Credit Management September 2019

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The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals



SEPTEMBER 2019 £12.50



Space to


'New' plan to tackle


Sean Feast FCICM

speaks to the CEO of

Companies House

Pages 16-18



Fraud: how not

to be a victim

Pages 30-31

There are easier ways to achieve

peace of mind.

Like buying credit reports

from Cedar Rose.

+357 25 346630






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

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

Credit Management is distributed to the entire UK and international CICM

membership, as well as additional subscribers

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

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

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

trade mark of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.

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






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 FCICM

Diana Keeling FCICM / Martin Kirby FCICM / Christelle Madie FCICM / Julie-Anne Moody-Webster FCICM(Grad)

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.



Andrew Wilson asks whether creating

12 new Warrant of Control Support

Centres is the right approach.


How does the validity of Companies

House data affect the Credit Reference



Have Company Voluntary

Arrangements made a temporary come

back on the High Street or are they here

to stay?


Industry leaders discuss the

Government’s 60-day breathing space

for vulnerable customers.


The benefits of a digital approach in the

debt collection space.


CICM Trainer Pam Thomas gives some

tips on how best to get your customer to

commit to repayments.


How Open Banking technology could

impact businesses and consumers



Chartered Institute of Credit Management

The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham


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


Grace Ghattas

Telephone: 020 3603 7946



Stephens & George Print Group

2019 subscriptions

UK: £112 per annum

International: £145 per annum

Single copies: £12.50

ISSN 0265-2099

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 3


The ego has landed

Sean Feast FCICM

Managing Editor

SUCCESS, someone once

famously said, has many

fathers, whereas failure is

an orphan. It is such a great

phrase and one that has

become especially apposite

in the world of credit in recent months

particularly in the areas of consumer and

commercial collections.

I was reminded of it following the

Government’s announcement of a 60-day

breathing space for those in ‘problem’

debt to help give them time to seek debt

advice and sort out their finances. It’s a

splendid plan to help the most vulnerable

in society and a crowd pleaser to show the

government does actually care after almost

ten years of austerity.

It was heralded on the Money Saving

Expert website as a ‘victory’ for its founder

who had ‘long since campaigned for the

government to introduce breathing space

for debt sufferers.’ Looking back through

the archive, I note that the founder and

chairman first started campaigning on

this front in 2016, when he teamed up with

the then Chief Executive of StepChange

to call for government action. It seems,

however, that this was a full four years

after the Credit Services Association (CSA),

the trade body representing the UK debt

collection industry, had already introduced

the provision of breathing space into its

members’ Code of Practice (see our article

page 24).

Closer to home, there was another

more outrageous claim in recent weeks

highlighted by a tweet by an executive

within the FSB after the government

announced further steps to tackle late

payment. The tweet proclaimed: ‘What

a day. A great pay off for the FSB’s tough

focus on what they told us was impossible

– solving late payments.’ Well done indeed

if the FSB has single-handedly solved late

payment, which I very much doubt that

it has. But if it is the case, then I suppose

we can ignore the work of the CICM

in devising and launching the Prompt

Payment Code, publishing its highlyacclaimed

Managing Cashflow Guides,

and 80 years of championing best-practice

credit management with government and

business (see Philip King’s piece on page


My point? It is not that organisations like

Money Saving Expert and the FSB are not

essential, or don’t do vital work to support

the audiences they serve. Having worked in

the media for 35 years, I also understand

the power and importance of celebrity.

(The Bomber Command Memorial, with

which I was closely involved, would not

have achieved half the media interest if it

had not been for the involvement of Robin


But success is rarely the achievement

of one man, woman or organisation. It

is more often the combination of many

parties with shared interests and goals, all

campaigning hard and striving to do their

best. So rather than pulling away from one

another, and claiming ‘victories’, it would

be much nicer – and more productive – to

see everyone working together for mutual


So rather than pulling away from

one another, and claiming ‘victories’,

it would be much nicer – and more

productive – to see everyone working

together for mutual success.

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 4

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A round-up of news stories from the

world of consumer and commercial credit

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM and Alex Simmons

Cifas warns of growing

fraudulent behaviour

CIFAS has released a report in

conjunction with WPI Economics,

showing one in seven (14 percent)

British adults have committed

one or more types of consumer

fraud, while two in three (66 percent) know

someone who has.

The most common type of consumer

fraud committed by the British public is

‘fronting’, where a driver declares they are

the main driver to an insurance company

when they are not (six percent), closely

followed by ‘deshopping’, the deliberate

return of goods for a reason other than

specified, which one in 20 (five percent)

admit to carrying out.

Alarmingly, many Britons consider some

types of consumer fraud as reasonable, with

the highest proportion (39 percent) seeing

‘fronting’ as reasonable. However, the

consequences of committing this type of

fraud could see individuals driving without

valid insurance, and in some cases, result in

a criminal record.

Interestingly, ‘money muling’ is

considered reasonable by one in five (22

percent) Britons, the consequences of

which could result in individuals unable to

open a bank account and obtain a mortgage,

as well as a potential prison sentence.

The research revealed that younger

people were more likely to take part in

fraudulent activity, with 21 percent of

18 to 34 year-olds admitting they have

committed first-party fraud, compared to

only six percent of people aged over 65.

The report found that companies are

more likely to invest their energy into

detection and prosecution of consumer

fraud, rather than prevention. This is

despite the fact that detection can be

problematic, and prevention is generally

regarded to be more effective. The report

argues that efforts to reduce fraud would

be better directed towards awareness

campaigns focused on educating

consumers about different types of fraud

and their consequences, such as criminal

records, fines, or difficulties in obtaining

banking and credit facilities.

See our article on page 30.

MOST small- and medium-sized

enterprises (SMEs) are afraid to take

action against a late payment, despite

unpaid invoices posing a significant

issue for their business, according to a

new white paper from the Small Business

Commissioner, Paul Uppal, and business

lender Growth Street.

Some 75 percent of SMEs would rather

not chase late payments for fear of

damaging their client relationships. A

further 76 percent said that they were

more worried that their invoices would

not be paid at all, if they took action

SMEs still fear chasing payments

against late payments.

The white paper, titled ‘Taking Notice

of UK Business’ surveyed 500 UK SME

decision makers in an effort to find out

how they feel about payment terms and

late payments. More than a third of SMEs

said that they had been subject to unfair

payment practices, while almost half (47

percent) said that they had been subject

to late or otherwise unfair payment

practices from large businesses.

Most of the businesses surveyed had

payment terms of up to 30 days, while

only 14 percent said that they had agreed

payment terms of more than 61 days with

their suppliers.

CICM Chief Executive Philip King

FCICM says the report confirms an oftcited

challenge: “Agreeing payment terms

upfront and deploying best-practice

credit management policies are still the

best way of protecting small businesses

from the challenge of late payment, but

businesses should never be afraid to

chase money that is rightfully theirs. A

customer that doesn’t pay simply isn’t a

customer they should be doing business


The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 6

Open banking 'transformational'

for UK PLC

OPEN Banking could realise £18 billion

in value for British people and small

businesses over the course of a year, claims

an independent report, but only if the

industry, government and regulators act to

ensure the project realises its potential.

Put together by the Open Banking

Implementation Entity's (OBIE)

independent consumer and small business

representatives, the report argues that Open

Banking can usher in an era of more tailored

and better value financial services.

People could gain £12 billion a year

through the project, with businesses

realising a further £6 billion in value.

Overstretched people could save as much

as £287 per year, 2.5 percent of their annual


Many of the most valuable Open Bankingenabled

propositions are not yet available to

consumers and there are a range of barriers


THE Insolvency Practitioners Association

(IPA), has published its first formal strategy

to deal with the requirements placed on

the IPA as a Professional Body Supervisor

(PBS) under the 2017 Money Laundering

Regulation (MLR17). The strategy builds on

policies already published by the IPA on

conflicts, complaints and whistleblowing.

The strategy also adds to the IPA’s support

of the Government’s ‘Flag-It Up’ campaign

and involves liaising with other supervisory

bodies to enhance and support adherence to

the requirements of MLR17.

LEX Jones has been appointed as the

new Chief Executive of Registry Trust.

Lex becomes the fourth CEO in the

Trust’s history, following Paul Mudge who

established it, Jon Hale whose 20-year

tenure defined the company, and Nick

Rossiter who retired earlier in the year on

health grounds. Lex joined Registry Trust

from the Financial Ombudsman Service

in 2017 having taken a degree at Liverpool

and enjoyed a successful early career

Registered interest

which prevent these services coming to

market today, the report goes on to say.

The report, which has been welcomed

by the OBIE, makes recommendation to

deliver greater value for consumers, build a

trustworthy ecosystem, and stimulate the

market to action quicker. Central to all of

this is co-ordinated action by government

and regulators to create a more holistic

regulatory regime for data sharing.

Mark Chidley, independent SME

representative, says Open Banking-enabled

products can take the drudgery and

guesswork out of running a business: “It

can also help the UK’s small businesses get

better deals, make their money work harder

and access the banking products they need

more effectively. The effect on UK plc could

be transformational.”

See our Open Banking article on page 54.

Gold rush

SIMPLY recently provided a £323,000

funding facility to Scotgold Resources,

the gold exploration and development

company that owns the Cononish mine in

Scotland, enabling it to buy crucial plant

equipment to extract increasing amounts

of gold and extend its reach. Cononish,

based near Tyndrum in the Scottish

Highlands, is the first commercial gold

mine in Scotland. It produced gold for the

first time in August 2016 and now aims to

extract more than half a million tonnes of

ore over the next ten years.

in retail banking.

The Trust’s Founding Chairman Malcolm

Hurlston CBE, who will be succeeded in the

chair in September by Mick McAteer, says

the Registry Trust carries out a role of huge

importance on behalf of the government:

“Its accurate register of court judgment

information is the most important single

factor in ensuring that credit reaches the

right hands.”




THE CICM Technical Committee met

recently to discuss a number of issues,

including: The FCA’s final rules to

reform the overdraft market and the

consultation seeing views on the reforms;

The Justice Committee report ‘Bailiffs:

Enforcement of Debt’ and the evidence

and recommendations within it; new

requirements for authenticating online

payments as part of the second Payment

Services Directive from September 2019.

Also on the agenda was BEIS’ response to

its Creating a Responsible Payment Culture

Call for Evidence; The Companies House

Transformation Programme and proposals

as laid out in the recently published BEIS

consultation; and CICM responses to

recent consultations including Civil Rule

Procedure Committee: Enforcement of

possession orders, HMRC: Protecting your

taxes in Insolvency , Payment Systems

Operator: Confirmation of payee and HM

Treasury: Transposition of the 5th Money

Laundering Directive.

HMRC hubs

THE relocation of HM Revenue and

Customs into 13 hubs around the country

will see the department move into what

it claims are ‘some of the most digitally

advanced buildings in government’. The

move into 13 regional hubs in Belfast,

Cardiff, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle

upon Tyne, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds,

Nottingham, Birmingham, Bristol, and two

in London, is intended to deliver savings of

£300 million by 2025.

Boozers bounce back

A total of 235 pubs have disappeared from

communities in Britain in the first half

of 2019, according to the latest research

by real estate data company Altus Group.

This equates to an average of 40 pubs

a month closing their doors. Alarming

though the news is, the rate at which they

are vanishing slowed down on the back

of recent government support, including

a recent freeze on alcohol duty. Pubs

have come under enormous pressure

due to rising costs, including businesses

rates which have had a devastating

effect, cheaper supermarket alcohol and

changing leisure habits, and an increase

in the minimum wage.

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 7



Fancy stat

HER Majesty the Queen has appointed

Professor Sir Ian Diamond as National

Statistician. Sir Ian succeeds John Pullinger,

who retired at the end of June. The National

Statistician is the Chief Executive of the UK

Statistics Authority, Permanent Secretary of

the Office for National Statistics and Head of

the Government Statistical Service. As Chief

Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, Sir

Ian will be an executive member of the Board

of the UK Statistics Authority.

Powering up

ATRADIUS has appointed Darren Power as

Head of Commercial for the North. Darren

has more than 20 years’ experience in the

insurance industry. He moves to Atradius

from Aon Credit Solutions where he has

been branch director for Aon’s North Eastern

Branch since June 2017. Before joining Aon,

Darren worked at insurance provider Hiscox

for 13 years.

Own goal

TWO former executives at crisis-hit football

pitch operator Goals have been accused of

creating fictitious documents. Goals Soccer

Centres announced that it would delist from

the stock market while investigators carry

out their work on the company’s 2018 audit.

Shares have been suspended since March,

when BDO uncovered misdeclared tax

liabilities worth £12 million.

Redress scheme

HSBC has voluntarily agreed to extend its

redress scheme for customers who may

have lost out by paying an unreasonable debt

collection charge imposed by HFC Bank (HFC)

and John Lewis Financial Services Limited

(JLFS), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

has announced. Both HFC and JLFS are now

part of HSBC UK Bank.

New Bristol office

ANDREW Wilson & Co. has expanded its range

of enforcement services with the opening of

a new office in Bristol. Ellie Kouzaris, Property

Dispute Solicitor, leads the team and brings

her expertise and experience to the thriving

professional and commercial network in the


CICM Essentials

RECENT briefings include details of the

Scotland launch, the 13th Annual European

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Financial

Crime Conference, the launch of the Credit

Pod in Manchester, and the latest UK Finance

consumer guide on Strong Authentication as

new rules come into force this month.

New study reveals

challenge of automation

DUN & Bradstreet and the

Chartered Institute of Credit

Management (CICM) have

released the findings of a

multi-national study on

how respondent finance and credit

leaders are adopting automation in their

departments and the challenges they face

in implementing automation.

The informal study found that while 87

percent of respondents believe automation

will improve their respective function’s

efficiency in the next three years, most are

not leveraging automation to their fullest


“Comprehensive and reliable data

was identified as critical to effective

automation,” says Tim Vine, European

Head of Finance Solutions for Dun and

Bradstreet. “Analytics and insight help

to realise the reduced operational cost

and increased efficiencies of increased

automation, and identify new growth

opportunities to drive improved business


Some 83 percent of respondents are

currently using some form of automation

within their team processes and believe it

is improving their function’s efficiency by

giving employees more time for valueadded

tasks. However, the study suggests

that companies are not automating their

process to full potential, with 62 percent of

respondents automating less than a quarter

of their processes. Billing (43 percent),

credit scoring (36 percent), reporting (30

percent) and collections (30 percent) are

listed as the top processes currently being

automated in the finance function today.

Philip King FCICM, Chief Executive of

the CICM says implementing successful

automation is about employing the right

Implementing successful

automation is about employing the

right technology to complement

specific credit management

functions and skills.

IOE Chief to step down

DIRECTOR General of The Institute of

Export and International Trade, Lesley

Batchelor OBE FCICM, is set to step down

after 12 years at the helm. She will continue

in her role until 31 October and the search

will commence shortly for her successor.

During her time with the IOE&IT she

has helped placed the IOE&IT on the world

stage in terms of qualifications

and professionalism. She has

transformed the Institute to

meet the needs of the 21st

technology to complement specific credit

management functions and skills: “A

principal task of a credit manager is to avert

the risk of non-payment, and automation

can certainly assist in this task, with the

understanding that human intervention

based on experience and knowledge will

always be required within processes.”

The report’s key findings also include:

reliable data is the top success factor of

automation efforts, with over 67 percent

of respondents citing this as a top need.

Integration with other systems (58 percent)

and time (47 percent) were also listed as

top success factors. The key components

currently included in automatic workflows

are systems integration (42 percent),

scoring (36 percent) and use of a customer/

supplier master file (29 percent).

Improved speed of processes is the

top force driving the need to automate,

according to 68 percentof respondents. This

is followed by cost savings (55 percent).

The biggest barriers to automation are

integrating multiple systems/tools (32

percent) funding/budget (26 percent) and

managing disparate data (15 percent).

century, from digitised learning for the

industry qualifications to award-winning

initiatives such as Guru.Online and


Most recently she has been instrumental

in creating the new collaboration with the

IOE&IT and HMRC and winning a contract

to help establish the new UK Online

Customs Academy.

Everyone at Credit Management

and the CICM wishes Lesley well for the


The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 8

FCA launches consultation on

vulnerable customers

THE Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

has launched a consultation on proposed

guidance for firms on the fair treatment of

vulnerable customers.

The guidance sets out the FCA’s view of

what the FCA Principles require of firms

to ensure that vulnerable consumers are

consistently treated fairly across financial

services sectors.

The FCA wants to see ‘doing the right

thing for vulnerable consumers’ deeply

embedded in firms’ culture. Firms will need

to think about what the guidance means

for their business and customers, and how

they are understanding and addressing the

needs of vulnerable customers.

As part of the FCA’s priority to protect

vulnerable consumers, it has been working

extensively with stakeholders on this issue.

While many firms have made significant

progress in how they treat vulnerable

consumers, the FCA believes that there

needs to be more consistency across

financial services sectors. In some cases,

firms are clearly failing to consider the

needs of vulnerable consumers, leading to


Christopher Woolard, Executive Director

of Strategy and Competition says protecting

vulnerable consumers is a key priority for

the FCA: “Where we find that firms are not



THE CICM is trialling a new concept this month

in Manchester – the Credit Pod. This free

event offers stimulating presentations from a

number of key speakers. In addition, they will

be recruiting a small management team to help

develop the pod, and help it grow.

To find out more and book your place visit

doing enough to ensure that consumers are

treated fairly, we will take action.”

Peter Wallwork, Chief Executive of

the Credit Services Association says:

“Our members and our Code of Practice

have long recognised the importance of

identifying and dealing empathetically

with customers that are vulnerable. There

are plenty of practical challenges in the

proposal and in dealing with vulnerability

generally, including tensions between

legislation. We are looking forward to

drilling down into the detail of the FCA’s

guidance with members to see where it can

help contribute to improvements.’’

The guidance will be consulted on in two

stages and the FCA is asking for comments

on this first stage of the consultation by 4

October 2019.

CSA CEO joins MALG board

PETER Wallwork, Chief Executive of the

Credit Services Association (CSA), has been

appointed to the Board of the Money Advice

Liaison Group (MALG). His appointment

was confirmed at the MALG AGM. Also

confirmed was the re-appointment of CSA

Non-Executive Board Director Yvonne

MacDermid, Chief Executive of Money

Advice Scotland.

