Credit Management July and August 2020

The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals

The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals


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CM<br />

JULY & AUGUST <strong>2020</strong> £12.50<br />



Commercial<br />

Brake<br />

Will COVID-19 bring<br />

collections to a stop?<br />

John Ricketts FCICM<br />

reflects on three years as<br />

CSA President. Page 22<br />

Open-mindedness is a<br />

professional’s greatest<br />

asset. Page 39

presents<br />

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<br />

www.ddisoftware.co.uk<br />


14<br />


Matthew Godby MCICM<br />

18<br />


Sean Feast FCICM<br />


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

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

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

membership, as well as additional subscribers<br />

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

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

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

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

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

22<br />


John Ricketts FCICM<br />

33<br />


Adam Bernstein<br />

President Stephen Baister FCICM / Chief Executive Sue Chapple FCICM<br />

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

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

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

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

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

Bryony Pettifor FCICM(Grad)/ Allan Poole MCICM / Alice Purdy MCICM(Grad) / Phil Rice FCICM / Chris S<strong>and</strong>ers FCICM<br />

Stephen Thomson FCICM<br />

JULY & AUGUST <strong>2020</strong><br />

www.cicm.com<br />


12 – Protective Custody<br />

What protections are there in place for<br />

creditors in the new Corporate Insolvency<br />

<strong>and</strong> Governance Bill?<br />

14 – Carry on Regardless<br />

The final part of how to create a strategic<br />

credit management department.<br />

18 – Commercial Brake<br />

Will COVID-19 bring commercial<br />

collections to a total stop?<br />

21 – Dining Out<br />

What does the restaurant industry need<br />

to do to recover?<br />

22 – Tiger Feat<br />

John Ricketts FCICM reflects on his three<br />

years as CSA President.<br />

24 – Border Point<br />

Can the courts insist on records being<br />

returned that are kept overseas?<br />

26 – Live <strong>and</strong> Let Live<br />

David Andrews thinks life must one day<br />

return to normal.<br />

33 – French Exchange<br />

She may be our nearest neighbour, but<br />

how well do we know France?<br />

39 – Staying Ahead<br />

Open-mindedness is a professional’s<br />

greatest asset.<br />

48 – Mentor Moment<br />

How one member is benefiting from the<br />

Mentor Hub.<br />

51 – Vicarious Living<br />

Be careful what you say – even<br />

hypothetically!<br />

Publisher<br />

Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

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

OAKHAM, LE15 8NB<br />

Telephone: 01780 722900<br />

Email: editorial@cicm.com<br />

Website: www.cicm.com<br />

CMM: www.creditmanagement.org.uk<br />

Managing Editor<br />

Sean Feast FCICM<br />

Deputy Editor<br />

Iona Yadallee<br />

Art Editor<br />

Andrew Morris<br />

Telephone: 01780 722910<br />

Email: <strong>and</strong>rew.morris@cicm.com<br />

Editorial Team<br />

Laura Biondi, Imogen Hart, Rob Howard<br />

<strong>and</strong> Daisy Warren<br />

Advertising<br />

Russell Bass <strong>and</strong> Grace Ghattas<br />

Telephone: 020 3603 7937<br />

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

Printers<br />

Stephens & George Print Group<br />

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

UK: £112 per annum<br />

International: £145 per annum<br />

Single copies: £12.50<br />

ISSN 0265-2099<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 3


I’m talking but you’re<br />

not listening<br />

Sean Feast FCICM<br />

Managing Editor<br />

BE careful what you wish<br />

for. I used to detest that<br />

phrase <strong>and</strong> now I detest<br />

it even more.<br />

When we had Brexit,<br />

I stopped watching the<br />

news <strong>and</strong> prayed the media would talk<br />

about something else. I did the same with<br />

coronavirus. Not long into lockdown<br />

I simply switched it off. I prefer my<br />

politicians to be out there doing their<br />

jobs, rather than having to justify every<br />

time they break wind to an intensely<br />

irritating BBC. Only recently did I<br />

venture back to be confronted with the<br />

latest in the desperately depressing saga<br />

in the hunt for young Maddie McCann,<br />

<strong>and</strong> the sight of riots all over the world<br />

on the undeniably simple premise that<br />

Black Lives Matter. Whatever happened<br />

to good news, I hear myself asking on an<br />

almost daily basis?<br />

Because there is good news out there.<br />

I learned recently that while sales of real<br />

plants <strong>and</strong> flowers may have fallen off<br />

a cliff with the initial closure of garden<br />

centres, sales of plastic plants have gone<br />

through the roof. One firm, Blooming<br />

Artificial (great name!), reported likefor-like<br />

sales having increased by around<br />

150 percent – great news for all those<br />

with not-so green fingers.<br />

I also recently learned in the CICM<br />

Think Tank that collections volumes<br />

may in fact be rising, <strong>and</strong> requests for<br />

payment plans have ‘skyrocketed’ (see<br />

news page 9) as consumers look to<br />

get their debt in order – an action that<br />

seems to fly in the face of other stories of<br />

impending doom.<br />

What is interesting, in this context,<br />

is the ongoing debate about how debt<br />

advice will be funded in the future.<br />

The government recently announced<br />

a dedicated £38m (through the Money<br />

<strong>and</strong> Pensions Service) windfall to fund<br />

advice through the current crisis, but I<br />

am guessing it is expecting the financial<br />

community – including collections<br />

agencies <strong>and</strong> purchasers – to cough<br />

up part of that. Consultations have<br />

come <strong>and</strong> gone (including the snappily<br />

titled CP20/6: FCA regulated fees <strong>and</strong><br />

levies: Rates Proposals <strong>2020</strong>/2021) but I<br />

sometimes wonder if the Regulator or<br />

the government are actually listening. I<br />

know that the CSA has asked the advice<br />

sector to evidence where <strong>and</strong> how its<br />

current contributions are being spent,<br />

before it contributes any more, but I’m<br />

not aware, as yet, if it’s got any answers.<br />

So is it really appropriate to increase<br />

fees in the current climate? I’m no<br />

expert, but it seems somehow perverse<br />

for the FCA to want an increase in fees<br />

just at the very time that debt buyers<br />

<strong>and</strong> agencies are facing huge costs<br />

of their own. Not only have they had<br />

to absorb payment holidays, but also<br />

the additional costs of compliance<br />

<strong>and</strong> working remotely. Debt collectors<br />

might not be many people’s friends, but<br />

whether politicians or my colleagues<br />

in the media like it or not, they are an<br />

essential part of our economy <strong>and</strong> the<br />

industry deserves the same protection/<br />

support from the government as any<br />

other business sector.<br />

I’ve also heard whispers of a<br />

proposed change to how the Financial<br />

Ombudsman Service (FOS) is funded<br />

going forward, <strong>and</strong> a disturbing rumour<br />

that the costs will be spread across the<br />

whole industry, rather than being met by<br />

those who actually pollute the system.<br />

Added to the ongoing fee saga, it does<br />

make me wonder who is wagging the<br />

doggie’s tail.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 4



This year we have partnered with Croner<br />

Reward, the experts in Pay &Benefits<br />

benchmarking, to bring you our annual Salary<br />

Survey. Our <strong>2020</strong> report isthe definitive guide<br />

on the market, solely focused on credit sector<br />

salaries, interim pay rates combined with<br />

further information on employee benefits,<br />

recruitment trends <strong>and</strong> our own unique<br />

market insight.<br />

In your copy you will find salaries <strong>and</strong><br />

benefits for <strong>Credit</strong> professionals that we<br />

recruit for around the UK. The roles include:<br />

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<strong>Credit</strong> Controller<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Supervisor<br />

Sales Ledger Clerk<br />

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Team Leader<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Risk Manager<br />

Head of <strong>Credit</strong><br />


www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com/salary-survey<br />


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recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 5

CMNEWS<br />

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

world of consumer <strong>and</strong> commercial credit.<br />

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM<br />

‘New’ campaign calls for<br />

end to ‘thuggish’ letters<br />

THE Money <strong>and</strong> Mental Health<br />

Policy Institute has called<br />

for changes to what it calls<br />

‘thuggish debt letters’ being<br />

sent to vulnerable customers during the<br />

COVID-19 crisis.<br />

Research by the charity suggests that<br />

more than 100,000 people in problem debt<br />

attempt suicide each year in Engl<strong>and</strong>,<br />

<strong>and</strong> that intimidating letters are a key<br />

contributing factor.<br />

Martin Lewis, Founder <strong>and</strong> Chair of the<br />

Institute says that lenders are forced by a<br />

decades-old law to send thuggish letters<br />

to people with debt problems: “These<br />

letters ruin lives, <strong>and</strong> many lenders say<br />

they don’t want to send them, but the law<br />

gives them no option,” he explains.<br />

“In the next few weeks, we’ll have the<br />

perverse situation where lenders will be<br />

compelled to send threatening letters to<br />

millions of people, even if they’ve been<br />

given permission for a temporary break<br />

from debt repayments. That will cause<br />

distress <strong>and</strong> confusion at a time when<br />

people in financial hardship, <strong>and</strong> many<br />

struggling with mental health issues,<br />

least need it.”<br />

The government, he says, needs to put<br />

support systems in place <strong>and</strong> change the<br />

rules on debt letters: “It’s a simple change<br />

to get rid of a rule that benefits neither<br />

lender, borrower, nor the economy — <strong>and</strong><br />

at this time, without exaggeration it could<br />

save lives.”<br />

The MMHPI claims that legislation<br />

dem<strong>and</strong>s that certain letters must<br />

include often complex <strong>and</strong> intimidating<br />

text in full when people are seriously<br />

behind on payments — <strong>and</strong> that this<br />

should be capitalised or in bold text.<br />

The text warns customers of the<br />

consequences of failing to take action,<br />

<strong>and</strong> the penalties that may follow.<br />

Peter Wallwork, Chief Executive of<br />

the <strong>Credit</strong> Services Association, says his<br />

members would also like to see change,<br />

but doubted such change would be<br />

‘simple’: “While the majority of letters our<br />

members send are customer-oriented,<br />

<strong>and</strong> very clearly supportive, the statutory<br />

letters have to use prescribed language,<br />

phrases <strong>and</strong> words that every company<br />

has to include,” he explains.<br />

“Current legislation simply does<br />

not allow for formal notices that are<br />

flexible or dynamic enough, despite CSA<br />

members’ attempts to manage the way<br />

they are read, to provide meaningful<br />

information to a customer <strong>and</strong> to address<br />

any vulnerabilities throughout the life<br />

cycle of a debt. It is pleasing to see the<br />

new campaign targeting the regulator<br />

<strong>and</strong> the government, for change will<br />

require primary legislation. We will<br />

happily support the debt advice sector<br />

<strong>and</strong> other stakeholders in seeking<br />

a reasoned approach to making the<br />

changes that are really needed.”<br />

Sue Chapple, Interim Chief Executive of<br />

the CICM, is similarly supportive, but says<br />

that the issue is hardly new: “Whereas<br />

we welcome the interjection of Mr Lewis<br />

<strong>and</strong> his campaign, this is a long-running<br />

saga that has vexed many in our industry<br />

for some years <strong>and</strong> it is important that<br />

the government <strong>and</strong> the FCA are now not<br />

‘bounced’ into an action with unintended<br />

consequences.<br />

“The debt collection industry, under<br />

the auspices of the CSA, has been doing<br />

vital work in this area, <strong>and</strong> we have<br />

warned previously of the need for greater<br />

flexibility in how debt purchasers <strong>and</strong><br />

debt collectors can communicate with<br />

customers. It is ludicrous that some<br />

creditors have been having to send<br />

'wraparound' letters telling a customer<br />

to ignore the legal letter they are obliged<br />

to send! Now more than ever, the focus<br />

has to be on outcomes. Any changes to<br />

current legislation must give creditors<br />

the opportunity to simplify the message<br />

<strong>and</strong> provide customers with clear <strong>and</strong><br />

consistent information across every<br />

touchpoint about the help that is available<br />

to them.”<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 6


Association adopts post-lockdown<br />

plan to enforce overdue debts<br />

ENFORCEMENT Agents (bailiffs)<br />

will implement a phased return<br />

to activity following the lifting of<br />

lockdown restrictions.<br />

Measures set out in a Post-lockdown<br />

Support Plan announced by the Civil<br />

Enforcement Association (CIVEA) follow<br />

consultations with the government<br />

that will allow local authorities <strong>and</strong><br />

courts to safely enforce overdue council<br />

tax, business rates, parking <strong>and</strong> traffic<br />

penalties <strong>and</strong> magistrates’ court fines.<br />

Anyone who has missed a payment<br />

or been out of contact will receive<br />

a st<strong>and</strong>ard reconnection letter that<br />

seeks to underst<strong>and</strong> how they have<br />

been affected by the COVID-19 crisis<br />

<strong>and</strong> respond as appropriate. When<br />

enforcement can resume following<br />

the lifting of emergency regulations,<br />

individuals will be given 30 days’ notice<br />

of a visit by an enforcement agent<br />

(unless the local authority has specific<br />

requirements).<br />

Before resuming visits, all<br />

enforcement agents will be given<br />

additional, m<strong>and</strong>atory CIVEA-approved<br />

training on how to protect themselves<br />

<strong>and</strong> those that they encounter in the<br />

community.<br />

Russell Hamblin-Boone, Chief<br />

Executive of CIVEA, says the plan<br />

allows his members to carry out their<br />

civic duties in line with public health<br />

advice: “CIVEA members fully accept<br />

that to simply restart enforcement visits<br />

once the government eases restrictions<br />

without underst<strong>and</strong>ing how people<br />

have been impacted by the crisis<br />

would not be acceptable. The measures<br />

included in the Post-lockdown Support<br />

Plan are a sensible <strong>and</strong> proactive<br />

response to an exceptional situation.<br />

Enforcement of public debt continues<br />

to be an important service to recover<br />

outst<strong>and</strong>ing taxes <strong>and</strong> fines, which<br />

contributes to funding essential local<br />

services.”<br />

CIVEA’s pledge was given a cautious<br />

welcome by the debt advice sector, but<br />

StepChange Debt Charity once again<br />

called for greater regulation of the<br />

bailiff industry. Peter Tutton, Head of<br />

Policy, says bailiff collection practices<br />

have caused significant harm in the<br />

past: “Any return to enforcement action,<br />

phased or otherwise, must be preceded<br />

by government-led measures that<br />

protect those affected by COVID-19.<br />

This includes putting affordable<br />

repayment plans in place for council<br />

tax arrears before resorting to<br />

enforcement action <strong>and</strong> taking into<br />

account vulnerability <strong>and</strong> financial<br />

circumstances before acting.<br />

“With millions of people<br />

struggling with COVID-19<br />

related debts, it is unfair <strong>and</strong><br />

unsafe for the government<br />

to restart enforcement<br />

without these safeguards.”<br />

Elsewhere, the High<br />

Court Enforcement Officers<br />

Association (HCEOA) has<br />

similarly adopted a new Best Practice<br />

plan for post-lockdown enforcement<br />

activity <strong>and</strong> set out the principles,<br />

working practices <strong>and</strong> behaviours that<br />

all High Court Enforcement Officers<br />

(HCEO’s) <strong>and</strong> representatives will follow<br />

throughout the phased lifting of the<br />

lockdown period.<br />

In line with the latest government<br />

guidance, the plan details additional<br />

training requirements for all<br />

enforcement agents prior to any home<br />

visits <strong>and</strong> the need to follow appropriate<br />

social distancing guidance where<br />

possible.<br />

Andrew Wilson, Chairman of<br />

the HCEOA, says that his members<br />

recognise that some judgment debtors<br />

will be experiencing significant effects<br />

as a result of the COVID-19 situation:<br />

“The plan is designed to consider<br />

the case-by-case circumstances of<br />

judgment debtors <strong>and</strong> ensure they<br />

are treated fairly whilst allowing<br />

creditors to recover the money<br />

they are owed.<br />

“We are pleased this plan<br />

has now been adopted as Best<br />

Practice by the Association <strong>and</strong><br />

shared with the Ministry of<br />

Justice to assure them of our<br />

commitment to operating in<br />

a flexible <strong>and</strong> sympathetic<br />

manner.”<br />

StepChange fears debt tsunami will<br />

swamp advice sector<br />

Andrew Wilson, Chairman<br />

of the HCEOA<br />

STEPCHANGE claims a personal debt<br />

tsunami of £6bn directly attributable<br />

to the COVID-19 p<strong>and</strong>emic is already<br />

being stored up among some 4.6 million<br />

households <strong>and</strong>, if left unchecked, is set<br />

to worsen.<br />

The charity warns that coronavirusrelated<br />

debt will act as a drag on<br />

economic recovery <strong>and</strong> will deluge<br />

advice services once the reality of<br />

people’s situations begins to hit home in<br />

the coming months. Debt charities are<br />

gearing up for a doubling in dem<strong>and</strong> for<br />

debt advice by the end of the year.<br />

In response, the charity has set out<br />

three key recommendations to enable<br />

a less painful exit strategy from the<br />

debt backlash. It wants to see: ongoing<br />

protections <strong>and</strong> forbearance on housing/<br />

rent, credit repayments, <strong>and</strong> council tax;<br />

the creation of a central fund of at least<br />

£5bn to enable grants for those who fall<br />

behind or were forced to borrow during<br />

the p<strong>and</strong>emic; <strong>and</strong> a reform of Universal<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>and</strong> in particular the abolition of<br />

the five-week wait.<br />

StepChange Debt Charity CEO Phil<br />

Andrew acknowledges that costs<br />

might be a barrier to the charity’s<br />

recommendations, but that the price of<br />

not intervening would be worse: “The<br />

misery, damage <strong>and</strong> economic drag that<br />

will inevitably follow the p<strong>and</strong>emic can<br />

<strong>and</strong> should be mitigated through public<br />

policy, <strong>and</strong> the approaches we suggest<br />

are the biggest game-changers,” he<br />

says. “Like other debt charities, we are<br />

gearing up for a significant increase in<br />

dem<strong>and</strong> for our usual services. We are<br />

also working on a specific solution to<br />

help people whose finances have been<br />

hit by the p<strong>and</strong>emic <strong>and</strong> who need a<br />

short-term helping h<strong>and</strong> to get back on<br />

track without jeopardising their credit<br />

status.<br />

“The false calm in which we<br />

find ourselves while furlough <strong>and</strong><br />

forbearance take the strain will not last<br />

indefinitely,” he adds.<br />

On the basis of research by YouGov,<br />

StepChange estimates that each affected<br />

adult has accumulated an additional<br />

£1,076 of arrears <strong>and</strong> £997 of debt. Since<br />

the beginning of the lockdown period,<br />

StepChange estimates 1.2 million people<br />

have fallen behind on their utility bills,<br />

820,000 people on their council tax, <strong>and</strong><br />

590,000 on their rent.<br />

Meanwhile, 4.2 million people have<br />

borrowed to make ends meet, most often<br />

using a credit card (1.7m), an overdraft<br />

(1.6m) or a high cost credit product<br />

(980,000).<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 7

BUSINESSES with more than<br />

£50,000 of unpaid invoices could<br />

benefit from a new scheme that<br />

buys those invoices for cash,<br />

turning a potential bad debt write off<br />

into positive cashflow.<br />

New finance provider Azzurro<br />

Associates is looking to provide cash<br />

against at least £1bn of UK businesses’<br />

unpaid invoices to help provide much<br />

needed liquidity during <strong>and</strong> beyond the<br />

current COVID-19 crisis.<br />

It is especially targeting companies<br />

with between £50,000 <strong>and</strong> £10m in<br />

unpaid bills for which it will not only<br />

provide upfront cash, but also share<br />

in the collections it achieves on any<br />

outst<strong>and</strong>ing debts.<br />

Azzurro Associates’ new commercial<br />

debt solution differs from ‘traditional’<br />

invoice finance in that the former<br />

advances cash against invoices that are<br />

still within term (i.e 30 days), whereas<br />

Azzurro provides cash for debts that<br />

are overdue or delinquent, <strong>and</strong> that a<br />

business is struggling or has failed to<br />

collect.<br />

Andrew Birkwood, CEO of Azzurro<br />

Associates, believes this is the first<br />

time that companies in the B2B sector<br />

have been able to benefit in this way:<br />

“As COVID-19 leads to more businesses<br />

failing to pay their suppliers, businesses<br />

further up the supply chain need to<br />

make sure they don’t run out of cash,”<br />

he says.“When collections activities are<br />

exhausted, the only option left is the<br />

Courts, but this costs money, takes time,<br />

<strong>and</strong> there is still no guarantee you’ll get<br />


Azzurro seeks to acquire £1bn<br />

in overdue invoices<br />

Andrew Birkwood, CEO of Azzurro<br />

Associates<br />

any money at the end. Now Financial<br />

Directors have a better option – a way<br />

of generating immediate cash from bad<br />

debts to avoid an inevitable coronavirus<br />

cashflow crunch.”<br />

Azzurro purchases invoices up to<br />

a maximum of six years from the due<br />

date, paying anything up to 50 percent<br />

of the INSOLVENCY<br />

original invoice value depending<br />

on the age of the debt <strong>and</strong> the credit<br />

profile of the debtor. In addition, it<br />

shares a proportion of the collections<br />

it achieves, which can also be as much<br />

as 50 percent. It buys portfolios of all<br />

sizes from £50,000 <strong>and</strong> above, which<br />

may comprise a small number of large<br />

invoices or a large number of small<br />

invoices, provided the smallest invoice<br />

value is greater than £100.<br />

Authorised <strong>and</strong> regulated by the<br />

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA),<br />

Azzurro adopts a fair <strong>and</strong> balanced<br />

recoveries process, with a creditor’s<br />

br<strong>and</strong> reputation being of upmost<br />

importance. This is achieved by<br />

utilising credit reference agency data<br />

to determine the appropriate servicing<br />

strategy, allowing forbearance <strong>and</strong><br />

breathing space where required.<br />

Where customers do not engage in the<br />

amicable contact strategy, Azzurro<br />

uses a combination of bureau data <strong>and</strong><br />

the expertise of a panel of preferred<br />

collections partners to ensure only the<br />

right cases are selected for litigation.<br />

Interim Small Business<br />

Commissioner Philip King, whose office<br />

champions fair payment practices <strong>and</strong><br />

supports businesses looking to resolve<br />

payment disputes, says that cashflow<br />

is critical: “At times like these we need<br />

creative ideas <strong>and</strong> I’m delighted to see<br />

organisations like Azzurro introduce<br />

different <strong>and</strong> innovative solutions.”<br />

Elsewhere, a study by Iwoca suggests<br />

unpaid invoices are piling up at SMEs<br />

across the country with nearly half (40<br />

percent) facing over £10,000 in unpaid<br />

invoices. One in four of those businesses<br />

worry they won’t survive into 2021 as a<br />

result of solvency, according to the 537<br />

small businesses that Iwoca surveyed.<br />

(See interview, <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

November 2019 issue).<br />

More than half of UK reports a decline in financial wellbeing<br />

THE COVID-19 crisis has reduced<br />

financial wellbeing in the UK <strong>and</strong><br />

consumers expect a further decline<br />

in the next six months, according<br />

to a whitepaper published by credit<br />

management group Intrum.<br />

More than half the UK respondents (55<br />

percent) reported a decline in financial<br />

wellbeing over the last six months,<br />

higher than the European average of 48<br />

percent. More than a third (38 percent)<br />

expect a further decrease.<br />

The paper’s findings build on Intrum’s<br />

European Payment Report, published in<br />

November 2019, which showed that the<br />

younger generations <strong>and</strong> households<br />

with children are under particular strain.<br />

The COVID-19 p<strong>and</strong>emic has<br />

exacerbated this trend, with 74 percent<br />

of UK households with children<br />

reporting an income drop as a result of<br />

the crisis, compared with 50 percent<br />

of households without children.<br />

Furthermore, 55 percent of households<br />

with children say that after paying their<br />

bills they rarely have enough money to<br />

last until the end of the month.<br />

Across Europe, millennials are more<br />

likely to say their financial wellbeing has<br />

suffered than other age groups. However,<br />

in the UK, 18-21-year olds appear<br />

particularly hard hit – with 69 percent<br />

saying the crisis has negatively<br />

affected their finances, <strong>and</strong> 38<br />

percent saying they have gone<br />

into more debt to cover their<br />

everyday spending as a result.<br />

Eddie Nott, Intrum’s UK<br />

Managing Director, said there<br />

is evidence that consumers<br />

who are spending less during<br />

the crisis are taking the<br />

opportunity to settle their<br />

debts. “After many of our<br />

customers paused their<br />

payment plans in March<br />

<strong>and</strong> April, we have seen a significant<br />

increase in people contacting us to<br />

settle their accounts in May,” he said.<br />

“However, many of our customers still<br />

need breathing space <strong>and</strong> are currently<br />

unable to pay their instalments. For<br />

example, those employed in heavily-hit<br />

sectors such as retail <strong>and</strong> leisure, <strong>and</strong><br />

vulnerable households with the smallest<br />

financial margins, such as families <strong>and</strong><br />

young people.”<br />

There is evidence that<br />

consumers who are spending<br />

less during the crisis are<br />

taking the opportunity to<br />

settle their debts.<br />

Eddie Nott, Intrum’s<br />

UK Managing Director<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 8


> THE NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

AS lockdown eases <strong>and</strong> businesses begin<br />

to reopen, concerns are mounting about<br />

how to return to a normal world.<br />

This topic was at the forefront of the<br />

CICM Think Tank discussion group,<br />

with members agreeing that the world<br />

as we know it may not be restored. One<br />

member stated that 100 percent of the<br />

UK population is spending less money,<br />

noting that we will find it hard to recover<br />

unless the population resorts back to<br />

their spending habits once lockdown<br />

is lifted. Another member believes that<br />




WHILE most people think of COVID-19<br />

as a setback, there is an upside.<br />

Customers have been settling their<br />

debts.<br />

A recent article in The Guardian<br />

newspaper suggests that UK consumers<br />

have repaid £7.4bn of debt during the<br />

lockdown, <strong>and</strong> it proved to be a hot<br />

topic of debate at the latest CICM Think<br />

Tank. Most agreed that when spending<br />

is restricted, <strong>and</strong> money saved, there is a<br />

propensity to settle one’s debts.<br />

One member of the Think Tank<br />

discussion noted that there has been<br />

a 200 percent increase in repayment<br />

plans during the lockdown, with another<br />

member agreeing <strong>and</strong> saying that<br />

payment plan requests have, in their<br />

words, ‘skyrocketed.’<br />

FINISHING the CICM Think Tank<br />

discussion on a high note, the panel<br />

talked about the positives that are<br />

coming out of the lockdown for those<br />

in the credit industry. One member<br />

noted that they are being more assertive<br />

towards client dem<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong> in return,<br />

clients are being more receptive, which<br />

is making a huge difference when it<br />

comes to saving money within the<br />

business.<br />

In unison, members agreed that the<br />

lockdown has provided them with<br />

Plus Ca Change?<br />

the population will be split in half, with<br />

50 percent returning to ‘normal’ <strong>and</strong> the<br />

other 50 percent being too terrified to<br />

leave the house. “COVID-19 has moved us<br />

into a world that can fully operate online,<br />

which will see more people working<br />

from home, <strong>and</strong> less money being spent<br />

on food, drinks <strong>and</strong> travel,” he said.<br />

With worries of a recession rising,<br />

the Think Tank members concurred<br />

that businesses <strong>and</strong> individuals need to<br />

adjust to serve the economy in the new<br />

reality.<br />

Has COVID-19 ‘helped’ the credit industry?<br />

greater staff empowerment <strong>and</strong> barriers<br />

have been broken down between juniors<br />

<strong>and</strong> seniors as whole teams have begun<br />

to make decisions which have increased<br />

productivity. The lockdown has helped<br />

unleash skills within the credit industry,<br />

allowing employers to focus on training<br />

their employees in all areas of credit<br />

management ahead of time.<br />

The panel also agreed that team<br />

support has grown dramatically, which<br />

will be upheld long after the lockdown in<br />

a new, team-oriented environment.<br />

Payment holidays<br />

CUSTOMERS facing temporary<br />

financial difficulties due to the<br />

coronavirus have been granted<br />

almost 1.5 million payment holidays<br />

by lenders on their credit cards <strong>and</strong><br />

personal loans, according to statistics<br />

from UK Finance. As at the end of May,<br />

877,800 customer accounts had been<br />

given a payment freeze on their credit<br />

card. This was an increase of over a<br />

quarter (26 percent) since the start of<br />

the month, as lenders continued to<br />

provide support to those customers<br />

with temporary financial pressures<br />

due to COVID-19.<br />


Sue Chapple FCICM has succeeded<br />

Philip King FCICM as Chief Executive<br />

of the Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong>. Sue, who joined the CICM<br />

as Director of Strategic Relationships<br />

in 2018, has been interim CEO since<br />

Philip’s departure to become interim<br />

Small Business Commissioner in<br />

March. Full report in next issue.<br />

Wise counsel<br />

LOWELL has made two new<br />

appointments to its Group Executive<br />

team. Thomas Lingen has joined as<br />

Group General Counsel, <strong>and</strong> Bitte<br />

Ferngren arrives as Group Chief<br />

People Officer. Thomas joins Lowell<br />

from Office Depot Europe in the<br />

Netherl<strong>and</strong>s, bringing with him<br />

experience of leading legal functions<br />

for multinational business across a<br />

variety of transactions <strong>and</strong> industry<br />

sectors. Bitte joins the business<br />

from Sc<strong>and</strong>ic Hotels, where she was<br />

Senior Vice President Group HR <strong>and</strong><br />

Sustainability.<br />

Digital surge<br />

PHILLIPS & Cohen Associates is<br />

reporting a significant surge in online<br />

consumer activity via its proprietary<br />

Estate-Serve platform during the<br />

COVID-19 p<strong>and</strong>emic. In recent<br />

months the business has witnessed<br />

a 60 percent increase in usage across<br />

its digital platforms <strong>and</strong> a 321 percent<br />

increase in consumer-driven<br />

self-service payment volumes.<br />

CICM<br />

Essentials<br />

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

is happening at the CICM – from<br />

qualifications to training, <strong>and</strong><br />

membership to events – see the<br />

weekly e-newsletter CICM Essentials.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 9


