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CREDIT MANAGEMENT<br />

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

JUNE <strong>2021</strong> £12.50<br />

THE CI<strong>CM</strong> MAGAZINE FOR CONSUMER AND<br />

COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS<br />

Chasing<br />

Rainbows<br />

Focus on consumer<br />

debt in South Africa<br />

Is the debt advice sector<br />

heading for meltdown?<br />

Page 8<br />

How has COVID impacted the<br />

market for credit insurance.<br />

Page 32


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JUNE <strong>2021</strong><br />

www.cicm.com<br />

CONTENTS<br />

10 – A RUDE AWAKENING<br />

A look at Insolvency and Tax Avoidance<br />

Schemes.<br />

13 – MANAGE AND MEASURE<br />

Industry needs to keep an open mind to<br />

future test and screening services.<br />

18<br />

LEAD ARTICLE<br />

Zak King<br />

14 – INJECTION OF LEARNING<br />

How J&J is benefitting from a new CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

L&D partnership.<br />

16 – FALLEN CROWN<br />

Karen Savage considers the impact of<br />

Crown Preference on creditors.<br />

18 – AFRICAN MISADVENTURE<br />

Consumer debt advice in South Africa<br />

bears some striking similarities with<br />

the UK.<br />

24 – SLEEPING GIANT<br />

South Africa is a country with its fair<br />

share of troubles and opportunity.<br />

32<br />

BLIND FAITH<br />

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

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

10<br />

INSOLVENCY<br />

Elliot Green<br />

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

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

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

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

Larry Coltman FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Niall Cooter FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Bryony Crossland FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) / Peter Gent FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

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

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

Stephen Thomson FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Sarah Wilding FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Atul Vadher FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

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

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

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

membership, as well as additional subscribers<br />

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

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

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

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

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

32 – BLIND FAITH<br />

How has COVID impacted the market<br />

for credit insurance. PART 1.<br />

36 – STOP PRESS<br />

Key trends in the print and packaging<br />

sector.<br />

38 – RASH JUDGMENT<br />

COVID-19, disease clauses and business<br />

interruption.<br />

Publisher<br />

Chartered Institute of Credit Management<br />

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

OAKHAM, LE15 8NB<br />

Telephone: 01780 722900<br />

Email: editorial@cicm.com<br />

Website: www.cicm.com<br />

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

Managing Editor<br />

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

Deputy Editor<br />

Iona Yadallee<br />

Art Editor<br />

Andrew Morris<br />

Telephone: 01780 722910<br />

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

Editorial Team<br />

Sam Wilson, Imogen Hart, Rob Howard<br />

and Max Tyson.<br />

Advertising<br />

Russell Bass<br />

Telephone: 020 3603 7937<br />

Email: russell@centuryone.uk<br />

Printers<br />

Stephens & George Print Group<br />

<strong>2021</strong> subscriptions<br />

UK: £112 per annum<br />

International: £145 per annum<br />

Single copies: £12.50<br />

ISSN 0265-2099<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 3


EDITOR’S COLUMN<br />

Why has the need for<br />

debt advice fallen?<br />

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

Managing Editor<br />

THE world of consumer<br />

credit is rarely dull, and the<br />

last few weeks have proved<br />

it. For those looking for<br />

certainty, there is very little<br />

to be certain about.<br />

Various anecdotal stories from debt<br />

collection agencies regarding the volume<br />

and values of collections reaching record<br />

highs appear to have been confirmed<br />

by a Q1 report from Lowell (see news).<br />

The pace of recovery of deferred FY20<br />

UK collections, it says, is ahead of<br />

expectations.<br />

Consumers, it appears, have been using<br />

furlough and other Government support<br />

schemes to get their respective houses<br />

in order, and DCAs have been more than<br />

willing to help. Active, early engagement<br />

between creditor and consumer, as so<br />

often championed by the likes of the CSA,<br />

has been paying off. Literally.<br />

But the good news from the collections<br />

industry has been offset by less good<br />

news from the debt advice sector (see<br />

our lead news special). StepChange,<br />

one of our most respected debt advice<br />

charities, has found itself in a bit of a<br />

pickle, and obliged to lay off up to 170<br />

staff. Its CEO blames funding issues, a<br />

subject discussed in these pages on many<br />

occasions.<br />

There is no doubt that the current<br />

funding models are flawed, but there is<br />

also no doubt that some of the funding<br />

that is provided is not going to the front<br />

line and is instead being squandered on<br />

overhead. That may be grossly unfair,<br />

but it’s certainly an opinion that has been<br />

aired in public before, and high salaries<br />

and expensive offices are always difficult<br />

for charities to defend, regardless of the<br />

audiences they serve.<br />

StepChange stated that its original<br />

expectation of advising 400,000 clients<br />

this year is not going to materialise, and<br />

since the charity’s income is based upon<br />

how many clients it helps (the charity<br />

supported 200,000 clients across the UK<br />

in 2020, compared to more than 300,000<br />

the previous year), the CEO was left with<br />

no choice other than to cut his cloth<br />

accordingly.<br />

So why are the expected numbers so<br />

dramatically adrift? There will be many<br />

reasons. Government support will be<br />

one; forbearance another. But could there<br />

also be another reason? Could it be that<br />

the advice customers receive when they<br />

engage with a creditor from the outset<br />

means that the advice of a third party is no<br />

longer required? Perhaps that is a stretch,<br />

but again, anecdotally, the industry is<br />

telling me that levels of customer/creditor<br />

engagement are the highest they have ever<br />

been, and that is now being evidenced by<br />

the facts. Whether it continues will be the<br />

challenge.<br />

StepChange believes that the need for<br />

debt advice will surge once Government<br />

support is withdrawn. I expect it is right.<br />

But then I’ve given up being certain of<br />

anything these days, and it might be a<br />

good plan for the debt advice sector,<br />

agencies and the regulators to do the<br />

same.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 4


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

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

world of consumer and commercial credit.<br />

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

Open banking demand triples<br />

during COVID-19 pandemic<br />

THE number of people<br />

choosing to share their<br />

data through open<br />

banking has tripled since<br />

the start of the COVID-19<br />

pandemic, according to<br />

the latest statistics from Experian.<br />

In February, Experian’s Open Data<br />

Platform saw more than 188 million<br />

data sharing requests (up from 47<br />

million in February 2020) – 30 percent<br />

of the 669 million requests made in<br />

the UK overall. More than half (57<br />

percent) of lenders have adopted open<br />

banking technology in the last 12<br />

months, helping people manage their<br />

finances in more fluid and intuitive<br />

ways online.<br />

An accelerated shift towards digital<br />

banking has seen a greater number<br />

of people taking advantage of a new<br />

wave of convenient apps and services<br />

that can help them manage their<br />

finances. As a result of the pandemic,<br />

Experian suggests many people<br />

have turned to digital – as accessing<br />

branches, or using cash, became<br />

increasingly difficult, particularly<br />

during lockdown.<br />

Research showed one in five UK<br />

adults started using online banking<br />

powered apps during lockdown. Over<br />

half of Britons (54 percent) now say<br />

they now use them regularly.<br />

Lisa Fretwell, Managing Director<br />

of Data Services at Experian, says the<br />

business has witnessed an incredible<br />

boom in digital financial tools over<br />

the course of 2020: “Open banking has<br />

the potential to do so much good –<br />

transforming the way people manage<br />

their money, helping them plan for the<br />

future with confidence,” she explains.<br />

“The next step is about moving as an<br />

industry to help build understanding<br />

about the benefits of Open Banking<br />

tools, so that everyone can feel<br />

confident in how and when they want<br />

to share their data, and the value they<br />

get in return.”<br />

Lisa Fretwell<br />

Managing Director of<br />

Data Services at Experian<br />

“Open banking has the<br />

potential to do so much<br />

good – transforming<br />

the way people manage<br />

their money, helping<br />

them plan for the future<br />

with confidence.”<br />

Profit warnings fall amidst ongoing uncertainty<br />

UK quoted companies issued 50 profit<br />

warnings in Q1 <strong>2021</strong>, an 83 percent<br />

decrease from the 301 warnings<br />

recorded in Q1 2020.<br />

According to EY-Parthenon’s latest<br />

Profit Warnings report, this is the<br />

biggest year-on-year percentage fall<br />

in UK profit warnings on record. Profit<br />

warnings were pushed to record levels<br />

in Q1 2020 at the onset of the pandemic<br />

but began to fall from the middle of last<br />

year. Most FTSE sectors saw significant<br />

falls in profit warning numbers at the<br />

start of <strong>2021</strong>, as the global vaccine<br />

roll out bolstered the economy and<br />

earnings forecasts, according to<br />

the report. However, the continued<br />

withdrawal of forecasts by 15 percent of<br />

FTSE 350 companies indicates ongoing<br />

uncertainty.<br />

Alan Hudson, EY-Parthenon<br />

UK&I Turnaround and Restructuring<br />

Strategy Leader, says a low level of<br />

profit warnings are an indication<br />

of a temporary breathing space for<br />

companies: “If they haven’t already, this<br />

is a time for UK business to reset and<br />

ready themselves to rebuild.<br />

“The impact of the pandemic won’t<br />

automatically reverse when lockdown<br />

ends. For many businesses, pressures<br />

will intensify as they restart operations,<br />

Government support tapers, and<br />

working capital becomes stretched.”<br />

EY-Parthenon analysis suggests that<br />

Government support, combined with a<br />

moratorium on winding-up petitions,<br />

has significantly reduced corporate<br />

insolvencies over the course of the<br />

pandemic (even though they may now<br />

be on the rise): more than 6,000 extra<br />

companies would have entered an<br />

insolvency procedure by this point if<br />

insolvency levels had continued on the<br />

same trajectory as pre-March 2020.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 5


NEWS ROUNDUP<br />

New statistics suggests<br />

insolvencies may be on the rise<br />

INSOLVENCIES may be on the<br />

rise, according to the latest<br />

insolvency statistics, despite<br />

ongoing Government support<br />

keeping many businesses afloat.<br />

There were 2,384 seasonally<br />

adjusted corporate insolvencies in<br />

Q1 <strong>2021</strong>, a reduction of 21.9 percent<br />

compared to Q4 2020’s figures of 3,053<br />

and a fall of 38.3 percent compared to Q1<br />

2020 (3,863).<br />

Colin Haig, President of insolvency<br />

and restructuring trade body R3 and<br />

Head of Restructuring at Azets, says the<br />

quarterly fall in corporate insolvencies<br />

– to the lowest quarterly total on<br />

record – has been driven by a drop in<br />

all corporate insolvency processes:<br />

“However, the increase in corporate<br />

insolvencies between February and<br />

March of this year, which was reported<br />

earlier this month, suggests corporate<br />

insolvencies may now be on the rise.<br />

“It’s clear Government’s support<br />

measures are still helping to keep<br />

businesses going, but they have pushed<br />

back rather than prevented the financial<br />

pain of the pandemic from translating<br />

into a sharp, sustained increase in<br />

corporate insolvencies.”<br />

The total number of corporate<br />

insolvencies between April 2020 and<br />

March <strong>2021</strong> fell by more than a third<br />

compared with the same period a year<br />

earlier, while GDP fell nearly eight<br />

percent during the same period. A drop<br />

in corporate insolvencies of this scale<br />

during an economic climate like this<br />

suggests that corporate insolvencies are<br />

likely to rise – and rise sharply – in the<br />

future. “The first three months of <strong>2021</strong><br />

have been tough for businesses and<br />

followed a year of pandemic-induced<br />

problems – shutdowns, re-openings,<br />

and the challenges of working in a way<br />

that’s compliant with social distancing<br />

guidelines.<br />

“The first three months<br />

of <strong>2021</strong> have been<br />

tough for businesses<br />

and followed a year<br />

of pandemic-induced<br />

problems – shutdowns,<br />

and re-openings.’’<br />

“Looking more widely, the economy<br />

has not recovered from the onset last<br />

April of the unprecedented economic<br />

contraction, while consumer confidence<br />

has also remained low. And although<br />

consumer spending increased towards<br />

the middle of March this year, it still<br />

remained well below 2019 and 2020<br />

levels for the majority of the first three<br />

months of this year.”<br />

As the COVID restrictions lift and<br />

normality returns, Colin says businesses<br />

face three key challenges: “First, they<br />

need to keep a careful eye on their<br />

cashflow levels to ensure they don’t fall<br />

into the trap of over-trading. They also<br />

need to make sure they have a plan for<br />

reopening in a way that’s sustainable, so<br />

they don’t undo their efforts to survive<br />

the last year by mismanaging the next<br />

couple of months. And they need to<br />

think about how they will manage when<br />

the Government support measures end.<br />

“Many company directors have<br />

delayed planning for this, but they<br />

need to use the remaining time they<br />

have to put a plan in place for the final<br />

quarter of this year and beyond, before<br />

the majority of the measures end in<br />

<strong>June</strong>, and furlough is wound up in<br />

September.”<br />

There were 29,140 seasonally adjusted<br />

individual insolvencies in Q1 <strong>2021</strong>, a fall<br />

of 5.3 percent compared to Q4 2020’s<br />

figure of 30,769, and a rise of 0.7 percent<br />

compared to Q1 2020 (28,936).<br />

Bankruptcies in particular are notably<br />

lower this quarter than in Q4 of 2020,<br />

and Individual Voluntary Arrangements<br />

have also decreased, with the fall in<br />

Debt Relief Orders less abrupt. The<br />

quarter-on-year rise, meanwhile, is<br />

driven entirely by a notable increase<br />

in IVAs.<br />

“It’s been a torrid twelve months<br />

for many people and their personal<br />

finances,” Colin concludes, “and while<br />

IVAs tend to correlate to consumer<br />

debts, the gap in bankruptcies and<br />

DROs compared with this time last<br />

year means there may be more<br />

pain ahead if and when these figures<br />

start to revert to more ‘normal’ historical<br />

levels.”<br />

Lockdown Release<br />

RESULTS from Lowell, the European credit<br />

management services business, confirms<br />

that consumers have been repaying<br />

their debts in significant volumes over<br />

lockdown. In releasing its Q1 figures,<br />

Lowell reported ‘significant’ UK collections:<br />

a 102 percent collection performance<br />

in Q1-21 vs its pre-COVID Dec-19 static<br />

pool expectations. In a statement the<br />

company said ‘such performance is very<br />

encouraging, and management is pleased<br />

with the pace of the recovery in the<br />

deferred UK collections which is ahead of<br />

expectations’.<br />

CSA Awards<br />

THE Credit Services Association is<br />

launching a new Award scheme to<br />

celebrate the outstanding work<br />

and commitment of staff and<br />

teams within its membership<br />

organisations. Held as part of<br />

the CSA’s UK Credit & Collections<br />

Conference (UKCCC) in September,<br />

the awards are divided into three<br />

categories: a CSA Merit Award;<br />

CSA Team Award; and the CSA<br />

Innovation Award. Entries are invited<br />

by 12 July. For details, see the CSA<br />

website. www.csa-uk.com/awards<br />

Gold Star<br />

INVESTORS in People has again awarded<br />

credit management group Intrum UK<br />

gold accreditation, demonstrating the<br />

firm’s commitment to high performance<br />

through good people management. Eddie<br />

Nott, Intrum’s UK Managing Director, says<br />

the team has worked tirelessly through<br />

unprecedented times: “This accreditation<br />

is testament to the value we place on our<br />

people and the experience they provide<br />

for our customers.” Investors in People<br />

is the international standard for people<br />

management, defining what it takes to lead,<br />

support and manage people effectively.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 6


RESEARCH by EQ Credit<br />

Services into the<br />

unsecured lending sector<br />

suggests there is a ‘new<br />

nervousness’ among<br />

consumers towards the<br />

current credit market.<br />

Surprisingly, the youngest generation<br />

(age 18-24) appears the most anxious,<br />

with over half of this group responding<br />

that they would only be prepared<br />

to borrow from a well-known high<br />

street lender. In contrast, the so-called<br />

Generation X (age 45–54) seems less<br />

concerned, with 24 percent indicating<br />

they would happily borrow from any<br />

lender, providing the rate was acceptable.<br />

This contradicts the common<br />

assumption that new entrants and<br />

challenger brands with an all-digital or<br />

mobile-first proposition would be in high<br />

demand among the emerging generation<br />

of ‘digital native’ young adults. It supports<br />

a wider trend shown by the report that<br />

consumers of all ages are rushing toward<br />

‘safehouse’ credit brands.<br />

Richard Carter, managing director<br />

of EQ Credit Services, believes the<br />

last 12 months have ushered in a new<br />

nervousness: “Not only is gross borrowing<br />

down, but just 20 percent would even<br />

consider borrowing from an alternative<br />

NEWS ROUNDUP<br />

Research shows ‘new<br />

nervousness’ to challenger<br />

lenders<br />

lender, down from 62 percent in 2019.<br />

This is a major shift, illustrated most<br />

surprisingly by the young adults of<br />

Generation Z, who are most likely to trust<br />

an established high street brand.<br />

“Given the prevailing climate of<br />

financial anxiety post 2020, this<br />

would make sense, as 61 percent of all<br />

respondents still insist on speaking<br />

directly to the lender during their<br />

application. So clearly it is the brands<br />

that offer human expertise, experience<br />

and a compassionate and empathetic<br />

approach to individuals’ needs that will<br />

win out.”<br />

Findings in the report also reinforce<br />

the need for an appropriate balance<br />

between human interaction and cuttingedge<br />

technology. Whilst the human touch<br />

remains important, data still holds the<br />

key to successfully supporting customers,<br />

especially when it comes to identifying<br />

the growing number that have found<br />

themselves more financially vulnerable<br />

after the turmoil of the past year.<br />

“The lenders with agile systems and<br />

technologies that enable them to adjust<br />

quickly to their evolving responsibilities<br />

and changing customer circumstances<br />

will stand out in the market, both to<br />

customers and to their supervising<br />

authorities,” Richard concludes.<br />

>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Just members<br />

JUST, the enforcement market<br />

integrator has become a member of<br />

The Civil Enforcement Association<br />

(CIVEA). By joining CIVEA, Just says<br />

it is demonstrating a commitment<br />

to delivering the highest standards<br />

of enforcement activity and to<br />

ensuring that fair and principlebased<br />

approaches and outcomes<br />

are achieved by all involved. Russell<br />

Hamblin-Boone, CEO of CIVEA was<br />

pleased to welcome Just to its ranks:<br />

“There are many challenges ahead<br />

for our industry and we are pleased<br />

to be able to grow our membership<br />

with firms that are committed to the<br />

highest standards of civil enforcement.<br />

As we take stock following the<br />

pandemic, I look forward to working<br />

with Just to ensure that we continue to<br />

drive industry improvements.”<br />

Penny for them<br />

PENNYWORTH, the digital bank<br />

founded by former-Barclays executives,<br />

has launched the first version of a new<br />

financial planning app. Pennyworth<br />

says it has created the app to help<br />

aspiring-affluent individuals earning<br />

more than £40,000 a year, or with a<br />

similar level of savings, make the most<br />

of their money by making it easier to<br />

identify, prioritise and fulfil important<br />

life goals.<br />

Atradius achieves CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accreditation – virtually!<br />

ATRADIUS Collections, the commercial<br />

debt collection services company,<br />

has been awarded its first CI<strong>CM</strong>Q<br />

accreditation, a demonstration of<br />

excellence in credit management.<br />

Currently the only debt collection<br />

company to hold the CI<strong>CM</strong>Q<br />

accreditation, it has also broken new<br />

ground by being the first organisation to<br />

complete the entire process virtually.<br />

Yvette Gray MCI<strong>CM</strong>, Country Director<br />

UK & Ireland for Atradius Collections,<br />

says seeking accreditation was an<br />

obvious decision: “As only 50 or so<br />

companies have achieved accreditation,<br />

our own recognition shows that we are<br />

a real leader in the collections<br />

sector. This gold standard<br />

in industry accreditation<br />

allows us to demonstrate<br />

to customers as well as the<br />

wider credit management<br />

industry the strength of<br />

our expertise, robustness<br />

of our processes and<br />

that we operate at the highest level.<br />

Not only does it benchmark us with the<br />

best, but it also provides us with access<br />

to the CI<strong>CM</strong>Q Best Practice Network,<br />

which has been a real lifeline during<br />

lockdown.”<br />

“We were presented with a real<br />

challenge,” she continues, “with the<br />

country going into lockdown in March,<br />

around the time our programme was<br />

due to begin. Nonetheless, we were<br />

determined to grow and develop,<br />

and it is thanks to the hard work and<br />

continued focus of our brilliant team<br />

that we are now CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accredited.”<br />

Chris Sanders, CI<strong>CM</strong>Q Assessor, says<br />

Atradius Collections demonstrated<br />

the three key elements of a high<br />

performing team – people,<br />

planning and stakeholder<br />

management: “This team is outstanding,<br />

demonstrating all three attributes and<br />

rightly deserve recognition for their<br />

achievement. The results achieved<br />

over a very difficult trading year are<br />

inspiring and represent the company’s<br />

professionalism and determination to<br />

provide excellent service.”<br />

He adds that this accreditation<br />

represents a milestone for the CI<strong>CM</strong>Q<br />

programme itself: “We overcame the<br />

national lockdowns by providing all<br />

the workshops virtually and managed<br />

to engage the entire team despite the<br />

physical distances between us all.”<br />

While this was the first programme<br />

to be completed virtually, the CI<strong>CM</strong> has<br />

now completed 10 or more workshops<br />

for organisations such as Vodafone,<br />

L’Oreal and Biffa.<br />

“As only 50 or so companies have achieved<br />

accreditation, our own recognition shows that we are<br />

a real leader in the collections sector.’’<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 7


NEWS SPECIAL<br />

StepChange blames ‘funding<br />

issues’ for cutting 170 jobs<br />

STEPCHANGE, the Leeds-based debt<br />

charity, is laying off up to 170 staff<br />

– approximately 10 percent of its<br />

workforce – as it makes compulsory<br />

redundancies in response to<br />

funding troubles. The move is said<br />

to have left the Unite union ‘dismayed‘.<br />

Chief Executive Phil Andrew said that the<br />

charity was not immune to the wider pressures<br />

arising from COVID, despite the significant<br />

additional support StepChange has received<br />

from Government and other sources: ‘‘The<br />

Government, the Money and Pensions Service,<br />

and the debt advice sector itself were expecting<br />

a huge wave of demand to materialise once the<br />

emergency support measures fade away, and<br />

we still do,’’ he explains.<br />

‘‘Based on <strong>2021</strong> experience to date, however,<br />

our original expectation of advising 400,000<br />

clients this year is not going to materialise.”<br />

The charity’s income is based upon how<br />

many clients it helps, with those volumes<br />

affecting the level of Government and devolved<br />

authority funds received as well as the amount<br />

received from creditors in recognition of its<br />

work to support people in repaying their debts.<br />

“The majority (of our funding) comes from the<br />

‘Fair Share’ contribution that many creditors<br />

make to us in recognition of our service, which<br />

is based on the level of the debt repayments<br />

that we pass on to them that our clients on<br />

managed solutions make towards their debts,”<br />

he continues. “This funding model has obvious<br />

flaws. Those flaws have never been laid bare<br />

quite so starkly as under current conditions.<br />

“Putting it bluntly, the combination of fewer<br />

people taking debt advice (because temporary<br />

support has not yet been withdrawn), and the<br />

lower payments being made by many existing<br />

clients toward their debts (due to higher<br />

creditor forbearance, and lower client incomes)<br />

mean that we face a significant shortfall<br />

between the funding we had anticipated<br />

getting at this point, and the amount that we<br />

are actually getting.”<br />

StepChange said it had supported 200,000<br />

clients across the UK in 2020, compared to<br />

more than 300,000 the previous year: “The<br />

fact that we expect demand to increase in<br />

the future doesn’t change this current reality,”<br />

Phil adds. "As a prudent charity, we will not<br />

compromise our financial stability by relying<br />

on future funding to support our current<br />

operating costs."<br />

As well as making redundancies, the<br />

charity still has staff furloughed through the<br />

Government's Job Retention Scheme and has<br />

frozen pay. ‘‘In the short term, this approach<br />

of cutting our cloth to fit comes with a high<br />

degree of pain for us as a caring employer. It<br />

is not what we would have wished to do, even<br />

though it is absolutely the right thing to do,”<br />

he continues. “However, over the medium and<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 8


