Credit Management June 2019


The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals



JUNE 2019 £12.50



The Big Issue

Debt advice: the elephant

in the room



HMRC’s plans to

become a preferred

creditor. Page 15

The pan-European market

for Non-performing loans.

Page 21

Taking control of debt

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08450 999 666






JUNE 2019



The impact of HMRC’s plans to become a

preferred creditor.


The future funding of debt advice

remains a large elephant in the room.



David Andrews considers whether bank

managers still exist.


Julian Winfield outlines the pan-

European market for Non-performing






Is Ethiopia the new land of opportunity

for exporters?


International agreements require

different terms for different regions.


The danger of dividends and a polluted



View our digital version online at Log on to the Members’

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Credit Management is distributed to the entire UK and international CICM

membership, as well as additional subscribers

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

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

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

trade mark of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.

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

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

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

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

Lauren Carter FCICM / Larry Coltman FCICM / Victoria Herd FCICM(Grad) / Philip Holbrough MCICM / Laural Jefferies MCICM

Diana Keeling FCICM / Martin Kirby FCICM / Christelle Madie FCICM / Julie-Anne Moody-Webster MCICM

Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad) / Ute Ogholoh MCICM / Bryony Pettifor FCICM(Grad) / Allan Poole MCICM / Phil Rice FCICM

Chris Sanders FCICM / Paul Taylor MCICM / Pete Whitmore FCICM.


Chartered Institute of Credit Management

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Telephone: 01780 722900




Managing Editor

Sean Feast FCICM

Deputy Editor

Alex Simmons

Art Editor

Andrew Morris

Telephone: 01780 722910


Editorial Team

Imogen Hart, Rob Howard and Iona Yadallee


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The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 3


The benefit of naming

and shaming

Sean Feast FCICM

Managing Editor

AND so, at last, it happened.

Seventeen signatories to

the Prompt Payment Code

‘named and shamed’ for

failing to honour their

commitments to paying 95

percent of all supplier invoices within 60


Some of the names may have been a

surprise: Vodafone; Rolls Royce; DHL.

Others perhaps less so: Balfour Beatty;

Costain; Laing O’Rourke. The wave

of negative publicity surrounding the

construction industry, in particular,

suggests that other names are sure to


The reaction from in-house and external

PRs to the respective businesses has ranged

from ‘take it on the chin’ to outright denial.

One suggested that their client had never

been notified, and had to go into fast retreat

when it was proven that they had not only

been told, but had also responded. Another

that it was unfair that their client had been

‘singled out’, when there were many other

firms that were just as bad. That, as our

Chief Executive Philip King FCICM points

out in his opinion piece (page 10), is akin to

justifying a speeding ticket by saying that

everyone else is doing it.

Since the PPC was launched, it has never

been in the remit of the Compliance Board

to publish the names of those signatories

that have been suspended or removed. This

changed with the announcement of the

Secretary of State for Business, Energy &

Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Greg Clark last

year that he would name and shame the


That it took so long from his

announcement to the publication of this

new list is perhaps a story for another

time, but one might look at certain

names on the list and draw one’s own

conclusions. Fear of publishing certain

names cogniscent of the damage that

it might cause to their reputation and

future profitability is, arguably, total

confirmation that the Prompt Payment

Code is a force to be reckoned with.

The metaphorical handcuffs that

were previously around the Compliance

Board’s wrists have undoubtedly

contributed to the negative publicity

that has accompanied the Code in recent

months. It is difficult to defend a Code

against accusations of not having any

teeth when you have a gag around your

mouth. Now that is changing. Now at

last the Code, and the Compliance Board,

are free to demonstrate just what the

Code is capable of – changing payment

behaviour. And it is working. Of the

seventeen companies named, fifteen have

committed to changing their payment

practices with action plans that will be

closely monitored.

The metaphorical handcuffs that were

previously around the Compliance Board’s

wrists have undoubtedly contributed to the

negative publicity that has accompanied

the Code in recent months.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 4

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The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 5


A round-up of news stories from the

world of consumer and commercial credit

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM and Alex Simmons




SEVENTEEN companies who

fail to meet the standard of the

Prompt Payment Code (PPC)

have been removed or suspended

in the first of a quarterly series

of announcements expected from the

Chartered Institute of Credit Management

(CICM) throughout the year.

Rolls Royce, Vodafone, and DHL were

among the best-known brands to have

been named alongside a tranche of

businesses from the construction sector

including John Sisk & Son Limited, Costain

Limited, and Interserve Construction.

A further company – The Go-Ahead

Group Plc, a passenger transport provider,

has been re-instated to the Code after filing

data to show that it has been paying 95

percent of all invoices within 60 days for

the last reported period. Go-Ahead

Group has also provided the Prompt

Payment Code Compliance Board with

assurance that it will continue to honour

both the spirit and the mandatory

requirements of the Code going forward.

Thousands of companies who sign up

to the Code, administered by CICM on

behalf of the Government, pledge to uphold

its best practice for payment standards

in order to help end the culture of late

payment, particularly for small businesses.

This includes a commitment to pay 95

percent of all supplier invoices within 60


Based on the new Payment Practices

Reporting data that large businesses must

publicly report, the CICM is reviewing

whether businesses are meeting the

standards of the Code and paying their

suppliers promptly. The first phase of

these reviews has identified 17 businesses

to be removed or suspended, with more

removals and suspensions expected in

the second phase of review currently

underway. Companies are already taking

action to improve, which is welcomed

and supported by CICM. Interserve

Construction, for example, has improved

its performance based on an action plan

agreed with the CICM, which has seen the

business reduce the number of payments

over 60 days by ten percent over the

second half of last year; the company is

continuing to improve towards compliance

over the next six months.

The Prompt Payment Code Compliance

Board, chaired by CICM’s Chief Executive

Philip King FCICM and including the

Small Business Commissioner Paul Uppal,

regularly reviews the data reported by

large companies under the Payment

Practices Reporting Regulations to ensure

they are upholding their commitments.

Businesses suspended from the Code are

invited to produce an action plan setting

out how they will achieve compliance

with the Code within an agreed period.

When they have achieved compliance

their status as a Code signatory will be

reinstated. If they do not, then they will be


Philip said he is disappointed with

the actions of a minority who continue

to treat their suppliers unfairly: “I take

no satisfaction in having to name them

publicly,” he explained. “Conversely, we are

encouraged by the actions taken by The

Go-Ahead Group which has now positively

engaged with the Board and given us

the reassurances we need to allow them

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 6


Twelve businesses have been suspended from the PPC, for not paying their suppliers

in line with the Code, but they have committed to make changes to meet the standards

of the Code and pay suppliers promptly. They include:

Atos IT Services UK&I – an IT services business and main UK subsidiary of Atos SE;

Balfour Beatty Plc – an international infrastructure group;

British Sugar UK – a British producer of sugar for the UK food market;

Costain Limited – a construction and engineering company;

Engie Services Limited – a facilities management services company, part of Engie


Interserve Construction – a construction company owned by Interserve Group Limited;

Kellogg Brown & Root Limited – a facilities management and construction engineering

company, part of KBR Inc;

Laing O’Rourke – an international engineering business;

Persimmon Homes Limited – a UK house building company;

Rolls-Royce Plc – an engineering business focused on power and propulsion systems;

SSE – electrical and telecoms provider; and

Vodafone Limited – a telecoms company, part of the multinational Vodafone Group


Kelly Tolhurst

Minister for Small Business

’’By naming

transgressors we

are supporting small

businesses in the

supply chain”

to remain a Signatory to the Code. We

will continue to monitor their position

to ensure future reported data shows the

expected improvements and compliance.

“As part of our work driving culture

change to end late payments, we will

continue to challenge signatories to the

Code if the obligatory Payment Practice

Reporting data suggests that their

practices are not compliant with the Code.”

Small Business Commissioner Paul

Uppal, a PPC Compliance Board member,

said he will continue to support Philip

and the CICM in removing or suspending

non-compliant signatories from the code:

“It is essential the code has credibility and

demonstrates a commitment to ensure

small businesses are treated fairly. My

team has already recovered more than

£3.5 million in late payments and is ready

and available to support small businesses

experiencing poor payment practices”.

News of the suspensions builds on a

government announcement in November

2018, where failure of companies to

demonstrate prompt payment to their

suppliers could result in them being

prevented from winning government


From 1 September 2019, any supplier

who bids for a government contract above

£5 million per annum will be required to

answer questions about their payment

practices and performance. The expected

standard is to pay 95 percent of invoices in

60 days across all their business.

Any supplier who is unable to

demonstrate that they have systems in

place that are effective and ensure a fair

and responsible approach to payment of

their supply chain may be excluded from


Kelly Tolhurst, Minister for Small

Business believes the Prompt Payment

Code is a positive force for good: “By

naming transgressors we are supporting

small businesses in the supply chain,” she


“We remain committed to supporting

small businesses against poor payment

practice and are delighted to see that the

Prompt Payment Code Compliance Board

has acted to expose those whose payment

practices fall outside of their obligations to

treat suppliers fairly.”

In October the Business Secretary Greg

Clark announced that further reforms to

the Prompt Payment Code were being

considered, including whether the Small

Business Commissioner should have a

greater role in its administration as part of

his wider role in tackling late payment.

Philip King FCICM

Chief Executive of the CICM

“I take no satisfaction

in having to name

them publicly”


Five companies have been removed

from the Code for non-compliance and

not providing a plan for how they will

meet the terms of the Code, but three of

the five have since committed to make


BHP Billiton – a global resources


DHL – a global logistics business;

GKN Plc – a multinational aerospace

and automotive components business;

John Sisk & Son Limited – an

international construction company;

R. Twining and Company Limited – a

purchaser and seller of tea, coffee and

other beverages

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 7



Collections industry welcomes

new ‘Fairness’ statement

New top brass at IPA

THE Insolvency Practitioners Association

(IPA), the membership body and regulator

for those specialising in insolvency practice,

has appointed Carrie-Ann James as its

new President for the coming year. Carrie

will serve as a key representative of the

association and Chair of its board of directors.

A licensed insolvency practitioner, Fellow

of the IPA and long-standing member of the

IPA Council and Member Services Committee,

Carrie has more than 20 years’ experience in

corporate and personal insolvency, working

for both large and small practices.

Samantha Keen has been elected as the

IPA’s next Deputy Vice-President and is

expected to become President in April 2021.

Samantha has worked in the restructuring

field for over 25 years and is a serving

member of Council. She will support the work

of the President and Vice-President over the

next two years.

Duty of care

THE Treasury Select Committee has proposed

that banks should be subject to a legal duty to

always act in customers’ best interests. The

committee suggested that regulators clamp

down on lenders following a long-running

string of scandals that has seen banks pay

out more than £30 billion to compensate

consumers for mis-sold endowment

mortgages, PPI and pensions. The committee

also believes that banks should not be allowed

to ignore communities when choosing to

close branches or cash machines.

Company Watch

COMPANY Watch has launched its new

scoring mechanism, TextScore for UK

companies. While traditional scoring is

based on financial figures contained within

annual and interim financial reports for

publicly listed and large private companies,

Company Watch says it has looked at how the

supporting text can also give a credit score.

TextScore uses a natural language processing

(NLP) approach to look specifically at the

text in a company’s financial accounts to

give another perspective on the company’s

financial health. The scoring is calculated

using advanced AI techniques to identify

the patterns of words or phrases that may be

indicative of financial distress.

Crash Course

ONGUARD has created a ten-part video

crash course on best practices in credit

management. The course, titled ‘Customer

Centric order-to-cash’, shares tips and tricks

for the everyday credit manager, collector and

CFO to help them maintain strong customer

relationships while also ensuring cashflow

despite customer late payments. The course

is suitable for all levels of experience.

THE debt collection industry

has reacted positively to an

announcement by the Government

that seeks to bring a consistent

approach to how people in debt are treated.

The announcement, published on the

Cabinet Office website in May, took the form

of a joint statement between the Cabinet

Office and the Fairness Group, a group

comprising leaders from central and local

government, the debt advice sector, and the

debt collection industry.

The principal aim of the group is said to

be to continually improve how government

interacts with people in debt, particularly

those in vulnerable circumstances and/

or experiencing financial hardship. Peter

Wallwork, Chief Executive of the Credit

Services Association (CSA), said the

Association was fully supportive of the need

to apply new ‘Fairness Principles’ to the

collection of all debts, in line with industry

best-practice: “It not only reflects our own

strategy of achieving a level playing field (i.e

clear comparability between government

and non-government debt) but will also

enable the public sector to benefit from the

best-practice experience and learnings

of our own members,” he said. “It means

the customer will be treated fairly and

consistently across every part of the debt

collection sector.”

The statement lists how the Government

will seek to understand the impact that

debt collection practices can have and how

to improve them, and implement a joint

programme of work to further examine

practices in central and local government

debt management which support

vulnerable people, and make evidencebased

recommendations for change.

Peter Tutton, Head of Policy at

StepChange Debt Charity, said that it

was heartening to see the Government’s

commitment to bringing local and national

government debt collection practices in line

with industry best practice: “Government

debt collection practice does not always

The statement lists

how the Government

will seek to understand

the impact that debt

collection practices

can have and how to

improve them.

match best practice, so this commitment

from Government is a significant stepping

stone to matching standards of fairness we

see elsewhere.”

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens

Advice, added: “Unfair and aggressive

debt collection has a serious impact on

those in financial difficulty. We’re pleased

government is looking to improve these

practices and collaborate more with the

money advice sector.”

Mr Wallwork sounded a note of caution:

“The challenge now will be whether the

government will be able to put into practice

its well-stated intentions,” he continued.

“The CSA will continue to work with other

members of the Group to help government

achieve a successful outcome.”

Kevin Foster, Minister for the

Constitution, concluded: “The Cabinet Office

plays a vital role in setting the strategy to

ensure those who can pay their debts do

so on time, whilst providing proportionate

support to those who need it.”

The Government’s Fairness Principles,

developed with the debt advice sector,

are aligned to FCA guidelines on Treating

Customers Fairly. The Fairness Group was

developed through cross-government

collaboration with Citizens Advice,

StepChange, Money Advice Trust, The

Money and Pensions Service, the CSA,

PayPlan and Indesser.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 8

SMEs get the cold shoulder

A report published by Oxford Economics

has found that a decade after the financial

crisis, bank lending to small businesses

has failed to recover significantly.

The ‘Big Business of Small Business’

report, launched in partnership with

Funding Circle, finds that small business

lending makes up a tiny proportion of

banks’ overall balance sheets. In the UK,

small business lending accounts for only

two percent of banks’ balance sheets, and

this figure is even less in countries such as

the US (0.7 percent) and the Netherlands

(0.6 percent).

Despite the vast economic output

generated by SMEs, who are responsible

for 60 percent of all jobs in industrialised

countries and 50-60 percent of GDP, banks

are continuing to focus on loans to larger

firms. Since 2015 in the UK, lending to

large firms has increased by 43 percent

since 2015, whilst during the same period

lending to SMEs has decreased by three


The report also reveals that when small

businesses can access finance from

their bank, it is typically on worse terms

than those received by larger businesses,

both in cost and the terms associated with

the loans. This is a trend seen across the

UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands.

This ongoing stagnation in bank

lending to SMEs is in stark contrast to the

continued rapid expansion in SME activity.

In the UK, the report states that the total

number of SMEs has increased by over

260,000 since 2015, and separate studies

found that the number of small Dutch firms

has grown by 4.5 percent since 2007 and

240,000 more SMEs were established in

the US in 2016. In Germany, the number of

people employed by SMEs has increased by

22 percent since 2008.

Bank net lending to UK small businesses

has fallen significantly, totalling £518

million in 2018 compared with an average

of £2 billion previous three years.


KATHERINE Gilmour has won the StepChange Money and Debt Advice Prize. After

graduating with a degree in psychology, she has worked for not-for-profit and charitable

organisations in Birmingham helping vulnerable people to better manage their health

conditions and finances. She studied for the CICM Money and Debt Advice Diploma

while working in her current role as a Debt Advisor (DRO intermediary) for StepChange

Debt Charity and achieved the highest marks in 2018. Pictured are CICM Chair of

Education Committee Jane Abramson presenting Katherine with her prize at StepChange

Headquarters in Leeds.

Rising insolvencies lead to call

for better regulation

A continued rise in personal insolvencies

has led to calls for more stringent

regulation of consumer debt.

New figures from the Office for National

Statistics (ONS) have revealed that in the

first quarter of 2019, the number of personal

insolvencies had grown by 16 percent

year-on-year, while Individual Voluntary

Arrangements (IVAs) rose by 24 percent

over the same period.

In the first quarter of the year, personal

insolvencies exceeded 30,000 for the

first time since 2011, and recorded the

highest first-quarter total since 2010.

Credit card debt and consumer credit

have been blamed for the rise in personal

insolvencies, although economic

stagnation and the problematic roll-out of

Universal Credit have also been named as

driving factors.

Richard Haymes, Financial Difficulties

Expert at Equifax, believes debt is a

wider issue that goes beyond regulatory

bodies, charities and government: “Every

facet of society must also burden some

responsibility,” he says.

“We urge individuals struggling with

debt repayments to talk to their creditors

as soon as possible, and compel creditors

of all types to use data-driven methods

to identify customers at risk of financial

difficulties and support them in accessing

high quality advice.”

See David Kerr’s article on page 14.



FCA calls for input

on debt advice

THE Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

has launched a Call for Input asking for

feedback on its proposed approach to

reviewing the Retail Distribution Review

(RDR) and the Financial Advice Market

Review (FAMR).

The FCA’s review will consider whether

these initiatives have been successful

in achieving their objectives. The review

will look at what consumers want from

the market and how the market works to

deliver this. It will also consider how new

market trends and developments might

affect the future development of advice

and guidance services.

Christopher Woolard, Executive Director

of Strategy and Competition at the FCA

says millions of people look for help and

support in making financial decisions

every year: “The aim of the RDR and FAMR

was to help the market develop the right

advice or guidance services consumers

need to make those decisions.

"Consumers and the market are

changing rapidly, as technology,

employment patterns and intergenerational

challenges change the

way consumers interact with financial

services. As well as looking at how the

market has evolved since RDR and FAMR,

it’s important that our work looks ahead

to see how we ensure that this important

sector works well in the future.

"We want the market to deliver a range

of good quality, affordable advice and

guidance services that meet consumer


The FCA is seeking initial feedback to

the Call for Input by 3 June 2019. The FCA

will hold several stakeholder events and

collect further data through consumer

research and surveying a sample of firms.

It intends to publish its final report in


CICM Essentials

RECENT briefings include details of how to

book for the CICM Learning Conference on

20 June, the latest Virtual Classes running

throughout June, the CICM AGM, and the

Fellows’ lunch.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 9


Stepping Out

The Prompt Payment Code has taken another

Client: Gravity PR Coverage Yellow News

significant step on a potentially very long journey.

Source: News & Star

Date: 01/05/2019

Page: 16

Reach: 1753

Value: 1028.08

AUTHOR – Philip King FCICM

Philip King FCICM

Chief Executive of the CICM

LAST month the CICM

announced the suspension

of 17 signatories from the

Prompt Payment Code which

the Institute administers

for The Department for

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

(BEIS). As one might have expected, it

has generated a significant amount of

media interest, particularly across trade

publications and websites in sectors that

are prominent in the 17 organisations.

Historically, the CICM and the PPC

Compliance Board have had to face

heavy and prolonged criticism about the

Code, and the volume of criticism has

intensified in recent months. Many have

said that the Code lacked teeth, or that

it was not as effective as it might be. Our

response to those criticisms has always

been consistent over several years: action

can only be taken when there is evidence

of poor practice, and that evidence has

only been available from suppliers or

business organisations willing to raise a


Despite repeated calls and commentary

from our side, only one trade body or

business organisation has ever raised a

challenge, even though they are the ones

best placed to do so because they don’t

have the accompanying commercial risk.

While they have been quick to criticise,

they have been commensurately slow to

actually do anything about it; carping from

the sidelines is clearly much easier and

helps secure column inches. Ironically,

however, it does little or nothing to help

those members they represent.

Some suppliers, however, have

chosen to raise a challenge themselves.

Where they have done so, the Code has

achieved significant success including

the generation of payments totalling over

£3m since 2014. The Code has also led

to changes to company processes and

procedures, modifications to contractual

terms, mediation where views are at

different ends of the spectrum, and

education of both buyers and sellers

in how to improve their trading

relationship and employ sound credit


Leaving this issue to one side for a

moment, one might ask – quite reasonably

– why we appear to be suddenly ‘naming

and shaming’ companies whose

names have been removed from the

Code. Companies have been removed

historically, but never named publicly, so

what has changed?


