Credit Management January_February issue 2021

credit

The CICM magazine for consumer and consumer and commercial credit professionals

CREDIT MANAGEMENT

CM

JAN/FEB 2021 £12.50

THE CICM MAGAZINE FOR

CONSUMER AND COMMERCIAL

CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

INSIDE

2021 DESKTOP

CALENDAR

House Party

Are Companies House

reforms a reason to celebrate?

Sean Feast speaks to the CICM Chair,

Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad). Page 12

The days of the free movement

of goods are over. Page 24


16

INTELLIGENT THINKING

Mike Bailey

20

HOUSE CLEARANCE

Caroline Asquith-Turnbull

FCICM

JANUARY & FEBRUARY 2021

www.cicm.com

CONTENTS

11 – CLEAR THINKING

Stuart Hopewell FCICM says Professional

Bodies want to see greater transparency

around Pre-Packs.

12 – THE COUNTER REVOLUTIONARY

Sean FeastFCICM speaks to the new Chair

of the CICM about collections, COVID-19

and the attraction of Fidel Castro.

16 – INTELLIGENT THINKING

Credit information is essential to

succeeding in a Brave New World.

20 – HOUSE CLEARANCE

Companies House reform has been a long

time coming but are they enough?

24 – BRING AND BUY

The days of the free movement of goods is

over. So what now?

32 – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Making sense of commercial data sharing

to improve trade credit risk decisions.

36 – NEW YEAR HOPES

Members of the CICM Think Tank share

their thoughts.

24

EXPORT FOCUS

Adam Bernstein

CICM

GOVERNANCE

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

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

Credit Management is distributed to the entire UK and international CICM

membership, as well as additional subscribers

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

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

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

trade mark of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.

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

11

CLEAR THINKING

Stuart Hopewell

FCICM

President Stephen Baister FCICM / Chief Executive Sue Chapple FCICM

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Sanders FCICM / Stephen Thomson FCICM / Atul Vadher FCICM(Grad)

43 – FRENCH EXCHANGE

Pierre Haincourt explains how exporters

will manage cross-border litigation post-

Brexit.

Publisher

Chartered Institute of Credit Management

The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham

OAKHAM, LE15 8NB

Telephone: 01780 722900

Email: editorial@cicm.com

Website: www.cicm.com

CMM: www.creditmanagement.org.uk

Managing Editor

Sean Feast FCICM

Deputy Editor

Iona Yadallee

Art Editor

Andrew Morris

Telephone: 01780 722910

Email: andrew.morris@cicm.com

Editorial Team

Laura Biondi, Imogen Hart, Rob Howard

and Max Tyson

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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 3


EDITOR’S COLUMN

Bounce Back Loans

and Exploding Kittens

Sean Feast FCICM

Managing Editor

THE Christmas and New

Year celebrations were a

tad muted this year in the

Feast household, as I’m

sure they were for most of

us. The only bright light in

an otherwise overcast mood was to see

my wife attempting to converse with my

youngest son’s French girlfriend (she had

been stranded and not able to return to

her home in Paris) and explain the rule of

Exploding Kittens.

If you have never played Exploding

Kittens, I recommend you give it a go. It is

hysterical. (It helps when explaining it to a

French speaker if you know the French for

‘kitten’! It is a chaton, to stop you all from

googling it, though, as we discovered, a

puppy is not a ‘chienon’ which would have

made sense).

In simple terms it is a card game where

the nemesis card is of course an exploding

chaton. (A ‘Chaton Boom!’ as we called it).

There are safety cards – a defuse card, for

example, that enables you to nullify the

explosion, and several other beastly cards

to stitch up your opponents. So, there

is some skill involved but, as with every

other card game, a large slice of luck.

Which could be a neat link to how we

are expected to navigate our way through

2021. I’ve always said that success is both

a factor of skill and luck, and sometimes

the skill is being able to identify the

opportunity when it presents itself. Our

industry, and our members, certainly

need a little luck along the way, but it will

be your skills that will play a key part in

determining whether the business you

represent succeeds or struggles as the year

unfolds.

While I was meandering my way into a

New Year, I did note a rather important bit

of news from the CSA (see news page 5). Its

CEO and Head of Policy have published a

paper that suggests that if the Government

takes a consistent approach to the recovery

of Business Bounce Back Loans (BBLs) and

uses professional debt collection agencies

to ensure best practice and forbearance, it

could make a £6bn difference to the public

purse.

It states that the FCA spent some £42m

on an advertising campaign to alert

people to the deadline for claims against

miss-sold PPI, and that if they spent just

£10m a year over the next three years in

a dedicated BBL ‘Engagement Scheme’

it could have a startling effect on the

monies returned to the Exchequer. Coauthor

Chris Leslie states: “If the Treasury

adopts the approach we recommend, not

only can it tailor forbearance according to

need, but it can also recoup perhaps £6bn

more than it might do otherwise – saving

the equivalent of the annual NHS hospital

building budget for the taxpayer.”

With some estimates suggesting

between 35 percent and 60 percent of BBLs

might never be repaid, the opportunity is

huge, but it will require real skill to collect.

So let’s hope someone in the Government

or Cabinet Office is listening. Let’s hope

they can put aside personal prejudices

and ignore the chunterings of a few to

benefit the many. Because recovering that

level of cash will take more skill, I fancy,

than winning a game of ‘Chaton Boom!’

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 4


FCICM

CMNEWS

A round-up of news stories from the

world of consumer and commercial credit.

Use of professional DCAs could

recover £6bn of unpaid BBLs

A

consistent policy for the

repayment or recovery

of Business Bounce Back

Loans (BBLs) and the use of

professional debt collection

agencies to ensure best

practice and forbearance could make a

£6bn difference to the public purse.

These are two of the principal

recommendations made by the Credit

Services Association (CSA) – the voice of

the UK debt collection and debt purchase

sectors – in a new report published today

that also calls for the Government to

invest in a dedicated ‘BBL Engagement

Scheme’ and provide a warranty against

fraud in the event that a debt is sold on at

some future date.

In the document – Squaring The Circle:

Setting the strategy for UK Business

‘Bounce Back’ Loans collections – the

report’s authors set out the need for best

practice on forbearance and standards of

engagement to be adopted by the British

Business Bank and HM Treasury and how

a consistent policy towards collections is

crucial and should be determined as soon

as possible.

The report’s authors also recommend

the creation of a BBL ‘Engagement

Scheme’ of around £10 million annual

investment over the next three years

to engage with customers, which could

yield anything between £3bn – £6bn in

additional returns to the Exchequer. (The

investment should be seen in the context

of a reported £42 million spent on the

FCA’s campaign heralding the deadline for

claims against miss-sold PPI.)

They believe that if the Government

pursues an active collections strategy

consistently, it could save the taxpayer

the equivalent of the NHS’s annual

capital budget allocation.

Government should also use

established, professional

collections agencies, rather

than attempting to ‘re-invent

the wheel’.

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM

CSA Chief Executive and co-author of

the report Chris Leslie says that some

estimates suggest more than half of BBLs

may not be repaid in full: “When such

vast sums of taxpayer money have been

lent to business in the expectation it

will eventually be repaid, Ministers have

a responsibility to pursue an effective

– as well as a sensitive – approach to

recovering that debt,” he says.

“Engaging in dialogue with and

understanding the circumstances of

those SMEs who have taken out Bounce

Back Loans will take particular skills.

If the Treasury adopts the approach

we recommend, not only can it tailor

forbearance according to need, it can

recoup perhaps £6bn more than it might

do otherwise – saving the equivalent of

the annual NHS hospital building budget

for the taxpayer.”

Co-author and CSA Head of Policy

Henry Aitchison agrees: “We’re concerned

at some estimates suggesting between

35 percent and 60 percent of these loans

may not be repaid in full. The Government

must therefore be clear and consistent

in its policy towards collections and

communicate regularly with SME

customers.

“An approach that works with a

borrower and is sensitive to their

individual circumstances inevitably

yields better returns which will be

important for the taxpayer and reflects

the highly unusual situation which the

BBL scheme was designed to ameliorate.”

Sue Chapple FCICM, Chief Executive of

the CICM, welcomed the initiative: “The

CSA has produced a well-reasoned and

intelligent response to what we know will

be a difficult challenge moving forward,”

she says. “With so many loans set to go

‘bad’, it is essential that the Government

speaks to the right people at the right

time and does not try and re-invent

the wheel when it has a ready-made

solution.”

Sue Chapple FCICM,

Chief Executive of the CICM.

“An approach that

works with a borrower

and is sensitive to their

individual circumstances

inevitably yields better

returns which will be

important for the taxpayer

and reflects the highly

unusual situation which

the BBL scheme was

designed to ameliorate.”

– CSA Chief Executive Chris Leslie

Squaring The Circle: Setting the

strategy for UK Business ‘Bounce

Back’ Loans collections

“The CSA has produced

a well-reasoned and

intelligent response to

what we know will be a

difficult challenge moving

forward”

– Sue Chapple FCICM

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 5


NEWS ROUNDUP

Directors call for tougher penalties

on late payment transgressors

THE coronavirus pandemic has

exacerbated the late payments

burden hitting UK businesses,

according to new figures from

The Institute of Directors.

Over a third of company

directors polled by the IoD said they had

faced an increase in late payments during the

pandemic, with almost one in ten reporting

they had experienced significantly more

problems than usual. The directors’ institute

warned that the challenge could worsen as

restrictions continue.

To address the issue, business leaders

were most likely to favour stricter penalties

to penalise late payments, followed by

giving the Small Business Commissioner

powers to issue binding monetary awards

in connection with disputes, and enabling

the Commissioner to oversee complaints

between small businesses. At the moment the

SBC can only intervene in a dispute between

a small business and its larger customer.

Despite the negative overall impact of the

virus, some IoD members reported seeing

fewer payment problems than usual, with one

respondent noting that key clients had even

paid them early as a means of support.

Roger Barker, Director of Policy at the

Institute of Directors, said that with so much

High Court rules on virtual CGA enforcement

THE UK’s two leading enforcement

association trade bodies, the Civil

Enforcement Association and the High

Court Enforcement Officers Association,

have welcomed the High Court

judgment on non-entry Controlled

Goods Agreements (CGAs) issued at the

start of the year.

The Taking Control of Goods

Regulations, which were passed by

Parliament in 2014, set out the statutory

code for any enforcement agent to take

control of goods via a CGA in order to

avoid those goods being removed and

“The reality is

that there’s no

silver bullet

to solving late

payments. The

challenge is

cultural and won’t

be fixed by one

specific power or

another. However,

giving the

Commissioner

real teeth could

send a strong

signal that

malpractice won’t

be tolerated.”

sold whilst payments are made under

the terms of the agreement.

The regulations currently say that

a visit needs to take place before

goods can be taken into control, but

do not specify whether this has to be a

physical visit. The concept of remote

contact is not new and CIVEA and

HCEOA members already use multichannel

engagement tools as part of

the compliance stage without applying

additional fees.

CIVEA and the HCEOA, along with

Just, the claimant, issued a joint

pressure on cashflow, many companies have

been left in the lurch through no fault of

their own: “Many directors are eager for the

Small Business Commissioner to get to make

a mark on the problem, but it needs more

firepower. The ability to issue binding awards

could make companies think twice before

delaying payment.

“The reality is that there’s no silver bullet

to solving late payments. The challenge is

cultural and won’t be fixed by one specific

power or another. However, giving the

Commissioner real teeth could send a

strong signal that malpractice won’t be

tolerated.”

But some within the industry say that

businesses also need to be thinking

differently. Andrew Birkwood, for example,

the Chief Executive of Azzurro Associates,

says that while silver bullets might be in

short supply, that doesn’t leave the hardpressed

Director without any ammunition

at all: “A cultural shift will take time, when

more immediate strategies are required to

address the liquidity issue. As the SBC Philip

King FCICM has previously said ‘….at times

like these we need creative ideas’, and that

includes companies turning a potential bad

debt write off into positive cashflow by selling

its beyond-term invoices for cash.”

statement welcoming ‘much needed

clarity’ and inviting the Ministry of

Justice (MoJ) to review the judgment

and, if appropriate, provide further

guidance and/or amendments to the

regulations.

The judgment states ‘an enforcement

agent may enter into a CGA … with a

debtor, whether or not the enforcement

agent has physically entered the

premises on which the good are

located’.

A full report will follow in the next

issue of Credit Management.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 6


NEWS ROUNDUP

SFP launches new guide

to business survival

SFP, the restructuring and

turnaround group, has

published a new free Guide to

Business Survival with what

it describes as easy-to-follow

practical steps which includes

a number of remedies to support small

businesses navigate through the current

crisis.

The Guide is set up in three clear stages

of keeping or getting a business back

on track. Part One explores the steps

a business can take without having to

resort to borrowing, and the importance of

a cashflow forecast in understanding your

true financial position; if the company

is in need of cash, Part Two of the Guide

outlines the various different funding

options available, both short-term lending

schemes to help businesses ‘bounce back’

from the current crisis as well funding

solutions for more longer-term planning.

Part Three explores the restructuring

and Insolvency processes, and how

there are still ways of giving a business

and its employees a future. It explains

each element of the Insolvency regime,

and the differences between Company

Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) and

Creditor Voluntary Liquidations (CVLs),

for example, through a series of helpful

Hoist launches new services to

support people struggling with debt

IN line with the company’s vision ‘By

your side’, Hoist Finance has launched a

new range of digital services to support

customers with financial stability and

planning. Through ‘Open Banking’,

customers will now be able to see a more

accurate and instant overview of their

finances.

Hoist Finance has partnered with leading

third-party providers to give its customers

easy access to services that can really help

improve their financial circumstances.

A Government Benefits tracker is being

launched to help the vulnerable and those

potentially drifting into debt to understand

any Housing Benefit and Working Tax

Credits to which they may be entitled, as

well as highlighting other schemes such

as contributions to Council Tax payments.

There is also a utility switching service

that seeks to save customers money and

therefore improve their financial position.

questions and answers.

There is also guidance throughout

on how to negotiate with creditors and

HMRC with both formal and informal

‘Time to Pay’ arrangements, and how to

choose a broker to help better understand

the myriad of funding options available.

Simon Plant, Chief Executive of the

SFP Group, says Government support

cannot go on indefinitely: “With the

furlough scheme ending in March 2021,

repayments of loans falling due, and

deferred payments no longer deferred,

businesses are facing a series of ‘pinch

points’ that will undoubtedly impact their

cash flow and their future prospects,”

he says. “Our Guide equips them with

the information and steps they need to

navigate their way through this current

crisis, or how best to restructure their

business with the help of a licensed

Insolvency Practitioner.”

Throughout the guide, SFP focuses on

the positive actions a business and its

directors can take to recover and return

to profit. It also explores a director’s

fiduciary responsibilities, especially in

an insolvency process, and spells out the

financial and personal consequences of

failing to act quickly and responsibly.

www.bizsurvival.co.uk

Matthew Whale, Digital Performance

Manager, says current income and

expenditure forms have their limitations:

“Open Banking now provides us with a

better solution,” he says. “It allows us to

work with the customer almost as a virtual

budget coach, to see where their money is

currently being spent and where savings

could be made. They can also answer a

simple online questionnaire to see what

benefits they may be entitled to. These

could make all the difference in seeing

them through their current difficulties.”

The initiative follows the rebrand

of Robinson Way to Hoist Finance UK

announced in December. Julian Winfield,

Chief Executive of Hoist Finance UK,

says the move follows a strategy to unify

and harmonise the group’s operating

model across the 12 countries in which it

operates as part of its ‘One Hoist Finance’

campaign.

>NEWS

IN BRIEF

Top marks for Imperial

College London

IMPERIAL College London has

achieved CICMQ re-accreditation, a

demonstration of excellence in credit

management.

Gavin Jones FCA FCICM, Head of

Income at Imperial, admitted that

he had to think twice about seeking

re-accreditation in the midst of the

pandemic: “We are juggling multiple

priorities and constantly in a state

of flux, but it turns out these are

precisely the reasons that we should

focus on our standards. In order to

successfully navigate the current

crisis we need to be adaptable without

compromising the best practice

targets and controls we have set.

“The resources of the CICMQ best

practice network that help inform our

processes, the pinpointing of areas of

improvement via the re-accreditation

process and CICM studies, and the

external recognition for all the hard

work put in by the team, all drove us to

seek re-accreditation”

Chris Sanders, CICMQ Assessor,

commends the Imperial team’s

hard work and professionalism:

“Their approach to remote working,

collecting debt, and helping customers

and students in these challenging

times is noteworthy. They are an

excellent example of a CICMQ

Accredited organisation.

BRANCH NEWS

CICM North West Branch hosted its

third virtual branch meeting on 8

December, attracting a good turn out

to see three fantastic presenters.

Huge thanks to Yvette Gray, Country

Manager UK & Ireland at Atradius

Collections, Robbie Hunter-Paul, MD

of Extra Mile Marketing and Adam

Crossland at Hays.

Yvette gave the attendees an

update on insolvency, collections and

debt recovery over the course of the

pandemic and into 2021, Robbie, who

is also former New Zealand Rugby

League Captain, presented the theory

of A.R.S.E (Attitude, Responsibility,

Sacrifice and Evolve) and how this was

applied to both his Rugby career and

his current business, followed by an

update from on the state of the credit

jobs market in our area from.

More events will follow this year.

By Peter Gent FCICM(Grad)

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 7


NEWS SPECIAL

SPENT FORCE

COVID-19 is taking its toll on

consumers’ financial wellbeing

AUTHORS – Sean Feast FCICM and Heather Greig Smith

THE COVID-19 crisis, it appears,

has not affected all customers

equally, not if Intrum’s annual

European Consumer Payment

Report is to be believed. Its

recent survey of some 24,000

people across Europe shows certain groups

more impacted than others when it comes to

their finances.

“The COVID-19 crisis has altered consumer

mindsets in many ways, though not all

of them are negative,” says Intrum’s UK

Managing Director Eddie Nott. “People

are focusing on their financial wellbeing,

financial literacy and the impact of their

spending decisions on society.”

The credit management group’s latest

European Consumer Payment Report found

that consumers are more aware of local

businesses in the wake of the crisis, with 60

percent more likely to support them after

seeing the effect of COVID-19.

‘‘Our research shows the

financial effects of the

COVID-19 crisis are acute

for particular groups. These

vulnerable groups are those

who already have less

financial flexibility.’’

While a third (36 percent) believe their

spending is too small to make a difference,

the majority (65 percent) are more aware

about the negative impact of a sudden

revenue drop and concerned about

unemployment if they don’t support local

firms (66 percent).

Meanwhile COVID-19 has been a financial

wake-up call for many when it comes to

their own situation. Almost half (48 percent)

of those surveyed in the UK said they have

realised their finances are not as secure as

they need them to be and 49 percent said

improving their financial literacy is now a top

priority.

