CM September 2020

credit

The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals

CREDIT MANAGEMENT

CM

SEPTEMBER 2020 £12.50

THE CICM MAGAZINE FOR CONSUMER AND

COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

Plug and Play

Is Germany still the

powerhouse of Europe?

Exploring the true

impact of the global

pandemic. Page 13

Is DSO an appropriate

measure of a team’s

performance? Page 34


How a debt recovery firm remodelled their business to

respond to client demands

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the need to be agile and

responsive to change. Brands that do not have the courage to embrace

transformation are likely to be left behind. A company that has perfectly

demonstrated this, is Controlaccount Plc.

This year sees Controlaccount quietly celebrate its 40th anniversary and

here we look at how the business has evolved from a simple debt recovery

model, to a fully integrated outsourcing business, delivering over fifty white

labelled services to some of the biggest UK and global names. Over the

past five years in particular, the firm has repositioned itself to respond to

shifts in the debt recovery landscape.

Founded on values

Initially based in a small office in Holborn, London, Controlaccount was

founded in September 1980, by Chairman, Graham Ball. The initial

objective was to support clients with debt collection services, whilst

operating with integrity, decency and understanding. These core values

have been delivered consistently, throughout the company’s history. This

proposition was attractive to many clients who needed to collect overdue

invoices but did not want to be associated with the murky world of debt

recovery (as it was seen in the early ‘80s).

Controlaccount began working predominantly with clients in the medical

sector. At one stage in its history, Controlaccount worked for most of the

UK’s private hospitals and healthcare continues to be a key sector the firm

supports. Other early clients came from growing sectors such as mobile

phone companies and international debt recovery organisations (secured

through professional relationships with commercial attachés in London

embassies).

Growth and expansion

Forty years on, on behalf of its many blue chip customers, Controlaccount

undertakes the recovery of over 30,000 delinquent invoices every month

and collects some £40m each year. Key clients now include leading

universities and colleges, a number of medical establishments and brand

names from across the transport and logistics sector. It has not however,

always been an upward trajectory and Controlaccount navigated many

challenges during its forty years. As the debt recovery sector matured, it

became more crowded and inevitably, rates were driven down. Although

this resulted in the business losing some clients, by continuing to uphold its

core principles, Controlaccount retained clients that valued both success

and decency.

With a track-record driven by its embedded values, it is no surprise that

Controlaccount was a founding (and continues to be a) member of the

Credit Services Association, and that its ISO accreditations are woven

throughout its day to day processes.

their customers. Specifically required was a shift towards digital interaction

and automation, to enable clients to process high volumes and work

accurately and efficiently. The business began to evolve, working more

collaboratively to enable clients to improve performance, increase profit and

provide engaging customer experiences.

Supportive technology

In 2013, Controlaccount demonstrated its technology credentials with the

launch of Cogenda and ClientWeb. These are a debt recovery ‘engine’ and

an online real-time portal where creditors can communicate and manage

activity, such as uploading and updating new accounts. These industryleading

platforms are still used today.

In the same year, by delivering bespoke customer relationship management

builds, web-based applications and software solutions, Controlaccount

began to move away from a single service debt recovery model to become

a comprehensive business process outsourcing provider. This dovetailed

into the provision of operational standalone services such as white labelled

multi-channel communication centres, branded mailings and advanced

credit control functions.

Full service

By 2018, through its UK call centres and branded mailing facilities,

Controlaccount had become a fully-fledged business process outsourcing

company offering over fifty services. These included IT and application

solutions, financial, marketing and back-office support, plus all forms of debt

recovery, credit control and operation solutions. In addition, Controlaccount

developed other brands within their family, including the identeco - Business

Support Toolkit. This online data portal delivers full business insights

and financial reporting. The current Controlaccount offer also includes

identecoHR; an innovative HR and time management tool which enables

businesses to perform all their human resources functions from one

database.

Robust systems

As the impact of Covid-19 ripples through the global economy, David

Harvey, Controlaccount’s Managing Director and the driving force of the

business’s new direction, believes that offering a diverse range of services

to support clients will hold the organisation in good stead.

“Sadly, many businesses will not survive the pandemic. So, whilst

forbearance and understanding play a part, companies must focus on

having a robust collection process in place. Now is also the time when

businesses need to review their model to streamline operations, increase

productivity and continue to implement new ideas. Our outsourced services;

whether delivered ad-hoc or on a longer-term basis, provide organisations

with the ability to deal with the unexpected.”

For more information on Controlaccount and how it can help your business

thrive, visit controlaccount.com

Responding to needs

As the debt recovery sector matured, it became apparent that

Controlaccount needed to respond to the emerging needs of its clients and


SEPTEMBER 2020

www.cicm.com

CONTENTS

13

OPINION

Heather Greig-Smith

CICM GOVERNANCE

22

LEGAL MATTERS

Jackie Ray

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

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

Credit Management is distributed to the entire UK and international CICM

membership, as well as additional subscribers

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

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

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

trade mark of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.

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

outsourcing debt recovery IT solutions

24

LEAD ARTICLE

Adam Bernstein

18

OPINION

Holly Scott-Donaldson

President Stephen Baister FCICM / Chief Executive Sue Chapple FCICM

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stephen Thomson FCICM

8 – Technically Speaking

News, views and opinion from the CICM

Technical Committee.

13 – Unparalleled Lines

Heather Greig-Smith explains the harsh

impact the global pandemic has had on

businesses of all size across Europe.

17 – Dream Big

Peter Whitmore FCICM reflects on his

time as Chair of the CICM.

18 – Start the Revolution

Holly Scott-Donaldson of Data

Interconnect discusses the use of

automation in Accounts Receivable.

22 – Spark Out

How will a landmark case involving

two contractors benefit creditors in

the future? Jackie Ray of Blaser Mills

outlines the Bresco Case.

24 – German Bite

Is Germany still the powerhouse of

Europe?

29 – All Systems Go

Why is the credit insurance guarantee

from Government a good thing for

creditors.

32 – Shaping the Future

Focus on the new Advisory Council.

34 – Panel Bashers

Is DSO an appropriate measure of a

credit team’s performance? Our expert

panel decides.

44 – Small Talk

Interview – Sean Feast speaks to

Sinead McHale.

52 – A Life Fully Lived

Obituary – CICM veterans remember

Paul Mudge.

Publisher

Chartered Institute of Credit Management

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Telephone: 01780 722900

Email: editorial@cicm.com

Website: www.cicm.com

CMM: www.creditmanagement.org.uk

Managing Editor

Sean Feast FCICM

Deputy Editor

Iona Yadallee

Art Editor

Andrew Morris

Telephone: 01780 722910

Email: andrew.morris@cicm.com

Editorial Team

Rob Howard and Imogen Hart

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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 3


EDITOR’S COLUMN

Changing of the Guard

Sean Feast FCICM

Managing Editor

WHILE there may have

not been a great

deal of live sport to

entertain the masses

during the first half

of COVID, we seem

to have made up for it since with all of

the serious sports – football, cricket, golf

and darts – making a welcome comeback.

(Wait a minute. Darts? A sport? I like the

old rule that says if you can smoke a fag

or drink a pint while you’re doing it, it

cannot be a sport. That said, have you ever

refereed Sunday League football?). There

is also comforting talk about transfer

windows and new signings to make us

think that we’ll wake up tomorrow and

find it’s all just been a bad dream. West

Ham weren’t in a relegation battle at all

and Watford stayed up.

And while on the subject of new signings

(did you see what I did there? Seamless),

there has been a complete changing of

the guard in our own world of credit.

Sue Chapple FCICM, the interim Chief

Executive of the CICM has been confirmed

in the role on a permanent basis, following

the move by the Institute’s previous star

striker (or should that be defender?) Philip

King FCICM to become Interim Small

Business Commissioner. Similarly in the

Credit Services Association (CSA), Peter

Wallwork has finally hung up his fancy

boots to make way for Chris Leslie, a

seasoned battler from the world of politics

who, judging from his Twitter feed, is no

stranger to crowd banter.

We will meet Sue and Chris in future

issues, but I didn’t want the moment to

pass without paying tribute to Philip and

Peter. Philip, as our members will know,

has been at the vanguard of promoting

the credit profession from the start, and

leading the Institute to be recognised

with Chartered status. His achievements

are legion, and too many to list here, but

there are few people who have had such

a profound impact on championing bestpractice

credit management and getting

those in Government and beyond to sit up

and take notice. It would have been easy

for Philip to put his feet up while watching

his beloved Spurs, sipping a non-alcoholic

cocktail. Instead he is continuing the

battle as Interim SBC, and by all accounts

shaking a few trees.

Peter too has been at the helm of the

CSA during a great period of transition and

change and is to be congratulated on a job

well done. As the ‘face’ of the CSA for over

a decade, he brought a calm authority to

the role that countered so well the cliché

of the baseball bat-wielding thug that

lazy journalists like to depict. His tenure

included the challenge of authorisation

and a new regulator, and patiently and

diligently educating and informing those

in power about the critical role that his

members play in the economy, and the

lessons the public sector can learn from

their private sector colleagues.

I am lucky enough to have worked with

both men, and to be able to call them

friends. I wish them the very best for the

future. I have a feeling in both cases it may

be farewell but not good-bye.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 4


Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 5


CMNEWS

A round-up of news stories from the

world of consumer and commercial credit.

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM

High-cost lenders slammed

in new FCA review

HIGH-cost credit firms are not taking

affordability assessments seriously

enough on repeat borrowing, and

poor practice in the use of online

accounts and apps are encouraging

consumers to borrow more.

These are two of the key findings of a review

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

into relending by firms that offer high-cost

credit which also suggests that nearly half (45

percent) of customers said they regret taking

out additional lending, a figure that rises to 60

percent for certain products.

This is in the context of research from

StepChange Debt Charity that found that since

the start of the pandemic, nearly one million

people have used high cost credit products as a

safety net to meet every day living costs.

The long-awaited FCA review identified that

most firms had more repeat customers than

first-time borrowers, with repeat borrowers

accounting for more than 80 percent of all

customers at many firms.

The FCA said it was particularly concerned

that some customers may be managing

financial difficulties through further borrowing.

The report states: ‘Additional borrowing should

“In the

meantime,

the FCA can

further curb the

harm caused

by high-cost

credit products

by tightening

lending rules,

looking harder

at the product

features that

can trap people

in debt and

improving

forbearance

measures.”

Adam Butler, Public

Policy Manager at

StepChange

“Repeat

borrowing could

be a strong

indicator of levels

of debt that are

harmful to the

customer.”

Jonathan Davidson,

Executive Director of

Supervision

not be used, in effect, as a debt management

solution. When considering an application

for refinancing where the firm is aware that

the customer is a regular user and appears

dependant on high-cost credit, we expect

the firm to consider whether forbearance or

debt advice might be more appropriate than

additional lending.

The FCA also said some firms were not

taking responsibility to assess affordability for

repeat borrowers seriously enough. Some firms

suggested that consumers could use additional

borrowing, for example to take a holiday, and

reinforced the message by including imagery

of exotic locations. Some firms also appeared

to use ‘nudge’ techniques such as appealing

to social norms by conveying a message that

relending is common practice and normal

behaviour.

Jonathan Davidson, Executive Director of

Supervision, Retail and Authorisations, says

he has significant concerns: “Repeat borrowing

could be a strong indicator of levels of debt that

are harmful to the customer,” he says.

“Before the pandemic we saw increasing

numbers of complaints about high-cost lenders’

relending practices, which showed that firms

had failed to adequately assess affordability,

and they were not relending in a way that was

sustainable for customers. We expect firms to

review their relending practices in light of our

findings as they start to lend again, and to make

any necessary changes to improve customer

outcomes. We will continue working with firms

to raise standards, and we will continue to take

action where we see harm.”

Adam Butler, Public Policy Manager at

StepChange, says it is more vital than ever

that fair and sustainable alternatives to these

products are made available as soon as possible:

“The Government must act quickly to develop a

national no interest loan scheme, which would

provide a mechanism to influence access to

affordable credit more directly.

“In the meantime, the FCA can further curb

the harm caused by high-cost credit products

by tightening lending rules, looking harder at

the product features that can trap people in debt

and improving forbearance measures.”

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 6


NEWS ROUNDUP

CICM in new TV venture

with ITN Productions

THE Chartered Institute of

Credit Management (CICM) and

ITN Productions will be coproducers

of a content series

‘Managing the New Credit

Future,’ produced to raise awareness and

develop understanding of the vital role

of credit management in the current

climate.

‘Managing the New Credit Future’

will address a variety of themes each

centred around key areas affecting credit

management in times of such deep

financial uncertainty. The programme

will highlight the importance of going

‘Back to basics’ to manage credit beyond

the crisis, keeping cash flowing to

sustain supply chains and exploring the

opportunities and threats associated

with ‘Increasing risk’.

The programme will also discuss

the strategic challenge of ‘Doing more

with less’ whilst simultaneously driving

income, profit and customer excellence.

Sue Chapple FCICM, Chief Executive

of CICM says the programme will shine

a spotlight on the people, processes and

systems helping to address change:

“Professional credit management teams,

strategies, sharing experiences and

best-practice through programmes such

as this, will be essential as we move to a

period of recovery.”

Elizabeth Fisher-Robins, Head of

ITN Productions Industry News agrees:

“We’re delighted to be partnering again

with the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management to produce a content

series that raises industry and public

awareness of the vital role of credit

managers in sustaining the business

landscape. We hope the programme will

help address many of the immediate

challenges faced by organisations across

the UK.’

Launching digitally in November

2020, the programme will form part

of an extensive communications

campaign featuring CICM members and

professional partners.

“Professional credit

management teams,

strategies, sharing

experiences and

best-practice through

programmes such as

this, will be essential as

we move to a period of

recovery.”

Sue Chapple FCICM,

Chief Executive of CICM

COVID-19 impacting USMCA businesses

LATE payments have soared in the

USMCA region as businesses are

squeezed by the impact of COVID-19,

according to the latest research by trade

credit insurer Atradius.

The annual Payment Practices

Barometer by Atradius analyses the

payment behaviours and sentiment of

businesses in the United States, Mexico

and Canada (USMCA). This year’s survey

results reveal compromised cashflows

and an increased reliance on bank

finance, as businesses grapple with

COVID-19 containment measures.

The report found late payments

affect 43 percent of the total value of

invoices issued in USMCA, up from 25

percent last year. Furthermore, the total

value of invoices overdue past 90 days

has doubled year on year to 13 percent,

while four percent of the total value was

written off as uncollectable, up from

three percent a year ago.

The Atradius research barometer

reveals 40 percent of USMCA businesses

use invoice payment delays as a form

of short-term financing, while delays in

payments are also caused by customer

liquidity shortages (cited by 36 percent

of businesses) and disputed invoices

(cited by 39 percent). To counter late

payments, nearly a third (30 percent) of

businesses in USMCA report needing to

increase the amount of time, resource

and cost spent to chase overdue

invoices while 28 percent acknowledge

needing to delay settlement of invoices

to their own suppliers as a result. A

quarter of businesses admit needing

to strengthen their own internal credit

control procedures, while more than

half plan to improve the efficiency of

their debt collection processes with the

two most cited approaches including

increased use of payment reminders

and outsourcing debt collection to a

specialist agency.

James Burgess, Head of UK

Commercial for Atradius says the

research is a particularly revealing story

of two halves: “On the one hand is the

dramatic increase in overdue payments

and the undeniable indications that

the region has entered recession.

Whilst conversely, respondents convey

optimism for a brighter future despite

the gloomy figures to date. Of course, the

reality hangs on the development of the

COVID-19 crisis and the effectiveness

of the region in reversing its negative

effects.

“What is clear is the pressure USMCA

businesses are feeling which is reflected

by widespread deteriorating B2B

customer credit risk. Invoice payment

defaults are up significantly compared to

last year as is the number of businesses

awaiting payment subsequently

delaying payment to their suppliers.

In a climate rocked by late payments

and sustained economic uncertainty,

businesses must act cautiously when it

comes to maintaining successful trade

relationships.”

‘‘On the one hand is

the dramatic increase

in overdue payments

and the undeniable

indications that the

region has entered

recession.’’

James Burgess, Head of UK

Commercial for Atradius

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 7


NEW

FEATURE

TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

PHONEY WAR

Insight and comment from the CICM Technical Committee

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

THE full impact of COVID-19

on both the consumer and

commercial debt collection

industry is yet to be felt, and

no-one can predict with any certainty

what happens next. But even if half of

the guesswork proves to be true, many

hundreds of thousands of consumers

will be plunged into debt by the end of

the year, and a not dissimilar number of

businesses may also go to the wall.

Experts within the CICM’s Technical

Committee met virtually in July to

report on and share their knowledge and

insight of various Bills, consultations,

calls for evidence, and other such

Government-led programmes that will

have a direct or indirect impact on

creditors and the credit community.

Within the consumer debt space, a

Phoney War was likely to lead to a very

real battle for survival among a group

of the most hard-pressed consumers.

Committee members from the advice

sector and collections industry said that

high volumes of debt were currently

being paid off, and that many consumers

were clearly taking advantage of

payment holidays (or monies that they

might have spent during lockdown) on

settling their debts.

Within the advice sector especially,

an initial surge in calls to the various

support lines had quickly abated, and

at least one reported that demand was

currently running at about a third of its

total capacity. Customers were actively

seeking to pay off their debts, borrowing

from friends and family if necessary to

do so, perhaps in preparation for a long,

hard winter that might follow along with

the fear of losing their jobs.

INSOL-

PINCH POINTS

This lull before the storm is not expected

to last. Certain ‘pinch points’ – the end

to the furlough scheme and a shift in

attitudes to forbearance – could be

the tipping points. The re-engagement

of enforcement action on August 23

was always going to arouse negative

press and has done, and there were

concerns over the lifting of rent arrears

convictions and what this would mean to

the total consumer debt picture.

An interesting point was also made

about the blurring of lines between

‘consumer’ and ‘commercial’ debts,

especially when it came to the owner/

directors of small businesses who could

find themselves falling between two

stools in how they are dealt with.

Whereas there was understandable

debate about

VENCY

the impact of the current

crisis on consumers, there were similar

concerns expressed about the new

Corporate Insolvency and Governance

Bill (see Credit Management July/August

2020) and how it was going to impact

creditors.

MORATORIUM CONCERNS

Of particular concern is the moratorium

and to what extent it may be open to

abuse. The moratorium effectively allows

an insolvent business a period of 20

business days grace during which time

creditors are not able to enforce any

action to recover what’s owed. Worse

than this, creditors cannot discontinue

from supplying product/services to said

failed/failing business if that product (or

service) is considered ‘essential’ and if

refusing to supply would jeopardise the

potential rescue of the business in the

insolvency process.

