Credit Management January February 2020


The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals






Nudge Nudge

Taking the chance

out of customer


What impact will

Crown Preference have

on creditors? Page 12

The future of collections

could be a robot called

AVA. Page 14

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SMCR is upon us. But what happens



What impact will Crown Preference

have on creditors?


Could a new robot called AVA transform

debt collection as we know it?





APIs can help mirror vital credit

information across multiple platforms.


The last decade has seen the world of

deceased collections transformed.


Influencing the behaviour of others is

essential to business success.


Should the debt collection sector be

reaching out to consumers with general






The inexorable march of the ‘robot’ is

both a blessing and a curse.


Peter Walker considers Maseratis,

internet fraud and the effectiveness of a

Statutory Demand.


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

Iona Yadallee

Art Editor

Andrew Morris

Telephone: 01780 722910


Editorial Team

Rob Howard and Imogen Hart


Grace Ghattas

Telephone: 020 3603 7946



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Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 3


Turning losers

into winners

Sean Feast FCICM

Managing Editor

WHAT a crazy few

weeks it has been.

A landslide election

for the conservatives,

our friends in the US

causing mischief in

the Middle East, and I managed to put on

a pair of skis and successfully get down

a mountain without breaking anything

important. I also managed to get off the ski

lift without wiping out a whole party of ESF

children. Trust me, I’ve done it before.

But back at my desk and flicking through

the papers, there is not a great deal to cheer

about in the business sections. The main

four supermarkets have had one of the

worst Christmases of all time as regards

sales, the Bank of England is opening an

investigation into the financial reporting of

Wall Street banking giants, and there have

been further revelations as regards internal

accounting blunders at one of the major

second-tier accountancy firms.

The major broadcasters have gleefully

reminded us of just how many famous High

Street brands have fallen by the wayside

in 2019, and a report has been published

highlighting the abuse by certain firms of

the apprenticeship levy. No surprise there;

it’s something we’ve written about for some

time. Always nice when the National press

catch up.

What I haven’t read much about in the

past few weeks is anything bad around late

payment. Perhaps I was wrong, and the FSB

has cracked it once and for all? Or perhaps

it has more to do with a genuine willingness

among the vast majority of larger businesses

to treat their suppliers fairly. It might also

have something to do with the Prompt

Payment Code which, far from being

‘toothless’ as some lazy commentators are

wont to write, is having a tangible effect on

improving payment performance.

Allow me to highlight a recent meeting

of our Chief Executive, Philip King FCICM,

with John O’Connor, Group Commercial

Director at Laing O’Rourke Construction

Limited. The company was one of a

number of firms suspended from the Code

announced in April 2019 for failing to

meet the required standards. Its previous

submission to the government’s Payment

Practices reporting portal showed just 59

percent of invoices paid within 60 days.

Laing O’Rourke developed and

implemented an action plan to achieve

compliance that resulted in the business

being reinstated to the Code in November,

and the journey of improvement is

continuing with 93 percent of invoices

paid within 60 days in December.

The improvement is nothing short of

transformational, so what happened?

The company took basic steps to improve

supplier payments. It talked to its suppliers

and worked with them to implement

processes that benefit both parties; it has

enhanced its use of technology internally

to speed up the matching of orders to

delivery documentation and invoices; it

has increased the availability of technical

solutions to suppliers allowing invoices

to be submitted, tracked and monitored.

Equally importantly, it has raised the

visibility of its payment performance to

the highest levels and reports regularly on

progress. The focus on improving supplier

payments and, as a consequence, supplier

relationships is driven from the top down

and is permeating through the business at

every level.

As we see more businesses take the sort

of positive steps Laing O’Rourke has taken,

we will also see an improvement in payment

culture and business relationships. As

Philip says, the winner will be UK plc and

the wider economy.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 4






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Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 5


A round-up of news stories from the

world of consumer and commercial credit.

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM

CICM Chief appointed interim

Small Business Commissioner

PHILIP King, Chief Executive

of the Chartered Institute of

Credit Management (CICM), has

accepted the role as interim

Small Business Commissioner

(SBC), a government-appointed position

to give small businesses the support they

need to thrive and grow.

During the recruitment of his

successor, Sue Chapple, who is currently

Director of Strategic Relationships,

will assume the role of interim Chief


In a career spanning 40 years, Philip

has held senior credit management roles

in the high-tech and communication

sectors, in distribution and retail,

including spells at Olivetti and Vodafone.

He was appointed Director General of the

ICM in 2005, and later Chief Executive,

and was behind the Institute’s drive to

become a Chartered body (to become

the CICM) in 2015. As the architect of the

Prompt Payment Code, and author of

the Managing Cashflow Guides, Philip

has worked closely with successive

governments in championing bestpractice

credit management and

supporting small business.

Philip said he was delighted to have

been appointed interim Commissioner:

“The CICM has worked tirelessly with

government agencies to support small

businesses and change attitudes to late

payment,” he said. “Whereas I am sad to

be leaving the CICM after over fourteen

years at the helm, that is tempered by

the privilege of directly supporting the

government industrial strategy and

giving small businesses the support they

need to prosper and grow.”

The Small Business Commissioner

and his team are tasked with providing

general advice and information to

small businesses on matters such as

resolving payment disputes, including

signposting them to existing support

and dispute resolution services,

which will be delivered through the

commissioner’s website. His priorities

Philip King FCICM

Chief Executive of the CICM

reflect his expertise in professional credit

management, not only understanding the

need for positive cashflow and getting

the basics right, but also understanding

the challenges of all businesses in the

supply chain.

“Recognising the needs of all

businesses both large and small is an

essential part of resolving potential

conflict and preventing issues from

occurring in the first place,” he continues.

“Poor behaviour should be identified and

called out, and I would actively encourage

small businesses to engage with the

Commissioner’s office at the earliest

opportunity if there is a problem, but it is

important too that we highlight examples

of best-practice to which others should


Peter Whitmore, Chair of the CICM

Executive Board, thanked Philip for his

service: “Philip has played a vital role in

projecting the work of our professional

members in enabling the success of

their own businesses and supporting the

wider business economy,” he said. “His

appointment reflects the importance of

keeping the cash flowing.

“In his time leading the CICM, Philip

has helped transform the Institute to

achieve Chartered status and elevate the

critical importance of best-practice credit

management and professional credit

managers in the minds of government

and other key influencers, including the

media. We wish him well.”

The CICM became particularly

prominent during the 2008 financial

crisis, with the publication of the

Managing Cashflow Guides (of which

there have been almost 600,000

downloads) and the launch of the

Prompt Payment Code which it

continues to administer on behalf of the

Department for Business, Energy and

Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Philip was also

a board member of the Start-Up Loans

Company (the Company has delivered

more than 50,000 loans worth almost

£340 million), a Red Tape Champion for

Insolvency and the first ever lay Chair of

the Joint Insolvency Committee.

Under his leadership, the CICM

launched its now well-established

Quality in Credit Management

programme (now re-styled as CICMQ),

accredited the first CICMQ Centres

of Excellence and revitalised its

commercial and communication

operations. This has included

introducing a new Corporate

Partnerships model, creating Learning

Partnerships, and relaunching its Credit

Management magazine to become the

leading publication in its field.

He was behind the launch of the

British Credit Awards (being held

next month) and introducing other

initiatives to support CICM members

including the Knowledge and Mentor

Hubs. He is also an active champion

of Apprenticeships and the globally

recognised CICM Qualifications, and

in 2016 completed a strategic review

culminating in the publication of

‘Tomorrow’s CICM’.

Philip will assume his new role

later this month while the search

for a permanent replacement as

Commissioner begins. The previous

Small Business Commissioner, Paul

Uppal, resigned in October 2019.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 6

Payment Report shows UK

consumers ‘debt dependent’

UK consumers are highly financially

literate, yet also highly dependent

on credit, borrowing more frequently

than their European neighbours.

That’s according to the seventh annual

European Consumer Payment Report

from credit management group Intrum.

As well as identifying nervousness

over the impact of a potential Brexit on

personal finances, the report highlighted

consumers’ mixed feelings over the

benefits and dangers of financial


UK consumers score highly in

terms of financial literacy – 75 percent

were able to match financial terms to

their correct definitions, second only

to Finland among the 24 countries

surveyed. Yet, despite this, UK

consumers are heavily reliant on credit

to fund their lifestyles, borrowing money

more frequently than their European

peers. Of the 22 percent of UK consumers

who have borrowed money to pay bills

over the past six months, 63 percent

have done so on more than one occasion

(almost double the European average of

38 percent).

Many claim bills are outpacing

income, increasing their financial stress.

Almost half (49 percent) say their bills

are increasing at a faster rate than their

income, and 35 percent believe worrying

about this is having a negative effect on

their wellbeing.

Despite this, most are still managing

to save some money each month, driven

by a fear of unexpected expenses. By

contrast, a quarter of those surveyed (24

percent) admit that they’d rather spend

money enjoying today than saving for a

comfortable retirement.

Technology is seen as an enabler by

many UK consumers, with 22 percent

using their smartphone to avoid overconsumption

and 67 percent saying

tech makes it easier to manage their

finances (above the European average of

59 percent). But this is a double-edged

sword, with 56 percent concerned that

the use of smartphone apps will tempt

consumers into loans they cannot afford.

In addition, 57 percent are worried that

their personal details will end up in the

wrong hands when they shop online.

Mobile payments have so far failed

to capture public imagination – they

are the preferred means of payment for

only eight percent, with debit cards,

credit cards and cash far more popular.

UK consumers are also less likely to be

influenced by sustainability than most

Europeans. Only 29 percent have been

motivated to limit their spending by

sustainability, compared with 42 percent

on a pan-European level.

“UK Consumers are more financially

literate than most of their European

peers,” says Intrum’s UK MD Eddie Nott.

“However, the reliance on credit to pay

bills means that many don’t have the

reserves to cope with the financial

impact of a significant life event such

as job loss, illness or bereavement.

These unpredictable events often lead to

problem debt.”

Intrum surveyed more than 24,000

consumers across 24 European




French exchange

HOIST Finance has acquired a French

non-performing mortgage portfolio

with more than 3,500 claims and an

outstanding balance of approximately

EUR 375 million. In what is described

as the largest portfolio investment

Hoist Finance has ever made, the seller

is one of the major banks in France

and in Europe and a key partner to

the business. Fabien Klecha, Country

Manager France and Chief Sales Officer

believes this is the first time a nonperforming

mortgage portfolio of this

size has been sold in France: “This

clearly positions Hoist Finance as a

leader within this segment in a very

promising market,” he says.


AS highlighted in the last issue

of Credit Management, ten free

places for CICM members are

available for the 4th European Credit

Congress in Poland later this year

on a first come/first served basis.

The FECMA-organised congress

– hosted by the Polish Institute

of Credit Management – is taking

place on May 14 and 15. Anyone

interested in attending should email

CSA hunts for new boss as current CEO steps down

THE Credit Services Association is

on the hunt for a new Chief Executive

after the current CEO, Peter Wallwork,

announced he will be stepping down in

June 2020 after more than ten years at

the helm.

Peter told Credit Management that

the decision to step down is entirely

personal: “I have been committed to

the success of the Association and

supporting our members for ten years,

and feel the time is right to move on,”

he says. “I am incredibly proud of what

we have achieved in that time and

believe we have made great strides in

influencing key stakeholders, supporting

our economy and in driving standards

by developing the CSA into a nationally

recognised apprenticeship provider.”

John Ricketts, Chair of the CSA,

thanked Peter for his service: “Peter

has been a devoted supporter of the

industry since before taking over as

Chief Executive and his achievements

are a matter of record and should be a

tremendous source of pride. The Board

fully understands and respects Peter’s

desire to move on to other challenges,

and formally thanks him for the

significant contribution he has made in

making the CSA what it is today – one

of the foremost trade associations in the


Peter was appointed to the newlycreated

role of Chief Executive following

the retirement of CSA Executive Director

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 7

Kurt Obermaier in 2010. In that time,

Peter has guided the Association

through a period of significant change,

including the transfer of regulatory

powers to the Financial Conduct

Authority and successfully supporting

members through the authorisation

process. He has expanded the CSA

team within Newcastle with the skills

and experiences needed to reflect the

increasing professionalisation of the

industry and supporting its members’


Credit Management understands

that a new CEO will be announced

in the Spring after a rigorous

recruitment process has been


Peter Wallwork



Collect Plus

ACS has created Collect+, a new

approach to utility debt collection

which it describes as a ‘new flagship

service’. The revamped portfolio –

comprising six discrete services

– is said to offer utility providers

a simpler and wider choice of

services for managing and collecting

domestic and B2B utility debt. The

services include out-sourced credit

management, debt collection, meter

disconnection/change, and ceased

supply collection.


LOOK out for news in the next issue on

recent CICMQ successes, which include

Saint-Gobain Ltd, Veolia, Peninsula,

Royal Mail and Marshalls Mono.



THE Meritorious Service Award is

granted as a rare recognition of an

especially meritorious contribution

to the Institute. If you would like to

nominate a member, visit



TO stay up-to-date with all that

is happening at the CICM – from

qualifications to training, and

membership to events – see the weekly

e-newsletter CICM Essentials.

Government launches review of

off-payroll working rules

THE Government has launched a review

of changes to off-payroll working rules to

address any concerns from businesses

and affected individuals about how they

will be implemented.

The review will determine if any

further steps can be taken to ensure the

smooth and successful implementation

of the reforms, which are due to come

into force in April 2020. As part of this,

the review will also assess whether any

additional support is needed to ensure

Shoosmiths say current EV

Financing is a non-starter

FINANCE providers working in

the Electrical Vehicle (EV) space

need to develop a controlled and

compliant approach to providing

the correct type of vehicle financing (at

competitive rates) to consumers.

Shoosmiths, the legal firm, says that

offers that have been ‘cobbled together’

from existing financing structures are

not fit for purpose. More than this, it

suggests that a lack of correct financing

offerings actually threatens the future

growth of EV ownership.

Stephen Dawson, sector head,

financial services, Shoosmiths, says

the complex nature of EVs requires a

different approach to finance: “Finance

providers have generally tried to make

their agreements as simple as possible,

designing and building their IT systems

to support these,” he says.

“This has worked well for petrol

and diesel cars bought and sold as

a single asset. But EVs are different

as they require a battery, often worth

several thousand pounds, and there

is also the need to take account of the

installation of new charging technology,

and specific maintenance and use

limitations. Without addressing these

EV issues, finance providers may find

it increasingly challenging to produce

finance documents for their EV loan

books that are fully compliant with the


UK service providers indicated that

business activity was unchanged in

December 2019, following a marginal

reduction in the previous month. The

stabilisation of service sector output was

helped by a return to improving order

books, as signalled by the sharpest rise

in new work since last July. Job creation

also strengthened in the latest survey

period, partly driven by a rebound in

business optimism to its highest for 15


that the self-employed, who are not in

scope of the rules, are not impacted.

Off-payroll working rules, known as

IR35, were introduced in 2000 to ensure

that someone working like an employee,

but through a company, pays similar

taxes to other employees.

The reforms, announced in the 2018

Budget, are designed to tackle noncompliance

with off-payroll working

rules by making medium and large

organisations in the private and third

Steady as she goes

Consumer demand is also shifting

with an appetite to move away from

ownerships towards a user-based

subscription model, enabling them to

swap their small weekday run-around

for a larger vehicle at weekends for

longer journeys and activities.

