Credit Management December 2019


The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals



DECEMBER 2019 £12.50






Shopped Out

What next for

UK retailers?

What the public sector

can learn from private

DCAs. Page 18

What do credit

professionals really

want for Christmas?

Pages 52




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Tim Vine






Kevin Reed



David Kerr looks back over the year in

the insolvency world.


Julian Winfield of Hoist discusses the

future of the debt purchase market.


Is the market over-saturated with tech?


Why you should get engaged with your

local branch.


What does 2020 have in store for the

retail market?


Canada is a land of opportunity for

exporters – so where can businesses



What are credit professionals wishing

for this Christmas?



Adam Bernstein


Chartered Institute of Credit Management

The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham


Telephone: 01780 722900





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 / 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 Milojkovic 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.

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.

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 / / December 2019 / PAGE 3


An alternative Manifesto

for the Christmas Party

Sean Feast FCICM

Managing Editor

IT’S Christmas and we have a

general election. Two of my least

favourite activities colliding in

a storm of perfect misery. So to

cheer myself up, and to bring to

a close my (first) 10 years editing

this prestigious journal, I bring to you

my very alternative manifesto. Nothing

political; too risky. Just a short list of things

I’d change if ever the day came when I gave

up wanting to be normal, or taller, and

became Prime Minister instead. Here goes.

Umbrellas – should be banned from

pavements and public streets. Men and

women are to blame equally. Men for their

ridiculously over-sized golf umbrellas that

they use to bully people into oncoming

traffic, and women with their equally silly

pop-up numbers whose spokes break in the

wind and poke you in the eye.

Escalators – heavy fines would be

imposed to anyone who stops at the foot of

an escalator, or who stands on the left at

any stage.

Pay-as-you-go bicycles – started as a

good, eco idea but now litter our streets,

abandoned in a chaos of garish colours

that are somehow totally incongruous with

a city scape.

Apprenticeships – there would be

more of them. We need to admit that

degrees are not everything, have (sadly)

become increasingly devalued, and that in

many cases apprenticeships are more

appropriate and better serve our youth.

(A bit serious that one!)

Middle lanes – I would ban middle lanes

to immediately remove the annoying

middle-lane driver phenomenon.

Cyclists generally – no cyclist of any

age or gender should be allowed on the

road without having passed a cycling

proficiency test. Bikes are dangerous in

the wrong hands. Vehicle drivers are not to

blame for everything.

Cats – I would pass a law that everyone

should own one. I hated cats until I got one

as a half-way house between a goldfish and

a dog, to see if I could look after an animal

for more than three months without it

dying or running away. Now I would never

be without one.

Internal emails – and specifically the

‘reply all’ function – would be abolished.

I am not interested in a dozen ‘woo-hoo’

responses to ‘cakes in the kitchen’ when I

am 500-miles away in a client meeting or

on the road. Thank you.

Robbie Williams – will be banned under

a Christmas Party government. Along with

Paul McCartney, Lewis Hamilton, and

Ben Fogle. Fogle’s Labrador can stay on

probation. It’s not his fault.

Awesome – will be removed from the

OED along with other unnecessary words

and phrases that have crept (undeservedly)

into our language such as Reaching out,

Circling Back, and Looping in.

VAR – will be abolished. It is an

experiment that has failed. The offside

law has now become a nonsense and so

too handball. Neither has been helped by

video interpretation and destroy the spirit

of the game.

Love Island – will be state-funded. It

might not be any good for the contestants,

but it’s doing my mental wellbeing no end

of good and reminds you that however

bad your life has become, there are always

people worse off than you.

These would be my immediate priorities.

I would have to deal with other equally

serious issues including Vegan bores,

Prompt Payment Code detractors, and

the French (Je suis désolé Pierre, ce n’est

qu’une blague!) in my second term.

Joyeux Noel.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 4

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 5


A round-up of news stories from the

world of consumer and commercial credit.

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM and Alex Simmons

Major brands penalised for

failing to pay suppliers on time

TWENTY firms – including

AstraZeneca, IBM and Unilever

– have been suspended from the

Prompt Payment Code for failing

to pay suppliers on time.

Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline and Kier

businesses are also among those

that have failed to honour their Code

commitment to pay 95 percent of all

supplier invoices within 60 days. The

Code is administered by the CICM on

behalf of the Department for Business,

Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Signatories pledge to uphold its best

practice for payment standards to end

the culture of late payment.

All of the businesses, however, are

engaging with the CICM and have

already submitted action plans towards

achieving compliance, proving the

effectiveness of the PPC in positively

changing payment behaviours.

A further nine businesses – including

Interserve Construction, Centrica

and Kellogg Brown & Root – have

been reinstated to the Code having

demonstrated compliance for at least the

last two consecutive months. Of the 35

signatories suspended in April and July,

11 have now been reinstated.

Philip King FCICM, Chief Executive

of the CICM, says the PPC Compliance

Board will continue to challenge

signatories to the Code if the obligatory

Payment Practice Reporting data

suggests that their practices are not

compliant: “We are encouraged by those

who have already submitted action

plans to achieve future compliance,

and we are working closely with those

businesses to support a better payment


The 20 suspended companies are: Aberdeen Asset Management PLC; Anglo

American Services (UK) Ltd; AstraZeneca; Diageo Scotland Limited; Diageo Global

Supply IBC Limited; Diageo Northern Ireland Ltd; Diageo Great Britain Ltd; Eurovia

Infrastructure Limited; GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (UK) Trading Limited;

GlaxoSmithKline UK Limited; IBM United Kingdom Ltd; Kier Integrated Services

Limited; Kier Infrastucture and Overseas Limited; Kier Construction Limited; Kier

Highways Limited; McNicholas Construction Services Limited; Seddon Construction

Ltd; Smith & Nephew UK Limited; T.J. Smith and Nephew, Limited; and Unilever UK Ltd.

The reinstated companies are:

Alun Griffiths; BAE Systems

Applied Intelligence Limited;

Centrica; Costain Limited;

Kellogg Brown & Root Limited;

Interserve Construction;

Maintenance Management Ltd;

Severfield (Design & Build) Ltd;

and Stantec UK Ltd.

Rise in insolvencies not down to Brexit

COMPANY insolvencies rose in the

second quarter of 2019 to 4,321, 2.6

percent higher than the first quarter of

2019 and 11.4 percent higher than the

same quarter in 2018. Latest figures from

The Insolvency Service reveal the highest

level of insolvencies since the first

quarter of 2014.

This increase is said to be due to

higher numbers of creditors’ voluntary

liquidations and, while administrations

dropped slightly compared to the first

quarter of 2019, they remain a significant

feature within corporate insolvencies.

The number of CVAs is slightly lower

now than it was in the same period last

year. Many businesses are finding that

they cannot cope with the uncertainty

of what Brexit may bring and if suppliers

or customers are unwilling to commit

to long-term arrangements, many

businesses will struggle to stay solvent.

In addition, those companies which

have planned for Brexit and taken

steps which have necessarily required

additional, exceptional spending

(whether by way of stockpiling or

creating strategies to cope with what

a post-Brexit market might look like),

are now struggling to deal with that

increased expenditure over a significant

period of time as the deadline for

Brexit has continued to move. Sectors

such as retail have been experiencing

financial difficulties for some time now

due to the outdated model of many

high street retailers. While some high

profile retailers have explored CVAs

in an attempt to find a way out of the

problems caused by property liabilities,

many of the CVAs have failed, leading

to liquidations or administrations, and

many of the smaller retailers with similar

problems may be unable to consider

CVAs and, instead, are having to proceed

straight to administration or liquidation.

Duncan Swift, President of R3, says

these figures are further evidence that

the economic and political turbulence

of the last 12 months has taken its

toll on businesses: “The numbers of

administrations have increased by 20

percent since the last quarter and are

at their highest since the first quarter of



The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 6

Companies House goes digital

IN a project said to be the first of its kind

in government, Companies House has

launched a new, digital service which

gives users real-time information on its

data. The launch is part of an ongoing

transformation of Companies House

digital services.

The new streaming Application

Programme Interface (API) is designed to

help users get the best out of Companies

House data by giving them access to

the very latest information as quickly

and easily as possible. It allows users

to tap into a specific ‘stream’ of data

from the register and immediately

know about any updates. The service



BANKS have come under fire from the

National Fraud Intelligence Bureau

(NFIB) and mobile phone network EE

for their reliance on SMS for two-factor

authentication. They say the security

measure is easily circumvented by Sim

swapping. Phillip Keating, Senior Crime

Reviewer at the NFIB, said he agreed with

the findings of a report from the FBI, which

highlighted text messages as a weak link

in the banks' security chain. Other means

of meeting EU requirements for a ‘second

factor’ of identification include phone calls,

card readers and codes sent by email.


‘pushes’ information to users as it

changes through a constantly running

connection. There are four different

types of information customers can

access currently: company information;

filing history; charges (mortgages); and

insolvency cases.

The service will benefit users who rely

on Companies House data, especially

those who request the data in bulk.

The streaming API will also offer an

alternative for users who currently trawl

the Companies House Service (CHS) for

new data.


FCA provides help for mortgages

The new rules allow lenders

to use a different and more

proportionate affordability

assessment for customers

who meet certain criteria.

THE Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

has removed barriers that prevent some

mortgage customers from finding a cheaper

mortgage deal.

The new rules allow lenders to use

a different and more proportionate

affordability assessment for customers

who meet certain criteria, such as being

up-to-date with payments under their

existing mortgage and not looking to move

house, or borrow more (except to finance

certain fees).

The FCA has also confirmed that

customers of inactive lenders and firms not

authorised for mortgage lending (who are

unregulated) will have to be contacted and

told that it has become simpler and easier

for them to switch to another lender.

The FCA has made some changes to its

proposals in light of feedback received to

its consultation, which include simplifying

the definition of a more affordable

mortgage and allowing eligible consumers

to finance intermediary fees, as well as

product or arrangement fees, through the

new mortgage. The FCA wants customers

to benefit from these changes as soon as

possible so the new rules are coming into

force immediately.



European team

PHILLIPS & Cohen Associates has

filled several key European executive

roles as it continues to expand

internationally. Ana Suarez Minguez,

has been appointed as Site Director

for the business’ Madrid office

and will lead the growth of PCA’s

Spanish and Portuguese servicing

capability. Ana is a qualified lawyer

with over 20 years experience in the

legal and debt collection market.

Pettra Duarte is joining as Team

Coordinator for Portugal. Pettra has 19

years’ experience in the Portuguese

banking industry across a range of

disciplines and will be responsible

for service delivery and managing

the team. Sebastian Petig has been

appointed as Managing Director for the

recently announced German office in


Risk Index

ACCOUNTSCORE and Equifax have

released a new credit risk index for the

consumer lending sector which is said

to allow financial institutions to more

effectively understand consumers

applying for credit products. The

index is based upon the transactional

information found within a consumer’s

bank account and takes advantages

of the opportunities provided by Open

Banking to develop new products in

order to better understand consumers.

The index can be taken as a standalone

product or combined with traditional

credit risk metrics to provide a fullyrounded

understanding of a customer’s

affordability and creditworthiness.

Uber cards

RIDE-hailing app Uber has set up

a new division called Uber Money,

which will include a digital wallet

and support for the firm’s debit and

credit cards. The debit card has been

trialled with Uber drivers and will now

be rolled out to all four million drivers

worldwide. Uber is also relaunching its

credit card offering for consumers, in

partnership with Barclays.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 7



New CEO for Atradius

DAVID Capdevila has been appointed

as the new Chief Executive Officer of

Atradius. Capdevila succeeds Isidoro

Unda, who announced his departure

after 12 years as the credit insurer's

CEO from 1 January 2020. Unda was

appointed CEO of Atradius N.V. in April

2007 when the companies Crédito y

Caución, and Atradius N.V. announced

their merger. Previously, Unda had

served as CEO at Crédito y Caución

since 2001.

Funding secure enters administration

PEER-to-peer lender Funding Secure has

entered administration leaving 3,500

customers facing an uncertain future.

The lender facilitated crowdfunded

loans for the purchase and development

of property, as well as pawn-broking

style loans secured on items of value.

It is understood that the Funding

Secure loan book stands at around £80

million with the accumulated loan book

representing approximately 486 investor

loans from circa 3,500 investors. This is

the latest high-profile administration

this year, following the demise of Lendy

in the summer.

Jonathan Avery-Gee, Edward Avery-

Gee and Daniel Richardson of CG & Co

have been appointed as administrators.

In a statement on the Funding Secure

website CG & Co said: ‘The company’s

difficulties have been documented

online and investors are aware that

certain loans have not performed in

line with expectations in addition to

the issues caused by the fraud related

litigation in which the company has

become embroiled.’

Andrew Hosford, Director of Voltaire

Finance, warned that this could be the

tip of the iceberg: “The peer-to-peer

sector is looking to be on increasingly

rocky ground. Unfortunately, one can’t

but help to feel that this was inevitable

and, more worryingly, that there will be

more failures to follow.”

Funding Secure had been offering

returns of up to 16 percent per annum

according to its website. And according

to Companies House the firm saw an

exodus of directors with three resigning

in October.

“The peer-to-peer sector is looking to be on increasingly

rocky ground. Unfortunately, one can’t but help to feel

that this was inevitable and, more worryingly, that there

will be more failures to follow.”

Rum deal

AN alcoholic drinks brand with a

focus on premium spiced rums has

announced a partnership with Majestic

Wines, a nationwide retailer of alcoholic

beverages, after securing a five-figure

investment from GC Business Finance.

The partnership with Majestic Wines

means its products will be sold online

and throughout all 200 of its stores.

Manchester-based Rockstar Spirits,

founded by Tom Hurst, offers a range

of flavoured rums, including Pineapple

Grenade, Grapefruit Grenade, Two

Swallows and Two Swallows Cherry.

Taking it personally

LLOYDS is expected to announce a

fresh hit of up to £1.8 billion from

the PPI scandal, bringing its total

PPI provision to almost £22 billion.

In October Royal Bank of Scotland

set aside £900 million for PPI while

Barclays set aside £1.4 billion.



Recent briefings include the new CICM

Credit Academy Guide detailing the

full range of qualifications, the Hays

‘What Workers Want’ report, and how

to become a member of the CICM

Technical Committee.

Quickquid on the skids

THE UK's biggest remaining

payday loan provider is to close

with thousands of complaints

about its lending still unresolved.

QuickQuid's owner, US-based Enova,

says it will leave the UK market ‘due to

regulatory uncertainty’.

Compensation claims have been made

from customers who said they were

given loans they could not afford to

repay. It is the latest firm offering shortterm,

high-interest loans to close after

regulations were tightened.

QuickQuid has been the biggest

payday lender in the UK for the past few

years. It was bigger than Wonga even

before the latter folded in August last

year. The Money Shop closed earlier

this year. QuickQuid is one of the brand

names of CashEuroNet UK, which also

runs On Stride – a provider of longerterm,

larger loans and previously known

as Pounds to Pocket.

New rules brought in five years

ago limited the interest rates and

fees payday lenders can charge and

introduced enhanced affordability

checks. Since then there has been a

wave of complaints from customers who

say they were mis-sold loans they could

not afford. QuickQuid has been facing

as many as 10,000 or more outstanding

complaints from borrowers. It has

been suggested that such legacy loan

complaints, many of which came via

claims management companies, were

the key reason for the demise of

Wonga last year.

As well as historic complaints,

QuickQuid was also the subject of

compensation claims for more recent

loans. The UK's Financial Ombudsman

Service said that it had received 3,165

cases against CashEuroNet in the

first half of the year. It was the second

most-complained about company in the

banking and credit sector during that six


The ombudsman upheld 59 percent of

cases against the company during the

same period, but a backlog of cases is

thought to have built up.

Elsewhere, Payday lender

has been hit by a raft of complaints and

compensation payouts. The business,

which says it has more than a fifth of

the payday market after 104,000 new

customers last year, has received more

customer complaints initiated by

claims management companies over

the affordability assessment of certain

loans. In its accounts for the year to

December 2018, the company saw a slide

in profits from £5.7 million to £78,244.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 8

Government framework

won't alter late payment

THE National Federation of

Builders (NFB) has raised

concerns over the Government’s

£30 billion construction

framework, claiming it does not include

measures to sanction contractors who

do not pay within 30 days. The Crown

Commercial Service framework refers

to ‘fair payment objectives’ and the

inclusion of project bank accounts in

documents outlining its structure.

At a recent webinar on the framework,

the Crown Commercial Service told the

NFB that it will not impose sanctions if

Laundering lawyers?

AS worries grow over a lack of reporting

of suspicious activity by lawyers and

accountants, the Solicitors Regulation

Authority has found that 21 percent of

UK law firms fail to maintain adequate

systems to prevent money laundering.

The watchdog also revealed that it had

opened 172 investigations linked to antimoney

laundering compliance this year.

DWF has launched DWF Regulatory

Consulting and appointed Andrew

Jacobs as partner and head of the

connected services business and Darren

Fisher as lead director.

With more than 19 years' experience

and in-depth knowledge of the UK and

European regulatory market, Andrew

joins DWF from being a partner at BDO

and formerly Moore Stephens, where he

built the regulatory advice function.

