CM December 2020

The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals

The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals


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<strong>CM</strong><br />

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



Activist<br />

Investors<br />

Who’s really pulling<br />

the strings?<br />

The hidden risk of<br />

Personal Guarantees.<br />

Page 21<br />

Tackling a surge in<br />

vulnerable customers.<br />

Page 32

24<br />

Nodding Acquaintances<br />

Adam Bernstein<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2020</strong><br />

www.cicm.com<br />


32<br />

Softly Softly<br />

David Sheridan FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

21<br />

Stacking the odds<br />

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

9 – Zoom Zoom<br />

The CEO’s Christmas message.<br />

10 – Bare Essentials<br />

Julia Ishak details the new rules<br />

protecting supplies to an insolvent<br />

customer.<br />

12 – Threatening Behaviour<br />

Activist investors, and pressure from<br />

consumer groups, constitute a serious<br />

threat.<br />

19 – A Question of Honour<br />

New proposals suggest IPs cannot be<br />

trusted.<br />

21 – Stacking the Odds<br />

Lenders are open to the risk of<br />

fraudulent use of multiple Personal<br />

Guarantees<br />

10<br />

Bare essentials<br />

Julia Ishak<br />

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

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

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

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

membership, as well as additional subscribers<br />

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

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

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

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

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

12<br />

Threatening Behaviour<br />

Adam Bernstein<br />

President Stephen Baister FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Chief Executive Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

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

Larry Coltman FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Victoria Herd FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) / Philip Holbrough MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

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

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

Philip Holbrough MCI<strong>CM</strong> / Neil Jinks FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Nick King FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Charles Mayhew FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Debbie Nolan FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

Bryony Pettifor FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)/ Allan Poole MCI<strong>CM</strong> / Alice Purdy MCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) / Matthew Roberts MCI<strong>CM</strong> / Phil Rice FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Chris Sanders FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Stephen Thomson FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Atul Vadher FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

24 – Nodding Acquaintances<br />

Bulgaria is a country of contradictions,<br />

and when a Bulgarian nods he means<br />

no.<br />

32 – Softly Softly<br />

How will DCA’s support a surge in<br />

vulnerability?<br />

34 – Staying the Course<br />

What next for the world of<br />

enforcement?<br />

44 – Panel Bashers<br />

Are zero bad debts a mark of success or<br />

a missed opportunity?<br />

Publisher<br />

Chartered Institute of Credit Management<br />

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

OAKHAM, LE15 8NB<br />

Telephone: 01780 722900<br />

Email: editorial@cicm.com<br />

Website: www.cicm.com<br />

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

Managing Editor<br />

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

Deputy Editor<br />

Iona Yadallee<br />

Art Editor<br />

Andrew Morris<br />

Telephone: 01780 722910<br />

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

Editorial Team<br />

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

and Max Tyson<br />

Advertising<br />

Grace Ghattas<br />

Telephone: 020 3603 7946<br />

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

Printers<br />

Stephens & George Print Group<br />

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

UK: £112 per annum<br />

International: £145 per annum<br />

Single copies: £12.50<br />

ISSN 0265-2099<br />

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


Stop the world,<br />

I want to get off<br />

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

Managing Editor<br />

CHRISTMAS is coming, and if<br />

we get any more lockdowns,<br />

it won’t just be the goose<br />

who’s getting fat.<br />

Sitting here at home,<br />

staring at my keyboard,<br />

distracted by the pencil prints of Lancasters<br />

and Hurricanes that adorn my study<br />

wall, I am wondering what to write. Not<br />

because there isn’t anything to say. Quite<br />

the opposite. So much has happened over<br />

the last 12 months that I simply don’t know<br />

where to begin.<br />

I could, perhaps, write about the seismic<br />

changes that have been happening in<br />

the world of debt collection, and the<br />

acknowledgment from 50 MPs and now<br />

all of the major debt advice charities of<br />

something that we’ve known all along: that<br />

many debt collection practices within the<br />

public sector and central government are<br />

shocking, and completely out of kilter with<br />

their private sector colleagues. The quicker<br />

they learn what best practice looks like, the<br />

better.<br />

I could write about BBLs and CBILs,<br />

and the stories I’m already hearing of<br />

irresponsible directors taking out loans<br />

and spending the cash on a new fast car<br />

or faster motorbike, with no intention<br />

whatsoever of ever paying those loans back.<br />

A day of reckoning is coming, and when it<br />

comes it’s going to be a train smash, if that’s<br />

not mixing my metaphors too much.<br />

I could write about the fantastic efforts<br />

of credit managers across the country,<br />

adapting quickly and (largely) without<br />

complaint to new ways of remote working,<br />

and the pressures placed upon them by<br />

their peers to keep collecting the cash. But<br />

then you know that, because you’re the<br />

guys who are doing it, so I don’t need to tell<br />

you how great you are.<br />

I could also write about the similarly<br />

commendable efforts of the CI<strong>CM</strong> HQ team<br />

in devising new and ever-more imaginative<br />

initiatives to support you, the members,<br />

with webinars and virtual training, and<br />

increasing the opportunities to share best<br />

practice through the CI<strong>CM</strong> Think Tank and<br />

the revitalised and reinvigorated Technical<br />

Committee.<br />

I might also, if I am allowed a brief<br />

moment of navel gazing, write about<br />

how we have developed your magazine,<br />

both creatively and editorially, and the<br />

many exclusives we’ve broken over the<br />

year. Indeed we’ve done so again with our<br />

story on Personal Guarantees (see page<br />

21), exposing stories often months before<br />

they finally make it into the pages of the<br />

Nationals.<br />

So as it’s Christmas, I would like a shout<br />

out to the <strong>CM</strong> team – to Iona, my erstwhile<br />

Deputy, who works diligently and earnestly<br />

to sweep up behind me – and Andrew<br />

whose brilliant designs are an inspiration,<br />

and to our fabulous team of regular<br />

contributors – David, Peter, Andrea, Adam,<br />

Rob, Jason, Gareth, Karen, Derek, Nigel,<br />

Matt and Mark, and the legend that is Les<br />

Clisby who I’ve worked with now for almost<br />

40 years. The magazine is a team effort, and<br />

Laura, Jo, Max and Imogen also play their<br />

part and whose efforts go largely unnoticed<br />

– unless something goes wrong.<br />

It’s been a year of highs and lows. And<br />

that’s an understatement. There are<br />

occasions when I’ve wanted the world to<br />

stop, so I could jump off. But I live in the<br />

hope that next year will be better, and that<br />

my idea for a regular series of write ups of<br />

RAF bases across the UK will finally get the<br />

nod from the CI<strong>CM</strong> editorial panel! Philip<br />

never allowed it; but the CI<strong>CM</strong> is under<br />

new management so you never know.<br />

Happy Christmas everyone.<br />

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

FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

<strong>CM</strong>NEWS<br />

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

world of consumer and commercial credit.<br />

Written by – Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

DCA highlights rising<br />

levels of collector abuse<br />

THE amount of abuse being taken<br />

by employees of debt collection<br />

agencies is on the rise and<br />

causing serious concern, Credit<br />

Management has learned.<br />

David Sheridan, Operations<br />

Director at ARC Europe, writing in this issue, says<br />

that customer facing agents are doing a great job<br />

in incredibly difficult circumstances: “We know<br />

emotions are running high particularly with the<br />

constraints and frustrations people are having to<br />

live with, but that’s no excuse for agents to be on<br />

the receiving end of sometimes shocking verbal<br />

abuse from customers,” he says.<br />

“Given that many agents are now working from<br />

home, children in the background or indeed with<br />

parents or other loved ones, this is very tough to<br />

deal with.”<br />

David believes that by caring for each other<br />

and being respectful in our interactions we will<br />

help each other get through it: “I know that our<br />

agents are really passionate about helping people<br />

and take pride in doing that,” he continues. “So to<br />

see the rising levels of verbal abuse when we are<br />

trying to help, therefore, is disappointing.”<br />

He believes part of the problem is the media<br />

perception that rising levels of debt means it’s a<br />

boom time for DCAs, a myth he is determined to<br />

dispel: “It is certainly is not boom time for DCAs.<br />

Probably the opposite; it’s a very tough trading<br />

outlook.<br />

“While we are facing tough times and many<br />

people will struggle financially in the months<br />

ahead, customers can be confident that if they<br />

are contacted by firms like ourselves, DCA’s who<br />

are members of the CSA, that they will be treated<br />

fairly and given the support they need to deal<br />

with their situation.”<br />

See article on page 32.<br />

David Sheridan FCI<strong>CM</strong>,<br />

Operations Director<br />

at ARC Europe<br />

“Given that many<br />

agents are now<br />

working from<br />

home, children in<br />

the background or<br />

indeed with parents<br />

or other loved ones,<br />

this is very tough to<br />

deal with.”<br />

CSA launches new ‘steps’ to managing debt<br />

THE Credit Services Association (CSA),<br />

the voice of the debt collection and debt<br />

purchase sector, has launched a new video<br />

to promote Five Steps that people can take<br />

if they’ve fallen into debt.<br />

Building on its previous #heretohelp<br />

campaign, the video explains the<br />

importance of engaging with those a<br />

customer owes money to and urges them<br />

to be as open and honest as they can in<br />

discussing their situation. Once a debt<br />

has been passed to a CSA member, again<br />

the message is one of communication<br />

and engagement, and the importance of<br />

not ignoring the attempts of contact. Debt<br />

collection agency staff speak to thousands<br />

of people in debt every day, and the<br />

video explains how it’s their role to find a<br />

realistic and affordable way for people to<br />

get out of debt.<br />

Voiced by Brad Burton, one of the<br />

UK’s top motivational speakers, who<br />

was himself once £25,000 in debt, the<br />

animated video is designed to give<br />

people the confidence to engage with<br />

“Debt is one of those topics<br />

that can often be ‘off limits’,<br />

and it can be hard to talk<br />

about. But we want to reassure<br />

people that debt collection<br />

agencies – our members – are<br />

there to help them along the<br />

road to becoming debt free.’’<br />

a debt collection company from the<br />

outset. It also stresses the help that<br />

these companies can provide in steering<br />

customers to further help and advice if<br />

they need it.<br />

Chris Leslie, CSA Chief Executive,<br />

says that talking more openly about<br />

money is the first step to removing<br />

the stigma of debt and dealing with<br />

it: “Debt is one of those topics that<br />

can often be ‘off limits’, and<br />

it can be hard to talk about.<br />

But we want to reassure<br />

people that debt collection agencies – our<br />

members – are there to help them along<br />

the road to becoming debt free. They have<br />

a genuine desire to help their customer,<br />

and it is their job to find an affordable<br />

and realistic way of freeing people of<br />

their debt. We also know that, according<br />

to Money and Pensions Service (MaPS),<br />

despite the COVID-19 crisis affecting our<br />

finances, nine in 10 UK adults – 47 million<br />

people – don’t find it any easier to talk<br />

about money, or don’t even discuss it at<br />

all. So we hope our new video, and all the<br />

awareness raising efforts for Talk Money<br />

Week will help to get people talking more<br />

about money and debt.”<br />

The launch of the new video<br />

coincided with Talk Money Week, an<br />

annual awareness campaign run by<br />

the Money and Pensions Service to<br />

encourage everyone to open up about<br />

their money and pensions. You can<br />

view this on the CSA website.<br />

Chris Leslie, CSA<br />

Chief Executive.<br />

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


Experian gives credit<br />

scores a ‘boost’<br />

EXPERIAN has launched what<br />

it claims to be the UK’s first<br />

service to give consumers the<br />

ability to instantly improve<br />

their credit score, using<br />

information such as regular<br />

video and music streaming payments and<br />

council tax payments.<br />

Early analysis suggests over half of<br />

people (51 percent) using Experian Boost<br />

will receive an instant increase to their<br />

Experian Credit Score, meaning around 17<br />

million consumers are set to benefit. Among<br />

this group, more than one in 10 (12 percent)<br />

will move up an entire Experian score band.<br />

The new, free service will help people to<br />

take control of their Experian Credit Score<br />

by voluntarily adding new relevant and<br />

real-time information via Open Banking.<br />

This includes general information, such as<br />

total incomings and outgoings, as well as<br />

a range of popular, regular payments not<br />

traditionally factored into credit scores.<br />

At launch, Experian Boost will take<br />

into account regular payments regarding<br />

Council tax, savings and investments, and<br />

Digital entertainment services such as<br />

Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime. The<br />

maximum amount people can boost their<br />

score by is 66 points, and the agency says<br />

that no-one will see their Experian Credit<br />

Score go down as a result of signing up to<br />

Experian Boost.<br />

Experts at Experian say that Open<br />

Banking transactional data has never<br />

been factored into credit scores before.<br />

By including it, Experian Boost ensures<br />

that the Experian Credit Score recognises<br />

and rewards people for making regular<br />

payments to a broader range of<br />

organisations, helping credit reporting<br />

to evolve and improving lenders’ credit<br />

assessments.<br />

Clive Lawson, Managing Director for<br />

Consumer Services at Experian, says the<br />

business wants people to get credit where<br />

credit is due: “We are always pushing<br />

the boundaries of innovation for two key<br />

reasons – to give consumers more control<br />

over their financial lives, and to ensure<br />

lenders have the information they need<br />

to make informed, responsible decisions.<br />

There’s never been a more important time<br />

for people to engage with their credit scores<br />

and Experian Boost will help them to do<br />

this.”<br />

Personal finance expert from<br />

MoneyComms, Andrew Hagger, believes<br />

many customers will welcome the<br />

opportunity to boost their credit score in<br />

the current difficult financial climate: “The<br />

Experian Boost service is an excellent<br />

example of how open banking can deliver<br />

tangible rewards for consumers. The<br />

potential financial benefits of this new<br />

initiative could see some customers having<br />

access to more favourable interest rate<br />

terms and improved credit limits.”<br />

Pearson Education becomes first<br />

to achieve CI<strong>CM</strong>Q re-accreditation<br />

THE Credit Department at Pearson<br />

Education has been recognised by CI<strong>CM</strong>Q,<br />

becoming the first company to achieve<br />

re-accreditation online due to the COVID-19<br />

pandemic.<br />

Matthew Walters, Head of Credit at<br />

Pearson Education, says achieving reaccreditation<br />

shows that the company<br />

promotes best practice: “Achieving CI<strong>CM</strong>Q<br />

re-accreditation motivates staff as it has<br />

a direct impact on team improvement<br />

and also helps us map our policies and<br />

procedures against the industry standard<br />

and gives us comfort that our documents<br />

are sound.<br />

“Due to the lockdown, we had to complete<br />

the assessment fully online using hangouts<br />

and other tools, which meant the process<br />

wasn’t simple,” Matthew explains. “With our<br />

teams based across England, Ireland and<br />

India, sometimes connectivity issues meant<br />

that some of our virtual meetings didn’t<br />

go as planned. However, at the same time,<br />

using these hangouts was a great way to get<br />

everybody involved.”<br />

Matthew also highlights that gaining the<br />

re-accreditation in such an uncertain time<br />

has taught the team at Pearson Education<br />

the importance of keeping practices<br />

and procedures up to date: “Gaining reaccreditation<br />

highlights that improving<br />

our processes continually is something we<br />

consistently embrace,” he continues.<br />

“We review the credit management<br />

policies and procedures annually and due<br />

to the current situation, it was important to<br />

take the time to re-visit our roadmaps and<br />

our processes to make sure we are working<br />

as efficiently as possible in what I call ‘the<br />

new world’.<br />

Pearson Education is one of the largest<br />

educational companies in the world, with<br />

more than 36,000 employees worldwide. Its<br />

UK Credit team consists of more than 50<br />

members of staff, working across England,<br />

Ireland and India. The teams are responsible<br />

for collections of around £350 million –<br />

£400 million per year.<br />

>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Insurers brace for<br />

spike in claims<br />

CREDIT insurers are bracing<br />

themselves for a spike in claims<br />

once the Government’s business aid<br />

packages come to an end.<br />

The CI<strong>CM</strong> Technical Committee<br />

heard in November that whilst claims<br />

significantly increased in the first few<br />

months of the pandemic, they have<br />

since tailed off as the various forms<br />

of Government support came into<br />

effect. Indeed, one of the Committee<br />

members reported that claims are<br />

currently at their lowest point for 20<br />

years.<br />

Credit insurance is a crucial part of<br />

the British economy, providing cover<br />

for businesses whose customers<br />

are unable to pay their debts due to<br />

insolvency. Given that the UK has<br />

this year seen its worst recession<br />

on record, according to the Office for<br />

National Statistics, the Government<br />

was forced to support the credit<br />

insurance industry to prevent a<br />

repeat of 2008 when insurers were<br />

accused of abandoning customers in<br />

their hour of need.<br />

A £10bn scheme shares the risk<br />

of insolvency between trade credit<br />

insurers and the Treasury.<br />

The CI<strong>CM</strong> is seeking<br />

a new home<br />

THE CI<strong>CM</strong> has engaged the services<br />

of a commercial property agent to find<br />

it a new home, and put The Water Mill<br />

up for sale.<br />

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

Executive of the CI<strong>CM</strong>, says the agent<br />

has been briefed to find a modern<br />

headquarters, in much the same area,<br />

more in keeping with a professional<br />

membership body: “The Water Mill<br />

has served us well for more that two<br />

decades but as an historic building,<br />

parts of which are Listed, it has its<br />

challenges and is expensive to run.<br />

It also doesn’t allow us to shape the<br />

offices how we know we need them to<br />

be in the future.<br />

“By realising the value of the asset<br />

now we can invest in new premises<br />

with an open plan working<br />

environment designed to<br />

our own specification,<br />

that will further improve<br />

communication between the<br />

teams and support an<br />

even better service for<br />

our members.”<br />

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


Banks rank protecting their<br />

reputation above price<br />

AS UK banks consider<br />

the appointment of debt<br />

collectors to recover tens<br />

of billions of pounds of<br />

government-backed small<br />

business loans, and other<br />

financial institutions across Europe are<br />

faced with a similar challenge, their next<br />

move will be driven by on one overriding<br />

factor: protecting their image.<br />

A survey of 28 European banks conducted<br />

by Hoist Finance, which purchases and<br />

manages non-performing and performing<br />

loans across 11 countries in Europe, found<br />

that almost nine out of ten (86 percent)<br />

ranked ‘protecting our reputation and<br />

image’ as the single most important factor<br />

in selecting a debt collection agency to<br />

tender for their business.<br />

The reputation of the agency itself and<br />

their standing in the market was also<br />

critical (ranked important by 71 percent<br />

of respondents), far outstripping any<br />

previous costs or bids that might have<br />

been quoted for their service (18 percent).<br />

Whether there is an existing relationship<br />

between the two entities is not a key<br />

determining factor.<br />

When it came to the final decision<br />

making, protecting their reputation was<br />

still more important than price: 85 percent<br />

citing it as ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ important (the<br />

