Credit Management November 2020

The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals

The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals


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CM<br />

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



Transmission Ends<br />

Can the broadcast media<br />

industry survive?<br />

How can CRAs support<br />

an economic recovery?<br />

Page 10<br />

Exclusive interview<br />

with the CSA’s Chris<br />

Leslie. Page 12

From 1 January 2021<br />

The way you<br />

hire from the EU<br />

is changing<br />

Free movement is ending,<br />

and the new points-based<br />

immigration system will<br />

introduce job, salary and<br />

language requirements<br />

that will change the way<br />

you hire from the EU.<br />

You will need to be a licensed sponsor<br />

to hire eligible employees from outside<br />

the UK. Becoming a sponsor normally<br />

takes 8 weeks and fees apply.<br />

This will not apply when hiring Irish<br />

citizens or those eligible for status<br />

under the EU Settlement Scheme.<br />

Find out more at GOV.UK/HiringFromTheEU

22<br />


David Andrews<br />

12<br />


Interview<br />

26<br />


Peter Walker<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2020</strong><br />

www.cicm.com<br />


10 – Number Games<br />

The credit reference agencies are<br />

determined to support the economic<br />

recovery. But it’s not all plain sailing.<br />

12 – Labour Exchange<br />

Sean Feast discusses the priorities of<br />

the incoming CEO of the CSA.<br />

16 – Saving Grace<br />

First impressions from the new CICM<br />

Chair.<br />

17 – Vacant Possession<br />

Introducing the three new Regional<br />

Representatives on the Advisory<br />

Council.<br />

19 – Buying Signals<br />

Why can’t HCEOs buy debt? Andrew<br />

Wilson explains.<br />

20 – The Show must go on<br />

The UK Broadcast Media sector is under<br />

severe pressure so how will it survive?<br />

22 – Brace. Brace.<br />

A long winter awaits in the wake of<br />

COVID-19.<br />

24 – Panel Bashers<br />

What is the best measure to use for<br />

incentivising B2B collections staff?<br />

26 – Spread Betting<br />

Spreadsheets often contain errors, but<br />

who’s ultimately to blame? Peter Walker<br />

knows who.<br />

34 – Brain Teasing<br />

Glen Bullivant ponders on what<br />

constitutes normal in an abnormal<br />

world.<br />


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

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

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

membership, as well as additional subscribers<br />

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

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

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

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

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

20<br />


Tim Vine<br />

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

Executive Board: Chair Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad) – Vice Chair Phil Rice FCICM /Treasurer Glen Bullivant FCICM<br />

Larry Coltman FCICM / Victoria Herd FCICM(Grad) / Philip Holbrough MCICM<br />

Advisory Council: Sarah Aldridge FCICM / Laurie Beagle FCICM / Glen Bullivant FCICM / Alan Church FCICM(Grad)<br />

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

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

Bryony Pettifor FCICM(Grad)/ Allan Poole MCICM / Alice Purdy MCICM(Grad) / Matthew Roberts MCICM / Phil Rice FCICM<br />

Chris Sanders FCICM / Stephen Thomson FCICM / Atul Vadher FCICM(Grad)<br />

Publisher<br />

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

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

OAKHAM, LE15 8NB<br />

Telephone: 01780 722900<br />

Email: editorial@cicm.com<br />

Website: www.cicm.com<br />

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

Managing Editor<br />

Sean Feast FCICM<br />

Deputy Editor<br />

Iona Yadallee<br />

Art Editor<br />

Andrew Morris<br />

Telephone: 01780 722910<br />

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

Editorial Team<br />

Rob Howard and Imogen Hart<br />

Advertising<br />

Grace Ghattas<br />

Telephone: 020 3603 7946<br />

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

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

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International: £145 per annum<br />

Single copies: £12.50<br />

ISSN 0265-2099<br />

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


Quis custodiet<br />

ipsos custodes?<br />

Sean Feast FCICM<br />

Managing Editor<br />

IT’S official. The world has gone<br />

barking. It has been a month so<br />

packed with nonsense that I barely<br />

know where to begin.<br />

First we had the ‘Debt Threat’<br />

campaign come home to roost,<br />

with an announcement from Her Majesty’s<br />

Treasury (HMT) that it was finally bringing to<br />

an end a system that had obliged lenders to<br />

send what amounted to threatening default<br />

notices to their customers, even when they<br />

didn’t want to (see news page 5).<br />

It was an issue that I’ve been writing about<br />

in this magazine for at least the last six years,<br />

and creditors and trade associations across<br />

the land with far greater insight than me<br />

have been bemoaning for even longer. It took<br />

a TV celebrity, however, for the Government<br />

to finally do something about it, which is<br />

great news for the industry, even if we did<br />

have to put up with the vulgar trumpeting<br />

of individuals embarrassingly eager to claim<br />

‘victory’.<br />

Does it matter who gets the glory if we<br />

get the outcome we’re looking for? Perhaps<br />

not. But it depends on what policies and<br />

legislation come off the back of it. If we<br />

end up with another breathing space fiasco<br />

(which doesn’t seem to be working) or the illconceived<br />

Debt and Mental Health Evidence<br />

Form (which definitely hasn’t worked) then it<br />

certainly does.<br />

But just as I thought I’d get over that one,<br />

a different branch of Government pipes up<br />

with another pearler. The idea to effectively<br />

replace the Pre-Pack Pool concept with<br />

another, as yet unspecified mechanism for<br />

independently reviewing administrations<br />

involving sales to connected parties.<br />

Now I do understand the premise:<br />

whereas pre-pack administration sales<br />

are widely considered to be a valuable<br />

rescue tool, concerns have been raised that<br />

arrangements may not always be in the<br />

best interests of creditors especially where<br />

the sale is made to a connected party. Their<br />

solution is for ‘an independent opinion’ to be<br />

provided by someone who has the ‘requisite<br />

knowledge and experience to do the job’. And<br />

how do we know they have the said requisite<br />

knowledge? Simple: they just have to say they<br />

do!<br />

Now the story is a little more complicated<br />

than that (see news page 6), especially as the<br />

Pre-Pack Pool is a private company, but the<br />

net result is still the same. Rather than use<br />

what’s already there and invest properly in<br />

promoting its use and its value, we’ll invent<br />

something else. It’s a familiar tale we got<br />

used to with the Prompt Payment Code, so<br />

I’m surprised I’m surprised. It’s just that I<br />

so want to believe that the people in charge<br />

know what they’re doing.<br />

And I’m not wholly convinced that they do.<br />

Does it matter who gets the glory if we get<br />

the outcome we’re looking for? Perhaps<br />

not. But it depends on what policies and<br />

legislation come off the back of it.<br />

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

CMNEWS<br />

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

world of consumer and commercial credit.<br />

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM<br />

Government finally acts to end<br />

intimidating default notices<br />

THE letters borrowers receive<br />

from their lenders when they are<br />

seriously behind on repayments<br />

will be easier to understand and<br />

‘less intimidating’ in the future as a<br />

result of new rules proposed by the<br />

Treasury last month.<br />

Default Notices are designed to give people<br />

who are falling behind on their debts fair<br />

warning before lenders take further action, but<br />

much of the formatting and content has not<br />

been updated in nearly 40 years.<br />

Government will now legislate to change<br />

the language and presentation of information<br />

in these notices, with the intention of making<br />

them less threatening by restricting the amount<br />

of information that must be made prominent<br />

and requiring lenders to use bold or underlined<br />

text rather than capital letters. Lenders will also<br />

now be able to replace legal terms with more<br />

widely understood words and letters will clearly<br />

signpost people to the best sources of free debt<br />

advice.<br />

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the<br />

Treasury, said it was right that legislation was<br />

overhauled: “These new rules will help to take<br />

the fear out of finance by ensuring that letters<br />

are easier to understand, less threatening,<br />

and empower people to take control of their<br />

finances,” he said.<br />

Eric Leenders, Managing Director, Personal<br />

Finance at UK Finance agreed: “Lenders have<br />

to send Default Notices and these important<br />

changes announced today will ensure that<br />

customers receive more appropriate and<br />

supportive communications,” he said.<br />

While the debt collection industry and<br />

others have lobbied Government for the last<br />

six years to change the rules, it appears to<br />

have taken the high-profile intervention of TV<br />

personality Martin Lewis to prompt the Treasury<br />

to take action. Mr Lewis says the timing of<br />

announcement is crucial: “With millions of<br />

people facing debt and distress due to the<br />

pandemic, the sooner we end these out-of-date<br />

laws which force lenders to send intimidating<br />

letters the better,” he said. “These changes will<br />

make the most distressing debt letters much<br />

less intimidating, and crucially will also easily<br />

and calmly point people in serious debt to get<br />

the free, non-profit, debt advice they need.”<br />

Chris Leslie, Chief Executive of the<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Services Association (CSA), also<br />

welcomed the news, describing the<br />

announcement as long overdue:<br />

“Making an initial letter less<br />

intimidating of course has<br />

to be a good thing,” he says.<br />

“It’s something that the CSA<br />

and other trade bodies, as<br />

well as firms, have argued<br />

is overdue from as far back<br />

as 2014.”<br />

But Mr Leslie cautioned against the<br />

new rules being too narrowly focused: “Some<br />

customers will have vulnerabilities or mental<br />

health issues while others will not. Some<br />

customers may simply be failing to engage. That<br />

is why any new legislation must be balanced<br />

and fair, giving the creditor the opportunity<br />

to tailor the language used so it is most<br />

appropriate.<br />

“We hope that this new policy will take into<br />

account the views and experience on all sides,<br />

including that of firms and industry bodies<br />

which have been trying to improve customer<br />

experience in spite of some of the anachronistic<br />

and unhelpful existing regulations.”<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> carried an article from the<br />

CSA in 2018 calling for change, and covered the<br />

story again last year in which the Association<br />

argued that if the rules and the regulator oblige<br />

the creditor to follow a particular path, it is<br />

unfair to criticise the industry for doing what it<br />

is told in law that it has to do.<br />

As Mr Leslie concludes: “The technical,<br />

rigid nature of the Consumer <strong>Credit</strong> Act<br />

1974 sometimes means there can be an<br />

understandable nervousness in writing<br />

documentation that is clear, simple and concise.<br />

I think we can all agree that a letter that is<br />

intended to explain a customer’s situation is<br />

of little use when all it achieves is to drive the<br />

consumer to seek further explanation, with all of<br />

the inherent worry that this brings.”<br />

The new rules will be delivered through<br />

secondary legislation and are expected to come<br />

into force in December <strong>2020</strong>. All lenders will<br />

then be required to make the changes within six<br />

months.<br />

John Glen,<br />

Economic<br />

Secretary to the<br />

Treasury<br />

“These new rules<br />

will help to take the<br />

fear out of finance<br />

by ensuring that<br />

letters are easier<br />

to understand, less<br />

threatening, and<br />

empower people to<br />

take control of their<br />

finances.”<br />

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


<strong>Credit</strong>or confusion at new plans<br />

NEW laws will require<br />

mandatory independent<br />

scrutiny of pre-pack<br />

administration sales<br />

where connected<br />

parties – such as the<br />

insolvent company’s existing directors<br />

or shareholders – are involved in the<br />

purchase, the Government announced<br />

last month.<br />

The new laws are designed to improve<br />

confidence and transparency in prepack<br />

administration sales, giving the<br />

general public and creditors reassurance<br />

that their interests are being protected<br />

alongside that of the distressed<br />

business. Pre-pack administrations<br />

involve arrangements to sell part or the<br />

whole of a company’s business or assets<br />

prior to the company entering into<br />

administration. The sale is completed<br />

on or shortly after the appointment of<br />

an administrator and the speed of the<br />

transaction helps preserve the value of<br />

the business while saving jobs.<br />

Whereas pre-pack administration<br />

sales are widely considered to be a<br />

valuable rescue tool, concerns have<br />

been raised that arrangements may<br />

not always be in the best interests of<br />

creditors especially where the sale is<br />

made to a connected party.<br />

Minister for Corporate Responsibility<br />

Lord Callanan said that it was important<br />

people have confidence in the<br />

insolvency process: “This new law<br />

will ensure all sales to connected<br />

parties are properly scrutinized –<br />

protecting the interests of creditors<br />

and the general public, as well as the<br />

distressed company.”<br />

Colin Haig, President of insolvency<br />

and restructuring trade body R3,<br />

agreed and added: “The insolvency and<br />

restructuring profession is very sensitive<br />

to the impact of pre-packs on creditors,<br />

and there is a careful balance to strike in<br />

these situations between transparency,<br />

protecting creditor value, and business<br />

rescue, which these proposals<br />

support.”<br />

The announcement,<br />

however, has led to<br />

some confusion among<br />

industry commentators,<br />

especially where it<br />

leaves the Pre-Pack<br />

Pool. David Kerr FCICM<br />

on the CICM Technical<br />

Committee, sees a number<br />

of problems:<br />

“While there are some<br />

restrictions on who can provide<br />

an opinion, the Government’s draft<br />

regulations on the qualifications of the<br />

opinion provider simply state that the<br />

provider must self-declare that (s)/he<br />

believe themselves to have the requisite<br />

knowledge and experience to do the job!<br />

“Also, rather oddly, the Service’s<br />

report on its review of pre-packs<br />

expressly states that the purchaser<br />

can obtain more than one opinion. One<br />

possible (but presumably unintended)<br />

consequence of this might be to give<br />

purchasers a licence to shop around for<br />

a positive opinion!”<br />

David questions whether this will<br />

enhance the creditor confidence the<br />

Government is seeking: “The purchaser<br />

will commission an opinion and<br />

can pick the opinion provider.<br />

Although the provider must<br />

not be someone who has<br />

advised the parties in the<br />

previous twelve months,<br />

how independent will<br />

they really be? Whereas<br />

the Pool operates on an<br />

automated rota basis free<br />

of manipulation or undue<br />

influence, the purchaser does<br />

not choose the reviewer and<br />

cannot easily ignore or discard the<br />

opinion provided. Will these measures<br />

advance trust in the profession and in<br />

this process?”<br />

Mike Sargent FCICM, chair of the<br />

Pre-Pack Pool oversight committee<br />

on behalf of the CICM, shares similar<br />

concerns: “Under the Government’s<br />

plans, an opinion on a connected party<br />

pre-pack sale will be able to be sought<br />

“While there are some restrictions on who can provide<br />

an opinion, the Government’s draft regulations on the<br />

qualifications of the opinion provider simply state that the<br />

provider must self-declare that (s)/he believe themselves to<br />

have the requisite knowledge and experience to do the job.’’<br />

David Kerr FCICM serves on the CICM Technical Committee<br />

Technical Committee warns of impending crisis<br />

FORBEARANCE, and the support<br />

consumers will need in the months<br />

ahead, pose a significant challenge to<br />

the collections industry as Government<br />

support mechanisms come to an end,<br />

and will require joined-up thinking with<br />

the debt advice sector.<br />

This was one of the key themes to<br />

emerge from the latest CICM Technical<br />

Committee meeting in September<br />

as experts from the consumer credit<br />

industry gave their thoughts and insight<br />

on a fast-changing landscape that would<br />

seriously impact a customer’s future<br />

ability to pay.<br />

The importance of communication,<br />

and the use of digital channels in<br />

particular, was now critical to identify<br />

the vulnerable, especially as many would<br />

perhaps not fully realise the vulnerable<br />

position that they now find themselves<br />

in. It was also in recognition of a shift<br />

towards a new tranche of much younger<br />

debtors (16–24) who are more likely to<br />

engage through a mobile device than<br />

with a traditional letter or call.<br />

A deeper understanding and<br />

recognition of the link between<br />

‘business’ and ‘personal’ debt was also<br />

required, since the lines were becoming<br />

increasingly blurred.<br />

Committee members, including David<br />

Sheridan of ARC Europe and Alistair<br />

Chisholm of Payplan agreed that the<br />

tipping point would most likely occur in<br />

the first quarter of 2021, when the need<br />

for debt advice was likely to rise. While<br />

customers continued to be making full<br />

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


for pre-pack reviews<br />

from any ‘independent’ evaluator.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong>ors need to be aware of this factor<br />

to ensure that this important aspect<br />

of the process is not abused<br />

and challenge if there are<br />

concerns.”<br />

Stuart Hopewell<br />

FCICM, a Director of<br />

the Pre-Pack Pool<br />

described the move as a<br />

something of a pyrrhic<br />

victory for creditors<br />

and the Pool: “The draft<br />

regulations hardly inspire<br />

confidence,” he said, “and the<br />

announcement represents quite<br />

a volte face by Lord Callannan who<br />

fought tooth and nail in The Lords to<br />

allow the sunset clause to die!”<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> understands<br />

there will be a new mechanism, but<br />

it has not yet been established what<br />

that mechanism will be. It asked the<br />

Insolvency Service to explain why a<br />

new mechanism was needed when the<br />

Pre-Pack Pool was already in place.<br />

A spokesman explained: "Since the<br />

Pre-Pack Pool is a private limited<br />

company, it cannot be written into any<br />

new regulation that the pool should be<br />

used. However, that didn't discount the<br />

pool – or members of the pool – from<br />

providing scrutiny in the future."<br />

With regards timing, <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong> was told that the issue<br />

