Credit Management July and August 2020


The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals



JULY & AUGUST 2020 £12.50





Will COVID-19 bring

collections to a stop?

John Ricketts FCICM

reflects on three years as

CSA President. Page 22

Open-mindedness is a

professional’s greatest

asset. Page 39




Matthew Godby MCICM



Sean Feast FCICM


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

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

Credit Management is distributed to the entire UK and international CICM

membership, as well as additional subscribers

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

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

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

trade mark of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.

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



John Ricketts FCICM



Adam Bernstein

President Stephen Baister FCICM / Chief Executive Sue Chapple FCICM

Executive Board Pete Whitmore FCICM – Chair / Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad) – Vice Chair Glen Bullivant FCICM

Treasurer / Larry Coltman FCICM, Victoria Herd FCICM(Grad), Bryony Pettifor FCICM(Grad)

Advisory Council Sarah Aldridge FCICM / Laurie Beagle FCICM / Glen Bullivant FCICM / Alan Church FCICM

Brendan Clarkson FCICM / Larry Coltman FCICM / Niall Cooter FCICM / Peter Gent FCICM / Victoria Herd FCICM(Grad)

Philip Holbrough MCICM / Neil Jinks FCICM / Charles Mayhew FCICM / Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad)

Bryony Pettifor FCICM(Grad)/ Allan Poole MCICM / Alice Purdy MCICM(Grad) / Phil Rice FCICM / Chris Sanders FCICM

Stephen Thomson FCICM



12 – Protective Custody

What protections are there in place for

creditors in the new Corporate Insolvency

and Governance Bill?

14 – Carry on Regardless

The final part of how to create a strategic

credit management department.

18 – Commercial Brake

Will COVID-19 bring commercial

collections to a total stop?

21 – Dining Out

What does the restaurant industry need

to do to recover?

22 – Tiger Feat

John Ricketts FCICM reflects on his three

years as CSA President.

24 – Border Point

Can the courts insist on records being

returned that are kept overseas?

26 – Live and Let Live

David Andrews thinks life must one day

return to normal.

33 – French Exchange

She may be our nearest neighbour, but

how well do we know France?

39 – Staying Ahead

Open-mindedness is a professional’s

greatest asset.

48 – Mentor Moment

How one member is benefiting from the

Mentor Hub.

51 – Vicarious Living

Be careful what you say – even



Chartered Institute of Credit Management

The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham


Telephone: 01780 722900




Managing Editor

Sean Feast FCICM

Deputy Editor

Iona Yadallee

Art Editor

Andrew Morris

Telephone: 01780 722910


Editorial Team

Laura Biondi, Imogen Hart, Rob Howard

and Daisy Warren


Russell Bass and Grace Ghattas

Telephone: 020 3603 7937



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2020 subscriptions

UK: £112 per annum

International: £145 per annum

Single copies: £12.50

ISSN 0265-2099

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 3


I’m talking but you’re

not listening

Sean Feast FCICM

Managing Editor

BE careful what you wish

for. I used to detest that

phrase and now I detest

it even more.

When we had Brexit,

I stopped watching the

news and prayed the media would talk

about something else. I did the same with

coronavirus. Not long into lockdown

I simply switched it off. I prefer my

politicians to be out there doing their

jobs, rather than having to justify every

time they break wind to an intensely

irritating BBC. Only recently did I

venture back to be confronted with the

latest in the desperately depressing saga

in the hunt for young Maddie McCann,

and the sight of riots all over the world

on the undeniably simple premise that

Black Lives Matter. Whatever happened

to good news, I hear myself asking on an

almost daily basis?

Because there is good news out there.

I learned recently that while sales of real

plants and flowers may have fallen off

a cliff with the initial closure of garden

centres, sales of plastic plants have gone

through the roof. One firm, Blooming

Artificial (great name!), reported likefor-like

sales having increased by around

150 percent – great news for all those

with not-so green fingers.

I also recently learned in the CICM

Think Tank that collections volumes

may in fact be rising, and requests for

payment plans have ‘skyrocketed’ (see

news page 9) as consumers look to

get their debt in order – an action that

seems to fly in the face of other stories of

impending doom.

What is interesting, in this context,

is the ongoing debate about how debt

advice will be funded in the future.

The government recently announced

a dedicated £38m (through the Money

and Pensions Service) windfall to fund

advice through the current crisis, but I

am guessing it is expecting the financial

community – including collections

agencies and purchasers – to cough

up part of that. Consultations have

come and gone (including the snappily

titled CP20/6: FCA regulated fees and

levies: Rates Proposals 2020/2021) but I

sometimes wonder if the Regulator or

the government are actually listening. I

know that the CSA has asked the advice

sector to evidence where and how its

current contributions are being spent,

before it contributes any more, but I’m

not aware, as yet, if it’s got any answers.

So is it really appropriate to increase

fees in the current climate? I’m no

expert, but it seems somehow perverse

for the FCA to want an increase in fees

just at the very time that debt buyers

and agencies are facing huge costs

of their own. Not only have they had

to absorb payment holidays, but also

the additional costs of compliance

and working remotely. Debt collectors

might not be many people’s friends, but

whether politicians or my colleagues

in the media like it or not, they are an

essential part of our economy and the

industry deserves the same protection/

support from the government as any

other business sector.

I’ve also heard whispers of a

proposed change to how the Financial

Ombudsman Service (FOS) is funded

going forward, and a disturbing rumour

that the costs will be spread across the

whole industry, rather than being met by

those who actually pollute the system.

Added to the ongoing fee saga, it does

make me wonder who is wagging the

doggie’s tail.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 4



This year we have partnered with Croner

Reward, the experts in Pay &Benefits

benchmarking, to bring you our annual Salary

Survey. Our 2020 report isthe definitive guide

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salaries, interim pay rates combined with

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In your copy you will find salaries and

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recruit for around the UK. The roles include:

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Credit Controller

Credit Supervisor

Sales Ledger Clerk

Accounts Receivable

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Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 5


A round-up of news stories from the

world of consumer and commercial credit.

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM

‘New’ campaign calls for

end to ‘thuggish’ letters

THE Money and Mental Health

Policy Institute has called

for changes to what it calls

‘thuggish debt letters’ being

sent to vulnerable customers during the

COVID-19 crisis.

Research by the charity suggests that

more than 100,000 people in problem debt

attempt suicide each year in England,

and that intimidating letters are a key

contributing factor.

Martin Lewis, Founder and Chair of the

Institute says that lenders are forced by a

decades-old law to send thuggish letters

to people with debt problems: “These

letters ruin lives, and many lenders say

they don’t want to send them, but the law

gives them no option,” he explains.

“In the next few weeks, we’ll have the

perverse situation where lenders will be

compelled to send threatening letters to

millions of people, even if they’ve been

given permission for a temporary break

from debt repayments. That will cause

distress and confusion at a time when

people in financial hardship, and many

struggling with mental health issues,

least need it.”

The government, he says, needs to put

support systems in place and change the

rules on debt letters: “It’s a simple change

to get rid of a rule that benefits neither

lender, borrower, nor the economy — and

at this time, without exaggeration it could

save lives.”

The MMHPI claims that legislation

demands that certain letters must

include often complex and intimidating

text in full when people are seriously

behind on payments — and that this

should be capitalised or in bold text.

The text warns customers of the

consequences of failing to take action,

and the penalties that may follow.

Peter Wallwork, Chief Executive of

the Credit Services Association, says his

members would also like to see change,

but doubted such change would be

‘simple’: “While the majority of letters our

members send are customer-oriented,

and very clearly supportive, the statutory

letters have to use prescribed language,

phrases and words that every company

has to include,” he explains.

“Current legislation simply does

not allow for formal notices that are

flexible or dynamic enough, despite CSA

members’ attempts to manage the way

they are read, to provide meaningful

information to a customer and to address

any vulnerabilities throughout the life

cycle of a debt. It is pleasing to see the

new campaign targeting the regulator

and the government, for change will

require primary legislation. We will

happily support the debt advice sector

and other stakeholders in seeking

a reasoned approach to making the

changes that are really needed.”

Sue Chapple, Interim Chief Executive of

the CICM, is similarly supportive, but says

that the issue is hardly new: “Whereas

we welcome the interjection of Mr Lewis

and his campaign, this is a long-running

saga that has vexed many in our industry

for some years and it is important that

the government and the FCA are now not

‘bounced’ into an action with unintended


“The debt collection industry, under

the auspices of the CSA, has been doing

vital work in this area, and we have

warned previously of the need for greater

flexibility in how debt purchasers and

debt collectors can communicate with

customers. It is ludicrous that some

creditors have been having to send

'wraparound' letters telling a customer

to ignore the legal letter they are obliged

to send! Now more than ever, the focus

has to be on outcomes. Any changes to

current legislation must give creditors

the opportunity to simplify the message

and provide customers with clear and

consistent information across every

touchpoint about the help that is available

to them.”

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 6


Association adopts post-lockdown

plan to enforce overdue debts

ENFORCEMENT Agents (bailiffs)

will implement a phased return

to activity following the lifting of

lockdown restrictions.

Measures set out in a Post-lockdown

Support Plan announced by the Civil

Enforcement Association (CIVEA) follow

consultations with the government

that will allow local authorities and

courts to safely enforce overdue council

tax, business rates, parking and traffic

penalties and magistrates’ court fines.

Anyone who has missed a payment

or been out of contact will receive

a standard reconnection letter that

seeks to understand how they have

been affected by the COVID-19 crisis

and respond as appropriate. When

enforcement can resume following

the lifting of emergency regulations,

individuals will be given 30 days’ notice

of a visit by an enforcement agent

(unless the local authority has specific


Before resuming visits, all

enforcement agents will be given

additional, mandatory CIVEA-approved

training on how to protect themselves

and those that they encounter in the


Russell Hamblin-Boone, Chief

Executive of CIVEA, says the plan

allows his members to carry out their

civic duties in line with public health

advice: “CIVEA members fully accept

that to simply restart enforcement visits

once the government eases restrictions

without understanding how people

have been impacted by the crisis

would not be acceptable. The measures

included in the Post-lockdown Support

Plan are a sensible and proactive

response to an exceptional situation.

Enforcement of public debt continues

to be an important service to recover

outstanding taxes and fines, which

contributes to funding essential local


CIVEA’s pledge was given a cautious

welcome by the debt advice sector, but

StepChange Debt Charity once again

called for greater regulation of the

bailiff industry. Peter Tutton, Head of

Policy, says bailiff collection practices

have caused significant harm in the

past: “Any return to enforcement action,

phased or otherwise, must be preceded

by government-led measures that

protect those affected by COVID-19.

This includes putting affordable

repayment plans in place for council

tax arrears before resorting to

enforcement action and taking into

account vulnerability and financial

circumstances before acting.

“With millions of people

struggling with COVID-19

related debts, it is unfair and

unsafe for the government

to restart enforcement

without these safeguards.”

Elsewhere, the High

Court Enforcement Officers

Association (HCEOA) has

similarly adopted a new Best Practice

plan for post-lockdown enforcement

activity and set out the principles,

working practices and behaviours that

all High Court Enforcement Officers

(HCEO’s) and representatives will follow

throughout the phased lifting of the

lockdown period.

In line with the latest government

guidance, the plan details additional

training requirements for all

enforcement agents prior to any home

visits and the need to follow appropriate

social distancing guidance where


Andrew Wilson, Chairman of

the HCEOA, says that his members

recognise that some judgment debtors

will be experiencing significant effects

as a result of the COVID-19 situation:

“The plan is designed to consider

the case-by-case circumstances of

judgment debtors and ensure they

are treated fairly whilst allowing

creditors to recover the money

they are owed.

“We are pleased this plan

has now been adopted as Best

Practice by the Association and

shared with the Ministry of

Justice to assure them of our

commitment to operating in

a flexible and sympathetic


StepChange fears debt tsunami will

swamp advice sector

Andrew Wilson, Chairman

of the HCEOA

STEPCHANGE claims a personal debt

tsunami of £6bn directly attributable

to the COVID-19 pandemic is already

being stored up among some 4.6 million

households and, if left unchecked, is set

to worsen.

The charity warns that coronavirusrelated

debt will act as a drag on

economic recovery and will deluge

advice services once the reality of

people’s situations begins to hit home in

the coming months. Debt charities are

gearing up for a doubling in demand for

debt advice by the end of the year.

In response, the charity has set out

three key recommendations to enable

a less painful exit strategy from the

debt backlash. It wants to see: ongoing

protections and forbearance on housing/

rent, credit repayments, and council tax;

the creation of a central fund of at least

£5bn to enable grants for those who fall

behind or were forced to borrow during

the pandemic; and a reform of Universal

Credit and in particular the abolition of

the five-week wait.

StepChange Debt Charity CEO Phil

Andrew acknowledges that costs

might be a barrier to the charity’s

recommendations, but that the price of

not intervening would be worse: “The

misery, damage and economic drag that

will inevitably follow the pandemic can

and should be mitigated through public

policy, and the approaches we suggest

are the biggest game-changers,” he

says. “Like other debt charities, we are

gearing up for a significant increase in

demand for our usual services. We are

also working on a specific solution to

help people whose finances have been

hit by the pandemic and who need a

short-term helping hand to get back on

track without jeopardising their credit


“The false calm in which we

find ourselves while furlough and

forbearance take the strain will not last

indefinitely,” he adds.

On the basis of research by YouGov,

StepChange estimates that each affected

adult has accumulated an additional

£1,076 of arrears and £997 of debt. Since

the beginning of the lockdown period,

StepChange estimates 1.2 million people

have fallen behind on their utility bills,

820,000 people on their council tax, and

590,000 on their rent.

Meanwhile, 4.2 million people have

borrowed to make ends meet, most often

using a credit card (1.7m), an overdraft

(1.6m) or a high cost credit product


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 7

BUSINESSES with more than

£50,000 of unpaid invoices could

benefit from a new scheme that

buys those invoices for cash,

turning a potential bad debt write off

into positive cashflow.

New finance provider Azzurro

Associates is looking to provide cash

against at least £1bn of UK businesses’

unpaid invoices to help provide much

needed liquidity during and beyond the

current COVID-19 crisis.

It is especially targeting companies

with between £50,000 and £10m in

unpaid bills for which it will not only

provide upfront cash, but also share

in the collections it achieves on any

outstanding debts.

Azzurro Associates’ new commercial

debt solution differs from ‘traditional’

invoice finance in that the former

advances cash against invoices that are

still within term (i.e 30 days), whereas

Azzurro provides cash for debts that

are overdue or delinquent, and that a

business is struggling or has failed to


Andrew Birkwood, CEO of Azzurro

Associates, believes this is the first

time that companies in the B2B sector

have been able to benefit in this way:

“As COVID-19 leads to more businesses

failing to pay their suppliers, businesses

further up the supply chain need to

make sure they don’t run out of cash,”

he says.“When collections activities are

exhausted, the only option left is the

Courts, but this costs money, takes time,

and there is still no guarantee you’ll get


Azzurro seeks to acquire £1bn

in overdue invoices

Andrew Birkwood, CEO of Azzurro


any money at the end. Now Financial

Directors have a better option – a way

of generating immediate cash from bad

debts to avoid an inevitable coronavirus

cashflow crunch.”

Azzurro purchases invoices up to

a maximum of six years from the due

date, paying anything up to 50 percent


original invoice value depending

on the age of the debt and the credit

profile of the debtor. In addition, it

shares a proportion of the collections

it achieves, which can also be as much

as 50 percent. It buys portfolios of all

sizes from £50,000 and above, which

may comprise a small number of large

invoices or a large number of small

invoices, provided the smallest invoice

value is greater than £100.

Authorised and regulated by the

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA),

Azzurro adopts a fair and balanced

recoveries process, with a creditor’s

brand reputation being of upmost

importance. This is achieved by

utilising credit reference agency data

to determine the appropriate servicing

strategy, allowing forbearance and

breathing space where required.

Where customers do not engage in the

amicable contact strategy, Azzurro

uses a combination of bureau data and

the expertise of a panel of preferred

collections partners to ensure only the

right cases are selected for litigation.

Interim Small Business

Commissioner Philip King, whose office

champions fair payment practices and

supports businesses looking to resolve

payment disputes, says that cashflow

is critical: “At times like these we need

creative ideas and I’m delighted to see

organisations like Azzurro introduce

different and innovative solutions.”

Elsewhere, a study by Iwoca suggests

unpaid invoices are piling up at SMEs

across the country with nearly half (40

percent) facing over £10,000 in unpaid

invoices. One in four of those businesses

worry they won’t survive into 2021 as a

result of solvency, according to the 537

small businesses that Iwoca surveyed.

(See interview, Credit Management

November 2019 issue).

More than half of UK reports a decline in financial wellbeing

THE COVID-19 crisis has reduced

financial wellbeing in the UK and

consumers expect a further decline

in the next six months, according

to a whitepaper published by credit

management group Intrum.

More than half the UK respondents (55

percent) reported a decline in financial

wellbeing over the last six months,

higher than the European average of 48

percent. More than a third (38 percent)

expect a further decrease.

The paper’s findings build on Intrum’s

European Payment Report, published in

November 2019, which showed that the

younger generations and households

with children are under particular strain.

The COVID-19 pandemic has

exacerbated this trend, with 74 percent

of UK households with children

reporting an income drop as a result of

the crisis, compared with 50 percent

of households without children.

Furthermore, 55 percent of households

with children say that after paying their

bills they rarely have enough money to

last until the end of the month.

Across Europe, millennials are more

likely to say their financial wellbeing has

suffered than other age groups. However,

in the UK, 18-21-year olds appear

particularly hard hit – with 69 percent

saying the crisis has negatively

affected their finances, and 38

percent saying they have gone

into more debt to cover their

everyday spending as a result.

Eddie Nott, Intrum’s UK

Managing Director, said there

is evidence that consumers

who are spending less during

the crisis are taking the

opportunity to settle their

debts. “After many of our

customers paused their

payment plans in March

and April, we have seen a significant

increase in people contacting us to

settle their accounts in May,” he said.

“However, many of our customers still

need breathing space and are currently

unable to pay their instalments. For

example, those employed in heavily-hit

sectors such as retail and leisure, and

vulnerable households with the smallest

financial margins, such as families and

young people.”

There is evidence that

consumers who are spending

less during the crisis are

taking the opportunity to

settle their debts.

Eddie Nott, Intrum’s

UK Managing Director

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 8




AS lockdown eases and businesses begin

to reopen, concerns are mounting about

how to return to a normal world.

This topic was at the forefront of the

CICM Think Tank discussion group,

with members agreeing that the world

as we know it may not be restored. One

member stated that 100 percent of the

UK population is spending less money,

noting that we will find it hard to recover

unless the population resorts back to

their spending habits once lockdown

is lifted. Another member believes that




WHILE most people think of COVID-19

as a setback, there is an upside.

Customers have been settling their


A recent article in The Guardian

newspaper suggests that UK consumers

have repaid £7.4bn of debt during the

lockdown, and it proved to be a hot

topic of debate at the latest CICM Think

Tank. Most agreed that when spending

is restricted, and money saved, there is a

propensity to settle one’s debts.

One member of the Think Tank

discussion noted that there has been

a 200 percent increase in repayment

plans during the lockdown, with another

member agreeing and saying that

payment plan requests have, in their

words, ‘skyrocketed.’


discussion on a high note, the panel

talked about the positives that are

coming out of the lockdown for those

in the credit industry. One member

noted that they are being more assertive

towards client demands and in return,

clients are being more receptive, which

is making a huge difference when it

comes to saving money within the


In unison, members agreed that the

lockdown has provided them with

Plus Ca Change?

the population will be split in half, with

50 percent returning to ‘normal’ and the

other 50 percent being too terrified to

leave the house. “COVID-19 has moved us

into a world that can fully operate online,

which will see more people working

from home, and less money being spent

on food, drinks and travel,” he said.