Darren joins the business from Grant

Thornton and has more than 26 years'

prompt payment terms are not adhered

to. The framework will be the largest ever

launched in the UK and has been created

to reduce the number of frameworks

operated by different public bodies.

The Crown Commercial Service said

project bank accounts will be used to

support the Government’s fair payment

guidelines under the Government

construction strategy. It also instructs all

those on the framework to sign up to the

Prompt Payment Code within seven days

of being awarded a framework contract.

Consumer finance grows

CONSUMER lending grew by eight

percent in September to £9.86 billion,

marking the strongest rate of growth

since October 2018. The data from the

Finance & Leasing Association (FLA),

shows credit card and personal loan

new business grew by eight percent

year-on-year, while retail store and

online credit new business increased

by five percent.

DWF launches connected offering

regulatory experience across retail

banking, insurance and consumer

lending, having also developed the

regulatory consulting business at

Huntswood. The team will provide advice

to help clients meet their regulatory

and compliance needs. As a part of the

regulatory offering, the team will provide

a full range of services across a number

of sub-sectors, from complex projects

and regulatory change management to

ad-hoc support and ongoing services.

> Customers want banks to monitor their financial wellbeing

A new report suggests banks and building societies should be able to monitor customers' personal

data to help protect those with mental health issues from falling into debt. The poll, by the Money

and Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) think-tank, shows that 50 percent of respondents

would like their bank to be able to track their financial data for red flags, with 68 percent of these

saying it would be useful for their bank to spot financial problems as they develop. Just 12 percent

of the 2,000 people polled would be against having their finances tracked, with many voicing

privacy concerns. Overall, 52 percent of respondents said privacy may be an issue – although

many said risks would be outweighed by the benefits.





THE CICM Technical Committee

met recently and discussed

the following topics: the HM

Treasury announcement that

statutory regulations on the

breathing space scheme are

expected to take effect in early

2021; the FCA’s announcement

on phased implementation of

Strong Customer Authentication;

CICM co-signed a letter to the

Chancellor of the Exchequer on

the re-introduction of Crown


It also discussed: the

Government’s publication of a

policy note, taking into account

a suppliers approach to payment

in the procurement of major

contracts; CICM responses to

recent consultations including

BEIS’ ‘Corporate transparency &

register reform’; the FCA’s ‘High

Cost Credit Review Overdrafts’;

and the Insolvency Service

‘Regulation of insolvency

practitioners & review of current

regulatory landscape’.

If you are willing to support

the CICM by sharing your

technical knowledge, insight

and expertise as a member of

the committee, please contact with

details of your particular areas

of specialism.

Take your seats

TEN free places for CICM members are

available for the 4th European Credit

Congress in Poland next year on a first

come/first served basis. The FECMAorganised

congress – hosted by the

Polish Institute of Credit Management

– is taking place between 14-15 May.

Anyone interested in attending should


Amir Ali leaves HCE

AMIR Ali has left High Court

Enforcement Group after almost 10

years as Director of Client Services

and Business Development. Amir has

chosen to step down so that he can

dedicate himself to the Civil

Court Users Association

(CCUA) and focus on his

remaining tenure as Chair.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 9



Game set and match

FORMER tennis star Boris Becker

has received 12 years’ extended

bankruptcy restrictions following the

Official Receiver’s enquiries into assets

and transactions valued in excess

of £4.5 million. Becker was made

bankrupt in June 2017 in the High

Court following a creditor’s petition

presented against him in April of

the same year. The bankruptcy order

imposes a statutory duty to provide a

full disclosure of assets to the trustee

and the requirement to inform lenders

of a bankruptcy when seeking to

borrow more than £500. Bankruptcy

restrictions are usually lifted after

a year but, owing to the nature of

Boris Becker’s actions, the Official

Receiver pursued extended restrictions

to prevent the former Wimbledon

champion from causing further harm to

his creditors.


Services stagnating

THE UK services sector came in flat

for October as the continuing Brexit

uncertainty slowed demand. A weak

start to the third quarter left the IHS

Markit and the Chartered Institute of

Procurement and Supply's services

purchasing managers’ index (PMI) at

50, up from 49.5 in September on an

index where a figure above 50 indicates


FOS complaints up

DATA from the Financial Ombudsman

Service show that more than 12,000

fraud and scam complaints were made

in 2018/19, a 43 percent rise on the total

reported in 2017/18. The figures show

that only three-quarters of cases are

resolved within a year.

Signing off

ALEX Simmons, erstwhile Deputy

Editor of Credit Management since its

relaunch in 2009, has thrown in his

editorial biro for pastures new citing

‘mission accomplished’. Alex will

be familiar to a good many readers,

contributors and PR professionals

within the credit industry for

his accommodating humour and

knowledge in helping to squeeze the

last ounce of value from

the editorial content. The

CICM team wish him all

the very best in his future


CICM Centres of Excellence

THE CICM has awarded Centre of

Excellence status, its highest accolade

for best practice in credit management,

to four companies: HSCNI, Adecco UK

& Ireland, Aggregate Industries and

Veolia ES UK. In the case of Aggregate

Industries and Veolia, their status has

been awarded for a third time.

Elisabeth Doppelhofer, Head of

Credit, The Adecco Group UK & Ireland,

says to obtain the Centre of Excellence

status has been a firm ambition: “A huge

focus for our management team is to

ensure team members are trained and

developed, and for this to be recognised

externally, alongside our CICMQ

reaccreditation, is fantastic. This award

is the result of dedication and hard work

from every single team member.”

The Head of Education and

Professional Development, Head of

CICMQ Accreditation, and CICM Chief

Executive review applications for CoE

status before submitting them to the

CICM’s Executive Board for final review.

Decisions are announced after Executive

Board meetings in March and September.

Successful applicants achieve Centre of

Excellence for two years.

Phil Rice FCICM, Head of Credit

at Aggregate Industries, says the

recognition highlights his credit

team's achievements and their

continued engagement with the wider

industry: “We are proud to be one of only

five companies in the UK to achieve this

accolade and are dedicated to further

growth within our credit management

team, in which every employee is a

member of the Institute.”

Sarah Bolas MCICM, Credit Services

Manager, Veolia ES UK, believes being

a Centre of Excellence is the ultimate

accolade: “This is a clear demonstration

of our organisation’s commitment to

professional training and development.

Each team members dedication to

learning has collectively strengthened

the overall credit team and enhanced our

service offering to our customers. With

some new team members joining the

credit team in 2019 we look forward to

observing their growth in the

coming months.”

American Express Headline Sponsor

of 2020 CICM British Credit Awards

AMERICAN Express, a globally

recognised provider of business

payment solutions, will be the

Headline Sponsor of the 2020 CICM

British Credit Awards, the most

prestigious Awards in the credit and

collections calendar.

Philip King FCICM, Chief Executive

of the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management, said he was delighted

to have American Express on board

for the fourth consecutive year: “The

New Director for CSA

THE Credit Services Association (CSA)

has appointed Peter Hayle to the newlycreated

role of Director of Finance and


Peter, who has a career spanning

more than 30 years, will have a broad

role supporting the CSA executive

team, enabling the CEO and the Board

to deliver on Strategy and Policy

while Peter focuses on the operational

and financial performance of the

Association. He will also support the

wider HQ teams – including Learning

& Development (L&D), Regulatory

Compliance, and Marketing & Events

– as they expand their services to

meet members’ needs. A Fellow of the

Institute of Chartered Accountants in

England and Wales (FCA), Peter worked

in Fund Management for 10 years, and

is well-versed in managing businesses

operating in a tightly regulated

event has grown each year and having

such a well-known, leading brand in

the financial services sector associated

with the Awards is testimony to the

high profile the CICM British Credit

Awards continues to enjoy.” Natalie Ross,

Director Business Development, Working

Capital at American Express said: “We

are proud to be an innovator in the

business payments space and similarly

proud to be sponsoring the CICM British

Credit Awards.

environment. John Ricketts, Chair of

the CSA, says this senior appointment

helps facilitate the Association’s ongoing

programme of change: “Our industry is

becoming increasingly complex, and

Peter’s appointment will allow the CSA

CEO and the Board to focus on critical

areas of lobbying, strategy and policy,

safe in the knowledge that the financial

wellbeing and operational performance

is in safe hands.’’ Peter trained as an

accountant with KPMG in Newcastle

after graduating with a BA (Hons) from

the University College London.

Peter Hayle

Director of Finance

and Operations

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 10



Good CICMQ news

for publisher

‘THERE have been significant changes

within the credit department, but

the team continues to work to high

standards and Best Practice despite

a level of uncertainty and changes

in personnel’; an excerpt from the

assessment report of the news publisher

by Sharon Adams, CICMQ Assessor.

‘As a team, their creativity knows no

bounds and there was a ‘buzz’ in the

department throughout the assessment

process’, Sharon continues.

Reach PLC is the largest national

and regional news publisher in the UK,

with titles such as the Daily Mirror,

Daily Express and Daily Star, as well

as regionals including the Manchester

Evening News and Liverpool Echo.

Its credit team consists of 26 people

split across four teams – inbound, trade

ledger, key accounts, and legal – all

based in Leicester.

Amil Majithia, Credit Manager

at Reach says changes within the

business led to some uncertainty: “The

company lost focus on some of the good

processes it had in place like process

improvement. The assessment pushed

us to find ways to improve what we do

and work together as a team to deliver a

positive outcome.”

“With a number of ongoing projects,

system migrations, management

changes and implementation of a new

sales ledger system, it was at times

difficult to focus on the accreditation.

We have learned to always keep the

team motivated and working positively,

which had a big impact on the success

of the department.”

Lloyds admits to failure in will power

LLOYDS has admitted that some

9,000 wills of deceased customers

were not returned after they had been

stored as part of a ‘safe custody’ service,

that was closed to new customers in

2011. Lloyds claims that, for most cases,

the estate was not affected because

the wills in storage were outdated

or another copy had been stored


The bank said in a statement: ‘Up until

2011, the bank offered a safe custody

service where customers could store

important items. In a small proportion of

cases, it’s become clear that we did not

trace a customer’s will when we were

NATWEST’S asset finance arm, Lombard,

has launched a new digital service that

allows businesses to receive an instant

agreement to fund assets such as cars,

vans, machinery and technology, up to a

maximum of £250,000.

The new function is available through

Lombard’s website and allows customers

to create a personalised quote across any

one of 40 asset classes, with an instant

decision provided at the end of a quick

and simple application process.

The lender will offer the new service for

notified of their passing.

‘We are investigating each case

individually and where appropriate

making contact with representative of

these estates. We are deeply sorry for

the distress and inconvenience this

has caused and will ensure that those

affected are fully compensated.’

The UK bank also found it was holding

more than 190,000 envelopes of other

valuable papers that it could not match

to customers, a small proportion of which

contained wills. The group’s rectification

department began working to address the

problems in July.

Lombard launches funding service

assets including cars, vans, commercial

vehicles, agricultural equipment and

construction machinery through to

more specialist requirements including

technology assets.

The feature is thought to be the first

of its kind in the asset finance market

where other providers give indicative

quotes, Lombard’s new service may be the

first to provide a personalised quote and

an instant credit decision across such an

extensive range of assets.

General duties

THE Institute of Export and

International Trade has appointed

Marco Forgione as its new Director

General. Currently the Director

General of the British Antique Dealers’

Association (BADA), he will take up his

post in January 2020. Prior to his role at

BADA, Marco served as a government

advisor, held senior positions in the

education and communications sector

and has led numerous trade missions

to overseas trading partners including

China, the UAE, Qatar and India.

Elsewhere, the Finance & Leasing

Association (FLA) has appointed

Stephen Haddrill as its Director

General. Haddrill has held previous

senior roles at the Financial Reporting

Council and Association of British

Insurers. Fiona Hoyle will continue as

interim Director General until Haddrill

takes up his new post.

Open banking impact

HALF of brokers (50 percent) believe

that Open Banking will have a positive

effect on the specialist lending market,

according to research from Bluestone


Open Banking was initially launched

in January 2018 but its impact on

the specialist lending market has so

far been limited. The technology is

particularly beneficial when it comes

to catering for borrowers with more

complex income or expenditure


New Onguard CEO

MARIEKE Saeij has been appointed

CEO of Onguard. Saeij has been the

CTO at Onguard for three years and is

the successor to Bert van der Zwan,

who held the positions of Chairman of

the Board and CEO for more than four

years. Van der Zwan will continue to be

involved in several other boards within

the portfolio of Main Capital, Onguard’s


In her role as CTO, Saeij has been

leading the transition from a supplier

of credit management software to an

intelligent software platform for orderto-cash

solutions. She will be focusing

on further international growth

and expanding the platform by

integrating new best-of-breed

solutions and intelligent

technologies, including AI,

to help companies in their

digital transformation.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 11


That was the year that was

Philip King FCICM reflects on yet another busy and

exciting year for the CICM.

Philip King FCICM

WHAT happened to

2019? It really doesn’t

seem like 12 months

ago that I sat down

to reflect on last year,

only to find myself

doing it all again so quickly! But then they

say that when you’re busy, time passes in

a flash, and we have certainly had a full

agenda in this, our 80th Year.

The three key purposes of the Chartered

Institute of Credit Management are to

raise awareness of the importance of

credit management, drive best practice,

and support credit professionals as their

careers develop. We have achieved all of

these objectives this year through a range

of initiatives and activities.

The launch of our new ‘Credit Experts’

film at the Curzon in London, for example,

proved an excellent opportunity to raise

the profile of our profession and network

with fellow members and colleagues.

A collaborative initiative with ITN

Productions, it built on our initial film

Credit Champions – and has been similarly

well received. The event also provided

an opportunity to celebrate our 80th

anniversary and our collaboration with

ITN Productions is set to continue.

Whereas last year was a year of ‘firsts’

with the launch of our Knowledge Hub

and the Mentor Hub, 2019 was more about

accelerating these initiatives to support

our members. We continue to add to

our knowledge resources and similarly

continue to look to widen our Mentor

network, so if you are looking to give

something back, the latter is certainly a

programme you should consider.

One could not have failed to notice

the excitement generated over the last

12 months in the Prompt Payment Code,

and the decision to regularly name those

who have been suspended for failing to

honour their commitments. What I have

found particularly pleasing in my many

conversations with senior management in

the businesses affected, is their genuine

willingness to want to find a solution, and

the innovative approach that some have

taken in supporting their supply chain.

The Code is now achieving what it was

always meant to achieve – creating positive

behaviours around late payment.

(Of course I was disappointed to learn

of the departure of Paul Uppal, the Small

Business Commissioner SBC, in October,

just at the point that we were discussing

how best to transition responsibility for the

Code from the CICM to the SBC. I would

imagine these plans may be somewhat

delayed, but I very much look forward to

working with the new Commissioner when

he/she is appointed.)

The CICM British Credit Awards were a

triumph once again and I look forward to

our 2020 Awards winners on 5 February.

The Awards continue to grow in popularity,

as does our CICMQ accreditation scheme

that delivers real evidence of best-practice

credit management in action.

We were also busy with our Think Tanks

and in our press and media campaigns,

ensuring our share of voice on the late

payment and wider credit management


Towards the end of the year, we

launched our Member Panel to provide

feedback, input and ideas and, as we go

to press, the process for next year’s CICM

Council elections is just getting underway.

I urge you to get involved if you can. It is

your CICM, after all, and your voice is

important in shaping our future

In the meantime, it leaves me only to

wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy

and prosperous New Year.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 12


Open all hours

Retail gloom is dominating the latest

insolvency news.


David Kerr FCICM


the latest in a long

line of retailers

hitting the skids.

There were more than

40 retailers entering

into administration in the six months to

September, according to KPMG, and the

latest quarterly figures released by the

Insolvency Service suggest administration

numbers are rising. A gloomy picture

then, coupled with ongoing rumbles by

landlords around alleged unfairness in

the Company Voluntary Arrangement

(CVA) process.

The harsh reality is that the High

Street continues to suffer, not least from

a shift to online retail sales that in the

UK is more marked than anywhere else

(other than China). Of course, landlords

do not relish reducing rents, but when

faced with the prospect of empty units,

a CVA can be an attractive solution to

help a retailer survive, even if landlords

take a hit. The recent challenge in the

Debenhams case illustrated that a rent

reduction to current market levels is

not unfair, and some would argue that

landlords should be engaging with

their tenants earlier to help secure their

viability. The flip side of that argument

is that landlords’ representatives, such

as the British Property Federation,

believe retailers and IPs should enter in

to meaningful dialogue with them before

pressing the CVA button, to address

landlords’ concerns.

Those who are critical of the retail CVA

point to repeated failures, where a CVA

one year leads to an administration the

next. Mothercare is not the first to go this

way, and some reports suggest as many

as 50 percent of the retailers entering a

CVA have subsequently ceased trading.

Challenges to CVAs are becoming more

common, but whether or not those

actions succeed in stemming the use of

that particular procedure, the difficult

trading conditions on the High Street

look set to continue, and if the demise

of the CVA leads to more administrations

or liquidations, then who wins? Not


The harsh reality is

that the High Street

continues to suffer, not

least from a shift to

online retail sales that in

the UK is more marked

than anywhere else

(other than China).