two top rankings), though the importance<br />

of price leapt to 81 percent (for the same<br />

two rankings combined). The agency’s<br />

experience was also vital (62 percent).<br />

Banks assessed a debt collection agency’s<br />

ability to protect their reputation on their<br />

approach to treating customers fairly. An<br />

amicable collection strategy – in which an<br />

agency arrives at a consensual agreement<br />

with the customer – was deemed very<br />

important by 38 percent of respondents,<br />

though perhaps surprisingly of least<br />

importance or only somewhat important by<br />

a similar percentage (42 percent).<br />

In terms of sustainability, respect for a<br />

customer’s privacy was ranked highest in<br />

priority (17 percent) followed by empathetic<br />

treatment of customers (15 percent) and<br />

having a thorough complaints handling<br />

process (15 percent).<br />

Julian Winfield, Chief Executive of Hoist<br />

Finance UK, says that to the banks, getting<br />

paid for the portfolio they are selling or<br />

putting out for collection is obviously<br />

important: “Clearly they would like to<br />

recover some of their outstanding loans,”<br />

he says, “but it’s clear also that price is far<br />

from the only consideration. Banks are<br />

worried about their image and how they will<br />

be perceived in the market by existing or<br />

potential customers.”<br />

However, Julian says it’s not just about<br />

image: “It’s also clear that they genuinely<br />

care about the treatment of their customers,<br />

even after they sell the claims to a<br />

collection agency. It is vital, therefore, that<br />

we, as an industry, continue to balance the<br />

need of an economy that relies on a creditor<br />

being repaid with the need to identify the<br />

most vulnerable in society and ensure our<br />

practices support them in resolving their<br />

financial difficulties.”<br />

Debt solutions business identifies<br />

hidden risk of PGs<br />

PERSONAL Guarantees (PGs) are being used<br />

fraudulently by small business owners to<br />

take out multiple loans without any chance<br />

of those loans ever being paid back. And<br />

it seems that Credit Reference Agencies<br />

(CRAs) who have been made aware of the<br />

practice and could solve the problem simply<br />

by creating a new PG database are so far<br />

failing to act.<br />

The news comes after a review of loans<br />

agreed by several different lenders –<br />

including Liberis and Newable Lending<br />

– which have since defaulted and are now<br />

owned by the commercial debt solutions<br />

business Azzurro Associates.<br />

Credit Management has learned that<br />

analysts within Azzurro have identified a<br />

number of occasions when the same PGs<br />

were being used to secure new loans from<br />

different lenders sometimes only days after<br />

a previous loan had defaulted and without<br />

the new lender being aware.<br />

Andrew Birkwood, Chief Executive<br />

of Azzurro Associates, has evidence of<br />

one case where the owner of a gift shop<br />

defaulted on a loan on 9 November with<br />

one lender, only to take out another loan<br />

with a different lender on 22 November<br />

using the exact same Personal Guarantee.<br />

He went bust owing more than £50,000:<br />

“Had the second lender been aware that the<br />

busines owner had been using the same PG,<br />

they would not have agreed to the loan,” he<br />

says.<br />

“The problem is that lenders would have<br />

no way of knowing, and the CRAs, who<br />

could do something about it, seem<br />

reluctant to listen.”<br />

Read the full article on page 21<br />

>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Welcome extension<br />

THE Money Advice Trust has<br />

welcomed the FCA’s proposal to extend<br />

the availability of payment deferrals<br />

on mortgages and on credit cards,<br />

loans and other forms of consumer<br />

credit by six months. The move was<br />

confirmed after the Government’s<br />

announcement of a second lockdown<br />

and extension to the Job Retention<br />

Scheme. The charity has called for<br />

similar action for people who are<br />

self-employed, people struggling to<br />

pay their rent and those claiming<br />

Universal Credit.<br />

Deal on a plate<br />

RSM has helped Camino, the Spanish<br />

tapas restaurant and bar group,<br />

to secure a rescue deal allowing<br />

the business to continue serving<br />

customers from its four restaurants<br />

and two bars preserving 77 jobs.<br />

Camino Trading Limited, a newly<br />

incorporated company run by cofounders<br />

Nigel Foster and Richard Bigg,<br />

has agreed to acquire the business<br />

and assets from the Administrators<br />

of Camino Leisure Holdings Limited<br />

and Camino Restaurants Limited (the<br />

group’s operating entity) following an<br />

accelerated sales process.<br />

Nothing to sniff at<br />

NEW research from StepChange Debt<br />

Charity suggest levels of household<br />

borrowing and arrears attributable to<br />

Coronavirus have soared to £10.3bn<br />

since the start of the pandemic,<br />

an increase of £4.3bn (66 percent)<br />

since May. The report, Tackling the<br />

Coronavirus Personal Debt Crisis,<br />

has found the number of people<br />

affected by COVID-19 who are in severe<br />

problem debt has risen to 1.2 million –<br />

nearly doubling since March – with a<br />

further three million at risk of it.<br />

Andrew Birkwood,<br />

Chief Executive of<br />

Azzurro Associates.<br />

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


D&B launches new Lending<br />

Intelligence solution<br />

DUN & Bradstreet has<br />

launched a new small<br />

business lending solution<br />

for UK commercial finance<br />

providers.<br />

D&B Lending<br />

Intelligence is described as an online<br />

solution that enables lenders to make<br />

faster credit decisions for small and<br />

medium enterprises (SMEs) by providing<br />

real-time access to a wider range of data,<br />

combining new UK commercial credit<br />

data from designated leading banks with<br />

additional data and analytics from the Dun<br />

& Bradstreet Data Cloud.<br />

More than £60bn has been provided to<br />

1.4 million UK businesses via Governmentbacked<br />

loan schemes in <strong>2020</strong> and<br />

access to finance is key to securing<br />

the survival and stimulating growth<br />

for SMEs. With exponential growth in<br />

business loan applications since the first<br />

national lockdown in March <strong>2020</strong>, having<br />

immediate access to credit data online will<br />

reduce the time spent seeking referrals<br />

and further information and will help<br />

to facilitate decision-making, support<br />

risk assessment and open up lending<br />

opportunities for businesses when they<br />

need it most.<br />

Tim Vine, Head of Credit Intelligence<br />

at Dun & Bradstreet, “incomplete data<br />

slows decision-making,” he says, “and by<br />

providing data from lenders alongside<br />

additional data and analytics, our online<br />

solution is designed to enable quicker<br />

lending decisions and ultimately to<br />

support the Government’s aim to increase<br />

access to finance through the increased<br />

availability of SME lending data.”<br />

Government must address<br />

‘widespread unfairness’<br />

A new report has found ‘widespread<br />

unfairness’ in the way central and local<br />

Government collect debts including council<br />

tax, benefit and tax credit overpayments.<br />

The Money Advice Trust is calling for<br />

Government to ‘level up’ its debt collection<br />

practices to those of other sectors – or risk<br />

pushing people further into difficulty in the<br />

wake of COVID-19.<br />

The charity’s new report entitled<br />

Levelling up: The case for reforming<br />

government debt collection, has been<br />

published as the Cabinet Office considers<br />

responses to a call for evidence on<br />

improving fairness in Government debt<br />

management. The charity’s findings come<br />

at a time when more people are said to<br />

be struggling to repay public sector debts<br />

– a trend the charity says is likely to be<br />

amplified by COVID-19.<br />

The report highlights the negative impact<br />

that current Government debt collection<br />

practices are having on those struggling<br />

to repay, and particularly on people with<br />

mental health problems or other vulnerable<br />

circumstances.<br />

A national survey of debt advisers shows<br />

just nine percent think that Department for<br />

Work and Pensions identifies and supports<br />

vulnerable customers ‘well’ or ‘very well’,<br />

with just 12 percent for HMRC. These figures<br />

are in sharp contrast with the private<br />

sector, with 46 percent of advisers reporting<br />

that banks/building societies identify and<br />

support vulnerable customers ‘well’ or ‘very<br />

well’, 45 percent for energy firms and 68<br />

percent for water companies. Debt advisers<br />

also report widespread concerns over the<br />

way that Government creditors assess<br />

the affordability of repayments, leading<br />

to unaffordable payment demands – with<br />

advisers rating Government practices as<br />

worse even than payday lenders.<br />

Credit Management understands that the<br />

charity has written to Ministers to make<br />

the case for what it calls a ‘bold package of<br />

reform’ designed to level up Government<br />

debt collection practices to those seen in<br />

the private sector.<br />

The proposal includes: Backing calls<br />

for a new Government Debt Management<br />

Bill to embed the principles of fairness<br />

and affordability throughout central and<br />

local government; reforming council tax<br />

collection practices by amending outdated<br />

regulations and introducing a statutory<br />

‘pre-action protocol’ for councils to follow;<br />

and introducing independent bailiff<br />

regulation as part of a ‘reduce and reform’<br />

approach to protecting people in debt from<br />

the harm caused by bailiff action.<br />

Joanna Elson CBE, Chief Executive of<br />

the MAT, says the widespread unfairness<br />

needs to be addressed: “With more and<br />

more people struggling to repay debts owed<br />

to government even before the devastating<br />

impact of Covid-19, the Government<br />

must act swiftly to level up its<br />

collection practices to those of the<br />

private sector.”<br />

>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Technical Committee<br />

urges contract review<br />

THE CI<strong>CM</strong> Technical Committee is<br />

urging credit managers to review and<br />

amend current contracts to ensure<br />

those contracts remain viable as the<br />

UK prepares to leave the EU at the<br />

end of the year.<br />

On 31 January <strong>2020</strong> the UK formally<br />

ceased being a member of the EU.<br />

However, the transition period, which<br />

runs until 31 <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong>, sees<br />

Britain continue to participate in the<br />

customs union and single market.<br />

Given that commercial contracts<br />

that cross the UK-EU border, up to<br />

this point, have been written in the<br />

context of Britain’s membership<br />

to the EU, they are likely to require<br />

modification. To start, many contracts<br />

refer to the EU as a territory, with the<br />

UK included in this at the time the<br />

contract was written. For example,<br />

a reseller’s right to sell a certain<br />

product could be confined to a certain<br />

geographical area, and uncertainty<br />

may arise if this is labelled as the EU.<br />

If this is the case, re-writing the terms<br />

to specifically mention the UK should<br />

be a first step.<br />

Contract clauses such as<br />

exclusivity may also have inadvertent<br />

consequences. If an exclusive<br />

supplier was impacted by price or<br />

currency fluctuations or unable to<br />

source raw materials, a business<br />

would remain unable to source the<br />

necessary supplies elsewhere. In this<br />

sense, English law may not provide<br />

the common sense remedies that<br />

businesses will be relying on.<br />

To soften the blow and prevent<br />

black holes from appearing, EU<br />

legislation will continue to apply,<br />

through becoming English domestic<br />

law. These laws may then be<br />

rewritten, but there is no indication as<br />

to which will remain and which will<br />

go. For these reasons, if a contract<br />

is drafted on the assumption that<br />

obligations and restrictions currently<br />

imposed by EU-derived legislation<br />

will continue to be in effect in the<br />

same way for years to come, this<br />

could prove to be problematic.<br />

We urge credit<br />

managers to review<br />

and amend current<br />

contracts to ensure<br />

those contracts<br />

remain viable.<br />

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


Zoom Zoom!<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> members should back<br />

themselves to win.<br />

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

SO much has happened this<br />

year it is almost impossible to<br />

know where to begin. When<br />

COVID-19 hit, and the first<br />

lockdown began, there was<br />

definitely a sense of ‘we’re<br />

all in this together’. Our members were<br />

quick to adapt to ‘working from home’ and<br />

embracing new processes and procedures<br />

to keep the cash flowing. Between us we<br />

all learned a new language of Microsoft<br />

Teams and Zoom, doing business ‘virtually’<br />

and interacting with our colleagues and<br />

customers via our computer screens.<br />

The team at CI<strong>CM</strong> HQ swung quickly<br />

into action with its Managing Credit in<br />

a Crisis initiative, the first in what was<br />

soon to become a series of campaigns to<br />

support our members through difficult<br />

times. We saw a great deal of positivity in<br />

those early months: the cash kept flowing;<br />

collections levels not only held their own<br />

but actually increased; and the apocalypse<br />

didn’t quite happen as predicted.<br />

Investments in new credit<br />

management platforms were accelerated<br />

and implemented in months, and the<br />

Chancellor’s financial support packages<br />

kept the wolf from the door, at least in<br />

the immediate term. We experienced<br />

CBILs and BBLs, and all learned another<br />

new word: furlough. What I think we all<br />

hoped might last a few weeks proved not<br />

to be the case as the weeks turned into<br />

months, and nerves became increasingly<br />

frayed.<br />


And so here we go again. Another<br />

lockdown. Another period of worry,<br />

uncertainty and challenge. But also<br />

another opportunity for our members<br />

to demonstrate their true worth, and the<br />

essential role they play in keeping the<br />

wheels of industry turning.<br />

The messages in our latest ‘Managing the<br />

new credit future’ initiative still hold true:<br />

we must continue to adjust our collections<br />

and recovery strategies to fit the constantly<br />

changing financial environment; we must<br />

look at our forecasts and projections and<br />

ensure they remain honest and realistic;<br />

and we must continue to talk, to ensure<br />

credit teams’ actions are aligned with<br />

senior management objectives. Training<br />

also remains critical, equipping our teams<br />

with the skills they need to succeed.<br />

If there is a single message I want to<br />

communicate it is this: trust yourself. Trust<br />

your judgment in making decisions that<br />

are in the best interests of your business.<br />

Trust your training, and the skills you have<br />

acquired as credit professionals, and take<br />

the opportunity to learn more. And trust<br />

your colleagues, working with your people<br />

and senior management towards a new<br />

future.<br />

As we head into a New Year, we know<br />

that the road ahead is going to be difficult.<br />

We know that a storm is brewing. We<br />

recognise the recovery, when it comes,<br />

will be long and slow. This means we must<br />

look after each other, to share experiences,<br />

to engage with your professional body and<br />

your peers to help us through what will<br />

undoubtedly be a difficult time. We will<br />

ultimately prevail, and it will be the skills<br />

that you have, the knowledge you have<br />

acquired, and the support of the CI<strong>CM</strong>,<br />

that will get us there.<br />

I cannot say I ever envisaged that<br />

when I took over the reins as your Chief<br />

Executive from Philip King FCI<strong>CM</strong> at the<br />

start of the year that the country would<br />

now be facing its biggest challenge since<br />

the second world war. Neither, to continue<br />

the analogy, can I promise it will all be<br />

over by Christmas. But I can wish you all<br />

well and hope that over the festive season<br />

you will take some time to pause and reenergise,<br />

for there is undoubtedly more<br />

hard work ahead of us.<br />

We will ultimately prevail, and it will be<br />

the skills that you have, the knowledge<br />

you have acquired, and the support of the<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>, that will get us there.<br />

