CM December 2021

credit

THE CICM MAGAZINE FOR CONSUMER AND COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

CREDIT MANAGEMENT

CM

DECEMBER 2021 £12.50

THE CICM MAGAZINE FOR CONSUMER AND

COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

INSIDE

2022 DESKTOP

CALENDAR

Balancing act

Commercial Collections

on the edge

Sanctions and the risk of

selling internationally

Page 16

Sean Feast FCICM speaks to

Anthony Persse of Optimum

Finance Page 20


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DECEMBER 2021

www.cicm.com

CONTENTS

11 – STRONGER TOGETHER

Collaboration is essential to future

success.

48

TEAM PLAYERS

Sean Feast FCICM

16

WEAKEST LINK

Adam Bernstein

12 – BALANCE OF POWER

Experts from the world of commercial

collections share their thoughts on a

challenging market.

16 – WEAKEST LINK

Adam Bernstein looks at the issue

of sanctions and the risk of selling

internationally.

20 – GOING FOR GOLD

Sean Feast FCICM speaks to Anthony

Persse, Chief Executive of Optimum

Finance.

24 – COUNTRY FOCUS

Adam Bernstein explores the

opportunities in Uzbekistan, a country

on the path to liberalisation and growth.

28 – WINNING WAYS

Interview with Claire Tetley, winner of

CICM Prize for top student.

12

BALANCE OF POWER

Lead article

CICM GOVERNANCE

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

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

Credit Management is distributed to the entire UK and international CICM

membership, as well as additional subscribers

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

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

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

trade mark of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.

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

24

COUNTRY FOCUS

Adam Bernstein

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)

44 – TESTING TIMES (PART 2)

Derek Scott FCICM concludes his look at

how best practice credit management

can avoid late payment.

48 – TEAM PLAYERS

In Germany, Hoist Finance is taking an

interesting approach to ESG.

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

Imogen Hart, Rob Howard, Natalie Makin,

Laura Rhodes and Sam Wilson

Advertising

Paul Heitzman

Telephone: 01727 739 196

Email: paul@centuryone.uk

Printers

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2021 subscriptions

UK: £112 per annum

International: £145 per annum

Single copies: £12.50

ISSN 0265-2099

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 3


EDITOR’S COLUMN

COVID, Cats and Casanova

Sean Feast FCICM

Managing Editor

AS we edge closer to the end

of another 12 months and

the hopes and expectations

of a bright New Year, I’ve

found myself reflecting on

how much our lives have

changed. And I’ll be honest. There are parts

of it I’m not that happy with.

I’m not happy, for example, with people

having access to my online calendar and

sticking in meetings I have no wish to

attend, or don’t allow me proper time to

prepare for. Pre-COVID, you wouldn’t have

gone into my briefcase (I am so old), taken

out my diary and written an appointment

in it without asking me, so what makes you

think it’s OK to do it now?

I’m not happy about all these virtual

meetings and having to learn the

language of Zoom, Webex, or Teams.

Yes, it was acceptable in the early days to

accommodate screaming children and

peripatetic pets, but it has since become a

bore. Even my own cat is now a nuisance,

and I actually love her more than I do

most things in life. Just ask my wife and

children.

And leaving aside the fact that I have

now seen inside more ladies’ bedrooms

than Casanova, what’s all this nonsense

about a Zoom call where you don’t have

your camera on? We used to do that in the

old days, and it was called a phone call. You

wouldn’t sit in a meeting in my boardroom

with your back to me flicking through

Instagram, so what makes you think it’s OK

just because I can’t see you?

Indeed, my irritation about virtual

calls could fill a volume by itself: the

pointlessness, for example, of arranging

a zoom call many days in advance for a

conversation that only takes a minute.

Zoom has been an opportunity for some to

fill their timesheets and look busy. It’s been

an opportunity to delay a decision which

could have been arrived at with a quick call.

But perhaps it’s not been all bad. A virtual

environment provides the opportunity to

speak to people more often and for longer

than would ever have been imagined.

Whereas I cannot see it ever replacing

face-to-face meetings, they are somehow

more engaging than huddling around a

conference line where no-one can actually

hear what the other person is saying and

half of the assembled throng are not paying

any attention anyway.

I have heard people say that our working

lives will never be the same again, and

many of the things we have taken for

granted will disappear. I’m not convinced.

I’ll still shake any hand if it’s offered and

won’t be bumping elbows with anyone any

time soon. I’ll still be meeting people in

person, and having lunch, and generally

not losing sight of the fact that business

is about connecting, and you never really

know a person unless and until you’ve seen

the whites of their eyes – and I don’t mean

though a camera lens.

I am not, I hasten to add, miserable. I am

actually very excited about the New Year,

and the opportunity it presents. As our

erstwhile CEO says, no man (or woman) is

an island, and we work best when we work

together. So the next time I see you I’ll buy

you a drink, and we can laugh about old

times like 2021, and perhaps it wasn’t so

bad after all.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 4


CMNEWS

A round-up of news stories from the

world of consumer and commercial credit.

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM

Transparency essential to

overcoming PG lending challenge

GREATER transparency and

reporting of Personal Guarantees

(PGs), perhaps by establishing

a dedicated PG Credit Bureau,

is critical to supporting future

lending. But it would need careful protocols

and controls.

These were some of the key themes to

emerge from a recent Round Table of senior

executives from the Altfi/fintech community

who gathered to discuss the potential impact

of PGs on lending to the SME community as

the UK seeks economic recovery.

Chief Risk Officers, Chief Executives and

other industry leaders heard from Andrew

Birkwood FCICM, Founder of commercial

debt buyer Azzurro Associates, how he

is witnessing PGs being used to back a

company’s credit facilities from multiple

creditors, where successive credit lines were

taken after the default on an existing loan.

More worryingly, he says there are cases

where PGs back credit facilities from

multiple creditors, where successive credit is

guaranteed in a differing company from the

company that had previously defaulted. The

phenomenon is known as ‘PG Stacking’.

“Transparency is essential, and significant

progress is being made to allow commercial

creditors to report business debts against a

Personal Guarantor’s personal credit file once

the debt has become ‘non-performing’ and the

corporate borrower is unable to service the

debt,” Andrew explains. “Once the PG assumes

the liability for the debt, the debt can be

reported against the personal credit file of the

guarantor.”

The news was welcomed by the panel, all of

whom acknowledged the hidden risk that PGs

posed to their lending decisions, especially if

they were unaware that guaranteed loans had

defaulted. While multiple personal guarantees

were not, in themselves, a bad thing, and

could be used legitimately to support multiple

credit lines over the short term, not all

examples were genuine.

Some PGs defaulted by accident, unclear

of their true responsibilities; some by design,

in a deliberate attempt to defraud. The

panel agreed that some individuals needed

protecting from themselves, based on the

surprise they appear to experience when they

are approached to fulfil the obligations of their

guarantee.

The proposal to create a credit bureau

specifically for PGs, and where the contingent

liabilities were recorded at the time of

lending, was also welcomed: “If all creditors

reported in this way, the total contingent

liability assumed by a PG could be seen, and

assessed as part of the underwriting process,”

Andrew continues.

“But individuals would of course need to be

protected, and certain protocols established,

such as creditors reflecting the potential

credit reporting on PGs personal credit files

in their Ts & Cs, and giving the guarantor

30-days’ notice of the intended reporting, as

it will undoubtedly have a serious impact on

their personal credit file.”

Comparisons were drawn between the UK

and other parts of the world where small

business commercial loans require a PG as a

matter of course such that the business owner

has ‘skin in the game’. While there appeared

little appetite for a similar obligation in the

UK, it was noted that PGs helped to keep the

cost of borrowing at acceptable levels, and

greater certainty of risk was also crucial if

levels of funding were to be maintained.

Government support has enabled some

guarantors to offload their guarantees, and

to some extent this has meant the industry

has been shielded from what might have

happened had COVID not struck. The hiatus,

however, may only be temporary.

A full report on the Round Table and

other issues discussed – including detailed

analysis of a global survey of 6,000 SMEs from

EY – will feature in a future issue of Credit

Management.

“Once the PG assumes

the liability for the debt, the

debt can be reported against

the personal credit file of the

guarantor.”

Andrew Birkwood FCICM,

Azzurro Associates

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 5


Businesses spend

too much time chasing

overdue payments

BUSINESSES and accounts

departments are spending too

much time chasing overdue

debts when that time would

be better spent in advising

their sales teams on who to

do business with or not in the first place.

An online survey conducted by Debt

Register, a new digital payment platform,

found that almost a third (32 percent) of

all businesses spend up to three-quarters

(between 51 percent – 75 percent) of their

time chasing overdues when they could be

doing other things, and almost a quarter (24

percent) spent even more (76+ percent).

Those who spent the most time chasing

debts were teams working in the healthcare

sector: 80 percent of firms surveyed from

drugs companies to care providers were

devoting 51 percent or more time on the

phone or emailing to get money that was

rightfully theirs to collect. Manufacturers

were also struggling to get the cash: 44

percent spent more than 50 percent of their

time in pursuit of their money and more

than a quarter (28 percent) spent far longer

(76 + percent).

The most ‘efficient’ appear to be those

in the Services sector (accountants,

consultancies etc) where 43 percent

spent less than 50 percent of their time on

NEWS ROUNDUP

overdues, and of those, almost a quarter

(23 percent) spent anything between 0 – 25

percent chasing the cash. Businesses in the

energy sector also appear less troubled; 60

percent spent less than 50 percent of their

time on overdues

In the Technology sector, exactly half

spend half of their time or more (32 percent

more than 50 percent and 18 percent more

than 76 percent) on overdues, whereas a

similar picture emerges in Banking and

Finance (48 percent spent more than half of

their time chasing down late payment).

The research is published in the context of

new technologies and platforms now being

available that can automate the overdue

payment process, dramatically improving

cashflow without tying up a team’s time

or having to resort to expensive (and often

unproductive) legal action.

Gary Brown, Founder of Debt Register, says

the figures make uncomfortable reading:

“In an ideal world, businesses would be

following up on invoices before they are

due, and not when they are already late,” he

says. “There are several tools out there that

can deal quickly with overdues and free the

credit manager to steer their companies

towards businesses that they should be

trading with, and away from those who

present a greater risk.”

“In an ideal world, businesses would be following up on invoices

before they are due, and not when they are already late.”

>NEWS

IN BRIEF

Credit insurers

‘buying’ clients with

discounted claims

CREDIT insurers are missing out on

new business as Small and Medium-

Sized Enterprises (SMEs) have

increasingly opted to self-insure to

see them through a comparatively

benign economic environment.

Pressure on the sector has also

increased as the costs paid to the

Government in premiums has not

been recouped in heavily subsidised

claims.

These were two of the key insights

discussed at the November CICM

Technical Committee, which also

heard that new business volumes

are at a worrying low, leading to

some insurers effectively ‘buying’

clients through hugely discounted

premiums.

Claims are currently running at

an average of c20 per week, and

although the numbers are low, the

value of the claims is increasing as

one or two major firms throw in the

towel. While COVID is the convenient

excuse, most were being propped up

by Government support and their

ultimate failure was inevitable.

Data, and the availability of

buyer information, remains the key

differentiator between insurers, and

buyers’ willingness to share data

appears to be increasing. A trend

towards self-reporting among major

PLCs is also notable, even among

the more sensitive risks within, for

example the retail sector.

New study reveals how the cost of

owning a car is changing

THE prices of the UK’s most popular cars

are increasing at a quicker rate than

the average UK earnings, according to

new research from Uswitch.com, the

comparison and switching service.

The research analyses the average

cost of car insurance, fuel and road tax

and purchase price, to reveal how they

have changed over the past decade. The

study looks at some of the most popular

cars with the highest number of UK

registrations, to see how their prices have

changed since 2011.

The country’s favourite car, the Ford

Fiesta, cost less than £10,000 ten years

ago, but will currently set you back

£16,645 when bought new, an increase

of 67 percent. Of the five most common

UK vehicles, the Volkswagen Golf has

experienced the largest price increase,

rising from £13,615 in 2011 to £23,360

today.

However, the average annual salary

in the UK has only risen by 22 percent in

the same period (from £21,100 in 2011 to

£25,780 in 2021), a much slower rate than

that of the UK’s most popular cars.

The cost of car insurance premiums

has decreased by 48 percent since 2011.

This could be due to the changes since

the pandemic started, with fewer drivers

on the road and a decreasing number

of new drivers able to take or book their

tests.

Fuel prices have also decreased over

the last decade, by an average of 14

percent, from £1.33 per litre of unleaded

petrol in 2011 to £1.14 in 2021 and £1.39

per litre of diesel in 2011 to £1.19 in 2021.

On the other hand, first-year road tax

has increased over the same period for

petrol, diesel and alternative fuel cars by

116 percent, 178 percent and 118 percent

respectively.

Joel Kempson, car insurance expert

Uswitch.com, says it’s mixed news: “It’s

good news for drivers that car insurance

and fuel prices have decreased over the

last decade. However, our research also

reveals that despite the savings that

could be had on fuel and insurance, tax

and purchase prices have both risen

considerably. With the purchase price of

popular cars having risen at a faster rate

than our average wages, it could mean

that more people will struggle to afford a

vehicle, especially first-time drivers.”

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 6


FINTECH business insurance

startup Nimbla has announced a

£5.1m funding round led by Silicon

Valley venture fund Fin VC with

participation from Barclays Bank.

The funding comes as Nimbla seeks to scale

its operations with increased demand from

embedded credit risk solutions through

its API with banks and alternative lending

platforms.

Founded in 2016, the Nimbla platform

is described as giving businesses the

confidence to trade with a peace of mind

using invoice insurance with quotes

provided within seconds. Its proprietary

digital automated credit risk platform is able

to process requests immediately and provide

real time quotes.

Nimbla claims to have processed more

than 67m invoices worth £2.5bn. During

the pandemic, volumes of invoices tripled

as economic uncertainty and supply chain

concerns increased and Nimbla continued

writing new business.

Flemming Bengtsen, CEO at Nimbla says

the business has been growing steadily over

the past few years: “We have been ramping

up our technology and team to better

understand businesses, the nature of B2B

debt and to make faster decisions to serve

our growing customer base,” he explains.

“This funding round will enable us to

expand our platform, grow the team as

we enable a confident and trusted trading

environment for businesses across the UK

and beyond.”

Nimbla has worked directly with

businesses and brokers to provide invoice

insurance cover and more recently has

launched a new API for Banks, fintech

lenders and B2B platforms to enable more

business to access the service. Nimbla

partnered with Barclays Bank in 2020 to give

its one million small business customers

the ability to take out insurance against

NEWS ROUNDUP

Fintechs invite millions in

investment in credit industry

individual invoices, rather than the whole

book.

Elsewhere, TotallyMoney, a free credit

score service and personal finance app, has

also announced additional funds of £9m

raised through existing investors in the UK

and the US.

The business says the latest investment

comes at a time of huge growth in the

consumer credit sector. TotallyMoney’s

focus is on what it claims are the ‘underserved’

– those who are just about managing

and find it hard to plan their finances –

which is currently c25 million UK adults.

TotallyMoney’s research of its customer

base found that 61 percent are worried about

their finances, 57 percent about their debts

and 43 percent about their eligibility for

credit. Despite this, this audience shows

a preference for engaging digitally with

financial services in order to improve their

financial position.

The latest funding will be used by the

business to drive product development

and support digital and TV advertising, as

well as building a team to launch future

propositions – including harnessing Open

Banking partnerships to further build its data

capability.

Alastair Douglas, CEO of TotallyMoney

believes the number of people ‘just about

managing’ with their finances is on the rise

and millions are still underserved by the

financial sector: “We believe that people’s

financial data should work for them, not

against them,” he told Credit Management.

“Our service provides our customers with

the tools they need to understand their

credit score and unlock more opportunities.

Central to that is addressing a credit market

that is not fit for purpose, and there is huge

potential if we can collaborate across the

industry to get that right. We’re excited about

the next stage of this mission and delivering

for our customers.”

>NEWS

IN BRIEF

Phishing trip

THE Government Actuary's

Department (GaD) has been hit by an

average of 24,740 malicious emails

a month, according to software

security business Tessian. The data,

obtained and analysed by a Parliament

Street think tank via a Freedom of

Information (FoI) act request, revealed

that a total of 74,221 malicious emails,

including phishing, malware and

spam had been sent to the GaD over

July, August and September 2021. The

Government is investing heavily in

its IT infrastructure — to the tune of

almost five billion pounds annually.