Stephen says that subscription

models lend themselves to hire rather

than credit plans, but this presents

additional challenges: “With customers

also wanting to bundle more elements

into the core price such as insurance,

batteries, Amazon deliveries to the boot,

for example, this could require a plethora

of agreements.

“At a time when major manufacturers

are increasingly prioritising the

development of EVs, everyone along

the supply chain, from manufacturers

through to dealerships, needs to work

closely with their finance partners to

ensure that proposed EV-friendly finance

offerings cover all the issues associated

with purchasing EVs. This could create

a need for multiple agreements, both

legally and practically, with customers

having to sign a combination of

regulated hire and credit agreements as

well as agreements for other services.

“There are huge problems ahead for

both the industry and consumers if

the financing for EVs isn’t overhauled

to meet the demand of this growing


The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS

UK Services PMI Business Activity Index

registered 50.0 in December, up from 49.3

during November, to signal a stabilisation

of overall service sector activity. Some

survey respondents noted a boost to

activity from higher underlying customer

demand at the end of 2019. Meanwhile,

those reporting a drop in output generally

cited a headwind from delayed

spending decisions ahead of the general


sectors responsible for determining the

tax status of contractors. The review will

focus on the implementation of these

reforms, which are due to come into

force on 6 April 2020.

The government will launch a

separate review to explore how it can

better support the self-employed. That

includes improving access to finance

and credit, making the tax system easier

to navigate, and examining how better

broadband can boost homeworking.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 8



New rules hit those

struggling the most

NEW rules from the Financial Conduct

Authority to help those in persistent

debt could lead to struggling households

having their credit cards blocked in


Banks were instructed to identify

struggling customers in September 2018

and give those customers 18 months

to reduce the capital they owe through

repayment plans, rather than making

minimum interest payments.

But those who didn’t reach an

agreement with their lender could have

their access to credit cut off, according

to debt advisors Citizens Advice

Scotland, and Myles Fitt, the charity’s

financial health spokesperson, says he

is concerned this could drive struggling

households further into poverty.

“Some people who have not been

paying off their credit cards may be in

for a reality shock if they have been

ignoring persistent debt letters coming

through their letterboxes. These changes

will help some people to pay off their

DARCEY Quigley, the commercial debt

recovery business, has launched a new

Commercial Debt Clinic, an online forum

that enables companies and employees

to post any questions they have relating

to outstanding invoices, payments or

products to receive expert advice in


Described as being the first dedicated

commercial debt recovery forum in the

UK directed at business owners and

credit management staff, the service

is supported by an experienced credit

management expert to answer all

questions within 24-hours after posting.

debts quicker but we’re concerned

about people who are forced to live in

persistent debt because of insecure

incomes in the first place.

“These changes could be a real

problem for people who are unable to

come to an arrangement with their credit

card lender and this may trigger an

increased demand for help with debts.”

The Financial Conduct Authority has

estimated that 5.6 million credit cards

are held by people struggling with their

finances. Credit card providers were

required, from September 2018, to send at

least three letters to all their customers

who had been in debt for at least 18

months, encouraging them to raise their

monthly payments.

Providers were supposed to offer

these debtors options for clearing their

balance over a period of three or four

years, including repayment plans or by

transferring their credit card balance to

a personal loan with a lower interest


Debt Recovery firm launches

new online debt clinic

As it is an open forum, registered users

can also comment and give views on

their own experience.

Company Owner and Managing

Director Lynne Darcey Quigley says the

free service will help those who may

be embarrassed about asking certain

questions relating to debt: “This forum

provides them anonymity as well as

best placed advice from a list of credit

experts,” she explains. “It will also

help others in a similar situation find

the best advice and answers they

need, which will also help with their




IT is with sadness that the East

Midlands Branch of the CICM reports

the passing of its long-standing

Treasurer Glenn Walker MCICM, 61,

after a short illness.

Glenn joined the CICM in 2001 and

was the East Midlands Branch Vice

Chair from October 2009 through to

March 2010, becoming the branch

treasurer from April 2010 until 2019.

Born on 3 December 1958 in Changi,

Singapore, Glenn was raised with two

brothers before moving to Wollaton,

Nottingham at the age of 13. Having

passed his eleven plus, Glenn attended

Forest Fields Grammar School where

he discovered his love for music

and beer, regularly frequenting Rock

City in Nottingham. Glenn gained

employment at Beeston Printers and

trained as an Accountant. He moved

on to work for Beauvale Furnishings

before progressing to Formost Air

Conditioning where he worked for 20


Most of Glenn’s friends and

colleagues will remember him for

his sense of fun and love of walking,

especially in Yorkshire where he

enjoyed spending weekends in his

caravan at Pickering. He was also

a fan of Nottingham Forest and the

Panthers who he frequently watched

play, even hitchhiking to Munich to

watch Forest play in the European Cup


Brent Cumming MCICM, Chairman

of the East Midlands Branch said

of Glenn: “He will be missed by

the committee and all the regular

attendees of the Branch Meetings

for his infectious laugh, stories of

his recent walking and camping

escapades. If you needed any help

with walks or tips on exploring

any area of Yorkshire, Glenn was your

man. I mentioned to him that I was

spending Christmas in Dent, North

Yorkshire and within a couple of days

I had received maps, and a list of

walks and places to visit!”

Glenn is survived by his wife of

eighteen years, Anne Walker.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 9




What steps should firms have

already taken regarding the

introduction of SMCR?

AUTHOR – Claire Aynsley

IT may have seemed as though

it was a long time coming, but

it’s finally here, and the first

deadline has already passed.

I’m talking, of course, about

the new Senior Managers and

Certification Regime (SMCR) which

formally started on 9 December 2019.

And if you have not already completed

your initial actions, then you need to get

your skates on or risk falling foul of the


SMCR, as I have written previously,

its not solely a compliance issue; it will

also significantly impact a company’s

Human Resources (HR) function as well

as requiring input from legal personnel. It

creates a number of challenges: it creates

cultural and motivational issues; future

appraisal issues; and issues as regards

how managers are remunerated.

It is asking senior managers to take on

roles and responsibilities that they may be

uncomfortable doing, or who may not be

equipped with the necessary skills to take

on the job envisaged. Individuals who will

be certificated will appear on a public

register, and some may be uncomfortable,

too, with having their names so readily


The SMCR does not just impact

individuals. All staff members (apart from

ancillary employees such as a receptionist

or cleaner) are bound by the new Conduct

Rules. Even though such rules appear to

be quite general (e.g the need to act with

integrity, act with due care, skill and

diligence, be open with regulators, pay

due regard to interests of customers and

treat them fairly, observe proper market

conduct etc.) every company will need to

demonstrate that these rules have been

properly communicated and embedded,

with culture being the core focus. Every

member of staff will be required to

evidence adherence to Conduct Rules,

if challenged. And a new disciplinary

process will be required for anyone who

breaches those Rules, and a further

process identified as regards whether the

breach is notifiable to the FCA!

So what actions should firms have

completed by the formal deadline, and

what are the next steps?


First off, by now, firms need to have

identified their Senior Management

Functions (SMFs). It is worth noting

that many existing approved persons

can be grandfathered over to the new

regime. If any firms have someone they

expect to be a SMF who is not already an

approved person, they may want to look

into the viability of making that person

an approved person and following the

grandfathering process (as opposed to

starting from scratch).

Businesses also need to have identified

their certification staff. If in doubt,

firms are encouraged to err on the side

of caution, and as they become more

comfortable with the regime, they can

amend their certification population

accordingly, if necessary.

Firms should diarise the checking of

the FCA Register. Given the significant

volumes of firms moving to the new regime

and an even larger number of approved

persons expected to be converted to SMFs,

there could be initial teething problems

with the conversion. Firms are therefore

encouraged to diarise a point in this first

month of implementation to check the

FCA Register and make sure that their

details have been moved to the new

regime correctly.

With a longer timeframe to put them

in place, tasks such as identifying the

remaining staff required to comply

with the Conduct Rules and providing

the necessary training, carrying out

certification and uploading certification

staff details to the FCA can wait for the

time being. But they shouldn’t wait too

long. Firms should still be cautious about

leaving such elements to the last minute

(uploading certification staff details at the

last minute could be problematic if there

are system issues).

By now, firms should have ensured

that the relevant Conduct Rules staff

(SMFs; certification staff; non-executive

directors) are trained on the Conduct

Rules and that they understand the

implications. When it comes to training

remaining staff on the Conduct Rules (an

action not required for another 12 months)

it is suggested that firms may want to look

at doing this ahead of the implementation

date (e.g. October/November 2020), to

ensure it is not forgotten and avoid the

need for repeat training.

Statements of Responsibilities need

also to have been considered. Ideally

these should be short and succinct. They

should be aligned with the job description

but not necessarily identical. It is

important to make sure that Statements

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 10

of Responsibilities are agreed with the

relevant SMFs and they understand their

responsibilities. (It is also worth noting

that Core firms do not need to submit their

Statements of Responsibilities to the FCA

for any staff converting from approved

person to SMF. Fresh SMF applications,

however, will require the provision of a

Statement of Responsibilities.)

When it comes to assessing the fitness

and propriety of the SMFs, some checks

(such as DBS checks) won’t need to be

replicated where someone is converting

from approved person to SMF. However,

as with Statements of Responsibilities,

any new SMF application will require

all relevant checks to be carried out in


Anyone with any questions about

SMCR, or who may want further details on

the policies and procedures that may need

changing to support its implementation,

are directed to FCA website. CSA members

can access additional information on

the CSA website where the outputs of a

dedicated SMCR compliance meeting can

be found, along with a series of SMCR

webinars. We are also covering SMCR at

our new People Development event in

February 2020. More details can be found

on the CSA website.

Claire Aynsley is Head of Regulatory

Compliance & Standards, Credit Services




Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 11




Why Crown Preference will hit creditors next year

AUTHOR – Jo Kettner

Jo Kettner

NEW legislation coming

into effect on 6 April 2020

will see HMRC regain

preferential treatment

over non-preferential and

floating charge holders; in

particular those banks who have insolvent

customer debts or security.

This means that HMRC will be able to

reclaim the £185 million per year it currently

loses when VAT, PAYE income tax, student

loan repayments, employee National

Insurance Contributions and construction

industry scheme deductions are paid by

employees and customers but have not

been passed on to the

Revenue at the time of

the insolvency. This will

come at the expense of

other creditors.

Crown Preference,

which dates back to

the late 19th Century,

was abolished as part

of the 2002 Enterprise

Act. At that time the

rationale for the change

was explained in terms

of equitability and

joining a trend in other

jurisdictions (Germany

and Australia) towards restricting or

abolishing Crown/State Preference: the idea

was that the benefit of abolition would be

passed on to unsecured creditors, even in

cases where there was a floating chargeholder.

In this case, a ‘prescribed part’

of the proceeds obtained when releasing

assets covered by a floating charge are ringfenced

and made available for distribution

to unsecured creditors. The formula for

determining the value of the ‘prescribed

part’ is meant to be equivalent to the value

lost to the Crown in an average insolvency as

a result of the abolition of Crown Preference.


The return of Crown Preference will mean

banks who have previously loaned money

are now at risk. Unlike in 2002, where the

removal of Crown Preference only impacted

on floating charges created after the

legislation came into force, there have been

The idea was that

the benefit of

abolition would

be passed on to

unsecured creditors,

even in cases where

there was a floating


no exceptions made for pre-6 April 2020

loans, so existing floating charge-holders

will be exposed to increased uncertainty

around their lending. Not only that, but

there has been no indication that the reintroduction

of Crown Preference will lead

to the abolition of the ‘prescribed part’: quite

the opposite in fact, the ‘prescribed part’ cap

is expected to be increased from £600,000 to

£800,000 this year.

The looming change is ringing alarm

bells for many lenders who have made

long-term loan decisions based on the

current regime, and could have a significant

impact on the way Asset Based Loan (ABL)

companies, that have

proved much-needed

cashflow support to the

SME sector, operate in


The new legislation

could see a number of

unforeseen impacts

and has come in for

heavy criticism by

insolvency practitioners

and those interested

in the availability

of credit to the SME

sector. But it seems

that the government is

determined to press-on with the plan. In

which case, for those businesses which

have previously relied on floating charges

to protect their investments, active risk

management is now more important than


We have been talking to a number of

organisations about forecasting future risk.

Of course, the key thing is understanding

your customer’s business so that you know

where the key pressures are likely to come

from and the likely impact of any changes to

their trading environment.

When the number of businesses looking

to protect themselves from defaulting

customers has risen by 35 percent*,

companies are clearly facing an increased

risk around trading, lending and investment.

* Research carried out Euronomics

Jo Kettner is CEO of Company Watch.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 12






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Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 13




Could a new robot called AVA transform debt

collection as we know it?

AUTHOR – Lisa Phillips MCICM

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 14


AUTHOR – Lisa Phillips MCICM

ARTIFICIAL Intelligence (AI) is

making its way into all parts of

our business and private lives

and the debt collection sector is

no exception.

The techniques used to

gather and process big data to classify debtors

and recommend actions regularly use AI and

machine learning technologies. These solutions

are established and growing. They are back

office solutions used by credit management

departments and debt collection agencies

(DCAs) to enhance productivity or support

business growth. However, advances in AI mean

that it is now possible to build a virtual agent

(VA) which is able to interact with a human and

autonomously negotiate debt repayment.

One of the programmes for developing a

virtual agent for debt collection is the work

funded by the Department for Business,

Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through

its Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)

programme. It has been carried out by a

partnership of AI development company

Insight, the University of Hertfordshire and

debt collection agency, ACS. The aim is to

build an AI-enabled solution to negotiate debt

repayments. The result is one of the world’s first

ever ‘virtual’ debt collection agents.


A virtual agent for debt collection must be

able to act and think like a human agent.

This requires a sophisticated AI. The ability

to decipher the truth, detect vulnerability and

plan a negotiation strategy are complex human

traits. To be an excellent negotiator and handle

the sensitivities of the debt conversation, the AI

used by debt collection virtual agents needs to

have the capacity to use emotional intelligence

and adaptability during negotiations.

The virtual agent in this example is called

AVA and is designed to work alongside human

debt collection agents. Through big data

analytics and machine learning, the ‘intelligent’

software of AVA deals with many of the calls,

negotiations and transactions currently

conducted by human agents. This allows the

human agents to focus on more complex

interactions and expands the capacity of the

call centre to increase the volume of calls it can



AI is the application and merging of many

different sciences, including mathematics,

statistics, machine learning, data mining,

programming, philosophy, psychology,

control theory, computer engineering, and

bio-computation – the list is almost endless.

A practical tool for thinking about AI and

explaining its capabilities are the definitions

proposed by Russel and Novig. They proposed

that solutions which appear intelligent did so

by either thinking humanly, acting humanly,

thinking rationally, or acting rationally.

In practice AI solutions show a combination

of these characteristics in their design. AVA has

the ability to think and act like a human as well

as thinking and acting rationally.

