CM April 2020

The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals

The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals


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<strong>CM</strong><br />

APRIL <strong>2020</strong> £12.50<br />




Are CRAs doing enough<br />

for the vulnerable?<br />

Advancing the<br />

credit profession.<br />

Page 12<br />

Making<br />

information work.<br />

Page 36


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17<br />

POINT OF<br />


Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

APRIL <strong>2020</strong><br />

www.cicm.com<br />


27<br />


Yvette Gray<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> GOVERNANCE<br />

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

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

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

membership, as well as additional subscribers<br />

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

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

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

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

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

32<br />


Adam Bernstein<br />

President Stephen Baister FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Interim Chief Executive Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Executive Board Pete Whitmore FCI<strong>CM</strong> – Chair / Debbie Nolan FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) – Vice Chair Glen Bullivant FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Treasurer / Larry Coltman FCI<strong>CM</strong>, Victoria Herd FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad), Bryony Pettifor FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

24<br />


Peter Walker<br />

Advisory Council Sarah Aldridge FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) / Laurie Beagle FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Glen Bullivant FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Lauren Carter FCI<strong>CM</strong> /<br />

Larry Coltman FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Victoria Herd FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) / Philip Holbrough MCI<strong>CM</strong> / Laural Jefferies FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Diana Keeling FCI<strong>CM</strong> /<br />

Martin Kirby FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Christelle Milojkovic FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Julie-Anne Moody-Webster FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) / Debbie Nolan FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) /<br />

Ute Ogholoh MCI<strong>CM</strong> / Bryony Pettifor FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) / Allan Poole MCI<strong>CM</strong> / Phil Rice FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Chris Sanders FCI<strong>CM</strong> /<br />

Paul Taylor MCI<strong>CM</strong> / Pete Whitmore FCI<strong>CM</strong>.<br />

12 – Advanced Thinking<br />

Claire Bishop considers the value of<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> membership.<br />

17 – Point of Reference<br />

Are Credit Reference Agencies doing<br />

enough to support the vulnerable?<br />

20 – Aire Supply<br />

Sean Feast talks to the CEO of a newlylaunched<br />

consumer CRA, Aneesh<br />

Varma.<br />

24 – Fast and Furious<br />

Peter Walker explains how a property<br />

developer rode fast and loose with an<br />

RBS loan.<br />

27 – The Gray Matter<br />

Credit Management caught up with<br />

Yvette Gray of Atradius Collections.<br />

32 – Rising Star<br />

Vietnam has come a long way in a short<br />

time.<br />

35 – Stand and Deliver<br />

How do you make your presentation<br />

stand out from the crowd?<br />

36 – Information Exchange<br />

Businesses are in a race to acquire<br />

better information.<br />

49 – Inspiring the Future<br />

Brenda Linger describes how she’s<br />

supporting the next generation of credit<br />

managers.<br />

50 – Nations State<br />

What is changing for employers of EU<br />

nationals?<br />

Publisher<br />

Chartered Institute of Credit Management<br />

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Telephone: 01780 722900<br />

Email: editorial@cicm.com<br />

Website: www.cicm.com<br />

<strong>CM</strong>M: www.creditmanagement.org.uk<br />

Managing Editor<br />

Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Deputy Editor<br />

Iona Yadallee<br />

Art Editor<br />

Andrew Morris<br />

Telephone: 01780 722910<br />

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

Editorial Team<br />

Rob Howard and Imogen Hart<br />

Advertising<br />

Russell Bass<br />

Telephone: 020 3603 7937<br />

Email: russell@cabbells.uk<br />

Printers<br />

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<strong>2020</strong> subscriptions<br />

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International: £145 per annum<br />

Single copies: £12.50<br />

ISSN 0265-2099<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 3


We all like a good moan<br />

but it’s time for positivity<br />

Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Managing Editor<br />

I<br />

was intrigued recently to learn<br />

of the launch of a new pressure<br />

group to promote the interests of<br />

small businesses. It’s called Small<br />

Business Britain and has been<br />

started by entrepreneur and parttime<br />

government advisor Michelle Ovens<br />

MBE.<br />

I have absolutely no idea if it will succeed<br />

or not, but I was instantly drawn to its<br />

message of promoting the ‘good’ rather<br />

than constantly whingeing about the ‘bad’<br />

that goes on in the world of small business.<br />

In what I think most of us took to be a<br />

thinly-veiled swipe at organisations like<br />

the Federation of Small Businesses, who<br />

appear to disagree with everything as a<br />

point of principle, Michelle says that it is<br />

time for ‘positivity’. Hallelujah. And she’s<br />

not even auditioning for the X Factor where<br />

a ‘journey’ and ‘positivity’ are the preferred<br />

language of those who know no better.<br />

Now to be honest we all like a good moan<br />

now and again, and I think it’s healthy.<br />

But it can also become a little tiresome.<br />

It’s not wrong, for example, to highlight<br />

poor payment practice and call businesses<br />

out when they transgress. It’s not wrong<br />

to challenge government and politicians<br />

about whether they are doing enough to<br />

support small businesses with practical<br />

as well as financial help, especially in the<br />

very strange times we live in today. But it<br />

is wrong to do so at the expense of talking<br />

about some of the good stuff that’s also<br />

going on. While I appreciate the old adage<br />

that good news doesn’t sell newspapers,<br />

perhaps it’s time we started reversing that<br />

trend?<br />

Having been immersed fully in<br />

promoting the Prompt Payment Code since<br />

its launch, I absolutely know what it’s like<br />

to be fighting a constant rearguard action.<br />

It’s frustrating when you see a good idea<br />

constantly criticised, for the most part<br />

unfairly. It’s especially frustrating when<br />

you know that if the detractors took the<br />

time and trouble to understand what was<br />

going on behind the scenes, they would<br />

marvel that it ever achieved anything at all.<br />

That, perhaps, is a story for another day.<br />

Now the PPC has a new home, under<br />

the auspices of the Small Business<br />

Commissioner and we wish it bon voyage<br />

and every success. People can talk about<br />

‘strengthening’ the Code as much as they<br />

wish, but the bottom line is that it all comes<br />

down to resource, and by that, I mean<br />

money. Managing the Code to the level<br />

required will need serious investment.<br />

As our interim Chief Executive says in<br />

the news: “A properly resourced Code<br />

with a clarity of purpose can make a real<br />

difference.”<br />

Now that’s positivity.<br />

“A properly resourced Code with a clarity of<br />

purpose can make a real difference.”<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 4

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<strong>CM</strong>NEWS<br />

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

world of consumer and commercial credit.<br />

Written by – Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Late payments are ‘business as usual’<br />

for small businesses in difficulty<br />

LATE payments from customers are<br />

‘business as usual’ for many small<br />

business owners in difficulty,<br />

with nearly half (45 percent) of<br />

callers to Business Debtline experiencing<br />

problems with late payments from<br />

customers, with most typically having to<br />

wait up to two months beyond payment<br />

terms to receive the money they are<br />

owed.<br />

Worryingly, only 41 percent of Business<br />

Debtline callers affected by late payments<br />

said they knew what to do to chase<br />

customers who had not paid on time,<br />

and only 16 percent knew where to turn<br />

for advice on dealing with the problem.<br />

Almost four in 10 (39 percent) worried<br />

that if they chased late payments, they<br />

would lose future business – but 84<br />

percent said they had done everything<br />

they could to resolve the problem.<br />

Part of Money Advice Trust, Business<br />

Debtline claims to have helped more<br />

than 52,400 self-employed people and<br />

other small business owners last year<br />

with their debt issues. The charity has<br />

written to newly-appointed Minister<br />

for Small Business, Paul Scully MP,<br />

recommending stronger measures to<br />

tackle late payments in the wake of the<br />

government’s recent call for evidence on<br />

payment practices.<br />

These recommendations include relaunching<br />

and strengthening the Prompt<br />

Payment Code, with a commitment<br />

from all signatories to pay their small<br />

business suppliers within 30 days or<br />

less where faster payments/fintech<br />

solutions are already in place. They also<br />

include introducing fines for persistent<br />

late payers, and expanding the Small<br />

Business Commissioner’s remit to<br />

include late payments between small<br />

businesses. They would also like to see a<br />

review of how statutory interest on late<br />

payments of commercial debts is used<br />

and could be strengthened as a means of<br />

improving payment practices.<br />

Joanna Elson OBE, Chief Executive of<br />

the Money Advice Trust, says that paying<br />

late has become business as usual: “This<br />

can have serious consequences for both<br />

the viability of the businesses they run<br />

and their personal wellbeing,” she says.<br />

“The government has already taken<br />

several positive steps on late payments,<br />

including requiring mandatory reporting<br />

on the payment practices of large<br />

businesses, and creating the Office of the<br />

Small Business Commissioner.<br />

“Stronger actions are necessary,<br />

however, to deliver the scale and pace of<br />

change required in payment practices<br />

we need to fundamentally change the<br />

culture – so that late payments are no<br />

longer seen as an acceptable business<br />

practice.”<br />

Philip King FCI<strong>CM</strong>, the Government’s<br />

Interim Small Business Commissioner<br />

welcomed the report as underlining<br />

the negative impact on well-being that<br />

can result from late payment: “It can do<br />

huge emotional damage,” he told Credit<br />

Management. “I hope it will serve as<br />

a timely reminder of government’s<br />

imminent consultation into broadening<br />

the remit of the Small Business<br />

Commissioner and encourage more<br />

small businesses to respond. It’s an<br />

important topic and will benefit from a<br />

wide range of views.”<br />

Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong>, Interim Chief<br />

Executive of the CI<strong>CM</strong>, says that the<br />

research also highlights how more<br />

needs to be done to make small<br />

businesses aware of the help that is<br />

available: “Business Debtline could<br />

seriously help small businesses<br />

by actively directing them to<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong>’s Managing Cashflow<br />

Guides which have been<br />

written specifically to support<br />

small businesses in good<br />

times and bad.”<br />

www.businessdebtline.org<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 6

New guide to help customers with<br />

mental health and debt problems<br />

A<br />

new guide has been published to<br />

help financial firms — and other<br />

creditors — better understand and<br />

support customers struggling with<br />

both debt and mental health problems.<br />

Money and Mental Health, in partnership<br />

with the Money Advice Trust — and with<br />

support from UK Finance — have produced<br />

‘The Need to Know’, a free new guide to help<br />

creditors support customers affected by debt<br />

and mental health problems.<br />

The guide is aimed primarily at staff<br />

working in debt collection teams in<br />

essential services firms. It features detailed<br />

information about how specific mental<br />

health conditions may affect a customer’s<br />

ability to manage and earn money. The<br />

guide is also said to offer practical advice on<br />

improving support to customers affected by<br />

these issues, including how to get the best<br />

out of conversations with customers about<br />

their experience of mental health problems,<br />

and when it is appropriate to ask for further<br />

evidence about a customer’s mental health<br />

problem, and when this may be the wrong<br />

course of action.<br />

Katie Alpin, Interim Chief Executive<br />

of the Money and Mental Health Policy<br />

Institute, says that getting conversations<br />

right can make a huge difference in<br />

Credit Managers braced for Coronavirus impact<br />

CREDIT Managers are uncertain as to the<br />

full impact of the Coronavirus, although<br />

a number are already reporting cancelled<br />

meetings, flights and non-essential travel<br />

instead opting for conference calls and<br />

remote working.<br />

Almost half (47 percent) of those<br />

responding to a straw poll conducted at<br />

the beginning of March said that there had<br />

currently been little or no impact on day-today<br />

operations although a handful reported<br />

the cancellation of forums/industry events<br />

and supply chain interruption, especially<br />

from those with suppliers/partners in the Far<br />

East.<br />

Nearly all (97 percent) had contingency<br />

plans in place, primarily working from<br />

home, but also including an acceleration<br />

helping those people resolve their money<br />

problems and avoid unnecessary distress:<br />

“We hope this guide can equip creditors<br />

with the information they need to better<br />

understand how a customer’s mental health<br />

can impact on their financial situation, and<br />

to improve the support they offer in those<br />

circumstances.”<br />

Research by the Money and Mental<br />

Health Policy Institute suggests that half<br />

of all people in problem debt in England<br />

also have a mental health problem which<br />

can affect their ability to manage and earn<br />

money, and to communicate with their<br />

creditors. Further research by the Personal<br />

Finance Research Centre shows that<br />

during a single year in debt collection, a<br />

frontline staff member will receive over 140<br />

disclosures about customer mental health<br />

problems.<br />

Nadine Dorries MP, Minister for Mental<br />

Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient<br />

Safety, believes debt can have a devastating<br />

impact on people's lives: “This practical<br />

advice will help arm creditors with the vital<br />

knowledge they need to empathetically<br />

assess and support a customer’s financial<br />

situation, and marks another positive step<br />

forward in tackling the everyday injustices<br />

those living with mental illness face.”<br />

of invoicing and other credit management<br />

practices in order to minimise the impact<br />

on cashflow. All appear to be following the<br />

Government’s advice on health and hygiene,<br />

suggesting that the message of ‘wash your<br />

hands’ is getting through.<br />

Sue Chapple, Interim Chief Executive of<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong> says that there is no doubt that<br />

the virus is already impacting global trade:<br />

“The outbreak has the potential to cause<br />

severe economic and market dislocation,<br />

but the scale of the impact will ultimately be<br />

determined by how the virus spreads which<br />

is almost impossible to predict,” she says.<br />

“All our members can do is ‘be prepared’<br />

and take what mitigating actions they can to<br />

support their businesses in keeping the cash<br />

flowing.”<br />

“This practical<br />

advice will help arm<br />

creditors with the vital<br />

knowledge they need<br />

to empathetically<br />

assess and support a<br />

customer’s financial<br />

situation’’<br />

“The outbreak has<br />

the potential to cause<br />

severe economic and<br />

market dislocation, but<br />

the scale of the impact<br />

will ultimately be<br />

determined by how the<br />

virus spreads which is<br />

almost impossible to<br />

predict.”<br />

Entrepreneur launches new small business group<br />

A new organisation to represent the interests<br />

of 5.8m smaller businesses in the UK has been<br />

launched by entrepreneur Michelle Ovens. Small<br />

Business Britain is seen as direct competition<br />

to the Federation of Small Businesses, but will<br />

take a more positive stance in promoting small<br />

businesses. Quoted in the Financial Times,<br />

Michelle said the government had found her<br />

approach ‘refreshing’, and had been ‘very<br />

receptive’. “The lobby groups all do amazing<br />

work,” she said, “but it’s time for some positivity.<br />

<strong>2020</strong> is a new decade.”<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 7

NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

New CEO at R3<br />

LIZ Bingham OBE has been appointed<br />

CEO of R3, the insolvency and<br />

restructuring trade association.<br />

She joins R3 after a 35-year career<br />

in the insolvency and restructuring<br />

profession, during which she was<br />

a Managing Partner at EY, and was<br />

R3 President in 2013-14. Liz replaces<br />

Emma Lovell, who is leaving R3 to<br />

become CEO of the Lending Standards<br />

Board (LSB).<br />

As R3 CEO, Liz will oversee R3’s<br />

work to protect and promote the<br />

strong restructuring and insolvency<br />

framework which is required to<br />

enable the association’s members to<br />

fulfil their vital role in the economy<br />

and in society. She will also manage<br />

the execution of R3’s Strategic Plan,<br />

which was launched in 2019 and is<br />

the association’s roadmap for the next<br />

three years.<br />

R3 President Duncan Swift says<br />

that Liz is taking charge of R3 at a<br />

crucial time: “The insolvency and<br />

restructuring profession plays a really<br />

important role in the economy. From<br />

returning money to creditors to helping<br />

turn around distressed businesses,<br />

and of course helping people access<br />

debt relief, the profession’s work is<br />

absolutely vital in supporting lending,<br />

trading and investment, and the overall<br />

smooth functioning of the business<br />

environment.<br />

Technically<br />

Speaking<br />

THE Technical Committee met in<br />

early March to discuss a variety<br />

of recent announcements and<br />

consultations, including a ban on<br />

gambling businesses allowing<br />

people to use credit cards to place<br />

bets and advice from the FCA<br />

for credit card firms to review<br />

their approach to persistent debt<br />

customers. The potential impact<br />

of the proposed reinstatement<br />

of HMRC preferential status<br />

was also discussed, alongside<br />

the implementation of a 60-day<br />

breathing space.<br />

The committee debated the<br />

increase in number of fraud cases<br />

across several areas, including<br />

within insolvency, enforcement and<br />

tax, and Lord Mendelsohn’s Private<br />

Members Bill (reported in last<br />

month’s <strong>CM</strong>). The new requirement<br />

for authenticating confirmation of<br />

payee details when making online<br />

payments was considered, as<br />

well as further discussions around<br />

Companies House, the validation of<br />

information it stores, and the impact<br />

on information providers.<br />

Cross party group<br />

urges Government to<br />

act on bailiff reform<br />

A<br />

group of cross-party MPs and<br />

Peers has joined a coalition<br />

of debt advice campaigners<br />

in urging the Government to<br />

break its silence on bailiff industry<br />

reform.<br />

It is now more than a year since the<br />

Ministry of Justice closed its call for<br />

evidence on the bailiff industry, but<br />

despite what campaigners claim is<br />

overwhelming evidence of the need for<br />

wide-ranging reform, the Government is<br />

yet to give a comprehensive response.<br />

The Taking Control coalition, made<br />

up of 11 charities and debt advice<br />

organisations, claims it has routinely<br />

seen its clients suffer at the hands of<br />

bailiffs. New figures show that since<br />

February 2019, Citizens Advice alone<br />

has been contacted by 41,121 individuals<br />

with 111,081 issues specific to bailiffs.<br />

Meanwhile 83 percent of callers to<br />

National Debtline who experienced<br />

bailiff action reported the bailiff<br />

visit had a negative impact on their<br />

wellbeing.<br />

Backing the coalition’s call is a group<br />

of cross-party politicians, including<br />

Rachel Reeves MP and Lord Pickles,<br />

who have written to Justice Secretary<br />

Robert Buckland MP highlighting<br />

the urgent need for bailiff reform as<br />

recommended by the Justice Select<br />

Committee last <strong>April</strong>.<br />

“We’ve waited long enough<br />

for the kind of meaningful<br />

reform that has successfully<br />

reduced harm in other areas<br />

of debt recovery.’’<br />

The Committee endorsed the<br />

charities’ call for the introduction of<br />

an independent complaints body, a<br />

statutory, independent regulator for<br />

the enforcement agent industry and<br />

regular reviews of bailiff fees. Currently,<br />

the bailiff industry is self-regulating.<br />

To date the only commitment made by<br />

the government is making body-worn<br />

cameras mandatory for private bailiffs,<br />

but, without independent regulation,<br />

this measure will not be enough.<br />

Phil Andrew, CEO of StepChange,<br />

says that lives have been turned upside<br />

down by the unregulated bailiff sector:<br />

“We’ve waited long enough for the<br />

kind of meaningful reform that has<br />

successfully reduced harm in other<br />

areas of debt recovery. The simple truth<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 8<br />

is that, on bailiffs, the Government is<br />

woefully behind the curve. We have the<br />

evidence, we have support from across<br />

parliament and the Lords - it’s now time<br />

for the Government to act.”<br />

Dame Gillian Guy, Chief Executive<br />

of Citizens Advice, claims that the<br />

Government has been dragging its<br />

feet: “Someone seeks our help every<br />

three minutes with an issue related to<br />

bailiffs and this cannot continue. Only<br />

independent regulation of bailiffs will<br />

protect vulnerable people from the<br />

stress, anxiety and financial hardship<br />

they face right now.”<br />

Russell Hamblin Boone, the CEO of<br />

CIVEA, is, however, frustrated by what he<br />

sees as ‘unfair allegations’ that continue<br />

to be aimed at enforcement agents.<br />

While he understands the concerns<br />

about problem debt being attributed<br />

to Council Tax payments, he believes<br />

it is worrying that debt advice groups<br />

believe that stopping enforcement will<br />

solve the problem: “There is a persistent<br />

stream of poor research that is used<br />

to criticise enforcement practices,” he<br />

told Credit Management. “For example,

“Our own evidence based on first-hand<br />

experiences of frontline agents and the local<br />

government ombudsman shows that the<br />

regulations introduced in 2014 are meeting<br />

their original objectives.’’<br />

recently Citizens Advice construed<br />

some recommendations based on FOI<br />

responses from local authorities. In fact,<br />

the questions were so inappropriate that<br />

most councils were unable to respond<br />

and the gaps were filled by assumptions<br />

in the report.<br />

“Our own evidence based on firsthand<br />

experiences of frontline agents and<br />

the local government ombudsman shows<br />

that the regulations introduced in 2014<br />

are meeting their original objectives.<br />

There are fewer customers receiving<br />

doorstep visits, and therefore incurring<br />

smaller debts; lower complaint levels<br />

due to the simplified process and fixed<br />

fees; improved awareness and training<br />

in all aspects of vulnerability and the<br />

development of specialist staff; and<br />

significant investment in technology to<br />

maintain professional standards within<br />

the enforcement sector.”<br />

In addition to this, Russell says,<br />

the industry has responded positively<br />

and proactively with the launch of<br />

its independently-monitored code of<br />

practice that sets a new standard for<br />

enforcement agents: “All members<br />

“Councils use enforcement as<br />

a last resort when debtors have<br />

failed to respond to all attempts<br />

to make contact or have<br />

defaulted on payment plans”<br />

of the Civil Enforcement Association,<br />

representing almost the entire market<br />

employing enforcement agents, have<br />

signed up to self-regulation,” he adds.<br />

Russell believes that the code is a<br />

commitment by the enforcement industry<br />

to continue driving up standards and sets<br />

a high bar for anyone wanting to join the<br />

profession. As such, he is disappointed<br />

that the debate continues to be defined<br />

by what he calls ‘poor research and low<br />

level of knowledge about the role of<br />

enforcement’.<br />

“Councils use enforcement as a<br />

last resort when debtors have failed to<br />

respond to all attempts to make contact<br />

or have defaulted on payment plans,” he<br />

says. “The regulations for enforcement<br />

are distinct from standard debt collection,<br />

but the two functions continue to be<br />

conflated leading to calls for tighter<br />

controls on enforcement agents. In fact,<br />

restricting enforcement agents will not<br />

stop people getting into problem debt and<br />

local authorities would collect fewer fines<br />

and taxes.<br />

“This is important because over half<br />

a billion pounds is collected each year<br />

by enforcement agents and 27 percent<br />

of Council Tax goes direct to councils,<br />

who spend 60 percent on support for<br />

vulnerable people.”<br />

>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

One third of Brits would<br />

go into debt to solve a<br />

gap in their finances<br />

MORE than three out of ten British adults<br />

(34 percent) say they would be most<br />

likely to take on extra debt if they were<br />

faced with a sudden gap in their finances,<br />

according to new research from R3, the<br />

insolvency trade body.<br />

Thirteen percent of over 2,000 people<br />

surveyed for R3’s latest Personal Debt<br />

Snapshot say they would use a credit<br />

card if they were faced with a sudden<br />

gap in personal finances. Eleven percent<br />

would ask family or friends for a loan,<br />

seven percent would use their overdraft,<br />

two percent would apply for a bank loan,<br />

and one percent would apply for a payday<br />

loan (a combined 34 percent).<br />

Positively, nearly half (48 percent)<br />

of respondents say that they would be<br />

most likely to use personal savings as a<br />

solution to an unexpected gap in their<br />

personal finances.<br />

R3 President Duncan Swift says that<br />

a high proportion of British adults are<br />

very vulnerable to financial shocks: “It’s<br />

encouraging that almost half of British<br />

adults have a financial cushion available<br />

to them, but it’s equally discouraging<br />

that plenty of others would feel forced to<br />

borrow to cover a gap in their finances,”<br />

he says. “Low interest rates do make<br />

borrowing more affordable in the short<br />

term, but getting into debt can make that<br />

gap in finances even bigger over time.<br />

It can lead to a cycle of debt and stress<br />

which is hard to break, especially when<br />

emergency borrowing is added to preexisting<br />

debt.”<br />

Cash on Go Gone<br />

CASH on Go, trading as Peachy.co.uk<br />

and Uploan.co.uk, was placed into<br />

administration on 5 March. Adam<br />

Stephens, Gilbert Lemon and Henry<br />

Shinners of Smith & Williamson LLP<br />

were appointed as Joint Administrators.<br />

Cash on Go is a high cost short term<br />

lender, otherwise known as a payday<br />

lender, which lends small sums to<br />

customers until the next payday or up to<br />

12 months. The Joint Administrators will<br />

update customers as soon as possible.<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Essentials<br />