HARDEST HIT

But that’s the good news. The bad is that

economic upheaval has placed some

consumers under significant financial strain.

This effect has been disproportionately felt,

with the UK’s young adults and parents under

the most pressure.

‘‘Many of those whose income has remained

the same have found they are better off

financially, with no commuting costs, reduced

leisure expenditure and few travel opportunities.‘‘

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 8


NEWS SPECIAL

Intrum’s survey reports that 36 percent

experienced an income drop as a result of

the COVID-19 crisis. Though 10 percent said

their income has since gone back up to

pre-crisis levels, a further 22 percent believe

their income may soon decrease.

However, when the figures are broken

down it is clear which groups are

particularly affected. More than half (54

percent) of 18-21-year olds and 50 percent

of parents said they have taken an income

hit. In total, 60 percent of parents said they

are more concerned about their financial

wellbeing now than at any point in their

lives – whereas 37 percent of non-parents

said the same.

“Our research shows the financial

effects of the COVID-19 crisis are acute for

particular groups. These vulnerable groups

are those who already have less financial

flexibility. For example, young adults often

‘‘The rollout of vaccines is

a cause for optimism but,

in the meantime, creditors

need to prepare for a

possible increase in financial

hardship and vulnerability

among their customer base,

especially given the news of

a further national lockdown.’’

have fewer savings to fall back on, less

disposable income and may be more likely

to be made redundant. Parents have had to

juggle childcare and home schooling with

maintaining their income,” says Eddie.

There is a clear gulf between those who

are struggling and those whose incomes

have not been affected by the COVID-19

crisis. One fifth of UK consumers (20

percent) said they needed to borrow money

to pay bills in the last six months, and 77

percent of those people are borrowing every

month to make ends meet – up from 53

percent in 2019.

But 78 percent of consumers said they are

still able to save money, with the majority

(54 percent) maintaining their previous

saving levels. In addition, 18 percent said

they have been able to increase their

savings. The most common reason given for

saving was to be able to meet unexpected

expenses – 70 percent said this is their

motivation for doing so.

Of those who had increased their level of

saving, 69 percent said they have been able

to do this because they have been spending

less on everyday expenses, while 31 percent

said they were giving themselves more

financial security in case their income is

affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

“Many of those whose income has

remained the same have found they are

better off financially, with no commuting

costs, reduced leisure expenditure and

few travel opportunities,” says Eddie. “The

impact has been by no means equal and it

has left certain groups struggling more than

others.”

This has left some worrying about their

financial futures. Parents are especially

affected – 61 percent said the crisis has

made them realise their finances are

less secure than they need to be to live a

stress-free life. In addition, there is caution

about unnecessary borrowing: 55 percent

are more wary than usual about taking on

debt and 58 percent say they don’t want to

borrow money to spend on major purchases

until they are sure the crisis is over.

GLOBAL VIEW

The UK came 10th out of 24 countries in

the report’s Financial Wellbeing Barometer

– slipping two places lower than its 2019

placing. The barometer presents an overall

financial wellbeing score for each country –

an aggregate ranking that combines scores

across three pillars: the ability to pay bills,

saving for the future and financial literacy.

The UK’s economy has been hit hard by

the crisis but long-term savings and a good

level of financial literacy stopped it sliding

further. Despite continuing constraints to

economic activity, Germany held onto its

top ranking, while countries in Southern

Europe display signs they are struggling –

Greece is at the bottom of the 2020 table,

with Italy and Spain just above. In these

countries, pre-existing household debt and

financial instability has been exacerbated

by the pandemic. Unemployment has

severely hampered consumers’ ability to

pay their bills and save money.

By contrast, the Baltic states have

weathered the COVID-19 crisis better than

expected, making strong gains in the 2020

barometer. A relatively low household debtto-income

ratio, combined with a strong

financial literacy performance means

customers from this region are better

placed than many to bounce back from the

pandemic.

THE FUTURE

“It is hard to tell what the future holds in

store for UK consumers given the rapidlychanging

COVID-19 situation,” says Eddie.

“The rollout of vaccines is a cause for

optimism but, in the meantime, creditors

need to prepare for a possible increase in

financial hardship and vulnerability among

their customer base, especially given the

news of a further national lockdown.”

He added: “We have already expanded

our teams to help lenders meet increasing

volumes of inbound calls and more

cases of vulnerability. Insolvencies are

now rising too and, depending on the

level of government support available,

more consumers may find themselves in

difficulty this year.”

>NEWS

IN BRIEF

Presidential

inauguration

AMIR Ali FCICM has become the

inaugural President of the Professional

Paralegal Register (PPR), a not-forprofit

organisation which provides

regulation for Paralegals. The former

Chairman of the CCUA, Amir has more

than three decades of experience

in both the Legal and Enforcement

sectors and has ambitious plans for

the PPR over the next 12 months. “Only

PPR regulated Paralegals are able to

offer the protection of independent

regulation making them a valuable

asset for the profession and for

consumers,” he says.

STOP PRESS

REFORMS to the Prompt Payment

Code will include an additional

requirement to pay 95 percent of

invoices from businesses with fewer

than 50 employees within 30 days.

There will be no change to the previous

requirement to pay 95 percent of all

invoices within 60 days. This will

support the smallest businesses to get

paid swiftly and show the commitment

of signatories to help maintain the

cashflow of their smallest suppliers.

Full details and an interview with the

Small Business Commissioner to follow

soon.

Branch AGMs

CICM Branch AGM season is upon us,

and all Committees are due to convene

virtually by 31 March 2021. Look out

for more information across CICM

channels and by visiting www.cicm.

com/branches/

Merit award

THE Meritorious Service Award is

granted as a rare recognition of an

especially meritorious contribution

to the Institute. If you would like to

nominate a member, visit www.cicm.

com/cicm-meritorious-award/

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 9


www.tcmgroup.com

Probably thebest debt collection network worldwide

Moneyknows no borders—neither do we

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 10


INSOLVENCY

CLEAR

THINKING

Professional bodies want to see greater

transparency around Pre-Packs.

AUTHOR – Stuart Hopewell FCICM

IN common with many

commentators, including several

IP’s, Simon Plant in his article in

the December issue appears to

still feel the legislation is aimed

at his profession. Since day one

(way back in 2014 as I recall) myself

and others (including IP’s) have been

regularly pointing out that this is not the

case.

The recommendations (not regulations

then as now) were aimed at the acquirers

of the business that was about to be prepacked.

The directors/owners are asked

to give some tangible evidence that

this transaction is the best option for

everyone involved (not least the creditors

who inevitably have most to lose).

I would take issue, therefore, with

Simon’s view that ‘no one in the industry

especially sees Pre-Packs or sale to a

connected party as an issue’. Why then

do bodies like the ICAEW, IPA, and R3

publicly endorse referral (albeit to the

only body available at present: The Pre-

Pack Pool)?

I believe it is because these

professionals want more transparency

around Pre-Packs, those involving

connected parties especially. A cursory

glance at the business pages of most

broadsheets during the recent debates

about the Corporate Insolvency and

Governance Act would also serve to

illustrate the unease with which ‘non

industry’ pundits regard such deals.

SELF-IMPORTANCE

One area where I will agree with Simon is

that of the proposed ‘evaluators’. The socalled

requirements as to qualification

or a self-declaration of competence is as

he says laughable. I have noticed many

representations to The Insolvency Service

on this point and hope they take action to

improve this clause.

We at the Pool have a roster of

Chartered Accountants, Chartered

Directors and retired IPs who do have

the requisite knowledge. And yes, they

certainly do understand the process and

are unlikely to deny a Pre-Pack for ‘the

wrong reasons’. In fact, when we have

said a Pre-Pack was ‘unreasonable’ we

have inevitably been proved correct.

Nine out of the ten deals that we were

negative about ultimately failed within 12

months of the newco being formed.

In terms of ‘coping,’ as long as the

independent evaluators has a robust

system in place, I see no reason why a

competent body can’t handle the tsunami

of insolvencies expected in 2021 and

beyond. The Pool has such a system tried

and tested over the past five years. Our

original remit was to handle upwards of

200 / 250 cases but of course referrals fell

way below that target.

The only concern under the new

proposals is the level of detail required

of the new report. Something that is not

fully addressed in the draft.

Simon and others who think similarly

should not feel ‘mistrusted’ but rather

help the Insolvency Service get the

system working by engaging with the

draft proposals.

Stuart Hopewell is a director of The Pre-

Pack Pool the only independent ‘opinion

provider’ currently available for referral.

I believe it is because these professionals want

more transparency around Pre-Packs, those

involving connected parties especially.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 11


INTERVIEW

THE COUNTER

REVOLUTIONARY

Sean Feast FCICM speaks to CICM Chair

Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad) about collections,

COVID-19 and the attraction of Fidel Castro.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 12


INTERVIEW

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

She is also learning

Spanish, partly so

that she can further

enjoy her holidays to

Cuba, which she has

been visiting with

almost revolutionary

fervour for the past

20 years and where

she got married.

DEBBIE Nolan FCICM

(Grad) has an impressive

business card. As Vice

President Collections

UK for Arvato Financial

Solutions, she’s one of the

most senior and well-respected executives

working in the UK collections landscape

today. She is also Chair of the Chartered

Institute of Credit Management (CICM)

– not bad for someone whose love of

languages at school was originally leading

her to become a bi-lingual secretary.

Born in Harrow and educated at

the local Comprehensive, it was while

working in her father’s shop that her

career ambitions took a different path:

“My dad was an electrician who had a

successful shop on the High Street. I

started working for him on the odd day

or two and discovered that I really liked

earning money. I therefore decided to give

up my place at College and find full time

employment.”

PUNCH OPERATOR

At Desoutter Brothers she became a

punch operator, working some of the

earliest computer systems (“I became a

very fast typist,” she laughs) before joining

Dixons Stores Group in 1988 and ‘falling’

into the world of credit and collections:

“I worked first in accounts payable, then

debt collection and credit control and

have never looked back,” she says.

It was at Dixons that she got the credit

‘bug’; Julian Roberts, a contemporary,

encouraged her to join the ICM (as it was

then) and to study for her exams – exams

that Debbie says helped shape her future.

Originally working in Edgware,

the business moved in 1994 to Hemel

Hempstead in Hertfordshire after the

successful acquisition of PC World. Debbie

knew in advance that a move was afoot:

“I was a London girl and used to getting

around on the bus or tube, but Phyllis

Manley, my boss at the time, told me I

needed to learn how to drive but wouldn’t

say why. Later it became clear and I often

wonder what might have happened if I

hadn’t taken her advice!”

Dixons, Debbie says, was a business

characterised by smart people, especially

within the finance team. Peers included

Peter Robinson and Andrew Owen, who

in turn reported to Ian Livingston, now

Baron Livingston of Parkhead and onetime

Chief Executive of the BT Group.

“I learned a great deal from them all,”

she continues, “especially the importance

of recognising the work of others.

“I had the day off once to play in a

tennis tournament and when Andrew

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 13 continues on page 14 >


INTERVIEW

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

came in the next day he asked me where I’d

been. I thought I was in trouble, but actually

it was because he’d been the first in that

day and the lights and the photocopier were

switched off, so he knew I wasn’t in. It may

sound such a small thing, but I learned that

sometimes even being recognised for being

the one who turns on the lights or makes the

coffee is important.”

Debbie learned a different lesson from

Tony Dignum: “Tony asked me to help him

with a presentation. I had just been trained

on Lotus 123 and gave him what I thought was

a beautifully created presentation with the

statistics presented down the middle. Tony

hated it and wanted the figures to be justified

so he could tot up the columns himself. I said

he didn’t need to; he said he didn’t trust my

sums! I learned then that it’s not what you

like that’s important, but rather what your

colleagues or your clients want that counts.”

HONED SKILLS

Debbie honed her skills at Dixons, eventually

rising to Collections and Recoveries Manager

before joining Wescot Credit Services in

October 1997. Wescot had been providing

tracing activities and Debbie jumped at the

chance of experiencing a different part of

the credit industry. It did, however, mean

relocating to Yorkshire with the company

headquartered in Hull: “I’ve lived here now

for 16 years,” she jokes, “so it’s only 14 to go

before they think I’m local!”

Starting out as an account manager, Debbie

soon took on a business development role

before ultimately being promoted to Client

Development Director. She oversaw a hike

in sales turnover from £30m to more than

£50m during her tenure and diversified the

client base across multiple sectors including

Banking and Retail.

With the sale of the business in 2005

and subsequent restructuring, Debbie was

tempted away by Transcom Worldwide as

Business Development Director. Transcom

had 75 contact centres operating out of 29

countries in 33 different languages, and this

was a happy time for Debbie, experiencing the

enjoyment of a truly international business:

“On reflection, I am pleased I was able to

work for Transcom and build my knowledge

and experience before joining Arvato. It

allowed me to make the transition to being a

small part in a large global enterprise much

easier.”

Within Arvato, Debbie again joined in a

business development role, and now runs the

UK Collections operation within the Group’s

Financial Solutions business. She’s in charge

of a team of some 500 which are usually split

between its Glasgow call centre and a national

field force working from home. COVID-19 has

changed all that, and although a new working

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 14


INTERVIEW

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

rhythm was quickly established, it has not

been without its challenges:

“Not every client is happy with the

concept of working from home,” she

says, “but we were soon able to prove it

could work. There is, of course, a major

benefit in everyone being based in the

same building, to listen and learn from

one’s colleagues, to identify any training

that might be needed, and to support one

another during the working day. But that’s

not to say that working from home also

doesn’t have its advantages. For a start,

it means we don’t have to be limited in

where we can recruit, and we can bring

in talent from further afield if we want

to. It’s opening up a number of future

opportunities.”

FUTURE PREDICTIONS

Debbie says that predicting the future,

however, is a challenge: “What we’ve not

been able to do with this pandemic is to

have a meaningful plan for the future. We

can only really go week to week, and that

makes future planning very difficult.”

It is in times of challenge that Debbie

is grateful for the support of the CICM,

of which she is now Chair: “I took the

exams on Julian’s advice and my Credit

Management teacher was Philip King

FCICM (I wonder what happened to him.

Ed.) My role at the time was more debt

collection but I really enjoyed learning

other relevant and practical skills that I

could use in the workplace. I never liked

exams – it was one of the reasons I was

never that keen on College and did them

because I had to – but with the CICM I

actually wanted to do them.”

“When COVID hit, the

Cubans didn’t need to

be cajoled into obeying

the rules. They were

given an instruction

and they did it. There

was no question that

they wouldn’t obey.”

Debbie remembers one incident when her

qualification proved particularly useful:

“I was presenting to Steve Thomson (now

an FCICM and Regional Representative on

the CICM Advisory Board) when I was still

at Wescot and he was at Britannia Music

and he was giving me a tough time. Then

he noted that I was a CICM(Grad) and I

had a professional qualification and the

manner changed altogether. It confirmed

what I knew, that a CICM qualification

had real meaning.”

Within Arvato, Debbie used to be

the only CICM member but now that is

changing. She is determined to show that

credit management is not a temporary

‘stop gap’, but rather a professional career.

To that end, being Chair of the CICM is

a help: “It is a superb honour,” she says.

“It is exciting to be working with Sue and

the team. There will always be challenges

but there are opportunities too, and I’m

looking forward to getting properly stuck

in and making a difference.”

NATURAL TALENT

Outside of work, Debbie doesn’t play

tennis any more; she is honest in saying

she was never a natural: “I was quite good,

but the sort of player that responded well

to being taught rather than it coming

naturally. My coach used to lob bricks

at me to move my feet; I’m not sure that

would be allowed today!”

Debbie admits to two greater passions

bordering on obsessions: Pilates (“I’ve

been doing it most mornings and even

virtually,” she says) and Bryan Adams. She

was also bought a drum kit for her 40th

and now likes nothing better than to bash

out a tune.

She is also learning Spanish, partly so

that she can further enjoy her holidays to

Cuba, which she has been visiting with

almost revolutionary fervour for the past

20 years and where she got married: “They

are all so friendly and welcoming,” she

says, “and over the years we have made

many friends.

“When COVID hit, the Cubans didn’t

need to be cajoled into obeying the rules.

They were given an instruction and they

did it. There was no question that they

wouldn’t obey.”

Perhaps, just perhaps, Fidel got

something right after all!

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 15


INTELLIGENT

THINKING

Information is essential to succeeding

in a Brave New World.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 16


CREDIT INSURANCE

AUTHOR – Mike Bailey

BUSINESSES are like people –

those with underlying health

problems are at greatest

risk from the impact of

COVID-19. It’s a powerful

analogy, conjuring visions of

the devastating impact of the pandemic on

society’s most vulnerable members. And it

doesn’t end there.

Government-backed commercial stickingplasters,

including grants and payment

holidays to ease short-term pressure on

cashflows, seem highly unlikely to transform

underperforming businesses. Far from it,

measures like these will surely succeed only

in delaying the ultimate demise of companies

that were arguably always destined to fail.

But does this simplistic analysis dovetail

with the thinking of professionals tasked

with making sense of the pandemic and its

impact on credit risk?

TEMPORARY EFFECT

Warrick Robertson, Chief Operations Officer

of Coface South Africa, believes that the

temporary effect of these ‘one-size-fits-all’

interventions, delivered largely at arm’s

length, won’t convince underwriters to allow

lines of credit that aren’t justified: “The only

reliable way to assess a company’s health,

especially in times like these, is to conduct

an in-person investigation and to unearth

information that’s not in the public domain,”

he explains. “Extending the analogy, it’s no

different to the approach a surgeon would

take before deciding whether or not to

operate.

“The problem facing credit managers

in the midst of a global pandemic”, he

continues, “is massive. Face-to-face meetings

have largely been replaced by phone calls or

remote video conferencing, and conducting

site visits – for me, a critical element of an

assessment – is next to impossible.”

For Warrick, regular communication is one

of the key factors in evaluating commercial

risk. Active networking builds trust between

the parties, and the insurer should enjoy a

close relationship with the buyer – often as

close as the client/customer relationship

itself.

“We may have access to confidential

management information from the end

customer that’s not disclosed to the client,”

he adds. “We regularly enter into NDAs

with those buyers, and maintaining

confidentiality is a vital aspect of building

trust. With the benefit of information

that flows as a result of such open

communication, we’re often able to

underwrite debts that would otherwise be

uninsurable.”

ASSESSING RISK

Warrick isn’t alone in believing that

communication is the starting point for

assessing risk. Zena Brake, Credit Intelligence

Director at Euler Hermes GCC, stresses

the need for businesses to be prepared for

the unexpected – a lesson she claims Euler

Hermes learned in the aftermath of the 2008

financial crisis.

“As an insurer, we maintain open lines of

communication with our clients and their

customers at all times,” she says. “It isn’t

enough to start picking up the phone once

a crisis has erupted; risk managers need to

be ready to confront challenges before they

become red-flag items. Risk isn’t always

related to micro-level factors, so anticipation

is essential.”