The Pre-pack administration has been

used in some retail cases, such as House

of Fraser, where currently stores are still

open for business this Christmas. The

Government’s review of the regulatory

arrangements around pre-packs is

ongoing (albeit perhaps dormant while

the election is running its course), but we

may expect to see some proposals early

in the New Year, given that the statutory

provisions in the Small Business,

Enterprise & Employment Act 2015

expire in 2020. Pre-packs to connected

parties is the focus of attention, and the

low take-up of referrals to the Pre-Pack

Pool is a concern, though my informal

soundings among creditors suggests that

little attention is paid to the opinions

commissioned by prospective purchasers

– which begs the question as to why they

should go to the trouble and expense of

obtaining one!

Next year should also bring further

developments in the Government’s

review of the regulation of IPs, following

the recently closed call for evidence; a

consultation by the Insolvency Service

is expected. While there are now

considerably fewer regulators, as I noted

in my October Credit Management article,

there will likely be calls for some change

– even if that falls short of imposing a

new single regulator.

A number of Government-led

changes are on hold. One such example

is legislation on the proposed new

breathing space for individuals in

financial difficulty. Given the rise in

IVAs highlighted in the latest statistics,

it would be a shame if this is shelved.

However, as both main parties supported

the broad proposition at the last election,

we might see some movement on this,

whatever the colour of the new governing

group in Westminster. The Government

was expected to lay regulations before

Parliament before the end of this year,

but political uncertainty seems to

have put paid to that; nevertheless, as

implementation is not due until early

2021, this could still be on course.


Unfortunately for unsecured creditors,

there is not much Christmas cheer in

the latest news from HM Treasury. CICM

and other bodies wrote collectively to

the Chancellor to raise concerns about

the intention to re-introduce preferential

status for HM Revenue & Customs from

next April. The plans affect all business

insolvencies commencing April onwards,

and will see the Revenue take the

first (sometimes large) bite out of the

insolvency cake in respect of any unpaid

VAT and PAYE/NIC. This takes us back to

the pre-Enterprise Act days, only this time

the preferential claims will be unlimited.

In a response from Treasury, they

reiterated their point that taxes ‘collected

and temporarily held by businesses

should be protected’, and that taxpayers

can reasonably expect that these will

‘go to fund public services as intended,

rather than being distributed to other

creditors in the event of insolvency’. So,

the Treasury is not for turning and we

should expect this to come in as planned,

regardless of the election we are all

looking forward to!

There’s a merry thought for Christmas!

Enjoy yours, notwithstanding the

insolvency gloom!

David Kerr FCICM is an insolvency

practitioner with extensive regulatory

experience and a member of the CICM

Technical Committee.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 13



Book your table today!

Wednesday 5th February 2020,

The Royal Lancaster, London

The entries are in... and the shortlist has

just been announced!

To see who made the shortlist for the

2020 awards, please visit:

Don’t miss this fantastic evening of

networking and celebration of all of the

incredible achievements across the credit

and collections community. With a fabulous

line up of entertainment, it’s the one event

in the credit calendar not to be missed!

For table booking enquiries please contact Natasha Witter via or on 020 7484 9876

Advancing the Credit Profession

In partnership



Bar sponsor:

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 14



Bogus trade reference email addresses – a second

string to the bow of the short-firm fraudster.

AUTHOR – James Campbell

AS I’ve previously mentioned

in articles in

Credit Management, the

primary weapon of choice

of the short-firm fraudster

is the submission of

bogus accounts to Companies House (CH)

which credit reference agencies (CRAs)

are unable to spot as being fraudulent and

too-good-to-be-true, resulting in recommendations

about extending credit.

A Member of the European Freight

Trades Association (EFTA) recently received

an Application for Credit from a company

set up to commit short-firm fraud (a totally

implausible set of accounts had been filed

at CH). Documents contained a new tactic

– two trade reference names and addresses

from respectable, real companies giving

two email addresses which at a glance

looked as if they were genuine but were in

fact bogus.

Whereas the genuine email addresses

of the two trade reference companies

were, for example, ‘sales@companyname.’ and ‘’,

the two bogus email addresses were

given as ‘’ and

‘’. This is not

something that is easy to spot.

Like filing bogus accounts, the setting

up of email addresses that appear similar

to their genuine counterparts is easy and

while reading this article think of your own

company email address and then perhaps

go to the internet to see if one is available

ending in something slightly different,

possibly along the lines of .org or .net. This

is what the fraudsters are doing.


In olden days trade references, which fell

out of fashion but now seem to be making

a bit of a comeback, were taken up either

by post, fax or telephone calls. In this

era of doing everything at high speed,

however, they are increasingly being

processed by email and it would appear

that the fraudsters have spotted this and

identified it as a weakness to be exploited.

If the method of taking up the trade

reference by email is used and enquiries

are sent to the bogus trade reference

email addresses, then glowing replies are

undoubtedly going to be received and this,

coupled together with the glowing CRA

report based on the bogus accounts, might

cause you to further lower your guard and

extend credit to the fraudsters resulting in

a financial loss.

At EFTA we recommend to our Members

that not only do they look very carefully

at every aspect of the company that is

applying for credit, but that they also have

a good look at the companies that have

been given as trade references (fraudsters

have in the past been known to set up

bogus companies for such purposes). This

includes double checking email addresses

now that genuine companies’ identities are

in effect being hijacked.

The fraudsters are constantly upping

their game, as demonstrated by the

introduction of the bogus email address

ploy, and companies extending credit have

to be vigilant at all times. Trade references

are a good thing – they are free and these

days more honest opinions tend to be given

– but make sure they are coming from

a genuine source and not the fraudsters


James Campbell is Secretary of The

European Freight Trades Association.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 15


We need to keep improving,

to collect more for our

clients, but to look after our

customers and put them at

the heart of what we do.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 16




Sean Feast FCICM shares a coffee

and a chat with the Chief Executive

of Hoist Finance’s operations in the

UK, Julian Winfield.



JW: It was in 2014. I had built

a career in financial services,

culminating in a spell at the

insurance broker Towergate as Chief

Financial Officer of its Paymentshield

business. Looking for a further challenge I

was introduced to Najib Nathoo who was then

heading up the Hoist Finance business in

the UK. The company had recently acquired

Robinson Way and Najib was looking for a

Chief Financial Officer to help him drive the

business forward. I took over the reins as

CEO in December 2016.



JW: Hoist Finance is one of the UK’s top three

debt purchasing operations, specialising in

the purchase of unsecured non-performing

loans from the banks. We are focused on

supporting our key banking clients, and are

also exploring how me might diversify into

other asset classes such as secured loans.

What is particularly important is that we stay

relevant and competitive in what is a mature




JW: Yes they appear to be. Prices do seem to

be softening, and margins are improving.

Liquidity is tight compared to a year or even

two years ago and that’s a good thing. Most

of the portfolios are still coming from the

same sellers and it is difficult for new buyers

to enter the market, but that’s typical in a

mature market.



JW: We need to keep improving, to collect

more for our clients, but to look after our

customers and put them at the heart of

what we do. We have to keep exploring new

ways of engaging with our customers, and

in particular making the most of the digital

channels. That’s not to say that we should

not be talking to our customers; it is more

about making sure they have the channels to

communicate with us (and us with them) that

make them feel most comfortable, including




JW: Yes I think so. I don’t think we have seen

the last of the M&A activity. Funding is not

particularly easy to access at the moment,

but I still expect more consolidation in the





JW: Yes. It has had a positive benefit in

ensuring that businesses have the right

controls in place to consistently treat

customers fairly and put them at the heart of

everything they do.




JW: Initiatives like the proposals to introduce

a 60-day breathing space for the most

vulnerable customers, is what most of us in

the industry have been doing for some time

anyway and it is part of the CSA Code of

Practice, so it will have little impact on our

existing approach.

Liquidity is tight

compared to a year or

even two years ago and

that’s a good thing.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 17




What can the public sector learn

from the private sector in terms of

best-practice debt collection?

AUTHOR – Peter Wallwork

THE UK government has

been building closer

working partnerships with

the debt collection and

debt advice sectors since

2016 when it established

a ‘Fairness Group’ to support a wider

mission of reducing debt-related mental

health and suicide.

The Fairness Group brings together

central and local government, debt advice

organisations (including StepChange,

Citizens Advice, and PayPlan) and the

debt collection industry, represented by

the voice of the UK debt collection and

debt purchase sectors, the Credit Services

Association (CSA). In May 2019, the

Group released a joint public statement

on how the Fairness Group will continue

to work together to continually improve

how government interacts with people

in debt, particularly those in vulnerable

circumstances and/or experiencing

financial hardship. This includes applying

the Cross-Government Debt Management

Strategy’s Fairness Principles which

are aligned to the Financial Conduct

Authority’s (FCA) ‘Treating Customers

Fairly’ guidelines, and which are in turn

in line with sector best practice.

Speaking at the CSA’s annual UK Credit

& Collections Conference in September,

Steve Coppard, Deputy Director of the

Cross-Government Debt Policy & Strategy

at the Cabinet Office, talked about the

challenges faced by government and local

authorities and said that when it came to

‘fairness’, the public sector could learn

from what he described as an ‘unlikely

hero’ – the private sector debt collection

industry: “If we can deliver on the

recommendations of the National Audit

Office (NAO) and the Treasury Select

Committee, we can bring public sector

collections in alignment with the private

sector best practice adopted by CSA

members,” he said.


But why do local authorities, the

Government and the wider public sector

have to pursue people for government

debts such as Council Tax? Steve says that

such collections are essential to fund the

delivery of public services: “However,” he

says, “when we look at the facts around

the small proportion of truly vulnerable

customers (both those that get into debt

because they’re vulnerable, and those

who become vulnerable because of debt),

there is also a strong financial case for

treating them fairly.

“The long term, collaborative,

affordable approach to repayment results

in fewer interventions than attempting

to recover more than the customer

can afford in each instalment.

Unaffordable repayment plans inevitably

don’t work and result in failure and

rework into the system. Government’s

debt management interventions work

perfectly well in the majority of cases,

but for a minority of people, those same

interventions can have a disproportionate


To put this into context, Steve states

that the Government’s debt balance is

circa three percent of income. Of that

three percent, just over half (57 percent)

is household debt and only a small

proportion of those households will be

vulnerable i.e. a fraction of one percent

of government’s income: “This one

percent if pursued in the same manner

as the rest of the population can have

a disproportionate impact – both on

those people’s lives and on wider society.

We need to fine tune the approach,” he


Few would disagree that the public

sector should be finding alternative

interventions that minimise the social

cost and maximise revenue flows: “By

investing time and money in pursuing

these people using standard strategies,

they end up costing government more

when we could better invest that effort

in treating them according to their

circumstances,” Steve continues. “This

will build financial resilience and get

people out of debt, rather than getting

debt out of people.”


So where do we go from here? Both the

NAO and the Treasury Select Committee

concur that government, as a whole,

lags behind private sector best practice,

particularly in the accelerated use of

bailiffs. This was echoed by the Money

Advice Trust’s Chief Executive, Joanna

Elson, who said in response to the

publication of the Fairness Group’s public

statement: “Public sector debt collection

practices should set the gold standard,

but it has been widely recognised that

there is a significant amount of work to

do to realise this ambition.”

A key piece of the puzzle is to ensure

the legislation that underpins collections

activity actually supports organisations

today. The reality is that some legislation

forces a counter-intuitive approach to

collections. For example, a 27-year-old law

dictates that those with Council Tax arrears

will quickly be subjected to a liability

order, adding a court summons (and a

further £130) to the debt. Once the liability

order is in place, the next intervention is

to take the debt directly from the person’s

wages (if they earn enough) or send in a

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 18


AUTHOR – Peter Wallwork

bailiff. The NAO found that such actions

make debts anything up to 30 percent

harder to collect. These regulations need

to be brought up-to-date. Three decades

ago, when these regulations were first

introduced, we didn’t have a household

debt problem in this country, but today

there are 8.3 million people with at least

two household debts.

As Steve says, and we would agree, this

is not about vilifying the enforcement

industry; there is a place for enforcement

action, but we should be identifying

those people who genuinely cannot pay

or are vulnerable. Enforcement action

should not be the default position. The

Ministry for Housing, Communities and

Local Government recognised this in a

recent announcement which committed

to improve how local authorities recover

unpaid Council Tax and end what they

deemed as aggressive enforcement tactics.

Likewise, however, this is not about being

‘soft’ or taken for a ride – those people

who can afford to pay but choose not to

should not be given leniency if they are

prioritising lifestyle over debt.

The Cabinet Office has a number

of case studies which flip KPIs around

council tax recovery rates on their head

and show that when debt advice is given it

can result in higher repayment rates and

fewer interventions. Local Government

Minister (and the current Chief Secretary

to the Treasury) Rishi Sunak recently said:

“The experiences of some innovative

councils show that Council Tax collection

rates can be improved without resorting

to the unfair treatment of vulnerable



At the same time, the private sector is

also funding free-at-the-point-of-access

debt advice through a variety of channels

including Fairshare, because it recognises

not only the ethical case, but also that

the investment maximises

the value in a

debt book that would

otherwise be written

off. (To put the level

of funding into context,

in 2019 the debt

collection industry

will contribute more

than £30 million of

Fairshare funding to

the debt advice sector

– more than half

of the total figure provided

by the whole of

the financial services

sector). The Cabinet

Office is working with the industry to see

how this best practice can translate across

to government.

Steve Coppard does not believe that

addressing government treatment of

people in debt is about wholesale reform;

he says it is more about fine tuning what

is already in place: “The FCA’s ‘Treating

Customers Fairly’ guidelines completely

revolutionised the consumer credit

markets so if you have a model that works

then why change it?” he says.

This doesn’t make implementing the

changes simple – there is plenty of work

to do to reach organisational maturity –

but by working closely with the advice

and private sectors, Steve believes the

public sector can replicate a one-sizefits-all

model by putting fairness first, for

both ethical and financial benefit.

A good starting point is to change the

narrative. The debt collection sector has

come such a long way in recent years.

Many Local Authorities now actively

seek and learn from the best practice

demonstrated by the private sector

debt collection agencies. The CSA has

developed specific courses and even

“The FCA’s

‘Treating Customers

Fairly’ guidelines


revolutionised the

consumer credit

markets so if you have

a model that works

then why change it?”

apprenticeships for Local Authorities’ own

in-house collections teams in areas such

as credit control and collections, which

include specific units on vulnerability.


We still need, however, to overcome the

stigma associated with debt. Some online

forums continue, unhelpfully and often to

the detriment of the consumer, to quote

industry practices from a decade ago, but

the reality of private sector debt collection

is streets ahead of its perception: “We need

to get the message out that we want to get

people out of debt, not get debt out of

people; that we prioritise debt resolution

over debt collection and that we recognise

the need to work with people and not

against them,” he


As the debt collection

industry has

shown, by seeking

the right outcomes

and treating people

according to their circumstances,


comes naturally

and the money flows

without the need to

impose unaffordable

repayment plans.

The case for fairness

stacks up time and

time again.

“The Fairness Group’s priorities are

to create a robust vulnerability strategy

for government collections, further

improve communication with the debt

advice sector, and define what good looks

like in terms of collections KPIs,” Steve

concludes. “We’re looking to the private

sector debt collection and examples of

best practice across government for how

to do it with the CSA’s Code of Practice and

FCA principles on Treating Customers

Fairly as common denominators, which is

as good a place to start as any.”

Peter Wallwork is CEO of the Credit

Services Association and a member of

the Board of the Money Advice Liaison

Group (MALG).

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 19


Attack of the app

Have we gone too far in providing business

apps or are we ready to embrace more?

AUTHOR – Kevin Reed

Kevin Reed

SMALL businesses face a

huge range of business app

providers – some offering

banking, some bookkeeping,

some lending and often a

combination of all the above.

So how have we got to this point, and why

is it a good thing for the credit profession?

Are we set for a generation of wellinformed

small businesses, emboldened

by access to both strong business-critical

data and finance?

It’s not beyond the realms of

possibility. Having a more sophisticated

understanding of their burgeoning

operation, allied with making better

financial decisions to help survive and

thrive, will no longer be the preserve of

large corporates.

What is for certain is that there are a

plethora of business banking, expenses

management/bookkeeping, and credit

provision ‘apps’ and services popping up

in the market. You only have to look at

the billboards or take public transport

to see the colourfully and obtuse names

jumping out at you: Pleo, Satago, Iwoca

are joined by the slightly less exotic Tide

(not washing up powder) and Starling.

From the broader perspective of

alternative finance, we know that the

market is booming. The Cambridge

Centre for Alternative Finance found

earlier this year that the UK market grew

by a third in 2017 to £6.2 billion, of which

68 percent was for business funding.

And half (49 percent) of UK SMEs would

seek financing from non-bank lenders,

according to Growth Street research.

We’ve seen in recent years the

emergence of P2P and invoice-based

lending platforms take off. MarketFinance

(previously MarketInvoice) is now a major

player, for example, with more than £2.5

billion in lending to its (new) name.

But other recent developments have

really created opportunity in what were

closed markets for lenders – the micro

and small businesses…with knock-on

effects for credit professionals.


Firstly, the development of cloud-based

accounting platforms such as Xero and

QuickBooks has pushed real-time, semiautomated,

bookkeeping down the

chain. These platforms are forcing the

accountancy profession to wake up and

evolve, with tech doing the heavy lifting

while the accountant can now leverage

better access to client data – hopefully

using this information to provide a

better and broader service. In tandem,

HM Revenue & Customs’ Making Tax

Digital project requires individuals and

companies to provide more information,

more often, to the tax department.

