CM September 2021

credit

CREDIT MANAGEMENT

CM

SEPTEMBER 2021 £12.50

THE CICM MAGAZINE FOR CONSUMER AND

COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

Sitting Pretty

Is forbearance the

best way of dealing

with debt?

What might a new Insolvency

Bill mean to creditors.

Page 10

Fraudsters are getting

more sophisticated.

Page 12


Grow Stronger

Debt. It’s such a powerful word, isn’t it?

This year we will collect more than £12,000,000

of unpaid invoices for UK businesses.

About our debt collection services:

COST EFFECTIVE - No upfront cost; commission only charged on money collected.

STRAIGHTFORWARD - Simple commission rate, typically 15%.

CONTROLLED - You are in control of any speculative legal actions.

COMMITTED - We give every case the time it deserves to maximise success.

DECISIVE - We offer a full range of legal and insolvency services.

SUPPORTIVE - We’re always there for you, helping your business Grow Stronger.

We are dedicated - We make it easy - We are respectful - We succeed together

To discuss how we can help you, get in touch today.

Call us on 020 8080 2888 or email info@redwoodcollections.com

REDWOODCOLLECTIONS.COM


32

DARK MATTERS

David Andrews

20

LEAD ARTICLE

Heather Greig-Smith

24

CLEAN LIVING

Adam Bernstein

SEPTEMBER 2021

www.cicm.com

CONTENTS

10 – GAP ANALYSIS

David Kerr reports on a new Bill

designed to plug the gap in directors’

misconduct.

12 – UNDER PRESSURE

Fraudsters are getting more

sophisticated and exploiting

Government loans. Arun Chauhan from

the Think Tank highlights the dangers.

14 – FUTURE PERFECT

Minck Hermans believes a new form of

salary-based credit could change the

consumer landscape.

16 – HACKED OFF

Adam Bernstein discusses the rise and

rise of cyber crime.

20 – ROOM TO BREATHE

Heather Greig-Smith asks whether a

prescriptive approach to forbearance

really is in the customer’s interests.

24 – CLEAN LIVING

Lithuania is a high-income country full

of opportunity.

10

INSOLVENCY

David Kerr

CICM GOVERNANCE

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 www.cicm.com. Log on to the Members’

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

Credit Management is distributed to the entire UK and international CICM

membership, as well as additional subscribers

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

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

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

trade mark of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.

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

32 – DARK MATTERS

David Andrews considers whether

another Chunky Funky Chicken will

really help lift the gloom.

34 – LIGHT PERPETUAL

Peter Walker reflects on a case where

the contractor sought damages from

the Government for the supply of solar

panels.

Publisher

Chartered Institute of Credit Management

The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham

OAKHAM, LE15 8NB

Telephone: 01780 722900

Email: editorial@cicm.com

Website: www.cicm.com

CMM: www.creditmanagement.org.uk

Managing Editor

Sean Feast FCICM

Deputy Editor

Iona Yadallee

Art Editor

Andrew Morris

Telephone: 01780 722910

Email: andrew.morris@cicm.com

Editorial Team

Sam Wilson, Imogen Hart, Rob Howard

and Max Tyson

Advertising

Russell Bass

Telephone: 020 3603 7937

Email: russell@centuryone.uk

Printers

Stephens & George Print Group

2021 subscriptions

UK: £112 per annum

International: £145 per annum

Single copies: £12.50

ISSN 0265-2099

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 3


EDITOR’S COLUMN

Uncles. Aunts. And a dash

of Love Island.

Sean Feast FCICM

Managing Editor

CATCHING up on Love Island

the other week (seriously, if

you’ve not ever seen it, I urge

you to watch. They use words

like ‘long’ which has an

entirely different meaning to

what you imagine) and trying to work out

if one of the contestants was permanently

inebriated, or it was simply the way she

spoke, I was thinking that there wasn’t

much going on in the world of credit.

And then ‘wham’ (or more accurately,

‘ping’) as my inbox was steadily filled with

news as PRs suddenly came alive again

after the hangover of Freedom Day (my

birthday as it happens – thanks to all those

who sent me good wishes).

Two stories dominated: one from Pay.

UK analysing late payment performance in

2020; and the other from the Credit Services

Association (CSA), exploring the issue of

decriminalising TV Licensing.

The former, which was research

supported by the CICM, and included

best-practice credit management advice,

suggests that half of all the country’s

smaller businesses suffered from late

payment issues in 2020, facing a collective

debt burden of £17.5 billion. That wasn’t the

bit that caught my eye. The bit that really

stuck out was the fact that whereas private

sector firms were the worst at paying their

smaller suppliers, three quarters of those

private sector firms were SMEs themselves!

This rather flies in the face of what the

benevolent uncles within a certain small

business organisation will have you believe

– and we have countered many times in this

illustrious tome – that the problem is one

restricted to the large business community

only. But then I guess saying that a huge

chunk of small businesses should be

camped in the same hall of shame as their

larger peers for poor payment practice

wouldn’t fit the narrative very well, would

it? Honi soit qui mal y pense, peut-etre?

The second story that caught my eye was

one regarding the decriminalising of TV

Licensing. In speaking to Chris Leslie, Chief

Executive of the CSA, he was at lengths to

stress that the CSA had no position on the

subject and was simply pointing out to

policymakers what might happen should

MPs choose to go down that route. In

simple terms, incidences of late payment

will almost certainly increase, revenues

will fall, and the cost of collections is likely

to rise.

By making the non-payment of a TV

Licence a civil matter, and not a criminal

one, the enforcement process will be

different, and the cost to auntie, as the

BBC is affectionately known, may increase.

Rather than having more money to invest

as the public service broadcaster, it is likely

to have less, something that both Ministers

and the BBC will need to factor in to future

plans.

You may, of course, think that if the BBC

had less money, not more, then it wouldn’t

turn out such dreadful programmes as

Love Island. I wouldn’t agree. In my mind,

such TV genius is worth the license fee

alone. But then I’d also know for certain

you weren’t a proper fan.

Because Love Island is on ITV2.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 4


CMNEWS

A round-up of news stories from the

world of consumer and commercial credit.

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM

CSA considers impact of

decriminalising TV licensing

on BBC revenues

POLICY makers need to think

carefully before decriminalising

TV Licensing and consider the

fundamental impact it may

have on future fee collections.

Incidences of late payment will

almost certainly increase, revenues will fall,

and the cost of collections is likely to rise.

By making the non-payment of a TV

Licence a civil matter, and not a criminal one,

the enforcement process will be different,

and the cost to the BBC may increase. Rather

than having more money to invest as the

public service broadcaster, it is likely to have

less, something that both Ministers and the

BBC will need to factor in to future plans.

With the Government set to consider

decriminalisation of the BBC TV licence

fee as part of its ‘roadmap for reform’ of the

BBC in the year ahead, the Credit Services

Association (CSA) has published a discussion

paper exploring the issues facing Ministers if

public service fees and levies, such as the TV

licence, migrate into the civil debt space.

While being careful not to take sides on the

specific merits or otherwise of a TV licence

decriminalisation policy, the new paper

from the CSA – the trade body for the debt

purchase and collections sector – highlights

a series of technical considerations decisionmakers

should factor in, including: the

impact higher evasion rates could have in

increasing costs for those who do pay their

fees, in the same way fare dodgers push up

the cost of rail tickets for honest travellers;

and how a change in consequences for

non-payment will affect which creditor a

customer pays first (i.e prioritises), and the

impact this may have on income models for

public services.

It also considers how the ability to recover

a civil debt depends on proof that the debt

exists in the first place – and how technology

changes and use beyond the public domain

make this challenging – as well as how the

different psychological effects of criminalised

penalties versus non-criminalised sanctions

might impact collectability

Chris Leslie

CSA Chief Executive

“Effective and

fair collection

strategies,

drawn from

existing recovery

specialisms and

anchored in

good practice,

will be critical

in ensuring that

user-funding

public services

continue to

be adequately

funded."

The CSA Discussion Paper “Looking

After Auntie: what can the debate about TV

Licensing tell us about the wider challenges

of decriminalisation?” invites a discussion

not only on the financial model for BBC

funding, but the wider array of hundreds of

public sector levies currently subject to a

criminal sanction, such as fishing licences or

road traffic fines and fees.

Crucially, the report highlights how future

‘civil’ approaches should include plans to

invest in alternative customer relations,

effective early engagement and good

communication.

The June 2021 Ministerial response to

the recent DCMS Select Committee report

said that they are “keeping the issue of

decriminalisation under active consideration”

and that “the Government may in future

undertake a further, technical consultation

on the possible alternative civil sanctions

to set out in more detail how alternative

schemes could work in practice.”

Report author Henry Aitchison believes

that decriminalising fees and levies, such as

the TV licence, would fundamentally change

the funding models that they underpin.

Henry told Credit Management that it needs

thinking through very carefully:

“If a criminal penalty is abolished, the

task of maintaining or recovering payments

changes. With Ministers signalling a new

technical consultation on alternative civil

recovery schemes, now is the right time

for policy-makers to consider the wider set

of public sector fees and levies currently

subject to criminalised penalties – and the

consequence for the structures they support

if these move to a non-criminal sanction

basis.”

CSA chief executive Chris Leslie added:

“Effective and fair collection strategies,

drawn from existing recovery specialisms

and anchored in good practice, will be critical

in ensuring that user-funding public services

continue to be adequately funded. This is a

policy debate to which the wider collections

sector will contribute in the months ahead.”

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 5


NEWS ROUNDUP

Half of UK’s smaller businesses

owed £17.5 billion in late payments

Adetailed analysis of

how the UK’s small

businesses were

impacted by COVID-19

and other economic

challenges in 2020

had been published in a joint study by

leading payments authority, Pay.UK,

and world's largest credit management

membership body, the Chartered

Institute of Credit Management (CICM).

The research, which set out to track

how many organisations suffered from

late payment and the impact this had

on their future sustainability, found that

more than half of all of the country’s

smaller businesses suffered from late

payment, facing a collective debt burden

of £17.5 billion.

A significant 51 percent of UK small

and medium size enterprises (SMEs)

were affected by delays in receiving

payments for goods and services;

that’s broadly in line with 2019 data

which showed 54 percent of SMEs

experiencing late payments and well

above the figures reported in 2017 and

2018. When it comes to a regional split,

Scottish businesses are the worst

affected. Three in five of those surveyed

(60 percent) have experienced late

payments, with Wales at 59 percent and

Northern Ireland 57 percent.

And, while the overall amount owed

to the country’s SMEs fell from £23bn in

2019 to £17.5bn in 2020, the total remains

considerably higher than the £12.9bn

late payments debt reported in 2018 and

2017’s £14.2bn.

On a more positive note, the average

overdue amount dropped to just under

£20,000 compared with 2019’s £25,000,

although it isn’t clear if the reduction

in overall business activity throughout

the pandemic had an impact on those

numbers. The average overdues also

need to be seen in the context of

feedback that says the futures of 59

percent of SMEs would be threatened if

late payment volumes reached £50,000

or more.

The research, carried out at the end of

2020 by the people responsible for Direct

Debit, Faster Payments, and cheques in

the UK, also showed that UK SMEs are

paying out billions to collect money they

are legitimately owed. Almost a fifth (18

percent) of those waiting on funds spent

more than £500 per month chasing

payments in 2020, adding up to a hefty

£5bn total bill for the UK’s smaller

businesses.

And SMEs are often waiting a long

time for important invoices to be settled;

three quarters of those experiencing late

payments receive funds one month or

more over agreed terms, and 27 percent

are waiting longer than two months.

This could go some way to explaining

why a third of small businesses

experiencing late payments have to rely

on bank finance, and why one in five

resort to reducing directors’ salaries in

order to manage cashflow.

The worst offenders for paying late

are businesses in the private sector,

accounting for 59 percent and £10.9bn

of overdue invoices. But what is most

interesting, especially given the noise

made by various small business

organisations that would suggest the

problem is restricted to large businesses

alone, is that more than three quarters

of the outstanding private sector debt

(£8.3bn) is owed by one SME to another!

Corporates owe £2.6bn, while late

payments from consumers tot up to

Fintech launches new platform to get paid quicker

A new start-up fintech launched by a former

credit industry professional aims to get

businesses paid within seven days, resolving

the long-standing issue of late payments.

Debt Register has developed a purpose-built

digital platform to resolve debts anything up

to 10 times faster than traditional legal action,

and for a fraction of the cost.

Two years in the making, the new business

sought a digitised solution to the growing

problem of late payment which often leads to

unnecessary write-offs or costly legal action

(but only when the debt is of sufficient value)

with little likelihood of success.

Launched with little initial fanfare, Debt

Register is already filling a gap in the market,

as evidenced by the client base already using

the tool including software giant Zendesk, US

healthcare distributor Henry Schein and global

network infrastructure provider CommScope.

Debt Register is, first and foremost, a

global payment accelerator that enables a

credit manager to identify late invoices on

Gary Brown

Founder of Debt Register

Debt Register is

available globally and

designed to suit any

business regardless

of industry and offers

a series of free trial

options and tailored

pricing.

their ledger and allow the platform to do

the rest. Debt Register contacts the debtor

automatically and in the appropriate language,

requesting that the payment is settled, and

ensuring the invoice is correct and not in

dispute.

By leveraging its relationships with

leading credit reference agencies (CRAs) to

report unpaid and overdue debts, debtors are

encouraged to settle any overdues promptly

to avoid their credit scores being negatively

impacted.

The age of the debt appears not to be a

barrier to its collectability: in one trial with an

international client, payment was received

for a 890-day old debt within just 27 hours; in

another trial with a different client, 99 percent

of all debts were settled within the trial period.

Gary Brown, Founder of Debt Register,

said the product and platform were created

out of necessity within the industry: “Credit

managers are cashflow management

experts, but overdues continue to be an

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 6


“Small businesses can

take action to reduce

late payment volumes

by invoicing correctly

and on time and

adhering to any specific

requirements their

customers may have."

£4.4bn (24 percent) with the public sector

at £3.1bn, or 17 percent. Dougie Belmore,

Pay.UK’s Chief Payments Officer says

that 2020 brought many challenges:

“Notwithstanding the challenges of

COVID, I find it disquieting that more than

half of the country’s smaller companies

are struggling with late payments.

Right now, there are more ways than

ever to settle a bill and I’d encourage

any business dealing with overdue

invoices to make payment as easy

as possible. Offering a choice of

payment options or dates, or

moving to automated collection

with Direct Debit, could help to

remove perceived barriers,

and may go some way to

helping overcome the

problem.”

Sue Chapple FCICM,

Chief Executive

of the CICM, says

that late payment

issue regardless of skill and experience.

Whereas some resort to the courts, legal

action is time-consuming and costly, and

outcomes are difficult to predict. “Debt

Register not only accelerates the payment

of outstanding invoices, but also avoids the

unpleasantness of legal action and brings

greater certainty and predictability to a

credit manager’s cashflow.”

Gary says the new platform

complements the credit management

team, it doesn’t replace them: “Debt

Register is designed to drastically improve

payment performance and relieve the

pressure on busy credit management

teams, allowing them to focus on the most

important aspect of business, securing

future income.”

Along with shortening the timeframe

of remittance, Debt Register provides a

series of tools to credit managers including

auto-translation for use within multiple

territories. The system is intelligent, to

recognise different time zones, working

days and cultural nuances including

national holidays

NEWS ROUNDUP

cannot be put solely at the foot of larger

corporates: “Certainly the feedback we

are receiving from members, many

of whom hold senior roles in major

PLCs, is that they are taking significant

steps to protect their supply chain,

and some are even insisting on paying

supplier invoices within 14 days or

less, regardless of longer terms and

conditions.

“Small businesses can take action

to reduce late payment volumes by

invoicing correctly and on time and

adhering to any specific requirements

their customers may have (e.g. a

Purchase Order number) to ensure they

do not fall foul of a simple process or

risk their invoice being in dispute. They

can also look at simple techniques such

as offering small discounts for early

settlement.

“Whereas there are, of course, many

businesses who are wanting to pay late

– partly because they, in turn, are trying

to manage their own cash position –

there are many more who value their

supplier relationships. Agreeing terms

and conditions from the outset, and

employing professional credit

management best practice, can

make all the difference in getting

paid and keeping the cash

flowing.”

Sue Chapple FCICM

CEO of the CICM

or religious festivals, and times the

despatch of any communications

accordingly. “It’s a very clever system

that recognises a debt in Dubai, for

example, and will not, therefore, send any

correspondence on a Friday which is not a

working day.”

For smaller businesses, Debt Register

provides a lifetime free credit service

allowing them to load and collect up to five

free debts a year.

The platform has also been designed

to streamline the payment process for

the debtor with a specially designed

portal providing three points of payment

resolution as well as a series of tools

including messaging services and

payment acknowledgement tools.

Debt Register is available globally and

designed to suit any business regardless

of industry and offers a series of free trial

options and tailored pricing, utilising a

license-based model rather than charging

per user seat.

For a free demonstration, please visit:

www.debtregister.com

>NEWS

IN BRIEF

CICM team goes to top

of the marketing class

TWO members of the CICM

headquarters’ marketing team have

achieved Associate of Chartered

Institute of Marketing (ACIM) status

Becki Sharpe, Marketing Manager

at the CICM and Zoe Pope, her Digital

Communications Specialist, have both

taken the first significant step on the

marketing qualifications ladder, and

will use their skills not only to support

their own individual careers, but also

to support the growth and future vision

of World's largest membership body for

credit management professionals.

“Being a part of your professional

body is essential to ensuring you

remain relevant and have the training

and support you need to succeed in

your career,” Becki says. Zoe agrees:

“I’ve always wanted to be a part of

CIM, and this year finally felt like the

right time to submit my application

to become a member. The CIM offers

me the chance to keeping abreast and

develop my knowledge and skills in an

ever-growing and changing marketing

industry.”

Sue Chapple, FCICM Chief Executive

of the CICM, congratulated the team

on their new qualifications: “As a

membership body we fully endorse

the learning and development of our

own people, and use their specialist

knowledge and expertise to support

our CICM members.”

NewDay new card

NEWDAY, a leading UK provider

of accessible credit, has launched

Bip which it describes as the first

completely cardless consumer credit

proposition in the UK. Bip is said to

offer a fully digital credit experience

that is simple to use, fully transparent

on costs and with the customer in

complete control. With no physical

card, Bip customers can apply and have

access to appropriate credit within

minutes. Bip is available via the App

Store and Google Play – and can be

added to the digital wallet of the user’s

mobile phone. Just like a traditional

card, it can be used anywhere

Mastercard® is accepted when making

contactless or online payments.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 7


NEWS SPECIAL

Drawing Breath

Breathing Space and the law of

unintended consequences.

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

IT is now the better part of three

months since the Government’s

‘Breathing Space’ debt respite

scheme regulations came into

effect. When the regulations

were first approved and as

the COVID pandemic cast a shadow

of concern across the economy and

consumer wellbeing, it was widely

recognised that forbearance in debt

repayments for customers in need would

be crucial.

As it happens, the credit and

collections sector have long used such

moratoria as part of their forbearance

measures before the Government

mandated such considerations – and so

the notion of a 60-day breathing space

for eligible individuals (accompanied

by a mental health scheme offering a

moratorium for the duration of a mental

health crisis plus a further thirty days)

was in harmony with existing practices

and received without objection.

But while the principle hasn’t been an

issue, Chris Leslie, Chief Executive of

the Credit Services Association (CSA),

says the operational nuts-and-bolts

haven’t been straightforward: “Eligibility

is supposed to be triggered by debt

advisers looking at each particular case,

then informing creditors and collections

agencies who must cease collections the

day after receiving notice,” he explains,

:but this is something that has required

significant administrative adaptations,

especially as the online notifications

‘portal’ was delayed and has only just

gone ‘live’. A paper-based approach

was never going to be conducive to the

smoothest of starts for the scheme.”

The biggest issue arising so far, Chris

says, was not one anyone anticipated;

a very large online debt advice charity

chose to facilitate the automatic selfreferral

for its clients onto a ‘breathing

space’, resulting in a wave of moratoria

triggered within days of the scheme’s

commencement: “As a trade body for the

recoveries sector, we were contacted by

many of our member firms as they tried

to figure out if the deluge was something

particular to them or industry-wide,” he

continues.

“After raising concerns with the

Insolvency Service, the Treasury Minister

confirmed that each customer was

supposed to have first obtained advice

to establish eligibility and that noncompliance

with the regulations would

be of concern to the FCA. Automatic

self-referral is not only outside the

scheme rules, it could be detrimental

for a customer who uses up their onceevery-twelve-month

entitlement to the

breathing space prematurely. Thankfully,

it appears that the debt advice charity in

question is now pausing that process and

reviewing their approach.”

CSA’s new policy paper ‘Tailored Support

and The Need for Flexibility In Forbearance’

Chris says that the tendency for

top-down prescribed interventions to

generate new problems is nothing new:

“American sociologist Robert Merton

argued that there are usually unexpected

drawbacks or even perverse results

contrary to an original policy prescription

not foreseen at the outset, and it’s fair to

say that this example illustrates Merton’s

law of unintended consequences quite

well,” he explains. “And it is not the only

teething issue that has cropped up since

the regulations came in.

“It’s why the argument for devolution

and decentralisation of Whitehall has

been made for decades. In the case of

financial services regulation, despite a

robust framework of principles-based

and outcome-oriented frameworks,

policy-makers can still tend towards

short-term ‘initiatives’ especially if they

come under media pressure.”

The CSA believe it is essential for

regulators and Ministers to stay strategic

and reiterate the core principles guiding

the current framework; namely that

firms should understand their customers

and find mutually agreeable solutions

responsive to individual circumstances:

“Both of these principles, by their nature,

require engagement and a willingness

to vary approaches by acting flexibly,

responsively and reasonably,” Chris

continues. “Top-down prescriptive

approaches can undermine the tailored

forbearance and support that usually

works best for customers.”