Businesses that have prepared for a crisis

of this magnitude will be better positioned to

mitigate the increased risk that COVID-19 has

brought worldwide. There is clear evidence

of ‘forced disruption’ in organisations

around the globe, with remote working

being the most obvious example. It’s equally

apparent that bigger wins arise in businesses

that are naturally agile, with the ability – and

mindset – to adopt new ways of working.

“Robust businesses,” Zena continues, “are

those that have the resources and display

the leadership necessary to achieve the best

outcome from a bad situation. It comes back

to knowing your clients and their customers

and having confidence in those that typically

shine.”

EMERGING CRISIS

Prior to 2020, Euler Hermes anticipated

an emergence of a global crisis. While

COVID-19 wasn’t on the list of probable

causes, the preparatory work undertaken in

the intervening years has been an excellent

use of resources. Recognising the need to

gather, analyse and act on data as effectively

as possible, the company invested heavily in

technology and automation focused on that

area.

“Technology enables us to continue doing

business largely as usual,” Zena adds, “with

remote working being the first step in that

direction. We’re not only keeping open lines

of communication with our clients and their

customers, but we’re also able to draw on

the data available to us throughout Euler

Hermes globally. Establishing measures

of robustness, by sector or for individual

entities, is quicker, easier and more

accurate.”

Jennifer Guy, Managing Director of ICP

Credit Ltd, has an alternative take on the role

of technology in this brave new world. “Use

technology to its fullest extent”, she says,

“but don’t rely on it at the expense of on-theground

information gathering.”

A specialist provider of company-risk

information for export-credit agencies,

insurers and corporate clients around the

world, ICP places huge emphasis on the need

for close company contact and for gathering

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 17

Mike Bailey

“It isn’t enough to

start picking up the

phone once a crisis

has erupted; risk

managers need to

be ready to confront

challenges before

they become redflag

items. Risk isn’t

always related to

micro-level factors,

so anticipation is

essential.”

continues on page 18 >


CREDIT INSURANCE

AUTHOR – Mike Bailey

“If a buyer in a

‘high-risk’ region

invests time and

effort in collating

and presenting hard

information that

justifies credit, that

should outweigh the

perceived risk posed

by its location.”

information in real time.

“We report on companies in countries

that typically have little or no corporate

or financial data in the public domain”,

Jennifer says. “In-depth research at the time

it’s needed and open-book assessment with

the company’s blessing are the only effective

tools for unlocking actionable information.”

“Before, during or after a crisis, the

same principle applies: A comprehensive

understanding of a potential customer –

beyond anything an algorithm can deliver – is

essential to underpin both sales growth and

risk reduction.”

“It’s too easy for a buyer to operate behind

a façade of normality; the sign on the door

may say ‘Open for Business’, but that means

nothing. Don’t take anything at face value –

look for signs of life and verify any publicly

available data by doing your own research.”

UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

Jennifer believes that it’s also unrealistic to

expect things to return to normal – whatever

that turns out to be – once COVID-19 is no

longer a global threat. For her, the genie is out

of the bottle, and short-term thinking alone

won’t suffice.

“The pandemic has levelled the playing

field,” she continues, “and the commercial risk

posed by a European SME should be assessed

using the same criteria as for a comparable

SME in the Middle East or Asia. It’s time for

the industry to reconsider its automatic focus

on the strength of a country or region as its

first step in assessing risk.”

“If a buyer in a ‘high-risk’ region invests

time and effort in collating and presenting

hard information that justifies credit, that

should outweigh the perceived risk posed by

its location.”

In a nutshell, that’s the challenge facing

credit managers once the ‘new normal’

emerges – getting behind the façade and

establishing the facts.

UNDERVALUED TOOL

Is trade credit-risk insurance undervalued

by exporters? Is there any evidence that

the pandemic is forcing reluctant business

owners to reconsider their position?

Warrick Robertson believes so. He reports

a marked increase in the level of enquiries

since the start of the pandemic, but without

a corresponding uptake in cover: “Businesses

are establishing the cost implications of

putting cover in place,” he says, “but those

that are new to credit insurance typically take

their time to commit.”

“Once a company takes a hit, there’s quite

naturally a marked change in attitude, but

cost can still be an issue for smaller, lowmargin

businesses. It doesn’t always take

a crystallised loss to push exporters into

action – experiences of late payment and

the consequent pressure on liquidity results

in owners and shareholders seeking ways to

reduce uncertainty”, he explains.

“It’s up to insurers not only to highlight the

financial benefits of insuring trade debts,

but also to showcase the tools that insurers

bring to the table when assessing risk in the

first instance. It comes back to establishing

confidence in the buyer’s financial stability

and in the insurer’s ability to assess risk

effectively.”

Jennifer Guy is perhaps more direct: “The

only certainty is that things will never be the

same again.

“Finding ways to finding ways to assess and

minimise exposure to credit risks has to be

part of any exporter’s toolkit. Whether they do

that themselves by investing in targeted factfinding,

or whether they entrust that task to

an insurer, the reward is the ability to be able

to look safely ahead.

“There’s a cost associated with quantifying

risk – but it’s the cost of staying in business

and growing, while others fall by the wayside.

Assuming that trading conditions will return

C

to pre- COVID norms is dangerous; more than

ever, we need to hold our collective nerve M

and move forward with the best possible

Y

information available.”

Mike Bailey is a freelance business writer.

Key Takeaways

Credit professionals are left with

some clear insights, most of which

aren’t simply COVID driven. It’s clear

that success in difficult times is built

on foundations that should already be

in place:

• The most valuable information about

a buyer’s creditworthiness won’t be in

the public domain.

• Talking to people regularly before

you really need to is a great way of

preparing for the unexpected.

• Real-time contact and open-book

relationships with trading partners is

essential.

• Use technology to its fullest extent,

but don’t treat it as a crutch.

• Don’t take anything at face value –

look for signs of life and do your own

research.

• There is no ‘new normal’ – get behind

the façade and establish the facts.

• There’s a cost premium associated

with quantifying risk – but it’s the

cost of staying in business and

growing.

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 18


Baker Ing

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 19


OPINION

HOUSE

CLEARANCE

Companies House reforms clear

up some issues but not all.

AUTHOR – Caroline Asquith-Turnbull FCICM

COMPANIES House (CH) reform

has been a long time coming,

and thankfully it has been taken

seriously. By its own admission

CH says the organisational

procedures and rules have

remained predominantly unchanged for 150

years.

The operational transformation section picks

up some staggering figures. Last year CH was

accessed by over nine billion users. It states by

end of March 2020 the number of UK companies

stood at over 4.35m. In 2019–2020 over 665,000

new companies were incorporated with more

than 524,000 dissolved and 11.8m documents

filed.

The consultation was released in spring of

2019, with the reform published in September

2020. The results make for some interesting

reading, with some elements seemingly

contradictory as the document progresses,

especially around verification.

The changes have been put forward on a pointby-point

basis with a Government response and

‘Summary of the way forward’ at the end of

each section. Historically, legislation changes

have tied the hands of our industry, challenging

genuine recovery of debt incurring losses and

costs to the supplier.

Examples might include permissions for

credit checks, ‘The right to be forgotten’, the

Letter of Claim and compulsory mediation,

which often places claimants in the wrong when

a low value offer is made but not accepted.

Not forgetting the changes to bankruptcy laws

enabling directors to start a new company

after a year, encouraging ‘Phoenixing’ and debt

dumping.

The reform will not change any of those issues

but alleges it will provide businesses with better

and more trustworthy data hopefully reducing

further losses in the long run.

The responses from professionals of different

fields and backgrounds were taken on board

with all suggestions noted. The main focus

throughout the document is identity verification

and reducing the opportunity for fraud.

DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

Not all of the responding groups have come up

with issues from the same perspective; there are

a few clashes. The Filers versus the Recovery

Professional is apparent.

Having used CH for forensic investigations,

the past seven or so years have proven the most

significant. Digital sales have become common

practice causing accessible fraud potential.

After this year in particular, fraud and money

laundering opportunities can only increase

unless stricter measures are taken. CH timing

is right on cue.

It is worth noting a few of the reform’s points

of interest; Introduction of Compulsory Identity

Verification for all directors and people with

significant control (PSC’s); individuals will have

a single user sign on linking all their business

dealings; unverified individuals will face

compliance action and possible prosecution,

new powers for the Registrar and suppression

of director data.

Compulsory identity verification (CIV) for

all directors and PSC’s is a good step forward.

This is one of the most compelling areas of

reform. The plan is to verify identity digitally

without slowing down the ability to set up new

companies within a 24-hour turn around.

User IP addresses weren’t mentioned as a part

of the verification process therefore the ability

to commit fraud is still prevalent. The use of

virtual addresses for protection to the smaller

business is exploited by criminals globally. IP

addresses can be redirected but in most cases

the standard person is linked by their country

and area.

In Chapter 13, ‘Additional measures to deter

abuse of corporate entities’, the Government

response to Q39 doesn’t agree with responders’

views; Q39 Do you agree that companies should

Having used CH for forensic investigations, the past seven or so

years have proven the most significant. Digital sales have become

common practice causing accessible fraud potential.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 20


OPINION

AUTHOR – Caroline Asquith-Turnbull FCICM

provide evidence that they are entitled to use an

address as their registered office?

Almost two thirds (65 percent) of respondents

said yes showing strong support for the proposal

however the Government response shows that

‘In 2018/2019, Companies House defaulted

5888 registered office addresses from 8058

applications. This amounts to less than one

percent of company filings in 2018/19 and only

a fraction of the overall number of defaults are

caused by illicit behaviour’.

CH continued: ‘As this issue affects such

a small proportion of company filings, the

Government believes it would be inappropriate

to introduce significant additional powers to

address it’ and stating it would require ‘a full

manual handling process’.

Whilst it could slow down the process for

registration, nearly a quarter of respondents

thought this was already a process within CH as

standard procedure.

UNSCRUPULOUS FRAUDSTERS

In my investigations I have found many

companies who state they have offices all

over the world and profess to be a corporate

when in fact they are unscrupulous fraudsters

who purchase virtual addresses in major

capital cities whilst sat in a completely different

country using a virtual address as registration.

This is of particular interest with sanction

Caroline Asquith-Turnbull

FCICM

The FBI Internet

Fraud report for

2019 picked up

467,361 complaints

in the one year

amounting to 1500

per day and losses

to individuals and

businesses of over

$3.5bn.

and embargo compliance.

Whilst CH seems to think this is a small area

and are therefore not changing this factor, it

may be worth pointing out some figures found

by other bodies.

The FBI Internet Fraud report for 2019

picked up 467,361 complaints in the one year

amounting to 1,500 per day and losses to

individuals and businesses of over $3.5bn. In the

Crime Survey for England and Wales this figure

was substantially bigger this report covers up to

March 2020 suggesting 3.8m incidents of fraud

by false representation. Not all of these are over

the internet.

The Home Office figures mentioned in the

reform document estimate that the social

and economic cost of fraud to individuals in

England and Wales is £4.7bn per year and the

social and economic cost of organised fraud

against businesses and the public sector in the

UK is £5.9bn.

These figures suggest the registered address

does need verification, electronically if possible

and is noted by CH in para 288 with the mention

of Post Office systems.

However CH still states in the summary: ‘The

Government will not proceed with creating

new powers requiring providing evidence of

entitlement to use registered office addresses.

Identification of the presenter, linking of data

that may indicate risk of fraud and amendment

of legislation provide a proportionate response

to the issue of fraudulent use of registered office

addresses’.

CH has said it will match data from other

data sets for cross referencing, respondents

identified HM Passport Office, DVLA, DWP,

HM Land Registry and the electoral register as

suggested candidates.

NATURAL CROSSMATCHING

These databases could naturally crossmatch

the registered address offered. The overview

suggests the use of passports and usual ID.

Will these be linked to outside bodies for

confirmation? Will UK driver’s Licences be

linked to the DVLA data base? Will passports

be linked to the relevant country or Interpol?

Possibly.

Previously, in March 2018 the .GOV website

published guidance explaining in detail

Identification Document Validation Technology

(IDVT), identifying what this is and what it does

in the prevention of Fraud.

The IDVT matches data to various databases

including Interpol’s lost and stolen passports.

It can match passports, biometric residence

permits, driving licenses and ID cards. If

employed by CH we are better positioned to

believe the information they supply and put

more trust in their diligence.

CH says it will: ‘Explore the identity market

and procure the systems, services and expertise

that will meet the policy intent and the needs of

business and citizens’. It has also stated that it

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 21

continues on page 22 >


OPINION

AUTHOR – Caroline Asquith-Turnbull FCICM

intends to use ‘Leading Technology’ making

it harder for economic criminals to perform

their creative arts.

CH advises that not only will crime be made

more difficult, these reforms will ‘increase

accountability of those who transgress’

and ‘save costs for UK law enforcement

by providing faster access to reliable

information’.

FUNDING ISSUES

To maintain this data securely along

with processing and validation databases

substantial funding will be required. The

reform is planned over a five-year period

from 2020 to 2025, however the funding has

yet to be agreed. This will obviously curtail

the amount of technology CH can employ.

With the funding uncertain it is difficult

to understand how CH plans to take this

forward without a concrete budget.

There is no forecast of the potential costs

involved, but looking at the proposals, the

use of technology and reskilling of staff this

will be considerable.

CH stated that throughout the organisation,

staff skills will be retooled to meet the needs

of a transformed Companies House with a

premium on more highly skilled digital, IT

and data people.

The reform also mentions that ‘unverified

individuals will face compliance action and

possible prosecution’ and ‘new powers for the

Registrar’. However this is not detailed at this

stage.

When it comes to company directors

the suppression of information is for their

protection and will be limited to nonpublication

of full date of birth, occupation,

residential address and hiding signatures

to protect directors from ID theft and

other criminal activity. The removal of the

residential address is still in question if it was

previously the registered address in dissolved

companies.

Whilst the information will not be publicly

available it will still be with CH who will

make this available to law enforcement.

Overall the 97-page reform is a promising

document. Further comments and evidence

are still welcome.

Caroline Asquith-Turnbull FCICM is a senior

credit professional with a broad range of

experience from motorbikes to multi-media.

In my investigations I have found many

companies who state they have offices all

over the world and profess to be a corporate

when in fact they are unscrupulous fraudsters

who purchase virtual addresses in major

capital cities whilst sat in a completely

different country using a virtual address as

registration.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 22


LET’S CELEBRATE

OUR ACHIEVEMENTS

AND START 2021

WITH A BANG!

Thursday 25 March - Virtual Event

ENTRIES ARE OPEN FOR

THE BRITISH CREDIT AWARDS 2021!

We are pulling out all the stops for the

British Credit Awards Virtual Ceremony 2021!

Whether you choose to dress to the nines and sip champagne, or

simply chill in your PJs on your sofa, join us as we celebrate your

achievements and recognise all the hard work you have achieved in

the challenging and sometimes crazy 2020.

So take a look at the categories, and think which one you, your

colleagues or your team deserve. Enter or nominate today!

ENTRIES ARE OPEN UNTIL FRIDAY 5TH FEBRUARY

INDUSTRY RECOGNISED AWARDS

Credit Professional of the Year

Thank You! - Appreciation Award

Shooting Star Award

Credit Team of the Year Award

Apprentice of the Year Award

Inclusion & Diversity Award

ANNOUNCED ON THE NIGHT

CICMQ High Performing Team Award

Sir Roger Cork Prize

JUST FOR FUN

Cool Under Pressure Award

Duct Tape Award

To find out more about the categories and to enter,

please visit www.cicmbritishcreditawards.com

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 23


EXPORT FOCUS

BRING

AND BUY

The days of free movement for goods

are over so what can businesses do to

mitigate risk.

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

IT was Scottish economist and

philosopher Adam Smith who, in his

1776 book, The Wealth of Nations,

first made reference to Britain being ‘a

nation that is governed by shopkeepers’.

However, French revolutionary

Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac, was more scathing

when he spoke to the National Convention in

June 1794. He said: “Let Pitt then boast of his

victory to his nation of shopkeepers.”

Of course, to the loudest mouth goes the

attribution which is why most think that the

phrase was uttered by Napoleon.

No matter, Britain is a nation of shopkeepers

(and online traders too). But so are our

continental cousins. And it’s galling to some,

and commercially suicidal to others, that a

whole new and somewhat alien trade regime is

now in place with the potential to damage all

who come across it.

TRADE DATA

According to data from the ifo Center for

International Economics, the UK relied on the

EU for 50 percent of its imports in 2019, whereas

the EU was the final destination for 47 percent

of all UK exports, making it the UK’s single

largest market. On the flipside, four percent of

the EU’s exported goods and services ended up

in the UK while just six percent of its imports

came from Britain.

The situation has not gone unnoticed in the

UK. At the start of December 2020, the House

of Commons Public Accounts Committee, in

a report, Whitehall preparations for EU Exit,

said that the Government was ‘taking limited

responsibility’ for national readiness. The

committee was cutting when it said that the

necessary systems would not be in place in

time, regardless of whether an EU trade deal is

agreed.

And the problem manifested itself through

the very obvious problems at Britain’s ports

which were strained through a combination of

containers full of PPE awaiting removal and a

port entry system that was barely working, if at

all. On top of that, firms were desperately trying

to import whatever they could to stockpile

before the new regime started in anger on 1

January.

As the committee pointed out then, 36

percent of SMEs expected an extension to the

transitional period, and the Cabinet Office

had no idea what the other 64 percent were

expecting.

END OF FREE MOVEMENT

One thing is certain, free movement of goods

as we know it has ended. The Guardian, in

a December story headlined, UK business

leaders warn of Brexit red tape ‘tidal wave’

even with deal, reported the Confederation of

British Industry’s Deputy Director general Josh

Hardie as saying that ‘preparation doesn’t mean

protection if a tidal wave is coming. You can

put in place the sandbags, and that helps a bit,

but the water is still going to get through.’ His

view is based on the fact that countless surveys

had shown that British firms just didn’t have

the information to prepare for the new system

and so would struggle to keep trade and goods

moving from January.

Many are flustered. Ben Fletcher from Make

UK, a manufacturers organisation, felt that

some firms might go into a form of hibernation

at the start of 2021 – that is, that they’ll not even

bother to move goods in and out of the UK,

preferring ‘to see how the land lies in the first

couple of weeks.’

Then there are those involved with fresh food

who are unnerved by the possibility that goods

will either perish waiting to cross the channel

or will arrive with a good proportion of shelf life

wasted on the tarmac. This very real prospect

was seen towards the end of November last year

when a five-mile tailback built up on the M20 as

the French tested their post-Brexit system.

ACCEPTING NEW CUSTOMS

For Andy Cliff, director of international logistics

and Customs firm, Straightforward Consultancy

Ltd, the problem is that everything has changed.