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


BARE<br />


New rules protect supplies to an insolvent customer.<br />

AUTHOR – Julia Ishak<br />

THE new Corporate Insolvency<br />

and Governance Act <strong>2020</strong> (CIGA)<br />

presents a number of challenges.<br />

Many suppliers may now find it<br />

considerably more difficult to<br />

terminate or suspend a supply<br />

contract (and to exercise many other standard<br />

contractual rights) in the event of a customer’s<br />

insolvency. And that will be the case, even if<br />

those rights are expressly set out in the contract.<br />

The protection of supplies of goods<br />

and services introduced by CIGA applies<br />

to contracts for the supply of goods and<br />

services (including contracts entered into<br />

before CIGA) where a customer becomes<br />

subject to a relevant insolvency procedure on<br />

or after 26 June <strong>2020</strong>.<br />



Where CIGA applies and a customer becomes<br />

subject to a relevant insolvency procedure:<br />

• No termination of the contract or supply –<br />

any provision in a contract providing for the<br />

contract or supply to terminate or allowing a<br />

supplier to terminate the contract or supply,<br />

because its customer becomes subject to a<br />

relevant insolvency procedure, will cease to<br />

have effect. A supplier would not therefore be<br />

able to rely on any such automatic termination<br />

or contractual right to terminate.<br />

• No taking place or doing of any other<br />

thing – any provision in a contract providing<br />

for any other thing to take place or allowing<br />

a supplier to do any other thing, because<br />

its customer becomes subject to a relevant<br />

insolvency procedure, will also cease to<br />

have effect. Examples may include changing<br />

payment terms, credit periods or payment<br />

tariffs, exercising retention of title or variation<br />

rights, increasing prices or requiring additional<br />

payments.<br />

• No termination for prior events during a<br />

relevant insolvency procedure – a supplier<br />

cannot exercise any contractual right to<br />

terminate the contract or supply because of<br />

a prior event, if that right arose but was not<br />

exercised before its customer became subject<br />

to a relevant insolvency procedure. The<br />

contractual right is suspended for the period<br />

of the relevant insolvency. A supplier would be<br />

able to rely on any available right to terminate<br />

before a relevant insolvency procedure<br />

begins, including for example where any steps<br />

Consider what<br />

rights may be<br />

available if a<br />

customer is<br />

in financial<br />

hardship and<br />

consider whether<br />

it might be<br />

appropriate,<br />

if possible, to<br />

renegotiate<br />

or not renew<br />

existing<br />

contracts.<br />

are taken in the lead up to such insolvency.<br />

However a supplier would not be able to rely<br />

on a contractual right to terminate for a prior<br />

event once a relevant insolvency procedure<br />

begins.<br />

• No condition requiring outstanding<br />

charges to be paid – a supplier cannot make<br />

it a condition (or do anything which has the<br />

effect of making it a condition) of any supply of<br />

goods and services after its customer becomes<br />

subject to a relevant insolvency procedure that<br />

any outstanding charges in respect of a supply<br />

made to its customer before that time are paid.<br />

A supplier may therefore be obliged to continue<br />

to supply its insolvent customer even when it is<br />

owed substantial sums by that customer.<br />



CIGA is likely to apply to most contracts for the<br />

supply of goods and services although there are<br />

limited exclusions for example for:<br />

• Essential supplies – broadly defined as gas,<br />

electricity, water, communications services,<br />

and goods and services for the purpose of<br />

enabling or facilitating anything to be done<br />

by electronic means (computer hardware<br />

and software, information, advice, technical<br />

assistance, data storage and processing, website<br />

hosting). Essential supplies may be governed<br />

by a separate (more limited) regime. However<br />

where this separate regime does not apply,<br />

CIGA may still apply to essential supplies.<br />

• Persons involved in financial services –<br />

where a customer or supplier is an insurer,<br />

bank, electronic money institution, investment<br />

bank, investment firm, payment institution,<br />

operator of payment systems, infrastructure<br />

provider, recognised investment exchange or<br />

securitisation company.<br />

• Contracts involving financial services – such<br />

as financial contracts, securities financing<br />

transactions, derivatives, spot contracts, capital<br />

market investments, contracts forming part of a<br />

public-private partnership.<br />

• Specified legislation – for example for<br />

financial markets and aircraft equipment.<br />

• Certain small suppliers – this temporary<br />

exception has been extended to 30 March 2021.<br />

Whilst this remains unclear and will be a<br />

question of fact and circumstances in each<br />

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


AUTHOR – Julia Ishak<br />

case, CIGA may also apply to agreements that are not<br />

usually regarded as ‘contracts for the supply of goods<br />

and services’. This may for example cover equipment<br />

hire, franchise, agency, distribution, software and<br />

intellectual property licences. Similarly, whilst licences,<br />

property leases and agreements for the sale of land or<br />

property may not be contracts for the supply of goods<br />

and services, they may contain an element of supply of<br />

goods and services and that element may be caught by<br />

CIGA.<br />


Relevant insolvency procedures cover a wide range<br />

of insolvency proceedings including administration,<br />

liquidation, the appointment of a new administrative<br />

receiver or provisional liquidator, a voluntary<br />

arrangement, a Part A1 moratorium and a court order<br />

for a meeting of creditors or members under a Part 26A<br />

restructuring plan.<br />

So much for the technical aspects of the new Act, what<br />

practical steps should suppliers now be taking? Suppliers<br />

should now update standard contracts and templates.<br />

There are many ways a supplier may be able to protect<br />

themselves in their contracts and help to mitigate the<br />

impact of CIGA. They should also consider this when<br />

negotiating new supply contracts (especially where<br />

based on a customer’s contract).<br />

They should review existing supply contracts,<br />

prioritising those contracts of greatest value, importance<br />

or risk. Consider what rights may be available if a<br />

customer is in financial hardship and consider whether<br />

it might be appropriate, if possible, to renegotiate or not<br />

renew existing contracts.<br />

Suppliers should similarly consider legal advice before<br />

exercising any rights where a customer becomes subject<br />

to a relevant insolvency procedure as many standard<br />

clauses may now cease to have effect and if a supplier<br />

relies on such a clause it may be in breach of contract<br />

and liable (for example, for wrongful termination or<br />

damages).<br />

Other steps they should take include: reviewing<br />

approaches to managing contracts and mitigating<br />

insolvency risk, considering whether enhanced contract<br />

management might be more appropriate; reviewing<br />

insurance cover and credit insurance; and reviewing<br />

debt collection procedures and considering whether<br />

these need to be enhanced.<br />

They might also consider whether more due diligence<br />

is necessary on customers before a supply contract is<br />

entered into and, for larger contracts, throughout the<br />

lifetime of the contract, and consider parent company<br />

guarantees and performance bonds. Training for contract<br />

managers so they know what they should and should not<br />

do if a customer is in financial hardship might also be<br />

considered.<br />

This article is only a brief overview and, as with<br />

all legislation, there are exceptions and additional<br />

considerations that may also be relevant.<br />

There are many ways a supplier<br />

may be able to protect themselves<br />

in their contracts and help to<br />

mitigate the impact of CIGA. They<br />

should also consider this when<br />

negotiating new supply contracts<br />

(especially where based on a<br />

customer’s contract).<br />

Julia Ishak is Legal Director at Shoosmiths, and has been<br />

a guest speaker at recent meetings of the CI<strong>CM</strong> Technical<br />

Committee.<br />

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




Activist investors can do real harm<br />

where management is weak.<br />

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

MICHAEL Douglas in Wall<br />

Street and Leonardo<br />

DiCaprio in the Wolf of Wall<br />

Street both put on record,<br />

albeit on celluloid, the point<br />

that there’s no sentiment in<br />

business – that it’s invariably all about power<br />

and money.<br />

It’s clear that individual investors carry<br />

little power. But it’s just as apparent that larger<br />

investors have greater firepower and when they<br />

decide on a course of action, they have a real<br />

prospect of effecting change.<br />


Lumped together as ‘activist investors’ this form<br />

of crusading covers a range of activities by one<br />

or a number of a publicly traded corporation’s<br />

shareholders that, according to 2015 paper<br />

published by Harvard Law School Forum on<br />

Corporate Governance ‘are intended to result<br />

in some change in the corporation.’ The paper<br />

carries on, noting that there’s a spectrum of<br />

goals that depend on the change desired and<br />

how assertive the investors are.<br />

Jason Caulfield, a partner in the Financial<br />

Advisory department of Deloitte LLP, is more<br />

blunt in his assessment. He says that: “an activist<br />

investor…refers to anyone that buys a stake<br />

in a company before engaging management<br />

on specific topics.” He adds that the term<br />

is often used for a grouping of hedge funds<br />

whose activist investor goals revolve around<br />

delivering a step-change in financial returns for<br />

shareholders – themselves included.<br />

By definition, the strategies and tactics they<br />

use to achieve these goals and the ways in which<br />

they engage with management vary widely. The<br />

more aggressive will seek a significant change<br />

to the company’s strategy, financial structure,<br />

management, or board. But at the other end<br />

of the spectrum is the investor that is only<br />

interested in a single engagement based on a<br />

defined issue.<br />

Hedge fund activist investors can trace their<br />

roots to the US corporate raiders of old, but as<br />

Caulfield notes: “with the inflow of funds and<br />

the publicity of some of their successes, they’ve<br />

shown a real interest in globalising. Europe and<br />

other developed markets where shareholder<br />

rights are well represented are fast catching up<br />

with the US.”<br />

And with greater liquidity, size is no longer<br />

a prohibiting factor. In fact, Caulfield is seeing<br />

larger global companies over-represented as<br />

targets: “They are not afraid of any sector,” he<br />

says. “Some are more attractive than others<br />

due to the ability to trigger M&A or be able to<br />

effect relatively short-term change in direction<br />

and the market’s perception and value of the<br />

business.”<br />


Either way, the problem is significant for firms.<br />

Another paper on Harvard’s website, this time<br />

published in August <strong>2020</strong>, reported a sharp<br />

uptick in activity. In 2017 there were 484 activist<br />

investor campaigns of which 20 percent were<br />

successful. In 2018, that number rose to 655<br />

campaigns of which 30 percent were successful<br />

or settled. By 2019 that number rose again to<br />

893 campaigns with a 17 percent success or<br />

settle rate. And by the start of August <strong>2020</strong> there<br />

had been 797 campaigns that had seen a nine<br />

percent success or settle rate. Extrapolate the<br />

number and there’s the prospect of some 1366<br />

campaigns for the full year.<br />

But there’s one example that stands out for<br />

the world of credit – Australian debt recovery<br />

specialist Collection House. The company has<br />

been beset by troubles since its CEO suddenly<br />

resigned in November 2019. Its shares were<br />

suspended in February <strong>2020</strong> following concerns<br />

raised by auditors KPMG over its ability to carry<br />

on as a going concern. Then came talks with<br />

other parties over recapitalisation and when its<br />

accounts were finally released in June a $8.5m<br />

profit tumbled to a $47.3m loss.<br />

At issue, to put the matter into context here,<br />

was that a review into the value of the company’s<br />

ledgers led to a write down of $89.8m. But this<br />

review came at a time when consumer groups<br />

had found that the company was a far bigger<br />

user of bankruptcy actions than other debt<br />

collectors. The company has since lifted the<br />

threshold for initiating bankruptcy action to<br />

$20,000.<br />

For Caulfield, the appearance of an activist<br />

investor can be a very real headache for a<br />

business. “Whilst it is arguable that their goal – a<br />

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


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

step-change in financial returns – is something<br />

management should be doing, the way they go<br />

about it can be very disruptive, stressful, and<br />

not aligned to longer term investors’ interests,”<br />

he says.<br />

He’s bothered that they can trigger or prevent<br />

an executive’s strategy – for example, demanding<br />

asset sales or mergers, or pressure management<br />

into a new direction and agitate for change at<br />

the top if they don’t get their way. “For some,”<br />

he adds, “the phrase ‘any means necessary’ can<br />

spring to mind.”<br />

As to the types of businesses they target, this<br />

varies, but it’s entirely logical that, typically,<br />

they tend to be considered under-valued<br />

and for Caulfield, often this is due to their<br />

perception that value is down to the quality<br />

of management of the business. He says that<br />

activist investors usually like a business that has<br />

good fundamentals but has lost its way; they<br />

like firms where there may already be a degree<br />

of unhappiness amongst existing shareholders.<br />


New trends are emerging. It’s certainly the case<br />

that activism is becoming more global in nature.<br />

What is thought of as starting in the US (and<br />

which had risen to the fore with the likes of Carl<br />

Icahn and T Boone Pickens) has moved around<br />

the world.<br />

The Financial Times, for example, reported<br />

in February of this year that the Tokyo Dome<br />

– ‘a centrepiece of the Japanese capital…with<br />

revenues that have been tepid and its share<br />

price flat for six years’ – was under siege<br />

from Oasis Management, it’s second largest<br />

shareholder, which had almost doubled its stake<br />

to 9.6 percent. Oasis has previously taken on<br />

Nintendo, Panasonic and Toshiba and with the<br />

dome, issued an 85-page document citing faults<br />

and the changes required to ‘unlock vast profit<br />

potential.’<br />

With the inflow of funds and<br />

the publicity of some of their<br />

successes, they’ve shown a real<br />

interest in globalising. Europe<br />

and other developed markets<br />

where shareholder rights<br />

are well represented are fast<br />

catching up with the US.<br />

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

continues on page 14 >


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

For Caulfield, aside from the increasingly<br />

global nature and appearance of local activists<br />

outside the US, there is a divergence of<br />

methods used by the more hard-nosed ‘pure’<br />

activist investors “…who will rapidly escalate<br />

disputes and take disagreements into the<br />

public domain, versus the ‘constructionists’<br />

who take a (slightly) more medium term view<br />

and look to work with management more<br />

collaboratively, at least for a period of time.”<br />

COVID-19 has dented global economies and<br />

livelihoods. But it has also altered the activist<br />

investor landscape too. Caulfield says: “It has<br />

put a massive shock through the markets and<br />

created a level of volatility in the fundamentals<br />

as well as companies’ share prices. This,<br />

combined with activist investors trying to<br />

gauge the impact on existing investments,<br />

capped the levels of activity.”<br />

Activism is not going away<br />

any time soon. Whether it’s an<br />

attack from an activist investor,<br />

or pressure from the media or a<br />

consumer group, firms need to<br />

comprehend the concept that<br />

they aren’t in ivory towers living<br />

in splendid isolation.<br />

But he warns that the outlook is stabilising:<br />

“We are seeing companies beginning to<br />

emerge, and indeed, the performance of<br />

management during and after the pandemic<br />

will provide rich hunting grounds for activist<br />

investors seeking to put them on the spot.”<br />

Investors, no matter their size or level of<br />

professionalism, by definition seek the best<br />

possible return. And activist investors are no<br />

different. Caulfield has seen their war-chests<br />

grow as underlying investors seek alternative<br />

asset classes such as these. He says that “…<br />

they are needing to find new targets. They’re<br />

also utilising a wider range of techniques,<br />

and indeed are showing signs of overlapping<br />

with another kind of activist investor – private<br />

equity.”<br />

But just as global events and the markets<br />

can impact activist investor activity, so too<br />

can Government policy. Put simply, Caulfield<br />

knows that Governments can legislate to bias<br />

shareholder influence to push longer-term<br />

objectives at the expense of new shareowners,<br />

can widen definitions of ‘strategic’ sectors and<br />

can limit the ability for M&A in those sectors.<br />

Governments can have a very real impact on<br />

activist investors.<br />

So, with the scene set, how can a firm<br />

prepare itself for the onslaught of activist<br />

investor?<br />

Caulfield is of the view that companies can<br />

fight back. But depending on whether they<br />

are merely apprehensive or are actually in the<br />

throes of a campaign will influence what they<br />

can and should be doing and the timescales<br />

for action.<br />


First off, he says that businesses that have<br />

time to ‘fix the roof’ should be challenging<br />

the business to ensure it has the right value<br />

creation plan, assets and balance sheet. He<br />

says that this may just provide confidence –<br />

that can be fed to markets – that the business is<br />

on the right track. However, this activity might<br />

also provide the trigger for a change without<br />

the disruption of an activist investor. “But,” he<br />

warns, “be aware of your risks – the features of<br />

your company, its performance, management<br />

and board that may attract them.” He believes<br />

that this can also help to ensure that action<br />

is taken to plug the holes while fundamental<br />

improvements can take place.<br />

But if an investor’s campaign is imminent<br />

or underway, then Caulfield advises targets<br />

to focus on tactics. There is unfortunately no<br />

‘one-size fits-all’ approach and so the defence<br />

will depend on the strength of the executive<br />

and the company’s performance on their watch<br />

and the nature of the activist. That said, he<br />

does suggest engaging with activist investors<br />

as some have genuine ideas worth consider<br />

while others will be a drag on management<br />

time, focus and resources.<br />

Caulfield concludes: “Ensuring that the<br />

strategy, communication and preparedness<br />

amongst the executive and board are clear,<br />

as well as having insight into the particular<br />

activist, are some of the basic things to<br />

prepare.”<br />

Activism is not going away any time soon.<br />

Whether it’s an attack from an activist investor,<br />

or pressure from the media or a consumer<br />

group, firms need to comprehend the concept<br />

that they aren’t in ivory towers living in<br />

splendid isolation. A mixed metaphor but the<br />

point is made.<br />

Adam Bernstein is a freelance business writer.<br />

We are seeing companies<br />

beginning to emerge, and<br />

indeed, the performance of<br />

management during and after<br />

the pandemic will provide<br />

rich hunting grounds for<br />

activist investors seeking to<br />

put them on the spot.<br />

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

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Easing the Burden<br />

Changes are being enacted to<br />

regulatory processes.<br />

AUTHOR – Michelle Thorp<br />

CORPORATE insolvency is in the<br />

spotlight more than ever at the<br />

moment. This is mainly, but not<br />

solely, linked to the pandemic,<br />

with the latest statistics from the<br />

Insolvency Service on company<br />

insolvencies showing that these increased 19<br />

percent in September this year, compared to the<br />

previous month.<br />

Prior to the Government’s announcement of<br />

the furlough scheme’s extension, the Office for<br />

National Statistics (ONS) reported that 64 percent<br />

of businesses in the UK were at risk of insolvency.<br />

It is logical to think that the furlough extension will<br />

mitigate this risk to an extent, but it is still a clear<br />

warning of the risks businesses currently face,<br />

and, sadly, we do expect company insolvencies to<br />

rise significantly.<br />


This year, we have seen the Corporate Insolvency<br />

and Governance Act, sweeping new legislation<br />

that brought in several changes to the insolvency<br />

framework to give companies breathing space<br />

to pursue a rescue plan. The Act’s key measures<br />

are the moratorium (preventing legal action from<br />

being taken against a company while it seeks a<br />

rescue deal); a new ‘Arrangement’ restructuring<br />

plan, sanctioned by the courts; and restrictions<br />

on termination clauses, statutory demands and<br />

winding up petitions. The Act’s suspension of<br />

wrongful trading rules has now expired.<br />

These new regulations will go some way in<br />

helping to secure the future of businesses, though<br />

with that said, we are mindful of the forbearance<br />

required from creditors, not just in relation to<br />

these new regulations but in general this year<br />

too. Similarly, these new measures have required<br />

Insolvency Practitioners (IPs) to get to grips with<br />

new ways of working, as well as prepare for the<br />

expected rise in insolvencies. With upholding<br />

the interests of creditors a key concern, this year<br />

we have launched various online workshops and<br />

webinars to help our members understand the<br />

new measures and apply them practically to their<br />

work. At one of our upcoming events, we will<br />

be joined by Chris Leslie, the CEO of the Credit<br />

Services Association, to hear the creditor view on<br />

the state of personal insolvency in particular, but<br />

no doubt he will cover the entire landscape.<br />

We have also enacted changes to our regulatory<br />

processes as far as practicable, to ease the burden<br />

on IPs and ensure that insolvency processes<br />

continue to treat all parties fairly.<br />

Our work this year in response to the pandemic<br />

has been designed to help our regulated<br />

A Question of Honour<br />

Are proposals for a new ‘independent evaluator’<br />

really saying IPs cannot be trusted?<br />

AUTHOR – Simon Plant<br />

THE announcement by<br />

the Insolvency Service<br />

(IS) of a new regime in<br />

relation to Pre-Packs,<br />

and the appointment of<br />

independent evaluators<br />

(see Credit Management November<br />

issue, news pages 6-7), raises a number<br />

of serious concerns that should have the<br />

alarm bells ringing loudly within the<br />

ranks of the Insolvency Profession. For<br />

what it is really saying, is that IPs cannot<br />

be trusted.<br />

Now before there are cries from the<br />

gallery that such a view is extreme, let’s<br />

look at the evidence. The way that Pre-<br />

Packs are being discussed currently is<br />

in a manner that suggests that all Pre-<br />

Packs involve sales to connected parties<br />

– when they do not – and that somehow<br />

any sale to a connected party involves an<br />

element of skulduggery, which it doesn’t.<br />

No-one in the industry especially<br />

sees Pre-Packs or sales to a connected<br />

party as an issue, which suggests<br />

that the Government is pandering<br />

to a minority opinion which in<br />

turn is likely to result in a poorlyconceived<br />

proposal. Like this one.<br />


There are so many flaws in the proposals<br />

it is difficult to know where to begin.<br />

Let’s start with the appointment of an<br />

‘independent evaluator’ to review sales<br />

to connected parties. Who are these<br />

evaluators? How are they themselves<br />

‘evaluated’ for their technical<br />

competence and experience? The<br />

Insolvency Service states only that they<br />

have to ‘self-declare’ their expertise,<br />

which if it wasn’t more dangerous<br />

would be laughable. So let’s think this<br />

through: a qualified surveyor and<br />

member of the Royal Institution of<br />

Chartered Surveyors (RICS) values<br />

an asset in an insolvency process.<br />

An Insolvency Practitioner, similarly<br />

executes their own duties as a member of<br />

the Insolvency Practitioners Association<br />

(IPA).<br />

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


This year, we have seen the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act,<br />

