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MARCH 2022 £12.50





How CRAs are supporting

the economic recovery

CICM launches the

benchmark in Professional

Standards. Page 5

Sean Feast speaks

to Karen Young of Hays.

Page 16


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Case study report



Adam Bernstein



Manosij Ganguli




Karen Young

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.




Lead article

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

Sarah Wilding FCICM / Atul Vadher FCICM(Grad)

MARCH 2022




Round-up of the latest to be accredited/

re-accredited to CICMQ.


What are the biggest challenges

facing CRA and Business Intelligence



Sean Feast FCICM speak to Karen

Young at Hays about life in and out of

the saddle.


How do businesses avoid being accused

of Greenwashing?


The journey towards net zero is a

marathon not a sprint.


The Republic of Georgia has come out

of the shadows and is punching above

its weight.


What does the FCA’s Financial Lives

data tells us about consumer lending?


How the CICM is helping BT bring

employees around the globe closer



What does it mean to win the CICM’s

Outstanding Contribution to the

Industry Award? Charles Wilson knows.


Chartered Institute of Credit Management

The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham


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, Sam Wilson and Mona Yazdanparast


Paul Heitzman

Telephone: 01727 739 196

Email: paul@centuryone.uk


Stephens & George Print Group

2021 subscriptions

UK: £112 per annum

International: £145 per annum

Single copies: £12.50

ISSN 0265-2099

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 3


A little pressure is sometimes a

good thing, but only if it’s shared

Sean Feast FCICM

Managing Editor


had the great pleasure last

month of attending the quarterly

CICM Think Tank. If you don’t

know what it is, it is a group of

professionals from across all

sides of the credit industry who

come together to hear, share and define

best-practice across a range of consumer

and commercial credit issues and wider

business management challenges. One of

the issues on the agenda for this quarter

was staff recruitment and retention. And

what an eye opener it was.

Marek Danyluk, Managing Partner of

Space Executive, was one of the guest

speakers who gave us his insight into the

current market, and how the winners were

the ones who put ‘culture’ and ‘flexibility’

at the heart of their recruitment and

retention strategy (see news page seven

and also see Karen Young interview page

16). Giving employees the opportunity

to feedback, he said, was not enough;

staff needed to know that their feedback

was being acted upon. Money, it seems,

is also no-longer the biggest motivator;

today people are more interested in how

their wellbeing is being considered, with

access to GP advice lines and mental

health counselling.

Now I don’t mind telling you, that the

more Marek spoke the older I felt. When

I first started work in 1985 at the age of

17, I was constantly told I was useless and

hit around the head by my editor until one

day I stood up and threw a haymaker at

him. Given I am not one prone to violence

(it is the one and only punch I have ever

thrown in my life), things must have been

quite bad. Quite understandably I was

sacked on the spot. Quite rightly also,

although not until several months later,

my tormentor was also given the boot.

In those early years I don’t recall any real

support, no real training, and certainly

nothing approaching any consideration

for my mental or physical wellbeing. It

was sink or swim. Toughen up or get out.

It’s remarkable I’ve turned out as normal

as I have (though my Deputy Editor may


Of course, what I went through, and a

large number of us who started out almost

40 years ago also experienced, would not

be tolerated now and should not have been

tolerated then. Over the last four decades

I’ve witnessed huge progress in how

people are treated, and the support they

are given through training and mentoring

programmes. I am also encouraged by the

focus on people’s wellbeing and mental

health, and a genuine flexibility in helping

people with their work/life balance.

But much as I never want to see the

likes of my old boss in the workplace

again, neither do I want us to become

so afraid of our own shadows that we

can’t give honest opinions when things

are not right – for fear that an individual

may then claim some mental oppression

and disappear for the week. Neither do I

think it’s fair that the poor performance

of one individual puts unnecessary

pressure on others in their team, and in

turn impinges their mental health. We all

have to look after one another, and just

because some appear to have a greater

tolerance to pressure, that does not mean

their apparent mental ‘toughness’ should

be exploited, and it doesn’t mean that they

may not be struggling elsewhere.

A little pressure is sometimes a good

thing. Not always, and not all of the time,

but every so often it can inspire you to do

your best work. But it’s a pressure that

should always be shared.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 4


A round-up of news stories from the

world of consumer and commercial credit.

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM

New Professional Standards

to benchmark excellence in

credit management

Anew set of Professional

Standards that defines

the unique skills and

contribution that credit

professionals deliver in

protecting and growing

business and the economy has been

launched by the Chartered Institute

of Credit Management (CICM), the

largest recognised professional body in

the world for the credit management


A first of its kind for the profession,

the new Professional Standards

establish a benchmark and help

demonstrate the enormous variety of

roles within credit at every level, local

and global, to attract new employees

into the industry and define what skills

they need to succeed in an exciting,

dynamic and rewarding career.

The standards similarly act as a

showcase for existing professionals –

and members of the CICM in particular

– to further promote what they do, not

only within their own organisations,

but also within the wider business

community. The Standards serve not

as a qualification, but rather as an

indication of continual professional

development and lifelong learning, to

benchmark an individual’s progress

and identify active goals and targets as

part of a realistic career pathway.

Debbie Tuckwood, the CICM’s Chief

Advisor for Professional Development

who is leading the initiative, says the

new Professional Standards will help

transform how a career in credit is

perceived: “This is all about raising the

profile of people who work in credit

and collections, not only building their

confidence, but also helping businesses

understand what credit and debt

professionals are all about, and what

they can do.

“There are many out there who have

only a very narrow view of a career

in credit, if any understanding at all.

Through the Professional Standards

we can shift these perceptions, attract

more talent into the industry, and

demonstrate the skills of existing

professionals and see how they

benchmark against their peers.”

In terms of the detail, the

Professional Standards have three

key focus areas: business skills;

personal skills; and behaviours. All are

essential to help credit and collections

professionals progress, and are

mapped against the four levels of CICM



Standards are a

game changer

for the credit and

debt management


generally and

for our members


membership: Affiliates; Associates;

Members; and Fellows. The Standards

also provide detail and guidance on

a large range of technical areas and

specialisms such as enforcement,

export credit management, consumer

credit risk and cash collections.

The Professional Standards have

been developed in partnership

with several leading bodies and

representatives from organisations

including the UK Government’s Cabinet

Office and Department of Work and

Pensions, Imperial College London,

Johnson and Johnson, Aggregate

Industries, nPower, United Utilities,

Adecco, Arvato Financial Solutions and


Along with the Professional

Standards, the CICM is working with its

partners to develop a self-assessment

tool to help members plan their

development and identify relevant

support to further their careers from

the CICM’s member services including

training and qualifications.

Sue Chapple, FCICM Chief Executive

of the CICM says the new Professional

Standards will allow the Institute

to celebrate the breadth of skills

its members possess: “The CICM

Professional Standards are a game

changer for the credit and debt

management profession generally

and for our members specifically,” she

says. “They will help businesses better

understand the value of employing

a CICM member as well as helping

those new to the profession, inspiring

lifelong learning and helping them

build careers in credit and debt


The full set of Professional Standards

was launched on 21 February 2022 and

is available on-demand to all members

as a resource.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 5


Open Banking could save SME online

retailers thousands in wasted fees

THE average SME online

retailer could save an

estimated £19,000 by

reducing transaction fees

associated with popular

payment providers such as

AMEX, Mastercard and Visa through the

adoption of Open Banking technology.

At present, small online retailers in the

UK process approximately 217 sales a day

– increasing by 24.0 percent if that retailer

also happens to have both an online and

in-person presence. On average, retailers

pay a transaction fee of approximately

1.8 percent across all different payment

types, with the highest charges found in

Buy Now, Pay Later payment methods (3.2

percent) and debit cards (three percent).

Even taking into account just the

most popular payment providers (AMEX,

Mastercard and Visa) the average small

business will spend more than £22,000

a month on transaction fees, costing the

entire industry an estimated £66 billion

every year.

“Open Banking technology

can provide solutions

which alleviate common

financial stressors on

these businesses and allow

them instead to focus their

spending on strategies to

improve growth.”

Yolt, one of Europe’s leading Open

Banking providers which provided the

data, claims that the adoption of Open

Banking technology could significantly

reduce these costs, as it does not utilise

commission-based transaction fees,

providing lower and more predictable

costs to the retailer. It believes this could

save the average SME online retailer

approximately £19,000 a month.

Nicolas Weng Kan, CEO of Yolt, says

small retailers are still finding their feet

and recouping losses after the pandemic:

“Open Banking technology can provide

solutions which alleviate common

financial stressors on these businesses

and allow them instead to focus their

spending on strategies to improve growth,”

he says.

Open Banking could also assist SME

retailers by alleviating other pressures on

their business. On average SME retailers

spend 18 hours a week processing

refunds, for instance. At present, it takes

nearly three days to settle these with a

payment provider. However, Open Banking

technology can make these refunds


A third of SME online retail

businesses (34 percent) also

experienced fraud in the

last year including supply

chain fraud (64 percent),

authorised push payment

fraud (42 percent),

account takeovers (40

percent) and cyberattacks

(30 percent)– losing an average

of £4,257 a year. With the introduction

of Open Banking technology, many of

these incidents of fraud could be avoided,

providing further savings to recovering


Elsewhere, TotallyMoney, the credit

app focused on the ‘under-served’, has

chosen Bud’s Open Banking platform for

a partnership which it claims will help

improve access to credit approvals for

its customers as the cost-of-living crisis

intensifies. The partnership will harness

live Open Banking data, bringing it

together with credit report, eligibility and

TotallyMoney’s own product data.

Alastair Douglas, CEO of TotallyMoney,

says that Open Banking presents a

huge opportunity: “This will empower

our customers to step from ‘just about

managing’ to moving their finances


Charity sparks concern over rising energy prices

ONE in four clients seeking debt advice

from StepChange Debt Charity are in

arrears on electricity and/or gas, and the

numbers are only likely to rise. Higher

interest rates, rising inflation, and

expected price rises are compounding

the problem, the charity says.

More than a quarter (28 percent) of

new clients were in arrears on electricity

in 2021 (compared to 17 percent in 2019,

pre-pandemic), and 23 percent behind on

gas bills (up from 13 percent in 2019). The

average value of arrears among those

with arrears has also increased.

Phil Andrew, CEO at StepChange,

says that energy prices are a source of

massive worry for people experiencing

or at risk of debt: “Despite the measures

to try to smooth out the imminent price

hikes, there is no escaping the likelihood

that electricity and gas arrears are likely

to worsen,” he says.

“For people in debt, the risk of

additional harm is huge. Energy costs

are priority bills, but even if people do

manage to pay them, they may well have

to fall behind on other commitments

to do so. It’s absolutely vital that

Government and firms do as much as

possible to cushion the blow, but also

that other creditors recognise the drag

this will have on household budgets and

flex their expectations and the help they

offer to customers accordingly.

“We welcome the Government’s

package of support, but it won’t plug the

gap in household finances for people

experiencing debt.”

In other related news, StepChange

and OVO Energy have created a new

partnership that they say will provide

a package of support to the charity

worth up to £2 million over the course of

2022 to support people facing financial

difficulty. To help provide the immediate

resource StepChange needs, OVO will

be funding additional frontline services

in 2022, worth £1m from April through

to the end of the year. It will also set up

a dedicated team to support vulnerable

customers, providing energy advice,

account health checks and sign-posting

customers to appropriate specialist third


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 6


Atradius warns of more failures

in UK food and beverage sector

THE UK food and beverages output is

forecast to grow by more than three percent

in 2022, but the outlook for food producers

and processors is less positive.

In its latest Food and Beverages industry

report, Atradius outlines how the UK food

and beverages market rebounded after

a 5.3 percent contraction in 2020. Last

year saw the market grow by 4.1 percent

as retailers benefitted from increased

demand. But the report shows how the

pandemic and Brexit are still having an

impact, with the implications presenting a

particular challenge for food producers and


Cost increases for commodities, energy,

fertiliser, transportation and packaging

have increased input prices along the

value chain and the cost implications of

customs declarations and local content

audits as a result of Brexit are also having

an impact, despite the EU-UK non-tariff

agreement. The exit of skilled, EU workers

from the UK labour market is contributing

to mismatches in the labour market, with

additional cost pressure coming from the

need to increase salaries to retain or attract


Darran Tilke, Senior Underwriter Food

& Agriculture at Atradius said, pressure is

certainly mounting for food producers and

processors: “Although the EU-UK non-tariff

agreement is positive, we’re still seeing a

significant impact from Brexit which is

expected to continue into 2022 – not just

on input prices, but on the availability of

skilled labour to help businesses meet the

increased demand from retail.”

The report also details how, almost two

years on from the first UK lockdown, the

COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an

impact. Additional sanitation protocols and

absences due to illness or self-isolation

have also added to cost pressures for the

UK food and beverage market. Atradius

expects the margins of many businesses

to deteriorate, as food producers and

processors struggle to pass on input price

increases to retailers, leading to a decrease

in credit risk quality for many businesses in

the coming months.

“The pandemic is certainly still

impacting businesses of all kinds across

all sectors,” Darran continues. “With the

end of Government support, and input cost

inflation hurting profits, we’re expecting an

insolvency increase of about 20 percent in

2022 compared to 2019, which would take us

back to normal levels.

“With insolvencies forecast to increase,

it is essential that businesses are

protected against non-payment. Having

a comprehensive and proactive credit

management strategy is one of the best

ways businesses can be prepared to weather

the storm in 2022.”

Agility the name of the

gamein talent spotting

BUSINESSES that fail to use the words

and address the issues of ‘culture’

and ‘flexibility’ in their recruitment

advertisements are generating 40 percent

less traffic that those who do.

This was one of the startling facts

explained by Marek Danyluk, Managing

Partner of Space Executive, to members

of the CICM Think Tank last month who

also heard that while a hybrid model of

working is suiting some, its popularity is

far from universal.

Marek explained how the pandemic

has shifted the focus of conversations

into new areas when it comes to

recruitment and retention and

accelerated how firms confront

challenges such as wellness and mental

health. While salary and perks are still

important, so too are the ‘softer’ benefits

of working for a business, and especially

the need and desire for an individual to

be heard, and their feedback acted upon.

Having good culture, he said, was

all very well, but there was always the

danger of ‘over-communication’ that

could leave a credibility gap. Having a

robust feedback policy was essential,

but that entailed more than simply

conducting a staff survey, and the

upskilling of teams was also essential,

especially in an environment where

certain skills were much in demand.

Marek warned the Think Tank that

people were getting more expensive,

and to attract the right talent meant

being flexible in how individuals were

remunerated and in the ‘package’ they

were given. Making an ‘agile’ decision

based on the people you see was key, but

he acknowledged that this had a knockon

effect on a CFO’s ability to plan and

budget, and created challenges within an

existing team structure.



Watch and learn

THE Credit Services Association

(CSA) has launched a new Online

Learning Platform which it claims

will ensure credit and collections staff

are trained and up-to-date with the

latest best practice and regulations

while demonstrating an organisation’s

commitment to staff training and

high standards. The platform offers

twelve different modules covering

topics such as legislation, regulation,

customers in vulnerable situations,

compliance, trace and investigation,

and team leadership. Each module sits

on an E-Learning platform which the

Association says offers features such

as interactive videos, downloadable

content, and the ability to work at your

own pace and save your progress. It

also allows participants to test their

progress as they work through each




LANTERN, one of the UK’s market

leading debt purchase and recovery

companies, has received its third

consecutive ‘gold’ award from customer

experience experts, Investor in

Customers (IIC). The ‘gold’ award means

Lantern excelled at all four principle

themes - understanding customer

needs, meeting customer needs,

delighting customers and engendering

loyalty. The Lantern team took on board

feedback from its first IIC assessment

in 2018, where it achieved a Silver

Award, and put in place some of the

recommendations that IIC suggested to

further improve their service delivery.

Wallwork-ing hard

PETER Wallwork FCICM, one of the

most familiar names and faces in the

credit industry, has joined Arvato as

a Non-Executive Director. In a career

spanning more than 20 years, Peter

has built a reputation for managing

complex external messaging and

stakeholder relationships, positioning

innovative solutions into often

misunderstood, highly-regulated

customer-facing markets. The

former Chief Executive of the CSA,

Peter currently advises on strategy,

governance and external messaging

for a new venture, aiming to tackle

the issues raised in the

Woollard Review for the

FCA, improving the way

insolvency and debt

solutions work for all


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 7



Quality is about the company you keep.

AUTHORS – Mona Yazdanparast and Laura Rhodes

IT’S been a busy few months in

the world of CICMQ with some

familiar names achieving reaccreditation

and a number of

new names entering the hall of

fame for the first time.