From January the ‘UK became a so-called ‘Third

Country’, meaning that if we import something

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 24


EXPORT FOCUS

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

from say, Germany, it will require a similar

level of complexity to imports from China

or the US. We have left the Customs Union,

discarded their Common External Tariff and

have launched our own UK Global Customs

Tariff which has different duty rates.’

THE QUESTION IS – HOW WILL

THIS BE DEALT WITH?

Catherine Stephens, head of International

Trade Services at Business West, speaking

at the end of December, put the problem

into sharp relief when she highlighted that

the number of customs declarations which

companies will need to complete could

increase from 55m to 255m.

And to pour more fuel on to the fire,

she cited a recent Business West Quarterly

Economic Survey that found that 12 percent

of companies surveyed were aware that they

need to complete customs declarations but

have not yet organised how they will do this,

while 11 percent trade with the EU and do not

know what they need to do to get prepared.

She warned that this may not sound like a

high percentage, but nevertheless it’s one

in 10 companies who were not yet ready for

1 January, with little time to go.

Andy is just as direct. In his dealings with

clients looking to get to grips with the new

regime, he’s found that many companies have

done little to prepare, seemingly delaying

any preparations until they had more clarity

on the outcome of trade negotiations, and of

course, hoping that the elusive deal would

mean minimal changes to the way they traded

with the EU. What particularly worries him is

that many companies are not well-informed;

they seem to be ignorant of the fact that

‘customs declarations will be required for

exports and imports regardless. If they have

made no preparations at all, then the truth

is that they may damage their own business

considerably, especially if they are reliant on

EU business, be that export or import.’

LOST KNOWLEDGE

One of the biggest challenges to overcome

is a function of pure history. After the UK

joined the Single Market in 1993, customs

declarations were no longer needed and

almost all of the expertise within European

logistics providers relating to declarations left

the industry or later retired. Some 28 years

later, the result is an estimated shortage of

50,000 customs agents in the UK needed to

support the new EU trading environment. And

to compound the problem, a combination of

huge import volumes and a lack of knowledge

of Customs Procedure Codes, Commodity

Codes and schemes like Postponed VAT

Accounting – and an equal lack of knowledge

within UK importers – is only going to make

matters worse.

Allied to this is a concern for UK exports

to the EU. They face losing business to

competitors in the Single Market if their EU

customers are without warning presented

with charges for customs declarations, duties

and taxes.

PLANNING FOR RED TAPE

It follows then, that while preparation is key,

firms need to be aware of how to comply with

the new regime – and fundamentally, this

requires an understanding of form filling.

Customers who traded primarily with

EU will now need to educate themselves

on Incoterms, the international rules of

commerce which determine who pays what

part of the transport costs, duties and taxes,

and at what point risk passes from seller to

buyer. For a typical UK-France movement

Andy predicts that door to door delivery

times will lengthen from three to four days

to a possible 10-14 days, and ultimately, he

can see duties impacting the margins on any

final customer selling price as will charges for

customs declarations.

And on top of that, customers will need

to take responsibility for classification of

their goods both for exports and imports

and export documentation as each side

Then there are

those involved with

fresh food who are

unnerved by the

possibility that goods

will either perish

waiting to cross

the channel or will

arrive with a good

proportion of shelf

life wasted on the

tarmac.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 25

continues on page 26 >


EXPORT FOCUS

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

will need to meet a new, much higher,

standard.

According to Catherine one of the most

crucial ways companies can prepare

is to make sure they have organised

how they are going to complete custom

declarations: “For companies who have

only traded with the EU, this will be a new

requirement they will need to get used

to. If they are completed incorrectly this

could cause disruption for businesses in

the new year.”

One solution is training, and a number

of organisations offer courses, including

Business West, but interestingly, the

Business West survey showed that 25

percent of businesses will self-train. No

doubt they’ll be using information from

GOV.UK’s transition page which features

hotlinks to advice pages on importing

from and exporting to the EU and

Northern Ireland.

But whichever route to knowledge

is taken, as Catherine highlights:

“The process of completing customs

declarations is complicated and timeconsuming.

If any details are incorrect

then this has the potential to cause delays

and incur extra costs.”

Similarly, it’s important to check

the details of trade agreements with

countries that firms trade with as this will

determine the documentation required.

It’s central to Catherine’s concerns that

regulations vary for different companies

in different sectors, so firms who have not

investigated the specifics for their own

sectors risk being caught out by the new

landscape.

The biggest worry is not so much the

changing landscape but that some firms

did not make any preparations for Brexit.

And as Andy points out, some were

approaching him for help in December,

but that was very late in the day. He, like

Business West, has Brexit preparation

guides on his website which detail the

three areas that firms need to focus

upon – their business and systems; their

logistics provider; and their EU customers

or suppliers.

IN SUMMARY

Naturally, how firms react to the new

landscape will depend on how they value

European trade. Low levels of profitability

combined with a poorly handled process

can damage a business in a short period

of time that could take years to correct.

One thing is certain, firms that did little

or next to nothing to prepare can only

hope for damage limitation.

Adam Bernstein is a freelance journalist.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 26


EXPORT FOCUS

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

The Business West checklist

Delay VAT accounting

Businesses can apply for postponed

VAT accounting. This allows firms to

defer paying VAT upon importation of

goods. Instead, import VAT will be paid

via the usual VAT return.

Apply for a Duty Deferment Account

This defers import duty payments.

Duty can be paid once a month, rather

than every time goods are imported.

Currently, HMRC have waived the need

to put up a Customs Comprehensive

Guarantee so if a business qualifies,

HMRC will grant a £10,000 credit limit

per month.

Check commodity codes

Businesses must ensure that they are

using the correct commodity code for

their goods. If incorrect codes are used

this could cause delays and firms may

face financial or criminal penalties.

Check duties payable

Firms bringing goods into the UK

should check whether import duty may

be payable on goods after 1 January if

importing from the EU.

Check the regulations for trading with

Northern Ireland

If trading with Northern Ireland, firms

must have an XI EORI number; they

will not be able to trade without one. It’s

also possible to register on the Trader

Support Service which will guide firms

through the changes resulting from

the implementation of the Northern

Ireland Protocol.

“The process of completing customs

declarations is complicated and timeconsuming.

If any details are incorrect then

this has the potential to cause delays and

incur extra costs.”

Check on an EORI number

Every business wanting to trade with

the EU will need an EORI number

that starts with GB. As with Northern

Ireland, trade cannot be done with the

EU without it. Firms won’t usually need

an EORI number if they only provide

services or move goods between

Northern Ireland and Ireland. Note that

it can take a week to get a number,

Check current trade agreements

Firms must check the detail of the

trade agreements with each country

they are trading with to ensure goods

can be imported using the correct

procedures. This must be done from

within the UK; a UK company overseas

should contact the Department for

International Trade.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 27


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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 29


INTERNATIONAL

TRADE

Monthly round-up of the latest stories

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.

BRITISH

EXPORTERS

SHIFTING AWAY

FROM EU

IT shouldn’t come as a surprise that since the

UK voted to leave the EU and the transitional

period only had a finite time to run, British

exporters diversified away from the trading

bloc according to new research by Lloyds

Bank and Aston Business School.

A New World for Global British Business,

looked at 340,000 quarterly export

transactions made by 26,000 UK exporters

over five years – from the pre-referendum

period in 2015 onwards – as well as data from

1,200 British firms in October 2020.

The research found that relative growth

in UK export values to the EU had fallen

by an average of 8.7 percent annually,

with approximately £50bn in export value

diverted away from the EU since the Brexit

referendum result in June 2016.

Taking the place of the EU are Brazil,

Russia, India, China and South Africa, as

well as Commonwealth countries such as

Australia, New Zealand and parts of Sub-

Saharan Africa. Further, some exports found

their way to OECD countries including the

US, Japan and South Korea. And the trend

is likely to continue. One third of exporters

said that they were planning to expand into

new markets beyond the EU. So, it looks like

the writing is on the wall for Europe as far as

British exporters are concerned.

WATCH OUT

FOR BAD LENDING

BAD lending and bad governmental

management, or a combination of

both, has led to 38 governments

being at ‘risk of default or worse’ if

The Economist is to be believed. And

sorting the mess out isn’t going to be

easy as much of their foreign debt

is owed to a mix of private creditors,

governments and multilateral

lenders. To solve the problem, The

Economist is calling for a ‘more

joined-up approach’ by state lenders,

tougher legislation to curb aggressive

private creditors, and new flexible

instruments to match borrowers’

circumstances. A framework

recently signed off by the G20 to

help the world’s 73 poorest countries

is a ‘welcome step’, but it should

go further – something akin to the

1980s Brady Bonds that solved the

Latin American debt crisis by turning

illiquid bank loans into tradable

bonds should be put in place.

The point here is simple. While

there’s some logic in chasing

governments for business, especially

where there’s been a fresh injection

of supranational capital, it makes

sense to keep an eye on how

recipient countries are run… unless

of course, you’re willing to take a

punt on being paid.

DISABILITY TRIKES MAKE CYCLING ACCESSIBLE

THERE’S a great British export success

story being promoted by BusinessWest

and it involves a company based in

Gloucester – Tomcats Special Needs

Innovation – which makes custombuilt

disability trikes and equipment

for children and adults with mobility

issues and special needs.

Founder, Bob Griffin, set up the

company after his partner wanted

to find a solution to help her son,

who has Angelman’s syndrome,

a disability which causes severe

learning difficulties, sleep disturbance

and poor coordination. The solution

was the Tomcat Trike with a Carer

Control system that allows a parent

or guardian to be fully in control of

steering, braking and child’s safety,

whilst giving them the freedom to

exercise.

The company was supported by the

Department for International Trade

(DIT) to export and now its innovation

is used by children across the world,

with the company’s international

sales having increased year on year,

rising 41.6 percent from 2019 to 2020,

including a £400,000 deal in Norway.

The company also exports to Holland,

Russia, Belgium, Ireland, and Denmark.

As the story goes, DIT helped the firm

attend seminars and workshops on a

wide range of topics and assisted with

consultants on a range of specialist

issues such as intellectual property,

shipping and setting up separate

companies in foreign countries.

The company has twice won two

Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in

Innovation in 2013 and 2020 and a

number of other awards.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 30


FEW HOLES IN THE SWISS ECONOMY

ACCORDING to Bloomberg, the Swiss

economy surged between July and

September, recording its best quarterly

performance since at least 1980 as activity

recovered from coronavirus-related

lockdown measures.

The media and data company believes

that Swiss GDP increased by 7.2 percent

from the previous three-month period,

driven by an increase in consumption

and investment in equipment and

construction – ‘a far cry from the seven

percent slump the economy experienced

in the quarter before.’ This third-quarter

growth means the Swiss economy has

made it through the pandemic ‘relatively

unscathed’ and is now only two percent

ANOTHER TRADING BLOC

THERE’S a new trading bloc in town and

it has nothing to do with Europe (I’m

deliberately not going to talk about Brexit

or the end of the transitional period).

The Regional Comprehensive Economic

Partnership (RCEP), the name for a new

trading bloc that encompasses 15 countries,

including China, South Korea, Australia,

Malaysia and Vietnam, contains around

a third of the world’s population and will

account for 30 percent of global GDP – it’ll

be bigger than any other trade bloc in the

world. Of course, it’s overall effectiveness

on boosting trade will depend on how

dominant China will be. Irrespective of

this though, the RCEP is a major step to

dismantling trade barriers and tariffs

between these 15 nations.

But let’s not forget the African

Continental Free Trade Area that opened

for business at the start of the year now

EXPORTERS – JUST ASK FOR GEF

EARLY on in December 2020 UK Export

Finance (UKEF) launched a new

guarantee scheme – the General Export

Facility (GEF).

Under GEF, exporters will be able

to apply for finance from the UK’s five

largest banks that is backed by a UKEF

guarantee. The goal, says the government

‘is to free up working capital that can be

used for everyday costs linked to exports

and to scale up business operations.’

As the press release detailed, ‘GEF

was developed in partnership with

the banking and finance industry to

support a range of trade finance products

including trade loans, bonds, letter of

credit lines and invoice financing.’

Through GEF, UKEF will provide a

smaller than before coronavirus arrived.

It’s not ideal, but the figures show this

to be a much smaller shortfall when

compared with other major European

economies.

Interestingly, it’s thought that

Switzerland might be able to avoid

another contraction for the last quarter

of the year as the Government decided

against a second national lockdown

and its furlough scheme kept a lid on

unemployment.

In other words, Switzerland could be

a good bet for exporters wanting a solid

market to target – especially as the UK

government signed a services deal with

Switzerland just before Christmas.

that Nigeria has ratified it. Covering 1.3bn

people and in combined GDP, it stands a

good chance of improving trade on the

continent. And there’s also the Mercosur

free-trade zone in South America and North

America’s upgraded Nafta.

Now where this all gets interesting is

when one notes that while there are now

four global trading blocs, only the EU is

encumbered with the ties that come with

the potential for a superstate. The other

blocs have no directives coming from a

central commission and no parliament;

they so are much simpler to run and

nimbler too.

In simple terms, the EU is rapidly

becoming yesterday’s news and so

exporters, especially now that the UK’s

left the EU and the transitional period has

expired, should look further afield to other

trading blocs and diversify.

partial guarantee to lenders of up to

80 percent of a credit risk on facilities

typically worth up to £25m; UKEF’s

support will no longer be tied to

individual export contracts.

UKEF has also more than doubled

the amount that HSBC, Lloyds Bank,

NatWest, Santander and Barclays can

automatically administer to an exporter

through its facilities from £2m to £5m.

For a UK exporter to qualify for GEF,

a business must self-certify that in any

one of its last three financial years, at

least 20 percent of its annual turnover

has been made up of UK export sales or,

in each of its last three financial years, at

least five percent of its annual turnover

has come from UK export sales.

ANY OLD IRON?

IF there’s one thing that governments

have generally been saying to their

citizens, it’s to avoid public transport.

As a result, car use has risen and just

as importantly, more drivers are buying

cheap little run-arounds… the market for

bashed up old bangers is on the up. And

the point is driven home (pun intended)

by data from research firm IHS Markit

and online car market AutoScout24

which, says Reuters, ‘showed there

has been a marked upward shift in

registrations of older cars across Europe,

as well as a spike in internet searches for

ageing vehicles.’

Of course, the shift to old beaters rather

than shiny new cars is going to hurt

manufacturers and franchised dealers.

However, and this is the lesson of this

tale, the motor parts sector may want

to refocus its energies to the used car

aftermarket and in particular, much older

models. All cars can have problems, but

older cars tend to have more of them.

THE TAKEAWAY

FROM TAKEAWAYS

THERE’S an interesting piece in

Germany’s WirtschaftsWoche. We all know

that people love their takeaway meals.

However, the pandemic has further fuelled

this desire as either diners have been

worried about catching coronavirus in a

restaurant, or just as likely, their favourite

eateries were ordered to close.

Now here’s the rub. Packaging

legislation has been getting tougher –

the EU is to ban single-use plastics from

2021. As WirtschaftsWoche reported, the

combination of more takeaway meals and

the plastic ban has been ‘excellent news

for Finland’s Huhtamäki, a specialist

in compostable or recyclable food

packaging.’ Its products include small

cardboard containers for portions of chips

at burger giant McDonald’s and coffee

cups for Starbucks.

So, if paper-based products are your

thing, see if you can retool or reorientate

to find new markets tied to food

consumption – exploit the plastic ban.

CURRENCY UK

EXCHANGE RATES VISIT CURRENCYUK.CO.UK

OR CALL 020 7738 0777

Currency UK is authorised and regulated

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

HIGH LOW TREND

GBP/EUR 1.13077 1.09708

Up

GBP/USD 1.37311 1.33740 Up

GBP/CHF 1.21946 1.18768 Up

GBP/AUD 1.78848 1.74734

GBP/CAD 1.74402 1.71767

Flat

Flat

GBP/JPY 142.190 138.444 Up

This data was taken on 22nd January and refers to the

month previous to/leading up to 21st January 2021.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 31


SECTOR FOCUS

Guardians of the Galaxy

Making sense of commercial data sharing to improve

trade credit risk decisions.

AUTHOR – Richard Leonard

WHAT do you do when you

want to book a holiday to

somewhere you haven’t

been before or buy a new

electronic gizmo from

Amazon? Chances are you

probably ask someone who has already been

there or owns that gadget and the modern way

to do that is to look at the reviews on sites like

TripAdvisor, TrustPilot or reviews on Google.

Studies into the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ have

shown that estimates from a wide range of

independent people tend to result in accurate

averages.

This is exactly what savvy credit professionals

do; they ask someone else who is dealing with

that specific client for their experience.

In fact, that was how credit reference agencies

came into existence. For example, Experian can

trace its origins back to 1803 when a group of

London tailors began swapping information on

customers who failed to pay their debts. A more

formal organisation was founded in 1826 with the

wonderful name of The Society of Guardians for

the Protection of Tradesmen against Swindlers,

Sharpers and other Fraudulent Persons. Its

members included innkeepers, drapers, hatters

and chandlers, who received a monthly circular

with information on people who had failed to

pay their debts.

Fast forward to today where there are

established commercial CRAs in the UK but

often the best way is to ask someone else and

there are organisations, including the CRAs, who

can do that. There are credit forums often aimed

at specific industry sectors which facilitate the

sharing of data on accounts whilst carefully

keeping within competition law. Then there are

the data sharing schemes administered by the

CRAs and this article will investigate these in

more detail.

TRADITIONAL SOURCES

In our pandemic-hit economy, data sharing is

being utilised more than ever. This is because

more traditional sources of information are

rapidly becoming out of date even before

publication. For example, the filing extensions

at Companies House mean that accounts for

the period ending December 2019 are only just

due for filing and so to rely on those accounts

for credit risk decisions would do what a lot of

people might like to do; ignore 2020. Company

accounts still provide great insight to the

inherent strength of a company, but how can

you not take into account the events of such an

extraordinary year? Even so, this year has not

affected all customers equally and some sectors

Richard Leonard,

Head of Data Partnerships

at Experian.

Experian can

trace its origins

back to 1803

when a group of

London tailors

began swapping

information on

customers who

failed to pay their

debts.

have thrived, such as online sales, delivery

companies and web conferencing. Even within

an industry there are winners and losers. For

example, in dairy production, those supplying

supermarkets and local deliveries have thrived

but those supplying hospitality have had to pour

milk away.

In contrast to publicly filed data, data sharing

is the contribution of up-to-date information

about how well customers are paying their

financial commitments and their trade credit

invoices to a credit reference agency who will

aggregate the data to provide an overall view

of payment behaviour for a business. Unlike

subjective reviews on Google this is factual

information about payments.