will not be debated in Parliament until<br />

possibly as late as June 2021.<br />

Simon Plant, a Licensed Insolvency<br />

Practitioner with the SFP Group,<br />

described the announcement as ‘not<br />

good news’ and one that could force<br />

businesses down the CVL route: “If<br />

an independent body has to review<br />

sales to every connected party on<br />

each Administration, it could<br />

actually end up wrecking<br />

the process,” he explained.<br />

“Given the volume<br />

of insolvencies<br />

expected, how will<br />

a new independent<br />

body cope, given that a<br />

significant proportion of<br />

Administrations<br />

result in a sale to<br />

connected parties? Also,<br />

what if the body delays or<br />

keeps seeking information when an<br />

immediate decision has to be made<br />

by the Administrator? The cost of<br />

reporting and providing the necessary<br />

information to the new body is likely<br />

to be prohibitive, and if the<br />

independent evaluator does not fully<br />

understand the process or the detail<br />

they could deny a pre-pack for all the<br />

wrong reasons.”<br />

“The draft regulations<br />

hardly inspire confidence,<br />

and the announcement<br />

represents quite a volte<br />

face by Lord Callannan who<br />

fought tooth and nail in The<br />

Lords to allow the sunset<br />

clause to die!”<br />

Stuart Hopewell FCICM, a Director<br />

of the Pre-Pack Pool<br />

The importance of communication, and the use of digital<br />

channels in particular, was now critical to identify the<br />

vulnerable, especially as many would perhaps not fully realise<br />

the vulnerable position that they now find themselves in.<br />

>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Open all hours<br />

NEW research from Aldermore bank<br />

reveals that one in five (21 percent)<br />

small and medium-sized enterprise<br />

(SME) owners are working an additional<br />

three hours daily on average to manage<br />

the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic<br />

on their business. Many SME owners<br />

reported that longer working hours<br />

meant they had to make personal<br />

sacrifices, such as reducing time spent<br />

relaxing (37 percent), quality time with<br />

family (32 percent), and exercising<br />

(20 percent). Some 43 percent of SME<br />

owners described themselves as<br />

being ‘stressed or anxious’ due to the<br />

pandemic.<br />

Meritorious Service<br />

DEE Weston FCICM, <strong>Credit</strong> Manager<br />

at Exclusive Networks, has received<br />

a Meritorious Service Award from<br />

nominator and CICM Vice President<br />

Brenda Linger FCICM. Brenda says Dee<br />

was put forward for the Award for her<br />

contribution to the Institute and wider<br />

credit community: “Dee demonstrates<br />

commitment to endeavouring to<br />

provide whatever is in her capability,<br />

to help people qualify and achieve.<br />

She has proven ongoing involvement<br />

with the CICM both at branch level<br />

and nationally, and through other<br />

organisations. She creates what is best<br />

for her team and often goes the extra<br />

mile for the CICM Thames Valley Branch<br />

network.” Award presentations to the<br />

remaining <strong>2020</strong> MSA recipients, Tracey<br />

Westell FCICM and Derek Scott FCICM,<br />

are being planned.<br />

and final settlements in the short term,<br />

that situation was unlikely to last much<br />

further into the future.<br />

Forbearance was masking a major<br />

challenge that would soon be exposed,<br />

a theme that also related to the new<br />

Corporate Governance and Insolvency<br />

Act (CIGA) with much discussion around<br />

the new moratorium and what this mean<br />

to creditors.<br />

Julia Ishak of Shoosmiths was among<br />

those who highlighted how Retention of<br />

Title (RoT) is a key area of concern and<br />

creditors were encouraged to review their<br />

contracts especially in relation to an<br />

insolvency situation taking place. Legal<br />

and practical aspects of all contracts<br />

should also be clear.<br />

Of greater concern, arguably, is the<br />

issue of Frustration of Contract, as is<br />

wrongful and fraudulent trading. There<br />

may be an increase in trade creditors<br />

lending less, extending less credit, and<br />

charging more for the privilege, none of<br />

which is deemed good for the economy.<br />

These and other issues will be explored<br />

by the Technical Committee members in<br />

future issues of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>.<br />

Resolving Issues<br />

KEY stakeholders have broadly<br />

welcomed the proposed Business<br />

Banking Resolution Service (BBRS),<br />

but with a caveat that it must be truly<br />

independent to succeed. Sue Chapple,<br />

CEO of the CICM who responded to the<br />

consultation, said that the BBRS must<br />

be transparent in its funding or else<br />

potential customers may assume the<br />

process has ‘hidden drawbacks’. A more<br />

detailed look at the BBRS will follow in a<br />

future issue.<br />

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


Public sector debt management<br />

practices are ‘failing’ the vulnerable<br />

THE Public Sector is failing<br />

debtors, especially the<br />

most vulnerable, and<br />

needs to urgently learn the<br />

lesson of its private sector<br />

colleagues.<br />

The concept of ‘vulnerability’ is also<br />

too vague, and as such many of those<br />

most in need of help are falling between<br />

the cracks.<br />

This is the view of the Chartered<br />

Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> (CICM)<br />

in its response to the Cabinet Office Call<br />

for Evidence on the issue of government<br />

debt management, the process of<br />

recovering public sector debt. The<br />

CICM, whose members include senior<br />

executives across both the public and<br />

private sectors, says that best practice<br />

should be followed across all aspects of<br />

debt recovery and collections, regardless<br />

of how the debt originated:<br />

“It seems wholly wrong that when the<br />

Government assesses affordability, it<br />

does so in order to recover what’s owed<br />

within a specific time period and by<br />

instalments, and that cannot be in the<br />

best interests of the consumer,” says Sue<br />

Chapple FCICM, CICM Chief Executive.<br />

“When private debt collection agencies<br />

seek to recover consumer debt (e.g.<br />

credit card debts, phone debts, utility<br />

debts etc), however, it is simply about<br />

what the customer can afford to pay,<br />

without a time restriction, and that is<br />

much fairer on the customer.<br />

“The public sector is also able to take<br />

money from an individual’s earnings,<br />

without the need for Court Proceedings,<br />

and that seems similarly unfair.<br />

Individuals who are in debt should<br />

receive the same level of treatment,<br />

and fairness, regardless of who they<br />

owe money to. Debt collection practices<br />

needs to be much more aligned.”<br />

Sue says that what is of greater<br />

concern, is the public sector’s<br />

inconsistent approach to vulnerability:<br />

“The fundamental definition<br />

of vulnerability is too vague. A<br />

vulnerability assessment should<br />

recognise and support individuals<br />

who may be unable to safeguard their<br />

personal welfare. Vulnerability can be<br />

permanent, temporary or transient,<br />

and only by truly understanding the<br />

customer can you know how vulnerable<br />

they are. It is not just about looking at<br />

their finances.”<br />

This inconsistency extends<br />

across government departments:<br />

“Vulnerabilities identified at local<br />

“When private debt<br />

collection agencies seek<br />

to recover consumer debt<br />

(e.g. credit card debts,<br />

phone debts, utility debts<br />

etc), however, it is simply<br />

about what the customer<br />

can afford to pay, without<br />

a time restriction, and<br />

that is much fairer on the<br />

customer.’’<br />

Sue Chapple<br />


Chief Executive<br />

government level should be shared<br />

across other departments, as the<br />

individual is unlikely to realise that they<br />

may need to notify different parts of<br />

government of their situation,” she adds.<br />

The best way of identifying and<br />

supporting the vulnerable is to adopt<br />

the processes and procedures used<br />

by members of the <strong>Credit</strong> Services<br />

Association (CSA) who follow a strict<br />

Code of Practice: “Behavioural insights<br />

and thoroughly assessing the best<br />

option for support is key. Each case is<br />

unique and should be treated as such<br />

when assessing the best support that<br />

can be provided.”<br />

Communication, she says, is also key,<br />

and that customers need to be reached<br />

in different ways: “Everyone has their<br />

own preference – for example, speaking<br />

on the phone, accessing information<br />

online, or using an app. We should stop<br />

talking about customers being ‘hounded’<br />

on the phone or by text when actually<br />

that could be the best way to engage<br />

with them. That said, communication<br />

needs to be open and encouraging in<br />

order to minimise any mental impact on<br />

those in problem debt.”<br />

Whereas best practice can support<br />

people in debt, Sue says poor practice<br />

can do terrible damage:<br />

“CICM members commented that poor<br />

debt management activity could prolong<br />

or increase the vulnerability,” she<br />

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


says. “Impacts could include mental<br />

health issues, suicide, alcoholism/<br />

drug abuse, domestic abuse. “Poor debt<br />

management could also prolong the<br />

amount of time someone is in debt and<br />

damage the relationship the individual<br />

has in the future with creditor<br />

organisations.”<br />

Elsewhere but on a related theme,<br />

StepChange has found that, among<br />

clients with debts to government, 93<br />

percent said that the actions taken<br />

to collect money owed had made it<br />

difficult to afford essential household<br />

costs. In turn, this led to more than half<br />

of these clients borrowing further to<br />

make ends meet – simply exacerbating<br />

problems.<br />

Peter Tutton, Head of Policy,<br />

Research and Public Affairs at<br />

StepChange Debt Charity, says that<br />

only a third of StepChange clients<br />

with debts to local authorities had<br />

undergone an affordability assessment,<br />

and similarly only a third of clients<br />

with debts to DWP: “The Government<br />

has taken a hugely positive step in<br />

legislating for Breathing Space to allow<br />

people in debt a chance to see recovery<br />

action paused while they work with<br />

a debt advice provider towards a<br />

sustainable long term solution,” he<br />

explains. “It would be a tragedy if its<br />

own debt collection practices end up<br />

undermining the outcome.”<br />

>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Advice Gong<br />

MONEY Advice Trust Chief Executive<br />

Joanna Elson has been awarded a<br />

CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours<br />

List for services to people in financial<br />

difficulty. Joanna has served as<br />

Chief Executive of the Money Advice<br />

Trust, the charity that runs National<br />

Debtline and Business Debtline,<br />

since 2008. In addition to her role<br />

at the Trust, Joanna is a Director of<br />

Fair4All Finance, Vice Chair of the<br />

Friends Provident Foundation and<br />

serves on the Board of trade body<br />

UK Finance, representing vulnerable<br />

consumers. The team at the CICM<br />

and <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> extend<br />

their congratulations to Joanna for a<br />

thoroughly deserved honour.<br />

Discount Fraud<br />

THE 14th Annual European AML<br />

& Financial Crime Conference –<br />

A Global Outlook is taking place<br />

virtually on 18/19 <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

CICM members can take advantage<br />

of a discounted rate of GBP £396.00<br />

+VAT. Please quote ‘CICM’ discount<br />

code when booking. For more<br />

information visit www.amlpforum.<br />

com and to book your place email<br />

events@amlpforum.com<br />

Turnaround Form<br />

A key business turnaround process<br />

could be made more accessible<br />

for small businesses following the<br />

publication of a new resource from<br />

R3, the insolvency and restructuring<br />

trade body. R3 has developed a<br />

free Standard Form for Company<br />

Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs),<br />

which aims to make it easier for<br />

small businesses affected by the<br />

COVID-19 pandemic to enter a CVA by<br />

providing a foundation for directors’<br />

proposals to be developed.<br />

Arrow Straight<br />

ARROW Global Group has appointed<br />

Martina Swart as Group Legal<br />

and Risk Officer. Martina will be<br />

responsible for legal and compliance,<br />

governance and risk management<br />

across the Group, replacing Stewart<br />

Hamilton who left the business<br />

recently. She will report directly to<br />

Lee Rochford, Group CEO, as part of<br />

Arrow’s executive management team.<br />

Government consults to<br />

beef up powers of SBC<br />

NEW proposals have been outlined by<br />

Government to ensure small businesses in<br />

the UK are paid on time.<br />

Currently £23.4bn worth of late invoices<br />

are owed to small firms across Britain,<br />

according to Government statistics,<br />

seriously impacting on businesses’ cashflow<br />

and ultimate survival. As part of a new<br />

consultation launched last month, the<br />

Government is looking to further beef up the<br />

powers of the Small Business Commissioner,<br />

Philip King FCICM, including the power to<br />

order companies to pay their partners, either<br />

as a lump sum or agreed payment plan, when<br />

a complaint against them for late payment<br />

has been investigated and upheld. Companies<br />

that do not do so could face further penalties,<br />

including fines. This will give a clear<br />

incentive for companies to pay their partners<br />

on time.<br />

The SBC will also have the power to compel<br />

companies to share information during an<br />

investigation, and have an expanded scope<br />

of works to include the power to investigate<br />

complaints about other businesses relating<br />

to payment matters in connection with the<br />

supply of goods and services.<br />

Speaking exclusively to <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong>, Philip King FCICM believes the<br />

new measures will go a long way to further<br />

improving the UK payment culture: “The<br />

SBC has been in place since December 2017<br />

and the learnings over the last three years,<br />

together with the views captured from the<br />

2019 Call for Evidence, have informed the<br />

proposals being consulted on,” he explains.<br />

“The SBC has achieved much since it<br />

was launched and increasing his scope<br />

and powers will provide the opportunity for<br />

even more to be achieved in improving the<br />

payment culture.” In a separate consultation<br />

which closed in October, changes are being<br />

proposed to the Prompt Payment Code, and<br />

Philip says the Government has an ongoing<br />

dialogue with signatories and stakeholders:<br />

“The potential reforms include: paying 95<br />

percent of invoices from smaller businesses<br />

within 30 days; introducing additional<br />

mechanisms to ensure compliance with the<br />

Code; and the use of additional criteria such<br />

as the percentage of invoices paid to terms<br />

and/or the average time taken to pay invoices.<br />

“The reforms also include allowing the Code<br />

administrators to approach signatories on the<br />

basis of a complaint raised by a third party<br />

such as a trade body.” <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

understands that the powers of the SBC are<br />

underpinned by Primary Legislation so, after<br />

responses to the consultation have been<br />

considered, any changes will need to go<br />

through the legislative process. In three years<br />

the SBC has claimed £7.5 million owed to<br />

small businesses and publicly named<br />

eight companies for poor payment<br />

practice. The consultation will<br />

run until 24 December <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

Philip King FCICM<br />

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



Is the reality of what is to come being masked<br />

by Government schemes?<br />

AUTHORS – Nic Beishon, Richard Leonard and Mark Preston<br />

PANDEMIC, what pandemic? You<br />

could be excused for thinking<br />

that a rally in the stock market<br />

prices from a low in March<br />

<strong>2020</strong> to renewed growth in the<br />

months following to August <strong>2020</strong><br />

suggested that the economies of the USA and<br />

Europe were in good shape.<br />

But looking at underlying GDP, this reveals<br />

significant declines in the UK and across<br />

Europe, to levels not seen since the crash of<br />

2008-9. Overall, GDP shows a 15-25 percent<br />

negative trend.<br />

And whilst unemployment has not yet seen<br />

dramatic increases, furlough schemes and<br />

Government-backed loans have largely masked<br />

this – commentators are predicting significant<br />

increases as the pandemic stubbornly refuses<br />

to go away. Real impacts are likely to be felt by<br />

more and more businesses as we move towards<br />

2021.<br />

What's next in terms of the pandemic and its<br />

impact on the economy? Will it be a ‘slow burn’<br />

where the first wave of COVID-19 is followed by<br />

ongoing transmission but without a clear wave<br />

pattern? We may be past that already. Or will we<br />

see ‘peaks and valleys’ with continued waves<br />

of the outbreak that persist over a one to twoyear<br />

period, gradually diminishing sometime in<br />

2021? Or will there be an autumn/winter peak,<br />

a larger wave than the first with subsequent<br />

smaller waves in 2021 – similar to the 1918<br />

Spanish Flu and the 1958 H2N2 pandemic?<br />

Much, of course, will depend on the availability<br />

of an effective vaccine.<br />


In terms of real GDP growth performance,<br />

forecasts suggest that declines in <strong>2020</strong> may be<br />

somewhat offset by small growth in 2021. But if<br />

the UK declines negatively by nearly 10 percent<br />

this year, and an optimistic growth forecast of<br />

five to six percent in 2021 is realised, this is of<br />

course still behind the levels seen in 2019.<br />

And it's worth noting that according to some<br />

of the data we're seeing, the share of prompt<br />

payments in the UK has fallen from about 47<br />

percent in March to 41 percent in August <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

In the UK, Business Liquidations declined in<br />

the 2nd quarter of <strong>2020</strong>, following a stable trend<br />

during 2019 and into early <strong>2020</strong>. But there are<br />

reasons for this of course – Government Loan<br />

Intervention, Moratoria in place, etc. When will<br />

the economic pressures manifest themselves<br />

in increased financial stress and resultant<br />

business failures? Are we looking at the socalled<br />

‘Tsunami of Insolvencies’ that many talk<br />

about?<br />

Nic Beishon<br />

Richard Leonard<br />

Mark Preston<br />

What is clear<br />

though, is that<br />

SMEs need finance<br />

more than ever,<br />

and lenders need<br />

information that<br />

gives them the<br />

confidence to lend<br />

more than ever.<br />

In a world full of acronyms <strong>2020</strong> ushered a<br />

few more, one of these, BBLS (Bounce Back<br />

Loan Scheme) is now part of the language<br />

and, following the Chancellor's recent<br />

announcement, will be part of the business<br />

environment potentially for the next 10 years.<br />

There are over 1.26m Government-backed<br />

fixed interest rate BBLS facilities as per the<br />

update given on 22 September, <strong>2020</strong>, following<br />

1.55m applications for loans between £2,000 and<br />

£50,000.<br />

Undoubtedly many businesses will have<br />

benefitted from the £38bn (average loan value<br />

circa £30,000) provided under these schemes.<br />

However, it's important to remember that the<br />

Government guarantee covers the lender rather<br />

than the borrower.<br />


Unlike applications for other facilities where a<br />

full credit assessment is undertaken, Bounce<br />

Back Loans rely on the applicant self-certifying<br />

their turnover and confirming the business<br />

has been affected by COVID-19, with lenders<br />

undertaking relevant AML/KYC checks before<br />

releasing funds.<br />

In the early days of the scheme, many<br />

businesses may have applied thinking they had<br />

a relatively short-term need and may have been<br />

prudent by restricting their borrowing to a level<br />

that they felt comfortable with for what at the<br />

time seemed sufficient.<br />

The scheme only allows a business to have one<br />

BBL, which potentially has left some businesses<br />

wishing they had applied for more to carry them<br />

through difficult times.<br />

With the first payment deferred for 12<br />

months, businesses have some breathing space<br />

and hopefully can concentrate on the day to<br />

day before repayments start for some in Q2,<br />

2021. The number of BBLs will likely have been<br />

taken by businesses that have not borrowed<br />

previously.<br />

The Chancellor's recent amendments to the<br />

scheme now allow for a payment holiday and<br />

a term extension to 10 years from the original<br />

fixed 72 months although it is not yet clear how<br />

lenders will implement this.<br />


BIPA issued a statement in April to say BIPA<br />

members will work to minimise the impact on<br />

the Commercial CRA credit assessment of any<br />

application by a business for a Government<br />

scheme designed to support business survival<br />

through the COVID-19 crisis.<br />

This has covered schemes like the Company<br />

House filing extensions and the BBLS. There<br />

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



45%<br />

R - Arts, Entertainment and Recreation<br />

45%<br />

40%<br />

40%<br />

Q - Human Health and Social Work Activities<br />

35%<br />

35%<br />

P - Education<br />

30%<br />

I - Accommodation and Food Service Activities<br />

30%<br />

% Change in average days beyond terms from January <strong>2020</strong><br />

25%<br />

20%<br />

15%<br />

10%<br />

5%<br />

-0%<br />

-5%<br />

Whole Population<br />

F - Construction<br />

25%<br />

20%<br />

15%<br />

10%<br />

5%<br />

-0%<br />

-5%<br />

% Change in average days beyond terms from January <strong>2020</strong><br />

-10%<br />

February March April May June July August September October <strong>November</strong> December<br />

-10%<br />

Source: Experian Trade Payment Performance Program Month <strong>2020</strong><br />

What's next in<br />

terms of the<br />

pandemic and<br />

its impact on the<br />

economy? Will it<br />

be a ‘slow burn’<br />

where the first<br />

wave of COVID-19<br />

is followed<br />

by ongoing<br />

transmission but<br />

without a clear<br />

wave pattern?<br />

Nic Beishon is Managing<br />

Director of N37, Richard<br />

Leonard is Head of Data<br />

Partnerships at Experian and<br />

Chairperson of BIPA, and<br />

Mark Preston MCICM is Senior<br />

Consultant and Subject Matter<br />

Expert, Trade <strong>Credit</strong> Risk &<br />

External Affairs at Dun &<br />

Bradstreet.<br />

They delivered a presentation<br />

to the CICM Think Tank<br />

in September on behalf of<br />

the Business Information<br />

Providers Association (BIPA).<br />

are stories in the media about fraudulent<br />

applications for BBLS, which are a real concern<br />

as at the end of the day it is tax payers' money that<br />

needs to be repaid. However, there is evidence<br />

that the BBLS cash is being used wisely.<br />

Days Beyond Terms (DBT) understandably<br />

rose sharply as the crisis began to bite but seem<br />

to have peaked in July with an equally sharp<br />

decline in August. The hypothesis is that the<br />

cash from the BBLS is being used to pay off<br />

outstanding invoices, maybe from key suppliers<br />

recognising the importance of a financially<br />

stable supply chain.<br />

The big question is, what will happen when<br />

this cash runs out? As described earlier, a<br />

business is not allowed to return for a top-up<br />

BBL, and so the most readily available form of<br />

finance is likely to be trade credit. Data from<br />

September supports this as DBTs sharply rise<br />

again.<br />

Trade credit as unsecured lending depends<br />

heavily on confidence; confidence in the data<br />

used to make a decision and confidence that<br />

the invoice will be paid. Such information is, of<br />

course, the business that the BIPA members are<br />

in. Generally speaking, we still recommend the<br />

basic approach of Risk Assessment, Monitoring<br />

and Portfolio <strong>Management</strong>, but we are also<br />

promoting alternative data sources.<br />

Now that filed company accounts are even<br />

more aged, up-to-date information is key. This<br />

can come from data sharing schemes. Some of<br />

these are regulated on either a mandatory or a<br />

voluntary basis and are closed user groups. An<br />

example of this is the HM Treasury Commercial<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Data Sharing scheme whereby the nine<br />

designated banks are mandated to share their<br />

data on SMEs (with the consent of the SME) to<br />

improve access to finance. Some CRAs have<br />

trade credit data sharing schemes, the benefits<br />

of which are available to all.<br />


BIPA has also identified some key Governmentowned<br />

data that would help trade creditors<br />

make confident lending decisions based on<br />

up-to-date information. A key piece of nonfinancial<br />

data we would like the Government to<br />

release to CRAs is the employee numbers from<br />

the HMRC PAYE Real Time Information system<br />

which records employees on PAYE every month.<br />

This would give information about the trading<br />

status and whether the business is growing<br />

or shrinking its workforce. It would also be a<br />

useful dataset in the fight against fraud as it<br />

would require a fraudster to set up and operate<br />

a PAYE system to get past such a check.<br />

A similar use could be made of the<br />

Corporation Tax number issued by HMRC on<br />

registration for corporation tax. One of the big<br />

challenges for the grantors of trade credit is the<br />

lack of information on small companies. Data<br />

sharing can certainly help, but a great source<br />

of information would be for the Government to<br />

release Corporation Tax returns. Full accounts<br />

might not be needed to be filed, but they are<br />

needed for HMRC, and this would fill the gap in<br />

information for lenders. This one might require<br />

a little bit more lobbying. What is clear though,<br />

is that SMEs need finance more than ever, and<br />

lenders need information that gives them the<br />

confidence to lend more than ever.<br />

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


LABOUR<br />


Sean Feast FCICM speaks to<br />

Chris Leslie, the new CEO of the <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Services Association (CSA), about his<br />

new role, his old life, and playing tennis<br />

with John Bercow.<br />

CHRIS Leslie’s passion for<br />

politics started at an early<br />

age with a desire to see<br />

improvements to his school<br />

building, which coincided with<br />

a visit to Bradford by the then<br />

Education Minister, Kenneth Baker:<br />

“The decrepit state of our school building was<br />

a big issue – so for some reason when I heard<br />

about this Minister visiting our area, I took<br />

the day off school to see what it was all about.<br />

I managed to get a word with him during his<br />

official ‘walkabout’ and told him that the roof<br />

in our school was leaking and I wanted to know<br />

what was he going to do about it. I received the<br />

usual politicians’ rebuff and remember feeling<br />

aggrieved that he wasn’t really listening. That<br />

fed my interest even further and in the 1987<br />

election I helped out with leafleting for the local<br />

Labour Party. I got the bug. I was sucked into<br />

the world of politics.”<br />

Looking back on the incident, he winces at<br />

his own precociousness. Today he has a much<br />

better understanding of how the Minister<br />

treated him at the time. He was then only 14.<br />

Indeed, Chris has never let his age be a barrier<br />

to progress.<br />

That Chris entered the world of politics is<br />

perhaps not a surprise. Born in Keighley, his<br />

father had been a local authority architect in<br />

Bradford, in the days when all local authorities<br />

had in-house teams. His mother, an American,<br />

came to the UK in 1970 to be a college lecturer.<br />

“With two parents both working in the public<br />

sector, it was inevitable that we had some lively<br />

debates around the kitchen table,” he laughs.<br />


A capable student at Bingley Grammar School,<br />

Chris chose to read Politics and Parliamentary<br />

Studies at the University of Leeds, during<br />

which time he was lucky enough to receive a<br />

placement in Washington DC working with<br />

Bernie Sanders (the Senator and one-time<br />

Democrat Presidential nominee then over from<br />

the US) and in Westminster with then Shadow<br />

Chancellor Gordon Brown. Graduating with a<br />

Master of Arts in Industrial and Labour studies,<br />

he stood in local council elections in 1994 before<br />

being selected as the Labour Party candidate<br />

for Shipley in the 1997 general election. (“There<br />

was only me and one other to choose from,” he<br />

jokes, “as the area was so traditionally staunch<br />

Conservative.”) He succeeded in taking the seat<br />

from Marcus Fox.<br />

It was a remarkable achievement on two<br />

levels: firstly, because the seat had been<br />

Conservative for almost 30 years; and secondly,<br />

because Chris was still only 24! “I remember<br />

the morning after the result having to lie down<br />

in a darkened room and thinking ‘Oh my God<br />

what just happened’!” It was the days before the<br />

internet, and Chris had to call his neighbouring<br />

MP to find out the form and when he was<br />

expected in Westminster. His colleague bought<br />

him a railway ticket and they travelled down<br />

together: “It was Blair era, and although I was<br />

very young, I looked up to Tony Blair, Gordon<br />

Brown, Robin Cook, Jack Cunningham, John<br />

Reid etc and thought ‘with all that experience<br />

they must know what they are doing!’.”<br />

As the ‘Baby of the House’ when he first<br />

entered, promotions quickly followed. He was<br />

appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary<br />

(PPS) to Lord Falconer and held onto to his seat<br />

in the 2001 election, albeit his majority was<br />

halved. He was rewarded after his re-election<br />

with a junior Ministerial role in the Cabinet<br />

Office, overseeing civil service policy and civil<br />

contingency planning. He remembers being<br />

asked to take on his next role by Tony Blair in<br />

2002: “The Blair government was always keen<br />

to be associated with ‘youth’, so when I was<br />

summoned to Number Ten I was told to come in<br />

the front door, presumably so I could be seen by<br />

journalists making the walk in. Blair asked me<br />

to become the Housing & Planning Minister and<br />

rather nervously I replied saying “well of course<br />

– I’d be happy to do whatever you think best, but<br />

everyone will say that to you won’t they?”. To his<br />

surprise, Blair said that, no, most MPs hadn’t<br />

been happy to take what they were offered.<br />

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


AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM<br />

“And he said ‘in fact you are the only one who<br />

hadn’t pushed back and argued that they wanted<br />

something else!’ so that was fortuitous!” As it<br />

was, Leslie got a call later that evening from<br />

John Prescott to say that he wouldn’t be doing<br />

Housing after all, for various reasons, and so he<br />

became a junior Minister for local government<br />

and the regions in Prescott’s team instead.<br />


Chris had first-hand experience in local<br />

government which proved useful in the time<br />

he spent overseeing that policy portfolio in<br />

the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Then,<br />

from 2003 to 2005 he was Minister for Courts<br />

and Constitutional Affairs. In 2005, however,<br />

he suffered his first setback, losing his seat in<br />

Shipley by fewer than 500 votes.<br />

It was not, however, a crushing blow, and not<br />

long after leaving the Commons for the first time<br />

he became a Director of the member organisation<br />

New Local Government Network, the leading<br />

local authority research and policy think-tank.<br />

During the same time, he also became a trustee<br />

of the Consumer <strong>Credit</strong> Counselling Service<br />

advice charity (now StepChange) – working<br />

alongside Malcolm Hurlston CBE – and <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Action (now the Money Charity).<br />