As the CSA’s new policy paper ‘Tailored

Support & The Need for Flexibility In

Forbearance’ points out, there are several

examples of policies in recent years

which have taken a rigid operational

approach. This isn’t just something

the industry has seen in the ‘Breathing

Space’ scheme. An early draft of 2017’s

Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims

– covered extensively in the pages of

Credit Management at the time – initially

required bundles of terms and conditions

and other technical documents to be

sent on paper to customers in sometimes

vulnerable circumstances, unwittingly

complicating and confusing recipients.

Fortunately a better solution was found,

offering the option for the bundle to

be received if requested, rather than

mandating it.

Another example is the Consumer

Credit Act framed nearly half a century

ago in 1974, prescribing a range of

statutory notices which don’t always fit

modern circumstances – and, despite

language moderation recently, there

remain concerns about the lack of

flexibility around provision, content

and format. For example, some notices

must continue to be sent to a last-known

address, even where the firm is aware the

customer no longer resides there.

“It would be a shame if the short-term

pursuit of often laudable interventions

sees decision-makers forget the core

principle of encouraging tailored

solutions based on an assessment

of individual circumstances,” Chris

concludes.

“It may not be ‘new’, but the principle

is strong, effective and works well. As

the Government designs its next wave of

reforms – the Statutory Debt Repayment

Plans and their requirement for the FCA

to consult on a ‘duty of care’ – we must

hope that they don’t fall into the trap of

prescribing actions and tripping over that

law of unintended consequences again.”

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 8


NEWS SPECIAL

CICM makes two senior hires

for transformational change

THE Chartered Institute of

Credit Management (CICM)

has announced two new

appointments to its senior

executive team.

John Kane FCICM

has been appointed Head of Strategic

Relationships. He will work closely with

the CICM’s existing Partner organisations

to understand their needs and how the

Institute can support them in the best

way possible. He will also build new

relationships, gaining a thorough

understanding of a potential partner’s

operations and aspirations, and creating

bespoke packages accordingly. These

may include a combination of employee

memberships, qualifications, training and

CICMQ accreditation.

A credit manager by profession who

became a member of the ICM (as it was

then) more than a quarter of a century

ago, John has worked across various

industries, including technology, maritime

and entertainment. His most recent role

as International Credit & Risk Director

for Wilhelmsen Group follows previous

positions at Procorre and Sony Pictures

Entertainment.

The CICM has also appointed former 20th

Century Fox and lastminute.com Executive,

Beverley Ewens-Davey FCICM, as Head of

Transformation.

In her new role Beverley will help drive

the growth and extend the reach of the

Institute on a national and international

basis, taking into account the needs

of its worldwide membership. She will

connect with both members and partners

to understand their immediate and longterm

needs, evaluating and enhancing the

CICM’s proposition, giving access to a wide

range of training courses, support services

knowledge and information hubs.

CICM CEO Sue Chapple FCICM says that

continued transformation is key to the

ongoing success of the CICM: “Creating

these new roles signals our intent and our

commitment to being the best professional

body for those in the credit management

profession. As an Institute we look to

provide our members with expertise and

that stems from experience and there

are very few in the industry with more

experience and industry knowledge than

John and Beverley.

“Our members are always looking for new

and exciting services the CICM offers and

with the new team on board we’ll be able

to deliver an even better experience for all

new and existing members.”

Skyscanner soars to CICMQ

accreditation

SKYSCANNER, the search, comparison

and booking site, has achieved CICMQ

accreditation, a demonstration of

excellence in credit management.

Margaret Dunsmore, Senior Finance

Manager, says the accreditation has

enabled her team to benchmark themselves

against the best: “More than anything, our

accreditation process has demonstrated

that we are committed to quality and

continuous improvement in the credit

industry,” she explains.

“Spurred by this achievement, we will

continue to utilise the CICM’s training

resources, and give our staff members the

opportunity to undertake professional CICM

qualifications. Our close-knit team of three

works incredibly hard on a daily basis to

ensure the full lifecycle of the customer

is properly taken care of.” Chris Sanders

FCICM, Head of Accreditation, wrote in

his assessment report: ‘Skyscanner has a

strong set of values and what differentiates

this company from others is its philosophy

of encouraging each member of staff to ‘act

like owners’. They are accountable to each

other, and each member is equipped with

the ability to act autonomously.

‘With regards to Compliance, supporting

evidence in the form of detailed workflows

and documented internal controls has also

been supplied and confirms that this is an

area of high importance understood by each

member of the squad, each with input into

improvements.’ Skyscanner’s site appears

in over 30 languages, is used by 100 million

people per month and has more than 1200

providers.

“Spurred by this achievement, we will continue to utilise the

CICM’s training resources, and give our staff members the

opportunity to undertake professional CICM qualifications.’’

>NEWS

IN BRIEF

Bibby bounce back

INTERNATIONAL SME funder, Bibby

Financial Services has seen global

client turnover grow by almost a

third year-on-year as SMEs around

the world start to recover from the

COVID-19 pandemic. Client turnover,

or debts factored, increased by 32

percent from £1.8bn in Q2 2020, to

£2.4bn in the second quarter of 2021.

This resilient performance also

continued in the first half of 2021 as

restrictions lifted following winter

lockdowns with monthly client

turnover growing by 30 per cent,

from £0.7bn in January to £0.9bn in

June.

Director of Operations

COURT Enforcement Services has

appointed Richard Leach as Director

of Operations, reporting directly to

Managing Director, Daron Robinson.

Richard studied Business and

Management at the University of

Bradford and has progressed within

the credit and debt industries to

become a business transformation

and service excellence specialist.

With more than 20 years operational

and senior management experience

in the financial services and

outsourcing industries, Richard has

held senior roles working for and

with leading businesses including

Barclays, Drydens-Fairfax Solicitors

and global law firm, Eversheds

Sutherland.

New Lead

HAYS, the leading recruiting

experts, has appointed Natascha

Whitehead as the new lead for Credit

Management in the UK. Natascha,

who joined Hays in 2006 takes on

the role alongside her existing

remit as an expert recruiter in

Credit Management in the South

East. Natascha has spent most of

her recruitment career dedicated to

supporting credit and receivables

and based out of Basingstoke,

Natascha recruits for temporary and

permanent roles across Hampshire

and Surrey. Natascha is

also the Vice Chair of her

local branch of CICM and

is heavily involved in

supporting the sharing

of best practice in her

network.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 9


Gap Analysis

A new Bill seeks to plug the gap in

Directors’ misconduct.

AUTHOR – David Kerr

FOR 35 years, the Company

Directors Disqualification Act has

been a feature of the insolvency

landscape, bringing with it

an obligation on Insolvency

Practitioners appointed in

insolvent liquidations and administrations

to file reports on those who were involved in

the company, with a view to investigation and

potential bans on any individuals found to

have acted inappropriately.

IPs and creditors have often argued that

too few cases have been taken up by the

Insolvency Service, but while the department

can’t pursue every case (and applies a public

interest test before deciding whether to use

its limited resources to take any action), it

does have a solid record of obtaining banning

orders or undertakings in the worst examples

of misconduct.

MIND THE GAP

However, this doesn’t apply to every case. In

Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs), for

example, there is no duty to report. But the

biggest gap has been in respect of companies

that are allowed to be dissolved without

going through a formal insolvency process,

and in 2018 the Service consulted on whether

to extend its disqualification powers to

companies in those circumstances.

Respondents mainly thought this was

a sensible measure, CICM included, but

other priorities meant that the proposal was

shelved, temporarily at least. Then along came

COVID-19, and the myriad of Government

financial support including bounce back loans,

and in turn a concern that some companies

were seeking to avoid repayment by going

down the dissolution route.

This led Government to introduce a

measure in a piece of legislation dealing

with other coronavirus provisions, and hey

presto the Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors

Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill

was born. CICM was invited to give evidence

to the Bill Committee on the Directors part

of the Bill, and I duly pitched up (remotely)

to appear before the Committee on 6 July.

A Hansard record is available on-line

for those keen enough to view the wordfor-word

proceedings, but I’ll aim here to give a

flavour of the issues raised.

The essence of the Insolvency Service’s case

for the Bill was to plug the gap in respect of

dissolved companies and provide Government

David Kerr FCICM

But the biggest gap

has been in respect

of companies that

are allowed to be

dissolved without

going through a

formal insolvency

process, and in

2018 the Service

consulted on

whether to extend

its disqualification

powers to

companies in those

circumstances.

with investigative and disqualification powers

similar to those it already has in respect of

insolvent companies. This avoids the need

for creditors or others to incur the cost of

restoring a company to the register in order to

commence an investigation.

CONSULTATION APPROACH

The original consultation had asked whether

respondents agreed that there is a problem in

this area and that action should be taken to

prevent directors from avoiding liabilities and

scrutiny by dissolving their companies, and

that director conduct should be brought within

scope of the Secretary of State’s investigatory

powers. Buoyed by positive responses, and the

new covid-related imperative to protect the

public purse, the Service sought to introduce

just such a measure this year.

This was considered by the Service to be an

uncontroversial piece of legislation. After all,

apart from the directors directly in the firing

line, who would regard this as anything other

than a logical extension of existing powers?

There were though some concerns raised

during the course of the passage of the Bill,

and I’ll come back to those points shortly.

Witnesses before the Committee included

representatives of the IPs’ ‘trade’ body, lenders,

academics and others, including of course

creditors, through CICM. Before coming to

some of the points they made, it’s worth noting

a few facts for perspective.

Figures from the Insolvency Service suggest

that Government has made £46bn available

through 1.5 million bounce back loans over

the last year and a half, and that approximately

2,500 companies with unpaid loans have

been dissolved during the same period. Total

company dissolutions in the first quarter of

this year showed a 25 percent increase on the

same period in 2020. The Service currently

disqualifies around 1,200 directors each year.

PRINCIPAL CONCERNS

It is evident from the above that without

significant additional resources, the Insolvency

Service is not going to be able to investigate

all of the 2,500 (and counting) dissolved

companies with unpaid bounce back loans.

Indeed, there is no suggestion that it would. As

with its current powers, a public interest test

would be applied. There were a number of MPs

and others though who vented frustration with

the absence of a promise to increase resources

to give full effect to the new provisions.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 10


INSOLVENCY

AUTHOR – David Kerr

There were also questions about whether

disqualification is a strong enough deterrent

to directors who might be minded to act

inappropriately. However, the provisions from

the 1986 Disqualification Act that have been

brought into play through this legislation

include compensation orders or undertakings,

whereby directors can be made to pay up to

provide some financial restoration for parties

affected by their actions. The Service intends

to use these powers to replenish the Treasury’s

coffers.

It would be a shame, for other creditors, if

the new measures were to be used solely for the

benefit of the Treasury, but once the immediate

pressing issue has been addressed, there is no

reason why the powers granted can’t be used

in any/all circumstances to the advantage of

any interested party. The absence though of an

IP report will mean that the Service’s interest

will likely only be sparked by complaints from

creditors or others.

The essence of the

Insolvency Service’s

case for the Bill was

to plug the gap in

respect of dissolved

companies and

provide Government

with investigative

and disqualification

powers similar to

those it already

has in respect of

insolvent companies.

RETRO RESTORATIVE

The powers granted through this legislation are

retrospective, without time limit. But the Service

has to bring disqualification action ordinarily

within three years (of commencement of

insolvency or the date of dissolution under the

new provisions), so in reality does not reach

back farther than the consultation – at which

point it could be argued that directors have

been on notice of the Government’s intentions

and of their (directors’) potential liability.

Realistically, it is clear the focus is going to be

on the last 18 months.

Government’s intention (though maybe not

its primary objective!) is that this measure will

restore or enhance confidence in its ability to

hold directors to account for their actions. It

might do that, provided the Service’s resources

aren’t stretched to the point where it becomes

unable to react to IPs’ conduct reports in

insolvency cases.

As for the experience of appearing before

the Committee – well, a little less daunting than

appearing in front of a Select Committee. It

seemed to me that the Bill Committee members

were interested in exploring the facts and

stakeholder concerns, and in assisting the Bill’s

passage through the parliamentary process.

There will always be some party political and

other factors at play, but for the most part this

was a civilised discussion, as were the debates

I heard in the Commons, in keeping with a

measure that has broad support.

David Kerr FCICM is an insolvency practitioner

with extensive regulatory experience and a

member of the CICM Technical Committee.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 11


FRAUD

UNDER PRESSURE

The impact of fraud on creditworthiness

and liquidity.

THE pandemic has brought a range

of business topics into focus and

for many, none more so than

liquidity. The pressure on a range

of sectors in the pandemic has

led to impact amongst for supply

networks across the globe.

Those businesses hoping to survive and others

that push on for recovery know that now, perhaps

more than ever, cash is king, which in real terms

means liquidity is king.

However, a key risk factor linked to the word

‘pressure’ above is fraud. For many years, counter

fraud professionals and academics have used

a diagram to explain why fraud occurs – the

‘fraud triangle’ explains the key factor driving an

individual to commit fraud is pressure and not as

many consider, greed.

The pandemic has therefore

caused a perfect storm. Businesses

now need cash injection and their

employees at all levels are also likely

to be facing their own pressures at

home that may cause them to act

out of character.

So how has fraud evolved during

the pandemic and what are the

risks for those assessing credit

worthiness to help bring liquidity to

a financially squeezed world?

IMPACT OF COVID-19

In 2020, it was said that fraud cost

the global economy $42bn. It is

said cybercrime will reach $6trn of

loss. PwC reported that 47 percent of companies

experienced fraud in the 24 months leading into

mid-2020.

Fraud should therefore have been a key agenda

item for all organisations prior to the pandemic.

Fraud risk is real and those businesses that think

it would not happen to them need to accept that

fraud may well cause unexpected disruption and

loss sooner than later.

For those lending or offering credit to

businesses, COVID-19 has only led to the risk of

fraud increasing for a number of reasons. This

means all businesses pose an increased risk of

default when considering offering credit. The

risks for businesses needing support are threefold.

Firstly, the primary target by criminals during

the pandemic has been consumers. Many

people were driven to make their day-to-day

purchases online, a perfect hunting ground for

cybercriminals. Since the interest being earned

on savings was low or non-existent, scams

increased around investment or savings

AUTHOR – Arun Chauhan

The ‘fraud

triangle’ explains

the key factor

driving an

individual to

commit fraud

is pressure and

not as many

consider, greed.

opportunities. For others, household income may

have dropped either due to redundancy or having

been furloughed. All of these issues have led to

pressure on the very people working in businesses

to make sure they keep their job and make ends

meet. This increases risk of fraud to businesses.

Secondly, control frameworks, especially

around procurement and finance have been

weakened as a result of homeworking. Employees

are fatigued from video meetings and the volume

of emails. This has presented two forms of risk,

firstly, that external attacks have a better chance

of getting through, i.e. cybercrime. For all we do

to ensure we have IT security, the weakest link is

always the human in the chain who has to follow

policies and procedures and keep their wits about

them. Isolated at home means less chance to turn

to a colleague and ask for a second opinion, or

through being under pressure from

the challenges of home working,

a lapse of judgment is more than

possible.

The other issue of control

frameworks being weakened is that

an employee who is under pressure

in their home life will have been

able to find more opportunities to

by-pass controls to commit fraud.

Internal fraud is often thought to

be committed by people who were

always out to commit fraud, but

that is not the case. Employees

become morally fatigued, their

moral compass can lose its way, and

in search for a temporary plaster to

a difficult financial issue they might steal from

an employer or share confidential information in

exchange for a benefit can make the difference for

them and their family.

Thirdly, the owners or management of a

business have pressure from shareholders, or

from themselves to make sure their business

survives. Whether it’s seeking to retain the

standard of living to which they have become

accustomed or simply just trying to keep their

business alive, both are examples of pressure

that have caused businesses to take on more

risk during the pandemic with the type of work

they do, the products they supply (or say they

can supply), all of which may well come back to

bite.

ASSESSING CREDIT

If you are assessing credit for any business in

need, knowing how the pandemic has increased

the chances of fraud occurring will help you form

better questions when assessing extending credit.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 12


FRAUD

AUTHOR – Arun Chauhan

Three example areas serve to illustrate

the challenge:

1. In the Spring of 2021, HMRC launched a

fraud taskforce backed with £100m injection

by the Treasury. The aim is simple, those

that have abused the furlough scheme and

other Government funded grants or loans

will be sought out and recoveries made. This

focus to find and call out those that misused

schemes fraudulently has been mirrored

by banks who have lent money through the

Bounce Back Loan (BBL) scheme. Banks

are aware they have to exhaust their own

recovery process before the Government

guarantee will support them. This has led

to banks monitoring use of BBLs and where

they have been used for purposes which

do not align with declarations in the BBL

application, e.g., the business has not been

impacted by COVID or loans being used to

discharge borrowing from another company

with common beneficial ownership, banks

are making early demands for repayment

of BBLs and asking the customer to find an

alternative bank. If you are offering credit,

ask the direct questions about Government

schemes or BBLs that have been used and

push to have the debtor declare they have

used the monies correctly. There now is

a real risk that banks or HMRC may start

investigations.

2. Survival and opportunism has seen

diversification and creativity by a number of

businesses. Be it gin makers producing hand

sanitiser or a change by many businesses to

suppliers of PPE, the pandemic has seen

many businesses operating in markets

and with products they know little about.

However, whilst we can commend those

using instinct and networks to survive,

venturing into new business lines has seen

increased litigation. We have seen cases

where sellers have faced allegations of

misrepresentation when they have traded

in PPE. We have also seen business owners

be alleged to have stolen money through

their companies when they have promised

they can make supply of PPE but their own

supply chain abroad has failed leading to no

supply but use of money paid in advance to

them. If you are lending to a company, ask

them whether they have diversified during

COVID and what has become of those

contracts with respect to any litigation risk

or worse, allegations that they have oversold

or have been fraudulent.

3. Earlier in this article we made mention

of internal controls. The pandemic has

seen the weakening of internal fraud risk

controls. Examples of fraud that we have

advised on resulting from a failure to apply

internal controls correctly include an

employee helping a supplier by providing

confidential pricing information leading

to bid rigging, and a FinTech business

not carrying out adequate customer due

diligence which resulted in it allowing a

fraudster to progress a lending application

in excess of $100m which thankfully

was detected before monies were lent. If

lending, it is important to ask businesses

how their internal controls operated in the

pandemic and how they continue to manage

segregation of duties in a remote working

world so that you can be assured they do not

have an increased risk of discovering they

have been suffering losses to fraud not yet

discovered.

CONCLUSION

Business of all sizes and operating across all

sectors now must be alert to the risk of fraud.

It is especially important to see that fraud is

discussed more openly and frequently at all

levels of a business as it serves to educate

people to help protect from fraud but also

serves as a useful deterrent. Critically, if fraud

is spotted earlier, it is far more likely that the

damage can be limited for the business, its

employees and its creditors.

Arun Chauhan is the founder of Tenet

Compliance and Litigation. This article was

adapted from a presentation given by Arun to

the CICM Think Tank.

In 2020, it was

said that fraud

cost the global

economy $42bn. It

is said cybercrime

will reach $6trn of

loss. PwC reported

that 47 percent

of companies

experienced fraud

in the 24 months

leading into

mid-2020.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 13


FUTURE

PERFECT?

Could enabling employees to borrow from their

future salaries be the secret of staff retention?

AUTHOR – Minck Hermans

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 14


OPINION

AUTHOR – Minck Hermans

FOR too long, working people have

been dragged down by the domino

effect of bad debt meaning bad

credit, meaning worse terms. To help

hardworking people, salary advance

schemes allow users to take a portion

of their wages before their payday to help them

if they are caught short for those all-important

essentials.

Salary advance can help people reset their

relationship with money. If money is tight in

the short term and people need it to make an

emergency payment or essential purchase, using

a salary advance provider allows users to access

their money early with little to no interest.

For those in work, free salary-advances should

obviate the need for high-cost credit and will help

people to take back control of their own money.

Research – of 2,000 British adults conducted by

YouGov, on behalf of borofree – has shown that

over a fifth (23 percent) of UK adults have, at

some point during the pandemic, been unable to

afford or pay for key household expenses including

basics like food and clothing, and mortgage, rent

and utility bills. A similar proportion (19 per cent)

have seen a fall in their income since the start

of the pandemic, rising to over a third (35

percent) of those in part-time work. The research

also found that around one in 10 (nine percent)

of families with children have had to forgo

buying birthday and Christmas presents in the

last year.

Needing financial support rarely means that

someone is bad with money, it means they’re

human. People need a helping hand from time to

time and unfortunately that has meant in the past

they have turned to high-interest borrowing such

as payday loans – which can make the situation

far worse and lead to spiralling debt.

Too many of us can find ourselves sleep-walking

into debt, whether it’s through the lure of interestfree

credit card offers or seemingly risk-free ways

to buy like Buy Now, Pay Later, seducing us to

spend money we don’t have on things we don’t

really need.

Unlike these schemes, salary advance can

benefit people by helping them when money is

tight in the short-term, without ending up saddled

with long-term high-interest debt.

Whilst some salary advance schemes can come

at a cost to either a worker or their employer, it’s

important to note that people should do their

research, as the services can come at no cost at

all. borofree, for instance, is a free salary-advance

service, created to support people who need

that bit of extra help, whether it’s budgeting for

household goods at the start of the month or to

help with urgent or emergency spending.

SALARY ADVANCE IN PRACTICE

Salary advances are like a bridge between

employer and employee. Unlike payday loans

and credit cards, using salary advance gives

individuals instant access to a portion of their

salary before payday, often through an app.

Minck Hermans

By offering

salary advance

as a solution

to employees,

businesses can

help support

staff wellbeing

and mental

health, leading

to increased

productivity at

work.

Unlike payday lending with its sky-high interest

rates, salary advance instead aims to smooth

earnings, shaking up the traditional system of

being paid monthly and allowing employees to

access emergency cash.

The amount that can be advanced depends

entirely on the salary advance scheme that is used.

In our example, we only ever give a customer

access to £300 of their salary, without interest,

charges or fees. There is no outstanding debt, and

the customer doesn’t pay any interest, so it doesn’t

affect a person’s credit rating. Continuing with our

example, borofree allows people to use their £300

advance to buy products and services they need

with gift cards. Those signed up will have access

to over 50 high street stores and online retailers

including John Lewis, ASDA and B&Q.