TO stay up-to-date with all that<br />

is happening at the CI<strong>CM</strong> – from<br />

qualifications to training, and<br />

membership to events – see the weekly<br />

e-newsletter CI<strong>CM</strong> Essentials.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 9

Prompt Payment Code moves to Small<br />

Business Commissioner’s office<br />

THE CI<strong>CM</strong> has confirmed it has<br />

transferred the hosting and<br />

administration of the Prompt<br />

Payment Code to the Small<br />

Business Commissioner’s office in line<br />

with the Government’s stated ambition to<br />

bring all late payment initiatives under a<br />

single umbrella.<br />

Since its launch in 2008, the Code has<br />

played an important part in promoting a<br />

culture of prompt payment, committing<br />

signatories to pay 95 percent of invoices<br />

within 60 days and work towards 30 days<br />

as normal practice. In the last 12 months,<br />

businesses that have failed to honour<br />

those commitments have been removed,<br />

and only re-instated when a suitable<br />

remedial plan has been approved by the<br />

PPC’s Compliance Board.<br />

Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong>, the CI<strong>CM</strong>’s<br />

interim Chief Executive, says it makes<br />

perfect sense to streamline payment<br />

issues under the Commissioner’s remit.<br />

She says it makes particular sense to<br />

transfer the Code now following the<br />

appointment of the Code’s originator,<br />

Philip King FCI<strong>CM</strong>, to the post of<br />

interim SBC: “Small businesses want a<br />

single body to whom they can turn for<br />

advice,” she says, “and by transferring<br />

responsibility for the Code to the<br />

Commissioner’s office, we can ensure<br />

the Code receives the investment<br />

and resources it needs to continue its<br />

success in transforming the payment<br />

landscape and promoting best practice.”<br />

Plans were first proposed to transfer<br />

the Code in the Government’s 2019<br />

consultation, ‘Creating a responsible<br />

'We will be working with the<br />

Commissioner and trade<br />

bodies including the CI<strong>CM</strong> to<br />

help increase the number of<br />

businesses on the Code.'<br />

Payment Culture’. The Government said<br />

at the time: ‘We want to increase the<br />

number of people signed up to the Code,<br />

where good practice can be recognised<br />

by their customers and suppliers.<br />

Signing up to the Code is voluntary, so we<br />

will be working with the Commissioner<br />

and trade bodies including the CI<strong>CM</strong> to<br />

help increase the number of businesses<br />

on the Code, including targeting those we<br />

know are already meeting the standard<br />

through their PPR data.’<br />

To date there are more than 2,500<br />

signatories to the Code. In the last 12<br />

months, and a change in policy to allow<br />

those who had failed to honour their<br />

Code commitments to be named publicly,<br />

55 businesses have been suspended<br />

and 26 re-instated, the latter having<br />

demonstrated a substantial improvement<br />

in payment performance that warrants<br />

re-instatement.<br />

“This is the Code working at its<br />

best,” Sue continues. “Throwing people<br />

off is the easy part, but what encourages<br />

me, and shows that the Code has real<br />

power, are the actions taken by half<br />

of all those suspended to have their<br />

businesses re-instated. That says to<br />

me that they want to be seen<br />

to be fair to their suppliers, and<br />

they recognise the harm<br />

that can be done to their<br />

brands by failing to<br />

comply.<br />

“A properly<br />

resourced Code with a<br />

clarity of purpose can<br />

make a real difference.”<br />

Philip King FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Credit professionals lose fight<br />

in preferential status row<br />

THE Budget has confirmed plans to<br />

grant HMRC ‘preferential status’ in<br />

insolvencies from December <strong>2020</strong>,<br />

leading business groups, including R3<br />

and the CI<strong>CM</strong>, to describe the move as ‘a<br />

threat to business lending and business<br />

rescue.’<br />

From December, debts owed to HMRC<br />

by insolvent businesses will be repaid<br />

in advance of those owed to ‘floating<br />

charge’ lenders, other businesses, and<br />

pension schemes.<br />

Floating charge lending is a key form<br />

of finance for retailers and SMEs and<br />

has been increasingly popular over the<br />

last two decades. Lenders have warned<br />

that the Government’s policy will limit<br />

the availability of this type of finance.<br />

Duncan Swift, R3 President, says the<br />

Government has ignored advice from<br />

across the business landscape that the<br />

policy should be reviewed, or that steps<br />

should be taken to mitigate its impact:<br />

“The return of HMRC’s preferential<br />

status in insolvencies is a badly-timed<br />

and ill-considered blow to the UK’s<br />

enterprise culture. It will damage<br />

business lending and business rescue,<br />

and will affect jobs, livelihoods and the<br />

economy.<br />

“It’s perverse that on the day that<br />

the Bank of England has taken steps to<br />

boost business lending, the Government<br />

has taken a step in the opposite<br />

direction. It is beyond frustrating that<br />

the Budget has confirmed the policy<br />

will be introduced without meaningful<br />

changes from what was first proposed.<br />

The plans were first announced in<br />

2018 with no consultation and, since<br />

then, there has been near unanimous<br />

opposition to them. Business groups<br />

and lenders have been clear that the<br />

policy will be a short-term gain for<br />

HMRC at the expense of a long-term<br />

cost for the economy.”<br />

Duncan says that the slight delay<br />

in implementation until December<br />

changes nothing: “A bad policy in <strong>April</strong><br />

is still a bad policy in December,” he<br />

continued. “It is scarcely believable<br />

that the Government has turned a deaf<br />

ear to these concerns and has ignored<br />

sensible suggestions for how the<br />

negative consequences of the policy<br />

could be mitigated. This has been a<br />

policymaking failure from start to<br />

finish. “At a time when businesses<br />

are facing economic headwinds, they<br />

need the Government to help them,<br />

not elbow them out of the way. Priority<br />

repayment for HMRC in insolvencies<br />

will reduce what can get repaid to other<br />

businesses, pension schemes, and<br />

lenders. Reduced returns to lenders<br />

will increase the costs of borrowing<br />

and availability of finance, especially in<br />

rescue situations.<br />

“Ultimately, dropping the policy<br />

entirely would be the only way to<br />

avoid its harmful side effects. The<br />

Government would see much better<br />

results if HMRC were to engage<br />

proactively and commercially in<br />

insolvencies rather than trying to skip<br />

the repayment queue.”<br />

Sue Chapple, interim Chief Executive<br />

of the CI<strong>CM</strong>, is similarly aggrieved:<br />

“Sadly the Government has persisted<br />

with the folly of reintroducing Crown<br />

preference, and the impact on trade<br />

creditors, their revenues and their<br />

cashflow will be substantial. While<br />

it may appear to be a simple way of<br />

growing the Government's tax receipts,<br />

any benefit will be far outweighed by<br />

the damage done to<br />

businesses and the<br />

wider economy<br />

and the proposal<br />

should have been<br />

confined to the<br />

waste paper bin."<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 10



Insolvency Practitioners Association publishes<br />

its first benchmark report<br />

AUTHOR – Michelle Thorp<br />

Michelle Thorp<br />

MANY will be aware of the<br />

significant changes to<br />

the Individual Voluntary<br />

Arrangement (IVA) and<br />

Protected Trust Deed<br />

(PTD) market in recent<br />

years.<br />

Personal debt is unfortunately on the rise<br />

in the UK. IVAs and PTDs (in Scotland) are<br />

common solutions for people in debt. The<br />

number of people utilising these insolvency<br />

processes has increased significantly in<br />

recent years. In 2010, there were 27,543 live<br />

IVA cases. By 2014, this annual figure had<br />

risen to 46,751. The most recent figures we<br />

have, from December 2019, give this number<br />

as 277,262 – a significant rise indeed.<br />

On PTDs, available in Scotland only, the<br />

total number of registrations stood at 6,681<br />

in 2013/2014, rising to 28,226 as of December<br />

2019.<br />

Correlating with this change in the market,<br />

the firms that administer these debt solutions<br />

have grown. A handful of companies now<br />

control the market, undertaking far higher<br />

volumes of cases than ever seen before in<br />

the profession. The firms also use new,<br />

technology enabled processes to conduct<br />

their business.<br />

As I’ve mentioned before, after discussions<br />

with creditors, debt charities, the Government<br />

and insolvency practitioners (IPs), we at the<br />

Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA)<br />

designed a new, bespoke regulatory scheme<br />

for these volume provider (VP) firms in<br />

November 2018. The scheme was put into<br />

action in January 2019 and extended to cover<br />

PTDs in July of the same year.<br />


Departing from large-scale annual reviews of<br />

these providers, we have moved to a regime<br />

underpinned by an industry-first system of<br />

continuous monitoring. Information has<br />

been made easier for IPA Inspectors to access,<br />

and we have stepped up the number of inperson<br />

and remote monitoring visits on the<br />

VPs. This way of measuring VP performance<br />

is more in tune with their business models<br />

and ways of operating.<br />

I’m delighted by the publication of our<br />

first benchmark report on the scheme, which<br />

has now had the chance to be fully embedded<br />

and is starting to produce results.<br />

We cover almost 70 percent of the IVA<br />

market with the scheme and 57 percent of the<br />

PTD market. This means that the majority of<br />

the UK’s insolvencies are covered by the IPA.<br />

It’s crucial that people entering a<br />

voluntary insolvency process make a fully<br />

informed decision to do so and are aware of<br />

the potential consequences of the process<br />

failing. This is important not just for the<br />

person in debt, but of course for their<br />

creditors and other stakeholders. There have<br />

been concerns about the level and quality of<br />

advice that is made available to prospective<br />

clients by firms controlling high numbers<br />

of IVA and PTD cases. In response, we made<br />

this a focus in 2019, undertaking 305 indepth<br />

reviews of advice calls between the<br />

VP and the individual, each review taking up<br />

to three hours to complete. This gave us an<br />

excellent opportunity to ensure that scheme<br />

members are abreast of their responsibilities,<br />

identify improvements and take action where<br />

necessary. It’s important to keep in mind that<br />

the number of complaints we received in<br />

2019 relating to scheme members was low, at<br />

0.04 percent of IVAs and 0.03 percent of PTDs.<br />

In the same way as the advice call reviews,<br />

we have focused on the practice of VPs<br />

accepting referrals from lead generation<br />

firms to secure new business. In another<br />

industry-first, we are requiring VPs to only<br />

accept referrals from introducers who<br />

are authorised by the Financial Conduct<br />

Authority (FCA), in advance of a professionwide<br />

requirement. We have also turned our<br />

attention to VP marketing and advertising,<br />

and the rates of failure for IVAs and PTDs.<br />

Our changes to regulation should ensure<br />

that there is no doubt as to VP responsibilities,<br />

but nothing stands still in regulation, so we<br />

will continually adapt the new scheme to<br />

ensure that we match this fast-moving area of<br />

the insolvency profession.<br />

Input from the creditor community<br />

and IPs was instrumental in the scheme’s<br />

design and implementation, as were the<br />

VPs themselves, who took a leading role.<br />

It takes time for change to be realised, but<br />

strong foundations have been put in place<br />

to produce what I’m sure will be positive,<br />

permanent change. We will continue to look<br />

to all stakeholders, including other regulators<br />

and government, for support in continuing<br />

to make improvements to the regulatory<br />

landscape.<br />

You can access the benchmark report<br />

via the IPA’s website at: www.insolvencypractitioners.org.uk/press-publications/<br />

recent-news.<br />

Michelle Thorp is CEO, Insolvency<br />

Practitioners Association.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 11


Advanced Thinking<br />

The value of CI<strong>CM</strong> membership and beyond.<br />

AUTHOR – Claire Bishop<br />

IF you are reading this then I will<br />

assume that you work in or have<br />

an interest in credit management<br />

as a profession. Maybe you are a<br />

member, or you have picked this<br />

magazine up at work. So if I asked<br />

you ‘What does the CI<strong>CM</strong>, your professional<br />

body, do for you,’ what would you say?<br />

Having worked in professional bodies<br />

for a good 15 years, I am constantly<br />

reminded that most people do not know<br />

what the real value of a professional body<br />

is or could be. Answering ‘I work for a<br />

professional body’ to the ‘And what do you<br />

do?’ question in a work or social situation<br />

usually leads to a strange look of horror on<br />

the face of the asker that says ‘Ooh, I was<br />

hoping for an answer I could talk about<br />

and I have no idea what to say next.’<br />

But I am passionate about what we do,<br />

and what we stand for at the CI<strong>CM</strong>, and<br />

given half a chance I will wax lyrical about<br />

it. That is usually when I get the response<br />

I was hoping for, and believe we deserve:<br />

‘Wow, that must be really interesting and<br />

challenging’ and it is.<br />


I wanted to share with you that over the<br />

last 12 months we have been evaluating<br />

our reason for being: checking that our<br />

energy, planning and passion is directed<br />

to the right things, talking to members,<br />

professionals at every stage of their career,<br />

and the wider profession. The result is a<br />

clear plan for <strong>2020</strong> and beyond.<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> MEMBERSHIP<br />

Workshops<br />

and events<br />

M<br />

Mentor hub<br />

-<br />

Networks<br />

K<br />

Benevolent<br />

fund<br />

Online<br />

advice and<br />

resources<br />

! ,<br />

Member<br />

Advice<br />

Service<br />

Webinars<br />

Qualifications<br />

Apprenticeships<br />


ó<br />

Magazine<br />

Knowledge<br />

Hub<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 12


AUTHOR – Claire Bishop<br />

It is clear in our minds, and it should be in yours,<br />

that you are part of a diverse and challenging<br />

profession that is at the heart of business success.<br />

THE CI<strong>CM</strong>’S REASON FOR BEING AND<br />

VISION<br />

As the largest recognised professional body<br />

in the world for the credit profession, CI<strong>CM</strong>’s<br />

reason for being is to advance the credit<br />

profession. This is not an empty tag line, this is<br />

our plan, our vision: let’s just take a look at the<br />

two main elements of this statement.<br />

1: Use of the word advance: to move forward in<br />

a purposeful way, to make progress.<br />

2: The credit profession. I have been party<br />

to some conversations and debate around<br />

what constitutes a profession, particularly<br />

around the credit profession. If you are<br />

working in credit management then you<br />

have a specialised set of knowledge and<br />

understanding, and tasks to complete. The<br />

credit profession requires specific training,<br />

skills and knowledge. It is clear in our minds,<br />

and it should be in yours, that you are part of<br />

a diverse and challenging profession that is at<br />

the heart of business success.<br />



We help individuals and organisations of<br />

all sizes manage credit and maximise cash<br />

collection efficiently and professionally,<br />

in an increasingly challenging business<br />

environment.<br />

We put our members and the business<br />

community at the centre of everything we<br />

do. As the trusted leader and expert in credit<br />

management, we provide our members and<br />

the credit community with support, advice,<br />

connections and career development.<br />

Through our work networks and collaboration<br />

with other bodies, we provide the credit<br />

profession (members and beyond) with a<br />

strong and influential collective voice to steer<br />

government policy and direction.<br />

Through a comprehensive programme of<br />

publications, helplines, conferences, events<br />

and webinars, qualifications and workshops,<br />

we keep CI<strong>CM</strong> members up-to-date and<br />

equipped to meet the demands of the crucial<br />

role they perform in modern business.<br />

As a professional body and a charity, we are not<br />

here solely for our members. While our focus<br />

is on helping our members, providing tools and<br />

advice to help them be successful in their work<br />

and careers, we also have the wider picture to<br />

consider. It is our responsibility to promote the<br />

importance of credit management and the best<br />

ways to achieve success in managing credit.<br />

Our recent work on the Prompt Payment Code<br />

is an illustration of how your professional<br />

body works with and influences government<br />

to change payment culture and policy across<br />

industries.<br />


THE CI<strong>CM</strong> VISION<br />

Advance thinking: As thought leaders and the<br />

centre of expertise for credit management, we<br />

are the strong and influential collective voice<br />

of the profession.<br />

Advance best practice: Setting the standard<br />

for credit management and gaining universal<br />

recognition that this is what keeps business in<br />

business.<br />

Advance careers: Supporting credit careers<br />

at every stage, from advice for getting into<br />

the profession, to qualifying, to leadership<br />

development and support in hard times.<br />

Advance skills: Improving skills and standards<br />

through a growing membership and delivery of<br />

high-quality qualifications and training.<br />

Advance connections: Acting as the catalyst<br />

for sharing of insight, information, support,<br />

ideas, innovations and debate across the credit<br />

profession.<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>: YOUR UNIQUE CREDIT<br />


The real power and value of the CI<strong>CM</strong> as your<br />

professional body is in the numbers: together<br />

we are stronger, learn more, support each<br />

other, gain more insight, share more ideas<br />

and have a louder voice. We are your unique<br />

community, with one goal in mind: to advance<br />

the credit profession.<br />

What is the CI<strong>CM</strong>?<br />

A professional body<br />

A membership body<br />

A standard setter<br />

A thought leader<br />

A voice for the profession<br />

A community<br />

A training provider<br />

An awarding body<br />

A publisher<br />

A charity<br />

A source of news<br />

An events organiser<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Membership<br />

Gives you peace of mind<br />

Community<br />

Professional recognition<br />

Career advancement<br />

Your chance to influence<br />

policy<br />


Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 13

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We sometimes have to make difficult choices,<br />

especially when it comes to knives and forks.<br />

AUTHOR – Glen Bullivant FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Glen Bullivant FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

THE question before me was<br />

straightforward, namely which<br />

to tackle first – the North<br />

Face or the South Face? Both<br />

displayed equal challenges<br />

and in truth whichever way<br />

you looked at it, the meat and potato pie was<br />

daunting. Just go for it was the only practical<br />

decision. Easy to do at home but more<br />

problematic in a public environment, where<br />

standards have to be seen to be maintained.<br />

Take for example the recent CI<strong>CM</strong> British<br />

Credit Awards <strong>2020</strong> Dinner where I was<br />

confronted by a place setting consisting of<br />

more cutlery than in my kitchen drawer<br />

at home and no less than four glasses for<br />

drinks of different colours. No worries really,<br />

because my mum had always said to start at<br />

the outside and work inwards as far as knives<br />

and forks were concerned, and the waiter<br />

would always know which glass was for which<br />

– my choice determined that outcome, i.e.<br />

red or white. The waiter also filled one glass<br />

with water and the mystery of the fourth glass<br />

was solved when our redoubtable Managing<br />

Editor appeared from behind a bottle of<br />

champagne offering each diner a tipple at<br />

well below market rate.<br />

All in all, it was a splendid evening and a<br />

great success. It is true that the lovely young<br />

lady on my left did nick my bread roll having<br />

chosen to go to her right rather than her left,<br />

but she was from Lancashire so that was<br />

perfectly understandable. All the glitterati<br />

were in attendance including one young credit<br />

professional looking as if he had just come to<br />

the dinner hotfoot from an audition for Peaky<br />

Blinders. Everyone there had made choices<br />

in their career paths, their determination to<br />

be the best at what they do and to win, win,<br />

win. All awards nominees shared that same<br />

passion – they had all made the right choices.<br />


Government has choices to make all the<br />

time, and decisions often involve extensive<br />

consultations with those considered to be<br />

interested parties. This process begs two<br />

important and fundamental questions – who<br />

do you ask, and what do you ask them? In<br />

the case of HS2 (and I take no sides in that<br />

debate), I suspect that business leaders have<br />

one view and the passenger another. I have<br />

little doubt that if government canvassed the<br />

opinion of the CEO of Ripoff & Scarper PLC,<br />

he or she would wax lyrical on the benefits<br />

of knocking time off the journey from Leeds<br />

to London. Put the same question to the<br />

embattled credit manager scrambling for the<br />

07.40 LNER Leeds to King’s Cross and his or<br />

her priorities would be a train, a seat and on<br />

time departure and arrival in that order.<br />

I travel frequently to Liverpool (my<br />

passport is up to date) and never fail to be<br />

amazed by the fact that the line between<br />

Manchester and Liverpool is pretty much as<br />

it was when first laid down 190 years ago at<br />

least in terms of the basic civil engineering<br />

of bridges, viaducts and the like. Not many<br />

years after 1830 came the line from Leeds to<br />

Manchester and again the same basic civil<br />

engineering is in place – bridges, viaducts and<br />

tunnels. Reducing the journey time between<br />

Hull, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool would<br />

involve more than just a tweak here and an<br />

alteration there, so if government found it<br />

hard to bite the bullet on HS2, just wait till<br />

they have to tackle HS3.<br />

The more astute reader will have noticed<br />

that when referring to the CEO and the credit<br />

manager above, I was careful to make sure<br />

that either role could be well filled by a he<br />

or a she. I am totally committed to gender<br />

equality across all walks of life, though I<br />

would have to confess that in spite of my<br />

advancing years (as subtly pointed out by<br />

aforementioned Peaky Blinders contender), I<br />

am still interested in the opposite sex even if I<br />

cannot remember why.<br />

There is, however, one bit of gender<br />

equality correctness which I find very hard to<br />

accept – the decision by the Scottish Maritime<br />

Museum and Lloyds List to refer to ships as<br />

‘it’ rather than ‘she’. Ships have been female<br />

gender since men and women first went to<br />

sea and that was always the case whatever<br />

the name given to the vessel at launch or<br />

completion. The Royal Navy has two new<br />

aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth<br />

(female) and HMS Prince of Wales (male)<br />

and both are crewed by men and women<br />

and I doubt very much that either would be<br />

referred to as an ‘it’ by any crew member,<br />

regardless of their own gender. I have made<br />

my choice – ask me about HMS Victory and I<br />

will say she is beautiful.<br />

Glen Bullivant FCI<strong>CM</strong> is almost past it.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 15

*Learners can enrol up to six weeks after cohort start date.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 16