Peter says he is proud to be joining

the Board and also paid tribute to Leigh

Berkley of Arrow Global and former Chair

of the CSA, who is stepping down from

MALG board after three years of service:

“I look forward to working closely with

my fellow Board members to continue

the organisation’s excellent work in

improving the lives of people in problem

debt. I will continue to ensure the voice of

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 9

Our members and our Code

of Practice have long

recognised the importance

of identifying and dealing

empathetically with

customers that are vulnerable.

our members and our industry is heard to

enable the best-informed decisions to be


Bob Winnington, Chief Executive of the

Money Advice Liaison Group, said: “At

MALG, we facilitate conversations and

collaboration between debt advisers and

the credit and collections sector to enable

them to improve the lives of people in debt.

It is vital that we engage with the debt

collection sector and the Credit Services

Association has been actively

involved for several years


Peter Wallwork, Chief Executive

of the Credit Services Association



New forum

FORUMS International has launched

a Fraud Prevention Network. The FPN

has been re-launched with Corporate

Partners Graydon UK and CIFAS and is

also supported by the CICM. Elsewhere,

CoCredo has joined Forums International

as the latest Corporate Partner. Dan

Hancocks has been a supporter of

Forums International for a number of

years and decided to join the Credit

Professional Forums (CPF) and the Senior

Management Forum (SMF). CoCredo

has also been shortlisted for an SME

National Business Award in the Business

Innovation category.

A shoe in

SHARINE Burgess, a Senior Associate

with UK law firm Shoosmiths and

a society member for 16 years, has

become president of Northamptonshire

Law Society. Sharine specialises in

representing claimants who have

suffered serious injury and illness.

She succeeds Oliver Spicer, also of

Shoosmiths – which was founded in

Northampton in 1845 – as president.

Head of Acquisitions

INVENIO Financial (Invenio) and

Phillips & Cohen Associates (PCA)

have appointed Senior Debt Purchase

Executive, Alexander Holzgreve, as Head

of Acquisitions Europe, to lead European

growth for the group. Invenio and PCA

claim to be the only dedicated buying

group for deceased accounts and offer

niche solutions to creditors. Alexander

Holzgreve has experience across multiple

countries and credit products on behalf

of major institutions such as Deutsche

Bank and more recently Aktiv Kapital

and PRA Group, where he was managing

director and led portfolio acquisitions

across Europe as member of the European

management team.


The CICM British Credit Awards is

launching new categories in 2020.

Launched eight years, the awards are

the flagship event that celebrates the

achievements of credit professionals and

organisations. The new categories are:

B2B Team, B2B Supplier, Consumer Team,

Innovation and Technology, Shared

Service Provider, Debt Collection Agency,

Insolvency Practitioner, Legal Provider

and Giving Back. For more details



CICM welcomes call for

evidence in late payment

Philip King FCICM

THE Chief Executive of

the Chartered Institute of

Credit Management Philip

King FCICM has welcomed

the Government’s call for

evidence in tackling late

payment but warned against actions

that may ‘throw the baby out with the


He says that while the possibility of

increased powers for the Small Business

Commissioner (SBC), for example, is

logical, the suggestions of fines and

sanctions will need further consultation

and thought, especially as regards to how

any ‘punishments’ will be enforced.

“Much of what is included in the

document from the Department for

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

(BEIS) is aspirational, and while those

aspirations should be welcomed, it will be

the detail that is now important.”

Philip quotes, for example, the

proposal to encourage SMEs to better

utilise payment technology: “Few would

argue that technology has its part to play

but what technology are we talking about

and how is it to be funded? Any investment

that is made needs to be spent in the

right way and deliver the appropriate


He similarly highlights the proposal to

review the role of Supply Chain Finance:

“David Cameron encouraged Supply

Chain Finance when he was in power,

but the problem is that current Payment

Practices Reporting (PPR) can potentially

penalise businesses for offering it, so this

will need further consideration. It will

need to be very clear what the benefits are

and how they can be maximised whilst

mitigating the risks.”

The call for evidence references the

Prompt Payment Code, and says the

government will consult on how the Code

could be further strengthened. It also

proposes a tougher approach to PPR: “The

CICM is already working closely with the

Small Business Commissioner and has

long advocated the concept of transferring

responsibility for the Code to the SBC in a

phased approach.

“Since our remit changed to publish

the names of those suspended from the

Code, businesses, politicians and the

media have at last been able to see how the

Code is both a carrot and a stick in driving

positive payment behaviours. If the Code

has struggled in the past, that has been

principally down to lack of funding and a

failure to understand its true purpose and

its powers.

“In terms of PPR, it is a criminal offence

for businesses not to meet their statutory

reporting obligations, so again this will

come down to enforcement. Obliging

larger firms to appoint a member of the

Board with specific responsibility for late

payment will support this and help late

payment and the treatment of suppliers to

move further up the Boardroom agenda.”

The CICM, Philip says, welcomes

the measures and proposals overall: “If

adopted in the right way they can help

drive the change in culture that has been

the objective of so much of our work in this

area for many years. We need government

to turn words into the right actions, and

we need to continue to highlight that good

credit management sits at the centre of so

much of what is required to change that


Regulator warns of unscrupulous attack of the clones

THE Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will

soon make it mandatory for all peer-to-peer

platforms to introduce an ‘appropriateness

test’ for new investors.

The purpose of the test will be to weed out

any unsuitable lenders, and any potential

lenders who do not fully understand the

risks associated with P2P.

According to FCA guidelines, the

appropriateness test should include a

range of questions which will assess the

investor’s understanding of the relationship

between the borrower and the platform, and

their exposure to the risks of P2P lending.

It should also confirm that there is no

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

(FSCS) protection, that returns may vary and

that P2P investments are not comparable

with a savings account.

The test should also ensure that investors

are aware of the risk that they may be

unable to exit a P2P agreement before

maturity, even where the platform operates

a secondary market.

However, while this test can be presented

in multiple choice format, the regulator has

warned that platforms must avoid a tick-box

approach. The test should be hard enough to

dissuade unsuitable investors and detailed

enough to ensure that those investors who

are deemed suitable are truly aware of the

risks involved.

Several platforms already ask new

investors to disclose their annual earnings

and net worth. The appropriateness tests

must be ready to go live by 9 December, and

some platforms are already working on the

finer details.

Meanwhile, the European Banking

Authority (EBA) has called for proposed

cross border peer-to-peer lending and

crowdfunding regulations to go further

to protect consumers. The European

Parliament is currently considering

proposals to create a single market-wide

crowdfunding licence that allows platforms

to operate across the EU under a single set

of regulations.

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 10



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The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 11



Regulatory review

The call for evidence on insolvency practitioner


AUTHOR – Michelle Thorp

Michelle Thorp

YOU may be aware of the

Insolvency Service’s (IS)

July publication of its call

for evidence relating to

the present insolvency

regulatory landscape and

regulation of insolvency practitioners


In 2015, the Department for Business,

Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS),

of which the Insolvency Service is an

executive agency, introduced legislation

that paved the way for the consultation

in question. The legislation introduced

regulatory objectives (ROs) for the UK’s

insolvency Recognised Professional

Bodies (RPBs), plus the IS as the oversight

regulator of the RPBs. Of the four RPBs

that will be authorising IPs at the end

of 2019, one specialises in Scotland

and another in Northern Ireland (the

latter also regulates IPs in the Republic

of Ireland). The majority of IPs in the

UK are authorised by one of the two

remaining RPBs, of which the Insolvency

Practitioners Association (IPA) is one.

The IPA is the sole RPB dedicated to the

complex field of insolvency.

It is against the background of the

2015 legislation that the call for evidence

will help the government to assess how

well regulation is performing. The other

significant aspect of the call for evidence

is the government’s consideration of

whether to establish a single insolvency

regulator in the UK, which it has the power

to do by October 2022. It has been made

clear that at this stage, the government is

neutral in its approach to the matter and is

keen to hear and consider the views of all

interested parties before any progression.

The provision for the consideration of a

single regulator does not give the IS the

power to potentially become the regulator.


At the IPA, we’re always open to new

ideas on strengthening regulation,

as well as sharing these ideas with

our contemporaries for the benefit of

the industry. The world around us is

constantly changing, so it’s vital that

regulation keeps pace and continues to

foster an insolvency industry that serves

stakeholders in the best possible way,

whether that’s from the point of view

of creditors, people in debt, businesses

or government. When considering the

regulatory landscape, we think it is

important to recognise the strengths of the

present framework, the result of decades

of scrutiny and development, so that they

can be maintained and built upon.

The competition that we have between

regulators ensures that fees are kept stable

and that regulation is continually under

review and strengthened where needed,

for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Additionally, the commercial funding

model with which we operate enables

solutions to be implemented quickly

as our dynamic industry changes.

Earlier this year, I wrote in Credit

Management about the IPA’s bespoke

new regulatory framework tailored to

volume providers (VPs) of Individual

Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), a

statutory insolvency procedure available

in England, Wales and Northern Ireland,

which forms the majority of personal

insolvencies. ‘Volume’ is defined as

controlling more than two percent of the

total market, which at the start of the

year was just over 5,000 cases. In reality,

some firms hold considerably more

cases. Change was required in this area

of insolvency to ensure that regulation

matched the processes employed by

these firms and that all parties involved

in the IVA were treated fairly. The new

regime is the first example of continuous

monitoring in the insolvency industry.

We were able to implement this regime

and effect change so quickly due to the

specialised knowledge available to us at

the IPA as the regulator of the majority of

the IVA market. The other RPBs also have

their specialisms, which in turn allows

for targeted, agile and efficient regulation

across the industry, helping to ensure

that insolvencies are conducted to the

high standards we set for the benefit of

creditors and other stakeholders and that,

where possible, creditors are reimbursed

as they should be.

In response to the IS’s consultation, the

IPA set up a working group comprising

members across our Secretariat, Board

and the IPA’s Standards, Ethics and

Regulatory Liaison Committee to carefully

consider all issues, formulate our position

on the matter and provide our answers to

the call for evidence. We’re also setting

up regional breakfast meetings with IPA

members so that we can understand their


This is an important time for insolvency

regulation and its stakeholders. I welcome

the opportunity to review the regulatory

framework against our ROs and assist

the government on its single regulator


The full call for evidence document can

be downloaded from The CICM

will be submitting a response to the call

for evidence. For more information visit:

Michelle Thorp is CEO, Insolvency

Practitioners Association.

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 12


Doing the right thing

Poor payment practice is often more about process

than intent.

AUTHOR – Philip King FCICM

Philip King FCICM

INTEREST in the Prompt Payment

Code – and the issue of late payment

generally – has rocketed in recent

months. Partly this has been to do

with political meanderings, and

the need to be seen to be tough on

businesses that mistreat smaller suppliers,

but moreso since the CICM began naming

those signatories to the PPC whose payment

performance falls outside of their voluntary


What has been particularly interesting

to me is that poor payment behaviour is not

being identified by suppliers complaining

about how they are paid, or even the

business organisations that represent

them, but rather through the Payment

Practices Performance data submitted to

the government portal by the organisations


A great deal of my time has been spent in

recent weeks meeting with senior executives

within these organisations and others who

want to improve their performance and be

reinstated on the Code. Indeed, I have taken

part in well over one hundred such meetings

or calls in the last six months alone.

The process involves the submission

of an action plan setting out what the

organisation is doing (or intending to do)

to achieve compliance. My discussions are,

for obvious reasons, confidential, but I can

tell you that they are more often than not

positive, encouraging and, in some cases,

nothing short of inspirational.

What has been particularly interesting

to me throughout this time is that,

contrary to views often expressed in the

media and elsewhere, the majority of

these organisations genuinely want to pay

suppliers more quickly. Many recognise

the importance of their supply chain and

put significant effort into supporting it and

ensuring it is sustainable. The really smart

ones understand that the quality of their

offering can be dependent on the quality of

the supply chain and making it stronger is

in their own interests as much as in anyone



In many cases, the reasons for not achieving

compliance are more about process than

intent, and the action plans being produced

are tackling inherent weaknesses that can

be addressed by devoting sufficient time,

energy and focus to them. If we remember

that the original intention of the Prompt

Payment Code was to encourage and

promote better payment behaviour, it is

exciting to see real tangible evidence that

businesses do take supplier relationships

seriously, and that being a signatory to the

Code is not about simply ticking a box.

The impact of late payment, of course,

goes far beyond a simple hit on cashflow. Its

longer-term effects can damage businesses,

mental health, jobs, competition, the

economy, and far more. That’s why the

CICM is so heavily involved in the debate,

why it believes it is so important, and why

it has introduced a ‘Best Payment Practice’

category for the CICM British Credit Awards


The award will recognise a business

that can demonstrate having made real

efforts to ensure its supply chain is truly

sustainable and supported, delivering real

benefits through the use of innovative and

creative ideas. Our awards event isn’t until

5 February next year so it might seem a

bit premature but there’s nothing to stop

an organisation registering their interest


Contrary to views

often expressed in the

media and elsewhere,

the majority of these

organisations genuinely

want to pay suppliers

more quickly.

If you work for, or know of, an

organisation that is leading by example in

the way it manages its supply chain, please

give it a nudge. Publishing good news

stories is never going to be in the interests

of the media or lobbying organisations, yet

those positive stories can play a major part

in delivering the culture change we need,

and we should applaud and celebrate those

who do the right thing.

Philip King FCICM, Chief Executive

of the Chartered Institute of Credit


The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 13


End of the line?

Making the move to call centre enforcement.

AUTHOR – Andrew Wilson MCICM

HM Courts & Tribunals

Service (HMCTS) will

introduce 12 new Warrant

of Control Support Centres

across England and Wales

‘to engage with debtors

early with the aim of providing support and

resolving the warrant as soon as possible,

reducing the need for a bailiff to visit the

debtor at their home address’.

The decision to open these enforcement

call centres was based on the success of two

pilots, one in the North West and the other

in the North East of England. (I am always

intrigued by the definition of success).

Once a warrant is issued it will be diverted

for ‘approximately 12 days’ to a support centre

for staff to attempt to engage with the debtor.

Only if this is unsuccessful will the warrant

be sent out to the County Court Bailiff in the

usual way.


To be positive about this initiative, use of

enforcement against goods in this day and

age is inappropriate and disproportionate in

dealing with small debts. Generally, these

debtors no longer have goods available which

would justify the cost of removal and sale.

The main asset of a household tends to be a

car, which may well be held on finance or not

worth removal; so the sensible approach with

increasingly indebted households, is to set up

a reasonable instalment arrangement so that

the judgment debt can be added to the other

instalments being juggled at the end of each

month. This means the creditor will have to

wait a little, but they should get interest if the

debt is paid in full.

What about business debt, I hear you cry?!

And the fact that today’s creditor can easily

turn into tomorrow’s debtor, if he is not paid?

To be more realistic (I hesitate to say

cynical) HMCTS had to do something about

Lord Briggs’ uncontested conclusion that

County Court Bailiff Departments were failing

to provide an adequate service. HMCTS does

not allow bonuses based on successful

collection of judgment debt for existing and

newly recruited bailiffs, which is a standard

method of incentive and reward in the wider

bailiff world. If County Court Bailiffs are only

collecting the easy money judgments, they

might as well be collected in a call centre.


Haven’t credit control departments already

tried to collect over the telephone? The days

of simply sending outstanding debts off to the

lawyers have long gone. It is far too expensive

and only the hard cases will go legal where

there is a realistic chance of recovery,

otherwise they will be written off.

I do not, of course, believe that County

Court Bailiffs should be trying to enforce

bulk money judgments, but I would say that,

wouldn’t I?

Increasingly, those agencies that

traditionally used the County Court, such as

housing associations and utilities companies,

are transferring to the High Court. We are

dealing with consumer debtors in our dayto-day

work, as well as our original core

of business debt. We are very capable of

dealing with the vulnerable in a sensitive

way. Vulnerability is not a ‘get out of jail

free’ card, it simply means that more time

and consideration is needed to engage

with the vulnerable debtor to resolve the

indebtedness. All of our staff are trained in

dealing with sensitive situations.

But the HCEO call centres are also staying

in touch with the enforcement agents in

the field, providing information while at a

debtor’s premises, receiving payments and

arranging for removal contractors to attend.

Can anyone provide me with a case when a

County Court Bailiff arranged for removal

and sale of goods in recent years?


Instead of spending money on call centres,

why doesn’t HMCTS allow its customers

to decide how they want to enforce their

CCJs, by removing the artificial restrictions

between County Court and High Court

enforcement of CCJs. County Court Bailiffs

need to concentrate on enforcing orders

of possession of private houses within a

reasonable time.

All it needs is an amendment to the High

Court and County Court Jurisdiction Order

1991. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and

HMCTS have already been supplied with the

rationale and the detailed drafting required

to make the change.

As we wait for the Government response

for the call for ewvidence following the 2014

reforms on taking control of goods, allowing

court users (the funders of Civil Justice in

England and Wales) to choose, should be a

clear option.

Andrew Wilson MCICM is Chairman

of the High Court Enforcement Officers

Association (HCEOA).

To be positive about

this initiative, use

of enforcement

against goods in

this day and age is

inappropriate and

disproportionate in

dealing with small


The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 14


The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 15




Sean Feast speaks to Louise Smyth

of Companies House about Classical

Civilisation, the Civil Service, and the

musical tastes of Andy Kershaw.

LOUISE Smyth is a woman in a

hurry. At least that’s how her

colleagues see her. On her desk

is a buzzer. She presses it, and

her recorded voice utters ‘more

pace’. “Apparently it’s something

I say quite a lot,” she laughs. “Whatever we

are doing or planning, I always want us to be

working faster.”

Such a desire could be mistaken for

impatience, but it would be wide of the mark.

Neither has Louise always appeared to be in so

much of a hurry. The daughter of a policeman,

Louise was born in Ilford and educated at

Loughton High School (“My mum wouldn’t

let me go to the Comp,” she jokes). She was

in no rush to start a career, and received little

or nothing by way of careers’ advice beyond

that suggested to all the girls – to become an

Environmental Health Officer.