With worries of a recession rising,

the Think Tank members concurred

that businesses and individuals need to

adjust to serve the economy in the new


Has COVID-19 ‘helped’ the credit industry?

greater staff empowerment and barriers

have been broken down between juniors

and seniors as whole teams have begun

to make decisions which have increased

productivity. The lockdown has helped

unleash skills within the credit industry,

allowing employers to focus on training

their employees in all areas of credit

management ahead of time.

The panel also agreed that team

support has grown dramatically, which

will be upheld long after the lockdown in

a new, team-oriented environment.

Payment holidays

CUSTOMERS facing temporary

financial difficulties due to the

coronavirus have been granted

almost 1.5 million payment holidays

by lenders on their credit cards and

personal loans, according to statistics

from UK Finance. As at the end of May,

877,800 customer accounts had been

given a payment freeze on their credit

card. This was an increase of over a

quarter (26 percent) since the start of

the month, as lenders continued to

provide support to those customers

with temporary financial pressures

due to COVID-19.


Sue Chapple FCICM has succeeded

Philip King FCICM as Chief Executive

of the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management. Sue, who joined the CICM

as Director of Strategic Relationships

in 2018, has been interim CEO since

Philip’s departure to become interim

Small Business Commissioner in

March. Full report in next issue.

Wise counsel

LOWELL has made two new

appointments to its Group Executive

team. Thomas Lingen has joined as

Group General Counsel, and Bitte

Ferngren arrives as Group Chief

People Officer. Thomas joins Lowell

from Office Depot Europe in the

Netherlands, bringing with him

experience of leading legal functions

for multinational business across a

variety of transactions and industry

sectors. Bitte joins the business

from Scandic Hotels, where she was

Senior Vice President Group HR and


Digital surge

PHILLIPS & Cohen Associates is

reporting a significant surge in online

consumer activity via its proprietary

Estate-Serve platform during the

COVID-19 pandemic. In recent

months the business has witnessed

a 60 percent increase in usage across

its digital platforms and a 321 percent

increase in consumer-driven

self-service payment volumes.



TO stay up-to-date with all that

is happening at the CICM – from

qualifications to training, and

membership to events – see the

weekly e-newsletter CICM Essentials.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 9


East of England Branch

takes to the web

CICM East of England Branch has now

held three successful webinars in the

last few weeks for CICM members

and non-members. Our first, Business

Challenges of Credit During and after

COVID 19 & How to Tackle Them, was

hosted by Andrew Martin of Hays on 14

May 2020. The speakers, CICM Chairman

Pete Whitmore and Chris Sanders of

CICMQ, highlighted past, present and

future issues.

These included top current business

concerns, and the best practice for

coping now and planning for the

‘new normal’. They also included the

opportunities of remote working, and the

need to look carefully at relationships

with suppliers and customers, at new

accounts, and at planning for survival.

Our second Branch webinar

Emergency Guide to Credit Control for

All Levels was hosted by Andrew Martin

of Hays on 22 May 2020. This guide –

presented by Jules Eames from CICM

HQ – was aimed at helping those not

currently working in credit, and was in

PRIOR to lockdown Thames Valley and

Wessex branches held a joint event at

Winchester Science Centre.

The talks, which were held in the

planetarium, started with Paul Uglow

from Meachers Global Logistics who

provided an introduction to Incoterms.

He explained how the terms define

relationships between buyers and sellers

(who pays for what at what stage of


Paul discussed the importance of

insurance when importing/exporting

and he talked through the 2020

Incoterms changes. The most significant

changes were how the Incoterm textbook

had risen to 193 pages and the second

half of the book now detailed each

article for easier reading. Paul ended by

advising us of the other changes such

as new security-related requirements,

different levels of insurance and

enhanced explanatory notes for users.

response to companies that have asked

staff from other departments, including

sales, to help collect cash. Jules gave a

brief outline of what credit actually is,

offered tips on ascertaining a customer’s

willingness and ability to pay, described

collection tools and techniques, and gave

tips on securing the deal and on effective

follow up.

COVID-19 Credit Managers Playbook

2 was the title of our latest Branch

webinar on 10 June 2020, which included

planning and recommendations for the

next phase of the crisis, coming out

of lockdown, and the likely impacts

and upcoming issues facing the credit

management functions in the UK and


We hope that our online attendees

found our first three webinars enjoyable

and informative. Copies of the slides

and videos of each webinar are available,


Author: Richard Brown FCICM

East of England Branch Vice Chairman

Thames Valley and Wessex

branches go interplanetary

After a short break Markus Kuger,

Chief Economist from D&B, talked us

through the D&B country risk report and

presented a slide showing how global

country risk levels have been rising

since October 2007 and how the global

outlook is deteriorating. COVID-19’s

effect on companies and supply in China

was also demonstrated suggesting that

50,000 companies have Tier 1 suppliers

in the affected area, and another five

million have one or more Tier 2 suppliers

in the region. Of course since this

event, COVID-19 has become the world’s

problem and the global supply chain is

an ever-growing concern.

Markus also covered the UK

labour market and EU payment

behaviours before closing with a few

recommendations, including mapping

your supply chain in light of Brexit,

COVID-19, trade wars and watching

political risk closely (referencing the US

elections). The event concluded with a

fascinating planetarium show and some

mind-blowing stats on the size of the

Solar system, galaxies and the universe.

Thank you to our event sponsors –

Interaction Recruitment and Dun &

Bradstreet – and thanks also to the

speakers and attendees for a memorable


Author: Gary Baker FCICM,

Secretary of the Thames Valley Branch

Alexander Mann

displays high

standards to achieve

CICMQ accreditation

THE Solutions Credit Function team at

Alexander Mann has been recognised

for its adaptability and achievement

in meeting the highest standards of

professionalism by gaining CICMQ


“Achieving CICMQ accreditation

shows how valued our credit control

team really is and that they adhere to

all policies regarding the credit control

function,” says Eileen Bell, Head of

Global Credit Control at Alexander

Mann Solutions. “It highlights that

we provide a valuable service to our

internal and external clients and also

demonstrates that we strive to provide

the highest standards – something

that has now been validated by CICM.”

While working hard towards the

accreditation, Eileen says that it

didn’t come without its difficulties:

“While we all know how and what we

are doing, and how to hit our targets,

having this all documented was a big

challenge,” she admits.

Despite these challenges, the team

at Alexander Mann aspires to move

forwards with the lessons the team

members learned firmly in mind: “Now

that we’ve achieved accreditation,

we’ll certainly ensure that we keep all

our policies up-to-date and encourage

the team to make the most of the

membership of CICM,” Eileen adds.

“We are all striving for continuous


Alexander Mann Solutions is

a global talent acquisition and

management specialist. The Solutions

Credit function is split across London,

Belfast and Yorkshire. The team

collected £2.1bn in 2019 over 29


Following the results

of the CICM Advisory

Council Elections, there

are several Regional

Representative vacancies

which remain unfilled.

For more information



Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 10



Insolvency Practitioners will be prime movers in

achieving the aims of the new Insolvency Bill.

AUTHOR – Michelle Thorp

Michelle Thorp

Acontinuous list of household

names are facing difficult

choices in the context of

economic damage that the

World forecasts could last for a

decade. The challenges will not

end when businesses reopen, confronting the

question of doing this amid what is likely to be

decreased consumer confidence and footfall,

as well as reconfigurations to safely meet social

distancing guidelines.

Adding to the list of state support measures,

the government’s Corporate Insolvency and

Governance Bill is expected to be ratified in early

July, with the government citing that ‘it is vital

that urgent action is taken to help struggling

businesses to continue to trade during the

current crisis and to boost the economy once we

emerge from it.’

So what are its features and how do those

features work in practice?

The Bill contains eight key measures. Firstly,

a moratorium will be introduced. As you may

know, a moratorium prevents legal action being

taken against companies without court approval.

This will afford companies some breathing space

to pursue a rescue plan. This measure creates the

role of Monitor, which will have to be fulfilled by

an IP. The Monitor must supervise the company’s

affairs to evaluate if the company can be rescued

as a going concern (meaning it remains viable or

can be returned to viability).


There will be two types of moratorium. The first

is specifically in relation to COVID-19, with its

own unique test, and adds ‘or would do so if it

were not for any worsening of the financial

position of the company for reasons relating

to coronavirus’ to the end of the proposed

Monitor’s statement that it is likely that a

moratorium for the company would result in

the rescue of the company as a going concern.

The period for the availability of this variation

was to end on 30 June 2020, but the period will

probably be extended. The second moratorium

is a standard moratorium and will be available

for the longer term.

The company in a moratorium has to pay its

ongoing costs, so continuing to supply it may be

less of a risk for creditors. We have noted that IPs

being able to confidently make the pre-requisite

statement that a rescue as a going concern is

likely, will require some pre-appointment work,

which may make the procedure less attractive to

enter. Restrictions on termination clauses will

be brought in to prevent suppliers from stopping

(or threatening to stop supplying) businesses

in an insolvency or restructuring procedure.

The courts can agree to relieve suppliers of this

obligation if continuing to supply will harm their


‘Small’ company suppliers are temporarily

exempt from the termination clause restrictions

in the COVID-19 response situation. Where the

supplier is not in its first financial year at the

relevant time, the supplier is considered to be

a ‘small’ entity if at least two of the following

conditions are met in relation to its most recent

financial year:

• its turnover was not more than £10.2m;

• its balance sheet total was not more than £5.1m;

• its employees were not more than 50.

As 90 percent of UK businesses meet the third

criterion, fewer companies may be affected by

this exemption than it may first appear.

A new restructuring plan will be available

to viable businesses in difficulty with debt. It

will be sanctioned by the courts, which will

consider whether the plan is fair, equitable and

in the interests of creditors. The plan is voted on

by creditors, but the court can impose it. It is

understood that safeguards will be put in place

for creditors who were not in favour of the plan.

Adding to these measures, wrongful trading

legislation will be suspended, temporarily

stopping the threat of directors’ personal liability

arising from continued trading in insolvency;

statutory demands and winding up petitions

will be voided so that companies can come to

pragmatic and fair agreements with creditors;

and there are changes to rules around AGMs and

filing, for more flexibility.

Just over half of the powers in the Bill are

‘Henry VIII’ powers, meaning that they can be

amended or repealed by the government making

new regulations without the need for additional


Clearly the Bill will introduce changes for

creditors in terms of how they work with

businesses and IPs – in addition to potentially

supporting creditors themselves as businesses,

and indeed IPs and others. It is important that

all affected by the Bill are aware of its underlying

objective to support business, with IPs being a

prime mover in achieving that aim.

We continue to consider the Bill and will

monitor it in practice, offering input to help

ensure the measures serve all stakeholders in

insolvency processes correctly.

Michelle Thorp is CEO, Insolvency Practitioners


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 11


Protective custody

Creditors are protected in new

debtor-friendly rescue plans.

AUTHOR – Paul Bannister

AS announced in last month’s

issue of Credit Management,

the government is to introduce

new corporate restructuring

tools to the insolvency and

restructuring regime to respond

to the COVID-19 emergency to give companies

the breathing space and tools required to

maximise their chance of survival.

In doing so, it will also temporarily suspend

parts of Insolvency law to support directors to

continue trading through the emergency without

the threat of personal liability for wrongful

trading and to protect companies from aggressive

creditor action. It will also temporarily suspend

parts of Company Law and other legislation

to provide companies and other bodies with

temporary easements on company filing

requirements at Companies House, and similar

easements for annual general meetings (AGMs)

with particular reference to physical presence

and voting.


In terms of the details, the new Corporate

Insolvency and Governance Bill will introduce

a new moratorium to give companies breathing

space from their creditors while they seek a

rescue, and prohibit termination clauses that

engage on entering an insolvency procedure,

entering the new moratorium or beginning the

new restructuring plan procedure. It will also,

subject to certain protections, prevent suppliers

from ceasing their supply or asking for additional

payments while a company is going through a

rescue process.

The Bill will introduce a new restructuring

plan for companies in financial distress which

include new cross class cram down procedures

that allow a class of creditors to be bound by the

restructuring plan even if they do not agree to the


Among the other measures contained in the

Bill is the temporary removal of the threat of

personal liability for wrongful trading from

directors who try to keep their companies

afloat through the emergency, and a temporary

prohibition of the right of creditors to file

statutory demands and a restriction on windingup

petitions for COVID-19 related debts.


While some of the measures are temporary,

others will be permanent, dating back to the

government’s original consultation in August

2016. The impact of those permanent changes

is estimated to bring net benefits to businesses

totalling more than £1.9bn in today’s prices.

The government says there is widespread

support for the measures in the Bill, including

from the relevant professions and business

groups. Urgent action is undoubtedly required.

But how are they ensuring that the needs of

creditors are being addressed as well as those

facing financial hardship? And how are they

ensuring that such measures aren’t going to be

abused to the creditors’ detriment?

It is recognised that the new restructuring

tools are more debtor friendly in order to promote

company rescue which is generally accepted to

return more to creditors than the alternative of

administration or liquidation. But it is also about

protecting jobs and long-term investment. The

proposals in the Bill do also introduce a number

of protections for creditors to balance the

proposals for debtors and to ensure the integrity

of the insolvency regime.

For example, the thresholds for entering the

moratorium are designed to ensure that only

companies that are insolvent (or likely to be) can

use it and this must be signed off by a statement

of the appointed monitor – a regulated insolvency

practitioner who must also ensure that the

company abides by the rules of the moratorium.

Companies required to continue to supply under

the suspension of termination clauses must be

paid for services and supplies procured during

the moratorium, otherwise the Monitor must

bring the moratorium to an end (and of course

the supplier can terminate the contract).

In addition, where supplies are not paid

for during a moratorium (or other insolvency

procedure) and the company subsequently

enters into insolvency, then those debts will

receive a higher priority (in line with expenses

of the monitor) recognising the requirement to

supply. Any company required to supply can

apply to a court under the ‘hardship’ provision

to be exempt from supplying. Finally, during

the COVID-19 period, small businesses will be

temporarily exempt from this requirement.

The restructuring plan also has important

protections for those companies that are bound

to it under the new cross class cram down

provisions if they voted against it. Namely that

they must not be worse off under a restructuring

plan than the next most likely alternative

if the plan were not to go forward, such as

administration or liquidation. In addition, a

restructuring plan must be sanctioned by a court

as being ‘fair and equitable’.

Paul Bannister is Head of Policy at the

Insolvency Service.

Among the

other measures

contained in

the Bill is the


removal of the

threat of personal

liability for

wrongful trading

from directors

who try to keep

their companies

afloat through the


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 12


The Moratorium -

How will it work in


AN SME clothing company, Example Fashion Ltd, suffered

a bad debt of £250,000 after one of its major customers, a

department store, entered administration. According to

its customer’s administrator, there was very little hope of

receiving any of the £250,000 owed through the administration.

The department store had been the company’s largest

customer. However, following negative press, the directors

had worked hard at sourcing new customers so as not to be as

dependant on the department store for business.

Accordingly, at the time the bad debt is suffered, the

company has a healthy order book for the following six

months, but it is not due to receive payment for any of the new

customer orders for at least three months. The company is

receiving payment in invoices from other, smaller customers

but does not have sufficient cashflow to pay all of the debts

that are due now, many of which relate to goods and services

procured to fulfil the department store contract. The company

is now ‘cashflow insolvent’.

While most of its suppliers are supportive, a minority of the

unpaid suppliers are threatening to take legal action against

the company, and one has already served the company with

a statutory demand. One of the directors intends to raise

money for the company by re-mortgaging her own house.

Once these funds are invested in the company, it will be able

to repay its creditors. However, the funds will not be available

for a few weeks and creditors are threatening legal action

now, unconvinced that money will otherwise be forthcoming.

The directors seek advice from an IP and the IP believes

that the company can be saved via this investment. The IP

advises that the company enters a moratorium, a rescue

process that will protect the indebted company from creditor

action while the additional finance is raised.

The directors and the IP complete the necessary paperwork

and file a notice and other documents at court, commencing

a moratorium for an initial period of 20 business days. The

IP is appointed monitor. Using the income from the smaller

invoices, the company is able to pay its ongoing liabilities:

wages, rent, goods and services supplied in the moratorium


Unfortunately, soon after the moratorium is entered the

director’s re-mortgage is delayed and it becomes apparent

that the funds will not be available for a further six weeks.

The directors tell the Monitor about this. Based on the

information given to the Monitor by the director, the Monitor

continues to believe the investment will be made and that the

moratorium will bring about the rescue of the company as a

going concern. Accordingly, the Monitor does not bring the

moratorium to an end.

After 15 business days the directors file for a 20-business

day extension to the initial period; the Monitor completes

another statement that it is likely the moratorium will bring

about the rescue of the company as a going concern. During

this second 20-day period, the re-mortgage is completed,

and the funds are injected into the company. At this point,

the company ceases to be cashflow insolvent; it is able to pay

all of its older debts in full and the ongoing debts incurred

following entry into the moratorium. Accordingly, the

Monitor files a notice at court terminating the moratorium on

the grounds that rescue of the company has been achieved.

AUTHOR – Paul Bannister

In terms of the

details, the

new Corporate

Insolvency and


Bill will

introduce a new

moratorium to

give companies

breathing space

from their

creditors while

they seek a


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 13




Considerations in creating a strategic credit

management department. Part three.

AUTHOR – Matthew Godby MCICM(Grad)

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 14


IN this series, we’ve looked at

the range of factors that go into

developing a strategic credit

management function. One that

isn’t just there to ‘collect the

money’, but instead operates at

the heart of the business to help it develop

and grow.

In the first part of this series, we

reflected on how many credit control

departments still pursue a reactive

policy of jumping into action when a

debt becomes overdue or dealing with

matters based on who shouts the loudest.

An approach that doesn’t allow the credit

department or the business to improve

and move forward. We went on to look

at what a strategic credit management

department should look like.

In part two, we looked at the factors to

consider in developing such a department.

That a strategic credit management

department is the hub of the business; it

drives change and efficiencies across the

whole Order to Cash pathway; it leads and

collaborates across the wider business.

As I write the final part of this series,

a great deal has changed in a very short

space of time. COVID-19 is having a

devastating effect on businesses across

the country. With most of the UK economy

in a state of hibernation, most businesses

are having to cope with the twin effects of

dramatically reduced sales and customers

inability to pay for them. So what are the

benefits of having an adaptable, strategic

credit management function?


A Gallup survey from 2018 found

that 51 percent of employees said

they were looking for new jobs or

opportunities. Emotional support,

professional development, IT systems

that work, effective communication, clear

messaging, consistency of approach,

clear objectives and fair pay all play a part

in staff satisfaction.

The result? A happy, highly-skilled

workforce who are proud to work for

you. It gives staff a sense of achievement

that they are contributing to the success

of your business. Excellence breeds

excellence and as others hear how your

business is a great place to work, you

attract the best people. Which improves

your profit.


Good credit control is always about

customer relationships and not about

threats. Skilled credit controllers use a

range of influencing techniques to obtain

payment, but also listen and understand

the genuine problems customers might

be experiencing. They are supported

AUTHOR – Matthew Godby MCICM(Grad)

by the credit manager to make the right

commercial decisions, from a position of

knowledge. They understand that on-stop/

legal action threats are only a last resort,

when other options have been exhausted.