He was not out of politics for long, however,<br />

and in April 2010 was selected as the Labour<br />

candidate for Nottingham East and returned<br />

to the Commons, now something of a veteran<br />

MP. Between 2011 and 2015 he was a member of<br />

“With two parents<br />

both working in<br />

the public sector, it<br />

was inevitable that<br />

we had some lively<br />

debates around the<br />

kitchen table.”<br />

the Opposition Treasury team, as Shadow City<br />

Minister/Financial Secretary to the Treasury (in<br />

the period during which the Financial Conduct<br />

Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority<br />

were established), as Shadow Chief Secretary to<br />

the Treasury and as Shadow Chancellor of the<br />

Exchequer.<br />

Chris resigned from the Labour front bench<br />

following the election of Jeremy Corbyn as party<br />

leader. There were various attempts to salvage<br />

the Labour Party, as he saw it, including a<br />

successful vote of no-confidence in Corbyn by<br />

the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party<br />

– a vote that the leader chose to ignore – but<br />

which shone a spotlight that all was not well:<br />

“I faced political hostility at a local level,” he<br />

admits, “but quite simply a Corbyn government<br />

was not a government that I felt should take over<br />

the country.”<br />


As a founding member of The Independent<br />

Group (later Change UK), Chris knew that leaving<br />

Labour would mean losing his Nottingham East<br />

seat in the 2019 General Election. Westminster’s<br />

loss, however, proved to be the credit industry’s<br />

gain, when he applied to become Chief Executive<br />

of the <strong>Credit</strong> Services Association.<br />

“I always wanted to work in the Financial<br />

Services space and having taken on shadow<br />

portfolio roles in the field following the global<br />

financial crisis, I understood a bit about the<br />

important ‘bridge’ that trade bodies provide<br />

between their industry and government,” he<br />

explains.<br />

“The industry – and the whole credit<br />

ecosystem – is not something that is always<br />

popular in political circles, but credit is critical.<br />

I’m convinced that most members of the public<br />

accept that, if you take on the responsibilities<br />

of a loan, then you have a duty to try and fulfil<br />

that responsibility. People need opportunity,<br />

and access to credit is an important part of<br />

helping them realise those opportunities. Of<br />

course, credit is used sometimes simply to help<br />

people get by from one day to the next, but it is<br />

wholly wrong to say that all credit is somehow<br />

exploitative.”<br />

This was a view, he says, that gained currency<br />

after the financial crash of 2008, when the banks<br />

and other lenders were vilified: “Yes it’s true<br />

that the sector needed to improve, but Financial<br />

Services represents 10 percent of our economy –<br />

the same size as manufacturing – and there are<br />

many good stories to be told.”<br />

As CEO of the CSA, Chris has spent the first<br />

few months in office meeting as many CSA<br />

members as time, COVID, and social distancing<br />

will allow, travelling the length and breadth of<br />

the country – literally and via Zoom – to listen<br />

to his members’ views, and determine future<br />

priorities and challenges. He has also met with<br />

other credit industry stakeholders, including<br />

the CICM, to discuss areas of mutual interest.<br />

“It’s clear that our members help people<br />

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

continues on page 14 >


AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM<br />

“The collections industry did not really need<br />

a statute of legislation to tell it to provide<br />

breathing space, it was doing it already. It<br />

had long ago understood that providing<br />

forbearance was in everyone’s interests and<br />

led to better outcomes’’.<br />

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


AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM<br />

with often complex debt problems.<br />

I’ve listened in on calls and heard<br />

how often distressed customers are<br />

calmed by our members’ staff, and the<br />

sense of relief they feel as a result that<br />

someone actually cares. The humanity<br />

our members show to their customers<br />

is something we should be proud of.<br />

They do a great deal of unsung work in<br />

helping people, often before any of the<br />

advice sector charities are involved.”<br />


Chris points to the recent debates over<br />

vulnerability, and how the private<br />

sector is acknowledged to be far<br />

ahead of its public sector colleagues in<br />

offering forbearance: “The collections<br />

industry did not really need a statute of<br />

legislation to tell it to provide breathing<br />

space, it was doing it already. It had<br />

long ago understood that providing<br />

forbearance was in everyone’s interests<br />

and led to better outcomes. The<br />

challenge within the public sector is<br />

that forbearance is not an option that<br />

is always open to them, and that is<br />

something that has to be seriously<br />

looked at.”<br />

Although it is still early days, Chris<br />

has immediately been impressed<br />

with the wealth of knowledge and<br />

talent within the headquarters team in<br />

Newcastle, and the breadth of services<br />

they provide to their members: “We<br />

have experts in policy, law, training,<br />

apprenticeships, regulation, and<br />

compliance and they have every right to<br />

trumpet their achievements,” he says.<br />

“That’s not to say we can be complacent,<br />

however, and to deliver value to our<br />

members we need to continually<br />

improve.”<br />

Chris says that while it is right that<br />

as an Association they react to events,<br />

he also believes it is vital that they<br />

continue to be proactive in educating<br />

and informing key stakeholders of what<br />

their members deliver: “We understand<br />

our sector the best and need to use that<br />

knowledge and the data we have to<br />

shape future policy, to tell politicians<br />

what’s coming next.<br />

“We know that there is currently<br />

a lull during the pandemic payment<br />

deferral period, but we also know that<br />

difficult times are ahead. There will<br />

be serious capacity issues, and when<br />

personal finances are being stretched,<br />

the industry will need to be increasingly<br />

sensitive in how it responds.”<br />

While Chris is clearly enjoying his<br />

new challenge, I wonder if he misses<br />

politics: “It’s nice to be out,” he laughs.<br />

He does, of course, keep in touch with<br />

some of his former colleagues, including<br />

his regular tennis partner, the former<br />

Speaker of the House John Bercow who,<br />

he says, is surprisingly good! If he was<br />

starting out again, Chris believes the<br />

best advice he could have given himself<br />

30 years ago would be to take the advice<br />

supposedly given to Bob Woodward’s<br />

informant during the Watergate scandal<br />

and ‘follow the money!’: “It’s important<br />

to understand how finance and our<br />

economy works – it shapes most<br />

everything else in society,” he says.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong>, Chris concludes, is a<br />

crucial utility in today’s economy and<br />

safeguarding a fair and well-functioning<br />

market is more important than ever in<br />

these challenging times: “The creditcollections<br />

‘eco-system’ in many ways<br />

represents the unsung plumbing of our<br />

economic system, because transactions<br />

between businesses and individuals<br />

– or between businesses themselves –<br />

depend on payments being honoured<br />

and completed in as timely and full<br />

manner as possible,” he says.<br />

“<strong>Credit</strong> keeps the economy and our<br />

country strong and is a very important<br />

piece in the economic jigsaw. We’re<br />

world-leading in what we do and should<br />

be proud.”<br />

“We know that there<br />

is currently a lull<br />

during the pandemic<br />

payment deferral<br />

period, but we also<br />

know that difficult<br />

times are ahead.’’<br />

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


Saving Grace<br />

In times of crisis, credit management is<br />

often the saviour.<br />

AUTHOR – Debbie Nolan FCICM (Grad)<br />

Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad)<br />

THROUGHOUT my career, I’ve<br />

spent time with colleagues<br />

and clients, meticulously<br />

planning and contracting for<br />

events that never happened –<br />

anyone else remember Y2K?<br />

For years, we’ve stress tested Business<br />

Continuity Plans, invested in Disaster<br />

Recovery – but nothing prepared us for<br />

COVID-19. Even when the news of a<br />

pandemic broke, and it got closer and closer<br />

to the UK, I never imagined that we would be<br />

on the countdown for Christmas before the<br />

end of the crisis would be in sight.<br />

My diary is usually full of meetings all<br />

over the country or at our Divisional HQ in<br />

Germany; my social calendar packed with<br />

gigs, meals, drinks, weekends away; in<br />

between frequent holidays abroad.<br />


I’ve been nowhere since February, so how<br />

can the year have passed so fast? I thought<br />

that this was largely down to the fast pace<br />

at which we have all had to work; the huge<br />

amount of change we have needed to<br />

embrace; the adapting to the ‘all hands to the<br />

pump’ style of working; or simply days and<br />

days of back to back video calls.<br />

I did read that our minds are tricked<br />

into thinking that time has passed quickly<br />

because we have less milestones to measure<br />

time by. And I suspect that there is plenty<br />

of truth in that. But I also think that our<br />

milestones are just different now. And they<br />

haven’t been marked in our usual way. I<br />

know that in my business, we haven’t had<br />

time to properly celebrate things like how<br />

quickly and successfully we moved our<br />

entire HQ team to working from home; how<br />

well we’ve pulled together as a team – we’ve<br />

just promised ourselves a celebratory drink<br />

down the pub – when we can.<br />

I plan to change that now and create space<br />

and time to focus on the remainder of <strong>2020</strong>,<br />

remind myself of all the milestones we have<br />

achieved and make those meticulous plans<br />

for 2021.<br />


We need to anticipate the fall out of Furlough.<br />

The failure of high numbers of businesses<br />

and potentially complete industries and<br />

the resulting redundancies. The flattening<br />

and lengthening of liquidation curves.<br />

Increasing vulnerabilities in a population<br />

that is experiencing this for the first time.<br />

Demand for support and advice services<br />

outweighing supply.<br />

We shall also need to embrace the<br />

opportunities; remote working might widen<br />

the pool of talent that we might not have been<br />

able to attract locally; increasing awareness<br />

and ability of customers to utilise self-service<br />

will create opportunities for technological<br />

improvements; the reducing amount of<br />

bureaucracy normally encountered when<br />

trying to make change.<br />

If you are reading this magazine, then you<br />

are already passionate about your career in<br />

credit management – we already know that<br />

our roles are critical to the smooth running<br />

and financial stability to any company. But<br />

far too often, credit management is still the<br />

poor relation in respect of attention and<br />

investment compared to a business’ front<br />

end operations.<br />

In times of crisis, this changes and focus on<br />

credit management is given in appropriate<br />

proportions. Now that we are formally<br />

declared to be in recession, all aspects of the<br />

credit management cycle will be the saviour<br />

of many an organisation.<br />

The team at CICM HQ have worked hard<br />

to provide members with forums, webinars,<br />

workshops, tutorials and examinations that<br />

are accessible from home. There is plenty of<br />

support, guidance and education available<br />

to members (and some for non-members<br />

too).<br />

My preparation for 2021 will include<br />

taking advantage of the informative content<br />

(I save the CICM website on the homepage<br />

on my mobile) and making sure that I don’t<br />

miss out on any of the webinars or handy<br />

tips (I follow CICM on LinkedIn and Twitter).<br />

I expect the rest of <strong>2020</strong> to pass by at the<br />

same speed (and I shan’t be sad to see the<br />

back of this year) but I am very excited and<br />

honoured to be part of the CICM Executive<br />

Team for another term and to be part of the<br />

planning for us all emerging from a moment<br />

in history.<br />

Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad) is Vice<br />

President Collections – UK of Arvato<br />

Financial Solutions and Chair of the CICM.<br />

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


Vacant possession<br />

The final Regional Representatives are now in place.<br />

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM<br />

Atul Vadher FCICM(Grad)<br />

Nick King FCICM<br />

Matthew Roberts MCICM<br />


Advisory Council<br />

Elections, three of the<br />

remaining Regional<br />

Representative roles<br />

have now been filled,<br />

following appointments made by<br />

the Executive Board. Atul Vadher<br />

FCICM(Grad) has been appointed<br />

Regional Representative for the East<br />

of England; Matthew Roberts MCICM<br />

is filling the West Midlands Regional<br />

Representative post; and Nick King<br />

FCICM has been appointed South West<br />

Regional Representative.<br />

Atul Vadher has worked in the credit<br />

industry for over 30 years, managing<br />

specialist EMEA B2B portfolios. His<br />

personal experience stems from the<br />

root of AR through to customer account<br />

management in a full order to cash<br />

process, he also has a passion for data<br />

reporting analytics.<br />

One of his passions is forensic<br />

analysis of a debtor’s ledger, which<br />

includes the ability to reconstruct a<br />

debtor’s transaction history when things<br />

go wrong, something he finds rather<br />

satisfying. He has worked within fashion<br />

retail, security and cleaning, printing<br />

and publishing, hospitality and currently<br />

within the energy industry.<br />

Atul is the current Chair of the East of<br />

England Branch, serving his second year,<br />

having previously been the vice chair and<br />

a committee member.<br />

“As a branch of the CICM in this growing<br />

virtual environment it is vital that we are<br />

here to support our members and those<br />

in search of knowledge,” he says. “Having<br />

held four successful virtual events<br />

since May and a further two more in<br />

the pipeline, for members it is<br />

paramount to reach out and connect as<br />

together we are stronger, in learning<br />

and/or in just being supportive. Since<br />

March, the branch LinkedIn page has<br />

doubled due to the hard work of the<br />

committee.”<br />


Matthew Roberts MCICM has been in<br />

the credit industry for more than 20<br />

years, working in the business services,<br />

property and utilities sectors. A proud<br />

winner of <strong>Credit</strong> Professional of the<br />

Year and Winner of Winners at the 2019<br />

CICM British <strong>Credit</strong> Awards, he is an<br />

extremely passionate individual who<br />

believes in continual development and<br />

has led on a number of successful CICMQ<br />

assessments, corporate membership and<br />

the education programme for collections<br />

teams within npower Business Solutions.<br />

“The West Midlands is such a large<br />

and diverse region with businesses<br />

adding so much to the UK economy,” he<br />

says. “I would love to meet with as many<br />

people as I can to understand where<br />

they need further support in the field of<br />

credit, in terms of assisting business and<br />

personally, in order that they continue<br />

striving in a much-needed profession.<br />

“I invite people to get in touch with<br />

me and to be actively involved with the<br />

CICM West Midlands Branch, harnessing<br />

the real potential of a very popular<br />

and engaging network for the credit<br />

community.”<br />


Nick King FCICM, the Director, <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong> & Collections (Europe),<br />

for Agility Logistics is another veteran<br />

credit manager with more than three<br />

decades of experience. He has worked<br />

both internationally and domestically<br />

with some major companies such as Atlas<br />

Copco Compressors, NACCO Materials<br />

Handling and Brightpoint Europe. For a<br />

short time Nick sat on the other side of<br />

credit insurance using his knowledge and<br />

skills to support customers buying credit<br />

insurance and encouraging good credit<br />

management.<br />

Nick has spoken at a number of<br />

conferences with the view of always<br />

looking for opportunities to promote<br />

good credit management and recognising<br />

new talent within the industry.<br />

“I am delighted to be serving the South<br />

West Region and my aim is to provide<br />

different channels and opportunities to<br />

support the seasoned credit manager<br />

and the up and coming professional<br />

in both their daily work channels and<br />

professional development,” he says.<br />

“I will be reaching out to the South<br />

West membership to see what they need<br />

and what it will take to be more actively,<br />

even if only a small part, in the CICM<br />

South West events. There is nothing<br />

more powerful than people sharing their<br />

experiences and challenges.”<br />

Nick believes that networking is the best<br />

form of knowledge and support: “I would<br />

encourage the South West membership,<br />

new to the industry or seasonal<br />

professionals, to take the opportunity<br />

to meet their fellow professionals and<br />

members, or please reach out to me to<br />

tell me what you as a South West CICM<br />

member needs.”<br />

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

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



Why can’t HCEOs buy debt?<br />

AUTHOR – Andrew Wilson FCICM<br />

AUCTIONEERS buy in stock to<br />

sell on at auction, so why can’t<br />

HCEOs (or any Certificated<br />

Enforcement Agent) buy<br />

debt? There are two answers<br />

to this. The first is because of<br />

regulation preventing it. The second is also<br />

simple or rather more complicated, depending<br />

on which way you look at it.<br />

Dealing with the simple one first: regulation.<br />

Regulation 4(2)(f) of the High Court<br />

Enforcement Officers Regulations 2004 says:<br />

“The individual must not — (f) carry on or<br />

be involved in any business relating to or<br />

including the purchase or sale of debts”. And<br />

Question 6 of Form EAC1, required for applying<br />

for an Enforcement Agent’s Certificate says: “A<br />

certificate cannot be issued to any person who<br />

carries on the business of buying debts.”<br />

So that’s an easy one. The longer answer is<br />

still a comparatively simple one too. The fact<br />

of the matter is that no individual entrusted<br />

with the power to take control of goods by<br />

removal and sale should have a personal<br />

interest in the outcome.<br />

HCEOs have a duty to be impartial between<br />

creditor and debtor – they are not the mere<br />

agents of the creditor. On occasions, such as<br />

where a debtor is clearly vulnerable, an HCEO<br />

must be free to refuse enforcement against<br />

goods and suggest an alternative method of<br />

enforcing a judgment, of which, in practical<br />

terms, there are four.<br />

For example, a creditor chasing a debtor<br />

in the final stages of cancer should be told<br />

to seek a Charging Order against the debtor’s<br />

house, rather than insisting that the car the<br />

debtor needs to get to hospital is removed and<br />

sold. (A real case where I did indeed, refuse to<br />

enforce against goods).<br />

The question that we need to ask ourselves<br />

therefore, is: would the HCEO be even-handed<br />

if he had a personal interest in the outcome?<br />

Clearly, the law believes not. But is there ever<br />

an exception to the rule? The issue gets more<br />

complex when we look at the commercial<br />

reality of how an HCEO or bailiffs, past and<br />

present, acquire new business.<br />

The usual approach, when a customer<br />

seems fairly happy with the service provided<br />

by his existing HCEO, is to offer to rework<br />

cases which have been returned as No Goods<br />

at no cost to the customer. This involves paying<br />

the new Writ fee of £66.00 (a court fee and not<br />

a TCG (Fees) Regulations scale fee) which is<br />

only recovered if money is paid by the debtor<br />

as part of the £117.75 Execution Costs (£51.75<br />

fixed costs + £66.00).<br />

This means that, with unsuccessful cases,<br />

there is a loss of £156.00 per case (£66.00 +<br />

the waived Compliance Fee of £90.00). Again,<br />

we must ask ourselves – could this be seen as<br />

buying debt? Perhaps not, or not yet, at least.<br />

But what happens when this is taken further?<br />

Some will offer to underwrite their potential<br />

customer by not only paying Writ fees<br />

and waiving Compliance Fees, but by also<br />

guaranteeing a percentage of the face value of<br />

the old debt – whether recovered or not.<br />

Now could this be seen as buying debt? It<br />

is certainly getting close. The HCEO now has<br />

an interest in recovery, both to avoid making<br />

a loss, and to secure a new customer. So, what<br />

can be done to avoid this becoming the norm?<br />

We have a continuing discussion in the<br />

Association about professionalism and<br />

competition. Our current conclusion is, quite<br />

simply, that we compete on service and not<br />

price. Our articles reflect that: we have a<br />

Fee Scale and we stick to it; we work not just<br />

within the letter of the TCG Regulations, but<br />

within the spirit of those Regulations.<br />

If professionalism means anything in the<br />

world of civil enforcement (the Court of<br />

Appeal has recently decided that HCEOs and<br />

Enforcement Agents are definitely Officers<br />

of the Court and must behave accordingly), it<br />

must mean that we do not try to bend the rules<br />

on fees and buying debt.<br />

That is what we, as HCEOs, and through our<br />

Association, have agreed.<br />

Andrew Wilson FCICM is Chairman of the<br />

High Court Enforcement Officers Association<br />

(HCEOA).<br />

HCEOs have a duty to be impartial between creditor and debtor –<br />

they are not the mere agents of the creditor. On occasions, such as<br />

where a debtor is clearly vulnerable, an HCEO must be free to refuse<br />

enforcement against goods and suggest an alternative method of<br />

enforcing a judgment.<br />

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


The show must go on<br />

What is scripted for the UK’s media industry<br />

following COVID-19?<br />

AUTHOR – Tim Vine<br />

THE camera lens has closed on<br />

many popular TV shows this<br />

year, due to social distancing.<br />

Filming in the media industry<br />

took a significant hit throughout<br />

the pandemic, especially for<br />

series that rely on live audiences, or regular<br />

installments.<br />

As a result, TV guides have become sparse<br />

and most evenings are a choice between a rerun<br />

of Poirot or a repeat of Midsomer Murders.<br />

If you’re lucky, you may find a film you’ve not yet<br />

seen. Of course, there may be a wider range on<br />

streaming services, but many of these platforms<br />

have also turned to reviving older series in order<br />

to have ‘new’ content available.<br />

However, as restrictions continue, the industry<br />

is adapting to work in new environments.<br />

For example, soaps like Coronation Street are<br />

getting around a ban on kissing by filming closeups<br />

of actors kissing their real-life partners.<br />

Meanwhile, other creators have made the most<br />

of video conferencing by creating an entire<br />

horror film, called ‘Host’, over Zoom.<br />

Yet, navigating significantly different film<br />

set protocol is still an ongoing issue that many<br />

are trying to overcome. Filming for The Batman<br />

film had to be quickly halted after Robert<br />

Pattinson tested positive for COVID-19. With<br />

unpredictability the new norm, we looked at our<br />

data to see how is the media industry faring in<br />

this new environment.<br />


Currently, 46.3 percent of U.K. media companies<br />

in the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud are based in<br />

London, which has been a hotspot for COVID-19.<br />

Although some companies have moved out of<br />

the capital, they haven’t been able to escape<br />

the impact of the pandemic. For instance, the<br />

BBC and ITV both have operations in MediaCity,<br />

Salford, which is currently facing even tougher<br />

COVID-19 restrictions than London.<br />

The challenge of national and local<br />

lockdowns, and the end of furlough schemes<br />

could accelerate the dwindling number of<br />

businesses in the broadcasting industry. There<br />

are 74,000 businesses operating in this space – a<br />

drop of 11,000 since 2017 according to our data.<br />

Of the 74,000, 88.8 percent of broadcast<br />

businesses are categorised as ‘micro’ (10 or<br />

less employees), which positively could mean<br />

they are more agile in reacting to unforeseen<br />

challenges brought about by the pandemic,<br />

but equally they could be more exposed to the<br />

financial disruption wreaking havoc across the<br />

media industry and many others.<br />

Broadcast Business Size August <strong>2020</strong><br />

100.0%<br />

80.0%<br />

60.0%<br />

40.0%<br />

20.0%<br />

0.0%<br />

88.8%<br />

Micro Small Medium Large GOV Unclassified<br />

Tim Vine<br />

Dun & Bradstreet<br />

3.8%<br />

The Ofcom stats<br />

show broadcast<br />

TV viewing fell at<br />

the end of June,<br />

when lockdown<br />

measures<br />

began to ease<br />

and the sector<br />

remains fiercely<br />

competitive due to<br />

the huge amount<br />

of choice.<br />

1.6%<br />

2.8%<br />

0.0%<br />

3.1%<br />


Consumer behaviour also shifted as the<br />

restrictions took hold, according to statistics<br />

released by Ofcom. With people limited<br />

on leisure options and forced to stay at home,<br />

viewing figures went up. In April <strong>2020</strong> alone, the<br />

average number of people watching audiovisual<br />

content increased to around six hours and 25<br />

minutes daily, surpassing that of any April<br />

figure in the previous five years.<br />

The majority of time (three hours and 46<br />

minutes, to be precise) was spent watching<br />

broadcast television – the likes of BBC and ITV<br />

– likely due to increased focus on the news<br />

and COVID-19 updates. Although, subscription<br />

video-on-demand services (SVoD) saw the<br />

biggest growth. Viewership on platforms such<br />

as Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix<br />

increased by 37 minutes to an hour and 11<br />

minutes per day.<br />

What does this all mean? Ultimately, it<br />

shows us demand for the media industry is<br />

there, generating increased pressure for media<br />

companies to deliver despite restrictions. In<br />

turn, this has ignited a bidding war among<br />

streaming services and British broadcast<br />

channels, as they looked to satisfy audiences<br />

with new content while a shortage of shows<br />

persists.<br />

The Ofcom stats show broadcast TV viewing<br />

fell at the end of June, when lockdown measures<br />

began to ease and the sector remains fiercely<br />

competitive due to the huge amount of choice.<br />

(SVoD) viewing and non-broadcaster content,<br />

on the other hand, has largely retained its<br />

lockdown popularity.<br />

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


AUTHOR – Tim Vine<br />

60.0%<br />

Prompt Payment by Media Industry<br />

50.0%<br />

40.0%<br />

30.0%<br />

20.0%<br />

10.0%<br />

.0%<br />

Aug 17<br />

Aug 18 Aug 19 Aug 20<br />

Motion picture, video<br />

and television programme<br />

Radio broadcasting<br />

Sound recording and<br />

music publishing<br />

Television programming and broadcasting<br />

Programming and<br />

broadcasting<br />

UK<br />


Despite an overall increase in viewers<br />

during the pandemic, crisis strategies<br />

from production and broadcast<br />

businesses have prevented this demand<br />

from translating into revenue.<br />

To survive, budgets have remained<br />

skeletal. For example, ITV cut production<br />

budgets by £100 million, Channel 4 is<br />

expecting to cut around £150 million,<br />

while Channel 5 announced a 10 percent<br />

cut to its programming spend.<br />

This has had implications for media<br />

advertising, as marketing is one of the<br />

main areas that budgets have been<br />

withdrawn from.<br />

Our latest trade payment data reveals<br />

the number of bills paid on time by media<br />

businesses has decreased by 9.3 percent<br />

from August 2019 to August <strong>2020</strong>. It is one<br />

of the lowest performing sectors with only<br />

29.6 percent of media companies paying<br />

their bills on time according to the latest<br />

data for August, compared to a national<br />

average of 40.2 percent.<br />


It’s fair to say <strong>2020</strong> has been a challenging<br />

time. There isn’t an immediate solution for<br />

media businesses that depend on face-toface<br />

and close-contact filming. However,<br />

the industry is expected to transition back<br />

to its former state over the next five years,<br />

according to a recent report from PwC.<br />

For those struggling in the current<br />

environment, the coming months could<br />

be ‘make or break’ time. The end of the<br />

Government furlough scheme and loans<br />

will only add to the pressure to keep<br />

businesses afloat. This places a huge<br />

emphasis on managing cashflow and risk<br />

and identifying growth opportunities to<br />

help the UK media industry survive and<br />

thrive in the future.<br />

It’s often about the numbers in the<br />

media industry be it viewing figures or<br />

downloads. Data and analytics will also<br />

be key to support businesses navigate<br />

through the coming months and drive<br />

recovery. Data can help to outline potential<br />

disruptions to plan ahead, mitigate the<br />

impact of COVID-19 and identify new<br />

opportunities.<br />

Perhaps, these are the measures that<br />

will keep the cameras rolling.<br />

Tim Vine is Head of <strong>Credit</strong> Intelligence<br />

at Dun & Bradstreet.<br />

There isn’t an immediate solution for media businesses<br />

that depend on face-to-face and close-contact filming.<br />

However, the industry is expected to transition back to<br />

its former state over the next five years, according to a<br />

recent report from PwC.<br />

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



A long winter awaits in the wake of COVID-19.<br />

AUTHOR – David Andrews<br />

GEORGE Krazov looks down in the<br />

dumps. With good reason. His<br />

little, retro Bohemian bar in the<br />

heart of Brighton’s North Laine<br />

community had been getting<br />

back on its feet over the summer<br />

months. The joint was jumping, the beer – all<br />

locally brewed – was swashing around like there<br />

was no tomorrow.<br />

Things were looking up. But this is now. The<br />

UK in <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong>. And no-one knows what<br />