“I was rubbish at science but pretty good

at Latin,” she explains, “and so I decided to

study Classical Civilisation at University. It

was a combination of Latin and Ancient Greek

language with an element of history, literature

and social studies. I saw one of my university

reports recently, and it said that my Latin was

‘the rustiest Latin they had ever come across’!”


Louise thoroughly enjoyed her time at

the University of Leeds, and among her

contemporaries was the DJ Andy Kershaw. “He

was in charge of events and so we got to see

some amazing bands like The Stranglers and

Sisters of Mercy. You always knew he would

make it big because the events were all billed

as ‘Andy Kershaw presents…’.”

On graduating with a BA Hons, Louise still

had no clear direction of the career path she

wanted to follow, and her CV is an interesting

assortment of organisations and roles that

don’t completely tell the whole story. While

on the face of it, most of her working life has

been spent in the civil service, usually with a

bias towards HR and people management, she

has also worked in Retail (including spells with

Debenhams and M&S) and as a trainee manager

at McDonalds.

“I rather fell into the civil service but have

always been proud to be a civil servant because

its values of integrity and impartiality are

values that I identify with myself, as well as fair

and open competition.

“When I first started, we didn’t even have a

computer. If you wanted a letter to be sent you

had to take a draft, with the correct slip, to the

typing pool, and had to be extra nice to those

in charge or else you could go to the bottom of

the pile.

“In those days it was all about grades and

hierarchies. You had to call everybody Mr

this or Mrs that, and they all had big offices,

with the size of the office (and the number of

windows that it had) based on how senior you

were. Today we are now almost entirely open

plan, and I pride myself on being approachable.

I want people to be able to come up to me and

have a chat.”


Engaging with employees, she says, can lead to

real business improvements. She has a mantra

to be adaptable, bold and curious: “It is the

people on the ground who really know what

changes need to be made that can make a real

difference, and the skill is in giving these people

a voice. That’s why we’ve recently created an

‘ideas hub’, and one idea alone from one of our

team has saved the organisation £650,000.”

Louise spent the bulk of her civil service

career at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO),

including a stint as Director of Corporate

Services which included delivering a new

website which is still rated as being one of the

top ten government websites. She increased her

responsibilities as Director of Business Support

and subsequently Director of IT, leading

a transformation project to deliver a new

organisation and ways of working. She became

Acting Chief Operating Officer of the IPO in

June 2014 and COO the following year, leading

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 16

I rather fell into the

civil service but have

always been proud

to be a civil servant

because its values

of integrity and

impartiality are

values that I identify

with myself, as well

as fair and open


The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 17 continues on page 18 >


AUTHOR – Sean Feast

a cultural change programme that led to a

significant increase in the empowerment

and engagement of its people.

She remembers one incident that still

makes her smile: “One of the perks at the

IPO when you reached a particular Grade

was that you had your own parking space,

but on the day I was promoted they did

away with it!”


When the opportunity came to join

Companies House as the Chief Executive

and Registrar of Companies for England

and Wales, Louise jumped at the chance:

“I have always taken on jobs because they

interested me and never because of the

money or grade. I had never considered

myself particularly ambitious, but this was

a job I specifically wanted before I got it. It

was a goal. It was all about transformation,

an area that really excited me.

“Companies House is a fantastic place

to work,” she continues. “There is a

tremendous sense of community. There is

also a tremendous sense of pride.”

Companies House now celebrates

success, whether through its internal

awards or via external recognition. It has

worked hard in areas such as Mental Health,

raising awareness among employees for

their own mental wellbeing, as well as how

they interact with their customers and the

wider public. Enabling employees to speak

more openly about their problems has led

to a tangible reduction in time off sick

which last year fell by an average of two

days per person: “Having conversations

keeps people in work,” Louise explains.

“Whereas before they may have been

suffering and made an excuse, today they

are more willing to talk about it and even

blog about it on the intranet so that others

can share experiences.”


Building on her love of people issues,

Louise continues to build an environment

where people feel valued; in the recent civil

service people survey, some 92 percent of

employees took part – an extraordinary

level of engagement by any measure. More

flexible working patterns have helped

to break down barriers and ultimately

improve productivity. Teams end up

managing themselves.

That’s not to say that Companies House

does not have its challenges. There is a

particular challenge around the issue of

trust, not of the organisation itself, or its

people, but rather the integrity and veracity

of some of the information it stores. After

approaches and consultation with Philip

King FCICM of the CICM, Companies

House agreed to publish a reminder on

its website that it does not independently

Having conversations

keeps people in

work, whereas before

they may have been

suffering and made

an excuse, today

they are more willing

to talk about it and

even blog about it on

the intranet so that

others can share


verify the information it holds. It also

created a dedicated email through which

businesses can raise concerns over

potentially bogus accounts.

Part of the problem, Louise believes, is

a disconnect within the media and some

parts of business as regards her powers:

currently Companies House has limited

powers and no remit to investigate or

verify the information presented. That

may change in the future – and indeed

is part of a current consultation – but it

will require a significant investment in

Established 1844

Head Office

Other locations


Number of companies on the


Average age of a company

resource and skills.

It will especially require the design and

implementation of a new digital offering,

including a new risk engine to identify

suspicious activities.

“The restrictions and limitations of our

current powers are certainly frustrating,”

Louise explains. “Take, for example, our

powers regarding the suppression of

information. This could only be done in

very narrow circumstances. The world

is changing. Transparency and ease of

doing business are important, but so too

is understanding the new risks we face,

especially when it comes to our own

personal data.”


There are 4.2 million companies on the

register whose data was accessed over

6.8 billion times this year. According to

BIPA, the Business Information Providers

Association, approximately £1.7 trillion of

decisions are based on Companies House

data, and there are more than five billion

searches of the Companies House Register

in any 12-month period.

Satisfaction levels remain high – at more

than 80 percent – but even here, Louise

admits, there are challenges: “If you are

on the receiving end of a late filing penalty

you are hardly ever likely to be happy!”

Louise recognises that they do

occasionally get things wrong: “This is why

customer satisfaction is a priority and we

keep monitoring and improving,” she adds.

So has Louise given her own children

any advice in terms of future careers? “I

wouldn’t dare,” she laughs. “In my day

there was an agreed path. I loved my time

at University and did not leave with any

substantial debt, but today there are many

different routes into a career, including

Apprenticeships that offer a number of

exciting opportunities. Try different things

and don’t be afraid to fail. And be yourself;

we all bring something different to the



London, Edinburgh and Belfast

1,000 (approx)

4.2 million

8.5 years

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 18



Wednesday 5th February 2020,

The Royal Lancaster, London

We are thrilled to announce that the 2020 CICM British Credit Awards are back!

This year we have new categories and are excited to

recognise and applaud the success of you and your teams.

The British Credit Awards recognise the standout

achievements of the most deserving individuals,

teams and organisations in the international

credit industry.

The British Credit Awards were launched 8 years

ago as a platform to celebrate the achievements

of credit professional and organisations. It is now

the flagship event in the credit industry and receiving

an award at the glittering event ceremony is

recognised as the highest accolade you can receive

in your profession.

New Categories

B2B Team, B2B Supplier, Legal Provider, Giving Back,

Best Payment Practice

Entry Guidance

Register early to ensure you receive updates and the

latest news, along with entry guidance and top tips!

Finalist Logo

If your entry is short-listed, you will be provided with

a free logo to use demonstrating your achievement in

being shortlisted

Entries open on Monday 2nd September 2019


Bar sponsor:

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 19




To make an informed decision, you

need to understand the source of the

information being used.

AUTHOR – Jo Kettner


read James Campbell’s article in Credit

Management May 2019 with interest.

He highlights a small, but for those

affected, very significant problem.

Philip King FCICM and James are to

be congratulated for their efforts in

encouraging Companies House to display a more

prominent warning acknowledging their role

as filing cabinet and not a verifier of company


Companies House appears to be engaging

with this important topic. Its current remit

does not allow it to verify information that is

filed at the register in any meaningful way:

this means that mistakes – either innocent or

deliberate – will appear on the public register

alongside accurate information, with no means

of distinguishing one from another. This was

highlighted by the case of company formation

agent Kevin Brewer, to my knowledge the only

person to have been prosecuted under Section

1112 of the 2006 Companies Act which made it

a criminal offence to knowingly or recklessly

deliver information to Companies House that is

misleading, false or deceptive.

In 2013, frustrated at the lack of response

to his many letters to Companies House and

government Ministers on the subject, Mr Brewer

incorporated a company John Vincent Cable

Services, with the then Business Secretary Vince

Cable MP listed as director and shareholder,

without the MP’s knowledge or consent. In

2016, Brewer incorporated Cleverly Cloggs

appointing Baroness Neville-Rolfe (the Minister

with responsibility for Companies House) as

well as the MP James Cleverly as directors and

shareholders without their knowledge.

Mr Brewer had committed an offence, but

the decision to prosecute seems unduly heavyhanded

and a missed opportunity to grasp the

nettle on this problem. Since the prosecution in

2018 the mood seems to have changed. As part of

the Business Information Providers Association

(BIPA), I’ve had the pleasure to visit Companies

House in Cardiff in the last year, and have seen

for myself a group of people who are really keen

to engage with the users of the information of

which they are custodians.


In May 2019, Companies House issued a wideranging

public consultation which, among other

things, seeks to address the issue of identity

verification, indirectly acknowledging the issue

highlighted by Mr Brewer. I’d encourage you to

have a look at the consultation – on –

although at 80 pages long it isn’t light holiday

reading. The deadline to submit responses

passed in August – but it has been indicated

that there may be another chance to engage in

the Autumn once the initial views have been

gathered and analysed.

Back to the world of the Credit Reference

Agencies (CRAs) – as you might expect, I take a

slightly different view from Mr Campbell, but

I’m pleased to engage with him on this topic

and thank him for raising awareness of it. At

Company Watch, we have always taken the view

that the quality of our models can only ever be

as good as the quality of the input – anything

that seeks to improve the quality of source data

is to be welcomed. That’s also why we encourage

our users to interact with the data we provide –

we very much see this as a starting point, a tool

which, used by skilled professionals, enhances

the quality of the work they do.

Working in the world of big data, applying

cutting-edge machine learning techniques to the

various data sources we collect can give insight

and locate companies in a wider context that

isn’t possible when considering information on

a single company in isolation. Much of what we

do is about spotting patterns, flagging anomalies

and giving our users the ammunition to ask more

probing questions. In hindsight we can all see

that Patisserie Valerie was showing financials

that were significantly above benchmark for the

casual dining sector; we take those learnings

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 20


AUTHOR – Jo Kettner

on board and are actively developing new

tools that can highlight more effectively the

questions that our users may want to ask of the

businesses they are about to engage with.


One part of the current Companies House

consultation looks at the benefits of

sharing information between government

departments. A pilot project between

Companies House and HMRC has been

so successful in highlighting anomalies

between accounts information filed for

Corporation Tax purposes and those filed for

the public register that it has been extended.

There are many other data sets which, if used

in conjunction with each other as triangulation

points could go a long way to bringing to light

potentially fraudulent behaviour.

The focus of the Companies House

consultation seems to be on law enforcement

and using these data sets within government,

but I would argue that there should be

some means of sharing at least part of this

information with trusted third parties that

adhere to minimum standards of security and

disclosure requirements, in much the same

way as VAT Registration data is currently shared

under the Small Business, Enterprise and

Employment Act 2015. Linkages can be made

using official, but non-public datasets, to help

all those users of Companies House data have

more confidence that multiple official sources

are being used to create a fuller picture of what

is going on behind the scenes.

Credit management is an art, not a science:

each business has a different appetite for

risk versus reward and there are all kinds of

tools out there to provide different things

on the spectrum from data, to information,

intelligence and insight: it is the credit

manager’s job to bring all this together, to

make a business decision based on evidence,

experience, risk appetite and instinct.

But Mr Campbell is right: in order to make

an informed decision, you must understand

the source of the information being used and

why our algorithms are producing the results

that they are. That is why we put a huge amount

of time into making our scores transparent

and providing explanations. Machine learning

does not always make this easy, but we are

committed to providing our users with some

level of explanation and drill-down so that

they understand the basis on which they are

making their decisions.

See our interview with Louise Smyth, Chief

Executive at Companies House on page 16.

The focus of the Companies House

consultation seems to be on law

enforcement and using these data sets

within government, but I would argue that

there should be some means of sharing at

least part of this information with trusted

third parties that adhere to minimum

standards of security and disclosure


Jo Kettner is

CEO of Company Watch.

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 21


Zero to Hero

With more distressed retailers making use of CVAs,

is history in danger of repeating itself?

AUTHOR – Duncan Grubb

GIVEN the number of high

profile retail Company

Voluntary Agreements

(CVAs) that happened

over the last three years

(including New Look and

more recently Arcadia) it’s quite difficult

to remember that there was a time when

it looked as though the CVA had run its

course as a recovery tool. The use of CVAs

by multi occupancy retailers who had got

themselves into difficulties, but whose

investors still considered the underlying

businesses to be sound, was one of the big

insolvency stories of the credit crunch.

However, once the commercial

landlord community realised that the CVA

was being used as a simple mechanism

for exiting underperforming leases while

virtually all other classes of creditor were

being left unscathed, it was only a matter

of time before prejudicial CVA proposals

were either voted down by the creditors

(Stylo) or successfully challenged and

overturned in the Courts (Powerhouse).

This resulted in increased collaboration

between the insolvency and landlord

communities (via the British Property

Federation), and where CVAs were still

the preferred recovery option there was

considerable effort made on both sides

to arrive at proposals that genuinely

attempted to rescue the struggling

retailer. This meant not trimming rents

to ridiculously low levels with an eye on

increased profits for the ‘rescued’ retailer

further down the road, thereby gaining an

advantage over the competition.

These events all seem like ancient

history now, and it appears that the

combination of a few benign years in the

early teens, and a shift of focus to the

potential misuse of connected party Pre-

Packs, have caused the lessons of the past

to be all but forgotten.


So once again the CVA is the ‘go-to’ remedy

for retailers that need a way out of business

decisions which were negotiated in good

faith, by professional people with their eyes

wide open; and which resulted in legally

binding contracts. Only now, it appears

that the willingness of the landlords to

engage with the insolvency community

in the past has been misinterpreted in

the present by some insolvency firms

as a green light to drive through even

Engagement between

the two parties

therefore needs to be

re-energised with full

CVA proposals being

put on the table at

an early stage in the


more prejudicial CVA models.

One only has to look at the recent highprofile

situation where initially there was

insufficient support from the landlords for

the CVA to be approved. In an unusual turn

of events, the CVA meeting was adjourned

and the vote delayed, with an improved

offer then being put to the creditors and

subsequently voted through. Regardless

of the good intentions on both sides and

the need to resolve a difficult situation

quickly, these events clearly demonstrate

that there was more money available to

the landlords, but it was only offered

when it looked like the proposal would

be voted down. It does, therefore, look

like we are back to square one with some

distressed retailers using a CVA to try to go

from zero to hero via their landlords’ bank

accounts – notwithstanding the insolvency

practitioners’ obligation to achieve the

best result for the companies’ creditors.

It must of course be remembered that

with all insolvencies there is a certain

amount of pain to be shared, and most

creditors accept this, however there is once

again a justifiable feeling among landlords

that this pain could, and should, be shared

more equally among all creditor groups.

I also feel that much of the negativity

surrounding the recent crop of retail

CVAs could have been avoided if the good

relationship built up during the crunch

years between the insolvency firms and the

landlord community had been maintained

at its previous level, preventing either side

from becoming complacent. Engagement

between the two parties therefore needs

to be re-energised with full CVA proposals

being put on the table at an early stage

in the process for both scrutiny and

modification, rather than just as a box

ticking exercise very late in the day, which

is where we seem to be at the moment.

The insolvency firms will, of course,

say that landlords can always vote down

a CVA if they don’t like it, and this is true.

However not all landlords are equal;

some having more units than others and

in better locations. The more desirable

units will often be left virtually untouched

in exchange for that landlord’s support

for the CVA, while less desirable (read

less profitable) units will be severely

compromised. Given that they are all

individual businesses struggling to

compete in the marketplace it’s a big

ask for landlord companies to forego an

individual advantage for the greater good;

however I still believe that by working

together to sensibly challenge prejudicial

CVA proposals, the landlord community

can regain the influence and rights of

objection which seem to have drifted away.

I therefore urge all landlords unhappy

with a CVA proposal to work together with

a unified voice and hold out for better

deals where achievable and appropriate –

it worked before so there’s no reason why

history shouldn’t repeat itself again.

Duncan Grubb is Director of Duncan

Grubb Consultants and author of ‘Credit

Management for Property Professionals –

The Fine Art of Not Losing Money’.

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 22

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The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 23




How does the government intend to

manage and enforce its latest hobby


AUTHOR – Peter Wallwork MCICM

THE announcement over the

summer of a response to the Call

for Evidence by Her Majesty’s

Treasury (HMT) into its plans to

enforce a mandated ‘breathing

space’ for those with problem

debt caused the predictable excitement in the

mainstream media. For the better-informed

journalists, and certainly for those working

in the credit industry, it aroused rather more

excitement of a different kind.

The excitement is not so much about the

need to give vulnerable customers a reprieve,

which every right-thinking person would think

is reasonable, or even that some debts might

be written off altogether, but rather the detail

around how the Government intends to manage

and enforce its latest hobby horse and who,

ultimately, will foot the bill.


We can all agree that the concept of breathing

space is a good one. It is an idea that unites

both those in the collections industry, and those

charities and organisations who deliver debt

advice. We can also agree that it is good to see

that central and local government debt will be

included in the round.

But let us be clear: before certain groups and

individuals claim this as a tremendous ‘victory’

for the consumer, the idea is nothing new. It has

been best-practice, and enshrined in the CSA

Code of Practice, since 2012, so any thoughts that

our industry and our members will somehow be

dragged kicking and screaming to adopt such a

policy can be quickly corrected. The industry is

already well ahead of the curve.

The real issue is that while the detail of the

proposals is currently (and typically) lacking,

it appears that it is potentially a fundamental

shift in creditors’ rights. It isn’t ‘protection’ per

se, but rather debt relief; the most vulnerable

customers will be let off interest and charges

that are legitimately owed.

