Greenwood.<br />

“The sector probably has got a little<br />

overleveraged from a financial perspective,<br />

but I think that’s been recognised by most<br />

of the companies in reducing their financial<br />

gearing targets, operating at a level of net debt<br />

to adjusted earnings before interest, taxes,<br />

depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of<br />

around 4x, they’re targeting to get down to<br />

about a 3x as an industry,” he adds.<br />

Greenwood says a combination of the<br />

industry leaders putting in place stronger<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 30


AUTHOR – Lawrie Holmes<br />

financial buffers, and regulators putting in<br />

tougher affordability tests resulting in more<br />

regular occurring payments has seen the<br />

sector having more headroom when it comes<br />

to risk. That will be hugely valuable if there’s<br />

another squeeze on disposable income if the<br />

UK economy slows, an important consideration<br />

going into Brexit.<br />


How are the main players placed? In February<br />

Arrow Global revealed underlying profit after<br />

tax rose 13.3 percent to £64.1 million for full<br />

year 2018 results and that secured net debt<br />

to adjusted EBITDA had fallen slightly from<br />

3.9x to 3.7x. CEO Lee Rochford said the group<br />

was operating at the top of the credit cycle<br />

and added: “As we look to the year ahead, we<br />

are mindful of volatile market conditions and<br />

pockets of high competition.” On the share price<br />

of 180p, the response from analysts was mostly<br />

positive. JP Morgan Cazenove gave a target price<br />

of 460p, Numis called 495p and Jeffries went as<br />

high as 534p, although Goldman Sachs notably<br />

reduced its target from 300p to 220p.<br />

Encore’s revenues, adjusted by net allowances<br />

and allowance reversals, were a record $1.36<br />

billion, up 15 percent compared to $1.19 billion<br />

in 2017. Total operating expenses were $957<br />

million, compared to $862 million in 2017. It’s<br />

not possible to strip out Cabot’s performance<br />

before being acquired last May, but its EBITDA<br />

in the three months to March 2018, was £79.6<br />

million, up 18 percent from the same period the<br />

previous year.<br />

“Encore has similar challenges to Arrow<br />

Global in that valuation is relatively depressed.<br />

PRA, another American business that has a<br />

sizeable European operation, is actually much<br />

less leveraged than the other operators for a not<br />

much higher valuation,” says Greenwood.<br />

Lowell, the Anglo-German debt collector,<br />

said third quarter 2018 cash EBITDA had<br />

increased ten percent to £422 million. Its CEO<br />

James Cornell said last November: “We seek<br />

growth that increases scale and diversification,<br />

while remaining mindful of leverage.”<br />

Intrum Justitia, which has a sizeable UK<br />

presence after acquiring First <strong>Credit</strong> a year ago,<br />

reported adjusted operating profit (EBIT) up by<br />

23 percent. “Together with the solid results from<br />

the first nine months of the year, this gives us<br />

an impressive platform for <strong>2019</strong>, during which<br />

we will increase the pace towards our targets for<br />

2020,” said Mikael Ericson, President and CEO<br />

in January.<br />

“In <strong>2019</strong>, we will have a strong focus on<br />

centralisation, standardisation and cost<br />

efficiency in our collection activities. We expect<br />

to normalize our rate of investment during<br />

the year and extract significant value from the<br />

large investments we have made in 2018. At the<br />

same time, we see an active market with stable<br />

returns across Europe where our size and strong<br />

cashflow gives us flexibility to invest, when the<br />

Lawrie Holmes<br />

“As we look to the<br />

year ahead, we<br />

are mindful of<br />

volatile market<br />

conditions and<br />

pockets of high<br />

competition.”<br />

“We seek growth<br />

that increases<br />

scale and<br />

diversification,<br />

while remaining<br />

mindful of<br />

leverage.”<br />

opportunity is right, and continue to grow”,<br />

added Ericson.<br />

Hoist Finance, an unusual beast in the sector<br />

in that it has a banking licence, has come under<br />

pressure recently because banking regulators<br />

have changed capital requirements against nonperforming<br />

loans, says Greenwood. “They have<br />

to hold more capital, so that’s been a problem<br />

for them recently,” he says.<br />

The problem with the calculations and<br />

analysis of the industry is that they are done<br />

with some degree of subjectivity in that these are<br />

highly leveraged businesses, says Greenwood.<br />

“It works both ways. If you’re very bearish you<br />

can spin a story that they generate no cash, it<br />

gives the short sellers some ammunition to<br />

criticise the calculations the companies make<br />

themselves.<br />

“What’s true about these companies is if they<br />

were to turn the taps off on investment, they’d<br />

have a hell of a lot of cash. The basic issue for<br />

them is that they’re consuming the cash buying<br />

new portfolios. I would note that Arrow recently<br />

upped its guidance for portfolio acquisitions, it<br />

bought more than it guided to last year and its<br />

upped its guidance this year.<br />

“If you were concerned about cashflow that’s<br />

not the sort of behaviour I would expect to be<br />

pursuing, especially when they’ve got a target of<br />

reducing financial gearing. I think their (short<br />

sellers) argument around the debt purchases<br />

has always been disproved by Arrow, so they’ve<br />

morphed their argument into different areas.<br />

The hedge funds that have shorted these stocks<br />

have done very well out of it so far, but I think<br />

their case is starting to run out of mileage,” he<br />

adds.<br />

Lawrie Holmes is a freelance journalist who<br />

regularly contributes to the Financial Times,<br />

Sunday Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, CFO Europe<br />

and Accountancy Age.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 31



This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong> (CICM). In this and subsequent issues, we will take a closer look at the<br />

most important moments in its rich history and those characters that have played a<br />

part in shaping it.<br />

Advisory Council<br />

25 January 1939<br />

A sub-committee draws up Memorandum and<br />

Articles of Association for National Institute of<br />

<strong>Credit</strong>men, the forerunner of the modern-day CICM.<br />

First Annual General Meeting<br />

13 November 1946<br />

There was a gap between Council meetings due to<br />

the war from 14 November 1939 to 18 February 1947<br />

– when the Institute was effectively ‘reborn’. The<br />

first ‘new’ AGM took place in the meantime.<br />

Formal elections<br />

2 June 1947<br />

First formal elections to the Council takes place.<br />

First annual dinner<br />

20 October 1950<br />

The first annual dinner is held at Williamson’s<br />

Tavern in the City with 70 guests attending who<br />

paid 25 Shillings each for a ticket. By modern<br />

standards, it’s a great deal!<br />

Jewel in the crown<br />

1968<br />

The President’s Jewel or<br />

Chain of Office is instigated to<br />

commemorate the founder of<br />

the Institute, Cuthbert Greig<br />

CBE.<br />

Significant reforms<br />

January 1973<br />

Paul Mudge FCICM becomes a member of the<br />

ICM and goes on to become Vice Chair, Chair, Vice<br />

President and President. He played a significant<br />

role with branches throughout the country about<br />

reforms being introduced in the civil courts.<br />


First Fellows<br />

14 June 1939<br />

Messers Diekman, Greig, Pomfrett, Simpson and<br />

Townend are appointed as the first Fellows of the<br />

Institute. On the same day they were declared to<br />

be ‘Members of the Council’. This was the first<br />

Council proper of the Institute. It was more than<br />

six years later that they would meet again.<br />

Education Committee<br />

March 1947<br />

The first committee dedicated to the education of<br />

members is created. A new name for the Institute<br />

is also proposed, to become ‘The Institute of<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>’.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> Convention<br />

31 May 1948<br />

The first convention is held that aims to ‘allow<br />

members and friends to discuss mutual problems<br />

and to become better acquainted’. It is the same<br />

ethos that drives future events and awards.<br />

A leading light<br />

25 June 1954<br />

Sir Kenneth Cork, one<br />

of the Lord Mayors<br />

of London and most<br />

important figures in the<br />

history of the Institute, is<br />

elected to Council.<br />

An influential figure<br />

June 1971<br />

Terry Robinson FCICM joins the Institute, going on<br />

to become a significant member of the ICM serving<br />

as Vice Chair, Chair and Vice President.<br />

YEARS<br />

1939 - <strong>2019</strong><br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 32

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 33


Taking the P?<br />

Protecting your taxes – preferential priority plain<br />

and simple, or a principled approach?<br />

AUTHOR – David Kerr MCICM<br />

David Kerr<br />

AS reported in the<br />

December edition, Mr<br />

Hammond’s Budget<br />

announced a proposal<br />

regarding the position<br />

of HM Revenue &<br />

Customs (HMRC) in insolvencies. In<br />

a surprise move, he said: ‘We’ll make<br />

HMRC a preferred creditor in business<br />

insolvencies to ensure that tax which<br />

has been collected on behalf of HMRC is<br />

actually paid to HMRC.’<br />

HMRC has now published a<br />

consultation. HMRC had preferential<br />

rights once before, but the Government<br />

removed the Revenue’s preferential status<br />

as part of the Enterprise Act in 2003 in an<br />

initiative to boost enterprise and allow<br />

more money in insolvency cases to flow<br />

through to other creditors. At the same<br />

time it introduced rules on a Prescribed<br />

Part so that the taxman’s sacrifice wasn’t<br />

entirely eaten up by secured creditors<br />

with floating charges. Some see the<br />

return of HMRC’s preferential status as a<br />

backward step, though it did coincide with<br />

an intention to increase the value of the<br />

Prescribed Part. The Treasury’s argument<br />

is that money paid by customers (VAT)<br />

and employees (PAYE/NIC) should go to<br />

fund public services ‘as intended’.<br />

It is worth a reminder of the normal<br />

‘pecking order’ – the distribution of funds<br />

after paying any secured creditors and<br />

costs: preferential creditors; Prescribed<br />

Part; floating charge holders; and<br />

ordinary unsecured creditors.<br />

Where the Prescribed Part effectively<br />

carves out a sum that would otherwise<br />

go straight to floating charge holders<br />

and instead earmarks that amount (up<br />

to £600,000) for ordinary unsecured<br />

creditors. There are currently few<br />

preferential creditors (post-2003) – mainly<br />

employee claims for unpaid wages etc or<br />

the Government department that stands<br />

in employees’ shoes when it pays out<br />

under the Redundancy Fund.<br />

The taxes at the heart of the new<br />

measure are VAT and PAYE/NIC collected<br />

or deducted by companies and not passed<br />

over to HMRC at the commencement of<br />

insolvency. Other tax payable directly by<br />

the business (such as corporation tax) is<br />

not affected.<br />

The proposed change will come into<br />

force on 6 April 2020, so that in respect<br />

of insolvencies commencing on or after<br />

that date the new preferential status will<br />

apply.<br />


A key element of the new proposal is that<br />

in respect of the affected taxes, HMRC’s<br />

preferential status will be secondary to<br />

existing preferential creditors such as<br />

the Redundancy Payment Service. So, the<br />

creditors impacted will be floating charge<br />

holders and ordinary unsecured creditors.<br />

The Treasury makes the point that<br />

lending to businesses should not be<br />

affected in a ‘material’ way, as fixed<br />

charges holders are unaffected, and<br />

the reduced recovery by floating charge<br />

holders represents only a ‘very small<br />

fraction’ of total lending; some may<br />

disagree. Matthew Davies, a director at<br />

UK Finance, the body representing the<br />

finance and banking industry, observes:<br />

‘The UK’s commercial finance landscape<br />

and business rescue culture has evolved<br />

significantly since 2002. Lending against<br />

floating charge assets – particularly stock<br />

and work-in-progress – is increasingly<br />

important for British businesses,<br />

notably manufacturers, wholesalers<br />

and retailers. The reintroduction of a<br />

degree of crown preference seems to go<br />

against the progress made in diversifying<br />

and increasing access to finance. The<br />

negative impact will be compounded by<br />

the increase in the prescribed part, the<br />

introduction of which was the flip-side of<br />

the abolition of crown preference. Rather<br />

than decreasing or being removed to go<br />

at least some way to mitigate the impact<br />

on lending, the prescribed part is likely<br />

to be increased as well. So, the impact of<br />

this measure on the availability of finance<br />

must not be understated.’<br />

There will of course be a negative impact<br />

on unsecured creditors, but the Treasury<br />

argues that most will not be affected as<br />

they are usually unable to recover their<br />

debts in any event (only four percent of<br />

debts owed on average, it states). Some<br />

will argue with their assessment of the<br />

impact on unsecured creditors; inevitably,<br />

those cases which produce dividends will<br />

in future be likely to produce smaller<br />

dividends (or none at all) for those at the<br />

bottom of the insolvency pecking order,<br />

though government might point to the<br />

Prescribed Part increase as offering some<br />

compensation.<br />


There is no suggestion of any limit on<br />

the new preferential claims, unlike the<br />

position with preferential claims pre-<br />

2003. Importantly, the consultation<br />

document now makes it clear that HMRC’s<br />

preferential claim, whilst secondary to<br />

those of existing preferential creditors<br />

(primarily, its sister department), will<br />

be unlimited in time, and so will cover<br />

all outstanding PAYE/NIC and VAT<br />

liabilities at the date of commencement<br />

of insolvency (where that occurs after 6<br />

April 2020).<br />

One other significant point has also<br />

been made clear now – businesses referred<br />

to in the original Treasury statement<br />

covers individual insolvent traders and<br />

partnerships as well as corporates.<br />

The HMRC consultation can be<br />

found on its website. Its questions are<br />

focused on any practical impediment<br />

to or unforeseen impact of the planned<br />

change and seems there is little room for<br />

debate on its merits. Those with views<br />

on the change can send comments to<br />

governance@cicm.com as the Institute<br />

will be responding on behalf of members<br />

before the closure date in May.<br />

David Kerr MCICM is an insolvency<br />

practitioner with extensive regulatory<br />

experience and a member of the CICM<br />

Technical Committee.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 34

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The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 35