East of Engl<strong>and</strong> Branch<br />

takes to the web<br />

CICM East of Engl<strong>and</strong> Branch has now<br />

held three successful webinars in the<br />

last few weeks for CICM members<br />

<strong>and</strong> non-members. Our first, Business<br />

Challenges of <strong>Credit</strong> During <strong>and</strong> after<br />

COVID 19 & How to Tackle Them, was<br />

hosted by Andrew Martin of Hays on 14<br />

May <strong>2020</strong>. The speakers, CICM Chairman<br />

Pete Whitmore <strong>and</strong> Chris S<strong>and</strong>ers of<br />

CICMQ, highlighted past, present <strong>and</strong><br />

future issues.<br />

These included top current business<br />

concerns, <strong>and</strong> the best practice for<br />

coping now <strong>and</strong> planning for the<br />

‘new normal’. They also included the<br />

opportunities of remote working, <strong>and</strong> the<br />

need to look carefully at relationships<br />

with suppliers <strong>and</strong> customers, at new<br />

accounts, <strong>and</strong> at planning for survival.<br />

Our second Branch webinar<br />

Emergency Guide to <strong>Credit</strong> Control for<br />

All Levels was hosted by Andrew Martin<br />

of Hays on 22 May <strong>2020</strong>. This guide –<br />

presented by Jules Eames from CICM<br />

HQ – was aimed at helping those not<br />

currently working in credit, <strong>and</strong> was in<br />

PRIOR to lockdown Thames Valley <strong>and</strong><br />

Wessex branches held a joint event at<br />

Winchester Science Centre.<br />

The talks, which were held in the<br />

planetarium, started with Paul Uglow<br />

from Meachers Global Logistics who<br />

provided an introduction to Incoterms.<br />

He explained how the terms define<br />

relationships between buyers <strong>and</strong> sellers<br />

(who pays for what at what stage of<br />

shipping/flight).<br />

Paul discussed the importance of<br />

insurance when importing/exporting<br />

<strong>and</strong> he talked through the <strong>2020</strong><br />

Incoterms changes. The most significant<br />

changes were how the Incoterm textbook<br />

had risen to 193 pages <strong>and</strong> the second<br />

half of the book now detailed each<br />

article for easier reading. Paul ended by<br />

advising us of the other changes such<br />

as new security-related requirements,<br />

different levels of insurance <strong>and</strong><br />

enhanced explanatory notes for users.<br />

response to companies that have asked<br />

staff from other departments, including<br />

sales, to help collect cash. Jules gave a<br />

brief outline of what credit actually is,<br />

offered tips on ascertaining a customer’s<br />

willingness <strong>and</strong> ability to pay, described<br />

collection tools <strong>and</strong> techniques, <strong>and</strong> gave<br />

tips on securing the deal <strong>and</strong> on effective<br />

follow up.<br />

COVID-19 <strong>Credit</strong> Managers Playbook<br />

2 was the title of our latest Branch<br />

webinar on 10 June <strong>2020</strong>, which included<br />

planning <strong>and</strong> recommendations for the<br />

next phase of the crisis, coming out<br />

of lockdown, <strong>and</strong> the likely impacts<br />

<strong>and</strong> upcoming issues facing the credit<br />

management functions in the UK <strong>and</strong><br />

internationally.<br />

We hope that our online attendees<br />

found our first three webinars enjoyable<br />

<strong>and</strong> informative. Copies of the slides<br />

<strong>and</strong> videos of each webinar are available,<br />

email eastofengl<strong>and</strong>branch@cicm.com<br />

Author: Richard Brown FCICM<br />

East of Engl<strong>and</strong> Branch Vice Chairman<br />

Thames Valley <strong>and</strong> Wessex<br />

branches go interplanetary<br />

After a short break Markus Kuger,<br />

Chief Economist from D&B, talked us<br />

through the D&B country risk report <strong>and</strong><br />

presented a slide showing how global<br />

country risk levels have been rising<br />

since October 2007 <strong>and</strong> how the global<br />

outlook is deteriorating. COVID-19’s<br />

effect on companies <strong>and</strong> supply in China<br />

was also demonstrated suggesting that<br />

50,000 companies have Tier 1 suppliers<br />

in the affected area, <strong>and</strong> another five<br />

million have one or more Tier 2 suppliers<br />

in the region. Of course since this<br />

event, COVID-19 has become the world’s<br />

problem <strong>and</strong> the global supply chain is<br />

an ever-growing concern.<br />

Markus also covered the UK<br />

labour market <strong>and</strong> EU payment<br />

behaviours before closing with a few<br />

recommendations, including mapping<br />

your supply chain in light of Brexit,<br />

COVID-19, trade wars <strong>and</strong> watching<br />

political risk closely (referencing the US<br />

elections). The event concluded with a<br />

fascinating planetarium show <strong>and</strong> some<br />

mind-blowing stats on the size of the<br />

Solar system, galaxies <strong>and</strong> the universe.<br />

Thank you to our event sponsors –<br />

Interaction Recruitment <strong>and</strong> Dun &<br />

Bradstreet – <strong>and</strong> thanks also to the<br />

speakers <strong>and</strong> attendees for a memorable<br />

evening.<br />

Author: Gary Baker FCICM,<br />

Secretary of the Thames Valley Branch<br />

Alex<strong>and</strong>er Mann<br />

displays high<br />

st<strong>and</strong>ards to achieve<br />

CICMQ accreditation<br />

THE Solutions <strong>Credit</strong> Function team at<br />

Alex<strong>and</strong>er Mann has been recognised<br />

for its adaptability <strong>and</strong> achievement<br />

in meeting the highest st<strong>and</strong>ards of<br />

professionalism by gaining CICMQ<br />

accreditation.<br />

“Achieving CICMQ accreditation<br />

shows how valued our credit control<br />

team really is <strong>and</strong> that they adhere to<br />

all policies regarding the credit control<br />

function,” says Eileen Bell, Head of<br />

Global <strong>Credit</strong> Control at Alex<strong>and</strong>er<br />

Mann Solutions. “It highlights that<br />

we provide a valuable service to our<br />

internal <strong>and</strong> external clients <strong>and</strong> also<br />

demonstrates that we strive to provide<br />

the highest st<strong>and</strong>ards – something<br />

that has now been validated by CICM.”<br />

While working hard towards the<br />

accreditation, Eileen says that it<br />

didn’t come without its difficulties:<br />

“While we all know how <strong>and</strong> what we<br />

are doing, <strong>and</strong> how to hit our targets,<br />

having this all documented was a big<br />

challenge,” she admits.<br />

Despite these challenges, the team<br />

at Alex<strong>and</strong>er Mann aspires to move<br />

forwards with the lessons the team<br />

members learned firmly in mind: “Now<br />

that we’ve achieved accreditation,<br />

we’ll certainly ensure that we keep all<br />

our policies up-to-date <strong>and</strong> encourage<br />

the team to make the most of the<br />

membership of CICM,” Eileen adds.<br />

“We are all striving for continuous<br />

improvement.”<br />

Alex<strong>and</strong>er Mann Solutions is<br />

a global talent acquisition <strong>and</strong><br />

management specialist. The Solutions<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> function is split across London,<br />

Belfast <strong>and</strong> Yorkshire. The team<br />

collected £2.1bn in 2019 over 29<br />

entities.<br />

Following the results<br />

of the CICM Advisory<br />

Council Elections, there<br />

are several Regional<br />

Representative vacancies<br />

which remain unfilled.<br />

For more information<br />

visit:<br />

https://www.cicm.com/<br />

about-cicm/vacancies-at-cicm/<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 10



Insolvency Practitioners will be prime movers in<br />

achieving the aims of the new Insolvency Bill.<br />

AUTHOR – Michelle Thorp<br />

Michelle Thorp<br />

Acontinuous list of household<br />

names are facing difficult<br />

choices in the context of<br />

economic damage that the<br />

World forecasts could last for a<br />

decade. The challenges will not<br />

end when businesses reopen, confronting the<br />

question of doing this amid what is likely to be<br />

decreased consumer confidence <strong>and</strong> footfall,<br />

as well as reconfigurations to safely meet social<br />

distancing guidelines.<br />

Adding to the list of state support measures,<br />

the government’s Corporate Insolvency <strong>and</strong><br />

Governance Bill is expected to be ratified in early<br />

<strong>July</strong>, with the government citing that ‘it is vital<br />

that urgent action is taken to help struggling<br />

businesses to continue to trade during the<br />

current crisis <strong>and</strong> to boost the economy once we<br />

emerge from it.’<br />

So what are its features <strong>and</strong> how do those<br />

features work in practice?<br />

The Bill contains eight key measures. Firstly,<br />

a moratorium will be introduced. As you may<br />

know, a moratorium prevents legal action being<br />

taken against companies without court approval.<br />

This will afford companies some breathing space<br />

to pursue a rescue plan. This measure creates the<br />

role of Monitor, which will have to be fulfilled by<br />

an IP. The Monitor must supervise the company’s<br />

affairs to evaluate if the company can be rescued<br />

as a going concern (meaning it remains viable or<br />

can be returned to viability).<br />


There will be two types of moratorium. The first<br />

is specifically in relation to COVID-19, with its<br />

own unique test, <strong>and</strong> adds ‘or would do so if it<br />

were not for any worsening of the financial<br />

position of the company for reasons relating<br />

to coronavirus’ to the end of the proposed<br />

Monitor’s statement that it is likely that a<br />

moratorium for the company would result in<br />

the rescue of the company as a going concern.<br />

The period for the availability of this variation<br />

was to end on 30 June <strong>2020</strong>, but the period will<br />

probably be extended. The second moratorium<br />

is a st<strong>and</strong>ard moratorium <strong>and</strong> will be available<br />

for the longer term.<br />

The company in a moratorium has to pay its<br />

ongoing costs, so continuing to supply it may be<br />

less of a risk for creditors. We have noted that IPs<br />

being able to confidently make the pre-requisite<br />

statement that a rescue as a going concern is<br />

likely, will require some pre-appointment work,<br />

which may make the procedure less attractive to<br />

enter. Restrictions on termination clauses will<br />

be brought in to prevent suppliers from stopping<br />

(or threatening to stop supplying) businesses<br />

in an insolvency or restructuring procedure.<br />

The courts can agree to relieve suppliers of this<br />

obligation if continuing to supply will harm their<br />

business.<br />

‘Small’ company suppliers are temporarily<br />

exempt from the termination clause restrictions<br />

in the COVID-19 response situation. Where the<br />

supplier is not in its first financial year at the<br />

relevant time, the supplier is considered to be<br />

a ‘small’ entity if at least two of the following<br />

conditions are met in relation to its most recent<br />

financial year:<br />

• its turnover was not more than £10.2m;<br />

• its balance sheet total was not more than £5.1m;<br />

• its employees were not more than 50.<br />

As 90 percent of UK businesses meet the third<br />

criterion, fewer companies may be affected by<br />

this exemption than it may first appear.<br />

A new restructuring plan will be available<br />

to viable businesses in difficulty with debt. It<br />

will be sanctioned by the courts, which will<br />

consider whether the plan is fair, equitable <strong>and</strong><br />

in the interests of creditors. The plan is voted on<br />

by creditors, but the court can impose it. It is<br />

understood that safeguards will be put in place<br />

for creditors who were not in favour of the plan.<br />

Adding to these measures, wrongful trading<br />

legislation will be suspended, temporarily<br />

stopping the threat of directors’ personal liability<br />

arising from continued trading in insolvency;<br />

statutory dem<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong> winding up petitions<br />

will be voided so that companies can come to<br />

pragmatic <strong>and</strong> fair agreements with creditors;<br />

<strong>and</strong> there are changes to rules around AGMs <strong>and</strong><br />

filing, for more flexibility.<br />

Just over half of the powers in the Bill are<br />

‘Henry VIII’ powers, meaning that they can be<br />

amended or repealed by the government making<br />

new regulations without the need for additional<br />

legislation.<br />

Clearly the Bill will introduce changes for<br />

creditors in terms of how they work with<br />

businesses <strong>and</strong> IPs – in addition to potentially<br />

supporting creditors themselves as businesses,<br />

<strong>and</strong> indeed IPs <strong>and</strong> others. It is important that<br />

all affected by the Bill are aware of its underlying<br />

objective to support business, with IPs being a<br />

prime mover in achieving that aim.<br />

We continue to consider the Bill <strong>and</strong> will<br />

monitor it in practice, offering input to help<br />

ensure the measures serve all stakeholders in<br />

insolvency processes correctly.<br />

Michelle Thorp is CEO, Insolvency Practitioners<br />

Association.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 11


Protective custody<br />

<strong>Credit</strong>ors are protected in new<br />

debtor-friendly rescue plans.<br />

AUTHOR – Paul Bannister<br />

AS announced in last month’s<br />

issue of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>,<br />

the government is to introduce<br />

new corporate restructuring<br />

tools to the insolvency <strong>and</strong><br />

restructuring regime to respond<br />

to the COVID-19 emergency to give companies<br />

the breathing space <strong>and</strong> tools required to<br />

maximise their chance of survival.<br />

In doing so, it will also temporarily suspend<br />

parts of Insolvency law to support directors to<br />

continue trading through the emergency without<br />

the threat of personal liability for wrongful<br />

trading <strong>and</strong> to protect companies from aggressive<br />

creditor action. It will also temporarily suspend<br />

parts of Company Law <strong>and</strong> other legislation<br />

to provide companies <strong>and</strong> other bodies with<br />

temporary easements on company filing<br />

requirements at Companies House, <strong>and</strong> similar<br />

easements for annual general meetings (AGMs)<br />

with particular reference to physical presence<br />

<strong>and</strong> voting.<br />


In terms of the details, the new Corporate<br />

Insolvency <strong>and</strong> Governance Bill will introduce<br />

a new moratorium to give companies breathing<br />

space from their creditors while they seek a<br />

rescue, <strong>and</strong> prohibit termination clauses that<br />

engage on entering an insolvency procedure,<br />

entering the new moratorium or beginning the<br />

new restructuring plan procedure. It will also,<br />

subject to certain protections, prevent suppliers<br />

from ceasing their supply or asking for additional<br />

payments while a company is going through a<br />

rescue process.<br />

The Bill will introduce a new restructuring<br />

plan for companies in financial distress which<br />

include new cross class cram down procedures<br />

that allow a class of creditors to be bound by the<br />

restructuring plan even if they do not agree to the<br />

plan.<br />

Among the other measures contained in the<br />

Bill is the temporary removal of the threat of<br />

personal liability for wrongful trading from<br />

directors who try to keep their companies<br />

afloat through the emergency, <strong>and</strong> a temporary<br />

prohibition of the right of creditors to file<br />

statutory dem<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong> a restriction on windingup<br />

petitions for COVID-19 related debts.<br />


While some of the measures are temporary,<br />

others will be permanent, dating back to the<br />

government’s original consultation in <strong>August</strong><br />

2016. The impact of those permanent changes<br />

is estimated to bring net benefits to businesses<br />

totalling more than £1.9bn in today’s prices.<br />

The government says there is widespread<br />

support for the measures in the Bill, including<br />

from the relevant professions <strong>and</strong> business<br />

groups. Urgent action is undoubtedly required.<br />

But how are they ensuring that the needs of<br />

creditors are being addressed as well as those<br />

facing financial hardship? And how are they<br />

ensuring that such measures aren’t going to be<br />

abused to the creditors’ detriment?<br />

It is recognised that the new restructuring<br />

tools are more debtor friendly in order to promote<br />

company rescue which is generally accepted to<br />

return more to creditors than the alternative of<br />

administration or liquidation. But it is also about<br />

protecting jobs <strong>and</strong> long-term investment. The<br />

proposals in the Bill do also introduce a number<br />

of protections for creditors to balance the<br />

proposals for debtors <strong>and</strong> to ensure the integrity<br />

of the insolvency regime.<br />

For example, the thresholds for entering the<br />

moratorium are designed to ensure that only<br />

companies that are insolvent (or likely to be) can<br />

use it <strong>and</strong> this must be signed off by a statement<br />

of the appointed monitor – a regulated insolvency<br />

practitioner who must also ensure that the<br />

company abides by the rules of the moratorium.<br />

Companies required to continue to supply under<br />

the suspension of termination clauses must be<br />

paid for services <strong>and</strong> supplies procured during<br />

the moratorium, otherwise the Monitor must<br />

bring the moratorium to an end (<strong>and</strong> of course<br />

the supplier can terminate the contract).<br />

In addition, where supplies are not paid<br />

for during a moratorium (or other insolvency<br />

procedure) <strong>and</strong> the company subsequently<br />

enters into insolvency, then those debts will<br />

receive a higher priority (in line with expenses<br />

of the monitor) recognising the requirement to<br />

supply. Any company required to supply can<br />

apply to a court under the ‘hardship’ provision<br />

to be exempt from supplying. Finally, during<br />

the COVID-19 period, small businesses will be<br />

temporarily exempt from this requirement.<br />

The restructuring plan also has important<br />

protections for those companies that are bound<br />

to it under the new cross class cram down<br />

provisions if they voted against it. Namely that<br />

they must not be worse off under a restructuring<br />

plan than the next most likely alternative<br />

if the plan were not to go forward, such as<br />

administration or liquidation. In addition, a<br />

restructuring plan must be sanctioned by a court<br />

as being ‘fair <strong>and</strong> equitable’.<br />

Paul Bannister is Head of Policy at the<br />

Insolvency Service.<br />

Among the<br />

other measures<br />

contained in<br />

the Bill is the<br />

temporary<br />

removal of the<br />

threat of personal<br />

liability for<br />

wrongful trading<br />

from directors<br />

who try to keep<br />

their companies<br />

afloat through the<br />

emergency<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 12


The Moratorium -<br />

How will it work in<br />

practice?<br />

AN SME clothing company, Example Fashion Ltd, suffered<br />

a bad debt of £250,000 after one of its major customers, a<br />

department store, entered administration. According to<br />

its customer’s administrator, there was very little hope of<br />

receiving any of the £250,000 owed through the administration.<br />

The department store had been the company’s largest<br />

customer. However, following negative press, the directors<br />

had worked hard at sourcing new customers so as not to be as<br />

dependant on the department store for business.<br />

Accordingly, at the time the bad debt is suffered, the<br />

company has a healthy order book for the following six<br />

months, but it is not due to receive payment for any of the new<br />

customer orders for at least three months. The company is<br />

receiving payment in invoices from other, smaller customers<br />

but does not have sufficient cashflow to pay all of the debts<br />

that are due now, many of which relate to goods <strong>and</strong> services<br />

procured to fulfil the department store contract. The company<br />

is now ‘cashflow insolvent’.<br />

While most of its suppliers are supportive, a minority of the<br />

unpaid suppliers are threatening to take legal action against<br />

the company, <strong>and</strong> one has already served the company with<br />

a statutory dem<strong>and</strong>. One of the directors intends to raise<br />

money for the company by re-mortgaging her own house.<br />

Once these funds are invested in the company, it will be able<br />

to repay its creditors. However, the funds will not be available<br />

for a few weeks <strong>and</strong> creditors are threatening legal action<br />

now, unconvinced that money will otherwise be forthcoming.<br />

The directors seek advice from an IP <strong>and</strong> the IP believes<br />

that the company can be saved via this investment. The IP<br />

advises that the company enters a moratorium, a rescue<br />

process that will protect the indebted company from creditor<br />

action while the additional finance is raised.<br />

The directors <strong>and</strong> the IP complete the necessary paperwork<br />

<strong>and</strong> file a notice <strong>and</strong> other documents at court, commencing<br />

a moratorium for an initial period of 20 business days. The<br />

IP is appointed monitor. Using the income from the smaller<br />

invoices, the company is able to pay its ongoing liabilities:<br />

wages, rent, goods <strong>and</strong> services supplied in the moratorium<br />

etc.<br />

Unfortunately, soon after the moratorium is entered the<br />

director’s re-mortgage is delayed <strong>and</strong> it becomes apparent<br />

that the funds will not be available for a further six weeks.<br />

The directors tell the Monitor about this. Based on the<br />

information given to the Monitor by the director, the Monitor<br />

continues to believe the investment will be made <strong>and</strong> that the<br />

moratorium will bring about the rescue of the company as a<br />

going concern. Accordingly, the Monitor does not bring the<br />

moratorium to an end.<br />

After 15 business days the directors file for a 20-business<br />

day extension to the initial period; the Monitor completes<br />

another statement that it is likely the moratorium will bring<br />

about the rescue of the company as a going concern. During<br />

this second 20-day period, the re-mortgage is completed,<br />

<strong>and</strong> the funds are injected into the company. At this point,<br />

the company ceases to be cashflow insolvent; it is able to pay<br />

all of its older debts in full <strong>and</strong> the ongoing debts incurred<br />

following entry into the moratorium. Accordingly, the<br />

Monitor files a notice at court terminating the moratorium on<br />

the grounds that rescue of the company has been achieved.<br />

AUTHOR – Paul Bannister<br />

In terms of the<br />

details, the<br />

new Corporate<br />

Insolvency <strong>and</strong><br />

Governance<br />

Bill will<br />

introduce a new<br />

moratorium to<br />

give companies<br />

breathing space<br />

from their<br />

creditors while<br />

they seek a<br />

rescue.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 13


CARRY ON<br />


Considerations in creating a strategic credit<br />

management department. Part three.<br />

AUTHOR – Matthew Godby MCICM(Grad)<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 14


IN this series, we’ve looked at<br />

the range of factors that go into<br />

developing a strategic credit<br />

management function. One that<br />

isn’t just there to ‘collect the<br />

money’, but instead operates at<br />

the heart of the business to help it develop<br />

<strong>and</strong> grow.<br />

In the first part of this series, we<br />

reflected on how many credit control<br />

departments still pursue a reactive<br />

policy of jumping into action when a<br />

debt becomes overdue or dealing with<br />

matters based on who shouts the loudest.<br />

An approach that doesn’t allow the credit<br />

department or the business to improve<br />

<strong>and</strong> move forward. We went on to look<br />

at what a strategic credit management<br />

department should look like.<br />

In part two, we looked at the factors to<br />

consider in developing such a department.<br />

That a strategic credit management<br />

department is the hub of the business; it<br />

drives change <strong>and</strong> efficiencies across the<br />

whole Order to Cash pathway; it leads <strong>and</strong><br />

collaborates across the wider business.<br />

As I write the final part of this series,<br />

a great deal has changed in a very short<br />

space of time. COVID-19 is having a<br />

devastating effect on businesses across<br />

the country. With most of the UK economy<br />

in a state of hibernation, most businesses<br />

are having to cope with the twin effects of<br />

dramatically reduced sales <strong>and</strong> customers<br />

inability to pay for them. So what are the<br />

benefits of having an adaptable, strategic<br />

credit management function?<br />


A Gallup survey from 2018 found<br />

that 51 percent of employees said<br />

they were looking for new jobs or<br />

opportunities. Emotional support,<br />

professional development, IT systems<br />

that work, effective communication, clear<br />

messaging, consistency of approach,<br />

clear objectives <strong>and</strong> fair pay all play a part<br />

in staff satisfaction.<br />

The result? A happy, highly-skilled<br />

workforce who are proud to work for<br />

you. It gives staff a sense of achievement<br />

that they are contributing to the success<br />

of your business. Excellence breeds<br />

excellence <strong>and</strong> as others hear how your<br />

business is a great place to work, you<br />

attract the best people. Which improves<br />

your profit.<br />


Good credit control is always about<br />

customer relationships <strong>and</strong> not about<br />

threats. Skilled credit controllers use a<br />

range of influencing techniques to obtain<br />

payment, but also listen <strong>and</strong> underst<strong>and</strong><br />

the genuine problems customers might<br />

be experiencing. They are supported<br />

AUTHOR – Matthew Godby MCICM(Grad)<br />

by the credit manager to make the right<br />

commercial decisions, from a position of<br />

knowledge. They underst<strong>and</strong> that on-stop/<br />

legal action threats are only a last resort,<br />

when other options have been exhausted.<br />

With COVID-19 placing many<br />

businesses at risk due to a lack of cash,<br />

I’ve spoken to far too many people who<br />

have been reluctant to speak with their<br />

customers, because they know that they<br />

are probably experiencing cashflow<br />

problems too. This goes to the heart<br />

of what good credit management is<br />

about: clear, honest conversations with<br />

customers – providing support when<br />

needed – that allow payments to be made<br />

that are acceptable to all parties.<br />

The result? Skilled staff, communicating<br />

with customers professionally, is likely to<br />

result in more prompt payments.<br />


An efficient Order to Cash process means<br />

robust risk <strong>and</strong> onboarding of new<br />

customers, ‘right first time’ invoicing<br />

practices, effective credit management<br />

<strong>and</strong> strong leadership to make it work. An<br />

efficient O2C pathway that is constantly<br />

reviewed <strong>and</strong> adapted means a portfolio of<br />

good paying customers, invoices that are<br />

correct <strong>and</strong> pro-active credit controlling<br />

that works <strong>and</strong> is supported. The result?<br />

Increased cashflow <strong>and</strong> profit that can be<br />

reinvested in staffing, infrastructure <strong>and</strong><br />

business growth.<br />


The sales force don’t want to be wasting<br />

their time on selling, only to find they<br />

are declined at credit check stage. A<br />

well-run credit management department<br />

can help to increase sales. Providing the<br />

sales department with meaningful data<br />

on existing customer payment patterns,<br />

communications <strong>and</strong> debt exposure<br />

allows them to explore further sales<br />

opportunities with existing customers,<br />

which is always easier than trying to<br />

obtain new sales. A customer onboarding<br />

policy that allows credit checking new<br />

prospects based on expected sales<br />

projections, rather than actual sales,<br />

means that payment terms can be<br />

determined in advance <strong>and</strong> risks of bad<br />

debt can be minimised. This allows sales<br />

to avoid wasting time on risky customers<br />

<strong>and</strong> means they can adapt their sales<br />

based on the information to h<strong>and</strong>.<br />


What goes into having satisfied<br />

customers? Well having a product that<br />

works, of course! However, reports<br />

show that customers look to the wider<br />

service that a business provides – such<br />

as professionalism, communication,<br />

fairness <strong>and</strong> being made to feel valued.<br />

This is one of the key outcomes a<br />

successful credit management department<br />

can expect. Satisfied customers are<br />

likely to pay quicker, recommend you<br />

to others, buy more <strong>and</strong> enhance your<br />

reputation.<br />

COVID-19<br />

Coronavirus is causing untold devastation<br />

to families across the country. This is<br />

compounded by the unprecedented<br />

damage being done to businesses <strong>and</strong><br />

livelihoods. Retailers were the first to be<br />

hit, <strong>and</strong> reports suggest that half of highstreet<br />

retailers could be in trouble by the<br />

end of the Summer, so those businesses<br />

who supply the sector could be under<br />

increasing strain. The construction<br />

industry was already deeply affected by<br />

uncertainties surrounding Brexit, <strong>and</strong><br />

it now too faces further challenges with<br />

COVID-19.<br />

Indeed, no business, whatever their<br />

size or industry sector, is immune to the<br />

cashflow crisis we are now in.<br />

Cashflow is the heartbeat of every<br />

business <strong>and</strong> there simply isn’t enough of<br />

it to go around right now. I’ve spoken to<br />

many businesses who don’t know how to<br />

adapt their credit departments to the new<br />

environment in which we find ourselves.<br />

Many are therefore at risk of failure.<br />

But it is those businesses I’ve spoken<br />

to, who have well developed credit<br />

management departments that work,<br />

who will be able to adapt to the changing<br />

circumstances <strong>and</strong> are better equipped to<br />

survive the crisis <strong>and</strong> beyond.<br />

Perhaps a hard lesson for many<br />

businesses on the importance of effective,<br />

strategic credit management that is fit for<br />

purpose.<br />

Matt Godby MCICM(Grad), Director –<br />

Godby <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> Ltd<br />

Cashflow is the<br />

heartbeat of every<br />

business <strong>and</strong> there<br />

simply isn’t enough<br />

of it to go around<br />

right now.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 15

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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 16