First among them (alphabetically

at least) is AB Agri, a key player in

the agricultural supply chain. Frank

Anderson FCICM, Group Credit Manager

for AB Agri, says the re-accreditation

continues the team’s development and

helps achieve growth in the organisation:

“It is refreshing to go through the process

of accreditation every three years, and

it provides us with added gravitas in the

market,” he says.

“The CICMQ Accreditation is essential

as a benchmark and going through the

core process helps to ensure continuous

improvements. The accreditation provides

the team with a clear outlook on what we

have accomplished so far. The process

refreshes our ideas and encourages the

team to further improve best practices.”

Aggregate Industries, the UK subsidiary

of Holcim, a Swiss based global leader

in innovative and sustainable building

solutions, has similarly been re-accredited

– 10 years on from first earning the

benchmark for quality.

Phil Rice FCICM, Head of Credit at

Aggregate Industries, says he is proud to

have retained formal industry recognition:

“We are just as excited about it as we were

when we first received accreditation ten

years ago, as it’s an industry standard

and a differentiator,” he explains. “We

always strive to achieve more as getting

better never stops, as we are trying to be

the best in providing quality services to



Another to be reaccredited is Allied Bakeries,

a national UK bakery producing

for top grocery brands such as Kingsmill,

Allinson’s and Bürgen. Kerrie Blackaby

FCICM, Accounts Receivable Manager, is

delighted to yet again achieve the highest

quality accreditation for the Accounts

Receivable team in the organisation: “We

are quite literally ecstatic to have regained

our accreditation, as this renewal demonstrates

the high-quality work of our team.

“The organisation wanted the team to

be recognised as an excellent department

with continued focus on professionalism

and development by our 14 team

Biffa, the leading integrated

waste management company

in the UK.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 8


AUTHORS – Mona Yazdanparast and Laura Rhodes


Accreditation is essential

as a benchmark and

going through the

core process helps to

ensure continuous

improvements. The

accreditation provides

the team with a clear

outlook on what we have

accomplished so far. The

process refreshes our

ideas and encourages the

team to further improve

best practices.”

members. This re-accreditation and the

team’s learning experience with CICM

benefits the company in achieving this

goal. We plan to further advance the

training development matrix to the whole

of Grocery Service Centre (GSC).”

Achieving CICMQ for the first time

is Biffa, the leading integrated waste

management company in the UK.

Tina Daulton MCICM, Head of Finance

Shared Services, is another like Phil and

Frank who is a keen supporter of the

Institute, and says it’s an honour to be

part of the wider network of ‘best practice’

organisations: “The whole CICMQ process

was a great learning experience for

all involved and it showed the passion

and commitment of

our team, as well as

ratifying the support of

the wider business. For

Biffa as a whole, it clearly

demonstrates and affirms

that we are delivering an

excellent service to both

internal and external


“Some 60 percent of our

Credit Team are CICM

members, as we are keen

to further our knowledge

and skills and strengthen

the team at all levels,”

she continues. “We are

a strong and successful

team and have learnt to

celebrate our successes

while striving for continual


The assessment report

noted that: ‘This team

rightly deserves recognition

for their achievement, by having an

impressive strategy to manage and develop

its people, having a common purpose

and road map, while collaborating and

working with its business partners. The

results in cash collection and overdue

debt are significant, and stakeholders are

impressed with their determination and



Earning CICMQ status for a fourth time is

QA Ltd, the UK’s leading provider of tech

skills and digital training. QA Ltd catered to

more than 200,000 people in 2020, offering

150 undergraduate and masters’ programmes

and serving 80 percent of the

FTSE 100.

Corinne Sanderson, Credit Manager,

says the re-accreditation continues to

help them achieve the goals set out by

“We are


to have a



for yet another

year, as it


our work


meets the


standards of


QA Ltd: “We are delighted to have a

renewed accreditation for yet another

year, as it confirms our work consistently

meets the highest standards of excellence.

We are keen that our customers recognise

the quality of the service that our team

delivers, and CICMQ Accreditation

helps us share this knowledge with our


Last but by no means least, technology

communications company, Vodafone

Limited, has also now joined the ranks of

accredited companies, a formal acknowledgement

of excellence in all things credit.

Naomi Cullen, Operations Manager for

UK Credit and Collections at Vodafone

Limited, says it was a

great honour and learning

experience to achieve

high standards in credit

management for the organisation:

“CICMQ Accreditation

can only be

attained if an organisation

can prove that best

practice is in place, so

obtaining it highlights to

our customers that we are

best in class,” she says.

“As a business, Vodafone

strives for the highest

standards, and being accredited

to CICMQ supports

that objective.”

Naomi says that the

company has had a close

affiliation with the CICM

for many years: “Several

members of our team have

studied for a CICM qualification,”

she continues,

“and we recognise the value that a professional

CICM qualification brings. We see a

CICMQ Accreditation as an extension of this

‘value’ and the importance of being

benchmarked against the best.

“We learned in qualifying for the

accreditation that working with a wider

stakeholder group earlier in the process

absolutely achieved the best results. In

return, we received support and praise,

which has been incredible for morale and

team spirit. We will continue working to

this new model in future.”

The assessment report stated: ‘The

relationship the Collection Team has

with its stakeholders is excellent. The

team demonstrate first-rate stakeholder

involvement with process developments

and working capital at the forefront of

their activities.’

Congratulations one and all!

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 9



Turning the spotlight onto corporate and

personal insolvency.

AUTHOR – Paul Smith

WITH the relatively recent

winding down of Government

business support

measures, the continuing

economic recovery from

COVID and the Omicron

variant, workforce shortages and rises in the cost

of living, as well as the consultation on the future

of insolvency regulation, the spotlight has again

turned to the insolvency profession. The question

many are asking is what lies ahead for UK business

and personal finances.

The raft of UK Government business support

measures introduced since the start of COVID are

largely now closed, with the VAT deferral scheme

brought to an end on 30 June (businesses may

however be able to enter HMRC’s Time to Pay

arrangement to pay tax in instalments) and the

furlough scheme closing at the end of September.

There is now just one measure due to last

beyond this year. Currently available is the facility

to claim back up to two weeks’ Statutory Sick Pay

for absences from 21 December 2021; a Small to

Medium Enterprise (SME) Recovery Loan Scheme

available until 30 June 2022; and the Englandonly

Additional Restrictions Grant, which gave

councils grant funding to distribute funding to

local businesses affected by restrictions – this

currently cannot be used beyond the current tax

year. A Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business

Rates Relief Scheme is planned in England in 2022

and 2023, giving a 50 percent reduction on rates

to eligible properties that are occupied. Similar

schemes are planned or already in operation in

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Commercial tenants are also facing the

imminent expiry of the moratorium introduced

by the Government at the start of the pandemic

whereby commercial landlords have been

precluded from forfeiting commercial leases and

evicting the tenant for non-payment of rent. This

measure was originally in place until 30 June 2020

but has been extend on more than one occasion

and is now due to expire on 25 March 2022.

The change in the support available to

businesses coincides with a rise in corporate

insolvencies, as noted by the Insolvency Service

in its Q4 statistics: ‘in Q4 2021, after seasonal

adjustment, the number of company insolvencies

was 18 percent higher than in Q3 2021 and 51

percent higher than in Q4 2020. This was driven

by an increase in CVLs [Creditors’ Voluntary

Liquidations] to the highest quarterly level since

the series began in 1960. The increase in CVLs

in the second half of 2021 coincided with the

phasing out of measures put in place to support

businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.’

As we hopefully emerge from a couple of

years of instability into a better place and

continued recovery, challenges will remain for

businesses, particularly smaller companies,

which are less likely to be able to survive external

stresses. Samantha Keen, UK Turnaround and

Restructuring Strategy Partner at EY and the

IPA’s incoming President this year, recently noted

that ‘rising costs, inflation and the removal of

the final layers of Government support, mean

that businesses will need to ensure they have

the agility to adapt quickly to conditions in their

market to safeguard their long-term survival.’

And as Samantha observes, it is not just COVID

that has presented challenges for firms recently.

As Adam Gallagher, restructuring partner at law

firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, commented in

a Financial Times article published just before

the end of 2021: ‘the number of macro headwinds

that are facing all sectors, but some in particular,

are just extraordinary… they all point to inflation,

be it energy, logistics, raw materials, freight,

wages — the list goes on.’

We can see a storm ahead for businesses

across the UK, and we continue to monitor

corporate activity closely. Looking to personal

insolvencies, the outlook is also concerning. The

rise in inflation generally, and energy prices in

particular, can potentially have a considerable

impact on disposable income for lower income

earners, and personal debt levels. The Insolvency

Service recently reported that ‘IVAs reached a

record high in 2021 and accounted for 74 percent

of all individual insolvencies. 2021 saw the lowest

annual number of bankruptcies since 1989,

while numbers of DROs [Debt Relief Orders]

were similar to 2020 but remained below prepandemic

levels.’ We expect existing IVAs to come

under pressure in 2022 as disposable income is

squeezed, with the position further exacerbated

by the National Insurance increase from April,

and mortgage rate rises emerging as interest rates

begin to creep upwards.

We anticipate more people running into

difficulty with debt in 2022, meaning an

increased need for personal debt advice and

solutions. The IPA is closely monitoring these

issues at the same time as focusing its attention

on the Government’s consultation on the future

of insolvency regulation in the UK. The IPA will

be pressing for the best possible outcome in the

interests of the UK collectively, including UK

business, private individuals, the insolvency

profession and the public generally.

Paul Smith is CEO, Insolvency Practitioners


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 10



Thursday 24th March, Royal Lancaster London




The countdown is on... there are now just a few weeks to go until this fantastic evening

of networking and celebration of all the incredible achievements across the credit and

collections community.

With a fabulous line up of entertainment, it’s the one event in the credit calendar not

to be missed!

Places are selling fast, so make sure to get in touch if you’re interested in attending.


Please contact Orhan Toprakci on:

T: 020 7484 9973 E: Orhan.Toprakci@incisivemedia.com

For more information visit www.cicmbritishcreditawards.com

or scan the QR code to be directed to our website


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 11




Credit Reference Agencies are stepping up

to the plate to support the economic recovery.


LATE payment, the cost of living, and

the need to accelerate Companies

House reforms are three of the

biggest challenges facing credit

reference agencies (CRAs) and

the wider business information

industry at large. Meanwhile, ongoing uncertainty

surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic remains

a concern, but has accelerated innovation,

especially in the digital space, and the industry

feels it is well placed to support the economic


Tim Vine, Head of International Finance

and Risk Solutions, Dun & Bradstreet, says late

payment – defined as customers paying their

suppliers beyond the agreed payment terms –

is putting pressure on cashflow for millions of

businesses: “Late payments from customers

initiates a domino effect,” he explains. “Should

the final end customer pay late this ripples up the

supply chain which all businesses in the chain

have to contend with.

“When late payments do occur, it is

small businesses who feel it most and are

disproportionately impacted. In 2020 we found,

on average, SMEs were owed £130,445.04 in late

payments, and over a fifth needed to use personal

savings or assets to cover shortfall. When you add

the impact of COVID loans which are starting to

become due, alongside existing business loans,

the pressure is mounting on businesses’ cashflow

and their ability to pay suppliers in a timely


Tim believes it is more important than ever

that businesses have a comprehensive view of

their potential risks: “To gain this view and help

stay protected financially, businesses can leverage

data and predictive analytics to gain a detailed

understanding of the previous payment behaviour

of their customers, while seeking to anticipate

future performance, to mitigate the potential

impact of late payments on their cash flow.”


Jo Kettner, Chief Executive Officer of Company

Watch, a specialist commercial CRA, agrees that

leveraging data is key to managing risk. To that

end, she is keen to ensure that Companies House

reform gets before Parliament: “The resignation

of Lord Agnew in January 2022 was due to the

Government deciding to drop the Economic

Crime Bill which would have been the vehicle

for this happening,” she explains. “Subsequent

pressure, and perhaps the situation in Ukraine,

led to the Prime Minister saying on 2 February

that there would be an Economic Crime Bill in the

“Mundane and

manual tasks that

would typically

take hours to

complete – and

often using pen

and paper – can

now be automated,

giving finance

departments time

back to do revenue

generating work


third Session of Parliament. One member of the

House of Commons Treasury Select Committee

said he would ‘be amazed’ if this doesn’t include

Companies House reform, but we’ve not seen the

Bill yet, so it isn’t certain that these vital reforms

that are so long overdue will be included.”

Jo also believes that now is the time to make the

case for the release of more Government datasets:

“We would particularly welcome the employee

numbers in Real Time Information filings which

can be used both to validate information held at

Companies House, and also provide a more up-todate

pulse on company performance,” she adds.

James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs at

Experian UK&I, says that the cost of living is

likely to be a significant factor for all sectors of

the economy over the next 12 months: “Rising

inflation, coupled with a substantial rise in energy

prices from April, could see household finances

becoming strained, dampening demand and

confidence around spending, which will have a

knock-on impact across the economy,” he says.

COVID, he continues, has hit the sector hard,

but CRAs have been fast to react: “As a result of the

pandemic and associated lockdowns, consumer

spending, borrowing and almost all economic

activity reduced. However, by last summer

demand for borrowing had recovered to reach

pre-pandemic levels again, with many households

also able to swell their saving balances causing

pent-up demand to spend.

“During the crisis, we took a number of

positive steps to support consumers, clients and

the wider industry. Working with the other CRAs,

we agreed the introduction of the emergency

payment freeze, which meant those who agreed a

payment holiday with their lender had their credit

scores protected.

Our open banking powered Affordability

Passport, which gives organisations a more

complete picture of someone’s financial

circumstances quickly and can help identify

those who maybe become vulnerable because of

a change in circumstances, was made available

for free. And our data expertise helped local

authorities, councils, NHS Trusts, fire services,

food banks and other major charities to get help

and support to the most vulnerable during the

crisis. Our business data has also been used by

the UK Government to plan and forecast support

measures for businesses.”


Dan Hancock, Managing Director of CoCredo,

says that the last two years have been tough, and

with uncertainty comes the increased need and

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 12

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 13

continues on page 14 >



heightened perceived value for good quality

data: “Companies are having to rely on data

more than ever,” he says, “whether this be for

collections, marketing, setting terms or KYC,

and I can only see this need increasing as

insolvencies are predicted to surge, inflation

hits a new 30-year record, Government support

and tax relief is reduced, and more fallout

from the pandemic is brought to the surface.”

Jo Kettner agrees: “Increased uncertainty

is a real problem for broad-based economic

growth,” she explains. “The Government

COVID support schemes provided muchneeded

help and undoubtedly prevented

many businesses from failing. However, as

those schemes have ended and the reality of

pay-back starts to bite we are expecting levels

of insolvency to exceed pre-pandemic levels.”

In response to this, Company Watch

launched a COVID Scenario Forecast in April

2020 to help users understand the potential

impact COVID would have on businesses:

“We modelled impact scenarios by industry

and allowed our users to interact with these

scenarios to tailor for individual companies,”

she continues. “As information on the

Furlough and CBILS schemes were released we

incorporated this information into our reports

and undertook an extensive matching exercise

to link information to different levels of the

Group, to help our users have a 360-degree

understanding of risk.”

Tim Vine highlights a positive impact of

the pandemic has been an acceleration in

innovation. Digitisation and automation, he

says, have been supercharged: “In the finance

solutions space, the main change continues

to be having the right technologies in place

to alleviate pressures on already stretched

finance departments,” he explains.

“Mundane and manual tasks that would

typically take hours to complete – and often

using pen and paper – can now be automated,

giving finance departments time back to do

revenue generating work instead. While this

might sound a little archaic, it’s still very

much the case that the process a company

goes through to apply for credit is form-based

and offline. As is the process of a business

self-assessing. Moreover, it is important to

remember that many companies were not set

up for a digital, remote-working environment

and have struggled as a result. Offshore shared

service centres may have been closed for long

periods, requiring employees to work from

home. But without high-speed broadband

(or even without internet completely in less

established markets), this has impacted credit,

finance and other functions.”


Tim believes that businesses have been

partially protected from financial stress and

potential closures by Government support

schemes and delays or pausing in court

hearings for County Court Judgments and

other failure lead-up events: “As a result, the

ability to distinguish between financiallysound

and financially-stressed companies

has become much harder, which in turn has

created uncertainty for credit and finance

functions reviewing credit policies and setting

credit terms for customers.”

So how has Dun & Bradstreet responded?