Now you could argue that this would probably

happen anyway in the consumer credit space,

but usually it would be a unilateral concession

on the part of the creditor. But according to

the consultation, the interest and charges that

would be waived are not just those that relate

to the account being in default, but also the

interest and charges that relate to the actual

contract itself. And that presents a minefield of

future challenges.


At a practical level, who determines who is

vulnerable and who isn’t? At what stage does a

debt become a problem debt, and then becomes

a heavy burden requiring additional breathing

space? Who makes that decision? How do

we ensure consistency? How can it/will it be


And what about the proposed ‘Register’.

While there are valid concerns within the

advice community that giving too much access

to the register may lead to data being used

inappropriately, failing to give the right people

(including collection agencies) access to the

register will also create more problems than

it solves. Information will change on a daily

basis, but since notification has to be sent to the

original creditor, and then the creditor informs

the collections agency, there is no possible way

that this could be achieved in such a timely

manner that problems will not occur. Customers

could still be contacted several days after they

had been giving breathing space, simply because

that information has not yet been received by the


Continuing with the practical, ‘operational’

themes, how does it impact the annual statements

that are sent out? And arrears? Agencies and debt

purchasers know that if their documentation is

wrong, and they are not compliant, then they

may be liable to claims for compensation. So

how it that going to work? All of this will also

take a significant investment in new processes

and systems that will have to be built a huge cost

to the industry.


Now, of course, there will be those who do

not, especially, have any sympathy with the

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 24


AUTHOR – Peter Wallwork MCICM

credit industry and the additional costs they may

be saddled with as a result. Perhaps they should

consider that even with our rudimentary analysis of

the proposals, creditors could lose something in the

region of 30 percent or more of a debt that’s owed.

And someone down the line has to pay for that loss.

Indeed, what about the macro effects of such

a proposal? What will it do to the markets? If even

smaller quantities of debt are recovered (we believe

the estimate of 90 percent is mathematically

unattainable on the facts), and interest and charges

are waived, then how will that impact future

lending, and future charges? Lending is likely to

become even more constrained, and credit that is

available will come at a higher cost to the consumer.

The few who are vulnerable will have a potentially

disproportionate effect on the many who are not,

and who will end up covering the cost.

There will be an impact too on the debt

purchasing sector who typically acquire ‘crystallised’

debt – i.e debt that includes all contractual interest

and charges but has gone into default. Although the

purchaser may have the original creditor’s rights

in terms of applying additional default interest

and charges and recovering the reasonable costs

of collecting or enforcing the debt, these don’t get

exercised. As such, the direct cost implications

of the proposal fall in a different way to those of


Purchasers will, however, face increased costs

(or losses) from less obvious sources in addition to

potential changes in the market. Due diligence costs

on acquisition of loans will increase as a result of

the added complexity around payment histories.

And, as stated previously, inaccurate records from

vendors or consumers can affect the accuracy of

statements and notices, which in turn can affect

enforceability and potentially lead to loss of all

interest and charges.

And what about the commercial credit sector?

The proposals span both consumer and commercial

credit, but how is a sole trader, for example,

expected to cope in having to give breathing space

to a debtor? Most likely they will have to raise their

prices to mitigate the risk, but in doing so may

become less competitive and fall into financial

difficulties themselves!

The proposals should not, by any means, be

dismissed as folly. They should be welcomed as a

good start. Giving vulnerable people protection

from enforcement action from creditors is a good

thing, but identifying those vulnerable people is

not easy, and requires the collections industry and

the debt advice sector to work even more closely

together. Let us see how the story unfolds as more

detail is made available to us to discuss. And let us

not hope that the unintended consequences of such

action, is less available credit at higher cost, that

ultimately moves more people into poverty.

Peter Wallwork is CEO of the Credit Services

Association and a member of the Board of the

Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG).

It has been best-practice, and enshrined

in the CSA Code of Practice, since 2012, so

any thoughts that our industry and our

members will somehow be dragged kicking

and screaming to adopt such a policy can

be quickly corrected.

The proposals should

not, by any means, be

dismissed as folly. They

should be welcomed as a

good start.

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 25



Government plans to introduce a 60-day breathing space

for people in debt have been welcomed – especially since

public sector debts will be included – but the practical

details have yet to be fully established.

AUTHOR – Heather Greig-Smith

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 26


AUTHOR – Heather Greig-Smith

Peter Wallwork

Phil McGilvray

John Glen

Phil Andrew

Joanna Elson

FROM 2021, people with problem

debts will be protected from

enforcement action and will

have their interest frozen for

60 days as long as they engage

with professional debt advisers

to find a long-term solution and get back on

track with payments.

For the private sector debt collection

industry, the change is unlikely to be seismic.

The Credit Services Association (CSA) Code

of Practice has included the provision of

breathing space since 2012. What is different

is the inclusion of public sector debts in the

plans, a decision that should go some way to

tackling the gap between public and private

sector collection practices.

Peter Wallwork, CSA Chief Executive, says:

“It will address the potential disconnect

between the treatment received by a customer

owing debt to a bank or credit card company,

for example, and those owing debt to public

sector organisations including HMRC.”

“Allowing Breathing Space has long been

a part of our approach with customers

experiencing problem debt,” confirms Sean

Gallacher – Interim Head of Operations at

Hoist Finance UK.

“The proposed legislation formalises a

process across both other public and private

sector areas where customers may not be

currently offered this level of support. It will

mean that someone experiencing problem

debt will no longer have to rely on goodwill.”

Phil McGilvray, Chief Operations Officer, UK

Debt Purchase, for Cabot Credit Management,

says in fact the scheme should make things

easier for creditors as well as consumers.

“The difference to current practices should

be seen as a positive, in that the customer is

required to actually seek debt advice and be

assessed as needing the breathing space and

that creditors will be formally notified of

entry into and exit from the scheme,” he says.


Under the proposals, individuals receiving

NHS treatment for mental health crisis will

not need to seek debt advice during the 60-day

period. They will continue to receive the same

breathing space protections for the whole of

their treatment.

John Glen, City Minister says the scheme

will give people access to the advice, time

and support they need to get their finances

under control. “Problem debt can have a

devastating impact on people’s lives, putting a

huge burden on individuals which can lead to

family breakdown, stress and mental health

issues. No one should be stuck in an endless

cycle of debt and facing the ever-looming

threat of invasive debt collectors.”

As well as breathing space and the

support for those in mental health crisis,

government announced plans for a Statutory

Debt Repayment Plan. It will offer similar

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 27

protection to the breathing space scheme,

helping individuals to repay their debts over

a manageable timeframe.

Phil Andrew, CEO of StepChange Debt

Charity, says the changes will level the playing

field. “People looking for a sustainable way

to repay their debts have traditionally had

little protection, leaving them vulnerable

to inconsistent approaches by different


Likewise, Joanna Elson OBE, Chief

Executive of the Money Advice Trust, believes

the decision to include public sector creditors

is “a game-changer in our efforts to tackle

problem debt as a society”.

However, the complexities of Universal

Credit mean it will be phased into the scheme

rather than included from the beginning.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens

Advice, says government figures show 57

percent of people who claim Universal Credit

experience deductions, with £1 in every £10

awarded being deducted to repay debts and


“We’re concerned thousands of people with

debts and deductions under Universal Credit

are going to miss out on this support initially.”


The proposals will be put to Parliament later

this year for implementation in early 2021.

The schemes are to be administered largely

by debt advice agencies – who will assess

whether an individual is in ‘problem debt’,

check against a private register whether

they have used breathing space in the past

12 months, and add them to an Insolvency

Service portal.

The debt advice agency will supply

originating creditor details to the Insolvency

Service portal and they will then be notified

that the individual is protected from action and

all interest and charges must be suspended.

The originating creditor will be responsible

for notifying third-party collection agencies.

The government response makes no mention

of debt purchasers and their rights as owners

of debts under this system.

It will be down to creditors to notify debt

advice agencies if customers are failing to

meet ongoing liabilities, with government

keen to ensure debt advice bodies have

discretion about whether or not to remove an

individual from breathing space protection.

Hoist Finance’s Sean Gallacher says the

industry will rely on proper IT systems

integration to identify those to whom

protection applies. “Failure to do so

could result in delays in application and

administrative burden for all parties.

“Further, it is important that the notification

contains sufficient details (including the

debtor’s personal details, known creditors,

and, if possible, account information)

without this we may not be able to identify

the individual, leading to further delays.”

continues on page 28 >


AUTHOR – Heather Greig-Smith

Gillian Guy

Sean Gallacher

David Sheridan

Caroline Sumner

Phil McGilvray agrees this is an area that

needs careful attention. “This system will

need to be accessible for all creditors to

ensure smooth operation, this will link to the

original creditor so there could be delays in

notification to the ultimate debt purchaser.

We will also need to ensure that we are able

to quickly identify notifications for onward

submission to our DCA population,” he says,

adding: “Communication from the debt

management companies will be critical.”


Phil says customers will also have different

experiences depending on the debt type.

“The obvious example of this will be where

an account is still ‘live’ (prior to default).

Breathing space on an account of this type

would currently have consequences for

the customer in terms of arrears accruing,

degrading credit status and ultimately formal

default of the account.”

David Sheridan, ARC Europe Operations

Director, believes that the extended breathing

space for those suffering a mental health

crisis is important. “The customer needs to

focus on their recovery,” he says. “We just

need to understand the details of legislation

so that we can ensure our approach reflects

the requirements and assess the practicalities

of supporting it. What if some customers

want to sort their debts out during treatment,

will this be possible?”

Caroline Sumner, Technical and Education

Director at insolvency and restructuring trade

body R3, also welcomes the Government’s

plans and says R3 is hopeful Government is

listening to the practical concerns raised by


“Not all of the creditors who will be caught

up by breathing space’s restrictions will be

large or sophisticated financial institutions,

and their rights need to be taken into

consideration, too,” she says.

“For example: How will a debtor’s creditors

be notified of the breathing space? How

quickly can this be done in practice? How

will the administrators of the breathing

space ensure they are communicating with

the current owners of a debt, if it has been

sold on? How should pre-existing debts

There is certainly

a lot to be ironed

out, either through

regulations or through

guidance, and engaging

with the Government is


which were not identified at the start of

the breathing space, but which are brought

to light once the 60 days are underway,

be handled? What sanctions are there for

creditors who accidentally or deliberately

breach the restrictions around contacting

someone in debt during their breathing

space? There is certainly a lot to be ironed

out, either through regulations or through

guidance, and engaging with the Government

is critical.”

Caroline adds that, while the breathing

space scheme fills a much-needed gap, there

are potential issues around sole trader debts

that will add complexity and could restrict

access to help.

This system will need

to be accessible for all

creditors to ensure smooth

operation, this will link

to the original creditor so

there could be delays in

notification to the ultimate

debt purchaser.


In addition, issues such as creditor-petitioned

bankruptcies and breathing space have not

yet been dealt with, and R3 is concerned that

some terminology used – such as ‘problem

debt’ – needs clearer definition.

Questions remain also about how a

statutory debt repayment plan will work

alongside existing insolvency solutions such

as IVAs and debt relief orders.

Ultimately, the attempt to tackle the

inconsistencies around the treatment

of public and private sector debts is

much needed and should go a long way

to transforming the experience of those

struggling with their finances. The past

decade has seen considerable change in the

private sector and now it’s time to apply these

standards across the board.

David Sheridan says the change for those

with rent, council tax and other government

debt will be significant. “These categories of

debt are priority bills so customers facing

such arrears will be more likely to require

the benefits of breathing space to find a longterm

solution to their debt problems.”

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 28

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 29




The best way of tackling fraud is to go on the attack.

FRAUD is a growing business.

Globally, it grew over 20

percent in the past year¹.

Various credible authorities

believe that effective antifraud

measures can slash

this figure by an astonishing 64 to 80

percent. Just like businesses, fraudsters

keep up with the latest tools and

techniques and incorporate them into

their attack mechanisms.

Businesses will vary in the amount

of fraud they experience according to

their attractiveness to fraudsters, which

is determined by the money that can be

made out of them and the weakness of

their defences. Broadly-speaking, fraud

can be internal or external.

In this article, I’d like to focus on the

external fraudster – someone who is

beyond the perimeter of your business

– who is seeking to establish a new

commercial relationship with your

company. It might be an existing customer

who wants to take fraudulent advantage of

an expanded credit line or a new customer

who wants to fool you into accepting their


The main result of letting a fraudster

past your defences is direct financial loss

or, in extreme cases, business failure.

But other serious consequences will

flow from the fraud becoming public;

a loss of confidence among customers,

lenders and investors being the most

obvious. However, bearing in mind that

fraudsters have to launder the proceeds in

order to legitimise them, you face a huge

distraction and cost of an investigation

if you’re suspected of facilitating a major

fraud. Whether it’s money laundering,

fraud, bribery or corruption, all these

financial crimes can lead to heavy fines

for those found guilty of involvement,

and huge reputational damage. Don’t be a

victim. Go on the attack!


The best time to defeat fraud is before it

happens. It means having fraud and credit

policies that work hand in glove with each

other and in harmony with your wider

cybersecurity measures. Fraud has such

a potentially huge impact on a company

that the strategy has to be driven from the

AUTHOR – Simon Blackwell

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 30


AUTHOR – Simon Blackwell


board and communicated with all involved

through both education – for those who aren’t

directly in the firing line but who need to be

on the lookout for anomalies – and training

for the front-line staff, such as those involved

in credit control and customer onboarding.


The size and nature of your business will

determine whether you deploy your antifraud

measures manually, wholly

automatically or somewhere in between.

Companies that rely on fast credit and

onboarding decisions to beat their

competitors to new business will almost

certainly welcome a high degree of

automation. Others, in specialised, noncompetitive,

businesses might be able to

take a more relaxed manual approach. The

question to ask is, ‘how much automation do

I need?’

Decision-making systems are quite

common for mapping out various repetitive

customer journeys as a series of connected

decisions. Information supplied by human

operators or credit reference agencies

and other databases is used to generate

recommendations. The user can easily

check the decision logic and confirm it or

challenge it.

A bit more automation can allow the

system to make all but the more questionable

decisions which will still be referred to a

human. Advanced analytics systems can

sift through masses of data – customer data

and third-party databases – in a way that is

understandable to a human but that is also

beyond a human’s, or a team’s, capacity

to process in the time available to make a

decision. The output from this would be

fresh insights or strong recommendations

that a human is unlikely ever to have

discovered. The final say ought to remain

with the human decision-maker.

At some point, you might find yourself

tempted by machine learning and deep

learning in which the software systems

teach themselves based on their ongoing

discoveries. This is a step to take carefully

and to base on much parallel testing and

comparison of machine versus human

decision outcomes. In fact, none of the

automated systems mentioned should be

trusted until they’ve earnt that trust.

Decision-making as a service, for want of

a better term, opens up new opportunities.

many companies run siloed operations,

perhaps due to geography or departmental

specialisations. A single service, perhaps

using different local databases, can

harmonise the processes and much, if not

all, of the data served to all users regardless

of where they are. Another advantage could

be that data from different companies,

in the same industry perhaps, can

be anonymised and brought into the

decision-making without breaching any

regulatory compliance codes.


Many companies are uneasy about sharing

information regarding successful frauds.

They fear shaking the confidence of

investors, for example. But not to share is a

fraud against those same investors. However,

sharing information about detected frauds

and fraudsters is a completely different


Unlike admitting a breach, there’s no

embarrassment or shame in sharing details

of successful avoidance of fraud. Your

peers would welcome warnings of who’s out

there and the methods they’re using, just as

you would welcome the same information

from them. Vertical industries benefit

from forums and online or physical gettogethers

where they can share information

of common interest, not just about fraud.

And, indeed, general forums exist where

fraud is the primary topic of conversation

and experts in the subject share their own

insights and experiences. You can be sure

that the fraudsters are adept at sharing

information with each other, to help keep

them ahead of the game. It only makes sense

for you to do this as well. After a successful

fraud, various bodies need to be notified, but

this is beyond this article’s scope.


By keeping out the fraudsters, you are

improving the bottom line, increasing

effectiveness and customer service, and

ensuring your compliance with regulations.

You can make improved onboarding and

credit decisions with a minimum delay,

potentially improving your competitiveness

and revenue generation. You might even find

that you are introducing consistency and

harmonisation between far (and not so far)

flung parts of your business operations.


Graydon’s report goes through the issues

and stages described above in more detail.

It also provides you with material relating to

criminal and civil law and provides links to

sources of useful advice. And its checklists

will help you regardless of whether you’re

sticking to a manual approach or adopting

some degree of automation.

It’s a new world out there and the

fraudsters are in the thick of it. They will

be using advanced analytics and machine

learning to choose their targets and refine

their attacks. And they’ll be sharing their

intelligence. So, as we said at the beginning,

‘Don’t be a victim. Go on the attack!’ And

make sure you share too.

Simon Blackwell, Managing Director

of Graydon UK

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 31



What are the advantages and risks of adopting a

digital approach to consumer communications?

AUTHOR – David Sheridan FCICM

IN the past decade we have seen

a significant shift in consumer

behaviour when it comes to

engaging with organisations. This

has been underpinned by the

companies’ need to increase the

level of convenience to help consumers

interact with them and in particular around

the consumer’s ability to do everything

via their smartphone. There was some

very interesting data on consumer trends

within the annual OFCOM communication

report (September 2018) reinforcing the

increasing reliance on smartphones and

being digitally connected;

• 78 percent of consumers now have a


• Nine in ten people in the UK have access

to the web at home

• 2018 saw a seven percent decline over

2017 in call volumes per person but in

the same period a massive 40 percent

increase in data usage per person

How consumers behave and interact with

organisations is just as important to a

debt collection agency (DCA) as any other

consumer-orientated service business.

Most service businesses have a huge

amount of social media and digital focus

and are busily embracing the rising trend

of the digitally connected consumer – they

know if they don’t, they will become less

efficient and potentially lose market share.

This same risk is inherent to DCA’s. DCA’s

cannot afford not to have a digital strategy

for consumer engagement.


Returning to the OFCOM report for 2018,

it analysed how consumers reacted to

address mail from organisations classifying

bills and statements as one cohort within

the data analysed. The OFCOM analysis

showed that in response to this type of

mail, customer reacted as follows;

• 35 percent of consumers immediately

went online

• 34 percent call someone

Consumer behaviour towards DCA’s is

changing and will continue to change in

line with convenient interaction methods

that are increasingly being used by

consumers. Some DCA’s are leading the

way in embracing digital communication

channels with their customers and are

reaping huge benefits from doing so.