How one commercial DCA has weathered the<br />

storm <strong>and</strong> the lessons learned.<br />

AUTHOR – Steve Lewis<br />

Steve Lewis<br />

WHEN the editor<br />

called <strong>and</strong> asked me<br />

to write an article<br />

on The Life of a<br />

Commercial DCA<br />

during <strong>and</strong> after<br />

COVID-19, I thanked him profusely. It has<br />

been a welcome change from a. Netflix<br />

or b. On-Line Quizzing, not that it has<br />

affected my thought processes in any way!<br />

In some ways it has been difficult<br />

because the new reality is ‘Life but not<br />

as we know it Jim’. But it’s not helpful to<br />

simply say that ‘We can’t h<strong>and</strong>le the truth’;<br />

we now have to accept what is a reality<br />

<strong>and</strong> as an industry, commercial debt<br />

collection agencies are determined to<br />

adapt <strong>and</strong> operate as such. We must now<br />

deal with our clients <strong>and</strong> their customers<br />

in a different way.<br />

We had not planned for a ‘lockdown’. Of<br />

course, we had all the usual ‘disaster plans’<br />

in place, but when it really happened,<br />

nothing in our experience seemed to help.<br />

For the first week of closing the office we<br />

were in a state of suspended animation,<br />

along with literally millions of others,<br />

including governments. None of us had<br />

any previous experience of such a crisis<br />

<strong>and</strong> we, as a business, were not sure<br />

how we should go forward. Then reality<br />

clicked in.<br />

My team started to get its act together.<br />

Our remote access was tested <strong>and</strong> those<br />

who could, started to get us up <strong>and</strong><br />

running. Those whose personal <strong>and</strong>/<br />

or health obligations did not allow, or<br />

where it was totally impracticable to work<br />

from home, were placed on furlough.<br />

Telephone diverts were quickly put in<br />

place <strong>and</strong> ‘WhatsApp’ Groups <strong>and</strong> Zoom<br />

meetings quickly established.<br />


With the housekeeping taken care of, we<br />

were now facing a new reality. As debt<br />

collectors, there is always the assumption<br />

that our services may seem a little<br />

inappropriate for the current climate. But<br />

never assume!<br />

Our clients’ cashflow was now the<br />

major consideration. There are still<br />

industries out there selling <strong>and</strong> innovating<br />

<strong>and</strong> by default must also be buying<br />

products <strong>and</strong> services. Industries such as<br />

transportation, food, medical <strong>and</strong> many<br />

others that I am sure suddenly come to<br />

mind means that credit control always<br />

remains an important aspect of business.<br />

Of course, in the immediate present<br />

the building industry, retail <strong>and</strong> many<br />

others are taking a big hit, so as a<br />

commercial DCA it means that we need<br />

Some businesses say<br />

that they cannot pay<br />

because of the current<br />

crisis, <strong>and</strong> it is left<br />

to our training <strong>and</strong><br />

experience to establish<br />

the veracity of any<br />

statement, as we have<br />

always done.<br />

to underst<strong>and</strong> exactly what has happened<br />

<strong>and</strong> is happening currently. We have had<br />

to be far more empathetic in the way we<br />

approach those we are chasing. It is often<br />

far more prudent to give time to discuss<br />

repayment schedules rather than a<br />

tougher approach to immediate payment.<br />

Agencies have had to move with the times<br />

we are operating in.<br />

Agencies like ours are establishing a<br />

relationship now between all parties that<br />

can be built upon when things return to<br />

a certain level of normality. It will never<br />

again be that easy to dismiss one supplier<br />

for another when payments are delayed<br />

or contract arguments cannot be settled.<br />

There is a sea change on the way that we<br />

all deal with each other, because at the<br />

moment, <strong>and</strong> I hope it lasts, everyone in<br />

a business or personal capacity will need<br />

each other for support as we go forward.<br />

There will be no mileage in aggressive<br />

payment or collection attitudes. But<br />

let us not be too naive, in the world of<br />

commerce <strong>and</strong> industry there will always<br />

be businesses that use credit just to<br />

survive, <strong>and</strong> delay payments as a natural<br />

way to protect cash flow. ‘Payment lagging’<br />

will never disappear <strong>and</strong> arguments <strong>and</strong><br />

problems over payment will always be<br />

part of business, but what a shock we<br />

have all had.<br />


Some businesses say that they cannot<br />

pay because of the current crisis, <strong>and</strong> it<br />

is left to our training <strong>and</strong> experience to<br />

establish the veracity of any statement,<br />

as we have always done. None of us<br />

have had any experience of what is now<br />

happening. I, for one, never want to go<br />

through this again, but it has meant that<br />

every business I speak to, large or small,<br />

is not as dismissive of our intervention as<br />

we first thought. In some ways, because<br />

of reduced staff levels everywhere <strong>and</strong><br />

many working from home, personal<br />

contact has become easier <strong>and</strong> in some<br />

ways friendlier. We are ‘all in the same<br />

boat’ is perhaps the best way to describe<br />

the business attitude out there at the<br />

moment.<br />

At the time of writing we are making<br />

plans for a return to the office. Our<br />

emphasis will continue to be more<br />

personal contact with our clients. We<br />

do not doubt that there will be a surge<br />

in instruction from clients as we all<br />

endeavour to get back to ‘normal’ <strong>and</strong> our<br />

personal approach will mean that we can<br />

give them a better underst<strong>and</strong>ing of some<br />

of the expectations regarding collection<br />

<strong>and</strong> in some instances the slightly longer<br />

time considerations. That is not to say we<br />

will lose any of our fervour in achieving<br />

results, but we have to recognise the<br />

very different trading conditions we are<br />

returning to.<br />

Steve Lewis is Managing Director LPL<br />

Commercial Investigations<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 17


Commercial Brake<br />

What impact is COVID-19 having on the collection<br />

of commercial debts?<br />

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM<br />

“The impact will be many<br />

times worse over the<br />

coming months, however,<br />

as we gradually come out<br />

of lockdown. Naturally,<br />

insolvencies will rise –<br />

as they always do post a<br />

recession – <strong>and</strong>, generally,<br />

businesses will also be<br />

faced with higher debt<br />

levels to service, tax<br />

deferments to be repaid <strong>and</strong><br />

the cliff edge <strong>and</strong> reality of<br />

trading post Brexit.”<br />

are a lot<br />

of sure things in<br />

this world – it<br />

keeps spinning for<br />

one. Recessions<br />

“THERE<br />

come <strong>and</strong> go<br />

<strong>and</strong> invariably we get through them.<br />

However, COVID-19 brings unique<br />

challenges – certainly nothing like I have<br />

ever experienced in my many years of<br />

business.”<br />

So says George Miles, founder <strong>and</strong><br />

Managing Director of Paladin. He<br />

believes it could take several years for<br />

the economy to recover <strong>and</strong> there will be<br />

many casualties along the way: “I think<br />

we will live in a changed business world,”<br />

he continues, “where being dynamic is<br />

key. Now is an important time. I am<br />

afraid that some companies won’t make it<br />

– <strong>and</strong> it’s important that you prepare now.”<br />

What George means by this is that<br />

companies need to start beefing up their<br />

bad debt provisions: “Over-provisioning<br />

now resulting in possible release later is<br />

much better than being under-provided<br />

<strong>and</strong> suffering losses. Having a robust<br />

credit policy in place is also key. Make<br />

sure that your whole business knows your<br />

collection process <strong>and</strong> ensure that you<br />

bolt on a reputable debt collection agency<br />

to help. Third party intervention can play<br />

a major part in your armoury.”<br />

George says that firms also need to<br />

be flexible: “Know your customers,” he<br />

says. “Some will be vulnerable <strong>and</strong> need<br />

help to survive – it’s better to try <strong>and</strong><br />

help than go in all guns blazing. Getting<br />

something is better than getting nothing.<br />

Some customers may not have the cash to<br />

pay you right now so negotiate payment<br />

plans where you can – again bolting<br />

on an agency if the arrangement falls<br />

down. Using or threatening late payment<br />

legislation can also focus where payments<br />

go.”<br />


Perhaps not surprisingly, George is not<br />

alone in his view, especially that some<br />

businesses will struggle to survive. Lynne<br />

Darcey of Darcey Quigley says that<br />

despite ‘trying times’, businesses still need<br />

to recover outst<strong>and</strong>ing invoices <strong>and</strong> the<br />

money they are duly owed.<br />

“I think everyone underst<strong>and</strong>s to<br />

an extent the impact that this virus is<br />

having on both our personal lives <strong>and</strong> on<br />

business,” she says. “Although businesses<br />

must be underst<strong>and</strong>ing <strong>and</strong> sympathetic<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 18


AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM<br />

to the needs of their customers, they must<br />

try to ensure they prioritise their collection<br />

process <strong>and</strong> procedures. We have several<br />

clients who have furloughed almost all staff;<br />

however, the finance department are still<br />

operating as money still must come into<br />

the business. Although there are several<br />

grants <strong>and</strong> loans available to help in the<br />

current environment, for some businesses<br />

this may not be sufficient <strong>and</strong> therefore it is<br />

imperative they recover what is owed to them<br />

in a timely fashion.”<br />

Lynne says that while some people are<br />

apprehensive about asking for the money,<br />

recovering outst<strong>and</strong>ing payments is revenue<br />

that can make the difference between a<br />

business remaining operational <strong>and</strong> closing<br />

its doors: “I believe that the most important<br />

point here is that you treat each business on<br />

a case by case basis,” she explains.<br />

“You must be thorough on implementing<br />

your credit management process much like<br />

a commercial debt recovery company is. It<br />

is essential you underst<strong>and</strong> what impact the<br />

current situation has had on your customer<br />

as credit scores <strong>and</strong> rating before this<br />

crisis will have no bearing on their current<br />

circumstances nor give you an accurate<br />

reflection on their ability to pay. You need to<br />

know what impact it has had on their sales,<br />

<strong>and</strong> what impact it will have in the coming<br />

months.”<br />

Lynne also says credit teams <strong>and</strong> businesses<br />

need to be flexible: “In this climate you<br />

must be open to slightly deviating from<br />

your st<strong>and</strong>ard terms or open to receiving a<br />

payment plan if necessary,” she continues.<br />

“You must keep contact with your customers<br />

high until payments have been made <strong>and</strong><br />

you must provide clear deadlines to your<br />

customers <strong>and</strong> follow them through.”<br />

She says you cannot allow for your customer<br />

to control the timeframes: “You must decide<br />

on the timescales that suit your business<br />

within the constraints of your customers'<br />

financial status or creditworthiness. If this<br />

fails, then it may be time to assign this to a<br />

professional pre-litigation commercial debt<br />

recovery company to facilitate the payment.<br />

A lot can happen <strong>and</strong> change in a business<br />

within a week.”<br />


Yvette Gray, UK <strong>and</strong> Irel<strong>and</strong> country director<br />

for Atradius, agrees, <strong>and</strong> says that the good<br />

news is that debt collection is still very much<br />

underway but not without its challenges:<br />

“Many firms have paused operations,<br />

effectively ‘shut down’ with the entire<br />

workforce on furlough, while others have<br />

shifted to working from home; this means<br />

that the traditional processes for collecting<br />

debt may simply no longer be effective. And<br />

while some may be genuinely struggling to<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 19<br />

pay their bills at the moment, for others, the<br />

current situation becomes yet another excuse<br />

not to pay <strong>and</strong> it’s crucial to differentiate<br />

between the two.”<br />

What Yvette means by this is that this isn’t<br />

time for ‘business as usual’: “Businesses need<br />

to evolve their processes to overcome the<br />

additional hurdles created by COVID-19,” she<br />

says.<br />

“A new framework to manage debt<br />

collection is the first step in allowing<br />

businesses to identify potential problems<br />

early on <strong>and</strong> manage the risk of late <strong>and</strong> nonpayment.<br />

A comprehensive assessment of<br />

your accounts receivable portfolio is essential,<br />

segmenting customers into key accounts<br />

which need a personal approach <strong>and</strong> those<br />

which will benefit from automated practices;<br />

such as accounts characterised by high<br />

volume, low value invoices. Some businesses<br />

come to us because they want us to h<strong>and</strong>le<br />

the automation for them, enabling them to<br />

invest in their key customers while others take<br />

the reverse approach so they know their key<br />

customers are h<strong>and</strong>led with care, ensuring<br />

effective payment collection while preserving<br />

good supplier relationships for future trade.”<br />

Unfortunately, Yvette says, with more<br />

challenging economic circumstances, the<br />

number of customers struggling to pay on<br />

time is likely to increase: “In these situations,<br />

take a diplomatic approach <strong>and</strong> consider<br />

renegotiating payment terms where it aligns<br />

with your credit policy,” she continues.<br />

“Offer short-term relief – such as suspending<br />

interest <strong>and</strong> late fees – in exchange for prompt<br />

payment <strong>and</strong>, where possible, offer incentives<br />

to encourage early payments. Where there<br />

are liquidity issues, work out a payment plan,<br />

accepting that some payment in the short<br />

term is preferable to having to write-off the<br />

whole debt should the situation deteriorate.”<br />

Prevention, she advises, is better than cure:<br />

“When it comes to invoicing, streamline<br />

your processes <strong>and</strong> iron out any scope for<br />

error or dispute. Continually monitor your<br />

accounts receivable portfolio so you can<br />

spot cashflow problems early <strong>and</strong> review the<br />

format <strong>and</strong> frequency of your invoices <strong>and</strong><br />

reminders; are they being addressed to a<br />

contact who is now working from home or to<br />

an office which is closed? Ask your customer<br />

if invoicing needs to be adjusted or payment<br />

procedures temporarily adjusted. Proactive<br />

communication <strong>and</strong> where necessary<br />

incorporating modifications could nip<br />

invoicing-related delays in the bud.<br />

“Payment reminders should be timely,<br />

professional <strong>and</strong> appropriate,” she adds.<br />

“Whilst you may need to adapt to address<br />

current circumstances, it’s also prudent<br />

to bear in mind past payment behaviours<br />

<strong>and</strong> perhaps consider changing your usual<br />

protocol to stimulate action. For example, has<br />

continues on page 20 >


AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM<br />

your customer become used to your procedures<br />

<strong>and</strong> so relying on being able to wait for you to<br />

send three reminders before they really have to<br />

pay? Ensure reminders are heeded by warning<br />

of the consequences of non-payment, including<br />

interest, withdrawal of future credit facilities<br />

<strong>and</strong> your partnership with a third-party<br />

collection agency.”<br />


Even with the current challenges, Michael<br />

Rogers, Business Development Manager at<br />

Redwood Collections, believes that collections<br />

should not be any more challenging than<br />

previously: “With the right approach <strong>and</strong>/<br />

or assistance, collections need not be more<br />

difficult, <strong>and</strong> that effective policies <strong>and</strong><br />

procedures will help strike the balance between<br />

recoveries <strong>and</strong> reputational concerns,” he says.<br />

Michael urges clients to make sure their pointof-sale<br />

paperwork is watertight in terms of later<br />

dispute or query: “The enthusiasm of a new<br />

sale (<strong>and</strong> dare I say the average salesperson!)<br />

may result in poor paperwork, compromising<br />

credit control if the relationship sours. Things<br />

like multiple contact details or a clear reference<br />

to your terms <strong>and</strong> conditions can assist the<br />

recovery process <strong>and</strong> rule out spurious disputes.<br />

“It is also important to have a clear escalation<br />

route. If you state a deadline in your opening<br />

correspondence, make sure that it is followed<br />

up in a timely manner. This will convince your<br />

customers that you are true to your word <strong>and</strong><br />

will escalate the matter if necessary.”<br />

Michael also advises businesses to categorise<br />

their credit control ledgers: “A ‘one size fits<br />

all’ approach will not reach all the nooks <strong>and</strong><br />

crannies of your ledger,” he says. “If left with a list<br />

of stubborn <strong>and</strong> reclusive customers, consider<br />

which of those are worthy of a potential referral<br />

to a debt collection agency, those which are<br />

vulnerable <strong>and</strong> require special care, <strong>and</strong> those<br />

which may sadly be c<strong>and</strong>idates for write-off.”<br />

“In this climate you<br />

must be open to<br />

slightly deviating<br />

from your st<strong>and</strong>ard<br />

terms or open to<br />

receiving a payment<br />

plan if necessary,<br />

you must keep<br />

contact with your<br />

customers high<br />

until payments have<br />

been made <strong>and</strong><br />

you must provide<br />

clear deadlines to<br />

your customers<br />

<strong>and</strong> follow them<br />

through.”<br />

Steve Rose MCICM – Associate at Escalate Disputes<br />

With a significant liquidity crunch being a very real prospect for businesses<br />

across many sectors of the economy, there are steps that leadership teams<br />

can take now to bolster their balance sheets <strong>and</strong> protect their cashflow.<br />

Plan ahead – Keep updating your cashflow forecast as new information<br />

becomes available <strong>and</strong> pay particularly close attention to your list of debtors.<br />

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

getting on <strong>and</strong> to anticipate any potential problems.<br />

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

<strong>and</strong> what you require of them.<br />

Be fair – The reality is that many businesses are going to face pressures<br />

on their cashflow over the coming months, so consider introducing some<br />

flexibility when dealing with some of your most trusted clients.<br />

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

agreement with a debtor, it may be time for expert advice.<br />


So has the true impact on collections been<br />

felt? Alex Hilton-Baird, Managing Director of<br />

Hilton-Baird Collection Services, thinks not: “At<br />

the moment, it feels a little like the calm before<br />

the storm in terms of cash collections,” he says.<br />

“Although it has become more difficult to<br />

recover payments since the lockdown began,<br />

with many businesses mothballing <strong>and</strong> large<br />

numbers of accounts payable <strong>and</strong> finance staff<br />

being furloughed, cash collections haven’t<br />

slowed quite as quickly as we might have<br />

expected.<br />

“The impact will be many times worse over<br />

the coming months, however, as we gradually<br />

come out of lockdown. Naturally, insolvencies<br />

will rise – as they always do post a recession –<br />

<strong>and</strong>, generally, businesses will also be faced with<br />

higher debt levels to service, tax deferments<br />

to be repaid <strong>and</strong> the cliff edge <strong>and</strong> reality of<br />

trading post Brexit.<br />

“Businesses should be looking to use this<br />

time wisely to get the basics right. By this we<br />

mean to ensure they know their customers<br />

<strong>and</strong> importantly the nuances of their accounts<br />

payable systems or invoicing processes. They<br />

should also have robust terms <strong>and</strong> conditions<br />

in place, invoice accurately <strong>and</strong> on time, put<br />

in pre-due date calls to verify payments will be<br />

on time <strong>and</strong> seek specialist support where no<br />

progress is being made.<br />

“What’s perhaps most important of all is to<br />

maintain a human touch when engaging with<br />

customers. We need to recognise that people <strong>and</strong><br />

businesses are genuinely struggling out there,<br />

<strong>and</strong> many will have little choice but to delay<br />

payment. In these instances, we have found<br />

it very useful to have a working knowledge of<br />

the support available, <strong>and</strong> where appropriate<br />

to signpost debtors <strong>and</strong> challenge what we are<br />

being told.”<br />

Alex believes that whatever happens, third<br />

party collections agencies will play a valuable<br />

role in supporting businesses in the months<br />

ahead: “As well as providing additional resource<br />

when credit teams are stretched <strong>and</strong> adding<br />

extra weight to collections efforts when a<br />

customer isn’t paying, they’ll also be required<br />

to act as a mediator, obtaining payment whilst<br />

being sympathetic to the customer’s situation,”<br />

he says.<br />

“I believe going forward we will see shorter<br />

credit terms being extended between SMEs<br />

trading with each other, more business being<br />

conducted on pro-forma terms <strong>and</strong> personal<br />

guarantees used more to underpin credit. There<br />

will also need to be a reimaging of credit scoring,<br />

including more regular updating of algorithms<br />

to include live payment practices <strong>and</strong> granular<br />

Open Banking data.<br />

“For now, though, focus on recovering aged<br />

balances quickly, seeking support where<br />

necessary, <strong>and</strong> ensuring appropriate credit risk<br />

policies are in place going forward,” says Alex.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 20



Has the restaurant industry had its chips?<br />

AUTHOR – Peter Kubik<br />

THE restaurant industry is<br />

suffering, with the UK’s<br />

Top 100 restaurant groups<br />

making a loss of circa<br />

£151m last year. This<br />

was partly due to costs<br />

associated with the increase in minimum<br />

wage from £7.83 to £8.21 in April 2019,<br />

alongside high rents affecting the high<br />

street in general.<br />

High <strong>and</strong> rising costs were not the only<br />

problems restaurants faced. Many also<br />

face stiff competition not only with other<br />

restaurant businesses, but with other<br />

branches of their own restaurants located<br />

in close proximity.<br />

The impact that cost <strong>and</strong> competition is<br />

having on the restaurant industry is clear<br />

for all to see. Insolvencies in the year to<br />

June 2019 increased by 25 percent <strong>and</strong><br />

were at their highest since 2014. Now, due<br />

to COVID-19, we can only expect these<br />

figures to increase.<br />


From early-March <strong>2020</strong>, the public was<br />

advised to avoid the hospitality industry<br />

<strong>and</strong> restaurants were subsequently forced<br />

to close their doors on 20 March <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

Albeit, some were able to continue trading<br />

through delivery/collection services.<br />

The government introduced various<br />

methods to help restaurant businesses<br />

survive, including the furlough scheme,<br />

deferring payment of VAT due between<br />

20 March <strong>and</strong> 30 June <strong>2020</strong>, automatic<br />

business rates relief <strong>and</strong> grants of up to<br />

£25,000.<br />

However, little has been done regarding<br />

rent reductions which is arguably<br />

a restaurant’s highest cost, leaving<br />

businesses trying to negotiate new terms<br />

with their l<strong>and</strong>lords.<br />

Some restaurants have sought<br />

restructuring advice to introduce new<br />

cost-cutting measures, such as requesting<br />

a rent reduction from their l<strong>and</strong>lord or<br />

negotiating new terms such as linking rent<br />

to turnover. Many restaurant chains have<br />

significant finance costs which still need<br />

to be paid, unless a new arrangement can<br />

be met with their funders.<br />

However, due to the historic increase<br />

in losses, many restaurants will have<br />

no reserves to meet on-going liabilities,<br />

meaning there is great uncertainty as to<br />

how they will survive during lockdown.<br />


Once restaurants are given the green light<br />

to reopen, which at the earliest will be in<br />

a few days time, restaurants will need to<br />

adapt to social distancing rules put forth<br />

by the government, for both customers<br />

<strong>and</strong> their staff.<br />

It is anticipated that restaurants will<br />

not be able to open at full capacity as<br />

there will be a requirement to keep each<br />

table at a safe distance from others. This<br />

could reduce the headcount by around 50<br />

percent. Restaurants are likely to struggle<br />

to adhere to social distancing measures,<br />

particularly with their kitchen staff,<br />

<strong>and</strong> may need to introduce new trading<br />

models.<br />

It is likely that restaurants with an<br />

outside seating area will be able to<br />

welcome more customers, as transmission<br />

of coronavirus is lower.<br />

Other measures that restaurants may<br />

need to take include, only accepting<br />

card payments, readily available h<strong>and</strong><br />

sanitisers, the removal of condiments<br />

from tables, providing cutlery only when<br />

the food is ready <strong>and</strong> deep cleaning of the<br />

premises on a daily basis. Some of these<br />

measures could increase business costs<br />

for the foreseeable future.<br />

Even upon reopening, it is likely there<br />

will be a reduction in footfall as members<br />

of the public may be cautious about<br />

eating out <strong>and</strong> being in close proximity<br />

to others. This may also be the case due<br />

to the increasing popularity of restaurant<br />

delivery apps, which continues to eat into<br />

the turnover of restaurant dining.<br />


Restaurants will need to have a plan in<br />

place outlining how they will fund the<br />

business once they reopen. Any deferred<br />

VAT <strong>and</strong> rent will be due, historic creditors<br />

will need to be paid, produce will need to<br />

be purchased, <strong>and</strong> staff costs will begin<br />

to be reintroduced. Staffing levels may<br />

also need to be reduced, meaning any<br />

costs associated with redundancies <strong>and</strong><br />

closures of loss-making sites will need to<br />

be paid on a reduced turnover.<br />

In order to navigate through these<br />

changes, forecasts will have to be<br />

carefully prepared. Many companies may<br />

have to consider Company Voluntary<br />

Arrangements, a formal repayment<br />

scheme which has previously been used<br />

by several high street chains.<br />

Peter Kubik is Partner at UHY Hacker<br />

Young, the national accountancy firm<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 21



