Credit Management July and August 2021





JULY & AUGUST 2021 £12.50




the wave

Can we turn the tide

on late payment?

Regulation regarding NPLs is

potentially damaging society.

Page 10

Sean Feast speaks to

Dave Timmis of

Page 12

Wherever your

business is,


is there

UK coverage for all your

business recoveries

Contact us:

Paula Swain


+44 (0) 3700 866 849

Andrew Foyle


+44 (0) 3700 868 053

Gillian Crotty


+44 (0) 3700 861 512

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Adam Bernstein



Ben Marsh



Regulation that incentivises banks to

sell non-performing loans (NPLs) is

having unintended consequences on

the consumer and society.



Dave Timmis, CEO of,

discusses the rise and rise of private

vehicle leasing.


James Campbell argues that late

payment is little more than supplier

abuse and serial late payers need to be

called out.


Neil Munroe considers the international

landscape for Credit Reference



Australia is a fully fledged nation

presenting a wealth of opportunity.


How is ‘nudge’ behaviour being applied

in a pre- and post-COVID world?



Dave Timmis


President Stephen Baister FCICM / Chief Executive Sue Chapple FCICM

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

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

Advisory Council: Laurie Beagle FCICM / Glen Bullivant FCICM / Alan Church FCICM(Grad) / Brendan Clarkson FCICM

Larry Coltman FCICM / Niall Cooter FCICM / Bryony Crossland FCICM(Grad) / Peter Gent FCICM(Grad)

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

/ Allan Poole MCICM / Alice Purdy MCICM(Grad) / Matthew Roberts MCICM / Phil Rice FCICM / Chris Sanders FCICM

Stephen Thomson FCICM / Sarah Wilding FCICM / Atul Vadher FCICM(Grad)

View our digital version online at Log on to the Members’

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

Credit Management is distributed to the entire UK and international CICM

membership, as well as additional subscribers

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

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

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

trade mark of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.

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



James Campbell


Lesley Batchelor explains the power of

the invoice in international trade.


Tim Vine of Dun & Bradstreet examines

the challenges faced by the transport

sector half-term report Order-to-Cash



Chartered Institute of Credit Management

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Telephone: 01780 722900




Managing Editor

Sean Feast FCICM

Deputy Editor

Iona Yadallee

Art Editor

Andrew Morris

Telephone: 01780 722910


Editorial Team

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and Max Tyson


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ISSN 0265-2099

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 3


Ambulance chasers may

unwittingly be doing SMEs a

good turn

Sean Feast FCICM

Managing Editor


received an email in my inbox

recently that quite alarmed me.

No it wasn’t that the price of

Whispering Angel had fallen to a

level that was at last affordable,

but rather a missive from a lady

beseeching me to spare her a few minutes

from my busy schedule to inform me ‘about

a service that may get you compensation

from ex-business customers who have paid

you late in the past.’

Not quite believing what I had read,

I read on: ‘To be clear – this is not

intended for your existing customers!

(The emboldening and exclamation mark

were hers). We mean companies that you

have not dealt with for years! Our service

identifies which companies paid you late

up to six years previously and then turns

that claim into potentially significant sums

using Late Payment Legislation.’

The email finished: ‘You choose the

companies to claim from and we do

everything else with no financial outlay

for you whatsoever!’

Directed towards a late payment

calculator to see what I may be owed,

I was asked whether her proposal was

‘worth a chat.’ Now I’ll be honest, my

initial response was one of horror. I detest

ambulance chasing at the best of times. I

always wondered, for example, how many

people actually benefitted from PPI when

it was rightfully ascribed to them but

chose to remain silent. Then I wondered

if it was legal, which I am told it is, but it

certainly isn’t what the legislation was

designed for. Neither do I think small

businesses who may be desperately short of

cash should be depending on a big payout,

as the world and his wife attempted with

PPI, when they should be focusing more on

the here and now and best-practice credit


But leaving aside the fact that I still find

it all rather vulgar, perhaps I am looking

at this from completely the wrong angle.

James Campbell certainly thinks so. James

thinks that perhaps, just perhaps, such

a phenomenon could be the catalyst for

real change in terms of payment culture.

Maybe, just maybe, if serial late payers

are made aware in a hard-hitting way,

that there could be serious financial

penalties as a consequence of not paying

to terms – and that their pasts could easily

catch up with them – there might be a rethink

about indulging in such practice.

He writes in his article (page 16) that ‘the

short-term gain of holding on to a supplier’s

money for a few extra days against the

long-term risk of being landed with a

sizeable claim might be given a second

thought.’ He says that while it might not

eradicate the problem, it might start to

reduce it.

Let’s see. If it kick-starts the debate, and

gets people talking about it again, then

maybe our ambulance chasing friends are

unwittingly doing SMEs a good turn.

I detest ambulance chasing at the best of times.

I always wondered, for example, how many people

actually benefitted from PPI when it was rightfully

ascribed to them but chose to remain silent.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 4


A round-up of news stories from the

world of consumer and commercial credit.

Brexit uncertainty impacts long

term UK-EU trade levels

UK trade with the EU

has declined at twice

the rate as trade with

the rest of the world,

according to new

economic research

from trade credit insurer Atradius.

While the UK’s global trade levels

have dropped at historically high rates

over the past year, driven primarily

by the Covid-19 pandemic, the new

Atradius report suggests the potential

impact of Brexit may have been


The economic research paper,

entitled Brexit disrupts UK-EU trade,

reports UK international trade

collapsed 14.3 percent year-on-year

in March 2021 with a near-equal

contribution of EU and non-EU trade.

Exports performed the weakest,

dropping 17.4 percent year-on-year

compared to an 11.8 percent drop in


However, comparing trade levels

from the past 12 months to those in

2018 shows the longer-term difference

in trade levels is more protracted.

Over this period, trade between the UK

and non-EU countries fell 9.1 percent

with UK-EU trade down 18.9 percent.

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM

Atradius reports that while demand in

the last year has been severely affected

by the pandemic, the higher magnitude

of long-term UK-EU trade contraction

suggests Brexit uncertainty has played

a significant role.

The impact of uncertainty can be

seen in the slowdown of growth during

2018 followed by a largely flat year in

2019. However, trade gains between the

UK and EU made since 2016 were all

but wiped out in 2020 in the run-up to

the end of the transition period with

uncertainly playing a larger role in

reducing trade than the changing trade

regime itself.

In Q1 2021, total trade growth began

to turn up from a low of -17.1 percent in

January as base effects came into play

and confidence improved. However,

this is the first quarter on record that

the value of imports from outside

the EU surpassed those from within

the EU. Non-EU imports now total

51.1 percent of the UK’s total imports

following a decline of UK-EU imports

of five percentage points since early

2018. During this time, UK-EU exports

declined four percentage points to 45.6


James Burgess, Head of UK

Commercial for Export expert

Atradius, believes UK trade is facing an

unprecedented mix of challenges with

the global health crisis and associated

lockdowns causing demand at home

and abroad to plummet: “This came at a

time of rising uncertainty surrounding

the future trade relationship with the

EU,” he says.

“The current iteration of the trade

agreement has offered optimism for

the 2021 outlook although there are

still barriers to overcome in the form of

customs bureaucracy and regulatory

uncertainty. We can clearly see the

impact of uncertainty on business

confidence and resulting trade levels.

“However, what is certain is that

the global trade environment has

changed – and will continue to do so.

Businesses must future-proof their

operations by proactively monitoring

for new, ever-changing risks with an

agile and robust response. Despite the

ensuing uncertainty, opportunities

for growth are arising across global

markets. To seize these, businesses

must equip themselves with a

comprehensive trade strategy that

protects them from the risks no matter

what the future holds.”

Brits feel financially secure despite pandemic

NEW research suggests that millions

of Brits’ financial health has improved

during the coronavirus pandemic.

The study by money transfer experts

RationalFX found that the number

of people in the UK who described

themselves as either ‘very comfortable

financially’ or ‘relatively comfortable

financially’ stood at 50 percent in

March 2021.

That marks an increase of eight

percentage points – more than four

million people – from a year before, in

March 2020, when the figure was 42

percent as the coronavirus pandemic

took hold and the first lockdown


The number of people describing

themselves as ‘very comfortable

financially’ reached eight percent in

May 2021, its highest ever percentage

since YouGov launched the monthly

tracking survey in July 2019, when the

figure stood at six percent.

Back then, the population’s financial

outlook was considerably more

pessimistic, with only 41 percent

of people considering themselves

comfortable, and 18 percent saying

they were struggling to make ends

meet or worse. However, the most

recent data for May 2021 shows that

people struggling to make ends meet

or having to go without essentials has

now fallen to 12 percent.

Those over 65 are the most

financially comfortable group, with

59 percent either relatively or very

comfortable. In the 18-24 and 50-64

age brackets there are 54 percent in

each who have few money worries,

while the least comfortable age range

is those aged 25-40, of whom just

40 percent describe themselves as


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 5


Employees made bad debt

decisions during the pandemic

NEARLY a quarter (24

percent) of employees

admit they made a bad

decision about debt during

the pandemic, according

to a new study from Aviva

that looked at the experiences of personal,

workplace and financial wellbeing since

early 2020.

Worryingly, this figure rises to more

than half (51 percent) of those aged 18-to-

24, dubbed ‘Gen-Z’. Amid the turmoil of the

pandemic, young people have emerged

as one of the most vulnerable groups in

society and have been some of the hardest

hit. More than a third (36 percent) of

‘Gen-Y’ aged 25-to-39 also feel they made a

bad debt decision since COVID-19 struck.

Aviva’s report – Thriving in the Age

of Ambiguity: building resilience for the

new realities of work – shows how our

relationship with finances, work and our

hopes for the future have evolved as we

adapt to the ambiguity from the last 12 to

18 months. Conducted in collaboration

with Business Wellbeing Specialists,

Robertson Cooper, the research reveals

that personality plays a key role in

determining our preferences, behaviours,

and outcomes – at home and work.

More than a quarter (29 percent) of

respondents disclosed they have had to

borrow to replace lost income, while 30

percent stated they are concerned their

money will run out. The research also

shows a concerning number of employees

(39 percent) agree their current financial

situation negatively impacts their mental

health, while 60 percent feel their finances

control their lives.

However, the report also reveals those

who suffer from poor financial wellbeing

do not necessarily think of themselves

as bad with money – challenging the

stereotype that money worries arise from

disorganisation or knowledge gaps.

More than two thirds (68 percent) of

employees with poor financial wellbeing

think they are organised with their money,

and 64 percent always try to minimise

debt. The research shows financial factors

only account for half (51 percent) of

someone’s sense of financial wellbeing; the

rest is driven by other factors, including

personality type.

Aviva’s report – Thriving in the Age of Ambiguity

Aviva’s study shows personality type

has a huge influence on individual

behaviour, mindset, and personal

outcomes. Employees who are thriving

in adversity tend to be naturally more

emotionally resilient and optimistic. Those

with less natural emotional resilience

regularly experience negative emotions,

low financial and mental wellbeing, along

with feelings of anxiety and struggle with


Laura Stewart-Smith, Head of

Workplace Savings and Retirement at

Aviva says the COVID-19 experience has

fundamentally altered our relationship

with money, work and health: “While some

employees have been able to boost their

financial wellbeing by saving more, others

have found their income reduced and are

facing larger debts or having to provide

support for dependent family members.

“Our report shows many trends which

have been gathering pace in recent years

have now reached an inflection point,

as new preferences emerge to shape the

way we work, feel, think and plan ahead.

Financial education in the workplace is

nothing new, but now more than ever,

there is a fundamental need for employers

to provide tailored support for employees

to ensure they can genuinely thrive in the

‘Age of Ambiguity’.

“Financial confidence can have a

tremendous impact on mental health and

personality type has a huge influence

on behaviour and mindset too. Greater

support is vital for employees to thrive

in an increasingly ambiguous financial

environment. We believe there is a crucial

role that employers can play in facilitating

this. One which introduces a new

dimension of personality type.”

Iona Bain, personal finance expert,

believes the last 18 months have had a

seismic impact on the way we live, work,

and manage our finances: “The pandemic

has accelerated existing trends and

magnified our attention on developments

that have been bubbling away for years,”

he told Credit Management.

“As we gradually move out of lockdowns

and restrictions, employers and employees

alike will need time, support, and expert

insight to skilfully navigate this brave

new world. Sadly, there appears to be a

mismatch between good intentions and


Ethical appointment

KM2 Ethical Finance (KM2) has appointed Amir Ali FCICM

to its board to act as an independent advisor to the team.

The company recognises the invaluable contribution a fully

independent board advisor can bring as it grows, seeks

regulatory authorisation and develops client relationships with

major international finance houses. The company says that

Amir’s experience working with Government departments and

organisations in the third sector will also be of tremendous

value as it develops and unfurls its social inclusion activity.

Amir is a former Chair of the Civil Court Users Association

(CCUA) and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Credit


Scottish woes

MORE than 31,500 people in Scotland sought help from

StepChange Debt Charity, and over 11,000 went through a

full debt advice process during the year of the pandemic,

according to the charity’s latest Scotland in the Red update.

Average client rent arrears rose by a dramatic 43 percent in

2020, one of the most worrying impacts of the pandemic and

a very clear warning that continuing support will be needed

for many households if recovery from post-COVID debt is to be

achievable. Polling shows thousands of Scots are struggling

with debt and are behind on essential bills like Council Tax

and rent, with more than a fifth using credit to make ends

meet (see notes to editors) and cover essential costs.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 6


CICM partners with CES and

champions call for change

THE Chartered Institute of Credit

Management (CICM), the world’s largest

professional credit management

organisation, has agreed a new partnership

agreement with Court Enforcement

Services (CES), a leading provider of High

Court Enforcement activities.

Several of CES’ senior management team

have been members of the CICM for many

years, and its services and advice have

been relied upon by many in the industry

for some time. Developing this relationship

into a formal partnership will extend CES’

reach, but also see it offer webinars, training

and share best practice, and strengthen

its professional relationships with credit

managers and debt recovery solicitors.

Court Enforcement Services will also

work closely with the CICM to support the

campaign to allow cases to be transferred

to High Court Enforcement for debts under

£600. The current system means debts

below the threshold can only be enforced

by county court bailiffs, but with the service

being overwhelmed by a series of national

lockdowns, work is being done to

provide wider access to justice.

Sue Chapple FCICM, Chief

Executive of the CICM, says the

Institute is pleased to be partnering

with a company that puts

professionalism and integrity

at the heart of its work: “With a

wave of insolvencies expected

over the coming months, it

is more important than ever

Funding Circle sells new tranche of debt to Azzurro

FUNDING Circle, the peer-to-peer lending

marketplace, has completed a further

sale of commercial debts to Azzurro

Associates, the commercial debt buyer,

and told investors it will enable returns on

defaulted loans of about 30p in the pound.

According to a report in The Times,

the transaction represents close to two

percent of Funding Circle’s loans under

management. Since it was launched

a decade ago, Funding Circle, which

connects investors with small business

borrowers, has facilitated some £11.5

billion of lending to about 100,000


The sale of almost 1,900 personal

guarantees to Azzurro follows a smaller

deal last year which led to reassurances

being given by Funding Circle and Azzurro

that distressed borrowers would be treated


Funding Circle said in a statement that

that the industry pursues a professional

and ethical approach to collections and


Wayne Whitford FCICM, co-founder

and director of CES, is delighted to be able

to give back to the organisation and its

members that have provided him with so

much advice and support over his 30 years

in the industry: “I am proud to be a Fellow

of the CICM. I and so many other members

of staff at CES have benefitted from CICM

membership and training over the years,

and with learning and development such

a key focus for us as a business, we are

delighted to be in a position to provide the

CICM and its members with information

and resources relating to enforcement


“The CICM has enabled me to build a

significant network of likeminded people

and resulted in many trusted client

partnerships as well as many valued

friendships. I look forward to continuing to

network with and support new entrants to

the profession as well as existing clients

and contacts in the credit industry through

this partnership.”

Since forming in 2014, CES says it has

managed over 100,000 High Court Writs

and recovered more than £187m

for its clients. Its multi-awardwinning

Agent Patroller App

allows real-time reporting

between the enforcement

agent on the street, the head

office and the client.

Wayne Whitford

it had worked carefully on due diligence

before the sale, including consulting

with the all-party parliamentary group

on fair business banking, which sought

assurances over the fair treatment of

borrowers and an agreement that business

assets would be pursued before personal

ones. Azzurro was contractually obliged

to provide the ‘equivalent level of care’ as

Funding Circle in its collection tactics, a

spokesperson for the online lender said.

Andrew Birkwood FCICM, Chief

Executive and founder of Azzurro

Associates, moved quickly to reassure

the market as to the treatment customers

could expect: “Azzurro Associates is

authorised and regulated by the Financial

Conduct Authority (FCA) and upholds the

highest standards when interacting with

its customers in order to reach affordable

solutions with them,” he says.

“We have also received Interim



Tasty treat

ALDERMORE bank has provided a

£1.3 million commercial development

finance loan to Cookridge Estates LLP,

the West Yorkshire property developer,

to fund the construction of two detached

drive thru units built as part of a larger

roadside and retail development. The

two drive thru units have been pre-let

to Costa Coffee and Burger King. The

development site also includes a Lidl

food store which is trading, and a plot

for a petrol station and shop which is

currently under construction.

Unwise Council

THE average person in England needs

to earn 20 days’ worth of wages to cover

the cost of their council tax bill, while in

some areas the average employee would

need to work for a full month to pay the

bill. The analysis of official ONS figures

by A-Plan Insurance reveals that on

average workers in Pendle need to work

for the longest amount of time to cover

their council tax bill. The Lancashire

borough topped the list of more than 300

areas studied as it has England’s lowest

median gross salary and the 16th highest

average council tax bill.

Registration to the Business Standards

of the Lending Standards Board and are

striving to set the benchmark for Treating

Customers Fairly in the recovery of

commercial and consumer debts.”

Credit Management understands

that the portfolios acquired by Azzurro

Associates from Funding Circle since

October 2020 relate to loans that defaulted

pre-COVID. It also understands that there

has not been a single complaint upheld

from any of Funding Circle’s former

customers, whose debts were

purchased by Azzurro.”

Lisa Jacobs, Funding Circle’s

European Managing Director,

confirmed that the transaction

brought forward recoveries for

more than 90 per cent of

(retail) customers that

have lent through the

platform. Andrew Birkwood

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 7


SmartSearch urges

agents to ‘ditch documents’

to be compliant

LEADING anti-money

laundering specialist

SmartSearch has warned

property agents are in serious

danger of non-compliance

with new regulations, unless

they ditch documents and embrace a

digital solution.

With the passing of the June 10

deadline for estate and lettings agents to

register with HMRC to ensure compliance,

there are concerns that some agents

are not prepared for the extra regulatory

responsibility, and that relying on

outdated methods of ID verification is

leading to a rise in fraud.

In addition to the HMRC deadline, many

estate agents are still having to work

through the requirements of the fifth EU

Money Laundering Directive which came

into force almost 18-months-ago. As the

outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic

also led to an increase in attempted

money laundering in the property sector,

it has been a challenging period for the

sector in trying to prevent fraud.

John Dobson, CEO at SmartSearch says

there needs to be much greater awareness

of the flaws in the practice of checking

hard copy documents in the customer

onboarding process, which he says is

wide open to fraud. In addition, the UK

Government has enshrined in legislation

the need to use electronic forms of

verification wherever possible.