Point of Reference<br />

Are Credit Reference Agencies doing enough to<br />

address regulatory and consumer concerns?<br />

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

CONSUMER Credit Reference<br />

Agencies (CRAs) are<br />

at something of a crossroads.<br />

Often misunderstood<br />

by consumers and<br />

the media alike, their<br />

industry is under constant scrutiny, and<br />

perhaps stand accused of not doing a<br />

better job at their own PR. But is that fair?<br />

Jayadeep Nair, Chief Product and<br />

Marketing Officer at Equifax, certainly<br />

sees the lack of a general understanding<br />

of credit scores, and their role in granting<br />

credit, as a key issue:<br />

“A credit score is a tool used by lenders<br />

to help determine whether an individual<br />

qualifies for a particular credit card, loan,<br />

mortgage or financial service. Using the<br />

information on their credit report and any<br />

additional information they have supplied<br />

as part of their application lenders use<br />

a mathematical model to calculate a<br />

numerical score that represents their<br />

credit history. This helps to indicate what<br />

kind of borrower they are, and how likely it<br />

is that they will manage their repayments.<br />

“Throughout a customer’s life, credit<br />

scores can play a key role in the financial<br />

products they take out. For example, when<br />

applying for a credit card or mortgage,<br />

their credit score could be used to help<br />

determine whether their application is<br />

accepted and what interest rate they end<br />

up paying. People with a higher score are<br />

often seen as lower risk, which means<br />

lenders are more likely to give them credit.<br />

“It’s worth remembering that every<br />

lender follows a different policy for credit<br />

scoring. So, if a customer doesn’t meet<br />

the criteria of one lender, they may still<br />

be able to get credit from someone else.<br />

Customers should find out why they were<br />

turned down before making another<br />

application. They should also be aware<br />

that too many credit searches in a short<br />

time period may be viewed negatively by<br />

lenders.”<br />

Satrajit ‘Satty’ Saha, CEO of TransUnion<br />

in the UK, agrees that lack of consumer<br />

awareness and understanding is a hurdle:<br />

“Two thirds of British consumers (66<br />

percent) don’t know their credit score,<br />

and just 38 percent are confident that they<br />

know what information is stored in their<br />

credit report, according to research we<br />

carried out for our recent white paper.<br />

“As we’ve seen in the US, greater<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 17<br />

continues on page 18 >


AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

consumer awareness around credit scores<br />

leads to a generally more well-developed<br />

credit market. Educating consumers is<br />

essential and CRAs like ourselves have a<br />

responsibility here, along with finance<br />

providers and other organisations that use<br />

credit information to help make informed<br />

decisions.”<br />


James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs at<br />

Experian UK&I, concurs that the industry<br />

has an ongoing responsibility to raise public<br />

awareness about how the credit system<br />

works. But what have they been doing thus<br />

far to overcome this issue and what more<br />

could they be doing in the future?<br />

“At Experian we’ve been running public<br />

awareness campaigns to help educate people<br />

about credit and credit reporting for several<br />

decades. Our annual Credit Awareness<br />

Campaign, which is four years old this year,<br />

aims to do precisely that – build public<br />

understanding about the way the credit<br />

information system works and educate<br />

consumers about the steps that they can take<br />

to take control of their financial information<br />

and access more appropriate and affordable<br />

credit.”<br />

Satty has a similar view: “As CRAs, we hold a<br />

privileged position in enabling trust between<br />

finance providers and their customers<br />

through the use of data, ensuring each<br />

person is reliably and securely represented.<br />

At TransUnion, we call this Information for<br />

Good. We have seen an emerging but clear<br />

desire for more education and understanding<br />

of credit and finance among consumers,<br />

and this is something TransUnion is actively<br />

focused on.<br />

“We support UK finance providers in<br />

educating their customers and building trust<br />

with our interactive CreditView tool. We also<br />

work closely with our partners Credit Karma,<br />

TotallyMoney and MoneySuperMarket to<br />

help consumers take control of their credit<br />

information, and we are educating UK<br />

students about their credit report and its<br />

uses through our initiative with secondary<br />

schools.”<br />

Equifax says it is addressing the challenge<br />

with its Equifax Knowledge Centre: “The<br />

Equifax Knowledge Centre provides a range<br />

of resources to help consumers understand<br />

all elements of credit reference agencies,<br />

as well as articles about general areas of<br />

financial management and fraud protection,”<br />

Jayadeep explains.<br />


As well as ‘education’, arguably the biggest<br />

single issue facing the consumer CRA<br />

industry currently is tackling financial<br />

exclusion from mainstream finance. James<br />

Jones says that great strides have been made in<br />

the last decade to make it quicker and easier to<br />

apply for everyday financial products such as<br />

credit cards, loans and even mortgages: “Our<br />

research, however, shows there are around<br />

5.8 million people in the UK who can find<br />

themselves excluded from the mainstream<br />

financial system owing to lack of accessible,<br />

relevant financial data.<br />

“For these ‘credit invisibles’ such services<br />

can remain far out of reach, but we’ve sought<br />

to tackle this issue by using new innovative<br />

data sources which we think can, in time,<br />

reduce the UK’s credit invisible population<br />

and get more people access to affordable<br />

finance. “More broadly,” he adds, “there’s<br />

a real opportunity to help people from all<br />

backgrounds through data-led financial<br />

innovation.”<br />

The industry recently came into the cross<br />

hairs of the Financial Conduct Authority<br />

(FCA) with the launch of a market study<br />

and concerns surrounding the coverage and<br />

quality of credit information available. But<br />

have these concerns any foundation in truth?<br />

Satty is circumspect in his answer: “The FCA<br />

market study of the credit information sector<br />

is a natural development for the industry,<br />

which plays an increasingly important role<br />

in assisting businesses to ensure responsible<br />

lending and helping consumers access the<br />

credit needed for everyday life; such as mobile<br />

phone contracts, car finance plans, credit<br />

cards, loans and mortgages.<br />

“We believe this study aligns with our<br />

aims of supporting businesses to ensure that<br />

credit provided to customers is affordable –<br />

promoting financial inclusion – and helping<br />

consumers to better understand their credit<br />

report and score so they can take control of<br />

their financial information to help them<br />

achieve their goals. We are constantly<br />

innovating and investing to ensure that our<br />

products and services meet these needs, with<br />

the consumer firmly at the forefront of all that<br />

we do.”<br />

Jayadeep plays a similarly straight bat: “The<br />

FCA’s Credit Information Market Study is a<br />

welcome development,” he says. “It is vital<br />

that the credit information market works<br />

well and helps protect vulnerable consumers,<br />

improve financial inclusion and ensure people<br />

can access appropriate financial products.<br />

Equifax is committed to a credit information<br />

market that works in the best interests of<br />

consumers, increases awareness and provides<br />

deeper understanding of credit reporting and<br />

responsible lending.”<br />


So are vulnerable customers more<br />

disproportionately affected by the way<br />

credit information is used? Jayadeep says<br />

Equifax is alive to the suggestion: “Financial<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 18


AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

“Companies need<br />

to be aware of the<br />

extra pressures their<br />

customers may face and<br />

treat them appropriately<br />

when they are struggling<br />

to meet payments. This<br />

can be achieved by<br />

developing strategies<br />

for these customers that<br />

proactively engage with<br />

them to offer additional<br />

support.’’<br />

vulnerability and debt are issues that cut<br />

across CRAs, regulatory bodies, charities<br />

and government,” he says. “An FCA<br />

study found that some consumers find<br />

communicating with large organisations,<br />

or accessing products, difficult.<br />

Financially vulnerable consumers can<br />

also find that they are unable to obtain a<br />

flexible, tailored service that meets their<br />

specific needs.<br />

“Companies need to be aware of the<br />

extra pressures their customers may face<br />

and treat them appropriately when they<br />

are struggling to meet payments. This can<br />

be achieved by developing strategies for<br />

these customers that proactively engage<br />

with them to offer additional support.<br />

We urge individuals struggling with debt<br />

repayments to talk to their creditors as<br />

soon as possible and compel creditors<br />

of all types to use data-driven methods<br />

to identify customers at risk of financial<br />

difficulties and support them in accessing<br />

high quality advice.”<br />

Satty says that TransUnion is already<br />

providing access to data that can<br />

be utilised by businesses to support<br />

those that are in vulnerable financial<br />

circumstances, and evolving technology<br />

further enables this: “Open Banking, for<br />

example, is showing much promise in this<br />

area by offering consumers more control<br />

over access to their financial information<br />

and helping businesses more accurately<br />

assess creditworthiness.”<br />

Identifying how data and technology<br />

can be used to better support vulnerable<br />

customers is something TransUnion<br />

says it is actively involved in. Satty says<br />

it recently contributed to the Financial<br />

Inclusion Policy Forum’s Fair4All<br />

consultation which considers the role of<br />

data in the affordable credit market, and<br />

whether new data sources could improve<br />

providers’ ability to make appropriate<br />

lending decisions for those who find<br />

themselves excluded from affordable<br />

credit or are in vulnerable financial<br />

circumstances.<br />

“We place great importance on<br />

leveraging data to help clients better<br />

identify consumers who are in financial<br />

difficulty or showing signs of financial<br />

vulnerability,” Satty continues. “Based on<br />

this analysis they can ensure consumers<br />

are supported and offered forbearance<br />

where appropriate. Done well, it can<br />

help clients identify pre-emptive lead<br />

indicators and take action that helps<br />

consumers who, for example, could be in<br />

persistent debt as a result of affordability<br />

problems, leading to better outcomes for<br />

all involved.”<br />

Satty says that as a business, TransUnion<br />

has a strong legacy of developing solutions<br />

that help enable responsible lending<br />

and protect consumers: “As far back as<br />

2006, we launched our first affordability<br />

solution in the UK – an industry first at<br />

the time – and we continue to look for<br />

other opportunities to assist clients and<br />

ultimately consumers.”<br />


Continuing the Open Banking theme,<br />

James says that Experian was the first<br />

large credit reference agency to receive<br />

FCA accreditation to supply Open Banking<br />

services: “We now work across with a wide<br />

range of organisations to bring its benefits<br />

to people,” he says.<br />

“For example, Money Advice Scotland<br />

is piloting our open banking technology<br />

which could help them to significantly<br />

speed up the initial stages of debt advice.<br />

The money charity’s new webchat service<br />

uses Experian’s open banking tool to<br />

gather crucial income and expenditure<br />

data, as well as a statement of consumer<br />

credit debts. It takes just minutes, as<br />

opposed to the weeks and months it<br />

can take to gather this information over<br />

several advice appointments.”<br />

Such innovation from Experian is<br />

matched by similar developments<br />

amongst its peers.<br />

In 2019 TransUnion introduced new<br />

products to the UK market that can help<br />

support both consumers and businesses<br />

alike: “TransUnion’s CreditView is a<br />

white-labelled, interactive tool that<br />

helps finance providers to educate and<br />

empower their customers by providing<br />

access to their credit report and score,”<br />

Satty explains. “Our research has shown<br />

that 40 percent of those who actively<br />

engage with their credit score typically<br />

see it increase within the first six months<br />

of regular monitoring. This ensures<br />

access to competitive rates and enables<br />

finance providers to tailor offers for the<br />

individual’s needs.<br />

“We also introduced our TrueVision®<br />

trended data solution which helps deliver<br />

better outcomes for both businesses<br />

and consumers, by providing a more<br />

nuanced and comprehensive picture of<br />

an individual’s financial standing. This<br />

allows financial institutions to leverage<br />

new consumer insights and looks beyond<br />

a single snapshot to a person’s financial<br />

standing over time to help lenders better<br />

understand and evaluate their customers’<br />

credit risk.”<br />


Equifax has also been innovating. One<br />

of its latest developments, in partnership<br />

with AccountScore, is a new credit risk<br />

index for the consumer lending sector:<br />

“The index is based upon the<br />

transactional information found within<br />

a consumer’s bank account and takes<br />

advantages of the opportunities provided<br />

by Open Banking to develop new products<br />

that better understand consumers,”<br />

Jayadeep explains.<br />

Equifax says the index can be taken as<br />

a standalone product or combined with<br />

traditional credit risk metrics to provide<br />

a fully-rounded understanding of the<br />

affordability of the credit to a customer<br />

and the customer’s creditworthiness. It<br />

combines AccountScore’s custom built<br />

transaction categorisation engine with<br />

the Equifax transaction data behavioural<br />

characteristics – identified as being<br />

leading predictors of creditworthiness<br />

and affordability.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 19



Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong> meets the founder of Aire and<br />

learns of the importance of context in credit scoring.<br />

ANEESH Varma is a man on a<br />

mission. After working for a<br />

number of the big banks (J.P<br />

Morgan, Credit Suisse and<br />

Morgan Stanley) and having<br />

a healthy appetite for risk, he<br />

was somewhat frustrated when he relocated<br />

from New York to the UK a decade or so ago<br />

and struggled to get credit. “It was a frustrating<br />

experienced for many in the expat community,”<br />

he explains, “and I was determined to do<br />

something about it.”<br />

Though not initially a business idea, Aneesh<br />

began researching the consumer credit reference<br />

agency landscape, meeting Government<br />

officials, politicians and policymakers who<br />

all agreed it was a problem that needed to be<br />

addressed: “I got a pat on the back for raising the<br />

issue but little else. It was only later, with time<br />

and money on my side, that I set out to build my<br />

own company to change things from the inside.”<br />

Aneesh’s research suggested that the industry<br />

was stale, and in need of an upgrade: “We saw<br />

it as an opportunity to re-invent the industry<br />

from the ground up,” he continues, “rather than<br />

trying to fix it with duct tape. The world we lived<br />

in when the first consumer reference agencies<br />

were launched was very different from the world<br />

we live in today. It means that the data sets from<br />

the ‘big three’ can be a bit ‘patchy’. It means also<br />

that younger consumers, the self-employed, and<br />

the gig generation are being left behind, and a<br />

big opportunity missed.”<br />


Aneesh’s thinking was that the underlying set of<br />

data used for decision making was not only out<br />

of date but missing one vital ingredient: context.<br />

The challenge was how to engage directly with<br />

the consumer: “With the current approach, the<br />

user has no input into the system. But that’s like<br />

someone writing a CV for you and you having no<br />

involvement.”<br />

Like most new business start-ups, the journey<br />

to launch has been a long one. The name –<br />

AIRE – started out as an acronym for Artificially<br />

Intelligent Risk Engine and has stuck for its<br />

simplicity and consumer-facing appeal. Aneesh<br />

worked closely with the regulator, the Financial<br />

Conduct Authority (FCA) in one of the first<br />

ever ‘Sandbox’ initiatives, and more recently<br />

has been working with and through lenders to<br />

demonstrate the proof of concept and that there<br />

are no negative outcomes for the consumer. It<br />

has been almost five years of work behind the<br />

scenes to arrive at the formal launch of its Credit<br />

Insight Suite.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 20


AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

“I got a pat on the back for raising the issue but<br />

little else. It was only later, with time and money on<br />

my side, that I set out to build my own company to<br />

change things from the inside.”<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 21<br />

continues on page 22 >


AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />


The Aire Credit Insight Suite is designed to offer<br />

UK lenders greater decision-making power<br />

when it comes to assessing customers for credit<br />

risk and affordability. Operating across the<br />

customer lifecycle, Aire enables lenders to make<br />

fairer, more accurate credit decisions about<br />

their customers: from scoring those with limited<br />

or non-existent credit histories, to optimising<br />

decision-making across acquisition, customer<br />

management, pre-arrears and collections.<br />

Aire anticipates that its services will improve<br />

access to financial services for people with<br />

incomplete or unconventional credit histories,<br />

including 8.3 million UK consumers who are<br />

currently excluded from large parts of the<br />

market due to a lack of detailed historic credit<br />

and affordability information.<br />

Developed to integrate at scale into lenders’<br />

existing credit application and decisioning<br />

systems, Aire’s Credit Insight Suite is said to<br />

improve lenders’ ability to assess credit risk and<br />

affordability by providing what the company<br />

calls ‘a unique range of insights based on firstparty<br />

data’.<br />

Aire gathers detailed financial and lifestyle<br />

information from consumers through an<br />

Interactive Virtual Interview (IVI), interrogates<br />

the data for accuracy using sophisticated<br />

machine learning algorithms and validates it to<br />

calculate scores that inform decision-making<br />

across the lending lifecycle.<br />

“We believe that<br />

when it comes to<br />

credit everyone<br />

has a future, not<br />

everyone has a<br />

past – and it’s our<br />

mission to solve<br />

that.”<br />


Results have so far been encouraging: to date<br />

it claims to have scored more than $10 billion<br />

of credit; lenders using Aire at the point of<br />

customer acquisition boosted acceptance<br />

rates by up to 14 percent without increased<br />

marketing spend, risk appetite or default<br />

rates; in collections trials, Aire helped lenders<br />

engage with customers and accelerate the<br />

recovery of outstanding credit by 25 percent<br />

with no increase in referrals to debt-collection<br />

agencies.<br />

Aneesh describes Aire as bringing greater<br />

equilibrium to consumer credit by filling a<br />

significant knowledge gap for lenders, providing<br />

them with brand new data directly from the<br />

consumer: “We know that a reliance on only<br />

historic data falls down when lenders score<br />

consumers without detailed credit histories - it’s<br />

this lack of evidence – and a lack of context –<br />

that stops accurate decision-making. By putting<br />

the consumer in control, we are solving the<br />

thin-file problem for lenders and providing new<br />

insight to improve marginal decision-making,<br />

providing lenders with a faster, fairer way to<br />

assess credit risk and affordability.<br />

“We’ve long believed that the best possible data<br />

source for lenders is the consumer themselves.<br />

By validating and interpreting this data, we offer<br />

lenders better insights that accurately reflect the<br />

current financial situation of their customers.<br />

This provides lenders with greater decisionmaking<br />

power and provides consumers with the<br />

right credit they both deserve and can afford to<br />

pay back.”<br />

Aneesh is keen to stress that Aire is not<br />

designed to replace existing CRAs, but rather<br />

work alongside what’s currently available:<br />

“When lenders switch from one CRA to another<br />

it is a complicated process, and for us to success<br />

we don’t need to displace any of the big three,”<br />

he adds.<br />


Aire, he says, helps to protect the lender and the<br />

consumer alike, for as well as allowing credit<br />

to be extended to consumers who are currently<br />

being unfairly excluded, it can also alert lenders<br />

to how a ‘better’ risk might in fact be on the verge<br />

of financial distress: “Traditional scoring might<br />

suggest the creditworthiness of a consumer<br />

that additional insight will show is in fact<br />

vulnerable,” he says. “Algorithms are only ever<br />

one part of the solution; context is everything.”<br />

Aneesh’s plans are big. He’s raised $25 million<br />

in funding and opened an office in Washington<br />

DC to add to its headquarters in London. Step<br />

One, he says, is to fill the gaps left by traditional<br />

CRAs and show that Aire’s Credit Insight Suite<br />

can work; step two, is to roll-out the concept<br />

in the US. “We believe that when it comes to<br />

credit everyone has a future, not everyone has a<br />

past – and it’s our mission to solve that,” he<br />

concludes.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 22





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END-TO-END<br />









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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 23



What do you get if you combine fast cars, a jet<br />

aeroplane, a yacht, a property portfolio and a loan<br />

agreement? The answer is trouble.<br />

AUTHOR – Peter Walker<br />

NO financiers in their right<br />

minds would lend me<br />

money to buy fast cars, a<br />

yacht or a jet aeroplane,<br />

even if the loan was<br />

mostly intended to finance<br />

a sound business, yet they were all<br />

ingredients in a £75m loan to a property<br />

developer.<br />

This loan was the essence of a BBC<br />

news item on 28 January <strong>2020</strong>, which also<br />

reported that ‘more than 12,000 companies<br />

were also pushed into ‘the Royal Bank<br />

of Scotland’s controversial restructuring<br />

group’. There were accusations of<br />

‘exploiting firms and acquiring their<br />

assets at knockdown prices.’ Credit<br />

Managers need a cool analysis in these<br />

circumstances, and this was provided<br />

in the High Court by Mr Justice Kerr in<br />

Morley v the Royal Bank of Scotland plc<br />

(<strong>2020</strong>) EWHC 88 (Ch).<br />

He considered the facts presented<br />

before him, and they were less sensational<br />

than the newspaper headlines. The<br />

Claimant was a developer of commercial<br />

properties, and he borrowed money to<br />

purchase and improve them. The rental<br />

income would cover the interest. The Law<br />

Report states that his bank’s relationship<br />

manager ‘admired the high occupancy<br />

levels’ of the properties. A useful statistic<br />

is the ratio between the number of<br />

units available to let and the number of<br />

occupied units – when I worked for an<br />

investment banking company, I used this<br />

ratio.<br />

The bank (RBS) was satisfied, and<br />

in 2005 entered into a loan facility<br />

agreement. The Claimant now had a<br />

facility of £75m to refinance his activities,<br />

and add more properties, RBS permitted a<br />

‘bonus payment’ for his personal use. He<br />

would have to repay the loan of course,<br />

and the interest was one percent above<br />

the bank’s base rate. That would increase<br />

to three percent above that base rate in<br />

the event of a default.<br />


The list of defaults included an interest<br />

cover ratio, which would come into effect<br />

if the rental income was less than 1.3<br />

(increasing to 1.4) times interest payable.<br />

If there was a breach of this and other<br />

specified defaults, the bank could call in<br />

the whole amount. The Claimant had to<br />

provide security initially on 21 properties.<br />

In addition to these arrangements the<br />

Claimant entered into a three-year collar<br />

agreement as a hedge against interest rate<br />

changes.<br />

Once the bank and the Claimant had<br />

settled the details of the loan, he paid off<br />

two loans at other banks, and earmarked<br />

£10m for the purchase and development<br />

of other properties. He then could have<br />

some fun with the ‘bonus payment’, and he<br />

made some investments. He bought land<br />

in the South of France, on which he built<br />

a luxury villa. He then bought a yacht,<br />

which he sailed on the Mediterranean.<br />

He had other residences in England,<br />

and he acquired some fast cars. He<br />

needed extra finance, a mortgage, to<br />

buy a jet aeroplane.<br />

In addition to his acquisition of<br />

these assets he added to the property<br />

portfolio, there were interest rate<br />

rises, and the Claimant asserted that<br />

the effect of the collar was to increase<br />

his liability for interest payments.<br />

There were breaches of covenant,<br />

but the bank granted waivers in<br />

exchange for fees. In 2007 the bank was<br />

unwilling to ignore such breaches, and it<br />

proposed a new financing arrangement.<br />

This would include a new fixed interest<br />

rate swap to replace the collar, and there<br />

would be a new development facility for<br />

two more properties. The Claimant tried<br />

to negotiate.<br />


Negotiations, stormy at times, continued,<br />

and by the end of 2008 there was no<br />

agreement. The value of the properties<br />

had fallen below the principal amount<br />

of the loan. The bank considered the<br />

involvement of its much-criticised Global<br />

Restructuring Group (GRG) intended to<br />

deal with customers whose businesses<br />

were in difficulties. Throughout 2009<br />

there were other attempts to reach an<br />

agreement.<br />

There was also ‘the Banking Crisis’,<br />

and the bank entered into an agreement<br />

with the Commissioners of HM Treasury,<br />

and it joined the Asset Protection Scheme<br />

(APS). The Government was prepared<br />

to underwrite some losses in respect<br />

of ‘Covered Assets’ defined in the APS<br />

scheme.<br />

This was the background to the<br />

negotiations with the Claimant, and CRG<br />

was involved too. At the end of 2009 the<br />

Claimant made some proposals, and both<br />

the CRG and the APS officials would have<br />

to approve them. For the moment that<br />

was unnecessary, because the various<br />

attempts to resolve the situation had<br />

failed. Events worsened, when a fire<br />

destroyed one of the properties, and the<br />

insurance company refused to pay out.<br />

The value of the portfolio decreased.<br />

The properties nevertheless were<br />

an important element in the various<br />

proposals to resolve the problem, and<br />

finally in July and August 2010 there were<br />

agreements. The Claimant retained a<br />

proportion – less than half in value – of<br />

the portfolio, for which he paid the bank<br />

£20.5 million. The rest of the portfolio<br />

was transferred to West Register (Property<br />

Investments) Limited (‘West Register’), a<br />

subsidiary of the bank.<br />


The Claimant was not satisfied, and he<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 24