<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> asked John Ricketts FCICM<br />

to reflect on his time as President (<strong>and</strong> later Chair)<br />

of the <strong>Credit</strong> Services Association (CSA).<br />

AUTHOR – John Ricketts FCICM<br />

BEFORE the USA joined the<br />

Second World War, China was<br />

desperately defending itself<br />

against a Japanese invasion.<br />

In 1941 the Chinese Emperor<br />

hired an international group<br />

of mercenary pilots mostly made up of former<br />

US military personnel to bring the fight to the<br />

Japanese paying three times normal salary <strong>and</strong><br />

a $500 bonus for each kill.<br />

In just seven months of intense aerial<br />

combat, this American Volunteer Group (AVG)<br />

of 100 mercenaries achieved the highest kill<br />

ratio of any fighter group of the time, downing<br />

297 enemy aircraft whilst only losing 14<br />

pilots. Nicknamed the ‘Flying Tigers’ by the<br />

Chinese after the pilots painted intimidating<br />

Tiger Sharks’ teeth on the noses of their P40<br />

Warhawks, they eventually became celebrities<br />

in an America rocked by Pearl Harbor with even<br />

Walt Disney designing a logo for them.<br />

How did they do it? They ripped up the rule<br />

book <strong>and</strong> ‘changed’, constantly adapting their<br />

tactics against the superior Japanese fighters,<br />

but whose pilots slavishly stuck to a one<br />

dimensional rule book never changing what<br />

they had always done. One of those mercenary<br />

pilots was Flight Leader F Ricketts.<br />

Why the history lesson? After 11 years on the<br />

CSA Board, I took over as President in February<br />

2017 determined to use my three-year term to<br />

effect change <strong>and</strong> keep the CSA relevant.<br />

In many respects, the Flying Tigers<br />

methodology was a forerunner to the OODA<br />

loop cycle, a management philosophy that I’ve<br />

always tried to stick with when introducing<br />

change. What’s OODA I hear you say? The OODA<br />

loop describes a cycle developed by military<br />

strategist <strong>and</strong> United States Airforce Colonel<br />

John Boyd in the 1970’s <strong>and</strong> still used by the<br />

military today. It st<strong>and</strong>s for observe–orient–<br />

decide–act.<br />

Boyd applied the concept to the combat<br />

operations process, often at the operational<br />

level during military campaigns. It is now<br />

also often applied to underst<strong>and</strong> commercial<br />

operations <strong>and</strong> learning processes. The<br />

approach explains how agility can overcome<br />

raw power in dealing with human opponents. It<br />

teaches you to constantly refine your approach<br />

to business <strong>and</strong> your own decisions based on<br />

continuing/ongoing information feeds rather<br />

than blindly following a single path. Let’s be<br />

clear, many ideas for change never made it past<br />

the CSA Board – <strong>and</strong> rightly so!<br />


In the first year of my (gr<strong>and</strong>-sounding)<br />

‘Presidential term’, the CSA was accepted onto<br />

the new Register of Apprenticeship Training<br />

Providers (RoATP) delivering apprenticeships<br />

to its members <strong>and</strong> other interested companies<br />

in key areas of debt collection, compliance,<br />

leadership <strong>and</strong> management. Since then,<br />

the CSA’s Learning <strong>and</strong> Development team,<br />

under the leadership of Fiona Macaskill, has<br />

developed its training portfolio to become a<br />

major income source for the CSA with more<br />

than 200 apprentices.<br />

In this year we also successfully re-launched<br />

the revised CSA Code of Practice to members,<br />

regulators <strong>and</strong> stakeholders at a reception held<br />

in the House of Commons. The relaunched<br />

code reflected a new principles-based approach<br />

to membership governance.<br />


As a sign of the growing influence of the CSA,<br />

Peter Wallwork, the CSA Chief Executive, <strong>and</strong> I<br />

accepted an invitation to join the Department<br />

of Health working party in its review of the use<br />

<strong>and</strong> effectiveness of the Debt <strong>and</strong> Mental Health<br />

Evidence Form (DMHEF). The first meeting was<br />

held at 10 Downing Street in 2017 <strong>and</strong> delays<br />

in making progress led the CSA to proactively<br />

<strong>and</strong> unilaterally change its code in 2018 to move<br />

away from the use of the DMHEF due to the<br />

detrimental impact on the consumer. It was<br />

a move that at the time was welcomed by the<br />

Minister for Mental Health who commended<br />

the CSA for leading the way. My second year<br />

as President was no less propitious. In 2018<br />

the CSA achieved an Investor in Customers<br />

(IIC) Silver Award, the IIC recognising an<br />

Nicknamed the<br />

‘Flying Tigers’ by<br />

the Chinese after<br />

the pilots painted<br />

intimidating Tiger<br />

Sharks’ teeth on the<br />

noses of their P40<br />

Warhawks, they<br />

eventually became<br />

celebrities in an<br />

America rocked by<br />

Pearl Harbor with<br />

even Walt Disney<br />

designing a logo for<br />

them.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 22


AUTHOR – John Ricketts FCICM<br />

‘outst<strong>and</strong>ing’ achievement in the CSA’s<br />

first first assessment. Silver was retained<br />

in 2019 with our accreditation now in its<br />

second year.<br />

This year also saw several board<br />

discussions around the CSA’s direction of<br />

travel <strong>and</strong> fitness to represent a rapidly<br />

maturing <strong>and</strong> changing industry. These<br />

deliberations resulted in the appointment<br />

of two, full-time senior management<br />

positions within the Newcastle<br />

Head Office, appointments that also<br />

represented a significant financial<br />

investment by the Board in the CSA’s<br />

future. The first of these appointments<br />

was Henry Aitchison, who started at the<br />

beginning of 2019 in the new role of Head<br />

of Policy. With a background including<br />

the OFT, FCA <strong>and</strong> FLA Henry took on a<br />

broad role supporting the CSA executive<br />

team in identifying key policy issues <strong>and</strong><br />

developing a clear strategy to support the<br />

CSA’s principal aims objectives. Henry<br />

also took over representation of the CSA<br />

on the FENCA board later in 2019.<br />


The second appointment was not finalised<br />

until late in 2019 with the arrival of Peter<br />

Hayle to the newly created role of Director<br />

of Finance <strong>and</strong> Operations. By having a<br />

senior team player overseeing finance <strong>and</strong><br />

operations, the CSA was able to free up<br />

the CEO <strong>and</strong> the Board to focus on critical<br />

areas of lobbying, strategy <strong>and</strong> policy.<br />

This in turn resulted in the development<br />

of a clear position on the Association’s<br />

three primary roles:<br />

• Engage – to represent members at the<br />

highest level with external stakeholders<br />

to enhance the reputation of the<br />

industry<br />

• Promote – to promote excellence <strong>and</strong><br />

integrity in st<strong>and</strong>ards <strong>and</strong> culture<br />

across the industry<br />

• Support – to facilitate a collaborative<br />

environment to share best practice for<br />

the further improvement <strong>and</strong> ongoing<br />

professionalism of the industry<br />

I am happy to say that the CSA continues<br />

to fulfil these obligations into <strong>2020</strong> <strong>and</strong><br />

beyond.<br />


The CSA is governed by a non-executive<br />

Board of 13 directors (the Board), 10<br />

of whom are practitioners from CSA<br />

member companies <strong>and</strong> elected by<br />

the members. During the earlier<br />

years, the CSA relied heavily on the<br />

practitioner Board Directors to use their<br />

own time to do work representing the<br />

industry.<br />

The governance of the CSA changed<br />

in 2019, <strong>and</strong> with it went the title of<br />

President to be replaced by the more<br />

recognised ‘Chair’. Also disappearing<br />

were the personal responsibilities of<br />

each Board Director for an area of the<br />

CSA’s business (or portfolio), replaced by<br />

committees, with responsibilities spread<br />

across a number of directors.<br />


Arguably the biggest event outside of the<br />

CSA’s internal re-positioning <strong>and</strong> refocus<br />

was a major consumer-facing campaign<br />

entitled #heretohelp. This campaign,<br />

focused on a single key message, one<br />

of early engagement by customers <strong>and</strong><br />

members, <strong>and</strong> it was well-received by<br />

members, stakeholders, government <strong>and</strong><br />

consumer groups.<br />

In early <strong>2020</strong> it further refined<br />

its governance arrangements <strong>and</strong><br />

announced a new, independent ‘Chair’<br />

in Lord Ch<strong>and</strong>os. The key word here<br />

is ‘independence’, <strong>and</strong> for now <strong>and</strong><br />

in the future, the new appointee will<br />

intentionally not be a current practitioner.<br />

We exist in a part-regulatory <strong>and</strong><br />

in some respects multi-regulatory<br />

environment for debt collection in the UK<br />

<strong>and</strong> one of the key external aims over my<br />

three years was to lobby <strong>and</strong> work closely<br />

with industry regulators, government <strong>and</strong><br />

other stakeholders to strengthen the CSA<br />

Code of Practice <strong>and</strong> see it recognised<br />

as the common denominator. Progress<br />

has been frustratingly slow, but we are<br />

taken far more seriously as a sector than<br />

we ever did, strengthened by our data<br />

gathering initiative (DGI) showing that<br />

CSA members return £4bn to the economy<br />

each year <strong>and</strong> contribute over £30m in<br />

voluntary Fairshare contributions to<br />

money advice. We have a voice now <strong>and</strong><br />

it is heard.<br />

I look back on the last three years<br />

with a mixture of pride <strong>and</strong> satisfaction.<br />

I am proud, for example, that we’ve been<br />

able to keep membership fees low, with<br />

no increases in some years <strong>and</strong> only<br />

inflationary increases in others, whilst<br />

still being able to fund change. But my<br />

time has also been tinged with an element<br />

of frustration too. However much you<br />

achieve, there is always more you want<br />

to do. As for me, I am staying on for a<br />

final three-year term as a non-executive<br />

director on the ‘back benches’ supporting<br />

Viscount Ch<strong>and</strong>os as he takes over as<br />

Chair.<br />

I somehow doubt, however, that ‘Lord<br />

Tom’ will need much help.<br />

John Ricketts FCICM is Managing<br />

Director, Ardent <strong>Credit</strong> Services Ltd <strong>and</strong><br />

Non-Executive Director of the <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Services Association<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 23



In a case of liquidation, can the courts insist on<br />

records being returned that are kept overseas?<br />

AUTHOR – Peter Walker<br />

H<br />

G Wells thought in his<br />

book ‘The Outline of<br />

History’ that language<br />

‘is the instrument of<br />

thought as bookkeeping<br />

is the instrument of<br />

business.’ Bookkeeping can also provide<br />

useful information in an insolvency, <strong>and</strong> it<br />

was a consideration for a High Court judge<br />

in the case In re Carna Meats (UK) Ltd<br />

(<strong>2020</strong>) 1WLR 1176, where the accounting<br />

records were abroad in Irel<strong>and</strong> out of the<br />

court’s jurisdiction.<br />

The consideration for the liquidator<br />

of a UK meat wholesaler was the lack<br />

of bookkeeping records in the country.<br />

He knew that, according to the latest<br />

accounts filed at London’s Companies<br />

House, the value of the debtors was in<br />

excess of £800,000, a ‘significant asset in<br />

the liquidation’. The directors did not have<br />

the records, but they said that a company<br />

had dealt with the accounts. There was<br />

also a bookkeeper, but he was across the<br />

border in Southern Irel<strong>and</strong>.<br />

The company which had dealt with the<br />

accounting records responded that it did<br />

not have them. The bookkeeper in Irel<strong>and</strong><br />

did not respond to correspondence. The<br />

liquidator through its solicitors eventually<br />

threatened to apply to the court for an<br />

examination of the bookkeeper under the<br />

provisions of the Insolvency Act 1986.<br />

This time the bookkeeper responded.<br />

He did not deny that he had been the<br />

bookkeeper nor that he had access to<br />

the accounting records. He asserted<br />

instead that the company owed him ‘a<br />

considerable sum of money’. The solicitors<br />

asked for proof of debt <strong>and</strong> reminded him<br />

of his statutory duty to the liquidator.<br />

They requested the bookkeeper to answer<br />

the liquidator’s enquiries but heard<br />

nothing back.<br />

The liquidators therefore completed an<br />

application notice seeking a court order<br />

that the bookkeeper deliver all documents,<br />

books <strong>and</strong> records of the company in<br />

his control or possession. They listed<br />

examples of what was required, such<br />

as the annual accounts, management<br />

accounts, breakdown of debtors, Sage<br />

accounting records, cash book, <strong>and</strong> more.<br />

The bookkeeper would be responsible for<br />

the costs of the application.<br />

He, of course, was outside the UK, <strong>and</strong><br />

not in the jurisdiction, so the application<br />

included Form N510, being a ‘Notice<br />

for service out of the jurisdiction where<br />

permission of the court is not required’.<br />

The bookkeeper was in Southern<br />

Irel<strong>and</strong>, a country subject to the Lugano<br />

Convention. After the completion of<br />

Brexit, on whatever date that may be, the<br />

UK will usefully remain a member of that<br />

Convention. The documents were served<br />

both on the Court in County Monaghan<br />

<strong>and</strong> by registered post to the bookkeeper’s<br />

last known address in that County.<br />

Liquidators usually<br />

need bookkeeping<br />

records to do their<br />

job properly, <strong>and</strong> in<br />

the cosmopolitan UK<br />

companies sometimes<br />

have overseas<br />

connections.<br />



This was part of the liquidator’s enquiry<br />

into the Company’s dealings, etc., under<br />

the authority of section 236 of the<br />

Insolvency Act 1986. On the application<br />

of ‘the office-holder’, i.e. the liquidator in<br />

this case, the court may summon various<br />

people to appear before it. Those people<br />

include any officer of the company,<br />

anyone in possession of the company’s<br />

property, or is indebted to it, or anyone<br />

capable of giving specified information<br />

as to the company’s affairs. The court may<br />

then require any such person to provide<br />

an account of his or her dealings with the<br />

company. He or she may have to produce<br />

relevant papers or documents (section<br />

236(3)).<br />

The court has additional powers,<br />

<strong>and</strong> it may order that the person may<br />

be examined in any part of the United<br />

Kingdom ‘or in a place outside the United<br />

Kingdom’ (s 237(3)). That seems to be<br />

welcomingly broad, although this time the<br />

liquidator just wanted the bookkeeping<br />

records in accordance with section 236(3).<br />

Lord Slynn in another case, In re British<br />

<strong>and</strong> Commonwealth Holdings plc (Nos<br />

1 <strong>and</strong> 2) (1993) AC 426, pointed out that<br />

the court’s power under section 236 was<br />

a discretionary one. The requirement to<br />

produce documents, for example, must<br />

not put an unreasonable burden on the<br />

person asked to produce them. In that<br />

case Adam Johnston QC thought that this<br />

would not be an obstacle, but he then<br />

turned to the question of whether the<br />

court had jurisdiction.<br />

He questioned the basis on which<br />

service was made, <strong>and</strong> he reviewed<br />

the decisions in cases such as In re MF<br />

Global UK Ltd (No 7) (2016) Ch 325. In<br />

the Chancery Division of the High Court<br />

Richards J also considered an order made<br />

under section 236. The Joint Special<br />

Administrators wanted documents from<br />

a French company. Richards J was guided<br />

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

Appeal, In re Tucker (RC) a bankrupt) ex p<br />

Tucker KR (1990) Ch 148.<br />

The Trustee in Bankruptcy wanted<br />

an order against the bankrupt’s brother<br />

living in Belgium. The alleged authority<br />

was section 25 of the Bankruptcy Act 1914.<br />

The Court of Appeal judges analysed the<br />

wording, <strong>and</strong> they decided that it did not<br />

allow for service outside the jurisdiction.<br />

This was significant in the MF Global case,<br />

where Richards J ruled that section 25 of<br />

the Bankruptcy Act was in ‘substantially<br />

the same terms as sections 236 <strong>and</strong> 237’<br />

of the Insolvency Act 1986. It did not look<br />

good for the liquidator in the Carna Meats<br />

case.<br />


Perhaps what was needed was a judge<br />

who had a different view of section 236,<br />

The judges of the Court of Appeal in the<br />

case In re Mid East Trading Ltd (1998) 1<br />

All ER 577 considered the winding up<br />

of a Lebanese company in Engl<strong>and</strong>.<br />

The liquidators wanted Lehman Bros in<br />

New York to produce some documents,<br />

which might throw some light on a<br />

fraud relating to the company. Chidwick<br />

LJ said that the court could exercise the<br />

power subject to certain conditions. The<br />

applicant had to show that there was a<br />

proper case to make the order. This meant<br />

that the liquidator reasonably needed to<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 24


AUTHOR – Peter Walker<br />

see the documents in order to exercise his or her<br />

statutory functions. The order must not ‘impose<br />

an unnecessary or unreasonable burden’ on the<br />

person who is obliged to produce the documents<br />

required. There were other considerations, such<br />

as breach of confidence or criminal penalties.<br />

All things considered the judges of the Court<br />

of Appeal would give extraterritorial effect to<br />

section 236.<br />

So, some judges will, <strong>and</strong> some judges won’t.<br />

Judge Hodge QC was sitting as a judge in the<br />

Chancery Division of the High Court, <strong>and</strong> he<br />

was faced with an application under section<br />

236 in the case In re Omni Trustees Ltd; Official<br />

Receiver v Norriss (2015) BCC 906. A company<br />

was trustee of an occupational pension scheme,<br />

<strong>and</strong> it transferred some £3.7m to a Hong Kong<br />

based scheme, the Secretary of State petitioned<br />

to wind up the company on public interest<br />

grounds. The liquidator wanted to find out what<br />

had happened to the £3.7m in the form of a<br />

witness statement by a Trustee of the Hong Kong<br />

scheme. The Trustee objected on the grounds<br />

that the English Court had no jurisdiction to<br />

make the order, <strong>and</strong> that the order went beyond<br />

what was permissible.<br />

The High Court made the order. Section<br />

236 had an extra-territorial effect, <strong>and</strong> it only<br />

required information about the transactions<br />

from the Company to the Hong Kong scheme.<br />

Judge Hodge QC criticised, or perhaps<br />

distinguished, the decision in the MF Global<br />

case. Section 236 was not the same as section 25<br />

of the Bankruptcy Act. The judge thought that it<br />

was structured differently, because it separated<br />

the powers to order an examination (section<br />

236(2)) <strong>and</strong> to produce documents (section<br />

236(3)).<br />

There were other judgments questioning a<br />

restrictive interpretation of section 236. There<br />

was the case re Casterbridge Properties Ltd<br />

(2002) BCC 453 not cited in the Carna Meats<br />

case. There too was the Secretary of State that<br />

had petitioned for a winding up petition on<br />

a public interest petition. It alleged that the<br />

company had committed a time-share fraud.<br />

The Official Receiver wanted an examination of<br />

one of the directors in St Vincent, but there were<br />

complications. There was, for example, a St<br />

Vincent statute forbidding such an examination<br />

without the consent of a St Vincent Court.<br />

During the course of the litigation Burton<br />

J considered section 236 <strong>and</strong> the various<br />

conflicting judgments of the English courts.<br />

He cautiously asserted that there was no doubt<br />

about ‘the partial extra-territorial effect of<br />

section 236’.<br />


Judgments like these influenced the decision<br />

of Johnson QC in the Carna Meats case with<br />

reference to section 236(3), to the power of the<br />

court to require a person to submit an account<br />

of his or her dealings with the company, or to<br />

Liquidators may<br />

need power to get<br />

at bookkeeping <strong>and</strong><br />

other records from<br />

countries outside<br />

the jurisdiction of<br />

the local courts<br />

in the UK. This is<br />

important now that<br />

the coronavirus<br />

lockdown is likely<br />

to result in business<br />

bankruptcies.<br />

produce documents, etc. The power could be<br />

exercised abroad provided that the person<br />

involved had this sufficient connection with the<br />

jurisdiction. The Irish former bookkeeper had<br />

that connection.<br />

A sensible conclusion! Liquidators<br />

usually need bookkeeping records to do<br />

their job properly, <strong>and</strong> in the cosmopolitan<br />

UK companies sometimes have overseas<br />

connections. Liquidators may need power to<br />

get at bookkeeping <strong>and</strong> other records from<br />

countries outside the jurisdiction of the local<br />

courts in the UK. This is important now that<br />

the coronavirus lockdown is likely to result in<br />

business bankruptcies.<br />

Peter Walker is a freelance business writer<br />

specialising in legal matters relating to credit<br />

management.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 25


Live <strong>and</strong> Let Live<br />

Despite wars, plagues, pogroms <strong>and</strong> other<br />

terrors, we will survive.<br />

AUTHOR – David Andrews<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 26


AUTHOR – David Andrews<br />

CYCLING through the eerily<br />

quiet North Laines area<br />

of Brighton on the first<br />

weekend of lockdown (I was<br />

out for my daily exercise,<br />

before you go grassing me<br />

up), I was reminded of an early episode of<br />

The Walking Dead.<br />

Rick is walking down a normally<br />

heaving suburban High Street. There are<br />

no signs of life, tumbleweed cartwheels<br />

down the main road. ‘Jesus,’ says Rick.<br />

‘Where is everyone?’<br />

The silence is then punctuated by that<br />

now scarily familiar low growl, signifying<br />

a peckish zombie lurking nearby. Yikes.<br />

Reader, I can testify that there were no<br />

zombies (apart from a couple of shuffling<br />

street drinkers who had not got the Stay at<br />

Home, Save Lives message) in Brighton’s<br />

Kensington Gardens on the morning of<br />

March 28, <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

But there was no-one. Houston, there<br />

are no life signs. Nada. A fine spring<br />

morning in the North Laines normally<br />

heralds hordes – literally – of DFLs (those<br />

Down from London) <strong>and</strong> other assorted<br />

day trippers mingling with the locals,<br />

spending freely <strong>and</strong> showing why my city<br />

is one of the most visited in Europe.<br />

But that was then. BCV. Before<br />

COVID-19. Before THE VIRUS. Before our<br />

lives changed, perhaps forever.<br />

‘The writer defines the world’, asserted<br />

the great American novelist James Salter.<br />

And if one thing is certain in this uncertain<br />

universe, it is that many, many words will<br />

be written about the extraordinary social<br />

<strong>and</strong> economic events of <strong>2020</strong>.<br />


I was in Spain playing tennis for a few days<br />

when news of the ‘bug’ that was thought to<br />

have emerged in China began to appear.<br />

That was back in January. Mostly, people<br />

just shrugged. So, what of it, was the<br />

typical response. It’s like the ‘flu, right?<br />

It happens. It’s winter. And so on <strong>and</strong><br />

so forth. I recall images played across<br />

Spanish media of UK expats, partying<br />

loudly on a beach <strong>and</strong> taunting locals with<br />

shouts of ‘we’ve got the vi-ruuuusssss’<br />

drunkenly sung to the ‘tune’ of a popular<br />

football terrace chant.<br />

I recall thinking, these clowns are<br />

doing us no favours at all here.<br />

And I recall thinking, I’m getting the<br />

heck out of Dodge. Before it’s too late. Fast<br />

forward to high summer <strong>2020</strong>. Our beaches<br />

are beginning to heave once again, our<br />

shops are slowly but surely beginning to<br />

open for business, <strong>and</strong> the tumbleweed<br />

that a few months back metaphorically<br />

blew through the North Laines has been<br />

replaced by human beings, rather than<br />

zombies.<br />

Rebuilding, as it was following the<br />

Second World War, will be a long, slow,<br />

<strong>and</strong> mortally expensive process.<br />

‘It’s like we have upset<br />

the Gods. I’ve been trading<br />

for 15 years, <strong>and</strong> in that<br />

time we have had the<br />

meltdown of the banking<br />

crisis, when it was as if<br />

the earth had swallowed<br />

up my customers’.<br />


Just how much it is going to cost us as a<br />

nation – in monetary terms – is an ongoing<br />

calculation. And the numbers continue to<br />

travel north at a phenomenal rate.<br />

Our government borrowed a record<br />

£62bn in April – more than had been<br />

expected for the whole of <strong>2020</strong>. The<br />

budget deficit – the shortfall between<br />

state spending <strong>and</strong> income from taxes<br />

– continues to accelerate as tax receipts<br />

fall off a cliff with the economy only just<br />

embarking on a long <strong>and</strong> fragile road to<br />

recovery.<br />

The Office for Budget Responsibility,<br />

the Treasury tax <strong>and</strong> spending watchdog,<br />

estimates the deficit could hit £300bn this<br />

year, five times the sum borrowed in 2019,<br />

<strong>and</strong> almost twice as much as after the<br />

2008 financial crisis.<br />

Nature may be impeccably reliable in<br />

terms of its timing regarding the seasons,<br />

but when p<strong>and</strong>emics are involved there is<br />

no rhyme nor reason. Timing, in the case<br />

of COVID-19, could not have been worse.<br />

Many areas of our economy were<br />

only just emerging, blinking into the<br />

harsh, chill January days. The near civil<br />

war in our country brought on by the<br />

Brexit debacle <strong>and</strong> a bruising General<br />

Election, the early seeds of a recovery in<br />

a beleaguered property market – these all<br />

now seem to be distant events, shadowy<br />

vicissitudes played out through the<br />

miasma of a distorted <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

On the weekend before the Prime<br />

Minister made that fateful address,<br />

announcing the immediate closure of<br />

our shops, our pubs <strong>and</strong> restaurants, a<br />

shutting down of our way of life, I spoke<br />

– presciently it now seems – to a man who<br />

owns one of the more popular cafes in<br />

Brighton’s North Laines.<br />


I was locking my bike to some scaffolding<br />

outside his joint, <strong>and</strong> we started to chat. ‘I<br />

don’t,’ he said, ‘much like the way things<br />

seem to be going.<br />

‘It’s like we have upset the Gods. I’ve<br />

been trading for 15 years, <strong>and</strong> in that<br />

time we have had the meltdown of the<br />

banking crisis, when it was as if the earth<br />

had swallowed up my customers. We<br />

started to recover <strong>and</strong> then we had that<br />

blasted Brexit. And when punters face an<br />

uncertain future, they stop spending. It’s<br />

a herd instinct. You can’t blame them….’<br />

Now, as I pedal through those same<br />

North Laines, <strong>and</strong> I clock the orderly<br />

socially distanced queues outside the<br />

slowly but surely re-opening cafes, the<br />

gingerly returning out of towners, <strong>and</strong><br />

the tumbleweed is replaced by tentative<br />

footfall, I think of that circle of life.<br />

And think of all the grievous challenges<br />

societies have faced over the centuries.<br />

The wars, the plagues, the pogroms, the<br />

terrors, <strong>and</strong> the horrors, <strong>and</strong> I think, yes,<br />

we will survive. Of course we will. And<br />

we will be back together again, happily<br />

h<strong>and</strong>ing over our fiver for a pint, once<br />

again browsing the restaurant menu, once<br />

again booking a flight to the other side of<br />

the world. Living, once again.<br />

David Andrews is a freelance writer.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 27


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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 29