EMPLOYER BENEFITS

More often than not, employers are unaware of

how financial concerns could be affecting their

employees and the impact this could have on their

business. By offering salary advance as a solution

to employees, businesses can help support staff

wellbeing and mental health, leading to increased

productivity at work and, depending on what

provider they use, this can also come at no cost to

them as a business.

Not only that, but in providing a benefit that

is actually useful and used, employers are also

likely to see a greater level of staff retention. All

too often, companies have focused on offering

benefits that capture short-term attention but fail

to offer the long-term benefits to staff. In fact,

research conducted by Censuswide found that a

quarter (25 percent) of employees stated that they

don’t think the perks being offered are relevant or

tailored to them and over one in ten (15 percent)

revealed they have never received any perks from

the company they currently work for.

The research also found that despite over two

thirds (68 percent) of the UK’s workforce believing

company benefits and perks play an important

role in driving staff recruitment and retention as

we emerge from the pandemic, more than one

in five of UK employees have had their packages

reduced or cut completely in the last 12 months.

While pensions remain popular among nearly

a third of workers, the findings reveal that UK

employees are also craving alternative support

especially when it comes to managing cashflow,

with nearly one in five (18 percent) wanting the

option of being paid weekly and 14 precent keen

on an interest free loan.

In the wake of the pandemic, businesses need

to ensure they are in a strong position for recovery

and growth and having a happy and productive

workforce sits at the heart of this. Imaginative

schemes such as a salary advance service could

be one part of a new series of solutions that

support greater staff satisfaction and longer-term

retention.

Minck Hermans is CEO and

founder of borofree.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 15


BUSINESS RISK

HACKED OFF

In breaches of cybersecurity, businesses

need to think of their clients.

CYBER-attacks are in the news again,

but they’re nothing new. First

seen in 1972 when a researcher

working in the US on ARPANET, a

precursor to the internet, created a

computer program called Creeper

that could move across ARPANET’s network. It left

a breadcrumb trail wherever it went which read:

‘I’m the creeper, catch me if you can.’

But now the intrusions are far more dangerous.

Last May (2021), Colonial Pipeline – which

operates a pipeline that carries 3m barrels of

fuel a day between Texas and New York – was the

subject of a ransomware cyberattack that shut its

systems down for five days leaving the East Coast

short of fuel. A few days later, at the start of June,

the world’s largest meat processor, JBS, was also

attacked by ransomware and its operations in

Australia, Canada and the US were

halted. And at the end of June,

hackers managed to exploit flaws

in Western Digital’s My Book Live

backup devices to remotely wipe

the hard drives. Western Digital’s

advice to those owning this type of

drive was to remove them from the

web as soon as possible.

While big corporations garner the

most column inches, no business

or organisation should think itself

immune.

The problem is acute reckons the

Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021

from the Department of Digital,

Culture, Media & Sport. It found

that 39 percent of businesses were

subjected to a cyberattack or breach in a 12-month

period and 21 percent lost money, data or other

assets. Further, the average cost of the cyber

security breaches these businesses experienced

was estimated to be £8,460. For medium and large

firms combined, the average cost was higher, at

£13,400.

And to drive the point home, a February

2021 Vodafone report, Protecting our SMEs

Cybersecurity in the new world of work, found

that in a poll of more than 500 business leaders

nearly a quarter — equivalent to 1.3m companies

— were likely to go bust if they were forced to deal

with the average cost of a cyberattack.

DEFINING A CYBERATTACK

So, what is a cyberattack? According to Dai Davis,

solicitor, chartered engineer and partner at Percy

Crow Davis & Co, the Wikipedia definition, of

‘any attempt to expose, alter, disable, destroy,

steal or gain information through unauthorized

access to or make unauthorised use of an asset…

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

“A cyberattack

is fundamentally

the interaction

of a threat actor

with a particular

system with

the intention

of achieving

a particular

outcome.”

that is a computer information system, computer

infrastructure, computer network, or personal

computer device,’ is one that he agrees with:

“It matches the broad definition of an offence

under s1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 which

criminalises any action that ‘causes a computer to

perform any function with intent to secure access

to any program or data held in any computer

where that access is unauthorised’.”

Roy Isbell, a cyber security specialist and

advisor to the UK Forensic Science Regulator,

agrees with Davis: “A cyberattack is fundamentally

the interaction of a threat actor with a particular

system with the intention of achieving a particular

outcome,” he says.

Of course, how the attack manifests itself is

dependent upon the outcome that the threat actor

is hoping to achieve, the level and type of access

that they have been able to create,

and the skills and tools available to

the threat actor.

Nevertheless, Isbell is aware that

many believe that ‘cyber’ is just an

alternative word for the internet

and devices that are connected to

it. Whilst this may be true, he says

it is not the whole scope of what the

cyber environment covers.

Davis recalls says that there are

two types of business – those who

know they have been breached,

and those who don’t yet know. But

as to where the threats originate,

Davis says they vary: “Some are

performed by ‘script kiddies’, who

try and hack into a system for fun.

They are mostly out to hack well known sites, or

ones that will give them some ‘prestige’.”

He adds that non-monetary sites include

those that attract opposition, such as the sites of

political parties.

Isbell takes a similar line but has seen some

operate in a more random fashion as they look to

prove their skills or develop tools in order to raise

their profile within a community.

For the criminally minded, making money is

the goal and they attack anything where it pays

them to do so. “They may,” says Davis, “adopt a

scattergun approach, sending out millions of

scam emails in the expectation that only a few

people will fall for the scam, alternatively they

may target a particular ‘rich’ target but in a more

subtle, considered manner.”

Of course, at the extreme, states such as China,

Russia and North Korea attack to steal technology.

Worryingly, as Isbell points out, COVID has

altered the landscape somewhat: “We now have

a more distributed business model,” he says,

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 16


BUSINESS RISK

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

“That unexpected operation can be caused by someone using the computer internally

in your business, an external agent whether malicious or, as in the example given, just

because it has been poorly coded.”

“with workers working from home, often

on shared networks with only limited

security implemented.” He has seen a

significant increase in attacks directed at

organisations directly involved in dealing

with the pandemic or involved in vaccine

research.

Making a similar point, Davis has found

that any newsworthy topic may be used

to persuade a staff member or individual

to click on a link that will take them to a

compromised website. “In that sense,” he

says, “the pandemic is no different and

has given malicious actors opportunity to

create appealing false links, for example,

with offers of having an early vaccination.”

SECURITY IS A RELATIVE TERM

No system is perfect. But Davis says that

the amount of effort it takes to breach

a system is proportional to the amount

of effort taken to secure the site in the

first place. He cites one of the first ever

recorded security breaches where a

website could be hacked by clicking on a

certain part of the web page in a public

part of the site with the left mouse button

instead of the right mouse button. Doing

so revealed other customer’s details.

He also states that anything that allows

a computer to operate in an unexpected

manner can be regarded as a security

breach: “That unexpected operation

can be caused by someone using the

computer internally in your business, an

external agent whether malicious or, as

in the example given, just because it has

been poorly coded.”

Moving on, Isbell talks of a process

developed by Lockheed Martin that maps

the stages of a cyberattack. Called the

‘Cyber Kill Chain’, he says that the steps

involve Reconnaissance, Weaponisation,

Delivery, Exploitation, Installation,

Command & Control, and Actions on

Object. “Each step,” says Isbell, “is

required for the subsequent step to have

a chance of being successful. Therefore,

a security breach is not a single event or

tool, though it often appears this way, but

a combination of knowledge, skills and

intelligence used in sequence to achieve

the effect or outcome the threat actor

wants to achieve.”

For him, the only way to achieve 100

percent security is for a system to not

be connected to any form of external

communications. He emphasises that

cyber security is about managing risk:

“This requires that we spend time

evaluating and understanding the cyber

environment and what it is we need to

protect; it is not always the data that

requires protection, but the systems

themselves, especially where the system

is deemed critical.”

COUNTERING THREATS

As both Isbell and Davis detail, there is no

easy way to counter cyber threats.

Apart from a company’s own systems,

Isbell would also look at the supply chain,

especially where industrial processes

may share data between firms. For him,

having a strategy is key: “For that to work,

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 17

continues on page 18 >


BUSINESS RISK

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

an understanding of the firm’s cyber

ecosystem is essential… and not just

focussed on the data that resides on the

various IT systems it may have.”

Davis, on the other hand, would create

a budget and appoint someone at board

level to maximise its use. He would bring

in an independent consultant to consider

where the budget should be spent. He

also cautions against placing too much

reliance on specific security products,

many of which are good, but which solve

only the security issue that the particular

vendor advertises.

Staff training is something else to

consider. While it’s not foolproof, the more

staff training, the lower the probability

that a staff member will introduce harm

to the business.

But as Davis warns: “Training needs

to be regular. There is little point in only

training during induction week and then

not following that training up with regular

reminders… staff may be sent a malicious

email containing a spurious link at any

time.”

Isbell too values training. He says:

“The most efficient and well understood

security environments I have witnessed

are where the company has worked to

develop security as part of the culture of

the organisation. A combination of carrot

and stick is used to great effect without

defaulting to a punitive strategy on what

happens should a breach occur.”

And then there’s the option of placing

a warning on every email which a staff

member receives warning them if an

email has come from an external source

and that it may be malicious. On this

Davis thinks warnings unlikely to be of

much assistance: “It is likely to be ignored

as the staff member is anxious to read the

email not the header, let alone the repeat

warning in the header.”

Crucially, Isbell recommends including

cyber security breaches as part of business

continuity disaster recovery planning:

“Whilst some firms have been unable to

continue after a cyberattack, those that

have had a robust incident response plan

have not only been able to recover but

recovered faster and as a consequence,

minimised the overall impact on the

business and its operations.”

THE RISKS FROM DOING NOTHING

Firms that do nothing, and which suffer

an attack, risk legal fallout. Davis points

first to the fines for poor security under

the civil part of GDPR – the General Data

Protection Regulations. He says that the

probability of a fine is tiny, but the risk of

criminal sanction under the GDPR is not:

“Criminals, like regulators, have limited

budgets and look for ‘low hanging fruit’. If

you can make your business more secure

than that of your competitors, it will be

enough to persuade some criminals to

look elsewhere for a softer target.”

Beyond that, Isbell says that a firm that

does nothing should expect to suffer a

security breach at some point, if they have

not already. But apart from implementing

security, he states: “It also requires

some form of monitoring… and if no

monitoring is implemented, the firm will

not know it has been breached until the

breach is made public by the threat actor.”

And when this happens, there comes a

natural question – who would trust an

organisation that does not take security

seriously?

“Criminals, like

regulators, have limited

budgets and look for

‘low hanging fruit’. If

you can make your

business more secure

than that of your

competitors, it will be

enough to persuade

some criminals to look

elsewhere for a softer

target.”

Further, there’s the risk of corporate

failure. Canada’s Nortel Networks

Corporation filed for bankruptcy in

2009, having once been valued at a

third of the entire worth of the Toronto

Stock Exchange. Its technology and

intellectual property had been stolen

by Chinese hackers who had infiltrated

the entirety of the company’s systems in

2000. The breach was discovered in 2004

but not fully cured by the time of the

company’s bankruptcy. Davis says that

the breach is widely regarded as being

one of the prime causes of the company’s

failure.

And then there was the case of Code

Spaces, a hosting service, which, in 2014,

had no recovery plan and consequently was

unable to continue in business; STUXNET

which resulted in the destruction of

Iranian nuclear centrifuges; and an attack

on Saudi oil company ARAMCO which,

in 2012, resulted in the destruction of

over 35,000 computers. Oil production

was put at risk and the company had to

resort to fax and typewriters.

THE GOVERNMENT’S ROLE

It’s important for businesses and

organisations to consider the role of the

government. Davis isn’t impressed and

describes it as woefully inadequate:

“Most governments do little to help their

citizens,” he says. “The UK has some

high profile vanity projects such as the

National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC),

which is an organisation that does a good

job protecting national infrastructure, but

it does little for smaller organisations.”

By way of example, he says that in

May 2017 the WannaCry ransomware

cryptoworm attacked many businesses

and public bodies, including hospitals. It

was not the NCSC that found a solution

– that came from private security

researchers within a few days – it was left

to private individuals and companies to

publicise that partial solution rather than

the NCSC.

While Isbell doesn’t disagree with

Davis, he too says that the government

has a responsibility to put in place

legislation and provide guidance on

how organisations might best protect

themselves. Even so, he notes that

governments cannot legislate for every

possible attack or threat that may

emerge, and nor can they provide the

detailed measures that are appropriate

for individual businesses. In essence, he

says that individuals and organisations

must take their own security seriously

and take appropriate measures to ensure

they are able to recover should they suffer

an attack.

Lastly, it bothers Isbell that cyber

security is seen as a distraction by

business: “It provides no business benefit

and is a cost many would choose not to

spend. It’s a bit like an insurance policy

that is needed just in case, but what is the

lowest premium that can be paid whilst

still getting a payout?”

IN SUMMARY

So, when evaluating security and whether

it is a target, firms need to look not just

to consider not just themselves but also

their clients. They ought to consider what

would happen if hackers were to gain

access to systems – hackers could make

more by not revealing that a breach had

occurred by, for example, introducing

malware and seeing what was printed

before it was published.

Adam Bernstein is a freelance

business writer.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 18


Evidence your

compliance in a rapidly

evolving AML landscape

Ensure your business is audit ready with our

award-winning product

ONGOING MONITORING FOR CONTINUOUS COMPLIANCE

RECOGNISED BY THE JMLSG

FULL AUDIT TRAIL FOR PEACE OF MIND ON

EVERY CUSTOMER

Call us now to book a free demo on:

+44 (0)113 333 9835

Or visit us online:

smartsearch.com

SmartSearch delivers verification services for individuals and businesses in the

UK and international markets. These services include worldwide

Advancing

Sanction

the credit

&

profession

PEP

/ www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 19

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


CONSUMER CREDIT

AUTHOR – Heather Greig-Smith

ROOM TO

BREATHE?

Two months after the introduction of the

Debt Respite Scheme, how are creditors and

debt advisers finding the system.

AUTHOR – Heather Greig-Smith

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 20


GIVEN the rush to implement the Debt

Respite scheme in the wake of the

Covid-19 crisis, perhaps it was inevitable

that there would be teething problems.

The key element of the scheme is the

concept of Breathing Space – a 60-

day period during which vulnerable consumers have

collection and enforcement action against them paused

while they get their affairs in order with the help of a

debt adviser.

Unfortunately, the portal that debt advisers can use to

notify creditors of entry to breathing space wasn’t ready

in time. This meant the first weeks of the scheme, which

one debt purchaser refers to as “cumbersome”, were

paper based. These issues were complicated by strike

action at the postal provider used.

The good news is that the portal is now running

smoothly and, according to Insolvency Service figures,

between 4 May (when the scheme was launched)

and 30 June 2021, there were 11,747 breathing space

registrations. These composed of 11,636 standard

registrations and 111 mental health crisis registrations.

CHALLENGING ISSUE

However, the most challenging issue to date has been the

unforeseen way that some in the debt advice industry

have chosen to implement the scheme. In total, 9,000

of the registrations to the end of June come from one

provider, StepChange.

Chris Leslie, Chief Executive of collections trade body

the Credit Services Association (CSA), said the decision

by that provider to automatically refer consumers into

the scheme resulted in members raising concerns and

the trade body writing to Government on their behalf.

“Initially there was a large online provider of debt

advice that appeared to be operating automatic selfreferral.

We were deluged with calls from members

about it. The Treasury were very clear that debt advice

providers are under an obligation to ensure consumers

have first obtained advice,” he says.

Chris points out that this is as much for the consumers

as the creditors. “Consumers can only use the scheme

once every twelve months. They don’t want to use that

up and then really need it in nine months’ time. If you

move to an automatic process, it will also dilute the

support for those who really need it.”

In a letter responding to concerns, Economic

Secretary to the Treasury John Glen confirmed that “an

application [for a breathing space] may not be made

unless the debtor has first obtained advice, whether in

person, over the telephone or by electronic means”.

He added: “Systematic non-compliance with the

regulations is likely to be of concern to the FCA as it

may call into question whether a provider is meeting

the specific rules in its Handbook, the suitability

requirements set out in its Threshold Conditions, or

breaching one of its principles.”

However, Sue Anderson, a spokeswoman for

StepChange says calling its process auto self-referral is

a misnomer.

“The approach we have adopted is to build in an

assessment of whether someone turning to us for help

is potentially eligible to apply for breathing space – if

they are, following our eligibility screening, this option

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 21

continues on page 22 >


CONSUMER CREDIT

AUTHOR – Heather Greig-Smith

is offered to them. We strongly believe this is

the correct approach to take and in line with the

Government’s policy intent.”

Sue says only a small minority of those seeking

debt help have been applying. “Among those

who apply, the overwhelming majority go on to

complete full debt advice and get a recommended

solution – which is exactly what giving access to

Breathing Space was designed to achieve, from a

policy perspective, giving people a short period

of calm and hence the ability to focus on putting

in place measures to resolve their debt problems

without the stressful pressure that ongoing

collections activity can create.”

RISING QUERIES

Despite this, StepChange says it has paused online

applications because of the significant number of

queries it was receiving from creditors. Instead,

those undertaking online advice are encouraged

to call an adviser. However, Sue says the online

process will resume when further analysis

has been completed on the data and key areas

identified that will reduce creditor queries.

“We are especially keen to see the Insolvency

Service make ongoing improvements to effective

and efficient communication between its

register, creditors’ systems, and debt advice

service systems. This should reduce the amount

of resource we are currently having to devote to

reconciling and resolving creditor queries arising

from breathing space applications (many of

which relate to creditors not being able to identify

a client without raising a query),” she adds.

From a debt collection perspective, David

Sheridan FCICM, Operations Director at ARC

(Europe), says the scheme is currently low volume

and seems to be running smoothly.

“We have had to build in processes to make sure

we are capturing the alerts and make sure our

clients are advised the moment we are because a

customer may have multiple accounts,” he says.

“Aside from those with mental health issues, over

the old non statutory breathing space scheme,

the new scheme would only seem to benefit those

customers facing immediate enforcement action.”

Sean Gallacher, UK Head of Operations at Hoist

Finance, agrees: “Hoist customers who experience

difficulty have always been able to access

forbearance though non statutory measures,”

he says. “The statutory option provides our

customers another route to do this and we have

been happy to support its adoption. We found the

implementation of the debt respite to be smooth.

We were able to adapt our processes and systems

to ensure notifications are applied immediately to

customers’ accounts. Volumes are still low, but we

are starting to see a small uplift of cases via free

advice providers.”

APPROPRIATE CIRCUMSTANCES

Provider PayPlan says its policy is to route all

breathing space requirements through human

advisers, even if they originate digitally. At the

time of writing, it had 640 active breathing

“Creditors are

good at offering

breathing space

these days

anyway and if

a debt solution

is the most

appropriate

option for a

client, we can

typically set

those plans up

very quickly.”

space cases. Advisers are careful to ensure that

breathing space is only offered in appropriate

circumstances, because the scheme can only be

used once in a twelve-month period.

“We’ve found it’s a useful option for some

clients, but in the majority of cases, there are

more effective and immediate ways to deal with

debts” says PayPlan Partnership Development

Manager Antony Price. “Creditors are good at

offering breathing space these days anyway and if

a debt solution is the most appropriate option for

a client, we can typically set those plans up very

quickly. But the statutory breathing space can be

helpful, for example if someone is facing legal

action.”

With more creditors coming onto the portal,

it is also becoming easier to manage. “When

we reach out to creditors, most are very good at

notifying us of other accounts and the details of

those accounts, such as account number, balance

and who it has been sold to, though there are

some that currently can’t provide this additional

information.”

Antony adds that in instances where

enforcement action has crossed over with

notification of breathing space, bailiff firms have

gone out of their way to undo actions – refunding

payments taken and unclamping cars. “We’ve

had some real success stories of clients who

were struggling and very much benefitted from a

pause.”

However, one grey area of the scheme is the

impact it may have on statute barred debt, with

some advisers concerned that entering breathing

space acts as an acknowledgement. “It would

need to be tested in court and that’s something

that needs looking into in more detail.”

UNKNOWN IMPACT

A further unknown is the impact using the scheme

may have on future lending. While the use of

breathing space won’t be recorded on a credit

report, lenders will be aware which customers

have used it. “We’re not sure how they will build

it into their lending processes and whether this

could potentially impact the ability to borrow

further down the line.”

When the legislation was mooted, the

collections industry supported the principles

behind it. However, many questioned the need to

formalise practices that are already standard in

the treatment of vulnerable people.

Chris Leslie says that the scheme, while wellintentioned,

is part of what the CSA sees as a

worrying trend toward specific initiatives rather

than the overarching principle of tailoring advice

and collections to individual needs. As a result,

the trade body has published a report to illustrate

the flexibility that is currently being deployed on

a daily basis to help those struggling to pay. “If

we’re going to have a principles-based, outcomefocused

world, we need to stick with that,” he says.

Heather Greig-Smith is a freelance

business writer.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 22


ENFORCEMENT SPECIAL

Court users call for greater

freedom of choice after huge

County Court delays

New survey by the HCEOA sees wide support to

legalise the recovery of debts under £600 by High Court

Enforcement Officers.

A

new survey of court users

has found that almost

99 percent support

a greater freedom of

choice – enabling them

to use a High Court

enforcement route – when recovering

outstanding debts. The call from court

users comes following significant delays

in the County Court system. The vast

majority – 86 percent – of court users

reported experiencing delays when using

the County Courts, with many citing

they have stopped trying to recover some

debts altogether.

This means that individuals and

businesses are just writing off money

they are owed rather than dealing with

the current court system. As a result,

many businesses are having to increase

their prices to absorb these losses, or risk

going into debt themselves.

A new survey and report, ‘Supporting

Court Users – A Right to Freedom of

Choice’ produced by the High Court

Enforcement Officers Association

(HCEOA), sets out a compelling case for a

change in regulations to allow court users

to choose a High Court Enforcement

Officer (HCEO) to enforce judgments and

recover debts under £600.

Under the current system, court users

must use a County Court Bailiff to enforce

judgments and recover debts under £600

but can choose a High Court Enforcement

Officer to enforce judgments of between

£600-£5,000.