Like Company Watch, it focused on scenario

planning: “Prior to the pandemic, almost all of

our products and services at Dun & Bradstreet

were available online and increasingly via

integrated connections into our customers

finance and credit management systems,

ensuring continued access to the data and

systems that help businesses make their

decisions. To help guide companies through

the uncertainty of the pandemic, we created

the COVID Impact Index, complementing

existing credit ratings and analytics by

assessing the expected impact of the pandemic

alongside traditional credit risk assessment.”

CoCredo has similarly taken advantage of

the pandemic by investing significantly into

online training with customers and prospects:

“This has been a big learning curve for us as a

business but very beneficial to all parties and a

positive step forward,” Dan Hancock explains.

“Due to our technical support and the

ability to integrate with our APIs, we’ve seen

more than ever that customers and prospects

are looking at automation. For that reason

we have invested in our infrastructure to

continue to provide the very best customer

service and technical support. We have added

the ability for customers to customise their

own scorecards within their reports or API

feeds, which is proving to be very popular

over the last year. This creates a decisionmaking

matrix that is easy and reliable and

can be tailored for each client. We hope that

as more companies look to increase sales,

more credit applications will be requested

and the automation of data to make informed

decisions will prove crucial.”


So how can CRAs and Business Information

providers support the economic recovery

as an industry, and through their individual

services? Jo Kettner says that the key is in

helping businesses understand and stress

test risks they are taking: “Transparency

and ‘explainabilty’ are two of the founding

principles of Company Watch, so enabling

our users to understand the reasons behind

our score as well as to interact to scenario test

what might happen in periods of uncertainty

help our users make evidence-based risk

decisions,” she explains. “Recent product

launches such as Aphrodite® – our enhanced

director matching functionality helps users

spot potential phoenix companies by surfacing

the history of failed companies which are

often not linked by Companies House. There’s

no doubt that doing business will become

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 14



riskier in 2022 – we will continue to do all we

can to help support users to understand and

manage the risks they are exposed to.”

Jo says the business is also committed

to working with industry colleagues via its

membership of the Business Information

Providers Association (BIPA) to lobby

Government on issues which are relevant

to users of commercial CRA data. And as

well as promoting its scenario testing tool,

she is seeing an increasing up-take of its

‘Experiment’ functionality: “Alerts on early

stage insolvency proceedings (Notice of

Intention to Appoint Administrator and

Unadvertised Winding Up Petitions) have

been available since last summer,” she says,

“and we’ve been quick off the

mark including and enhancing

Furlough and CBILS data and

making these available to our


James Jones at Experian

says that the pandemic clearly

demonstrated that data managed

in a proper and correct

way can be used as a force for

good: “It can help organisations

from a variety of sectors

to meet their ambitions and

serve their customers,” he explains.

“For example, with the

rapid digitalisation of the economy,

our identity and fraud

services enable businesses,

organisations, and the financial

services industry to make sure who they

are dealing with online are genuine – while

causing minimal disruption to the customer


James says that many of the company’s

services and products empower businesses

to make better, more accurate decisions:

“We help lenders manage their portfolios,

minimising credit risk to their business. We

enable affordability checks to be carried

out quickly and accurately, bringing new

customers into the mainstream financial

system and ensuring lending is carried out

responsibly with customers only offered

products that are most appropriate for them.”


In terms of new products, at the end of last year

the business launched Work Report, billed

as the first digital verification service that

will allow consumers to consent to digitally

share their payroll information with another

organisation: “It provides connectivity to

an employer’s payroll data to provide direct

confirmation of a consumer’s gross and net

income, as well as their employment status and

tenure, in a matter of seconds,” he explains.

“For lenders, the solution can be used as part

of their affordability and credit checks when

a new customer applies for financial products

and services. It helps to provide a faster, more

DataCloud is

playing a pivotal

role in delivering

timely and

accurate data to

businesses across

the world – and

this is empowering

financial teams

to make informed

decisions regarding

credit collection.

accurate, lending decision, reduce credit risk

and create a better overall digital experience.”

Tim Vine says that Dun & Bradstreet’s

DataCloud is playing a pivotal role in delivering

timely and accurate data to businesses across

the world – and this is empowering financial

teams to make informed decisions regarding

credit collection and financing: “With a

turbulent economic outlook – from Brexit and

supply chain challenges to geopolitics, it’s

never been more important that organisations

adopt the right solutions to ensure they can

not only survive, but overcome, difficult

economic conditions,” he explains. “Whether

that’s an increased focus on automation,

adopting alternative payment methods such as

cryptocurrency or embracing

open banking and working with

third party service providers,

Dun & Bradstreet’s data and

solutions are there to serve as

a cornerstone of all financial


When it comes to latest innovations

Dun & Bradstreet

says it is continually innovating

and looking for ways to help

businesses automate their financial

processes: “We recently

launched D&B Finance Analytics,

our AI-driven credit-to-cash

platform which enables finance

teams to manage risk, increase

operational efficiency, enhance

their business insight, and improve

the customer experience. In addition

to trade credit risk assessment, the platform

includes UK SME commercial lending data to

inform lending decisions, and D&B Receivables

Intelligence which, in partnership with

FIS GETPAID, helps finance leaders connect

dispersed teams, disparate systems and data

together so that companies can streamline

and automate their accounts receivables (AR)


“We have also recently launched D&B

CreditMonitor as an E-Commerce product,

enabling companies to access their own credit

report and track key changes to proactively

manage their commercial credit profile.”

Dan Hancock says that as a data aggregator

and not just a CRA, CoCredo comes into

its own: “We gather data from a variety of

sources across the world and are exploring

new sources all the time, looking to supply

data our customers can trust to give them

the best chance of predicting the strength of

businesses they work with,” he concludes.

“During this time our Dual Report has

had a greater uptake understandably, with

customers enjoying the added reassurance

that this product brings. By looking at two

credit opinions in one report, plus the

combined strength of multiple data sources,

customers can know that they are looking at

a company in more detail than ever before.”

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 15



Sean Feast FCICM speaks to Karen Young

about recruitment, National Hunt racing and

a Labrador called Anakin.

KAREN Young never set

out originally to work in

recruitment. She really wanted

to be a sports journalist or

a celebrated National Hunt

jockey in the mould of Velvet

Brown in the famous book and film that bears

her name. For those that know her, perhaps that

doesn’t come as much of a surprise. She still

competes regularly at equestrian events and

is a keen triathlete and open water swimmer,

recently signing up for a half ironman in the

Lakes. What is perhaps more of a surprise,

however, is that Karen is a proud Geordie.

“No-one can quite believe it when I tell

them, because I sadly don’t have an accent,”

she laughs, “but I was actually born at the

Princess Mary Maternity Hospital in Jesmond,

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which is the equivalent

of a Cockney being born within the sound of

Bow Bells.

Educated locally at the Central Newcastle

High School, Karen describes herself as a

hard worker who veered towards the Arts rather

than the Sciences. She studied History and

Classical Civilization, and particularly enjoyed

English. Among the books that she remembers

especially well at school was Paul Scott’s Jewel

in the Crown: “It was quite a hard-hitting book

which is why it sticks in my mind,” she says. “It

dealt with some very challenging issues like

inequality and injustice – issues that we still

come across in business and in life today.”


It was English Language and English Literature

that she went on to study at Leicester University:

“I still love reading,” she confides. “My husband

and I were meant to be skiing recently but our

trip was postponed and we ended up going to

the Highlands of Scotland instead. Besides

walking, I was determined to sit by the fireplace

and just get time to read.”

Karen thoroughly enjoyed her three years in

Leicester, a time when she came out of her shell:

“I was probably what you would describe as a

shy girl and remember standing there on my

first day thinking that here was my opportunity

to change. So even though the friends I made all

turned out to be more gregarious than I was, it

was me who went along the corridor knocking

on doors and introducing myself.”

Having received little in the way of careers’

advice, she graduated in 1996 with no real

plan beyond getting a job and leaving home.

Her mother had been an insurance broker

(she sadly died when Karen was 10) and her

step-mother Head of A&E Nursing at the Royal

Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. Her father had

been a civil servant and latterly an Emergency

Planning Officer, planning for major incidents

including for any casualties returning from the

Iraq War.

“At school we had completed one of those

JIIG-CAL personality tests that was supposed to

identify the careers and job roles to which you

were most suited. There were about 20 in all and

the three I can remember were librarian, social

worker or prison warden! I guess my career

does involve working with people, and I love

books, but that’s where the similarities probably

start and end.”

Although never afraid of hard work and

having worked during the university holidays

at Newcastle Airport on night shifts, finding

permanent employment was more of a

challenge: “It was a tough labour market and I

had a lever arch file full of rejection letters, at

a time when you always used to get a rejection

letter. I applied for various advertising and

media sales roles and even one in IT at British

Airways for which I had to sit a tough Maths

test which went spectacularly badly. It was all

character building as job searches often are!”

It was then that she struck lucky, applying to

join Hays as recruitment consultant: “Hays in

those days was a FTSE 100 conglomerate and had

a diverse range of interests in commercial and

logistics (before divesting in 2003 to reposition

as a pure-play specialist recruitment business)

and the selection process was extremely

rigorous. I didn’t really know what recruitment

was all about if I’m honest, but I succeeded in

being offered a job – in Romford. Considering I

was from Newcastle, and felt that Leicester was

‘The South’, I had to look up where it was!”

In landing a job at Hays, Karen headed for

Essex, where she initially found digs sharing

with seven complete strangers. Working in Hays’

Accountancy Personnel business, initially on

its portfolio of temporary finance roles, Karen

had very much landed on her feet. She also

struck gold with her boss: “I met some amazing

people and learned from the best, including my

branch manager, Wendy, who became a lifelong



Although recruitment was not in Karen’s initial

career plan, she has recently passed her 25th

anniversary and her current role is Director

of the Accountancy and Finance Business in

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 16


the UK and Ireland. She is strategically

responsible for a team of more than

300 finance and credit recruitment

consultants across 90 offices, as well as

reporting to the Board to support the future

management and strategic direction of

the business. Most recently she was given

responsibility for driving the business’

Social and Environmental purpose, which

includes safeguarding the environment

and supporting local communities. She

currently sits on the global steer co for

‘Hays Helps’ which is a global programme

of volunteering activities that sets out

to help create opportunities for areas of

society that need a helping hand, thus

improving lives.

In those 25 years, Karen has witnessed

many changes. When she first started, she

had no personal email address and when

the first PC did arrive for the office, it was

a shared branch email address accessible

from that one computer. There were no

online jobs boards or aggregators, and

recruitment advertisements were still

phoned through to the Romford Recorder

to go in their lineage recruitment section:

“Now it’s all about technology and

the digital journey, but I believe great

recruitment still comes down to good

people and your ability to engage, and

that’s never changed,” she says.

Karen is aware of the way in which

recruitment is sometimes perceived, but

it is not a perception she identifies with:

“I have rarely seen the negative side,” she

says. “If you do the right thing by people,

treat them how you would want to be

treated yourself, listen to them and do

your best ethically for them, you build

long-term partnerships with those people.

I’ve seen individuals grow over two

decades from taking on part-qualified,

temporary roles to become experienced,

full-time Financial Directors.

“We’ve helped thousands of our

customers navigate their careers over

many years. You need a passion for

people; yes of course it’s sales, but it’s not

or rather should not be ‘transactional’.

You can positively affect and improve

someone’s life. How can you not be proud

of playing a part in that?”

Hays’ relationship with the CICM is wellestablished

and mutually advantageous:

“We’re very proud of our partnership,”

she says, “and helping the organisations

and individual members with talent,

recruitment and personal development.

We are particularly excited this year about

helping smaller enterprises in learning

more about the products, services and

support that the CICM can provide, and

similarly excited about the launch of the

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 17 continues on page 18 >


“My husband knew that I loved horses and now we have three.

Horses are my passion whereas my husband is a passionate

collector of Star Wars memorabilia.’’

CICM’s new Professional Standards to

which we have contributed.”

In terms of the current recruitment

landscape, Karen has never been busier:

“There are a huge number of jobs out

there (the most in 24 years) but an

extreme shortage in skills,” she explains.

“Many organisations didn’t keep up

with the changing environment before

the pandemic, and the lack of talent in

professional areas such as finance, credit

management, IT, engineering etc never

went away. It has simply become far more



Karen has no regrets about choosing the

career that she did or staying with Hays.

The challenges and opportunities the

business has given her, and the many

different experiences, has always kept her

interest. There is never a ‘slow’ day, nor

has there been in 25 years.

If she were to give her younger self

any advice, however, it would be to follow

your dreams: “I didn’t pursue my interest

in sports journalism because people

around me said I was ‘too nice’ and would

find it too tough. That seems funny now,

given that working in recruitment is not

for the faint hearted and yet here I am

25 years later. So the lesson there is stick

to your guns, and if you have an interest

in something then follow your heart and

don’t let people put you off. Who knows, I

could have been Clare Balding!”

Going to university and studying for

a degree is useful, but perhaps not the

be all and end all: “It gives you different

experiences,” Karen says, “but so does the

practical experience of an apprenticeship

where you can earn and learn. Different

jobs are being created all the time, roles

that don’t even exist currently, especially

in the ‘Green’ economy, and so building

a broad understanding of different

industries and professions and what is

available is important for young people

today. We help where we can in raising the

profile of careers in credit management

for example, or our ‘Future of Finance’

work in colleges and universities, and

hopefully later this year, into more


As we leave Karen, she has taken a rare

day off to go to the National Horseracing

College at Doncaster to do some speed

and fitness training with one of her

horses. She’s been riding ever since she

was three when her mum put her on the

back of a donkey. Since then, she has

taken it more seriously, and after a brief

hiatus in her twenties due to career and

building finances, has been riding ever

since with her own horses: “My husband

knew that I loved horses and now we have

three. Horses are my passion whereas

my husband is a passionate collector of

Star Wars memorabilia. I went to my first

‘Comic-Con’ with him recently and we

were about the only ones not dressed up.

You could almost feel people staring at us

in our casual clothes thinking we were the

odd ones out!”

Karen loves to compete, and while

modestly claims only to ride at a ‘minor

level’, others might consider jumping 20

fences whilst galloping over three miles a

major achievement. She also still loves to

run – a passion she picked up at secondary

school where she captained the athletics

and cross country team, and has recently

been working hard to improve her open

water swimming technique, to better her

triathlon times. Last year this included

completing Coniston End to End open

water swim which was 5.25 miles and

Ullswater is in the plan for this summer

– 7.5 miles!

She also loves walking the family dog,

a Labrador called Anakin, who will do

anything for a small bit of cheese. Anakin

must be bad enough, but somehow I

think shouting out ‘cheese!’ as recall

across a crowded park would take the

embarrassment factor to another level.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 18



While greenwashing may not always be a

conscious effort to deceive, the result of not

being truthful is reputationally damaging for

any organisation seen to be doing it.

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 19 continues on page 20 >


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

IF a poll were run to select the words

of the century, both ‘green’ and

‘sustainable’ are bound to be top of the

list. They’re everywhere. On packaging,

documents, the media, and our lips.

But just because the concepts are in

vogue it doesn’t necessarily follow that they’re

followed through with action.

Societies and economies are increasingly

demanding sustainability and environmental

responsibility from product and service

providers. And naturally, with the climate in

mind, organisations seeking to deploy and assert

their green credentials need to do so properly.


‘Greenwashing’ is defined by Investopia as:

“the process of conveying a false impression or

providing misleading information about how a

company’s products are more environmentally

sound. Greenwashing is considered an

unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers

into believing that a company’s products are

environmentally friendly.”

Its misuse is a growing problem that is being

recognised by the authorities says Jeanette

Burgess, a partner and Head of Regulatory &

Compliance at Walker Morris. She highlights

an investigation into ‘greenwashing’ by a

UK regulator, the Competition and Markets

Authority (CMA): “At the end of 2020 the

CMA… co-ordinated a global review of randomly

selected websites and discovered that some 40

percent of green claims made by businesses

could be misleading customers.”

She says that the CMA published finalised

guidance, in the form of the Green Claims Code,

which centres on six principles.

These are that green claims made must

be truthful and accurate; should be clear

and unambiguous; should not omit or hide

important information; any comparative claims

made should be fair and meaningful – that is,

comparisons with other businesses, products,

or services must compare like with like, and the

basis and measure or metrics of any comparison

should be made clear; claims made should

consider the full life cycle of a product, service

or business; and lastly, that any claims must be



Burgess notes that the code is underpinned by

consumer protection legislation: the Consumer

Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations

2008 (CPRs).

“It is important for businesses to note,”

says Burgess, “that the CMA has significant

enforcement powers, and that breach of the

CPRs can attract both civil and criminal liability.”