The Technical Committee

acknowledged that in continuing to

supply an essential product, the creditor

would, in theory, be given priority status

for any future payments, but that the

risk seemed disproportionate to the

reward. Some could see a scenario where

deliveries might mysteriously go astray

or be indefinitely delayed. Others were

concerned that the IPs themselves would

have to do quite a bit of background

TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Glen Bullivant FCICM ..............................................Chair of CICM Technical Committee

Alan Brown MCICM .................................................................................................formerly BP

Amir Ali FCICM .....................................................................................................................CCUA

Julian Roberts ....................................................................................................................... HSBC

Joanna Carnell MCICM(Grad) .................................................................................Trust Ford

Paula Swain ...............................................................................................................Shoosmiths

Peter Whitmore FCICM ....................................................................................Westcon Group

Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad) ............................................................................................. Arvato

Mike Sargeant MCICM ...........................................................Retired, formerly Baker Tilly

David Kerr FCICM ............................................................................... Insolvency Consultant

Matthew Davies ........................................................................................................ UK Finance

Lauren Carter ......................................................................................................Vantage Credit

Stephen Cowan FCICM ......................................................................................... Yuille & Kyle

Alistair Chisolm .............................................................................................................. Payplan

Andrew Macdonald FCICM ........................................................... formerly Matthew Clark

David Thornley FCICM(Grad) .....................................................FortVale Engineering Ltd

Hans Meijer FCICM ............................................................................................................Coface

David Sheridan FCICM .....................................................................................Arc Europe Ltd

Pamela Mulcahy ...........................................................................................Marston Holdings

Glyn Powell FCICM ............................................................................The Best Start Club Ltd

work in advance to assess whether a

failing business could be saved or sold

and would face undoubted criticism if

they subsequently took an appointment

having previously said that a recovery

was possible.

‘Creditor Beware’ appeared to be

the watchword, along with advice to

review current Terms and Conditions

where appropriate to protect your

future position, mindful, however, that

circumstances change and T&Cs could

become fast out of date.

A report was received on the

performance of the courts during the

lockdown period, with the process being

described as either ‘blisteringly quick

or glacially slow’. A similar report was

heard from the Banks who are concerned

about future competition post-COVID

with particular reference to alternative

lenders and what happens when the

various support schemes begin to

unwind.

Perhaps more alarming was a report

on the future of Business Information

and the unintended consequences of

payment holidays, rental holidays, delays

in filing company accounts etc and

how they would impact future credit.

The quality, integrity and credibility of

business information going forward is

going to be a severe challenge for the

information providers with regards to

what extent their information is current

and reliable.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 8


PHILLIPS & Cohen Associates,

the leading specialist recoveries

management business has announced

plans to expand into the servicing of

potentially vulnerable consumers. The

firm says it is ‘reacting to client demand’

for this new service alongside increasing

market demographic need.

As one of a number of ventures to

initiate the service, Phillips & Cohen

Associates has been selected by UK Debt

solutions provider, TDX Group, to help

launch its V+ service which will seek to

combine proactive data analytics and

best of breed communication strategies

NEWS ROUNDUP

SMEs expect borrowing to increase

NEW research from Aldermore bank

suggests that the UK’s small and mediumsized

enterprises (SMEs) expect to

borrow £48.3bn to support their business

following the COVID-19 outbreak.

More than three in five (61 percent)

SMEs anticipate borrowing nearly

£65,000 in the following 12 months after

the outbreak. Speedy access to funding

(23 percent), higher levels of funding (17

percent) and a simple application process

(17 percent) are viewed as needed by

SMEs to navigate the months following

the outbreak.

Tim Boag, Group Managing director,

business finance at Aldermore, says

that helping SMEs recover following the

pandemic will be crucial to the economic

future of the UK: “SME income has been

hit hard by COVID-19 with many having

Unanimous welcome

for new Insolvency Act

INSOLVENCY and restructuring trade body

R3, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in

England and Wales (ICAEW), the Insolvency

Practitioners’ Association (IPA), ICAS, and

Chartered Accountants Ireland have all welcomed

the passage of the Corporate Insolvency and

Governance Act on to the statute book.

The Act introduces the biggest reforms to the

UK’s corporate insolvency framework for almost

20 years and makes a series of temporary changes

to the corporate governance requirements for

companies and other entities.

Colin Haig, President R3, says he is hopeful the

new Act will be successful: “Our members already

play a key role in assisting struggling firms

through financial difficulty, and the Act gives

them additional tools with which to support this

important work at a critical time for the economy.”

Michelle Thorp, CEO at the IPA, agrees: “We will

monitor the Bill in practice, offering input where

required to help ensure that the measures serve all

stakeholders in insolvency processes correctly.”

borrowed funds in order to survive, and

with some expecting to continue to do so

in the year ahead. “Our research shows

that the average SME expects it will take

them eight months to financially recover

after the lockdown ends, and it is going to

need a considerable concerted effort by

both government and lenders to support

businesses to help get them back on their

feet.” A third (32 percent) of SMEs say

the key to getting their business back on

track following the COVID-19 outbreak

will be good communication with their

customers and clients. A further quarter

(25 percent) state they will benefit from

receiving ongoing Government support

with 22 percent of SMEs also suggesting

that getting employees back on track and

focused on the business’ goals will be

important in recovery phase.

“Our members

already play a key

role in assisting

struggling firms

through financial

difficulty’’

Colin Haig, President R3

PCA announces expansion plans

to provide superior levels of service

to potentially vulnerable consumers.

PCA was selected because of its longstanding

reputation for dealing with

consumers in an empathetic and positive

manner.

Nick Cherry, Chief Operating Officer,

says PCA has always prided itself on

the ability to engage with consumers at

the most sensitive of times: “We believe

in treating people with dignity and

respect, and this makes dealing with

potentially vulnerable consumers a

natural extension of our existing niche

services.”

> THE NEWS

IN BRIEF

COMING SOON

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THEN CICM’s new Independent

Home Study Package is for you. With

a personalised study plan, timetable,

videos, guides and instructions you’ll

have everything you need to help

you study independently. Agreed

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your progress and tap into CICM

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Email: info@cicm.com for details.

All Change

COURT Enforcement Services has

announced a series of changes to

its board that sees Daron Robinson

promoted from Operations Director

to Managing Director and Daren

Simcox move from Managing

Director to Chairman. The previous

Chairman Frank Millerick has

retired after more than 50 years

in the industry. Since joining the

business in 2014, Daron Robinson

has been responsible for a number

of major operational programmes,

including the company’s bespoke

case management system and the

implementation of the awardwinning

‘Agent Patroller’

Enforcement App. Meanwhile,

Neil Jinks FCICM has joined Court

Enforcement Services as Marketing

and Communications Lead.

FECMA CONGRESS

POSTPONED

DUE to the current pandemic, the 4th

FECMA Pan-European Congress has been

postponed until 15/16 September 2021.

Further details will follow in due course.

Sprouting Cedar

HUBERT Mugliett has been appointed

Chief Operating Officer of Cedar Rose,

the business intelligence agency.

Hubert is described as a key member

of the senior management team who

will oversee the internal operations

of the business and help to ensure

the business strategy is effectively

implemented. Hubert brings many

years of corporate experience in

strategic Human Resource management

and organisational development in

various business contexts, and has

successfully formed, mentored and

led multicultural and multiethnic

teams.

www.cedar-rose.com.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 9


NEWS ROUNDUP

Fraudsters capitalise

on COVID misery

SUB-prime lending and debt

management scams are rising at

an alarming rate as fraudsters look

to capitalise on COVID-19 financial

stress, according to accountancy and

business advisory firm, BDO.

The increased numbers of fraudulent

or unregulated lenders being identified by

the Financial Conduct Authority suggests

they are stepping up their targeting

of borrowers who are struggling with

unemployment or with incomes cut by

furloughing. It is likely that fraudsters

suspect consumers may be even more

susceptible to scams at present, due to

having limited traditional borrowing

options available to them.

Job cuts, furloughing and even the

reduced amount of work in the informal

economy have increased demand for

short-term finance as borrowers seek

additional money to tide themselves

through the lockdown. A reduced risk

appetite amongst regulated lenders

during the crisis may also be creating

more of an opportunity for unregulated

lenders. However, the FCA has increased

its publicity campaign to make it more

difficult for unregulated sub-prime

lenders and debt management scammers

to operate. The regulator actively

searches for unregulated websites or

for websites that impersonate those of

regulated lenders.

The FCA’s increased regulation of the

sub-prime lending market over the last

few years has ensured that consumers

using regulated consumer lenders get

a far better deal than they did a decade

ago from comparable lenders. Regulated

lenders must adhere closely to the

principle of treating customers fairly and

interest rates on high-cost short-term

lending are capped.

Sub-prime lenders cater to low

income borrowers or individuals with

poor credit ratings, who would not

typically qualify for lower interest rate

loans from high street lenders. Regulated

debt management companies, which

some fraudsters impersonate, work to

create a feasible repayment plan for

outstanding debts between an individual

and their creditors.

Richard Barnwell, Partner at BDO

believes opportunistic fraudsters are

using the coronavirus crisis as a chance

to target the most vulnerable: “This is

going to be an exceedingly difficult time

for many consumers as their income

levels may be significantly reduced. It

is important that individuals who are

looking to use a sub-prime lender or

debt management company, opt for one

regulated by the FCA and check their

details against the FCA website.

“Unfortunately, technology makes it

extremely easy for fraudsters to set up

websites and call centres which, to the

casual observer, appear to be legitimate.

It’s easy to see how consumers might be

duped.”

FCA research shows that highcost

short-term loans are used most

frequently (on a per capita basis) in the

North West at 125 loans per 1,000 adults.

Northern Ireland has the lowest usage at

75 loans per 1,000 adults.

Former politician joins CSA as new Chief Executive

CHRIS Leslie, a former MP and Minister

with proven knowledge of public

policy, parliamentary affairs, financial

services regulation and consumer

credit, has been confirmed as the new

Chief Executive of the Credit Services

Association (CSA), the voice of the UK

debt collection and purchase industry.

He succeeds Peter Wallwork, who

announced in December 2019 that he

would be stepping down after ten years

in the role.

CSA Board Chair Tom Chandos

welcomed the appointment:

“Chris is the ideal person to

build on the progress that

the Association has made

during the ten years

under Peter Wallwork’s

leadership, for which the

Board is deeply grateful.”

Chris Leslie was MP for

Shipley from 1997 to 2005

and for Nottingham

East from 2010 to

2019. Between

2001 and 2003 he was a Minister

successively in the Cabinet Office and

the Department for Local Government

and the Regions; and from 2003 to

2005 he was Minister for Courts and

Constitutional Affairs.

Between 2011 and 2015 he was a

member of the Opposition Treasury

team, as Shadow City Minister/Financial

Secretary to the Treasury in the period

during which the Financial Conduct

Authority and Prudential Regulation

Authority were set up, as Shadow

Chief Secretary to the Treasury and as

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.

From 2005 to 2010, Chris was

Director of the member organisation

New Local Government Network, the

leading local authority research and

policy think-tank. During the same

time, he was also a trustee of the

Consumer Credit Counselling Service

advice charity (now StepChange)

and Credit Action (now the Money

Charity). Chris says he’s delighted

with the new challenge: “I

am looking forward to leading the CSA

team, representing such a wide range

of businesses and championing best

practice across the collections and

debt purchase industry. Credit is a

crucial utility in today’s economy and

safeguarding a fair and well-functioning

market is more important than ever in

these challenging times.”

The appointment has been made

following a process advised by an

independent search firm and led by

a selection panel of the CSA Board

comprising both elected, industry

practitioner and independent board

members. The appointment was

effective from August 1.

‘‘Chris is the ideal person

to build on the progress

that the Association has

made during the ten years

under Peter Wallwork’s

leadership.”

CICM Essentials

TO stay up-to-date with all that is happening at the CICM – from qualifications to

training, and membership to events – see the weekly e-newsletter CICM Essentials.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 10


presents
























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sales@ddisoftware.co.uk

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 12


OPINION

Unparalleled Lines

Prompt payment is crucial if Europe’s companies

are to emerge from the present crisis intact.

AUTHOR – Heather Greig-Smith

BUSINESSES across Europe face

unparalleled uncertainty because

of the COVID-19 crisis. With

many operating in survival mode,

safeguarding a steady cashflow is

more important than ever. However,

the drop in income companies have faced as

a result of Government restrictions and lower

consumer demand means paying on time is a more

complicated issue than ever.

During February and May, credit management

group Intrum conducted a survey of financial

executives and business leaders in 9,980 companies

across 29 European countries – providing snapshots

of changing sentiments pre COVID-19 and after the

crisis hit.

Unsurprisingly, businesses reported a significant

increase in financial stress, with 51 percent saying

their survival was threatened by late payment.

Across Europe, hospitality and leisure businesses

have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19, with

Government restrictions on travel, shopping, dining

out, exercise and other leisure activities crushing

many. These measures are likely to have a lasting

impact – 42 percent of respondents in this sector

predicted recession would have a severe impact,

the highest level of the 11 industries surveyed.

By contrast, Dutch businesses are more optimistic –

only 14 percent predict recession will have a severe

impact, the lowest figure across Europe.

“Optimism is likely to vary over time depending

how a country responds to measures to tackle the

virus and on the level of Government intervention

to protect businesses,” says Intrum UK Managing

Director Eddie Nott.

LIQUIDITY CHALLENGE

Even in normal times, late payment poses a

significant challenge to many businesses. However,

it creates a greater threat to survival in today’s

environment, with 51 percent saying late payment

reduces their liquidity, compared with 23 percent

pre-COVID. Sharp drops in GDP across Europe are

decreasing revenues for businesses and restricting

cashflow. Over half (52 percent) of UK companies

say that macroeconomic uncertainty has caused

them to extend their payment terms to suppliers

over the coming year – up from the European

UNFAVOURABLE TERMS

The crisis has undoubtedly forced businesses to

accept unfavourable payment terms. The survey

found that 80 percent of the UK’s businesses have

accepted longer payment terms than they are

comfortable with as they do not want to damage

client relationships – and 71 percent across Europe

said the same. This is despite the fact that 44 percent

of UK businesses said late payment by customers

threatens their survival – up significantly from the

17 percent pre-COVID rate.

According to UK respondents, the risk of pan-

European recession is the main challenge facing

customers paying on time over the next twelve

months. More than two-thirds (67 percent) rank

this among the top three challenges, compared

with 57 percent across Europe. When broken

down, the figure increases from 50 percent

of those surveyed before the COVID-19 crisis

to 75 percent after the crisis hit. With Europe

heading for recession, 42 percent of British

businesses expect it to have a severe impact

on them, and 31 percent plan to cut recruitment as

a result.

Spanish businesses are the most concerned

by the economic forecast, with 92 percent citing

European recession in the top three payment

challenges over the next year and more than half

saying it will have a severe impact on their business.

average of 41 percent, and the highest in Europe.

“The pandemic has piled pressure onto businesses

in an unprecedented way and many firms do not

have the flexibility to survive late payment,” says

Eddie.

“With pressure on cashflow, timely payment is

more important than ever as businesses struggle

to navigate the loosening of lockdown restrictions.

The long-term economic effects of the COVID-19

crisis are not yet clear, but in the short term many

businesses face a battle for survival.” Against this

backdrop of exceptional change and disruption,

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 13

“With pressure on

cashflow, timely

payment is more

important than ever

as businesses

struggle to navigate

the loosening of

lockdown restrictions.’’

continues on page 14 >


%

0,6

0,5

Pre- crisis

Late During payment

crisis

hits European liquidity

average,

The impact of late payments on business areas (high impact*)

European average, Covid-19 break down:

6 EPR 2020 Special Edition Covid-19 White Paper

European Pre-crisisaverage,

COVID-19 break down:

During crisis

Pre-crisis During crisis

51%

The Our risk survey of a finds that the most pressing concerns for European

41%

pan-European recession businesses in terms of late payment are a reduction in liquidity

and their ability to survive: 45 percent say that late payment

reduces their liquidity, and 38 percent say it threatens their

Debtors in financial difficulties survival.

38%

The impact of late payments on business areas (high impact*)

Spain’s economy has been hit hard by the crisis: the Bank of

Spain has predicted that GDP could drop by 13 percent this

year, 4 and the shrinking economy is putting many jobs at risk.

At 14 percent, unemployment was already a major concern

OPINION before the crisis hit. Now, it is expected to reach 19 percent by

the end of the year. 5

AUTHOR – Heather Greig-Smith

What do you foresee as the major challenges facing customers paying on time and in full over the next

What

twelve

do you

months?

foresee as the major challenges facing customers paying on time

and European in full average, over the Covid-19 next break twelve down: months?

COVID-19 break down:

Pre-crisis

The Covid-19 crisis has placed an even greater 38%

During crisis

pressure on

European businesses to safeguard their liquidity. Sharp drops in

An uncertain trading environment

GDP across Europe are pushing down 33%

(Global trade wars/Middle Eastern conflict)

revenues for businesses,

restricting cashflow while increasing pressure 33% on businesses to

manage their cash and liquidity more efficiently.

An over-reliance on unsecured loans

28%

among our business partners A decline in consumer demand following government lockdown

measures presents a long-term 28% challenge to European

businesses. As they look to save costs through reducing headcount,

of this may in turn negatively impact consumers’ 37% ability to

Administrative inefficiency

our customers pay invoices due to lower disposable income.

28%

45%

This trend is reflected in our survey. Over half (51 percent) of

Disputes regarding goods respondents and say that late payment reduces 36% their liquidity

services delivered during the Covid-19 crisis, compared

27%

with 35 percent of those

surveyed before the impact was felt. Businesses that are

Intentional ignorance

able to safeguard their liquidity will emerge stronger from the

29%

Covid-19 crisis, while those with less liquidity to fall back on

say that late payment reduces their liquidity, and

38% say it threatens their survival.

may find themselves under threat. 27%

“Awareness of the

impact of late payment

and the options open

to businesses under

EU and UK legislation

is important. These

and further voluntary

initiatives will be

essential in ensuring

steady cashflow for

businesses as we

emerge from the

immediate crisis.”

Intrum UK Managing

Director Eddie Nott.

A lack of business experience

among customers

Legislation issues

None

26%

24%

66%

0,0 0,1 0,2 0,3 liquidity 0,4 0,5 will 0,6 emerge 0,7

4) Spain predicts unemployment will reach 19 percent, Politico, May 2020 www.politico.eu/article/spain-predicts-coronavirus-covid19-unemployment-will-hit-19-percent/

5) Ibid.

2%

1%

25%

26%

Businesses that are

able to safeguard their

stronger from the crisis,

while those with less

liquidity to fall back on

may find themselves

under threat.

0,4

0,3

35%

36%

39% 38%

33%

32%

34%

34%

31% 32% 31% 32% 33%

0,2

25% 25%

*On a scale from 1-5,

4 and 5 is defined as

“high impact”.

0,1

0,0

Liquidity

squeeze

Threat to

survival

Not hiring new

employees

Loss of

income

Additional

interest

charges

Dismissing

employees

Prohibiting

growth of the

company

Prohibiting

innovation

* On a scale from 1-5, 4 and 5 is defined as “high impact”.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 14

10 EPR 2020 Special Edition Covid-19 White Paper


OPINION

AUTHOR – Heather Greig-Smith

Have Have you you accepted accepted longer longer payments payments than you than feel comfortable you feel with over the past twelve months?*

comfortable % with over the past twelve months?*

0,5

SME

49%

Large

corporation

0,4

0,3

SME

Large

corporation

0,2

0,1

43%

43%

43%

16%

26%

22%

The long-term effects of the

COVID-19 crisis are unknown,

with a decline in consumer

demand for some services

and activities presenting an

ongoing challenge.