NEWS SPECIAL<br />

‘‘Our branch members are dismayed to hear that StepChange<br />

Debt Charity plans to make 10 percent of its workforce<br />

redundant, and impose a pay freeze on remaining staff’’<br />

long term we hope it will concentrate the<br />

minds of policymakers and funders alike<br />

on what debt advice is for, what its role in<br />

the financial eco-system should be, and<br />

how it can be sustainably provided and<br />

funded in a predictable fashion.”<br />

Unite’s West Yorkshire and Humber<br />

Community, Youth Workers and Notfor-Profit<br />

branch reacted angrily to the<br />

announcement: “Our branch members are<br />

dismayed to hear that StepChange Debt<br />

Charity plans to make 10 percent of its<br />

workforce redundant, and impose a pay<br />

freeze on remaining staff,’’ a spokesman<br />

said. ‘‘Unite will support our members<br />

at StepChange in whatever action our<br />

members decide is required.”<br />

One industry insider told Credit<br />

Management that claims of ‘inadequate<br />

funding’ were difficult to support,<br />

given that StepChange had been on<br />

a recruitment drive in 2020 by which<br />

time volumes were already dropping. It<br />

has also been suggested that volumes<br />

of enquiries may have been in decline<br />

because customers had been receiving<br />

better outcomes simply from engaging<br />

with creditors, debt purchasers and<br />

collections agencies without the need<br />

to go down the debt advice route. This is<br />

certainly supported by increased volumes<br />

of settlements being reported anecdotally<br />

by the DCAs and in reality with latest<br />

Quarterly figures by Lowell.<br />

Certainly not all debt charities appear<br />

to be suffering in the same way. Jane<br />

Tully, Director of External Affairs and<br />

Partnerships at the Money Advice Trust,<br />

told Credit Management that demand was<br />

indeed falling, but she had no plans for any<br />

redundancies: “In line with trends across<br />

the sector, we are seeing lower demand<br />

coming into our debt advice services when<br />

compared to previous years. This is due to<br />

the positive impact of temporary measures<br />

put in place by Government, regulators<br />

and creditors to help households through<br />

COVID-19. Nonetheless, our services<br />

are operating close to capacity and we<br />

continue to expect a significant increase<br />

in debt problems when these measures<br />

come to an end.<br />

“The Money Advice Trust’s funding<br />

model is different to other organisations,<br />

with the vast majority of our services<br />

funded by charitable donations from<br />

creditors and funding from the Money and<br />

Pensions Service – rather than via debt<br />

solutions income. “We have no plans to<br />

reduce the size of our operations.”<br />

If you are affected by this story, please<br />

familiarise yourself with CI<strong>CM</strong> resources<br />

which may help you through this process.<br />

>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Alan Levene MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

CREDIT Management is sad to report<br />

the passing of Alan Levene MCI<strong>CM</strong>.<br />

Alan, together with Stephen Lewis, was<br />

a founding partner in LPL Commercial<br />

Investigations, a Commercial Debt<br />

Collection Agency.<br />

He specialised in Overseas and<br />

Insolvency Book Debt collection in<br />

particular, on behalf of numerous IP’s.<br />

In earlier years he was very active<br />

in the growth of the Credit Services<br />

Association (CSA) and always offered<br />

valuable specialist help in training<br />

members of the industry to improve<br />

standards. A proud member of the<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>, he was to have become a<br />

Honorary Fellow later this year. He<br />

has passed the mantle of specialist<br />

debt collection on to his two sons<br />

Gavin and Richard, who, together with<br />

Stephen, will continue the collection<br />

services offered by LPL. “His acerbic<br />

wit and humour always made difficult<br />

collection scenarios that much easier<br />

to solve,” Stephen says, “and he will be<br />

sorely missed by all who knew him.”<br />

Cyber essentials<br />

THE Financial Conduct Authority<br />

(FCA) has sent 4,430 of its employees<br />

on compulsory cyber and information<br />

security courses over the past two<br />

financial years – (FY 19-20 and FY 20-<br />

21) – to help combat the growing threat<br />

of financial crime, such as money<br />

laundering and fraud, according to<br />

official figures. This data was obtained<br />

via The Parliament Street think tank<br />

under the Freedom of Information<br />

(FOI) Act. The FCA revealed that as<br />

well as the ‘Cyber and Information<br />

Security’ eLearning course, which is<br />

compulsory for all staffers to complete,<br />

217 participants were also enrolled into<br />

locally organised security courses for<br />

more advanced training. The additional<br />

training courses included Cyber<br />

Security training with a Counter Threat<br />

Unit.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 9


INSOLVENCY<br />

A RUDE AWAKENING<br />

Is Insolvency a Director’s useful response to<br />

the consequence of Tax Avoidance Schemes?<br />

AUTHOR – Elliot Green<br />

WHEN the debts of a company<br />

become unmanageable,<br />

liquidation might not be<br />

far away. But is insolvency<br />

the answer for a Director<br />

with that tax avoidance<br />

problem? Insolvency can sprout anytime and as<br />

a result, the relationship between tax avoidance<br />

and insolvency can be seen at all stages in the tax<br />

enquiry and investigation process.<br />

HMRC, TAX AVOIDANCE SCHEMES<br />

AND INSOLVENCY<br />

A company that has gone into liquidation<br />

will rarely trade and it is axiomatic that it will<br />

eventually flatline. Nevertheless, the company is<br />

kept on life support by its liquidator, guided by the<br />

Insolvency Act 1986. That means that HMRC will<br />

still have a role to play in its future.<br />

EMPLOYEE BENEFIT TRUSTS AND<br />

EMPLOYER FINANCED RETIREMENT<br />

BENEFIT SCHEMES<br />

A considerable number of insolvent liquidations<br />

have arisen in recent years with tax liabilities<br />

arising from such tax avoidance schemes as<br />

Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) or Employer<br />

Financed Retirement Benefit Schemes<br />

(EFRBS). HMRC typically plays an active role<br />

in such liquidations in the furtherance of their<br />

investigations into these schemes and often as a<br />

major creditor.<br />

It is not hard to see why these schemes have been<br />

targeted by HMRC enquiries. An idiosyncrasy of<br />

many is that they may appear (if nothing else)<br />

somewhat artificial, sending money around in a<br />

circle. Furthermore, often the loans that all too<br />

often feature, are not repaid. In the case of Ecology<br />

Support Services Ltd v Hellard [2017] EWHC 160<br />

(Ch) the liquidator appears to have likened circular<br />

schemes and the consequential movement of<br />

money to being like that of a ‘spinning top’.<br />

Arguably, such schemes appear to suffer the risk<br />

of impermissibility because save for tax avoidance,<br />

they potentially have no other desiderata.<br />

THE INSOLVENT COMPANY’S TAX<br />

ENQUIRY<br />

Insolvency can change the dynamics of a tax<br />

enquiry and any consequential trip to the Tax<br />

Tribunal.<br />

It is unlikely to improve the company’s prospects<br />

of going before a Tribunal. In many cases there<br />

will be no money left behind for a liquidator to<br />

pursue any appeal, assuming it is considered to<br />

have merit. Insolvency will, however, change the<br />

personality with control over the conduct of the<br />

enquiry. The taxpayer will now be controlled by<br />

the Insolvency Practitioner who acts instead of the<br />

Directors. In a liquidation only the liquidator has<br />

standing to prosecute a tax appeal (see GP Aviation<br />

Group International Limited [2014] 1 BCLC 474).<br />

The Tax Tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction<br />

to resolve tax disputes between the taxpayer<br />

company and HMRC. Usually, the Insolvency and<br />

Companies Court will not intervene. On insolvency<br />

the tax enquiry rumbles on, potentially with<br />

renewed vigour. This is perhaps ironic given the<br />

insolvency usually will indicate that the prospect<br />

of full recovery of the tax will drop like a stone.<br />

However, prior to liquidation, HMRC’s requests<br />

for information may be closely monitored and<br />

influenced by recommendations put forward by<br />

the Promoter of the Tax Avoidance Scheme. Once<br />

the company goes into liquidation, the Promoter’s<br />

influence may decline.<br />

Liquidators deal with HMRC daily and typically<br />

will understand the duty to HMRC. That duty can<br />

perhaps not be better articulated than how it was<br />

promulgated in Nicholson v Morris (H M Inspector<br />

of Taxes) 51 TC 95: ‘…it is idle for any taxpayer to<br />

say to the Revenue, “Hidden somewhere in your<br />

vaults are the right answers: go thou and dig them<br />

out of the vaults.” That is not a duty on the Revenue.<br />

If it were, it would be a very onerous, very costly<br />

and very expensive operation, the costs of which<br />

would of course fall entirely on the taxpayers as<br />

a body. It is the duty of every individual taxpayer<br />

to make his own return and, if challenged, to<br />

support the return he has made, or, if that return<br />

cannot be supported, to come completely clean…’<br />

HMRC may therefore anticipate (and receive)<br />

useful information from an Insolvency Practitioner<br />

in the furtherance of their investigations into a<br />

scheme. This may assist HMRC if it is considering<br />

launching a challenge to a particular scheme in<br />

the Tax Tribunal.<br />

INVESTIGATIONS ON SEVERAL FRONTS<br />

Once the company goes into liquidation a Director<br />

could find themselves fighting on several fronts.<br />

Whilst Directors might feel some initial relief<br />

from releasing themselves from the company’s tax<br />

enquiry at the outset of liquidation, they can still<br />

end up facing tax enquiry questions put forward<br />

instead by the liquidator.<br />

Furthermore, to arguably add salt to the<br />

wounds, if inadequate provision has been made<br />

for tax but the company coffers still nevertheless<br />

have been emptied by way of subsequent dividend<br />

extractions (since the opening of an enquiry but<br />

prior to liquidation), the liquidator may initiate<br />

investigations into their lawfulness. And, if HMRC<br />

considers the tax avoidance particularly egregious,<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 10


INSOLVENCY<br />

AUTHOR – Elliot Green<br />

a Director who attempted use liquidation as<br />

an exit route might still have to grapple with a<br />

Personal Liability Notice (PLN).<br />

The old adage that which is cheap can be<br />

expensive may still therefore be true.<br />

TAX AVOIDANCE SCHEMES AND<br />

INSOLVENCY PROCEEDINGS<br />

The impact of tax avoidance in insolvency<br />

proceedings has not been a judicial backwater.<br />

The use of EBTs as a tax avoidance mechanism<br />

suffered a blow following the landmark<br />

decision, RFC 2012 Plc (in liquidation) (formerly<br />

The Rangers Football Club Plc) (Appellant) v<br />

Advocate General for Scotland (Respondent)<br />

(Scotland) [2017] UKSC 45 (‘the Rangers<br />

Decision’), handed down by the Supreme Court.<br />

It determined that the tax avoidance scheme<br />

used by Rangers Football Club was ineffective<br />

and that PAYE and NIC should have been<br />

deducted when payments were made into the<br />

scheme.<br />

A considerable<br />

number of<br />

insolvent<br />

liquidations have<br />

arisen in recent<br />

years with tax<br />

liabilities arising<br />

from such tax<br />

avoidance schemes<br />

as Employee<br />

Benefit Trusts or<br />

Employer Financed<br />

Retirement Benefit<br />

Schemes.<br />

HMRC seems to be succeeding in the fight<br />

against tax avoidance, particularly when it<br />

appears able to show that an avoidance scheme<br />

had no purpose, other than tax avoidance. The<br />

Rangers Decision seems to have speeded up<br />

the prior glacial progression of tax avoidance<br />

cases. Indeed, now liquidators have challenged<br />

payments into such tax avoidance schemes with<br />

some alacrity. Notably in the reported cases of<br />

Ball (PV Solar Solutions Ltd) v Hughes [2017]<br />

EWHC 3228 (Ch) (‘PV Solar’) and more recently<br />

in Re Implement Consulting Ltd [2019] EWHC<br />

2855 (Ch) (‘Implement Consulting’).<br />

In both PV Solar and Implement Consulting,<br />

the liquidators successfully challenged tax<br />

avoidance related transactions. Directors were<br />

liable to account to these insolvent companies<br />

for significant losses. Implement Consulting<br />

was particularly conspicuous following the<br />

exegesis of Chief Insolvency and Companies<br />

Court Judge Briggs: ‘…the Respondents had<br />

caused the capital reserves to be swept from<br />

the balance sheet since 2009 notwithstanding<br />

the presence of a risk that sums would become<br />

due to HMRC as a direct result of the “aggressive<br />

tax” planning undertaken by the Company; (vi)<br />

no provision had been made for a risk that was<br />

apparent even if they believed it to be remote or<br />

unlikely.’<br />

EBTs are arrangements that arguably may well<br />

be rooted in employee incentivisation. Perhaps,<br />

however, even the incurious and insouciant<br />

mind might not always be so readily convinced<br />

by such a rationale, a fortiori in cases of ownermanaged<br />

businesses whose only beneficiaries<br />

of the EBTs, might be the Directors and their<br />

families.<br />

It is perhaps arguably not the subsequent<br />

inability to avoid tax that might have<br />

disincentivised some Directors from continuing<br />

to trade. Indeed, some may have reverted to the<br />

prior practice of declaring and paying dividends<br />

once the disguised remuneration legislation<br />

came into effect in the Finance Act 2011.<br />

However, cessation of trading and subsequent<br />

insolvency may have culminated instead after<br />

issuance by HMRC of Advanced Payment<br />

Notices (APNs) with the additional interest and<br />

penalties.<br />

Whilst many tax avoidance schemes may<br />

to some people arguably appear to promote<br />

more in tax planning terms than they might<br />

sometimes deliver, a Director who does not<br />

take independent professional advice on them<br />

and carefully review their typically heavily<br />

caveated terms of engagement, may risk finding<br />

themselves at a notable disadvantage when<br />

insolvency comes along.<br />

Elliot Green is an Insolvency<br />

Practioner with Oliver Elliot.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 11


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OPINION<br />

Testing Times<br />

When it comes to COVID-19, you can’t<br />

manage what you can’t measure.<br />

MASS testing continues to<br />

dominate the headlines<br />

and Government thinking<br />

in terms of getting people<br />

back to work and the<br />

economy moving. It is<br />

similarly being discussed as a tool to kick-start<br />

our leisure and hospitality sectors.<br />

What has become particularly apparent<br />

as part of the debate, however, is that ‘mass<br />

testing’ as a phrase means different things<br />

to different people. To some, it signals<br />

an important investment that is key to<br />

protecting essential workers in mission<br />

critical businesses, such as nuclear and<br />

defence. To others, it represents no more than<br />

compliance, a cost that has to<br />

be met to tick a box to satisfy<br />

a vague diktat and a need to be<br />

seen to be doing something.<br />

There is no doubt that<br />

‘cost’ has been a factor in<br />

these debates, and that is<br />

understandable; an arguably<br />

more important element has<br />

been accuracy.<br />

As a result, we seem, as a<br />

nation, to have been drawn<br />

to a conclusion that if you<br />

want a more expensive testing<br />

option with a higher degree<br />

of accuracy you have to take<br />

one route, whereas if you are<br />

prepared to sacrifice accuracy (within limits<br />

that are still acceptable/safe) in order to pay<br />

less then you have to take another.<br />

The choices, however, are not binary: this<br />

is not a VHS versus Betamax moment, for<br />

those of us old enough to remember. There<br />

are many different paths available to us.<br />

We simply need to be more flexible in our<br />

thinking, and more flexible in the solutions<br />

we propose.<br />

‘Gold Standard’ testing that delivers<br />

the highest degree of accuracy involves a<br />

combination of LAMP/PCR tests conducted in<br />

series – which we have badged as ‘LampWorX’.<br />

They provide a very high degree of specificity<br />

(99.995%), which means the risk of a false<br />

positive is extremely rare (at 1 in 20,000 tests<br />

conducted) whilst the false negative rate is<br />

vanishingly low due to the extremely high<br />

‘gain’ in the initial LAMP reaction. Such testing<br />

is used actively in mission critical industries –<br />

businesses such as EDF and BAE Systems – to<br />

keep staff and visitors safe.<br />

A more widely known testing regime<br />

AUTHOR – Stuart MacLennan<br />

What we do<br />

need to focus<br />

on is taking<br />

a flexible and<br />

open-minded<br />

approach<br />

to tackling<br />

what remains<br />

an ongoing<br />

challenge.<br />

is Lateral Flow, the method being used by<br />

schools and colleges, for example, and being<br />

promoted in relation to events and stadia.<br />

Lateral Flow tests achieve fast results but have<br />

a lower level of accuracy, although it could be<br />

rationally argued that sensitivity, specificity,<br />

speed and ease of use are a trade-off, and so<br />

not necessarily a ‘disadvantage’ in the strictest<br />

sense.<br />

Crucially, however, it doesn’t have to be an<br />

‘either/or’ decision. One size does not need to<br />

be made to fit all needs.<br />

LAMP/PCR tests, for example, and daily<br />

testing can be used when infection rates<br />

are high but adapted to become more of a<br />

managed, screening-led service as the risk<br />

declines; as implemented<br />

in our LampWorX process.<br />

Similarly, a Lateral Flow-based<br />

solution can be made more<br />

accurate through a laboratorybased<br />

testing approach, again<br />

with a second confirmatory<br />

test of the same swab to<br />

provide an additional level of<br />

Quality Control, thus virtually<br />

eliminating the problems<br />

caused by false positives.<br />

This is what we are calling<br />

ProteinWorX, based on the<br />

protein antigen ‘base-test’ of<br />

the process. Regardless of<br />

which process we initiate –<br />

LampWorX or ProteinWorX – the same swab, if<br />

returning a positive result, can then followed<br />

by a sequencing test to identify the variant,<br />

ensuring we can immediately identify and<br />

respond to new strains.<br />

The point is a simple one: we don’t need to<br />

fixate on one route or another. There are many<br />

combinations of options available to us, and<br />

different industries and audiences will have<br />

different needs. Those needs will also change,<br />

and we need to be able to respond accordingly.<br />

Vulnerability is rarely a permanent state.<br />

What we do need to focus on is taking<br />

a flexible and open-minded approach to<br />

tackling what remains an ongoing challenge.<br />

With the fear of a third-wave and the constant<br />

need to identify and address new variants, the<br />

way that we manage, measure and monitor<br />

our response in the future will play a huge<br />

part in how quickly and safely we can return<br />

to ‘business as usual’. Flexibility will be key.<br />

Stuart MacLennan is CEO,<br />

Circular1 Health.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 13


OPINION<br />

An Injection of Learning<br />

Johnson & Johnson is reaping the benefits of an<br />

L&D partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong>.<br />

AUTHORS – Sam Wilson and Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

FOR one of the world’s most<br />

valuable companies, credit<br />

management is a businesscritical<br />

responsibility, reliant<br />

on policy, process and – most<br />

importantly – a highly skilled<br />

team of credit management professionals.<br />

So, when Johnson & Johnson started its<br />

I2C transformation journey, one thing<br />

stood out as a key ingredient for success:<br />

learning and development.<br />

The American multinational has been<br />

a stalwart of the global pharmaceutical<br />

industry since 1886 and in the past year<br />

has been one of the big four spearheading<br />

the global race for a COVID-19 vaccine.<br />

All of these challenges have steered<br />

Johnson & Johnson into a European-wide<br />

development partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

to develop, nurture and support its credit<br />

management professionals.<br />

For Karen Tuffs, Johnson & Johnson’s<br />

UK and Ireland’s Senior I2C Credit<br />

Controller, the partnership with CI<strong>CM</strong> was<br />

a natural progression for the company as<br />

its I2C transformation continued. A 33-<br />

year veteran of credit management and<br />

graduate of the CI<strong>CM</strong> study programme,<br />

she knows first-hand how a partnership<br />

with the institute could further enable the<br />

credit management team.<br />

Having trained with the I<strong>CM</strong> (as it was<br />

then) when she began her career in credit<br />

management, it wasn’t until 2014 when she<br />

joined Johnson & Johnson and met her<br />

like-minded manager Olivier Theodore,<br />

that together they hatched a plan to create<br />

their own programme.<br />

“My involvement with colleagues,<br />

seeing their development and their success<br />

is one of the most rewarding aspects of<br />

my career,” Karen explains. “It feels like I<br />

can give something back to a profession<br />

that has given me so much! None of this<br />

would have been possible without the<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> of course, and it has been a privilege<br />

to work with them and we’re looking<br />

forward to what more we can achieve<br />

together.”<br />

PARTNERSHIP APPROACH<br />

The L&D partnership between CI<strong>CM</strong> and<br />

Johnson was formed in 2018 and launched<br />

with a trial of 10 students in Prague, one<br />

of Johnson & Johnson’s European global<br />

finance hubs. However, the partnership<br />

has been a unique one. The aim of the<br />

first cohort was to assess what worked for<br />

Johnson & Johnson and provide student<br />

feedback to the CI<strong>CM</strong> and to Karen and<br />

her team as well as assess the course<br />

content and any hurdles that could be<br />

circumvented, such as language barriers.<br />

“Our plan from the outset was to create<br />

a flexible training course that would allow<br />

our teams to achieve what they wanted<br />

to achieve within their own career. We<br />

trialled the course with 10 students<br />

over three years ago and it’s been such a<br />

success that we’re still working together.<br />

The success rate of the first cohort of<br />

students was extremely high, with an 82<br />

percent pass rate for credit management<br />

exams and an 89 percent pass rate for<br />

the business environment exams. The<br />

first group has now moved up on to<br />

level three qualification and with that<br />

they’ve inspired so many that a waiting<br />

list is now in place for enrolment on to<br />

the first modules. The development and<br />

feedback from the first few cohorts gave<br />

Johnson & Johnson and the CI<strong>CM</strong> the<br />

opportunity to tailor their training and<br />

study courses depending on what was<br />

working and delivering results for their<br />

students.<br />

“Being able to tailor the learning plan<br />

has really allowed us to dial into what<br />

matters for our organisation but also<br />

what’s important for our colleagues’<br />

futures. The course teaches them what<br />

they need to know for their role at Johnson<br />

& Johnson but will also enable them to<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 14


OPINION<br />

AUTHORS – Sam Wilson and Sean Feast FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

“Being able to tailor the learning plan has really allowed us<br />

to dial into what matters for our organisation but also what’s<br />

important for our colleagues’ futures.’’<br />

“It’s a huge privilege to be able to study<br />

with CI<strong>CM</strong>. It gives me deeper insights into<br />

the credit & collection work and reminds<br />

me of the basic standards that need to be<br />

set and maintained.”<br />

“I have recently completed the first level/<br />

year of CI<strong>CM</strong> programme. I must admit it<br />

was a bumpy journey, but I am very happy<br />

that I managed to complete it. I really<br />

enjoyed our classes with Kevin, they were<br />

really interactive, and they also helped me<br />

to get better understanding of the topics.”<br />

“The way the course fit around my job/<br />

activities in Invoice to Cash department<br />

was exciting. The course helped me<br />

to understand the nuances and the<br />

background of what I was doing every day<br />

and allowed me to comprehend the end-toend<br />

processes and the overall functioning of<br />

credit controls.”<br />

“I am still at the very beginning of my<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> ‘journey’ though passing Credit<br />