Mainly overcast with<br />

a few bright spots<br />

The latest monthly business to business payment<br />

performance statistics.<br />

AUTHOR – Jason Braidwood FCICM(Grad)<br />

THE last payment performance<br />

statistics did not make for pleasant<br />

reading, with the majority of sectors<br />

and all regions posting increases<br />

in payment terms. This month’s<br />

results are mixed, with yet more<br />

worrying performances. But there are, at least,<br />

some signs of improvement. The average Days<br />

Beyond Terms (DBT) figures across sectors has not<br />

shifted, remaining on 16.2 days, while regions have<br />

increased slightly to 17.9 days.<br />


The sector spotlight does look healthier, with over<br />

half of the 22 sectors reducing their payment terms.<br />

The Financial and Insurance sector has performed<br />

particularly well reducing its DBT by 6.3 days.<br />

Wholesale and retail trade has also improved with<br />

a reduction of 5.2 days. Education is now top of the<br />

table as the best performing sector after a reduction<br />

of 1.7 taking its overall DBT to 9.5 days.<br />

At the opposite end of the scale, it has been a<br />

disastrous month for Mining and Quarrying, with<br />

DBT increasing a huge 9.5 days up to 27.7 days<br />

meaning it is now the worst performing sector.<br />

Hospitality has also had a poor month, with DBT<br />

increasing by 6.4 days.<br />


The regional standings do not show a dramatic<br />

improvement in performance, but there are, at<br />

least, some regions that have made reductions.<br />

Northern Ireland has responded to being bottom<br />

of the table by being the top performing region this<br />

month, with a reduction in payment terms of 2.8<br />

days. Yorkshire and Humberside (-1.7), East Anglia<br />

(-0.8) and Wales (-0.7) have all reduced their overall<br />

DBT.<br />

All of the other regions have made further<br />

increases to their payment terms, albeit some only<br />

slight – Scotland (+0.7) and London (+0.5 days). It<br />

has, however, been another dreadful month for the<br />

North West, with its DBT increasing by a further<br />

5.7 days, meaning it is now the worst performing<br />

region with an overall DBT of 21.4 days.<br />

Jason Braidwood FCICM(Grad),<br />

Head of <strong>Credit</strong> and Collections at <strong>Credit</strong>safe<br />

Business Solutions.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 36


AUTHOR – Jason Braidwood FCICM(Grad)<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Region April 19 Change from March 19<br />

Education 9.5 -1.7<br />

International Bodies 10.2 -1.8<br />

Public Administration 11.8 0.9<br />

Health and Social 12 -0.1<br />

Entertainment 12.2 1<br />

Getting Better<br />

Financial and Insurance -6.3<br />

Wholesale and Retail Trade -5.2<br />

Professional and Scientific -2.1<br />

Other Service -1.<br />

Real Estate -16<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Region April 19 Change from March 19<br />

Yorkshire and Humberside 15.3 -1.7<br />

South West 15.8 1.1<br />

East Anglia 16.4 -0.8<br />

Scotland 17.7 0.8<br />

London 18 0.5<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Region April 19 Change from March 19<br />

Mining and Quarrying 27.7 9.5<br />

Water and Waste 23.6 -0.4<br />

IT and Comms 19.8 1<br />

Manufacturing 19.3 1.5<br />

Business Admin and Support 18.9 -1.2<br />

Getting Worse<br />

Mining and Quarrying 9.5<br />

Hospitality 6.4<br />

Manufacturing 1.5<br />

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 1.4<br />

Entertainment 1.0<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Region April 19 Change from March 19<br />

North West 21.4 5.7<br />

Northern Ireland 20.2 -2.8<br />

West Midlands 18.7 2.1<br />

South East 18.3 2.3<br />

East Midlands 18 2.5<br />

This month’s results are mixed, with<br />

yet more worrying performances.<br />

But there are, at least, some signs of<br />

improvement.<br />


0.8 DBT<br />



-2.8 DBT<br />

Region<br />

Getting Better – Getting Worse<br />

-2.8<br />

2.7<br />

0.8<br />

-0.7<br />

0.5<br />

0.8<br />

1.1<br />

2.1<br />

2.3<br />

-1.7<br />

Northern Ireland<br />

East Midlands<br />

East Anglia<br />

Wales<br />

London<br />

Scotland<br />

South West<br />

West Midlands<br />

South East<br />

Yorkshire and Humberside<br />

WALES<br />

-0.7 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

WEST<br />

1.1 DBT<br />

WEST<br />


2.1 DBT<br />



-1.7 DBT<br />

EAST<br />


2.7 DBT<br />

LONDON<br />

0.5 DBT<br />

EAST<br />

ANGLIA<br />

0.8 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

EAST<br />

2.3 DBT<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 37


WHAT THE<br />


A report from the world’s largest order-to-cash<br />

networking event.<br />

AUTHOR – Tanya Arrowsmith<br />

Tanya Arrowsmith<br />

RADIANCE <strong>2019</strong>, the world’s<br />

largest gathering of orderto-cash<br />

professionals<br />

was held in February<br />

in Houston, Texas. The<br />

three-day event witnessed<br />

more than 400 accounts receivables<br />

professionals from across companies<br />

and industries attend more than 100<br />

sessions and discussions on a broad range<br />

of order-to-cash related topics such as<br />

credit, collections, the future of payments,<br />

fintech, general financial management,<br />

leadership as well as digital disruption and<br />

artificial intelligence in order to cash.<br />


Aiming to break free from the monotony<br />

that dominates most professional<br />

conferences, we prefer to call Radiance<br />

as an ‘Order to Cash Unconference’ and<br />

true to its theme the event was held in<br />

the Minute Maid Park, a baseball ground<br />

that is home to the Houston Astros. The<br />

sessions were led by the finance and order<br />

to cash leaders from major organisations<br />

including adidas, Honeywell, Citi, P&G,<br />

Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Uber, Danone and<br />

L'Oréal to name a few. Unlike regular<br />

conferences, the sessions were designed<br />

in the form of mutual dialogue between<br />

the speakers and audience and witnessed<br />

maximum participation from everyone<br />

involved. The day-long sessions and panel<br />

discussions were followed by nights of<br />

networking and partying at some of the<br />

best spots in Houston.<br />

One of the highlights of the conference<br />

included the demo stations that showcased<br />

how automation was disrupting orderto-cash.<br />

The audience had a first-hand<br />

experience of how Artificial Intelligence<br />

(AI) handles traditional accounts<br />

receivable (A/R) tasks such as cash posting<br />

(payment reconciliation), dunning,<br />

customer claim/dispute resolution, credit<br />

scoring and invoicing. But the star of<br />

the conference was undoubtedly the<br />

launch of the revolutionary Autonomous<br />

Receivables technology by Sashi Narahari,<br />

CEO of HighRadius.<br />

Touted as the future of A/R, the<br />

Autonomous Receivables software is a<br />

combination of the world’s first AI-enabled<br />

Integrated receivables platform, Touch/<br />

Voice Interface and a digital assistant<br />

Freeda, and is set to fundamentally alter<br />

the way analysts work by putting order-tocash<br />

on auto-pilot mode.<br />


The Autonomous receivables software<br />

debunks the myth that AI is out to replace<br />

human jobs by showcasing how analyst<br />

skills can be combined with AI to create<br />

teams which have laser-focus on strategic<br />

work with higher corporate impact. While<br />

the digital assistants perform the more<br />

mundane clerical tasks, AI provides deep<br />

analytical insights, which when combined<br />

with the analyst’s context-sensitive<br />

judgement making skills, will result in<br />

better outcomes for an organisation. To<br />

learn more about how the future looks,<br />

visit highradius.com/autonomous/.<br />

Tanya Arrowsmith is Marketing Manager<br />

EMEA at HighRadius.<br />

Touted as the future of A/R, the Autonomous<br />

Receivables software is a combination<br />

of the world’s first AI-enabled Integrated<br />

receivables platform, Touch/Voice Interface<br />

and a digital assistant Freeda<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 38


HIGHRADIUS is a Fintech enterprise Software-as-a-Service<br />

(SaaS) company that leverages Autonomous Receivables to<br />

help companies put their order-to-cash on autopilot. The<br />

HighRadius® Integrated Receivables platform reduces cycle<br />

times in order-to-cash processes through the automation<br />

of receivables and payments processes across credit,<br />

electronic billing and payment processing, cash application,<br />

deductions and collections. Powered by the RivanaTM<br />

Artificial Intelligence Engine and FreedaTM Virtual Assistant<br />

for order-to-cash teams, HighRadius enables teams to<br />

leverage machine learning to predict future outcomes and<br />

automate routine labour intensive tasks. The radiusOneTM<br />

B2B payment network allows suppliers to digitally connect<br />

with buyers, closing the loop from supplier receivable<br />

processes to buyer payable processes. HighRadius solutions<br />

have a proven track record of optimising cash flow, reducing<br />

days sales outstanding (DSO) and bad debt, and increasing<br />

operational efficiency so that companies may achieve strong<br />

ROI in just a few months.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 39

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 40

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 41



For further information and to discuss the opportunities of entering into a<br />

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W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

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Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist<br />

companies across Europe with credit management.<br />

The service gives the end-user the means to make<br />

a payment when and how they choose. Key IVR<br />

also provides a state-of-the-art outbound platform<br />

delivering automated messages by voice and<br />

SMS. In a credit management environment, these<br />

services are used to cost-effectively contact debtors<br />

and connect them back into a contact centre or<br />

automated payment line.<br />

T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

T: +44(0)7747 761641<br />

E: chris@chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000<br />

E: sales@keyivr<br />

W: www.keyivr.com<br />

American Express® is a globally recognised<br />

provider of business payment solutions, providing<br />

flexible capabilities to help companies drive<br />

growth. These solutions support buyers and<br />

suppliers across the supply chain with working<br />

capital and cashflow.<br />

By creating an additional lever to help support<br />

supplier/client relationships American Express is<br />

proud to be an innovator in the business payments<br />

space.<br />

T: +44 (0)1273 696933<br />

W: www.americanexpress.com<br />

Building on our mature and hugely successful<br />

product and world class support service, we are<br />

re-imagining our risk awareness module in <strong>2019</strong> to<br />

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists and<br />

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full<br />

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong>safe), this makes Credica a single port-of-call<br />

for analysis and automation. Impressive results<br />

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also<br />

have an active input into our product development<br />

and evolution.<br />

T: 01235 856400<br />

E: info@credica.co.uk<br />

W: www.credica.co.uk<br />

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps<br />

businesses pay and get paid. Businesses and banks<br />

rely on Bottomline for domestic and international<br />

payments, effective cash management tools,<br />

automated workflows for payment processing<br />

and bill review and state of the art fraud detection,<br />

behavioural analytics and regulatory compliance.<br />

Every day, we help our customers by making<br />

complex business payments simple, secure and<br />

seamless.<br />

T: 0870 081 8250<br />

E: emea-info@bottomline.com<br />

W: www.bottomline.com/uk<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 42

Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for<br />

their commitment to the profession and best practice in the<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Industry and the quality of services they provide.<br />

We are delighted to showcase them here.<br />


Onguard is a specialist in credit management<br />

software and a market leader in innovative solutions<br />

for Order to Cash. Our integrated platform ensures<br />

an optimal connection of all processes in the Order<br />

to Cash chain and allows sharing of critical data. Our<br />

intelligent tools can seamlessly interconnect and<br />

offer overview and control of the payment process,<br />

as well as contribute to a sustainable customer<br />

relationship. The Onguard platform is successfully<br />

used for successful credit management in more<br />

than 50 countries.<br />

T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66<br />

E: ruurd.bakker@onguard.com<br />

W: www.onguard.com<br />

The Atradius Collections business model is to support<br />

businesses and their recoveries. We are seeing a<br />

deterioration and increase in unpaid invoices placing<br />

pressures on cashflow for those businesses. Brexit is<br />

causing uncertainty and we are seeing a significant<br />

impact on the UK economy with an increase in<br />

insolvencies, now also impacting the continent and<br />

spreading. Our geographical presence is expanding<br />

and with a single IT platform across the globe we can<br />

provide greater efficiencies and effectiveness to our<br />

clients to recover their unpaid invoices.<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 824700<br />

