CM May 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 />

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



Swings and<br />

Roundabouts<br />

A rough ride for<br />

Debt Purchase<br />

Are latest insolvency<br />

predictions scare<br />

mongering? Page 12<br />

Sean Feast speaks to<br />

Paladin's Steve Fox.<br />

Page 24

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 />


MAY <strong>2020</strong><br />

www.cicm.com<br />

24<br />


Steve Fox<br />

28<br />


Matthew Godby MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

10<br />


Tim Vine<br />

16<br />


Heather Greig-Smith<br />


10 – Empty Skies<br />

What lessons can we learn from the<br />

collapse of Flybe?<br />

12 – Insolvency News<br />

Have predictions of mass<br />

administrations been exaggerated?<br />

16 – Swings and Roundabouts<br />

What next for the debt purchase sector<br />

post COVID-19?<br />

21 – Lending a hand<br />

Aneesh Varma considers how the world<br />

of consumer credit will change in the<br />

months to come<br />

22 – Engaged Tone<br />

How will collections agencies measure<br />

future success?<br />

24 – Plains Speaking<br />

Sean Feast speaks to Paladin’s<br />

Steve Fox<br />

28 – Controlling Influence<br />

Establishing a strategic credit<br />

management department – Part 2<br />

31 – Captive Audience<br />

The new challenges of presenting from<br />

your bedroom!<br />

35 – Silence is Golden<br />

Our concluding focus on Vietnam<br />

where silence is not to be interrupted<br />

Publisher<br />

Chartered Institute of Credit Management<br />

The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham<br />

OAKHAM, LE15 8NB<br />

Telephone: 01780 722900<br />

Email: editorial@cicm.com<br />

Website: www.cicm.com<br />

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

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

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 />

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 />

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 />

Grace Ghattas<br />

Telephone: 020 3603 7946<br />

Email: grace@cabbell.co.uk<br />

Printers<br />

Stephens & George Print Group<br />

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

UK: £112 per annum<br />

International: £145 per annum<br />

Single copies: £12.50<br />

ISSN 0265-2099<br />

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


The good, the bad and<br />

the downright ugly<br />

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

Managing Editor<br />

Acrisis always gets the<br />

best and the worst out of<br />

people.<br />

Isn’t it, for example,<br />

somehow uplifting to<br />

stand on your doorstep<br />

on a summer’s evening and listen to the<br />

ripple of applause and cheers for our NHS<br />

and care workers? Isn’t it lovely also to hear<br />

how caterers are diverting their efforts<br />

away from fine dining to provide ready<br />

meals for the poor and the vulnerable?<br />

On the other hand, isn’t it somehow<br />

vulgar that footballers and club chairmen<br />

aren’t bright enough to realise that rather<br />

than furloughing their admin and ground<br />

staff, they could perhaps surrender their<br />

£200,000 a week pay packets and put<br />

some of their own money back into the<br />

club, rather than expecting the humble<br />

tax payer to pimp their next Overfinch<br />

or supply the next crate of Cristal? The<br />

government furlough scheme, you idiots,<br />

is not designed so you can continue your<br />

pointless existence so get over yourselves<br />

and do the right thing. Rant over.<br />

A crisis also brings out the fantasists<br />

who honestly and earnestly believe<br />

that the answer to our current woes is<br />

simply to say that all bets are off; let’s all<br />

stop paying our council tax, credit card<br />

bills, rent – everything. Let’s freeze<br />

the lot. No let’s go even further and<br />

just write it all off altogether. What a<br />

lovely theory. But of course, anyone with<br />

an ounce of sense knows this thinking<br />

is fatally flawed. Indeed, it is potentially<br />

dangerous, and I wonder how much is<br />

driven by political beliefs and prejudices<br />

rather than clear thinking. It’s easy, for<br />

example, to win friends by giving every<br />

debtor a three-month ‘break’. It’s easy also<br />

to tell collections agencies that they must<br />

stop all contact. But is it the right thing to<br />

do? The industry itself certainly doesn’t<br />

think so (see news page 7).<br />

There is a huge irony that if the<br />

collections industry no longer existed,<br />

then the money they contribute to<br />

the debt advice sector would dry up,<br />

and the customers who the FCA so<br />

earnestly wish to protect would be left<br />

up the creek without the proverbial. The<br />

idea is fanciful, of course, but it does<br />

make you think harder about the<br />

unintended consequences of wholesale<br />

change.<br />

Buried somewhere in all this failed<br />

thinking too appears to be the belief that<br />

every landlord is a modern-day Rackman,<br />

every debt collector a bully, and every<br />

creditor a faceless financial institution.<br />

They are not; often they are small<br />

businesses.<br />

There are people out there who should<br />

know better and it’s time to put divisions<br />

aside and work together. And that includes<br />

footballers.<br />

They could perhaps surrender their £200,000 a week<br />

pay packets and put some of their own money back<br />

into the club, rather than expecting the humble tax<br />

payer to pimp their next Overfinch or supply the next<br />

crate of Cristal.<br />

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

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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 5

<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 />

Payment holidays are<br />

storing up trouble for later<br />

PAYMENT holidays and time to<br />

pay, while easing the current<br />

cashflow burden, may simply<br />

delay the collapse of thousands<br />

of businesses once the money<br />

has to be repaid.<br />

Without professional credit<br />

management support, and a key focus<br />

on collecting money that’s already owed,<br />

businesses will still struggle to survive<br />

despite the best Government efforts says<br />

Sue Chapple, Interim Chief Executive<br />

of the Chartered Institute of Credit<br />

Management (CI<strong>CM</strong>).<br />

“Payment holidays are a stay of<br />

execution, and I fear that many<br />

companies are forgetting that when<br />

the crisis is over, creditors will need to<br />

be paid what they are owed, whether<br />

that’s to the Crown (i.e HMRC), landlords,<br />

or other businesses with whom they<br />

transact.<br />

“Also, for every company that’s<br />

not being paid, or that is effectively<br />

extending a longer line of credit to their<br />

suppliers, that loss of revenue has to be<br />

managed in their own cashflow. And<br />

if that means further borrowing, that<br />

could have serious consequences on that<br />

company’s ability to extend credit in the<br />

future. And without credit, there is no<br />

trade.”<br />

Sue’s comments come on the back<br />

of recent research of CI<strong>CM</strong> members<br />

that found that almost two thirds (64<br />

percent) of credit managers had been<br />

asked for payment holidays by their<br />

supplier partners: “There will be a day<br />

of reckoning when all the money owed<br />

will need to be paid back,” she says, “and<br />

businesses need to factor this into their<br />

cashflow forecasts.”<br />

The research also showed that as<br />

many as a third (34 percent) of CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

members are re-negotiating payment<br />

terms and conditions. In a handful<br />

of anecdotal cases, credit managers<br />

said they are increasingly hearing of<br />

supplier contracts being cancelled with<br />

immediate effect and without reference<br />

to any existing notice periods.<br />

Sue says that failing to honour<br />

existing contracts is also a serious<br />

concern: “Whereas I understand<br />

that every business is in short-term<br />

survival mode, treating suppliers in this<br />

way is unforgiveable,” she adds. “The<br />

Coronavirus is of course a challenge,<br />

but when it is all over, those precious<br />

suppliers whom the bigger businesses<br />

previously relied upon may be gone.”<br />

Hoist Finance confident banks<br />

will continue to divest<br />

HOIST Finance, the debt resolution<br />

partner to individuals, companies and<br />

banks, believes the outlook for the debt<br />

purchase market remains positive, despite<br />

there being a temporary pause in the<br />

supply of debt portfolios.<br />

Writing in the Hoist Finance annual<br />

report published at the end of March,<br />

Chief Executive Officer Klaus-Anders<br />

Nysteen says he anticipates that banks<br />

will continue to divest portfolios and will<br />

do so at an earlier stage than historically.<br />

“The European estimated loan stock has<br />

decreased from EUR 1.2 trillion in 2014, to<br />

approximately EUR 635 billion in 2019,” he<br />

says. “This is good for the financial ecosystem,<br />

and I am confident in the market<br />

for non-performing loans as all market<br />

participants have become more diligent<br />

and structured, which has resulted in<br />

favourable margin developments over<br />

the last year. There is also an increased<br />

amount of transactions in the secondary<br />

market, both for non-performing loans as<br />

well as for performing loans.<br />

“If we can offer customers and<br />

employees the best experience possible,<br />

both in the current challenging times as<br />

well as in the long run, I am convinced<br />

financial performance will benefit,” he<br />

continues. “This is why operational<br />

excellence will continue to be a priority in<br />

<strong>2020</strong>, underpinning our capacity to deliver<br />

attractive returns going forward, while<br />

maintaining our focus of helping people<br />

keep their commitments.”<br />

To coincide with the publication<br />

of its annual report, Hoist Finance<br />

also launched its new sustainability<br />

strategy which includes its continued<br />

commitment not to buy portfolios of nonperforming<br />

payday loans.<br />

“To protect the most financially<br />

vulnerable people in society, Hoist<br />

Finance only buys non-performing loans<br />

from reputable banks with a sound credit<br />

policy and actively turns down portfolios<br />

from some parts of the consumer finance<br />

markets including pay-day loans and SMS<br />

loans,” Klaus-Anders concludes.<br />

See our main feature on page 16<br />

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


CSA urges organisations to come<br />

together in tackling debt crisis<br />

THE CSA, the UK trade body for<br />

debt collection and debt<br />

purchase, has issued<br />

a detailed response<br />

to Government in the<br />

light of calls from a number<br />

of debt charities to call a halt<br />

to all collection activities and<br />

potentially write off billions of<br />

pounds of debt.<br />

It says that rather than<br />

pulling away from each other<br />

in these challenging times, the<br />

Government, pressure groups and<br />

the debt advice sector should be<br />

working with the CSA and its<br />

members in determining a way<br />

forward. It urges a collaborative<br />

approach in coming up with<br />

policies that deal with a specific<br />

and clearly defined problem<br />

without causing additional issues<br />

that make matters worse, not better.<br />

“Now is the time for clear heads and<br />

clear thinking,” says Peter Wallwork,<br />

CSA Chief Executive. “We need to resist<br />

calls for wholesale changes which may<br />

look like the answer but fail to take into<br />

account the bigger picture and the wider<br />

impact on society and our economy.<br />

We need to help the greatest number<br />

we can but in such a way that doesn’t<br />

damage the credit/customer ecosystem<br />

irrevocably.<br />

“Losing contact with customers,<br />

for example, may make matters worse<br />

especially at a time when the debt advice<br />

sector is already swamped with calls and<br />

our members’ teams are in the perfect<br />

position to help navigate customers<br />

through these uncharted waters.”<br />

Peter says he has already written to all<br />

of the c250 CSA members to urge them to<br />

show additional forbearance where it is<br />

needed and has been delighted with the<br />

way the industry has responded: “Many<br />

of our members had already taken<br />

proactive action to support their<br />

customers so it wasn’t a case of us telling<br />

them what to do but more them telling us<br />

what they’d already done.”<br />

“While calls for further<br />

action from Government<br />

are understandable, and<br />

outwardly show compassion,<br />

it is imperative that the<br />

full consequences of any<br />

such action are properly<br />

understood.”<br />

The CSA currently contributes £4 billion<br />

to the UK economy – it also provides<br />

approximately £35 million in voluntary<br />

FairShare and Levy contributions to the<br />

debt advice sector.<br />

“It would be folly to put such funding<br />

at risk, simply because the consequences<br />

of an action had not been properly<br />

thought through, and this would directly<br />

impact front line free to consumer debt<br />

advice.” Peter adds. He says that not<br />

everyone will be affected by the latest<br />

crisis to the same degree. Some will see<br />

their costs rise, their jobs under threat<br />

and their lives changed beyond all<br />

recognition. For others there will be little<br />

or no impact at all, and so a draconian<br />

‘one size fits all’ approach – which<br />

could see an automatic three-month<br />

suspension of activities – does not make<br />

for a sensible policy.<br />

“Ministers need to recognise that<br />

CSA members already help millions<br />

of customers manage their debts and<br />

support the most vulnerable by funding<br />

and working with the principle debt<br />

charities. But we have seen that these<br />

charities are already overwhelmed, so<br />

ceasing customer contact at this critical<br />

time will do more harm than good.”<br />

CSA members act on behalf of nearly<br />

all of the major financial institutions,<br />

banks, credit card companies and the<br />

Government. But its members also<br />

manage more than 750,000 commercial<br />

accounts, mostly on behalf of small<br />

businesses, collecting more than £400<br />

million every year.<br />

Peter says the danger is that lines are<br />

becoming blurred: “When organisations<br />

call a halt to collections or even writing<br />

debts off altogether, they will be<br />

doing untold damage to our country’s<br />

small business community, many of<br />

whom are already under pressure to<br />

survive. With estimates that as many<br />

as 800,000 may fail in the next four<br />

weeks, this is not the time to prevent<br />

them from recovering cash owed to them<br />

on the grounds of some spurious moral<br />

reasoning.<br />

“While calls for further action from<br />

Government are understandable, and<br />

outwardly show compassion, it is<br />

imperative that the full consequences<br />

of any such action are properly<br />

understood.” Peter is also concerned<br />

that a debt ‘freeze’ might not always<br />

be in a customer’s best interests: “It is<br />

still money that has to be paid back,” he<br />

says, “and that could simply be storing<br />

up financial issues for later down the<br />

line. Our heretohelp campaign’s central<br />

message still stands – earlier contact<br />

results in better outcomes.”<br />

The CSA was responding in part<br />

to a letter sent to the Rishi Sunak MP<br />

signed by dozens of pressure groups and<br />

academics calling upon the Chancellor<br />

to freeze repayments on all unsecured<br />

debts and suspend all debt collection and<br />

enforcement activity. The same group<br />

also called for the write off of all council<br />

tax and social security debts.<br />

It also follows a proposal from the FCA<br />

to freeze credit card bills, a suggestion<br />

that led to a note of caution from the<br />

CEO of UK Finance, Stephen Jones:<br />

“It is critical that the FCA’s proposals<br />

do not disrupt the provision of credit<br />

to borrowers and take account of the<br />

business models of all credit providers<br />

including those outside the mainstream<br />

market."<br />

“It is still money that has to be paid<br />

back, and that could simply be storing<br />

up financial issues for later down the<br />

line. Our heretohelp campaign’s central<br />

message still stands – earlier contact<br />

results in better outcomes.”<br />

Peter Wallwork<br />

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

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

Engineering excellence<br />

in Credit Management<br />

AMEY PLC has achieved CI<strong>CM</strong>Q re-accreditation, demonstrating Best<br />

Practice in Credit Management. Pam Thomas FCI<strong>CM</strong>, CI<strong>CM</strong>Q Assessor,<br />

says that since the last CI<strong>CM</strong>Q Assessment in 2017, the credit team<br />

have continued to develop excellent policies and processes that<br />

serve the business as a whole: “The team are all well trained and fully<br />

aware of their responsibilities, and have created strong links with<br />

stakeholders,” she said.<br />

A key assessment area in which they have continued to excel<br />

in is personal and professional development, with more than half<br />

of the team engaging in, working towards and/or achieving CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

qualifications. Becky Woods ACI<strong>CM</strong>, Head of Credit and Collections at<br />

Amey PLC, says she wanted the team to receive the recognition that<br />

they deserve for all the incredible work that they have achieved to date.<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accreditation all part<br />

of the plan for Saint-Gobain<br />

THE Credit Management team at Saint-Gobain UK &<br />

Ireland has delivered outstanding results to achieve<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accreditation.<br />