With COVID-19 placing many

businesses at risk due to a lack of cash,

I’ve spoken to far too many people who

have been reluctant to speak with their

customers, because they know that they

are probably experiencing cashflow

problems too. This goes to the heart

of what good credit management is

about: clear, honest conversations with

customers – providing support when

needed – that allow payments to be made

that are acceptable to all parties.

The result? Skilled staff, communicating

with customers professionally, is likely to

result in more prompt payments.


An efficient Order to Cash process means

robust risk and onboarding of new

customers, ‘right first time’ invoicing

practices, effective credit management

and strong leadership to make it work. An

efficient O2C pathway that is constantly

reviewed and adapted means a portfolio of

good paying customers, invoices that are

correct and pro-active credit controlling

that works and is supported. The result?

Increased cashflow and profit that can be

reinvested in staffing, infrastructure and

business growth.


The sales force don’t want to be wasting

their time on selling, only to find they

are declined at credit check stage. A

well-run credit management department

can help to increase sales. Providing the

sales department with meaningful data

on existing customer payment patterns,

communications and debt exposure

allows them to explore further sales

opportunities with existing customers,

which is always easier than trying to

obtain new sales. A customer onboarding

policy that allows credit checking new

prospects based on expected sales

projections, rather than actual sales,

means that payment terms can be

determined in advance and risks of bad

debt can be minimised. This allows sales

to avoid wasting time on risky customers

and means they can adapt their sales

based on the information to hand.


What goes into having satisfied

customers? Well having a product that

works, of course! However, reports

show that customers look to the wider

service that a business provides – such

as professionalism, communication,

fairness and being made to feel valued.

This is one of the key outcomes a

successful credit management department

can expect. Satisfied customers are

likely to pay quicker, recommend you

to others, buy more and enhance your



Coronavirus is causing untold devastation

to families across the country. This is

compounded by the unprecedented

damage being done to businesses and

livelihoods. Retailers were the first to be

hit, and reports suggest that half of highstreet

retailers could be in trouble by the

end of the Summer, so those businesses

who supply the sector could be under

increasing strain. The construction

industry was already deeply affected by

uncertainties surrounding Brexit, and

it now too faces further challenges with


Indeed, no business, whatever their

size or industry sector, is immune to the

cashflow crisis we are now in.

Cashflow is the heartbeat of every

business and there simply isn’t enough of

it to go around right now. I’ve spoken to

many businesses who don’t know how to

adapt their credit departments to the new

environment in which we find ourselves.

Many are therefore at risk of failure.

But it is those businesses I’ve spoken

to, who have well developed credit

management departments that work,

who will be able to adapt to the changing

circumstances and are better equipped to

survive the crisis and beyond.

Perhaps a hard lesson for many

businesses on the importance of effective,

strategic credit management that is fit for


Matt Godby MCICM(Grad), Director –

Godby Credit Management Ltd

Cashflow is the

heartbeat of every

business and there

simply isn’t enough

of it to go around

right now.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 15



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Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 16



How one commercial DCA has weathered the

storm and the lessons learned.

AUTHOR – Steve Lewis

Steve Lewis

WHEN the editor

called and asked me

to write an article

on The Life of a

Commercial DCA

during and after

COVID-19, I thanked him profusely. It has

been a welcome change from a. Netflix

or b. On-Line Quizzing, not that it has

affected my thought processes in any way!

In some ways it has been difficult

because the new reality is ‘Life but not

as we know it Jim’. But it’s not helpful to

simply say that ‘We can’t handle the truth’;

we now have to accept what is a reality

and as an industry, commercial debt

collection agencies are determined to

adapt and operate as such. We must now

deal with our clients and their customers

in a different way.

We had not planned for a ‘lockdown’. Of

course, we had all the usual ‘disaster plans’

in place, but when it really happened,

nothing in our experience seemed to help.

For the first week of closing the office we

were in a state of suspended animation,

along with literally millions of others,

including governments. None of us had

any previous experience of such a crisis

and we, as a business, were not sure

how we should go forward. Then reality

clicked in.

My team started to get its act together.

Our remote access was tested and those

who could, started to get us up and

running. Those whose personal and/

or health obligations did not allow, or

where it was totally impracticable to work

from home, were placed on furlough.

Telephone diverts were quickly put in

place and ‘WhatsApp’ Groups and Zoom

meetings quickly established.


With the housekeeping taken care of, we

were now facing a new reality. As debt

collectors, there is always the assumption

that our services may seem a little

inappropriate for the current climate. But

never assume!

Our clients’ cashflow was now the

major consideration. There are still

industries out there selling and innovating

and by default must also be buying

products and services. Industries such as

transportation, food, medical and many

others that I am sure suddenly come to

mind means that credit control always

remains an important aspect of business.

Of course, in the immediate present

the building industry, retail and many

others are taking a big hit, so as a

commercial DCA it means that we need

Some businesses say

that they cannot pay

because of the current

crisis, and it is left

to our training and

experience to establish

the veracity of any

statement, as we have

always done.

to understand exactly what has happened

and is happening currently. We have had

to be far more empathetic in the way we

approach those we are chasing. It is often

far more prudent to give time to discuss

repayment schedules rather than a

tougher approach to immediate payment.

Agencies have had to move with the times

we are operating in.

Agencies like ours are establishing a

relationship now between all parties that

can be built upon when things return to

a certain level of normality. It will never

again be that easy to dismiss one supplier

for another when payments are delayed

or contract arguments cannot be settled.

There is a sea change on the way that we

all deal with each other, because at the

moment, and I hope it lasts, everyone in

a business or personal capacity will need

each other for support as we go forward.

There will be no mileage in aggressive

payment or collection attitudes. But

let us not be too naive, in the world of

commerce and industry there will always

be businesses that use credit just to

survive, and delay payments as a natural

way to protect cash flow. ‘Payment lagging’

will never disappear and arguments and

problems over payment will always be

part of business, but what a shock we

have all had.


Some businesses say that they cannot

pay because of the current crisis, and it

is left to our training and experience to

establish the veracity of any statement,

as we have always done. None of us

have had any experience of what is now

happening. I, for one, never want to go

through this again, but it has meant that

every business I speak to, large or small,

is not as dismissive of our intervention as

we first thought. In some ways, because

of reduced staff levels everywhere and

many working from home, personal

contact has become easier and in some

ways friendlier. We are ‘all in the same

boat’ is perhaps the best way to describe

the business attitude out there at the


At the time of writing we are making

plans for a return to the office. Our

emphasis will continue to be more

personal contact with our clients. We

do not doubt that there will be a surge

in instruction from clients as we all

endeavour to get back to ‘normal’ and our

personal approach will mean that we can

give them a better understanding of some

of the expectations regarding collection

and in some instances the slightly longer

time considerations. That is not to say we

will lose any of our fervour in achieving

results, but we have to recognise the

very different trading conditions we are

returning to.

Steve Lewis is Managing Director LPL

Commercial Investigations

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 17


Commercial Brake

What impact is COVID-19 having on the collection

of commercial debts?


“The impact will be many

times worse over the

coming months, however,

as we gradually come out

of lockdown. Naturally,

insolvencies will rise –

as they always do post a

recession – and, generally,

businesses will also be

faced with higher debt

levels to service, tax

deferments to be repaid and

the cliff edge and reality of

trading post Brexit.”

are a lot

of sure things in

this world – it

keeps spinning for

one. Recessions


come and go

and invariably we get through them.

However, COVID-19 brings unique

challenges – certainly nothing like I have

ever experienced in my many years of


So says George Miles, founder and

Managing Director of Paladin. He

believes it could take several years for

the economy to recover and there will be

many casualties along the way: “I think

we will live in a changed business world,”

he continues, “where being dynamic is

key. Now is an important time. I am

afraid that some companies won’t make it

and it’s important that you prepare now.”

What George means by this is that

companies need to start beefing up their

bad debt provisions: “Over-provisioning

now resulting in possible release later is

much better than being under-provided

and suffering losses. Having a robust

credit policy in place is also key. Make

sure that your whole business knows your

collection process and ensure that you

bolt on a reputable debt collection agency

to help. Third party intervention can play

a major part in your armoury.”

George says that firms also need to

be flexible: “Know your customers,” he

says. “Some will be vulnerable and need

help to survive – it’s better to try and

help than go in all guns blazing. Getting

something is better than getting nothing.

Some customers may not have the cash to

pay you right now so negotiate payment

plans where you can – again bolting

on an agency if the arrangement falls

down. Using or threatening late payment

legislation can also focus where payments



Perhaps not surprisingly, George is not

alone in his view, especially that some

businesses will struggle to survive. Lynne

Darcey of Darcey Quigley says that

despite ‘trying times’, businesses still need

to recover outstanding invoices and the

money they are duly owed.

“I think everyone understands to

an extent the impact that this virus is

having on both our personal lives and on

business,” she says. “Although businesses

must be understanding and sympathetic

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 18



to the needs of their customers, they must

try to ensure they prioritise their collection

process and procedures. We have several

clients who have furloughed almost all staff;

however, the finance department are still

operating as money still must come into

the business. Although there are several

grants and loans available to help in the

current environment, for some businesses

this may not be sufficient and therefore it is

imperative they recover what is owed to them

in a timely fashion.”

Lynne says that while some people are

apprehensive about asking for the money,

recovering outstanding payments is revenue

that can make the difference between a

business remaining operational and closing

its doors: “I believe that the most important

point here is that you treat each business on

a case by case basis,” she explains.

“You must be thorough on implementing

your credit management process much like

a commercial debt recovery company is. It

is essential you understand what impact the

current situation has had on your customer

as credit scores and rating before this

crisis will have no bearing on their current

circumstances nor give you an accurate

reflection on their ability to pay. You need to

know what impact it has had on their sales,

and what impact it will have in the coming


Lynne also says credit teams and businesses

need to be flexible: “In this climate you

must be open to slightly deviating from

your standard terms or open to receiving a

payment plan if necessary,” she continues.

“You must keep contact with your customers

high until payments have been made and

you must provide clear deadlines to your

customers and follow them through.”

She says you cannot allow for your customer

to control the timeframes: “You must decide

on the timescales that suit your business

within the constraints of your customers'

financial status or creditworthiness. If this

fails, then it may be time to assign this to a

professional pre-litigation commercial debt

recovery company to facilitate the payment.

A lot can happen and change in a business

within a week.”


Yvette Gray, UK and Ireland country director

for Atradius, agrees, and says that the good

news is that debt collection is still very much

underway but not without its challenges:

“Many firms have paused operations,

effectively ‘shut down’ with the entire

workforce on furlough, while others have

shifted to working from home; this means

that the traditional processes for collecting

debt may simply no longer be effective. And

while some may be genuinely struggling to

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 19

pay their bills at the moment, for others, the

current situation becomes yet another excuse

not to pay and it’s crucial to differentiate

between the two.”

What Yvette means by this is that this isn’t

time for ‘business as usual’: “Businesses need

to evolve their processes to overcome the

additional hurdles created by COVID-19,” she


“A new framework to manage debt

collection is the first step in allowing

businesses to identify potential problems

early on and manage the risk of late and nonpayment.

A comprehensive assessment of

your accounts receivable portfolio is essential,

segmenting customers into key accounts

which need a personal approach and those

which will benefit from automated practices;

such as accounts characterised by high

volume, low value invoices. Some businesses

come to us because they want us to handle

the automation for them, enabling them to

invest in their key customers while others take

the reverse approach so they know their key

customers are handled with care, ensuring

effective payment collection while preserving

good supplier relationships for future trade.”

Unfortunately, Yvette says, with more

challenging economic circumstances, the

number of customers struggling to pay on

time is likely to increase: “In these situations,

take a diplomatic approach and consider

renegotiating payment terms where it aligns

with your credit policy,” she continues.

“Offer short-term relief – such as suspending

interest and late fees – in exchange for prompt

payment and, where possible, offer incentives

to encourage early payments. Where there

are liquidity issues, work out a payment plan,

accepting that some payment in the short

term is preferable to having to write-off the

whole debt should the situation deteriorate.”

Prevention, she advises, is better than cure:

“When it comes to invoicing, streamline

your processes and iron out any scope for

error or dispute. Continually monitor your

accounts receivable portfolio so you can

spot cashflow problems early and review the

format and frequency of your invoices and

reminders; are they being addressed to a

contact who is now working from home or to

an office which is closed? Ask your customer

if invoicing needs to be adjusted or payment

procedures temporarily adjusted. Proactive

communication and where necessary

incorporating modifications could nip

invoicing-related delays in the bud.

“Payment reminders should be timely,

professional and appropriate,” she adds.

“Whilst you may need to adapt to address

current circumstances, it’s also prudent

to bear in mind past payment behaviours

and perhaps consider changing your usual

protocol to stimulate action. For example, has

continues on page 20 >



your customer become used to your procedures

and so relying on being able to wait for you to

send three reminders before they really have to

pay? Ensure reminders are heeded by warning

of the consequences of non-payment, including

interest, withdrawal of future credit facilities

and your partnership with a third-party

collection agency.”


Even with the current challenges, Michael

Rogers, Business Development Manager at

Redwood Collections, believes that collections

should not be any more challenging than

previously: “With the right approach and/

or assistance, collections need not be more

difficult, and that effective policies and

procedures will help strike the balance between

recoveries and reputational concerns,” he says.

Michael urges clients to make sure their pointof-sale

paperwork is watertight in terms of later

dispute or query: “The enthusiasm of a new

sale (and dare I say the average salesperson!)

may result in poor paperwork, compromising

credit control if the relationship sours. Things

like multiple contact details or a clear reference

to your terms and conditions can assist the

recovery process and rule out spurious disputes.

“It is also important to have a clear escalation

route. If you state a deadline in your opening

correspondence, make sure that it is followed

up in a timely manner. This will convince your

customers that you are true to your word and

will escalate the matter if necessary.”

Michael also advises businesses to categorise

their credit control ledgers: “A ‘one size fits

all’ approach will not reach all the nooks and

crannies of your ledger,” he says. “If left with a list

of stubborn and reclusive customers, consider

which of those are worthy of a potential referral

to a debt collection agency, those which are

vulnerable and require special care, and those

which may sadly be candidates for write-off.”

“In this climate you

must be open to

slightly deviating

from your standard

terms or open to

receiving a payment

plan if necessary,

you must keep

contact with your

customers high

until payments have

been made and

you must provide

clear deadlines to

your customers

and follow them


Steve Rose MCICM – Associate at Escalate Disputes

With a significant liquidity crunch being a very real prospect for businesses

across many sectors of the economy, there are steps that leadership teams

can take now to bolster their balance sheets and protect their cashflow.

Plan ahead – Keep updating your cashflow forecast as new information

becomes available and pay particularly close attention to your list of debtors.

Keep in touch – Stay in contact with your debtors to find out how they’re

getting on and to anticipate any potential problems.

Be firm – Make sure that you’re very clear in your conversations with debtors

and what you require of them.

Be fair – The reality is that many businesses are going to face pressures

on their cashflow over the coming months, so consider introducing some

flexibility when dealing with some of your most trusted clients.

And if you’re not getting anywhere… If you feel that you can’t come to an

agreement with a debtor, it may be time for expert advice.


So has the true impact on collections been

felt? Alex Hilton-Baird, Managing Director of

Hilton-Baird Collection Services, thinks not: “At

the moment, it feels a little like the calm before

the storm in terms of cash collections,” he says.

“Although it has become more difficult to

recover payments since the lockdown began,

with many businesses mothballing and large

numbers of accounts payable and finance staff

being furloughed, cash collections haven’t

slowed quite as quickly as we might have


“The impact will be many times worse over

the coming months, however, as we gradually

come out of lockdown. Naturally, insolvencies

will rise – as they always do post a recession –

and, generally, businesses will also be faced with

higher debt levels to service, tax deferments

to be repaid and the cliff edge and reality of

trading post Brexit.

“Businesses should be looking to use this

time wisely to get the basics right. By this we

mean to ensure they know their customers

and importantly the nuances of their accounts

payable systems or invoicing processes. They

should also have robust terms and conditions

in place, invoice accurately and on time, put

in pre-due date calls to verify payments will be

on time and seek specialist support where no

progress is being made.

“What’s perhaps most important of all is to

maintain a human touch when engaging with

customers. We need to recognise that people and

businesses are genuinely struggling out there,

and many will have little choice but to delay

payment. In these instances, we have found

it very useful to have a working knowledge of

the support available, and where appropriate

to signpost debtors and challenge what we are

being told.”

Alex believes that whatever happens, third

party collections agencies will play a valuable

role in supporting businesses in the months

ahead: “As well as providing additional resource

when credit teams are stretched and adding

extra weight to collections efforts when a

customer isn’t paying, they’ll also be required

to act as a mediator, obtaining payment whilst

being sympathetic to the customer’s situation,”

he says.

“I believe going forward we will see shorter

credit terms being extended between SMEs

trading with each other, more business being

conducted on pro-forma terms and personal

guarantees used more to underpin credit. There

will also need to be a reimaging of credit scoring,

including more regular updating of algorithms

to include live payment practices and granular

Open Banking data.

“For now, though, focus on recovering aged

balances quickly, seeking support where

necessary, and ensuring appropriate credit risk

policies are in place going forward,” says Alex.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 20



Has the restaurant industry had its chips?

AUTHOR – Peter Kubik

THE restaurant industry is

suffering, with the UK’s

Top 100 restaurant groups

making a loss of circa

£151m last year. This

was partly due to costs

associated with the increase in minimum

wage from £7.83 to £8.21 in April 2019,

alongside high rents affecting the high

street in general.

High and rising costs were not the only

problems restaurants faced. Many also

face stiff competition not only with other

restaurant businesses, but with other

branches of their own restaurants located

in close proximity.

The impact that cost and competition is

having on the restaurant industry is clear

for all to see. Insolvencies in the year to

June 2019 increased by 25 percent and

were at their highest since 2014. Now, due

to COVID-19, we can only expect these

figures to increase.


From early-March 2020, the public was

advised to avoid the hospitality industry

and restaurants were subsequently forced

to close their doors on 20 March 2020.

Albeit, some were able to continue trading

through delivery/collection services.

The government introduced various

methods to help restaurant businesses

survive, including the furlough scheme,

deferring payment of VAT due between

20 March and 30 June 2020, automatic

business rates relief and grants of up to


However, little has been done regarding

rent reductions which is arguably

a restaurant’s highest cost, leaving

businesses trying to negotiate new terms

with their landlords.

Some restaurants have sought

restructuring advice to introduce new

cost-cutting measures, such as requesting

a rent reduction from their landlord or

negotiating new terms such as linking rent

to turnover. Many restaurant chains have

significant finance costs which still need

to be paid, unless a new arrangement can

be met with their funders.

However, due to the historic increase

in losses, many restaurants will have

no reserves to meet on-going liabilities,

meaning there is great uncertainty as to

how they will survive during lockdown.


Once restaurants are given the green light

to reopen, which at the earliest will be in

a few days time, restaurants will need to

adapt to social distancing rules put forth

by the government, for both customers

and their staff.

It is anticipated that restaurants will

not be able to open at full capacity as

there will be a requirement to keep each

table at a safe distance from others. This

could reduce the headcount by around 50

percent. Restaurants are likely to struggle

to adhere to social distancing measures,

particularly with their kitchen staff,

and may need to introduce new trading


It is likely that restaurants with an

outside seating area will be able to

welcome more customers, as transmission

of coronavirus is lower.