To answer that, we need to go back to

The Small Business, Enterprise and

Employment Act of 2015. In it, Matt

Hancock, the then Small Business

Minister, introduced a requirement that

large businesses should publicly report

on their Payment Practices behaviour.

The requirement was brought into force

by the Regulations that came into effect

in April 2017 and the process (sometimes

referred to colloquially as ‘Duty to Report’

but more formally known as Payment

Practices Reporting) is now established.

The first reports were submitted towards

the end of 2017 and we are now at a point

where all large businesses should have

published their payment performance. If

they haven’t, a criminal offence is being

committed and they need +44 to (0) 20 be 7264 brought 4700 to


Where the reported payment record is at

variance with the commitments they have

voluntarily made (i.e by being a signatory

to the Code), we now have a published

reference point from which we can make a

judgement, without a Challenge having to

be raised. We can decide that their names

should be removed from the Code unless,

and until, they report compliance. This is

why 17 have been named as suspended,

and more names are likely to follow in the

weeks and months ahead.

There have been some hefty responses

but the action has been taken based on

those companies’ own data. The fact that

there might be other equally culpable

organisations yet to be named in the same

way is no excuse. Some PR companies

from the respective firms have asked

‘why us and not so and so.’ That is a false

1 of 1

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The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 10

We’ve updated our comments.

Tap here to see more


AUTHOR – Philip King FCICM

Larger companies ‘are ignoring rules’

over paying their bills

James Hurley, Enterprise Editor

April 29 2019, 12:01am, The Times

DHL, the transport specialist, is among the companies to have been “named and shamed”

over its payment practices


and disingenuous argument. It is like



complaining about a parking or speeding


fine because others have committed the

same offence and not been caught.

Is the Payment Practices reporting

perfect? No, far from it. There are certainly

examples of businesses that are required

to report but have as yet failed to do.

There is also legitimate confusion in

some cases about what exactly has to be

reported, and how, and there are inevitably

inconsistencies in the data reported so

we might on occasions be comparing

apples with pears, and more clarity is

required. But – and it’s a big but – the

introduction of reporting is a major step

forward and has enabled the Prompt

Payment Code to look proactively at

what businesses are saying about their

own performance. The PPC Board did

not previously have either the resources

or the remit to investigate poor payment

behaviour, at least without a Challenge

having been raised. Now that has

changed, although resource still remains

a major issue. 1/5


But let’s focus on the positives, and let us

remind ourselves – and remind the more

vocal commentators – about what the

Code is actually intended to achieve. It is

designed to change payment behaviour,

and to that end, I am delighted to report

that many of the named organisations

have submitted, or are preparing to

submit, an action plan setting out how

they will become compliant and thus

be reinstated to the Code. Our principal

aspiration in removing signatories from

the Code is to see payment practice

improve in the interests of business and

the economy.

Signatories clearly see a benefit in

being on the Code; they see the damage

that can be done by being removed from

it. For this reason, if nothing else, this

shows that the Code is working.

I’ve always said there is no silver

bullet to resolving late payment. What is

required is a change in culture through

the use of all the tools at our disposal until

we get to the point where paying late is

considered unprofessional, irresponsible

and unacceptable. The PPC is one such


We’ve made another big step in that

journey, and the CICM is pleased and

proud to be playing its part.

Philip King FCICM, Chief Executive

of the Chartered Institute of Credit


Our principal aspiration

in removing signatories

from the Code is to

see payment practice

improve in the interests

of business and the


The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 11

Auditors blamed for

Carillion's collapse



of the supply chain conducted by

public sector procurement specialists

Scape Group has found that more than

nine out of ten (93 percent) of suppliers

think the relationship between Carillion and

KPMG enabled the outsourcer’s true financial

position to be concealed.

Over half of suppliers polled think the

accounting policies at Carillion were ‘not

discharged in good faith’ and that the

subsequent collapse was ‘facilitated by poor

management.’ Some 64 percent of suppliers

believe that Carillion’s downfall was due to ‘debt

mismanagement, acquisitions and long payment

terms, created by a focus on revenue rather than


The survey also claims the construction

industry would ‘support a shake-up of the ‘big four’

accounting firms, with 57 percent of suppliers

polled saying they thought this was required.’

The devastating collapse of Carillion in 2018 put

thousands of jobs and the supply chain at risk, led

to substantial financial losses, and brought into

question the model of public outsourcing. Mark

Robinson, Scape Chief Executive, says its research

suggests that mismanagement, rising debt and the

active concealing of the true extent of Carillion’s

debt were to blame, not the outsourcing model

itself: “We need to be able to have faith in company

accounts and the work auditors are carrying

out, especially when public sector contracts and

people’s livelihoods are at risk.

“We found that the supply chain were not

comfortable with the relationship between

Carillion and KPMG, and that a reform of the ‘big

four’ auditing firms would bring comfort to the

construction industry that failures like this will

not be repeated. Greater oversight and closer

management of auditing practices are needed

to rebuild trust in the industry, but we also need

to make sure we are putting in place sensible

reforms that do not put increased cost pressures

on an industry that is already contending with the

cost of materials and reduced access to labour.

“Given that SMEs are the lifeblood of the

economy, the sustained growth and prosperity of

local businesses should be a key priority for the

public sector.”

Elsewhere, a survey of 11,000 people in 11

countries around the world by the Association

of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

suggests that auditors should be doing more to

prevent company failures. More than half of those

questioned also believe auditors are responsible

for avoiding company failures.



Vulnerability requires

constant focus

THE Money Advice Trust has welcomed the

Treasury Select Committee’s wide-ranging

report into consumers’ access to financial


Joanna Elson OBE, Chief Executive

of the Money Advice Trust says it is

particularly pleased to see the Treasury

Select Committee’s strong support for

the vulnerability agenda: “This includes

recommending that the FCA sets clear

expectations for firms in its forthcoming

guidance, and highlighting the central

importance of training for financial services


“As the report notes, demand for the

Money Advice Trust’s vulnerability training

is increasing significantly – and we have

now worked with more than 220 creditors to

train more than 19,000 staff. “However, the

Committee is right to highlight that progress

has not been uniform – and as our collective

understanding of vulnerability improves,

this is an issue that requires a constant focus

from firms of all sizes.

"The FCA's forthcoming guidance is a

good opportunity to renew momentum on

vulnerability across the industry. We look

forward to working with the FCA and with

firms to continue to improve in this crucial


Brits live beyond their means

MORE than a quarter (28 percent) of

British adults ran a ‘deficit budget’ in the

past month, spending more during the

month than they received in income,

according to new research from R3.

One in six British adults (17 percent)

spent up to £100 more than they received

in income over the past month; seven

percent spent between £100 to £300 more;

and three percent spent over £300 more.

R3’s research follows statistics from the

ONS which show that households have

been in a budget deficit for a record nine

consecutive quarters (Oct 2016-Dec 2018),

while the average UK household spent

£900 more than it received in income in


Nearly a quarter (22 percent) of

respondents to R3’s research said they do

not have any savings at all at the moment,

showing that levels of financial resilience

are low for many people.

Those aged 25-34 years were likeliest

of all age groups to report spending more

than they received in monthly income (43

percent). By contrast, the corresponding

figure for those 65+ was only 12 percent.

People’s housing situation also made a

difference: A third of renters (35 percent)

said in the past month they spent more

than they received in monthly income,

compared to a quarter of homeowners (24

percent). Renters (24 percent) were more

likely than homeowners (14 percent) to

have overspent by up to £100 in the last

month. For amounts between £100 to £300

(eight percent of renters v six percent of

homeowners) and over £300 (renters three

percent versus homeowners four percent),

respondents’ housing situation made

relatively little difference.

The research found that seven percent

of British adults reported that they have

borrowed £100 or more from family or

friends in the last month.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 12



“Given that

SMEs are the

lifeblood of

the economy,

the sustained

growth and


of local


should be a

key priority

for the public


Stephen Allinson MCICM joins Apex

APEX Litigation Finance has appointed

Stephen Allinson MCICM, Chairman of

the Board of The Insolvency Service,

as a company adviser and to sit on its

investment committee.

Stephen is a Solicitor and Licensed

Insolvency Practitioner, and has specialised

in credit, debt and insolvency work since

1987. Stephen was appointed Chairman

of the Board of The Insolvency Service in

January 2017 and is also the Chairman of

the Joint Insolvency Examination Board

(JIEB), the Deputy Independent Examiner

for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

and a Visiting Lecturer on business and

commercial law at the University of Law.

In addition, he serves as a member

of both the Chartered Institute of Legal

Executives Qualifications Committee and

the Legal and Technical Committee of the

Civil Court Users Association, and as a

Director of The Money Charity.

Apex Litigation Finance, which launched

in April 2019, will work with leading

law firms, insolvency practitioners and

corporates to fund small to medium sized

claims. Apex has partnered with legal

AI specialist CourtQuant which provides

risk assessment tools to analyse probable

litigation outcomes.

Stephen Allinson says litigation

funding has a crucial role to play in the

development of the insolvency profession:

“I am thrilled to work with committed and

innovative colleagues at Apex as we seek

to bring a new approach to this fast-moving

area for the benefit of both practitioners

and creditors.”

Numbers up

ACCORDING to the National Numeracy

Day campaign, around half the UK’s

adults have poor numeracy skills, yet

evidence suggests becoming a ‘numbers

person’ can help save money and make

money – and it’s ‘never too late to learn’.

StepChange Debt Charity says it is

contacted by over 2,000 new clients a

day, implying that around 1,000 people

every day could benefit from numeracy

skills to help them as they seek to

manage their debt problems.

Low levels of numeracy skills are

estimated to cost the UK economy over

£20 billion a year.

Strong arm

JCB’s finance arm has revealed that

total lending to help hirers and

contractors buy machines has hit an

all-time high. As demand soars for new

plant total lending has broken through

the £1 billion barrier. JCB Finance says it

has facilitated the purchase of more than

250,000 machines over the past 49

years, lending more than £13 billion to

UK businesses to help them grow and


Bridge programmes

CROWD2FUND has been named as

one of 10 UK firms to benefit from

two new fintech bridge programmes

with Hong Kong and Australia. The

Department for International Trade

(DIT) and the Treasury said that the pilot

programmes will help to bolster existing

frameworks and build on previous

fintech bridge agreements signed with

China, Singapore and South Korea. The

programmes will involve collaboration

between the various governments and

their regulatory bodies, as part of their

remit to improve trade and innovation

across borders. According to the DTI,

Australia and Hong Kong have almost

1,000 active fintech companies between


Boom time for bars

THE hot Easter weekend delivered starkly

different outcomes for Britain’s managed

pub and restaurant groups, according to

latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business

Tracker. While pub sales surged in the

sunshine, restaurants struggled in the heat.

Pub and bar chains reported collective

like-for-like sales up 5.3 percent for the fourday

break compared to Easter 2018, with

drink-led pubs up 10.9 percent as the public

headed outdoors.

However, the overall eating and drinkingout

market was actually down 3.6 percent

over the four-day weekend, as in stark

contrast to pubs restaurant chains saw

collective like-for-like sales tumble a

massive 18.6 per cent against last Easter’s


Regionally, London saw a fall in like-forlike

trading, down 0.7 percent on last April,

while outside the M25 was up 1.7 percent on

a like-for-like basis for the month.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 13


Onward and upward

Are rising numbers of IVAs a

cause for celebration?


David Kerr FCICM

THE latest insolvency statistics

produced by The Insolvency

Service could be read one

of two ways, depending

on whether you applaud a

voluntary, market-driven

solution to the UK’s personal debt problem,

or see it as a regulatory nightmare with the

potential to threaten the very existence

of the present model of self-regulation

governing the insolvency profession.

If that sounds too grand a statement,

then consider this – against a background

of GDP growth, the number of Individual

Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) is at its

highest since the procedure was first

introduced into English law in 1986/7. True,

the first quarter of the year saw a slight

drop on the peak at the end of 2018, but the

overall trend is upward and has been for

the last four years.

The Government statistics do not quite

tell the full picture, because they don’t

register debt management plans and other

informal solutions, but of the 31,000 people

who sought a formal debt solution in the

quarter to 31 March 2019, two thirds (20,000)

entered into an IVA. Of the remainder, just

4,000 went into bankruptcy (mainly on their

own petitions/applications), with 7,000

instead seeking a Debt Relief Order (DRO)

(available to those with no or low assets and

under £20,000 of debts).


From a creditor perspective this could

be considered relatively good news. The

prospects of recovery from those in DROs

is nil, and from those in bankruptcy

negligible. So at least the majority are

subjecting themselves to a process which is

designed to return some value to creditors,

albeit over five years typically. And the Q1

stats show an increase of 23 percent on the

IVA take-up, compared to the same quarter

last year.

So where is the problem? Well, the IVA

market is led by a handful of entrepreneurial

operators whose business models depend

on high volumes of low-maintenance cases

derived from leads generated by sometimes

unregulated finders. Some complain that

they push IVAs at the expense of more

suitable (for the debtor) alternatives, and

that the regulated insolvency practitioners

at the helm of these cases are unable to

effectively control their cases because of

the sheer volumes and in some instances

their lack of influence in the enterprises

running the caseload.

Whether those criticisms are fully

justified or not is almost secondary to

the fact that the rationalisation of the

IVA market is such that there is now a

concentration of this work in a handful of

‘firms’, and their influence over the sector is

being questioned. A failure of one of these

corporate entities, through commercial or

regulatory pressures or a combination of

the two, would cause a real headache for

regulators at a time when The Insolvency

Service is reviewing the effectiveness of the

regulation regime run by the professional



So, for the moment, creditors might quietly

rejoice at news that:

i) for one reason or another most

insolvent individuals seem content to

make monthly contributions towards their


ii) the banks are actively exercising their

rights to vote and supress fees and other

costs (with more success on the former

than the latter); and

iii) regulators are looking for new ways

to keep pace with innovations in the sector,

so as to make sure those operating in it can

be held to account when things go wrong.

But the returns that IVAs can produce

for creditors might be under threat; the

number of cases is increasing, but the

present balance between low cost for

creditors and financial sustainability for

operators is a fragile one. Fixed fees may

be part of the solution, though as one

operator commented, it’s ‘‘still developing

and therefore not yet possible to say how

successful it will be at stabilising the volume

market providers.’’ The balance may have

to be reassessed if we want to see viable

providers working to the highest standards

and continuing to produce insolvency

outcomes that serve both debtors and


David Kerr is an insolvency practitioner

with extensive regulatory experience

and a member of the CICM Technical


The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 14


Keeping the balance

The need for careful implementation of the new

HMRC preferential creditor regulation.

AUTHOR – Michelle Thorp

Michelle Thorp

MANY readers may

be aware of HMRC’s

plans to restore its

pre-Enterprise Act

2002 status as a

preferential creditor

in insolvencies, unexpectedly announced

in the Chancellor’s 2018 Budget.

Specifically, HMRC will become a

secondary preferential creditor, meaning

that secured creditors with fixed charges

will be unaffected, for example banks and

other asset-based lenders. The other group

not affected are ordinary preferential

creditors such as employees entitled to

statutory payments including wages and

holiday pay. These groups will all be above

HMRC in the hierarchy, as will the costs of


Those below HMRC will be affected,

in particular secured creditors with

a floating charge, groups including

suppliers, contractors and customers

that have paid a deposit (non-preferential

unsecured creditors) and shareholders.

The new measure would see HMRC hold

more statutory rights for the repayment of

PAYE, VAT, CIS and employee NIC.

Taxes such as income tax, capital gains

tax, corporation tax and employer NI

contributions, i.e. those directly assessed

on the individual or business, remain

unchanged, as will HMRC’s status as a

non-preferential unsecured creditor for

these taxes.

HMRC has also set out that employee

debts will be separated from employer


The plans are due to come into effect

on 6 April 2020. At the time of this

article’s publishing, the IPA will have

just submitted its responses to HMRC’s

questions on the proposal, after working

through them with its Standards, Ethics

and Regulatory Liaison (SERL) Committee.


The government’s thinking behind the

new measure is to recover more of the

taxes it argues have already been collected

on HMRC’s behalf, rather than the funds

going to other creditors.

At one time, UK banks were the country’s

biggest lenders, though over the years

things have changed due to the growth

of asset-based finance and secondary

lenders. In its consultation document,

HMRC gives some interesting projections

on tax revenue that could be recovered

under the scheme. In the financial year

leading up to implementation, income

from insolvencies is listed as £5 million.

In the following initial year under the

scheme, this could rise sharply to £60

million, before peaking two years later

at £185 million and decreasing slightly to

£175 million in 2023/24.

Comparing the maximum forecast

given of £185 million to the £57 billion

lent by banks to small and medium

enterprises (SMEs) in the 12 months to

July 2018, HMRC doesn’t expect the new

regulation to have any real impact on

lending. It reports that this is due to the

proportionately miniscule amount of debt

that would be no longer recoverable.


There is a concern that these figures may

well turn out to have understated the


The measure of £57 billion cited in the

proposal is the total lent to SMEs, rather

than to those SMEs that become insolvent

– therefore not reflecting the impact on

the risk of loans to such enterprises.

Furthermore, floating charge holders,

ranking as creditors behind HMRC

under the proposed new regime, may

face a disincentive to lend to distressed

businesses – with the knock-on effect of

reducing the possibility for trading under

administration and Company Voluntary

Arrangements (CVAs).

The Federation of Small Businesses

(FSB) reports that SMEs, at the start of

2018, accounted for 99.9 percent of all

private sector businesses and claimed

52 percent of all private sector turnover

and 60 percent of the UK’s private sector


The potential increased risk to UK

business under the new rules can look,

from this perspective, rather stark.

To mitigate this risk, there could be a

time limit placed on debts payable to

HMRC in order to stop excessive funds

being redistributed away from floating

charge creditors and ordinary unsecured

creditors. History serves us well here,

as the new proposal is a departure from

the precedent of time limits imposed

on preferential creditors before the

implementation of the 2002 Enterprise

Act. And of course, if significant sums

are involved in insolvency proceedings,

there would be implications if unsecured

creditors face no return at all.


The need for us to work through the finer

details doesn’t rest here when you consider

the possibility of successive insolvency

proceedings taking place either side

of the proposed implementation date.

We’ve requested both clarification of

the categories of preferential debt in

this scenario and an implementation

timetable. The transitional arrangements

need to be clear to minimise any

market distortion as floating charge and

unsecured creditors press for formal

insolvency to happen before the new class

of preferential creditors comes into effect.

Government will soon be considering

all responses to the consultation and then

progress to detailed policy design and

an implementation framework. Though

it’s been made clear that a shift to a

significantly different proposal is not part

of the consultation.

It is possible to appreciate, when you

think about the overall benefit to the

public purse, why HMRC has gone for

the change, though we need to make

certain of the implementation details

and timetable, and, avoid unreasonably

prejudicing other creditors.

Michelle Thorp is CEO, Insolvency

Practitioners Association.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 15


A refreshing approach

to credit management

THE Credit Management

team at Britvic Soft

Drinks Ltd has delivered

outstanding results

to achieve CICMQ


Most of the team have only been

with the company for under two years,

some for less and have replaced a

vastly experienced group of credit


“The CICMQ Workshop approach

was the ideal opportunity to build

the team and start to transform

the department,” says Ciaran

Grace MCICM, Sales Operations

Manager at Britvic, who initiated the

accreditation. “Giving individuals

team leader responsibilities boosted

confidence and had a big impact.”

“We now have 60 percent of our team

studying with the CICM and we have

plans to introduce individual study

paths for all new starters.”

Sharon Adams FCICM, CICMQ

Assessor, says Britvic delivered

outstanding results: “The Credit

Management team at Britvic made a

huge success of the CICMQ Workshop

approach. They are a highly motivated

team, who displayed camaraderie

throughout to achieve the same goal.”

“The results are more meaningful

when considering that Ryan Kerr

ACICM helped lead the process

at Team Leader level. Such

transformations are usually performed

at a more senior level.”

Britvic Soft Drinks Ltd is one of

the leading branded soft drinks

businesses in Europe and South

America, operating in and exporting

to over 50 countries. The Credit

Management Team is made up

of ten credit controllers and the

organisation’s most recent financial

statement reported a turnover of

£1,503.6 million.