Beyond that Burgess says that reputational

consequences can be devastating, as can the

risk of litigation being brought by or on behalf of

consumers individually or as a collective action.

It also needs to be pointed out that the CMA

commenced, mid-January 2022, a full review of


is defined by

Investopia as:

the process of

conveying a

false impression

or providing



about how a



are more



misleading claims, made both on- and off-line,

and will act against offending businesses. “The

CMA is considering which sectors to prioritise,”

explains Burgess, “but these could include

textiles and fashion, travel and transport and

fast-moving consumer goods (such as products

within the food, drink, beauty and cleaning


Consumer protection from greenwashing is,

however, also a priority for financial services


According to Morningstar, sustainable funds

attracted all-time high inflows of €120bn in

the first quarter of 2021, with 111 new funds

launched in the first three months of the year.

As the site noted, this is higher than in the

previous quarter and represents more than

half of overall European fund flows. This, it is

reckoned, was driven by continued investor

interest in environmental, social and corporate

governance (ESG) issues.

It’s pertinent to note that whilst Europe's

Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation has

not been transposed into UK law post-Brexit. But

as Burgess highlights, “the Financial Conduct

Authority (FCA) has, in its 2021-22 Business Plan,

in its findings following the consumer study on

sustainable investing, and in guidance annexed

to the FCA's July 2021 letter to authorised fund

managers, made clear its sustainability focus

and its commitment to the provision of clear

and accurate information to consumers when it

comes to green claims.”

“In addition,” she continues, “commentators

are now suggesting that the recent high-profile

instances of greenwashing whistleblowing at

investment management firms DWS Group

and BlackRock are likely to prompt a wave of

financial services miss-selling claims based on

exaggerated green credentials.”

It’s entirely clear, then, that with a distinct

shift in regulatory focus, pressure is mounting

on businesses in all industries and sectors to

clean up their act as a result of the trend towards

'green litigation' – that is, complaints and claims

brought for any one of a range of environmental

and climate-related reasons.

A perfect example of this is the recent Royal

Dutch Shell (RDS) case. Granted it’s a Netherlands

case, but its one that has attracted a great deal

of international attention. And as Burgess

points out, “it is arguably the most significant

climate change-related decision to date because

it is the first time a private company has been

ordered to align its policies with the Paris


She also cites other environment-related

litigation, recently heard in the UK’s Supreme

Court – the Lungowe and Okpabi UK Supreme

Court decisions – that confirmed that a UK

parent company’s duty of care may extend to

foreign subsidiaries: “That litigation opened the

door for claimants wishing to target UK parent

companies for the ESG failings of subsidiaries

nationally and even internationally.”

Naturally, greater levels of action in this sphere

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 20


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

become a self-fulling prophecy which is

likely to encourage increasing numbers

of ‘green’ actions to be brought against

states and corporates around the world.

It’s not beyond the realms of possibility

that it will also encourage shareholders,

investors, employees, customers and

other stakeholders to demand more

climate-friendly changes in policies and

strategies throughout organisations and

businesses globally. As Burgess points

out, “whilst RDS is an energy company,

green litigation is no longer just an issue

for ‘Big Oil’.”

With the scene set, it’s reasonable

that organisations and businesses – in

any, and all, sectors – take action to

ensure that any green claims they make

in sales, marketing, promotional, precontractual

and contractual materials

and communications are both accurate

and able to be substantiated.


As to how businesses and organisations

can protect themselves from regulatory

action and public rebuke, it’s clear

that they need to urgently familiarise

themselves with the CMA’s Green Claims

Code and the FCA's July 2021 guidance.

When it comes to practical pointers to

help businesses minimise the risk of

greenwashing, or committing consumer

protection breaches generally, Burgess

advises that organisations should firstly

take care that all information, online and

in all other forms, that is gathered and

presented to consumers – potential and

actual – is accurate, fair, not deceptive

or misleading and does not leave out

material facts.

“It’s recommended,” she says, “that

organisations introduce and implement

specific safeguarding procedures as to

the currency, accuracy and security of all

such information.”

It should also be remembered that

any broad-brush green claims are more

likely to be misleading, inaccurate or

unsubstantiated than narrow, product- or

service-specific statements.

Indeed, common sense says to tell the

truth and nothing else. In other words,

it’s central to winning the debate that

organisations ensure that green claims do

not contain partially correct or incorrect

aspects and that any applicable conditions

or caveats are clearly and prominently


But for Burgess, another key to staying

out of trouble is to “ensure that any claims

accurately represent the entire life cycle of

a product or service.” However, she adds

that this “is likely to involve businesses

proactively and regularly undertaking

appropriate enquiries of other parties

throughout the supply chain, as well as

keeping their own house in order.”

Similarly, it is essential to remember

that features or benefits that are necessary

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 21

standards or legal requirements of a

product or service type should not be

claimed as environmental benefits.

Another point to remember is that

green claims can be made via visual

graphics, not just through the written

word. “Recent FCA findings suggest that

logos, medals or other visual 'rating'

assertions carry significant weight with

consumers,” she says, “and can therefore

carry a particularly significant risk of

greenwashing where apparent quality and

credibility cannot be substantiated.”

This means, in simple terms, that it

is important to ensure that both written

green claims and any visual graphics or

symbols used are critically assessed from

the perspective of what a consumer will

take them to mean.

Another option is to signpost consumers

to any additional information which

might affect their decision to purchase.

For example, where green claims are

made, say, on packaging or within media

with limited space, include additional,

comprehensive information via website

links or QR codes.

But for Burgess, from a legal

perspective, one way of reducing the

risk of greenwashing is to provide

training to all staff involved, directly or

indirectly, with the sales and marketing

– including production of hard and soft

copy materials – of the business’ services,

products or brand; records and evidence

of such training should be retained.

Similarly, she says that policies are

important. “Organisations should

introduce and implement policies

and procedures regarding the review,

maintenance, correction and updating of

marketing material and other consumerfacing

information where necessary.”

Burgess also say that there should be an

audit trail of all these efforts.

And finally, if or when any greenwashing

complaint or allegation is made, Burgess

recommends that immediate legal

advice be sought. “Depending on the

circumstances, she says, “here may be

dispute resolution tools that can be

deployed in defence or settlement of any



Greenwashing isn’t going to disappear off

corporate agendas. While situations may

arise that aren’t the result of deliberate

actions, the net result could still be

just as damaging to the organisation

concerned. Fundamentally, good policies

and proactive are central to staying out of

trouble and the media.

Adam Bernstein is a freelance writer.



The journey towards Net-Zero

is a marathon not a sprint.

AUTHOR – Manosij Ganguli, Global Sustainability Advisory Leader at HLB

NET-ZERO, also called

carbon-neutral, refers to

the balance between the

amount of greenhouse

gas (e.g. carbon dioxide)

released into and removed

from the atmosphere. From a climate

change perspective, net-zero is the state at

which global warming stops. It’s achieved

by reducing emissions and removing

carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Becoming carbon-neutral can be a

complex undertaking for businesses

of any size. So let’s explore a three-step

roadmap and the practical steps your

company can take to help you on your

journey to a net-zero future.


The global threat from climate change is

crystal clear and there is an urgent need

for decisive action, meaning Governments

in most developed countries will impose

tighter regulations to control emissions if

they haven’t already done so. Meanwhile,

enterprises that have already started their

net-zero journey (including Walmart,

Prologis, Target, Apple etc) are benefitting

from lower energy costs, increased

efficiency, and higher profitability.

At the same time, consumers are

becoming increasingly aware of the

environmental impact of the products

they purchase, and the organisations

which produce them. More people appear

willing to pay extra for products and

services from companies committed to

reducing their carbon footprints.

According to the HLB Survey of Business

Leaders 2021, 91 percent of participants

believe how their companies

respond to events that impact society reflects

on their brand and overall customer

perception of their business, while 77 percent

see opportunities to profit in the low

carbon economy of the future.

However, the journey to net-zero isn’t

without its challenges. Many businesses

are held back by the lack of budget and

required to overhaul their infrastructure

and business practices. Supply chain

emissions are hard to control, and it’s not

easy for most businesses to accurately

measure their environmental impact.

The good news is that you don’t have to

eat the elephant all at once. You can start

with small but decisive actions to lay the

groundwork for success.



The first step is to understand where

you’re starting from, so you can assess

your scope and set milestones. You assess

what investments can mitigate short-term

risks and ensure longer-term business

growth. This step also helps you uncover

new markets and identify processes that

may become redundant.

From a climate

change perspective,

net-zero is the state at

which global warming

stops. It’s achieved by

reducing emissions

and removing carbon

dioxide from the


• Implement new technologies – leverage

the right tools and reporting capabilities

to consolidate data and develop

insights to inform your strategy. Use

the Internet of Things (IoT) devices,

AI, machine learning, and big data

analytics to generate advanced operational


• Connect the dots – conduct a data

audit and determine which systems host

the data you need. Then, use integration

and automation technologies to connect

the required data source to a business

intelligence tool or fuse data from

multiple sources in a cloud repository.

• Understand your energy consumption

– take stock of all the ways your business

uses electricity and fossil fuels at every

step of your supply chain. These include

powering commercial locations or

offices, running tech systems, and

transporting raw materials and products

across sites.

• Collect granular data with IoT devices

– use connected devices to monitor

energy, water, and heating consumption

around the clock to measure energy usage

patterns. Identify key areas of waste to see

where you can innovate and transform

business processes

• Leverage big data and AI – use

big data and analytics solutions to

reconcile massive amounts of data from

multiple sources and machine learning

technologies to calculate and optimise

logistics operations. Implement predictive

systems to reduce fuel usage and select

routes to improve efficiency.



Next, create a long-term, sustainable

business model designed for a net-zero

economy as you identify opportunities for

innovations and growth drivers along the

way. Your strategy should address universal

business areas, including supply chain

management, logistics, manufacturing,

and product development.

• Rethink procurement and sourcing –

improve visibility by collecting baseline

data from your suppliers and doing your

due diligence to assure the integrity of

your supply chains. You may consider

moving to near-sourcing—procuring from

local suppliers to reduce transit miles.

• Improve logistics and distribution

efficiency – re-assess your approach to

long-distance freight transportation,

especially by heavy goods vehicles (HGV).

Explore flexible distribution product

strategies such as e-commerce, click-andcollect,

pay-per-use product rentals, and

unattended retail solutions.

• Embrace lean manufacturing –

leverage strategic profit reinvestment

and institutional support (e.g. tax credits,

grants, direct investments etc) to support

your sustainable transformation and

replace old technologies, such as legacy

data centres or outdated machinery.

• Reduce waste and redundancy – use

data analytics to remap your value chain

and optimise processes. Cut back on

waste and pollution through materials

reuse and resource regeneration. For

example, you can implement a circular

strategy to infuse recycled materials into

new products.

• Invent new product or service

offerings – leverage your journey towards

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 22


AUTHOR – Manosij Ganguli, Global Sustainability Advisory Leader at HLB

The ‘greening’ of

business is well underway.

Companies ranging from

technology giants such

as Google and Microsoft,

to logistics players like

DHL, have already pledged

to reduce their carbon


de-carbonisation as an opportunity

to reshape your business model to a

new ideal. Explore ways to launch new

sustainable products and services that

can also help fund the transition.

• Balance the energy cost of your

technology portfolio – rapid digitisation

means that legacy, energy-inefficient

hardware could be your largest source

of energy consumption. Host your data

in facilities powered by renewables and

retire outdated assets through hardware

rationalisation projects.

• Prepare for electrification and

alternative fuels – switch your energy

supplier to one that uses renewable

sources and purchase electric vehicles

for your fleet. When upgrading your

facilities, incoprorate non-electric sources

of heating or cooling.


What gets measured gets done. In fact,

90 percent of S&P 500 Index Companies

already publish sustainability reports

to keep stakeholders and the public

informed. Some 25 territories, including

Australia, China, South Africa, and the

UK, have made environmental, social,

and governance (ESG) disclosures and

reporting mandatory for larger companies

and financial institutions. Here's how

to go beyond check-box reporting to

monitor and report on progress against

sustainability best practices:

• Follow the Task Force on Climaterelated

Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

guidelines – collect, assess, and disclose

climate-related risks and opportunities as

part of your company's corporate social

responsibility (CSR) reporting.

• Use technology to aid reporting – use

AI and data analytics solutions along

with data lake and data warehousing

technologies to break down data silos

while supporting a data cleansing process

to yield relevant, unbiased, and properly

formatted raw data entries for analysis.

• Automate your reporting – streamline

ESG reporting by connecting self-service

business intelligence tools to your cloud

data repositories to support disclosures

and strategic decision-making. Also, use

automated compliance management

solutions to investigate new avenues for

green growth.

• Monitor regulatory changes – use

regulatory parsing solutions, such as

natural language processing (NLP)

technologies that can comb through

regulatory publications and other

sources, to map business processes to

sustainability targets and implement

dynamic updates based on regulatory


• Stay abreast of consumer sentiment and

stakeholder opinions – use NLP and AIbased

algorithms to gather insights from

various sources to enrich your strategic

planning with first-hand feedback.

Failure to respond to dissatisfaction can

undermine your reputation and even

result in legal action.


The ‘greening’ of business is well

underway. Companies ranging from

technology giants such as Google and

Microsoft, to logistics players like DHL,

have already pledged to reduce their

carbon footprints and become net-zero or

carbon-negative within a decade.

To benefit from carbon-neutral

initiatives you will need to take action,

rather than maintaining a neutral stance.

The journey towards net-zero cannot be

ignored, and the companies who simply

‘greenwash’ will quickly be exposed.

Companies that lag in their net-zero

initiatives risk losing market share to their

more sustainable competitors. They also

risk losing so much more.

Manosij Ganguli, Global Sustainability

Advisory Leader at HLB.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 23


Georgia: The art

of being business



MENTION Georgia, or even

search for it on the web, and

it’s more likely than not that

what is returned will relate to

the State of Georgia, the last of

the thirteen colonies founded

in what became the United States of America.

However, we’re more interested in the republic

of Georgia, a country that was once part of the

Soviet Union, a country located in southwest Asia,

with the Black Sea to its east, Russia to the north,

and Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan to the south.

First unified by King Bagrat III in the 11th

century, it flourished under Kings David IV and

Tamar but fell to the Mongols in 1243. By 1490

it had fragmented into small kingdoms which

struggled against the Ottomans and Persians until

the Russians annexed it in the 19th century.

It’s been independent since 1991 following the

collapse of the Soviet Union. It’s first president,

Zviad Gamsakhurdia, was a nationalist who was

deposed in a coup within eight months. A civil war

began soon after which ended in 1995 with two

regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Tskhinvali)

breaking away – with support from Russia.

But mounting public discontent over rampant

corruption and poor Government services,

followed by an attempt by the Government to

manipulate parliamentary elections in November

2003, touched off widespread protests that led to

the resignation of Eduard Shevardnadze, president

since 1995.

Now, tensions with Russia are still unresolved;

increasing US economic and political influence in

the country has long been a source of concern for

neighbouring Russia, as have Georgia’s aspirations

to join NATO and the EU. And with tensions on

the Ukrainian border, it’s likely that the Georgian

Government may be sweating at present.

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein


Georgia is not a large country with just 69,000 sq.

km of land (the UK measures 242,495 sq.km). And

of that, around 12,560 sq. km is Russian occupied

– namely, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

It occupies a strategic location which, says

export.gov, makes it a natural logistics and transit

hub along the ‘New Silk Road’ that links Asia and

Europe via the Caucasus.

The CIA World Factbook estimates, based on

2018 data, that 35.5 percent of the landmass is

given over to agriculture, 39.4 percent to forest,

and 25.1 percent to other uses.

Kakheti is the most important

wine region in Georgia in

quantitative, qualitative and even

historic terms. Almost threequarters

of the country’s wine

grapes are grown here, on land

that has been used for viticulture

for thousands of years.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 24


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

As for the population, it has grown

slowly and consistently from 3.52m in

1950 to 5.4m in 1992. Data since 1993

excludes the populations of the Abkhazia

and Tskhinvali region’s following their

breakaway. Nevertheless, the population

in 1993 of the rump stood at 4.85m but has

declined, to 3.71m in 2020.

A July 2021 estimate from the CIA puts

the figure at 4.93m – however this seems

to include the whole of Georgia.

No doubt this is partly down to

geopolitics. But it’s also due to a

fluctuating, but generally declining,

fertility rate – which was 2.6 births per

woman in 1960, 2.29 in 1990, 1.59 in 2000

and 1.97 in 2020, and the migration of

around 1m citizens to Russia.