“No doubt it is difficult for any sector

to make the changes that are being

asked of property agents in lettings and

sales, and doubly difficult when facing a

global pandemic,” he says. “The increase

in organised criminal activity using the

property sales market to flush through its

dirty money, has been widely reported.

But also, we’re seeing reports of serious

spikes in fraud in the rental sector,

where criminals are using fake IDs to

rent accommodation as a base for their

nefarious activities.

“This is being allowed to continue

because agents are still relying on

manually checking somebody’s passport

or utility bill as part of the customer

onboarding process. But criminals are

turning out highly sophisticated forgeries

of these documents which, in a sector as

busy as it has been this past 12 months,

are not undergoing the necessary


“So, if agents really want to ensure they

are compliant and want to prevent fraud

and money laundering attempts, they

need to accept that documents are dead

when it comes to ID checks.”

John believes that a digital solution

scanning global databases and lists for

sanctions and PEPs (politically exposed

persons) is far quicker with individual

checks being carried out in two seconds:

“It is more accurate, cost-effective and

ensures compliance as it updates client

details automatically,” he claims.

He also thinks that the regulator, the

Financial Conduct Authority, has a part to

play in raising awareness of the potential

benefits of technology over manual

methods of verification, otherwise many

agencies could be facing serious penalties

for failures to comply: “We are seeing

record numbers of regulated businesses

coming through our doors as they

have seen for themselves over the past 12

months how inadequate the

manual methods of verification have




Exclusive Networks

reinforces theme of trust

EXCLUSIVE Networks, the specialist

providers of technology solutions to

encourage the transition to a trusted

digital world, has been awarded its first

CICMQ accreditation, a demonstration of

excellence in credit management.

Graham Aynsley, Finance & Operations

Director at Exclusive Networks, says

that the key theme of ‘trust’ was core to

its reasoning to attain the accreditation:

“We know that trust is at the foundation

of our partner and vendor relationships,

and gaining accreditation demonstrates

our commitment to professionalism and


“The process itself has obliged the

whole team to challenge what they know

and push for improvements, not only in

the cash collection process, but also in our

internal and external communications

as well as our wider knowledge of the

industry. The knowledge that has been

gained will be used for the continued

benefit of the company and its partners.”

Chris Sanders FCICM, Head of

Accreditation, CICMQ, says the team can

be proud of its achievement: “The newly

created credit policy is fit for purpose with

clear unambiguous processes and covers

all aspects of credit management relevant

to the business. Exclusive Networks

ensures that all staff understand the

importance of compliance as described,

relating to on-going training and refresher

courses across the range of compliance


Indeed, the credit team has

demonstrated its commitment to

upskilling and training, with several

members of the team currently training

for CICM exams, and new employees

to be offered the same possibilities for


Watertight Business Stream gains CICMQ accreditation

BUSINESS Stream, one of the UK’s

largest water retailers, has achieved

CICMQ accreditation, a demonstration of

excellence in credit management.

Martin Kirby FCICM, Head of Credit

Risk and Collections at Business Stream,

says the accreditation has stressed the

importance of maintaining the team’s

high standards: “Regular process audits,

internal training and external stakeholder

communication have always been a

key part of our credit policy, and we will

continue pushing these to ensure that our

team continues to deliver to the highest

level. “Our aim is to ensure that Business

Stream’s cash flow remains healthy and

exposure to bad debt is minimised. Our

collections strategy, therefore, segments

customers into low, medium, and high

risk, so that we are able to identify more

vulnerable customers and support them


Chris Sanders FCICM, Head of

Accreditation, CICMQ, says the credit

team at Business Stream are energised

and motivated: “They can be extremely

proud of the results achieved during a

year where regulatory changes shifted the

collections process. “In this complex and

highly regulated business, compliance

is essential, and all process are defined.

Staff are equipped with the training

necessary to perform their roles well, to

work compliantly and to adhere to the

rules surrounding segregation of duties.”

Business Stream is described as a trusted

supplier to over 340,000 businesses

ranging from small corner shops to large

industrial estates.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 8


Changing times

The IPA response to challenges in the

insolvency profession.

AUTHOR – Kevin Hellard

THE COVID-19 emergency

has prompted innumerable

changes to working

life across many industries.

In insolvency, a profession

with a wide variety

of stakeholders including insolvency

practitioners (IPs), creditors, the legal

sector, government, debtors, regulators,

charities and more, we have dealt with

wide-ranging developments.

There was the obvious pivoting

to remote working at pace. Multiple

changes in legislation required agility

and rapid adaptations. We also needed

to look at the way we regulate and make

reasonable adjustments to expectations

of our members and provide support.

Changes came thick and fast pretty

much throughout 2020 from March

onwards. There was also the rise of

Covid-related fraud. The changes go on

and on, and no doubt there were similar

situations in the creditor community.

As an IPA President, I would normally

serve a one-year term, but through an

Extraordinary General Meeting held

earlier this year, this term has been

extended for another year. This was put

into action so that my fellow IPA Office-

Holders and I could have the chance to

serve our terms more ‘in the open’, as

opposed to behind our laptop screens

at home or elsewhere! I am very much

looking forward to more in-person

events in 2021, as well as the adoption of

the best elements working virtually has

to offer.

At this year’s IPA Annual Conference,

together with other IPA personnel I

considered the theme of leading through

times of change. I wanted to share some

thoughts from the discussion in this


As mentioned, the pandemic

brought on many different challenges

around regulating and supporting our

members, carrying out our day-today

work and ensuring that all those

involved in insolvency matters are dealt

with appropriately. Pre-pandemic, the

IPA launched a new system of riskbased

monitoring of the IPs under

our supervision, in which monitoring

focuses on inherent risks identified

from case profiles, prior monitoring,

complaints and other intelligence.

This system enables us to be far more

agile in carrying out our regulatory

responsibilities, giving more time to

those in need of additional support

to raise standards, and ultimately

contributing to a more effective

insolvency profession. This agile way of

thinking also applied to our pandemic


The IPA has two Committees that

deal with matters relating to IP conduct

and any disciplinary action. These are

the Regulation and Conduct Committee

(R&CC) and the Disciplinary and

Appeals Committee (D&AC). When

it was necessary to move to remote

operations, including virtual Committee

meetings, I think some Committee

members could be forgiven for having

some initial concerns about whether

such important and technically deep

meetings could proceed smoothly!

However, by embracing technology, we

and our R&CC and D&AC Committee

members (who operate independently)

soon had any misgivings quashed, with

Committee members noting the ease

with which they could carry out their


Similarly, we brought workshops and

training online. We quickly recognised

the benefits that virtual events could

bring for a future hybrid model, for

example fitting a training session into

a convenient virtual lunchtime slot, as

opposed to being in-person with the

associated required travel time and

expense. We all still like to attend things

in person of course, but it is certainly

good to have options, especially now

that those options have been tested

and we have confidence in them!

Virtual training also has the benefit

of eliminating barriers for some who

may not be able to physically attend,

for example due to cost, geographical

challenges and conflicting professional

or personal commitments.

We also had to take the IPA’s insolvency

exams online, which admittedly

presented some teething issues due

to the speed at which this had to be

executed to avoid the disappointment of

cancellations. Taking this action has also

catalysed what was believed to be the

inevitable move to online examinations

and a better experience for students.

We plan to take other IPA products and

services forward in a virtual or hybrid

form to ensure wider accessibility – for

example, internationally.

As we have highlighted to our

members, it is vital to be mindful of

the risk of people using insolvency

as a vehicle for fraud, for example

concealing fraudulent use of COVID-19

support funds.

There is also the question for

directors on whether to continue with

COVID-19 support that will require

repayment or wind up now and start

afresh – something else for creditors

to consider, as well as the anticipated

rise in insolvencies when Government

support ends.

As the economic support for

companies, the self-employed and

individuals starts to wind down,

questions still remain for those involved

in insolvency as to the lasting impact of

the pandemic. There are many positives

that we can all take forward, in terms

of use of technology and how we work.

As the UK starts to come out of this

emergency, our profession will have a

significant part to play in the recovery

of the economy. The IPA will be working

hard as a robust regulator to support this


Kevin Hellard is President, Insolvency

Practitioners Association, and Partner

and Practice Leader, Insolvency and

asset recovery at Grant Thornton.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 9



Regulation that incentivises banks to sell

non-performing loans (NPLs) is having

unintended consequences on the consumer

and society.

FOR more than two years, the media

in Ireland have been actively

pursuing a story that suggests

thousands of consumers are being

(or will be) disadvantaged by the sale

of distressed Irish mortgage books to

Private Equity (PE) funds.

The narrative is a familiar one: so-called ‘vulture

funds’ acquiring non-performing loans to make a

fast buck in as short a time as possible, with no

care or thought as to how the consumer is treated,

or whether there is any chance that customers

may be rehabilitated to the financial mainstream.

Talk in the Irish press of anything

up to 40,000 being left on the street

added further fuel to the fire. Such

a negative characterisation of the

PE market is hardly fair – they are

an easy target for media criticism

– but the wider issues raised by

the coverage are worthy of further


Ireland experienced a significant

property bubble and subsequent

crash, leading to significant

tranches of NPLs being put up for

sale. The reason that so many NPL

portfolios are ending up in the

hands of PE funds, however, is a

consequence of legislation brought

in after the Global Financial Crisis. And what is

happening in Irelandand the media furore it

created – could very shortly be happening here.


Since the crisis of 2008/9, regulators have been

focusing on reducing the NPL ratios within banks,

encouraging those banks to sell to customers

with defaulted products. A key component of

this legislation is the Prudential Backstop which

incentivises banks to sell or otherwise write off

NPLs from their balance sheet by making them

increasingly expensive to keep, with the costs

ratcheting up over time.

The regulators hope that in making NPLs

too expensive to keep, and selling them on, the

originating banks may free up capital to lend to

new customers. To a considerable degree this

has been happening: in the recent EBA report on

NPLs, the total volume of NPLs as at June 2019

stood at €636bn but that is only half the volume

recorded four years earlier (€1.152bn). In Q2 2020

the total absolute amount of NPLs (gross value) for

AUTHOR – Ben Marsh

The regulators

hope that in

making NPLs

too expensive to

keep, and selling

them on, the

originating banks

may free up

capital to lend to

new customers.

all banks in the EU stood at €588bn, though the

steady decrease witnessed pre-COVID now seems

to have come to a stop and is perhaps unlikely to

pick up again until after the recovery has started.

But regardless of the volumes of NPLs available

for purchase, what the regulators seem to have

failed to take into account is what happens to

the customer whose debt is sold. And while they

talk of the importance of a ‘deep and liquid’

secondary market and the need even to encourage

new entrants, they do not appear to have fully

understood the differences between the various

‘buyers’ already present in the secondary market,

or their roles or motivations.

At one end of the scale are the

Investment Funds who tend to take a

short-term view over every portfolio

they buy, with little or no desire or

capability to support a customer

over the longer term or offer new

financing if they should need it.

In the middle are the mainstream

buyers, sizeable businesses in

their own right with the ability and

appetite to support customers over

the longer term. Out on their

own are the specialist banks,

who understand the customer’s

position, and are willing and

able to support that customer

through difficult times and, like the mainstream

buyers, over a much longer period because their

model is based on long-term, stable returns as

opposed to short-term cashflows. (Hoist Finance

is one example of those specialist banks, having

held a banking licence since 1996. It looks

after customers for an average of 4.5 years and

operates a deposits business, using those funds to

acquire performing and non-performing loans.)

The problem is that these specialist banks

inadvertently find themselves in a Catch 22: while

they may wish to work with a customer over the

long term, and ultimately returning that customer

to financial health with future access to credit, the

clock is ticking. As banks, and therefore subject

to the same regulation as the selling banks, they

are financially penalized for hanging on to the

portfolios of NPLs they hold!

Offloading NPLs early is likely to be to the

consumer’s detriment, excluding them from

access to mainstream credit. It might also lead to

more portfolios being sold to those funds at the

far end of the scale with different motivations,

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 10


AUTHOR – Ben Marsh

because the bank purchaser is simply not able

to compete financially.

The legislation has in effect meant that banks

like Hoist Finance have been caught in friendly

fire as the assets continue to weigh more heavily

on balance sheets even after they are purchase.


So what’s to be done? Certainly, we believe that

consumers are better served by specialist banks

rather than unregulated investment funds. In

the fairness of balance, in exploring and better

understanding the defaulted customer journey,

there are pros and cons on all sides, both to the

customer, and to society.

Selling to a fund often leads to faster

resolution of a debt problem and frees capital

for the originating bank to create new lending.

But there is little or no focus on customer

rehabilitation and no ability to offer new

credit products, which means such customers

contribute little by way of any societal benefit.

Selling to a specialist bank purchaser

does mean a proven focus on the customer

and positive, longer-term outcomes and in

rehabilitating those customers with continued

access to credit which in turn means a continued

contribution to society. The Prudential Backstop,

however, creates what we describe as ‘a burning

platform’, and restrictions in terms of the ability

to offer new credit and restructure loans.

The loans could, of course, still sit with the

originating banks, and not be sold at all. The

original lenders are being actively encouraged

to properly recognise and manage NPLs more

actively, and identify vulnerability at a much

earlier stage. But the desire to sell is not only

driven by the regulation, but also by the fact

that the relationship with their customer has

broken down. Originating banks are often not

set up to manage long-term NPL customers.

A build-up of NPLs also prevents them from

further lending.

Banks of every hue are more highly

regulated than their counterparts which

leads to better customer treatment

generally. Current regulation,

and the need of banks

to offload NPLs

from their balance

sheet, could end

up with the very

thing that many

are trying to avoid

– a shift towards

more sales only to

investment funds, possibly to the consumers’

detriment at a time that the European

Commission is insisting that all consumer

protection obligations are upheld, irrespective

of how NPLs are resolved.

The secondary market, overall, is a good

thing, and a healthy and diversified market is

essential. There is undoubtedly a place for

Ben Marsh

‘vulture funds’

acquiring nonperforming


to make a fast

buck in as short a

time as possible,

with no care or

thought as to how

the consumer

is treated, or

whether there is

any chance that

customers may

be rehabilitated

to the financial


PE, but as have seen in Ireland, people in debt

deserve a second chance – especially in a post-

COVID world – and might not get it if only

taking a short-term view. Investment funds

often push customers down a legal route when it

comes to collateral realisation, without, perhaps,

trying too hard to find an amicable solution.

Judicial sale prices are inevitably lower than

those realised through amicable means, and

the build-up of such judicial sales is therefore

more likely to drive house prices down over the

longer term. That in turn creates a larger debt

burden for the next set of defaulted customers,

as they see lower values recovered when their

own properties are sold. It’s a significant issue

in Ireland and in France and could end up

being a problem to UK homeowners and other

borrowers, once the Government safety net is

taken away, and the true extent of the economic

downturn is felt.

The regulation as it stands needs to be

reconsidered, and it needs to be done urgently,

for I doubt very much it was intended to impact

the customer in the way that it has, nor to the

extent that it might. It should not be a barrier to

a positive outcome for all concerned.

Ben Marsh is Head of Corporate

Development, Hoist Finance.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 11



Sean Feast FCICM speaks to Dave Timmis,

founder of, about the resurgence

in leasing’s share of private new car finance.

DAVE Timmis started selling

classified advertising space on

the Warrington Guardian and is

today the founder and creator

of, the country’s

largest car leasing comparison

website. He is also one of the UK’s leading

advocates of leasing as a financing tool: “John Paul

Getty said if it appreciates, buy it, if it depreciates,

lease it,” Dave laughs.

It is now more than 20 years ago that Dave first

came up with the idea of harnessing the internet

to offer leasing deals in real time: “Even with

the dot com crash happening around us I had

a hunch, a bit of a gut feeling, that the internet

might take off! It’s easy to look back now and think

that, but to me the niche marketing opportunities

that the internet offered just made sense. It was

easy to find a website that provided exactly what

products or services you were looking for from the

comfort of your own home or desk.

“What really struck me as a great idea was to

be able to advertise car leasing offers in real time

to people that were interested in leasing cars (as

opposed to buying). The car leasing market was

really quite small then, and more focussed on

company car users, very time sensitive and niche.

But that was the point. Time sensitive and niche

was what was needed.

“Many of the consumer car magazines had

literally dozens and dozens of pages of ads from

brokers and dealers all advertising car leasing

offers, but it was all out of date by the time it was

printed. That was no good for anyone, and that’s

how the idea of came about.”


Dave started the site (initially called in 2000, and it

has since grown to become the largest of its

kind, perhaps five or six times the size of its

nearest competitor, according to some estimates.

The concept is simple: the site aggregates and

compares all of the best car and van leasing

deals from brokers, main dealers, funders and

manufacturers. This, Dave believes, is what gives

it its appeal: “Nowhere else attracts the audience

volume that we do or compares offers from the

breadth of partners that we do,” he says.

“ enables consumers to find the

best deals, then enquire or apply online through

our platform. For our advertising partners, we

enable them to sell more cars by putting leasing

offers in-front of a huge in-market audience of

consumers looking for what they are offering.”

The business has grown organically, and in 2019

launched the new brand and website.

It was supported by a ‘say goodbye to buying’

media campaign, with the business positioning

itself as the car leasing experts, and with a vision

of being the market-leading, trusted champion of

car leasing.

So what makes leasing such an attractive

proposition in comparison to outright purchase or

Personal Contract Purchase (PCP)?

“Leasing a new car gives certainty, eliminates

residual/future value risk, and most importantly is

usually the most cost-effective method of funding

your new car for the duration of the lease,” Dave

claims, “which is usually between two and four

years. With leasing you are only funding the

car depreciation and not the whole purchase or

financing cost with additional interest applied.”

Dave says that leasing also enables customers

to take advantage of the bulk discounts and

other financial incentives applied that individual

consumers cannot access: “Fixed cost, peace of

mind motoring in a new car, under warranty,

driving the latest model, with road tax included

for the duration and a new car every few years?”

he says. “What isn’t there to like?”


Dave is straight in that he would never say leasing

is always the best option, but it usually is. “By

way of an example my own car, an Audi Q7, has

almost lost more in one year of depreciation than

the total lease cost for two years! The same car

(new) on a PCP was significantly more expensive.

Dealers were offering three plus year-old (used)

now facelifted Q7’s for about the same or more on

PCP than I’m paying to lease.”

From how Dave talks, one would imagine the

market for leasing is growing. And you’d be right.

While lending across all products fell in 2020,

leasing’s share of private new car finance actually

grew from 11.6 to 13.1 percent. That’s not to say the

market isn’t without its challenges, though Dave

thinks COVID has simply accelerated a number of

trends that were evident already.

“Consumers have definitely become more

frugal, cost conscious and want value for money,”

Dave says. “Cars are most people’s second biggest

expense. The pandemic has made everyone assess

their situation and look at costs. Most of us will

always want and need a car. Lower mileage deals

on great value leasing offers will always be a hit

with consumers. Affordable monthly payments

work for everyone. They keep manufacturers

production lines rolling and enable consumers to

afford new, fuel efficient cars with the latest tech.”

Dave believes that if the deals are there,

then the consumers are there: “Even in the

middle of the pandemic, between last May and

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 12



“Cars are most people’s second biggest

expense. The pandemic has made everyone

assess their situation and look at costs. Most of

us will always want and need a car.’’

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 13

continues on page 14 >



June, one manufacturer sold 460 cars through from 919 enquiries. That’s a

remarkable conversion rate and a similarly

remarkable number of cars sold in one of the

most depressed markets in recent times.”