TOP 50 UK law firm Weightmans has

achieved CICMQ re-accreditation,

demonstrating that the firm continues

to meet ‘Best Practice’ in Credit


The recently restructured Credit

Control team at Weightmans is now

made up of 21 people – more than

twice the team size that last achieved

accreditation in 2016. Pete Taggart

AB Agri


Adler and Allan Ltd

Aggregate Industries

Aimia Foods Ltd

Allied Bakeries


Anixter Ltd

Ascent Performance Group Ltd (Collections)

Avnet Technology Solutions Ltd


EDF Energy – I&C Revenue Management


Ford Retail Ltd

Gazprom Energy

Hays Specialist Recruitment Limited

Health and Social Care Online (HSCNI)

Hilti (GB) Ltd

Postitive verdict for law firm

and Jane Morrey have been promoted

to Commercial and Insurance Credit

Managers for their respective


Bob Granger, Finance Director at

Weightmans, says: “It’s very important

for us to know that we are still utilising

best practice in light of the many

changes within the Credit Control

team. During the last few years we


HSBC Invoice Finance (UK) Ltd

ID Medical (Milton Keynes)

Impellam UK Limited

Imperial College London

John Lewis Partnership

Kier Group PlC

Local World Ltd

Marshalls Group Plc

Marston’s Brewery

Matthew Clark Wholesale Limited

Moreton Smith

NHS Blood and Transplant

npower Industrial & Commercial

Omnicom Media Group

Pearson UK Shared Services

Partnership Services, John Lewis plc

QA Ltd

Roche Diabetes Care Limited

obtained buy-in from the stakeholders,

which has enabled a new, more

collaborative working approach right

across the business.

“We’re focused on the improvement

and development of our people, and

have recently registered 11 affiliate

members from within the team, plus,

encouraging ongoing professional


Royal Mail Group Ltd

RS Components Ltd

Shell International Downstream Credit Management

Siemens Plc – CIT/GSS UK Credit Services

SIG Trading Ltd (SIG Distribution)

Silver Spoon Company

Sony DADC UK Ltd (UK Operations)

Synseal Extrusions Ltd

Tata Global Beverages GB Ltd

The Credit Centre Ltd (Amari Metals)

Travis Perkins plc

United Utilities

Veolia Environmental Services UK Plc


Worldline IT Services UK LTD

Xoserve Limited

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 16


The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 17


Herd Mentality

The issue of future funding of debt advice is an

elephant that refuses to leave the room.

Peter Wallwork

AUTHOR – Peter Wallwork MCICM


was surprised and disappointed

recently to read that Sir Hector

Sants, the Chairman of the Money

and Pensions Service (MaPS –

formerly the Single Financial

Guidance Body), is suggesting

that the Financial Services community

should be ploughing even more money

into the debt advice sector.

Surprised because the FS community

already contributes vast sums (almost £60

million) into funding debt advice, and

disappointed because as yet nobody has

even attempted to address the very real

concerns and questions the CSA and its

members have raised in relation to how

the funding is currently being spent.

Neither have they answered whether even

the current levels of funding are fairly

contributed and efficiently managed.

Mr Sants, in his interview, said that

the FS sector needed to spend more

money on what he called ‘prevention’,

and equipping individuals to become

financially empowered. He said there

needed to be a strategic shift in the

balance of engagement from remediation

to prevention. Making this shift would

give better outcomes to consumers, and

enable a ‘high quality dialogue’ between

the consumer and the advisor.

Looking at the comment trail that

followed the online piece, Sir Hector’s

proposals have not been particularly well

received. To suggest that ‘remediation’

and ‘prevention’ are interchangeable is

stretching the argument. His proposal,

as one commentator recently put it, is

akin to suggesting that greengrocers

should pay for people to be educated

about the benefits of fresh fruit and veg,

or that car manufacturers should pay for

driving lessons because cars are rather

complicated things!

But all of this again comes back to the

fundamental point. There is still a clear

lack of transparency and data regarding

the current funding channels and sources.

It is why finding a solution is proving

such a challenge. We are agreed that any

future funding contributions should be

fair, equitable and transparent, but any

future thinking must remember that it is

not only financial services businesses that

‘benefit’ from debt advice and informal

debt repayment plans.

We need to address this tired and

rather elderly elephant in the room,

as he has been there for some time and

should have been dealt with long ago.

There are clearly firms and organisations

that benefit from debt advice, but who

currently contribute nothing towards it.

They may contribute in other ways, but

without data, we have no way of knowing.

Without transparency on who contributes

currently, the industry ends up blaming

one another and pointing fingers.

The CSA is continuing to make

representations to MaPS, and has already

completed much positive work with the

advice sector who principally agree with

our concerns around transparency and

efficiency. The CSA also has a positive

dialogue with the Chief Executive of

MaPS, John Govetts, to challenge MaPS

position on asking for more money before

addressing our genuine and well-reasoned


Mr Govetts has suggested that the CSA

should propose what a future funding

model should look like, and it will use

its Buyers Forum (on June 5) to gauge its

buyers members’ opinions prior to further

discussions planned with MaPS shortly

after. But this could be a case of the cart

before the horse. How can you get to the

bottom of what a good funding model

looks like if we don’t have the answers to

our original set of questions? If we don’t

have transparency, and if the funding

burden is not fairly distributed, then why

should members accept that they have to

pay more?

On this issue, as well as the issue of

future fees, we are led to believe that the

authorities/regulators are in listening

mode. Let us hope that is the case, for

if we are expected to ‘fit the bill’ on any

future budget that MaPS decides to set,

then we should have an input into what

that budget may look like.

But with an impression that fees

are already on the rise, and the mood

music from Sir Hector in relation to

future funding, we might well have to be

shouting very loud to be heard.

Peter Wallwork MCICM is Chief Executive

of the Credit Services Association (CSA).

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 18





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The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 19




Access to HMRC data for CRAs will enable

better credit decisions.

AUTHOR – Tim Vine

THE latest statistics

from the Federation of

Small Businesses confirm

that small and medium

enterprises (SMEs) make up

99.9 percent of all private

sector businesses in the UK. SMEs form

the backbone of our economy and play an

essential role in the growth of the UK going


Back in 2013, the Government published

a consultation paper showing that the four

largest banks held an 85 percent share of

the SME lending market. This document

highlighted the need for increased

competition to support the best interests

of the market.

In 2015, the Government launched

the Small Business, Enterprise and

Employment (SBEE) Act that was

dedicated to supporting the growth of

small businesses, increasing exports and

encouraging innovation.


Funding and investment are vital for

growth, and one of the aims of the new

bill was to improve access to finance for

SMEs by encouraging greater competition

in banking to address the imbalance in

the market. Key to this objective was

ensuring that alternative providers and

challenger banks were better able to

assess the credit risk of SMEs. By driving

increased transparency this would deliver

a more level playing field across the UK’s

commercial lending market.

The Government announced that they

would require certain banks (above a

certain market share threshold) to share

their commercial credit lending data with

designated Credit Reference Agencies

(CRAs). This would deliver more equal

access to data and make it easier for SMEs

to seek funding from alternative finance

providers as well as traditional banks.

This new commercial credit data sharing

scheme is administered on behalf of the

Government by the British Business Bank.

CRAs must apply to the British Business

Bank and complete a thorough application

process to receive designation.


The scheme requires the nine designated

banks (Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays,

HSBC, Lloyds, Santander, Clydesdale

Bank, Bank of Ireland, AIB and Northern

Bank) to share current account data and

information on existing loans and credit

cards of their small and medium business

customers. This data is provided under

a strict framework to approved Credit

Reference Agencies who then integrate the

information into their workflow to provide

more accurate insights on an SME’s

financial performance. There are currently

four designated CRAs; Creditsafe, Dun &

Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian.

Greater access to this data makes it

easier for other finance providers to check

the credit worthiness of potential SME

business customers and better inform

credit decisions. The aim is to provide

more open access to stimulate more

competition in the SME lending market

and increase the range of funding available

to businesses who are looking to grow, and

to support start-ups seeking initial capital.


The scheme appears to be making an

impact, with the British Business Bank’s

recently published Small Business Finance

Report confirming that the growth of

alternatives to bank finance is continuing

(although the pace has slowed) and

awareness of finance options outside of

traditional lending is also increasing.

Dun & Bradstreet research in November

2018 also found that over two thirds (67

percent) of SMEs believe the availability

of finance has a significant impact on

their business success. When asked if they

received financial support, 43 percent of

respondents had received funds and 57

percent had not, with the most popular

source still a business loan from a bank

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 20


AUTHOR – Tim Vine

(42 percent) followed by a personal loan from a

friend or family member (27 percent).


As well as supporting the growth of small and

medium sized businesses, opening up this

type of commercial credit lending data will

undoubtedly enable better, more informed

credit decisions across the industry. It will

enable a more comprehensive view for credit

managers on an SME’s financial health by

providing access to current account and other

data that has previously been unavailable to


Increased transparency is something the

industry has been championing for some time,

led by organisations such as the CICM, and BIPA

(Business Information Providers Association)

which represent the seven principal credit

information providers in the UK. BIPA’s

primary purpose is to facilitate greater access

to business information to promote access to

credit, help reduce the risks associated with

credit decisions, and prevent fraud.

BIPA has supported the release of VAT

registration data to support small business

growth, working with the Government to

demonstrate the economic benefits to the UK

economy of making this information more

widely available. This data is now available to

Commercial Credit Reference Agencies who

meet the disclosure requirements mandated in

the SBEE Act.


Alongside the commercial credit data sharing

scheme there are also other initiatives

impacting our industry and opening up more

data to drive competition. In January 2018,

the Government launched the Open Banking

initiative, which mandates the nine designated

banks to allow customer information to be

shared with other regulated financial service

providers, subject to securing the customer’s

permission. Data is shared via secure APIs

(Application Programming Interfaces) and

is helping to deliver more choice in an

increasingly competitive and digitised banking


One example quoted in a recent Institute of

Chartered Accountants in England & Wales

(ICAEW) article is small business finance

provider, Iwoca, who use bank account data

as part of their credit decision process. The

fintech has relationships with several of the

large banks and is reported to be providing

more SME overdraft approvals than several

high street banks.

Going forward, we can expect even

greater transparency and availability of data

across the industry, which is good news for

small businesses, and good news for credit

professionals too.

Tim Vine is Head of European Trade Credit

at Dun & Bradstreet.

Tim Vine

Dun & Bradstreet

This data is provided under

a strict framework to

approved Credit Reference

Agencies who then

integrate the information

into their workflow to

provide more accurate

insights on an SME’s

financial performance.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 21



Whatever happened to bank managers

and real money?

AUTHOR – David Andrews

It is partly because

people are going

cash less, thanks

to the rise in

popularity of new

payment methods

such as contactless



AUTHOR – David Andrews

DO bank managers still exist?

I mean, in the old-fashioned

sense of the term. You know,

like back in the days when you

needed to borrow some cash

and there was not an instantly

approve (or reject) online facility. In ye distant

far off times, the protocol was to make contact

with your bank, and, invariably, request an

interview with the Chief Beak.

Those were of course also in the days when

our high streets were festooned with bank

branches, as opposed to wall to wall charity

shops and – if you are really lucky – a branch or

two. The more rural the location, the less likely

you are going to find a ‘proper’ bank branch in


Today, like millions of my fellow citizens,

I bank online, and for the most part via the

fabulous apps on my mobile telephone. First

Direct – which I initially joined in 1991 when it

debuted as the UK’s first all singing, all dancing

telephone bank, now offers a superb online

service, and it is rare indeed for me to have to

physically call the bank. Likewise, with my

other lender, HSBC – which happens to own

First Direct.

On the occasions when I need to pop into

my local HSBC branch to discuss my company

account, I am ushered into the Business Pod,

where my account is dealt with politely and



Banks have of course taken many knocks over

the years. And I don’t just mean the

investment arms of the international lending

establishments, whose complex intra bank

lending were seen by most analysts of the 2008

crash to have been responsible for the near

collapse of the UK’s banking system and the

overnight annihilation of our economy.

No, the current bad boy image is largely

down to the fact that banks are not only closing

physical branches in increasing numbers of

provincial towns and rural villages – not to

mention inner cities – but many fear they are

not doing enough to counter the shutting down

of ATM machines across the UK.

So, first the bank branches go, and then the

cash machines. According to a recent Which?

report (March 2019), around 3,000 ATMs were

closed in the last six months of 2018. Currently,

around 300 machines are being shut every

month. It is a worrying trend.

It is partly because people are going cash less,

thanks to the rise in popularity of new payment

methods such as contactless transactions. My

kids – as I am sure other parents of a certain age

have discovered – never, ever have any cash.

But it is also because cash machine operators

such as Cardtronics and Note Machine, that

get a fee from our banks each time we use one,

are finding that fewer of their machines are

economic to run.

David Andrews

Funny to

think, how four

decades ago

I couldn’t get

hold of cash –

back then pretty

much the only

way so many

things could be

paid for. You try

buying a beer on

a debit card in

the University

of Essex student

union in 1979.


A myriad of reasons then, and it’s fair to say

that for those of us who live in major cities, it is

not a problem – yet. But for millions of

countryside dwellers – many of whom now must

rely on driving or using public transport just to

access a cash machine – it is a significant issue.

Speaking as one who was perpetually skint

through university days, getting hold of cash

was mainly an issue as I seldom had any money

in my bank account.

Not that this stopped me from going

vertiginously overdrawn, seemingly after the

first couple of weeks of term time – even though

you could get four pints for a quid in my student

union bar in the late 70s.

In fact, the last time I had a physical, face

to face meeting with my old NatWest bank

manager (Colchester branch, January 1979) he

benignly asked if I had my cheque book and

bank card with me. I do, I said. Thank you,

may I have them please, said the affable boss,

whose name has escaped me down the mists of


Passing them across the forbidding terrain

of an enormous teak desk, my then manager

calmly relieved me of the offending

merchandise, while simultaneously retrieving

an enormous pair of scissors from a drawer and

expertly snipping my bank card and cheque

book into small pieces.

Like confetti, I recall thinking at the time.

Chastised, I nodded solemnly as he outlined

a repayment plan for me to pay off the bank.

According to the Office for National Statistics’

composite price index, £300 in 1979 is today

equivalent to £1,505. So, I get why the senior

beak was keen to shred my card and cheque

book. I’m not going to sell my vinyl collection,

I vowed silently. Or my 60s golden age Marvel

comics (reader, I still have them as the collection

is today worth a small fortune).

But I did clear the debt, slowly but surely,

and while it probably took a good while to

restore my credit rating to anything less than

toxic, that audience with an unamused bank

manager taught me a few harsh lessons in fiscal

balancing 40 years back.

Funny to think, how four decades ago I

couldn’t get hold of cash – back then pretty

much the only way so many things could

be paid for. You try buying a beer on a debit

card in the University of Essex student union in


And now today, I am thankfully not short

of a bob or two but worry that for many of my

fellow citizens – particularly the vulnerable and

the elderly – that cash is becoming increasingly

harder to come by.

As Shakespeare said, ‘The wheel is come full


David Andrews is a freelance

business writer.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 23


Star Performance

The prospect of future growth for

non-performing loans in Europe in 2020.

AUTHOR – Julian Winfield

Julian Winfield

NON-performing loans are an

essential part of the lending

business, and the likelihood of

non-repayment is an inherent

risk. Risk of loss is part of the

credit rating banks assign to

borrowers and is, therefore, included in the cost

of borrowing. Loan losses and NPLs generally

encompass non-performing loans, insolvency

proceedings and debts where customers’

payments fail to meet the contractual terms.

The probability that a loan will be repaid

in full is substantially lower once the loan

has been classified as non-performing. As a

result, debt purchasing organisations, such as

Hoist Finance, can acquire NPL portfolios at a

significant discount to the loans’ nominal total


Perhaps not surprisingly, the banks

themselves (i.e. the ‘sellers’) often have a

different view of the value of their loans,

which has hampered NPL divestments. Slow

procedures and structural inefficiencies in debt

recovery have been instrumental in limiting the

transaction market.


The principal advantages of divesting NPLs

from a banking perspective is to reduce risk.

But it is more than this. NPL sales not only

reduce the sellers’ risk exposure, but they also

release credit reserves and strengthen capital

ratios by reducing risk-weighted assets.

NPL sales translate into up-front cash

payments that improve the selling banks’

liquidity positions. It also enables them to focus

more directly on their core business; recovering

debt can be a distraction. It takes time, resources

and specialised expertise to recover NPLs, so

by selling the debt, banks avoid the costs and

challenges associated with maintaining an inhouse

debt recovery operation.

Divestment of NPLs also contributes to an

improved return on equity, which is vital to

meeting shareholder demands for continuously

improved returns.

Most banks today have sophisticated sales

processes, and the quality of portfolio data is

improving. Risks have, therefore, been reduced

and sellers can feel more certain that they

will receive an accurate and fair market price.

Having started by selling unsecured loans,

banks have become more comfortable with

selling other asset classes as well.

This is part of the ongoing development

trend. With fewer risks associated with selling

and acquiring loans, the price of loan portfolios

has risen. This trend has developed to varying

degrees in different countries, with the UK

among the markets where it has proceeded the



Performance, however, is by no means uniform

across Europe. In the under-developed markets

such as Spain and Portugal, there have been

few if any sales. The quality of data tends to be

poor, and the bid-ask price particularly broad

which means there is little appetite to engage.

There are some early adopters, and these tend

to be the consumer credit companies and

international banks. But growth is hampered

by cultural barriers and ‘denial’ among banks

which means that portfolios that are sold tend

to be old and of very poor quality.

In the growth markets, which include

Spain and Poland, the picture is rather more

encouraging. There is a healthy competition

among NPL purchasers and decreasing bid-ask

spreads. Local banks are gradually becoming

more active, portfolios are more ‘current’ and

the quality of NPLs being sold is of a generally

higher standard.

In the most mature markets, such as the UK

and Germany, NPL sales are an integral part of

the financial ecosystem. Two particular trends

are evident: firstly, the quality of the NPLs

portfolios being sold; and secondly, the trend

towards increased consolidation resulting in a

fewer number of larger debt purchasers.


Competition for loan portfolios is a contributing

factor to the price increase, which puts pressure

on margins. This development has been driven

over the past five or six years by lower borrowing

costs, which appear to have bottomed out in

2018 and are on the way up again.

While prices may be rising, the total amount

NPLs are decreasing. In Europe, the volume

of outstanding NPLs in the banking sector

decreased to approximately SEK 7,143 billion

as per Q3 2018, compared to approximately SEK

10,000 billion in 2017. This amount represents

around 3.4 percent of all loans, compared

with five percent in 2017. The decrease, while

gradual, is partly due to legislation facilitating

trade in receivables aimed at reducing the

number of receivables in the European banking


There are a number of trends that affect

market development and that the debt

purchasers are now planning for. These

include: the impact of strong market growth;

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 24


AUTHOR – Julian Winfield

Most banks today have sophisticated sales

processes, and the quality of portfolio data

is improving. Risks have, therefore, been

reduced and sellers can feel more certain

that they will receive an accurate and fair

market price.

the demand for increased operational

efficiency that is in turn driving industry

consolidation; increasing funding costs;

and continued regulation of the market

and greater market maturity.

It is crucial to reduce the number

of non-performing loans in Europe’s

financial system. Household and SME

over-indebtedness causes banks to restrict

their lending, and small businesses are

unable to invest; this inhibits economic

growth. The transaction market is

nevertheless growing, due partly to the

fact that the market continues to develop

and become more sophisticated.


Another factor to consider in exploring

the future market is the impact of new

legislation. The introduction of IFRS 9 as

from 2018, for example, requires banks

to calculate and make provisions for

expected credit losses as early as initial

recognition following the granting of

new loans. The new rules have had some

positive effects, in that banks are required

to report their expected credit losses at

an earlier stage. The purpose of the new

accounting standard for classification

and measurement of financial assets is to

enable earlier prediction of credit losses.

Additional regulations in this area are to

be expected in coming years.

A few well-respected companies

have emerged as the European market

matures, and Hoist Finance holds a strong

position as a partner to international

banks and financial institutions. The

company is among the five largest in

Europe measured by ERC (Estimated

Remaining Collections). Efficiency and

cost savings are high on the agenda

for these companies and help fuel the

consolidation trend, and the degree of

consolidation is likely to remain greater in

those mature markets with lower prices.