As well as the figure that suggests

nearly all court users support freedom

of choice, the survey also found that

an overwhelming amount (96 percent)

of court users would like a change in

regulations – to give them the option of

using a High Court Enforcement Officer

to recover debts under £600 instead of a

County Court Bailiff.

In addition, 97 percent of court users

are concerned about the backlog of cases

in the County Court, with 86 percent

experiencing delays. Only five percent

think the current system is effective

and meets their needs, whereas more

than a third (35 percent) of court users

would issue more claims for under £600

if they were able to choose a High Court

Enforcement Officer to enforce their

judgments and recover their debts.

Under the current

system, court users

must use a County

Court Bailiff to enforce

judgments and

recover debts

under £600 but can

choose a High Court

Enforcement Officer

to enforce judgments

of between

£600-£5,000.

The report authors say the

Government could solve this problem

today. A small change to the High Court

and County Court Jurisdiction Order 1991

would allow High Court Enforcement

Officers to enforce judgments and help

creditors recover debts of under £600.

This would give court users freedom to

choose another option.

Alan J. Smith, Chair of the HCEOA,

says he 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:

“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.

“This reform can be delivered simply

and easily by the Lord Chancellor and

Ministry of Justice, and we will be

campaigning to ensure that the voices of

individuals and businesses from across

England and Wales who are owed money

through no fault of their own are heard.”

This solution has been backed by the

Civil Court Users Association.

Robert Thompson, Chair of the CCUA,

says that a Civil Justice system is only

effective if its judgments can be enforced:

“Over many years, County Court Bailiff

enforcement has been poor. The recent

establishment of Warrant of Control

support centres was not requested by

court users, delays enforcement, is a

further deterioration, and effectively

signals a complete lack of appetite to

provide the enforcement service which

has been requested and paid for. In

that context, if effective and efficient

enforcement is to be possible, it is clear

that it must be opened up to the private

sector.

“With that in mind, the CCUA fully

supports the proposals made by the

HCEOA. Continued ineffective and

inefficient enforcement would be

contrary to the interests of court users

and risks damaging the credibility of the

court service.”

Changes to the current regulations

would alleviate delays to the 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

debt.

The High Court Enforcement Officers

Association is asking for support to give

court users a right to freedom of choice.

You can do this by writing to the Lord

Chancellor, Rt Hon Robert Buckland MP,

at robert.buckland.mp@parliament.uk,

copying in freedom@hceoa.org.uk.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 23


COUNTRY FOCUS

Lithuania has its

eye on the future

and especially

renewables.

Clean living

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

The country is also investing heavily in renewable energy

and clean growth sectors. Energy from renewable energy

sources looks set to dominate all sectors including

electricity, heat and transport.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 24


COUNTRY FOCUS

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

LITHUANIA is one of three

countries that, along with

Latvia and Estonia, makes up

the Baltic States. Most know

it as a former Soviet satellite

state, but Lithuania’s grand

history can be traced way beyond the

communist era.

Written records date back to 1009 and

a people that established the Kingdom of

Lithuania, which lasted for 12 years from

1251, and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

from the 13th century. Notably, by the

end of the 14th century, Lithuania was

the largest single country in Europe – the

duchy took in parts of what is now Ukraine,

Poland, Russia and Moldova. However,

it was broken up in 1795 when Prussia,

the Russian Empire and the Habsburg

Empire each took shares of the territory.

Post-World War One Lithuania regained

its freedom but was annexed by the USSR

in 1940. It wasn’t until March 1990 that

Lithuania became the first Baltic state to

declare independence from Russia.

LITHUANIA TODAY

Present day, the country is a relatively

small with around 2.7m people of

mostly Lithuanian, Polish, Russian and

Belarusian descent occupying an area of

65,300 sq. km – an area that is larger than

Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium or

Denmark. Its neighbours are Latvia to the

north, Belarus in the southeast, Poland

to the south and the Russian exclave of

the Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest.

It’s interesting that a number of sources

including Populationstat.com (using data

from the UN and the World Bank) state that

Lithuanian population has declined from a

1992 peak of 3.7m.

Given that the Lithuanian population

isn’t very large, it follows that urban areas

aren’t too populous either. There are just 14

cities with populations of more than 20,000.

The largest is Vilnius with – according

to 2020 data – 580,000 inhabitants which

is followed by Kaunas with 289,000 and

Klaipeda with 149,000. At the bottom of the

list are six cities with between 20,000 and

26,000 residents each. As for settlements

with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants, there

are 88. Of this number, the bottom six have

less than 1,000 residents.

With a European and democratic

background, it’s understandable that

Lithuania sought to join the European

Union. Membership was granted from

May 2004, it joined the Schengen Area

in December 2007 and the Eurozone in

January 2015. It similarly joined the World

Trade Organisation in May 2001, NATO in

March 2004 and the OECD in July 2018.

The European Commission believes

that the Lithuanian economy is strong, but

growth slowed down in 2020, primarily due

to the COVID-19 pandemic followed by the

global economic lockdown. Nonetheless,

the economy is expected to rebound

in 2021. As a result, Lithuania’s GDP is

estimated to have declined by 7.9 percent

in 2020 but then should grow by 7.4 percent

in 2021 to reach €42.5bn in 2021. (As with

all statistics, the numbers vary – Statista

says that in 2020 the Lithuanian economy

was worth €48.9bn).

The commission considers that the

most important sectors of Lithuania’s

economy in 2018 were wholesale and

retail trade, transport, accommodation

and food services (32.2 percent), industry

(21.9 percent) and public administration,

defence, education, human health and

social work activities (14.3 percent). More

on this below.

The population is well educated.

Primary education can start at the age of

five and secondary education is organised

according to a two-year curriculum,

which is personalised to the individual

student with the assistance of a guidance

counsellor. Students take a number of

compulsory subjects, as well as a minimum

number of optional topics.

The higher education system is

divided between colleges, which offer

apprenticeships and job-specific training,

and universities which offer academic

programmes of study. Those leaving

college can continue to university by

taking foundation courses or specialised

training programmes. According to the

OECD’s 2017 Education in Lithuania, 93

percent of 15–19-year-olds were enrolled in

educational institutions, compared with 84

percent on average across OECD countries.

Further, around 55 percent of 25–34-yearolds

have attained tertiary education.

Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, is known for its

baroque architecture, seen especially in its

medieval Old Town. But the buildings lining this

district’s partially cobblestoned streets reflect

diverse styles and eras, from the neoclassical

Vilnius Cathedral to Gothic St. Anne's Church. The

16th-century Gate of Dawn, containing a shrine

with a sacred Virgin Mary icon, once guarded an

entrance to the original city.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 25

continues on page 26 >


COUNTRY FOCUS

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

The 16th-century Gate of Dawn, containing

a shrine with a sacred Virgin Mary icon, once

guarded an entrance to the original city.

MARKET OPPORTUNITIES

Not unsurprisingly, given the country’s

location and orientation, intra-EU trade

accounts for 59 percent of Lithuania’s exports

(Latvia 10 percent, Poland eight percent and

Germany seven percent), while outside the

EU, 14 percent goes to Russia and five percent

to the United States.

Similarly, for imports, 69 percent comes

from EU member states (Germany 12 percent,

Poland 11 percent and Latvia seven percent),

while outside the EU, 15 percent comes from

Russia and three percent from China.

The UK sits in eighth place in the table

of countries exported to and 11th place

for imports. Indeed, the UK Government,

specifically the Office for National Statistics,

considers that trade between the UK and

Lithuania has grown steadily over the past

few years to reach a total of £2bn in 2019. UK

exports to Lithuania came to £792m in 2019,

of which £541m (68 percent) were goods and

£251m (32 percent) were services.

As for industry sectors, 2020 World Bank

data, cited by Santander, reckons that

agriculture contributed 3.2 percent to GDP

and employs seven percent of the workforce.

Lithuania's main agricultural products are

wheat, wood, barley, potatoes, sugar beets,

wine and meat (beef, mutton and pork).

Arable land and permanent crops cover

2m hectares – more than one-third of the

country’s territory.

Industry accounts for 25.3 percent

of GDP and employs around 26 percent

of the working population. The main

industrial sectors are electronics, chemical

products, machine tools, metal processing,

construction material, household appliances,

food processing, light industry (including

textile), clothing and furniture. The country

is also seeking to develop oil refineries and

shipyards. The World Bank estimates that the

manufacturing sector alone contributes to 16

percent of the country’s GDP.

And for services, the World Bank believes

that it contributes 61.4 percent to the GDP and

employs more than two-thirds of the active

population (67 percent). The information

technology and communications sectors

are the most important contributors to GDP.

In recent years, tourism has been one of

the fastest-growing sectors of the country's

economy; however, data from the national

tourism development agency shows that in

the first three quarters of 2020 the number

of tourists contracted by almost 30 percent

(with foreign arrivals dropping by 73 percent

due to coronavirus restrictions). The historic

legacy of Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda and

the natural resources for ecotourism and spa

treatments were driving the rise of tourism in

Lithuania.

According to the European Construction

Sector Observatory, published in December

2020, by 2019, the number of firms in the broad

construction sector increased by 172 percent

from its 2010 level and now totals 66,885. In

particular, narrow construction had risen by

209 percent, real estate activities had grown

by 196 percent, architectural and engineering

activities increased by 106 percent and those

in manufacturing had risen by 30 percent.

Construction employs 190,000 – up 45 percent

from 2010. Nevertheless, there is a shortage of

skilled workers which is partly a function of

emigration and an ageing workforce.

Housing is a key sector as household

incomes have grown at a faster rate than

property prices. At the same time, civil

engineering is benefitting from the upgrade

of road and rail connectivity. This involves

the Rail Baltica project (a new rail line

connecting the Baltic States with the rest of

Europe via Poland) and the Via Baltica road

transport project which runs north-south

from Poland to Estonia.

The country is also investing heavily in

renewable energy and clean growth sectors.

Energy from renewable energy sources

looks set to dominate all sectors including

electricity, heat and transport. There are also

plans to expand the country’s infrastructure

for electric vehicles. As part of this, Lithuania

is in the process of decommissioning its

Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, which should

create a demand for a range of suppliers of

technologies and services with nuclear sector

expertise.

Regarding technology, the EU allocated

€8.39bn in funding to Lithuania for

research and development and innovation

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 26


COUNTRY FOCUS

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

There are also

plans to expand

the country’s

infrastructure for

electric vehicles.

As part of this,

Lithuania is in

the process of

decommissioning

its Ignalina Nuclear

Power Plant.

projects, with priority for technologies in

sustainable energy, healthcare, agriculture

and education. There are opportunities for

companies to co-operate on R&D projects,

provide services for R&D and pharmaceutical

companies, and to supply laboratory

equipment and consumables.

According to Passport to Trade 2.0 at the

Salford Business School, the information

technology and telecommunications sector

is now one of the most promising sectors

of Lithuania’s economy. Lithuania is also

taking a leading position in biotechnology,

compared to the other countries in Central

and Eastern Europe.

BUSINESS ENTITIES

When choosing business entity, there are,

as elsewhere, several options to choose

from. The most common are an Individual

Enterprise with one member, no capital

requirement and personal liability; Small

Partnership with between one and ten

members, no capital requirements and

limited liability; Private Limited Liability

Company with no limit on members, a

minimum of €2500 in capital and limited

liability; and Public Liability Company which

differs from a private company by requiring

a minimum of €25,000 in capital.

Alternatively, it’s possible to establish

a branch of a foreign company. However,

it’s not a separate legal entity, but an

independent unit of the company which

allows commercial activity. No capital

is required, and the parent carries any

liabilities.

Another option is a representative office

of foreign company. It too isn’t a separate

legal entity, and its activities are limited to

promotion of the parent and public relations.

It cannot enter into commercial contracts in

its own name.

Firms that have a short-term project

on the go can register a foreign company

with the Tax Inspectorate as a VAT payer.

Registration permits the foreign company to

engage in commercial activity; Lithuanian

taxes will be applicable on income attributed

to Lithuanian project.

TAX

The standard rate of Lithuanian corporate

tax is 15 percent. Small companies – see

below - and those in agricultural companies

can use a zero percent or five percent

reduced rate, but only if certain conditions

are met. Further, between 1 January 2020

and the end of 2022, an increased rate of

20 percent is applied on taxable profits of

credit institutions that are greater than €2m.

Tax applies to all taxable income received

by a Lithuanian tax resident from its local

and worldwide activities. As for the reduced

rate for small companies, those with fewer

than ten employees and less than €300,000

in gross annual revenues can benefit from a

reduced rate of zero percent for the first year

of operations and five percent for following

periods if certain conditions are met.

The standard rate of VAT is 21 percent

with a reduced rate of nine percent on books,

transport, heating and accommodation.

A five percent rate applies to periodicals,

devices for the disabled and pharmaceuticals.

And a zero rate applies to COVID-19 related

vaccines and goods.

Foreign entities must register for VAT if

they start a VAT taxable economic activity in

Lithuania; acquire goods in Lithuania from

taxable entities based in other EU member

states and the value of goods purchased

during the calendar year exceeds €14,000;

acquire services from taxable entities based

in foreign countries; or they are engaged

in distance sales and the value of supplied

goods, transported to Lithuania during the

calendar year, exceeds €45,000.

On income tax, it’s taxed on worldwide

earnings at 20 percent up to €81,162 per

annum and 32 percent above that. Tax on

dividends is a flat 15 percent. There are no

local, state or provincial taxes in Lithuania.

It’s worth noting at this point that since 1

January 2021, the minimum monthly wage

rose to €642 while the minimum hourly wage

rose to €3.93.

ETIQUETTE

No exporter is ever going succeed by

trampling on local sensitivities. It’s worth

knowing that Lithuanians are polite, respect

others and expect the same in return. There

are no taboos over subjects of conversation,

but it makes sense to avoid open criticism of

Lithuania, its Government or its people – not

even as a joke.

Lithuanians are very private and are likely

not to discuss their family until they get to

know an individual better. One sensitive

topic, however, appears to be basketball,

which Lithuanians consider their second

religion. Any criticism of a team or their style

may lead to a long, passionate and possibly

angry discussion.

The consumption of alcohol in parks,

squares and other public places is prohibited

by law along with smoking in cafes,

restaurants, halls and on public transport,

except in specially marked smoking

areas. Littering is banned too. In all these

situations, fines may be levied and can be

punitive; offences are taken seriously.

Lastly, when greeting a person that is

not known well, a handshake is far more

common and appropriate.

Adam Bernstein is a freelance

business writer.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 27


CICM Resource Centre

Delivering the best

Resources for you

and your team

Member Exclusive resources

Whether you’re completely new to credit

management or want to take your skills to the next

level, our free guides, toolkits,

Serrala

blogs and tips are

CP

designed to help you enhance your knowledge,

stay informed about developments and gain advice

from a range of experts.

Keeping you up-to-date with:

Help and Advice from our Corporate Partners

Money and Debt Advice / Wellbeing / Legal Advice

Log in to your members area for

Member Exclusive resources

For details contact: info@cicm.com

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 28


OPINION

king Payment Initiation for Billers

Open Banking Payment Initiation for Billers

urney for You and Your Customers

A Customer Journey for You and Your Customers

Open Banking Payment

Initiation for Billers

the rigidity of Direct Debit a bad fit.

owledge that Direct Debit cannot be the only easy way for people to pay their bills. People

d/or low Most incomes billers – acknowledge a growing group that - Direct need Debit to manage cannot their be the finances only easy every way month, for people making to pay their bills. People

with irregular and/or low incomes – a growing group - need to manage their finances every month, making

the rigidity of Direct Debit a bad fit.

A Customer Journey for You and Your Customers.

re offer cards and wallets as online at hundreds of billers in over 20 countries for bill payment,

Billers might therefore offer cards and wallets as online at hundreds of billers in over 20 countries for bill payment,

their portal. Those however are very dunning, collection and more. That experience also leads

payment methods in their portal. Those

AUTHOR

however

– Jeroen

are

Dekker,

very

Solution

dunning,

Architect EBPP

collection

& RTP,

and

Serrala

more. That experience also leads

mplex reconciliation and let customers me to the organisational dimension.

expensive, require complex reconciliation and let customers me to the organisational dimension.

. Gateways,

reverse

processors,

MOST transactions.

acquirers,

Gateways,

and

billers acknowledge

all got along rich that inserting Direct themselves along

processors, acquirers, and

l got rich consumer inserting brands themselves

ute for payments: the most obvious from the route Debit consumer’s for cannot payments: be the from the consumer’s

tly into the only easy way for

bank biller’s account bank directly account. into the biller’s bank account.

people to pay their

bills. People with

rect route irregular Until required recently, and/or consumers that low direct incomes route to set – a required growing consumers to set

ratch in group their a transfer – own need banking from to manage scratch app. their Finding

their finances own banking app. Finding

nt details every and from copying month, a sheet making payment of paper the details rigidity or a from PDF of Direct a sheet of paper or a PDF

far from Debit makes easy: a a bad this chore fit. exercise to procrastinate

far from easy: a chore to procrastinate

Billers might therefore offer cards

eover, people and then can forget. make Moreover, mistakes, people causountinging

can make mistakes, caus-

and wallets as online payment methods

in negative exceptions

their portal. customer in accounting,

Those however contacts, negative

are or customer contacts, or

very

ension expensive, even of service. unjustified require suspension complex reconciliation of service.

and let customers reverse transactions.

Gateways, Crossing the processors, Chasm: Payment acquirers, Initiation and

: Payment Initiation

consumer A better way brands has reached all got rich the UK inserting through Open Banking.

ched the themselves UK through along Open the most Banking.

The banks have published obvious APIs for route third parties to – with the

lished APIs for payments: for third parties from the to consumer’s – with the

consumer’s consent – push the details bank of a payment straight

– push the account directly into the biller’s bank

into details the consumer’s of a payment chosen straight bank app for authorisation,

chosen account.

eliminating bank app for

Until recently, the authorisation,

manual that direct retyping. route required This makes payment easy

ual retyping.

consumers for the This consumer. makes payment

to set The up result easy

a transfer is a UK from Faster Payment: cheap

e result scratch (fixed is a UK fee), in Faster their real-time, own Payment: banking final, accurate, cheap app. Finding and a direct 1:1 pay-out

A sample Payment Request page hosting UK Payment Initiation

final, accurate, and that automatically copying and a direct payment matches 1:1 pay-out details the corresponding from a A sample open Payment item. Request page hosting UK Payment Initiation

atches the sheet corresponding of paper a open PDF item. makes this

Starting the Journey

exercise The concept far is from long proven: easy: a pushing chore people to

Starting to their

procrastinate and then forget. Moreover, THE GREAT bank Journey Payment interactions touch finance, security, compliance,

ENABLER:

STARTING THE JOURNEY

proven: app

people pushing to authorise

can people a

make to payment their mistakes, bank is common

causing Payment to PAYMENT payment interactions methods

is common like iDEAL in to (the payment accounting, Netherlands), meth-

negative EPS (Austria) IT, privacy, But wait, and customer POLi you might experience, say: do people we begin, don’t communications… who pay owns security, it, how where compliance, do we make it IT, work with privacy, our

REQUESTS touch IT, privacy, finance, customer security, Payment

experience, compliance, interactions

communications…

touch finance,

where

ayment exceptions

etherlands), customer (Australia). EPS contacts, (Austria) or and even POLi unjustified do bills we begin, or reminders who owns in a web processes, it, how shop. do We educate we need make our customer it work customers? with experience, our Having communications…

crossed these

suspension of service.

processes,

to reach and

educate

ask them

our

to

customers? hurdles pay this many bill,

Having

that times, where recent crossed do conversations these we begin, who with owns UK billers it, how

The Great Enabler: Payment Requests reminder, or a promise-to-pay. How hurdles

do we make work with our processes,

CROSSING THE CHASM:

we ask many and enable times, recent

looking

such payment? conversations

to adopt Payment

From with UK

Initiation

billers

surfaced a tendency to

But wait, you might say: people don’t pay bills or reminders in fear the leap. “Take a educate step back, our rethink customers? our customer Having crossed journeys,

assess the IT side these of things… hurdles there many shall be times, an Internal recent

Payment PAYMENT Requests INITIATION

looking paper, to email, adopt SMS, Payment WhatsApp, Initiation our portal, surfaced a tendency to

a web shop. We need to reach and ask them to pay this bill,

say: people A better don’t way pay has bills reached or reminders the UK through in fear our the mobile leap. “Take app? a How step do back, we introduce rethink our conversations customer journeys,

this

that reminder, or a promise-to-pay. How do with UK billers looking

d to reach Open and Banking. ask them The to banks pay have this published bill,

we

assess alongside

ask and enable

such for payment? third parties From to paper, – with email, the SMS, do WhatsApp, we connect our this from affects our billing two keystones and of any business: customers and cash.

the IT cards side and

Project.”

of things… wallets?

All valid

there How

thoughts, as introducing this innovation

shall be adopt an Internal Payment Initiation surfaced a

APIs romise-to-pay. How do we ask and enarom

paper, back, rethink our customer journeys,

Project.” All valid thoughts, as introducing this tendency innovation to fear the leap. “Take a step

consumer’s portal, our mobile consent app? – push How the do details we introduce of collections this alongside systems? But why reinvent the wheel yourself? A specialised vendor

a cards payment

email, and wallets? SMS,

straight

WhatsApp, How into do the we consumer’s

our connect affects this from The two technical our keystones billing answer of brings to any these business: more questions than customers software: it and can cash. provide practical implementation

a webpage yourself? expertise for A a specialised vendor

p? How assess the IT side of things…there shall

chosen and do collections we introduce bank app systems? this for alongside authorisation, But is why the reinvent Payment the Request: wheel

be

to

an

expedite

Internal

your

Project.”

journey

All valid

from

thoughts,

blank

ow do we eliminating connect the this manual from our retyping. billing This brings specific more payment than software: with the slate details it to can pre-filled. live provide use cases. practical implementation

is the Payment expertise Re-

to expedite benefits of your Payment journey

makes payment easy for consumer. Its unique URL can appear as a button,

introducing Give them a this seat innovation at your table: affects the two

ms? The technical answer to these questions

The result is a UK Faster Payment: link or QR code in any communication

keystones Initiation from blank of await. any business: customers and

quest: a webpage for a specific payment slate with to the live details use cases. prefilled.

questions a direct Its unique 1:1 is pay-out URL the Payment can that appear automatically Re-

as a button, benefits hosts link of Payment or Payment QR code Initiation, Initiation by await. itself or But why reinvent the wheel yourself?