Perhaps one of the most significant trends

to emerge is a move towards the earlier

adoption of Electric Vehicles. The transition

from internal combustion engines to batterypowered

EVs gained record momentum last

year. SMMT data showed that 2020 was the

best-ever year for new battery-electric vehicles

(BEVs), with a total of 108,205 sales. This sales

volume gave BEVs a 6.6 percent share of the

total new car market, compared to just 1.6

percent in 2019. Dave believes demand is ever


“We have a huge amount of data and insight

at our disposal and we saw even greater

demand for BEVs last year than was seen in

the SMMT data,” he says. “Demand for BEVs

on – represented as total sales

enquiry volumes – increased by 129 percent

in 2020 compared to the previous year. Last

year, BEVs accounted for 10.4 percent of

total annual enquiries compared to just four

percent in 2019.

“While we saw increased business demand

for BEVs from April 2020 due to the Benefit-

In-Kind tax incentives introduced for electric

vehicles, nearly two-thirds of total BEV

demand came from private individuals and

cash allowance users. The BEV models and

leasing profiles chosen by private and business

users were also distinctly different in 2020, as

our analysis shows.”

If 2020 was the tipping point for BEVs, then

2021 will see their continued drive into the

mainstream market. Demand for electric vans

should also start to follow the lead of cars and

see a surge in interest in 2021.

With all eyes on the Government’s 2030

target to phase out the sale of pure internalcombustion

engines, manufacturers are

releasing an array of exciting new BEV models,

which offer consumers and businesses ever

greater choice and the ability to find a vehicle

to meet their precise needs.

“The SMMT is currently forecasting BEVs

to account for nearly 12 percent in 2021, but

we are forecasting BEV demand to exceed 20

percent of total enquiries this year,” Dave adds.

So with the lockdown easing, and confidence

returning, does Dave see a bright future for

leasing and automotive sales? “We’ve all heard

talk about and indeed experienced pent up

consumer demand,” he says, “and we are

definitely seeing a big increase in activity and

enquiries. There is undoubtedly an increased

appetite for new cars.”

And what of his own plans? “We will

continue to innovate, and through continued

investment in our website, marketing and

partnerships further solidify our position

as the most trusted and known car leasing

website for consumers,” Dave concludes.

Dave Timmis is Managing Director


Dave Timmis

“Leasing a new car

gives certainty,



value risk, and

most importantly

is usually the most


method of funding

your new car for

the duration of the


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/ / July & August 2021 / PAGE 15

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

Can anything be done to start turning the tide? Perhaps a

first step would be to have a quick look at how a couple of

other damaging cultures came to be shifted.

Culture Club

Tackling late payment requires a

complete cultural rethink.

AUTHOR – James Campbell

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 16


AUTHOR – James Campbell

LATE payment, a polite

enough phrase. Delayed

payment, even politer. How

about, supplier abuse? Not so

polite but, in reality, a better

description of the scourge of

payment not being made to agreed terms.

The art of the customer preserving

liquidity at the expense of the supplier.

Of deciding to make payment when it

suits and not being concerned by the

consequences of such behaviour.

Supplier abuse, sorry, ‘late payment’

has probably been around since shortly

after credit was invented and despite

plenty of worthy effort (not least from

the CICM as the originator of the Prompt

Payment Code. Ed) it is a problem which

just doesn’t seem to get any better. It has

almost become a part of doing business –

an accepted culture – despite the dreadful

consequences it causes.

Can anything be done to start turning

the tide? Perhaps a first step would be to

have a quick look at how a couple of other

damaging cultures came to be shifted.


It can be reasonably argued that the

cultures of drink driving and smoking

were altered by messages, partly about

consequences, largely conveyed in

Government campaigns and via the

mainstream media of the day.

First, drink driving. There was the

phrase, and even the song, ‘One for the

road’, which, in hindsight, almost seems

like an endorsement for getting behind

the wheel whilst under the influence.

What happened to combat the problem?

How many of you remember the beer mats

in the 1970’s, 80’s & 90’s with messages of

sizeable fines and possible imprisonment

when such behaviour ended with

innocent people being killed? With a few

well-publicised court cases ending with

prison sentences it didn’t take too long for

drink driving to be regarded as socially

unacceptable and not worth the risk with,

thankfully, instances of it reduced.


Next, smoking. Widespread for most of

the last century. Just watch most pre-

80’s films or television series and there

is hardly a scene which doesn’t have a

lighted cigarette in it. Initially, when

someone decided to try and do something

to deal with the damage being caused, the

tobacco companies were forced to have

health warning messages on their packets

of ‘smokes’ and then, with much greater

effect, to have horrible pictures of what

smoking actually does to your innards.

Also, the spotlight was shone on the

effects of passive smoking. This all helped

get the message across.

The point is that two cultures were made

socially unacceptable in a reasonably

short space of time thanks largely to

strong messages and publicity which

leads to the question: ‘Can messages and

greater awareness of financial risk start

to change the culture of late payment

in British business?’ And, if so, what

should the message be and who should be

sending it out.


The Late Payment of Commercial Debts

(Interest) Act 1998 didn’t really have the

intended effect of reducing late payment

because suppliers are understandably

reluctant to use it in connection with

existing customers, for fear of losing vital

business. However, in a role that it was

not intended for, it might now become

an effective weapon for combating the

culture of late payment that exists. In

the age of ‘where there’s blame there is

a claim’ there is a new kid on the block

– the recent compensation bandwagon

of ‘historical claims going back six years’

being brought by debt collectors against

former customers and the Liquidators of

failed enterprises.

Some EFTA Members have been coldmailed

by debt collectors asking if they

want to consider bringing claims against

former customers for late payment

over the last six years as they ‘could be

sitting on a goldmine’. This looks like a

growth industry for the commercial debt

collection industry and in these troubled

times I am sure that many people will be

tempted to ‘give it a go’ as it is promoted as

risk-free with no outlay.

From the perspective of being on

the end of such a claim I know of one

company which, when a supplier went

into liquidation, received a claim from the

Liquidator for in excess of £15,000 relating

to around 170 invoices paid roughly 15-

days late (i.e. around the 45-day mark

against 30-day terms – a common enough

occurrence) over six years, and which

practice the supplier was willing to go

along with. The claim ended up being

settled for around £10,000 as it was just

too expensive and time-consuming to

fight, not that there appeared to be any

grounds for a defence.

Constructing such claims is not

difficult. All you need is a list of invoices,

the dates when payment should have

been made by, the dates when payments

were received and Bob’s your uncle – if

payments were not made on time you

have a compensation claim. For every

invoice up to £999 it is £40 a pop, between

£1,000 and £9,999 it is £70 and over £10,000

it is £100. You also have a claim for interest

but, in reality, this is often very little and

only the icing on the cake! It all quickly

adds up.

As an example, for 60 invoices below

£999 it will be £2,400 and for 40 invoices

over £1,000 but below £9,999 it will be

£2,800. So, if over six years (which is 72

months), a company regularly indulging

in late payment had not paid this number

and value of invoices the claim that could

be brought would be £5,200 without the

interest. So, what has this got to do with

the culture of late payment?


My belief is that if serial late payers were

made aware, in a hard-hitting way, that

there could be serious financial penalties

as a consequence of not paying to terms

there might be a re-think about indulging

in such practice. The short-term gain of

holding on to a supplier’s money for a few

extra days against the long-term risk of

being landed with a sizeable claim might

be given a second thought. It wouldn’t

eradicate the problem but it might start

to reduce it. The possibility of being hit

hard in the pocket could prove to be a


Subject to there being widespread

publicity I think it would be excellent

news if there was a large amount of claims

for historical late payment as this might

start to persuade late-paying companies

that such potential actions could be

coming in their direction.

With regard to who should be promoting

the message about the potential financial

consequences of late payment the best

party, in my humble opinion, has to be

Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) as

it has the farthest reach, the greatest

resources to do it effectively and will be

taken seriously. If HMG can be brought on

board to the idea it will then be easier for

other notable bodies, perhaps including

the CICM, to add pressure and publicity.

Late payment is supplier abuse, pure

and simple, and it should be regarded as

unacceptable. Let’s start doing something

to make it less of a problem.

James Campbell is a regular contributor

to Credit Management as the Secretary of

the European Freight Trades Association

but in this case is writing in a personal


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 17



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Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 18










01993 220557



Credit information in a

post-pandemic digital world.

AUTHOR – Neil Munroe MCICM

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 20


AS we look to eventually exit the

pandemic, there is no doubt that

the focus will turn to how to

stimulate economic recovery. Key

to achieving this will be the ability

for individual’s and businesses

to gain access to credit and key to making

credit available will be having the best possible

understanding of an individual and a business’s

ability to pay back any borrowings.

As we come out of the pandemic ‘knowing your

customer’ (KYC) is going to be more crucial than

it’s ever been. When I use the term ‘know your

customer’ I am not just referring to compliance

with KYC regulations but to the whole customer

lifecycle from acquisition, risk assessment,

account management and collections.

All of these points of contact with customers

are changing as the relationship is more and

more online. As we have all experienced, this

shift to a digital world has been accelerated by

the pandemic. There is no doubt that the move to

digital services can provide significant benefits to

many. But as we have also seen it can increase the

risks of financial crime, including cyberattacks,

fraud, data breaches and money laundering.

In such a world, having access to relevant

comprehensive information on a timely basis is

going to be even more crucial.

So what changes (if any) are we likely to see

in the credit information space as a result of the

push to restart economies and the ever quickening

move to a digital dialogue with customers? Many,

is the answer with a number already taking place.

Changes in the ‘data landscape’ and in the use of

technology I believe are two of the major ones.

I also believe that you will see a significant shift

in the service offerings of the credit information

providers to support the growth in digital services

and help limit the risks I mentioned above.

Alongside all of this will be the challenge of

regulatory developments that will come about

as Governments look to support individuals and

businesses rights.


There is no doubt that the pandemic has increased

the degree of information asymmetry between

lenders and borrowers. While some businesses

may appear solvent due to Government support

(e.g. subsidised loans, repayment holidays), their

condition may weaken when this support expires.

Credit providers are likely to see a deterioration in

traditional credit history of businesses. The same

can be said of individuals as measures put in place

for them also expire.

It is likely that if credit providers are relying on

traditional credit information they will start to see

a growing number of individuals and businesses

who will fail to meet their lending criteria. There

is no doubt that despite having had issues during

the pandemic some of these individuals and

businesses will have managed to recover and will

be a good risk going forward. So how are credit

providers going to identify these? One way will be

through ‘alternative data’.

Around the world, alternative data can take

many different forms; from non-financial

Further afield

(particularly in

the Far East) the

data landscape

is also changing

as a result of

the growth in


platforms. In

countries where

credit information

is less developed

this type of data

is increasingly

being used to grant

credit to individual

and businesses.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 21

data such as utility data (gas, electricity, telco),

to transaction data such as current account

information or online e-commerce transaction

information to data from social media platforms.

In the case of non-financial data credit providers

are able to gain a better understanding of how

an individual or business is able to meet their

commitments. With transactional data credit

providers are also able to better understand cash

flow and income. By accessing these ‘alternative

data’ sources, credit providers are able to fill ‘the

gap’ in their knowledge of a customers’ finances.

Prior to the pandemic the credit information

industry had already identified that there was

a gap in the information they could supply to

provide a 360 degree view of a customer that

credit providers need to make effective lending

decisions and ensure such things as affordability

requirement were met. Whilst credit information

providers have always been able to provide a view

of outgoings, providing information on income

has been more of a challenge.


The evolution of ‘open banking’ and ‘open data’

post the financial crisis of 2008, driven by the

desire for Governments for individuals and

businesses to ‘own’ their data, has provided the

credit information industry the opportunity to fill

the ‘gap’. The introduction of the 2nd Payments

Services Directive (PSD2) in Europe has further

supported this move.

Using open banking and open data channels

driven by an individual’s consent has enabled

credit information providers to enhance the

level of both alternative and additional data

they can provide. These channels provide credit

information providers with real time access

to new sources of data via APIs alongside the

traditional monthly updates from lenders. This

customer driven ‘self-reporting’ of data (on the

basis it required consent from the individual or

business) is changing the customer dynamics for

the credit information providers with individuals

and businesses also being seen as the ‘customer’,

and more and more direct engagement with them

as a result.

Is this really the case I hear you ask? Well you

only have to look at the advertising campaigns

about ‘boosting your credit score’ and ‘taking

control of your credit score’ to see that it is already

taking place. Another example of the move to

customer driven ‘self-reporting’ is the increasing

ability for consumers to supply their property

rental data to the credit information providers

through specific organisations that have been set

up to collect the data from individuals. This whole

area was supported by the UK Government with

its Rent Recognition Challenge in 2017.

Further afield (particularly in the Far East) the

data landscape is also changing as a result of the

growth in e-commerce platforms. In countries

where credit information is less developed this

type of data is increasingly being used to grant

credit to individual and businesses. As a result

such platforms are moving from e-commerce

operations to also being credit information

and financial services providers challenging

continues on page 22 >


AUTHOR – Neil Munroe

the current players in the market. One well

known example of this is Alibaba with its Ant

Financial arm. As these platforms play an

increasingly important role in the provision

of finance there has been some concern over

the fact that they operate outside the financial

services regulatory infrastructure that protects

individuals and businesses and prevents

systemic shocks. In China, where a number of

the e-commerce platforms are based, action

is now being undertaken to ensure that the

financial services arms are required to obtain

the necessary licences and permissions.


So taking all of these developments into account

there is no doubt that the data landscape is

changing, and will continue to change further

as a result of the pandemic and the move to

digital. So what is going to happen with all this

new alternative data? Will credit providers be

able to use it? Will it replace traditional data or

work alongside it?

There is no doubt that traditional data sources

and risk models may not be fully updated

and well-calibrated to provide an accurate

assessment of an individual’s or business’s

capacity to repay in the post-pandemic reality.

Traditional risk models, whether offered by

credit information providers or built in house

by credit providers, will need to be adapted.

At the same time new analytical tools will be

required to analyse the new alternative data that

is available and incorporate it with traditional

data to optimise the credit risk assessment.

With the volume and velocity that the new

data brings there is a need for new technology

to be able to process and analyse it. Hence

the interest in the industry in Artificial

Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)


Credit information providers are already

undertaking a significant amount of work on

how these new technologies can be utilised

internally and externally for clients and credit

providers should expect to see new products

and services being developed using these tools.

In any application, the key to their

acceptance will be the transparency and

explain ability of the decision that is made.

The openness of the process is probably not

an issue when the ‘computer says YES’ but it

will be an issue when the ‘computer says NO’.

These concerns have already been picked up by

regulators who are keen to ensure that there is

transparency about what data is being collected

on individuals and businesses and how it is

being used. Governments and regulators have

been struggling to catch up with the fast paced

developments in AI and ML but are now starting

to look to take action. For example the EU has

recently laid out its proposals for regulation of

AI which could have far reaching consequences

on its use. Discussions are also starting in the

US on the subject.


The move to digital services spurred on by

the pandemic can provide significant benefits

to individuals and businesses but it can also

lead to an increase in financial crime such as

cyber attacks, fraud, data breaches and money

laundering. For credit information providers

these risks provide an opportunity, using

their data and analytical capabilities, to offer

services to credit providers to help identify and

limit the risks. They have also highlighted their

own vulnerability being such a key part of the

financial ecosystem - recent high profile data

breaches have highlighted this.

At the Business Information Industry

Association (BIIA – we have

seen significant investment over the last couple

of years by the credit information industry

in both securing their own infrastructure

and acquiring businesses to support credit

providers in combating the growth in financial

crime and it is likely that we will see continued

investment going forward.

With the growing availability of data and

the use of new technology there are growing

concern from Governments and regulators

about how individuals can maintain control

over the use of their data and how their

privacy can be protected. As a result, privacy

regulations based on the EU General Data

Protection Regulation (GDPR) have been

implemented in a number of countries around

the world. In some cases where the GDPR has

been ‘cut and pasted’ into the new regulation it

has resulted in some unfortunate unintended

consequences such as limitations on the access

to the data from outside the country, and

specific requirement on consent which have in

turn had an impact on the development of the

credit information infrastructure. In Europe we

are also starting to see as anticipated further

clarification on the interpretation of the

GDPR. Some of this interpretation could have

an impact on the availability of data to credit

information providers at a time when it could

be argued that more data is required.

It is clear with all that is happening that

the world is going to be a very different place

for credit information providers as we exit

the pandemic. The changing data landscape

and new technology will change the focus

of the credit information industry, from one

of data providers to value added service

providers using their analytical and technology

capabilities to deliver the services that credit

providers will need to deliver their services in

a digital world.

Neil Munroe MCICM is Managing Director,

CRS Insights Ltd, Deputy Managing Director,

BIIA, and Deputy Chair, International

Committee on Credit Reporting.

He has more than 35 years’ experience

in financial services and credit reporting


There is no doubt

that the move to

digital services

can provide

significant benefits

to many. But as we

have also seen it

can increase the

risks of financial

crime, including


fraud, data

breaches and

money laundering.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 22


7 best practice tips for

better credit control

With credit management more important than ever post

lockdown, CICM Corporate Partner Satago advises on how

you can get on top of your credit control…and stay there.

WE’VE all been there.

You invoice a

customer promptly,

include all relevant

payment details

in your email, but

when you come to check your accounts

on the due date, no payment has been

made. You spend the next few days

chasing payment and every day that

passes negatively affects your business’

cashflow. But it doesn’t have to be this





Winning a new customer is an exciting

time for your business, but it’s important

that you start off on the right foot.

Remember, customers who owe you

money are less likely to book work with

you in future, so don’t offer them credit

unless you’re sure they’ll be able to pay

on time. It’s better to build a trusting

commercial relationship over time

through regular, prompt payment than

to offer overly generous payment terms

before that trust has been built.




They might be a well-known company or

even a good friend, but unless you’ve run

proper risk analysis on your customers,

you have no way of knowing what their

credit score is and how promptly they pay

their bills.

Use a professional risk analysis tool

– such as Satago – to find out your

customer’s risk band before you agree

your payment terms. Remember, the right

terms are always the ones that work best

for you.


Card, BACS, cash? People pay their bills in

different ways and many businesses have

lengthy processes which can cause delays.

When sending an invoice, make sure you

get the contact details of the person who

will be processing your payment so you

can confirm:

• Which payment method they prefer

• What their sign-off process is

• If you need to be added to a list of

preferred suppliers

• What extra information needs to be

included on the invoice.

Tackling these questions early on will

save you a headache in the long run.



Often, invoices are paid late for simple

reasons, such as the right person being

on holiday. By sending a reminder a

week before your payment is due you can

avert these issues before they become a


This is where automation can really

help. With Satago for example, you can

set automated payment reminder emails,

monthly statements and thank you emails

to send on specific days before and after

payment is due.




Keeping a trail of communication with

your customers can be crucial if queries

arise around payment. What if finance

loses the original invoice? Or the person

who booked the job leaves the company?

Whatever happens, by keeping a record of

all emails and calls, you can ensure you

have all necessary information to hand

should a dispute arise.




Even if you do everything by the book,

late payments can still occur. When

this happens, it’s important to follow a

consistent strategy to ensure payment is

made as soon as possible:

• Set automated reminders to send on

specific days after non-payment

• Highlight your payment details and any

late fees in the body of the emails

• Include the original invoice in all


• If payment is not made after a set date,

escalate the issue.


It’s important to continue analysing your

customers over time. If their credit score

improves or they earn your trust through

regular prompt payment, you can reward

them with more generous terms.

On the other hand, if an existing

customer’s credit score declines, you may

need to adjust your payment terms to

avoid putting your business at risk.

Satago monitors all your customers

automatically and notifies you of any

changes to their risk profile, so you’re

always on top of things.

At Satago, we’re committed to

supporting SMEs through automated

credit control, data-driven risk insight

and flexible invoice finance. To start your

free trial, visit


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 23


Australia is one of

the world’s leading




AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

ANYONE looking at a map

of the world might assume

that Australia is quite

possibly one of the largest

countries, by landmass, on

the face of the planet. And

they’d be right. But what would most likely

surprise them is that it’s not the largest;

that honour goes to Russia with 17m km2.

Canada is next with 9.9m km2. Australia

is, in reality, the sixth largest country with

‘just’ 7.6m km2 of land and sits behind

China, the US and Brazil.

Nevertheless, what makes Australia

special, for British exporters at least, is

that English is the (unofficial) mother

tongue, it follows legal principles that are

similar to the UK’s and has an abundance

of businesses and industries. And it’s

a wealthy country too with a high GDP

per capita ($51,885 nominal, 2020 IMF

estimate) and a low rate of poverty. Not bad

for a country of just 26m people.

Australia is internationally active and is a

member of the World Trade Organisation,

G20, and has numerous trade partnerships

with countries close to hand including

New Zealand, China, South Korea, Japan,

Singapore and Malaysia. Australia, with

seven major international airports,

considers itself a bridge between eastern

and western markets.

And because of its size it is incredibly

diverse in terms of resources and biology.


It doesn’t take much more than elementary

maths to note that Australia is, on average,

sparsely populated with a density of three

people per km2. It’s so low that it’s placed

192nd in a table that sees just eight nations

beneath it including the Falkland Islands

(0.21 people per km2) and Greenland (0.03

people per km2).

But the reality of the climate and its

sheer size means that the majority of the

population lives in just 10 cities. Sydney,

according to 2019 Australian Bureau of

Statistics (ABS) data, is the largest with 5.3m

which is followed by Melbourne (5.0m),

Brisbane (2.5m) Perth (2.0m) and Adelaide

(1.3m). In 20th place is Launceston with

just 87,000 souls. In comparison, Coventry

is the UK’s 20th largest conurbation with

360,000 residents.

Ethnically speaking, the 2016 census

found 36.1 percent of the population

are of English descent, 33.5 percent are

Australian (generally Anglo-Celtic), Irish 11

percent, Scottish 9.3 percent, Chinese 5.6

percent, Italian 4.6 percent and German 4.5

percent. The census also found significant

numbers of people who identify as

Indian, indigenous, Greek, Dutch, Filipino,

Vietnamese and Lebanese. While diversity

can be said of most nations around the

world, the fact that effectively 89.9 percent

have an association with the UK should

encourage exporters.

As for place of birth, ABS data from

2019 shows that apart from the 17m who

said they were born in Australia, 986,000

were born in England, 677,000 in China

and India is in fourth place in supplying

660,000 individuals.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 24


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a massive

sandstone monolith in the heart of the

Northern Territory’s arid "Red Centre".

The nearest large town is Alice Springs,

450km away. Uluru is sacred to indigenous

Australians and is thought to have started

forming around 550 million years ago. It’s

within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which

also includes the 36 red-rock domes of the

Kata Tjuta (colloquially “The Olgas)”

Australia is a fully

fledged nation

with countless

opportunities for

exporters. The only

question is, now that

the UK is outside of

the EU, how these

opportunities will be


Looking at age distribution, Australia’s

population is getting greyer according to the

CIA’s 2020 World Factbook. There are nearly

as many over 65s (15.88 percent) as there are

under 14s (18.72 percent). The age bulge now

lies around 25-54 years with 41.15 percent

of the population. Statista shows data from

2019 as being 19.28 percent under 14 and

15.92 percent over 65. A difference but the

point is made.


For nearly two decades to 2017, Australia’s

international trade had surged. It saw export

prices rising faster than import prices, lowish

unemployment, generally low inflation and

low public debt. But that ended in 2018 as a

number of challenges presented themselves,

not least of which was a slowdown in the

Chinese economy which was a key trade

partner. The net effect was that Australian

commodity prices fell significantly. Even so,

Australia is the world’s 13th largest economy

(according to Investopia).

As for business sectors, starting with

minerals, Australia is self-sufficient in most

minerals of economic importance and

according to a 2019 Herbert Smith Freehills

report, mining contributed about 8.2 percent

to Australia’s GDP and just under half of the

value of total goods exported.

Specifically, this included gold, silver,

nickel, coal, lead, industrial diamonds,

manganese, tantalum, copper, zinc, iron ore

and ferrous compounds as well as uranium

since the 1950s; oil and gas since the early

1960s; and bauxite, alumina and aluminium

since the 1970s. There is also considerable

utilisation of mineral sands.

Clearly, this offers a wide range of

commercial opportunities for ventures

including exploitation, processing, and

services and equipment to the industry.

Along with substantial petroleum reserves,

Australia has natural gas resources that

meet its domestic gas needs and its liquefied

natural gas exports in 2018 were second

($16.9bn) to Qatar’s ($26.1bn).

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 25

continues on page 26 >


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

Government policy on uranium is such that

mining, and export, of uranium is under strict

international agreements designed to prevent

nuclear proliferation.


The agricultural sector accounts for 2.2 percent of

Australian GDP according to 2020 data from the

Australian Government. The industry employs

over 228,000 people and covers 58 percent of

the land mass. The Government reckons that it’s

worth around $69bn a year of which 70 percent is

exported annually – 11 percent of Australia’s total

exports. Production includes wheat, grains, wine

grapes, fruits and nuts, vegetables, cattle, sheep,

cotton, wool and many more.

With 446m hectares used for so many strands of

agriculture it’s a natural target for those looking

for growth in Australia.

In terms of holidaymakers, Australia is a big

draw for international tourists and 2019 data from

Tourism Australia (there’s precious little point in

looking at data for 2020), shows that there were

9.4m visitors who collectively spent $45.2bn and

used 27m aircraft seats.

According to Statista, the sector contributes

well over $50bn to GDP and rose in value by 6.6

percent in 2019. Over 650,000 people were directly

employed in the sector in 2019.


Australian construction has seen some turbulence

in the last few years with output in 2014 (real 2017

US$) of $176bn, $155bn in 2016, $172bn in 2017,

$163bn in 2019. But Global data reckons that the

sector is heading for a period of growth that is

predicted to be worth close to $185bn in 2023.

The decline was a function of problems in

the residential sector as a result of oversupply.

However, the report believes that growth will come

from investments in transport infrastructure,

especially $58.9bn from the Government to

develop the country’s transport infrastructure by

2027–2028. Commercial and industrial projects

and an improvement in consumer and investor

confidence will also provide support. That

prospect appears to be backed by data from ABS

where value of the private sector rose in the fourth

quarter of 2019 to the same period in 2020 by 1.4

percent, 2.6 percent in the public sector and 1.9

percent in engineering construction.


Australia’s manufacturing sector is large.

According to 2020 data from the Government, it

employs around 900,000 Australians, contributes

$100bn to GDP and contributes 26.4 percent

of business expenditure on research and


IBISWorld lists the industry categories of the top

manufacturers for 2019 as including food product

manufacturing (17 of the top 100 manufacturers),

pharmaceuticals (7/100), basic chemical and

chemical product manufacturing (5/100), beverage

and tobacco product manufacturing (5/100) and

non-metallic mineral manufacturing (5/100).

While the country is known for agricultural

exports and minerals – see above – it appears that

its strict medical standards and regulations have

created opportunities for its pharmaceuticals


IBISWorld also notes a key strength for

Australian manufacturers – the tendency to

vertically integrate so that, for example, Caltex

Australia not only drills and refines petroleum,

but also runs its own petrol stations.

Notably, the Government has published a set

of National Manufacturing Priorities with a goal

to ‘deliver long term transformational outcomes

for the Australian economy.’ And it’s looking to

further develop resources technology and critical

minerals processing, food and beverage, medical

products, recycling and clean energy, defence

and space. Some $1.4bn will be spent by the

Government in this area.


The first thing to note is that Australia is

federally constructed. The Federal Government

is responsible for the conduct of national affairs.

Its areas of responsibility are stated in the

Australian Constitution and include defence and

foreign affairs; trade, commerce and currency;

immigration; postal services, telecommunications

and broadcasting; air travel; most social services

and pensions.

The states and territories are responsible for

everything not listed as a federal responsibility.

Confusingly, sometimes both are involved. Key

state responsibilities include schools, hospitals,

conservation and environment, roads, railways

and public transport, public works, agriculture

and fishing, industrial relations, community

services, sport and recreation, consumer affairs,

police, prisons and emergency services. Each state

has its own constitution setting out its system of


As a result, good advice is essential to

understand the interaction of federal and state

level rules before setting up shop.


According to Mazars, the two most common

business structures for foreign run businesses are

a private company and branch office.

The former requires at least one Australian

resident director and a public officer that is

ordinarily a resident in Australia. The company

is incorporated through registration with

the Australian Securities and Investments

Commission (ASIC) which is usually completed

within one working day.

Private companies are categorised as large or

small. A company is classed as large if it meets two

of the following criteria – consolidated revenue

of $50m or more; consolidated end of the year

gross assets of $25m or more; the company and its

controlled entities have 100 employees or more.

Large private companies must lodge audited

financial reports with ASIC.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 26


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

Small companies are normally exempt from lodging audited

financial reports unless they are majority foreign owned. Small

majority foreign owned companies may apply for an exemption

from auditing and lodging their financial reports.

Unlike a private company, a foreign company operating a branch

in Australia is not a separate legal entity, so it does not protect the

foreign company from Australian risks. Branches must still comply

with Australian tax law.

A branch office may be the best option if the business has a

limited time span or scope in Australia. Registration is completed

with ASIC, but the process can take several months. ASIC will need

detailed information about officeholders and operations. The

benefit of a branch operation is that of tax – residents of a country

which Australia has a double tax agreement with will only be taxed

on Australian sourced business profits derived through that branch.

There are rules on foreign investment to prevent conflicts with

the national interest.


The Australian tax year runs from 1 July to 30 June. On a corporate

level, there are two tax rates that apply to companies. For 2020/21

it’s 26 percent for companies that are base rate entities; these are

generally companies that have an aggregated annual turnover of

less than $50m and derive 80 percent or less of their assessable

income in the form of passive income. It’s 30 percent for all other


It is planned that the lower rate will reduce to 25 percent from

2021/2022. There are currently no plans to reduce the 30 percent

rate. Where a company has employees, it must register for and

deduct pay as you go (PAYG) from their wages to remit to the

Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

As for personal tax, individuals resident in Australia face banded

rates. The first $18,200 is tax free. It’s 19 percent between $18,201

and $45,000, 32.5 percent between $45,001 and $120,000, 37 percent

between $120,001 and $180,000, and 45 percent over $180,001.

Foreign residents pay tax on the Australian sourced income at 32.5

percent to $120,000; 37 percent between $120,001 and $180,000; and

45 percent over $180,001.

Australia has a 10 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the

supply of goods or services connected with Australia, including

imports. It doesn’t apply to GST-free supplies such as medical

supplies, exports, and basic food or input-taxed supplies, including

residential premises and financial supplies.

Sydney, capital of New South

Wales and one of Australia’s

largest cities, is best known for

its harbourfront Sydney Opera

House, with a distinctive sail-like

design. Massive Darling Harbour

and the smaller Circular Quay port

are hubs of waterside life, with

the arched Harbour Bridge and

esteemed Royal Botanic Garden

nearby. Sydney Tower’s outdoor

platform, the Skywalk, offers

360-degree views of the city and



Australian employment law confers a number of rights on workers.

There is a maximum working week of 38 hours (plus reasonable

additional hours), a right to request flexible working, up to 12

months unpaid leave plus the right to request a further 12 months,

four weeks paid leave with another week for some shift workers, 10

days paid personal carers, 10 days unpaid community service leave,

long service leave, up to five weeks termination and up to 16 weeks

redundancy pay, and a fair work statement.

On top of that, employees have a right to join a union, 9.5 percent

of pay into a pension and there is also workers compensation



Australia is a fully fledged nation with countless opportunities

for exporters. The only question is, now that the UK is outside of

the EU, how these opportunities will be exploited. At the time of

publication, the UK has secured a trade deal with Australia and this

is the first major trade deal negotiated since we left the EU

Adam Bernstein is a freelance business writer.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 27



How ‘nudging’ and behavioural science

can help us recover from COVID-19.

AUTHOR – Richard Chataway

EVERYTHING a business

communicates can – and

should – attempt to change

people’s behaviour. After all,

unless a business influences

behaviour, it cannot succeed.

A business needs people to buy and use its

products and services to generate revenue.

It needs the people in the business to

produce those products and services (or to

program the machines that provide them).

And it needs to do those things better than

its competitors to survive – and grow.

But it is not enough to recognise that all

communication should change behaviour;

everything communicates, and therefore

has the opportunity to influence. Whether

it be what your employees say on the phone

or in person, the copy on your website, or

the script used by your chatbot.

The good news is that due to advances in

understanding of the drivers and barriers

of behaviour (collectively behavioural

science) we have learnt more about

behaviour in the last 50 years than the

previous 5,000. This tells us that how you

say something matters as much as what

you say. Context is everything – which is

also why testing and experimentation in

context is so important.


And the biggest change to the context

in which we are all living over the last 18

months has been the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whilst it is tempting to think that the

enforced changes to our lifestyle have

also changed us as people, one thing

behavioural science also tells us is that

the inherent biases and heuristics (mental

‘rules of thumb’) that guide our behaviour

have been ingrained over millennia.

Evolution doesn’t work so fast that innate

human behavioural traits can change in

such a short time, though our world may

now look very different (with people staying

at home, maintaining social distance,

and wearing masks). People remain less

rational in their decision-making than we

traditionally assume – in terms of COVID-19

we see it with some people prioritising the

risks of vaccine side-effects over the risks of

COVID itself (vaccine hesitancy), or simply

failing to comply with restrictions imposed

to protect their safety.

So whilst these non-rational drivers of

individual behaviour remain just as true as

they have always been, what COVID-19 has

driven is the acceleration of certain existing

long-term collective trends in behaviour. For

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 28


AUTHOR – Richard Chataway

example, our increasing use of digital channels

as a preferred route for engaging with brands.

‘The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the

digitisation of customer interactions by several

years,’ says McKinsey. Data from Salesforce

showed that the estimated share of interactions

with companies taking place online by

consumers increased by 49 percent in 2020, and

this was maintained into 2021.

Correspondingly, some negative behaviours

have also been accelerated by the pandemic.

UK Finance reported 2.8 million cases of frauds

involving UK-issued payment cards, remote

banking and cheques via their recording system,

CAMIS, in 2020. Within plastic card frauds there

was a 61 percent increase in ‘remote banking’

fraud (to 61,752 incidents). This increase reflects

the greater number of people now regularly

using internet, telephone and mobile banking,

and the attempts by fraudsters to take advantage

of this.


At BVA Nudge Unit we have been successfully

applying this understanding of consumer

behaviour using insights from behavioural

science to optimise communications for a

number of years – such as encouraging adoption

and usage of digital services in banking, without

compromising security. With increased usage of

digital channels becoming ever more prevalent,

the importance of making sure customers are

willing and able to use these channels – and

satisfied with doing so – becomes ever more


We often do this via our proprietary

COGNITION audits – an expert review rooted

in behavioural science, where our COGNITION

framework is applied to create a shortlist of

optimisations designed to be put into testing.

The results achieved have been dramatic –

this approach helped one of the UK’s largest

savings banks achieve an 11 percent efficiency

saving via its call centre, through incorporating

behavioural ‘nudges’ into the scripting

and structures used by customer service


We have applied this approach to optimise

the customer experience by changing physical

elements of the customer journey, to drive

use of digital self-service options. A Latin-

American bank deployed nudges in the branch

environment (such as floor signage and colour

schemes) to encourage use of automatic deposit

cashiers – the initial trial in two branches saw

an increase of usage of 35 percent overall,

from 12 percent before the intervention to

16 percent afterwards. In the UK a pilot using

purely conversation-based nudges by staff in

eight branches similarly increased usage of selfservice

by eight percent.

These techniques can also deliver better

customer experiences within digital channels

and encourage continued adoption and usage.

Industry data from our sister company BVA

Richard Chataway

But a deeper


of the real

drivers of human

behaviour will

mark out the

most successful


long after this

pandemic is a

(hopefully) distant


BDRC shows that the biggest barriers to customer

adoption of banking websites and apps relate to

ease of usage, and that the ‘neobanks’ (Monzo,

Starling etc.) far out-perform the traditional

banks in terms of Net Promoter Score (NPS).

This is because customers find them much

easier (i.e. less cognitively effortful) to transact


For example, opening an account with a

traditional high street bank (such as Lloyds,

Barclays, NatWest or HSBC) typically takes

in excess of 70 individual clicks. With the

neobanks, it is between 25 and 45 clicks – much

easier, simpler, and therefore better for the



This accords with our experience optimising

digital banking experiences, where ‘making

it easy’ for customers can have large positive

effects. In 2018, a credit card company asked

us to behaviourally optimise their consumer

website. They found that, having driven potential

customers to their site, surprisingly few actually

went on to apply for a card. A COGNITION audit

identified several opportunities to make the

user experience cognitively easier – including

that users had to scroll through three pages of

(largely irrelevant) product information before

they got to the ‘Apply Now’ button. For customers

wanting to get on with an application, this

required unnecessary cognitive effort.

One of our recommendations was to conduct

an A/B test to see how the existing website

compared to a version where the button was

made more salient – by moving it ‘above the

fold’, to the top of the web page. This instantly

increased the click-through rate to application

on the webpage by 54 percent.

For businesses that can collate data on actual

behaviour and test accordingly, there really are

no excuses for not doing these kinds of live user

tests, and the benefits are potentially huge.

Accordingly, there are opportunities to apply

techniques derived from behavioural science to

optimise CX across all touchpoints, throughout

the user journey. These can ensure that digital

experiences are both adopted and used,

consistently and repeatedly. Digital adoption

may have been speeded up by COVID-19, but it

is not inevitable that these behaviours stick.

Vaccination is clearly the biggest driver

of economic recovery from COVID-19. But

a deeper understanding of the real drivers

of human behaviour will mark out the most

successful businesses, long after this pandemic

is a (hopefully) distant memory.

Richard Chataway is CEO of BVA Nudge Unit

UK. His book ‘The Behaviour Business’ was

published in February 2020 by Harriman


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 29



Monthly round-up of the latest stories

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.

A global reset for trade

NGOZI Okonjo-Iweala, the new Director

General of the World Trade Organisation,

thinks that ‘multilateralism has taken a

lot of knocks’ and that ‘globalisation has

lifted hundreds of millions of people out

of poverty, but it's also left some people


It’s true to say that international trade

has changed in recent years, whether as

a result of the 2008 financial crises, new

forms of protectionism, or nationalism

as advocated by Donald Trump. Even the

newish Biden administration wants the US

to buy American to help the economy.

But for Okonjo-Iweala, global free trade

is the key to everyone doing well: “the

new multilateralism must be managed

and supported in such a way that it can

contribute to tackle the problems that

globalisation did not deal with, and even

strengthen the solidarity and cooperation

that we need to solve problems of the

global commons,” she said.