Management exam with a result of 95<br />

percent was very satisfying and some of the<br />

gained knowledge still helps me in my daily<br />

work.”<br />

“Studying with CI<strong>CM</strong> means a lot to me,<br />

it certainly helped to give me a framework<br />

to carry out my job. With limited finance<br />

education, CI<strong>CM</strong> courses gave me the tools<br />

I needed for my work.”<br />

progress their career further afield which<br />

is unique across the industry.”<br />

Along with developing their team into<br />

a fully-fledged CI<strong>CM</strong> qualified credit<br />

management operation, the partnership<br />

has also improved Johnson & Johnson’s<br />

staff retention rate. The course is a first of<br />

its kind and allows the company to stand<br />

out from the crowd and provide a valuable<br />

benefit to employees.<br />

“For a period of time,” Karen says,<br />

“we were losing team members in the<br />

collections team and struggling to replace<br />

them, now we have a programme in place<br />

that team members want to be a part of.<br />

With the support and training we provide<br />

our credit management team they have<br />

a genuine opportunity to develop and<br />

go further without massive costs, a real<br />

selling point for us.”<br />

Now in its fourth year, the partnership<br />

has been going from strength to strength<br />

since it began, however, the pandemic<br />

introduced a new challenge for the<br />

learners. Taking the exams became more<br />

difficult with centres and offices closed<br />

around the globe. Regardless, Johnson<br />

& Johnson’s cohorts continued their<br />

exceptional run with a 79 percent pass<br />

even whilst balancing remote working<br />

and home schooling. In <strong>2021</strong> the course<br />

continues to bear fruit with Johnson<br />

& Johnson moving towards a more<br />

solidified partnership. The collaboration<br />

will see 20 new colleagues progress with<br />

a formal training plan that will include<br />

individual development plans tailored to<br />

the student.<br />

As the course enters its third cohort the<br />

development partnership will be reviewed<br />

in November including compiling student<br />

and CI<strong>CM</strong> feedback to again further the<br />

partnership and improve the learning.<br />

“Working with CI<strong>CM</strong> has been<br />

incredibly important for our colleagues<br />

and for Johnson & Johnson,” said Karen.<br />

“We’re excited to see the new cohorts<br />

get started with their training and are<br />

looking forward to reviewing the course<br />

in November to see what more we can do<br />

together.”<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 15


OPINION<br />

CROWN<br />

OF THORNS<br />

Crown Preference is likely to be to the<br />

detriment of many creditors.<br />

IT was on December 1, last year that<br />

HMRC formally reverted to secondary<br />

preferential status in all insolvency<br />

processes, ranking above floating<br />

charge holders and unsecured creditors.<br />

Put simply, it gives the Government<br />

preferential treatment over most other creditors,<br />

including banks, lenders, and suppliers in<br />

insolvency procedures.<br />

The rationale behind the decision have<br />

been well rehearsed. The purpose is to swell<br />

Government coffers and boost tax revenues. It was<br />

a measure they last enjoyed back in 2002, a status<br />

that was rescinded as part of the Enterprise Act of<br />

the same year.<br />

While the decision may look like a smart move<br />

for Government, such changes to the order of<br />

payments in an insolvency situation are not only<br />

likely to be to the detriment of many creditors, but<br />

they are also likely to drive changes in behaviour,<br />

and not necessarily for the better.<br />

Under the ‘old’ crown preference regime, only<br />

tax debts of up to one year old had the benefit<br />

of preferential status. With the ‘new’ regime<br />

it’s different: all tax debt, regardless of age, has<br />

preferential status, irrespective of the date that<br />

the tax debts were incurred or the date of the<br />

qualifying charge. This lack of a time bar means<br />

both unsecured and floating charge creditors will<br />

see their returns from insolvencies reduced. It<br />

ultimately means less cash for businesses just at a<br />

time when businesses really need cash to survive.<br />

AUTHOR – Karen Savage FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

WINDING DOWN<br />

As the Government support schemes begin to<br />

wind down, and VAT repayment holidays draw<br />

to a close, unsecured creditors will be last in the<br />

queue for any cash left to distribute once the<br />

HMRC has taken its cut. This has a number of<br />

implications for businesses and the uncertainties<br />

they face as we come out of COVID, particularly<br />

for small businesses who may find access to<br />

future funding even more of a challenge or more<br />

expensive. Perhaps of even greater concern, it is<br />

also possible that business payment terms may be<br />

tightened by suppliers. The erosion of the floating<br />

chargeholder’s value could lead to lenders being<br />

less willing to advance new lending, or re-finance<br />

existing debt. UK Finance has estimated that the<br />

new rules will remove circa £1bn of lending that<br />

might ordinarily be available to borrowers, and<br />

this could seriously impact both the speed and<br />

scale of the economic recovery.<br />

There is a real concern that Crown Preference<br />

is likely to impact access to and the cost of finance,<br />

all at a time when businesses are going through<br />

the toughest time in economic history.<br />

Karen Savage FCI<strong>CM</strong> is Chief Operating Officer<br />

and Solicitor at Azzurro Associates.<br />

This lack of a time bar means both unsecured and floating charge creditors<br />

will see their returns from insolvencies reduced. It ultimately means less cash<br />

for businesses just at a time when businesses really need cash to survive.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 16


€<br />

€<br />

EU Factsheet<br />

ITALY<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 17


Nelson Mandela once described the ‘walk to<br />

freedom’ as being a ‘long’ one. It was indeed a<br />

political struggle that took decades.<br />

AFRICAN<br />

MIS-ADVENTURE<br />

What parallels can we draw from the good, the bad,<br />

and the ugly side of consumer debt in South Africa?<br />

AUTHOR – Zak King<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 18


CONSUMER CREDIT<br />

AUTHOR – Zak King<br />

WHEN the Apartheid<br />

system was dismantled in<br />

the early 1990s, millions<br />

of South Africans were<br />

excited to enter the<br />

formal credit market<br />

for the very first time. Within a decade, most<br />

of these new credit users had over committed<br />

themselves and were seriously over indebted.<br />

What followed was a flood of consumers,<br />

including Government employees, receiving<br />

attachment orders against their monthly<br />

salaries due to non-payment. This ultimately<br />

saw the rise of the payday lender and a boom<br />

in shorter term lending.<br />

Over the next decade, the situation would<br />

worsen to the point where Government would<br />

finally decide there was a crucial need to adjust<br />

and consolidate existing credit legislation<br />

to try to reduce abuses, and thereby bring<br />

balance between the rights of the mighty credit<br />

provider, and the lowly consumer.<br />

The result was the establishment of the<br />

National Credit Act (NCA) which came into<br />

effect, rather fortuitously, in 2007 just before<br />

the great global recession. The Act, though not<br />

without drafting issues, forced credit providers<br />

to drastically adjust lending behaviour, and<br />

provided consumers with mechanisms for<br />

dealing with runaway debt.<br />

One feature of the Act required lenders to do<br />

extensive background checks and calculations<br />

to ensure that the lender could in fact repay<br />

the money each month. Failing that, the<br />

credit provider could find themselves guilty<br />

of ‘reckless lending’ and face a fine of up to 10<br />

percent of their annual turnover.<br />

Another outstanding feature was the<br />

introduction of professional debt counselling.<br />

Trained and registered individuals would be<br />

able to help troubled consumers go to court<br />

and have their monthly debt repayments<br />

restructured into an amount they could<br />

realistically afford.<br />

WEATHERING THE RECESSION<br />

Perhaps it was due to the Act (and several<br />

other positive factors) that South Africa was<br />

able to weather the 2008 great recession<br />

better than many other developing countries.<br />

Unfortunately, a decade of dishonesty and<br />

corruption during the tenure of President<br />

Jacob Zuma was about to begin. This would<br />

drain municipal coffers, push up Government<br />

indebtedness and misdirect funds needed for<br />

infrastructure development and upgrading of<br />

power generation capacity. All of which would<br />

have massive negative consequences for one of<br />

Africa’s top economic powerhouses.<br />

During this difficult decade nearly one<br />

million South Africans would begin to make<br />

use of the debt counselling process. The<br />

country’s economy sat balanced at the edge<br />

of the abyss trying to avoid downgrades by<br />

international ratings agencies with the danger<br />

of this scaring off investors.<br />

And then came 2020, and with it a global<br />

pandemic.<br />

When COVID-19 first hit South Africa, at<br />

the end of March 2020, a three-week hard<br />

lockdown came into effect. People were only<br />

allowed to leave home to shop for food or seek<br />

medical attention. The lockdown was then<br />

extended and was in effect at various lessening<br />

levels of restrictions since. This allowed the<br />

economy to slowly get back up to speed,<br />

while regulating the pressure on the country’s<br />

medical infrastructure.<br />

South Africa was one of only a few countries<br />

in Africa willing, or able, to report meaningful<br />

COVID-19 statistics. This reporting and<br />

extensive testing made it stand out during the<br />

start of the Pandemic. Swift Government action<br />

and tough restrictions helped limit the spread<br />

of the virus among the population of around 60<br />

million. Ten million tests have been conducted<br />

and to date only 1.5m South Africans have been<br />

infected, with a 95 percent survival rate.<br />

Lockdown however, hit the economy hard,<br />

particularly the mining industry, as well as the<br />

wine, manufacturing and tourism industries.<br />

Like elsewhere in the world, retail too was<br />

decimated in those first few months, as people<br />

who were not earning anything were unable to<br />

spend anything.<br />

EMERGENCY RELIEF<br />

Government was able to make a monthly GBP17<br />

grant available to the poorest of the poor, in<br />

an effort to help ease the lockdown pressure.<br />

There were also some short-term tax changes<br />

made to help ease pressure on businesses and<br />

individuals.<br />

Over the remaining months of 2020, over<br />

2.2m people would lose their jobs. To give that<br />

some context, South Africa already had 16.6m<br />

unemployed. This meant that now one out of<br />

every three in South Africa was unemployed,<br />

giving it one of the highest unemployment<br />

rates in the world (among those who bother to<br />

report such stats).<br />

At the start of lockdown, the major banks<br />

(who provide 80 percent of all credit in South<br />

Africa) wisely offered their clients the option of<br />

taking a three-month payment holiday on credit<br />

agreements, to help ease the pressure. They<br />

did not, however, freeze interest calculations,<br />

of course, and so they came out ahead and<br />

had cleverly avoided many unnecessary and<br />

probably unsuccessful collections headaches.<br />

Employers tried their best to pay their<br />

homebound workers what they could, and<br />

significantly, Government issued regulations<br />

preventing evictions during lockdown. They<br />

did not stop payments or limit interest but<br />

this allowed consumers to prioritise buying<br />

essentials, and in many cases forgoing paying<br />

rentals.<br />

As restriction levels progressively dropped,<br />

landlords have not had an easy time evicting<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 19<br />

continues on page 20 >


CONSUMER CREDIT<br />

AUTHOR – Zak Kin<br />

non-paying tenants. As businesses shut down<br />

and cash strapped consumers moved back home,<br />

or began to share lower cost options, there has<br />

been a glut in the property rental market with<br />

prices perhaps normalising after decades of<br />

constant, unrealistic increases. Landlords were<br />

still forced to approach their banks to themselves<br />

look for short term relief.<br />

Johannesburg, South Africa's biggest<br />

city and capital of Gauteng province.<br />

RELIEF DRIES UP<br />

An interesting thing happened during the initial<br />

highest levels of lockdown. Because people<br />

were unable to spend money on things they did<br />

not need, this enabled them to actually make<br />

their required monthly debt repayments. This<br />

lasted for several months, and then as lockdown<br />

dragged on and things got tough, many were able<br />

to take advantage of the three-month payment<br />

holiday options offered by the banks.<br />

At the same time, debt counsellors began<br />

a campaign to encourage consumers to make<br />

claims on built-in insurance on their credit<br />

which covered income interruption or job losses.<br />

Though the insurance industry fought back at<br />

first, claiming COVID-19 was an unforeseen<br />

risk, the courts and common sense eventually<br />

prevailed.<br />

Hundreds of thousands of South Africans<br />

were able to claim against this insurance, and<br />

gain temporary relief, including those already in<br />

debt counselling. Those who were receiving debt<br />

counselling found the majority of their creditors<br />

were also willing to offer the same type of relief<br />

offered to others such as short-term payment<br />

holidays or reductions.<br />

And so, the average South African consumer<br />

muddled their way well into the third Quarter of<br />

2020 before the real effects of the pandemic truly<br />

began to be felt, when the relief measures came<br />

to an end, and the impact of job losses hit home.<br />

SO HOW BAD IS IT?<br />

There are currently 27m credit users in South<br />

Africa. Of these, around 50 percent are behind<br />

on debt repayments by a month or two. More<br />

concerning, nearly 40 percent are more than<br />

three months behind on payments. This reveals<br />

the true extent of the challenges both consumers<br />

and credit providers face. This is not however a<br />

COVID-19 problem: these statistics have been<br />

pretty consistent for some years already. The<br />

pandemic has just been tipping the scales.<br />

Although already heavily indebted, it seems<br />

most consumers still have an appetite for<br />

even more credit, and a boom of new credit<br />

applications are being seen monthly. Due to the<br />

legal restrictions (not granting credit to those<br />

who cannot afford it) more than 60 percent<br />

of all applications are currently being turned<br />

down. This has driven many consumers into the<br />

welcoming arms of unregistered neighborhood<br />

loan sharks.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 20


CONSUMER CREDIT<br />

AUTHOR – Zak King<br />

A recent report said that there may be as<br />

many as one out of every 10 households<br />

running some sort of unregistered, illegal<br />

lending across the country. The police and<br />

National Credit Regulator (NCR) constantly<br />

perform raids on small loan sharks, who are<br />

illegally holding people’s ATM cards, social<br />

security grant cards or Identity documents<br />

as surety.<br />

South Africa currently finds itself,<br />

therefore, in the midst of an identity crisis<br />

with a real mixture of good and bad as<br />

well as just downright ugly. Positive social<br />

and economic factors clash with troubling<br />

negatives (past and present), and now<br />

coming to light – in a wave of revelations<br />

– are many really ugly scandals and dark<br />

hidden truths.<br />

THE GOOD<br />

South Africa is one of Africa’s economic<br />

powerhouses, with decent Infrastructure and<br />

good statistical reporting, which has helped<br />

to attract, and retain, foreign investment.<br />

The country has a fairly stable political<br />

landscape, strong legislation and an active<br />

judiciary which is currently pursuing<br />

punishment of those involved in high level<br />

corruption and graft.<br />

Recently there has been a small six<br />

percent credit extension growth, even during<br />

the pandemic, and despite tight regulation<br />

regarding lending criteria.<br />

The country also benefits from good,<br />

legislated policies for dealing with debt,<br />

such as the debt counselling process and<br />

insolvency laws.<br />

The last decade has<br />

seen the collapse of two<br />

major banks – one due to<br />

poor performance, legal<br />

woes with the Regulator,<br />

and tumbling share prices<br />

(African Bank).<br />

THE BAD<br />

With one third of the population unemployed<br />

and many younger people struggling to enter<br />

the formal job market, families are under<br />

pressure to keep up with rising inflation. Both<br />

consumers and Government are struggling<br />

to reduce their steadily increasing debt<br />

levels (and that was before the pandemic hit)<br />

resulting in international ratings agencies<br />

downgrading investment status.<br />

Half of all credit users are now several<br />

months behind on payments, and many are<br />

now turning to illegal loan sharks for further<br />

credit.<br />

THE UGLY<br />

Top political figures, including the former<br />

President and close friends, are implicated<br />

in a decade of corruption which seriously<br />

hindered, among other things, proper<br />

investment in power generation. Concerns<br />

over the true extent of corruption at the<br />

national electrical supplier (Eskom) are<br />

growing. Recent revelations have left many<br />

aghast.<br />

The last decade has seen the collapse<br />

of two major banks – one due to poor<br />

performance, legal woes with the Regulator,<br />

and tumbling share prices (African Bank).<br />

The other was due to the shocking incidence<br />

of rampant corruption and widespread fraud<br />

(VBS Mutual). In both cases the Reserve<br />

Bank has had to step in to save the day for<br />

the affected consumers.<br />

WHAT LIES AHEAD?<br />

South Africa remains a critical role player<br />

on the African continent and has the<br />

infrastructure to help carry it forward.<br />

Vaccine rollouts are slowly proceeding,<br />

and the Government continues to walk the<br />

tightrope of stimulating the economy while<br />

trying to reduce another wave of infections.<br />

After a decade of the coffers being bled<br />

dry behind the scenes, the country has now<br />

been able to turn off the tap of corruption<br />

at the highest level. These funds can now<br />

once again be used to build for the future. It<br />

has struck a massive economic blow and the<br />

ramifications will be felt for years to come,<br />

that’s the bad news.<br />

The good news is that the media had the<br />

freedom to, and politicians had the will to,<br />

expose and stop this level of corruption.<br />

This makes South Africa stand out among its<br />

peers. To see the judiciary take action against<br />

the corrupt gives insight into the stability of<br />

that system.<br />

Nelson Mandela once described the ‘walk<br />

to freedom’ as being a ‘long’ one. It was<br />

indeed a political struggle that took decades.<br />

The journey to true economic freedom may<br />

be an even longer one for South Africa, as it<br />

strives to overcome many challenges. Only<br />

time will tell if that journey will be good, bad<br />

or ugly.<br />

Zak King is a Registered Debt Counsellor<br />

and Editor of Debtfree Magazine<br />

www.debtfreedigi.co.za<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 21


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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 22


HIGH COURT ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ASSOCIATION<br />

Pity the poor landlord<br />

Beleaguered landlords are eager to get their properties back.<br />

AUTHOR – Andrew Wilson FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

AS the UK works towards a roadmap<br />

out of lockdown, commercial<br />

and residential landlords are<br />

dealing with the fallout from the<br />

Government’s eviction ban, with<br />

many still unable to recover their<br />

properties. With the court system stretched under<br />

the weight of the backlog, it is no surprise that<br />

landlords are looking for help to reclaim what is<br />

rightfully theirs.<br />

SINGLE PROPERTY LANDLORDS FACE A<br />

COVID CHALLENGE<br />

Restrictions on evicting unsatisfactory residential<br />

tenants who fail to pay the rent were in place<br />

until the end of May. For commercial landlords,<br />

restrictions will continue until 30 <strong>June</strong>.<br />

Large commercial landlords are going through<br />

enormous transition at the moment with the<br />

whole way we work and shop moving more to<br />

online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But<br />

large commercial landlords are not likely to evince<br />

much sympathy from the world at large.<br />

It is the small residential landlords, particularly<br />

those who have been encouraged to borrow on a<br />

buy-to-let arrangement and only have one property,<br />

who are suffering, if they need their rental income<br />

to service their borrowing.<br />

In many ways the balance between landlord and<br />

tenant has veered towards the landlord in recent<br />

years. The ability of the landlord to simply serve<br />

notice (S21 Housing Act 1988 Notice) to gain vacant<br />

possession under Assured Shorthold Tenancies<br />

gave no real security of tenure for tenants in this<br />

sort of arrangement, which is undoubtedly an<br />

added problem for ‘generation rent’.<br />

The received wisdom for those investing in<br />

residential property is never to have one property<br />

– four or five are needed to spread the risk of a bad<br />

tenant – something that is both expensive and time<br />

consuming.<br />

However, the Government in the recent past<br />

encouraged buy-to-let investment and it is not<br />

surprising that there are many landlords within the<br />

one property category. The National Residential<br />

Landlords Association (NRLA) reported in<br />

December 2020 that 7 percent of renters (that<br />

is 840,000 people) were in arrears, with renters<br />

aged 18 to 24 being twice as likely to be behind as<br />

tenants in general.<br />

SO WHY CAN’T LANDLORDS WITH BAD<br />

TENANTS GET THEIR PROPERTIES BACK?<br />

Clearly, the Government does not want to see<br />

an increase in repossessions and possible<br />

homelessness during a health emergency, and so<br />

the legal process for getting an order for possession<br />

has been extended, and the ability to evict has<br />

been restricted once an order has been obtained.<br />

Initially High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs)<br />

were asked by the Lord Chancellor to halt evictions<br />

on a voluntary basis. A request which some of our<br />

more legally minded members said was beyond<br />

his powers. It was, but we agreed – he is our boss<br />

after all, and the man who authorises us. Similar<br />

instructions were given to County Court Bailiffs<br />

(CCBs).<br />

However, the NRLA picked a couple of hard cases<br />

of small landlords with tenants owing substantial<br />

pre-COVID rent and threatened Judicial Review.<br />

Not surprisingly the Lord Chancellor took the wind<br />

out of their sails by introducing the first of three<br />

Statutory Instruments (SIs) embodying his request<br />

to halt evictions into law.<br />

There are some exceptions for those with orders,<br />

covering trespass and anti-social behaviour,<br />

and the rent arrears provisions were reduced in<br />

severity after the first SI. But a further court order<br />

is needed in all cases for a Judge to agree that an<br />

exception should apply and that order must be<br />

produced to the HCEO before an eviction can take<br />

place.<br />

The rent arrears exception does not help those<br />

who have issued a S21 Notice, just asking for the<br />

property back. The original order must be by a S8<br />

Notice claiming that the tenant has breached the<br />

terms of the tenancy.<br />

For those starting afresh, generally six months’<br />

notice has to be given before legal proceedings can<br />

be issued – some tenants may comply but many<br />

can’t, or won’t.<br />

The end result is that there is a considerable<br />

backlog in both eviction and legal proceedings,<br />

and this has been a deliberate step taken by<br />

Government, based on the health emergency.<br />

This whole situation was considered at the Lord<br />

Chancellor’s request by a commercial High Court<br />

Judge, when the new Notice of Eviction procedure<br />

(Form N54) was introduced for both HCEOs and<br />

CCBs in 2020, and the various processes and<br />

time limits were put in place to try and ease the<br />

transition from lockdown to normality.<br />

Not surprisingly, private residential landlords<br />

are chomping at the bit. At a recent NRLA webinar<br />

it was clear that there was a willingness for them<br />

to pay the additional cost of using an HCEO for<br />

eviction rather than waiting for the, often long<br />

delayed, services of one of the 294 CCBs in this<br />

country.<br />

HCEOs, where five main businesses now handle<br />

97 percent of the volume of Writs issued and are<br />

keen to develop their businesses’ market share,<br />

will, no doubt, rise to the challenge of providing<br />

an eviction service that only the private sector can<br />

offer.<br />

Andrew Wilson FCI<strong>CM</strong> is Chairman of the High<br />

Court Enforcement Officers Association (HCEOA).<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 23


COUNTRY FOCUS<br />

There is light in<br />

the darkness of the<br />

Rainbow Nation.<br />

SLEEPING GIANT<br />

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

SOUTH Africa – just two words for a<br />

country that conjures up a number<br />

of images. Black versus white, settler<br />

versus indigenous, rich versus<br />

poor, and police versus policed. It’s<br />

understandable then, that some might<br />

think of South Africa in very simplistic terms –<br />

apartheid and racial segregation, the Zulu nation<br />

as typified by the 1964 film of the same name, and<br />

of course, Nelson Mandela.<br />

But as with other country profiles in Credit<br />

Management, the history is, however, much more<br />

than that. In fact, it reaches back 170,000 years<br />

and more ‘recently’ broadly incorporates Bantu<br />

expansion from the 4th century, the Portuguese<br />

from the late 1400s to the early 1600s, the Dutch<br />

from the middle part of the 17th century, and the<br />

British from the start of the 19th century. South<br />

Africa didn’t become fully independent until 1931.<br />

The nation that makes up modern South Africa<br />

is so different from that of just 30 years ago. And by<br />

all accounts, it should be a target for any exporter<br />

wishing to expand their market reach.<br />

THE COUNTRY OUTLINED<br />

Lying at the southern tip of continental Africa,<br />

South Africa is the world’s 24th largest country<br />

by landmass. With an area of some 1.219m sq<br />

km, it’s just under twice the size of Texas, and<br />

shares a border with six countries – Botswana,<br />

Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and<br />

Eswatini (formerly Swaziland).<br />

As might be expected of a nation with so<br />

many cultural influences, from native African<br />

to immigrant settler, South Africa has not one,<br />

but 11 official languages that includes English,<br />

Afrikaans, isiZulu, isiXhosa and Sepedi.<br />

And to reinforce the guaranteed failure of<br />

apartheid, the population, according to a South<br />

African government 2019 mid-year estimate of the<br />

population of 58.78m, 80.7 percent identifies itself<br />

as black African, 8.8 percent coloured, 7.9 percent<br />

white and 2.6 percent Indian or Asian.<br />

Demographically, it’s a pretty much even<br />

split among the sexes. The population is young<br />

according to 2019 data from Statista: 54 percent<br />

– 32.18m are under 29 years of age, and just 16<br />

percent, or 9.43m, are over 50 years of age. That<br />

leaves 17.17m or 29 percent in the middle between<br />

30 and 49 years of age.<br />

Where this data becomes interesting, and<br />

illustrative of population growth, is when<br />

comparing the 2019 mid-year estimate to data<br />

from the census over the years. In 1996 the<br />

South Africa is<br />

an economic<br />

powerhouse in<br />

Africa, leading<br />

the continent in<br />

industrial output<br />

and mineral<br />

production and<br />

generating a<br />

large agricultural<br />

production in the<br />

European winter.<br />

population stood at 40.58m, 44.81m in 2001, and<br />

51.77m in 2011. The country’s population is clearly<br />

expanding at quite a rate.<br />

Geographically, the population, notes the<br />

CIA World Factbook, is distributed primarily<br />

along the southern and south eastern coast and<br />

around Pretoria; with the east being more densely<br />

populated than the west. As for the largest<br />

urban areas, the largest is Cape Town with 3.4m<br />

people, which is followed by Durban with 3.1m,<br />

Johannesburg with 2.02m, Soweto with 1.69m,<br />

Pretoria with 1.61m, Port Elizabeth with 968,000,<br />

Pietermaritzburg with 751,000, Benomi with<br />

605,000, Tembisa with 512,000 and lastly, East<br />

London with ‘just’ 479,000. All in all, 15.2m or<br />

one quarter of the population lives in 10 cities.<br />

The World Bank estimates the rural population is<br />

on a downward path. In 1960 the country was 54<br />

percent rural, close to 50 percent in 1985 and sits<br />

at around 35 percent now.<br />

THE ECONOMY<br />

The South African economy is one not to be<br />

ignored. As a document from the Netherlands<br />

Enterprise Agency, Doing Business in South Africa,<br />

noted recently, ‘South Africa is an economic<br />

powerhouse in Africa, leading the continent in<br />

industrial output and mineral production and<br />

generating a large agricultural production in the<br />

European winter.’<br />

It continues: ‘The country has abundant<br />

natural resources, well-developed financial, legal,<br />

communications, energy and transport sectors, a<br />

stock exchange ranked in the top 20 in the world,<br />

and modern infrastructure supporting efficient<br />

distribution of goods throughout the southern<br />

African region… Not only is South Africa itself an<br />

important emerging economy, it is also a gateway<br />

to other African markets.’<br />

In number, South African GDP grew steadily<br />

in the years from 1960 where it stood at $7.57bn<br />

and $85.45bn in 1981. But post-apartheid, GDP<br />

rocketed to $416.41bn in 2011 before falling back<br />

to $296.35bn in 2016. It’s recovered a little since<br />

then.<br />

But challenges exist. Firstly, the country<br />

has had to deal with a high HIV infection rate<br />

for quite some time. According to Avert, in<br />

2018 there were 7.7m living with HIV – the<br />

largest number anywhere in the world – and<br />

19 percent of the those aged 15-49 had the<br />

disease. Worse, there were 240,000 new infections<br />

that year and 71,000 died from AIDS-related<br />

illnesses.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 24


COUNTRY FOCUS<br />

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

Cape Town is a port city on South Africa’s<br />

southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the<br />

imposing Table Mountain. Slowly rotating<br />

cable cars climb to the mountain’s flat top,<br />

from which there are sweeping views of the<br />

city, the busy harbour and boats heading<br />

for Robben Island, the notorious prison that<br />

once held Nelson Mandela, which is now a<br />

living museum.<br />

Area: 400.3 km²<br />

Weather: 17 °C, Wind SE at 5 mph (8 km/h),<br />

87% Humidity<br />

Local time: Monday 11:16<br />

Population: 433,688 (2011) United Nations<br />

Province: Western Cape<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 25<br />