Within our own business, we have

witnessed a significant shift in consumer

behaviour in how consumers are engaging

with us as result of our focused efforts to

develop our digital channels. At the heart

of our strategy is our website – it’s the ‘goto’

point for our customers. As the above

OFCOM mailing analysis shows, customers

mostly respond to arrears mailing by

visiting your website. Therefore, having

a website that is informative, intuitive

to navigate and provides full account

management capabilities has been a large

investment for our business.

As a result of this investment, we have

seen, and continue to see, a huge uptake in

consumer engagement across all aspects of

our website and this has been supported by

our focus on developing web ‘pull’ strategies

to encourage customers to interact with us

this way.

These digital interaction strategies

encouraging customers to visit our

website/ interact with us, has meant a

deeper focus on our part on email contact

strategies, as well as investing in Rich Text

Solutions that enable us to deliver verified

communications such as letters, payment

reminders and forgot to pay links to

customer on their mobile device. We have

also enabled webchat and that platform is

already generating close to ten percent of

the telephony contact levels.

As a result of the success of these contact

strategies outbound dialling and physical

letters are becoming the secondary ‘if no

response to digital’ option for customer

engagement. Our digital strategies provide

very detailed insight to how our customers

respond and interact with us – we get

no such data through these secondary



So based on our own experience, how

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 34


AUTHOR – David Sheridan FCICM

does having a digital engagement strategy

benefit you and your customers?

• More customers are engaging with us

– we have seen an overall increase in

excess of 20 percent engagement across

our regular client allocation levels from

our customers as a result of our digital

strategies being enabled

• Increasing levels of inbound calls –

interestingly, inbound call levels are

increasing, initially assessment shows

that our website/webchat is providing

customers confidence in speaking with


• Our outbound dialling effectiveness is

decreasing – we have seen a ten percent

decline in the last six months alone.

(Does this mimic the general view of

PPI Fatigue – not answering unknown


• Our webchat volumes are constantly

growing – they now represent close to

ten percent of all RPC’s

• Our collection results are improving

– the digital contact strategies are

instant over letters four-to five-days

before its received – with digital it can

be a matter of minutes before the first

communication is issued to customers

• Our customer satisfaction scores are


As a result of this, we are speaking to more

customers and sending less physical mail,

and by blending the digital handling with

our existing customer services agents who

answer the phones, we are optimising

their efficiency for the business. These

are strong commercial benefits for any

business but the customer experience has

also improved.

The speed to answer and resolve queries

is immediate, we are offering customers

preferences in how they communicate with

us. The fact is many people would rather not

speak to a physical agent; debt remains a

sensitive subject and our customer surveys

show that customers appreciate the ability

to deal with their account without speaking

to an agent.

There will of course be times where

we have to speak to customers, when we

identify vulnerability for instance, but that

also means we are sharpening the focus of

our agents in terms of what they are now

dealing with and developing agent training

to accommodate these changes in customer

service needs.


Creating a digital service strategy that

mimics a non-digital strategy is a tough

challenge for firms to achieve in order

to meet parity in service requirements

(web should mimic telephony experience)

that some clients may expect. If the

digital experience does not mimic the

phone experience concerns exist around

identifying and handling vulnerable

customers. The problem with this approach

is that it creates a complex objective in that

your website and all other digital tools have

to accommodate every customer scenario

that you could face, notwithstanding the

issues that phone outcomes don’t always

guarantee good account handling.

I disagree with this approach; we

should be designing digital strategies to

help customers achieve core outcomes in

a clear and easy to navigate process. The

customer’s journeys would include raise

a dispute or complaint, set up a payment

plan, make a payment, information about

our business and access to impartial advice


I do agree that there should be touch

points along these journeys to help those

with more specific needs get access to more

tailored support, but that shouldn’t come at

the cost of firms having to cater for every

eventuality before going live with digital

offerings. One of the strengths of smaller

DCA’s is their agility to get things moving

quickly and the fact is technology is rapidly

improving so speed to market with digital

engagement tools and strategies is a key



So what might we expect to see in the


• Online customer engagement

(email, webchat, self-serve account

management) is going to overtake phone

as the main contact point for consumers

within three years within the collections

space – and the overall engagement

levels with consumers in debt is going to

increase as a result

• Technology is going to underpin this

growth – both the increasing confidence

from consumers in interacting with

firms and the firm’s ability to service

their needs digitally will match what

they can do telephonically

• Firms that invest and establish

digital as a key component of their

communications platform will benefit

the most. Getting new channels live can

be much easier than you think – as an

example we were live with our web chat

channel within a week of sourcing the

right vendor. The key message here is

not to overcomplicate the introduction of

new channels and not every new channel

comes with an exorbitant price tag

• Firms need to be assess the impact

of technology and be ready to adapt

as a result of these changes – for

instances what does the future skillset

of customer facing agents today look

like in five years’ time if we have fewer

phone conversations with customers?

By blending digital handling with your

customer facing agents today you can

create a flexibility that can only help

your business reap the benefits from the

rise in digital contact strategies and in

turn your resources more efficient

• Be alert to general consumer and

technology advances and preferences;

disruptor type technology can offer clues

to future opportunities for firms.

Adapted from a presentation given by

David at a recent CICM Think Tank. David

Sheridan is Operations Director at ARC


The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 35


Small Step Forward

The latest monthly business-to-business

payment performance statistics.

AUTHOR – Jason Braidwood FCICM(Grad)

LAST month’s payment performance

statistics continued the recent

downward trajectory and do not

make for pleasant reading, with

all regions and the vast majority

of sectors further increasing their

payment terms. Although there has not been

a dramatic shift, particularly at a regional

level, there are a number of sectors that have

improved their performance and are moving

in the right direction. The average Days Beyond

Terms (DBT) figures across sectors reduced by

0.6 days, while regions increased by 0.2 days.


Overall, it’s been a better month for the majority

of sectors, with all but eight of the 22 sectors

reducing their payment terms, albeit some only

very slightly. Financial and Insurance made the

biggest improvement, reducing its DBT by 4.3

days, closely followed by International Bodies

(-4.0 days) taking their overall DBT to 6.8 days.

Improvements made by Education (-2.7

days) and Entertainment (-2.0 days) mean their

overall DBT is also in the single figures. Public

Administration is the best performing sector

with an overall DBT of 5.3 days.

Although eight sectors have seen increases to

payment terms, it is perhaps encouraging that

none of these have been drastic as seen in the

last few months. However, a further increase

of 1.5 days for Mining and Quarrying taking its

overall DBT to 18.4 days means they are loitering

at the wrong end of the table and in need of



The regional standings can almost be split down

the middle, with six of the 11 sectors increasing

and the other five reducing their DBT.

Moving in the right direction, the best

performing region is Wales after reducing its DBT

by 0.9 days, taking its overall DBT to 11.7 days.

It is closely followed by East Anglia, which also

reduced its payment terms by 0.9 days, now with

an overall DBT of 12 days. Scotland (-0.6 days),

London (-0.3 days) and East Midlands (-0.1 days)

also moved in the right direction.

The biggest increases came from the North

West and Yorkshire and Humberside, with DBT

rising by 1.8 and 1.7 days respectively. A further

increase of 0.2 days means that Northern Ireland’s

overall DBT now stands at 17.8 days, meaning it

remains adrift as the worst performing region.

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 36


Top Five Prompter Payers

Sector July 19 Change from June 19 18

Public Administration 5.3 -0.2

International Bodies 6.8 -4.0

Education 8.4 -2.7

Entertainment 9.2 -2.0

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 9.6 0.2

Getting Better

Financial and Insurance -4.3

International Bodies -4.0

Education -2.7

Other Service -2.2

IT and Comms -2.1

Top Five Prompter Payers

Region July 19 Change from June 19

South West 11.6 0.3

Wales 11.7 -0.7

East Anglia 12.0 -0.9

Scotland 12.3 -0.6

South East 12.4 0.2

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Sector July 19 Change from June 19

Dormant 22.1 5.1

Mining and Quarrying 18.4 1.5

Business from Home 17.7 -0.3

Wholesale and retail trade 15.8 -0.3

Business Admin & Support 14.8 0.2

Getting Worse

Construction 0.8

Transportation and Storage 1.3

Mining and Quarrying 1.5

Hospitality 2.1

Dormant 5.1

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Region July 19 Change from June 19

Northern Ireland 17.8 0.2

London 15.1 -0.3

West Midlands 13.7 1.3

East Midlands 13.5 -0.1

Yorkshire and Humberside 13.2 1.7

Although there has not been a dramatic

shift, particularly at a regional level,

there are a number of sectors that have

improved their performance and are

moving in the right direction.


-0.6 DBT



0.2 DBT


Getting Better – Getting Worse

-0.9 Wales

-0.9 East Anglia

-0.6 Scotland

-0.3 London

-0.1 East Midlands

0.2 Northern Ireland

0.3 South West

1.3 West Midlands

1.7 Yorkshire & Humberside

1.8 North West


-0.9 DBT



0.3 DBT



1.8 DBT



1.3 DBT



1.7 DBT





-0.9 DBT


-0.3 DBT

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 37



Monthly round-up of the latest stories

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.



ACCORDING to a report from

the BBC, 15 West African

countries are to adopt their

own single currency in

2020. And just like the euro, it has

an equally dull name – the eco, no

doubt a function of the project being

the brainchild of the Economic

Community of West African States

(Ecowas), the region's political and

economic union.

Presently, the region uses a

combination of the CFA franc (used

by eight of the countries in the bloc)

which is backed by France, and

seven individual currencies. Those

advocating the eco believe that it’ll

help trade, lower transaction costs

and help cross-border payments

within Ecowas. Detractors are worried

that Nigeria will dominate monetary


Not every country will qualify

for the eco – only those that have

a budget deficit or less than three

percent , annual inflation rate of

less than ten percent, a central bank

financing of budget deficits of no

more than ten percent of the previous

year’s tax revenue, and gross external

reserves of at least three months’

worth of imports.

It should be pointed out that while

the eco is slated for introduction in

2020, it was meant to be brought in

earlier – in 2003, 2005, 2010 and 2014.

So, just as firms need to prepare for

a potential Brexit, so they ought to

prepare for the potential introduction

of a new currency in West Africa.



A regional world trade summit organised

by the Institute of Export and run by PwC

in Bristol at the start of July, focused on

opportunities and challenges in markets

beyond the EU. Views offered by the panel

noted that selecting a market to export to

is all well and good, but businesses still

need to know what it takes to be successful

there and one area where UK business are

falling short is cultural awareness; that firms

really need to take a lead in managing their

currency needs; and that having a plan is key

to success.

All pretty obvious stuff but it’s surprising

how many firms make the same mistakes.



ICELAND survived the last financial crisis

which saw its main three privately owned

banks default. The country recovered and

by mid-2012 some considered the Icelandic

recovery to be one of the best in Europe as

its economy had grown, unemployment

had fallen, and property prices had

risen. However, headwinds are currently

pummelling the island nation and the central

bank cut interest rates in June by 0.25

percent to 3.75 percent, a move which follows

a 0.5 percent cut in May. Iceland’s interest

rates are now at an eight-year low. The cuts

follow the collapse of Wow Air which has

hit tourism, a key revenue earner. But by

lowering interest rates the central bank has

weakened the Icelandic Krona and raised the

prospect of higher inflation. Pricing is going

to be an issue for those trading with Iceland.

THE subject of Brexit is never far from the

top of the news, and comment from Deloitte

suggests that Brexit is the top concern for

CFOs, with geopolitical worries and trade

fears in second and third position on the

worry list.

Ian Stewart, Chief Economist at Deloitte

says “CFOs are now more pessimistic about

the long-term impact of Brexit than at any

time in the last three years, with a record

83 percent believing that it will lead to a

deterioration in the economic environment

in the long-term. Events in the last three


years have clearly added to, rather than

reduced, worries about the impact of


It's noteworthy that despite the serious

economic harm to Irish business that would

crush exporters after a no-deal Brexit, a

Bloomberg report commented that business

leaders are still prepared to follow the Irish

Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, down that

path if necessary. What can be done to help?

Your guess is as good as mine, but one thing

is certain, don’t rely entirely on Ireland for

export business.

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 38

Cooling off down under

AUSTRALIA has a slowing economy which

is suffering from the halo-effect of the

Sino-US trade war. With the lowest interest

rates in the country’s history – now at one

percent, down from 1.25 percent – some are

very worried about the medium-term future

of the economy. What makes the cut more

concerning is that it’s the second (down

from 1.50 percent to 1.25 percent in June) in

as many months.

And what should be worrying exporters

to Australia is that domestic demand is,

according to the governor of the Reserve

Bank of Australia, ‘weighed down by a

protracted period of low-income growth

and declining housing prices’. Further,

consumer debt burden is one of the highest

in the world.

Zimbabwe facing more turmoil

ROBERT MUGABE may have left

the political stage but his years of

mismanagement of the economy are still

creating mayhem. The problem is that the

Zimbabwean dollar holds so little value

– a one hundred trillion-dollar bill was in

circulation following the 2009

bout of hyperinflation – that many

have been using foreign currencies to

trade. However, at the end of June the

No-one likes inflation, but a certain

level is necessary for a healthy economy;

deflation is something to be avoided at all

costs. Rates have been cut to boost inflation

to between two percent and three percent.

Even so, with more interest rate movements

on the horizon, exporters should make

plans to diversify if at all possible.

Government decreed that the only legal

tender was the Zimbabwean dollar, a

product of a new electronic currency (the

RTGS dollar) and bond notes that were

designed to replace the US dollar which

are now too scarce to rely on. It follows that

it’s now much harder for local importers to

pay for their orders, and firms need to be

aware of this when selling to Zimbabwean


Deteriorating Asian payment trends

COFACE has just published its ‘2019

Asia Corporate Payment Survey’ which

covered over 3,000 companies located in

nine economies (Australia, China, Hong

Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore,

Thailand and Taiwan). The report found

that 63 percent of companies surveyed

stated that they experienced payment

delays in 2018. The length of payment

delays increased to 88 days on average

in 2018, compared to 84 days in 2017. The

delays were highest in China, Malaysia

and Singapore; as well as the energy,

construction and ICT sectors.

The survey found that economic

expectations deteriorated quite

significantly in a number of cases last

year. Over 50 percent of companies in

Now at one percent,

down from 1.25

percent – some are

very worried about the

medium-term future

of the economy.

Hong Kong, China, Japan, Singapore

and Taiwan stated that they do not

expect growth to improve in 2019. These

economies are directly and indirectly

impacted by the trade war between the

US and China. Despite this, 53 percent

of companies stated that they do not

use credit management tools to mitigate

risks. What was remarkable was that

markets with a majority of risk managers

who predict the economy will not

improve also feature a large percentage of

companies that admitted using no credit

management tools.

The bottom line? Watch your debtors

and manage terms with great care

because a number of firms in the region

are being a little lax.

Turning Japanese

ACCORDING to the Ifo Institute for Economic

Research’s ‘Business Climate Index’, Europe’s

economy could become like that of Japan

where low growth, low inflation and low

interest rates are the (new) norm. The

comment follows an end to nine years of

growth in Germany, a lull in optimism, and

a general fall in orders – partly as a result

of the US-Sino trade war, and also because

new emissions standards are stalling vehicle

orders. What is also worrying the Ifo Institute

is that a falling European unemployment

rate could be about to rise. The next step is

monetary stimulus which will do nothing for

those with savings, but it will help keep the

cost of borrowing low.

Turkey voting for


TURKEY’S President Erdogan has sacked

the head of the country’s central bank –

Murat Cetinkaya, one year short of his term

of office. No reason was given for the move

apart from party members being told that he

‘didn’t do what was needed’. This has been

taken to mean he’s not lowered interest rates

which stand at an eye watering 24 percent,

up from 17.5 percent last September.

Exporters should expect more trouble

with Turkey. As Paul McNamara of asset

manager GAM said, the sacking was

‘incredibly stupid’ as the central bank has

effectively been undermined.



CALL 020 7738 0777

Currency UK is authorised and regulated

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).


GBP/EUR 1.12200 1.06535 down

GBP/USD 1.24989 1.20276 down

GBP/CHF 1.23588 1.16888 down

GBP/AUD 1.81618 1.75768 up

GBP/CAD 1.64321 1.58937 down



135.51936 126.71204 down

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 39




UK Exporters need to understand changes in

Incoterms ® 2020 or risk disruption.

AUTHOR – Lesley Batchelor OBE FCICM

Lesley Batchelor

THE UK’s exporters will have

a lot to learn over the next

few months! Not only will

businesses need to stay

abreast of the potential

impacts of Brexit, but they

will also need to get to grips with the

International Chamber of Commerce’s

(ICC) new set of international commercial

terms – widely known by the trademark of


Incoterms® comprise some of the most

widely used, but most misunderstood

aspects within international trade; they

can impact on a number of areas of a

company’s operations, including sales,

accounts, shipping, operations, compliance

and customer service. According to the

ICC website, these terms form the world’s

‘essential terms of trade for the sale of goods’

and are used in everything from the initial

quote to the purchase orders, packaging

and labelling, certificates of origins and

to ‘define the risk and responsibility of a

shipment between the buyer and seller’.

They are a ‘global harmonized shipping

system’ and are therefore used for the

trading of goods all over the world. If

used correctly, they enable businesses to

avoid uncertainty, minimise delay and

facilitate smooth operations, transport and

payment. If you agree to use a term without

understanding the full implications for

your business, this can result in unexpected

costs, obligations and delays.


Incoterms® ultimately help everyone

involved in international trade to stay

on the same page when it comes to their

risks and responsibilities concerning the

movement of goods over borders.

Jeff Lewis, an export adviser and

trainer for the Institute of Export &

International Trade (IOE&IT), suggests

that using Incoterms® helps to simplify

processes around moving goods overseas

for both exporters and importers.

“Using Incoterms® helps all parties to

understand their risk and responsibility

for a shipment; and it helps them to

comply with the obligations outlined

within the terms to ensure economical

and efficient movement of goods.

Used correctly

Incoterms ® provide

assurance for all parties

to understand their

obligations and avoid

disputes, delays and

unexpected costs.