The idea of developing AVA started some four

years ago when ACS contacted the University

of Hertfordshire for help to commercialise

its proprietary debt collection solution. Very

quickly it was realised that partnering the

University’s skills and academic resources with

ACS’ data and understanding of debt collection

could enable a cutting-edge AI-based debt

negotiator to be developed.

The development programme of the

AVA virtual agent has tapped into various

departments at the University and their research

and services, engaging eight Masters students

with expertise ranging from psychology to data

mining, machine learning, programming and

cyber security, each contributing to the custombuilt


The AVA programme is a three-year funded

development programme. The programme is

two years in, and the first beta prototype of

the AVA virtual agent will soon be available for

release, and ready to commercialise.

The commercial launch and market

planning have been supported by BEIS through

its Innovate 2 Succeed programme delivered

by Exemplas. It has been supporting SMEs

on behalf of government for the last 25 years

and is working with the AVA development

team to develop a strategy for successful



The AVA debt collection virtual agent may be a

game changer for the sector. It will benefit the

business, the process of debt recovery, and the

customer. Commercial enterprises will be able

to manage large account volumes with existing

staffing levels and have more flexibility when

planning campaigns.

For DCAs, AVA will benefit the firm’s ability

to compete in marginal markets, lower the

cost of entry to new debt markets, and control

overhead costs. The customer journey and care

can be enhanced with better profiling and

identification of the customer type, appropriate

handling and communications, and providing a

personalised 24/7 experience for the customer.

Anecdotal evidence from the research

carried out by TechEmergence, a business

providing market research and competitive

intelligence for the business applications of

artificial intelligence, suggests that using AI

solutions for personalisation of messaging can

result in an increase in repayment rates. The

AVA virtual agent has the potential to deliver

even greater benefits for the debt collection


Lisa Phillips MCICM is Managing Director

of Advanced Collections Systems (ACS).

Advances in AI

mean that it is

now possible to

build a virtual

agent (VA) which

is able to interact

with a human and


negotiate debt


Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 15



When it comes to enforcement, not all

publicity is good publicity.

AUTHOR – Andrew Wilson FCICM

NOW that the businesses

concerned have decided not

to go ahead with further

series of Can’t Pay? We’ll

Take It Away! and The

Sheriffs are Coming, it may

be worth looking at whether these reality

TV programmes have been a positive or a

negative as far as the profession of High Court

Enforcement Officer (HCEO) is concerned.

As an Association we have been looking at

those areas which we believe should be taken

into account when considering a Media

Policy, which all businesses in the High

Court Enforcement world should have. In

particular we pose the question, in relation

to reality TV of ‘Can you balance Consent

under GDPR with Confidentiality under the

National Standards?’.

I have always answered that one with a

‘No’, as I cannot see how an HCEO’s duty to

be even handed between debtor and creditor,

inherited from the obligations of Sheriffs

under S99 and paragraph 4, Schedule 7

Courts Act 2003, can possibly be achieved

by attending on an enforcement of a Writ of

Possession or Control, with a camera crew in


The balancing act was considered in detail

by Mr Justice Arnold in the case of Shakir

Ali (1) & Shahida Aslam (2) v. Channel 5

Broadcast Limited (2018 EWHC 298 (Ch)),

an enforcement of a Writ of Possession by

eviction of a tenant and his family. This

pitched interference of an individual’s Article

8 rights (to respect for his private and family

life, his home and correspondence) on the

grounds that the publicity of the process of

eviction contributed to a debate of general

interest against the programme maker’s

Article 10 rights (to freedom of expression).

The outcome was that despite the importance

of freedom of expression (‘one of the essential

foundations of a democratic society’), in this

case, it was outweighed by a reasonable

expectation of privacy: Mr Ali and Ms Aslam

were awarded damages.


Generally HCEOs (and Sheriffs before them)

have avoided publicising their work, most of

which is mundane: heads were raised above

the parapet during the enforcement of Writs

of Possession against environmental and

road protest in the 1980s and 1990s, mainly

because it suited (and assisted) the Police in

showing that they were supporting the civil

enforcement process in an even handed way,

by ensuring that there was no breach of the

criminal law, rather than taking the lead in

enforcement which would have blurred the

civil/criminal distinction, which is carefully

maintained in England and Wales and is seen

as a bit of a mystery in other jurisdictions.

Now that we have seen, in a rather

dramatised way in Can’t Pay? We’ll Take it

Away! and rather more realistically in The

Sheriffs Are Coming, a bit more detail of

what goes on in the enforcement of court

judgments, has this been a good thing?

On the positive side, it has made the general

public a little more aware that there is an

enforcement process available to claimants

where defendants insist on not complying

with court orders. In that respect it has

shown that the law can be very effective.

The programmes on Channel 5 ran to five

series, were very popular and have been

exported to other countries and have been

used as training guides for those involved in

the civil debt recovery process. I know of one

senior civil litigation solicitor who enjoyed

Can’t Pay? We’ll Take it Away! so much that

he carefully recorded every programme for a

little light entertainment after a hard day in

the office!

On the negative side, it has raised

unreasonable expectations of litigants

in person on the likely success of civil

enforcement – generally not much more

than 30 percent of instructions received on

money judgments result in payment in full.

On possessions this is more likely to be 99.9

percent and quite often cases where the

County Court was unable to give possession

are passed to the High Court for enforcement.

From the Association’s point of view, the

two TV programmes have tinged the view

of MPs and Government Ministers against

our platform that we are a safe pair of hands

and simply get on with the job in difficult

circumstances, without any fuss and deserve

to be given more work.

So, in my view, there is such a thing as Bad

Publicity which can have a negative effect on

those exposed to it.

Andrew Wilson FCICM is Chairman

of the High Court Enforcement Officers

Association (HCEOA).

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 16


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Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 17




APIs can help mirror vital credit

information across multiple platforms.

AUTHOR – John Patounas

THE Application Programming

Interface, more commonly

known as an API, has continued

to revolutionise the means with

which companies and individuals

interact with data. Although not

new, they continue to make our lives easier,

especially when it comes to maximising ‘the


One of the most significant features of APIs

is the fact that their functionalities are virtually

unlimited. Recently there has been a focus on

data-driven companies, data-driven decision

making and, overall, big data. In a business

world that is so reliant upon data, the need to

transfer that data has increased, paving the way

for more resilient APIs. This is especially true in

the Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

space, and how credit data can now be accessed

and integrated via CRM software.


CRMs are very much the norm today, with a

focus on providing the best customer service

with a data-first approach. This strategic

software helps businesses automate storage

organisation of client data, and find potential

customers. CRM databases may contain contact

details, lead sources, consumer interaction

records, purchasing records and plenty more

information that helps specify your types of

customers and, therefore, potential clientele.

There are a myriad of CRMs that businesses

can use, such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho,

to name but a few. If we take Salesforce as an

example, how can an API be used to access

credit data via the Salesforce CRM? More than

this, what is the added value of using a CRM

with additional credit scoring applications and


API is, essentially, the channel of

communication between two systems. It is an

intermediary to serve one system with data

from another system, and with this exchange,

all functionality is mirrored to the receiving

system. For example, company X has an API

and channels the communication with their

system to a CRM such as Salesforce. All the

functionalities that company X’s API holds will

be embedded into the Salesforce software.

Therefore, if company X is a business

intelligence company with significant amounts

of data on companies and individuals, then

their API that can offer all of their services (such

as Know Your Customer (KYC) information,

company profiles and credit reports) will

be mirrored onto the receiving software.

In our example, Salesforce would gain new

functionalities due to the API data exchange.


Continuing with our credit data example, how

can the everyday user access company X’s API

functionalities? Luckily, the everyday user

doesn’t have to deal with all the technicalities

of the API and the exchange from one system

to another. These APIs are tidied up by the

CRM and configured in a way where users

will only have to install a plugin or an app that

automatically connects users to the original

destination of the API exchange, without the

need to worry about any major technicalities

or the transition of APIs. It’s a relatively simple

process, like downloading an app, though

some minor customisation may be required

depending on the user.

There is no doubt that APIs and CRMs are the

present and future of conducting efficient and

effective business, so what are the benefits of

integrating credit data to a CRM via API?

1) One-Stop Shop:

It doesn’t matter what your company does or

what the CRM can do, you will gain complete

access to another company’s functionality via

their API. In the case of our business

intelligence company, company X, you will

be able to perform KYC and credit checks as

if you were using their system or their website

directly, but it would be through a CRM, such

as Salesforce. The benefit of this is that you

can have access to many different APIs from

other companies (for example credit

reference agencies) on the same CRM, to

have all your data and access to it, in one

place. Additionally, with multiple user

access, you can have many people in different

global locations simultaneously accessing all

of this data and all of the functions offered

via API on the CRM.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 18

2) Automation:

Using functionality from an API is completely automated

and all the technical work is hidden within the API.

APIs are used day-to-day by most people without even

knowing. For example, when you use social media ‘share’

buttons on a blog page, it connects an article straight

to a social media page to share, this is using an API to

make that exchange. Here the functionality is allowing

someone to share an article from a website to a social

media platform. In the case of our business intelligence

company, if you wanted to perform a credit analysis or

obtain a credit report on a specific company, instead

of going onto a credit reference agency’s website, or

sending them an email, or conducting the research inhouse,

using company X’s add-on, this can be done

automatically within the CRM.

3) Security:

Whether you are the one offering the API integration

with the CRM or the user of the API, data security is a

vital component. APIs can be secured in a variety of ways,

one of which is known as ‘tokenisation’. Companies can

ensure trusted identities and control access to services

that the users have by using tokens that are assigned

to client identities. The API recognises the tokens, and

when a client uses the API functionality, they are viewed

as trusted. Tokens are assigned when a user registers

and passes KYC procedures. Additionally, users may use

other functions of the API using their unique tokens, but

for a period of time, for example, one hour. This is just

one of a variety of security protocols that APIs hold.

John Patounas

is a Senior Software

Engineer and Data

Protection Officer

at Cedar Rose.

Whether you are the one offering

the API integration with the CRM or

the user of the API, data security is a

vital component.

4) Faster Client On-boarding:

We all know that Sales and Finance departments are

traditionally not always the best of friends. However,

using a CRM application or add-on to source data and

find new potential clients, conduct KYC checks and

order credit reports – even due diligence investigations

– means that Sales, Marketing, Credit, Finance and even

your Compliance teams can all benefit from the initial

software investment. An added benefit is the seamless

on-boarding of new clients through a single platform.

Sales and Marketing can quickly find clients, Compliance

can quickly vet them, Finance can quickly approve them

and even the Legal team will be happier to approve them

– all via the same CRM platform.

Accessing credit data on CRMs via API integrations can

help companies and individuals gain insights into data and

functionalities that they never before could. Not only does

it allow everyone to access a new range of information,

but with the ease-of-access and automation features, the

benefits of APIs allow businesses to operate more efficiently.

APIs are extremely frequent in our day-to-day lives,

social and professional, so remember, if you are unable to

get something done, there is a good chance that someone

has created an API that will help you.

It doesn’t matter what your company

does or what the CRM can do, you

will gain complete access to another

company’s functionality via their API.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 19



CICM British Credit Awards 2020

5 February 2020

Royal Lancaster, London

The awards are taking place next week

Last chance to book your place!

Headline Sponsor:


Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 20

2020 Finalists:

B2B Team of the Year

• Adecco UK&I

• Aggregate Industries UK Ltd

• Biffa Waste Services Ltd

• Brakes (Brake Bros Ltd)

• Breedon Group Plc

• Genesee & Wyoming Inc.

• Hilti GB Ltd

• Royal Mail Group Ltd

• TrustFord

• Weightmans LLP

B2B/Consumer Supplier of the Year

• Cedar Rose Int. Services

• CoCredo Ltd

Credit Assist

• Dun & Bradstreet

• Flint Bishop LLP

• IncomeMax

• Lovetts Solicitors

• Onguard UK Ltd

Consumer Team of the Year

• Imperial College London

• Smarterbuys Store

• United Utilities Water Ltd

Diversity & Inclusion Award

• Aggregate Industries UK Ltd



• Kingston University

• Smarterbuys Store

Innovation & Technology Award

• Aggregate Industries UK Ltd

• Brakes (Brake Bros Ltd)

• Breedon Group Plc

• Company Watch Ltd

• Draycir Ltd

• Gazprom Energy

• Graydon UK

• HighRadius Corporation

• Shell Hungary Zrt

• United Utilities Water Ltd

Best Employer Award

• Adecco UK&I

• Aggregate Industries UK Ltd

• Allianz Credit Management

• Hilti GB (Ltd)

• Marston Holdings

• Shoosmiths

• Weightmans LLP

Shared Service Provider of the Year

• Adecco UK&I

• Aggregate Industries UK Ltd

• Brakes (Brake Bros Ltd)

• Essentra Shared Service Centre


• RS Components

Debt Collection Agency of the Year

• Ascent Performance Group Limited

• Flint Bishop LLP

• Hilton-Baird Collection Services

• Keebles LLP

• Waters & Gate

Legal Provider of the Year

• Ascent Performance Group Limited

• Blaser Mills Law


• Flint Bishop LLP

• Keebles LLP

• Lovetts Solicitors

• Shulmans LLP

Credit Professional of the Year

• Amagwula Ijeoma Marilyn -

NPF Microfinance Bank

• Dan Hancocks MCICM - CoCredo Ltd

• Dave Pepper MCICM - Aggregate

Industries UK Ltd

• Elisabeth Doppelhofer - Adecco UK&I

• Laural Jefferies FCICM - Fashion Edge Ltd

• Lee Healey - IncomeMax

• Lydia Catterall MCICM - Hilti (GB) Ltd

• Sharon Noland MCICM - Gazprom

Marketing & Trading Retail Ltd

Giving Back Award

• Ade Oyewumi ACICM - Imperial College


• Katherine Bailey FCICM - Valor Hospitality

Europe Ltd

• Mike Segall FCICM - Certsure LLP

Rising Star of the Year

• Christopher Hardman - Bureau Veritas

• Dagmara Chrzastek ACICM - Cordant Group

• Emma Green - Adecco UK&I

• Josh Wright - Gazprom Marketing & Trading

Retail Ltd

• Lisa Mulrooney - Breedon Group Plc

• Olivia Fantham - Aggregate Industries UK Ltd

Outstanding Contribution to the Industry

Winner announced on the night

Sir Roger Cork Prize

Winner announced on the night



To book your place, please contact Luke Taylor on 020 7484 9766

or via

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 21



The last decade has seen the world of deceased

collections transformed.

AUTHOR – Nick Cherry FCICM

LET me start off by correcting

a common misnomer. Many

people over the years have

shared their perception

with me that deceased

collections is a conservative

market where very little changes, and

whilst I sometimes wish that was true, it

couldn’t be more wrong.

Servicing some of the biggest

international financial institutions across

banking, finance, telecoms, energy and

debt purchase industries brings with

it a need to innovate and adapt at an

incredible pace. Those of us working

in this niche have had to continuously

reinvent ourselves and find ways to

improve our service – that’s where the

challenge begins.

Client and regulatory demands differ

radically across markets but with one

common theme – the bar of compliance

and what is expected of our business

continues to be raised, and so to combat

this we have always taken a stance of

adopting the highest possible standard

and making this our global expectation.