The Department for Business, Energy &

Industrial Strategy (BEIS) alone spent

almost two million pounds on laptops

and smartphones last year. Some 1,216

mobiles were issued to departmental

staff in 2020, with 1,557 computers or

laptops also added to circulation.

Face to face

PETER Whitmore FCICM receives

his Vice President medal from

Glen Bullivant FCICM at the recent

Technical Committee meeting, the first

occasion the two Fellows have been

able to meet face to face. Peter received

the medal for his time as Chair of the

Institute from 2018-2020.

King joins Optimum to champion cashflow funding

OPTIMUM Finance, a company that helps

businesses unlock the cash tied up in

unpaid invoices, has recruited the former

Interim Small Business Commissioner

(SBC) as a Non-Executive Director.

Philip King FCICM, who was also the

former Chief Executive of the Chartered

Institute of Credit Management (CICM),

has joined Optimum to champion not

only the benefits of Invoice Finance

as a cashflow funding tool, but also

the advantages of early settlement

in building stronger supply chain

relationships.

Anthony Persse, Chief Executive of

Optimum Finance, says he is delighted

to have Philip as part of the team:

“Philip’s expertise is second to none,

as a champion for small businesses

and having written extensively on the

benefits of Invoice Finance to support

cashflow and business growth.

“Invoice Finance is a product that

can help literally millions of UK

businesses and we, as an industry, are

not serving anywhere near as many as

we could. With Philip’s help, we hope

once and for all to reverse the stigma

surrounding Invoice Finance, starting

a new conversation about the benefits

and simplicity of releasing cash tied

up in unpaid invoices. Together we will

develop new tools and services that

address the issue of late payment from

a more positive, helpful and

productive perspective that

benefits all businesses,

small and large.”

Philip King FCICM,

Optimum Finance

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 7


NEWS SPECIAL

NEVER NEVER

Rising Buy Now Pay Later Debts

Cause Regulatory Concern.

AUTHOR – Edward Flanagan

FOR years, the UK’s

consumer finance sector

has accommodated

several ‘Buy Now Pay

Later’ (BNPL) schemes,

allowing consumers to

effectively purchase goods and pay

in instalments, or without needing

to pay until a later date. But, since

the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK,

causing salary sacrifices and surges

in unemployment, the level of

consumer debt racked up by using

BNPL schemes has increased at

an alarming rate.

Consumer shopping habits

have changed, potentially for

the long-term; online retail

sales hit a record £10 billion

in July 2021 as 40 percent of

shoppers continued to avoid

physical stores. In a recent survey,

70 percent of Britons said that

buying online and on mobile

phones had become their preferred

shopping methods, up from less

than half pre-COVID. More than

half said their online shopping

had increased, with 60 percent of

respondents saying they started

using BNPL services during or after

the pandemic.

Certain consumers have made

repeated purchases that have

led to debt issues arising – in the

same survey more than a third of

consumers said their finances had

taken a hit as a consequence of

increased online shopping.

As such the Financial Conduct

Authority (FCA), which is deeply

concerned, is looking to regulate

this corner of the consumer finance

industry as it fears unregulated

financial products are encouraging

unsustainable spending and

reliance on debt, particularly among

the under-30s and those with

already tight finances.

BNPL SCHEMES

Global high street giant Klarna

swept onto the scene in 2015,

and with its quirky branding and

no-nonsense, easy-to-navigate

process, soon caught the attention

of consumers. Consumers who

purchase from certain retailers

can buy and pay in 30 days, or split

their payments into three smaller

amounts using Klarna. To date,

Klarna has more than 15 million

customers.

Other BNPL schemes such as

Clearpay, Openpay and Laybuy

offer similar repayment processes,

enabling consumers to handle their

balance in a different way. Even

disrupter bank Monzo has joined

the race – becoming one of the

first UK banks to begin rolling out

a BNPL service to its five million

customers, who can secure credit

limits of up to £3,000 after an

affordability check.

But this is clearly a slippery

slope, and having an ‘I’ll pay for it

after next payday’ mentality seems

to be landing many consumers in

high amounts of BNPL debt.

So what does it mean for the

finance sector? The challenge

is both simple and complicated,

depending on how you look at it: not

every consumer pays their BNPL

debt on time. Klarna has a ‘Snooze’

functionality, enabling a further 10

days before payment must be made.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 8


NEWS SPECIAL

AUTHOR – Edward Flanagan

But this is clearly a slippery slope, and

having an ‘I’ll pay for it after next payday’

mentality seems to be landing many

consumers in high amounts of BNPL debt.

>NEWS

IN BRIEF

Ampla opportunity

AMPLA Finance, the legal finance

provider, has appointed Natalie

Player and Deborah Ward, both

qualified lawyers, as Commercial

Director and Partnership Director

respectively. Both Natalie and Deborah

join Ampla from Novitas Loans, where

they were Account Directors for the

last four years. Before Natalie’s time

at the business, she trained and

practiced as a Solicitor at Bircham

Dyson Bell (now BDB Pitmans) and

Ambrose Appelbe, both London based

firms. Natalie will predominantly be

based in Ampla’s London office and

will be responsible for the company’s

relationships in London and the

South of England. Prior to Deborah’s

time at Novitas, she was a Director

at O’Neill Morgan and a solicitor at

Keoghs, Nicholls, Lindsell & Harris,

where she specialised in all aspects

of personal injury and private client

work, including dealing with complex

probate issues.

Even then, a high number of consumers

are being chased for late payments.

Reports from Which? show that

a third of those using smaller BNPL

providers like Klarna have missed a

payment. The research also indicated

that those aged 39 or younger were

more likely to report having missed a

BNPL repayment, while three quarters

of those who had missed a payment

had experienced a challenging life

event in the last 12 months.

The FCA is concerned that these

debts are currently hidden from

mainstream credit checkers, and could

be creating a real threat to consumers

as affordability is not investigated to

any great extent.

THE REGULATORY LANDSCAPE

To provide credit facilities in the UK by

way of business an entity needs to be

authorised by the FCA, in line with the

provisions of the Financial Services and

Markets Act 2000 and the Regulated

Activities Order 2001 (RAO). Currently,

certain agreements are exempt under

the RAO, which allow businesses and

smaller entities to avoid the huge

cost of regulation. Being authorised

or permitted is costly both financially

and in terms of management time and

resource. More alarmingly, it can attract

personal liability to the directors and

managers under the Senior Managers

Regime.

BNPL providers must urgently

show the Government that they can

self-regulate to save their business

model and maintain the benefits

for customers. All that is required is

technology to check affordability and

credit worthiness – quickly identifying

if the individual has multiple BNPL

deals and could possibly face financial

issues down the line, for example.

BNPL firms should also be more explicit

about the risks of using their services

and provide clear and easily digestible

information about late fees and what

happens if a payment is missed.

If not and the FCA regulates, this

could seriously hamper the ability of

responsible consumers to have access

to easy funding and will also create

huge hurdles for both business and

credit funders.

Edward Flanagan is a partner at debt

and assets recovery business Corclaim.

Strong quarter

LOWELL, a European leader in credit

management services, has reported

a strong third quarter performance,

with a Year-to-Date (YTD) collection

performance at 108 percent versus

a December 2020 static pool. YTD

cash EBITA was up two percent. Colin

Storrar, Group Chief Executive Officer,

says the business continues to make

excellent progress towards the launch

of its inaugural Sustainability Report

next year: “These results demonstrate

another quarter of sustainable growth

underpinned by strong collection

performance and significant progress

towards our margin guidance which

will now be delivered by FY21, ahead of

target.”

Senior leader

PHILLIPS & Cohen Associates has

appointed Shawn Farris to its senior

leadership team in the newly created

role of Senior Vice President, Digital

Operations. Shawn is described as a

proven leader and seasoned executive

within the Accounts Receivable

Management industry with an

extensive background in leading

transformational change. He has

served in a number of senior roles,

including as Chief Operating Officer

previously and specialises in strategic

and transformative leadership with an

emphasis on digital evolution.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 9


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FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Stronger Together

Collaboration going forward will be key.

Sue Chapple FCICM

WHAT an extraordinary

12 months it has

been. It has been

one of those years

where few if any

of the predictions

have come true and the skill, innovation

and resilience of our members to face any

challenge has once again shone through.

It never ceases to amaze me how we,

as credit professionals, help and support

each other through the good times and the

bad. I would particularly like to highlight

the tremendous work of our HQ team

who have continued to deliver excellent

levels of member service despite severe

disruption to their working lives and doing

so with such good humour and patience

throughout.

Perhaps we are in a holding pattern,

for that is the sense I get from speaking

to members and others within the wider

business community. The tsunami of

insolvencies, widely predicted, hasn’t

happened. Yet. I think it is pretty safe to

say that Government support has propped

up many of those companies facing tough

times and no doubt extended the lives of

those ‘zombie’ companies who should,

perhaps, have been allowed to fail.

Whether there will be a sudden ‘rush’

of business failures once the Government

pulls the plug is unclear; the smart money

suggests there will be a trickle leading to

a stream, and while the stream might not

lead to a flood, it will continue to flow for

some years ahead.

The economy is also difficult to predict.

The recent budget showed the Government

in a place it didn’t expect to be, with a

much stronger economic outlook than it

thought possible. That has similarly caught

the media commentators off guard. But

it’s not to say that there are not challenges

ahead; the very latest GDP figures were on

the low side against target, and one would

be foolish to believe that everything in the

winter garden is rosy.

Challenges are everywhere you choose

to look, especially within the supply chain.

Finding ways for ‘big’ businesses to pay

their smaller suppliers more quickly is

more important than ever. Companies

of every size will need to have a clear

strategy for how they are approaching

2022 and beyond, especially when it

comes to recruiting and retaining talent.

That’s something that has always been

an issue but has been given greater

impetus in recent months and will

continue to be an issue for the foreseeable

future.

Collaboration going forward will be

key. None of us can do this alone. Put

another way, we are undoubtedly stronger

and better when we work together, and

professional, knowledgeable, well-trained

and supported credit teams will always

prove their worth.

There is plenty to look forward to next

year, not least the welcome return – in

person – of the British Credit Awards, and

there will be a new home for your Institute

and our HQ team as we will be bidding a

fond farewell to The Water Mill in 2022.

But for now, I wish you all a very happy

and peaceful Christmas and look forward

to seeing you in the New Year.

Companies of every size will need

to have a clear strategy for how they

are approaching 2022 and beyond,

especially when it comes to recruiting

and retaining talent.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 11


COMMERCIAL COLLECTIONS

BALANCE OF POWER

The pause button has been pressed in

commercial collections – but not for long.

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

IT has been a tough 12 months for

the commercial collections sector.

While those in the consumer world

appear to be quietly enjoying a strong

collections performance, the picture in

the business-to-business sector appears

to be more mixed. Volumes have fallen, but the

values are increasing, and while most expected

some kind of downturn, the environment

appears relatively benign.

This seems to be borne out by figures from

one of the leading players, Lovetts Solicitors. In

analysing its in-house statistics for the second

12 months of the pandemic, and comparing it

against the first (March-Feb 20/2021 v 19/2020),

it found that overall the number of cases passed

for legal recovery were down by more than a fifth

(22 percent) but the average value of each debt

had risen by 15 percent: “The initial fall clearly

reflects how the pandemic took a hold and

adversely affected business trade in all sectors,”

says Michael Higgins, Managing Director.

“However, the average value of each debt

rose, so the net percentage recovered by each

client on its legal recoveries was not significantly

different.”

Michael says that some of Lovetts’ clients

took a tougher stance in view of their own

economic pressures, but others did not want

to be seen to be ‘harsh’ on their own customers

and did not press their legal rights as strongly:

“Overall the percentage of cases going to court

and obtaining Judgment was very similar for

each year,” Michael adds. “There was a slight

reduction in CCJs from 44 percent to 41 percent

over the second year of the pandemic.”

CASHFLOW PRESSURES

Michael fully expects legal recoveries to return

to their pre-pandemic levels of activity at some

point in the near future and warns that cashflow

pressures are likely to rise as a typical by-product

of changing economic growth.

Victoria Herd FCICM (Grad), Director, Hilton-

Baird Collection Services, agrees: “Cashflow

pressures are only going to increase as a result

of the ongoing supply chain issues and soaring

energy prices, and as CBILS and BBLS loans

need servicing,” she says.

“It’s no exaggeration to say it’s more important

than ever for businesses to ensure they have

robust and efficient credit management

processes and strategies in place.”

Unfortunately, Victoria believes these

pressures mean the risk of customers

‘phoenixing’ or folding is going to increase:

“Businesses which have been mothballed during

“It’s no

exaggeration

to say it’s more

important

than ever for

businesses to

ensure they

have robust and

efficient credit

management

processes and

strategies in

place.”

the pandemic now need to generate cash to

enable them to restart and get back to business

as usual, and we know from experience that

means payments to creditors will be delayed

and carefully managed,” she adds.

Julia Ishak, Legal Director at Shoosmiths,

shares similar concerns regarding cashflow

and the likelihood of rising insolvencies: “In

a post Brexit UK, with ongoing concerns over

the operation of the Northern Ireland protocol

and fishing rights, with the potential for the

UK-EU trade and co-operation agreement to be

subject to counter-measures or trade remedies,

with restrictions on the freedom of movement

of people and with businesses potentially being

subject to significant additional administrative

and legal requirements, not every business is

going to thrive and some may go insolvent,” she

explains.

“In addition, as the UK economy continues

to recover from the pandemic and we settle

into whatever the ‘new normal’ may become,

labour shortages and increased labour costs

may continue, there may be rises in inflation,

fluctuations in currencies and increases in

interest rates.” Julia is also concerned about the

increased disruption to global supply chains:

“These are increasingly in the news, for example,

due to shortages of key components or raw

materials, disruption to shipping routes (think

back to the impact of the Suez Canal blockage

earlier this year), delays and labour shortages at

major ports and the lack of lorry drivers.

“These factors may combine to a perfect

storm increasing costs of performance and

compliance and impacting contract profitability

and a business’s ability to perform its contracts

in full and on time. Availability of funding,

increased costs (including costs of borrowing)

and disruption and delays to delivery and

performance could each have a significant

impact on cash flow and ability to pay debts.”

LABOUR SHORTAGES

Labour shortages is a theme that resonates with

Yvette Gray, UK & Ireland Country Director for

international debt collections specialist Atradius

Collections. She says the hiring and retention of

staff is a major issue for its customers: “There

appears to be a skills shortage currently with

more jobs than people, and remote working

is removing geography as a career constraint,”

she says. “This can leave a firm with reduced

resource, and a change in personnel also

risks losing those all-important established

relationships between credit management

departments and customers.”

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 12


COMMERCIAL COLLECTIONS

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

“This is uncharted territory and

there’s a balance to be struck to

ensure the ‘best of both worlds’

is achieved for both employers

and employees.”

Yvette also sees the management of

the industry’s own collections staff as

a major challenge: “It’s a new hybridworking

era,” she says. “For some, it’s the

transition of bringing staff back into the

office after working at home for so long

while, for others, it’s the implementation

of new hybrid-working schemes. This is

uncharted territory and there’s a balance

to be struck to ensure the ‘best of both

worlds’ is achieved for both employers

and employees.”

While staff may not all be in one

place at the same time, Yvette says that

effective communication is key alongside

proactively keeping staff motivated,

engaged and connected while taking

mental wellbeing seriously: “We are

confident that Atradius Collections has

been able to set the right balance and of

course as things progress we will continue

to listen to our people and work with

them to deliver the right environment for

success,” she adds.

Gavin Levene MCICM, a Director of LPL

Group, sees the biggest challenge going

forward as the client: “Their customer/

debtor is not the actual problem,” he

insists. “They will tell you they either owe

the money or they don’t, or by process

of elimination we’ll use our methods of

collection in playing catch-up to the real

issue our client faces: the real issue is that

they may never get paid, having left it too

long before taking any action!”

Despite the pandemic, or perhaps

because of it, Gavin believes that many

of the ‘traditional’ challenges that

commercial debt collectors face are

now coming to the fore: “Clients need to

recognise a problem sooner, by drawing

a line in the sand as it were. Failure in

implementing next stage recovery action

is where the fine line is drawn between

getting to the front of the payment queue

or leaving it too late, as the customer’s

cashflow becomes out of control leading

to an IVA,CVA, closure and/or insolvency.

“The irony,” he continues, “is that we

have a service every business needs but

no one wants! And needs more so now

than ever before. A professional Third

Party DCA is an essential cog in the credit

control policy process.”