Market consolidation is taking place

in parallel with an increase in regulation.

Several major and minor transactions

have been conducted in recent years, and

this trend is expected to continue.

Julian Winfield is UK Chief Executive

of Hoist Finance.

The new rules have had some positive

effects, in that banks are required to

report their expected credit losses at

an earlier stage.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 25


The African nation

showing signs of real

growth prospects.

Part One: Ethiopia

Out of Africa

ETHIOPIA is not a country that

many give much thought to, but

it’s one that ought to be moving

up the corporate agenda. With a

prehistory tied to the ancestors of

man that reaches back 4.2 million

years, sites linked to anatomically modern man

that are around 200,000 years old, and more

‘recently’ a series of kingdoms and dynasties

from the eighth century, it’s clear that Ethiopia

has a long and notable culture.

Ethiopia is also the world’s most populous

landlocked country with a population of more

than 108 million (CIA World Factbook) spread

over an area of 420,000 sq. miles. It is the second

most populous country in Africa after Nigeria.

The population is made up of more than 14

ethnic groups and just as many languages,

although Amharic is the official national tongue.

The population is young with 43 percent under 14

years, 20 percent aged 15-24, 30 percent aged 25 to

54, four percent aged 55 to 64 and just three percent

over 65. Just under 21 percent of the population

lives in urban areas.

However, in recent memory the country has

been troubled having had a communist regime

from 1974 to 1991 and troubles within the federal

republic that followed, notably a war with Eritrea,

protests against several governments, and interethnic

clashes in 2017 that led to 400,000 people

being displaced. A new government, led by Abiy

Ahmed has sought to end local conflicts, reform

the country and has made censored websites

available again.

Politically speaking, the country as a federal

parliamentary republic, has a figurehead

president, executive prime minister and bicameral

legislature. Administratively, the

country is divided into ten regions and thee

chartered cities that includes the capital, Addis


doing business (161 in 2017). In comparison, New

Zealand is number one and the UK is ninth.Being

situated close to the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia

is well placed for those wanting to access the

Middle East, Djibouti and its neighbours of

Sudan, Kenya and Somalia. And while Ethiopia

has the fastest growth rate of an economy in the

region, it is starting from a low base point. The

World Bank’s data that the country saw growth

of 10.7 percent in 2017 (compared to 0.8 percent

for Nigeria and 7.1 percent for Tanzania). The

regional average was 5.4 percent. It also believes

that Ethiopia is one of the poorest nations in the

region with per capita income of $783. The World

Bank says that Ethiopia aims to reach lowermiddle-income

status by 2025.

Ethiopia is predominantly an agricultural

country – more than 80 percent of the population

live in rural areas. Although the total fertility

rate has declined, the population continues to

grow. Ethiopia’s population growth is putting

increasing pressure on land resources and is

degrading the environment – food shortages are

not uncommon.

Adam Bernstein is a freelance business writer.


According to Trading Economics – which quotes

the World Bank’s annual ratings – the country is

ranked 159 out of 190 economies for the ease of

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 26


Export Controls

The vital role that controls play for exporters.

AUTHOR – Lesley Batchelor OBE FCICM

Lesley Batchelor

EXPORT and import controls

and trade sanctions are now

a global norm for businesses

looking to trade or facilitate

trade. They form a key role in

ensuring that the movement

of goods, technology, software and services

around the world is safe and secure.

Controls are only applied for very

specific traded goods – both tangible and

intangible. The worries that seemingly

innocent materials could be used to

develop weapons of mass destruction is

very real. This is the same with certain

products that could also be used in

different ways that might cause the abuse

or violation of people’s human rights or

safety. Furthermore, controls are often

used for the imposition of sanctions or

arms embargoes from the European

Union or the United Nations. These are

very important monitoring tools for the

protection of global trade.

Controls do not just apply to obviously

dangerous products (i.e. weapons) – though

the defence industry is undoubtedly most

affected by them. There are some ‘dualuse’

products which are liable to controls

– i.e. outwardly innocuous goods, software

or services that could otherwise be used

towards the construction of dangerous

weapons. Items like batteries, goods

containing chemicals like chlorine or

component parts in certain computers are

all on the government’s ‘Control List’.

Exporters of such products will therefore

need to apply for an ‘Export Licence’

and ensure compliance with controlrelated

regulations, both domestic and



Although there is some international

commonality in approach, regulations

can differ considerably from jurisdiction

to jurisdiction. Regulations are also

under frequent review, and changes may

be significant. The penalties for noncompliance

can be severe, including

multi-million pound fines, loss of

permission to trade and even custodial

sentences. Even where the penalties are

minor, the impact on reputation, access

to trade facilitations, and therefore

business, may prove costly.

However, demonstrable compliance

with export and import controls and trade

sanctions can also offer a competitive

advantage both in terms of being able to

conduct business with certain countries

and access to trade facilitations. It also

ensures goods and technology can flow in

a timely and cost-effective manner which

is good for both exporters and importers


To ensure both compliance and

expeditious trade, exporting and

importing organisations such as industry

and academic institutions, need access to

good-quality and up-to-date information

from all relevant jurisdictions. Many

appoint export control professionals and

points of contact who develop Internal

Compliance Programmes.

However, until now, there has been no

industry-approved recognition of what

the professional knowledge and skills

around export controls are.


It is for this reason that the Institute of

Export & International Trade (IOE&IT)

is launching a new ‘Export Control

Profession’, with the support of the Export

Control Joint Unit of the Department for

International Trade (the UK’s regulator in

issues relating to export controls), HMRC

and ADS.

The new profession seeks to enable

and promote excellence in compliance

with export and import control, and trade

sanction regulations. As a membership

body it will represent Export Control

Professionals, providing them with

essential resources, professional points

of contact and learning support for the



• Gain professional recognition of their

knowledge and competence through

post-nominal letters, which will only

be accredited to those with sufficient

experience or qualifications

• Gain professional and career

development through a combination of

qualifications and an industry specific

Continuous Professional Development

(CPD) programme

• Register for accreditation of consultancy

work/training expertise

• Enter a support network through which

they can connect and share information

with other compliance professionals,

both home and abroad

• Access regular bulletins with the

latest local, national and international

developments in the industry.

Employers will also be able to access

the profession using their membership

of the IOE&IT, ensuring the competence

and knowledge of their staff through

the qualifications and CPD programme,

thereby reducing their risks of noncompliance

and the associated costs

of fines and other sanctions. Further,

through the new body they will gain access

to a pool of accredited export control

specialists – a valuable recruitment


This new profession is an essential step

to ensuring compliance and competence

among our exporting community.

To find out more visit:


Lesley Batchelor OBE FCICM is Director

General of the Institute of Export and

International Trade.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 27



Monthly round-up of the latest stories

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.


IT'S been a while since I covered

Russia but things don't feel as

if they've moved on much. Q1

shows GDP growth slowing from 2.7

percent in the last quarter of 2018 to

0.8 percent year-on-year, and growth

prospects for the medium term are

only modest. While GDP is still ahead,

real disposable incomes are falling,

and this, together with a population

that's declining by a quarter of a

million a year, will keep the consumer

market subdued.

The structure of exports has hardly

changed over the last decade; oil and

gas accounts for 60 percent and other

commodities have a big impact, too.

No wonder the ruble has halved in

value over the last ten years.

The good points? Russia is

relatively protected from external

shocks by high reserves and low

external debt.

It's a hard market to make money

in – particularly if you don't keep an

eye on DSOs, because enforcement is

an absolute nightmare. But firms in

engineering, pharma, and chemicals

have done well there – and British

brands and education are well

regarded in Russia. You might make

it work – but make sure you have the

right payment terms and watch that

currency, too.


EULER Hermes' recent study 'The Big Switch'

makes for interesting reading. Euler Hermes

identifies three things that are changing

this year. Firstly, China replacing the US as

a source of global growth; secondly, a switch

from a trade war to new pragmatism; and

thirdly, a move away from recent hawkishness

on the part of central banks, leading to further

economic stimulus.

Although President Trump talks a good

fight, the US is now a highly indebted economy

with a disorderly budget setting process, and

Euler Hermes thinks the investment cycle

is stalling. That will affect growth in 2020

onwards. On the other hand, China is now

taking actions to stimulate the economy, and

could see improvement from Q2 this year.

That will help the Asian economies which are

highly integrated into Chinese supply chains.

Moving to trade pragmatism and away from

protectionism will help export orientated

economies. In Europe, Germany will benefit

from this trend – so will highly export focused

Asian economies like Vietnam.

Monetary dovishness, on the other hand,

should help emerging markets. Euler Hermes

looks for countries which have introduced

economic reforms, which are exporters, or

do well from China or all three: Ivory Coast,

Kenya, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong

are the top picks.

It's an interesting argument. I'm not

completely sure things will work out as

expected, but I might run the slide rule over

a couple of those countries to see how the

fundamentals stack up.



I took a trip to and Global

Britain turns out to be rather a bust, to judge

from this website. There are only five country

guides available at the moment, and there

seems to be less really crunchy information

than there used to be. For instance, you're told

that Brazil ‘has complex import regulations’

and the site suggests you can go somewhere

else to find out about them.

Meanwhile looking at the legacy pages on – ‘exporting to India’ was last updated

in November 2016 – as were a lot of the other

pages. There's very little really up-to-date


The message I'm getting? ‘Exporting

is something we can spare a junior civil

servant a few hours a week to work on.’

Nice rebranding – but you're better going to

credit insurance companies or a Chamber of

Commerce to get the facts.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 28

INDIAN elections could trim Narendra

Modi's sails, but his reforms have already

made a big difference. For the first time,

India has become a national single market,

with national sales taxes and no inter-state

barriers to trade. That should help India

continue to achieve high rates of growth –

at seven percent, economic growth is now

higher than China's, and domestic demand

is robust. Low external debt and fiscal

consolidation put the country in a stable

position as far as its credit and budgets are


Though some problems remain – the

bank sector is highly indebted, and some

reforms have been stymied – there's an

atmosphere of innovation. Even tourist

Spotlight on India

More insurance, more claims

SOME interesting announcements

from the insurance industry recently

show mixed news. The Association

of British Insurers (ABI), for instance,

says trade credit payouts last year

hit their highest levels since 2009 –

though that's mainly UK specific, it's an

experience that seems to have

been reflected elsewhere. The Berne

Union and The International Credit

Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA)

expect insolvencies to increase in

2019, with a significant worsening of

China cashflow crisis

ONE reason I'm not quite sure about

the 'Big Switch' is that China has been

looking rather fragile of late. Coface

says payment delays have surged. Since

2015, there's been a continuing trend to

longer and longer payment times – 2018

saw an increase from 76 days to 86 days.

Corporate bond defaults and

insolvencies are both rising. 40 percent

of firms are seeing increasing levels of

payment delay, and 55 percent (up from

47 percent in 2017) are experiencing

ultra-long delays (80 percent of which

become unrecoverable). That looks

nasty. But in fact, it's very sector

dependent. Automotive, transportation,

construction, and energy are the main

sectors involved – and they're largely

those where the government has been

trying to dampen down the investment

visas have loosened up with multi-year,

multi-entry visas now being offered – a

world first.

Even so, India's not the easiest market

to target. Very few sectors work on a truly

national level, so you'll need to target

each state separately. But there are some

great opportunities. Healthcare and

sustainability are huge areas of investment

at the moment, and education also offers

immense potential. Besides which, India is

rapidly innovating and that gives an entree

to consultancy as well as tech businesses.

Just one warning. The rupee isn't the

world's strongest currency by a long way,

so be very careful how you deal with

currency issues.

the risk environment. That adds up to a

more dangerous world for exporters.

But the Berne Union also reckons

its members' deal pipelines are

increasing, particularly in Asia and

sub-Saharan Africa (intriguingly, not so

much in Latin America). There's huge

opportunity in renewable energy, with

positive trends in other infrastructure

and transportation, too. Good news

for insurers – but underlining the

fact that exporters really do need that


boom and reduce corporate leverage.

On the other hand, if you're in pharma,

chemicals, or agrifoods, you won't

have noticed any adverse trends.

And what's particularly interesting is

that China is now pushing economic

stimulus in a new direction – towards

the consumer market – according to

Pictet Asset Management. So, if you

export consumer goods or services,

China might just have become a more

attractive market for your products.

The one sector that I'd really worry

about is IT. That's not one of the 'usual

suspects’ and given that the IT sector

supply chains are Asia-centric, it could

have quite an impact on the rest of the

region – particularly export orientated

countries like Vietnam, South Korea,

Taiwan and Malaysia.

Dangerous Chemicals

COFACE has just downgraded its views on

the chemicals sector. The automotive sector

has been weak for a while – now that's

flowing through to suppliers, including

petrochemicals/plastics. They're getting

really squeezed, with higher feedstock

prices leading to tight margins on lower

volumes of business.

But more generally, this is a warning

call for all cyclical sectors. If Coface is right

about where we're sitting in the industrial

cycle, they're all going to get hit. So, if you

supply customers in cyclical sectors, keep

a close eye on your Days Sales Outstanding

(DSOs) and be ready to react to the first sign

of changing payment behaviours.

Construction – the

East shows Red

IT'S not just China that is having problems in

the construction sector. South Korea, too, is

looking exposed thanks to the government

shifting spending away from infrastructure.

So is the Middle East, particularly Saudi

Arabia, and Turkey, which had a minibuilding

boom. If you haven't seen the video

of abandoned Turkish ‘chateaux’ at Burj

al-Babas yet, it's worth seeing – it gives you

some idea of the Pharaonic scale of ambition

of some developers, and the massive debt

hangover, too.

Given that construction is already one

of the industries with the longest payment

terms and the longest payment delays, that

could result in severe pain for suppliers – so

mind how you go.

Someting fishy

LANDIA’S fourth BioChop is heading for

the Faroes. The machine breaks down dead

fish into silage for biogas production or pet

food, which isn't a glamorous business but

is a good way of dealing with unwanted fish


The big lesson here is never to

underestimate the power of the 'long tail',

as internet citizens say. Once you've got a

customer, keep them happy and sell them

more. It works in domestic markets and it

works extremely well for export too.



CALL 020 7738 0777

Currency UK is authorised and regulated

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).


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The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 29




The importance of setting different

terms for different regions.

AUTHOR – Jamie Ashford

IN international business it is common

practice for companies to enter

agreements based on their standard

operating terms – and sensibly so.

The agreed terms are likely to govern

the entire relationship with a trade

partner and ensuring their accuracy, relevance,

and incorporation will have a profound impact

when it comes to potential future conflict.

While it is common for companies to ensure

their terms are incorporated, it is less common

for them to employ the consistent practice of

revisiting their terms on a regular basis.

Regularly reviewing terms ensures their

relevance to a growing business and an evolving

business environment. It is usually only at the

point of an issue or dispute a company’s terms

are brought into question. Most often, this is too

late. Has this happened to you? Or could it? To

avoid being caught out in the future here are

some key considerations.


In the event of a dispute, it is in the interest of

both parties to have clarity on certain issues. In

international trade one of the most fundamental

concerns is clarifying the law upon which the

agreement is governed.

When conducting business with an

international company, you cannot assume

that the law of your country is applicable. If it

is not expressed in the agreement, you may find

that your customer’s law applies, which in the

event of a dispute may lead to a longer judicial

process and/or translation fees. It is therefore

imperative that you include a governing law


In addition to selecting the applicable law,

agreements ought to express the relevant

jurisdiction (i.e. where court proceedings will

take place in the event of a dispute) and possibly

the forum (i.e. mediation or arbitration may be

more suitable than immediately taking a case to


Companies often fail to reconsider their

law and jurisdiction clause when entering

new international agreements. Or worse, use

the same terms for their group companies

in all countries in which they operate. Be

mindful, especially when conducting business

internationally, one size certainly does not fit

all. So, why not make your country’s law and

jurisdiction applicable for all your business


A risk with selecting your own country’s

law and jurisdiction for all agreements is if a

claim is successful on your own turf, it may not

automatically mean the title (i.e. the judgment

obtained) is enforceable against a debtor based

elsewhere. In some scenarios, it is preferable to

sue them in their ‘own back yard’.

If your standard terms omit a law and

jurisdiction clause, or if the clause appears

poorly drafted, you could be setting yourself

up for a long and costly process in the event a

dispute arises. Seek legal advice! A good lawyer

can advise upon which governing law and

jurisdiction would be most suitable.


In many jurisdictions, there will be laws

governing how costs will be awarded in a

dispute. Often, they allow the successful party

to recover what is reasonable and proportionate.

However, despite this right, it is still advisable to

include provision for costs within your terms.

This may remove scope for a dispute on the

issue and in some cases will strengthen your

right to recover costs in the pre-legal phase.


As with costs, there will often be a provision to

recover statutory interest on overdue invoices

by law. However, within your standard terms,

you have the flexibility to elect alternate rates,

which in most cases will override the statutory

rates so can be set higher.

On this point, it is advisable to include a note

on your invoices reminding customers of your

contractual right to claim interest. This has

two benefits: firstly it encourages customers

to pay on time; and secondly it weakens any

later argument from your customer about the

incorporation of the interest rate clause.


If your trade is the supply of goods, it would

be prudent to retain title on those goods after

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 30


AUTHOR – Jamie Ashford

Jamie Ashford

International Debt

Recovery Lawyer

delivery, which in essence means they still

belong to you until expressed conditions are

met i.e. until the goods are paid for in full by

your customer. In the event goods are not paid

for, if you have retained title, you may have a

right to take them back, which should mitigate

your loss.

Please note the law on retaining title varies

considerably from country to country, so you

may wish to seek legal advice and/or vary the

clause depending on who you are contracting



Disputes in respect of sale of goods often center

around issues occurring during transit. For

this reason, you should ensure that your terms

accurately and unequivocally set out where your

responsibilities end and where the receiver’s

responsibilities begin, or vice versa.

A pre-defined series of commercial terms

(Incoterms/ International Commercial Terms)

are commonly used and include among other

things; ‘the seller electing the location of where

the goods will be available’ (EXW/Ex Works) or

‘the seller delivers the goods at their own risk to

a named location’ (FCA/Free Carrier) etc.


On occasion, there will be clauses within your

terms and conditions that need amending. This

is often the result of a change in the commercial

relationship, or a structural change within your

business. It could be something as simple as

changing the address to which formal notices

are to be served, or as extreme as your core price

or credit terms.

While it is

common for

companies to

ensure their terms

are incorporated,

it is less common

for them to employ

the consistent

practice of

revisiting their

terms on a regular


It isn’t uncommon for a variation clause to

allow unilateral changes meaning you shouldn’t

have to wait for the express agreement of the

other party to make the change. However, before

relying upon a unilateral clause, it would be

sensible to ensure its enforceability by seeking

legal advice. Bear in mind that in situations

where a trade partner’s terms apply it may also

have a unilateral right to amend.

Your terms should clarify how to validate an


Although relatively rare for assignments to take

place, it certainly isn’t unheard of, especially in

the event your company is undergoing structural

changes. A well-drafted assignment clause could

allow you greater flexibility shaping a ‘new look’,

while simultaneously retaining vital business.

The above suggestions are just a few of the

clauses you may wish to consider revising and/

or adding to your standard terms. In addition,

you may also wish to consider how your

standard terms are incorporated by your staff

into your agreements on a contract-by-contract

basis. It is important that you leave no doubt in

the mind of your trading partners that it is your

terms that apply.

If you are a global entity or part of a group

company, you should be particularly mindful

as to whether your terms have been suitably

adapted for international trade. Don’t delay,

check them today.

Jamie Ashford, International Debt Recovery

Lawyer, Bierens Debt Recovery Lawyers.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 31




Finding the most efficient approach

to the collections process requires

investment in intelligent automation.

AUTHOR – Joe Pettit

IN the 60s, the communication

of business processes between

companies was slow and errorprone.

Instead of electronically

exchanging invoices and other

essential business documents,

trading partners had to send each other

paper documents to fulfil their requests.

Slow processes, delays and errors were an

obstacle for companies who wanted fast

shipments, fast payments, and who valued

accurate information exchanges with their

business partners.

The introduction of electronic data

interchange (EDI)(1) and emails should have

resulted in an electronic revolution that

changed the credit management landscape,

but did it? While we have moved on, mainstream

credit management departments are

still grappling with the paper hangovers of

the 60s. It appears that many UK companies

have forgotten the art of e-billing and how

this simple change can transform cash


Today collections teams are under intense

pressure to meet collection targets, while

maintaining a healthy relationship with

the customer. The need for e-billing and

intelligent AR automation has never been

greater. A new breed of technology has

emerged that’s helping tech-savvy credit

leaders who refuse to allow cashflow to be

held to ransom, but are you being left behind?