As for age demographics, the National

Statistics Office of Georgia noted that

as of January 2019, the population was

relatively young: 20.35 percent were

aged 14 or under, 64.68 aged 15 to 64,

and 14.97 percent 65 or older. In more

depth, the five-year age bands used (0-4,

5-9 etc.) carry very similar proportions of

population – around six or nine percent

each – until and including the 60-64

banding. Thereafter, the proportion tails

off as would be expected.

Ethnically, the country is, according

to the CIA’s 2014 figures, 86.8 percent

Georgian, 6.3 percent Azeri, 4.5 percent

Armenian, and 2.3 percent other.

And in terms of distribution, Emerging-

Europe.com reports that workers in

Georgia are equally distributed between

rural and urban areas with a slight bias to

residing rurally. Trading Economics shows

high but generally falling unemployment

rates which stood at 26.7 percent in 2012,

21.7 percent in 2016 and 18.5 percent in


With much self-employment, especially

in rural areas, low value-added generic

activities and subsistence agriculture, and

a lack of formal jobs, there is significant

underemployment in the country.

On education, Emerging-Europe.

com said, albeit in 2017, that Georgia is

prioritising education and is improving

access and quality of its educational

institutions. The site quoted the OECD,

which said that the country is the

region’s top performer for primary school

enrolment and length of schooling.

Further, 33 percent of all adults have postsecondary

education and there is a high

level of educational attainment amongst

the labour force.

It cites data that says that for higher

educational institutions, the most popular

subjects are social sciences, including

business and law, followed by health and

social care.


It surprises some that the World Bank

in Doing Business 2020 placed Georgia

high up in its rankings for ease of doing

business – it was placed 7th; data for 2021

does not exist as the World Bank book for

that year was cancelled. The ranking takes

into account matters such as starting a

business, sourcing power, getting credit,

trading across borders, insolvency

matters, and taxation.

The OECD described Georgia, in Sustainable

Infrastructure for Low-Carbon

Development in Central Asia and

the Caucasus: Hotspot Analysis and

Needs Assessment, published in 2019,

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 25

Gergeti Trinity Church

is a popular name for Holy

Trinity Church near the

village of Gergeti in Georgia.

The church is situated on

the right bank of the river

Chkheri, at an elevation of

2170 meters, under Mount


as “a lower-middle income country in the

south Caucasus. With the most favourable

investment climate in the region, it

has become an attractive destination for

foreign investment.” It also noted that significant

structural reforms have been carried

out to simplify business procedures,

construction permits, licencing and permitting

regimes, as well as to improve tax

and customs procedures.

According to Invest in Georgia, the

country “is ideally positioned to access

markets of Asia and Europe, as well as the

Middle East and the CIS countries. Business-friendly

regulations, a favourable

tax and customs framework and relatively

continues on page 26 >


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

low-cost work environment have played a

key role in developing manufacturing sector

in Georgia.”

The country has Free Trade Agreements

with the European Union, EFTA, Turkey,

Ukraine, China (including Hong-

Kong) and the nine members of the

Commonwealth of Independent States.

Georgia is also a member of the

World Trade Organisation, United

Nations, Organisation for Security and

Co-operation in Europe, International

Monetary Fund, Council of Europe,

Organisation of the Black Sea Economic

Cooperation, Community of Democratic

Choice and the GUAM Organisation for

Democracy and Economic Development.

In March 2021, BDO in its guide, Doing

Business In Georgia 2021, offered data for

the size of the economy and that GDP for

2019 stood at Georgian lari (GEL) 49.3bn


Georgia is considered to be the birthplace

of wine and the CIA World Factbook

says that Georgia's main economic activities

include cultivation of agricultural

products such as grapes – other produce

includes, citrus fruits, and hazelnuts. Other

economic activities include the mining

of manganese, copper, and gold; and the

production of alcoholic and non-alcoholic

drinks, metals, machinery, and chemicals

in small-scale industries.

And this seems to be borne out by comment

from Invest in Georgia which says

that food, metals and non-metallic mineral

product “provide the largest industrial

base for Georgia at the moment, while automotive

and aerospace, electronics and

pharmaceutical production are the fastest

growing industries.”

However, and worryingly, the Invest

in Georgia offers little concrete detail

on certain ‘key’ sectors apart from

noting that there is some military and

civilian hardware production, including

aircraft; some manufacturing of different

spare parts for agricultural products;

activity in ropeway, railway and mining

products; and the assembly of electric

locomotives. Electronics in the country is

“nascent”, but several multinationals have

opened up in Georgia and are exploiting

the rising demand for products in the


On pharmaceuticals, there are said

to be 70 manufacturers making 1,367

products and 13,000 employees in the

sector. In plastics and rubber, domestic

consumption of these products totalled

$579m, of which just 24 percent was made


And in other sectors, Georgia’s

automotive sector is based on the

Georgia, a country at the

intersection of Europe and Asia, is a

former Soviet republic that’s home

to Caucasus Mountain villages and

Black Sea beaches. It’s famous for

Vardzia, a sprawling cave monastery

dating to the 12th century, and the

ancient wine-growing region Kakheti.

The capital, Tbilisi, is known for the

diverse architecture and mazelike,

cobblestone streets of its old town.

importation of cars from various countries

and their re-export to neighbouring

markets. The country also manufactures

clothing for several brands – says Invest

in Georgia – for brands such as M&S,

Moncler, Nike, Adidas, Zara, Puma, and


Georgia is, however, susceptible to

external influences that it cannot control.

Consider the international sanctions

relating to the Russia-Ukraine conflict

post-2014 when the Crimea was annexed

and when the Donbas region conflict

started. Sanctions have had a negative

impact on Georgia’s economy and

contributed to a relatively low growth

rate of 2.9 percent in 2015 and 2.8 percent

in 2016. However, in 2017 and 2018 the

economy grew by 4.8 and 4.9 percent

respectively. It’s likely the Georgia may

suffer again if Russia invades Ukraine.

Infrastructure will be a concern for any

would-be exporter and the OECD noted in

2019, that Georgia’s existing infrastructure

varies in quality, with relatively highquality

electricity infrastructure, mainly

based on hydropower (more than 80

percent), and lower-quality transport and

water infrastructure.

That said, it may concern some that

near-exclusive reliance on hydroelectricity

could create energy security concerns in

the long term, as Georgia’s water resources

are particularly vulnerable to a changing


Improving connectivity to foreign

markets through both hard infrastructure

(transport links) and soft infrastructure

(institutions) is a priority for the

Government which is reflected in the

planned transport projects that are

intended to create new corridors that

connect Georgia by road and rail to

neighbouring countries.

For example, in February 2021, the

Government announced that a 35-km

Tbilisi-Sagarejo highway will connect the

capital city to the town in Kakheti region

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 26


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

of Georgia. and by 2024, the construction

of 200 km of new highways will have been



Under Georgian law, legal entities are

divided into two broad categories:

entrepreneurial legal entities and nonprofit

legal entities. Individuals may also

conduct business as sole proprietors

without establishing any separate legal

entity. Companies are required to have

their own name, management and

registered offices. However, in addition

to their legal address, entrepreneurial

legal entities may submit an alternative

legal address and email address to the

registration authority information.

Companies established in Georgia are

subject to Georgian law, but agreements

concluded by Georgian companies can be

governed by the law agreed between the

parties, unless otherwise determined by

the Georgian Act of International Private

Law. Foreigners can become a partner or

be appointed as director of a Georgian

company; permits are not required to

do so. But where a foreigner seeks to

become a partner in a company, that

owns agricultural land, restrictions might



BDO details that Georgia permits

International Financial Companies,

Special Trading Companies, Free

Industrial Zone Enterprises, Special

Trading Zones and Tourist Enterprises

as special purpose entities that enjoy

beneficial tax regimes. In terms of tax

rates themselves, corporation tax is levied

at 15 percent, income tax at 20 percent flat

rate, VAT at 18 percent, while capital gains

operate on two rates – five percent for

individuals and the normal corporation

tax rate for businesses.

It should be said at this point that a new

corporation tax regime came in from 2017

where, for most sectors, undistributed

profits remain untaxed until they are

distributed. The old regime applies

to commercial banks, credit unions,

insurance companies, microfinance

organisations, and loan providers until 1

January 2023.

With regard to VAT, an entity established

in Georgia must register as a VAT payer

when its taxable turnover exceeds 100,000

GEL, around £24,000, in any continuous

12-month period. However, the Georgian

fixed establishment of a foreign taxable

entity is liable for VAT registration from

the beginning of taxable operations.

And there is a special tax regime for

individuals with annual turnover of

less than 30,000 GEL (around £7250),

no employees, and who register as a

micro business – they will be exempt

from tax on their business income.

Individual entrepreneurs with

annual turnover of less than

GEL 500,000 (around £121,000)

may register as a small business

and pay 1 percent tax on

their turnover. The rate increases to 3

percent if annual turnover exceeds GEL



Georgia has signed treaties and enacted

legislation to comply with its international

obligations with regard to intellectual

property rights. However, in the opinion

of the US Government, protection and enforcement

of rights “remains problematic.”

However, the Government has taken

several steps to introduce better practices.

In addition, the EU-Georgia Association

Agreement signed in 2014 mandates

improved performance in this regard.

Companies wanting to operate

in Georgia need to understand that

intellectual property is primarily a

private right, and it is the responsibility

of the rights’ holders to register, protect,

and enforce their rights where relevant,

retaining their own advisors.

The US Government advises conducting

due diligence on potential partners as a

good partner is important in protecting

IP rights. Thought should be given as to

whether partner should be permitted to

register IP rights on an entity’s behalf.

Doing so may create a risk that the partner

will list itself as the IP owner and fail to

transfer the rights should the partnership



It’s quite clear that as a small, post-

Soviet country, Georgia has a number

of challenges that it needs to overcome.

However, it is a country that is most

definitely business-oriented.

Traditional Kharcho beef

soup from the country Georgia

served with a dried hot pepper

and sliced lemon.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 27


Snap Chat

More progress is needed on making body-worn

cameras mandatory for enforcement agents.

AUTHOR – Alan J. Smith

IN July 2019, Paul Maynard,

the then Justice Minister,

announced that all enforcement

agents, apart from County Court

bailiffs, would be required to

wear body-worn cameras.

Since that date, no substantial progress

has been made towards making this

a reality. The enforcement industry is

still awaiting the launch of a Ministry of

Justice consultation to move this forward,

despite it being on the agenda at every

meeting the High Court Enforcement

Officers Association (HCEOA) has with

the Ministry of Justice.

The HCEOA is very much in favour

of body-worn video cameras being

compulsory, as there are numerous

benefits to all parties. This view is also

supported by the Civil Enforcement

Association (CIVEA) who represent the

non-High Court enforcement agents.

Collectively we’re both pushing for this

change, we really are. Clearly the last

two years has been a busy time for the

government, but what we have also seen

during that time is that where there is a

will and a need, decisions can and are

being made quickly.

Many enforcement companies and selfemployed

enforcement agents already

use body-worn cameras during their

visits. However, without regulation, their

usage will be inconsistent. The industry

needs those regulations to ensure that all

footage is captured and saved according

to the same procedures.

Having an indisputable video and

audio record of the visit brings many

benefits to debtors, creditors and

enforcement agents – it really is a winwin


• If there is a complaint, the footage can

be viewed to impartially establish the

facts of the matter.

• The conduct of both the debtor and the

enforcement agent will be captured –

providing peace of mind if any false

accusations are made.

• The footage can be used to assess performance

and personal development of


In the industry, we often find that

debtors complain to the advice sector

about enforcement agent misconduct.

In the experience of our members, the

advice sector often takes this anecdotal,

unverified information as fact, providing

resulting statistics and data that are

presented as quantitative.

The compulsory use of body-worn

cameras would enable the enforcement

companies and the advice sector to

establish the veracity of these anecdotal

reports and thereby gain a more complete

understanding of the true state of affairs

relating to enforcement agent conduct.

In terms of moving forwards, there

is one key stumbling block and that is,

how long should the footage be stored

for? Data storage could be a significant

expense for our and CIVEA’s members,

especially as we are talking about very

large volumes of video data, potentially

stored for prolonged periods.

However, this is no reason to delay

the development of a consultation and

drafting regulations to make this now

long overdue change happen.

Without wishing to pre-judge the

outcomes of any consultation around

this, the general consensus seems to be

that a period of 60-90 days to store video

footage from enforcement visits would

be reasonable and fair for everyone


There should be nothing that stops

individual firms from choosing to keep

footage for longer as added value for

creditors and debtors if it suits their

business models and is GDPR compliant,

but we need a clear minimum to be


It's worth reinforcing as well that if

there is any case where someone has

made a complaint, that footage should

be kept until the complaint in question

is resolved.

We know there has been a desire in

Whitehall and at ministerial level to

move forwards on this and HCEOA,

CIVEA and the majority of our collective

memberships are keen. Let’s hope that

2022 is the year when mandatory bodyworn

cameras become a reality and stop

becoming a theoretical discussion point.

Alan J. Smith FCICM is Chairman of the

High Court Enforcement Officers

Association (HCEOA).

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 28


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Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 29

International Trade

Monthly round-up of the latest stories

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.

Stockmarkets indicate opportunities

NIKKEI Asia reckons that

Mongolia’s stockmarket was the

world’s best performer in 2021,

a position closely followed, says

Dragon Capital, by Vietnam. Both

organisations indicate that local markets are

doing quite well.

As for Mongolia, its MSE Top 20

benchmark gained 132.7 percent last year,

the best in the world. While the market isn’t

that familiar to many, the country is known

for its deposits of coal, copper and gold. It

appears that the market has risen because

of Government largesse where, during

lockdowns and an election campaign,

citizens were given cash and utility bill

waivers, the value of which was then put

into stocks.

In terms of the Vietnamese stock market’s

36 percent growth, this may be a function

of government investment in infrastructure

projects estimated to be worth over £60bn

between 2021 and 2025, as well as a stable

growing economy, positive export and

supply chains, a rapidly growing middle

class, and low interest rates. Dragon

Capital is predicting annual GDP growth f

or Vietnam of over seven percent in 2022.

Both these markets are worth a peek if

you’re an exporter looking to grow.

Trade deal should be 'taken with a large pinch of salt' ?

THE UK Government is hoping to land an

‘ambitious’ trade agreement in 2022 despite

slow progress in 2021 when only an 'enhanced

partnership' on health, technology and

vaccine development was agreed.

However, the Best for Britain campaign

group thinks that claims of a prospective deal

should be 'taken with a large pinch of salt'

– given that 'historically India starts rather

more trade talks than it finishes'.

The Department for International Trade

wants an agreement that removes barriers

including cutting tariffs on exports of UKmade

cars and Scotch whisky. However,

it is rumoured that Indian prime minister

Narendra Modi is seeking to tie easier

immigration to the UK to any new trade


IF figures from City Broker IG Group

are to be believed, UK exports to the

EU may drop by 7.73 percent by 2025.

This, says the broker, is largely

because smaller EU countries

are benefitting from Britain’s departure

from the European Union.

The company examined export

data looking for the impact of Brexit


on international trade and areas of

potential growth. It found that the top

three countries that benefitted from

Brexit were Finland, Luxembourg,

and Portugal. But other countries also

benefitted from the vacuum left by

the UK after Brexit including Ireland,

Croatia, Greece, Lithuania, and

Cyprus. Naturally, and this makes

sense, the firm found that the

highest proportional increases

occurred where trade was lower to

begin with.

The report cited Finland as an

example. Exports of aircraft, spacecraft

and allied parts beat estimates by

11,715.28 percent, at €102.71m instead of

a predicted €0.87m.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 30

Argentina in trouble

WE’VE been here before, but it looks like Argentina and the International Monetary

Fund (IMF) are again heading for collision over default of debts it owes. Some $19bn

is due in 2022 as part of a $45bn debt that must be refinanced to 'restore the South

American nation’s credibility with markets'.

At issue, during negotiations, is the speed at which the country should reduce its

deficit. The Argentinian government wants another five years of money printing and

deficits. It’s also pushed back on a demand to raise interest rates above inflation as it

would halt the country’s economic recovery.

The problem is that the Government is hoping that the economy will grow at nearly

double the 2.5 percent rate that the IMF forecasts for 2022; it also expects inflation to be

‘only’ 33 percent in 2022, compared to widespread expectations of more than 50 percent.

What does this mean? Be careful – and if you find business, unless it’s priced in

sterling, you may not get paid what you expect.

Fed officials say rate hikes

near as inflation soars

MONEY is about to get more expensive.