Other measures that restaurants may

need to take include, only accepting

card payments, readily available hand

sanitisers, the removal of condiments

from tables, providing cutlery only when

the food is ready and deep cleaning of the

premises on a daily basis. Some of these

measures could increase business costs

for the foreseeable future.

Even upon reopening, it is likely there

will be a reduction in footfall as members

of the public may be cautious about

eating out and being in close proximity

to others. This may also be the case due

to the increasing popularity of restaurant

delivery apps, which continues to eat into

the turnover of restaurant dining.


Restaurants will need to have a plan in

place outlining how they will fund the

business once they reopen. Any deferred

VAT and rent will be due, historic creditors

will need to be paid, produce will need to

be purchased, and staff costs will begin

to be reintroduced. Staffing levels may

also need to be reduced, meaning any

costs associated with redundancies and

closures of loss-making sites will need to

be paid on a reduced turnover.

In order to navigate through these

changes, forecasts will have to be

carefully prepared. Many companies may

have to consider Company Voluntary

Arrangements, a formal repayment

scheme which has previously been used

by several high street chains.

Peter Kubik is Partner at UHY Hacker

Young, the national accountancy firm

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 21



Credit Management asked John Ricketts FCICM

to reflect on his time as President (and later Chair)

of the Credit Services Association (CSA).

AUTHOR – John Ricketts FCICM

BEFORE the USA joined the

Second World War, China was

desperately defending itself

against a Japanese invasion.

In 1941 the Chinese Emperor

hired an international group

of mercenary pilots mostly made up of former

US military personnel to bring the fight to the

Japanese paying three times normal salary and

a $500 bonus for each kill.

In just seven months of intense aerial

combat, this American Volunteer Group (AVG)

of 100 mercenaries achieved the highest kill

ratio of any fighter group of the time, downing

297 enemy aircraft whilst only losing 14

pilots. Nicknamed the ‘Flying Tigers’ by the

Chinese after the pilots painted intimidating

Tiger Sharks’ teeth on the noses of their P40

Warhawks, they eventually became celebrities

in an America rocked by Pearl Harbor with even

Walt Disney designing a logo for them.

How did they do it? They ripped up the rule

book and ‘changed’, constantly adapting their

tactics against the superior Japanese fighters,

but whose pilots slavishly stuck to a one

dimensional rule book never changing what

they had always done. One of those mercenary

pilots was Flight Leader F Ricketts.

Why the history lesson? After 11 years on the

CSA Board, I took over as President in February

2017 determined to use my three-year term to

effect change and keep the CSA relevant.

In many respects, the Flying Tigers

methodology was a forerunner to the OODA

loop cycle, a management philosophy that I’ve

always tried to stick with when introducing

change. What’s OODA I hear you say? The OODA

loop describes a cycle developed by military

strategist and United States Airforce Colonel

John Boyd in the 1970’s and still used by the

military today. It stands for observe–orient–


Boyd applied the concept to the combat

operations process, often at the operational

level during military campaigns. It is now

also often applied to understand commercial

operations and learning processes. The

approach explains how agility can overcome

raw power in dealing with human opponents. It

teaches you to constantly refine your approach

to business and your own decisions based on

continuing/ongoing information feeds rather

than blindly following a single path. Let’s be

clear, many ideas for change never made it past

the CSA Board – and rightly so!


In the first year of my (grand-sounding)

‘Presidential term’, the CSA was accepted onto

the new Register of Apprenticeship Training

Providers (RoATP) delivering apprenticeships

to its members and other interested companies

in key areas of debt collection, compliance,

leadership and management. Since then,

the CSA’s Learning and Development team,

under the leadership of Fiona Macaskill, has

developed its training portfolio to become a

major income source for the CSA with more

than 200 apprentices.

In this year we also successfully re-launched

the revised CSA Code of Practice to members,

regulators and stakeholders at a reception held

in the House of Commons. The relaunched

code reflected a new principles-based approach

to membership governance.


As a sign of the growing influence of the CSA,

Peter Wallwork, the CSA Chief Executive, and I

accepted an invitation to join the Department

of Health working party in its review of the use

and effectiveness of the Debt and Mental Health

Evidence Form (DMHEF). The first meeting was

held at 10 Downing Street in 2017 and delays

in making progress led the CSA to proactively

and unilaterally change its code in 2018 to move

away from the use of the DMHEF due to the

detrimental impact on the consumer. It was

a move that at the time was welcomed by the

Minister for Mental Health who commended

the CSA for leading the way. My second year

as President was no less propitious. In 2018

the CSA achieved an Investor in Customers

(IIC) Silver Award, the IIC recognising an

Nicknamed the

‘Flying Tigers’ by

the Chinese after

the pilots painted

intimidating Tiger

Sharks’ teeth on the

noses of their P40

Warhawks, they

eventually became

celebrities in an

America rocked by

Pearl Harbor with

even Walt Disney

designing a logo for


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 22


AUTHOR – John Ricketts FCICM

‘outstanding’ achievement in the CSA’s

first first assessment. Silver was retained

in 2019 with our accreditation now in its

second year.

This year also saw several board

discussions around the CSA’s direction of

travel and fitness to represent a rapidly

maturing and changing industry. These

deliberations resulted in the appointment

of two, full-time senior management

positions within the Newcastle

Head Office, appointments that also

represented a significant financial

investment by the Board in the CSA’s

future. The first of these appointments

was Henry Aitchison, who started at the

beginning of 2019 in the new role of Head

of Policy. With a background including

the OFT, FCA and FLA Henry took on a

broad role supporting the CSA executive

team in identifying key policy issues and

developing a clear strategy to support the

CSA’s principal aims objectives. Henry

also took over representation of the CSA

on the FENCA board later in 2019.


The second appointment was not finalised

until late in 2019 with the arrival of Peter

Hayle to the newly created role of Director

of Finance and Operations. By having a

senior team player overseeing finance and

operations, the CSA was able to free up

the CEO and the Board to focus on critical

areas of lobbying, strategy and policy.

This in turn resulted in the development

of a clear position on the Association’s

three primary roles:

• Engage – to represent members at the

highest level with external stakeholders

to enhance the reputation of the


• Promote – to promote excellence and

integrity in standards and culture

across the industry

• Support – to facilitate a collaborative

environment to share best practice for

the further improvement and ongoing

professionalism of the industry

I am happy to say that the CSA continues

to fulfil these obligations into 2020 and



The CSA is governed by a non-executive

Board of 13 directors (the Board), 10

of whom are practitioners from CSA

member companies and elected by

the members. During the earlier

years, the CSA relied heavily on the

practitioner Board Directors to use their

own time to do work representing the


The governance of the CSA changed

in 2019, and with it went the title of

President to be replaced by the more

recognised ‘Chair’. Also disappearing

were the personal responsibilities of

each Board Director for an area of the

CSA’s business (or portfolio), replaced by

committees, with responsibilities spread

across a number of directors.


Arguably the biggest event outside of the

CSA’s internal re-positioning and refocus

was a major consumer-facing campaign

entitled #heretohelp. This campaign,

focused on a single key message, one

of early engagement by customers and

members, and it was well-received by

members, stakeholders, government and

consumer groups.

In early 2020 it further refined

its governance arrangements and

announced a new, independent ‘Chair’

in Lord Chandos. The key word here

is ‘independence’, and for now and

in the future, the new appointee will

intentionally not be a current practitioner.

We exist in a part-regulatory and

in some respects multi-regulatory

environment for debt collection in the UK

and one of the key external aims over my

three years was to lobby and work closely

with industry regulators, government and

other stakeholders to strengthen the CSA

Code of Practice and see it recognised

as the common denominator. Progress

has been frustratingly slow, but we are

taken far more seriously as a sector than

we ever did, strengthened by our data

gathering initiative (DGI) showing that

CSA members return £4bn to the economy

each year and contribute over £30m in

voluntary Fairshare contributions to

money advice. We have a voice now and

it is heard.

I look back on the last three years

with a mixture of pride and satisfaction.

I am proud, for example, that we’ve been

able to keep membership fees low, with

no increases in some years and only

inflationary increases in others, whilst

still being able to fund change. But my

time has also been tinged with an element

of frustration too. However much you

achieve, there is always more you want

to do. As for me, I am staying on for a

final three-year term as a non-executive

director on the ‘back benches’ supporting

Viscount Chandos as he takes over as


I somehow doubt, however, that ‘Lord

Tom’ will need much help.

John Ricketts FCICM is Managing

Director, Ardent Credit Services Ltd and

Non-Executive Director of the Credit

Services Association

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 23



In a case of liquidation, can the courts insist on

records being returned that are kept overseas?

AUTHOR – Peter Walker


G Wells thought in his

book ‘The Outline of

History’ that language

‘is the instrument of

thought as bookkeeping

is the instrument of

business.’ Bookkeeping can also provide

useful information in an insolvency, and it

was a consideration for a High Court judge

in the case In re Carna Meats (UK) Ltd

(2020) 1WLR 1176, where the accounting

records were abroad in Ireland out of the

court’s jurisdiction.

The consideration for the liquidator

of a UK meat wholesaler was the lack

of bookkeeping records in the country.

He knew that, according to the latest

accounts filed at London’s Companies

House, the value of the debtors was in

excess of £800,000, a ‘significant asset in

the liquidation’. The directors did not have

the records, but they said that a company

had dealt with the accounts. There was

also a bookkeeper, but he was across the

border in Southern Ireland.

The company which had dealt with the

accounting records responded that it did

not have them. The bookkeeper in Ireland

did not respond to correspondence. The

liquidator through its solicitors eventually

threatened to apply to the court for an

examination of the bookkeeper under the

provisions of the Insolvency Act 1986.

This time the bookkeeper responded.

He did not deny that he had been the

bookkeeper nor that he had access to

the accounting records. He asserted

instead that the company owed him ‘a

considerable sum of money’. The solicitors

asked for proof of debt and reminded him

of his statutory duty to the liquidator.

They requested the bookkeeper to answer

the liquidator’s enquiries but heard

nothing back.

The liquidators therefore completed an

application notice seeking a court order

that the bookkeeper deliver all documents,

books and records of the company in

his control or possession. They listed

examples of what was required, such

as the annual accounts, management

accounts, breakdown of debtors, Sage

accounting records, cash book, and more.

The bookkeeper would be responsible for

the costs of the application.

He, of course, was outside the UK, and

not in the jurisdiction, so the application

included Form N510, being a ‘Notice

for service out of the jurisdiction where

permission of the court is not required’.

The bookkeeper was in Southern

Ireland, a country subject to the Lugano

Convention. After the completion of

Brexit, on whatever date that may be, the

UK will usefully remain a member of that

Convention. The documents were served

both on the Court in County Monaghan

and by registered post to the bookkeeper’s

last known address in that County.

Liquidators usually

need bookkeeping

records to do their

job properly, and in

the cosmopolitan UK

companies sometimes

have overseas




This was part of the liquidator’s enquiry

into the Company’s dealings, etc., under

the authority of section 236 of the

Insolvency Act 1986. On the application

of ‘the office-holder’, i.e. the liquidator in

this case, the court may summon various

people to appear before it. Those people

include any officer of the company,

anyone in possession of the company’s

property, or is indebted to it, or anyone

capable of giving specified information

as to the company’s affairs. The court may

then require any such person to provide

an account of his or her dealings with the

company. He or she may have to produce

relevant papers or documents (section


The court has additional powers,

and it may order that the person may

be examined in any part of the United

Kingdom ‘or in a place outside the United

Kingdom’ (s 237(3)). That seems to be

welcomingly broad, although this time the

liquidator just wanted the bookkeeping

records in accordance with section 236(3).

Lord Slynn in another case, In re British

and Commonwealth Holdings plc (Nos

1 and 2) (1993) AC 426, pointed out that

the court’s power under section 236 was

a discretionary one. The requirement to

produce documents, for example, must

not put an unreasonable burden on the

person asked to produce them. In that

case Adam Johnston QC thought that this

would not be an obstacle, but he then

turned to the question of whether the

court had jurisdiction.

He questioned the basis on which

service was made, and he reviewed

the decisions in cases such as In re MF

Global UK Ltd (No 7) (2016) Ch 325. In

the Chancery Division of the High Court

Richards J also considered an order made

under section 236. The Joint Special

Administrators wanted documents from

a French company. Richards J was guided

by a decision of the judges of the Court of

Appeal, In re Tucker (RC) a bankrupt) ex p

Tucker KR (1990) Ch 148.

The Trustee in Bankruptcy wanted

an order against the bankrupt’s brother

living in Belgium. The alleged authority

was section 25 of the Bankruptcy Act 1914.

The Court of Appeal judges analysed the

wording, and they decided that it did not

allow for service outside the jurisdiction.

This was significant in the MF Global case,

where Richards J ruled that section 25 of

the Bankruptcy Act was in ‘substantially

the same terms as sections 236 and 237’

of the Insolvency Act 1986. It did not look

good for the liquidator in the Carna Meats



Perhaps what was needed was a judge

who had a different view of section 236,

The judges of the Court of Appeal in the

case In re Mid East Trading Ltd (1998) 1

All ER 577 considered the winding up

of a Lebanese company in England.

The liquidators wanted Lehman Bros in

New York to produce some documents,

which might throw some light on a

fraud relating to the company. Chidwick

LJ said that the court could exercise the

power subject to certain conditions. The

applicant had to show that there was a

proper case to make the order. This meant

that the liquidator reasonably needed to

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 24


AUTHOR – Peter Walker

see the documents in order to exercise his or her

statutory functions. The order must not ‘impose

an unnecessary or unreasonable burden’ on the

person who is obliged to produce the documents

required. There were other considerations, such

as breach of confidence or criminal penalties.

All things considered the judges of the Court

of Appeal would give extraterritorial effect to

section 236.

So, some judges will, and some judges won’t.

Judge Hodge QC was sitting as a judge in the

Chancery Division of the High Court, and he

was faced with an application under section

236 in the case In re Omni Trustees Ltd; Official

Receiver v Norriss (2015) BCC 906. A company

was trustee of an occupational pension scheme,

and it transferred some £3.7m to a Hong Kong

based scheme, the Secretary of State petitioned

to wind up the company on public interest

grounds. The liquidator wanted to find out what

had happened to the £3.7m in the form of a

witness statement by a Trustee of the Hong Kong

scheme. The Trustee objected on the grounds

that the English Court had no jurisdiction to

make the order, and that the order went beyond

what was permissible.

The High Court made the order. Section

236 had an extra-territorial effect, and it only

required information about the transactions

from the Company to the Hong Kong scheme.

Judge Hodge QC criticised, or perhaps

distinguished, the decision in the MF Global

case. Section 236 was not the same as section 25

of the Bankruptcy Act. The judge thought that it

was structured differently, because it separated

the powers to order an examination (section

236(2)) and to produce documents (section


There were other judgments questioning a

restrictive interpretation of section 236. There

was the case re Casterbridge Properties Ltd

(2002) BCC 453 not cited in the Carna Meats

case. There too was the Secretary of State that

had petitioned for a winding up petition on

a public interest petition. It alleged that the

company had committed a time-share fraud.

The Official Receiver wanted an examination of

one of the directors in St Vincent, but there were

complications. There was, for example, a St

Vincent statute forbidding such an examination

without the consent of a St Vincent Court.

During the course of the litigation Burton

J considered section 236 and the various

conflicting judgments of the English courts.

He cautiously asserted that there was no doubt

about ‘the partial extra-territorial effect of

section 236’.


Judgments like these influenced the decision

of Johnson QC in the Carna Meats case with

reference to section 236(3), to the power of the

court to require a person to submit an account

of his or her dealings with the company, or to

Liquidators may

need power to get

at bookkeeping and

other records from

countries outside

the jurisdiction of

the local courts

in the UK. This is

important now that

the coronavirus

lockdown is likely

to result in business


produce documents, etc. The power could be

exercised abroad provided that the person

involved had this sufficient connection with the

jurisdiction. The Irish former bookkeeper had

that connection.

A sensible conclusion! Liquidators

usually need bookkeeping records to do

their job properly, and in the cosmopolitan

UK companies sometimes have overseas

connections. Liquidators may need power to

get at bookkeeping and other records from

countries outside the jurisdiction of the local

courts in the UK. This is important now that

the coronavirus lockdown is likely to result in

business bankruptcies.

Peter Walker is a freelance business writer

specialising in legal matters relating to credit


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 25


Live and Let Live

Despite wars, plagues, pogroms and other

terrors, we will survive.

AUTHOR – David Andrews

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 26


AUTHOR – David Andrews

CYCLING through the eerily

quiet North Laines area

of Brighton on the first

weekend of lockdown (I was

out for my daily exercise,

before you go grassing me

up), I was reminded of an early episode of

The Walking Dead.

Rick is walking down a normally

heaving suburban High Street. There are

no signs of life, tumbleweed cartwheels

down the main road. ‘Jesus,’ says Rick.

‘Where is everyone?’

The silence is then punctuated by that

now scarily familiar low growl, signifying

a peckish zombie lurking nearby. Yikes.

Reader, I can testify that there were no

zombies (apart from a couple of shuffling

street drinkers who had not got the Stay at

Home, Save Lives message) in Brighton’s

Kensington Gardens on the morning of

March 28, 2020.

But there was no-one. Houston, there

are no life signs. Nada. A fine spring

morning in the North Laines normally

heralds hordes – literally – of DFLs (those

Down from London) and other assorted

day trippers mingling with the locals,

spending freely and showing why my city

is one of the most visited in Europe.

But that was then. BCV. Before

COVID-19. Before THE VIRUS. Before our

lives changed, perhaps forever.

‘The writer defines the world’, asserted

the great American novelist James Salter.

And if one thing is certain in this uncertain

universe, it is that many, many words will

be written about the extraordinary social

and economic events of 2020.


I was in Spain playing tennis for a few days

when news of the ‘bug’ that was thought to

have emerged in China began to appear.

That was back in January. Mostly, people

just shrugged. So, what of it, was the

typical response. It’s like the ‘flu, right?

It happens. It’s winter. And so on and

so forth. I recall images played across

Spanish media of UK expats, partying

loudly on a beach and taunting locals with

shouts of ‘we’ve got the vi-ruuuusssss’

drunkenly sung to the ‘tune’ of a popular

football terrace chant.

I recall thinking, these clowns are

doing us no favours at all here.

And I recall thinking, I’m getting the

heck out of Dodge. Before it’s too late. Fast

forward to high summer 2020. Our beaches

are beginning to heave once again, our

shops are slowly but surely beginning to

open for business, and the tumbleweed

that a few months back metaphorically

blew through the North Laines has been

replaced by human beings, rather than


Rebuilding, as it was following the

Second World War, will be a long, slow,

and mortally expensive process.

‘It’s like we have upset

the Gods. I’ve been trading

for 15 years, and in that

time we have had the

meltdown of the banking

crisis, when it was as if

the earth had swallowed

up my customers’.


Just how much it is going to cost us as a

nation – in monetary terms – is an ongoing

calculation. And the numbers continue to

travel north at a phenomenal rate.

Our government borrowed a record

£62bn in April – more than had been

expected for the whole of 2020. The

budget deficit – the shortfall between

state spending and income from taxes

– continues to accelerate as tax receipts

fall off a cliff with the economy only just

embarking on a long and fragile road to


The Office for Budget Responsibility,

the Treasury tax and spending watchdog,

estimates the deficit could hit £300bn this

year, five times the sum borrowed in 2019,

and almost twice as much as after the

2008 financial crisis.