No matter how bespoke your customer

billing requirements, getting the invoice

delivered in a format that meets these

demands is key to getting paid faster. The

flexibility e-billing provides from both

a customer and organisational view is

impressive. Today, the technology is available

to support servicing the customer better,

while releasing the collection team to chase

real debt.


For credit leaders e-billing is a critical factor

for eliminating paper billing, reducing print

and post and lowering their organisations’

carbon footprint and costs.


Setting up e-billing is not as complicated as

one might expect. Integrating e-billing into a

collections strategy gives credit management

teams valuable invoice receipt information,

helping them to take corrective action long

before the due date.

Indeed, organisations which adopt

e-billing are incredibly successful in

cash collection. Improved cashflow,

communications and reduced DSO are only

a few of the benefits forward thinking AR

departments are experiencing. The time

savings and freedom to chase real debt lifts

morale and improves internal and external

relationships. Customers utilising selfservice

portals are rewarded with transparent

transactional information which facilitates

speedier cash collection. The news is that

organisations embracing e-billing by rolling

out new initiatives, can comfortably achieve

an 87 percent paper to e-billing conversion



For organisations embarking on this

transformational journey they should first

consider their audience demographics. This

research helps identify clusters of customers

and how they are best served, not only for

invoice delivery but preferences throughout

the collection process. Communications

and delivery channel options should be

provided to ensure adherence of customers’


For positive customer relationships

everything needs to be transparent, satisfying

the customer who requires print and post, to

the business who still work with fax, email,

or just a URL, and finally those customers

that need EDI. Unless you offer all the

options, you will find it challenging to

satisfy and maintain progressive business

relationships. Providing customers with the

option to work within their business process

is the way forward.


Consolidated invoicing, in all forms, involves

heavy lifting by collections teams to ensure

that customer invoices expedite in a timely

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 32


‘I never received

the invoice, I didn't

get the statement’,

without any

validation of the

invoice, then cash

collection effort

will always be


and efficient manner. The work doesn’t

stop there, throw in the individual

payment arrangements made by the

sales team and the pressure builds on an

already overstretched collections team,

trying to meet the needs of the business,

and the customer and the whole process

starts to wobble.

Sadly, tactical digging-in and getting

the job done ensues, at the cost of

strategic direction. A direction that could

bring about positive change, in terms

of systems and platforms that assist

the collection teams automate invoice

to cash cycle. Many organisations are

lost in their bespoke systems. Just when

the team come up for air, another monthend

hits them, and so the cycle continues.

These organisations perpetuate their

inefficiencies and are particularly

risk-averse when it comes to new

collection techniques and technologies.

Long-term these choices don’t bode

well in today’s adapt or die business



When considering how billing influences

the complete collection process, the

process starts with billing. Get billing

wrong, and it doesn't matter how effective

the collection processes are. If customers

are continually reporting that, ‘I never

received the invoice, I didn't get the

statement’, without any validation of

the invoice, then cash collection effort

will always be disrupted. Underinvestment

at the start of the process; namely,

‘e-billing’ will have a detrimental impact on

cashflow. Investment starts with e-billing

and ends with cash allocation systems.



Too many e-billing systems concentrate

only on invoices with other key customer

documents being seldom considered.

About Joe Pettit

Joe is an e-billing and

collection expert and

evangelist. He has worked

with numerous industries

throughout his career, helping

them to achieve more efficient

processes. As a member of

the Data Interconnect team,

Joe brings his knowledge

and expertise to bear and has

crafted Corrivo Billing, Dispute,

Collection and Allocation to

provide one powerful suite of

AR automated collection tools

that help organisations reach

their collection targets faster.

If your e-billing or your billing strategy

only covers thinking around invoices, it is

one dimensional, and will never provide

the flexibility to deliver the full suite of

documents customers require.



E-billing projects are self-funding, the

reduction in postage costs, manual

handling savings, and the lowered

outbound call costs, offset the e-billing

system expenditure. Putting e-billing front

and centre of your payment process, will

have a positive effect on your cashflow and

automatically queue up better collections,

disputes and allocations management.


[1] The history of EDI – by Steve Brewer.

[2] Data Interconnect Customer

conversion rate.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 33

CICM Learning





Thursday 20 June 2019





This year we have put together an exciting and varied programme based around

the theme of ‘Managing risk in uncertain times’. All the basic principles of

cashflow and credit management are even more important in times of uncertainty

and change: we have a programme of activity, discussion, debate and workshop.

To find out more and to book your place visit

01780 722900



Credit Management asked the winners of the 2019

British Credit Awards what it means to them to win

one of the prestigious awards.

Managing Risk Award:

Vodafone UK Credit

and Risk Team

VODAFONE was absolutely thrilled to

win at the CICM Awards earlier this year

within the category of Managing Credit


2018 was a turn-around year for the

credit risk area at Vodafone, with the

team growing in capacity, knowledge

and skills, which all helped to deliver

instrumental changes to our decision

making across the customer lifecycle

and as a result has led to significant

benefits to our operational performance

and customer profitability.

Being shortlisted and then going on

to win the award is evidence of all of the

effort from the team here at Vodafone.

The industry level recognition of

the huge achievements over the last

year, has also further motivated an

already fantastic team to continue to

drive improvements in their ongoing


Penelope Clarke

Rising Star of the

Year Award:

Paradigm Housing

WINNING CICM’s Rising Star of the

Year Award means so much to me

and I am so thankful to have won.

The award has been instrumental in

raising my profile and opening doors

to new and exciting opportunities.

Prior to joining CICM I was anxious

about starting my Credit Management

course. It had been 20 years since I

was last in education and the thought

of studying part time while working

seemed overwhelming.

I am really glad I did, the course and

the range of networking events held

by CICM have been fantastic! Winning

the award has set me on a trajectory,

it has given me a boldness to continue

pushing forward in my profession,

to overcome hurdles and set new

standards in both Credit Management

and the Housing Sector. I am excited to

see all that the future holds.

Salma Shah

Credit Professional of the Year and Winner of


npower Business Solutions

TO win Credit Professional of the Year was incredible, but to then hear my name

being called out as ‘Winner of Winners’ was beyond belief. As someone who is

passionate about the world of credit, striving to make a difference within the

company I work for and the people I work with, it was an absolute honour to even

be nominated at such a prestigious event and to be shortlisted against some great

people – and, as it transpired, some great companies.

I’m always excited by the challenges we face in our sector and it is this that

encourages me to keep on top of my game and to ensure I am always developing,

both as a professional and a person. I am privileged to have a good team around

me and therefore it is very important to me that their development and futures are

invested in too.

I am very humbled to have won these awards yet feel there is still much for me to

both learn from and bring to our most wonderful industry.

Matthew Roberts MCICM

Learning and

Development Award:


WINNING this award is so important

as it recognises the efforts of

everyone; the learners, the course

developers and deliverers, the

local line management and the

administrators. It legitimises, and

values, the investment in learning

and development (L&D). So often,

Learning and Development can be

seen by managers as an imposition

yet when the results of the programme

(in terms of improved personal,

team and business performance) are

viewed, it reinforces the belief of all

L&D professionals that ‘training is

important and effective’.

The judges commented that the

award was given due to the level of

support given to the learners. This

vindicates our approach to being

helpful to the learners, allowing them

time and space to develop without

undue pressure, and providing positive

motivation to achieve their outcomes.

The programme itself is unique

in that the design aims to provide

a full understanding of the order

to cash cycle, so that wherever a

learner is situated in the process

they understand the effect of those

upstream, and how they affect those

downstream. This has led to numerous

examples of better teamwork at the

interfaces. Winning this award also

recognises that design philosophy.

David Dyer training provider from

Improvement Through People on

behalf of ABB

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 35

Peninsula Case study

Peninsula helps small businesses worldwide, but how?

Consisting of 13 companies worldwide, Peninsula

has been providing professional services to

small businesses across the UK since 1983.

Originally specialising in employment law and HR,

Peninsula has since expanded to cover health,

safety management, insurance and employee


In the past five years, Peninsula has acquired and

absorbed a number of companies worldwide.

Carl Lancaster, Group Head of Collections,

explained: “As we grew, it became clear that our

existing credit management systems weren’t able

to cope with the growing volume of transactions

and the influx of business we were experiencing

as a result of the acquisitions.” Based on this,

Peninsula decided it was time to look for a new

credit management solution. Peninsula invited the

top five credit management software companies

to pitch their solutions in order for it to decide

which was would be best-suited to its business.

Following tender negotiations, the decision was

made to adopt Onguard’s CreditManager.


• Cash flow increase of 20%

• Card payments have doubled

per day

• Smooth implementation

• Improved customer




When looking at a new credit

management software solution, Peninsula had

several requirements. Not only was it vital that

the new system could deal with the large volume

of transactions Peninsula was processing but it

was also required to consolidate all debts across

the group. Peninsula also wanted the solution

to improve the quality of communication with

clients, both in terms of its visual impact and its

content, produce consistent outputs and improve

the resultant reporting.

According to Lancaster: “We chose Onguard

primarily due to the fact it offers greater flexibility

in terms of its workflow integration. We also saw

that there would be potential in the future to

take on new features and gain a wider range of

capabilities should we want to. Additionally, we

found that it offered a great user-experience as

the software is user-friendly and intuitive.”


“Onguard has been very involved in the

implementation of the new software and has

been key to the delivery. We are convinced we

made the right decision in choosing Onguard,

implementation has been running smoothly and

we are happy with what the solution has allowed

us to achieve so far.”





Redefining order-to-cash

Onguard is specialist in credit management software and market leader in innovative solutions

for order-to-cash. Our integrated platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the

order-to-cash chain and allows sharing of critical data.

Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected and offer overview and control of the

payment process, as well as contribute to a sustainable customer relationship. In more than 50

countries the Onguard platform is successfully used for successful credit management.

Find out more at: or call us at +44 (0) 20 396 683 24.


Topsy Turvy

The latest monthly business to business

payment performance statistics.

AUTHOR – Jason Braidwood FCICM(Grad)

THE most recent payment performance

statistics were encouraging, with

the majority of sectors and regions

successfully reducing their payment

terms. This month’s results provide

more fluctuation, however, with

a number of sectors and regions moving back

in the wrong direction and only a few making

improvements. The average Days Beyond Terms

(DBT) figures across regions and sectors increased

by 0.6 and 0.9 days respectively.


It has been a disappointing month for the majority

of sectors, with all but five of the 22 sectors

increasing their payment terms. The biggest

improvements have been in the Financial and

Insurance and Real Estate sectors, reducing DBT by

5.7 and 4.0 days respectively. Public Administration

continued its improvement with a further reduction

of 2.3 taking its overall DBT to 5.4 days, making it

the best performing sector. Manufacturing (-2.3)

and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (-0.7) also

reduced their DBT.

It’s been a particularly poor month for the

Business from Home and Transportation and

Storage sectors, with both increasing DBT by 5.5

days. Business Admin and Support also struggled,

with payment terms increasing by 4.1 days. A

further increase of 1.4 days means that Mining and

Quarrying remains the worst performing sector

with an overall DBT of 22.6 days.


The regional standings are similarly

underwhelming, with all but three of

the regions increasing payment terms.

Northern Ireland continued its slump,

remaining the worst performing region

after a further increase of 2.9 days. Perhaps

surprisingly, Scotland also had a poor

month, also experiencing an increase of 2.9

days to its payment terms.

There have been more positive signs

from the West Midlands however, with a

further reduction of 1.2 days making it the

new best performing region with an overall

DBT of 12.5 days. Wales (-0.2) and the North

West (-0.1) were the other regions to make


Jason Braidwood FCICM(Grad) is Head of

Credit and Collections at Creditsafe for

Business Solutions.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 38


Top Five Prompter Payers

Sector April 19 Change from March 19

Public Administration 5.4 -2.3

International Bodies 7.0 2.4

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 8.7 -0.7

Health and Social 9.4 0.7

Education 10.0 1.6

Getting Better

-5.7 Financial and Insurance

-4.0 Real Estate

-2.3 Public Administration

-2.3 Manufacturing

-0.7 Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

Top Five Prompter Payers

Region March19 Change from April 19

Yorkshire and Humberside 11.8 0.6

West Midlands 12.5 -1.2

South West 12.7 0.8

Scotland 12.8 2.9

Wales 13.2 -0.2

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Sector April 19 Change from March 19

Mining and Quarrying 22.6 1.4

Business from Home 18.9 5.5

Transportation and Storage 18.4 5.5

Business Admin and Support 17.8 4.1

Dormant 16.9 2.9

Getting Worse

0.1 Entertainment

0.9 Energy Supply

1.2 Construction

1.4 Mining and Quarrying

2.4 International Bodies

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Region March 19 Change from April 19

Northern Ireland 17.8 -2.9

London 15.0 1.6

East Anglia 13.8 1.6

South East 13.6 2.4

North West 13.5 -0.1


Getting Better – Getting Worse










Northern Ireland

West Midlands


North West

East Anglia


South East

South West




-2.9 DBT


2.9 DBT



-0.1 DBT



0.6 DBT


-0.2 DBT



-1.2 DBT



1.6 DBT

There have been more positive signs

from the West Midlands however, with

a further reduction of 1.2 days making

it the new best performing region with

an overall DBT of 12.5 days.



0.8 DBT


1.6 DBT



2.4 DBT

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 39


Cash Flows

A polluted river and ill-considered dividends

led to an interesting case of fraud.

AUTHOR – Peter Walker

THE effects of a river

polluted with polychlorinated

biphenyls – thankfully

shortened to PCBs

– have flowed from its

source in the USA to

London’s Court of Appeal, where there

was a significant judgment in the area

of defrauding creditor. Section 423 of the

Insolvency Act 1986 regarding ‘transactions

defrauding creditors’ figured prominently

in the case. The judgment started

with a reference to its chemical origins in

BTI 2014 LLC v Sequana SA [2019] EWCA

Civ 112.

Chemicals caused the pollution of

the Lower Fox River in Wisconsin in

the 50s and 60s. In 1978 BAT Industries

had acquired paper businesses

‘responsible for extensive pollution’ of

the river, but the claims in the USA under

the Comprehensive Environmental

Response, Compensation and Liability

Act 1980 (CERCLA) only commenced

in the 90s. Businesses manufacturing

carbonless paper had dumped the

resulting toxic chemicals into the river.

Carbonless paper was useful in the days

before the convenience of personal

computers and printers, because you

could write on the top paper and the

writing would be transferred to perhaps

as many as five or six pages underneath.

In the 80s I designed for a company a

stock control and ordering system based

on this technology, when I was unaware

of the toxic results of the manufacturing

of this paper.

Much later in 1998 the Lower Fox River

paper manufacturing businesses agreed

among themselves how to share the

environmental liabilities. The CERCLA

obligations embraced cleaning-up

costs and damages of natural resources

including the river pollution. There were,

however, various changes of ownership

of the companies and consequent

indemnities against liabilities.

In the year 2000, for example, a

company known as Sequana bought

another company known as AWA,

which owned the paper manufacturing

companies. It later sold those businesses

subject to an indirect indemnity relating

to the agreement made in 1998. It also

purchased a guaranteed investment

policy to provide funds for all aspects

of the Lower Fox River liability. By

2008 its value was US$250 million, but

consequently AWA ceased to be a trading



It was, however, a subsidiary of Sequana,

to which it paid the proceeds of the sale

of the businesses and other receipts. This

indebtedness was an asset in AWA’s books

as was the policy, but on the other hand it

had contingent indemnity liabilities. Its

balance sheet showed net assets of €517

million made up of share capital of €318.6

million, a share premium account of

€69.8 million and distributable reserves

of €128.6 million.

In the light of this information the

Directors of AWA decided in December

2008 to pay a dividend of €443 million.

To do that the paid-up share capital

was reduced to €1 million, and the

share premium account was cancelled.

No money changed hands, but the

indebtedness of Sequana was reduced to

€142.5 million.

That was December, but early in the

following year there was the question

of whether the contingent liability

concerning the environmental liability

should be included in the accounts

for the year ended 31 December 2008.

There was, of course, the guaranteed

investment policy, and it was decided

that it was sufficient to cover any

contingent liability, so there was no need

to include a provision for such a liability

in the accounts. I am mystified at such

a conclusion, but perhaps I am just a

grumpy old-fashioned accountant. There

was consequently a distributable reserve

of €137 million in the balance sheet.

The directors of AWA therefore decided

in May to pay a dividend of around €135

million to the parent company Sequana.

No money changed hands, because the

indebtedness of that company to its

subsidiary was reduced by that amount

to about €3.1 million. The decision to

pay this dividend was influenced by the

desire of the Sequana directors to sell

AWA to another company. The directors

thought that the sale of AWA under these

conditions would mean that Sequana had

limited, perhaps excluded, any guarantee

under the Lower Fox River risk.


Both dividends of December and of May

were challenged in the lower court on

the basis that they were not lawfully

paid in accordance with Part 23 of

the Companies Act 2006 (a ‘could-notpay’

claim). The second challenge was

that the dividend was in breach of the

directors’ duties regarding creditors (a

‘should-not-pay’ claim). Mrs Justice Rose,

however, decided that the claim against

the directors in respect of the December

dividend failed. She also concluded

that the May dividend was caught by

the provisions of section 423(1) of the

Insolvency Act 1986.

That section defines ‘transactions

defrauding creditors’. They include gifts

or transactions for which there is no

consideration (s 423(1)(a)). There are

also transactions at an undervalue (s

423(1(c)). One remedy is to restore the

original position as if the transaction

had not happened (s 423(2)(a)), while

another is to make an order protecting

the interests of the transaction’s victims

(s423(2)(b)). The court, for example, may

only make an order if the purpose was

to place the assets beyond the reach of

someone making or potentially making a

claim (s423(3)(a)). The court alternatively

should be satisfied that the purpose of the

transaction was to prejudice the position

of an actual or potential claimant.

In the Court of Appeal Richards LJ

asked if a dividend was a transaction at

an undervalue, and he answered himself

that the declaration of a dividend created

a debt owed by the company to its

shareholders. It was also not a transaction

as a gift, because a dividend was a return

on the shareholders’ investment.

Richards LJ then considered whether

a dividend was a transaction for no

consideration. He favoured the view of

Lord Millett in a tax case, Inland Revenue

Commissioners v Laird Group plc [2003] 1

WLR 2476. At that time Lord Millett said

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 40


AUTHOR – Peter Walker

that the directors in exercising their powers to declare a dividend

were effectively releasing funds due to the shareholders.

But section 423 supposes that there is a transaction. Richards

LJ noted, however, that the section refers to a gift, so it is wider

than, say, a contractual bilateral transaction with consideration

between two parties. Lord Reid in another case, Greenberg v

IRC [1972] AC 109, where he was considering whether dividends

were transactions relating to securities, said that they could be

activities in which only one person was involved. Richards LJ

therefore concluded that a dividend could be a transaction.

He then considered the section’s statutory purpose. In this

respect AWA was a non-trading company set up to contain the

Lower Fox River liability. Richards LJ agreed with the finding

of the lower court that the first dividend had been declared

lawfully, but circumstancess had changed by the time of the

May dividend. At that time the directors wanted to sell the

company to prevent claims. That second dividend prejudiced

the creditors because of the depletion of AWA’s assets, with the

result it had no call on Sequana. Sequana would have to pay

US$138.4 million to BTI, the successor to BAT, as recompense

for the amount paid by BAT for clean-up costs plus interest.


There were other issues considered by the Court of Appeal, such

as the ‘general duties of directors defined in the Companies Act

2006. Section 172 refers to the need for directors to act in good

faith ‘to promote the success of the company for the benefit

of its members as a whole’. There is a list of considerations

including the likely consequences of any decision in the long

term (s172(1)(a)), the impact of the company’s operations on

the community and the environment (s172(1)(d), and there are

others. S172(3) adds the duty of the directors, subject to some

provisos ‘to consider or act in the interests of the creditors of

the company’.

In this respect the accounts considered by the directors were

important, but they revealed no deficit in the balance sheet at

the time the directors were considering the May, or second,

dividend. There was no duty in relation to creditors at that time.