TRADE<br />

Monthly round-up of the latest stories<br />

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.<br />

Retailers rapidly fall<br />

out of fashion<br />

WITH coronavirus eating its way<br />

through global economies,<br />

fashion seems to have a big<br />

red target placed upon it. In<br />

recent months, the UK has seen a number<br />

of retailers in the sector fail including<br />

Oasis <strong>and</strong> Warehouse while others are<br />

struggling too including Cath Kidson <strong>and</strong><br />

Debenhams. Even firms that are in better<br />

positions have been cancelling orders with<br />

manufacturers.<br />

However, the travails of the sector are<br />

most definitely not confined to the UK.<br />

In the US, for example, preppy retailer J.<br />

Crew Group is preparing for a bankruptcy<br />

filing. The company is reportedly<br />

working to secure $400m in financing<br />

to fund operations in bankruptcy. While<br />

coronavirus was the tipping point, it<br />

doesn’t help that the New York-based<br />

retailer had already been struggling under<br />

a heavy debt load <strong>and</strong> sales challenges as<br />

it suffered criticism that it had fallen out<br />

of touch with its once-loyal customers. On<br />

top of that the company has been grappling<br />

with competition from online firms such as<br />

Amazon which have taken market share.<br />

The point for exporters in this<br />

sector is very clear. Be careful when<br />

accepting orders so that contracts cover<br />

cancellations, that sales days outst<strong>and</strong>ing<br />

are kept to a minimum <strong>and</strong> that no matter<br />

where in the world the client is, they will<br />

be able to pay. If they can’t pay you may as<br />

well hunt down re-runs of the Jeremy Kyle<br />

show to fill your time.<br />

EU aren’t likely to<br />

get any benefits<br />

IT’S what most of us already know. Michel<br />

Barnier, the European Union’s Brexit negotiator<br />

has recently gone on record as saying that the<br />

UK is not automatically entitled to any benefits<br />

that the bloc had previously granted to other<br />

partners on trade.<br />

Barnier said: “The UK cannot expect highquality<br />

access to the EU single market if it is not<br />

prepared to accept guarantees to ensure that<br />

competition remains open <strong>and</strong> fair.”<br />

So, is it game over? Do we have to prepare<br />

for trade barriers to be imposed or will there be<br />

some compromise? Who knows, but if I were an<br />

EU-centric exporter I’d be taking a twin track<br />

approach of maintaining my present customer<br />

base while looking elsewhere for business.<br />

“The UK cannot expect highquality<br />

access to the EU single<br />

market if it is not prepared to<br />

accept guarantees to ensure that<br />

competition remains open <strong>and</strong> fair.”<br />

READERS will hopefully recall that last<br />

month I reported that Japan kicked its<br />

economy in the teeth by raising its VAT<br />

rate from eight to 10 percent <strong>and</strong> that as<br />

a result, consumer spending contracted<br />

by 11.5 percent.<br />

Well Japan’s not been alone in<br />

making changes to its VAT rate -<br />

Saudi Arabia is to triple its recently<br />

introduced VAT from five to 15 percent<br />

from 1 <strong>July</strong> this year. However, unlike<br />

Japan, it’s to hike the rate through<br />

sheer economic necessity as it strives<br />


to support its coronavirus-hit economy.<br />

On top of the VAT rise, a cost of living<br />

allowance worth 1,000 riyals (around<br />

£216) was suspended from 1 June. The<br />

allowance only came in two years<br />

ago to help offset increased financial<br />

burdens of the introduction of VAT <strong>and</strong><br />

a rise in the price of petrol.<br />

The core of the problem is that<br />

government revenue has dropped<br />

through the floor as a result of a huge<br />

fall in dem<strong>and</strong> for oil which in turn has<br />

seen the price of oil crash. Oil revenues<br />

in the first quarter fell by 22 percent<br />

from a year earlier to $34bn. Further,<br />

the Saudi’s appear to be living beyond<br />

their means; the kingdom had a $9bn<br />

(£7.2bn) budget deficit for the same<br />

period.<br />

As with other countries, measures<br />

to fight the impact of coronavirus are<br />

expected to slow the pace <strong>and</strong> scale of<br />

economic reforms.<br />

So – be careful with your exposure to<br />

Saudi Arabia as careless trading could<br />

see you lose your head.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 30

H<strong>and</strong>y Andes are not to be sniffed at<br />

ACCORDING to a report in MoneyWeek, the<br />

region colloquially known as the Andean<br />

Three – Chile, Peru <strong>and</strong> Colombia – should<br />

not suffer too greatly from the coronavirus<br />

p<strong>and</strong>emic.<br />

The report notes that ‘emerging<br />

markets have been flattened by investors’<br />

stampede for the exit. The Institute of<br />

International Finance estimates that<br />

overseas investors pulled $95bn from<br />

emerging markets in the first quarter<br />

of <strong>2020</strong> – a record quarterly outflow.<br />

Investors are right to be worried.’ It also<br />

notes that emerging markets tend to<br />

have poor health systems (an export<br />

opportunity, despite cash-strapped<br />

governments?), which won’t help the<br />

fight against the p<strong>and</strong>emic. Indeed, the<br />

International Monetary Fund (IMF) thinks<br />

Latin America’s economies will contract<br />

by 5.2 percent this year.<br />

However, MoneyWeek reckons that the<br />

Switzerl<strong>and</strong> takes centre stage<br />

in a post-Brexit world<br />

SWITZERLAND is invariably associated<br />

with cheese, mountains <strong>and</strong> watchmaking.<br />

However, it also has a strong financial<br />

centre <strong>and</strong> in a post-Brexit world, UK<br />

finance-related services should consider a<br />

tie up with the Swiss.<br />

Yes, it’s true that Switzerl<strong>and</strong> is not<br />

the world’s largest country in terms of<br />

geography or population (just 8.5 million<br />

people) but it’s incredibly wealthy (20th by<br />

GDP). Importantly, it has a strong banking<br />

<strong>and</strong> money management sector. A recent<br />

report from TheCityUK highlighted that<br />

the UK <strong>and</strong> Switzerl<strong>and</strong> dominate global<br />

Brazil may drive you nuts<br />

BE careful in Brazil – a point I’ve noted<br />

before – as it appears that there’s some<br />

serious political infighting going on<br />

which is more than likely going to<br />

damage the economy further. As the<br />

Economist has detailed, Latin America’s<br />

biggest economy is contending with both<br />

the p<strong>and</strong>emic <strong>and</strong> an economic crisis<br />

<strong>and</strong> now the justice minister Sérgio Moro<br />

has resigned, ‘openly accusing president<br />

Jair Bolsonaro of obstructing justice.<br />

That has dealt a serious blow to the<br />

president <strong>and</strong> sparked destabilising talk<br />

of impeachment.’<br />

Andean Three won’t see the p<strong>and</strong>emic<br />

altering their medium-term growth<br />

prospects too much. Why? It appears<br />

that unlike some of their neighbours,<br />

Chile, Peru <strong>and</strong> Colombia are wellmanaged,<br />

open economies, with positive<br />

demographics <strong>and</strong> great growth potential<br />

as ‘all three are commodity powerhouses.’<br />

Colombia has iron ore <strong>and</strong> oil; Peru the<br />

world’s greatest deposits of silver, the<br />

third-most copper <strong>and</strong> fifth-most gold;<br />

<strong>and</strong> Chile has the world’s largest reserves<br />

of copper <strong>and</strong> lithium. They’ve also<br />

diversified into other areas such as nontraditional<br />

agricultural exports such as<br />

blueberries, avocados <strong>and</strong> grapes.<br />

Quite simply, coronavirus is taking the<br />

world by storm, but ultimately, we will all<br />

still want the energy, food <strong>and</strong> minerals<br />

that the three countries possess. Make a<br />

beeline for the area <strong>and</strong> hold your nerve as<br />

it should pay off in the long run.<br />

exports of financial services – the UK’s<br />

financial exports are $82bn while that of<br />

the Swiss is $23bn. Singly or combined,<br />

they put the US ($68bn), Germany ($16bn)<br />

<strong>and</strong> France ($1.5bn) to shame.<br />

With both (now) outside the EU <strong>and</strong><br />

(will be) excluded from its single market in<br />

financial services, there’s a real potential<br />

for a profitable tie up – especially as both<br />

have strong regulatory systems backed by<br />

the rule of law.<br />

Now is the time to look to the future<br />

<strong>and</strong> plan for some financial coalescence if<br />

you’re in fintech.<br />

The problem for exporters is that Brazil<br />

was badly wounded by the last recession<br />

where its GDP fell by more than seven<br />

percent; the recession ended in 2017.<br />

Bolsonaro was seen as a knight in<br />

shining armour who would bring about<br />

economic liberalisation <strong>and</strong> deal with<br />

corruption. But in falling out with major<br />

political allies he has not been very<br />

effective; the country, an exporter of<br />

soy, oil <strong>and</strong> metals, is very exposed to<br />

commodity prices that have slumped<br />

recently as the p<strong>and</strong>emic has destroyed<br />

dem<strong>and</strong>.<br />

Make friends in Vietnam...<br />

CORONAVIRUS has left no one untouched.<br />

But that said, it appears that Vietnam could<br />

do very nicely in the end <strong>and</strong> benefit from<br />

a post virus revival. Why? While many<br />

conglomerates moved their manufacturing<br />

to China as it was a low-cost destination, a<br />

number are now moving out as costs there<br />

have risen. On top of that, the Chinese<br />

shutdown showed to many the wisdom<br />

of diversifying their supply chains. With<br />

Vietnam having a young population which<br />

is accordingly less affected by the virus<br />

than Western countries, <strong>and</strong> having a lowcost<br />

base, it’s a ready market for anyone<br />

exporting to both its manufacturing sector<br />

<strong>and</strong> a population that is seeing rising wealth.<br />

…but watch out in Egypt<br />

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF)<br />

has approved a $2.77bn loan to Egypt in an<br />

attempt to prevent economic collapse amid<br />

the p<strong>and</strong>emic. Egypt, which last received<br />

a loan from the IMF in 2016 is in trouble.<br />

Tourism, which accounted for five percent<br />

of the country’s GDP, has had sectoral<br />

difficulties for years in light of terrorism,<br />

but now it has completely vanished.<br />

Compounding problems is slowing<br />

international trade that has reduced<br />

revenue from the Suez Canal. And it’s not<br />

helping that plunging global energy prices<br />

have hurt the country’s oil <strong>and</strong> gas sector.<br />

To illustrate the state of the Egyptian<br />

economy, IHS Markit’s Purchasing<br />

Managers Index for the Egypt fell to a<br />

historic low of 29.7 in April from 44.2 in<br />

March, indicating that the private sector<br />

is suffering as a result of social-distancing<br />

measures that have seen mosques,<br />

churches, gyms <strong>and</strong> nightclubs close.<br />

Never say never, but while there is still<br />

business to be done in Egypt, there are real<br />

issues to plan out for.<br />



OR CALL 020 7738 0777<br />

Currency UK is authorised <strong>and</strong> regulated<br />

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).<br />


GBP/EUR 1.12748 1.10466 Flat<br />

GBP/USD 1.28036 1.20784 Up<br />

GBP/CHF 1.22482 1.17374 Up<br />

GBP/AUD 1.88844 1.80656 Down<br />

GBP/CAD 1.71744 1.68581 Flat<br />

GBP/JPY<br />

139.70041 129.33969 Up<br />

This data was taken on 17 June <strong>and</strong> refers to the month<br />

previous to/leading up to 16 June <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 31

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France is our<br />

nearest neighbour<br />

but still a mystery to<br />

many.<br />

FRENCH<br />


WHEN characterising<br />

a nation such as<br />

France it’s ever so<br />

tempting to think of<br />

a Gauloises cigarette,<br />

Napoleon <strong>and</strong> the<br />

Eiffel Tower. But of course, as with so<br />

many other nations around the world,<br />

France is much more than the stereotypes<br />

that are applied to it.<br />

With a history that extends beyond the<br />

Iron Age <strong>and</strong> a name that descends from<br />

the Latin word for country of the Franks<br />

– Francia – the country now comprises 18<br />

regions, five of which are overseas. Some<br />

65 million live in the country as most<br />

think of it – Metropolitan France – while<br />

two million live in the other five regions<br />

elsewhere across the globe.<br />


France has the largest l<strong>and</strong>mass in<br />

Western Europe – 549,970 sq.km – <strong>and</strong><br />

it’s relatively sparsely populated with<br />

8,496 sq.m per capita compared to the UK<br />

(3,686), the Netherl<strong>and</strong>s (1,992) <strong>and</strong> Macau<br />

(42). Not unsurprisingly, the capital, Paris,<br />

is the largest population centre with 12.5<br />

million, followed at some distance by Lyon<br />

(2.3 million), Marseilles (1.75 million) <strong>and</strong><br />

Toulouse (1.3 million). At the bottom of the<br />

list of metropolitan areas (aires urbaines)<br />

come Tours (492,722), Clemont-Ferr<strong>and</strong><br />

(479,096) <strong>and</strong> Nancy (435,336).<br />

Demographically speaking, France<br />

has, according to 2017 data, a reasonably<br />

even distribution of its population among<br />

the sexes <strong>and</strong> the five-year age b<strong>and</strong>s up<br />

to age 70 with around four million (male<br />

<strong>and</strong> female) in each. From there upwards,<br />

naturally, the b<strong>and</strong>ings shrink to look<br />

more pyramidal. If there is a ‘bulge’ it’s<br />

between 45-54 - for both male <strong>and</strong> female.<br />

France has for some time been a<br />

country of immigration with a wide<br />

pool of feeder countries. To illustrate<br />

this, according to 2016 data, Algeria <strong>and</strong><br />

Morocco provided the greatest number<br />

of immigrants (by birth) – 807,500 <strong>and</strong><br />

755,400 respectively, followed by Portugal<br />

(622,000) <strong>and</strong> Italy (286,400). At the other<br />

end of the spectrum, Cameroon provided<br />

82,100, DR Congo 81,700 <strong>and</strong> Serbia just<br />

78,000. Overall, the lists notes 20 different<br />

nations. By extension, while French is the<br />

lingua franca, other languages are very<br />

important to consider.<br />

The country is predominantly Catholic<br />

with around 65 percent of the population<br />

identifying as Christian. Islam comes a<br />

faint second with around eight percent<br />

of the population identifying as such.<br />

However, more than one quarter of the<br />

population do not adhere to any particular<br />

belief.<br />

But despite the level of religious<br />

affiliation, France is a secular society <strong>and</strong><br />

there is no official state religion. Further,<br />

French law bans the use of religious<br />

symbols in all government institutions<br />

<strong>and</strong> public schools – a view generally<br />

supported by general society.<br />


France’s economy is well developed <strong>and</strong> is<br />

placed 6th in the world according to the<br />

UN (2017) <strong>and</strong> World Bank (2018) but 7th<br />

by the IMF. Each gives France a different<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 33 continues on page 34 >


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

GDP but the most generous is that given by<br />

the IMF at $2.7 trillion.<br />

Having the largest l<strong>and</strong>mass in Europe<br />

it follows that there are disparities between<br />

the regional economies. Ile de France,<br />

for example, contributes 30 percent of<br />

GDP through services, electronics <strong>and</strong><br />

ICT, agro-food, construction, automobile,<br />

pharmaceuticals, culture <strong>and</strong> aerospace.<br />

In contrast, Bassin Parisien adds less than<br />

three percent to GDP even though it has<br />

some manufacturing, agriculture <strong>and</strong><br />

service industries.<br />

Of course, statistics <strong>and</strong> data can be used<br />

to prove almost anything, but reading with<br />

a pinch of salt <strong>and</strong> common sense, a June<br />

2019 report on ceoworld.biz detailed the 100<br />

best performing businesses in the world.<br />

The majority were American with Apple in<br />

first place, but France took three positions<br />

with cosmetics firm L’Oréal at 53, oil<br />

company Total at 55 <strong>and</strong> Sanofi, a pharma<br />

firm, in 93rd position.<br />

When it comes to the 10 largest European<br />

companies by revenue, Business Chief<br />

listed – in 2018 – a number of French firms:<br />

Insurance giant AXA was in 7th position<br />

($143.7bn), Total ($127.93bn) was 8th while<br />

banking conglomerate BNP Paribas came<br />

in 10th ($109bn). First, by the way, was<br />

Germany’s Volkswagen ($240.4bn).<br />

And yet another list, albeit from 2015,<br />

shows how wide a net France fields her<br />

businesses. The list notes firms in retail<br />

(Auchan), construction (Vinci), Veolia<br />

(environment), Orange (telecoms), <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Agricole (financial services) Group PSA<br />

(automotive), <strong>and</strong> Lafarge (building<br />

materials).<br />

By extrapolation, these industries make<br />

France a large importer, one that marginally<br />

takes in more than it exports. Key<br />

categories include machinery, including<br />

computers; vehicles; electrical machinery,<br />

equipment; mineral fuels including oil;<br />

aircraft, spacecraft; pharmaceuticals;<br />

plastics; optical, technical, medical<br />

apparatus; organic chemicals; <strong>and</strong> clothing,<br />

accessories.<br />

Europe supplies 60 percent of French<br />

imports, Asia 20 percent, North Amercia<br />

eight percent <strong>and</strong> Africa four percent.<br />


It’s interesting to note how ‘easy’ it is to<br />

do business in France in relation to other<br />

countries. New Zeal<strong>and</strong> is consistently<br />

placed first on the World Bank’s list with<br />

Singapore in second place. The UK is placed<br />

8th, Germany 22nd, but France comes 32nd.<br />

That’s not great but is clearly much better<br />

than Eritrea at 189th <strong>and</strong> Somalia at 190th!<br />

Opening up for business in France<br />

requires, as in other jurisdictions,<br />

forethought as to the entity traded through;<br />

<strong>and</strong> France has a number to choose that<br />

include Société à Responsabilité Limitée<br />

(with between two <strong>and</strong> 50 shareholders),<br />

Entreprise Unipersonelle à Responsabilité<br />

Limitée (a single shareholder), Société<br />

Anonyme (at least seven shareholders) <strong>and</strong><br />

Société en Nom Collectif (a partnership).<br />

There is too much detail to list here, but<br />

more can be read at Cabinet Roche & Cie via<br />

https://tinyurl.com/uglsry3.<br />

Workers in France are highly skilled<br />

<strong>and</strong> see value in education. However,<br />

unemployment in France is high, especially<br />

among those under 25; Trading Economics<br />

quotes a current rate of 7.9 percent in<br />

the last quarter of 2019. Further, France<br />

generally operates on a 35-hour week basis<br />

<strong>and</strong> workers tend to get both five weeks of<br />

holidays <strong>and</strong> a good work/life balance.<br />

As for taxation, company tax rate was<br />

recently 28 percent on the first €500,000 <strong>and</strong><br />

33.33 percent above that (with lower rates<br />

for new-starts <strong>and</strong> SMEs), but for profits<br />

made in the <strong>2020</strong> tax year the rate is 28<br />

percent.<br />

The st<strong>and</strong>ard rate of VAT is 20 percent<br />

with reduced rates of 10 percent, 5.5 percent<br />

or 2.1 percent depending on the nature of<br />

the goods (such as food, utility, passenger<br />

transport, accommodation, cultural<br />

activities, certain works on a principle<br />

home, TV licences <strong>and</strong> socialised medicine).<br />

Personal tax rates range from zero<br />

percent to €10,064, 11 percent between<br />

€10,064–€25,659, 30 percent between<br />

€25,659–€73,369, 41 percent between<br />

€73,369–€157,806, <strong>and</strong> 45 percent on<br />

anything above €157,806.<br />

As from the beginning of 2019, a Pay-As-<br />

You-Earn system was introduced universally<br />

throughout France. Instead of filing an<br />

income tax <strong>and</strong> paying whatever taxes were<br />

owed for the prior year, workers are taxed<br />

at the source of the income, in monthly<br />

payments.<br />

And non-residents of France are taxed<br />

on income earned from French sources.<br />

However, France does have tax treaties with<br />

a number of countries that enables residents<br />

of certain countries to avoid dual taxation.<br />

France is also signed on to the Automatic<br />

Exchange of Information, which seeks to<br />

fight tax evasion by requiring financial<br />

intermediaries to be transparent about their<br />

clients’ tax residence in signatory countries.<br />


Every country has its own challenges <strong>and</strong><br />

France is no different.<br />

Working<br />

First off, while EU citizens don’t require a<br />

permit to work in France, non-EU/EEA <strong>and</strong><br />

Swiss citizens must apply for both a work<br />

<strong>and</strong> residency permit. There are several<br />

types including the Carte de Séjour, a<br />

residence permit for those who are coming<br />

The Eiffel Tower is a<br />

wrought-iron lattice tower on<br />

the Champ de Mars in Paris,<br />

France. It is named after the<br />

engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose<br />

company designed <strong>and</strong> built<br />

the tower.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 34


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

to France under a French long-stay visa;<br />

Carte de résident for spouses of French<br />

citizens, parents of a French-born child,<br />

expats retiring in France, or those who<br />

have renewed their carte de séjour for<br />

more than three years in a row; <strong>and</strong> an<br />

EU Blue Card, that permits its holder, a<br />

non-EU foreign national, to enter <strong>and</strong><br />

remain in France under the purpose of<br />

engaging in paid activity <strong>and</strong> to explore<br />

career opportunities for up to three<br />

years, with the opportunity to extend the<br />

stay.<br />

The minimum wage for those over<br />

17 for calendar <strong>2020</strong> is €10.15 an hour<br />

(€1,539.42 per month) before tax. There<br />

are different rates based on age <strong>and</strong> if<br />

serving an apprenticeship.<br />

Buying property<br />

Fees can add around 15 percent to the<br />

cost of residential property <strong>and</strong> two<br />

types of tax are payable on residential<br />

property: l<strong>and</strong> tax (taxe foncière)<br />

<strong>and</strong> local taxes (taxe d'habitation).<br />

Registering commercial property can<br />

take 42 days or more <strong>and</strong> businesses<br />

must obtain planning certificates, a<br />

cadastral certificate, a non-encumbrance<br />

certificate <strong>and</strong> m<strong>and</strong>atory environmental<br />

reports – it’s an eight-step process.<br />

Allied to this, an HSBC report notes<br />

that permits for construction can take<br />

time <strong>and</strong> a great deal of effort to secure<br />

– an average of 184 days.<br />

Striking culture<br />

Rarely is there a year when the French<br />

don’t exercise their right to strike –<br />

indeed striking is perfectly acceptable.<br />

According to a 2019 Statistica chart, the<br />

European country with the least number<br />

of days (average per 1,000 employees<br />

2010-2017) lost to strikes in Europe was<br />

Latvia – with none, the UK lost 20 days,<br />

Spain 50 days <strong>and</strong> the French lost 125<br />

days. (That said, Cyprus capped the list<br />

with 316 days lost.)<br />

Authorisation<br />

France can be a little bureaucratic in that<br />

government authorisation is required for<br />

inward investment in specific sectors that<br />

are seen as vital to the national interest.<br />

These include energy infrastructure;<br />

transportation networks; public water<br />

supplies; electronic communication<br />

networks; public health protection; <strong>and</strong><br />

installations vital to national security.<br />

The rules were altered by two pieces of<br />

legislation - a common legal framework<br />

for Member States, based on Regulation<br />

(EU) 2019/452. This establishes a<br />

framework for the screening of foreign<br />

direct investments <strong>and</strong> applies from 11<br />

October <strong>2020</strong>; <strong>and</strong> Decree No. 2019-1590<br />

of 31 December 2019 <strong>and</strong> a Ministerial<br />

Order from the same day that relates to<br />

foreign investments in France - these<br />

enter into force on 1 April <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

The decree adds media <strong>and</strong> the<br />

print <strong>and</strong> digital press, as well as food<br />

safety, energy storage <strong>and</strong> quantum<br />

technologies to the sectors vital to the<br />

national interest.<br />

The rules apply to an investor who is a<br />

“natural person of foreign nationality, (ii)<br />

natural person of French nationality not<br />

domiciled in France, (iii) entity governed<br />

by foreign law or (iv) entity governed by<br />

French law controlled by one or more<br />

aforementioned persons/entities.”<br />


French is the only official language<br />

spoken, but English <strong>and</strong> other tongues are<br />

spoken too; the former is widely taught,<br />

but the use of French shows a level of<br />

respect that is appreciated. That said, it’s<br />

wise for the speaker to underst<strong>and</strong> their<br />

abilities. Similarly, it’s not always about<br />

what is said, but how it is said. In other<br />

words, formal <strong>and</strong> informal word usage<br />

should be noted <strong>and</strong> used appropriately.<br />

In serious negotiations a good translator<br />

is highly advisable.<br />

Business cards are important <strong>and</strong><br />

when exchanged should be carefully<br />

examined before being pocketed. With<br />

French being the mother tongue, an<br />

English translation should be on the<br />

reverse. Job title <strong>and</strong> qualifications<br />

should be included.<br />

But just as language is important to<br />

the French, so is food <strong>and</strong> it’s often the<br />

focal point of conversation as well as<br />

being an ideal way to break the ice. By<br />

extension, the choice of lunch or dinner,<br />

of restaurant, number of courses <strong>and</strong><br />

quality of food <strong>and</strong> wine demonstrates<br />

the importance of the event.<br />

Notwithst<strong>and</strong>ing the impact of<br />

coronavirus, a h<strong>and</strong>shake is very<br />

important in business meetings in<br />

France. It appears that a h<strong>and</strong>shake<br />

should be initiated by the most senior<br />

person, or if a woman, her. Also, a kiss<br />

or air kiss is commonly used between<br />

men <strong>and</strong> women in established business<br />

relationships. Kiss twice, once on each<br />

cheek, beginning with the left.<br />

To address another colleague or<br />

client, Monsieur should be used for men<br />

<strong>and</strong> Madame for women, followed by<br />

their family name. Both are expected as<br />

part of the greeting. Thereafter, using<br />

Monsieur <strong>and</strong> Madame is appropriate.<br />

The dress code is formal with jackets<br />

rarely taken off <strong>and</strong> ties never loosened.<br />

Also – a blue shirt shouldn’t be worn as it’s<br />

the colour used by the military. Women,<br />

says the HSBC document, should note<br />

that ‘elegant tailoring is favoured.’<br />

Decisions are made after deliberation<br />

– rarely in a meeting, but once made<br />

are infrequently reversed. Any minutes<br />

taken should be circulated within a day<br />

<strong>and</strong> actions required taken quickly.<br />


France is a country that most definitely<br />

should not be ignored. Despite Brexit,<br />

it’s still a key market <strong>and</strong> of course, our<br />

closest neighbour alongside the Republic<br />

of Irel<strong>and</strong>. Those seeking success need a<br />

good product <strong>and</strong> keen price. They also<br />

need to note French sensibilities.<br />

Adam Bernstein is a freelance<br />

business writer.<br />

The word macaron is derived<br />

from the Italian word, maccherone,<br />

meaning fine dough. It's believed<br />

that the macaron cookie was born<br />

in Italy <strong>and</strong> brought over to France<br />

as early as 1533 by Catherine<br />

di Medici, a noblewoman from<br />

Florence who married the future<br />

King of France, Henri II.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 35



For further information <strong>and</strong> to discuss the opportunities of entering into a<br />

Corporate Partnership with the CICM, please contact corporatepartners@cicm.com<br />

Onguard is a specialist in credit management<br />

software <strong>and</strong> a market leader in innovative solutions<br />

for Order to Cash. Our integrated platform ensures<br />

an optimal connection of all processes in the Order<br />

to Cash chain <strong>and</strong> allows sharing of critical data. Our<br />

intelligent tools can seamlessly interconnect <strong>and</strong><br />

offer overview <strong>and</strong> control of the payment process,<br />

as well as contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.<br />

The Onguard platform is successfully used<br />

for successful credit management in more than 50<br />

countries.<br />

T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66<br />

E: ruurd.bakker@onguard.com<br />

W: www.onguard.com<br />

The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis<br />

<strong>and</strong> data modelling tools to organisations around<br />

the world that rely on our ability to accurately predict<br />

their exposure to financial risk. Our H-Score®<br />

predicted 92 percent of quoted company insolvencies<br />

<strong>and</strong> our TextScore® accuracy rate was 93<br />

percent. Our scores are trusted by credit professionals<br />

within banks, corporates, investment houses<br />

<strong>and</strong> public sector bodies because, unlike other credit<br />

reference agencies, we are transparent <strong>and</strong> flexible<br />

in our approach.<br />

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300<br />

E: info@companywatch.net<br />

W: www.companywatch.net<br />

HighRadius is a Fintech enterprise Software-as-a-Service<br />

(SaaS) company. Its Integrated Receivables platform<br />

reduces cycle times in the Order to Cash process through<br />

automation of receivables <strong>and</strong> payments across credit,<br />

e-invoicing <strong>and</strong> payment processing, cash allocation,<br />

dispute resolution <strong>and</strong> collections. Powered by the RivanaTM<br />

Artificial Intelligence Engine <strong>and</strong> Freeda Digital<br />

Assistant for Order to Cash teams, HighRadius enables<br />

more than 450 organisations to leverage machine<br />

learning to predict future outcomes <strong>and</strong> automate routine<br />

labour intensive tasks.<br />

T: +44 7399 406889<br />

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com<br />

W: www.highradius.com<br />

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps<br />

businesses pay <strong>and</strong> get paid. Businesses <strong>and</strong> banks<br />

rely on Bottomline for domestic <strong>and</strong> international<br />

payments, effective cash management tools, automated<br />

workflows for payment processing <strong>and</strong> bill review<br />

<strong>and</strong> state of the art fraud detection, behavioural<br />

analytics <strong>and</strong> regulatory compliance. Every day, we<br />

help our customers by making complex business<br />

payments simple, secure <strong>and</strong> seamless.<br />

Chris S<strong>and</strong>ers Consulting (S<strong>and</strong>ers Consulting<br />