Nature may be impeccably reliable in

terms of its timing regarding the seasons,

but when pandemics are involved there is

no rhyme nor reason. Timing, in the case

of COVID-19, could not have been worse.

Many areas of our economy were

only just emerging, blinking into the

harsh, chill January days. The near civil

war in our country brought on by the

Brexit debacle and a bruising General

Election, the early seeds of a recovery in

a beleaguered property market – these all

now seem to be distant events, shadowy

vicissitudes played out through the

miasma of a distorted 2020.

On the weekend before the Prime

Minister made that fateful address,

announcing the immediate closure of

our shops, our pubs and restaurants, a

shutting down of our way of life, I spoke

– presciently it now seems – to a man who

owns one of the more popular cafes in

Brighton’s North Laines.


I was locking my bike to some scaffolding

outside his joint, and we started to chat. ‘I

don’t,’ he said, ‘much like the way things

seem to be going.

‘It’s like we have upset the Gods. I’ve

been trading for 15 years, and in that

time we have had the meltdown of the

banking crisis, when it was as if the earth

had swallowed up my customers. We

started to recover and then we had that

blasted Brexit. And when punters face an

uncertain future, they stop spending. It’s

a herd instinct. You can’t blame them….’

Now, as I pedal through those same

North Laines, and I clock the orderly

socially distanced queues outside the

slowly but surely re-opening cafes, the

gingerly returning out of towners, and

the tumbleweed is replaced by tentative

footfall, I think of that circle of life.

And think of all the grievous challenges

societies have faced over the centuries.

The wars, the plagues, the pogroms, the

terrors, and the horrors, and I think, yes,

we will survive. Of course we will. And

we will be back together again, happily

handing over our fiver for a pint, once

again browsing the restaurant menu, once

again booking a flight to the other side of

the world. Living, once again.

David Andrews is a freelance writer.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 27


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Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 28





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Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 29



Monthly round-up of the latest stories

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.

Retailers rapidly fall

out of fashion

WITH coronavirus eating its way

through global economies,

fashion seems to have a big

red target placed upon it. In

recent months, the UK has seen a number

of retailers in the sector fail including

Oasis and Warehouse while others are

struggling too including Cath Kidson and

Debenhams. Even firms that are in better

positions have been cancelling orders with


However, the travails of the sector are

most definitely not confined to the UK.

In the US, for example, preppy retailer J.

Crew Group is preparing for a bankruptcy

filing. The company is reportedly

working to secure $400m in financing

to fund operations in bankruptcy. While

coronavirus was the tipping point, it

doesn’t help that the New York-based

retailer had already been struggling under

a heavy debt load and sales challenges as

it suffered criticism that it had fallen out

of touch with its once-loyal customers. On

top of that the company has been grappling

with competition from online firms such as

Amazon which have taken market share.

The point for exporters in this

sector is very clear. Be careful when

accepting orders so that contracts cover

cancellations, that sales days outstanding

are kept to a minimum and that no matter

where in the world the client is, they will

be able to pay. If they can’t pay you may as

well hunt down re-runs of the Jeremy Kyle

show to fill your time.

EU aren’t likely to

get any benefits

IT’S what most of us already know. Michel

Barnier, the European Union’s Brexit negotiator

has recently gone on record as saying that the

UK is not automatically entitled to any benefits

that the bloc had previously granted to other

partners on trade.

Barnier said: “The UK cannot expect highquality

access to the EU single market if it is not

prepared to accept guarantees to ensure that

competition remains open and fair.”

So, is it game over? Do we have to prepare

for trade barriers to be imposed or will there be

some compromise? Who knows, but if I were an

EU-centric exporter I’d be taking a twin track

approach of maintaining my present customer

base while looking elsewhere for business.

“The UK cannot expect highquality

access to the EU single

market if it is not prepared to

accept guarantees to ensure that

competition remains open and fair.”

READERS will hopefully recall that last

month I reported that Japan kicked its

economy in the teeth by raising its VAT

rate from eight to 10 percent and that as

a result, consumer spending contracted

by 11.5 percent.

Well Japan’s not been alone in

making changes to its VAT rate -

Saudi Arabia is to triple its recently

introduced VAT from five to 15 percent

from 1 July this year. However, unlike

Japan, it’s to hike the rate through

sheer economic necessity as it strives


to support its coronavirus-hit economy.

On top of the VAT rise, a cost of living

allowance worth 1,000 riyals (around

£216) was suspended from 1 June. The

allowance only came in two years

ago to help offset increased financial

burdens of the introduction of VAT and

a rise in the price of petrol.

The core of the problem is that

government revenue has dropped

through the floor as a result of a huge

fall in demand for oil which in turn has

seen the price of oil crash. Oil revenues

in the first quarter fell by 22 percent

from a year earlier to $34bn. Further,

the Saudi’s appear to be living beyond

their means; the kingdom had a $9bn

(£7.2bn) budget deficit for the same


As with other countries, measures

to fight the impact of coronavirus are

expected to slow the pace and scale of

economic reforms.

So – be careful with your exposure to

Saudi Arabia as careless trading could

see you lose your head.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 30

Handy Andes are not to be sniffed at

ACCORDING to a report in MoneyWeek, the

region colloquially known as the Andean

Three – Chile, Peru and Colombia – should

not suffer too greatly from the coronavirus


The report notes that ‘emerging

markets have been flattened by investors’

stampede for the exit. The Institute of

International Finance estimates that

overseas investors pulled $95bn from

emerging markets in the first quarter

of 2020 – a record quarterly outflow.

Investors are right to be worried.’ It also

notes that emerging markets tend to

have poor health systems (an export

opportunity, despite cash-strapped

governments?), which won’t help the

fight against the pandemic. Indeed, the

International Monetary Fund (IMF) thinks

Latin America’s economies will contract

by 5.2 percent this year.

However, MoneyWeek reckons that the

Switzerland takes centre stage

in a post-Brexit world

SWITZERLAND is invariably associated

with cheese, mountains and watchmaking.

However, it also has a strong financial

centre and in a post-Brexit world, UK

finance-related services should consider a

tie up with the Swiss.

Yes, it’s true that Switzerland is not

the world’s largest country in terms of

geography or population (just 8.5 million

people) but it’s incredibly wealthy (20th by

GDP). Importantly, it has a strong banking

and money management sector. A recent

report from TheCityUK highlighted that

the UK and Switzerland dominate global

Brazil may drive you nuts

BE careful in Brazil – a point I’ve noted

before – as it appears that there’s some

serious political infighting going on

which is more than likely going to

damage the economy further. As the

Economist has detailed, Latin America’s

biggest economy is contending with both

the pandemic and an economic crisis

and now the justice minister Sérgio Moro

has resigned, ‘openly accusing president

Jair Bolsonaro of obstructing justice.

That has dealt a serious blow to the

president and sparked destabilising talk

of impeachment.’

Andean Three won’t see the pandemic

altering their medium-term growth

prospects too much. Why? It appears

that unlike some of their neighbours,

Chile, Peru and Colombia are wellmanaged,

open economies, with positive

demographics and great growth potential

as ‘all three are commodity powerhouses.’

Colombia has iron ore and oil; Peru the

world’s greatest deposits of silver, the

third-most copper and fifth-most gold;

and Chile has the world’s largest reserves

of copper and lithium. They’ve also

diversified into other areas such as nontraditional

agricultural exports such as

blueberries, avocados and grapes.

Quite simply, coronavirus is taking the

world by storm, but ultimately, we will all

still want the energy, food and minerals

that the three countries possess. Make a

beeline for the area and hold your nerve as

it should pay off in the long run.

exports of financial services – the UK’s

financial exports are $82bn while that of

the Swiss is $23bn. Singly or combined,

they put the US ($68bn), Germany ($16bn)

and France ($1.5bn) to shame.

With both (now) outside the EU and

(will be) excluded from its single market in

financial services, there’s a real potential

for a profitable tie up – especially as both

have strong regulatory systems backed by

the rule of law.

Now is the time to look to the future

and plan for some financial coalescence if

you’re in fintech.

The problem for exporters is that Brazil

was badly wounded by the last recession

where its GDP fell by more than seven

percent; the recession ended in 2017.

Bolsonaro was seen as a knight in

shining armour who would bring about

economic liberalisation and deal with

corruption. But in falling out with major

political allies he has not been very

effective; the country, an exporter of

soy, oil and metals, is very exposed to

commodity prices that have slumped

recently as the pandemic has destroyed


Make friends in Vietnam...

CORONAVIRUS has left no one untouched.

But that said, it appears that Vietnam could

do very nicely in the end and benefit from

a post virus revival. Why? While many

conglomerates moved their manufacturing

to China as it was a low-cost destination, a

number are now moving out as costs there

have risen. On top of that, the Chinese

shutdown showed to many the wisdom

of diversifying their supply chains. With

Vietnam having a young population which

is accordingly less affected by the virus

than Western countries, and having a lowcost

base, it’s a ready market for anyone

exporting to both its manufacturing sector

and a population that is seeing rising wealth.

…but watch out in Egypt

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF)

has approved a $2.77bn loan to Egypt in an

attempt to prevent economic collapse amid

the pandemic. Egypt, which last received

a loan from the IMF in 2016 is in trouble.

Tourism, which accounted for five percent

of the country’s GDP, has had sectoral

difficulties for years in light of terrorism,

but now it has completely vanished.

Compounding problems is slowing

international trade that has reduced

revenue from the Suez Canal. And it’s not

helping that plunging global energy prices

have hurt the country’s oil and gas sector.

To illustrate the state of the Egyptian

economy, IHS Markit’s Purchasing

Managers Index for the Egypt fell to a

historic low of 29.7 in April from 44.2 in

March, indicating that the private sector

is suffering as a result of social-distancing

measures that have seen mosques,

churches, gyms and nightclubs close.

Never say never, but while there is still

business to be done in Egypt, there are real

issues to plan out for.



OR CALL 020 7738 0777

Currency UK is authorised and regulated

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).


GBP/EUR 1.12748 1.10466 Flat

GBP/USD 1.28036 1.20784 Up

GBP/CHF 1.22482 1.17374 Up

GBP/AUD 1.88844 1.80656 Down

GBP/CAD 1.71744 1.68581 Flat


139.70041 129.33969 Up

This data was taken on 17 June and refers to the month

previous to/leading up to 16 June 2020.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 31

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Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 32


France is our

nearest neighbour

but still a mystery to




WHEN characterising

a nation such as

France it’s ever so

tempting to think of

a Gauloises cigarette,

Napoleon and the

Eiffel Tower. But of course, as with so

many other nations around the world,

France is much more than the stereotypes

that are applied to it.

With a history that extends beyond the

Iron Age and a name that descends from

the Latin word for country of the Franks

– Francia – the country now comprises 18

regions, five of which are overseas. Some

65 million live in the country as most

think of it – Metropolitan France – while

two million live in the other five regions

elsewhere across the globe.


France has the largest landmass in

Western Europe – 549,970 – and

it’s relatively sparsely populated with

8,496 sq.m per capita compared to the UK

(3,686), the Netherlands (1,992) and Macau

(42). Not unsurprisingly, the capital, Paris,

is the largest population centre with 12.5

million, followed at some distance by Lyon

(2.3 million), Marseilles (1.75 million) and

Toulouse (1.3 million). At the bottom of the

list of metropolitan areas (aires urbaines)

come Tours (492,722), Clemont-Ferrand

(479,096) and Nancy (435,336).

Demographically speaking, France

has, according to 2017 data, a reasonably

even distribution of its population among

the sexes and the five-year age bands up

to age 70 with around four million (male

and female) in each. From there upwards,

naturally, the bandings shrink to look

more pyramidal. If there is a ‘bulge’ it’s

between 45-54 - for both male and female.

France has for some time been a

country of immigration with a wide

pool of feeder countries. To illustrate

this, according to 2016 data, Algeria and

Morocco provided the greatest number

of immigrants (by birth) – 807,500 and

755,400 respectively, followed by Portugal

(622,000) and Italy (286,400). At the other

end of the spectrum, Cameroon provided

82,100, DR Congo 81,700 and Serbia just

78,000. Overall, the lists notes 20 different

nations. By extension, while French is the

lingua franca, other languages are very

important to consider.

The country is predominantly Catholic

with around 65 percent of the population

identifying as Christian. Islam comes a

faint second with around eight percent

of the population identifying as such.

However, more than one quarter of the

population do not adhere to any particular


But despite the level of religious

affiliation, France is a secular society and

there is no official state religion. Further,

French law bans the use of religious

symbols in all government institutions

and public schools – a view generally

supported by general society.


France’s economy is well developed and is

placed 6th in the world according to the

UN (2017) and World Bank (2018) but 7th

by the IMF. Each gives France a different

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 33 continues on page 34 >


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

GDP but the most generous is that given by

the IMF at $2.7 trillion.

Having the largest landmass in Europe

it follows that there are disparities between

the regional economies. Ile de France,

for example, contributes 30 percent of

GDP through services, electronics and

ICT, agro-food, construction, automobile,

pharmaceuticals, culture and aerospace.

In contrast, Bassin Parisien adds less than

three percent to GDP even though it has

some manufacturing, agriculture and

service industries.

Of course, statistics and data can be used

to prove almost anything, but reading with

a pinch of salt and common sense, a June

2019 report on detailed the 100

best performing businesses in the world.

The majority were American with Apple in

first place, but France took three positions

with cosmetics firm L’Oréal at 53, oil

company Total at 55 and Sanofi, a pharma

firm, in 93rd position.

When it comes to the 10 largest European

companies by revenue, Business Chief

listed – in 2018 – a number of French firms:

Insurance giant AXA was in 7th position

($143.7bn), Total ($127.93bn) was 8th while

banking conglomerate BNP Paribas came

in 10th ($109bn). First, by the way, was

Germany’s Volkswagen ($240.4bn).

And yet another list, albeit from 2015,

shows how wide a net France fields her

businesses. The list notes firms in retail

(Auchan), construction (Vinci), Veolia

(environment), Orange (telecoms), Credit

Agricole (financial services) Group PSA

(automotive), and Lafarge (building


By extrapolation, these industries make

France a large importer, one that marginally

takes in more than it exports. Key

categories include machinery, including

computers; vehicles; electrical machinery,

equipment; mineral fuels including oil;

aircraft, spacecraft; pharmaceuticals;

plastics; optical, technical, medical

apparatus; organic chemicals; and clothing,


Europe supplies 60 percent of French

imports, Asia 20 percent, North Amercia

eight percent and Africa four percent.


It’s interesting to note how ‘easy’ it is to

do business in France in relation to other

countries. New Zealand is consistently

placed first on the World Bank’s list with

Singapore in second place. The UK is placed

8th, Germany 22nd, but France comes 32nd.

That’s not great but is clearly much better

than Eritrea at 189th and Somalia at 190th!

Opening up for business in France

requires, as in other jurisdictions,

forethought as to the entity traded through;

and France has a number to choose that

include Société à Responsabilité Limitée

(with between two and 50 shareholders),

Entreprise Unipersonelle à Responsabilité

Limitée (a single shareholder), Société

Anonyme (at least seven shareholders) and

Société en Nom Collectif (a partnership).

There is too much detail to list here, but

more can be read at Cabinet Roche & Cie via

Workers in France are highly skilled

and see value in education. However,

unemployment in France is high, especially

among those under 25; Trading Economics

quotes a current rate of 7.9 percent in

the last quarter of 2019. Further, France

generally operates on a 35-hour week basis

and workers tend to get both five weeks of

holidays and a good work/life balance.

As for taxation, company tax rate was

recently 28 percent on the first €500,000 and

33.33 percent above that (with lower rates

for new-starts and SMEs), but for profits

made in the 2020 tax year the rate is 28


The standard rate of VAT is 20 percent

with reduced rates of 10 percent, 5.5 percent

or 2.1 percent depending on the nature of

the goods (such as food, utility, passenger

transport, accommodation, cultural

activities, certain works on a principle

home, TV licences and socialised medicine).

Personal tax rates range from zero

percent to €10,064, 11 percent between

€10,064–€25,659, 30 percent between

€25,659–€73,369, 41 percent between

€73,369–€157,806, and 45 percent on

anything above €157,806.

As from the beginning of 2019, a Pay-As-

You-Earn system was introduced universally

throughout France. Instead of filing an

income tax and paying whatever taxes were

owed for the prior year, workers are taxed

at the source of the income, in monthly


And non-residents of France are taxed

on income earned from French sources.

However, France does have tax treaties with

a number of countries that enables residents

of certain countries to avoid dual taxation.

France is also signed on to the Automatic

Exchange of Information, which seeks to

fight tax evasion by requiring financial

intermediaries to be transparent about their

clients’ tax residence in signatory countries.


Every country has its own challenges and

France is no different.


First off, while EU citizens don’t require a

permit to work in France, non-EU/EEA and

Swiss citizens must apply for both a work

and residency permit. There are several

types including the Carte de Séjour, a

residence permit for those who are coming

The Eiffel Tower is a

wrought-iron lattice tower on

the Champ de Mars in Paris,

France. It is named after the

engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose

company designed and built

the tower.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 34


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

to France under a French long-stay visa;

Carte de résident for spouses of French

citizens, parents of a French-born child,

expats retiring in France, or those who

have renewed their carte de séjour for

more than three years in a row; and an

EU Blue Card, that permits its holder, a

non-EU foreign national, to enter and

remain in France under the purpose of

engaging in paid activity and to explore

career opportunities for up to three

years, with the opportunity to extend the


The minimum wage for those over

17 for calendar 2020 is €10.15 an hour

(€1,539.42 per month) before tax. There

are different rates based on age and if

serving an apprenticeship.

Buying property

Fees can add around 15 percent to the

cost of residential property and two

types of tax are payable on residential

property: land tax (taxe foncière)

and local taxes (taxe d'habitation).

Registering commercial property can

take 42 days or more and businesses

must obtain planning certificates, a

cadastral certificate, a non-encumbrance

certificate and mandatory environmental

reports – it’s an eight-step process.

Allied to this, an HSBC report notes

that permits for construction can take

time and a great deal of effort to secure

– an average of 184 days.

Striking culture

Rarely is there a year when the French

don’t exercise their right to strike –

indeed striking is perfectly acceptable.

According to a 2019 Statistica chart, the

European country with the least number

of days (average per 1,000 employees

2010-2017) lost to strikes in Europe was

Latvia – with none, the UK lost 20 days,

Spain 50 days and the French lost 125

days. (That said, Cyprus capped the list

with 316 days lost.)


France can be a little bureaucratic in that

government authorisation is required for

inward investment in specific sectors that

are seen as vital to the national interest.

These include energy infrastructure;

transportation networks; public water

supplies; electronic communication

networks; public health protection; and

installations vital to national security.

The rules were altered by two pieces of

legislation - a common legal framework

for Member States, based on Regulation

(EU) 2019/452. This establishes a

framework for the screening of foreign

direct investments and applies from 11

October 2020; and Decree No. 2019-1590

of 31 December 2019 and a Ministerial

Order from the same day that relates to

foreign investments in France - these

enter into force on 1 April 2020.

The decree adds media and the

print and digital press, as well as food

safety, energy storage and quantum

technologies to the sectors vital to the

national interest.

The rules apply to an investor who is a

“natural person of foreign nationality, (ii)

natural person of French nationality not

domiciled in France, (iii) entity governed

by foreign law or (iv) entity governed by

French law controlled by one or more

aforementioned persons/entities.”


French is the only official language

spoken, but English and other tongues are

spoken too; the former is widely taught,

but the use of French shows a level of

respect that is appreciated. That said, it’s

wise for the speaker to understand their

abilities. Similarly, it’s not always about

what is said, but how it is said. In other

words, formal and informal word usage

should be noted and used appropriately.

In serious negotiations a good translator

is highly advisable.

Business cards are important and

when exchanged should be carefully

examined before being pocketed. With

French being the mother tongue, an

English translation should be on the

reverse. Job title and qualifications

should be included.

But just as language is important to

the French, so is food and it’s often the

focal point of conversation as well as

being an ideal way to break the ice. By

extension, the choice of lunch or dinner,

of restaurant, number of courses and

quality of food and wine demonstrates

the importance of the event.

Notwithstanding the impact of

coronavirus, a handshake is very

important in business meetings in

France. It appears that a handshake

should be initiated by the most senior

person, or if a woman, her. Also, a kiss

or air kiss is commonly used between

men and women in established business

relationships. Kiss twice, once on each

cheek, beginning with the left.

To address another colleague or

client, Monsieur should be used for men

and Madame for women, followed by

their family name. Both are expected as

part of the greeting. Thereafter, using

Monsieur and Madame is appropriate.

The dress code is formal with jackets

rarely taken off and ties never loosened.

Also – a blue shirt shouldn’t be worn as it’s

the colour used by the military. Women,

says the HSBC document, should note

that ‘elegant tailoring is favoured.’

Decisions are made after deliberation

– rarely in a meeting, but once made

are infrequently reversed. Any minutes

taken should be circulated within a day

and actions required taken quickly.


France is a country that most definitely

should not be ignored. Despite Brexit,

it’s still a key market and of course, our

closest neighbour alongside the Republic

of Ireland. Those seeking success need a

good product and keen price. They also

need to note French sensibilities.

Adam Bernstein is a freelance

business writer.

The word macaron is derived

from the Italian word, maccherone,

meaning fine dough. It's believed

that the macaron cookie was born

in Italy and brought over to France

as early as 1533 by Catherine

di Medici, a noblewoman from

Florence who married the future

King of France, Henri II.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 35



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

Corporate Partnership with the CICM, please contact

Onguard is a specialist in credit management

software and a market leader in innovative solutions

for Order to Cash. Our integrated platform ensures

an optimal connection of all processes in the Order

to Cash chain and allows sharing of critical data. Our

intelligent tools can seamlessly interconnect and

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The Onguard platform is successfully used

for successful credit management in more than 50


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The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis

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and public sector bodies because, unlike other credit

reference agencies, we are transparent and flexible

in our approach.

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300



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

(SaaS) company. Its Integrated Receivables platform

reduces cycle times in the Order to Cash process through

automation of receivables and payments across credit,

e-invoicing and payment processing, cash allocation,

dispute resolution and collections. Powered by the RivanaTM

Artificial Intelligence Engine and Freeda Digital

Assistant for Order to Cash teams, HighRadius enables

more than 450 organisations to leverage machine

learning to predict future outcomes and automate routine

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Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps

businesses pay and get paid. Businesses and banks

rely on Bottomline for domestic and international

payments, effective cash management tools, automated

workflows for payment processing and bill review

and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural

analytics and regulatory compliance. Every day, we

help our customers by making complex business

payments simple, secure and seamless.

Chris Sanders Consulting (Sanders Consulting

Associates) has three areas of activity providing

credit management leadership and performance

improvement, international working capital

improvement consulting assignments and

managing the CICMQ Best Practice Accreditation

programme on behalf of the CICM. Plans for

2019 include international client assignments in

India, China, USA, Middle East and the ongoing

development of the CICMQ Programme.

Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist companies

across Europe with credit management. The

service gives the end-user the means to make a

payment when and how they choose. Key IVR also

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

automated messages by voice and SMS. In a

credit management environment, these services are

used to cost-effectively contact debtors and connect

them back into a contact centre or automated

payment line.

T: 0870 081 8250



T: +44(0)7747 761641



T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000

E: sales@keyivr


With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading

provider of business information, analytics, insights

and solutions. Graydon helps its customers to make

fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to minimise

risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities

with their commercial relationships. Graydon

uses 130+ international databases and the information

of 90+ million companies. Graydon has offices in

London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,

Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of the world’s

largest credit insurance companies.

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400



Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is

an accountancy firm delivering traditional services

combined with strategic commercial thinking. Our

services include: advisory, audit, corporate and

personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,

outsourcing, wealth management and business

recovery – the latter of which includes our specialist

offering developed specifically for creditors. For

more information on this, or to see how the Menzies

Creditor Services team can assist you, please


T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff


Building on our mature and hugely successful

product and world class support service, we are

re-imagining our risk awareness module in 2019 to

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists and

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.

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

for analysis and automation. Impressive results

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also

have an active input into our product development

and evolution.

T: 01235 856400



Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 36

Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for

their commitment to the profession, best practice in the

Credit Industry and the quality of services they provide.

We are delighted to showcase them here.


Hays Credit Management is a national specialist

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of

credit management and receivables professionals,

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

the CICM’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,

career and recruitment trends.

T: 07834 260029



The Atradius Collections business model is to support

businesses and their recoveries. We are seeing a

deterioration and increase in unpaid invoices placing

pressures on cashflow for those businesses. Brexit is

causing uncertainty and we are seeing a significant

impact on the UK economy with an increase in

insolvencies, now also impacting the continent and

spreading. Our geographical presence is expanding

and with a single IT platform across the globe we can

provide greater efficiencies and effectiveness to our

clients to recover their unpaid invoices.

T: +44 (0)2920 824700


Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work

closely with credit teams to recover commercial

debts as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt

recovery, including:

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and

keep costs down • Litigation service • Insolvency

• Post-litigation services including enforcement

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

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

most effective way of achieving them.

T: 03700 86 3000



Forums International has been running Credit and

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of

industry sectors and international trading. Attendance

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums

are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges

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

gauge the benefits and meet the members and we

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never

intentionally be sold to.

T: +44 (0)1246 555055



Improve cash flow, cash collection and prevent late

payment with Corrivo from Data Interconnect.

Corrivo, intelligent invoice to cash automation

highlights where accounts receivable teams should

focus their effort for best results. Easy-to-learn,

Invoicing, Collection and Dispute modules get collection

teams up and running fast. Minimal IT input required.

Real-time dashboards, reporting and self-service

customer portals, improve customer communication

and satisfaction scores. Cost-effective, flexible Corrivo,

super-charges your cash collection effort.

T: +44 (0)1367 245777



Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for

organisations seeking efficient cash visibility

and secure financial processes. As an SAP

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience

and thousands of successful customer projects,

including solutions for the entire order-to-cash

process, Serrala provides credit managers and

receivables professionals with the solutions they

need to successfully protect their business against

credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.

T: +44 118 207 0450



American Express® is a globally recognised

provider of business payment solutions, providing

flexible capabilities to help companies drive

growth. These solutions support buyers and

suppliers across the supply chain with working

capital and cashflow.

By creating an additional lever to help support

supplier/client relationships American Express is

proud to be an innovator in the business payments


T: +44 (0)1273 696933


C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables

into income, uniquely connecting buyers and

suppliers to allow discounts in exchange for

early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating

payments from buyers when required in just two

clicks, at a rate that works for them. Buyers, often

corporates with global supply chains, benefit from

the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while

strengthening the financial health of supply chains

through ethical business practices.

T: 07799 692193



Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes

the all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s

businesses from collecting receivables in a timely

manner. From invoice delivery to cash application,

Esker automates each step. Esker's automated AR

system powered by TermSync helps companies

modernise without replacing their core billing and

collections processes. By simply automating what

should be automated, customers get the post-sale

experience they deserve and your team gets the

tools they need.

T: +44 (0)1332 548176



Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 37




For further information and

to discuss the opportunities

of entering into a Corporate

Partnership with the CICM,

please contact




Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern

finance leaders and credit professionals to improve

business performance through more effective risk

management, identification of growth opportunities,

and better integration of data and insights

across the business. Powered by our Data Cloud,

our solutions provide access to the world’s most

comprehensive commercial data and insights

supplying a continually updated view of business

relationships that help finance and credit teams

stay ahead of market shifts and customer changes.

T: (0800) 001-234


Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit

intelligence for credit insurers and for corporate

customers. The company’s B2B Credit Risk

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk

Management Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;

the Tinubu Credit Intelligence service and the

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their

greatest assets: customer receivables.

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /



Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 38



Why open-mindedness is a credit

professional’s biggest asset.

AUTHOR – Karen Young

AS lockdown restrictions

begin to slowly relax, our

world of work shows signs

of gradually returning

to some semblance of

normality. While many

of us will welcome a return to established

ways of working, we still have a significant

period of change and adjustment ahead,

which might have even the most confident

in their jobs questioning what this means

for their career.

As we navigate these uncharted waters,

new opportunities will be cropping up

in fresh areas of demand. Here’s why

keeping an open mind will therefore be a

professional’s biggest asset to handle our

everchanging world of work.



To keep their organisations afloat during

what has been a period of complete

turmoil, leaders have recognised that

they need a robust workforce in place who

are equipped with the right skills. New

demand brings with it new opportunities,

so it’s in professionals’ interest to maintain

an awareness of this. In terms of specialist

skills in demand, according to recent

research in the Hays Market Insights

report, those that top the list are:

• Managerial & leadership skills

• Operations skills

• Project & change management skills

As always employers are looking for the

whole package when it comes to a strong

candidate, so soft skills or competencies

like communications, problem-solving

and flexibility are also in demand.

If any of these resonate with your own

skills profile, then it’s likely that your CV

will stand out to those hiring – so staying

open-minded about where your skillset

could take you will help you capitalise on

any new opportunities.



If you don’t feel your skills profile matches

up to some of the skills in demand right

now, that doesn’t mean you have to

rework your entire skillset or that you

won’t be able to progress and pursue new

opportunities. Since entering lockdown,

many of us have upskilled personally or

professionally, some by necessity in the

job, and some because they have found

some extra time in their hands, which

has the potential to illuminate new

opportunities which weren’t available


Make sure that any new skills you

acquire are highlighted on your CV and

on your LinkedIn. While certain skills

like learning a language, taking a coding

course or refining your Microsoft Excel

skills may directly enhance your career,

it’s demonstrating your initiative and

commitment to independent learning and

independent thinking which will make

you stand out in your current job or to a

potential new employer.



One of the biggest impacts the coronavirus

has had on professionals across the board

is on career prospects. Roughly half (49

percent) of professionals working in credit

describe their career prospects as average

or poor, indicating that professionals

now feel less confident in their ability

to progress their career since the onset

of the pandemic. If you’ve experienced

these feelings recently, you’re not alone.

Professionals working across all areas

of finance tend to be dedicated and

driven, so it’s frustrating not to be

guaranteed clear progression in

your role. My advice is to harness your

hunger for a new challenge by seeing how

you might be able to step up. Approach

your manager with your intentions to

progress and listen to what they have to

say about your development. Be prepared

for constructive feedback about what

you need to do to get to the next level. If

the progression pathway at your current

organisation doesn’t align with your goals,

make it clear to your trusted recruiter that

this is a high priority for you when the

time comes to move roles.

By maintaining an open-minded

mindset and a high level of awareness,

you’ll be well equipped to handle the

change which comes with crisis recovery.

Whether it’s capitalising on in-demand

skills in your own skillset, making use of

new expertise you’ve acquired since the

onset of the pandemic or negotiating your

career prospects, keeping an open mind

will put you in the best position as we

continue to navigate this new era of work

and continuous change.

Karen Young is Director at

Hays Credit Management.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 39

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in Companies House reports

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needle in this


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 40

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Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 41




Essential advice from the latest

Credit Managers' Playbook.

AUTHOR – Chris Sanders FCICM

EVERYONE is getting used to the

new video calling culture of

business, but despite this now

becoming normal we are not

getting better at it. Many look like

‘Crimewatch Police Informants’ –

a black silhouette on a bright background – or

have given a camera to a four-year old and asked

them to take a picture.

We need to get a bit more savvy with this

technology in the coming months, not least

as recruiters will be doing more recruiting

virtually and the expectation and how your

boss considers you can cope with this new

technology when presenting your numbers will

become more important. Only having the top of

your head showing in an interview or looking

like a ‘no publicity’ lottery winner would be the

virtual equivalent of turning up for a face-toface

interview for a manager’s job wearing an

‘I’m with Stupid’ t-shirt.


Cash collections performance is still strong

in many organisations saying that they are

maintaining collections levels at between

80 percent to 90 percent plus of pre-crisis

levels. This excellent performance is of course

a double-edged sword, with organisations

considering current performance based on

current costs; is 80 percent performance OK

with fewer people and no building costs?

The most resilient organisations are those that

had already invested in automation, systems,

infrastructure and training. Removing manual

processes fundamentally improves resilience.

Time is running out. As we start to come out

of the lockdown phase into the new normal,

building resilience now is critical. Let’s not

forget this COVID-19 crisis may come back and

not all businesses will be able to survive second

time round. Building resilience now is a critical

business requirement going forward.


The #newnormal hasn’t been decided yet

but that shouldn’t stop us from planning for

whatever it is. Time is marching on and if you

haven’t started to consider what this new normal

will look like for your credit management teams

it is getting to the point where it is almost too

late. We have seen many organisations make

decisions on when offices will re-open and

some organisations have made the decision not

to go back to the office at all. Others are waiting

until the end of 2020 and others are looking at

phasing their return.

Credit managers have the attention of the

business leaders now, so be bold. Ask for stuff

including investment in systems and processes

and resources. One thing is clear: this crisis

has demonstrated that many companies

have historically under invested in credit and

collections. So, seize the day. It can take up to

12 weeks for a new system to be in place so start


To date we have held 34 CICMQ Zoom Sessions

since the first one three days after lockdown

started, with over 725 delegates attending

from UK and International organisations.

So let me share some of the thoughts and

recommendations of this unrivalled CICM Best

Practice Network:


Many organisations now have a ‘Back to the

Office Plan’. From a staff perspective, certainty is

what is needed most. Any plan that is developed

must be shared with the team. If there is one

good thing that has come out of this it is that

there will be a mix of working practices in the

future: more flexible working, two-days a week

in the office, more job swaps, and cross training

will all be required in smaller companies as

the roles have to be shared. There will be less

travel, less congestion and less pollution. Asking

what the team want to do and their personal

circumstances has to be the way forward.


Build a plan or a road map for the next 12 months

and articulate this to the senior leadership. This

will build trust and will demonstrate that you

and the team are on the case. If you haven’t

done this, you may be too late as decisions

are now being made potentially without your

operational input.

Your overriding question now and for the

rest of the 2020 must be ‘How do I maintain

the support of the senior stakeholders in the

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 42


AUTHOR – Chris Sanders FCICM

business?’ Another good question is ‘How do

I stop the team using excel spreadsheets for

everything?’ This means looking at systems,

automation, and full portfolio assessments, since

all of these things build resilience and future

proof your organisations. You may end up with

fewer team members but if the statistics and the

predictions are to be believed your workload will

only grow in the coming months, so you need to

do more with less.


When looking at the plan include customer

profitability actions, specifically around the

areas of exposure, risk, and reward analysis. As

a credit manager you have data to do this and as

a strategy it is something that you should take to

the business. Conversely for those customers that

are under-utilised, provide analysis to sales that

highlights these customers. We know that trading

out of this crisis will be tough and sales will need

all the help they can get. Low risk customers with

under-utilised credit limits are the low hanging

fruit for fast revenue generation, with the added

We will remain

in the current

‘work from home’

type environment

for a while yet

as we know


are generally not

rushing to return

to the office.

benefit of demonstrating value to the business.

In short, become a part of the sales strategy!


As you empty the bucket of disputes you don’t

want your poor billing to start to fill it up again.

Using sales and shortening the dispute resolution

sign-off process will help you. Re-balancing your

BDP should be on the agenda now, if this hasn’t

already been done. Start to measure the billing

accuracy for the reasons mentioned above. A

simple invoice vs. credit note measure is the

best and quickest solution; if you measure it

consistently then you will see a trend. Collections

relies on constant contact and intervention. With

finite resources you need to focus on the greatest

benefit. Enlist the help of sales, use league

tables for overdue debt with the sales, branches

or regions. League tables are a great way for

engaging the business in cash collection and

dispute resolution.


Get the business involved in the resolution of

disputes and develop a league table as above

for sales and the business on dispute values and

cash conversion, debt resolution etc. Sales are

competitive and salespeople will NOT like to be

at the bottom of a league table. Slim down the

KPIs you use and add this to your plan and gain

approval from the senior management for the

measures and the new plan.


Decide on five of your most critical processes

and start now to put a plan in place to get them

back on track or change them to meet the new

challenges given that they may be done remotely

in the future. Ensure that whoever is resolving

disputes is joined-up completely with the

responsible collector, so collection can continue

seamlessly when disputes are resolved. Build in

reviews with sales and senior management into

the new processes since this will help rebuild

trust. Speed is of the essence: if your query

or dispute resolution time is slower than your

competitors who do you think will get paid first?

We will remain in the current ‘work from home’

type environment for a while yet as we know

organisations are generally not rushing to return

to the office. This will make the management

of this new phase more challenging. For many

managers this is still new territory. Keeping

the teams engaged will remain difficult – or at

least more complicated – as some will be office

based and some home based, and some will be

returning from Furlough.

For the full COVID-19 Credit Managers

Playbook II and further information about

the CICM Best Practice Network please contact

Chris Sanders FCICM is Head of

Accreditation – CICMQ.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 43


No sign of ‘Normal’

Lockdown continues to affect credit and payment terms.

LAST month’s payment performance

statistics highlighted the early

impact COVID-19 was having in the

world of credit, with businesses and

credit professionals being forced

to adapt their practices, extended

terms and introducing new payment plans. As

expected, things have only worsened in the last

month, with payment terms continuing to rise for

the majority of sectors and regions. The average

Days Beyond Terms (DBT) figures increased by 2.6

days and 1.9 days respectively across regions and



The global lockdown enforced by the pandemic

has had a detrimental effect on a number of

sectors and industries. With all pubs, bars, hotels

and restaurants being forced to close, it is no

great surprise to see payment terms increasing

across the Hospitality sector. An increase of 8.5

days takes its overall DBT to 20.4 days.

Entertainment has been similarly affected

– gigs, concerts, festivals and all events with

large crowds have had to be postponed. The

film, television and music worlds have come to

a standstill. An increase of 7.1 days means the

Entertainment sector’s overall DBT now stands at

22.2 days.

Elsewhere, Wholesale and Retail trade (+7.0

days), Education (+6.4 days) and Real Estate (+6.1

days) have also been particularly affected, with

the majority of sectors struggling. International

Bodies remain the worst performing sector with

an overall DBT of 29.3 days, but it is moving in

the right direction once again with a reduction

of 12.8 days to payment terms. Financial and

Insurance is the new best performing sector with

an impressive overall DBT of 5.6 days.


At a regional level, things are similarly precarious,

with all but one of the 11 regions seeing increases

to payment terms. Northern Ireland was the sole

region to improve, with a reduction of 2.9 days

taking its overall DBT to 13.4 days, meaning it

has gone from the worst performing region to the

best performing region.

The West Midlands and South East have been

worst affected, both seeing increases of 5.8 days

to payment terms. Wales (+4.1 days), South West

(+4.1 days), Yorkshire and Humberside (+3.5 days)

and Scotland (+3.4 days) have also struggled.

The hope is, that with the gradual easing

of lockdown measures and more businesses

and industries beginning to return, we may see

payment terms gradually starting to reduce

across the board. But it’s unlikely to be a quick

fix, as we all adapt to the ‘new normal’.