“In 2016 the leadership team formulated and<br />

outlined our strategy to take the department forward,”<br />

says Rob O’Neill, Head of Credit Management at Saint-<br />

Gobain UK & Ireland. “Achieving CI<strong>CM</strong>Q Accreditation<br />

was integral to this plan to build on the work we have<br />

done around customer service, KPI measurement and<br />

achieving results. Laura Brown and Rosie Fitzsimons,<br />

the other key members of my leadership team were<br />

vital to driving the changes required to deliver<br />

success’’<br />


Yoga party<br />

AMIDST the chaos of Covid19<br />

pandemic, Innovation Software is<br />

exploiting the skills of its Director of<br />

Client Services, Caroline Lyons, to help<br />

clients with their health and wellbeing.<br />

Caroline, a qualified yoga instructor,<br />

is offering online yoga classes to help<br />

keep clients’ minds and bodies active<br />

and healthy, as well as providing<br />

tips and tricks on how to work more<br />

efficiently from home.<br />

AIRE apparent<br />

AIRE, the credit insight service, is<br />

offering free access to its range of realtime<br />

credit information services until<br />

the end of <strong>May</strong>, to help lenders identify<br />

and engage with struggling consumers<br />

during the unfolding Coronavirus<br />

crisis. Aire estimates that the number<br />

of people in the UK missing one or<br />

more credit payments could increase<br />

from around 700,000 last year to more<br />

than two million in <strong>2020</strong>. Aire says that<br />

the insights it can provide include job<br />

stability, as well as changes to income<br />

and household savings levels.<br />

Buck off<br />

SHORT-term lender, Uncle Buck<br />

Finance LLP, has been forced to<br />

call in administrators following the<br />

failure to meet sufficient resources for<br />

Threshold Conditions. The Financial<br />

Conduct Authority (FCA) put in place<br />

regulations to stop Uncle Buck from<br />

lending to customers, due to the<br />

latter’s deteriorating financial position<br />

and failed attempts to raise capital.<br />

Administrators are seeking to sell the<br />

company’s assets.<br />

Poles apart<br />

AS highlighted in a recent issue of Credit<br />

Management, FE<strong>CM</strong>A’s 4th European<br />

Credit Congress was due to take place in<br />

Poland in <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong>. Due to the current<br />

travel and safety restrictions impacting<br />

daily activity around the world, the<br />

Congress is now scheduled to take place<br />

on 26 and 27 August <strong>2020</strong>. For more<br />

information about the event, please<br />

contact governance@cicm.com<br />

Off the menu<br />

ITALIAN restaurant chain Carluccio’s<br />

has been placed into administration,<br />

blaming the Coronavirus and the<br />

inability to access government loans.<br />

Up to 2,000 jobs may be at risk.<br />

BrightHouse collapse<br />

COVID-19 social distancing regulations<br />

have had devastating effects on<br />

businesses around the globe, especially<br />

rent-to-own retailer BrightHouse which<br />

has gone into administration. At the<br />

time of going to press the future of its<br />

2,400-strong workforce was still in<br />

doubt. Chris Laverty, Andrew Charters<br />

and Sarah O’Toole of Grant Thornton<br />

were appointed joint administrators and<br />

are seeking buyers for the business.<br />


The sad news has reached us that<br />

Paul Mudge FCI<strong>CM</strong>, former I<strong>CM</strong><br />

President and the first Chief Executive<br />

of Registry Trust has died. An obituary<br />

will follow in the next issue.<br />

Worthy of Merit<br />

THE Institute’s Executive Board has<br />

agreed that Tracey Westell FCI<strong>CM</strong>, Dee<br />

Weston FCI<strong>CM</strong> and Derek Scott FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

be granted the Meritorious Service<br />

Award for <strong>2020</strong>. The Award is granted<br />

as a rare recognition of an exceptional<br />

contribution to the Institute and<br />

awards will be presented to Tracey,<br />

Dee and Derek later this year.<br />

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

Available on the iPhone<br />

App Store<br />

Android App available on<br />

Google Play<br />

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

Empty Skies<br />

The failure of Flybe was the portent of a<br />

terrifying collapse of the airline industry.<br />

AUTHOR – Tim Vine<br />

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


AUTHOR – Tim Vine<br />

THE Coronavirus pandemic<br />

is impacting people and<br />

businesses around the<br />

world and is a crisis that<br />

is already being compared<br />

to historic events such as<br />

Spanish Flu and the financial collapse of<br />

2008. Many countries are facing economic<br />

recession with widespread ‘lockdown’<br />

restrictions in place, which are creating<br />

a challenging environment for many<br />

companies across multiple sectors.<br />

The airline industry has been severely<br />

affected, with airports and airspace<br />

around the world being left empty as<br />

travel has been restricted, holidays have<br />

been cancelled and the demand for air<br />

travel has dropped drastically. At the time<br />

of writing, Heathrow airport has shut one<br />

of its runways and several airlines have<br />

grounded their aircraft fleet, with the<br />

large majority of flights cancelled. British<br />

Airways has suspended more than 30,000<br />

of their employees until the end of <strong>May</strong><br />

and staff will be ‘furloughed’ as part of the<br />

government’s Coronavirus job retention<br />

scheme.<br />


However, it wasn’t all smooth flying even<br />

before the Coronavirus outbreak. There<br />

were instances of companies already in<br />

trouble.<br />

In February 2019, Europe’s biggest<br />

regional airline was saved from the<br />

brink of collapse; 2018 had ended with a<br />

profit warning and a drop in share price<br />

by more than a third, and the future of<br />

Flybe once again hung in the balance.<br />

Fast forward a year and despite receiving<br />

controversial government support in<br />

January <strong>2020</strong>, another attempt to obtain<br />

financial support failed. Flybe went into<br />

administration in March <strong>2020</strong> and 2,000<br />

employees lost their jobs.<br />

This news came just months after the<br />

failure of Thomas Cook in September 2019<br />

and has raised questions about the future<br />

of the UK airline industry and analysis<br />

into the reasons behind these high-profile<br />

collapses.<br />


So, what went wrong? The uncertainty<br />

caused by Brexit was most likely a<br />

contributory factor – and not just because<br />

of the lack of demand for travel in recent<br />

years.<br />

A high proportion of Flybe’s sales are in<br />

dollars, while its earnings are in sterling.<br />

The value of the pound therefore has a<br />

dramatic impact on the business’s health<br />

– both of which have declined in the wake<br />

of the 2016 EU referendum.<br />

Politics aside, aerospace is a competitive<br />

industry, and rivals such as Easyjet<br />

have sought to establish themselves as a<br />

replacement on many of Flybe’s routes.<br />

Combine this with service improvements<br />

from several major rail networks, and<br />

the appetite to fly with Flybe was waning<br />

to an all-time low. Global and domestic<br />

economic conditions and outlooks have<br />

also been challenging and the added mix<br />

of Coronavirus eventually marked the<br />

death knell for the British brand.<br />


The demise of any business can have a<br />

significant knock-on impact on employees,<br />

suppliers and the local economy.<br />

Throughout the last 12 months, Flybe<br />

Ltd, the main trading entity in the group,<br />

has had consistently low D&B Delinquency<br />

and Failure Scores, with an average score<br />

of 9/100 and 8/100 respectively. These low<br />

scores indicate the increased likelihood of<br />

significantly late payment to its suppliers<br />

and business failure.<br />

Four years of continuing negative<br />

tangible net worth and pre-tax losses,<br />

with poor solvency ratios, and significant<br />

volumes of County Court Judgements<br />

registered against the business are some<br />

of the driving factors behind the low<br />

scores.<br />

For credit management professionals,<br />

this type of information is key to assessing<br />

the level of risk and monitoring for<br />

any warning signs. Credit teams can<br />

analyse data such as financial liquidity,<br />

profitability and company history to<br />

help mitigate and minimise the impact<br />

of supplier or customer failures on their<br />

business operations. They say being<br />

forewarned is to be forearmed, and this<br />

analogy is definitely relevant in the credit<br />

industry.<br />


Dun & Bradstreet’s Q4 UK Industry report<br />

recorded 4,178 corporate liquidations in<br />

the period October to December 2019.<br />

This figure was 2.3 percent higher than<br />

the previous quarter and we are expecting<br />

this to increase further in Q1 in the wake<br />

of Coronavirus.<br />

Only time will tell what the full<br />

economic impact of Coronavirus will be<br />

on the UK and wider global economy. It’s<br />

likely that in addition to the human cost<br />

of the virus, there will also be casualties<br />

for businesses of all sizes. UK GDP in Q4<br />

2019 stagnated, so if Q1 and Q2 both see<br />

a decrease (which is fairly inevitable) the<br />

country will be facing another recession<br />

and challenging times ahead for many<br />

industries.<br />

Tim Vine is European Head –<br />

Finance Solutions, Dun & Bradstreet.<br />

Tim Vine<br />

Dun & Bradstreet<br />

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


Action Stations<br />

Insolvency predictions are vastly exaggerated,<br />

but swift action is needed.<br />

AUTHOR – Gareth Harris<br />

WHILST a spike in<br />

corporate insolvencies<br />

as great or<br />

greater than the levels<br />

last seen in 2008<br />

is almost inevitable,<br />

the current numbers of 800,000 being<br />

mooted represent a major exaggeration.<br />

There will be an initial flurry of<br />

insolvencies, as was seen in 2008, for those<br />

businesses who were struggling before<br />

the current health crisis emerged, or who<br />

had limited resources to fall back on.<br />

However, for many others the opportunity<br />

to mothball, defer payments and seek<br />

government support will at the very least<br />

delay any decision to permanently shut,<br />

and allow the directors to consider every<br />

option available to them over an extended<br />

period.<br />

The recently announced and farreaching<br />

measures by the Chancellor of<br />

the Exchequer, including the extension of<br />

the Business Interruption Loan Support<br />

(CBILS) and a Covid Corporate Financing<br />

Facility are of course welcome. However,<br />

they will not in their own right achieve<br />

the Prime Minister’s stated ambition<br />

of no company facing insolvency as a<br />

result of the Coronavirus, nor will a large<br />

segment of UK businesses even qualify<br />

for this support.<br />


Whilst these unprecedented government<br />

measures are laudable, the reality<br />

remains that in the short term they<br />

will not prevent the insolvency of some<br />

companies as they do not directly inject<br />

cash quickly enough. And, in the longer<br />

term, they may only act as an avoidance<br />

or delaying measure, unless other<br />

restructuring options are pursued.<br />

Analyses from the two most recent<br />

significant recessions (1990-91 and 2008-<br />

09), illustrate some notable and consistent<br />

trends which will help to understand<br />

what the future landscape might look like<br />

for businesses.<br />

Company insolvencies during and<br />

after the 1990’s recession peaked on the<br />

way out of what was a shallower, less<br />

protracted recession, indicating that<br />

companies may have either held on for<br />

a period and then overtraded on the way<br />

out of the recession and so eventually ran<br />

out of cash.<br />

The 2008 recession was a much steeper<br />

dive and consequently a much earlier and<br />

larger spike in insolvencies took place.<br />

Back then there was less government<br />

support available compared to the<br />

current measures set out by the Treasury.<br />

Then we see another much smaller spike<br />

later as the economy picked up again<br />

– indicating an environment in which<br />

businesses overtraded again or could not<br />

hold on any longer as the government<br />

support was withdrawn i.e. as HMRC<br />

Time to Pay arrangements ran out.<br />

Looking at our historic data and<br />

assuming the UK heads into recession,<br />

Holding Pattern<br />

Breathing space or a licence for insolvent trading?<br />

AUTHOR – David Kerr FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

AS one commentator put it a couple<br />

of weeks ago (Patrick Hosking,<br />

The Times), “It’s possible to<br />

envisage a contagion of invoicepaying<br />

paralysis spreading<br />

across the business world”, as a<br />

consequence of companies deferring payments<br />

to creditors in the current unprecedented postcoronavirus<br />

circumstances. That is not to say that<br />

the government’s valiant efforts to save businesses<br />

from going under during the crisis are unwelcome,<br />

but merely that for creditors there is greater need<br />

for a watchful eye on developments.<br />

The government has announced that, alongside<br />

furlough and all the other support, it will introduce<br />

a number of specific emergency measures ‘as soon<br />

as possible’ to enable the insolvency regime to<br />

better support businesses during the pandemic.<br />

(Parliament is returning as we go to press, and<br />

legislation is reportedly imminent.)<br />


Firstly, we expect to see a moratorium period for<br />

distressed businesses – to provide time (a ‘breathing<br />

space’) for them to consider a rescue plan. This<br />

are likely to be based on proposals that were<br />

published some four years ago, have been subject<br />

to consultation, but not yet enacted; it would give<br />

companies protection from recovery action by<br />

creditors (originally this would have been for a<br />

limited initial period with an extension dependent<br />

upon a majority creditor vote. Protections such as<br />

the appointment of an Insolvency Practitioner as<br />

monitor were part of the proposals and should be<br />

retained. Secondly, there is an intention to introduce<br />

a new restructuring framework which will be able<br />

to bind creditors to a reorganisation plan, details of<br />

which are yet to emerge, though again likely to be<br />

based on previously published proposals.<br />

If the idea of a statutory breathing space and debt<br />

restructuring/repayment plan sound familiar, that<br />

could be because they have been touted recently<br />

(pre-crisis, with an intended 2021 implementation)<br />

as new procedures for insolvent individuals.<br />

However, although there have been employment<br />

measures and extra help on evictions and through<br />

universal credit etc, we have not seen parallel<br />

announcements about special insolvency measures<br />

The temporary<br />

stay that the<br />

new measures<br />

will bring about<br />

may help some<br />

businesses<br />

through the<br />

crises, but when<br />

we emerge from<br />

it, they will still<br />

have their debts<br />

to pay.<br />

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


AUTHOR – Gareth Harris<br />

then we predict that the downward curve<br />

will be much steeper than the 1990’s and<br />

could be even steeper than in 2008, with a<br />

consequent double spike in insolvencies,<br />

now, and in say six to 12 months’ time.<br />

The Covid-19 crisis has caused<br />

economies across the globe to adopt selfdistancing<br />

as the de-facto international<br />

global public health policy to mitigate<br />

the spread of the disease. Unfortunately,<br />

that policy requires putting national<br />

economies on hold to save lives. Unlike in<br />

2008 when companies continued to trade,<br />

albeit with limited means, this time the<br />

taps have effectively been turned off, for<br />

most. This has likely ushered in the end<br />

of the current business cycle.<br />

There will therefore almost inevitably<br />

be a double spike in insolvencies<br />

as a result, despite the government<br />

intervention. The major banks face an<br />

unenviable balance between lending<br />

responsibly (arguably conservatively)<br />

and protecting their own futures, versus<br />

facing criticism for a lack of support. One<br />

thing is certain, the last thing we need<br />

now is another banking crisis.<br />

Predictions of 800,000 insolvencies<br />

seems a major exaggeration given that<br />

over the course of the 2008-13 period, the<br />

total corporate insolvencies were less than<br />

114,000. We are likely to see the impact<br />

first in London and the South where the<br />

effect of CV-19 has been felt the hardest.<br />

Sector wise, we are already seeing it in<br />

hospitality, travel and retail – where there<br />

several notable insolvencies have already<br />

been announced including Cath Kidston,<br />

Carluccio’s and Debenhams.<br />

For those companies who may be on<br />

the cusp of survival, it is vital that they<br />

Recession Comparison<br />

Graph: horizonal axis represents a 5.5-year period (22 quarters).<br />

act now and really take swift and often<br />

drastic measures wherever possible and<br />

effectively go into survival mode. They<br />

may still need some form of restructuring<br />

process on the way out of the recession<br />

but survive to trade another day.<br />

Gareth Harris is a partner of RSM<br />

Restructuring Advisory<br />

AUTHOR – David Kerr FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

for individuals. Why not an acceleration<br />

of the introduction of planned breathing<br />

space (moratorium) proposals, so that<br />

those who are unfortunately made<br />

redundant (and there will still be many,<br />

notwithstanding furlough) can pause<br />

to take advice without the threat of<br />

bankruptcy? We have seen (just before<br />

going to press!) welcome forbearance<br />

for those already in Individual Voluntary<br />

Arrangements, providing opportunity<br />

for payment breaks, reductions in<br />

contributions, and greater IP discretion<br />

when dealing with defaults.<br />

Returning to corporate<br />

announcements, there are yet further<br />

measures to ensure that businesses<br />

becoming insolvent in, and as a<br />

consequence of, the crisis can continue<br />

to access essential supplies to keep<br />

operating. Keep a close eye on the<br />

definition of ‘essential’ as those suppliers<br />

could be prevented from terminating<br />

contracts solely on insolvency grounds.<br />

We are going to see a temporary<br />

suspension of wrongful trading rules for<br />

three months so that company directors<br />

can trade on and keep their businesses<br />

going without the threat of personal<br />

liability. The legislation is expected to<br />

cover the period from March. This has<br />

been done in other countries during<br />

the crisis, but it does come with a bit<br />

of a warning to credit managers. That<br />

threat of personal liability has helped<br />

to focus directors’ minds when faced<br />

with a financial crunch – advisors would<br />

always caution directors against carrying<br />

on trading beyond the point when they<br />

recognise that liquidation is likely. Putting<br />

liquidation off, and making the situation<br />

worse, has hitherto risked their personal<br />

wealth – removing the limited liability<br />

they ordinarily enjoy. But with this threat<br />

lifted, how can you be sure now that the<br />

company you are supplying is solvent and<br />

will be able to pay?<br />

Worth noting though that the<br />

theoretical risk of liability under<br />

fraudulent trading laws remains in place,<br />

as does the risk of director disqualification,<br />

subject to any ‘forbearance’ that the<br />

Business Department may adopt in its<br />

approach to such matters, in accordance<br />

with that which it has been advocating for<br />

IPs in the conduct of their work.<br />


One near certainty in these uncertain<br />

times is an increase in the number of<br />

insolvencies, way beyond anything<br />

predicted before coronavirus. The above<br />

measures may mitigate against this to<br />

some extent, but plenty of businesses<br />

are going under. Some of those may have<br />

been teetering on the verge of insolvency<br />

already (for example in retail), but<br />

unfortunately many otherwise solvent<br />

companies will be ruined irredeemably.<br />

The temporary stay that the new<br />

measures will bring about may help some<br />

businesses through the crises, but when<br />

we emerge from it, they will still have<br />

their debts to pay, and may have increased<br />

their liabilities. Any return to ‘normal’<br />

(whatever that may look like) could be<br />

gradual, and the deferral of debts in some<br />

cases may just be a postponement of the<br />

inevitable.<br />

David Kerr FCI<strong>CM</strong> is an insolvency<br />

practitioner with extensive regulatory<br />

experience and a member of the CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Technical Committee.<br />