tomorrow will bring.<br />

George, however, knows one thing for sure.<br />

The recent clampdown on opening hours could<br />

scupper him. Perhaps for good this time: ‘Oh<br />

man, it was going so well,’ he says, voice lowering<br />

to a dejected whisper. ‘We brew on the premises<br />

here, have a great product and a really loyal crew<br />

stopping by. We were like, busy busy, man. Now….<br />

now this….’. George trails off.<br />

He is a nice-looking man. Kind face, father to<br />

two lovely kids. He wants – like millions of others<br />

in our divided kingdom – to do his absolute best for<br />

them. Now George has his back to the wall. Deeply<br />

etched frown lines criss-cross his countenance,<br />

like railway tracks disappearing down a longforgotten<br />

siding. George is silent.<br />

There is nothing else to add. Not, that is, if you<br />

are self-employed in plague-hit Britain in late <strong>2020</strong>.<br />


Safety nets have been put into place for those in<br />

‘viable’ jobs. A percentage of salary, part made<br />

up by employer, part by the Government. A lot of<br />

number crunching involved. Roger, my accountant<br />

of 25 years plus, tells me his head hurts every time<br />

he tries to get his head around the shift in strategy<br />

to keep our flailing economy afloat. And Roger is a<br />

numbers guy.<br />

What is a viable job? George thought he had a<br />

viable job, making nice beer for an appreciative<br />

local community. But when the punters stop<br />

coming in, he will no longer be ‘viable.’ Those in<br />

so called viable employment will hopefully utilise<br />

their viability and continue to spend money, to<br />

spread the love. Assuming we do not all get totally<br />

locked down again.<br />

That is the problem with a constantly mutating<br />

virus. It has all kinds of dirty tricks up its sleeve.<br />

Just when you think it is fine to book that flight,<br />

chance a week soaking up the rays somewhere<br />

nice, back it comes with a vengeance. Next thing<br />

you know, your trip is cancelled. You’re grounded.<br />

Maybe no longer even viable.<br />

We have been here before with pandemics of<br />

course. And history tells that society recovers,<br />

staggers, perhaps, but recovers. And eventually the<br />

pandemic fades into memory, like so much before<br />

it. The ‘flu emergency in 1918 ironically carried<br />

off tens of thousands of young soldiers who had<br />

That is the problem with a constantly mutating<br />

virus. It has all kinds of dirty tricks up its sleeve.<br />

Just when you think it is fine to book that flight,<br />

chance a week soaking up the rays somewhere<br />

nice, back it comes with a vengeance.<br />

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


AUTHOR – David Andrews<br />

We have been here before with pandemics of course. And history tells that society<br />

recovers, staggers, perhaps, but recovers. And eventually the pandemic fades into<br />

memory, like so much before it.<br />

fought so bravely on those Flanders<br />

fields, only to be struck down, not by a<br />

sniper’s bullet, but by an unseen, also<br />

deadly, attacker. Wind the clock back<br />

even further, to London in 1665, and we<br />

have a hell of a plague surging through<br />

the ranks. Historians of the era calculate<br />

that up to 750,000 lost their lives in that<br />

epidemic – a considerable chunk of the<br />

UK’s population back in those far off<br />

days.<br />

Naturally, people’s lives and<br />

businesses suffered terribly because so<br />

many had little choice but to remain<br />

in their homes and hope they did not<br />

contract the bug. Sound familiar? Many<br />

businesses went to the wall and let us<br />

not forget there was not the safety net of<br />

an NHS – or a Dishy Rishi come to that<br />

– to help.<br />


Samuel Pepys, the cantankerous diarist,<br />

and astoundingly astute chronicler of<br />

daily life, wrote in his diary that ‘the<br />

plague (is) making us cruel as dogs to<br />

one another.’ So not<br />

much by way of a<br />

charitable overture<br />

to one’s fellow man<br />

and woman.<br />

Recovery 450<br />

years ago was, however,<br />

swift. Economic<br />

growth rebounded<br />

rapidly, and even<br />

Can we ‘trust’<br />

science to sort out<br />

the greatest threat<br />

to world prosperity<br />

since the ending of<br />

the Second World<br />

War?<br />

though medicine<br />

was primitive at best<br />

and nonexistent at<br />

worse, people found their way through.<br />

I suspect that we, too, will find our<br />

way through. Whoever is first past the<br />

finishing post to find the thus far elusive<br />

COVID-19 vaccine will be spurred on by<br />

the additional incentive of an almost<br />

guaranteed Nobel Prize for Science,<br />

along with the riches of Croesus for the<br />

company that can bag the patent.<br />

Curiously, I recall a conversation<br />

with an acquaintance from my tennis<br />

club a few years back, someone I found<br />

to be rather objectionable on many<br />

levels. The person in question was<br />

just finishing her PhD in an area of<br />

molecular biology. She was destined for<br />

higher things in life. Humour did not<br />

feature in her journey on any level that<br />

I at least could ascertain. Science, she<br />

asserted, has all the answers. ‘Science<br />

will always triumph over all else.<br />

Science is truth and is deterministic.<br />

You name it, science has always<br />

triumphed. It is the base root from<br />

which all medicine grows. We can trust<br />

science.’ Or sentiment to that effect.<br />

But can we ‘trust’ science to sort out the<br />

greatest threat to world prosperity since<br />

the ending of the Second World War?<br />


As we have seen from various feeble<br />

bulletins from Messrs. Putin and<br />

Trump, science is not impervious to<br />

fake news. It is ripe for manipulation<br />

and distortion and has proved to be a<br />

handy tool in scaremongering across<br />

so many platforms. Right now, few of<br />

us can have a real grasp of truth. And<br />

truth, as we know, has meaning.<br />

So as all the newsrooms in all the<br />

world – to misquote a few lines from a<br />

famous old movie – prepare once again<br />

for their daily bulletins, let us assume<br />

the brace position.<br />

Those innumerable paid-for 24 hour<br />

television platforms, you know the ones,<br />

the type which infect<br />

the everyday lives of<br />

300 million Americans<br />

for example, the ones<br />

which have to generate<br />

millions of dollars in<br />

subscriber income to<br />

satiate their insatiable<br />

media baron owners,<br />

then we know we<br />

in turn must ready<br />

ourselves for a long<br />

winter of front line<br />

grim ‘news’ reporting.<br />

The trick, if there is a trick, will be<br />

to disseminate the ‘real’ news from the<br />

phoney.<br />

If indeed there is such a thing as ‘real’<br />

news? Readers with long memories will<br />

recall the exigencies of the Nixon era,<br />

when the search for truth by genuinely<br />

heroic news hounds was brushed under<br />

the carpet. We are seeing a re-run of<br />

that troubled era 50 years on, when the<br />

actuality is too often elbowed out of the<br />

equation.<br />

In its place we have the avarice and<br />

self-interest which lies at the dark heart<br />

of human nature.<br />

David Andrews is a freelance writer and<br />

former Personal Finance Editor of the<br />

Sunday Express.<br />

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

NEW<br />



Fair’s fair<br />

We ask a panel of credit management experts to<br />

answer some of our reader’s biggest questions.<br />

What is the best<br />

measure to use for<br />

incentivising<br />

B2B collections<br />

staff, and how do<br />

you ensure it is<br />

rigorous but fair<br />

and balanced?<br />

Panellist<br />

Nigel Fields FCICM<br />

ALL managers will agree that<br />

motivated employees are<br />

crucial for organisational<br />

success, regardless of<br />

company size or industry.<br />

So, how’s best to motivate<br />

individuals and teams?<br />

It’s certainly more complex than simply<br />

offering the employees performance-based<br />

incentive like bonuses or shares etc. These<br />

benefits are important but are simply seen<br />

as part of the overall employee benefits<br />

package.<br />

Thinking back to my days at Twentieth<br />

Century Fox, when we transitioned to<br />

Shared Service Centres (SSCS), where AR<br />

teams were based in off-shore regional<br />

hubs, I soon noticed that these teams were<br />

often invisible to the wider business groups<br />

and, regrettably, only being recognised for<br />

the one percent of things that went wrong<br />

rather than 99 percent of work successfully<br />

completed.<br />

Offshore teams are often not informed<br />

about products or how the business<br />

is performing. Knowledge is the most<br />

important ingredient for motivating teams;<br />

keeping everyone aware of your brand,<br />

products, customers, and business strategy<br />

are critical to developing employees<br />

and ensuring interest. It allows teams<br />

to develop, grow and improve. It makes<br />

life easier for everyone across the entire<br />

organisation. I spent a great deal of time<br />

ensuring our SSCs had access to movies,<br />

trailers and products. I encouraged people<br />

to speak up about ideas, issues, difficulties<br />

etc. This is perhaps a more holistic benefit<br />

to the business, but the attrition of your<br />

valuable trained employees can be an<br />

expensive factor.<br />

So, what else can you do to keep things<br />

interesting and get ongoing improvements<br />

without breaking the bank? Here are some<br />

of my top tips:<br />

‣ What does success look like? Find a few<br />

activities to incentivise, keep it simple,<br />

maybe the volume of invoices produced,<br />

DSO, Percentage Overdue, Cash Collected,<br />

etc. Whatever you decide upon, make sure<br />

it’s consistent and accurate. I previously<br />

used a monthly scorecard report, it was<br />

extremely easy and consistent and required<br />

no additional effort or investment.<br />

‣ Honour the best! Shout out publicly who<br />

the best performing teams and individuals<br />

are, explaining what achievements and<br />

contributions they made.<br />

‣ Celebrate! Maybe set aside an hour every<br />

six months or so for your own AR/<strong>Credit</strong><br />

celebration ceremony. I used to transmit<br />

an event across various international<br />

offices using ZOOM. This also helped<br />

to build internal relationships and<br />

ensured recognition of the hard work and<br />

achievements performed by SSCs teams<br />

and individuals.<br />

‣ Say thank you. Let employees know when<br />

they have done great work and share it with<br />

other key people in the organisation. I used<br />

a simple on-line voting form that allowed<br />

team members to vote for their colleagues<br />

and give a dedication that was printed onto<br />

certificates at our bi-annual ‘AR Oscars’<br />

event, (be aware, this sometimes did also<br />

led to happy tears too).<br />

‣ Roll out the red carpet. Give winners a<br />

special gift or perk, maybe teams can have<br />

a night out, go to the movies, go bowling or<br />

to the theatre. Maybe allow for individual<br />

winners to have a special dinner with their<br />

family or friends or a voucher to treat<br />

themselves.<br />

Incentives are a balance between<br />

making daily work life more bearable and<br />

having high moments that employees can<br />

look forward to.<br />


A career in credit management spanning more than 30 years, Nigel is now a<br />

senior consultant with a new start-up company TheBossCat.com which provides<br />

knowledge, skills and various services to a wide range of businesses. Nigel spent<br />

20 years working for Twentieth Century Fox International Film Corp. starting out<br />

in its UK business as <strong>Credit</strong> Manager and rising to Executive Director for <strong>Credit</strong>,<br />

responsible for Order to Cash (O2C) across Fox’s entire international business<br />

portfolio. Prior to Fox, he worked as the <strong>Credit</strong> Manager at Hornby Hobbies and<br />

a <strong>Credit</strong> Controller for GEC. Nigel says: “I attribute much of my career success to<br />

the CICM community where I am always able to draw upon knowledge and skills<br />

from the extensive array of members and partners.”<br />

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


Incentives are a balance between<br />

making daily work life more bearable<br />

and having high moments that<br />

employees can look forward to.<br />

Once you have the target, you need<br />

to make it visible. It doesn’t matter<br />

whether you have a large TV monitor, a<br />

whiteboard or flipchart paper, you want<br />

your team, and the rest of the business,<br />

to be able to see the progress.<br />

Panellist<br />

Mark Greatorex<br />

MCICM(Grad)<br />


Mark Greatorex a graduate member of the CICM and has<br />

worked in B2B credit environments for over 20 years.<br />

Approximately 12 of those years were in management roles<br />

for L’Oréal, Lafarge (Later becoming Tarmac) and ATS<br />

Euromaster (Part of the Michelin group). His experience<br />

includes all aspects of the order to cash process and also<br />

expanded into accounts payable when he took responsibility<br />

for the function as part of a wider transactional finance<br />

role. Since 2019 he has been running his own consultancy<br />

concentrating on process and performance improvement<br />

within order to cash and procure to pay.<br />

If you’d like to join our panel of experts, or<br />

if you have a question to ask, contact the<br />

editor at sfeast@gravityglobal.com<br />

CREDIT controllers love the thrill of the chase.<br />

Seeing payments roll in, difficult debts being<br />

cleared or changing a customer’s payment<br />

behaviour can bring a real buzz. Over the years,<br />

seeing the satisfaction of my team achieving targets<br />

became as rewarding as actually hitting the targets.<br />

The day-to-day thrill for credit controllers can’t be measured on<br />

a spreadsheet, isn’t displayed in the balance sheet and probably<br />

goes unnoticed by most of the company.<br />

The contradiction here is that many finance departments stick<br />

to traditional measures for their collection team such as DSO or<br />

percentage overdue. Don’t get me wrong, these measures have<br />

their place, however, they are a static snapshot at period end.<br />

The collection team may even be several days into a new month<br />

before they know the results. The trick is to take those indicators<br />

and convert them into something tangible that can be seen by the<br />

collections team every day.<br />

So, what is the solution? I always found that the most visible<br />

way to measure a team’s performance on a daily basis was to set<br />

a cash target. Not only are you able to quickly track and update<br />

progress but combining this with ‘payment promises’ helps your<br />

team to understand if they are going to achieve the target.<br />

Sounds straight forward doesn’t it? However, there is a danger<br />

with this simplistic approach. Cash arriving from relatively new<br />

invoicing will eventually result in an aged debt issue. Cashflow<br />

may be good in the short term and the FD might be happy with<br />

the bank balance, but you are building a problem for the future.<br />

This is where you will need to dedicate time creating the correct<br />

target. You need your team to understand the target and more<br />

importantly believe it’s achievable. My solution for this was to<br />

create a target using three steps:<br />

Step 1. Convert the business objective (DSO, overdue etc) into a<br />

cash target.<br />

Step 2. Split the cash target across aging buckets. This ensures<br />

that the collection team places the right amount of focus on aged<br />

items.<br />

Step 3. Most importantly, discuss these targets with the team.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> controllers understand their ledger better than anyone and<br />

know the potential blockers to achieving the results. Give them<br />

the opportunity to highlight these. That doesn’t necessarily mean<br />

you change the targets. Instead it’s an opportunity to support your<br />

team and help them to deliver. Be realistic though - if you don’t<br />

believe an issue can be overcome before month end, don’t punish<br />

your team with unrealistic goals. Be prepared to remove those<br />

values from the target.<br />

Once you have the target, you need to make it visible. It doesn’t<br />

matter whether you have a large TV monitor, a whiteboard or<br />

flipchart paper, you want your team, and the rest of the business,<br />

to be able to see the progress.<br />

Now, let your collection team start the chase, update them<br />

regularly and enjoy the buzz it creates. Who knows, with a target<br />

as easily understood as cash, your team’s excitement might just<br />

spread across the company!<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 25


SPREAD<br />


If a spreadsheet contains an error, who’s liable?<br />

AUTHOR – Peter Walker<br />

YOU can make two and two to<br />

equal five in a spreadsheet, an<br />

error of one, and a recent case<br />

reminds all of us to be careful.<br />

In Lehman Bros Australia v<br />

MacNamara (<strong>2020</strong>) 3 WLR<br />

147, another Lehman Bros case, the error was<br />

£1.67m, so any credit manager relying on such a<br />

spreadsheet would be very worried.<br />

In that case the judges of the Court of<br />

Appeal could leave their calculators in their<br />

pockets because everyone by then had agreed<br />

the calculations. The effect of the law on the<br />

figures was more significant than the figures<br />

themselves.<br />

The calculations were an ingredient in the<br />

administration of Lehman Bros International<br />

(Europe) Limited, which owed money to Lehman<br />

Bros Australia Limited. A court in December<br />

2009 ordered the administrators of the Europe<br />

company to give notice of a distribution to<br />

its unsecured creditors, and to make that<br />

distribution. This would be governed by Part 1,<br />

Chapter 10, of the Insolvency Rules 1986.<br />

As part of the procedure the administrators<br />

reported that it would take many years to<br />

conclude the process. To speed things up<br />

the administrators used an optional procedure<br />

offered to settle creditors’ claims by using<br />

the Europe company’s ‘in-house valuation<br />

methodology’. The administrators ‘developed’ a<br />

Claims Determination Deed (CDD), and many<br />

creditors signed up.<br />


The Deed confirmed that each creditor had<br />

made its own independent decision to accept<br />

its provisions, and the Australia company’s<br />

liquidators put in a claim for just over £23m. The<br />

administrators paid up. That should have settled<br />

the matter, but the claims were later reconciled.<br />

There was a spreadsheet attached to an<br />

email, which valued a bond in euros instead of<br />

Australian dollars. Once it was discovered that<br />

the result was an undervalue of £1.67m, the<br />

Australia company’s liquidators requested the<br />

Europe company’s administrators to pay this<br />

extra amount.<br />

Everyone agreed that the spreadsheet was<br />

incorrect, but the administrators refused<br />

because clause 4.1 in the CDD capped the<br />

liquidators’ claim to the agreed sum, i.e. the<br />

lower amount. The administrators therefore<br />

applied to a court for a remedy. The judges of<br />

To speed<br />

things up the<br />

administrators<br />

using an optional<br />

procedure offered<br />

to settle creditors’<br />

claims by using<br />

the Europe<br />

company’s ‘inhouse<br />

valuation<br />

methodology’.<br />

‘I think that the<br />

principle that<br />

money paid<br />

under a mistake<br />

of law cannot be<br />

recovered must<br />

not be pressed too<br />

far, and there are<br />

several cases in<br />

which the Court of<br />

Chancery has held<br />

itself not bound<br />

strictly by it.’<br />

the Court of Appeal eventually had to decide if<br />

they should succeed in their claim.<br />

They turned for guidance to an older case<br />

because there is nothing new under the sun. The<br />

judges of the then Court of Appeal in Chancery<br />

in the case In re Condon. Ex parte James (1874)<br />

9 Ch App 609 considered the difficulties of<br />

Mr Condon, a debtor of Mr H Bradshaw. Mr<br />

Bradshaw obtained a judgment for the debt and<br />

costs amounting to £274 3s 5d or two hundred<br />

and seventy-four pounds three shillings and<br />

fivepence. The sheriff took possession of goods<br />

from Mr Condon at Millwall. A few days later Mr<br />

Condon filed for bankruptcy, which was served<br />

on the sheriff. On the same day, the sheriff sold<br />

the goods for just over £142 (£142 15s 6d or one<br />

hundred and forty-two pounds fifteen shillings<br />

and sixpence).<br />

Nothing much else happened with the<br />

bankruptcy petition, so the sheriff handed the<br />

money over to Mr Condon. Another creditor<br />

filed for bankruptcy, and this resulted in a<br />

declaration of bankruptcy against Mr Condon.<br />

Mr James was appointed trustee of Mr Condon’s<br />

estate. He threatened Mr Bradshaw with<br />

proceedings if he did not hand over the money.<br />

Mr Condon complied, but later sued the Trustee<br />

for the return of the money.<br />

The legislation of the day, the Bankruptcy<br />

Act 1869, did not apply, because the trustee in<br />

bankruptcy had not been appointed at the time<br />

the sheriff gave the £142 15s 6d to Mr Condon. Sir<br />

W M James, LJ, considered effects of a payment<br />

made under an error of law rather than of fact,<br />

because a court in those days generally would<br />

not order restitution to the payer. James LJ said:<br />

‘I think that the principle that money paid under<br />

a mistake of law cannot be recovered must not<br />

be pressed too far, and there are several cases in<br />

which the Court of Chancery has held itself not<br />

bound strictly by it.’ He furthermore ruled that<br />

the trustee in bankruptcy was an officer of the<br />

court. ‘He has inquisitorial powers given to him<br />

by the Court, and the Court regards him as its<br />

officer, and he is to hold money in his hands for<br />

its equitable distribution among the creditors.<br />

The Court, then, finding that he has in his hands<br />

money which in equity belongs to someone else,<br />

ought to set an example to the world by paying it<br />

to the person really entitled to it. In my opinion<br />

the Court of Bankruptcy ought to be as honest<br />

as other people.’<br />

Mellish LJ agreed and confirmed that as<br />

soon as the first filing for bankruptcy could<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 26


AUTHOR – Peter Walker<br />

not continue, and that the sheriff had no notice<br />

of any other petition, he ‘was justified in paying<br />

over the money to the execution creditor, and<br />

that it cannot be recovered from him.’ The trustee<br />

therefore had to return the £142 15s 6d to Mr<br />

Condon.<br />


The reasoning behind that decision was<br />

significant to David Richards LJ in the Lehman<br />

Bros Australia case. He noted that other cases<br />

relying on the principle of the Ex parte James<br />

decision introduced the concept of fairness. In<br />

the case In re Clark (a bankrupt) (1972) 1 WLR<br />

959 Walton J said, for example, that it would be<br />

unfair if a trustee took advantage of his legal<br />

rights, The court would not allow it, and would<br />

order the trustee to return any money he may<br />

have collected.<br />

There have, however, been changes in the<br />

law since then, and the judges in Lehman<br />

Bros Australia case considered paragraph 74<br />

in Schedule B1 of the Insolvency Act 1986.<br />

The Schedule itself concerns Administration,<br />

while paragraph 74 is headed ‘Challenge to<br />

Administrator’s conduct of company’. A creditor<br />

or member of a company in administration may<br />

apply to the court claiming, for example, that the<br />

continues on page 28 ><br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 27