“They eliminate inconsistencies in

communication by giving all parties

the same definition of specific terms,

so they both clearly understand their

responsibilities under any given contract.

This results in ongoing positive and

profitable business relationships.”

John Lucy, Manager for International

Transport & Trade Procedures at the

Freight Transport Association (FTA), also

suggests that understanding how to use

Incoterms® correctly is essential for any

exporter looking to work with a freight

forwarder when moving goods overseas.

He explains: “Our forwarding members

tell me that they constantly experience

difficulty with their customers’ use

of the correct Incoterm®, especially in

regard to who is responsible for clearance

costs, additional documentation costs,

and duties or taxes. Used correctly

Incoterms® provide assurance for all

parties to understand their obligations

and avoid disputes, delays and

unexpected costs.”


The ICC has been writing the Incoterms®

rules since 1936 and it has been updating

them roughly every ten years, with the last

update coming in 2010. The ICC recently

announced that the next ring of changes

for the rules will indeed be published in

2020. The updates will enable the rules to

reflect the advances and requirements of

global trade today, particularly in respect

to security and ecommerce.

Exporters, importers, freight

forwarders, trade financers and many

more people involved in international

trade will need to update their knowledge

and understanding of these new rules in

order to remain on the same page as each

other when using them. An incorrect

or out-of-date use of them could lead to

uncertainty and delays relating to the

financing, shipment and payment of



Businesses need to learn about the

changes that are coming with ICC

Incoterms® 2020, and they should be

looking at taking training to ensure they

are using them effectively and clearly in

the years to come.

The Institute of Export & International

Trade is delighted to be an ICC licenced

training partner, authorised to provide

training on ICC Incoterms® 2020. We will

be providing a one-day course giving

a comprehensive overview of the new

2020 version of the rules, outlining the

differences from the 2010 version. The

course will also enable UK businesses

to be much more cost and risk aware

when negotiating new business deals,

whatever the future international trade

environment holds for the UK after Brexit.

So please do look at the site to find

more information about our courses,

which are taking place across the country.

For more information, visit:


Lesley Batchelor OBE FCICM is Director

General of The Institute of Export and

International Trade.

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 40

The Future of Credit Management

10 September, 08:30 to 13:30, including refreshments and lunch

at Shoosmiths, Edinburgh.

What is it?





Seminar with speakers, debate, activities and time for reflection on the future of credit management in Scotland. CICM, the largest

recognised professional body in the world for credit professionals, is excited to be launching CICM Scotland: A network of members,

professionals and businesses supporting credit professionals across Scotland. CICM broad knowledge, influence and support, with a

Scottish focus: the best of both worlds!

What to expect

A chance to talk, debate, learn, reflect, exchange

ideas, network, challenge, make connections.

Who is it for?

Anyone working in or providing services to

credit in Scotland.

This event is FREE, but we have limited spaces.

Book now to be part of this exciting launch.



Saltire Court, 20 Castle Terrace,

Edinburgh, EH1 2EN.

Book Now

Book online

or email for more

information call 01780 722900


Legal Update

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

09:00 – 14:00

Refreshments served

BACK by popular demand is our best

attended branch event of the year:

the Annual Legal Update. Hosted

and sponsored by Legal 500 top tier

firm Coltman Warner Cranston LLP.

Darren Davoile, Stuart Cranston

and Larry Coltman will present on a

variety of topics and the interaction

with CICM members produces lively

and interesting debate about the

best tactics and experiences to use

in chasing debts.

Topics to be covered include the

pros and cons of arbitration v

litigation, mediation and when to

use it, summary judgment, trial

and the cost consequences of

litigation. Winding up proceedings

are increasingly being used to

successfully collect undisputed

debts. Arbitration clauses can often

frustrate debt collection tactics, so

arbitration will be considered as a

dispute resolution procedure and

the costs involved.

There will be plenty of time for

questions and discussion at this

useful training event. Refreshments

and lunch will be provided leaving

you time to get back to the office

and review those difficult debts that

need chasing.

Sponsored and hosted by:




Stonebridge Golf Club (near to M42/A45

junction and Birmingham International)

Somers Road, Meriden CV7 7PL

Book Now

Book online

or email for more

information call 01780 722900

The Recognised Standard / / September 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



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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 / / September 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 / / September 2019 / PAGE 43




Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work

closely with credit teams to recover commercial

debts as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt

recovery, including:

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and

keep costs down • Litigation service • Insolvency

• Post-litigation services including enforcement

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to

relate to your goals, and adept at advising you on the

most effective way of achieving them.

T: 03700 86 3000



2019 CICM




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




Table Events



Practice Events

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



Just another great

reason to be a member

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

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 44


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


Pierluigi Alifuoco

Daniel Best

Ivana Bouchereau

Jannette Christianssen

Hayley Crawford

Simon Dodd

Millicent Edwards

Karen Gray

Mark Grieves

Caroline Griffiths

Vicky Hammond

Benjamin Hardinge

Stacey-Louise Hicks

Elizabeth Howe

Andrew Jones

Michael King

Samantha Manington

James McKenzie

Michael Morgan

Paulina Niedbala

Michelle Palmer

Gemma Pawson

Elzbieta Radzik

Sarah Scott

Terri Smyth

Novelette Spencer

Perri Stanley

David Tomlinson

James Tregellis

Carl Wakefield

Kayleigh Webster

Michael Williams

Darren Williamson

Monika Wojda

Nigel Womersley

Georgina Wood

Member by exam

Amanda Phelan MCICM(Grad)

Claire Sheehan MCICM(Grad)


Lisa Baker-Reynolds

Timothy Blundy

Ben Brightwell

Jason Byrne

Oskar Chomnicki

Charlotte Clarke

Cristina Diplas

Anna Donadelli

Andrew Foyle

Yulia Kamenetskaya

Tybel Mulando

Habi Olaleye

Stephen Stockley

Paula Swain

Tomasz Then

Alicja Trojanek

Samantha Wells


Linda Anderton ACICM

Dave Staniforth ACICM

Matthew Washington ACICM

Susan Wheeler ACICM

Manuela Bowyer ACICM

Sandra Darius ACICM

Rowena Gillon ACICM

John Mastel ACICM

Arslan Raja ACICM

Suzanne Ahmadian

David Allen

Thomas Boswell

Nidhi Dhanola

Richard Dunn

Christine Hannah

Laura Henderson

Richard House

Bryan Hurrell

Alistair Mackay

Tanya Nagpal

Kevin O'Neill

Coral Osborne

Victoria Pearson

Jennie Phillips

Raihanna Qureshi

James Richards

Abigail Richardson

Andrew Rose

Reeva Roy

Tim Rushton

Amir Shaikh

Dianne Smith

Marta Valls

Vasudha Vasdev

Jacqueline White

Stephan White

Tassos Yiacouplis


Sheila Chadha MCICM

Joseph Fitzgibbon MCICM

Mark Hodgson MCICM

Charlotte Kendall-Jones MCICM

Samantha Roberts MCICM

Lesley Hope MCICM

Vince Butler MCICM

David Clarkson MCICM

Karen Hopkins MCICM

Abul Kasham MCICM

Katarzyna Kotlarz MCICM

Jennifer Lovell MCICM

Janine MacSporran MCICM

Michal McBride MCICM

Anamaria Nistor MCICM

Manju Sehdev MCICM


Gillian Dee FCICM

Duncan Trubody FCICM

Elzbieta Wozniak FCICM

Estera Gliwska FCICM

Peter Hartley FCICM

Congratulations to our current members who have upgraded their membership

Upgraded members

Simon Marshall FCICM

Julie Tait FCICM

Gary Steadman FCICM

Louise Morris FCICM

Adam Wonnacott FCICM

Sami Salmela MCICM

Managing Director, VTK Investigations

Vince Butler MCICM

“Being involved with CICM will enhance my business and make connections

with many other like-minded credit professionals. I was recently asked

to give a talk on process serving, investigations and tracing at one of the

CICM branches in the North, as one of the Fellows said our knowledge and

experience The would Recognised Standard be of / great interest / September to 2019 all / PAGE our 45 membership.’’


Collections Clinics

In this new series of ‘Ask the Experts’, we focus on

collections, and in particular the issue of customer



Pam Thomas

contacted the customer

and they tell me they’re going

to pay, but how can I trust

them when they’ve broken

promises before?’ Does this


sound familiar?

I think every collector, no matter how

long they’ve been doing the job will

experience frustration at some time

because a customer hasn’t kept to their

word. Sometimes, this can simply be due to

unclear communication (yours or theirs),

the relationship or the customer’s financial

situation. But, could you do anything

differently to avoid disappointment?

Credit controllers from a range of

companies were keen to share their

knowledge when I asked the question:

Q. What tips do you have to persuade a

customer to stick to a commitment to pay?

Tip 1. Make it easy for them – offer to do

something to help the customer e.g. diarise

the date they said payment would be made

and offer a follow up phone call or email.

Tip 2. Don’t be vague – never ask the

customer ‘when’ payment will be made as

it allows them to choose their time frame.

They’ll choose the lengthiest time and

make it harder for you to negotiate.

Tip 3. Be specific – tell the customer the

day, date, method of payment you want.

You can negotiate from this point.

Tip 4. Give them options – simple things

such as saying ‘if you make the payment

today then your account won’t go on stop’.

Tip 5. Save them time – ‘I can take a card

payment over the phone from you now’ or

suggest direct debit set up in the future to

smooth the process (yours and theirs).

Tip 6. Get them to tell you – summarise

the call but ask the customer to confirm

the date, amount and method of payment.

You stand more of a chance of receiving the

money if they say it.

Tip 7. What worked – keep a note of your

success with different customers. Rinse

and repeat.

All of the above are suggestions but it

is important to work within your company

guidelines and take into consideration the

relationship with the customer.

If you have any tips you would like to

share or would like to pose a collections

question to fellow credit professionals,

write to:

Pam is a trainer for CICM and runs various

levels of credit and collection courses in the

UK and internationally.

Best Practice Customer Communications

MICHELLE Dunn, Learning, Knowledge

and Change Readiness Manager at Lowell,

and I were delighted to attend a regional

CICM event to talk to members around the

work we are doing at Lowell on customer


The Yorkshire-based event provided

an ideal opportunity to meet other

professionals from across the industry

and hear about the great work being done

in areas such as analytics, debtor ledger

management, and enforcement.

The nature of our business provides an

interesting set of customer communication

challenges. We acquire debt that the

originating creditor has not been able to

recover and then work with the people

owing the debt to improve their financial


Interestingly, the people concerned

haven’t chosen to be our customers. More

than that, for organisations who use debt

sale as a final option in the recovery

process Lowell could represent a sixth

generation contact point for that customer.

This creates a potentially more complex

customer journey.

Through the great work Michelle’s

Learning and Development Team are

doing to coach effective conversation

and identifying customer circumstances,

we have equipped our staff to handle

conversations effectively. However, to

achieve outstanding customer experience

we also need to appreciate the journey

the customer has taken so far and use this

insight to optimise interactions.

Within the Utility Sector, which is where

I focus, knowing which energy provider

supplied the stated property and for which

period, allows our advisors to open up the

very basic conversation with a customer.

However, then being able to access

information such as the number of meter

readings submitted, the meter type, how

readings were obtained, the customer’s

tariff and unit usage and their history of

complaints makes the interaction so much

richer and delivers better outcomes.

Achieving best customer outcomes

combines effective conversation handling

technique, using an appropriate tone of

voice, as well as a deep appreciation of

the customer’s current circumstances and

insight regarding the customer’s historic


Delivering great customer experience is

critical to achieving the best outcomes for

the customer and helping them along the

road to financial rehabilitation. Ensuring

the three elements outlined above work

together effectively is an important success


Mark Platts is Utilities Account Director at

Lowell Group.

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 46

Would you like to be CICM qualified?

Plan now to start studying in September

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

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

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

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

collections. Study options are explained below.


CICM Teaching Centres offer classroom-based learning in

Credit Management (Trade, Export and Consumer), Accounting

Principles, Business Law and Business Environment towards

the CICM Level 3 Diploma in Credit & Collections and some offer

study towards the CICM Level 5 Diploma in Credit Collections



The CICM Credit Academy offers the opportunity to study in a

virtual classroom through the web for the Level 3 Diploma in

Credit Management examined units Credit Management (Trade,

Export and Consumer), Accounting Principles, Business Law and

Business Environment and Level 5 Diploma subjects. Classes are

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

of opportunity to ask questions and test your knowledge.


Some Teaching Centres and the CICM Credit Academy offer

in-company classes for CICM qualifications. Contact CICM

Learning and Development for further details. Fees depend on

location, length of course and are generally cost effective for

groups of ten learners or more.


Supported home study suits those who wish to receive

tutorial support, but would like some flexibility. A practical

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

for the Level 3 Diploma in Credit Management examined

units or CICM Level 5 Diploma in Credit Management

Supported home study providers:

‣ CICM Learning Support Service

‣ OLC (Europe)

‣ Haddoum Training, Milton Keynes (including three Saturday classes)


This provides the cheapest and most flexible option to study for

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

a minimum requirement, you would need to purchase relevant

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

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

using this method you work alone.


CICM offers open and in-company training days linked to CICM

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

CICM qualifications (Credit Management, Debt Collections and

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

organisations own training to CICM awards and CICM would be

pleased to advise on this.




Avnet, Bracknell

Leeds City College

Scorpion, Wolverhampton

London Metropolitan University

Haddoum Training, Milton Keynes

Malta Association of Credit Management



Stoke-on-Trent College

CICM Virtual Class

The Organisational Learning Centre, (OLC Europe)

CICM Credit Academy, Manchester

Irish Credit Management Training

South Africa (South African training provider,

CSM debt services PTY Ltd t/a Credit Skills )


or telephone: 01780 722909


As a Board Director are you

sufficiently financially savvy?

CICM Trainer, Jean Pousson, poses that question to

directors and gives some pointers for them to consider.

RECENT accounting

scandals in the UK (Tesco,

Carillion, Conviviality, and

more recently Patisserie

Valerie) have put the

roles of external auditors,

regulators, banks and naturally Boards

into the spotlight again. While there are

numerous ongoing enquiries, it is still

timely for directors to ask themselves if

they are personally comfortable with their

financial capabilities, or do they rely on the

finance director or CFO with blind faith?

External auditors can provide false

comfort. It is not their remit to spot fraud

and very few frauds are uncovered by

external auditors. Of course, there have

been cases where the external auditors

have been proven to be negligent, but they

cannot be blamed for everything as it is

logistically and commercially impossible

for them to inspect every transaction within

a business. This was reinforced in April

2018 by Michelle Hinchcliffe, KPMG Head

of Audit, who said: ‘saying that the audit is

a true and fair account is not the same as

giving a clean bill of health’.

However, should you feel uneasy about

any matter you should ask the auditors

to dig deep into that particular area of


The relationship between the auditors

and your FD/CFO also merits some

attention. Watch out for snippets like ‘we

need to manage the auditors’ or ‘we need to

be careful and not disclose too much’. This

suggests that the finance function is trying

to hide something. Ask yourself why?

Conversely, a relationship that is too

friendly may suggest that the auditors place

too much trust in the FD/CFO. Keep an eye

on the tenure of the relationship to ensure

that trust has not morphed into comfort

resulting in a weaker audit.


Do you fully understand the accounting

policies that you have chosen and approved?

Could you explain them to a junior member

of staff?

There have been instances (Tesco,

Carillion) where the accounting policies

were described as ‘aggressive’, (chosen

to improved profits). Be mindful of what

I call ‘loophole talk’, this is where the

conversation focuses on accepting obscure

definitions and sections of accounting

standards to justify a decision.

I accept that business is complex and

sometimes these conversations need to take

place. I also accept that sometimes auditors

may not agree with management. This is

quite legitimate, but when it seems that

loopholes are sought to improve financial

performance, be wary.

A powering share price or a very high

valuation (or even a very good offer to buy

the business) does not necessarily mean

that the business is in great financial shape.

History teaches us that many acquisitions

can often be overpriced and carried out for

the wrong reason. This should not distract

the Board, and directors should not see

this as recompense for their financial


Professionals, like private equity

investors, banks, rating agencies, do not

always get it right. Recently, a banking

client of mine took a decision to increase

its lending exposure to an existing client,

and a key factor in that call was that

Private Equity investors, who had a good

reputation with an extensive due diligence

process, had just invested. The whole thing

went wrong resulting not only in a loss

but also in many lost hours to manage the

distressed situation.


Do you fully understand all the items on

the dashboard? Are the KPIs aligned to

the strategic Key Success Factors? Does it

appear busy or unnecessarily complicated?

Is the finance division unable to present

figures in real time, or very quickly? If not,

why not?

Are there non-financial metrics as well?

Do you track new customers? A business

that is unable to attract new customers

worries me and it should worry you too.



This is the subject of another article

altogether, but it’s the ability to establish

connections between items in the major

financial statements and sometimes reality.

Here are some to watch out for:

● Increase in Debtors/Trade Receivables

not in line with increase in sales.

● Presence of large accrued income under

current assets, i.e. work done but not yet


● Intangibles make up a disproportionate

percentage of total assets and are not being

amortised properly.

● Little or no investment in tangible

assets. Every business needs to invest

non-discretionary capital expenditure (i.e.

when things need to be replaced).

● Exceptional items in the Profit and Loss/

Income Statement that keep re-appearing

each year.

● Profit margins in excess of typical

businesses of that type.

● Increases in borrowings that cannot be

explained properly, or that are attributed

to cashflow problems.

● And when all else fails, refer to the cash

analysis and position from the banking

records. That doesn’t lie. Cash is a reality


Jean Pousson is a CICM Trainer and

Director and founding shareholder

of Board Evaluation, a specialised

consultancy practice that provides board

evaluation, strategic health checks and

various training and consultancy services.



• Financial Analysis

• Advanced Financial Analysis

• Understanding Business Strategy and Risk

• Introduction to Company Accounts

• Working with Company Accounts

• Invoicing and Receipting

Programmes can be tailored or bespoke to

ensure they are relevant to current needs

and support business objectives.

Expert trainers share their knowledge and

experiences to help improve effectiveness

of the team. Training is designed to be a

cost effective way to upskill, motivate and

develop knowledge, skills and performance

for a maximum of 15 delegates per day.