The judges of the Court of Appeal furthermore considered

other situations where that duty may be triggered. Richards

LJ observed that in other cases the companies concerned were



Insolvent companies are sometimes a depressing factor in the

work of credit managers, but the judgment in the Sequana case

can be helpful to creditors. Directors’ decisions to pay dividends

can be challenged if they amount to transactions defrauding

creditors. Those directors must have regard to the financial

state of the company, if they are considering the declaration of a

dividend or of a reduction of capital. If there is any doubt about

the financial health of the company, particularly with regards

to contingent liabilities, the directors must take professional


Those reviewing the affairs of an insolvent company

should check if there have been declarations of dividends in

circumstances covered by section 423 of the Insolvency Act

1986. It is to be hoped that if the Court of Appeal’s judgment

should be appealed to the Supreme Court, that the principle

will be upheld.

Peter Walker is a freelance business writer.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 41



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

Corporate Partnership with the CICM, please contact

Hays Credit Management is a national specialist

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of

credit management and receivables professionals,

at all levels, in the public and private sectors. As

the CICM’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,

career and recruitment trends.

T: 07834 260029



The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis

and data modelling tools to organisations around

the world that rely on our ability to accurately predict

their exposure to financial risk. Our H-Score®

predicted 92 percent of quoted company insolvencies

and our TextScore® accuracy rate was 93

percent. Our scores are trusted by credit professionals

within banks, corporates, investment houses

and public sector bodies because, unlike other credit

reference agencies, we are transparent and flexible

in our approach.

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300



HighRadius is a Fintech enterprise Software-as-a-Service

(SaaS) company. Its Integrated Receivables platform

reduces cycle times in the Order to Cash process through

automation of receivables and payments across credit,

e-invoicing and payment processing, cash allocation,

dispute resolution and collections. Powered by the RivanaTM

Artificial Intelligence Engine and Freeda Digital

Assistant for Order to Cash teams, HighRadius enables

more than 450 organisations to leverage machine

learning to predict future outcomes and automate routine

labour intensive tasks.

T: +44 7399 406889



Forums International has been running Credit and

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of

industry sectors and international trading. Attendance

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums

are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges

ahead. Attending for the first time is free for you to

gauge the benefits and meet the members and we

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never

intentionally be sold to.

Chris Sanders Consulting (Sanders Consulting

Associates) has three areas of activity providing

credit management leadership and performance

improvement, international working capital

improvement consulting assignments and

managing the CICMQ Best Practice Accreditation

programme on behalf of the CICM. Plans for

2019 include international client assignments in

India, China, USA, Middle East and the ongoing

development of the CICMQ Programme.

Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist

companies across Europe with credit management.

The service gives the end-user the means to make

a payment when and how they choose. Key IVR

also provides a state-of-the-art outbound platform

delivering automated messages by voice and

SMS. In a credit management environment, these

services are used to cost-effectively contact debtors

and connect them back into a contact centre or

automated payment line.

T: +44 (0)1246 555055



T: +44(0)7747 761641



T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000

E: sales@keyivr


American Express® is a globally recognised provider

of business payment solutions, providing flexible

capabilities to help companies drive growth. These

solutions support buyers and suppliers across the

supply chain with working capital and cashflow.

By creating an additional lever to help support

supplier/client relationships American Express is

proud to be an innovator in the business payments


T: +44 (0)1273 696933


Building on our mature and hugely successful

product and world class support service, we are

re-imagining our risk awareness module in 2019 to

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists and

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.

Creditsafe), this makes Credica a single port-of-call

for analysis and automation. Impressive results

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also

have an active input into our product development

and evolution.

T: 01235 856400



Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps

businesses pay and get paid. Businesses and banks

rely on Bottomline for domestic and international

payments, effective cash management tools, automated

workflows for payment processing and bill review

and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural

analytics and regulatory compliance. Every day, we

help our customers by making complex business

payments simple, secure and seamless.

T: 0870 081 8250



The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 42

Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for

their commitment to the profession and best practice in the

Credit Industry and the quality of services they provide.

We are delighted to showcase them here.


Onguard is a specialist in credit management

software and a market leader in innovative solutions

for Order to Cash. Our integrated platform ensures

an optimal connection of all processes in the Order

to Cash chain and allows sharing of critical data. Our

intelligent tools can seamlessly interconnect and

offer overview and control of the payment process,

as well as contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.

The Onguard platform is successfully used

for successful credit management in more than 50


T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66



The Atradius Collections business model is to support

businesses and their recoveries. We are seeing a

deterioration and increase in unpaid invoices placing

pressures on cashflow for those businesses. Brexit

is causing uncertainty and we are seeing a significant

impact on the UK economy with an increase in

insolvencies, now also impacting the continent and

spreading. Our geographical presence is expanding

and with a single IT platform across the globe we can

provide greater efficiencies and effectiveness to our

clients to recover their unpaid invoices.

T: +44 (0)2920 824700


With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading

provider of business information, analytics, insights

and solutions. Graydon helps its customers to make

fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to minimise

risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities

with their commercial relationships. Graydon

uses 130+ international databases and the information

of 90+ million companies. Graydon has offices in

London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,

Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of the world’s

largest credit insurance companies.

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400



Rimilia provides intelligent, finance automation

solutions that enable customers to get paid on time

and control their cashflow and cash collection in

real time. Rimilia’s software solutions use sophisticated

analytics and artificial intelligence to predict

customer payment behaviour and easily match and

reconcile payments, removing the uncertainty of

cash collection. Rimilia’s software automates the

complete accounts receivable process improving

cash allocation, bank reconciliation and credit management


T: +44 (0)1527 872123



Improve cash flow, cash collection and prevent late

payment with Corrivo from Data Interconnect.

Corrivo, intelligent invoice to cash automation

highlights where accounts receivable teams should

focus their effort for best results. Easy-to-learn,

Invoicing, Collection and Dispute modules get collection

teams up and running fast. Minimal IT input required.

Real-time dashboards, reporting and self-service

customer portals, improve customer communication

and satisfaction scores. Cost-effective, flexible Corrivo,

super-charges your cash collection effort.

T: +44 (0)1367 245777



Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern

finance leaders and credit professionals to improve

business performance through more effective risk

management, identification of growth opportunities,

and better integration of data and insights

across the business. Powered by our Data Cloud,

our solutions provide access to the world’s most

comprehensive commercial data and insights

supplying a continually updated view of business

relationships that help finance and credit teams

stay ahead of market shifts and customer changes.

T: (0800) 001-234


Shared Services Forum UK Limited

Shared Services Forum UK is a not-for-profit

membership organisation. with one vision, to form

the largest community of people from the business

world and facilitate a platform for them to work

together to mutual benefits.

Benefits include; networking with like-minded

professionals in Shared Services. The criteria is a

willingness to engage in our lively community and

help shape our growth and development.

T: 07864 652518



C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables

into income, uniquely connecting buyers and

suppliers to allow discounts in exchange for

early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating

payments from buyers when required in just two

clicks, at a rate that works for them. Buyers, often

corporates with global supply chains, benefit from

the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while

strengthening the financial health of supply chains

through ethical business practices.

T: 07799 692193



Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit

intelligence for credit insurers and for corporate

customers. The company’s B2B Credit Risk

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk

Management Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;

the Tinubu Credit Intelligence service and the

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their

greatest assets: customer receivables.

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /



The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 43





For further information and

to discuss the opportunities

of entering into a Corporate

Partnership with the CICM,

please contact




Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for

organisations seeking efficient cash visibility

and secure financial processes. As an SAP

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience

and thousands of successful customer projects,

including solutions for the entire order-to-cash

process, Serrala provides credit managers and

receivables professionals with the solutions they

need to successfully protect their business against

credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.

T: +44 118 207 0450



Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes

the all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s

businesses from collecting receivables in a timely

manner. From invoice delivery to cash application,

Esker automates each step. Esker's automated AR

system powered by TermSync helps companies

modernise without replacing their core billing and

collections processes. By simply automating what

should be automated, customers get the post-sale

experience they deserve and your team gets the

tools they need.

T: +44 (0)1332 548176



2019 CICM





Table Events







Just another great

reason to be a member

See full programme at | +44 (0)1780 722902

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 44




Following last month’s sector focus,

Credit Management takes a look at one restaurant

that has turned its fortunes around.

WHEN a newly opened


restaurant in Monmouth


for funding from

its bank, it was a

funding solution from Liberis Finance,

and hard work from the owners, that saved

the day. And now the future looks very

bright indeed, with plans to increase the

capacity, refurbish the dining room and

invest in a new kitchen garden.

Owner Paul Smith had previously

worked as a chef in kitchens all over

the world. Over the years he became

somewhat disillusioned with cooking as

he noticed a number of restaurants that

were resorting to using sous vide meals

that could be microwaved instead of

serving fresh cooked food.

Changing course, he set up his own

building company and worked for

Network Rail for 24 years. When his wife

Shelley, a professional gardener, suggested

embarking on a new business venture in

South Wales six years ago, Paul jumped at

the chance.

The couple renovated a dilapidated

outbuilding and began selling imported

plants from Holland and serving tea and

cakes, calling their new business The

Potting Shed. Soon the food side of the

business took over and they were serving

breakfasts and light lunches.

But then, four years ago, the landlord

decided not to renew their lease. Paul and

Shelley moved the business into a 19th

century barn in nearby Whitchurch. The

restaurant’s reputation continued to grow

and it began serving Sunday lunches and

evening meals such as locally-sourced

sea bass with lemon and herb butter, and

Tournedos Rossini.

As a new business, they struggled

to find funding from their bank, just at

the point that their cashflow was being

squeezed with the quieter months ahead.

That’s when their landlord suggested

talking to Liberis. Through its Business

Cash Advance solution, £5,000 in funding

relieved the immediate cashflow pressure

and also gave the couple a budget for

some advertising. The advance is linked

directly to the business’ customer card

transactions; in this case, 15 percent of

each card transaction is automatically

taken until the advance amount has been

paid. This means the payments are better

matched to a company’s cashflow.

“We have now been able to partfund

the renovation and expansion of

our business. It’s stress and hassle free,

completely seamless and it means all our

effort and energy can be invested in the


Paul and Shelley have big plans

for the restaurant. Further funding is

part-financing the construction of an

Orangery. It will also help to pay for the

creation of a kitchen garden where many

of the vegetables such as tomatoes, edible

flowers and herbs from the menu are


“Considering where we started with

the business just six years ago, the growth

has been fantastic. Once the expansion

is completed our turnover will be

transformed which will allow us to cater

for more people and events.”

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 45

Are you making the most of

CICM and your membership?




Business news

and industry










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What is the CICM? For you, for your team, for business

The CICM is the largest recognised professional body in the world for the credit community. When

you join us, our network of members across the world becomes your professional family.

We have been promoting the importance of credit management, influencing government policy and

regulation and supporting credit professionals through their careers since 1939. It is our reason for

being, and our passion for expertise in the credit and collections profession is second to none.

01780 722900


and bespoke

training for

your credit


Your specialism is

our specialism

At the CICM we know that credit and collections is a unique profession, and your business

calls for a training solution that is not ‘off-the-peg’.

We take pride in delivering practical and effective learning to credit and collections teams.

Our training is designed and tailored to your business needs and to deliver results.

Your team will learn from our specialist trainers, who all have vast experience in the

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The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 47




Global value chains have created huge

opportunity – and risk – for UK exporters.

Jon Walden

THERE is little doubt that the

development AUTHOR of global - Ga


chains, often involving exciting

new and emerging markets, has

created huge opportunities for UK

exporters. However, risk has to be

carefully managed. International trade is complex

– every transaction involves four key pillars –

Commercial, Transport, Regulatory and Finance

– and the weak-point is always the intrinsic links

between these pillars. Commercial is all about

contracting, transport is the physical movement

of the goods across international borders,

regulatory encompasses customs, licensing and

standards issues and, last but certainly not least,

the financial pillar is about getting paid the right

amount, in the right currency, at the right time.



Yes, this is the good news. Incoterms

(International Commercial Terms) provides the

glue to hold the pillars together. It is generally

said that selection of the most appropriate

Incoterm at contracting stage reduces the

occurrence of disputes between the contracting

parties and provides a level of certainty

throughout the four pillars of the contract.


One of the key elements of Incoterms is that the

term used identifies exactly where legal delivery

by the seller or exporter, to the buyer takes place.

It can be confusing, for some of the terms legal

delivery is on despatch and physical delivery is,

actually, on arrival at the agreed geographical

point. Even though Incoterms do not determine

the point of revenue recognition it has become

a widespread norm to link legal delivery with

the point at which revenue is recognised. Also,

legal delivery is where documents have to be

made available by the seller to the buyer, often

triggering payment through such mechanisms as

documentary presentations under documentary

letters of credit and documentary collections.

Thus, a clear link between the commercial pillar,

which identifies the Incoterm to be used, and the

financial pillar.



Incoterms are published by the International

Chamber of Commerce, the first version was in

1936. Statistics vary but by far the majority of

cross border trade is contracted using Incoterms,

possibly over 90 percent. Having said that, they

are often used incorrectly and inappropriately.




This is a very important point. The way

companies trade internationally, and the

processes and procedures applied, change

frequently. For example, traditional port-toport

or airport-to-airport logistics models are

quickly migrating to a door to door basis. New

procedures are constantly introduced, a recent

example is the requirement for exporters

to legally declare the weight of cargoes in

containers, known as Verifying Gross Mass. Some

changes are not nearly as quick as expected, for

example, the migration to electronic messages

in place of paper documents. Incoterms have to

reflect real and current practice otherwise they

become ineffective.



Incoterms tend to be reviewed every ten years.

There is no rule about this but the cycle seems

to work well. The current version is Incoterms

2010 but Incoterms 2020 is on the way and will

take effect from 1 January 2020. The review

process takes around three years and involves

opinions, discussions and critical analysis from

International Chamber of Commerce national

committees, globally. It really is a very thorough,

informed and detailed process.



The final draft of Incoterms 2020 has been

agreed, the content is embargoed until global

launch in September this year. As usual,

companies can expect some very critical and

fundamental changes and also a number of

smaller updates, enhancements and investments.

At this stage, do not believe anything Google

contributors may say, or predict, on the subject

– just look forward to the September release.

Incoterms are the most important protocol in

international trade contracting and it is hugely

important to understand the changes, ensuring

the terms are applied correctly and effectively.




Everyone involved in the export process but,

critically, finance, credit control, shipping,

documentation/invoicing, order processing sales

and export managers.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 48




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The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 49




A case of an agency worker that is paid a different rate

to a permanent employee and makes a claim.

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards

DATA from a recent ONS

Labour Force Survey

suggested that the total

number of agency workers

in the UK currently stands

at around 865,000 and this

figure is expected to rise to one million by

2020. With rules being in place for some

years now – in the form of the Agency

Workers Regulations 2010 (AWR) – a recent

case involving London Underground and

the Court of Appeal should be of interest

to hirers. In this case, the Court held

that the hirer (or end-user) should pay

compensation to agency workers supplied

by an independent agency.


An agency, (TP),

placed the claimants on a temporary

basis to work for London Underground

(LU). The claimants were being paid less

than comparable employees that were

employed directly by LU, contrary to the

AWR. Although LU flagged this issue and

readjusted the payment to TP as well as

making a payment in respect of back pay

to TP for them to pass on to the claimants,

TP failed to pay the claimants any of the

extra money and subsequently went into


The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)

held that LU was accountable for 50 percent

of the failure but that they did not have to

pay the compensation to the claimants

as it was not ‘just and equitable’ because

they had already paid the back pay once.

The Court of Appeal (CoA) overturned the

second aspect, finding that given LU was

liable for 50 percent of the failure, it should

pay 50 percent of the compensation owed

to the claimants regardless of the payment

already made to TP.


Under the AWR, once an agency worker

has worked for 12 continuous weeks in the

same role, they are entitled to ‘the same

basic working and employment conditions’

as they would have been entitled to, had

they been recruited by the hirer directly to

do the same job. This includes the right to

be paid the same for the work they do as

direct recruits.

Where there has been an infringement

of the AWR, for instance where agency

workers have been paid less than directly

employed workers, those workers can bring

a claim against whoever is ‘responsible for’

the infringement. If a claim is brought, the

tribunal must identify the responsibility of

the hirer and the temporary work agency.

The temporary work agency and the

hirer will be liable for their share of any

infringement, attributed on a percentage

basis. Once liability is decided, the tribunal

must decide whether to order either the

temporary work agency or the hirer to pay



The initial reason for the agency workers

being paid less, was due to both TP and

LU mistakenly relying on the exception

known as the Swedish Derogation. Under

this exception, agency workers forego

their right to equalised pay arrangements

if they are employed by their agency and

receive pay from the agency in between


LU was not at fault for this original error,

but LU was at fault because as a result of

various errors at their end. The information

that TP needed to enable them to pay the

workers the increased amount was not

provided until eight months after the issue

had been flagged – this information should

have been provided to TP within around a


The following factors were taken into

account when deciding if LU were liable

and by how much: it was LU's choice to use

agency workers in the first place because

of the savings that they would make; it was

LU's choice to contract with TP, rather than

another agency; LU was partly responsible

for the original under-payment; and the

claimants were in a weaker ‘bargaining

position’ than either TP or LU.


This decision has resulted in LU paying

back pay to the agency workers twice – once

to TP and once to the agency workers direct

following TP's demise. This highlights the

importance of carrying out proportionate

checks about the financial stability of

temporary work agencies before entering

into contracts with them and building

appropriate safeguards into the contracts


Whether the AWR apply and what

rights they will confer on workers will vary

depending on the status of those workers.

Hirers and agencies should not rely on the

word of the other party as to whether or not

the AWR apply.

Although the Swedish Derogation

exception is due to be abolished in 2020,

establishing whether or not the AWR

apply will remain a crucial and often

complex exercise. Hirers and agencies

should work together and ensure that any

information required is provided as early as


Gareth Edwards is a partner in the

employment team at Veale Wasbrough

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 50




The fifth Annual General Meeting of the Chartered

Institute of Credit Management will be held on

Thursday 13 June 2019 at CICM HQ, The Water Mill,

Station Road, South Luffenham, Oakham, LE15 8NB at

13:00 (or at the rising of the Advisory Council from its

preceding meeting, whichever is later).

By order of the Executive Board

Philip King FCICM

Chief Executive

To read the Notice, visit:


Annual Southern

Branch Credit Day

25 June 2019 – 09:00 -16:00




Care about your career?

Want to expand your network?

Still want to ‘stay relevant’?

Please join your local CICM

branches and Philip King FCICM,

from CICM HQ for a day dedicated

to providing you with the latest

developments in a variety of credit

related areas. Hear from speakers

representing industries such as

Credit Risk, Collections, Litigation

and Cash application.


Verizon, Basingstoke Road,

Reading RG2 6DA

(J11 of M4)

Other subjects will also be covered

including diversity and of course


Guest speaker - Sir John Madejski


For more information please visit the

Thames Valley or Sussex & Surrey branch

pages at




The rise in celebrity endorsements on social media.

AS someone who is a part of the Generation

Z community, whenever I venture onto my

various social media I am suddenly bombarded

with campaigns and sponsorships trying to

shove ‘slim tea’ or ‘gummy hair bears’ down my

throat through my eyes. The illusion of celebrity

endorsement on these sites gives the pretence that these are the

products you need in your life. And yes, I am aware that the whole

point of advertising is to make you feel that you need the product

in your life, and I concur that isn’t evil or bad, it is just simply

good advertising. However, given platforms like Instagram, which

is most popular with my age demographic, already promote the

appearance of ‘the perfect life’, and how amazing someone looks,

and what a wonderful time that person is having. In conjunction

with this, it seems that the only way they can look like their role

models and their favourite celebrities, is to starve themselves and

only eat foods that make you not want to eat.

The Kardashians are known for their prominent presence on

various platforms. They are also very well known for their ad

campaigns on appetite suppressant foods. Kim Kardashian most

notably posted on Instagram that she was ‘in love’ with these meal

replacement lollipops and drinks that prevent hunger – they were

apparently ‘unreal’. However, Jameela Jamil took to Twitter to

slash apart the ad, labelling it ‘terrible and toxic’. Jamil says she

was speaking up for the young girls who will see these kinds of

pictures, and instead of swallowing these questionable ideals,

they should be able to say: “they live a good life working hard and

being successful and playing with their kids and having fun with

friends and be able to say other things at the end of your life apart

from ‘I had a flat stomach’”. I couldn’t agree more.