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

ADVISORY COUNCIL ELECTIONS <strong>2020</strong><br />

Elections <strong>2020</strong><br />

VOTING IS NOW OPEN UNTIL 28 MAY <strong>2020</strong><br />

The engaged and driven individuals within the CI<strong>CM</strong>’s Advisory Council<br />

reflect the fantastically diverse range of skills and experience amongst the<br />

Institute’s membership.<br />

Now is YOUR chance to vote and elect those members who you feel will<br />

help continue to advance the important work of the CI<strong>CM</strong>, bring valuable<br />

expertise and knowledge to the table, and drive its strategy forward.<br />


Eligible* members will have received their ballot information via email,<br />

however if you have not, please contact Mi-Voice at support@mi-voice.com<br />

or +44 (0)2380 763987, or email elections@cicm.com.<br />

*Currently, eligible voters are fully paid-up members who hold the<br />

professional letters of MCI<strong>CM</strong> or FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />



What should your focus be on now?<br />


The chancellor has set out a package of temporary, targeted and<br />

timely measures to support public services, people and businesses<br />

through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19<br />

Visit www.gov.uk for guidance on:<br />

• Sick Pay • Business Rates • Tax • Insurance<br />

• Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme<br />


• Do you and your customers have sufficient stock to continue<br />

production and supply?<br />

• Is the parent company located in a high risk geography?<br />

• Is their product range changing?<br />

• Are you in regular communication?<br />


• Do invoices need to be sent to different locations during the current situation?<br />

• Will payments be made from a different location?<br />

• Do your customers have access to the cash needed to pay you?<br />

• Have you reviewed your ledger and ensured collect on all invoices due now?<br />

• Is exchange rate fluctuation a consideration?<br />

• Do you have vulnerable customers?<br />


• Review contractual Terms and Conditions in the current context.<br />

• Does your Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable process need to<br />

change due to current restrictions?<br />

• Are there any regulatory impacts to highlight?<br />


• What are the staff and skills risks to your business<br />

and what are your contingency plans?<br />

THE CI<strong>CM</strong> IS HERE TO<br />


Contact our Member Advice Service for support, answers and advice.<br />

Join the CI<strong>CM</strong> Managing Credit in a Crisis Forum on LinkedIn.<br />

Visit our Managing Credit in a Crisis webpage for more resources.<br />

We are developing more resources, advice and tools daily,<br />

please keep in touch with us and join our community.<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> is your professional body, use it. We are stronger in numbers.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 14


All hands on deck<br />

Taking positive action to support our credit community.<br />

AUTHOR – Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

EXTRAORDINARY times call for<br />

extraordinary measures, and<br />

as credit managers we are all<br />

very much in the frontline.<br />

So I want to tell you about<br />

some of the positive, practical<br />

steps we’re taking right now to support our<br />

members and our community.<br />

In terms of Membership fees, we<br />

understand that every penny you spend<br />

has to be justified. While we believe that<br />

membership of the CI<strong>CM</strong> and being part<br />

of our professional credit management<br />

community is priceless, we also know<br />

that we need to help our members<br />

manage through the current crisis. To that<br />

end, if you’re struggling to pay for your<br />

membership, let us know immediately.<br />

Email us CI<strong>CM</strong>membership@cicm.com<br />

and we will get back to you. (Just note that<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong> team is taking an unprecedented<br />

number of calls at the moment and is<br />

busy supporting our members with extra<br />

resources so it might take a little longer than<br />

the usual 24 hours to get back to you.)<br />

As regards practical help, we’ve launched<br />

our Managing Credit in a Crisis initiative,<br />

and I’m delighted to see that it is already<br />

gaining traction. It would be fairer to<br />

describe Managing Credit in a Crisis as a<br />

series of initiatives: at its heart is a practical<br />

online guide and a dedicated LinkedIn<br />

group to share best practice and ideas, and<br />

I would actively encourage all of you to join<br />

the group and contribute your ideas. We<br />

have also recently announced a programme<br />

of Managing Credit in a Crisis webinars with<br />

interactive training to help you with the here<br />

and now, as well as strategies for managing<br />

in the future. Further details and dates of<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> and CI<strong>CM</strong>Q support can be found in<br />