AUTHOR – Peter Walker<br />

brought claims in tort and in contract. He<br />

claimed in tort that the bank had failed to<br />

provide banking services with reasonable<br />

care and skill. He furthermore asserted<br />

that the bank had a duty to act in good<br />

faith and not for a purpose unrelated to<br />

the bank’s commercial interests.<br />

In this respect Kerr J referred to a<br />

decision of the judges of the Court of<br />

Appeal in Property Alliance Group Ltd v<br />

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc (2018) 1<br />

WLR 3529. A borrower had entered into<br />

an interest rate hedging instrument,<br />

an interest rate swap. If the borrower<br />

terminated early and interest rates<br />

had declined, there would be significant<br />

break costs. That is what happened,<br />

and the borrower claimed that (a) the<br />

bank had negligently failed to disclose<br />

the worst-case scenario, (b) the bank by<br />

using the word ‘hedge’ had misrepresented<br />

the borrower’s interest rate risks, and (c)<br />

the bank had impliedly misrepresented<br />

that it would not manipulate interest<br />

rates.<br />

The judges found that on the facts none<br />

of these allegations applied. The purpose<br />

of the hedging agreement was favourable<br />

to the bank, but it protected the borrower<br />

from rises in interest rates with their<br />

consequent risk that the borrower<br />

would be unable to pay interest to the<br />

bank. The judges of the Court of Appeal<br />

said that the power in the arrangement<br />

could be exercised in the bank’s interest<br />

without the need to balance it against<br />

the customer’s interest. The power must<br />

not be used to ‘vex’ the customer nor, for<br />

example, be for a purpose unrelated to the<br />

bank’s legitimate interests.<br />

One of the interests of the bank in the<br />

Morley case was in the money lent to the<br />

Claimant, and Kerr J observed that on the<br />

facts it was ‘an ordinary loan agreement’.<br />

Any contractual discretions had to be<br />

exercised as identified in the manner of<br />

the judgment of the court in the Property<br />

Alliance Group case, e.g. no vexing and<br />

the purpose must be related to the bank’s<br />

legitimate interests.<br />


There were other complications such as<br />

the ‘bonus payment’ for the Claimant’s<br />

own use. Kerr J noted that he had spent<br />

it on various items including a yacht, a<br />

jet aeroplane and fast cars. There was<br />

nothing put aside for a rainy day, and it<br />

had rained. At that time there was little,<br />

The bank (RBS)<br />

was satisfied, and<br />

in 2005 entered<br />

into a loan facility<br />

agreement. The<br />

Claimant now had<br />

a facility of £75m<br />

to refinance his<br />

activities, to add<br />

more properties,<br />

and RBS permitted<br />

a ‘bonus payment’<br />

for his personal<br />

use.<br />

or no, market for such assets, and the<br />

Claimant’s omission to keep sufficient<br />

money in reserve meant that he lost the<br />

chance to salvage the whole property<br />

portfolio. Kerr ruled that the Bank was not<br />

at fault. There was, however, the threat to<br />

expropriate the portfolio by making a prepack<br />

Administration transfer of assets to<br />

the bank’s subsidiary, West Register. Kerr<br />

J regarded this and the other incidents<br />

as being ‘a commercial response’ to<br />

the Claimant’s request for more time.<br />

He finally considered the Claimant’s<br />

allegations of intimidation and economic<br />

distress. Kerr J was not convinced. The<br />

Claimant was an experienced property<br />

developer, and he ‘must have been well<br />

aware of the remedy of receivership<br />

available to a secured creditor bank in<br />

case of default.’ The bank was furthermore<br />

correct in its view that the Claimant had<br />

affirmed the agreements, because, for<br />

example, he had not taken any steps to set<br />

them aside for five years.<br />

The Claimant therefore lost his case,<br />

and there are lessons to be drawn from<br />

the bank’s victory. Credit managers of<br />

businesses, which are financing projects,<br />

must insist that the borrower regularly<br />

provides information such as reports of<br />

interest cover ratios, perhaps supported<br />

by independent auditors. These should be<br />

specified in the loan agreement.<br />

If there are failures to meet the targets,<br />

there must be no reluctance to accept<br />

deviations, even if fees are payable. The<br />

value of the security must be regularly<br />

reviewed – share prices, for example, have<br />

recently been volatile.<br />

Then if the borrower sails off into<br />

the sunset in a yacht, flies away in a jet,<br />

or flees in a fast car, there are assets of<br />

enough value to pay off the loan.<br />

Peter Walker is a freelance business<br />

writer specialising in legal matters<br />

relating to credit management.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 25

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 26


THE GRAY<br />

MATTER<br />

Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong> speaks to Yvette Gray<br />

about commercial collections, the value<br />

of CI<strong>CM</strong>Q, and personal fitness training.<br />

YVETTE Gray might have been<br />

a personal trainer. Having<br />

represented Team GB in Japan<br />

for aerobic gymnastics at<br />

the world championships, the<br />

thought of turning a passion into<br />

a career was never far from her mind. She also<br />

toyed briefly with the idea of becoming a police<br />

officer, or cabin crew.<br />

So how, then, did she end up working in<br />

credit, and rising to the top job of one of the<br />

UK & Ireland’s largest commercial collections<br />

businesses?<br />

“I knew I wanted to work and to get out into<br />

the big world beyond the small town in which<br />

I was born, I wanted to escape to the city,”<br />

she explains. “A friend of mine worked for the<br />

Export Credit Guarantees Department (ECGD)<br />

and said there were vacancies, so I applied for<br />

a job and started working on a three-month<br />

temporary contract. Thirty years later, and I am<br />

still here!”<br />

Born in the small town of Mountain Ash, 20<br />

or so miles to the north of Cardiff (the city to<br />

which she hoped to escape), Yvette was educated<br />

locally and though she enjoyed school, knew<br />

that university was not for her: “I liked English<br />

and sport, and though I was fairly academic, I<br />

had more interest in getting a job.”<br />

To say she landed on her feet would perhaps<br />

be a pun too far, but she certainly loved her job<br />

from the off: “I was in the claims and recoveries<br />

team,” she explains, “and what I really liked was<br />

the international feel of what we were doing.<br />

Although our customers were UK based, their<br />

debtors could be almost anywhere in the world,<br />

and the cases I was dealing with were always<br />

varied. In my first role as a Recoveries Officer<br />

I found myself responsible for France and the<br />

Middle East and found it all really interesting.<br />

I was also working with some great people<br />

(including Gideon Jones who is still with the<br />

business) who had so much experience you<br />

could learn from.”<br />


With the privatisation of the ECGD in 1991, and<br />

its evolution into N<strong>CM</strong>, Yvette was part of the<br />

team developing the company’s domestic book,<br />

working closely with Insolvency Practitioners,<br />

Debt Collection Agencies, and lawyers to<br />

understand and advise their customers (who<br />

at the time were all N<strong>CM</strong> credit insurance<br />

policyholders) on the collections process, and<br />

what they could expect. She was also one of<br />

the first members of the organisation’s Special<br />

Risk Management (SRM) team, identifying and<br />

monitoring those businesses deemed to be<br />

most at risk, usually because of a deteriorating<br />

financial position.<br />

It was perhaps inevitable that what started<br />

out as an ‘advice’ team to support policyholders<br />

ultimately evolved into a dedicated recoveries<br />

and collections business. It was also perhaps<br />

inevitable that the business should not only act<br />

for policyholders, but would also actively seek<br />

third-party, non-insured businesses.<br />

“We set up the collections business in<br />

1997 initially so our policyholders had our<br />

total support, both in paying a claim and<br />

also in recovering any outstanding debts,”<br />

she continues. “It was later, as the business<br />

expanded and we opened more offices in more<br />

regions, that we extended our service to include<br />

non-insured businesses.”<br />

The growth has been considerable. From<br />

comparatively modest beginnings, the<br />

Collections business now has 33 offices around<br />

the globe, and collected more than €350<br />

million [last year] from around 100,000 cases<br />

and has an average success rate of 79 percent<br />

globally, excluding insolvencies and customer<br />

withdrawals.<br />

“We now have offices in nearly every major<br />

continent, and have recently opened offices<br />

in Dubai, Morocco and Romania. Where we<br />

don’t have a physical presence, we still work<br />

through agents, for example in some of the<br />

more esoteric Eastern European markets.” Our<br />

mission as Atradius is to support our customers<br />

to trade around the world and when there is<br />

a non-payment issue they can count on our<br />

local expertise and knowledge to help them to<br />

recover the debt.<br />

Yvette says that being part of a major credit<br />

insurer (N<strong>CM</strong> became Atradius in 2003 having<br />

merged with the German credit insurance<br />

group Gerling Credit and briefly becoming<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 27<br />

continues on page 28 >

Gerling N<strong>CM</strong>) is a major advantage: “It gives us<br />

added leverage,” she says. “If a buyer fails to pay,<br />

then it impacts their credit score and their ability<br />

to get credit insurance.”<br />


The downturn in 2008 was a tough time for<br />

Atradius across all of its businesses, and Yvette is<br />

understandably circumspect in her response to<br />

my questioning: “There were well-documented<br />

challenges across all of the industry,” she says,<br />

“and it’s fair to say we have learned the lessons<br />

from those times. It has meant that in more recent<br />

economic difficulties, we have been much better<br />

connected with customers and brokers in how we<br />

manage difficult cases and are more agile in our<br />

approach.<br />

“Conversations are much more transparent<br />

and open, and the quality of data has particularly<br />

improved. The data available today is much more<br />

current and up-to-date and provides a better<br />

picture of a company’s true financial position.<br />

This is helping customers make even betterinformed<br />

decisions.”<br />

Yvette was engaged early in the process<br />

of establishing Atradius Collections and<br />

setting up the customer services teams.<br />

She also took on a global sales manager’s<br />

role, expanding the company’s portfolio<br />

into both globally insured and noninsured<br />

businesses. She also had a spell in<br />

Programme Management, looking at ways<br />

of best servicing their clients on a global<br />

basis:<br />

“Although based in Cardiff, it involved<br />

plenty of travelling to meet customers<br />

and colleagues and working out ways of<br />

ensuring our customers had a consistent<br />

service, regardless of what sector or<br />

market they were involved in. It also meant<br />

understanding and addressing different<br />

expectation levels, and how these varied<br />

across disparate cultures.”<br />

Whereas the appetite for using an outsourced<br />

collections service is a concept that is well<br />

understood in Europe, in other markets it was<br />

more challenging: “Credit managers in the UK<br />

and Europe are far more likely to be comfortable<br />

working with an external third-party, but in Asia,<br />

for example, the practice is not so well established.”<br />

(Atradius Collections publishes an International<br />

Debt Collection handbook each year, a<br />

comprehensive document which sets out the<br />

different approaches required to collecting debts<br />

“I knew I wanted to work and to get out into the big<br />

world beyond the small town in which I was born, I<br />

wanted to escape to the city”<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 28


from 48 countries worldwide, as well as each country’s<br />

attitude to debt, cost of recoveries and required<br />

documentation. Under each country heading,<br />

the handbook also details the relevant actions/<br />

requirements for the three stages of the company’s<br />

approach to collections: amicable collections; legal<br />

collections; and insolvency proceedings.)<br />


Yvette’s appointment as Country Director, UK &<br />

Ireland for Atradius Collections means she now heads<br />

up a team of 25 in Cardiff and Dublin, comprising<br />

sales, account management, collections and finance:<br />

“I have a tremendous team and am very proud of<br />

what they do. They make it very easy for me to lead<br />

them,” she says.<br />

“Working with other people is the bit I enjoy most<br />

about work,” she adds. “There is such a diverse mix.”<br />

The quality of the team will soon be tested.<br />

Atradius Collections has applied for Quality in Credit<br />

Management recognition (CI<strong>CM</strong>Q), and by the time<br />

this interview appears in print, Head of CI<strong>CM</strong>Q<br />

Chris Sanders will have completed his preliminary<br />

workshop: “We have always had a good relationship<br />

with the CI<strong>CM</strong> and see the value in benchmarking<br />

ourselves for Quality,” she says.<br />

“We work with credit managers all of the time,<br />

either collecting money for them or from them, so<br />

getting closer to CI<strong>CM</strong> members is an important part<br />

of our strategy.”<br />

So what does Yvette see are the biggest challenges<br />

moving forward? “It’s still about data,” she continues.<br />

“Credit managers demand more data and more insight<br />

and being able to use that data intelligently to predict<br />

outcomes is becoming increasingly important. Our<br />

role is to help our customers do business and support<br />

them to improve their credit management processes<br />

and tools.”<br />


In terms of latest developments within the business,<br />

Atradius Collections recently-launched an online<br />

self-service platform for SMEs, enabling them to get<br />

a quote in one minute, place debts for collections and<br />

monitor the progress. Perhaps even more innovative,<br />

is a UK pilot of a video channel to engage with<br />

debtors: “By using video we can see who has engaged,<br />

when they engaged, what they viewed and when,”<br />

Yvette explains.<br />

“The real advantage in capturing this data is we<br />

can use it to inform and adjust our own collection<br />

strategies, as well as feeding this information back<br />

to our customers to show who is more likely to pay<br />

in what countries and sectors.”<br />

Yvette is excited about the future and the<br />

challenges ahead. It is a full job that demands<br />

much of her time, but she still finds time<br />

outside of work to be a mum of four and to run<br />

the odd half marathon. Life is full speed ahead<br />

for Yvette and her sporting instincts keep her<br />

on track. She even, for a time, held personal<br />

fitness training classes in-house. So what<br />

advice would she give her younger self today?<br />

“To take a chance,” she says emphatically.<br />

“Trust your gut. You always regret the things<br />

you didn’t do.”<br />

“We work with<br />

credit managers all<br />

of the time, either<br />

collecting money<br />

for them or from<br />

them, so getting<br />

closer to CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

members is an<br />

important part of<br />

our strategy.”<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 29

www.tcmgroup.com<br />

Probably thebest debt collection network worldwide<br />

Moneyknows no borders—neither do we<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 30


Demonstrating Skills<br />

What core skills do credit employers really look for,<br />

and how can you demonstrate that you have them?<br />

AUTHOR – Karen Young<br />

ANY professional working in<br />

credit needs to be aware of a<br />

number of core skills which are<br />

integral to roles of this nature.<br />

Having worked in finance<br />

recruitment for over 24 years, I<br />

have come across a great many candidates with<br />

a variety of backgrounds. However, some skills<br />

have stood out to me as being core skills to credit<br />

functions and ones which aspiring professionals<br />

in the sector ought to have.<br />

As employers are still facing the challenge<br />

of ongoing skills shortages, possessing some or<br />

all of these core skills is crucial to make sure<br />

talent is continuously entering the industry. I<br />

encourage all credit professionals to reflect on<br />

their own skillset in light of my four core skills<br />

below, especially those who are considering<br />

applying to a new role.<br />


It shouldn’t come as much surprise that strong<br />

IT skills are vital in credit. Credit professionals<br />

can expect to use a variety of IT systems which<br />

are predominately used to handle data, manage<br />

repayment schemes, record payments and check<br />

credit records and will need to be confident<br />

using these systems as part of their day-today<br />

role. This comes hand in hand with strong<br />

numerical skills which is a must in almost all<br />

accountancy and finance roles.<br />

For those entering the world of credit,<br />

undertaking any formal training or qualifications<br />

should provide thorough exposure of the<br />

required IT skills, as well as the chance to start<br />

building these skills. Highlight this as a focal<br />

point of your CV by putting listing it in either<br />

the first or second section, so a recruiter or<br />

hiring manager scanning through picks up on it<br />

immediately. If you don’t have much experience<br />

behind you, it might be worth mentioning any<br />

IT-related pursuits to demonstrate that you have<br />

a genuine interest in this area.<br />


The technology involved with working in credit<br />

is constantly changing, which brings me on to<br />

the second skill I believe to be core to credit<br />

roles which is adaptability. It’s crucial to be able<br />

to work with new technology and systems which<br />

are changing rapidly across accounting and<br />

finance, and stay open-minded to innovation<br />

entering the workplace. Furthermore, working<br />

with a variety of clients on different issues<br />

means that it’s beneficial to stay on your toes by<br />

remaining adaptable in different situations.<br />

A skill like adaptability is harder to<br />

demonstrate in a CV than those represented by a<br />

qualification, but it’s certainly worth mentioning.<br />

An interview is the ideal opportunity to<br />

demonstrate this skill to a recruiter or potential<br />

employer, and I’d recommend using the STAR<br />

method (situation, task, action and result) to<br />

structure your answer if asked about this. Don’t<br />

forget to mention what you achieved as a result<br />

of using this skill.<br />


Good communication is the difference<br />

between bringing an innovative idea to the<br />

table and using it to have a proper impact on<br />

your organisation. It’s a core skill for credit<br />

managers who need to take part in discussions,<br />

listen to others and present their point of view<br />

professionally and convincingly. These skills<br />

are required internally when working across<br />

teams and departments but also externally with<br />

customers and clients with whom you need to<br />

build a positive relationship. As was the case<br />

with demonstrating adaptability, certainly<br />

mention strong communication skills in your<br />

CV. However, be aware that many recruiters and<br />

employers come across this phrase on a regular<br />

basis due to the number of applications they<br />

look at. If you are calm and professional in your<br />

interview, your strength as a communicator will<br />

come across.<br />


The fourth core skill I think is worth mentioning<br />

is the willingness to collaborate – or in other<br />

words, being able to work well in a team. Credit<br />

professionals will find themselves working<br />

with many different colleagues across different<br />

departments when managing the needs of<br />

their clients and customers, making effective<br />

teamwork vital. It is arguably a core skill of<br />

almost any job, so make sure to get this across<br />

in your application. ‘Teamwork’ is another<br />

buzzword often used in CVs, so if you are<br />

referencing this skill, try to stand out by<br />

using phrases such as ‘open-minded’, ‘flexible’<br />

and ‘willing to compromise’. This will help<br />

the recruiter or employer see that you are<br />

someone who suits working in a collaborative<br />

environment and fits in easily with new teams.<br />

Hopefully you notice some or all of these<br />

skills in your own skillset, but if not, don’t worry.<br />

While I believe these are core skills in credit,<br />

much of being a good credit professional comes<br />

with experience. Don’t be afraid to identify<br />

personal areas of focus or improvement in your<br />

application, as it can help demonstrate that you<br />

recognise the core skills which are required and<br />

your commitment to gaining them.<br />

Karen Young is Director at Hays<br />

Credit Management.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 31


Ignore the history,<br />

Vietnam is a great place<br />

to do business<br />

Part One: Vietnam<br />

Rising Star<br />

NOT that very long ago,<br />

Vietnam was a place<br />

associated with third world<br />

conditions, communism<br />

and war with France, the<br />

US and then Cambodia.<br />

Vietnam carried stigma and most certainly<br />

was vilified by the American media.<br />

But history is exactly that, a record<br />

of what has gone before. Vietnam now<br />

would be unrecognisable to anyone from<br />

the 1950’s, 60’s or 70’s. It is now one of<br />

Asia’s – and the world’s – fastest growing<br />

economies with a GDP that is estimated to<br />

have grown 7.3 percent in 2018 albeit with<br />

a forecasted drop to around 6.4 percent in<br />

<strong>2020</strong>. It’s notable that GDP per capita has<br />

grown by 350 percent since 1991, second<br />

only to China.<br />

Vietnam is party to more than 40 free<br />

trade agreements including the WTO<br />

and regional forums, ASEAN and its<br />

Economic Community, an EU-Vietnam<br />

Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-<br />

Pacific Partnership. Further, it’s situated<br />

in the Mekong region that along with<br />

Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and<br />

the south of China offers exporters access<br />

to more than 250 million people.<br />

In other words, the Vietnam of 2019<br />

is as far removed from a B52 bomber<br />

as the Wright Flyer is to the Lockheed<br />

Martin F-35. While it’s worth noting that<br />

Vietnamese culture and civilisations goes<br />

back more than 30,000 years through<br />

various dynasties from 3000BC to modern<br />

times, the reality is that Vietnam is now<br />

an up and coming nation that exporters<br />

would be insane to ignore.<br />


In numbers – quoted by KPMG – the<br />

population stood at 96.4 million in 2018<br />

but is expected to reach 98.2 million by the<br />

end of <strong>2020</strong>. Population density is similar<br />

to that of the UK since it has a landmass<br />

of some 330,000km2 compared to the<br />

UK’s 242,495km2 which is home to (just)<br />

66.44 million. Just under 70 percent of the<br />

population work and they earn around<br />

$2,500 a year – which is not bad but well<br />

below that of China’s average income of<br />

$12,500 or even the US at $52,300. Growth<br />

is driven by a growing domestic market<br />

and a young, educated and hard-working<br />

population and the fastest-growing middle<br />

class in South Asia.<br />

GDP is rising from $239bn in 2018 to an<br />

anticipated $270bn in <strong>2020</strong>. But where the<br />

figures get interesting is in imports and<br />

exports data. In 2018, Vietnam imported a<br />

total of $237.5bn worth of goods, chief of<br />

which were $42.5bn worth of computers<br />

and electronics, $33.7bn of machinery<br />

and instruments, $16bn of telephones and<br />

allied products, $15.3bn of textiles and<br />

fabrics, and $9.8bn of iron and steel.<br />

In comparison, the country exported<br />

(again, in 2018) goods to the value of<br />

$244.7bn – $50bn of telephones and allied<br />

products, $30.4bn of textiles and garments,<br />

$29.4bn of computers and electronics,<br />

$16.5bn of machinery and instruments<br />

and $16.3bn of footwear.<br />

These numbers are not to be sniffed at<br />

when set against those for the UK – which,<br />

according to a September 2019 report<br />

from the Office for National Statistics<br />

noted that the UK exported £634.1bn and<br />

imported £665bn (approximately $824bn<br />

and $864bn respectively) for the preceding<br />

12-month period.<br />


Recalling the earlier reference to<br />

foreign direct investment, new deals<br />

approved in 2018 saw opportunities in a<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 32