continues on page 26 >


COUNTRY FOCUS<br />

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

Next COVID has hit South Africa hard, although<br />

not quite like it has India. The country saw a<br />

strict lockdown and the economy suffered as a<br />

result. The OECD reckons that the shutdowns<br />

could cost the country 10 percent of GDP<br />

although the World Bank thinks it closer to<br />

a seven percent decline. Its economy was<br />

already fragile as COVID came along, despite a<br />

pickup in economic activity at the start of 2020.<br />

The economy is expected to grow three percent<br />

in <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Even so, low commodity prices, reduced<br />

tourism, and a major slowdown in key trading<br />

partners is expected to hamper economic<br />

performance. Overall, it’s estimated that<br />

COVID will push two million into poverty.<br />

KEY SECTORS<br />

With the background set, it’s time to consider<br />

the market opportunities that exist in South<br />

Africa – and there are many.<br />

Starting with agriculture, it’s position in the<br />

southern hemisphere puts it in pole position<br />

to supply Europe and other regions with<br />

foods such as fruit, nuts and vegetables for<br />

consumption during their winter. The sector<br />

is highly commercialised, according to the<br />

Netherlands report, with some 30,000 farmers<br />

in the commercial supply chain who tend to be<br />

involved with maize, citrus, tropical fruits and<br />

grains. There is livestock activity, according to<br />

data from the US government, and this includes<br />

cattle, pigs, sheep, and a well-developed dairy,<br />

poultry and egg industry.<br />

The sector provides employment to some<br />

10 percent of the country’s workers and<br />

contributes around 2.6 percent to GDP. On<br />

imports, US data reckons that 2019 imports<br />

totalled $7.6bn in agricultural and food<br />

products, albeit a decrease of three percent<br />

compared to 2018. Key imports were rice,<br />

wheat, chicken cuts and offal, palm oil,<br />

whiskies, cane sugar and soybean meal.<br />

Opportunities therefore exist in growing<br />

and production along with training and skills<br />

and financing.<br />

And with climate change causing a rise<br />

in droughts, climate-related technology is<br />

becoming more important as is the need to<br />

secure South Africa’s water supply, especially –<br />

as noted earlier – the population is expanding<br />

and becoming more urbanised. Some haven’t<br />

forgotten that in 2018 Cape Town almost<br />

ran out of water – a point noted by National<br />

Geographic when it wrote that the city almost<br />

had to turn off the taps to millions of people.<br />

Water scarcity is a priority for the<br />

government and innovation in efficiency<br />

and re-use is welcomed. It’s of note that less<br />

than half of wastewater is treated and reused,<br />

infrastructure needs modernising and new<br />

sources such as rainwater and that found<br />

underground need to be found.<br />

According to ESi Africa, an online utilities<br />

journal for Africa, ‘South Africa’s water sector<br />

ripe with investment opportunities.’ It noted<br />

comment from a Greencape analyst as saying<br />

that some £330m of water is lost, stolen or<br />

incorrectly metered. The analyst reckoned that<br />

14m South Africans have no safe sanitation<br />

and this presents a significant opportunity<br />

with a market potential of some £2.07bn.<br />

Transport is another key sector for South<br />

Africa since, given its location, it’s a gateway<br />

into the continent. The country has both a<br />

good road and rail network along with nine<br />

commercial ports. The government considers<br />

transport a central plank of its drive to make<br />

the country more competitive and is investing<br />

around £44bn in infrastructure of which<br />

over £14bn has been set aside for transport,<br />

especially for rail freight, ports and road<br />

improvements.<br />

And then there’s health and the life sciences.<br />

With a comparatively inexpensive healthcare<br />

system it’s known that patients fly-in from<br />

around the world to South Africa for treatment<br />

often paid by insurance; Medicaltourism.com<br />

places South Africa 28 out of 46 destinations<br />

for medical tourism.<br />

That said, there is a defacto two-tier system<br />

operated where 50 percent of expenditure is<br />

spent on just 16 percent of the population.<br />

The public sector must serve more with<br />

proportionately less, on top of which are the<br />

problems of HIV and COVID as well as diseases<br />

such as diabetes, violence and high levels of<br />

child and maternal mortality.<br />

So, while the country is an innovator in the<br />

field of healthcare, there are opportunities for<br />

those wanting to take healthcare to the masses,<br />

the building of healthcare facilities, records,<br />

telemedicine, imaging and dispensing to name<br />

but a few.<br />

But there is a concern that the South African<br />

Government’s National Health Insurance<br />

programme will radically change how the<br />

private and public sectors work.<br />

Energy is another area that might be<br />

suitable for exploitation. Old coal-powered<br />

power stations suffer from poor maintenance<br />

and so the grid has often been unable to supply<br />

enough electricity. The country is looking at<br />

renewables, slowly, but with a perfect location<br />

for wind and sun powered systems, several<br />

independent firms have become active in<br />

generating renewable electricity. There is<br />

also encouragement for industry to generate<br />

its own power and for local authorities to<br />

buy electricity on the open market. In other<br />

words, the state monopoly – Eskom – could<br />

find its position weakened. Opportunities<br />

therefore exist to become an independent<br />

power producer as well as for selling to the<br />

producers, in renewables and for selling<br />

to those, including households, wanting to<br />

generate their own power needs.<br />

South Africa is endowed with abundant<br />

natural resources. It is the world’s largest<br />

producer and exporter of gold, chromium<br />

Most areas in South Africa<br />

average more than 2,500 hours of<br />

sunshine per year, and average<br />

solar-radiation levels range<br />

between 4.5 and 6.5kWh/m2<br />

in one day. This makes South<br />

Africa's local resource one of the<br />

highest in the world. The use of<br />

solar energy is the most readily<br />

accessible resource in South<br />

Africa.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 26


COUNTRY FOCUS<br />

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

From peak production of around<br />

1,000t in 1970, the nation's gold<br />

output fell to 130t in 2018, with<br />

South Africa now only accounting<br />

for c. 4 percent of the world's<br />

gold production. In fact, over 50<br />

percent of all gold reserves are<br />

found in South Africa, with the<br />

Witwatersrand Basin remaining<br />

the largest gold resource in the<br />

world.<br />

and platinum – 90 percent of the world’s global platinum mineral<br />

resources are estimated to be in South Africa’s Bushveld Complex.<br />

iv. No commercially exploitable deposits of petroleum have been<br />

found, but there are moderate quantities of natural gas located off<br />

the southern coast, and synthetic fuel is made from coal. According<br />

to Africa Mining iQ, South Africa is also the world’s third largest<br />

coal exporter and a huge producer of iron ore – in 2012, it overtook<br />

India to become the world's third-biggest iron ore supplier to China.<br />

SETTING UP IN BUSINESS<br />

When opening a business, a permit is required. Entry is initially via<br />

a visitor’s permit which allows temporary residence. A number of<br />

forms are required, but one, is a certificate issued by a Chartered<br />

Accountant or a Professional Accountant registered with the South<br />

African Institute of Professional Accountants to the effect that an<br />

individual has at least R5m available in cash, or at least R5m in<br />

cash and capital to be invested in the Republic. The detail is on<br />

dha.gov.za.<br />

Business entities take the usual forms – a public company (Ltd),<br />

or private company (Pty Ltd) company, a personal liability company<br />

(Inc), a partnership, a business trust, a sole proprietorship and an<br />

external company (branch of a foreign company).<br />

Company names along with the business are registered at the<br />

Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. Registration<br />

carries certain responsibilities, irrespective of trading status,<br />

including the filing of an annual return and paying an annual fee.<br />

Business registration processes, including tax registration with<br />

the South African Revenue Service (SARS), business bank account<br />

opening, and domain registration can be completed, without<br />

paper, at bizportal.gov.za.<br />

TAX ENVIRONMENT<br />

As for taxation, Corporate Income Tax applies to a resident firm’s<br />

worldwide income; for non-residents, it only applies to South<br />

African income. The rate is 28 percent, reducing to 27 percent in<br />

April 2022 (unless changed). Small businesses have rates banded<br />

from 0 to 28 percent depending on taxable income. The dividends<br />

tax is 20 percent.<br />

Income tax applies to a resident’s worldwide income; for nonresidents,<br />

income tax only applies to South African income. Rates<br />

are banded and presently range from nil to R216,200, 18 percent<br />

over that to R337,800 and 45 percent over income of R1,656,601.<br />

The standard rate of VAT is 15 percent and businesses making<br />

taxable supplies over R1m (around £50,000) in any 12-month period<br />

must register, resident or not.<br />

Businesses will no doubt be accustomed to running a PAYE<br />

system, but in South Africa, there’s also the Skills Development<br />

Levy to fund education for workers; the Unemployment Insurance<br />

Fund which both employee and employer pay one percent of the<br />

salary to; and the Compensation Fund to cover occupation injuries<br />

and illnesses.<br />

Lastly, another aspect to consider is Broad Based Black Economic<br />

Empowerment, legislation and policy that seeks to redistribute<br />

management, ownership and control of economic and financial<br />

resources in order to decrease income inequalities; it’s enforced<br />

through a system of preferential procurement. This may well<br />

determine how a business decides to act.<br />

IN SUMMARY<br />

It’s more than possible to write an encyclopaedic entry on South<br />

Africa and this profile only just scratches the surface. Take time<br />

to investigate South Africa and the possibilities and rewards will<br />

follow – especially once the impact of COVID is reduced.<br />

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

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 27


IT’S TIME FOR<br />

WAYNE WHITFORD FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

DIRECTOR<br />

+44 (0)7834 748 183<br />

wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

MICHAEL WHITAKER<br />

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT<br />

+44 (0)7866 840983<br />

m.whitaker@courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

FAST. FAIR. FOR YOU.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 28


TAKE OFF<br />

ENJOY THE JOURNEY<br />

CHECK IN TO SEE HOW<br />

WE CAN HELP YOU OR<br />

YOUR LEGAL TEAM<br />

IMPROVE YOUR<br />

POST-JUDGMENT<br />

COLLECTIONS<br />

PERFORMANCE<br />

NEIL JINKS FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

HEAD OF CLIENT DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNICATIONS<br />

+44 (0)7542304328<br />

n.jinks@courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

COURT ENFORCEMENT SERVICES<br />

IS DELIGHTED TO BECOME A<br />

CORPORATE PARTNER TO CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 29<br />

01993 220557<br />

BD@courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk


INTERNATIONAL<br />

TRADE<br />

Monthly round-up of the latest stories<br />

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.<br />

The Year of the Dragon<br />

THE Chinese dragon is flexing its muscles. Whether over<br />

Taiwan or elements of its own people, China is making<br />

waves.<br />

Take the former, The Guardian says that tensions<br />

between Taiwan and China are ‘at their highest since the<br />

mid-1990s’ – its military aircraft made 380 incursions<br />

into Taiwan’s air space over the past year alone. And of<br />

the latter, some reports allege that ‘groups’ of people are<br />

being sold into what is effectively slavery. But China is<br />

doing more, and it looks like Australia is taking the brunt<br />

– and that might open up opportunities for others.<br />

According to a recent Coface report into China’s and<br />

Australia’s trade relationship, the bilateral relationship<br />

deteriorated sharply over 2020, as China imposed both<br />

formal and informal trade restrictions on a number<br />

of Australian exports, including coal, barley, beef,<br />

wine, cotton among others. Coface has noted growing<br />

concerns that China will harden its stance towards<br />

Australia and will possibly start targeting its services<br />

exports, particularly in tourism and education which<br />

could see two percent of Australia’s GDP at risk.<br />

The problems for Australia started when its Anti-<br />

Dumping Commission extended anti-dumping duties<br />

on Chinese stainless-steel sinks on 28 February 2020<br />

following an investigation into Chinese aluminium<br />

extrusions. More anti-dumping actions against Chinese<br />

products, such as steel followed and then came a call<br />

from Australia for an investigation into the origins of<br />

coronavirus.<br />

As Coface has said, the situation could hurt Australia’s<br />

economy as China takes more than one-third of<br />

Australian total exports.<br />

So, if I were exporting to China, I’d be looking at what<br />

Australia exports and targeting those things that are<br />

suffering restrictions. And as for Australia, I’d exercise<br />

caution; for while the economy has bounced back<br />

somewhat, there may be some bumps in the road ahead<br />

if the tensions with China escalate.<br />

OCCASIONALLY UK Export Finance<br />

(UKEF) publishes ‘good news’ stories<br />

about British exporters. And since<br />

there can be nothing better than a story<br />

relating to newborn babies, it’s great<br />

to talk about Cosatto, a bespoke baby<br />

product manufacturer that is exporting<br />

to Australia for the first time in 15 years.<br />

As the story goes, and the department<br />

claims, Government support has helped<br />

STROLL ON<br />

Cosatto secure a £130,000 order for<br />

over 1,000 prams, strollers and<br />

highchairs, and the Manchester-based<br />

business now expects sales of £14m<br />

this year.<br />

Cosatto already sells to retailers of all<br />

sizes in the UK, and sales to distributors<br />

in countries such as Japan account<br />

for 15 percent of its growing export<br />

business. However, when it came to<br />

arranging the insurance for a major<br />

deal with a distributor in Melbourne,<br />

their insurance broker would not cover<br />

the risk if the deal fell through. At risk<br />

of losing the contract, Cosatto turned to<br />

UKEF, which was able to step in with its<br />

export insurance policy.<br />

The timing is most propitious as the<br />

UK and Australia are close to signing a<br />

new free trade agreement.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 30


Don’t be the barn on Bitcoin<br />

LAST month I wrote about how Bitcoin<br />

could liberate the economies of some<br />

countries. However, as Turkey has just<br />

illustrated, users of cryptocurrencies and<br />

crypto assets should still exercise caution<br />

as its central bank has banned, from 30<br />

April, their use for the purchase goods<br />

and services on the basis of ‘irreparable’<br />

possible damage and significant risks in<br />

such transactions.<br />

As Reuters commented, ‘legislation<br />

published in the Official Gazette overnight,<br />

the Central Bank of Turkey (CBRT) said<br />

cryptocurrencies and other such digital<br />

assets based on distributed ledger<br />

technology could not be used, directly or<br />

indirectly, as an instrument of payment.’<br />

It appears that Turkey's crypto market<br />

had boomed recently, with investors<br />

hoping to both gain from Bitcoin's rally<br />

and shelter against inflation. Further<br />

demand has come because of a weaker<br />

Catering for the rich<br />

IT’S a fact that there’s always someone<br />

better off than you. But at the extreme end<br />

of the scale are the super-rich and even<br />

in times of economic stress they can still<br />

afford more than anyone else. And it is<br />

these people that exporters should make a<br />

beeline for says, Bloomberg.<br />

Apart from demanding more than<br />

adequate living space – the super-rich<br />

want more. But what? Well, it seems that<br />

tennis courts, a penthouse bedroom, wine<br />

cellars and swimming pools are top of the<br />

list. But the detail is more important than<br />

the headline.<br />

In Australia, homes need to have not just<br />

a tennis court, but a championship sized<br />

court to not only host a match or a place for<br />

Turkish lira and inflation pressures.<br />

The CBRT said that these assets were<br />

‘neither subject to any regulation and<br />

supervision mechanisms nor a central<br />

regulatory authority, among other security<br />

risks.’ Officially it’s worried about the<br />

destabilising influence of Bitcoin and the<br />

like. But clearly, it’s also worried about the<br />

lack of control too. As an aside, early April,<br />

Turkish authorities started demanding<br />

user information from trading platforms.<br />

All of this comes after President Recep<br />

Tayyip Erdogan managed to wipe another<br />

13 percent off the Turkish lira by sacking<br />

the central bank’s deputy governor barely<br />

10 days after he dismissed its governor.<br />

The dismissals came after the governor<br />

increased the interest rate to 19 percent to<br />

control rising inflation, despite it making<br />

perfect sense.<br />

Fundamentally, Turkey is in trouble so<br />

take care.<br />

children to play, but it’s also a great place to<br />

erect a marquee.<br />

In London, the trend is for ‘Indoor-<br />

Outdoor’ rooms where, according to<br />

Morpheus London, a residential and<br />

hospitality design firm, demand is rising for<br />

indoor spaces that have an outdoorsy vibe<br />

– think posh indoors garden room. One<br />

client wanted to maximise light coming<br />

in from the outside and was happy to lose<br />

around £150,000 of floorspace to make it<br />

happen.<br />

The point is, don’t lose sight of the<br />

luxury end of the markets you could serve.<br />

Granted it may be small in comparison to<br />

that which serves the masses, but it can be<br />

incredibly lucrative.<br />

Brussels opposes UK entry to the<br />

Lugano Convention<br />

BREXIT was never going to be easy,<br />

for the relationship was complex and<br />

importantly, the EU wanted to discourage<br />

other member states from treading the<br />

same path.<br />

Nevertheless, the UK applied to<br />

join the Lugano Convention which<br />

allows legal judgments to be enforced<br />

across borders, with all EU countries<br />

plus Norway, Switzerland and Iceland<br />

members of the pact. If and when the<br />

UK is accepted into Lugano, judgments<br />

would be recognised and enforced<br />

much more swiftly and cost effectively.<br />

Understandably, this would be welcome<br />

news for UK businesses trading in those<br />

areas – and likewise for EU businesses<br />

trading in the UK. But it appears that the<br />

EU is reportedly against allowing the UK<br />

to join the convention on the grounds<br />

that it is not a member of the European<br />

Economic Area or the European Free<br />

Trade Association.<br />

Of course, the final decision will be<br />

taken collectively by EU nations, with<br />

all countries needing to unanimously<br />

approve an application. There’s bound<br />

to be some intense lobbying since, after<br />

all, all sides benefit. Even so, it makes<br />

sense to be certain that the partners you<br />

trade with are both solvent and, dare I<br />

say it, known for being trustworthy and<br />

honourable. Remember – a sale isn’t a<br />

sale until it’s paid for.<br />

Government<br />

grant for export<br />

IF you’re a small firm that trades with<br />

others within the European Union you<br />

could be eligible for a grant of up to £2,000<br />

under a scheme recently launched by the<br />

Government.<br />

The grants are designed to help<br />

businesses with no more than 500<br />

employees and a turnover less than<br />

£100m who are importing or exporting<br />

goods between the UK and the EU or<br />

moving goods between Britain and<br />

Northern Ireland. The money can be<br />

used to train staff on how to complete<br />

customs declarations, how to manage<br />

customs processes, and how to use<br />

customs software and systems as well as<br />

specific import and export related aspects<br />

including VAT, excise and rules of origin.<br />

It can also be used to help firms get<br />

professional advice so that the business<br />

can meet its customs, excise, import<br />

VAT or safety and security declaration<br />

requirements.<br />

Everything you need to know is on GOV.<br />

UK under Apply for a grant to help small<br />

and medium-sized businesses new to<br />

importing or exporting.<br />

China’s economy grows<br />

WHO would have guessed? China’s<br />

economy has rebounded with a record 18.3<br />

percent growth in GDP in the first quarter<br />

of <strong>2021</strong>. It seems churlish to compare that<br />

to the 19 percent expected by economists<br />

in a Reuters poll, but that’s what some have<br />

done.<br />

Other key figures released by China's<br />

statistics department reinforce the<br />

continuing rebound. But again, they need<br />

to be taken with a pinch of salt since<br />

they are set against a 2020 base and the<br />

pandemic. In particular, it’s reported<br />

that industrial output for March rose 14.1<br />

percent over a year ago and retail sales<br />

grew 34.2 percent.<br />

Of course, numbers can be used to<br />

prove anything. Nevertheless, it’s a good<br />

performance and should provide comfort<br />

for anyone exporting into China (unless<br />

you’re from Australia, of course).<br />

CURRENCY UK<br />

EXCHANGE RATES VISIT CURRENCYUK.CO.UK<br />

OR CALL 020 7738 0777<br />

Currency UK is authorised and regulated<br />

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).<br />

HIGH LOW TREND<br />

GBP/EUR 1.16409 1.14716 Up<br />

GBP/USD 1.41988 1.38165 Up<br />

GBP/CHF 1.28040 1.25962 Flat<br />

GBP/AUD 1.82730 1.78224 Up<br />

GBP/CAD 1.75729 1.68962 Down<br />

GBP/JPY 1 54.713 149.350 Up<br />

This data was taken on 20th May and refers to the<br />

month previous to/leading up to 19th May <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 31


OPINION<br />

BLIND FAITH<br />

Credit insurance appears to be in rude<br />

health, but what’s really going on?<br />

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

THE market impact of COVID on the<br />

credit insurance sector has been<br />

similar to many other crises: insurers<br />

find their feet; adapt their pricing;<br />

reduce capacity in certain sectors.<br />

But the big difference between this<br />

crisis and the financial crash of 2008/2009 is that the<br />

market went out of their way to avoid bulk actions<br />

which had caused them so much harm and negative<br />

press a decade or more ago.<br />

Frederic Bourgeois, UK Country Manager for<br />

Coface, says there are two main reasons insurers<br />

have avoided bulk actions: “Firstly, the industry<br />

had learned from the 2008-2009 experience which<br />

had been painful in terms of reputation and client<br />

satisfaction,” he says. “And secondly, Government<br />

intervention (especially in the UK) in sectors<br />

where we had the most exposure or represented<br />

the greatest risk reduced the need for such drastic<br />

action to be taken.”<br />

There is no doubt that BEIS and Her Majesty’s<br />

Treasury were not only fast to respond, but also<br />

prepared to listen, rather than coming to the table<br />

with pre-conceived ideas, and that led to a more<br />

constructive dialogue and a more helpful outcome.<br />

Stuart Ramsden, Regional Director UK & Ireland<br />

at Atradius agrees. He points to the Government<br />

Trade Credit Reinsurance Scheme which he<br />

describes as a game changer for the industry: “It is<br />

why we worked so hard alongside other providers<br />

and the ABI with Government representatives on its<br />

development,” he says.<br />

“The scheme has enabled insurers to maintain<br />

our underwriting stance on limits which would<br />

otherwise have been unfeasible due to the<br />

pronounced economic impact caused by COVID-19,<br />

ensuring that the vital lifeline of non-payment<br />

protection has remained in place for businesses.<br />

The very fact Governments worldwide acted fast in<br />

implementing reinsurance schemes demonstrates<br />

how important credit insurance is in enabling trade<br />

and supporting businesses.”<br />

As standard, Stuart says Atradius continually<br />

reviews its risk portfolio to ensure it is providing<br />

the best protection for customers and this has been<br />

no different throughout the pandemic: “There have<br />

been occasions where we have reduced some levels<br />

of exposure; it is important to recognise that a bad<br />

risk is a bad risk and this has only occurred in a<br />

small minority of cases,” he insists.<br />

“Therefore, when support schemes end, we are<br />

not expecting a shock in cover levels. In fact, we’re<br />

confident there will be a smooth transition for<br />

customers and only anticipate our customer base<br />

will continue to grow. And, positively, our cover<br />

levels proportionate to the level of trade are higher<br />

now than they were pre-pandemic.”<br />

WORKING BLIND<br />

Frederic talks about ‘a few frantic weeks’ globally<br />

as the pandemic took hold in early 2020 and the<br />

industry responded. He witnessed the level of<br />

claims in the second half of March increase by<br />

100 percent compared to the first two weeks of the<br />

month, with no visibility or certainty as to whether<br />

this figure would continue to rise or stabilise.<br />

Indeed, this theme of ‘visibility’ is an important<br />

one: “At the start of the pandemic, the industry was<br />

effectively ‘blind’,” Frederic continues. “To maintain<br />

cover on the largest number of buyers across the<br />

broadest range of sectors we needed to have the<br />

most up-to-date information.<br />

“Accounts from 2018 or the early part of 2019<br />

were effectively useless, and many companies<br />

simply stopped trading, so we undertook a review<br />

of our entire portfolio manually, which as you can<br />

imagine put a huge strain on our underwriters and<br />

account management teams, but it was the right<br />

thing to do.”<br />

Globally, Coface reported c80,000 cancellations/<br />

reductions in cover on Q1 2019; for the corresponding<br />

period Q1 2020, this number stands at c170,000.<br />

Predicting the future is a challenge. “All CEO’s will<br />

have a broad view of the direction of travel for the<br />

businesses they lead,” Frederic continues.<br />

“With COVID-19 and the current state of<br />

affairs, however, various developments can lead<br />

to completely opposite trajectories, and we have<br />

played out a number of scenarios from total<br />

Armageddon through to long-term Government<br />

support that would nearly eradicate defaults. How<br />

we would respond to these different scenarios could<br />

vary enormously, and that makes it very difficult to<br />

run an underwriting business. It means we have to<br />

be agile, we have to adapt, and we have to take a<br />

short-term view.”<br />

COMPLICATED DECISIONS<br />

Decision-making is further complicated by the<br />

latest data which is not necessarily a good indicator<br />

of any future state. Underwriting volumes and<br />

values appear to be in rude health and in line with<br />

or even better than previous good years; Coface and<br />

the credit insurance industry generally appears to<br />

be in a very good place.<br />

But what’s going on under the surface is perhaps<br />

more difficult to determine. How many businesses<br />

will fail once Government support is withdrawn<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 32