AUTHOR – Peter Walker<br />

administrator has ‘acted unfairly,’ or proposes so to<br />

act, to harm the interests of the applicant. The claim<br />

may allege too that the administrator is not performing<br />

his duties quickly or efficiently ‘as is reasonably<br />

practicably’.<br />

In the Lehman Bros Australia case David Richards LJ<br />

had already commented that although ‘unfair’ without<br />

definition was used in various statutes, it did not make<br />

such terms ‘unruly horses’. He said that it was up to the<br />

courts to define their meaning and, I add, perhaps to<br />

tame them.<br />

The judges of the Court of Appeal had to do some<br />

defining in the context of paragraph 74 in Fraser Turner<br />

Ltd v PricewaterhouseCoopers llp (2019) EWCA Civ<br />

1290. The Claimant provided consultancy services to a<br />

UK company and to its wholly owned Sierra Leonean<br />

subsidiary. The subsidiary was a leaseholder of the<br />

Marampa iron ore mine, and because of a facilitation<br />

agreement, the subsidiary would pay royalties to the<br />

claimant in accordance with a royalty deed.<br />

Administrators of the UK company, Pricewaterhouse<br />

Coopers (PwC) were appointed, and they knew about<br />

the royalty deed. The mine was sold to a mining<br />

company, which had no notice of the deed. Receivers<br />

from PwC in Ghana were later appointed as receivers<br />

of the subsidiary.<br />

The judges of the Court of Appeal confirmed that the<br />

duties of the administrators included the achievement<br />

of the best price for all the creditors, and not to prefer<br />

the interests of just one of them. They could not risk<br />

the value of the deal by requiring the purchaser to pay<br />

a royalty. Although paragraph 74 allowed the creditor to<br />

apply to the court, there was no unfairness to suggest<br />

that the administrators were not complying with the<br />

Insolvency Act 1986.<br />

A good decision! but judges are<br />

not always on hand to correct your<br />

spreadsheet, so it is important to<br />

recognise its limitations. In my 30-yearold<br />

book ‘Finance for your business’ I<br />

advised that financial analysts use their<br />

calculators to check business plans in<br />

spreadsheets.<br />


In Lehman Bros Australia the Claims Determination<br />

Deed was not a bar to a remedy under Paragraph 74.<br />

It depended on the facts, and the test of unfairness<br />

was an objective one. The terms of that Paragraph<br />

meant that a creditor who had suffered harm by the<br />

actions of an administrator, that creditor has a remedy.<br />

If the correct amount had been entered in the Deed,<br />

the creditor would have received the correct amount,<br />

and no question about unjust enrichment would have<br />

arisen. As David Richards LJ concluded that in his<br />

judgment ‘…no right-thinking person would think it<br />

fair…’ that the administrators would insist on their<br />

strict contractual rights as set out in the Deed ‘…and<br />

refuse to correct a shared mistake.’<br />

A good decision! but judges are not always on hand to<br />

correct your spreadsheet, so it is important to recognise<br />

its limitations. In my 30-year old book ‘Finance for your<br />

business’ I advised that financial analysts use their<br />

calculators to check business plans in spreadsheets.<br />

When I received one such plan, I took my own advice,<br />

particularly because my directors did not understand<br />

the figures. I discovered that the anticipated first year’s<br />

profit was overstated by around £2m, i.e. all the profit<br />

disappeared. I did not have the original spreadsheet, so<br />

I never found the reason for the error, but that business<br />

plan did not go ahead. Beware of the spreadsheet!<br />

Peter Walker is a freelance journalist.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 28

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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 29


TRADE<br />

Monthly round-up of the latest stories<br />

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.<br />


ACCORDING to a report from credit insurer<br />

Coface, Coronavirus has ‘triggered a<br />

discussion on increasing supply chain<br />

resilience to foreign supply shocks.’ The<br />

report notes that before Coronavirus<br />

came to Europe, a number of factories<br />

had already temporarily suspended<br />

manufacturing in China, putting the supply<br />

of intermediary goods at risk; supply chain<br />

managers had to think about diversifying<br />

their sources.<br />

While it’s not expected that China<br />

will lose its position of being a global<br />

supplier, the pandemic could bring more<br />

opportunities for Central and Eastern<br />

European (CEE) countries to gain a larger<br />

share of global supply chains, a process<br />

that started in 2004 when some gained<br />

membership of the European Union.<br />

With an educated workforce,<br />

geographical proximity to Western<br />

Europe, low labour costs, relatively good<br />

infrastructure and a stable business<br />

climate, it’s easy to see why CEE countries<br />

are gaining traction, especially on<br />

assembly line-based products.<br />

Exporters should more closely examine<br />

the region for it could be well positioned<br />

to grow further in automotive, machinery,<br />

chemicals, as well as transport and storage.<br />

As the report highlights, if CEE countries<br />

continue investing in digital technologies,<br />

the Baltics and the most developed CEE<br />

countries, including the Czech Republic,<br />

Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia,<br />

could become IT hubs.<br />



IT’S impossible to have missed the rising level<br />

of domination of retail sales by Amazon. But<br />

while many in the UK buy from Amazon UK, it’s<br />

entirely clear from hagglezon.com, an online<br />

aggregator of goods across all of the Amazon’s<br />

European operations, that pricing across the<br />

continent is not uniform – and it’s not even close<br />

considering currency fluctuations.<br />

Take, for example, Jabra Elite Active 65t<br />

Earbuds. Hagglezon shows them (with currency<br />

conversion) as £103.89 in the UK, £127.36 in<br />

Italy and £136.46 in France. On the other hand,<br />

look at the Samsung Galaxy S20+. It’s £699.39 in<br />

Germany but £962.00 in the UK.<br />

The point is this. If you’re an online retailer,<br />

either see if you can beat European rivals at<br />

their own game and offer prices that entice<br />

local buyers to purchase from you, assuming<br />

of course that you can both engender trust and<br />

can ship economically. Alternatively, if you’re<br />

a manufacturer, don’t do what some European<br />

fashion brands that trade in the UK do, that is,<br />

have universal price tags (in euros and pounds<br />

to the same value). Instead, price according the<br />

market.<br />

As Amazon has shown, Europe may use euros,<br />

but prices can fluctuate wildly. There may be a<br />

single market in Europe, but there is no single<br />

market in terms of prices and if the differential<br />

is large enough, even with shipping, buyers will<br />

look overseas.<br />


WITH the Government pushing legislation<br />

which seeks to alter the withdrawal<br />

agreement, some – Moneyweek included<br />

– are thinking that a no-deal end to our<br />

European adventure might actually be<br />

quite a good thing. The gulf between the<br />

two sides is seemingly unassailable and<br />

neither side wants to compromise on its<br />

principles.<br />

As to the reasoning, on the one hand,<br />

tariffs that will be placed on Anglo-<br />

European trade are viewed by Moneyweek<br />

as being minor and will be partially wiped<br />

out by currency movements. On the other,<br />

the publication argues that UK businesses<br />

will be free to grow and do what they like<br />

without European influence.<br />

Moneyweek thinks that there might<br />

be other benefits too: Competition<br />

between the UK and the EU is good<br />

since it might actually lead to lower EU<br />

and national taxes and regulation all<br />

round; also, it might keep the European<br />

Commission in check in terms of any more<br />

centralising power that it wants to grab,<br />

sparking greater innovation and reform.<br />

But another no-deal argument forwarded<br />

by Moneyweek is that everyone<br />

benefits if the UK thrives since the UK is<br />

one of the largest markets for Europe, and<br />

vice versa. Trade should increase<br />

and some UK exporters might open<br />

offices in European locations with jobs that<br />

follow.<br />

All will become clear in the next month<br />

or so. Either way, prepare for a no-deal.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 30

Don’t forget about export finance<br />

IT’S one thing to run a business badly<br />

and lose out, but it’s quite another to have<br />

contracts affected by a supervening event<br />

such as Coronavirus. But that’s what<br />

happened to Coriolis Technologies, a UK<br />

tech start-up based in London, which was<br />

Watch your debt, know your customer<br />

ATRADIUS, which describes itself as<br />

a worldwide specialist in trade credit<br />

insurance and debt collections, naturally<br />

has an eye for bad news for if everyone paid<br />

their bills on time there would be no need<br />

for debt collection firms.<br />

And to prove the need for good backup,<br />

readers should take a quick look at the<br />

headlines in the publications section of its<br />

website: ‘<strong>2020</strong> insolvencies forecast to jump<br />

due to Covid-19’, ‘USMCA: late payments<br />

rise as pandemic recession bites’, ‘Canada:<br />

late payments growth knocks business<br />

confidence’, ‘Mexico: doubling of write-offs,<br />

deep economic stress?’ and ‘India: bleak<br />


READERS may recall a column last<br />

month which referred to a dam in<br />

Ethiopia and issues relating to water<br />

shortages. Well another story on the<br />

subject not only drives the point home<br />

but also highlight export targets.<br />

A recent piece in the South China<br />

Morning Post noted how Hong Kong is<br />

‘notorious for its dependence on imports’,<br />

particularly water; China could turn off<br />

the tap in an instant since its Dongshen<br />

Water Supply Scheme supplies 70 to 80<br />

percent of fresh water and around 52<br />

percent of all water consumed in the<br />

territory.<br />

The Post writes that water security<br />

is a ‘growing global concern’; it is a<br />

problem for many of the estimated global<br />

recently helped by UK Export Finance<br />

(UKEF) to double its revenue during<br />

Coronavirus through protection of a major<br />

export deal with export insurance.<br />

Coriolis Technologies provides data<br />

intelligence to the trade finance sector<br />

and 80 percent of its revenue comes from<br />

international business, mostly to clients in<br />

Africa and the Middle East. The company<br />

had grown substantially in the last three<br />

years by supplying data that could predict<br />

trade wars.<br />

In August 2019, Coriolis won a £1m<br />

contract with a client in Africa to supply<br />

trade finance data. However, the overseas<br />

client had to delay payment when the<br />

Coronavirus hit, which put pressure<br />

on Coriolis’ cashflow. Coriolis also lost<br />

existing business as clients sought to cut<br />

back on their expenditures at the same<br />

time. The company’s survival was at stake<br />

and unable to get export insurance on the<br />

private market. It found that due to its size<br />

it qualified for UKEF’s Export Insurance<br />

Policy. As a result, Coriolis could pay<br />

pre-delivery fees to its subcontractors<br />

and trade knowing that it would get paid<br />

throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.<br />

The moral of the story is to not give<br />

up hope and most certainly look to see if<br />

government can somehow help.<br />

outlook for credit risk in B2B trade’ – while<br />

there’s plenty of business to be done across<br />

international borders, there’s also plenty of<br />

negativity out there and it seems to revolve<br />

around payment times and risk.<br />

This might be like telling granny how<br />

to suck eggs, but don’t let sales – at any<br />

price – become so addictive that you<br />

end up making a thumping great loss on<br />

activity that isn’t paid for. The usual caveat<br />

therefore applies – know your customer<br />

and be sure that they can and will pay. If<br />

they cannot, you may as well tune into<br />

the Archers with a cup of tea; it’ll be less<br />

stressful.<br />

population of 7.8bn now, but by 2100<br />

the global population may reach 10.9bn.<br />

Worryingly, Cape Town was the first<br />

major city to run out of water in 2018;<br />

Mexico City is sinking, in places, up to 38<br />

centimetres a year due to groundwater<br />

extraction; and even London could have<br />

‘severe shortages’ by 2040 because of<br />

leaks.<br />

Water security is a strategic issue<br />

and countries are increasingly looking<br />

at desalination plants. Singapore,<br />

for example, is investing heavily in<br />

membrane technology.<br />

So, again, if you’re in water-based<br />

technologies, hunt down those countries<br />

and cities where water is or will become<br />

an issue before others do.<br />

China’s big<br />

banks bad news<br />

CHINA’S not been in the best of places for<br />

a while and a report on Reuters suggests<br />

that the country’s five largest stateowned<br />

banks are preparing for rising bad<br />

debt, a situation clearly made worse by<br />

Coronavirus.<br />

It appears that borrowers are struggling<br />

to repay debt after months of lockdown and<br />

some sectors, such as those in the travel<br />

industry, not unlike those in the UK, are<br />

struggling to survive while at the same<br />

time, consumer behaviour is changing.<br />

Tread carefully if you sell into a Chinese<br />

sector that is heading for the buffers.<br />

But good news for<br />

Chinese semiconductors<br />

CHINA has been vilified by President<br />

Trump, but it’s still a key technology<br />

manufacturing hub and as a result, is<br />

likely to import at least $300bn worth<br />

of semiconductors for the third year<br />

running – a figure which indicates<br />

China’s continuing reliance on foreign<br />

expertise. The China Semiconductor<br />

Industry Association noted how imports<br />

of semiconductors stood at $200bn in<br />

2013, exceeded $300bn in 2018 and stayed<br />

around $300bn in 2019 and will probably<br />

stay at that level in <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

But while the level of imports is good<br />

news for overseas exporters, it should be<br />

of interest that China has been spending<br />

billions of dollars to grow its domestic chip<br />

industry.<br />

Both elements of this story are a clarion<br />

call to those in semiconductors to expand<br />

their footprint in China; export the chips<br />

or the technology to make the chips, either<br />

way it’s a sale.<br />



OR CALL 020 7738 0777<br />

Currency UK is authorised and regulated<br />

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).<br />

HIGH<br />

LOW<br />

GBP/EUR 1.11004 1.08542 Flat<br />

GBP/USD 1.30746 1.26998 Flat<br />

GBP/CHF 1.19522 1.16848 Flat<br />

GBP/AUD 1.83284 1.76455 Up<br />

GBP/CAD 1.72814 1.69146 Flat<br />

GBP/JPY 138.03370 133.31468 Up<br />

TREND<br />

This data was taken on 19th October and refers to the<br />

month previous to/leading up to 18th October <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 31

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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 33



What constitutes normal in an abnormal world?<br />

AUTHOR – Glen Bullivant FCICM<br />

THE 2 June, 1953 was<br />

something of a momentous<br />

day in the Bullivant<br />

household – I only know<br />

what I have been told<br />

by family members, but<br />

apparently that day the Bullivants at<br />

number 34 decamped to the Carters at 22<br />

to gather round a strange illuminated box<br />

in the Carters’ lounge.<br />

I am not sure whether the fact that<br />

the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was<br />

being televised by the BBC was the real<br />

attraction for my mother, or simply the<br />

opportunity to have a nose around the<br />

inside of number 22 – the Carters always<br />

did give the impression of being a cut<br />

above the rest. Be that as it may, it was the<br />

catalyst for the later (much later – my dad<br />

was a true Yorkshireman) installation of a<br />

television set in the front room of number<br />

34. It was a rather strange and primitive<br />

contraption, with a magnifying glass<br />

screen and an often wobbly black and<br />

white image flickering in the darkened<br />

front room.<br />

In those days, most everything<br />

transmitted was live and in the days<br />

before the BBC put four or five programme<br />

trailers between each broadcast there<br />

was an ‘Interlude’. This was sometimes a<br />

short film of a potter’s wheel and about as<br />

riveting a watch as Celebrity Masterchef.<br />

Of course, being live back then meant<br />

that there was a constant danger of<br />

breakdowns in transmission. When this<br />

happened, a notice appeared on the<br />

screen and lasted as long as it took for<br />

the chief assistant to rummage through<br />

the box of spares to find a condenser and<br />

a flux capacitor so that repairs could be<br />

undertaken and transmission resumed.<br />

The screen notice simply read ‘Normal<br />

service will be resumed as soon as<br />

possible.’<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 34


AUTHOR – Glen Bullivant FCICM<br />

Glen Bullivant FCICM<br />


We hear a great deal about ‘normal’ these<br />

days and I for one am no longer sure what<br />

normal actually is and if indeed there has<br />

ever been a time when one could use the<br />

word to describe any situation or any set<br />

of circumstances. The dictionary defines<br />

the noun ‘normal’ as usual, typical or<br />

expected and if we accept that definition,<br />

then normality is a state of constant<br />

change, brought about and influenced<br />

by a variety of outside factors.<br />

If <strong>2020</strong> defines working from home,<br />

self-isolation, family bubbles, digital<br />

conferences and webinars, and camping<br />

in a tent at Flamborough Head as normal,<br />

then it follows that in 1940 being bombed<br />

every night, blackouts, powdered eggs,<br />

rationing and Vera Lynn was normal. I<br />

imagine that most people were delighted<br />

by the end of the 1940 normality, just<br />

as I suspect that we will all be glad to<br />

see the back of many aspects of the<br />

<strong>2020</strong> normality. We will move on, not<br />

necessarily going back to 2019 but what<br />

was good about 1939 came back in part<br />

in 1945, so what was good about 2019<br />

will be back in 2021. I have absolutely no<br />

doubt, for example, that a large number<br />

of Flamborough Headers will be back in<br />

Benidorm before you can say my wi-fi is<br />

down again.<br />

I was having a conversation along these<br />

lines a little while ago with my favourite<br />

number one daughter. Gemma is a bit of<br />

an expert in the human psyche – she has<br />

so many letters after her name that her<br />

business card holder resembles a pencil<br />

case. Of course, she inherited her brains<br />

and her looks from her mother, the only<br />

father gene being the one that influences<br />

her taste in Whitby fish and chips.<br />

Gemma told me all about the Reticular<br />

Activating System, though I have to confess<br />

that about three quarters of an hour into<br />

the explanation my grip on consciousness<br />

was beginning to slacken. Suffice to say,<br />

as I understand it, we all have a sort of<br />

filter in our brains – our eyes pass the<br />

pictures back to the brain, which sorts<br />

out what we want to see and discards that<br />

which we don’t need. We talk a great deal<br />

about the world of today and information<br />

overload, but the reality is that there has<br />

always been far too much stuff out there<br />

for us to cope with and depending on our<br />

family upbringing and environment, our<br />

work and hobby interests, and a variety of<br />

other influencing factors, our brain filters<br />

what we take in accordingly. We will all<br />

see the same Paris panorama from the<br />

viewing platform of the Eiffel Tower (that<br />

is to say, you will – I get dizzy upstairs on<br />

a double decker<br />

bus), but each may<br />

well see something<br />

different – colours,<br />

architecture,<br />

people, traffic and<br />

so on. What we see<br />

is what our brain<br />

filter, programmed<br />

by our lives, has<br />

presented to our<br />

consciousness from<br />

the huge plethora<br />

of stuff passed<br />

to it by the eyes.<br />

‘The dinner was<br />

wonderful and the company exhilarating,<br />

but my goodness they have no taste in<br />

wallpaper, have they?’<br />

The brain filter works in both <strong>Credit</strong><br />

and Sales and as credit professionals<br />

we all know that we see things that our<br />

colleagues in Sales do not necessarily<br />

see – and vice versa, of course. That<br />

is why, in spite of all the doom and<br />

gloom predictions about the post Covid<br />

normality, I sincerely hope that we will<br />

recover the pre <strong>2020</strong> practice of customer<br />

visits. No amount of data analysis,<br />

scoring templates and determined ratings<br />

completes the jigsaw puzzle picture of the<br />

customer better than the taste, smell and<br />

sounds gleaned from being physically in<br />

the office, factory or shop floor.<br />

When the FD shows me round, my<br />

eyes take it all in, and the filter presents<br />

to me the activity, the competitors stock<br />

on the shelves, the happy smiling faces or<br />

the moribund feeling of despair, the dirt<br />

and the cleanliness – in other words that<br />

which is actually the real measure of what<br />

is going on. The bad news is that unlike<br />

the oil filter in the car, my brain filter<br />

cannot be replaced at regular intervals.<br />

The good news is that it never wears out.<br />

Glen Bullivant FCICM remembers<br />

the olden days.<br />

What we see is what our<br />

brain filter, programmed by our lives,<br />

has presented to our consciousness<br />

from the huge plethora of stuff<br />

passed to it by the eyes. ‘The dinner<br />

was wonderful and the company<br />

exhilarating, but my goodness they<br />

have no taste in wallpaper, have they?’<br />

The brain filter<br />

works in both<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> and Sales<br />

and as credit<br />

professionals we<br />

all know that we<br />

see things that our<br />

colleagues in Sales<br />

do not necessarily<br />

see – and vice<br />

versa, of course.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong>w <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 35


Survival strategies<br />

With challenging times set to continue, the best<br />

approach for credit managers is to share.<br />

AUTHOR – Bethan Evans<br />

FEW credit management<br />

professionals could fail to<br />

agree that COVID-19 has<br />

brought many challenges.<br />

Among them, the lack<br />

of certainty about when<br />

the pandemic might end and whether<br />

business activity will bounce back quickly<br />

or not, makes it difficult to plan ahead.<br />

Attending a virtual roundtable hosted<br />

by accountancy firm, Menzies LLP, the<br />

message from credit managers operating<br />

across industry sectors was loud and clear<br />

– we need to share our experiences and<br />

learn from each other, because there is no<br />

known outcome for this situation.<br />

Coming just prior to a fresh round of<br />

national restrictions being imposed, the<br />

mood from the delegates was relatively<br />

upbeat, with most back in the office for<br />

at least one or two days a week. Just a<br />

day later however, the guidance about<br />

working from home where possible was<br />

reinstated.<br />

For some people it is clear that the<br />

‘stay-at-home-if-you-can’ rule is starting<br />

to grate. Sue Chapple FCICM, Chief<br />

Executive of the CICM said: “We’ve got<br />

used to virtual meetings and they work<br />

well in the main. But it’s not until you<br />

have your first post-lockdown face-to-face<br />

meeting that you realise what you’ve been<br />

missing!”<br />

For credit management professionals,<br />

being physically removed from the<br />

business and its customers at this<br />

challenging time may be a significant risk<br />

factor, making it harder to resolve issues as<br />

they arise. All agreed however that staying<br />

close to customers and understanding<br />

the pressures their businesses are facing<br />

can help to keep credit lines open.<br />

More communication and sharing of<br />

information means risks are better<br />

managed and working from home has<br />

improved this, especially for businesses<br />

operating in overseas jurisdictions with<br />

different time zones.<br />


The Chancellor’s decision to replace the<br />

outgoing furlough scheme with a new Job<br />

Support Scheme (effective 1 <strong>November</strong><br />

<strong>2020</strong>) will help to remove some of the<br />

pressure on employers through the winter<br />

season. Crucially, however only jobs<br />

where workers are being paid by their<br />

employer to do a third of their normal<br />

hours will be eligible for the scheme. The<br />

decision to extend existing loan schemes<br />

from six- to 10-years, and allow businesses<br />

more time and flexibility to repay, will<br />

also help to ease pressure on cashflow.<br />

“The key to survival from a cashflow<br />

perspective is to focus on meaningful<br />

revenues,” said Simon Underwood,<br />

business recovery partner at accountancy<br />

firm, Menzies LLP. He acknowledged<br />

that some businesses are finding this<br />

easier than others, particularly those with<br />

e-commerce platforms and businesses in<br />

the logistics sector.<br />

“We’ve got used to virtual<br />

meetings and they work<br />

well in the main. But it’s<br />

not until you have your<br />

first post-lockdown faceto-face<br />

meeting that you<br />

realise what you’ve been<br />

missing!”<br />

“Some businesses have been able to<br />

pivot to make the most of online channels<br />

in response to shifts in consumer demand,<br />

and this approach should continue,” he<br />

added.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> managers know that, at times<br />

of crisis, keeping funds flowing into<br />

the business is critical, particularly if<br />

revenues have dipped and customer<br />

insolvencies are a distinct possibility.<br />

However, they also know that a softer<br />

approach is needed.<br />

At the start of the pandemic, most<br />

credit managers reviewed their customer<br />

base carefully to consider how each might<br />

be impacted. As the crisis continued, their<br />

cash position has been kept under review,<br />

to understand whether it is supported by<br />

meaningful revenues or just there because<br />

support funding has been paid into their<br />

bank account. This requires open, twoway<br />

communication with clients and a<br />

willingness to work through cashflow<br />

challenges together. If the customer<br />

is pushed to the point of insolvency,<br />

creditors will not just lose some of the<br />

money they are owed, but their ongoing<br />

business too. With ‘force majeure’ clauses<br />

being invoked in many commercial<br />

contracts and cashflow pressures set to<br />

worsen as support schemes are removed,<br />

it is clear that some tough conversations<br />

will need to take place.<br />


Sue Chapple commented that the extent<br />

of the ‘ripple effect’ of Coronavirusrelated<br />

issues is likely to have a long tail<br />

for the credit management industry:<br />

“There are challenging times ahead. The<br />

situation remains uncertain and really<br />

knowing your customer has never been<br />

more important. There is no accurate<br />

data available confirming what the<br />

post-pandemic future will look like across<br />

industry sectors, so credit managers<br />

definitely have their work cut out,”<br />

she said.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> managers attending the<br />

roundtable agreed that staying close to<br />

customers will become even more critical<br />

in the months ahead. If customers request<br />

a change in payment terms, they are<br />

encouraged to be as open and honest as<br />

possible; sharing information including<br />

profit and loss accounts and other key<br />

management data. This information can<br />

be relayed to trade insurers as necessary,<br />

which can diffuse some of the financial<br />

pressure. Relationships with insurers<br />

have also come under the spotlight, and in<br />

some cases credit managers have chosen<br />

to change broker and switch insurers in<br />

order to provide the right cover for the<br />

business and its trading customers.<br />

While some businesses have increased<br />

revenues through the pandemic, others<br />

are struggling to provide a product or<br />

service that consumers no longer want<br />

or are unable to use for now. They may<br />

have been hoping for the best, while<br />

planning for the worst, but staying cashflow<br />

positive has become impossible.<br />

With the prospect of a spike in corporate<br />

insolvencies just around the corner, credit<br />

managers shouldn’t be afraid to reach out<br />

to insolvency practitioners for advice and<br />

assistance.<br />

This report is based on a recent virtual<br />

roundtable event for credit managers,<br />

chaired by the CICM and hosted by<br />

accountancy firm, Menzies LLP.<br />

Bethan Evans is partner and head of the<br />

firm’s credit services team.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 36