CPD hours are attributed to all training


Contact Julie Dalton, In-company Training

Adviser, to discuss your requirements.


T: +44 (0)1780 722907

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 48





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Girl Power

Gender Pay is very much in the public eye. What steps

should employers take to address any disparity in

female representation within their workforce?

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards

UNDER the Gender Pay Gap

Reporting Regulations, all

public, private and charity

sector organisations

employing 250 or more

employees are required

to report annually on the average pay gap

between their male and female employees.

The average is calculated and reported: as

a median, being the middle point between

the top and bottom range of pay; and as

a mean, being the total amount paid to

male and female employees, divided by the

number of people in each group.

This is an annual obligation, with a

reporting deadline of 30 March each year

for public sector employers and 4 April each

year for private companies and charities.

There is an option to provide a written

narrative alongside the published gender

pay gap figures. This provides a valuable

opportunity to put figures in context.

Whether gender pay reporting

encourages action within organisations to

address a gender pay gap will only be seen

over a period of time. There is a risk that

the reporting obligation is seen simply as

another annual compliance issue.

For the 2018/2019 reporting year, 10,406

organisations should have published their

reports but around 417 didn’t meet their

date. The figures reveal that over 86 percent

of those organisations pay men more on

average than they pay women across their


The reported gender pay data is not

necessarily an indicator of pay inequality

between men and women doing the same

or a similar role within an organisation,

but it could be an indicator of a wider issue

of fewer women being employed in the

highest paid positions compared with men.

So aside from addressing pay disparity,

what other proactive steps can an employer

take to encourage women into roles within

a business where they are currently a




The term ‘positive discrimination’ can be

used in reference to treating one group

of people more favourably, on the basis

that they have a protected characteristic,

compared to another group who do

not have that characteristic. Under

the Equality Act 2010, there are nine

protected characteristics, these being age,

sex, disability, pregnancy and maternity,

gender reassignment, marriage and civil

partnership, race, religion and sexual


While the phrase is commonly used,

positive discrimination on the grounds

of a protected characteristic is unlawful

(except in certain very limited situations).

Positive action on the other hand, is

lawful under the Equality Act 2010. This

is the process of taking certain steps

to assist groups who share a protected

characteristic who are under-represented

or disadvantaged in employment. There

are two avenues of positive action –

general positive action and positive action

in recruitment and promotion.

Positive action in recruitment and

promotion enables an employer to

lawfully give preferential treatment to one

candidate with a protected characteristic

over another who does not have that

characteristic, where the two candidates

are equally qualified.

Such positive action will only be lawful

where an employer reasonably thinks that

women suffer a disadvantage connected

to being female, or are disproportionality

underrepresented in the workforce, and

where the action taken is a proportionate

means of enabling or encouraging women

to overcome or minimise the disadvantage

or to participate in the workforce. If the

male candidate is more qualified for

the position, this would be unlawful


It is important to note that a blanket

policy of treating people with a shared

protected characteristic more favourably

than those who do not is not permitted.


Another issue that can lead to a lack

of representation of women or other

minorities in senior positions frequently

given to men is the issue of unconscious

bias. In terms of recruitment, there is

often a danger that an interviewer is

unconsciously drawn to a candidate who

shares characteristics with themselves.

To help to combat this, employers

should consider conducting recruitment

processes with a panel of at least two

people, ideally including people with

different characteristics, backgrounds, or

experiences to help to eliminate bias.

Consideration should also be given to

a business’ ‘family friendly’ policies that

make it easier for women to join or re-join

the workforce or progress within their


Other policies and practices to

consider reviewing include homeworking,

maternity, paternity and shared parental

leave policies, programmes supporting

women returning to work after a career

break and training or initiatives such as

targeted networking opportunities and

mentoring opportunities to help women

progress into senior roles.

Gareth Edwards is a partner in the

employment team at VWV. gedwards@

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 50



Your CICM lapel badge

demonstrates your commitment to

professionalism and best practice



If you haven’t received your badge



Inside the world

of Insolvency

Thursday, 5 September 2019


JOIN us for a unique insight into

the world of insolvency as Auker

Rhodes Business Advisors will be

sharing with us their many years

of experience within the industry

and will guide us through just what

we can do as a creditor when a

customer’s business has failed.

This will include candid views of

current legislation, what is working

and what isn’t, along with the

criteria with which the Insolvency

Service assess Directors’ conduct

and why we don’t see as many

disqualifications as we would


The evening will conclude with

some case studies covering

instances where assets had been

put beyond the reach of creditors

(or so they thought!) and some of

the more unbelievable stories of

Directors’ actions.

In addition to networking, a Q&A

session will give members and nonmembers

the opportunity to seek

assistance on any topical issues

and your committee look forward to

seeing you there.




Mercure Sheffield Park Hotel,

S60 5BD

Book Now

Book online

or email for more

information call 01780 722900

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 51


Keeping fraud in focus

Ensuring teams that tackle fraud have the right

skills is crucial.

AUTHOR – Karen Young

Karen Young

FRAUD is more prevalent

in business and in credit

management now than it

has ever been before and

the increasing complexity

of fraudulent activity means

that it can be disguised in many different

forms. Most commonly the amount of

sensitive data that credit functions hold

can leave them vulnerable to data breaches.

To mitigate this, organisations need to

invest in cybersecurity resources and raise

awareness of fraud risks among their staff,

setting out effective procedures to ensure

these situations don’t escalate.

The transformation that data has had

on the working world can readily be seen

across industries, and undeniably the rise

of ‘big data’ is positively enabling companies

to be more insightful and innovative. This is

certainly the case at Hays, where we can use

data to better match candidates to jobs and

help them reach their career goals.

Although holding information about

clients’ credit activity has always been

central to credit roles, with greater abilities

to collect and store information, credit

professionals are leaning much more

heavily on data than they have in the past.

Of course, this improves the service you

can provide to your clients – but it also

makes your organisation more appealing to



It is therefore vital that credit functions

protect their data by having cybersecurity

resources at the ready. We have seen

an increased demand for cybersecurity

skills across the globe which has caused a

shortage of candidates with skills in this

area. Employers looking for these skills in

tech hubs across the UK such as London,

Birmingham, Edinburgh and Leeds will

have the best access to talent.


In light of the high demand for cybersecurity

skills, credit employers might want to

consider upskilling their current staff to

make sure they have the necessary talent

to mitigate potential fraud. Upskilling in

this area is complex, as the skills required

to handle a data breach are obviously

incredibly niche. Instead, employers should

think about upskilling in the way of raising

awareness of cybercrime in credit. Train

your workforce to recognise the signs of a

potential data breach before it escalates,

and to handle sensitive data in a way which

will minimise any risk of fraud. Interactive

training methods such as workshops are

best to raise awareness and equip your

staff with the skills they need. Due to the

evolving complexity and sophistication

of data hacks, keep your staff’s skills upto-date

with refresher training as your

organisation’s resources allow.


To go hand in hand with upskilling

and raising awareness, employers are

encouraged to be vigilant with procedures

when faced with potential fraud. Developing

simple, effective procedures detailing

what to do when the security of your data

is compromised might be the difference

between a hack which damages your

organisation’s reputation and your clients’,

or one which is blocked at its inception by

your employees.

A credit manager would usually be

the appropriate person to establish the

procedure, and it’s crucial that their

reports know who to escalate an issue to.

Additionally, staff will also need to know

the type of issue which needs to be taken

to litigation. As with implementing any

new policy or procedure, the importance of

communication is not to be underestimated

– roles at all levels, from credit controllers up

to senior directors, need to know the steps

to take in order to help your organisation

mitigate fraud. Lean into communications

or training resources within or even

externally to your organisation to make sure

the procedure is successfully implemented.

While all businesses feel the pressure to

climb up the data ladder to keep up with

the landscape, it is crucial that the risk of

fraud is not overlooked. With the amount

of sensitive data credit functions hold,

developing cybersecurity resources by

raising awareness amongst employees and

creating effective procedures is the best way

for credit employers to mitigate any threats

to this data and have the peace of mind that

their employees are doing their part.

Karen Young is Director at Hays

Credit Management.

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 52


CICM offered the

prospect of qualifications,

but as soon as I became

a member, loads of other

opportunities came to

light that I hadn’t initially

realised were available.

Molly Kane


The value



Molly Kane ACICM

Senior Credit Controller Executive

Oxford University

Read more about her story and join your

credit community by visiting:

01780 722900

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 53



Almost half of all financial services firms have

already adopted Open Banking but to what end?

AUTHOR – Will North

IN the 18 months since it was

introduced in the UK, Open

Banking has been a quietly

disruptive force. Whilst it has

flown somewhat under the radar

in the consumer world, it is in

fact, already transforming consumers’

lives, by putting the consumer firmly in

charge of their own data.

In financial services, the new technology

has enabled firms to harness the full power

of the data available to obtain a more

detailed understanding of their customers,

spanning income verification, risk and

affordability, and customer management.

As a result, lenders are able to make a

more informed assessment and ensure

responsible lending, while also delivering

an improved customer experience.


The UK’s Open Banking initiative was

created with the twin desires to give

consumers more control of their data, and

encourage competition and innovation

in finance, following a 2016 ruling from

the Competition and Markets Authority

that the UK’s nine dominant banks had to

share their customers’ data with accredited

organisations. The new initiative sat

alongside the introduction of the Europeanwide

Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2),

a set of rules and directions passed by the

EU in 2015 which went live on the same day

as Open Banking.

The premise of both of these is to enable

consumers to give their banks and financial

service providers permission to share their

financial data with other accredited third

parties. The rules mean that this data,

once consent is given, can be accessed

via Application Programming Interface

(API), a standard access method across

all parties to aid flow of data and ease of

use. Key security standards will come into

force for the system on 14 September. This

date is going to be a challenge for some

organisations to meet, but is essential to

protect consumers uniformly.


The Evolution of Open Banking , a white

paper from TransUnion, based on research

conducted by Forrester Consulting, found

the adoption of Open Banking practices and

processes is widespread within banks and

financial institutions. Headline numbers

from the research reveal that at the end

of 2018, 46 percent of financial firms

were already adopting Open Banking or

expanding on their adoption. A further

36 percent noted they were planning to

adopt it within 2019.

Recent statistics would attest that

this is coming to fruition, with the Open

Banking Implementation Entity noting

at the end of April 2019 that the Open

Banking ecosystem already had 118

regulated organisations involved with

a further 200 companies on the waiting

list; with new use cases enabled and clear

benefits being delivered to consumers.

In a poll conducted by TransUnion

to evaluate consumers’ understanding

of Open Banking, we found limited

awareness, however, with one in four

saying they hadn’t heard of it, whilst

seven out of 10 said they wouldn’t want to

give credit providers access to their bank

account information because of concerns

over security.

So, while it’s clear that financial

organisations recognise the value of

Open Banking, there needs to be greater

consumer awareness to enable this new

technology to reach its full potential.

Banks and finance providers need to

address the concerns of consumers

around security and help them to

understand the value exchange that Open

Banking offers.


The research found that initial projects

were primarily used for income

verification, credit risk assessment and

data insight i.e. functional tasks that help

lenders to vet and verify the consumers

they’re dealing with. As with any new

technology, this functional start is par

for the course, but as time and capability

in this area progress, we expect to see

genuine disruption occurring – seeing

these functional tasks give way to more

technical or complex matters such as

bespoke products, customer segmentation

and insurance applications.

The credit management industry has

a great deal to gain from the adoption of

Open Banking capabilities, and we can

illustrate this below with what we know of

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 54

The UK’s Open

Banking initiative

was created with

the twin desires

to give consumers

more control of their

data, and encourage


and innovation in


adoption trends so far, and future plans.

First, however, it’s important to set out

the expectations, on both the business

and consumer side, to show where wider

benefits and indeed challenges may lie

but also illuminate where the industry

can play a part.


According to our research, a nearunanimous

99 percent of financial

services organisations polled expect

Open Banking to benefit their business.

The main benefits expected were faster

application or onboarding processes

(52 percent) and improved customer

experience (46 percent). In today’s

competitive landscape, it’s unsurprising

that customer experience is recognised as

a top priority, and Open Banking is a key

platform for delivering a smoother and

faster customer journey.

Over half of the financial firms

surveyed said they struggle in processing

consumer applications. Key pain points

include the costs and time associated with

manual processing of data (56 percent)

and customers taking too long to gather

relevant documents (50 percent) – both of

which Open Banking can address.

In fact, customer experience is cited

as the key reason for financial firms

to implement Open Banking, with 56

percent stating their organisations need

to improve customer experience during

applications. This is closely followed by

both product innovation and keeping

up with the competitive landscape (53


So businesses are promising

consumers a better application experience

and customer journey, but what about the

consumers themselves? Our study found

that the top consumer expectations, if they

consent to give access to their financial

data, are for faster application approval

times, an easier application process for

financial products and quicker ways to

provide proof to back up an application.

Each of these three elements should

ring bells in the credit management world

as key areas of focus. With clear, consentdriven

data available, credit decisionmaking

within a smooth and customerfriendly

application process could be

revolutionised. In fact, 56 percent of

consumers say that when it comes to

financial products, they would prefer a

completely online journey with an instant


Another key desire from consumers

is for access to products tailored to their

circumstance and better support if they

had limited credit history when applying

for loans or credit. Another opportunity

for credit professionals to advise clients at

an individual, data-driven level.


The challenge comes in the divergence of

what it will take to deliver these benefits.

The research shows that consumers

recognise the value their information has

but concerns about security hold them

back. The research showed the biggest

barriers to consumers sharing their bank

statements with financial services firms

through Open Banking are the fear of data

being shared or sold to other companies

(86 percent) and fear of data breaches (82


While the businesses surveyed also

recognised this; with around two-thirds

believing that fear of data breaches

(68 percent), and the potential for data

being sold (59 percent) by organisations

is holding consumers back, they clearly

underestimate the extent of the consumer


The lesson is clear – investment

is needed in creating and delivering

the correct policies, procedures and

positioning to help build consumer

trust in the new system. And this is why

September heralds an important date, as

that crucial security element comes into



Prediction is difficult when we consider

a world of unprecedented technological

shift, but with Open Banking we can

see the early shoots of progress in new

services. There is a real need for credit

managers to get involved, but the big

opportunities are yet to be tapped.

For instance, many in the property

sector intend to utilise Open Banking.

We have been involved in early projects

in this industry to use Open Banking

processes for tenant vetting – looking at

income and expenditure data, employer

information and rent recognition. These

pieces of information can be invisible to

traditional methods of credit assessment,

and their availability can potentially

revolutionise the rental sector for both

landlord and tenant, as well as opening

the door for more first-time buyers to get

on the property ladder.

We’ve recently seen one of these

projects come to fruition in the case

of tenant referencing, through our

partnership with Let Alliance, which

has developed a process that allows

consumers to give Let Alliance, when

acting for processional letting agents

and their potential landlords, access to

their full credit file. Our Open Banking

technology which is built into this process

provides a detailed understanding of

the potential tenant’s financial status –

spanning income verification, risk and

affordability – helping letting agents to

make an informed assessment while

also delivering an improved customer

experience and, most importantly,

helping consumers to secure the rental

property they want through a quick and

easy process.

With consumers and financial

institutions crying out for swift, smooth

and secure customer journeys and

application decisions, Open Banking

represents a massive opportunity across

a host of different business sectors,

helping to ensure choice and protection

for consumers whilst putting the power of

the data firmly in their hands.

Will North is Core Credit Director

at TransUnion.

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 55

Are you making the most of

CICM and your membership?




Business news

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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


Credit Circuit Training

Sheffield and District Branch

SHEFFIELD and District Branch

and the Yorkshire Ridings

Branch joined forces to

challenge members and guests

to take part in Credit Circuit

Training on a rather wet

Tuesday evening at the Yorkshire Sculpture

Park. Luckily, the event was held indoors

in the first-floor restaurant with stunning

views over the park and thankfully no lycra

was required.

After signing in and collecting a group

number, everyone had the opportunity

to network over a lovely hot supper and

refreshments and to coo over our youngest

ever future member – an exceptionally

well-behaved young man at just 12 weeks


Phil Holbrough MCICM, Chair of

Yorkshire Ridings Branch, welcomed

everyone and laid down the challenge to

take up the first circuit station. We spent

15 minutes at each station before Laurie

Beagle rang his gong signalling the time to

move on.

Jeff Gledhill of DWF Solicitors covered

some aspects of debt recovery and

enforcement, Darren Myers of PwC helped

us with financial analysis by taking us

through the last accounts of a company

which subsequently failed. Michelle

Dunn and Mark Platts of Lowell talked

about effective communications and Phil

Holbrough of credit risk solutions made us

think about protecting the debtor ledger.

Each circuit station was very interactive

and a great opportunity for everyone, both

new and old to the profession, to share


Before the evening drew to a close,

Laurie Beagle FCICM of Forums

International talked about the CICM and

the many benefits of membership. The

Grim Credit History tour

Sheffield and District Branch

KELHAM Island was the destination for a ‘Grim Credit History

Tour’ with the Sheffield and District branch of the CICM on 6 July.

The area of Kelham Island in Sheffield is one of the more

attractive cultural destinations in the city today, with numerous

bars and eateries in old industrial buildings. But the area had a

bad reputation for poor living and working conditions in the 19th

Century and it was the site of the town’s debtors’ prison and trade

union agitation. A group of hardy CICM folk attended, visiting

the old industrial buildings and being provided with a running

commentary by local historian Brian Holmshaw of Sheaf Valley


We saw the crucible stacks of the Titanic Works and the huge

cementation furnace at Daniel Doncaster’s work. It was hard

to believe the size of the enormous six storey doss house at

Shalesmoor that housed the poor of the area, some of them using

the ‘penny line’ – where a night was spent leaning on a rope strung

across the room for the sum of one penny.

It was not all misery on the day. We also visited the newlyopened

and refurbished Crow Inn on Scotland Street – site of a

Victorian murder – as well as the ever-popular Shakespeare and

the Bar Stewards bar on Shalesmoor. The afternoon continued with

ghost stories in the Ship Inn and finished with food and drink in

another recently opened venue – the Cutlery Works at Neepsend.