The UK and other central banks have

recently increased interest rates, and it

appears that the US is likely to follow

suit as early as March to rein in rising

inflation made worse by COVID.

Onlookers, as reported on Reuters, say

that it is 'sensible' for the US central bank

to begin raising interest rates this year,

especially as the labour market is tight

and inflation is rising. In particular, New

York Federal Reserve Bank President

John Williams said, 'we see inflation

that’s obviously higher than we want and

it’s not coming down yet.'

Of course, where the US moves, the

world in general tends to follow.

Another budget boost for Japan

JAPAN’S Government is keeping the taps

open as it announced a record ¥36trn

(£240bn) supplementary budget for 2021.

Put in place to partly finance the

government’s latest coronavirus-recovery

package, the money is also part of prime

minister Fumio Kishida’s plan to revitalise

the economy while putting the nation’s

'fiscal health… on the back burner'.

To cover most of this, the government

will be issuing ¥22.1trn (£146.5bn) of

new bonds, which, combined with the

outstanding balance bonds are expected to

top ¥1,000trn (£6.6trn) by March.

With cases falling it appears that

firms and consumers are becoming

more confident. While the government is

watching for risk, business conditions,

employment, and private consumption

have all been forecast to rise.



A recent report on CNN drew attention to

a survey, the Global Risks Report, from the

World Economic Forum, which found that

many business leaders, politicians and

academics are overwhelmingly pessimistic

about the threat that COVID-19 still poses.

They are concerned that uneven economic

recovery could open chasms between

societies and countries.

More than 84 percent of just under 1,000

global experts surveyed are worried or

concerned about the outlook for the world,

while just 12 percent have a

positive view, and only four percent

UK exporters and post-Brexit

trade with South Korea

THE Government is hailing ‘huge’ demand

for British products and services in South

Korea as UK firms saw a £620m, or nine

percent, surge in exports to the country

last year. In numbers, government data

indicates that trade between the UK and

South Korea was worth just over £13bn

between January and June 2021, with

Britain exporting around £2bn more than

it imported.

It seems that wind turbines, life jackets,

PPE and hydrogen fuel cells were among

the most-popular items.

South Korea is the ninth largest

economy in the world, and the growth was

expected following a 2019 free trade deal

ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU.

reported feeling optimistic.

More than 40 percent of those surveyed

come from the business world, while 16

percent represent government and 17

percent work in academia. Roughly 45

percent live in Europe, while 15 percent are

based in North America and 13 percent are

based in Asia.

As to the causes of concern, the survey

recorded labour market imbalances,

protectionism, and widening digital,

education and skills gaps. Further, there are

worries over climate change, debt and the

militarisation of space.

UK and Australia

sign trade agreement

THE UK and Australia have signed a Free

Trade Agreement (FTA). This is the first

post-Brexit trade deal that was negotiated

by the UK independently of the EU.

The Government says that all UK

exports will no longer be subject to tariffs

in Australia, and it is estimated that trade

will increase by £10.4bn. Among other

things, visa restrictions will be removed,

allowing young UK citizens the opportunity

to travel to Australia for work for three

years without restrictions; commitments

for UK financial service providers have

been made, especially in relation to nonlife

insurance providers; and co-operation

on cosmetics, medical devices, and human

and veterinary medicines has been agreed,

with the intention of reducing trade

barriers for these industries.

The Government has stated that

this FTA should aid the UK’s bid to join

the Comprehensive and Progressive

Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The agreement will enter into force once

the UK and Australia have completed their

respective domestic procedures for the

agreement to come into effect.

Cabinet Office releases webinars

for trading with the EU

THE Cabinet Office has released a series of

webinars and videos for organisations that

trade with the EU following the UK’s exit

from the EU Single Market and Customs


The productions come as new

certification and physical checks will

be introduced, by commodity groups,

for all remaining regulated sanitary and

phytosanitary commodities from 1 July

2022 and completed by 1 November 2022.

The step-by-step webinars provide

an overview of these new rules and

border requirements for moving goods

from the EU to Great Britain, the Goods

Vehicle Movement Service, and supplier


The webinars can be found on gov.uk,

searching for Webinars and videos for

organisations that trade with the EU.



OR CALL 020 7738 0777

Currency UK is authorised and regulated

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).


GBP/EUR 1.20363 1.18006 Down

GBP/USD 1.36794 1.33921 Flat

GBP/CHF 1.25962 1.22869 Up

GBP/AUD 1.91869 1.87706 Up

GBP/CAD 1.72925 1.69560 Up

GBP/JPY 158.027 153.065 Up

This data was taken on 16th February and refers to

the month previous to/leading up to 15th February 2022.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 31


Backward Step

The latest late payment figures show

declining performance across the board.

AUTHOR – Rob Howard

IF you look hard enough, you’ll

find some positives in the latest

late payment statistics, but the

overall picture isn’t so rosy and

there are a number of sectors

and regions moving in the wrong

direction. The average Days Beyond

Terms (DBT) across regions and sectors

in the UK increased by 3.2 and 4.4 days

respectively. In Ireland, regional figures

reduced by 0.5 day, but increased by 5.5

days across sectors. Average DBT across

regions in Northern Ireland increased by

1.5 days.


The UK sector spotlight is fairly grim,

with all but two of the 22 sectors seeing

increases to late payments. The Financial

and Insurance (-1.9 days) and Energy

Supply (-1.1 days) sectors made small

improvements, but it’s red across the rest

of the board. The Mining and Quarrying

(+8.6 days), Public Administration (+8.5

days), International Bodies (8.0 days)

and Transportation and Storage (+6.9

days) saw the biggest increases, but it’s

the Water & Waste sector which remains

at the bottom of the standings, with a

further increase of 2.6 days taking its

overall DBT to 29.1 days.

Over half of the 20 sectors in Ireland

experienced no change to DBT, and only

five experienced increases. So on the

surface, it doesn’t sound so bad, but the

scales of the increases for the five sectors

do warrant concern. The Real Estate

sector, for example, saw the biggest

change, increasing by a massive 46.9

days. Similarly, the Construction and

Transportation and Storage experienced

large shifts, with DBT increasing by 32.8

and 29.0 days respectively.


As with the sector standings, the

UK regional figures do not make for

pleasant reading, with all 11 regions

moving in the wrong direction. Wales

saw the biggest jump, with an increase

of 5.7 taking its overall DBT to 22.6 days

and replacing East Anglia as the worst

performing region. Despite an increase

of 2.6 days, the South West remains the

best performing region.

The Irish standings are more

encouraging, with a number of regions

making improvements and a number

seeing no change to DBT. Mayo (-17.3

days), Offaly (-14.8 days), Kerry (-13.7

days) and Wicklow (9.0 days) all made

notable reductions to late payments.

Some twelve regions are tied at the top of

the standings with zero days DBT. Seven

regions, however, experienced increases

to their terms. A hefty increase of 27.5

days means Kildare’s overall DBT now

stands at 68.5 days.

In Northern Ireland, there’s a 50-50

split of improvement and decline. Making

positive strides in the right direction is

Ulster, with a significant reduction of

13.5 days to late payments. Also on the

up is Munster, with a reduction of 3.9

days taking its overall DBT to 0.2 days

and making it the new best performing

region. Leinster was previously at the top

of the standings with zero days DBT, but

a dramatic increase of 22.4 days mean

it is now the worst performing region.

Connacht’s DBT increased by 0.9 days.

The overall picture isn’t so rosy and there are a

number of sectors and regions moving in the

wrong direction.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 32


Data supplied by the Creditsafe Group

Top Five Prompter Payers

Region Jan 22 Change from Dec 21

South West 11.6 2.6

Yorkshire and Humberside 12.2 1.3

West Midlands 15.1 2.4

East Midlands 15.9 4.5

Scotland 17.9 3.9

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Region Dec 21 Change from Nov 21

Wales 22.6 5.7

Northern Ireland 21 3.7

East Anglia 20.1 1.2

London 18.8 3.8

North West 18.1 1

Top Five Prompter Payers

Sector Jan 22 Change from Dec 21

Business from Home 12.4 3.6

Financial and Insurance 13.7 -1.9

Entertainment 13.8 6.6

Hospitality 13.8 5.9

Wholesale and retail trade 14.5 1.6

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Sector Jan 22 Change from Dec 21

Water & Waste 29.1 2.6

Mining and Quarrying 24.6 8.6

Transportation and Storage 23.2 6.9

Dormant 22.4 9.1

International Bodies 22.3 8

Getting better

Financial and Insurance -1.9

Energy Supply -1.1

Getting worse

Dormant 9.1

Mining and Quarrying 8.6

Public Administration 8.5

International Bodies 8

Transportation and Storage 6.9

Entertainment 6.6

Hospitality 5.9

Health & Social 5.7

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 5.5

Business Admin & Support 5.2

Professional and Scientific 5.1

Education 4.6

Manufacturing 4.4

Business from Home 3.6

Water & Waste 2.6

Real Estate 2.5


3.9 DBT

Wholesale and retail trade 1.6

Construction 0.6



3.7 DBT



2.6 DBT


5.7 DBT






2.4 DBT



1.3 DBT



4.5 DBT


3.8 DBT



4.7 DBT





Other Service 0.6


Getting Better – Getting Worse













South East

East Midlands



Northern Ireland

South West

West Midlands

Yorkshire and Humberside

East Anglia

North West

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 33



4.5 DBT






2.9 DBT


91.8 DBT

Getting worse / no change

Real Estate 46.9

Construction 32.8

Transportation and Storage 29

Manufacturing 5.2


0.2 DBT






22.4 DBT




48.2 DBT


20.4 DBT

Professional and Scientific 2.6

Business Admin & Support 0

Education 0

Energy Supply 0

Health & Social 0

Hospitality 0

Top Five Prompter Payers – Ireland

Region Jan 22 Change from Dec 21

Cavan 0 0

Clare 0 0

Cork 0 1

Donegal 0 0

Kerry 0 -13.7

Bottom Five Poorest Payers – Ireland

Region Jan 22 Change from Dec 21

Monaghan 91.8 0

Kildare 68.5 27.5

Wexford 48.2 0

Mayo 42.7 -17.3

Dublin 20.4 3.2

Top Four Prompter Payers – Northen Ireland

Region Jan 22 Change from Dec 21

Munster 0.2

Ulster 2.9

Connacht 4.5

Leinster 22.4

International Bodies 0

Mining and Quarrying 0

Other Service 0

Public Administration 0

Water & Waste 0

Getting better

IT and Comms -5.4

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing -2.8

Financial and Insurance -1.0

Wholesale and retail trade -0.3

Top Five Prompter Payers – Ireland

Sector Jan 22 Change from Dec 21

Entertainment 0 0

Financial and Insurance 0 -1

Health & Social 0 0

Hospitality 0 0

International Bodies 0 0

Bottom Five Poorest Payers – Ireland

Sector Jan 22 Change from Dec 21

Real Estate 46.9 46.9

Construction 45.2 32.8

Water & Waste 34.0 0

Transportation and Storage 29.0 29.0

Business Admin & Support 28.0 0

In Northern Ireland, there’s a

50-50 split of improvement and

decline. Making positive strides in

the right direction is Ulster, with a

significant reduction of 13.5 days

to late payments.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 34

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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

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


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 / March 2022 / PAGE 40

Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for

their commitment to the profession, best practice in the

Credit Industry and the quality of services they provide.

We are delighted to showcase them here.


Hays Credit Management is a national specialist

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of

credit management and receivables professionals,

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

the CICM’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,

career and recruitment trends.

T: 07834 260029

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


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 / March 2022 / PAGE 41




For further information and to discuss the

opportunities of entering into a Corporate

Partnership with the CICM, please contact


The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis

and data modelling tools to organisations around

the world that rely on our ability to accurately predict

their exposure to financial risk. Our H-Score®

predicted 92 percent of quoted company insolvencies

and our TextScore® accuracy rate was 93

percent. Our scores are trusted by credit professionals

within banks, corporates, investment houses

and public sector bodies because, unlike other credit

reference agencies, we are transparent and flexible

in our approach.

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300

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.

T: +44 (0)2920 824700

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/

Chris Sanders Consulting – we are a different

sort of consulting firm, made up of a network of

independent experienced operational credit and

collections management and invoicing professionals,

with specialisms in cross industry best practice

advisory, assessment, interim management,

leadership, workshops and training to help your

team and organisation reach their full potential in

credit and collections management. We are proud to

be Corporate Partners of the Chartered Institute of

Credit Management and to manage the CICM Best

Practice Accreditation Programme on their behalf.

T: +44(0)7747 761641

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com

The CICM Benevolent Fund is

here to support members of

the CICM in times of need.

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)

Contact Goverance@cicm.com for more information

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 42

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 43


Credit Lines

What the FCA’s Financial Lives data tells

us about consumer lending.

AUTHOR – David Hendry

FOR many UK families access to

reliable, affordable credit plays

a vital role in balancing their

finances and when it is used in

an appropriate way it can improve

wider financial wellbeing by

helping them to avoid expensive, drawn-out

debt. However, there is a risk that antiquated,

cumbersome and intimidating application

processes, coupled with inefficient regulation,

is blocking thousands of people from asking

for credit, potentially pushing them towards

unnecessary hardship or dangerous borrowing


Last year the FCA published its wide-ranging

and insightful Financial Lives study into the

UK’s financial habits. Some of the findings were

eye opening. The study revealed that many

customers avoid applying for credit because

they were worried that rejected applications

would harm their chances of future credit, and

not enough of those that do apply are shopping

around for the best rates.



The research shows that more than one in ten

(11 percent) of those who already had a credit

product had been put off making an application

for any kind of credit because they were worried

about being rejected. The problem was worse

for women, for whom one in eight (15 percent)

had been put off from applying, and for

25–44-year-olds it was closer to one in five (19

percent). Housing status also had a noticeable

impact as over a third (35 percent) of renters put

applications on ice.

When asked what had put them off applying,

more than half (58 percent) said they were

worried about the impact a failed application

could have. Forty-six percent worried that it

would damage their credit score and a third

(32 percent) were concerned that it would

have affected their chances of applying to that

provider in the future. Nearly half (48 percent)

simply felt that there was no point in applying.


Anxiety about rejection rises in groups that the

FCA has described as displaying ‘characteristics

of vulnerability,’ three quarters of those putting

off an application for credit products fell into

these categories. That includes 42 percent of

those who are struggling financially (which the

FCA calls ‘low financial resilience’), 17 percent

of people who find it difficult to choose the

most suitable financial products (defined as

‘low financial capability’) and 18 percent of

those who have suffered what the FCA calls a

‘negative life event’, this may mean they have

lost a job or be struggling with relationship

problems. Other characteristics of vulnerability

include poor health and over-indebtedness.

Analysis of the data by Freedom Finance also

reveals that one in 14 (seven percent) people

had seen a credit application rejected over the

past 12 months. The most vulnerable were again

most likely to miss out as 14 percent of people

with low financial capability, 29 percent with

low financial resilience and 11 percent who had

suffered from negative life events, all faced loan



Stronger regulation introduced in the wake

of the 2008 financial crisis has proved to be a

double-edged sword in the consumer lending

space. While stricter affordability criteria for

mortgages and other credit products have

helped reduce systemic risk, there have been

clear losers who will feel that they have been

unfairly penalised by the rules.

Take, for example, ‘mortgage prisoners’ who

are unable to move onto lower interest loans

because stress testing determines there is a risk

that they will not be able to afford the monthly

payments in the future, despite being smaller

than the payments they are currently expected

to meet. Or workers who have never been in

debt, missed a payment or defaulted on a loan

that are considered to be risky because they

have thin credit files with little or no history of


The problem of thin credit files can seem

particularly unfair for people who would

otherwise be suitable borrowers without a

particular circumstance, such as apparently

unstable employment, divorce or a spell living

abroad, factored in.


The FCA’s data shows that almost half (40

percent) of people that apply for credit do not

shop around in search of cheaper rates with

other providers, and more than seven in 10 did

not consider other types of credit products.

When asked what had stopped them shopping

around, 20 percent said that they did not know

why they had not compared rates, while more

than 40 percent blamed the time consuming

and confusing nature of the application process.

These figures show that applying for credit

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 44


AUTHOR – David Hendry

can be an overwhelming experience for some

would-be borrowers who have no clear idea of how

to shop around for financial products and whether

an application will be successful. Simplifying the

process and making comparisons easier for shoppers,

especially those who may have low digital capability

or financial knowledge, is crucial.


The outcome of all this is that people turn to other

sources to relieve their financial pressures. In the

FCA’s research 12 percent said they had sold something

to get by instead of applying for a loan or as result of

a loan rejection, while 14 percent borrowed from a

family or friend and five percent defaulted on another

bill, loan or repayment agreement.