<strong>Credit</strong> After COVID-19<br />

Lisa Baker-Reynolds, CEO, Baker Ing International<br />

How has the pandemic affected credit professionals?<br />

Collaboration and information sharing amongst credit professionals<br />

have increased and been commendable. The realisation<br />

that insolvencies are going to inevitably and significantly<br />

increase in the coming months has, in turn, prompted elevated<br />

activity across the industry. Now that grants and fiscal stimulus<br />

have been heavily utilised in many countries, there has been<br />

a significant rise in debt placements for cases in which credit<br />

professionals have discovered that their clients did not utilise<br />

those programmes to help address their cash flow problems.<br />

Many companies have thus been prompted to more proactively<br />

recover outstanding debtor segments.<br />

What has been the most significant impact of<br />

COVID-19?<br />

The pandemic is challenging global credit policies and pushed<br />

credit management to the forefront across all sectors and territories.<br />

How we adapt our credit policies will have a direct and<br />

fundamental impact upon our companies’ commercial survival,<br />

not to mention our customer relationships and brand reputations<br />

for many years to come.<br />

The most valuable response to the crisis?<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> managers need to have granular knowledge of the<br />

COVID-19 situation in their clients’ particular territories. Their<br />

knowledge should include information regarding fiscal stimulus<br />

programmes in the country. Where appropriate, credit managers<br />

need to be capable of proactively assisting their clients obtain<br />

funding and grants, on the basis that the customer makes them<br />

a primary creditor for payment. These are extraordinary times,<br />

and if we are to confront it, we must be able to go above-andbeyond<br />

in securing payment.<br />

How can we mitigate the credit risks?<br />

We recommend researching to produce weekly updated<br />

forecasts regarding the political and fiscal interventions one<br />

can expect in clients’ countries. Our global roster of insolvency<br />

and restructuring partners helps us to anticipate issues across<br />

accounts, as well as advising and assisting with equity release<br />

and restructuring on behalf of our clients.<br />

What is Baker Ing International doing differently now?<br />

We are providing clients with the live-status of debtor assets<br />

and legal escalations. Furthermore, client documentation now<br />

includes both Lawyer and Insolvency Practioner advice on the<br />

viability of escalation routes available to them, as standard.<br />

We’ve also published our ‘COVID-19 Collection Policy’ which<br />

includes information about the depth of propensity-to-pay assessment<br />

which we undertake before debtor contact, as well as<br />

the data sources we utilise in calculating aggregated and current<br />

liquidity statuses. We believe this transparency serves to reassure<br />

our clients and empowers them to make informed decisions<br />

based on risk exposure – vital in these rapidly changing times.<br />

Please visit bakering.global/resources or email<br />

admin@bakering.global for more information about<br />

COVID-19 Collection Policies.<br />

bakering.global<br />

Lisa is CEO of Baker Ing international and has worked across the credit industry for<br />

almost 20 years.<br />

Baker Ing offers full-cycle receivables management tailored to high value and<br />

highly-sensitive accounts.<br />

“Our reputation has been built on delivering the best of in-house control & oversight,<br />

with the best of outsourced flexibility, niche expertise and scalability. We’ve<br />

built a solution for credit directors by credt directors, to deliver a service our clients<br />

can trust to deliver when risk of poor performance is simply not an option”.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 37


Steady progress<br />

Payment performance is improving especially<br />

in farming and fishing.<br />

AUTHOR – Rob Howard<br />

The Agriculture,<br />

Farming and Fishing<br />

sector is now the best<br />

performing sector<br />

following a further<br />

reduction of 0.4 days,<br />

taking its overall DBT<br />

to 8.2 days.<br />

DESPITE continued<br />

uncertainty surrounding<br />

the COVID-19 pandemic,<br />

the latest monthly<br />

business-to-business<br />

payment performance<br />

statistics show some signs of improvement.<br />

The average Days Beyond Terms (DBT)<br />

figures reduced by 0.7 days and 1.1 days<br />

across regions and sectors respectively.<br />


For the most part, the sector standings<br />

show real improvement, with the majority<br />

of sectors making important reductions<br />

to payment terms. The biggest movers are<br />

the Education and Mining and Quarrying<br />

sectors, who made impressive reductions<br />

of 9.1 and 7 days respectively.<br />

Elsewhere, the Health & Social (-5 days),<br />

Entertainment (-4.4 days) and Business<br />

from Home (-3 days) sectors also made good<br />

progress in reducing payment terms. The<br />

Agriculture, Farming and Fishing sector is<br />

now the best performing sector following<br />

a further reduction of 0.4 days, taking its<br />

overall DBT to 8.2 days.<br />

However, some sectors have struggled<br />

and experienced increases to payment<br />

terms. It has been a particularly tough<br />

month, for example, for the Water and<br />

Waste sector, which saw its DBT increase<br />

by a massive 8.3 days. The Professional<br />

and Scientific (+4.5 days), IT and Comms<br />

(+3 days) and Manufacturing (+2.1 days)<br />

sectors also struggled.<br />


The regional standings also provide some<br />

encouragement, with eight of the 11 regions<br />

managing to reduce their DBT.<br />

The South West continues to be the<br />

best performing region following a further<br />

reduction of 2.5 days to its payment terms,<br />

taking its overall DBT to 10.7 days. Across<br />

the map, the South East is also moving in<br />

the right direction, reducing its DBT by<br />

2.5 days. Scotland (-2.4 days), London (-1.3<br />

days) and the West Midlands (-1 day) also<br />

made steady improvements.<br />

Despite a slight reduction (-0.8 days)<br />

to its payment terms, Northern Ireland<br />

remains the worst performing region with<br />

an overall DBT of 19.8 days. Moving in the<br />

wrong direction, East Anglia (+2.9 days),<br />

East Midlands (+0.8 days) and the North<br />

West (+0.8 days) all saw increases.<br />

Written by Rob Howard<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 38


Data supplied by the <strong>Credit</strong>safe Group<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Region Sep 20 Change from Aug 20<br />

South West 10.7 -2.5<br />

Scotland 11.6 -2.4<br />

Wales 13.1 -0.9<br />

West Midlands 13.1 -1<br />

London 13.4 -1.3<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Region Sep 20 Change from Aug 20<br />

Northern Ireland 19.8 -0.8<br />

East Anglia 16.6 2.9<br />

East Midlands 15.9 0.8<br />

North West 15.5 0.8<br />

Yorkshire and Humberside 15.5 -0.7<br />

Getting Worse<br />

Water and Waste 8.3<br />

Professional and Scientific 4.5<br />

IT and Comms 3<br />

Manufacturing 2.1<br />

Business Admin & Support 1.7<br />

Wholesale and retail trade 1.5<br />

Financial and Insurance 1.4<br />

Other Service 0.4<br />

Getting Better<br />

Education -9.1<br />

Mining and Quarrying -7<br />

Health & Social -5<br />

Entertainment -4.4<br />

Dormant -3.7<br />

Business from Home -3<br />

Hospitality -2.7<br />

Energy Supply -2.4<br />

Real Estate -2.2<br />

Construction -1.7<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Sector Sep 20 Change from Aug 20<br />

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 8.2 -0.4<br />

Financial and Insurance 8.5 1.4<br />

Hospitality 9 -2.7<br />

Public Administration 9.9 -1.6<br />

International Bodies 11.1 -0.7<br />

Public Administration -1.6<br />

Transportation and Storage -1.3<br />

International Bodies -0.7<br />

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing -0.4<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Sector Sep 20 Change from Aug 20<br />

Business from Home 29.2 -3<br />

Transportation and Storage 22.1 8.3<br />

Mining and Quarrying 21.1 -7<br />

Education 20.4 -9.1<br />

Professional and Scientific 18.8 4.5<br />


-2.4 DBT<br />

Region<br />

Getting Better – Getting Worse<br />

-2.5<br />

-2.5<br />

-2.4<br />

-1.3<br />

-1<br />

-0.9<br />

-0.8<br />

-0.7<br />

2.9<br />

0.8<br />

0.8<br />

South East<br />

South West<br />

Scotland<br />

London<br />

West Midlands<br />

Wales<br />

Northern Ireland<br />

Yorkshire and Humberside<br />

East Anglia<br />

East Midlands<br />

North West<br />



-0.8 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

WEST<br />

-2.5. DBT<br />

WALES<br />

-0.9 DBT<br />

NORTH<br />

WEST<br />

0.8 DBT<br />

WEST<br />


-1 DBT<br />



-0.7 DBT<br />

EAST<br />


0.8 DBT<br />

LONDON<br />

-1.3 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

EAST<br />

-2.5 DBT<br />

EAST<br />

ANGLIA<br />

2.9 DBT<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 39



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Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk<br />

<strong>Management</strong> Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;<br />

the Tinubu <strong>Credit</strong> Intelligence service and the<br />

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250<br />

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their<br />

greatest assets: customer receivables.<br />

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /<br />

E: uksales@tinubu.com<br />

W: www.tinubu.com.<br />

Building on our mature and hugely successful<br />

product and world class support service, we are<br />

re-imagining our risk awareness module in 2019 to<br />

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists and<br />

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full<br />

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong>safe), this makes Credica a single port-of-call<br />

for analysis and automation. Impressive results<br />

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also<br />

have an active input into our product development<br />

and evolution.<br />

T: 01235 856400<br />

E: info@credica.co.uk<br />

W: www.credica.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 40

Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for<br />

their commitment to the profession, best practice in the<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Industry and the quality of services they provide.<br />

We are delighted to showcase them here.<br />


Hays <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> is a national specialist<br />

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of<br />

credit management and receivables professionals,<br />

at all levels, in the public and private sectors. As<br />

the CICM’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we<br />

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’<br />

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on<br />

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,<br />

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign<br />

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,<br />

career and recruitment trends.<br />

T: 07834 260029<br />

E: karen.young@hays.com<br />

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

The Atradius Collections business model is to support<br />

businesses and their recoveries. We are seeing a<br />

deterioration and increase in unpaid invoices placing<br />

pressures on cashflow for those businesses. Brexit is<br />

causing uncertainty and we are seeing a significant<br />

impact on the UK economy with an increase in<br />

insolvencies, now also impacting the continent and<br />

spreading. Our geographical presence is expanding<br />

and with a single IT platform across the globe we can<br />

provide greater efficiencies and effectiveness to our<br />

clients to recover their unpaid invoices.<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 824700<br />

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/<br />

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work<br />

closely with credit teams to recover commercial<br />

debts as quickly and cost effectively as possible.<br />

We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt<br />

recovery, including:<br />

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and<br />

keep costs down • Litigation service • Insolvency<br />

• Post-litigation services including enforcement<br />

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to<br />

relate to your goals, and adept at advising you on the<br />

most effective way of achieving them.<br />

T: 03700 86 3000<br />

E: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Forums International has been running <strong>Credit</strong> and<br />

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of<br />

industry sectors and international trading. Attendance<br />

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums<br />

are not just meetings but communities which<br />

aim to prepare our members for the challenges<br />

ahead. Attending for the first time is free for you to<br />

gauge the benefits and meet the members and we<br />

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never<br />

intentionally be sold to.<br />

T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

Data Interconnect provides ERP-agnostic AR<br />

software. The Corrivo platform transmits invoices<br />

in multiple formats using tax compliant templates<br />

custom-designed for your business. Corrivo expedites<br />

collections, reconciliation and dispute processes with<br />

flexible workflow tools for creating and assigning tasks,<br />

limits, chase paths or stops and a self-service portal<br />

where customers can query, comment, dispute or pay.<br />

Corrivo manages data securely and efficiently so that<br />

you can manage your customers and cashflow better.<br />

T: +44 (0)1367 245777<br />

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk<br />

W: www.datainterconnect.com<br />

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for<br />

organisations seeking efficient cash visibility<br />

and secure financial processes. As an SAP<br />

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies<br />

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience<br />

and thousands of successful customer projects,<br />

including solutions for the entire order-to-cash<br />

process, Serrala provides credit managers and<br />

receivables professionals with the solutions they<br />

need to successfully protect their business against<br />

credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.<br />

T: +44 118 207 0450<br />

E: contact@serrala.com<br />

W: www.serrala.com<br />

American Express® is a globally recognised<br />

provider of business payment solutions, providing<br />

flexible capabilities to help companies drive<br />

growth. These solutions support buyers and<br />

suppliers across the supply chain with working<br />

capital and cashflow.<br />

By creating an additional lever to help support<br />

supplier/client relationships American Express is<br />

proud to be an innovator in the business payments<br />

space.<br />

T: +44 (0)1273 696933<br />

W: www.americanexpress.com<br />

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables<br />

into income, uniquely connecting buyers and<br />

suppliers to allow discounts in exchange for<br />

early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers<br />

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating<br />

payments from buyers when required in just two<br />

clicks, at a rate that works for them. Buyers, often<br />

corporates with global supply chains, benefit from<br />

the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while<br />

strengthening the financial health of supply chains<br />

through ethical business practices.<br />

T: 07799 692193<br />

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com<br />

W: www.c2fo.com<br />

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes<br />

the all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s<br />

businesses from collecting receivables in a<br />

timely manner. From credit management to cash<br />

allocation, Esker automates each step of the orderto-cash<br />

cycle. Esker’s automated AR system helps<br />

companies modernise without replacing their<br />

core billing and collections processes. By simply<br />

automating what should be automated, customers<br />

get the post-sale experience they deserve and your<br />

team gets the tools they need.<br />

T: +44 (0)1332 548176<br />

E: sam.townsend@esker.co.uk<br />

W: www.esker.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 41




For further information and to discuss the<br />

opportunities of entering into a Corporate<br />

Partnership with the CICM, please contact<br />

corporatepartners@cicm.com<br />

Onguard is a specialist in credit management<br />

software and a market leader in innovative solutions<br />

for Order to Cash. Our integrated platform ensures<br />

an optimal connection of all processes in the Order<br />

to Cash chain and allows sharing of critical data. Our<br />

intelligent tools can seamlessly interconnect and<br />

offer overview and control of the payment process,<br />

as well as contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.<br />

The Onguard platform is successfully used<br />

for successful credit management in more than 50<br />

countries.<br />

T: 020 3868 0947<br />

E: lisa.bruno@onguard.com<br />

W: www.onguard.com<br />

‘‘<br />

CICM offered the<br />

prospect of qualifications,<br />

but as soon as I became<br />

a member, loads of other<br />

opportunities came to<br />

light that I hadn’t initially<br />

realised were available.<br />

Molly Kane<br />

ACICM<br />

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps<br />

businesses pay and get paid. Businesses and banks<br />

rely on Bottomline for domestic and international<br />

payments, effective cash management tools, automated<br />

workflows for payment processing and bill review<br />

and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural<br />

analytics and regulatory compliance. Every day, we<br />

help our customers by making complex business<br />

payments simple, secure and seamless.<br />

T: 0870 081 8250<br />

E: emea-info@bottomline.com<br />

W: www.bottomline.com/uk<br />

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading<br />

provider of business information, analytics, insights<br />

and solutions. Graydon helps its customers to make<br />

fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to minimise<br />

risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities<br />

with their commercial relationships. Graydon<br />

uses 130+ international databases and the information<br />

of 90+ million companies. Graydon has offices in<br />

London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,<br />

Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of the world’s<br />

largest credit insurance companies.<br />

The value<br />

of CICM<br />

membership<br />

Molly Kane ACICM<br />

Senior <strong>Credit</strong> Controller Executive<br />

Oxford University<br />

Read more about her story and join your<br />

credit community by visiting:<br />

www.cicm.com/value-of-cicm-membership/<br />

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400<br />

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk<br />

W: www.graydon.co.uk<br />

info@cicm.com<br />

www.cicm.com<br />

01780 722900<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 42

would you love<br />

an easy way to<br />

speed up your cash<br />

collection cycle?<br />

You can … and gain access to a whole host of other benefits<br />

with Esker’s Collection <strong>Management</strong> solution.<br />

Esker’s cloud-based solution combines process automation and CRM properties<br />

to streamline the entire collections process and bring AR leaders<br />

the visibility needed to properly manage their receivables.<br />







BOOST<br />


Visit now to find out more www.esker.co.uk<br />

or contact us info@esker.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 43

Forums International<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Forums Designed<br />

& Delivered for <strong>Credit</strong> Professionals<br />

Are you looking for your next role in <strong>Credit</strong>?<br />

We understand that credit professionals who are between jobs still<br />

want to keep up to date and stay connected. They want to make sure<br />

that they are the best informed candidate when that interview comes<br />

along.<br />

With that in mind, we understand that being a member of a Forum<br />

without the support of a company can be expensive so we have come<br />

up with a package for the individual which gives them all the<br />

benefits of corporate membership.<br />

Forthcoming<br />

Events<br />

<strong>November</strong><br />

11th <strong>November</strong><br />

Amazon 2<br />

12th <strong>November</strong><br />

International Media &<br />

Publishing Forum<br />

18th <strong>November</strong><br />

International<br />

Pharmaceutical<br />

Manufacturers Forum<br />

December<br />

All Forums International events qualify for CICM CPD points<br />

Join Forums International today<br />

We can help you stay ahead in the world of <strong>Credit</strong> and put you in the<br />

room with your potential employer. For less than £35 per month, you<br />

get all of the benefits listed above but also access to our growing <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Community who can help you progress your career.<br />

3rd December<br />

Fraud Prevention<br />

Network<br />

8th December<br />

International <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Forum<br />

10th & 11th December<br />

International Telecoms<br />

Risk Forum<br />

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Laurie Beagle<br />

+44 (0)7880 551067 or email lauriebeagle@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

M: +44 (0)7880 551067<br />

T: +44 (0)1260 275716<br />

E: lauriebeagle@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 44


Do you know someone who would benefit from CICM membership? Or have<br />

you considered applying to upgrade your membership? See our website<br />

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

Member<br />

Vanessa Peck<br />

Eric Leenders<br />

David Mills<br />

Christopher Roland<br />

Joshua Yorke<br />

Gbenga Fatoki<br />

Elaine Fish<br />

Member (by exam)<br />

Patricia Brown<br />

Sally Nolan<br />

Jody Hamilton-Smith<br />

Nicola Joynson<br />

Susan Pearson<br />

Studying Member<br />

Riya Bristol<br />

Marie Dodd<br />

Obed Aboagye Asare<br />

Laura Corbett<br />

Marina De Sousa<br />

Maria Brooks<br />

Joanne Green<br />

Carlie Devon<br />

Gillian Brades<br />

Martin Stafford<br />

Benjamin Alleguen<br />

Reece McIntosh<br />

Olivia Edwards<br />

Christin Ray-Odekeye<br />

Abayomi Woodley<br />

Rita Rabadia<br />

Kutlo Precious Ntwayapelo<br />

Georgie Joyce<br />

Claire Jamieson<br />

Charlie Balls<br />

Matthew Mclaren<br />

Lorraine Job<br />

Jonathan Callow<br />

Craig Taylor<br />

Troy Burgess-Rodrigues<br />

Taylan Kani<br />

Susan Mitchell<br />

Ryan Hook<br />

Martin Paunov<br />

Mahesh Chouhan<br />

Kieran Clayson<br />

Jonathan Harris<br />

Jamie Norman<br />

Grant Rynn<br />

Daniel Byrne<br />

Marcia Gillett<br />

Kristie Maxwell<br />

Darren Gardner<br />

Mohammed Ali<br />

Candice Marlen<br />

Tammy Midgley<br />

Kim Rogerson<br />

Affiliate<br />

Stacey O'Connor Holly Lawrence Martin Collins Sanjay Chandarana<br />

Congratulations to our current members who have upgraded their membership<br />

Upgraded member<br />

Peter Wallwork FCICM<br />

Joseph Okochi MCICM<br />

Hussain Aljama MCICM<br />


Congratulations to all of the following, who successfully achieved Diplomas<br />

Level 3 Diploma in <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> (ACICM)<br />

NAME<br />

Kelsey Toon<br />

Level 3 Diploma in <strong>Credit</strong> & Collections (ACICM)<br />

NAME<br />

Emma Hynes<br />

Ben Jamieson<br />


Get in touch with the CICM by emailing branches@cicm.com<br />

with your branch news and event reports. Please only send up to 400 words<br />

and any images need to be high resolution to be printable, so 1MB plus.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 45