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/<br />

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading<br />

provider of business information, analytics, insights<br />

and solutions. Graydon helps its customers to<br />

make fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to<br />

minimise risk and identify fraud as well as optimise<br />

opportunities with their commercial relationships.<br />

Graydon uses 130+ international databases and the<br />

information of 90+ million companies. Graydon has<br />

offices in London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp.<br />

Since 2016, Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of<br />

the world’s largest credit insurance companies.<br />

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400<br />

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk<br />

W: www.graydon.co.uk<br />

Rimilia provides intelligent, finance automation<br />

solutions that enable customers to get paid on time<br />

and control their cashflow and cash collection<br />

in real time. Rimilia’s software solutions use<br />

sophisticated analytics and artificial intelligence<br />

to predict customer payment behaviour and easily<br />

match and reconcile payments, removing the<br />

uncertainty of cash collection. Rimilia’s software<br />

automates the complete accounts receivable process<br />

improving cash allocation, bank reconciliation and<br />

credit management operations.<br />

T: +44 (0)1527 872123<br />

E: enquiries@rimilia.com<br />

W: www.rimilia.com<br />

Improve cash flow, cash collection and prevent late<br />

payment with Corrivo from Data Interconnect.<br />

Corrivo, intelligent invoice to cash automation<br />

highlights where accounts receivable teams should<br />

focus their effort for best results. Easy-to-learn,<br />

Invoicing, Collection and Dispute modules get collection<br />

teams up and running fast. Minimal IT input required.<br />

Real-time dashboards, reporting and self-service<br />

customer portals, improve customer communication<br />

and satisfaction scores. Cost-effective, flexible Corrivo,<br />

super-charges your cash collection effort.<br />

T: +44 (0)1367 245777<br />

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk<br />

W: www.datainterconnect.com<br />

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable<br />

modern finance leaders and credit professionals<br />

to improve business performance through more<br />

effective risk management, identification of growth<br />

opportunities, and better integration of data and<br />

insights across the business. Powered by our Data<br />

Cloud, our solutions provide access to the world’s<br />

most comprehensive commercial data and insights<br />

supplying a continually updated view of business<br />

relationships that help finance and credit teams<br />

stay ahead of market shifts and customer changes.<br />

T: (0800) 001-234<br />

W: www.dnb.co.uk<br />

Shared Services Forum UK Limited<br />

Shared Services Forum UK is a not-for-profit<br />

membership organisation. with one vision, to form<br />

the largest community of people from the business<br />

world and facilitate a platform for them to work<br />

together to mutual benefits.<br />

Benefits include; networking with like-minded<br />

professionals in Shared Services. The criteria is a<br />

willingness to engage in our lively community and<br />

help shape our growth and development.<br />

T: 07864 652518<br />

E: forum.manager@sharedservicesforumuk.com<br />

W: www.sharedservicesforumuk.com<br />

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables<br />

into income, uniquely connecting buyers and<br />

suppliers to allow discounts in exchange for<br />

early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers<br />

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating<br />

payments from buyers when required in just two<br />

clicks, at a rate that works for them. Buyers, often<br />

corporates with global supply chains, benefit from<br />

the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while<br />

strengthening the financial health of supply chains<br />

through ethical business practices.<br />

T: 07799 692193<br />

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com<br />

W: www.c2fo.com<br />

Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit<br />

intelligence for credit insurers and for corporate<br />

customers. The company’s B2B <strong>Credit</strong> Risk<br />

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk<br />

<strong>Management</strong> Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;<br />

the Tinubu <strong>Credit</strong> Intelligence service and the<br />

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250<br />

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their<br />

greatest assets: customer receivables.<br />

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /<br />

E: uksales@tinubu.com<br />

W: www.tinubu.com.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 43


OUR<br />



For further information and<br />

to discuss the opportunities<br />

of entering into a Corporate<br />

Partnership with the CICM,<br />

please contact<br />

corporatepartners@cicm.com<br />




THEY'RE<br />


TALK TO YOU...<br />

DWF is a global legal business transforming legal<br />

services through our people for our clients. With<br />

over 27 locations and 3,000 people delivering<br />

services and solutions that go beyond expectations.<br />

By questioning traditions and thinking beyond<br />

conventions we were recognised by The Financial<br />

Times as one of Europe's most innovative legal<br />

advisers. DWF offers a full range of cost-effective<br />

debt recovery solutions from pre-legal collections<br />

and debt litigation to strategic enforcement,<br />

insolvency proceedings and ancillary services.<br />

T: +44 (0) 113 261 6169<br />

E: David.Scottow@dwf.law<br />

W: www.dwf.law/recover<br />

We invite all Fellows to help us celebrate 80<br />

years of CICM at this year’s special Fellows’<br />

Celebratory Lunch, at the Churchill War Rooms.<br />

Walk the same corridors as Churchill, peer into the room where his<br />

War Cabinet made their momentous decisions, and marvel at the<br />

complexity of the abandoned Map Rooms, frozen in time since 1945.<br />

Join us for great food, company and to welcome our newest Fellows.<br />

We will also be launching our exciting new Fellows of the Future<br />

scheme.<br />

FRIDAY, 7 JUNE <strong>2019</strong><br />

Arrival drinks served at 11:30 Including welcome<br />

reception for new CICM Fellows.<br />

Tickets £110.00+VAT per person<br />

which includes museum access.<br />

Please email fellowslunch@cicm.com to book<br />



LONDON, SW1A 2AQ.<br />


YEARS<br />

1939 - <strong>2019</strong>




Improve<br />

the performance<br />

of your AML,Sanction<br />

&PEP processes, automate<br />

most of your Enhanced Due<br />

Diligence and enable your compliance<br />

team to come out of their shell.<br />

We deliver AML, Sanctions &PEP checks “all-in-one” search,<br />

individual checks take 5seconds, business checks take alittle<br />

longer, 1-2 minutes! Daily Monitoring of all you clients for Sanction &<br />

PEP changes for the lifetime of your contract is included at no extra cost.<br />

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Call us now to book afree demonstration on:<br />

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SmartSearch delivers UK and International Business checks in the UK and International<br />

Markets with inclusive Worldwide Sanction &PEP screening, Daily Monitoring, Email<br />

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The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 45


L3 Advanced Enforcement<br />

Build expertise in advanced enforcement areas<br />

Recognition by studying for Advanced CICM Award.<br />

THE CICM has partnered with<br />

The High Court Enforcement<br />

Officers Association (HCEOA) to<br />

create a new CICM Level 3 Award<br />

in Advanced Enforcement, with<br />

a new online course on the<br />

CICM Knowledge Hub which helps candidates<br />

prepare for the Award.<br />

The Award has partly been launched<br />

in response to calls from the Debt Advice<br />

charities for better qualified enforcement<br />

agents, and is one of many steps being taken<br />

by the industry to improve standards. The<br />

course is designed to bring about more<br />

sensitive enforcement and better results<br />

without undue imposition on the customer.<br />

The course is aimed at team leaders<br />

and senior enforcement agents who have<br />

experience of collecting the more complicated<br />

debts from accountants or financial directors<br />

of a business that are required to have a<br />

better knowledge of Taking Control of Goods<br />

legislation, rather than more simple council<br />

tax or parking fine arrears from individuals.<br />

“This course demonstrates our commitment<br />

as an industry to try and raise the standards<br />

of enforcement across the board,” says<br />

Andrew Wilson, Chairman of the High Court<br />

Enforcement Officers Association. “Having<br />

Level 3 will make Agents more employable<br />

as a sub-contractor and also in their future<br />

careers.”<br />

Enforcement Agents who would like to<br />

become authorised High Court Enforcement<br />

Officers can use the Level 3 Award as the<br />

starting point for the Level 4 High Court<br />

Enforcement Diploma, which is part of the<br />

requirement for authorisation.<br />

The Level 3 Course builds on the Level 2<br />

Award in Taking Control of Goods, which<br />

is the basic regulatory requirement for<br />

Enforcement Agents and includes pre-course<br />

activities, ten modules covering all syllabus<br />

areas, assignment writing advice, a resources<br />

section and course completion certificate<br />

for learners who complete key activities<br />

and course evaluation. Learners looking to<br />

gain the regulated award can submit their<br />

assignment to the CICM Awarding Body in<br />

January, June or October for independent<br />

marking.<br />

The new Award has also been endorsed by<br />

the Local Authority Civil Enforcement Forum<br />

(LACEF) and the Certified Enforcement<br />

Agents Association (CEAA).<br />

The valuable, high quality award is<br />

regulated by the qualification regulators<br />

for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.<br />

Progression routes include the CICM Level 3<br />

Diploma in <strong>Credit</strong> and Collections, Advanced<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Controller/Debt Collection Specialist<br />

Apprenticeship and CICM Level 4 Diploma in<br />

High Court Enforcement.<br />

“This course demonstrates our<br />

commitment as an industry to try and<br />

raise the standards of enforcement<br />

across the board”<br />

Andrew Wilson, Chairman of the High Court Enforcement Officers Association.<br />

Course modules<br />

• Taking Control of Goods<br />

• Powers and obligations of enforcement agents<br />

• Risk management<br />

• Legal, regulatory, and industry frameworks<br />

• Prescribed form completion<br />

• Customer care<br />

• Vulnerable customers<br />

• Conflict management<br />

• Personal effectiveness<br />

• Reflective practice<br />

The course takes approximately 100 hours to complete and<br />

could form part of a face-to-face training programme<br />

Fees apply: £325 for a 12-month licence for elearning course<br />

(£200 for HCEOA members)<br />

£350 for a 12-month licence for elearning and support coach<br />

(£250 for HCEOA members)<br />

The standard CICM registration and assignment<br />

assessment fees for the regulated award.<br />

Email: learningsupport@cicm.com<br />

or call 01780 722909 for further details<br />

purchase course.

CICM<br />


HUB<br />

Access over 1,000 credit<br />

and collection resources<br />

anytime, anywhere.<br />

CICM Knowledge Hub is a new online platform for credit<br />

professionals, providing one location to easily find the tools<br />

and information you need to help you in your job.<br />

‣ Tailored elearning courses ‣ CM Magazine articles<br />

‣ Research papers from industry experts ‣ Webinars<br />

‣ Best practice guidance.<br />

CICM Members get free access to CICM Knowledge Hub and much<br />

more from just £8* a month. Join now to explore all the benefits of<br />

CICM Membership.<br />

National and<br />

regional events<br />

Qualifications<br />

and training<br />

Mentor<br />

Hub<br />

Monthly<br />

e-newsletter<br />

Branches around<br />

the country<br />

*Price shown is for Affiliate Grade. Does not include joining fee. Subject to Terms & Conditions.