our Forthcoming Events section.<br />

In terms of our Members advice service,<br />

we are expanding our current service to help<br />

answer your technical and legal questions.<br />

Members can now put their questions to a<br />

panel of experts drawn from our existing<br />

team and Corporate Partners, to broaden<br />

the scope of professional advice available.<br />


As we navigate the uncharted waters of<br />

the current COVID-19 situation, the CI<strong>CM</strong>,<br />

like all leading business organisations, is<br />

reviewing the way we work to ensure we<br />

are ‘fit for purpose’ to meet an immediate<br />

need, as well as addressing the challenges of<br />

tomorrow. This means prioritising certain<br />

actions and services to support our teams,<br />

students and partners, as well as supporting<br />

the wider credit community – members and<br />

non-members alike.<br />

We are in particular prioritising our<br />

professional qualifications and L&D<br />

delivery, moving increasingly to a ‘virtual’<br />

environment in the short term, and<br />

working hard to ensure that we continue to<br />

communicate the actions we are taking both<br />

internally and to the external media.<br />

As you can imagine, we have also had to<br />

take some difficult decisions in recent days<br />

and are now operating with a skeleton staff<br />

who are all working from home. The support<br />

they are providing, and the enthusiasm with<br />

which they are confronting the current<br />

crisis is what our community is all about,<br />

and I ask that you in turn do everything you<br />

can to help them, and to help your CI<strong>CM</strong>.<br />

Your CI<strong>CM</strong> is special. It has a great many<br />

qualities and we, as members, need to pull<br />

together to ensure it remains so through this<br />

challenging period. Our plans are constantly<br />

evolving, and the support we have received<br />

from Corporate Partners, Learning Partners,<br />

and individual members willing to share<br />

their time and expertise to help others<br />

reflects the quality of our profession and our<br />

reason for belonging.<br />

We will keep you updated with further<br />

news through a dedicated newsletter, and<br />

in the meantime if you have any questions,<br />

we’re here to help.<br />

Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

We are in particular prioritising our professional qualifications<br />

and L&D delivery, moving increasingly to a ‘virtual’ environment<br />

in the short term, and working hard to ensure that we continue to<br />

communicate the actions we are taking both internally and to the<br />

external media.<br />

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




What next for the debt purchase market?<br />

AUTHOR – Heather Greig-Smith<br />

THERE was then, and there is now.<br />

Little more than a month ago,<br />

debt buyers were looking into a<br />

future they felt confident they<br />

could predict. As an industry, debt<br />

purchase has consolidated, firms<br />

have moved into the mainstream investment<br />

market, all have been through the process of<br />

FCA authorisation and operations have become<br />

increasingly sophisticated. Predictions were<br />

clear, plans had been made.<br />

And then. A virus that initially seemed to be<br />

a worrying headline relating to events on the<br />

other side of the world has become a pandemic.<br />

All bets are off. Of course, at the moment the<br />

world is dealing with the immediate concerns at<br />

hand – isolation, health and financial support.<br />

But what does the future hold for the industry<br />

when debts are set to rise dramatically but<br />

reliance on past data and performance may not<br />

be possible?<br />

“The economic shock is happening, it’s just<br />

how deep that shock is going to be,” says Andrew<br />

Birkwood, Founder and Chief Executive of<br />

Azzurro Associates. “I don’t think any country’s<br />

government is going to be able to spend their<br />

way out of it. There is going to be much more<br />

debt – both consumer and commercial. The<br />

market is going to have a new paradigm.”<br />


One of the biggest issues for debt buyers is the<br />

fact that their pricing and collections matrices<br />

no longer apply. “We and a number of other<br />

buyers have pressed the pause button on a<br />

number of different deals,” says Andrew.<br />

Antony Dear, Global Solutions and Consulting<br />

Director at TDX Group, agrees that lower<br />

transaction levels will be an immediate effect –<br />

albeit continuing a trend from 2019. There has<br />

been a shift in funding models at many of the<br />

major buyers. Less favourable bond yields and<br />

pressure from funders to deleverage have seen<br />

most reduce leverage ratios that were as high<br />

as 5x equity. Some had already found they were<br />

unable to borrow more from their traditional<br />

sources of funds.<br />

“This meant that there was less capital<br />

available to acquire portfolios for some<br />

purchasers, leading to lower prices in some<br />

industries such as banking for non-performing<br />

loans. This led to slowed growth or lower<br />

acquisitions for some purchasers in 2019,” says<br />

Antony. He adds: “There has been quite a lot<br />

“I don’t think<br />

any country’s<br />

government is<br />

going to be able to<br />

spend their way<br />

out of it. There is<br />

going to be much<br />

more debt – both<br />

consumer and<br />

commercial. The<br />

market is going<br />

to have a new<br />

paradigm.”<br />

of change in the last year. Before that everyone<br />

used bonds to finance their growth but the cost<br />

of funding has changed significantly in the last<br />

two years which means people have looked at<br />

other things.”<br />


To this end, many purchasers have focused<br />

on co-investment or fund investment models.<br />

However, one purchaser says this emphasis on<br />

funds “…massively changes the dynamics of the<br />

sector. “Businesses may only be investing 25p<br />

in the £1 themselves. They aren’t taking the risk<br />

and reward. It raises the capital available, but<br />

the problem is there is only so much for sale in<br />

the market.<br />

“The question is, what returns are investors<br />

going to expect? Buyers have stated some quite<br />

strong returns they are going to deliver. What<br />

does that really mean and are they really going<br />

to achieve it?”<br />

Recession will most likely lead to fewer<br />

portfolio acquisitions at lower prices, says<br />

Antony. “Just like we saw in the aftermath of the<br />

08/09 financial crisis, where year on year sales<br />

volumes dropped 50 percent between 2008 and<br />

2009 and prices reduced by over 50 percent.”<br />

Comparisons with 2008/09 are rife. Andrew<br />

Fox, Head of Portfolio Investments at Arrow<br />

Global, says the effects will play out similarly.<br />

“Debt levels for consumers will likely rise.<br />

The forbearance measures that Arrow brought<br />

in as a result of the 2009 crisis will continue<br />

to be available to many of our customers,<br />

together with additional strategies set out by<br />

the FCA to tackle the current situation. Many<br />

of the forbearance tools have been used in the<br />

past, but there is now a need to make them<br />

available for large groups of people more<br />

quickly.<br />

“At the moment the high yield bond market<br />

is mostly closed for further raising for debt<br />

purchasers – we’d expect high yield bond costs<br />

to increase and there will be limited appetite<br />

from bigger investors. People will still lend but<br />

a risk premium will be attached. Larger private<br />

equity appears to have mainly backed out of<br />

the market, but it wouldn’t surprise me if in the<br />

downturn they step back.”<br />


When it comes to using the financial crisis as<br />

a predictor, others urge caution. “All the debt<br />

buyers use historical performance as the basis<br />

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


AUTHOR – Heather Greig-Smith<br />

for pricing,” says Andrew Birkwood.<br />

“There is no basis for this market. The<br />

2008 credit crisis wasn’t anything like this<br />

situation in terms of how deep, broad and<br />

universal it is. A lot depends on how long<br />

this goes on for.”<br />

Others agree that the current situation<br />

is different from the crash but suggest<br />

there may be a quicker recovery. “No-one<br />

knows and that’s the weird thing,” says one<br />

purchaser. “Before the government started<br />

coming out with loan schemes, everyone<br />

was thinking this could be catastrophic.”<br />

Debt buyer Intrum has already<br />

announced that it will reduce its rate of<br />

investment, saying that its previous <strong>2020</strong><br />

targets are no longer achievable. It added<br />

that refinancing in 2019 has extended<br />

loan maturities: “We have limited levels<br />

of debt that are due in <strong>2020</strong> and 2021, and<br />

that these can be honoured, inter alia, by<br />

our credit facilities,” says Mikael Ericson,<br />

Intrum’s President and CEO.<br />

“What is happening will have<br />

consequences for virtually every business<br />

worldwide, and places considerable<br />

demands on us at a time when clients<br />

and individuals are experiencing extreme<br />

uncertainty about the global outlook.<br />

Although operating results for the first<br />

and second quarters will be lower than<br />

our previous internal expectations, we<br />

anticipate what is happening now will<br />

create substantially larger business<br />

volumes to work with in the latter part of<br />

<strong>2020</strong> and the years ahead,” Ericson adds.<br />

“Conversations with sellers continue,”<br />

says Intrum UK Managing Director Eddie<br />

Nott. “Clearly the uncertainty is likely to<br />

have a downward impact on pricing – this<br />

is to be expected after an economic shock<br />

of this severity. However, the industry<br />

has an important skill set in dealing with<br />

financial distress and clients have already<br />

asked for help in tackling this in the<br />

months ahead.”<br />


Hoist Finance also believes the outlook<br />

for the debt purchase market remains<br />

positive, despite there being a temporary<br />

pause in the supply of debt portfolios.<br />

Chief Executive Officer Klaus-Anders<br />

Nysteen says he anticipates that banks<br />

will continue to divest portfolios and will<br />

do so at an earlier stage than historically.<br />

“The European estimated loan stock<br />

has decreased from EUR 1.2 trillion in<br />

2014, to approximately EUR 635 billion<br />

in 2019,” he says. “This is good for the<br />

financial eco-system, and I am confident<br />

in the market for non-performing loans as<br />

all market participants have become more<br />

diligent and structured.”<br />

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

continues on page 18 >


AUTHOR – Heather Greig-Smith<br />

In a March bond call with investors,<br />

purchaser Lowell also said there would be<br />

more debt in the market. Group CEO Colin<br />

Storrar said at the time: “In times of economic<br />

downturn and dislocation the flow of NPLs<br />

to the purchase market in time increases.<br />

The only real question is when they come to<br />

market.”<br />

He announced two strategic partnerships<br />

as part of an evolving funding structure.<br />

The first, a co-investment deal with a listed<br />

global asset manager, the second, an NPL<br />

procurement agreement with German bank<br />

OLB. Lowell spent £397m in the last financial<br />

year and deleveraged to 4.7x. The business had<br />

been increasing forward flow arrangements –<br />

up to 51 percent of acquisitions. Of its £3.4bn<br />

120-month ERC, it had expected to collect<br />

£1.7bn in the next 36 months.<br />


Interim Group CFO Dan Hartley describes the<br />

UK payment plans, which make up 80 percent<br />

of UK collections as ‘resilient’, averaging £16<br />

a month. “It is worth remembering that our<br />

customers are already in a degree of financial<br />

stress and this provides our collections<br />

performance with a good degree of insulation<br />

from the broader macro environment,” he<br />

says.<br />

However, he does also acknowledge “…<br />

the discretionary nature and the flexibility<br />

around growth.”<br />

Colin Storrar adds: “Our preparations are as<br />

well advanced and as well-developed as they<br />

possible can be to mitigate any disruptions<br />

caused by the current crisis… We talk<br />

constantly about 2008-2010 for a reason. In<br />

that last financial crisis, we delivered against<br />

our collection estimates and critically we<br />

were also very well placed to benefit from the<br />

broader NPL flow of debt to the market.”<br />

He points to digital as an important<br />

growth area that will be vital in the current<br />

environment. “We benefit from already<br />

having spent time and investment in our<br />

digital capabilities, these obviously help<br />

us aim for minimal disruption to customer<br />

journeys should our contact centres be<br />

impacted.”<br />

Like many of its peers, Cabot Credit<br />

Management has taken a conservative<br />

approach to leverage and reduced its ratio.<br />

At the end of 2019, it was 3.7x, from 4.1x the<br />

previous year and with a commitment to<br />

reaching 3.0x-3.5x by the end of 2021. The<br />

business would not comment on current<br />

market dynamics.<br />

Meanwhile, Arrow Global said it performed<br />

well against its key operating metrics in 2019,<br />

increasing profit before tax to £51.3 million<br />

and finishing 2019 within a lower leverage<br />

range of 3.0x-3.5x. In 2019, it launched a fund<br />

management business, initially raising €838.0<br />

million, and had planned to target total Funds<br />

Under Management of €2.0 billion by the end<br />

of <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

However, in early April the business<br />

decided to withdraw its planned dividend,<br />

saying that while it was “…well placed to<br />

navigate this period of uncertainty,” the cash<br />

saving of approximately £15 million was<br />

prudent and in line with the Group's approach<br />

to minimising financial risk.<br />

“This decision in no way diminishes the<br />

Board's confidence in the long-term outlook<br />

for the Group and the strength of the throughthe-cycle<br />

model, which is set up to withstand<br />

reasonable downside scenarios and to take<br />

advantage of investment opportunities as<br />

they arise,” the business says. “At this stage,<br />

given the level of continued uncertainty<br />

around economic activity, it is not possible<br />

to provide financial guidance for the <strong>2020</strong><br />

financial year.”<br />


Across markets, governments with memories<br />

of the financial crisis and a desire to ensure<br />

people are able to stay home, have acted<br />

quickly. In the UK, measures have sought<br />

to plug the gap with banking forbearance,<br />

government grants and loan guarantees.<br />

Joanna Elson OBE, Chief Executive of the<br />

Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs<br />

National Debtline and Business Debtline,<br />

says this is unknown territory: “The financial<br />

shock to households that the Coronavirus<br />

outbreak has caused is like nothing we have<br />

seen before – and the FCA is right to step in to<br />

ensure payment freezes on loans and credit<br />

cards where customers are struggling,” she<br />

says.<br />

Elson urged government to go further: “For<br />

forbearance to work, it has to cover all forms<br />

of borrowing, to help people through this<br />

difficult period. It’s important that all firms<br />

offer the same support. The FCA should also<br />

be prepared to extend these measures beyond<br />

three months if needed.”<br />

It’s too early to say if government will seek<br />

to regulate collections further in these times<br />

but the collections industry has suspended<br />

new litigation and the use of bailiffs, despite<br />

the fact that litigation levels pre-crisis had<br />

been climbing.<br />

In a crisis, focus on the customer journey<br />

and TCF will be more important than ever.<br />

Pausing collections for people who can pay<br />

and want to keep paying would be unfair.<br />

Pre-COVID-19, persistent debt – the issue of<br />

consumers being left with debts they could<br />

not pay in a reasonable time frame – was<br />

something regulators were keen to tackle.<br />

For this reason, some have questioned<br />

the prices paid for debt management plan<br />

(DMP) portfolios. “DMP books have been<br />

seen as paying books, prices have been pretty<br />

It’s too early to say<br />

if government will<br />

seek to regulate<br />

collections further in<br />

these times but the<br />

collections industry<br />

has suspended new<br />

litigation and the use<br />

of bailiffs, despite the<br />

fact that litigation<br />

levels pre-crisis had<br />

been climbing.<br />

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


AUTHOR – Heather Greig-Smith<br />

ridiculous – stretching payment curves<br />

out 10-12 years,” says one purchaser.<br />

“People who have paid a lot of money<br />

for those could really find their chickens<br />

coming home to roost.”<br />


Forward flow has also been a key feature<br />

of the market, driven by creditors selling<br />

earlier because of the IFRS 9 need to get<br />

assets off the balance sheet regularly and<br />

quickly. If buyers are already committed<br />

to deals in terms of new forward flow,<br />

the current market disruption will need<br />

careful management.<br />

Even before the crisis, there were<br />

challenges, says Eddie Nott: “We had<br />

seen some forward flow deals where the<br />

incumbent hadn’t wanted to renew at the<br />

same price – portfolios they have bought<br />

at too high a price historically or now<br />

need better returns to justify.”<br />

Antony Dear agrees these arrangements<br />

may prove tricky: “Forward flow<br />

agreements have become more common<br />

and seen as a positive by the purchasers,<br />

however with pricing locked in this could<br />

quickly turn into a negative if funding<br />

becomes an issue.”<br />

Many buyers have risk-based pricing<br />

built into their forward flow deals.<br />

“Clearly if worse quality debt were to flow<br />

through, then the price would be reduced<br />

in accordance with the risk associated<br />

with that debt profile,” Colin Storrar told<br />

Lowell investors.<br />

This could result in creditors bringing<br />

those portfolios back to market. However,<br />

Lantern CEO Denise Crossley says this is<br />

not happening currently: “Sales are not<br />

off the table. Other purchases are still<br />

buying forward flow, as are we. We aren’t<br />

reneging on existing contracts. Debt still<br />

needs to be collected and the economy<br />

needs to keep revolving.”<br />

Arrow’s Andrew Fox says strategy-wise,<br />

COVID-19 is a dislocation in the market:<br />

“There will be a period of time where<br />

nobody can sensibly mark prices in the<br />

market for most assets.”<br />

However, he adds: “It’s less a case of<br />

pausing purchases so much as trying to<br />

understand what conditions will look like<br />

during the cycle. The question becomes<br />

how that interacts with back books –<br />

everyone’s back book will have an impact.”<br />


Meanwhile, there are practical impacts<br />

that will be felt by creditors and debt<br />

buyers alike. These include increased<br />

call volumes – already reported by big<br />

banks – and the need to complete more<br />

time-consuming income and expenditure<br />

forms, adding to capacity issues that may<br />

already be challenged by the virus hitting<br />

the call centre workforce, says Antony<br />

Dear at TDX Group:<br />

“People on the brink month to month<br />

might be tipped over the line and need<br />

support, whereas steadily employed<br />

and salaried people might be in a better<br />

financial situation now enabling them to<br />

pay more due to decreased outgoing such<br />

as transport and recreational costs,” he<br />

says. “This will likely lead to an increased<br />

pressure on the collections function and<br />

will impact overall profitability, especially<br />

for those not set up to cope with the<br />

increased volumes.”<br />

“We’ve actually seen<br />

more engagement than<br />

ever from customers.<br />

They are at home, have<br />

more time and the<br />

majority of them want<br />

to continue paying<br />

– they don’t want a<br />

bottleneck and to have<br />

a bigger problem when<br />

this is all over’’<br />

Intrum UK Managing Director Eddie<br />

Nott says all staff are now working from<br />

home: “If you are well prepared it should<br />

be relatively straightforward to operate<br />

remotely. We are able to service all calls<br />

from customers with no loss of service<br />

quality in terms of speed of answer or the<br />

information and help they get from the<br />

customer service representative.”<br />

Denise agrees that working from home<br />

has enabled Lantern to continue largely<br />

as normal, with added forbearance<br />

where needed: “We’ve actually seen more<br />

engagement than ever from customers.<br />

They are at home, have more time and the<br />

majority of them want to continue paying<br />

– they don’t want a bottleneck and to have<br />

a bigger problem when this is all over,”<br />

she says.<br />

She adds that a significant number of<br />

consumers are still being paid at least 80<br />

percent of their salaries and many have<br />

lower outgoings, such as reduced travel<br />

costs. “Some of them are in a slightly<br />

better financial position. We are giving<br />

an extra 60- or 90-days forbearance to<br />

those that aren’t, and some are reducing<br />

their payments slightly, but they are not<br />

generally falling off.”<br />


“The numbers reported by the purchasers<br />

still show that there is enough margin to<br />

meet their payment obligations, however,<br />

what they might struggle to do is to keep<br />

up with their required replacement rates,<br />

meaning the business might shrink and<br />

cost benefits of having economies of scale<br />

might reduce,” says Antony Dear.<br />

“In 2008/09 we saw a number of debt<br />

purchasers struggle. The landscape is<br />

different today as an effect of market<br />

consolidation with a number of large<br />

players making up the majority of the<br />

market. Their size should mean that they<br />

should be able to handle the downturn<br />

better than during the previous financial<br />

crisis. However, these people also have<br />

a higher level of debt than their smaller<br />

predecessors which could amplify the<br />

issues for them, so it is hard to predict<br />

exactly what could happen.”<br />

Andrew Birkwood goes further:<br />

“I would be surprised if at least one<br />

major debt buyer doesn’t get into major<br />

difficulties in this situation. It’s going<br />

to be a very challenging period and will<br />

come down to whether their funders are<br />

willing to offer them the breathing space<br />

they need,” he says.<br />

With bond funding this flexibility may<br />

not be possible, though many purchasers<br />

have been quick to reassure the market<br />

that they have plenty of time until bonds<br />

mature. Feelings pre-COVID-19 were that<br />

there is still room for consolidation in the<br />

market. If firms struggle in the coming<br />

months, we may see some being taken<br />

over by their peers.<br />

On the optimistic side, in a world<br />

where, arguably, most consumers in<br />

collections have become vulnerable, we<br />

may well find that the debt purchase and<br />

collections industry has honed the skills<br />

needed to make a real difference. “We all<br />

know how to identify vulnerability. That’s<br />

the norm,” says Denise Crossley. “The<br />

majority of customers are happy we are<br />

still here to help them.”<br />

Heather Greig-Smith.<br />

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

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


Lending a hand<br />

Consumer credit in the age of Coronavirus.<br />

AUTHOR – Aneesh Varma<br />

OVER the last few weeks, we’ve<br />

seen the UK Chancellor unveil<br />

unprecedented measures to help<br />

businesses and homeowners<br />

cope with the financial impact<br />

of COVID-19. Rishi Sunak’s<br />

words were, no doubt, chosen carefully. With<br />

the effects of the global financial crisis of 2008<br />

still keenly felt in many communities, they were<br />

also chilling.<br />

While lenders are in a better position today<br />

to keep consumer credit flowing, the volume<br />

and value of new consumer credit agreements<br />

will inevitably fall, as borrowers protect their<br />

finances, and lenders try to get a handle on<br />

future default rates.<br />

Lenders will still need to write new credit lines<br />

to make money, but there will be great caution<br />

about what gets written. Lenders will sharpen<br />

their ranges. Those that provided credit to nearprime<br />

borrowers will look to prime consumers,<br />

while prime lenders will reach for super-prime<br />

customers.<br />

Consumers who already find themselves at<br />

the margins of mainstream lending – such<br />

as recent migrants, gig workers and the selfemployed<br />

– will find it even harder to get lowcost<br />

financial services – which is exactly the<br />

opposite of what consumers, the Financial<br />

Conduct Authority and the Financial Inclusion<br />

Commission want. These are also some of the<br />

people we expect will need credit most, to<br />

help overcome the cash-flow challenges of the<br />

coming months.<br />

We expect that the rate of consumer lending<br />