Handling media interviews<br />

successfully is largely a question<br />

of confidence.<br />

AUTHOR – Clive Hawkins<br />

THE sight of politicians and<br />

celebrities being thrust into the<br />

media spotlight as they leave their<br />

home or office and faced with<br />

camera flashlights and a barrage<br />

of questions by journalists, is<br />

what often springs to mind in any interaction<br />

with journalists. This interview technique is<br />

known as doorstepping and can unnerve even<br />

the most media-savvy person. Imagine if you<br />

were faced with this situation – how would you<br />

react?<br />

This intense and unexpected media<br />

questioning is normally experienced by only a<br />

small number of business people such as senior<br />

executives. What is more likely, is being asked to<br />

participate in a planned interview and agree the<br />

interview format and discussion topics.<br />


The more prepared you are, the greater the<br />

likelihood of a positive outcome. Research the<br />

journalist’s interview style to determine your<br />

approach. Read regional and national news<br />

regularly in the run-up to interview, and on the<br />

day, so you’re up-to-speed on current affairs and<br />

not caught out with any breaking news.<br />

Focus on who you are communicating with<br />

and what will interest them – media is a conduit<br />

for relaying information to a wide audience.<br />

Identify the three to five key messages you want<br />

to focus on that will have impact. Have answers<br />

prepared for all likely questions you will face.<br />


It is important to remember that you are<br />

representing your organisation and want to<br />

create a positive impression. You need to focus<br />

on what you say and how you use your voice<br />

and body language to deliver your key points<br />

effectively.<br />

Tip one: Positive Interaction. It is important to<br />

establish a rapport with the interviewer. This<br />

will rely on:<br />

• Control. Take control of the interview agenda.<br />

There is more than one interview agenda at play<br />

here – the reporter’s and yours.<br />

• Confidence. Be comfortable, confident and<br />

maintain a high energy level. If you are nervous<br />

or unprepared, you won’t be at your best.<br />

• Connection. Have a conversation with the<br />

interviewer rather than just respond with ‘yes/<br />

no’ answers. A tip here is: listen-think-respond.<br />

Listen to the entire question, think about the<br />

implication of your answer and respond after<br />

consideration.<br />

• Credibility. Use your industry knowledge and<br />

experience, backed with interesting facts and<br />

figures. You want the interviewer to believe<br />

what you believe!<br />

Tip two: Keep Calm. You will be asked a range<br />

of questions – some you will be comfortable<br />

with, others will be taxing or asked in a way to<br />

provoke a reaction. At all times remain calm,<br />

polite, focused on answering each question and<br />

reiterating your key messages.<br />

Tip three: Pitfalls. Avoid using personal<br />

opinions, speculation, hypotheticals or simply<br />

not answering the question. These responses<br />

can risk becoming news headlines. There are<br />

many ways to avoid responding to a specific<br />

question than just saying ‘no comment’!<br />

Tip four: Interruptions. An interviewer can<br />

sometimes anticipate your answer and interrupt<br />

before you have completed your point. If this<br />

happens, ask to finish your answer to ensure<br />

your position is understood.<br />

Tip five: Follow-up. Make yourself available for<br />

any queries prior to deadline and monitor the<br />

news for interview publication.<br />

Journalists want to forge strong relationships to<br />

gain insights into industry developments and<br />

identify news scoops. Your ability to control<br />

the interview agenda from start to finish and<br />

relay information in a newsworthy manner will<br />

strengthen your hand with journalists, increase<br />

the likelihood of a positive article and improve<br />

your media handling skills – whether you are in<br />

a planned interview or have the misfortune to<br />

be doorstepped!<br />

Clive Hawkins<br />

Spoken Word Communications<br />

clive@spokenwordgroup.co.uk<br />

www.spokenwordgroup.com<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 46


AUTHOR – Clive Hawkins<br />

Focus on<br />

who you are<br />

communicating<br />

with and what will<br />

interest them –<br />

media is a conduit<br />

for relaying<br />

information to a<br />

wide audience.<br />

Your ability<br />

to control the<br />

interview agenda<br />

from start to<br />

finish and relay<br />

information in<br />

a newsworthy<br />

manner will<br />

strengthen<br />

your hand with<br />

journalists.<br />

Clive Hawkins<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 47


Lovetts Solicitors launches<br />

direct debt payments platform<br />

LOVETTS Solicitors has<br />

launched a direct debt<br />

payments platform,<br />

securely accessible via the<br />

firm’s website. The new<br />

portal enables accountto-account<br />

payments from debtors to<br />

creditors online, removing the need for<br />

intermediary transfers. It encourages<br />

faster payments to creditors, while<br />

providing debtors with greater<br />

transparency, more information,<br />

and less of the stress traditionally<br />

associated with the debt collection<br />

process.<br />

Powered by payment processing<br />

solution Banked, the new Lovetts<br />

platform allows debtors to sign-in<br />

securely using their case number and<br />

solicitor letter reference. From there,<br />

users simply authorise their bank to<br />

make payment directly to the creditor<br />

company, via either their online or<br />

mobile banking app.<br />

“We wanted to take the existing<br />

online services we offer, and expand<br />

them to create a complete online<br />

debt collections process from start to<br />

finish,” said Andrew Dancy, IT Director<br />

for Lovetts. “Banked is one of the<br />

best new ideas to come out of Open<br />

Banking that we’ve seen so far, and<br />

of course especially as a law firm, the<br />

strong security measures that it allows<br />

us to build in are hugely important<br />

when considering any kind of online<br />

payment mechanism. By interfacing<br />

our existing technology with this API,<br />

we’ve been able to facilitate more<br />

seamless payments, and in addition to<br />

reducing costs that can be a weight off<br />

the mind of debtors and creditors alike.”<br />

The Banked solution provides a 90<br />

percent reduction in processing fees,<br />

and additionally as a Strong Customer<br />

Authentication (SCA) channel, a 96<br />

percent reduction in fraud. It’s part<br />

of the Online Banking initiative, a<br />

government-led directive set-up by the<br />

Competition and Markets Authority<br />

(CMA) in 2018 and regulated by the<br />

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and<br />

European equivalents, to grant users<br />

greater control over their financial<br />

interactions online.<br />

“We wanted to take the<br />

existing online services we<br />

offer, and expand them to<br />

create a complete online<br />

debt collections process<br />

from start to finish.”<br />

Andrew Dancy,<br />

IT Director<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 48


CICM Redundancy<br />

help and advice<br />

CICM is here to help anyone at risk<br />

of redundancy or looking for work.<br />

We have all the guides and advice<br />

you need to help you back on your feet.<br />

HELP AND<br />

ADVICE<br />



For further details contact: 01780 722900 | www.cicm.com | info@cicm.com<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 49



Your CICM lapel badge<br />

demonstrates your commitment to<br />

professionalism and best practice<br />



If you haven’t received your badge<br />

contact: cicmmembership@cicm.com<br />



Prepare and act now, for the<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> world of tomorrow.<br />

As the world continues to react to constant change, our<br />

credit profession needs to prepare for the new credit future.<br />

Debt management<br />

• Adjust collections and recovery strategies to fit the changing financial environment<br />

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

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

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

Employees<br />

• Upskill staff for a new credit future through training and qualification programmes<br />

• Review and bolster support mechanisms that cater for the wellbeing of employees<br />

• Consult and trial agile working arrangements with touch points to check feasibility<br />

Cash resilience<br />

• Firm up honest and realistic cash forecasting projections and review them frequently<br />

• Tighten processes for quick & efficient cash collection, allocation and recovery referral<br />

• Calculate provision for bad and doubtful debt & review validity and value of securities<br />

• Agree new risk assessment protocols for ledger-wide vetting of new and existing customers<br />

• Review and strengthen supply chain, renegotiating contract terms in the new climate.<br />

Future proof strategies<br />

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

• Align <strong>Credit</strong> Policy, processes, KPIs and contingencies to the organisation’s new risk strategy<br />

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

• Secure debt and ledger management software to automate manual tasks<br />

Communication<br />

• Maintain Senior <strong>Management</strong> visibility with short, frequent reports linked to overall objectives<br />

• Reaffirm supply chain relationships with bespoke contact that builds plans for future trading<br />

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

• Create cross functional work plans with re-emerging departments, to leverage help<br />

01780 722900 | info@cicm.com<br />

Access help from CICM<br />

Follow the CICM Managing the New <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Future Forum on LinkedIn.<br />

Access our Member Advice Service<br />

for support, answers and advice.<br />

Visit our Managing the New <strong>Credit</strong> Future<br />

webpage for more resources<br />

We continue to develop resources, advice and tools to help you prepare for<br />

tomorrow’s <strong>Credit</strong>, today. Stay in touch with us and be part of our community.<br />

CICM is your professional body: use it. We are stronger in numbers.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 50



How to set up a great one click link to the CICM website on<br />

your mobile phone. Follow these four simple steps...<br />

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4<br />

Go to cicm.com > Click highlighted icon at bottom of screen > Click add to Home screen icon<br />

> Click add icon at top right of screen > CICM icon will appear on your screen<br />

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4<br />

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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 52<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 51

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 52



Redundancy factsheets, employment trends,<br />

and the perils of hair styling.<br />

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards<br />

recent Employment<br />

Tribunal decision<br />

concerning employment<br />

status serves as a useful<br />

A.<br />

reminder of the criteria<br />

applied to these disputes.<br />

In Gorman v Terence Paul (Manchester)<br />

Ltd, a preliminary hearing was held to<br />

determine Gorman’s employment status<br />

following the closure of a Terence Paul<br />

hair salon. Gorman had brought claims<br />

for unfair dismissal, sex discrimination,<br />

notice pay, holiday pay and redundancy<br />

pay. The company argued that Gorman<br />

was self-employed, noting she had signed<br />

a consultancy agreement some five years<br />

prior.<br />

The Tribunal compared the consultancy<br />

agreement to the reality of the Gorman’s<br />

working arrangements. It found that<br />

Gorman was an employee because:<br />

The agreement stated that Gorman<br />

could choose what time she spent at<br />

the salon. However, her actual working<br />

arrangements were strictly controlled by<br />

the company, including working hours,<br />

whether she arrived late or finished early<br />

and when she could take holiday.<br />

There was mutuality of obligation – the<br />

company allocated clients to Gorman,<br />

she was obliged to perform, and the<br />

company was obliged to pay her for that<br />

work. The company controlled Gorman’s<br />

appointments, handled all bookings and<br />

she could only use certain products.<br />

Also, prices were set by the company<br />

and Gorman had 67 percent of her fees<br />

deducted for use of the facilities. She had<br />

no access to client information as this was<br />

all held in a database controlled by the<br />

company.<br />

Whilst the agreement theoretically<br />

allowed Gorman to send a substitute, in<br />

practice if she was unable to attend, the<br />

company arranged and paid for her clients<br />

to be covered by other salon stylists.<br />

The agreement subjected Gorman to a<br />

12-month non-compete clause following<br />

termination and also prevented her<br />

from working at a competing salon. The<br />

Tribunal found that if she was genuinely<br />

in business on her own account then the<br />

clients would arguably have been hers<br />

regardless.<br />

It’s notable that the Tribunal found that<br />

Gorman had no choice when she signed<br />

the agreement, a document that she did<br />

not fully understand when signing.<br />

The case is a useful reminder of the<br />

issues that will be taken into account in<br />

the event of a dispute about employment<br />

status. Employers should ensure the terms<br />

of any consultancy agreement reflect the<br />

reality of working arrangements, in order<br />

to minimise the risk of future dispute.<br />



The Office for National Statistics has<br />

published research revealing that young<br />

people (18 to 24) and those over 50 are at<br />

a higher risk of losing their jobs in the<br />

current economic crisis. BAME workers<br />

were reported to be twice as likely to<br />

lose their job compared to peers in the<br />

above groups. Workforce planning is a<br />

challenging and unenviable task for many<br />

employers. These statistics reinforce<br />

the importance of designing a fair and<br />

robust procedure prior to embarking<br />

on any workplace planning exercise. In<br />

particular, employers should consider:<br />

Selection pools, avoiding the trap of<br />

considering previously furloughed staff<br />

first for redundancy. For example, if<br />

staff were furloughed due to health or<br />

childcare related reasons, this could lead<br />

to claims of discrimination and unfair<br />

dismissal.<br />

Selection criteria should be objective<br />

and be designed at the outset of any<br />

redundancy or restructure exercise. Draft<br />

criteria should be shared with affected<br />

staff during consultation and comments<br />

invited before the criteria are then<br />

finalised and used.<br />

Timing is key and consultation should<br />

be meaningful and not rushed. There is<br />

no minimum consultation timeframe, but<br />

there will be minimum periods of time<br />

between the start of consultation and<br />

any dismissals taking effect if more than<br />

20 redundancies are being considered at<br />

a single establishment within a 90-day<br />

period.<br />

Logistics means that care should<br />

be taken to ensure that any remote<br />

consultation meetings do not create<br />

fairness issues. And in terms of Personnel,<br />

are those applying the selection criteria<br />

doing so consistently? Are more senior<br />

managers on hand to deal with any future<br />

appeals?<br />



The Department for Work and Pensions<br />

has published guidance for employers<br />

who are making redundancies in<br />

response to the economic impact of the<br />

Coronavirus pandemic.<br />

The redundancy factsheet for employers,<br />

on gov.uk, outlines the Jobcentre Plus<br />

Rapid Response Service (RRS), which<br />

provides links to useful governmental<br />

and non-governmental services and<br />

information about voluntary redundancy<br />

and early retirement. There is also<br />

information on how employees struggling<br />

to cope with redundancy can access<br />

support.<br />

The RRS also offers support and advice<br />

to employers and employees who are<br />

affected by redundancy on preparing a<br />

CV, identifying training needs, providing<br />

training for vocational skills and<br />

providing benefits information. The RRS<br />

does not provide procedural advice on<br />

fair workforce planning exercises.<br />

Gareth Edwards is a partner in<br />

the employment team at<br />

VWV.gedwards@vwv.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 53

$<br />

Advancing<br />

Careers<br />

Advancing<br />

Best Practice<br />

Advancing<br />

Connections<br />

Advancing<br />

Skills<br />

Advancing<br />

Thinking<br />

Advancing<br />

Business<br />



01780 722900 | www.cicm.com<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 54



How can you support and promote a positive equality<br />

agenda despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19.<br />

AUTHOR – Karen Young<br />

ORGANISATIONS of all<br />

sizes across all industry<br />

sectors have felt the<br />

impacts of COVID-19,<br />

and the world of credit<br />

management is no<br />

exception. ‘Business as usual’ took a<br />

back seat as organisations handled the<br />

immediate impacts of the pandemic<br />

and huge numbers of professionals<br />

switched to working remotely practically<br />

overnight. Priorities shifted and some<br />

areas which had previously been a focus<br />

for employers got pushed aside.<br />

Now, six months on from the first<br />

lockdown, we have started to gauge<br />

the impact of the crisis on things like<br />

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I)<br />

and reassess which direction they are<br />

going.<br />



According to the Hays Equality, Diversity<br />

& Inclusion Report <strong>2020</strong>, ED&I is still<br />

important to the accountancy and<br />

finance sector at large. Nearly three<br />

quarters (71 percent) of those in the<br />

industry said that when looking for a new<br />

role, an organisation’s ED&I policies were<br />

important and furthermore, 54 percent<br />

said that they would only apply for a job<br />

with an organisation which has a public<br />

commitment to ED&I. It’s clear that this<br />

is important to professionals and needs<br />

to be equally, if not more important<br />

for employers for the sake of attracting<br />

talent.<br />

Over two thirds (68 percent) also said<br />

that their organisation should have a<br />

position on topical D&I issues such as the<br />

Black Lives Matter movement, proving<br />

that even now, it is expected for employers<br />

to have a clear stance on key issues which<br />

reflect their company values. Not doing<br />

so risks losing out on key talent in credit<br />

management teams.<br />



The report also puts a spotlight on<br />

flexible working, which has taken on a<br />

whole new meaning in today’s climate.<br />

Some 71 percent say they currently<br />

have a flexible working arrangement<br />

(including remote working) and the<br />

same proportion (71 percent) also<br />

said that this flexibility is important to<br />

them.<br />

However, the rapid uptake of flexible<br />

working this year has led to reported<br />

drawbacks such as feelings of isolation<br />

along with blurred boundaries between<br />

home and work life. Furthermore, 37<br />

percent are of the belief that working<br />

flexibly can limit career progression.<br />

Although flexible and remote working<br />

look like they’re here to stay for some<br />

time and potentially permanently, the<br />

perceived impacts of this need to be<br />

addressed by employers.<br />




Today’s challenges shouldn’t overshadow<br />

an organisation’s ED&I agenda and it<br />

is employers who primarily bear the<br />

challenge of keeping this on track. Here<br />

are three key recommendations:<br />

1<br />

Be bold about your commitment<br />

to ED&I: A diverse and inclusive<br />

workforce is no longer a unique selling<br />

point to prospective employees. Attracting<br />

and retaining the best individuals in<br />

credit means that comprehensive ED&I<br />

policies need to be in place and part of<br />

an organisation’s talent acquisition and<br />

retention strategy.<br />

2<br />

Promote ED&I initiatives throughout<br />

the recruitment process: In order to<br />

really speak to potential employees,<br />

ED&I policies including flexible working<br />

options need to be promoted at key<br />

points such as in job adverts and on your<br />

organisation’s website as well as during<br />

the interview process. Once a hire is made,<br />

ED&I should also be clearly promoted in<br />

the onboarding process.<br />

3<br />

Keep flexible working options<br />

flexible: Flexible working isn’t<br />

one-size-fits-all. While it can offer<br />

huge advantages for some, equally it<br />

bears drawbacks for others depending<br />

on their role, working style and personal<br />

circumstances. Try to be mindful of this<br />

by tailoring your flexible working offering<br />

across your workforce.<br />



Employees also have a key part to play in<br />

ensuring that their organisation presses<br />

forward with ED&I. Here are some<br />

actionable things they can do:<br />

54<br />

said that<br />

they would<br />

only apply for<br />

a job with an<br />

organisation<br />

which has<br />

a public<br />

commitment<br />

to ED&I.<br />

%<br />

1<br />

Identify and challenge an employer’s<br />

ED&I commitment: If you are<br />

job searching, make looking for<br />

ED&I policies a priority. Look on their<br />

website and social media and if it feels<br />

appropriate, ask about it in an interview<br />

setting.<br />

2<br />

Be clear on your working<br />

preferences: When do you work<br />

at your best? Decide on what your<br />

ideal working options are and discuss<br />

this with your manager. An organisation<br />

that truly fosters a diverse and inclusive<br />

environment will work with you to figure<br />

out a flexible working arrangement<br />

which best suits you as well as meets your<br />

organisation’s needs.<br />

3<br />

Brace yourself for change: Try to<br />

remain adaptable and practical in<br />

light of your employer’s situation<br />

and our current changing circumstances.<br />

When discussing ED&I initiatives or<br />

flexible working, bear in mind that these<br />

may change to better reflect our world of<br />

work.<br />

By approaching ED&I proactively, we<br />

are better placed to make progress and<br />

keep this front of mind through such a<br />

significant period of change.<br />

Karen Young is Director of<br />

Hays <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 55




London, £65,000 + bonus<br />

You will be working in an established property management<br />

business that focuses specifically on the commercial side of<br />

property. You will be working as a senior credit manager looking<br />

after a team of nine. You will demonstrate extensive experience in<br />

managing the entire AR function from beginning to end, working<br />

within the property industry. Therefore, you will have strong<br />

experience within property credit management to be considered<br />

for this position. Ref: 3853772<br />

Contact Akshay Caussy on 020 8465 0020<br />

or email akshay.caussy@hays.com<br />


Belfast, £25,000–£30,000<br />

An exciting opportunity to join a thriving global business,<br />

as it works with Hays to expand its credit control function<br />

in Northern Ireland. This is a varied and complex credit role,<br />

allowing you to take true ownership of the position and build<br />

experience in a dynamic business with an agile, continuous<br />

improvement mindset. Ref: 3859293<br />

Contact Nicola McCallum on 028 9044 6911<br />

or email nicola.mcCallum@hays.com<br />


Salford Quays, up to £28,000<br />

A rapidly growing organisation that guarantees growth is looking<br />

for a senior credit controller. Your main duties will include;<br />

proactively contacting customers to chase payment (B2C),<br />

understanding customers situations, reaching agreements<br />

with customers, operating on a dialler formation to maximise<br />

collections, providing an excellent level of customer service and<br />

liaising with DCA’s when required. This job is ideal for someone<br />

looking to grow their career and work within a fast-paced<br />

environment. Ref: 3863399<br />

Contact Adam Crossland on 0161 236 7272<br />

or email adam.crossland@hays.com<br />


Uxbridge, £27,000 + CICM study support<br />

A rare opportunity has arisen at a growing construction and<br />

engineering consultancy for an up and coming credit controller<br />

to join its professional team. This role will have a strong emphasis<br />

on building and maintaining key relationships and collecting<br />

to target. You will be a highly motivated credit controller with<br />

a serious ambition to progress and study towards the CICM<br />

qualification. This is a great opportunity from business in period<br />

of massive expansion. Ref: 3860980<br />

Contact Benjamin Timmins on 01865 727071<br />

or email benjamin.timmins@hays.com<br />

hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 56



Your resource hub for reaching<br />

your career goals<br />

Read our latest guides and articles<br />

Tips to help you prepare successfully<br />

To find out more visit<br />

hays.co.uk/embrace-the-new-era<br />


Wokingham, up to £27,000<br />

An established property management company based near<br />

Wokingham is looking for an experienced credit controller to<br />

join its team following a period of sustained growth. To be<br />

successful, you will have previous experience in credit control<br />

and be expected to hit the ground running. You will have good<br />

communication skills, both verbally and written, be organised<br />

and have good time management. It is also required that you<br />

have previous litigation experience and have escalated cases<br />

to solicitors. Ref: 3855580<br />

Contact Mark Ordoña on 07565 800574<br />

or email mark.ordona@hays.com<br />


Huddersfield, £23,000<br />

A new permanent opportunity for a stand-alone credit controller<br />

to join a thriving manufacturing business on the outskirts of<br />

Huddersfield. In this position, you will have full control of the<br />

accounts receivable process from start to finish using Sage50.<br />

Joining a family run business, you will be responsible for chasing<br />

from 1,000 live accounts that include SME’s and key major retailers.<br />

Ref: 3860452<br />

Contact Jasmine Chambers on 0148 442 8455<br />

or email jasmine.chambers@hays.com<br />

This is just a small selection of the many opportunities we<br />

have available for credit professionals. To find out more visit<br />

us online or contact Kabir Gulabkhan, Hays <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

UK Lead on 020 3465 0020<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 57

WHAT'S ON<br />

We are asking all members to invite a colleague to a CICM membership event,<br />

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


We are not able to bring our usual guide<br />

to the CICM and Industry events, as the<br />

calendar and what is on, is changing daily.<br />

Many of our events are now available<br />

online, along with a new series of live and<br />

recorded webinars for the credit profession.<br />

Visit our website for updates and<br />

instructions on how to register.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 58

More reasons to be a member<br />

Make connections and keep up-to-date<br />

with our exclusive events.<br />

Studying at a<br />

distance<br />

with CICM<br />

From interactive virtual classrooms to supporting texts,<br />

from mentor advice to peer support, we’ve got it all.<br />

Contact CICM for more information on any of these services,<br />

or check them out at cicm.com<br />

Giving you the tools to continue<br />

working through this crisis.<br />



As the world continues to react<br />

to constant change, our credit<br />

profession needs to prepare for the<br />

new credit future.<br />

For more information contact:<br />

info@cicm.com or 01780 722900<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 59

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CICM Directory of Services<br />