TESTS<br />

NEW<br />

Knowledge Hub<br />

Premium<br />

Content<br />

Check your knowledge of key credit management,<br />

collections and enforcement areas with these knowledge tests.<br />


Equally valuable as a baseline test of your team’s knowledge on CICM Knowledge Hub, these multiple<br />

choice questions support preparation towards CICM Level 2 and 3 awards and credit controller/<br />

collections apprenticeships.<br />

Each test includes advice on the art of answering multiple choice questions, the opportunity to<br />

practice multiple choice exam questions for each syllabus area working at your own pace, feedback<br />

on the correct answer, a final timed mock exam accessed anywhere/anytime, and a mock exam<br />

completion certificate for learners who complete course evaluations and pass the mock.<br />


• <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> (trade, export and consumer)<br />

• Consumer Collections NEW programme<br />

• Consumer <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

• Taking Control of Goods<br />

• Trade <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

• Export <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

• Business Environment<br />

• Business Law<br />

The knowledge test course takes around three hours to complete,<br />

including the pre-reading, mock exam at the end, a course evaluation<br />

and CPD reflection. The course could form part of a taught programme<br />

leading towards a CICM award or stand-alone knowledge test.<br />

You can complete multiple choice questions for each module all<br />

at once or over several visits to suit you. The one-hour mock exam<br />

must be completed in one go, however it can be repeated on more<br />

than one occasion.<br />

Course fees apply<br />

CICM members £25 for 12 month licence * Non-members - £83<br />

Learners studying through a CICM <strong>Credit</strong> Academy virtual class,<br />

evening class or Learning Support will have free access to the related<br />

test as part of their programme.<br />

The Taking Control of Goods test is part of an online course<br />

sponsored by the High Court Enforcement Officers Association and is<br />

therefore offered free to CICM members (Non-member fee - £50*).<br />

CPD<br />

3<br />

Email: learningsupport@cicm.com or<br />

call 01780 722909 to purchase course<br />

*Fees are subject to VAT<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 48

Tailored<br />

and bespoke<br />

training for<br />

your credit<br />

team<br />

Your specialism is<br />

our specialism<br />

At the CICM we know that credit and collections is a unique profession, and your business<br />

calls for a training solution that is not ‘off-the-peg’.<br />

We take pride in delivering practical and effective learning to credit and collections teams.<br />

Our training is designed and tailored to your business needs and to deliver results.<br />

Your team will learn from our specialist trainers, who all have vast experience in the<br />

profession and will share their real experiences and successes.<br />


Our specialist team will manage everything from<br />

start to finish. To find out more information contact –<br />

T: 01780 722907: E: training@cicm.com: W: www.cicm.com<br />

Tailored and bespoke training in...<br />

Developing <strong>Credit</strong> Strategy; Building Business; Managing Risk; Complying with Regulations; Improving<br />

Customer Relations; Collecting the Cash; Negotiating and Influencing; Psychology of Collections; Achieving<br />

Targets; Debt Recovery; Insolvency; <strong>Management</strong> Skills.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 49


Crime and<br />

Punishment<br />

The legalities surrounding future employees<br />

checking criminal records.<br />

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards<br />

A<br />

recent study, conducted for the<br />

Scottish Centre for Crime and<br />

Justice, found that 11 million people<br />

in the UK have a criminal record and<br />

that 75 percent of employers admit<br />

to rejecting a job applicant once a<br />

criminal conviction is disclosed.<br />

It’s important to note that an employer can obtain<br />

information on a person’s criminal record. They<br />

can do so in one of two ways – either by asking the<br />

candidate or employee directly, or by requesting an<br />

official criminal record check by the Disclosure and<br />

Barring Service (DBS).<br />

The treatment of individuals with criminal<br />

records is set out in the Rehabilitation of Offenders<br />

Act 1974 (ROA 1974). Subject to certain exemptions, a<br />

person whose conviction is spent is entitled to hold<br />

themselves out as a having a clean record – only<br />

‘unspent’ convictions need to be disclosed.<br />

If an individual has a spent conviction and<br />

they choose not to disclose it when questioned,<br />

subject to certain exemptions, they cannot be<br />

penalised – including an employer not hiring<br />

them. Failure to disclose a spent conviction is not a<br />

lawful ground for dismissal or exclusion, and so an<br />

employee dismissed on these grounds may bring a<br />

claim for unfair dismissal.<br />

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974<br />

(Exceptions) Order 1975 identifies that in certain<br />

cases spent convictions should be disclosed,<br />

including: professions such as medicine, lawyers,<br />

accountants, vets, chemist and opticians; those<br />

employed to uphold the law, including judges and<br />

prison officers; certain regulated occupations,<br />

including financial services; those who work with<br />

children and vulnerable adults; and those whose<br />

work could pose a risk to national security.<br />

A person can be asked about their spent<br />

convictions under the Exceptions Order as long<br />

as the question is for the purposes of assessing<br />

suitability for a role. At the time of asking it should<br />

be made clear to the applicant that they are obliged<br />

to disclose spent convictions. If an applicant fails to<br />

disclose a spent conviction in these circumstances<br />

an employer will have a valid reason for withholding<br />

or withdrawing an offer of employment or dismissal.<br />


There are two main types of DBS checks, standard<br />

disclosure and enhanced disclosure. Employers<br />

should remember when considering requesting<br />

a DBS check that this can only be requested if the<br />

individual in question is to undertake a role set out<br />

in the Exceptions Order.<br />

That said, there is now the option for an individual<br />

to request a basic certificate from the DBS which<br />

includes details of unspent convictions and cautions.<br />

However, an employer cannot force an employee to<br />

get this information.<br />

Employers should always exercise independent<br />

judgement in considering what weight to attach to<br />

any disclosed conviction or caution.<br />


If a conviction, spent or unspent, is disclosed<br />

an employer’s response should depend on the<br />

individual circumstances. If the conviction is spent<br />

and the position applied for does not fall under the<br />

Exceptions Order the employer may not refuse to<br />

employ the individual on the basis of the conviction.<br />

If the conviction is spent, but the position falls<br />

under the Exceptions Order, then an employer may<br />

refuse to employ the individual. Due regard should<br />

be given to industry and sector specific guidance<br />

here as this will often set out how an employer<br />

should proceed.<br />

If the conviction is not spent the employer<br />

may refuse to employ the individual, but again,<br />

appropriate regard should be given to any sector<br />

specific legislation.<br />


As before, an employee is entitled to withhold a<br />

spent conviction, subject to the exceptions, and it is<br />

likely that if an employee with qualifying service is<br />

dismissed for this reason the dismissal will be unfair.<br />

If a person has deceived their employer about<br />

a criminal record and they were not entitled to<br />

withhold the information, then the employer may<br />

terminate their employment contract for breaching<br />

the implied term of mutual trust and confidence.<br />

Care should be taken where an employee has<br />

sufficient qualifying service to bring an unfair<br />

dismissal claim as an employer will need to show<br />

that dismissal was within the band of reasonable<br />

responses. In considering this an employer will want<br />

to think about the employee’s performance record as<br />

well as whether or not the conviction was relevant or<br />

particularly serious.<br />

Employers can continue to reject applications on<br />

the basis of a criminal record without taking these<br />

steps. However, giving more thought to the situation<br />

may open up a wider range of suitable candidates for<br />

a role.<br />

Gareth Edwards is a partner in the employment team at<br />

VWV.gedwards@vwv.co.uk.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 50

Opportunities at the CICM<br />

Could you work with us to help develop<br />

the future of the credit profession?<br />

Whether you can spare a few hours a week, month, or ad hoc, there is a<br />

role for you. Training and administrative support will be provided. Please<br />

go to the vacancies section of the CICM website or contact Deidre at<br />

deidre.berridge@cicm.com, or call 01780 722909.<br />

Be a CICM Learning Support Coach: all levels<br />

Provide tutorial support and feedback to learners who are studying<br />

towards a CICM qualification at home (home study). The work is flexible<br />

and can be fitted around a full-time role. You can choose how many<br />

learners you support.<br />

Be a CICM Examiner:<br />

This is an interesting opportunity to build assessment experience<br />

with an accredited awarding body. We are currently recruiting in three<br />

examiner roles:<br />

1: <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> Assignment-based assessments<br />

2: Money & Debt Advice assessments<br />

3: High Court Enforcement assessments<br />

Be a CICM Volunteer Membership Assessor<br />

This vital role helps us to review CICM professional membership<br />

applications at ACICM, MCICM and FCICM level. If you are an MCICM or<br />

FCICM member, and have a few hours to spare each month (working via<br />

email and online), we would love to hear from you.<br />

Be a CICM Subject expert<br />

We are looking for credit and collections professionals for ad<br />

hoc work supporting resource development working with our<br />

education advisers. There is no ‘up-front’ time commitment<br />

for this role.<br />

Protect your business from the risk<br />

of bad debt by using CoCredo's<br />

award winning credit reports<br />

What we offer our customers:<br />

Industry first Dual Report<br />

Bespoke packages<br />

Access to our portal 24/7, 365 days ayear<br />

UK &International reports in over 235 countries<br />

XML Integration<br />

No auto-renewals<br />

Dedicated award winning Customer Service Team<br />

cocredo.co.uk<br />

Call us on 01494 790600<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 51


WHEN<br />


FALL OUT<br />

<strong>Credit</strong>ors of joint debts owed by<br />

insolvent debtors must try to agree<br />

on the way to proceed, and not be<br />

distracted by personal considerations.<br />

AUTHOR – Peter Walker<br />

DEBT is ‘an ingenious substitution<br />

for the chain and whip<br />

of the slave driver’ wrote<br />

Ambrose Bierce in Devil’s<br />

Dictionary, but debtors can<br />

be driven into bankruptcy by<br />

creditors seeking legal remedies rather than<br />

using painful methods. If creditors petitioning<br />

for bankruptcy differ in their views as to what<br />

should be done, a judge rather than a slave<br />

driver is needed.<br />

There may be a selfish reason behind one<br />

of those views, such as when one petitioning<br />

creditor seeks to gain an advantage to the<br />

disadvantage of the others. This could lead<br />

to an abuse of legal process, and Chancery<br />

Division judge, Mr Justice Snowden, had to<br />

consider this possibility in the case In re Maud<br />

(No 2) [2018] 3 WLR 1497.<br />

It was part of other complicated proceedings<br />

in England and in Spain. A group of Dutch and<br />

Spanish companies, which Snowden J referred<br />

to as ‘the Marme Group’, owned an office and<br />

retail property near Madrid, which was let to<br />

a company within the Santander Group. The<br />

property was worth ‘several billion Euros’,<br />

and the owners had borrowed heavily to<br />

acquire it. Property developers financing their<br />

activities by means of borrowing know that<br />

the balancing of the cash flow arising from<br />

loan repayments and from incoming rent can<br />

be tricky. Whether or not the owners of the<br />

Spanish property found this to be difficult, it<br />

finally entered into insolvency proceedings in<br />

Spain.<br />

The Spanish court approved a liquidation<br />

plan involving the sale of the property to the<br />

highest bidder. This was challenged, and there<br />

was an alternative proposal to sell the property<br />

to satisfy the debts in accordance with Spanish<br />

insolvency legislation. The owning company<br />

would then exit liquidation, but there was<br />

disagreement among two creditors, ‘the<br />

petitioning creditors’.<br />

One of them had demanded repayment<br />

of monies owed by another creditor, and it<br />

had threatened to enforce its security against<br />

the Marme Group and against one of the two<br />

shareholders of the Group’s Dutch ultimate<br />

parent company, referred to as ‘Ramblas’. The<br />

other creditor obtained an injunction in the<br />

Commercial Court to stop this from happening.<br />


This dissent is not surprising, because the<br />

financing of the purchase of the Spanish<br />

property was complicated. The Royal Bank of<br />

Scotland (RBS) had headed a group of banks<br />

to lend €1,575 million to Ramblas, ‘the senior<br />

loan’, and it made another ‘junior loan’ also to<br />

Ramblas of €200 million. The latter was secured<br />

by a pledge of shares of Ramblas and of its<br />

subsidiary, and by the Ramblas shareholders’<br />

personal guarantees up to €40 million. The<br />

bank then made a personal loan of €75 million<br />

to the two shareholders. Those shareholders<br />

did not pay the interest on time, so the Bank<br />

demanded repayment, but only received €25<br />

million.<br />

The petitioning creditors saw an opportunity<br />

to acquire the Spanish property. They also<br />

purchased from RBS the rights against the<br />

two shareholders in respect of the personal<br />

loan and of the accompanying securities. The<br />

price was a mere €5,000. The price for the<br />

rights in respect of the junior loan was higher,<br />

€195 million, although a total of €200 million<br />

plus interest was outstanding. It was time to<br />

receive some money instead, so the petitioning<br />

creditors obtained consent orders against the<br />

two shareholders for the personal loan, and<br />

against Ramblas for the junior loan.<br />

They reached a settlement with one of the<br />

shareholders, who agreed to sell his shares<br />

in Ramblas. The other shareholder, Glenn<br />

Maud, had financial problems, not all of them<br />

associated with the Spanish property.<br />

In Spain, the companies in Marme<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 52