Author: Carl Goodman MCICM

evening promoted some lively debate and

was an excellent opportunity for new credit

professionals to draw on the knowledge of

not only our speakers but also our more

seasoned members.

Many thanks to all speakers and to all

attending members and guests for making

the evening a great success, with a special

mention to the student members attending

in the middle of exam season – that is true


Author: Paula Uttley MCICM(Grad)

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 57


Listen and Learn

North East Branch

WE were delighted to welcome Vince Butler MCICM

of VTK Investigations as our guest speaker at this

breakfast event generously hosted by sponsors

Sintons Law Firm (the office’s sunny view of St James

Park stadium against a cloudless blue sky didn’t go


Fuelled by a delicious breakfast buffet we enjoyed hearing Vince's

informative and entertaining outline of the practical issues arising from

Process Serving – including filing court papers, serving legal documents

and document retrieval. It was good to learn more about a difficult but very

necessary part of debt recovery that perhaps not many of us know a great

deal about.

A choice selection of anecdotes from the twice-awarded ABI Investigator

of the Year with 20 years’ experience was great value to remind us that

collecting the debt is all about people at the end of the day!

The North East Branch also held its AGM over the summer. The meeting

was preceded by our guest speaker Adrian Storrie MCICM, CICM member,

Chartered Accountant and former IP, and Principal of adelearning,

presenting on ‘The Art of Listening’. We might all think we're good listeners

but with the use of some eye-opening anecdotes and clever interactive

examples, Adrian certainly made us think twice.

We learned a great deal about what it takes to be a good listener (an

essential skill for the business professional) and were thoroughly entertained

in the process. Adrian has presented for us before and always has great

knack for hitting the nail on the head in an informal but highly professional

style. Thoroughly recommended! Author: Angie Deverick MCICM


Vince Butler of

VTK Investigations.


Adrian Storrie.


An evening at the

Spinnaker Tower

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

19:30 – 23:00





IT’S that time of year where we

would like to invite you to our

Premier event of the year. Following

on from the success of our event

at the Mary Rose, we would like to

invite you to our Spinnaker event

to be held on 11 September 2019.

With its impressive architecture

and unique waterfront location,

Spinnaker Tower is a truly

impressive venue.

The drinks and canapes reception

will be followed by presentations

from Chartered Institute of Credit

Management Chief Executive Philip

King FCICM, who will be presenting

on Better Payment Practice. Apart

from leading the CICM and sitting

on a number on industry and

government regulated boards Philip

is a passionate credit expert and

engaging speaker and this promises

to be another occasion you dare not


Alongside Philip, Nigel Linger,

Chairman of the Portsmouth Royal

Dockyard Historical Trust will be

giving a fascinating presentation on

the history and picturesque views of

the stunning Spinnaker Tower.

Did you know, the first recorded

dry dock in the world was built in

Portsmouth by Henry VII in 1495?

Join us on 11 September to find out





Emirates Spinnaker Tower,

Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, PO1 3TZ

Book Now

Book online

or email for more

information call 01780 722900

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 58


High tech tour

Thames Valley Branch

PUBLISHING group Hachette’s

new state-of-the-art distribution

centre in Didcot was the

venue for the latest Thames

Valley branch event.

The evening event started

with some networking over food and drinks

followed by Jon Swan, Head of Credit Services,

giving us an overview of Hachette and his

credit team.

Jon quizzed us on being able to recognise

some of the authors they publish. While we

did not recognise all the faces, we definitely

recognised all of the names including JK

Rowling, John Grisham and Stephen King. He

explained Hachette’s position in the market

place (second largest book publisher globally)

and touched on the regions they operate

in explaining that they export to over 120

countries and their customers range from huge

global shopping firms, education authorities,

independent publishers and football clubs.

Jon also gave an overview of how his team is

structured to handle the vast differences in

segments of customer and regions they work

in and the challenges they face day-to-day.

THE CICM (West Midlands) Awards

and BBQ night took place at The Studio

Birmingham on the evening of 6 June. With

the sun shining, the roof top garden and the

delicious BBQ food were a hit.

Kim Delaney-Bowen, Chairperson,

opened proceedings with a warm welcome

address and Education Officer, Pete

Cartwright, expressed the committee’s

pride in celebrating students’ achievements

for the last 20 years.

The evening was sponsored by Hays

who also sponsored the Accounting prize.

Peter Kidd, Vice Chair, said a few words

After the presentation, attendees broke

into two groups of 20 to be shown around the

facility that will be 24/7, 364 days a year when

fully operational. The floor space of their

distribution centre measures 240,000 square

feet. The tour showed us how the books would

be robotically picked and transported in totes

via a vast array of conveyor belts around the

facility to be sense-checked by people at the

end of the line to ensure the books are ending

up in the correct parcels, for the correct

customers. It was fascinating to see a fully

automated wrapping robot in operation and to

learn about the specially made forklift trucks

that were in operation – these trucks were able

to lift containers three storeys high making

them among the largest in world!

Feedback from the evening, including

opinions from one attendee’s two young

daughters he brought along (both avid

bookworms) was extremely positive. Thank

you to Jon and the Hachette Group who kindly

hosted the event and allowed us to tour their

impressive facility.

Author: Gary Baker FCICM(Grad)

Brummy Barbecue

West Midlands Branch

about the current employment scene

before presenting the prize to Elisabeth

Dopplehofer who achieved 83 percent.

Coltman Warner Cranston sponsored the

Legal Proceedings prize and Larry Coltman

spoke briefly before presenting the prize to

Nicola Jones who had the only Level 5 pass

within the Branch.

Kim presented all the other prizes:

Danielle Cotton – 95 percent in Credit

Management; Emma Tudor-Pratley – 97

percent in Business Environment; Shabana

Hussein – 85 percent in Credit Management

and 88 percent in Business Environment;


city tour

South Wales Branch

MEMBERS of the South Wales

branch took to the high seas for

a deployment of several hours to

terrorise pirates.

Captain Diana led the motley crew

out as far as the eye could see – well

it was a bit misty in the beautiful

Cardiff Bay!

This was our second deployment

and although a different ship it was

as enjoyable as the first last year,

and I for one hope it becomes as

traditional as our annual bowling

event. It was a perfect way to

unwind after a working week gently

meandering around Cardiff Bay

and taking in sites like the castle

and the Millennium Stadium, with

a running commentary on the

places of interest.

It was quite surprising how

quickly our time went, but that’s

what happens when you are among

good company.

Author: Steve White MCICM

and Laurentiu Bogdan Paxaman – 87

percent in Credit Management and 72

percent in Business Law.

Selecting the overall winner and West

Midlands Student of the Year for 2018 was

difficult. But with the best aggregate marks

in more than one subject, the Shield and a

personal trophy was presented to Shabana


Shabana expressed ‘how studying with

CICM has boosted her confidence and her

understanding of the meaning of credit to

the business’. She has also found herself a

new job. Author: Peter Cartwright FCICM FFA

On the 6 September, we are opening our doors to a new concept, and we

would love to see you there. This free event offers stimulating presentations

from a number of key speakers. Join us for discussion, debate, challenge

and sharing with your fellow credit professionals.

Credit Pod Manchester


Shoosmiths. The XYZ Building, 2 Hardman

Boulevard, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3AZ

Book Now - Credit Pod Manchester

for more information contact 01780 722900

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 59


A 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. Book online on our website


3 September

CICM Kent Branch


Wine and Wisdom

It’s that time of year again when we would like to

invite you to our ‘Wine & Wisdom’ Branch Event

to be held on 3 September 2019. This will be held

at the same venue.

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: The Assembly Rooms, 66 Preston Street,

Faversham, ME13 8PG




5 September



CICM Sheffield & District Branch


Inside the World of Insolvency

Join us for a unique insight into the world of

insolvency as Auker Rhodes Business Advisors,

will be sharing with us their many years of

experience within the industry and will guide us

through just what we can do as a creditor.

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: Mercure Sheffield Parkway Hotel

Britannia Way, Catcliffe, Sheffield, S60 5BD

5 September


CICM London Branch


Students’ Evening

CICM London branch would like to invite you to

our annual Students’ Evening, open to students

and members alike to share experiences upon

their career in credit management.

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: Hays 107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN

United Kingdom


10 September

CICM Scotland Launch


Seminar with speakers, debate, activities and

time for reflection on the future of credit

management in Scotland.

CICM, the largest recognised professional body in

the world for credit professionals, is excited to be

launching CICM Scotland.

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: Shoosmiths The XYZ Building, 2 Hardman

Boulevard, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3AZ



6 September

CICM Credit Pod Manchester Launch


Do you work in credit and are you interested in

meeting other credit professionals? Would you

like to be part of a brand new community? If

so, this event is for you, whether you are a CICM

member or not! (Lunch included).

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: Shoosmiths The XYZ Building, 2 Hardman

Boulevard, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3AZ

11 September

CICM North East Branch


Paul Card Recruitment will be hosting the

Autumn 2019 North East Credit Managers’ Forum

at their offices at Wynyard Business Park in

Teesside and have invited CICM members to

join them.

Book online at

or email for more information.

Venue: Paul Card Recruitment, Wynyard Park

House, Wynyard Avenue, Wynyard Business Park,

Wynyard , TS22 5TB

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 60

More reasons to be a member

Make connections and keep up-to-date

with our exclusive events.



18 September



CICM Ireland Branch


Artificial Intelligence In Credit and Finance


Book online at

or email for more information.

Venue: Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Rd, Dublin 4

10 September

Credit Risk Forums



Book online at

or email for more information.

Venue: Nottingham

24 September

Forums International


International Credit Forum

Book online at or

email for more information.


Venue: BDO LLP, London

12-13 September

Forums International


International Telecoms Risk Forum

Book online at or

email for more information.


Venue: Lisbon

12 September

Credit Risk Forums


FMCG (Food, drink & tobacco) and Oil and

Fuelcard Ireland

Book online at

or email for more information.

Venue: Dublin

24 September

Forums International


Information, Communication

Book online at or

email for more information.


Venue: BDO LLP, London

12 September

Key IVR Webinar


Key IVR give insight on how to reclaim business

revenue by improving the security of your

payment systems and maintaining a smooth

customer journey.

18 September


Onguard Insurers Lunch Club (Free event)

Cashflow and customer relationships.

Book online at

or email for more information.

Venue: London Bridge Runway East, 20 St Thomas

St, London, SE1 9RS

25 September

Forums International


The Fraud Prevention Network

Book online at or

email for more information.


Venue: Coppid Beech Hotel, Bracknell, RG12 8TF

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 61





London, up to £65,000

Servicing over 5 million customers, a rare opportunity

has arisen at a Fortune 100 business to lead its credit risk

function. You will need extensive experience in dealing

with credit risk analysis specifically with aviation clients.

With a strong emphasis on risk management strategies

and associated control structures, your responsibilities

include maximising the profitability of collections,

minimising exposure to risk and developing all systems.

This is a fantastic opportunity where you can take the

role in the direction you desire, achieve results and be

rewarded accordingly. Ref: 3594208

Contact Akshay Caussy on 020 3465 0020

or email



London, up to £32,000

A rare opportunity has arisen in a major worldwide

business within its Nordics team to join as a credit

controller. With a strong emphasis on dealing with

Scandinavian clients you will have experience in speaking

either Swedish or Finnish. You will develop your client base

by building long lasting relationships and also be a point of

contact for all queries. This is a fantastic opportunity where

you can achieve results and be rewarded accordingly.

Ref: 3643944

Contact Akshay Caussy on 020 3465 0020

or email



Harlow, £35,000-£38,000

This established growing company handles one million

orders per year and is looking for a credit manager to

take ownership of the credit function with a key focus

on accounts receivable challenges such as chargebacks,

credit card fraud and Amazon. This is a hands-on role

which includes managing one member of staff and credit

chasing from key B2B clients and process improvements.

To be successful, you will have credit management

experience from an e-commerce business and hold

the CICM qualification.

Ref: 3633691

Contact Andrew Martin on 01279 755 344

or email




Bishop’s Stortford, £26,000-30,000

This SME business manufactures, distributes and retails

its own products and has a turnover of circa £15 million.

You will report directly to the Finance Director and your

key focus will be collections from business clients as

well as managing chargebacks, credit card fraud, eBay

and Amazon. You will have experience working within

a SME business within an industry such as e-commerce,

manufacturing, distribution or online retail. Ref: 3652179

Contact Andrew Martin on 01279 755 344

or email

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 62



Solihull, £25,000-£30,000 + study support CICM

A UK market leader in the hospitality and beverage sector

is looking for an experienced credit professional to join its

team in a newly created role. As senior credit controller, you

will support the Credit Management Team with escalations

and reports for key clients and develop and train new

staff members. This is a fantastic opportunity where you

can progress your career, with potential of becoming

a credit manager.

Ref: 3643951

Contact Peter Kidd on 0121 212 1814

or email



Witney, up to £28,000 + bonus

A long-standing company within the retail industry is

looking for a credit controller to join its office. Working

for a company that has over 4,000 retail locations, you

will work alongside the finance team supporting all day

to day credit control duties and manage a team of six

credit controllers. You will have responsibility for thirteen

European ledgers as well as chasing debt via email and

telephone, cash allocation, monitoring and controlling

aged debts, dealing with queries in a professional

manner, raising credit notes and dealing with the month

end close. To be successful, you will be able to speak

Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish or German and have

previous credit control experience. Ref: 3644734

Contact Benjamin Timmins on 01865 727071

or email



Nottinghamshire, up to £29,000

A global, established manufacturing company is looking for

a credit control team leader to join its growing business. You

will be responsible for overseeing a team of five, setting up

new accounts, ensuring the team hit set KPIs and conducting

one-to-one’s and reviews. You will also need to be adept at

handling complex accounts and bringing them to resolution.

This is a great opportunity if you have experience managing

a team of credit controllers and are an expert at coaching

and motivating to hit targets. Ref: 3615161

Contact Alice Martin on 0115 947 7500

or email



Milton Keynes, up to £25,000 + 10% bonus

An exclusive client within the energy sector is looking for

an ambitious credit controller. You will be responsible for

chasing and collecting payments, credit checking new

and current customers and resolving customer enquiries.

This role will be working closely with the Credit Manager

with the idea of making this role a deputy manager in the

next few years. To be successful, you will be experienced

with high call volumes and complicate query resolution. In

return, you will receive 25 days holiday and a competitive

salary and bonus.

Ref: 3640574

Contact Emma Ruttle on 01908 870254

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 / / September 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 (

Baker Ing International Limited

Office 7, 35-37 Ludgate Hill, London. EC4M 7JN

Contact: Lisa Baker-Reynolds



Tel: 07717 020659

Baker Ing International is a dedicated team of Credit industry

experience that, combined, covers time served in most industries.

The team is wholly comprised of working Credit Manager’s across

the Globe with a minimum threshold of ten years working experience

within Credit Management. The team offers a comprehensive

service to clients - International Debt Recovery, Credit Control, Legal

Services & more

Our mission is to help companies improve the cost and efficiency

of their Credit Management processes in order to limit the risks

associated with extending credit and trading around the globe.

How can we help you - call Lisa Baker Reynolds on

+44(0)7717 020659 or email


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


Controlaccount Plc

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD

T: 01527 549 522



Controlaccount Plc provides an efficient, effective and ethical

commercial debt recovery service focused on improving business

cash flow whilst preserving customer relationships and established

reputations. Working with leading brand names in the UK and

internationally, we deliver a bespoke service to our clients. We offer

a no collect, no fee service without any contractual ties in. Where

applicable, we can utilise the Late Payment of Commercial Debts

Act (2013) to help you redress the cost of collection. Our clients

also benefit from our in-house international trace and legal counsel

departments and have complete transparency and up to the minute

information on any accounts placed with us for recovery through our

online debt management system, ClientWeb.


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

Blaser Mills Law

40 Oxford Road,

High Wycombe,

Buckinghamshire. HP11 2EE

T: 01494 478660

E: Jackie Ray


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

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...”

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.


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

The Recognised Standard / / September 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.

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.

Graydon UK

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

Middlesex, HA1 1BE

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400



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.



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.




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.



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.

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.

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.

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.

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


CICM Directory of Services







Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham

Berkshire RG41 5RB

E: W:

T +44 118 207 0450 M +44 7788 564722

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.

identeco – Business Support Toolkit

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,

Worcestershire B60 4FD

Telephone: 01527 549 531 Email:


identeco’s Business Support Toolkit is an online portal connecting

its subscribers to a range of business services that help them to

engage with new prospects, understand their customers and

mitigate risk. Annual subscription is £79.95 per year for unlimited

access. Providing company information and financial reports,

director and shareholder structures as well as a unique financial

health rating, balance sheets, ratio analysis, and any detrimental

data that might be associated with a company. Other services also

included in the subscription include a business names database,

acquisition targets, a data audit service as well as unlimited,

bespoke marketing and telesales listings for any sector.



Tel: 03700 86 3000 W:

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly and cost effectively as

possible. We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt recovery,


• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and keep costs down

• Litigation service

• Post-litigation services including enforcement

• Insolvency

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to relate to your goals,

and adept at advising you on the most effective way of achieving them.


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



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:


C2FO Ltd

105 Victoria Steet


T: 07799 692193



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.


Sam Townsend Head of Marketing

Northern Europe Esker Ltd.

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

W: 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.


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.

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.

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.


T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000



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 globe 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.

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 66


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.

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.



CICMQ accreditation is a proven model

that has consistently delivered dramatic

improvements in cashflow and efficiency

CICMQ is the hallmark of industry

leading organisations

The CICM Best Practice Network is where

CICMQ accredited organisations come

together to develop, share and celebrate

best practice in credit and collections



To find out more about flexible options

to gain CICMQ accreditation

E: T: 01780 722900

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 67

We provide companies around the

globe with faster cash allocation,

clearer information, and better

control over cash flow using AI

Intelligent Cash Allocation & Credit Management Software

We’re the only truly

Global Solution

We work with any currency, any

bank, any ERP, any country and in

any language. Teams in over 50

countries worldwide rely

on Rimilia.

Built by Finance


Built by finance professionals,

for finance professionals. We

know what matters to you, so

we can enable instant ROI

and success.


Artificial Intelligence

We’re on the cutting-edge of

finance AI development,

allowing faster, better

decision making.

Get in touch…

01527 872 123 •

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