There are basically two types of data sharing

schemes: open and closed. Broadly speaking

open data sharing schemes are centred on

sharing trade credit information, and closed

data schemes are highly regulated and focussed

on financial commitments such as bank loans,

mortgages, credit cards, etc.

OPEN DATA SHARING

Open data is proprietary data and is generally

open to all. Several of the Commercial CRAs run

trade credit payment schemes like the Experian

Payment Performance programme, whereby

companies who issue B2B invoices share

extracts of their sales ledgers with the CRA. The

CRA will match the payment information to the

correct business to build up a picture of how

that business pays its trade credit invoices.

In return, the CRAs usually provide the

data sharer with some detailed insight to their

portfolio of customers and their payment

behaviour with other suppliers which can be

used to inform collection strategies.

The data sharer is not identified within CRA

products but otherwise the data is considered to

be open as it can then be viewed within those

products by other credit professionals.

CLOSED DATA SHARING

These are highly regulated schemes because

the data shared is about financial commitments

including loans, mortgages, credit cards and

current accounts. There are strict membership

criteria and access to the data is on a reciprocal

basis i.e. the data you share determines what

data you get access to.

Closed schemes further break down to

mandatory schemes and voluntary schemes.

Commercial Credit Data Sharing (CCDS)

is a mandatory scheme run by HM Treasury

to encourage competition between lenders to

grant finance to SMEs by the mandatory sharing

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 32


SECTOR FOCUS

AUTHOR – Richard Leonard

(DBT) Days Beyond Terms

120%

Changes in Trade Credit balances compared to to March 2020

Source: Experian Payment Performance Programme

100%

80%

Trade credit balances compared to to March 2020

60%

60%

40%

40%

20%

20%

0%

0% Mar-2020 Apr-2020 May-2020 Jun-2020 Jul-2020 Aug-2020 Sep-2020 Oct-2020 Nov-2020

Mar-2020 Apr-2020 May-2020 Jun-2020 Jul-2020 Aug-2020 Sep-2020 Oct-2020 Nov-2020

Not Due Curr 30 Days 60 Days 90 Days 120 Days 150 Days 180 Days 210 Days 240 Days

Not Due Curr 30 Days 60 Days 90 Days 120 Days 150 Days 180 Days 210 Days 240 Days

Trade credit is a hugely important form of finance for businesses and

now that the cash from Bounce Back Loans is running out,

we see the amounts of trade credit reaching pre-pandemic levels.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 33

continues on page 34 >


SECTOR FOCUS

AUTHOR – Richard Leonard

of finance data by the nine designated

banks (which account for 80+ percent of

SME lending). It is administered by the four

HMT-designated CRAs (Creditsafe, Dun

& Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian), who

in turn share this data, via their products

and credit scores, with the consent of

the SME, with other designated banks.

Other qualifying finance providers can

voluntarily join the scheme and must in

turn share their data.

This is commercial data only and no

consumer data is shared.

There are similar schemes run on a

voluntary basis such as Experian’s Credit

Account Information Sharing (CAIS) which

covers both commercial and consumer

data. These are governed by the Steering

Committee on Reciprocity (SCoR) which

is a cross-industry forum made up of

representatives from credit industry trade

associations, credit industry bodies and

credit reference agencies.

It is voluntary to join if the membership

criteria are met and the member decides on

what data is shared, which determines under

the rules, the Principles of Reciprocity, what

the member is entitled to see. Members

are generally finance providers, as well as

telcos and utility companies, who share

hundreds of thousands of accounts. These

schemes have been in place for more than

20 years and so are currently much larger

than the mandatory HMT CCDS scheme

in terms of number of members and debt

covered.

CROSSOVER AGREEMENTS

There are many nuances to the various

data sharing schemes including what are

known as ‘crossover’ agreements. These

are subject to detailed criteria but do allow

for some flexibility on the closed user

group data. For example, CCDS data can

be used within scores for the purposes of

trade credit (but not published). Whereas

commercial data sharers under voluntary

SCoR schemes e.g. Experian CAIS, can see

consumer data in certain scenarios, while

those who share trade credit payment

data can see summarised SCoR regulated

commercial data and scores enhanced with

SCoR regulated data.

To explain the details of these crossovers

might not interest every reader but you can

read about them here https://scoronline.

co.uk/ and at gov.uk searching for ‘HMT

credit information sharing’. Trade credit

is a hugely important form of finance for

businesses and now that the cash from

Bounce Back Loans is running out, we see

the amounts of trade credit reaching prepandemic

levels.

Trade credit payment data doesn’t have

the complications of the closed schemes

and is a true up to date picture of how a

business is paying its trade debts. Using

the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ to understand

the reality of how a business pays has got

to be better than going it alone, at the very

least it will supplement your own customer

information and maybe corroborate what

your applicant is telling you.

It is very easy to share trade credit data

and as trade credit data is open data, it will

be available to other credit professionals

through CRA products, thus enabling

better credit decisions to be taken and

more trade credit to be granted to those

who can be trusted with it. Those with good

payment records will find it easier to access

trade credit and all this will help rebuild

the credit economy the UK so desperately

needs from the effects of the lockdowns in

2020. So, share data to help the greater good

of the economy! A bit like leaving a review

on Google.

Now, I wonder if that new electronic

gizmo is any good…?

Richard Leonard is Head of Data

Partnerships at Experian. For further

information on the schemes in this article

please contact datasharing@experian.com

Share data to help

the greater good of

the economy! A bit

like leaving a review

on Google.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 34


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MANAGING THE NEW

CREDIT FUTURE

Prepare and act now, for the

Credit world of tomorrow.

As the world continues to react to constant change, our

credit profession needs to prepare for the new credit future.

Debt management

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

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

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

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

Employees

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

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

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

Cash resilience

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

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

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

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

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

Future proof strategies

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

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

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

• Secure debt and ledger management software to automate manual tasks

Communication

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

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

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

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

01780 722900 | info@cicm.com

Access help from CICM

Follow the CICM Managing the New Credit

Future Forum on LinkedIn.

Access our Member Advice Service

for support, answers and advice.

Visit our Managing the New Credit Future

webpage for more resources

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

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

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

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 35


THINK TANK

NEW YEAR:

NEW HOPE?

What do members of the CICM

Think Tank hope for in 2021

COMPILER: – Sean Feast FCICM

David Sheridan FCICM,

Operations Director,

ARC Europe.

Within our own

industry some firms

will undoubtedly

have fared better

than others and I

would argue that

those with stronger

digital platforms

have benefitted most.

LAST year was a challenging

one for all of us given the

impact of COVID-19 and

the measures introduced

to supress its spread whilst

trying to keep the economy

going.

This year has started with another

lockdown and the return of strict

measures to curtail the spread of the

virus. However, light is visible at the

end of tunnel so to speak, with the

vaccine now available, my hope is

that the Government is able to meet

its vaccination plan as quickly and as

safely as possible. The sooner it does, the

sooner we can get back to life without

COVID-19 and hopefully recover strongly

from its negative effects on the economy,

generate consumer confidence and fuel

the restart of our vibrant credit economy.

The pandemic has also introduced

a deeper reliance on technology

and looking beyond the pandemic,

offers exciting opportunities for

firms committed to digital consumer

engagement. Lockdowns have forced, or

some would say fast-tracked behavioural

change, with higher use of technology to

connect with each other. Remote working

levels have increased significantly, and

general online usage and engagement

have risen rapidly. Conversely, these

changes also pose challenges to other

sectors that have suffered as a result of

disruption: travel, tourism, hospitality

and retail to name but a few. But within

this disruption, certain bright spots are

emerging, especially online.

Within our own industry some firms

will undoubtedly have fared better than

others and I would argue that those with

stronger digital platforms have benefitted

most. My own firm, like others, has

faced external factors that have reduced

placements and we have had to totally

change outlook planning within hours of

Government announcements. However,

having agile digital capabilities has

allowed us to adapt quickly and benefit

from our digital investment focus in

recent years.

This year we look forward with

genuine optimism to celebrating our 20th

anniversary in June. We are confident

that whatever bumps in the road lie ahead

(and its looking bumpy for the next four

months at least), having a brilliant and

committed team, combined with an agile

digital platform is confidence inspiring.

Online engagement is only going to

increase, and we are excited about

the new technologies that will enable

consumers to engage with us more

effectively and enable us to hopefully get

to our 30th year in business successfully!

THE biggest challenge we face in 2021 in

the world of personal insolvency, will be

the extra volume of work generated by

the COVID-19 crisis of 2020, which has

been suppressed due to various elements

– inactivity of the Court system, impact

of withdrawal of furlough and overall

impact of the pandemic when we emerge

on the ‘other side.

Anthony Whitman FCICM,

Personal Insolvency Relationship

Manager, BDO LLP

The biggest challenge we face in 2021 in the world of personal

insolvency, will be the extra volume of work generated by the

COVID-19 crisis of 2020.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 36


THINK TANK

COMPILER – Sean Feast FCICM

Frances Coulson FCICM,

Senior and Managing

Partner, Moon Beever

The lack of

experienced staff

resulting from the

lack of a real ‘clear

out’ in the last decade

or so means that

insolvency firms are

already scrabbling

for experienced staff.

Simon Johnson MCICM(Grad),

Director of UK Credit

Management, SIG Plc

I can break this year down into four

key sections: forecasting; customer

support; query ownership; and shared

services.

In terms of forecasting, given

medium term economic uncertainty

the implementation of new or

enhancing existing forecasting tools

will benefit scenario planning to

support pro-active and not re-active

resource, automation, investment and

cost reduction decisions.

When it comes to customer service,

additional support to customers will

be key to get through the current

MY particular field is insolvency which

is generally believed to be facing a large

growth in work in 2021. When it might

come is difficult to predict as Government

continues to extend business support.

However, it is believed it is unlikely to

mirror the phoney war of 2008 when the

then predicted deluge simply failed to

materialise.

This time, whilst major banks may

remain wary of tipping companies over,

private funds will not be so nervous, nor

government or other creditors. Crown

preference may deter unsecured creditors

from taking action, but contrarily push

lenders to act earlier as their floating

charge assets are undermined by growing

tax debts, exacerbated by the deferral of

tax into the preferential regime. One of

the major challenges for insolvency is

staffing, both in the public and private

sectors. The lack of experienced staff

resulting from the lack of a real ‘clear

out’ in the last decade or so means that

insolvency firms are already scrabbling

for experienced staff. This country needs

experienced insolvency professionals to

ensure we come out of the next recession

as strong as we possibly can.

crisis. This can be firstly financial

support via financial assistance for

payments or external support via

introduction to third parties to assist

customers with working capital or

business-related issues. Secondly it

can be through technology to make it

easier for customers to trade with our

business from the front end sales office

and quote experience to back office

accounts engagement. Mapping our

customer journey is essential to ensure

we delight our customers at every

touch point or alternatively identify

gaps or weak points for improvement.

In relation to query management,

it is sometimes difficult in a large

company to define the ownership

culture for customer query

management. Automated workflows

based on customer type and query

type are therefore essential to support

this process and provide the faster

resolution routes possible.

And to my final point on shared

services, how to optimise process in

an inefficient, lean or under resourced

customer structure and implementing

one way matching to overcome and

remove the ‘blockers’ in the process

will be essential.

Jo Kettner,

CEO, Company Watch

THIS time last year I was pretty

optimistic about the prospect of

some real changes to the register of

companies curated by Companies

House: I confess that 2020 has proved

to be quite disappointing in this

regard. The response to the 2019

consultation was finally published

in September 2020, but without any

reference to the COVID-19 pandemic,

suggesting the draft we were told

was ready in February had not been

updated in the intervening period.

With The National Audit Office

estimating that the Government

could be liable for up to £26bn in

fraudulently claimed Bounce Back

Loans, I had hoped that at least the

issue of robust director verification

would have been far higher up the

agenda.

As we all hope to see economy

recovery in 2021, I fear that one of

the engines of this recovery – the

availability of trade credit which is so

crucial in allowing economic value

to be created – will be throttled if

there is not serious engagement by

the Government with the industry

about allowing greater flow of

official, verified information (e.g. RTI

employee data and implementing the

CH changes swiftly) to those who have

to make crucial trade credit decisions.

The availability of

trade credit which is

so crucial in allowing

economic value to

be created – will be

throttled if there is not

serious engagement by

the Government.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 37


PAYMENT TRENDS

Glass Half Full

Latest payment statistics suggest a

story of two halves.

AUTHOR – Rob Howard

THE latest payment performance statistics are patchy,

with some positives and also some negatives, further

highlighting the continued uncertain and unpredictable

times businesses are operating in. The average Days

Beyond Terms (DBT) across both regions and sectors

increased, by 1.9 days and 0.2 days respectively.

SECTOR SPOTLIGHT

The latest sector standings show a tale of two halves, with a number

of sectors, 14 of the 22 to be precise, moving in the right direction and

further reducing late payments. However, the remaining eight sectors

highlight the ongoing struggles caused by the pandemic, with some

hefty increases to DBT.

The biggest improvement was from the Other Services sector,

which includes dry cleaners, hairdressers and businesses offering

beauty services through to computer and furniture repair services,

as well as membership organisations. Although it remains bottom of

the table despite a reduction of 5.3 days, it is encouraging to see an

improvement. The Mining and Quarrying (-4.7 days), Transportation

and Storage (-4.1 days) and Wholesale and Retail Trade (-3.8 days)

sectors also made noteworthy reductions. A word too for Public

Administration since it is now the best performing sector with an

overall DBT of 11.6 days following a reduction of 3.6 days.

At the opposite end of the scale, tighter restrictions which have been

forcing bars and restaurants to close continue to have an impact on

the Hospitality sector, its DBT increasing alarmingly by 9.3 days. The

Business from Home sector also experienced a steep rise to its invoice

payment times, with an increase of 8.5 days taking its overall DBT to

20.5 days. The Financial and Insurance (+6.2 days), Entertainment

(+5.4 days) and Health and Social (+4 days) also saw a fall in payment

performance.

REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT

The regional standings make for grim reading for the most

part, with nine of the 11 regions seeing increases to payment

terms. The South West, which was the best performing region,

saw the biggest increase, rising by an alarming 7.4 days. East

Anglia similarly struggled badly, with a steep increase of 7.1

days taking its overall DBT to 20.1 days.

Elsewhere, London (+3.8 days), Wales (+3.6 days), the

East Midlands (+2.5 days) and South East (+2.1 days) also

saw unwanted increases. However, on a more positive note,

Scotland is the new best performing region with an overall

DBT of 12.9 days following a good reduction of 2.3 days. The

biggest improvement, however, was in Northern Ireland.

For months it has been rooted to the bottom of the regional

table and struggled with late payments. A much needed and

impressive reduction of 7.2 days means it is now moving in the

right direction with an overall DBT of 17.4 days.

Written by Rob Howard

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 38


PAYMENT TRENDS

Data supplied by the Creditsafe Group

Top Five Prompter Payers

Region DEC 20 Change from Nov 20

Scotland 12.9 -2.3

Yorkshire and Humberside 14 1

West Midlands 14.1 2

North West 15.2 1.1

South East 16.4 2.1

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Region DEC 20 Change from Nov 20

East Midlands 21.6 2.5

East Anglia 20.1 7.1

South West 19.4 7.4

Wales 18.1 3.6

London 17.7 3.8

Getting Better

Other Service -5.3

Mining and Quarrying -4.7

Transportation and Storage -4.1

Wholesale and retail trade -3.8

Professional and Scientific -3.6

Public Administration -3.6

International Bodies -2.2

Business Admin & Support -2

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing -1.9

IT and Comms -1.3

Water and Waste -0.7

SCOTLAND

-2.3 DBT

Manufacturing -0.6

Real Estate -0.5

Construction -0.2

NORTHERN

IRELAND

-7.2 DBT

NORTH

WEST

1.1 DBT

YORKSHIRE &

HUMBERSIDE

1 DBT

Getting Worse

Hospitality 9.3

WALES

3.6 DBT

WEST

MIDLANDS

2 DBT

EAST

MIDLANDS

2.5 DBT

LONDON

3.8 DBT

EAST

ANGLIA

7.1 DBT

Business from Home 8.5

Financial and Insurance 6.2

Entertainment 5.4

Health & Social 4

SOUTH

WEST

7.4 DBT

SOUTH

EAST

2.1 DBT

Education 3.6

Dormant 2.6

Energy Supply 0.2

Region

Getting Better – Getting Worse

-7.2

-2.3

7.4

7.1

3.8

3.6

2.5

2.1

2

1.1

1

Northern Ireland

Scotland

South West

East Anglia

London

Wales

East Midlands

South East

West Midlands

North West

Yorkshire and Humberside

Top Five Prompter Payers

Sector DEC 20 Change from Nov 20

Public Administration 11.6 -3.6

Manufacturing 12.1 -0.6

Professional and Scientific 12.1 -3.6

Construction 12.2 -0.2

Transportation and Storage 12.8 -4.1

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Sector DEC 20 Change from Nov 20

Other Service 26.7 -5.3

International Bodies 26.2 -2.2

Business from Home 20.5 8.5

Hospitality 20.5 9.3

Entertainment 18.6 5.4

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 39


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automation of receivables and payments across credit,

e-invoicing and payment processing, cash allocation,

dispute resolution and collections. Powered by the RivanaTM

Artificial Intelligence Engine and Freeda Digital

Assistant for Order to Cash teams, HighRadius enables

more than 450 organisations to leverage machine

learning to predict future outcomes and automate routine

labour intensive tasks.

T: +44 7399 406889

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com

W: www.highradius.com

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps

businesses pay and get paid. Businesses and banks

rely on Bottomline for domestic and international

payments, effective cash management tools, automated

workflows for payment processing and bill review

and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural

analytics and regulatory compliance. Every day, we

help our customers by making complex business

payments simple, secure and seamless.

T: 0870 081 8250

E: emea-info@bottomline.com

W: www.bottomline.com/uk

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern

finance leaders and credit professionals to improve

business performance through more effective risk

management, identification of growth opportunities,

and better integration of data and insights

across the business. Powered by our Data Cloud,

our solutions provide access to the world’s most

comprehensive commercial data and insights

supplying a continually updated view of business

relationships that help finance and credit teams

stay ahead of market shifts and customer changes.

T: (0800) 001-234

W: www.dnb.co.uk

Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist companies

across Europe with credit management. The

service gives the end-user the means to make a

payment when and how they choose. Key IVR also

provides a state-of-the-art outbound platform

delivering automated messages by voice and SMS.

In a credit management environment, these services

are used to cost-effectively contact debtors and

connect them back into a contact centre or

automated payment line.

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000

E: sales@keyivr.com

W: www.keyivr.com

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading

provider of business information, analytics, insights

and solutions. Graydon helps its customers to make

fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to minimise

risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities

with their commercial relationships. Graydon

uses 130+ international databases and the information

of 90+ million companies. Graydon has offices in

London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,

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

largest credit insurance companies.