AUTHOR – Peter Walker<br />

Group petitioned for involuntary insolvency<br />

proceedings. Glenn Maud, a director of<br />

Ramblas, assisted in the defence, when the<br />

petitioning creditors commenced proceedings<br />

against that company in England. Resistance<br />

was futile, because the court awarded the<br />

claimants €105 million (Edgeworth Capital<br />

(Luxembourg) v Ramblas Investments BV<br />

[2016] 1 All ER (Comm) 168).<br />

The claimants then presented a bankruptcy<br />

petition against Glenn Maud, and the Registrar<br />

indicated his intention to make a bankruptcy<br />

order, but there was a development, a new<br />

bid for the Marme Group by a London-based<br />

investment firm. The bankruptcy proceedings<br />

were stayed pending an appeal. This was when<br />

the falling-out of the petitioning creditors<br />

became apparent. They sought separate<br />

representation at the subsequent hearings.<br />

Dissenting creditors are not new, because<br />

the Courts have had to deal with them in<br />

the past. Snowden J referred to a statement<br />

in the case In re Leigh Estate (UK) Ltd [1994]<br />

BCC 292. When some creditors supported a<br />

winding up petition, and others opposed it, ‘it<br />

is for the court to decide as a matter of judicial<br />

discretion, what weight to attribute to each<br />

side of the contest’.<br />

And what a contest! There had been several<br />

in the English courts, and the various amounts<br />

added up to more than €200 million. One of<br />

the petitioning creditors wanted an immediate<br />

bankruptcy order. Mr Maud could not reopen<br />

the question of abuse of process, because the<br />

petitioner’s purpose was the repayment of his<br />

personal loan, and its collateral purpose could<br />

not result in any prejudice to his creditors.<br />

There was no possibility that he could not repay<br />

his debts, so there was no point in delaying his<br />

bankruptcy.<br />


The other petitioning creditor wanted delay,<br />

and it questioned the motive of the other. It<br />

suggested that this first petitioning creditor<br />

was using the procedure to gain control over<br />

the Spanish property, which was possibly<br />

worth more than existing debt of the Marme<br />

Group companies. This could be an abuse of<br />

the collective process.<br />

There was more evidence now from the<br />

petitioning creditors, so Snowden J could<br />

justify the reopening of some of the issues.<br />

The first petitioning creditor confirmed that<br />

it wanted repayment of the personal loan. It<br />

also wanted to acquire the Spanish property,<br />

and additionally the junior loan to assist in<br />

the process. It was agreed as a matter of law<br />

that bankruptcy proceedings in respect of an<br />

undisputed debt should not be used to become<br />

a detailed investigation into any collateral<br />

purpose. The debt itself is undisputed, but<br />

there could still be an abuse of process.<br />

There is, for example, the case A Company<br />

(No 1573 of 1983) [1983] BCLC 492, where the<br />

petitioning creditor intended the landlord<br />

to forfeit the company’s lease. The creditors<br />

represented by the petitioner would have<br />

been deprived of any benefit from the lease.<br />

The petitioning creditor for himself could<br />

then negotiate a new lease with the landlord.<br />

This effectively would reduce the value of the<br />

bankrupt estate, and that would consequently<br />

reduce the value for all the creditors. That was<br />

truly an abuse of process of the Court.<br />

Snowden J also referred to another and<br />

unusual Irish case, McGinn v Beagan [1962]<br />

IR 364. The petitioner and the debtor had a<br />

difficult relationship that had nothing to do<br />

with the debt. The former was the town clerk<br />

of a District Council of which the debtor was<br />

a Councillor. The latter had made various<br />

complaints about the conduct of the former,<br />

but when his business failed, the petitioner<br />

took an assignment of his judgment debt from a<br />

creditor. He then took out a debtor’s summons,<br />

the equivalent of a statutory demand. The<br />

debtor gave testimony that the petitioner<br />

wanted to bankrupt him, so that he would lose<br />

his seat on the Council. Budd J ruled that the<br />

process of the court should not be used for<br />

such an improper purpose. This decision has<br />

been approved in various Irish cases such as<br />

recently in the High Court by Costello J in Bank<br />

of Ireland v Smyth [2017] IEHC 5.<br />

Back in this case, In re Maud, Snowden J<br />

was not convinced that the situation was like<br />

that of the McGinn case. He had to consider<br />

whether the alleged collateral purposes would<br />

result in a detriment to the creditors. During<br />

his review he noted significantly ‘that the<br />

normal rule is that trustees are required to<br />

exercise their powers unanimously’. Only if<br />

one of the joint owners of a debt is not acting<br />

genuinely as to the most appropriate method<br />

of pursuing it, the court cannot act on the<br />

submission advanced by one rather than the<br />

other.<br />

The second petitioner furthermore had<br />

not established that the first petitioner was<br />

acting in breach of its duty in relation to the<br />

jointly owned debt. There was therefore no<br />

creditor before the court entitled to ask for<br />

an immediate bankruptcy order. Snowden J<br />

would neither dismiss the petition nor make<br />

an immediate bankruptcy order. The parties<br />

would later have to appear before him for<br />

appropriate directions from him, and, among<br />

other considerations, developments in the<br />

Spanish insolvency proceedings could be<br />

important.<br />

Such delays caused by disagreement<br />

among the creditors about how to proceed<br />

are undesirable. A credit manager in this<br />

situation would obviously be concerned, and<br />

it is important that personal considerations<br />

amounting to an abuse of process must be<br />

avoided. The prime objective must be to collect<br />

as much of the debt as possible, and not to<br />

waste both time and money.<br />

Peter Walker is a freelance business writer.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 53


Personnel Development<br />

How recruitment in credit management has<br />

changed and continues to evolve.<br />

AUTHOR – Karen Young<br />

IN celebration of the 80th<br />

anniversary of the Chartered<br />

Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

I thought it would be interesting<br />

to share my insight into how<br />

recruitment has evolved over<br />

this period of time. Having joined Hays<br />

in 1996, I have experienced huge changes<br />

in the recruitment industry in light of<br />

advancements in technology and data<br />

that have changed some of what we do<br />

as recruitment consultants. However,<br />

ultimately I believe the fundamental<br />

values which form the basis of how good<br />

recruitment consultants do their jobs have<br />

stayed the same.<br />


Recruitment operated in a very different<br />

way when I began my career 23 years<br />

ago. Job advertisements for professionals<br />

were mostly promoted through local and<br />

national newspapers, with posted CVs<br />

arriving into the office sometimes in<br />

brightly coloured envelopes or printed on<br />

coloured paper to make them stand out<br />

more. When they weren’t posted, I can<br />

remember the time spent stood by the fax<br />

machine waiting for the pages of a CV so<br />

I could begin working on that candidate’s<br />

career choices. Candidates would also<br />

visit the office in person to schedule an<br />

appointment for the following week.<br />

We maintained positive and vital faceto-face<br />

professional relationships with<br />

our candidates and clients, but data was<br />

certainly processed in a very different way.<br />


Up until the advent of online job boards, I<br />

would come across jobs in my local paper<br />

which listed a few details about the role<br />

and its hourly rate or salary. However, the<br />

gradual move to advertising jobs online<br />

over the years replaced the standard<br />

print model of recruitment, enabling<br />

candidates to interact with a higher<br />

volume of job advertisements. Supported<br />

by the more consistent introduction<br />

of email, these early digital advances<br />

established an ‘advertise and apply’ model<br />

whereby consultants would place a job<br />

advertisement and receive applications<br />

from suitable candidates. Volumes of<br />

responses would vary from one job to the<br />

next but could be anything from a small<br />

handful for a niche role, through to several<br />

hundred.<br />


By far the most considerable change<br />

for me among those early digital<br />

developments in recruitment was the<br />

introduction of LinkedIn. I joined<br />

the platform in July 2008 and already<br />

sensed a real transformation within the<br />

industry. Now, in <strong>2019</strong>, with over 300,000<br />

Hays followers in the UK and Ireland<br />

alone and 2.6 million followers globally,<br />

LinkedIn is Hays’ biggest social channel<br />

and is an integral element of connecting<br />

with our clients and candidates. Along<br />

with other networking sites, these<br />

platforms continue to establish new ways<br />

of reaching and attracting candidates,<br />

as well as maintaining relationships with<br />

clients.<br />


In addition to the advancement of social<br />

media, more advanced search technology<br />

and job board aggregators have changed<br />

the way people find work as well as how<br />

recruiters do their jobs. By using just a<br />

handful of online resources, jobseekers<br />

can now encounter a huge volume of jobs<br />

and are able to streamline their search<br />

according to their preferences. Our<br />

recruiters at Hays are constantly finding<br />

new ways to source the right candidates<br />

for the right roles, and this kind of<br />

technology has played an important part<br />

in this.<br />


While traditionally consultants would<br />

place a job advert and wait for applications,<br />

in today’s skills-short candidate market,<br />

waiting for candidate responses is not<br />

proactive enough to seek out the talent<br />

and skills that our clients expect from us.<br />

Our recruitment experts now embrace<br />

what we call a ‘find and engage’ model<br />

of working. This approach recognises the<br />

importance of engaging with candidates<br />

throughout their entire careers, thereby<br />

supporting passive job seekers who may<br />

not be actively jobhunting but who are<br />

open to new opportunities. While there<br />

will always be a crucial element of the<br />

advertise and apply model underpinning<br />

the way we work, utilising technology and<br />

data enables consultants to maximise the<br />

support they can offer to their candidates<br />

over the long-term to work as lifelong<br />

careers partners.<br />

Reflecting on my 23 years at Hays,<br />

it’s clear that both time and technology<br />

have changed the recruitment landscape<br />

significantly throughout that period, let<br />

alone 80 years. Recruitment will always<br />

remain a people-driven business, but it<br />

is also one where embracing technology<br />

and data advancements increasingly<br />

helps us support our candidates and<br />

clients. As with many things, it is a little<br />

of the old and a little of the new that<br />

will deliver successful outcomes for the<br />

people we support – and that is the art of<br />

recruitment.<br />

Karen Young is Director at Hays<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 54

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Be a leader – Join the CICM Best Practice Network today<br />

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The Role of Debt Sale in<br />

Commercial <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Karen Savage talks about her recent move to commercial debt<br />

purchaser, Azzurro Associates.<br />

Karen qualified as alawyer in 1996, specialising in commercial recoveries, litigation and insolvency.<br />

She has held senior leadership roles throughout her career most recently with Shoosmiths where she<br />

was National Head of the Commercial Recoveries Team. Under her leadership the Team won Legal<br />

Team of the Year atthe CICM British <strong>Credit</strong> Awards in 2018.<br />