19%

12%

*The is a multiple answer

question, hence the total add

up to more than 100%

0,0

Yes, from a

small to medium

company

Yes, from a large/

multinational

corporation

Yes, from a public

sector company

No

1% 1%

Not sure

*) The companies is a multiple answer are question, looking hence the for total extended add up to more than help 100%. share of late payment pressure,” Eddie

8) Entrepreneurship and Small & medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), European Commission website

to navigate through the challenges – 56 continues. “Often these companies are

percent in the UK said they feel a new not well-placed when it comes to credit

legislation is needed. But building a management and debt collection as they

12 sustainable payment EPR culture 2020 Special will Edition require Covid-19 White Paper

a change in behaviour. To an extent, this

is already happening, with businesses

seeking initiatives at a local and European

level to tackle the problem.

For example, there has been a rise in

the adoption of the EU Late Payment

Directive in the UK, despite its exit from

the EU: 27 percent of UK businesses in the

survey say they always use it, compared

with five percent in 2019. Meanwhile, on

a European level, almost half (47 percent)

of respondents would like to see voluntary

initiatives from corporations – a rise of 15

percent from last year. “Awareness of the

impact of late payment and the options

open to businesses under EU and UK

legislation is important. These and further

voluntary initiatives will be essential in

ensuring steady cashflow for businesses

as we emerge from the immediate crisis,”

Eddie adds.

SMES SQUEEZED

For small businesses, late payment can

mean the difference between survival and

bankruptcy, limiting their ability to pay

employees and suppliers, cover operating

costs and pursue growth opportunities.

Across Europe, Intrum found SMEs are

more likely than their larger counterparts

to accept unfavourable late payment

terms – 49 percent had accepted this from

a fellow SME, compared with 43 percent

of their large corporation peers.

“It is a concern that small businesses

may be shouldering more than their fair

lack the scale to have dedicated resources

in these areas.”

For small

businesses,

late payment

can mean the

difference

between survival

and bankruptcy,

limiting their

ability to pay

employees and

suppliers.

With SMEs representing 99 percent

of businesses in the EU, the impact of

COVID-19 increases the urgency of finding

a solution to this problem. Ensuring

their recovery post COVID-19 will be an

essential ingredient in European recovery,

both at corporate and consumer levels.

IRISH DISPUTES

In Ireland, COVID-19 has intensified

disputes regarding goods and services.

Over half of Irish businesses (51 percent)

rank disputes regarding goods and

services within their top three challenges

to timely payment over the next 12

months – above the European average of

30 percent, and the highest percentage

across Europe.

This figure increases from 44 percent

for those surveyed before the COVID-19

crisis to 55 percent of those surveyed

during the crisis. Meanwhile businesses

in Ireland are looking to cut down

on recruitment. Almost half of Irish

companies surveyed (48 percent) plan to

cut down on recruitment in preparation

for a recession, compared to the European

average of 29 percent. This figure is the

highest in Europe.

LONG-TERM IMPACT

The long-term effects of the COVID-19

crisis are unknown, with a decline in

consumer demand for some services

and activities presenting an ongoing

challenge. As businesses are forced to

reduce headcount in response, this may

negatively impact consumer ability to pay

invoices due to lower disposable income.

Businesses that are able to safeguard

their liquidity will emerge stronger from

the crisis, while those with less liquidity

to fall back on may find themselves under

threat. Prompt payment initiatives will

be crucial in ensuring steady cashflow

and recovery. These issues need careful

attention to secure economic stability.

For more information: https://

www.intrum.co.uk/business-solutions/

analytics-insights/european-paymentreport-2020/

Heather Greig-Smith is a freelance

business writer.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 15


Level 4 Apprenticeship

Counter Fraud

Investigator

Certificate in

Consumer Debt Collection

(CertDC)

in partnership with

The London Institute of Banking and Finance

Credit Services Association (CSA)

Apprenticeship Programme Overview

Credit Services Association (CSA)

Programme Overview

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 16


FROM THE CHAIR

Dream Big

Reflections of the outgoing Chair.

AUTHOR – Pete Whitmore FCICM

Pete Whitmore FCICM

I

can barely believe that this will

be my last column as Chair of our

wonderful Institute or that the two

years have passed so quickly. In my

first column, I challenged fellow

credit professionals to dream big by

making use of the Institute’s support facilities

including the mentor hub.

Boy, I never expected just how much we

would need those support facilities to help

us manage the needs of this much changed

world. To think at that time, we expected our

biggest challenge to be the impact of Brexit,

once we knew what it really meant. That

challenge is still there, but has been vastly

overshadowed by the global pandemic, which

continues to threaten our very existence both

personally and professionally.

What never ceases to astound me is the

strength of the human spirit to overcome

adversity and the acts of kindness that

provide the inspiration to take us forward. A

new generation of real superheroes has been

acknowledged in the form of those wonderful

frontline workers and here’s hoping that their

actions and sacrifices are never forgotten.

The world has changed and a ‘new normal’

continues to be established. I am proud of

the fact that the CICM has led the way in

developing the tools that we need to meet the

ever-changing demands of this new world.

Beginning with ‘Managing Credit in a Crisis’

to ‘Managing Credit through the Recovery’ to

the latest ‘Managing the New Credit Future,’

the CICM has provided a bounty of resources

supplemented by many webinars and the

sharing of knowledge. We continue to deliver

on the mantle of being the recognised

standard in credit.

I would like to thank Sue Chapple FCICM

for the way in which she has steered the

CICM through these unprecedented times

ensuring a strong future for the Institute.

Sue has already proven herself as a worthy

successor to the role of Chief Executive and

will use her practical credit management

knowledge and experience to continuously

drive the Institute forward. There are exciting

times ahead.

We also have a team at The Watermill that

keep the interests and needs of the members

at the heart of everything we do. They have

all gone the extra mile during this crisis to

ensure that we can continue to deliver the

services and support our members need.

I thank them for everything they have

achieved.

I could not pen my last column without

paying homage to Philip King FCICM. He was

primarily the reason that I became involved

with the Institute many years ago. Philip has

shown that it is possible to enter the credit

industry in a junior administration role and

rise through the ranks to Credit Manager

before becoming the Chief Executive of

our Institute and then onto public office as

the Interim Small Business Commissioner.

Never underestimate the calibre of CICM

professionals!

The value of having an experienced, strong

and diverse Executive Board has never been

more personified than during the current

crisis. The ability to be able to provide

excellent guidance has been critical and I

have been so fortunate to have a board full

of individuals at the top of their profession.

I cannot begin to thank them enough for all

their hard work making my job far easier

than it could have been.

The end of my tenure as Chair will also

mark the end of my involvement in the

governance of the Institute after the best part

of a decade. I will still be involved in technical

matters and hope to have the opportunity to

interact with many members as we come

out of this crisis. I feel so privileged to have

been Chair and know that the future of the

Institute is in very safe hands.

Stay safe and remember, if you dream big,

anything is possible.

What never ceases to astound me is the

strength of the human spirit to overcome

adversity and the acts of kindness that provide

the inspiration to take us forward.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 17


OPINION

START THE

REVOLUTION

Invoice-to-Cash (I2C) automation is coming of age.

AUTHOR – Holly Scott-Donaldson

THE COVID-19 crisis hasn’t so much

changed business priorities as focused

attention on a smaller number of

absolutely critical issues. Invoice-to-

Cash (I2C) automation is one of them.

From a business perspective, the

COVID-19 pandemic has been a huge wake-up call.

For most businesses, a small number of ‘nice-tohaves’

have suddenly become mission-critical. For

instance, banks have always aspired to have good

online services; but with physical branches closed,

this ambition became a necessity. Manufacturers

always prized agility; but when the lockdown caused

demand to surge or wane – or demanded that the

company pivot to a completely different business

model – agility took centre stage.

The finance function is no different. Prelockdown,

the number of invoices that were paid

late was below 16 percent: by May, that number

had ballooned to 53 percent – or more than half!

Suddenly, poor I2C management became an

existential threat: for many companies, getting cash

through the door was the difference between getting

by and going under.

With many sectors closing their doors as a

result of the lockdown, some of these non-payment

problems were clearly attributable to customers’

cashflow issues. However, many businesses found

that the problems were much closer to home.

DEAD LETTERS

Companies issuing paper invoices found that these

were effectively ‘dead letters’ sent to offices that were

no longer open and so simply weren’t reaching their

intended recipients. Many finance departments

rushed to furlough employees in a bid to stem their

outgoings; only to find that they hadn’t retained

enough resource to staff the AR function effectively;

or that furloughed sales staff were not available to

provide the insight necessary to resolve queries.

Suddenly, casual conversations about automating

the I2C process took on a whole new significance,

because those companies that had already invested

in I2C automation found that they were far better

placed to cope with the impact of the COVID-19

crisis.

For example, an online billings portal gives

customers access to all the information they need

– from wherever they happen to be. It also allows

customers to self-serve – for example, highlighting

specific issues they have with an invoice so that

these can be resolved quickly.

At a time when all expenses are under intense

scrutiny, I2C technology also dramatically lowers

the cost-to-serve by eliminating print and post costs;

and automating routine tasks so AR staff can do more

with less, and focus on value-adding activities. It

can also serve as a repository of all key information,

reducing the dependence on individuals who many

not be available to provide input.

THE ‘C’ WORD

But, focusing on the ‘I’ in I2C – the invoicing –

addresses only one part of the problem. As the crisis

unfolded and cash was recovered from more liquid

customers, attention shifted to aged debt – putting

the focus strongly on the collections end of the I2C

process.

With as many as half of invoices unpaid, it’s often

difficult to see the wood for the trees. One of the

key benefits of I2C automation is that it provides

clear, consistent and data-driven visibility of your

aged debt profile; enabling you to develop smarter

approaches to aged debt, testing and optimising over

time based on real results rather than assumptions

and habit.

Aged debt analysis

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 18


OPINION

Intelligent Workflows

With a consolidated dashboard of data that

tracks customer activity in real time, you are

able to know when invoices have been received

and see queries in real-time, managing them

not just by order of receipt but by order of

impact on collections – and keeping the highest

priority invoices active in the collections

process.

Imagine having a full account view of a

customer’s payment history, allowing you to

identify when an aged debt profile shifts; so, you

could immediately have an honest, transparent

conversation with the customer that avoids

them moving into bad debt – and retaining their

loyalty and trust. When it comes to aged debt,

being able to be proactive and supportive will go

a long way in maintaining good relations with

your customers when the crisis lifts.

THE ‘THRIVE’ MANDATE

So, I2C automation addresses the immediate

issues of the COVID crisis, helping companies

to keep their heads above water by streamlining

invoicing and managing collections. But it

also addresses the ‘Thrive’ mandate which will

emerge as we enter the ‘new normal’, allowing

businesses to build an efficient and resilient

invoice to cash process.

For example, you can improve productivity

with automated workflows that integrate with

your existing systems to plan out an employee’s

day – with specific actions for a categorised set of

task types. This ensures that their activities are

aligned with the priorities that the department

has set.

Portal-based billing also offers enhanced

security and compliance. With a portal link

for delivery, an invoice recipient must have

Holly Scott-Donaldson

Head of Direct Sales for

Data Interconnect.

At a time when

all expenses are

under intense

scrutiny, I2C

technology also

dramatically

lowers the

cost-to-serve by

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and post costs.

the required sign-on access to that portal to

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ensures only authorised personnel can carry out

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fraud. Also, I2C automation ties together

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whole days off the process for implementing

electronic proof of delivery, something that was

only possible by using Intelligent Automation

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deliver these as a single document. At its

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fragmented I2C process.

THE TIME IS NOW

I2C has largely escaped the digital transformation

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active interest in online solutions to what

today are off-line problems (like paper-based

invoicing) – and when the COVID-19 crisis has

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before.

Before the lockdown, I2C automation was

important. It’s now almost mandatory.

Holly Scott-Donaldson is Head of Direct Sales

for Data Interconnect. For more information

visit: https://bit.ly/expert-time

Now is precisely the

time to take such a

step, when everyone

is re-evaluating their

processes and taking an

active interest in online

solutions.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 19


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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 21


LEGAL MATTERS

SPARK OUT

A landmark case may have far-reaching

consequences for liquidators and creditors.

AUTHORS – Jackie Ray FCICM and Jennifer Guthrie

THIS case of Bresco

Electrical Services Ltd (in

liquidation) v Michael J

Lonsdale (Electrical) Ltd

concerned the right of a

company in liquidation to

have its claim relating to a construction

contract referred to an independent

adjudicator under the Construction

Adjudication Regime set up in 1996.

In 2014 Bresco had been contracted to

carry out electrical works for Lonsdale.

Lonsdale later claimed more than £300,000

from Bresco as compensation for failing

to complete work due under the terms of

the contract. Bresco claimed it was owed

some £219,000 by Lonsdale for services it

had provided under the contract. Bresco

had since gone into liquidation.

The liquidator referred the matter to

an Adjudicator, but Lonsdale claimed

that cross-claims could not be referred

to Adjudication where one company is

in liquidation, as insolvency legislation

(principally the 1986 Insolvency Act)

provides for cross claims in these

circumstances to be set-off between the

company in liquidation and its creditors,

resulting in a simple net balance owed.

Effectively, they argued, insolvency

set-off rendered the claims under the

contract void, so it could not be referred

to Adjudication.

PERCEIVED CONFLICT

Essentially, therefore, the case concerns

a perceived conflict between the

construction Adjudication regime and

the set-off provisions of the insolvency

legislation. Lonsdale applied to the

Technology and Construction Court for an

injunction stopping the adjudication on

that the basis that the set-off requirement

rendered the cross-claims replaced by a

single net balance, so there were no longer

any claims to be referred to an adjudicator,

and the adjudicator accordingly had no

jurisdiction (the ‘Jurisdiction’ point).

The Court accepted that argument and

granted Lonsdale’s injunction. Bresco

considered that the decision was wrong as

a matter of insolvency law and appealed.

In the Court of Appeal, the Jurisdiction

argument was overturned, but the Court

of Appeal introduced a new argument,

on the basis of ‘futility’. Effectively,

Court of Appeal said that Adjudications

by insolvent companies would be

futile since it is highly unlikely that any

award in favour of an insolvent company

would be enforced by a Court. Bresco then

appealed to the Supreme Court. Lonsdale

cross-appealed on the Jurisdiction point.

The Supreme Court decision was

unanimous. Lord Briggs delivered the

judgment that found in favour of Bresco

on both points. He emphasised that the

Construction Adjudication Scheme has

been highly successful as a means of

alternative dispute resolution, saving

huge sums in legal fees and valuable

time that would otherwise have been

spent in litigation through the Courts.

It is also evident that Adjudication

decisions are rarely challenged, as the

parties are generally prepared to treat

the Adjudication as binding. Or, as Lord

Briggs phrased it during the hearing,

the parties are generally not ‘sufficiently

unhappy’ to pursue matters further after

an Adjudication decision.

In upholding the Court of Appeal

judgment on the Jurisdiction point, Lord

Briggs said that the insolvency set-off does

not mean there is no longer any dispute

under the terms of the construction

contract, or that the respective claims

are invalidated. Bresco would still

have had the right to have the value

of its claim determined in Court or

through arbitration. It followed that the

claim could also be referred to

Adjudication.

In allowing Bresco’s appeal on the

Futility point, Lord Briggs made clear

that the starting point is that it would

ordinarily be inappropriate for a Court

to interfere with the exercise of a

statutory and contractual right. Indeed,

Adjudication in the circumstances was

an effective means for the liquidator to

determine the value of the net balance.

Enforcement of an Adjudication decision

by way of summary judgment, rather than

affecting the utility of the Adjudication

process, is properly to be addressed

at the enforcement stage, if there

is one.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 22


LEGAL MATTERS

AUTHORS – Jackie Ray FCICM and Jennifer Guthrie

In the Court of Appeal, the Jurisdiction

argument was overturned, but the Court

of Appeal introduced a new argument, on

the basis of ‘futility’.

Lord Briggs’ judgment confirms a strong belief that

there is no conflict between the insolvency set-off

regime and the construction adjudication process.

The ‘conflict’ that had been perceived between the

regimes was caused by an over-literal reading of the

judgment of Lord Hoffman in Stein v Blake.

FAR-REACHING CONSEQUENCES

The Supreme Court’s decision thus has farreaching

consequences for liquidators (and,

by extension, administrators) of construction

companies where there are outstanding

contractual disputes, and for the counterparties

to those contracts. It makes clear that

there is no conflict between insolvency set-off

and Adjudication, and clarifies the scope of the

Adjudication regime as a mechanism for practical

and speedy resolution of construction contract

claims.

Lord Briggs’ judgment confirms a strong belief

that there is no conflict between the insolvency

set-off regime and the construction adjudication

process. The ‘conflict’ that had been perceived

between the regimes was caused by an over-literal

reading of the judgment of Lord Hoffman in Stein

v Blake. Lord Hoffman never suggested that the

underlying causes of action lost their separate

identity entirely – simply that all that could be

assigned after liquidation is the net balance.

The positive news for creditors is that the

insolvent party may be able to recover monies

validly owed to it through the Adjudication

process which is a quick and, in relative terms,

fairly low-cost alternative to Court proceedings.

So how easy is it now for Administrators

and Liquidators to use the adjudication process?

There are still some pragmatic and commercial

issues for Administrators and Liquidators to

consider. Although the Supreme Court has

made clear that a company in insolvency has an

unfettered right to use Adjudication, that isn’t

quite the end of the story. As a starting point, there

are the Adjudicator’s fees to consider – in many

insolvent construction companies, there simply

isn’t the money to take the risk on those fees.

There is also an open question on enforcement,

which the Supreme Court effectively left to the

first instance court to determine on a case-bycase

basis.

Could this mean greater returns in respect of

construction insolvency matters? In principle,

yes. The judgment will allow an alternative

for Liquidators from funding litigation against

entities who consider that, because of the

insolvent status of the potential Claimant,

payments can be withheld and spurious claims,

can be made reducing liability.

The authors believe this is a significant case,

and one with such widespread importance – as

was recognised by the Supreme Court in granting

leave to appeal in the first place – that it had to be

pursued. We believed that the decisions in Bresco

were wrong. Our senior counsel from both Court

of Appeal and Supreme Court, Peter Arden QC,

agreed. And, nearly two years after the initial

injunction, our persistence has been rewarded.

Jackie Ray FCICM, Partner, and Nina Bhatti,

Solicitor, of Blaser Mills LLP acted for Bresco’s

liquidator (through its appointed agent

Pythagoras Capital) in the successful appeal to

the Supreme Court in June 2020.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 23


COUNTRY FOCUS

Germany is still

the engine driving

Europe’s economy.

German.Bite

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

ASK anyone on the Clapham

omnibus what they know

of German history and

it’s a fair bet that they’ll

offer comment about two

world wars, Adolf Hitler,

the Berlin Wall, BMW and Mercedes,

Oktoberfest and England’s 1966 win over

West Germany.

While all of these are notable, Germany

is much more than that and has a history

that goes back as least as far as Julius

Caesar where Germania – a term that

Hitler resurrected for the Third Reich –

was used to distinguish the region from

Gaul which is now modern France.

Regional dukes, princes and bishops,

Martin Luther, the Holy Roman Empire

and Bismarck’s unification of the

German states – followed by an industrial

revolution – put Germany in the position

of being, by 1900, the dominant European

power.

Of course, the two world wars changed

the equilibrium somewhat. The splitting

of Germany into West and East drove

the two halves in different directions

economically. Communism in the East

stultified its economy while the West

received aid from the US in the form of

the 1948 Marshall Plan. The so called

Wirtschaftswunder saw an economic

boom where GNP rose by 80 percent and

the investment rate rose by 120 percent

between 1952 and 1960.