growth could go negative by the middle of this<br />

year. Lenders must do everything they can to<br />

keep low-cost, mainstream consumer credit<br />

flowing.<br />


Although the UK government has made<br />

significant commitments as it attempts to<br />

limit Coronavirus-related job losses, it is clear<br />

consumers are going to experience a great deal<br />

of pain over the coming months.<br />

The crisis will test the limits of lenders’ ability<br />

to understand what is happening in their loan<br />

portfolios, and their ability to support customers<br />

experiencing difficulties.<br />

Redundancy and relationship breakdowns are<br />

the most common reasons why people end up in<br />

collections. Both increased around the time of<br />

the global financial crisis; we can only assume<br />

the same will happen now.<br />

Lenders can expect to see default rates<br />

increase dramatically throughout <strong>2020</strong> and<br />

possibly well into next year too. Aire estimates<br />

that the number of people in the UK missing<br />

one or more credit payments could increase<br />

from around 700,000 last year to over two million<br />

this year. Employers have let people go in large<br />

numbers in sectors such as hospitality, travel,<br />

leisure, retail, arts and entertainment. Many of<br />

those already affected are young people working<br />

for minimum wage. We can expect many of the<br />

UK’s 5.8 million self-employed, freelancers and<br />

full-time gig workers to be hit soon after. After<br />

that, the pain could be felt far and wide.<br />

Levels of personal insolvency are a<br />

retrospective indicator of financial distress.<br />

When they peaked in 2009 and 2010 following<br />

the last crisis, they were most frequent among<br />

the most disadvantaged groups in society. The<br />

most significant increases, however, were<br />

among middle-income families, people who<br />

would typically occupy city-centre office jobs<br />

or earn good wages on the shop floor of large<br />

manufacturing plants. If history is anything to<br />

go by, the pain will be shared and felt for years.<br />

WHAT NEXT?<br />

Credit providers need to take stock of their<br />

lending criteria, comprehend what is happening<br />

within their portfolios, and ensure they can<br />

make decisions based on the most up-to-date<br />

view possible of the consumer.<br />

More cautious lending decisions may be one<br />

way to respond. However, this would need great<br />

care. The majority of consumers are still stable,<br />

low-risk borrowers and FCA will be watching to<br />

ensure credit decisions are fair to the consumer.<br />

A lesson from the last financial crisis was<br />

that historical credit data showing consumers’<br />

previous propensity to pay was not, on its own,<br />

sufficient to make the most accurate lending<br />

decisions. Many people with spotless credit<br />

records ended up in collections through no fault<br />

of their own.<br />

Affordability checks, which are now<br />

compulsory, have gone some way to making<br />

lending decisions equitable without being<br />

reckless. However, they can also be a blunt<br />

instrument. Generalised affordability measures<br />

still use historical information, and many<br />

lenders cannot work out precise disposable<br />

income levels, mainly because their scoring<br />

policies look at modelled data rather than the<br />

exact personal circumstances of the applicant.<br />

None of these measures are dynamic enough<br />

to keep up with the real-time needs of today’s fastchanging<br />

economic environment. Lenders must<br />

be bold enough to back the right borrowers, and<br />

sufficiently agile and well informed to provide<br />

the proper support at the right time should they<br />

encounter problems.<br />

Aneesh Varma is founder and CEO, Aire<br />

Aneesh Varma<br />

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



Communication channels, and how<br />

we measure future success, are<br />

changing<br />

AUTHOR – Gareth Bailey<br />

WITH 95 percent of the<br />

UK population owning<br />

a mobile device and the<br />

explosion of the appbased<br />

finance culture,<br />

most people now see selfservice,<br />

smartphone solutions as a necessity.<br />

They demand a certain level of customer<br />

service alongside their digital conveniences,<br />

not least of all in the debt collection space.<br />

Today’s customers want the online tools to<br />

be able to help themselves at a time that is<br />

convenient to them, they want to take control<br />

of their finances and they want the technology<br />

to support it. Historically the greatest obstacle<br />

businesses face when dealing with their<br />

indebted customers is engagement.<br />

The collections and recoveries industry<br />

has traditionally lagged behind many other<br />

industry sectors when it comes to technology<br />

adoption and evolution. Customer behaviour<br />

and demands for engagement in this sector is<br />

creating a need for businesses to drive towards<br />

improving their technology.<br />

The collections industry now needs to<br />

evolve to support the needs and wants of the<br />

customers that it serves. Customer behaviour<br />

and desire to interact has changed significantly<br />

and continues to change at a rapid pace. Not<br />

everyone wants to engage in the same way,<br />

some customers want to speak to a person and<br />

others want to complete all transactions online.<br />

For this reason, there will always be a need for<br />

agent interaction albeit this is becoming a much<br />

smaller demand.<br />


Even the phrase ‘digital’ has evolved, and what<br />

we used to consider to be digital is already<br />

deemed standard practice today. A decade ago<br />

if a business had an IVR or IVM to take customer<br />

payments or direct a call, this was considered<br />

cutting edge ‘digital’ technology. Customers,<br />

however, often see these as antiquated and<br />

more of an annoyance than a good experience.<br />

Digital technology is already beginning<br />

to deliver almost humanlike interactions,<br />

making smart decisions and delivering up<br />

bespoke content to consumers. The use of this<br />

technology, however, is often fragmented and<br />

used in pockets across customer journeys. We<br />

see examples of chatbots helping customers<br />

to retrieve their balance, or details of a recent<br />

transaction but their scope is still relatively<br />

limited. The future of collections will see<br />

smartbots that can interact across the entire<br />

lifecycle of a customer account, answering,<br />

predicting and resolving all aspects of the<br />

customer query whilst also achieving the best<br />

outcome for the business. Customer journeys<br />

will need to combine all digital technology<br />

into one seamless journey; using smartbots<br />

to handle customer conversations whilst the<br />

web platform reacts to customer responses<br />

and business logic to serve up web content to<br />

provide a conversation like experience.<br />

Trust, transparency and customer loyalty<br />

are not phrases readily associated with the<br />

collections industry, however they need to be.<br />

Experience has shown that the most powerful<br />

customer engagement comes from building<br />

trust between a business and their customers.<br />

Trust can be built by consistent and relevant<br />

ongoing interactions and messaging which<br />

should always have a clear purpose. Content<br />

needs to be tailored and meaningful, and<br />

engagement needs to be as fluid and personal<br />

as it would be with a human.<br />

Through consistently meeting and exceeding<br />

customer expectations you can begin to grow<br />

customer loyalty. Customers that trust the<br />

companies they do business with will be more<br />

likely to engage and transact again in the future.<br />


The need for digital is clear from a customer<br />

point of view, but what does that mean for<br />

businesses? Businesses will need to invest<br />

in the initial technology solutions and also<br />

support ongoing enhancements. This will<br />

provide increased automation and result in a<br />

significant reduction in operating costs. We will<br />

see collection call centres reduce in size and<br />

agents will handle more specialised customer<br />

conversations. The need for vast office space<br />

will become a thing of the past as the remaining<br />

digital support staff work remotely.<br />

Over recent years the front-end experience<br />

for customers whether banking, utilities, or<br />

general online shopping has dramatically<br />

changed. We now see the incumbents across<br />

the banking industry being disrupted with new<br />

companies offering purely digital banking with<br />

no branches, and accounts being managed<br />

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


AUTHOR – Gareth Bailey<br />

on your side will be crucial. Old school contact<br />

strategies will be quickly replaced by ecommerce<br />

style marketing and social media experts.<br />

entirely from a mobile device. As digital<br />

adoption has gathered momentum across<br />

these traditional business sectors, we will see<br />

collections processes and engagement models<br />

emerge that follow a ‘digital first’ or ‘digital only’<br />

approach.<br />

Monzo and other challenger banks like<br />

Starling have launched consumer credit<br />

products, like overdrafts and loans. As they<br />

continue to help shape how customers are<br />

engaging in the lending space, when customers<br />

find themselves falling behind on payments,<br />

these new higher expectations need to carry<br />

through into collections journeys. This is why<br />

companies like Arrow from the debt purchase<br />

space, and Fintech businesses like DebtStream<br />

from the collections and recoveries digital<br />

software sector will continue to have a huge<br />

focus on UX to meet these consumer needs.<br />


Over the last 10 years we have seen the<br />

debt collection sector working much more<br />

collaboratively with a wider group of<br />

stakeholders. Government regulators, creditors<br />

and the debt advice sector have started to work<br />

together to balance the needs of customers<br />

alongside the needs of businesses. However,<br />

the industry still faces a huge reputational<br />

challenge.<br />

In the past, a negative consumer experience<br />

could have been confined to a bad press article,<br />

but now could go viral across social media<br />

platforms in minutes. Managing social media<br />

will become a mainstay of collection strategies<br />

of the future therefore having key influencers<br />

The future of<br />

collections will<br />

see smartbots that<br />

can interact across<br />

the entire lifecycle<br />

of a customer<br />

account, answering,<br />

predicting and<br />

resolving all aspects<br />

of the customer<br />

query whilst also<br />

achieving the best<br />

outcome for the<br />

business.<br />


The current impact from the Coronavirus is<br />

demonstrating how critical it is for companies<br />

to have a robust disaster recovery plan. Covid19<br />

has already had an unprecedented effect on<br />

the world’s workforce and poses a significant<br />

financial threat to businesses and consumers<br />

alike. It is crucial that companies can continue<br />

to operate and deliver their services, albeit in a<br />

changed operational model.<br />

We have already seen that call centres are at<br />

a particular risk due to the very nature of the coworking<br />

environments they normally operate<br />

within. It’s well known that digital products<br />

deliver business value due to the efficiencies<br />

they bring; however, they clearly also provide<br />

crucial disaster recovery options in times of<br />

crisis.<br />

When we eventually emerge from the current<br />

Coronavirus restrictions, many companies will<br />

have found that they were more efficient and<br />

effective when operating under the disaster<br />

recovery model they were forced to implement.<br />

This may cause businesses to re-evaluate their<br />

normal day-to-day operating models, including<br />

flexible and remote working for much larger<br />

proportions of their people.<br />

Importantly, as businesses introduce more<br />

remote working, this will require different ways<br />

to engage and support their people to ensure the<br />

feeling of teamwork is still a large focus.<br />


We are all familiar with the common terms<br />

used to measure elements of operational and<br />

collection performance: dialler spin rate, right<br />

party contact rate, average speed of answer,<br />

abandon rate, roll rate, impairment rate and<br />

many more. These metrics, however, have<br />

already started to change.<br />

As online engagement and ecommerce-style<br />

strategies emerge across collections, so will<br />

the metrics we use to measure performance.<br />

Bounce rate click through rate, goal progress,<br />

value per visit to name a few, will become terms<br />

and measures commonly used in the collections<br />

performance review meetings of the future.<br />

Simple measures of pounds through the door<br />

will not support the complex insights needed in<br />

the future.<br />

In the era where data is king, every click,<br />

swipe, toggle and keystroke will be collected and<br />

utilised to build a detailed picture of each and<br />

every customer. Understanding and optimising<br />

each customer touch point and behavioural<br />

nuance will set the top collections businesses<br />

apart from the rest as we move into the future.<br />

Gareth Bailey is co-founder and director<br />

of DebtStream<br />

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



Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong> speaks to Paladin’s Steve Fox about<br />

commercial collections, Procure-to-Pay, and why ‘jack of<br />

all trades’ are overrated.<br />

STEVE Fox is an unusual man.<br />

Not because he is an American<br />

working for a commercial<br />

collections agency in the UK,<br />

although that is unusual enough.<br />

What is more unusual, however,<br />

is that Steve used to be a client of the<br />

particular agency in question, Paladin. He<br />

was so impressed with his former supplier<br />

that he has now joined the business with<br />

a mission to transform the company with<br />

additional Procure-to-Pay and consultancy<br />

services to differentiate Paladin in a busy and<br />

increasingly crowded market.<br />

Growing up in Webster City, Iowa, in the<br />

heart of the mid-west, Steve admits to being<br />

a journeyman student but a better ball player:<br />

“My main interest was sport, especially<br />

baseball (he pitched and played second<br />

base) and basketball, and while I dreamed of<br />

playing for a living, and knew it was unlikely,<br />

I still always thought I’d end up working in<br />

the sports industry, perhaps as an agent or<br />

working within one of the league franchises.”<br />


As it was, Steve became an accountant: “My<br />

father was one of 15, and the two youngest<br />

brothers (who were twins) were both Certified<br />

Public Accountants (CPAs). They were my<br />

motivation for majoring in accountancy at<br />

university. They looked successful, lived in a<br />

large city (Chicago), and travelled, and that<br />

drove my interest.”<br />

Steve spent four years at Iowa State<br />

University, and in the last few months of study<br />

began exploring the options available to him:<br />

“Typically you would follow one of two routes:<br />

either join one of the larger PA firms, or join<br />

a State agency, usually as an auditor. Neither<br />

route held any attraction for me; hard-core<br />

technical accounting was not where I saw<br />

myself.”<br />

To this end, Steve had a little bit of luck: “I<br />

spoke to around 30 different companies and<br />

organisations who came to campus to recruit<br />

for new talent and was offered a job.”<br />

In fact, Steve was offered two jobs. The first,<br />

with the State of Iowa, he politely declined.<br />

The second, which he accepted, was for one<br />

of the largest businesses that nobody had<br />

ever heard of: the pharmaceutical wholesale<br />

distribution giant, McKesson. “Looking<br />

back on my career, this was a super critical<br />

time in my life and explains where I am now,”<br />

he remembers, smiling.<br />

As a site controller, Steve worked in a series<br />

of distribution centres throughout the US,<br />

initially learning about the company’s systems<br />

and processes, before being sent to West Palm<br />

Beach, Florida: “I had never been to Florida<br />

before,” he laughs. “It was a small distribution<br />

centre, I was 22-years old, and had four<br />

direct reports, all of who were older than me.<br />

Until then I had been trained on systems but<br />

there was very little training around people<br />

management. I learned a great deal in a<br />

very short space of time. I learned that to be<br />

successful you needed to be able to combine<br />

technical skills with people skills if you really<br />

wanted to make a go of it.”<br />


Steve spent nine enjoyable years at McKesson,<br />

working all over the US. He moved eight<br />

times: “For a young man happy to pack a bag<br />

and go anywhere they sent you, it was a great<br />

experience,” he adds. Phoenix, Arizona was<br />

his favourite: “It’s where I met my wife,” he<br />

jokes.<br />

An opportunity to join Gateway Computers<br />

proved too tempting, as did an opportunity to<br />

move to South Dakota, closer to home. It was<br />

an exciting time to join a new business at the<br />

start of the personal computing phenomenon:<br />

“Gateway was a leader in the consumer space,<br />

and it was a relatively sexy industry. It was the<br />

mid-1990s and Apple weren’t even considered<br />

a competitor.”<br />

It was at Gateway that Steve further extended<br />

the concept of the Shared Services Centre that<br />

he’d instigated at McKesson, and became<br />

something of an expert: “Not many companies<br />

were doing it at that time but Gateway saw it as<br />

a key part of their M&A playbook, to transition<br />

new teams. We not only had integrated payroll<br />

but also HR, and by the time I left we had 450<br />

people in our SSC.”<br />

In 2007, Steve swapped computers for<br />

biotech, and was invited by a former boss to<br />

join Invitrogen in San Diego. It reinforced the<br />

value of contacts and networking: “I made one<br />

call to my former boss and she said ‘I thought<br />

you’d never leave’,” he continues. “A week later<br />

I was on a flight and offered a job on site.”<br />

Ultimately having the grand title of<br />

‘Controller for the Americas’, Steve set up an<br />

SSC in North America and South America,<br />

“My main interest<br />

was sport, especially<br />

baseball and<br />

basketball, and while<br />

I dreamed of playing<br />

for a living, and knew<br />

it was unlikely, I still<br />

always thought I’d<br />

end up working in<br />

the sports industry,<br />

perhaps as an agent<br />

or working within<br />

one of the league<br />

franchises.”<br />

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


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

and then replicated the model in Europe, by<br />

which time Invitrogen had merged to become<br />

Life Technologies, a $4.5 billion business. Life<br />

Technologies was in turn acquired by Thermo<br />

Fisher to become a $25 billion+ business.<br />


It was at Invitrogen that he first started using<br />

Paladin to support a need for commercial<br />

recoveries: “They were able to recover money<br />

from anywhere in the world,” Steve explains,<br />

“and were able to flex their staffing levels and<br />

flex their coverage to accommodate our needs<br />

across multiple time zones. What I liked about<br />

working with them was that we moved from<br />

being a client/supplier relationship to becoming<br />

a true partnership where we relied on each<br />

other.<br />

“We had an open dialogue and could look at<br />

one another across the table, even if it was bad<br />

news. We’d tell each other what we needed. In<br />

“For a young man<br />

happy to pack<br />

a bag and go<br />

anywhere they<br />

sent you, it was a<br />

great experience,<br />

Phoenix, Arizona<br />

was my favourite:<br />

“It’s where I met my<br />

wife.”<br />

negotiations, everyone thinks there has to be a<br />

winner, but if there’s a winner then there has to<br />

be a loser. We looked at it differently. We found<br />

common ground so that we both won.”<br />

Paladin had been founded by George Miles in<br />

1997 as a pure commercial collections business.<br />

Steve’s relationship with George was such that<br />

they determined at some point to work together:<br />

“My parents had both been entrepreneurs: my<br />

father was a barber and my mother owned her<br />

own insurance agency, and so it was perhaps<br />

inevitable that I would one day want to ‘scratch<br />

an entrepreneurial itch’,” he says.<br />

The opportunity came when Thermo Fisher<br />

and Steve made the difficult decision to part<br />

ways “I’d also been working at the hard-end<br />

of the corporate world for nearly 30 years and<br />

wanted to do something different.”<br />

Steve was excited in joining Paladin, and<br />

the potential to expand its capabilities: “It was<br />

always exclusively a debt collection business<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 25<br />

continues on page 26 >


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

Steve Fox<br />

and I felt it could be so much more,” he says.<br />

Throughout the course of 2019, Paladin<br />

launched two new services: a Procure-to-<br />

Pay proposition, and a Shared Service Centre<br />

consultancy: “There are plenty of companies<br />

out there who do debt collection; a handful<br />

that focus on Procure-to-Pay; and a number<br />

that provide a classic SSC consultancy. But I<br />

am not aware of any that deliver all three under<br />

the same roof.”<br />


Procure-to-Pay is defined typically as the<br />

process of requisitioning, purchasing,<br />

receiving, paying for and accounting for goods<br />

and services. It gets its name from the ordered<br />

sequence of procurement and financial<br />

processes, starting with the first steps of<br />

procuring a good or service to the final steps<br />

involved in paying for it.<br />

Steve says that the Procure-to-Pay proposition<br />

is already proving popular. In one example of a<br />

c£0.5 billion business Paladin ‘found’ £250,000<br />

in 60 days, money that in this case acted as a<br />

windfall for the business which they invested<br />

in employee training and development. The<br />

money that Paladin finds from a client’s<br />

suppliers stems from such things as rebate<br />

credits, returned merchandise credits,<br />

duplicate payments, over-payments etc. In one<br />

example Steve cites, a customer had pre-paid a<br />

supplier £2.7 million for future works, but when<br />

the work was finally undertaken, they were<br />

charged again, since no record had been kept,<br />

teams had moved on, and the pre-payment<br />

forgotten! In another example, and in answer<br />

to my question about how difficult it is to get<br />

suppliers to engage when there is no obligation<br />

for them to do so, Paladin approached 4,206<br />

suppliers for a particular client and every one<br />

of them replied with a statement of account.<br />

Paladin’s ‘traditional’ commercial recoveries<br />

service also continues to do well: “Every<br />

company is proud of their revenue and their<br />

margin, but even if you have a 90 percent<br />

margin it’s actually zero if you can’t collect it,”<br />

Steve says.<br />

“Transactions are ultimately based on trust<br />

but if the cycle breaks down then you still need<br />

to find a way of turning that revenue into cash.<br />

Things happen, and our role is to ‘fix’ what<br />

might have gone wrong and do so in a way that<br />

still allows the relationship to continue and<br />

rebuild the trust between the two parties. We<br />

help our clients understand what went wrong<br />

without it turning into a blame game. Very<br />

rarely is it a case of the parties agreeing to split<br />

the difference and go their separate ways.”<br />


So, when should a credit manager look to<br />

engage a commercial collections provider?<br />

“When your debt is 90-days post terms and<br />

you’ve exhausted your usual in-house practices,<br />

that’s the time to call in additional help. We<br />

can white label our service to collect in your<br />

name or as a third party and have teams that<br />

are skilled in both.”<br />

Steve is excited about what the future holds,<br />

and over the next few years is looking to<br />

further grow the Paladin business across all<br />

of its services. And what advice would he give<br />

his younger self if he were starting out again<br />

today? It’s a question that resonates, since his<br />

eldest son has just started work for Microsoft:<br />

“I think it would be to find something that<br />

you’d like to do that you can become an expert<br />

at,” he muses.<br />

“Being a ‘jack of all trades’ is somewhat oversold.<br />

Become technically proficient to the<br />

point that others respect you and respect the<br />

value that you bring. And have some fun while<br />

you’re doing it!”<br />

“When your debt is 90-days post<br />

terms and you’ve exhausted<br />

your usual in-house practices,<br />

that’s the time to call in<br />

additional help. We can white<br />

label our service to collect in<br />

your name or as a third party<br />

and have teams that are skilled<br />

in both.”<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 26



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>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 27