Tell us about Azzurro<br />

Azzurro is a commercial debt purchaser<br />

with offices in London, Manchester and the<br />

Netherlands, owned by a large investment<br />

fund. Azzurro was formed by Andrew Birkwood,<br />

formerly the Chief Investment Officer of<br />

FTSE listed debt purchaser, Arrow Global. The<br />

management team has more than combined<br />

100 years experience and our strategic vision is<br />

to make adifference tothe way commercial and<br />

niche consumer debt markets operate.<br />

Why the move to Azzurro?<br />

Imet Andrew in 2013 when Arrow was bidding<br />

on acommercial loan book that mylegal team<br />

were servicing. We have similar values and share<br />

an entrepreneurial spirit and an ambitious vision.<br />

Ihave joined Azzurro astheir Chief Operations<br />

Officer and my principle responsibilities are<br />

overseeing the company’s operations, external<br />

partnerships and leading origination with<br />

Andrew.<br />

When Andrew told me about his vision for<br />

a commercial debt purchaser, I could see the<br />

business opportunity immediately and that debt<br />

sale would be another tool in the credit managers<br />

armoury.When Andrew asked me to join Azzurro,<br />

Iwas excited by the opportunity to help grow<br />

and develop the business. Leaving Shoosmiths<br />

wasincredibly hardthough. It is agreat firm with<br />

really great clients, afantastic leadership team,<br />

people and culture. It will remain byfar the best<br />

law firm Ihave worked for and remains one of<br />

our valued partners.<br />

What makes Azzurro different?<br />

Debt sale in the commercial sector is not<br />

common. We want to be the leading provider<br />

of liquidity solutions to the commercial<br />

debt market, providing fair value, compliant<br />

processes and building strong partnerships with<br />

our clients. Wehave leading analytics, decision<br />

Karen Savage<br />

science and pricing teams based in Manchester<br />

where we utilise cutting edge processes to<br />

price, onboard and service portfolios that we<br />

purchase. We are open and transparent with<br />

clients throughout the process and beyond,<br />

building trust with them, and supporting them<br />

heavily in the process if they haven’t sold<br />

debt before. The strategy is succeeding. We<br />

completed our first full year oftrading in 2018<br />

and we currently have over £300 million assets<br />

under management.<br />

What type of debt doyou buy?<br />

We specialise in purchasing customer accounts<br />

from arange of businesses that include:<br />

•B2B invoice portfolios<br />

•Commercial lending<br />

•<strong>Credit</strong> insurance portfolios<br />

•Commercial energy, utility and telco<br />

•Mortgage shortfall (commercial and consumer)<br />

•Motor finance (commercial and consumer).<br />

Nominated byher clients, Karen (centre)<br />

winning business leader of the year -at<br />

women in credit awards 2018<br />

While our strategy is the acquisition of<br />

commercial debt and niche consumer portfolios<br />

we have access to awell-established fund and<br />

are fortunate to be able to be opportunistic;<br />

the purchase of our Dutch business last year is<br />

an example of that. While our current areas of<br />

focusinclude the UK,the Netherlands,Franceand<br />

Portugal we intend to add additional markets in<br />

<strong>2019</strong>.<br />

Do you outsource collections for the debt you<br />

buy?<br />

Yes wedo. But we fully understand that, once<br />

clients have sold their debt tous, they have a<br />

continuing interest in protection of their brand. So<br />

theyneed to be confidentthatwewillcollectthe<br />

debt, effectively but by operating to the highest<br />

ethical standard. We are currently awaiting our<br />

authorisation from the FCA. We work with a<br />

small number of trusted DCAs and Law Firms<br />

who manage the customer relationships on our<br />

behalf.<br />

Whatwould yousay to credit managers who have<br />

concern about debt sale and negative publicity?<br />

Our clients brand protection is of paramount<br />

importance to us. Our clients need to have<br />

complete confidence inthe way werecover the<br />

debts –soweare completely transparent and<br />

share performance data. We share oversight of<br />

our servicing partners and agree the servicing<br />

activity in advanceofany transaction. We provide<br />

clients with regular performance updates,<br />

scheduling periodic workshops for this purpose.<br />

Why should a commercial credit manager<br />

consider debt sale at all?<br />

Debt sale offers businesses away to monetise<br />

unpaid debt quickly, and we have a longerterm<br />

payment horizon. With our access to data<br />

analytics, account segmentation, benchmark<br />

servicing strategies and use of all tools of<br />

collection at our disposal, we can make the<br />

investment work. For example, many accounts<br />

may bedeemed uneconomical to pursue by a<br />

credit manager,because the value is toosmallfor<br />

litigation. We do not have the same budgetary<br />

constraints and where litigation makes sense,<br />

we will make the investment inthe court fees,<br />

regardless ofthe debt amount, within reason.<br />

How long does adebt sale take?<br />

Ihave seen it take aslittle as three weeks toas<br />

long as ayear, but the average time is probably<br />

about three months. Once a (non-disclosure<br />

agreement (NDA) has been signed and data<br />

shared we provide an indicative price. Following<br />

on sitedue diligenceafinal bid is prepared which<br />

clarifies our collection strategy and outlines<br />

the terms of purchase. A sale and purchase<br />

agreement isthen agreed and we complete our<br />

investment committee process. The parties then<br />

complete the transaction.<br />

If you have any questions about<br />

commercial debt sale or other<br />

Azzurro finance products,<br />

contact Karen at<br />



FULL NAME:<br />

Syed Nauman<br />


<strong>Credit</strong> Manager EMEA<br />

Theory | Helmut | JBRAND<br />


Theory<br />

80SECONDS<br />

WITH<br />


MANAGEMENT: 12+<br />


More than five years<br />



Not by design! I have an Honours degree in<br />

Human Nutrition, but got into credit control<br />

soon after graduating and decided to push<br />

forward in this field.<br />

AGM, Insolvency and<br />

CICM HQ updates<br />

East of England Branch<br />

THE event at FRP Advisory<br />

in Brentwood opened with<br />

branch member and FRP<br />

Partner Paul Atkinson’s<br />

insolvency update, covering<br />

the increase in insolvencies, and the<br />

sectors affected most (retail, restaurants,<br />

construction, and care homes); the<br />

inability of businesses to plan with the<br />

uncertainty of Brexit; GDPR; and potential<br />

changes to HMRC’s preferential creditors’<br />

status. Paul’s talk stimulated much<br />

discussion.<br />

Branch member Pete Whitmore FCICM<br />

gave an update on his work as Regional<br />

Representative and CICM Chair, covering<br />

CICM’s new senior management team,<br />

work with the Government, changes to the<br />

operation of the Advisory Council and the<br />

new Fellows of the Future initiative. He<br />

congratulated the Branch Committee for<br />

their activities and enthusiasm.<br />

Chairman Richard Brown FCICM<br />

reported on another good year, and on the<br />

first events in Cambridge and Norwich<br />

across the wider geographically expanded<br />

branch.<br />

The branch’s major conference Deal<br />

or No Deal, held in London in November,<br />

had not been as well attended as some,<br />

but members attending from an amazing<br />

eight CICM branches gave the best-ever<br />

feedback on the venue, content and<br />

speakers. Richard thanked Goodman<br />

Masson for hosting and sponsoring,<br />

Advanced Collection Systems for its<br />

charity donation to Great Ormond Street<br />

(GOSH) and Cforia for sponsoring the<br />

business card draw.<br />

Denise Bassingthwaighte’s Treasurer’s<br />

report advised a healthy bank balance<br />

despite additional costs of travelling across<br />

the branch’s seven counties.<br />

An 11-strong committee was elected<br />

– the existing nine plus Ron Bidwell of<br />

JLL and Andrew Martin of Hays. Atul<br />

Vadher FCICM took over as Chairman<br />

from Richard Brown who became Vice<br />

Chairman. Pete Whitmore thanked<br />

Richard for all that he had done as<br />

Chairman over many years.<br />

Carol Baker FCICM gave an update on,<br />

and sought views on, possible events and<br />

locations in <strong>2019</strong>. The chairman closed<br />

a stimulating and enjoyable evening by<br />

thanking FRP Advisory for kindly hosting<br />

the evening and for their generous<br />

hospitality.<br />

Author: Carol Baker FCICM<br />

Atul Vadher FCICM and Pete Whitmore FCICM<br />


YOU WORK?<br />

The people and the company culture, as<br />

we are forward thinking and constantly<br />

investing and developing in our workforce.<br />


Fixing issues. But credit control/<br />

management is more than just getting<br />

your receivable’s in check, it’s all about<br />

relationships.<br />



CAREER?<br />

Today the credit function plays a much<br />

more central and commercial role within<br />

most organisations and the credit manager<br />

has had to become more business<br />

orientated.<br />



Rosa Parks, John F Kennedy and Sun Tzu.<br />

Because there was still a lot to be said and<br />

a lot still to be learned. Besides, imagine<br />

getting these three around a table!<br />



Restoring classic cars and building bicycles<br />

from scratch. I’m not sure why but I find it<br />

therapeutic!<br />


The best among us are those who are<br />

transparent.<br />



Helping a struggling client from being<br />

closed down by re-structuring their debt<br />

and helping them approach other suppliers<br />

to do the same.<br />



<strong>Credit</strong> control has gone from a “function”<br />

of a business to playing a more centric role<br />

within an organisation.<br />



DOING?<br />

The day I decide I need a change you will<br />

be the first to know.<br />


YEARS’ TIME?<br />

In the same field, perhaps at directorate<br />

level or higher.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 59



CAREER<br />



Manchester, up to £65,000<br />

With large investments in its products and services, this<br />

company has an exciting new opportunity for a head of<br />

credit to lead the teams and nurture the talent to operate<br />

effectively. You will maintain a commercial approach<br />

whilst developing process improvements to ensure<br />

faster receivables and increased customer satisfaction.<br />

In return, you will receive a competitive salary, benefits,<br />

bonus and holiday along with an excellent working<br />

environment with an on-site restaurant, gym and<br />

squash court.<br />

Ref: 2015440<br />

Contact Ashleigh Daniels on 0161 236 7272<br />

or email ashleigh.daniels@hays.com<br />



London, £40,000 + bonus<br />

This fast-paced and growing recruitment company is<br />

looking for a team leader to head up its credit control<br />

team. The role will involve the day-to-day management<br />

of three credit controllers, chasing debt via NHS portal<br />

and on the phone and extensive use of excel and other<br />

accountancy systems. You will have strong excel skills,<br />

be a natural problem solver and be able to adapt quickly<br />

to different situations. <strong>Credit</strong> control experience within<br />

a supervising or senior position is also required.<br />

Ref: 3502116<br />

Contact Holly Parkes on 020 3465 0020<br />

or email holly.parkes@hays.com<br />



Belfast, up to £50,000<br />

An excellent opportunity has arisen within a market<br />

leading, high velocity, FMCG business. It is seeking a<br />

highly skilled credit manager who has vast experience in<br />

managing a large team. You will be responsible for leading<br />

a team of billing, credit risk and credit control professionals.<br />

Supported by a team lead, you will run the strategic and<br />

operational credit control activities for the Group. You will<br />

have the opportunity to work closely with key managers<br />

across the business and play a vital role in the finance<br />

operations of the business. In return, you will receive<br />

a competitive salary and benefits. Ref: 3387410<br />

Contact Nicola McCallum on 028 9044 6911<br />

or email nicola.mccallum@hays.com<br />



Hull, £30,000-£40,000 DOE + bonus<br />

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a deputy credit<br />

manager in the largest independent business in the UK<br />

within its sector. The business prides itself on its customer<br />

service and believe this sets them apart from their<br />

competition. Working closely with the <strong>Credit</strong> Manager,<br />

you will initially be responsible for driving systems<br />

improvements and supporting projects. Once established,<br />

you will also assist in the day-to-day management of a<br />

large credit control team. To be successful, you will have a<br />

good understanding of litigation and credit. Ref: 3528337<br />

Contact Nick Keen on 01482 225955<br />

or email nick.keen@hays.com<br />

hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 60



Bournemouth, up to £35,000 + benefits<br />

This well established and growing residential healthcare<br />

company is looking for an experienced credit controller<br />

to take charge of the debtors ledger for a group of care<br />

homes. Your main duties will be to liaise with members<br />

of the NHS, local authorities and private fee payers,<br />

develop and roll out group credit control processes and<br />

procedures, take ownership of any issues and manage<br />

all legal proceedings with legal advisors in line with<br />

correct protocol. This is a fantastic opportunity to work<br />

autonomously and make a difference in an established and<br />

reputable company. You will need experience as a credit<br />

manager and have worked in a healthcare environment.<br />

Ref: 3539118<br />

Contact James Cuesta on 01202 048611<br />

or email james.cuesta@hays.com<br />



Northamptonshire, £20,000-£22,000<br />

A recycling business based on the outskirts of<br />

Northampton that specialise in converting food waste into<br />

energy and mainly fuel products, is looking for a credit<br />

controller to join its team on a permanent basis. As part<br />

of the 15 strong credit control department, the role will<br />

include chasing debt through phone calls, letters and<br />

email, collecting outstanding monies owed, dealing<br />

with internal sales queries, customer queries and general<br />

ad-hoc finance duties. In return, you will receive a<br />

competitive salary, training and free parking.<br />

Ref: 3515009<br />

Contact Alex Smith on 01604 621733<br />

or email alex.smith@hays.com<br />




Trafford Park, up to £24,000<br />

A worldwide well-established retail organisation has<br />

an exciting opportunity for a credit controller to join<br />

its team. Reporting into the <strong>Credit</strong> Manager, your<br />

responsibilities will include working on the French ledger,<br />

ensuring the collection of aged debt from customers,<br />

allocating and reconciling cash to debtor accounts,<br />

negotiating payment plans, monitoring and maintaining<br />

accounts and following the accounts through to legal<br />

action as and when required. You will be a forward<br />

thinking, pro-active, organised individual who has strong<br />

knowledge of the risk management function and a<br />

general commercial business awareness. Ref: 3541988<br />

Contact Lisa Jones on 0161 926 8605<br />

or email lisa.jones@hays.com<br />




New Malden, £13.85 per hour<br />

As a FTSE 250 business and corporate recruiter to the<br />

CICM, Hays Specialist Recruitment has several exciting<br />

opportunities for skilled credit controllers to join the<br />

professional credit team at the shared service centre in<br />

New Malden. The roles are on-going temporary assignments<br />

with a minimum of three months’ work. You will be a<br />

passionate, resilient, forward-thinking credit professional<br />

with sound experience in reducing aged debt and cash<br />

collection. This is a fantastic opportunity where you can<br />

achieve results and be rewarded accordingly. Ref: 3545192<br />

Contact Mark Ordoña on 020 8247 4042<br />

or email mark.ordona@hays.com<br />

This is just a small selection of the many<br />

opportunities we have available for credit<br />

professionals. To find out more email<br />

hayscicm@hays.com or visit us online.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 61


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

We are inviting all members to bring a colleague to a CICM membership<br />

event, free of charge. For more information, email events@cicm.com<br />

CICM<br />

EVENTS<br />

3 April<br />

CICM Sheffield Branch<br />


Lawful Investigation and Tracing of Debtors,<br />

Surveillance and Profiling – 1CPD<br />

Contact : Myron Fedak, Branch Secretary at<br />

Sheffieldanddistrictbranch@cicm.com<br />

VENUE : Mercure Sheffield Parkway Hotel<br />

Britannia Way, Catcliffe, Sheffield, S60 5BD<br />

4 April<br />

CICM North East Branch<br />

The Return of Brexit Bryan – 2CPD<br />


Contact : email northeastbranch@cicm.com<br />

VENUE : Dance City (The Corner) Temple St,<br />

Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4BR<br />

4 April<br />

CICM North West Branch<br />


Annual General Meeting<br />

Members and non-members welcome at this<br />

FREE event.<br />

Contact : email northwestbranch@cicm.com*<br />

VENUE : Novotel Manchester West Hotel<br />

Worsley Brow, Worsley, Manchester M28 2YA<br />

11 April<br />

CICM East Midlands Branch<br />


Bankruptcy Update 2CPD<br />

Contact : Brent Cumming, Branch Chairman on<br />

eastmidlandsbranch@cicm.com<br />

VENUE : Nelsons Solicitors, Provincial House,<br />

37 New Walk, Leicester, LE1 6TU<br />

24 April<br />

CICM Thames Valley Branch<br />

DIDCOT<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Services in the Publishing Industry – 1CPD<br />