The biggest challenge Germany

has faced in recent years is that of the

reunification of its two parts, both

culturally and economically, as cash

flowed from West to East to rebuild what

the communists couldn’t (or didn’t).

But moving beyond the fall of the Wall,

Germany now has a number of problems to

contend with including the assimilation of

the 1.2m refugees that applied for asylum

in 2015 and 2016. (According to a report on

Al Jazeera a good number are filling the

skills vacuum); a rise in the right wing;

the ending of the Merkel chancellorship;

and whether the UK’s departure from the

EU harms the economy as Germany has

to make up contributions that the UK has

stopped paying just as a further slowdown

may follow from the possible ending of

free movement and the imposition of

tariffs.

Germany narrowly missed recession

in 2019, it may not be so lucky in 2020,

especially given the additional challenges

of COVID-19.

EUROPE’S ENGINE

Even so, Germany is now – alongside

France – the engine of Europe’s economy

now that the UK has left the trading bloc.

The country is federal in nature and

comprises of 16 states, collectively known

as Länder, each of which varies in size and

population. By size, the largest is Bavaria

with a population of 12.44million. The

smallest in size and population is Bremen

with just 663,000 people. The most

populous is North Rhine-Westphalia with

18.07million people.

Being placed in the centre of Europe

makes Germany a hub for goods and

services that are to be distributed

throughout the region; having borders

with every major economy in central

Europe, instant access to both established

markets in western Europe and growing

markets in central and eastern Europe

makes Germany a country not to be

ignored.

Economically speaking, Germany

has a social market economy, where the

spirit of free enterprise is encouraged but

is controlled to prevent large economic

participants from seriously damaging

other interests. Unfair competition,

antitrust matters and the protection of

the environment as well employees are all

dealt with by legislation.

With an estimated gross domestic

product in 2020 of more than $4.02tn

according to Trading Economics, Germany

really is a global economic driving force

and the world’s fourth largest economy.

According to the Nasdaq, the US is placed

first with a GDP of $21.44tn, followed by

China ($14.14tr) and Japan $5tn.

On top of that, Germany’s economy is

expected to grow by about two percent

in the next two years, with future growth

forecast between 0.7 percent and 1.75

percent over the next 20 to 50 years

– assuming of course, that recession

is avoided and the EU successfully

concludes an agreement with the UK.

As Business Development Germany puts

it: ‘the consistently strong economic

performance offers substantial long-term

growth potential for businesses from

countries such as the UK and the US.’

Germany is fortunate as it is the

European Union’s most populous country

with 82.85million people. In comparison,

France has 66.99million and now that

the UK has left the EU, Italy is next

with 60.48million people. Such a large

population makes for a huge domestic

market and its consumer market presents

major opportunities for foreign companies

from all sectors.

SMALL BUSINESSES

SME businesses are important to Germany

– as, to be fair they are in other nations;

82 percent of German firms are classed as

micro SMEs, 15.1 percent as small SMEs

and 2.4 percent as medium SMEs. Just

0.5 percent of firms are noted as large

enterprises. It’s notable that Business

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 24


COUNTRY FOCUS

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

Development Germany considers Germany the ‘home

of the SME.’ However, Germany should be compared to

the UK, where 90 percent of firms are classed as micro

SMEs, 8.4 percent as small SMEs and 1.3 percent as

medium SMEs with just 0.3 percent of firms are noted as

large enterprises. (Data from Annual Report on European

SMEs 2018/2019 published by the European Commission).

But no matter the statistics, it’s important for those

wanting to sell to German firms that they don’t just

target the larger buyer as they’d be missing out on huge

opportunities; business size is no barrier to success as the

German market is particularly supportive of SMEs.

No business can exist without good staff and employers

in Germany are blessed with workers that are highly

skilled; 81 percent of the German population has been

trained to university entrance level or holds a recognised

vocational qualification. This dual system of vocational

education, which combines workplace training with

academic training, produces highly skilled graduates

who match the needs of industry. The demand for

professionals is met by 383 higher education institutions

and from an early age, German citizens are channelled

towards careers that allow them to reach their maximum

potential.

In addition, the economy offers a low level of corruption

and a high level of innovation. As for market segments,

the services contribute approximately 71 percent of

the total GDP, industry 28 percent and agriculture one

percent.

It also shouldn’t come as a surprise that Germany

advocates closer European economic and political

integration; its commercial policies, for example, are

increasingly determined by agreements among EU

members and by EU legislation.

Neuschwanstein Castle is a

19th-century Romanesque Revival

palace on a rugged hill above the

village of Hohenschwangau near

Füssen in southwest Bavaria,

Germany. The palace was

commissioned by King Ludwig II

of Bavaria as a retreat and in

honour of Richard Wagner.

SETTING UP A BUSINESS

There are a number of main legal forms for entities

trading in Germany: two societies – registered

cooperative society (Eingetragene Genossensschaft

– e.G.); registered association (Eingetragener Verein

– e.V.); five forms of corporation – limited liability

company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung

– GmbH), stock corporation (Aktiengesellschaft –

AG), European company (Societas Europaea – SE),

partnership limited by shares (Kommanditgesellschaft

auf Aktien – KGaA), and limited liability entrepreneurial

company (Unternehmergesellschaft – UG); there are

five forms of partnerships – civil law partnership

(Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts – GbR), silent

partnership (Stille Gesellschaft), general partnership

(offene Handelsgesellschaft – oHG), limited partnership

(Kommanditgesellschaft – KG), and professional

partnership (Partnerschaftsgesellschaft – PartG).

Any legally dependent operating units must be

registered at the local office of trade and commerce

(Industrie und Handelskammer – IHK).

Where an investor sets up a branch, it must register

with a notary public to be entered into the commercial

register (Handelsregister). As would be expected,

documentation needs to be translated and certified.

Further, certain sectors – banking, financial services,

insurance, pharmaceuticals, nuclear energy, public

transportation and gastronomy for example – require a

public licence to operate.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 25

continues on page 26 >


COUNTRY FOCUS

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

Foreign direct investment isn’t an issue per

se, but it should be noted that acquisitions of

German firms may be called in for review by

the German Federal Ministry for Economic

Affairs and Energy. A number of situations

require this when a 25 percent shareholding

threshold is about to be crossed. International

law firm Allen & Overy has reported that in

recent months the ministry has ‘…tightened

its approach and tends to initiate in-depth

review procedures. At the same time, clearance

procedures become more complex.’ In other

words, the process should be planned for.

EMPLOYEE WELFARE

Just as in the UK, Germany has no single

piece of legislation governing employment

relationships and there is no consolidated

employment law code. Collective bargaining

agreements (Tarifverträge), works agreements

(Betriebsvereinbarungen) and case law have

a bearing on relationships. In the event of a

conflict, the provision that’s most advantageous

for the employees applies. Germany differs

from the UK in that the importance of case law

is much higher in employment law than in the

rest of the German legal system.

Aside from a few exceptions (such as fixedterm

contracts), employment contracts do not

need to be in writing. With the official language

being German, it is sensible to use bi-lingual

contracts.

It should also be noted that Germany

has provisions in the law for dealing with

discrimination, minimum wages, sick pay

(after four weeks of employment workers get up

to six weeks at 100 percent of pay, beyond that

a lower level), holiday entitlements based on

EU law, and protection against unfair dismissal

after six months if more than 10 people are

employed ‘unless socially justified.’

On top of this is a right to establish a works

council if more than five people are employed.

Councils are consulted on social, personnel

and economic matters.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Over time ordinarily tranquil business

relationships can sour leaving firms with messy

disputes to resolve. Disputes in Germany are

resolved by the state courts, but the sides may,

however, choose to use arbitral tribunals or to

alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

Germany has three main types of court – civil,

criminal and administrative – with the former

most likely to be used. In German litigation

proceedings written submissions are key. That

said, it’s the judge who takes the leading role –

they will decide whether to retain an expert or

order any person to testify as a witness. Unlike

in the UK, there is no disclosure of information

and each must provide the evidence on which

it wishes to rely.

It’s of note that in general, the unsuccessful

party regularly ends up bearing the court

fees and the opponent’s lawyer fees. Also, any

reimbursement will only ever include statutory

fees which more often than not, is considerably

lower than the actual legal fees. The average

civil case – in the first and second instance –

takes nine to ten months. Appeals to the highest

courts are rare. And judgments can be enforced

through seizure of movable assets, monetary

claims or enforcement against real estate by

way of, for example, forced public auction.

In comparison to the courts which are

public and appealable, arbitration is private

and findings are final.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Any civilised society protects the creations that

power businesses and Germany is no different.

EU law permits trademarks, designs and from

2018 onwards, patents, to be registered in one

country – Germany – and for the registration to

count EU-wide. Trademarks, designs, patents,

and utility models (but not copyright) are

registered at the German Patent and Trademark

Office. Further, protection of product designs

and business achievements is available under

German law against unfair competition.

Copyright is considered personal and unable to

be assigned – only licensed.

TAXATION

Lastly, tax affects profitability. In Germany,

there are three different types of income

taxes – Einkommensteuer, which is imposed

on individuals; Körperschaftsteuer, which is

imposed on corporations; and Gewerbesteuer

which is paid by individuals or corporations in

trade or a business.

Corporations are generally subject to German

corporate income tax at a uniform rate of 15.825

percent (including the solidarity surcharge on

its worldwide income. Partnerships themselves

are not subject to German corporate income

tax; instead the partners – corporate or

individuals – are taxed at the regular German

corporate income tax rate.

There is also a German trade tax rate which

depends on the local municipality where the

permanent establishment is located and ranges

from seven percent to 17.5 percent.

Personal income tax – Einkommensteuer

– is banded. There’s a nil rate band to €8004

per annum. Between that sum to a ceiling of

€52,882 it’s 14 percent to 42 percent. The next

band is 42 percent up to €250,731 and above

that it’s 45 percent.

As for VAT, purchases attract a rate of 19

percent which is generally recoverable by the

acquirer if the acquirer qualifies as a taxable

person for German valued added tax.

IN SUMMARY

Germany is a land of opportunity with a welleducated

and hardworking labour force.

The economy is facing new challenges, but

exporters would do well to attempt to gain a

foothold in the country.

Adam Bernstein is a freelance

business writer.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 26


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OPINION

NEW

FEATURE

ALL SYSTEMS GO

UK support scheme receives EC go-ahead.

AUTHOR – Kevin Godier

Kevin Godier

THE European Commission

(EC) has finally approved

plans for approximately

€11bn (GBP £9.9bn) in

temporary UK state aid to

guarantee private trade

credit insurance (TCI) cover for British

businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. The

late July move ended a 10-week wait since

a mid-May Government pledge to backstop

excess losses that UK credit insurers may

suffer from offering such cover. Now, the

UK Government has effectively become

a reinsurer, able to shoulder 90 percent

of potential losses in return for a similar

portion of the participating insurers’

premium.

The state support scheme is the first of

its kind in the UK, adding to the protection

that TCI underwriters in Britain already

had in place against large losses through

their existing reinsurance programmes.

However, with multiple signals suggesting

that corporate payment defaults triggered

by the coronavirus outbreak could

outstrip levels experienced during the

One onlooker, Fitch Ratings, believes

that the trade credit backstops

provided by Governments in Europe

and elsewhere – as well as overall

measures to aid the global economy

– can help stem potential TCI losses

from the COVID-19 fallout.

global financial crisis of 2008/09, the TCI

industry has understandably adopted a

significantly more cautious approach to

B2B business activity. In a statement, the

EC explained that its approval for the UK

initiative aligned with European Union

(EU) state aid rules, on the grounds that

the economic fallout from the pandemic

has lessened appetite within the insurance

sector to cover businesses under trade

credit policies.

The backstop means trade credit

insurers in Britain can maintain the level

of protection offered to businesses before

the coronavirus outbreak. In the UK, TCI

provided cover for £171bn of business

activity at end-April 2020, covering 13,000

suppliers and 650,000 buyers, according to

the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Essentially, the UK Government can now

pay 90 percent of TCI claims, with insurers

picking up the tab for the remaining 10

percent of losses. The scheme is open to

all trade credit insurers in the UK until

the end of the year, the EC said. All UKdomiciled

businesses with a trade credit

insurance policy can be covered for both

their domestic and export trade, and there

will be a review at the end of September on

potentially extending the scheme.

The move was welcomed by Atradius,

which confirmed the scheme is ‘now

in place and operational.’ The initiative

‘improves the trading environment for

those firms that purchase credit insurance

(our customers) and for the hundreds

of thousands of UK businesses that are

covered in our portfolio (our customers’

customers),’ according to an Atradius

spokesperson. This view was corroborated

by the ABI, which said the new scheme ‘is on

track to ensure that widespread availability

of cover can continue.’ It said that TCI

underwriters ‘have been considering their

involvement in the scheme, with a number

of major providers having confirmed

their participation.’ Atradius, Coface,

Euler Hermes, Markel Corporation and

QBE Insurance Group have opted into the

scheme, S&P Global noted on 2 August.

The delays were explained by one

participant as tightly linked to the

complexity and size of the agreement. ‘It

could be compared to an M&A deal, with

lots of moving parts, and last-minute

adjustments. The need for all parties – the

UK Treasury, the Department for Business,

Energy and Industrial Strategy, the ABI,

private TCI underwriters and the EC itself

– to agree took up considerable amounts of

time.’

One onlooker, Fitch Ratings, believes

that the trade credit backstops provided

by Governments in Europe and elsewhere

– as well as overall measures to aid the

global economy – can help stem potential

TCI losses from the COVID-19 fallout.

Fitch said that pandemic-related credit

insurance claims will peak in late 2020

and continue well into 2021, after which

credit insurers’ financial performance

should then improve as they re-underwrite

business at higher prices to recoup losses

and meet higher demand.

Kevin Godier is a freelance journalist and

editor of International Trade Finance.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 29


INTERNATIONAL

TRADE

Monthly round-up of the latest stories

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.

A tale of

TWO COUNTRIES…

IF you’re selling into parts of the Middle

East be careful of the currency you use.

Take Lebanon. It appears that the

country’s financial meltdown has thrown

the Lebanese into a frantic search for dollars

as their local currency’s value has evaporated.

From reports, deals are being negotiated on a

daily basis as the Lebanese pound continues

a downward spiral. Everyone wants to, but

cannot, pay in US dollars held in accounts

frozen by the Government in need of foreign

exchange.

Since 1997, the local currency, the pound,

was pegged at around 1,500 to the dollar;

but this rate created what was essentially

a Ponzi scheme where the banks loaned to

successive Governments who borrowed to

finance massive public debt and pay for vital

imports like fuel — but also luxury goods.

The problem is that the deposits to fund the

lending came mainly from expats attracted to

high interest rates which has collapsed along

with direct foreign investments.

Now, thousands have fallen into poverty

– wages are worthless and prices are

skyrocketing. Many retailers have shut down,

unable to import or price goods with the

fluctuating rates. Some have either closed or

only take payment in dollars.

The peg remains in place officially,

even as the black-market price of a dollar

has spiralled to at least five times that.

Meanwhile, the authorities imposed rationing

on exchange bureaus, limiting how many

dollars a person can buy and setting a rate

higher than the peg but lower than the black

market.

And the situation in Iran is no better. Its rial

is now at its weakest against the US dollar –

life is not only expensive, but the economy

is in trouble following coronavirus and US

sanctions. Just like Lebanon, the official and

black-market rates are poles apart – 215,000

rials versus an official rate of 42,000 to the

dollar

The central bank has had to inject millions

of dollars to stabilise the rial, but this is

introducing further inflationary pressures

into the market. And foreign currency is hard

to earn – Iran’s oil exports once stood at 2.5m

barrels a day in April 2018 but is around 100-

200,000 now.

As to the people, few can now escape

hardship – the higher echelons and ordinary

workers are equally feeling the impact of the

sinking rial.

The point is very simple. The Lebanese and

Iranian economies are in dire straits; tread

carefully and protect your currency position

when sealing deals.

Now, thousands have fallen into

poverty – wages are worthless

and prices are skyrocketing.

Many retailers have shut down,

unable to import or price goods

with the fluctuating rates.

EUROZONE RECESSION 'WILL BE DEEPER THAN FORECAST'

BUT if the UK is in trouble, so the

eurozone is also in the mire reckons the

European Commission. It thinks that the

union’s GDP will shrink by 8.7 percent

this year before growing 6.1 percent in

2021. France, Italy and Spain appear to be

struggling the most.

The Commission revised its previous

forecasts because lifting coronavirus

lockdown measures in eurozone countries

was taking longer than it had initially

thought.

Growth forecasts for France, Italy and

Spain were specifically cut after they

were hit hard by coronavirus; the

commission now expects downturns of

more than 10 percent this year in each

of the three nations. In comparison,

Germany has suffered less with

coronavirus and so should see a 6.3

percent contraction. The bounce back

will depend entirely on any new waves

of infections, unemployment, corporate

insolvencies, and an EU-UK Brexit trade

deal.

It’s getting quite dull to say this but

consider which EU nations you export to

and think about refocussing if necessary.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 30


(DON’T) ROCK

THE CASBAH

The UK as an emerging market?

GRANTED that this is a little introspective,

but it’s interesting. A report on CNN

Business has suggested that Brexit and

coronavirus is radically altering the UK’s

economy so that it could actually end up

looking more like an emerging economy

than one akin to that seen in France,

Germany or the United States.

A volatile currency, declining global

influence and a reliance on foreign

investors could change our standing in

the world. As that Bank of America noted

when it wrote in a note to clients, ‘we

believe (the pound) is in the process of

evolving into a currency that resembles the

underlying reality of the British economy:

small and shrinking.’ That said, Thomas

The class ceiling might soon shatter

NO one likes using the c-word, but

coronavirus is continuing to cause havoc,

especially so among the most vulnerable

in Africa. According to the World Bank,

around 58m Africans could be pushed

into ‘extreme poverty’. But while the poor

are the most likely to suffer, it appears

that coronavirus is chipping away at the

middle class on the continent – the people

most likely to buy imported goods from

cars and healthcare to consumer products.

It’s this group that is the most

educated, has set up a business and has

boosted consumer demand. As noted in

MoneyWeek, ‘in 30 years, this section of

Playing a long game

TIME performs marvels. It allows rifts to

heal, technologies to develop and societies

to change. Indeed, according to the UN

World Population Prospects 2019, the

planet Earth had a population of ‘just’ 1bn

in 1800, 2bn in 1930, 6bn by 1999 and has

some 7.8bn upon its surface now.

The UN has offered population

forecasts for the future that range wildly

from a high of 15.6bn to a low of 7.3bn

in 2100. The Lancet, a medical journal,

reckons that the figure could stand at

9.7bn by 2064 but may well drop to 8.8bn

by 2100 – a fall caused by the better

education of women and improvements to

contraception.

Now where the story gets interesting

is in where the changes are expected to

happen. It’s predicted that populations

in 23 nations including Japan, Spain

Pugh, UK economist at the research firm

Capital Economics is of the view that

‘we don't think there’s any risk that the

UK is suddenly going to be viewed as

an emerging market, but (Brexit and the

country's response to the pandemic) will

weigh on confidence.’

Could this affect our ability to export?

Unlikely, but it is a consideration. The UK

economy is seeing its worst downturn in

more than 300 years and there’s less than

six months to hammer out a new trade

deal with the European Union, our biggest

export market. The question is…while we

need the rest of the world, will it need us?