OPINION<br />

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

“At the start of the pandemic, the industry<br />

was effectively ‘blind’, to maintain cover<br />

on the largest number of buyers across the<br />

broadest range of sectors we needed to have<br />

the most up-to-date information.’’<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 33<br />

continues on page 34 >


OPINION<br />

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

is a subject of considerable debate. Zombie<br />

companies are most certainly on the rise. The<br />

smart money suggests there is unlikely to be<br />

a cliff edge, but rather a long and prolonged<br />

period of business failures.<br />

Stuart Ramsden says that insolvencies will<br />

undoubtedly rise this year, albeit from a low<br />

base: “The measures introduced this year to halt<br />

the insolvency process and support businesses,<br />

has led to an artificial fall in insolvency rates in<br />

2020,” he explains.<br />

“As support schemes come to an end, we’ll see<br />

a spike in failures from zombie firms which have<br />

effectively been propped up over the last year<br />

while, for others, long-term successive closures<br />

and sustained uncertainty may just be too hard<br />

to sustain. Some will be restarting trade on<br />

empty bank accounts and are relying on a large<br />

cash influx – fast. But how long will they survive<br />

if trade levels aren’t enough to service their<br />

debt? The stark reality is that the coronavirus<br />

pandemic has been a killer for some businesses.<br />

But the squeeze will be uncertainty of what a<br />

post-pandemic economy will look like.”<br />

Whereas there is general consensus of<br />

the parlous state of various sectors – travel,<br />

hospitality and non-food retail especially – again<br />

the picture is far from uniform.<br />

In the non-food retail sector, for example,<br />

some companies have done notably well<br />

through the pandemic whereas others have<br />

failed. Frederic thinks, however, that COVID<br />

has probably served to accelerate the demise<br />

of businesses that were failing already: “There<br />

were no doubt many firms that already had<br />

underlying problems and failed to adapt their<br />

business models in time,” he says. “Some<br />

businesses are holding on but can’t hold in<br />

forever.”<br />

Stuart agrees. Not every business, he says,<br />

has struggled: “With a shortage of housing, for<br />

example, housebuilders are still flourishing.<br />

As construction underpins a huge part of the<br />

economy, it’s essential this keeps moving and<br />

is why we’ve seen initiatives such as the freeze<br />

on stamp duty and increased infrastructure<br />

investment.<br />

“While some businesses have been able<br />

to capitalise on the overnight change to<br />

consumption habits such as the surge in online<br />

trade, for others, such as those in hospitality<br />

and bricks-and-mortar retail, it has been their<br />

downfall. It’s fair to say some retailers were<br />

already challenged, particularly those with large<br />

store portfolios and who were behind the online<br />

shopping curve. With the pandemic accelerating<br />

e-commerce at the rate of knots, this may be the<br />

final nail in the coffin.”<br />

BOUNCING BACK<br />

As the economy reopens and is forecast to<br />

bounce back, everyone is hopeful for a swift<br />

recovery. However, many companies will have<br />

taken on sizeable debt over the last year and<br />

need to fight harder than most to service this<br />

debt going forward.<br />

“An optimist would look at how busy<br />

restaurants were when they reopened last<br />

summer and at the retail queues on the first<br />

day of reopening – but is this just a blip? Will<br />

consumers revert back to their former habits<br />

and spending patterns? Or will online shopping<br />

continue its reign?” Stuart continues.<br />

“For some, it may not be a concerted choice<br />

as a predicted move to hybrid home-office<br />

working will reduce commuters in city centres<br />

and their associated spend on transport, retail<br />

and food which brings a tangible uncertainty to<br />

city businesses. There’s no question consumers<br />

will start to spend again but it’s not certain where<br />

their spend will go. Will consumers actively<br />

choose to return to their ‘old’ ways, will habits<br />

creep back or will they make different choices?<br />

The key question now is whether businesses<br />

sustain these changes or can they adapt and find<br />

new ways of trading and flourish as a result.”<br />

With 2.8 million companies on risk from<br />

Coface worldwide, information, Frederic says,<br />

is now more critical than ever. It is for this<br />

reason that Coface recently launched InfoSure,<br />

an information product that enables clients to<br />

switch to insurance when they see fit, at preagreed<br />

conditions.<br />

When buying the Credit Opinion package,<br />

the client receives in parallel an insurance quote<br />

which Coface says it will endeavour to maintain<br />

over time, so this gives a level of certainty both<br />

on risk appetite (through the credit opinions)<br />

and the terms of the policy: “This can help<br />

companies who either have budget constraints<br />

or prefer to keep risk on their books, at least<br />

temporarily, to benefit from a close monitoring<br />

of their ledger,” Frederic adds.<br />

Atradius has been similarly active, with tools<br />

such as Atradius Atrium that enables businesses<br />

to manage their daily policy activities and<br />

analyse their portfolio of customers through<br />

a single portal, and Atradius Insights that<br />

gives businesses access to its online business<br />

intelligence platform.<br />

Trade credit insurance was first introduced in<br />

excess of a century ago to encourage businesses<br />

to export after World War I. Today, while the<br />

product has been greatly enhanced, the essence<br />

of credit insurance being a vital support to<br />

business remains.<br />

“Non-payment is the single biggest risk to<br />

any business and having protection against<br />

it is absolutely imperative,” Stuart concludes.<br />

“When you add that our offering now also lies in<br />

helping customers identify new opportunities,<br />

enter new markets, build new relationships and<br />

develop trade strategies as well as providing<br />

unrivalled expertise and information to monitor<br />

risk, credit insurance becomes indispensable.<br />

With future uncertainty making business risk<br />

even more acute, protection is the bedrock of<br />

sound trade.”<br />

“An optimist<br />

would look at how<br />

busy restaurants<br />

were when they<br />

reopened last<br />

summer and at<br />

the retail queues<br />

on the first day of<br />

reopening – but<br />

is this just a blip?<br />

Will consumers<br />

revert back to<br />

their former habits<br />

and spending<br />

patterns? Or will<br />

online shopping<br />

continue its<br />

reign?”<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 34


Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /May <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 35


SECTOR FOCUS<br />

STOP PRESS!<br />

Economic trends in UK printing<br />

and packaging.<br />

AUTHOR – Tim Vine<br />

PRINTING and packaging have<br />

helped to create some of the most<br />

distinctive products in the world.<br />

Early examples of iconic brands<br />

include the likes of Sunlight Soap,<br />

Coca-Cola and Heinz. However,<br />

these are industries with a much more extensive<br />

history. English bakers were required to brand<br />

their bread following a law dating back to 1266<br />

– while producers were experimenting with<br />

blown glass and wooden barrels as early as the<br />

Roman period.<br />

Today, printing and packaging are significant<br />

parts of the economy. The UK is the world’s<br />

fifth largest producer of printed goods, with<br />

a turnover of £14bn in 2019. Meanwhile,<br />

packaging companies delivered annual sales of<br />

£11bn in 2018, employing 85,000 people.<br />

But these industries are deeply intertwined<br />

with other sectors and, as a result, the disruption<br />

of COVID-19 has had far-reaching consequences.<br />

Amidst this continuing uncertainty, it’s hugely<br />

valuable for companies to have data both their<br />

immediate suppliers and customers and the<br />

wider sector. That way, print and packaging<br />

companies can adapt and assess potential risks<br />

and opportunities as we gradually move from<br />

crisis to recovery.<br />

THE IMPACT OF COVID-19<br />

The events of 2020 had significant repercussions<br />

for the printing and packaging industries, with<br />

sales falling substantially. However, with the<br />

rise of ecommerce, packaging firms generally<br />

fared slightly better than commercial printing<br />

businesses.<br />

Nonetheless, towards the end of the year,<br />

more companies reporting upward trends in<br />

business activity than those reporting declines,<br />

according to the latest COVID-19 Print Business<br />

Indicators Survey from the NAPCO Research<br />

and PRINTING United Alliance. Encouragingly,<br />

Print and<br />

packaging<br />

businesses have<br />

played a key<br />

role in enabling<br />

companies to<br />

market and sell<br />

their products<br />

during the<br />

COVID-19 crisis<br />

– and there<br />

will be further<br />

opportunities to<br />

come.<br />

PRINTING United Alliance economists are<br />

holding to their projection of sales growth<br />

between 2.5 percent and four percent this year.<br />

Positively, any slowdown in the pace of<br />

M&As among print and packaging firms is only<br />

temporary. The industry is slowly recovering,<br />

buyers are flexible and the fundamental forces<br />

that drive M&A activity are still in play.<br />

Payment performance data can be used as an<br />

indicator of the financial health of businesses<br />

and is a useful tool to help businesses assess<br />

risk. Positively, our data shows that payment<br />

behaviour in the packaging industry is<br />

improving, with businesses paying their bills<br />

promptly increasing by 8.2 percent over the<br />

last four years to 31.4 percent in February <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

2020 saw the largest improvement in prompt<br />

payments however, with 33.4 percent of bills<br />

paid on time in February 2020, a trend many<br />

sectors saw ahead of the pandemic.<br />

THE OUTLOOK FOR <strong>2021</strong><br />

With a return to normal business conditions insight,<br />

the industry is already seeing a pickup in<br />

activity in printing and packaging in <strong>2021</strong>. As a<br />

result, print and packaging businesses that came<br />

through the pandemic’s first year in reasonably<br />

good shape are still well-positioned to grow.<br />

At present, working patterns and social habits<br />

remain focused on the home – underlining<br />

the importance of packaging for transporting<br />

goods. While hospitality remains restricted,<br />

labelling can provide important differentiation<br />

during food shopping, fuelling demand for<br />

innovative printing. At the same time, trends<br />

like increasing wine consumption at home can<br />

provide opportunities for companies serving<br />

this section of the market.<br />

As the economy opens up, there will be further<br />

opportunities across the industry and the whole<br />

economy. In fact, as a baseline scenario, Dun<br />

& Bradstreet expects the economy to rebound<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 36


SECTOR FOCUS<br />

AUTHOR – Tim Vine<br />

by around five percent this year, offsetting<br />

some of the losses incurred in 2020 when<br />

real GDP fell by almost 10 percent.<br />

THE POWER OF DATA<br />

Print and packaging businesses have<br />

played a key role in enabling companies to<br />

market and sell their products during the<br />

COVID-19 crisis – and there will be further<br />

opportunities to come. As businesses look<br />

ahead to recovery and future growth, it is<br />

crucial to embrace data and analytics to<br />

take the best decisions today and create<br />

resilience against future crises.<br />

Monitoring the right credit information<br />

and data can help packaging businesses<br />

understand their total potential risk and<br />

identify growth opportunities across their<br />

account base. This can enable companies<br />

to better manage credit risk, monitor global<br />

customers and ensure that they are realising<br />

every opportunity for success. Armed with<br />

insights, print and packing companies can<br />

look to a brighter future – and focus on<br />

supporting the next innovative product<br />

around the corner.<br />

Tim Vine is Head of Credit Intelligence<br />

at Dun & Bradstreet.<br />

Tim Vine<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 37


LEGAL MATTERS<br />

RASH JUDGMENT<br />

COVID-19, disease clauses and<br />

business interruption.<br />

AUTHOR – Peter Walker<br />

A<br />

physician once joked with me<br />

that if a doctor did not know<br />

what was wrong with a patient,<br />

the diagnosis was that it was due<br />

to a virus. This is not a joke to<br />

be made during the COVID-19<br />

pandemic, which has affected our lives so badly,<br />

and the law is not immune.<br />

That was brought home to some judges of the<br />

Supreme Court in FCA v Arch Insurance (UK)<br />

Ltd [<strong>2021</strong>] 2 WLR 123, when they considered<br />

COVID-19 in the context of insurance and<br />

business interruption. Credit managers will need<br />

the assurance that during the epidemic indebted<br />

business enterprises will have adequate financial<br />

resources to pay those debts should things go<br />

wrong.<br />

This was the background to the effect of<br />

COVID-19 and the consequent first lockdown<br />

causing businesses to close temporarily. The<br />

hospitality and entertainment sectors were<br />

particularly affected, although there were others.<br />

Affected businesses claimed on their insurance<br />

policies for compensation as a result of the<br />

business interruption. The insurers objected<br />

that for various reasons the situation was not<br />

covered in their policies. Some insurers claimed<br />

that the disease was not named in the policy.<br />

Others asserted that their policies covered local<br />

outbreaks only.<br />

There were complaints to the Financial<br />

Conduct Authority (the FCA). The Association of<br />

British Insurers suggested that at the time of the<br />

first lockdown there were claims amounting to as<br />

much as £900m. It was time for the lawyers and<br />

a procedure known as the Financial Markets Test<br />

Scheme, the first time it had been used since the<br />

Scheme’s introduction in 2016. Its purpose is to<br />

provide clarity where there were issues of general<br />

importance.<br />

The Arch Insurance case was therefore a test<br />

case, and Lord Hambledon and Lord Leggatt in<br />

their joint judgment pointed out that 370,000<br />

policyholders were potentially affected by the<br />

decision in this case. There were many types of<br />

insurance policies but four types of clauses.<br />

DISEASE CLAUSES<br />

The first of these were ‘disease’ clauses,<br />

providing cover for business interruption due to<br />

notifiable diseases. These were covering business<br />

interruption losses as a result of public authority<br />

interventions. There were combinations of the<br />

two, i.e. ‘hybrid clauses’. There were finally ‘trends<br />

clauses’ which quantified business losses by<br />

reference to the performance of the business if<br />

the insured peril had not occurred.<br />

Factors in the case were the various Government<br />

regulations introduced by means of various<br />

statutory instruments in the first lockdown<br />

of March 2020. They listed various categories<br />

of business. The Supreme Court judges were,<br />

however, interested particularly in contractual<br />

interpretation.<br />

They considered this in the context of disease<br />

clauses. A typical clause would require the insurer<br />

to indemnify the insured for certain losses arising<br />

from human infections or contagious disease,<br />

which required notification to a local authority.<br />

There would be a maximum indemnity period of<br />

perhaps three months.<br />

Some clauses would refer to any occurrence<br />

of the disease at the insured’s premises or within<br />

a radius of 25 miles. Lord Hambledon and Lord<br />

Leggatt concluded that an insurance claim on<br />

this basis would only succeed if there was an<br />

occurrence of COVID-19 on the claimant’s business<br />

premises or within that radius of 25 miles. They<br />

applied their reasoning to other similar clauses in<br />

other insurance policies.<br />

In another insurance policy, considered by the<br />

Supreme Court judges, had an exclusion clause.<br />

The policy did not cover loss or damage arising<br />

from epidemic and disease as well as many<br />

other events. These exclusions were included<br />

in a clause relating to contamination, pollution<br />

and ‘kindred risks’. A policyholder could not be<br />

expected understand this to relate to the business<br />

interruption provisions.<br />

The judges of the supreme court continued to<br />

consider hybrid clauses referring to the occurrence<br />

of a notifiable disease, but they narrowed the<br />

definition by reference to its consequences.<br />

Where, however, the clause refers to an area of<br />

whatever distance, the same interpretation as<br />

that in a disease clause applied. One insurer did<br />

not limit it by area, so the clause would apply<br />

wherever there was a notifiable disease subject to<br />

other restrictions in the policy.<br />

One of those restrictions included those<br />

imposed by a public authority, but the judges<br />

considered whether they were mandatory with<br />

the force of law. The Government had previously<br />

given instructions, but these were not enough to<br />

fulfil this requirement. There were now, however<br />

statutory instruments, but the FCA contended<br />

that the cover applied from before this time, so<br />

that the insured could claim earlier.<br />

LOCAL AUTHORITY POWERS<br />

Lord Hambledon and Lord Leggatt agreed that<br />

mandatory instructions clearly meant that a local<br />

authority had statutory or other legal powers. They<br />

pointed out that sometimes a public authority<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 38


LEGAL MATTERS<br />

AUTHOR – Peter Walker<br />

gives a mandatory instruction in anticipation<br />

that this will be followed by legally binding<br />

measures, or they will result in the absence of<br />

compliance. The two judges gave an example<br />

of the closure of a restaurant by a public health<br />

officer, who had discovered an infestation of<br />

vermin. They considered that, in the context<br />

of COVID-19, the local authority instructions<br />

were sufficiently mandatory in these limited<br />

circumstances because of the Prime Minister’s<br />

earlier statements.<br />

Closure of a business’s premises does<br />

not necessarily result in the closure of the<br />

business itself. A retailer could continue to go<br />

into the shop to sell items online, but it is likely<br />

to lose some turnover. That closure would<br />

result in the loss of the retailer’s discrete part<br />

of the business, e.g. the closure of its shop to<br />

potential customers walking by. The judges<br />

of the Supreme Court ruled that the words<br />

‘inability to use’ included the insured’s discrete<br />

or the whole business.<br />

One of the insurance policies referred to<br />

prevention of access as a result of Government<br />

or local authority actions arising from an<br />

emergency likely to endanger life or property.<br />

A restaurant may, for example, may not be<br />

allowed to open for customers to be served at<br />

its tables, but it may offer take-away or take-out<br />

meals. This was the effect of the regulations<br />

issued in March 2020. Lord Hambledon<br />

and Lord Leggatt ruled that prevention of<br />

access need not be physical. They said that<br />

‘prevention of access’ encompassed the whole<br />

of the business premises as well as part of it<br />

dedicated to restaurant service.<br />

BUSINESS INTERRUPTION<br />

Business interruption was not restricted to the<br />

whole of the business. The insurance policies<br />

furthermore contained various examples to<br />

support this view.<br />

There was also no question that COVID-19<br />

was the cause of the Government’s actions, but<br />

the so-called ‘disease clauses’ in the policies<br />

raised some questions about causation,<br />

particularly the proximate clause. In Leyland<br />

Shipping Ltd v Norwich Union Fire Insurance<br />

Society Ltd [1918] AC 350 a ship was torpedoed,<br />

and such damage was not insured. It was towed<br />

to a harbour, but it had to be moored where<br />

it was at the mercy of the weather. It sank in<br />

the subsequent storms, but the owner could<br />

not claim under the storm-damage clauses<br />

in the policy, because according to ‘common<br />

sense’ the proximate cause was the torpedo,<br />

not the bad weather. In the current cases<br />

COVID-19 was the proximate cause, because it<br />

led to Government action resulting in business<br />

interruption.<br />

That results in a loss of business, which<br />

for the purpose of an insurance claim has to<br />

be calculated. Half a century ago or so ago I<br />

dealt with claims arising out of the destruction<br />

of some of my then-employer’s shops due to<br />

fires or IRA bombs. The insurers accepted<br />

a calculation based on the previous year’s<br />

turnover of the affected branches. Lord<br />

Hambledon and Lord Leggatt observed that a<br />

rate of gross profit would be applied to such<br />

a figure to arrive at a recoverable loss, and to<br />

which would be added any increased cost of<br />

working.<br />

That does not take into account any<br />

business trends, and insurance policies allow<br />

for an adjustment based on business trends<br />

or special circumstances in the intervening<br />

period. There is a complication of internet<br />

sales, but the correct method of calculation<br />

should be based on an enquiry into the<br />

insured’s likely performance had the insured<br />

peril not occurred, and that there had not<br />

been any underlying or originating cause.<br />

COVID-19 in any event had been such a cause.<br />

A trends’ clause should only be used to adjust<br />

profits on the basis of events unconnected<br />

with COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown.<br />

It otherwise could be used to remove cover<br />

completely, and that was not the purpose of<br />

the insurance policy.<br />

The FCA therefore won the case, and the<br />

insurers had to pay out on many, but not all,<br />

policies – it all depended on the wording of the<br />

relevant clauses. It is possible that the wording<br />

of new policies will be changed to state<br />

whether lockdown is included in the cover.<br />

At renewal time policyholders must therefore<br />

check that their insurance policies cover their<br />

needs. In recent years there have been other<br />

epidemics, such as SARS and ebola, albeit not<br />

as widespread as the current epidemic. There<br />

could be other future instances, where such<br />

cover is essential to the survival of a business.<br />

Peter Walker is a freelance journalist<br />

It sank in the<br />

subsequent storms,<br />

but the owner<br />

could not claim<br />

under the stormdamage<br />

clauses<br />

in the policy,<br />

because according<br />

to ‘common sense’<br />

the proximate<br />

cause was the<br />

torpedo, not the<br />

bad weather.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 39


INTRODUCING OUR<br />

CORPORATE PARTNERS<br />

For further information and to discuss the opportunities of entering into a<br />

Corporate Partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong>, please contact corporatepartners@cicm.com<br />

High Court Enforcement Group is the largest<br />

independent and privately owned High Court<br />

enforcement company in the country, with more<br />

authorised and experienced officers than anyone<br />

else. This allows us to build and manage our<br />

business in a way that puts our clients first.<br />

Clients trust us to deliver and service is paramount.<br />

We cover all aspects of enforcement –writs of<br />

control, possessions, process serving and landlord<br />

issues - and are committed to meeting and<br />

exceeding clients’ expectations.<br />

T: 08450 999 666<br />

E: clientservices@hcegroup.co.uk<br />

W: hcegroup.co.uk<br />

Satago helps business owners and their<br />

accountants avoid credit risks, manage debtors<br />

and access finance when they need it – all in<br />

one platform. Satago integrates with 300+ cloud<br />

accounting apps with just a few clicks, helping<br />

businesses:<br />

Understand their customers - with RISK INSIGHTS<br />

Get paid on time - with automated CREDIT CONTROL<br />

Access funding - with flexible SINGLE INVOICE FINANCE<br />

Visit satago.com and start your free trial today.<br />

T: 020 8050 3015<br />

E: hello@satago.com<br />

W: www.satago.com<br />

HighRadius is a Fintech enterprise Software-as-a-Service<br />

(SaaS) company. Its Integrated Receivables platform<br />

reduces cycle times in the Order to Cash process through<br />

automation of receivables and payments across credit,<br />

e-invoicing and payment processing, cash allocation,<br />

dispute resolution and collections. Powered by the RivanaTM<br />

Artificial Intelligence Engine and Freeda Digital<br />

Assistant for Order to Cash teams, HighRadius enables<br />

more than 450 organisations to leverage machine<br />

learning to predict future outcomes and automate routine<br />

labour intensive tasks.<br />

T: +44 7399 406889<br />

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com<br />

W: www.highradius.com<br />

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps<br />

businesses pay and get paid. Businesses and banks<br />

rely on Bottomline for domestic and international<br />

payments, effective cash management tools, automated<br />

workflows for payment processing and bill review<br />

and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural<br />

analytics and regulatory compliance. Every day, we<br />

help our customers by making complex business<br />

payments simple, secure and seamless.<br />

T: 0870 081 8250<br />

E: emea-info@bottomline.com<br />

W: www.bottomline.com/uk<br />

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern<br />

finance leaders and credit professionals to improve<br />

business performance through more effective risk<br />

management, identification of growth opportunities,<br />

and better integration of data and insights<br />

across the business. Powered by our Data Cloud,<br />

our solutions provide access to the world’s most<br />

comprehensive commercial data and insights<br />

supplying a continually updated view of business<br />

relationships that help finance and credit teams<br />

stay ahead of market shifts and customer changes.<br />

T: (0800) 001-234<br />

W: www.dnb.co.uk<br />

Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist companies<br />

across Europe with credit management. The<br />

service gives the end-user the means to make a<br />

payment when and how they choose. Key IVR also<br />

provides a state-of-the-art outbound platform<br />

delivering automated messages by voice and SMS.<br />

In a credit management environment, these services<br />

are used to cost-effectively contact debtors and<br />

connect them back into a contact centre or<br />

automated payment line.<br />

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000<br />

E: sales@keyivr.com<br />

W: www.keyivr.com<br />

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading<br />

provider of business information, analytics, insights<br />

and solutions. Graydon helps its customers to make<br />

fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to minimise<br />

risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities<br />

with their commercial relationships. Graydon<br />

uses 130+ international databases and the information<br />

of 90+ million companies. Graydon has offices in<br />

London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,<br />

Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of the world’s<br />

largest credit insurance companies.<br />

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400<br />

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk<br />

W: www.graydon.co.uk<br />

Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit<br />

intelligence for credit insurers and for corporate<br />

customers. The company’s B2B Credit Risk<br />

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk<br />

Management Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;<br />

the Tinubu Credit Intelligence service and the<br />

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250<br />

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their<br />

greatest assets: customer receivables.<br />

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /<br />

E: uksales@tinubu.com<br />

W: www.tinubu.com.<br />

Building on our mature and hugely successful<br />

product and world class support service, we are<br />

re-imagining our risk awareness module in 2019 to<br />

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists and<br />

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full<br />

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.<br />

Creditsafe), this makes Credica a single port-of-call<br />

for analysis and automation. Impressive results<br />

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also<br />

have an active input into our product development<br />

and evolution.<br />

T: 01235 856400<br />

E: info@credica.co.uk<br />

W: www.credica.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 40


Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for<br />

their commitment to the profession, best practice in the<br />

Credit Industry and the quality of services they provide.<br />

We are delighted to showcase them here.<br />

THEY'RE WAITING TO TALK TO YOU...<br />

Hays Credit Management is a national specialist<br />

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of<br />

credit management and receivables professionals,<br />

at all levels, in the public and private sectors. As<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong>’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we<br />