RELUCTANT PARTIES

Gavin wishes he had a formula to overcome

the stigma that still hangs around debt

collection: “Don't think for one moment I

don't fully appreciate the reluctance that

some clients have in instructing a DCA to

collect a debt,” he says. “Even when the

client knows they are being given excuses,

they still hang onto the hope of more

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 13

continues on page 14 >


COMMERCIAL COLLECTIONS

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

work, even though they have not been paid for

the work they have already done!”

The above example, Gavin says, refers

more often to SME businesses suffering slow

payment from larger companies who often,

as a matter of policy, are simply starving

their suppliers of much needed cashflow in

order to preserve their own: “Morally it’s quite

wrong,” he says, “but when you are being tied

up in their internal bureaucracy, being forced

to accept extended payment terms, then the

real question you must ask yourself is ‘Does

the customer take the unauthorised extended

credit or does the client allow it?’”

The commercial collections industry has

previously been accused of operating in

an ‘unregulated’ space though that is only

partially true. Victoria Herd certainly doesn’t

see the lack of a ‘single’ regulator akin to the

old Office of Fair Trading

as an issue: “Consumers

are protected by regulation

from the Financial Conduct

Authority and they also have

the Financial Ombudsmen

where necessary,” she says.

“We’ve seen huge strides in

the industry over recent years

around treating customers

fairly and dealing with

vulnerable customers too. The

key thing for any business

looking to partner with a debt

collection agency is to do

their research and ensure they

are experienced, authorised

by the FCA, have a proven

track record and have the right

affiliations and memberships, for instance

with the Credit Services Association.

Yvette Gray agrees: “Whilst commercial

collections is not currently a regulated

activity, we welcome some form of regulation

as Atradius Collections is bound by the same

high standards of Atradius UK, who are

regulated by the FCA. Atradius Collections

also adheres to the CSA code of practice which

is the benchmark for the collections industry

best practice.”

PROTECTING CUSTOMERS

Regulators, Gavin says, are fundamentally

there to protect customers and clients from a

DCA who is not abiding by much-needed code

and rules: “I am here to make someone want

to pay, not to make them pay by nefarious

means. In turn what we are doing is providing

essential help to our clients’ cashflow, keeping

communications fluid and pinpointing

problems sooner, before they become

insolvable issues.”

Karen Savage of Azzurro Law agrees and

“We are not

going to reinvent

the collection

wheel, what we

do need to do is

re-educate the

business owner to

recognise risk and

have the correct

procedures in

place to manage

them.’’

says lack of regulatory clarity is no excuse

for poor practice: “It is wholly appropriate

for collectors of commercial debts to exercise

the same high standards of behaviours in the

commercial space as they would if collecting

a consumer debt, especially when it comes to

providing forbearance and identifying those

who may be genuinely vulnerable,” she says.

“The line between commercial/consumer

has become increasingly blurred over the

years, especially when it comes to dealing with

SMEs. The lack of any clear Code or single

regulatory body for commercial collections

is not ideal, but it should never be used as an

excuse for poor practice.”

In terms of the future, most in the industry

appear agreed that insolvencies are likely

to increase in the near term, and this will

have a direct impact on the collections

world: “Insolvency proceedings

have been frozen during the

pandemic, and these are

therefore returning as effective

options for the credit manager,”

says Michael Higgins, but he

hastens to remind the credit

profession that the minimum

debt size to justify a Winding Up

petition has been substantially

increased to £10,000 from 1

October 2021, so other strategies

may need to be considered for

the smaller debts.

Yvette says that while the

last year has seen non-payment

kept artificially low, the gradual

withdrawal of Government

support schemes is set to open

the door for the long-predicted spike in

insolvencies: “Atradius economists forecast

UK insolvencies will increase 33 percent in

2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels, so

it’s set to become more difficult to collect

payments,” she says.

“Therefore, a robust credit management

operation is absolutely essential. Plan in

advance, ensure resource issues don’t leave you

exposed and, when something does go wrong,

act fast. A swift escalation to a third party can

make the difference in getting paid, so don’t

leave yourself at the back of the queue.”

Gavin concurs: “We are not going to reinvent

the collection wheel,” he says. “What we do

need to do is re-educate the business owner to

recognise risk and have the correct procedures

in place to manage them. A Credit Policy is no

different to the reasons why there is always a

police presence at football matches, not for

us to feel guilty for doing something wrong

when we haven’t, but to ensure we keep to the

rules – or in our clients’ position – ‘terms of

payment.’”

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 14


MEET THE 2022

AWARDS JUDGES

Thursday 24th March, Royal Lancaster London


















































For more information visit www.cicmbritishcreditawards.com

or scan the QR code below to be directed to our website


WEAKEST LINK

The challenge of supply chain management and

protecting against Government-imposed sanctions.

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

THE pandemic, fallout from

Brexit, environmental issues,

sustainability, competition

pressures and the

need to meet the usual

run-of-the-mill regulatory

changes. There are so many risks for

boards to juggle at any given time.

And then there is the management of

supply chains in an era of geopolitical

events, shipping constraints, and the

rising trend towards protectionism.

These aside, there is the urgent need

for boards to consider risks that relate to

Government-imposed sanctions regimes.

Important they are, but topical they are

not.

SANCTIONS IN A NUTSHELL

In overview, sanctions are restrictions

or prohibitions imposed by countries

to achieve specific foreign policy or

national security objectives, maintain

international peace and security, and

prevent terrorism. The UN, UK, EU, US

amongst others lay down rules, on areas

involving trade sanctions, such as arms

embargoes and controls on importing and

exporting certain goods and technology

(and on providing assistance and services

related to them); and financial sanctions,

which can seek asset freezes, restrictions

on financial markets and services,

and directions to cease business with

sanctioned individuals or entities.

Sanctions may be imposed on

specific individuals, companies or other

organisations, ports, ships and aircraft,

industry sectors or entire countries.

As Andrew Northage, a partner, and

head of the International Trade sector

group at law firm Walker Morris, explains

that post-Brexit the UK has developed its

own sanctions regime. He says that in

relation to trade sanctions, there are some

exceptions and licensing considerations

that apply. He gives the example of an

export licence that is required to export

controlled goods, software and technology

from the UK, warning that: “breaching

trade sanctions and export controls is a

criminal offence. Penalties include fines

and up to 10 years’ imprisonment.”

The Export Control Joint Unit of the

Department for International Trade deals

with export-related trade sanctions and

licensing. Notably, Northage says that UK

financial sanctions apply to all individuals

and entities in the UK or who undertake

activities here, and to all UK nationals and

entities – including branches – wherever

they are in the world. Again, he says “that

breaching financial sanctions is a criminal

offence, punishable by up to seven years’

imprisonment. In addition, the Office

of Financial Sanctions Implementation

(OFSI) can impose monetary penalties of

up to 50 percent of the value of the breach

or up to £1m, whichever is higher.”

It’s at this point that James Crayton,

a partner, and head of Commercial at

Walker Morris, highlights that any breach

will fall within OFSI’s remit if it involves

sufficient connection to the UK – “this,”

he says, “could include transactions using

UK clearing services, actions taken by a

UK company’s local subsidiary, or actions

taking place overseas but directed from

the UK.”

He details that OFSI publishes a

consolidated list of sanctioned individuals

and organisations – known as designated

persons. Interestingly, he says that Russiarelated

sectoral sanctions are listed

separately. Nevertheless, Crayton tells that

“asset freezes and some financial services

restrictions apply to entities that are

directly or indirectly owned or controlled

by a designated person.” And just as with

trade sanctions, there are some exceptions

and licensing considerations that apply.

An OFSI licence is required if a

transaction involves a sanctioned

individual or entity.

To illustrate the risks that firms face,

Northage cites a recent case where the

Economic Secretary to the Treasury

recently upheld a £50,000 penalty imposed

on a fintech company, TransferGo

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 16


OPINION

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

Limited, after it breached a pre-Brexit prohibition

in financial sanctions legislation. “The penalty,”

says Northage, “concerned 16 transactions

totalling just over £7,700, where TransferGo

issued instructions to make payments to accounts

held at a bank which was a designated person.”

He continues: “The company asserted that as

the relevant clients and beneficiaries were not

themselves subject to restrictions, the payments

to their accounts were not breaches. OFSI, on the

other hand, considered that funds held in bank

accounts ultimately belonged to those banks.”

Northage says that TransferGo demonstrated a

poor understanding of financial sanctions and,

had it voluntarily disclosed the transactions, it

could have received a 50 percent discount of the

baseline penalty amount.

The sanctions landscape is constantly changing

as evidenced by new trade, financial and aviation

sanctions that the UK imposed on Belarus in

August. “This,” says Crayton, “was in response to the

continued undermining of democracy and human

rights violations by the Lukashenko regime.” The

sanctions he focuses on include measures covering

the acquisition or supply and delivery of potash and

petroleum products, restrictions on dealing with

certain transferable security or money-market

instruments, and provisions that prevent

Belarusian aircraft from flying over or landing in

the UK.

The UK’s Belarus sanctions follow on from

similar EU sanctions imposed in June 2021

following the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in

Minsk.

As to how the US imposes its sanctions, Northage

comments that the relevant agency is the Office of

Foreign Assets Control (OFAC): “Sanctions are strict

and focused on individual countries and on parties

typically placed on OFAC’s Specially Designated

Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN).” He says

that the effect of the sanction is that assets are

blocked and US nationals and entities – including

foreign branches – and anyone located in the US,

are generally prohibited from dealing with them.

Northage notes that “entities directly or indirectly

owned 50 percent or more by one of the parties on

the SDN List are treated as if they are on it.”

The regime is designed be punitive says

Crayton; he details how penalties for breach

of most US sanctions programmes include up

to twenty years’ imprisonment and fines of up

to $1m. “Importantly,” he says, “non-US parties

can be caught if there is a sufficient nexus to US

jurisdiction, including transactions in US dollars,

or if they are subject to ‘secondary sanctions’ by

engaging in specified targeted activities.”

PLAYING WITH FIRE

So, what are the risks to firms who ignore a

sanctions regime? Nick McQueen, a partner

at Walker Morris in the Commercial Dispute

Resolution Department, says that aside from

the obvious risk of incurring criminal and other

penalties, “businesses should be acutely aware

of the significant reputational damage that can

flow from a failure to comply with international

sanctions at a time of intense consumer and

investor scrutiny of firms’ environmental, social,

and governance practices.”

He’s aware that sanctions rules are complex:

“they can bite at any touchpoint in the supply chain

and in relation to any number of factors, such

as individuals, entities, sectors and jurisdictions

involved, the source of the goods or the nature of

the financial transactions.”

Worryingly, he notes how compliance problems

can appear when businesses come up against

supply shortages and are under pressure to meet

contractual requirements and so source the goods

quickly from elsewhere. And this is an issue

exacerbated by the current pandemic. Even so,

McQueen warns: “failure to comply with sanctions

rules can impact on the ability to perform contracts,

affect current and future funding arrangements

and result in potentially significant time and cost

being incurred in managing the fallout.”

IT’S ALL ABOUT PROCEDURES

But he says practical measures can be put in place

to offer protection.

First off, McQueen says that a board should

know its own business as the probability and

potential impact of sanctions risk will be specific

to individual businesses. “As an initial step,”

says McQueen, “think about how the business is

organised, where it is located, where it trades and

the nationality of employees, shareholders and

directors. Where are goods or services coming

from or going to, who are they from or who is

receiving them? Who is transporting them? Where

have products been sourced? And what currency

are you dealing in?”

The point is to look for parts of the organisation

that are more exposed than others.

Next, he advocates internal risk management

with the implementation of a clear internal

sanctions policy with supporting guidance, or

a compliance manual, tailored to the business.

He would put in place an additional layer of

approval for higher-risk activity and ensure

that staff understand the standards expected of

them. “Regular training would,” he says, “bring

the sanctions policy and supporting materials to

life. Also, adapt messaging to accommodate the

challenges of remote working.”

And just as a firm should know itself, so it

should know its suppliers and customers. Here

McQueen would ask: “who are you doing business

with, directly and indirectly? Screening parties

against restricted lists is central to a sanctions

compliance programme and risk mitigation.”

He advises applying a proportionate, risk-based

approach which reflects the circumstances of the

transaction and the risk appetite of the business –

“as a minimum, screen both information in your

possession and information available publicly.

And apply greater due diligence when dealing

with high-risk parties and jurisdictions.” He

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 17 continues on page 18 >


OPINION

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

would also consider regular testing of screening

rules, screening all parties to a transaction, and

thinking about who is in the payment chain.

Other steps that McQueen recommends

include ongoing monitoring for changes to

sanctions lists against business and risk profile;

dealing with red flags with a mechanism in

place to analyse and deal with identified preand

post-contractual red flags. This he says

involves understanding the law, having clear

reporting lines, and considering whether a

transaction should be terminated; conducting

supply chain audits to confirm country of origin

and to mitigate against the risk that goods or

services are sourced from a sanctioned entity or

location; and having appropriate record-keeping

procedures that document decision-making, due

diligence, and mitigation measures.

CONTRACTUAL PROTECTIONS

Contracts can offer safe harbour and both

Northage and Crayton would look to them for

protection. Northage would seek to: “insert

express sanctions and trade controls compliance

clauses when contracting with counterparties,

tailored to the circumstances – such as

jurisdiction, product, corporate structure

involved – and level of risk.” These he says could

include representations and warranties that the

counterparty has not breached sanctions, is not

a sanctioned party and will not distribute to or

source products from prohibited parties, sectors,

or countries; obligations not to deal with such

parties and to ensure that sanctions compliance

obligations flow through the contractual supply

chain; and sanctions reporting requirements

and audit rights.

But even with clauses inserted, Northage

advises addressing what would happen when

a sanctions event impacts on contractual

performance. Other scenarios he says to look

out for include: “the imposition of sanctions

that affect the supply of certain products or

disrupt the movement of goods via established

trading routes…or even rendering performance

impossible.”

Crayton takes a moment to detail that

contractual protections can include suspension

and termination rights, obligations, and

provisions that release a party from performing

the contract or which allow for some form of

commercial flexibility or assistance. “Notably,” he

says, “the English courts do not look favourably

on reliance on force majeure clauses to escape

contractual obligations that have simply become

more expensive or difficult to perform.”

He also says to take particular care when

drafting termination provisions. He asks, for

example, does the contract cater for termination

arising out of the imposition of new sanctions?

He adds a note of caution when documenting

the reasons for termination, especially where

there is the potential for challenge: “without

a valid contractual ground for termination, a

mere risk of exposure to US secondary sanctions

may not be sufficient. Further, depending on

the sanction in question, it may be difficult to

terminate a contract with a sanctioned party.”

Crayton’s recommendation is clear – “tailor

drafting rather than rely purely on boilerplate

provisions.”

EXISTING CONTRACTS

But what of the contract already in existence?

Here Crayton suggests checking contracts for

specific sanctions clauses and related suspension

and termination provisions. As he points out:

“Even if there is no express sanctions clause,

the event may be covered by a force majeure

clause.” Northage expands on this: “Sanctions

events will not automatically be covered. Under

English law, force majeure provisions must

be express – they cannot be implied into the

contract – and the event in

question must fall within

the definition.” Despite

this, he says that if the

contract is governed by a

law which implies such a

provision into a contract,

“a party may still be able

to rely on force majeure,

although it will usually be

necessary to show that all

possible steps were taken

to prevent or mitigate the

effects of the event.”

Crayton agrees. He says

that if reliance on force

majeure is not an option, it may be possible to

argue that the contract is frustrated or should be

terminated due to supervening illegality: “In the

scenario where a counterparty has been made

the subject of sanctions after the contract was

entered into, the contract will only potentially

be frustrated if the contract is impossible to

perform, not just because it would be impossible

to perform without breaking the sanctions.”

Fundamentally, he says that the bar for

a successful frustration claim is high – the

doctrine operates within very narrow confines

and the courts will not lightly relieve parties of

their contractual obligations.

IN SUMMARY

There are enough threats to perpetually keep

boards on their toes. While some are a fact of

life, those relating to Government sanctions are

essential to consider. Reviewing contractual

arrangements and inserting specific sanctions

clauses and other protections as appropriate into

agreements should be high up on the corporate

agenda.

Adam Bernstein is a freelance

business writer.