We are still the sixth largest economy in the

world, but for how much longer?

society has trebled according to some

estimates, and around 170m of Africa’s

1.3bn population is now defined as middle

class.’

But recession is looming and it’s

possible that around eight million could

be ‘knocked back into poverty’; jobs will

be hit and there is little social security to

protect them or their buying power.

So, if you’re an exporter of consumerled

goods with Africa as a key market,

now would be a good time to consider

where else to develop your reach or at the

minimum, look at which countries have

the furthest to fall.

and Italy will fall by half and another 34

countries – including China – will see

their populations decline by at least 25

percent. In comparison, much of Africa

will see populations at least treble. On top

of that the workforces in China, Spain,

Germany and the UK will drop markedly

and there will be more workers based in

Africa.

Overall the world is going to get much

greyer as the over 80’s outnumber those

under five, two to one. And if you agree

with what the Lancet is predicting, Africa

and the Arab world is the future – Europe

and much of the old order will be relegated

to a ‘has been’.

What does this all mean for exporters?

It’s simple – don’t just look at the here and

now, look to the long-term future and to

changing demographics.

NOTHING triggers market disturbances

like a little local economic meltdown.

And so it is in Algeria where a crackdown

on protesters has seen the authorities

arresting dozens of opposition activists.

Dissent is on the rise.

At issue is what some describe as a

military run system mired in repression,

corruption and economic mismanagement.

The big problem for Algeria, and those

that export to it, is that the economy is

reliant on oil and gas exports – more than

93 percent of its foreign currency reserves

are earned from them. As the world has

seen, coronavirus has lowered demand for

both, and prices have consequently fallen,

a move that has hurt an oil and gas sector

already in decline before coronavirus

struck.

Despite Governmental promises to

diversify the economy, reforms are slow in

coming and GDP is expected to shrink by

5.2 percent and the budget deficit to climb

to 20 percent of GDP. It’s clear – market

trouble is coming to Algeria, so if you want

to ‘rock the casbah’, consider streaming the

Clash without risking your cash.

GROUNDHOG

DAY FOR JAPAN?

JAPAN is heading for more economic

trouble and its worst post-war recession.

According to the Japan Times,

unemployment is at a three year high at 2.6

percent, industrial output is at its lowest

level since the global financial crisis in

2008, and retail sales fell by 12.3 percent

in May (which is hardly surprising since

the VAT rate was hiked again last October

and coronavirus has dented incomes). In

essence, when the Government releases

the data, the NLI Research Institute is

expecting a big contraction in the April-

June figures given the weak domestic and

international demand.

All of this should put exporters on

notice that the Japanese economy is not

the bedrock that it once was.

EXCHANGE RATES VISIT CURRENCYUK.CO.UK

OR CALL 020 7738 0777

Currency UK is authorised and regulated

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

GBP/EUR

GBP/USD

GBP/CHF

GBP/AUD

GBP/CAD

GBP/JPY

CURRENCY UK

HIGH LOW TREND

1.11483 1.09462 Up

1.31767 1.25158 Up

1.20159 1.17634 Flat

1.83875 1.77025 Up

1.76561 1.69907 Up

134.22069 140.15916 Up

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

month previous to/leading up to 16th August 2020.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 31


ADVISORY COUNCIL

Shaping the future

CICM Advisory Council gains new members.

AUTHOR – Iona Yadallee

THE CICM Advisory Council

has gained eight newly

elected members who took

up their positions in June

and who will be bringing

their individual insights and

experience to the Council.

The success of the Advisory Council

is centred around having members from

different specialisms and regions so

that it reflects the diverse range of skills

and experience amongst the Institute’s

membership. All those on the Advisory

Council, currently comprising of 19

members in total, are making a valuable

contribution to the credit profession and

the CICM, sharing ideas and opinions to

help formulate strategy and helping to

shape the future direction of the Institute.

They are also tasked with actively raising

the profile of the credit management

community to a wider business audience.

Alice Purdy MCICM(Grad), E.ON Heat

squad lead at E.ON UK was motivated

to join the Advisory Council as she is

passionate about the Institute and what

it can do to support others like her: “I

have been a member since 2013 and have

enjoyed my learning experience, and so I

want to give back to the Institute and help

other members.

“I want to help members by listening

and acting on what is important to them.

The next few years are going to be really

tough in the credit industry due to the

COVID crisis and Brexit and I want to

ensure the Institute can do everything it

can for our members and partners to help

this vital industry thrive.”

Similarly, Brendan Clarkson FCICM,

Director of CVR Global stood for election

as a natural step in a profession that he

respects and one that is at the heart of the UK

economy: “I started in credit 26 years ago,

and whilst my career veered to Insolvency

I have never been that far away. My

advisory position of Credit Services is one

where I believe I can add great value too.

I intend to champion the Institute

and raise the understanding of a credit

team.”

As another newly elected member,

Charles Mayhew FCICM, Director of

Global Credit Recoveries hopes to share

the knowledge and contacts he has built

up over a quarter of a century in credit:

“I am hoping to be able to assist members

who may be looking to gain experience on

export debt collection, and to add to the

CICM knowledge bank, and encourage

new students and members, especially

in overseas territories such as the Middle

East.”

“I want to help members by listening and acting on what is

important to them. The next few years are going to be really

tough in the credit industry due to the COVID crisis and Brexit

and I want to ensure the Institute can do everything it can for

our members and partners to help this vital industry thrive.”

Alice Purdy MCICM(Grad)

Sarah Aldridge

FCICM(Grad)

Debbie Nolan

FCICM(Grad)

Chris Sanders

FCICM

Victoria Herd

FCICM(Grad)

Larry Coltman

FCICM

Laurie Beagle

FCICM

Glen Bullivant

FCICM

Alan Church

FCICM(Grad)

Niall Cooter

FCICM

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 32


ADVISORY COUNCIL

“I started in credit 26 years ago, and whilst my

career veered to Insolvency I have never been

that far away. My advisory position of Credit

Services is one where I believe I can add great

value too. I intend to champion the Institute

and raise the understanding of a credit team.”

Brendan Clarkson FCICM

Peter Gent

FCICM(Grad)

Alice Purdy

MCICM(Grad)

Philip Holbrough

MCICM

Phil Rice

FCICM

Bryony Pettifor

FCICM(Grad)

Neil Jinks

FCICM

Allan Poole

MCICM

Brendan Clarkson

FCICM

“I am hoping to be able to assist members

who may be looking to gain experience on

export debt collection, and to add to the

CICM knowledge bank, and encourage new

students and members, especially in overseas

territories such as the Middle East.”

Charles Mayhew FCICM

Trade Credit Representatives

Sarah Aldridge FCICM(Grad)

Victoria Herd FCICM(Grad)

Phil Rice FCICM

International Credit Representatives

Laurie Beagle FCICM

Glen Bullivant FCICM

Bryony Pettifor FCICM(Grad)

Consumer Credit Representatives

Niall Cooter FCICM

Neil Jinks FCICM

Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad)

Credit Services Representatives

Brendan Clarkson FCICM

Larry Coltman FCICM

Chris Sanders FCICM

Regional areas covered

Alice Purdy MCICM(Grad) ....East Midlands

Vacant ....East of England

Alan Church FCICM(Grad) ....London

Allan Poole MCICM ....North East

Peter Gent FCICM(Grad) ....North West

Stephen Thomson FCICM ....Scotland, Northern Ireland & Ireland

Charles Mayhew FCICM ....South East

Vacant ....South West

Vacant ....Wales

Vacant ....West Midlands

Philip Holbrough MCICM ....Yorkshire & Humber

Charles Mayhew

FCICM

Stephen Thomson

FCICM

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 33


NEW

FEATURE

PANEL BASHERS

Understanding DSO

In our new series, we ask a panel of credit management

experts to answer some of our readers’ biggest questions.

Is DSO an

appropriate

measure of a

credit team's

performance?

Panellist Nigel Fields

FCICM

ALTHOUGH, DSO is widely used to evaluate the

speed that cash from sales is returned back to

the business, measured in days, unfortunately

it is not often fully understood by even the most

senior business Directors & CFO’s. A good Credit

Professional needs to be able to demonstrate why

the DSO fluctuates, illustrate the causes of the ups and downs and

be able to offer solutions. You can be damn sure that someone

will be blamed for poor performance when a DSO is high and

regrettably, the finger of blame will often be pointed directly at

the Credit Manager. So, get ready to be able to defend yourself and

show your true credit expertise.

The standard DSO formula is calculated by dividing total credit

sales for a given period, such as a month or year, by ending total

receivables and multiplying the resulting number by the number

of days in the period, e.g. 30 days for a month or 365 days for a year.

(Ending Total Receivables / Total Credit Sales) x Number of Days

in Period.

So, herein lies the dilemma; say a salesperson is offering

longer payment terms to customers to secure additional sales.

These longer payment terms will increase the DSO. Maybe,

some promotions are being offered but, unfortunately were not

communicated effectively internally or externally, leading to

disputes or deductions by customers. Again, this will impact the

DSO. There are many scenarios that go beyond the control of the

Credit Teams that will often cause big swings in the DSO. When

credit sales decline and receivables increase or are flat, the DSO

appears to have deteriorated or, if credit sales are growing, but

receivables are stable the DSO appears to have improved. The

DSO still is an effective and solid KPI to measure the business

performance, but it is NOT a measure of the collection team’s

performance alone.

No matter which metric you use for your analysis, make sure

that you understand exactly what influences and affects it. Become

an expert in understanding it and explaining causes (rather than

the ‘scapegoat’). Remember that sales, billing and collection,

all influence the DSO so each should be measured for their

effectiveness. Once you can measure the performance of each

department, then you can then pinpoint areas for improvement

and help influence change to poor business practices or processes.

Also, bear in mind that sometimes, the business will simply

continue to do as it did previously as it means business rather than

no business.

NIGEL FIELDS

A career in credit management spanning more than 30 years, Nigel is now a

senior consultant with a new start-up company TheBossCat.com which provides

knowledge, skills and various services to a wide range of businesses. Nigel spent

20 years working for Twentieth Century Fox International Film Corp. starting out

in its UK business as Credit Manager and rising to Executive Director for Credit,

responsible for Order to Cash (O2C) across Fox’s entire international business

portfolio. Prior to Fox, he worked as the Credit Manager at Hornby Hobbies and

a Credit Controller for GEC. Nigel says: “I attribute much of my career success to

the CICM community where I am always able to draw upon knowledge and skills

from the extensive array of members and partners.”

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 34


PANEL BASHERS

“I attribute much of my career success

to the CICM community where I am

always able to draw upon knowledge

and skills from the extensive array of

members and partners.”

Nigel Fields FCICM

“Money owed by customers is an asset

and for every day they don't pay, this

is a drain on your cashflow and profit.”

Matt Godby MCICM(Grad)

WELL, the simple answer is no! As with any

area of a business, there are a range of

measures that can demonstrate success – or

failure.

A fully functioning credit management

department will be using a range of

measures and targets that don’t necessarily relate the ageing of the

debt book. And with it being in the ‘pounds and pence’ business,

these can be tangible measures that don’t open themselves up to

interpretation.

Here are a few ideas from my experience. These should always

be transparent to the credit controllers and built into any annual

performance reviews:

Panellist Matt Godby.

MCICM(Grad)

MATT GODBY

Matt is the Principal at Godby Credit Management, an

order to cash specialist who helps businesses across the

country to get paid on time by their customers. Matt has

more than 25 years’ experience in credit management,

having started his career with Cargill Plc. His expertise

spans multiple industries, from telecoms to fashion,

healthcare to logistics. As Matt says: “Money owed by

customers is an asset and for every day they don't pay, this

is a drain on your cashflow and profit.”

If you’d like to join our panel of experts, or

if you have a question to ask, contact the

editor at sfeast@gravityglobal.com

• Cash collection. We all know that a sale isn’t a sale until it has

been paid for. A successful business relies on cashflow – not just

sales – to grow. Cash targets should be put in place for individual

credit controllers and the department as a whole.

• Segmentation. Most debt books should have somewhere around

20 percent of the customers making up 80 percent of the debt.

There can often be a long tail of smaller balance customers, who

may not get called at all. It’s important that the top customers get

proper focus, whilst managing the whole debt book. So, targets

could be based on your top 20 customers (priority), with a slightly

different one for the long tail.

• Customer calls. Relationships aren’t built on emails. It’s crucial

that the credit controllers are making calls to customers. You get

a much better feel of customers by having conversations and

that means you identify risks of problems earlier. Set a minimum

number of calls for each credit controller to make and regularly

monitor/discuss compliance.

• Risk. The primary and only reason for a credit management

department is to protect the risk of the business. This means

not only ensuring customers pay to terms, but also making sure

the risk analysis is robust enough to understand their financial

position. This means credit checking all new customers and

importantly, having the authority to refuse those that present

greatest risk. Existing customers should also be credit checked

regularly – your own payment patterns should be built into this.

I’ve created measures with my credit teams where their portfolio

of customers are credit checked at least every six months.

• Customer credit limits. Credit limits exist to control your

business exposure to bad debt. It is therefore crucial that credit

limits are kept up-to-date across your whole customer base and

therefore reflect their current financial circumstances. This links

directly to my risk comments above and so, when credit checking

is done, credit limits should be updated routinely. It’s prudent to

inform customers of their credit limit. It’s also very important that

the business takes credit limits seriously and when customers

reach it, necessary action (on hold, payment) is taken.

Any targets and KPIs need to be fair, reasonable and measurable.

I find that implementation is best achieved through agreement

with staff, balanced with the commercial requirements of the

business.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 35


Appointment |

Credit Academy Trainer

You

Are a passionate expert in credit management.

Are an inspiring trainer, coach and mentor.

Would love the opportunity to shape and influence

the credit talent in industries across the world.

We

Are the world’s largest recognised

professional body for the credit industry.

Are building our training team, thanks to the

recent success of CICM Training.

Have ambitious plans for the future.

Working for the CICM Credit Academy, the learning delivery arm of

the CICM, the new Credit Academy Trainer will enhance the capability

and competencies of CICM members, individuals and credit teams by

designing and delivering training programmes and products.

And there has never been a more exciting time to join our team.

Go to cicm.com/vacancies for a full role description and how to apply.

You have until the end of September.


HIGH COURT ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ASSOCIATION

SOFTLY SOFTLY

As lockdown restrictions have eased what does this

mean for the civil enforcement industry?

AUTHOR – Andrew Wilson FCICM

UNSURPRISINGLY, civil enforcement

visits pretty much ground to a halt

during the emergency period.

Thanks to the good old-fashioned

common sense which enforcement

agents showed, this was the case

from very early on.

But just to make sure, Government even gave us

our own special statutory instrument to reinforce it.

So, where does that leave the industry now as

lockdown begins to ease? Anxious to return to work,

mainly. As many High Court Enforcement businesses

were left with no other option but to furlough staff

or make redundancies, many more had to work from

home, doing their best to enforce over the phone.

Sub-contracted bailiffs were hit even worse, but

don’t worry, I don’t expect you to weep a bitter tear

for any of us.

Our post-lockdown plan, entitled ‘A Flexible

and Sympathetic Approach to Enforcement’ was

submitted to the Ministry of Justice and adopted as

best practice, which meant that our members and

representatives could get back to work as safely and

as soon as possible.

We were grateful therefore to see the second

statutory instrument giving us a start date of 24

August for business as usual, as well as the restriction

on forfeiture of commercial leases extended to 30

September.

But the problems we faced in lockdown

aren’t going to disappear as we resume civil

enforcement. To quote Russell Hamblin Boon,

CEO of CIVEA, when talking to the British Parking

Association: “The first person to unknowingly clamp

a nurse’s car can expect a strong adverse reaction

from Government.”

So softly, softly is very much the order of the day.

But the reality is, collecting unpaid debt is more

important now than ever. Unpaid creditors are

tomorrow’s debtors (as in a landlord with a tenant

who can’t pay rent) and the commercial world of

UK PLC needs its debt collecting (as, of course, do

Government and local authorities). High Court

Enforcement dealt with over 100,000 Writs in 2018,

collecting just under £114 million of debt, at least

half of which was B2B.

Our post-lockdown plan had a secondary aim of

reassuring Government that we appreciate it will

take time for things to get back to normal, a recession

looms and there may be further problems for the

economy on the horizon (the dreaded prospect of a

No Deal Brexit, anyone? Me neither).

So, what exactly has changed about our normal

approach, which I like to describe as firm, fair

but robust.

RETRAINING STAFF

Well, to start with, we have been re-training all staff -

particularly the front-line bailiffs. In the new reality

of life between the end of lockdown and the return

to normal before any personal visits are made, we

are ensuring our staff and the people they meet stay

as safe and healthy as possible.

This includes the use of personal safety

equipment, social distancing, protection of both

themselves and those they meet, supporting the

vulnerable and recognising mental health issues and

a full understanding of what constitutes permitted

activity.

Pre-lockdown cases, where notice has been given,

have been (or are being) contacted where possible to

see if there has been any change in circumstances

over the emergency period.

The main concern, of course, is visits to residential

addresses – bailiffs will not enter where a member

of the household has coronavirus or is isolating.

The vulnerable, similarly to those severely impacted

financially by the pandemic, will be referred to debt

advice agencies for additional support. For those

who cannot pay in full, bailiffs will be encouraged

to get customers to enter into Controlled Goods

Agreements setting out installment plans, to keep

enforcement fees to a minimum.

For commercial debts, a similar approach has

been (or is being) taken, again looking at installment

arrangements to ease the burden on businesses as

they get back to full strength.

There has already been a trend to move towards

office-based enforcement, rather than bailiff visits

over the last few years. Bailiffs are expensive beasts

to run and need only to be used when they are truly

necessary. This will no doubt continue.

The amount of the average CCJ has reduced in

recent years partly, I think, because of the increase in

court fees on issue and partly because creditors tend

to chase their debts quicker than they used to - they

are more willing to accept installments, backed by

the leverage of further enforcement than they used

to. This is because, and I’m sure many HCEOs will

agree, regular installments are better than nothing

and often there are no goods which can effectively

be taken into control.

What has always been obvious, but exemplified

through this entire experience, is that the landscape

of civil enforcement was always going to change. The

pandemic has simply made us look much harder at

what works, and what doesn’t.

Andrew Wilson FCICM is Chairman of the High

Court Enforcement Officers Association (HCEOA).

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 37


Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 38


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insights delivered to your inbox.

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For more information call: 0800 001 234

© Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. 2020

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 39


INTRODUCING OUR

CORPORATE PARTNERS

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

Corporate Partnership with the CICM, please contact corporatepartners@cicm.com

Onguard is a specialist in credit management

software and a market leader in innovative solutions

for Order to Cash. Our integrated platform ensures

an optimal connection of all processes in the Order

to Cash chain and allows sharing of critical data. Our

intelligent tools can seamlessly interconnect and

offer overview and control of the payment process,

as well as contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.

The Onguard platform is successfully used

for successful credit management in more than 50

countries.

T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66

E: ruurd.bakker@onguard.com

W: www.onguard.com

Satago helps business owners and their

accountants avoid credit risks, manage debtors

and access finance when they need it – all in

one platform. Satago integrates with 300+ cloud

accounting apps with just a few clicks, helping

businesses:

Understand their customers - with RISK INSIGHTS

Get paid on time - with automated CREDIT CONTROL

Access funding - with flexible SINGLE INVOICE FINANCE

Visit satago.com and start your free trial today.