The accounting platforms’ success

has seen a plethora of apps develop in

their marketplaces. These offer products

and services to either the accountant,

the business, or both. Capitalise offers a

market finance comparison service that

can be accessed via QuickBooks or Sage.

Xero customers can access Iwoca’s shortterm

business loan service quicker if they

use the associated app.

And then we have the notinconsiderable

Open Banking initiative,

which gives both banks and accounting

tech companies the chance to work

together much more closely. If you’re

going to automate bookkeeping and use

that data to make borrowing or other

decisions, doesn’t it help to have direct

bank feeds?

You then have banking startups such

as Tide and Starling, which aren’t shy in

flagging up that working with them makes

bookkeeping ‘a breeze’ (a Tide tagline, by

the way).


Some go a step further in their marketing.

Coconut is very clear that its product is a

‘current account that takes care of your

accounting and tax’. Neither Coconut or

Tide are ‘banks’, instead working with

PrePay Solutions as their banking services

partner. This illustrates the myriad

options and directions service providers

are taking in accessing the small business


But as a small business, it is confusing

to work out the natural order of the backoffice

decisions you now face – and who

does exactly what. Is it bank->accountant-

>bookkeeping software->finance? A small

business owner could literally attempt

it in any order, using providers with

different models.

Whether it’s a bank-cum-expense app,

or something completely different, the

world of cloud, mobile and tech-driven

regulation means that there are myriad

opportunities for lenders to access a

previously untapped market.

For credit professionals it means that

your contact with smaller, and hopefully

growing, businesses may see them

already having had a round of finance –

with them using more sophisticated and

timely management/business data.

Perhaps bigger businesses will be

able to work with small outfits that

have a better handle on their finances

– critical in a world where the supply

chain is osmotically linked to their larger

counterparts from a regulatory and

reputational perspective

And if these smaller businesses are

more able to track their cashflow and

finances, perhaps they’ll be in a stronger

position to leverage the Prompt Payment

Code and better control their credit.

Kevin Reed is a freelance journalist and

former editor of both Accountancy Age

and Financial Director.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 20

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A members’ roundtable at Dun & Bradstreet

shared best practice ideas in managing risk in

a post-Brexit world.

AUTHOR – Chris Garner

MANAGING credit,

both within the UK

and across borders

in such an uncertain

period is ‘testing the

mettle’ of many credit

professionals. There are so many unknowns

that data and analytics can become key

tools to help navigate the chaos.

Sue Chapple FCICM, Director of

Strategic Relationships at CICM, chaired

the meeting and asked delegates what

impact the changing Brexit deadline and

political environment is having on their

business and outlook going forward. The

conclusion was that whatever happens,

and while there may be some short-term

turmoil, the medium- and long-term

outlook is hopeful. Many industry experts

and international businesses comment

that the UK is still viewed as a ‘safe pair of



While policy documents and position

statements around Brexit are helpful, the

group discussed whether it’s possible to

mitigate risk in every scenario. Several

businesses explained how they are

receiving information requests from

suppliers and customers who want to

know more about their Brexit planning to

give them confidence that there will be no

disruption to business relationships. These

businesses also want to know how their

partners will deal with extreme scenarios

like a doubling or halving of demand.

Another topic raised was the willingness

of overseas businesses to trade with the

UK once we exit the EU, and their level of

nervousness. Dun & Bradstreet and other

guests reported seeing an increased need

from their overseas customers for general

advice on aspects such as payment terms.

The changing nature of consumer

demand and how this affects business was

also a key topic of debate. Delegates shared

that they are seeing a noticeable change

in the demand for instant credit decisions

and rising expectations from their customer

base. This trend increases the need

for efficient due diligence within

accelerated timescales. Having accurate

and real-time data via Application Program

Interfaces (APIs) integrated directly into a

company’s own operating systems can be

crucial to effective delivery.


In discussing the increasing trend

in insolvencies evidenced in Dun &

Bradstreet’s Q3 UK Industry Report, the

conversation turned to the question of

payment within terms and the Prompt

Payment Code. The Chair noted the

increased focus on this area and the impact

that measuring payment behaviour via the

Code is having on those who have signed


The encouraging signs of action

following the sharing of the measurements

in partnership with the former Small

Business Commissioner (what gets

measured, gets done) is a positive long-term

indicator for economic progress. However,

Sue added that CICM receives feedback

from members that slow payments are

often due to bureaucratic processes

creating delays in paying suppliers. She also

added that this is, however, further delayed

by some suppliers who have equally bad

invoicing practices.

Business is about dealing with

uncertainty and mitigating the risks that

are necessary to achieve profitable growth.

We may think these times are uncertain,

but fundamentally the core markets

remain, and only cyclical variances and

technological progress serves to challenge

our established practices. Many will

remember getting through the Y2K bug,

GDPR and probably even several recessions.

It is too easy to become focussed on the

negatives and miss the positives and the

opportunities. If credit management was

easy then anybody could do it, therefore

it is an industry staffed by diligent,

focussed and of course CICM connected


Chris Garner, Integrated Marketing Manager

for Finance Solutions at Dun & Bradstreet.

Sue Chapple FCICM

Director of Strategic Relationships


The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 22

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The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 23



Credit Management spoke to a number of Branch Chairs

on the importance of taking part in the Branch network.

THE CICM branches are a

valuable resource for credit

professionals and a focus

for knowledge sharing and

networking opportunities.

Branches are supported by

panels of volunteers who work as advocates

for CICM as a leading professional

body, organise topical events and activities,

advise on current and future issues

affecting members, and provide channels

for communicating the views of members

to Advisory Council.

Angela Miller MCICM has been Chair

of Northern Ireland Branch for three

years. She feels it is important to be a

committee member so that your input can

help shape the world of credit: “People in

our industry still undervalue themselves,

even today when there is a greater focus

on the profession than ever before. Part

of being a member of a local branch and

being involved in the committee is to help

people realise the true value of what they


This year, the Northern Ireland Branch

held four successful events centred on

networking. The aim is to hold between

six to eight events in 2020. “Our events

have a general interest and we try and focus

on a particular sector each time. Our

last event focused on utilities and we were

able to invite some excellent speakers

from the energy companies.”


Angela feels that because the credit community

in Northern Ireland is quite small,

each member can provide valuable insight

and share useful experiences that will

help others in their careers. “The Annual

General Meeting (AGM) is a great place

to start. You can have your voice heard,

welcome new members, say goodbye to

those that are leaving. It is also where the

agenda and events are set for the year and

where new members can put their hand

up and become involved.”

Paula Uttley MCICM(Grad) is serving

her second term as Chair of Sheffield

and District Branch. She was around at

the time the branch was struggling in

the early 90s: “A group of us studied together

in Sheffield and all passed out

at the same time. We felt it was time to

breathe new life into the local branch

so that local credit professionals felt like

they belong to a professional community.”

One of its main events of the year

was held in conjunction with Yorkshire

Ridings – a Credit Circuit Training evening

at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park: “Mini

presentations and workshops were put

together,” explains

Paula, “and everyone

rotated round each of

the groups. It was a

fantastic event – one

of the best of the five

or so we have held

this year and one

that I think we will

try and repeat next

year. “There is a perception

that being

an active member of

a branch requires a

We want greater

engagement from

existing members and

new members to be

interested in joining

too. To achieve this, we

need to modernise and

create more innovative


significant amount

of time and effort,

but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the

case. If you attend the AGM, you won’t be

roped into hosting a big event – you can

pick and choose how much you want to

be involved.”

And Paula believes the old adage – ‘it

isn’t necessarily what you know, but who

you know’ couldn’t be more relevant

when it comes to branch networking:

“The diverse mix of experienced people

that young credit professionals can

meet through our events is tremendous.

Many new people that attend our events

are just starting out – the support and

qualifications that CICM can provide will

be hugely beneficial in their careers.”

Dr Eleimon Gonis MCICM has been

an active member of the Bristol and

West Branch since 2007 and is now in his

second term as Chair: “As a Senior Risk

Manager at Nationwide Building Society,

I believe I have a slightly different take on

the Branch and committee – I specialise

in statistical models for credit risk and

was first involved with CICM for research

and teaching.

“Being part of the branch keeps me

abreast of any changes on topical issues

that I might not normally be aware of. The

social events are often well attended and

the friends we have made through these

develop into stronger

professional bonds.”


He thinks credit management

is changing

at the same rate as the

world around us, and

it is up to the branches

and committees to

adapt too: “We feel it

is the duty of all members

to raise the profile

of the profession and

the branch is one avenue

to do that.

“We want greater engagement from

existing members and new members to be

interested in joining too. To achieve this,

I think we need to modernise and create

more innovative events, presentations

and discussions. For example, we held

a financial vulnerability event this year

which was one of the best attended –

addressing such topical issues could

be one of the next steps to even greater


Why not add attending the next local

Branch event as another New Year’s

Resolution? You never know who you

could meet and what you might learn…

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 24

Branch AGMs and why

you should attend them

Ever wondered what happens at a Branch AGM? Come

and support your local CICM branch, where you will meet the

committee and find out what’s happening within CICM.

The formal business of the

East of England AGM, which gives

our members the opportunity to hear

about the activities of the previous

year, network and share thoughts

and ideas, and as always hear a

presentation by an expert speaker.

Atul Vadher FCICM

East of England Branch Chair

As soon as I joined the CICM I

looked at getting involved with the

committee to help raise my profile

locally and even nationally. It’s been

a great tool for me to open doors

and assist my standing with the


Steve White MCICM

South Wales Branch Vice-Chair

Why attend?

• Get more out of your membership.

• Get involved with events in your local area.

• Meet new people, with an interest in Credit?

Did you know that the vast majority of CICM events are FREE?

Did you know anyone can attend an AGM?

Interesting fact -

Did you know that

serving on a committee

can help with your

CICM Fellowship


During January to March each year the branches will all hold their annual AGMs,

to discuss the branch activities in the year ahead. The CICM branches are a valuable

resource for credit professionals and a focus for knowledge sharing and networking


Want to get more involved?

Do you want to help to promote the CICM, upskill yourself and

increase your own profile within the profession?

For more information on serving on your local branch committee,

please email, or check out the CICM branch

network page to find out more and to register your interest.



Companies are choosing to be more diligent when

onboarding new international customers.

AUTHOR – David Walters

David Walters

ADVANCES in technology

have meant that it is

easier than ever before

to do more business in

different countries. This

can mean more profit

and productivity, but with increased

international trade, can come increased

pressures to carry out due diligence.

In many respects we are lucky to have

Companies House data in the UK and the

checks and balances which that enables

us to put in place. When a business starts

trading abroad, it needs to assess all the

possible risks, this includes understanding

who they are trading with and what the

potential financial risks and threats of that

could be to their business?

With the expansion of international

trade, it is inevitable that there will be

more challenges for businesses. These

challenges will also be there for us as a

business intelligence service, to ensure

we have the most joined up information to

provide our customers with. It’s essential

that in a changing socio-economic

environment the decisions that businesses

make are as informed as possible. When

looking at data in different countries, it is

crucial that we can build a global view to

understand risk, and that means joining

up directors and stakeholders and any

other touch points that a business may


It’s increasingly important for

businesses in our industry to use data to

create links across the world. Key things

to look out for are structures around

corporate hierarchy, stakeholder reports,

director linkages and a global index of

companies worldwide.

Beneficial ownership identification and

verification is now an essential component

of the client know your customer (KYC)

on-boarding process. It is at the heart

of the latest raft of international antimoney

laundering (AML) or counter

terror financing (CTF) sanctions and

regulations, as well as tax compliance laws

and standards such as Foreign Account

Tax Compliance (FATCA) and Common

Reporting Standard (CRS). Although the

impact on the financial services industry is

widely acknowledged, other organisations

with know your vendor (KYV) and know

your third party (KYTP) disclosure

obligations are also directly affected.


Ownership of a company for example,

might not be in one country – trade crossing

territories requires us to go further in

helping our customers understand the

financial risk. We could be looking at Costa

Rica, Luxemburg, Jersey and Guernsey for


Companies are choosing to be more

due-diligent when on-boarding and dealing

with other companies and organisations.

Using blockchain contracts can also

provide a coordination and enforcement

framework internationally for services

such as compliance, which is crucial along

with matching/cleaning and enriching

customer data. It’s important that they

not only analyse the risk of other company

structures but also the people driving

the business in terms of the directors.

By joining up directors globally we can

show a view of the director’s performance

while also flagging any potential risk, for

example if the director is disqualified

in one country for example, but not in


It’s also important to remember that

regulatory changes can bring restrictions

to data which although can be tough to

navigate for businesses like ours, they are

trying to protect the consumer themselves.

For example, if we look at the fifth antimoney

laundering directive, although not

as extensive as the fourth, it is more of

a series of amendments adding various

provisions that weren’t included originally,

with changes around enhanced powers for

direct access to information, and increased

transparency around beneficial ownership

information and trusts.

To get a full understanding of potential

risk, one must also take into account

the non-traditional data sets. These can

come from social media for example

– activity levels, number of followers,

brand awareness, details of people who

work there etc. A significant amount of

information can be gathered online. Cyber

security risks might also impact a business

if it is not secure. Non-traditional data sets

can be used to see if a business is growing,

if a business is using more devices and has

more credit checked contracts.

Every successful company in the world

is using financial data to its advantage. Data

is the most valuable commodity and our

tools let you utilise it. Companies survive

and beat the competition internationally

by collecting and using better information,

faster and more effectively. Looking to

the future we are working with a more

tailored approach for businesses owners,

considering what their desired risk

exposure is and customised scores that

everyone can afford; it can’t be a one size

fits all.

David Walters is Group Head of Data

at Creditsafe.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 26

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Credit Management asks experts Sharon Noland and

Rob O’Neill for their advice on how to simplify the

onboarding process.






SHARON: “The first

stage of onboarding is the KYC ‘Knowing

your Customer’ check. At the point of

onboarding the commercial teams will

set up a new customer in the onboarding

system and select the price and product

offering before the contract is sent for

credit checking. Most of our business

is done via third party intermediaries

(brokers) so sometimes some of the initial

customer information could be missing

or incorrect. Ensuring we have accurate

data can therefore be a challenge.

“When the customer has been

identified and the credit check is

requested, a lack of information can also

be a challenge, such as the unavailability

of financials or outdated financial

records. When we don’t have financials

we sometimes rely on other information

sources, such as the credit bureau score

and other qualitative factors. Alternatively,

we will put a mitigation structure in place

such as advance payments, collateral and/

or trade credit insurance.”

ROB: “The pitfalls we face initially are

usually around two areas – the lack of

upfront information provided by the

commercial teams and/or the customers;

and deciding on an appropriate credit

limit – particularly if information is sparse

upon receipt of the application. We have

taken steps to overcome these hurdles in

our improvement to turnaround times

which I cover later.”



SHARON: “We have structured our credit

policy so that customers with low value

exposures are onboarded automatically

by our CRM system. The criteria for

approval will be a combination of the

credit exposure, the credit score from

the bureau and in some cases approval

of trade credit insurance. Automatic

approvals will be almost instant.

“The credit bureau plays an important

part in automated onboardings and

because of this we place a large emphasis

on ensuring we are comfortable with the

credit bureau(s) we use. We run a tender

process when selecting a credit bureau

to work with which allows us to assess

the product, service, cost, functionality

and rating robustness in order to make a

decision on which bureau to work with.

“More complex customers and those

with higher credit exposure are reviewed

manually by one of our credit analysts.

The analysts will do a full qualitative and

quantitative review of the customer and

the wider group it is attached to. We have

agreed Service Level Agreements (SLA) in

place with our commercial colleagues,

ranging from two to seven working days,

depending on the market segment (SME,

mid-market or corporate) but in practice

we try to work to the deadline given by

the customer, especially when there is a

tender with a set bid date. The amount of

work required as part of the review and

writing of the credit paper will depend on

the creditworthiness of the customer and

the size of the credit exposure.”

ROB: “SLAs begin from receiving

information from the commercial team

to master file set up of the account,

usually 48 hours on standard customer

applications. A standard application is

defined as lower trading limits – typically

up to £50,000. Most of these are turned

around ahead of the SLA timescales. As

part of the onboarding process, area sales

managers conduct physical site checks to

confirm the existence of the customer.

“More complex applications can

take longer to process, depending on

the information received from the

commercial team and/or the customer

and whether or not we require some

form of security, for example guarantees.

Some new customers may require an

initial meeting with the risk team who

accompany the business relationship

contact to the visit. Our aims from the

visits are to understand the risk profile

of the customer and also understand

their growth plans and credibility of

these plans to give us confidence in the

business to support the credit facilities

being requested.”



SHARON: “When automating the credit

check it is important that you have the

required functionality. We have APIs to

both our credit bureau and our trade credit

insurer. System controls are important to

maintain and improve data quality. For

example, our system currently allows

duplicate customer records to be set

up, but we are in the process of

implementing a control to prevent this

from happening.”

ROB: “Given the close internal

relationships we have developed with our

commercial teams, they are now keen to

get us more information ‘up front’ to allow

our risk team to make a more informed

and quicker decision on terms and limit.