Associates) has three areas of activity providing<br />

credit management leadership <strong>and</strong> performance<br />

improvement, international working capital<br />

improvement consulting assignments <strong>and</strong><br />

managing the CICMQ Best Practice Accreditation<br />

programme on behalf of the CICM. Plans for<br />

2019 include international client assignments in<br />

India, China, USA, Middle East <strong>and</strong> the ongoing<br />

development of the CICMQ Programme.<br />

Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist companies<br />

across Europe with credit management. The<br />

service gives the end-user the means to make a<br />

payment when <strong>and</strong> how they choose. Key IVR also<br />

provides a state-of-the-art outbound platform delivering<br />

automated messages by voice <strong>and</strong> SMS. In a<br />

credit management environment, these services are<br />

used to cost-effectively contact debtors <strong>and</strong> connect<br />

them back into a contact centre or automated<br />

payment line.<br />

T: 0870 081 8250<br />

E: emea-info@bottomline.com<br />

W: www.bottomline.com/uk<br />

T: +44(0)7747 761641<br />

E: chris@chriss<strong>and</strong>ersconsulting.com<br />

W: www.chriss<strong>and</strong>ersconsulting.com<br />

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000<br />

E: sales@keyivr<br />

W: www.keyivr.co.uk<br />

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading<br />

provider of business information, analytics, insights<br />

<strong>and</strong> solutions. Graydon helps its customers to make<br />

fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to minimise<br />

risk <strong>and</strong> identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities<br />

with their commercial relationships. Graydon<br />

uses 130+ international databases <strong>and</strong> the information<br />

of 90+ million companies. Graydon has offices in<br />

London, Cardiff, Amsterdam <strong>and</strong> Antwerp. Since 2016,<br />

Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of the world’s<br />

largest credit insurance companies.<br />

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400<br />

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk<br />

W: www.graydon.co.uk<br />

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is<br />

an accountancy firm delivering traditional services<br />

combined with strategic commercial thinking. Our<br />

services include: advisory, audit, corporate <strong>and</strong><br />

personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,<br />

outsourcing, wealth management <strong>and</strong> business<br />

recovery – the latter of which includes our specialist<br />

offering developed specifically for creditors. For<br />

more information on this, or to see how the Menzies<br />

<strong>Credit</strong>or Services team can assist you, please<br />

visit: www.menzies.co.uk/creditor-services.<br />

T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff<br />

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services<br />

Building on our mature <strong>and</strong> hugely successful<br />

product <strong>and</strong> world class support service, we are<br />

re-imagining our risk awareness module in 2019 to<br />

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists <strong>and</strong><br />

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full<br />

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong>safe), this makes Credica a single port-of-call<br />

for analysis <strong>and</strong> automation. Impressive results<br />

<strong>and</strong> ROI are inevitable for our customers that also<br />

have an active input into our product development<br />

<strong>and</strong> evolution.<br />

T: 01235 856400<br />

E: info@credica.co.uk<br />

W: www.credica.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 36

Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for<br />

their commitment to the profession, best practice in the<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Industry <strong>and</strong> the quality of services they provide.<br />

We are delighted to showcase them here.<br />


Hays <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> is a national specialist<br />

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of<br />

credit management <strong>and</strong> receivables professionals,<br />

at all levels, in the public <strong>and</strong> private sectors. As<br />

the CICM’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we<br />

are best placed to help all clients’ <strong>and</strong> c<strong>and</strong>idates’<br />

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on<br />

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,<br />

marketing of vacancies, advertising <strong>and</strong> campaign<br />

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,<br />

career <strong>and</strong> recruitment trends.<br />

T: 07834 260029<br />

E: karen.young@hays.com<br />

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

The Atradius Collections business model is to support<br />

businesses <strong>and</strong> their recoveries. We are seeing a<br />

deterioration <strong>and</strong> increase in unpaid invoices placing<br />

pressures on cashflow for those businesses. Brexit is<br />

causing uncertainty <strong>and</strong> we are seeing a significant<br />

impact on the UK economy with an increase in<br />

insolvencies, now also impacting the continent <strong>and</strong><br />

spreading. Our geographical presence is exp<strong>and</strong>ing<br />

<strong>and</strong> with a single IT platform across the globe we can<br />

provide greater efficiencies <strong>and</strong> effectiveness to our<br />

clients to recover their unpaid invoices.<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 824700<br />

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/<br />

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work<br />

closely with credit teams to recover commercial<br />

debts as quickly <strong>and</strong> cost effectively as possible.<br />

We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt<br />

recovery, including:<br />

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery <strong>and</strong><br />

keep costs down • Litigation service • Insolvency<br />

• Post-litigation services including enforcement<br />

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to<br />

relate to your goals, <strong>and</strong> adept at advising you on the<br />

most effective way of achieving them.<br />

T: 03700 86 3000<br />

E: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Forums International has been running <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>and</strong><br />

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of<br />

industry sectors <strong>and</strong> international trading. Attendance<br />

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums<br />

are not just meetings but communities which<br />

aim to prepare our members for the challenges<br />

ahead. Attending for the first time is free for you to<br />

gauge the benefits <strong>and</strong> meet the members <strong>and</strong> we<br />

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never<br />

intentionally be sold to.<br />

T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

Improve cash flow, cash collection <strong>and</strong> prevent late<br />

payment with Corrivo from Data Interconnect.<br />

Corrivo, intelligent invoice to cash automation<br />

highlights where accounts receivable teams should<br />

focus their effort for best results. Easy-to-learn,<br />

Invoicing, Collection <strong>and</strong> Dispute modules get collection<br />

teams up <strong>and</strong> running fast. Minimal IT input required.<br />

Real-time dashboards, reporting <strong>and</strong> self-service<br />

customer portals, improve customer communication<br />

<strong>and</strong> satisfaction scores. Cost-effective, flexible Corrivo,<br />

super-charges your cash collection effort.<br />

T: +44 (0)1367 245777<br />

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk<br />

W: www.datainterconnect.com<br />

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for<br />

organisations seeking efficient cash visibility<br />

<strong>and</strong> secure financial processes. As an SAP<br />

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies<br />

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience<br />

<strong>and</strong> thous<strong>and</strong>s of successful customer projects,<br />

including solutions for the entire order-to-cash<br />

process, Serrala provides credit managers <strong>and</strong><br />

receivables professionals with the solutions they<br />

need to successfully protect their business against<br />

credit risk exposure <strong>and</strong> bad debt loss.<br />

T: +44 118 207 0450<br />

E: contact@serrala.com<br />

W: www.serrala.com<br />

American Express® is a globally recognised<br />

provider of business payment solutions, providing<br />

flexible capabilities to help companies drive<br />

growth. These solutions support buyers <strong>and</strong><br />

suppliers across the supply chain with working<br />

capital <strong>and</strong> cashflow.<br />

By creating an additional lever to help support<br />

supplier/client relationships American Express is<br />

proud to be an innovator in the business payments<br />

space.<br />

T: +44 (0)1273 696933<br />

W: www.americanexpress.com<br />

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow <strong>and</strong> payables<br />

into income, uniquely connecting buyers <strong>and</strong><br />

suppliers to allow discounts in exchange for<br />

early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers<br />

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating<br />

payments from buyers when required in just two<br />

clicks, at a rate that works for them. Buyers, often<br />

corporates with global supply chains, benefit from<br />

the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while<br />

strengthening the financial health of supply chains<br />

through ethical business practices.<br />

T: 07799 692193<br />

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com<br />

W: www.c2fo.com<br />

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes<br />

the all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s<br />

businesses from collecting receivables in a timely<br />

manner. From invoice delivery to cash application,<br />

Esker automates each step. Esker's automated AR<br />

system powered by TermSync helps companies<br />

modernise without replacing their core billing <strong>and</strong><br />

collections processes. By simply automating what<br />

should be automated, customers get the post-sale<br />

experience they deserve <strong>and</strong> your team gets the<br />

tools they need.<br />

T: +44 (0)1332 548176<br />

E: sam.townsend@esker.co.uk<br />

W: www.esker.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 37




For further information <strong>and</strong><br />

to discuss the opportunities<br />

of entering into a Corporate<br />

Partnership with the CICM,<br />

please contact<br />

corporatepartners@cicm.com<br />

THEY'RE<br />


TALK TO YOU...<br />

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern<br />

finance leaders <strong>and</strong> credit professionals to improve<br />

business performance through more effective risk<br />

management, identification of growth opportunities,<br />

<strong>and</strong> better integration of data <strong>and</strong> insights<br />

across the business. Powered by our Data Cloud,<br />

our solutions provide access to the world’s most<br />

comprehensive commercial data <strong>and</strong> insights<br />

supplying a continually updated view of business<br />

relationships that help finance <strong>and</strong> credit teams<br />

stay ahead of market shifts <strong>and</strong> customer changes.<br />

T: (0800) 001-234<br />

W: www.dnb.co.uk<br />

Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit<br />

intelligence for credit insurers <strong>and</strong> for corporate<br />

customers. The company’s B2B <strong>Credit</strong> Risk<br />

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk<br />

<strong>Management</strong> Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;<br />

the Tinubu <strong>Credit</strong> Intelligence service <strong>and</strong> the<br />

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250<br />

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their<br />

greatest assets: customer receivables.<br />

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /<br />

E: uksales@tinubu.com<br />

W: www.tinubu.com.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 38



Why open-mindedness is a credit<br />

professional’s biggest asset.<br />

AUTHOR – Karen Young<br />

AS lockdown restrictions<br />

begin to slowly relax, our<br />

world of work shows signs<br />

of gradually returning<br />

to some semblance of<br />

normality. While many<br />

of us will welcome a return to established<br />

ways of working, we still have a significant<br />

period of change <strong>and</strong> adjustment ahead,<br />

which might have even the most confident<br />

in their jobs questioning what this means<br />

for their career.<br />

As we navigate these uncharted waters,<br />

new opportunities will be cropping up<br />

in fresh areas of dem<strong>and</strong>. Here’s why<br />

keeping an open mind will therefore be a<br />

professional’s biggest asset to h<strong>and</strong>le our<br />

everchanging world of work.<br />



To keep their organisations afloat during<br />

what has been a period of complete<br />

turmoil, leaders have recognised that<br />

they need a robust workforce in place who<br />

are equipped with the right skills. New<br />

dem<strong>and</strong> brings with it new opportunities,<br />

so it’s in professionals’ interest to maintain<br />

an awareness of this. In terms of specialist<br />

skills in dem<strong>and</strong>, according to recent<br />

research in the Hays Market Insights<br />

report, those that top the list are:<br />

• Managerial & leadership skills<br />

• Operations skills<br />

• Project & change management skills<br />

As always employers are looking for the<br />

whole package when it comes to a strong<br />

c<strong>and</strong>idate, so soft skills or competencies<br />

like communications, problem-solving<br />

<strong>and</strong> flexibility are also in dem<strong>and</strong>.<br />

If any of these resonate with your own<br />

skills profile, then it’s likely that your CV<br />

will st<strong>and</strong> out to those hiring – so staying<br />

open-minded about where your skillset<br />

could take you will help you capitalise on<br />

any new opportunities.<br />



If you don’t feel your skills profile matches<br />

up to some of the skills in dem<strong>and</strong> right<br />

now, that doesn’t mean you have to<br />

rework your entire skillset or that you<br />

won’t be able to progress <strong>and</strong> pursue new<br />

opportunities. Since entering lockdown,<br />

many of us have upskilled personally or<br />

professionally, some by necessity in the<br />

job, <strong>and</strong> some because they have found<br />

some extra time in their h<strong>and</strong>s, which<br />

has the potential to illuminate new<br />

opportunities which weren’t available<br />

previously.<br />

Make sure that any new skills you<br />

acquire are highlighted on your CV <strong>and</strong><br />

on your LinkedIn. While certain skills<br />

like learning a language, taking a coding<br />

course or refining your Microsoft Excel<br />

skills may directly enhance your career,<br />

it’s demonstrating your initiative <strong>and</strong><br />

commitment to independent learning <strong>and</strong><br />

independent thinking which will make<br />

you st<strong>and</strong> out in your current job or to a<br />

potential new employer.<br />



One of the biggest impacts the coronavirus<br />

has had on professionals across the board<br />

is on career prospects. Roughly half (49<br />

percent) of professionals working in credit<br />

describe their career prospects as average<br />

or poor, indicating that professionals<br />

now feel less confident in their ability<br />

to progress their career since the onset<br />

of the p<strong>and</strong>emic. If you’ve experienced<br />

these feelings recently, you’re not alone.<br />

Professionals working across all areas<br />

of finance tend to be dedicated <strong>and</strong><br />

driven, so it’s frustrating not to be<br />

guaranteed clear progression in<br />

your role. My advice is to harness your<br />

hunger for a new challenge by seeing how<br />

you might be able to step up. Approach<br />

your manager with your intentions to<br />

progress <strong>and</strong> listen to what they have to<br />

say about your development. Be prepared<br />

for constructive feedback about what<br />

you need to do to get to the next level. If<br />

the progression pathway at your current<br />

organisation doesn’t align with your goals,<br />

make it clear to your trusted recruiter that<br />

this is a high priority for you when the<br />

time comes to move roles.<br />

By maintaining an open-minded<br />

mindset <strong>and</strong> a high level of awareness,<br />

you’ll be well equipped to h<strong>and</strong>le the<br />

change which comes with crisis recovery.<br />

Whether it’s capitalising on in-dem<strong>and</strong><br />

skills in your own skillset, making use of<br />

new expertise you’ve acquired since the<br />

onset of the p<strong>and</strong>emic or negotiating your<br />

career prospects, keeping an open mind<br />

will put you in the best position as we<br />

continue to navigate this new era of work<br />

<strong>and</strong> continuous change.<br />

Karen Young is Director at<br />

Hays <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 39

Finding valuable information<br />

in Companies House reports<br />

can be like looking for a<br />

needle in this<br />

thing.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 40

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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 41


GREAT<br />


Essential advice from the latest<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Managers' Playbook.<br />

AUTHOR – Chris S<strong>and</strong>ers FCICM<br />

EVERYONE is getting used to the<br />

new video calling culture of<br />

business, but despite this now<br />

becoming normal we are not<br />

getting better at it. Many look like<br />

‘Crimewatch Police Informants’ –<br />

a black silhouette on a bright background – or<br />

have given a camera to a four-year old <strong>and</strong> asked<br />

them to take a picture.<br />

We need to get a bit more savvy with this<br />

technology in the coming months, not least<br />

as recruiters will be doing more recruiting<br />

virtually <strong>and</strong> the expectation <strong>and</strong> how your<br />

boss considers you can cope with this new<br />

technology when presenting your numbers will<br />

become more important. Only having the top of<br />

your head showing in an interview or looking<br />

like a ‘no publicity’ lottery winner would be the<br />

virtual equivalent of turning up for a face-toface<br />

interview for a manager’s job wearing an<br />

‘I’m with Stupid’ t-shirt.<br />


Cash collections performance is still strong<br />

in many organisations saying that they are<br />

maintaining collections levels at between<br />

80 percent to 90 percent plus of pre-crisis<br />

levels. This excellent performance is of course<br />

a double-edged sword, with organisations<br />

considering current performance based on<br />

current costs; is 80 percent performance OK<br />

with fewer people <strong>and</strong> no building costs?<br />

The most resilient organisations are those that<br />

had already invested in automation, systems,<br />

infrastructure <strong>and</strong> training. Removing manual<br />

processes fundamentally improves resilience.<br />

Time is running out. As we start to come out<br />

of the lockdown phase into the new normal,<br />

building resilience now is critical. Let’s not<br />

forget this COVID-19 crisis may come back <strong>and</strong><br />

not all businesses will be able to survive second<br />

time round. Building resilience now is a critical<br />

business requirement going forward.<br />


The #newnormal hasn’t been decided yet<br />

but that shouldn’t stop us from planning for<br />

whatever it is. Time is marching on <strong>and</strong> if you<br />

haven’t started to consider what this new normal<br />

will look like for your credit management teams<br />

it is getting to the point where it is almost too<br />

late. We have seen many organisations make<br />

decisions on when offices will re-open <strong>and</strong><br />

some organisations have made the decision not<br />

to go back to the office at all. Others are waiting<br />

until the end of <strong>2020</strong> <strong>and</strong> others are looking at<br />

phasing their return.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> managers have the attention of the<br />

business leaders now, so be bold. Ask for stuff<br />

including investment in systems <strong>and</strong> processes<br />

<strong>and</strong> resources. One thing is clear: this crisis<br />

has demonstrated that many companies<br />

have historically under invested in credit <strong>and</strong><br />

collections. So, seize the day. It can take up to<br />

12 weeks for a new system to be in place so start<br />

now!<br />

To date we have held 34 CICMQ Zoom Sessions<br />

since the first one three days after lockdown<br />

started, with over 725 delegates attending<br />

from UK <strong>and</strong> International organisations.<br />

So let me share some of the thoughts <strong>and</strong><br />

recommendations of this unrivalled CICM Best<br />

Practice Network:<br />


Many organisations now have a ‘Back to the<br />

Office Plan’. From a staff perspective, certainty is<br />

what is needed most. Any plan that is developed<br />

must be shared with the team. If there is one<br />

good thing that has come out of this it is that<br />

there will be a mix of working practices in the<br />

future: more flexible working, two-days a week<br />

in the office, more job swaps, <strong>and</strong> cross training<br />

will all be required in smaller companies as<br />

the roles have to be shared. There will be less<br />

travel, less congestion <strong>and</strong> less pollution. Asking<br />

what the team want to do <strong>and</strong> their personal<br />

circumstances has to be the way forward.<br />


Build a plan or a road map for the next 12 months<br />

<strong>and</strong> articulate this to the senior leadership. This<br />

will build trust <strong>and</strong> will demonstrate that you<br />

<strong>and</strong> the team are on the case. If you haven’t<br />

done this, you may be too late as decisions<br />

are now being made potentially without your<br />

operational input.<br />

Your overriding question now <strong>and</strong> for the<br />

rest of the <strong>2020</strong> must be ‘How do I maintain<br />

the support of the senior stakeholders in the<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 42


AUTHOR – Chris S<strong>and</strong>ers FCICM<br />

business?’ Another good question is ‘How do<br />

I stop the team using excel spreadsheets for<br />

everything?’ This means looking at systems,<br />

automation, <strong>and</strong> full portfolio assessments, since<br />

all of these things build resilience <strong>and</strong> future<br />

proof your organisations. You may end up with<br />

fewer team members but if the statistics <strong>and</strong> the<br />

predictions are to be believed your workload will<br />

only grow in the coming months, so you need to<br />

do more with less.<br />


When looking at the plan include customer<br />

profitability actions, specifically around the<br />

areas of exposure, risk, <strong>and</strong> reward analysis. As<br />

a credit manager you have data to do this <strong>and</strong> as<br />

a strategy it is something that you should take to<br />

the business. Conversely for those customers that<br />

are under-utilised, provide analysis to sales that<br />

highlights these customers. We know that trading<br />

out of this crisis will be tough <strong>and</strong> sales will need<br />

all the help they can get. Low risk customers with<br />

under-utilised credit limits are the low hanging<br />

fruit for fast revenue generation, with the added<br />

We will remain<br />

in the current<br />

‘work from home’<br />

type environment<br />

for a while yet<br />

as we know<br />

organisations<br />

are generally not<br />

rushing to return<br />

to the office.<br />

benefit of demonstrating value to the business.<br />

In short, become a part of the sales strategy!<br />

DEBTS<br />

As you empty the bucket of disputes you don’t<br />

want your poor billing to start to fill it up again.<br />

Using sales <strong>and</strong> shortening the dispute resolution<br />

sign-off process will help you. Re-balancing your<br />

BDP should be on the agenda now, if this hasn’t<br />

already been done. Start to measure the billing<br />

accuracy for the reasons mentioned above. A<br />

simple invoice vs. credit note measure is the<br />

best <strong>and</strong> quickest solution; if you measure it<br />

consistently then you will see a trend. Collections<br />

relies on constant contact <strong>and</strong> intervention. With<br />

finite resources you need to focus on the greatest<br />

benefit. Enlist the help of sales, use league<br />

tables for overdue debt with the sales, branches<br />

or regions. League tables are a great way for<br />

engaging the business in cash collection <strong>and</strong><br />

dispute resolution.<br />


Get the business involved in the resolution of<br />

disputes <strong>and</strong> develop a league table as above<br />

for sales <strong>and</strong> the business on dispute values <strong>and</strong><br />

cash conversion, debt resolution etc. Sales are<br />

competitive <strong>and</strong> salespeople will NOT like to be<br />

at the bottom of a league table. Slim down the<br />

KPIs you use <strong>and</strong> add this to your plan <strong>and</strong> gain<br />

approval from the senior management for the<br />

measures <strong>and</strong> the new plan.<br />


Decide on five of your most critical processes<br />

<strong>and</strong> start now to put a plan in place to get them<br />

back on track or change them to meet the new<br />

challenges given that they may be done remotely<br />

in the future. Ensure that whoever is resolving<br />

disputes is joined-up completely with the<br />

responsible collector, so collection can continue<br />

seamlessly when disputes are resolved. Build in<br />

reviews with sales <strong>and</strong> senior management into<br />

the new processes since this will help rebuild<br />

trust. Speed is of the essence: if your query<br />

or dispute resolution time is slower than your<br />

competitors who do you think will get paid first?<br />

We will remain in the current ‘work from home’<br />

type environment for a while yet as we know<br />

organisations are generally not rushing to return<br />

to the office. This will make the management<br />

of this new phase more challenging. For many<br />

managers this is still new territory. Keeping<br />

the teams engaged will remain difficult – or at<br />

least more complicated – as some will be office<br />

based <strong>and</strong> some home based, <strong>and</strong> some will be<br />

returning from Furlough.<br />

For the full COVID-19 <strong>Credit</strong> Managers<br />

Playbook II <strong>and</strong> further information about<br />

the CICM Best Practice Network please contact<br />

cicmq@cicm.com.<br />

Chris S<strong>and</strong>ers FCICM is Head of<br />

Accreditation – CICMQ.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 43


No sign of ‘Normal’<br />

Lockdown continues to affect credit <strong>and</strong> payment terms.<br />

LAST month’s payment performance<br />

statistics highlighted the early<br />

impact COVID-19 was having in the<br />

world of credit, with businesses <strong>and</strong><br />

credit professionals being forced<br />

to adapt their practices, extended<br />

terms <strong>and</strong> introducing new payment plans. As<br />

expected, things have only worsened in the last<br />

month, with payment terms continuing to rise for<br />

the majority of sectors <strong>and</strong> regions. The average<br />

Days Beyond Terms (DBT) figures increased by 2.6<br />

days <strong>and</strong> 1.9 days respectively across regions <strong>and</strong><br />

sectors.<br />


The global lockdown enforced by the p<strong>and</strong>emic<br />

has had a detrimental effect on a number of<br />

sectors <strong>and</strong> industries. With all pubs, bars, hotels<br />

<strong>and</strong> restaurants being forced to close, it is no<br />

great surprise to see payment terms increasing<br />

across the Hospitality sector. An increase of 8.5<br />

days takes its overall DBT to 20.4 days.<br />

Entertainment has been similarly affected<br />

– gigs, concerts, festivals <strong>and</strong> all events with<br />

large crowds have had to be postponed. The<br />

film, television <strong>and</strong> music worlds have come to<br />

a st<strong>and</strong>still. An increase of 7.1 days means the<br />

Entertainment sector’s overall DBT now st<strong>and</strong>s at<br />

22.2 days.<br />

Elsewhere, Wholesale <strong>and</strong> Retail trade (+7.0<br />

days), Education (+6.4 days) <strong>and</strong> Real Estate (+6.1<br />

days) have also been particularly affected, with<br />

the majority of sectors struggling. International<br />

Bodies remain the worst performing sector with<br />

an overall DBT of 29.3 days, but it is moving in<br />

the right direction once again with a reduction<br />

of 12.8 days to payment terms. Financial <strong>and</strong><br />

Insurance is the new best performing sector with<br />

an impressive overall DBT of 5.6 days.<br />


At a regional level, things are similarly precarious,<br />

with all but one of the 11 regions seeing increases<br />

to payment terms. Northern Irel<strong>and</strong> was the sole<br />

region to improve, with a reduction of 2.9 days<br />

taking its overall DBT to 13.4 days, meaning it<br />

has gone from the worst performing region to the<br />

best performing region.<br />

The West Midl<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong> South East have been<br />

worst affected, both seeing increases of 5.8 days<br />

to payment terms. Wales (+4.1 days), South West<br />

(+4.1 days), Yorkshire <strong>and</strong> Humberside (+3.5 days)<br />

<strong>and</strong> Scotl<strong>and</strong> (+3.4 days) have also struggled.<br />

The hope is, that with the gradual easing<br />

of lockdown measures <strong>and</strong> more businesses<br />

<strong>and</strong> industries beginning to return, we may see<br />

payment terms gradually starting to reduce<br />

across the board. But it’s unlikely to be a quick<br />

fix, as we all adapt to the ‘new normal’.<br />

Data supplied by <strong>Credit</strong>safe Group.<br />

Retail trade (+7.0<br />

days), Education<br />

(+6.4 days) <strong>and</strong><br />

Real Estate (+6.1<br />

days) have also<br />

been particularly<br />

affected, with the<br />

majority of sectors<br />

struggling.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 44


Data supplied by the <strong>Credit</strong>safe Group<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Region May 20 Change from April 20<br />

Northern Irel<strong>and</strong> 13.4 -2.9<br />

Yorkshire <strong>and</strong> Humberside 14.7 3.5<br />

London 15.1 0.1<br />

North West 15.3 0.7<br />

Wales 15.4 4.1<br />

Getting Better<br />

International Bodies -12.8<br />

Financial <strong>and</strong> Insurance -6.8<br />

Transportation <strong>and</strong> Storage -4.3<br />

Dormant -3.4<br />

Mining <strong>and</strong> Quarrying -2.4<br />

Water & Waste -1.5<br />

The hope is, that with the gradual easing of<br />

lockdown measures <strong>and</strong> more businesses<br />

<strong>and</strong> industries beginning to return, we may<br />

see payment terms gradually starting to<br />

reduce across the board.<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Sector May 20 Change from April 20<br />

Financial <strong>and</strong> Insurance 5.6 -6.8<br />

Health <strong>and</strong> Social 10.2 2.3<br />

Agriculture, Forestry <strong>and</strong> Fishing 10.3 1.6<br />

Public Administration 10.8 1.4<br />

Water & Waste 11.8 -1.5<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Region May 20 Change from April 20<br />

South East 18.2 5.8<br />

Scotl<strong>and</strong> 17.1 3.4<br />

West Midl<strong>and</strong>s 16.8 5.8<br />

East Anglia 15.6 3.4<br />

South West 15.6 4.1<br />

Getting Worse<br />

Hospitality 8.5<br />

Entertainment 7.1<br />

Wholesale <strong>and</strong> retail trade 7<br />

Education 6.4<br />

Other service 6.4<br />

Real Estate 6.1<br />

Professional <strong>and</strong> Scientific 5.4<br />

Construction 4.9<br />

IT <strong>and</strong> Comms 4.2<br />

Business Admin & Support 3.9<br />

Business from Home 2.9<br />

Manufacturing 2.8<br />

Health & Social 2.3<br />

Energy Supply 1.8<br />

Agriculture, Forestry <strong>and</strong> Fishing 1.6<br />

Public Administration 1.4<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Sector May 20 Change from April 20<br />

International Bodies 29.3 -12.8<br />

Entertainment 22.2 7.1<br />

Hospitality 20.4 8.5<br />

Professional <strong>and</strong> Scientific 19.7 5.4<br />

Business Admin & Support 19.6 3.9<br />

Region<br />

Getting Better – Getting Worse<br />

-2.9<br />

5.8<br />

5.8<br />

4.1<br />

4.1<br />

3.5<br />

3.4<br />

3.4<br />

0.7<br />

0.7<br />

0.1<br />

Northern Irel<strong>and</strong><br />

South East<br />

West Midl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

South West<br />

Wales<br />

Yorkshire <strong>and</strong> Humberside<br />

East Anglia<br />

Scotl<strong>and</strong><br />

East Midl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

North West<br />

London<br />



-2.9 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

WEST<br />

4.1 DBT<br />

WALES<br />

4.1 DBT<br />


3.4 DBT<br />

NORTH<br />

WEST<br />

0.7 DBT<br />

WEST<br />


5.8 DBT<br />



3.5 DBT<br />

EAST<br />


0.7 DBT<br />

LONDON<br />

0.1 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

EAST<br />

5.8 DBT<br />

EAST<br />

ANGLIA<br />

3.4 DBT<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 45



Your CICM lapel badge<br />

demonstrates your commitment to<br />

professionalism <strong>and</strong> best practice<br />



If you haven’t received your badge<br />

contact: cicmmembership@cicm.com<br />


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

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


• Consider Government support mechanisms <strong>and</strong> loan schemes for you<br />