T: 020 8050 3015

E: hello@satago.com

W: www.satago.com

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

(SaaS) company. Its Integrated Receivables platform

reduces cycle times in the Order to Cash process through

automation of receivables and payments across credit,

e-invoicing and payment processing, cash allocation,

dispute resolution and collections. Powered by the RivanaTM

Artificial Intelligence Engine and Freeda Digital

Assistant for Order to Cash teams, HighRadius enables

more than 450 organisations to leverage machine

learning to predict future outcomes and automate routine

labour intensive tasks.

T: +44 7399 406889

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com

W: www.highradius.com

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps

businesses pay and get paid. Businesses and banks

rely on Bottomline for domestic and international

payments, effective cash management tools, automated

workflows for payment processing and bill review

and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural

analytics and regulatory compliance. Every day, we

help our customers by making complex business

payments simple, secure and seamless.

T: 0870 081 8250

E: emea-info@bottomline.com

W: www.bottomline.com/uk

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern

finance leaders and credit professionals to improve

business performance through more effective risk

management, identification of growth opportunities,

and better integration of data and insights

across the business. Powered by our Data Cloud,

our solutions provide access to the world’s most

comprehensive commercial data and insights

supplying a continually updated view of business

relationships that help finance and credit teams

stay ahead of market shifts and customer changes.

T: (0800) 001-234

W: www.dnb.co.uk

Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist companies

across Europe with credit management. The

service gives the end-user the means to make a

payment when and how they choose. Key IVR also

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

automated messages by voice and SMS. In a

credit management environment, these services are

used to cost-effectively contact debtors and connect

them back into a contact centre or automated

payment line.

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000

E: sales@keyivr

W: www.keyivr.co.uk

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading

provider of business information, analytics, insights

and solutions. Graydon helps its customers to make

fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to minimise

risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities

with their commercial relationships. Graydon

uses 130+ international databases and the information

of 90+ million companies. Graydon has offices in

London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,

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

largest credit insurance companies.

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk

W: www.graydon.co.uk

Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit

intelligence for credit insurers and for corporate

customers. The company’s B2B Credit Risk

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk

Management Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;

the Tinubu Credit Intelligence service and the

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their

greatest assets: customer receivables.

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /

E: uksales@tinubu.com

W: www.tinubu.com.

Building on our mature and hugely successful

product and world class support service, we are

re-imagining our risk awareness module in 2019 to

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists and

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.

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

for analysis and automation. Impressive results

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also

have an active input into our product development

and evolution.

T: 01235 856400

E: info@credica.co.uk

W: www.credica.co.uk

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 40


Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for

their commitment to the profession, best practice in the

Credit Industry and the quality of services they provide.

We are delighted to showcase them here.

THEY'RE WAITING TO TALK TO YOU...

Hays Credit Management is a national specialist

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of

credit management and receivables professionals,

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

the CICM’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,

career and recruitment trends.

T: 07834 260029

E: karen.young@hays.com

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

The Atradius Collections business model is to support

businesses and their recoveries. We are seeing a

deterioration and increase in unpaid invoices placing

pressures on cashflow for those businesses. Brexit is

causing uncertainty and we are seeing a significant

impact on the UK economy with an increase in

insolvencies, now also impacting the continent and

spreading. Our geographical presence is expanding

and with a single IT platform across the globe we can

provide greater efficiencies and effectiveness to our

clients to recover their unpaid invoices.

T: +44 (0)2920 824700

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work

closely with credit teams to recover commercial

debts as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt

recovery, including:

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and

keep costs down • Litigation service • Insolvency

• Post-litigation services including enforcement

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

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

most effective way of achieving them.

T: 03700 86 3000

E: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk

W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk

Forums International has been running Credit and

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of

industry sectors and international trading. Attendance

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums

are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges

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

gauge the benefits and meet the members and we

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never

intentionally be sold to.

T: +44 (0)1246 555055

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk

Improve cash flow, cash collection and prevent late

payment with Corrivo from Data Interconnect.

Corrivo, intelligent invoice to cash automation

highlights where accounts receivable teams should

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

Invoicing, Collection and Dispute modules get collection

teams up and running fast. Minimal IT input required.

Real-time dashboards, reporting and self-service

customer portals, improve customer communication

and satisfaction scores. Cost-effective, flexible Corrivo,

super-charges your cash collection effort.

T: +44 (0)1367 245777

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk

W: www.datainterconnect.com

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for

organisations seeking efficient cash visibility

and secure financial processes. As an SAP

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience

and thousands of successful customer projects,

including solutions for the entire order-to-cash

process, Serrala provides credit managers and

receivables professionals with the solutions they

need to successfully protect their business against

credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.

T: +44 118 207 0450

E: contact@serrala.com

W: www.serrala.com

American Express® is a globally recognised

provider of business payment solutions, providing

flexible capabilities to help companies drive

growth. These solutions support buyers and

suppliers across the supply chain with working

capital and cashflow.

By creating an additional lever to help support

supplier/client relationships American Express is

proud to be an innovator in the business payments

space.

T: +44 (0)1273 696933

W: www.americanexpress.com

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables

into income, uniquely connecting buyers and

suppliers to allow discounts in exchange for

early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating

payments from buyers when required in just two

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

corporates with global supply chains, benefit from

the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while

strengthening the financial health of supply chains

through ethical business practices.

T: 07799 692193

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com

W: www.c2fo.com

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes

the all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s

businesses from collecting receivables in a

timely manner. From credit management to cash

allocation, Esker automates each step of the orderto-cash

cycle. Esker’s automated AR system helps

companies modernise without replacing their

core billing and collections processes. By simply

automating what should be automated, customers

get the post-sale experience they deserve and your

team gets the tools they need.

T: +44 (0)1332 548176

E: sam.townsend@esker.co.uk

W: www.esker.co.uk

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 41


INTRODUCING OUR

CORPORATE

PARTNERS

For further information and to discuss the

opportunities of entering into a Corporate

Partnership with the CICM, please contact

corporatepartners@cicm.com

The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis

and data modelling tools to organisations around

the world that rely on our ability to accurately predict

their exposure to financial risk. Our H-Score®

predicted 92 percent of quoted company insolvencies

and our TextScore® accuracy rate was 93

percent. Our scores are trusted by credit professionals

within banks, corporates, investment houses

and public sector bodies because, unlike other credit

reference agencies, we are transparent and flexible

in our approach.

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300

E: info@companywatch.net

W: www.companywatch.net

‘‘

CICM offered the

prospect of qualifications,

but as soon as I became

a member, loads of other

opportunities came to

light that I hadn’t initially

realised were available.

Molly Kane

ACICM

Chris Sanders Consulting (Sanders Consulting

Associates) has three areas of activity providing

credit management leadership and performance

improvement, international working capital

improvement consulting assignments and

managing the CICMQ Best Practice Accreditation

programme on behalf of the CICM. Plans for

2019 include international client assignments in

India, China, USA, Middle East and the ongoing

development of the CICMQ Programme.

T: +44(0)7747 761641

E: chris@chrissandersconsulting.com

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is

an accountancy firm delivering traditional services

combined with strategic commercial thinking. Our

services include: advisory, audit, corporate and

personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,

outsourcing, wealth management and business

recovery – the latter of which includes our specialist

offering developed specifically for creditors. For

more information on this, or to see how the Menzies

Creditor Services team can assist you, please

visit: www.menzies.co.uk/creditor-services.

The value

of CICM

membership

Molly Kane ACICM

Senior Credit Controller Executive

Oxford University

Read more about her story and join your

credit community by visiting:

www.cicm.com/value-of-cicm-membership/

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

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

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services

info@cicm.com

www.cicm.com

01780 722900

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 42


EDUCATION & MARKETING

CICM Virtual Training is an ‘access anywhere’ range of interactive, online training

courses, designed to give you the skills and tools you need to thrive in your credit

work. Each training course offers high quality approaches to credit-related topics, and

practical skills that can be used in your workplace. A highly qualified trainer, with an

array of credit management experience, will guide you through the subject to give you

practical skills, improved results and greater confidence.

These are pre-recorded training

sessions that you can access

anywhere and at anytime. Short,

sharp and to the point – these suit

you if you are short on time, or need

a quick introduction or update on a

subject.

These are live, interactive sessions,

delivered virtually by a qualified trainer,

experienced in the subject. Through

a series of tasks and discussions, you

will access a hands-on training session

that offers the best practice approach to

essential credit and debt skills.

MEET YOUR TRAINER: Jules Eames FCICM(Grad); PGCE, is a qualified teacher,

trainer and credit manager with experience in credit and debt specialisms across the

O2C spectrum and ancillary businesses, in consumer, B2B and export markets.

These are live, interactive sessions, delivered virtually by a qualified trainer, experienced in the

subject. Through a series of tasks and discussions, you will access a hands-on training session

that offers the best practice approach to essential credit and debt skills.

INTRODUCTORY PRICE £90.00+VAT per person. For group training, please contact info@cicm.com

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 43


INTERVIEW

SMALL TALK

Satago CEO Sinead McHale talks

cashflow, behavioural informatics and

the survival of small businesses.

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

AS businesses navigate their way

out of lockdown, many will

question how they can continue

to prosper amidst a backdrop of

economic uncertainty. Sinead

McHale, CEO of award-winning

fintech Satago, believes that technology will

play an essential supporting role in the months

ahead.

Since starting her career in finance, Sinead

has held senior management roles in New

York, Dublin and London across a variety of

industries including banking, investment funds,

and alternative business finance. She holds

a master’s degree in Strategic Management

Accounting, giving her a unique perspective

on small businesses, their relationship with

their accountants and their cash management

challenges.

Founded in 2012, Satago leverages behavioural

informatics, artificial intelligence and open

banking to provide credit control, risk insight

and ethical and transparent single invoice

finance for businesses and accountants.

The survival of small businesses is a

particularly pertinent topic for Sinead because

as well as being a small business, Satago works

for small businesses. The all-in-one cash

management platform was designed to help

SMEs avoid credit risks, get paid faster and

cover cash gaps when they need to.

“Good cashflow management will be essential

if SMEs are going to survive the months ahead,”

she says, ‘‘I believe that Satago is in the best

position to help businesses navigate these

difficult times. That’s one of the reasons I am

delighted to be joining CICM as a Corporate

Partner at this time.”

As part of their partnership, Sinead has

offered all CICM members free access to the

Satago platform for three months. “I believe

CICM members will very quickly recognise

the value and support that the platform can

give them in managing their cashflow. Satago

is proven to help businesses avoid credit risks

and get paid faster, two things which will be

essential as we exit lockdown.”

Sinead has an impressive CV across various

sectors of business and finance, having started

her career in 1999 with the Equity Derivatives

Group of Deutsche Group. Prior to joining Satago

she was COO and then CEO of Clear Funding,

unlocking working capital for SMEs. She has

also accumulated an impressive number of

qualifications, including a BSc in Economics

from New York University, an MSc in Strategic

Management Accounting from UCD Michael

Smurfit Graduate Business School, and an ICA

Post Graduate Diploma in Governance, Risk

and Compliance from the Alliance Manchester

Business School.

It was primarily through growing up in a

small family business in the West of Ireland,

however, that Sinead learned to appreciate

how important SME survival is for the families

that rely on them, the communities where they

operate and, of course, the economy.

“During my career I have witnessed firsthand

how SMEs can be ignored by traditional

lenders, often to their detriment. Satago aims to

reverse that trend, giving SMEs access to fast,

reliable funds when they need it via our single

invoice finance facility.”

COLLECTIVE LOSSES

A survey by Hitachi Capital suggested that in

2019, small UK businesses lost a collective total

of £51.5bn due to late payments. That number

was unacceptable before coronavirus struck.

Now, it could be devastating.

Sinead believes that effective risk insight and

credit control will be critical in the months

ahead as companies seek to reduce the burden

of late payments.

“In my opinion, the cost of late payments

is one of the biggest threats the UK economy

faces in 2020,” she says. “As the Government’s

coronavirus support schemes wind down,

the rate of insolvency and bad debt threatens

to increase dramatically, thereby disrupting

supply chains, restricting growth and ultimately

threatening the survival of smaller enterprises.

“The main reason why small businesses fail

is because they don’t have access to cash, and

a key reason for this is that they’re not being

paid on time,” Sinead continues. “It’s essential

that we tackle this issue head on. Businesses

already spend a lot of time and money chasing

late payments. This is stressful enough in itself

without the backdrop of having a large debtor

book outstanding, plus the fact that many

small businesses have had to stop trading

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 44


INTERVIEW

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

“I believe CICM members will

very quickly recognise the

value and support that the

platform can give them in

managing their cashflow.

Satago is proven to help

businesses avoid credit risks

and get paid faster, two things

which will be essential as we

exit lockdown.”

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 45

continues on page 46 >


INTERVIEW

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

during lockdown.” Research by business

groups across the country support these

fears. The majority of small businesses (62

percent) have been subject to late or frozen

payments in the wake of the COVID-19

outbreak, according to the Federation of

Small Businesses latest study of more than

4,000 firms. Sinead believes that risk insight

technology will play a big part in ensuring

small businesses avoid late payments from

unreliable clients.

“Right now, business owners need to be

well informed about the clients they are

doing business with. We have all heard the

phrase ‘Know Your Customer’ but what

does it mean for your business? Put simply,

it means knowing when to walk away from

scenarios which could put your company at

risk. For many business owners, saying no

to a prospective client goes against every

instinct they have. But in fact, having the

wherewithal to reject unfavourable payment

terms from unreliable customers is crucial.

“In order to make that call, it’s imperative

that you have solid data to back up your

decisions. This is where a sophisticated risk

insight tool can help.”

MODERN TOOLS

Modern risk insight tools allow business

owners to view their customers’ credit score

at the touch of a button, giving them the

opportunity to make informed decisions

based on accurate data.

Platforms like Satago, Sinead says, go one

step further, informing business owners

of their customers’ risk band, suggesting

workable payment terms and notifying them

of credit breaches within their sales ledger.

This in-depth customer analysis is invaluable

to SMEs, making it easier for them to make

choices that will ultimately future-proof

their business.

In the past, this level of insight was only

available to those who could afford it, now

it’s accessible to everyone.

“Tools like Satago level the playing field,’’

says Sinead, “by giving all businesses, no

matter how small, access to the information

they need to protect their business from the

threat of late payments and bad debt.”

In addition to utilising risk insight tools,

Sinead encourages all organisations to

automate their credit control, a topic she

discussed on the recent CICM webinar.

“I don’t have to tell CICM Members that

persuading customers to pay their bills

on time can be extremely frustrating,” she

says. “For businesses with a wide customer

base, manually chasing payments is time

consuming. The average business spends

around two days a month sending invoice

reminders – hardly a good use of anyone’s

time. “For companies with a smaller

number of clients, chasing payment can feel

awkward. Some business owners shy away

from sending payment reminders or make

regular concessions for fear of damaging their

customer relationships.

“Automated credit control facilities solve

these issues, allowing you to manage your

invoice chasing process easily. There are

plenty of solutions out there, but the best ones

integrate with your existing mail server, as

Satago does, allowing you to communicate with

your customers in a way that feels personal,

even when automated.”

CLOUD SOFTWARE

Sinead credits cloud software with making it

possible for the large majority of us to continue

doing business as usual, despite the lockdown

restrictions.

“There’s no doubt that the cloud has changed

the way we do business forever,” says Sinead.

“Whether it’s Slack, Microsoft Teams or Sage,

technology is enabling us to collaborate in

new and exciting ways, even when we’re not

physically in the office.”

Over the past few years, one of the fastest

areas of growth has been within the fintech

space. Platforms which integrate with cloud

accounting software, make collaboration

between credit controllers, accountants and

business owners easy. As well as freeing up

time by automating tasks that used to require

hours of manual work.

“The best pieces of software don’t just save

you time,” says Sinead, “they offer data-driven

insight that you can easily share with your

wider company and clients, allowing everyone

to get on the same page and make informed

business decisions.

“For me, this is where technology gets

exciting. By offering companies a level

of financial clarity that was previously

unattainable for many, technology is providing

solutions to the everyday cashflow issues that

cause so many enterprises to fail within their

first few years of trading.”

“If your business does experience cashflow

gaps, my advice is to always talk to your

accountant or financial advisor. They will

steer you away from expensive options (such

as dipping into your overdraft) and towards

responsible financial solutions which can ease

cashflow concerns in the long term. If you’re

interested in learning more about Satago’s fast

and reliable invoice finance facility, you can

always get in touch with our team.”

While it is impossible to predict what the

coming months might bring, Sinead believes

that businesses will continue to think

progressively and use technology to overcome

the obstacles that threaten their growth,

particularly in regards to cashflow.

“If we can make even a small dent in the

enormous £51.5bn burden caused by late

payments, more businesses will have a chance

to survive and thrive in the coming years.”

A reminder that CICM members

are invited to use Satago, free of

charge, for three months. There is

no obligation to continue once

the three months has elapsed.

Visit www.satago.com to register.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 46


CAREERS ADVICE

CAREER ROADMAP

How can you take control of your career

and plan for the future?

AUTHOR – Karen Young

HOW has your outlook on your

career changed over the last

few months? Huge numbers

of accountants have been

affected by remote working,

furlough and constant

change which may have left many questioning

where they stand currently with their career

development and direction.

According to recent research from Hays

surveying 160 credit professionals, half (50

percent) describe their career prospects as

average or poor, and over a third (36 percent)

are unconfident about progressing their career

over the next six months.

In light of this sentiment, I’ve put together a

few tips on how you can control your career in

the current COVID-era and thrive in an everchanging

world of work.

PLOT OUT A CAREER ROADMAP

How much time do you dedicate to thinking

about your long-term career? Despite drive

and ambition, most of us don’t spend enough

time thinking about this even though our

career can make up one of the most important

aspects of our lives.

With half (50 percent) of credit professionals

anticipating moving jobs in the next six

months, plotting out a career roadmap may

help you target your next job and will give your

career move direction and purpose.

Try answering the following questions to

start laying out your roadmap:

• What does your organisation want to

achieve over the next few years?

• How does your role or department support

this?

• What jobs or skills are in demand in your

industry?

• What are the major digital changes

happening in your line of work?

• Who are the leading figures in your industry

and how did they get to where they are

today?

• How has COVID-19 impacted your

profession or industry?

Write down your answers to these questions to

see if they illuminate career ideas or pathways

which you hadn’t considered before.

DEFINE SOME SHORT AND

LONG-TERM GOALS

Your roadmap should give you clarity about the

direction of your overall career, but defining

some short and long-term goals will bring

this roadmap to life and provide you with the

motivation to succeed.

In the next six months: Start by focussing

on where you want to be in six months and

what immediate actions you need to take to get

there. Consider how the COVID-19 crisis may

have impacted the roles and skills that will be

most in-demand in the coming months.

In the next 12 months: Where do you see

yourself in a year? Try to align this to your

current game plan – and again be realistic

about how COVID-19 might have changed your

career prospects.

In the next two to three years: Finally,

project some long-term goals. Keep these

broad enough so they can be reached if you

move jobs during this time.

MAXIMISE YOUR PRODUCTIVE

PERIODS

Working remotely certainly isn’t easy for

everyone, but over the past few months many

have enjoyed the benefits it has to offer.

Perhaps you feel more productive at home

than in the office? Or maybe you’ve improved

your work-life balance?