In other words, she’s against talking

about protectionism, deglobalisation and

globalisation not working. She prefers

to think of it as ‘re-globalisation… that

globalisation is being reorganised.’

One thing she is keen to emphasise

though, is that COVID has shown that there

are many lessons to be learned from the

crisis, including the interconnectedness

of the world and how unprepared both the

rich and the poor countries were for this


Reshoring, the bringing home of activity,

may well be on corporate agendas, but

business is still there to be done.



ACCORDING to data released by the Office for

National Statistics, UK’s exports to the European

Union are close to being back to where they were

at the end of 2020 after dropping by 43.2 percent

at the beginning of the year.

The data shows that exports to the EU rose by

8.6 percent to £12.7bn in March – which is very

‘close’ to the £13.7bn exported in December. The

good news element of these figures suggests

that not only is trade between the EU and the

UK getting back to a new normal, but it has also

mostly recovered – especially as many firms

stocked up before the year end in case of severe

post-transitional period disruption.

But despite the recovery in trade, the UK’s

quarter one exports to the EU were still down 18.1

percent compared with the fourth quarter of last

year. It’s also interesting to see that exports to

non-EU countries rose by 0.4 percent.

What does this tell us? Politics aside, the data

highlights that Brexit may be done and dusted,

but nothing trumps trade, money and proximity

to a market.

THE Chancellor announced in his

March Budget a new policy of creating

eight freeports around England (with

more to be announced by the regional

governments). However, businesses

that operate from them – so as to

benefit from reliefs and the ability

to import goods tax-free that are

processed before re-export without

leaving the freeport area – look to have

been dealt a blow; they will face tariffs

to 23 countries under various post-

Brexit deals.


In detail, the government has

confirmed that firms will not benefit

from being in a freeport if they export to

Switzerland, Canada, Singapore, Iceland,

Norway, Singapore, Israel, Egypt,

North Macedonia, Chile, Morocco,

Ukraine, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia,

Serbia, Georgia, Faroe Islands, Moldova,

Liechtenstein, Albania, Kosovo and

Palestine. This is because recent

post-Brexit trade agreements included

clauses that prevent manufacturers in

freeport-type zones from benefitting

from the deals.

The problem does not apply to

exports to the European Union, the UK’s

largest exports market.

The Department for International

Trade has said that where the

provisions apply, firms will be able to

opt for either ‘duty drawback’ – the

refund of import duty when goods are

re-exported – or for the preferential

rates under the free trade agreement,

providing they comply with the deal’s

rules of origin tests.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 30

Deutschland nicht über alles

OH dear, Germany is in a bit of pickle

according to credit insurer Coface which

is predicting a rise in insolvencies in a

recent report.

While insolvencies in Germany dropped

significantly in 2020 compared to 2019,

despite the worst recession since 2009 –

partly because of government support, it

seems that early-announced applications

for regular insolvency proceedings

increased sharply in February and March

2021, signalling a pending increase in

corporate insolvencies.

According to official rules, to qualify

for state support, firms had to prove that

their business model was working before

the pandemic. But as Coface notes, the

metals and automotive sectors have been

in recession since the end of 2018, so

some firms did not meet the criteria and


has compiled data on the UK’s 2020 exports

from several sources and it shows how

the country is doing. By definition, what

follows is going to be list-like, but here


In first place was machinery including

computers with $60.4bn (15 percent) of

total exports; next was gems and precious

metals on $43.3bn (10.8 percent); vehicles

with $36.4bn (9.1 percent); mineral fuels

including oil at $26.4bn (6.6 percent);

electrical machinery and equipment with

$25bn (6.2 percent); which is followed by

pharmaceuticals with $24.8bn (6.2 percent);

UK’s top exports

went insolvent. From its observations,

insolvencies in the metals sector

increased by 7.1 percent in 2020, while

automotive insolvencies rose 31.6 percent.

Overall, though, most insolvencies were

in business services, construction, and

hospitality, as well as retail and transport.

But just as statistics can be used to

prove anything, actual insolvencies in

metals accounted for three percent of all

insolvencies in 2020 while automotive

accounted for just 0.5 percent. That

said, insolvencies were concentrated in

microenterprises and small to medium

sized companies. And losses from

corporate insolvencies came to €44.1bn in

2020 – the highest level since 2009.

So, while Germany is still an economic

powerhouse, it makes sense to be cautious

with days offered in your terms.

optical, technical and medical apparatus

with $17.6bn (4.4 percent); aircraft and

spacecraft with $13.2bn (3.3 percent); and

organic chemicals of $12.1bn (3 percent).

And in last place was plastics and plastic

articles with exports valued at $10.6bn (2.6


These ten categories account for around

two-thirds (67.1 percent) of the UK’s global

shipments. But the figures do need to

be taken with a pinch of salt, especially

when comparing exports over years, since

the results are based on exchange rate

data which have a horrible tendency to


Put Italy on the travel list?

ITALY is in dire need of reform, politically

and economically, and the hope is that

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi – a

former economist, banker, academic and

civil servant – is up to the job.

Reports have it that he wants to spend

€222bn on several projects, including

high-speed internet, more high-speed

rail, earthquake-proofing homes and

improving the energy efficiency of public

buildings. As to where the cash will come

from, €191.5bn will be sourced from the

EU’s pandemic recovery fund – Next

Generation EU, and a further €30.6bn

will come from extra Italian government

borrowing. With Italy needing to digitise

its government and improve its education

and research, it looks like the spending

is well targeted. But beyond that, the

country needs to move its GDP on; growth

has stagnated at around 0.3 percent over

the last decade and public debt sits at 160

percent of GDP.

But another target for Draghi is a reform

of Italy’s courts says the Financial Times.

It cited World Bank reports that it can

take more than 1,100 days to enforce a

commercial contract in Italy – twice the

average in other large EU economies.

The hope is that even if Draghi’s

term in office is short – which is likely

as governments tend to last 1.14 years

– he will nevertheless leave behind

a new roadmap that other successor

governments cannot ignore.

The net effect of Draghi being in Italy’s

hot seat is that, despite Brexit, the country

should be on the corporate radar as a

destination, not just for holidays, but for

business too.

Australia – part one

BLOOMBERG recently commented on

Australia’s ‘big-spending budget’ which it

says seeks to run the economy hot with

a fiscal-monetary tandem that has the

policy goal of lowering unemployment to

levels rarely seen in the past 50 years.

The plan includes a budget deficit

for the 12 months to July 2022 which

will reach five percent of GDP. It appears

that record-low interest rates and a

quantitative easing programme has put

the government in a position where it can

invest heavily in infrastructure, age-care

while offering tax breaks to households

and businesses. Net debt is expected

to hit 34.2 percent of GDP in June 2022,

peaking in June 2025 at 40.9 percent of

GDP — half that for the US and UK.

But storm clouds are looming for

Australia. It’s relationship with China

is deteriorating and tourism has,

understandably, taken a battering.

Growth has been undermined.

Now cast your mind back to the

situation of just 18 months ago when the

(conservative) government was heading

towards Australia’s first budget surplus in

a decade. What a difference.

Australia – part two

THE UK and Australia have agreed the

broad outlines of a free-trade agreement

and this is being seen as a stepping

stone for the UK to join a wider Asia

Pacific free-trade agreement. But while

there are benefits to British exporters who

will find it cheaper to sell in Australia,

sight shouldn’t be lost of the fact that

there might be some losers back home. In

particular UK farmers, who are worried

about a lowering of tariffs on Australian

meat imports. I’m not sure which side of

the fence you sit on, but whatever deal

exports effectively win in Australia will

be applied here too – watch your supply




OR CALL 020 7738 0777

Currency UK is authorised and regulated

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).


GBP/EUR 1.17043 1.15339 Up

GBP/USD 1.42442 1.37868 Down

GBP/CHF 1.27979 1.26239 Flat

GBP/AUD 1.84935 1.81738 Up

GBP/CAD 1.72203 1.70309 Up

GBP/JPY 156.043 151.341 Down

This data was taken on 21st June and refers to the month

previous to/leading up to 20th June 2021.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 31




How can invoice finance help companies trading

internationally get paid? Part 1.

AUTHOR – Lesley Batchelor OBE, FCICM

TRADING with overseas buyers

tends to carry more risk than

trading domestically, although

it does offer opportunities for

huge growth. One of the riskiest

elements of exporting is usually

around getting paid and therefore it is important

that sellers consider how they can reduce this


There are several ways you can de-risk

getting paid, and each has its own advantages

and disadvantages. These include payment

in advance, letters of credit, and trade credit

insurance. In this article, we take a look at

invoice factoring and confidential invoice



Invoice factoring involves a third party, a

factoring company, buying your invoices at a

lower than face value price, and then recovering

the full value of the invoice from your customer.

Essentially, they are buying the debt from you

and it is they who take the risk of not getting



The biggest advantage to factoring your invoice

is that you definitely get paid and in a timely

manner. This removes the risk of not getting

paid and doesn’t compromise your cash flow.

The most obvious disadvantage of factoring

is that you lose a proportion of the value of

your invoice. This will need to be considered

when setting your sale price. Most factoring

companies will also expect to take your whole

sales ledger, rather than you identify and select

the riskiest contracts to insure. This means that

you will have to pay fees even for very low risk

invoices. This allows the factoring company to

spread their own risk.

Because the factoring company deals directly

with your customer to recover payment,

you must trust that they will deal with your

customers in the same professional way that

you would, otherwise you could potentially

risk damaging your trading relationship

The biggest

advantage to

factoring your

invoice is that

you definitely

get paid and in a

timely manner.

This removes the

risk of not getting

paid and doesn’t

compromise your

cash flow.

by association. There is even potentially a

reputational risk as some buyers may associate

factoring with companies who are struggling

financially, although nowadays this is part of the

set-up discussion with the factoring company.


Confidential invoice discounting is similar

to factoring, with the main difference being

that your buyer remains unaware that a third

party is involved as you will always deal with

them to secure payment. Confidential invoice

discounting is facilitated by an invoice finance

provider. You invoice your customer and send

a copy of the invoice to the invoice finance

provider. They then pay an agreed percentage

of the invoice, usually within a couple of days.

When the customer pays their invoice, you

receive this minus a fee.


As with factoring, the main benefit is that you

receive a payment very quickly. You also retain

the relationship with the customer, so you have

control of the whole process. The customer

remains unaware that a third party is involved

so there is no negative association. Confidential

invoice discounting is usually less expensive

than factoring.

As with factoring, you lose a percentage of

each invoice and most invoice finance providers

will want your full book. With this method

there is still an element of risk if the customer

does not pay as you wouldn’t receive the final


If you find that you wish to finish either type

of agreements with your providers, you are

normally free to do so – check your agreement.

However, any monies that have been paid to

you for invoices that have not yet been paid by

the customer would have to be given back to the

provider and this needs to be carefully planned

to avoid impacting your cash flow.

Lesley Batchelor OBE, FCICM

COO & Commercial Director at Open

Borders Direct.

As with factoring, the main benefit is that you receive a

payment very quickly. You also retain the relationship with

the customer, so you have control of the whole process.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 32


Research Engine

Should tax credits extend to exporting research.

AUTHOR – Lesley Batchelor OBE, FCICM

OECD – Research and Development tax

credits – this isn’t the first time I’ve

suggested it, but why don’t they extend

this scheme to include research into

new markets? And any modifications

that might be needed for new markets

in terms of packaging or marking specific for new


When we trade internationally, we can’t just offer

exactly the same product to every country. International

marketing simply doesn’t work that way. Of course, it

is cheaper if you can get away with it but even Coca-

Cola has had to modify flavours and colours of some of

their drinks to suit the market, as tastes vary between



Although the standard mantra for new markets has been

traditionally gung-ho, just having a stab at exporting

isn’t going to work unless it’s backed by thorough

research into how the product or service will be sold

and to whom.

The one thing that has come out loud and clear from

the perils of leaving the EU is that as a nation we have

slipped behind in our understanding of how trade

actually works. Understanding that the product you sell

attracts a tariff and that this will impact the final price

in the market is not just your customer’s problem but

yours too. If you can work with your customer wherever

they are in the world to mitigate and efficiently execute

any resultant paperwork this, in itself, can reduce costs.

When we look at a new market it shouldn’t be

simply be a question of how much something can

be sold for, but a serious analysis of the consumers

tastes and preferences as they vary between markets.

Establishing where to sell, who your target audience

will be and how much to charge is not a simple

quation as is contains many qualitative as well as

quantitative elements that need rational consideration.

A pricing life cycle needs to include all costs, from the

research into the product through to the cost of shipping

and placing on the shelf. This in itself is a costly and

time-consuming exercise, not to be rushed and skimped

on, and being able to claim back the expenditure or

offset these costs, at least until the first export sale is

made, would be a great benefit to those serious about


This issue needs to be discussed and added to the

Export Strategy due to be published later this year.

SIITACE is a new forum for Independent International

Trade and Customs Experts and will want to hear from

you about this in readiness for a paper to be published

in the summer.

Do send any ideas or thoughts to

Lesley Batchelor OBE, FCICM

COO & Commercial Director at Open Borders Direct.

Understanding that the product you sell

attracts a tariff and that this will impact

the final price in the market is not just your

customer’s problem but yours too.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 33




The transport sector in a post-pandemic

world will be greener and multi-layered.

AUTHOR – Tim Vine

Combine this with the electric vehicle

revolution just around the corner,

and you have an industry which is

significantly greener than before the


THERE isn’t a single industry

that hasn’t been touched in

some way by the pandemic.

Manufacturing, retail, finance,

travel – all of them

have had to dig deep in

order to survive the pandemic, with many

fundamentally reimagining how they


Transport is no exception. Transportation

is of course integral to our lives, but

under lockdown, it took on a new importance.

Organisations’ focus shifted to ensure

that key workers – those responsible

for keeping our society moving throughout

the darkest of times – were able to

commute to work and back as safely as

possible. This involved quickly reshaping

transportation services – adapting bus,

train and Underground schedules and

reducing staff to a skeleton crew to

ensure as many people as possible were


Another area of focus for transport

organisations over lockdown has been

sources of revenue. As you can imagine,

with the public ordered to stay at home,

businesses are left with a shortfall in their

finances which many struggle to fill.

According to data from Google, visitors

to all public transit locations – such as

bus services, terminals, and waiting areas

– have fallen significantly. Because of

this, many operators have had no choice

but to scale back or completely shut

down less viable routes, while others are

passing their costs onto consumers. This

last point is particularly undesirable for

the disadvantaged in society who may

not have other transport options. This

reduction in transport is likely to have

had a knock-on effect to other businesses,

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 34


such as coffee shops, newsagents and

sandwich bars in train stations which

were reliant on the transport industry’s

commuter footfall.

It’s a problem that shows no sign of

abating. Even if many countries are

now apparently over the worst of the

virus, unlocking society is a slow and

cautious business (and the risk of further

restrictions has not yet faded).

There’s no two ways about it – disruption

will be the new normal for the foreseeable

future. And with that in mind, businesses

need to be predicting what’s on the road


AUTHOR – Tim Vine


While uncertain times definitely lie

ahead for the transportation sector, it’s

not necessarily all doom and gloom. Over

the last year many roads have been turned

into cycle or public transport routes,

lowering emissions, and improving the

health of the population. Combine this

with the electric vehicle revolution just

around the corner, and you have an

industry which is significantly greener

than before the pandemic.

and public transport will begin to swell to

considerable – if not quite pre-lockdown

– levels. The road ahead is different to

what’s come before, but it’s not necessarily

worse. The world is on course for a

future which is both greener and more

convenient for consumers.

It’s now up to organisations to weather

the current storm, remain flexible as

the world opens up, and put in place a

bold new vision to take advantage of an

exciting future.


In terms of long-term thinking,

transportation businesses must continue

to monitor the situation as we emerge

out of lockdown and adapt as needed.

As policies change, they need to strike

a balance between reduced operations,

and providing enough capacity for key

workers and whoever else can legally

travel while adhering to social distancing.

On the back of this, long term investment

programmes need to be re-examined

in light of the fact that things won’t be

returning to normal anytime soon. On

the subject of employees, organisations

will have to plan for the availability of

key personnel to ensure that staff with

critical skills and training are available.

As the world opens up and more people

are allowed to travel, businesses will

need a strategy for scaling up their active

workforce to ensure networks remain safe

and operational.

Another point to consider is that

travelling patterns may well never return

to normal. It’s no secret that the world

has embraced remote working with

enthusiasm, and many businesses will

no longer require employees to be in the

office all the time. This will significantly

reduce use of transportation services in

the long run.

Payment performance data can be used

as an indicator of the financial health of

businesses and is a useful tool to help

businesses assess risk. Our trade payment

data shows that payment behaviour in the

transport industry slightly deteriorated

over the past year, with businesses paying

their bills promptly decreasing by 2.8

percent to 36.3 percent in February 2021.

Urban, suburban or metropolitan area

passenger transport – other than railway

transportation by underground – saw

the highest deterioration in prompt

payments. Thankfully, the current data

indicates that the industry has enough

short term assets to cover its short

term debt and return to growth as

lockdown eases.

Transport is no exception.

Transportation is of course integral to

our lives, but under lockdown, it took on

a new importance.

This change in how we move also comes

with brand new business opportunities.

Ridesharing for example, or bicycle

rentals. As the economy opens up, there

will be further opportunities across the

industry and the whole economy. In fact,

as a baseline scenario, Dun & Bradstreet

expects the economy to rebound by

around five percent this year, offsetting

some of the losses incurred in 2020 when

real GDP fell by almost 10 percent .

As the world begins to open up, private

Tim Vine is Head of International Finance

and Risk Solutions at Dun & Bradstreet.

Advancing the credit profession / /July & August 2021 / PAGE 35


Your CICM HQ Team

Meet some of the people who are responsible for raising

the profile of the credit management profession and the

professionalism with it. Part 1.

Becki Sharpe

Marketing and Events Manager

Andrew Morris

Art Editor

Zoe Pope

Digital Communications Specialist

AFTER leaving college, Becki has worked

within sales and marketing positions in

industry sectors, including retail, manufacturing

and publishing. Becki joined

CICM (ICM) back in 2012, where her main

responsibilities were managing the endto-end

processes associated with planning,

facilitating and resourcing the CICM

events programme, during this time she

completed her Level 3 Event Management

qualification with distinction.

Following an internal promotion in

2018, Becki looks after the Marketing team

and is now responsible for all external

marketing activity, including multi-channel

campaigns, analytics, website design

and content whilst still being the main

organiser of CICM events. “With a new

knowledgeable team to manage, the CICM

Marketing department is transforming the

external profile of CICM,’’ says Becki. “I am

excited to see what new ideas and concepts

the team come up with.” Away from the

office, Becki enjoys family time with her

husband and two children, running and is

partial to a drink (or two) with friends!

LEAVING Art College, Andrew has

accumulated more than 20 years

experience in the creative design industry.

Andrew started his apprenticeship with

EMAP, a well-known publishing company,

learning about print production and

typography skills. He then progressed

through the ranks to eventually manage

the art department where he worked on

various print and digital design projects.

He then moved into editorial design

and began designing news pages as a

senior designer on various magazines and


Andrew has been Art Editor of

Credit Management magazine for seven

years, and has injected a modern and

contemporary style into the magazine

and the CICM’s branding.

After re-locating to Cornwall four

years ago, he has several hobbies which

include: art, aviation, playing guitar and

motorbikes. He is also a member of the

local volunteer HM Coastguard Rescue


Holly Clancy

Partnership Marketing Executive

AFTER graduating university in 2012 with

a Journalism degree, Zoe made the switch

to a career in digital marketing and never

looked back. She has been working in the

digital marketing sector for the past seven

years, working within industries spanning

from Events, Manufacturing, Agency and

the Housing sector.

Zoe has been working at CICM

since November 2020 as the Digital

Communications Specialist and is

passionate about continually growing

CICM’s brand internationally.

With skills ranging from social media

management, web content management,

content writing and email management to

name a few, Zoe is your go-to girl for all

things digital. In her spare time, she likes

to travel and explore the UK and abroad,

try and get through her never-ending list

of books, and create new memories with

her little boy.

AFTER graduating from De Montfort

University with a BA Honours Marketing

degree this is Holly’s first job post university.

Holly was a Brand Marketing Intern for

her one year placement where she carried

out several tasks including copywriting all

feature copy across four brands along with

supporting brand managers with brand

campaigns, product launches and events.

Holly’s main responsibilities at CICM

are forming and growing relationships

with the CICM Corporate Partners and

facilitating all marketing activities, to

ensure relevant content is available to our

members in return for communicating our

partner’s products and services. Holly has

several hobbies including dance, drama

and singing.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 36


Tom Sharman

Marketing Apprentice

TOM completed his A-level studies in 2020 and

is the youngest employee at CICM. He recently

joined CICM in December 2020 as a digital

marketing apprentice so this is his first big step

into a career. Tom is currently working towards

a Level 3 in a Digital Marketing qualification

course at Stamford College and is enthusiastic

to become fully qualified in his role through his

apprenticeship at CICM. He is looking forward

to learning more about the industry he is

involved in and becoming skilled in his career

in the years to come.


Nicola Harris

Governance Manager

PRIOR to joining CICM in 2014, Nicola

held several positions over 15 years within

the Global Banking and Financial Services

sectors. Her last role was as a Client

Experience Manager, which afforded

her valuable stakeholder relationship

insight, and senior level administration

experience across Europe and the USA.

Nicola is Governance Manager at

CICM HQ, managing the day-to-day

activity of the department. This includes

responsibility for supporting all CICM

Boards and Committees, and ensuring

compliance to the Institute's Royal

Charter By-Laws and Regulations. Nicola

forms strategic approaches to government

and professional body consultations and

undertakes targeted research to obtain

technical items of importance to CICM

members. In addition, Nicola administers

the CICM Member Advice Service, and coordinates

the administration behind the

CICMQ accreditation process.

Nicola’s next big project is to manage

the CICM Advisory Council Elections for

the 2022 – 2024 term.

Tracey Turville

Awarding Body Officer

TRACEY Turville is the Awarding Body/

Responsible Officer for CICM. It is her

responsibility to ensure that the CICM

meets its regulatory requirements in

the development, delivery and assessment

of its professional qualifications

and End Point Assessments for the Level

2 Credit Controller/Collector and Level

3 Advanced Credit Controller/Debt

Collection Specialist apprenticeship


She is responsible for planning and

prioritising the tasks and processes

of the Awarding Body and works with

Tanya Clegg, Awarding Body Co-ordinator

to carry out day-to-day activity

with regard to assessment delivery and

results, including dealing with any concerns

that may arise before, during or

after an assessment.

She started work with CICM (ICM)

in 2004. She has been married for 35

years, with two grown-up children and

three adorable grandchildren.

Tanya Clegg

Assessment Coordinator

TANYA worked in the adult private

education industry for over ten years

coordinating the client’s requirements,

preparing and delivering management

training programmes.

She has been working with CICM

coming on eight years now, within

the Awarding body team working

alongside Tracey Turville. Her passion

is supporting candidates through

the assessment process of our CICM

qualifications, assisting them with

all areas of the exams to support

and encourage them to achieve their

desired goals.

Outside of work, Tanya enjoys

spending time with family, and in

her spare time enjoys all aspects of

gardening including her cut flower

allotment. During the summer months

Tanya is often away in her caravan with

her husband and her Jack Russell dog,


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 37


Three-line WIP!

Credit Management asked three of the CICM’s Advisory

Council to give us their half-term work in progress report.

Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad)

Chair of CICM

IT couldn’t be a more exciting time

to be a member of the Advisory

Council. I’ve been fortunate

enough to be part of this group

for three terms and have always

relished the opportunity this

environment gives me to engage with

my peer group across so many different

aspects of the Credit Industry.

This term feels different somehow.

In recent times, the role of Council

Member has always been to ensure that

we raise our ideas or concerns and act

on the behalf of the community that

we represent. And we all do this very

passionately. However the formation of

three formal Working Parties that meet

outside of the usual Council forum has

helped us to accept more responsibility

for driving those changes.

The Working Party for Current and

New Products was a little overwhelming

at the beginning. The CICM has so many

products and services developed and

refined over many years, it was difficult

to agree where to start. So we decided to

divide into manageable chunks.

We considered what members want

or need to see, hear or learn about,

and narrowed the immediate focus to;

industry peers experience and member

lifecycle stories; original CICM content

that will help members with their current

and future challenges; revitalising

the existing Knowledge Hub to create

a Resources Bank that members can

access for templates, case studies etc.

and utilising the Technical Committee

to share the CICM view on hot topics. We

also agreed that the messaging style of

the CICM should be modernised to

become more punchy and visual.

We have been running this working

party in parallel to Sue Chapple’s reorganisation

of the team at HQ and this has

included the introduction of Bev Ewens-

Davey MCICM, Head of Transformation,

John Kane MCICM, Head of Strategic

Relationships, Zoe Pope, Digital Comms

Specialist, Holly Clancy, Partnership

Marketing Executive, Tom Sharman,

Digital Marketing Apprentice and Beth

Turiccki, Business Admin Apprentice. Bev

and the rest of the team at HQ have been

working for months in the background,

already transforming many of the areas

our working party felt had opportunity to

be strengthened.

So it was with great excitement that

Becki, Bev, John, Sara and Debbie from

the HQ team joined our most recent

session and shared some detail of the

initiatives they are already working on

and how aligned they are with the outputs

of this Working Party. We will continue to

work closely with the HQ team and the

other Working Parties to continuously

improve the services and support for our


This truly is a thrilling time to be

part of the Advisory Council and such a

privilege to be part of shaping the future

of the CICM.

Bryony Crossland FCICM(Grad)

AS we approach mid-year and the

continued recovery from the pandemic,

it’s been important for me to take some

time to reflect and consider how I spend

my time both from a career and personal


There’s no doubt that the last 15

months have been a challenge on all

fronts and, if you’re anything like me,

then you’ve probably just ploughed on

regardless. However, I think it’s often

been a case of taking each day at a time!

Everyone has handled the situation

differently and I, for one, have certainly

changed how I live my life (no longer

sitting on motorways) and realise the

importance of strong relationships with

my friends, family and colleagues alike.

As an active member of the Advisory

Council during that time I have also

really valued my involvement in CICM

HQ business and want to give a huge

thanks to Sue and the team for their focus

and determination to keep business

as usual. The importance of our credit

profession has been highlighted by the

economic impacts and CICM stands

proud with the support of its members

and evolving offering.

The escalation of the move to

online studying and examinations was

so impactful on keeping our student

members on track, as well as seeing the

evolution of the Institute’s strategy to

best serve our current and future needs

– these are indeed exciting times.

Alongside my fellow Advisory

Council members we have also all

been involved in helping review and

put forward recommendations to ‘reengineer’

various elements of the

CICM offering. This has involved

regular working party calls and allowed

everyone to have their voice heard in

terms of what does or doesn’t work and

really insightful feedback for new ideas

and suggestions. It is great to have

new faces on the Council from various

roles in the profession which led to

lively (but balanced) discussions in the

Working Party– reviewing the Centre of

Excellence award. The value of having

new input and a focus on the future

was clear and we have put forward our

report to the Executive Board for their

consideration - watch this space!

Keeping up to date remains a key part

of my career and I can see that my active

involvement on the Advisory Council

makes a difference. I’m also allocating

time to attending CICM Webinars and

activity on social media, particularly

LinkedIn and look forward to keeping in

touch with fellow members as we come

out into the post-pandemic world and a

flourishing future for our Institute.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 38


I have mentioned the power of the

network and this is never more obvious

than when we meet as a Council.

Peter Gent FCICM(Grad)

WHEN I was elected onto the CICM

Advisory Council my goal was to help

support my fellow members in the North

West further their Careers through

mentoring /advice and via my extensive

list of contacts across all parts of the

Credit Industry. Additionally I really

wanted to use our regional events to

promote our fantastic profession and

drive its advancement across the region's


Joining the Advisory Council in the

mist of a global Pandemic has been a

challenge to say the least, but more than

ever what I wanted to achieve is relevant.

Although many of our members in

the North West have continued to work

mostly at home, others have seen huge

change in their employers who have,

through economic necessity, needed to

restructure and reduce costs.

From a human level we have people

potentially feeling a little isolated without

the support of their colleagues, others

feeling happy that they finally have some

work life balance, and others having to

change roles. From a professional level

there are still DSO targets to achieve and

risk assessments to be done, often whilst

managing this huge change.

My role and that of the other Council

members is now more crucial than ever

as we continue to try to re-invigorate our

Institute at regional levels and build on

the great work being done at CICM HQ.

I have mentioned the power of the

network and this is never more obvious

than when we meet as a Council. Most

of us have known each other longer than

we care to remember. This means we are

able to have an honest debate about the

direction of travel and crucially listen to

each others views. There is no right or

wrong way to do things and having battled

hard as a Branch Chair for nearly 10 years,

it’s clear we can all learn from each other.

It also really does show what a great

thing we have, being active members

of the Institute. If we can replicate this

collaborative approach at a Branch

Committee and national level, then there

is every reason to think we can succeed

and grow a more active membership. The

more people involved, the more word of

mouth kicks in, and the benefits of getting

involved will become apparent.

In the North West we had a decent

2020 with meetings switched to Zoom. We

know it’s not the same, but it has shown

that the future will involve a mixture of

online and face to face events. I see now

that we can incorporate presentations,

and panel discussions into an online

platform and let that sit alongside face to

face networking events.

So what have we been up to at Advisory

Council? Well, it’s been a busy time with

our ongoing plans to revisit our Branch

network structure moving into 2022.

We have made great inroads and have

come up with a plan that should be fit

for purpose as we enter the next five

years. The key now is to really push on

with creating great events for CICM

members. By doing so, we will hopefully

start increasing membership numbers

and welcome some new younger blood

driving the Institute forward.

I think the future is bright. Of course

we have challenges, but by putting our

best feet forward, the CICM has the

experience, the team, the leadership

and the determination to deliver an even

better experience for the members and

wider credit community.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 39



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

Corporate Partnership with the CICM, please contact

High Court Enforcement Group is the largest

independent and privately owned High Court

enforcement company in the country, with more

authorised and experienced officers than anyone

else. This allows us to build and manage our

business in a way that puts our clients first.

Clients trust us to deliver and service is paramount.

We cover all aspects of enforcement –writs of

control, possessions, process serving and landlord

issues - and are committed to meeting and

exceeding clients’ expectations.

T: 08450 999 666



Satago helps business owners and their

accountants avoid credit risks, manage debtors

and access finance when they need it – all in

one platform. Satago integrates with 300+ cloud

accounting apps with just a few clicks, helping


Understand their customers - with RISK INSIGHTS

Get paid on time - with automated CREDIT CONTROL

Access funding - with flexible SINGLE INVOICE FINANCE

Visit and start your free trial today.

T: 020 8050 3015



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

(SaaS) company. Its Integrated Receivables platform

reduces cycle times in the Order to Cash process through

automation of receivables and payments across credit,

e-invoicing and payment processing, cash allocation,

dispute resolution and collections. Powered by the RivanaTM

Artificial Intelligence Engine and Freeda Digital

Assistant for Order to Cash teams, HighRadius enables

more than 450 organisations to leverage machine

learning to predict future outcomes and automate routine

labour intensive tasks.

T: +44 7399 406889



Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps

businesses pay and get paid. Businesses and banks

rely on Bottomline for domestic and international

payments, effective cash management tools, automated

workflows for payment processing and bill review

and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural

analytics and regulatory compliance. Every day, we

help our customers by making complex business

payments simple, secure and seamless.

T: 0870 081 8250



Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is

an accountancy firm delivering traditional services

combined with strategic commercial thinking. Our

services include: advisory, audit, corporate and

personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,

outsourcing, wealth management and business

recovery – the latter of which includes our specialist

offering developed specifically for creditors. For

more information on this, or to see how the Menzies

Creditor Services team can assist you, please


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

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


Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist companies

across Europe with credit management. The

service gives the end-user the means to make a

payment when and how they choose. Key IVR also

provides a state-of-the-art outbound platform

delivering automated messages by voice and SMS.

In a credit management environment, these services

are used to cost-effectively contact debtors and

connect them back into a contact centre or

automated payment line.

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000



With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading

provider of business information, analytics, insights

and solutions. Graydon helps its customers to make

fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to minimise

risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities

with their commercial relationships. Graydon

uses 130+ international databases and the information

of 90+ million companies. Graydon has offices in

London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,

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

largest credit insurance companies.

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400



Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit

intelligence for credit insurers and for corporate

customers. The company’s B2B Credit Risk

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk

Management Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;

the Tinubu Credit Intelligence service and the

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their

greatest assets: customer receivables.

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /



Building on our mature and hugely successful

product and world class support service, we are

re-imagining our risk awareness module in 2019 to

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists and

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.

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

for analysis and automation. Impressive results

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also

have an active input into our product development

and evolution.

T: 01235 856400



Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 40

Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for

their commitment to the profession, best practice in the

Credit Industry and the quality of services they provide.

We are delighted to showcase them here.


Hays Credit Management is a national specialist

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of

credit management and receivables professionals,

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

the CICM’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,

career and recruitment trends.

T: 07834 260029



Court Enforcement Services is the market

leading and fastest growing High Court Enforcement

company. Since forming in 2014, we have managed

over 100,000 High Court Writs and recovered more

than £187 million for our clients, all debt fairly

collected. We help lawyers and creditors across all

sectors to recover unpaid CCJ’s sooner rather than

later. We achieve 39 percent early engagement

resulting in market-leading recovery rates. Our

multi-award-winning technology provides real-time

reporting 24/7.

T: +44 (0)1992 663 399



Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work

closely with credit teams to recover commercial

debts as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt

recovery, including:

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and

keep costs down • Litigation service • Insolvency

• Post-litigation services including enforcement

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

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

most effective way of achieving them.

T: 03700 86 3000



Forums International has been running Credit and

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of

industry sectors and international trading. Attendance

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums

are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges

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

gauge the benefits and meet the members and we

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never

intentionally be sold to.

T: +44 (0)1246 555055



Data Interconnect provides ERP-agnostic AR

software. The Corrivo platform transmits invoices

in multiple formats using tax compliant templates

custom-designed for your business. Corrivo expedites

collections, reconciliation and dispute processes with

flexible workflow tools for creating and assigning tasks,

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

where customers can query, comment, dispute or pay.

Corrivo manages data securely and efficiently so that

you can manage your customers and cashflow better.

T: +44 (0)1367 245777



Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for

organisations seeking efficient cash visibility

and secure financial processes. As an SAP

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience

and thousands of successful customer projects,

including solutions for the entire order-to-cash

process, Serrala provides credit managers and

receivables professionals with the solutions they

need to successfully protect their business against

credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.

T: +44 118 207 0450



American Express® is a globally recognised

provider of business payment solutions, providing

flexible capabilities to help companies drive

growth. These solutions support buyers and

suppliers across the supply chain with working

capital and cashflow.

By creating an additional lever to help support

supplier/client relationships American Express is

proud to be an innovator in the business payments


T: +44 (0)1273 696933


C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables

into income, uniquely connecting buyers and

suppliers to allow discounts in exchange for

early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating

payments from buyers when required in just two

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

corporates with global supply chains, benefit from

the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while

strengthening the financial health of supply chains

through ethical business practices.

T: 07799 692193



Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes

the all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s

businesses from collecting receivables in a

timely manner. From credit management to cash

allocation, Esker automates each step of the orderto-cash

cycle. Esker’s automated AR system helps

companies modernise without replacing their

core billing and collections processes. By simply

automating what should be automated, customers

get the post-sale experience they deserve and your

team gets the tools they need.

T: +44 (0)1332 548176



Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 41




For further information and to discuss the

opportunities of entering into a Corporate

Partnership with the CICM, please contact

The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis

and data modelling tools to organisations around

the world that rely on our ability to accurately predict

their exposure to financial risk. Our H-Score®

predicted 92 percent of quoted company insolvencies

and our TextScore® accuracy rate was 93

percent. Our scores are trusted by credit professionals

within banks, corporates, investment houses

and public sector bodies because, unlike other credit

reference agencies, we are transparent and flexible

in our approach.

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300



Onguard is a specialist in credit management

software and a market leader in innovative solutions

for Order to Cash. Our integrated platform ensures

an optimal connection of all processes in the Order

to Cash chain and allows sharing of critical data. Our

intelligent tools can seamlessly interconnect and

offer overview and control of the payment process,

as well as contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.

The Onguard platform is successfully used

for successful credit management in more than 50


T: 020 3868 0947



The Atradius Collections business model is to support

businesses and their recoveries. We are seeing a

deterioration and increase in unpaid invoices placing

pressures on cashflow for those businesses. Brexit is

causing uncertainty and we are seeing a significant

impact on the UK economy with an increase in

insolvencies, now also impacting the continent and

spreading. Our geographical presence is expanding

and with a single IT platform across the globe we can

provide greater efficiencies and effectiveness to our

clients to recover their unpaid invoices.

T: +44 (0)2920 824700


Chris Sanders Consulting – we are a different

sort of consulting firm, made up of a network of

independent experienced operational credit and

collections management and invoicing professionals,

with specialisms in cross industry best practice

advisory, assessment, interim management,

leadership, workshops and training to help your

team and organisation reach their full potential in

credit and collections management. We are proud to

be Corporate Partners of the Chartered Institute of

Credit Management and to manage the CICM Best

Practice Accreditation Programme on their behalf.

T: +44(0)7747 761641



CICM has launched

critical AR Factsheets

for EMEA countries

Powered by

Powered by Baker Ing, country specific factsheets have been

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

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

are designed for credit professionals, and they cover legal business

forms, credit risk data, collections protocols, enforcement and

much more.

Credit professionals need granular knowledge of the situation

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

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

information to help review risk strategies and Credit Policies, these

insightful documents will help.

Visit to view country specific factsheets from, Germany,

Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, France, UK.

Powered by

EU Factsheet


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

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

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

Loans and grants – employees:

Three main tranches of wage subsidy have been introduced.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the pandemic.

Loans and grants – businesses:

EU Factsheet


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

and grants available which businesses of different sizes can access.

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

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

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

Federal States’ own grant programmes.

Powered by



Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 42


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

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

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

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

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

practical skills, improved results and greater confidence.

These are pre-recorded training sessions

that you can access anywhere and at

anytime. Short, sharp and to the point –

these suit you if you are short on time, or

need a quick introduction or update on a


These are live, interactive sessions, delivered

virtually by a qualified trainer, experienced

in the subject. Through a series of tasks and

discussions, you will access a hands-on

training session that offers the best practice

approach to essential credit and debt skills.