<strong>and</strong> your customers.<br />

• Plan recovery action in line with legal moratoriums <strong>and</strong> suspended<br />

enforcement actions.<br />

• Adjust approach in line with Financial Conduct Authority guidance for<br />

consumer support.<br />


• Review any breaks or weak links in your supply chain <strong>and</strong> address them<br />

directly.<br />

• Revisit contracts with stakeholders, negotiate temporary new terms to<br />

assist.<br />

• Set contingencies for impacted suppliers, including switch of supply.<br />

• Categorise customer portfolio in line with risk <strong>and</strong> review regularly.<br />

£<br />


• Develop dynamic ledger management which is responsive to<br />

immediate change.<br />

• Re-write existing collections strategies to fit the current environment.<br />

• Revisit customers with agreed payment holidays <strong>and</strong> reduced instalments.<br />

• Maximise smaller ledger opportunity to concentrate on older, hard to collect,<br />

debt.<br />

• Revisit <strong>and</strong> recalculate collection targets with inclusion of impact factors.<br />


• Review <strong>Credit</strong> Policy <strong>and</strong> risk strategy of your organisation in the current<br />

context.<br />

• Work with Senior <strong>Management</strong> to shape a future exit strategy.<br />

• Review operational processes in line with continued WFH <strong>and</strong> risk<br />

situations.<br />

• Retain more frequent targets <strong>and</strong> reviews in a supportive environment.<br />

• Re-write contingency <strong>and</strong> continuity plans that didn’t work in the crisis.<br />

PEOPLE<br />

• Plan staggered staff reintegration <strong>and</strong> support mechanisms to assist<br />

the transition.<br />

• Prepare working conditions in <strong>and</strong> beyond the office under continued<br />

constraints.<br />

• Consider opportunities for more agile working arrangements on a<br />

longer-term basis.<br />


<br />

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

advice.<br />

Join the CICM Managing <strong>Credit</strong> through the Recovery Forum<br />

on LinkedIn.<br />

Visit our Managing <strong>Credit</strong> through the Recovery<br />

webpage for more resources.<br />

We are developing more resources, please keep in touch with us <strong>and</strong> join our community.<br />

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

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 46



A talk at a Ladies Club proved an eye<br />

opener for our correspondent.<br />

AUTHOR – Derek Scott FCICM<br />

IN a previous article I mentioned my<br />

first job in credit management as an<br />

Assistant Arrears Supervisor. Two<br />

recent unrelated events took me back<br />

to that time. The first was a telephone<br />

conversation with a speaker’s secretary<br />

of a Ladies group for a booking of my talk on<br />

credit <strong>and</strong> debt entitled ‘Never Pay Later’. The<br />

second was a film from 1960 called ‘Light up<br />

the Sky’.<br />

‘Light up the sky’ tells the story of a searchlight<br />

battery during the Second World War. It<br />

starred Ian Carmichael, who some of the older<br />

generations in the CICM may recall, as well<br />

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

including the comedian Benny Hill.<br />

By the time the film was released, I had<br />

become the Arrears Supervisor after the sudden<br />

departure of my boss. I was now in sole charge of<br />

a team of 12. It was a soft start to be a number one<br />

in credit management as despite being of many<br />

different ages, the team all got on really well, <strong>and</strong><br />

probably knew more about the requirements of<br />

the job than I did at that stage.<br />


Another star of the film was the rock <strong>and</strong> roll<br />

pop idol, Tommy Steele. Some of my team were<br />

fans <strong>and</strong> asked me to write to the studio to see if<br />

we could visit the set to meet him <strong>and</strong> the other<br />

cast members. The film was being made at the<br />

famous TV studios in Twickenham, only a few<br />

minutes away. The Public Relations Manager<br />

apparently thought it was a good idea to generate<br />

some good publicity.<br />

A few days later I received a call from the PR<br />

Manager who explained that due to the shooting<br />

schedule a visit was not possible, but she would<br />

send autographed pictures etc. She then asked<br />

me what my job was, <strong>and</strong> when I told her there<br />

was a moment of silence, <strong>and</strong> then in a tone I<br />

would soon learn that went with the public<br />

image of debt collectors, she said: ‘So you’re one<br />

of those people!’. Over the years I have constantly<br />

come across this view of our profession <strong>and</strong> I can<br />

think of many other examples. One in particular<br />

that sticks in my mind, was when I had to provide<br />

my details to someone at the local council. When<br />

we reached the area of occupation I said, ‘credit<br />

manager’, to which she responded with ‘that’s<br />

not a very nice job, I bet you’re not very popular!’.<br />

So, back to my conversation a few weeks<br />

ago with the Speaker’s Secretary. She had been<br />

told by the President to book me but was not<br />

happy to comply. She was under the impression<br />

that I would be talking about debt <strong>and</strong> didn’t<br />

underst<strong>and</strong> the difference between debt <strong>and</strong><br />

credit management. I shared the title of my<br />

talk – Never Pay Later – but I could tell she was<br />

still not convinced. After a further discussion<br />

she decided that in order to encourage more<br />

members to attend I would need to change the<br />

title to ‘Would you <strong>Credit</strong> it?’.<br />


My point is that even after more than 60 years, it<br />

appears the public view of our profession is still<br />

extremely negative, like we are the type of people<br />

who throw old ladies out in the snow if they owe<br />

money. Regretfully there are those who seem<br />

to enjoy this reputation as they see themselves<br />

as a cross between Atilla the Hun <strong>and</strong> Vlad the<br />

Impaler.<br />

I had hoped before I shuffled off this mortal<br />

coil, we would be recognised for the key role we<br />

play not just in business, but also in maintaining<br />

the economy of the UK <strong>and</strong> every person’s life!<br />

Even as I write this, in one tabloid there is a<br />

piece about debt collectors chasing people who<br />

do not owe any money or are even in credit. It is<br />

in part headed ‘Receive Debt Threats!’.<br />

We have been compared to ‘wheel clampers’.<br />

There was the fiasco of the TV license fee where<br />

people without televisions were harassed every<br />

month for up to a year with collection letters<br />

which must have been designed by someone<br />

from the Dark Ages. There are still so many<br />

amateurs working in our profession; look at the<br />

debt burdens of even major companies who have<br />

failed or are in serious financial difficulties,<br />

<strong>and</strong> perhaps we only have ourselves to blame!<br />

The television lends a h<strong>and</strong> with its undercover<br />

investigations into debt collectors where the<br />

training of the staff has to be seen to be believed.<br />

The institute has, to its credit, raised our<br />

profile so the importance of our profession is<br />

accepted by the government <strong>and</strong> most major<br />

players in the world of business. However, we<br />

cannot expect to reach the same position with<br />

the general public. We can only do that if we<br />

formulate a mission statement to fight what<br />

appears to be a campaign by the media, led by<br />

the tabloid press, to only highlight negative news<br />

about us.<br />

To finish on the right note I did my talk at the<br />

Ladies’ club <strong>and</strong> received one of the best notes of<br />

thanks I have ever had. The president told me at<br />

lunch she had never known her group to enjoy a<br />

talk more on such an unusual subject <strong>and</strong> found<br />

it interesting <strong>and</strong> humorous. Even the Speaker’s<br />

secretary it appears was won over; she asked if I<br />

was available for any other talks!<br />

Derek Scott FCICM is a freelance writer.<br />

‘Light up the sky’<br />

tells the story of a<br />

searchlight battery<br />

during the Second<br />

World War. It starred<br />

Ian Carmichael, who<br />

some of the older<br />

generations in the<br />

CICM may recall, as<br />

well as a host of other<br />

film actors of the<br />

1950/60s, including the<br />

comedian Benny Hill.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 47


Mentor Moment<br />

How the CICM Mentor Hub helped me to grow<br />

as a credit professional.<br />

AUTHOR – Rebecca Price-Palmer MCICM<br />

AROUND 12 months ago<br />

I decided I needed to<br />

develop my leadership<br />

<strong>and</strong> management<br />

skills further, <strong>and</strong> as a<br />

relatively new manager,<br />

I wanted to offer better direction,<br />

improve team engagement, <strong>and</strong><br />

implement tools for me <strong>and</strong> my team to<br />

track our progress.<br />

I came across the Mentor Hub while<br />

browsing the CICM website <strong>and</strong> thought<br />

it looked interesting. I requested the<br />

help of Chris S<strong>and</strong>ers <strong>and</strong> he kindly<br />

agreed to help me.<br />

Since engaging with the programme,<br />

the amount of support I have received<br />

has been phenomenal. I have learned<br />

<strong>and</strong> achieved so much while following<br />

by mentor’s advice; <strong>and</strong> putting it all<br />

into practice has paid dividends to my<br />

team’s performance. Enhanced team<br />

focus, improved results, SMART KPI’s,<br />

<strong>and</strong> clear common goals are just a few<br />

benefits I have seen since implementing<br />

the tools suggested. I have also seen<br />

improved wider network engagement;<br />

the relationship between credit <strong>and</strong> sales<br />

has strengthened significantly, which in<br />

my opinion is one of the most important<br />

relationships in any organisation.<br />


I have grown so much over the course of<br />

the programme, <strong>and</strong> the improvements<br />

in my team’s performance did not go<br />

unnoticed by senior management,<br />

who in May <strong>2020</strong> promoted me from<br />

Assistant <strong>Credit</strong> Manager to Finance<br />

Shared Services Centre <strong>Credit</strong> Team<br />

Manager!<br />

The amount I have learnt from<br />

my mentor <strong>and</strong> the people within his<br />

network by sharing ideas has been a<br />

real eye opener. I have worked for the<br />

same organisation most of my working<br />

life, <strong>and</strong> my entire credit management<br />

career, so the benefits of the mentor<br />

programme <strong>and</strong> other tools offered by<br />

the CICM have really assisted me to get<br />

to where I am today. I have met both new<br />

<strong>and</strong> experienced credit professionals<br />

along the way who have collectively<br />

helped each other by sharing<br />

success stories <strong>and</strong> ideas. The regular<br />

CICM <strong>and</strong> CICMQ calls have played a<br />

particularly important role in keeping<br />

people connected through the current<br />

challenging times, all of which I would<br />

not have been involved in if it had<br />

not been for the mentor programme.<br />

I would highly recommend this<br />

programme to any credit professional<br />

whether they are just starting out in<br />

their credit career or looking to progress<br />

further. The mentors participating are<br />

relevant <strong>and</strong> highly knowledgeable in<br />

both credit <strong>and</strong> people management.<br />

My aim when I started was to improve<br />

my skills in leadership, but I could not<br />

have imagined the benefits this has<br />

created for my team <strong>and</strong> the growth I<br />

have seen in myself. It just goes to show<br />

that with the help <strong>and</strong> support of the<br />

right people, you can achieve your goals,<br />

<strong>and</strong> in some cases much, much more.<br />

Rebecca Price-Palmer MCICM.<br />

CICM members can connect with a mentor or volunteer to mentor<br />

another member by visiting our website, log in to the Member’s Area<br />

or visit www.cicm.com/mentor-hub.<br />

I have worked for the same organisation<br />

most of my working life, <strong>and</strong> my entire credit<br />

management career, so the benefits of the<br />

Mentor programme <strong>and</strong> other tools offered<br />

by the CICM have really assisted me to get to<br />

where I am today.<br />

Rebecca Price-Palmer MCICM<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 48


Making Memories<br />

How do you make your presentation memorable?<br />

AUTHOR – Clive Hawkins<br />

THE goal of any public speaking<br />

event is to inform, engage<br />

<strong>and</strong> entertain your audience<br />

- but this shouldn’t be at the<br />

expense of making your<br />

presentation memorable.<br />

Ultimately, you want your audience to<br />

underst<strong>and</strong> key points of your delivery<br />

<strong>and</strong> be able to recite them to colleagues in<br />

team meetings or in the workplace over the<br />

following days <strong>and</strong> weeks. The challenge is<br />

how to do this?<br />

Previously I have provided insights on<br />

how to create powerful presentations by<br />

using effective content, slides <strong>and</strong> visual<br />

aids. I have also covered off how to use<br />

powerful openings <strong>and</strong> body language to<br />

engage positively with audiences from the<br />

start. We now need to consider how to use<br />

these elements alongside other techniques<br />

<strong>and</strong> make your presentation a positive<br />

experience on the day <strong>and</strong>, importantly, help<br />

your audience remember your key messages<br />

afterwards. So here are some simple tips:<br />

Rule of Three – you need to decide on<br />

your key messages <strong>and</strong> use these wherever<br />

possible. Since the times of Greek<br />

philosopher, Aristotle, the ‘rule of three’<br />

has been widely recognised as the optimum<br />

amount of information that an audience<br />

is likely to remember – four or five key<br />

messages are acceptable but can become<br />

more of a retention challenge. To help with<br />

this, if a journalist wanted to cover your<br />

presentation but could only write three<br />

things about your delivery, what would you<br />

want them to be?<br />

Simple, Memorable <strong>and</strong> Real – once you<br />

have started your delivery with a powerful<br />

opening to capture attention from the start,<br />

your narrative needs to take your audience<br />

on a journey using the key messages as<br />

bedrock points of your presentation. Each<br />

key message needs to be simple, memorable,<br />

real <strong>and</strong> supported with supplementary<br />

information – anecdotes, facts, figures<br />

<strong>and</strong> research data – to make them easy to<br />

remember.<br />

Signposting – repeat your key messages<br />

throughout the presentation to help keep<br />

the audience on track with what you are<br />

saying. You can show agenda slides for this<br />

or simply refer to them in your delivery.<br />

The latter allows you to keep slides to a<br />

minimum <strong>and</strong> use your body language –<br />

such as a change in voice tone – to reiterate<br />

each key point <strong>and</strong> its alignment with your<br />

overall narrative. This is also a useful way<br />

of refreshing an audience’s attention <strong>and</strong><br />

drawing them away from distractions such<br />

as mobile phones!<br />


An essential part of your delivery is the<br />

Q&A session. I prefer this to be facilitated<br />

at the end, to avoid overrunning my allotted<br />

time slot or allowing an audience member<br />

to interject on a point that I am planning<br />

to cover off. Some presenters do not relish<br />

Q&A’s, but this session is a valued part of<br />

your presentation as it provides you with<br />

an extra period of time to cover off any<br />

questions <strong>and</strong>, where appropriate, gives<br />

you an opportunity to repeat key messages<br />

in your answer. This is called a bridging<br />

technique <strong>and</strong> increases the likelihood of<br />

an audience remembering the key points of<br />

your delivery – which is your goal!<br />


As we move out of the COVID-19 crisis, all<br />

organisations will need to re-engage with<br />

their employees, customers, suppliers <strong>and</strong><br />

other key audiences. The ability to deliver<br />

a powerful presentation, either face-toface<br />

or online, will be a key part of every<br />

business leader’s communications toolkit<br />

<strong>and</strong> fundamental to future business success.<br />

However, you need to nurture this discipline.<br />

This is best summed up by American writer<br />

<strong>and</strong> philosopher, Benjamin Franklin: ‘Tell<br />

me <strong>and</strong> I forget. Teach me <strong>and</strong> I remember.<br />

Involve me <strong>and</strong> I learn.’<br />

Clive Hawkins is Senior Associate at<br />

Spoken Word Communications<br />

clive@spokenwordgroup.co.uk<br />

Clive Hawkins<br />

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

part of your presentation as it provides you with an extra period of<br />

time to cover off any questions <strong>and</strong>, where appropriate, gives you<br />

an opportunity to repeat key messages in your answer.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 49


Do you know someone who would benefit from CICM membership? Or have<br />

you considered applying to upgrade your membership? See our website<br />

www.cicm.com/membership-types for more details, or call us on 01780 722903<br />

Member<br />

Paul Carrington MCICM Josephat Chihoro MCICM Derek Pickard MCICM<br />

Associate<br />

Emma Fryer ACICM<br />

Maneesha Muralidharan ACICM<br />

Studying Member<br />

Temitope Abdulai<br />

Laura Ashworth<br />

Mohammed Asif<br />

Joanna Baker<br />

Christian Ball<br />

Jane Brown<br />

Christian Buckmaster<br />

Marta Campo Najera<br />

Amy Carter<br />

Peter Chapman<br />

Taylor Cook<br />

Charley Cooke<br />

Catherine Cooper<br />

Christopher Deacon<br />

Jessica Dew<br />

Benjamin Edwards<br />

Ronda Fougere<br />

Arthur Gonzalez Larangeira<br />

Zoe Graham<br />

Adam Heighway<br />

Steven Holbrook<br />

Julie Jackson<br />

Livia Krishna<br />

Sean Lawson<br />

Tracy Lee<br />

Gemma Linsell<br />

Lauren Michael<br />

Dean Mills<br />

Lydia Morris<br />

Natsuko Murakami<br />

Lorren Noons<br />

Anthony Peel<br />

Deian Pouriakov<br />

Angela Pratt<br />

Cherylyn Rayner<br />

Leo Rossiter<br />

Samantha Scholz<br />

Joanne Summers<br />

Esra Tercan<br />

Andrew Tomkins<br />

Benjamin Vince<br />

Kate Warner<br />

Stephanie Webb<br />

Anne-Marie Wilkinson<br />

Affiliate<br />

Murdoch Archie<br />

Carly Barrington<br />

Kami Bassi<br />

David Dishon<br />

Eryk Gil<br />

Yvette Gray<br />

Daniel Holl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

Martin Holmes<br />

Martyn Houldsworth<br />

Saiful Islam<br />

Eunice Karau<br />

Moragh Leask<br />

Jakub Olechowski<br />

Giuseppe Parla<br />

Saurabh Sharma<br />

Sam Shepherd<br />

Iwona Sroka<br />


Get in touch with the CICM by emailing branches@cicm.com<br />

with your branch news <strong>and</strong> event reports. Please only send up to 400 words<br />

<strong>and</strong> any images need to be high resolution to be printable, so 1MB plus.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 50


Vicarious Living<br />

Indiscreet remarks, holiday entitlements <strong>and</strong><br />

the concept of ‘vicarious liability’.<br />

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards<br />

BE careful what is said<br />

– even hypothetically.<br />

In NH v Associazione<br />

Avvocatura per i diritti<br />

LGBTI, the Court of Justice<br />

of the European Union<br />

(CJEU) considered whether homophobic<br />

remarks made by a senior Italian lawyer<br />

(NH) suggesting that he would not like<br />

to work with or recruit homosexual<br />

people in his law firm could amount to<br />

unlawful discrimination. Having heard<br />

the comments, an association of lawyers<br />

which defends the LGBTI community<br />

successfully brought court proceedings<br />

against NH, alleging discrimination<br />

because of sexual orientation <strong>and</strong><br />

claiming damages.<br />

NH appealed the finding to the<br />

Italian Supreme Court, which referred<br />

the case to the CJEU. It noted that the<br />

EU Equal Treatment Directive prohibits<br />

discrimination in relation to the<br />

conditions for access to employment,<br />

including recruitment conditions. The<br />

CJEU held that ‘conditions for access to<br />

employment’ covers statements made<br />

during programmes – even when there is<br />

no recruitment process open or planned,<br />

provided there is a non-hypothetical<br />

link between the statements <strong>and</strong> the<br />

employer’s recruitment policy.<br />

The CJEU held that it was for the<br />

Italian Supreme Court to assess the<br />

link between NH's statements <strong>and</strong> his<br />

law firm’s recruitment policy but that a<br />

number of factors would need to be taken<br />

into account – the status of the person<br />

making the statements; the capacity<br />

in which the statements were made<br />

(influence over recruitment policy); <strong>and</strong><br />

the nature of the statements.<br />

Liability for the acts of independent contractors<br />

IN recent years the concept of ‘vicarious<br />

liability’ – liability for the negligent acts<br />

of another – has seen employers being<br />

held liable for the actions of those in<br />

positions ‘akin to employment’ as well as<br />

those who are directly employed.<br />

However, Barclays Bank v Various<br />

Claimants, offered a different view.<br />

Here, the Supreme Court was asked<br />

to determine whether a self-employed<br />

third-party contractor could be in a<br />

position ‘akin to employment’ making<br />

the employer liable for their actions.<br />

As part of its recruitment processes,<br />

between 1968 <strong>and</strong> 1984, Barclays engaged<br />

a medical practitioner to carry out<br />

medical examinations on prospective<br />

employees. The bank scheduled the<br />

appointments <strong>and</strong> told the applicants<br />

who attended unaccompanied.<br />

Examinations were carried out in<br />

the doctor’s home <strong>and</strong> he was paid a fee<br />

to prepare a report on each applicant.<br />

There was no retainer <strong>and</strong> the doctor<br />

THE law around calculating holiday pay<br />

for workers, without fixed hours or fixed<br />

rates of pay changed on 6 April <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

In essence, the holiday pay reference<br />

period has increased from 12 to 52 weeks.<br />

Employers must now use 52 weeks' worth<br />

of pay data to calculate holiday pay for<br />

workers without fixed hours or pay. A<br />

week where the worker receives no pay<br />

cannot be counted towards the 52 weeks<br />

of data to be used. Such weeks should<br />

be discounted <strong>and</strong> instead an earlier<br />

week should be counted. Employers can<br />

use up to 104 weeks of data as reference<br />

periods in gathering the 52 weeks of data.<br />

Where 52 weeks' worth of pay data is<br />

not available, the employer should use<br />

as many weeks of pay data as they have<br />

within the preceding 104 weeks.<br />

A week starts on a Sunday <strong>and</strong> ends on<br />

a Saturday. If a worker takes annual leave<br />

before they have worked a full week,<br />

was not under any obligation to accept<br />

bookings from the bank. The doctor had<br />

other clients <strong>and</strong> patients.<br />

Sometime after the doctor had died,<br />

a group action was brought against the<br />

bank on the basis that it was vicariously<br />

liable for sexual assaults allegedly<br />

carried out by the doctor during the<br />

medical examinations. In 2017, a judge<br />

ruled that the bank was vicariously liable<br />

for any proven assaults. On the basis that<br />

the doctor’s wrongdoing occurred as a<br />

result of activity undertaken by him on<br />

behalf of the bank, under its control <strong>and</strong><br />

for its benefit, <strong>and</strong> as an integral part of<br />

its business activity, the judge concluded<br />

that the relationship between the parties<br />

was sufficiently akin to employment.<br />

The Court of Appeal agreed, but the<br />

case moved to the Supreme Court which<br />

overturned the decision. It held that<br />

the self-employed medical practitioner<br />

in this case was in business on his own<br />

account.<br />

Holiday pay for employees without fixed hours<br />

the employer should pay the worker an<br />

amount which fairly represents their pay<br />

for the length of time they are on leave.<br />

Paid overtime (contractual or<br />

voluntary but sufficiently regular)<br />

worked during the reference period must<br />

also be included in the calculation.<br />

Gareth Edwards is a partner in the<br />

employment team at<br />

VWV. gedwards@vwv.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 51




Watford, up to £52,000 + excellent benefits + bonus<br />

Due to rapid year-on-year growth, this company has created<br />

an opportunity for an insolvency specialist to join its team.<br />

This company is a highly successful international business with<br />

a dynamic <strong>and</strong> inclusive culture. This niche role is perfect for an<br />

insolvency expert with experience in B2B customers <strong>and</strong> team<br />

management. You will be offered a generous package, private<br />

medical, <strong>and</strong> pension <strong>and</strong> flexi-working. Ref: 3815283<br />

Contact Charlotte Clarke on 01923 205286<br />

or email charlotte.clarke@hays.com<br />


Chessington, £30,000 + benefits<br />

A leading IT distributor is seeking a credit controller as it<br />

experiences a period of substantial growth. Your new role<br />

will begin remotely <strong>and</strong> eventually be based at the new offices.<br />

Your responsibilities will include timely cash collection from a<br />

number of key accounts within the retail <strong>and</strong> IT sector. You will<br />

also be responsible for reporting on aged debt <strong>and</strong> implementing<br />

processes to ensure compliance. Ref: 3814521<br />

Contact Mark Ordoña on 020 3984 6560<br />

or email mark.ordona@hays.com<br />


London, up to £36,000<br />

An excellent opportunity has arisen at a leading London law<br />

firm for a highly motivated revenue controller to join its growing<br />

team. This role covers revenue <strong>and</strong> billing as well as weekly<br />

meetings with partners. You will have legal experience as well<br />

as excellent communication skills. Aderant System is highly<br />

desirable but not essential.<br />

Ref: 3817320<br />

Contact James Hanwell on 07918 185129<br />

or email james.hanwell@hays.com<br />


Colchester, c.£28,000 per annum<br />

A construction-related business has re-opened <strong>and</strong> urgently<br />

requires an experienced credit controller for a three month role.<br />

It has set up social distancing in its office to ensure your safety.<br />

You will be responsible for contacting customers to collect<br />

outst<strong>and</strong>ing debt by effective telephone chasing to ensure<br />

payments are made <strong>and</strong> recorded accurately. This will involve<br />

daily debtor analysis, resolving any invoice queries <strong>and</strong> agree<br />

repayment plans if needed. Ref: 3818299<br />

Contact Andy Jarman on 01206 766621<br />

or email <strong>and</strong>y.jarman@hays.com<br />

hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 52



Your resource hub for reaching<br />

your career goals<br />

Read our latest guides <strong>and</strong> articles<br />

Tips to help you prepare successfully<br />

To find out more visit our Embrace the New Era Hub<br />

hays.co.uk/embrace-the-new-era<br />


Leatherhead, £24,000 + bonus + benefits<br />

A credit controller is required to join a leading IT, software<br />

<strong>and</strong> security business on a one-year fixed term contract, covering<br />

maternity leave. Working in a team environment, you will ensure<br />

that aged debt levels are kept to a minimum through effective<br />

cash collection <strong>and</strong> query resolution. You will have a proven track<br />

record of reducing aged debt in a fast paced, business to business<br />

collections environment. Ref: 3817612<br />

Contact Natascha Whitehead on 07770 786433<br />

or email natascha.whitehead@hays.com<br />


Glasgow, up to £21,000<br />

An organisation in Glasgow is looking for a sales ledger clerk to<br />

join its team on a permanent basis. Reporting into the Head of<br />

Finance, you will be responsible for duties including raising invoices<br />

for products, posting direct debits <strong>and</strong> cash payments, bank<br />

reconciliations, raising applications to clients. To be successful,<br />

you will be confident <strong>and</strong> have a proven track record with finance,<br />

experience with Excel <strong>and</strong> a high attention to detail. Ref: 3814771<br />

Contact Lauren Hamilton on 0141 212 3665<br />

or email lauren.hamilton@hays.com<br />

This is just a small selection of the many opportunities we<br />

have available for credit professionals. To find out more visit<br />

us online or contact Kabir Gulabkhan, Hays <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

UK Lead on 020 3465 0020<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 53

WHAT'S ON<br />

We are asking all members to invite a colleague to a CICM membership event,<br />

free of charge. Book online on our website www.cicm.com/cicm-events<br />


We are not able to bring our usual guide<br />

to the CICM <strong>and</strong> Industry events, as the<br />

calendar <strong>and</strong> what is on is changing daily.<br />

Many of our events are now available<br />

online, along with a new series of live <strong>and</strong><br />

recorded webinars for the credit profession.<br />

Check our website for updates <strong>and</strong><br />

instructions on how to register.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 54