“Internal ‘toolbox talks’ – talks designed

to familiarise ‘non-credit’ people with

onboarding requirements – presented

at sales meetings have also helped to

improve the process.

“There is also essentially a pre-credit

vetting procedure to give credit facilities

we can offer before they have even entered

the finer details of the commercial

negotiations with the customer. Again,

as part of initial due diligence on these

prospective customers, the credit risk

team will conduct a joint introduction


“Once these new customers are

onboarded, we have an ongoing

process for continual risk assessment of

customers that includes regular provision

of management accounts information

and diarised risk visits.”

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 28




SHARON: “Technology helps to ensure

the quality and maintenance of customer

data, and also means our time is spent on

the value-add analysis/workflow. As well

as looking at the manual credit requests,

the team also deal with risk mitigation

for existing customers when there has

been a decline in creditworthiness and

they spend time on portfolio analytics,

looking at the credit exposure/quality of

our portfolio as a whole.

ROB: “A couple of our manufacturing

businesses now have e-commerce

application facilities, and for these

customers we have an automated

decisioning tool in conjunction with the

agencies that allows them to be accepted

immediately, accepted with conditions

(e.g. deposits) or rejected for further

investigation via the credit team. We

also have a workflow tool – that allows

the limits to be approved through an

electronic process.”



SHARON: “There is no doubt we are

heading into a more uncertain economic

environment with Brexit on the horizon.

In the last 12 months there have been

some large failures in sectors like retail,

construction and manufacturing. If there

is an economic slowdown then we are

likely to see an increase in delinquent

debt. For us, the key thing is to try to

be as proactive as possible to ensure we

monitor our highest risk customers, stay

abreast of industry developments and

spot trends.”

ROB: “Firstly, increased uncertainty in the

market, so credit risk reviews take on even

more importance. The appetite for more

automated and e-commerce solutions

is not going to slow down. Therefore, it

is vital that we stay current in terms of

how we can support the onboarding of

customers in as smart a way possible while

balancing the needs of risk management

and commercial support.”



SHARON: “We had to invest in building

our portfolio reporting capabilities which

also meant we had to move away from

Excel based time-consuming tasks to a

more robust solution. The objective was to

improve efficiency, consistency, accuracy

and value of the reporting.

“We now operate a Python-based

reporting tool that is integrated with our

systems. Running our monthly portfolio

data now takes half a day, compared to 10

days previously. We can now analyse our

risk in depth with improved and accurate


ROB: “Saint-Gobain is very keen to

develop more automated, digital solutions

and credit management needs to continue

to embrace this. The development of

more enhanced score predictor tools

in conjunction with the credit agencies

is an area of focus for this. Also, the

development of the e-commerce account

onboarding offering. This isn’t the

solution for all of our new customer base,

but I do believe there are opportunities to

expand this offering.

“Our focus continues to be pro-active

as opposed to reactive management of

risk by ensuring we are receiving regular

management information from our new

customers so we can spot adverse trends

and act on them quicker than simply

having to rely on published financial




SHARON: “It is not just the onboarding

and the initial credit check that is

important but the ongoing monitoring of

the credit quality of our customer base.

We review our largest customers annually

or sometimes more frequently. We also

ONE company to address some of

the issues around quick and effective

client onboarding is Royal Mail

Group. It has a dedicated Robotic

Process Automation (RPA) team in

Chesterfield that has developed a

robot called CRAIG which stands

for Credit Referencing Automated

Information Gathering. CRAIG was

developed two years ago and now

onboards about 300 customers a week.

The process begins with CRAIG

checking a shared folder every hour

from 9-00am until 5-00pm. If it detects

a new spreadsheet, it opens it and

checks the company registration on

Companies House and runs a report

on Experian. “It then scrapes the

data and populates the spreadsheet

with the details,” says Darren Leech,

Head of Group Credit Risk, Royal Mail


“Based on these details and the

Delphi score (an analytical tool

own and operate an active watch list of

our highest risk customers.

“We have spent a great deal of time

building up our portfolio reporting

capabilities. As trusted business partners

to our commercial team, we strive to

provide forward looking management

information that supports the business

strategy. Ultimately, we strive to support

the company’s growth strategies while

ensuring an acceptable level of risk.”

ROB: “Close business relationships with

key stakeholders – gone are the days of

the ‘them and us’ culture between credit

and sales, so working as a collaborative

partnership and where there is any dispute

between the teams, working together to

find a compromise solution that works for

the business and customers.

“Keeping credit policies current to

reflect the changing marketplace (i.e.

ecommerce ordering). Embracing new

tools and technology to spend less

time on administration and more time

on value added risk management are

all part of best practice. “Opening up

career opportunities in risk and credit

management through investing in skills

– we are particularly focused on the

Government apprenticeship schemes so

that credit management becomes the

career of choice.”

Sharon Noland is Credit Risk Manager at

Gazprom Energy and Rob O’Neill is Head

of Credit Management at Saint-Gobain.

designed to highlight the strength,

performance and ultimately the

creditworthiness of each company in a

single score ranging from 0 to 100 with

the lowest scoring companies carrying

the highest risk), CRAIG recommends

a credit limit. It then completes

the onboarding form and packages

everything up for the sales team.

“A process that used to take more

than 10 minutes is now completed in

two to three minutes. CRAIG is able to

complete the work of two people that

have been redeployed to tasks that add

more value.

“CRAIG is currently only able to

work on limited companies accounts

but we hope that it will soon be able

to automate the onboarding of sole

traders accounts too. The RPA team

are also working on robots that can

automate more areas of the business

such as account set up, operations and

even HR,” Darren concludes

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 29

To find out more contact us:

T: 020 7043 3300 E:

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 30


Jo Kettner, CEO of Company Watch

The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis and data

modelling tools to organisations around the world who rely on

our ability to accurately predict their exposure to financial risk.

The H-Score® predicted 92% of quoted company insolvencies

and the TextScore® accuracy rate was 93%.

Jo Kettner has been CEO at Company Watch since April 2017. In

this Q&A she discusses the launch of Company Watch’s latest

product, SearCHeD.

Q: What is the latest innovation you and the

team have been working on?

A: We have just launched SearCHeD -

Searchable Companies House

Documents. Many of our clients spend

hours poring over scanned document

images filed at Companies House to

identify useful information buried in the

annual report. To help speed up the

process we developed a tool to allow

them to search the documents digitally.

Q: How have you enabled users to search

reports that are essentially just scanned

images at Companies House?

A: We have digitised and indexed the annual

reports from 2016 onwards. This means

you can intelligently search the universe of

UK private and public companies – or just

your own portfolio for any word or phrase.

In addition, you can simply download the

report of a particular company and use


Q: Is it easy to use?

A: Absolutely! We’ve deliberately made

the interface really simple. You can search

for individual words and complex phrases

and it links to your portfolios from our main

Angelia platform. It is very easy to segment

results by industry, region and size and

you can choose a date range to limit your

results to a filing date or period end date.

Your results can then be exported to Excel

for further analysis.

Q: How are credit professionals using it?

A: It has a wide scope of use. We’ve had

some people looking to understand the size

of their market, or gain competitive insight

(for example searching for the term ‘credit

insurance’ or ‘factoring’). Another key

use case is by searching across a portfolio

to pinpoint companies where the current

financials look reasonable but who may see

trouble ahead, searching for ‘exceptional

costs’ and/or ‘cash flow forecasts’.

Q: Has SearCHeD produced any surprising


A: Our research on the inclusion of the

term ‘Brexit’ in annual reports since 2016

was used as the basis of an article in the

Financial Times on 9 September 2019. One

of our findings was that the insolvency rate

for companies citing Brexit in the prior year

was slightly higher, at 1.2 times, than the

insolvency rate for those not referring to

it. The full report is available to download

from our website.


The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 31



This year has seen an

unprecedented number of retail

failures on the High Street.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 32


AUTHOR – Tim Vine

WITH heightened political

uncertainty and Brexit

delayed until 2020, the

UK business environment

has become increasingly

volatile over the past

months and years. While the latest GDP data from

the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that

the UK has avoided two consecutive quarters of

contraction and an official recession, the economy

slowed and many industries and companies are

struggling. In fact, the economy contracted in

August and September, although the third quarter

was buoyed by a strong July.

What’s more, Dun & Bradstreet’s Q3 industry

report forecasts real GDP growth will expand by a

conservative one percent in 2019, and 1.3 percent

in 2020 (on the basis of a managed UK exit from

the European Union). These are the lowest growth

figures since the 2008 financial crisis.


When looking at the impact of the current

business environment, few industries have felt

this as acutely as the retail industry, which has

borne the brunt of a perfect storm and a myriad of

challenging conditions. While the retail industry

accounts for five percent of the UK economy,

employs three million people and contributes

£98.4 billion GVA (Gross Value Added) according

to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), economic

uncertainty, rising wages and higher fuel and

import costs are impacting businesses. Over 3,000

shops closed in 2018, impacting retail jobs as well

as the vibrancy of our local high streets.

This year we’ve seen several well-known

brands in the headlines with reports of financial

losses and in the worse cases some have gone

into administration, such as Mothercare. There

have also been reports of difficulties with longestablished

brands such as Marks & Spencer, John

Lewis, Miss Selfridge and Sainsbury’s. The Retail

Health Index figures for the third quarter of 2019

hit a record low of 75.

Although the latest data for Q3 shows the

number of overall corporate liquidations in the

UK remains fairly static, the story is different in

the retail sector. Dun & Bradstreet’s Q3 report

revealed that liquidations in the sector have

increased by four percent year-on-year, and 7.9

percent compared to the second quarter of 2019.


It’s not just Brexit and political uncertainty

impacting retail; the industry has been impacted

by changes in the way we shop as consumers. New

technologies and accelerated growth in online

Tim Vine

Dun & Bradstreet

This year we’ve

seen several


brands in the


with reports of

financial losses

and in the worse

cases some

have gone into


such as


retail sales continue to put pressure on traditional

retail models. Office for National Statistics (ONS)

data shows online retail sales rose by 10.6 percent

in Q2 2019. Online sales have accelerated over the

past decade from 4.2 percent growth in 2008 to

21.1 percent growth in 2016 (14.5 percent growth

recorded in 2018). How well a brand adapts to

changing buying behaviours will be vital to future


That said, there is still growth in the market

and online sales haven’t marked the death of the

High Street with several brands reporting rising

profits and growth, such as Aldi and Primark.

According to recent data from Barclaycard,

spending at shops is still growing, although yearon-year

figures for October (1.5 percent growth)

were down on September (1.6 percent).


Of course, companies doing business with the

retail sector will be concerned by the current

business environment, and many are reliant on

supply contracts with the larger retail chains,

several of which are struggling. The demise of a

business, in the retail sector or otherwise, can have

significant impact not just on employees and the

local economy, but also for suppliers. Businesses

can monitor the financial health of companies

they do business with to help them identify and

manage any potential risks. Analytics available

include predictive scores on the likelihood that a

business will still be trading in the next 12 months

and whether they pay their bills on time – both

of which can be used to flag any potential risk for



Retailers will be hoping that the Christmas season

will be a good one for sales. While the picture

appears bleak, it’s important to remember that

there is still huge potential for the retail industry

with £380 billion plus of spending estimated by

2024 – much of which will go towards innovation

to adapt and weather changing consumer habits.

To help support future growth, the BRC’s latest

manifesto called on the Government to change

business rates, provide greater flexibility to

support training and funding for digital skills,

and support to tackle online fraud and protect

retail workers from criminal activity and attacks.

We will continue to monitor the industry and

time will tell how companies weather the current

climate of uncertainty.

Tim Vine is European Head –

Finance Solutions, Dun & Bradstreet.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 33


There’s more to

Canada than ice

hockey and Mounties.

Part One: Canada

Great Expectations

ASK a passenger on the

Clapham omnibus what

Canada is known for and

it’s highly likely that the

response will include

maple syrup, the Mounties,

ice hockey, Niagara Falls and possibly,

astronaut Chris Hadfield.

They might also say that Canada is

big, and they’d not be wrong; Canada

is certainly very large. To put its size

into context, at 9.09m sq. km Canada is

around 37.6 times the size of the UK which

occupies just 241,590 sq. km. Its immense

size and small population of around 37.6

million makes the country very sparsely

populated, especially when compared to

the UK’s 66.4 million people.

With a strong cultural heritage that

involves not just indigenous peoples but

also the Norse, English and French, Canada

considers itself to be very multicultural…

and polite. Indeed, search the web on the

topic and the references returned will

keep a reader busy for hours.


Canada is a parliamentary democracy with

a strong line taken from the British form

of government with the Queen as Head of

State. Federal government is concerned

with national and international matters,

but 10 provincial governments and three

northern territories control local affairs.

Drilling down, municipal corporations

govern land use and local issues. On top

of that is the right of indigenous peoples

to be consulted on matters of relevance to


In terms of demographics, Canadian

population growth shows how statistics

can be used to prove almost anything; the

percentages seem large, but the actual

numbers are relatively small. Between

1951 and 1961, the population grew by

30 percent to 18.2 million, and over the

next ten years that figure rose by a further

20 percent to 21.9 million. But between

and 1971 and 1981, and 1981 to 1991,

growth slowed to 13 percent per decade

to give populations of 24.8 million and 28

million respectively. Since 1991 Canada’s

population has risen by just 25 percent to

the current estimate of 37.6 million.

According to the 2016 census, 38.2

percent of the population lives in Ontario,

23.2 percent in Quebec, 13.2 percent in

British Columbia, 11.5 percent in Alberta

and the other 14 percent or so are spread

between the other nine provinces and

territories. The largest city is Toronto with

2.7 million which is followed by Montreal

(1.7 million) and Calgary (1.2 million).

The population has a life expectancy

up from 73 years (1970-1975) to 81.8 years

(2010-2015). But where the statistics get

interesting is in the age bandings – in 2016,

the under 14s comprised just 16.6 percent

of the population, those aged 15-64 years

made up 66.5 percent of the nation,

while those 65 or older were similar in

number to the under 14s – 16.9 percent

of the population. Without going into the

minutiae, and ignoring those 70 or older,

the 15 age bandings are very evenly filled.

For those wanting to trade with

Canada, given the earlier note about the

multicultural makeup of the country,

it would be wise to have staff with more

than English as their mother tongue; it’s

thought that while English is officially

spoken by 58.7 percent of people, French is

spoken (officially too) by 22 percent of the

population, Punjabi by 1.4 percent, Italian

by 1.3 percent, Spanish by 1.3 percent,

German by 1.3 percent, Cantonese by 1.2

percent, Tagalog by 1.2 percent and Arabic

by 1.1 percent.


As for Canada’s economy, the CIA’s World

Factbook says that Canada is rather like

the US with its market-oriented economic

system, pattern of production, and high

living standards.

Since 1945 Canada has seen impressive

growth in manufacturing, mining, and

service sectors which has transformed

the nation from a largely rural economy

into one that’s primarily industrial and

urban. It’s now a large oil and natural

gas producer with most of the crude oil

production derived from oil sands in the

western provinces, especially Alberta.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 34

COUNTRY FOCUS reckons that Canada may now have

more petroleum reserves than the Middle East.

Not unsurprisingly, Canada trades extensively with

the US, especially so after the 1989 Canada-US Free Trade

Agreement and the 1994 North American Free Trade

Agreement. Some 75 percent of Canadian exports end

up in the US; US trade with Canada totalled an estimated

US$714.1 billion in 2018 – US goods and services trade

surplus with Canada was US$7 billion in 2018; the country

is not on Donald Trump’s tariff hit list – probably because

Canada is also the largest foreign supplier of energy to the

US, including oil, natural gas, and electric power, and is a

top source of US uranium imports.

Overall though, and according to the Observatory of

Economic Complexity, a visual complexity tool founded

at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the latest

data – for 2017 – indicates that Canada is the 12th largest

export economy in the world and the 24th most complex.

Industrial interests include transportation equipment,

chemicals, processed and unprocessed minerals, food

products, wood and paper products, fish products,

petroleum, and natural gas. Agriculturally, Canada

produces wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits,

vegetables, dairy products, fish, and forest products.

It’s of note that Canada, with its 125,567-mile coastline

(three and half times longer than Norway and nearly five

and half times that of Russia – surprisingly), makes CA$4

billion a year off seafood. It also produces 71 percent of

the global supply of maple syrup.

And those exporting to Canada should note that

Canadians seem tolerant of paying more for many

products such as books, tyres, fuel, and food, especially

when compared to the US. While some of the cost is

down to exchange rate planning, a 2012 investigation

by the HuffPost revealed that part of the problem is that

the population is thought, by manufacturers, to ‘believe

that things are always more expensive in Canada – even

though there's no logistical reason why this should be



Canada allows for four forms of business – sole

proprietorship, partnership, corporation and the


As would be expected, a sole proprietorship is the

simplest and allows for simple tax reporting but carries

unlimited personal liability. Banks are reluctant to lend

to sole proprietorships and there are no shares to sell to

equity investors.