This informal borrowing adds to the UK’s ‘hidden

debt’ problem, where people borrow money from

sources other than regulated financial institutions,

and in the worst-case scenario even go to illegal

moneylenders. This type of debt is incredibly

damaging, it causes problems for families and

relationships, leads to further financial hardship and,

in extreme situations, can result in people becoming

indebted to dangerous loan sharks.


While concerns about rejected applications may have

been valid in the past, the industry has moved on and

technology like open banking and soft credit searches

is making it increasingly straightforward for people to

shop around and explore their eligibility for loans.

In many cases the fears expressed by during the

FCA research would have been misplaced because soft

credit searches mean that people can check whether

they are likely to be eligible for a loan without the

worry of damaging their credit file with a declined


The rise of digital marketplaces that use soft credit

checks are providing people with access to a wide

range of highly regulated financial products from

well-known, reputable lenders. They can compare

loan costs and find out if they are eligible without

damaging their credit files through unnecessary



It is vital that the financial services industry does not

pull up the ladder and abandon the people that the

FCA data has identified. The data is fascinating and

presents the industry with a number of challenges.

We need to find a more holistic way of viewing

creditworthiness, that truly reflects an individual’s

suitability for a loan, avoiding the blunt approach that

cuts off borrowers unnecessarily due to anomalies on

their credit files, many of which can be completely

explainable. But first, more importantly, we need to

make the process of accessing credit less daunting.

It needs to be easy for customers to find out what is

available to them, compare loans costs and understand

how to purchase the right products. The tools are out

there, but its is clear from the FCA’s findings that not

enough customers are using them.

David Hendry is Chief Marketing Officer

of Freedom Finance.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 45


Booking your

exams has never

been easier

Head over to our new exam pages

for all the information you need to prepare,

book and take your CICM exams


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 46

SHEFFIELD & District Branch

members and guests logged

into their virtual branch

meeting on 25 January, with

their own refreshments in

hand. Branch committee

member Jamie Thornton opened the

meeting before handing over to guest

speaker, Neil Jinks of Court Enforcement


Neil talked us through the benefits of

litigation and enforcement, the history of

High Court enforcement, the process and

costs, attendance and powers, protecting

brand and reputation and the future of

High Court enforcement. Neil shared

with us two case studies, one involving

EAST of England Branch held its AGM on

13 January. Chairman Atul Vadher reported

on a challenging but successful year, with

branch meetings held every month and

seven events. These included returning

to work in the office and how best to

manage the transitions, promoting CICM

benefits, to ‘a day in the life of an

Enforcement Agent’. The Branch continued

to show versatility with excellent speakers

and good Branch committee moderators.

The Branch LinkedIn group had

expanded from 742 members to 1127

members - a useful platform for promoting

the events and for sharing relevant content

within the credit community. Nine of the

10 existing committee were re elected. Atul


AGM and Ask an Expert

Sheffield and District Branch

a landing aircraft and the other a very

large mansion, before leaving us with his

top 10 tips for successful enforcement.

Time allowed for a question and answer

session where the merits and timing of

high court enforcement of regulated debts

was discussed and when asked what the

most problematic disposal of seized goods

was, Neil warned of the issues surrounding

perishable goods!

Secretary Myron Fedak then opened

the AGM, dealing with the formalities

of apologies, approval of the 2021 AGM

Minutes, approval of the 2021 Branch

Financial Report, nominations and

elections of Committee members for 2022

and then a review of the 2021 branch

thanked Chris Parker of Goodman Masson,

standing down after five years, for his, and

the company’s, contribution to the Branch.

Atul spoke of the challenges people have

faced around mental health in recent times

and all agreed the need for continuing

support between the committee and all

Branch members, as well as the use of our

platform to raise awareness.

Treasurer Mark Maynard summarised

the Branch accounts, which due to the lack

of physical events once again meant that

the bank balance was healthy.

Atul Vadher agreed with all that we will

continue to plan and deliver more events

throughout the coming year and thanked

everyone for their attendance on the night

events. Branch Chair, Paula Uttley, on

behalf of all the committee present and

past, thanked retiring Vice Chair Carl

Goodman for his years of service and

his excellent history tours of Sheffield,

and also thanked retiring Branch Secretary/

Treasurer Myron Fedak for his many years

of dedicated service to the branch in a

number of committee roles over the years.

Paula also recorded her personal thanks to

Myron, and said that it had been a pleasure

that her first task as chair in 2018 had been

to nominate Myron for Meritorious Service

Awards, which had been awarded and so

very well deserved.

By Paula Uttley, Branch Chair

Annual review and Insolvency update

East of England Branch

and their input over the past year.

Prior to the AGM, Paul Atkinson from

FRP Advisory LLP gave an update on the

insolvency position. He explained why

levels of administration appointments had

been lower than expected, but liquidations

were rising, detailing the sectors having

most difficulty. Steps such as the Rating

(Coronavirus) & Director Disqualification

(Dissolved Companies) Act would deter

directors from liquidating companies

not actually insolvent, and liquidators

will be looking for any possible director


By William Plom, CICM East of England

Branch Secretary

The return to the office webinar

IT feels a lifetime ago that we were uprooted

from our office desks and into the new

world of home working. Some 18 months

later, many are now navigating their way

back to the office full- or part- time. Last

October, the East of England Branch held

a webinar – The Return to the Office:

What You Need to Know – but following

the Plan B restrictions which saw people

working from home again in December

and January, the discussions are still

relevant again now. During the webinar,

Branch committee members William Plom

of Hays and Liam Hastings of Hastings &

Co Solicitors, explored the feelings about

returning to the office, and the legalities.

William said that Hays’ recent study

showed 43 percent of employers, but only

32 percent of employees, felt a full-time

return to the office was the most likely

long-term outcome. Interestingly, Will

noted just three percent felt a move to fully

remote working was likely, indicating the

majority of workers expect some variation

of a hybrid working model from employers.

He urged caution to businesses not

already looking at any kind of flexibility,

with indications showing that the most

skilled candidates were gravitating towards

organisations that offer some remote

working. No ‘one size fits all’ model exists

for businesses’ approach, and flexibility

must be balanced against commercial and

cultural needs.

Liam discussed the legal contractual

obligations of employers and staff, and the

challenges around bringing people back to

the office. Employment contracts usually

specify a ‘place of work’ which for most will

be the employer’s office, so it is technically

within an employer’s power to enforce a

return. Complicating this now though, is

an employee’s right to ‘reasonable requests’,

and after so long working remotely, it may

become harder for employers to justify

insistence on a full-time office policy.

Overall, a highly informative and

engaging discussion which offered useful

insights into post-pandemic expectations,

and a must watch for anyone who still has

questions around the subject.

By Chris Parker, Goodman Masson –

Specialist Credit Management & Billing


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 47

Switch to Direct Debit

Why not spread

the cost of your



CICM Membership

Manage your own cashflow

Simply scan the code below using your phone,

print and return to CICM, The Watermill, Station

Road, South Luffenham, Rutland, LE15 8NB

and we will do the rest!

Another reason to be a member

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For details contact: info@cicm.com

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 48



Your CICM lapel badge

demonstrates your commitment to

professionalism and best practice



If you haven’t received your badge

contact: cicmmembership@cicm.com


The Advisory Council influences the future direction of the Institute. Its members reflect the diverse range

of skills and experience amongst the Institute’s membership, and bring valuable expertise and knowledge.

Being a member of the Advisory Council is your opportunity to:

Share your knowledge and expertise to support your professional body in advancing the credit profession

Assist in steering the strategy and future direction of the Institute

Contribute to raising the profile of the largest recognised professional body in the world for the credit

management community

There are up to 23 Advisory Council positions now open for nomination representing

our 11 regions and the trade, consumer, international and credit services sectors.

Please visit: www.mi-nomination.com/cicm to stand for Nomination

or email elections@cicm.com to find out more

Nominations close 13 April 2022.

The Chartered Institute

of Credit Management



Brave | Curious | Resilient

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 49


Unfinished business

The problems that come with not fully committing to a

grievancy process, and a reminder to review practices

and policies for workforce diversity.

IN the recent decision of Hope v

British Medical Association, the

Employment Appeal Tribunal

(EAT) held it was fair to dismiss an

employee for raising numerous

grievances which he then refused

to progress or withdraw.

Mr Hope was employed by the British

Medical Association (BMA) as a senior

policy adviser from June 2014 until 24

May 2019 when he was dismissed for gross

misconduct. The claimant brought several

grievances against senior managers.

He wanted to discuss his grievances

informally with his line manager but

refused to progress them to the formal

stage. He also refused to withdraw them.

A formal grievance meeting was

scheduled for 21 March 2019. The

claimant was asked to attend the meeting

and was told by his employer that it

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards

considered it was a reasonable instruction

to ask him to attend. Despite this, the

claimant failed to attend, and the meeting

proceeded in his absence. The grievances

were not upheld.

BMA concluded that the claimant's

conduct of bringing numerous vexatious

and frivolous grievances and his refusal

to attend the meeting amounted to gross

misconduct. It took disciplinary action

against the claimant which resulted in his


Both the Employment Tribunal and

the EAT agreed the claimant's dismissal

was fair. It was reasonable for BMA to

conclude the claimant's conduct was

vexatious and unreasonable. It was also

reasonable for BMA to have dismissed

Hope on that basis. It was not necessary

for the employer to demonstrate the

claimant had wilfully committed a

breach of contract, or alternatively

had committed 'gross negligence' to

find he had committed an act of gross


This case demonstrates that employers

do not have to be held hostage by

employees who bring repeated, frivolous

grievances. However, employers finding

themselves in similar situations should

tread carefully to ensure any action they

take is fair and proportionate in the

circumstances. No doubt the employer’s

position in this case was helped by the

clear expectation it communicated to

the claimant that his attendance at

the grievance hearing was considered

a reasonable instruction. The fact the

claimant ignored that instruction would

have been relevant to the legitimacy of

the action the employer subsequently


Disability workforce reporting considered

FIGURES published by the Department

for Work and Pensions have highlighted

the disability employment gap – that

is the difference in the proportion of

disabled versus non-disabled people who

are in employment.

In the second quarter of 2021, the

employment rate for disabled people was

THE Government has published new 'right

to work’ checks which set out changes to

the way in which employers must check

the immigration status of biometric card

holders from 6 April 2022.

Currently, foreign nationals who

hold biometric cards can choose to

demonstrate their right to work in the

UK either by showing an employer their

physical card or sharing their status via

the Home Office’s online service. This

flexibility means that employers and

workers can choose between the relative

simplicity of producing and checking

a physical document in each other's

52.7 percent, compared to 81 percent for

non-disabled people. The Government

has kept the disability employment

gap under the spotlight during the

COVID-19 pandemic and has renewed its

commitment to publishing a consultation

on disability workforce reporting.

The consultation is yet to be published,

presence or sharing immigration status

online without having to meet in person.

The new guidance changes this. From 6

April 2022 holders of biometric cards will

only be able to demonstrate their right

to work in the UK using the Home Office

online service. Employers will no longer

be able to accept physical cards for the

purposes of a right to work check, even

if the card shows a later expiry date. The

new rules will apply to new appointments

only so it will not be necessary to carry out

retrospective checks on employees who

are biometric card holders and used their

physical card to demonstrate their right to

but the trend towards transparency on

employment and pay is likely to continue.

Proactive employers may wish to get

ahead by reviewing their own practices,

access to employment and workforce

diversity to identify what practical steps

might be necessary to recruit and retain

disabled staff.

Changes to Right to Work checks coming

work in the UK before 6 April 2022.

Employers will retain a statutory excuse

against any civil penalty for illegal working

where initial checks were undertaken in

line with guidance that was in force at

that time.

Employers are advised to familiarise

themselves with the online right to work

checking process in advance of these new

rules coming into force.

Gareth Edwards is a partner in the

employment team at VWV


From 6 April 2022 holders of biometric cards will only be able to demonstrate

their right to work in the UK using the Home Office online service.

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 50

Get ahead in Credit with Forums International by your side.

After two years of Virtual meetings using Zoom, we

are planning to move to a Hybrid Format from April

2022. With the Government relaxation of the rules

and the feedback, we are receiving from our

Members we believe the time is right. We are looking

forward to seeing our attendees Face2Face.

Laurie Beagle FCICM

Become a Member Today:

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Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 51




How BT and the CICM worked to

bring employees across the globe,

closer together.

AUTHOR – Sam Wilson

BT Group is an institution

dating all the way back

to 1846. Over the past

176 years, the company

has made it its mission

to connect people from

around the world and bring them

closer together. Whether it’s business

or pleasure almost every home or office

has a little white box hidden away that

connects them to anyone and everyone

at any time.

So when a global pandemic shut

the world down almost overnight, the

ability to ‘connect’ became even more

important, especially for those BT

colleagues who no longer had an office

watercooler to act as a mediator in casual


For Paul Fedarb ACICM, BT’s Interim

Billings Director & Senior Manager of

Global Wholesale Voice Settlement,

bringing his team together became a top

priority. his secret weapon turned out to

be a programme he’d started in 2018 with

his ‘dream team’ learning partner Abul

Shahid, BT’s Learning and Development

Group Customer Billing and Assurance


“The journey started in 2018,” he

explains. “We had quite a bit of new

talent joining after some organisational

changes and our global teams started

working closer together so I suggested to

one of our directors that we start a new

phase of studies with the CICM.”

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 52


AUTHOR – Sam Wilson

Having never previously met nor

worked with Abul, the two formed

an effective ‘dream team’ almost

immediately and with Paul having

previously completed a CICM Level three

qualification, he knew the value it could

bring to his team.

“BT has had some 300 people go

through the CICM learning structure

and I completed mine five years ago,” he

continues. “I was leading the Bill to Cash

team and recognised that some additional

learning was required to support the work

we were doing. I studied and thankfully I


Having been the student and now

being a student sponsor, Paul decided to

propose to his directors that a team-wide

learning plan would be of benefit. This

was based on his own experience, and

the fact that throughout his studies he

was continually learning new aspects of

credit management.

“I knew credit control as an area,

having worked in the billings space for

a long time, and you often think you

know everything. Then you end up on the

course and discover that you don’t know

everything at all. You know what you have

learned within your own organisation and

how they do things, whereas the CICM

gives you a more general and unbiased

foundation to work from. It helps you

realise, with an almost ‘ah-ha’ moment

why things work the way they do.”

After getting the go-ahead to move

forward with his master plan and help

train the new wave of talent, Paul leaned

on Abul to kick things off.

“The first thing we had to do was

reconnect with the CICM,” said Abul.

“It had been three years since we had

put anyone through a qualification, so

initially we agreed on a budget to cover

three years for 90 students coming from

three key teams: India, Europe and UK &

LATAM (Latin America). However, shortly

after, COVID hit so we had to pare the

numbers back to 45 across three cohorts

of 15. Even though we had to reduce the

numbers, that wasn’t going to stop us

getting the most out of the programme as


One of the reasons for instigating the

programme was the drive for BT to grow

from within and champion its team

members, or as Paul puts it, its ‘future


“We aspire to have qualified people

within our business, from all walks of life,

and we do this to help create our future

leaders. We believe that if you give people

the tools, then they have the foundations

they need for their future careers.

We can teach them the management

aspects, but a strong knowledge of their

specialism is a real enabler.” After the

programme started, the benefits were

almost immediately realised. Abul and

Paul noticed very quickly how happy and

how dedicated to their studies the team

were: “We were seeing some really high

marks, around 90 percent or thereabouts,

and those students still wanted to achieve

higher. The passion was incredible to

see,” Abul continues.

But something Paul and Abul didn’t

bank on was how impactful the course

would be on BT’s teams across the world.

From the outset, the pair pushed for the

course to be global and to incorporate

teams in multiple different territories.

“Paul really pushed for global cohorts,”

said Abul. “We have people from UK,

Brazil, Budapest, Spain, Italy and India,

this is something that doesn’t happen

that often and we could see that clearly

by how excited the students were. It’s

something that makes me really happy to

see and be a part of.

“I have to give Paul credit as well,”

he adds. “It’s refreshing to see a Senior

Manager as involved with the learning as

he is. I think it’s one of the reasons the

students are so passionate.”

Over the course of the programme

both Paul and Abul have seen motivation

levels increase, and Abul credits this to

the culture of personal investment that

the course has created: “Our learners

are feeling valued. They’re seeing a giant

global corporation putting real money

into their career and their future, and it’s

driving them forward.”

As for Paul, he has seen the benefits

from a business performance perspective,

in the way that the wider teams interact.