The sanctions

landscape is constantly

changing as evidenced

by new trade, financial

and aviation sanctions

that the UK imposed on

Belarus in August.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 18


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Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 19


INTERVIEW

GOING

FOR GOLD

Sean Feast FCICM speaks to

Anthony Persse about invoice finance,

SMEs, and the importance of welsh gold.

ANTHONY Persse is a man

on a mission. He’s looking

to overturn more than three

decades of negative thinking

around Invoice Finance and

shift the conversation onto

a more positive footing: “Cashflow is about

managing working capital and getting money

through the door,” he says, “and Invoice Finance

does exactly that. It is a cash accelerator,

unlocking money trapped in client invoices.

“Credit managers understand the importance

of cash, and Invoice Finance can effectively

inject cash into a business without that business

creating additional indebtedness, unlike a loan.

Why would that be seen as anything other than

a good thing?”

As the Chief Executive of Optimum Finance,

it is not surprising that Anthony has a passion

for the industry, but he is not blind to its

challenges. Historically, he says, the industry

has not made it easy for itself: “It’s seen as too

complex,” he explains, “and it doesn’t help that

different businesses use their own jargon to

explain the same things. It is also seen as high

effort and administratively burdensome, so it

is not surprising it doesn’t achieve the level of

traction that it should.

“If we are to make Invoice Finance more

mainstream, then we have to demystify it, make

is easier to access, strip out the unnecessary

jargon and highlight the many tangible benefits

it can offer businesses. There is no excuse for it

being seen as lending of the last resort; it should

be seen as an essential tool in speeding up the

cashflow cycle.”

MILK ROUND

Anthony’s enthusiasm for Invoice Finance has

its foundation in a career in credit that started

more than a quarter of a century ago. Born in

Newport, the son of an electrician (Henry) and

a housewife (Ann), Anthony started work at the

age of 10, helping with a milk round: “I have

always had a strong work ethic, and appreciation

for cash. Ever since I was a boy, I’ve known how

hard small business owners work for their cash

and want to make sure they can benefit from

their efforts,” he explains.

An early bid for stardom saw Anthony appear

in an advertisement for a goldmine near

Dolgellau. “I was picked with three others,”

he recalls, “and I can still remember all their

names!” (Princess Diana’s wedding ring was

made from Gold from this mine.)

Despite a leaning towards media studies, a

careers’ assessment at school in Lliswerry led

to the unlikely proposal that Anthony should

become a diplomat, but instead he decided

upon an apprenticeship: “There were two that

I applied for,” he continues. “One was as an

apprentice electrician, to follow in my father’s

footsteps, and the other was an apprenticeship

in accountancy. I chose the second and

began studying for my Chartered Institute of

Management Accounting (CIMA) qualification

at what was then British Steel.”

Moving up through the ranks at British Steel

(which in turn became Corus and then more

recently Tata) – and studying for a degree

in Business and Finance while he was at it

– Anthony became a credit risk analyst in a

business that he describes as very ‘traditional’.

Most of the processes were manual, and

Anthony recalls receiving financial statements

on disks from Bureau van Dyke: “It was very

industrial,” he laughs.

At NCM (now Atradius), he found the

complete opposite: “At British Steel we worked

closely with NCM, the credit insurer, and when

the opportunity arose, I joined them as an

underwriter. The credit insurance sector was all

about systems and technology, with access to

data at your fingertips, so it was very different

from the world I had left behind.”

MIXED PORTFOLIOS

Initially working across Atradius’s food,

agriculture, textiles and fashion portfolios,

Anthony also spent time in the company’s

collections business, a role he enjoyed, before

returning to underwriting and being given

responsibility for the company’s retail and

services clients. This was just at the point

in 2008 when the world went into economic

meltdown and the credit insurance sector was

blamed with adding fuel to what seemed, at the

time, to be an unstoppable fire: “It was certainly

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 20


INTERVIEW

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

“Cashflow is about managing

working capital and getting money

through the door, and Invoice

Finance does exactly that. It is a

cash accelerator, unlocking money

trapped in client invoices.’’

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 21

continues on page 22 >


INTERVIEW

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

a crazy time,” Anthony remembers, “watching

the demise of businesses like Woolworths, MFI

and Land of Leather.

“The credit insurers were of course getting

some of the blame, unfairly to a large extent,

and of course my role was to help save the

business from millions of pounds worth of

potential claims.”

Anthony nonetheless survived the turmoil

in the market until an opportunity to return

client-side presented itself and he took a job at

British Gas Business. He was initially employed

as a senior credit analyst before becoming

their B2B Credit Risk Analysts, devising and

deploying risk mitigation strategies across the

business.

Until that point, Anthony had always been

aware of the role that credit played in funding

and enabling businesses but had never actually

provided ‘finance’ in its truest sense. This

changed when he was invited to join Ultimate

Finance, originally in charge of new business

products and ultimately as Director of Strategy

and Director of Risk. Five enjoyable years at

Ultimate proved a steep learning curve, as did

a spell at Proactis, a procurement technology

platform, before finally meeting the investors

behind Optimum SME Finance and being

invited to become its new CEO in October 2020.

small businesses as part of the Virgin Start-up

Loan Scheme: “Throughout my career I have

dealt with and supported many thousands

of businesses and have sadly seen many fail.

Passing that insight onto others can help

ensure they don’t go the same way; looked at

more positively, it can also help ensure they

succeed.”

Anthony also sees Invoice Finance as a tool

that can help small businesses flourish and

grow. He recognises the advantages that Open

Banking is bringing in terms of the availability

and visibility of data, and how that in turn is

facilitating faster and more accurate decisions

and making more cash available to the people

who need it: “We need to start moving the

conversation away from ‘late payment’ and

start talking about the benefits of ‘early

payment’,” he says, “and how technology and

data can support a cultural and practical shift.”

He also believes there is more that UK

Finance, the British Business Bank and the

Government could do to promote Invoice

Finance: “There are something like two

million businesses that we estimate could and

would benefit from Invoice Finance and yet

only 36,000 who do,” he explains. “We need to

take it from being ‘niche’ into the mainstream.”

CARING TEAM

Within Optimum, Anthony believes he

has a team that genuinely cares about the

businesses they fund: “I know that everyone

says that,” he smiles, “but we care passionately

about supporting SMEs. Being an independent

business means we can be very nimble, and

are able to flex our appetite, pricing, and the

way we deliver our service. It’s a culture that I

want to keep as we grow.”

Optimum has the ability to fund deals of up

to £2 million and are looking to see more clients

funded to this level, which is a move up from

the £350,000 that would be more typical today.

It is also sector agnostic, with a diverse range

of clients from recruitment to manufacturing.

Anthony’s passion for SMEs is evidenced

in many ways, not least a period mentoring

“We care passionately about

supporting SMEs. Being

an independent business

means we can be very

nimble, and are able to flex

our appetite, pricing, and the

way we deliver our service.

It’s a culture that I want to

keep as we grow.”

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 22


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 23


COUNTRY FOCUS

Uzbekistan is on a

path to liberalisation

and growth.

Cotton on to

Uzbekistan

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

UZBEKISTAN has just celebrated

its 13th anniversary. Thirty

doesn’t make the doubly landlocked

country seem very old,

but it is, nevertheless, riddled

with history given its proximity

to the Old Silk Road and three key cities that

sit along the route – Samarkand, Bukhara, and

Khiva. With a capital revamped with Soviet architectural

influences following a 1966 earthquake,

Uzbekistan is said to be a wonderful mix of the

utilitarian and stunningly historical.

Not terribly large or small, the Muslim-majority,

but “staunchly secular nation” – as Euractiv.com

recently described it – has an area of 447,400 sq.

km and is the world’s 56th largest nation. It’s a tad

smaller than Sweden which has 450,295 sq. km and

a hair’s width larger than Morocco that occupies

446,500 sq. km. And it’s not far off being twice the

size of the UK which measures, in comparison, a

paltry 242,495 sq. km.

A former Soviet outlier, it’s now one of nine

members of the Commonwealth of Independent

States which formed when the USSR dissolved. It’s

surrounded by a series of ‘stan’s’ – Kazakhstan to

the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east,

Afghanistan to the south and Turkmenistan to the

west.

Its only sea is – was – a rather large lake, the

Aral Sea. But that, being an ecological disaster, is

another story that can be traced back to the 1960s

when irrigation systems were put in place by the

Soviets to serve the cotton industry.

The country is dry and sees relatively little

rainfall – 100 to 200mm annually (the UK receives

around 1150mm a year) and has a variance in

temperature that ranges from an average low of

-6oC to a high of 36oC.

Before progressing, it should be noted that data

outlined below should be taken with a pinch of

salt; much is inconsistent if not sketchy. Even the

Uzbek government’s own website quotes data that

harks back to 2016.

THE PEOPLE

World Population Review, based on current United

Nations data, puts the Uzbek population at 34m.

This figure is expected to grow to a peak of 44.4m

in 2070 after which it’s likely that it will decline.

At a rate of 1.48 percent, Uzbekistan’s population

growth is 79th in the world. This is down from

According to

Britannica.com,

a combination

of good sunlight,

short mild

winters, fertile

irrigated soil, and

good pastures,

makes Uzbekistan

well suited to

cattle, sheep and

cotton.

1.66 percent in 2016. The population is young with

a median age of 27.8 years versus 38.1 in the US

and 40.5 in the UK. Specifically, 39.8 percent of

the populace are under 24 years and 45.6 percent

are aged 25 to 54 years. Just 14.5 percent are over

55 years of age.

Overall population density is very low at 80

people per sq. km. Again, for comparison, the

UK has 281 people per sq. km. 2018 data from the

State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan

on Statistics reckons that 2.57m live in the capital

Tashkent, 597,000 in Namangan, 530,000 in

Samarkand, 417,000 in Andijan, 310,000 in Nukus

and around a quarter of a million in each of the

next five largest towns and cities in the country.

Fundamentally though, the country is not

urbanised – UN data, albeit from 2010, reckoned

that just 37 percent of the population live in an

urbanised area. Now compare that to the UK with

83.9 percent living in urban areas.

And as for the demographic makeup of the

country, Indexmundi cites data that suggests that

Uzbekistan is ethnically 83.8 percent Uzbek, 4.8

percent Tajik, 2.5 percent Kazakh, 2.3 percent

Russian, 2.2 percent Karakalpak, 1.5 percent

Tatar, and 4.4 percent other.

Uzbek is the official language with 74.3 percent

speaking it, Russian is next with 14.2 percent, and

Tajik is in third place with 4.4 percent. English

might combined under ‘other’.

THE ECONOMY

The economy of Uzbekistan is small but

growing. The founding president of modern-day

Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, died in 2016. While he

aligned the country with the Russian government,

he also permitted US forces base rights post 9-11

in exchange for military and economic assistance.

His successor, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, is considered

by most to be pursuing a less autocratic path. The

World Bank commented as such when it published

a short briefing which noted that “Uzbekistan has

achieved substantial progress in transforming its

economy and society since 2017. The Government

is now moving on to the next stage of economic

reforms to address structural constraints, such

as the absence of factor markets and the state’s

economic dominance in the economy.”

And to make the point, Mirziyoyev told a

large event in August, as detailed on Euronews.

com, “that an overhaul of economic policy

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 24


COUNTRY FOCUS

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

has seen inflation reduced and the currency

stabilised, attracting overseas investment and

boosting job creation. As a result, the number

of new business owners has almost tripled,

and previously established businesses have

expanded across the country.”

Reforms to liberalise prices and remove barriers

to trade – domestically and internationally

– helped to insulate Uzbekistan from the effects

of COVID; it didn’t suffer negative growth

in 2020. The stated aim of the government is to

halve poverty by 2026 and achieve upper-middle-income

status by 2030. To get to these stated

goals will require much more liberalisation,

changes to the labour market and the improvement

of both health and education services.

On a positive note, the World Bank is

predicting growth of 6.2 percent for 2021 against

2020’s rate of 1.7 percent.

The Uzbeks speak a language

belonging to the southeastern,

or Chagatai (Turki), branch of

the Turkic language group.

Karakalpak, a distantly related

Turkic language, enjoys official

status alongside Uzbek in

Karakalpakstan, where it is

spoken by about half a million

people. About one-seventh of the

population of Uzbekistan speaks

Russian.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 25

KEY INDUSTRIAL SECTORS

Natural resources

Uzbekistan possesses substantial and varied

mineral resources. Not unsurprisingly, mining

and metals are important to the economy

and government plans for development.

Beyond being one of the world’s

largest gold producers, Uzbekistan is

a substantial producer of uranium.

The country also produces copper,

silver, coal, lead, zinc, phosphate,

molybdenum, potassium, and

tungsten. A document from pwc has

ranked Uzbekistan 16th in the world in

gold reserves and 9th in gold mining; 16th

in natural gas production; 11th in copper

reserves; and 10th in uranium mining. That

said, Worldatlas.com muddies the water by

saying that Uzbekistan is the seventh largest

producer of gold with an average output of

about 80 tons annually and ranks 4th in gold

reserves. Either way, Uzbekistan has what the

world wants.

In terms of the chemicals sector, Uzbekistan

has a national programme that between 2019-

2030 is seeking $12.1bn investment for 31

projects.

Constitutionally, the subsoil, minerals and

land are the exclusive property of the state

and the mining and oil, and gas industries

are regulated. In particular, the Subsoil Law

requires a licence for the right to explore.

However, the terms of the licence can be

changed if a subsequent and undocumented

discovery is made. Notably, a licence to explore

does not necessarily permit extraction – a

separate licence is needed for that.

Trade.gov reckons that the country has

sizeable reserves of natural gas, oil, and coal.

It’s estimated that there are around 1.5-1.6bn

tons of oil equivalent (toe) of natural gas, 245m

toe of oil and up to 3.3bn toe of coal. This sector

is thought to contribute 5.7 percent to GDP,

4.4 percent of export earnings, and employs

nearly 180,000. 52 projects worth $9bn on the

continues on page 26 >


COUNTRY FOCUS

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

deep processing of natural gas are planned for

completion by 2025.

Bids on contracts to supply services to the

country are welcome, specifically for consulting,

engineering, construction, equipment supply,

and management. Technologies for oil refining

and gas extraction, treatment and processing

are also of interest to the government.

AGRICULTURE

According to Britannica.com, a combination

of good sunlight, short mild winters, fertile

irrigated soil, and good pastures, makes

Uzbekistan well suited to cattle, sheep and

cotton. But the country is also known for

silkworms – especially in the Fergana Valley

– which are fed mulberry leaves from trees

planted along streets and ditches. Beyond this,

varieties of melons, apricots, pomegranates,

berries, apples, pears, cherries, and figs grow

abundantly, as do vegetables such as carrots,

cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, and greens. The

sector also cultivates grapes for wine or raisins.

However, Uzbekistan struggles with water.

Irrigation has fallen out of favour following

the depletion of the great rivers – the virtual

destruction of the Aral Sea is testament to this;

the construction of new irrigation systems

has been prohibited or curtailed. That said,

several large artificial lakes and reservoirs

have been created on the Zeravshan and other

rivers. It is estimated that $826m will be spent

on modernising some 299 pumping stations

between 2021-2026.

Overall, according to trade.gov, agriculture

contributes around 28 percent of GDP and

employs around 27 percent of workers. The

Uzbek government is hoping to stimulate

growth by adopting modern technologies.

Further, it’s creating Agricultural Knowledge

and Innovation Centres to provide advice on

improving soil, combating plant diseases, and

selecting seeds.

There are opportunities in water saving

technologies, technical agricultural solutions,

equipment for mills and processing, packing

and packaging – the latter especially as only 15

percent of the 20m tons of fruits and vegetables

grown each year is processed for longer shelflife,

30 percent is lost due to insufficient storage

and processing capacity, and just 16 percent

of meat and milk is processed. It’s telling that

Uzbekistan’s 1500 refrigerated warehouses can

accommodate only 4.5 percent of the harvest;

the government plans to triple its cold-storage

chain capacity by 2025.

TOURISM

With a rich cultural and historical heritage,

friendly people, and natural beauty, Uzbekistan’s

tourist sector is ripe for expansion. The country

was closed to foreigners for many years and

tourism was hit hard by the pandemic. The

Uzbek government wants to grow tourism

services to $2.2bn in 2025 from $1bn in 2018.

Investments in infrastructure are central

to this and there are, for example, some 90

Tashkent, Uzbek Toshkent, capital

of Uzbekistan and the largest city

in Central Asia. Tashkent lies in the

northeastern part of the country. It

is situated at an elevation of 1,475

to 1,575 feet (450 to 480 metres) in

the Chirchiq River valley west of the

Chatkal Mountains and is intersected

by a series of canals from the Chirchiq

River. The city probably dates from

the 2nd or the 1st century BCE and

was variously known as Dzhadzh,

Chachkent, Shashkent, and Binkent;

the name Tashkent, which means

“Stone Village” in Uzbek, was first

mentioned in the 11th century.