More reasons to be a member<br />

Make connections <strong>and</strong> keep up-to-date<br />

with our exclusive events.<br />

Studying at a<br />

distance<br />

with CICM<br />

From interactive virtual classrooms to supporting texts,<br />

from mentor advice to peer support, we’ve got it all.<br />

Contact CICM for more information on any of these services,<br />

or check them out at cicm.com<br />

Giving you the tools to continue<br />

working through this crisis.<br />

CICM Virtual<br />

Classes <strong>2020</strong><br />



NEW CICM<br />



COMING<br />

SOON!<br />

For more information contact:<br />

info@cicm.com or 01780 722900<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 55

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CICM Directory of Services<br />




Controlaccount Plc<br />

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,<br />

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD<br />

T: 01527 549 522<br />

E: sales@controlaccount.com<br />

W: www.controlaccount.com<br />

Controlaccount Plc provides an efficient, effective <strong>and</strong> ethical<br />

commercial debt recovery service focused on improving business<br />

cash flow whilst preserving customer relationships <strong>and</strong> established<br />

reputations. Working with leading br<strong>and</strong> names in the UK <strong>and</strong><br />

internationally, we deliver a bespoke service to our clients. We offer<br />

a no collect, no fee service without any contractual ties in. Where<br />

applicable, we can utilise the Late Payment of Commercial Debts<br />

Act (2013) to help you redress the cost of collection. Our clients<br />

also benefit from our in-house international trace <strong>and</strong> legal counsel<br />

departments <strong>and</strong> have complete transparency <strong>and</strong> up to the minute<br />

information on any accounts placed with us for recovery through our<br />

online debt management system, ClientWeb.<br />


Baker Ing International Limited<br />

Office 7, 35-37 Ludgate Hill, London. EC4M 7JN<br />

Contact: Lisa Baker-Reynolds<br />

Email: lisa@bakering.global<br />

Website: https://www.bakering.global/contact/<br />

Tel: 07717 020659<br />

Baker Ing International is a dedicated team of <strong>Credit</strong> industry<br />

experience that, combined, covers time served in most industries.<br />

The team is wholly comprised of working <strong>Credit</strong> Manager’s across<br />

the Globe with a minimum threshold of ten years working experience<br />

within <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>. The team offers a comprehensive<br />

service to clients - International Debt Recovery, <strong>Credit</strong> Control, Legal<br />

Services & more<br />

Our mission is to help companies improve the cost <strong>and</strong> efficiency<br />

of their <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> processes in order to limit the risks<br />

associated with extending credit <strong>and</strong> trading around the globe.<br />

How can we help you - call Lisa Baker Reynolds on<br />

+44(0)7717 020659 or email lisa@bakering.global<br />


Lovetts Solicitors<br />

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway,<br />

Old Portsmouth Road,<br />

Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR<br />

T: 01483 347001<br />

E: info@lovetts.co.uk<br />

W: www.lovetts.co.uk<br />

With more than 25yrs experience in UK & international business debt<br />

collection <strong>and</strong> recovery, Lovetts Solicitors collects £40m+ every year<br />

on behalf of our clients. Services include:<br />

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

of cases)<br />

• Advice <strong>and</strong> dispute resolution<br />

• Legal proceedings <strong>and</strong> enforcement<br />

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

CaseManager<br />

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

“All our service expectations have been exceeded. The online<br />

system is particularly useful <strong>and</strong> extremely easy to use. Lovetts has a<br />

recognisable br<strong>and</strong> that generates successful results.”<br />

Atradius Collections Ltd<br />

3 Harbour Drive,<br />

Capital Waterside, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ<br />

Phone: +44 (0)29 20824397<br />

Mobile: +44 (0)7767 865821<br />

E-mail:yvette.gray@atradius.com<br />

Website: atradiuscollections.com<br />

Atradius Collections Ltd is an established specialist in business<br />

to business collections. As the collections division of the Atradius<br />

Crédito y Caución, we have a strong position sharing history,<br />

knowledge <strong>and</strong> reputation.<br />

Annually h<strong>and</strong>ling more than 110,000 cases <strong>and</strong> recovering over<br />

a billion EUROs in collections at any one time, we deliver when<br />

it comes to collecting outst<strong>and</strong>ing debts. With over 90 years’<br />

experience, we have an in-depth underst<strong>and</strong>ing of the importance of<br />

maintaining customer relationships whilst efficiently <strong>and</strong> effectively<br />

collecting monies owed.<br />

The individual nature of our clients’ customer relationships is<br />

reflected in the customer focus we provide, structuring our service<br />

to meet your specific needs. We work closely with clients to provide<br />

them with a collection strategy that echoes their business character,<br />

trading patterns <strong>and</strong> budget.<br />

For further information contact Yvette Gray Country Director, UK<br />

<strong>and</strong> Irel<strong>and</strong>.<br />

Premium Collections Limited<br />

3 Caidan House, Canal Road<br />

Timperley, Cheshire. WA14 1TD<br />

T: +44 (0)161 962 4695<br />

E: paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

W: www.premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

For all your credit management requirements Premium Collections<br />

has the solution to suit you. Operating on a national <strong>and</strong> international<br />

basis we can tailor a package of products <strong>and</strong> services to meet your<br />

requirements.<br />

Services include B2B collections, B2C collections, international<br />

collections, absconder tracing, asset repossessions, status reporting<br />

<strong>and</strong> litigation support.<br />

Managed from our offices in Manchester, Harrogate <strong>and</strong> Dublin our<br />

network of 55 partners cover the World.<br />

Contact Paul Daine FCICM on +44 (0)161 962 4695 or<br />

paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

www.premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

Blaser Mills Law<br />

40 Oxford Road,<br />

High Wycombe,<br />

Buckinghamshire. HP11 2EE<br />

T: 01494 478660<br />

E: Jackie Ray jar@blasermills.co.uk<br />

W: www.blasermills.co.uk<br />

A full-service firm, Blaser Mills Law’s experienced Commercial<br />

Recoveries team offer pre-legal collections, debt recovery,<br />

litigation, dispute resolution <strong>and</strong> insolvency. The team includes<br />

CICM qualified staff, recommended in both Legal 500 <strong>and</strong><br />

Chambers & Partners legal directories.<br />

Offices in High Wycombe, Amersham, Rickmansworth, London<br />

<strong>and</strong> Silverstone<br />

Keebles<br />

Capitol House, Russell Street, Leeds LS1 5SP<br />

T: 0113 399 3482<br />

E: charise.marsden@keebles.com<br />

W: www.keebles.com<br />

Keebles debt recovery team was named “Legal Team of the Year”<br />

at the 2019 CICM British <strong>Credit</strong> Awards.<br />

According to our clients “Keebles st<strong>and</strong> head <strong>and</strong> shoulders above<br />

others in the industry. A team that underst<strong>and</strong>s their client’s<br />

business <strong>and</strong> know exactly how to speedily maximise recovery.<br />

Professional, can do attitude runs through the team which is not<br />

seen in many other practices.”<br />

We offer a service with no hidden costs, giving you certainty <strong>and</strong><br />

peace of mind.<br />

• ‘No recovery, no fee’ for pre-legal work.<br />

• Fixed fees for issuing court proceedings <strong>and</strong> pursuing claims to<br />

judgment <strong>and</strong> enforcement.<br />

• Success rate in excess of 80%.<br />

• 24 hour turnaround on instructions.<br />

• Real-time online access to your cases to review progress.<br />


S<strong>and</strong>ers Consulting Associates Ltd<br />

T: +44(0)1525 720226<br />

E: enquiries@chriss<strong>and</strong>ersconsulting.com<br />

W: www.chriss<strong>and</strong>ersconsulting.com<br />

S<strong>and</strong>ers Consulting is an independent niche consulting firm<br />

specialising in leadership <strong>and</strong> performance improvement in all aspects<br />

of the order to cash process. Chris S<strong>and</strong>ers FCICM, the principal, is<br />

well known in the industry with a wealth of experience in operational<br />

credit management, billing, change <strong>and</strong> business process improvement.<br />

A sought after speaker with cross industry international experience in<br />

the business-to-business <strong>and</strong> business-to-consumer markets, his<br />

innovative <strong>and</strong> enthusiastic approach delivers pragmatic people <strong>and</strong><br />

process lead solutions <strong>and</strong> significant working capital improvements to<br />

clients. S<strong>and</strong>ers Consulting are proud to manage CICMQ on behalf of<br />

<strong>and</strong> under the supervision of the CICM.<br />


Court Enforcement Services<br />

Wayne Whitford – Director<br />

M: +44 (0)7834 748 183 T : +44 (0)1992 663 399<br />

E : wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

W: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

High Court Enforcement that will Empower You!<br />

We help law firms <strong>and</strong> in-house debt recovery <strong>and</strong> legal teams to<br />

enforce CCJs by transferring them up to the High Court. Setting us<br />

apart in the industry, our unique <strong>and</strong> Award Winning Field Agent App<br />

helps to provide information in real time <strong>and</strong> transparency, empowering<br />

our clients when they work with us.<br />

• Free Transfer up process of CCJ’s to High Court<br />

• Exceptional Recovery Rates<br />

• Individual Client Attention <strong>and</strong> Tailored Solutions<br />

• Real Time Client Access to Cases<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 56


russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937<br />




CoCredo<br />

Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD<br />

T: 01494 790600<br />

E: customerservice@cocredo.com<br />

W: www.cocredo.co.uk<br />

We provide business information on over 256 million companies across<br />

221 countries. Our information is updated over 500,000 times per<br />

day <strong>and</strong> we have some excellent tracking mechanisms which provide<br />

proactive daily monitoring of changes in the global information on record.<br />

We can offer a wealth of additional services including XML Integration,<br />

D.N.A portfolio management, CoData marketing information, Companies<br />

House documents, Consumer <strong>and</strong> Director Searches. We pride ourselves<br />

in delivering award winning customer service, offering you unrivalled<br />

support <strong>and</strong> analysis to protect your business.<br />

Graydon UK<br />

66 College Road, 2nd Floor, Hygeia Building, Harrow,<br />

Middlesex, HA1 1BE<br />

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400<br />

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk<br />

W: www.graydon.co.uk<br />

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading provider of<br />

business information, analytics, insights <strong>and</strong> solutions. Graydon<br />

helps its customers to make fast, accurate decisions, enabling them<br />

to minimise risk <strong>and</strong> identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities<br />

with their commercial relationships. Graydon uses 130+ international<br />

databases <strong>and</strong> the information of 90+ million companies. Graydon<br />

has offices in London, Cardiff, Amsterdam <strong>and</strong> Antwerp. Since 2016,<br />

Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of the world’s largest credit<br />

insurance companies.<br />

Tinubu Square UK<br />

Holl<strong>and</strong> House, 4 Bury Street,<br />

London EC3A 5AW<br />

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /<br />

E: uksales@tinubu.com<br />

W: www.tinubu.com<br />

Founded in 2000, Tinubu Square is a software vendor, enabler of the<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Insurance, Surety <strong>and</strong> Trade Finance digital transformation.<br />

Tinubu Square enables organizations across the world to significantly<br />

reduce their exposure to risk <strong>and</strong> their financial, operational <strong>and</strong> technical<br />

costs with best-in-class technology solutions <strong>and</strong> services. Tinubu<br />

Square provides SaaS solutions <strong>and</strong> services to different businesses<br />

including credit insurers, receivables financing organizations <strong>and</strong><br />

multinational corporations.<br />

Tinubu Square has built an ecosystem of customers in over 20 countries<br />

worldwide <strong>and</strong> has a global presence with offices in Paris, London, New<br />

York, Montreal <strong>and</strong> Singapore.<br />



SmartSearch<br />

SmartSearch, Harman House,<br />

Station Road,Guiseley, Leeds, LS20 8BX<br />

T: +44 (0)113 238 7660<br />

E: info@smartsearchuk.com W: www.smartsearchuk.com<br />

KYC, AML <strong>and</strong> CDD all rely on a combination of deep data with broad<br />

coverage, highly automated flexible technology with an innovative<br />

<strong>and</strong> intuitive customer interface. Key features include automatic<br />

Worldwide Sanction & PEP checking, Daily Monitoring, Automated<br />

Enhanced Due Diligence <strong>and</strong> pro-active customer management.<br />

Choose SmartSearch as your benchmark.<br />

CEDAR<br />

ROSE<br />

R<br />

Cedar Rose<br />

3, Georgiou Katsonotou Street,3036, Limassol, Cyprus<br />

E: info@cedar-rose.com T: +357 25346630<br />

W: www.cedar-rose.com<br />

Cedar Rose has been globally recognised as the expert for<br />

credit reports, due diligence <strong>and</strong> data for the Middle East<br />

<strong>and</strong> North African countries since 1997. We now cover over<br />

170 countries with the same high quality, expert analysis<br />

<strong>and</strong> attention to detail we are well-known <strong>and</strong> trusted for.<br />

Making best use of artificial intelligence <strong>and</strong> technology, Cedar<br />

Rose has won several awards including <strong>Credit</strong> Excellence<br />

& European Business Awards. Our website is a one-stopshop<br />

for your business intelligence solutions. We are the<br />

ultimate source; with competitive prices <strong>and</strong> friendly customer<br />

service - whether you need one or one thous<strong>and</strong> reports.<br />

Company Watch<br />

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,<br />

LONDON. EC3N 2ER<br />

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300<br />

E: info@companywatch.net<br />

W: www.companywatch.net<br />

Organisations around the world rely on Company Watch’s industryleading<br />

financial analytics to drive their credit risk processes. Our<br />

financial risk modelling <strong>and</strong> ability to map medium to long-term risk as<br />

well as short-term credit risk set us apart from other credit reference<br />

agencies.<br />

Quality <strong>and</strong> rigour run through everything we do, from our unique<br />

method of assessing corporate financial health via our H-Score®, to<br />

developing analytics on our customers’ in-house data.<br />

With the H-Score® predicting almost 90 percent of corporate<br />

insolvencies in advance, it is the risk management tool of choice,<br />

providing actionable intelligence in an uncertain world.<br />



T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66<br />

E: ruurd.bakker@onguard.com<br />

W: www.onguard.com<br />

Onguard is specialist in credit management software <strong>and</strong> market<br />

leader in innovative solutions for order to cash. Our integrated<br />

platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the order<br />

to cash chain <strong>and</strong> allows sharing of critical data.<br />

Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected <strong>and</strong> offer<br />

overview <strong>and</strong> control of the payment process, as well as contribute to<br />

a sustainable customer relationship.<br />

In more than 50 countries the Onguard platform is successfully used<br />

for successful credit management.<br />

Credica Ltd<br />

Building 168, Maxell Avenue, Harwell Oxford, Oxon. OX11 0QT<br />

T: 01235 856400E: info@credica.co.uk W: www.credica.co.uk<br />

Our highly configurable <strong>and</strong> extremely cost effective Collections <strong>and</strong><br />

Query <strong>Management</strong> System has been designed with 3 goals in mind:<br />

• To improve your cashflow • To reduce your cost to collect<br />

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business<br />

Evolving over 15 years <strong>and</strong> driven by the input of 1000s of <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Professionals across the UK <strong>and</strong> Europe, our system is successfully<br />

providing significant <strong>and</strong> measurable benefits for our diverse portfolio<br />

of clients.<br />

We would love to hear from you if you feel you would benefit from our<br />

‘no nonsense’ <strong>and</strong> human approach to computer software.<br />

Data Interconnect Ltd<br />

Units 45-50<br />

Shrivenham Hundred Business Park<br />

Majors Road, Watchfield<br />

Swindon, SN6 8TZ<br />

T: +44 (0)1367 245777<br />

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk<br />

W: www.datainterconnect.com<br />

Data Interconnect provides Intelligent Invoice to Cash Automation.<br />

Corrivo Billing, Collection <strong>and</strong> Dispute modules seamlessly integrate<br />

for a rich, end-to-end A/R user experience. Br<strong>and</strong>ed customer<br />

portals, real-time dashboards, advanced reporting, available in 15<br />

languages as st<strong>and</strong>ard; are some of the reason why global br<strong>and</strong>s<br />

choose Data Interconnect.<br />

HighRadius<br />

T: +44 7399 406889<br />

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com<br />

W: www.highradius.com<br />

HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated Receivables<br />

solutions for automating receivables <strong>and</strong> payment functions such<br />

as credit, collections, cash allocation, deductions <strong>and</strong> eBilling.<br />

The Integrated Receivables suite is delivered as a software-as-aservice<br />

(SaaS). HighRadius also offers SAP-certified Accelerators<br />

for SAP S/4HANA Finance Receivables <strong>Management</strong>, enabling<br />

large enterprises to maximize the value of their SAP investments.<br />

HighRadius Integrated Receivables solutions have a proven track<br />

record of reducing days sales outst<strong>and</strong>ing (DSO), bad-debt <strong>and</strong><br />

increasing operation efficiency, enabling companies to achieve an<br />

ROI in less than a year.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 57 continues on page 58 >

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CICM Directory of Services<br />



russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937<br />




ESKER<br />

Sam Townsend Head of Marketing<br />

Northern Europe Esker Ltd.<br />

T: +44 (0)1332 548176 M: +44 (0)791 2772 302<br />

W: www.esker.co.uk LinkedIn: Esker – Northern Europe<br />

Twitter: @EskerNEurope Esker.blog<br />

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes the all-toocommon<br />

obstacles preventing today’s businesses from collecting<br />

receivables in a timely manner. From invoice delivery to cash<br />

application, Esker automates each step. Esker's automated AR<br />

system powered by TermSync helps companies modernise without<br />

replacing their core billing <strong>and</strong> collections processes. By simply<br />

automating what should be automated, customers get the post-sale<br />

experience they deserve <strong>and</strong> your team gets the tools they need.<br />

C2FO<br />

C2FO Ltd<br />

105 Victoria Steet<br />

SW1E 6QT<br />

T: 07799 692193<br />

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com<br />

W: www.c2fo.com<br />

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow <strong>and</strong> payables into income,<br />

uniquely connecting buyers <strong>and</strong> suppliers to allow discounts in<br />

exchange for early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers access<br />

additional liquidity sources by accelerating payments from buyers<br />

when required in just two clicks, at a rate that works for them.<br />

Buyers, often corporates with global supply chains, benefit from the<br />

C2FO solution by improving gross margin while strengthening the<br />

financial health of supply chains through ethical business practices.<br />

Menzies<br />

T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff<br />

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services<br />

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is an accountancy<br />

firm delivering traditional services combined with strategic<br />

commercial thinking. Our services include: advisory, audit,<br />

corporate <strong>and</strong> personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,<br />

outsourcing, wealth management <strong>and</strong> business recovery –<br />

the latter of which includes our specialist offering developed<br />

specifically for creditors. For more information on this, or to see<br />

how the Menzies <strong>Credit</strong>or Services team can assist you, please<br />

visit: www.menzies.co.uk/creditor-services. Bethan Evans, Partner<br />

<strong>and</strong> Head of Menzies <strong>Credit</strong>or Services, email: bevans@<br />

menzies.co.uk <strong>and</strong> phone: +44 (0)2920 447512<br />

LEGAL<br />


Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road<br />

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham<br />

Berkshire RG41 5RB<br />

E: r.hammons@serrala.com W: www.serrala.com<br />

T +44 118 207 0450 M +44 7788 564722<br />

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for organisations seeking<br />

efficient cash visibility <strong>and</strong> secure financial processes. As an SAP<br />

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies worldwide. With<br />

more than 30 years of experience <strong>and</strong> thous<strong>and</strong>s of successful<br />

customer projects, including solutions for the entire order-tocash<br />

process, Serrala provides credit managers <strong>and</strong> receivables<br />

professionals with the solutions they need to successfully protect<br />

their business against credit risk exposure <strong>and</strong> bad debt loss.<br />

identeco – Business Support Toolkit<br />

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,<br />

Worcestershire B60 4FD<br />

Telephone: 01527 549 531 Email: info@identeco.co.uk<br />

Web: www.identeco.co.uk<br />

identeco’s Business Support Toolkit is an online portal connecting<br />

its subscribers to a range of business services that help them to<br />

engage with new prospects, underst<strong>and</strong> their customers <strong>and</strong><br />

mitigate risk. Annual subscription is £79.95 per year for unlimited<br />

access. Providing company information <strong>and</strong> financial reports,<br />

director <strong>and</strong> shareholder structures as well as a unique financial<br />

health rating, balance sheets, ratio analysis, <strong>and</strong> any detrimental<br />

data that might be associated with a company. Other services also<br />

included in the subscription include a business names database,<br />

acquisition targets, a data audit service as well as unlimited,<br />

bespoke marketing <strong>and</strong> telesales listings for any sector.<br />


Shoosmiths<br />

Email: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Tel: 03700 86 3000 W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit<br />

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly <strong>and</strong> cost effectively as<br />

possible. We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt recovery,<br />

including:<br />

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery <strong>and</strong> keep costs down<br />

• Litigation service<br />

• Post-litigation services including enforcement<br />

• Insolvency<br />

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to relate to your goals,<br />

<strong>and</strong> adept at advising you on the most effective way of achieving them.<br />


Redwood Collections Ltd<br />

0208 288 3555<br />

enquiry@redwoodcollections.com<br />

Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, CR0 0XZ<br />

“Redwood Collections offers a complete portfolio of debt collection<br />

services ranging from sensitive client-debtor mediation through to<br />

legal <strong>and</strong> insolvency action.<br />

Incorporated in 2009, we are pleased to represent in excess of<br />

11,000 clients. Whatever your debt collection needs, we have the<br />

expertise <strong>and</strong> resources to deliver a fast, efficient <strong>and</strong> cost-effective<br />

solution.”<br />


Dun & Bradstreet<br />

Marlow International, Parkway Marlow<br />

Buckinghamshire SL7 1AJ<br />

Telephone: (0800) 001-234 Website: www.dnb.co.uk<br />

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern finance<br />

leaders <strong>and</strong> credit professionals to improve business performance<br />

through more effective risk management, identification of growth<br />

opportunities, <strong>and</strong> better integration of data <strong>and</strong> insights across the<br />

business. Powered by our Data Cloud, our solutions provide access<br />

to the world’s most comprehensive commercial data <strong>and</strong> insights<br />

- supplying a continually updated view of business relationships<br />

that helps finance <strong>and</strong> credit teams stay ahead of market shifts <strong>and</strong><br />

customer changes. Learn more here:<br />

www.dnb.co.uk/modernfinance<br />

Gravity Global<br />

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

T: +44(0)207 330 8888. E: sfeast@gravityglobal.com<br />

W: www.gravityglobal.com<br />

Gravity is an award winning full service PR <strong>and</strong> advertising<br />

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the best<br />

in its field. It has a particular expertise in the credit sector, building<br />

long-term relationships with some of the industry’s best-known<br />

br<strong>and</strong>s working on often challenging briefs. As the partner agency for<br />

the <strong>Credit</strong> Services Association (CSA) for the past 22 years, <strong>and</strong> the<br />

Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> since 2006, it underst<strong>and</strong>s<br />

the key issues affecting the credit industry <strong>and</strong> what works <strong>and</strong> what<br />

doesn’t in supporting its clients in the media <strong>and</strong> beyond.<br />

FORUMS<br />


T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

Forums International Ltd have been running <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>and</strong> Industry<br />

Forums since 1991. We cover a range of industry sectors <strong>and</strong><br />

International trading, attendance is for <strong>Credit</strong> Professionals of all<br />

levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities which<br />

aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead. Attending<br />

for the first time is free for you to gauge the benefits <strong>and</strong> meet the<br />

members <strong>and</strong> we only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never<br />

intentionally be sold to.<br />

Bottomline Technologies<br />

115 Chatham Street, Reading<br />

Berks RG1 7JX | UK<br />

T: 0870 081 8250 E: emea-info@bottomline.com<br />

W: www.bottomline.com/uk<br />

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses<br />

pay <strong>and</strong> get paid. Businesses <strong>and</strong> banks rely on Bottomline for<br />

domestic <strong>and</strong> international payments, effective cash management<br />

tools, automated workflows for payment processing <strong>and</strong> bill<br />

review <strong>and</strong> state of the art fraud detection, behavioural analytics<br />

<strong>and</strong> regulatory compliance. Businesses around the world depend<br />

on Bottomline solutions to help them pay <strong>and</strong> get paid, including<br />

some of the world’s largest systemic banks, private <strong>and</strong> publicly<br />

traded companies <strong>and</strong> Insurers. Every day, we help our customers<br />

by making complex business payments simple, secure <strong>and</strong> seamless.<br />

American Express<br />

76 Buckingham Palace Road,<br />

London. SW1W 9TQ<br />

T: +44 (0)1273 696933<br />

W: www.americanexpress.com<br />

American Express is working in partnership with the CICM <strong>and</strong> is<br />

a globally recognised provider of payment solutions to businesses.<br />

Specialising in providing flexible collection capabilities to drive a<br />

number of company objectives including:<br />

•Accelerate cashflow •Improved DSO •Reduce risk<br />

•Offer extended terms to customers<br />

•Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive<br />

growth •Create competitive advantage with your customers<br />

As experts in the field of payments <strong>and</strong> with a global reach,<br />

American Express is working with credit managers to drive growth<br />

within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional lever to<br />

help support supplier/client relationships American Express is proud<br />

to be an innovator in the business payments space.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 58




Key IVR<br />

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000<br />

E: sales@keyivr.com<br />

W: www.keyivr.com<br />

Key IVR are proud to have joined the Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong>’s Corporate partnership scheme. The CICM is a<br />

recognised <strong>and</strong> trusted professional entity within credit management<br />

<strong>and</strong> a perfect partner for Key IVR. We are delighted to be providing<br />

our services to the CICM to assist with their membership collection<br />

activities. Key IVR provides a suite of products to assist companies<br />

across the globe with credit management. Our service is based<br />

around giving the end-user the means to make a payment when <strong>and</strong><br />

how they choose. Using automated collection methods, such as a<br />

secure telephone payment line (IVR), web <strong>and</strong> SMS allows companies<br />

to free up valuable staff time away from typical debt collection.<br />


Hays <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN<br />

T: 07834 260029<br />

E: karen.young@hays.com<br />

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Hays <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> is working in partnership with the CICM<br />

<strong>and</strong> specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs <strong>and</strong> credit<br />

management jobs. Hays underst<strong>and</strong>s the dem<strong>and</strong>s of this challenging<br />

environment <strong>and</strong> the skills required to thrive within it. Whatever<br />

your needs, we have temporary, permanent <strong>and</strong> contract based<br />

opportunities to find your ideal role. Our c<strong>and</strong>idate registration process<br />

is unrivalled, including face-to-face screening interviews <strong>and</strong> a credit<br />

control skills test developed exclusively for Hays by the CICM. We offer<br />

CICM members a priority service <strong>and</strong> can provide advice across a wide<br />

spectrum of job search <strong>and</strong> recruitment issues.<br />



Portfolio <strong>Credit</strong> Control<br />

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE<br />

T: 0207 650 3199<br />

E: recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

W: www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

Portfolio <strong>Credit</strong> Control, solely specialises in the recruitment of<br />

permanent, temporary <strong>and</strong> contract <strong>Credit</strong> Control, Accounts<br />

Receivable <strong>and</strong> Collections staff. Part of an award winning recruiter<br />

we speak to <strong>and</strong> meet credit controllers all day everyday underst<strong>and</strong>ing<br />

their skills <strong>and</strong> backgrounds to provide you with tried <strong>and</strong> tested credit<br />

control professionals. We have achieved enormous growth because we<br />

offer a uniquely specialist approach to our clients, with a commitment<br />

to service delivery that exceeds your expectations every single time.<br />

CICMQ accreditation is a proven model<br />

that has consistently delivered dramatic<br />

improvements in cashflow <strong>and</strong> efficiency<br />

CICMQ is the hallmark of industry<br />

leading organisations<br />

The CICM Best Practice Network is where<br />

CICMQ accredited organisations come<br />

together to develop, share <strong>and</strong> celebrate<br />

best practice in credit <strong>and</strong> collections<br />



To find out more about flexible options<br />

to gain CICMQ accreditation<br />

E: cicmq@cicm.com T: 01780 722900<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>July</strong> & <strong>August</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 59

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