Data supplied by Creditsafe Group.

Retail trade (+7.0

days), Education

(+6.4 days) and

Real Estate (+6.1

days) have also

been particularly

affected, with the

majority of sectors


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 44


Data supplied by the Creditsafe Group

Top Five Prompter Payers

Region May 20 Change from April 20

Northern Ireland 13.4 -2.9

Yorkshire and Humberside 14.7 3.5

London 15.1 0.1

North West 15.3 0.7

Wales 15.4 4.1

Getting Better

International Bodies -12.8

Financial and Insurance -6.8

Transportation and Storage -4.3

Dormant -3.4

Mining and Quarrying -2.4

Water & Waste -1.5

The hope is, that with the gradual easing of

lockdown measures and more businesses

and industries beginning to return, we may

see payment terms gradually starting to

reduce across the board.

Top Five Prompter Payers

Sector May 20 Change from April 20

Financial and Insurance 5.6 -6.8

Health and Social 10.2 2.3

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 10.3 1.6

Public Administration 10.8 1.4

Water & Waste 11.8 -1.5

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Region May 20 Change from April 20

South East 18.2 5.8

Scotland 17.1 3.4

West Midlands 16.8 5.8

East Anglia 15.6 3.4

South West 15.6 4.1

Getting Worse

Hospitality 8.5

Entertainment 7.1

Wholesale and retail trade 7

Education 6.4

Other service 6.4

Real Estate 6.1

Professional and Scientific 5.4

Construction 4.9

IT and Comms 4.2

Business Admin & Support 3.9

Business from Home 2.9

Manufacturing 2.8

Health & Social 2.3

Energy Supply 1.8

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 1.6

Public Administration 1.4

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Sector May 20 Change from April 20

International Bodies 29.3 -12.8

Entertainment 22.2 7.1

Hospitality 20.4 8.5

Professional and Scientific 19.7 5.4

Business Admin & Support 19.6 3.9


Getting Better – Getting Worse












Northern Ireland

South East

West Midlands

South West


Yorkshire and Humberside

East Anglia


East Midlands

North West




-2.9 DBT



4.1 DBT


4.1 DBT


3.4 DBT



0.7 DBT



5.8 DBT



3.5 DBT



0.7 DBT


0.1 DBT



5.8 DBT



3.4 DBT

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 45



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THE RECOVERY What should your focus be on now?

As the initial crisis settles, now’s the time to focus on navigating our way through the recovery phase.


• Consider Government support mechanisms and loan schemes for you

and your customers.

• Plan recovery action in line with legal moratoriums and suspended

enforcement actions.

• Adjust approach in line with Financial Conduct Authority guidance for

consumer support.


• Review any breaks or weak links in your supply chain and address them


• Revisit contracts with stakeholders, negotiate temporary new terms to


• Set contingencies for impacted suppliers, including switch of supply.

• Categorise customer portfolio in line with risk and review regularly.



• Develop dynamic ledger management which is responsive to

immediate change.

• Re-write existing collections strategies to fit the current environment.

• Revisit customers with agreed payment holidays and reduced instalments.

• Maximise smaller ledger opportunity to concentrate on older, hard to collect,


• Revisit and recalculate collection targets with inclusion of impact factors.


• Review Credit Policy and risk strategy of your organisation in the current


• Work with Senior Management to shape a future exit strategy.

• Review operational processes in line with continued WFH and risk


• Retain more frequent targets and reviews in a supportive environment.

• Re-write contingency and continuity plans that didn’t work in the crisis.


• Plan staggered staff reintegration and support mechanisms to assist

the transition.

• Prepare working conditions in and beyond the office under continued


• Consider opportunities for more agile working arrangements on a

longer-term basis.


Contact our Member Advice Service for support, answers and


Join the CICM Managing Credit through the Recovery Forum

on LinkedIn.

Visit our Managing Credit through the Recovery

webpage for more resources.

We are developing more resources, please keep in touch with us and join our community.

CICM is your professional body, use it. We are stronger in numbers.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 46



A talk at a Ladies Club proved an eye

opener for our correspondent.

AUTHOR – Derek Scott FCICM

IN a previous article I mentioned my

first job in credit management as an

Assistant Arrears Supervisor. Two

recent unrelated events took me back

to that time. The first was a telephone

conversation with a speaker’s secretary

of a Ladies group for a booking of my talk on

credit and debt entitled ‘Never Pay Later’. The

second was a film from 1960 called ‘Light up

the Sky’.

‘Light up the sky’ tells the story of a searchlight

battery during the Second World War. It

starred Ian Carmichael, who some of the older

generations in the CICM may recall, as well

as a host of other film actors of the 1950/60s,

including the comedian Benny Hill.

By the time the film was released, I had

become the Arrears Supervisor after the sudden

departure of my boss. I was now in sole charge of

a team of 12. It was a soft start to be a number one

in credit management as despite being of many

different ages, the team all got on really well, and

probably knew more about the requirements of

the job than I did at that stage.


Another star of the film was the rock and roll

pop idol, Tommy Steele. Some of my team were

fans and asked me to write to the studio to see if

we could visit the set to meet him and the other

cast members. The film was being made at the

famous TV studios in Twickenham, only a few

minutes away. The Public Relations Manager

apparently thought it was a good idea to generate

some good publicity.

A few days later I received a call from the PR

Manager who explained that due to the shooting

schedule a visit was not possible, but she would

send autographed pictures etc. She then asked

me what my job was, and when I told her there

was a moment of silence, and then in a tone I

would soon learn that went with the public

image of debt collectors, she said: ‘So you’re one

of those people!’. Over the years I have constantly

come across this view of our profession and I can

think of many other examples. One in particular

that sticks in my mind, was when I had to provide

my details to someone at the local council. When

we reached the area of occupation I said, ‘credit

manager’, to which she responded with ‘that’s

not a very nice job, I bet you’re not very popular!’.

So, back to my conversation a few weeks

ago with the Speaker’s Secretary. She had been

told by the President to book me but was not

happy to comply. She was under the impression

that I would be talking about debt and didn’t

understand the difference between debt and

credit management. I shared the title of my

talk – Never Pay Later – but I could tell she was

still not convinced. After a further discussion

she decided that in order to encourage more

members to attend I would need to change the

title to ‘Would you Credit it?’.


My point is that even after more than 60 years, it

appears the public view of our profession is still

extremely negative, like we are the type of people

who throw old ladies out in the snow if they owe

money. Regretfully there are those who seem

to enjoy this reputation as they see themselves

as a cross between Atilla the Hun and Vlad the


I had hoped before I shuffled off this mortal

coil, we would be recognised for the key role we

play not just in business, but also in maintaining

the economy of the UK and every person’s life!

Even as I write this, in one tabloid there is a

piece about debt collectors chasing people who

do not owe any money or are even in credit. It is

in part headed ‘Receive Debt Threats!’.

We have been compared to ‘wheel clampers’.

There was the fiasco of the TV license fee where

people without televisions were harassed every

month for up to a year with collection letters

which must have been designed by someone

from the Dark Ages. There are still so many

amateurs working in our profession; look at the

debt burdens of even major companies who have

failed or are in serious financial difficulties,

and perhaps we only have ourselves to blame!

The television lends a hand with its undercover

investigations into debt collectors where the

training of the staff has to be seen to be believed.

The institute has, to its credit, raised our

profile so the importance of our profession is

accepted by the government and most major

players in the world of business. However, we

cannot expect to reach the same position with

the general public. We can only do that if we

formulate a mission statement to fight what

appears to be a campaign by the media, led by

the tabloid press, to only highlight negative news

about us.

To finish on the right note I did my talk at the

Ladies’ club and received one of the best notes of

thanks I have ever had. The president told me at

lunch she had never known her group to enjoy a

talk more on such an unusual subject and found

it interesting and humorous. Even the Speaker’s

secretary it appears was won over; she asked if I

was available for any other talks!

Derek Scott FCICM is a freelance writer.

‘Light up the sky’

tells the story of a

searchlight battery

during the Second

World War. It starred

Ian Carmichael, who

some of the older

generations in the

CICM may recall, as

well as a host of other

film actors of the

1950/60s, including the

comedian Benny Hill.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 47


Mentor Moment

How the CICM Mentor Hub helped me to grow

as a credit professional.

AUTHOR – Rebecca Price-Palmer MCICM

AROUND 12 months ago

I decided I needed to

develop my leadership

and management

skills further, and as a

relatively new manager,

I wanted to offer better direction,

improve team engagement, and

implement tools for me and my team to

track our progress.

I came across the Mentor Hub while

browsing the CICM website and thought

it looked interesting. I requested the

help of Chris Sanders and he kindly

agreed to help me.

Since engaging with the programme,

the amount of support I have received

has been phenomenal. I have learned

and achieved so much while following

by mentor’s advice; and putting it all

into practice has paid dividends to my

team’s performance. Enhanced team

focus, improved results, SMART KPI’s,

and clear common goals are just a few

benefits I have seen since implementing

the tools suggested. I have also seen

improved wider network engagement;

the relationship between credit and sales

has strengthened significantly, which in

my opinion is one of the most important

relationships in any organisation.


I have grown so much over the course of

the programme, and the improvements

in my team’s performance did not go

unnoticed by senior management,

who in May 2020 promoted me from

Assistant Credit Manager to Finance

Shared Services Centre Credit Team


The amount I have learnt from

my mentor and the people within his

network by sharing ideas has been a

real eye opener. I have worked for the

same organisation most of my working

life, and my entire credit management

career, so the benefits of the mentor

programme and other tools offered by

the CICM have really assisted me to get

to where I am today. I have met both new

and experienced credit professionals

along the way who have collectively

helped each other by sharing

success stories and ideas. The regular

CICM and CICMQ calls have played a

particularly important role in keeping

people connected through the current

challenging times, all of which I would

not have been involved in if it had

not been for the mentor programme.

I would highly recommend this

programme to any credit professional

whether they are just starting out in

their credit career or looking to progress

further. The mentors participating are

relevant and highly knowledgeable in

both credit and people management.

My aim when I started was to improve

my skills in leadership, but I could not

have imagined the benefits this has

created for my team and the growth I

have seen in myself. It just goes to show

that with the help and support of the

right people, you can achieve your goals,

and in some cases much, much more.

Rebecca Price-Palmer MCICM.

CICM members can connect with a mentor or volunteer to mentor

another member by visiting our website, log in to the Member’s Area

or visit

I have worked for the same organisation

most of my working life, and my entire credit

management career, so the benefits of the

Mentor programme and other tools offered

by the CICM have really assisted me to get to

where I am today.

Rebecca Price-Palmer MCICM

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 48


Making Memories

How do you make your presentation memorable?

AUTHOR – Clive Hawkins

THE goal of any public speaking

event is to inform, engage

and entertain your audience

- but this shouldn’t be at the

expense of making your

presentation memorable.

Ultimately, you want your audience to

understand key points of your delivery

and be able to recite them to colleagues in

team meetings or in the workplace over the

following days and weeks. The challenge is

how to do this?

Previously I have provided insights on

how to create powerful presentations by

using effective content, slides and visual

aids. I have also covered off how to use

powerful openings and body language to

engage positively with audiences from the

start. We now need to consider how to use

these elements alongside other techniques

and make your presentation a positive

experience on the day and, importantly, help

your audience remember your key messages

afterwards. So here are some simple tips:

Rule of Three – you need to decide on

your key messages and use these wherever

possible. Since the times of Greek

philosopher, Aristotle, the ‘rule of three’

has been widely recognised as the optimum

amount of information that an audience

is likely to remember – four or five key

messages are acceptable but can become

more of a retention challenge. To help with

this, if a journalist wanted to cover your

presentation but could only write three

things about your delivery, what would you

want them to be?

Simple, Memorable and Real – once you

have started your delivery with a powerful

opening to capture attention from the start,

your narrative needs to take your audience

on a journey using the key messages as

bedrock points of your presentation. Each

key message needs to be simple, memorable,

real and supported with supplementary

information – anecdotes, facts, figures

and research data – to make them easy to


Signposting – repeat your key messages

throughout the presentation to help keep

the audience on track with what you are

saying. You can show agenda slides for this

or simply refer to them in your delivery.

The latter allows you to keep slides to a

minimum and use your body language –

such as a change in voice tone – to reiterate

each key point and its alignment with your

overall narrative. This is also a useful way

of refreshing an audience’s attention and

drawing them away from distractions such

as mobile phones!


An essential part of your delivery is the

Q&A session. I prefer this to be facilitated

at the end, to avoid overrunning my allotted

time slot or allowing an audience member

to interject on a point that I am planning

to cover off. Some presenters do not relish

Q&A’s, but this session is a valued part of

your presentation as it provides you with

an extra period of time to cover off any

questions and, where appropriate, gives

you an opportunity to repeat key messages

in your answer. This is called a bridging

technique and increases the likelihood of

an audience remembering the key points of

your delivery – which is your goal!


As we move out of the COVID-19 crisis, all

organisations will need to re-engage with

their employees, customers, suppliers and

other key audiences. The ability to deliver

a powerful presentation, either face-toface

or online, will be a key part of every

business leader’s communications toolkit

and fundamental to future business success.

However, you need to nurture this discipline.

This is best summed up by American writer

and philosopher, Benjamin Franklin: ‘Tell

me and I forget. Teach me and I remember.

Involve me and I learn.’

Clive Hawkins is Senior Associate at

Spoken Word Communications

Clive Hawkins

Some presenters do not relish Q&A’s, but this session is a valued

part of your presentation as it provides you with an extra period of

time to cover off any questions and, where appropriate, gives you

an opportunity to repeat key messages in your answer.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 49


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

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


Paul Carrington MCICM Josephat Chihoro MCICM Derek Pickard MCICM


Emma Fryer ACICM

Maneesha Muralidharan ACICM

Studying Member

Temitope Abdulai

Laura Ashworth

Mohammed Asif

Joanna Baker

Christian Ball

Jane Brown

Christian Buckmaster

Marta Campo Najera

Amy Carter

Peter Chapman

Taylor Cook

Charley Cooke

Catherine Cooper

Christopher Deacon

Jessica Dew

Benjamin Edwards

Ronda Fougere

Arthur Gonzalez Larangeira

Zoe Graham

Adam Heighway

Steven Holbrook

Julie Jackson

Livia Krishna

Sean Lawson

Tracy Lee

Gemma Linsell

Lauren Michael

Dean Mills

Lydia Morris

Natsuko Murakami

Lorren Noons

Anthony Peel

Deian Pouriakov

Angela Pratt

Cherylyn Rayner

Leo Rossiter

Samantha Scholz

Joanne Summers

Esra Tercan

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Benjamin Vince

Kate Warner

Stephanie Webb

Anne-Marie Wilkinson


Murdoch Archie

Carly Barrington

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David Dishon

Eryk Gil

Yvette Gray

Daniel Hollands

Martin Holmes

Martyn Houldsworth

Saiful Islam

Eunice Karau

Moragh Leask

Jakub Olechowski

Giuseppe Parla

Saurabh Sharma

Sam Shepherd

Iwona Sroka


Get in touch with the CICM by emailing

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

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

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 50


Vicarious Living

Indiscreet remarks, holiday entitlements and

the concept of ‘vicarious liability’.

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards

BE careful what is said

– even hypothetically.

In NH v Associazione

Avvocatura per i diritti

LGBTI, the Court of Justice

of the European Union

(CJEU) considered whether homophobic

remarks made by a senior Italian lawyer

(NH) suggesting that he would not like

to work with or recruit homosexual

people in his law firm could amount to

unlawful discrimination. Having heard

the comments, an association of lawyers

which defends the LGBTI community

successfully brought court proceedings

against NH, alleging discrimination

because of sexual orientation and

claiming damages.

NH appealed the finding to the

Italian Supreme Court, which referred

the case to the CJEU. It noted that the

EU Equal Treatment Directive prohibits

discrimination in relation to the

conditions for access to employment,

including recruitment conditions. The

CJEU held that ‘conditions for access to

employment’ covers statements made

during programmes – even when there is

no recruitment process open or planned,

provided there is a non-hypothetical

link between the statements and the

employer’s recruitment policy.

The CJEU held that it was for the

Italian Supreme Court to assess the

link between NH's statements and his

law firm’s recruitment policy but that a

number of factors would need to be taken

into account – the status of the person

making the statements; the capacity

in which the statements were made

(influence over recruitment policy); and

the nature of the statements.

Liability for the acts of independent contractors

IN recent years the concept of ‘vicarious

liability’ – liability for the negligent acts

of another – has seen employers being

held liable for the actions of those in

positions ‘akin to employment’ as well as

those who are directly employed.

However, Barclays Bank v Various

Claimants, offered a different view.

Here, the Supreme Court was asked

to determine whether a self-employed

third-party contractor could be in a

position ‘akin to employment’ making

the employer liable for their actions.

As part of its recruitment processes,

between 1968 and 1984, Barclays engaged

a medical practitioner to carry out

medical examinations on prospective

employees. The bank scheduled the

appointments and told the applicants

who attended unaccompanied.

Examinations were carried out in

the doctor’s home and he was paid a fee

to prepare a report on each applicant.

There was no retainer and the doctor

THE law around calculating holiday pay

for workers, without fixed hours or fixed

rates of pay changed on 6 April 2020.

In essence, the holiday pay reference

period has increased from 12 to 52 weeks.

Employers must now use 52 weeks' worth

of pay data to calculate holiday pay for

workers without fixed hours or pay. A

week where the worker receives no pay

cannot be counted towards the 52 weeks

of data to be used. Such weeks should

be discounted and instead an earlier

week should be counted. Employers can

use up to 104 weeks of data as reference

periods in gathering the 52 weeks of data.

Where 52 weeks' worth of pay data is

not available, the employer should use

as many weeks of pay data as they have

within the preceding 104 weeks.

A week starts on a Sunday and ends on

a Saturday. If a worker takes annual leave

before they have worked a full week,

was not under any obligation to accept

bookings from the bank. The doctor had

other clients and patients.

Sometime after the doctor had died,

a group action was brought against the

bank on the basis that it was vicariously

liable for sexual assaults allegedly

carried out by the doctor during the

medical examinations. In 2017, a judge

ruled that the bank was vicariously liable

for any proven assaults. On the basis that

the doctor’s wrongdoing occurred as a

result of activity undertaken by him on

behalf of the bank, under its control and

for its benefit, and as an integral part of

its business activity, the judge concluded

that the relationship between the parties

was sufficiently akin to employment.

The Court of Appeal agreed, but the

case moved to the Supreme Court which

overturned the decision. It held that

the self-employed medical practitioner

in this case was in business on his own


Holiday pay for employees without fixed hours

the employer should pay the worker an

amount which fairly represents their pay

for the length of time they are on leave.

Paid overtime (contractual or

voluntary but sufficiently regular)

worked during the reference period must

also be included in the calculation.

Gareth Edwards is a partner in the

employment team at


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 51




Watford, up to £52,000 + excellent benefits + bonus

Due to rapid year-on-year growth, this company has created

an opportunity for an insolvency specialist to join its team.

This company is a highly successful international business with

a dynamic and inclusive culture. This niche role is perfect for an

insolvency expert with experience in B2B customers and team

management. You will be offered a generous package, private

medical, and pension and flexi-working. Ref: 3815283

Contact Charlotte Clarke on 01923 205286

or email


Chessington, £30,000 + benefits

A leading IT distributor is seeking a credit controller as it

experiences a period of substantial growth. Your new role

will begin remotely and eventually be based at the new offices.