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk

W: www.graydon.co.uk

Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit

intelligence for credit insurers and for corporate

customers. The company’s B2B Credit Risk

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk

Management Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;

the Tinubu Credit Intelligence service and the

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their

greatest assets: customer receivables.

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /

E: uksales@tinubu.com

W: www.tinubu.com.

Building on our mature and hugely successful

product and world class support service, we are

re-imagining our risk awareness module in 2019 to

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists and

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.

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

for analysis and automation. Impressive results

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also

have an active input into our product development

and evolution.

T: 01235 856400

E: info@credica.co.uk

W: www.credica.co.uk

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 40


Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for

their commitment to the profession, best practice in the

Credit Industry and the quality of services they provide.

We are delighted to showcase them here.

THEY'RE WAITING TO TALK TO YOU...

The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis

and data modelling tools to organisations around

the world that rely on our ability to accurately predict

their exposure to financial risk. Our H-Score®

predicted 92 percent of quoted company insolvencies

and our TextScore® accuracy rate was 93

percent. Our scores are trusted by credit professionals

within banks, corporates, investment houses

and public sector bodies because, unlike other credit

reference agencies, we are transparent and flexible

in our approach.

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300

E: info@companywatch.net

W: www.companywatch.net

The Atradius Collections business model is to support

businesses and their recoveries. We are seeing a

deterioration and increase in unpaid invoices placing

pressures on cashflow for those businesses. Brexit is

causing uncertainty and we are seeing a significant

impact on the UK economy with an increase in

insolvencies, now also impacting the continent and

spreading. Our geographical presence is expanding

and with a single IT platform across the globe we can

provide greater efficiencies and effectiveness to our

clients to recover their unpaid invoices.

T: +44 (0)2920 824700

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work

closely with credit teams to recover commercial

debts as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt

recovery, including:

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and

keep costs down • Litigation service • Insolvency

• Post-litigation services including enforcement

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

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

most effective way of achieving them.

T: 03700 86 3000

E: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk

W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk

Chris Sanders Consulting - we are a different sort of

consulting firm, made up of a network of independent

experienced operational credit and collections

management and invoicing professionals, with

specialisms in cross industry best practice advisory,

assessment, interim management, leadership,

workshops and training to help your team and

organisation reach their full potential in credit

and collections management. We are proud to be

Corporate Partners of the Chartered Institute of

Credit Management and to manage the CICM Best

Practice Accreditation Programme on their behalf.

T: +44(0)7747 761641

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com

Data Interconnect provides ERP-agnostic AR

software. The Corrivo platform transmits invoices

in multiple formats using tax compliant templates

custom-designed for your business. Corrivo expedites

collections, reconciliation and dispute processes with

flexible workflow tools for creating and assigning tasks,

limits, chase paths or stops and a self-service portal

where customers can query, comment, dispute or pay.

Corrivo manages data securely and efficiently so that

you can manage your customers and cashflow better.

T: +44 (0)1367 245777

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk

W: www.datainterconnect.com

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for

organisations seeking efficient cash visibility

and secure financial processes. As an SAP

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience

and thousands of successful customer projects,

including solutions for the entire order-to-cash

process, Serrala provides credit managers and

receivables professionals with the solutions they

need to successfully protect their business against

credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.

T: +44 118 207 0450

E: contact@serrala.com

W: www.serrala.com

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is

an accountancy firm delivering traditional services

combined with strategic commercial thinking. Our

services include: advisory, audit, corporate and

personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,

outsourcing, wealth management and business

recovery – the latter of which includes our specialist

offering developed specifically for creditors. For

more information on this, or to see how the Menzies

Creditor Services team can assist you, please

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

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

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

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables

into income, uniquely connecting buyers and

suppliers to allow discounts in exchange for

early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating

payments from buyers when required in just two

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

corporates with global supply chains, benefit from

the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while

strengthening the financial health of supply chains

through ethical business practices.

T: 07799 692193

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com

W: www.c2fo.com

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes

the all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s

businesses from collecting receivables in a

timely manner. From credit management to cash

allocation, Esker automates each step of the orderto-cash

cycle. Esker’s automated AR system helps

companies modernise without replacing their

core billing and collections processes. By simply

automating what should be automated, customers

get the post-sale experience they deserve and your

team gets the tools they need.

T: +44 (0)1332 548176

E: sam.townsend@esker.co.uk

W: www.esker.co.uk

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 41


INTRODUCING OUR

CORPORATE

PARTNERS

For further information and to discuss the

opportunities of entering into a Corporate

Partnership with the CICM, please contact

corporatepartners@cicm.com

Hays Credit Management is a national specialist

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of

credit management and receivables professionals,

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

the CICM’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,

career and recruitment trends.

T: 07834 260029

E: karen.young@hays.com

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

‘‘

CICM offered the

prospect of qualifications,

but as soon as I became

a member, loads of other

opportunities came to

light that I hadn’t initially

realised were available.

Molly Kane

ACICM

Forums International has been running Credit and

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of

industry sectors and international trading. Attendance

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums

are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges

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

gauge the benefits and meet the members and we

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never

intentionally be sold to.

T: +44 (0)1246 555055

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk

American Express® is a globally recognised

provider of business payment solutions, providing

flexible capabilities to help companies drive

growth. These solutions support buyers and

suppliers across the supply chain with working

capital and cashflow.

By creating an additional lever to help support

supplier/client relationships American Express is

proud to be an innovator in the business payments

space.

The value

of CICM

membership

Molly Kane ACICM

AR Credit & Collections Manager

Stuart Delivery Ltd

Read more about her story and join your

credit community by visiting:

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

T: +44 (0)1273 696933

W: www.americanexpress.com

info@cicm.com

www.cicm.com

01780 722900

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 42


FRENCH

EXCHANGE

How will British Exporters effectively manage

their cross-border litigation post Brexit?

AUTHOR – Pierre Haincourt MCICM

AFTER several years of

loose speculation by

either misinformed, or

over optimistic, legal

professionals in respect

of what the EU judicial

landscape post-Brexit will look like, reality

is now setting in.

At the start of 2021, and despite

applying for accession to the Lugano

Convention 2007 back in April 2020, the

UK’s application has not progressed and as

from the start of this year, any new court

proceedings issued will not automatically

be enforceable in EU Member States. This

no man’s land will remain until the first

day of the third month after the UK signs

the Lugano Convention.

Thankfully, Brexit does not have a

retroactive effect. Very few such changes

do. So, this means that any action started

before 31 December 2020 will continue

to be handled as if the UK was still in the

EU. Reciprocally, this also applies to all

EU Member States seeking enforcement

of Court Judgments or other enforceable

Authentic Instruments in the UK.

More specifically and for reference,

you can look at article 67 (and 69) and

regulation 92 of The Civil Jurisdiction

and Judgments (Amendment) (EU

Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/479),

which came into force at 11-00pm on 31

December 2020 being the end of the Brexit

transition period.

THIRD COUNTRY STATUS

The UK becoming a third country (=

country not member of the EU) is very

inconvenient to say the least. Exporters,

when faced with deciding whether to

start a new court action in 2021, will

have to carefully consider and review

their options. It is anticipated, especially

now that a Brexit deal has been agreed,

that the other signatories of the Lugano

Convention will allow the UK to join. How

long this will take is anyone’s guess and,

in the meantime, uncertainty could make

it difficult for exporters to decide whether

to hold off on any new court proceedings,

which would impact their cashflow and

reduce their chances of recovery, or

find an alternative way of obtaining a

more versatile judgment, still capable of

crossing EU Borders.

I have, in the past, come across many

clients’ terms & conditions (T&Cs)

and in my view, the most versatile and

interesting ones are those which give

options, especially when it comes to

jurisdiction. Not being a lawyer, I would

never aspire to advise our clients about

their T&Cs, but being an exporter myself,

I have just asked our lawyer to review and

improve ours. In the current context it is

now urgent to immediately review T&Cs,

The judgement issued by the

International Chamber of the

Paris Commercial Court is drafted

in French but supplied with a

sworn translation in English.

especially the jurisdiction clause, and get

your clients to sign/agree to them as soon

as possible.

The combination of two recent events

prompted me to share with you the

following. These two events were:

1.Re-acquainting myself with one of our

larger client’s T&Cs which points to

English Law and English Courts, but

with an option to issue proceedings in

any other jurisdiction if appropriate.

2.Attending a webinar hosted by the

French Embassy in the UK on the topic:

2021: will Paris become the leading

destination for International Litigation?’

If you did not know, on 1 March 2018,

the International Chamber of the Paris

Commercial Court opened its doors to

Cross-Border litigation. Composed of

10 Judges, all fluent English speakers,

this hybrid court has been offering an

attractive jurisdictional system and it is

clearly aiming at taking the UK’s place

at the centre of cross-border litigation

(both EU and non-EU). So long as one of

the parties (at least) to the proceedings is

non-French, the case can be tried in this

International Court.

ENGLISH SUBMISSIONS

Although court proceedings need to

be drafted in French, submissions can

be made in English and documents

supplied in English without any need for

translations. This is a predominantly oral

procedure and parties, experts, witnesses

and legal representatives can express

themselves in English.

The judgement issued by the

International Chamber of the Paris

Commercial Court is drafted in French

but supplied with a sworn translation in

English provided by the Court Registry.

Another attraction is the cost of using

this court. The €250 court fee payable

by each party will take care of the entire

procedure, from beginning to end.

Note that in a French Commercial

Court, judges are not lawyers. They are

tradesmen. This does not mean that a

hairdresser or a bartender will hear your

case. No. These judges will have practised

in your industry at very high level. So,

if you are in publishing for example, a

past CEO of Groupe Hachette, France’s

largest publishing company, may decide

your case.

Finally, exporters also have the option to

rely on the rules of the Hague Convention

2005 on Choice of Court Agreements,

which the UK remains a part of as it is a

party to the Convention in its own right.

If your client agreements point to an

exclusive jurisdiction (e.g. England and

Wales) the recognition and enforcement

of foreign judgments in cross-border

disputes with EU Member States (+ China,

Mexico, Montenegro, North Macedonia,

Singapore, Ukraine and the United States)

remains possible post-Brexit.

Happy New Year and remember

Brexit when considering any new court

proceedings in 2021!

Pierre Haincourt is Managing Director

of Credit Limits International.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 43


HIGH COURT ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ASSOCIATION

Clearing the backlog

What is to be done about the substantial backlog of

outstanding civil enforcement cases now expected?

AUTHOR – Andrew Wilson FCICM

GIVEN that we cannot

expect to make up lost

time in a mad rush and

must take measured steps

to bring things back to

normal, now is the time to

enable HCEOs to help the Courts deal with

their backlog.

For residential landlords, this will mean

getting possession of their properties back,

unless they fall into the very restricted

exceptions allowed by the Statutory

Instrument SI 2020/1290, made on 13

November 2020. For businesses it will be

outstanding money judgments which may

well have increased the strain of surviving

in these exceptional times.

Today’s creditor (or small landlord)

can easily become tomorrow’s debtor if

judgment debts cannot be collected in

(or property re-let or sold with vacant

possession).

High Court Enforcement Officers run

small SMEs which have been affected very

substantially not only by the pandemic

but also specific Government restrictions

which have reduced physical enforcement

work to a trickle.

After the first lockdown, when

activity was substantially reduced, our

members found that judgment debtors

appreciated careful observance of public

health measures by enforcement agents,

engaged well with remote and/or socially

distanced enforcement and made sensible

arrangements for settling judgment debts,

so money began to flow back to creditors.

Residential landlords were not so lucky

and, in particular, buy to let landlords

with a single property, who had borrowed

to buy, were very hard hit when faced with

a non-paying tenant.

A WORKABLE SOLUTION

We should permit HCEOs to enforce

more CCJs than they are allowed to at the

moment because of the restrictions under

Article 8 of the 1991 High Court & County

Court Jurisdiction Order (SI 1991 No 724).

For debt that would mean allowing

transfer of debts below £600 to be allowed.

(We can set aside the pros and cons of

allowing judgments based on Consumer

Credit Act agreements to be enforced

in the High Court, for the time being!)

For possessions, making the process of

transfer from County Court to High Court

a little easier by making S42 (County

Courts Act 1984) consent more of an

administrative matter than one of judicial

discretion, to speed up the process.

The main objection from the judiciary

to allowing transfers was the ability for

HCEOs to evict without notice – this has

now been solved by the introduction of the

N54 Notice of Eviction procedure which

standardised the County Court practice

and provided for all evictions to be subject

to a prior 14 day notice period.

OPENING UP CHOICE

There should be choice for creditors and

landowners – if they want to pay for speed

and quality of service, they should be

able to. UK plc needs to be able to recover

unpaid debts, even more so in current

circumstances.

The sum of £600 is an arbitrary figure,

taken from the minimum amount at

which fixed costs were allowed before

1998 when issuing debt proceedings in the

High Court followed by the issue of a Writ

of FiFa. Increasingly creditors are issuing

for smaller amounts and rather quicker

than they used to – that also makes sense

because of the regular court fee increases

on the larger amounts which the Civil

Court Users Association has been so

critical of.

Of course, that would mean more work

for HCEO businesses, but only if creditors

choose to use their services. This would

help HCEO businesses whose work has

been restricted by statutory instrument

and who have complied fully with the

prior requests from the Lord Chancellor to

restrict their lawful activities.

The important thing is to engage with

debtors and occupiers at the earliest

possible stage – a court has made an order

and the vast majority of defendants (at

least 85 percent) comply without the need

for enforcement.

There will be hard and vulnerable cases

where time will be needed to come to some

sort of resolution, but we must never get to

the stage where creditors and landowners

lose confidence in the court process and

become tempted to take the law into their

own hands.

Andrew Wilson FCICM is Chairman of

the High Court Enforcement Officers

Association (HCEOA).

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 44


MARKETING & EDUCATION

Virtual Classes

for 2021

Get CICM qualified by attending

Virtual Classes: The best of both worlds.

Home study does not mean you have to study alone. Our ‘gold standard’

distance learning offer, our Virtual Classes have the greatest success

rate of all our packages. Your study will be supported and led by one of

our experienced CICM Tutors via a series of virtual classes and activities,

which are interactive, challenging and fun.

LEVEL

2

Commercial

LEVEL

3

LEVEL

5

Telephone

Consumer Collections

Consumer Telephone Collections

*Coming soon for 2021 – Advanced Business Comms and Personal Skills*

*Coming soon for 2021Credit Risk Management*

Accounting Principles

Advanced Telephone Collections

Advanced Business Communications

Business Environment

Business Law

Credit Management (trade, export and consumer)

Debt Recovery

Advanced Credit Risk Management

Compliance with legal, regulatory, ethical and social requirements

Process Improvement

Strategic Planning

Legal Proceedings and Insolvency

Strategic Communications and Leadership

Book your place today, visit www.cicm.com

or contact a member of our team on 01780 722900


$

Advancing

Careers

Advancing

Best Practice

Advancing

Connections

Advancing

Skills

Advancing

Thinking

Advancing

Business

ADVANCING THE

CREDIT PROFESSION

01780 722900 | www.cicm.com

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 46


EDUCATION & MARKETING

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

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

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

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

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

practical skills, improved results and greater confidence.

These are pre-recorded training

sessions that you can access

anywhere and at anytime. Short,

sharp and to the point – these suit

you if you are short on time, or need

a quick introduction or update on a

subject.

These are live, interactive sessions,

delivered virtually by a qualified trainer,

experienced in the subject. Through

a series of tasks and discussions, you

will access a hands-on training session

that offers the best practice approach to

essential credit and debt skills.

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

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

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

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

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 47


View our digital version online at www.cicm.com

Log on to the Members’ area, and click on the tab labelled

Credit Management magazine’

Just another great reason to be a member

Credit Management is distributed to the entire UK and international

CICM membership, as well as additional subscribers

Advancing the credit profession

www.cicm.com | +44 (0)1780 722900 | editorial@cicm.com

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 48


NEW AND UPGRADED MEMBERS

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

you considered applying to upgrade your membership? See our website

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

Fellow

Daniel Hurley FCICM

Gerald Murphy FCICM

Member

Simon Bell MCICM

Member (by exam)

Fiona Mary McCaffrey MCICM(Grad)

Studying Member

Nina Adamska-Kurek

Elena Atanasova

Fatima Azirar

Sarah Blayney

Callum Cooney

Vanessa Duphil-Presa

Kelly Edwards

Ellen Fitzgerald

Billie Fritsche

Daniel Harvey

Karl Hawes

Jeffrey Jonker

Nadia Khan

Vladut Lepadatu

Mihaela Lucaci

Natalie Mcleod

Michal Moskal

Neethu Prasad

Jamie Ward

Gregory Webb

Lanza Wilson

Affiliate

Pete Heffron

Lisa Rose

Congratulations to our current members who have upgraded their membership

Upgraded member

Elisabetta Angioni FCICM Karen Tuffs FCICM Shona McLennan MCICM

AWARDING BODY

Congratulations to the following, who successfully achieved Diplomas

Level 3 Diploma in Credit Management (ACICM)

NAME

Paula Marshall

Rebecca Woodcock

April Adams

Karina Krohn Shaw

Karen Gregory

Level 3 Diploma in Credit & Collections (ACICM)

NAME

Michael Harris Nichola Hicks Emma Groves

WE WANT YOUR BRANCH NEWS!

Get in touch with the CICM by emailing branches@cicm.com with your branch news and event reports.

Please only send up to 400 words and any images need to be high resolution to be printable, so 1MB plus.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 49


CICM MEMBER

EXCLUSIVE

Your CICM lapel badge

demonstrates your commitment to

professionalism and best practice

TAKE PRIDE IN

WEARING YOUR BADGE

If you haven’t received your badge

contact: cicmmembership@cicm.com

CICM has launched

critical AR Factsheets

for EMEA countries

Powered by

Powered by Baker Ing, country specific factsheets have been

provided for up-to-date information on payment performance,

legislation, and the effects of COVID-19 and Brexit. The

factsheets are designed for credit professionals, and they

cover legal business forms, credit risk data, collections

protocols, enforcement and much more.

Credit professionals need granular knowledge of the situation

in their clients’ territories. Whether you need an off-the-peg

checklist for dealing with a new country, or you need on-thespot

information to help review risk strategies and Credit

Policies, these insightful documents will help.

Powered by

EU Factsheet

COVID-19 RESPONSE

Powered by

Germany has introduced a raft of measures and programmes to help combat the

economic impact of COVID-19 containment measures. Here we present what we

consider to be the most significant and interesting. This section is not exhaustive.

Loans and grants – employees:

Three main tranches of wage subsidy have been introduced.

The most wide-reaching is “Kurzarbeit”. This programme existed before COVID-19.

It is a social security programme whereby the government will subsidy employees’

wages up to 60% (more for those with children) in order to allow their employers to

reduce their hours (and their expenditure on wages) instead of laying them off.