Whilst it leads to more expense in the

short term, we take a view that increasing

standards will eventually roll around the

globe so we might as well get ahead of the

curve and benefit from an outstanding

compliance track record in the interim. In

that way, deceased account management

is no different to any other part of the

collections industry.

But that’s largely where the similarities

start and end.


The most important element of deceased

collections is in never forgetting the

subject matter and that most people we

speak to are dealing with something much

more important than simply resolving a

balance owed by the deceased’s estate. In

turn, using that permanent reminder to

ensure that every process, policy, piece of

training or interaction with a consumer,

most often the next of kin of the decedent,

is focused on delivering a compassionate

and appropriate outcome.

Bereavement is of course one of

the recognised triggers for potential

consumer vulnerability and as such, we

cannot simply have specialised teams,

but must literally gear our entire business

towards dealing with this reality and

in differentiating degrees of emotional

readiness to engage. A ‘no compromise’

approach is required regarding our

standards of compassion and empathy

as well as having a clear requirement for

every interaction (via whatever medium)

to be compassionate in nature.

The way to actively promote

compassionate behaviours is by

employing real time and post call speech

analytics across the entire business,

conducting regular customer journey

reviews and through an unwavering

quality focus on the experiential elements

of calls alongside necessary compliance

and data protection requirements.

Letter suites are geared to provide the

necessary call to action for the executor

or individual handling the final affairs of

the decedent but in an empathetic way so

that they understand our intentions and

that they are 100 percent clear that they

are not personally liable for any balance



Embedding this culture brings a challenge,

since businesses focused on deceased

collections still face the need to engage

their people and to provide a warm and

welcoming work environment where they

can build a career, but this can never be

at the expense of work standards and core

values. Dealing with such a specialised

subject matter seven or eight hours per

day can bring emotional challenges for

colleagues and their mental and physical

health and wellbeing needs to be taken

very seriously.

Alongside occupational health and

extensive employee assistance schemes,

staff typically undergo regular reeducation

around active listening,

personal emotional resilience and

grief counselling techniques with a

combination of Samaritans and Cruse

Bereavement or similar organisations


That said, this focus on ‘the human

touch’ needs to evolve and the last few years

has seen the increasing ‘digitalisation’

of the deceased account management

process. It is well understood that

technology and data empower people to

deliver a better service.

In deceased account management

however, this represents both a challenge

and an opportunity in that we must ensure

that a compassionate engagement style is

maintained throughout every touch point.

Embracing the modern consumer’s

desire to engage through their channel

of choice has led the industry, and our

business especially, to invest significantly

in digital technology but with a difference.

The specialist nature of our subject matter

demands that all solutions deployed

reflect the same unwavering level of

compassion and empathy as ‘traditional’

engagement methods. Digital is used to

augment the traditional approach but in a

way which maintains the personal touch.


Our own business is in the process of

rolling out Version 2.0 of its proprietary

estate resolution platform, Estate-Serve,

and in this platform, we have gone to

great lengths to map every interaction

to the individual characteristics of the

account. For example, immediately upon

login, we seek to establish the relationship

of the executor/individual to deceased

consumer, and every subsequent

interaction is then tailored accordingly.

Whilst this makes our online workflows

significantly more complex and expensive

to develop, it is a price worth paying.

Similarly, from a data perspective,

this starts from the second a placement

is received. Every account placed with

us represents a deceased consumer,

and whilst every death is a tragic loss

for the family involved, some events are

more impactful than others. Unnatural,

untimely or newsworthy deaths, for

example, can create irreconcilable levels

of grief and it is our job to identify these

cases and proactively avoid engaging

and causing further distress to grieving


Moreover, there are times in life when

it is simply inappropriate to engage with

a consumer and where, put bluntly,

something more important is happening

in their lives. This includes the period

immediately after an individual has died,

but also events like natural disasters or

extreme weather conditions. Businesses

like ours that operate in geographies where

bush or forest fires, tornadoes, earth

quakes and sadly even mass shootings are

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 22


AUTHOR – Nick Cherry FCICM

all too common require technology and

processes to be specifically adapted to

suspend activity immediately in affected


The last ten years has witnessed a sea

change in consumers’ expectations of

how they expect financial institutions,

and their service providers, to hold

and use data on them and for this to

be reflected in the service provided.

Ignorance or inadequate systems are no

longer an excuse and harnessing data

more prudently and ultimately more

effectively continues to be a significant

challenge and opportunity.


In most countries across the globe, the

demographics are shifting and the baby

boom generation, with their modern

attitudes to the use of credit, are ageing

and sadly dying in increasing numbers.

This has encouraged creditors of all

shapes and sizes to wake up the need

for specialised treatments for deceased

accounts, and to realise the opportunity

that this represents to build advocacy for

their brands amongst a decedent’s family

and friends, by providing as good an

experience in death as they endeavoured

to provide in life.

This has led to a greater demand for

highly-specialised services in this most

delicate of processes, but in very recent

years it has also led to a change in the

mindset at clients around what type of

facilities would benefit from specialised

deceased account management. Looking

to the future, I expect this to continue to

manifest in the coming years.

As the focus on the customer experience

and regulatory lens on appropriate

handling of consumers increases,

there has been a surge in the desire to

extend ‘traditional’ unsecured account

methodologies to new areas. Clients

are realising in increasing numbers that

they need to provide an equally positive

solution for mortgages, automotive

accounts and even credit balances or

deposit and investment accounts where

consumers, or more accurately, their

estates and subsequent beneficiaries are

actually owed money.

Developing new, compliant,

customer -level workstreams and products

is both challenging and exciting but is

just the next iteration of the incredible

pace of change in what many still

erroneously consider to be a static and

often overlooked aspect of the collections


Nick Cherry FCICM is Chief Operating

Officer, Phillips & Cohen Associates.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 23



Influencing the behaviour of others

is essential to business success.

AUTHOR – Richard Chataway

IF you are in business, you are

in the business of behaviour.

Unless a business influences

behaviour, it will not succeed. A

business needs people to buy and

use its products and services to

generate revenue. It needs people to make

and deliver those products and services.

Or at the very least it needs people to

create those products and services, or

to build and program the machines that

create them. And it needs to do those

things better than its competitors to

survive and grow. In the world of credit

management, unless a business influences

financial decision-making, it cannot hope

to achieve desirable outcomes.

This much should be self-evident. But

there are plenty of things businesses do

that fly in the face of the latest evidence

on how, and why, people behave as they

do. Businesses frequently don’t even try to

change behaviour, but merely perceptions

or attitudes, and wrongly assume

behaviour will follow.

The good news is that in the last 50

years we have learnt more about how, and

why, people behave as they do than we

learnt in the previous 5,000! Like advances

in medicine, technology, and computing,

the growth of knowledge in behavioural

science has been extraordinary. It

has been driven by academic

disciplines like behavioural economics,

social/evolutionary psychology and

neuroscience, and the work of a number

of dedicated practitioners. Two key

luminaries – Professors Daniel Kahneman

and Richard Thaler – have been awarded

Nobel Prizes this century. There is much

for businesses to learn.


If there is one critical thing to learn from

behavioural science it is this: what people

do is frequently not the same as what they

say, or intend, to do. If a business does

not employ this understanding of how

people make decisions – that they are

frequently driven by their subconscious,

and external factors they are not aware

of – they are wasting the business’ money

(and that of any shareholders).

These subconscious heuristics (mental

shortcuts) and behavioural biases are

important because we use them to help us

make the thousands of decisions required

every day.

“Many people are overconfident, prone

to put too much faith in their intuitions,”

wrote Kahneman. “They apparently find

cognitive effort at least mildly unpleasant

and avoid it as much as possible.”

In short: we think less than we think

we think. As Thaler and Sunstein, authors

of the book ‘Nudge’ put it, we are often

less like Spock, and more like Homer


The importance of this is twofold: one,

we have chronically underestimated just

how much of our decision-making is of

this instinctive type, with some estimates

indicating that it accounts for between

90–95 percent of our daily behaviour;

two, that only by understanding these

heuristics and biases can we effectively

explain, influence and change behaviour.

We are more like Homer Simpson

than we care to realise or admit. These

behavioural biases are hugely important

in determining how we behave. They

perform an important function, not least

because of our increasingly complicated

lives, where we are often over-burdened

with information and stimuli.

This work has shown that when

considering influencing behaviour in

business it is important to think about

whether you are dealing with Homer

or Spock. Because you will be dealing

with Homer more often than you might



Financial decisions are not rational.

Hence why we always have less money in

the bank at the end of the month than we

expect. These heuristics and behavioural

biases – in this case, our optimism bias

– lead us to make all kinds of financial

decisions that often result in negative or

irrational outcomes, and often to credit


For example, behavioural science

experiments consistently show decisionmaking

to be adversely affected by

poverty. Financial stress makes it more

difficult for people to think clearly,

rationally and logically about important

decisions, making it more likely for them

to make their situation worse.

“There is emerging research which

shows that financial worries absorb

mental capacity – or ‘bandwidth’ – needed

for attention and problem solving,” said a

2016 report by the Behavioural Insights

Team. As Kate Glazebrook, one of the

authors of the BIT report, explained to

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 24


AUTHOR – Richard Chataway

In the world of

credit management,

unless a business

influences financial


it cannot hope to

achieve desirable


me: “The mental processes that we undergo

when we are poor, be that financially poor

or time poor, actually have a lot of the same

kinds of characteristics. If you think about

somebody who’s relatively wealthy, quite

financially literate, might still be late on

making payments on their credit cards. They

literally don’t have time, and they’ve got so

many decisions they’re taking in a given day,

that they just don’t quite get

around to it even though

rationally they absolutely

should. Because the cost of

not doing that is real.”

She cites research by

Eldar Shafir and Sendhil

Mullainathan that found

that being in a state of

change from financial

plenty to scarcity reduced

the IQ level of the same

Indian farmers from the

top quartile to a median

IQ, and from a median

IQ to someone who was

cognitively challenged. This

was equivalent to the cognitive impairment

that one might feel from losing a night of



As a case study of applying this thinking to

financial decision-making, in 2017/2018 I

worked on a project with partners at OEE

Consulting (now GoBeyond Partners) a

leading services and operations management


The client was an outsourcer that ran a

call centre for one of the UK’s largest savings

banks (having over 20 million customers).

OEE Consulting was developing a number

of new processes and systems, based on

lean principles, to deliver better processes

in the call centre. These had both an

efficiency (i.e. money-saving) objective and

an effectiveness one (i.e. delivering better

service for customers).

I was brought in to advise on how we

could deliver better customer service

through addressing what customer service

representatives (CSRs) were saying on the

phone. That is, using behavioural nudges

to improve the quality of outcomes for both

customers (more successfully answering

their reason for calling, such as making a

balance transfer) and the bank (reducing the

duration of calls so they could handle more,

as well as encouraging customers to take up

online and paperless offerings).

Our analysis found a surprisingly

high number of people were failing the

mandatory security checks. After listening

to calls, we discovered this was because the

framing of these checks was very formal,

and slightly confrontational. CSRs were in

effect saying that if customers could not

prove their identity, the bank could (and

would) not help. With older customers in

particular, this interrogatory approach was

causing them undue stress – which has been

proven to affect ‘mental availability’ and the

ability to recall information.

As a result, they would frequently panic

and get their answers to the mandatory

security questions wrong. This lengthened

the call, as well as making it unsuccessful

and frustrating for the customer.


With a few small tweaks to the wording, we

changed the scripts to frame them more

positively (e.g. from ‘if you prove your

identity’ to ‘when you prove your identity’)

and even said to customers that they could

‘take their time’, to put them more at ease – a

counter-intuitive solution. By slowing down

the conversation, this would actually reduce

the overall length of the call.

It is an example of how behavioural

science tells us that how you say something

is as important as what you are saying, if not

more so.

This was one of multiple interventions

(‘nudges’) employed. For practical reasons

it was not possible to isolate each nudge.

Instead we ran a controlled pilot where a

representative sample of CSRs in the call

centre were trained and coached in using

these nudges over a 12-week period, and we

monitored the outcome of those calls versus

the rest of the call centre.

There was a clear, direct link between

what our decisions were as a business, and

a behavioural outcome. Over the course of

the pilot, there was an 11 percent reduction

in the duration of calls versus the control,

worth potentially millions of pounds due

to the thousands of calls handled every day.

Customer satisfaction levels increased, and

we could prove overall success in terms

of efficiency and effectiveness based on

behavioural outcomes. Subsequently the

training and process was rolled out to the

other 300 CSRs in the call centre.

This work shows that an effective use of

behavioural science, and employing what I

call ‘test-tube behaviours’ – an experimental,

evidence-based approach to testing and

learning based on actual behaviour, is

not just a nice-to-have for a behavioural

business. It is essential.

Richard Chataway is a Vice President of

BVA Nudge Unit UK, and a board member

of the Association for Business Psychology.

His book ‘The Behaviour Business’ will be

published in February 2020 by Harriman

House. This article is adapted from his

presentation to the CICM Think Tank.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 25


Cause for complaint

How does the insolvency complaints

process work?

AUTHOR – Michelle Thorp


think that it’s fair to say that from

time to time, creditors and other

stakeholders may query the way

that an insolvency practitioner

(IP) has carried out their work,

which, it is possible, could turn

into a complaint.

As a regulatory body, we at the IPA

advise creditors and other stakeholders

that complaints should be directed to

the IP first so that it gives them a chance

to swiftly put an end to the issue if one

is found. This avoids exacerbating any

problem and of course keeps things


IPs are expected to comply with many

standards when going about their work,

in addition to statutory rules and law,

including the insolvency Code of Ethics,

Statements of Insolvency Practice (SIPs),

IPA specific requirements and insolvency

guidance papers.

One of the insolvency guidance

papers sets out how IPs should deal with

complaints. The paper highlights that

it is key to deal with the complaint in a

timely manner, with full investigation

undertaken and the complainant

communicated with properly at all stages

of the complaint.

The complaining party should also

be notified that their complaint can be

referred to the IP’s authorising body at

any time. In June 2013, the Insolvency

Service (IS), with the support of the

insolvency regulators, or Recognised

Professional Bodies (RPBs), established an

online Complaints Gateway, which is the

single point of entry for complaints. The

Gateway can be accessed at


Once the complaint is received, the IS,

which is a government executive agency

(part of the Department for Business,

Michelle Thorp

Energy and Industrial Strategy) that is

responsible for authorising the UK’s

insolvency profession and supervising the

RPBs, will review the complaint and, as

applicable, will send it to the RPB which

licences the IP.

When we receive a complaint at the IPA,

the matter is referred to our complaints

team, which in the first instance will

liaise with the IP and the complainant

to establish what has happened and, in

particular, whether there are grounds for

considering disciplinary action against

the IP.

The paper highlights

that it is key to deal

with the complaint in a

timely manner, with full

investigation undertaken

and the complainant

communicated with

properly at all stages of

the complaint.

If it is found that there are no grounds

for the complaint to proceed, we will

explain the position to the lodger of the

complaint, who will also be able to see the

IP’s response. It’s important to note that

if the complainant doesn’t agree with our

assessment, they are entitled to launch

an appeal through our Regulation and

Conduct Committee (R&CC).