Controlaccount Plc<br />

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,<br />

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD<br />

T: 01527 549 522<br />

E: sales@controlaccount.com<br />

W: www.controlaccount.com<br />

Controlaccount Plc provides an efficient, effective and ethical<br />

commercial debt recovery service focused on improving business<br />

cash flow whilst preserving customer relationships and established<br />

reputations. Working with leading brand names in the UK and<br />

internationally, we deliver a bespoke service to our clients. We<br />

offer a no collect, no fee service without any contractual ties in.<br />

Where applicable, we can utilise the Late Payment of Commercial<br />

Debts Act (2013) to help you redress the cost of collection. Our<br />

clients also benefit from our in-house international trace and<br />

legal counsel departments and have complete transparency and<br />

up to the minute information on any accounts placed with us for<br />

recovery through our online debt management system, ClientWeb.<br />


Atradius Collections Ltd<br />

3 Harbour Drive,<br />

Capital Waterside, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ<br />

Phone: +44 (0)29 20824397<br />

Mobile: +44 (0)7767 865821<br />

E-mail:yvette.gray@atradius.com<br />

Website: atradiuscollections.com<br />

Atradius Collections Ltd is an established specialist in business<br />

to business collections. As the collections division of the Atradius<br />

Crédito y Caución, we have a strong position sharing history,<br />

knowledge and reputation.<br />

Annually handling more than 110,000 cases and recovering over<br />

a billion EUROs in collections at any one time, we deliver when<br />

it comes to collecting outstanding debts. With over 90 years’<br />

experience, we have an in-depth understanding of the importance<br />

of maintaining customer relationships whilst efficiently and<br />

effectively collecting monies owed.<br />

The individual nature of our clients’ customer relationships is<br />

reflected in the customer focus we provide, structuring our service<br />

to meet your specific needs. We work closely with clients to<br />

provide them with a collection strategy that echoes their business<br />

character, trading patterns and budget.<br />

For further information contact Yvette Gray Country Director, UK<br />

and Ireland.<br />

Premium Collections Limited<br />

3 Caidan House, Canal Road<br />

Timperley, Cheshire. WA14 1TD<br />

T: +44 (0)161 962 4695<br />

E: paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

W: www.premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

For all your credit management requirements Premium<br />

Collections has the solution to suit you. Operating on a national<br />

and international basis we can tailor a package of products and<br />

services to meet your requirements.<br />

Services include B2B collections, B2C collections, international<br />

collections, absconder tracing, asset repossessions, status<br />

reporting and litigation support.<br />

Managed from our offices in Manchester, Harrogate and Dublin our<br />

network of 55 partners cover the World.<br />

Contact Paul Daine FCICM on +44 (0)161 962 4695 or<br />

paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

www.premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

Baker Ing International Limited<br />

Office 7, 35-37 Ludgate Hill, London. EC4M 7JN<br />

Contact: Lisa Baker-Reynolds<br />

Email: lisa@bakering.global<br />

Website: https://www.bakering.global/contact/<br />

Tel: 07717 020659<br />

Baker Ing International is a dedicated team of <strong>Credit</strong> industry<br />

experience that, combined, covers time served in most industries.<br />

The team is wholly comprised of working <strong>Credit</strong> Manager’s<br />

across the Globe with a minimum threshold of ten years working<br />

experience within <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>. The team offers a<br />

comprehensive service to clients - International Debt Recovery,<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Control, Legal Services & more<br />

Our mission is to help companies improve the cost and efficiency<br />

of their <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> processes in order to limit the risks<br />

associated with extending credit and trading around the globe.<br />

How can we help you - call Lisa Baker Reynolds on<br />

+44(0)7717 020659 or email lisa@bakering.global<br />

Sterling Debt Recovery<br />

E: info@sterlingdebtrecovery.com<br />

T: 0207 1005978<br />

W: www.sterlingdebtrecovery.com<br />

Sterling specialises in international business debt collection<br />

to get outstanding invoices paid quickly and cost effectively.<br />

Our experienced, enthusiastic collectors achieve results whilst<br />

maintaining a professional image.<br />

We work on a commission only basis with no up-front fees and<br />

no hidden costs. Each client is allocated a named collector for<br />

personal service and regular updates. We collect the majority<br />

of debt without litigation, with our on-site lawyer supporting us<br />

where appropriate.<br />

Where local expertise is required our global network are available<br />

to assist.<br />


Keebles<br />

Capitol House, Russell Street, Leeds LS1 5SP<br />

T: 0113 399 3482<br />

E: charise.marsden@keebles.com<br />

W: www.keebles.com<br />

Keebles debt recovery team was named “Legal Team of the Year”<br />

at the 2019 CICM British <strong>Credit</strong> Awards.<br />

According to our clients “Keebles stand head and shoulders<br />

above others in the industry. A team that understands their client’s<br />

business and know exactly how to speedily maximise recovery.<br />

Professional, can do attitude runs through the team which is not<br />

seen in many other practices.”<br />

We offer a service with no hidden costs, giving you certainty and<br />

peace of mind.<br />

• ‘No recovery, no fee’ for pre-legal work.<br />

• Fixed fees for issuing court proceedings and pursuing claims to<br />

judgment and enforcement.<br />

• Success rate in excess of 80%.<br />

• 24 hour turnaround on instructions.<br />

• Real-time online access to your cases to review progress.<br />

Lovetts Solicitors<br />

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway,<br />

Old Portsmouth Road,<br />

Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR<br />

T: 01483 347001<br />

E: info@lovetts.co.uk<br />

W: www.lovetts.co.uk<br />

With more than 25yrs experience in UK & international business<br />

debt collection and recovery, Lovetts Solicitors collects £40m+<br />

every year on behalf of our clients. Services include:<br />

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

of cases)<br />

• Advice and dispute resolution<br />

• Legal proceedings and enforcement<br />

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

CaseManager<br />

Don’t just take our word for it, here’s some recent customer<br />

feedback: “All our service expectations have been exceeded.<br />

The online system is particularly useful and extremely easy to<br />

use. Lovetts has a recognisable brand that generates successful<br />

results.”<br />


Sanders Consulting Associates Ltd<br />

T: +44(0)1525 720226<br />

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

Sanders Consulting is an independent niche consulting firm<br />

specialising in leadership and performance improvement in all<br />

aspects of the order to cash process. Chris Sanders FCICM,<br />

the principal, is well known in the industry with a wealth of<br />

experience in operational credit management, billing, change<br />

and business process improvement. A sought after speaker<br />

with cross industry international experience in the business-tobusiness<br />

and business-to-consumer markets, his innovative and<br />

enthusiastic approach delivers pragmatic people and process lead<br />

solutions and significant working capital improvements to clients.<br />

Sanders Consulting are proud to manage CICMQ on behalf of<br />

and under the supervision of the CICM.<br />


Court Enforcement Services<br />

Wayne Whitford – Director<br />

M: +44 (0)7834 748 183 T : +44 (0)1992 663 399<br />

E : wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

W: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />


We help law firms, in-house debt recovery and legal teams to<br />

enforce CCJs by transferring them up to the High Court. With our<br />

fast, fair and personable approach to service, we work harder to<br />

bring you the sector’s best results without risking client reputation.<br />

• Free Transfer Up process of CCJs to High Court<br />

• Market-leading recovery rates<br />

• Over 100,000 writs, recovering >£187 million since 2014<br />

• Real-time access to cases via our own Award-Winning App<br />

• Our highly trained and certificated agents cover every postcode<br />

in England & Wales.<br />


Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 60


russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937<br />




2 0 0 2<br />

—<br />

2 0 2 0<br />

CoCredo<br />

Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD<br />

T: 01494 790600<br />

E: customerservice@cocredo.com<br />

W: www.cocredo.co.uk<br />

CoCredo has 18 years experience in developing credit reports for<br />

businesses and is the current CICM <strong>Credit</strong> Information Provider<br />

of the Year. Our company data is continually updated throughout<br />

the day and ensures customers have the most current information<br />

available. We aggregate data from a range of leading providers<br />

across over 235 territories and offer a range of services including<br />

the industry first Dual Report, Monitoring, XML Integration and<br />

DNA Portfolio <strong>Management</strong>.<br />

We pride ourselves in offering award-winning customer service<br />

and support to protect your business.<br />



SmartSearch<br />

SmartSearch, Harman House,<br />

Station Road,Guiseley, Leeds, LS20 8BX<br />

T: +44 (0)113 238 7660<br />

E: info@smartsearchuk.com W: www.smartsearchuk.com<br />

KYC, AML and CDD all rely on a combination of deep data with<br />

broad coverage, highly automated flexible technology with an<br />

innovative and intuitive customer interface. Key features include<br />

automatic Worldwide Sanction & PEP checking, Daily Monitoring,<br />

Automated Enhanced Due Diligence and pro-active customer<br />

management. Choose SmartSearch as your benchmark.<br />

CEDAR<br />

ROSE<br />

R<br />

Cedar Rose<br />

3, Georgiou Katsonotou Street,3036, Limassol, Cyprus<br />

E: info@cedar-rose.com T: +357 25346630<br />

W: www.cedar-rose.com<br />

Cedar Rose has been globally recognised as the expert for credit<br />

reports, due diligence and data for the Middle East and North<br />

African countries since 1997. We now cover over 170 countries<br />

with the same high quality, expert analysis and attention to detail<br />

we are well-known and trusted for.<br />

Making best use of artificial intelligence and technology, Cedar<br />

Rose has won several awards including <strong>Credit</strong> Excellence &<br />

European Business Awards. Our website is a one-stop-shop for<br />

your business intelligence solutions. We are the ultimate source;<br />

with competitive prices and friendly customer service - whether<br />

you need one or one thousand reports.<br />

Graydon UK<br />

66 College Road, 2nd Floor, Hygeia Building, Harrow,<br />

Middlesex, HA1 1BE<br />

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400<br />

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk<br />

W: www.graydon.co.uk<br />

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading provider of<br />

business information, analytics, insights and solutions. Graydon<br />

helps its customers to make fast, accurate decisions, enabling<br />

them to minimise risk and identify fraud as well as optimise<br />

opportunities with their commercial relationships. Graydon uses<br />

130+ international databases and the information of 90+ million<br />

companies. Graydon has offices in London, Cardiff, Amsterdam<br />

and Antwerp. Since 2016, Graydon has been part of Atradius, one<br />

of the world’s largest credit insurance companies.<br />

Company Watch<br />

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,<br />

LONDON. EC3N 2ER<br />

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300<br />

E: info@companywatch.net<br />

W: www.companywatch.net<br />

Organisations around the world rely on Company Watch’s<br />

industry-leading financial analytics to drive their credit risk<br />

processes. Our financial risk modelling and ability to map medium<br />

to long-term risk as well as short-term credit risk set us apart<br />

from other credit reference agencies.<br />

Quality and rigour run through everything we do, from our unique<br />

method of assessing corporate financial health via our H-Score®,<br />

to developing analytics on our customers’ in-house data.<br />

With the H-Score® predicting almost 90 percent of corporate<br />

insolvencies in advance, it is the risk management tool of choice,<br />

providing actionable intelligence in an uncertain world.<br />



T: 020 3868 0947<br />

E: lisa.bruno@onguard.com<br />

W: www.onguard.com<br />

Onguard is specialist in credit management software and market<br />

leader in innovative solutions for order to cash. Our integrated<br />

platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the<br />

order to cash chain and allows sharing of critical data.<br />

Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected and<br />

offer overview and control of the payment process, as well as<br />

contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.<br />

In more than 50 countries the Onguard platform is successfully<br />

used for successful credit management.<br />

Tinubu Square UK<br />

Holland House, 4 Bury Street,<br />

London EC3A 5AW<br />

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /<br />

E: uksales@tinubu.com<br />

W: www.tinubu.com<br />

Founded in 2000, Tinubu Square is a software vendor, enabler<br />

of the <strong>Credit</strong> Insurance, Surety and Trade Finance digital<br />

transformation.<br />

Tinubu Square enables organizations across the world to<br />

significantly reduce their exposure to risk and their financial,<br />

operational and technical costs with best-in-class technology<br />

solutions and services. Tinubu Square provides SaaS solutions<br />

and services to different businesses including credit insurers,<br />

receivables financing organizations and multinational corporations.<br />

Tinubu Square has built an ecosystem of customers in over 20<br />

countries worldwide and has a global presence with offices in<br />

Paris, London, New York, Montreal and Singapore.<br />

Credica Ltd<br />

Building 168, Maxell Avenue, Harwell Oxford, Oxon. OX11 0QT<br />

T: 01235 856400E: info@credica.co.uk W: www.credica.co.uk<br />

Our highly configurable and extremely cost effective Collections<br />

and Query <strong>Management</strong> System has been designed with 3 goals<br />

in mind:<br />

•To improve your cashflow • To reduce your cost to collect<br />

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business<br />

Evolving over 15 years and driven by the input of 1000s of<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Professionals across the UK and Europe, our system is<br />

successfully providing significant and measurable benefits for our<br />

diverse portfolio of clients.<br />

We would love to hear from you if you feel you would benefit from<br />

our ‘no nonsense’ and human approach to computer software.<br />

Data Interconnect Ltd<br />

Units 45-50<br />

Shrivenham Hundred Business Park, Majors Road,<br />

Watchfield. Swindon, SN6 8TZ<br />

T: +44 (0)1367 245777<br />

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk<br />

W: www.datainterconnect.com<br />

Data Interconnect is dedicated to solving complex Accounts<br />

Receivable problems through reliable, easy-to-use cloud<br />

software. We empower billing managers and collections experts<br />

with the tools and data they need in a user-friendly interface, for<br />

timely, tax-compliant invoicing, collections and reconciliation in<br />

the most cost effective, secure, auditable and trackable manner.<br />

The powerful, flexible, Corrivo platform is the only system your<br />

AR team needs to manage your company’s cashflow better.<br />

HighRadius<br />

T: +44 7399 406889<br />

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com<br />

W: www.highradius.com<br />

HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated Receivables<br />

solutions for automating receivables and payment functions such<br />

as credit, collections, cash allocation, deductions and eBilling.<br />

The Integrated Receivables suite is delivered as a software-as-aservice<br />

(SaaS). HighRadius also offers SAP-certified Accelerators<br />

for SAP S/4HANA Finance Receivables <strong>Management</strong>, enabling<br />

large enterprises to maximize the value of their SAP investments.<br />

HighRadius Integrated Receivables solutions have a proven track<br />

record of reducing days sales outstanding (DSO), bad-debt and<br />

increasing operation efficiency, enabling companies to achieve an<br />

ROI in less than a year.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 61

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CICM Directory of Services<br />



russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937<br />



FORUMS<br />

ESKER<br />

Sam Townsend Head of Marketing<br />

Northern Europe Esker Ltd.<br />

T: +44 (0)1332 548176 M: +44 (0)791 2772 302<br />

W: www.esker.co.uk LinkedIn: Esker – Northern Europe<br />

Twitter: @EskerNEurope blog.esker.co.uk<br />

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes the all-toocommon<br />

obstacles preventing today’s businesses from collecting<br />

receivables in a timely manner. From credit management to cash<br />

allocation, Esker automates each step of the order-to-cash cycle.<br />

Esker’s automated AR system helps companies modernise<br />

without replacing their core billing and collections processes. By<br />

simply automating what should be automated, customers get the<br />

post-sale experience they deserve and your team gets the tools<br />

they need.<br />

Dun & Bradstreet<br />

Marlow International, Parkway Marlow<br />

Buckinghamshire SL7 1AJ<br />

Telephone: (0800) 001-234 Website: www.dnb.co.uk<br />

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern finance<br />

leaders and credit professionals to improve business performance<br />

through more effective risk management, identification of growth<br />

opportunities, and better integration of data and insights across<br />

the business. Powered by our Data Cloud, our solutions provide<br />

access to the world’s most comprehensive commercial data<br />

and insights - supplying a continually updated view of business<br />

relationships that helps finance and credit teams stay ahead of<br />

market shifts and customer changes. Learn more here:<br />

www.dnb.co.uk/modernfinance<br />


T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

Forums International Ltd have been running <strong>Credit</strong> and Industry<br />

Forums since 1991. We cover a range of industry sectors and<br />

International trading, attendance is for <strong>Credit</strong> Professionals of all<br />

levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities which<br />

aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead. Attending<br />

for the first time is free for you to gauge the benefits and meet the<br />

members and we only have pre-approved Partners, so you will<br />

never intentionally be sold to.<br />



Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road<br />

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham<br />

Berkshire RG41 5RB<br />

E: r.hammons@serrala.com W: www.serrala.com<br />

T +44 118 207 0450 M +44 7788 564722<br />

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for organisations<br />

seeking efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes.<br />

As an SAP Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies<br />

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience and<br />

thousands of successful customer projects, including solutions<br />

for the entire order-to-cash process, Serrala provides credit<br />

managers and receivables professionals with the solutions they<br />

need to successfully protect their business against credit risk<br />

exposure and bad debt loss.<br />

C2FO<br />

C2FO Ltd<br />

105 Victoria Steet<br />

SW1E 6QT<br />

T: 07799 692193<br />

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com<br />

W: www.c2fo.com<br />

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables into income,<br />

uniquely connecting buyers and suppliers to allow discounts<br />

in exchange for early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers<br />

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating payments<br />

from buyers when required in just two clicks, at a rate that works<br />

for them. Buyers, often corporates with global supply chains,<br />

benefit from the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while<br />

strengthening the financial health of supply chains through<br />

ethical business practices.<br />

Menzies<br />

T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff<br />

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services<br />

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is an<br />

accountancy firm delivering traditional services combined<br />

with strategic commercial thinking. Our services include:<br />

advisory, audit, corporate and personal tax, corporate<br />

finance, forensic accounting, outsourcing, wealth<br />

management and business recovery – the latter of which<br />

includes our specialist offering developed specifically for<br />

creditors. For more information on this, or to see how the<br />

Menzies <strong>Credit</strong>or Services team can assist you, please<br />

visit: www.menzies.co.uk/creditor-services. Bethan Evans,<br />

Partner and Head of Menzies <strong>Credit</strong>or Services, email:<br />

bevans@menzies.co.uk and phone: +44 (0)2920 447512<br />

LEGAL<br />

Redwood Collections Ltd<br />

0208 288 3555<br />

enquiry@redwoodcollections.com<br />

Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, CR0 0XZ<br />

“Redwood Collections offers a complete portfolio of debt<br />

collection services ranging from sensitive client-debtor mediation<br />

through to legal and insolvency action.<br />

Incorporated in 2009, we are pleased to represent in excess of<br />

11,000 clients. Whatever your debt collection needs, we have<br />

the expertise and resources to deliver a fast, efficient and costeffective<br />

solution.”<br />

Satago<br />

48 Warwick Street, London, W1B 5AW<br />

T: +44(0)020 8050 3015<br />

E: hello@satago.com<br />

W: www.satago.com<br />

Satago helps business owners and their accountants avoid credit<br />

risks, manage debtors and access finance when they need it – all<br />

in one platform. Satago integrates with 300+ cloud accounting<br />

apps with just a few clicks, helping businesses:<br />

• Understand their customers - with RISK INSIGHTS<br />

• Get paid on time - with automated CREDIT CONTROL<br />

• Access funding - with flexible SINGLE INVOICE FINANCE<br />

Visit satago.com and start your free trial today.<br />

identeco – Business Support Toolkit<br />

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,<br />

Worcestershire B60 4FD<br />

Telephone: 01527 549 531 Email: info@identeco.co.uk<br />

Web: www.identeco.co.uk<br />

identeco’s Business Support Toolkit is an online portal connecting<br />

its subscribers to a range of business services that help them<br />

to engage with new prospects, understand their customers and<br />

mitigate risk. Annual subscription is £79.95 per year for unlimited<br />

access. Providing company information and financial reports,<br />

director and shareholder structures as well as a unique financial<br />

health rating, balance sheets, ratio analysis, and any detrimental<br />

data that might be associated with a company. Other services<br />

also included in the subscription include a business names<br />

database, acquisition targets, a data audit service as well as<br />

unlimited, bespoke marketing and telesales listings for any sector.<br />


Gravity Global<br />

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

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

W: www.gravityglobal.com<br />

Gravity is an award winning full service PR and advertising<br />

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the<br />

best in its field. It has a particular expertise in the credit sector,<br />

building long-term relationships with some of the industry’s bestknown<br />

brands working on often challenging briefs. As the partner<br />

agency for the <strong>Credit</strong> Services Association (CSA) for the past 22<br />

years, and the Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> since<br />

2006, it understands the key issues affecting the credit industry<br />

and what works and what doesn’t in supporting its clients in the<br />

media and beyond.<br />

Shoosmiths<br />

Email: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Tel: 03700 86 3000 W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit<br />

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly and cost effectively<br />

as possible. We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt<br />

recovery, including:<br />

•Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and keep costs down<br />

•Litigation service<br />

•Post-litigation services including enforcement<br />

•Insolvency<br />

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to relate to your goals,<br />

and adept at advising you on the most effective way of achieving<br />

them.<br />


Bottomline Technologies<br />

115 Chatham Street, Reading<br />

Berks RG1 7JX | UK<br />

T: 0870 081 8250 E: emea-info@bottomline.com<br />

W: www.bottomline.com/uk<br />

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses<br />

pay and get paid. Businesses and banks rely on Bottomline for<br />

domestic and international payments, effective cash management<br />

tools, automated workflows for payment processing and bill<br />

review and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural analytics<br />

and regulatory compliance. Businesses around the world depend<br />

on Bottomline solutions to help them pay and get paid, including<br />

some of the world’s largest systemic banks, private and publicly<br />

traded companies and Insurers. Every day, we help our customers<br />

by making complex business payments simple, secure and<br />

seamless.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 62


American Express<br />

76 Buckingham Palace Road,<br />

London. SW1W 9TQ<br />

T: +44 (0)1273 696933<br />

W: www.americanexpress.com<br />

American Express is working in partnership with the CICM and is a<br />

globally recognised provider of payment solutions to businesses.<br />

Specialising in providing flexible collection capabilities to drive a<br />

number of company objectives including:<br />

• Accelerate cashflow • Improved DSO • Reduce risk<br />

• Offer extended terms to customers<br />

•Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive<br />

growth • Create competitive advantage with your customers<br />

As experts in the field of payments and with a global reach,<br />

American Express is working with credit managers to drive growth<br />

within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional lever<br />

to help support supplier/client relationships American Express is<br />

proud to be an innovator in the business payments space.<br />



Key IVR<br />

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000<br />

E: sales@keyivr.com<br />

W: www.keyivr.com<br />

Key IVR are proud to have joined the Chartered Institute of<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>’s Corporate partnership scheme. The<br />

CICM is a recognised and trusted professional entity within<br />

credit management and a perfect partner for Key IVR. We are<br />

delighted to be providing our services to the CICM to assist with<br />

their membership collection activities. Key IVR provides a suite<br />

of products to assist companies across the globe with credit<br />

management. Our service is based around giving the end-user<br />

the means to make a payment when and how they choose. Using<br />

automated collection methods, such as a secure telephone<br />

payment line (IVR), web and SMS allows companies to free up<br />

valuable staff time away from typical debt collection.<br />


Hays <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN<br />

T: 07834 260029<br />

E: karen.young@hays.com<br />

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Hays <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> is working in partnership with the CICM<br />

and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs and<br />

credit management jobs. Hays understands the demands of this<br />

challenging environment and the skills required to thrive within<br />

it. Whatever your needs, we have temporary, permanent and<br />

contract based opportunities to find your ideal role. Our candidate<br />

registration process is unrivalled, including face-to-face screening<br />

interviews and a credit control skills test developed exclusively for<br />

Hays by the CICM. We offer CICM members a priority service and<br />

can provide advice across a wide spectrum of job search and<br />

recruitment issues.<br />



Portfolio <strong>Credit</strong> Control<br />

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE<br />

T: 0207 650 3199<br />

E: recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

W: www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

CICMQ accreditation is a proven model<br />

that has consistently delivered dramatic<br />

improvements in cashflow and efficiency<br />

CICMQ is the hallmark of industry<br />

leading organisations<br />

The CICM Best Practice Network is where<br />

CICMQ accredited organisations come<br />

together to develop, share and celebrate<br />

best practice in credit and collections<br />



To find out more about flexible options<br />

to gain CICMQ accreditation<br />

E: cicmq@cicm.com T: 01780 722900<br />

Portfolio <strong>Credit</strong> Control, solely specialises in the recruitment of<br />

permanent, temporary and contract <strong>Credit</strong> Control, Accounts<br />

Receivable and Collections staff. Part of an award winning<br />

recruiter we speak to and meet credit controllers all day everyday<br />

understanding their skills and backgrounds to provide you with<br />

tried and tested credit control professionals. We have achieved<br />

enormous growth because we offer a uniquely specialist approach<br />

to our clients, with a commitment to service delivery that exceeds<br />

your expectations every single time.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 63

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>November</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 64

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