Food and refreshments will be provided at this<br />

FREE event! Members and non-members most<br />

welcome.<br />


Contact : Email thamesvalleybranch@cicm.com<br />

Deadline for booking is 19 April <strong>2019</strong>.<br />

VENUE : Hachette UK Distribution Centre<br />

Milton Road, Didcot, OX11 7HH<br />

OTHER<br />

EVENTS<br />

1 April<br />

Corporate Partner Onguard<br />


Onguard and Altares Dun & Bradstreet invite you<br />

for a dynamic and practical afternoon on the<br />

subject, ‘Big data regarding order to redeem’.<br />

Contact : Please visit our online events calendar<br />

for booking details.<br />

VENUE : The Ark Antwerp, Belgium.<br />

9 April<br />

Forums International<br />


<strong>Credit</strong> Professionals Forum<br />

Contact : For an in information pack email<br />

cpf@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

VENUE : Coppid Beech Hotel, John Nike Way,<br />

Bracknell, RG12 8TF<br />

10 April<br />

Forums International<br />

LONDON<br />

SAP User Group<br />

Contact : For an information pack email<br />

sapug@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

VENUE : Moore Stephens, London<br />

11 April<br />

Forums International<br />


IT Distributor & Reseller <strong>Credit</strong> Forum<br />

Contact : For an information pack email<br />

drf@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

VENUE : TBC, Stratford Upon Avon<br />

More reasons to be a member<br />

12-14 May<br />

ICTF – International <strong>Credit</strong> Professionals<br />

Symposium<br />

KRAKOW<br />

Global <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> Excellence,<br />

Expert Perspectives and Best Practices<br />

Contact : Please visit our online events calendar<br />

for booking details.<br />

VENUE : Sheraton Grand Krakow Hotel<br />

7 Powisle Street, Krakow 31-101, Poland<br />

14 May<br />

Forums International<br />

LONDON<br />

Export / International <strong>Credit</strong> Forum<br />

Contact : For an information pack email<br />

ecf@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

VENUE : Moore Stephens, London<br />

15 May<br />

Forums International<br />


Annual Golf Tournament<br />

Contact : For more information email<br />

info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

VENUE : Whittlebury Park Golf Club<br />

Nr. Towcester, Northamptonshire<br />

22-24 May<br />

R3 Annual Conference<br />

HEXHAM<br />

The 29th R3 Annual Conference is the<br />

opportunity for the insolvency, restructuring<br />

and turnaround community to discuss, debate<br />

and chart a course through current and future<br />

concerns facing the profession and explore the<br />

latest topics and issues of the day. Philip King<br />

FCICM, the Chief Executive of the Chartered<br />

Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> will be one of the<br />

speakers.<br />

Contact : Please visit our online events calendar<br />

for booking details.<br />

VENUE : Slaley Hall, Coal Rd, Hexham, NE47 0BX<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> is distributed to the entire UK and international<br />

CICM membership, as well as additional subscribers<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 62

View our digital version online at www.cicm.com<br />

Log on to the Members’ area, and click on the tab labelled<br />

‘<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> magazine’<br />

Just another great reason to be a member<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> is distributed to the entire UK and international<br />

CICM membership, as well as additional subscribers<br />

The Recognised Standard<br />

www.cicm.com | +44 (0)1780 722900 | editorial@cicm.com

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CICM Directory of Services<br />




Atradius Collections Ltd<br />

3 Harbour Drive,<br />

Capital Waterside,<br />

Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ<br />

United Kingdom<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 824700<br />

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/<br />

Atradius Collections Ltd is an established specialist in business<br />

to business collections. As the collections division of the Atradius<br />

Crédito y Caución, we have a strong position sharing history,<br />

knowledge and reputation.<br />

Annually handling more than 110,000 cases and recovering over<br />

a billion EUROs in collections at any one time, we deliver when<br />

it comes to collecting outstanding debts. With over 90 years’<br />

experience, we have an in-depth understanding of the importance of<br />

maintaining customer relationships whilst efficiently and effectively<br />

collecting monies owed.<br />

The individual nature of our clients’ customer relationships is<br />

reflected in the customer focus we provide, structuring our service<br />

to meet your specific needs. We work closely with clients to provide<br />

them with a collection strategy that echoes their business character,<br />

trading patterns and budget.<br />

For further information contact: Hans Meijer, UK and Ireland Country<br />

Director (hans.meijer@atradius.com).<br />


Premium Collections Limited<br />

3 Caidan House, Canal Road<br />

Timperley, Cheshire. WA14 1TD<br />

T: +44 (0)161 962 4695<br />

E: paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

W: www.premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

For all your credit management requirements Premium Collections<br />

has the solution to suit you. Operating on a national and international<br />

basis we can tailor a package of products and services to meet your<br />

requirements.<br />

Services include B2B collections, B2C collections, international<br />

collections, absconder tracing, asset repossessions, status reporting<br />

and litigation support.<br />

Managed from our offices in Manchester, Harrogate and Dublin our<br />

network of 55 partners cover the World.<br />

Contact Paul Daine FCICM on +44 (0)161 962 4695 or<br />

paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

www.premiumcollections.co.uk<br />


Lovetts Solicitors<br />

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway, Old Portsmouth<br />

Road, Guildford, Surrey GU3 1LR<br />

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

W: www.lovetts.co.uk<br />

Lovetts has been recovering debts for 30 years! When you<br />

want the right expertise to recover overdue debts why not use a<br />

specialist? Lovetts’ only line of business is the recovery of<br />

business debts and any resulting commercial litigation.<br />

We provide:<br />

• Letters Before Action, prompting positive outcomes in more than<br />

80 percent of cases • Overseas Pre-litigation collections with<br />

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

management system ‘CaseManager’<br />

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

“...All our service expectations have been exceeded...”<br />

“...The online system is particularly useful and is extremely easy<br />

to use... “...Lovetts has a recognisable brand that generates<br />

successful results...”<br />

Yuill + Kyle<br />

Capella, 60 York Street, Glasgow, G2 8JX, Scotland, UK<br />

T: 0141 572 4251<br />

E: scowan@yuill-kyle.co.uk<br />

W: www.debtscotland.com<br />

Do You Have Trouble Collecting Debts in<br />

Scotland? We Don’t<br />

Yuill + Kyle is one of Scotland’s leading debt recovery and credit<br />

control law firms. With over 100 years of experience, we are<br />

specialists in resolving disputed and undisputed debts. Our track<br />

record for successful recoveries means you have just moved one step<br />

closer to getting your money back.<br />

How we can help you:<br />

• Specialist advice for all of your legal matters<br />

• A responsive and straightforward approach<br />

• Providing you with solutions-driven advice<br />

• Delivering cost certainty and value for money<br />

Our services<br />

• Pre-sue • Fast track collections • Judgement enforcement<br />

• Insolvency • Bankruptcy • Liquidation<br />


Court Enforcement Services<br />

Wayne Whitford – Director<br />

M: +44 (0)7834 748 183 T : +44 (0)1992 663 399<br />

E : wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

W: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

High Court Enforcement that will Empower You!<br />

We help law firms and in-house debt recovery and legal teams to<br />

enforce CCJs by transferring them up to the High Court. Setting us<br />

apart in the industry, our unique and Award Winning Field Agent App<br />

helps to provide information in real time and transparency, empowering<br />

our clients when they work with us.<br />

• Free Transfer up process of CCJ’s to High Court<br />

• Exceptional Recovery Rates<br />

• Individual Client Attention and Tailored Solutions<br />

• Real Time Client Access to Cases<br />


Company Watch<br />

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,<br />

LONDON. EC3N 2ER<br />

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300<br />

E: info@companywatch.net<br />

W: www.companywatch.net<br />

Organisations around the world rely on Company Watch’s industryleading<br />

financial analytics to drive their credit risk processes. Our<br />

financial risk modelling and ability to map medium to long-term risk as<br />

well as short-term credit risk set us apart from other credit reference<br />

agencies.<br />

Quality and rigour run through everything we do, from our unique<br />

method of assessing corporate financial health via our H-Score®, to<br />

developing analytics on our customers’ in-house data.<br />

With the H-Score® predicting almost 90 percent of corporate<br />

insolvencies in advance, it is the risk management tool of choice,<br />

providing actionable intelligence in an uncertain world.<br />

Blaser Mills Law<br />

40 Oxford Road,<br />

High Wycombe,<br />

Buckinghamshire. HP11 2EE<br />

T: 01494 478660/478661<br />

E: Jackie Ray jar@blasermills.co.uk or<br />

Gary Braathen gpb@blasermills.co.uk<br />

W: www.blasermills.co.uk<br />

A full-service firm, Blaser Mills Law’s experienced Commercial<br />

Recoveries team offer pre-legal collections, debt recovery,<br />

litigation, dispute resolution and insolvency. The team includes<br />

CICM qualified staff, recommended in both Legal 500 and<br />

Chambers & Partners legal directories.<br />

Offices in High Wycombe, Amersham, Rickmansworth, London<br />

and Silverstone<br />

Sanders Consulting Associates Ltd<br />

T: +44(0)1525 720226<br />

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

Sanders Consulting is an independent niche consulting firm<br />

specialising in leadership and performance improvement in all aspects<br />

of the order to cash process. Chris Sanders FCICM, the principal, is<br />

well known in the industry with a wealth of experience in operational<br />

credit management, billing, change and business process improvement.<br />

A sought after speaker with cross industry international experience in<br />

the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets, his<br />

innovative and enthusiastic approach delivers pragmatic people and<br />

process lead solutions and significant working capital improvements to<br />

clients. Sanders Consulting are proud to manage CICMQ on behalf of<br />

and under the supervision of the CICM.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 64<br />

CoCredo<br />

Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD<br />

T: 01494 790600<br />

E: customerservice@cocredo.com<br />

W: www.cocredo.co.uk<br />

CoCredo’s award winning credit reporting and monitoring systems have<br />

helped to protect over £27 billion of turnover on behalf of our customers.<br />

Our company data is updated continually throughout the day and access<br />

to the online portal is available 365 days a year 24/7.<br />

At CoCredo we aggregate data from a range of leading providers in<br />

the UK and across the globe so that our customers can view the best<br />

available data in an easy to read report. We offer customers XML<br />

Integration and D.N.A Portfolio <strong>Management</strong> as well as an industry-first<br />

Dual Report, comparing two leading providers opinions in one report.