sweeping new legislation that brought in several changes to the insolvency<br />

framework to give companies breathing space to pursue a rescue plan.<br />

Michelle Thorp<br />

community understand the changes<br />

that have happened, as well as prepare<br />

for those yet to take place – and, as ever,<br />

with upholding creditor interests a key<br />

concern.<br />


As well as the Act this year, other<br />

insolvency processes have been in the<br />

spotlight. With insolvencies set to rise,<br />

these changes are all the more important<br />

for all stakeholders to understand.<br />

Pre-pack administrations can<br />

sometimes be the best insolvency<br />

option for all parties involved, but<br />

there is concern among creditors<br />

and others of unscrupulous company<br />

owners buying their company back<br />

via a pre-pack deal to continue trading<br />

while dumping the company’s debts.<br />

Under the existing rules, a pre-pack<br />

sale should only be entered if it is in<br />

the best interest of creditors, and,<br />

amongst other requirements, proof of<br />

the decision-making process should be<br />

available. These requirements are part<br />

of a set of wider measures brought in<br />

by Statement of Insolvency Practice<br />

(SIP) 16 in 2009. The Pre-Pack Pool<br />

(PPP) was set up in 2015, supported by<br />

the IPA and others, to provide means<br />

for an independent opinion to be given<br />

on any connected party pre-pack sale.<br />

However, it was felt by the IPA that<br />

further action was needed to provide<br />

greater security and reassurance to<br />

stakeholders. On 8 October <strong>2020</strong>, the<br />

Government announced, following a<br />

review in which the IPA participated,<br />

that pre-pack sales to connected parties<br />

were to face mandatory independent<br />

scrutiny.<br />

In brief summary, connected party<br />

sales will need to have an independent<br />

opinion provided by an ‘evaluator’.<br />

The new measures are due to be laid<br />

before Parliament and may be subject<br />

to change. The IPA will be providing our<br />

recommendations to the Government as<br />

part of the process, and I look forward<br />

to participation in the progression of<br />

the proposals as they take shape.<br />

Michelle Thorp is CEO, Insolvency<br />

Practitioners Association.<br />

The Insolvency Service is saying that<br />

the decisions made by two professionals<br />

in two highly regulated industries that<br />

are following best-practice from two<br />

highly-respected professional bodies<br />

have to have those decisions reviewed by<br />

another person whose own qualifications<br />

for doing so cannot be determined. Worse<br />

than that: what you are in effect saying is<br />

that IPs cannot be trusted.<br />

Now what if we were to get over the<br />

slur on our profession and for a moment<br />

go along with the idea that a third-party<br />

overview is both needed and preferred.<br />

If an independent person or body has<br />

to review sales to every connected party<br />

on each Administration, it could actually<br />

end up wrecking the process. Given<br />

the volume of insolvencies expected in<br />

2021, how will a new independent body<br />

cope, given that a significant proportion<br />

of Administrations result in a sale to<br />

connected parties? Also, what if the body<br />

delays or keeps seeking information<br />

when an immediate decision has to be<br />

made by the Administrator?<br />

The cost of reporting and providing<br />

the necessary information to the new<br />

body is likely to be prohibitive, and if<br />

the independent evaluator does not fully<br />

understand the process or the detail, they<br />

could deny a Pre-Pack for all the wrong<br />

reasons.<br />

And let’s look at another issue. The<br />

unforeseen result of this proposal could<br />

actually be to force a number of potential<br />

Administrations – where a business and<br />

jobs could be saved – into a liquidation<br />

(CVL) where maybe it can’t.<br />

Imagine: a business in administration<br />

may have tangible assets, say, of £70,000<br />

and intangibles (e.g ‘good will’) of a further<br />

£30,000. A sale – whether to a connected<br />

party or otherwise – will therefore realise<br />

a potential value of £100,000 for creditors.<br />

A CVL could, however, have a detrimental<br />

impact on any perceived good will and<br />

also may leave tangible assets as only<br />

having auction values, which means<br />

the same business in a liquidation will<br />

realise far less money for the creditor.<br />

As from the start of 2021, HMRC is being<br />

given preferential creditor status. The<br />

huge irony of this proposal, and the<br />

likelihood of more CVLs in preference<br />

to Administrations, is that they will<br />

actually generate far less money for the<br />

Government rather than more.<br />

Somewhere down the line, the full<br />

implications of these proposals have not<br />

been properly thought through, though<br />

there is a chance they never even get<br />

debated and therefore actually never<br />

come to pass. For creditors’ sake, let us<br />

hope that they don’t.<br />

Simon Plant is Chief Executive of the<br />

SFP Group which provides business<br />

turnaround and restructuring services.<br />

SFPGroup.com<br />

Simon Plant<br />

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

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



THE ODDS<br />

Lenders are open to the risk of<br />

fraudulent use of multiple Personal<br />

Guarantees.<br />

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

PERSONAL Guarantees (PGs)<br />

are being used fraudulently by<br />

small business owners to take<br />

out multiple loans without any<br />

chance of those loans ever being<br />

paid back.<br />

And Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) who<br />

have been made aware of the practice and<br />

could solve the problem simply by creating a<br />

new PG database are so far failing to act.<br />

The news follows a review of loans agreed<br />

by several different lenders which have<br />

since defaulted and are now owned by the<br />

commercial debt solutions business, Azzurro<br />

Associates.<br />

Analysts within Azzurro quickly identified<br />

that the same PGs were being used to secure<br />

new loans from different lenders sometimes<br />

only days after a previous loan had defaulted<br />

and without the new lender being aware.<br />

Andrew Birkwood, Chief Executive of<br />

Azzurro Associates, has evidence of one case<br />

where the owner of a gift shop defaulted on a<br />

loan on 9 November with one lender, only to<br />

take out another loan with a different lender<br />

on 22 November using the exact same Personal<br />

Guarantee. He went bust owing more than<br />

£50,000: “Had the second lender been aware<br />

that the busines owner had been using the<br />

same PG, they would not have agreed to the<br />

loan,” he says.<br />

“The problem is that lenders would have no<br />

way of knowing, and the CRAs, who could do<br />

something about it, seem reluctant to listen.”<br />


CRAs are fundamental to the credit ecosystem.<br />

Their databases (CAIS – Experian, SHARE<br />

– TransUnion, Insight – Equifax), and the<br />

framework around accessing and submitting<br />

data to them, enable a fair lending construct<br />

allowing lenders to confidently offer financial<br />

products, and borrowers to safely secure credit.<br />

Previously, CRAs held consumer databases<br />

that included commercial transactions for sole<br />

traders, SMEs and small partnerships. In 1999,<br />

the Information Commissioners Office (ICO)<br />

instructed the CRAs to separate the ‘personal’<br />

and ‘business’ data for consumers which has<br />

since led to the maintenance of two discrete<br />

databases: Consumer and Commercial.<br />

In the instance of PG-backed lending for<br />

commercial loans, there is no CRA database for<br />

reporting the commitment by the individual<br />

PG, or the post-default liability. The credit<br />

contract is a commercial agreement, and thus<br />

it cannot be held within the Consumer CRA<br />

database. And currently, no personal data may<br />

be held within the Commercial CRA database.<br />

“This leads to several negative consequences<br />

for both the lender and the wider credit<br />

market, which are a material risk to sustainable<br />

commercial lending,” Andrew adds.<br />

For SMEs, particularly recently incorporated<br />

companies, finance is not always easily<br />

available with sole liability on the company.<br />

Commercial lenders commonly require a PG –<br />

usually a company director – to offer increased<br />

security against the repayment of the loan. The<br />

PG will undergo a credit score assessment, as<br />

part of the underwriting of the loan.<br />

“With no Personal Guarantor bureau, the<br />

facility for lenders to report the position of<br />

personal guarantees does not exist,” Andrew<br />

continues.<br />

“With PGs, the guarantee is not called upon<br />

by the creditor until the company defaults on<br />

payment. So there isn’t a default as such by the<br />

PG. The company defaults, and at that point the<br />

creditor can call on the PG for payment when<br />

the company has failed to pay. In this case<br />

liability for the debt shifts to the PG.”<br />

In the current hiatus created by the ICO there<br />

is no record of an individual guaranteeing a<br />

company debt; there is no record of whether that<br />

individual is currently liable for the guaranteed<br />

debt due to a default by the borrowing entity;<br />

and there is no record of a PGs payment<br />

behaviour in relation to a defaulted debt.<br />


This absence of data presents a challenge to<br />

commercial lenders looking to offer credit<br />

backed by a PG. A lender will underwrite the<br />

loan based on factors including the completion<br />

of an application form and a credit check<br />

on any guarantor(s). The lender at this point<br />

is only privy to the personal credit file of the<br />

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

continues on page 22 >


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

“If such data were available,<br />

the credit decision may end up<br />

being very different, we have<br />

seen multiple instances of<br />

individuals with clean credit<br />

files guaranteeing multiple<br />

commercial credit lines – a<br />

practice known as ‘Stacking’.<br />

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


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

PG, which could be extremely strong. The<br />

lender has no visibility of any commercial<br />

credit guarantees that have been made, and<br />

whether the PG has repaid any defaulted<br />

lines.<br />

“If such data were available, the credit<br />

decision may end up being very different,”<br />

Andrew adds. “We have seen multiple<br />

instances of individuals with clean credit<br />

files guaranteeing multiple commercial<br />

credit lines – a practice known as ‘Stacking’.<br />

“In such instances, PGs can guarantee<br />

many lines of credit with multiple credit<br />

providers, with each lender oblivious to<br />

the underlying credit risk. In the event of<br />

default, the PG will see no detriment to their<br />

personal credit file, unless the lender obtains<br />

a Judgment against the individual. In this<br />

latter case, if another lender is chasing a PG<br />

for a guaranteed debt, there is almost no way<br />

a new lender would know this – unless the<br />

defaulted debt lender has secured a county<br />

court judgement against the PG.<br />

“In the event a PG guarantees multiple<br />

credit lines, the risk that the PG will remain<br />

solvent if some of the debts guaranteed fall<br />

into default, is less than certain. Creditors<br />

should be furnished with such information<br />

at the underwriting stage of a new loan.”<br />


Andrew says that many established<br />

commercial lenders including Liberis and<br />

Newable Business Loans acknowledge the<br />

problem of PG stacking and the hidden<br />

credit risk that is created.<br />

Varun Goel, Director at Liberis, says the<br />

problem could be easily be resolved if the<br />

CRAs are willing: “Even with all of the due<br />

diligence and risk analysis we do before<br />

agreeing to the provision of finance, we<br />

cannot currently see if a Personal Guarantee<br />

has been used on multiple loan applications,<br />

as we only have visibility of the personal<br />

and commercial credit files. As such, PG<br />

‘Stacking’ remains a risk that is completely<br />

hidden from view.”<br />

Phil Reynolds, Managing Director of<br />

Newable Lending, says PG ‘Stacking’ is<br />

certainly an issue and cites other challenges:<br />

“At the origination stage, it is difficult<br />

to get visibility of a borrower’s full PG<br />

obligations, due both to multiple companyloan<br />

combinations and outstanding balances<br />

versus the total guaranteed (i.e default fees,<br />

early settlement etc).<br />

“Although we do a considerable amount of<br />

director matching at Companies House, this<br />

still relies on the director’s Companies House<br />

profile being correct and often it is not. We<br />

have seen numerous occasions where the<br />

same individual is a director of multiple<br />

companies, but their director profile is<br />

not linked, usually because of something<br />

as simple as a discrepancy in their date of<br />

birth.”<br />


Andrew is frustrated that approaches to<br />

CRAs have so far produced no substantive<br />

response: “A possible solution is to create<br />

a third CRA database, solely dedicated to<br />

personal guarantees. This database can be<br />

governed by the same ruleset within the<br />

Principles of Reciprocity, only allowing the<br />

reporting of PGs (both live and defaulted),<br />

with access only permitted to those who<br />

contribute to the database. This provides<br />

transparency, fairness and consistency to<br />

commercial lending, whilst minimising the<br />

potential credit risk currently at play.”<br />

“With PGs, the guarantee is<br />

not called upon by the creditor<br />

until the company defaults on<br />

payment. So there isn’t a default<br />

as such by the PG. The company<br />

defaults, and at that point the<br />

creditor can call on the PG for<br />

payment when the company has<br />

failed to pay. In this case liability<br />

for the debt shifts to the PG.”<br />

– Andrew Birkwood, Azzurro Associates.<br />

“Many Banks and Alternative Finance<br />

Providers routinely request PGs,” Andrew<br />

explains. “The call for a bureau to maintain a<br />

PG register would give the lenders access to<br />

the PGs true financial position at the point<br />

of advance, currently signing a PG doesn’t<br />

automatically impact personal credit but it<br />

is a hidden risk to lenders. The awareness<br />

of this hidden risk shouldn’t only become<br />

apparent when a debt defaults and the PG is<br />

called upon to make payments or is sued in<br />

the County Courts.”<br />

Andrew is calling on the CRAs to take<br />

decisive action: “We believe, and are<br />

supported by many lenders in this view,<br />

that new commercial lending depends on<br />

understanding the full credit risk picture.<br />

“By enabling the reporting of PGs, CRAs<br />

will stimulate commercial lending at a<br />

time critical to the health and resurgence<br />

of the UK economy. With Government led<br />

COVID-19 funding sources soon to expire,<br />

now is the time to resolve this issue to allow<br />

the lending community to proactively lend<br />

to businesses with clarity and confidence in<br />

their lending decisions.”<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 23


Language and<br />

cultural skills are key<br />

to doing business in<br />

Bulgaria.<br />

Nodding acquaintances<br />

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

THRACIANS, Persians, Celts<br />

and Romans – Bulgaria’s<br />

seen them all. Located in<br />

the southeast of Europe,<br />

adjacent to Greece,<br />

Romania, North Macedonia,<br />

Serbia and Turkey and on the Black Sea,<br />

Bulgaria has been subject to numerous<br />

battles and wars.<br />

It was the Romans who brought stability<br />

in AD45 but the Bulgars invaded in the<br />

7th century. They were followed by the<br />

Byzantines in the 11th century, a second<br />

Bulgarian empire in 1185, the Ottomans<br />

from 1396 and the current Bulgarian<br />

state after the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-<br />

78. Post-World War II Bulgaria fell under<br />

Soviet influence and only became a<br />

democracy in 1991.<br />


Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic with<br />

a 240-member national assembly, council<br />

of ministers and a government led by<br />

a prime minister. It’s not the largest of<br />

countries at 110,994 sq km, but it’s larger<br />

than Iceland (102,775 sq km) and Ireland<br />

(70,273 sq km). That said, it’s smaller than<br />

Romania (238,397 sq km) and the UK<br />

(242,495 sq km).<br />

It is now a considered member of<br />

the European Union, NATO, the UN, the<br />

Council of Europe and the Organisation<br />

for Security and Co-operation in Europe.<br />

Statistics for Bulgaria appear very<br />

hit and miss to the point that even state<br />

agencies quote data from as far back as<br />

2012 and 2014. Even so, demographically<br />

speaking, Bulgaria is one of a handful of<br />

countries that are witnessing a population<br />

decline – Syria is in first place with an<br />

average annual decline of 3.43 percent,<br />

Andorra is second at negative 1.59<br />

percent, and Bulgaria is seventh with a fall<br />

of 0.62 percent. In numbers, according<br />

to InvestBulgaria, a state body for inward<br />

investment, Bulgaria had a population of<br />

7.28m in 2012, but the estimate for 2019 is<br />

closer to 6.94m.<br />

Good language skills are key to doing<br />

business and figures from InvestBulgaria<br />

suggest that 85 percent of the population<br />

speaks Bulgarian, nine percent Turkish<br />

with English, French, German, Spanish<br />

and Russian making up the balance. Two<br />

thirds of students learn English or German<br />

as a second language.<br />

As an aside, it’s worth noting that the<br />

Cyrillic script, used by some 250m people<br />

– half of which are in Russia – hails from<br />

Bulgaria; and since 2007 and Bulgaria’s<br />

joining the EU, it’s been the third official<br />

script after Latin and Greek.<br />

Mining operation Bulgaria<br />

Data from the Bulgarian National<br />

Statistical Institute, and quoted by EY<br />

in its guide, Doing Business in Bulgaria,<br />

suggests that of the population, 1.06m are<br />

under working age, 4.3m at working age<br />

and 1.73m are beyond the working age.<br />

Further, 65 percent live in urban areas.<br />

Around 6.8 percent are in agriculture,<br />

26.6 percent in manufacturing and 66.6<br />

percent are in services.<br />

The population is well educated with<br />

some 71 percent going on to higher<br />

education according to World Bank data<br />

as quoted by The Times Higher Education<br />

World University Rankings. The Borgen<br />

Project believes that adult literacy exceeds<br />

98 percent and the education system has<br />

moved on markedly from the communist<br />

era where propaganda and communist<br />

ideals were central to teaching; now the<br />

focus at 51 higher education institutions is<br />

on science and culture.<br />

As for cities and towns, the 2011 census<br />

found that Sofia was the largest with 1.2m<br />

people, Ploviv had 338,153, Varna was<br />

third with 334,870 while in 10th place was<br />

Shumen with just 80,855 people. It’s quite<br />

interesting that Wikipedia (taken with a<br />

pinch of salt) has drilled down to Melnik,<br />

a town that sits in 257th place, that has a<br />

population of just 347.<br />

The official currency of the country<br />

is the Bulgarian Lev. It’s seen as a stable<br />

currency due to a currency board<br />

arrangement introduced in 1997 where it<br />

was pegged to the euro at a rate of BGN<br />

1.95583 to €1.<br />


Bulgaria, most certainly since accession<br />

to the EU, has been performing well<br />

industrially in terms of market share and<br />

GDP. It has a number of key sectors: energy,<br />

mining, metallurgy, machine, agriculture<br />

and tourism, as well as IT and ICT,<br />

telecommunications, pharmaceuticals<br />

and textiles.<br />

Of these, mining is one of the most<br />

important. Data from 2015 shows<br />

that it employed 24,000 while those<br />

in mining related activities in general<br />

numbered 120,000 in total. The US Energy<br />

Information Administration reckoned that<br />

in 2018 Bulgaria was Europe’s fifth largest<br />

coal producer. This number may well be<br />

revised as the world moves away from<br />

fossil fuels.<br />

Back in 2016 the Financial Times noted<br />

that Bulgaria had a vibrant IT sector with<br />

some 40-51,000 software engineers – in<br />

Soviet times it was apparently known as<br />

the Communist Silicon Valley because<br />

of its role in computing technology<br />

production. However, data from Oxford<br />

Economics – quoted by EY – suggests that<br />

the number employed is nearer 30,000.<br />

Nevertheless, the sector is significant and<br />

represents three percent of Bulgarian GDP.<br />

On science and technology, spending in<br />

Bulgaria is relatively low at just 0.78 percent<br />

of GDP, according to 2018 data from the<br />

National Statistical Institute. However, the<br />

country is active in research in chemistry,<br />

materials science and physics. Allied to<br />

this is Bulgarian participation in space-<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 24