Beyond being

one of the

world’s largest

gold producers,

Uzbekistan is

a substantial

producer of

uranium.

planned projects for 66 hotels, 12 shopping

and entertainment centres, nine parks, and

three artisan centres. Similarly, airports will

be expanded and modernised and the aviation

market will be liberalised to permit the creation

of more domestic companies.The Government

is also developing pilgrimage tourism. Trade.

gov reckoned that in 2021 Uzbekistan ranked

16th out of 140 countries in the Global Muslim

Travel Index.

TRANSPORTATION ISSUES

Uzbekistan’s transport system was previously

in a parlous state. Old railways connected

the republic’s major urban centres with other

Central Asian republics, Moscow and Siberia,

and many roads needed repair and widening –

especially so since the fall of the Soviet Union.

But international investment along with

government funding is revamping the network.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 26


COUNTRY FOCUS

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

As Euronews has highlighted, until

recently, freight trains from the coalrich

Angren Basin had to cross two

national borders to get to the eastern

Fergana Valley. But that changed with

the completion of the $2bn Angren-Pop

railway, a 169-kilometre-long section

over a challenging mountain pass. The

report said that over $7bn had been spent

and 2500 kilometres of railway built in

Uzbekistan in recent years.

On roads, there is the Great Uzbek

Tashkent-Termiz Highway that runs south

almost to the border with Afghanistan.

A second road, the Zeravshan Highway,

connects Samarkand with Chärjew,

Turkmenistan, in the west, and the

Fergana Ring links the main settlements

within the populous Fergana Valley.

But there are others in the pipeline.

According to an Arup document, “as

part of its ambitious Transport Strategy

to 2035, the Government of Uzbekistan

aims to implement a programme of

reforms to develop and improve transport

sector assets, including new and existing

roads, tunnels, airports and intercity bus

terminals.” This includes the Horezem

Roads Project and the 358km Tashkent to

Andijan Road.

Progress is being made. In 2005 there

were around 84,000km of roads of which

72,000km were paved. Now it’s reckoned

that there are some 184,000km of roads

and 147,000km are paved.

BUSINESS MATTERS

Short on space, we turn to tax. Corporate

profits in Uzbekistan are taxed at 15

percent but a tax rate of 20 percent

applies to banks, cement producers,

polyethylene granules producers, mobile

telecommunications companies, as well

as for markets and shopping malls. And a

rate of 7.5 percent is levied on e-commerce

companies.

Income tax applies to individuals who

are physically present in Uzbekistan for

183 days or more in any period of up to

12 consecutive months; tax is due on their

worldwide income. The rate is flat at 12

percent. Non-residents are taxed on their

employment-related income at the rate of

20 percent. Dividends and interest income

received by individuals are taxed at a rate

of five percent (10 percent – for nonresidents).

And since 2020, companies are

required to pay a social tax at 12 percent of

the gross salaries paid to their employees.

Uzbekistan levies VAT on turnover

related to the sale of goods and services,

as well as on the importation of goods. The

current VAT rate is 15 percent with some

items zero rated. From January 2020, nonresidents

of Uzbekistan are required to

pay local VAT on certain digital services

provided to customers in Uzbekistan.

There is also an optional ‘simplified’

tax regime for legal entities with

annual turnover less than 1bn Uzbek

UZS (approximately $95,500) and

entrepreneurs with turnover ranging

from UZS 100m to UZS 1bn ($9,550 to

$95,500). Under this, turnover tax is paid

in lieu of CIT and VAT.

IN SUMMARY

There’s an awful lot that can be written

about Uzbekistan, much more than would

be expected – and more could be said here

if space weren’t at a premium. The country

is on a path to liberalisation and growth;

exporters would be missing a trick if they

didn’t beat a path to Uzbekistan’s door.

Adam Bernstein is a freelance

business writer.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 27


LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT

WINNING WAYS

Sean Feast FCICM speaks to CICM

Prize-winning student Claire Tetley.

CLAIRE Tetley is a winner. Literally.

She recently scooped not only the

CICM Prize for the best student,

but also the Francis Clark Prize

for the best BA Accounting &

Finance student at the University

of Plymouth where she did her degree.

But even Claire would admit, she’s something

of a late starter. At school she had little clear

direction on what to do as a career, but she

always had a good head for numbers: “I used to

watch my mother balancing the family finances,

keeping the receipts and entering them on a

ledger. I liked things that made sense, numbers

that aligned and added up on a balance sheet.”

Her passion for numbers led her into

the financial services sector, working for a

mortgage administrator (Western Mortgage

Services) in its administration, underwriting

and financial crime teams: “We would be

looking for suspicious and ultimately fraudulent

activity and then would forward the case on to

the National Crime Agency. You soon got to

recognise when something didn’t look right,”

she adds.

FOUNDATION DEGREE

While working for Western, she attended

Plymouth City College to complete a Foundation

Degree in Business Management and, after

being made redundant, Claire worked first

part-time at a Secondary School (taking time

out to have her first child) before taking a job at

Barnardo’s as a secretarial assistant: “It was here

that I was given responsibility for invoicing and

expenses, checking mileage claims for example,

and found that I really enjoyed it.”

An appetite to learn more led to a return

to education, this time at the University of

Plymouth, to study for a Bachelor of Arts

in Accounting & Finance: “Having already

completed a Foundation Degree I went into the

second year as a direct entrant,” she explains.

This was in September 2019. Within six

months, COVID had struck, and the learning

shifted almost entirely online: “To start with

we’d had lectures in person and depending on

the module we were studying at the time, we

either worked individually or in teams. With

the first lockdown, everything moved online,

which wasn’t quite the experience I had

anticipated.”

While certain modules within the degree

were mandatory, in her final year Claire

was also able to choose two that were not.

One of those was credit management: “At

the time it was not considered ‘core’ but

that has now changed,” she explains, “and

“Claire is an

excellent example

of someone whose

hard work and

dedication is

taking her to the

top, and I have no

doubt that this is

just the beginning

of an exciting

future for her and

her family.’’

it’s easy to see why as it’s so fundamental to what

we do.

“Professor Salima Paul FCICM was excellent

at engaging with us and ensuring we engaged

with each other, and made the course highly

enjoyable,” she adds.

GROUP WORKING

Within the module, 70 percent of her study

involved course work, working in groups of

four to analyse, for example, a company’s credit

strategy and performance, while the balance of

her time was spent on written exams. She had to

study while bringing up two children, aged five

and two: “It was lovely to spend time with one

another, but it was quite challenging,” she says,

in a masterly understatement.

Her efforts, however, were rewarded by her

winning not just one but two prizes: “I couldn’t

quite believe it was me,” she laughs.

Her excitement increased in September when

she was presented with her CICM Prize by none

other than the Chief Executive of the Chartered

Institute of Credit Management, Sue Chapple

FCICM: “I just wasn’t expecting it and, in a way,

it was a little overwhelming,” she says.

Professor Salima Paul FCICM, Claire Tetley and Chief Executive of the CICM, Sue Chapple FCICM

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 28


LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

Professor Paul says that teaching online

was highly challenging: “The group was

very big, meaning all students needed

to be muted, without their facial images

appearing on screen, so simply talking to

the PC took all the fun away from the joy

of lecturing,” she explains. “Claire was,

however, one of the few students who

stepped forward to answer questions and

interact, showing a good grasp of difficult

concepts. When working in a seminar

group, she always raised intelligent

questions and showed potential. I really

hope that one day she will find herself a

job in a credit management capacity.”

Sue Chapple FCICM was in no doubt that

the award had gone to the best candidate:

“Claire is an excellent example of someone

whose hard work and dedication is taking

her to the top, and I have no doubt that

this is just the beginning of an exciting

future for her and her family. It is also a

great example of how it’s never too late to

pursue a career in accounting generally or

credit management specifically.”

As for Claire, she is now looking

forward to seeing what the future holds.

She is currently working part-time at the

University as part of the Finance Team

and thoroughly enjoying herself: “I want

to become a Chartered Accountant,” she

says, “and am currently exploring what

opportunities are out there with local

firms to continue my ACCA studies and

further my career.”

And in 10 years’ time, where might

we expect Claire to be? “I’d like to be

fully qualified and helping to train and

mentor other would-be accountants and

credit management professionals,” she

concludes. “But whatever happens, I want

to be enjoying life.”

“I used to watch my

mother balancing the

family finances, keeping

the receipts and entering

them on a ledger. I liked

things that made sense,

numbers that aligned and

added up on a balance

sheet.”

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 29


INTERNATIONAL

TRADE

Monthly round-up of the latest stories

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.

Country risk map

CREDIT insurer and debt collector,

Atradius, recently published its

Q3 2021 Country Risk Map and

the detail is interesting. As the

company outlines, risk – in this

context – “covers a wide range of factors

such as political developments, the risk of

(armed) conflict and sovereign financial

situation.”

So, looking at the latest map, two

countries are specifically marked down,

and one has been marked up. Down are

Colombia and Sri Lanka. The former is

suffering widespread popular protests

highlighting deep-rooted frustration with

rising poverty, social inequality, and police

violence, reducing governability. Atradius

says “confidence that the authorities can

place public debt on a downward trajectory

has also decreased, further worsened

by the COVID-19 pandemic.” And for Sri

Lanka, Government finances are in an

increasingly precarious position: “Fiscal

reforms have been insufficient, and the

rupee’s depreciation further adds to the

problematic situation as more than half of

government debt is denominated in foreign

currency.”

But there’s positive news for Gabon –

higher oil prices and a new IMF facility

have helped relieve pressure on Gabon’s

public and external finances. But while

“external liquidity risk is also mitigated by

the guaranteed convertibility of the CFA

franc into euros, overreliance on the oil

sector remains a structural risk.”

In summary, North America, Australasia

and most of Europe is considered low

risk. The Iberian Peninsula, Russia, China,

India, most of Eastern Europe, Saudi Arabia

and Indonesia are low-moderate risk. Half

of Africa is moderate-high risk and those

at very high risk the usual suspects –

Libya, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Congo, Zimbabwe,

Venezuela plus others.

The key message is this – check on

country risk and client rating before selling.

A sale isn’t a sale until it’s paid for.

“External liquidity

risk is also mitigated

by the guaranteed

convertibility of the

CFA franc into euros,

overreliance on the

oil sector remains a

structural risk.”

Trade discussions

with the Gulf and Italy

THE UK is separately preparing the ground

for post-Brexit trade deals with the six Middle

Eastern countries of the Gulf Cooperation

Council (GCC) and Italy.

The GCC is a regional trading bloc made

up of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates

(UAE), Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait. The

government is to run a 14-week consultation on

what businesses would like to see in a trade deal

before formal negotiations start in 2022.

The Department of International Trade (DIT)

thinks that a trade deal could mean greater

access to the bloc for UK firms in financial

services, education, healthcare, and drinks

sectors as well as renewable energy.

The plan is to build on two multi-year

agreements that the UK signed with the UAE this

year. City A.M. thinks that similar deals could be

agreed with other Gulf countries before a trade

deal with the GCC is finalised.

And on UK-Italy trade talks, the government

recently announced the start of discussions

on a new export and investment partnership.

In DIT’s view, the dialogue “will boost exports

for companies in high-performing sectors like

life sciences, defence and security, plus growth

sectors such as digital and tech.”

The talks will focus on collaboration and

sharing of best practice between the two

countries’ export credit organisations – UK

Export Finance and the Italian Export Credit

Agency.

Italy is the world’s eighth-largest economy and

trade between the UK and Italy was worth over

£34bn last year according to City A.M. Popular

British export to Italy last year included cars

worth £829m – equivalent to 10 percent of all UK

goods exported to Italy – and £383m worth of

medicinal and pharmaceutical products.

TURKEY IS IN A HOT PLACE

STATE economic organs often work best

when run transparently and allowed

independence. When governments –

think leaders – interfere, all sorts of

trouble can follow. And so it is that the

Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan,

has set down a precedent that the

country’s central bank must do as he says

rather than what is right. And he’s made

his point clear by firing three centralbank

governors for not complying with

his peculiar view that high interest rates

the cause inflation, rather than cure it.

Thus, with Turkish interest rates at a

subdued (!) rate of 18 percent, the country

now has low international reserves

and an awful lot of dollar-denominated

corporate debt. It’s managed to avoid a

currency crisis so far, but that could only

be a matter of time as investors flee the

country. And guess what, that will send

the currency to yet lower levels, which in

turn will fuel inflation.

What does this mean? Don’t bet on

Erdogan winning the 2023 election and

prepare for the combined impact of

inflation and currency devaluation.

While a ‘Lebanon’ situation isn’t on the

cards, Turkey may be much less profitable

soon.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 30


Stagflation – a worry for all

UNLESS you’ve been living under a rock, you

cannot fail to have noticed that global supply

chains are and have been disrupted for

the last 18 months or so – and it’s affecting

food and many other sectors. Economist

Mohamed El-Erian thinks it’s going to be a

problem for quite a while. As he points out,

“producer price inflation is soaring” because

of disrupted supply chains, high transport

costs (by a factor of around seven to ten

times between China, Europe and the US in

the past year), container scarcity, congested

ports and labour shortages.

While El-Erian is open ended on the

subject, the CBI has warned that transportrelated

problems could run for another two

years. It thinks that firms are beginning to

lose hope that these problems are temporary

and easily reversible. The

net effect is that firms are having to examine

and re-engineer their supply chains to build

in resilience over efficiency.

The point of this story is clear – take time

out to look at your supply chains.

Find the weaknesses and add in

workarounds. If you don’t you can bet your

bottom dollar that others are and that will

put them in a better position.

Brexit to make UK an

attractive place for business?

ACCORDING to research from investment

firm MBH Corporation, 54 percent of

investors surveyed in the UK, US and

Germany believe that Brexit and the UK

securing new trade deals and support

businesses will make the country more

attractive over the next three years from

a business perspective. Only 22 percent

think it will deteriorate.

The 54 per cent, who collectively

manage over $300bn, think that the

projected strong growth for the UK

economy, and the desire for trade from

countries from around the world post-

COVID, will help to accelerate trade deals

for the UK.

However, looking ahead five years,

the survey found that 50 percent of

those interviewed believe Brexit will

have had a negative impact on the UK

economy overall, compared to 37 per cent

who believe it will have had a positive

influence on trade.

Dedicated hotline service for UK exporters

FOR exporters looking for a helping hand, the Department for International Trade

has launched a new dedicated expert hotline and online service to help firms export

to Europe. The service seeks to bring together government information to provide

exporters access to advice and support. Beyond this, a new export strategy is planned

for launch sometime soon that “aims to drive economic recovery and promote the UK’s

business’ ability to seize opportunities.”

The online service can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/ask-export-support-team.

IT’S worrying when an organisation such as

the World Bank cancels a major publication

– in this case, the Doing Business report.

The cancellation comes after an

investigation by a law firm that found that

senior managers had pressured staff into

altering data to appease China and other

countries. According to the Wall Street

Journal, those implicated include former-

CEO, Kristalina Georgieva, who is now

managing director of the International

Monetary Fund, and the then-World Bank

president Jim Yong Kim.

The report ranks countries according

to how straightforward it is to set up and

Cancel culture?

run companies within them. To generate

a ranking the report examines the ease of

obtaining licences, connecting to electricity

and paying taxes.

As the WSJ outlined, the issue arose

because in 2018, the World Bank had

been seeking an extra $13bn, and China,

its third largest shareholder had been

“eager to see its power increased as part

of a deal for more funding”. As a result, as

the investigation found, staff then sought

ways they could alter the methodology to

improve China’s score.

This suggests that data, generally, should

be taken with caution and cross-referenced.

Taiwan applies to join CPTPP

LAST month the story was that not

only had the UK applied to join the

Comprehensive and Progressive

Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

(CPTPP), but that China had done the same

as it clearly didn’t want to lose influence.

Now it appears that Taiwan has applied

to join the partnership too and that’s going

to inflame tensions in that part of the

world – especially as China claims Taiwan

for its own.

The cause for concern should be

obvious. If Taiwan joins, but China doesn’t

there will be trouble. Similarly, if both join

but Taiwan gets in first, there will be just

as much trouble. CPTPP is going to have

to tread carefully and either let both join

at the same time or similarly, deny both

entry. Anything otherwise is not going to

go down well in Beijing.