Partnerships carry shared risk and management but

offer simple tax reporting. With a corporation comes

limited liability, ease of raising capital but expense

of administration. A corporate entity is invariably a

requirement for doing business with governments or

other businesses. And while cooperatives are owned and

controlled by their members, there is limited liability but

also slow decision-making and a risk of conflict between


Apart from sole traderships which use an owner’s legal

name only, all businesses in Canada must register their

business names in their respective provinces or territories.

In Newfoundland and Labrador sole proprietorships and

partnerships need not register their names.

Adam Bernstein is a freelance business writer.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 35


Encouraging signs

Latest payment performance statistics make

for more encouraging reading.

AUTHOR – Jason Braidwood FCICM(Grad)

FOLLOWING on from a mixed bag of

performances, the latest payment

statistics are more encouraging, with

a number of positive improvements

across the board. The average Days

Beyond Terms (DBT) figures across

sectors and regions reduced by 0.9 and 1.6 days



The sector standings are mostly positive, with 15

of the 22 sectors reducing their payment terms.

For the second successive month, the Business

from Home sector saw the biggest improvement,

reducing its DBT by a further 4.2 days.

Elsewhere, Transportation and Storage

has performed well reducing its DBT by 3.5

days. IT and Comms (-3.2 days), Financial and

Insurance (-2.6 days) and the Energy Supply

sector (-2.3 days) also made good reductions

to their payment terms. But once again it is the

Public Administration sector which continues to

perform best, with an overall DBT of 5.5 days.

It’s not been such a good month for

International Bodies, which saw the biggest

increase (+3.5 days) to its payment terms. The

Mining and Quarrying sector remains at the

bottom of the table, but there are, at least, signs

of improvement, with a reduction of 2.8 days.


The regional standings are almost a full house

of impressive improvements, with all but one

of the 11 regions reducing their DBT. In the

race to be crowned the most improved region,

it was very close, with the North West (-2.5

days), Wales (-2.6 days) and London (-2.7 days)

all performing well. But it was East Anglia

which took the prize, reducing its DBT by 2.8


A reduction of 2.3 days to its payment terms

means that the South West is the new holder of

the prestigious title of best performing region,

pipping Wales and the South East to top spot.

Despite the positives elsewhere, it was

another poor month for Northern Ireland. A

further increase of 1.6 days means it remains

the worst performing region by a margin, with

an overall DBT of 16.4 days.

Jason Braidwood is Head of Credit and

Collections at Creditsafe Group.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 36


Top Five Prompter Payers

Region Oct 19 Change from Sept 19

South West 9.8 -1.8

West Midlands 10 -3.7

Wales 10.4 -1.3

South East 11.1 -1.3

East Anglia 11.6 -0.4

Getting Better

Wholesale and retail trade -4.7

Real Estate -3.8

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing -3.5

Business Admin & Support -3.3

Transportation and Storage -2.4

Top Five Prompter Payers

Sector Oct 19 Change from Sept 19

Public Administration 5.7 0.4

International Bodies 6 -0.8

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 6.1 -3.5

Entertainment 8.5 -0.7

IT and Comms 8.7 -4

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Region Oct 19 Change from Sept 19

East Midlands 15.6 2.1

London 12.2 -2.9

Northern Ireland 12 -5.8

Scotland 11.9 -0.4

Yorkshire and Humberside 11.8 -1.4

Getting Worse

Wholesale and retail trade -4.7

Real Estate -3.8

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing -3.5

Business Admin & Support -3.3

Transportation and Storage -2.4

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Sector Oct 19 Change from Sept 19

Business from Home 23.8 6.1

Dormant 20.2 -1.9

Energy Supply 19.2 9

Mining and Quarrying 14.4 -4

Construction 13.9 0.7

It’s not been such a good month

for International Bodies, which

saw the biggest increase (+3.5

days) to its payment terms.



-5.8 DBT



-1.4 DBT


Getting Better – Getting Worse







East Midlands

Northern Ireland

West Midlands


South West

Yorkshire & Humberside



-1.8 DBT



-3.7 DBT



2.1 DBT


-2.9 DBT

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 37



Monthly round-up of the latest stories

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.

UK exports to non-EU

countries rise

RECENTLY issued figures from the Office

for National Statistics (ONS) show that

there is a greater overall demand for UK

exports to non-EU countries; it appears that

exports to countries outside of the EU have

increased by 4.2 percent, compared to a

rise of 1.6 percent for EU member countries.

The growth in exports to non-EU countries

is driven mainly by major non-EU trading

partners, including the US and China,

with total trade with the US surpassing

£200 billion for the first time.

For the year ending June 2019, exports

of goods and services to the US increased

by 9.3 percent to £126.4 billion; in the same

period, demand for UK goods and services

in China increased by 13.9 percent to

£23.7 billion; and in the same period,

UK exports to Japan rose by 9.2 percent

to £14.3 billion – though this is largely

attributed to the build-up to the Rugby

World Cup 2019.


CHINA has a number of problems at present

including one that could be good for UK pork

producers. It appears that outbreaks of African

swine fever, which has wiped out pig populations

across China, are responsible for a 69 percent

price increase in the meat since 2018 and

rising inflation. The country’s consumer price

index (CPI) has climbed to three percent and

pork prices accounted for over half of the CPI’s


The Chinese Foreign Ministry thinks that this

year Chinese businesses will have imported

700,000 tons of pork from the US, which accounts

for a large proportion of China’s overall pork


For the first nine months of 2019, the total

stood at 1.33 million tons, compared with the

1.19 million imported throughout 2018. Beijing is

planning to increase its purchases of agricultural

products from the US (a sop in the tit-for-tat

tariff increase that had dominated the trade war)

but that means that UK exporters may have an

opening too. So – (British) pork balls anyone?

ONCE the darling of investors, WeWork

has recently withdrawn its plans for

its hugely overpriced IPO and some

– Morgan Stanley Equity Strategist

Michael Wilson among them – reckons

that it signals the end of ‘the days

of endless capital for unprofitable


In a note to clients, Wilson said

WeWork’s situation is reminiscent of

other corporate events that marked


the top of secular trends in the past

20 years – United Airlines’ failed

leveraged buyout in October 1989,

which effectively ended the LBO craze

of the 1980s; the AOL-Time Warner

merger in 2000, which indicated the

dot com bubble was coming to a close;

and JPMorgan Chase’s ‘takeunder’ of

the failed Bear Stearns investment

bank in 2008, which signalled the

end of the financial excesses of the

previous few years. What does this

all mean for exporters? Be sure, very

sure, that those you trade with are

rock solid businesses that aren’t run

on hype but will be around to maintain

a relationship and pay the bills in the

future. Popular businesses that never

generate a positive stream of cashflows

are a waste of time and are only

bettered by the departed Jeremy Kyle


The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 38

Canada best country for

social entrepreneurs

THOSE interested in social

entrepreneurship may want to refocus as a

survey from Thomson Reuters Foundation

has found that Canada, Australia and

France are now the best countries in

which to invest. However, Berlin, London

and Santiago were named as the specific

hotspots for social entrepreneurs, together

with Medellin, Colombia – once known as

the murder capital of the world.

Some 900 experts were polled to

establish trends, opportunities and

challenges related to this sector.

Experts cited a decline in government

Carac(tac)as seems potty

VENEZUELA may have been out of the

news recently, but that doesn’t mean that

its problems have gone away. The oncewealthy

oil-producer is falling apart; it

owes $100 billion to foreign creditors and

inflation is heading towards 10,000,000

percent by the end of the year according

to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Worse still, the country is becoming like

East Germany pre-1961 as four million have

fled the country. If more than seven million

flee it is feared that the migration could

The wurst is still to come

SOME think that the German industrial

machine is about to leave the rails. It

appears that the economy contracted

by 0.1 percent in the second quarter and

is expected to do the same in the third,

implying that the country will see its first

recession in six years – just as worries

over Brexit and the US/Sino trade war are

rising and the car makers are suffering.

Credit Suisse has called Germany

the eurozone’s worst-performing large

economy and the ‘sick man of Europe’.

More worrying is that five years of

negative rates set by the European

Central Bank are hurting the banks (to

the tune of €2.4 billion a year) and are

now being passed on to retail customers.

Berliner Volksbank, the country’s

second-largest cooperative lender, has

support, access to investment and

selling to business as the main reasons

behind momentum slowing for social

entrepreneurs in the United States. In

the UK, Brexit was blamed for slowing

the pace of the sector’s development.

In Scotland, though, experts say social

enterprise is thriving. Mexico came last,

down 15 places from 2016.

Where this becomes interesting for

exporters is that social enterprise covers

a range of activities from building schools

from plastic waste, to training women in

rural villages in solar engineering.

destabilise the region.

The root cause of the current problems

is the refusal of President Nicolas Maduro

to hold free elections (and quit office).

Chile’s Foreign Minister Teodoro Ribera

has ‘vowed to work with allies’ to block

Venezuela’s communications and access

by air and sea if he refuses to hold free


If you’re working with or in Venezuela

tread very carefully; your avenues to market

could be restricted.

imposed a rate of minus 0.5 percent on

deposits over €100,000. Germany isn’t

in intensive care yet, but its vital signs

should be monitored by those trading

with German firms.


WITH the recent protests in Hong Kong

it’s not very surprising that the Chinese

Government has banned a number of items

from the streets and from being exported

into Hong Kong. Among the banned

items are black shirts and other clothing,

helmets, umbrellas, walkie-talkies, drones,

goggles, metal chains, safety vests and


The move is part of an effort to hamper

anti-government protests which have

rocked the global financial hub for more

than four months. The South China

Morning Post reported that a notice

published on September 26 by the Express

courier service in Guangdong, a coastal

province close to Hong Kong, contained

a long list of items that could not be

delivered to the special administrative

region. This follows another notice by

Guangdong courier company PHXBUY

which stopped shipping similar goods,

including flags, flagpoles and banners.

Exporters may want to redirect goods

elsewhere to locations not affected by the

ban or retool production to make goods

not affected by the prohibitions. Question

is – does the ban apply to the late Amy

Winehouse’s album Back to Black?


IT’S very hard to keep control when the

populous gets angry. And so it is proving

in Ecuador where violent protests against

economic reforms, including the removal

of a fuel subsidy, have forced President

Moreno to move the seat of government

out of the capital, Quito, to the port of

Guayaquil, 150 miles away.

The problem for Moreno is that when he

was elected two years ago, he pledged to

rid the country of its huge debt, strengthen

economic ties with the US, and distance

himself from his predecessor’s ‘antiimperialist

rhetoric’. The IMF is involved

with a $4.2 billion loan and the Government

has instituted austerity measures that

include removing a fuel subsidy that cost

$1.3 billion a year. Fuel prices subsequently

rose by a quarter, sparking protests led

by indigenous groups and encouraged by

the former president. Firms exporting to

Ecuador should consider factoring in risk

of default.



OR CALL 020 7738 0777

Currency UK is authorised and regulated

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).


GBP/EUR 1.17000 1.15114 Up

GBP/USD 1.30082 1.27421 Flat

GBP/CHF 1.28512 1.26521 Flat

GBP/AUD 1.90668 1.85551 Flat

GBP/CAD 1.70855 1.67364 Flat


141.21794 138.55598 Flat

The data was taken on 15 November and refers to the

month previous to/leading up to 15 November.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 39


Trading Places

Despite the current political turmoil, businesses

will find a way to export.

AUTHOR – Samantha Pillegi

Samantha Pillegi

THE direction the UK is

set to take in 2020 is still

unconfirmed, and given

how the last two and a

half years have unfolded,

certainty about Brexit is

not something you should gamble on,

whatever happens in the election.

The new government will be heading

into 2020 with a divided nation and a

complicated self-extraction from the

European Union still on its plate – at

least initially. Beyond Brexit, they will

also be leading the UK into a global trade

landscape that is enduring a period of

uncertainty and change.

Trade tensions between the USA

and China remain, European growth is

slowing down, trade flows are moving,

and consumer trends are rapidly changing

too – particularly towards endorsing more

sustainable business practices.

Economist Ana Boata, a speaker at our

London World Trade Summit in October,

told us that the outlook for the global

economy is not positive as we enter the

new year:

“There is no reason to believe that the

global trade landscape will be positive

in the year ahead,” said Ana, “especially

given the lack of major fiscal stimulus in

the USA, China and Europe – monetary

policy will not be able to substantially

boost growth. At best we see global trade

volume growths as being around 1.5

percent this year and 1.7 percent next

year, which is the lowest since 2009.”

This broadly corresponds with

pessimism from the World Trade

Organisation (WTO). The WTO’s growth

forecast in October for world merchandise

trade volume in 2019 was 1.2 percent

– substantially below the 2.6 percent

growth it had projected in April. The

WTO did predict an acceleration to 2.7

percent growth in 2020, with GDP growth

holding steady at 2.3 percent, but this was

dependant on an easing of trade tensions.

Even without

Brexit 2020 looks set

to be a challenging

year for traders

around the world.


The impact of the

seminal events of

2016 are now really

starting to impact –

particularly the UK’s

referendum decision

and President

Trump’s election.

Next year could prove

to be another pivotal year with the UK’s

relationship with the EU hopefully set to

become clearer – whichever way it goes

after the election – and President Trump

standing for re-election (possible impeachment


By this time next year, we could be

beginning post-Brexit talks with a Trumpled

USA about a substantial new trade

deal. Alternatively, we could be reflecting

on another year in which a seismic

referendum and shock US election result

changed the rules of the game. With

western democracies so divided and a

year of continued economic slowdown

predicted, it’s difficult to be optimistic

about the immediate prospects for global



In times of uncertainty the one certainty

you can count on is that there will always be

opportunities for businesses somewhere.

There will always be customers out there

for products or services that have value.

Emerging markets continue to grow,

with HSBC predicting that 70 percent

of future world growth will come from

outside the firmly established trading

powerhouses. Furthermore, technological

Fortunately, as we enter

this pivotal year, there

is an abundance of

support and training

out there for companies

and individuals to gain

the skills they need in

challenging times.

advancements continue to make it

generally easier for businesses to do trade

and to communicate over borders.

The key ingredient for businesses looking

to succeed in international markets

in 2020 and beyond is knowledge. The

businesses which take the time to learn

how global customs procedures work, to

properly research the

markets where growth

opportunities lie, and

to continually assess

their value to customers

and the efficiency

in delivering it – these

are the businesses that

can thrive, whatever

the broader geopolitical



Fundamentally, global

trade is fuelled by

people and people

need to be given the skills and knowledge

they need to operate efficiently

and confidently. Understanding your

compliance requirements gives you peace

of mind. Appreciating how international

supply chains interconnect gives you

context. Knowing your customer gives

you purpose and clarity about what you

need to be doing.

Fortunately, as we enter this pivotal

year, there is an abundance of support

and training out there for companies and

individuals to gain the skills they need in

challenging times.

The Institute of Export and

International Trade is of course on

hand to support through our training,

qualifications, technical helpline and

events, while the recently launched UK

Customs Academy also provides a broad

range of online qualifications for customs

professionals to ensure they’re ready for

whatever comes next.

Samantha Pileggi is Interim

Director General of the Institute of

Export & International Trade.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 40



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

Corporate Partnership with the CICM, please contact

Hays Credit Management is a national specialist

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of

credit management and receivables professionals,

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

the CICM’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,

career and recruitment trends.

T: 07834 260029



The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis

and data modelling tools to organisations around

the world that rely on our ability to accurately predict

their exposure to financial risk. Our H-Score®

predicted 92 percent of quoted company insolvencies

and our TextScore® accuracy rate was 93

percent. Our scores are trusted by credit professionals

within banks, corporates, investment houses

and public sector bodies because, unlike other credit

reference agencies, we are transparent and flexible

in our approach.

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300



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

(SaaS) company. Its Integrated Receivables platform

reduces cycle times in the Order to Cash process through

automation of receivables and payments across credit,

e-invoicing and payment processing, cash allocation,

dispute resolution and collections. Powered by the RivanaTM

Artificial Intelligence Engine and Freeda Digital

Assistant for Order to Cash teams, HighRadius enables

more than 450 organisations to leverage machine

learning to predict future outcomes and automate routine

labour intensive tasks.

T: +44 7399 406889



Forums International has been running Credit and

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of

industry sectors and international trading. Attendance

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums

are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges

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

gauge the benefits and meet the members and we

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never

intentionally be sold to.

Chris Sanders Consulting (Sanders Consulting

Associates) has three areas of activity providing

credit management leadership and performance

improvement, international working capital

improvement consulting assignments and

managing the CICMQ Best Practice Accreditation

programme on behalf of the CICM. Plans for

2019 include international client assignments in

India, China, USA, Middle East and the ongoing

development of the CICMQ Programme.

Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist companies

across Europe with credit management. The

service gives the end-user the means to make a

payment when and how they choose. Key IVR also

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

automated messages by voice and SMS. In a

credit management environment, these services are

used to cost-effectively contact debtors and connect

them back into a contact centre or automated

payment line.

T: +44 (0)1246 555055



T: +44(0)7747 761641



T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000

E: sales@keyivr


American Express® is a globally recognised provider

of business payment solutions, providing flexible

capabilities to help companies drive growth. These

solutions support buyers and suppliers across the

supply chain with working capital and cashflow.

By creating an additional lever to help support

supplier/client relationships American Express is

proud to be an innovator in the business payments


T: +44 (0)1273 696933


Building on our mature and hugely successful

product and world class support service, we are

re-imagining our risk awareness module in 2019 to

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists and

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.