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

Pirin National Park, originally<br />

named Vihren National Park,<br />

encompasses the larger part of the<br />

Pirin Mountains in southwestern<br />

Bulgaria, spanning an area of<br />

403.56 km². It is one of the three<br />

national parks in the country, the<br />

others being Rila National Park<br />

and Central Balkan National Park.<br />

related programmes that have seen two satellites and<br />

more than 200 payloads and 300 experiments lifted into<br />

Earth orbit.<br />

Automotive is a sector that should appeal to investors.<br />

Data from Colliers International and Automobile Cluster<br />

Bulgaria found that the appeal is due to low labour<br />

cost, EU membership, and proximity to producers and<br />

customers. Great Wall Motors has a facility in Bahovitsa<br />

with capacity for 50,000 vehicles a year with plans to<br />

increase this to 70,000.<br />

As previously noted, the economy is performing (or at<br />

least was until Coronavirus). Data from Haver Analytics<br />

and Dun & Bradstreet indicates that GDP growth, since<br />

2015, has been consistently in the range of 3 – 3.9 percent.<br />

The forecast, pre-COVID, was set at 2.8 percent for <strong>2020</strong>,<br />

2.9 percent for 2021 and 2.6 percent for 2022. It’s unlikely<br />

that those forecasts will now be met. In monetary terms,<br />

those percentages translate to a GDP per capita (in US$)<br />

to 7,841 in 2014, 9,613 in 2019 and a forecast (pre-COVID)<br />

of 11,092 in 2022.<br />

The same data source shows that not only is Bulgaria<br />

– along with Slovakia and Hungary – likely to be the<br />

most stable of economies in Central and Eastern Europe<br />

in 2019, but that it had the second lowest government<br />

debt to GDP in 2018 – just 22 percent. Again, expect that<br />

number to rise.<br />

Bulgaria has benefitted from EU membership and<br />

funding. Some €9bn between 2007 and 2013, reckons<br />

a 2015 UK government document, made its way to the<br />

country and a similar amount should be invested by<br />

the end of <strong>2020</strong> with an emphasis on infrastructure,<br />

science, education, innovation and development of<br />

the knowledge economy. Foreign direct investment,<br />

according to EY, stood at $1.68bn in 2018 mainly coming<br />

from the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Bulgaria<br />

ranks 23rd in Europe in terms of attracted FDI projects in<br />

2018, according to EY’s European Attractiveness Survey;<br />

there were 43 projects in 2018 compared to 33 in 2017.<br />


Tax rates in Bulgaria appear quite benign with<br />

employment and directors’ fees income being taxed at a<br />

flat 10 percent, capital gains at 10 percent too and just five<br />

percent on dividends. There are various rates from four<br />

to 7.5 percent on self-employment and business income.<br />

On top of that are social security contributions that vary<br />

according to factors such as age, activity, and retirement<br />

status.<br />

As for corporate taxation, it’s set at 10 percent (the<br />

second lowest in the EU – first place goes to Hungary and<br />

Montenegro at nine percent). Other associated taxes such<br />

as dividends, interest, royalties, fees for services, rent<br />

and payments from leases vary from 0 to 10 percent. If<br />

the company is based in Bulgaria, it will pay tax on all<br />

its profits from Bulgaria and abroad. If, on the other<br />

hand, it’s not based in Bulgaria but has an office or<br />

branch there, it will only pay tax on its profits from its<br />

activities in Bulgaria. In terms of VAT, the standard rate<br />

is 20 percent which is reduced to nine percent for hotel<br />

accommodation and a zero rate that’s applied to intracommunity<br />

and transport. VAT registration is mandatory<br />

above a rolling BGN 50,000, BGN 70,000 for distance<br />

selling businesses and BGN 20,000 for intra-community<br />

acquisitions.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 25<br />

continues on page 26 >


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />


As with other countries around the world,<br />

Bulgaria offers a number of business entities<br />

from which to conduct business. These include<br />

the standard sole tradership (ET) and a general<br />

or limited partnership. However, the most<br />

commonly used format is the limited liability<br />

company (OOD) or the joint-stock company<br />

(AD). It’s also possible to open a branch or<br />

representative office, the latter established not<br />

to sell but instead, to carry marketing or other<br />

ancillary business functions.<br />

Back to the OOD and AD. These entities<br />

require at least one shareholder with no<br />

maximum number and liability is limited –<br />

apart from, say, fraud and tax evasion – to the<br />

shares subscribed. An AD<br />

differs from an OOD in<br />

that it may be comprised<br />

of individuals and also<br />

legal entities (including<br />

those of any nationality,<br />

place of incorporation or<br />

management). Further,<br />

an OOD must have at least<br />

two BGN in share capital<br />

but for an AD, that figure<br />

is BGN 50,000. But there<br />

is another difference –<br />

management. An OOD<br />

tends to have one or a<br />

number of directors while<br />

Sofia, Bulgaria<br />

an AD can have various<br />

levels of management.<br />

Business registration<br />

requires a name, defined activity, an address<br />

in Bulgaria and initial share capital deposited<br />

in a local bank in an escrow account. This is<br />

then followed by registration on the publicly<br />

available official Commercial Register and the<br />

acquisition of an official stamp that is used to<br />

endorse any formal activities. Annual reports<br />

must be submitted to the register and there<br />

is a requirement for annual inventory counts.<br />

Firms should be prepared to store records for<br />

some time; EY highlights that payroll data<br />

needs to be kept for 50 years, accounting<br />

records and financial statements for 10 years,<br />

tax and social security records and everything<br />

else for five years.<br />

According to foreigner.bg, there are no<br />

restrictions on overseas involvement in a<br />

Bulgarian business; in other words, a Bulgarian<br />

business can be 100 percent foreign owned.<br />

However, registration isn’t fast and can take<br />

up to two weeks; the assistance of a Bulgarian<br />

speaker is essential since the register is not<br />

available in English. Lastly, Bulgaria offers<br />

intellectual property protection since it is a<br />

signatory to various conventions and treaties<br />

on the subject. However, as EY notes, licensing,<br />

patents, copyright and trademarks are not<br />

overly regulated or constrained; trade in this<br />

area is expanding and so EY’s¬ advice is to draw<br />

up agreements that observe the legal minimum<br />

so as to maintain flexibility.<br />


Businesses need staff and<br />

detail from the Leinonen<br />

Group, an international<br />

payroll firm, explains a<br />

number of key points.<br />

First, employment<br />

contracts must be<br />

registered at the National<br />

Revenue Agency and while<br />

they can be written in<br />

any language, a Bulgarian<br />

copy is recommended.<br />

Minimum wage legislation<br />

exists and as of July <strong>2020</strong> is<br />

€311.90 per month.<br />

According to the<br />

Bulgarian Labour Code,<br />

employers can use probationary periods, but<br />

they may last six months at most. Other than<br />

the probationary period, termination of a<br />

contract requires at least one month’s notice.<br />

Annual paid leave is a minimum of 20 days<br />

plus public holidays and when illness or injury<br />

occurs, the employer will cover 70 percent of<br />

the employee’s wages for the first three days<br />

with the balance paid by the National Social<br />

Security Institute. For an employee to acquire<br />

the right to sick pay they must work a minimum<br />

six months and social security payments must<br />

be completed.<br />

Foreign nationals may work in Bulgaria only<br />

if they reside legally in Bulgaria; this is certified<br />

by way of a relevant residence permit issued by<br />

the Ministry of the Interior and/or a relevant<br />

permit has been granted by the executive<br />

director of the Employment Agency.<br />


Visitors to Bulgaria should be aware of one<br />

key nicety of life there. The internationally<br />

accepted gestures signifying ‘yes’ (nodding<br />

up and down) and ‘no’ (side to side) are done<br />

in reverse, so when Bulgarians nod their heads<br />

this mean ‘no’, and when they shake their heads<br />

it means ‘yes’, a fact that may be confusing.<br />

Adam Bernstein is a freelance business writer.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 26


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

The Dormition of the Mother of<br />

God Cathedral is the largest church<br />

building in Varna and the third<br />

largest cathedral in Bulgaria (after<br />

St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral<br />

in Sofia and St. Dimitar Cathedral<br />

in Vidin). Officially opened on 30<br />

August 1886. It is the residence of<br />

the bishopric of Varna and Preslav<br />

and one of the symbols of Varna.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 27

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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 29


TRADE<br />

Monthly round-up of the latest stories<br />

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.<br />

Vietnam’s economic<br />

recovery accelerates<br />

MONEYWEEK is keen on Vietnam. It’s<br />

recently reported that the country’s GDP<br />

growth quickened in the third quarter of<br />

<strong>2020</strong> as exports and manufacturing began<br />

to recover from the pandemic-induced<br />

slump of the first half of <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

It quotes Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen on<br />

Bloomberg, noting that ‘GDP rose by<br />

2.62 percent from a year earlier, up from<br />

around 0.4 percent in the second quarter.<br />

Improving industrial production, notably<br />

a sharp increase in manufacturing output,<br />

was one key reason’. Overall exports<br />

climbed by 11 percent, fuelled mainly by<br />

demand for PCs as office workers and<br />

students shifted to online working; that<br />

helped offset a decline in demand for<br />

mobile phones and clothes as well as a<br />

slump in tourism.<br />

Not to be left in the wings, the<br />

Vietnamese Government is creating jobs<br />

with cash to improve roads, railways<br />

and other forms of infrastructure. Public<br />

investment since January has been at a<br />

five-year high. Aggressive fiscal spending<br />

is also buoying growth and consumption is<br />

expected to roar back.<br />

All of this means that the Asian<br />

Development Bank is forecasting economic<br />

growth of 1.8 percent for <strong>2020</strong> with the<br />

potential for exceeding two percent if<br />

nothing knocks the rebound off course.<br />

UK exporters should go and make hay<br />

while the Vietnamese sun shines.<br />


A post on conservativehome.com, an<br />

independent blog for Conservative Party<br />

thinking, reckons that the recently concluded<br />

UK-Japan trade deal has set the tone for other<br />

post-Brexit agreements.<br />

The author, Stephen Booth, thinks that not<br />

only does the deal build on the existing EU-<br />

Japan trade framework but it goes further<br />

in areas such as digital services. It is also a<br />

step towards joining the Comprehensive and<br />

Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).<br />

Trade deals with Australia and New Zealand are<br />

the next step. Some 60 percent of UK exports to<br />

Australia comprise services, so Britain is keen to<br />

secure a high-quality deal on services, data and<br />

investment. Trade deals with Australia and New<br />

Zealand could mean liberalised visa regimes and<br />

more open procurement markets. In return, the<br />

UK may have to open its agricultural market.<br />

It’s notable that Japan heavily protected its<br />

agricultural sector, but it has been compelled to<br />

slowly reduce tariffs over 20 years as part of its<br />

CPTPP deal. Booth reckons that that could serve<br />

as a model for any UK-Australia deal. Either way,<br />

trade deals with the other side of the planet will<br />

be good for UK exporters.<br />


IT’S well known that people love their pets, never<br />

more so during Coronavirus lockdown. But a story<br />

in the Daily Telegraph suggests that our canine<br />

friends are being elevated to almost regal status<br />

and are being pampered like never before. And<br />

to prove the point, look at the Beverly Hills Hotel<br />

which now has a canine connoisseur programme<br />

that offers the ‘ultimate in pampering’.<br />

After a request from a guest, it held a wedding<br />

for two collies. Meanwhile, the paper has<br />

reported that in London, Blakes Hotel has a pet<br />

concierge service for £329 per night, ‘with<br />

dog beds, dog walking maps, vet services and a list<br />

of dog-friendly shops and restaurants’. Dukes Hotel<br />

has picnic hampers for humans and now dogs for<br />

£15 per dog, where they can picnic in one of the<br />

Royal Parks nearby. The package includes ‘a wicker<br />

basket with a plush picnic rug, gourmet dog food,<br />

dog bone chew, a selection of toys and a small ball<br />

launcher’.<br />

The upshot? If you’re into dog-based goods and<br />

services, look around the world to upper tier hotels<br />

(whether now or post-Coronavirus) to see if your<br />

products will export.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 30

It’s not all Greek to me<br />

ATRADIUS has recently published an<br />

updated country report on Greece. Noting<br />

the political tensions with Turkey over<br />

maritime borders that pose a threat<br />

to regional stability all in the name of<br />

hydrocarbon exploration, the report tells<br />

that the Greek economy has been hit hard,<br />

especially in tourism.<br />

The country faces an economic<br />

contraction of more than seven percent<br />

in <strong>2020</strong>, due to comprehensive lockdown<br />

measures domestically and abroad, as well<br />

as due to the global recession. Exports are<br />

forecast to shrink 9.5 percent this year.<br />

Tourism (accounting for almost 27 percent<br />

of GDP) decreased 99 percent year-onyear<br />

in April and May, and there was<br />

no real rebound in the summer holiday<br />

season. Unemployment has substantially<br />

increased over the past couple of months,<br />

peaking at 18.3 percent in July <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

On the bright side though, the report is<br />

of the view that if the pandemic comes<br />

to a gradual end, a robust recovery of<br />

investments, private consumption and<br />

exports output should lead to an economic<br />

rebound of almost 7.5 percent in 2021.<br />

Of course, the Turkish question could<br />

interrupt this rebound.<br />

But there is business still to be<br />

done there. To grease the wheels, the<br />

Government has announced financial and<br />

fiscal measures amounting to about 14<br />

percent of GDP, including loan guarantees,<br />

additional expenditures on health, cash<br />

transfers to households, various forms<br />

of support to companies and VAT rate<br />

reductions. Banks have allowed deferrals<br />

of principal payments on existing loans<br />

for hard-hit individuals until the end of<br />

September, and for businesses until the<br />

end of <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong>.t<br />



ACCORDING to a report on Reuters,<br />

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi<br />

has launched a property card scheme to<br />

provide clarity of property rights in villages<br />

and enable farmers to use their property<br />

as collateral for loans from financial<br />

institutions.<br />

Two-thirds of India’s population live in<br />

rural areas where few possess proper land<br />

records and property disputes are common.<br />

The Government plans to use drone<br />

technology to map land parcels in rural<br />

areas and cover some 620,000 villages<br />

over the next four years. Despite owning<br />

houses, people were facing multiple<br />

problems while borrowing from banks.<br />

They should be able to borrow very easily<br />

from banks after showing property cards<br />

issued under ownership scheme. Each card<br />

will have a unique identity number similar<br />

to the Aadhaar card – the world’s biggest<br />

biometric identity project, covering more<br />

than a billion people in India.<br />

What does this mean for exporters? It<br />

means potentially millions more people<br />

with the financial wherewithal to buy more<br />

than before the scheme was put in place.<br />

Germany insolvency law reform<br />

GERMANY has set out proposals to relax<br />

insolvency rules, the goal being to help<br />

avert a wave of bankruptcies in what is<br />

Europe’s largest economy. There is a catch<br />

though - companies hit by the Coronavirus<br />

crisis must have a robust business model<br />

to qualify.<br />

The Government said: ‘Companies that<br />

can show creditors a realistic prospect of<br />

restructuring should be able to implement<br />

their concept outside insolvency<br />

proceedings’.<br />

At the heart of the problem is<br />

Germany’s biggest slump since World War<br />

Two as the economy shrank by 9.7 percent<br />

in the second quarter.<br />

The proposal is at present, just that, a<br />

proposal. However, if put in place it would<br />

take effect at the start of 2021 and would<br />

Coronavirus – a catalyst for political risks<br />

CREDIT insurer Coface has just published<br />

its Q3 Political Risk Index Barometer and<br />

it’s seeing both a decrease in the risk of<br />

conflict at a global level and an increase in<br />

the risk of political and social fragility. The<br />

latter is exacerbated in the countries most<br />

exposed to the Coronavirus pandemic.<br />

There are numerous uncertainties<br />

surrounding the forecasts presented in the<br />

barometer and it’s entirely clear that while<br />

waiting for a vaccine and/or treatment,<br />

businesses and households have postponed<br />

spending and investment projects.<br />

Coface is anticipating a global growth<br />

rate of negative 4.8 percent in <strong>2020</strong>,<br />

followed by a 4.4 percent rebound in 2021.<br />

GDP in the eurozone and in the United<br />

States would remain 3.5 points and two<br />

points below the 2019 levels, respectively.<br />

extend the deadline for firms to file for<br />

insolvency to six weeks from the current<br />

three and authorities would apply more<br />

relaxed benchmarks when examining<br />

over-indebtedness.<br />

The Government has already taken<br />

steps such as allowing firms in financial<br />

trouble due to the pandemic to delay filing<br />

for bankruptcy until the end of the year<br />

after extending an original deadline of the<br />

end of September. This helped the number<br />

of firms declaring insolvency in Germany<br />

to fall 6.2 percent to 9,006 in the first half<br />

of this year from the same period last year.<br />

The worry is that suspending<br />

insolvencies delays, but does not prevent,<br />

the collapse of zombie companies<br />

artificially kept afloat. In other words,<br />

watch your days outstanding carefully.<br />

It thinks that at least three years would<br />

be required to return to pre-crisis levels of<br />

production. This persistently lower level of<br />

economic activity compared to pre-crisis<br />

levels is expected to encourage an increase<br />

in poverty, income inequality and thus<br />

social discontent.<br />

Among mature economies, the degree of<br />

dissatisfaction of public opinion with the<br />

management of the health crisis is highest<br />

in Spain, the United States, the United<br />

Kingdom and France.<br />

And in the emerging world, Iran and<br />

Turkey are among the countries with the<br />

highest level of social risk. Several Latin<br />

American countries (Brazil, Mexico, Peru,<br />

Colombia), as well as South Africa, also<br />

present both a high political and social risk<br />

and high exposure to the Coronavirus crisis.<br />



UK Export Finance (UKEF) is now<br />

providing increased financial support to<br />

UK exporters seeking to sell to over 100<br />

countries worldwide.<br />

The programme now includes countries<br />

such as Egypt, Paraguay, Serbia, Uganda<br />

and Vietnam. On top of this is support for<br />

more renewable projects overseas through<br />

the allocation of £2bn of direct lending to<br />

finance green projects in the latest budget.<br />

UKEF provides support to UK exports<br />

through guarantees, loans and insurance<br />

and is strategically positioned to provide<br />

competitive financing to overseas<br />

companies looking to do business with the<br />

UK. In 2019 to <strong>2020</strong>, UKEF provided £4.4bn<br />

of support for UK exports, which included<br />

over £300m in financing for wind farms in<br />

Taiwan, £110m for a new maternity hospital<br />

in Ghana and £40m to repair 83 kilometres<br />

of road in Gabon.<br />



OR CALL 020 7738 0777<br />

Currency UK is authorised and regulated<br />

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).<br />

High Low Trend<br />

GBP/EUR 1.12786 1.09370 Up<br />

GBP/USD 1.32814 1.28592 Up<br />

GBP/CHF 1.21865 1.17325 Up<br />

GBP/AUD 1.85159 1.79434 Down<br />

GBP/CAD 1.73794 1.69726 Up<br />

GBP/JPY 140.13577 134.51040 Up<br />

This data was taken on 18th November and refers to the<br />

month previous to/leading up to 17th November <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 31


SOFTLY<br />

SOFTLY<br />

How will DCAs tackle the expected<br />

surge in vulnerable customers?<br />

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

IT has been a challenging year for<br />

the whole country and as we head<br />

into winter, the reality is that it’s<br />

going to get tougher before it gets<br />

better. All of us are now coping<br />

with increased restrictions on our<br />

movements and our ability to work and live<br />

our lives as normal. The consequences and<br />

impact of these restrictions is becoming<br />

more concerning by the day, fuelled by the<br />

various negative economic predictions being<br />

forecasted as a result.<br />

From a debt perspective, I think it is fair to<br />

say that with the Government intervention<br />

and FCA instructions issued to creditors<br />

back in March, debt levels have so far been<br />

supressed. The latest FCA research on the<br />

impact of COVID shows that nearly 12 million<br />

people have low financial resilience, of which<br />

two million have become so since February as<br />

a result of the pandemic.<br />

Low financial resilience is one of four key<br />

drivers of vulnerability as the FCA highlighted<br />

in its consultation paper – GC19/3 on guidance<br />

to firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable<br />

customers. The drivers depicted in this paper<br />

include health matters, life events, capability<br />

and financial resilience (i.e. ability to cope<br />

with setbacks).<br />

Given the current situation, many people<br />

are dealing with vulnerability, and with<br />

growing concerns over the economy and<br />

increasing unemployment levels, and<br />

forecasts predicting it will double within the<br />

next six months, the number of people who<br />

will fall into financial vulnerability is clearly<br />

going to increase. So what does this mean for<br />

the Debt Collection sector, the businesses<br />

tasked with helping creditors deal with rising<br />

levels of delinquencies? Is this a fantastic<br />

opportunity for firms to swell their coffers<br />

(so to speak) whilst many businesses and<br />

customers are facing financial ruin?<br />


Looking back to March and the initial<br />

approach to the pandemic, the Government,<br />

regulators and creditors came together and<br />

provided structure and guidance and support<br />

to help those customers and businesses<br />

impacted by COVID. Many people, particularly<br />

in customer facing sectors that were forced to<br />

close, were furloughed. Large numbers took<br />

advantage of payment deferrals – or holidays –<br />

across their mortgages, loans and credit cards<br />

to help deal with reduced income during the<br />

initial lockdown period. These measures were<br />

introduced to help people cushion the blow<br />

they were likely to face as a result of economic<br />

privations imposed to fight the pandemic.<br />

Our business, like many other agencies, took<br />

note of these enhanced forbearance tools and<br />

approaches and adapted our communications<br />

to ensure customers struggling to pay their<br />

bills, let alone make any payments towards<br />

their debts, were given support and guidance<br />

for their situation.<br />

The solutions offered vary according to a<br />

customer’s individual circumstances. In some<br />

cases, customers just needed to reduce their<br />

monthly payments, some needed a payment<br />

break and some customers were directed<br />

immediately through an online partnership<br />

that we have, with free to access debt advice<br />

services. These organisations specialise in<br />

helping customers review their overall income<br />

and outgoings and restructure these to help<br />

them meet essential expenditure needs given<br />

their revised circumstances. It is also fair to<br />

say that some customers actually benefitted<br />

from the debt referral options given by all<br />

creditors and used the unexpected income to<br />

pay down debts.<br />

The point that is important to stress here<br />

is that the interest of the agency when<br />

speaking with customers is not a single focus<br />

on resolving the debt that has been assigned<br />

to them but taking the time to understand<br />

and assess the customer’s situation before<br />

agreeing a debt repayment route. By all means,<br />

if customers are in a position to repay the debt<br />

in question, we should and do encourage<br />

them to do that, but only after assessing their<br />

circumstances and undertaking a general<br />

wellbeing check. This is the appropriate thing<br />

to do given the customer’s circumstances.<br />

Given the current situation there will be an<br />

increase in customers who are struggling<br />

with their mental health and our agents are<br />

trained to delicately explore this through<br />

industry recognised standards such as the<br />

Texas Framework and general sensitive case<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 32


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

handling protocols. So it is important for DCAs to be<br />

aware of this and provide sufficient support to the<br />

customer in these circumstances, which can include<br />

referral to recognised support organisations and<br />

extended breathing space to support that.<br />


I believe that the UK Debt Collection sector has<br />

transformed itself in the past decade, driven heavily<br />

by regulatory intervention and guided by the Credit<br />

Services Association (CSA), but it has embraced<br />

and pivoted on good customer experience as being<br />

central to achieving great results. This is very much<br />

at odds with the common misconception that we<br />

are an industry that thrives on more people being in<br />

debt. This is simply not the case.<br />

The fact is we don’t, and our clients care about how<br />

we deal with customers and ensure we achieve a fair<br />

outcome based on their customers’ circumstances.<br />

Now, more than ever, clients are monitoring firm’s<br />

engagement with customers. Firms themselves<br />

are also measuring their own interactions with<br />

customers and many have dedicated resources<br />

focused on analysing and improving the customer<br />

experience.<br />

Customer feedback is vital to assessing the quality<br />

of the service we provide. Commercial outcomes are,<br />

of course, important, but no more important than<br />

conduct outcomes. To that point, the commercial<br />

impact of more customers in debt struggling to pay<br />

their bills means, quite simply, that many will be<br />

paying less over a much longer period of time. As<br />

a result, firms will see their servicing costs increase<br />

and revenue levels reduce.<br />


So no, it certainly is not boom time for DCAs.<br />

Probably the opposite; it’s a very tough trading<br />

outlook. It is also worth highlighting the great job<br />

that customer facing agents are doing across the<br />

country with many experiencing rising levels of<br />

abuse from customers. We know emotions are<br />

running high, particularly with the constraints and<br />

frustrations people are having to live with, but that’s<br />

no excuse for agents to be on the receiving end of<br />

sometimes shocking verbal abuse from customers.<br />

Given that many agents are now working from<br />

home, children in the background or indeed with<br />

parents or other loved ones, this is very tough to deal<br />

with. We are all impacted by this pandemic and by<br />

caring for each other and being respectful in our<br />

interactions we will help each other get through it.<br />

I know that our agents are really passionate about<br />

helping people and take pride in doing that. To see<br />

the rising levels of verbal abuse when we are trying<br />

to help, therefore, is disappointing.<br />

While we are facing tough times and many people<br />

will struggle financially in the months ahead,<br />

customers can be confident that if they are contacted<br />

by firms like ourselves, DCAs who are members of<br />

the CSA, they will be treated fairly and given the<br />

support they need to deal with their situation.<br />

David Sheridan FCI<strong>CM</strong> is Operations Director of<br />

ARC Europe, and a member of the CI<strong>CM</strong> Technical<br />

Committee.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 33



Vaccines, enforcement and ‘another new normal’<br />

– what will 2021 have in store for enforcement?<br />

AUTHOR – Andrew Wilson FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

WHAT’S in store for<br />

us all in 2021? I<br />

am certainly not<br />

getting a crystal<br />

ball out after the<br />

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

would be a foolish person that would<br />

predict what the world has in store for<br />

us, and I’m certainly not going to try.<br />

What I can do is set out what the High<br />

Court Enforcement Officers Association<br />

is going to focus on.<br />

And although almost everything has<br />

changed in <strong>2020</strong>, in some ways, many<br />

things have stayed the same.<br />

We will continue to represent and<br />

support our members and be the voice<br />

for our profession. But what does that<br />

mean in 2021?<br />

We have three main priorities moving<br />

forward:<br />

1. Making sure High Court enforcement<br />

is undertaken safely and responsibly.<br />

2. Improving clarity and transparency<br />

across High Court enforcement.<br />

3. Modernising the High Court<br />

enforcement system across England<br />

and Wales.<br />

This isn’t something our members can<br />

do on their own, but they’re absolutely<br />

ready and willing to play their part.<br />

Safety and responsibility have been<br />

the key watchwords for enforcement this<br />

year and, even with an effective vaccine<br />

on the horizon, that will continue into<br />

2021 and beyond. Putting safety and<br />

responsibility first has been critical<br />

for the health of debtors, agents and<br />

our collective reputation. It’s been the<br />

right thing to do and we’ve actually<br />

had improved engagement with many<br />

thousands of debtors as a result.<br />

It’s interesting that the changes<br />

affecting High Court enforcement have<br />

come from Government in a mix of<br />

guidance and statutory instruments.<br />

Whether that is the ‘Christmas break’<br />

from evictions, clarity over exemptions<br />

on possessions, or guidance on how<br />

the Tier system applies to enforcement<br />

across England, it hasn’t made any<br />

difference to how our members have<br />

responded.<br />

The High Court Enforcement Officers<br />

Association has been able to respond<br />

quickly and confirm that our members<br />

support and will follow the letter and<br />

the spirit of what Government is asking<br />

– whether that is guidance or legislation.<br />

We’re all grown-ups and this is a grownup<br />

and sensible way to operate right<br />

now.<br />

Clarity and transparency will be<br />

important in 2021 as well, and we know<br />

we can do better here.<br />

VAT on High Court enforcement fees<br />

is a good example. It’s a complex area,<br />

and we’ve made our case to Government<br />

for a zero VAT rating – it’s the fairest<br />

and clearest approach for creditors<br />

and debtors – and we’ll continue to<br />

liaise with the Ministry of Justice to get<br />

an outcome to this. Clarity is hugely<br />

important for everyone involved and the<br />

current position needs to move forward.<br />

As for modernisation, things have<br />

moved on in leaps and bounds in <strong>2020</strong>,<br />

but there is much more that can be done.<br />

We’re supportive of the Government’s<br />

moves to modernise the court system<br />

and we want to open up more freedom<br />

for creditors to choose between High<br />

Court writs and County Court warrants<br />

when it comes to collecting unpaid<br />

debts.<br />

The £600 figure – the current minimum<br />

debt for which High Court writs can be<br />

used – is arbitrary. It is causing delays<br />

and frustrations for creditors who would<br />

like to work with our members to collect<br />

money that is owed to them. We’d like to<br />

see that changed to increase options for<br />

creditors and give UK plc more choice<br />

in how it collects unpaid debts – which<br />

will be critical for keeping the economy<br />

moving in 2021.<br />

Since entering the latest phase of<br />

national restrictions across England in<br />

early November it seems that the big<br />

picture has jumped forward with news<br />

of a successful vaccine developments, so<br />

suddenly 2021 is starting to look a little<br />

different. Here’s hoping.<br />

Andrew Wilson FCI<strong>CM</strong> is Chairman of<br />

the High Court Enforcement Officers<br />

Association (HCEOA).<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 34


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C R E D I T M A N A G E M E N T<br />

Collaborative<br />

Corporate credit teams<br />

are redefining themselves<br />

as champions of customer<br />

satisfaction and service.<br />

The emergence of straight-through eInvoicing and<br />

collections software has allowed credit managers<br />

to shrug off the stern, confrontational image for<br />

one centred around insight and understanding.<br />

Today, credit managers can work with suppliers<br />

more collaboratively and provide valuable<br />

management information to their executive<br />

teams.<br />

We live in the so-called Information Age and data is<br />

the new oil. Credit managers with access to a rich<br />

pipeline of data can apply their minds to analysis and<br />

critical thinking, developing nuanced and dynamic<br />

approaches to credit risk. Those, however, with a<br />

paucity of data will have little choice than to adhere<br />

rigidly to policies and fill their days with a treadmill of<br />

operational tasks. Their roles are limited to that of an<br />

enforcer, rather than one of a problem-solver.<br />

Yet it is only possible when the credit manager<br />

is empowered with information – a detailed<br />

audit trail of when and how the customer has<br />

responded to invoices and letters they have<br />

been sent.<br />

Collaborative Working<br />

Most businesses uses some form of<br />

collaborative working tool, from the simplest<br />

instant messaging tools such as Slack and<br />

Yammer to Teams, Sharepoint and Miro. These<br />

tools encourage frequent, succinct exchanges<br />

that are informal and spontaneous.<br />

If you find yourself in the latter group, there is one<br />

simple thing you can do to turn things around:<br />

digitise. Put your AR and collections operations into<br />

the cloud and the upshot will be a plentiful supply of<br />

information and data that can be sliced, modelled and<br />

analysed to deliver meaningful insights. And those<br />

insights form the basis for the collaborative conversations<br />

both within the business and with customers,<br />

allowing credit managers to put forward tailor-made<br />

credit solutions involving invoice finance, early payment<br />

discounts, seasonally varied credit limits and<br />

other such mechanisms.<br />

High value work that drives strategic outcomes is<br />

rewarding both in terms of job satisfaction company<br />

profitability. It can unlock working capital and cement<br />

loyalty from buyers.<br />

Business tools that encourage frequent,<br />

succinct exchanges that are informal and<br />

spontaneous enable quick resolution. Which<br />

is also how your interactions with buyers<br />

should be.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 36 34

40<br />

30<br />

20<br />

10<br />

0<br />

Item 1 Item 2 Item 3 Item 4<br />

by Holly Scott-Donaldson<br />

Head of Sales and Marketing at Data Interconnect<br />

hollysd@datainterconnect.co.uk<br />

They are browser-based and frictionless, which<br />

is how your interactions with buyers could be.<br />

How? By using an eInvoicing software platform<br />

that has a self-service portal at its core.<br />

Machine readable invoice formats accelerate<br />

the interaction between supplier Accounts<br />

Receivable and buyer Accounts Payable. They<br />

allow the essential data to be absorbed more<br />

easily into buyer AP systems for Purchase Order<br />

matching, approval and subsequent settlement.<br />

In the best-case scenario, EDI exchanges using<br />

formats such as PEPPOL allow for a zero-touch<br />

order-to-cash process, but when exceptions,<br />

issues or disputes arise, interaction still needs<br />

to be digital, which is where<br />

the self-service portal<br />

becomes invaluable.<br />

Invoicing portals provide the browser-based<br />

interface through which buyers can raise<br />

issues, append documents such as PODs and<br />

commence the process of collaboration<br />

towards resolution. Open cases can be quickly<br />

assigned to a colleague to ensure continuous<br />

coverage during absences. Everything needed<br />

to answer questions or resolve issues is easily<br />

accessible , including a time-stamped audit trail<br />

of all interactions. Colleagues can pick up a case<br />

efficiently and work on it without a handover.<br />

In fact, cases can be moved to different team<br />

members at different stages of the process,<br />

with collections experts focused on reducing<br />

aged debt and AR specialists tasked with<br />

handling invoice queries. Portals provide a<br />

window on real-time and historical activity and<br />

make it possible for teamworking focused on<br />

improving key metrics instead of simply<br />

managing a workload.<br />

During periods of lockdown digital interaction<br />

was all many businesses had. For some, this<br />

caused a vital information gap, while for those<br />

fortunate enough to be using software like<br />

Corrivo, pure digital interaction continued to<br />

serve up valuable insights that could be used to<br />

develop agile and responsive strategies for<br />

challenging times. With further lockdowns<br />

seemingly inevitable, the case for investment in<br />

AR is hastened. Even during the worst of times,<br />

credit teams can be equipped to do their jobs<br />

efficiently and effectively, bringing in the vital<br />

funds their own companies need to weather<br />

the economic storm. With the right tools, credit<br />

managers can become the economic heroes<br />

saving livelihoods, rather than lives.<br />

Advancing the credit profession // www.cicm.com // Novemberw <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> // PAGE 37 35


Time to Buckle up?<br />

The ups and downs of payment performance sees<br />

some businesses doing better than others.<br />

AUTHOR – Iona Yadallee<br />

THE latest busines-to-business payment performance<br />

figures show that businesses have been waiting a little<br />

longer for invoices to be paid in October. There have<br />

been slight increases to Days Beyond Term (DBT) across<br />

UK business sectors and UK regions – the average DBT<br />

for sectors and regions increased by 0.7 days and 0.1<br />

days respectively.<br />

These marginal increases, however, may detract from what<br />

businesses in some sectors or regions are experiencing; some might<br />

feel like they are starting to edge up to the main descent on their roller<br />

coaster ride, while others may be enjoying a more gentle run with the<br />

brake half applied. Either way, we don’t know what is around the next<br />

bend and it doesn’t look like the full impact of the ongoing pandemic<br />

has shown itself yet within the payment performance figures.<br />


The Water & Waste, Mining & Quarrying and Business from Home<br />

sectors continue to vie for the unwanted position of highest DBT figure<br />

in October. Water & Waste’s DBT continues to rise by 2.4 days (this<br />

follows a rise of 13.8 days in September) which put it in the top spot<br />

with an overall DBT of 24.4, followed by the Mining & Quarrying sector<br />

– 22.7 days overall.<br />

Not too far behind is the Business from Home sector, with an overall<br />

DBT of 21.4 days, but hopefully the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit will<br />

have been given a lift over the past few months as this figure climbs<br />

down from the 32.2 days it experienced in August. While the Business<br />

from Home sector is still the third worst hit sector, and sits head and<br />

shoulders above the sector average of 15.9 DBT, it is encouraging to see<br />

it falling for a second month – this time by 7.8 days for October.<br />

Other significant reductions in DBT come from the Education sector<br />

(-6.8 days) and Health & Social (-5.5 days). Education is another sector<br />

heading in the right direction – with another drop of 6.8 days down to<br />

13.6 DBT. More marginal reductions can also been seen across many<br />

other sectors but DBT figures haven’t made it below 10 DBT just yet.<br />

The highest increase in days is found in Other Services (which<br />

includes everything from dry cleaners, hairdressers and businesses<br />

offering beauty services through to computer and furniture repair<br />

services and membership organisations, with a big jump of 7.1 days.<br />

Public Administration also struggled, with an increase of 5.9 days to<br />

its payment terms.<br />


The regional standings continue to highlight the struggles of<br />

Northern Ireland, which remains the worst performing region<br />

with an overall DBT of 23 days following a further increase<br />

of 3.2 days. The East Midlands has also struggled with late<br />

payments, a sharp increase of 4.2 days means its overall DBT is<br />

now standing at 20.1 days. However, it is worth noting that the<br />

third worst performing region is the North West with 15.6 DBT,<br />

which sits much closer to the regional average of 14.6.<br />

On a more positive note, a number of regions have made<br />

steady improvements to payment terms. The DBT figure for<br />

East Anglia has fallen to 12.9 (-3.7), and so too has the South East<br />

which now stands at 13.1 (-1.6) and Yorkshire & Humberside<br />

at 14.2 DBT (-1.3). The best performing regions continue to be<br />

the South West, despite a small increase (+0.4 days), with an<br />

overall DBT of 11.1 days, and Scotland with 11.0 DBT (-0.6).<br />

Written by Iona Yadallee, Deputy Editor.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 38


Data supplied by the Creditsafe Group<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Region Oct 20 Change from Sept 20<br />

Scotland 11 -0.6<br />

South West 11.1 0.4<br />

East Anglia 12.9 -3.7<br />

Wales 12.9 -0.2<br />

West Midlands 13 -0.1<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Region Oct 20 Change from Sept 20<br />

Northern Ireland 23 3.2<br />

East Midlands 20.1 4.2<br />

North West 15.6 0.1<br />

Yorkshire and Humberside 14.2 -1.3<br />

London 14 0.6<br />

Getting Better<br />

Business from Home -7.8<br />

Education -6.8<br />

Health & Social -5.5<br />

Professional and Scientific -3<br />

Wholesale and retail trade -2.8<br />

Energy Supply -1<br />

Business Admin & Support -0.9<br />

Dormant -0.8<br />

Entertainment -0.5<br />

IT and Comms -0.5<br />

Transportation and Storage -0.3<br />


-0.6 DBT<br />

Getting Worse<br />



3.2 DBT<br />

NORTH<br />

WEST<br />

0.1 DBT<br />



-1.3 DBT<br />

Other Service 7.4<br />

International Bodies 7.1<br />

Public Administration 5.9<br />

Financial and Insurance 5.4<br />

WALES<br />

-0.2 DBT<br />

WEST<br />


-0.1 DBT<br />

EAST<br />


4.2 DBT<br />

LONDON<br />

0.6 DBT<br />

EAST<br />

ANGLIA<br />

-3.7 DBT<br />

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 4.7<br />

Hospitality 3.7<br />

Manufacturing 2.8<br />

Water & Waste 2.4<br />

SOUTH<br />

WEST<br />

0.4 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

EAST<br />

-1.6 DBT<br />

Real Estate 2<br />

Construction 1.8<br />

Mining and Quarrying 1.6<br />

Region<br />

Getting Better – Getting Worse<br />

-3.7<br />

-1.6<br />

-1.3<br />

-0.6<br />

-0.2<br />

-0.1<br />

4.2<br />

3.2<br />

0.6<br />

0.4<br />

0.1<br />

East Anglia<br />

South East<br />

Yorkshire and Humberside<br />

Scotland<br />

Wales<br />

West Midlands<br />

East Midlands<br />

Northern Ireland<br />

London<br />

South West<br />

North West<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Sector Oct 20 Change from Sept 20<br />

Wholesale and retail trade 10 -2.8<br />

Health & Social 10.3 -5.5<br />

Entertainment 11.7 -0.5<br />

Energy Supply 12.5 -1<br />

Hospitality 12.7 3.7<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Sector Oct 20 Change from Sept 20<br />

Water & Waste 24.4 2.4<br />

Mining and Quarrying 22.7 1.6<br />

Business from Home 21.4 -7.8<br />

Other Service 21.4 7.4<br />

International Bodies 18.2 7.1<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 39



For further information and to discuss the opportunities of entering into a<br />

Corporate Partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong>, please contact 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 />

Satago helps business owners and their<br />

accountants avoid credit risks, manage debtors<br />

and access finance when they need it – all in<br />

one platform. Satago integrates with 300+ cloud<br />

accounting apps with just a few clicks, helping<br />

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 />

T: 020 8050 3015<br />

E: hello@satago.com<br />

W: www.satago.com<br />

The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis<br />

and data modelling tools to organisations around<br />

the world that rely on our ability to accurately predict<br />

their exposure to financial risk. Our H-Score®<br />

predicted 92 percent of quoted company insolvencies<br />

and our TextScore® accuracy rate was 93<br />

percent. Our scores are trusted by credit professionals<br />

within banks, corporates, investment houses<br />

and public sector bodies because, unlike other credit<br />

reference agencies, we are transparent and flexible<br />

in our approach.<br />

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300<br />

E: info@companywatch.net<br />

W: www.companywatch.net<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 />

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern<br />

finance leaders and credit professionals to improve<br />

business performance through more effective risk<br />

management, identification of growth opportunities,<br />

and better integration of data and insights<br />

across the business. Powered by our Data Cloud,<br />

our solutions provide access to the world’s most<br />

comprehensive commercial data and insights<br />

supplying a continually updated view of business<br />

relationships that help finance and credit teams<br />

stay ahead of market shifts and customer changes.<br />

T: (0800) 001-234<br />

W: www.dnb.co.uk<br />

Chris Sanders Consulting (Sanders Consulting<br />

Associates) has three areas of activity providing<br />

credit management leadership and performance<br />

improvement, international working capital<br />

improvement consulting assignments and<br />

managing the CI<strong>CM</strong>Q Best Practice Accreditation<br />

programme on behalf of the CI<strong>CM</strong>. Plans for<br />

2019 include international client assignments in<br />

India, China, USA, Middle East and the ongoing<br />

development of the CI<strong>CM</strong>Q Programme.<br />

T: +44(0)7747 761641<br />

E: chris@chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading<br />

provider of business information, analytics, insights<br />

and solutions. Graydon helps its customers to make<br />

fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to minimise<br />

risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities<br />

with their commercial relationships. Graydon<br />

uses 130+ international databases and the information<br />

of 90+ million companies. Graydon has offices in<br />

London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,<br />

Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of the world’s<br />

largest credit insurance companies.<br />

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400<br />

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk<br />

W: www.graydon.co.uk<br />

Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit<br />

intelligence for credit insurers and for corporate<br />

customers. The company’s B2B Credit Risk<br />

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk<br />

Management Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;<br />

the Tinubu Credit Intelligence service and the<br />

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250<br />

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their<br />

greatest assets: customer receivables.<br />

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /<br />

E: uksales@tinubu.com<br />

W: www.tinubu.com.<br />

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is<br />

an accountancy firm delivering traditional services<br />

combined with strategic commercial thinking. Our<br />

services include: advisory, audit, corporate and<br />

personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,<br />

outsourcing, wealth management and business<br />

recovery – the latter of which includes our specialist<br />

offering developed specifically for creditors. For<br />

more information on this, or to see how the Menzies<br />

Creditor Services team can assist you, please<br />

visit: www.menzies.co.uk/creditor-services.<br />

T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff<br />

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</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 />