Give them a seat at your

cheap (fixed fee), real-time, final, accurate, channel. That biller-branded page then cash. table: the

r to these and

r a specific matches in any payment communication the corresponding with the details channel. open precan

appear then The hosts as concept a button, Payment is long link Initiation, or proven: QR code by pushing itself or alongside implemented cards its Payment Requests at Jeroen than Dekker software: it can provide practical

item. That biller-branded alongside page cards and wallets. Serrala has A specialised vendor brings more

people to their bank app to authorise a hundreds of billers in over 20 countries implementation expertise to expedite

on channel. and That wallets. biller-branded Serrala has implemented page its Payment Requests

Senior Solution Architect | Serrala

payment is common to payment methods for bill payment, dunning, collection and your journey from blank slate to live use

Initiation, by itself or alongside cards

Jeroen Dekker

like iDEAL (the Netherlands), EPS (Austria) more. That experience also leads me to cases. Give them a seat at your table: the

as implemented and POLi (Australia). its Payment Requests

Senior Solution Architect | Serrala

the organisational dimension.

benefits of Payment Initiation await.

Learn how you can transform how customers pay you – Scan the QR code or drop

us “Take an email a step at: contact@serrala.com

back, rethink our customer journeys, assess the

arn how you can transform

www2.serrala.com/ebpp-rtp-cicm-printarticle

IT side how customers of things…there pay you shall – Scan be an the Internal QR code Project.” or drop

an email at: contact@serrala.com

w2.serrala.com/ebpp-rtp-cicm-printarticle

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 29


INTERNATIONAL

TRADE

Monthly round-up of the latest stories

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.

US is in a good place

following stimulus payments

THE Wall Street Journal says that the

US has been ‘turbocharged’ by almost

$6trn in stimulus payments which

in turn is helping the global recovery

and encouraging businesses ‘to invest

in meeting the huge American

demand’.

Anyone with skin in the

stock market will have seen

the effects of this as numerous

indices have risen markedly.

Of course, low interest rates

have helped as they’ve fed house

price inflation where prices in

major US conurbations have risen

by 14.6 percent in the year to May

2021. The jobs market is healthy

too – albeit for workers. Demand is

outstripping supply and 'Americans

are enjoying outsized pay boosts

this year from desperate employers'.

Factory orders also bounced back in May,

growing by 1.7 percent month-on-month

after a 0.1 percent decline the previous

month. But inflation is a risk. While Jerome

Powell, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve,

has previously insisted that rising inflation

is ‘transitory’ and that monetary policy

must be kept ultra-loose for the foreseeable

future, US inflation reached a 13-year high

of five percent in May. Powell has now

acknowledged that “inflation could turn

out to be higher and more persistent than

we expect” and that interest rates could

rise twice in 2023 – earlier than previously

suggested.

In contrast, The Guardian reported that

'Dr. Doom' economist Nouriel Roubini thinks

that the global economy is heading towards

stagflation – stagnant growth and surging

prices as a result of ultra-loose fiscal and

monetary policies over the past decade that

were followed by stimulus, bond purchases

and keeping interest rates near zero. Assets

have been inflated and aggressive borrowing

has followed. Time will tell if he’s right – let’s

hope that he’s not.

“Inflation could turn out to be

higher and more persistent

than we expect” and that

interest rates could rise

twice in 2023 – earlier than

previously suggested.

THERE’S MONEY TO

BE MADE IN JAPAN

HOW often do you hear of a Government

with money left over? Well, it happens in

Japan where this year there was a huge pot

(4.5tn yen - $40bn) left over from 2020/21;

the country could hold an extra budget to

spend the cash.

The leftover money seems to be a result

of greater than expected tax revenue

(overall tax revenue hit an all-time high

of 60.8tn yen in the last fiscal year) and

Reuters believes that politicians will call

for more coronavirus stimulus spending.

That said, the law stipulates that half must

be used to repay debt, while the rest can be

spent elsewhere. The previous record was

2tn yen accumulated in 2011.

With a general election on the cards –

which must be held by the autumn – the

extra budget could be very interesting.

Rising tax revenue could prompt demands

for even bigger stimulus spending

to combat the coronavirus, despite a

combined $3tn of Covid fiscal packages

already added to the industrial world's

heaviest debt pile.

What does this all mean? There’s money

to be made in Japan.

AN ‘extraordinary heatwave’ that covered

large parts of the US and Canada which

affected millions and broke records

could be an opportunity for those with

solutions to heat and climate change.

Roads cracked, businesses were forced

to close, mountain towns had to be

evacuated as rivers rose following the

melting of snow, and the power grid came

HEATWAVE OPPORTUNITY?

under strain.

Beyond that, opportunities exist to

repair infrastructure that is damaged

following extreme weather events. It’s

believed that 22 extreme events such as

tornados, hurricanes and drought cost

the US around $95bn in 2020.

Allied to this is President Biden’s $1trn

infrastructure plan to modernise ageing

roads, bridges and broadband

networks. It’s hoped that productivity

and economic growth will be boosted by

spending on new roads. But economists

don’t necessarily agree because the

US already has an extensive motorway

network.

Nevertheless, cash is being spent so go

grab it while you can.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 30


Australian economy is bigger

now than pre-pandemic

AUSTRALIA has taken a very hard line

on COVID and thinks nothing of locking

down cities to halt the virus in its tracks.

Sydney most recently went back into

lockdown to combat the Delta variant.

Australia reported, early July, just 31,000

cases and 900 deaths since the start of

the pandemic. Worryingly, just under five

percent of the 26m population has been

fully vaccinated (by the start of July), so

the Delta variant is a serious threat.

But there is positive news. Prepandemic,

Australia was heading for

the doldrums with rising interest rates

and problems with unemployment

and debt. However, Reuters says that

the Australian economy is bigger

now than pre-pandemic: “Exports

are booming, consumer and business

More help for exporters with

new export scheme

UK Export Finance, the Government’s

export-credit agency, has a new export

scheme in place that could help many more

companies increase overseas trade. The

new General Export Facility will guarantee

80 percent of any facility offered by a bank

to finance the costs of exporting. The aim

is to free up working capital that firms

can then use for everyday costs linked

to exports and to scale up their business

confidence are high…and job vacancy

rates are at a 12-and-a half-year high”.

Consumer spending is ‘euphoric’ and the

unemployment rate is back at a prepandemic

level of 5.1 percent.

Where this is interesting is in how

COVID managed to close the Australian

border and lockdowns restricted

domestic mobility. Australians took

holidays locally, shopped more and

increased demand in smaller towns.

They also shopped online. In essence,

retailers sold 25 percent more than the

previous year. Mining and banking did

well too and could return billions to

investors.

With a new agreement with the UK,

there’s even more reason to think about

heading down under.

operations. The scheme is aimed at SMEs

and can guarantee cash facilities, such

as trade loans, or contingent obligation

facilities, such as bonding and letter of

credit lines, with maximum repayment

terms of up to five years. The facility

will support deals upto £25m. There are

currently five participating banks: Barclays,

HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, The Royal

Bank of Scotland, NatWest and Santander.

Thailand sees hope in automotive revival

COVID-19 has much to answer for

including the damage it’s inflicted on

otherwise healthy business sectors

around the world – Thailand’s tourism

sector being a case in point.

The country desperately needs

tourists and it’s preparing to reopen to

foreign visitors with a pilot programme

that will allow fully vaccinated tourists

with negative coronavirus tests to fly

directly to Phuket and so skip the 14-day

quarantine. But it’s feared that tourists

will see a different Phuket from the prepandemic

one. Firms there are in urgent

need of loans to rebuild and more than 2

million tourism workers lost their jobs in

the last year as arrivals in 2020 fell by 83

percent from the 40 million visitors that

arrived in 2019. Thailand has lost around

$50bn in revenue.

But there is good news – the Thai car

sector is helping to pick up some of the

slack. Overall export growth for 2021 is

expected to rise to an 11-year high of 17.1

percent, up from the 10 percent forecast

in March. The rise is largely due to the

170 percent surge in the year to May of

exports of cars, parts and accessories.

So, if you’re exporting goods and

services to the Thai automotive sector, it’s

time to make hay. But if it’s tourism, it’s

time to retrench.

Exports to EU recovering

THE ONS believes that British goods

exports to the European Union were, in

May, at their highest since October 2019.

The rise to £14bn is twice that of January

2021, which may give ammunition to those

who argued that the change in customs

arrangements would only cause temporary

inconvenience to most businesses. Total

exports in May were valued at £27.9bn.

(Both figures exclude precious metals).

That said, Reuters suggests that overall

trade with the EU is behind that of sales to

the rest of the world. The British Chambers

of Commerce thinks that despite ‘modest

pick-up in demand for UK goods in the last

month as economies reopen, the overall

climate remains fragile.’

The data shows that exports outside the

EU increased by eight percent, while those

to the EU rose by five percent.

But of course, as we’ve seen before,

statistics often vary according to the body

collating them. Recent data from Eurostat

is at odds with the ONS and its figures.

Eurostat thinks that there was a 27 percent

fall in EU imports from Britain for the first

four months of 2021 which was due largely

to a change in methodology on 1 January to

no longer count goods shipped from Britain

which originated further afield.

Ireland’s goods imports

from Britain falling

IRELAND’S goods imports from Britain fell

24 percent year-on-year in May, according

to data from the Irish Central Statistics

Office. This is the second smallest monthly

decline since new post-Brexit trade

barriers came into force at the start of the

year.

Irish goods exports to Britain rose by

28 percent year-on-year in May. The fall

in imports and rise in exports were both

mainly due to changes in trade of food,

live animals, machinery and transport

equipment.

Trade across the border with Northern

Ireland, which remained in the EU’s

trading zone after Brexit, continued to

grow strongly in May with exports to the

region up 61 percent, month-on-month,

and imports into Ireland more than

doubling.

CURRENCY UK

EXCHANGE RATES VISIT CURRENCYUK.CO.UK

OR CALL 020 7738 0777

Currency UK is authorised and regulated

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

HIGH LOW TREND

GBP/EUR 1.18308 1.15469 Up

GBP/USD 1.39776 1.35909 Flat

GBP/CHF 1.27903 1.25199 Flat

GBP/AUD 1.89679 1.85737 Up

GBP/CAD 1.75339 1.71705 Flat

GBP/JPY 153.390 148.879 Flat

This data was taken on 16th August and refers to the

month previous to/leading up to 15th August 2021.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 31


VIEW FROM THE SEAFRONT

DARK MATTERS

Is another Chunky Funky Chicken

really the answer to a brighter future?

AUTHOR – David Andrews

AUTUMNAL leaves will soon

be falling. Another seasonal

change, triggering, inevitably,

introspection. How many more

seasons do I have left? How

many more winters? All the old

clichés, they creep, slowly yet firmly into the

consciousness.

‘We could,’ said a close friend from university

days, when we were on one of our occasional get

togethers, ‘be in our last decade. Who knows?’

he added elegiacally, with a philosophic shrug

of the now slightly rounding shoulders.

Like me, my old buddy, a recently retired

professor of sociology, has seen many summers,

and is a fully paid-up member of the grey hair

tribe.

The palette we both now share

leans towards the pale, washed

out. Like flicking through one of

those Farrow & Ball colour taster

cards.

On a recent trip to the

Isle of Wight with my two

kids (Hurrah!! A staycation!!

An escape!! A breakout!!) I –

literally – saw my life flashing

before me, eerily seeing my

29-year-old son leaning against

a railing I had leant against

decades before, as a 10-yearold

child on my family’s annual pilgrimage to

Ventnor.

The shadows which crisscrossed the road,

thrown by the venerable, ancient oaks, now

a metaphor for my coming time. The oaks,

indomitable, England… ever more towering

than I recalled way back then.

And of course, they will be there for my

children’s children. As Cormac McCarthy wrote:

‘the plains, they do not change. We change and

age and disappear and the plains and their long

timeless shadows, they do not disappear. They

stay.’

SEE THE WORLD

But hey! Let’s not get maudlin – let’s get out and

see…. see the world. If we can. While we can.

The doom which has engulfed us all in the past

18 months is gradually beginning to lift, albeit

a patchy recovery for an economy riddled with

heavy machine gun fire. Walking down my

local Western Road en route to Waitrose – a

hazardous journey on foot at the best of times,

Am I alone in

wondering how

can people afford

to call on the

services of the

Mad Max

brigade to deliver

a cheeseburger

and fries?

running the gauntlet of street sleepers and

shuffling morning-after drunks – I was struck

by extraordinary number of closed shops. Not

just closed. Boarded up. Like the owners had

wind of a massive riot about to kick off.

It looked like a combat zone, shortly after the

last grenades had been lobbed. Most of those

familiar names will not return. Debenhams,

gone, New Look, gone, Gap, about to be

vapourised, the list is long and deadening.

Yet, what’s this…at just 09:00 on a Saturday

morning there was already a huge queue

snaking around the block for Primark, standing

now like the stoic Alamo fort surrounded by

thousands of Mexican soldiers.

Here, on this chill mid-summer’s morning,

are dozens of expectant shoppers,

mainly with very young children

in tow, waiting to pounce. Maybe

for school uniforms, I thought.

But Primark might as well

have been one of those tiny island

atolls in the South Pacific, alone

in a vast expanse of blue – or in

the case of the Western Road,

grimy grey. And shut. Closed.

Fermé.

I am, I reflected while stepping

gingerly over a rogue guy rope

anchoring a street-sleeper’s popup

tent, witnessing the beginning

of the end. It’s not coming back, is it? The

journey which, by stealth, began in the mid-

90s with the advent of online services, is just a

few nails away from the complete, ready to rock

coffin.

We have all seen it coming, problem is, our

local council services can barely cover the cost

of bin collections, let alone plan for what must

now replace these once bustling precincts.

CHUNKY FUNKY CHICKEN

Logically, what we once knew as ‘the shops’ will

become the new high density housing zones.

With any luck we may see a peppered return of

the kind of retailers we could actually use, as

opposed to another Chunky Funky Chicken –

but I am not optimistic.

The realist in me sees a drab, colour-drained

landscape, where human interaction is pared

down to a minimum. The snaking Primark

queues will also be gone before too long, as the

retailer throws in the towel and joins former

stablemates like Gap in dispatching its gear

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 32


VIEW FROM THE SEAFRONT

AUTHOR – David Andrews

those on lower incomes being far more likely

to be drawn to fast food services, conveniently

delivered by a 17-year-old determined to beat his

PB for the local High Street two-wheeled dash.

But no worries if you can’t afford it, as there

are always the fast loan crew who will help you

out of a pickle if you find yourself a bit short.

READY MONEY

One prominent online loan service is

advertising ‘instantly approved cash in your

pocket’ with no credit checks. It goes something

like this: £300 loan repayable over 35 weeks at

£15 per week, Rate of interest 111.4 percent p.a

fixed; Representative 498.34 percent APR, Total

amount payable is £525

To put this horror-show into perspective, the

Bank of England lending rate is 0.25 percent.

That is the prism through which we must look.

Down through the ages from Shylock to

Fagin, money lenders have always preyed on the

poor and vulnerable, but in the twisted logic of

2021 our society is now either too weary or too

cynical to object to this obscene exploitation of

those on the lowest rung.

Plus ca change, as the French might have it.

Things change, but they don’t change.

online. Which means – guess what? – more DPD

vans screaming around the corner just when

you managed to dodge the guy in the low-slung

black helmet on a souped up moped, making

an urgent McDonald’s breakfast delivery to the

flat where they have the full symphony fast-food

app addiction.

Apart from the clear fact that our roads are

overstuffed and drastically over polluted – does

anyone not get that? – is there anyone among us

not driven crazy by the incessant demands by

the likes of Deliveroo to utilise its food delivery

services?

The over reliance on kamikaze youngsters

urgently revving their leased motorcycles to

invade every corner of our lives is whipping

up a perfect storm of polluted obesity, sending

us hurtling to an end of days scenario of toxic

corpulence.

Apart from all the grievous harm we are

inflicting on the planet, am I alone in wondering

how can people afford to call on the services of

the Mad Max brigade to deliver a cheeseburger

and fries? And all this, when data suggesting that

three in five under 10-year-olds are technically

obese. For the most part those children are

raised in poorer homes, yet data points to

Yet, what’s this…

at just 9-00am on a

Saturday morning

there was already

a huge queue

snaking around the

block for Primark,

standing now like

the stoic Alamo

fort surrounded

by thousands of

Mexican soldiers.

THE NEW NORMAL

For those who have slipped through the net,

the ones who have never been able to drag

themselves out of poverty – largely because

they have been defeated by a system designed

to protect the status quo, to ring-fence privilege

– for them the new normal may well resonate

with the old.

‘Don’t look so glum, David,’ chirped Vinod,

who has run my local newsagent/grocers/

anything you might need corner shop for the

past three decades.

Slowly pushing a heavily laden trolley,

stacked precariously with towering rows of

canned tomatoes and huge six-pint milk bottles,

Vinod, well into his seventh decade, paused for

breath.

‘The thing is, my friend,’ he beamed, now

leaning gratefully against his shop doorway and

flashing a knowing grin,’ it’s the youngsters who

are going to have to deal with it all. It is they who

will inherit this mess…our time is gone now,

vanished. Like our youth.’

And he was right. As EM Forster put it in the

fading pages of Howards End, it is not the meek

who will inherit the earth, but the destroyers.

Like the Wilcox family. The hardened and now

faceless corporations who have constructed a

vast cyber economy, silicon empires controlled,

unseen, and without empathy.

David Andrews is a

freelance journalist.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 33


LEGAL MATTERS

LIGHT PERPETUAL

The Human Rights Act has limitations, especially

when it comes to subsidies on solar panels!

AUTHOR – Peter Walker

The scheme had been introduced earlier in April 2010,

and it was intended to encourage the production of low

carbon electricity by specified technology including

solar PV generators.

churches’ could

result in solar panels

on the roofs of

medieval churches, so

Churchwardens and

‘ECO

vicars will have to deal

with procedures, paperwork, and finding

the money to pay for the projects. In

the Church of England that will include

an application for what is known as a

‘faculty’, i.e. diocesan permission, for

the installation, but there will also be a

contract to do the work. That should not

result in a concern about human rights,

but they were important to the judges of

the Court of Appeal in the case Solaria

Energy UK Ltd v Department for Business,

Energy and Industrial Strategy (2021)

1 WLR 2349.

The source of the dispute was a

proposal by the Department’s predecessor,

the Department of Energy and Climate

Change. On 31 October 2011 it proposed

to bring forward a qualifying date for the

feed-in tariff scheme affecting the supply

of solar panels or solar photovoltaic (solar

PV) generators. The scheme had been

introduced earlier in April 2010, and it

was intended to encourage the production

of low carbon electricity by specified

technology including solar PV generators.

This was the Feed-in-Tariffs (FIT)

scheme intended to benefit operators of

small-scale low carbon generators, but

the proposals made significant changes to

the original scheme. This resulted in the

case Friends of the Earth v Department of

Energy and Climate Change (2012) EWCA

Civ 28 also involving judges of the Court of

Appeal. They concluded that the proposal

was unlawful, because the Department

had no power under the relevant statute to

make retrospective delegated legislation.

The Department had proposed a

new qualification date and a subsidy

for each kilowatt hour over 25 years.

The Department wanted a change in

the rate, so from May 2012 it would be a

lower kilowatt hourly rate for the rest of

the 25-year period. Suppliers which had

already entered into contracts on the

more generous basis faced substantial

losses. Some installations would not be

completed by the new qualifying date.

This proposal and subsequent litigation

would affect a contract involving the

claimant in the Solaria Energy case.

UNLAWFUL PROPOSALS

This situation, particularly the Friends

of the Earth case, gave rise to a new case

eventually to be heard by the judges of

the Court of Appeal in Breyer Group plc

v Department for Energy and Climate

Change [2016] 2 All ER 220. In the lower

High Court earlier Coulson J had referred

to a Government Consultation paper

pointing out that some organisations had

‘easy access to up-front, low-cost capital

…’ This analysis prompted the proposed

changes eventually resulting in the Breyer

Group case. Various suppliers commenced

litigation against the Department, and

their claims were based on ‘A1P1 ECHR’.

This is jargon for Article 1 of the First

Protocol of the European Convention on

Human Rights. It provides, ‘Every natural

or legal person is entitled to the peaceful

enjoyment of his possessions. No one

shall be deprived of his possessions except

in the public interest and subject to the

conditions provided for by law and by the

general principles of international law.’

The State was given powers to interfere in

limited circumstances. These provisions

and the Convention generally have been

incorporated into law in the UK by the

Human Rights Act 1998.

In the light of these provisions the

claimants alleged that they had possession

rights in an enforceable legitimate

expectation concerning the timing of the

rates payable, the marketable goodwill,

the signed contracts agreeing the FIT

payments and much more. The judges

would consider whether the Department

had unjustifiably interfered with these

alleged A1P1 possessions, and if any

damages would be awarded.

Coulson J approved Levison J’s

statement in Murungaru v Secretary of

State for the Home Department (2008)

EWCA Civ 1015 that a contractual right

could be such a right in possession.

That would include signed and perhaps

part-performed contracts, but not to

those which were unsigned. Loss of

future income was similarly excluded,

but goodwill could be a possession for

the purposes of the Convention. The

exceptions would eliminate many of the

claims.

As for the proposal itself the defendant

had acted unlawfully. The consultation

document and written ministerial

statement was an unlawful act of

interference. The possessions included

those contracts concluded before 31

October 2011, which could not, for

example, proceed as planned.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 34


LEGAL MATTERS

AUTHOR – Peter Walker

In the High Court, Coulson J ruled

that the claimants’ entitlement to

damages ultimately depended on the

facts assessed by reference to the relevant

‘signed/concluded contracts and/or

the marketable goodwill referable to

such contracts.’ He described the claim

as being large, so it was an expensive

experience for the Government and for

us taxpayers. The Department appealed

from his decision, no doubt expensively,

to the Court of Appeal, where the judges

agreed with Coulson J’s judgment. Dyson

MR added that whether the Department’s

conduct ‘rendered the claimants’

businesses unviable is a question of fact…’

That would have to be determined as a

result of the evidence.