As offices start to reopen, getting a handle

on your career may involve reevaluating your

split between working remotely and in the

office. Over two thirds (68 percent) of credit

professionals have been working remotely

during lockdown and 52 percent say it has

made them more productive, so if this rings

true for you, consider approaching your

manager to have a conversation about how

you wish to split your time going forward to

harness your productivity. Most (46 percent)

of credit professionals wish to work partly in

the office and partly remotely in the next six

months, so see if this is an option and how it

might suit your working style.

FINALLY, EMBRACE THE CHANGE

Considering all the change in the world of work

at the moment, using this time to take control

of your career can be incredibly reassuring.

However, as the pandemic continues to evolve

there is still much out of our control and a lot

continues to change in our world of work. My

final piece of advice is to accept and embrace

this while taking on board some of the above

points to sharpen your perspective and set

some clear direction for changing times ahead.

Karen Young is the Director of Hays

Accountancy & Finance

Karen Young

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 47


PAYMENT TRENDS

Recovery Room

Some signs of improvement across regions and

sectors are now apparent.

AUTHOR – Rob Howard

COVID-19 has had a significant

impact in the world of credit,

affecting all industries and

businesses, leading to a continual

rise in payment terms over the

past few months. The latest

figures, however, do show some improvements,

with a number of reductions across the board.

Whether it’s the start of the recovery, or just the

calm before the storm though, we’ll have to wait

and see. The average Days Beyond Terms (DBT)

figures reduced by 0.2 days and 0.7 days across

regions and sectors respectively.

SECTOR SPOTLIGHT

Although there haven’t been any dramatic or

drastic changes, it is, at least, good to see the

majority of sectors starting to move back in the

right direction, with 16 of the 22 sectors recorded

reducing payment terms.

The Financial and Insurance sector continues

to perform best, and well ahead of the rest, with a

further reduction of 4.0 days taking its overall DBT

to an impressive 4.7 days. Elsewhere, Business

Admin & Support (-3.3 days), IT and Comms (-2.7

days), Entertainment (-2.5 days) and Real Estate

(-2.4 days) also made steady improvements.

At the other end of the scale, it has been

a tough month for the Business from Home

and Transportation and Storage sectors, with

increases of 5.8 days and 5.4 days respectively.

Despite a reduction of 2.0 days to its payment

terms, Mining and Quarrying remains the worst

performing sector with an overall DBT of 24.3

days.

REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT

The regional standings also provide some

encouragement, with seven of the 11 regions

making reductions to payment terms. The

biggest improvement came in the South West,

with a reduction of 4.2 days taking its overall DBT

to 14.2 days, making it the new best performing

region.

Elsewhere, the improvements were steady if

not spectacular, with Wales (-1.9 days), London

(-1.6 days), East Anglia (-1.6 days), and Yorkshire

and Humberside (-1.2 days) all moving in the

right direction.

Northern Ireland remains the worst

performing region following a further increase

of 3.9 days taking its overall DBT to 21.1 days.

However, further increases for both the East and

West Midlands mean they are not a million miles

behind, with overall DBT’s of 19.2 days and 18.5

days respectively.

Data supplied by Creditsafe Group.

The latest

figures, however,

do show some

improvements,

with a number of

reductions across

the board. Whether

it’s the start of the

recovery, or just

the calm before the

storm.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 48


PAYMENT TRENDS

Data supplied by the Creditsafe Group

Top Five Prompter Payers

Region Jul 20 Change from Jun 20

South West 14.2 -4.2

Wales 15 -1.9

East Anglia 15.5 -1.6

London 15.6 -1.6

Yorkshire and Humberside 15.8 -1.2

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Region Jul 20 Change from Jun 20

Northern Ireland 21.1 3.9

East Midlands 19.2 0.5

West Midlands 18.5 1.9

Scotland 17.4 2.8

North West 17.1 -1.2

Getting Worse

Business from Home 5.8

Transportation and Storage 5.4

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 2.5

Health & Social 1.6

Dormant 0.6

Getting Better

Financial and Insurance -4

Business Admin & Support -3.3

IT and Comms -2.7

Entertainment -2.5

Real Estate -2.4

Construction -2.3

Manufacturing -2.2

Mining and Quarrying -2

Energy Supply -1.9

Top Five Prompter Payers

Sector Feb 20 Change from Jan 20

Financial and Insurance 4.7 -4

Public Administration 8.7 -1.8

Health & Social 11.3 1.6

Wholesale and retail trade 12.7 -1.9

Education 13.6 -0.9

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Sector Feb 20 Change from Jan 20

Mining and Quarrying 24.3 -2

Entertainment 22.7 -2.5

Transportation and Storage 22.1 5.4

Business from Home 21.6 5.8

Energy Supply 21.6 -1.9

Wholesale and retail trade -1.9

Public Administration -1.8

Water and Waste -1.4

International Bodies -1.3

Other Service -1.1

Education -0.9

Professional and Scientific -0.1

SCOTLAND

2.8 DBT

Region

Getting Better – Getting Worse

-4.2

-1.9

-1.6

-1.6

-1.2

-1.2

-0.5

3.9

2.8

1.9

0.5

South West

Wales

East Anglia

London

Yorkshire and Humberside

North West

South East

Northern Ireland

Scotland

West Midlands

East Midlands

NORTHERN

IRELAND

3.9 DBT

SOUTH

WEST

-4.2 DBT

WALES

-1.9 DBT

NORTH

WEST

-1.2 DBT

WEST

MIDLANDS

1.9 DBT

YORKSHIRE &

HUMBERSIDE

-1.2 DBT

EAST

MIDLANDS

0.5 DBT

LONDON

-1.6 DBT

SOUTH

EAST

-0.5 DBT

EAST

ANGLIA

-1.6 DBT

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 49


CICM MEMBER

EXCLUSIVE

Your CICM lapel badge

demonstrates your commitment to

professionalism and best practice

TAKE PRIDE IN

WEARING YOUR BADGE

If you haven’t received your badge

contact: cicmmembership@cicm.com

MANAGING THE NEW

CREDIT FUTURE

Prepare and act now, for the

Credit world of tomorrow.

As the world continues to react to constant change, our

credit profession needs to prepare for the new credit future.

Debt management

• Adjust collections and recovery strategies to fit the changing financial environment

• Use KYC ‘know your customer’ to understand the customers in true financial difficulty

• Focus skilled staff on long term management of aging debt with a propensity for resolution

• Remove ‘uneconomical to collect’ debt from ledger via third party action, sale or write off

Employees

• Upskill staff for a new credit future through training and qualification programmes

• Review and bolster support mechanisms that cater for the wellbeing of employees

• Consult and trial agile working arrangements with touch points to check feasibility

Cash resilience

• Firm up honest and realistic cash forecasting projections and review them frequently

• Tighten processes for quick & efficient cash collection, allocation and recovery referral

• Calculate provision for bad and doubtful debt & review validity and value of securities

• Agree new risk assessment protocols for ledger-wide vetting of new and existing customers

• Review and strengthen supply chain, renegotiating contract terms in the new climate.

Future proof strategies

• Fine-tune the exit strategy, showing a roadmap of short, mid and long-term objectives

• Align Credit Policy, processes, KPIs and contingencies to the organisation’s new risk strategy

• Check processes are in place to allow for new and future flexible ways of operating

• Secure debt and ledger management software to automate manual tasks

Communication

• Maintain Senior Management visibility with short, frequent reports linked to overall objectives

• Reaffirm supply chain relationships with bespoke contact that builds plans for future trading

• Hold staff e-meetings briefly and often to focus WFH and office-based staff in a common goal

• Create cross functional work plans with re-emerging departments, to leverage help

01780 722900 | info@cicm.com

Access help from CICM

Follow the CICM Managing the New Credit

Future Forum on LinkedIn.

Access our Member Advice Service

for support, answers and advice.

Visit our Managing the New Credit Future

webpage for more resources

We continue to develop resources, advice and tools to help you prepare for

tomorrow’s Credit, today. Stay in touch with us and be part of our community.

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

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 50


NEW AND UPGRADED MEMBERS

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

you considered applying to upgrade your membership? See our website

www.cicm.com/membership-types for more details, or call us on 01780 722903

Fellow

Theodoros Kringou FCICM Carl Lancaster FCICM Doriana Iovino FCICM David Hindle FCICM

Member

Nicholas Dark MCICM

Sean Frisby MCICM

Paul Gordon MCICM

Richard Grist MCICM

Lorraine Passco MCICM

Luke Sculthorp MCICM

Giuseppe Trunzo MCICM

Joanne Cook MCICM

Helga Cumberbatch MCICM

Steven Ferguson MCICM

Matthew Ricketts MCICM

Charlotte Soper MCICM

Neil Woodcock MCICM

Member (by exam)

Sean Peter Don MCICM (Grad)

Susan Gordon MCICM (Grad)

Lisa Linford MCICM(Grad)

Michael Anstead ACICM

Gemma Imam ACICM

Declan Sarjant ACICM

Associate

Henry Oforishe ACICM

Studying Member

Alan Ahern

Andrew Bass

Simon Bromley

Paulina Czerska

Marco Dellavalle

Dale Fawcett

Raffeina Feeney

Scott Foord

Gareth Guyers

Neil Johnson

Manjula Krishnasamy

Alice Meehan

Gina Milne

Fleur Myatt

William Oades

Nushina Pillalamarri

Zacki Rahman

Rhys Scargill

Carly Smith

Laura Squibb

Martin Stafford

Ola Stannard

Alison Starkey

James Sykes

Lina Tavares

Nina Tedam

Diantha Veerasingam

Chinedu Aghanenu

Emma Bassett

Tamara Bedington

Temilade Bodede

Hannah Bunce

Sonja Burghardt

Gemma Davies

Maria Dinca

Faye Harper

Joel Isherwood

Altaf Karmali

Davina Knott

Kwasi Koram

Arvind Kumar

Thomas Mabbott

Barry MacDonald

Withus Masala

Dale McInroy

Helen McInroy

Lisa McQueen

Louise Moss

Jordan O'Donovan

Waqar Raza

Sharon Rumbal

Amit Sohal

Tom Sparham

Ross Spence

Claire Thompson

Linda Trotter

Nicola Wesson

Masahiro Yashima

Affiliate

Thomas Antrobus

Michael Barrett

Simon Darby

Joanne Dempster

Peter Hodgson

Adam Morgan

Isabelle Morley

Karen Murray

Edyta Olszewska

Mohamed Salah

Lisa-Marie Clay

Maddison Dickens

Chelsea Dunbar

Kimberley Halligan

Vicky Hotson

Elisha Houston

Bethanie Lowe

Jason Marshall

Sinead McHale

Tracy Mileham

Will Pickering

Angela Sammon

Joanne Sawkins

SasikumarThottupurath

Congratulations to our current members who have upgraded their membership

Upgraded member

Ricardo Harewood ACICM

WE WANT YOUR BRANCH NEWS!

Get in touch with the CICM by emailing branches@cicm.com

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

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

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 51


OBITUARY

Paul Mudge –

a life fully lived

Some happy memories of our past

Chairman and President compiled

by Sean Feast FCICM.

TED Brown remembers Paul as

being one of life’s nice guys:

“I joined the Institute at the

same time as Paul in 1973 and

he succeeded Bill Adams as

our National Chairman in the

1980s. When Sir Roger Cork died unexpectedly

in 2002, Paul took over as President, and

actively recruited Master Robert Turner to be

his successor.

“Paul had been the credit manager for

Currys, and loved the family ethos of the

business, but when it was taken over by

Dixons he left and joined the Registry Trust. I

first met Paul in the early 1980s when he came

to our Branch meeting to speak and I was

immediately struck by his height. Paul was

an incredibly tall man but elegant with it. He

stood out in many ways not just physically but

through his charm and stature.

“He was a great help and support to our

members through some difficult times; the

Institute then was a very different place

than it is today, and while we had an annual

conference in Park Lane Paul was always

happy to be kept out of the limelight – he

was very modest like that. His ability to run

a meeting, however, was legendary, and as

acting President he once succeeded in starting

and ending an Annual General Meeting in 90

seconds!

“Along with Roger and Terry Robinson, the

three were like the Musketeers, ably abetted

by Barbara Freedman. Roger famously had

a Routemaster bus and once drove from his

home in Chesham all the way to the Water Mill

with Paul and me in the back.

“Paul was a great family man and his wife

Sally was always a terrific support. He was

also passionate about sport – especially rugby

as an Exeter Chiefs fan – and living so close to

Twickenham which was like his Mecca.”

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 52


OBITUARY

“What I particularly

remember about

Paul was that he was

well travelled and

knowledgeable, and

that ‘wordly-ness’ came

across but not in an

arrogant way. He was

also something of an

aficionado about tea;

he simply loved it and

always seemed to have

a huge variety of teas

available whenever we

met.’’

Barbara Freedman has similar memories

of the bus and Paul’s charm:

“I remember we all went down to Sandown

to the races on the bus – it was such a

happy time. I first came across Paul in the

early 1970s, and we served together on

both the Conference Committee and the

Membership Committee.

“What I particularly remember about

him was that he had style. He was, as Ted

says, very tall and good looking, and a good

ambassador for the Institute. He looked the

part. He was level-headed and charming,

but not a ‘waffler’; if he was chairing a

meeting, he would be very concise and get

to the point quickly.

“What I particularly remember about

Paul was that he was well travelled and

knowledgeable, and that ‘wordly-ness’ came

across but not in an arrogant way. He was

also something of an aficionado about

tea; he simply loved it and always seemed

to have a huge variety of teas available

whenever we met.

“When Roger became Lord Mayor he

made Cancer Research a chosen charity,

and with Roger and Paul we would all attend

various fundraising functions. Paul and

Sally were a delightful and devoted couple.”

Glen Bullivant recalls Paul as being a

consummate professional and a true

gentleman:

“It cannot be all that often that those two

traits go together, being mentioned in the

same breath as it were, but with Paul they

blended naturally like strawberries and

cream.

“Many will be aware of the role he played

at Registry Trust turning something on the

brink of being moribund to a vital tool in the

toolbox of consumer credit professionals

throughout England and Wales. That

could not have been achieved without

his determination and professionalism –

getting County Courts on side and happy

to participate was no mean feat and akin

to navigating a supertanker up the Helford

River!

“It is as a gentleman, however, that I will

remember him from our work together

in the ICM as it then was. As a bit of

an outspoken youngster, he guided me

through the nuances of committee work,

both on Council and in the various working

committees.

“Our backgrounds and working lives

were very different – his was the B2C world

and mine was B2B – but he recognised a

passion for the ICM which he shared and

encouraged. He went out of his way to advise

and to support and though he moved in

the lofty circles of both President and Chair,

he always had time for other people. Though

our paths did not often cross after his

“Paul was a great family man

and his wife Sally was always

a terrific support. He was

also passionate about sport –

especially rugby as an Exeter

Chiefs fan – and living so close

to Twickenham which was like

his Mecca.”

retirement, we did meet from time to time

at functions, and I was touched more than

he ever knew by his kind comments about

my column when I was Chair. He need not

have done that, but he did, and more than

once. That is what I call a gentleman.”

Brenda Linger is another who remembers

Paul’s leadership qualities:

“Paul was a clear, enthusiastic leader who

guided the council well, and had a respect

for the opinions of others. Even though

I know I could be a pain in the neck he

treated me with respect.

“There was one council meeting where I

quite clearly disagreed with him, however

he contacted me afterwards to make sure

that I was ok with the result of the vote

(what the problem had been is lost in the

sands of time).

“I have a couple more clear memories

of Paul: the first when he was chairman of

the institute and I was fairly newly-elected

to council and known for asking too many

questions – there was one particular council

meeting when the majority of attendees

were on various schedules and when it came

to the AOB he asked the question ‘there is no

other business is there Brenda’?

“Paul presented me with my Meritorious

Service Award at the Annual Dinner at

the Mansion House in London, and he

introduced me as the Spice Girl of the CICM

– a great compliment!”

“Many will be aware of the role

he played at Registry Trust

turning something on the brink

of being moribund to a vital

tool in the toolbox of consumer

credit professionals throughout

England and Wales. That

could not have been achieved

without his determination and

professionalism.’’

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 53


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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 54


HR MATTERS

LESSONS LEARNED

A tale of workloads, contracts and discrimination.

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards

IN a recent case – Aylott v BPP University

– the Employment Tribunal found that

a failure to address workload concerns

may amount to breach of contract and

discrimination claims.

The tribunal held that a sequence

of failings by the employer relating to workload

and mental health, when viewed cumulatively,

amounted to a fundamental breach of

the employee’s employment contract and

discrimination arising from disability.

THE CASE

Mrs Aylott was employed as a lecturer by BPP

University from 2013 until her resignation in

2019. During the course of her employment,

Aylott applied for a senior role and as part of

a health declaration informed her employer

that she suffered from anxiety, depression and

chronic back pain. She also suffered from Autistic

Spectrum Disorder (ASM) which remained

undiagnosed until after her resignation.

The University was aware that Aylott was

experiencing some significant challenges in

her personal life. Her husband passed away

suddenly and her teenage son was diagnosed

with myalgic encephalomyelitis. However,

there was a ‘long hours’ culture amongst the

management team and Aylott worked in excess

of 60 hours per week, including weekends and

evenings. In early 2018, she advised her line

manager that she was experiencing symptoms

of anxiety and was taking antidepressants. She

cancelled holiday to accommodate the leave

of a colleague and by September 2018 she was

described as ‘manic’ and ‘frazzled’.

At this time, a complaint was made by

another department that Aylott was pushing

back on requests made of her, citing the

pressures of her workload, and that the tone

of some of her responses had become abrupt.

She was distressed by the complaint and its

handling. She confided in her line manager that

she was not coping and was self-medicating with

alcohol. She provided a medical certificate to

work reduced hours and although it was widely

acknowledged by her managers that she was

struggling and that her health was suffering,

no steps were taken to refer her to occupational

health despite her request.

As a result of low mood, Aylott was signed off

work by her GP in late 2018. Following the expiry

of her entitlement to 15 days contractual sick

pay, the University did not exercise its discretion

to provide any further sick pay, even though it

has provided discretionary sick pay to other

employees in the past. She raised a grievance in

relation to workload and treatment. She claimed

that she was being treated less favourably

because of her mental health conditions which

amounted to a disability. At the grievance

meeting, there was no real attempt to address

her concerns and she was offered an exit under

a settlement agreement.

It also came to Aylott's attention that a

colleague had referred to her as ‘mad as a box of

frogs, but a good worker’.

She resigned and brought a claim for

constructive unfair dismissal, unfavourable

treatment arising from disability, direct and

indirect disability discrimination, harassment

relating to her disability and failure to make

reasonable adjustments.

THE DECISION

Dismissing the latter claims, the tribunal found

that Aylott had been constructively unfairly

dismissed on the basis that the University’s

conduct had undermined trust and confidence.

It was also held that an occupational health

referral for Aylott was not arranged in a timely

manner, and there had been a rush to secure

her departure from the University as a result

of stigma arising from her mental health.

As this stigma arose from her disability, the

unfavourable treatment she received in being

offered a settlement agreement, rather than

a resolution to her grievances, and the lack of

occupational health support was discriminatory,

and she was entitled to compensation for

financial loss and injury to feelings.

BEST PRACTICE

Mental health issues in the workplace are

increasingly being recognised. Demanding

workloads over sustained periods can cause or

exacerbate mental health challenges. In order

to maintain an effective workforce and promote

the wellbeing of staff, it is important that HR

professionals and managers understand their

duties and fulfil their legal obligations in relation

to the mental welfare of their employees.