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

number of Vietnamese sectors – industrial<br />

manufacturing (585 new projects and<br />

$5.88bn of new capital), real estate and<br />

construction (203 new projects and $5.1bn),<br />

textiles and garments (352 new projects and<br />

$2.27bn), energy and natural resources (26<br />

new projects and $1.72bn), food and drink<br />

(121 new projects and $391mn) and other<br />

($2.61bn). It’s clear from the numbers that<br />

some very large infrastructure projects have<br />

been set up.<br />

While these investments are interesting,<br />

so too is the origin of the investment: 37<br />

percent comes from Japan, 20 percent from<br />

South Korea, eight percent from Singapore,<br />

seven percent from Thailand, seven percent<br />

from China, and 21 percent from elsewhere.<br />

One thing that Vietnam has going for<br />

it – for the moment at least – is that it is a<br />

beneficiary of the US/Sino trade war as<br />

international firms look to reorganise their<br />

operations to offset the impact of the tit-fortat<br />

tariffs. It also helps that Vietnam’s labour<br />

costs are low compared to those in China and<br />

the country is relatively easy to do business<br />

in compared with other low-cost locations.<br />

According to the World Bank’s 2019 Doing<br />

Business report, New Zealand is ranked<br />

first, the US sixth, the UK eighth, India 63rd,<br />

Vietnam 70th, Cambodia 144th and Somalia<br />

was 190th. In other words, Vietnam is in a<br />

good place and towards the top of the Easy<br />

banding.<br />

But Vietnam needs to tread carefully<br />

and could suffer the wrath of President<br />

Trump and his trade policy. According to US<br />

government statistics, US goods and services<br />

traded with Vietnam totalled an estimated<br />

$58.2bn in 2017 (latest data available) –<br />

exports were $10.5bn and imports were<br />

$47.8bn. The goods and services trade deficit<br />

with Vietnam stood at $37.3bn in 2017. A<br />

former arch-enemy, the US has imposed<br />

huge tariffs on Vietnamese steel imports. But<br />

Vietnam quickly responded by saying it’ll buy<br />

more from the US to neuter Trump’s anger.<br />


As noted earlier, Vietnam is considered ‘easy’<br />

to do business with. Starting a company<br />

is much easier now that it takes just eight<br />

procedures now compared to more than 100<br />

required a few years ago.<br />

RED TAPE<br />

First off, firms must have a company address<br />

and a lease signed before registering an<br />

entity. There are conditions and limits placed<br />

on some foreign investments with some<br />

undertakings – those dealing with certain<br />

types of drugs, chemicals and minerals,<br />

some biological businesses, and firecrackers<br />

are banned from foreign investment. And it<br />

shouldn’t be a surprise that paperwork must<br />

be completed in Vietnamese and any foreign<br />

paperwork must have certified Vietnamese<br />

translations which have been certified<br />

by courts in the home country, and then<br />

authenticated by a Vietnamese embassy.<br />

Licenses are also issued in Vietnamese.<br />

Vietnam is a country on the move,<br />

but there is still enough bureaucracy to<br />

infuriate; it doesn’t help that there’s a lack<br />

of transparency compounded by regulatory<br />

regimes, commercial law and overlapping<br />

jurisdictions of some government ministries<br />

– policies can seem inconsistent. Similarly,<br />

the country is developing its corporate<br />

culture meaning that standards, disclosure,<br />

and a lack of financial transparency can<br />

make due-diligence tricky.<br />

Adam Bernstein is a freelance<br />

business writer.<br />

Ho Chi Minh City (commonly<br />

known as Saigon) is a city in<br />

southern Vietnam famous for<br />

the pivotal role it played in the<br />

Vietnam War. It's also known for<br />

its French colonial landmarks,<br />

including Notre-Dame Cathedral,<br />

made entirely of materials imported<br />

from France, and the 19th-century<br />

Central Post Office. Food stalls line<br />

the city’s streets, especially around<br />

bustling Bến Thành Market.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 33

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Is your organization armed with the best modern finance solutions to make data-driven decisions?<br />

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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 34




How do you make your presentation<br />

stand out from the rest?<br />

AUTHOR – Clive Hawkins<br />

Clive Hawkins<br />

YOU have been invited to<br />

speak on a topic and now<br />

need to decide what you are<br />

going to say. Not always an<br />

easy task - how often have you<br />

sat through presentations<br />

and been bombarded with slides which are<br />

crammed with content and contain complex<br />

graphs or tables of data that don’t relate to<br />

your interests. This ‘death by powerpoint’<br />

is not the experience you had hoped for!<br />

So, how do you avoid repeating this when<br />

crafting your own presentation?<br />


Whether you are producing a presentation<br />

from scratch, adapting a previous version or<br />

using one that has already been prepared,<br />

you need to go through the same process –<br />

determine your audience’s needs, provide<br />

engaging content, use eye-catching imagery<br />

and link it with a compelling narrative.<br />

To help with this approach, think about<br />

how you read a book. You are introduced<br />

to the story at the start, discover more<br />

information in subsequent chapters and<br />

reach the end with a memorable finale;<br />

hopefully inspiring you to read the author’s<br />

other works. To achieve this experience,<br />

writers often know how they want the<br />

story to end from the outset, and then work<br />

backwards. This helps them structure their<br />

writing and ensure every part of their book<br />

is aligned to take the reader on a journey and<br />

deliver the perfect ending. This approach<br />

can equally work well for developing a<br />

presentation.<br />


Once you have decided on your presentation<br />

structure, you need to consider content.<br />

Beware - this is where information overload<br />

can creep in! You need to reduce your subject<br />

knowledge into short, meaningful and<br />

memorable phrases. This can be difficult as<br />

there is a tendency to include vast amounts<br />

of information in a presentation ‘for<br />

completeness’, which can lead to an influx<br />

of additional content and data. In reality,<br />

it will be hard enough for an audience to<br />

retain more than a few key points from your<br />

presentation so don’t pad out your delivery<br />

unless it is absolutely necessary.<br />


The phrase, ‘a picture is worth a thousand<br />

words’ is never better exemplified than<br />

in a presentation. Powerful imagery<br />

can be emotive, thought-provoking and<br />

memorable. It can help convey information,<br />

enhance a key point and create an ambience<br />

in the room to support what you are saying.<br />

Yet, all too often images are used that are<br />

too complex, not relevant or are simply dull!<br />

Only show a picture if it is going to enhance<br />

what you are saying. Visual aids can be<br />

an alternative to showing images. A great<br />

example is shown in the masterclass TED<br />

Talk given by Bill Gates to raise awareness of<br />

malaria and public health in Africa: https://<br />

www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates_mosquitos_<br />

malaria_and_education.<br />


Once you have firmed up on the structure,<br />

words and imagery you wish to use,<br />

this needs to be pulled together into the<br />

presentation. This is where PowerPoint<br />

slides come into their own. They are an<br />

invaluable resource for presenters to show<br />

graphic or technical information and use<br />

the multi-media capabilities to bolster<br />

credibility and professionalism, as long as<br />

they are used correctly!<br />

Slides should complement - not consume<br />

- your presentation and only be used to<br />

accentuate what you are saying. The choice<br />

of font, type size and use of colour needs to<br />

be taken into account when designing slides<br />

to achieve maximum audience impact.<br />

Above all, be aware that whatever you show<br />

on a screen will distract your audience. This<br />

is fine if you want to show them something;<br />

if you don’t, quickly move on or blank out<br />

the slide whilst you are talking, to retain the<br />

audience’s attention on you.<br />

In summary, the more you focus on<br />

crafting a powerful presentation, the greater<br />

the likelihood you will satisfy an audience’s<br />

needs, communicate your memorable key<br />

points effectively, and provide an all-round<br />

enjoyable experience.<br />

Clive Hawkins is Senior Associate at Spoken<br />

Word Communications.<br />

clive@spokenwordgroup.co.uk<br />

spokenwordgroup.com<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 35




Corporations are engaged in a data<br />

arms race to acquire more information<br />

faster than their competitors.<br />

AUTHOR – Cato Syversen FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

IT is a universal truth that all solid<br />

business strategy, planning and<br />

decision-making begins and ends with<br />

information and data. A combination<br />

of internal and external information<br />

drives analysis, confirms or amends<br />

approaches and leads ultimately to growth.<br />

In addition, beyond the bigger picture we<br />

all use data to drive the day-to-day processes<br />

of running any commercial operation, whether<br />

as accountants, sales and marketing teams,<br />

operational planners or the hard-pressed<br />

risk assessors within credit management<br />

departments. Of course this has always been<br />

the case but in the current information age<br />

many of us risk being swamped by the rising<br />

tide of information available to us at the click<br />

of a mouse and end up either missing that vital<br />

nugget of information or entering a neverending<br />

labyrinth of analysis never to make a<br />

decision at all.<br />

The cliché about not being able to see<br />

the wood for the trees has never been truer.<br />

However, the fact is that data is indeed useless<br />

unless it is usable.<br />


When we launched Creditsafe way back at the<br />

dawn of the internet age in 1997, commercial<br />

business and credit information was only<br />

available to that privileged, and deep-pocketed<br />

few who could afford to pay for it and had the<br />

time and resources to wade through dense,<br />

printed reports requiring individual analysis.<br />

Many of those companies also had reasonable<br />

levels of customer information but inevitably<br />

these were held within hand-written ledgers<br />

or on record cards kept in filing cabinets and<br />

usually with different information being<br />

recorded and kept separately within different<br />

departments. Internal data was very rarely if<br />

ever fully joined up and certainly not integrated<br />

with the business information supplied<br />

externally.<br />

Fast forward 23 years and we are at first sight<br />

in a very different place indeed. With a wealth of<br />

data and statistics available to them successful<br />

businesses have been (and indeed still are)<br />

transforming themselves into information<br />

companies. The business that knows the most<br />

is primed to succeed and corporations are<br />

engaged in a data arms race to acquire more<br />

information faster than their competitors. I’m<br />

personally proud of the part that Creditsafe has<br />

played in disrupting the world of business and<br />

credit information, making key information<br />

available and affordable to a wider and wider<br />

range of companies in markets across the globe.<br />

However far too often, the basic problems of<br />

integration and usability of all that data remains<br />

with rarely accessed corners of multi-terabyte<br />

data servers having taken the place of those<br />

dusty ledgers and filing cabinets.<br />

It is also true that the wider landscape has<br />

changed and the resulting rise in awareness by<br />

data subjects, either corporate or consumer,<br />

has driven further change. Twenty years<br />

ago businesses would be surprised by the<br />

information available on them that could be<br />

accessed via a credit report, but an environment<br />

where data subjects can understand<br />

information’s availability, value and potential<br />

for misuse has inevitably led to concerns by<br />

subjects and by legislators stepping in. GDPR<br />

may be the most obvious example so far but<br />

regulation and legislation is increasingly<br />

impacting those of us who source and supply<br />

data as well as all of us who are data users.<br />

Governments have woken up to the accessibility<br />

of information and are passing on responsibility<br />

for the use of that access onto data users. Issues<br />

around AML legislation, PEP and sanctions<br />

lists, anti-corruption, and identification of child<br />

labour and modern slavery can be interrogated<br />

by individual data users and can be interrogated<br />

on an international basis.<br />


Responsibility for making those checks lies<br />

with the user and ignorance or saying that you<br />

couldn’t access the information is no excuse.<br />

In addition more and more businesses and<br />

their key stakeholders, and perhaps even more<br />

importantly their customers and consumers,<br />

are demanding that companies observe what are<br />

seen as the minimum level of ethical behavior<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 36


AUTHOR – Cato Syversen FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

throughout their supply chain. And where does<br />

this responsibility land up? More often than not<br />

it is with the people who access the data.<br />

No longer are credit professionals solely<br />

judging financial and commercial risk;<br />

legislative and reputational issues are also<br />

piling up in their in-trays. However, they should<br />

not be seeing this as a problem. Dealing with it<br />

professionally and successfully is yet another<br />

way of proving the value of the function and the<br />

business intelligence that is accessible by credit<br />

professionals. It is the role of their suppliers to<br />

help make that as easy as possible by not just<br />

providing information but solutions, providing<br />

information in a usable form. We should be<br />

across the legislation as it develops, anticipate<br />

its impact and magnitude and automatically<br />

Alongside our<br />

increasing focus<br />

on integration we<br />

are also ensuring<br />

that our risk<br />

analytics and<br />

scoring solutions<br />

are of the highest<br />

possible accuracy.<br />

integrate the outcomes needed by users within<br />

our product suites.<br />

We are increasingly entering an era of data<br />

co-operation. Information from a business<br />

information provider on its own will never be as<br />

powerful or as usable as when it is successfully<br />

integrated with our customers’ data and<br />

embedded within their systems. As a business<br />

and an industry we are increasingly focused<br />

on developing and delivering stable and robust<br />

integrations based on simple APIs that not only<br />

make our data deliver the information required<br />

but ensure full compliance with the full range of<br />

changing legislative needs. Our industry needs<br />

to be providing solutions that are constantly<br />

updated, but that can also learn and adapt to<br />

ensure that the credit and risk management<br />

professionals we are serving are always in a<br />

position to make the very best decisions.<br />

Alongside our increasing focus on integration<br />

we are also ensuring that our risk analytics and<br />

scoring solutions are of the highest possible<br />

accuracy. We have already launched four new<br />

scorecards across several markets in the last two<br />

years and will continue to speed up that rate of<br />

change through <strong>2020</strong> and beyond. Developments<br />

in machine learning and artificial intelligence<br />

mean that we will soon be able to increase<br />

the pace of change while seamlessly updating<br />

customers’ solutions.<br />


This need not just be a two-way street however,<br />

the flexibility of an approach like this enables<br />

our customers to put themselves at the heart<br />

of their very own joined up network, not just<br />

sharing their data with us and integrating it with<br />

our full suite of global business intelligence,<br />

but reaching out to their own customers and<br />

encouraging the next level of integration<br />

with their customers benefitting from the<br />

advantages of further data exchange. As this<br />

putative multi-level network grows then the<br />

exchange, verification and updating of the<br />

wider information base allows the quality of<br />

analysis to improve, better decisions to be made<br />

and legislative compliance to be assured.<br />

As an industry we’ve come a long way from<br />

delivering printed manual reports to a select<br />

few credit managers in a tiny proportion of<br />

the world’s businesses. We’ve gone through the<br />

ready supply of online reports and the widening<br />

availability of information at an affordable price<br />

for the many to an increasingly commonplace<br />

integrated approach which joins up a customers’<br />

internal data with our external information.<br />

However, I am now genuinely excited to see<br />

the next step taking place where we develop<br />

new intelligent networks, constantly updating<br />

and developing themselves and delivering fresh<br />

reliable usable solutions for us all.<br />

Cato Syversen FCI<strong>CM</strong> is CEO Creditsafe Group.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 37


TRADE<br />

Monthly round-up of the latest stories<br />

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.<br />

Have we passed ‘peak growth’?<br />

A<br />

comment on project-syndicate.org ransom. There’s the US, which by all accounts<br />

caught my eye recently. Writer Jim is due a recession any day now.<br />

O’Neill reckons that global growth On a positive note, O’Neill thinks that<br />

for the last decade will eventually India is heading to a good place, and with the<br />

stand at around 3.5 percent per year – a right reforms – if prime minister Narendra<br />

number which compares favourably to the Modi can manage it – could easily achieve<br />

3.3 percent of the 1980s and 1990s. However, annual growth of eight- to 10 percent. But<br />

O’Neill thinks that that number should have let’s not forget Africa, which as a region has<br />

been higher considering the growth in the a GDP close to India’s. As O’Neill commented:<br />

size of the global workforce and rising levels “If enough of its major economies can<br />

of productivity.<br />

achieve strong growth, the effects will be<br />

The problem as he sees it is that the <strong>2020</strong>s felt more broadly. The rise of Africa seems<br />

might not look as good and global annual both desirable and inevitable. Whether the<br />

growth could be heading for a fall. He points continent can drive global GDP growth will be<br />

to a peak in the growth of the Chinese<br />

a key question in the <strong>2020</strong>s.”<br />

workforce while the populations of Japan, So, the question exists – have we passed<br />

Germany, Italy and other leading nations peak growth? Who knows, but one thing is<br />

are both ageing and in decline. The EU is in certain – firms should take the data, and find<br />

a state of turmoil, no matter how it’s billed. those countries with growth potential and get<br />

Brazil and Russia are highly commoditised into bed with local importers before anyone<br />

countries which are held to market price else does.<br />

Deutschland nicht über alles<br />

THE powerhouse that is Germany isn’t in<br />

recession, but it’s not far off. Its economy<br />

stagnated with zero growth in the fourth<br />

quarter of 2019, giving a total growth of 0.6<br />

percent for that year. On a positive note, it is<br />

expected, that the European Commission will<br />

bounce back to 1.1 percent growth in <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

It appears that both household and<br />

government spending slowed down in the<br />

fourth quarter, a problem made worse by<br />

Germany’s exposure to the ongoing trade war<br />

between the US and China.<br />

The German economic ministry also sees<br />

risks to the economy from abroad increasing<br />

due to coronavirus. It’s entirely possible that<br />

the virus could push Germany into recession as<br />

Chinese demand falters. So, while the number<br />

of people in employment rose 0.3 percent<br />

across the eurozone in the fourth quarter,<br />

and by 0.2 percent in the European Union, UK<br />

firms doing business in Europe, and especially<br />

Germany, should brace for cutbacks in orders.<br />

It’s entirely possible that the virus could push<br />

Germany into recession as Chinese demand falters<br />

ACCORDING to the Ed Conway in<br />

the Times there’s plenty of hot air<br />

when it comes to working out the<br />

value of a firm. Conway makes the<br />

point that firms used to own assets<br />

involved in production which made<br />

valuing corporates easy. But not<br />

anymore – firms, including airlines,<br />

now lease assets which raises<br />

questions about the very nature<br />


of their businesses.<br />

To drive the point home he details<br />

the recently rescued Flybe which had<br />

a ‘predictably threadbare’ balance<br />

sheet but which owns a ‘handful’ of<br />

Heathrow landing slots ‘worth tens<br />

of millions of pounds a pop’; such as<br />

McDonald’s which makes more money<br />

from property than hamburgers; and<br />

Coca Cola which sells rights to other<br />

firms which make, bottle and sell its<br />

drinks. It appears that although firms<br />

can grow quickly, they can also<br />

collapse at the same rate, especially<br />

those who have few assets and tons of<br />

goodwill. Selling to UK businesses in<br />

this situation is not a great proposition<br />

but add an overseas dimension to the<br />

buyer and exporters could be in for<br />

tricky times.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 38

Good news for Greece<br />

FOLLOWING on from the expectation –<br />

noted by Reuters in November 2019 – that<br />

the Greek economy was improving and<br />

expected to grow 2.8 percent in <strong>2020</strong>,<br />

Fitch Ratings has recently upgraded<br />

Greece’s credit rating to ‘BB’ from<br />

‘BB-‘ because fiscal prudence and GDP<br />

growth is keeping government debt at<br />

sustainable levels.<br />

The country is still two levels<br />

below investment grade, but it’s a long<br />

way from junk. All of this follows the<br />

removal of Greek capital controls in<br />

September 2019 which were originally<br />

implemented during the 2015 financial<br />

crisis; investment should now flow back<br />

to Greece as capital can move freely.<br />

What does all of this high-level<br />

finance have to do with the world of<br />

export? Loads – for it means that the<br />

odds of a localised economic crash are<br />

receding and instead, the conditions for<br />

greater consumption are rising. In other<br />

words – exporters should begin to make<br />

hay while the sun shines… but not while<br />

drinking Ouzo.<br />

Be careful not to drink Corona (virus)<br />

THE web is a very poor substitute for common sense.<br />

Consider the impact of the Coronavirus. With its epicentre<br />

in China’s Hubei province, the daily increase in new<br />

coronavirus infections and deaths appears to be slowing<br />

(at the time of writing – 19 February). World Health<br />

Organization data notes that coronavirus cases stood at<br />

over 75,000 and deaths at over 2,000 while seasonal flu<br />

affects three- to five-million people globally each year,<br />

resulting in 300,000–600,000 deaths.<br />

That hasn’t stopped Coronavirus having a damaging<br />

effect on the Chinese economy. Factories remain closed,<br />

workers are restricted from travelling, and local demand is<br />

falling. Deloitte China has cut its <strong>2020</strong> China GDP growth<br />

forecast from 5.8 percent to 5.3 percent –5.5 percent and<br />

the International Energy Agency expects a quarterly<br />

contraction in global oil demand for the first time since the<br />

global financial crisis.<br />

But the trouble doesn’t end there. Singapore has<br />

lowered its <strong>2020</strong> economic growth forecast and has<br />

unveiled measures to deal with the virus. Singapore Prime<br />

Minister Lee Hsien Loong commented that recession<br />

was a possibility. And in Japan, the impact of the virus is<br />

expected to knock the current quarter’s figures, fuelling<br />

fears of recession - a worry as the world’s third-largest<br />

economy is already falling at its fastest rate since 2014.<br />

All of this will have an effect on firms both needing to<br />

buy goods and having the financial wherewithal to make<br />

payments.<br />

If you’re targeting the Far East tread carefully. And<br />

the reference to the web? Yes, you guessed it, Google<br />

has revealed that many are actively searching for ‘beer<br />

coronavirus’ or similar phrases. Corona beer seems to be<br />

guilty by association and nothing else. Those searching for<br />

the phrase are just plainly guilty.<br />

Hungary is hungry for business<br />

HUNGARY’S 2019 growth rate of 4.9<br />

percent would make the UK very<br />

happy, but we’re a long way off that<br />

rate. The forecast for Hungary in <strong>2020</strong><br />

may not be looking so rosy, but it’s<br />

still expected to be 3.5 percent. Its<br />

government shouldn’t be too downbeat<br />

as all things are relative… the UK’s<br />

growth rate this year is likely to be,<br />

according to PwC, just one percent.<br />

Right wing Hungarian prime<br />

minister, Viktor Orban, said during his<br />

annual state of the nation address: “I<br />

see dangerous years ahead ... We need<br />

to take serious steps to defend what we<br />

have achieved so far.”<br />

His plans for stimulus include<br />

reducing labour and small business<br />

taxes; maintaining growth against the<br />

backdrop of stagnation in the euro<br />

zone, its main export market. Further,<br />

his government is actively moving<br />

toward a climate protection plan,<br />

tighter environmental regulations<br />

for multinational firms, and a sixfold<br />

increase in solar power capacity over<br />

10 years.<br />

Now if that isn’t a green light for<br />

the UK’s exporting renewables sector I<br />

don’t what is.<br />

What's new Buenos Aires?<br />

ONE of the largest economies in South<br />

America, Argentina, is again in trouble and<br />

is postponing a $1.47bn principal payment<br />

on one of its bonds until September, citing<br />

‘unsustainable debt’. The government will<br />

still make scheduled interest payments<br />

on the bond, but investors may still ‘frown’<br />

on Argentina changing payment terms<br />

without speaking to bondholders. It is a<br />

unilateral decision that does not create<br />

goodwill in the market.<br />

The news came as the IMF (International<br />

Monetary Fund, not Tom Cruise’s<br />

Impossible Missions Force - although it<br />

should be) headed to Buenos Aires to see<br />

how president Alberto Fernández plans<br />

to tackle over $320bn of total borrowings.<br />

Things are not looking great for the local<br />

economy and anyone doing business<br />

with an Argentinian client should take<br />

precautions.<br />

Goodbye Dubai?<br />

MOST think of Dubai as an oil-based<br />

country, and oil is important there but,<br />

it’s not the be-all and end-all. Even<br />

so, Dubai’s diversified economy with<br />

key hotspots of travel and tourism<br />

is showing signs of strain as the<br />

non-oil private sector worsened for<br />

the third straight month. It appears<br />

that employment is falling, a problem<br />

made worse as the local economy has<br />

led to worker cutbacks as companies<br />

try to cope with weak demand. A<br />

falling property market and rising<br />

global trading tension isn’t helping.<br />

It might just be time to look at other<br />

parts of the world to trade into.<br />



OR CALL 020 7738 0777<br />

Currency UK is authorised and regulated<br />

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).<br />


GBP/EUR 1.20424 1.05333 Down<br />

GBP/USD 1.31871 1.14781 Down<br />

GBP/CHF 1.27919 1.112828 Down<br />

GBP/AUD 2.07840 1.93117 Up<br />

GBP/CAD 1.79967 1.66986 Flat<br />

GBP/JPY<br />

144.89766 124.60645 Down<br />

This data was taken on 19th March and refers to the<br />

month previous to/leading up to 18th March <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 39