This is a harmful thing to promote onto young impressionable

teenagers. It’s not enough for these people who are only valued

for their appearances. Celebrities endorsing such products project

these insecurities into the minds of all who see these ads which can

lead to body dysmorphic thoughts, eating disorders, depression

and much worse. These adverts are essentially saying that it is so

important to look good on these apps that you should resort to

not doing the thing that gives you life, that is eating regular food.

How stupid is that? If someone told you that you shouldn’t eat, you

would not listen to them because you need food to survive and it’s

good for you. Yet when it is jazzed up in the form of a lollipop and

a celebrity, it suddenly is the ‘new craze’ or ‘it’s trendy’ when in

reality, you have just been brainwashed by a celebrity endorsing

chemical sweets.

I could say that this shows good marketing skills and that it

is the fault of the people who don’t do their research on the

product, and leave each person to their opinions and conclusions.

However, that would mean I would be denying the fact that these

companies are preying on and exploiting vulnerable children and

promoting anorexic thinking. People could go on to see these

images constantly, and most likely end up with numerous mental

health issues, but hey, at least they’ll be skinny. There needs to be

a balance and social media companies need to do more to protect

the young and impressionable.

Max Cohen is young but has good intentions.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 52




Technically speaking

Credit Management asked members of the CICM

Think Tank what tech they can’t do without and why.

Martin Roseweir,

Bill Gosling.

THE one piece of software that we

rely on day in and day out is Workday,

which we use for both our Financial

Management functions and our Human

Capital Management.

Having direct access to run

numerous financial reports from

your desktop allows us to keep a

temperature check on the business

easily. Whether this is reviewing

full monthly Profit and Loss (PnLs),

budgets by cost centre, salaries or

spends by supplier, the software gives

a complete 360 degree view of the


Being able to access financial

information on the go, complete

expenses, review and approve invoices,

review revenue projections, ensures

that the business doesn’t slow down

when we are out of the office.

From a Human Capital Management

standpoint reviewing resource,

requesting vacations and completing

performance reviews are just a small

selection of the functionality that

Workday gives us.

Additionally, Workday Learning

allows us to deliver bespoke and

targeted training right into the inbox of

our staff. This computer-based training

can take many different formats

including videos and PowerPoint

presentations with full reporting to

allow us to track in detail all training

that has been completed.

This is only a small sample of what

Workday brings to our business, in

reality it is one of the most powerful

systems we have adopted in recent


Nigel Fields FCICM ,

Twentieth Century Fox.

THIS is an easy one for me and my

team. We are now all using Microsoft

OneNote. This is a completely free

application from Microsoft (advert

free too) so is available for everyone

and available on all platforms

including desktop and mobile and

even Mac.

OneNote is a digital notebook that

automatically backs up to Microsoft’s

Office 365 Cloud. OneNote notebooks

can be shared (or kept private) for

real-time collaboration. It allows

me to capture just about anything;

writing notes, recording audio, adding

pictures or videos, or attaching other

documents. I can then organise

everything into sections, and pages

and share across groups. The notes

are also saved to the cloud so I can

switch from PC to phone and pick up

right where I left off.

My team and I now all share

various documents, tasks and meeting

notes, we store in a very organised

way (built in function) that makes it

all very easy to find. I spend at least 50

percent of my time in meetings and

calls so inevitably, I come out with

lots of ideas, questions, follow ups or

to-dos. Before using OneNote, I would

try to capture this all in a regular

notebooks but as someone who has

extremely bad hand writing; and has

a hard time keeping up with slips of

paper, I was constantly losing things.

Frances Coulson FCICM,

Moon Beever Solicitors.

I suppose we can all ‘do without’

technology but as more and more

pressure on time mounts we need it to

stay on top of things. I find the ability to

respond to emails, which are then autosaved

and time recorded to my files

while I am out and about, absolutely


Before I had this facility I effectively

had to replicate every day capturing

advices given unless I wanted to lug a

heavy laptop everywhere. Another must

have is Mimecast – I can find almost

anything and it facilitates large data

transfers securely.

Finally, I simply cannot do without

my family, my horses and dogs

otherwise I really would explode! Life

outside work should be more important

than work (work to live don’t live to

work) but if you enjoy work as I do then

you can manage a balance of both!

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 53


Changing skillset

Some of the skills required by a modern credit

professional might be quite unexpected.

AUTHOR – Karen Young

Karen Young

AS skills shortages continue

to affect a variety of

sectors across the globe,

the core skills needed for

a role in credit management

have also remained

in demand. Almost half of accountancy

and finance employers (43 percent) revealed

in the ‘Hays Salary and Recruiting

Trends 2019’ guide that finance skills

were most needed by their organisations.

However, to get ahead in today’s

competitive recruitment environment,

credit professionals need to possess more

than just core finance abilities. So, what

are the other skills a credit professional

needs and how can they utilise these in a

current or future role?


Technology is influencing our world

of work at a faster pace than it ever has

before, changing the skills landscape

dramatically. As roles are adapting and

evolving, it is innate, human skills, such

as our creativity, which will hold the

highest value. As creative skills cannot

be borrowed, replicated or programmed

by a machine, these skills will remain

unaffected by automation and their

demand across all professions will only

continue to rise.

Equally, employers

favour jobseekers who

are comfortable speaking

with people at all levels

of an organisation in a

professional manner.

Creativity is valuable to a role in

credit management as it is a crucial

part of problem solving, strategising

and generating the ideas that will drive

businesses forward. Although for many

credit professionals numerical skills come

more naturally than creative ones, taking

a creative approach to work is important.

With creativity set to become an even

more desirable skill requirement over the

next decade, professionals in credit are

encouraged to focus on this aspect of their

role in the near future. A first step for

credit professionals to take is changing

longstanding habits and routines inside

and outside of work. If you’ve been in

your current role for a long period of time,

you may benefit from revaluating your

routine to eliminate elements that may be

hampering your ability to think creatively.

Question whether your current set-up is

allowing you to be engaged, inquisitive

and innovative inside and outside of your



Maintaining a creative approach to

your work is crucial to your career, but

developing creativity is ill-spent if you

don’t possess the ability to communicate

it effectively. Good communication is

the difference between bringing an

innovative idea to the table and making

it have a proper impact on the business.

Employers in credit want professionals

who can keep discussions on-task and

professional, who listen to employees and

respect other’s ideas. Equally, employers

favour jobseekers who are comfortable

speaking with people at all levels of an

organisation in a professional manner.

For credit professionals to work

successfully with their customers

and clients, communication skills are

vital. This involves building positive

relationships with customers and clients

who will have different requirements

and maintaining clear channels of

communication. As well as external

communication, working successfully

with colleagues within your organisation

also requires good communication skills

and can be instrumental in advancing

your career.

Good communication depends on being

clear and concise, and not overloading

a colleague when an immediate action

may be more necessary. While a focus on

detail is important in the technical aspect

of credit management, knowing when to

keep it short will serve you well. As an

extension of this, knowing when to speak

up versus when to appreciate a calmer

moment is an ability that goes with a

strong communicator.


A willingness to learn is the most

requested soft skill in the world of

work today. Hiring managers across all

disciplines want the ideal candidate to

be proactive and take the initiative to

continuously develop themselves and

their career. According to our research,

career development and CPD was the

most important benefit for 15 percent of

accountancy and finance staff, indicating

that this section are committed to their

learning and development.

Maintaining a willingness to learn

will be crucial for credit professionals

considering the emergence of AI in

the workplace. In-demand skills are

still changing in the face of constant

technology innovation so credit

professionals are encouraged to embrace

new skills in their roles to ensure they can

continue to develop and progress in their

careers. As almost half of accountancy

and finance staff (46 percent) feel there is

no scope for career progression in their

current organisation, remaining open to

learning new skills may help those feeling

pessimistic about their career prospects.

In today’s connected world there are

so many accessible ways to learn. Outside

of work credit professionals can benefit

from taking advantage of listening to

webinars and podcasts on their commute

as well as staying up to date with news and

movements in financial markets. While

at work, seek customer feedback and stay

up-to-date with what your competition is

doing. By keeping an eye on changes not

only within credit management, but also

with regards to the sector you work in,

your knowledge will develop to spot new

gaps in your industry, and potentially

seek to bridge them.

Karen Young is Director at Hays

Credit Management.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 54


If you are serious

in furthering your

career in credit


being a member

is essential

Andrew Barbaro


The value



Andrew Barbaro FCICM

Director of Customer Financial Services MEA

Emerson Automation Solutions is a Fellow of

the CICM.

Read more about his story and join your

credit community by visiting:

01780 722900


Do you know someone who would benefit from CICM membership? Or have

you considered applying to upgrade your membership? See our website for more detail, or call us on 01780 722903

Studying Members


Neelam Akhtar

Randy Bainbridge

Patrick Bradley

Hannah Bradshaw

Louise Brailsford

Ashton Brookes

Sophie Brown

Marc Anthony Chitty

Laura Clement

Leanne Cookson

Victoria Davies-Short

Mitchel Davis

Ciaran Dillon

Aaron Dougherty

Kevin Dowdall

Hannah Dundas

Lisa Dundee

Ellis Fagan

Kathy Faulkner

Emma Foley

Christine Hardy

Ian Hooper

Michelle Hoyte-Morgan

Matthew Lecoche

Sharon Lynch

Anne-Marie Maxwell

Anthony Millard

David Moran

Mandy Norley

Shannon O'connor

Carly Phillips

Vicki Richardson

Irene Rodger

Frederick Roe

Farbod Setayesh

Stacey Sheldon

Ian Skingsley

Rebecca Smith

Christa Smith

James Stafford

Elvira Tassios

Laura Tipping

Russell Troman

Pamela Urmston

Shanthalakshmi Venkatasubramanian

Jordan Watekila

Sacha Wells

Lee Wells

Asmara Whiskey

Member by exam

Ian Glover


Paul Bennett

Rebecca Cubbin

Abigail Gaston

Sharon Grugel

Richard Hammons

Mark Herlihy

Dorota Kocent-Kijewska

Joanne Loughran

Karen McIvor

Carol Palmer

Simon Renshaw

Helen Stoddart

Joseph Tirelli

Eva Van Der Grijn

Alastair Velzian


Charlie Daisley-Smith

Lyndsay Harrison

Reece Ingley

Baiju John

John Sewell

Gillian Sprunt

Xhiljola Xhixhi


Helen Daniel

Sharmistha Roy


Ian Hirst

Congratulations to our current members who have upgraded their membership

Upgraded members

David Kerr FCICM

Caroline Asquith-Turnbull FCICM

Tom Hope MCICM

Nicola Jones MCICM

Margaret Kervin MCICM

Seija Langley MCICM(Grad)

Dalbinder Dulai ACICM

Thomas Fowler ACICM

Lynn Macdonald ACICM

Lynne Robson ACICM

James Rutter ACICM

Hannah Shirtcliffe ACICM

Key Account Manager at Arvato Financial Solutions


“I recently applied to be upgraded to MCICM as I feel it’s vitally

important to be part of CICM for the learning and development it

provides; so I can meet my future goals for career progression. It also

gives employers reassurance that you meet a recognisable standard

and raises your profile.”

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 56

As the Winners of the Legal Team

of the Year 2019, Debt Recovery

is nothing new to Keebles.

We recovered over £5.7 million of

debt for clients this financial year

Having practised successfully in this area for

many decades, you can be confident inour

experience and ability.

We appreciate the needs of our clients and

understand that each client’srequirements

are different. Whether you are alarge

organisation requiring regular management

reports and file reviews, orasmall business

growing rapidly, but with little experience

of the debt recovery process, wehave the

flexibility tocater for your needs.

We work closely with our clients and will

tailor aservice level agreement sothat

we both know exactly what needs tobe

achieved and at what cost.

No Recovery No Fee

We do not charge for issuing aLetter Before

Action. Wewill only charge you commission,

at an agreed rate, onany sums recovered.

If we are unable to recover your debt at this

stage itwill cost you nothing.

No Hidden Costs

For many cases, where it is necessary

to issue legal proceedings, we can offer

service on afixed fee basis with nohidden

costs and, where possible, wewill make

additional claims on your behalf for interest

and compensation under The Late Payment

of Commercial Debts legislation to further

minimise the recovery cost to you.

Success is the Key

Over the past 5years we have successfully

recovered over 80% of our Clients’ debts in

full or by way ofanagreed settlement.

Call now totalk to amember of

the Debt Recovery Team:

0113 399 3470



How to set up a great one click link to the CICM website on

your mobile phone. Follow these four simple steps...

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4

Go to > Click highlighted icon at bottom of screen > Click add to Home screen icon

> Click add icon at top right of screen > CICM icon will appear on your screen

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4

Open in Google Chrome browser > Tap Menu button > Tap add shortcut to Home screen

> Icon will appear on your screen. Menu button on other Android devices may be displayed differently.


T: +44 (0)1780 722900 | WWW.CICM.COM

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 58




FULL NAME: Claire Cape.






Tracking debtors down

Sheffield Branch

SHEFFIELD Branch members and

guests gathered at the Mercure

Parkway Hotel for the second

branch meeting of 2019. After

networking over refreshments

and an early evening buffet, Mark Hodgson

and Karl Brooker of Tremark Investigations

in Leeds gave an enlightening and detailed

presentation on the lawful investigation,

surveillance, tracing and profiling of


Mark is Founder and Managing Director

of Tremark and explained the historical

journey of the business of investigators and

the regulations and statutes that prevent or

legitimise the enquiries of others. He went

on to highlight the high-profile Government

inquiries such as Operation Motorman that

resulted in the Private Security Industry

Act 2001 and the ‘phone hacking’ scandals

of the last few years culminating in the

Leverson Inquiry. This was followed by the

game changing GDPR imposing good data

practice, compliance and accountability.

We then heard in more detail about

the impact of data protection, legitimising

conditions such as consent and legitimate

interest, and followed through a detained

investigative matrix for legitimate

information gathering, data enhancement

techniques, tracing and profiling. There

was practical help for members and guests

with how to guides for GDPR Impact

Assessments when instructing outsource

companies to make legitimate enquiries on

their behalf. Finally, there was a short video

of surveillance footage taken by Mark’s

team highlighting the potential difficulties

in gathering usable evidence, and how it

became a successful operation that had

broken a fraudulent holiday compensation

claim scam leading to numerous arrests

and a change in the law.

After a short question and answer

session Mark conducted a prize draw

sponsored by Tremark with the winning

member receiving a bottle of bubbly!

Author: Myron Fedak MCICM



Get in touch with Andrew Morris by emailing with your branch

news and event reports. Please only send up

to 400 words and any images need to be high

resolution to be printable, so 1MB plus.


MANAGEMENT? Quite by accident! I was

covering reception as a temp and credit

control needed someone to assist with their

admin. I started to call for remittances and

the rest is history. I was lucky to have the

mentor I did and still do.


WHERE YOU WORK? The great team of

people I have around me in the department.

They are all exceptional at what they do.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU? The ethos of the

business and setting a great example to my




CAREER SO FAR? The ability to adapt with

the changing environment and requirements

of the role. Strong communication skills are

also very important.



WHY? David Attenborough, Nick Cave and

Christopher Walken. The knowledge, the

music, the life.



Anywhere, anytime, anything!


IN A LEADER? Patience/impatience.


HERO? Marie Bailey. My mentor and

current manager. We have been together for

over ten years now and I still learn so much

from her.





CREDIT CAREER? Every day is rewarding

but becoming Supervisor was the most

rewarding so far.



more than just numbers.



WOULD YOU BE DOING? Counselling or


The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 59






London (zone 1), market leading salary

+ targeted bonus + excellent benefits

A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a global credit

manager to join a large, global B2B travel/tech company

based in central London. In this key role you will lead a

global credit team, building trusted long term relationships

with customers and senior internal stakeholders, defining

strategy, implementing processes/systems and mentoring

your team to success. Significant international client

experience including working with multiple currencies,

group treasury operations and collateralisation strategies

is essential. This excellent opportunity will suit an

experienced global credit professional who has a desire

to build a market leading credit operation, with a passion

to nurture and develop the talent in their team and an

ability to promote creativity, accountability and a focus

on continuous improvement. Ref: 3591741

Contact Julia Foster on 020 3465 0020

or email



Newark, £28,000 + benefits + study support

A highly entrepreneurial service provider is looking

for a commercially minded credit specialist to take

responsibility for all aspects of credit, managing a team of

four in sales and purchase ledger. You will focus on credit

risk, managing customer credit limits, credit facilities,

escalation issues and aged debt including non-UK

customer accounts, daily bank reconciliations and sales

credit notes. Ideally, you will have varied B2B exposure

and strong communication and staff management skills.

Previous people management experience is essential.

This is a great opportunity to join a growing company

and to widen your exposure to other ledgers and

commercial areas of the business. Ref: 3134053



Glasgow, c.£40,000

An opportunity has arisen for a strategic people manager

to join a transactional finance team looking after credit

management. Reporting into the senior management

team you will be responsible for driving efficiencies within

the credit process, coaching, mentoring and setting KPIs

for the team and assisting the senior management team

to set key deliverables. You will be a motivating people

manager and be a hands-on leader. Hours of work are

Monday to Thursday 8am-5pm, with a 4pm finish on

a Friday although this is flexible and the organisation

is easily accessible by public transport. Ref: 3579762

Contact Lauren Hamilton on 0141 212 3665

or email



Watford, £26,400 + benefits + study support

This innovative, world-leading multi-site business is

looking for a credit controller to join its team in Watford.

The company is well-established and has been trading

for nearly 100 years. Your responsibilities will include

monitoring and chasing debt to minimise DSO and

resolving queries. You will be part of a company that

has a strong work ethic and encourages flexibility on

hours to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Ideally,

you will have previous credit control experience and

be a team player.

Ref: 3579069

Contact Charlotte Clarke on 01923 205286

or email

Contact Lisa Francis on 01522 313300

or email

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 60




Birmingham, £24,000-£26,000 + study support

This well-known legal firm with offices across the UK

in the major cities, is looking for a professional services

credit controller to join its team. Your responsibilities

will include supporting the Midlands branches, ensuring

best practice is adhered to and cashflow is maximised.

You will have strong negotiating and people skills.

In return, you will receive a competitive salary and

study support.

Ref: 3582096

Contact Peter Kidd on 0121 212 1814

or email



Poole, up to £25,000

A rare opportunity has arisen to join a vibrant apparel

brand based on the South Coast. The role will have a

strong emphasis on pro-active debtor chasing and this is

a fantastic role for you if you enjoy working autonomously

as part of a progressive company. You will have previous

credit control experience, an excellent telephone manner

and the ability to build positive working relationships.

This a great opportunity for a forward-thinking, well

organised and proactive individual with experience of

reducing aged debt and cash collection.

Ref: 3577971

Contact James Cuesta on 01202 048611

or email



Belfast, £25,000 + study support

This NI based business is a highly innovative global leader

in its field and exports to over 55 countries worldwide.

It is looking for an AR specialist to join its team. You will

be responsible for operating the accounts receivable

function for the global business, work closely with the

Belfast based accounts function and liaise daily with

sales reps and teams all across the world. With a strong

background in an AR setting, you will have a high degree

of accuracy and possess first class communication skills.

Exposure to export markets and letters of credit would be

advantageous but not essential. Ref: 3580264

Contact Nicola McCallum on 028 9044 6911

or email



Newcastle, £competitive + benefits

One of the largest law firms in the North East is looking

for a head of debt recovery to join and lead its growing

debt recovery team. You will be part of a firm that has an

outstanding reputation for its values and vision and provide

a high quality, efficient, cost effective and bespoke service

to its existing portfolio of clients. You will be responsible for

developing relationships with new clients to sell the services

that the firm offers as part of its strategy for growth.

Ideally, you will be an excellent communicator and strong

at building new and existing relationships. This is a fantastic

role with opportunities for career progression if you have a

passion to drive and deliver results. Ref: 3585800

Contact Sarah Smith on 0191 261 3996

or email

This is just a small selection of the many

opportunities we have available for credit

professionals. To find out more email or visit us online.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 61


Full list of events can be found on our website:

We are inviting all members to bring a colleague to a CICM membership

event, free of charge. For more information, email



6 June

CICM West Midlands Branch


Annual Awards Night and BBQ

This event is Free for members and nonmembers.

Contact : Kim Delaney-Bowen. Please visit our

online events calendar for booking details.