Employers should be vigilant for signs that

may indicate a potential mental health issue. They

should engage with employees at an early stage

to discuss whether any reasonable adjustments

can be made to accommodate their needs.

Where appropriate, various options should be

explored to enable the employee to continue in

their role and a timely referral to occupational

health should be made to benefit from medical

advice. Managers should receive training to help

them identify and actively support staff with

mental health conditions to reduce stigma and

help avoid costly discrimination claims.

Gareth Edwards is a partner in the employment

team at VWV. gedwards@vwv.co.uk

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 55


TAKE CONTROL OF

YOUR CREDIT CAREER

CREDIT MANAGER

Warrington, up to £53,000 + bonus + benefits

United Utilities Water is responsible for water and wastewater

services in the North West of England. A purpose-driven

organisation that takes great pride in providing the best service

to customers at the lowest sustainable cost and in a responsible

manner, protecting and enhancing the natural environment in

the North West in the way services are delivered. United Utilities

Water supports local communities through partnerships and

employee contribution as well as employees by investment in

learning and development.

Reporting to the Head of Income, you will expertly lead the

management and operation of the Collections teams. Responsible

for up to 100 staff, you will deliver against a cash collection target

of over £1.1bn and develop the Collections team through the a

CICM accreditation scheme which will support an annual intake of

learners through the CICM Certificate in Debt Collection and CICM

Diploma in Credit Management. Your energy will drive a customer

centric culture that delivers an effective, productive and efficient

service that surpasses customer expectations and business

targets, enabling fair outcomes for the customer and protection

of the interests of UUW. Your excellent people development skills

will help create a high performing team through establishing

team identity, purpose, ambition, and aligned objectives which

contribute to wider company goals.

CICM qualified, you will have a proven track record of leading,

developing and delivering cash collection performance

improvements. Experience of working in a contact centre

and operational environment with responsibility for leading

large numbers of people will enable you to thrive in this role,

providing high levels of customer service, quality and operational

effectiveness. You will also have strong financial awareness with

understanding of income, cash profiling and bad debt provisions

and a track record of managing vulnerable customer schemes.

This is a great career opportunity for an expert credit professional

with excellent communication skills to motivate and influence

people at all levels, leading from the front to successfully exceed

business targets and objectives.

Ref: 3836849

Contact Karen Young on 07834 260029

or email karen.young@hays.com

To discover more opportunities available for credit

professionals, please visit us online or contact Kabir Gulabkhan,

Hays Credit Management UK Lead on 020 3465 0020.

hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 56


INSPIRE ME IN THE

NEW ERA OF WORK

YOUR RESOURCE HUB

FOR REACHING YOUR

CAREER GOALS

Read our latest guides and articles

Tips to help you prepare successfully

To find out more visit our Embrace the New Era Hub at

hays.co.uk/embrace-the-new-era

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 57


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WHAT'S ON

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

free of charge. Book online on our website www.cicm.com/cicm-events

Studying at a

distance

with CICM

From interactive virtual classrooms to supporting texts,

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

Contact CICM for more information on any of these services,

or check them out at cicm.com

Giving you the tools to continue

working through this crisis.

MANAGING THE NEW

CREDIT FUTURE

As the world continues to react

to constant change, our credit

profession needs to prepare for the

new credit future.

For more information contact:

info@cicm.com or 01780 722900

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 59


Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

COLLECTIONS

INTERNATIONAL COLLECTIONS

COLLECTIONS LEGAL

Controlaccount Plc

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD

T: 01527 549 522

E: sales@controlaccount.com

W: www.controlaccount.com

Controlaccount Plc provides an efficient, effective and ethical

commercial debt recovery service focused on improving business

cash flow whilst preserving customer relationships and established

reputations. Working with leading brand names in the UK and

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

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

applicable, we can utilise the Late Payment of Commercial Debts

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

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

departments and have complete transparency and up to the minute

information on any accounts placed with us for recovery through our

online debt management system, ClientWeb.

INTERNATIONAL COLLECTIONS

Atradius Collections Ltd

3 Harbour Drive,

Capital Waterside, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ

Phone: +44 (0)29 20824397

Mobile: +44 (0)7767 865821

E-mail:yvette.gray@atradius.com

Website: atradiuscollections.com

Atradius Collections Ltd is an established specialist in business

to business collections. As the collections division of the Atradius

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

knowledge and reputation.

Annually handling more than 110,000 cases and recovering over

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

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

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

maintaining customer relationships whilst efficiently and effectively

collecting monies owed.

The individual nature of our clients’ customer relationships is

reflected in the customer focus we provide, structuring our service

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

them with a collection strategy that echoes their business character,

trading patterns and budget.

For further information contact Yvette Gray Country Director, UK

and Ireland.

Premium Collections Limited

3 Caidan House, Canal Road

Timperley, Cheshire. WA14 1TD

T: +44 (0)161 962 4695

E: paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk

W: www.premiumcollections.co.uk

For all your credit management requirements Premium Collections

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

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

requirements.

Services include B2B collections, B2C collections, international

collections, absconder tracing, asset repossessions, status reporting

and litigation support.

Managed from our offices in Manchester, Harrogate and Dublin our

network of 55 partners cover the World.

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

paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk

www.premiumcollections.co.uk

Baker Ing International Limited

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

Contact: Lisa Baker-Reynolds

Email: lisa@bakering.global

Website: https://www.bakering.global/contact/

Tel: 07717 020659

Baker Ing International is a dedicated team of Credit industry

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

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

the Globe with a minimum threshold of ten years working experience

within Credit Management. The team offers a comprehensive

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

Services & more

Our mission is to help companies improve the cost and efficiency

of their Credit Management processes in order to limit the risks

associated with extending credit and trading around the globe.

How can we help you - call Lisa Baker Reynolds on

+44(0)7717 020659 or email lisa@bakering.global

Sterling Debt Recovery

E: info@sterlingdebtrecovery.com

T: 0207 1005978

W: www.sterlingdebtrecovery.com

Sterling specialises in international business debt collection

to get outstanding invoices paid quickly and cost effectively.

Our experienced, enthusiastic collectors achieve results whilst

maintaining a professional image.

We work on a commission only basis with no up-front fees and no

hidden costs. Each client is allocated a named collector for personal

service and regular updates. We collect the majority of debt without

litigation, with our on-site lawyer supporting us where appropriate.

Where local expertise is required our global network are available

to assist.

COLLECTIONS LEGAL

Keebles

Capitol House, Russell Street, Leeds LS1 5SP

T: 0113 399 3482

E: charise.marsden@keebles.com

W: www.keebles.com

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

at the 2019 CICM British Credit Awards.

According to our clients “Keebles stand head and shoulders above

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

business and know exactly how to speedily maximise recovery.

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

seen in many other practices.”

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

peace of mind.

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

• Fixed fees for issuing court proceedings and pursuing claims to

judgment and enforcement.

• Success rate in excess of 80%.

• 24 hour turnaround on instructions.

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

Lovetts Solicitors

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway,

Old Portsmouth Road,

Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR

T: 01483 347001

E: info@lovetts.co.uk

W: www.lovetts.co.uk

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

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

on behalf of our clients. Services include:

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

of cases)

• Advice and dispute resolution

• Legal proceedings and enforcement

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

CaseManager

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

“All our service expectations have been exceeded. The online

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

recognisable brand that generates successful results.”

CONSULTANCY

Sanders Consulting Associates Ltd

T: +44(0)1525 720226

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com

Sanders Consulting is an independent niche consulting firm

specialising in leadership and performance improvement in all aspects

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

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

credit management, billing, change and business process improvement.

A sought after speaker with cross industry international experience in

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

innovative and enthusiastic approach delivers pragmatic people and

process lead solutions and significant working capital improvements to

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

and under the supervision of the CICM.

COURT ENFORCEMENT SERVICES

Court Enforcement Services

Wayne Whitford – Director

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

E : wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk

W: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk

High Court Enforcement that will Empower You!

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

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

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

helps to provide information in real time and transparency, empowering

our clients when they work with us.

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

• Exceptional Recovery Rates

• Individual Client Attention and Tailored Solutions

• Real Time Client Access to Cases

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 60


FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION OPTIONS AND PRICING CONTACT

russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937

CREDIT INFORMATION

CREDIT INFORMATION

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

CoCredo

Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD

T: 01494 790600

E: customerservice@cocredo.com

W: www.cocredo.co.uk

We provide business information on over 256 million companies across

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

day and we have some excellent tracking mechanisms which provide

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

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

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

House documents, Consumer and Director Searches. We pride ourselves

in delivering award winning customer service, offering you unrivalled

support and analysis to protect your business.

Graydon UK

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

Middlesex, HA1 1BE

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk

W: www.graydon.co.uk

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

business information, analytics, insights and solutions. Graydon

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

to minimise risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities

with their commercial relationships. Graydon uses 130+ international

databases and the information of 90+ million companies. Graydon

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

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

insurance companies.

Tinubu Square UK

Holland House, 4 Bury Street,

London EC3A 5AW

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /

E: uksales@tinubu.com

W: www.tinubu.com

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

Credit Insurance, Surety and Trade Finance digital transformation.

Tinubu Square enables organizations across the world to significantly

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

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

Square provides SaaS solutions and services to different businesses

including credit insurers, receivables financing organizations and

multinational corporations.

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

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

York, Montreal and Singapore.

CREDIT INFORMATION

THE ONLY AML RESOURCE YOU NEED

SmartSearch

SmartSearch, Harman House,

Station Road,Guiseley, Leeds, LS20 8BX

T: +44 (0)113 238 7660

E: info@smartsearchuk.com W: www.smartsearchuk.com

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

coverage, highly automated flexible technology with an innovative

and intuitive customer interface. Key features include automatic

Worldwide Sanction & PEP checking, Daily Monitoring, Automated

Enhanced Due Diligence and pro-active customer management.

Choose SmartSearch as your benchmark.

CEDAR

ROSE

R

Cedar Rose

3, Georgiou Katsonotou Street,3036, Limassol, Cyprus

E: info@cedar-rose.com T: +357 25346630

W: www.cedar-rose.com

Cedar Rose has been globally recognised as the expert for

credit reports, due diligence and data for the Middle East

and North African countries since 1997. We now cover over

170 countries with the same high quality, expert analysis

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

Making best use of artificial intelligence and technology, Cedar

Rose has won several awards including Credit Excellence

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

for your business intelligence solutions. We are the

ultimate source; with competitive prices and friendly customer

service - whether you need one or one thousand reports.

Company Watch

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,

LONDON. EC3N 2ER

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300

E: info@companywatch.net

W: www.companywatch.net

Organisations around the world rely on Company Watch’s industryleading

financial analytics to drive their credit risk processes. Our

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

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

agencies.

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

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

developing analytics on our customers’ in-house data.

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

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

providing actionable intelligence in an uncertain world.

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

ONGUARD

T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66

E: ruurd.bakker@onguard.com

W: www.onguard.com

Onguard is specialist in credit management software and market

leader in innovative solutions for order to cash. Our integrated

platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the order

to cash chain and allows sharing of critical data.

Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected and offer

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

a sustainable customer relationship.

In more than 50 countries the Onguard platform is successfully used

for successful credit management.

Credica Ltd

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

T: 01235 856400E: info@credica.co.uk W: www.credica.co.uk

Our highly configurable and extremely cost effective Collections and

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

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

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business

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

Professionals across the UK and Europe, our system is successfully

providing significant and measurable benefits for our diverse portfolio

of clients.

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

‘no nonsense’ and human approach to computer software.

Data Interconnect Ltd

Units 45-50

Shrivenham Hundred Business Park

Majors Road, Watchfield

Swindon, SN6 8TZ

T: +44 (0)1367 245777

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk

W: www.datainterconnect.com

Data Interconnect provides Intelligent Invoice to Cash Automation.

Corrivo Billing, Collection and Dispute modules seamlessly integrate

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

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

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

choose Data Interconnect.

HighRadius

T: +44 7399 406889

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com

W: www.highradius.com

HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated Receivables

solutions for automating receivables and payment functions such

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

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

(SaaS). HighRadius also offers SAP-certified Accelerators

for SAP S/4HANA Finance Receivables Management, enabling

large enterprises to maximize the value of their SAP investments.

HighRadius Integrated Receivables solutions have a proven track

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

increasing operation efficiency, enabling companies to achieve an

ROI in less than a year.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 61 continues on page 62 >


Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION

OPTIONS AND PRICING CONTACT

russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

DATA AND ANALYTICS

FORUMS

ESKER

Sam Townsend Head of Marketing

Northern Europe Esker Ltd.

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

W: www.esker.co.uk LinkedIn: Esker – Northern Europe

Twitter: @EskerNEurope blog.esker.co.uk

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

obstacles preventing today’s businesses from collecting

receivables in a timely manner. From credit management to cash

allocation, Esker automates each step of the order-to-cash cycle.

Esker’s automated AR system helps companies modernise without

replacing their core billing and collections processes. By simply

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

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

Dun & Bradstreet

Marlow International, Parkway Marlow

Buckinghamshire SL7 1AJ

Telephone: (0800) 001-234 Website: www.dnb.co.uk

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern finance

leaders and credit professionals to improve business performance

through more effective risk management, identification of growth

opportunities, and better integration of data and insights across the

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

to the world’s most comprehensive commercial data and insights

- supplying a continually updated view of business relationships

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

customer changes. Learn more here:

www.dnb.co.uk/modernfinance

FORUMS INTERNATIONAL

T: +44 (0)1246 555055

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk

Forums International Ltd have been running Credit and Industry

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

International trading, attendance is for Credit Professionals of all

levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead. Attending

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

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

intentionally be sold to.

INSOLVENCY

SERRALA

Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham

Berkshire RG41 5RB

E: r.hammons@serrala.com W: www.serrala.com

T +44 118 207 0450 M +44 7788 564722

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for organisations seeking

efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes. As an SAP

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

more than 30 years of experience and thousands of successful

customer projects, including solutions for the entire order-tocash

process, Serrala provides credit managers and receivables

professionals with the solutions they need to successfully protect

their business against credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.

C2FO

C2FO Ltd

105 Victoria Steet

SW1E 6QT

T: 07799 692193

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com

W: www.c2fo.com

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables into income,

uniquely connecting buyers and suppliers to allow discounts in

exchange for early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers access

additional liquidity sources by accelerating payments from buyers

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

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

C2FO solution by improving gross margin while strengthening the

financial health of supply chains through ethical business practices.

Menzies

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

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

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is an accountancy

firm delivering traditional services combined with strategic

commercial thinking. Our services include: advisory, audit,

corporate and personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,

outsourcing, wealth management and business recovery –

the latter of which includes our specialist offering developed

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

how the Menzies Creditor Services team can assist you, please

visit: www.menzies.co.uk/creditor-services. Bethan Evans, Partner

and Head of Menzies Creditor Services, email: bevans@

menzies.co.uk and phone: +44 (0)2920 447512

LEGAL

Redwood Collections Ltd

0208 288 3555

enquiry@redwoodcollections.com

Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, CR0 0XZ

“Redwood Collections offers a complete portfolio of debt collection

services ranging from sensitive client-debtor mediation through to

legal and insolvency action.

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

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

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

solution.”

Satago

48 Warwick Street, London, W1B 5AW

T: +44(0)020 8050 3015

E: hello@satago.com

W: www.satago.com

Satago helps business owners and their accountants avoid credit

risks, manage debtors and access finance when they need it – all

in one platform. Satago integrates with 300+ cloud accounting apps

with just a few clicks, helping businesses:

• Understand their customers - with RISK INSIGHTS

• Get paid on time - with automated CREDIT CONTROL

• Access funding - with flexible SINGLE INVOICE FINANCE

Visit satago.com and start your free trial today.

identeco – Business Support Toolkit

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,

Worcestershire B60 4FD

Telephone: 01527 549 531 Email: info@identeco.co.uk

Web: www.identeco.co.uk

identeco’s Business Support Toolkit is an online portal connecting

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

engage with new prospects, understand their customers and

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

access. Providing company information and financial reports,

director and shareholder structures as well as a unique financial

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

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

included in the subscription include a business names database,

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

bespoke marketing and telesales listings for any sector.

FINANCIAL PR

Gravity Global

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

T: +44(0)207 330 8888. E: sfeast@gravityglobal.com

W: www.gravityglobal.com

Gravity is an award winning full service PR and advertising

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the best

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

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

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

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

Chartered Institute of Credit Management since 2006, it understands

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

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

Shoosmiths

Email: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk

Tel: 03700 86 3000 W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly and cost effectively as

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

including:

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

• Litigation service

• Post-litigation services including enforcement

• Insolvency

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

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

PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

Bottomline Technologies

115 Chatham Street, Reading

Berks RG1 7JX | UK

T: 0870 081 8250 E: emea-info@bottomline.com

W: www.bottomline.com/uk

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses

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

domestic and international payments, effective cash management

tools, automated workflows for payment processing and bill

review and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural analytics

and regulatory compliance. Businesses around the world depend

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

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

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

by making complex business payments simple, secure and seamless.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 62


PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

American Express

76 Buckingham Palace Road,

London. SW1W 9TQ

T: +44 (0)1273 696933

W: www.americanexpress.com

American Express is working in partnership with the CICM and is

a globally recognised provider of payment solutions to businesses.

Specialising in providing flexible collection capabilities to drive a

number of company objectives including:

•Accelerate cashflow •Improved DSO •Reduce risk

•Offer extended terms to customers

•Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive

growth •Create competitive advantage with your customers

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

American Express is working with credit managers to drive growth

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

help support supplier/client relationships American Express is proud

to be an innovator in the business payments space.

ARE YOU A LEADER

OR FOLLOWER?

Key IVR

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000

E: sales@keyivr.com

W: www.keyivr.com

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

Management’s Corporate partnership scheme. The CICM is a

recognised and trusted professional entity within credit management

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

our services to the CICM to assist with their membership collection

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

across the globe with credit management. Our service is based

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

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

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

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

RECRUITMENT

Hays Credit Management

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN

T: 07834 260029

E: karen.young@hays.com

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

Hays Credit Management is working in partnership with the CICM

and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs and credit

management jobs. Hays understands the demands of this challenging

environment and the skills required to thrive within it. Whatever

your needs, we have temporary, permanent and contract based

opportunities to find your ideal role. Our candidate registration process

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

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

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

spectrum of job search and recruitment issues.

PORTFOLIO

CREDIT CONTROL

Portfolio Credit Control

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE

T: 0207 650 3199

E: recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com

W: www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com

Portfolio Credit Control, solely specialises in the recruitment of

permanent, temporary and contract Credit Control, Accounts

Receivable and Collections staff. Part of an award winning recruiter

we speak to and meet credit controllers all day everyday understanding

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

control professionals. We have achieved enormous growth because we

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

to service delivery that exceeds your expectations every single time.

CICMQ accreditation is a proven model

that has consistently delivered dramatic

improvements in cashflow and efficiency

CICMQ is the hallmark of industry

leading organisations

The CICM Best Practice Network is where

CICMQ accredited organisations come

together to develop, share and celebrate

best practice in credit and collections

BE A LEADER – JOIN THE CICM BEST

PRACTICE NETWORK TODAY

To find out more about flexible options

to gain CICMQ accreditation

E: cicmq@cicm.com T: 01780 722900

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2020 / PAGE 63


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Providing over 50 outsourced services including commercial

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