Considerations in creating a strategic<br />

credit management department. Part Two<br />

AUTHOR – Matthew Godby MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

IN the first part of this series, we<br />

looked at what a strategic credit<br />

management department is and<br />

what it should look like. We talked<br />

about traditional ‘reactionary’<br />

departments – those that tend to<br />

deal with issues as they occur; and those<br />

who are more strategic and collaborative in<br />

approach – driving improvement with others<br />

and preventing problems occurring in the<br />

first place.<br />

Strategic credit management is not just<br />

about collecting money from customers.<br />

It is about working together across wider<br />

business, to ensure the whole Order to Cash<br />

(O2C) pathway is as efficient as it can be – and<br />

it is reviewed and adapted as the business<br />

grows and evolves. Let’s look at some of the<br />

considerations for developing a strategic<br />

credit management department, starting<br />

with leadership.<br />


Without effective leadership, failure is<br />

likely to be inevitable. It stands to reason,<br />

therefore, that having a credit manager with<br />

the right skills and capabilities is key. This<br />

takes someone who can lead from the front<br />

and by example; collaborative by nature;<br />

good communication skills and the ability<br />

to inspire others to succeed. They need to<br />

be able to present sometimes complicated<br />

financial information in a meaningful way,<br />

which can therefore be used to drive real<br />

change (this can be particularly difficult<br />

to do), and constantly review what works<br />

and what doesn’t, adapting and changing<br />

accordingly.<br />


It stands to reason that a more efficient O2C<br />

cycle tends to lead to increased company<br />

profit.<br />

• Onboarding and risk: a sale isn’t a sale until<br />

you’ve been paid, and late paying customers<br />

cost money. It should therefore be policy<br />

that all new customers are credit checked,<br />

without exception, which provides the best<br />

chance of having a portfolio of customers<br />

who pay on time. Ensure sales staff aren’t<br />

wasting their time on prospects with poor<br />

credit ratings by encouraging them to ask for<br />

credit checks as early as possible. Vary credit<br />

terms dependent on risk. Implement credit<br />

limits to mitigate your exposure to loss.<br />

Continue to risk assess existing customers<br />

through CRAs, payment patterns and your<br />

own continued commercial experience.<br />

• Invoicing: frequency varies from business<br />

to business but clearly, the more regularly<br />

invoices are issued, the more often customers<br />

will pay. Ensuring they are checked for<br />

correctness before being sent out on time,<br />

means customers will pay quicker. Invoice<br />

disputes are inevitable, which take time,<br />

resources and delay payment – carrying out<br />

regular root cause analysis of the typical<br />

ones prevents them from occurring in the<br />

first place. EDI invoicing is, by definition,<br />

electronic and the most efficient method.<br />

‘Manual’ invoicing usually occurs where<br />

internal systems are inadequate, or customers<br />

request a particular format. It can become<br />

the norm and often takes a disproportionate<br />

time and resource – this should be avoided<br />

wherever possible.<br />

• Credit controlling: pro-active credit<br />

control should be standard. When done<br />

well, it enhances customer relationships,<br />

highlights issues early on and gets you paid<br />

quicker. Overdue letters (a suite of three is<br />

ideal) and statements are integral to this<br />

process and as with invoicing practices,<br />

should be sent out on time every time. This<br />

provides ample warnings and opportunities<br />

for customers to pay and if they don’t, orders<br />

should be placed on stop.<br />

Monitor payment patterns closely and use<br />

segmentation to prioritise those customers<br />

of most concern. Be honest and clear to<br />

customers about the consequences for<br />

continually paying late – revise payment<br />

terms or credit limits if necessary. Every<br />

day a customer pays late is an erosion on<br />

your profit margins, so question whether it<br />

is worth continuing to trade with those who<br />

never pay on time.<br />


It’s crucial to have the systems in place<br />

that can track, measure and report progress<br />

consistently, easily and transparently.<br />

Workflow dashboards allow credit<br />

Strategic credit<br />

management is not<br />

just about collecting<br />

money from<br />

customers. It is about<br />

working together<br />

across wider business,<br />

to ensure the whole<br />

Order to Cash (O2C)<br />

pathway is as efficient<br />

as it can be.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 28


AUTHOR – Matthew Godby MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

controllers to schedule their calls, segment<br />

customers, flag disputes, monitor payment<br />

patterns and more. They allow management to<br />

conduct cashflow forecasts, understand risks,<br />

measure DSO, benchmark goals and set targets.<br />

There are also specialist organisations that<br />

provide on-line credit management dashboards.<br />

These vary in sophistication and cost, can be offthe-shelf<br />

or bespoke and can pull in additional<br />

information from CRAs, Companies House and<br />

more. This can allow businesses to build a much<br />

wider profile of their customers.<br />

I’ve often seen businesses that spend a<br />

disproportionate amount of time sending out<br />

the same reports, to the same audience, in<br />

the same format, because it has ‘always been<br />

done this way’ – only for a handful of people<br />

to read them. Reporting only serves a purpose<br />

if it is meaningful, useful, understandable and<br />

provided from a position of knowledge.<br />


It never fails to surprise me to see staff in<br />

roles that they clearly aren’t suited for. This is<br />

completely counterproductive and inefficient.<br />

(Many years ago, I remember working with an<br />

organisation who had a credit controller who<br />

didn’t enjoy calling customers for payment).<br />

The effects to the business in terms of results<br />

The responsibility<br />

for business<br />

strategy comes<br />

from its leadership.<br />

How strategic<br />

a credit control<br />

department may<br />

become will be<br />

determined by the<br />

credit manager<br />

and the support of<br />

his/her leadership<br />

team.<br />

can be significant, as well as to the individual<br />

concerned in terms of their health and mental<br />

wellbeing. It is the duty of leaders to evaluate<br />

individual skillsets for the appropriate position.<br />

And then to provide the necessary support<br />

through induction, training and mentoring for<br />

them to achieve their full potential.<br />


Developing a credit policy places formally, and in<br />

writing, the role of the credit control department,<br />

the responsibilities of other departments and<br />

how the business interacts with its customers.<br />

This ensures tasks, responsibilities and actions<br />

are transparent, consistent and understood by<br />

everyone. It should be audited annually and<br />

ratified by the board.<br />

Creating a ‘Ways of Working’ document for<br />

the credit control department is an excellent<br />

idea. Distinct from the credit policy, it outlines<br />

very simply what the purpose and values of<br />

the credit control department are. Written and<br />

developed by the credit control staff themselves<br />

(with the support of the manager) gives it a lot<br />

more weight as a living, breathing ‘this is how<br />

we go about our business.’<br />


We talked earlier about how traditional credit<br />

control departments tend to be somewhat<br />

reactionary, with a reputation that they are only<br />

heard from when there is bad news. Strategic,<br />

proactive credit departments rely on the support<br />

of all areas of the business to succeed:<br />

Credit managers should encourage an<br />

atmosphere of openness and transparency<br />

with and between their staff. They should seek<br />

honest opinions, ideas and feedback from staff<br />

who, after all, are often best placed to provide<br />

it. Team briefs are a must, should be at least<br />

weekly and provide the necessary space to have<br />

professional discussions.<br />

• Credit control staff should be encouraged<br />

and supported to work with other departments<br />

to solve problems. Working together prevents<br />

issues occurring in the first place, allows<br />

understanding of how other departments<br />

work and breeds confidence in staff of pulling<br />

together to getting things done.<br />

• Credit managers should build relationships<br />

with their counterpart leaders whose<br />

departments affect credit control (e.g. sales),<br />

which will drive change. The credit manager<br />

should attend board meetings. They should meet<br />

with customers and other external stakeholders.<br />

The responsibility for business strategy<br />

comes from its leadership. How strategic a<br />

credit control department may become will<br />

be determined by the credit manager and the<br />

support of his/her leadership team.<br />

Matt Godby MCI<strong>CM</strong> (Grad), Director –<br />

Godby Credit Management Ltd<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 29


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credit professionals invest in themselves! To help you do this, we make sure that all of our events are packed<br />

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Benefits of Membership<br />

Join Your First Virtual Zoom Forum<br />

As a CI<strong>CM</strong> Member you are invited to attend your first virtual meeting completely free of charge and without obligation.<br />

This gives you the chance to assess the benefits of membership for yourself before making any commitments. All Forums<br />

International events will be taking place virtually during the COVID-19 crisis. Join us from the comfort of your own home.<br />

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or visit our website - www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

Join Your First Virtual Zoom Forum<br />

As a CI<strong>CM</strong> Member you are invited to attend your first virtual meeting completely free of charge and without obligation.<br />

This gives you the chance to assess the benefits of membership for yourself before making any commitments. All Forums<br />

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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 30


Captive Audience<br />

Engaging with your audience from the start.<br />

AUTHOR – Clive Hawkins<br />

THE onset of Coronavirus<br />

has changed every part<br />

of our lives and has<br />

forced us to adapt to new<br />

ways of working. This<br />

has led to a big increase in<br />

spare bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms<br />

being turned into makeshift settings for<br />

online conference calls, team meetings and<br />

presentations.<br />

Whilst this has shown to be a flexible<br />

and effective way of working, it gives<br />

audiences a rare glimpse into presenters’<br />

homes and backdrop of books, photographs<br />

and pictures adorning the walls they are<br />

presenting from – and sometimes even<br />

seeing family members wandering in as<br />

well! This will often provide interesting<br />

and amusing insights. However, it can also<br />

distract audiences and lead to the backdrop<br />

becoming the point of interest rather than<br />

what the presenter is saying.<br />

With any public speaking delivery –<br />

whether its online or in front of a live<br />

audience – you have only a very short<br />

period of time to capture attention from<br />

the start. So here are a few key tips to help<br />

captivate your audience:<br />


Rehearse your presentation until you can<br />

deliver it in your sleep and don’t need to<br />

rely on speaking notes. Check your slides<br />

are ready to go in the correct order and<br />

that the camera, microphone and lighting<br />

are positioned correctly for your delivery.<br />

You will need to decide on the appropriate<br />

backdrop to complement your delivery and<br />

avoid any distractions. If you are presenting<br />

from home, it is also worth putting up a<br />

‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door and<br />

locking pets in another room to deter<br />

anyone unexpectedly walking in. Thorough<br />

preparation is fundamental to a successful<br />

presentation.<br />


One of the most nerve-racking parts of any<br />

presentation is immediately before you<br />

start your delivery. Expectation is high as<br />

your audience settles down to focus on you.<br />

They are eager to hear what you have to say<br />

and are already forming an opinion about<br />

you before you have even started speaking.<br />

So, what can you say to capture interest<br />

from the start? It can help to begin with a<br />

rhetorical question, key fact or reference to<br />

a society anniversary that aligns with your<br />

presentation. These can all be effective in<br />

helping you hook in your audience from<br />

the beginning. You should monitor news<br />

coverage in the run-up to your presentation<br />

as this ensures you able to adapt your<br />

delivery to changing circumstances – which<br />

is what we are seeing on a daily basis with<br />

Coronavirus.<br />

An audience will find you engaging and<br />

credible if you can deliver your presentation<br />

with interest, enthusiasm, and focus on<br />

their subject interests. This is where an<br />

effective use of your body language will<br />

also come into play. You need to consider:<br />

the words you say: are you going to use<br />

easy-to-understand content, abbreviations,<br />

memorable facts and figures, and seek<br />

to have more of a conversation with the<br />

audience?<br />

the way you look: are you dressed<br />

appropriately for your presentation or could<br />

your attire unwittingly be a distraction?<br />

Have you considered your posture so you<br />

are looking comfortable and confident?<br />

Are you going to avoid waving your arms or<br />

looking away from your audience?<br />

the way you sound: are you going to talk<br />

eloquently, avoid any ‘ums’ and ‘ers’ in your<br />

delivery and use your voice effectively for<br />

tone, emphasis and pace?<br />

Delivering a powerful presentation will<br />

require you to focus on all these areas in<br />

tandem. Initially, it is hard to co-ordinate<br />

everything. With practice, it becomes<br />

second-nature and when you see your<br />

audience focusing on your delivery from<br />

start to finish, you know you have cracked<br />

it!<br />

Clive Hawkins is Senior Associate<br />

at Spoken Word Communications<br />

clive@spokenwordgroup.co.uk<br />

Clive Hawkins<br />

It gives audiences<br />

a rare glimpse into<br />

presenters’ homes<br />

and backdrop of<br />

books, photographs<br />

and pictures adorning<br />

the walls they are<br />

presenting from –<br />

and sometimes even<br />

seeing family members<br />

wandering in as well!<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 31


TRADE<br />

Monthly round-up of the latest stories<br />

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.<br />

No-one should want to<br />

read (about) this CV<br />

THERE is but one story on everyone’s lips<br />

right now - the impact of Coronavirus on<br />

the world and its economies.<br />

Aside from the stories of human<br />

suffering and community lockdown,<br />

there are predictions of a global<br />

recession. While some have been talking<br />

of a slowdown or market correction<br />

for some time now, what has become<br />

apparent is beyond anything that could<br />

have been imagined, let alone planned<br />

for.<br />

The first problem, as if it needs stating,<br />

is how firms preserve cash despite the<br />

help that the government is able to offer<br />

– and ideally without letting staff go.<br />

Next, for exporters at least, it’s important<br />

A single currency such as the euro or<br />

the West African eco is a great idea<br />

on paper. However, as with life, they’re<br />

rarely simple to deploy and keep<br />

stable. The former has been battered<br />

in years past following the financial<br />

meltdown of 2008-2012 and its use as<br />

a tool to prop up a number of almost<br />

bankrupt European economies, the<br />

that they are aware of the position that<br />

their customers are in. Coronavirus<br />

may well tip the global economy into<br />

recession as consumers hunker down<br />

for the long term and governments ban<br />

travel while some businesses are forced<br />

to close. (Although those supplying the<br />

supermarkets and wider food chain – as<br />

well as some electrical goods such as TVs<br />

– are currently doing well.)<br />

But a key issue for exporters to contend<br />

with is how to ship product to overseas<br />

customers while making provision for an<br />

inability to make shipments. Airfreight<br />

is likely to be impacted and borders may<br />

be open for trade presently, but in such<br />

trying times anything can happen.<br />


latter was meant to be introduced<br />

in 2003, 2005, 2010, 2014 and <strong>2020</strong><br />

to replace the CFA Franc but is still<br />

waiting to be launched.<br />

Looking at the euro, it is likely<br />

to come under more pressure as a<br />

result of Italy suspending mortgage<br />

payments as Coronavirus bites, and<br />

Germany (along with the rest of the<br />



LEBANON has been involved in a number of<br />

conflicts in the last 70 years – it’s been sucked<br />

into war against Israel, insurrections, a civil war<br />

and a spill over from the troubles in Syria. But the<br />

country seemed to be making headway. However,<br />

it has a debt problem that is now too big to ignore<br />

and the new Lebanese prime minister, Hassan<br />

Diab, has said that the country will, for the first<br />

time ever, default on $1.2bn in foreign currency<br />

debt so that it can ‘secure the basic needs’ of its<br />

people.<br />

The debt crisis is a self-made problem that is<br />

the result of Lebanon running growing budget<br />

deficits and maintaining a negative balance<br />

of payments for years. The country has been<br />

spending half of its income servicing debt.<br />

Nevertheless, there are two problems for<br />

businesses, and by extension, exporters dealing<br />

with Lebanon. Firstly, it appears that two-thirds<br />

of government debt is held by local banks while<br />

the second is that an IMF loan may be the only<br />

option left. There is now a very real risk that<br />

the banks could fail and that those with assets<br />

or cash in the country could be forced to take a<br />

‘haircut’ akin to that forced on Cypriots in 2013<br />

that cost them 47.5 percent of bank deposits over<br />

€100,000.<br />

So, if you trade with partners in the country be<br />

ever so careful about managing your receivables.<br />

world to be fair) is likely to be pushed<br />

into recession. If Italy follows Germany<br />

into recession, it’ll be its fourth since<br />

the global financial crisis, a move<br />

that will push government debt above<br />

$2.5trn or 135 percent of GDP.<br />

Coronavirus is bringing so many<br />

influences together to form a perfect<br />

storm and exporters need to be wary.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 32