A SUBCONTRACT

The decision was a factor for the Court

of Appeal judges in the later Solaria

Energy case, where the defendant was

the Department for Business Energy

and Industrial Energy, a successor to

the Department for Energy and Climate

Change. In 2011 the Claimant had entered

into a subcontract to supply a company

with solar panels. The contractor was to

supply a local authority with PV panels

for residential and business premises.

The subcontract could not be assigned

or sublet. Then the government proposal

appeared. The Claimants took no part in

the litigation in the Breyer Group case,

but they renegotiated the price from £1.35

a watt to £1.10 a watt. The first invoice

was issued, and then they sent another

claiming the shortfall. The contractor

went into administration. Time passed

and in December 2016 the Claimants

sent a letter-next-before-action to the

Department. The parties entered into a

standstill agreement, which suspended

the limitation period for bringing a claim

to court. The Department gave notice that

the agreement would end on 1 March

2018, but the Claimants commenced

litigation on 21 December 2018.

This was very late, because the

litigation in the earlier cases involving

solar panels, the proposal to change the

rates, and the claim for loss of profits

crystallised at the beginning of November

2011. Section 7(5)(a) of the Human Rights

Act provides that any proceedings brought

against a public authority under the Act

must be commenced before the end of

‘the period of one year beginning with

the date on which the act complained of

took place’. The claim should have been

brought by the end of October 2012. There

was the standstill agreement, but nearly

five years had elapsed since that expired

and the commencement of this case. The

Department naturally wanted to strike out

this claim made against it allegedly out of

time.

There is support for this approach,

because many judges have advocated a

strict interpretation of Section 7 of the

Human Rights Act. In Dunn v Parole Board

(2009) 1 WLR 718 the judges struck out a

claim against the Parole Board, because it

was made some four years after the event.

The section included a proviso that ‘the

court or tribunal’ could apply a longer

period, which it ‘considers equitable

having regard to all the circumstances.’

In the Solaria Energy case Coulson LJ

commented that case management

powers included the elimination of

hopeless cases including those plainly

and obviously statute-barred. The section

was created to allow the court ‘to weed

out stale claims. The judges of the Court

of Appeal rejected other arguments put

forward by the claimant. The claim was

not akin to tort, for example, where there

is six-year limitation period, so even

by analogy it did not apply. To decide

otherwise would mean that other cases

were wrongly decided.

It was particularly significant that

the Claimant had not given a proper

explanation for the delay of nearly five

years before it commenced litigations.

The Department had suffered prejudice

because of that delay. Although the

Claimant had a contract, which was a

possession for the purposes of the Human

Rights Act, its litigation against the

Department therefore failed also due to

the delay. If it had commenced litigation

within the limited time stipulated, then it

may have succeeded.

DON’T DELAY

This decision is a reminder that anyone

contemplating litigation for whatever

reasons should not delay in making a

claim. In contract or tort law the time

limits set by the Limitation Act 1980 are

generally six years from the date on which

the action arises subject to exceptions.

The Solaria Energy case is specific about

a one-year rule applicable to those

commencing litigation under the Human

Rights Act 1998.

It is rare for commercial litigation to

involve considerations of human rights.

Governments rarely attempt to legislate

retrospectively to affect commercial

contracts, so that businesses apply to the

courts for redress as in the Breyer Group

case. Perhaps there will be solar panels on

my local medieval parish church.

Peter Walker is a freelance journalist.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com /September 2021 / PAGE 35


PROFILES – CICM HQ

Your CICM HQ Team

Meet some of the people responsible for raising the

profile of the credit management profession and the

professionalism within it. Part 2.

Steven Shentall

Member Services Manager

STEVEN heads up the Member Services

Team with a strong focus on delivering

exceptional customer service, education,

development and support for our CICM

members, teachers, tutors, trainers and

the wider credit community. Steven joined

CICM in April 2020 at the start of lockdown

and brings over 20 years’ experience in

a previous Customer Services role for a

large leading online retailer. The Member

Services Team has had a number of

challenges throughout the last year, but

has continued to be curious, resilient and

brave towards our transformation into a

modern membership base so that we can

strengthen and support the businesses

and credit professionals of the future.

Steven enjoys spending time with his

wife, three daughters and family and also

enjoys playing golf and coaching his local

village junior football team on weekends

and travelling abroad.

Deidre Berridge

Senior Member Support Adviser

AFTER leaving school Deidre attended

a local college and studied for the BTEC

National Certificate in Business &

Finance and joined CICM in 1988. Deidre

has been with CICM for over 30 years, and

has for the majority of this time worked

in education and qualification roles –

supporting learners with educational

requirements, organising tutors to

support learners, administering open

training events for both members and

non-members and updating study

material together with general support. In

recent months Deidre has moved over to a

Member Support role, answering queries,

giving advice, taking payments, making

bookings and providing administrative

support for all services across CICM,

including membership, qualifications,

training and events.

Mary Delahunty MCICM(Grad)

Professional Development Adviser

MARY is a qualified teacher, and graduate

member of CICM with over 20 years’

credit management experience. Her credit

career included management positions

at Pilkington Plc, Owens Corning and

Aggregate Industries. Managing OTC

processes and multi-site based teams.

As Professional Development Advisor,

Mary advises individuals and employers

on establishing and implementing best

development pathway solutions for

supporting careers across the credit

arena.

Mary leads the teaching provision for

CICM Credit Academy, delivering virtual

classroom and face to face courses for

CICM qualifications. Mary is continuously

inspired by her students and feels it is

a privilege to play a part in supporting

individual’s career development.

Away from CICM Mary is a Foundation

Director at a Multi Academy Trust of

schools. In her spare time she loves

watching theatre productions and

occasionally being in them.

Beth Turiccki

Member Support Coordinator

BETH started at CICM earlier this year, as our

Business Support Apprentice and has since

then been promoted to our Member Support

Advisor, offering support and guidance to

our members and the wider community.

During her day-to-day tasks, Beth continues

her studies in Business Administration to

obtain her diploma, whilst attending college

one day a week.

When Beth isn’t trying out new restaurants

with her partner or enjoying creating

delicious cocktails with friends, she loves

exploring the beautiful Rutland countryside

on long walks with her two crazy Spaniels.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 36


PROFILES – CICM HQ

Jules Eames FCICM(Grad)

Resource and Content Manager

JULES is a graduate Fellow of the Institute

and a true credit professional. She began her

credit career at Lloyds Bank Finance over 30

years ago and her credit career covers orderto-cash

credit management in the consumer,

domestic trade and international credit

markets, with specialisms in legal recoveries

and sub-prime underwriting. Jules managed

a large international team at the VF Group

before taking on greater responsibilities

within CICM.

Jules currently works a dual role for

the Institute; quality assuring the marking

process within the Awarding Organisation,

and heading the development and delivery of

content. This includes resources for training,

qualification, assessment and study support

within CICM. A PGCE qualified teacher, she

also tutors in the CICM Virtual Classroom and

is a mentor to other tutors and coaches.

Outside CICM, Jules volunteers with

Therapy Dogs Nationwide, visiting schools

and nursing homes with her therapy dog,

Harry. Her down time is usually spent in her

local woodland with the family or settled in

the armchair of a good real ale pub. Jules also

finds time to do some running and is currently

training for the virtual London marathon.

PROFILES – FINANCE

Deborah Woods ACICM

Senior Finance Administrator

DEBORAH started working at the Institute

in 1994, straight from college. She began

as an Admin Assistant in the Training

Department, assisting with In-Company

Training, Conferences and Seminars,

changing to Finance Administrator as her

role evolved to focus mainly on invoicing,

credit control, costings and managing budget

sheets. When the Training Department

merged with the Education Department

Deborah became part of the Learning &

Development Team and continued her role

as Financial Administrator but also began

to manage and help develop the new Virtual

Classrooms!

With an aptitude for numbers and a keen

interest in accounts, Deborah changed roles

and moved to the finance department in

2016, taking with her the financial aspects

of her previous role. Deborah has been an

Associate Member of the Institute since

completing her Level 3 Diploma in Credit

Management in 2013.

Deborah lives in Rutland with her two

teenage children and Jack Russell, she

enjoys cooking, running and socialising

with friends.

Angela Cooper

Accounts Administrator

ORIGINALLY from Lancashire Angela

joined CICM in 2007 as a receptionist,

she was BT trained during her time living

in Hampshire. Having come from a

Building Society and local Government

finance background she moved into the

finance department working mainly

with Membership subscription payments,

which led into a dual role of membership

retention advisor, liaising with members to

advise on the benefits of continuing their

Membership with CICM. Good customer

service and confidentiality had always been

a big priority in her previous customer

facing roles and her experience was

beneficial within her CICM roles.

Her current role within accounts

has evolved to include more accounts

administration, including the collection

and maintaining of direct debit processes,

invoicing and day-to-day tasks within a

small but very busy accounts department.

Outside of work she enjoys spending

time with her family, especially her two

Grandchildren Fred and Luna, walking her

three Lhasa Apso dogs, and travelling.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 37


PAYMENT TRENDS

Back on track?

The latest payment performance statistics show

steady progress across both regions and sectors.

AUTHOR – Rob Howard

AS the UK continues to open up again to

restore a sense of ‘normality’ following

lockdown restrictions, it is encouraging to

see continued improvements, no matter

how small, to late payments across both

regions and sectors. The average Days

Beyond Terms (DBT) across regions and sectors reduced by

0.5 and 0.3 days respectively.

SECTOR SPOTLIGHT

No sector has been boosted by the lifting of restrictions as

much as the Hospitality sector, as we all flock back to our

local pubs and rediscover the joy of eating out at restaurants

and cafés. This in-turn has had a hugely positive effect

on the sector’s payment terms, with a further reduction

of 8.5 days taking its overall DBT to 7.9 days. It has come

full circle, from the worst performing sector, to now being

clear as the best performing sector when it comes to speedy

payments.

Also on the up is the Entertainment sector, moving into

second place in the standings following a further reduction

of three days to its payment terms. The Financial and

Insurance made the biggest improvement, with a massive

reduction of nine days taking its overall DBT to 10.7 days.

The Professional and Scientific (-4.9 days), Energy Supply

(-4 days) and Construction (-3.1 days) sectors also made

notable improvements.

Despite a much-needed reduction of 2.6 days to its

terms, International Bodies remains the worst performing

sector by some distance with a whopping overall DBT of

25.9 days. The Business from Home (+5.7 days), Public

Administration (+5.5 days), Mining and Quarrying (+4.5

days) and Education (+4.5 days) sectors all move in the

wrong direction following fairly hefty increases.

REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT

Overall, the regional standings look positive with seven of

the 11 sectors making reductions to payment terms. The

South West now reigns supreme as the best performing

region, with a further reduction of 0.4 days taking its

overall DBT to nine days, the only region in single figures.

London, however, is not too far behind in the standings,

making the biggest improvement to its terms with a

reduction of 4.5 days moving its overall DBT to 11.9 days.

At the other end of the spectrum, Northern Ireland has

moved off the bottom of the rankings, cutting its terms

by 3.4 days. Elsewhere, Yorkshire and Humberside (-2.2

days), South East (-1.3 days), East Anglia (-0.8 days) and the

North West (-0.7 days) are all moving in the right direction.

Four regions have gone the other way, with Scotland

seeing the biggest increase to its payment terms (+2.5

days). The West Midlands (+2.1 days), East Midlands (+1.8

days) and Wales (+1.8 days) also saw modest increases.

No sector has been

boosted by the

lifting of restrictions

as much as the

Hospitality sector.

By Rob Howard

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 38


STATISTICS

Data supplied by the Creditsafe Group

AUTHOR – Rob Howard

Top Five Prompter Payers

Region July 21 Change from Jun 21

South West 9 -0.4

London 11.9

South East 12.5 -1.3

Yorkshire and Humberside 12.7 -2.2

West Midlands 12.9 2.1

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Region July 21 Change from Jun 21

East Anglia 17.4 -0.8

Northern Ireland 15.4 -3.4

Wales 15.1 1.8

North West 13.9 -0.7

East Midlands 13.7 1.8

Top Five Prompter Payers

Sector July 21 Change from Jun 21

East Anglia 17.4 -0.8

Northern Ireland 15.4 -3.4

Wales 15.1 1.8

North West 13.9 -0.7

East Midlands 13.7 1.8

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Sector July 21 Change from Jun 21

East Anglia 17.4 -0.8

Northern Ireland 15.4 -3.4

Wales 15.1 1.8

North West 13.9 -0.7

East Midlands 13.7 1.8

Getting Worse

Business from Home 5.7

Public Administration 5.5

Education 4.5

Mining and Quarrying 4.5

Real Estate 2.8

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 2.7

Health & Social 2.6

Dormant 0.9

Transportation and Storage 0.9

IT and Comms 0.8

Wholesale and retail trade 0.7

Business Admin & Support 0.5

Manufacturing 0.5

Getting Better

Financial and Insurance -9

Hospitality -8.5

Professional and Scientific -4.9

Energy Supply -4

Construction -3.1

Entertainment -3

SCOTLAND

2.5 DBT

International Bodies -2.6

Water & Waste -1.8

NORTHERN

IRELAND

-3.4 DBT

SOUTH

WEST

-0.4 DBT

WALES

1.8 DBT

NORTH

WEST

-0.7 DBT

WEST

MIDLANDS

2.1 DBT

YORKSHIRE &

HUMBERSIDE

-2.2 DBT

EAST

MIDLANDS

1.8 DBT

LONDON

-4.5 DBT

SOUTH

EAST

-1.3 DBT

EAST

ANGLIA

-0.8 DBT

Other Service -1

Region

Getting Better – Getting Worse

-4.5

-3.4

-2.2

-1.3

-0.8

-0.7

-0.4

2.5

2.1

1.8

1.8

London

Northern Ireland

Yorkshire and Humberside

South East

East Anglia

North West

South West

Scotland

West Midlands

East Midlands

Wales

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 39


INTRODUCING OUR

CORPORATE PARTNERS

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

Corporate Partnership with the CICM, please contact corporatepartners@cicm.com

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

E: clientservices@hcegroup.co.uk

W: hcegroup.co.uk

The Atradius Collections business model is to support

businesses and their recoveries. We are seeing a

deterioration and increase in unpaid invoices placing

pressures on cashflow for those businesses. Brexit is

causing uncertainty and we are seeing a significant

impact on the UK economy with an increase in

insolvencies, now also impacting the continent and

spreading. Our geographical presence is expanding

and with a single IT platform across the globe we can

provide greater efficiencies and effectiveness to our

clients to recover their unpaid invoices.

T: +44 (0)2920 824700

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/

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

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com

W: www.highradius.com

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps

businesses pay and get paid. Businesses and banks

rely on Bottomline for domestic and international

payments, effective cash management tools, automated

workflows for payment processing and bill review

and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural

analytics and regulatory compliance. Every day, we

help our customers by making complex business

payments simple, secure and seamless.

T: 0870 081 8250

E: emea-info@bottomline.com

W: www.bottomline.com/uk

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is

an accountancy firm delivering traditional services

combined with strategic commercial thinking. Our

services include: advisory, audit, corporate and

personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,

outsourcing, wealth management and business

recovery – the latter of which includes our specialist

offering developed specifically for creditors. For

more information on this, or to see how the Menzies

Creditor Services team can assist you, please

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

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

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

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services

Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist companies

across Europe with credit management. The

service gives the end-user the means to make a

payment when and how they choose. Key IVR also

provides a state-of-the-art outbound platform

delivering automated messages by voice and SMS.

In a credit management environment, these services

are used to cost-effectively contact debtors and

connect them back into a contact centre or

automated payment line.

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000

E: sales@keyivr.com

W: www.keyivr.com

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading

provider of business information, analytics, insights

and solutions. Graydon helps its customers to make

fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to minimise

risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities

with their commercial relationships. Graydon

uses 130+ international databases and the information

of 90+ million companies. Graydon has offices in

London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,

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

largest credit insurance companies.

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk

W: www.graydon.co.uk

Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit

intelligence for credit insurers and for corporate

customers. The company’s B2B Credit Risk

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk

Management Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;

the Tinubu Credit Intelligence service and the

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their

greatest assets: customer receivables.

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /

E: uksales@tinubu.com

W: www.tinubu.com.

Building on our mature and hugely successful

product and world class support service, we are

re-imagining our risk awareness module in 2019 to

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists and

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.

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

for analysis and automation. Impressive results

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also

have an active input into our product development

and evolution.

T: 01235 856400

E: info@credica.co.uk

W: www.credica.co.uk

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 40


Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for

their commitment to the profession, best practice in the

Credit Industry and the quality of services they provide.

We are delighted to showcase them here.

THEY'RE WAITING TO TALK TO YOU...

Hays Credit Management is a national specialist

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of

credit management and receivables professionals,

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

the CICM’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,

career and recruitment trends.

T: 07834 260029

E: karen.young@hays.com

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

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

E: wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk

W: courtenforcementservices.co.uk

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work

closely with credit teams to recover commercial

debts as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt

recovery, including:

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and

keep costs down • Litigation service • Insolvency

• Post-litigation services including enforcement

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

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

most effective way of achieving them.

T: 03700 86 3000

E: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk

W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk

Forums International has been running Credit and

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of

industry sectors and international trading. Attendance

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums

are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges

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

gauge the benefits and meet the members and we

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never

intentionally be sold to.

T: +44 (0)1246 555055

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk

Data Interconnect provides ERP-agnostic AR

software. The Corrivo platform transmits invoices

in multiple formats using tax compliant templates

custom-designed for your business. Corrivo expedites

collections, reconciliation and dispute processes with

flexible workflow tools for creating and assigning tasks,

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

where customers can query, comment, dispute or pay.

Corrivo manages data securely and efficiently so that

you can manage your customers and cashflow better.

T: +44 (0)1367 245777

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk

W: www.datainterconnect.com

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for

organisations seeking efficient cash visibility

and secure financial processes. As an SAP

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience

and thousands of successful customer projects,

including solutions for the entire order-to-cash

process, Serrala provides credit managers and

receivables professionals with the solutions they

need to successfully protect their business against

credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.

T: +44 118 207 0450

E: contact@serrala.com

W: www.serrala.com

American Express® is a globally recognised

provider of business payment solutions, providing

flexible capabilities to help companies drive

growth. These solutions support buyers and

suppliers across the supply chain with working

capital and cashflow.

By creating an additional lever to help support

supplier/client relationships American Express is

proud to be an innovator in the business payments

space.

T: +44 (0)1273 696933

W: www.americanexpress.com

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables

into income, uniquely connecting buyers and

suppliers to allow discounts in exchange for

early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating

payments from buyers when required in just two

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

corporates with global supply chains, benefit from

the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while

strengthening the financial health of supply chains

through ethical business practices.

T: 07799 692193

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com

W: www.c2fo.com

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes

the all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s

businesses from collecting receivables in a

timely manner. From credit management to cash

allocation, Esker automates each step of the orderto-cash

cycle. Esker’s automated AR system helps

companies modernise without replacing their

core billing and collections processes. By simply

automating what should be automated, customers

get the post-sale experience they deserve and your

team gets the tools they need.

T: +44 (0)1332 548176

E: sam.townsend@esker.co.uk

W: www.esker.co.uk

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 41


INTRODUCING OUR

CORPORATE

PARTNERS

The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis

and data modelling tools to organisations around

the world that rely on our ability to accurately predict

their exposure to financial risk. Our H-Score®

predicted 92 percent of quoted company insolvencies

and our TextScore® accuracy rate was 93

percent. Our scores are trusted by credit professionals

within banks, corporates, investment houses

and public sector bodies because, unlike other credit

reference agencies, we are transparent and flexible

in our approach.

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300

E: info@companywatch.net

W: www.companywatch.net

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

countries.

T: 020 3868 0947

E: lisa.bruno@onguard.com

W: www.onguard.com

For further information and to discuss the

opportunities of entering into a Corporate

Partnership with the CICM, please contact

corporatepartners@cicm.com

They're

waiting

to talk to

you...

Chris Sanders Consulting – we are a different

sort of consulting firm, made up of a network of

independent experienced operational credit and

collections management and invoicing professionals,

with specialisms in cross industry best practice

advisory, assessment, interim management,

leadership, workshops and training to help your

team and organisation reach their full potential in

credit and collections management. We are proud to

be Corporate Partners of the Chartered Institute of

Credit Management and to manage the CICM Best

Practice Accreditation Programme on their behalf.

T: +44(0)7747 761641

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com

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 cicm.com to view country specific factsheets from, Germany,

Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, France, UK.

Powered by

EU Factsheet

COVID-19 RESPONSE

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

GERMANY

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

and grants available which businesses of different sizes can access.

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

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

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

Federal States’ own grant programmes.

Powered by

BAKERING.GLOBAL CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF CREDIT MANAGEMENT

CHARTERED

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 42


MARKETING & EDUCATION

Virtual Classes

for 2021

Get CICM qualified by attending

Virtual Classes: The best of both worlds.

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

distance learning offer, our Virtual Classes have the greatest success

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

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

which are interactive, challenging and fun.

LEVEL

2

Commercial

LEVEL

3

Accounting

Telephone – 1 November

Consumer Collections – 6 September

Principles – 13 September

Debt Recovery Management – 20 September

Credit Risk open – 20 September

Credit Risk Management (TCE) – 6 September

Business Environment – 20 September

Business Law – 20 September

Advanced Collections – 6 September

Advanced Business Comms – 4 October

Book your place today, visit www.cicm.com

or contact a member of our team on 01780 722900

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 43


Predict your exposure to

financial risk

Managing risk takes more than a backward look at past

performance: it needs a glimpse into the future too.

We call it #HindsightInAdvance

Want to know more?