And for those exporting to both there

are the political niceties of having walk

on eggshells in China lest economic

punishment be meted out.

Selling Seychelles

on the seashore

AFRICAN currencies are having a

good year says Adelaide Changole

on Bloomberg. She’s noted that the

Seychelles rupee is up 53 percent

against the US dollar since the start of

January. The archipelago country is just

off Africa’s east coast, and it has seen

a tourism boom following a successful

vaccination programme – visitors from

Asia have more than doubled. While

the Seychelles may not be large, it does

import to the tune of $1.55bn in 2019. So

go and grab what you can…and get a tan

while you’re at it.

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 1.18953 1.16363 Flat

GBP/USD 1.38319 1.33543 Down

GBP/CHF 1.27604 1.22902 Down

GBP/AUD 1.85974 1.81312 Down

GBP/CAD 1.70834 1.67396 Down

GBP/JPY 158.157 152.399 Down

This data was taken on 17th November and refers to the

month previous to/leading up to 16th November 2021.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 31


PAYMENT TRENDS

Par for the course

Although steady, late payment performance

continues to move in the right direction.

AUTHOR – Rob Howard

THE latest late payment

statistics are mostly

positive, with a number

of further improvements

and reductions across both

regions and sectors. The

average Days Beyond Terms (DBT) across

regions and sectors in the UK reduced by

one day, but increased by 0.5 days across

sector. In Ireland, the figures dropped

by 0.1 and two days respectively. Average

DBT across regions in Northern Ireland

reduced by 0.2 days.

SECTOR SPOTLIGHT

The UK sector standings are a mixed bag,

with some continuing to improve, and

others taking a few steps back. The latter

is certainly true of the Energy Supply

sector, with a sharp increase of 7.9

days taking its overall DBT to 24.6 days,

making it the worst performing sector

overall. Not too far behind at the wrong

end of the standings are International

Bodies and the Mining and Quarrying

sectors, who saw increases of 3.3 and 2.1

days respectively.

On a more positive note, the

Manufacturing sector saw the biggest

improvement with a reduction of

4.8 days. The Education sector also

performed strongly, with a further

reduction of 4.7 days taking its overall

DBT to 7.3 days.

Over in Ireland, the picture is mostly

positive, although the figures continue

to fluctuate in a fairly unpredictable

nature. For instance, the Energy

Supply, Water & Waste and Wholesale

and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles

and motorcycles sectors, who were

all lauded last month for having an

overall DBT of zero days, have seen

huge increases of 26, 34.3 and 10.3 days

respectively. Similarly, the Construction

(+15.5 days) and Mining and Quarrying

(+18.3 days) also saw significant

increases.

At the other end of the scale, there

have been huge reductions. The

Manufacturing sector made the biggest

improvement, reducing its terms by

a massive 44.7 days. The Agriculture,

Forestry and Fishing (-19.1 days),

Hospitality (-18.7 days) and IT and

Comms (-16.2 days) sectors also made

great strides in the right direction.

REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT

In the UK, the regional standings show

steady progress, with all but two of the

11 regions making steady improvements

to late payments. East Anglia remain

at the bottom of the standings, but did

make the biggest improvement, with

a reduction of 3.9 days. A

further reduction of 0.1

days ensures the South

West keeps its place as

the best performing

region, with an overall

DBT of 7.7 days.

In Ireland, there are a whopping

nine regions (Cavan, Clare, Galway,

Leitrim, Longford, Sligo, Waterford,

Westmeath and Wicklow) tied at the top

of the standings with an overall DBT of

zero days. Mayo (-9.6 days), Tipperary

(-9.4 days) and Kerry (-8.2 days) made

the biggest improvements. Elsewhere, a

hefty increase of 17 days takes Dublin’s

overall DBT to 22.1 days and Kilkenny’s

overall DBT has shot up 9.9 days to 31

days overall.

In Northern Ireland three of the

four regions made reductions to their

late payments. Ulster made the biggest

improvement, with a reduction of 3.9

days, meanwhile a further improvement

of 2.1 days means that Connacht remains

the best performing part of Northern

Ireland with an overall DBT of 1.6 days.

An increase of 6.5 days means that

Munster is now bottom of the regional

standings with an overall DBT of 15.2

days.

By Rob Howard.

Not too far behind at the

wrong end of the standings are

International Bodies and the

Mining and Quarrying sectors,

who saw increases of 3.3 and 2.1

days respectively.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 32


STATISTICS

Data supplied by the Creditsafe Group

AUTHOR – Rob Howard

Top Five Prompter Payers

Region October 21 Change from Sept 21

South West 7.7 -0.1

West Midlands 8.7 -0.9

South East 9.3 -1.2

Yorkshire and Humberside 9.5 -1.2

East Midlands 9.6 -0.7

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Region October 21 Change from Sept 21

East Anglia 14.7 -3.9

Northern Ireland 12.1 0.5

North West 11.5 -2.8

Scotland 11.1 1.7

Wales 10.5 -0.8

Getting worse

Energy Supply 7.9

IT and Comms 4

International Bodies 3.3

Real Estate 3.1

Mining and Quarrying 2.1

Business from Home 1.6

Professional and Scientific 1.6

Entertainment 0.7

Top Five Prompter Payers

Sector October 21 Change from Sept 21

Energy Supply 24.6 7.9

International Bodies 18.9 3.3

Mining and Quarrying 17.5 2.1

Business Admin & Support 13 -0.3

Manufacturing 12 -4.8

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Sector October 21 Change from Sept 21

Energy Supply 24.6 7.9

International Bodies 18.9 3.3

Mining and Quarrying 17.5 2.1

Business Admin & Support 13 -0.3

Manufacturing 12 -4.8

Other service 0.4

Water & Waste 0.4

Hospitality 0.3

Health & Social 0.2

Getting better

Manufacturing -4.8

Education -4.7

Construction -2.1

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing -2

Wholesale and retail trade -0.7

Financial and Insurance -0.6

SCOTLAND

1.7 DBT

Public Administration -0.6

Transportation and Storage -0.4

NORTHERN

IRELAND

0.5 DBT

SOUTH

WEST

0.1 DBT

WALES

-0.8 DBT

NORTH

WEST

-2.8 DBT

WEST

MIDLANDS

-0.9 DBT

YORKSHIRE &

HUMBERSIDE

-1.2 DBT

EAST

MIDLANDS

-0.7 DBT

LONDON

-0.6 DBT

SOUTH

EAST

-1.2 DBT

EAST

ANGLIA

-3.9 DBT

Business Admin & Support -0.3

Region

Getting Better – Getting Worse

-3.9

-2.8

-1.2

-1.2

-0.9

-0.8

-0.7

-0.6

-0.1

1.7

0.5

East Anglia

North West

South East

Yorkshire and Humberside

West Midlands

Wales

East Midlands

London

South West

Scotland

Northern Ireland

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 33


PAYMENT TRENDS

AUTHOR – Rob Howard

Getting worse

ULSTER

-3.9 DBT

Manufacturing -44.7

GALWAY

-5.7 DBT

CONNACHT

-2.1 DBT

LEITRIM

0 DBT

CAVAN

0 DBT

MONAGHAN

0DBT

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing -19.1

Hospitality -18.7

IT and Comms -16.2

MUNSTER

-1.5 DBT

CLARE

-0.8 DBT

LEINSTER

6.5 DBT

LONGFORD

0 DBT

CARLOW

0.8 DBT

KILKENNY

9.9 DBT WEXFORD

0 DBT

DUBLIN

17 DBT

Other Service -15.1

Business Admin & Support -13.5

Entertainment -13.2

Public Administration -4.9

International Bodies -4.3

Health & Social -3.8

Top Four Prompter Payers – Ireland

Region October 21 Change from Sept 21

Connacht 1.6 -2.1

Munster 3.2 -1.5

Ulster 5.2 -3.9

Leinster 15.2 6.5

Top Five Prompter Payers – Ireland

Region October 21 Change from Sept 21

Cavan 0 0

Clare 0 -0.8

Galway 0 -5.7

Leitrim 0 0

Longford 0 0

Bottom Five Poorest Payers – Ireland

Region October 21 Change from Sept

Monaghan 91.8 0

Carlow 65 0.8

Wexford 48.2 0

Kilkenny 31 9.9

Dublin 22.1 17

Top Five Prompter Payers – Ireland

Sector October 21 Change from Sept 21

Water & Waste 34.1 34.1

Business Admin & Support 28.7 -13.5

Energy Supply 26 26

Real Estate 22.3 -3.7

Mining and Quarrying 19.5 18.3

Bottom Five Poorest Payers – Ireland

Sector October 21 Change from Sept 21

Water & Waste 34.1 34.1

Business Admin & Support 28.7 -13.5

Energy Supply 26 26

Real Estate 22.3 -3.7

Mining and Quarrying 19.5 18.3

Real Estate -3.7

Education -1.9

Professional and Scientific -0.4

Getting better

Manufacturing -44.7

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing -19.1

Hospitality -18.7

IT and Comms -16.2

Other Service -15.1

Business Admin & Support -13.5

Entertainment -13.2

Public Administration -4.9

International Bodies -4.3

Health & Social -3.8

Real Estate -3.7

Education -1.9

Professional and Scientific -0.4

A hefty increase of 17 days takes

Dublin’s overall DBT to 22.1 days and

Kilkenny’s overall DBT has shot up 9.9

days to 31 days overall.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 34


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

COMING SOON

The Chartered Institute

of Credit Management

Elections

2022

Could you be a member of the

CICM Advisory Council?

Register your interest, or ask any

question about the process by

contacting the CICM Governance

team at governance@cicm.com

Brave | Curious | Resilient

CICM has launched

critical AR Factsheets

for EMEA countries

Powered by

Powered by Baker Ing, country specific factsheets have been

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

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

factsheets are designed for credit professionals, and they

cover legal business forms, credit risk data, collections

protocols, enforcement and much more.

Credit professionals need granular knowledge of the situation

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

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

information to help review risk strategies and Credit

Policies, these insightful documents will help.

Powered by

EU Factsheet

COVID-19 RESPONSE

Powered by

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

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

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

Loans and grants – employees:

Three main tranches of wage subsidy have been introduced.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pre-Litigation

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

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

agreement between the purchaser and any third parties.

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

going to court?

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

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

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

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

the pandemic.

Loans and grants – businesses:

EU Factsheet

GERMANY

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

and grants available which businesses of different sizes can access.

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

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

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

Federal States’ own grant programmes.

Powered by

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

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

mandatory.

The warning notice should contain;

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

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

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

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

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

notice

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

the debtor.

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

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

enforcement.

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

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

proceedings.

Visit cicm.com to view country specific factsheets from,

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

CHARTERED

BAKERING.GLOBAL CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF CREDIT MANAGEMENT

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com /December 2021 / PAGE 35


Seasons Greetings from

Court Enforcement Services

Best wishes for the festive season

and the year ahead

Daron Robinson

Managing Director

Court Enforcement Services Ltd

I write to thank you for your support

during 2021 and to reflect on what

has been a very positive year for us at

Court Enforcement Services.

The coronavirus pandemic has

changed how we live our lives and

do business. I expect some changes

will be permanent with more people

working from home and video calls

replacing face-to-face meetings.

It has been good to see members of

our team resurfacing, enabling them to

travel to meet our clients and contacts,

which, has been beneficial on both

sides. I do hope the number of cases

starts to decrease so we do not need to

return to any form of lockdown and we

can all enjoy the festivities.

Despite the difficulties presented by

the pandemic, we have still had several

notable achievements in 2021, which, I

would like to share with you:

HIGH COURT WRIT VOLUMES FOR 2020

The latest High Court Writ Volumes

for the calendar year 2020 confirmed

we achieved a market share gain for

the sixth year running, making us the

fastest growing company in the High

Court enforcement sector.

As expected, there was a 30%

decrease in the total number of writs

issued in 2020 but despite this, we

were very proud to increase our market

share to 26%, making us officially

the largest High Court enforcement

company by volume.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

I would like to take this opportunity

to express our gratitude to our clients

who have trusted us as a reliable

and safe enforcement partner

during such an unprecedented and

challenging time.

I would also like to thank our

excellent team for their hard work and

dedication to service delivery which

has enabled us to continue to achieve

such fantastic results for our clients.

To have achieved such a large

market share in just 6 years is an

exceptional achievement and would

not have been possible without the

commitment and hard work from

our team and the support and trust

of our clients.

TEAM DEVELOPMENT

The business has added to its expertise

with several internal promotions and

the appointment of some excellent

external candidates, who have slotted

in seamlessly alongside our existing

team and will assist us in maintaining

the growth we have achieved over the

last seven years.

I am delighted to have welcomed

Richard Leach as Operations Director

and Samuel Evans, as a Business

Development Manager as well as many

other new recruits to the business.

Wayne Whitford, a director and cofounder

of the business was included

in the Credit 500 index for the fifth

consecutive year. Published by Credit

Strategy, the Credit 500 index lists the

most influential people in consumer

and commercial credit in 2021.

Three members of our management

team were shortlisted for Women in

Credit Awards this year. I’m extremely

proud of Jodie, Hollie and Adele for

being shortlisted in their respective

categories. All three have made a

significant contribution towards our

growth and have played key roles in our

journey to become the market leading

High Court enforcement company.

We supported Stress Awareness

Month this year, which, coincided with

the launch of our Employee Assistance

Programme. We also provided our

staff with mental health training via

the charity, Mind, to coincide with our

support of Mental Health Awareness

Week 2021.

With the dedication and

commitment our team have

demonstrated over the last year and by

continuing to deliver market leading

results for our clients, our expectation

is that the next 12 months will be

another period of significant growth for

us at Court Enforcement Services.

STAKEHOLDER RELATIONS

We have extended our reach

significantly in 2021. I am delighted

Court Enforcement Services has

become a Corporate Partner to

the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management (CICM). I am pleased this

enables us to extend our support to

members by promoting best practice.

We joined the Civil Enforcement

Association (CIVEA), the principal

trade association for civil enforcement

agencies. We have also joined the

Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG)

whose purpose is to galvanise

organisations to work together to

improve the lives of people with

problem debt.

We continue to support the High

Court Enforcement Officers Association

(HCEOA) and have implemented their

updated best practice guidelines and

continue to support their campaign

for freedom of choice for creditors

to choose who can enforce their

judgments as well as lobbying for

debts under £600 to be enforceable via

High Court Enforcement.

We are delighted to have joined the

Qualco UK Panel providing High Court

enforcement services to the company

and its clients through its collections

and recoveries platform.

I am excited to end the year moving

into our new Head Office in Essex.

The new office provides additional

room for continued growth. After

scouring Essex for the ideal building

and location, we were delighted to

identify a suitable new home for the

business in the county.

The new office brings all officebased

staff together, having previously

occupied two separate buildings. I

have no doubt being under one roof

will be beneficial for staff collaboration,

engagement and communication.

The rapid growth of the company is

due to several significant contract wins

as well as an ever-expanding client

base. The business needed to move

into larger premises to accommodate

our ever-increasing workforce to service

the high volumes of work we are

now undertaking. We are still actively

recruiting and would be pleased to

hear from anyone based in the Essex

area who is interested in developing

their career with us.

It looks like 2022 will be a very

exciting year for us and I would

welcome you to share in our success

by switching to Court Enforcement

Services or by trialling our services to

discover the difference we can make

by improving the results achieved and

enhancing your experience as a client.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 36


SEASON’S GREETINGS FROM

SWITCH ON TO THE MARKET LEADING

HIGH COURT ENFORCEMENT COMPANY IN 2022

AND EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENCE

All of the team at Court Enforcement

Services wish you a Very Merry

Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We would personally like to thank you

for your support in 2021.

Instead of sending Christmas cards this year we

are donating to the national charity Re-engage

dedicated to tackling loneliness and social

isolation amongst older people living in the UK.

01993 220557

wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk

courtenforcementservices.co.uk

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 37


Apprentice profile

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

KATE Casserly began her career at

United Utilities in November 2018 as

Customer Advisor Advanced in the

Property Management team, part

of the Sales, Billing and Integrity

department. She progressed within

the same team to Team Leader at the beginning of

the pandemic in March 2020.

“At this time we started to work with a Business

Process Outsourcing (BPO) partner. I looked after the

day-to-day contact with this team, managing their

performance, training and improvements. I consider

through this I extended my team management

experience.”