Under COVID provisions, the subsidy has been increased. From the fourth month,

the rate is increased to 70% of flat-net renumeration for those households without

children and 77% for those households with children. From the seventh month, it is

increased to 80% for those households without children and 87% for those

households with children. In September, there was a decree to make this benefit

more flexible (e.g., reducing the minimum number of employees effected by

working hours reduction to 10% for the business the qualify) and to extend the

period for receiving this benefit from 12 to 24 months until 31 st December 2021.

Pre-Litigation

Extended ROT; Assigned to the supplier in advance. In accordance with §354a

of the Commercial Code, an advance assignment is effective despite a nonassignment

agreement between the purchaser and any third parties.

Letter before action. Do you have to send a demand letter to a debtor before

going to court?

Freelance artists in Germany can access funds if they work for cultural institutions

funded by the Federal Government. They will be compensated for up to 60% o fees

from cancelled events up to €1,000 and 40% up to €2,500.

Students can access interest-free loans of up to €650 per month for jobs lost due to

the pandemic.

Loans and grants – businesses:

EU Factsheet

GERMANY

As well as the enhanced terms of “Kurzarbeit”, there are a variety of direct loans

and grants available which businesses of different sizes can access.

A grant of up to €150,000 / 80% of fixed costs in the subsidy period is available for

businesses showing decreased sales volumes compared to the same month of the

previous year. This Federal Government grant has been supplemented by some

Federal States’ own grant programmes.

Powered by

Before going to court, and even before filing the claim to the enforcement

authority, a warning notice to the debtor's registered address is

mandatory.

The warning notice should contain;

o The name of the creditor and the basis of the claim

o The total amount of the claim, including any penalty interests

o Prescription on how to transfer the payment, i.e. bank account etc.

o A warning that the claim will be enforced through the enforcement

authority in case the claim is not settled within from the date of the

notice

o Information on how the object to the claim if not acknowledged be

the debtor.

If this measure has been taken and the payment still has not been made after

the two-week notice period (according to the law), the creditor may file for

enforcement.

It is worth noting that, in Germany, you may be ordered to all pay court fees if

you did not send a warning letter to the debtor prior to issuing

proceedings.

Visit cicm.com to view country specific factsheets from,

Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, France, UK.

CHARTERED

BAKERING.GLOBAL CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF CREDIT MANAGEMENT

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 50


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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 51

UK and international markets. These services include worldwide Sanction & PEP

screening, daily monitoring, email alerts and Automated Enhanced Due Diligence.


ADVERTORIAL

Vulnerable Customers –

The 2021 Priority

AUTHOR – Richard Fenton MCICM

2020 was certainly a year to

remember, and will no doubt

remain one of the most pivotal

years in world history, indeed

there was no part of the globe

that was not affected by the

COVID-19 pandemic, and moreover there was

no one who was not in some way impacted

by the inevitable fallout from such a major

event.

As we move into 2021 with a more

optimistic outlook for the future, working

our way back into a sense of normal living

not felt for almost a year, we have to consider

the long and short term effects COVID-19 and

other events have had on our most vulnerable

customers. Many readers will already be

aware that the number of customers who are

now falling into the “vulnerable” category

is growing and fast. We therefore have a

collective responsibility to ensure that we

make provisions within our businesses to

ensure that any and all customers who are

either vulnerable or potentially vulnerable

are taken care off, as the challenges faced

are way beyond anything we have seen

previously.

It will take more than just the flagging

and separation of vulnerable customers if

you want to ensure they are afforded the best

possible outcomes relating to their specific

set of circumstances. What is needed now,

and going forward, is a whole set of services

which have been designed around the needs

of vulnerable customers from the outset –

to simply move such customers from one

workflow to another will not be sufficient.

It was with this in mind that the Zinc Group

decided in early 2020 to work with vulnerable

customers and their representatives, to

develop what is now the ‘Safe-Harbour’

vulnerable customer service solution. This

was achieved through a set of external

working groups which allowed us to get a

direct insight into the needs of people who

are experiencing exceedingly difficult and

challenging circumstances.

Safe-Harbour, which is a trading style of

the Zinc Group Ltd, offers an in-depth service

to vulnerable customers via a people-led

customer service interaction team, and this

is backed up with a bespoke digital platform

which has been designed to offer an omnichannel

contact centre, with a wide variety of

online tools designed to help both vulnerable

customers and their representatives start to

navigate themselves into a positive outcome.

Safe-Harbour not only provides a separate

safe space for vulnerable customers, it

also assists clients when it comes to the

identification of customers who have fallen,

or are about to fall, into a vulnerable state,

allowing our clients to take a proactive

approach to assisting and caring for those

customers who are in need of urgent

assistance. We are able to do this via our

partnership with an industry leader who

specialises in this particular area of customer

data, Elanev.

If you would like to know more about what

Safe-Harbour can do for your customers

please contact: Craig Proctor FCICM –

cproctor@thezincgroup.com 07530 011098

It was with this in mind

that the Zinc Group

decided in early 2020 to

work with vulnerable

customers and their

representatives, to

develop what is now the

‘Safe-Harbour’ vulnerable

customer service solution.

Source : Office of Budget Responsibility, Financial Inclusion Commission

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 52


HR MATTERS

AN INSPECTOR CALLS

Businesses may have to justify furlough payments

if the HMRC comes calling.

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards

HMRC has recently been

requesting information

from organisations

to check whether

they have been using

the Coronavirus Job

Retention Scheme correctly.

Requests can be made on relatively

short notice (often two weeks), so it is

recommended that employers have the

information readily available and are able

to provide it to HMRC in a timely manner.

HMRC is likely to require employers to

provide employee information, including

personal details, calculation details,

hours worked; evidence of payments

and claims; details of any adjustments

or corrections; and confirmation that

everything matches the Real Time

Information submitted.

Once the information above has been

provided, HMRC may then telephone the

employer to seek further clarification.

HMRC may also request to see evidence

of reserves or information to prove that

the furlough payments are necessary for

the survival of the business.

It is worth mentioning that only a

very low number of employers may be

contacted by HMRC. However, it would

be a sensible step to consider now

whether the organisation would be

easily able to gather the information set

out above should it be requested, and

to ensure that all furlough payments

claimed can be justified in accordance

with the terms of the scheme in force at

the time.

Can a change in pay policy lead to an indirect

discrimination claim?

IN a recent case, Heskett v Secretary of

State for Justice, the Court of Appeal held

that making savings on costs alone are

not a legitimate aim to justify indirect

discrimination. However, if an employer

needs to save on costs by reducing its

expenditure on, say, staff to balance its

books, this would constitute a legitimate

aim and would not have a discriminatory

effect.

HOW should employees communicate

their employer’s breach of an employment

contract? This was answered in Chemcem

Scotland Ltd v Ure where the EAT held

that the employee's failure to return to

work was sufficient to constitute valid

communication of her acceptance of the

employer’s breach.

Where an employee resigns in response

to a repudiatory breach by the employer,

the employee is required to communicate

their acceptance of the breach to the

employer, letting them know that they

consider the contract as having been

brought to an end.

In this case, whilst Mrs Ure was on

maternity leave, a series of acts and

omissions took place relating to her pay

which together constituted a serious

repudiatory breach of her contract.

In the case, the Ministry of Justice

adopted a progression policy in relation

to the pay structure which affected the

claimant, a probation officer. This resulted

in the claimant earning less than his older,

longer serving colleagues. The claimant

argued that this was a form of indirect age

discrimination and that saving on costs

would not be a legitimate aim to justify

the indirect age discrimination. The Court

Accepting a repudiatory breach

These included a failure to pay her

statutory maternity pay on time without

explanation.

In light of the employer’s conduct,

Ure decided not to return to work at the

end of her maternity leave. She did not

tell her employer that she would not be

returning, or her reasons for not coming

back, and simply did not attend work

on the date of her expected return. In

response to Ure’s non-attendance, the

employer did not ask any questions or

attempt to contact Ure to ascertain her

whereabouts.

Ure claimed that she had been

constructively dismissed and that her nonattendance

was sufficient to communicate

her resignation to her employer. In the

circumstances, the Employment Tribunal

agreed and found in her favour. However,

of Appeal decided that if the sole reason

for the change in policy was to save on

costs it would not be a legitimate aim in

justifying discrimination. However, if it

was coupled with another reason such

as the employer being under financial

pressure and the ‘employer’s need to

reduce its expenditure, and specifically its

staff costs, in order to balance its books’,

this could constitute a legitimate aim.

the employer challenged the decision,

arguing, in particular, that failure

to return to work was not enough to

communicate acceptance of the alleged

breach. Therefore, the employer said that

Ure had not validly brought the contract

to an end.

The EAT disagreed with the employer

and dismissed the appeal. The EAT said

that, whilst in normal circumstances,

a failure to appear for work might not

constitute implied acceptance of a

repudiatory breach, in the context of this

case it could. Therefore, Ure did not need

to communicate with her employer.

Gareth Edwards is a partner in

the employment team at

VWV.gedwards@vwv.co.uk

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 53


CAREERS ADVICE

Investment strategy

This year it is even more important to

proactively invest in your career

AUTHOR – Karen Young

HOPEFULLY the Christmas break

has left you feeling relaxed,

recharged and refreshed for

the year ahead.

However, following the ups

and downs of 2020, we can’t

deny that considerable uncertainty still lingers

as we head into 2021. You might be questioning

the direction in which to take your career and

how to progress.

Despite this uncertainty, there is still much

you can do. Here are my ideas for how to get

your professional life in 2021 off to a positive

start.

1. REFLECT ON THE YEAR GONE BY

‘Reflection’ isn’t just sitting and thinking of

everything you’ve done in the past year. It should

be a deliberate, structured exercise which can

be surprisingly rewarding when done properly.

Ask yourself these seven key questions:

• Does your current job bring you satisfaction?

• Can you be your authentic self at work?

• Do you connect to the purpose of your job?

• Do you largely agree with the decisions that

your employer makes?

• How and where do you work best?

• Does your job play to your natural strengths?

• Are your career goals still relevant?

Mapping out the big picture of your career by

asking yourself the questions above will help

illuminate what direction you might want to

take your career in, or what you need to focus

on in the year ahead. It’s a simple exercise which

will help you get your career off to a positive

start this year.

2. KEEP UP WITH THE JOBS MARKET

Are you one of the adopters of the ‘New Year,

New Career’ mantra? If so, then obviously

you will need to take a proactive approach to

keeping up-to-date with the jobs market. You’ll

want to know where your opportunities are and

where you can apply.

Even if you aren’t looking for a new job in

the near future, I still recommend that you

maintain an awareness of movements in

the job market. It’s useful to know what sort

of roles are out there, where the pools of

demand are and what options might be open

to you.

Not only might you come across new

and unexpected opportunities, knowing the

state of play might inspire you in your own

job and give you clarity about where your

career is headed.

Ensure that

you’re familiar

with using

software like

Zoom, Teams and

BlueJeans and

that you have a

working webcam

and microphone.

– Karen Young

3. REASSESS YOUR CAREER GOALS

We all saw the immense change that the

pandemic caused throughout 2020. For those

working in industries such as healthcare,

hospitality or IT, it will be clear how their career

goals need to shift to reflect this.

Working in credit might make it tricky to

see just how your career has been impacted.

Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to reassess your

career goals. Thinking about the current climate

and your organisation, where do you want to be

in 12 months’ time? Make a note of these goals

and let them form a career plan for the new year.

Of course, this is open to change, but having a

loose plan in place is a good career investment

to get off to a strong start.

4. GROW YOUR NETWORK

Building new connections and growing your

network will certainly happen naturally

throughout the course of your career. However,

putting in some extra effort is a good way to

push your career forward.

I would recommend starting with LinkedIn.

Connect with any current or past colleagues so

they are in your network. If you haven’t been

in touch for a while, send a note with your

connection request giving a brief update of

what you’re up to and that you wish to connect

with them. Additionally, follow influential

companies in your industry and join any groups

open to you and others in your profession. Be

confident about engaging with any content and

likeminded people you come across.

5. REFRESH YOUR INTERVIEW SKILLS

Recruitment has changed dramatically from this

time last year. Even if you aren’t considering any

new roles currently, refreshing your interview

skills in light of the current climate will pay off

when the time comes.

Obviously, the main change is that for the

most part, interviews are now held remotely.

Ensure that you’re familiar with using software

like Zoom, Teams and BlueJeans and that you

have a working webcam and microphone.

In terms of your interview answers, make

sure that you are confident talking about

how the pandemic might have changed your

career and the impact it has had on your

industry.

Ongoing, regular investment in your career

will help you get ahead this year and beyond, no

matter what further changes and challenges lie

ahead in the world of work.

Karen Young is Director at Hays

Credit Management.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 54


CSA Apprenticeships

The CSA is an approved

Apprenticeship Training

Provider specialising in

Credit and Collections, and

Compliance and Risk.

Our apprenticeships are

designed and delivered by a

team of financial services, risk

and compliance professionals,

who combine extensive industry

knowledge and understanding

with highly developed training,

coaching and assessment

expertise.

Level 2 Credit Control &

Collections

13 months

Level 3 Compliance Risk

Officer

16 months

Level 4 Regulatory

Compliance Officer

16 months

Level 3 Advanced Credit

Control/Specialist

Collections

19 months

Level 4 Counter Fraud

Investigator

24 months

Level 6 Senior Compliance

Risk Specialist

37 months

For further information:

w: www.csa-uk.com/apprenticeships

e: apprenticeships@csa-uk.com

t: 0191 217 3073

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 55


TAKE CONTROL OF

YOUR CREDIT CAREER

ORDER TO CASH GLOBAL

WORKSTREAM PROCESS OWNER

London, up to £70,000 + 10-20% bonus

A great opportunity for an experienced OTC transformation

specialist has become available to join a FTSE 250 media

company on an exciting 12-month project. You will be required

to standardise and align finance systems and processes across

many acquired businesses. This role will encompass core

functions of gap analysis, design, user acceptance testing,

go live, post implementation support, workstream reporting,

stakeholder management and governance. You will have

knowledge and hands on experience dealing with revenue

recognition rules and deferred revenue. Ref: 3884650

Contact Julia Foster on 03330 106 021

or email julia.foster2@hays.com

CREDIT ANALYST

Greater Belfast, £25,000-£27,000

Joining a global manufacturing business, you will take on a

varied credit role, take true ownership of the position and build

experience in a dynamic business with an agile, continuous

improvement mindset. The role will allow you to fully utilize

the full spectrum of AR and credit control skills, with a high

degree of analysis and reporting embedded in the role. You will

have outstanding attention to detail with an ability to reconcile

complex accounts, experience in a similar role is preferred.

Ref: 3906681

Contact Nicola McCallum on 02890 446911

or email nicola.mccallum@hays.com

CREDIT CONTROLLER

Bristol, £26,000-£28,000

A credit controller is required to join a Bristol based business

on a full time basis. You will be managing working capital for

an assigned department, working towards targets to minimise

overdue debt and maximise cash receipts. You will need to work

as part of a team as well as on your own initiative, have good

attention to detail and be able to manage your time effectively.

A proven record of revenue, credit control and working capital

management is preferred.

Ref: 3914675

Contact Sejal Hampson on 0117 374 6272

or email sejal.hampson@hays.com

CREDIT CONTROLLER

Edinburgh, £23,000 + benefits including annual bonus

A recognised manufacturing company is undergoing a restructure

which includes centralising its credit control function to the

Edinburgh office. As a result, an opportunity for a permanent

credit controller has arisen. You will have experience in accounts

receivable, sales ledger and credit control within a fast paced

environment. You will also be innovative, hard-working and willing

to be accountable for your own workload. Ref: 3907294

Contact Nicola Berthelsen on 0131 603 8374

or email nicola.berthelsen@hays.com

hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 56


TRAIN FOR THE

YEAR AHEAD

My Learning – free skills

training from Hays

To find out more visit

hays.co.uk/mylearning

CREDIT CONTROLLER (8 roles available)

Stroud, Gloucestershire, £21,500

Working within Ecotricity’s Group Finance operation, the

objective of this position is to maximise cash collections

and minimise bad debt through excellent customer service

and effective debt recovery processes. If successful, you will

undertake the challenging task of balancing the needs of the

customer with the needs of the wider business, all within a

regulatory framework shaped by quality, compliance and a

drive for exceptional customer service.

Ref: 3913252

Contact Edward Kennedy on 078 0501 4095

or email edward.kennedy@hays.com

CREDIT CONTROLLER

Bristol, £20,000-£23,500

A Bristol based established business is looking for a credit

controller to join its team due to growth in the business. The key

purpose of this role is to achieve high collection rates through

proactive outbound calling to meet both call and cash collection

targets. You will be required to maintain TCF culture with the fair

treatment of customers being central to their business culture.

Previous experience in a credit control role is desirable.

Ref: 3916854

Contact Sejal Hampson on 0117 374 6272

or email sejal.hampson@hays.com

This is just a small selection of the many opportunities we have

available for credit professionals. To find out more visit us

online or contact Kabir Gulabkhan, Hays Credit Management

UK Lead on 020 3465 0020

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 57


From crisis to opportunity... what’s the future of trade?

Announcing a new webinar series on post-pandemic global trade

Launching on February 4, 2021,

the webinar series, “From crisis to

opportunity: What is the future of trade?”

invites business experts, thought leaders,

and Atradius specialists from around

the world to share their vision of the

pandemic-altered economic and business

landscape.

The event pages will be continuously

updated as details are confirmed.

Check these and our social media

channels regularly to see the latest

information.

Event 1: How Covid-19 changed global

trade forever (4th Feb 2021)

Event 2: How trade relationships and

tariffs are affecting trade

worldwide

Event 3: The impact of digitalisation on

the credit world

Event 4: De-globalisation – a new way to

trade, but will it stick?

group.atradius.com/virtualevent1

search for Atradius

on social media

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 58


CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF CREDIT MANAGEMENT

ONLINE EVENTS

Keep an eye on our events calendar at CICM.COM for all CICM events!

Visit our website and book online at: www.cicm.com/cicm-events

CICM Branch AGM season is upon us, and all

Committees are due to convene virtually by 31 March 2021.

Look out for more information across CICM channels

and by visiting www.cicm.com/branches/

Many of our events are now available online,

along with a new series of live and a series of

recorded webinars for the credit profession.

Visit our website for updates

and instructions on how to register.

Studying at a

distance

with CICM

From interactive virtual classrooms to supporting texts,

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

Contact CICM for more information on any of these services,

or check them out at cicm.com

Giving you the tools to continue

working through this crisis.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 59


Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

COLLECTIONS

INTERNATIONAL COLLECTIONS

COLLECTIONS LEGAL

Controlaccount Plc

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD

T: 01527 549 522

E: sales@controlaccount.com

W: www.controlaccount.com

Controlaccount Plc provides an efficient, effective and ethical

commercial debt recovery service focused on improving business

cash flow whilst preserving customer relationships and established

reputations. Working with leading brand names in the UK and

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

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

Where applicable, we can utilise the Late Payment of Commercial

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

clients also benefit from our in-house international trace and

legal counsel departments and have complete transparency and

up to the minute information on any accounts placed with us for

recovery through our online debt management system, ClientWeb.