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’<br />

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on<br />

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,<br />

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign<br />

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,<br />

career and recruitment trends.<br />

T: 07834 260029<br />

E: karen.young@hays.com<br />

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Court Enforcement Services is the market<br />

leading and fastest growing High Court Enforcement<br />

company. Since forming in 2014, we have managed<br />

over 100,000 High Court Writs and recovered more<br />

than £187 million for our clients, all debt fairly<br />

collected. We help lawyers and creditors across all<br />

sectors to recover unpaid CCJ’s sooner rather than<br />

later. We achieve 39 percent early engagement<br />

resulting in market-leading recovery rates. Our<br />

multi-award-winning technology provides real-time<br />

reporting 24/7.<br />

T: +44 (0)1992 663 399<br />

E: wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

W: courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work<br />

closely with credit teams to recover commercial<br />

debts as quickly and cost effectively as possible.<br />

We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt<br />

recovery, including:<br />

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and<br />

keep costs down • Litigation service • Insolvency<br />

• Post-litigation services including enforcement<br />

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to<br />

relate to your goals, and adept at advising you on the<br />

most effective way of achieving them.<br />

T: 03700 86 3000<br />

E: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Forums International has been running Credit and<br />

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of<br />

industry sectors and international trading. Attendance<br />

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums<br />

are not just meetings but communities which<br />

aim to prepare our members for the challenges<br />

ahead. Attending for the first time is free for you to<br />

gauge the benefits and meet the members and we<br />

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never<br />

intentionally be sold to.<br />

T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

Data Interconnect provides ERP-agnostic AR<br />

software. The Corrivo platform transmits invoices<br />

in multiple formats using tax compliant templates<br />

custom-designed for your business. Corrivo expedites<br />

collections, reconciliation and dispute processes with<br />

flexible workflow tools for creating and assigning tasks,<br />

limits, chase paths or stops and a self-service portal<br />

where customers can query, comment, dispute or pay.<br />

Corrivo manages data securely and efficiently so that<br />

you can manage your customers and cashflow better.<br />

T: +44 (0)1367 245777<br />

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk<br />

W: www.datainterconnect.com<br />

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for<br />

organisations seeking efficient cash visibility<br />

and secure financial processes. As an SAP<br />

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies<br />

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience<br />

and thousands of successful customer projects,<br />

including solutions for the entire order-to-cash<br />

process, Serrala provides credit managers and<br />

receivables professionals with the solutions they<br />

need to successfully protect their business against<br />

credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.<br />

T: +44 118 207 0450<br />

E: contact@serrala.com<br />

W: www.serrala.com<br />

American Express® is a globally recognised<br />

provider of business payment solutions, providing<br />

flexible capabilities to help companies drive<br />

growth. These solutions support buyers and<br />

suppliers across the supply chain with working<br />

capital and cashflow.<br />

By creating an additional lever to help support<br />

supplier/client relationships American Express is<br />

proud to be an innovator in the business payments<br />

space.<br />

T: +44 (0)1273 696933<br />

W: www.americanexpress.com<br />

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables<br />

into income, uniquely connecting buyers and<br />

suppliers to allow discounts in exchange for<br />

early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers<br />

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating<br />

payments from buyers when required in just two<br />

clicks, at a rate that works for them. Buyers, often<br />

corporates with global supply chains, benefit from<br />

the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while<br />

strengthening the financial health of supply chains<br />

through ethical business practices.<br />

T: 07799 692193<br />

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com<br />

W: www.c2fo.com<br />

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes<br />

the all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s<br />

businesses from collecting receivables in a<br />

timely manner. From credit management to cash<br />

allocation, Esker automates each step of the orderto-cash<br />

cycle. Esker’s automated AR system helps<br />

companies modernise without replacing their<br />

core billing and collections processes. By simply<br />

automating what should be automated, customers<br />

get the post-sale experience they deserve and your<br />

team gets the tools they need.<br />

T: +44 (0)1332 548176<br />

E: sam.townsend@esker.co.uk<br />

W: www.esker.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 41


INTRODUCING OUR<br />

CORPORATE<br />

PARTNERS<br />

For further information and to discuss the<br />

opportunities of entering into a Corporate<br />

Partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong>, please contact<br />

corporatepartners@cicm.com<br />

The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis<br />

and data modelling tools to organisations around<br />

the world that rely on our ability to accurately predict<br />

their exposure to financial risk. Our H-Score®<br />

predicted 92 percent of quoted company insolvencies<br />

and our TextScore® accuracy rate was 93<br />

percent. Our scores are trusted by credit professionals<br />

within banks, corporates, investment houses<br />

and public sector bodies because, unlike other credit<br />

reference agencies, we are transparent and flexible<br />

in our approach.<br />

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300<br />

E: info@companywatch.net<br />

W: www.companywatch.net<br />

Onguard is a specialist in credit management<br />

software and a market leader in innovative solutions<br />

for Order to Cash. Our integrated platform ensures<br />

an optimal connection of all processes in the Order<br />

to Cash chain and allows sharing of critical data. Our<br />

intelligent tools can seamlessly interconnect and<br />

offer overview and control of the payment process,<br />

as well as contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.<br />

The Onguard platform is successfully used<br />

for successful credit management in more than 50<br />

countries.<br />

T: 020 3868 0947<br />

E: lisa.bruno@onguard.com<br />

W: www.onguard.com<br />

The Atradius Collections business model is to support<br />

businesses and their recoveries. We are seeing a<br />

deterioration and increase in unpaid invoices placing<br />

pressures on cashflow for those businesses. Brexit is<br />

causing uncertainty and we are seeing a significant<br />

impact on the UK economy with an increase in<br />

insolvencies, now also impacting the continent and<br />

spreading. Our geographical presence is expanding<br />

and with a single IT platform across the globe we can<br />

provide greater efficiencies and effectiveness to our<br />

clients to recover their unpaid invoices.<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 824700<br />

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/<br />

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is<br />

an accountancy firm delivering traditional services<br />

combined with strategic commercial thinking. Our<br />

services include: advisory, audit, corporate and<br />

personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,<br />

outsourcing, wealth management and business<br />

recovery – the latter of which includes our specialist<br />

offering developed specifically for creditors. For<br />

more information on this, or to see how the Menzies<br />

Creditor Services team can assist you, please<br />

visit: www.menzies.co.uk/creditor-services.<br />

T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff<br />

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services<br />

Chris Sanders Consulting – we are a different<br />

sort of consulting firm, made up of a network of<br />

independent experienced operational credit and<br />

collections management and invoicing professionals,<br />

with specialisms in cross industry best practice<br />

advisory, assessment, interim management,<br />

leadership, workshops and training to help your<br />

team and organisation reach their full potential in<br />

credit and collections management. We are proud to<br />

be Corporate Partners of the Chartered Institute of<br />

Credit Management and to manage the CI<strong>CM</strong> Best<br />

Practice Accreditation Programme on their behalf.<br />

T: +44(0)7747 761641<br />

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> has launched<br />

critical AR Factsheets<br />

for EMEA countries<br />

Powered by<br />

Powered by Baker Ing, country specific factsheets have been<br />

provided for up-to-date information on payment performance,<br />

legislation, and the effects of COVID-19 and Brexit. The factsheets<br />

are designed for credit professionals, and they cover legal business<br />

forms, credit risk data, collections protocols, enforcement and<br />

much more.<br />

Credit professionals need granular knowledge of the situation<br />

in their clients’ territories. Whether you need an off-the-peg<br />

checklist for dealing with a new country, or you need on-the-spot<br />

information to help review risk strategies and Credit Policies, these<br />

insightful documents will help.<br />

Visit cicm.com to view country specific factsheets from, Germany,<br />

Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, France, UK.<br />

Powered by<br />

EU Factsheet<br />

COVID-19 RESPONSE<br />

Germany has introduced a raft of measures and programmes to help combat the<br />

economic impact of COVID-19 containment measures. Here we present what we<br />

consider to be the most significant and interesting. This section is not exhaustive.<br />

Loans and grants – employees:<br />

Three main tranches of wage subsidy have been introduced.<br />

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

It is a social security programme whereby the government will subsidy employees’<br />

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

reduce their hours (and their expenditure on wages) instead of laying them off.<br />

Under COVID provisions, the subsidy has been increased. From the fourth month,<br />

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

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

increased to 80% for those households without children and 87% for those<br />

households with children. In September, there was a decree to make this benefit<br />

more flexible (e.g., reducing the minimum number of employees effected by<br />

working hours reduction to 10% for the business the qualify) and to extend the<br />

period for receiving this benefit from 12 to 24 months until 31 st December <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Freelance artists in Germany can access funds if they work for cultural institutions<br />

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

from cancelled events up to €1,000 and 40% up to €2,500.<br />

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

the pandemic.<br />

Loans and grants – businesses:<br />

EU Factsheet<br />

GERMANY<br />

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

and grants available which businesses of different sizes can access.<br />

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

businesses showing decreased sales volumes compared to the same month of the<br />

previous year. This Federal Government grant has been supplemented by some<br />

Federal States’ own grant programmes.<br />

BAKERING.GLOBAL CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF CREDIT MANAGEMENT<br />

CHARTERED<br />

Powered by<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 42


EXPERT ROUNDTABLE<br />

Managing the road<br />

to recovery<br />

Simon Underwood and Giuseppe Parla of Menzies LLP<br />

joined by members of the CI<strong>CM</strong> Technical Committee,<br />

chaired by Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong>.<br />

UNPRECEDENTED financial<br />

support during the<br />

pandemic has helped UK<br />

businesses to weather exceptionally<br />

tough trading<br />

conditions and keep cash<br />

flowing. However, the time is nearing for<br />

business owners to stand on their own two<br />

feet. But what does a return to ‘normality’<br />

really look like and what does it mean to<br />

businesses and customers?<br />

In a recent poll, more than two thirds<br />

(66 percent) of businesses confirmed they<br />

had been obliged to make changes to their<br />

company in response to the pandemic.<br />

Atul Vadher FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad), CI<strong>CM</strong> East of<br />

England branch chair, was not surprised:<br />

“I have seen fundamental changes in the<br />

way businesses operate, from the way they<br />

look at debt to their approach to trade and<br />

product,” he says.<br />

However, while changes have been<br />

seen across the business landscape, the<br />

responses of individual sectors have<br />

varied widely. In retail, there has been a<br />

focus on online retailing, while deliverybased<br />

models have come to underpin the<br />

more successful hospitality companies.<br />

Mark Wilkinson, Head of Income<br />

for Northumbrian Water Group, said,<br />

“Adjustments have had to be made in<br />

the utilities sector at times during the<br />

pandemic, with businesses having to<br />

alter their processes and stop sending<br />

employees to customers’ houses. And<br />

on a broader level, consumers have had<br />

to adjust to bill increases, with people<br />

working at home and using more water<br />

during the summer and heating during<br />

the winter.”<br />

EXTRAORDINARY TIMES<br />

In such extraordinary times, it is only<br />

natural that businesses have been forced<br />

to review their working practices but,<br />

as the UK begins to creep back towards<br />

normality, the question is whether those<br />

changes that businesses have been forced<br />

to make will continue in a post-COVID<br />

world. Most think that many of the<br />

changes witnessed in the retail, hospitality<br />

and utilities sectors are, to a certain<br />

extent, likely to remain. Online retailing<br />

has been a long time coming, with a longterm<br />

decline of the high street confirmed<br />

by the recent collapses of Arcadia and<br />

Debenhams. And while there is a yearning<br />

to return to restaurants, the rise of ‘ghost<br />

kitchens’ and food delivery models are<br />

providing the hospitality industry with<br />

plenty to ponder, as investors look to the<br />

greater Return On Investments that these<br />

models are presenting due to reduced<br />

overheads.<br />

“The return to another<br />

lockdown, or a shift<br />

in the Government’s<br />

economic policies,<br />

means the ability to<br />

‘flex’ to a newfound<br />

environment is critical”<br />

What is interesting is that the businesses<br />

that have succeeded during the pandemic<br />

have shared one common factor:<br />

flexibility. Simon Underwood, Partner<br />

and Licensed Insolvency Practitioner at<br />

Menzies, believes such ‘flexibility’ remains<br />

vital to a sustained economic recovery:<br />

“The return to another lockdown, or a shift<br />

in the Government’s economic policies,<br />

means the ability to ‘flex’ to a newfound<br />

environment is critical,” he says.<br />

But there are other measures, he says,<br />

that can help ensure a smooth return to<br />

‘normal’: “Businesses must preserve cash<br />

where possible and strengthen the balance<br />

sheet,” he explains. “No-one knows what is<br />

around the corner, and businesses need<br />

to make sure they don’t find themselves<br />

in the position that so many were in 12<br />

months ago, with no income and no<br />

cash to fall back on.” Giuseppe Parla,<br />

Senior Manager and Licensed Insolvency<br />

Practitioner at Menzies, agrees: “It is<br />

important that businesses seek advice as<br />

soon as possible from credit professionals,<br />

rather than relying on the State and<br />

watching Government support run out,”<br />

he adds.<br />

STRENGTHENING RELATIONSHIPS<br />

Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong>, CEO of the CI<strong>CM</strong>,<br />

says that one upside to the pandemic has<br />

been a strengthening of the relationship<br />

between credit managers and their clients,<br />

as well as improving their own visibility<br />

in the businesses in which they work:<br />

“COVID has brought home the importance<br />

of really getting to know your clients and<br />

understanding their credit risks. This is<br />

something that has declined in recent<br />

years with the rise of technological<br />

solutions, and an element that the industry<br />

must revive if it is to thrive in the difficult<br />

months and years that lie ahead.”<br />

Looking to the future, Simon<br />

Underwood expects to see the credit<br />

sector heating up in the coming months,<br />

with the end of the moratorium on debts<br />

as well as the cessation of the furlough<br />

scheme and other Government support:<br />

“It’s remarkable in many ways that the<br />

country has avoided a greater financial<br />

crisis, but the brunt of the Chancellor’s<br />

measures will fall on the pockets of the<br />

taxpayer,” he says.<br />

“This leaves us with several questions:<br />

how will this shortfall be addressed in<br />

the short and longer-terms? And how will<br />

the credit sector continue to provide the<br />

personal, relationship-centric approach<br />

that has seen it largely weather the storm<br />

that the last 12 months has brought?”<br />

These questions will remain<br />

unanswered for the next few months<br />

at least, though in the meantime there<br />

are valuable lessons for businesses and<br />

credit professionals to take from the<br />

COVID-19 crisis that should help alleviate<br />

some of the anxieties towards returning to<br />

normality.<br />

“COVID has brought home the importance of really getting to know your clients<br />

and understanding their credit risks. This is something that has declined in recent<br />

years with the rise of technological solutions.’’<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 43


PAYMENT TRENDS<br />

Life is a Rollercoaster<br />

The latest late payment statistics highlight<br />

further unpredictability.<br />

AUTHOR – Rob Howard<br />

LAST month’s late payment statistics did not make<br />

for pleasant reading, with some hefty increases<br />

across both regions and sectors. The latest figures<br />

again show the unpredictable nature of payment<br />

performance and economic climate, with more ups<br />

and downs than a rollercoaster. The average Days<br />

Beyond Terms (DBT) across regions decreased by 2.4 days; there<br />

was no change in the average sector figure.<br />

REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT<br />

The regional standings show some improvements, with six of the<br />

11 regions making reductions to payment terms.<br />

The West Midlands made the biggest move, reducing its DBT<br />

by a massive 9.4 days and taking its overall DBT to 16.4, making<br />

it the new best performing region. Not far behind is the North<br />

West, now with an overall DBT of 16.7 following an impressive<br />

reduction of 7.7 days to its payment terms. Scotland (-6.7 days),<br />

East Anglia (-5.4 days) and the South West (-4.8 days) also all made<br />

moves in the right direction.<br />

Moving in the wrong direction is Yorkshire and Humberside,<br />

now the worst performing region by some distance with an<br />

overall DBT of 29.5 days following a sharp increase of 6.8 days to<br />

its payment terms.<br />

SECTOR SPOTLIGHT<br />

The latest sector figures are a mixed bag, with a number of<br />

industries showing encouraging signs of improvement by<br />

reducing their payment terms, while others continue to struggle,<br />

with payments getting later and later.<br />

The biggest improvement came from the Business from Home<br />

sector, reducing its payment terms by a huge 12 days. Another<br />

sector making strides in the right direction is the Manufacturing<br />

sector, a reduction of 10.1 days means it is now the best<br />

performing sector overall with a DBT of 12.2 days. Elsewhere,<br />

the Real Estate (-8.8 days), Financial and Insurance (-7.7 days),<br />

Construction (-7.1 days) and Mining and Quarrying sectors (-6.6<br />

days) all made notable improvements.<br />

At the other end of the scale, it is no surprise to see the<br />

Hospitality sector continuing to struggle as the worst performing<br />

sector. A further increase of seven days means its overall DBT<br />

now stands at 44.3 days, with many businesses struggling to<br />

survive. International Bodies are also feeling the pinch, its DBT<br />

also increased by a further seven days, making it the second<br />

worst performing sector with overall payment terms of 33.4 days.<br />

Official figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS)<br />

out in May exceeded economists’ expectations, with UK GDP<br />

rising by 2.1 percent in March – the fastest monthly growth rate<br />

since August 2020. The figures were welcomed by the Chancellor<br />

and commentators reporting that the UK’s economic resilience<br />

gives us a brighter outlook for the summer. While these signs<br />

of growth are encouraging businesses in all sectors still need to<br />

exercise caution. Understanding the payment behaviour of their<br />

customers will be crucial to mitigating a squeeze on cash flow<br />

from late payment as they navigate their way through the fallout<br />

of the pandemic.<br />

By Rob Howard<br />

The latest sector figures are a<br />

mixed bag, with a number of<br />

industries showing encouraging<br />

signs of improvement by<br />

reducing their payment terms.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 44


STATISTICS<br />

Data supplied by the Creditsafe Group<br />

AUTHOR – Rob Howard<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Region April 21 Change from March 21<br />

West Midlands 16.4 -9.4<br />

North West 16.7 -7.7<br />

South West 17.1 -4.8<br />

Scotland 17.7 -6.7<br />

Wales 18.6 0.1<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Region April 21 Change from March 21<br />

Yorkshire and Humberside 29.5 6.8<br />

East Anglia 21.3 -5.4<br />

East Midlands 21.1 0<br />

South East 20 -2.3<br />

London 19.8 0.7<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Sector April 21 Change from March 21<br />

Manufacturing 12.2 -10.1<br />

Wholesale and retail trade 13 -2.1<br />

Education 13.1 -0.5<br />

Transportation and Storage 15.3 -1.2<br />

IT and Comms 16.9 -4.4<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Sector April 21 Change from March 21<br />

Hospitality 44.3 7<br />

International Bodies 33.4 7<br />

Other Service 31.9 4.8<br />

Entertainment 30.1 -3.9<br />

Business Admin & Support 26.2 -0.5<br />

Getting Better<br />

Business from Home -12<br />

Manufacturing -10.1<br />

Real Estate -8.8<br />

Financial and Insurance -7.7<br />

Construction -7.1<br />

Mining and Quarrying -6.6<br />

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing -5.1<br />

IT and Comms -4.4<br />

Professional and Scientific -4<br />

Entertainment -3.9<br />

Wholesale and retail trade -2.1<br />

Transportation and Storage -1.2<br />

Business Admin & Support -0.5<br />

Education -0.5<br />

Dormant -0.4<br />

Getting Worse<br />

Hospitality 7<br />

International Bodies 7<br />

Water & Waste 6.8<br />

SCOTLAND<br />

-6.7 DBT<br />

Other Service 4.8<br />

Public Administration 4.1<br />

Health & Social 2.4<br />

NORTHERN<br />

IRELAND<br />

2.1 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

WEST<br />

-4.8 DBT<br />

WALES<br />

0.1 DBT<br />

NORTH<br />

WEST<br />

-7.7 DBT<br />

WEST<br />

MIDLANDS<br />

-9.4 DBT<br />

YORKSHIRE &<br />

HUMBERSIDE<br />

6.8 DBT<br />

EAST<br />

MIDLANDS<br />

0 DBT<br />

LONDON<br />

0.7 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

EAST<br />

-2.3 DBT<br />

EAST<br />

ANGLIA<br />

-5.4 DBT<br />

Energy Supply 0.8<br />

Region<br />

Getting Better – Getting Worse<br />

-9.4<br />

-7.7<br />

-6.7<br />

-5.4<br />

-4.8<br />

-2.3<br />

0<br />

6.8<br />

2.1<br />

0.7<br />

0.1<br />

West Midlands<br />

North West<br />

Scotland<br />

East Anglia<br />

South West<br />

South East<br />

East Midlands<br />

Yorkshire and Humberside<br />

Northern Ireland<br />

London<br />

Wales<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 45


EDUCATION & MARKETING<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Virtual Training is an ‘access anywhere’ range of interactive, online training<br />

courses, designed to give you the skills and tools you need to thrive in your credit<br />

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

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

array of credit management experience, will guide you through the subject to give you<br />

practical skills, improved results and greater confidence.<br />

These are pre-recorded training<br />

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a quick introduction or update on a<br />

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These are live, interactive sessions,<br />

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experienced in the subject. Through<br />

a series of tasks and discussions, you<br />

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NEXT VIRTUAL<br />

WORKSHOPS<br />

ADVANCED SKILLS IN COLLECTIONS : 23 <strong>June</strong> at 09:30<br />

COLLECTION SKILLS FOR THE NEW CREDIT FUTURE : 3 <strong>June</strong> at 18:30<br />

BEST PRACTICE SKILLS TO ASSESS CREDIT RISK : 23 <strong>June</strong> at 16:00<br />

MEET YOUR TRAINER: Jules Eames FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad); PGCE, is a qualified teacher,<br />

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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 46


EDUCATION & MARKETING<br />

The pursuit of knowledge<br />

Laura Martin ACI<strong>CM</strong> is a voice for women in the<br />

industry, and a champion of Lego in her household.<br />

AUTHOR – Max Tyson<br />

IT would not be too much of a<br />

stretch to say that Laura Martin’s<br />

relatively young career has been<br />

one full of variety. Starting off<br />

as a HR assistant, she worked<br />

in customer services for Lego,<br />

before moving into debt collection. For<br />

the last three years, Laura has worked<br />

for Credit Limits International, which<br />

sees her deal with the debts of a range of<br />

clients, from small, family-run businesses<br />

to global companies.<br />

Laura also has another role. One that<br />

is more stressful, tiring and, dare I say,<br />

perhaps more rewarding. As a mother<br />

of three she is used to juggling multiple<br />

responsibilities and constantly pushing<br />

herself to the limit. And while her little<br />

ones are yet to adjust to the deficit of<br />

building toys and brick sets in their<br />

stockings come Christmas time, she is<br />

confident that she’s found her calling: “I<br />

feel so lucky to be where I am today. I’m in<br />

a profession that I love and one in which<br />

I’m inspired to learn.”<br />

This desire for knowledge and<br />

development sees her find time where<br />

others might not. She could be forgiven<br />

for wanting to put her feet up after a<br />

long day in her two full time jobs, but it<br />

is easy to see a fire in Laura, so it seems<br />

only natural that she has been drawn to<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong>.<br />