VENUE: The Studio, 7 Cannon Street,

Birmingham, B2 5EP

6 June

CICM Thames Valley Branch


Curry Night, Please come and join your local

Thames Valley committee for a social curry

evening at Memories of India, Farnham Common,

Slough. Members and non-members will be

made most welcome.

Contact: Please visit our online events calendar

for booking details.

VENUE: Memories of India, Ashley House,

6 Beaconsfield Road, Farnham Common, Slough


7 June



We invite all Fellows to help us celebrate

80 years of CICM at this year’s special

Fellows’ Celebratory Lunch.

Contact: Email to book.

VENUE: Churchhill War Rooms, Clive Steps,

King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AQ.

7 June

CICM South Wales


Take to the Water

Contact: This was a popular event last year so

book asap call Diana Keeling 07921 492348.

VENUE: Atlantic Wharf Cardiff Bay, Cardiff,

CF10 5BZ

11 June

CICM Sheffield and Yorkshire Ridings


Credit Circuit Training 2CPD. Refreshments to be

served on arrival. Members and non-members

will be made most welcome at this FREE event.

Contact : Paula Uttley. Please visit our online

events calendar for booking details.

VENUE: Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton,

Wakefield, WF4 4LG


12 June

CICM Sussex and Surrey Branch


Future Proofing your Credit Function – 2CPD

We anticipate that this will be a popular event,

and therefore advance booking is essential

before 3 June 2019, for booking and catering.

Contact: Please visit our online events calendar

for booking details.

VENUE: Silvermere Golf and Leisure Ltd

Redhill Road, Cobham, Surrey KT11 1EF

12 June

CICM London Branch


Payments and Poppadoms

Numbers are strictly limited to 24 persons

maximum so, to reserve your place, please pay

the £10 deposit by Friday 7 June.

Contact: Please visit our online events calendar

for booking details.

VENUE: The Coriander, 55 Aldersgate Street,

Barbican, London EC1A 4LA

18 June

Atradius, Onguard, CICM – Credit

Management – Where it’s been, where it is

and where it’s going?


Atradius, Onguard and the CICM invite you to join

us at a dynamic and practical session on: ‘Credit

Management – where it’s been, where it is, and

where it’s going’.

Contact: Please visit our online events calendar

for booking details.


20 June



This year we have put together an exciting and

varied programme based around the theme of

‘Managing risk in uncertain times’. All the basic

principles of cash flow and credit management

are even more important in times of uncertainty

and change: we have a programme of activity,

discussion, debate and workshop.

Contact: Please visit our online events calendar

for booking details.

VENUE: Arundel House, 6 Temple Place, London,


25 June

CICM Thames Valley and Sussex & Surrey



Annual Southern Branch Credit Day 6CPD.

Members and non-members will be made

welcome at this FREE event.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 62

Contact : Please visit our online events calendar

for booking details.

VENUE : Verizon Reading International Business

Park, Basingstoke Road, Reading, RG2 6DA


5 June

Forums International Webinar


The Fastest Growing Industry

Contact : Please visit our online events calendar

for booking details.

6 June

Forums International


Senior Management Forum

Contact : For an information pack email

11 June

Forums International


Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices Credit Forum

Contact : For an information pack email

13-14 June

Forums International


International Telecoms Risk Forum (ITRF)

Contact : For an information pack email

18 June

Forums International


The Fraud Team

Contact : For an information pack email

9 July

Forums International


Credit Professionals Forum

Contact : For more information email

VENUE : Coppid Beech Hotel, John Nike Way,

Bracknell, RG12 8TF

10 July

Forums International


SAP User Group

Contact : For more information email

VENUE : Moore Stephens, London



IN 2018



Accounts Receivable


Credit Control


Head of









Portfolio Credit Control, part of the Portfolio Group, have been supplying the highest calibre permanent,

temporary and contract staff for 30 years and our dedicated Consultants have specialist expertise in the

Credit Control market.

We’ve opened our Credit Control Division in Manchester

Centrally located, we are nowable to provide apersonal level of service

in aclose proximity to our clientsbased in: MANCHESTER &THE NORTH


Contact one of our dedicated Recruitment Consultants to fill

your current vacancy or find your next career move!

LONDON 020 7650 3199


MANCHESTER 0161 836 9949


The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 63




CICM Directory of Services




Atradius Collections Ltd

3 Harbour Drive,

Capital Waterside,

Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ

United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)2920 824700


Atradius Collections Ltd is an established specialist in business

to business collections. As the collections division of the Atradius

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

knowledge and reputation.

Annually handling more than 110,000 cases and recovering over

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

it comes to collecting outstanding debts. With over 90 years’

experience, we have an in-depth understanding of the importance of

maintaining customer relationships whilst efficiently and effectively

collecting monies owed.

The individual nature of our clients’ customer relationships is

reflected in the customer focus we provide, structuring our service

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

them with a collection strategy that echoes their business character,

trading patterns and budget.

For further information contact: Hans Meijer, UK and Ireland Country

Director (


Premium Collections Limited

3 Caidan House, Canal Road

Timperley, Cheshire. WA14 1TD

T: +44 (0)161 962 4695



For all your credit management requirements Premium Collections

has the solution to suit you. Operating on a national and international

basis we can tailor a package of products and services to meet your


Services include B2B collections, B2C collections, international

collections, absconder tracing, asset repossessions, status reporting

and litigation support.

Managed from our offices in Manchester, Harrogate and Dublin our

network of 55 partners cover the World.

Contact Paul Daine FCICM on +44 (0)161 962 4695 or


Lovetts Solicitors

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway, Old Portsmouth

Road, Guildford, Surrey GU3 1LR

T: +44(0)1483 457500 E:


Lovetts has been recovering debts for 30 years! When you

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

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

business debts and any resulting commercial litigation.

We provide:

• Letters Before Action, prompting positive outcomes in more than

80 percent of cases • Overseas Pre-litigation collections with

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

management system ‘CaseManager’

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

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

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

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

successful results...”

Yuill + Kyle

Capella, 60 York Street, Glasgow, G2 8JX, Scotland, UK

T: 0141 572 4251



Do You Have Trouble Collecting Debts in

Scotland? We Don’t

Yuill + Kyle is one of Scotland’s leading debt recovery and credit

control law firms. With over 100 years of experience, we are

specialists in resolving disputed and undisputed debts. Our track

record for successful recoveries means you have just moved one step

closer to getting your money back.

How we can help you:

• Specialist advice for all of your legal matters

• A responsive and straightforward approach

• Providing you with solutions-driven advice

• Delivering cost certainty and value for money

Our services

• Pre-sue • Fast track collections • Judgement enforcement

• Insolvency • Bankruptcy • Liquidation


Court Enforcement Services

Wayne Whitford – Director

M: +44 (0)7834 748 183 T : +44 (0)1992 663 399

E :


High Court Enforcement that will Empower You!

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

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

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

helps to provide information in real time and transparency, empowering

our clients when they work with us.

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

• Exceptional Recovery Rates

• Individual Client Attention and Tailored Solutions

• Real Time Client Access to Cases


Company Watch

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,


T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300



Organisations around the world rely on Company Watch’s industryleading

financial analytics to drive their credit risk processes. Our

financial risk modelling and ability to map medium to long-term risk as

well as short-term credit risk set us apart from other credit reference


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

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

developing analytics on our customers’ in-house data.

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

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

providing actionable intelligence in an uncertain world.

Blaser Mills Law

40 Oxford Road,

High Wycombe,

Buckinghamshire. HP11 2EE

T: 01494 478660/478661

E: Jackie Ray or

Gary Braathen


A full-service firm, Blaser Mills Law’s experienced Commercial

Recoveries team offer pre-legal collections, debt recovery,

litigation, dispute resolution and insolvency. The team includes

CICM qualified staff, recommended in both Legal 500 and

Chambers & Partners legal directories.

Offices in High Wycombe, Amersham, Rickmansworth, London

and Silverstone

Sanders Consulting Associates Ltd

T: +44(0)1525 720226



Sanders Consulting is an independent niche consulting firm

specialising in leadership and performance improvement in all aspects

of the order to cash process. Chris Sanders FCICM, the principal, is

well known in the industry with a wealth of experience in operational

credit management, billing, change and business process improvement.

A sought after speaker with cross industry international experience in

the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets, his

innovative and enthusiastic approach delivers pragmatic people and

process lead solutions and significant working capital improvements to

clients. Sanders Consulting are proud to manage CICMQ on behalf of

and under the supervision of the CICM.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 64


Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD

T: 01494 790600



CoCredo’s award winning credit reporting and monitoring systems have

helped to protect over £27 billion of turnover on behalf of our customers.

Our company data is updated continually throughout the day and access

to the online portal is available 365 days a year 24/7.

At CoCredo we aggregate data from a range of leading providers in

the UK and across the globe so that our customers can view the best

available data in an easy to read report. We offer customers XML

Integration and D.N.A Portfolio Management as well as an industry-first

Dual Report, comparing two leading providers opinions in one report.








The Sir John Peace Building, Experian Way

NG2 Business Park, Nottingham NG80 1ZZ

T: 0844 481 9920


For over 30 years Experian have been processing, matching and deriving

insights to provide accurate, up-to-date information that helps B2B

organisations to make more effective, fact based decisions, reduce

risks and meet regulatory standards. We turn complex data into clear

insights that help manage UK and international businesses to maximise

opportunities for growth and identify and minimise the associated risks.

Blending our business and consumer data we can offer a truly blended

score for sole traders and enhanced scoring on SME’s to tell you more

about the business and the people behind the business. Experian can

support with new business, acquisition through to collections while

managing KYC requirements online or via our suite of APIs.


T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000

E: sales@keyivr W:

Key IVR are proud to have joined the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management’s Corporate partnership scheme. The CICM is a

recognised and trusted professional entity within credit management

and a perfect partner for Key IVR. We are delighted to be providing

our services to the CICM to assist with their membership collection

activities. Key IVR provides a suite of products to assist companies

across the Europe with credit management. Our service is based

around giving the end-user the means to make a payment when and

how they choose. Using automated collection methods, such as a

secure telephone payment line (IVR), web and SMS allows companies

to free up valuable staff time away from typical debt collection.

Data Interconnect Ltd

Units 45-50

Shrivenham Hundred Business Park

Majors Road, Watchfield

Swindon, SN6 8TZ

T: +44 (0)1367 245777



Data Interconnect provides Intelligent Invoice to Cash Automation.

Corrivo Billing, Collection and Dispute modules seamlessly integrate

for a rich, end-to-end A/R user experience. Branded customer

portals, real-time dashboards, advanced reporting, available in 15

languages as standard; are some of the reason why global brands

choose Data Interconnect.

Graydon UK

66 College Road, 2nd Floor, Hygeia Building, Harrow,

Middlesex, HA1 1BE

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400



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

providing access to business information on over 100 million entities

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

of data from diverse data sources into invaluable information. Based

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

help its customers make better business decisions and ultimately

gain competitive advantage. Graydon is owned by Atradius, Coface

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

offers a comprehensive network of offices and partners worldwide to

ensure a seamless service.



SmartSearch, Harman House,

Station Road,Guiseley, Leeds, LS20 8BX

T: +44 (0)113 238 7660

E: W:

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

coverage, highly automated flexible technology with an innovative

and intuitive customer interface. Key features include automatic

Worldwide Sanction & PEP checking, Daily Monitoring, Automated

Enhanced Due Diligence and pro-active customer management.

Choose SmartSearch as your benchmark.


T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66



Onguard is specialist in credit management software and market

leader in innovative solutions for order to cash. Our integrated

platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the order

to cash chain and allows sharing of critical data.

Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected and offer

overview and control of the payment process, as well as contribute to

a sustainable customer relationship.

In more than 50 countries the Onguard platform is successfully used

for successful credit management.

Tinubu Square UK

Holland House, 4 Bury Street,

London EC3A 5AW

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /



Founded in 2000, Tinubu Square is a software vendor, enabler of the

Credit Insurance, Surety and Trade Finance digital transformation.

Tinubu Square enables organizations across the world to significantly

reduce their exposure to risk and their financial, operational and technical

costs with best-in-class technology solutions and services. Tinubu

Square provides SaaS solutions and services to different businesses

including credit insurers, receivables financing organizations and

multinational corporations.

Tinubu Square has built an ecosystem of customers in over 20 countries

worldwide and has a global presence with offices in Paris, London, New

York, Montreal and Singapore.

Proud supporters



Corbett House, Westonhall Road, Bromsgrove, B60 4AL

T: +44 (0)1527 872123 E:


Operating globally across any sector, Rimilia provides intelligent,

finance automation solutions that enable customers to get paid on time

and control their cashflow and cash collection in real time. Rimilia’s

software solutions use sophisticated analytics and artificial intelligence

(AI) to predict customer payment behaviour and easily match and

reconcile payments, removing the uncertainty of cash collection. The

Rimilia software automates the complete accounts receivable process

and eliminates unallocated cash, reducing manual activity by an

average 70% and achieving best in class matching rates recognised

by industry specialists such as The Hackett Group.


T: +44 7399 406889



HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated Receivables

solutions for automating receivables and payment functions such

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

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

(SaaS). HighRadius also offers SAP-certified Accelerators

for SAP S/4HANA Finance Receivables Management, enabling

large enterprises to maximize the value of their SAP investments.

HighRadius Integrated Receivables solutions have a proven track

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

increasing operation efficiency, enabling companies to achieve an

ROI in less than a year.




Cedar Rose

3, Georgiou Katsonotou Street,3036, Limassol, Cyprus

E: T: +357 25346630


Cedar Rose has been globally recognised as the expert for

credit reports, due diligence and data for the Middle East

and North African countries since 1997. We now cover over

170 countries with the same high quality, expert analysis

and attention to detail we are well-known and trusted for.

Making best use of artificial intelligence and technology, Cedar

Rose has won several awards including Credit Excellence

& European Business Awards. Our website is a one-stopshop

for your business intelligence solutions. We are the

ultimate source; with competitive prices and friendly customer

service - whether you need one or one thousand reports.

Credica Ltd

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

T: 01235 856400E: W:

Our highly configurable and extremely cost effective Collections and

Query Management System has been designed with 3 goals in mind:

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

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business

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

Professionals across the UK and Europe, our system is successfully

providing significant and measurable benefits for our diverse portfolio

of clients.

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

‘no nonsense’ and human approach to computer software.

Redwood Collections Ltd

0208 288 3555

Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, CR0 0XZ

“Redwood Collections offers a complete portfolio of debt collection

services ranging from sensitive client-debtor mediation through to

legal and insolvency action.

Incorporated in 2009, we are pleased to represent in excess of

11,000 clients. Whatever your debt collection needs, we have the

expertise and resources to deliver a fast, efficient and cost-effective


The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 65 continues on page 66 >


CICM Directory of Services





Dun & Bradstreet

Marlow International, Parkway Marlow

Buckinghamshire SL7 1AJ

Telephone: (0800) 001-234 Website:

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern finance

leaders and credit professionals to improve business performance

through more effective risk management, identification of growth

opportunities, and better integration of data and insights across the

business. Powered by our Data Cloud, our solutions provide access

to the world’s most comprehensive commercial data and insights

- supplying a continually updated view of business relationships

that helps finance and credit teams stay ahead of market shifts and

customer changes. Learn more here:



15 Statton Street, Mayfair,

London W1J 8LQ

T: 07799 692193

E: W:

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables into income,

uniquely connecting buyers and suppliers to allow discounts in

exchange for early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers access

additional liquidity sources by accelerating payments from buyers

when required in just two clicks, at a rate that works for them.

Buyers, often corporates with global supply chains, benefit from the

C2FO solution by improving gross margin while strengthening the

financial health of supply chains through ethical business practices.


Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham

Berkshire RG41 5RB

E: W:

T: +44 1182 070 464 M: +44 7802 881 797

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for organisations seeking

efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes. As an SAP

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies worldwide. With

more than 30 years of experience and thousands of successful

customer projects, including solutions for the entire order-tocash

process, Serrala provides credit managers and receivables

professionals with the solutions they need to successfully protect

their business against credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.


Gravity London

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

T: +44(0)207 330 8888. E:


Gravity is an award winning full service PR and advertising

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the best

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

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

brands working on often challenging briefs. As the partner agency for

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

Chartered Institute of Credit Management since 2006, it understands

the key issues affecting the credit industry and what works and what

doesn’t in supporting its clients in the media and beyond.



T: +44 (0)1246 555055



Forums International Ltd have been running Credit and Industry

Forums since 1991. We cover a range of industry sectors and

International trading, attendance is for Credit Professionals of all

levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead. Attending

for the first time is free for you to gauge the benefits and meet the

members and we only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never

intentionally be sold to.


American Express

76 Buckingham Palace Road,

London. SW1W 9TQ

T: +44 (0)1273 696933


American Express is working in partnership with the CICM and is

a globally recognised provider of payment solutions to businesses.

Specialising in providing flexible collection capabilities to drive a

number of company objectives including:

•Accelerate cashflow •Improved DSO •Reduce risk

•Offer extended terms to customers

•Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive

growth •Create competitive advantage with your customers

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

American Express is working with credit managers to drive growth

within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional lever to

help support supplier/client relationships American Express is proud

to be an innovator in the business payments space.


We have been regular advertisers

in Credit Management (CM)

magazine for more than ten

years and have found it to be an

excellent medium for raising our

brand awareness and securing

major contracts.

By way of example, one of the

largest logistics firms in the world

approached us for our services

having seen our profile in CM.

This led to a very successful

relationship and gained us

significant credibility.

We would recommend advertising

in CM magazine to other



Portfolio Credit Control

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE

T: 0207 650 3199



Portfolio Credit Control, solely specialises in the recruitment of

permanent, temporary and contract Credit Control, Accounts

Receivable and Collections staff. Part of an award winning recruiter

we speak to and meet credit controllers all day everyday understanding

their skills and backgrounds to provide you with tried and tested credit

control professionals. We have achieved enormous growth because we

offer a uniquely specialist approach to our clients, with a commitment

to service delivery that exceeds your expectations every single time.





Sam Townsend Head of Marketing

Northern Europe Esker Ltd.

T: +44 (0)1332 548176 M: +44 (0)791 2772 302


LinkedIn: Esker – Northern Europe

Twitter: @EskerNEurope

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes the all-toocommon

obstacles preventing today’s businesses from collecting

receivables in a timely manner. From invoice delivery to cash

application, Esker automates each step. Esker's automated AR

system powered by TermSync helps companies modernise without

replacing their core billing and collections processes. By simply

automating what should be automated, customers get the post-sale

experience they deserve and your team gets the tools they need.

Bottomline Technologies

115 Chatham Street, Reading

Berks RG1 7JX | UK

T: 0870 081 8250 E:


Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses

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

domestic and international payments, effective cash management

tools, automated workflows for payment processing and bill

review and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural analytics

and regulatory compliance. Businesses around the world depend

on Bottomline solutions to help them pay and get paid, including

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

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

by making complex business payments simple, secure and seamless.

Hays Credit Management

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN

T: 07834 260029



Hays Credit Management is working in partnership with the CICM

and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs and credit

management jobs. Hays understands the demands of this challenging

environment and the skills required to thrive within it. Whatever

your needs, we have temporary, permanent and contract based

opportunities to find your ideal role. Our candidate registration process

is unrivalled, including face-to-face screening interviews and a credit

control skills test developed exclusively for Hays by the CICM. We offer

CICM members a priority service and can provide advice across a wide

spectrum of job search and recruitment issues.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 66



Credit Management

magazine from 52 years ago.19


IN June 1967 the Six Day War concludes with a U.N. brokered

ceasefire after Israel seized the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip

from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and

the Golan Heights from Syria. The US House of Representatives

unanimously votes to make burning the American flag a federal

crime, the first automatic teller machine (ATM) begins service at

the Enfield branch of Barclays Bank, the fifth James Bond film You

Only Live Twice premieres in London, Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’

reaches number one.




A special committee

is created to consider

ways in which the

Institute can market

itself to become

more widely known

in the business

community and

ultimately increase



Members learn of the sad news that the founder of the Institute and

then-Vice President Cuthbert Greig has died suddenly. Alongside

some of the country’s leading credit professionals, Greig formed the

Institute until the war led to activities being suspended until 1946;

he would go on to be named the Chairman of Council before being

elected as the first President.

The Recognised Standard / / June 2019 / PAGE 67

There are easier ways to achieve

peace of mind.

Like buying credit reports

from Cedar Rose.

+357 25 346630

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