grace@cabbell.co.uk<br />




Experian<br />

The Sir John Peace Building, Experian Way<br />

NG2 Business Park, Nottingham NG80 1ZZ<br />

T: 0844 481 9920<br />

W: www.experian.co.uk/business-information/<br />

For over 30 years Experian have been processing, matching and deriving<br />

insights to provide accurate, up-to-date information that helps B2B<br />

organisations to make more effective, fact based decisions, reduce<br />

risks and meet regulatory standards. We turn complex data into clear<br />

insights that help manage UK and international businesses to maximise<br />

opportunities for growth and identify and minimise the associated risks.<br />

Blending our business and consumer data we can offer a truly blended<br />

score for sole traders and enhanced scoring on SME’s to tell you more<br />

about the business and the people behind the business. Experian can<br />

support with new business, acquisition through to collections while<br />

managing KYC requirements online or via our suite of APIs.<br />


Keyivr<br />

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000<br />

E: sales@keyivr W: www.keyivr.com<br />

Key IVR are proud to have joined the Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong>’s Corporate partnership scheme. The CICM is a<br />

recognised and trusted professional entity within credit management<br />

and a perfect partner for Key IVR. We are delighted to be providing<br />

our services to the CICM to assist with their membership collection<br />

activities. Key IVR provides a suite of products to assist companies<br />

across the Europe with credit management. Our service is based<br />

around giving the end-user the means to make a payment when and<br />

how they choose. Using automated collection methods, such as a<br />

secure telephone payment line (IVR), web and SMS allows companies<br />

to free up valuable staff time away from typical debt collection.<br />


Proud supporters<br />

of CICMQ<br />

Rimilia<br />

Corbett House, Westonhall Road, Bromsgrove, B60 4AL<br />

T: +44 (0)1527 872123 E: enquiries@rimilia.com<br />

W: www.rimilia.com<br />

Operating globally across any sector, Rimilia provides intelligent,<br />

finance automation solutions that enable customers to get paid on time<br />

and control their cashflow and cash collection in real time. Rimilia’s<br />

software solutions use sophisticated analytics and artificial intelligence<br />

(AI) to predict customer payment behaviour and easily match and<br />

reconcile payments, removing the uncertainty of cash collection. The<br />

Rimilia software automates the complete accounts receivable process<br />

and eliminates unallocated cash, reducing manual activity by an<br />

average 70% and achieving best in class matching rates recognised<br />

by industry specialists such as The Hackett Group.<br />


Graydon UK<br />

66 College Road, 2nd Floor, Hygeia Building, Harrow,<br />

Middlesex, HA1 1BE<br />

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400<br />

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk<br />

W: www.graydon.co.uk<br />

Graydon UK is a specialist in <strong>Credit</strong> Risk <strong>Management</strong> and Intelligence,<br />

providing access to business information on over 100 million entities<br />

across more than 190 countries. Its mission is to convert vast amounts<br />

of data from diverse data sources into invaluable information. Based<br />

on this, it generates economic, financial and commercial insights that<br />

help its customers make better business decisions and ultimately<br />

gain competitive advantage. Graydon is owned by Atradius, Coface<br />

and Euler Hermes, Europe's leading credit insurance organisations. It<br />

offers a comprehensive network of offices and partners worldwide to<br />

ensure a seamless service.<br />


SmartSearch<br />

SmartSearch, Harman House,<br />

Station Road,Guiseley, Leeds, LS20 8BX<br />

T: +44 (0)113 238 7660<br />

E: info@smartsearchuk.com W: www.smartsearchuk.com<br />

KYC, AML and CDD all rely on a combination of deep data with broad<br />

coverage, highly automated flexible technology with an innovative<br />

and intuitive customer interface. Key features include automatic<br />

Worldwide Sanction & PEP checking, Daily Monitoring, Automated<br />

Enhanced Due Diligence and pro-active customer management.<br />

Choose SmartSearch as your benchmark.<br />



T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66<br />

E: ruurd.bakker@onguard.com<br />

W: www.onguard.com<br />

Onguard is specialist in credit management software and market<br />

leader in innovative solutions for order to cash. Our integrated<br />

platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the order<br />

to cash chain and allows sharing of critical data.<br />

Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected and offer<br />

overview and control of the payment process, as well as contribute to<br />

a sustainable customer relationship.<br />

In more than 50 countries the Onguard platform is successfully used<br />

for successful credit management.<br />

Tinubu Square UK<br />

Holland House, 4 Bury Street,<br />

London EC3A 5AW<br />

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /<br />

E: uksales@tinubu.com<br />

W: www.tinubu.com<br />

Founded in 2000, Tinubu Square is a software vendor, enabler of the<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Insurance, Surety and Trade Finance digital transformation.<br />

Tinubu Square enables organizations across the world to significantly<br />

reduce their exposure to risk and their financial, operational and technical<br />

costs with best-in-class technology solutions and services. Tinubu<br />

Square provides SaaS solutions and services to different businesses<br />

including credit insurers, receivables financing organizations and<br />

multinational corporations.<br />

Tinubu Square has built an ecosystem of customers in over 20 countries<br />

worldwide and has a global presence with offices in Paris, London, New<br />

York, Montreal and Singapore.<br />

HighRadius<br />

T: +44 7399 406889<br />

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com<br />

W: www.highradius.com<br />

HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated Receivables<br />

solutions for automating receivables and payment functions such<br />

as credit, collections, cash allocation, deductions and eBilling.<br />

The Integrated Receivables suite is delivered as a software-as-aservice<br />

(SaaS). HighRadius also offers SAP-certified Accelerators<br />

for SAP S/4HANA Finance Receivables <strong>Management</strong>, enabling<br />

large enterprises to maximize the value of their SAP investments.<br />

HighRadius Integrated Receivables solutions have a proven track<br />

record of reducing days sales outstanding (DSO), bad-debt and<br />

increasing operation efficiency, enabling companies to achieve an<br />

ROI in less than a year.<br />


Dun & Bradstreet<br />

Marlow International, Parkway Marlow<br />

Buckinghamshire SL7 1AJ<br />

Telephone: (0800) 001-234 Website: www.dnb.co.uk<br />

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern finance<br />

leaders and credit professionals to improve business performance<br />

through more effective risk management, identification of growth<br />

opportunities, and better integration of data and insights across the<br />

business. Powered by our Data Cloud, our solutions provide access<br />

to the world’s most comprehensive commercial data and insights<br />

- supplying a continually updated view of business relationships<br />

that helps finance and credit teams stay ahead of market shifts and<br />

customer changes. Learn more here:<br />

www.dnb.co.uk/modernfinance<br />


Credica Ltd<br />

Building 168, Maxell Avenue, Harwell Oxford, Oxon. OX11 0QT<br />

T: 01235 856400E: info@credica.co.uk W: www.credica.co.uk<br />

Our highly configurable and extremely cost effective Collections and<br />

Query <strong>Management</strong> System has been designed with 3 goals in mind:<br />

• To improve your cashflow • To reduce your cost to collect<br />

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business<br />

Evolving over 15 years and driven by the input of 1000s of <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Professionals across the UK and Europe, our system is successfully<br />

providing significant and measurable benefits for our diverse portfolio<br />

of clients.<br />

We would love to hear from you if you feel you would benefit from our<br />

‘no nonsense’ and human approach to computer software.<br />

Data Interconnect Ltd<br />

Units 45-50<br />

Shrivenham Hundred Business Park<br />

Majors Road, Watchfield<br />

Swindon, SN6 8TZ<br />

T: +44 (0)1367 245777<br />

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk<br />

W: www.datainterconnect.com<br />

C2FO<br />

15 Statton Street, Mayfair,<br />

London W1J 8LQ<br />

T: 07799 692193<br />

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com W: www.c2fo.com<br />

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables into income,<br />

Data Interconnect provides integrated e-billing and collection uniquely connecting buyers and suppliers to allow discounts in<br />

solutions via its document delivery web portal, WebSend. exchange for early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers access<br />

By providing improved Customer Experience and Customer additional liquidity sources by accelerating payments from buyers<br />

Satisfaction, with enhanced levels of communication between when required in just two clicks, at a rate that works for them.<br />

both parties, we can substantially speed up your collection Buyers, often corporates with global supply chains, benefit from the<br />

processes.<br />

C2FO solution by improving gross margin while strengthening the<br />

financial health of supply chains through ethical business practices.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 65 continues on page 66 >

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CICM Directory of Services<br />




grace@cabbell.co.uk<br />


Gravity London<br />

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

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

W: www.gravitylondon.com<br />

Gravity is an award winning full service PR and advertising<br />

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the best<br />

in its field. It has a particular expertise in the credit sector, building<br />

long-term relationships with some of the industry’s best-known<br />

brands working on often challenging briefs. As the partner agency for<br />

the <strong>Credit</strong> Services Association (CSA) for the past 13 years, and the<br />

Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> since 2006, it understands<br />

the key issues affecting the credit industry and what works and what<br />

doesn’t in supporting its clients in the media and beyond.<br />

FORUMS<br />


T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

Forums International Ltd have been running <strong>Credit</strong> and Industry<br />

Forums since 1991. We cover a range of industry sectors and<br />

International trading, attendance is for <strong>Credit</strong> Professionals of all<br />

levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities which<br />

aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead. Attending<br />

for the first time is free for you to gauge the benefits and meet the<br />

members and we only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never<br />

intentionally be sold to.<br />


DWF LLP<br />

David Scottow Senior Director<br />

D +44 113 261 6169 M +44 7833 092628<br />

E: David.Scottow@dwf.law W: www.dwf.law/recover<br />

DWF is a global legal business, transforming legal services through<br />

our people for our clients. Led by Managing Partner & CEO Andrew<br />

Leaitherland, we have over 26 key locations and 2,800 people<br />

delivering services and solutions that go beyond expectations. We<br />

have received recognition for our work by The Financial Times who<br />

named us as one of Europe's most innovative legal advisers, and we<br />

have a range of stand-alone consultative services, technology and<br />

products in addition to the traditional legal offering.<br />


American Express<br />

76 Buckingham Palace Road,<br />

London. SW1W 9TQ<br />

T: +44 (0)1273 696933<br />

W: www.americanexpress.com<br />

American Express is working in partnership with the CICM and is<br />

a globally recognised provider of payment solutions to businesses.<br />

Specialising in providing flexible collection capabilities to drive a<br />

number of company objectives including:<br />

•Accelerate cashflow •Improved DSO •Reduce risk<br />

•Offer extended terms to customers<br />

•Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive<br />

growth •Create competitive advantage with your customers<br />

As experts in the field of payments and with a global reach,<br />

American Express is working with credit managers to drive growth<br />

within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional lever to<br />

help support supplier/client relationships American Express is proud<br />

to be an innovator in the business payments space.<br />


Bottomline Technologies<br />

115 Chatham Street, Reading<br />

Berks RG1 7JX | UK<br />

T: 0870 081 8250 E: emea-info@bottomline.com<br />

W: www.bottomline.com/uk<br />

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses<br />

pay and get paid. Businesses and banks rely on Bottomline for<br />

domestic and international payments, effective cash management<br />

tools, automated workflows for payment processing and bill<br />

review and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural analytics<br />

and regulatory compliance. Businesses around the world depend<br />

on Bottomline solutions to help them pay and get paid, including<br />

some of the world’s largest systemic banks, private and publicly<br />

traded companies and Insurers. Every day, we help our customers<br />

by making complex business payments simple, secure and seamless.<br />


Hays <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN<br />

T: 07834 260029<br />

E: karen.young@hays.com<br />

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Hays <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> is working in partnership with the CICM<br />

and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs and credit<br />

management jobs. Hays understands the demands of this challenging<br />

environment and the skills required to thrive within it. Whatever<br />

your needs, we have temporary, permanent and contract based<br />

opportunities to find your ideal role. Our candidate registration process<br />

is unrivalled, including face-to-face screening interviews and a credit<br />

control skills test developed exclusively for Hays by the CICM. We offer<br />

CICM members a priority service and can provide advice across a wide<br />

spectrum of job search and recruitment issues.<br />



Portfolio <strong>Credit</strong> Control<br />

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE<br />

T: 0207 650 3199<br />

E: recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

W: www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

Portfolio <strong>Credit</strong> Control, solely specialises in the recruitment of<br />

permanent, temporary and contract <strong>Credit</strong> Control, Accounts<br />

Receivable and Collections staff. Part of an award winning recruiter<br />

we speak to and meet credit controllers all day everyday understanding<br />

their skills and backgrounds to provide you with tried and tested credit<br />

control professionals. We have achieved enormous growth because we<br />

offer a uniquely specialist approach to our clients, with a commitment<br />

to service delivery that exceeds your expectations every single time.<br />







For only £1,250 + VAT for the year<br />

- your business will be listed in<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> magazine,<br />

which goes out to all our members<br />

and subscribers.<br />

To book your listing<br />

in <strong>Credit</strong>Who contact:<br />

Grace Ghattas<br />

T: 02036037946<br />

E: grace@cabbell.co.uk<br />

or Russell Bass<br />

E: Russell@cabbells.uk<br />

T: 0203 603 7937<br />

For even greater exposure to<br />

our membership and a closer<br />

association with CICM, why<br />

not enquire about becoming a<br />

Corporate Partner.<br />

To find out more contact<br />

Sue Chapple 07741 884 916.<br />




The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 66

FROM THE<br />


<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

magazine from 48 years ago.19<br />

71<br />

IN February 1971 Rolls Royce goes bankrupt and is nationalised,<br />

Switzerland gives women voting right in state elections, a new<br />

stock market index – the NASDAQ Composite debuts, South<br />

Vietnamese troops invade Laos with support from American air<br />

and artillery support. Protesting Belgian farmers take three live<br />

cows to an EEC meeting in Brussels, Evil Knievel sets a world<br />

record for jumping over 19 cars in Ontario, Joe Frazier defeats<br />

Muhammad Ali in a 15th round unanimous decision at Madison<br />

Square Garden.<br />


IN THE UK<br />

The Director of <strong>Credit</strong> Insurance<br />

Association, D.A. Lishman, writes about<br />

the company failures of Rolls Razor<br />

and Rolls Royce. He notes that the total<br />

number of business failures in 1970 to<br />

the Underwriters was 3,700 – a seven<br />

percent increase on the previous year.<br />


T.M. De Jong of the N.V. Philips Telecommunicatie Industrie from Hilversum in Holland<br />

addresses the Spring conference of the Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> in London and<br />

seeks to explain the meaning and purpose of credit sanctions and long-term contracts.<br />

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / April <strong>2019</strong> / PAGE 67

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