A NATURAL PARTNERSHIP<br />

Since joining the Institute, Laura has<br />

benefitted from the learning tools and<br />

courses on offer. Having completed her<br />

Level 3 qualification 18 months ago, she<br />

is now undertaking her Level 5 Diploma<br />

in Credit Management because, as she<br />

says, there is more she wants to learn:<br />

“From advanced credit risk management<br />

to process improvements, the course<br />

is providing information on key credit<br />

management areas and opening my<br />

knowledge up to areas of the sector I<br />

haven’t touched before.”<br />

The course has, life and kids aside,<br />

brought its challenges. The focus is<br />

predominantly on credit, yet Laura’s job<br />

sees her focus on collections: “I have<br />

certainly felt somewhat thrown in at<br />

the deep end. Strategic planning and<br />

advanced credit risk management, for<br />

example, are parts of the sector I haven’t<br />

been exposed to before.<br />

“But in the same breath, the course is<br />

giving me a broader overview of the whole<br />

industry and the knowledge I am gaining<br />

will only be of benefit to myself and my<br />

customers.”<br />

A further positive can be gleaned from<br />

the structure of the course. While there are<br />

compulsory modules that each candidate<br />

sits, there is room for flexibility within<br />

these. Within the advanced credit risk<br />

management module, for example, Laura<br />

is focusing on the new client assessment<br />

angle, as this is most relevant to her line<br />

of work.<br />

Laura Martin ACI<strong>CM</strong> is Debt Collection<br />

Manager Scandinavia & UK at Credit Limits<br />

International Ltd.<br />

APPLYING THE THEORY<br />

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the<br />

qualification is its utility and relevance for<br />

credit professionals. This ability to tailor<br />

modules around your interests means<br />

that students are able to learn theories<br />

and practice ideas that they can apply to<br />

their work.<br />

Laura makes this point about the Process<br />

Improvement module: “This element<br />

of the course focuses on monitoring,<br />

reviewing and improving business<br />

processes. Learning the fundamentals of<br />

the Lean Six Sigma, Streamlined Process<br />

Improvement (SPI) and Continuous<br />

Improvement methodologies has allowed<br />

me to look at collections within the<br />

companies on my portfolio and identify<br />

the areas which are adding value and<br />

remove areas that are not adding value<br />

through leaning, cleaning and greening.”<br />

BENEFITS BEYOND THE COURSE<br />

As a member of the CI<strong>CM</strong>, members are<br />

able to access resources and learning<br />

materials, irrespective of whether or not<br />

they’re undertaking official qualifications.<br />

And as well as up-to-date information,<br />

members share best practice, allowing<br />

collective benefits to follow.<br />

For Laura, this meant that she was able<br />

to keep on top of the state of many sectors<br />

from the start of the pandemic, enabling<br />

her to categorise her cases based on the<br />

likelihood of receiving repayment. An<br />

early awareness of the hardships faced<br />

by the hospitality and retail sectors saw<br />

her put them to one side in the early<br />

stages, and only begin pursuing debts in<br />

the summer months, once business had<br />

begun to pick up again.<br />

“It’s this knowledge,” she says, “that<br />

is of such value to me as a collections<br />

professional. The CI<strong>CM</strong> is able to provide<br />

in-depth information on the credit<br />

industry, as well as the many sectors it<br />

touches, and this insight provides an<br />

invaluable tool when it comes to dealing<br />

with customers.”<br />

A VOICE FOR WOMEN<br />

It’s difficult not to feel a real sense of<br />

admiration for Laura. As a mother, she<br />

wants to do right by her children; as a<br />

professional she wants to do the best<br />

possible job for her clients; and as a<br />

woman she wants to provide a voice in<br />

what appears to still be a male-dominated<br />

industry. She puts it far better than I ever<br />

could: “In debt collection there are two<br />

major misconceptions: the first is that<br />

we are nasty people who hound others on<br />

the phone, and the other is that it is no<br />

industry for women.<br />

“On the first point, it is great to see<br />

headway being made in eroding this<br />

misconception, with groups like the CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

and Credit Services Association (CSA)<br />

making real strides in highlighting the<br />

professionalism and personalism shown<br />

by the vast majority of collection agencies.<br />

“And on the second, I find such great<br />

pleasure in the work I do and my only<br />

wish is that more could be done to inspire<br />

women to join this great industry.”<br />

Max Tyson is a writer on the<br />

Credit Management editorial team.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 47


EDUCATION & MARKETING<br />

Booking your<br />

exams has never<br />

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Head over to our new exam pages<br />

for all the information you need to prepare,<br />

book and take your CI<strong>CM</strong> exams<br />

www.cicm.com/exams/


MARKETING & EDUCATION<br />

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Consumer Collections – 20 September<br />

Recovery – 29 <strong>June</strong><br />

Credit Risk open – 29 <strong>June</strong><br />

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Business Environment – 6 September<br />

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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 49


NEW AND UPGRADED MEMBERS<br />

Do you know someone who would benefit from CI<strong>CM</strong> membership? Or have<br />

you considered applying to upgrade your membership? See our website<br />

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

Member<br />

Kay Baker<br />

Fiona Brown<br />

Janisha Patel<br />

Karen Sanderson<br />

Peter Staines<br />

Anthony Barrow<br />

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Jonathan Fancourt<br />

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Member by exam<br />

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Studying Member<br />

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Andrew Cozens<br />

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Conor David<br />

Ahmed Daya<br />

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Louis Ellis<br />

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Jennifer Forsyth<br />

Lisa Girt<br />

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Mohammed Ifraz<br />

David Jarvis<br />

Mathana Jathurshan<br />

Rachael Jones<br />

Zita Joseph<br />

Paul Loader<br />

Barbara McLauchlan<br />

Logan McWilliams<br />

Charles Mensah<br />

Jack Mills<br />

Maithabeleng Mphane<br />

Nandagopal Narayanankutty<br />

Marc Newton<br />

Sandra Piteira<br />

Grant Raggett<br />

Anita Rooney<br />

Alison Rowley-Smith<br />

MD Mozibur Rahaman Sarker<br />

Seetharam Seethamohan<br />

Prashant Sharma<br />

Pamela Sibanda<br />

Salim Tabboush<br />

Tom Fifoot<br />

Piers Gooding<br />

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John McNeill<br />

Tendesayi Vengesayi<br />

Affiliate<br />

Kinga Kacaniova<br />

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Jane Caldwell<br />

Claire Rimmer<br />

Sandra Rosario-Ochtaras<br />

Hayley Wright<br />

Associate<br />

Rose Anne Calleja Mark Fyfe Adewale Owoseni Eoghan Rodgers<br />

Fellow<br />

Margaret Dunsmore<br />

Congratulations to our current members who have upgraded their membership<br />

Upgraded member<br />

Gail Armstrong FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Michelle Atkinson FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Nick Neal FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

John Rea FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Hardev Tumber FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Jason Sedgwick FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Anthony Barrow MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Nicky Crossey MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Jonathan Fancourt MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Yvette Gray MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Rebecca Wilkins MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Luke Peacock ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Alexander Dowson ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Charlotte Gregory ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

AWARDING BODY<br />

Congratulations to the following, who successfully achieved Diplomas<br />

Level 3 Diploma in Credit & Collections (ACI<strong>CM</strong>)<br />

NAME<br />

Katharyne Brindle<br />

Henry Green<br />

Ivelin Iliev<br />

Eoghan Rodgers<br />

Ian Armstrong<br />

WE WANT YOUR BRANCH NEWS!<br />

Get in touch with the CI<strong>CM</strong> by emailing branches@cicm.com with your branch news and event reports.<br />

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

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 50


PANEL BASHER<br />

Consigned to the bin?<br />

Consignment stock arrangements are<br />

worth a second look.<br />

How do<br />

consignment<br />

stock<br />

arrangements<br />

work, and are<br />

they worth the<br />

bother?<br />

NIGEL FIELDS FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Panellist<br />

A career in credit management spanning<br />

more than 30 years, Nigel Fields FCI<strong>CM</strong> is<br />

now Senior Director, Global Process Owner<br />

OTC at NBC Universal International. Nigel<br />

spent 20 years working for Twentieth Century<br />

Fox International Film Corp. starting out in<br />

its UK business as Credit Manager and rising<br />

to Executive Director for Credit, responsible<br />

for Order to Cash (OTC) across Fox’s entire<br />

international business portfolio. Prior to Fox,<br />

he worked as the Credit Manager at Hornby<br />

Hobbies and a Credit Controller for GEC. Nigel<br />

says: “I attribute much of my career success to<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong> community where I am always able<br />

to draw upon knowledge and skills from the<br />

extensive array of members and partners.”<br />

CONSIGNMENT stock<br />

agreements have become<br />

increasingly popular in<br />

recent years. It’s basically a<br />

supply chain management<br />

strategy in which retailers<br />

hold products from suppliers in store for<br />

sale without paying for the products until<br />

purchased by the end consumers.<br />

We can all see our retail highstreets<br />

in decline and disappearing at a rapid<br />

pace and yet, as we make more and more<br />

on-line purchases. I still feel a sense of<br />

sorrow about losing those stores that I<br />

previously enjoyed visiting and browsing<br />

products that would often lead me to make<br />

purchases on impulse. One lifeline might<br />

just be the ‘consignment stock’ agreement<br />

which allows the retailer to hold a good<br />

range of products without them having<br />

their money tied up in stock. It also allows<br />

for suppliers to have a better range with<br />

good product mixes on sale in stores that<br />

can include products that the retailer<br />

might not otherwise held in their normal<br />

product ranges. It’s a good balance that<br />

ensures that the retailers’ money is not<br />

tied up in stock but is still able to offer for<br />

sale a wide, plentiful range of products<br />

from suppliers that would otherwise have<br />

resulted in lost trade and sales.<br />

The model has some obvious<br />

advantages but does also come with some<br />

disadvantages too. I have listed my key<br />

thoughts on this.<br />

ADVANTAGES FOR THE SUPPLIER<br />

• A good marketing tool ensuring a wide<br />

range of products in stores.<br />

• Includes products that retailers may not<br />

normally have held.<br />

• Better in store placing of products on<br />

sale.<br />

• Maximises the potential retail sales.<br />

• Provides insights and a true<br />

understanding of consumer habits.<br />

• Reduces stock inventory and warehouse<br />

costs.<br />

• The supplier has clear title and<br />

ownership of all unsold products.<br />

• Payment terms can be shortened.<br />

• Better visibility of what is and what is<br />

not selling.<br />

DISADVANTAGES FOR THE SUPPLIER<br />

• Increased shipping costs.<br />

• Risk of loss or damage of the product on<br />

sale.<br />

• Reliance on retailers to correctly track<br />

and report sales.<br />

• Reliance on retailers to maximise<br />

product exposure.<br />

• Tying up the Supplier’s capital until<br />

merchandise is sold to consumers.<br />

• Reliance on the retailer’s financial<br />

stability and their ability to transfer<br />

funds after selling.<br />

• Systems requirements in order to<br />

manage the process.<br />

ADVANTAGES FOR THE RETAILER<br />

• Less cash tied up in stock.<br />

• Stocking a wider range of products that<br />

can bring increased footfall and sales.<br />

• Only pay for what is sold.<br />

• Supplier will help to maximise sales.<br />

• Better margins as the supplier is more<br />

likely to price adjust for promotions etc.<br />

DISADVANTAGES FOR THE RETAILER<br />

• Shelf space especially, if consigned<br />

products aren't sold.<br />

• Different process necessary to manage<br />

inventory.<br />

• Possible loss of focus on overall product<br />

ranges.<br />

• Generally shorter payment terms.<br />

Consignment agreements will largely<br />

depend upon individual circumstances.<br />

It can be a great way to see what products<br />

are really selling and is likely to get you<br />

better retail shelf space. Overall, I think it<br />

is a really good thing and, from experience,<br />

if managed properly, the advantages<br />

outweigh the disadvantages all round.<br />

Let’s face it, the bricks and mortar physical<br />

retailers have a far more expensive model<br />

than on-line retailers and it is something<br />

that can certainly help the balance a little.<br />

If you’d like to join our panel of experts, or if<br />

you have a question to ask, contact the editor<br />

at sfeast@gravityglobal.com<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 51


@CreditServicesA<br />

UKCCC<br />

<strong>2021</strong><br />

CROWNE PLAZA<br />

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 52<br />

AWARDS<br />

<strong>2021</strong>


GET TUNED IN<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> is proud to<br />

introduce our new Podcasts<br />

how they can<br />

benefit your<br />

company<br />

Listen in to the<br />

conversations of the<br />

industry experts,<br />

wherever you are.<br />

Tune in now!<br />

GET TUNED IN<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 53


HR MATTERS<br />

Location, Location, Location<br />

Equal pay, the value of work, and the<br />

right to work in the UK.<br />

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards<br />

HOW should employees<br />

in retail environments<br />

compare their roles for<br />

equal pay purposes? That<br />

question was answered<br />

by the Supreme Court in<br />

Asda Stores Ltd v Brierley and others.<br />

The Court ruled that Asda employees<br />

in retail stores can compare themselves<br />

to those employees working in the<br />

supermarket's distribution depots under<br />

the Equal Pay Act 1970 and Equality<br />

Act 2010, despite working at different<br />

locations.<br />

In the case, more than 7,000 –<br />

predominantly female – staff employed<br />

in Asda retail stores brought an equal<br />

pay claim in the Employment Tribunal,<br />

seeking to use higher-paid, predominately<br />

male, Asda distribution depot workers as<br />

their comparators.<br />

Asda said that distribution staff are not<br />

appropriate comparators as employees<br />

working on the shop floor are employed at<br />

different establishments and on different,<br />

although not materially different, terms<br />

and conditions of employment.<br />

The Supreme Court disagreed and<br />

confirmed that, where there are<br />

no comparators at the claimant’s<br />

establishment, the 'North hypothetical'<br />

principle (Dumfries and Galloway<br />

Council v North) can be applied to<br />

consider whether the comparators would<br />

have been employed on similar terms to<br />

those they are currently on at their own<br />

establishment, had they been employed<br />

at the same site as the claimant.<br />

As a result, despite working in entirely<br />

different establishments, retail store<br />

employees can use distribution workers<br />

as their comparators to assess whether<br />

the latter would have been employed<br />

on similar terms to those currently<br />

at distribution depots had they been<br />

employed in supermarket retail stores.<br />

However, retail workers must still<br />

show that they have performed work of<br />

equal value. In response, Asda is likely to<br />

argue that a difference in pay is justified<br />

because the value of the claimants and<br />

comparators work when compared is<br />

not of equal value. The supermarket<br />

may be able to use the ‘genuine material<br />

factor’ defence if there is a valid nondiscriminatory<br />

reason for the difference<br />

in pay.<br />

The case was referred back to the<br />

Employment Tribunal for an evaluation<br />

of whether the work of the claimants and<br />

comparators is of equal value and whether<br />

a ‘genuine material factor’ defence would<br />

be permissible.<br />

The Supreme Court’s ruling shows that<br />

the comparator in equal pay claims does<br />

not have to be employed on identical or<br />

the same terms as the claimant. Employers<br />

still have the opportunity to defend equal<br />

pay claims, by showing that the claimant's<br />

and comparator’s work is not of equal<br />

value, or by using the ‘genuine material<br />

factor’ defence where an employee is paid<br />

less than a comparator of the opposite<br />

sex performing equal work for a nondiscriminatory<br />

reason.<br />

THE Home Office has updated, An<br />

employers’ guide to right to work checks,<br />

which provides guidance on the right to<br />

work for EU citizens starting work in the<br />

UK between 1 January and 30 <strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Until the end of this grace period,<br />

employers can still rely on verifying an<br />

EEA or Swiss national’s right to remain<br />

in the UK by checking their passport<br />

or national ID card as evidence of their<br />

identity and right to work in the UK.<br />

The guidance confirms that there is<br />

no obligation to apply different criteria<br />

to those EU citizens who arrived in the<br />

UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020 in<br />

comparison to those who arrived after<br />

that time under UK immigration laws.<br />

The guidance also confirmed that no<br />

mandatory requirement for employers<br />

to undertake retrospective checks on EU<br />

citizens employed before 30 <strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> is<br />

to be applied during the grace period.<br />

This means that an employer will<br />

continue to benefit from protection<br />

against a civil penalty if their employee<br />

is working illegally in the UK as long as<br />

a right to work check is undertaken in<br />

line with right to work legislation and<br />

guidance, and the employer does not<br />

Guidance on right to work check<br />

know or have reasonable cause to believe<br />

the employee has no right to work in the<br />

UK.<br />

For those prospective UK employees<br />

who already have status under the EU<br />

Settlement Scheme, or under the pointsbased<br />

immigration system, employers<br />

may encourage them to evidence their<br />

right to work using the Home Office<br />

online service. Employers are not allowed<br />

to insist that EU citizens use the online<br />

service, nor can they discriminate against<br />

those who still want to use their passport<br />

or national identity card as evidence<br />

of their right to work during the grace<br />

period.<br />

However, from 1 July <strong>2021</strong>, all EU<br />

citizens (other than Irish nationals) will<br />

need to provide evidence of immigration<br />

status using the online service to<br />

demonstrate they have a right to work in<br />

the UK.<br />

Gareth Edwards is a partner in the<br />

employment team at VWV<br />

www.gedwards@vwv.co.uk<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 54


Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 55


TAKE CONTROL OF<br />

YOUR CREDIT CAREER<br />

CREDIT CONTROLLER<br />

London City, £35,000-£45,000 per annum<br />

The successful candidate will be working for a growing law<br />

firm that opened as a family business 30 years ago and is now<br />

a successful LLP specialising in property and construction law.<br />

This is a great opportunity to join the business as a revenue<br />

controller and take ownership of the credit control, WIP<br />

management and billing. You will be working in a team of eight<br />

and the ideal candidate will have experience in a similar role<br />

previously and be confident taking full responsibility of these<br />

duties. Ref: 3974325<br />

Contact Rebecca Hutton on 020 3465 0020<br />

or email rebecca.hutton@hays.com<br />

REGIONAL CREDIT CONTROL TEAM LEAD<br />

Belfast, c£35,000<br />

A senior credit opportunity, leading a regional credit and<br />

collections team within a global business has become available.<br />

You will co-ordinate the collections and cash management<br />

strategy for the region; oversee key client accounts; manage<br />

the day-to-day activities of the collections staff, which includes<br />

establishing performance goals. You will build strong relationships<br />

with senior stakeholders across the business and externally, with<br />

a focus on big picture and long-term relationship building.<br />

Ref: 3972926<br />

Contact Nicola McCallum on 07720 617714<br />

or email nicola.mccallum@hays.com<br />

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE SUPERVISOR<br />

Uxbridge, up to £37,000 per annum + 5% annual bonus<br />

Working for a global retail entertainment business you will primarily<br />

be responsible for supervision of two accounts receivable clerks,<br />

ensuring timely and correct allocation of payments. You will also<br />

oversee the administration of intercompany and sundry receivables<br />

accounts. This is a progressive role where you will get involved in<br />

major projects, SOX controls and implementation of new processes<br />

after a recent key acquisition. Experience with SAP and solid<br />

reporting skills on excel is essential. Ref: 3977144<br />

Contact Mark Ordoña on 07565 800574<br />

or email mark.ordona@hays.com<br />

CREDIT CONTROLLER<br />

London City (currently remote), up to £28,000<br />

You will be working for a FTSE250 media subscriptions business<br />

and will manage a ledger of circa 200-300 live accounts, with<br />

a value of £4M-£5M per month. This role will focus primarily<br />

on chasing ‘clean debt’, and you will be dealing with multiple<br />

currencies and international clients. You will utilise strong credit<br />

control and negotiation skills, NetSuite system experience is<br />

advantageous but not essential. This role is initially being offered<br />

on a two-month contract basis but is likely to extend further.<br />

Currently fully remote with laptop provided, flexible working<br />

options will be available longer term. Ref: 3979035<br />

Contact Sheyda Ozturk on 020 3465 0020<br />

or email sheyda.ozturk@hays.com<br />

hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 56


TRAIN FOR THE<br />

YEAR AHEAD<br />

My Learning – free skills<br />

training from Hays<br />

To find out more visit<br />

hays.co.uk/mylearning<br />

SALES LEDGER & CREDIT CONTROL ASSISTANT<br />

Bishop Auckland, County Durham, £24,000<br />

A one-off opportunity to join a family owned “success story”<br />

has become available. You will be responsible for all aspects<br />

of sales ledger and credit control, which includes maintaining<br />

databases, chasing debt and nurturing established relationships<br />

with customers. You will be the key point of contact for all<br />

customer queries and work with the sales reps and production<br />

teams. Proficient Excel skills and knowledge of Sage 200 is an<br />

advantage. Ref: 3981702<br />

Contact Catherine Duke on 07595 073328<br />

or email catherine.duke@hays.com<br />

CREDIT CONTROLLER (GERMAN SPEAKING)<br />

Exeter, £21,000 + potential of a bonus, usually achieved<br />

You will be working for a large scale communications and data<br />

management company based in the centre of Exeter. You will be<br />

dealing specifically with the German and Austrian markets that the<br />

organisation works with. You will be responsible for the successful<br />

communication between the client and their customers on certain<br />

financial issues. As well as your salary you will receive an excellent<br />

benefits package well in excess of any industry standard or<br />

expectations. Ref: 3966431<br />

Contact Simon Lawrence on 07824 884540<br />

or email simon.lawrence@hays.com<br />

This is just a small selection of the many opportunities we have<br />

available for credit professionals. To find out more visit us<br />

online or contact Kabir Gulabkhan, Hays Credit Management<br />

UK Lead on 020 3465 0020<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 57


BE ONE CLICK AWAY<br />

FROM OUR WEBSITE<br />

How to set up a great one click link to the CI<strong>CM</strong> website<br />

on your mobile phone. Follow these four simple steps...<br />

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4<br />

Go to cicm.com > Click highlighted icon at bottom of screen > Click add to Home screen icon<br />

> Click add icon at top right of screen > CI<strong>CM</strong> icon will appear on your screen<br />

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4<br />

Open cicm.com in Google Chrome browser > Tap Menu button > Tap add shortcut to Home screen<br />

> Icon will appear on your screen. Menu button on other Android devices may be displayed differently.<br />

Advancing the credit profession<br />

T: +44 (0)1780 722900 | WWW.CI<strong>CM</strong>.COM


CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF CREDIT MANAGEMENT<br />

ONLINE EVENTS<br />

Keep an eye on our events calendar at CI<strong>CM</strong>.COM for all CI<strong>CM</strong> events!<br />

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

Many of our events are now available<br />

online, along with a new series of<br />

live recorded webinars for the credit<br />

profession.<br />

Studying at a<br />

distance<br />

with CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Visit our website for<br />

updates and instructions<br />

on how to register...<br />

From interactive virtual classrooms to supporting texts,<br />

from mentor advice to peer support, we’ve got it all.<br />

Contact CI<strong>CM</strong> for more information on any of these services,<br />

or check them out at cicm.com<br />

Giving you the tools to continue<br />

working through this crisis.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 59


Cr£ditWho?<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Directory of Services<br />