Fast forward to April 2021, and Kate excitedly

accepted a new challenge of becoming Section

Manager of the company’s Income department. This

involves looking after specialised teams dealing with

Affordability, Court and Bankruptcy and Liquidation:

“It was a no brainer I would join my colleagues on the

Level 3 Apprenticeship Scheme and CICM course,”

she adds.

“Although I needed to learn my new role and

responsibilities, and that this would be demanding, I

was adamant I wanted to get to know more about the

credit industry. I knew that in order to get my new

team on side, I would need to expand my knowledge

to see how we help some 194,000 customers on our

affordability schemes, or how we deal with nonpaying

customers who are credit worthy, and who we

consider are in a position to pay their water charges.”

Kate found the first module - Consumer Collections

- an excellent place to start and looking at the reasons

why customers fall into arrears and the steps involved

in the collections lifecycle: “It has been an excellent

learning experience to be able to study and compare

this to our own policies and procedures at United

Utilities,” she continues.” It has provided me with the

background of why we do what we do and interact

with customers so well.”

It has been some years since Kate left college

and she thought any structured learning would be

difficult. However, she says the CICM classes every

fortnight have been engaging and interesting: “This

has made attending the course a joy and not a chore,”

she says.

“Our tutor provides plenty of real life examples

and case studies to make the course relevant to

our working day. I know that the CICM course will

enhance my career within the Income department

and benefit United Utilities as my knowledge of the

consumer debt collections sector increases.”

Latest in a new series

of how CICM-led

Apprenticeships are

supporting professional

development

Kate Casserly

United Utilities

Section Manager, Income department

“It has been an excellent learning

experience to be able to study and

compare this to our own policies and

procedures at United Utilities. It has

provided me with the background of

why we do what we do and interact with

customers so well.”

Apprenticeships in Credit

Control and Collections

There are five apprenticeships for those working in the credit

profession. At each Level of apprenticeship you will be able to

gain professional CICM qualifications

• Credit Controller/Collector

• Advanced Credit Controller and Debt Collection Specialist

Apprenticeship

• Compliance/Risk Officer Apprenticeship

• Senior Compliance/Risk Specialist Apprenticeship

• Financial Services Degree Apprenticeship

For more details on how CICM can help you start your

apprenticeship journey, visit cicm.com/apprenticeships

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 38


EDUCATION & MARKETING

These are pre-recorded training sessions that

you can access anywhere and at anytime.

These are live, interactive sessions,

delivered virtually by a qualified trainer.

UPCOMING VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS

Credit Boot Camp

Coming soon, register your interest today

Effective communication

Coming soon, register your interest today

Collect that cash

Coming soon, register your interest today

Reflect and develop

Coming soon, register your interest today

Collection skills

Wednesday, 15 December at 8:30am

Advanced collection skills

Wednesday, 15 December at 10:30am

Best practice skills

to assess credit risk

Wednesday, 15 December at 12:30pm

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.

Book your place today, visit www.cicm.com

or contact a member of our team on 01780 722900

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 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

Satago helps business owners and their

accountants avoid credit risks, manage debtors

and access finance when they need it – all in

one platform. Satago integrates with 300+ cloud

accounting apps with just a few clicks, helping

businesses:

Understand their customers - with RISK INSIGHTS

Get paid on time - with automated CREDIT CONTROL

Access funding - with flexible SINGLE INVOICE FINANCE

Visit satago.com and start your free trial today.

T: 020 8050 3015

E: hello@satago.com

W: www.satago.com

HighRadius provides a cloud-based Integrated

Receivable Platform, powered by machine learning

and AI. Our Technology empowers enterprise

organisations to reduce cycle time in the order-tocash

process and increase working capital availability

by automating receivables and payments processes

across credit, electronic billing and payment

processing, cash application, deductions, and

collections.

T: +44 (0) 203 997 9400

E: infoemea@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

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 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 corporate Credit Control

teams with Accounts Receivable software for bulk

e-invoicing, collections, dispute management and

invoice finance. The modular, cloud-based Corrivo

platform can be configured for any business model.

It integrates with all ERP systems and buyer AP

platforms or tax regimes. Customers can self-serve

on mobile friendly portals, however their invoices are

delivered, and Credit Controllers can easily extract

data for compliance, audit and reporting purposes.

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

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 41


INTRODUCING OUR

CORPORATE

PARTNERS

For further information and to discuss the

opportunities of entering into a Corporate

Partnership with the CICM, please contact

corporatepartners@cicm.com

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

VISMA | Onguard is a 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. This enhanced visibility with the secure sharing

of critical data ensures optimal connection between

all processes in the order-to-cash chain, resulting

in stronger, longer-lasting customer relationships

through improved and personalised communication.

The VISMA | Onguard platform is used for successful

credit management in more than 70 countries.

T: 020 3868 0947

E: edan.milner@onguard.com

W: www.onguard.com

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.

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)2920 824700

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/

T: +44(0)7747 761641

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

The CICM Benevolent Fund is

here to support members of

the CICM in times of need.

CMY

K

Some examples of how CICM have helped our members are:

• Financed the purchase of a mobility scooter for a disabled member.

• Helped finance the studies of the daughter of a member who

became unexpectedly ill.

• Financed the purchase of computer equipment to assist an

unemployed member set up a business.

• Contributed towards the purchase of an orthopaedic bed for one

member whose condition was thereby greatly eased.

• Helped with payment for a drug, not available on the NHS, for

medical treatment of another member.

If you or any dependants are in need or in distress, please apply today – we are here to

help. (Your application will then be reviewed by the CICM Benevolent Fund committee and

you will be advised of their decision as quickly as possible)

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 42


Global Outlook

Paid and complementary information and analysis for

credit management.

Browse, search and download a broad range of reporting,

market bulletins, webinars, lectures, and factsheets made for

credit managers.

We've consolidated our hugely popular resources into a single

online location, giving credit managers quick and easy access

to all the information they need, when they need it.

bakering.global/global-outlook

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 43


OPINION

Testing Times

How best practice credit management

can avoid Late Payment. Part Two

AUTHOR – Derek Scott FCICM

SMALL and Medium-sized Enterprises

(SMEs) perhaps face a

different challenge than some

of their larger peers. But even if

you are a small company, you still

need a person who has real knowledge

of credit management, otherwise you

will leave yourself open to slow payment, bad

debts etc. Just grabbing any order that comes

along without any form of financial due diligence

is, as I found working with small businesses

for many years, a recipe for disaster.

No matter how limited your actions may

be, prevention is always better than cure. And

if you take action quickly enough, it may not

be too late. And if on occasions a dispute over

whose terms apply to a transaction comes

before a court, they always seem to favour the

business that fired the last shot. So, make sure

it is you!

Many SMEs, I am sorry to say, create their

own payment problems. I recall a one-man

engineering business who I was working

for once and going through his accounts.

He supplied even more equipment to a man

who had not paid him for six months! His

rationale was that, and I quote, ‘he was a good

customer’. He isn’t. A good customer is one

who pays and pays promptly and on time.

EXPERT ADVICE

Of course, one of the biggest problems will

always be the availability of real expert advice

when one starts a business, particularly

when it comes to credit management. Too

much time is arguably spent on networking,

marketing etc., but hardly any on credit

management training. Even when some

form of mentoring is provided, it is often

done so by the wrong people, or people who

are not adequately trained or experienced

themselves. Sometimes they have theoretical

knowledge, but little knowledge of the real

world.

I remember on one occasion someone

who designed clothing patterns giving

credit management advice, and on another

occasion, it was a person who had received

just one day of credit management training on

a ‘course’. In both cases their ‘expert’ advice

led to financial disaster. A professional job is

best left to the professionals!

There is no reason why an SME cannot

follow the credit salesman strategy. In doing

so, they will not lose business and their

customer relationships are likely to get

stronger. Some have historically employed

someone part time who had real credit

management expertise, after first having

taken my advice. I do remember, however, one

client saying he had taken on a professional

and when I asked what she had been doing

previously he said, ‘cabin crew!’.

SMEs can reduce bad debts and slow

payments quite easily by doing the simple

things right. Legislation will not solve the

problem; in real truth it will just add costly

and complicated litigation that will consume

hours of time with little by way of a guaranteed

outcome. Businesses will be scared of losing

their customers. Can you imagine a scenario

involving a cash discount where the customer

receives a 2.5 percent discount for 14 days

payment terms, pays in 21 days, but still takes

the discount!? You invariably write it off as it

would be far too much hassle to do otherwise.

AND HERE’S ONE FINAL THOUGHT.

A statistic often quoted, and I assume based

on fact, is that three out of every five new

businesses don’t last any longer than a year.

I am sure we can all guess why. What I do

know is there needs to be more honesty

among those giving the advice when their

experience tells them the idea hasn’t got

a hope, and they’d be better hanging onto

their cash (especially when that cash is often

redundancy money). It may sound brutal, but

it would save everyone a significant amount

of heartache.

Derek Scott FCICM is a freelance

business writer.

I do remember, however, one client saying he had taken on

a professional and when I asked what she had been doing

previously he said, ‘cabin crew!’.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 44


OPINION

AUTHOR – Derek Scott FCICM

Too much time is arguably

spent on networking, marketing

etc., but hardly any on credit

management training. Even

when some form of mentoring

is provided, it is often done so by

the wrong people, or people who

are not adequately trained or

experienced themselves.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 45


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

Andrew Bass

Bhamini Thangavelayutham

Chelsea Pullin

Chloe Williams

Christopher Holden

Janice Lawler

Jennifer Howling

Lauren Starkey

Megan Pearson

Rebecca Cacho Dominguez

Redha Rubaie

Ross Kennedy

Samantha Taylor

Shannon Oliver

Sharon Lynch

Stephen Picksley

Tracey Evans

Zoe Pearson

Affiliate

Alison Payne

Amanda Rookes

Corinne McLuckie

David Einfield

Gary McCafferty

Gavin Fisher

George Watson

Malgorzata Swiezynska

Marissa Fourie

Michelle Cleathero

Stefan Grainger

Congratulations to our current members who have upgraded their membership

Upgraded member

Rebecca Sutton FCICM

Ian Clark FCICM

Joe Postings MCICM

Zoe Carver ACICM

AWARDING BODY

Congratulations to the following, who successfully achieved Diplomas

Level 3 Diploma in Credit & Collections (ACICM)

Quays Nouristani Eniko Szabo Kayleigh Bagnall

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.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 46


ROUND TABLE

JUDGMENT

ENFORCEMENT

Is it time for creditors to have more options

when enforcing judgments below £600?

IN August, the High Court Enforcement

Officers Association (HCEOA)

published the results of its survey into

whether the High Court and County

Courts Jurisdiction Order 1991 should

be amended to allow creditors to

choose to use High Court Enforcement Officers

(HCEOs) to enforce judgments below £600.

Currently, only County Court Bailiffs (CCBs)

can enforce sub £600 judgments and Consumer

Credit Act regulated debt.

CICM and corporate partner High Court

Enforcement Group ran a roundtable in October

with highly respected industry experts from

solicitors, businesses and industry bodies, to

discuss the survey findings and consider how

enforcement change can be effected to provide

the credit and legal industries the support

required.

The consensus was that there is not an

appropriate set of enforcement options today.

Reform is needed now, delivered in a compliant

way considering the needs of debtors. Part

of that reform is automation; to speed up

transferring and issuing writs.

Whilst the main focus of the discussion was

on sub £600 debt, all believed that creditors

should also have choice for enforcement of

regulated debt. There is no justification for the

distinction.

The more debt recovered, the greater

the benefit to the creditor and UK plc. This

is particularly true for SMEs who can be

significantly impacted by bad debt, sometimes

causing them to go out of business.

Sue Chapple FCICM, CEO of CICM and

roundtable chair, stressed that the cost of not

taking action to reform enforcement is high:

“For smaller business, the debt ripples so far

and wide and the impact is on wider society.

We need a focus also on bigger companies not

paying small businesses.”

The question was asked whether these lower

value judgments are worth HCEOs’ time. Alan

J Smith, HCEOA Chair, confirmed that they

are. In response to questions about fees and

affordability, Alan said: “HCEO companies

and the Association have always said that

they are very happy to work with the Ministry

of Justice to agree a fee scale agreeable

for all parties. HCEOS are already enforcing

employment tribunal awards with no

minimum debt value – the model exists and the

system works.”

A MATTER OF CHOICE

Opening up choice would allow CCBs to focus

on process serving and the enforcement of

possession orders, where 40-week delays are

common.

Most cases currently are not even reaching

the CCB, as they go into the warrant of control

call centres. By this stage the client has already

gone through debt collection; they want their

money back and not another call centre.

Robert Thompson, Civil Court Users

Association Chair, agreed that there is little

choice currently for regulated or sub-£600

judgment enforcement: “I want to open the

Jurisdiction Order to regulated debt as well as

sub-£600 because County Court Bailiffs cannot

cope.”

The other issue with the County Court route

is the lack of information on why they didn’t get

a result. When clients instruct their solicitor,

they incur costs and have to believe there is

some chance of success.

Looking forward, everyone present felt that

enforcement is integral and that will only

increase in the coming years, especially as

COVID business loans have to be repaid.

EDUCATION AND TRANSPARENCY

Debtors need better understanding of the

consequences of not paying debt and how

a more collaborative approach can reduce

stress and mental health issues. For businesses

credit checks are often forgotten and contract

terms and conditions are ‘a tsunami waiting

to happen’ as businesses have tinkered with

theirs over the years and they may not be fit for

enforcement.

All agreed that the industry needs to

fully open for HCEOs, with transparency on

fees, enforcement companies accountable and

league tables so they can be judged on results.

As a final word of advice, Rob Thompson

said: “We need to keep a close eye on what is

being suggested for reform. Some ideas are

good, such as allowing the debtor to check

the EA’s credentials, but some are dangerous.

Allowing the debtor to apply online for a stay of

execution is a bad idea; it would happen every

time.”

CICM and HCE Group would like to thank

everyone who took part for their insightful

contributions.

You can download the HCEOA survey report

from www.hceoa.org.uk.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 47


ESG

TEAM PLAYERS

Sean Feast FCICM looks at an interesting

approach to ESG from Germany.

TO some in the debt collection

and debt purchase sector, adopting

a credible Environmental, Social

and Governance (ESG) strategy

can be a challenge. Especially

as the social aspects are the

most material.

Some take the easy route and align with

existing national debt advice charities and in

doing so tick a box, and a worthy one at that. It is

also relatively easy and worthy to support local

charities and take part in local initiatives that

previously would sit comfortably under HR’s

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) umbrella

to increase employee engagement.

Where such support often falls down,

however, is that the objectives of the charity,

and the ‘sponsor’, are not always aligned. As

such, the relationship is only ‘transactional’ and

rarely delivers any long-term value. The support

provided to one charity over another can easily

chop and change, as they are annually put to

the vote by employees, or a new CEO joins the

business and has his/her own particular favorite

cause. There is no hint of any true, sustainable

partnership.

But UK businesses could learn a thing or two

from an interesting social enterprise initiative

in Germany known as TEAM U, and how the

COVID pandemic and the recent terrible floods

have meant its services have been much in

demand.

SOCIAL BUSINESS MODEL

TEAM U is a social business set up almost 15

years ago to help entrepreneurs and SMEs in

distress. It is the brainchild of Attila Von Unruh,

a serial entrepreneur in the 1990s/early 2000s

who was hit by bankruptcy during the sale of

his company and subsequent mismanagement

by the new owners.

Attila was left liable for the damage even

though he was not responsible for causing it.

Like most insolvents, he experienced personal

feelings of inadequacy, frustration, and despair,

and it was while on the road to recovery

that he set up a support network, Insolvents

Anonymous, for insolvent or bankrupt people.

He is today a full-time social entrepreneur, and

the power behind TEAM U.

Staffed by volunteers and now part of

the European Commission’s Early Warning

Europe Program, TEAM U’s purpose is first

and foremost to help entrepreneurs to avoid

bankruptcy, and secondly to help turn their

businesses around, and rebuild their lives as

individuals. Currently the biggest organisation

of its kind in Germany, it offers a free hotline,

peer-to-peer support, self-help groups, online

‘‘We care about

people, in order

to support them

best it is necessary

to understand

their needs – not

only in terms of

finances. Building

trust is the base

for understanding

each other.

Understanding

each other is the

base for effective

and sustainable

for support.’’

services, and consultancy, and has a network

of very experienced experts to refer to. Most of

the volunteers are themselves entrepreneurs

who have personally managed to deal with

crisis, and who have gone on to be trained as

professional counsellors. Insolvency is still a big

taboo in Germany – it is a very emotional issue,

so it needs to be addressed in a very personal

way to reach entrepreneurs to act early before

it is too late.