Japan’s VAT rise squeezes<br />

the economy<br />

YOU couldn’t make it up. It appears, not<br />

unsurprisingly, that Japan’s economy<br />

contracted by 6.3 percent in the last quarter<br />

of 2019 following a rise in the country’s rate<br />

of VAT. Simple maths indicates that a rise in<br />

VAT is going to make some consumers think<br />

twice about what they buy, so consumer<br />

spending fell by 11.5 percent.<br />

But what makes the rise in VAT hard to<br />

fathom is that the government apparently<br />

had no real need for the extra revenue yet<br />

raised VAT on many consumer goods from<br />

eight to ten percent anyway. The Japanese<br />

government clearly didn’t learn from its past<br />

‘errors’ because the same thing happened<br />

in 2014 which was followed by a similar fall<br />

as did an increase back in 1997. The rise<br />

is even more remarkable as the Japanese<br />

government has a stated policy of boosting<br />

private spending and increasing inflation<br />

from its current 0.8 percent to a two percent<br />

target.<br />

And here’s the message for exporters –<br />

any rise in VAT is bound to make it harder<br />

to sell goods to consumers who cannot<br />

recover the tax. So, if your products are<br />

aimed squarely at consumers you may want<br />

to either move your attention to different<br />

markets, make your products less expensive<br />

or scale back production.<br />

As to what the Japanese government does<br />

next to support the economy in the face of<br />

the threat of coronavirus, that’s anyone’s<br />

guess.<br />

Atradius maps the risks of trade<br />

THEY say that a picture is worth a<br />

thousand words and so exporters<br />

wishing to see where global tradingrelated<br />

risks are greatest would be well<br />

advised to spend some time looking at<br />

Atradius’ Country Risk Map. Granted it<br />

uses data from Q4 2019, which given the<br />

current situation may be a touch out of<br />

date, but it’s interesting for if nothing<br />

else, it generally reinforces what we<br />

know to be the most ‘at risk’ countries.<br />

The US, Canada and most of northern<br />

Europe is low risk – as is Greenland.<br />

Lumped together as moderate-low<br />

risk are Spain, Portugal and Italy with<br />

many of the former communist states,<br />

Russia, India, China and Saudi Arabia.<br />

South Africa, Turkey and Brazil are<br />

considered a moderate risk while those<br />

countries to be handled with extreme<br />

caution include Sudan, the Democratic<br />

Republic of the Congo and Mali. No<br />

prizes for how North Korea, Iran, Iraq and<br />

Syria are rated.<br />

The map isn’t static and this time<br />

around Bulgaria, Dominican Republic,<br />

Jamaica and Portugal rose in Atradius’<br />

estimation while Angola, Argentina,<br />

Chile and Lebanon sank.<br />

As to how the risk map is compiled,<br />

the company says it uses political<br />

risks, the likelihood of conflict, risk of<br />

confiscation, currency controls, a state’s<br />

willingness to pay its bills and the ability<br />

of businesses to pay their international<br />

bills. So, just as a hiker shouldn’t leave<br />

home without a good OS map, exporters<br />

shouldn’t do business with overseas<br />

partners without consulting this map.<br />



CORONAVIRUS has exacerbated<br />

Sterling’s fall through the floor against<br />

other key currencies. The fall has started<br />

as a result of the government’s Brexit<br />

negotiations (remember that?). By 19<br />

March, Sterling had fallen to €1.05 at one<br />

point before ‘recovering’ to €1.09 by the<br />

day’s end. And against the dollar, it dropped<br />

to $1.14 before rising to nearly $1.15. Now<br />

compare those rates to 10 days earlier<br />

where one pound would have bought<br />

€1.15 and $1.30. What will happen next is<br />

anyone’s guess, but the swing in exchange<br />

rates may either be a blessing or a curse<br />

depending on which side of the fence you<br />

sit.<br />

But there is a solution. If you’ve not<br />

thought about it already, you should<br />

employ a currency trader to fix your rates.<br />

Whether that’s through the use of forward<br />

contracts, stop loss orders, or options, a<br />

trader can help provide comfort against<br />

adverse exchange rates. Conversely, it<br />

might even offer an opportunity to make<br />

money. Either way, exporters must protect<br />

their currency exposure.<br />



IT seems crass to talk about business<br />

opportunities when it comes to<br />

Coronavirus, but it should be entirely clear<br />

to any bystander that healthcare spending<br />

is surging across the world. And this<br />

makes the sector a target for any business<br />

able to offer supplies, staff, equipment and<br />

buildings.<br />

The UK has said that the NHS will get<br />

whatever it needs to handle the pandemic<br />

and governments around the world are<br />

doing much the same. The EU Commission<br />

announced in February a new €232 million<br />

aid package to boost global preparedness,<br />

prevention and containment of the virus.<br />

And the US has an $8.3bn package that<br />

will be spent on research and development<br />

of vaccines, research for treatments,<br />

telehealth services and state-based public<br />

health services.<br />

So, while on the one hand it seems unfair<br />

to exploit the present emergency it should<br />

be remembered that UK firms could well<br />

hold the key to helping those in need.<br />



OR CALL 020 7738 0777<br />

Currency UK is authorised and regulated<br />

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).<br />


GBP/EUR 1.15271 1.06078 Up<br />

GBP/USD<br />

1.26416 1.14767 Up<br />

GBP/CHF<br />

GBP/AUD<br />

1.21378 1.12388 Up<br />

2.05564 1.95173 Down<br />

GBP/CAD 1.777704 1.66659 Up<br />

GBP/JPY<br />

135.46293 125.99350 Up<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 33<br />

This data was taken on 20th April and refers to the month<br />

previous to/leading up to 19th April <strong>2020</strong>.


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In business meetings,<br />

silence may suggest<br />

trouble<br />

Silence is golden<br />

Part Two: Vietnam<br />

ONE of the reasons that<br />

Vietnam has risen higher<br />

in the World Bank’s ease<br />

of doing business ratings<br />

is because the government<br />

has been reforming what<br />

was once a complicated tax system. It’s of<br />

note that the Tax Department has issued<br />

regulations that have helped created<br />

favourable conditions for businesses.<br />

The country has also moved into the 21st<br />

century when it comes to tax reporting<br />

and electronic tax declarations were fully<br />

implemented late 2017.<br />

Income tax rates follow seven bands,<br />

based on income, and range from five<br />

percent (up to five million Vietnamese<br />

dong (VND)) to 35 percent (more than 80mn<br />

VND). On top of that are the usual taxes<br />

on business income (one- to five-percent),<br />

interest and dividends (five percent), sale of<br />

real estate (two percent) and inheritances/<br />

gifts/prizes (ten percent) and more. A good<br />

advisor is essential given the remaining<br />

complexities.<br />

It’s quite telling that despite the advent<br />

of modern payment methods Vietnam<br />

is still one of the most cash-dependent<br />

economies in the world; more than 90<br />

percent of all domestic transactions are<br />

done in cash as there is a lack of ATMs<br />

and trustworthy cashless systems. As The<br />

Travel Brief wrote: “While credit cards are<br />

accepted in many places in major cities like<br />

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, you will still<br />

have a lot of trouble getting around without<br />

enough cash in hand.”<br />

The matter isn’t helped by Vietnamese<br />

who feel distrustful of corrupt local banks.<br />

As such, many Vietnamese businesses<br />

use wire transfers to send funds. Fintech<br />

Singapore reported in January 2017 that the<br />

government planned to make the country<br />

cashless by <strong>2020</strong>. The goal is to provide<br />

the infrastructure for such a system while<br />

increasing the fees on cash payments,<br />

and decreasing fees related to electronic<br />

payments.<br />


Intellectual property rights are key for<br />

any business and while Vietnam, like<br />

other nations, offers protections, the<br />

enforcement of the law is very weak, and<br />

abuse remains a problem. The government<br />

is taking steps to address the problem, and<br />

has introduced new legislation to protect<br />

IP rights, including copyright, industrial<br />

property and plant varieties.<br />

It’s important to recognise that home<br />

IP protections will not apply in Vietnam.<br />

Foreign companies that want to register<br />

their intellectual ownership should file<br />

an application with the National Office<br />

of Industrial Property of Vietnam via an<br />

“While credit cards are<br />

accepted in many places<br />

in major cities like Hanoi<br />

and Ho Chi Minh City,<br />

you will still have a lot<br />

of trouble getting around<br />

without enough cash in<br />

hand.”<br />

authorised agent. The Copyright Office<br />

of Vietnam (COV) administers copyright<br />

protection law. Although copyright<br />

can be protected in Vietnam without<br />

any registration requirement, formal<br />

recordation of copyright at the COV is<br />

recommended.<br />

Vietnam is a part of the Patent<br />

Cooperation Treaty and the Madrid<br />

Agreement Concerning the International<br />

Registration of Marks. Patent and trademark<br />

applicants may use these international<br />

systems for filing international patent<br />

and trademark applications for requesting<br />

protection in Vietnam.<br />


Despite reform in the country, corruption<br />

is still widespread in Vietnam and anyone<br />

doing business in the country is likely to<br />

encounter it or hear of it at some point.<br />

However, the Vietnamese government<br />

is fighting the problem and its Anti-<br />

Corruption Law 2005 is considered by the<br />

World Bank to be among the best anticorruption<br />

legal frameworks in Asia.<br />


Vietnamese remains the dominant language<br />

and the Vietnamese appreciate foreigners<br />

trying simple phrases. A handshake and a<br />

slight bow of the head is given when saying<br />

hello and goodbye.<br />

Deals are rarely completed in a<br />

few encounters and person to person<br />

conversations are preferred over online<br />

communication and emails. Cold calling is<br />

not recommended.<br />

When giving or receiving business cards,<br />

do so with both hands and the card should<br />

be read; anything otherwise is deemed<br />

offensive; business cards ought to have<br />

both English and Vietnamese translations.<br />

Seniority and hierarchy are important<br />

in Vietnam, so giving the eldest person<br />

respect by giving them a business card first<br />

is appropriate.<br />

Similarly, documents should be<br />

translated into Vietnamese and agendas<br />

before meetings are welcomed. Silence<br />

means contemplation and interruptions<br />

are considered rude. Further, silence may<br />

be used when someone disagrees.<br />

Saying ‘yes’ may merely indicate<br />

understanding, rather than actual<br />

agreement so it’s best to follow up and<br />

confirm with a business partner to<br />

understand if a deal has actually been<br />

agreed.<br />

Vietnamese will ask questions that may<br />

seem personal to a foreigner – discussing<br />

family and personal life is normal and<br />

is seen as a sign of friendliness and<br />

interest. Lastly, as with many other Asian<br />

countries, a person’s reputation, dignity,<br />

and prestige – ‘face’ – is very important<br />

and unintentionally causing a loss of face<br />

due to their words or actions should be<br />

avoided… suggestions or challenges should<br />

be dealt with in private.<br />

Adam Bernstein is a freelance business<br />

writer.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 35



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labour intensive tasks.<br />

T: +44 7399 406889<br />

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com<br />

W: www.highradius.com<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 />

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: 0870 081 8250<br />

E: emea-info@bottomline.com<br />

W: www.bottomline.com/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 />

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 />

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>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 36

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>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 37




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 />

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 />

T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.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 />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 38


Roll Up<br />

A tale of toilet rolls, the 4x4 middle classes, and<br />

words of wisdom from a senior Fellow.<br />

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

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

I<br />

always read this magazine from cover<br />

to cover and there were two worthy<br />

candidates for the ‘Monthly Words of<br />

Wisdom Awards’ in the March issue.<br />

The first was the editorial by<br />

Sean Feast. (It should be said here<br />

and now, by the way, that in the grumpy old<br />

man stakes, he is at this time nowt but an<br />

apprentice, with a number of years intensive<br />

training still to undergo before graduating<br />

into the hallowed arena of yours truly and<br />

Arthur Smith.)<br />

I take exception to being told by everyone<br />

under the age of 25 that I am totally to blame<br />

for the rise in sea levels, or Storm Jorge (trust<br />

the Spanish Met Office to come up with a<br />

name that nobody outside Madrid could<br />

pronounce correctly). As the Iron Lady once<br />

said in the Parliamentary Zoo Enclosure – No!<br />

No! No! My generation had milk delivered to<br />

the doorstep in reusable glass bottles, shops<br />

used brown carrier bags with string handles,<br />

and the weekly groceries came to the door<br />

courtesy of Granville on a bicycle. Even the<br />

supermarket kept large cardboard boxes by<br />

the checkouts.<br />

Walking to school was the norm back then,<br />

and when we threw the kids out at 08:00am,<br />

we did not expect to see them back before<br />

16.30, an even more important discipline to<br />

be observed during the school holidays. The<br />

temptation to move house during the day<br />

and leave no forwarding address was almost<br />

overpowering by September, let me tell you.<br />


Of course, we are all to blame and the second<br />

article in the March magazine was that by<br />

Brian Murnane, of Carbon Action. Balanced,<br />

sensible, realistic are words which spring to<br />

mind – I often think that the calm and quiet<br />

explanation of where we are and what we<br />

need to do is far more effective than climbing<br />

on top of a Tube train or blocking the doors<br />

of the bank. We ordinary folk listen carefully<br />

to the former and are inclined to dismiss the<br />

latter as unnecessary sensationalism.<br />

I am doing my bit though I will agree that<br />

getting my West Yorkshire Metro bus pass at<br />

60, together with a Senior Railcard does put<br />

me at an advantage. I do have a car – one<br />

which reflects my personality (old, rusty<br />

and with moving parts perhaps no longer<br />

as efficient as they once were), but when I<br />

filled the tank with petrol this March,<br />

I realised that the last time I filled the tank<br />

was in October, 2019. Why on earth would I<br />

want to drive to Leeds, Bradford, Manchester<br />

or Liverpool when there are perfectly good<br />

(ok, not perfect) public transport alternatives?<br />

I walk into town – please note that legs were<br />

made for walking, and not for pushing down<br />

pedals – and remain capable of carrying<br />

shopping, having two arms designed for the<br />

task.<br />

It is an irony on the carbon front, of<br />

course, that we have all been overtaken<br />

by the tragedy of Covid-19, with harmful<br />

greenhouse gas emissions plunging like the<br />

Stock Markets and the price of oil.<br />

RED PEN<br />

All of which leads me to the point where<br />

your editor will take out his red pen and cut<br />

swathes out of what I am going to say next<br />

because here comes my angry rant of the<br />

month.<br />

In order to keep myself safer by way of<br />

distancing, a couple of days ago, I used my<br />

car to go shopping (hence filling the tank).<br />

Orange juice, eggs, milk, bread and sugar<br />

– not much but I had run out. I went to<br />

Sainsbury’s and could not help but see that<br />

it looked as if it had been ram-raided by<br />

rampaging rhinos, with swarms of locusts<br />

riding shotgun. I got what I needed there, left<br />

the car in the supermarket car park, whilst<br />

I nipped into Poundland for Smokey Bacon<br />

crisps and Picnics on special offer. Their<br />

shelves were well stocked and that is when I<br />

realised something very fundamental.<br />

The 4x4 middle classes, fully paid up<br />

members of the anti-runway, anti-incinerator,<br />

ban the ‘whatever the bomb that looks most<br />

beastly’ brigade buy what they want rather<br />

than need, at the expense of the poorer who<br />

can only buy what they need rather than<br />

want. Those on fixed incomes have always<br />

shopped on pension day, or odds and ends<br />

daily, and for those needing toilet rolls to<br />

make the journey only to see double barrelled<br />

named herberts driving off in their diesel<br />

guzzlers loaded to the roof with enough toilet<br />

rolls to wipe the backsides of the entire crew<br />

of HMS Prince of Wales is disgraceful, to say<br />

the least.<br />

Simple solution – the first pack at shelf<br />

price, the second pack double, the third pack<br />

treble and so on, the excess revenue going to<br />

the local food bank charity.<br />

Glen Bullivant FCI<strong>CM</strong> is as old as he looks.<br />

(The editor wishes to remind readers that the<br />

views of contributors are entirely their own.)<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 39