Premium Collections Limited

3 Caidan House, Canal Road

Timperley, Cheshire. WA14 1TD

T: +44 (0)161 962 4695

E: paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk

W: www.premiumcollections.co.uk

For all your credit management requirements Premium

Collections has the solution to suit you. Operating on a national

and international basis we can tailor a package of products and

services to meet your requirements.

Services include B2B collections, B2C collections, international

collections, absconder tracing, asset repossessions, status

reporting and litigation support.

Managed from our offices in Manchester, Harrogate and Dublin our

network of 55 partners cover the World.

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

paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk

www.premiumcollections.co.uk

Keebles

Capitol House, Russell Street, Leeds LS1 5SP

T: 0113 399 3482

E: charise.marsden@keebles.com

W: www.keebles.com

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

at the 2019 CICM British Credit Awards.

According to our clients “Keebles stand head and shoulders

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

business and know exactly how to speedily maximise recovery.

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

seen in many other practices.”

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

peace of mind.

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

• Fixed fees for issuing court proceedings and pursuing claims to

judgment and enforcement.

• Success rate in excess of 80%.

• 24 hour turnaround on instructions.

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

Guildways

T: +44 3333 409000

E: info@guildways.com

W: www.guildways.com

Guildways is a UK & International debt collection specialist with over

25 years experience. Guildways prides itself on operating to the

highest ethical standards and professional service levels. We are

experienced in collecting B2B and B2C debts. Our service includes:

• A complete No collection, No Fee commission based service

• 10% plus VAT commission for UK debts

• Commission from 22% plus VAT for International debts

• 24/7 online access to your cases through our CaseManager portal

• Direct online account-to-account payments, to speed up

collections and minimise costs

If you are unable to locate your customer, we also offer a no trace, no

fee, trace and collect service.

For more information, visit: www.guildways.com

INTERNATIONAL COLLECTIONS

Baker Ing International Limited

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

Contact: Lisa Baker-Reynolds

Email: lisa@bakering.global

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

Tel: 07717 020659

Baker Ing International is a dedicated team of Credit industry

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

The team is wholly comprised of working Credit Manager’s

across the Globe with a minimum threshold of ten years working

experience within Credit Management. The team offers a

comprehensive service to clients - International Debt Recovery,

Credit Control, Legal Services & more

Our mission is to help companies improve the cost and efficiency

of their Credit Management processes in order to limit the risks

associated with extending credit and trading around the globe.

How can we help you - call Lisa Baker Reynolds on

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

Lovetts Solicitors

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway,

Old Portsmouth Road,

Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR

T: 01483 347001

E: info@lovetts.co.uk

W: www.lovetts.co.uk

With more than 25yrs experience in UK & international business

debt collection and recovery, Lovetts Solicitors collects £40m+

every year on behalf of our clients. Services include:

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

of cases)

• Advice and dispute resolution

• Legal proceedings and enforcement

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

CaseManager

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

feedback: “All our service expectations have been exceeded.

The online system is particularly useful and extremely easy to

use. Lovetts has a recognisable brand that generates successful

results.”

Atradius Collections Ltd

3 Harbour Drive,

Capital Waterside, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ

Phone: +44 (0)29 20824397

Mobile: +44 (0)7767 865821

E-mail:yvette.gray@atradius.com

Website: atradiuscollections.com

Atradius Collections Ltd is an established specialist in business

to business collections. As the collections division of the Atradius

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

knowledge and reputation.

Annually handling more than 110,000 cases and recovering over

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

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

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

of maintaining customer relationships whilst efficiently and

effectively collecting monies owed.

The individual nature of our clients’ customer relationships is

reflected in the customer focus we provide, structuring our service

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

provide them with a collection strategy that echoes their business

character, trading patterns and budget.

For further information contact Yvette Gray Country Director, UK

and Ireland.

Sterling Debt Recovery

E: info@sterlingdebtrecovery.com

T: 0207 1005978

W: www.sterlingdebtrecovery.com

Sterling specialises in international business debt collection

to get outstanding invoices paid quickly and cost effectively.

Our experienced, enthusiastic collectors achieve results whilst

maintaining a professional image.

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

no hidden costs. Each client is allocated a named collector for

personal service and regular updates. We collect the majority

of debt without litigation, with our on-site lawyer supporting us

where appropriate.

Where local expertise is required our global network are available

to assist.

CONSULTANCY

Chris Sanders Consulting

T: +44(0)7747 761641

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com

Chris Sanders Consulting – we are a different sort of consulting

firm, made up of a network of independent experienced

operational credit & collections management and invoicing

professionals, with specialisms in cross industry best practice

advisory, assessment, interim management, leadership,

workshops and training to help your team and organisation reach

their full potential in credit and collections management. We are

proud to be Corporate Partners of the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management and to manage the CICM Best Practice Accreditation

Programme on their behalf. For more information please contact:

enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 60


FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION OPTIONS AND PRICING CONTACT

russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937

COURT ENFORCEMENT SERVICES

CREDIT INFORMATION

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

Court Enforcement Services

Wayne Whitford – Director

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

E : wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk

W: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk

EXPERTLY RESOLVED.

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

enforce CCJs by transferring them up to the High Court. With our

fast, fair and personable approach to service, we work harder to

bring you the sector’s best results without risking client reputation.

• Free Transfer Up process of CCJs to High Court

• Market-leading recovery rates

• Over 100,000 writs, recovering >£187 million since 2014

• Real-time access to cases via our own Award-Winning App

• Our highly trained and certificated agents cover every postcode

in England & Wales.

FAST. FAIR. FOR YOU.

CREDIT INFORMATION

2 0 0 2

CoCredo

Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD

T: 01494 790600

E: customerservice@cocredo.com

W: www.cocredo.co.uk

CoCredo has 18 years experience in developing credit reports for

businesses and is the current CICM Credit Information Provider

of the Year. Our company data is continually updated throughout

the day and ensures customers have the most current information

available. We aggregate data from a range of leading providers

across over 235 territories and offer a range of services including

the industry first Dual Report, Monitoring, XML Integration and

DNA Portfolio Management.

We pride ourselves in offering award-winning customer service

and support to protect your business.

CEDAR

ROSE


R

2 0 2 0

Cedar Rose

3, Georgiou Katsonotou Street,3036, Limassol, Cyprus

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

W: www.cedar-rose.com

Cedar Rose has been globally recognised as the expert for credit

reports, due diligence and data for the Middle East and North

African countries since 1997. We now cover over 170 countries

with the same high quality, expert analysis and attention to detail

we are well-known and trusted for.

Making best use of artificial intelligence and technology, Cedar

Rose has won several awards including Credit Excellence &

European Business Awards. Our website is a one-stop-shop for

your business intelligence solutions. We are the ultimate source;

with competitive prices and friendly customer service - whether

you need one or one thousand reports.

THE ONLY AML RESOURCE YOU NEED

SmartSearch

SmartSearch, Harman House,

Station Road,Guiseley, Leeds, LS20 8BX

T: +44 (0)113 238 7660

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

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

broad coverage, highly automated flexible technology with an

innovative and intuitive customer interface. Key features include

automatic Worldwide Sanction & PEP checking, Daily Monitoring,

Automated Enhanced Due Diligence and pro-active customer

management. Choose SmartSearch as your benchmark.

Graydon UK

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

Middlesex, HA1 1BE

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk

W: www.graydon.co.uk

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

business information, analytics, insights and solutions. Graydon

helps its customers to make fast, accurate decisions, enabling

them to minimise risk and identify fraud as well as optimise

opportunities with their commercial relationships. Graydon uses

130+ international databases and the information of 90+ million

companies. Graydon has offices in London, Cardiff, Amsterdam

and Antwerp. Since 2016, Graydon has been part of Atradius, one

of the world’s largest credit insurance companies.

Company Watch

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,

LONDON. EC3N 2ER

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300

E: info@companywatch.net

W: www.companywatch.net

Organisations around the world rely on Company Watch’s

industry-leading financial analytics to drive their credit risk

processes. Our financial risk modelling and ability to map medium

to long-term risk as well as short-term credit risk set us apart

from other credit reference agencies.

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

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

to developing analytics on our customers’ in-house data.

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

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

providing actionable intelligence in an uncertain world.

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

ONGUARD

T: 020 3868 0947

E: lisa.bruno@onguard.com

W: www.onguard.com

Onguard is specialist in credit management software and market

leader in innovative solutions for order to cash. Our integrated

platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the

order to cash chain and allows sharing of critical data.

Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected and

offer overview and control of the payment process, as well as

contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.

In more than 50 countries the Onguard platform is successfully

used for successful credit management.

Tinubu Square UK

Holland House, 4 Bury Street,

London EC3A 5AW

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /

E: uksales@tinubu.com

W: www.tinubu.com

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

of the Credit Insurance, Surety and Trade Finance digital

transformation.

Tinubu Square enables organizations across the world to

significantly reduce their exposure to risk and their financial,

operational and technical costs with best-in-class technology

solutions and services. Tinubu Square provides SaaS solutions

and services to different businesses including credit insurers,

receivables financing organizations and multinational corporations.

Tinubu Square has built an ecosystem of customers in over 20

countries worldwide and has a global presence with offices in

Paris, London, New York, Montreal and Singapore.

Credica Ltd

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

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

Our highly configurable and extremely cost effective Collections

and Query Management System has been designed with 3 goals

in mind:

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

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business

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

Credit Professionals across the UK and Europe, our system is

successfully providing significant and measurable benefits for our

diverse portfolio of clients.

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

our ‘no nonsense’ and human approach to computer software.

Data Interconnect Ltd

Units 45-50

Shrivenham Hundred Business Park, Majors Road,

Watchfield. Swindon, SN6 8TZ

T: +44 (0)1367 245777

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk

W: www.datainterconnect.com

Data Interconnect is dedicated to solving complex Accounts

Receivable problems through reliable, easy-to-use cloud

software. We empower billing managers and collections experts

with the tools and data they need in a user-friendly interface, for

timely, tax-compliant invoicing, collections and reconciliation in

the most cost effective, secure, auditable and trackable manner.

The powerful, flexible, Corrivo platform is the only system your

AR team needs to manage your company’s cashflow better.

HighRadius

T: +44 7399 406889

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com

W: www.highradius.com

HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated Receivables

solutions for automating receivables and payment functions such

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

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

(SaaS). HighRadius also offers SAP-certified Accelerators

for SAP S/4HANA Finance Receivables Management, enabling

large enterprises to maximize the value of their SAP investments.

HighRadius Integrated Receivables solutions have a proven track

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

increasing operation efficiency, enabling companies to achieve an

ROI in less than a year.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 61


Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION

OPTIONS AND PRICING CONTACT

russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

DATA AND ANALYTICS

FORUMS

ESKER

Sam Townsend Head of Marketing

Northern Europe Esker Ltd.

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

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

Twitter: @EskerNEurope blog.esker.co.uk

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

obstacles preventing today’s businesses from collecting

receivables in a timely manner. From credit management to cash

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

Esker’s automated AR system helps companies modernise

without replacing their core billing and collections processes. By

simply automating what should be automated, customers get the

post-sale experience they deserve and your team gets the tools

they need.

Dun & Bradstreet

Marlow International, Parkway Marlow

Buckinghamshire SL7 1AJ

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

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern finance

leaders and credit professionals to improve business performance

through more effective risk management, identification of growth

opportunities, and better integration of data and insights across

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

access to the world’s most comprehensive commercial data

and insights - supplying a continually updated view of business

relationships that helps finance and credit teams stay ahead of

market shifts and customer changes. Learn more here:

www.dnb.co.uk/modernfinance

FORUMS INTERNATIONAL

T: +44 (0)1246 555055

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk

Forums International Ltd have been running Credit and Industry

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

International trading, attendance is for Credit Professionals of all

levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead. Attending

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

members and we only have pre-approved Partners, so you will

never intentionally be sold to.

INSOLVENCY

SERRALA

Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham

Berkshire RG41 5RB

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

T +44 118 207 0450 M +44 7788 564722

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for organisations

seeking efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes.

As an SAP Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience and

thousands of successful customer projects, including solutions

for the entire order-to-cash process, Serrala provides credit

managers and receivables professionals with the solutions they

need to successfully protect their business against credit risk

exposure and bad debt loss.

C2FO

C2FO Ltd

105 Victoria Steet

SW1E 6QT

T: 07799 692193

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com

W: www.c2fo.com

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables into income,

uniquely connecting buyers and suppliers to allow discounts

in exchange for early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating payments

from buyers when required in just two clicks, at a rate that works

for them. Buyers, often corporates with global supply chains,

benefit from the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while

strengthening the financial health of supply chains through

ethical business practices.

Menzies

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

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

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is an

accountancy firm delivering traditional services combined

with strategic commercial thinking. Our services include:

advisory, audit, corporate and personal tax, corporate

finance, forensic accounting, outsourcing, wealth

management and business recovery – the latter of which

includes our specialist offering developed specifically for

creditors. For more information on this, or to see how the

Menzies Creditor Services team can assist you, please

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

Partner and Head of Menzies Creditor Services, email:

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

LEGAL

Redwood Collections Ltd

0208 288 3555

enquiry@redwoodcollections.com

Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, CR0 0XZ

“Redwood Collections offers a complete portfolio of debt

collection services ranging from sensitive client-debtor mediation

through to legal and insolvency action.

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

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

the expertise and resources to deliver a fast, efficient and costeffective

solution.”

Satago

48 Warwick Street, London, W1B 5AW

T: +44(0)020 8050 3015

E: hello@satago.com

W: www.satago.com

Satago helps business owners and their accountants avoid credit

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

in one platform. Satago integrates with 300+ cloud accounting

apps with just a few clicks, helping businesses:

• Understand their customers - with RISK INSIGHTS

• Get paid on time - with automated CREDIT CONTROL

• Access funding - with flexible SINGLE INVOICE FINANCE

Visit satago.com and start your free trial today.

identeco – Business Support Toolkit

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,

Worcestershire B60 4FD

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

Web: www.identeco.co.uk

identeco’s Business Support Toolkit is an online portal connecting

its subscribers to a range of business services that help them

to engage with new prospects, understand their customers and

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

access. Providing company information and financial reports,

director and shareholder structures as well as a unique financial

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

data that might be associated with a company. Other services

also included in the subscription include a business names

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

unlimited, bespoke marketing and telesales listings for any sector.

FINANCIAL PR

Gravity Global

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

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

W: www.gravityglobal.com

Gravity is an award winning full service PR and advertising

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the

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

building long-term relationships with some of the industry’s bestknown

brands working on often challenging briefs. As the partner

agency for the Credit Services Association (CSA) for the past 22

years, and the Chartered Institute of Credit Management since

2006, it understands the key issues affecting the credit industry

and what works and what doesn’t in supporting its clients in the

media and beyond.

Shoosmiths

Email: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk

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

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly and cost effectively

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

recovery, including:

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

•Litigation service

•Post-litigation services including enforcement

•Insolvency

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

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

them.

PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

Bottomline Technologies

115 Chatham Street, Reading

Berks RG1 7JX | UK

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

W: www.bottomline.com/uk

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses

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

domestic and international payments, effective cash management

tools, automated workflows for payment processing and bill

review and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural analytics

and regulatory compliance. Businesses around the world depend

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

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

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

by making complex business payments simple, secure and

seamless.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 62


PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

American Express

76 Buckingham Palace Road,

London. SW1W 9TQ

T: +44 (0)1273 696933

W: www.americanexpress.com

American Express is working in partnership with the CICM and is a

globally recognised provider of payment solutions to businesses.

Specialising in providing flexible collection capabilities to drive a

number of company objectives including:

• Accelerate cashflow • Improved DSO • Reduce risk

• Offer extended terms to customers

•Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive

growth • Create competitive advantage with your customers

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

American Express is working with credit managers to drive growth

within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional lever

to help support supplier/client relationships American Express is

proud to be an innovator in the business payments space.

ARE YOU A LEADER

OR FOLLOWER?

Key IVR

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000

E: sales@keyivr.com

W: www.keyivr.com

Key IVR are proud to have joined the Chartered Institute of

Credit Management’s Corporate partnership scheme. The

CICM is a recognised and trusted professional entity within

credit management and a perfect partner for Key IVR. We are

delighted to be providing our services to the CICM to assist with

their membership collection activities. Key IVR provides a suite

of products to assist companies across the globe with credit

management. Our service is based around giving the end-user

the means to make a payment when and how they choose. Using

automated collection methods, such as a secure telephone

payment line (IVR), web and SMS allows companies to free up

valuable staff time away from typical debt collection.

RECRUITMENT

Hays Credit Management

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN

T: 07834 260029

E: karen.young@hays.com

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

Hays Credit Management is working in partnership with the CICM

and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs and

credit management jobs. Hays understands the demands of this

challenging environment and the skills required to thrive within

it. Whatever your needs, we have temporary, permanent and

contract based opportunities to find your ideal role. Our candidate

registration process is unrivalled, including face-to-face screening

interviews and a credit control skills test developed exclusively for

Hays by the CICM. We offer CICM members a priority service and

can provide advice across a wide spectrum of job search and

recruitment issues.

PORTFOLIO

CREDIT CONTROL

Portfolio Credit Control

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE

T: 0207 650 3199

E: recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com

W: www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com

CICMQ accreditation is a proven model

that has consistently delivered dramatic

improvements in cashflow and efficiency

CICMQ is the hallmark of industry

leading organisations

The CICM Best Practice Network is where

CICMQ accredited organisations come

together to develop, share and celebrate

best practice in credit and collections

BE A LEADER – JOIN THE CICM BEST

PRACTICE NETWORK TODAY

To find out more about flexible options

to gain CICMQ accreditation

E: cicmq@cicm.com T: 01780 722900

Portfolio Credit Control, solely specialises in the recruitment of

permanent, temporary and contract Credit Control, Accounts

Receivable and Collections staff. Part of an award winning

recruiter we speak to and meet credit controllers all day everyday

understanding their skills and backgrounds to provide you with

tried and tested credit control professionals. We have achieved

enormous growth because we offer a uniquely specialist approach

to our clients, with a commitment to service delivery that exceeds

your expectations every single time.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / January & February 2021 / PAGE 63


The software platform to automate and

optimise your order-to-cash process

Connect your organisation with your customers.

Manage risks and decrease DSO by 20%.

Connecting data. Connecting you.

www.vismaonguard.com

+44 (0) 20 396 683 24

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