‘‘We care about people,” Atilla told Credit

Management magazine. “In order to support

them best it is necessary to understand their

needs - not only in terms of finances. Building

trust is the base for understanding each other.

Understanding each other is the base for

effective and sustainable for support.’’

GROWING SUCCESS

The main challenge for TEAM U has been to

keep up with the pace of its organisational

growth and reaching the people most in need

of its help. This is where a partnership with one

of Europe’s largest debt purchasing companies,

Hoist Finance, is helping to redefine the

relationship between the industry and the

social sector.

As a provider of debt resolution services,

Hoist Finance, along with similar organisations

in its sector, actively seeks to refer customers

to specific support networks when a customer

is especially vulnerable or has a specific need.

The relationship between the finance house

and the social enterprise, however, is usually

one-way and often to fulfil a regulatory need.

Hoist Finance has taken a completely different

approach, as Camilla Backström, Head of

Sustainability, explains: “Many of us work with

charities but rarely have a clear view of the

value creation that such a relationship has or to

what extent it benefits the target group and/or

our customers,” she says.

“So, in working with Attila and his team,

we started our relationship by mapping out

what we wanted to achieve together, as this

is an important foundation in any successful

partnership.”

In setting an impact framework, the two

parties agreed on the outcomes they wanted to

achieve and which indicators would be most

suitable to measure progress. The long-term

outcome was to avoid more SMEs becoming

insolvent than was necessary, and to monitor

the help that they sought. From Hoist Finance’s

perspective, a customer who is supported begins

a journey towards financial rehabilitation,

allowing them to pay back what they owe to

the point of becoming debt free and improving

their credit score.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 48


ESG

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

An important insight from the initial

dialogue was that TEAM U did not have

a digital channel to support clients,

making their reach very limited. Hoist

Finance was prepared to make an

investment to support the development

of an online platform to enable TEAM U

to help more customers.

“TEAM U had until recently been

very much an analogue business

and therefore limited in the number

of people it could reach and help.

By creating an online platform, and

engaging with customers digitally,

TEAM U had the opportunity to scale

nationwide and create much greater

value,” Camilla adds.

‘‘Setting common goals

and objectives from the

start, and agreeing on

clear outcomes of what

can be achieved, are the

secret to a truly sustainable

partnership.”

DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT

The digital engagement is having

another positive impact in that it is

enabling TEAM U’s counsellors to

interact with the entrepreneurs at an

earlier stage and bringing content and

information to a much wider audience

to support the adage that prevention is

better than cure.

While it is still early days, Camilla is

confident that this new partnership will

deliver the ‘win win’ that she believes

such sustainability initiatives should

be able to demonstrate: “TEAM U are

able to monitor the number of visitors

to the portal, the information that they

download and the support that they

seek. This information then enables us

to make decisions on where to focus

our continued support for further

development of content to better deliver

on the visitors’ needs,” she says.

Camilla believes that such

partnerships are the way forward for

creating long term impact in the future:

“We are all keen to support the debt

advice sector customers, but in light

of customer integrity issues it is not

always possible to measure whether

the level of support we provide is really

helping those customers who need help

the most, or whether that is ultimately

helping our customers to become debt

free and regain an improved credit

score. Therefore, with the target group

in focus, setting common goals and

objectives from the start, and agreeing

on clear outcomes of what can be

achieved, are the secret to a truly

sustainable partnership.”

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 49


HR MATTERS

Employers have a duty

to ensure the health and

safety of employees

CAN you be forced to retire?

That was the question

answered in two cases

brought against Oxford

University which operates

an Employer Justified

Retirement Age (EJRA) policy.

EJRA allows three legitimate aims –

inter-generational fairness, succession

planning and promoting equality and

diversity. The policy at Oxford requires

all employees at grade eight or higher to

retire before their 69th birthday.

In June 2014, Professor Pitcher was

notified that his retirement date would be

30 September 2016, in-line with the EJRA.

He requested to work beyond this date,

and this was denied. He brought direct

discrimination and victimisation claims.

Separately, in 2014, Professor Ewart was

granted a two-year work extension until

he was 69. He later applied for a second

extension which was rejected, and in

September 2017 Ewart was forced to retire

in-line with the EJRA. He brought unfair

dismissal and age discrimination claims.

The Employment Tribunal (ET) in

Pitcher’s case dismissed his claims of

direct age discrimination and unfair

dismissal, finding that the EJRA was

justified and the dismissals fair. A

different employment tribunal (ET) in

THE Government announced on 20

September 2021 that the shielding

programme for those who were clinically

extremely vulnerable (CEV) in England

had ended.

The Government’s updated guidance

confirms that individuals who were

previously classed as CEV will no longer

be advised to shield and should continue

to follow the same guidance as the rest of

the population.

Now that many organisations are

encouraging employees to return to

the workplace, it is likely that those

employees previously deemed to be CEV

will have mixed feelings about whether

they want to, or are ready to, return to

the workplace. Employers have a duty to

ensure the health and safety of employees

in so far as is reasonably practicable.

Therefore, before employers consider

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards

Ewart’s case upheld his claims of direct

age discrimination and unfair dismissal,

finding that the university had not shown

the EJRA to be justified.

The case of Ewart v University of

Oxford case was covered in the May

issue of Credit Management but since

the University appealed the decision by

The EAT was faced with

two conflicting Tribunal

decisions on very similar

EJRA policies operated by

the same employer and

so it considered the two

appeals together.

the Ewart Tribunal to the Employment

Appeals Tribunal (EAT), and Professor

Pitcher also appealed the dismissal of the

his claims. The EAT was faced with two

conflicting Tribunal decisions on very

similar EJRA policies operated by the

same employer and so it considered the

two appeals together.

In the context of age discrimination,

bringing CEV staff back into the office,

they should consult with staff to provide

them with an opportunity to raise any

concerns they may have.

Employers should consider carrying

out a risk assessment for each CEV

employee to determine the potential risks

which would particularly affect them

and consider whether any adjustments

can be made which would address those

concerns.

Risk assessments should take account

of the nature of the workplace, the

employee's role, their specific condition

and concerns, and any adjustments

required. Employers may wish to seek

advice from occupational health, or

other specialist medical practitioner on

suitable adjustments, particularly where

an employee is disabled.

The ending of the shielding programme

an employer would not discriminate

against an employee if they could show

their treatment was objectively justified

because it was “a proportionate means of

achieving a legitimate aim”.

This means that the EAT would have to

decide whether the university’s aims for

the EJRA policy were legitimate and, if

so, whether the policy was proportionate.

That latter question requires a weighing

up of the gravity of the policy on the

employees disadvantaged by it against the

importance of the legitimate aims.

In both cases, the EAT held that

the policy facilitated the aims by not

delaying the creation of vacancies,

thereby a younger, more diverse cohort of

candidates could be considered for senior

academic roles.

However, the EAT rejected both appeals,

affirming that Pitcher's compulsory

retirement was justified and a fair dismissal,

but Ewart's dismissal was discriminatory.

The EAT acknowledged that it was

undesirable for an employer to be faced

with what appeared to be conflicting ET

decisions relating to a particular policy but

stressed that the nature of the assessment

of whether a policy is objectively justified

is always specific to the facts and evidence

before the tribunal.

Supporting vulnerable staff returning to work

does not necessarily mean that it is

appropriate to require CEV employees

to return to the workplace. Many CEV

employees may feel nervous about

returning and want to continue to work

from home, especially if the workplace is

particularly risky.

ACAS guidance, Working Safely During

Coronavirus, advises that employers

should support CEV staff continuing to

work from home. However, if it is not

possible for CEV employees to work from

home then employers should consider

what extra measures can be put in place

to keep CEV staff safe.

Gareth Edwards is a partner in

the employment team at VWV

www.gedwards@vwv.co.uk

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 50


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Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 51


FORUMS INTERNATIONAL

SUPPORTING THE CREDIT INDUSTRY

& BEYOND

Get ahead in Credit and have Forums International by your side.

Laurie Beagle FCICM

We have an exciting time ahead for Credit Professionals with the

launch of our new Flexi Membership. We are constantly looking at

new ways to ensure our members have all the tools needed for

success, post-pandemic through our links with leading thought

leaders.

FLEXI MEMBERSHIP

Forums International has launched “Flexi Membership” – an opportunity for

you to experience attendance at multiple events across our spectrum of

sector-specific forums and international events as your needs change. Visit

our website www.forumsinternational.co.uk

FORUMS INTERNATIONAL DIRECTORY

We have created a directory of links to organisations, associations and

resources which are of interest and relevance to credit professionals. Find

the information you need at a click of a button.

SOVRAN ORDER TO CASH AUTOMATION

Order to Cash (O2C) is full of tasks, some repetitive and difficult, many are

time-consuming, and certainly costly to a financial operation and impacting

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provide better job satisfaction and upskill your team in the process.

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W WW.FORUMSINTERNATIONAL.CO.UK

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 52


MARKETING & EDUCATION

Virtual Classes

for 2021

Get CICM qualified by attending

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Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 53


TAKE CONTROL OF

YOUR CREDIT CAREER

CREDIT MANAGER

Wembley, £50,000 + bonus

This is an excellent opportunity for a driven credit professional

to join a nationwide business, in a newly created position.

Managing a team of eight, the Credit Manager will be expected

to review current procedures and processes, and implement

changes to improve the efficiency of the credit department.

Establishing strong working relationships with the Sales team

and other internal departments will also form part of this role.

Ref: 4044083

Contact Jill Weightman on 01923 205286

or email jill.weightman@hays.com

AR MANAGER

Slough, £34,000 + bonus

Managing a team of three, this role takes responsibility for all

invoicing and cash collection tasks for a growing Information

Technology business. This is a varied and hands on position that

will cover new account set up, credit checking, cash collection

and cash flow reporting. You will be a proven AR Manager with

strong leadership skills and a customer centric approach.

Ref: 4094629

Contact Sager Sabharwal on 07423 016830

or email sager.sabharwal@hays.com

BILLING TRANSACTIONS MANAGER

New Malden, up to £40,000

The purpose of this role is to manage the Billing Transition

and Transaction Management teams in the UK, and Offshore.

The Billings Transactions Manager will be the main escalation for

the teams to ensure related projects and billing processes work

seamlessly. Working closely with UK Billing teams to ensure

contract wins are taken on efficiently and without issues.

Ref: 4092371

Contact Mark Ordoña on 07565 800574

or email mark.ordona@hays.com

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE ASSISTANT

Victoria, London, £27,000-£30,000

A high-end jewellery company is looking for an Accounts

Receivable Assistant with a minimum of two years relevant

experience. Duties for this role include invoicing and cash

allocations, reconciling accounts, communications, credit control,

AR ledger responsibility, ensuring postings are accurate and

carried out in a timely manner and debtors management.

This role is also the point of contact for wholesale partner queries.

Ref: 4083419

Contact Haleemah Kausar on 020 3465 0020

or email haleemah.kausar@hays.com

hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 54


TRAIN FOR THE

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To find out more visit

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CREDIT CONTROLLER/COLLECTOR

Woking, £25,000-£28,000

Joining the business on a temporary to permanent basis,

you will be responsible for collecting due and overdue payments

from both individuals and businesses. Working closely with the

customer service team, you will ensure that queries and issues

are resolved to ensure that prompt payment can be made.

Keeping customer accounts updated, sending copy invoices,

and running reports for management will also be required.

Ref: 4035540

Contact Natascha Whitehead on 07770 786433

or email natascha.whitehead@hays.com

CREDIT CONTROLLER

King’s Lynn, Norfolk, £20,000-£25,000

An exciting opportunity to join an expanding manufacturing and

technology business working within an already strong team and

being responsible for a busy ledger. You will be overseeing the

full credit cycle from creating new accounts and credit checking

new customers, collecting and allocating cash, processing credit

notes and reconciling accounts, to supporting with month end

debt reporting. A great opportunity to join one of the region’s

leading organisations. Ref: 4087432

Contact William Plom on 01603 760141

or email william.plom@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 Natascha Whitehead, Hays Credit

Management UK Lead on 07770 786433

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 55


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 56


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 57


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Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

COLLECTIONS

COLLECTIONS LEGAL

CONSULTANCY

Controlaccount Plc

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD

T: 01527 386 610

E: sales@controlaccount.com

W: www.controlaccount.com

Controlaccount plc has been providing efficient, effective and

ethical pre-legal debt recovery for over forty years. We help our

clients to improve internal processes and increase cashflow,

whilst protecting customer relationships and established

reputations. We have long-standing partnerships with leading,

global brand names, SMEs and not for profits. We recover

over 30,000 overdue invoices each month, domestically and

internationally, on a no collect, no fee arrangement. Other

services include credit control and dunning services, international

and domestic trace and legal recoveries. All our clients have

full transparency on any accounts placed with us through our

market leading cloud-based management portal, 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)

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 60


FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION OPTIONS

AND PRICING CONTACT

paul@centuryone.uk 01727 739 196

CREDIT INFORMATION

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

identeco – Business Support Toolkit

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,

Worcestershire B60 4FD

Telephone: 01527 386 607

Email: info@identeco.co.uk

Web: www.identeco.co.uk

identeco Business Support Toolkit provides company details

and financial reporting for over 4m UK companies and

business. Subscribers can view company financial health and

payment behaviour, credit ratings, shareholder and director

structures, detrimental data. In addition, subscribers can also

download unlimited B2B marketing and acquisition reports.

Annual subscription is only £79.95. Other services available

to subscribers include AML and KYC reports, pre-litigation

screening, trace services and data appending, as well as many

others.

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

HighRadius

T: +44 (0) 203 997 9400

E: infoemea@highradius.com

W: www.highradius.com

HighRadius provides a cloud-based Integrated Receivable

Platform, powered by machine learning and AI. Our Technology

empowers enterprise organisations to reduce cycle time in the

order-to-cash process and increase working capital availability by

automating receivables and payments processes across credit,

electronic billing and payment processing, cash application,

deductions, and collections.

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

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

We are dedicated to helping finance teams take the cost,

complexity and compliance issues out of Accounts Receivable

processes. Corrivo is our reliable, easy-to-use SaaS platform

for the continuous improvement of AR metrics and KPIs in a

user-friendly interface. Credit Controllers can manage more

accounts with better results and customers can self-serve on

mobile-responsive portals where they can query, pay, download

and view invoices and related documentation e.g. Proofs of

Delivery Corrivo is the only AR platform with integrated invoice

finance options for both buyer and supplier that flexes credit

terms without degrading DSO. Call for a demo.

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.

Satago

48 Warwick Street, London, W1B 5AW

T: +44(0)020 8050 3015

E: hello@satago.com

W: www.satago.com

Satago helps business owners and their accountants avoid credit

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

in one platform. Satago integrates with 300+ cloud accounting

apps with just a few clicks, helping businesses:

• Understand their customers - with RISK INSIGHTS

• Get paid on time - with automated CREDIT CONTROL

• Access funding - with flexible SINGLE INVOICE FINANCE

Visit satago.com and start your free trial today.

VISMA | ONGUARD

T: 020 3966 8324

E: edan.milner@onguard.com

W: www.onguard.com

VISMA | Onguard is a 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. This enhanced visibility with the secure

sharing of critical data ensures optimal connection between all

processes in the order-to-cash chain, resulting in stronger, longerlasting

customer relationships through improved and personalised

communication. The VISMA | Onguard platform is used for

successful credit management in more than 70 countries.

DATA AND ANALYTICS

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.

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.

Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 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.

FOR ADVERTISING

INFORMATION OPTIONS

AND PRICING CONTACT

paul@centuryone.uk

01727 739 196

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.

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.

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, a 5* Trustpilot rated agency, solely

specialises in the recruitment of Permanent, Temporary & Contract

Credit Control, Accounts Receivable and Collections staff

including remote workers. Part of The Portfolio Group, an awardwinning

Recruiter, we speak to Credit Controllers every day and

understand their skills meaning we are perfectly placed to provide

your business with talented Credit Control professionals. Offering

a highly tailored approach to recruitment, we use a hybrid of faceto-face

and remote briefings, interviews and feedback options.

We provide both candidates & clients with a commitment to deliver

that will exceed your expectations every single time.

Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 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

Brave | Curious | Resilient

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

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 63


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

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / December 2021 / PAGE 64

REDWOODCOLLECTIONS.COM

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