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 40


Congratulations to all of the following, who successfully<br />

achieved Diplomas in Credit Management.<br />

Level 3 Diploma in Credit Management (ACI<strong>CM</strong>)<br />

NAME<br />

Colin Banett<br />

Andrew Barratt<br />

Lisamarie Canning<br />

Charlotte Collins-Sidwell<br />

Amy Grace<br />

Samantha Hill<br />

Lucy Sleath<br />

Chelsea Ware<br />

Level 3 Diploma in Credit & Collections (ACI<strong>CM</strong>)<br />

NAME<br />

Paula Bailey<br />

Kieran Barnes<br />

Patrycja Biedron<br />

Alexandra Denny<br />

Jamie England<br />

Tom Hatherell<br />

Fiona Kelly<br />

Laura Watkins<br />

Leah Whitcher<br />

Level 3 Diploma in Money & Debt Advice (ACI<strong>CM</strong>)<br />

NAME<br />

Tanis Belsham-Wray<br />

Patricia Cassidy<br />

Amy Holland<br />

Rhiannon Lamb<br />

Hollie Anne Parker<br />

Ashley Raine<br />

Emma Riley<br />

Naomi Williams-Velody<br />

Level 3 Diploma in Debt Collection (ACI<strong>CM</strong>)<br />

NAME<br />

Maddie Beaden<br />

Level 5 Diploma in Credit & Collections Management MCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

NAME<br />

Gillian Norris<br />


The sixth Annual General Meeting of the<br />

Chartered Institute of Credit Management will<br />

be held on Thursday 11 June <strong>2020</strong> at CI<strong>CM</strong> HQ,<br />

The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham,<br />

Oakham, LE15 8NB at 13:00 (or at the rising<br />

of the Advisory Council from its preceding<br />

meeting, whichever is later).<br />

By order of the Executive Board<br />

Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Interim Chief Executive<br />

To read the Notice, visit:<br />

http://www.cicm.com/about-cicm/governance/<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 41


Indecent Disclosure<br />

New guidance on NDAs, compulsory retirement,<br />

and holidays.<br />

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards<br />

ACAS has published<br />

new guidance to help<br />

employers and workers<br />

understand what NDAs<br />

are and to discourage their<br />

misuse. This guidance<br />

follows recent media coverage around<br />

the use of non-disclosure agreements<br />

(NDAs) in cases that involve workplace<br />

sexual harassment or discrimination.<br />

Typically, employers might use NDAs<br />

to stop an employee or worker sharing<br />

information. However, NDAs cannot be<br />

used to stop anyone whistleblowing or<br />

reporting a crime to the police.<br />

ACAS recommends that NDAs should<br />

not be used in a number of instances<br />

such as; seeing if another resolution<br />

can be used, to stop someone reporting<br />

harassment, discrimination or sexual<br />

harassment, to cover up inappropriate<br />

behaviour or misconduct, to avoid<br />

addressing disputes or problems in the<br />

workplace, or to mislead someone.<br />

The guidance says that NDAs can be<br />

used to keep an organisation’s information<br />

confidential, when an employer needs<br />

protection for important business<br />

information, to keep certain things that<br />

the employee knows about the workplace<br />

or business confidential, or to prevent an<br />

employee making derogatory statements<br />

about the employer or other employees.<br />

The government has indicated<br />

its intention to legislate in this area,<br />

particularly to tackle the misuse of NDAs<br />

in the workplace such as to cover up<br />

sexual harassment, discrimination and<br />

assault. Employers are well advised to<br />

ensure their current use of NDAs complies<br />

with best practice.<br />

Typically, employers might use<br />

NDAs to stop an employee or<br />

worker sharing information.<br />

However, NDAs cannot be used<br />

to stop anyone whistleblowing or<br />

reporting a crime to the police.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 42


AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards<br />

Compulsory Retirement unjustified<br />

In this case the<br />

University was<br />

successful in showing<br />

it had legitimate aims<br />

for the EJRA policy, for<br />

example that it allows<br />

for younger and more<br />

diverse academics to<br />

progress in their careers<br />

by creating new job<br />

vacancies.<br />

MEANWHILE, in Ewart v University<br />

of Oxford, an Employment Tribunal<br />

(ET) has held that Oxford University’s<br />

compulsory retirement age policy could<br />

not be objectively justified as it was not<br />

a proportionate means of achieving<br />

a legitimate aim. The University had<br />

therefore unfairly dismissed Professor<br />

Ewart and directly discriminated against<br />

him on the grounds of his age.<br />

Since 2011 the Oxford University had<br />

in place an Employer-Justified Retirement<br />

Age Policy (EJRA) policy that required<br />

academics to retire before their 69th<br />

birthday. Ewart was being forced into<br />

retirement and brought a successful<br />

claim against the University for age<br />

discrimination and unfair dismissal in<br />

a case that has highlighted the risks for<br />

employers who set a retirement age for<br />

employees.<br />

Unlike other forms of direct<br />

discrimination, direct age discrimination<br />

can be justified on the basis that it is<br />

a proportionate means of achieving a<br />

legitimate aim (and goes no further than<br />

necessary to achieve that legitimate aim).<br />

In this case the University was<br />

successful in showing it had legitimate<br />

aims for the EJRA policy, for example that<br />

it allows for younger and more diverse<br />

academics to progress in their careers by<br />

creating new job vacancies. In fact, the<br />

University had successfully justified the<br />

policy in a different age discrimination<br />

case.<br />

However, in this case, the ET held<br />

that the University had not shown<br />

sufficient justification for the policy's<br />

discriminatory effect with regards to<br />

its aims. For instance, Ewart provided<br />

statistical evidence that suggested that<br />

the EJRA only created two- to four<br />

percent more vacancies than would have<br />

otherwise arisen had the policy not been<br />

in place. This was found to be trivial in<br />

comparison with the discriminatory effect<br />

of terminating someone's employment<br />

solely due to their age.<br />

This case highlights the difficulties<br />

in justifying a contractual retirement<br />

age, which may also be reflected in the<br />

fact that Oxford is now one of only two<br />

Universities in the UK to maintain one.<br />

Holiday pay reference period set to increase<br />

CHANGING tack completely, the holiday<br />

pay reference period is increasing.<br />

Currently, when employers calculate<br />

holiday pay for those staff without fixed<br />

working hours, for example casual<br />

workers, the current reference period is<br />

the last 12 worked weeks. But from 6 April<br />

<strong>2020</strong>, the holiday pay reference period<br />

is increasing so that the last 52 worked<br />

weeks will need to be taken into account,<br />

for those staff who have at least 52 weeks<br />

continuous service.<br />

The new reference period will operate<br />

in a similar way to the current 12-week<br />

period. Employers will need to look back<br />

across the last 52 weeks that the staff<br />

member has actually worked and weeks<br />

in which no pay was received will not<br />

be counted. Where there are fewer than<br />

52 worked weeks to take into account,<br />

the reference period is reduced to the<br />

lower number of weeks worked and<br />

paid overtime (if contractually obliged<br />

or voluntary but sufficiently regular<br />

and considered to be normal pay) work<br />

during the reference period must also be<br />

included in the calculation.<br />

The 52-week reference period will<br />

doubtless provide a more accurate<br />

calculation for holiday pay as it will be<br />

less exposed to short term variations in<br />

pay.<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>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 43


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 />

Member<br />

Andrew Miller MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Gary Brain MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Associate<br />

Lucy Noble-Coombs ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Studying Member<br />

Adam Fisher<br />

Philip Owusu-Akuffo<br />

Sanjay Surdhar<br />

Andrew Davidson<br />

Oliver Kelly<br />

Frederick Bellhousr<br />

Tara McCarthy<br />

Wilson Kahora<br />

Brittany Whitmarsh<br />

Mandeep Chana<br />

Alba Remacha Yague<br />

Elliana Stavrou<br />

Faraz Ashraf MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Carol Johnson MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Paul Barker-Poole ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Lukasz Zdunczyk<br />

Henry Green<br />

Josiah Dixon<br />

Therese Schwerdt<br />

Rhys Laval<br />

Daisy Hawkins<br />

Matthew Manly<br />

Matthew Shoesmith<br />

Walaa Alkharraa<br />

Karolina Struska<br />

Nikhil Bhutani<br />

Carl Thomson<br />

Paul Stevenson MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Damon Cripps MCI<strong>CM</strong> (Grad)<br />

Emma Southernwood<br />

Bethany Coyle<br />

Patricia Provost<br />

Lucy Fallows<br />

Vijay Anand Ramanujam<br />

Sandeep Rath<br />

Alexander Keith<br />

Elizabeth Scott<br />

Katrina Thomas<br />

Daniel Ricca<br />

Affiliate<br />

Nick Lovell<br />

Tinashe Seremani<br />

Tracey Noble<br />

William Plom<br />

Beth Welsh<br />

Sharon Marshall<br />

Natasha Mcdonald<br />

Jack Dixon<br />

Dylan Kehoe<br />

Emma Shaw<br />

Alison Harvey<br />

Angela Perry<br />

Alison Hamilton<br />

Congratulations to our current members who have upgraded their membership<br />

Upgraded member<br />

Gavin Ashton 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>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 44

www.tcmgroup.com<br />

Probably thebest debt collection network worldwide<br />

Moneyknows no borders—neither do we

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 46

Take control<br />

of your<br />

credit career<br />

Join Bibby Financial Services<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 48

WHO WE ARE<br />

Bibby Financial Services is a global provider of innovative<br />

funding solutions, working with over 12,000 businesses across<br />

a range of sectors and industries. But we’re just as invested in<br />

people as we are in facts and figures and we are actively hiring<br />

for our new centre of excellence in Salford, Manchester.<br />

We’re looking for a Credit Controller like you, with strong<br />

customer service and relationship building skills. We’re strong<br />

on succession, so we’d like you to stay and grow with us.<br />

What’s more, you’ll be working in our brand new offices in<br />

MediaCityUK, deep in the creative hub of new technologies<br />

and innovation.<br />



Our credit control team works in a fast-paced, full-on<br />

environment, so you’ll need excellent organisation and<br />

communication skills, as well as having exceptional attention<br />

to detail. You’ll ensure the profitability of BFS through effective<br />

credit control of a portfolio of clients. Providing a high level of<br />

service through credit control and ledger maintenance, you<br />

will give prompt feedback on the quality of debts to the wider<br />

teams. Speaking to clients on a daily basis, you will recognise<br />

and escalate complex issues, as well as effectively prioritise<br />

tasks within a defined framework.<br />


Your strong relationship building style means you can<br />

communicate effectively with clients and colleagues, to ensure<br />

there’s a consistent high level of customer service. You’ll be<br />

comfortable spotting business opportunities as well as spotting<br />

warning signs when dealing with clients and debtors. You’ll be<br />

process driven, making sure all key processes and procedures<br />

are followed and continuously improved.<br />


We’re proud to be named in the Top 100 companies for seven<br />

consecutive years as a result of creating a culture of charitable<br />

giving, employee wellbeing and personal development.<br />

As standard, you’ll get 25 days holiday, plus bank holidays,<br />

with the option to buy and sell, and we also offer a range of<br />

benefits tailored to you, including private medical scheme or<br />

cash plan; 5% pension contribution; cycle to work scheme;<br />

retail discounts; flexibility on working hours; life assurance<br />

and many more!<br />


For further information or to discuss this role in more detail, please contact<br />

Adam Crossland, Hays Consultant on 0161 236 7272 or email adam.crossland@hays.com<br />

VISIT webmicrosites.hays.co.uk/web/bibby-financial-services<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 49

WHAT'S ON<br />

We are inviting all members to invite 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 />

5 <strong>May</strong><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 />

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

Online Webinar<br />

6 <strong>May</strong><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 <strong>May</strong><br />

International Credit Forum<br />

London<br />

*Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events<br />

or email events@cicm.com for more information.<br />

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

Online Webinar<br />

Online<br />

To be confirmed : subject to change<br />

26-27 August<br />

4th FE<strong>CM</strong>A Pan-European Credit Congress<br />

Poland<br />

Managing Credit in Europe<br />

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events or<br />

email events@cicm.com for more information.<br />

Venue: Qubus Hotel Krakow, Nadwiślańska 6,<br />

30-527 Krakow, Poland<br />



19 <strong>May</strong><br />

Let’s Talk Credit<br />

Near East Midlands Airport<br />

Credit Risk Forum – Construction<br />

For further details contact:<br />

brent.cumming@letstalkcredit.co.uk<br />

20 <strong>May</strong><br />

Let’s Talk Credit<br />

London<br />

Credit Risk Forum – Fashion<br />

For further details contact:<br />

brent.cumming@letstalkcredit.co.uk<br />


Online<br />

Online<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 50

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 public<br />

health concerns, our events<br />

calendar is changing daily.<br />

Studying at a<br />

distance<br />

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

Many of our events are now<br />

available online, along with<br />

a series of live webinars - so<br />

please check our website<br />

for updates, further details<br />

and instructions on how to<br />

register.<br />

From interactive virtual classrooms to supporting texts,<br />

from mentor advice to peer support, we’ve got it all.<br />

Contact CI<strong>CM</strong> for more information on any of these<br />

services, or check them out at cicm.com<br />

Giving you the tools to continue<br />

working through this crisis.<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> On Tour<br />

Take a ticket to ride!<br />

Coming soon: details of<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong> series of events<br />

for our members.<br />



What should your focus be on now?<br />

Check for new resources, tools and news daily at<br />

cicm.com/managing-credit-in-a-crisis-checklist.<br />

Join the CI<strong>CM</strong> Managing Credit in a Crisis LinkedIn<br />

discussion group today.<br />

We are developing more resources, advice and tools daily,<br />

please keep in touch with us and join our community.<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> is your professional body, use it. We are stronger in numbers.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 51

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>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 52


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>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 53 continues on page 54 >

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>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 54




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>May</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 55

C2FO<br />

Take control of<br />

your working capital.<br />

C2FO provides an additional debt-free working capital option that<br />

enables you to take control of your cash flow on-demand. This flexible<br />

and simple cash and risk management option provides an additional<br />

lever to help manage reporting targets and KPIs, seasonality, credit risk<br />

exposure or daily operational business activities. Whatever your cash<br />

flow needs, C2FO can help.<br />

More at c2fo.com/en-uk/vendors

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