With a global pandemic grounding all

flights, the CICM course enabled team

members to connect outside of day-today

operations and discuss a shared

experience, of learning something new

“Looking at it from a business model

perspective, you have a mixture of people

in a class, most of whom had never met

before or even realised the team existed.

They’re now having joint classes every

two weeks which has engendered this

‘oh I know that person’ attitude and

that’s opened people’s eyes to team


“Equally, as a business that strives to

be sustainable and culturally diverse, the

course has enabled people to build digital

connections, made Online/Video learning

the norm, and introduced people from

around the world to their colleagues.”

So not only did the course allow

the team members to learn something

new and progress, the CICM course has

brought Paul and the wider Bill to Cash

teams closer together and improved

business functionality. As well as forming

an unstoppable dream team in Paul and


Paul Fedarb ACICM, BT’s

Interim Billings Director

and Senior Manager

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 53




Warrington, £70,000

+ bonus of up to 20% & £5k car allowance

This role requires someone with external expertise to take an

already outstanding B2C Collections team to the next level.

You will improve processes and drive an innovative mindset

throughout the department (a team of circa 100 people). Another

important element of the role involves partnering the relationship

between the business and the CICM. To be considered for this

opportunity you must be CICM qualified. Ref: 4150302

Contact Adam Crossland on 07496 731011

or email adam.crossland@hays.com


Woking/hybrid, £28,000-£30,000

Reporting into the Credit Manager and working as part of a small

team, you will enjoy a varied and challenging position, covering

all aspects of cash collections and receivables management.

This role is suitable for a progressive individual who wants to

develop their skillset, working for a global leading organisation,

in a newly created role. Ref: 4152072

Contact Natascha Whitehead on 07770 786433

or email natascha.whitehead@hays.com


London, up to £30,000

A great opportunity has arisen for an Accounts Receivable

Specialist to join a finance team within the media industry in

London. The role focuses on reviewing aged debt and liaising

with clients to resolve disputes. The ideal candidate would be

somebody with great communication skills and the ability to

work within a fast-paced environment.

Ref: 4146951

Contact Sheyda Ozturk on 020 3465 0020

or email sheyda.ozturk@hays.com


Southampton, up to £25,000

A great chance to work for a reputable company in the

professional services sector. They are looking for someone with

excellent negotiation skills that can provide strategies to the

improve the credit control procedures and in turn, drive down aged

debt. This role requires an innovative individual who has excellent

computer skills (Excel and SAGE). Ref: 4140615

Contact Jack Bailey on 023 8202 0104

or email jack.bailey1@hays.com


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 54



My Learning – free skills

training from Hays

To find out more visit



London, up to £25,000

This legal firm is looking for a smart and career driven finance

professional who believes in their people first culture. This role

focuses on maximising the money billed from the partners and

managing the WIP to boost revenue and cash flow. The successful

candidate will have strong communication skills, professional

mannerisms, and the motivation to build a career in finance.

Ref: 4150632

Contact Daniel Lee on 020 3465 0020

or email daniel.lee1@hays.com


New Malden/hybrid, £14.27 per hour

+ up to £500 per month bonus

Working within the UK head office, you will be responsible for your

own ledger of accounts. Through proactive chasing, and building

strong relationships with customers, you will ensure that aged

debt is kept to a minimum and invoice are paid in line with agreed

terms. Experience with cloud-based systems such as PeopleSoft,

Salesforce or SAP is desirable and good excel including VLOOKUP

and pivot tables is essential. Ref: 4119941

Contact Mark Ordoña on 07565 800574

or email mark.ordona@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 / March 2022 / PAGE 55

Apprentice profile

ADAM Wilde is a Level 2 Apprentice Credit

Controller at United Utilities. He started

his journey in September 2021 with no

prior experience of the role: “From the

start I was eager to learn and excited to

work through my qualification provided

by CICM. From there I have been continuously learning

and developing an understanding. After six months there

is still so much more for me to take on.”

Adam applied for the role as he sees it as a huge

opportunity for him to build a career in credit management

and gain a recognised qualification: “I hope to gain my

Level 2 and move on to get my Level 3 as I believe the

opportunities are endless,” he explains. “So far I have

learned so much about the role and how important it is to

a business’s function. I was shocked to find out that this is

the second oldest profession in the world but I’m not quite

sure as to what the oldest is? (I do. Ed).”

In the short period of being at United Utilities Adam

has encountered a wide array of customers in different

financial situations. Whilst some customers choose not

to pay their bill others can’t pay their bill due to their

financial circumstances: “I understand the importance of

identifying the type of customer I’m dealing with,” he says.

“For customers who are struggling to pay we have a

number of affordability schemes that can help by lowering

their bills and matching payments to clear their arrears

more quickly, whereas for those who won’t pay we record

their missed payments with a Credit Reference Agency

(CRA) registering a default on their credit file and where

necessary pursue payment via the legal route.

“During my time here I have been able to apply what

I have learned to my day to day work. During my time

working with court team I gained insight into the use of

legal proceedings and enforcement to recover payment.

For example when a customer receives notification

advising them a CCJ has been entered they often call up

to make a payment in full to avoid a long term impact to

their credit file.

“Another example of applying my learning is

understanding the risk involved with credit, specifically

the risk of non-payment and the impact to a company of

increasing bad debt, as a credit controller I can help to

prevent this by following the company’s credit policy and

cash collections manual.”

Adam says that the apprenticeship course has

been delivered ‘brilliantly’: “We have gained so much

knowledge,” he concludes. “Our talent coach and our

tutors are extremely helpful and if I’m ever struggling

with anything help is always available. I will be sitting my

end point assessment in seven months’ time, and I am

confident we have access to the best help and resources in

order to successfully complete the apprenticeship.”

Latest in a new series

of how CICM-led

Apprenticeships are

supporting professional


Adam Wilde

Level 2 Apprentice Credit Controller

at United Utilities

“Another example of applying my learning

is understanding the risk involved with

credit, specifically the risk of non-payment

and the impact to a company of increasing

bad debt, as a credit controller I can

help to prevent this by following the

company’s credit policy and cash collections


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


• 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 / March 2022 / PAGE 56


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

Natasha Chinn

Philip Hodgson

Damian Mirczak

Amina Lavji

Ivan Copeland

Sara Mccall

Heather Walters

Jo McWilliams

Amy Sinclair

Oliver Edwards

Dylan Coetsee

Nicola Hannant

Rosemary Ball

Pelin Bailey

Gemma Aimable

Molly Lane

Neil Wilkie

James Mackreth

Georgia Roche

Amie Wareing

Antje Ladbrook

Patricia Rufino Salustiano

Gabrielle Watson

Alicia Wilches Ayala

Kyle Barlow

Martyn Spiers

Amy Bright

Kelly Prudhoe

Christopher Mitchell

Laura Morgan

Zoe Wales

Michael Sawyer

John Higham

Theophilus Oluwagbemiga

Anser Mateen

George Jackson

Gregory Little

Max Harding

Charlotte Couch


Charlotte Wood

Samantha Robinson

Joanna Bruce

Raj Harash

Pinder Grewal

Lynsey Burgess

Raimondo Orobello


Udeshika Rathanayake

Safina Omari


Anna O'Reilly

Congratulations to our current members who have upgraded their membership

Upgraded member

Abdelaziz Eshra MCICM Harvey Fielding MCICM Chris Hardman MCICM Martin Stafford ACICM


Congratulations to the following, who successfully achieved Diplomas

Level 3 Diploma in Credit Management (ACICM)



Danielle Barrow

Louise Bent

Lasanthi Deshapriya

Lucy Aldis

Kayleigh Bagnall

Randy Bainbridge

Hayley Chapman

Lisa Dutton

Lauren Heap

Laura Hodgson

Level 3 Diploma in Credit & Collections (ACICM)

Luke Edwards

Anita Foxall

Carrie Harvey

Nicole Magg

Level 3 Diploma in Money & Debt Advice (ACICM)

Stacey Thomason

Laura Webb

George Woodall

Shelley Nelson

Quays Nouristani

Alison Ramsey

Carly Smith

Eniko Szabo


Andrew Bass

Level 5 Diploma in Credit & Collections Management


Jonathan Ferguson

Raise your credibility and boost your career prospects

– Apply for your upgrade today

Contact: info@cicm.com for more details

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 57




What does it mean to win the

CICM’s Outstanding Contribution

to the Industry Award?

AUTHOR – Sam Wilson

TO some, a career, or a ‘job’

as many label it, is a means

to an end. A way to earn

the money they need to live

the life they want to lead.

For others, however, their

career is more than just a job, it’s a service

they devote years of hard work and effort


Charles Wilson FCICM, very much

falls into the latter category. A Solicitor

by profession, Charles, in the eyes of his

peers, is much more than that, which is

a key reason he was recognised as the

winner of the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management’s Outstanding Contribution

to the Industry Award at the 2020 British

Credit Awards. It’s something he remains

very humble about to this day.

“I won the award after 25 years in

the industry and whilst it ‘officially’

recognised my achievements, in reality,

it was recognition of our business and

the people behind it. That was, for me,

the most important thing, that these

dedicated people who work so hard

behind the scenes were recognised for

their incredible work. To an extent, I was

just the one at the front.” However, it was

Charles’ work with Lovetts Solicitors, the

business he founded in 1994 with his

partner Paul McCulloch, that started the

winning process. At inception, one of the

founding principles of the business was

changing the way solicitors worked to

serve their clients, ensuring they were not

only effective but also efficient. It’s been

his guiding moral compass.

“I abhorred law firms that were slow

and expensive. To me, that’s the exact

opposite of what a client wants. When

a client is in a difficult position, unpaid

debt is a threat to their business.”

This attitude is what ultimately

kickstarted Charles’ ‘crusade’, as he

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 58


AUTHOR – Sam Wilson

describes it, for best practice within the

industry, and led to some revolutionary

systems put in place to make sure Lovetts’

clients felt not only supported in their

endeavours but listened to on a personal

level. After all, many of these businesses

were the livelihood of their respective


“When it reaches the point at which

someone approaches a lawyer for

resolution, they turn over a matter that’s

incredibly important to them, and they

need to know that it’s going to be dealt

with quickly and professionally, without

impacting their reputation. They also

want to know that it won’t cost them an

arm and a leg and that they’ll receive

transparency throughout.”


This transparency is what led to Lovetts

implementing two useful and important

systems that its clients would go on to

value very heavily: the CaseManager; and

simplistic pricing.

“Our goal with CaseManager – which

we launched in 2004, but built upon our

in-house paperless document system

from 1998 – was to give clients a clear

view of what was happening with their

case and to allow them to see how their

money was being spent, not wasted. Every

document, every phone call is visible to

client. Similarly, our pricing was designed

to be clear and unambiguous. Every case

charge is visible on CaseManager. Legal

measures can be expensive so knowing

the cost before you move forward is

vital, especially to those business owners

looking to us as a last resort.”

This moral compass is something

that’s guided both Charles and Lovetts

throughout its 25-year history and

something the firm still very much

believes in, including the staff that now

continue to push Lovetts forward after

Charles became non-executive chairman.

“We always treated others how we

wanted to be treated ourselves, as the

award is a true affirmation of that

intention and a very important one. Of

course, we have clients thanking us for

what we’ve done over the years, but to be

awarded on a very public stage means so

much for me and the team.”

Not only did the win have a profound

effect on Charles, but his whole team

were also just as elated. So much so that

10 of them went out to support their boss,

who was unaware of the win until it was

announced. In fact, he was so unaware,

that the presence of his wife at the awards

ceremony was kept a secret until that very

evening. “I thought to myself, this is really

weird, why is my wife here? I’m so used

to sitting on the judge's table amongst my

fellow judges rather than with my team,

that I should have clicked something was

up. But I didn’t – it was so unexpected!”

“I won the award

after 25 years in the

industry and whilst it

‘officially’ recognised

my achievements,

in reality, it was

recognition of our

business and the

people behind it.’’


The award, Charles says, are pivotal to

ensuring that the industry stays up-todate,

relevant and more importantly at

the tip of the spear when it comes to

performing at the highest standard.

“The thing about an industry body

awards such as the BCAs is that it

encourages people to hold themselves

to a higher standard. Only being able to

win by ‘being the best’ means individuals

and teams perform at their highest level

consistently, and subconsciously this

raises the standard of the credit industry

and those working in it.”

Equally, Charles admits it’s also a

fun night out and allows members to

reconnect with colleagues, team members

and peers within the industry, something

that as a former CICM branch chairman,

Charles very much looks forward to.

“Besides the stoic benefits for the

industry and the persons within it, it’s

a great opportunity to see friends and

colleagues from all of the industry.

Especially as my day-to-day working

schedule is now lighter than it used to be.”

Besides looking forward to this year’s

awards, Charles has also taken more time

to enjoy the little things in life.

“After winning an award such as the one

I did, it gives you a level of appreciation

for a long career, almost a full-circle

moment. Since stepping into a nonexecutive

role, I’ve been given a greater

opportunity to enjoy the little things

more, including watching the success of

my old teammates on a day-to-day basis,

from a distance.”

As well as revelling in the success of

his former team, Charles is taking more

time with his family – and his motorbike!

At the time of our conversation, Charles

was gleefully on his way to see his

grandchildren in the capital.

Congratulations on your award

Charles, enjoy some well-deserved time

off with your family and see you on the


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 59


CICM Directory of Services




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.


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


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.


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:




Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD

T: 01494 790600

E: customerservice@cocredo.com

W: www.cocredo.co.uk

Celebrating its 20th year in business, CoCredo has extensive

experience in providing online company credit reports and

related business information within the UK and overseas. In 2014

and 2019 we were honoured to be awarded Credit Information

Provider of the Year at the British Credit Awards and have been

finalists every other year. Our company data is continually updated

throughout the day and ensures customers have the most current

information available. We aggregate data from a range of leading

providers across over 235 territories and offer a range of services

including the industry first Dual Report, Monitoring, XML Integration

and DNA Portfolio Management.

We pride ourselves in offering award-winning customer service and

support to protect your business.

Atradius Collections Ltd

3 Harbour Drive,

Capital Waterside, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ

Phone: +44 (0)29 20824397

Mobile: +44 (0)7767 865821


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,


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


Company Watch

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,


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 / March 2022 / PAGE 60



paul@centuryone.uk 01727 739 196




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




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


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.

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.


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 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.


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.



C2FO Ltd

105 Victoria Steet


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.


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.

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.





01727 739 196


CICM Directory of Services

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 61


CICM Directory of Services



paul@centuryone.uk 01727 739 196




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.


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.



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.


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


For more information on how the Menzies Creditor Services

team can assist, please contact Bethan Evans, Licensed

Insolvency Practitioner, at bevans@menzies.co.uk or call

+44 (0)2920 447 512.



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


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

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



American Express

76 Buckingham Palace Road,

London. SW1W 9TQ

T: +44 (0)1273 696933

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.


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.

YayPay by Quadient

T: + 44 (0) 7465 423 538

E: r.harash@quadient.com

W: www.yaypay.com

YayPay by Quadient makes it easy for B2B finance teams to stay

ahead of accounts receivable and get paid faster – from anywhere.

Integrating with your existing ERP, CRM, accounting and billing

systems, YayPay organizes and presents real-time data through

meaningful, cloud-based dashboards. These increase visibility

across your AR portfolio and provide your team with a single

source of truth, so they can access the information they need to

work productively, no matter where they are based.

Automated capabilities improve team efficiency by 3X and

accelerate the collections process by making communications

customizable and consistent. This enables you to collect cash

up to 34 percent faster and removes the need to add additional

resources as your business grows.

Predictive analytics provide insight into future payer behavior to

improve cash flow management and a secure, online payment

portal enables customers to access their accounts and pay at any

time, from anywhere.


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.





01727 739 196

Bottomline Technologies

115 Chatham Street, Reading

Berks RG1 7JX | UK

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

W: www.bottomline.com/uk

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses

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

domestic and international payments, effective cash management

tools, automated workflows for payment processing and bill

review and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural analytics

and regulatory compliance. Businesses around the world depend

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

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

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

by making complex business payments simple, secure and


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 62



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.

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 / March 2022 / PAGE 63

Ensure compliance

through our all-in-one,

easy to use AML platform

Our streamlined, integrated platform

allows your business to stay compliant

Call us to book a free demo:

+44 (0)113 223 4491

Visit us online:


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AML checks on individuals

and business globally

Comprehensive bureau

data coverage

Industry leading pass rate

SmartSearch delivers verification services for individuals and businesses in the

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

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / March 2022 / PAGE 64

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

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