The R&CC is one of five of the IPA’s

committees. It is the first stage regulatory

committee and has the power to make

findings on complaints at a prima facie

level and issue sanctions, where suitable,

outside of disciplinary tribunals. If a

complaint cannot be dealt with by the

R&CC, it is referred to our Disciplinary

and Appeals Committee (D&AC) to be

heard by a tribunal.

Following the initial enquiries, if there

are grounds for disciplinary consideration,

we will need to make further inquiries

of the IP and present them with formal

allegations. Having provided the IP

with an opportunity to make formal

representations on the allegations, the

matter can then be presented to the R&CC

for a decision.

If the R&CC makes a finding against

the IP, the committee will seek to either

impose a published sanction on the IP by

consent, or, for less serious matters, will

issue warnings. The Common Sanctions

Guidance was established to ensure

uniformity in sanctions across the RPBs.

The receipt of a disciplinary consent

order avoids the need for a tribunal, which

would take much more time and also

have a higher cost. In any case, details of

the sanction(s) imposed and the matter to

which they relate to will be made public,

both on the IPA website and that of the IS.

We recognise that complaints must

be processed in a timely manner. Some

are quicker to deal with than others

though, with the complexity of the subject

matter and level of communication with

the parties being key to the duration.

Disciplinary processes, especially those

that escalate to tribunal level, must be

properly undertaken, and complaints that

reach those stages may take longer than

usual. Following a review of regulation

and governance in November 2018, we

introduced changes to the complaints

process to improve efficiency, including

altering the structure of our complaint

handling team to promote speedier

handling and streamlining committee

processing of complaints.

Occasionally, and whilst they are robust

and commensurate with the actions of

the IP, we hear concern as to the scale

of sanctions. As the IPA regulates the

individual IP and not the firm that they

are part of, this is taken into account

when sanctions are administered. Or in

other words, it is the IP who is sanctioned

individually, and not their firm. You may

well be aware of the recent call for evidence

on insolvency practitioner regulation,

which was launched by the IS with a view

to reviewing regulation and strengthening

it where needed. As part of our response

to the call for evidence, we have made the

suggestion that the scope of our regulation

should extend to regulating firms. If

this was the case, both sanctions and

firm responsibilities would be enhanced

– and this would avoid any potential

conflicts between firm policies and the

responsibilities of the individual as an IP.

Michelle Thorp is CEO, Insolvency

Practitioners Association.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 26




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Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 27




Should the debt collection sector be

reaching out to consumers with general


AUTHOR – Heather Greig-Smith

IN September last year, the trade body

for the industry, the Credit Services

Association (CSA), embarked on a bold

campaign to support the consumer

with direct advice. While many in

the advice sector have welcomed the

move, others have been more reluctant to


Despite seismic change in debt collection

over the last 15 years, in some quarters

stereotypes of these businesses as brutal,

uncaring and frightening persist. In reality,

agencies today strive to display the opposite: a

sensitive approach, working with individuals

to establish their financial circumstances and

agree payment plans that they can afford.

Debt collection businesses can produce

ample evidence of the relief their customers

experience when they face up to their situation

and pick up the phone, often after months

or years of ignoring the letters and calls. The

frustration is often that things have to hit rock

bottom before some individuals will come


The issue for the sector has always been

in reaching those who are still burying their

heads in the sand – how do you convince

frightened people to engage before their

situation becomes desperate?


The CSA’s #heretohelp campaign is an attempt

to do just that. In a five minute-long film,

motivational speaker Brad Burton reveals his

experiences of problem debt and interviews

members of the CSA executive along with

consumers who have been through the debt

collection process.

“I was £25,000 in debt. You don’t believe

there’s a way out,” says Brad. The footage is

a bid to demystify the process and convince

indebted people to contact their creditors.

“We wanted to remove the understandable

fear and uncertainty that many customers face

when in debt,” says Peter Wallwork, CEO of

the CSA. “We want to build confidence in debt

collection so that whatever their circumstances,

people will know that they will be treated with

fairness, understanding and compassion. We

want everyone to get behind this serious drive

to remove the stigma of debt once and for all.”

Peter says that combatting poor and

misleading advice on the internet, that can

often make matters worse and not better for the

customer, was a key driver behind the initiative:

“It shows our industry and our members at the

heart of helping customers who are in financial

difficulty,” he adds.

In many ways, the debt collection sector is

ideally placed to deliver this message, as its

members see first-hand the effects of problem

debt every day. Highly-regulated and closely

managed, teams work with vulnerable people

and they know how frightening the unknown

can be. Reassuring those afraid to get in touch

makes sense.

Intrum UK Managing Director Eddie Nott

says the film tackles the issues that collections

teams know worry customers.

“We consistently hear from customers how

relieved they are to have tackled their financial

problems and that they wish they’d picked up

the phone earlier. There is still too much fear

and embarrassment around debt – if the film

can reassure people who are afraid to get in

touch that will reduce their distress as well as

helping the industry.”


Of course, the message is also a self-interested

one for the sector – ultimately the aim is to

establish payment plans and recoup the debts.

It may be that this has made some in the

broader advice sector uncomfortable about

helping to promote the film.

‘‘We’ve had such a positive response from

so many in the advice sector, though there are

still some who seem less keen to help us spread

the message and that is disappointing,’’ Peter

Wallwork adds.

Those who are positive about the endeavour

are happy as long as those in debt receive

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 28

The issue for the sector has always been in reaching those who are

still burying their heads in the sand – how do you convince frightened

people to engage before their situation becomes desperate?

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 29


AUTHOR – Heather Greig-Smith

holistic advice. Where there are multiple debts,

for example, the interests of all creditors may

not be aligned and the full picture must be

taken into account.

Sue Anderson, Head of Media at StepChange

Debt Charity, explains: “The CSA campaign

is useful in that it aims to encourage people

that, if they are in difficulty and contact

their lender, they should expect to be treated

sympathetically and positively.”

She adds: “If people have multiple debts

with multiple lenders, advice from a reputable

debt advice charity is important as it will help

them to address their debts in the round, with

a holistic view of their financial situation.

This goes beyond what is possible for any one

individual lender, however helpful they may

try to be.”

Jane Tully, Director of External Affairs at

the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs

National Debtline and Business Debtline,

agrees: “If you are struggling with problem

debt it is really important to engage with the

organisations you owe money to, or any debt

collectors working on their behalf – and any

campaign that helps to get this message across

is helpful. The CSA’s #heretohelp campaign is a

useful contribution to increasing engagement,”

she says.

“It is important that this campaign is

complemented by clear messages around

seeking free debt advice – as well as engaging

with individual creditors or organisations – so

that people in debt receive the holistic advice

they need to resolve their wider financial

“It shows our industry

and our members at

the heart of helping

customers who are in

financial difficulty”

Peter Wallwork.

“Where someone has

multiple debt worries,

supportive creditors

tend to have referral

strategies in place to

free and independent

debt advice agencies”

Kevin Shaw.

difficulty. There is a broad consensus across

government, the credit industry and the third

sector on the need to raise awareness of free

debt advice, and we continue to work towards

higher awareness and engagement across the



Rachel Duffey, CEO of Payplan, says everyone

is on the same side: “We want what is best for

the consumer, and we want them to be able to

get out of debt at a rate they can afford and to

be able to move on with their lives.

“There’s a lot of stigma about debt and

people are very frightened about what is going

to happen to them and it often takes them a

lot of time to pluck up the courage to get in

touch. But actually, no one is there to victimise

them, nobody wants to give them a hard time,

we just genuinely want to work out what’s best

for them going forward.”

The Money and Pensions Service was a

vocal supporter of the CSA’s campaign from

its launch. Kevin Shaw, Creditor Engagement

Manager at MaPS, says: “We welcome industry

initiatives that encourage people with debt

worries to engage with support. Those who

engage with their creditors at an earlier stage

are more likely to be able to put an affordable

repayment plan in place and may avoid the

worry that comes with additional charges or

creditor enforcement action.”

He adds that the sector is used to catering to

the needs of those with multiple debts. “Where

someone has multiple debt worries, supportive

creditors tend to have referral strategies in

place to free and independent debt advice

agencies,” he says. “Anyone struggling with

debt can also seek free and confidential debt

advice via the Money Advice Service debt

advice locator tool.”


The CSA campaign also has the support

of some of those in Government. Steve

Coppard, Deputy Director Government Debt

Management Function at the Cabinet Office

says: ‘‘The campaign is really about connecting

the parts, getting people to the right advice at

the right time – if we don’t all work together to

get people out of debt rather than getting debt

out of people we’re not going to improve as an


With 8.3 million people in the UK overindebted,

it’s important that individuals feel

able to speak to the companies responsible

for collecting their outstanding debts. That

shouldn’t be a frightening experience, says the


“Educating and reassuring consumers that

businesses are #heretohelp on the road to

becoming debt free, and that they can trust

CSA member companies and other money

advice organisations, needs a clearer, joinedup

voice. This is what we are striving to do,”

Peter concludes.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 30

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Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 31


Canada’s strong

French influence can

catch some businesses

off guard.

Part Two: Canada

The French connection

AS with any nation, Canada

naturally wants to

encourage foreign direct

investment and it’s been

very successful at that too.

Foreign direct investment

(FDI) in Canada increased by CA$21.6

billion in the second quarter of 2019. It

has averaged CA$8.1 billion a quarter

from 1981 until 2019 but reached an alltime

high of CA$50.3 billion in the fourth

quarter of 2000.

FDI is governed by the Investment

Canada Act which monitors activity by non-

Canadians and screens larger investments

as well as those for given sectors including

broadcasting, telecommunications and

certain financial services. The aim is to

help the government understand if an

investment is of benefit to Canada; part

of this involves a national security review


Unless an investment involves culture

(film or books) or national security,

establishing a new business means just

filing a notification of the investment

within 30 days of operations commencing.

There are also rules that apply to the direct

and indirect acquisition of a Canadian



In relation to federal income tax, there

are five bands that range from 15 percent

on the first CA$47,630 of taxable income,

plus 20.5 percent on the next CA$47,629

plus 26 percent on the next CA $52,408

plus 29 percent on the next CA$62,704,

plus 33 percent over CA$210,371. There

is, however, a personal allowance of

CA$12069. On top of that, the provinces

have their own tax brackets which may

differ from the federally set rates. Also,

rates are reduced by means of a credit

equal to 16.5 percent of the applicable

federal rate for individuals who are also

subject to Quebec income tax in the same


Corporate taxes are just as complex.

The basic rate is 38 percent, with a 10

percent provincial rebatement, meaning

a federal rate of 28 percent. However,

there’s a general rate reduction of 13

percent leading to a net federal tax rate

of 15 percent. Again, the provinces apply

their own tax rates of between 2.5 and 16


There is also a Goods and Services

Tax (GST) of five percent which is set by

the federal government – some items are

exempt or zero rated. Five provinces have

a Harmonised Sales Tax which comprises

of the federal GST and a provincial tax; the

being between 13 and 15 percent. And to

further muddy the waters, three provinces

levy a provincial sales tax of between six

and eight percent on certain goods. And

then there’s Quebec with a version of VAT

(Quebec Sales Tax) at 9.975 percent which

is on top of the GST. A good accountant is



Intellectual property protection is a federal

matter and is covered by four key statutes:

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 32


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

Patent Act, Trade-marks Act, Copyright Act,

and the Industrial Design Act.

In term of patents, Canada operates a

‘first to file’ policy where the first person to

register a patent wins the right to exploit the

application for a period of 20 years. Canada

is a signatory to numerous international

agreements in this area. Patents can only be

granted for new and novel applications and

so an application patented elsewhere in the

past will not be considered ‘new’ in Canada.

For trademarks, the mark must be entered

on the federal Trade-Marks Register; there

is no process for a province by province

registration. Marks last for 10 years and

can be indefinitely renewed upon payment

of the correct fee. Again, this operates on a

‘first to file’ system.

And regarding copyright, this can be

registered in Canada but is not obligatory

and lasts 50 years beyond the life of the

creator of the work.

Lastly, industrial designs must be

registered to benefit from legal protection.

If the design has been made public, the

creator has a 12-month window to register,

otherwise there is no time limit imposed.

The legislation affords an applicant the

right to the exclusive use of the design

for 10 years from the date of registration

or 15 years from the date of application,

whichever is later, subject to fees.


It won’t surprise many that business culture

in Canada is a blend of American, British,

and French civilities. While most Canadians

identify themselves very strongly with their

province, they do have respect for opinions,

equality, diversity and justice.

Once hierarchical, businesses are now

flatter structures, making research on

targets very important before engaging in

negotiations. Managers make decision, but

they often consult subordinates.

Punctuality is highly valued in Canada

and meeting times tend to adhere closely

to schedule, both in its start and duration.

Meetings tend to be more formal than in the

US, but small talk at the beginning of the

meeting is common.

Information from Santander suggests

that presentations should be short and

clear; facts and figures should back up

claims. And if an offer is of real interest, the

answer can come very quickly; agreements

are often only sealed by a handshake and a

written agreement, but a contract should


Greetings start with a handshake,

followed by introductions. But remembering

the strong French influence and the

individualism of those in Quebec, when

meeting with a French-Canadian colleague

of the opposite sex, a double cheek kiss, no

matter the level of familiarity, should be

expected. Counterparts should be addressed

by Mr or Mrs (or Monsieur or Madame), or

title, followed by the surname. As before,

Canadians are a polite nation so ‘please’

and ‘thank you’ won’t go amiss. That said,

conversation can be indirect. Santander,

again, suggests that francophones are more

likely to interrupt than anglophones.

Despite being close to the US, dress code is

expected to be formal, with sober-coloured

suits and dresses. In some industries such

as technology, dress can be more casual.

And when it comes to business cards, one

side should be in English and the other in

French. Cards should be handed over at the

beginning of the meeting; those received

should be looked at carefully before being

put away.

Canada is most definitely a country that

any firm should consider tapping into. With

so much going for it – resources, language,

stability – it really ought to be a natural


Adam Bernstein is a freelance

business writer.

Château Frontenac, château-style

hotel in historic Old Québec, built

by the Canadian Pacific Railroad

Company in 1893 and designed by

American architect Bruce Price. The

Château Frontenac is an excellent

example of the grand hotels

developed by railway companies in

Canada in the late 1800s.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 33

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The inexorable march of the ‘robot’ is both a

blessing and a curse.

AUTHOR – Adam Wonnacott FCICM

Adam Wonnacott FCICM

ARTIFICIAL Intelligence

is a tricky concept to

grasp. It is often ‘dumbed

down’ by commentators

who use unhelpful

terminology, resorting

to talk of robots; robots that can do the

job of our colleagues and possibly even

replace us in the workplace. But what’s

the reality and how worried should we

really be?

Let’s rewind to a world before emails

and before today’s modern PCs replaced

our ‘word processors’. For some, these

were the glory days. Letters were

dictated and there was no such thing as

instant communication; expectations

were lower. Diaries weren’t shareable,

which meant less accountability. If you

were important enough, you had a PA or

even a ‘secretary’ to fend off those pesky

meeting requests. Working life had its

own pace.

Fast-forward to today. The expectation

is super-charged. In the last 20 years we

have been bombarded with productivity

tools. We’re instantly contactable by

email, people expect an instant response

and our colleagues and bosses can

see whether we’re really busy (or just

good at looking busy) by checking our

online calendar. The typing pool and

the post room have gone as technology

has ‘empowered’ us and allowed us to

become more self-sufficient.

Of course PCs, email and spreadsheet

software are not robots, they are just

productivity tools; things that help us

work much more efficiently (whether we

want to or not).

‘Artificial Intelligence’ or ‘robotics’

is just a continuation of this. It involves

programming software to do the

repetitive and predictable tasks that

you do regularly. In all roles there

will be a proportion of tasks that are

ripe for automation. Typically these

involve templating communications,

streamlining approval processes,

triggering workflows, facilitating selfservice

and (perhaps the biggest timevortex

of all) preparing reports.

Today’s technology also allows us to

use software to identify patterns in data

(so we don’t have to) and can suggest ‘best

next steps’ or generate forecasts. That

said, we’re a big step away from fullyautonomous,

decision-making ‘robots’

that can do our jobs for us becoming the

norm. Whilst using software to identify

patterns means we don’t have to, it often

needs the checks and balances of a

human to ensure that the results aren’t

biased or influenced by ‘false positives’.

As such, the idea of technological

advancement in the workplace is not

new. We have been in that process for


The difference, arguably, is that

low-code automation technologies are

becoming increasingly accessible. With

the development of cloud computing and

the ability to exploit cloud servers for the

technological ‘heavy lifting’, the financial

and time investment required to leverage

these services is lower than ever.


So is the threat (or promise) of these

technologies replacing us any more real

as we hit the Twenties? Yes. Should we

be worried? Possibly. Most readers of this

article will be in a role that requires some

element of complex decision making or

utilisation of people skills (working with

clients or managing colleagues). To that

extent, those responsible for complex

processes are likely to be insulated

from an element of the change that will

happen over the next 20-30 years.

People engaged solely in more

‘transactional’ tasks are, however,

likely to find it increasingly difficult

to find employment. That threat poses

challenges at a macro level that we

shouldn’t ignore. When we gradually

create a society of people who have

nothing to do but watch daytime TV (but

through no fault of their own and with

no viable alternative), someone will need

to pay. We’ll also need to ensure that those

people don’t become disenfranchised or

politicised as ‘second class’. We’ll need to

work on our capacity for altruism instead

of laying blame.

For those of us lucky (or unlucky?)

enough to be part of the employed

population, we’ll be able to automate

much of the stuff that is most repetitive

and least rewarding about our jobs. The

concept of ‘month end’ reporting will

become a thing of the past and we’ll have

more time to focus on tasks that are more

complex or demand our interpersonal


The most important point to bear

in mind is that we’re on a journey. The

landscape will change again as cloud

servers become ever more powerful and

communication speeds improve. So, as

much as there is cause for concern, there

is cause for excitement and anticipation

of what will become possible in the years

to come.

Adam Wonnacott FCICM

is a Director of Appdraft.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 35


Bump in the Road

The latest payment performance statistics

highlight further unpredictability.

FOLLOWING on from a number of

positive performances across the

board, the latest payment statistics

are not so encouraging, with a

number of regions and sectors taking

two steps back. The average Days

Beyond Terms (DBT) figures across regions and

sectors increased by 3.5 and 1.7 days respectively.


The sector standings are littered with

disappointing performances, with 15 of the 22

sectors increasing their payment terms. It has

been particularly tough for the Agriculture,

Farming and Fishing sector, its DBT increased by

5.6 days.

IT and Comms also struggled, now with an

overall DBT of 18.5 days following an increase

of 5.0 days. Also moving in the wrong direction

are the Professional and Scientific, Financial and

Insurance and Real Estate sectors, with increases

to payment terms of 4.8 days, 4.7 days and 4.1 days


There are, at least, some sectors moving in

the right direction and deserving of recognition.

Public Administration produced the biggest

improvement and is now the best performing

sector, with an overall DBT of 7.1 days following

a further reduction of 5.1 days to its payment

terms. Business Admin & Support (-4.3 days) and

Energy Supply (-3.8 days) also made noteworthy



At a regional level, performances are almost

wholly disappointing, with all but one of the

11 regions increasing their DBT. The only

positive performance came from Scotland,

reducing its terms by 1.7 days to become the

new best performing region with an overall

DBT of 9.7 days.

At the opposite end of the table, Northern

Ireland continues to flounder. It remains the

worst performing region following a further

increase of 4.1 days to its payment terms and

overall DBT of 20.5 days.

Elsewhere, East Anglia (+6.1 days), London

(+5.1 days), South East (+4.5 days) and Wales

(+4.4 days) all struggled to build on previous


Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 36


Data supplied by Creditsafe Group

Top Five Prompter Payers

Region Dec 19 Change from Nov 19

Scotland 9.7 -1.9

Yorkshire and Humberside 12.7 1.9

South West 12.9 4.3

North West 13.2 2.4

Wales 13.5 4.4

Getting Better

Public Administration -5.2

Business Admin & Support -4.3

Energy Supply -3.8

Wholesale and retail -1.4

Construction -1

International Bodies -0.2

Top Five Prompter Payers

Sector Dec 19 Change from Nov 19

Public Administration 7.1 -5.2

Education 8.7 3.9

Energy Supply 10.5 -3.8

Transportation and Storage 11.8 0

Hospitality 12 1.5

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Sector Dec 19 Change from Nov 19

Business From Home 22.2 2.2

IT and Comms 18.5 5

Mining and Quarrying 17.1 2.2

Professional and Scientific 17.1 4.8

Real Estate 16.7 4.1

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Region Dec 19 Change from Nov 19

Northern Ireland 20.5 4.1

East Anglia 16.9 6.1

East Midlands 15.7 4.1

London 15.2 5.1

South East 14.3 4.5

Getting Worse

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 5.6

IT and Comms 5

Professional and Scientific 4.8

Financial and Insurance 4.7

Dormant 4.6

Real Estate 4.1

Entertainment 4

Health & Social 4

Other Service 4

Education 3.9

Water & Waste 2.3

Business From Home 2.2

Mining and Quarrying 2.2

Manufacturing 1.1

At a regional level, performances are almost

wholly disappointing, with all but one of the

11 regions increasing their DBT.


-1.9 DBT


Getting Better – Getting Worse













East Anglia


South East


South West

Northern Ireland

East Midlands

West Midlands

North West

Yorkshire and Humberside



4.1 DBT



4.3 DBT



4.5 DBT


4.4 DBT



2.4 DBT



3.4 DBT



1.9 DBT





6.1 DBT


5.1 DBT

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 37



Monthly round-up of the latest stories

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.

Fitch upgrades Ukraine

after recent election

THERE are a few upgrades around. Ukraine

has been upgraded by Fitch after its recent

election and won a €450m infrastructure

loan from the European Investment Bank.

New president Volodymyr Zelenskiy

looks set to pass a series of reforms, and

he's starting from a good place, with

government gross debt down from a peak

of 81 percent to 57 percent.

The UK currently does well in

specialised industrial exports including

aircraft and machinery, as well as

pharmaceutical and medical products and

cars. But services are also strong - and

there’s a growing consumer market in the

major cities, though distribution remains

difficult for some products owing to an

underdeveloped retail market. With GDP

growing at 4.2 percent and a new IMF deal

expected to boost the economy, this is one

of the more interesting European markets

right now.



BREXIT will get done. So that will bring new

certainty, right? I'm not so sure. Agreeing several

major new trade deals in the space of a single

year seems a stretch, given that the EU - which

fields a trade team much larger than the UK's -

generally takes six or seven years. Granted, once

a deal has been negotiated, Boris Johnson now

has the firepower to ram it through Parliament

in short order (whereas the EU has to deal with

securing agreement from 27 individual countries

as well as the European Parliament).

But also, I’m waiting to see whether the details

are going to get sorted out. For instance, how

are ports and airports going to deal with new

customs requirements? How will certification for

technical products work? And crucially for many

exporters, how many days will new procedures

add to the process of turning orders into cash?

It's time to be very careful about your working

capital, unless you are sure your cash cycle isn’t

going to lengthen.

THE yield curve – the gap between long

term and short-term interest rate –

became inverted in August, and it gave

markets the jitters, because it’s known

as a pretty reliable lead indicator of


Quite a few fund managers have

been getting the heebie-jeebies. Pictet

started going overweight with cash

at the start of 2019 and is staying

that way. Anything between 12 and


15 percent in cash is a hefty slug of

liquidity, though Pictet is also now

picking up small and midcap equities

to hedge its bets.

Oddly enough, though, the Baltic

Dry Freight index is moving up.

Usually, that's a pretty good indicator

for increased global trade. But as

Atradius points out, mergers and

consolidation in the shipping sector

have tightened supply so that may

be the main reason behind the


Overall, looking at the various

indicators out there, I wouldn't be

happy predicting a global recession,

but it does look as if global growth is

sagging. Make sure that you decelerate

smoothly and safely if that’s the case

don’t get overextended and keep a

close eye on your customers’ payment


Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 38

China set to move up the value chain

CHINA has been the world’s low-cost

factory for over a decade. But things are

beginning to change. Now, the country

needs to move up the value chain. It

needs to get stuck into IT, internet, and

renewables. The Chinese government

recognises this, and it’s been investing

heavily in these areas with its ‘Made in

China 2025’ initiative.

The US, though, is not happy. It’s been

closing down China’s options, making

visas more difficult for Chinese techies

and students, blacklisting companies like

Huawei, and imposing export controls

on some high-tech products. That might,

though, create an interesting opportunity

for British exporters in advanced tech,

education and capital goods sectors.

If you thought China was a low-spec

commodity market and not worth your

interest, it might be worth taking another


Media savvy

PR Week was launched in 1984. It’s

changed over the years - it’s moved from

print to online, it's become a subscription

rather than free magazine, and it's gone

bi-monthly (it was originally weekly). And

it's become an international product, too.

Regional editions cover the Middle East,

the US, and Asia; there's a PRMoment

website in India. The Holmes Report, too,

is a successful export, in EMEA, Asia, and

the US. That's the kind of reach media

companies can get if they are canny

about expanding internationally both

through ‘straight’ exports and through

co-operations and local offices and


Life in the slow lane

ATRADIUS' forecasts for next year make

dismal reading. Global growth is slowing,

insolvencies are forcecast to increase, and

the slowdown is general across all the

developed economies. And even this grim

outlook assumes the US/China and US/EU

trade skirmishes won’t escalate.

The problem is that there’s just too

much uncertainty around. There’s the

trade war, Brexit, climate change and

that uncertainty has led to businesses

putting off investment decisions.

Rush Group knows its onions

ONE small bright spot in the world

currently is Eastern Europe, where strong

consumer sectors have given eastern

EU economies resilience. Though close

ties to Germany are an issue and exports

account for a high proportion of GDP, many

eastern European economies are forecast

to continue growing at between two and

three percent in 2020. Unemployment is

low, wage growth is boosting household

According to Deloitte, only 18 percent

of European CFOs think this is a good

time to take on risk. That’s the lowest

percentage on record.

Investment is weak everywhere. Bad

news if you’re providing investment

goods. But also bad news for future

growth another nail in the coffin! There’s

really not a lot of good news out there at

the moment, so (you’re going to get tired

of my saying this) be careful and manage

your working capital tightly!


CHUBB has just made a $10m investment

in the African Trade Insurance Agency,

making it a major shareholder alongside

16 African states and the African

Development Bank. The deal expands

Chubb’s political risk and credit insurance

exposure and should help support trade

and investment in Africa.

Africa could well be one of the

higher growth areas of the world over

the next few years. A new middle-class

urban consumer market is emerging,

and governments are investing in

infrastructure and education. But growth

is very patchy. Commodity led economies

like South Africa and Nigeria are having

a tough time; but West Africa and Egypt

are seeing growth around six percent.

Moody’s also reckons that Kenya and

Morocco will be resilient. You’ll need to

pick your markets carefully to take best


African economies, for all their growth

prospects, remain politically risky

and difficult to trade in so if Chubb’s

investment improves the insurance

options for exporters, it will be very

welcome indeed.

incomes, and all in all, if you're a consumer

goods exporter, these are key markets for


And there's a nice little export success

story to report. Rush Group has found

that the little onions Brits tend to use

for pickling are the size Hungarians and

Poles prefer. That's nice business for Rush

though apparently, it only applies to white

onions. Red onions can be any size!

Evolving Tradetech

TECHNOLOGY continues to change the

world of international trade. Blockchain

could reduce export transportation costs

by up to 20 percent, according to one credit

insurer, while e-commerce has now grown

to 12 percent of total global retail sales and

shows no sign of that growth stopping.

But there’s a bigger change on the way.

Robotics together with the emergence of 3D

printing offer the chance for exporters to

export their designs and specifications but

manufacture the goods in the end market.

That could reduce global trade further but

it could also mean exporters who look at

moving from a physical export model to a

licensing/design fee model could do well,

particularly in high volume markets. An

interesting opportunity for the nimble!



OR CALL 020 7738 0777

Currency UK is authorised and regulated

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

GBP/EUR 1.19277

GBP/USD 1.32964

GBP/CHF 1.30676

GBP/AUD 1.93600

GBP/CAD 1.75027


1.14937 Flat

1.29138 Down

1.25343 Down

1.86690 Down

1.69246 Down

GBP/JPY 145.64574 140.96637 Flat

This data was taken on 17th January and refers to the

month previous to/leading up to 17th January 2020.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 39


2020 Vision

A clearer view is emerging of future

trade with the EU

AUTHOR – Samantha Pileggi

Samantha Pileggi

THE one thing that

businesses throughout

the UK would have been

wishing for over Christmas

was clarity. Last year was

dogged by uncertainty and

parliamentary gridlock around Brexit,

but with the Conservatives now holding

a significant majority, 2020 should see a

clearer path for businesses to follow.

The Withdrawal Agreement Bill should

be passed through Parliament in time for

the UK to leave the EU on 31 January. This

will enact a transition period lasting until

the end of the year in which the same

trading rules operate between the two

parties. Prime Minister Johnson has added

an amendment to the Bill preventing an

extension to the transition period, which

would have needed to have been agreed to

in the summer this year.

Trade deals typically take a lot longer

than just one year to negotiate. In practice,

the Government could pass further

legislation before the summer to retrieve

the option of an extension, though this

would represent a climbdown. However,

some commentators have suggested that

a ‘thin deal’ could be agreed to, within

the one-year timescale, with several

outstanding technical issues to be

negotiated beyond 2021.

At this stage, our understanding is

that the UK will either reach a trade

deal of some sort with the EU or it will

begin trading with it on World Trade

Organisation (WTO) terms at the start of



Throughout 2019, businesses were

reluctant to prepare for different potential

Brexit eventualities – particularly a ‘No

Deal Brexit’. Although the Government

provided grant funding for businesses

to do training to gain the export skills

they would need in the event of a ‘No

Deal’, few did.

Due to the stasis caused by the

Conservatives losing their majority in

2017 and ensuing division within the party

around Brexit, the business community

– and the nation at large – lost faith in

both the Government’s ability to pass the

Withdrawal Agreement and its mandate

to enable a ‘No Deal’.

This has changed with Boris Johnson’s

December victory. He now has the

mandate and Parliamentary arithmetic

to either pass a trade deal with the EU or

to continue trade with the EU on WTO

terms. This leaves businesses facing the

two likely scenarios outlined above.

At this stage we do not know what the

future trade deal – if agreed to, passed

and ratified – will contain. We do know,

however, what trade would look like if the

UK does not reach a deal. Furthermore,

should a trade deal be arranged, the terms

of continued trade with the EU under a

deal will be better than under WTO terms.

As such, if you are prepared for a ‘No Deal’

scenario, you will be more than prepared

for a Deal. Businesses can therefore take

steps now to prepare for trade with the EU

in 2021.


Given that we’ve known about what a ‘No

Deal Brexit’ would entail for a few years

now, much work has already been done

to ensure that businesses have access to

the training and information needed to

continue their trading with the EU in this


The Institute of Export & International

Trade (IOE&IT) will be continuing its

wide range of training courses and

qualifications, catering for beginners

through to seasoned export professionals,

throughout 2020. The UK Customs

Academy, set up by the IOE&IT and

KGH Customs Services at the request of

HMRC in 2019, provides a range of online

courses in key Customs procedures

and compliance which you’ll need to

know. Training is also being provided by

Chambers of Commerce across the UK and

the World Customs Organisation Academy

online which will be of assistance.

There is therefore plenty of support

available and we are expecting updates

in January about the grant funding

that HMRC has so far been providing to

aid businesses in their ‘No Deal Brexit’

preparations – funding that can be used

towards all the training just described.

Furthermore, you’ll be gaining key export

skills that you can use to expand your

business beyond the EU as well – the

knowledge needed to trade under WTO

rules is already required for exporting to

key markets like the USA and China.

We do not know for sure what Brexit

will look like, but businesses can be

certain that they have a year to make sure

they’re prepared for one of the two likely

options, with plenty of support available

for doing so.

Following a 2019 characterised by

uncertainty, let’s make 2020 the year of


Samantha Pileggi is the Director of

Commercial Operations at the Institute

of Export & International Trade.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 40


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Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 42

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Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 43




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

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Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 44





Best Practice











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Congratulations to all of the following, who successfully

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Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 48


Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 49



The perils of meddling with a

disciplinary investigation.

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards

CAN a manager’s attempts to

manipulate the outcome of

a disciplinary investigation

put an organisation at

risk of a successful unfair

dismissal claim? That was

the question recently asked in Cadent Gas

Limited v Singh.

In essence, the Employment Appeal

Tribunal (EAT) held that even where

decision-makers are not aware that an

investigation has been manipulated by

another manager and have no prejudice

towards the employee facing disciplinary

action, it is possible for the motive and

knowledge of the ‘meddler’ to be attributed

to the employer to render the decision to

dismiss unfair.

Mr Singh was a senior gas engineer

and active trade unionist, who had been

employed by Cadent Gas for 29 years

and had an unblemished record. He was

dismissed for gross misconduct because

he responded to a call-out for a gas leak

one-minute outside of Cadent’s required

response time. He had previously raised

a number of grievances that he had been

unfairly allocated work. On the day of the

call-out, he had worked on a complex and

demanding job in extreme heat without

eating all day and had less than two hours’

sleep. On his way to the call-out he had

stopped to buy food.

Mr Singh was informed by his manager

that no action was likely to ensue. However,

this was subsequently pursued by a senior

manager, a Mr Huckerby, with whom

Mr Singh had clashed over trade union

matters and in relation to whom some of

Mr Singh's grievances had been directed.

Mr Huckerby was not the investigating

officer but remained very involved with

the investigation.


The Employment Tribunal (ET) upheld

Mr Singh’s claim that his dismissal was

automatically unfair because it had been

motivated by his trade union activities.

It noted that Mr Huckerby had driven

the investigation towards dismissal. He

provided incorrect information to HR and

to the dismissing officer in the course of the

investigation due to his prejudice towards

Mr Singh's union activities. Although

he was not the investigating officer, he

had amended the terms of reference

and he told Mr Singh that the incident

amounted to gross misconduct before the

investigation had been concluded.

Cadent appealed the outcome on the

basis that the tribunal had found that the

decision makers held no prejudice towards

Mr Singh and did not share Mr Huckerby's

motivation. As such Cadent asserted that

the dismissal could not be for trade union


The EAT dismissed the appeal.

Following the comments of Lord Justice

Underhill in Royal Mail Group Ltd v Jhuti,

the EAT held the motivation of a manager

actively involved in manipulating

an investigation were attributable to

the employer when considering the

fairness of the dismissal. Even where

the dismissing officer had no knowledge

of the manipulation and did not share

the same prejudice. The tainted

investigation was sufficient to render

the dismissal unfair.


The EAT has made an important and

considered extension to the protection

afforded to employees where their

dismissal follows an investigation which

has been deliberately manipulated by

another individual. The case serves as

a reminder for employers to ensure

that managers conducting disciplinary

investigations are provided with clear

guidelines to identify and report

any attempts to interfere with their


Staff should be cautioned that any

attempts to interfere with or manipulate

the outcome of a disciplinary investigation

will attract disciplinary action. Managers

with responsibility for conducting

disciplinary hearings should be given

suitable training to include the need to

fully consider and challenge the findings

of the investigation when reaching their


The EAT set out four important matters

to note in relation to this case.

Firstly, even if the dismissing officer

was not motivated by the impermissible

reason (i.e. trade union membership,

whistleblowing) the employer can still be

fixed with the motive of someone who has

manipulated the dismissal if they were

part of the investigation process.

Next, manipulation can take

many forms, including withholding

information, or steering an investigation

towards dismissal, and is not limited to

direct contact with the dismissing officer.

Thirdly, the (practical) boundary

around those whose motivation may be

attributed to the employer is (as in this

case) the person or persons carrying out

the deputed function of the employer in

the investigation.

Lastly, there is an important

distinction to be borne in mind in

determining whether a dismissal was

for an impermissible reason. Namely

that prejudice or malice on the part of

the employer is not necessary where the

impermissible reason was nevertheless

the sole or main reason for the dismissal.

Gareth Edwards is a partner in the

employment team at


Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 50



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Maseratis, internet fraud and the effectiveness

of a Statutory Demand.

AUTHOR – Peter Walker

Acompany instructed to

sell a car on behalf of its

owner paid some of the

proceeds of sale to an

internet fraudster. The

owner issued a statutory

demand, possibly a first step in windingup

proceedings, against that company.

There were objections including that such

procedure was an abuse of the court’s

process. Previous judgments appeared

to support this view, but the resulting

judgment turned out to be useful to credit


Some people owning classic cars may

need help to sell their prized and expensive

motors. One such owner found a company

to sell it on his behalf, but an internet

fraudster intervened resulting in a visit to

the High Court.

Burton J firstly considered the facts

in Sell Your Car With Us Ltd v Sareen

(2019). The owner of a Maserati Levante

instructed a company to sell it for him.

The fixed fee was £995 plus VAT, and the

company found a buyer. It therefore had to

pay the proceeds of nearly £52,000 less the

fee to the owner.

That was a very satisfactory result, but

a fraudster then complicated this simple

transaction. That fraudster pretended to

be the Maserati seller, and persuaded the

company to pay £30,000 to an account

under the fraudster’s control. The seller did

not receive the money, but the Company

asserted that it was not responsible for


The seller had choices of what to do,

such as a claim for breach of contract.

He decided instead to make a Statutory

Demand. This may be served on a company

‘indebted in a sum exceeding £750 then

due’ (section 222(1) Insolvency Act 1986).

For human beings, such as sole traders,

the figure is £5,000.

There are some other conditions, and

it is particularly important that the debt

must not be in dispute. It furthermore

must not be the subject of a Company

Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), or of a Debt

Relief Order where a person is paying by



Once these details have been sorted out,

there is a form to complete, and there

are different ones for the various parts of

the UK, e.g. England and Wales, Scotland

and Northern Ireland. The procedure in

England and Wales is governed by The

Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules

2016 (SI 2016 No. 1024). Scotland has the

Insolvency (Scotland) (Receivership and

Winding Up) Rules 2018 (SI 2018 No. 347),

which has similar provisions. Northern Ireland

has not so up-to-date provisions in the

Insolvency Rules (Northern Ireland) 1991

(SI 1991 (No. 364)). The creditor must then

serve the form, for

example, to a Company’s

Registered Office.

It is essential to have

records as evidence

of service should

the debtor ignore the


The Statutory Demand

form provides

information for the

creditor. If, for example,

interest is chargeable,

but has not

previously been notified

to the debtor, the

creditor must provide details. This should

include the grounds on which it is charged,

and the amount must be shown separately.

The Statutory Demand Form also includes

information for the debtor, who

has 18 days to make an application to set

it aside. The form warns that if the debtor

fails to do so within 21 days, ‘you could

be made bankrupt and your property and

goods taken away from you’.

If the debtor wishes to make an

application to set aside a Statutory

Demand, this will require an application

to an appropriate court. Its contact details

must be included in the Form. If the

debtor does not respond, the court will be

where the creditor may start bankruptcy

or winding-up proceedings within four


Despite all this procedure a Statutory

Demand can be a useful tool for credit

managers, and it can be used in many

circumstances. Nugee J in Wagner v White

(2018) EWHC 2882 considered a Statutory

Demand, which had been served by

various lenders, who had the security of

personal guarantees. The guarantor had

applied to set the Demand aside.

In the High Court Nugee J reviewed the

facts. The creditors had lent money to a

That fraudster

pretended to be

the Maserati seller,

and persuaded the

company to pay

£30,000 to an account

under the fraudster’s


company, which had developed a promising

‘fintech’ mobile app. The early promise

was not forthcoming, and an important

joint venture collapsed. There was no further

investment, and the company went

into administration. The lenders served a

Statutory Demand against the appellant,

because they had lent money to the company

supported by the security of personal

guarantees. The guarantor, the appellant,

claimed that the demand should

be set aside, because

there was a substantial

dispute about the

amounts owed. The

appellant also claimed

that there was a conspiracy,

which, if successful,

would have

enabled the lenders

with others to have

purchased the company’s

assets from the

administrator. For Nugee

J the facts showed

that a Fund Manager

would only have

agreed to a restructuring, if finance from

third parties would have been available.

There was none, so the company would

have to be placed into insolvency: it was inevitable.

There was consequently no issue

for a subsequent trial, so Nugee J would

not set aside the Statutory Demand.


Statutory Demands are therefore useful,

although debtors may challenge them for

several reasons. The Sell Your Car With Us

case reveals one of them, so the company

resisted the issue of a Statutory Demand.

It wanted to restrain the seller from

going ahead with a winding-up petition.

Although the seller was not complicit in

the fraud, the company’s lawyer suggested

that, because the seller was using a mobile

phone to access his email, it was more

likely that someone could have gained

access to it, more likely than the hacking of

the company’s server. There was another

allegation: an implied term that the seller

had represented that he had reasonable

control over his communications. The

seller countered that the company should

have noticed that the fraudster was using

an email address which differed from that

of the seller. The bank account details also

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 52


AUTHOR – Peter Walker

were inconsistent. As for an implied contract term;

there was the ruling in Ali v Petroleum Company

of Trinidad and Tobago (2017) UKPC 2. The facts

underlying the case arose out of the granting of

a scholarship to an employee to study abroad,

and of a repayable loan for his living expenses

if he worked for the company for five years. On

his return he later accepted an invitation to take

voluntary redundancy within the five-year period.

The judges of the Privy Council ruled that he had

to return the loan, because he had voluntarily left

his employer. There was an implied term that the

employer would not demand repayment if it had

done something to prevent the employee from

serving five years, but nothing more. A term would

only be implied if it was necessary to make the

contract work.

There was no such need in the Sell Your Car

With Us case, so the company continued by

stating that it had sufficient assets to pay the

£30,000 demanded. It then asserted significantly

that it was consequently wrong to use insolvency

proceedings as a means of debt collection. The

seller should have made an ordinary application to

resolve which party had to bear the loss resulting

from the fraud.


Burton J considered these arguments, and he noted

statements by Hildyard J in Coilcolour v Camtrex

(2015) EWHC 3202. The applicant sought to

restrain the presentation of a winding-up petition

by claiming it had a substantial counterclaim

exceeding the respondent’s claim. It contended

that there was no genuine dispute.

Hildyard J consequently observed that a

court would grant an injunction to prevent the

presentation of a winding-up petition if such a

petition would result in an abuse of process. A

court would similarly act the debt was disputed

on substantial grounds, and there was a genuine

If the debtor

wishes to make

an application

to set aside

a Statutory

Demand, this

will require an

application to

an appropriate


counterclaim. He referred to the judgment in Re

a Company (no 0012209 of 1991) (1992)BCLC 865,

which gave authority for another proposition.

It would be an abuse of process to use the

presentation of a winding-up petition merely

to pressure on the debtor to pay up. Hildyard J

decided that this principle applied to his case.

There were significant differences in the

Sell Your Car With Us case, where the contract

between the company and the seller included

detailed procedures about payments. They

included a procedure for notifying changes in

email addresses. The company, however, did not

follow that procedure, when it made the payment

to the fraudster. Burton J thought that in these

circumstances the company had good reason

to believe that the fraudster’s emails were from

a different address, i.e. the address used by the

fraudster. It was responsible for the payments.

The company’s cross-claim therefore had no

prospect of success, so the debt was ‘not subject to

a substantial dispute’.

Burton J noted that the courts had ‘historically

looked dimly’ on the use of insolvency proceedings

‘as a method of debt collection’. He concluded

nevertheless it did not mean that it was an abuse

of process. I question this view, because in the Sell

Your Car With Us case the failure of the company

to comply with its procedures was significant.

The decision emphasises that, if a debtor is

wrongly refusing to pay an undisputed debt,

the creditor may serve a Statutory Demand. The

debtor cannot obtain a judgment to stop it, and

the creditor can proceed to commence winding-up

proceedings. Although that is an extreme remedy,

it may be a useful tool in some circumstances for

credit managers.

Peter Walker is a freelance business writer

specialising in legal matters relating to credit


Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / 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


Thomas Feest FCICM Syed Nauman FCICM Debbie Beet FCICM Philip Roberts FCICM


Pauline Ahearn MCICM

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Studying Member

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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.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 54


If you are serious

in furthering your

career in credit


being a member

is essential

Andrew Barbaro


The value



Andrew Barbaro FCICM

Director of Customer Financial Services MEA

Emerson Automation Solutions is a Fellow of

the CICM.

Read more about his story and join your

credit community by visiting:

01780 722900

Credit Management magazine



In January 2008, Malta and Cyprus officially adopted the euro as their currency

and became the 14th and 15th Eurozone countries accordingly. No Country

for Old Men was voted ‘Best Film’ in the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, George

Clooney was appointed a UN Messenger of Peace (now he just makes coffee

ads) and Breaking Bad premiered on US TV. Perhaps more famously, January

21st witnessed a very ‘Black Monday’ in worldwide stock markets. The FTSE

100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their

worst result since 9/11, and Asian stocks drop as much as 15 percent. And just

when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, Natalie Imbruglia announced

she was divorcing her rock-star husband. It was also the month that Sir John

Harvey-Jones, former businessman and chairman of ICI (1982-87),

died at the age of 83.






The Minister for the Middle East is asked what steps he

is taking to promote investment in Iran. Although the

official answer is ‘none’ the Government website seems

to be at odds with the Minister’s answer, asking

visitors ‘how can we help?’



Ken Maynard of Cabot Financial (and formerly of

the Debt Buyers and Sellers Group – part of the CSA)

suggests that prices of portfolios are over-valued, and

that while the credit crunch is leading to uncertainty,

over the longer term, the potential for debt sale

remains enormous.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 56

4th FECMA Pan-European Credit Congress

Managing Credit in Europe

13th -14th May 2020

Qubus Hotel | Krakow | Poland

hosted by

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 57


Mindset Key for Digital Change

Sheffield & District Branch

SHEFFIELD and District

Branch members and

guests were treated to a

highly informative, and at

times inspiring, session at

the new Hi-tech Advanced

Manufacturing Park in Rotherham.

After an opportunity for networking,

introductions and refreshments the

presentations began.

Brian Morgan FCICM, Business

Growth and Partner Director at Rimillia,

kicked things off with invaluable

insights into RPA, AI and the challenges

facing most organisations in a time of

advanced technological change. In a

THE CICM Kent Branch held its closing

2019 Wine and Wisdom Quiz at the

Faversham Assembly Hall in September.

This is the Branch’s opportunity to

raise funds for local Kent-based charities,

where the winning team chooses which

charity will benefit from the fundraising.

So popular has this event become, that

we needed to buy a new shield to fit the

winner’s name on.

Last year’s reigning champions were

again there to defend the Challenge

Shield won in 2018, against seven other

teams drawn from a wide range of Kent


In a fraught and intense neck and neck

battle between three teams throughout

the eight rounds, the eventual winners

came up on the rails and romped home by

impressively naming “I Love You” in 37 out

of 50 different languages in the last round

– helped undoubtedly by half their team

being multilingual! Note to Quiz Master:

world where tech has never been so

advanced, soft skills and leadership

have never been so important. He was

able to demonstrate how solutions can

bring about significant transformations

in organisations and subsequently be

able to effectively manage one of their

largest assets in the business, debtors,

which when managed well drives

improved working capital and reduced


Brian is an experienced Credit

Manager with over 20 years’ experience

in managing credit departments

which includes debt management, risk

management, cash allocation and the

full order to cash process.

Following this Daniel Cherry, Business

Manager with Hays Sheffield, delivered

a sneak peek into the findings from

the new Hays UK Salary Survey Guide

2020 informing attendees on current

market trends on how the socioeconomic

and political climate

is affecting the world of credit

management and the wider market.

Many thanks to Brian Morgan, Hays

for its sponsorship and to all attending

members and guests for making the

evening a great success.

Author: Daniel Cherry

Wine & Wisdom in Kent

Kent Branch

Don’t make it so easy next year.

Congratulations to our winners – The

Debt Collectors of Kent – who are from

international debt collection agency

Credit Limits International, who have

been great supporters of the Kent Branch

for many years.

The chosen charity was The Harmony

Therapy Trust who pay for professional

therapists to help people in Kent who are

seriously ill by bridging the gap between

invasive medical treatment and the road

to well-being and in many cases recovery.

A worthy cause.

The Harmony Therapy Trust received

the £605 proceeds from the night; the

participants had a jolly good time; and

we raised the profile of the Kent Branch.

So, a win, win, win situation. Well done to

everyone and see you in 2020. Better start

swotting now.

Author: Simon Paterson MCICM

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 58


THE first joint event

between East of England

and Kent Branches, called

Developing Credit in a

Changing Workplace and

held in November 2019,

saw every seat taken as CICM President

Dr. Stephen Baister FCICM welcomed

delegates from eight CICM Branches.

Stephen introduced Branch Committee

member Chris Parker of Goodman

Masson, the event’s host, who gave a

brief update, followed by Andrea Baker

of Inmarsat who talked through building

a global credit management team and

delivering the right results.

Kent Branch committee member,

Tracey Westell MCICM of Pecunia (2016)

delivered an energetic presentation on the

importance of training to give teams the

correct skills needed to protect cash flow.

Ron Bidwell MCICM of JLL, Katherine

Bailey FCICM of Valor Hospitality Europe

– both East of England Branch Committee

members – and Matt White of Cforia, led

an open discussion on how credit has

developed from back office collections,

using IT and other opportunities.

Following a delicious buffet lunch and

plenty of networking, Richard Seadon

FCICM of T.G.Baynes, and Kent Branch

The pace of change

East of England Branch

From left, Dr Stephen Baister FCICM, Stephen Cowan FCICM, Pete Whitmore FCICM and David Kerr FCICM

Chairman, demonstrated what good

credit management looks like and why

it’s vital in today’s environment. David

Kerr FCICM of Kerr Consulting talked

through existing and planned changes

to the insolvency process, covering prepacks,

Voluntary Arrangements and more.

David then took part in the Q&A forum,

being joined by fellow CICM Technical

Committee members CICM Chairman

Pete Whitmore FCICM, of Westcon

European Operations, and Stephen

Cowan FCICM of Yuill + Kyle.

Joanne Turley of ADP Architecture

won the business card draw, generously

sponsored by Cforia and presented by

Matthew White.

The conference feedback was

exceptionally good, especially about the

content, the speakers and the venue, and

both Branches thank Stephen Baister for

Chairing, and Goodman Masson for their

generous hospitality.

Author: Richard Brown FCICM

NORTH East Branch ended 2019 in

fine Christmas spirit with its annual

Christmas Quiz. We had a great turnout

(it was certainly a Branch Christmas

Quiz record), great atmosphere, great

catering and bar service by Nine Bar,

and fantastic prizes donated by our

generous sponsors and corporate guests.

(l-r): Hayley Townsend, Robyn Aisbitt, Jill Galbraith (Sintons), Janice Fielding, Michael Powell, Tony Blake,

Kevin Norcott, Andy Auriemma, Angie Deverick (Branch Chair), Stewart Irvine, Andrew Cawkwell (Manolete)

Quizards Triumph

North East Branch

The convivial vibe belied some steely

competitiveness, with everyone kept on

their toes with a hard-fought succession

of news, music and sports rounds –

devilishly put together again by our

Quizmistress Angie Deverick MCICM.

The evening ended with victory for a

mixed ragtag collection of wonderful folk

a.k.a. Janice’s Babes, who wrestled the

crown from the 2018 winners Muckle llp

to win the coveted Christmas mugs to

boot. The raffle prizes encouraged very

generous spending as well, for which we

thank everyone.

Author: Angie Deverick MCICM –

North East Branch Chair

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 59


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

free of charge. Book online on our website


16 January

East Midlands Branch


AGM and everything you wanted to know about

CICM qualifications

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: Doubletree Hotel, Nuthall Road,

Nottingham, NG8 6AZ



22 January

CICM East of England Branch


Annual General Meeting, Insolvency and CICM HQ


Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: FRP Advisory, Jupiter House

Warley Hill Business Park, The Drive, Brentwood,

CM13 3BE



5 February

CICM British Credit Awards 2020


The British Credit Awards recognise the stand out

achievements of the most deserving individuals,

teams and organisations in the international

credit industry. Congratulations go to our 2019

winners, who truly went beyond expectation and

demonstrated excellence to claim their titles. In

2020 it's your chance to lift the trophy!

Venue: Lancaster London Hotel

Lancaster Terrace, London, W2 2TY

28 January


CICM Sheffield & District Branch


Annual General Meeting and Spring Clean your

Finances presentation

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: Mercure Sheffield Parkway Hotel

Britannia Way, Catcliffe, Sheffield, S60 5BD


29 January

Esker Webinar – 8 AR Resolutions to ensure

success in 2020. Join the CICM and Esker for

a live webinar that explores these questions

and provides 8 proven strategies to achieve AR

success in 2020 and beyond.


Book online at or

email for more information.

11 February

CICM Northern Ireland Branch


All Ireland Credit Focus 2020


Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: City North Hotel Gormanstown, Co. Meath

K32 W562 Ireland



Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 60

More reasons to be a member

Make connections and keep up-to-date

with our exclusive events.

13 February

CICM Kent Branch


Annual General Meeting and Brewery Tour

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: Shepherd Neame Ltd

17 Court Street, Faversham, ME13 7AX

19 February

CICM Wessex & Thames Valley Branch


Incoterms 2020, Trade and Brexit Update

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: Winchester Science Centre

Telegraph Way, Winchester, SO21 1HZ



19 February

Forums International


International Credit Forum

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: Marsh JLT Speciality

138 Houndsditch, London, EC3A 7AW


21 January



Webinar – Is your CV good enough to get the job?

Join our webinar for top tips on how to create a

winning CV for credit management jobs.

Book online at or

email for more information.

29 January



Webinar – 8 AR Resolutions to ensure success in

2020. Join the CICM and Esker for a live webinar.

Book online at or

email for more information.

19 February

Forums International


Fraud Prevention Network

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: Cifas 6th Floor 7-12 Tavistock Square,

London, WC1H 9LT

11 February

Forums International


Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices Credit Forum

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: Stratford Manor Hotel

Warwick Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 0PY

12 February

Forums International


Credit Management Forum

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: Stratford Manor Hotel

Warwick Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 0PY


TO GET 15%



27 February

Utility Week Consumer Debt Conference 2020


Consumer Debt Conference

Book online at or

email for more information.

Venue: The National Conference Centre

Coventry Road, Bickenhill, Solihull, B92 0EJ

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 61






London, up to £45,000 + bonus

A rare opportunity has arisen at an established trading

business for a highly motivated individual who is fluent

in Japanese. With a strong emphasis on credit analysis

of specific countries, you will service customers in the

Japan region. Dealing with projects across various teams

within the business, you will find ways to implement

new procedures and processes. The role focuses upon

maximising the profitability of collections, minimising

exposure to risk and will encompass risk management,

counterparty analysis, dealing with legal framework

and working across a variety of new client accounts.

Ref: 3743678

Contact Akshay Caussy on 020 3465 0020

or email



London, £28,000-£30,000 + study support

An exciting opportunity has arisen in a fast-paced

technology business based in Oxford Circus, London.

The company is looking for a fluent French speaking

biller to join its expanding finance team. You will cover

A-Z billing for the french ledger, including revenue

recognition, resolving any billing queries and reporting

to senior management. Attitude is everything and you

will need to be a self-starter who is able to work on your

own initiative. The office is a fast-paced environment

and you will need to be able to work to strict deadlines.

Ref: 3745556

Contact James Hanwell on 020 3465 0020

or email



Watford, up to £32,000 + bonus + flexible working

This highly successful multi-national business with

an inclusive culture is looking for an experienced and

ambitious debt collection specialist. You will work on

a shared ledger, whilst being responsible for your own

key accounts. Experience in financial services collections,

credit control and litigation are essential. You will

also be meticulous and maintain excellent customer

communication. Focused on people, this company offers

an excellent work-life balance and the opportunity to

develop your international career. If you are hungry for

progression, this role could be the perfect fit for you.

Ref: 3736021

Contact Charlotte Clarke on 01923 205286

or email



Kingston upon Thames, up to £29,000

+ bonus + benefits

This global leader in insight technology assists

companies to change and transform their business by

using only the latest technology and business models.

In this role, you will be responsible for the collection of

debt on behalf of the UK head office with the ambition

to reduce ageing debt, ensuring strict processes are

followed. To be successful, you will have experience in

a O2C or Cradle to Grave processes and credit control in

a corporate environment. Experience with cloud-based

systems such as Salesforce or SAP are desirable and

advanced excel including VLOOKUP and pivot tables

are essential. Ref: 3747702

Contact Mark Ordoña on 020 8247 4042

or email

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 62



Check your salary

Download our Top Jobs 2020 report

Join our salary guide webinars

Discover new vacancies

To find out more visit the New Year Career Hub



High Wycombe, up to £28,000 DOE + bonus

An established multi-billion European business is looking

for the right person to join its small but busy credit team

on a 12-month maternity cover. Your responsibilities include

gaining maximum DSO improvement whilst maintaining

excellent relations with customers, some of whom have

been loyal for up to 30 years. The role will involve extensive

risk analysis and is a fantastic learning opportunity as the

company will train risk analysis fully. If you have experience

and a hunger to learn and this would be a wonderful

opportunity to advance your career.

Ref: 3742241

Contact Caroline Evans on 01494 419740

or email



Kettering, Northants up to £22,000

A fantastic opportunity has arisen at a fast-growing IT

company that is looking for a permanent credit controller

to join its team. Reporting into the Credit Manager,

you will be responsible for making initial contact with

clients to determine the reason debt has not yet been

paid and then following up with emails (Dunning emails)

to collect the outstanding payments. There will also be

additional ad-hoc duties when required by the Credit

Manager and the Finance Manager. No finance experience

is required but general accounting knowledge would be

an advantage. Ref: 3744073

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.

Talk to our Hays Credit Management UK Lead, Kabir Gulabkhan, Chair of the CICM

London Branch Committee on 0203 465 0020 or email

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / 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

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / 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.


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.


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.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 65 continues on page 66 >


CICM Directory of Services







Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham

Berkshire RG41 5RB

E: W:

T +44 118 207 0450 M +44 7788 564722

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for organisations seeking

efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes. As an SAP

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

more than 30 years of experience and thousands of successful

customer projects, including solutions for the entire order-tocash

process, Serrala provides credit managers and receivables

professionals with the solutions they need to successfully protect

their business against credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.

identeco – Business Support Toolkit

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,

Worcestershire B60 4FD

Telephone: 01527 549 531 Email:


identeco’s Business Support Toolkit is an online portal connecting

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

engage with new prospects, understand their customers and

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

access. Providing company information and financial reports,

director and shareholder structures as well as a unique financial

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

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

included in the subscription include a business names database,

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

bespoke marketing and telesales listings for any sector.




Tel: 03700 86 3000 W:

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly and cost effectively as

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


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

• Litigation service

• Post-litigation services including enforcement

• Insolvency

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

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


Redwood Collections Ltd

0208 288 3555

Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, CR0 0XZ

“Redwood Collections offers a complete portfolio of debt collection

services ranging from sensitive client-debtor mediation through to

legal and insolvency action.

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

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

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



Dun & Bradstreet

Marlow International, Parkway Marlow

Buckinghamshire SL7 1AJ

Telephone: (0800) 001-234 Website:

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern finance

leaders and credit professionals to improve business performance

through more effective risk management, identification of growth

opportunities, and better integration of data and insights across the

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

to the world’s most comprehensive commercial data and insights

- supplying a continually updated view of business relationships

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

customer changes. Learn more here:


Gravity Global

Floor 6/7, Gravity Global, 69 Wilson St, London, EC2A 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 22 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.


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.


T: +44 (0)20 7387 5868 - London

T: +44 (0)20 9204 9544 - Cardiff


Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is an accountancy

firm delivering traditional services combined with strategic

commercial thinking. Our services include: advisory, audit,

corporate and personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,

outsourcing, wealth management and business recovery –

the latter of which includes our specialist offering developed

specifically for creditors. For more information on this, or to see

how the Menzies Creditor Services team can assist you, please

visit: Bethan Evans, Partner

and Head of Menzies Creditor Services, email: bevans@ and phone: +44 (0)2920 447512


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.

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / 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



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.



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.



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

Advancing the credit profession / / January/February 2020 / PAGE 67



Debt Recovery is comprised of 4stages. Acompany may

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Legal Credit Team Of The Year 2019

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