Advanced Skills in Collections – 19 July at 11.30 & 16 August at 10:30

Collection Skills For The New Credit Future – 19 July at 09.30 & 16 August at 08:30

Best Practice Skills To Assess Credit Risk – 19 July at 13.30 & 16 August at 12:30

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

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

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

INTRODUCTORY PRICE £90.00+VAT per person.

For group training, please contact


Booking your

exams has never

been easier

Head over to our new exam pages

for all the information you need to prepare,

book and take your CICM exams

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 44


Virtual Classes

for 2021

Get CICM qualified by attending

Virtual Classes: The best of both worlds.

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

distance learning offer, our Virtual Classes have the greatest success

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

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

which are interactive, challenging and fun.




Telephone Collections – 1 November

Consumer Telephone Collections – 20 September




Principles – 6 September

Business Environment – 6 September

Business Law – 6 September

Credit Management – 6 September

Advanced Collections – 20 September

Advanced Business Communications – 4 October

Credit Risk Management – 1 November

Debt Recovery Management – 1 November




with legal, regulatory, ethical and social requirements – 23 August

Process Improvement – 23 August

Strategic Communications and Leadership – TBC

Strategic Planning – 23 August

Book your place today, visit

or contact a member of our team on 01780 722900


Finding firmer footing?

The latest payment performance statistics show

small signs of improvement.

AUTHOR – Rob Howard

THE world of late payments is as

unpredictable as ever, with the future

picture looking anything but clear.

The latest figures, however, do show

marginal signs of improvement across

both regions and sectors, but don’t

call it a comeback just yet. The average Days Beyond

Terms (DBT) across regions and sectors reduced by 1.4

and 1.2 days respectively.


Although all sectors and industries have been affected

by the impact of the pandemic, perhaps none have

been hit harder than the Hospitality sector, cast

adrift as the worst performing sector in terms of late

payments for some time now. A massive reduction of

16.2 days to its payment terms takes its overall DBT to

28.1 days and moves it off the bottom of the standings.

Also making positive strides forward is the

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector, reducing its

payment terms by 9.8 days. There have been notable

improvements elsewhere too: Entertainment sector

where late payment dropped by 8.1 days; Other

Services (including hairdressers, beauty services and

dry cleaners fell by 7.9 days); Health and Social by 6.7

days; and Construction by 5.8 days. However the top

performing sector is now Education with a further

reduction of five days to its payment terms, taking its

overall DBT to 8.1 days.

Moving quickly in the wrong direction, however, is

the Financial and Insurance sector, with a whopping

increase of 15 days to its payment terms. Also

struggling is the IT and Comms (+10 days), Professional

and Scientific (+9.3 days), and Manufacturing (+7.4

days) sectors.


The regional standings are mostly positive, with seven

of the 11 regions making much needed improvements

to payment terms. Yorkshire and Humberside was the

biggest mover, reducing its terms by 7.9 days to climb

off the bottom of the standings. A further reduction

of 6.2 days for the South East means its overall DBT

now stands at 13.8 days, making it the new best

performing region. The East Midlands (-4.6 days),

Wales (-4.2 days) and Scotland (-3.3 days) also made

steady improvements.

An increase of 5.4 days to its payment terms mean

that East Anglia is now the worst performing region

with an overall DBT of 26.7 days. London (+3.5 days),

the North West (+2.7 days) and Northern Ireland (+1.3

days) also move in the wrong direction.

By Rob Howard

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 46


Data supplied by the Creditsafe Group

AUTHOR – Rob Howard

Top Five Prompter Payers

Region April 21 Change from March 21

South East 13.8 -6.2

Scotland 14.4 -3.3

Wales 14.4 -4.2

West Midlands 14.9 -1.5

South West 16.3 -0.8

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Region April 21 Change from March 21

East Anglia 26.7 5.4

London 23.3 3.5

Yorkshire and Humberside 21.6 -7.9

Northern Ireland 20.7 1.3

North West 19.4 2.7

Top Five Prompter Payers

Region April 21 Change from March 21

Education 8.1 -5

Health & Social 10.9 -6.7

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 13.3 -9.8

Public Administration 13.7 -3.4

Wholesale and retail trade 14.1 1.1

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Region April 21 Change from March 21

International Bodies 35.1 1.7

Financial and Insurance 32.6 15

Professional and Scientific 28.5 9.3

Hospitality 28.1 -16.2

IT and Comms 26.9 10

Getting Better

Hospitality -16.2

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing -9.8

Entertainment -8.1

Other Service -7.9

Health & Social -6.7

Dormant -5.9

Construction -5.8

Education -5

Business from Home -3.4

Public Administration -3.4

Real Estate -3.1

Water & Waste -2.2

Business Admin & Support -1.3

Getting Worse

IT and Comms 10

Professional and Scientific 9.3

Manufacturing 7.4

Transportation and Storage 4

Mining and Quarrying 3.9

International Bodies 1.7


-3.3 DBT

Wholesale and retail trade 1.1

Energy Supply 0.2



1.3 DBT



-0.8 DBT


-4.2 DBT



2.7 DBT



-1.5 DBT







-4.6 DBT


3.5 DBT



-6.2 DBT



5.4 DBT


Getting Better – Getting Worse












Yorkshire and Humberside

South East

East Midlands



West Midlands

South West

East Anglia


North West

Northern Ireland

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 47

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 48


A Freedom of Choice

Modernising the High Court Enforcement system

across England and Wales.

AUTHOR – Alan J Smith

WE all know that the

COVID-19 pandemic has

had an unanticipated and

lasting effect on finances

across the UK. With the

pause on enforcement

activity and the Government’s new Breathing

Space moratorium, debtors have rightly been

given the time and space needed to seek

advice and get their affairs in order. However,

while extra measures have been put in place

to protect debtors, what is being done for the

creditor? Particularly those owed sums under


At present, any unregulated debt under

£600 must be enforced via the County Court

Bailiff system. A system which is currently

overloaded with a significant backlog of cases,

subjecting creditors to long, stressful delays

and uncertainty. While £600 might not sound

like much, for a small business, or a creditor

owed multiple, smaller debts, this soon adds up

and puts them at risk of becoming the debtors

of tomorrow.

Under the current system, creditors can

commission the services of a High Court

Enforcement Officer (HCEO), to transfer up

unregulated debts of between £600-£5,000

from the County Court to the High Court for

enforcement. This process can bypass some

of the delays and allow creditors to receive the

money they are owed in good time.

But creditors that are owed debts under this

threshold are left to deal with longer waiting

times, lower success rates and no other options.

The HCEOA Board strongly believes that

the Ministry of Justice should give court users

a greater freedom of choice to allow them to

decide for themselves who they want to enforce

their County Court Judgments under £600.


After speaking to our members and their clients,

it has been clear for some time that the current

system is less than ideal for creditors and

landlords seeking to recover smaller amounts.

What’s worrying is that many creditors seem to

be giving up on unregulated debts under £600

as unclaimable, rather than pursuing these

through the County Courts.

This means that creditors would rather write

off money they are owed than deal with the

current court system. That can’t be right.

Not only is this unfair on the creditor, but

it is also putting them under undue financial

pressure, leading to sleepless nights, additional

borrowing and, in some cases, administration.

Not to mention the reputational damage

and loss of earnings from solicitors and debt

recovery services who are losing clients due to

lack of results when dealing with the County


How do we know this? Well, the HCEOA

is undertaking a survey in order to establish

exactly how court users feel about the current


While the full results are still being analysed,

initial findings show that 95 percent* of court

users would support a change in regulations

to allow them to choose whether they would

like to use a County Court Bailiff or HCEO to

enforce debts under £600.

In fact, 35 percent* of respondents stated that

not only would they like this freedom of choice,

but the that the number of claims they issue

would likely increase.

Once we have the full survey results we will

publish our report on the HCEOA website, and

will be using this feedback to make a case for

change with relevant stakeholders and decision



While we know that any changes won’t happen

overnight, giving court users another option

will not only allow them to recover money that

they are legally owed, but will give them peace

of mind when collecting future debts.

This reform can be delivered simply and

easily by the Lord Chancellor/Ministry of

Justice, and we will be campaigning to ensure

creditors’ voices are heard.

Changes to the current regulations would

alleviate some of the pressure on the current

court system, giving the County Court Bailiffs

the time needed to work through the backlog

of cases from outstanding judgments, and take

on new cases from creditors who do not want to

transfer up lower amounts of unregulated debt.

Overall, the changes would be a positive step,

allowing creditors and their representatives the

ability to make an informed choice about how

and when their debt is recovered.

*Figures taken from HCOEA’s recent survey

‘Expanding the Use of High Court Enforcement’.

Full results will be available on the HCOEA

website soon.

Alan J Smith FCICM is the newly appointed

Chair of the High Court Enforcement Officers


Overall, the changes

would be a positive

step, allowing

creditors and their

representatives the

ability to make an

informed choice

about how and

when their debt is


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 49



How AI can dramatically improve

Order-to-Cash performance.

AUTHOR – Mark Sheldon

WHILE scientists and

Governments wrestle with

the COVID-19 pandemic, a

more important wrestling

match for businesses is also

taking place – one which has

the potential to boost enterprises’ profitability out

of all recognition. It’s an opportunity for businesses

to make handling cash more efficient by using an

AI software-based automated Order-to-Cash (O2C)


The extent of the potential problem for

enterprises’ cash handling processes is unlike

other recessions. Data produced by our Unpaid

Invoice Tracker, for example, has highlighted the

rate of unpaid invoices in the UK since March 11,

2020 – just before the first nationwide lockdown

was announced in Great Britain – has increased by

23 percent. In France, the increase is 56 percent,

Spain 52 percent and Italy 82 percent.

Our figures show that less than 10 percent of

organisations have implemented an automated

O2C process and are finding out the hard way

the difficulty of using a mainly manual workflow

process for invoice processing and payment

reconciliation. The O2C process rarely gets the

attention it deserves and only when a crisis looms

do firms wake up to it being one of the most critical

processes in its finances.


Improving the working capital performance

helps enterprises reduce bad debts, achieve

faster cash collections, and reduce time spent on

customer invoice disputes. A major challenge for

organisations looking for the Nirvana of business

process automation, is the lack of data visibility

into their operations, a problem which means

being unaware of ‘pinch points’ or bottlenecks in

their order-to-cash handling systems.

The lack of collaboration due to siloed sales and

financial teams using siloed systems (CRM, ERP,

etc.) exacerbates this, particularly when staff have

to work remotely because of multiple lockdowns.

Automating O2C reduces siloed systems, which

may run on legacy IT and potentially need

extensive IT support, especially if organisations

need to improve processes drastically.

Manual tasks normally slow down workflow

processes resulting in slowing down the whole

capital management process. Typically, multiple

applications need to run sequentially by different

finance teams, and so the data these teams require

takes time to pull off different systems.

Automating the O2C process genuinely improves

the working capital position. Our data shows the

average ‘day sales outstanding’ drops from 52

to 40 days when automating the O2C process.

That’s nearly 25 percent, which is a tremendous

The O2C process

rarely gets the

attention it

deserves and

only when a

crisis looms do

firms wake up to

it being one of

the most critical

processes in its


difference. The COVID-19 crisis has prompted

firms to put emergency measures into effect to

protect cash and upgrade cash flow forecasting -

it’s a Band-Aid fix and long term is unsustainable,

which is why I think most businesses are beginning

to realise the need for an effective working capital

management strategy. This can be achieved using

AI and would enable enterprises to react faster not

only in the current crisis, but also, for example, to

recessions not related to pandemics.

As I mentioned earlier, the main reason for

implementing an AI software system in the O2C

process is to reduce bad debt, achieve faster

cash collection, and also minimise time spent on

disputes with customers. A sure-fire way to improve

customer relationships is to have an automated

system for resolving – and avoiding disputes.

The O2C process allows organisations to set up

payment plans with difficult customers or those

in financial difficulties. Such a system cuts debt

resolution times, and our own data shows that

currently around one in seven invoices end up

being tangled up in disputes and those invoices 30

days overdue are six times less likely to be settled.

Yes – it is the case that firms can extend payment

times to gain market share over rivals who are –

shall we say – cash strapped. Being able to do so

automatically with the whole process digitised

is more efficient, especially as finance teams are

constantly being asked to do more with less – i.e.

improve financial performance with less staff.

The O2C process shouldn’t stop after payment

for goods and services has been received. The

data collected by AI software can be analysed

automatically to identify trends and patterns.

This allows predictions about future customer

behaviour which is very useful for enhancing

forthcoming buyer/supplier invoice payments.

O2C automation can also point out bottlenecks

in the process and reveal where the process can

be improved and optimised. Having your finance

teams poring through Excel spreadsheets would

disappear – along with the associated clunkiness

and risk.

Businesses battling to stay afloat during

this pandemic have a chance to improve their

cash collection processes – courtesy of AI and

automation. An automated O2C system also boosts

cross-departmental collaboration – because all

sales and finance teams have an enterprise-wide

view of the cash collection process sharing one

unique cash culture. Further lockdowns – and

other non-pandemic recessions – can happen so

making cash collection as efficient as possible can

ameliorate the effect on the organisations’ bottom


Mark Sheldon is Chief Technology

Officer at Sidetrade.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 50


AUTHOR – Mark Sheldon

The main reason for implementing an

AI software system in the O2C process

is to reduce bad debt, achieve faster cash

collection, and also minimise time spent on

disputes with customers.

Automating the O2C process genuinely

improves the working capital position.

Our data shows the average ‘day sales

outstanding’ drops from 52 to 40 days when

automating the O2C process.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 51



The seventh Annual General Meeting of the

Chartered Institute of Credit Management will

be held on Tuesday, 7 September 2021 at

a central London location (details to follow,

through all CICM channels) at 13:00

(or at the rising of the Advisory Council from

its preceding meeting, whichever is later). Any

changes to location or format will be advised of

if necessary.

By order of the Executive Board

Sue Chapple FCICM

Chief Executive

To read the Notice, visit:


Credit Management magazine for

consumer and commercial credit professionals
























Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 52


A year of two halves

Beware the Post COVID Slump


IN Ireland things are beginning

to get back to normal, with

shops reopening and pubs and

restaurants open for outdoor

dining and the promise of indoor

service from July, albeit with

reduced capacity. The hope is that we

should be back to business as usual by the

end of the year.

The Government are providing help

and support to businesses, and banks are

spending fortunes on advertising low-cost

loans to help small businesses with cash


I believe we are coming out of the worst

recession the world has ever seen and it

has been hidden by massive Government

borrowings to keep the economy afloat in

the short term.

There seems to be a greater tolerance

for growing levels of overdue debt and

delayed payments from customers due to

the current economic situation. Added to

this, we are entering the summer, the sun

is shining, we are working from home, we

have money in our pockets, and all looks

great in the world.

The point of this article is to tell you

that it isn’t all sweetness and light. All

the predictions point to a record number

of business failures in the second half of

the year when the supports are phased

out and success will be achieved by the

credit manager who keeps their focus on

managing their exposure and getting it

down to the lowest possible level in the

next couple of months. By all means, work

with your customers to find a way through

the current difficulties, remember there

are Government supports and bank

facilities available for small businesses, so

they shouldn’t have to rely on you to give

them additional cash flow by giving them

further extended credit terms.

Remember too, that the current climate

has been really good for some businesses

mainly in the pharmaceutical, online

sales and IT infrastructure, so there is no

reason why these accounts should ever go

beyond terms. One thing I have learned

over the years is that the more lenient you

are, the more you will be taken advantage

of. So, take this as a wake-up call to double

your efforts to get your ledger back in

shape as quickly as you can.

You can enjoy the sunshine in the

evenings and the weekends, when it

comes to the day job, now is the time

for increased effort from all within the

business to work together to ensure every

sale that has been made is converted to

cash in the quickest possible time, and on

this point, if your workload is excessive,

if you simply haven’t got the resources

necessary to mount a major collection

campaign, there are lots of reputable,

specialist collection companies out there

who are ready to help you. Rather than

seeing this as a failure on behalf of the

credit team, view it as simply part of the

overall process and what is required to

ensure the timely collection of all money


Happy collecting!



Laurie Beagle

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Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 53


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Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 54


to our



For the sake of comparison

Finding a policy of neutrality for religious symbols in

the workplace and avoiding sex discrimination when

navigating enhanced pay policies.

THERE have been many legal

cases concerning the wearing

of religious symbols in the

workplace. In such cases

courts often need to decide

if a ban or partial ban is

discriminatory on the grounds of religious

belief or if it can be justified by a policy of


A recent opinion of an Advocate General

to the European Court of Justice (ECJ)

emphasises the existing position that bans

or partial bans on the wearing of religious

symbols which apply equally to all will not

amount to direct discrimination. And nor

will it amount to indirect discrimination if

they relate to a legitimate aim (such as an

employer’s desire for neutrality) and are a

proportionate means of achieving that aim.

The opinion was given in response to

two German cases where, in one case, an

employer had prohibited the wearing by

their customer-facing employees of any

visible signs of political, philosophical or

religious beliefs in the workplace and, in

another, an employer had instructed an

employee to attend her workplace without

any conspicuous, large-scale political,

philosophical or religious signs. In both cases,

the employers’ rules were challenged by

Muslim employees who had been prohibited

from wearing the Islamic headscarf. The two

German courts asked the European Court of

IN Price v Powys County Council, the

Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)

was asked to consider whether it was

discriminatory for an employer to provide

enhanced adoption pay to a woman on

statutory adoption leave (SAL) but no

enhanced shared parental pay to a man

on shared parental leave (SPL).

Mr Price was employed by Powys County

Council and brought a claim for direct

sex discrimination against the council

on the basis that they paid employees on

statutory maternity leave (SML) and SAL

more than employees on SPL.

Following the reasoning in a previous

case, Ali v Capita, the Employment

Tribunal (ET) found that there were

material differences between Price and

his chosen comparators: a woman on SML

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards

It will be left to national

courts to determine, on

the facts of each case,

whether an employer’s

policy on the wearing of

religious symbols can

be justified.

and a woman on SAL. The ET held that

the correct comparator in this case was

a female employee on SPL. As a female

employee on SPL would have received the

same pay as Price under Powys County

Council's policy, there was no direct sex

discrimination. Price appealed to the

EAT in relation to the ET’s rejection of his

second comparator – a woman on SAL.

However, the EAT upheld the ET's

decision that a woman on SAL was not an

appropriate comparator in this case. The

EAT found that the purposes of SAL and

SPL differed. Whereas the predominant

purpose of SPL was the facilitation of

childcare, the purpose of SAL went beyond

childcare alone to include the forming of

a parental bond and the taking of steps to

prepare and maintain a safe environment

Justice if the rules complied with the Equal

Treatment Framework Directive.

In the Advocate General’s view an

employer’s rule that prohibits employees

from wearing any visible signs of political,

philosophical or religious beliefs can be

justified in the context of pursuing political,

philosophical and religious neutrality

in the workplace. Further, an employer

should be at liberty to prohibit only the

wearing of large-scale, conspicuous signs

such as hats, turbans and headscarves

– however the prohibition must be part

of a policy of political, philosophical or

religious neutrality and be implemented in a

consistent and systematic manner.

It will be left to national courts to

determine, on the facts of each case,

whether an employer’s policy on the wearing

of religious symbols can be justified.

Although the UK withdrew from the

European Union on 31 January 2020, UK

courts will also continue to consider issues

of EU law and the findings of the ECJ will

remain influential.