COLLECTIONS<br />

COLLECTIONS (INTERNATIONAL)<br />

COLLECTIONS LEGAL<br />

Controlaccount Plc<br />

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,<br />

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD<br />

T: 01527 549 522<br />

E: sales@controlaccount.com<br />

W: www.controlaccount.com<br />

Controlaccount Plc provides an efficient, effective and ethical<br />

commercial debt recovery service focused on improving business<br />

cash flow whilst preserving customer relationships and established<br />

reputations. Working with leading brand names in the UK and<br />

internationally, we deliver a bespoke service to our clients. We<br />

offer a no collect, no fee service without any contractual ties in.<br />

Where applicable, we can utilise the Late Payment of Commercial<br />

Debts Act (2013) to help you redress the cost of collection. Our<br />

clients also benefit from our in-house international trace and<br />

legal counsel departments and have complete transparency and<br />

up to the minute information on any accounts placed with us for<br />

recovery through our online debt management system, ClientWeb.<br />

Guildways<br />

T: +44 3333 409000<br />

E: info@guildways.com<br />

W: www.guildways.com<br />

Guildways is a UK & International debt collection specialist with over<br />

25 years experience. Guildways prides itself on operating to the<br />

highest ethical standards and professional service levels. We are<br />

experienced in collecting B2B and B2C debts. Our service includes:<br />

• A complete No collection, No Fee commission based service<br />

• 10% plus VAT commission for UK debts<br />

• Commission from 22% plus VAT for International debts<br />

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

• Direct online account-to-account payments, to speed up<br />

collections and minimise costs<br />

If you are unable to locate your customer, we also offer a no trace, no<br />

fee, trace and collect service.<br />

For more information, visit: www.guildways.com<br />

COLLECTIONS (INTERNATIONAL)<br />

Atradius Collections Ltd<br />

3 Harbour Drive,<br />

Capital Waterside, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ<br />

Phone: +44 (0)29 20824397<br />

Mobile: +44 (0)7767 865821<br />

E-mail:yvette.gray@atradius.com<br />

Website: atradiuscollections.com<br />

Atradius Collections Ltd is an established specialist in business<br />

to business collections. As the collections division of the Atradius<br />

Crédito y Caución, we have a strong position sharing history,<br />

knowledge and reputation.<br />

Annually handling more than 110,000 cases and recovering over<br />

a billion EUROs in collections at any one time, we deliver when<br />

it comes to collecting outstanding debts. With over 90 years’<br />

experience, we have an in-depth understanding of the importance<br />

of maintaining customer relationships whilst efficiently and<br />

effectively collecting monies owed.<br />

The individual nature of our clients’ customer relationships is<br />

reflected in the customer focus we provide, structuring our service<br />

to meet your specific needs. We work closely with clients to<br />

provide them with a collection strategy that echoes their business<br />

character, trading patterns and budget.<br />

For further information contact Yvette Gray Country Director, UK<br />

and Ireland.<br />

Premium Collections Limited<br />

3 Caidan House, Canal Road<br />

Timperley, Cheshire. WA14 1TD<br />

T: +44 (0)161 962 4695<br />

E: paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

W: www.premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

For all your credit management requirements Premium<br />

Collections has the solution to suit you. Operating on a national<br />

and international basis we can tailor a package of products and<br />

services to meet your requirements.<br />

Services include B2B collections, B2C collections, international<br />

collections, absconder tracing, asset repossessions, status<br />

reporting and litigation support.<br />

Managed from our offices in Manchester, Harrogate and Dublin our<br />

network of 55 partners cover the World.<br />

Contact Paul Daine FCI<strong>CM</strong> on +44 (0)161 962 4695 or<br />

paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

www.premiumcollections.co.uk<br />

Baker Ing International Limited<br />

Office 7, 35-37 Ludgate Hill, London. EC4M 7JN<br />

Contact: Lisa Baker-Reynolds<br />

Email: lisa@bakering.global<br />

Website: https://www.bakering.global/contact/<br />

Tel: 07717 020659<br />

Baker Ing International is a dedicated team of Credit industry<br />

experience that, combined, covers time served in most industries.<br />

The team is wholly comprised of working Credit Manager’s<br />

across the Globe with a minimum threshold of ten years working<br />

experience within Credit Management. The team offers a<br />

comprehensive service to clients - International Debt Recovery,<br />

Credit Control, Legal Services & more<br />

Our mission is to help companies improve the cost and efficiency<br />

of their Credit Management processes in order to limit the risks<br />

associated with extending credit and trading around the globe.<br />

How can we help you - call Lisa Baker Reynolds on<br />

+44(0)7717 020659 or email lisa@bakering.global<br />

Sterling Debt Recovery<br />

E: info@sterlingdebtrecovery.com<br />

T: 0207 1005978<br />

W: www.sterlingdebtrecovery.com<br />

Sterling specialises in international business debt collection<br />

to get outstanding invoices paid quickly and cost effectively.<br />

Our experienced, enthusiastic collectors achieve results whilst<br />

maintaining a professional image.<br />

We work on a commission only basis with no up-front fees and<br />

no hidden costs. Each client is allocated a named collector for<br />

personal service and regular updates. We collect the majority<br />

of debt without litigation, with our on-site lawyer supporting us<br />

where appropriate.<br />

Where local expertise is required our global network are available<br />

to assist.<br />

BlaserMills Law<br />

London – High Wycombe – Amersham – Silverstone<br />

T: 01494 478660<br />

E: jar@blasermills.co.uk<br />

W: www.blasermills.co.uk<br />

Blaser Mills Law’s commercial recoveries team is internationally<br />

recognised, regularly advising large corporations, multinationals<br />

and SMEs on pre-legal collections, debt recovery, commercial<br />

litigation, dispute resolution and insolvency. Our legal services<br />

are both cost-effective and highly efficient; Our lawyers are also<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> qualified and ranked in the industry leading law firm rankings<br />

publications, Legal 500 and Chambers UK.<br />

Keebles<br />

Capitol House, Russell Street, Leeds LS1 5SP<br />

T: 0113 399 3482<br />

E: charise.marsden@keebles.com<br />

W: www.keebles.com<br />

Keebles debt recovery team was named “Legal Team of the Year”<br />

at the 2019 CI<strong>CM</strong> British Credit Awards.<br />

According to our clients “Keebles stand head and shoulders<br />

above others in the industry. A team that understands their client’s<br />

business and know exactly how to speedily maximise recovery.<br />

Professional, can do attitude runs through the team which is not<br />

seen in many other practices.”<br />

We offer a service with no hidden costs, giving you certainty and<br />

peace of mind.<br />

• ‘No recovery, no fee’ for pre-legal work.<br />

• Fixed fees for issuing court proceedings and pursuing claims to<br />

judgment and enforcement.<br />

• Success rate in excess of 80%.<br />

• 24 hour turnaround on instructions.<br />

• Real-time online access to your cases to review progress.<br />

Lovetts Solicitors<br />

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway,<br />

Old Portsmouth Road,<br />

Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR<br />

T: 01483 347001<br />

E: info@lovetts.co.uk<br />

W: www.lovetts.co.uk<br />

With more than 25yrs experience in UK & international business<br />

debt collection and recovery, Lovetts Solicitors collects £40m+<br />

every year on behalf of our clients. Services include:<br />

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

of cases)<br />

• Advice and dispute resolution<br />

• Legal proceedings and enforcement<br />

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

CaseManager<br />

Don’t just take our word for it, here’s some recent customer<br />

feedback: “All our service expectations have been exceeded.<br />

The online system is particularly useful and extremely easy to<br />

use. Lovetts has a recognisable brand that generates successful<br />

results.”<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 60


FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION OPTIONS<br />

AND PRICING CONTACT<br />

russell@centuryone.uk 0203 603 7937<br />

CONSULTANCY<br />

CREDIT INFORMATION<br />

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE<br />

Chris Sanders Consulting<br />

T: +44(0)7747 761641<br />

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

Chris Sanders Consulting – we are a different sort of consulting<br />

firm, made up of a network of independent experienced<br />

operational credit & collections management and invoicing<br />

professionals, with specialisms in cross industry best practice<br />

advisory, assessment, interim management, leadership,<br />

workshops and training to help your team and organisation reach<br />

their full potential in credit and collections management. We are<br />

proud to be Corporate Partners of the Chartered Institute of Credit<br />

Management and to manage the CI<strong>CM</strong> Best Practice Accreditation<br />

Programme on their behalf. For more information please contact:<br />

enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com<br />

CREDIT INFORMATION<br />

Company Watch<br />

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,<br />

LONDON. EC3N 2ER<br />

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300<br />

E: info@companywatch.net<br />

W: www.companywatch.net<br />

Organisations around the world rely on Company Watch’s<br />

industry-leading financial analytics to drive their credit risk<br />

processes. Our financial risk modelling and ability to map medium<br />

to long-term risk as well as short-term credit risk set us apart<br />

from other credit reference agencies.<br />

Quality and rigour run through everything we do, from our unique<br />

method of assessing corporate financial health via our H-Score®,<br />

to developing analytics on our customers’ in-house data.<br />

With the H-Score® predicting almost 90 percent of corporate<br />

insolvencies in advance, it is the risk management tool of choice,<br />

providing actionable intelligence in an uncertain world.<br />

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE<br />

Data Interconnect Ltd<br />

Units 45-50<br />

Shrivenham Hundred Business Park, Majors Road,<br />

Watchfield. Swindon, SN6 8TZ<br />

T: +44 (0)1367 245777<br />

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk<br />

W: www.datainterconnect.com<br />

Data Interconnect is dedicated to solving complex Accounts<br />

Receivable problems through reliable, easy-to-use cloud<br />

software. We empower billing managers and collections experts<br />

with the tools and data they need in a user-friendly interface, for<br />

timely, tax-compliant invoicing, collections and reconciliation in<br />

the most cost effective, secure, auditable and trackable manner.<br />

The powerful, flexible, Corrivo platform is the only system your<br />

AR team needs to manage your company’s cashflow better.<br />

2 0 0 2<br />

—<br />

2 0 2 0<br />

CoCredo<br />

Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD<br />

T: 01494 790600<br />

E: customerservice@cocredo.com<br />

W: www.cocredo.co.uk<br />

CoCredo has 18 years experience in developing credit reports for<br />

businesses and is the current CI<strong>CM</strong> Credit Information Provider<br />

of the Year. Our company data is continually updated throughout<br />

the day and ensures customers have the most current information<br />

available. We aggregate data from a range of leading providers<br />

across over 235 territories and offer a range of services including<br />

the industry first Dual Report, Monitoring, XML Integration and<br />

DNA Portfolio Management.<br />

We pride ourselves in offering award-winning customer service<br />

and support to protect your business.<br />

HighRadius<br />

T: +44 7399 406889<br />

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com<br />

W: www.highradius.com<br />

HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated Receivables<br />

solutions for automating receivables and payment functions such<br />

as credit, collections, cash allocation, deductions and eBilling.<br />

The Integrated Receivables suite is delivered as a software-as-aservice<br />

(SaaS). HighRadius also offers SAP-certified Accelerators<br />

for SAP S/4HANA Finance Receivables Management, enabling<br />

large enterprises to maximize the value of their SAP investments.<br />

HighRadius Integrated Receivables solutions have a proven track<br />

record of reducing days sales outstanding (DSO), bad-debt and<br />

increasing operation efficiency, enabling companies to achieve an<br />

ROI in less than a year.<br />

ESKER<br />

Sam Townsend Head of Marketing<br />

Northern Europe Esker Ltd.<br />

T: +44 (0)1332 548176 M: +44 (0)791 2772 302<br />

W: www.esker.co.uk LinkedIn: Esker – Northern Europe<br />

Twitter: @EskerNEurope blog.esker.co.uk<br />

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes the all-toocommon<br />

obstacles preventing today’s businesses from collecting<br />

receivables in a timely manner. From credit management to cash<br />

allocation, Esker automates each step of the order-to-cash cycle.<br />

Esker’s automated AR system helps companies modernise<br />

without replacing their core billing and collections processes. By<br />

simply automating what should be automated, customers get the<br />

post-sale experience they deserve and your team gets the tools<br />

they need.<br />

Graydon UK<br />

66 College Road, 2nd Floor, Hygeia Building, Harrow,<br />

Middlesex, HA1 1BE<br />

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400<br />

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk<br />

W: www.graydon.co.uk<br />

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading provider of<br />

business information, analytics, insights and solutions. Graydon<br />

helps its customers to make fast, accurate decisions, enabling<br />

them to minimise risk and identify fraud as well as optimise<br />

opportunities with their commercial relationships. Graydon uses<br />

130+ international databases and the information of 90+ million<br />

companies. Graydon has offices in London, Cardiff, Amsterdam<br />

and Antwerp. Since 2016, Graydon has been part of Atradius, one<br />

of the world’s largest credit insurance companies.<br />

Tinubu Square UK<br />

Holland House, 4 Bury Street,<br />

London EC3A 5AW<br />

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /<br />

E: uksales@tinubu.com<br />

W: www.tinubu.com<br />

Founded in 2000, Tinubu Square is a software vendor, enabler<br />

of the Credit Insurance, Surety and Trade Finance digital<br />

transformation.<br />

Tinubu Square enables organizations across the world to<br />

significantly reduce their exposure to risk and their financial,<br />

operational and technical costs with best-in-class technology<br />

solutions and services. Tinubu Square provides SaaS solutions<br />

and services to different businesses including credit insurers,<br />

receivables financing organizations and multinational corporations.<br />

Tinubu Square has built an ecosystem of customers in over 20<br />

countries worldwide and has a global presence with offices in<br />

Paris, London, New York, Montreal and Singapore.<br />

SERRALA<br />

Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road<br />

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham<br />

Berkshire RG41 5RB<br />

E: r.hammons@serrala.com W: www.serrala.com<br />

T +44 118 207 0450 M +44 7788 564722<br />

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for organisations<br />

seeking efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes.<br />

As an SAP Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies<br />

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience and<br />

thousands of successful customer projects, including solutions<br />

for the entire order-to-cash process, Serrala provides credit<br />

managers and receivables professionals with the solutions they<br />

need to successfully protect their business against credit risk<br />

exposure and bad debt loss.<br />

ONGUARD<br />

T: 020 3868 0947<br />

E: lisa.bruno@onguard.com<br />

W: www.onguard.com<br />

Onguard is specialist in credit management software and market<br />

leader in innovative solutions for order to cash. Our integrated<br />

platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the<br />

order to cash chain and allows sharing of critical data.<br />

Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected and<br />

offer overview and control of the payment process, as well as<br />

contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.<br />

In more than 50 countries the Onguard platform is successfully<br />

used for successful credit management.<br />

Credica Ltd<br />

Building 168, Maxell Avenue, Harwell Oxford, Oxon. OX11 0QT<br />

T: 01235 856400E: info@credica.co.uk W: www.credica.co.uk<br />

Our highly configurable and extremely cost effective Collections<br />

and Query Management System has been designed with 3 goals<br />

in mind:<br />

•To improve your cashflow • To reduce your cost to collect<br />

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business<br />

Evolving over 15 years and driven by the input of 1000s of<br />

Credit Professionals across the UK and Europe, our system is<br />

successfully providing significant and measurable benefits for our<br />

diverse portfolio of clients.<br />

We would love to hear from you if you feel you would benefit from<br />

our ‘no nonsense’ and human approach to computer software.<br />

Satago<br />

48 Warwick Street, London, W1B 5AW<br />

T: +44(0)020 8050 3015<br />

E: hello@satago.com<br />

W: www.satago.com<br />

Satago helps business owners and their accountants avoid credit<br />

risks, manage debtors and access finance when they need it – all<br />

in one platform. Satago integrates with 300+ cloud accounting<br />

apps with just a few clicks, helping businesses:<br />

• Understand their customers - with RISK INSIGHTS<br />

• Get paid on time - with automated CREDIT CONTROL<br />

• Access funding - with flexible SINGLE INVOICE FINANCE<br />

Visit satago.com and start your free trial today.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 61


Cr£ditWho?<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Directory of Services<br />

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION<br />

OPTIONS AND PRICING CONTACT<br />

russell@centuryone.uk 0203 603 7937<br />

DATA AND ANALYTICS<br />

ENFORCEMENT<br />

INSOLVENCY<br />

Dun & Bradstreet<br />

Marlow International, Parkway Marlow<br />

Buckinghamshire SL7 1AJ<br />

Telephone: (0800) 001-234 Website: www.dnb.co.uk<br />

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern finance<br />

leaders and credit professionals to improve business performance<br />

through more effective risk management, identification of growth<br />

opportunities, and better integration of data and insights across<br />

the business. Powered by our Data Cloud, our solutions provide<br />

access to the world’s most comprehensive commercial data<br />

and insights - supplying a continually updated view of business<br />

relationships that helps finance and credit teams stay ahead of<br />

market shifts and customer changes. Learn more here:<br />

www.dnb.co.uk/modernfinance<br />

C2FO<br />

C2FO Ltd<br />

105 Victoria Steet<br />

SW1E 6QT<br />

T: 07799 692193<br />

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com<br />

W: www.c2fo.com<br />

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables into income,<br />

uniquely connecting buyers and suppliers to allow discounts<br />

in exchange for early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers<br />

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating payments<br />

from buyers when required in just two clicks, at a rate that works<br />

for them. Buyers, often corporates with global supply chains,<br />

benefit from the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while<br />

strengthening the financial health of supply chains through<br />

ethical business practices.<br />

identeco – Business Support Toolkit<br />

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,<br />

Worcestershire B60 4FD<br />

Telephone: 01527 549 531 Email: info@identeco.co.uk<br />

Web: www.identeco.co.uk<br />

identeco’s Business Support Toolkit is an online portal connecting<br />

its subscribers to a range of business services that help them<br />

to engage with new prospects, understand their customers and<br />

mitigate risk. Annual subscription is £79.95 per year for unlimited<br />

access. Providing company information and financial reports,<br />

director and shareholder structures as well as a unique financial<br />

health rating, balance sheets, ratio analysis, and any detrimental<br />

data that might be associated with a company. Other services<br />

also included in the subscription include a business names<br />

database, acquisition targets, a data audit service as well as<br />

unlimited, bespoke marketing and telesales listings for any sector.<br />

ENFORCEMENT<br />

Court Enforcement Services<br />

Wayne Whitford – Director<br />

M: +44 (0)7834 748 183 T : +44 (0)1992 663 399<br />

E : wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

W: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

Court Enforcement Services is the market leading and fastest<br />

growing High Court Enforcement company. Since forming in 2014,<br />

we have managed over 100,000 High Court Writs and recovered<br />

more than £187 million for our clients, all debt fairly collected. We<br />

help lawyers and creditors across all sectors to recover unpaid<br />

CCJ’s sooner rather than later. We achieve 39% early engagement<br />

resulting in market-leading recovery rates. Our multi-awardwinning<br />

technology provides real-time reporting 24/7. We work in<br />

close partnership to expertly resolve matters with a fast, fair and<br />

personable approach. We work hard to achieve the best results<br />

and protect your reputation.<br />

High Court Enforcement Group Limited<br />

Client Services, Helix, 1st Floor<br />

Edmund Street, Liverpool<br />

L3 9NY<br />

T: 08450 999 666<br />

E: clientservices@hcegroup.co.uk<br />

W: hcegroup.co.uk<br />

Putting creditors first<br />

We are the largest independent High Court enforcement company,<br />

with more authorised officers than anyone else. We are privately<br />

owned, which allows us to manage our business in a way that<br />

puts our clients first. Clients trust us to deliver and service is<br />

paramount. We cover all aspects of enforcement – writs of control,<br />

possessions, process serving and landlord issues – and are<br />

committed to meeting and exceeding clients’ expectations.<br />

FINANCIAL PR<br />

Gravity Global<br />

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

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

W: www.gravityglobal.com<br />

Gravity is an award winning full service PR and advertising<br />

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the<br />

best in its field. It has a particular expertise in the credit sector,<br />

building long-term relationships with some of the industry’s bestknown<br />

brands working on often challenging briefs. As the partner<br />

agency for the Credit Services Association (CSA) for the past 22<br />

years, and the Chartered Institute of Credit Management since<br />

2006, it understands the key issues affecting the credit industry<br />

and what works and what doesn’t in supporting its clients in the<br />

media and beyond.<br />

FORUMS<br />

FORUMS INTERNATIONAL<br />

T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

Forums International Ltd have been running Credit and Industry<br />

Forums since 1991. We cover a range of industry sectors and<br />

International trading, attendance is for Credit Professionals of all<br />

levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities which<br />

aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead. Attending<br />

for the first time is free for you to gauge the benefits and meet the<br />

members and we only have pre-approved Partners, so you will<br />

never intentionally be sold to.<br />

Menzies<br />

T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff<br />

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services<br />

Our Creditor Services team can advise on the best way for you<br />

to protect your position when one of your debtors enters, or<br />

is approaching, insolvency proceedings. Our services include<br />

assisting with retention of title claims, providing representation<br />

at creditor meetings, forensic investigations, raising finance,<br />

financial restructuring and removing the administrative burden<br />

– this includes completing and lodging claim forms, monitoring<br />

dividend prospects and analysing all Insolvency Reports and<br />

correspondence.<br />

For more information on how the Menzies Creditor<br />

Services team can assist please contact Giuseppe Parla,<br />

Licensed Insolvency Practitioner, at gparla@menzies.co.uk<br />

or call +44 20 7465 1919.<br />

LEGAL<br />

Shoosmiths<br />

Email: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Tel: 03700 86 3000 W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit<br />

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly and cost effectively<br />

as possible. We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt<br />

recovery, including:<br />

•Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and keep costs down<br />

•Litigation service<br />

•Post-litigation services including enforcement<br />

•Insolvency<br />

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to relate to your goals,<br />

and adept at advising you on the most effective way of achieving<br />

them.<br />

PAYMENT SOLUTIONS<br />

American Express<br />

76 Buckingham Palace Road,<br />

London. SW1W 9TQ<br />

T: +44 (0)1273 696933<br />

W: www.americanexpress.com<br />

American Express is working in partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong> and is a<br />

globally recognised provider of payment solutions to businesses.<br />

Specialising in providing flexible collection capabilities to drive a<br />

number of company objectives including:<br />

• Accelerate cashflow • Improved DSO • Reduce risk<br />

• Offer extended terms to customers<br />

•Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive<br />

growth • Create competitive advantage with your customers<br />

As experts in the field of payments and with a global reach,<br />

American Express is working with credit managers to drive growth<br />

within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional lever<br />

to help support supplier/client relationships American Express is<br />

proud to be an innovator in the business payments space.<br />

Bottomline Technologies<br />

115 Chatham Street, Reading<br />

Berks RG1 7JX | UK<br />

T: 0870 081 8250 E: emea-info@bottomline.com<br />

W: www.bottomline.com/uk<br />

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses<br />

pay and get paid. Businesses and banks rely on Bottomline for<br />

domestic and international payments, effective cash management<br />

tools, automated workflows for payment processing and bill<br />

review and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural analytics<br />

and regulatory compliance. Businesses around the world depend<br />

on Bottomline solutions to help them pay and get paid, including<br />

some of the world’s largest systemic banks, private and publicly<br />

traded companies and Insurers. Every day, we help our customers<br />

by making complex business payments simple, secure and<br />

seamless.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 62


PAYMENT SOLUTIONS<br />

ARE YOU A LEADER<br />

OR FOLLOWER?<br />

Key IVR<br />

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000<br />

E: sales@keyivr.com<br />

W: www.keyivr.com<br />

Key IVR are proud to have joined the Chartered Institute of<br />

Credit Management’s Corporate partnership scheme. The<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> is a recognised and trusted professional entity within<br />

credit management and a perfect partner for Key IVR. We are<br />

delighted to be providing our services to the CI<strong>CM</strong> to assist with<br />

their membership collection activities. Key IVR provides a suite<br />

of products to assist companies across the globe with credit<br />

management. Our service is based around giving the end-user<br />

the means to make a payment when and how they choose. Using<br />

automated collection methods, such as a secure telephone<br />

payment line (IVR), web and SMS allows companies to free up<br />

valuable staff time away from typical debt collection.<br />

RECRUITMENT<br />

Hays Credit Management<br />

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN<br />

T: 07834 260029<br />

E: karen.young@hays.com<br />

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Hays Credit Management is working in partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs and<br />

credit management jobs. Hays understands the demands of this<br />

challenging environment and the skills required to thrive within<br />

it. Whatever your needs, we have temporary, permanent and<br />

contract based opportunities to find your ideal role. Our candidate<br />

registration process is unrivalled, including face-to-face screening<br />

interviews and a credit control skills test developed exclusively for<br />

Hays by the CI<strong>CM</strong>. We offer CI<strong>CM</strong> members a priority service and<br />

can provide advice across a wide spectrum of job search and<br />

recruitment issues.<br />

PORTFOLIO<br />

CREDIT CONTROL<br />

Portfolio Credit Control<br />

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE<br />

T: 0207 650 3199<br />

E: recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

W: www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

Portfolio Credit Control, solely specialises in the recruitment of<br />

permanent, temporary and contract Credit Control, Accounts<br />

Receivable and Collections staff. Part of an award winning<br />

recruiter we speak to and meet credit controllers all day everyday<br />

understanding their skills and backgrounds to provide you with<br />

tried and tested credit control professionals. We have achieved<br />

enormous growth because we offer a uniquely specialist approach<br />

to our clients, with a commitment to service delivery that exceeds<br />

your expectations every single time.<br />

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Directory of Services<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accreditation is a proven model<br />

that has consistently delivered dramatic<br />

improvements in cashflow and efficiency<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>Q is the hallmark of industry<br />

leading organisations<br />

The CI<strong>CM</strong> Best Practice Network is where<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accredited organisations come<br />

together to develop, share and celebrate<br />

best practice in credit and collections<br />

BE A LEADER – JOIN THE CI<strong>CM</strong> BEST<br />

PRACTICE NETWORK TODAY<br />

To find out more about flexible options<br />

to gain CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accreditation<br />

E: cicmq@cicm.com T: 01780 722900<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 63


Taking control of your<br />

receivables helps drive<br />

your business forward.<br />

Whether you’re looking to hit cash flow<br />

targets or diversify funding options, C2FO<br />

puts you in control. Our easy-to-use platform<br />

enables more than 1.1 million companies to<br />

work directly with their customers to improve<br />

cash flow by determining the best time and<br />

terms for being paid.<br />

Visit C2FO.com/uk for more information.<br />

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /<strong>June</strong> <strong>2021</strong> / PAGE 64

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