Credit Industry and the quality of services they provide.<br />

We are delighted to showcase them here.<br />


Hays Credit Management is a national specialist<br />

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of<br />

credit management and receivables professionals,<br />

at all levels, in the public and private sectors. As<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong>’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we<br />

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’<br />

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on<br />

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,<br />

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign<br />

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,<br />

career and recruitment trends.<br />

T: 07834 260029<br />

E: karen.young@hays.com<br />

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

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 Credit and<br />

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of<br />

industry sectors and international trading. Attendance<br />

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums<br />

are not just meetings but communities which<br />

aim to prepare our members for the challenges<br />

ahead. Attending for the first time is free for you to<br />

gauge the benefits and meet the members and we<br />

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never<br />

intentionally be sold to.<br />

T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

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>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 41




For further information and to discuss the<br />

opportunities of entering into a Corporate<br />

Partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong>, please contact<br />

corporatepartners@cicm.com<br />

HighRadius is a Fintech enterprise Software-as-a-Service<br />

(SaaS) company. Its Integrated Receivables platform<br />

reduces cycle times in the Order to Cash process through<br />

automation of receivables and payments across credit,<br />

e-invoicing and payment processing, cash allocation,<br />

dispute resolution and collections. Powered by the RivanaTM<br />

Artificial Intelligence Engine and Freeda Digital<br />

Assistant for Order to Cash teams, HighRadius enables<br />

more than 450 organisations to leverage machine<br />

learning to predict future outcomes and automate routine<br />

labour intensive tasks.<br />

T: +44 7399 406889<br />

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com<br />

W: www.highradius.com<br />

‘‘<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> 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 />

ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist companies<br />

across Europe with credit management. The<br />

service gives the end-user the means to make a<br />

payment when and how they choose. Key IVR also<br />

provides a state-of-the-art outbound platform<br />

delivering automated messages by voice and SMS.<br />

In a credit management environment, these services<br />

are used to cost-effectively contact debtors and<br />

connect them back into a contact centre or<br />

automated payment line.<br />

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000<br />

E: sales@keyivr.com<br />

W: www.keyivr.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 />

Creditsafe), this makes Credica a single port-of-call<br />

for analysis and automation. Impressive results<br />

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also<br />

have an active input into our product development<br />

and evolution.<br />

The value<br />

of CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

membership<br />

Molly Kane ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Senior Credit Controller Executive<br />

Stuart Delivery Ltd<br />

Read more about her story and join your<br />

credit community by visiting:<br />

www.cicm.com/value-of-cicm-membership/<br />

T: 01235 856400<br />

E: info@credica.co.uk<br />

W: www.credica.co.uk<br />

info@cicm.com<br />

www.cicm.com<br />

01780 722900<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 42



We ask a panel of credit management experts to<br />

answer some of our reader’s biggest questions.<br />

Someone told<br />

me recently that<br />

achieving zero<br />

bad debts was not<br />

necessarily a good<br />

thing? Why would<br />

this be the case?<br />

Panellist<br />

Mark Greatorex<br />

MCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />


Mark Greatorex a graduate member of the CI<strong>CM</strong> 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 />

WHEN working in credit it can be easy to fall<br />

into the trap of targeting zero bad debts. I’ve<br />

seen many credit managers take one look at<br />

the credit report of a potential customer and<br />

refuse to give them credit terms because<br />

they appear a little too risky.<br />

Make no mistake, as a credit manager you are not there to<br />

gamble with your company’s finances, but you should be taking<br />

calculated risks that align with the company’s strategic goals.<br />

A credit manager’s role is not to simply ensure that every invoice<br />

is paid in full and on time or that only the most credit worthy<br />

customers are accepted. Your purpose is to align yourself with the<br />

strategic direction of your company and react accordingly.<br />

I previously worked with a company who had a strong position<br />

in the market, providing something unique which could not be<br />

purchased elsewhere. They knew their market dominance and<br />

therefore were averse to taking any credit risk. They only wanted to<br />

offer short terms, were quick to have directors’ guarantees signed<br />

and would stop supplies as soon as an invoice became overdue.<br />

Whilst the company didn’t achieve zero bad debts, they certainly<br />

came close. The offset was that they undoubtedly missed out on<br />

sales with potential customers who didn’t meet the strict policy<br />

for granting credit. They understood and accepted this trade off.<br />

Let me contrast this with a very different approach. I met with<br />

the Managing Director of a company which was one of the biggest<br />

in its market. However, by his own admission he had no way to<br />

differentiate his physical product from any of his competitors.<br />

Instead he relied on the overall service offer around the product<br />

to help them stand out and win business. Despite their size in the<br />

market, he had clear and aggressive growth plans. He had a good<br />

understanding of credit risk, was prepared to push boundaries<br />

and was able to have sensible balanced discussions about the<br />

level of risk that was appropriate.<br />

This is where credit managers can come into their own. It’s easy<br />

to say ‘No’ but if you are at odds with business goals then life will<br />

become a battle and the credit department will quickly live up to<br />

the ill-informed stereotype of sales prevention. Modern thinking<br />

credit managers have moved on. They align closely with the<br />

sales and commercial teams and offer solutions to help achieve<br />

business objectives by providing input into a balanced risk and<br />

reward analysis.<br />

The nature of taking this calculated risk is that sometimes it will<br />

go wrong, and the business will incur a bad debt. Communicating<br />

effectively during the decision-making process and throughout<br />

the lifecycle of a customer allows everyone to understand and<br />

make decisions on this level of risk sooner rather than later.<br />

In summary, I’ll leave you with these questions: Are you fully<br />

aware of your company’s objectives? More importantly, are you<br />

adapting your credit decisions and communication to meet these?<br />

In short, are you prepared to make and stand by the decisions<br />

which might just give your company an opportunity to grow?<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 />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 44


Panellist Nigel Fields<br />

FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />


A career in credit management spanning more than 30 years, Nigel is now<br />

a senior consultant with a new start-up company, TheBossCat.com, which<br />

provides knowledge, skills and various services to a wide range of businesses.<br />

Nigel spent 20 years working for Twentieth Century Fox International<br />

Film Corp. starting out in its UK business as Credit Manager and rising to<br />

Executive Director for Credit, responsible for Order to Cash (O2C) across<br />

Fox’s entire international business portfolio. Prior to Fox, he worked as the<br />

Credit Manager at Hornby Hobbies and a Credit Controller for GEC. Nigel<br />

says: “I attribute much of my career success to the CI<strong>CM</strong> community where I<br />

am always able to draw upon knowledge and skills from the extensive array<br />

of members and partners.”<br />

LET me provide a true example<br />

of when a business happily<br />

wrote off £200,000 of ‘Bad<br />

Debt’ and by doing so, made a<br />

profit exceeding £1m.<br />

The objective of most<br />

businesses is generally to sell products or<br />

services for a profit. A professional credit<br />

manager, therefore, needs to understand<br />

the company’s profitability from sales<br />

compared to credit risks. This goes beyond<br />

general customer risk profiling (although<br />

still incredibly important). It makes the<br />

credit manager a good commercial business<br />

partner who helps make profitable sales<br />

even when customers might be considered<br />

‘high risk’ or not creditworthy. The<br />

important thing is to understand the risk<br />

versus reward and find ways to mitigate<br />

against true risk exposure.<br />

Assessing credit risk requires us to model<br />

the probability of a customer defaulting in<br />

full, or in part, on their obligation. This<br />

involves a decision either (A) to extend<br />

credit, which provides a reward but entails<br />

a risk, or (B) to refuse credit. It should also<br />

consider when a default is likely.<br />

So, what am I saying here? This is a true<br />

example where a customer’s credit grade<br />

became ‘high risk’ and potential insolvency.<br />

Many of their suppliers decided to stop<br />

trading with them and so provided an<br />

opportunity to sell more products knowing<br />

the risks. Continuing supply also assisted<br />

the customer to continue trading and<br />

giving them the opportunity to try and turn<br />

their business around. A big driver here<br />

is to understand the profitability of what<br />

was being sold to allow yourself to build<br />

a framework and visualise the ‘true’ value<br />

at risk against the potential reward. Being<br />

a supplier that supports their customers in<br />

a difficult situation allows for more open<br />

communication to gain better insights into<br />

their operations. It also helps to get a better<br />

view about when any insolvency might<br />

happen in order to better manage the risk.<br />

This customer agreed to some shorter<br />

payment terms (that were strictly managed).<br />

My business agreed to a maximum level of<br />

credit exposure and then reserved for it. In<br />

the example below, this customer traded<br />

for a further 18 months, thus continuing to<br />

pay staff and their suppliers.<br />

The customer purchased approx.<br />

£200,000 of products every month and our<br />

profit from this was about £80,000 every<br />

month. Our biggest risk was in Month 1 for<br />

our £120,000 COS. You can see that over the<br />

18 months we traded, our cumulative profit<br />

was £1.24m against the ongoing monthly<br />

stake of £120,000.<br />

We actually recovered additional<br />

sums using our retention of title<br />

clause following the eventual<br />

customer insolvency. I can say that<br />

we were incredibly happy to write<br />

off this large bad debt. Some credit<br />

managers may still consider this<br />

as poor credit management, but I<br />

completely disagree.<br />

Month Invoice Value Paid Invoices Cost of Goods Profit Cum Proft<br />

1 £200,000 -£200,000 -£120,000 £80,000 £80,000<br />

1 £200,000 -£200,000 -£120,000 £80,000 £160,000<br />

1 £200,000 -£200,000 -£120,000 £80,000 £240,000<br />

<br />

..........and continuing weekly<br />

16 £200,000 -£200,000 -£120,000 £80,000 £1,280,000<br />

17 £200,000 -£200,000 -£120,000 £80,000 £1,360,000<br />

18 £200,000 £0 -£120,000 -£120,000 £1,240,000<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 45

presents<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

www.ddisoftware.co.uk<br />



CI<strong>CM</strong> Virtual Training is an ‘access anywhere’ range of interactive, online training<br />

courses, designed to give you the skills and tools you need to thrive in your credit<br />

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

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

array of credit management experience, will guide you through the subject to give you<br />

practical skills, improved results and greater confidence.<br />

These are pre-recorded training<br />

sessions that you can access<br />

anywhere and at anytime. Short,<br />

sharp and to the point – these suit<br />

you if you are short on time, or need<br />

a quick introduction or update on a<br />

subject.<br />

These are live, interactive sessions,<br />

delivered virtually by a qualified trainer,<br />

experienced in the subject. Through<br />

a series of tasks and discussions, you<br />

will access a hands-on training session<br />

that offers the best practice approach to<br />

essential credit and debt skills.<br />

MEET YOUR TRAINER: Jules Eames FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad); PGCE, is a qualified teacher,<br />

trainer and credit manager with experience in credit and debt specialisms across the<br />

O2C spectrum and ancillary businesses, in consumer, B2B and export markets.<br />

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

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 47


CI<strong>CM</strong> Redundancy<br />

help and advice<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> 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>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 48


Standing out from the Crowd<br />

East of England Branch<br />

IN the latest CI<strong>CM</strong> East of<br />

England Branch webinar,<br />

‘Standing Out from the Crowd –<br />

How to Ace an interview – Key<br />

Business Questions and How<br />

to Answer Them,’ two expert<br />

recruitment specialists and Branch<br />

members – William Plom of Hays and<br />

Chris Parker of Goodman Masson – gave<br />

plenty of ideas, advice, tips and food for<br />

thought for those about to undertake an<br />

interview.<br />

The webinar, which was held on 28<br />

October, reminded attendees of the<br />

importance of really knowing your CV<br />

and its contents, including being able<br />

to discuss and explain any metrics<br />

and targets quoted. Will and Chris<br />

also emphasised the importance of<br />

preparation and key information that you<br />

should endeavour to find out about the<br />

company in advance of an interview.<br />

They talked through the STAR<br />

interview technique approach (Situation<br />

Task Action and Result), suggesting<br />

writing down three or four work<br />

experience questions and considering<br />

how you would tailor your answers to any<br />

questions.<br />

Many examples of typical interview<br />

questions were given, such as describing<br />

your strengths and weaknesses, your<br />

career goals, where you see yourself in<br />

five years time etc; tips and suggestions<br />

on the best ways to answer such<br />

questions were talked through, and it was<br />

recommended that you should come up<br />

with three good reasons why a company<br />

should hire you.<br />

We hope that our Branch members,<br />

members of other Branches, and those<br />

interested in joining CI<strong>CM</strong>, found our<br />

latest webinar helpful and informative.<br />

The Branch Committee would like<br />

to thank CI<strong>CM</strong> HQ and both of our<br />

speakers.<br />

You can watch a recording of this<br />

latest webinar on the East of England<br />

Branch page via the CI<strong>CM</strong> website. Also<br />

on the Branch page of the CI<strong>CM</strong> website<br />

is the previous ‘Standing out from the<br />

Crowd – Employment Tips for Students<br />

through to Credit Professionals in a<br />

Difficult Climate’ webinar, which was<br />

held in August.<br />

Author: Richard Brown, CI<strong>CM</strong> East of<br />

England Branch Vice Chairman.<br />



Prepare and act now, for the<br />

Credit 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 Credit 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 Management 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 CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Follow the CI<strong>CM</strong> Managing the New Credit<br />

Future Forum on LinkedIn.<br />

Access our Member Advice Service<br />

for support, answers and advice.<br />

Visit our Managing the New Credit Future<br />

webpage for more resources<br />

We continue to develop resources, advice and tools to help you prepare for<br />

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

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

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 49



WhatsApp, criminal disclosures, and gender fluidity.<br />

ARE social media messages<br />

always private? Not<br />

according to BC and<br />

others v Chief Constable<br />

Police Service of Scotland<br />

(PSS) and others. Here the<br />

Court of Session considered the inclusion<br />

of personal WhatsApp messages in an<br />

investigation into alleged breaches of<br />

professional standards.<br />

During an investigation into sexual<br />

offences at PSS, offensive group chat<br />

WhatsApp messages were discovered<br />

on an officer's smartphone. They were<br />

passed to the Professional Standards<br />

Department within the PSS, and the<br />

officers party to the group chat were<br />

accused of misconduct.<br />

The officers argued that using personal<br />

WhatsApp messages to bring misconduct<br />

proceedings against them was a breach<br />

of their human rights, in particular their<br />

right to privacy. Under Article 8 of the<br />

European Convention on Human Rights,<br />

everyone has a right to respect for their<br />

private and family life, their home and<br />

their correspondence. Public authorities<br />

cannot interfere with this except in<br />

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards<br />

Proposals on disclosure of certain spent convictions<br />

AS part of its continuing efforts to review<br />

the criminal records disclosure regime,<br />

the Government is proposing to reduce<br />

the time before certain convictions<br />

become spent.<br />

Currently, sentences between one and<br />

four years become spent after a further<br />

four to seven years respectively and<br />

sentences of more than seven years are<br />

never spent. The new proposals would<br />

mean that adult custodial sentences of<br />

up to one year would become spent after<br />

12 months from the end of the sentence<br />

(six months where the person was under<br />

18 when sentenced). Adult custodial<br />

sentences of between one and four years<br />

would become spent after four years<br />

from the end of the sentence (two years<br />

where the person was under 18 when<br />

sentenced). Adult custodial sentences of<br />

more than four years would become spent<br />

after seven years from the end of the<br />

sentence (three-and-a-half years where<br />

the person was under 18 when sentenced).<br />

accordance with the law and where<br />

necessary in the interests of public safety,<br />

the prevention of crime and the protection<br />

of the health, morals and rights of others.<br />

The court considered whether the<br />

officers had a reasonable expectation<br />

of privacy and found they did not. Their<br />

right was limited by their duties under the<br />

professional standards for police, which<br />

even applied when officers were off<br />

duty. The court found that, in joining the<br />

force, the officers accepted their right<br />

to privacy was limited as per their<br />

professional standards, so that if they acted<br />

in a way that contravened those standards,<br />

they could not have an expectation of<br />

privacy.<br />

For individuals who are subject to<br />

professional standards, this case suggests<br />

there will be limits on the right to keep<br />

messages sent on personal accounts<br />

private. For other individuals, a balancing<br />

exercise should be carried out, taking<br />

into account the particular circumstances<br />

including how a message was brought to<br />

the employer's attention, before deciding<br />

whether to include it in a workplace<br />

investigation.<br />

Once an offence becomes spent it<br />

will no longer show on a basic DBS<br />

disclosure certificate. It will also no<br />

longer be disclosable by a job applicant<br />

on an application form or in response to<br />

a question during interview. However,<br />

spent convictions will still show in<br />

standard and enhanced DBS checks<br />

unless they have been filtered according<br />

to DBS rules. Serious sexual, violent and<br />

terrorist offences will never be spent or<br />

filtered.<br />

Gender-fluid and non-binary workers protected<br />

IN a judgement that breaks new ground,<br />

the Birmingham Employment Tribunal<br />

has found that protection of non-binary<br />

and gender-fluid people falls within the<br />

scope of gender reassignment under the<br />

Equality Act.<br />

Ms Taylor, who had worked at Jaguar<br />

Land Rover for more than 20 years, began<br />

identifying as gender-fluid in 2017. Taylor<br />

suffered insults and abusive jokes from<br />

colleagues when she began dressing<br />

in women's clothes and also suffered<br />

difficulties using toilet facilities and a<br />

lack of support from management.<br />

Taylor successfully argued that she<br />

was constructively dismissed and<br />

suffered harassment, victimisation<br />

and discrimination because of gender<br />

reassignment and sexual orientation.<br />

Under s7 of the Equality Act, a person<br />

has the protected characteristic of gender<br />

reassignment if they are ‘proposing to<br />

undergo, is undergoing or has undergone<br />

a process (or part of a process) for the<br />

purpose of reassigning the person's sex by<br />

changing physiological or other attributes<br />

of sex.’<br />

The Tribunal described gender as a<br />

spectrum and ruled that it is beyond<br />

doubt that Taylor was protected by<br />

s7 as undergoing a process of gender<br />

reassignment is a personal journey by<br />

which an individual moves away from<br />

their birth sex.<br />

This is a first instance decision (and<br />

so not binding on other Tribunals). It is<br />

being described as a milestone moment<br />

of which employers should take note.<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>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 51

CI<strong>CM</strong> MEMBER<br />


Your CI<strong>CM</strong> 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 />

CI<strong>CM</strong> launch critical<br />

AR Fact Sheets<br />

for EMEA countries<br />

Powered by<br />

Powered by Baker Ing, country specific factsheets<br />

provide up-to-date information on payment<br />

performance, legislation, and the effects of COVID-19<br />

and Brexit. Designed for the credit professional, they<br />

cover legal business forms, credit risk data, collections<br />

protocols, enforcement and more.<br />

Credit professionals need granular knowledge of the<br />

situation in their clients’ territories. Whether you need<br />

an off-the-peg checklist for dealing with a new country,<br />

or you need on-the-spot information to help review<br />

risk strategies and Credit Policies, these insightful<br />

documents will help.<br />

Powered by<br />

EU Factsheet<br />


Powered by<br />

Germany has introduced a raft of measures and programmes to help combat the<br />

economic impact of COVID-19 containment measures. Here we present what we<br />

consider to be the most significant and interesting. This section is not exhaustive.<br />