Employers seeking to implement rules

should ensure that this is done in a

consistent and systematic manner and that

there are objective and justifiable business

reasons for doing so. Whether such rules

can be justified will depend on the facts of

each case and the arguments are often finely


Paying men on shared parental leave

for the child.

The EAT upheld the ET’s finding that

there were material differences between

SPL and SAL, including that SAL can

commence prior to the child's placement,

whereas SPL cannot. This further

supported the ET’s conclusion that a

woman on SAL was not an appropriate

comparator for Price.

This case provides helpful clarification

for employers wishing to offer an

enhanced adoption pay policy whilst

offering statutory entitlements for SPL

that such policies will not give rise to a

successful sex discrimination claim.

Gareth Edwards is a partner in

the employment team at VWV

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 55




Dublin, €45,000, 1-year fixed purpose contract

Working within the public sector, an excellent opportunity

has been created for a skilled accounts receivable supervisor

with strong management experience. You will manage five

accounts receivable specialists, develop KPI reports and

monitor performance, as well as development of staff.

You will ensure training is completed by all members of the

team. You will assist with month end close, ensuring the relevant

controls, reconciliations and reports are completed, ensure tax

compliance procedures are followed and further develop credit

control procedures. Agresso experience will give you a distinct

advantage. Ref: 1077900


Bury St Edmunds, up to £42,000

This is an exciting opportunity to join a leading national brewery

and pub partner. The role will be focused around leading a team

of ten credit controllers both on site and remotely, managing

various business unit ledgers and supporting the Head of Accounts

Receivable in process improvement. You will ideally be a CICM

qualified credit manager that is available immediately or on short

notice with significant staff management experience.

Ref: 3983706

Contact William Plom on 01603 760141

or email

Contact Seodhna Durkin on 01 571 0011

or email


South West London, up to £37,000 + 5% annual bonus

Working for a global retail entertainment business you will

primarily be responsible for supervision of two accounts receivable

clerks ensuring timely and correct cash allocation of payments.

You will also oversee the administration of intercompany and

sundry receivables accounts. This is a progressive role where

you will get involved in major projects, SOX controls and

implementation of new processes after a recent key acquisition.

Experience with large systems such as SAP or Oracle and solid

reporting skills on Excel is essential. Ref: 3977144

Contact Mark Ordoña on 07565 800574

or email


Birmingham City Centre, up to £36,000

An excellent opportunity is available to join a market leading

organisation, based in Birmingham city centre. This position

will focus on one of the organisations largest portfolios with

emphasis on client facing collections. This role requires a hands-on

individual with experience in large scale reconciliations and large

scale portfolio experience. The role offers an extremely attractive

package and strong personal development opportunities.

Ref: 3986755

Contact Dan Day on 07734 726142

or email

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 56



My Learning – free skills

training from Hays

To find out more visit


Frimley, Surrey, up to £33,000 + bonus & benefits

This is an exciting opportunity to join a growing business in a newly

created role. You will take full responsibility for the entire order to

cash cycle, ensuring that aged debt is kept to a minimum, whilst

maximising cash flow. Experience of working with retail clients is

highly desirable, strong Excel skills and the ability to work in a sole

charge capacity is essential.

Ref: 3987637

Contact Natascha Whitehead on 07770 786433

or email


Harlow, £25,000-£30,000

This new role is for a large international leader in the luxury

retail space. You will be supporting a new credit manager in the

maintenance of broad UK & overseas ledgers, with a focus on

query resolution and proactive debt collection. We are looking for

someone who is either CICM qualified or studying towards this

qualification and who has strong Excel skills. You must be open

minded and comfortable in a changing environment. Ref: 3989701

Contact William Plom on 01603 760141

or email

This is just a small selection of the many opportunities we

have available for credit professionals. To find out more visit

us online or contact Karen Young, Hays Credit Management

UK Lead on 07834 260029

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 57


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

you considered applying to upgrade your membership? See our website for more details, or call us on 01780 722903

Studying Member

Danielle Allen

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Peter Barker

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Connor Gregory

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Meah Kirk

Ricardo Leith - Bowen

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Stuart Maclean ACICM

Carl Woodman ACICM

Congratulations to our current members who have upgraded their membership

Upgraded member

Metish Kachra FCICM


Congratulations to the following, who successfully achieved Diplomas

Level 3 Diploma in Credit Management (ACICM)


Gary Auckland

Ashley Booth

Neeta Bulsara

Lucy Foulkes

Alicja Gracjasz

Gareth Guyers

Jorge Guzman

Pavlina Mitchell

Scott Offord

Charlotte Sweeney

Joanne Turley

Kaljit Rama

Zacki Rahman

Level 3 Diploma in Credit & Collections (ACICM)


Gemma Pawson

Level 4 Diploma in High Court Enforcement

NAME Tom Ennis

Level 5 Diploma in Credit & Collections Management MCICM(Grad)


Kiah Phillips-Trigg

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 58



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

Visit our website and book online at:

Many of our events are now available

online, along with a new series of

live recorded webinars for the credit


Studying at a


with CICM

Visit our website for

updates and instructions

on how to register...

From interactive virtual classrooms to supporting texts,

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

Contact CICM for more information on any of these services,

or check them out at

Giving you the tools to continue

working through this crisis.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 59


CICM Directory of Services




Controlaccount Plc

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD

T: 01527 549 522



Controlaccount Plc provides an efficient, effective and ethical

commercial debt recovery service focused on improving business

cash flow whilst preserving customer relationships and established

reputations. Working with leading brand names in the UK and

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

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

Where applicable, we can utilise the Late Payment of Commercial

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

clients also benefit from our in-house international trace and

legal counsel departments and have complete transparency and

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

recovery through our online debt management system, ClientWeb.


T: +44 3333 409000



Guildways is a UK & International debt collection specialist with over

25 years experience. Guildways prides itself on operating to the

highest ethical standards and professional service levels. We are

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

• A complete No collection, No Fee commission based service

• 10% plus VAT commission for UK debts

• Commission from 22% plus VAT for International debts

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

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

collections and minimise costs

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

fee, trace and collect service.

For more information, visit:


Atradius Collections Ltd

3 Harbour Drive,

Capital Waterside, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ

Phone: +44 (0)29 20824397

Mobile: +44 (0)7767 865821


Atradius Collections Ltd is an established specialist in business

to business collections. As the collections division of the Atradius

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

knowledge and reputation.

Annually handling more than 110,000 cases and recovering over

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

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

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

of maintaining customer relationships whilst efficiently and

effectively collecting monies owed.

The individual nature of our clients’ customer relationships is

reflected in the customer focus we provide, structuring our service

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

provide them with a collection strategy that echoes their business

character, trading patterns and budget.

For further information contact Yvette Gray Country Director, UK

and Ireland.

Premium Collections Limited

3 Caidan House, Canal Road

Timperley, Cheshire. WA14 1TD

T: +44 (0)161 962 4695



For all your credit management requirements Premium

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

and international basis we can tailor a package of products and

services to meet your requirements.

Services include B2B collections, B2C collections, international

collections, absconder tracing, asset repossessions, status

reporting and litigation support.

Managed from our offices in Manchester, Harrogate and Dublin our

network of 55 partners cover the World.

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

Baker Ing International Limited

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

Contact: Lisa Baker-Reynolds



Tel: 07717 020659

Baker Ing International is a dedicated team of Credit industry

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

The team is wholly comprised of working Credit Manager’s

across the Globe with a minimum threshold of ten years working

experience within Credit Management. The team offers a

comprehensive service to clients - International Debt Recovery,

Credit Control, Legal Services & more

Our mission is to help companies improve the cost and efficiency

of their Credit Management processes in order to limit the risks

associated with extending credit and trading around the globe.

How can we help you - call Lisa Baker Reynolds on

+44(0)7717 020659 or email

Sterling Debt Recovery


T: 0207 1005978


Sterling specialises in international business debt collection

to get outstanding invoices paid quickly and cost effectively.

Our experienced, enthusiastic collectors achieve results whilst

maintaining a professional image.

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

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

personal service and regular updates. We collect the majority

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

where appropriate.

Where local expertise is required our global network are available

to assist.

BlaserMills Law

London – High Wycombe – Amersham – Silverstone

T: 01494 478660



Blaser Mills Law’s commercial recoveries team is internationally

recognised, regularly advising large corporations, multinationals

and SMEs on pre-legal collections, debt recovery, commercial

litigation, dispute resolution and insolvency. Our legal services

are both cost-effective and highly efficient; Our lawyers are also

CICM qualified and ranked in the industry leading law firm rankings

publications, Legal 500 and Chambers UK.


Capitol House, Russell Street, Leeds LS1 5SP

T: 0113 399 3482



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

at the 2019 CICM British Credit Awards.

According to our clients “Keebles stand head and shoulders

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

business and know exactly how to speedily maximise recovery.

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

seen in many other practices.”

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

peace of mind.

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

• Fixed fees for issuing court proceedings and pursuing claims to

judgment and enforcement.

• Success rate in excess of 80%.

• 24 hour turnaround on instructions.

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

Lovetts Solicitors

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway,

Old Portsmouth Road,

Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR

T: 01483 347001



With more than 25yrs experience in UK & international business

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

every year on behalf of our clients. Services include:

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

of cases)

• Advice and dispute resolution

• Legal proceedings and enforcement

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


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

feedback: “All our service expectations have been exceeded.

The online system is particularly useful and extremely easy to

use. Lovetts has a recognisable brand that generates successful


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 60






Chris Sanders Consulting

T: +44(0)7747 761641



Chris Sanders Consulting – we are a different sort of consulting

firm, made up of a network of independent experienced

operational credit & collections management and invoicing

professionals, with specialisms in cross industry best practice

advisory, assessment, interim management, leadership,

workshops and training to help your team and organisation reach

their full potential in credit and collections management. We are

proud to be Corporate Partners of the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management and to manage the CICM Best Practice Accreditation

Programme on their behalf. For more information please contact:


Company Watch

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,


T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300



Organisations around the world rely on Company Watch’s

industry-leading financial analytics to drive their credit risk

processes. Our financial risk modelling and ability to map medium

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

from other credit reference agencies.

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

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

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

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

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

providing actionable intelligence in an uncertain world.


Data Interconnect Ltd

Units 45-50

Shrivenham Hundred Business Park, Majors Road,

Watchfield. Swindon, SN6 8TZ

T: +44 (0)1367 245777



Data Interconnect is dedicated to solving complex Accounts

Receivable problems through reliable, easy-to-use cloud

software. We empower billing managers and collections experts

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

timely, tax-compliant invoicing, collections and reconciliation in

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

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

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

2 0 0 2

2 0 2 0


Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD

T: 01494 790600



CoCredo has 18 years experience in developing credit reports for

businesses and is the current CICM Credit Information Provider

of the Year. Our company data is continually updated throughout

the day and ensures customers have the most current information

available. We aggregate data from a range of leading providers

across over 235 territories and offer a range of services including

the industry first Dual Report, Monitoring, XML Integration and

DNA Portfolio Management.

We pride ourselves in offering award-winning customer service

and support to protect your business.


T: +44 7399 406889



HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated Receivables

solutions for automating receivables and payment functions such

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

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

(SaaS). HighRadius also offers SAP-certified Accelerators

for SAP S/4HANA Finance Receivables Management, enabling

large enterprises to maximize the value of their SAP investments.

HighRadius Integrated Receivables solutions have a proven track

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

increasing operation efficiency, enabling companies to achieve an

ROI in less than a year.


Sam Townsend Head of Marketing

Northern Europe Esker Ltd.

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

W: LinkedIn: Esker – Northern Europe

Twitter: @EskerNEurope

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

obstacles preventing today’s businesses from collecting

receivables in a timely manner. From credit management to cash

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

Esker’s automated AR system helps companies modernise

without replacing their core billing and collections processes. By

simply automating what should be automated, customers get the

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

they need.

Graydon UK

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

Middlesex, HA1 1BE

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400



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

business information, analytics, insights and solutions. Graydon

helps its customers to make fast, accurate decisions, enabling

them to minimise risk and identify fraud as well as optimise

opportunities with their commercial relationships. Graydon uses

130+ international databases and the information of 90+ million

companies. Graydon has offices in London, Cardiff, Amsterdam

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

of the world’s largest credit insurance companies.

Tinubu Square UK

Holland House, 4 Bury Street,

London EC3A 5AW

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /



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

of the Credit Insurance, Surety and Trade Finance digital


Tinubu Square enables organizations across the world to

significantly reduce their exposure to risk and their financial,

operational and technical costs with best-in-class technology

solutions and services. Tinubu Square provides SaaS solutions

and services to different businesses including credit insurers,

receivables financing organizations and multinational corporations.

Tinubu Square has built an ecosystem of customers in over 20

countries worldwide and has a global presence with offices in

Paris, London, New York, Montreal and Singapore.


Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham

Berkshire RG41 5RB

E: W:

T +44 118 207 0450 M +44 7788 564722

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for organisations

seeking efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes.

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

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience and

thousands of successful customer projects, including solutions

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

managers and receivables professionals with the solutions they

need to successfully protect their business against credit risk

exposure and bad debt loss.


T: 020 3868 0947



Onguard is specialist in credit management software and market

leader in innovative solutions for order to cash. Our integrated

platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the

order to cash chain and allows sharing of critical data.

Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected and

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

contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.

In more than 50 countries the Onguard platform is successfully

used for successful credit management.

Credica Ltd

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

T: 01235 856400E: W:

Our highly configurable and extremely cost effective Collections

and Query Management System has been designed with 3 goals

in mind:

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

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business

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

Credit Professionals across the UK and Europe, our system is

successfully providing significant and measurable benefits for our

diverse portfolio of clients.

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

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


48 Warwick Street, London, W1B 5AW

T: +44(0)020 8050 3015



Satago helps business owners and their accountants avoid credit

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

in one platform. Satago integrates with 300+ cloud accounting

apps with just a few clicks, helping businesses:

• Understand their customers - with RISK INSIGHTS

• Get paid on time - with automated CREDIT CONTROL

• Access funding - with flexible SINGLE INVOICE FINANCE

Visit and start your free trial today.

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 61


CICM Directory of Services







C2FO Ltd

105 Victoria Steet


T: 07799 692193



C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables into income,

uniquely connecting buyers and suppliers to allow discounts

in exchange for early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating payments

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

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

benefit from the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while

strengthening the financial health of supply chains through

ethical business practices.

High Court Enforcement Group Limited

Client Services, Helix, 1st Floor

Edmund Street, Liverpool

L3 9NY

T: 08450 999 666



Putting creditors first

We are the largest independent High Court enforcement company,

with more authorised officers than anyone else. We are privately

owned, which allows us to manage our business in a way that

puts our clients first. Clients trust us to deliver and service is

paramount. We cover all aspects of enforcement – writs of control,

possessions, process serving and landlord issues – and are

committed to meeting and exceeding clients’ expectations.



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

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


Our Creditor Services team can advise on the best way for you

to protect your position when one of your debtors enters, or

is approaching, insolvency proceedings. Our services include

assisting with retention of title claims, providing representation

at creditor meetings, forensic investigations, raising finance,

financial restructuring and removing the administrative burden

– this includes completing and lodging claim forms, monitoring

dividend prospects and analysing all Insolvency Reports and


For more information on how the Menzies Creditor

Services team can assist please contact Giuseppe Parla,

Licensed Insolvency Practitioner, at

or call +44 20 7465 1919.


identeco – Business Support Toolkit

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,

Worcestershire B60 4FD

Telephone: 01527 549 531 Email:


identeco’s Business Support Toolkit is an online portal connecting

its subscribers to a range of business services that help them

to engage with new prospects, understand their customers and

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

access. Providing company information and financial reports,

director and shareholder structures as well as a unique financial

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

data that might be associated with a company. Other services

also included in the subscription include a business names

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

unlimited, bespoke marketing and telesales listings for any sector.


Court Enforcement Services

Wayne Whitford – Director

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

E :


Court Enforcement Services is the market leading and fastest

growing High Court Enforcement company. Since forming in 2014,

we have managed over 100,000 High Court Writs and recovered

more than £187 million for our clients, all debt fairly collected. We

help lawyers and creditors across all sectors to recover unpaid

CCJ’s sooner rather than later. We achieve 39% early engagement

resulting in market-leading recovery rates. Our multi-awardwinning

technology provides real-time reporting 24/7. We work in

close partnership to expertly resolve matters with a fast, fair and

personable approach. We work hard to achieve the best results

and protect your reputation.

Gravity Global

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

T: +44(0)207 330 8888. E:


Gravity is an award winning full service PR and advertising

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the

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

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

brands working on often challenging briefs. As the partner

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

years, and the Chartered Institute of Credit Management since

2006, it understands the key issues affecting the credit industry

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

media and beyond.



T: +44 (0)1246 555055



Forums International Ltd have been running Credit and Industry

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

International trading, attendance is for Credit Professionals of all

levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead. Attending

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

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

never intentionally be sold to.



Tel: 03700 86 3000 W:

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly and cost effectively

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

recovery, including:

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

•Litigation service

•Post-litigation services including enforcement


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

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



American Express

76 Buckingham Palace Road,

London. SW1W 9TQ

T: +44 (0)1273 696933


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

globally recognised provider of payment solutions to businesses.

Specialising in providing flexible collection capabilities to drive a

number of company objectives including:

• Accelerate cashflow • Improved DSO • Reduce risk

• Offer extended terms to customers

•Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive

growth • Create competitive advantage with your customers

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

American Express is working with credit managers to drive growth

within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional lever

to help support supplier/client relationships American Express is

proud to be an innovator in the business payments space.

Bottomline Technologies

115 Chatham Street, Reading

Berks RG1 7JX | UK

T: 0870 081 8250 E:


Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses

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

domestic and international payments, effective cash management

tools, automated workflows for payment processing and bill

review and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural analytics

and regulatory compliance. Businesses around the world depend

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

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

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

by making complex business payments simple, secure and


Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 62





T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000



Key IVR are proud to have joined the Chartered Institute of

Credit Management’s Corporate partnership scheme. The

CICM is a recognised and trusted professional entity within

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

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

their membership collection activities. Key IVR provides a suite

of products to assist companies across the globe with credit

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

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

automated collection methods, such as a secure telephone

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

valuable staff time away from typical debt collection.


Hays Credit Management

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN

T: 07834 260029



Hays Credit Management is working in partnership with the CICM

and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs and

credit management jobs. Hays understands the demands of this

challenging environment and the skills required to thrive within

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

contract based opportunities to find your ideal role. Our candidate

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

interviews and a credit control skills test developed exclusively for

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

can provide advice across a wide spectrum of job search and

recruitment issues.



Portfolio Credit Control

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE

T: 0207 650 3199



Portfolio Credit Control, solely specialises in the recruitment of

permanent, temporary and contract Credit Control, Accounts

Receivable and Collections staff. Part of an award winning

recruiter we speak to and meet credit controllers all day everyday

understanding their skills and backgrounds to provide you with

tried and tested credit control professionals. We have achieved

enormous growth because we offer a uniquely specialist approach

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

your expectations every single time.


CICM Directory of Services

CICMQ accreditation is a proven model

that has consistently delivered dramatic

improvements in cashflow and efficiency

CICMQ is the hallmark of industry

leading organisations

The CICM Best Practice Network is where

CICMQ accredited organisations come

together to develop, share and celebrate

best practice in credit and collections



To find out more about flexible options

to gain CICMQ accreditation

E: T: 01780 722900

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 63

Advancing the credit profession / / July & August 2021 / PAGE 64

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