Your responsibilities will include timely cash collection from a

number of key accounts within the retail and IT sector. You will

also be responsible for reporting on aged debt and implementing

processes to ensure compliance. Ref: 3814521

Contact Mark Ordoña on 020 3984 6560

or email


London, up to £36,000

An excellent opportunity has arisen at a leading London law

firm for a highly motivated revenue controller to join its growing

team. This role covers revenue and billing as well as weekly

meetings with partners. You will have legal experience as well

as excellent communication skills. Aderant System is highly

desirable but not essential.

Ref: 3817320

Contact James Hanwell on 07918 185129

or email


Colchester, c.£28,000 per annum

A construction-related business has re-opened and urgently

requires an experienced credit controller for a three month role.

It has set up social distancing in its office to ensure your safety.

You will be responsible for contacting customers to collect

outstanding debt by effective telephone chasing to ensure

payments are made and recorded accurately. This will involve

daily debtor analysis, resolving any invoice queries and agree

repayment plans if needed. Ref: 3818299

Contact Andy Jarman on 01206 766621

or email

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 52



Your resource hub for reaching

your career goals

Read our latest guides and articles

Tips to help you prepare successfully

To find out more visit our Embrace the New Era Hub


Leatherhead, £24,000 + bonus + benefits

A credit controller is required to join a leading IT, software

and security business on a one-year fixed term contract, covering

maternity leave. Working in a team environment, you will ensure

that aged debt levels are kept to a minimum through effective

cash collection and query resolution. You will have a proven track

record of reducing aged debt in a fast paced, business to business

collections environment. Ref: 3817612

Contact Natascha Whitehead on 07770 786433

or email


Glasgow, up to £21,000

An organisation in Glasgow is looking for a sales ledger clerk to

join its team on a permanent basis. Reporting into the Head of

Finance, you will be responsible for duties including raising invoices

for products, posting direct debits and cash payments, bank

reconciliations, raising applications to clients. To be successful,

you will be confident and have a proven track record with finance,

experience with Excel and a high attention to detail. Ref: 3814771

Contact Lauren Hamilton on 0141 212 3665

or email

This is just a small selection of the many opportunities we

have available for credit professionals. To find out more visit

us online or contact Kabir Gulabkhan, Hays Credit Management

UK Lead on 020 3465 0020

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 53


We are asking all members to invite a colleague to a CICM membership event,

free of charge. Book online on our website


We are not able to bring our usual guide

to the CICM and Industry events, as the

calendar and what is on is changing daily.

Many of our events are now available

online, along with a new series of live and

recorded webinars for the credit profession.

Check our website for updates and

instructions on how to register.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 54

More reasons to be a member

Make connections and keep up-to-date

with our exclusive events.

Studying at a


with CICM

From interactive virtual classrooms to supporting texts,

from mentor advice to peer support, we’ve got it all.

Contact CICM for more information on any of these services,

or check them out at

Giving you the tools to continue

working through this crisis.

CICM Virtual

Classes 2020








For more information contact: or 01780 722900

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 55


CICM Directory of Services




Controlaccount Plc

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD

T: 01527 549 522



Controlaccount Plc provides an efficient, effective and ethical

commercial debt recovery service focused on improving business

cash flow whilst preserving customer relationships and established

reputations. Working with leading brand names in the UK and

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

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

applicable, we can utilise the Late Payment of Commercial Debts

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

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

departments and have complete transparency and up to the minute

information on any accounts placed with us for recovery through our

online debt management system, ClientWeb.


Baker Ing International Limited

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

Contact: Lisa Baker-Reynolds



Tel: 07717 020659

Baker Ing International is a dedicated team of Credit industry

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

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

the Globe with a minimum threshold of ten years working experience

within Credit Management. The team offers a comprehensive

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

Services & more

Our mission is to help companies improve the cost and efficiency

of their Credit Management processes in order to limit the risks

associated with extending credit and trading around the globe.

How can we help you - call Lisa Baker Reynolds on

+44(0)7717 020659 or email


Lovetts Solicitors

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway,

Old Portsmouth Road,

Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR

T: 01483 347001



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

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

on behalf of our clients. Services include:

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

of cases)

• Advice and dispute resolution

• Legal proceedings and enforcement

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


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

“All our service expectations have been exceeded. The online

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

recognisable brand that generates successful results.”

Atradius Collections Ltd

3 Harbour Drive,

Capital Waterside, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ

Phone: +44 (0)29 20824397

Mobile: +44 (0)7767 865821


Atradius Collections Ltd is an established specialist in business

to business collections. As the collections division of the Atradius

Crédito y Caución, we have a strong position sharing history,

knowledge and reputation.

Annually handling more than 110,000 cases and recovering over

a billion EUROs in collections at any one time, we deliver when

it comes to collecting outstanding debts. With over 90 years’

experience, we have an in-depth understanding of the importance of

maintaining customer relationships whilst efficiently and effectively

collecting monies owed.

The individual nature of our clients’ customer relationships is

reflected in the customer focus we provide, structuring our service

to meet your specific needs. We work closely with clients to provide

them with a collection strategy that echoes their business character,

trading patterns and budget.

For further information contact Yvette Gray Country Director, UK

and Ireland.

Premium Collections Limited

3 Caidan House, Canal Road

Timperley, Cheshire. WA14 1TD

T: +44 (0)161 962 4695



For all your credit management requirements Premium Collections

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

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


Services include B2B collections, B2C collections, international

collections, absconder tracing, asset repossessions, status reporting

and litigation support.

Managed from our offices in Manchester, Harrogate and Dublin our

network of 55 partners cover the World.

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

Blaser Mills Law

40 Oxford Road,

High Wycombe,

Buckinghamshire. HP11 2EE

T: 01494 478660

E: Jackie Ray


A full-service firm, Blaser Mills Law’s experienced Commercial

Recoveries team offer pre-legal collections, debt recovery,

litigation, dispute resolution and insolvency. The team includes

CICM qualified staff, recommended in both Legal 500 and

Chambers & Partners legal directories.

Offices in High Wycombe, Amersham, Rickmansworth, London

and Silverstone


Capitol House, Russell Street, Leeds LS1 5SP

T: 0113 399 3482



Keebles debt recovery team was named “Legal Team of the Year”

at the 2019 CICM British Credit Awards.

According to our clients “Keebles stand head and shoulders above

others in the industry. A team that understands their client’s

business and know exactly how to speedily maximise recovery.

Professional, can do attitude runs through the team which is not

seen in many other practices.”

We offer a service with no hidden costs, giving you certainty and

peace of mind.

• ‘No recovery, no fee’ for pre-legal work.

• Fixed fees for issuing court proceedings and pursuing claims to

judgment and enforcement.

• Success rate in excess of 80%.

• 24 hour turnaround on instructions.

• Real-time online access to your cases to review progress.


Sanders Consulting Associates Ltd

T: +44(0)1525 720226



Sanders Consulting is an independent niche consulting firm

specialising in leadership and performance improvement in all aspects

of the order to cash process. Chris Sanders FCICM, the principal, is

well known in the industry with a wealth of experience in operational

credit management, billing, change and business process improvement.

A sought after speaker with cross industry international experience in

the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets, his

innovative and enthusiastic approach delivers pragmatic people and

process lead solutions and significant working capital improvements to

clients. Sanders Consulting are proud to manage CICMQ on behalf of

and under the supervision of the CICM.


Court Enforcement Services

Wayne Whitford – Director

M: +44 (0)7834 748 183 T : +44 (0)1992 663 399

E :


High Court Enforcement that will Empower You!

We help law firms and in-house debt recovery and legal teams to

enforce CCJs by transferring them up to the High Court. Setting us

apart in the industry, our unique and Award Winning Field Agent App

helps to provide information in real time and transparency, empowering

our clients when they work with us.

• Free Transfer up process of CCJ’s to High Court

• Exceptional Recovery Rates

• Individual Client Attention and Tailored Solutions

• Real Time Client Access to Cases

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 56






Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD

T: 01494 790600



We provide business information on over 256 million companies across

221 countries. Our information is updated over 500,000 times per

day and we have some excellent tracking mechanisms which provide

proactive daily monitoring of changes in the global information on record.

We can offer a wealth of additional services including XML Integration,

D.N.A portfolio management, CoData marketing information, Companies

House documents, Consumer and Director Searches. We pride ourselves

in delivering award winning customer service, offering you unrivalled

support and analysis to protect your business.

Graydon UK

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

Middlesex, HA1 1BE

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400



With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading provider of

business information, analytics, insights and solutions. Graydon

helps its customers to make fast, accurate decisions, enabling them

to minimise risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities

with their commercial relationships. Graydon uses 130+ international

databases and the information of 90+ million companies. Graydon

has offices in London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,

Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of the world’s largest credit

insurance companies.

Tinubu Square UK

Holland House, 4 Bury Street,

London EC3A 5AW

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /



Founded in 2000, Tinubu Square is a software vendor, enabler of the

Credit Insurance, Surety and Trade Finance digital transformation.

Tinubu Square enables organizations across the world to significantly

reduce their exposure to risk and their financial, operational and technical

costs with best-in-class technology solutions and services. Tinubu

Square provides SaaS solutions and services to different businesses

including credit insurers, receivables financing organizations and

multinational corporations.

Tinubu Square has built an ecosystem of customers in over 20 countries

worldwide and has a global presence with offices in Paris, London, New

York, Montreal and Singapore.




SmartSearch, Harman House,

Station Road,Guiseley, Leeds, LS20 8BX

T: +44 (0)113 238 7660

E: W:

KYC, AML and CDD all rely on a combination of deep data with broad

coverage, highly automated flexible technology with an innovative

and intuitive customer interface. Key features include automatic

Worldwide Sanction & PEP checking, Daily Monitoring, Automated

Enhanced Due Diligence and pro-active customer management.

Choose SmartSearch as your benchmark.




Cedar Rose

3, Georgiou Katsonotou Street,3036, Limassol, Cyprus

E: T: +357 25346630


Cedar Rose has been globally recognised as the expert for

credit reports, due diligence and data for the Middle East

and North African countries since 1997. We now cover over

170 countries with the same high quality, expert analysis

and attention to detail we are well-known and trusted for.

Making best use of artificial intelligence and technology, Cedar

Rose has won several awards including Credit Excellence

& European Business Awards. Our website is a one-stopshop

for your business intelligence solutions. We are the

ultimate source; with competitive prices and friendly customer

service - whether you need one or one thousand reports.

Company Watch

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,


T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300



Organisations around the world rely on Company Watch’s industryleading

financial analytics to drive their credit risk processes. Our

financial risk modelling and ability to map medium to long-term risk as

well as short-term credit risk set us apart from other credit reference


Quality and rigour run through everything we do, from our unique

method of assessing corporate financial health via our H-Score®, to

developing analytics on our customers’ in-house data.

With the H-Score® predicting almost 90 percent of corporate

insolvencies in advance, it is the risk management tool of choice,

providing actionable intelligence in an uncertain world.



T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66



Onguard is specialist in credit management software and market

leader in innovative solutions for order to cash. Our integrated

platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the order

to cash chain and allows sharing of critical data.

Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected and offer

overview and control of the payment process, as well as contribute to

a sustainable customer relationship.

In more than 50 countries the Onguard platform is successfully used

for successful credit management.

Credica Ltd

Building 168, Maxell Avenue, Harwell Oxford, Oxon. OX11 0QT

T: 01235 856400E: W:

Our highly configurable and extremely cost effective Collections and

Query Management System has been designed with 3 goals in mind:

• To improve your cashflow • To reduce your cost to collect

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business

Evolving over 15 years and driven by the input of 1000s of Credit

Professionals across the UK and Europe, our system is successfully

providing significant and measurable benefits for our diverse portfolio

of clients.

We would love to hear from you if you feel you would benefit from our

‘no nonsense’ and human approach to computer software.

Data Interconnect Ltd

Units 45-50

Shrivenham Hundred Business Park

Majors Road, Watchfield

Swindon, SN6 8TZ

T: +44 (0)1367 245777



Data Interconnect provides Intelligent Invoice to Cash Automation.

Corrivo Billing, Collection and Dispute modules seamlessly integrate

for a rich, end-to-end A/R user experience. Branded customer

portals, real-time dashboards, advanced reporting, available in 15

languages as standard; are some of the reason why global brands

choose Data Interconnect.


T: +44 7399 406889



HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated Receivables

solutions for automating receivables and payment functions such

as credit, collections, cash allocation, deductions and eBilling.

The Integrated Receivables suite is delivered as a software-as-aservice

(SaaS). HighRadius also offers SAP-certified Accelerators

for SAP S/4HANA Finance Receivables Management, enabling

large enterprises to maximize the value of their SAP investments.

HighRadius Integrated Receivables solutions have a proven track

record of reducing days sales outstanding (DSO), bad-debt and

increasing operation efficiency, enabling companies to achieve an

ROI in less than a year.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 57 continues on page 58 >


CICM Directory of Services







Sam Townsend Head of Marketing

Northern Europe Esker Ltd.

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

W: LinkedIn: Esker – Northern Europe

Twitter: @EskerNEurope

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes the all-toocommon

obstacles preventing today’s businesses from collecting

receivables in a timely manner. From invoice delivery to cash

application, Esker automates each step. Esker's automated AR

system powered by TermSync helps companies modernise without

replacing their core billing and collections processes. By simply

automating what should be automated, customers get the post-sale

experience they deserve and your team gets the tools they need.


C2FO Ltd

105 Victoria Steet


T: 07799 692193



C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables into income,

uniquely connecting buyers and suppliers to allow discounts in

exchange for early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers access

additional liquidity sources by accelerating payments from buyers

when required in just two clicks, at a rate that works for them.

Buyers, often corporates with global supply chains, benefit from the

C2FO solution by improving gross margin while strengthening the

financial health of supply chains through ethical business practices.


T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff


Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is an accountancy

firm delivering traditional services combined with strategic

commercial thinking. Our services include: advisory, audit,

corporate and personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,

outsourcing, wealth management and business recovery –

the latter of which includes our specialist offering developed

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

how the Menzies Creditor Services team can assist you, please

visit: Bethan Evans, Partner

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



Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham

Berkshire RG41 5RB

E: W:

T +44 118 207 0450 M +44 7788 564722

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for organisations seeking

efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes. As an SAP

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

more than 30 years of experience and thousands of successful

customer projects, including solutions for the entire order-tocash

process, Serrala provides credit managers and receivables

professionals with the solutions they need to successfully protect

their business against credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.

identeco – Business Support Toolkit

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,

Worcestershire B60 4FD

Telephone: 01527 549 531 Email:


identeco’s Business Support Toolkit is an online portal connecting

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

engage with new prospects, understand their customers and

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

access. Providing company information and financial reports,

director and shareholder structures as well as a unique financial

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

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

included in the subscription include a business names database,

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

bespoke marketing and telesales listings for any sector.




Tel: 03700 86 3000 W:

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly and cost effectively as

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


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

• Litigation service

• Post-litigation services including enforcement

• Insolvency

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

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


Redwood Collections Ltd

0208 288 3555

Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, CR0 0XZ

“Redwood Collections offers a complete portfolio of debt collection

services ranging from sensitive client-debtor mediation through to

legal and insolvency action.

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

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

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



Dun & Bradstreet

Marlow International, Parkway Marlow

Buckinghamshire SL7 1AJ

Telephone: (0800) 001-234 Website:

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern finance

leaders and credit professionals to improve business performance

through more effective risk management, identification of growth

opportunities, and better integration of data and insights across the

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

to the world’s most comprehensive commercial data and insights

- supplying a continually updated view of business relationships

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

customer changes. Learn more here:

Gravity Global

Floor 6/7, Gravity Global, 69 Wilson St, London, EC2A 2BB

T: +44(0)207 330 8888. E:


Gravity is an award winning full service PR and advertising

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the best

in its field. It has a particular expertise in the credit sector, building

long-term relationships with some of the industry’s best-known

brands working on often challenging briefs. As the partner agency for

the Credit Services Association (CSA) for the past 22 years, and the

Chartered Institute of Credit Management since 2006, it understands

the key issues affecting the credit industry and what works and what

doesn’t in supporting its clients in the media and beyond.



T: +44 (0)1246 555055



Forums International Ltd have been running Credit and Industry

Forums since 1991. We cover a range of industry sectors and

International trading, attendance is for Credit Professionals of all

levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead. Attending

for the first time is free for you to gauge the benefits and meet the

members and we only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never

intentionally be sold to.

Bottomline Technologies

115 Chatham Street, Reading

Berks RG1 7JX | UK

T: 0870 081 8250 E:


Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses

pay and get paid. Businesses and banks rely on Bottomline for

domestic and international payments, effective cash management

tools, automated workflows for payment processing and bill

review and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural analytics

and regulatory compliance. Businesses around the world depend

on Bottomline solutions to help them pay and get paid, including

some of the world’s largest systemic banks, private and publicly

traded companies and Insurers. Every day, we help our customers

by making complex business payments simple, secure and seamless.

American Express

76 Buckingham Palace Road,

London. SW1W 9TQ

T: +44 (0)1273 696933


American Express is working in partnership with the CICM and is

a globally recognised provider of payment solutions to businesses.

Specialising in providing flexible collection capabilities to drive a

number of company objectives including:

•Accelerate cashflow •Improved DSO •Reduce risk

•Offer extended terms to customers

•Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive

growth •Create competitive advantage with your customers

As experts in the field of payments and with a global reach,

American Express is working with credit managers to drive growth

within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional lever to

help support supplier/client relationships American Express is proud

to be an innovator in the business payments space.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 58





T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000



Key IVR are proud to have joined the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management’s Corporate partnership scheme. The CICM is a

recognised and trusted professional entity within credit management

and a perfect partner for Key IVR. We are delighted to be providing

our services to the CICM to assist with their membership collection

activities. Key IVR provides a suite of products to assist companies

across the globe with credit management. Our service is based

around giving the end-user the means to make a payment when and

how they choose. Using automated collection methods, such as a

secure telephone payment line (IVR), web and SMS allows companies

to free up valuable staff time away from typical debt collection.


Hays Credit Management

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN

T: 07834 260029



Hays Credit Management is working in partnership with the CICM

and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs and credit

management jobs. Hays understands the demands of this challenging

environment and the skills required to thrive within it. Whatever

your needs, we have temporary, permanent and contract based

opportunities to find your ideal role. Our candidate registration process

is unrivalled, including face-to-face screening interviews and a credit

control skills test developed exclusively for Hays by the CICM. We offer

CICM members a priority service and can provide advice across a wide

spectrum of job search and recruitment issues.



Portfolio Credit Control

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE

T: 0207 650 3199



Portfolio Credit Control, solely specialises in the recruitment of

permanent, temporary and contract Credit Control, Accounts

Receivable and Collections staff. Part of an award winning recruiter

we speak to and meet credit controllers all day everyday understanding

their skills and backgrounds to provide you with tried and tested credit

control professionals. We have achieved enormous growth because we

offer a uniquely specialist approach to our clients, with a commitment

to service delivery that exceeds your expectations every single time.

CICMQ accreditation is a proven model

that has consistently delivered dramatic

improvements in cashflow and efficiency

CICMQ is the hallmark of industry

leading organisations

The CICM Best Practice Network is where

CICMQ accredited organisations come

together to develop, share and celebrate

best practice in credit and collections



To find out more about flexible options

to gain CICMQ accreditation

E: T: 01780 722900

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2020 / PAGE 59

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