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

for analysis and automation. Impressive results

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also

have an active input into our product development

and evolution.

T: 01235 856400



Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps

businesses pay and get paid. Businesses and banks

rely on Bottomline for domestic and international

payments, effective cash management tools, automated

workflows for payment processing and bill review

and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural

analytics and regulatory compliance. Every day, we

help our customers by making complex business

payments simple, secure and seamless.

T: 0870 081 8250



The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 42

Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for

their commitment to the profession, 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


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



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



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



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



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



The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 43




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



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


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 /



Don't miss out

on the exciting up

and coming events

for 2020



Table Events







Just another great

reason to be a member

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

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 44



I would highly recommend

membership as there are a

multitude of benefits available.

If you are beginning your

career in credit management

or managing multiple teams,

CICM will educate, mentor and

support you.

Nicky Jones


The value



Nicky Jones MCICM

FANUC Credit Control Manager, UK

Read more about the value of

membership and join your credit

community by visiting:

01780 722900


CICM Study Stars

We congratulate all our Studying Members who received their

exam and assignment results recently. Here we celebrate some of

the CICM Studying Members who have excelled in their exams.

Trade Credit Management


I have been working in the credit control industry for almost 20

years now. I have always been passionate about getting money

in and I decided to be qualified at a job that I love doing.

I have just completed Trade Credit Management after having

a break from studying to have my little girl. The study guides

helped me to regain focus and structure so I believe this can be

tailored around family life.

I particularly enjoyed this module as it was very relevant to

my current role. It has definitely helped to continue to build on

relationships and tackle the divide between the credit and sales

department. I have also developed a more in-depth knowledge

of the topics covered.

I have the Business Law module still to complete in order

to obtain my CICM Level 3 Diploma which I plan to take in

June 2020. I am currently looking into the different study

options available. I believe that having the backing of a

CICM qualification will be invaluable to the growth of any


Joanne Turley

Business Environment


I took the Business Environment module to contribute

towards a Level 3 Diploma in Credit Management – the third

out of four modules that I have to complete in order to attain

the diploma. This module was especially helpful in developing

my knowledge of how the macro-economic environment can

influence a business, which will contribute demonstrably

towards my current role within Risk.

Learning about different management styles and methods

of motivation will also be valuable knowledge to have as my

career progresses. The most challenging part of the course

so far has been fitting the learning around my current work

schedule, although the taught days provided by CICM as

well as a dedicated Skills Development Coach really help to

alleviate some of this pressure. I have now moved on to the

Credit Management module which I am enjoying as I can see

the theories in action while performing my current job role in

Credit Risk.

Daniel Holmes

Consumer Collections


After graduating five years ago with a 2:1 in Business

Management, I knew that the credit management industry

was very diverse. Previously, I worked in global project

management so debt recovery was something new to me.

Studying specific subjects of interest has been a huge eyeopener

and has allowed me to enhance my knowledge in vital

areas. The most challenging area for me was understanding the

quantitative data reports and applying the pro-rata calculations

to individuals, as I hadn’t used these techniques much.

I believe the Level 3 Diploma has hugely contributed to my

career within credit management. I feel much more equipped,

especially when dealing with vulnerable debtors, commercial

and consumer litigation and applying new techniques to those

customers who remain evasive.

The resources provided by CICM are very informative and its

tutors are dedicated, knowledgeable and supportive. The mock

exam available on the portal was of great use and highlighted

areas that needed further study in preparation for the exams.

I have recently enrolled onto the Level 5 Diploma, starting in

January, using the Virtual Classroom option which fits perfectly

around my lifestyle as a mother of three young children.

Laura Smith

Business Law


I decided to take the CICM courses as they are the gold

industry standard in training, and I would like to be able to

further my career in credit management by gaining recognised

qualifications. The modules are broadening my existing

knowledge and providing clarification and further insight into

areas I have not previously dealt with.

So far, I have found the Business Law course the most

challenging, but I found the online tutor’s help very useful.

It was hard work, with plenty of hours studying in the early

morning and after work. I am finding I am able to use the

knowledge I have gained in this module to identify potential

issues and avoid problems.

I aim to complete the Level 3 Diploma next year with the

Accounting Principles module, and I would then like to go for

a level 5 qualification.

Having previously worked in a large, ever-changing

credit department, I am particularly interested in process

improvement and managing change. I would also like to gain a

deeper understanding and more experience of in-depth credit

risk analysis, including the use of scorecards for limit setting,

as this will greatly help in my current role.

Mary-Anne Calvert

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 47


Positive thinking

The employment outlook remains positive

despite various temptations.

AUTHOR – Karen Young

FINDINGS from the Hays

Salary and Recruiting

Trends 2020 Guide indicate

that credit professionals

are tempted by other

opportunities, calling on

employers to rethink their salary and

benefit offerings to attract and retain staff

in the year ahead. Credit employees and

employers alike, however, are optimistic

about their roles and the credit profession.

The salary data has been compiled

using information gathered during 2019

from Hays offices across the UK. It is

based on job listings, job offers and

candidate registrations. The recruiting

trends and benefits data is based on

a survey conducted in June and July

2019. The survey was completed by over

31,500 employees and employers from

organisations of all sizes and sectors. The

findings for credit management are based

on 498 employers and employees working

in the sector.

Salaries for credit professionals rose

on average by 1.3 percent this year across

the UK, with rates for credit control

supervisors experiencing the highest

percentage increase of 3.9 percent.

Northern Ireland, the West Midlands

and Yorkshire and the Humber were

among the regions with the highest

salary increases in credit over the last 12

months, with Northern Ireland salaries

being driven by the increase of shared

services and global business services

setting up.

Salary increases for credit roles are

smaller than they were last year (2.4

percent) with this year’s UK average

at 1.8 percent, but demand for credit

professionals has not really eased. Almost

three-quarters (74 percent) of employers

tell us they plan to increase salaries

this year and over half (56 percent) of

employees expect their salary to also

increase over the next 12 months.

Furthermore, employees are slightly

happier with their salaries than they

were last year, as 60 percent say they

are satisfied with their pay compared

to 57 percent last year. Of those who are

still dissatisfied with their salary, the

top reason is that it doesn’t reflect their

individual performance (63 percent)

which remains the same as last year.


Although a smaller increase in salaries

hasn’t negatively impacted employee

satisfaction, half (50 percent) of

employees say they would still be

tempted to move job for a better salary

and/or benefits package. This is the

same figure as last year, indicating that

salary is still a key driver of employee


Employers might be able to use salary

motivation to their benefit, as 36 percent

of employees said they could be tempted

to stay at their current role if they were

counter offered with increased pay.

Getting it right in

these areas will give

employers a better

chance of attracting

and holding on

to talent, which

can be complex in

today’s competitive


With this in mind, it’s important

going into the year ahead that employers

are transparent about how pay levels

and pay rises are set. For 74 percent

of employees it is important that their

organisation is transparent about this,

but currently less than half (48 percent)

of employers believe that this is the case

in their organisation.


Clearly salary is important to

professionals working in credit, but

simply offering a higher salary or being

transparent about pay rises may not

be enough to keep your staff on board.

Considering that half (50 percent) of

professionals in credit management

anticipate moving jobs in the upcoming

year, employers are advised to review

their offerings early to improve their

chances of retaining talent.

When it comes to benefits specifically,

over half (56 percent) of employees

say over 28 days of paid annual leave

is most important when considering

a new role, followed by 46 percent for

whom pension provision above the

legal minimum was most important

and 44 percent who most prioritise the

offering of health insurance.

There is a mismatch between this and

the benefits offered most by employers,

which are childcare voucher schemes

(62 percent), cycle to work schemes (55

percent), eye care vouchers and health

insurance (both 51 percent). With this

in mind, as well as the fact that only

16 percent of employers believe that a

benefits package is the most important

factor to help attract staff, employers may

need to prioritise a review of their benefit

offerings to improve candidate attraction

and retention in the year ahead.


Salary and benefits aside, our survey

revealed that the sentiment is positive

among professionals working in credit

roles as overall job satisfaction for

employees has increased from 67 percent

last year to 75 percent this year.

Over half (55 percent) of employees

also believe that there is scope for career

progression in their current organisation,

which also increased from 49 percent

last year and 34 percent the year prior.

A similar proportion (54 percent) are

positive about their career prospects this

year as well, up from 39 percent the year

before. Employers are similarly positive

about the year ahead, as 64 percent

expect their organisation’s activity levels

to increase compared to 56 percent last


All in all, the above findings paint an

optimistic picture for credit professionals.

Highlights include improvements in job

satisfaction, career progression and some

easing of skills shortages in certain areas,

although they appear to remain acute

in others. Going into the year ahead,

employers are encouraged to focus on

tailoring benefit offerings appropriately

and being transparent about pay – the

latter being of particular importance

as salaries didn’t rise as considerably as

they did the year before. Getting it right

in these areas will give employers a better

chance of attracting and holding on to

talent, which can be complex in today’s

competitive landscape.

Karen Young is Director

at Hays Credit Management.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 48


AUTHOR – Karen Young





Credit Controller

Credit Risk


Credit Control




Group Credit Manager

/ Head of Credit



Region 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020

East Midlands £23,000 £25,000 £40,000 £30,000 £40,000 £60,000 £80,000

East of England £24,500 £28,000 £40,000 £32,000 £38,000 £55,000 £70,000

London £27,000 £32,000 £50,000 £36,000 £55,000 £72,000 £95,000

North East £21,000 £25,000 £32,000 £26,000 £38,000 £60,000 £75,000

North West £23,500 £26,000 £40,000 £30,000 £45,000 £60,000 £80,000

Northern Ireland £23,000 £28,000 £33,000 £38,000 £47,000 £55,000 £72,000

Scotland £23,000 £26,000 £32,000 £30,000 £40,000 £55,000 £65,000

South East £26,500 £31,000 £40,000 £34,000 £45,000 £65,000 £85,000

South West £25,000 £27,000 £42,000 £28,000 £38,000 £55,000 £70,000

Wales £20,000 £24,000 £30,000 £27,000 £36,000 £52,000 £65,000

West Midlands £24,000 £27,000 £40,000 £33,000 £48,000 £70,000 £85,000

Yorkshire and the Humber £23,000 £24,000 £32,000 £28,000 £40,000 £58,000 £70,000

National Average 2019 £23,625 £26,917 £37,583 £31,000 £42,500 £59,750 £76,000

2019-2020 % increase 0.5% 1.9% 0.7% 3.9% 2.6% 1.1% 0.2%

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 49



Two cases illustrate the challenge

of unfair dismissal.

WHAT can an employer do if an

employee refuses to work –

dismiss? That question was posed

in Pazur v Lexington Catering

Services. Workers are protected

against detriment and dismissal

if the reason for the treatment is that they have refused

to comply with a requirement that would breach the

Working Time Regulations (WTR).

Mr Pazur worked as a kitchen porter for Lexington

Catering Services (LCS). Each week, he was assigned to

work for various clients at different locations. During an

eight-hour shift with a particular client he was denied

his statutory right to a rest break of at least 20 minutes.

Pazur walked out despite the client wanting him to work

longer. He subsequently complained to LCS but his

complaints were not followed up.

Pazur was later assigned to work for the same client

but he refused to return. This led to LCS first threatening

him with dismissal before subsequently dismissing him.

He claimed that the threat to dismiss was an unlawful

detriment and that his dismissal was automatically

unfair. He argued that the reason for both the threat to

dismiss him and for his subsequent dismissal was that

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards

he had refused to comply with LCS’ requirement that he

work without a rest break in contravention of the WTR.

The Employment Tribunal (ET) rejected both the

unlawful detriment and automatic unfair dismissal

claims. The ET was not satisfied that Pazur had provided

sufficient evidence to establish that his refusal to return

to work for the client was because he expected to be

required to work without a rest break. When giving

evidence about the reasons why he had refused to return

to the client, Pazur cited the unpleasant behaviour of the

head chef as well as the rest break issue.

However, the Employment Appeal Tribunal allowed

Pazur’s appeal, finding that the requirement to work in

contravention of the WTR was a material influence on

his refusal to return to the client. There was no need for

it to be the only reason.

Whistleblowing disclosures

KNEE-JERK employment decisions come with a risk

that something has been missed or not given proper

consideration, and Okwu v Rise Community Action

illustrates the problem.

Rise Community Action employed Miss Okwu as a

specialist worker. Performance issues were raised during

Okwu's three-month probationary period and Rise

extended her probation by a further three months.

Okwu then wrote a letter to Rise expressing concerns

in relation to her employment contract. The concerns

also included an allegation that Rise was in breach of

the Data Protection Act by failing to provide her with

a mobile phone and secure storage when dealing with

sensitive and confidential information relating to

service users. Rise dismissed Okwu on performance and

conduct grounds and on the basis that her letter revealed

her contempt for the charity.

Okwu brought a claim against Rise that she was

dismissed for making protected whistleblowing

disclosures and that her dismissal was therefore

automatically unfair. The Employment Tribunal (ET)

dismissed her claim on the basis that the issues she raised

were personal contractual matters and not therefore in

the public interest. Okwu appealed.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) allowed

the appeal. The question was whether Okwu had

disclosed information that she reasonably believed

He claimed that the threat

to dismiss was an unlawful

detriment and that his dismissal

was automatically unfair.

was in the public interest and which tended to show

breach of a legal obligation. Although Okwu’s letter

contained information that was personal to her, the

EAT highlighted that her data protection disclosures

related to the sensitive information of service users. It

was therefore hard to see how this was not in the public

interest in the reasonable belief of Okwu.

The EAT also found that the ET did not make a clear

finding in relation to the reason for Okwu’s dismissal. In

particular, the ET did not engage with Okwu's argument

that there had been no performance or conduct issues

between the probation review and the sending of her

letter, and that the disclosures in her letter must therefore

have been a material factor in the decision to dismiss her.

Employers should be careful not to dismiss complaints

out of hand. They should deal with complaints using

available internal processes such as grievance and

whistleblowing procedures and ensure those complaints

do not inform detrimental management decisions in

respect of the member of staff.

Even where staff have less than two years’ service,

management decisions should be considered carefully

and the reason for sanction or dismissal should be both

clear, fair and backed up by evidence.

Gareth Edwards is a partner in the employment team

at VWV.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 50



CM April 2016.indd 1 22/03/2016 11:42



CM September 2016.indd 1 23/08/2016 14:30



CM July/August 2016.indd 1 21/06/2016 12:00



CM June 2016.indd 1 20/05/2016 11:19



CICM ambassador

progressive thinker






Advancing the credit profession





Could you be a member

of the CICM Advisory Council?

Register your interest, or ask any question about

the process by contacting the CICM Governance

team at


Credit Management magazine for consumer

and commercial credit professionals



APRIL 2016 £10.00






SEPTEMBER 2016 £10.00






JULY / AUGUST 2016 £10.00








JUNE 2016 £10.00





























Credit Management asked members of the CICM Think Tank

what is on their Christmas wishlist and why? And how could

it change their jobs, their business and the world?

Martin Roseweir FCICM,

Managing Director, Bill Gosling.

“WHAT I want for Christmas is a

continuation of our journey to enhance

our digital capabilities. This year was

transformative for us and 2020 needs to

follow to allow us to service our clients

and their customers in a cost effective

way. The roadmap is in place, delivery is


“And finally, an understanding

across the industry that we should

embrace all forms of communication

to make customer journeys the right

journey for the individual. We still have

inconsistencies across the industry

with some embracing the changing

face of communications more than

others. A consistent view of those

‘new’ communications methods would

enhance our performance and customer


Dan Hancocks MCICM,

Managing Director, CoCredo.

“I have the classic issue of not having

enough time on my hands. I am lucky

enough to say that business has been

fantastic this year, but with so many

projects that I would like to be involved

with sometimes there just aren’t enough

hours in the day.

“So, on my Christmas wish list I would

ask for more hours in the day. This would

enable me to work even closer to my full

potential and also allow me to do the

things I love, such as spend more time

with my children and friends. I would

also spend this time focussing on raising

more money for the Oxford Children’s

Hospital, a charity that is very dear to me.

“I am currently exploring mindfulness

and feel that this is benefitting both

my work and home life as it has

strengthened my positive outlook and

highlighted the things I am grateful for

every day. A quote from Isha Sadhguru

said: ‘There is no such thing as work-life

balance – it’s all life. The balance has to

be within you’.

Jo Kettner, Managing Director,

Company Watch.

“If you’d asked me for my summer wish

list, I probably wouldn’t have said an

80-page consultation on the future of

Companies House! In fact, though, I

was really impressed by how radical

some of the proposals were, so what I’d

really like for Christmas is some clarity

from Department of Business, Energy

& Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on the next

steps now that they have had three

months to review the responses.

“For me, hearing that BEIS has

understood the point we made about the

need to include company verification

alongside director verification is essential.

I would love to engage with Government

more widely about how other official data

sources could be used to help close some

of the loopholes which allow fraudsters

to operate phoney companies; creating

a business environment that is safer for

everyone has surely got to be at the top of

most people’s wish list. Of course, for this

to happen we need a period of political

stability – roll on 13 December.