Scan me

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 44

www.companywatch.net


CAREERS ADVICE

WORKING WAYS

How can we continue to thrive in a hybrid working world?

AT the start of the pandemic,

we may have assumed that

adopting remote working was

nothing more than temporary,

and that we would soon return

to ‘normal’; for most of us, that

meant working in the office every day of the

working week. But for many, this has changed,

and more and more employers are looking at a

hybrid working future.

In simple terms, a hybrid working model

involves a combination of remote, semi-remote

and entirely office-based employees, potentially

working to different scheduled hours.

What’s important to note is that the amount

of flexibility within a hybrid working model is

going to differ hugely between organisations. In

our latest Quarterly Insights Survey conducted

in late May, 41 percent of accountancy and

finance employers said they would be offering

hybrid working to staff, 18 percent said they

weren’t, whilst 41 percent said they were either

unsure or the decision was under review.

So, how can you make sure your career

thrives if you will be working in a hybrid way?

If you’re working in a hybrid way already or

are planning to, it’s really important to work

with your manager to create a schedule that

ensures you are working effectively, no matter

where you’re based.

You might agree regular hours where you are

expected to be online and available for meetings,

and ensure you have access to everyone’s

calendars, so you know when members of your

team are available to talk. It’s also crucial to

think about what tasks you do would be better

suited to doing in the workplace, and which

remotely – this will help structure your week.

COMMUNICATION IS KEY

To make sure your work is recognised, and you

can make the most of what hybrid working

offers – communication is key. Opportunities to

connect with people become less informal and

need to be more structured. It can be a struggle

at first to get the right balance of communication

when you are working part in the office and part

remote – and sometimes it might feel like you

are overcommunicating.

Take your time to consider what method of

communication works best for you and stay

consistent. Don’t bombard colleagues with

different methods of communication such as

email, Microsoft Teams and instant chat.

Video calls can easily take over, so be

mindful of scheduling multiple meetings one

after the other and establish clear objectives

and outcomes for every meeting. Don’t

be afraid to make it clear when you aren’t

available for calls or meetings outside of work

hours – just because you are working flexibly it

AUTHOR – Karen Young

Do you find

the buzz and

liveliness of

the workplace

inspires you and

makes you more

productive, or

do you often feel

overwhelmed?

Moreover, do you

find working from

home can bring

on feelings of

isolation or do you

appreciate the

solitude?

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 45

doesn’t mean you are always online, nor should

you be!

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Working in a hybrid way shouldn’t mean that

your personal development should be put

on pause or that your hard work should go

unnoticed. The fact is that working effectively in

a hybrid model may require you to develop new

skills or refocus existing ones, so you should be

prepared to have an honest discussion with your

manager about what these might be.

There are some steps you can take to make

sure your development is still front of mind:

• Set aside time to reflect on your current

skillset and potential areas where you need to

develop

• Ask your employer or manager to address

the development needs you have identified –

through formal learning, on-the-job training or

coaching and mentoring

• Ensure your performance objectives are

realistic, achievable and have meaningful

performance indicators that are in-line with

your working arrangement

• Don’t let regular reviews slip if you are

working in a different location to your manager

– ask your manager for regular catch ups and

feedback on your performance.

UNDERSTANDING BEST PRACTICE

Critical to making hybrid working a success

for you, is the ability to be honest with yourself

about the ways in which you believe you work

best.

• Think about how you produce your best

ideas – is it through discussion with others? Or

is your best work done when you are quietly

reflecting? This may help you ascertain where

you should be spending most of your time.

• Reflect on how you design your time. Do you

prefer working in short bursts or long stretches?

This may help you assess how to structure your

working hours, particularly if you are working

from home.

• Consider how your mood is affected by

where you are working. Do you find the buzz

and liveliness of the workplace inspires you and

makes you more productive, or do you often feel

overwhelmed? Moreover, do you find working

from home can bring on feelings of isolation or

do you appreciate the solitude?

The next three-to six-months will be a huge

test for how hybrid working will work en masse

– so don’t be afraid if you find you come across

bumps in the road. Be honest with your manager

and don’t forget to ask colleagues for advice.

Karen Young is Director at Hays

Credit Management.


Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 46

Baker Ing


EDUCATION & MARKETING

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

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

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

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

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

practical skills, improved results and greater confidence.

These are pre-recorded training

sessions that you can access

anywhere and at anytime. Short,

sharp and to the point – these suit

you if you are short on time, or need

a quick introduction or update on a

subject.

These are live, interactive sessions,

delivered virtually by a qualified trainer,

experienced in the subject. Through

a series of tasks and discussions, you

will access a hands-on training session

that offers the best practice approach to

essential credit and debt skills.

NEXT VIRTUAL

WORKSHOPS

Advanced Skills in Collections – 22 September @ 18:30

Collection Skills for the new credit culture – 22 September @ 16:30

Best Practice Skills To Access Credit Risk – 22 September @ 11:00

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

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

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

INTRODUCTORY PRICE £90.00+VAT per person.

For group training, please contact info@cicm.com

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 47


CICM Development Partner

Delivering the best

development solutions

for your team

Develop your teams

Benefit from CICM Membership and have access to

professional development, networking, knowledge and

information opportunities.

Raise your corporate profile in the profession

As a Development Partner, your organisation

demonstrates a commitment to the profession and

excellence within it.

Enquire today about becoming a CICM Development

Partner and let us help you create a tailored package for

your organisation and your team.

For details contact: info@cicm.com

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 48


NEW AND UPGRADED MEMBERS

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

you considered applying to upgrade your membership? See our website

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

Studying Member

Angela Coll

Roderick Byatt

Kate Meads

David Wallace

Damon Larter

Shaun Hayes

Raymond Alder

Mia Lindop

Zellie Rosewell

Christopher Clewlow

Charlie Murray-Woodroffe

Costas Stavrou

Mohammed Momin

Shaun Barrett

Tariq Martin

Tongayi Tendayi

Michelle Lee

Ashley Hodgetts

Marie Langdon

Adam Needs

Kerry Watson

Emma Owen

Kirsty Evans

Lara Burrows

Laura Tait

Erika Sams

Sharron Malpass

Cody Zammit

Ananth Bremakumar

Julian Maynard

Jessica Frank

Tabasim Riaz

Daniel Hardy

Richard Jones

Emily Meeking

Adam Morgan

Andrew Jupp

Ian Saban

James Mallett

Robert Chandler

Joe Knight

Geo Patrascoiu

Liam Greensmith

Jamie Taylor

Katja Wesson

Alessio Canever

Luke Anglin

Jack Muggeridge

Tshephiso Lekoko

Calum Bennett

Benn Jones

Keely McLoughlin

Natalie Morris

Maria Lawlor

Simon Clarke

David Punshon

Emily Prayag

Elaine Terry

Cameron Asquith

Stacey Smith

Claire Denby

Affiliate

Jemma Woodworth Jayne Ryan Donna Andrews

Congratulations to our current members who have upgraded their membership

Upgraded member

Tracey Evans – Affiliate

Monica Lara-Menendez – Affiliate

Kimberly Chapman – Affiliate

Karen Gordon – Affiliate

Donna Andrews – Affiliate

Amanda Rookes – Affiliate

Julian Alderton – ACICM

Saron Singh – MCICM

Sarah Austin– MCICM

Hollen Jarrett– MCICM

John Kane – FCICM

Bev Ewens-Davey – FCICM

Raise your credibility and boost your career prospects

– Apply for your upgrade today

Contact: info@cicm.com for more details

AWARDING BODY

Congratulations to the following, who successfully achieved Diplomas

Level 3 Diploma in Credit Management (ACICM)

NAME

Bradley Timms

Aurelija Sitvenkina

Thomas Cliffe

Samuel Swain

Level 3 Diploma in Credit & Collections (ACICM)

NAME

Daniel Buxton

WE WANT YOUR BRANCH NEWS!

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

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

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 49


ANNUAL

GENERAL MEETING

The seventh Annual General Meeting of the

Chartered Institute of Credit Management will

be held on Tuesday, 7 September 2021 at

The British Psychological Society,

30 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4UE 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:

http://www.cicm.com/about-cicm/governance/

CICM MEMBER

EXCLUSIVE

Your CICM lapel badge

demonstrates your commitment to

professionalism and best practice

TAKE PRIDE IN

WEARING YOUR BADGE

If you haven’t received your badge

contact: cicmmembership@cicm.com

LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

Top marks for Plymouth

University’s Jack Gilbey

Former Plymouth University student speaks to Max Tyson about

studying during COVID, his early career and receiving the CICM prize.

JACK Gilbey’s university

experience was somewhat

unconventional. Facing his final

year in the midst of a pandemic

threw up a raft of obstacles, yet

his academic achievements in

the field of credit management led to him

receiving the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management (CICM) Prize as Professor

Salima Paul’s top student.

Jack’s time at Plymouth University

began like any other. Student life brought

the freedom to socialise, party and – on

occasion – work. But, as we all know,

March 2020 brought major changes to

the way we socialise, teach and work,

with Jack and his cohort left with limited

access to the Library and lecturers and

forced to interact via Zoom.

Yet Jack feels fortunate about the

timing of it all: “COVID only struck at

the end of my course, meaning I wasn’t

significantly impacted and was able to

keep myself motivated. The restrictions

placed a greater impetus on self-teaching

and pushed me to read around the subject,

something that will no doubt help me

going forwards.”

Although Jack has decided to take up a

position as a trainee accountant, having

graduated with a BA in Accountacy and

Finance (BA), Professor Paul’s course

has provided him with another string

to his bow: “It is helping me to better

understand client’s businesses, provide

strategic advice, and grasp the economic

issues facing industries and businesses

in the wider economy. “The course,”

he continues, “draws on a number of

disciplines, including finance, financial

accounting, management accounting,

treasury management, business law, and

will prove a key asset as I begin my career.”

Professor Salima Paul, a Fellow of the

CICM and a well-respected name in the

field of credit management, praises the

ongoing partnership between the CICM

and Plymouth University: “The CICM

and Plymouth University work closely

together to equip the next generation of

credit professionals with the skills they

need to tackle the problems facing the

industry,” she says.

“We encourage students like Jack to

delve into the intricacies of the topic, and

gain the understanding needed to become

a future leader in the field.”

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 50


LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

Scouting for talent

CICM apprenticeships are a key part of

United Utilities’ talent strategy.

AUTHOR – Michelle Atkinson FCICM

UNITED Utilities provides

the water and

wastewater services for

seven million people in

North West England and

we have some unique

challenges to face as we enter a new

normal after over a year and a half where

things were anything but normal.

We have a diverse customer

population, serving rural to inner city

communities and the North West faces

some specific affordability challenges,

for example:

• 59 of the 100 most deprived

neighbourhoods are in the North West

• There are more asylum seekers in the

North West than any other region of

the UK

• 32 percent of North West households

earn less than £21,000 per year.

It’s true that our people put our

customers at the centre of everything we

do and it is essential that, as leaders, we

put our people at the centre of everything

we do. This means investing in them

and their futures, and what better way

to invest in them than in learning,

development and qualifications that will

support their career advancement with

us now and into the future.

We want to shatter the myth that a

role with us is just a contact centre job.

Instead we want to offer everyone real

opportunities to grow, learn, develop

and gain promotion up a career ladder or

learn more skills and move sideways to

specialise in new or different areas.

ATTRACTING TALENT

A couple of great questions that have

been asked for many years include ‘how

do we attract the best talent?’ and once we

have them, ‘how do we retain that talent?’

In a large department with hundreds of

staff, another challenge is planning for

tomorrow and ensuring that we have

enough highly trained, highly engaged

and passionate individuals who are ready

to take that next step into management

or leadership roles.

The solution: apprenticeships,

delivered and certified by the Chartered

Institute of Credit Management.

We identified that we are very good

at delivering training and induction

programmes to our new staff when they

start with us but we also know that we can

always do better. We want to bring new

innovation to this area and make United

Utilities and the Income department

even more attractive to potential staff,

not only as a job but as a career with real

progression underpinned by real world

qualifications that mean something.

Taking the time to

invest in programmes

like these has

vastly increased our

engagement with our

people and improved

and secured our talent

pipeline.

We have our first group of staff starting

with us on 1 September. They are Level

2 Apprentice Credit Controllers, and all

are guaranteed a full time permanent

position with us on graduation from the

programme in 12-15 months’ time.

Our Level 2 programme will allow us

to bring in three groups of apprentices

during each calendar year. All will

complete our normal induction and

training programme while studying

for their CICM Level 2 Certificate in

Credit and Debt Management as well

as the Apprentice Credit Controller

Qualification.

During the programme we will

deliver a wide range of directed learning

programmes and CICM virtual classes

covering a wide range of topics to ensure

we have individuals with a much wider

scope of knowledge, a higher skill range

and who display the behaviours required

to excel and thrive as they take their first

step up our career ladder.

RETAINING TALENT

We have some of the best talent in the

Water Industry already working for us

but how do we support our existing staff

and help them develop further and grow

into the managers and senior leaders we

need for tomorrow?

On 19 July we had 17 existing staff

starting on their Level 3 Advanced Credit

Controller Apprenticeship journey.

On completion, they will all be CICM

Qualified and have earned the coveted

letters ACICM to use after their names.

Working with Kaplan Financial

and the CICM, our apprenticeship

programme has been designed to

deliver a much wider scope of credit

management knowledge and through

our directed learning projects will build

skills that will support promotion and

progression, such as presentation skills,

problem solving and leadership.

The early feedback from our

Level 3 apprentices has moved from

apprehension about studying (when for

some, the last time they studied was

a number of years ago), to excitement

as they start their first CICM module

on Consumer Collections. Many have

already completed a number of weekly

tasks including research projects,

webinars, e-learning modules and case

studies, to name a few.

WHAT’S NEXT?

And we haven’t stopped there. As our

apprentices at both levels progress

and graduate, they will have the

opportunity to advance further in their

career with opportunities to study for

their Level 5 Advanced Diploma and two

different Level 6 specialist programmes

depending on the career path they

choose with us.

Taking the time to invest in

programmes like these has vastly

increased our engagement with our

people and improved and secured our

talent pipeline. On graduation, we will

have subject matter experts who are

focused on continued personal and

professional development and who can

inspire and mentor the next generation of

credit professionals within our business.

Michelle Atkinson FCICM is

Head of Income at United Utilities

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 51


EDUCATION & MARKETING

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

www.cicm.com/exams/

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 52


ROUND TABLE

Improving your cash

conversion cycle

Alistair Nicholas, Maud Berger and Matt Tipper of Esker

were joined in an Expert Roundtable discussion by the

CICM’s John Kane FCICM and Sue Chapple FCICM to

discuss the cash conversion cycle.

STATING that ‘cash is king’

is not new, it’s not groundbreaking,

but there’s a reason

it has echoed around the

walls of credit, accountancy

and finance firms for as long

as they have existed. And the value of this

saying has only grown in significance

over the past 18 months. Company

balance sheets have been hit hard by the

pandemic, and those with strong cash

reserves have commonly been the ones

that have not only survived but are now in

a position to grow and capitalise on their

less fortunate competitors.

However, liquidity doesn’t come about

by chance. It is the result of professional

credit management, by managing risk

and reducing Days Sales Outstanding

(DSO). And there are solutions that are

supporting businesses with this, solutions

that provide up-to-date company and

sector information and that automate

the collections process to enable credit

managers to focus on other equally

pressing tasks.

IMPROVISE AND OVERCOME

When asked if the events since the

first lockdown in 2020 prompted their

businesses to improve their Order-2-

cash (O2C) process, 85 percent of the

participants said ‘yes’. Alistair Nicholas,

Director of Esker Northern Europe, is

not surprised. He says that O2C has

become far more prevalent than it had

been previously: “In a matter of days,

credit teams scrambled to improve their

cashflow cycles and restore a healthy

balance sheet,” he explains. While there

was a kneejerk response to improve

cashflow, it is a theme that has remained

throughout the pandemic, pushing credit

teams to adopt novel tactics to overcome

data shortages and inaccuracies.

John Kane FCICM, Head of Strategic

Partnerships at the Chartered Institute

of Credit Management, understands as

a well as any: “In my previous role, we

were faced with the challenge of basing

decisions on insufficient pre-COVID

business data,” he says. “We therefore

created an emergency COVID ‘score’ to

provide up-to-date financial information

on our customers, and this enabled us to

reduce our DSO by eight days.”

Such flexibility was crucial as

businesses looked to strengthen their

balance sheet and the need to be agile

still remains. With Government financial

support soon coming to an end, as well as

new opportunities to gain market share,

liquidity is crucial. Opportunities will arise

due to the sheer number of businesses

that have been forced to close their

doors, and it is a case of having the right

tools and data to make decisions based on

reliable information, and to make them

quickly.

CHANGES BEYOND O2C

The pandemic has brought a series

of further positive changes across the

industry, which are supporting further

improvements in the ways businesses

manage their risk and their cash: “We

have seen companies, from the C-suite

down to junior employees, pushing to

upskill,” says Sue Chapple FCICM, CEO

of the CICM. “In an industry such as

ours, where knowledge holds the key to

excellence, we are seeing individuals and

businesses making great strides towards

achieving best practice through training.”

Forced isolation has also prompted

greater communication to staff

and customers. Matt Tipper, Head

of Partnerships at Esker, says that

transparency and communication have

been two of the hallmarks of business

success over the last 18 months: “With

a dearth of financial information

"These technologies enable data processing at a

speed and accuracy which cannot be achieved by

the human brain, to help you see the risks as well as

the opportunities.”

available to credit managers, this

communication has been vital as

teams have looked to improve their

cash conversion cycle,” he explains. “In

essence, the pandemic has reiterated the

fundamentals of credit management:

know your customer.’’

UTILISING TECHNOLOGY TO

IMPROVE O2C

If we are to reach new levels of

excellence in the industry, then the

fundamental concept of KYC must be

properly combined with technological

advancements. As Maud Berger, Product

Manager, Accounts Receivable at Esker,

says: “Knowing your customer will

always remain paramount, but AI and

deep machine learning are helping with

this. These technologies enable data

processing at a speed and accuracy which

cannot be achieved by the human brain,

to help you see the risks as well as the

opportunities.”

Part of the solution can be found in

Esker’s industry-leading AI and RPA

technology. Its intuitive cloud platform

allows businesses to power their digital

transformation across procure-to-pay

(P2P) and order-to-cash (O2C) processes

and unite customers and suppliers like

never before.

The question naturally arises as to

whether automation reduces the need

for credit management teams or simply

helps to make them more efficient. Maud

says it is the latter: “Automation lets

you do more than picking up the phone

can achieve. It creates an audit trail, it lets

you prioritise, it removes the mundane.

It is not about replacing the phone call,

neither is it replacing the critical thinking

and relationship building which will

always remain central in the industry.

It is, however, about giving people more

time to focus on these elements.”

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 53


Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 54


HR MATTERS

MIND THE GAP

Uncovering disparities in pay gaps and protecting

against imminent danger in a pandemic.

THE CBI, TUC and Equality

and Human Rights

Commission have called

for a clear timetable for the

introduction of mandatory

ethnicity pay gap reporting.

The three signatories argue that

mandatory reporting would highlight

pay disparities and the lack of minority

representation in senior positions with

the hope that this would push employers

towards action. They have addressed

a letter to the Cabinet Office Minister,

Michael Gove, to request clarity for the

introduction of such reporting.

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards

This follows the findings of the

Commission on Race and Ethnic

Disparities, published in March 2021,

which was set up by the Prime Minister

in 2020 to identify racial disparities and

inequalities in Britain and ways to address

them.

However, the Commission’s findings

did not recommend mandatory pay

gap reporting. Instead, the report

recommended investigating ‘what

causes existing ethnic pay disparities

by requiring the publication of a

diagnosis and action plan for organisations

who voluntarily publish ethnicity pay

figures.’ The Government's response to its

consultation on introducing mandatory

ethnicity pay gap reporting, which

was originally launched in October

2018, is awaited. The Government

opened the consultation to seek views on

whether large employers should be

required to publish ethnicity pay

information.

At the moment, there is no obligation

on employers to report ethnicity pay

gaps. However, in light of this recent letter,

this could change. Employers should be

careful to remain up-to-date with their

requirements.

Employee stuck abroad in March 2020 wins

automatic unfair dismissal claim.

IN a recent tribunal claim, Mr C Montanaro

v Lansafe Ltd, a worker who stayed in Italy at

the beginning of the pandemic and who was

dismissed by his employer was successful in

bringing a claim for automatic unfair dismissal.

Under s100(1)(e) of the Employment Rights

Act 1996, an employee is automatically unfairly

dismissed if the reason (or principal reason)

for their dismissal is that in ‘circumstances

of danger’ which the employee ‘reasonably

believed to be serious and imminent, they

took (or proposed to take) ‘appropriate steps to

protect themselves or others from the danger’.

There is no requirement to have two years of

continuous service to bring a claim.

Mr Montanaro was employed by Lansafe Ltd

from 17 February 2020. He genuinely believed

he had permission to take holiday on 9 and 10

March 2020 for his sister's wedding in Italy, and

so travelled there to attend.

However, when on 9 March 2020, Italy went

into lockdown, the UK Government's guidance

required 14 days' isolation on return from Italy.

Montanaro's flight back to the UK was due

to leave on the morning of 10 March, and he

contacted his employer to inform them of the

restrictions and requested guidance on what he

should do.

On 10 March Lansafe emailed Montanaro

telling him to await further instructions; he did

not board a flight back to the UK as he continued

to await instructions. He continued to work

remotely, contacted his key client to confirm

they were happy for him to do so (they were) and

made several attempts to contact Lansafe.

On 11 March, Lansafe sent a letter to

Montanaro in London (despite knowing

he was in Italy) advising that he had been

The Tribunal

held that the real

reason for the

dismissal were

the appropriate

actions

Montanaro took

in circumstances

he reasonably

believed were

dangerous.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 55

dismissed with effect from 6 March for failing

to follow company procedures, and for taking

unauthorised leave. The letter was factually

incorrect, claiming that Montanaro had made

no contact with Lansafe and made reference to

a disciplinary hearing that had never been held.