This year we have partnered with Croner<br />

Reward, the experts in Pay &Benefits<br />

benchmarking, to bring you our annual Salary<br />

Survey. Our <strong>2020</strong> report isthe definitive guide<br />

on the market, solely focused on credit sector<br />

salaries, interim pay rates combined with<br />

further information on employee benefits,<br />

recruitment trends and our own unique<br />

market insight.<br />

In your copy you will find salaries and<br />

benefits for Credit professionals that we<br />

recruit for around the UK. The roles include:<br />

Credit Administrator<br />

Credit Controller<br />

Credit Supervisor<br />

Sales Ledger Clerk<br />

Accounts Receivable<br />

Team Leader<br />

Credit Risk Manager<br />

Head of Credit<br />


www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com/salary-survey<br />


LONDON | 0207 650 3199<br />

MANCHESTER | 0161 836 9949<br />

www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 40


CI<strong>CM</strong> agrees new Corporate<br />

Partnership with Menzies LLP<br />

MENZIES LLP, a top 20 UK<br />

accountancy firm, has<br />

become the Chartered<br />

Institute of Credit<br />

Management’s newest<br />

Corporate Partner to<br />

increase the visibility of its Creditor Services<br />

team to CI<strong>CM</strong> members, as well as promoting<br />

its services to the wider credit management<br />

profession.<br />

The Menzies Creditor Services team<br />

advises creditors on the best way to protect<br />

a business’ position when a business<br />

or individual enters, or is approaching<br />

insolvency proceedings – acting in a variety<br />

of cases, from a straightforward single asset<br />

bankruptcy or owner-managed liquidation,<br />

through to large, complex cases that may<br />

involve detailed forensic investigations, and<br />

international jurisdictions.<br />

Bethan Evans, Head of Menzies Creditor<br />

Services team, says that Menzies aims to help<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> members, and the businesses they<br />

work for, to improve financial outcomes:<br />

“We have extensive industry and insolvency<br />

sector experience and expert insights,” she<br />

says. “Our Creditor Services offering aims<br />

to support credit managers and reduce the<br />

administrative burden upon them when<br />

something goes wrong. Ultimately we want<br />

to improve their financial outcome and<br />

simplify what can be a daunting process.<br />

We will help navigate the paperwork by<br />

reviewing and analysing all insolvency and<br />

other related correspondence, completing<br />

and lodging claim forms, proxy forms and<br />

monitoring dividend prospects – to name a<br />

few.<br />

“As well as this, our dedicated team of<br />

specialists can also help with retention of<br />

title claims, recovering debt, both within<br />

the UK and internationally, raising finance,<br />

financial restructuring and providing<br />

representation at creditors meetings to<br />

guide, inform and support our clients. Our<br />

team will collaborate with CI<strong>CM</strong> members<br />

in order to ensure any areas for investigation<br />

are reviewed to maximise the chances of a<br />

return to them.”<br />

Menzies has seven offices across the UK,<br />

with the Creditor Services team operating<br />

out of London and Cardiff. Its Creditor<br />

Services offering is an initiative launched by<br />

Menzies Business Recovery which consists<br />

of seven insolvency practitioners and over 40<br />

corporate recovery professionals. Menzies is<br />

also an active member of HLB International<br />

– a global network of independent advisory<br />

and accounting firms – which provides<br />

Menzies with access to specialist support in<br />

over 150 countries worldwide. This elevates<br />

their Creditor Services capability when it<br />

comes to dealing with international disputes,<br />

recovering international debt, and providing<br />

other forensic services internationally such<br />

as investigations into fraudulent trading,<br />

unlawful dividends and asset tracing.<br />

Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong>, Interim Chief<br />

Executive of CI<strong>CM</strong>, is delighted to welcome<br />

Menzies as a corporate partner: “It is our first<br />

accountancy firm to join the other partners<br />

who are all committed to advancing the<br />

credit profession and best practice within<br />

the credit industry,” says Sue.<br />

“We are currently working with Menzies<br />

to identify a programme of events and<br />

packaged information that will add the most<br />

value to our membership. We look forward<br />

to announcing a number of activities across<br />

the year which will include round table<br />

events and webinars.”<br />

For further information on Menzies<br />

Creditor Services offering, and how Menzies<br />

can assist CI<strong>CM</strong> members, please visit<br />

their website: www.menzies.co.uk/creditorservices<br />

or contact Bethan Evans on 02920<br />

447512.<br />

Alternatively, for more information about<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong>’s Corporate Partnership scheme,<br />

interested companies can contact Sue<br />

Chapple, Interim Chief Executive on sue.<br />

chapple@cicm.com or call 01780 722912.<br />

“We are currently working<br />

with Menzies to identify a<br />

programme of events and<br />

packaged information that<br />

will add the most value to<br />

our membership. We look<br />

forward to announcing a<br />

number of activities across<br />

the year which will include<br />

round table events and<br />

webinars.”<br />

Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 41



For further information and to discuss the opportunities of entering into a<br />

Corporate Partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong>, please contact corporatepartners@cicm.com<br />

Hays Credit Management is a national specialist<br />

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of<br />

credit management and receivables professionals,<br />

at all levels, in the public and private sectors. As<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong>’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we<br />

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’<br />

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on<br />

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,<br />

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign<br />

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,<br />

career and recruitment trends.<br />

T: 07834 260029<br />

E: karen.young@hays.com<br />

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis<br />

and data modelling tools to organisations around<br />

the world that rely on our ability to accurately predict<br />

their exposure to financial risk. Our H-Score®<br />

predicted 92 percent of quoted company insolvencies<br />

and our TextScore® accuracy rate was 93<br />

percent. Our scores are trusted by credit professionals<br />

within banks, corporates, investment houses<br />

and public sector bodies because, unlike other credit<br />

reference agencies, we are transparent and flexible<br />

in our approach.<br />

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300<br />

E: info@companywatch.net<br />

W: www.companywatch.net<br />

HighRadius is a Fintech enterprise Software-as-a-Service<br />

(SaaS) company. Its Integrated Receivables platform<br />

reduces cycle times in the Order to Cash process through<br />

automation of receivables and payments across credit,<br />

e-invoicing and payment processing, cash allocation,<br />

dispute resolution and collections. Powered by the RivanaTM<br />

Artificial Intelligence Engine and Freeda Digital<br />

Assistant for Order to Cash teams, HighRadius enables<br />

more than 450 organisations to leverage machine<br />

learning to predict future outcomes and automate routine<br />

labour intensive tasks.<br />

T: +44 7399 406889<br />

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com<br />

W: www.highradius.com<br />

Forums International has been running Credit and<br />

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of<br />

industry sectors and international trading. Attendance<br />

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums<br />

are not just meetings but communities which<br />

aim to prepare our members for the challenges<br />

ahead. Attending for the first time is free for you to<br />

gauge the benefits and meet the members and we<br />

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never<br />

intentionally be sold to.<br />

Chris Sanders Consulting (Sanders Consulting<br />

Associates) has three areas of activity providing<br />

credit management leadership and performance<br />

improvement, international working capital<br />

improvement consulting assignments and<br />

managing the CI<strong>CM</strong>Q Best Practice Accreditation<br />

programme on behalf of the CI<strong>CM</strong>. Plans for<br />

2019 include international client assignments in<br />

India, China, USA, Middle East and the ongoing<br />

development of the CI<strong>CM</strong>Q Programme.<br />

Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist companies<br />

across Europe with credit management. The<br />

service gives the end-user the means to make a<br />

payment when and how they choose. Key IVR also<br />

provides a state-of-the-art outbound platform delivering<br />

automated messages by voice and SMS. In a<br />

credit management environment, these services are<br />

used to cost-effectively contact debtors and connect<br />

them back into a contact centre or automated<br />

payment line.<br />

T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

T: +44(0)7747 761641<br />

E: chris@chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000<br />

E: sales@keyivr<br />

W: www.keyivr.co.uk<br />

American Express® is a globally recognised<br />

provider of business payment solutions, providing<br />

flexible capabilities to help companies drive<br />

growth. These solutions support buyers and<br />

suppliers across the supply chain with working<br />

capital and cashflow.<br />

By creating an additional lever to help support<br />

supplier/client relationships American Express is<br />

proud to be an innovator in the business payments<br />

space.<br />

T: +44 (0)1273 696933<br />

W: www.americanexpress.com<br />

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is<br />

an accountancy firm delivering traditional services<br />

combined with strategic commercial thinking. Our<br />

services include: advisory, audit, corporate and<br />

personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,<br />

outsourcing, wealth management and business<br />

recovery – the latter of which includes our specialist<br />

offering developed specifically for creditors. For<br />

more information on this, or to see how the Menzies<br />

Creditor Services team can assist you, please<br />

visit: www.menzies.co.uk/creditor-services.<br />

T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff<br />

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services<br />

Building on our mature and hugely successful<br />

product and world class support service, we are<br />

re-imagining our risk awareness module in 2019 to<br />

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists and<br />

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full<br />

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.<br />

Creditsafe), this makes Credica a single port-of-call<br />

for analysis and automation. Impressive results<br />

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also<br />

have an active input into our product development<br />

and evolution.<br />

T: 01235 856400<br />

E: info@credica.co.uk<br />

W: www.credica.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 42

Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for<br />

their commitment to the profession, best practice in the<br />

Credit Industry and the quality of services they provide.<br />

We are delighted to showcase them here.<br />


With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading<br />

provider of business information, analytics, insights<br />

and solutions. Graydon helps its customers to make<br />

fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to minimise<br />

risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities<br />

with their commercial relationships. Graydon<br />

uses 130+ international databases and the information<br />

of 90+ million companies. Graydon has offices in<br />

London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,<br />

Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of the world’s<br />

largest credit insurance companies.<br />

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400<br />

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk<br />

W: www.graydon.co.uk<br />

The Atradius Collections business model is to support<br />

businesses and their recoveries. We are seeing a<br />

deterioration and increase in unpaid invoices placing<br />

pressures on cashflow for those businesses. Brexit is<br />

causing uncertainty and we are seeing a significant<br />

impact on the UK economy with an increase in<br />

insolvencies, now also impacting the continent and<br />

spreading. Our geographical presence is expanding<br />

and with a single IT platform across the globe we can<br />

provide greater efficiencies and effectiveness to our<br />

clients to recover their unpaid invoices.<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 824700<br />

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/<br />

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work<br />

closely with credit teams to recover commercial<br />

debts as quickly and cost effectively as possible.<br />

We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt<br />

recovery, including:<br />

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and<br />

keep costs down • Litigation service • Insolvency<br />

• Post-litigation services including enforcement<br />

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to<br />

relate to your goals, and adept at advising you on the<br />

most effective way of achieving them.<br />

T: 03700 86 3000<br />

E: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern<br />

finance leaders and credit professionals to improve<br />

business performance through more effective risk<br />

management, identification of growth opportunities,<br />

and better integration of data and insights<br />

across the business. Powered by our Data Cloud,<br />

our solutions provide access to the world’s most<br />

comprehensive commercial data and insights<br />

supplying a continually updated view of business<br />

relationships that help finance and credit teams<br />

stay ahead of market shifts and customer changes.<br />

T: (0800) 001-234<br />

W: www.dnb.co.uk<br />

Improve cash flow, cash collection and prevent late<br />

payment with Corrivo from Data Interconnect.<br />

Corrivo, intelligent invoice to cash automation<br />

highlights where accounts receivable teams should<br />

focus their effort for best results. Easy-to-learn,<br />

Invoicing, Collection and Dispute modules get collection<br />

teams up and running fast. Minimal IT input required.<br />

Real-time dashboards, reporting and self-service<br />

customer portals, improve customer communication<br />

and satisfaction scores. Cost-effective, flexible Corrivo,<br />

super-charges your cash collection effort.<br />

T: +44 (0)1367 245777<br />

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk<br />

W: www.datainterconnect.com<br />

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for<br />

organisations seeking efficient cash visibility<br />

and secure financial processes. As an SAP<br />

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies<br />

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience<br />

and thousands of successful customer projects,<br />

including solutions for the entire order-to-cash<br />

process, Serrala provides credit managers and<br />

receivables professionals with the solutions they<br />

need to successfully protect their business against<br />

credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.<br />

T: +44 118 207 0450<br />

E: contact@serrala.com<br />

W: www.serrala.com<br />

Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit<br />

intelligence for credit insurers and for corporate<br />

customers. The company’s B2B Credit Risk<br />

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk<br />

Management Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;<br />

the Tinubu Credit Intelligence service and the<br />

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250<br />

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their<br />

greatest assets: customer receivables.<br />

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /<br />

E: uksales@tinubu.com<br />

W: www.tinubu.com.<br />

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables<br />

into income, uniquely connecting buyers and<br />

suppliers to allow discounts in exchange for<br />

early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers<br />

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating<br />

payments from buyers when required in just two<br />

clicks, at a rate that works for them. Buyers, often<br />

corporates with global supply chains, benefit from<br />

the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while<br />

strengthening the financial health of supply chains<br />

through ethical business practices.<br />

T: 07799 692193<br />

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com<br />

W: www.c2fo.com<br />

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes<br />

the all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s<br />

businesses from collecting receivables in a timely<br />

manner. From invoice delivery to cash application,<br />

Esker automates each step. Esker's automated AR<br />

system powered by TermSync helps companies<br />

modernise without replacing their core billing and<br />

collections processes. By simply automating what<br />

should be automated, customers get the post-sale<br />

experience they deserve and your team gets the<br />

tools they need.<br />

T: +44 (0)1332 548176<br />

E: sam.townsend@esker.co.uk<br />

W: www.esker.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 43




Onguard is a specialist in credit management<br />

software and a market leader in innovative solutions<br />

for Order to Cash. Our integrated platform ensures<br />

an optimal connection of all processes in the Order<br />

to Cash chain and allows sharing of critical data. Our<br />

intelligent tools can seamlessly interconnect and<br />

offer overview and control of the payment process,<br />

as well as contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.<br />

The Onguard platform is successfully used<br />

for successful credit management in more than 50<br />

countries.<br />

T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66<br />

E: ruurd.bakker@onguard.com<br />

W: www.onguard.com<br />

Don't miss out<br />

on the exciting<br />

upcoming events<br />

in <strong>2020</strong><br />

Workshops<br />

Round<br />

Table Events<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> On Tour<br />

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps<br />

businesses pay and get paid. Businesses and banks<br />

rely on Bottomline for domestic and international<br />

payments, effective cash management tools, automated<br />

workflows for payment processing and bill review<br />

and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural<br />

analytics and regulatory compliance. Every day, we<br />

help our customers by making complex business<br />

payments simple, secure and seamless.<br />

T: 0870 081 8250<br />

E: emea-info@bottomline.com<br />

W: www.bottomline.com/uk<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Best Practice<br />

Webinars<br />

Shared Services Forum UK Limited<br />

Shared Services Forum UK is a not-for-profit<br />

membership organisation. with one vision, to form<br />

the largest community of people from the business<br />

world and facilitate a platform for them to work<br />

together to mutual benefits. Benefits include; networking<br />

with like-minded professionals in Shared<br />

Services. The criteria is a willingness to engage in<br />

our lively community and help shape our growth<br />

and development.<br />

T: 07864 652518<br />

E: forum.manager@sharedservicesforumuk.com<br />

W: www.sharedservicesforumuk.com<br />

Just another great<br />

reason to be a member<br />

See full programme at<br />

www.cicm.com/events<br />

www.cicm.com | +44 (0)1780 722902<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 44

www.cicm.com<br />

‘‘<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> offered the<br />

prospect of qualifications,<br />

but as soon as I became<br />

a member, loads of other<br />

opportunities came to<br />

light that I hadn’t initially<br />

realised were available.<br />

Molly Kane<br />

ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

The value<br />

of CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

membership<br />

Molly Kane ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Senior Credit Controller Executive<br />

Oxford University<br />

Read more about her story and join your<br />

credit community by visiting:<br />

www.cicm.com/value-of-cicm-membership/<br />

info@cicm.com<br />

www.cicm.com<br />

01780 722900<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 45

$<br />

Advancing<br />

Careers<br />

Advancing<br />

Best Practice<br />

Advancing<br />

Connections<br />

Advancing<br />

Skills<br />

Advancing<br />

Thinking<br />

Advancing<br />

Business<br />



01780 722900 | www.cicm.com


Payment Trends<br />

A round-up of payment data supplied by the Creditsafe Group<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Region Feb 20 Change from Jan 20<br />

South West 11.8 0.4<br />

South East 12.4 0.7<br />

Wales 12.5 1.1<br />

Scotland 12.8 -3.8<br />

Yorkshire and Humberside 13.6 -0.4<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Region Feb 20 Change from Jan 20<br />

Northern Ireland 20.8 5.2<br />

East Midlands 15.3 0.3<br />

East Anglia 14.8 -3.2<br />

North West 14.6 -0.2<br />

West Midlands 14.1 0.5<br />

Getting Worse<br />

Mining and Quarrying 4.3<br />

Dormant 2.6<br />

Hospitality 2<br />

Entertainment 1.7<br />

Education 1.1<br />

Financial and Insurance 1<br />

Health & Social 0.5<br />

Wholesale and retail trade 0.2<br />

Getting Better<br />

International Bodies -9.8<br />

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing -6.3<br />

Professional and Scientific -5.4<br />

Business from Home -4.7<br />

Public Administration -4.3<br />

Water & Waste -3.9<br />

Other Service -1.9<br />

Real Estate -1.5<br />

Business Admin & Support -1.4<br />

Construction -1.1<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Sector Feb 20 Change from Jan 20<br />

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 8.2 -6.3<br />

Public Administration 8.5 -4.3<br />

Health & Social 9.3 0.5<br />

International Bodies 9.7 -9.8<br />

Professional and Scientific 9.7 -5.4<br />

IT and Comms -0.9<br />

Transportation -0.6<br />

Energy Supply -0.4<br />

Manufacturing -0.1<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Sector Feb 20 Change from Jan 20<br />

Mining and Quarrying 27.5 4.3<br />

Energy Supply 17.8 -0.4<br />

Dormant 16.7 2.6<br />

Business Admin & Support 16.4 -1.4<br />

IT and Comms 16.4 -0.9<br />


-3.8 DBT<br />

Region<br />

Getting Better – Getting Worse<br />

-3.8<br />

-3.2<br />

-0.4<br />

-0.2<br />

5.2<br />

1.1<br />

0.7<br />

0.5<br />

0.4<br />

0.3<br />

0.2<br />

Scotland<br />

East Anglia<br />

Yorkshire and Humberside<br />

North West<br />

Northern Ireland<br />

Wales<br />

South East<br />

West Midlands<br />

South West<br />

East Midlands<br />

London<br />



5.2 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

WEST<br />

0.4 DBT<br />

WALES<br />

1.1 DBT<br />

NORTH<br />

WEST<br />

-0.2 DBT<br />

WEST<br />


0.5 DBT<br />



-0.4 DBT<br />

EAST<br />


0.3 DBT<br />

LONDON<br />

0.2 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

EAST<br />

0.7 DBT<br />

EAST<br />

ANGLIA<br />

-3.2 DBT<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 47

presents<br />

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<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

www.ddisoftware.co.uk<br />

sales@ddisoftware.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 48


Inspiring<br />

the Future<br />

“By going into local schools<br />

and chatting about the job<br />

you love and your route to<br />

achieving it, you can help<br />

to spark young people’s<br />

imaginations about what<br />

they can achieve in their<br />

futures.”<br />

Supporting the future generation of credit managers.<br />

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

POLITICIANs and governments<br />

often talk loudly<br />

about wanting to inspire<br />

future generations, but<br />

it is frequently left to the<br />

charitable sector to deliver.<br />

This certainly seems the case with Education<br />

and Employers, and its dedicated<br />

‘Inspiring the Future’ initiative. As Katy<br />

Hampshire, Director of Operations and<br />

Programmes, explains: “By going into<br />

local schools and chatting about the job<br />

you love and your route to achieving it,<br />

you can help to spark young people’s<br />

imaginations about what they can achieve<br />

in their futures,” she says.<br />

Over 50,000 people have already<br />

registered to visit a school near where<br />

they live or work to chat informally to<br />

young people through the Inspiring<br />

the Future programme. How it works<br />

is simple: volunteers sign up online<br />

and teachers can then invite them to<br />

visit: “You can decide what you want<br />

to do,” Katy continues.<br />

“You could chat informally to small<br />

groups of kids, answering questions about<br />

your career, or give feedback on CVs or<br />

tips on interview techniques or just<br />

explain how the subjects you studied are<br />

relevant to the job you do. There is even<br />

potential to express interest in becoming<br />

a school governor if this is of interest.”<br />

One of those who has already<br />

volunteered is a CI<strong>CM</strong> Honorary Vice<br />

President, Brenda Linger FCI<strong>CM</strong>: “I<br />

signed up to Inspiring the Future in June<br />

2015 having heard about them via a radio<br />

programme,” she explains. “As I had never<br />

met anyone who chose a career in credit<br />

when leaving school/college I felt it was<br />

an opportunity to meet with pupils from<br />

primary and secondary schools to give<br />

them an insight into a career in credit.<br />

“I have always loved my job and being<br />

given the opportunity to talk about it<br />

and share insights and career path with<br />

those who might be about to start their<br />

journey or those even younger seemed<br />

like a gift,” she continues. “The last one I<br />

attended was in January under the banner<br />

of ‘What’s My Line’. It was a careers<br />

related learning for a primary school and<br />

after some incisive questioning we were<br />

then asked to explain to small groups<br />

of pupils about our roles and answer<br />

further questions. I have also taken<br />

part in a Careers Insights Day and Mock<br />

Interviews.”<br />

Brenda says the programme fits well<br />

around her schedule: “Helpfully once<br />

you have signed up you are not inundated<br />

with emails and via the website it is<br />

easy to accept or decline invitations you<br />

receive. Many of us have been helped<br />

in our career by someone who took the<br />

time and trouble to care, and this is a<br />

brilliant way to give something back that<br />

just takes a few hours a year.”<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 49

Nation State<br />

What's changing for employers of EU Nationals?<br />

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards<br />

THE UK left the European<br />

Union at the end of January,<br />

some 10 months later than<br />

originally planned, and<br />

while there was much debate<br />

about how such an historic<br />

event would be marked, many employers<br />

will be wondering what happens next.<br />

The simple answer is nothing. Yet.<br />

Following Brexit, the UK will enter a<br />

transitional period which will last until the<br />

end of <strong>2020</strong>. During this time the UK will<br />

continue to comply with EU law, which<br />

from an employer's perspective means that:<br />

• EU free movement rules will continue<br />

until 31 December <strong>2020</strong><br />

• there will be no changes to the Right of<br />

Work checks employers conduct on EU,<br />

European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss<br />

nationals and their family members until<br />

1 January 2021<br />

• EU, EEA and Swiss nationals (and their<br />

non-EEA family members) resident in the<br />

UK by 31 December <strong>2020</strong> will be eligible<br />

to apply for settled or pre-settled status<br />

under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)<br />

• the deadline for applications to the EUSS<br />

is 30 June 2021<br />

The government plans to introduce a new<br />

immigration system that will come into<br />

force as the transitional period ends. The<br />

Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)<br />

published a report at the end of January<br />

on minimum salary levels and how<br />

the UK might learn from points-based<br />

immigration systems in other countries<br />

which the government will consider<br />

when designing their new system. The<br />

government announced mid-February that<br />

low-skilled migrants won’t get visas and<br />

that visa applicants will need 70 points plus<br />

to work in the UK.<br />


In the meantime, recruitment activity this<br />

year will be largely unaffected by Brexit,<br />

except for those situations where new<br />

employees will not start work until 2021,<br />

in which case anyone who is not a British<br />

or Irish citizen will need to prove that they<br />

have been granted immigration permission<br />

to work in the UK. For EU, EEA and Swiss<br />

nationals this might be status under the<br />

EUSS, but for those who arrive in the UK<br />

from 1 January 2021, they will be subject to<br />

the new immigration system along with the<br />

rest of the world.<br />

So what employers should do now?<br />

While there is no requirement to do so, it<br />

is best practice for employers to inform<br />

employees about the EUSS to ensure<br />

maximum awareness that some will need<br />

to make an application in order to continue<br />

living in the UK.<br />

The government has an Employer<br />

Toolkit that has been specially designed<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 50


AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards<br />

for employers who want to provide<br />

information to their employees about<br />

the EUSS. The Toolkit contains leaflets,<br />

briefing packs and factsheets to help<br />

employers communicate accurate<br />

information on the EUSS to their<br />

employees and can be either circulated<br />

electronically or printed out and placed<br />

in communal workplaces.<br />

Additional information that might<br />

be worth circulating to employees can<br />

be found on the government's website<br />

including a link to the EUSS application<br />

form.<br />

Some firms may have employees who<br />

do not need to apply themselves, but have<br />

family members who will need to apply,<br />

so it is suggested circulating information<br />

to all members of staff regardless.<br />


The difficulties which employers will face<br />

if existing members of staff are no longer<br />

able to work do not need spelling out<br />

here. For those employers who have not<br />

already done so, it’s recommended that<br />

they conduct an audit of their workforce<br />

to identify those members of staff who<br />

are EU, EEA and Swiss nationals. To<br />

ensure that those who need to apply do<br />

so, employers should ask members of<br />

staff to provide them with confirmation<br />

that they have been granted status under<br />

the EUSS. Company records can then be<br />

updated and – as the deadline approaches<br />

– steps can be taken to remind employees<br />

who have not applied of the requirement<br />

to do so. This is one way employers can<br />

have some comfort that there will be<br />

minimal disruption to the workforce as<br />

2021 approaches.<br />

Employers should think about the<br />

most appropriate way of conducting such<br />

a review and communication in ways<br />

which do not fall foul of any accusations<br />

of discrimination or victimisation.<br />

From the MAC's report and what the<br />

government has said so far, it seems likely<br />

that employer sponsorship – similar to the<br />

current Tier 2 immigration arrangements<br />

– will continue to form the backbone of the<br />

UK's work visa routes. Employers without<br />

a sponsor licence may wish to consider<br />

applying for one now, particularly those<br />

who are likely to continue recruiting EU<br />

nationals in the future.<br />

For those employers with a Tier 2<br />

licence, they would be advised to review<br />

current compliance to ensure that<br />

their licence is not at risk and that it<br />

can continue to be used when the new<br />

immigration system comes into force.<br />

Gareth Edwards is a partner in the<br />

employment team at<br />

VWV. gedwards@vwv.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 51





Paula Swain, who heads Shoosmiths’ debt recovery<br />

operation, maintains that investing in ongoing training for<br />

the communication skills required for dispute resolution<br />

is key for everyone in the team – including partners,<br />

experienced lawyers, legal executives and paralegals – to<br />

ensure continued success.<br />

CLIENTS, such as Robert Marr, Head<br />

of Legal, Apogee Corporation,<br />

have commented that Shoosmiths’<br />

commercial recoveries service<br />

is ‘at a much higher level than<br />

that provided by an ordinary<br />

commercial debt recovery solicitor’. Chambers,<br />

the highly respected guide to leading UK lawyers<br />

and trusted source of legal market intelligence for<br />

over 30 years, seems to support that view, ranking<br />

Shoosmiths as National Leaders (outside London)<br />

in 2019 for the work of its dispute resolution<br />

lawyers based across England, Scotland and<br />

Northern Ireland.<br />

Shoosmiths’ Scottish team, led by partner<br />

Andrew Foyle, underlined its increasing national<br />

presence and success by achieving the accolade<br />

Debt Recovery Team of the Year at The Herald Law<br />

Awards of Scotland 2019 – the fourth consecutive<br />

year that the litigation and recoveries team in the<br />

Edinburgh office has won the coveted award.<br />

The firm’s relationship as legal partner to the<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> itself further reinforces the regard in which<br />

Shoosmiths operation is held. Shoosmiths will<br />

shortly assist the CI<strong>CM</strong> with an event in Northern<br />

Ireland, through its recently opened and rapidly<br />

expanding Belfast office and with Gillian Crotty as<br />

the lead litigation partner there.<br />


Paula comments that a key factor in Shoosmiths’<br />

continuing success and recognition, which the<br />

Scottish award and all the other recognition<br />

reflects, is undoubtedly its genuinely national<br />

reach: “Given our spread of locations in 13 offices<br />

across the UK, you are never far from Shoosmiths.<br />

If we do need to value-add our service then we<br />

can provide a single source solution by calling<br />

‘‘If a case is being<br />

handled in our<br />

Solent office for<br />

example, but a<br />

settlement meeting<br />

would be more<br />

conveniently held<br />

in Manchester –<br />

or Edinburgh or<br />

Belfast – then we<br />

can accommodate<br />

that.’’<br />

on the expertise of litigation colleagues across<br />

our network at a location convenient for the<br />

client. This is supplied without the additional<br />

inconvenience and expense of travel that would<br />

otherwise be passed on. If a case is being handled<br />

in our Solent office for example, but a settlement<br />

meeting would be more conveniently held in<br />

Manchester – or Edinburgh or Belfast – then we<br />

can accommodate that.”<br />

That national presence is made even more<br />

attractive by a coherent and consistent approach,<br />

using the same case management systems,<br />

the same billing systems and structure and an<br />

identical approach to team management and<br />

client handling and reporting. Teams focus on<br />

a small group of client accounts, building a<br />

commercial understanding of the client’s business<br />

and credit management function. This includes<br />

how they deal with their trade suppliers in order<br />

to get a real understanding of the client’s aims and<br />

objectives.<br />

Monthly meetings involving the full national<br />

recoveries team discuss service delivery,<br />

improvement and CRM issues and how best<br />

to deliver value. Clients require the benefit of<br />

Shoosmiths’ expertise and commercially savvy<br />

advice on the right tactical approach. There is<br />

little point in offering a solution that pursues a<br />

legal principle if that would cost more than the<br />

debt itself.<br />


But Paula still maintains that, overarching all<br />

these important considerations, is the need to<br />

recognise that the firm’s only real assets are<br />

its own people and how they communicate,<br />

interact and deal with others. This conviction that<br />

communication skills and the ongoing investment<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 52


The firm’s relationship<br />

as legal partner to the<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> itself further<br />

reinforces the regard<br />

in which Shoosmiths<br />

operation is held.<br />

Paula Swain<br />

“Our clients expect<br />

and demand highly<br />

skilled staff, who<br />

are increasingly<br />

competent in smart<br />

query management<br />

and commercial<br />

dispute resolution.’’<br />

in training for them are paramount is driven<br />

partly by her own belief and by proven<br />

experience – i.e. it gets the desired result –<br />

but also by customer demand: “Our clients<br />

expect and demand highly skilled staff,” says<br />

Paula, “who are increasingly competent in<br />

smart query management and commercial<br />

dispute resolution, capable of dealing with<br />

disclosures of vulnerability while complying<br />

with data protection law. Where possible,<br />

this approach is designed to recover debt<br />

without the need to resort to the costlier<br />

extremes of the legal process.”<br />

Paula believes that the growing<br />

significance of query resolution in the<br />

work of the recoveries team nationwide is<br />

also a reflection of a trend she has noticed<br />

of reducing head count in client credit<br />

management operations: “The completely<br />

understandable business imperative of<br />

controlling costs by reducing headcount does<br />

seem to have had an impact on the volume<br />

and the nature of the work we do. Queries<br />

that perhaps would have been resolved by an<br />

in-house client team drift and escalate,” she<br />

explains, “meaning we increasingly have to<br />

take on that query resolution function which<br />

demands a slightly different approach.<br />

Consequently, our pre-litigation collections<br />

solution becomes even more significant and<br />

much broader in scope, demanding different<br />

sensitivities and different skill sets.”<br />

For Shoosmiths, change the last para to<br />

say: Shooemiths' breadth of service, from<br />

auditing and reporting, a ‘triage’ style case<br />

review to assess readiness for court action<br />

and a pre-litigation collection solution<br />

to specialist litigation support, remains<br />

as important as geographic presence<br />

for its clients. However, as far as Paula<br />

is concerned, it’s having the tools and<br />

giving her people the skills to do their job<br />

effectively, efficiently and empathically that<br />

are the most important considerations in<br />

providing a recoveries service that is out of<br />

the ordinary.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 53


Do you know someone who would benefit from CI<strong>CM</strong> membership? Or have<br />

you considered applying to upgrade your membership? See our website<br />

www.cicm.com/membership-types for more details, or call us on 01780 722903<br />

Fellow<br />

Peter Bensusan FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Maxine Spivey FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Member<br />

Katherine Dunne MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

John Foster MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

James Lyner MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Daniel O'Driscoll MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Catherine Turner MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Associate<br />

Darran Bradley ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Iain Mcpherson ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Brian Norris ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Lynn Reeves ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Jerome Stoessel ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

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Member (By exam)<br />

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Affiliate<br />

Claire Barker<br />

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Congratulations to our current members who have upgraded their membership<br />

Upgraded member<br />

Sarah Finn<br />

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Nitin Kakkar<br />

Bhawana Kalra<br />

Abaleng Kedikilwe<br />

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Sapan Kohli<br />

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Joanne Mckee<br />

Burt McQuaide<br />

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Preeti Sidhu<br />

Avinash Singh<br />

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Jasleen Thukral<br />

Philip Williams<br />

Paul Taylor FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />


Get in touch with the CI<strong>CM</strong> by emailing branches@cicm.com<br />

with your branch news and event reports. Please only send up to 400 words<br />

and any images need to be high resolution to be printable, so 1MB plus.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 54



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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 55

www.cicm.com<br />

‘‘<br />

Since being a<br />

member I am kept<br />

updated on latest changes<br />

to laws and regulations,<br />

good governance and<br />

not forgetting the<br />

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The value<br />

of CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

membership<br />

Laural Jefferies, FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Head of Accounts Receivable,<br />

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Read more about her story and join your<br />

credit community by visiting:<br />

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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 56


Taking the Michael<br />

An occasional look at the more absurd side of life<br />

from the credit industry and beyond.<br />

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

THERE is a famous story in<br />

advertising circles of a bank<br />

some 30 or so years ago who<br />

wanted to target high-net<br />

worth individuals with a<br />

direct marketing campaign.<br />

Rather than opting for the tried, tested<br />

and safe route in early drafts of starting<br />

the latter with ‘Dear (insert name)’<br />

or something similar, the copywriter<br />

opted instead for ‘Dear Rich Bastard’.<br />

Unfortunately for him, and the bank, the<br />

joke was never picked up, and an entire<br />

marketing programme was despatched<br />

to hundreds of rich bastards, addressing<br />

them as such. (Reports that I was said<br />

copywriter have been greatly exaggerated.<br />

Ed).<br />

One would have thought, therefore,<br />

that such a thing could never happen<br />

again. I have no doubt that the insurance<br />

giant Aviva probably thought so too,<br />

but they managed to go one better. Last<br />

month they were obliged to apologise<br />

after sending out thousands of emails<br />

where they addressed all of their clients<br />

as ‘Michael’. They said that a temporary<br />

technical error was behind the blunder<br />

– adding that there had been no wider<br />

privacy issues relating to people’s personal<br />

data.<br />

The official statement read: ‘We<br />

sent out some emails last week to<br />

existing customers, which, as a result<br />

of a temporary technical error in our<br />

mailing template, mistakenly referred to<br />

customers as ‘Michael’. We’ve apologised<br />

to these customers and reassured them<br />

that the only error in the email was the<br />

use of the incorrect name as a greeting.<br />

There was no issue with personal data;<br />

the remainder of the email and its content<br />

was correct.’<br />

The apology prompted several ‘real’<br />

Michaels to take to Twitter, especially<br />

those who had been apologised to<br />

for no apparent reason, thus further<br />

compounding the farce. One newspaper<br />

also decided to helpfully inform us<br />

that there were only 869 babies born in<br />

England and Wales called Michael in<br />

2018. So there you go.<br />

Killing time<br />

VERY occasionally a story reaches the<br />

editor’s ear that is clearly not meant for<br />

publication but is nonetheless so funny<br />

that it deserves special attention. So to<br />

protect the innocent, I have changed the<br />

name of the organisation concerned and<br />

all of the characters involved.<br />

I want you to imagine an important<br />

organisation sitting down to a board<br />

meeting. I want you to imagine also that<br />

this same organisation has decided that<br />

instead of minuting the meeting in the<br />

usual way, they will trial a new voice<br />

recording and transcribing technology<br />

(called Otter.AI) to save time and improve<br />

accuracy of any notetaking.<br />

It all sounds like a genius plan, until<br />

such time as they need to review the<br />

transcript from the meeting. No-one<br />

now knows what was done or said, but<br />

I can confirm that neither Barack<br />

Obama nor Caitlin Jenner were in the<br />

meeting, there is no such thing as ‘an<br />

inscribed pan’, and no-one has ordered<br />

a ‘hit’ on a well-known member of the<br />

credit community. Unless, of course, you<br />

know different.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 57

Wouldyou benefit from<br />

collecting 90%ofyour aged<br />

debt in 14 days?<br />


www.tauruscollections.com<br />

01332565 350/ info@tauruscollections.com<br />

Elections <strong>2020</strong><br />

NOMINATIONS NOW CLOSE 13 APRIL <strong>2020</strong><br />

The Advisory Council influences the future direction of the Institute.<br />

Its members reflect the diverse range of skills and experience amongst the<br />

Institute’s membership, and bring valuable expertise and knowledge.<br />

Being a member of the Advisory Council is your opportunity to:<br />

• Share your knowledge and expertise to help the CI<strong>CM</strong> advance the credit profession<br />

• Assist in steering the strategy and future direction of the Institute<br />

• Contribute to raising the profile of the largest recognised professional body in the<br />

world for the credit management community<br />

There are 23 Advisory Council positions open for nomination representing our<br />

11 regions and the trade, consumer, international and credit services sectors.<br />

There is still time to submit your nomination…<br />

Visit www.cicm.com/elections-<strong>2020</strong>/ or email elections@cicm.com<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2019 / PAGE 58



How to set up a great one click link to the CI<strong>CM</strong> website on<br />

your mobile phone. Follow these four simple steps...<br />

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4<br />

Go to cicm.com > Click highlighted icon at bottom of screen > Click add to Home screen icon<br />

> Click add icon at top right of screen > CI<strong>CM</strong> icon will appear on your screen<br />

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4<br />

Open cicm.com in Google Chrome browser > Tap Menu button > Tap add shortcut to Home screen<br />

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


T: +44 (0)1780 722900 | WWW.CI<strong>CM</strong>.COM




Stevenage, £40,000-£55,000 + bonus + benefits<br />

A progressive and innovative organisation based in Stevenage<br />

is recruiting for a credit and collections manager. In this newly<br />

created role, you will take a lead on the mission of improving<br />

the debt strategy and collection process to enhance cashflow.<br />

You will have experience working within financial services,<br />

banking, leasing or property and business to consumer collections.<br />

Ref: 3767459<br />

Contact Charlotte Clarke on 01923 205286 or<br />

email charlotte.clarke@hays.com<br />


Birmingham, £35,000-£40,000 + annual bonus<br />

A large global business that has its shared service centre in<br />

Birmingham city is looking for an experienced credit professional<br />

to manage a team of credit controllers and cash allocation<br />

administrators. The successful candidate will have the drive<br />

and resilience to manage change and improve behaviours.<br />

Ref: 3736576<br />

Contact Peter Kidd on 07387 157254 or<br />

email peter.kidd@hays.com<br />


London, £42,000 + bonus<br />

A top 30 international law firm based in London is looking<br />

for a revenue controller to join its team. In your new role, you<br />

will be responsible for producing reports, analysis of billable<br />

time and reviewing and updating WIP provisions. You will be<br />

a highly motivated individual with excellent interpersonal,<br />

time management and organisation skills.<br />

Ref: 3759228<br />

Contact Joe Morris on 020 3465 0020 or<br />

email joe.morris@hays.com<br />


Richmond upon Thames, £27,000 + benefits<br />

A unique opportunity is available for an innovative and<br />

experienced credit controller to join a vibrant and growing events<br />

company. You will be organised, proactive and a driven credit<br />

controller that can build and develop a new operation within the<br />

events sector. This is a fantastic opportunity where you can achieve<br />

results and be rewarded accordingly. Ref: 3720445<br />

Contact Mark Ordona on 020 8247 4042 or<br />

email mark.ordona@hays.com<br />

hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2019 / PAGE 60


Central Reading, £25,000 + flexible benefits<br />

A leading national top 60 law firm with over 300 fee earners<br />

and multiple offices located round the UK is looking for a credit<br />

controller on a six month contract. You will have previous legal<br />

experience, be well organised with a methodical approach and<br />

ability to prioritise. You will also have excellent communication<br />

skills and be a reliable and adaptable team player with the ability<br />

to work well under pressure. Ref: 3750904<br />

Contact Molly Nobbs on 01189 070321 or<br />

email molly.nobbs@hays.com<br />


Kettering, £19,000<br />

A fast-growing IT based company is looking for a credit control<br />

administrator. You will report into the Credit Manager and support<br />

the credit control team with administrative duties. Other duties will<br />

include processing invoices, raising sales orders and updating the<br />

database with client information. This is a fantastic opportunity to<br />

kickstart your career in credit control. Ref: 3765014<br />

Contact Alex Smith on 01604 621733 or<br />

email alex.smith@hays.com<br />

This is just a small selection of the many opportunities we<br />

have available for credit professionals. To find out more visit<br />

us online or contact Kabir Gulabkhan, Hays Credit Management<br />

UK Lead on 020 3465 0020

WHAT'S ON<br />

We are inviting all members to bring a colleague to a CI<strong>CM</strong> membership event,<br />

free of charge. Book online on our website www.cicm.com/cicm-events<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> EVENTS<br />

1 <strong>April</strong><br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Qualifications<br />

Members Surgery Linkedin<br />

ONLINE<br />

Open All Day<br />

Want quick answers to your questions from our<br />

experts? Join our live Linkedin chat.<br />

2 <strong>April</strong><br />

Seminar – Optimising credit and risk<br />

management for effective cashflow and growth<br />

London<br />

Join us for this free event in London’s iconic<br />

Gherkin to receive insight from top specialists<br />

in the field of Credit Management.<br />

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events or<br />

email events@cicm.com for more information.<br />

Venue: Searcys at The Gerkin<br />

30 St Mary Axe, London, EC3A 8EP<br />



21 <strong>April</strong><br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> East Midlands Branch<br />

Derby<br />

Take Control of your Invoice-to-Cash Process –<br />

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events or<br />

email events@cicm.com for more information.<br />

Venue: Radison Blu Hotel<br />

Herald Way, Pegasus Business Park, East<br />

Midlands Airport, Derby, Derby, DE74 2TZ<br />

CPD<br />

1<br />

8 <strong>April</strong><br />

Key IVR Webinar – Breaking Down the Barriers &<br />

Maximising Collections in Your Organisation<br />

ONLINE: 13:00 – 14:00<br />

Chasing debt or reconciling accounts can be a<br />

tricky, costly and time consuming task for many<br />

organisations. Listen to Key IVR discuss methods<br />

of how to maximise collections efficiently, whilst<br />

reducing costs and improving daily operations.<br />

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events.<br />

8 <strong>April</strong><br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Qualifications<br />

Members Webinar<br />

ONLINE: 13:00 – 14:00<br />

Want quick answers to your questions from our<br />

experts? Join our Q&A session webinar where our<br />

Credit Academy team focus on the Credit and<br />

Collections qualification.<br />

21 <strong>April</strong><br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Qualifications<br />

Members Surgery Facebook<br />

ONLINE: 12:30 – 13:30<br />

Want quick answers to your questions from our<br />

experts? Join our live Facebook chat.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 62

More reasons to be a member<br />

Make connections and keep up-to-date<br />

with our exclusive events.<br />

Announcement<br />

Due to the latest<br />

public health concerns,<br />

our events calendar is<br />

changing daily.<br />


28 <strong>April</strong><br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Qualifications<br />

Members Surgery Twitter<br />

ONLINE: 12:30 – 13:30<br />

Want quick answers to your questions from<br />

our experts? Join our live Twitter chat.<br />

23 <strong>April</strong><br />

Forums International<br />

Stratford-upon-Avon<br />

IT Distributor & Reseller Credit Forum<br />

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events or<br />

email events@cicm.com for more information.<br />

Venue: Stratford Manor Hotel, Warwick Road,<br />

Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 0PY<br />

23 <strong>April</strong><br />

Let’s Talk Credit<br />

Oxford<br />

FMCG (Food, drink, tobacco) UK<br />

For further details contact:<br />

brent.cumming@letstalkcredit.co.uk<br />

Many of our events are<br />

now available online,<br />

along with a series of<br />

live webinars - so please<br />

check our website for<br />

updates, further details<br />

and instructions on how<br />

to register.<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> EVENTS<br />

23 <strong>April</strong><br />

Hays<br />

Reading<br />

How automation is impacting Credit Management<br />

For further details contact Tony Lambert,<br />

Business Director, on T: 07921026446 or E:<br />

tony.lambert@hays.com. Venue: Hays Reading, 6th<br />

Floor, The Blade, Abbey Square, Reading, RG1 3BE<br />

5 May<br />

Menzies Webinar<br />

ONLINE: 13:00, Duration: 30 minutes<br />

This webinar will look at the different types<br />

of documentation that are received when a<br />

customer enters an insolvency,<br />

Presented by Bethan Evans, Menzies<br />

19 May<br />

Let’s Talk Credit<br />

Where<br />

Credit Risk Forum – Construction<br />

For further details contact:<br />

brent.cumming@letstalkcredit.co.uk<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> EVENTS<br />

6 May<br />

Dun & Bradstreet Webinar<br />

ONLINE: 13:00, Duration: 30 minutes<br />

Enhanced Country Risk Insights for Finance /<br />

Business leaders. Presented by Andrew Cooper,<br />

Strategic Development Leader –<br />

Finance Solutions Risk – Dun & Bradstreet<br />

20 May<br />

International Credit Forum<br />

London<br />

*Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events or<br />

email events@cicm.com for more information.<br />

Venue: Marsh JLT Speciality<br />

138 Houndsditch, London, EC3A 7AW<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 63

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Directory of Services<br />




Controlaccount Plc<br />

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,<br />

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD<br />

T: 01527 549 522<br />

E: sales@controlaccount.com<br />

W: www.controlaccount.com<br />

Controlaccount Plc provides an efficient, effective and ethical<br />

commercial debt recovery service focused on improving business<br />

cash flow whilst preserving customer relationships and established<br />

reputations. Working with leading brand names in the UK and<br />

internationally, we deliver a bespoke service to our clients. We offer<br />

a no collect, no fee service without any contractual ties in. Where<br />

applicable, we can utilise the Late Payment of Commercial Debts<br />

Act (2013) to help you redress the cost of collection. Our clients<br />

also benefit from our in-house international trace and legal counsel<br />

departments and have complete transparency and up to the minute<br />

information on any accounts placed with us for recovery through our<br />

online debt management system, ClientWeb.<br />


Baker Ing International Limited<br />

Office 7, 35-37 Ludgate Hill, London. EC4M 7JN<br />

Contact: Lisa Baker-Reynolds<br />

Email: lisa@bakering.global<br />

Website: https://www.bakering.global/contact/<br />

Tel: 07717 020659<br />

Baker Ing International is a dedicated team of Credit industry<br />

experience that, combined, covers time served in most industries.<br />

The team is wholly comprised of working Credit Manager’s across<br />

the Globe with a minimum threshold of ten years working experience<br />

within Credit Management. The team offers a comprehensive<br />

service to clients - International Debt Recovery, Credit Control, Legal<br />

Services & more<br />

Our mission is to help companies improve the cost and efficiency<br />

of their Credit Management processes in order to limit the risks<br />

associated with extending credit and trading around the globe.<br />

How can we help you - call Lisa Baker Reynolds on<br />

+44(0)7717 020659 or email lisa@bakering.global<br />


Lovetts Solicitors<br />

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway,<br />

Old Portsmouth Road,<br />

Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR<br />

T: 01483 347001<br />

E: info@lovetts.co.uk<br />

W: www.lovetts.co.uk<br />

With more than 25yrs experience in UK & international business debt<br />

collection and recovery, Lovetts Solicitors collects £40m+ every year<br />

on behalf of our clients. Services include:<br />

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

of cases)<br />

• Advice and dispute resolution<br />

• Legal proceedings and enforcement<br />

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

CaseManager<br />

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

“All our service expectations have been exceeded. The online<br />

system is particularly useful and extremely easy to use. Lovetts has a<br />

recognisable brand that generates successful results.”<br />

Atradius Collections Ltd<br />

3 Harbour Drive,<br />

Capital Waterside, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ<br />

Phone: +44 (0)29 20824397<br />

Mobile: +44 (0)7767 865821<br />

E-mail:yvette.gray@atradius.com<br />

Website: atradiuscollections.com<br />

Atradius Collections Ltd is an established specialist in business<br />

to business collections. As the collections division of the Atradius<br />

Crédito y Caución, we have a strong position sharing history,<br />

knowledge and reputation.<br />

Annually handling more than 110,000 cases and recovering over<br />

a billion EUROs in collections at any one time, we deliver when<br />

it comes to collecting outstanding debts. With over 90 years’<br />

experience, we have an in-depth understanding of the importance of<br />

maintaining customer relationships whilst efficiently and effectively<br />

collecting monies owed.<br />

The individual nature of our clients’ customer relationships is<br />

reflected in the customer focus we provide, structuring our service<br />

to meet your specific needs. We work closely with clients to provide<br />

them with a collection strategy that echoes their business character,<br />

trading patterns and budget.<br />

For further information contact Yvette Gray Country Director, UK<br />

and Ireland.<br />

Premium Collections Limited<br />

3 Caidan House, Canal Road<br />

Timperley, Cheshire. WA14 1TD<br />

T: +44 (0)161 962 4695<br />

E: paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

W: www.premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

For all your credit management requirements Premium Collections<br />

has the solution to suit you. Operating on a national and international<br />

basis we can tailor a package of products and services to meet your<br />

requirements.<br />

Services include B2B collections, B2C collections, international<br />

collections, absconder tracing, asset repossessions, status reporting<br />

and litigation support.<br />

Managed from our offices in Manchester, Harrogate and Dublin our<br />

network of 55 partners cover the World.<br />

Contact Paul Daine FCI<strong>CM</strong> on +44 (0)161 962 4695 or<br />

paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

www.premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

Blaser Mills Law<br />

40 Oxford Road,<br />

High Wycombe,<br />

Buckinghamshire. HP11 2EE<br />

T: 01494 478660<br />

E: Jackie Ray jar@blasermills.co.uk<br />

W: www.blasermills.co.uk<br />

A full-service firm, Blaser Mills Law’s experienced Commercial<br />

Recoveries team offer pre-legal collections, debt recovery,<br />

litigation, dispute resolution and insolvency. The team includes<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> qualified staff, recommended in both Legal 500 and<br />

Chambers & Partners legal directories.<br />

Offices in High Wycombe, Amersham, Rickmansworth, London<br />

and Silverstone<br />

Keebles<br />

Capitol House, Russell Street, Leeds LS1 5SP<br />

T: 0113 399 3482<br />

E: charise.marsden@keebles.com<br />

W: www.keebles.com<br />

Keebles debt recovery team was named “Legal Team of the Year”<br />

at the 2019 CI<strong>CM</strong> British Credit Awards.<br />

According to our clients “Keebles stand head and shoulders above<br />

others in the industry. A team that understands their client’s<br />

business and know exactly how to speedily maximise recovery.<br />

Professional, can do attitude runs through the team which is not<br />

seen in many other practices.”<br />

We offer a service with no hidden costs, giving you certainty and<br />

peace of mind.<br />

• ‘No recovery, no fee’ for pre-legal work.<br />

• Fixed fees for issuing court proceedings and pursuing claims to<br />

judgment and enforcement.<br />

• Success rate in excess of 80%.<br />

• 24 hour turnaround on instructions.<br />

• Real-time online access to your cases to review progress.<br />


Sanders Consulting Associates Ltd<br />

T: +44(0)1525 720226<br />

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

Sanders Consulting is an independent niche consulting firm<br />

specialising in leadership and performance improvement in all aspects<br />

of the order to cash process. Chris Sanders FCI<strong>CM</strong>, the principal, is<br />

well known in the industry with a wealth of experience in operational<br />

credit management, billing, change and business process improvement.<br />

A sought after speaker with cross industry international experience in<br />

the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets, his<br />

innovative and enthusiastic approach delivers pragmatic people and<br />

process lead solutions and significant working capital improvements to<br />

clients. Sanders Consulting are proud to manage CI<strong>CM</strong>Q on behalf of<br />

and under the supervision of the CI<strong>CM</strong>.<br />


Court Enforcement Services<br />

Wayne Whitford – Director<br />

M: +44 (0)7834 748 183 T : +44 (0)1992 663 399<br />

E : wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

W: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

High Court Enforcement that will Empower You!<br />

We help law firms and in-house debt recovery and legal teams to<br />

enforce CCJs by transferring them up to the High Court. Setting us<br />

apart in the industry, our unique and Award Winning Field Agent App<br />

helps to provide information in real time and transparency, empowering<br />

our clients when they work with us.<br />

• Free Transfer up process of CCJ’s to High Court<br />

• Exceptional Recovery Rates<br />

• Individual Client Attention and Tailored Solutions<br />

• Real Time Client Access to Cases<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 64


russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937<br />




CoCredo<br />

Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD<br />

T: 01494 790600<br />

E: customerservice@cocredo.com<br />

W: www.cocredo.co.uk<br />

CoCredo’s award winning credit reporting and monitoring systems have<br />

helped to protect over £27 billion of turnover on behalf of our customers.<br />

Our company data is updated continually throughout the day and access<br />

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

At CoCredo we aggregate data from a range of leading providers in<br />

the UK and across the globe so that our customers can view the best<br />

available data in an easy to read report. We offer customers XML<br />

Integration and D.N.A Portfolio Management as well as an industry-first<br />

Dual Report, comparing two leading providers opinions in one report.<br />

Graydon UK<br />

66 College Road, 2nd Floor, Hygeia Building, Harrow,<br />

Middlesex, HA1 1BE<br />

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400<br />

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk<br />

W: www.graydon.co.uk<br />

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading provider of<br />

business information, analytics, insights and solutions. Graydon<br />

helps its customers to make fast, accurate decisions, enabling them<br />

to minimise risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities<br />

with their commercial relationships. Graydon uses 130+ international<br />

databases and the information of 90+ million companies. Graydon<br />

has offices in London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,<br />

Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of the world’s largest credit<br />

insurance companies.<br />

Tinubu Square UK<br />

Holland House, 4 Bury Street,<br />

London EC3A 5AW<br />

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /<br />

E: uksales@tinubu.com<br />

W: www.tinubu.com<br />

Founded in 2000, Tinubu Square is a software vendor, enabler of the<br />

Credit Insurance, Surety and Trade Finance digital transformation.<br />

Tinubu Square enables organizations across the world to significantly<br />

reduce their exposure to risk and their financial, operational and technical<br />

costs with best-in-class technology solutions and services. Tinubu<br />

Square provides SaaS solutions and services to different businesses<br />

including credit insurers, receivables financing organizations and<br />

multinational corporations.<br />

Tinubu Square has built an ecosystem of customers in over 20 countries<br />

worldwide and has a global presence with offices in Paris, London, New<br />

York, Montreal and Singapore.<br />



SmartSearch<br />

SmartSearch, Harman House,<br />

Station Road,Guiseley, Leeds, LS20 8BX<br />

T: +44 (0)113 238 7660<br />

E: info@smartsearchuk.com W: www.smartsearchuk.com<br />

KYC, AML and CDD all rely on a combination of deep data with broad<br />

coverage, highly automated flexible technology with an innovative<br />

and intuitive customer interface. Key features include automatic<br />

Worldwide Sanction & PEP checking, Daily Monitoring, Automated<br />

Enhanced Due Diligence and pro-active customer management.<br />

Choose SmartSearch as your benchmark.<br />

CEDAR<br />

ROSE<br />

R<br />

Cedar Rose<br />

3, Georgiou Katsonotou Street,3036, Limassol, Cyprus<br />

E: info@cedar-rose.com T: +357 25346630<br />

W: www.cedar-rose.com<br />

Cedar Rose has been globally recognised as the expert for<br />

credit reports, due diligence and data for the Middle East<br />

and North African countries since 1997. We now cover over<br />

170 countries with the same high quality, expert analysis<br />

and attention to detail we are well-known and trusted for.<br />

Making best use of artificial intelligence and technology, Cedar<br />

Rose has won several awards including Credit Excellence<br />

& European Business Awards. Our website is a one-stopshop<br />

for your business intelligence solutions. We are the<br />

ultimate source; with competitive prices and friendly customer<br />

service - whether you need one or one thousand reports.<br />

Company Watch<br />

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,<br />

LONDON. EC3N 2ER<br />

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300<br />

E: info@companywatch.net<br />

W: www.companywatch.net<br />

Organisations around the world rely on Company Watch’s industryleading<br />

financial analytics to drive their credit risk processes. Our<br />

financial risk modelling and ability to map medium to long-term risk as<br />

well as short-term credit risk set us apart from other credit reference<br />

agencies.<br />

Quality and rigour run through everything we do, from our unique<br />

method of assessing corporate financial health via our H-Score®, to<br />

developing analytics on our customers’ in-house data.<br />

With the H-Score® predicting almost 90 percent of corporate<br />

insolvencies in advance, it is the risk management tool of choice,<br />

providing actionable intelligence in an uncertain world.<br />



T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66<br />

E: ruurd.bakker@onguard.com<br />

W: www.onguard.com<br />

Onguard is specialist in credit management software and market<br />

leader in innovative solutions for order to cash. Our integrated<br />

platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the order<br />

to cash chain and allows sharing of critical data.<br />

Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected and offer<br />

overview and control of the payment process, as well as contribute to<br />

a sustainable customer relationship.<br />

In more than 50 countries the Onguard platform is successfully used<br />

for successful credit management.<br />

Credica Ltd<br />

Building 168, Maxell Avenue, Harwell Oxford, Oxon. OX11 0QT<br />

T: 01235 856400E: info@credica.co.uk W: www.credica.co.uk<br />

Our highly configurable and extremely cost effective Collections and<br />

Query Management System has been designed with 3 goals in mind:<br />

• To improve your cashflow • To reduce your cost to collect<br />

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business<br />

Evolving over 15 years and driven by the input of 1000s of Credit<br />

Professionals across the UK and Europe, our system is successfully<br />

providing significant and measurable benefits for our diverse portfolio<br />

of clients.<br />

We would love to hear from you if you feel you would benefit from our<br />

‘no nonsense’ and human approach to computer software.<br />

Data Interconnect Ltd<br />

Units 45-50<br />

Shrivenham Hundred Business Park<br />

Majors Road, Watchfield<br />

Swindon, SN6 8TZ<br />

T: +44 (0)1367 245777<br />

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk<br />

W: www.datainterconnect.com<br />

Data Interconnect provides Intelligent Invoice to Cash Automation.<br />

Corrivo Billing, Collection and Dispute modules seamlessly integrate<br />

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

portals, real-time dashboards, advanced reporting, available in 15<br />

languages as standard; are some of the reason why global brands<br />

choose Data Interconnect.<br />

HighRadius<br />

T: +44 7399 406889<br />

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com<br />

W: www.highradius.com<br />

HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated Receivables<br />

solutions for automating receivables and payment functions such<br />

as credit, collections, cash allocation, deductions and eBilling.<br />

The Integrated Receivables suite is delivered as a software-as-aservice<br />

(SaaS). HighRadius also offers SAP-certified Accelerators<br />

for SAP S/4HANA Finance Receivables Management, enabling<br />

large enterprises to maximize the value of their SAP investments.<br />

HighRadius Integrated Receivables solutions have a proven track<br />

record of reducing days sales outstanding (DSO), bad-debt and<br />

increasing operation efficiency, enabling companies to achieve an<br />

ROI in less than a year.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 65 continues on page 66 >

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Directory of Services<br />



russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937<br />




ESKER<br />

Sam Townsend Head of Marketing<br />

Northern Europe Esker Ltd.<br />

T: +44 (0)1332 548176 M: +44 (0)791 2772 302<br />

W: www.esker.co.uk LinkedIn: Esker – Northern Europe<br />

Twitter: @EskerNEurope Esker.blog<br />

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes the all-toocommon<br />

obstacles preventing today’s businesses from collecting<br />

receivables in a timely manner. From invoice delivery to cash<br />

application, Esker automates each step. Esker's automated AR<br />

system powered by TermSync helps companies modernise without<br />

replacing their core billing and collections processes. By simply<br />

automating what should be automated, customers get the post-sale<br />

experience they deserve and your team gets the tools they need.<br />

C2FO<br />

C2FO Ltd<br />

105 Victoria Steet<br />

SW1E 6QT<br />

T: 07799 692193<br />

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com<br />

W: www.c2fo.com<br />

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables into income,<br />

uniquely connecting buyers and suppliers to allow discounts in<br />

exchange for early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers access<br />

additional liquidity sources by accelerating payments from buyers<br />

when required in just two clicks, at a rate that works for them.<br />

Buyers, often corporates with global supply chains, benefit from the<br />

C2FO solution by improving gross margin while strengthening the<br />

financial health of supply chains through ethical business practices.<br />

Menzies<br />

T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff<br />

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services<br />

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is an accountancy<br />

firm delivering traditional services combined with strategic<br />

commercial thinking. Our services include: advisory, audit,<br />

corporate and personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,<br />

outsourcing, wealth management and business recovery –<br />

the latter of which includes our specialist offering developed<br />

specifically for creditors. For more information on this, or to see<br />

how the Menzies Creditor Services team can assist you, please<br />

visit: www.menzies.co.uk/creditor-services. Bethan Evans, Partner<br />

and Head of Menzies Creditor Services, email: bevans@<br />

menzies.co.uk and phone: +44 (0)2920 447512<br />

LEGAL<br />


Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road<br />

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham<br />

Berkshire RG41 5RB<br />

E: r.hammons@serrala.com W: www.serrala.com<br />

T +44 118 207 0450 M +44 7788 564722<br />

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for organisations seeking<br />

efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes. As an SAP<br />

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies worldwide. With<br />

more than 30 years of experience and thousands of successful<br />

customer projects, including solutions for the entire order-tocash<br />

process, Serrala provides credit managers and receivables<br />

professionals with the solutions they need to successfully protect<br />

their business against credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.<br />

identeco – Business Support Toolkit<br />

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,<br />

Worcestershire B60 4FD<br />

Telephone: 01527 549 531 Email: info@identeco.co.uk<br />

Web: www.identeco.co.uk<br />

identeco’s Business Support Toolkit is an online portal connecting<br />

its subscribers to a range of business services that help them to<br />

engage with new prospects, understand their customers and<br />

mitigate risk. Annual subscription is £79.95 per year for unlimited<br />

access. Providing company information and financial reports,<br />

director and shareholder structures as well as a unique financial<br />

health rating, balance sheets, ratio analysis, and any detrimental<br />

data that might be associated with a company. Other services also<br />

included in the subscription include a business names database,<br />

acquisition targets, a data audit service as well as unlimited,<br />

bespoke marketing and telesales listings for any sector.<br />


Shoosmiths<br />

Email: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Tel: 03700 86 3000 W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit<br />

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly and cost effectively as<br />

possible. We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt recovery,<br />

including:<br />

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and keep costs down<br />

• Litigation service<br />

• Post-litigation services including enforcement<br />

• Insolvency<br />

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to relate to your goals,<br />

and adept at advising you on the most effective way of achieving them.<br />


Redwood Collections Ltd<br />

0208 288 3555<br />

enquiry@redwoodcollections.com<br />

Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, CR0 0XZ<br />

“Redwood Collections offers a complete portfolio of debt collection<br />

services ranging from sensitive client-debtor mediation through to<br />

legal and insolvency action.<br />

Incorporated in 2009, we are pleased to represent in excess of<br />

11,000 clients. Whatever your debt collection needs, we have the<br />

expertise and resources to deliver a fast, efficient and cost-effective<br />

solution.”<br />


Dun & Bradstreet<br />

Marlow International, Parkway Marlow<br />

Buckinghamshire SL7 1AJ<br />

Telephone: (0800) 001-234 Website: www.dnb.co.uk<br />

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern finance<br />

leaders and credit professionals to improve business performance<br />

through more effective risk management, identification of growth<br />

opportunities, and better integration of data and insights across the<br />

business. Powered by our Data Cloud, our solutions provide access<br />

to the world’s most comprehensive commercial data and insights<br />

- supplying a continually updated view of business relationships<br />

that helps finance and credit teams stay ahead of market shifts and<br />

customer changes. Learn more here:<br />

www.dnb.co.uk/modernfinance<br />

Gravity Global<br />

Floor 6/7, Gravity Global, 69 Wilson St, London, EC2A 2BB<br />

T: +44(0)207 330 8888. E: sfeast@gravityglobal.com<br />

W: www.gravityglobal.com<br />

Gravity is an award winning full service PR and advertising<br />

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the best<br />

in its field. It has a particular expertise in the credit sector, building<br />

long-term relationships with some of the industry’s best-known<br />

brands working on often challenging briefs. As the partner agency for<br />

the Credit Services Association (CSA) for the past 22 years, and the<br />

Chartered Institute of Credit Management since 2006, it understands<br />

the key issues affecting the credit industry and what works and what<br />

doesn’t in supporting its clients in the media and beyond.<br />

FORUMS<br />


T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

Forums International Ltd have been running Credit and Industry<br />

Forums since 1991. We cover a range of industry sectors and<br />

International trading, attendance is for Credit Professionals of all<br />

levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities which<br />

aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead. Attending<br />

for the first time is free for you to gauge the benefits and meet the<br />

members and we only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never<br />

intentionally be sold to.<br />

Bottomline Technologies<br />

115 Chatham Street, Reading<br />

Berks RG1 7JX | UK<br />

T: 0870 081 8250 E: emea-info@bottomline.com<br />

W: www.bottomline.com/uk<br />

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses<br />

pay and get paid. Businesses and banks rely on Bottomline for<br />

domestic and international payments, effective cash management<br />

tools, automated workflows for payment processing and bill<br />

review and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural analytics<br />

and regulatory compliance. Businesses around the world depend<br />

on Bottomline solutions to help them pay and get paid, including<br />

some of the world’s largest systemic banks, private and publicly<br />

traded companies and Insurers. Every day, we help our customers<br />

by making complex business payments simple, secure and seamless.<br />

American Express<br />

76 Buckingham Palace Road,<br />

London. SW1W 9TQ<br />

T: +44 (0)1273 696933<br />

W: www.americanexpress.com<br />

American Express is working in partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong> and is<br />

a globally recognised provider of payment solutions to businesses.<br />

Specialising in providing flexible collection capabilities to drive a<br />

number of company objectives including:<br />

•Accelerate cashflow •Improved DSO •Reduce risk<br />

•Offer extended terms to customers<br />

•Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive<br />

growth •Create competitive advantage with your customers<br />

As experts in the field of payments and with a global reach,<br />

American Express is working with credit managers to drive growth<br />

within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional lever to<br />

help support supplier/client relationships American Express is proud<br />

to be an innovator in the business payments space.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 66




Key IVR<br />

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000<br />

E: sales@keyivr.com<br />

W: www.keyivr.com<br />

Key IVR are proud to have joined the Chartered Institute of Credit<br />

Management’s Corporate partnership scheme. The CI<strong>CM</strong> is a<br />

recognised and trusted professional entity within credit management<br />

and a perfect partner for Key IVR. We are delighted to be providing<br />

our services to the CI<strong>CM</strong> to assist with their membership collection<br />

activities. Key IVR provides a suite of products to assist companies<br />

across the globe with credit management. Our service is based<br />

around giving the end-user the means to make a payment when and<br />

how they choose. Using automated collection methods, such as a<br />

secure telephone payment line (IVR), web and SMS allows companies<br />

to free up valuable staff time away from typical debt collection.<br />


Hays Credit Management<br />

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN<br />

T: 07834 260029<br />

E: karen.young@hays.com<br />

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Hays Credit Management is working in partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs and credit<br />

management jobs. Hays understands the demands of this challenging<br />

environment and the skills required to thrive within it. Whatever<br />

your needs, we have temporary, permanent and contract based<br />

opportunities to find your ideal role. Our candidate registration process<br />

is unrivalled, including face-to-face screening interviews and a credit<br />

control skills test developed exclusively for Hays by the CI<strong>CM</strong>. We offer<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> members a priority service and can provide advice across a wide<br />

spectrum of job search and recruitment issues.<br />



Portfolio Credit Control<br />

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE<br />

T: 0207 650 3199<br />

E: recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

W: www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

Portfolio Credit Control, solely specialises in the recruitment of<br />

permanent, temporary and contract Credit Control, Accounts<br />

Receivable and Collections staff. Part of an award winning recruiter<br />

we speak to and meet credit controllers all day everyday understanding<br />

their skills and backgrounds to provide you with tried and tested credit<br />

control professionals. We have achieved enormous growth because we<br />

offer a uniquely specialist approach to our clients, with a commitment<br />

to service delivery that exceeds your expectations every single time.<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accreditation is a proven model<br />

that has consistently delivered dramatic<br />

improvements in cashflow and efficiency<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>Q is the hallmark of industry<br />

leading organisations<br />

The CI<strong>CM</strong> Best Practice Network is where<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accredited organisations come<br />

together to develop, share and celebrate<br />

best practice in credit and collections<br />

BE A LEADER – JOIN THE CI<strong>CM</strong> BEST<br />


To find out more about flexible options<br />

to gain CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accreditation<br />

E: cicmq@cicm.com T: 01780 722900<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 67

Providers ofethical and effective<br />

commercial debt recovery<br />

Specialists in transport and logistics,<br />

manufacturing, healthcare, education<br />

and commercial recoveries for 40 years<br />


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