“When I asked my young children

what should be on my Christmas wish

list, there was no hesitation: ‘to see the

new Frozen film!’ I just hope that BEIS will

embrace the chance to take a step into the

unknown for the greater good and that the

response will not be put on ice because it

is seen as too difficult a problem to solve.”

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 52


David Sheridan FCICM,

Operations Director, ARC Europe.

“We are massively dependent on a

vibrant consumer economy and yet we

seem to be hell-bent on removing access

to credit under the catch-all banner

of protecting vulnerable customers.

Creditors no longer lending seems to

be met with applause from the media,

government and consumer watchdog

stalwarts and yet behind the scenes

firms are trying to assess how they

can operate and provide vital credit

services in the face of regulators’ who

sit on the side-lines and do nothing

to deal with vexatious and predatory

Claims Management Companies (CMC)

firms who are fuelling the drive for

compensation for alleged and in many

cases unfounded breaches of lending


“What I want for Christmas can be

summed up as having confidence that

providing credit in a responsible manner

has a future in the UK and that the

quest for consumer interest includes a

vibrant and sustainable consumer credit

industry fit for the many! Otherwise, I’d

like everyone to have everything they

need to meet their lifestyle requirements

for free forever!”

Jason Braidwood FCICM(Grad),

Head of Credit and Collections at Creditsafe.

“Almost every commercial business

has debt owed at some point – even

businesses in our industry! And it’s

the people skills, problem solving and

business acumen that gets that cashflow

going. In my 25 years working mitigating

financial risks for companies I have

come across my fair share of challenges.

“Top of my wish list for what

would make working life easier would

be accessing more trade payment

data information. Businesses don’t

necessarily like to provide their Accounts

Receivable data as they feel it may not

be confidential enough – even though

it’s an anonymous programme. From a

credit management and risk perspective

I’d benefit in my role along with others as

this information is real-time and would

aid in the collections environment – it

would give me a much better payment

profile of our own customers and how

long it takes for them to pay their debts.”

Richard Leonard, Head of Data

Partnerships at Experian.

“NEW, high quality data is at the top

of the Christmas list for any credit

reference agency (CRA), and Experian

is no different. I would like to see the

Government make more data available to

the industry. For example, if HMRC was

to share data on small businesses then

it could help Experian and other CRAs to

score small businesses more accurately,

while also reducing financial crime. A

lack of financial data holds back many

smaller organisations from accessing the

growth funding they need to take their

company to the next level – new data

sources can unlock their potential.”

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 53


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

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


Jonathan Coburn MCICM

Praful Dudhaiya MCICM

Mouhamed Sambou MCICM

Malcolm White MCICM

Christian Wronski MCICM


Tammy Brightley ACICM

Emma Hovell ACICM

Maria Leon ACICM

Nadine Moore ACICM

Michelle Shouler ACICM

Therese Siene ACICM

Zoe Wheeler ACICM

Studying Member

Kayleigh Bagnall

Donna Bailey

Natalie Benyon

Patrycja Biedron

Paul Bierman

Rachel Carlin

Jayne Carman

Sarah Carroll

Joely Cox

Robert Croll

Malissa Dias

Christopher Dixon

Ersun Ercetin

Tom Fifoot

Andy Foster

Kerry Furness

Alejandro Gonzalvez Suarez

Andreea Gradinaru

Eglis Gutierrez

Amir Habib

Keith Hale

Andrew Havard

Ben Jamieson

Yasser Kabadaia

Kamlpreet Kaur

Rochelle Kennedy

Darren Kilgallon

Mark King

Ilias Konstantos

Sabrina Magnus

Charlotte Mercer

Jenny Millington

Helzie Niama

Abdul Nihad

Daniel O'Callaghan

Dawn Portwood

Jennifer Povey

Antoinette Rose

Ingrid Roznovakova

Becky Runciman

Kelvin Sammut

Amanjit Sandhu

David Self

Toni Solly

Richard Taylor

Anthony Tonks

Wojciech Urbanski

Candice Van Der Merwe

Amanda Walters

Tina Webber-Rostron


Fatima Azirar

Katerina Bendova

Polymnia Bradford

Carol Brennan

Jane Caldwell

Gervas Cumiskey

Emma Hadley

Jeremy Ledgester

Sunaina Malik

Sheikh Najam

Michael Phillips

Bernie Rafferty

Claire Rimmer

Mohamed Salem

Charlotte Smith

Benjamin Sweeney

Hayley Wright

Congratulations to our current members who have upgraded their membership

Upgraded member

Luca Saponaro FCICM

Karen Kent FCICM

Joseph Dimech FCICM

Lynne Simms FCICM

Heather Clucas FCICM

Stephen Charter FCICM

Lianne Hare ACICM


Get in touch with Andrew Morris by emailing

with your branch news and event reports. Please only send up to 400 words

and any images need to be high resolution to be printable, so 1MB plus.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 54

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The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 55

Credit Management magazine



IN December 2008 The White House and US Congress agree on

a proposal for a US$15 billion bailout package for three major US

carmakers which later fails in the Senate, the first democratic

election takes place on the Channel island of Sark, a British Crown

dependency, and one of the world’s largest collection of dinosaur

bones is uncovered in Zhucheng, China. The Indian Prime

Minister Manmohan Singh denies media reports of a possible

war with Pakistan following the Mumbai terrorist attacks

in November, and the Gävle goat, a large Swedish

yule goat, is torched by vandals for the 23rd

time since its construction in 1966.





Peter Walker examines the cases of an insolvent Russian and

Roman Abramovich, Owner of Chelsea Football Club, and the

powers of an English Court to wind up a foreign unregistered

company. He notes that such cases could become more frequent

during the recession.



The Government and ICM collaborate to produce a series

of guides to help small businesses tackle the issue of late

payment and manage a positive cashflow. Originally launched

with 10 guides, they have more recently been updated with the

launch of the ‘Invoice finance and asset-based lending options’

and the ‘Managing cash through Brexit’ guides. To date there

have been nearly 600,000 downloads of the guides.

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 56



Our expert consultants have been

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The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 57


KAREN Young, Director of

Hays Credit Management,

commenced proceedings

after breakfast, talking

about diversity and

inclusion, sharing stats

around what is most important to workers

– remuneration and flexible working.

Karen explained why diversity and

inclusion is good for business, stressing

the reasons and business drivers behind

this. Tips to consider included blind

decision making when reviewing CVs

(removal of names/education etc.) where


Markus Kuger, Chief Economist

at Dun & Bradstreet then presented

details of payment trends throughout

Europe, focusing on UK industry sector

differences. Markus shared statistics

summarising the position of the UK

economy and job market ending with a

Brexit update.

Global trends in electronic invoicing

and the move to other forms of electronic

document management (e.g. filing of tax

returns) was the topic covered by EY’s

Warren McQuillan and Adam Broughton’s.

They explained where e-invoicing was

mandatory (e.g. Brazil) – largely for

governments to combat tax fraud, and

countries where it was allowed e.g. most

of Europe and Russia. The UK’s 2020 move

to electronic document management was

also discussed.

Zinc’s Head of Corporate Development,

Richard Fenton MCICM, then presented

how digital has changed human

interaction, focussing on how it uses tech

to connect with their customers explaining

that 33 percent of its customers now

communicate with them via non-verbal

THE Ireland Branch of CICM has been

busy over the past few months, with the

main focus on growing membership,

building a strong credit community

and providing credit professionals an

opportunity to learn about the latest

developments that will shape the credit

function in the future.

A major conference was held in

September in the Aviva Stadium in

Dublin on Artificial Intelligence in credit

management. There were a number of

really interesting speakers on topics such

as automation of processes, Blockchain

The Breakfast Club

Annual Southern Branch Credit Day

methods. This has helped Zinc become

more agile and flexible with problem

customers and provided the benefit of

taking emotion and unconscious bias out

of interactions.

Gideon Jones FCICM, Global Channel

Program Manager at Atradius, delivered a

presentation on commercial collections.

He focused on the performance of UK

industries, global country risk and

payment behaviour. After touching on

its debt collection handbook, Gideon

provided useful insight into how

technology is changing collections

and gave details of real-life blockchain


and various software solutions, along

with an economic overview and the

importance of data. Delegates had an

opportunity to attend various workshops

throughout the day to see the different

systems in operation.

Credit managers and credit controllers

now have the opportunity of gaining their

CICM Diploma through attending classes

in Dublin and Belfast. The next term

begins in Queens University, Belfast on

the 24 February 2020 and in UCD, Dublin

on Thursday 27 February 2020. Closing

date for applications to join the course is

Special Guest, Sir John Madjeski, then

provided the audience with a fascinating

talk about his background including his

life in the US and the far east. He talked

about the ‘University of Life’ and his

business interests including Reading

FC. When asked about the best thing he

had ever done during the Q&A, he said it

was all the work he had completed about

changing people’s lives for the better.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

was Paul Morrison’s subject. As Hackett

Group’s Global Lead for RPA and Smart

Automation, he explained RPA to all

present giving examples of its use within

C2C. He stated that RPA is just one of ‘the

tools in the toolbox’ and also gave advice

to those just starting their RPA journey.

Following on nicely from Paul’s

slides, Brian Morgan FCICM, Business

Growth and Partner Director at Rimilia,

spoke about Artificial Intelligence, its

value within cash application and how

businesses were benefitting from this

technology to chase customers at the right

time, based on payment behaviour.

Robert Syms MCICM, Partner, Disputes

and Claims at Herrington-Carmichael

provided an update from the courts

focussing on the rising trend in defended

cases and a system slowdown. He stressed

the importance of credit managers as

gatekeepers, detailed a late payment case

study and explained solicitors’ pricing


Closing comments made by Gary Baker

and Johan Schoeman FCICM from Verizon

and Chief Executive of CICM Philip

King FCICM. Thank you to all involved

– sponsors and attendees especially.

Less thanks to the rattling tea trolley!

Author: Gary Baker FCICM

Building a strong community

Ireland Branch Report

31 December 2019.

Branch Chairman Glyn Powell

presented the Award to The Trade Credit

Team of the Year at the Credit Team

Awards held in Dublin in October.

The next event in February 2020 will

be held jointly with the Northern Ireland

Branch and another major conference

entitled ‘Credit Focus 2020’ that focuses

on cyber and financial threats, leadership

in credit management, vulnerable

and deceased customers, cross border

insolvency and litigation.

Author: Declan Flood FCICM.

The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 58

Probably thebest debt collection network worldwide

Moneyknows no borders—neither do we

The Recognised Standard / / December 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 December

CICM South Wales –


Annual Bowling Challenge

So on Tuesday 3 December members of the

South Wales branch will be assembled for our

annual bowling competition.

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: The Red Dragon Centre,

Hemingway Rd, Cardiff, CF10 4JY



4 December

CICM North East Branch

Newcastle upon Tyne

Christmas Quiz 2019

Yes, it’s back and this time we’re going large

with a change of venue to St James’ Park in

Newcastle. Your chance to have a go at our free

to enter, hotly-contested Christmas Quiz, enjoy

complimentary food and welcome drink,

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: Nine Bar, St James’ Park,

Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4ST

10 December

Forums International


The Fraud Prevention Network

Book online at or

email for more information.

For more information email

Venue: London


5-6 December

Forums International


International Telecoms Risk Forum

Book online at or

email for more information.

For more information email

Venue: London TBC



5 December

Credit Risk Forum


FMCG (Food, drink & tobacco) and Oil & Fuelcard

Book online at or

email for more information.

Contact: for

further details.

Venue: Dublin

11 December

Forums International


Export Credit Forum

Book online at or

email for more information.

For more information email

Venue: BDO LLP 150 Aldersgate Street, London,


The Recognised Standard / / September 2019 / PAGE 60

Are you making the most of

CICM and your membership?




Business news

and industry










Advice line
























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





Uxbridge, £35,000-£50,000

A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a German speaking

credit manager to oversee a team of four credit controllers

and manage the German ledger as well as the EMEA ledger.

This role requires a large amount of hands on experience,

as you will be required to chase payments and AI has been

implemented to handle the AR duties. You will ideally have

experience reducing substantial amounts of aged debt,

reducing DSO and some knowledge of German Laws,

but not essential. The company is currently going through

a finance system change so system implementation

is preferred. Ref: 3710736

Contact Bradley Wilson on 01753 314000

or email



London, up to £42,000 + benefits

A renowned law firm based in London, listed in the

Legal 500 is looking for a senior credit controller to join

its team. In your new role, you will be responsible for

ensuring payments are made on time and chase overdue

invoices by negotiating payment plans and implementing

debt collecting processes. You will be a highly motivated

individual with excellent interpersonal skills, time

management and organisation skills. You will have strong

analytical skills with a great eye for detail and be able to

negotiate winning solutions. Ref: 3698751

Contact Joe Morris on 020 3465 0020

or email



London, up to £45,000

A new opportunity has arisen at a global law firm based in

central London. You will focus on collections as well as a

project focusing on reducing the aged debt over one year.

Other responsibilities include monthly reporting, handling

queries from partners meeting with senior stakeholders

regularly. You will come from a legal or professional

services background working in a similar role. Elite or

ARC system experience is also preferred. You will be well

presented, proactive and able to work under pressure.

Ref: 3073818

Contact James Hanwell on 020 3465 0020

or email




St Albans, up to £27,000

An exciting opportunity for a fluent French speaker

within a growing international IT manufacturing

company has become available to the correct affable

and self-motivated candidate. It will be your

responsibility to chase debts on the French and Swiss

ledgers, and to reduce DSOs. In this customer-facing

position, it is essential that you can communicate in an

amicable manner and be considerate of repeat sales.

You will also have to deal with query resolutions, so

your written and verbal communication skills must be

outstanding in both French and English. Ref: 3709368

Contact Charlotte Clarke on 01923 205286

or email

The Recognised Standard / / December 2019 / PAGE 62



Birmingham, £24,000-£26,000 + CICM Study Support

Moving in a new direction, a fantastic opportunity has

arisen with a growing professional services organisation

in Birmingham as the Credit team is introducing new

processes and looking to obtain the CICMQ accreditation.

The role involves a high volume of client reporting and

account management, so the ideal candidate will be well

organised detail orientated and be looking for a new

challenge. This is a great opportunity which includes study

support and progression paths.

Ref: 3711255

Contact Peter Kidd on 0121 212 1814

or email




Sheffield, up to £23,000 + full CICM study support

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join a CICMQ

accredited team, suitable for a motivated individual,

preferably educated to a degree level or with relevant

experience. Your responsibilities will include managing

new account review process including risk assessment

and analysis of financial results as well as ongoing risk

reviews of current portfolio of customers, ranging from

larger limited companies to sole traders. To be successful

in this role, you will be able to demonstrate the technical

skills using advanced Microsoft Excel including VBA and

knowledge of SQL functionality. Ref: 3659933

Contact Sina Laun on 0114 273 8775

or email



Nottingham, £20,000-£25,000

A leading professional services firm is looking for a credit

controller to join its credit control team on a fixed term

basis for 12 months. You will be responsible for collecting

debt over both phone and email, organising meetings

with senior management to review outstanding debt,

carrying out money laundering checks, setting up new

clients, raising bills and chasing payments. You will have

strong excel skills, good negotiation and listening skills

and a strong background in credit control, ideally within

a professional service setting. Ref: 370423

Contact Alice Martin on 0115 947 7500

or email



Northampton, £18,000

A major national retailer within the construction industry

requires a credit controller to work within its large credit

department. You will be dealing with high volume of

calls, chasing outstanding debts and any credit queries.

This role is based in a team that covers low value but

high-volume invoices. Ideally you will have credit control

and/or collections experience looking for a fresh challenge

within a large corporate company or looking to get into

credit control with a proven background in a high-volume,

call-based environment. This is a fantastic opportunity

where you can progress your career within credit control.

Ref: 3701058

Contact Alex Smith on 01604 621733

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 / / December 2019 / PAGE 63


CICM Directory of Services




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.


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


Atradius Collections Ltd

3 Harbour Drive,

Capital Waterside, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ

Phone: +44 (0)29 20824397

Mobile: +44 (0)7767 865821


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 Yvette Gray Country Director, UK

and Ireland.

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

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.

Premium Collections Limited

3 Caidan House, Canal Road

Timperley, Cheshire. WA14 1TD

T: +44 (0)161 962 4695



For all your credit management requirements Premium Collections

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

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


Services include B2B collections, B2C collections, international

collections, absconder tracing, asset repossessions, status reporting

and litigation support.

Managed from our offices in Manchester, Harrogate and Dublin our

network of 55 partners cover the World.

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

Lovetts Solicitors

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway,

Old Portsmouth Road,

Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR

T: 01483 347001



With more than 25yrs experience in UK & international business debt

collection and recovery, Lovetts Solicitors collects £40m+ every year

on behalf of our clients. Services include:

• Letters Before Action (LBA) from £1.50 + VAT (successful in 86%

of cases)

• Advice and dispute resolution

• Legal proceedings and enforcement

• 24/7 access to your cases via our in-house software solution,


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

“All our service expectations have been exceeded. The online

system is particularly useful and extremely easy to use. Lovetts has a

recognisable brand that generates successful results.”


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 / / December 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 / / December 2019 / PAGE 65 continues on page 66 >


CICM Directory of Services







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.


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.



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.



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.

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:

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.


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 / / December 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 / / December 2019 / PAGE 67








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