Loans and grants – employees:<br />

Three main tranches of wage subsidy have been introduced.<br />

The most wide-reaching is “Kurzarbeit”. This programme existed before COVID-19.<br />

It is a social security programme whereby the government will subsidy employees’<br />

wages up to 60% (more for those with children) in order to allow their employers to<br />

reduce their hours (and their expenditure on wages) instead of laying them off.<br />

Under COVID provisions, the subsidy has been increased. From the fourth month,<br />

the rate is increased to 70% of flat-net renumeration for those households without<br />

children and 77% for those households with children. From the seventh month, it is<br />

increased to 80% for those households without children and 87% for those<br />

households with children. In September, there was a decree to make this benefit<br />

more flexible (e.g., reducing the minimum number of employees effected by<br />

working hours reduction to 10% for the business the qualify) and to extend the<br />

period for receiving this benefit from 12 to 24 months until 31 st <strong>December</strong> 2021.<br />

Pre-Litigation<br />

Extended ROT; Assigned to the supplier in advance. In accordance with §354a<br />

of the Commercial Code, an advance assignment is effective despite a nonassignment<br />

agreement between the purchaser and any third parties.<br />

Letter before action. Do you have to send a demand letter to a debtor before<br />

going to court?<br />

Freelance artists in Germany can access funds if they work for cultural institutions<br />

funded by the Federal Government. They will be compensated for up to 60% o fees<br />

from cancelled events up to €1,000 and 40% up to €2,500.<br />

Students can access interest-free loans of up to €650 per month for jobs lost due to<br />

the pandemic.<br />

Loans and grants – businesses:<br />

EU Factsheet<br />


As well as the enhanced terms of “Kurzarbeit”, there are a variety of direct loans<br />

and grants available which businesses of different sizes can access.<br />

A grant of up to €150,000 / 80% of fixed costs in the subsidy period is available for<br />

businesses showing decreased sales volumes compared to the same month of the<br />

previous year. This Federal Government grant has been supplemented by some<br />

Federal States’ own grant programmes.<br />

Powered by<br />

Before going to court, and even before filing the claim to the enforcement<br />

authority, a warning notice to the debtor's registered address is<br />

mandatory.<br />

The warning notice should contain;<br />

o The name of the creditor and the basis of the claim<br />

o The total amount of the claim, including any penalty interests<br />

o Prescription on how to transfer the payment, i.e. bank account etc.<br />

o A warning that the claim will be enforced through the enforcement<br />

authority in case the claim is not settled within from the date of the<br />

notice<br />

o Information on how the object to the claim if not acknowledged be<br />

the debtor.<br />

If this measure has been taken and the payment still has not been made after<br />

the two-week notice period (according to the law), the creditor may file for<br />

enforcement.<br />

It is worth noting that, in Germany, you may be ordered to all pay court fees if<br />

you did not send a warning letter to the debtor prior to issuing<br />

proceedings.<br />

Look out for the first AR Factsheet,<br />

coming to the CI<strong>CM</strong> website soon.<br />



Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 52


Positivity wins<br />

Proving your value in an uncertain world of work<br />

AUTHOR – Karen Young<br />

IF you have continued working<br />

throughout the pandemic, the<br />

uncertainty that has swept<br />

through our world of work might<br />

have left you feeling like you<br />

need to prove yourself in your<br />

job. This has been exacerbated by the<br />

rapid shift to remote working, which has<br />

left many experiencing the feeling of<br />

‘presenteeism’.<br />

Failing to manage this the right way<br />

can leave you feeling overwhelmed,<br />

overworked and burned out. Proving<br />

yourself should mean proving your value,<br />

not how late into the night you work or<br />

how many tasks you are juggling at one<br />

time. Here’s my advice on how to put your<br />

efforts into the right focuses and prove<br />

your value in a world of work riddled with<br />

change and uncertainty.<br />



It’s hugely valuable to get an<br />

understanding of how your organisation<br />

is changing due to the pandemic and<br />

what your role is in this. Start a discussion<br />

with your manager or a senior leader<br />

about how the strategic objectives of your<br />

organisation may be changing, how your<br />

current role may evolve, and importantly,<br />

how you can personally prepare for this.<br />

By taking this pre-emptive approach, you<br />

will get a better understanding of where<br />

to put your efforts and where your value<br />

will be most felt. You’re also telling your<br />

employer that you are willing to grow and<br />

develop – which puts you in good stead for<br />

taking on new and exciting opportunities<br />

in the future.<br />


As we transition to hybrid ways of<br />

working where time is split between<br />

offices and home, you may find it more<br />

difficult to increase your ‘visibility’<br />

among your teammates. If<br />

you aren’t doing so already,<br />

routinely and regularly<br />

communicate with your manager and<br />

colleagues to inform them about specific<br />

projects you are working on or any<br />

challenges that you may be facing and<br />

key milestones or achievements you<br />

have delivered. Celebrating successes<br />

also helps you stay noticed, so become<br />

comfortable with a little self-promotion.<br />

Equally, highlight great work from your<br />

colleagues because they will do the<br />

same for you. During challenging and<br />

changing times, celebrating successes is<br />

particularly important and shines a light<br />

on the value you and your colleagues<br />

provide.<br />

If you say ‘no’ in the<br />

right way to things<br />

which you don’t<br />

see as advantageous<br />

or within your<br />

capacity, you will<br />

gain respect and<br />

further establish your<br />

value among your<br />

colleagues.<br />


Identify some key individuals in your<br />

organisation who impact you – and who<br />

you have an impact on. This is likely to<br />

span all the way from the top of your<br />

organisation to graduates, apprentices<br />

and new starters. Then, think<br />

about your relationship with<br />

these individuals and how<br />

you might be able to grow<br />

this for the purposes of your<br />

own and their development.<br />

Consider whether there is<br />

anyone who could act as your<br />

mentor, or if there is<br />

someone to whom you<br />

could help by offering advice. Networking<br />

in your business is a vital part of fuelling<br />

your progression and raising your profile,<br />

so don’t hesitate to reach out to people,<br />

even if remotely.<br />


Proving your value will not happen by<br />

saying ‘yes’ to every project and task which<br />

comes your way. While wanting to expand<br />

your skills and grow professionally is<br />

only a positive thing, you also need to<br />

strategically manage your career and<br />

build your successes in order to move in<br />

your chosen direction. Plus, saying ‘yes’ to<br />

too many projects will quickly overwhelm<br />

and frustrate you. If you say ‘no’ in<br />

the right way to things which you don’t<br />

see as advantageous or within your<br />

capacity, you will gain respect and<br />

further establish your value among your<br />

colleagues.<br />


A positive and optimistic attitude has<br />

never been needed more than it is now.<br />

Positivity gets people through challenging<br />

times and helps individuals and teams<br />

thrive, not just in their jobs but in all<br />

aspects of their lives. Be mindful of the<br />

language that you use at work and whether<br />

it could be interpreted negatively. Ask<br />

yourself: how do I talk to my teammates<br />

each day? Do I gossip about my coworkers?<br />

Aim to spread positivity to the<br />

people you work with because it really is<br />

contagious and goes a long way to making<br />

people (including yourself) feel valued.<br />

When things get tough as they have for<br />

a lot of people as a result of the pandemic,<br />

working ‘smarter’ and not ‘harder’ can be<br />

tricky to navigate. But putting the above in<br />

place should get you on the way to striking<br />

the right balance and, as a result, making<br />

you more valuable to your colleagues and<br />

your organisation.<br />

Karen Young is Director at Hays Credit<br />

Management.<br />

Celebrating successes also helps you stay<br />

noticed, so become comfortable with a little<br />

self-promotion. – Karen Young<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 53

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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 />

Simon Armitage MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Jana Healey MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Michael Higgins MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Member (by exam)<br />

Jane Leighton MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Konstantinos Lekkas MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Philip Medland MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Graham Muir MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Ellisa Thompson MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Sarah Varney MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Matthew Hind MCI<strong>CM</strong> Sarah Peacock MCI<strong>CM</strong> Maxine Welford MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Studying Member<br />

Lauren Ashton<br />

Austin Bishop<br />

Kim Bliss<br />

Tracy Boyd<br />

Andrew Brown<br />

David Brown<br />

Richard Carter<br />

Jack Cartwright<br />

Beatrice Chauveau<br />

Lisa Connell<br />

Rupan Deb<br />

Nihan Ergin Gurses<br />

Vincent Fransolet<br />

James Fray<br />

Kyra Gardner<br />

Marta Garner<br />

Melanie Harrison<br />

Christopher Hart<br />

Karen Hickman<br />

Courtenay Holliday<br />

Ivelin Iliev<br />

Mohd Iqbal<br />

Emma Jardine<br />

Bruce Jones<br />

Paula Kent<br />

Sarah Lewtas<br />

Tyler Lovatt<br />

Michael Marcinkiw<br />

Martin Matthews<br />

Megan McDowell<br />

Brennan Mckeown Shephard<br />

Natalie Mealing<br />

Matteo Mercadini<br />

Elena Miguel<br />

Clare Milne<br />

Kimberley Morgan<br />

Alan Morris<br />

Kaylem Nelson<br />

Emma Nicoletti<br />

Lisa Noddings<br />

Sherry Patterson<br />

Joanne Pentney<br />

Veronica Ponce de Carrera<br />

Chandni Premgi<br />

Karen Puddefoot<br />

Charlie Richardson<br />

Ben Robinson<br />

Caroline Rogers<br />

Tracey Smith<br />

Eniko Szabo<br />

Angela Thompson<br />

Dominic Tidmarsh<br />

Hannah Witt<br />

Ruslan Zakharov<br />

Affiliate<br />

Stephanie Clarke Nicola Cresswell Nicola Lawless<br />

Associate<br />

Linda Belton ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Laura Costa ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Upgraded member<br />

Richard Darfield ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Ahmed Hussam ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Kevin Sim ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Graham Stocks ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Rebecca Wilkins ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Congratulations to our current members who have upgraded their membership<br />

Colin Sanders FCI<strong>CM</strong> Ian Jamieson FCI<strong>CM</strong> Tariq Bhatti FCI<strong>CM</strong> Robert Clarkson FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />


Congratulations to the following, who successfully achieved Diplomas<br />

Level 3 Diploma in Credit Management (ACI<strong>CM</strong>)<br />

NAME<br />

Cristina Radulescu<br />

Level 3 Diploma in Credit & Collections (ACI<strong>CM</strong>)<br />

NAME<br />

Donna Wilson Benjamin Holdsworth Olivia Ionescu<br />


Get in touch with the CI<strong>CM</strong> by emailing branches@cicm.com with your branch news and event reports.<br />

Please only send up to 400 words and any images need to be high resolution to be printable, so 1MB plus.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 55




London/remote working, c.£55,000<br />

A rare opportunity has arisen at a global consultancy for a<br />

highly experienced order to cash (O2C) manager, on a 12 month<br />

fixed-term contract. Working closely with the Head of Finance,<br />

professional services and sales functions, you will focus on the<br />

efficient and accurate delivery of the end-to-end O2C process.<br />

This includes from order entry, provision of service license, billing,<br />

credit management and customer query resolution. Based in<br />

London, you will also be able to work remotely. Ref: 3883248<br />

Contact Mark Ordoña on 07565 800574<br />

or email mark.ordona@hays.com<br />


Crawley, £30,000-£35,000 + bonus + benefits<br />

An excellent opportunity for a progressive credit professional to<br />

join a growing business has become available. Reporting to the<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Qualified Manager, you will lead a small team on a daily basis<br />

and assist with all aspects of running a busy credit department.<br />

This role is ideal for either a senior credit controller looking to step<br />

up into a leadership position, or credit professional with some<br />

leadership experience who is keen to develop in a team leader role.<br />

Ref: 3869017<br />

Contact Natascha Whitehead on 0777 078 6433<br />

or email natascha.whitehead@hays.com<br />


Leicester, £35,000-£40,000<br />

An opportunity has arisen at a national organisation to become the<br />

operations finance manager. You will manage a team of over 20<br />

transactional finance professionals, supporting the Head of Finance<br />

to lead, manage and develop the operational finance function.<br />

You will be required to promote, deliver and develop finance best<br />

practice and customer-focussed services, through strong and<br />

effective management of resources with performance standards<br />

and targets. Ref: 387536<br />

Contact Christopher Trenfield on 0116 251 1818<br />

or email christopher.trenfield@hays.com<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> CREDIT TRAINER<br />

Nationwide/remote working, £30,000-£35,000<br />

A great opportunity has become available for candidates with<br />

credit management experience, who are able to present,<br />

articulate and deliver training programs to educate and inspire<br />

credit professionals around the UK promoting best industry<br />

practice. The position is a permanent role with flexible, part time<br />

hours available. Head Office is based in Leicestershire, and with<br />

clients located around the UK, your own transport is essential.<br />

Ref: 3882096<br />

Contact Christopher Trenfield on 0116 251 1818<br />

or email christopher.trenfield@hays.com<br />

hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</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 />


Cheltenham, up to £28,000 DOE<br />

A leading law firm which focuses on media, entertainment and<br />

technology is looking for a revenue controller to join its team.<br />

The objective of the role is to drive cash into the business as<br />

quickly as possible by managing the working capital cycle of<br />

client matters and financial risk. To be successful, you will have<br />

experience as a credible revenue controller working in a law firm or<br />

professional services environment, that can hit the ground running<br />

in a target driven environment. Ref: 3864009<br />

Contact Edward Kennedy on 01242 226227<br />

or email edward.kennedy@hays.com<br />


London, £25,000-£27,000<br />

A credit controller position has become available at a private<br />

medical company in the heart of London. Working in the patient<br />

billing side of the business chasing outstanding payments, you<br />

will therefore have day-to-day contact with the patients, ensuring<br />

the delayed payments are proceeded. To be successful, business<br />

to consumer experience, confidence using Excel and being<br />

comfortable with high volumes of incoming calls are essential.<br />

Ref: 3881947<br />

Contact Rebecca Hutton on 0116 251 1818<br />

or email rebecca.hutton@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 Credit Management<br />

UK Lead on 020 3465 0020<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 57

www.cicm.com<br />

‘‘<br />

Since being a<br />

member I am kept<br />

updated on latest changes<br />

to laws and regulations,<br />

good governance and<br />

not forgetting the<br />

wealth of knowledge.<br />

Laural Jefferies, FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

The value<br />

of CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

membership<br />

Laural Jefferies, FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Head of Accounts Receivable,<br />

Fashion Edge Ltd<br />

Read more about her story and join your<br />

credit community by visiting:<br />

www.cicm.com/value-of-cicm-membership/<br />

info@cicm.com<br />

www.cicm.com<br />

01780 722900<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 58

WHAT'S ON<br />

We are asking all members to invite a colleague to a CI<strong>CM</strong> membership event,<br />

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

Studying at a<br />

distance<br />

with CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

From interactive virtual classrooms to supporting texts,<br />

from mentor advice to peer support, we’ve got it all.<br />

Contact CI<strong>CM</strong> for more information on any of these 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>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 59

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Directory of Services<br />




Controlaccount Plc<br />

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,<br />

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD<br />

T: 01527 549 522<br />

E: sales@controlaccount.com<br />

W: www.controlaccount.com<br />

Controlaccount Plc provides an efficient, effective and ethical<br />

commercial debt recovery service focused on improving business<br />

cash flow whilst preserving customer relationships and established<br />

reputations. Working with leading brand names in the UK and<br />

internationally, we deliver a bespoke service to our clients. We<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 FCI<strong>CM</strong> 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 Credit industry<br />

experience that, combined, covers time served in most industries.<br />

The team is wholly comprised of working Credit Manager’s<br />

across the Globe with a minimum threshold of ten years working<br />

experience within Credit Management. The team offers a<br />

comprehensive service to clients - International Debt Recovery,<br />

Credit Control, Legal Services & more<br />

Our mission is to help companies improve the cost and efficiency<br />

of their Credit Management processes in order to limit the risks<br />

associated with extending credit and trading around the globe.<br />

How can we help you - call Lisa Baker Reynolds on<br />

+44(0)7717 020659 or email lisa@bakering.global<br />

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 CI<strong>CM</strong> British Credit 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 FCI<strong>CM</strong>,<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 CI<strong>CM</strong>Q on behalf of<br />

and under the supervision of the CI<strong>CM</strong>.<br />


Court Enforcement Services<br />

Wayne Whitford – Director<br />

M: +44 (0)7834 748 183 T : +44 (0)1992 663 399<br />

E : wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

W: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />


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>December</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 CI<strong>CM</strong> Credit 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 Management.<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 Credit 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 Credit 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 Management 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 />

Credit 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 Management, enabling<br />

large enterprises to maximize the value of their SAP investments.<br />

HighRadius Integrated Receivables solutions have a proven track<br />

record of reducing days sales outstanding (DSO), bad-debt and<br />

increasing operation efficiency, enabling companies to achieve an<br />

ROI in less than a year.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 61

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> 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 Credit and Industry<br />

Forums since 1991. We cover a range of industry sectors and<br />

International trading, attendance is for Credit Professionals of all<br />

levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities which<br />

aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead. Attending<br />

for the first time is free for you to gauge the benefits and meet the<br />

members and we only have pre-approved Partners, so you will<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 Creditor Services team can assist you, please<br />

visit: www.menzies.co.uk/creditor-services. Bethan Evans,<br />

Partner and Head of Menzies Creditor 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 Credit Services Association (CSA) for the past 22<br />

years, and the Chartered Institute of Credit Management 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>December</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 CI<strong>CM</strong> 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 />

Credit Management’s Corporate partnership scheme. The<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> 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 CI<strong>CM</strong> 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 Credit Management<br />

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN<br />

T: 07834 260029<br />

E: karen.young@hays.com<br />

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Hays Credit Management is working in partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs and<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 CI<strong>CM</strong>. We offer CI<strong>CM</strong> members a priority service and<br />

can provide advice across a wide spectrum of job search and<br />

recruitment issues.<br />



Portfolio Credit Control<br />

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE<br />

T: 0207 650 3199<br />

E: recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

W: www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accreditation is a proven model<br />

that has consistently delivered dramatic<br />

improvements in cashflow and efficiency<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>Q is the hallmark of industry<br />

leading organisations<br />

The CI<strong>CM</strong> Best Practice Network is where<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accredited organisations come<br />

together to develop, share and celebrate<br />

best practice in credit and collections<br />

BE A LEADER – JOIN THE CI<strong>CM</strong> BEST<br />


To find out more about flexible options<br />

to gain CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accreditation<br />

E: cicmq@cicm.com T: 01780 722900<br />

Portfolio Credit Control, solely specialises in the recruitment of<br />

permanent, temporary and contract Credit Control, Accounts<br />

Receivable and Collections staff. Part of an award winning<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>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 63

Working<br />

Capital that<br />

works for you<br />

The many reasons why suppliers love working with C2FO<br />

“The benefit of C2FO<br />

is simple, it’s flexible,<br />

and it’s helping us<br />

meet our cash needs”<br />

“Having support from<br />

C2FO has freed me<br />

up to invest, take my<br />

business to the next<br />

level and thrive”<br />

“It allows me to plan<br />

my business, which<br />

is everything,”<br />

C2FO provides an additional debt-free working capital<br />

option that enables you to take control of your cash<br />

flow on-demand. This flexible and simple cash and risk<br />

management option provides an additional lever to help<br />

manage reporting targets and KPIs, seasonality, credit risk<br />

exposure or daily operational business activities.<br />

Whatever your cash flow needs, C2FO can help.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / <strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / PAGE 64

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