Although it was admitted that Montanaro

did not follow the correct procedure to request

holiday as laid out in Lansafe's staff handbook,

he had in fact not yet been provided with

the handbook and so followed the informal

procedure he had previously followed to take

annual leave. This involved verbal confirmation

from the employer, who allegedly advised

him to follow up with an email including the

proposed dates (which Montanaro did). The

tribunal acknowledged that this was a genuine

misunderstanding on Montanaro's part, and

that his behaviour did not constitute gross

misconduct that justified dismissal.

The Tribunal held that the real reason for

the dismissal were the appropriate actions

Montanaro took in circumstances he reasonably

believed were dangerous. This included

communicating the difficulties posed by the

pandemic and proposing to work remotely from

Italy until circumstances changed.

The case is clear that the employer failed to

provide an adequate reason for the dismissal

and acted unreasonably in dismissing. It is

reminder that COVID-19 is a circumstance of

danger under the Employment Rights Act 1996

and that in many cases, that danger will be

deemed to be 'imminent'.

Gareth Edwards is a partner

in the employment team at VWV

www.gedwards@vwv.co.uk


TAKE CONTROL OF

YOUR CREDIT CAREER

REVENUE CONTROL MANAGER (12 MONTH FTC)

London, up to £55,000

A leading London law firm is looking for a revenue control

manager to join its team on a 12 month FTC. You will be an

experienced individual who has previous experience dealing

with WIP, meeting fee earners to set revenue targets and also

managing a team. You will be responsible for managing the

pre-existing team of 14 and work alongside heads of

departments and senior finance individuals. Extensive experience

in WIP management, revenue analysis and a background in the

legal sector is a must. Experience with Elite would be a bonus

but not essential. Ref: 4029095

Contact Leo Yang on 020 3465 0020

or email leo.yang@hays.com

CREDIT MANAGER

Near Thame, £42,000 + bonus + car

A market leading, global organisation is requiring a UK credit

manager. You will be reporting to the European credit manager,

in this highly visible role that offers huge potential for promotion

within the organisation. You will be a progressive with provable

experience in risk management and control structures e.g. SOX.

Having experience in a high value environment, a university

degree and CICM qualification is essential. Ref: 4025643

Contact Caroline Evans on 07841 421654

or email caroline.evans@hays.com

REGIONAL CREDIT MANAGER

Tunbridge Wells, £50,000 + company car

An opportunity for a regional credit manager in Kent working

for a UK wide distribution business covering the South East.

This role will involve managing a team of six credit controllers

and attend meetings with clients and branch managers to

understand processes. It is essential that whilst maintaining good

management control of cash collection, query resolution and

debt recovery, you must have an outward focus to developing

customer relations.

Ref: 4027125

Contact Craig Humphrey on 01622 235683

or email craig.humphrey@hays.com

SENIOR BILLING ASSOCIATE

London, up to £42,000

A fantastic opportunity has arisen at a global management

consultancy headquartered in London for a senior billing associate

to join its finance team. They are looking for an experienced

biller who is able to look after the entire billing process, manage

internal/external discrepancies and also chase partners and fee

earners for outstanding bills. You will have experience in either

the legal or professional services industry with an extensive

background in dealing with high value bills. Ref: 3617697

Contact Leo Yang on 020 3465 0020

or email leo.yang@hays.com

hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 56


TRAIN FOR THE

YEAR AHEAD

My Learning – free skills

training from Hays

To find out more visit

hays.co.uk/mylearning

CREDIT CONTROLLER

Poole, Dorset, up to £28,000

An excellent opportunity for an experienced B2B credit

controller to join this well-established, privately owned company

based in Poole. You will be responsible for your own ledger

of UK clients made up of sole traders to large key accounts.

Ensuring all outstanding payments are chased, review new and

existing accounts for creditworthiness and resolving any queries.

You will be an experienced credit controller with a proven track

record in a B2B environment. An excellent opportunity to join

this growing organisation.

Ref: 4027955

Contact Charlotte Chambers on 01202 048611

or email charlotte.chambers@hays.com

CREDIT CONTROLLER

Leeds, circa £23,000

An exciting new FTC 4-6 months most likely to be extended

with a large organisation, initially you will be remote working

but will be required to go into the office once the government

allows. You will be an experienced credit controller and will be

working with a small team. You will assist in responding to client

and other team members queries on arrears, by letter, email and

telephone whilst updating the system. You will be responsible

for preparing the collection reports for clients and senior

management team. Ref: 4021653

Contact Parveen Younis on 01274 731666

or email parveen.younis@hays.com

This is just a small selection of the many opportunities we

have available for credit professionals. To find out more visit

us online or contact Karen Young, Hays Credit Management

UK Lead on 07834 260029

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 57


ROUND TABLE

TAKING ORDERS

David Popper and Jenny Chu of HighRadius were joined

by the CICM’s John Kane FCICM to discuss the importance

of automation in the Order-to-cash (O2C) process.

PERHAPS obviously, Orderto-cash

(O2C) refers

to a company’s order

processing system, from

sales (the ‘order’) right

through to customer

payments (the ‘cash’). By optimising

this process, companies are able to

eliminate inefficiencies and enhance the

performance across the entire business.

Automation has, for a long time, been

seen as the key to process optimisation,

and COVID-19 has helped to accelerate

the speed with which automation has

been adopted.

David Popper, Digital Transformation

Lead EMEA at HighRadius, makes the

point: “Pre-2020, many companies had

digitisation on the road map though this

was still some way away. But with cashflow

taking such a hit over the last 18 months

and recognising the role that automation

can play in supporting a healthier

cashflow, organisations are accelerating

their adoption of O2C technology.”

Having been an early adopter of cloudbased

systems, HighRadius uses Artificial

Intelligence (AI) to increase O2C efficiency

with technology that serves more than 600

customers in various sectors.

THE BENEFITS OF AUTOMATION

Automation can deliver significant

benefits. On a basic level, it streamlines

operations and frees up time that

would otherwise be spent on manual,

administrative-related tasks. But the

benefits go beyond this. David Popper

outlines six examples to show the impact

of technology on the accounts receivable

function:

1. PROACTIVE RISK MONITORING

AND REAL-TIME BANKRUPTCY

ALERTS:

With unlimited access to customer credit

reports, credit teams can track changes to

a customer’s credit risk in real time. Using

AI and up-to-date metrics bears greater

significance in the midst of the pandemic,

where many company records are now

outdated and fail to reflect their current

financial position.

2. PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENTS

WITH AI-POWERED COLLECTION

EFFORTS:

Automated reminders are sent to

customers ahead of their scheduled

payment date, freeing credit team

members for the more pressing tasks

and the more challenging customers.

HighRadius’ technology also provides a

daily plan, ordering tasks by a matter of

urgency, so teams can spend more time

‘doing’ rather than planning.

3. INVALID DISPUTE IDENTIFIER:

This tool is said to provide four times

better recovery rates. It asks the question

of whether a customer is delaying

payment because of a genuine dispute

that needs to be addressed. If this is the

case, credit managers are able to focus

on resolving the problem, rather than

wasting their time chasing debts that

cannot yet be paid.

4. CASH APPLICATION:

This process of matching a customer

payment to an invoice is a crucial part of

the accounts receivable system. AI enables

cash to be applied before collectors start

their day, so collectors are freed from the

task of contacting customers. HighRadius’

software provides a 95 percent straightthrough

cash posting rate.

5. CUSTOMER-CENTRIC PAYMENT

PORTALS:

For small and medium sized businesses,

there is often one person responsible for a

variety of roles, and when this is the case,

reaching out as a collector often doesn’t

work. By providing a payment portal,

customers can pay how and when it suits

them, enhancing their overall experience

and increasing the likelihood of receiving

payment.

6. MORE VISIBILITY OVER THE

WHOLE O2C PROCESS:

AI enables scenario-based reporting,

so that cash collection can be predicted

across a range of circumstances.

John Kane FCICM, Head of Strategic

Partnerships at the Chartered Institute

of Credit Management (CICM), says that

the HighRadius system also provides

both top level and specific overviews:

“Automation provides a bird’s eye view on

how a company is performing, but it also

gets down into the details, for example if

a company is performing badly, it allows

you to identify why this is the case.”

BENEFITS IN PRACTICE

Clearly, there are a range of benefits that

can be gained from automated processes,

but looking at a credit team that has

adopted these O2C technologies provides

a clearer indication of the advantages that

automation holds.

Jenny Chu, Regional Marketing

Manager EMEA at HighRadius, cites

the example of Sanofi – a French

pharmaceutical company with a global

outreach. HighRadius worked with

them to achieve 100 percent operation

excellence.

The company, which is present in 170

countries, had a poor cash conversion

rate due to poorly organised and manual

processes, as well as a lack of inter-team

visibility which made it harder to monitor

accounts and make smart decisions.

With the aim of creating better

executive visibility, improved operational

efficiency and to use a single model across

its entire cash collecting community,

Sanofi chose the HighRadius cash

application solution.

“We helped integrate our cloud solution

with their existing enterprise resource

planning (ERP) system across the world,”

Jenny explains. “This has resulted in

better visibility for senior management

and enabled 48 percent of payments to be

managed automatically after one year and

a 50 percent reduction in workload thanks

to a focus on high impact jobs.”

All of this is not to say that the role of the

credit manager is over, rather automation

is enhancing the efficiency of credit

teams: “Technology can undoubtedly

support businesses, but it cannot replace

credit teams,” John continues.

“When we talk about efficiencies, we

do not mean reductions in staff. Instead it

is about maximising the time credit teams

can spend working on the tasks that are

most pressing and of the highest value.

Essentially, automation allows credit

managers to do what they do best.”

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 58


CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF CREDIT MANAGEMENT

ONLINE EVENTS

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

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

Many of our events are now available

online, along with a new series of

live recorded webinars for the credit

profession.

Studying at a

distance

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 cicm.com

Giving you the tools to continue

working through this crisis.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 59


Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

COLLECTIONS

COLLECTIONS LEGAL

CONSULTANCY

Controlaccount Plc

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD

T: 01527 549 522

E: sales@controlaccount.com

W: www.controlaccount.com

Controlaccount Plc provides an efficient, effective and ethical

commercial debt recovery service focused on improving business

cash flow whilst preserving customer relationships and established

reputations. Working with leading brand names in the UK and

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

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

Where applicable, we can utilise the Late Payment of Commercial

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

clients also benefit from our in-house international trace and

legal counsel departments and have complete transparency and

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

recovery through our online debt management system, ClientWeb.

Guildways

T: +44 3333 409000

E: info@guildways.com

W: www.guildways.com

Guildways is a UK & International debt collection specialist with over

25 years experience. Guildways prides itself on operating to the

highest ethical standards and professional service levels. We are

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

• A complete No collection, No Fee commission based service

• 10% plus VAT commission for UK debts

• Commission from 22% plus VAT for International debts

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

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

collections and minimise costs

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

fee, trace and collect service.

For more information, visit: www.guildways.com

COLLECTIONS (INTERNATIONAL)

Atradius Collections Ltd

3 Harbour Drive,

Capital Waterside, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ

Phone: +44 (0)29 20824397

Mobile: +44 (0)7767 865821

E-mail:yvette.gray@atradius.com

Website: atradiuscollections.com

Atradius Collections Ltd is an established specialist in business

to business collections. As the collections division of the Atradius

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

knowledge and reputation.

Annually handling more than 110,000 cases and recovering over

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

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

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

of maintaining customer relationships whilst efficiently and

effectively collecting monies owed.

The individual nature of our clients’ customer relationships is

reflected in the customer focus we provide, structuring our service

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

provide them with a collection strategy that echoes their business

character, trading patterns and budget.

For further information contact Yvette Gray Country Director, UK

and Ireland.

BlaserMills Law

London – High Wycombe – Amersham – Silverstone

T: 01494 478660

E: jar@blasermills.co.uk

W: www.blasermills.co.uk

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.

Keebles

Capitol House, Russell Street, Leeds LS1 5SP

T: 0113 399 3482

E: charise.marsden@keebles.com

W: www.keebles.com

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

at the 2019 CICM British Credit Awards.

According to our clients “Keebles stand head and shoulders

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

business and know exactly how to speedily maximise recovery.

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

seen in many other practices.”

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

peace of mind.

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

• Fixed fees for issuing court proceedings and pursuing claims to

judgment and enforcement.

• Success rate in excess of 80%.

• 24 hour turnaround on instructions.

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

Lovetts Solicitors

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway,

Old Portsmouth Road,

Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR

T: 01483 347001

E: info@lovetts.co.uk

W: www.lovetts.co.uk

With more than 25yrs experience in UK & international business

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

every year on behalf of our clients. Services include:

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

of cases)

• Advice and dispute resolution

• Legal proceedings and enforcement

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

CaseManager

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

feedback: “All our service expectations have been exceeded.

The online system is particularly useful and extremely easy to

use. Lovetts has a recognisable brand that generates successful

results.”

Chris Sanders Consulting

T: +44(0)7747 761641

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com

Chris Sanders Consulting – we are a different sort of consulting

firm, made up of a network of independent experienced

operational credit & collections management and invoicing

professionals, with specialisms in cross industry best practice

advisory, assessment, interim management, leadership,

workshops and training to help your team and organisation reach

their full potential in credit and collections management. We are

proud to be Corporate Partners of the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management and to manage the CICM Best Practice Accreditation

Programme on their behalf. For more information please contact:

enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com

CREDIT INFORMATION

CoCredo

Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD

T: 01494 790600

E: customerservice@cocredo.com

W: www.cocredo.co.uk

CoCredo has 19 years’ experience in developing credit reports for

businesses and in 2019 we were honoured to be awarded Credit

Information Provider of the Year at the British Credit Awards. 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.

Graydon UK

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

Middlesex, HA1 1BE

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk

W: www.graydon.co.uk

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

business information, analytics, insights and solutions. Graydon

helps its customers to make fast, accurate decisions, enabling

them to minimise risk and identify fraud as well as optimise

opportunities with their commercial relationships. Graydon uses

130+ international databases and the information of 90+ million

companies. Graydon has offices in London, Cardiff, Amsterdam

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

of the world’s largest credit insurance companies.

ONGUARD

T: 020 3868 0947

E: lisa.bruno@onguard.com

W: www.onguard.com

Onguard is specialist in credit management software and market

leader in innovative solutions for order to cash. Our integrated

platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the

order to cash chain and allows sharing of critical data.

Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected and

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

contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.

In more than 50 countries the Onguard platform is successfully

used for successful credit management.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 60


FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION OPTIONS

AND PRICING CONTACT

paul@centuryone.uk 01727 739 196

CREDIT INFORMATION

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

DATA AND ANALYTICS

Company Watch

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,

LONDON. EC3N 2ER

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300

E: info@companywatch.net

W: www.companywatch.net

Organisations around the world rely on Company Watch’s

industry-leading financial analytics to drive their credit risk

processes. Our financial risk modelling and ability to map medium

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

from other credit reference agencies.

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

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

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

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

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

providing actionable intelligence in an uncertain world.

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

HighRadius

T: +44 7399 406889

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com

W: www.highradius.com

HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated Receivables

solutions for automating receivables and payment functions such

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

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

(SaaS). HighRadius also offers SAP-certified Accelerators

for SAP S/4HANA Finance Receivables Management, enabling

large enterprises to maximize the value of their SAP investments.

HighRadius Integrated Receivables solutions have a proven track

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

increasing operation efficiency, enabling companies to achieve an

ROI in less than a year.

Tinubu Square UK

Holland House, 4 Bury Street,

London EC3A 5AW

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /

E: uksales@tinubu.com

W: www.tinubu.com

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

of the Credit Insurance, Surety and Trade Finance digital

transformation.

Tinubu Square enables organizations across the world to

significantly reduce their exposure to risk and their financial,

operational and technical costs with best-in-class technology

solutions and services. Tinubu Square provides SaaS solutions

and services to different businesses including credit insurers,

receivables financing organizations and multinational corporations.

Tinubu Square has built an ecosystem of customers in over 20

countries worldwide and has a global presence with offices in

Paris, London, New York, Montreal and Singapore.

Credica Ltd

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

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

Our highly configurable and extremely cost effective Collections

and Query Management System has been designed with 3 goals

in mind:

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

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business

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

Credit Professionals across the UK and Europe, our system is

successfully providing significant and measurable benefits for our

diverse portfolio of clients.

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

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

Data Interconnect Ltd

Units 45-50

Shrivenham Hundred Business Park, Majors Road,

Watchfield. Swindon, SN6 8TZ

T: +44 (0)1367 245777

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk

W: www.datainterconnect.com

Data Interconnect is dedicated to solving complex Accounts

Receivable problems through reliable, easy-to-use cloud

software. We empower billing managers and collections experts

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

timely, tax-compliant invoicing, collections and reconciliation in

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

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

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

ESKER

Sam Townsend Head of Marketing

Northern Europe Esker Ltd.

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

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

Twitter: @EskerNEurope blog.esker.co.uk

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

obstacles preventing today’s businesses from collecting

receivables in a timely manner. From credit management to cash

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

Esker’s automated AR system helps companies modernise

without replacing their core billing and collections processes. By

simply automating what should be automated, customers get the

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

they need.

SERRALA

Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham

Berkshire RG41 5RB

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

T +44 118 207 0450 M +44 7788 564722

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for organisations

seeking efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes.

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

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience and

thousands of successful customer projects, including solutions

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

managers and receivables professionals with the solutions they

need to successfully protect their business against credit risk

exposure and bad debt loss.

C2FO

C2FO Ltd

105 Victoria Steet

SW1E 6QT

T: 07799 692193

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com

W: www.c2fo.com

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables into income,

uniquely connecting buyers and suppliers to allow discounts

in exchange for early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating payments

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

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

benefit from the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while

strengthening the financial health of supply chains through

ethical business practices.

identeco – Business Support Toolkit

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,

Worcestershire B60 4FD

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

Web: www.identeco.co.uk

identeco’s Business Support Toolkit is an online portal connecting

its subscribers to a range of business services that help them

to engage with new prospects, understand their customers and

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

access. Providing company information and financial reports,

director and shareholder structures as well as a unique financial

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

data that might be associated with a company. Other services

also included in the subscription include a business names

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

unlimited, bespoke marketing and telesales listings for any sector.

ENFORCEMENT

Court Enforcement Services

Wayne Whitford – Director

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

E : wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk

W: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk

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.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 61


Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION

OPTIONS AND PRICING CONTACT

paul@centuryone.uk 01727 739 196

ENFORCEMENT

INSOLVENCY

PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

High Court Enforcement Group Limited

Client Services, Helix, 1st Floor

Edmund Street, Liverpool

L3 9NY

T: 08450 999 666

E: clientservices@hcegroup.co.uk

W: hcegroup.co.uk

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.

FINANCIAL PR

Menzies

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

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

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services

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

correspondence.

For more information on how the Menzies Creditor

Services team can assist please contact Giuseppe Parla,

Qualified Insolvency Practitioner, at gparla@menzies.co.uk

or call +44 20 7465 1919.

LEGAL

Key IVR

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000

E: sales@keyivr.com

W: www.keyivr.com

Key IVR are proud to have joined the Chartered Institute of

Credit Management’s Corporate partnership scheme. The

CICM is a recognised and trusted professional entity within

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

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

their membership collection activities. Key IVR provides a suite

of products to assist companies across the globe with credit

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

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

automated collection methods, such as a secure telephone

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

valuable staff time away from typical debt collection.

RECRUITMENT

Gravity Global

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

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

W: www.gravityglobal.com

Gravity is an award winning full service PR and advertising

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the

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

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

brands working on often challenging briefs. As the partner

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

years, and the Chartered Institute of Credit Management since

2006, it understands the key issues affecting the credit industry

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

media and beyond.

FORUMS

FORUMS INTERNATIONAL

T: +44 (0)1246 555055

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk

Forums International Ltd have been running Credit and Industry

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

International trading, attendance is for Credit Professionals of all

levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead. Attending

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

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

never intentionally be sold to.

Shoosmiths

Email: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk

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

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly and cost effectively

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

recovery, including:

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

•Litigation service

•Post-litigation services including enforcement

•Insolvency

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

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

them.

PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

American Express

76 Buckingham Palace Road,

London. SW1W 9TQ

T: +44 (0)1273 696933

W: www.americanexpress.com

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

globally recognised provider of payment solutions to businesses.

Specialising in providing flexible collection capabilities to drive a

number of company objectives including:

• Accelerate cashflow • Improved DSO • Reduce risk

• Offer extended terms to customers

•Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive

growth • Create competitive advantage with your customers

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

American Express is working with credit managers to drive growth

within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional lever

to help support supplier/client relationships American Express is

proud to be an innovator in the business payments space.

Hays Credit Management

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN

T: 07834 260029

E: karen.young@hays.com

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

Hays Credit Management is working in partnership with the CICM

and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs and

credit management jobs. Hays understands the demands of this

challenging environment and the skills required to thrive within

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

contract based opportunities to find your ideal role. Our candidate

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

interviews and a credit control skills test developed exclusively for

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

can provide advice across a wide spectrum of job search and

recruitment issues.

PORTFOLIO

CREDIT CONTROL

Portfolio Credit Control

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE

T: 0207 650 3199

E: recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com

W: www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com

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.

FOR ADVERTISING

INFORMATION OPTIONS

AND PRICING CONTACT

paul@centuryone.uk

01727 739 196

Bottomline Technologies

115 Chatham Street, Reading

Berks RG1 7JX | UK

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

W: www.bottomline.com/uk

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses

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

domestic and international payments, effective cash management

tools, automated workflows for payment processing and bill

review and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural analytics

and regulatory compliance. Businesses around the world depend

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

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

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

by making complex business payments simple, secure and

seamless.

Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 62


View our digital version online at www.cicm.com

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

‘Credit Management magazine’

Just another great reason to be a member

Credit Management is distributed to the entire UK and international

CICM membership, as well as additional subscribers

Advancing the credit profession

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

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 63


The software platform to automate and

optimise your order-to-cash process

Connect your organisation with your customers.

Manage risks and decrease DSO by 20%.

Connecting data. Connecting you.

www.vismaonguard.com

+44 (0) 20 396 683 24

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / September 2021 / PAGE 64

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines