CM MAY 2023

The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals

The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals


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

<strong>MAY</strong> <strong>2023</strong> £13.00<br />



TALL AND<br />

PROUD<br />

Lenders are<br />

ready to lend<br />

Can credit managers protect<br />

themselves against COVID-19<br />

fraud?. Page 16<br />

There’s more to<br />

Sweden than just ABBA<br />

and IKEA. Page 34

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The latest technology and<br />

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Highest match and pass rate on the<br />

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40<br />


AUTHOR – Peter Walker<br />

<strong>MAY</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

www.cicm.com<br />


34<br />



AUTHOR –<br />

Adam Bernstein<br />


How data completes the puzzle of business<br />

resilience.<br />

12 – STANDING TALL<br />

Banks and finance providers stand ready<br />

to support businesses and individuals.<br />


How can credit managers protect<br />

themselves against COVID-19 fraud?<br />

19 – MODEL LAWS<br />

Recognition and enforcement of<br />

insolvency-related judgments.<br />


Contractual provisions and other<br />

mechanisms for dealing with spiralling<br />

costs.<br />

16<br />


AUTHOR –<br />

Giuseppe Parla<br />

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

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

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

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

membership, as well as additional subscribers<br />

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

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

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

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

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

12<br />


AUTHORS –<br />

Lee Hopley, Sean Feast<br />

FCI<strong>CM</strong> and Roshika Perera<br />

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

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

Larry Coltman FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Neil Jinks FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Allan Poole MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Advisory Council: Caroline Asquith-Turnbull FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Laurie Beagle FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Glen Bullivant FCI<strong>CM</strong> /Brendan Clarkson FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Larry Coltman FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Peter Gent FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) / Victoria Herd FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) / Andrew Hignett MCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

Laural Jefferies FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Neil Jinks FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Martin Kirby FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Charles Mayhew FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Hans Meijer FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Debbie Nolan<br />

FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) / Amanda Phelan MCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad) / Allan Poole MCI<strong>CM</strong> / Phil Rice FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Phil Roberts FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Chris Sanders FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Paula Swain FCI<strong>CM</strong> / Jamie Thornton MCI<strong>CM</strong> / Mark Taylor MCI<strong>CM</strong> / Atul Vadher FCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />


Credit management appears divided<br />

between professional and not so<br />

professional practitioners.<br />


There’s more to Sweden than just Abba<br />

and IKEA!<br />


Can a holidaymaker suffering an<br />

injury bring a claim against a UK credit<br />

card company, even if they are not its<br />

customer?<br />

Publisher<br />

Chartered Institute of Credit Management<br />

1 Accent Park, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate,<br />

Peterborough PE2 6XS<br />

Telephone: 01780 722900<br />

Email: editorial@cicm.com<br />

Website: www.cicm.com<br />

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

Managing Editor<br />

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

Deputy Editor<br />

Iona Yadallee<br />

Art Editor<br />

Andrew Morris<br />

Telephone: 01780 722910<br />

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

Editorial Team<br />

Joe Clarkson, Rob Howard, Roshika Perera,<br />

Melanie York and Mona Yazdanparast<br />

Advertising<br />

Paul Heitzman<br />

Telephone: 01727 739 196<br />

Email: paul@centuryone.uk<br />

Printers<br />

Stephens & George Print Group<br />

<strong>2023</strong> subscriptions<br />

UK: £129 per annum<br />

International: £160 per annum<br />

Single copies: £13.00<br />

ISSN 0265-2099<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 3


Blame it on the<br />

weather, man!<br />

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

Managing Editor<br />

AS the son of a farmer, I<br />

was especially alarmed<br />

to read a recent report<br />

from our friends at<br />

Atradius regarding the<br />

crisis in the food sector<br />

amid a national shortage of products like<br />

eggs and some vegetables. Claims for<br />

late and failed payments have risen by<br />

some 79 percent, whereas claims in the<br />

agriculture sector as a whole have more<br />

than doubled in the last 12 months to 119<br />

percent.<br />

Now I am conscious that I am the<br />

managing editor of Credit Management,<br />

and not Farmers Weekly. I am conscious,<br />

also, that it is many years since I last<br />

mucked out a cow shed (although my<br />

two boys were home for Easter, and there<br />

were some similarities after they left).<br />

But there are some blindingly obvious<br />

reasons for why certain shelves within<br />

certain retailers are empty.<br />

Whichever came first, whether it was<br />

the chicken or the egg, both are in short<br />

supply. Farmers are having to absorb<br />

rising costs of feed, energy and labour,<br />

at the same time as dealing with one of<br />

the worst outbreaks of avian flu in recent<br />

history. Things are getting better. At the<br />

time of going to press, the mandatory<br />

housing measures for poultry and<br />

captive birds was about to be lifted, but<br />

the huge disruption caused to farmers<br />

in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, and other<br />

affected counties will impact the food on<br />

our tables for many months to come.<br />

Vegetable producers are facing their<br />

own set of challenges. We never did<br />

veg or arable, only meat, so I am not an<br />

authority (and my knowledge of herbal<br />

lays is only what I’ve gleaned from The<br />

Archers), but I do know that unseasonable<br />

weather is impacting crop yields, and<br />

that in turn affects supply. As Georgios<br />

Panzaris, Senior Underwriter at Atradius<br />

(and no doubt avid Archers’ fan), says,<br />

‘farmers are facing a raft of challenges in<br />

an already volatile environment.’<br />

All of which means ‘trouble at mill’,<br />

almost literally.<br />

Georgios reckons that companies<br />

that have traditionally operated on thin<br />

margins will be particularly vulnerable<br />

to volatile market conditions, but even<br />

the biggest players are being tested.<br />

Some retailers are doing more than<br />

just holding onto their cash for longer;<br />

some are not paying their suppliers<br />

at all. He’s sufficiently concerned to<br />

admit that Atradius will only continue<br />

to underwrite agri-food firms on a caseby-case<br />

basis. And that means having<br />

robust data and financial insight at your<br />

fingertips to have any hope of getting<br />

cover.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 4

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

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

world of consumer and commercial credit.<br />

Insurance claims rise<br />

alarmingly in food sector<br />

ATRADIUS has reported a 79<br />

percent increase in claims for<br />

late and failed payments in<br />

the food sector amid national<br />

supply shortages of products<br />

like eggs and some vegetables.<br />

Its data shows the agriculture sector also<br />

saw claims more than double (119 percent<br />

increase) last year.<br />

Atradius provides trade credit insurance,<br />

which helps to protect suppliers against<br />

the risk of a retailer becoming insolvent<br />

between when they place an order and make<br />

payment. Without insurance, suppliers tend<br />

to seek more specific payment terms, putting<br />

pressure on a retailer’s cash flow.<br />

A rise in claims received in the sector<br />

indicates the number of retailers failing to<br />

pay their suppliers has risen exponentially<br />

over the last 12 months, as firms struggle to<br />

return to business as usual.<br />

Georgios Panzaris, Senior Underwriter at<br />

Atradius, says it has been a challenging few<br />

years for the food industry: “Ongoing supply<br />

issues look set to continue as the sector<br />

battles with the quadruple threat of rising<br />

prices, ongoing fallout from Brexit and the<br />

pandemic, and bad weather conditions,” he<br />

explains.<br />

“The empty shelves shoppers are seeing<br />

have different root causes. Egg shortages<br />

are largely down to farmers being hit by the<br />

rising costs of feed, energy and labour, not<br />

to mention the largest avian flu outbreak<br />

we’ve ever seen, with undersupply at<br />

risk of persisting for months. Meanwhile<br />

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

❝<br />

The empty shelves<br />

shoppers are seeing<br />

have different<br />

root causes. Egg<br />

shortages are largely<br />

down to farmers<br />

being hit by the<br />

rising costs of feed,<br />

energy and labour,<br />

not to mention the<br />

largest avian flu<br />

outbreak we’ve ever<br />

seen.<br />

❝<br />

vegetable producers are facing similar<br />

challenges alongside unfavourable weather<br />

conditions, with lower crop yields affecting<br />

supply. Put simply, farmers are facing a<br />

raft of challenges in an already volatile<br />

environment.<br />

“Our data on late and failed payments<br />

paints a bleak picture, with the number of<br />

claims we received in the sector for late<br />

and failed payments up by 79 percent in<br />

the food sector, and a huge 119 percent in<br />

the agriculture sector last year. This follows<br />

a relatively subdued period in 2021 where<br />

businesses could benefit from ongoing<br />

Government support put in place during the<br />

pandemic. But with no such support in place<br />

this year, firms will be bracing themselves for<br />

the coming months.”<br />

Georgios says that companies that have<br />

traditionally operated on thin margins will<br />

be particularly vulnerable to volatile market<br />

conditions, but even the biggest players are<br />

being tested: “With insolvency a real risk,<br />

businesses need to do all they can to ensure<br />

they are protecting cash flow so they can<br />

mitigate the risk of a large customer failing<br />

unexpectedly.<br />

“Atradius continues to underwrite agri-food<br />

firms on a case-by-case basis, but it’s crucial<br />

businesses have robust and updated financial<br />

insight and forecasts. To guard against the<br />

domino effect that crumbling supply chains<br />

can have on firms, a trade credit insurance<br />

policy can play a very important role in<br />

maintaining a company’s confidence in its<br />

trade debtor book.”<br />

Inquiry tackles issues of small developers<br />

THE all-party parliamentary group<br />

(APPG) for SME housebuilders is<br />

undertaking an inquiry into the<br />

specific finance issues faced by<br />

smaller developers. The inquiry is<br />

looking at not only the effects of<br />

the current economic climate but<br />

also planning delays, stretched<br />

funding and modern methods of<br />

construction. It is jointly funded by<br />

northwest-based accountancy firm<br />

Cowgills and SME lender Aldermore<br />

and is chaired by MP Andrew Lewer.<br />

In recent years, SME housebuilders<br />

have faced a number of challenges,<br />

including a lack of access to finance,<br />

planning delays and a shortage of<br />

skilled workers. These factors are said<br />

to have contributed to a decline in the<br />

number of small housebuilders, with<br />

many struggling to compete with<br />

larger firms. The parliamentary group<br />

expects to publish a report with policy<br />

recommendations later this year.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 5


One in six adults have less than<br />

£20 per week of disposable income<br />

ONE in six adults – the<br />

equivalent of seven and<br />

a half million people<br />

– has £20 or less to<br />

live on after paying<br />

for essentials each<br />

month, according to YouGov polling by<br />

StepChange Debt Charity, with one in<br />

twelve (eight percent) people having no<br />

disposable income at all.<br />

The survey is said to chime with<br />

StepChange’s own client data which<br />

shows one third (33 percent) of new<br />

clients are in a negative budget,<br />

meaning that, after a debt advice<br />

session and budget counselling, their<br />

expenses exceed their income.<br />

The polling also reveals the impact<br />

of nine consecutive interest rate rises<br />

on mortgage holders and renters alike.<br />

Half (50 percent) of renters and 38<br />

percent of mortgage holders expect<br />

their housing payments to rise within<br />

the next 12 months. Of those facing a<br />

rise, one in four (26 percent) expects to<br />

be driven into problem debt because of<br />

it. Among renters whose rent is rising,<br />

four in five (81 percent) say it’s because<br />

their landlord is increasing their rent.<br />

While the Chancellor confirmed in<br />

the Spring Budget that the Energy Price<br />

Guarantee (EPG) has been extended<br />

for another three months, the Energy<br />

Bill Support Scheme (EBSS), which<br />

has seen households receive a £400<br />

discount on their energy bills came to<br />

an end on 31 March. More than one in<br />

three (37 percent) people say they will<br />

have to borrow to cope, a figure that<br />

rises to more than two in three among<br />

Universal Credit claimants (67 percent)<br />

and one in two (56 percent) among<br />

renters.<br />

Despite mandatory signposting on<br />

collections letters, the survey shows<br />

that one in six (16 percent) people<br />

do not know debt advice services<br />

even exist, and a further one in five<br />

(21 percent) wrongly believe that<br />

contacting a debt advice organisation<br />

would have a negative impact on their<br />

credit score.<br />

StepChange is calling for reform<br />

that will have a long-term impact<br />

and ultimately protect people from<br />

remaining trapped in a spiral of<br />

problem debt. The charity has<br />

been campaigning for an end to<br />

unaffordable deductions from benefits<br />

to repay debts and would like to see the<br />

Households balancing on financial cliff edge<br />

AS UK households grapple with<br />

the rising cost-of-living, customers<br />

are continuing to borrow and are<br />

increasingly falling into debt.<br />

Lowell’s Financial Vulnerability<br />

Index (FVI), which measures and<br />

tracks financial resilience across the<br />

UK, suggests that the share of adults<br />

in default is edging up to peak levels<br />

seen at the beginning of the pandemic;<br />

the proportion of adults in default<br />

has risen to its joint highest level<br />

since Q4 2019 as households increase<br />

expenditure during the rising cost-ofliving.<br />

John Pears, UK CEO at Lowell,<br />

says that the new data shows a<br />

complex picture of financial health<br />

in the UK: “Overall it might be getting<br />

better, but we’re still miles away from<br />

where we were before the pandemic.<br />

Dive a little deeper and we can see<br />

a range of issues bubbling under the<br />

surface.<br />

“The decline in overall financial<br />

vulnerability is important, but it’s still<br />

high. Default rates are rising. We need<br />

to think about what we’re doing, at<br />

an industry and Government level, to<br />

improve the country’s financial health<br />

over the long term. Topics such as<br />

teaching better money management,<br />

helping people better understand<br />

financial products and destigmatising<br />

debt all need to be higher on the<br />

agenda.<br />

“As an industry, we are on the<br />

frontline of the rising cost-of-living.<br />

By working with the Government and<br />

other industry bodies, we can help<br />

them fully understand the customer<br />

debt journey, ensure the credit system<br />

is working in everyone’s interests<br />

and address the underlying issues of<br />

financial vulnerability.”<br />

The new figures show that UK<br />

households’ financial health has<br />

actually been improving since the<br />

beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic<br />

but increases in the cost-of-living<br />

appear to be preventing a quicker<br />

return to pre-pandemic levels of<br />

financial health. An increase in<br />

expenditure is likely to drive higher<br />

defaults over the long-term.<br />

Credit use remains significantly<br />

higher than before the pandemic; it has<br />

been on a clear rise since the start of<br />

the pandemic and remains well above<br />

pre-pandemic levels as households<br />

continue to borrow, despite rising<br />

interest rates. Dependence on social<br />

benefits continues to fall from the high<br />

levels seen during the pandemic but<br />

remains higher than it was between<br />

2017 and 2019.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 6


StepChange is calling for reform that will have a<br />

long-term impact and ultimately protect people from<br />

remaining trapped in a spiral of problem debt.<br />

introduction of a social tariff on energy<br />

bills to support low income households.<br />

Meanwhile, Vikki Brownridge,<br />

currently Director of Operations at<br />

StepChange, has taken over from Phil<br />

Andrew as CEO. Phil is leaving the<br />

charity after more than five years in the<br />

post. Vikki is the first woman to become<br />

Chief Executive of the charity and takes<br />

up the role after more than 17 years at<br />

StepChange, during which time she has<br />

risen through the ranks and worked<br />

in a number of senior roles including<br />

Director of Charity Development and<br />

most recently Director of Operations.<br />

Prior to joining StepChange Vikki<br />

held a number of senior positions<br />

within contact centre operations<br />

working in financial services and<br />

outsourcing.<br />

❝<br />

Her appointment follows soon after<br />

publication of StepChange’s 2022<br />

Statistics Yearbook that suggests that<br />

the average (mean) unsecured debt<br />

per client increased by 25 percent<br />

from £11,176 in 2021 to £13,941 in 2022,<br />

and there was a 20 percent increase<br />

in clients seeking debt advice or<br />

guidance with problem debt between<br />

2021 (483,247) and 2022 (580,913).<br />

One third (33 percent) of clients<br />

were in arrears with their energy bills<br />

in 2022, compared to 29 percent in<br />

2021, while a clients’ average (mean)<br />

monthly income actually rose to<br />

£1,558 in 2022 compared to £1,434 in<br />

2021. Despite this, clients only had an<br />

average (mean) surplus of £73 to pay<br />

towards their debts each month in<br />

2022, compared to £100 in 2021.<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> teams up with My DSO Manager<br />

THE Chartered Institute of Credit<br />

Management (CI<strong>CM</strong>), the largest<br />

professional credit management body<br />

in the world, has entered into a new<br />

agreement with My DSO Manager, a<br />

SaaS credit management and cash<br />

collection software provider.<br />

Through joint events, awards and<br />

content, the alliance will give CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

members access to valuable insights<br />

into managing risk, maximising cash<br />

collection, and streamlining the creditto-cash<br />

cycle, helping them optimise<br />

their business’ cashflow by improving<br />

its accounts receivable management.<br />

Founded in 2015, My DSO Manager<br />

helps accounts receivable professionals<br />

by providing a range of functionalities<br />

including automated and personalised<br />

cash collection strategies as well as<br />

real-time insights into the KPIs, cash<br />

forecasts and the risk behaviour of<br />

clients. It has over 1,500 clients in 85<br />

countries, including some renowned<br />

companies based in the UK, and is<br />

focused on further expanding its UK<br />

market.<br />

Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong>, Chief Executive<br />

of the CI<strong>CM</strong> says the alliance gives<br />

members access to effective ways<br />

of resolving a contentious issue:<br />

“Late payment is an issue that CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

members are all too familiar with,<br />

and we are delighted to partner<br />

with My DSO Manager to help credit<br />

professionals reform their collection<br />

strategies and reduce the risk of nonpayment<br />

to begin with.<br />

“My DSO Manager shows a deep<br />

understanding of the many factors that<br />

contribute to late payment, which is<br />

reflected through its comprehensive<br />

software that contains an array of<br />

features to help credit and collections<br />

professionals create tailored solutions<br />

for their business and customers.”<br />

Yalda Bayat, Communication-<br />

Marketing Manager at My DSO Manager,<br />

believes that the alliance will provide<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> members with the resources to<br />

restore stability to their businesses:<br />

“Partnering with CI<strong>CM</strong> is an exciting<br />

opportunity that enables us to assist its<br />

members in managing their credit-tocash<br />

cycle more successfully.<br />

“By leveraging the expertise of the<br />

credit industry and remaining abreast<br />

of the most recent industry trends<br />

and best practices, we hope to provide<br />

credit managers with a broader range of<br />

automated capabilities and innovative<br />

functionalities that will ultimately<br />

improve their cashflow.”<br />

Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong>, Chief<br />

Executive of the CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Poverty increases<br />

CHRISTIANS Against Poverty’s (CAP)<br />

latest YouGov polling shows around<br />

nine in ten (88 percent) of the adult<br />

population across the UK think it’s<br />

important more is done to tackle<br />

poverty. But many charities fighting<br />

poverty are facing funding struggles<br />

at a time when the cost-of-living crisis<br />

is driving increasing demand for their<br />

help. The new research suggests that<br />

half of all adults (25.9m) have gone<br />

without heat at some point this winter,<br />

with over 6m people going without<br />

heat on a daily basis. Around a third<br />

(16.9m) have had to skip meals, while<br />

four out of five (43.4m people) expect<br />

poverty to increase in the UK in the<br />

next year.<br />

DBT launches ‘Help<br />

to Grow’ site to boost<br />

economy<br />

THE UK Government has launched<br />

a new centralised website aimed at<br />

providing support and assistance to<br />

businesses across the country.<br />

The Help to Grow website from<br />

the Department for Business and<br />

Trade (DBT) is designed to upskill<br />

businesses of all sizes, helping them<br />

to reach more customers, learn new<br />

skills and boost their profits. The site<br />

brings together the expertise of the<br />

newly formed department, making it<br />

easier for businesses to access and use<br />

Government information and support.<br />

The launch of Help to Grow has<br />

been prompted by businesses’ need<br />

for easy-to-find information and the<br />

site aims to simplify the process of<br />

accessing such information. The site is<br />

described as being ‘focused on helping<br />

the UK’s 5.4m small businesses,<br />

which are a driving force behind<br />

the economy.’ It offers support and<br />

guidance at every stage of the business<br />

journey, from start-up to scale-up and<br />

exporting globally.<br />

Business and Trade Minister Kevin<br />

Hollinrake MP says that one of the key<br />

objectives of Help to Grow is to provide<br />

businesses with the tools they need to<br />

grow and succeed: “When businesses<br />

are given the right tools, it boosts<br />

profits, creates well-paid jobs and lifts<br />

the entire UK economy.<br />

“The Help to Grow website will play<br />

a pivotal role in helping firms achieve<br />

their business ambitions by enabling<br />

more businesses to reach their<br />

trading ambitions, increasing inward<br />

investment and removing business<br />

trade barriers.”<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 7

GOVERNMENT efforts<br />

to reform Companies<br />

House won’t achieve<br />

their aims without<br />

closing risky loopholes,<br />

insolvency and<br />

restructuring trade body R3 has<br />

warned.<br />

The Economic Crime and Corporate<br />

Transparency Bill aims to address the<br />

misuse of UK company registrations<br />

and removals by reforming the<br />

powers of Companies House, but<br />

R3 believes that without changes to<br />

the legislation around the company<br />

dissolution process, this objective<br />

won’t be met: “The Bill won’t improve<br />

transparency over corporate entities<br />

and tackle economic crime while<br />

companies are dissolved and struck<br />

off the Companies House register<br />

with no investigation into the conduct<br />

of their directors,” Nicky Fisher, Vice<br />

President of R3 explains.<br />

“At the moment, anyone who is<br />

looking to avoid investigation can do<br />

this by waiting until their company is<br />


Companies House changes<br />

will fail without reforms<br />

struck off the register, as the option of<br />

restoring it via the courts to enable an<br />

investigation to happen is often too<br />

time consuming and expensive for<br />

the business’s creditors.<br />

“This loophole needs to be closed if<br />

Government wants this legislation to<br />

achieve what it’s intended to and stop<br />

company law from being abused.”<br />

R3 would like to see companies<br />

who have failed to file accounts<br />

and confirmation by Companies<br />

House’s deadline entered into a<br />

compulsory liquidation overseen by<br />

the Government’s Official Receiver<br />

if the missed deadline isn’t rectified<br />

or the company put into voluntary<br />

liquidation within a month:<br />

“Putting a company automatically<br />

into a compulsory liquidation would<br />

make it easier for director misconduct<br />

to be investigated, for the business’s<br />

assets to be recovered earlier, and<br />

would send a warning to those people<br />

looking to commit fraud,” Nicky says.<br />

“This approach would require<br />

additional resources, but these could<br />

be raised by making the business’s<br />

directors liable for the fees for the<br />

compulsory liquidation – and this<br />

would send a clear message to<br />

potential fraudsters that there are<br />

financial penalties for this crime,<br />

alongside being investigated and<br />

potentially imprisoned.”<br />

With the Economic Crime and<br />

Corporate Transparency Bill<br />

approaching the committee stage in<br />

the House of Lords, R3 is urging peers<br />

to make these amendments to the<br />

draft legislation before it completes<br />

its parliamentary journey: “Fraud<br />

affects millions of people and costs<br />

the UK billions of pounds a year,”<br />

Nicky says. “Through this Bill, the<br />

Government has a great opportunity<br />

to tighten the powers of Companies<br />

House and strengthen its efforts to<br />

tackle it.<br />

“We urge to take it by adopting these<br />

amendments – instead of waiting<br />

for another opportunity while people,<br />

businesses and the economy suffer at<br />

the hands of fraudsters.”<br />

Energy price increases remain top threat<br />

ALMOST half (43 percent) of global<br />

business leaders surveyed still see<br />

energy price increases as their biggest<br />

challenge this year, despite Western<br />

countries’ best efforts to impose energy<br />

spend caps over the winter months and<br />

control inflation.<br />

According to a Dun & Bradstreet’s<br />

report Data Driven Resilience: How to<br />

Grow When Facing an Uncertain Future<br />

– which surveyed more than 3,000<br />

business leaders across 18 countries –<br />

concern around energy price increases<br />

is felt most strongly in Europe, most<br />

notably in Poland with 60 percent<br />

seeing this as their biggest challenge<br />

as the continent navigates yet more<br />

economic headwinds. However, in the<br />

United States, this datapoint dropped<br />

sharply to a quarter (27 percent) – likely<br />

because of the country’s reliance on its<br />

own energy supply.<br />

❝<br />

However, in the United States, this datapoint<br />

dropped sharply to a quarter (27 percent) –<br />

likely because of the country’s reliance on its<br />

own energy supply.<br />

By comparison, the overall increases<br />

to the cost of doing business is expected<br />

to have an acute impact on more than<br />

a third (37 percent) of businesses<br />

surveyed in <strong>2023</strong>, as the world<br />

continues to recoup its economic losses<br />

following the pandemic.<br />

Although the survey found that 27<br />

percent of leaders rate their business’<br />

resilience during turbulent times as<br />

‘extremely resilient,’ given the ongoing<br />

economic uncertainty, D&B believes<br />

it is imperative for more businesses<br />

to develop a higher level of resilience<br />

to remain competitive and position<br />

themselves for growth and innovation.<br />

“It’s concerning to see that 85 percent<br />

of businesses currently do not use data<br />

to understand disruption<br />

in their ecosystem,” a<br />

spokesperson said.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 8


>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Customers dial back<br />

their credit card spending<br />

DEMAND for consumer finance was<br />

driven by ‘other’ consumer credit,<br />

including personal loans, as customers<br />

dialled back their credit card spending<br />

in the first quarter.<br />

Individuals borrowed an additional<br />

£1.4 bn in consumer credit in February,<br />

of which £0.8bn was through ‘other’<br />

forms of consumer credit (such as<br />

car dealership finance and personal<br />

loans). Credit card borrowing in<br />

February fell to £0.6bn from £1.1bn in<br />

January <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

Effective interest rates across<br />

interest-bearing credit cards, personal<br />

loans and interest-charging overdrafts<br />

all rose through the month reflecting<br />

this higher cost of borrowing.<br />

Andrew Fisher, Chief Growth Officer<br />

at Freedom Finance, one of the UK’s<br />

leading digital lending marketplaces,<br />

says that despite interest rates<br />

New UK version of GDPR<br />

to save British businesses<br />

THE Government has introduced a<br />

new Data Protection Bill aimed at<br />

reducing costs and burdens for British<br />

businesses and charities, removing<br />

barriers to international trade and<br />

cutting down on the number of<br />

repetitive data collection pop-ups<br />

online.<br />

Designed with input from business<br />

leaders and data experts, the Bill<br />

seeks to ensure data adequacy while<br />

moving away from the ‘one-size-fitsall’<br />

approach of the European Union’s<br />

General Data Protection Regulation<br />

(GDPR).<br />

The new bill, which is expected to<br />

save the UK economy over £4bn in<br />

the next decade, builds on the UK’s<br />

high standards for data protection and<br />

privacy. It seeks to create a simple,<br />

clear and business-friendly framework<br />

that will not be difficult or costly to<br />

implement, providing businesses with<br />

more flexibility about how they comply<br />

with the new data laws.<br />

Julian David, TechUK CEO, welcomed<br />

increasing across the consumer<br />

sector his firm is still seeing strong<br />

demand from customers for credit:<br />

“Over the past few months, there<br />

have been large fluctuations in<br />

demand for the various types of credit,<br />

in particular, credit card spending has<br />

been volatile.<br />

“Customers are still getting to<br />

grips with a radically different credit<br />

landscape to this time last year, and<br />

many will need to rethink how they<br />

finance home improvements, holidays<br />

and even day-to-day spending as lowrate<br />

mortgages and long interest-free<br />

periods on credit cards have all but<br />

disappeared. We have seen a wider<br />

range of customers than ever coming<br />

to our platform in recent months<br />

searching for both unsecured and<br />

secured credit options as they adapt to<br />

the new financial environment.<br />

the new package of reforms: “The<br />

changes announced will give<br />

companies greater legal confidence<br />

to conduct research, deliver basic<br />

business services and develop new<br />

technologies such as AI, while retaining<br />

levels of data protection in line with the<br />

highest global standards, including data<br />

adequacy with the EU.”<br />

In addition to reducing the number<br />

of consent pop-ups seen online and<br />

establishing a framework for the use of<br />

trusted and secure digital verification<br />

services, the Bill will increase fines for<br />

nuisance calls and texts to be either<br />

up to four percent of global turnover<br />

or £17.5m, whichever is greater, and<br />

will strengthen the Information<br />

Commissioner’s Office (ICO) through<br />

the creation of a statutory board with a<br />

chair and chief executive.<br />

The Government is also planning<br />

to establish a new international data<br />

transfer regime to allow the free flow<br />

of data between the UK and other<br />

countries.<br />

Finverity raises $5m<br />

equity funding as<br />

revenues grow 15x<br />

FINVERITY, the digital ecosystem<br />

for trade and supply chain finance,<br />

has raised US $5m in a heavily<br />

oversubscribed equity funding round<br />

from new and current investors.<br />

New investors include Londonbased<br />

fintech specialist Outward,<br />

Amsterdam-based Acrobator<br />

Ventures and US-based s16vc<br />

founders fund. The firm says that the<br />

funding round comes on the back of<br />

15x revenue growth in 2022 across<br />

the Middle East and Africa and the<br />

recent expansion to Eastern Europe.<br />

Arrow hits bullseye<br />

ARROW Global Group has reached<br />

hard cap of its flagship strategy<br />

Arrow Credit Opportunities II Fund<br />

at approximately €2.75bn including<br />

a General Partner commitment of<br />

€275m. ACO II received extensive<br />

investor demand from both<br />

new and existing partnerships,<br />

which significantly exceeded its<br />

fundraising target of €2.5bn to reach<br />

the Fund’s hard cap of €2.75bn. ACO<br />

II attracted almost unanimous re-up<br />

from ACO I investors and is said<br />

to have attracted significant new<br />

commitments from a diverse mix of<br />

global institutional investors from<br />

the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and<br />

Middle East.<br />

April worries<br />

WITH a typical household’s bills set<br />

to rise by nearly £1,300 a year from<br />

April, a study by Money Wellness, a<br />

wellbeing platform specialising in<br />

free debt advice and ongoing support,<br />

suggests that more than nine out<br />

of ten (91 percent) of British people<br />

are worried about covering these<br />

increases. Furthermore, only 59<br />

percent of the people Money Wellness<br />

spoke to said they have worked out<br />

how much more money they’d be<br />

paying and 60 percent of those said<br />

they were looking at shelling out at<br />

least another £100 a month. However,<br />

some 63 percent had already thought<br />

about how to cover rising costs, with<br />

over half planning to cut back on<br />

non-essential spending and 13 percent<br />

intending to work longer hours.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 9


The Missing Piece<br />

How data completes the puzzle<br />

of business resilience<br />

AUTHOR – Edgar Randall<br />

THE Collins dictionary<br />

defines the term ‘resilient’<br />

as something that is strong<br />

and not easily damaged<br />

by being hit, stretched,<br />

or squeezed. The Oxford<br />

dictionary, however, describes it as being<br />

able to recover quickly after something<br />

unpleasant such as shock.<br />

For businesses, the definition of<br />

‘resilient’ can vary too. To some the word<br />

‘resilience’ means rebounding from<br />

shock. For others, it means adapting to<br />

unfavourable circumstances and moving<br />

forward. Regardless, for most it all boils<br />

down to survival, and survival isn’t easy<br />

in a turbulent economy and unstable<br />

geopolitical landscape.<br />

Protect, prepare and strengthen<br />

Rising inflation, continued monetary<br />

policy tightening, high interest rates,<br />

increased energy costs, supply chain<br />

disruption, the lingering effects of the<br />

pandemic and Brexit, as well as war<br />

and geopolitical instability, are having a<br />

simultaneous and substantial impact on<br />

the business environment.<br />

These threats are strongly felt by<br />

business leaders in <strong>2023</strong>. Dun &<br />

Bradstreet’s recent global report – which<br />

surveyed 3,396 business leaders across 18<br />

countries – unearthed that energy price<br />

increases are felt most strongly in Europe.<br />

The overall increases to the cost of doing<br />

business is expected to have an acute<br />

impact on more than a third (37 percent)<br />

of businesses too.<br />

Businesses are worried, and rightly<br />

so, but that’s why it’s never been more<br />

important to know who to trust, where<br />

risks are emerging and how to manage<br />

them. Having the right tools in your<br />

armoury to understand what’s happening<br />

around you, combined with the ability<br />

to respond quickly to fast-changing<br />

conditions, is what provides the strong<br />

foundations of resilience.<br />

For businesses, they should reimagine<br />

resilience as the business version of<br />

protein; the ingredient that protects and<br />

repairs, but also strengthens them to<br />

withstand the conditions that require<br />

endurance.<br />

However, our Data-Driven Resilience<br />

study makes it clear that businesses are<br />

struggling to protect, repair or strengthen<br />

themselves. Just over a quarter of leaders<br />

(27 percent) rate their business’ resilience<br />

during turbulent times as "extremely<br />

resilient.” So, it’s critical that a larger<br />

portion of businesses develop a higher<br />

level of resilience to remain sheltered<br />

from challenges, and agile to change, all<br />

while positioning themselves for growth<br />

and innovation.<br />

Using data to become resilient<br />

Promisingly, businesses are already using<br />

data to inform various decisions. When<br />

we asked business leaders about the<br />

current role of data in their organisations,<br />

the most common answer was ‘using data<br />

to increase revenue’ (37 percent).<br />

Elsewhere, 23 percent of global leaders<br />

cite that their business uses data to<br />

comply with regulations, while 17 percent<br />

leverage data to recognise potential<br />

malfeasance and fraud. These are still<br />

small segments of businesses strategically<br />

using data when we look at the sheer<br />

volume of threats.<br />

Despite this, these numbers don’t<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 10

❝<br />

Think of it as a puzzle, with all the pieces in front of you in a box.<br />

Businesses have all the pieces but cannot see the full picture. They are<br />

unable to see the completed puzzle and therefore do not fully understand<br />

their organisation inside and out. – Edgar Randall.<br />

❝<br />

reflect the number of leaders that want to<br />

use data more effectively and efficiently.<br />

More than three quarters (77 percent)<br />

of leaders globally agreed that data will<br />

be vital for navigating the turbulent<br />

times ahead and ensuring their business<br />

survives. A number which rose to 80<br />

percent for those in the UK.<br />

So, why are businesses struggling<br />

to make use of data in their fight for<br />

resilience?<br />

A missing puzzle piece<br />

To understand these challenges, we need<br />

to look at the root cause.<br />

From Dun & Bradstreet’s research, it<br />

seems that the collection and analysis<br />

of data and insight is where difficulties<br />

begin, with 80 percent of organisations<br />

currently struggling to manage the<br />

volume, variety and velocity of their data.<br />

This is reinforced when we consider<br />

that an astonishing 85 percent of<br />

business leaders state they currently do<br />

not use data to understand disruption in<br />

their ecosystem, which means only 15<br />

percent of businesses are using a form of<br />

insight to remain competitive by building<br />

the strong foundations to monitor and<br />

pre-empt risk or spot opportunities.<br />

Add to the mix that 32 percent of<br />

leaders reported finding it challenging to<br />

realise the full potential of their data; it’s<br />

clear businesses need more guidance.<br />

Think of it as a puzzle, with all the<br />

pieces in front of you in a box. Businesses<br />

have all the pieces but cannot see the<br />

full picture. They are unable to see the<br />

completed puzzle and therefore do not<br />

fully understand their organisation<br />

inside and out.<br />

However, piecing this together is<br />

fundamental to gaining this insight<br />

at every level – from the supply chain<br />

to customer communication, sales to<br />

compliance.<br />

An impossible jigsaw<br />

At Dun & Bradstreet we’re already noting<br />

significant impacts that the economic<br />

downturn is having on businesses. For<br />

example, in 2022 the number of UK<br />

business insolvencies reached peak<br />

levels. Similarly, Government data shows<br />

that more companies suffered insolvency<br />

in 2022 in England and Wales than any<br />

time since 2009.<br />

At a time when instability and failure is<br />

rife, the UK economy will not be able to<br />

sustain itself when just a small proportion<br />

of organisations truly understand both<br />

the challenges and opportunities at play.<br />

Thankfully there’s confidence in the<br />

role data plays and can play. Businesses<br />

recognise the pivotal role that data and<br />

the insights it provides will play in the<br />

future success of their organisations.<br />

Data is highlighted as vital in helping<br />

business leaders’ organisations to<br />

identify new customers (79 percent) and<br />

the same amount agree that it’s essential<br />

for financial planning.<br />

But data isn’t the simple extraction<br />

that it could perhaps be. Now imagine<br />

the jigsaw again, but all the pieces aren’t<br />

just in one box. They’ve been misplaced,<br />

with pieces placed in other jigsaw boxes.<br />

Completing a puzzle where you don’t<br />

even know where the pieces are located<br />

could be a near-on impossible task. The<br />

same applies to making decisions when<br />

you can’t locate your data.<br />

Businesses are facing that too.<br />

And compounding this data problem<br />

somewhat more is that data management<br />

within organisations is becoming<br />

increasingly siloed – with a rise in the<br />

complexities when sharing information<br />

between teams, departments and<br />

regions. Key parts of information are<br />

stuck in other parts of the business.<br />

How to better use data for resilience<br />

So, the hurdle isn’t about needing more<br />

leaders to see data as a valuable asset,<br />

rather it’s about the business’ ability to<br />

unlock the true value of its data.<br />

Yes, businesses can take near-term<br />

measures to address immediate obstacles<br />

and maintain short-term resilience,<br />

but long-term success requires a more<br />

strategic approach that prioritises<br />

business resilience.<br />

Utilising data to scenario plan and<br />

model outcomes is an essential aspect<br />

of a successful strategy that enables<br />

businesses to remain agile and overcome<br />

future disruptions. With the aid of<br />

trend analysis and predictive analytics,<br />

companies can proactively identify<br />

potential risks and growth opportunities.<br />

Such information can then be harnessed<br />

to formulate data-driven strategies,<br />

which can mitigate risks and capitalise<br />

on opportunities. For instance, by<br />

establishing a flexible supply chain<br />

and investing in digital transformation,<br />

businesses can respond rapidly to<br />

unforeseen events, such as pandemics,<br />

natural disasters, or geopolitical risks.<br />

By leveraging data insights to plan for<br />

a range of scenarios, businesses can be<br />

better prepared to overcome the next<br />

global disruption, as well as any future<br />

challenges that may occur. Data is an<br />

essential tool for unlocking valuable<br />

insight to increase business resilience to<br />

weather the next disruption, and the one<br />

after that.<br />

Edgar Randall is Managing Director<br />

at Dun & Bradstreet UK&I.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 11



Banks and finance providers stand ready<br />

to support businesses and individuals.<br />

AUTHOR – Lee Hopley<br />

NAVIGATING the turbulent times<br />

of the past year has been an incredible<br />

challenge for the whole<br />

country. Spiraling inflation<br />

triggered by burgeoning food<br />

and energy prices has sparked<br />

11 successive interest rate rises over the past<br />

12 months. These pressures have weighed on<br />

households and businesses but I am proud that<br />

as an industry, banks and financial services providers<br />

have continued to support personal and<br />

business customers during these difficult times.<br />

Lifeline for borrowers<br />

The rising cost-of-living has hit most<br />

households’ wallets one way or another, while<br />

increasing interest rates have bumped up many<br />

households’ mortgage payments. Warning lights<br />

on the personal finance dashboard started<br />

flashing this time last year. An energy price<br />

shock, risks to food prices and supply, together<br />

with the inevitable response that would come<br />

from central banks put cost-of-living concerns<br />

in the spotlight.<br />

With the UK and global economic recovery<br />

after COVID-19 just taking root, lenders were<br />

attuned to the fragile confidence across business<br />

and consumers. For the latter, the industry was<br />

acutely aware of the asymmetric impact of the<br />

pandemic and what was coming down the track<br />

as inflation rates not seen for four decades were<br />

going to erode any financial headroom for many<br />

households.<br />

At UK Finance working with our members, we<br />

saw a rapid response with lenders putting more<br />

resources into working closely with customers<br />

around their financial worries, increasing<br />

outreach to support financial management<br />

and engage with customers before payment<br />

difficulties crystallised. Given the faster than<br />

expected rise in interest rates, there was a focus<br />

on those re-mortgaging and facing a likely<br />

interest rate shock.<br />

In the last 12 months, lenders have proactively<br />

contacted mortgage customers a combined total<br />

of 16.5m times to offer support, and this figure<br />

is expected to increase to 20.5m contacts over<br />

the next 12 months. In addition, over the last<br />

year two million borrowers have been provided<br />

with financial difficulty assistance, including<br />

budgeting support, access to debt advice and<br />

breathing space. This support helps those who<br />

are worried about their finances or are likely to<br />

struggle to meet payments.<br />

For anyone struggling to pay their mortgage,<br />

credit card or personal loan, we encourage<br />

❝<br />

The rising costof-living<br />

has hit<br />

most households’<br />

wallets one way<br />

or another, while<br />

increasing interest<br />

rates have bumped<br />

up many households’<br />

mortgage payments.<br />

Warning lights on<br />

the personal finance<br />

dashboard started<br />

flashing this time<br />

last year.<br />

❝<br />

customers to reach out to their lender to let<br />

them know - tailored support is available to<br />

help.<br />

It's important to continue to convey the<br />

message to consumers that just getting in<br />

contact with your lender to find out the options<br />

will not impact credit scores. Depending on a<br />

customer’s circumstances, options to help with<br />

mortgage payments could include switching<br />

to interest-only temporarily, a mortgage term<br />

extension, or a payment concession. For credit<br />

cards and personal loans, options could include<br />

making reduced payments for a short period of<br />

time or agreeing an affordable payment plan<br />

over a longer period of time.<br />

Supporting businesses<br />

The rising cost-of-living and economic<br />

uncertainty has weighed significantly on<br />

businesses. That’s why we have partnered with<br />

major business groups and sector-specialist<br />

trade bodies in supporting businesses who face<br />

barriers to investment, international trade and<br />

resources. With small firms facing the perfect<br />

storm of rising energy costs, pressure on supply<br />

chains and the return of business rates, these<br />

linkages will be crucial in ensuring that the<br />

industry is on hand to help SMEs access the<br />

finance and support they need.<br />

Times of economic turbulence can provide<br />

opportunities as well as challenges. Innovation<br />

and investment in new business models<br />

or technology can also be vital in helping<br />

businesses retain and grow their customer<br />

base, as well as embedding longer term gains in<br />

productivity and efficiency. While the attention<br />

has been on managing the challenges, lenders<br />

have also been supporting businesses with an<br />

eye on growth.<br />

As with personal banking customers, support<br />

is always available for businesses struggling to<br />

make their payments. We continue to encourage<br />

any business worried about their finances to<br />

have an early conversation with their finance<br />

providers.<br />

Access to cash<br />

While the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated<br />

the ongoing trend for consumers to turn from<br />

cash to digital payments, we appreciate that<br />

many still rely on cash and that technology<br />

is not for everyone. Analysis also points to an<br />

increased appetite to use cash during the costof-living<br />

challenge to help budget income.<br />

Access to cash remains a key priority for us.<br />

So, in light of this, we worked alongside the<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 12

❝<br />

Even if some of the headline<br />

indicators around household or<br />

business stress may look benign, there<br />

are a whole spectrum of individual<br />

circumstances underneath the<br />

surface. Moreover, risks in the UK<br />

and globally are ever present.<br />

❝<br />

Cash Action Group (CAG) and the Delivery<br />

Authority which both consist of ten of<br />

our member firms, consumer groups and<br />

link to progress work against industry<br />

commitments to preserve access to cash.<br />

Over the past year, the number of new<br />

banking hubs announced has reached<br />

38 and counting. These hubs allow<br />

customers from a wide range of banks<br />

to access key banking facilities and<br />

trusted advice in person within their own<br />

community.<br />

But that’s not to say there aren’t many<br />

challenges, and the current economic<br />

troubles fuel the number of customers<br />

falling victim to domestic, financial and<br />

economic abuse. UK Finance continues<br />

to champion adoption of the Financial<br />

Abuse Code, co-written with Surviving<br />

Economic Abuse. The Code currently<br />

has 40 signatories and counting, who are<br />

committed to help protect their customers.<br />

Economic crime<br />

Fraud has a devastating impact on victims<br />

and it is the most prevalent crime in<br />

England and Wales, accounting for 41<br />

percent of all crimes in the year to June<br />

2022. Fraudsters will always capitalise<br />

on people’s financial insecurities, and<br />

the cost-of-living challenge proves no<br />

different. However, the banking and<br />

finance industry prevented £583.9m of<br />

unauthorised fraud from getting into the<br />

hands of criminals in the first half of 2022.<br />

Our Dedicated Card & Payment Crime<br />

Unit (DCPCU), an operational police<br />

unit funded though members, saved<br />

around £38m of fraud and seized £1.9m<br />

of assets last year. In the same period,<br />

they disrupted 19 organised crime groups,<br />

arrested over 140 suspected criminals and<br />

secured 44 convictions.<br />

Meanwhile, our Take Five to Stop<br />

Fraud campaign is a national campaign<br />

that offers straightforward advice to<br />

help everyone protect themselves from<br />

fraud. The campaign aims to encourage<br />

customers to stop and think whenever they<br />

are asked for their money or information.<br />

The rising cost-of-living is challenging<br />

to many across the country. Whether a<br />

business or personal banking customer,<br />

we encourage everyone to stay aware of<br />

scams.<br />

The economic news of late has been<br />

slightly better than feared and forecasters<br />

are placing a lower probability on the<br />

chance of recession this year. The industry<br />

is fully aware that we are not out of the<br />

woods. While the UK may dodge recession<br />

in the technical sense, it will still feel like<br />

one for many. Even if some of the headline<br />

indicators around household or business<br />

stress may look benign, there are a whole<br />

spectrum of individual circumstances<br />

underneath the surface. Moreover, risks<br />

in the UK and globally are ever present.<br />

The efforts of the industry to engage<br />

and support customers during these<br />

challenging times will continue.<br />

Lee Hopley, UK Finance’s Director<br />

of Economic Insights.<br />

Additional reporting by Sean Feast and<br />

Roshika Perera.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 13 continues on page 14 >




WHEN a husband and<br />

wife team were looking<br />

to expand Kielder,<br />

their specialist automotive<br />

power tools<br />

business, they fully<br />

understood the critical importance of cashflow.<br />

Paying suppliers and staff while waiting<br />

to be paid themselves by some of the major<br />

resellers was the challenge; the solution<br />

was a tailored invoice ginance facility from<br />

Optimum Finance.<br />

Invoice finance is a method of cashflow<br />

funding that uses receivables (invoices) as<br />

the principal asset against which money can<br />

be raised. Optimum Finance pays Kielder<br />

an agreed percentage of the invoice value<br />

as soon as it is submitted, driving access to<br />

liquidity at the point of invoice as opposed to<br />

needing to wait.<br />

Mo Han, co-founder and Head of<br />

Purchasing at Kielder, says the benefit of<br />

Invoice Finance is that it releases cash into<br />

the business almost immediately, regardless<br />

of how long it takes a customer to finally pay:<br />

“Optimum advances 85 percent of the invoice<br />

value and that helps us not only pay our<br />

own people and our key suppliers, but also<br />

enables us to offer discounts on bulk orders<br />

to our key customers.<br />

“With some of our customers requiring<br />

60-day payment terms, it enables us<br />

to bridge the cashflow gap, and do so<br />

with what is effectively our own money.<br />

What’s especially good about it is that as we<br />

grow, so the amount of cash available to us<br />

also grows, and this will help us expand.”<br />

High precision needs<br />

The business was founded seven years ago<br />

to deliver very high-precision tools to the<br />

automotive market. Mo’s husband, Steve, a<br />

former Rally driver, saw a gap in the market<br />

that he felt was not being adequately served.<br />

He thus set to work designing his own range<br />

of power tools and associated products for<br />

professional mechanics, working closely with<br />

his Chinese partners. The result is a range<br />

of tools sold through specialist retailers and<br />

direct to the motorsport industry.<br />

Early success and a good reception in<br />

the market has been hampered by Brexit,<br />

COVID-19, and the conflict in Ukraine. An<br />

international client base, however, enables<br />

Kielder to diversify risk, and the business<br />

manages Sterling, US Dollar and Euro<br />

accounts, adding a layer of resilience to its<br />

trading arrangements.<br />

Mo was already familiar with invoice<br />

finance, having previously used a similar<br />

facility provided by her main banking<br />

partner. A change in funding policy,<br />

however, obliged her to seek alternatives:<br />

“It was a concentration issue,” she<br />

explains. “Unfortunately, they reduced our<br />

accessibility to cash. Lack of cash restricted<br />

our growth and impacted our margin and<br />

profitability. It wasn’t sustainable and so we<br />

looked elsewhere.”<br />

Among the providers Mo looked at was<br />

Optimum Finance: “Other providers were<br />

quite aggressive in their pricing but there<br />

were hidden costs. Optimum Finance was<br />

transparent in its pricing and offered good<br />

value. We also managed to forge a strong<br />

working relationship from the beginning.<br />

Customer service is of the highest level and<br />

our relationship manager, Jenn Bennett, is<br />

always quick to respond.”<br />

Now the ambition is to further grow the<br />

business and increase market share: “We<br />

want to be known as the ‘go to’ in this space,”<br />

Mo concludes, “and build a brand known for<br />

the innovation, quality and design of its tools.<br />

“Having Invoice Finance to support our<br />

cashflow helps me sleep at night.”<br />

❝<br />

“With some of our<br />

customers requiring<br />

60-day payment terms, it<br />

enables us to bridge the<br />

cashflow gap, and do so<br />

with what is effectively<br />

our own money.<br />

What’s especially good<br />

about it is that as we<br />

grow, so the amount of<br />

cash available to us also<br />

grows, and this will help<br />

us expand.”<br />

❝<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 14

ESTABLISHED IN 2011, Piglet’s Pantry is<br />

an award-winning food producer based<br />

in Worthing, West Sussex. The business<br />

supplies hand-filled pies, handmade<br />

sausage rolls, cakes and biscuits to venues<br />

up and down the UK, including football,<br />

rugby, cricket and horseracing venues.<br />

Employing 70 people the company has<br />

seen its business triple over the last seven<br />

years due to the high quality of its Britishmade<br />

products.<br />

During the pandemic, as venues<br />

within traditional markets closed across<br />

the country, Piglet’s Pantry saw an<br />

opportunity to embark on a brand new<br />

‘direct to consumer’ offering - afternoon<br />

tea boxes. The result of this exciting new<br />

initiative is that they have succeeded in<br />

creating an additional business that is<br />

worth £3m in year one alone.<br />

Since they started delivering their handcrafted<br />

cakes and bakes to doorsteps<br />

across the country, the response has been<br />

extraordinary, attracting numerous highprofile<br />

celebrity endorsements, including<br />

the cast of Made in Chelsea.<br />

New location<br />

Jo Hunter, Chief Food Lover at Piglet’s<br />

Pantry, said that they were originally<br />

thinking of putting in a mezzanine to<br />

accommodate the new B2C business but<br />

soon recognised that the level of demand<br />

would mean that their existing premises<br />

wouldn’t be big enough, so they started<br />

Food for thought<br />

looking actively for a new location for the<br />

business, and a responsive and supportive<br />

finance partner. She chose Investec: “In<br />

addition to a dynamic working capital<br />

facility that grows with our sales, they<br />

provided us with a term loan to enable<br />

us to take on the move to substantial new<br />

premises, together with flexible leasing<br />

solutions that have allowed us to acquire<br />

the very latest equipment and vans,” she<br />

explains.<br />

“With Investec, we have immediate<br />

visibility of funds and can access them far<br />

more quickly than ever before. Scheduling<br />

updates couldn’t be easier, and we can<br />

Plastic fantastic<br />

view our cash availability anywhere in<br />

the world. Great technology is one thing,<br />

great backup is another. The staff are<br />

amazing, incredibly professional, and<br />

swift to support us with quick decisions<br />

when we need them.”<br />

Such has been the success of its new B2C<br />

business that with Investec’s support, it<br />

has been able to move its entire operation<br />

to a 28,000sq ft. building, with the capacity<br />

to grow even further: “With sports venues<br />

back in earnest and the hospitality market<br />

fully opening up once again, the future for<br />

Piglet’s Pantry is very exciting indeed,” Jo<br />

adds.<br />

“We have seen the number of client<br />

sites grow from 70 to 160 and our turnover<br />

double in some venues. Consequently,<br />

our headcount has risen from 25 to<br />

70, creating an entire infrastructure<br />

comprising HR and marketing functions,<br />

heads of savoury and heads of pastry,<br />

as well as technical and quality control<br />

departments. People love our products<br />

and through word of mouth, we are fast<br />

becoming the provider of choice for<br />

sweet and savoury baked goods for both<br />

hospitality venues and consumers across<br />

the UK. Our brand awareness is now<br />

through the roof and our distinctive pink<br />

boxes are being recognised everywhere<br />

we go.<br />

“All of this has all been possible thanks<br />

to the flexible funding we have secured<br />

from Investec.”<br />

A sustainable plastics manufacturer is<br />

set to continue its impressive growth<br />

trajectory by investing in new machinery<br />

and production lines in order to increase<br />

output.<br />

Capital Valley Plastics is an awardwinning<br />

business set-up by Michael<br />

Hughes as a small recycling facility in<br />

1987. As the business grew over the<br />

years, it branched out by using recycled<br />

materials to manufacture products for the<br />

construction industry.<br />

The business’s products include dampproof<br />

membranes and damp-proof course,<br />

which are designed to protect properties.<br />

Capital Valley Plastics products are made<br />

from 100 percent recycled materials,<br />

where building regulations allow.<br />

The business’s past and future growth<br />

is supported by, independent business<br />

funder, Bibby Financial Services that<br />

provide a £2.5m invoice discounting<br />

facility. This enables the business to<br />

release cash from unpaid invoices,<br />

providing working capital to allow the<br />

Capital Valley Plastics to concentrate on<br />

future growth.<br />

Sustainability focus<br />

Roger Philips, Managing Director<br />

at Capital Valley Plastics, says that<br />

sustainability remains very much at the<br />

heart of his business: “We manufacture<br />

9,000 tons worth of products each year, but<br />

use recycled plastics wherever building<br />

regulations allow. As a result, most of the<br />

products we sell are 100 percent recycled.<br />

“Our efforts to proactively and<br />

relentlessly improve our technology<br />

behind every aspect of the business,<br />

mean that we are able to provide cuttingedge<br />

products with a sophisticated and<br />

reputable service. Increasing demand<br />

from construction firms, coupled with our<br />

increased product range and investment<br />

in new production lines, has helped us go<br />

from strength to strength in the market<br />

place.”<br />

Roger says that the funding partnership<br />

with Bibby Financial Services has been<br />

a key enabler of growth: “We’ve been<br />

working with BFS for seven years, starting<br />

with a smaller £1m facility. BFS has been<br />

able to extend our funding over the years<br />

in line with the growth of the business,<br />

providing extra flexibility and giving us<br />

access to the cash we needed to continue<br />

to thrive.<br />

“BFS really got to understand our<br />

business and this is what sets it apart from<br />

other finance companies. Its tailored<br />

approach to funding is very much in<br />

keeping with our own philosophy as a<br />

business, making it the perfect business<br />

partner as we strive to grow the company<br />

further.”<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 15


Fighting Fraud<br />

How can credit managers protect themselves<br />

against COVID-19 fraud?<br />

AUTHOR – Giuseppe Parla<br />

THERE’S no doubt about it –<br />

COVID-19 fraud investigations are<br />

impacting businesses of all shapes<br />

and sizes across industry sectors.<br />

But what do credit management<br />

professionals need to know, and<br />

do they need to be more vigilant?<br />

Since HMRC first launched its investigation<br />

into COVID-19 fraud last year, many potential<br />

cases have come to light and about £1.2bn has<br />

been either successfully recovered or blocked<br />

by HMRC. However, this is just the tip of the<br />

iceberg. A House of Commons Committee report,<br />

published at the start of the year, confirmed<br />

the Government’s disappointment that HMRC<br />

is not being more ‘ambitious’ as it only expects<br />

to recover a quarter of the estimated £4.5bn<br />

lost as a result of fraud and error abuses of the<br />

COVID-19 support schemes. At the beginning<br />

of March <strong>2023</strong>, the FT reported the closure of<br />

HMRC’s COVID-19 fraud focused task force.<br />

For businesses, the prevalence of COVID-19<br />

fraud means there are significant financial<br />

risks to look out for when managing credit lines<br />

and overseeing payments from suppliers. For<br />

example, if a supplier starts missing payment<br />

deadlines, this could indicate that the business<br />

is facing cashflow difficulties and creditor<br />

debt could be mounting up. If the business<br />

subsequently enters an insolvency process,<br />

credit managers should be aware that if<br />

directors have obtained a Business Bounce Back<br />

Loan scheme (BBLs) or Coronavirus Business<br />

Interruption Loan scheme (CBILs), the bank or<br />

building society will likely offset the remaining<br />

amount owed against any funds held in the bank<br />

account.<br />

The Insolvency Service is playing its part<br />

in tackling COVID-19 fraud by prosecuting<br />

directors and recovering funds where possible.<br />

In particular, more staff have been recruited to<br />

the investigation and enforcement team to follow<br />

up allegations of COVID-19 fraud that come to<br />

light. These investigations have led to an increase<br />

in director disqualifications, which in<br />

turn helps to discourage fraudulent<br />

behaviour, thus minimising the risk<br />

of fraud and the associated financial<br />

losses. The number of disqualifications<br />

had been stable at between 1,200 and<br />

1,300 for the past seven years, but in<br />

the year ending 31 March 2022, more<br />

than 6,500 former directors were<br />

facing active disqualification cases.<br />

Insolvency Practitioners also have<br />

a role to play. When a business<br />

❝<br />

Credit managers<br />

should aim to learn<br />

lessons from the<br />

current situation<br />

and take steps to<br />

strengthen credit<br />

line checks and<br />

measures. For<br />

example, they should<br />

look out for warning<br />

signs such as a<br />

customer who has<br />

been avoiding recent<br />

communications.<br />

❝<br />

becomes formally insolvent, the appointed<br />

insolvency Practitioner is tasked with reporting<br />

on the directors conduct and if this highlights<br />

civil recoveries or fraudulent activity involving<br />

one of the COVID-19 support schemes, the<br />

Insolvency Service will generally be keen to take<br />

matters further. When reporting, insolvency<br />

Practitioners will typically look for specific<br />

evidence, such as CBILs and BBLs being used<br />

to pay off personal debts or to buy assets for<br />

personal use or furlough claims being made<br />

when staff were still working. Decisions to<br />

pursue the recovery of misappropriated funds<br />

will depend on the likelihood of success and will<br />

be a commercial decision for those pursuing<br />

the action. Criminal prosecutions, as evidenced<br />

by the recent prison sentences handed down,<br />

serve as a timely reminder to directors who<br />

think they may have got away with it, especially<br />

after putting their company into an insolvency<br />

process.<br />

Credit managers should aim to learn lessons<br />

from the current situation and take steps to<br />

strengthen credit line checks and measures. For<br />

example, they should look out for warning signs<br />

such as a customer who has been avoiding recent<br />

communications. They should also take extra<br />

care when agreeing to supply goods or services<br />

on credit terms that have been previously agreed<br />

when the relationship was stronger.<br />

Keeping communication lines open with<br />

key suppliers remains vital and, if appropriate,<br />

payment terms should be reviewed, discussed<br />

and renegotiated. However, if communications<br />

with a specific supplier breakdown altogether<br />

and reasonable efforts have been made to<br />

contact the business, then credit managers may<br />

need to escalate matters. They could issue a letter<br />

before action, which could help negotiations<br />

where funds are available, but if this doesn’t bear<br />

fruit, then further legal action will be required<br />

and the customer relationship is likely to be<br />

over. Detailed records of attempts to contact the<br />

business should be kept as evidence and may<br />

be useful information for an insolvency<br />

Practitioner where allegations about<br />

COVID-19 fraud arise.<br />

For more information on the areas<br />

covered within this article, please<br />

contact the business recovery team at<br />

Menzies: www.menzies.co.uk/creditorservices<br />

Giuseppe Parla is a Director and<br />

Licensed Insolvency Practitioner at<br />

Menzies LLP.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 16

❝<br />

The House of Commons Committee report, confirmed the<br />

Government’s disappointment that HMRC is not being more ‘ambitious’<br />

as it only expects to recover a quarter of the estimated £4.5bn lost as a result<br />

of fraud and error abuses of the COVID-19 support schemes.<br />

❝<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 17

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Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 18


Model Laws<br />

Recognition and enforcement of<br />

insolvency-related judgments.<br />

AUTHOR – Jamie Leader<br />

THE recovery of debt can be hard<br />

enough; never more so in times<br />

of economic strife and where<br />

the debtor is overseas. The risk<br />

that you might have to return<br />

the funds paid to you if your<br />

counterparty becomes insolvent after payment<br />

is even harder.<br />

For 25 years, ever since the secretariat of<br />

UNCITRAL, the United Nations Commission<br />

on International Trade Law, published the<br />

UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border<br />

Insolvency in May 1997, there have been model<br />

laws in place to act as legal frameworks that<br />

states can adopt to improve legal cooperation<br />

with others.<br />

In the field of restructuring and insolvency,<br />

48 states have adopted the Model Law on Cross<br />

Border-Insolvency (MLCBI) which provides for<br />

the recognition of insolvency and restructuring<br />

proceedings and associated relief. The MLCBI<br />

was implemented by the UK in 2006 by the Cross<br />

Border Insolvency Regulations 2006 (CBIR 2006)<br />

and also forms the basis of the structure of the<br />

EU Insolvency Regulation, albeit in modified<br />

form.<br />

In July 2022, the Insolvency Service published<br />

Implementation of two UNCITRAL Model Laws<br />

on Insolvency Consultation. This proposed<br />

the implementation of two new model laws<br />

produced by UNCITRAL.<br />

The two model laws now under review by the<br />

Insolvency Service complement and expand<br />

the MLCBI. The first is the Model Law on<br />

Recognition and Enforcement of Insolvency-<br />

Related Judgments, which concerns crossborder<br />

recognition of judgments associated with<br />

insolvency proceedings – MLIJ. The second is<br />

the Model Law on Enterprise Group Insolvency,<br />

which is intended to facilitate coordination<br />

between insolvency proceedings of different<br />

entities within corporate groups.<br />

We’re only concerned here with the proposals<br />

in relation to the MLIJ.<br />

The MLIJ defined<br />

The MLCBI has been widely adopted across<br />

the world and has significantly improved<br />

global cooperation in relation to cross-border<br />

insolvencies. However, although it provides<br />

for the courts of adopting states to provide<br />

recognition and assistance to foreign insolvency<br />

officeholders in relation to a range of matters<br />

relating to insolvency proceedings, its scope is<br />

limited as regards legal proceedings that are<br />

closely related to the insolvency proceedings.<br />

❝<br />

The proposed<br />

implementation of<br />

the MLIJ in the UK<br />

is not a matter that<br />

should be of interest<br />

only to insolvency<br />

professionals. How<br />

and whether the<br />

model law is adopted<br />

is likely to affect<br />

any party in the<br />

UK that contracts<br />

with counterparties<br />

abroad.<br />

❝<br />

By way of example, proceedings might include<br />

efforts to resolve disputes about the ownership<br />

or sale of assets in the estate or claims to recover<br />

assets that were transferred away before the<br />

opening of the insolvency proceedings. As a<br />

result, an insolvency officeholder may obtain<br />

a judgment in the state where the insolvency<br />

proceedings are ongoing but be unable to<br />

enforce it abroad.<br />

The MLIJ is intended to address this gap in the<br />

MLCBI, by providing an additional framework<br />

that states can adopt in order to recognise<br />

and enforce such foreign insolvency-related<br />

judgments in a predictable way.<br />

The proposal matters<br />

The proposed implementation of the MLIJ<br />

in the UK is not a matter that should be of<br />

interest only to insolvency professionals. How<br />

and whether the model law is adopted is likely<br />

to affect any party in the UK that contracts<br />

with counterparties abroad, or which chooses<br />

English law and jurisdiction to govern such<br />

contracts. That is because it will determine<br />

the degree of risk faced by such a party that if<br />

its counterparty becomes insolvent in another<br />

country insolvency judgments could be made<br />

against it there and enforced in the UK.<br />

A hypothetical example may help the<br />

understanding of how adoption of the MLIJ<br />

could change the risk for companies dealing<br />

with foreign debtors.<br />

An English company, Sellco, enters into a<br />

contract with Buyco — an unrelated company<br />

incorporated in Ruritania — for the sale of<br />

machinery by Sellco to Buyco. The contract is<br />

governed by English law and provides for the<br />

exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.<br />

Buyco purchases the machinery and pays for<br />

it in accordance with the contractual terms,<br />

but then enters insolvency proceedings under<br />

Ruritanian law.<br />

Under the Ruritanian insolvency code, any<br />

payments made by the insolvent company in<br />

the two months before the insolvency filing are<br />

deemed to be preferential and therefore void,<br />

so that the amounts paid have to be returned<br />

to the insolvent estate (with the relevant party<br />

having an unsecured claim in the insolvency<br />

proceedings instead).<br />

The Ruritanian liquidator of Buyco therefore<br />

demands repayment from Sellco of £1.2m that<br />

was paid by Buyco in the two months preceding<br />

the insolvency filing.<br />

Under English law as it currently stands,<br />

Sellco could be confident of its ability to ignore<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 19<br />

continues on page 20 >


AUTHOR – Jamie Leader<br />

the liquidator's demand and, as a result, it could<br />

have been more confident about contracting<br />

with a Ruritanian company.<br />

This is because, although the liquidator<br />

might seek to have the Ruritanian insolvency<br />

proceedings recognised in the UK under the<br />

CBIR 2006, that would not allow for the payments<br />

to be set aside on the basis of Ruritanian law or<br />

empower the English court to recognise and<br />

enforce a judgment of the Ruritanian courts to<br />

set them aside. Such recognition could provide<br />

a gateway for the liquidator to challenge the<br />

payments to Sellco under English law, but<br />

English law has no equivalent to the Ruritanian<br />

rule and, on the facts identified above, it seems<br />

unlikely that any such challenge would succeed:<br />

The payments would only be likely to be set<br />

aside as preferences, under s.239 Insolvency<br />

Act 1986, if Buyco had made them because of a<br />

desire to prefer Sellco, and there is no reason to<br />

infer such a desire.<br />

Finally, if the liquidator had obtained a<br />

judgment from the Ruritanian court, he would<br />

not be able to enforce it in England under<br />

common law. The common law rule – set<br />

out in the leading case of Rubin and another<br />

v Eurofinance SA and others [2012] UKSC 46 –<br />

provides that a foreign monetary insolvencyrelated<br />

judgment can be recognised only if there<br />

is an exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of<br />

the originating state; or the defendant is present<br />

in, or has submitted to, the overseas jurisdiction<br />

where the judgment was issued. As Sellco has<br />

neither agreed or submitted to the jurisdiction<br />

of the Ruritanian courts, and is not in Ruritania,<br />

the judgment should not be enforceable at<br />

common law.<br />

The effect of MLIJ<br />

The Insolvency Service's proposal is that<br />

the MLIJ should be brought into English law<br />

through the adoption of what is called ‘Article X’:<br />

one of the options identified in the MLIJ itself,<br />

which falls short of adoption of the model law<br />

in full.<br />

Article X states that: ‘Notwithstanding any<br />

prior interpretation to the contrary, the relief<br />

available under [the CBIR] includes recognition<br />

and enforcement of a judgment.’<br />

The essential effect of adopting Article X<br />

would therefore be that the English court would<br />

be empowered to recognise foreign insolvency<br />

judgments under the CBIR 2006; it would<br />

overturn the decision in Rubin v. Eurofinance to<br />

that extent.<br />

As will be clear from its wording, Article X<br />

simply provides that insolvency judgments can<br />

be recognised and enforced under the CBIR.<br />

It does not include any guidance as regards<br />

the circumstances in which recognition and<br />

enforcement should (or should not) be granted.<br />

In order to address this point, the Insolvency<br />

Service has said that it will introduce a new<br />

regulation providing ‘a list of discretionary,<br />

❝<br />

What is particularly<br />

striking is that there<br />

is no reference in the<br />

consultation to any<br />

choice of law rules,<br />

or safe harbours.<br />

illustrative, and non-exhaustive grounds of<br />

refusal, that courts can rely on when deciding<br />

whether or not to recognise and enforce a<br />

foreign judgment.’<br />

It is said that these will be based on article 14<br />

of the MLIJ, which sets out specific grounds for<br />

refusal of the otherwise mandatory recognition<br />

of insolvency-related judgments that the<br />

full MLIJ requires (including, for example, a<br />

judgment being obtained by fraud, creditors’<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 20

ights not being adequately protected,<br />

and a defendant not having sufficient<br />

time to arrange their defence).<br />

The proposed list would undoubtedly<br />

provide some further clarity, but the<br />

fact that the grounds listed would<br />

be ‘discretionary, illustrative, and<br />

non-exhaustive' would seem to leave<br />

significant uncertainty as regards how<br />

the courts may approach applications for<br />

recognition – and, of course, we do not yet<br />

know what grounds the list will contain<br />

What is particularly striking is that<br />

there is no reference in the consultation<br />

to any choice of law rules, or safe<br />

harbours, that would protect contracting<br />

parties who have expressly chosen<br />

English law and jurisdiction and have<br />

not willingly submitted themselves to the<br />

jurisdiction of any state which may open<br />

insolvency proceedings in relation to<br />

their counterparty.<br />

Returning to the scenario above, the<br />

implementation of the MLIJ through<br />

Article X could provide a means for the<br />

liquidator of Buyco to obtain a judgment<br />

against Sellco from the Ruritanian court<br />

and seek to enforce that judgment in<br />

the UK under the CBIR 2006. Whether<br />

the judgment would be enforced would<br />

depend on the court's discretion and<br />

the grounds identified by the proposed<br />

regulations. However, on the face of the<br />

proposal as set out in the consultation,<br />

it does not seem that the fact that Sellco<br />

and Buyco expressly chose English law<br />

and jurisdiction will provide Sellco with<br />

a defence.<br />

Will the MLIJ be implemented?<br />

The Insolvency Service consultation<br />

closed at the end of September 2022.<br />

Although responses to the consultation<br />

have not been published, anecdotal<br />

reports suggest that the Insolvency<br />

Service received a number of responses<br />

expressing strong views about the<br />

proposal but without a clear consensus. It<br />

appears that some respondents supported<br />

the overarching aim of streamlining<br />

international cooperation, and the UK<br />

being seen to be in the vanguard of such<br />

initiatives, but there were expressions of<br />

concern about the uncertainty that Article<br />

X could create for contracting parties,<br />

at least without clear rules on choice of<br />

law and how the courts will decide on<br />

recognition. That is likely, for many, to be<br />

the primary concern.<br />

Furthermore, although the UK<br />

Government may wish to demonstrate<br />

leadership in adopting the MLIJ, and<br />

thus to burnish the reputation of the UK<br />

as a state that is open and cooperative in<br />

restructuring and insolvency matters, the<br />

proposed changes would seem to deliver<br />

few direct benefits to UK companies<br />

or to the UK as a jurisdiction of choice<br />

for others. Indeed, it could even create<br />

incentives for contracting parties to<br />

structure their contracts outside the UK.<br />

In summary<br />

As matters stand, therefore, it remains<br />

unclear if the proposal will be adopted,<br />

whether in the form of Article X or in<br />

some other way, and — if so — when the<br />

changes will come into force. We await<br />

the Insolvency Service's decision with<br />

interest.<br />

Jamie Leader is a Partner and Head of<br />

Insolvency and Restructuring Disputes,<br />

Enyo Law LLP.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 21

Rising stars<br />

The first in a new series which puts<br />

the spotlight on rising stars who are<br />

demonstrating outstanding professionalism<br />

and commitment to positive change within<br />

the credit industry.<br />

The personal touch<br />

How a new Credit Manager at<br />

Clarins UK shaped her management<br />

style and her team to bring about<br />

significant change.<br />

AUTHOR – Melanie York<br />

Terri-Louise Taylor<br />

MCI<strong>CM</strong>(Grad)<br />

TERRI-Louise Taylor MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

(Grad) joined luxury skincare<br />

and cosmetics brand Clarins<br />

UK two years ago and<br />

undertook one of the most<br />

challenging projects of her<br />

17-year career; leading the collections team<br />

to achieve its CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accreditation for the<br />

first time. It was a daunting prospect for<br />

someone in their first management role.<br />

Wanting to get real world experience,<br />

Terri entered the credit world when she<br />

was just 16 years old. In the following<br />

years, she worked in various industries,<br />

including five years as a standalone credit<br />

controller. All the while she was studying<br />

for her CI<strong>CM</strong> qualifications. By the time<br />

she joined Clarins she had passed the Level<br />

5 which she says made all the difference to<br />

her career.<br />

“I just don't think I would have had the<br />

confidence to be a credit manager, having<br />

not gone through my Level 5 qualifications.<br />

Learning how to manage a team, how to<br />

make decisive decisions and understand<br />

the impact that credit makes.”<br />

Being new to managing teams she was<br />

keen to put her learning into practice.<br />

She had tons of ideas and energy, but she<br />

was given some sage advice by Deborah<br />

Pennington FCI<strong>CM</strong>, who was Head of<br />

Credit. Deborah told Terri to “get to know<br />

the team first. Get to know the company<br />

first. Then one by one, make your changes<br />

slowly.”<br />

Terri is thankful for the advice: “I<br />

would have come in all guns blazing,” she<br />

says “and I would have tried to change<br />

everything, and probably would have lost<br />

the respect of my team and the wider<br />

team.”<br />

Building the team<br />

Instead, Terri started to build team bonds<br />

remotely during lockdown with daily<br />

zoom calls and 15-minute coffee morning<br />

catch ups which are not work-related. “It’s<br />

important,” she says, “to keep them light-<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 22

hearted and have that fun element. We've also got<br />

a WhatsApp team chat and people sending pictures<br />

of their kids. It's more like a friendship chat than a<br />

work chat.”<br />

Under Deborah’s guidance, CI<strong>CM</strong>Q was set as<br />

a target to develop the group. With the support of<br />

Kevin Gough, Interim Head of Credit, Terri was<br />

tasked with managing the process.<br />

As Clarins was and still is migrating to a new global<br />

system it wasn’t going to be easy. The technology was<br />

being upgraded so that systems could talk better to<br />

one another, data could be extracted more easily and<br />

overall, the quality of reporting could be improved.<br />

An enormous task<br />

“This was the biggest challenge I’ve come across<br />

so far,” Terri says. “We had to start from scratch to<br />

get all the big things we needed for CI<strong>CM</strong>Q. Tasks<br />

ranged from writing a local credit policy, to creating<br />

a training matrix for the team to make sure that I'm<br />

continuously progressing them, engaging them and<br />

keeping them interested in their roles.”<br />

There were lots of helpful templates, webinars and<br />

information on the CI<strong>CM</strong> website, which Terri spent<br />

hours going through, but it was also the people that<br />

Terri came across that helped make the difference:<br />

“Karen Tuffs (FCI<strong>CM</strong>) from the accreditation team<br />

at CI<strong>CM</strong>Q, was amazing at giving clear guidance on<br />

how to complete the tasks.” Terri learnt the value<br />

of asking for help, and getting almost everything<br />

checked by Deborah or by Karen to make sure it was<br />

best practice.<br />

She also relied on the support of her team from<br />

the outset. Getting them involved early and having<br />

conversations around how to improve the current<br />

processes was crucial. “There's no point me saying<br />

this is how I want you to do it if it doesn't work with<br />

what they need,” she says. “They are the ones that<br />

are using it all the time.”<br />

So Terri’s approach was to show the team all<br />

the tasks they needed to complete for a CI<strong>CM</strong>Q<br />

accreditation. “I would then ask them What's your<br />

idea? How do you want it to look?”<br />

The final reckoning<br />

The team completed the programme, and it<br />

concluded with an onsite assessment day in<br />

Harlow. When Karen came to perform the CI<strong>CM</strong>Q<br />

assessment, she spent the whole day speaking to<br />

stakeholders and examining the new reporting<br />

processes. “She spoke to every member of the team,”<br />

Terri says, “going through individual responsibilities<br />

and the processes they had to follow. She checked all<br />

❝<br />

“I just don't<br />

think I would<br />

have had the<br />

confidence to be<br />

a credit manager,<br />

having not gone<br />

through my Level<br />

5 qualifications.<br />

Learning how to<br />

manage a team,<br />

how to make<br />

decisive decisions<br />

and understand<br />

the impact that<br />

credit makes.”<br />

❝<br />

the documentation was correct, getting<br />

a general feel for us as a team, how we<br />

work together and then interviewed other<br />

teams like sales and customer services to<br />

get a feel for us through them.”<br />

Terri believes the CI<strong>CM</strong>Q accreditation<br />

which was achieved in November 2022 is<br />

benefitting the Clarins credit team and<br />

the business. “I think it has definitely<br />

improved our DSOs,” she says.<br />

And there are other benefits. “Before<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong>Q process, I never really shared<br />

the reporting figures or results with the<br />

team. Now they get really excited every<br />

month when I'm about to report the DSO<br />

figures.”<br />

Not only are the team asking, ‘how did<br />

we do?’ Terri finds they are also much more<br />

excited about the bigger picture. She also<br />

says there is more team engagement. “I<br />

think having a plan for their progression,<br />

making sure that they are involved, has<br />

become more of a focus.”<br />

Understanding the wider picture<br />

Looking back now, Terri says she<br />

surprised herself by achieving CI<strong>CM</strong>Q<br />

accreditation. “I didn't have management<br />

experience and I never understood the<br />

wider business impact of credit control.”<br />

But through CI<strong>CM</strong>Q she learnt more<br />

about credit and how it integrates into<br />

the wider finance team and business<br />

objectives.<br />

“Grasping all of this in quick succession,<br />

and then trying to plan how we’re going<br />

to fit better into that space is something<br />

I could not have done alone. I couldn’t<br />

have done that without having a really<br />

good and seasoned mentor to help guide<br />

me through it. Deborah really did take me<br />

under her wing and gave me masses of<br />

knowledge, constantly coaching me and<br />

giving me good feedback.”<br />

Terri’s advice for other new or not so new<br />

credit managers aspiring to further their<br />

careers and the professional development<br />

of their team is to find a mentor. “Find a<br />

seasoned CI<strong>CM</strong> professional, that you<br />

trust and that you can bounce your ideas<br />

off. It will make all the difference in terms<br />

of getting things right and the impact you<br />

can have.”<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 23


Contracting Costs<br />

Contractual provisions and other mechanisms<br />

for dealing with spiralling costs.<br />

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

IN a fast-moving world where prices<br />

are rising at a pace not seen in<br />

decades, firms are struggling to<br />

keep pace and, worryingly, stay<br />

in business. The natural reaction<br />

to rising prices is to pass on costs<br />

directly to customers.<br />

However, that’s not always possible and<br />

for some businesses – those involved in<br />

restructuring – high inflation is peeling off<br />

firms on the cusp of profitability.<br />

The FT reported mid-February (<strong>2023</strong>) that<br />

corporate distress has been held artificially<br />

low through pandemic funding and low<br />

interest rates. But with increasing rates and the<br />

end of support comes rising levels of failure.<br />

In December 2022, corporate insolvencies<br />

rose sharply in England and Wales to reach<br />

1,964 — a third higher than the same month in<br />

2021, and 76 percent higher than in December<br />

2019, before the pandemic. The story is the<br />

same for February with insolvencies of 1,783,<br />

up 17 percent on the 1,518 insolvencies in<br />

February 2022 and up 33 percent on the 1,345<br />

in February 2020.<br />

And the expectation is that these numbers<br />

will keep rising over the next couple of years.<br />

So, what can a firm do to protect its position in<br />

respect of difficult markets?<br />

James Crayton, Partner and Head of<br />

Commercial at Walker Morris, says that<br />

to combat skyrocketing energy bills and<br />

material and labour shortages, firms should<br />

initially conduct an assessment of their<br />

current commercial arrangements - including<br />

considering their own supplier relationships<br />

as well as their relationships with customers<br />

– “to understand whether there are any<br />

contractual or common law remedies which<br />

can provide them with flexibility or assistance<br />

to maintain good relationships, whilst not<br />

detrimentally impacting their finances.”<br />

Fixed price contracts<br />

The aim of the process is to get a fix on the<br />

current position. And this starts, clearly, with<br />

the current contractual position on pricing,<br />

especially where the firm is party to long-term<br />

supply contracts. Crayton says that “while the<br />

simplest price mechanism is a fixed price,<br />

often more detailed mechanisms to determine<br />

price are included in longer term agreements<br />

and firms should assess if this price is broken<br />

down into components which may be able to<br />

be changed.”<br />

This is particularly the case in circumstances<br />

where the firm can demonstrate that the cost<br />

of supply has significantly increased. But if<br />

the contract specifies a fixed price, then he<br />

advises considering if the contract contains<br />

provisions with regard to price indexation.<br />

“With such a clause,” says Crayton, “the<br />

contract will provide for the price to increase<br />

in relation to an index, such as the Retail<br />

Price Index (RPI) or the Consumer Price Index<br />

(CPI).”<br />

However, without an express provision,<br />

Crayton says that “the price specified in the<br />

contract will not adjust in line with either<br />

of these indexes, or any other method for<br />

measuring inflation.”<br />

Similarly, with general price reviews or<br />

adjustments, there needs to be an express<br />

clause in its agreement providing for the right<br />

to do so. Here Crayton warns that “vague<br />

statements that variations may be agreed are<br />

unlikely to be enforceable.” He adds that the<br />

contract may contain provisions for an annual<br />

price review, but “these tend to be about<br />

setting a framework for prices to be agreed,<br />

rather than a unilateral right to increase.”<br />

Force Majeure<br />

Next to consider is the force majeure clause.<br />

It is not a ‘get out of jail free’ card but may,<br />

in some circumstances, suspend a party’s<br />

obligations when they are prevented from<br />

completing an agreement by events outside of<br />

their control. Sometimes it includes rights to<br />

terminate.<br />

Crayton says that these events are often<br />

listed within the clause or definition. He<br />

notes, however, that “the supplier would need<br />

to be able to demonstrate that circumstances<br />

beyond its control prohibit it from complying.<br />

A general change in the economic climate or<br />

market conditions affecting the profitability<br />

of a contract is not likely to be considered a<br />

force majeure event.”<br />

And where there is no force majeure clause,<br />

Crayton says that a supplier “may have to<br />

rely on the doctrine of frustration, which<br />

is notoriously limited in its application.” In<br />

essence, this can set aside a contract where an<br />

unforeseen event either renders contractual<br />

obligations impossible, or radically changes<br />

the principal purpose for entering into the<br />

contract.<br />

Other contractual terms<br />

Other elements of the contract that Crayton<br />

advises looking at are “the basis of the<br />

agreement, and whether the firm is bound<br />

to supply pursuant to it, or whether it acts<br />

as a framework under which call-off orders/<br />

purchase orders are issued and subject to<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 24

❝<br />

The aim of the process is to get a fix on the current position.<br />

And this starts, clearly, with the current contractual position on pricing,<br />

especially where the firm is party to long-term supply contracts.<br />

❝<br />

acceptance.” Of course, refusal means no<br />

revenue and may risk damaging customer<br />

relationships. However, as Crayton says, it<br />

allows a pause in supply “in circumstances<br />

where cost price rises are making it unprofitable<br />

for the seller to continue to supply…and it may<br />

also be helpful leverage in discussions with<br />

customers requesting a price increase.”<br />

Then there’s a material adverse change<br />

which Crayton defines as “an event or<br />

circumstances which have a material adverse<br />

effect on the ability of the parties to perform<br />

their obligations.” He says that while this is<br />

not something typically seen in short-form<br />

standard terms and conditions, “it may be<br />

included in a long form, negotiated agreement<br />

and may allow for termination or suspension of<br />

obligations and a renegotiation of the contract.”<br />

The fall-back position is termination of the<br />

agreement altogether. It’s the least favourable<br />

option and carries risks. As Crayton points out,<br />

“care should be taken to properly assess the<br />

contractual right to terminate in accordance<br />

with the terms of the contract; it is likely that<br />

the seller will need to continue to supply up<br />

to the expiry of any notice period” – even if it’s<br />

possible to terminate.<br />

The absence of contractual provisions<br />

So, if with careful review of the contract it’s<br />

found that there are no suitable provisions<br />

embedded in the agreements, or, worse, they<br />

offer little or insufficient protection from the<br />

various price pressures the firm is facing are<br />

there any other options that can be considered?<br />

Crayton says that the obvious, and most<br />

effective and co-operative approach is to<br />

maintain an open dialogue with customers. He<br />

says that “they are unlikely to be surprised by<br />

requests for price increases and it is something<br />

that we are seeing a large number of our clients<br />

undertaking across various market sectors.”<br />

He continues: “Where the request is genuine,<br />

rather than exploitative, and particularly<br />

where it can be backed up by evidence, there<br />

may be an opportunity to vary the agreement<br />

without the need to terminate. Customers may<br />

be willing to accept this in order to guarantee<br />

continuity of supply, or where there are<br />

limited alternative suppliers.” Interestingly,<br />

Crayton highlights the fact that it is likely that<br />

alternative suppliers the customer might turn<br />

to will be facing the same challenges, and the<br />

customer may therefore have limited options<br />

to find an alternative. Regardless, he advises<br />

that “any commercial discussions should<br />

be documented, and the formal contractual<br />

variation procedure followed if applicable.”<br />

Where a firm is able to renegotiate, and<br />

certainly for any new agreements entered into,<br />

as Crayton emphasises, “they should ensure<br />

their contractual provisions provide adequate<br />

protection for any ongoing or new challenges<br />

faced due to cost price increases.”<br />

He explains that his firm has assisted clients<br />

in many industries in preparing wording to<br />

include in their quotes which reserves the right<br />

to amend prices in circumstances where there<br />

are material increases in input costs, including<br />

energy, labour, and fuel. That said, he adds a<br />

proviso: “Whilst we have not seen evidence of<br />

these types of provisions being tested recently<br />

and there is of course the risk that there is<br />

a challenge regarding contract formation or<br />

a battle of the forms scenario, it is likely to<br />

be more beneficial than not to include such<br />

wording.”<br />

Another tack is to add wording to quotes<br />

that state that quotes only remain open for<br />

acceptance for a short time period, and future<br />

supply will be subject to updated quotes, to<br />

reflect the market at that time.<br />

Looking to the future, Crayton highly<br />

recommends detailed thought about the use<br />

of various pricing mechanisms and whether<br />

it would help to link them to inflation, or at<br />

the least, have price reviews at certain points<br />

throughout the contractual period where the<br />

parties can renegotiate the price. And the<br />

market is moving in his experience. As he<br />

says, “we are seeing a trend towards including<br />

indexes or pre-agreed price rises linked to<br />

certain commodities and a move away from the<br />

price being fixed for the term of the agreement.”<br />

His last suggestion is for sellers to consider<br />

whether they want to commit to supplying ‘a<br />

certain volume’ for a certain price, or whether<br />

they want to work on a purchase order basis.<br />

As he highlights, “the advantage of having a<br />

predetermined volume of business detailed<br />

in the contract is that it provides certainty for<br />

both the seller and the customer. However, as<br />

seen by the cost-of-living crisis, the economic<br />

climate is unpredictable, and a more flexible<br />

agreement may be more beneficial, such as<br />

supplying on an ‘order-by-order.”<br />

Summary<br />

Price rises are inevitable, especially so in today’s<br />

economic environment. While such rises are<br />

bound to be unwelcome, a combination of<br />

suitable contracts and the right approach may<br />

make them more palatable.<br />

Adam Bernstein is a freelance finance writer.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 25


Future Imperfect<br />

A panel of leading industry experts share their<br />

take on the credit landscape in <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

AUTHOR – Roshika Perera<br />

THE economic forecasts at<br />

the turn of the year didn’t<br />

make for cheery reading: the<br />

OBR predicted a 1.6 percent<br />

contraction and the BoE,<br />

believing a recession to be<br />

underway already, expected it to continue<br />

until mid-2024, a two-year recession that<br />

would have been the longest on record.<br />

Yet, with the year's first quarter<br />

behind us, the reality didn’t prove as<br />

dire as predicted. Britain has – for now -<br />

swerved a recession, having avoided two<br />

consecutive quarters of negative growth.<br />

Which begs the question: has the UK<br />

economy finally turned a corner and if so,<br />

what impact will that have on the credit<br />

landscape?<br />

To help reassess what the remainder of<br />

<strong>2023</strong> has in store for the credit industry,<br />

Esker, provider of AI-driven business<br />

solutions, hosted a webinar at the end<br />

of March. It brought together a panel of<br />

experts who discussed topics ranging<br />

from the economy, insolvencies, credit<br />

risk, and the future role of technology in<br />

credit collections.<br />

A matter of perspective<br />

Markus Kuger, Chief Economic Advisor at<br />

Baker Ing, began the session by providing<br />

his assessment of the macroeconomy<br />

with the caveat that it is all a matter<br />

of perspective, for there are figures to<br />

satisfy both optimists and pessimists.<br />

Starting with the reasons for optimism,<br />

Markus highlighted the improvements in<br />

forward-looking indicators that explain<br />

the narrow escape from a recession and<br />

act as a sign of hope for the future: “Both<br />

private sector output - as seen in the<br />

PMI Composite Output Index - and the<br />

Consumer Confidence Index are on an<br />

upward trajectory,” he said. “Overall, it<br />

appears as though pessimism is waning.”<br />

Inflation, he believes, is the key driver<br />

behind this hopeful trend. While it<br />

currently sits at 10.4 percent, it is gradually<br />

declining, having peaked in October: “The<br />

Spring Budget provided some hope, with<br />

the OBR predicting that inflation would<br />

drop below three percent later this year,<br />

getting us closer to the BoE’s target rate of<br />

two percent.”<br />

For those inclined to take a more<br />

pessimistic view, there are good reasons<br />

for doing so, chief among them being<br />

the trends in real GDP growth: “The most<br />

recent forecasts show that growth will<br />

contract by 0.4 to 0.6 percent and the UK<br />

will end the year as the worst performing<br />

G7 economy.”<br />

While Markus doesn’t foresee a<br />

recession on the horizon, he does believe<br />

the year will continue to be defined by<br />

great financial challenges, including a<br />

rise in credit risk: “With slow growth and<br />

high-interest rates, getting access to credit<br />

won’t get any easier and the likelihood<br />

of late-payment and non-payment will<br />

increase.”<br />

Insolvency trends<br />

When COVID hit, a spike in insolvencies<br />

was bound to follow. Yet perhaps<br />

surprisingly, the scale of post-pandemic<br />

insolvencies has been “a gentle wave, not<br />

a tsunami,” according to the next speaker,<br />

Lucy Fulmer, Head of Creditor Markets<br />

Team at PwC and qualified insolvency<br />

practitioner. She says: “We have most<br />

definitely seen an upward trend. The<br />

number of insolvencies in 2022 is the<br />

highest since 2009. But there's an element<br />

of catch-up with these figures: we had<br />

a very low level of insolvencies during<br />

COVID, and now we’re seeing that wash<br />

through.”<br />

She believes these figures are largely the<br />

result of creditors’ voluntary liquidations,<br />

although she is beginning to notice a rise<br />

in compulsory liquidations: “More and<br />

more directors are throwing the towel in,<br />

unable to cope with the debt burden. And<br />

then there are many companies that were<br />

set up purely to take advantage of Bounce<br />

Back Loans, which HMRC is beginning to<br />

tackle aggressively.”<br />

However, deciphering these figures by<br />

company size paints a less frightening<br />

picture: “Over 90 percent of all the<br />

insolvencies we saw last year were<br />

businesses with less than £1m of turnover.<br />

So, although these numbers are high, the<br />

level of businesses being affected is at the<br />

low end of the market. And we haven’t<br />

yet seen this wave encroach on the midmarket.”<br />

Given the volatility in financial markets<br />

and the increasing credit risk, why have<br />

insolvencies been lower than expected?<br />

Lucy suggested it can largely be attributed<br />

to private investors: “The good news is that<br />

there's still enough access to capital and<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 26

❝<br />

Recounting the trends his firm is documenting, he warned that a perfect storm is<br />

gathering for struggling businesses: “We’ve seen just short of 3,800 applications<br />

for winding-up petitions in the first quarter, which is quite a dramatic increase.’’<br />

– Craig Evans, CEO of Company Watch<br />

❝<br />

people are still investing. There are plenty<br />

of cases where shareholders are willing to<br />

put more money into a distressed business<br />

to keep it afloat.”<br />

Nevertheless, Lucy warns of the need for<br />

caution when lending in this tumultuous<br />

climate: “It’s always wise to look as closely<br />

as possible at a company’s debt maturity,<br />

personal guarantees, dividend payments<br />

and refinancing commitments before<br />

lending.”<br />

Automating credit<br />

Craig Evans, CEO of Company Watch,<br />

agreed with Lucy’s assessment that<br />

compulsory insolvencies are on the<br />

rise. Recounting the trends his firm<br />

is documenting, he warned that a<br />

perfect storm is gathering for struggling<br />

businesses: “We’ve seen just short of 3,800<br />

applications for winding-up petitions in<br />

the first quarter, which is quite a dramatic<br />

increase. The H-Score at Company Watch<br />

(a tool that predicts likely business<br />

failures) has placed nearly one million<br />

companies into the warning zone area,<br />

that’s an unprecedented figure.<br />

“My bottom dollar is on zombie<br />

companies, which are technically<br />

insolvent and account for around<br />

£310bn of debt in total, finally going into<br />

insolvency with big numbers.”<br />

Craig also discussed how the pandemic<br />

brought a new wave of automation<br />

into credit operations: “COVID forced<br />

credit teams to shift into a virtual<br />

world. We began to see a significant<br />

increase in online applications, and<br />

companies adopted automation and other<br />

technologies to deal with this new reality.”<br />

And it’s rare to find any credit<br />

professional who would now forego<br />

the benefits of automation: “These<br />

tools enable our clients to forecast<br />

potential risks by gathering data such as<br />

management accounts or scenarios of<br />

where the company could be 6-12 months<br />

in the future. As a result, they can make<br />

more informed decisions.”<br />

Yet, the technology is far from making<br />

credit managers redundant. While<br />

it is capable of automating manual<br />

underwriting processes, making credit<br />

decisions is not a matter of black or white:<br />

“There are always grey areas in credit<br />

and in this climate, those grey areas are<br />

getting bigger. Although credit risk<br />

is increasing, credit teams are under<br />

pressure to provide credit, and companies<br />

rely on credit managers using their<br />

human evaluation to make the right<br />

decision.”<br />

Labour market trends<br />

With the good news that humans are not<br />

being replaced by AI, the final speaker,<br />

Natascha Whitehead, Business Director<br />

at Hays Credit Management, went on<br />

to discuss labour market trends in the<br />

industry and the wider economy.<br />

She believes there’s a new rule for<br />

companies looking to recruit in the postpandemic<br />

era: “They need to offer a hybrid<br />

working model, where employees only<br />

need to be in the office two to three days<br />

a week. From my experience, a company<br />

that mandates employees to come into<br />

office five days a week will alienate most<br />

candidates.”<br />

A greater challenge for companies,<br />

however, is the trend in salaries. With real<br />

time earnings being the lowest since 2001,<br />

Natascha warns that companies need to<br />

work harder to attract the right candidates:<br />

“Salaries are increasing as there is a high<br />

demand for and shortage of talent. But<br />

there are other ways that companies can<br />

stand out, by offering a flexible working<br />

model, an attractive benefits package, a<br />

good company culture, and so on.”<br />

The unemployment rate in the UK<br />

remains low at 3.7 percent and the<br />

employment rate exceptionally high at<br />

75.7 percent. Yet it may be the remaining<br />

20.6 percent, classed as economically<br />

inactive, that is driving the disparity in<br />

the labour market: “This economically<br />

inactive group includes many people who<br />

retired early during COVID. We’re working<br />

with our clients to try and attract them<br />

back into the job market. But companies<br />

should also consider the other option –<br />

recruiting candidates for their potential<br />

rather than the skills they have at the<br />

moment.”<br />

Natascha ended with a final piece of<br />

advice for businesses: “It’s well worth<br />

investing in your own team by ensuring<br />

you’re paying the market rate and<br />

upskilling - that will stop you having to<br />

get into the bun fight that is the world of<br />

recruitment.”<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 27

CI<strong>CM</strong> TRAINING<br />

Training courses that offer high-quality approaches<br />

to credit-related topics and practical skills<br />

Now, more than ever, the Credit Management and Collections industry<br />

is seeing drastic changes and impacts that affect the day-to-day roles of<br />

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CI<strong>CM</strong> Training offers high-quality approaches to credit-related topics.<br />

Granting you the practical skills and necessary tools to use in your<br />

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Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 28

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CI<strong>CM</strong> Training courses can be delivered through a variety<br />

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Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 29


By the sword divided<br />

Credit management appears divided between<br />

professional and not so professional practitioners.<br />

AUTHOR – Stephen Lewis FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

AFTER some 45 years working<br />

in the commercial debt<br />

collection industry, I retired<br />

a year ago, having been<br />

involved in most aspects of<br />

commercial and consumer<br />

collection as well as training and industry<br />

activity in general. I cannot deny that it has<br />

been a very difficult 12 months.<br />

I did not realise how much I would miss<br />

the fast pace of the industry, even though<br />

the stresses of collection both from a client<br />

and customer perspective were enormous,<br />

not to mention the stresses of the day-today<br />

running of any business, it has left a<br />

massive void I am anxious to fill, but from<br />

a more relaxed and less time/life consuming<br />

position – if possible.<br />

People say it will get easier to relax and<br />

concentrate on hobbies and the like, but<br />

I must admit that presently I have found<br />

better comfort in offering my services on<br />

a limited consultancy basis to those that<br />

contact me or who are recommended and<br />

more importantly the added opportunity<br />

to give something back to the industry<br />

using my experience, gained within credit<br />

management.<br />

It has already given me some insights into<br />

collection and training that I do not think<br />

I would have acknowledged or noticed if<br />

continuing in my past daily work activity.<br />

Training operations<br />

I have been lucky enough to have been<br />

approached by some large and small<br />

commercial businesses to look at their<br />

current credit control and training<br />

operations and offer some advice and<br />

recommendations. It has also allowed<br />

me to look at the way some businesses<br />

operate from a perspective that I would not<br />

previously have seen.<br />

There is no doubt, to state the obvious,<br />

that many businesses over the past three<br />

years or so have experienced more ups<br />

and downs than needed: the back end of<br />

COVID-19, unprecedented economic swings,<br />

discussion and argument over ‘hybrid’<br />

working, and as a consequence dealing with<br />

all manner of new business terms requiring<br />

even more contemplation before getting<br />

on with the business of selling and making<br />

profits. Recent data is showing a drastic rise<br />

in corporate insolvencies and depressed<br />

consumer demand but at the same time<br />

there are encouraging recovery figures<br />

from Government painting a better picture<br />

than last year, at least. The Insolvency<br />

Practitioners will be rubbing their hands,<br />

perhaps an article for another day!<br />

What has become more obvious to me<br />

over this last year of being a little more on<br />

the outside of the industry is that despite all<br />

the rhetoric surrounding ‘faster payment,’<br />

from FSB, CBI, industry and national press,<br />

I cannot detect any real improvement in<br />

payment times. In fact, I am seeing some<br />

worrying gaps appearing between SMEs<br />

and larger businesses both in the way<br />

payments are being made and credit control<br />

procedures and customer facing operations<br />

in general. It may be a snap shot but I do<br />

think it significant, particularly in the light<br />

of recent comments by the FSB regarding<br />

their view that SMEs are being good about<br />

all things ‘credit control and payments wise’<br />

and larger firms being ‘bad’ in all respects.<br />

Better halves<br />

It cannot be denied that credit management<br />

has always been divided into two halves.<br />

The first half: those reading this article<br />

(hopefully to the end) through this<br />

representative bastion of credit excellence<br />

are usually those at the upper end of<br />

business and credit management. By that I<br />

mean, obviously, those that are members of<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong>, including those highly qualified<br />

by experience and/or qualification, those<br />

working within businesses, including<br />

debt collection companies, who know<br />

and recognise the importance of training,<br />

legislation, compliance, FCA and other<br />

regulatory obligations.<br />

In this sector we all rightly seek<br />

qualification, accreditation and recognition<br />

through training, examination and the<br />

workplace as well as industry opportunity,<br />

all highly commendable and necessary to<br />

advance credit management in all aspects.<br />

The other half are those businesses that<br />

have hardly heard of the CI<strong>CM</strong> or CSA (in<br />

relation to The Credit Services Association –<br />

not the Child Support Agency), if at all. This<br />

half just about cover themselves with ‘Private<br />

and Regulatory Policy’ on their website and<br />

try their best to be compliant within all<br />

aspects of credit control and collection that<br />

they have difficulty understanding because<br />

they are too busy trying to earn a profit on a<br />

day-to-day basis. A generalisation, if a little<br />

unfair, because there are many SMEs in<br />

both halves that are highly professional and<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 30

❝<br />

Many companies delay payment because they can and that<br />

still persists. It is that gap between the larger suppliers and the<br />

smaller firms that seems to be growing rather than shrinking,<br />

in my recent experience.<br />

❝<br />

seek to promote that professionalism<br />

through their products and services.<br />

But they come up against pressures that<br />

can be quite unfair and only seem to be<br />

apparent to the smaller operator.<br />

Narrow margins<br />

These smaller businesses are often<br />

working within very narrow cashflow/<br />

profit margins. If they do not get paid<br />

in a reasonable time, they cannot pay<br />

their suppliers. If the suppliers are<br />

like minded a camaraderie can often<br />

be established so that the SMEs can<br />

work well and create profits throughout<br />

the supply and manufacturing chain.<br />

This is very relevant in the co-operative<br />

operations of small manufacturers, the<br />

farming industry and to some degree<br />

boutique retail operations now moving<br />

into the high street, particularly as we<br />

see the decline of multi-chain retailers<br />

regrouping and resizing to fit the current<br />

economic climate.<br />

These smaller businesses, in many<br />

instances, do not operate with the benefit<br />

of highly trained and credit management<br />

qualified staff, although still skilled in<br />

their sector. Not because they do not<br />

want training or qualifications, but<br />

often because proprietorships and small<br />

partnerships or small limited companies<br />

are trying to keep running costs low<br />

or have staffing limitations. It is not a<br />

criticism but a fact of business life.<br />

My involvement recently with some<br />

of these businesses has highlighted<br />

the pressure they are under from<br />

larger suppliers who are not always<br />

transparent about their own supplier<br />

payment policies and which are rarely<br />

documented within their own credit<br />

control/collection procedures. As has<br />

always been the case, many still operate<br />

an A/B/C priority list regarding how they<br />

pay suppliers, particularly smaller ones.<br />

It is still an uncomfortable fact that<br />

many large suppliers make it difficult<br />

to contact relevant departments when it<br />

comes to payment requests. It is always<br />

far easier when trying to contact the sales<br />

department of course (always a main<br />

contact area for me when encountering<br />

difficulty). Whether by design or<br />

accident it is increasingly noticeable<br />

that companies invite contact only by<br />

email; even addresses are hard to find. It<br />

can also be frustrating when companies<br />

outsource their accounting function,<br />

accounts receivable and payable.<br />

I have no wish to degrade outsourcing<br />

or the companies used but it does often<br />

mean payments can be delayed because<br />

there is a longer route to take when<br />

trying to solve a problem be it a credit<br />

issue or otherwise. It does also add to<br />

the DSOs of those seeking payment for<br />

goods or services. In some instances ,the<br />

training and qualifications within the<br />

management and staff of the originating<br />

company are not transferred to the<br />

outsource facility. This then shows the<br />

originating company in a bad light<br />

and the perception of inefficiency is<br />

promoted amongst customers and<br />

suppliers alike.<br />

Adding complexity<br />

I appreciate that size and scale adds to<br />

the complexity of credit control and<br />

collection so I do not think it will be<br />

possible to legislate fully to ensure 30-<br />

day payments as the absolute norm for<br />

general business. It could, perhaps, be<br />

the norm within Government/Local<br />

Authority but we saw how difficult that<br />

was and still is when the initial Late<br />

Payment Act came into legislation.<br />

In a capitalist society with free<br />

business will, all be it in a necessary<br />

regulated environment, there will<br />

always be reasons for payments outside<br />

of terms, from the cynical protection of<br />

cash to the genuine sorting of queries.<br />

Many companies still rely upon credit<br />

and using monies on a cheaper basis by<br />

delaying payments in order to survive<br />

and amongst many larger and smaller<br />

businesses that will always be the case.<br />

Many companies delay payment<br />

because they can and that still persists. It<br />

is that gap between the larger suppliers<br />

and the smaller firms that seems to<br />

be growing rather than shrinking, in<br />

my recent experience. It may not be<br />

factually proven by figures available<br />

through various statistical means but it<br />

is the perception that exists and we know<br />

how powerful that is.<br />

Stephen Lewis FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

is a credit and collections consultant.<br />

slconsultancy51@gmail.com<br />

www.stephenlewisconsultancy.com<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 31

International Trade<br />

Monthly round-up of the latest stories<br />

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.<br />

New Brexit rules could<br />

take time to bed in<br />

SOME will be relieved that the<br />

Government has concluded<br />

new post-Brexit trading rules<br />

with the EU. Others just want to<br />

wind the clock back to 22 June<br />

2016.<br />

However, the new Windsor Framework<br />

has been agreed and is to come fully into<br />

operation if approved by parliament.<br />

In essence, the framework proposes a<br />

phased introduction of new rules over this<br />

year, in 2024 and out to 2025. It addresses<br />

the customs checks and bureaucracy<br />

that have hurt businesses; British goods<br />

staying in Northern Ireland will use a<br />

green lane with minimal customs checks<br />

while goods going into Ireland – and the<br />

EU – will take a red lane.<br />

The deal also tries to address the<br />

concerns of unionist politicians and<br />

Brexiters who felt that the protocol<br />

undermined Northern Ireland’s position<br />

within the UK and compromised its<br />

sovereignty. The framework removes 1,700<br />

pages of EU law and limits the number of<br />

EU rules to the minimum needed (three<br />

percent), to ensure Northern Ireland’s<br />

continued access to the EU’s single<br />

market while avoiding a hard border on<br />

the island.<br />

Crucially, there’s a Stormont Brake<br />

which gives the Northern Ireland<br />

assembly a veto on any new or amended<br />

EU laws taking effect in the province.<br />

The immediate impact of the deal<br />

is that firms shipping to Ireland and<br />

Northern Ireland will have to reconsider<br />

how they label goods with wording such<br />

as ‘not for the EU’. Producers of fresh<br />

meats, such as sausages, and dairy<br />

products will have to start labelling goods<br />

for sale in Northern Ireland from this<br />

October with the cost being covered by the<br />

Government.<br />

From October 2024 all other dairy<br />

products, such as UHT milk and butter,<br />

will need to be relabelled and by July 2025<br />

this will apply to fish, fruit and vegetables<br />

and ‘composite products’ such as ready<br />

meals.<br />

There is much detail still to be thrashed<br />

out, but exporters need to be on top of<br />

this as soon as possible. The detail, as it<br />

emerges, will be on GOV.UK.<br />



IF you’re a firm that relies on social<br />

media, you need to be aware of the ‘deinfluencer’.<br />

A report in the Wall Street<br />

Journal highlights one TikTok user,<br />

Maddie Wells from Kentucky in the US.<br />

With experience as a shop assistant,<br />

Wells began posting videos on TikTok<br />

in 2020 that drew attention to the<br />

cosmetic products customers tended to<br />

return most often.<br />

And she’s not the only one doing<br />

this. De-influencing videos can lead<br />

consumers toward cheaper alternative<br />

products, known as ‘dupes’, or<br />

discourage them from spending money<br />

altogether.<br />

The problem for the public now<br />

is who to trust – influencer or deinfluencer?<br />

With brand-sponsored<br />

marketing by influencers almost<br />

ubiquitous, this is becoming a real<br />

issue. The concern for firms must<br />

surely be the temptation to discredit<br />

the products of a competitor without<br />

cause.<br />

This all means that firms must be<br />

cautious about how they use social<br />

media and the claims made while<br />

being on the lookout for unfair deinfluencing.<br />

Alternatively, they could<br />

consider more traditional forms of<br />

media.<br />

A recent story in MoneyWeek drew<br />

attention to the British Business<br />

Bank Start-up Loans with competitive<br />

unsecured rates for founders.<br />

In essence, the bank offers personal<br />

loans to those looking to start a<br />

new business or expand an existing<br />

business that has been trading for less<br />

than 36 months. The cash can be used<br />

Borrowing from the state<br />

for almost any business purpose –<br />

from renting premises or buying stock<br />

to funding marketing materials or<br />

even running an export programme.<br />

Borrowers can seek funding of<br />

£500 to £25,000 each with the money<br />

repayable over one to five years. There<br />

are no arrangement fees, but interest<br />

is charged at a rate of six percent.<br />

And because the loans are unsecured,<br />

personal or business assets are not<br />

needed as collateral and nor is a<br />

guarantor.<br />

Of course, applications are assessed<br />

on borrowers credit histories and their<br />

ability to repay. Applicants are also<br />

expected to provide a business plan<br />

and a cashflow forecast.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 32

A European 'withdrawal button'?<br />

A great headline for Brexit Remainers but<br />

it’s not quite as they’d wish. EuroCommerce<br />

has published a joint statement with<br />

other EU trade associations expressing<br />

concerns about the proposed introduction<br />

of a ‘withdrawal button’ for all distance<br />

contracts as part of the European<br />

Commission’s proposed reforms to<br />

the current rules on financial services<br />

contracts concluded at a distance. The<br />

current rules are in Directive 2011/83/EU<br />

(the Consumer Rights Directive) which<br />

concerns financial services contracts<br />

concluded at a distance and Directive<br />

2002/65/EC on distance marketing of<br />

consumer financial services (the Distance<br />

Marketing Directive).<br />

The trade associations support the<br />


ARGENTINA is in a bind. It’s annual rate of<br />

consumer price inflation has risen above<br />

100 percent for the first time since 1991,<br />

says the Financial Times.<br />

Month-on-month inflation in February<br />

was 6.6 percent which makes the annual<br />

figure 102.5 percent. It was 98.8 percent at<br />

the start of <strong>2023</strong>. Inflation has been widely<br />

attributed to the central bank which<br />

has been printing money; the amount of<br />

objective of enhancing consumers’<br />

withdrawal right but believe that the<br />

provision could be achieved through less<br />

prescriptive measures.<br />

If approved, the new directive would<br />

introduce a withdrawal button for contracts<br />

that a consumer concludes by electronic<br />

means, a financial services contract at a<br />

distance.<br />

The joint statement suggests that the<br />

proposal will go beyond the financial<br />

sector and could affect the majority of the<br />

business to consumer industry with online<br />

sales activities.<br />

So, if you’re looking to trade online in<br />

Europe, be aware that contracts could soon<br />

be ‘ripped up’ in an instant at the press of<br />

an online button.<br />

money in circulation quadrupled during<br />

President Alberto Fernández’s first three<br />

years in office. Only Zimbabwe, Lebanon,<br />

Venezuela and Syria are in a worse<br />

position. Price controls on 1,700 goods that<br />

lasted until December didn’t achieve their<br />

objective and an IMF bailout of $44bn<br />

depends on targets that the Government<br />

wants to lower.<br />

All in all, be careful in Argentina.<br />



WHILE the UK and others have avoided<br />

recession so far, South Africa is on the<br />

brink of a crisis as its economy shrank<br />

by 1.3 percent in Q4 2022.<br />

Apart from mismanagement and<br />

corruption, the country suffers power<br />

cuts almost daily. The South African<br />

Reserve Bank thinks that the electricity<br />

crisis is costing the country up to £41m<br />

per day and ‘will shave two percentage<br />

points off output growth in <strong>2023</strong>.’<br />

The population is now used to<br />

blackouts. Mining output has been<br />

dropping for ‘10 consecutive months,’<br />

and where possible some use<br />

generators – at a cost. MoneyWeek<br />

quotes Shoprite, a grocery chain, that<br />

said “that if power cuts continue, it will<br />

spend R1.2bn (£54m) a year on diesel to<br />

keep the lights on, a sum equal to about<br />

a fifth of its annual profits.”<br />

South Africa is the world’s largest<br />

producer of platinum and the<br />

third-largest iron ore exporter. The<br />

Government managed a small budget<br />

surplus because of efforts to restrain<br />

spending but also, because of the<br />

commodities boom. However, with<br />

raw-materials demand falling and the<br />

economy stagnating, there’s a real risk<br />

to the South African economy.<br />

Beware then, if you’re involved in<br />

the export of electrical appliances to<br />

South Africa or rely on its consumers or<br />

mining sector.<br />

Could Italy leave the EU?<br />

ACCORDING to some, including the New<br />

Statesman, Italexit is still on the cards.<br />

At present – and this is said carefully as<br />

Italy is on its 68th Government in 77 years<br />

- Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s current far-right<br />

prime minister, says that she has no<br />

plans to take Italy out of the eurozone.<br />

However, if she manages to make more<br />

than a year in office, she may change her<br />

mind.<br />

Wolfgang Münchau, a New Statesman<br />

columnist and the Director of<br />

Eurointelligence, reckons that the real<br />

reason Italy ‘booted out’ seven prime<br />

ministers since 2011 was their ‘failure to<br />

address the lack of productivity growth,’<br />

which has been virtually non-existent<br />

since joining the euro and has led to the<br />

spread of ‘poverty traps’ from the ‘hopeless<br />

south’ to the rest of the country.<br />

Indeed, the European Commission<br />

reckons that 13 of Italy’s 20 regions have<br />

now ‘entered a doom loop of emigration,<br />

low educational attainment and low<br />

investment.’<br />

Meloni wants to stop this cycle and<br />

is seeking transfers from richer EU<br />

countries. Since the pandemic, Italy has<br />

received nearly €70bn but these funds<br />

are conditional on economic reforms.<br />

However, change is slow and richer EU<br />

countries are resisting further transfers.<br />

The problem is that Italy is ‘too large<br />

to save and too large to fail. Eventually,<br />

something has to give.’ And for as long as<br />

productivity growth goes unaddressed, a<br />

euro exit remains a possibility. In other<br />

words, we could see Italexit.<br />



OR CALL 020 7738 0777<br />

Currency UK is authorised and regulated<br />

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).<br />


GBP/EUR 1.14797 1.12628 Up<br />

GBP/USD 1.25170 1.19216 Up<br />

GBP/CHF 1.14124 1.10102 Up<br />

GBP/AUD 1.86653 1.80135 Up<br />

GBP/CAD 1.68915 1.64903 Up<br />

GBP/JPY 166.310 158.473 Up<br />

This data was taken on 11th April and refers to the month<br />

previous to/leading up to 10th April <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 33


With an enviable<br />

standard of living,<br />

Sweden has a thriving<br />

economy.<br />

Knowing me,<br />

knowing you<br />

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

SWEDEN is an easy country<br />

to introduce. Stereotyped by<br />

IKEA’s flat pack furniture and<br />

meatballs, clothing from H&M,<br />

and ABBA – the global pop<br />

supergroup from Stockholm,<br />

Sweden is a country with much to offer<br />

exporters.<br />

Its history goes back to at least 12,000 BC<br />

and its first settlers followed by Stone Age<br />

man. However, with little written history<br />

until the 11th century, sources suggest that<br />

Sweden didn’t ‘officially’ come into being<br />

until around then.<br />

Sweden moved closer to Norway and<br />

Denmark and formed the Kalmar Union in<br />

1397. During the 17th century it emerged<br />

as a regional power winning wars against<br />

Denmark-Norway, Russia and the Polish<br />

Lithuanian Commonwealth. However,<br />

1721 saw Sweden lose against Russia and<br />

as a consequence lose its empire. Finland<br />

and lands outside of Scandinavia were also<br />

lost in the early 1800s. It was part of the<br />

Swedish-Norwegian Union from 1814 to<br />

1905 and has maintained a neutral stance<br />

since 1814.<br />

Although Sweden joined the European<br />

Union in 1995, it is one of six EU states<br />

that are not part of NATO. However, with<br />

a population in favour of joining, and the<br />

Russian invasion of Ukraine, in July 2022<br />

Sweden signed papers to join the defence<br />

organisation.<br />

The country<br />

Formally known as the Kingdom of Sweden,<br />

it’s bounded by Norway to the north and<br />

west, Finland to the east and Denmark –<br />

albeit by a bridge and tunnel – to the<br />

southwest.<br />

At 447,425 sq. km. it’s the largest of the<br />

five Nordic countries and just under twice<br />

the size of the UK (at 242,495 sq.km). It’s<br />

the fifth largest country in Europe and<br />

the third largest in the EU. A long narrow<br />

country measuring 1,574km by 499km at<br />

its extremes, it has a coastline of 3,218km.<br />

A helpful table at Mileagemath.com<br />

indicates that road travel between cities in<br />

Sweden can be long and time consuming.<br />

With a population of 10,523,709m,<br />

according to Official Statistics of Sweden,<br />

the country is sparsely populated. 2022 data<br />

from Official Statistics of Sweden shows<br />

that 984,748 live in Stockholm, 596,841 in<br />

Gothenburg, 357,377 in Malmo and 242,140<br />

in Uppsala. There are 15 more cities with<br />

more than 100,000 residents, 30 with 50,000<br />

to 100,000, 180 towns with 10,000 to 50,000<br />

inhabitants, and 67 with anywhere from<br />

2,372 to 50,000.<br />

Its climate is temperate in south with<br />

cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly<br />

cloudy summers; and subarctic in north.<br />

The male/female split is very even at<br />

5.29m males to 5.22m females. 20.9 percent<br />

are aged 17 or under, 58.7 percent aged<br />

18 to 64, and 20.4 percent are aged 65 or<br />

over. Official Statistics of Sweden’s<br />

data is comprehensive and shows an<br />

aging population. At the turn of the<br />

millennium, 21.8 percent were aged 17<br />

or under and just 17.2 percent 65 or older.<br />

Back in 1980 those numbers stood at 23.8<br />

and 16.4 percent respectively.<br />

The CIA World Factbook suggests an<br />

estimated population growth rate of 0.51<br />

percent (<strong>2023</strong>). In comparison, Official<br />

Statistics of Sweden reckons that for 2022<br />

the figure is closer to 0.66 percent.<br />

The data also shows a near doubling<br />

in 40 years of ‘foreign citizens’ – 421,667<br />

in 1980 to 905,323 in 2020. Indeed, some<br />

2.68m are now considered to have a foreign<br />

background – a point backed by data<br />

from the CIA World Factbook with a 2020<br />

estimate that stated that, ethnically, 80.3<br />

percent are Swedish, 1.9 percent Syrian,<br />

1.4 percent Iraqi, 1.4 percent Finnish,<br />

with ‘other’ making up 15 percent of the<br />

population. Much of the Iraqi and Syrian<br />

population have come seeking refuge<br />

following conflict.<br />

Sweden’s economy<br />

World Bank Data states that Sweden’s GDP<br />

has followed an almost exponential path<br />

since 1985 when it rose from $142.09bn<br />

to $284.32bn in 1992, $517.71bn in 2008,<br />

$586.84bn in 2013, and $635.66bn in 2021.<br />

As the CIA World Factbook comments,<br />

Sweden has a ‘small, open, competitive,<br />

and thriving economy that remains<br />

outside of the euro zone; it has achieved<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 34

❝<br />

Sweden is clearly more than the two global icons<br />

that are IKEA and ABBA. It’s a prosperous land<br />

with many natural resources and a well-developed<br />

economy with plenty of industry.<br />

an enviable standard of living, with its<br />

combination of free-market capitalism<br />

and extensive welfare benefits.’<br />

According to the Observatory of<br />

Economic Complexity (OEC), Sweden,<br />

in 2020, exported and imported goods<br />

and services worth $152bn and $140bn<br />

respectively. The OEC places Sweden 32nd<br />

in the world in terms of its imports and<br />

exports.<br />

The OEC states that the top exports were<br />

cars ($11.1bn), packaged medicaments<br />

($9.29bn), refined petroleum ($5.25bn),<br />

motor vehicles, parts and accessories<br />

($4.13bn), and broadcasting equipment<br />

($3.76bn) – most of the exports went to<br />

Germany ($15.9bn), Norway ($14.2bn),<br />

United States ($12.7bn), Denmark<br />

($11.6bn), and Finland ($9.44bn).<br />

On imports, Sweden’s largest imports<br />

were cars ($8.46bn), crude petroleum<br />

($5.25bn), motor vehicles; parts and<br />

accessories ($4.86bn), refined petroleum<br />

($4.38bn), and broadcasting equipment<br />

($4.05bn). Most came from Germany<br />

($25.2bn), Netherlands ($11.6bn),<br />

Denmark ($9.45bn), Norway ($9.1bn), and<br />

China ($9.02bn).<br />

Key business sectors<br />

Surprisingly, there’s little coherent<br />

information on key industrial sectors in<br />

Sweden. The UK Government’s advice,<br />

published in 2015 has been withdrawn,<br />

the Swedish Government’s own website<br />

❝<br />

is less than helpful, and much around the<br />

web appears to have been copied or cobbled<br />

together. In other words, if a serious<br />

move to Sweden is being considered,<br />

local market research for the given<br />

application would be a wise investment.<br />

Manufacturing<br />

In December 2021, the International Centre<br />

for Education and Training (ICET),<br />

wrote that Sweden possesses an ‘efficient<br />

export-oriented manufacturing industry<br />

which contributes significantly to the<br />

country’s economy.’ It adds that privately<br />

held companies account for about 90<br />

percent of industrial output. A 2018 SBA<br />

Fact Sheet published by the European<br />

Commission reported that ‘Swedish<br />

SMEs generate 59.7 percent of value added<br />

and 65.5 percent of employment in<br />

the ‘non-financial business economy’.<br />

Their productivity is well above the EU<br />

average.’<br />

Overall, it’s of note that the US Trade<br />

Department considers that Sweden’s manufacturing<br />

and industrial engineering<br />

sector accounts for roughly 20 percent of<br />

the country’s GDP or $125bn. It thinks that<br />

steel, automotive, chemical and forestry<br />

are important sectors, along with industrial<br />

machinery and equipment, automation<br />

and food processing equipment.<br />

Automotive is the largest sector which<br />

accounts for almost half of the industrial<br />

value-added. Aerospace and automotive<br />

manufacturing plants are located in the<br />

south with names such as Saab and Volvo<br />

being recognised globally.<br />

Statistics Sweden noted that vehicles<br />

is Sweden’s largest export category (and<br />

also the largest import category). In 2021,<br />

Sweden exported $20.5bn of vehicles yet<br />

imported vehicles worth $16.5bn. The<br />

Swedish Innovation Agency says the sector<br />

employs around 140,000. In comparison,<br />

a document from marketresearch.com,<br />

Automotive Manufacturing in Sweden,<br />

which sells for $350, suggested that ‘the<br />

Swedish Automotive manufacturing<br />

industry had total revenues of $5.2bn in<br />

2019’. That’s quite a variance.<br />

On electric vehicles, the Government is<br />

providing subsidies and vehicle tax cuts<br />

for purchasing environmentally friendly<br />

vehicles. This has caused a shift in sales<br />

from fossil-fuelled vehicles to hybrid and<br />

electric vehicles.<br />

In terms of electronics and electric<br />

plants, they are located mainly in Västerås<br />

and Stockholm, the latter being the largest<br />

producer of communication equipment<br />

in the country. There are small plastic<br />

and metal processing plants in the south<br />

and Stenungsund, on the west coast, has<br />

a strong petrochemical industry – worth<br />

$3.38bn in 2020 according to Resear<br />

chandmarkets.com.<br />

Biotech and pharmaceuticals are<br />

fast-growing sub-sectors. Here, Life<br />

Sciences in Sweden says that there are<br />

148 companies in this sector developing<br />

new medicines in 420 different projects.<br />

It helps that, as SwedenBIO comments,<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com /May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 35


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

❝<br />

Automotive is<br />

the largest sector<br />

which accounts for<br />

almost half of the<br />

industrial valueadded.<br />

Aerospace<br />

and automotive<br />

manufacturing<br />

plants are located<br />

in the south with<br />

names such as Saab<br />

and Volvo being<br />

recognised globally.<br />

❝<br />

‘Sweden has ten universities with life<br />

science-oriented faculties spread throughout<br />

seven different cities from Umeå in the<br />

North to Lund in the South. Eight have a<br />

natural science faculty and seven have a<br />

medical faculty.” A Government publication,<br />

Sweden’s national life sciences strategy,<br />

details that progression in this sector is key<br />

to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable<br />

Development. But with increasing global<br />

competition, the Government wants greater<br />

levels of digitalisation, sustainability and<br />

innovation. In 2013, the Government<br />

published, Produktion2030 – P2030 – a<br />

strategic research and innovation programme<br />

which seeks to make Sweden ‘a frontrunner<br />

in investments in sustainable production<br />

by 2030’. The programme is a collaboration<br />

between industry, academia and research<br />

associations.<br />

Measures in a Roadmap to Smarter<br />

Industry include automation and robotics<br />

programmes for SMEs, national test labs<br />

for electric vehicle production, and zero<br />

emission programmes and incentives for<br />

energy intensive industries. It’s thought that<br />

annual R&D investments here are around<br />

$10bn. And for those wanting a list of<br />

manufacturing companies in Sweden, Dun<br />

and Bradstreet has such a thing on its website<br />

– for a charge of course.<br />

Tourism<br />

With its landscape and position, it’s not<br />

surprising that tourism is important to<br />

Sweden. The country has 15 UNESCO World<br />

Heritage sites, and most tourists visit the<br />

country in the summer when temperatures<br />

are relatively high.<br />

A 2022 reference in the OECD’s iLibrary<br />

commented that tourism grew ‘steadily<br />

prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and is<br />

an important contributor to the Swedish<br />

economy and labour market.’ Tourism’s<br />

share of the economy sat around 2.6 percent<br />

of GDP, but dropped to 1.7 percent in 2020,<br />

with a small increase in 2021 to 1.9 percent.<br />

The sector employs more than 100,000 people.<br />

The pandemic years clearly affected the<br />

sector and tourist nights dropped to 43.3m<br />

in 2020, a decline of 36 percent from 2019.<br />

International nights fell by 70 percent to<br />

5.2m nights while domestic nights decreased<br />

24 percent to 38.1m nights. However,<br />

those numbers in 2021 rebounded so that<br />

international nights increased to 7.3m and<br />

domestic nights increased 23 percent to<br />

46.9m nights in 2021.<br />

Overall, total tourism expenditure in<br />

2021 was Swedish Kronor (SEK) 249 bn, an<br />

increase of 18 percent compared to 2020.<br />

Stockholmbusinessregion.com recorded<br />

Germany as the largest international market<br />

followed by France, Norway, the Netherlands<br />

and the UK. Interestingly, it reckons that<br />

visitors from Asia and Australasia have not<br />

(yet) returned. It should be said that ICET<br />

thinks that 7.1 percent of household income<br />

is spent on local tourism.<br />

Agriculture<br />

In common with other nations, Sweden has<br />

employed progressively fewer workers over<br />

the last 100 years. Where once it was 50 percent<br />

of the population, 20 percent in the 1950s,<br />

it’s now, says Statista, 1.69 percent (2019).<br />

However, this drop in employment does<br />

diminish the fact that Sweden has significant<br />

natural resources. Agricultural output in<br />

Sweden exceeds domestic consumption even<br />

though the country imports a significant<br />

amount of food.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 36


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

ICET states that around 6.8 percent of the<br />

country’s total land is under temporary or<br />

permanent crops. Farms in the country<br />

are typically tilled intensively, and heavy<br />

use of fertilisers is widespread and farms<br />

are highly mechanised. A concern for<br />

the Government is that the majority of<br />

farmers are elderly and many farms do<br />

not have successors. The Government has<br />

a policy in place to try and merge small<br />

farms into larger units of approximately<br />

25 to 50 acres. Crops cultivated include<br />

potatoes, barley, wheat, rye, vegetables,<br />

and fruits. And on timber and wood<br />

production, Göteborgs Tekniska College,<br />

says that it’s located close to sources<br />

of raw material. The pulp and paper<br />

industry is often situated at the mouths<br />

of rivers running through forest regions —<br />

including a number along the shores of the<br />

Gulf of Bothnia and of Vänern, Sweden’s<br />

largest lake. Production is concentrated at<br />

large, efficient mills, located in southern<br />

Sweden.<br />

Mining<br />

Another sector to note in Sweden is<br />

mining. Svemin, the Swedish Association<br />

of Mines, Mineral and Metal Producers,<br />

states that Sweden accounts for around 93<br />

percent of all iron ore produced in Europe<br />

and is also a leading producer of other<br />

base metals. The Geological Survey of<br />

Sweden says that most mines are located<br />

in Sweden's three ore regions, Norrbotten,<br />

Skelleftefältet and Bergslagen. But where<br />

once there were some 250 mines, now the<br />

number has decreased to 12 active metal<br />

mines (2021). However, total production<br />

has more than doubled to 88.6m tonnes<br />

with the increase in demand driven mainly<br />

by China and other Asian countries.<br />

Other minerals mined include 88,000<br />

tonnes of copper, 236,000 tonnes of zinc,<br />

65,000 tonnes of lead, and 400,000 kg each<br />

of gold and silver (2021 data). In 2021<br />

sales were SEK 69bn. Overall, nearly 8,000<br />

people are employed in the mining sector.<br />

Construction<br />

GlobalData considers the Swedish construction<br />

sector to have been worth<br />

$87.1bn in 2021. The industry’s growth is<br />

supported by the Government’s investment<br />

in transport and energy infrastructure.<br />

The Swedish Construction Federation<br />

reckoned that the sector employs<br />

354,000 people.<br />

Sweden wants to be climate neutral<br />

by 2045 and with buildings comprising<br />

20 percent of Sweden’s climate impact,<br />

change is necessary – a point emphasised<br />

by The Fossil Free Sweden programme<br />

which guides the construction and civil<br />

engineering sector. Allied to this is the<br />

Smart Built Environment, a 12-year<br />

research and innovation programme<br />

running from 2016 to 2028 which aims<br />

to create new knowledge, skills, services,<br />

and products, and the Million Homes<br />

Retrofit, a Government modernisation<br />

and renovation project for 1960s and 70s<br />

suburban public housing stock.<br />

Taxes<br />

The headline corporate income tax rate is<br />

20.6 percent, down from 21.4 percent that<br />

applied before 31 December 2020.<br />

The Swedish VAT system is in line<br />

with the EU rules. The general VAT rate<br />

is 25 percent, but reduced rates apply<br />

to goods and services such as hotel<br />

accommodation, foodstuffs (excluding<br />

alcoholic beverages), restaurant meals,<br />

and low or non-alcoholic drinks<br />

(12 percent), as well as newspapers,<br />

magazines, books, e-books, passenger<br />

transport, maps, musical notes, some<br />

cultural services, transport in ski lifts,<br />

etc. (six percent). Certain financial and<br />

insurance services are exempted from<br />

VAT.<br />

VAT returns must be filed monthly<br />

if the VATable turnover is estimated to<br />

exceed SEK 40m (estimated yearly sales<br />

excluding any reverse charge or import<br />

acquisitions). Companies with VATable<br />

turnover below SEK 40m report VAT<br />

quarterly or may choose to report VAT<br />

on a monthly basis. For companies with<br />

a turnover of less than SEK 1m, VAT is<br />

reported on a yearly basis in the VAT<br />

return, and these companies may also<br />

choose to report VAT quarterly or on a<br />

monthly basis.<br />

There are also EU-based e-commerce<br />

rules (from July 2021) that apply to VATable<br />

sales. These cover sales on platforms (that<br />

never own goods sold), distance sales, and<br />

the importation of goods to a consumer.<br />

Social security contributions are levied<br />

at 31.42 percent of the total taxable<br />

remuneration (no cap) in cash and in kind<br />

paid by a Swedish employer or a foreign<br />

employer with a permanent establishment<br />

in Sweden – employees pay seven percent.<br />

And Swedish employers and non-Swedish<br />

employers in Sweden pay special wage tax<br />

of 24.26 percent on pension costs relating<br />

to tax qualified company pension plans.<br />

Personal<br />

Both national and municipal taxes are<br />

applied to private income. In terms of the<br />

former, SEK 0 to 613,900 attracts a zero<br />

rate while above that figure the rate is<br />

20 percent. In terms of municipal taxes,<br />

SEK 0 to 613,900 is taxed at 32 percent as<br />

is income in excess of that amount. Nonresidents<br />

working in Sweden for a Swedish<br />

employer or a foreign employer with a<br />

permanent establishment in Sweden<br />

are taxed a flat rate of 25 percent at<br />

source. At time of writing £1 equalled SEK<br />

12.75.<br />

Summary<br />

Sweden is clearly more than the two<br />

global icons that are IKEA and ABBA.<br />

It’s a prosperous land with many natural<br />

resources and a well-developed economy<br />

with plenty of industry. With a relatively<br />

close proximity to the UK, Sweden really<br />

ought to be a target for exporters.<br />

Adam Bernstein is<br />

a freelance finance writer.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 37


Ethical Enforcement<br />

The HCEOA welcomes the ECB’s<br />

first ever draft business plan.<br />

AUTHOR – Alan J. Smith FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

FOR some time now the HCEOA has<br />

been engaging with the Enforcement<br />

Conduct Board (ECB) to support it<br />

in delivering its aim of providing<br />

independent oversight for the entire<br />

enforcement profession.<br />

We want to ensure fair treatment and appropriate<br />

protection for people subject to action by all<br />

enforcement agents. What everyone can now see is<br />

the detail of how it intends to start delivering this.<br />

The ECB recently released its first full<br />

business plan (<strong>2023</strong>/24) for consultation, setting<br />

out its proposed activity and rationale, and<br />

welcoming input from the profession, creditors,<br />

consumer groups, the debt advice sector, and<br />

other organisations with an interest in ensuring<br />

enforcement works effectively.<br />

As an Association we’re supportive of the<br />

ECB’s aims. We’re already providing insight on<br />

the work our members do to enforce High Court<br />

writs on behalf of UK businesses and individuals<br />

responsibly and safely. We’ll continue to work<br />

with the ECB Board in this manner to help it<br />

achieve its first outlined priority of collecting data<br />

from the enforcement profession to help it better<br />

understand the reality of the current landscape.<br />

Vulnerable debtors<br />

One of the key areas understandably highlighted by<br />

the ECB in its business plan is wider consultation<br />

on the development and implementation of a<br />

robust code of practice, focusing on procedures<br />

for identifying and dealing with vulnerability and<br />

affordability.<br />

For the Association and our members, ensuring<br />

vulnerable people are supported flexibly and<br />

sympathetically while we work with them to create<br />

appropriate resolutions is a priority. Over the past<br />

few years, enforcement businesses have massively<br />

increased the resources they allocate to effectively<br />

identify cases with potential vulnerability. This<br />

includes things like:<br />

• dedicated teams within the businesses<br />

themselves to help quickly recognise the signs of<br />

vulnerability and know what the next steps are.<br />

• working ever more closely with clients to ensure<br />

that their specific Treating Customers Fairly<br />

(TCF) policies are incorporated into enforcement<br />

practices.<br />

• gathering more and better data and analysing<br />

it intelligently to support decision making, as<br />

well as using technology, such as AI, to pick up<br />

indications of vulnerability through customer<br />

support.<br />

While the Association’s own Code of Best Practice<br />

and the Government’s Breathing Space initiatives<br />

both outline processes for vulnerable debtors, one<br />

of the biggest obstacles our members face is an<br />

unwillingness from some debtors to engage with<br />

the enforcement process in the early stages. Not<br />

only does this increase the level of fees added to the<br />

debt, but it also impacts the enforcement agent’s<br />

ability to determine vulnerabilities and deal with<br />

these cases appropriately. We’re hopeful that a<br />

standardised approach that spans the profession and<br />

includes the debt relief sector will help to<br />

encourage early engagement of debtors and enable<br />

our members to provide much-needed advice and<br />

support.<br />

An independent complaints system<br />

We are looking forward to further information on<br />

how the ECB plans to deal with complaints and<br />

welcome the results of its profession-wide review<br />

of complaints procedures. While we do have our<br />

own procedure in place to handle complaints that<br />

are submitted to the Association, we agree that<br />

a profession-wide standardised process will be<br />

beneficial for debtors and creditors alike to help<br />

them navigate this often-complex area.<br />

With the ECB also proposing to produce a plan<br />

to assume responsibility for non-ombudsmen<br />

complaints, we’re hopeful that the small proportion<br />

of cases we have that result in a complaint to the<br />

Association will welcome its independent review<br />

and decision-making.<br />

A key role to play<br />

No one understands this profession, how it is<br />

shaped by the complexities and peculiarities of the<br />

laws and regulations that govern it, and what the<br />

practical impact of changes will be, better than the<br />

professionals working within it.<br />

Along with knowledge from our colleagues at<br />

CIVEA, the input from HCEOA members can be of<br />

huge value to the ECB as it sets out on its important<br />

journey towards independent oversight.<br />

This draft business plan is a good start. The<br />

goals of greater collaboration and more shared<br />

understanding between the enforcement<br />

profession and the debt relief sector are definitely<br />

worth pursuing.<br />

You can read the ECB’s draft business plan in<br />

full here: https://enforcementconductboard.org/<br />

current-consultations/<br />

Alan J. Smith FCI<strong>CM</strong> is Chairman<br />

of the High Court Enforcement Officers<br />

Association (HCEOA)<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 38

ANNUAL<br />


The ninth Annual General Meeting of the<br />

Chartered Institute of Credit Management<br />

will be held on Thursday, 22 June <strong>2023</strong> at The<br />

British Psychological Society, 30 Tabernacle<br />

Street, London, EC2A 4UE at 13:00 (or at the<br />

rising of the Advisory Council from its preceding<br />

meeting, whichever is later).<br />

If you plan to attend, please advise via email to<br />

governance@cicm.com as soon as you are able,<br />

and no later than 13:00 on Wednesday, 21 June<br />

<strong>2023</strong>.<br />

By order of the Executive Board<br />

Sue Chapple FCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Chief Executive<br />

To read the Notice, visit:<br />

http://www.cicm.com/about-cicm/governance/<br />

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



Credit Management, the magazine of the Chartered Institute of Credit<br />

Management (CI<strong>CM</strong>), is the leading publication in its field. The magazine<br />

includes full coverage of consumer and trade credit, export and company<br />

news, as well as in-depth features, profiles and opinions. To receive the free<br />

magazine you must be a member of the CI<strong>CM</strong> or subscribe.<br />



IN DEPTH<br />


ASK THE<br />


GLOBAL<br />

NEWS<br />

LEGAL<br />



TRADE<br />



HR<br />







TO SUBSCRIBE CONTACT: T: 01780 722903<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 39


An Unlucky Break<br />

Can a holidaymaker suffering an injury overseas<br />

bring a claim against a UK credit card company, even<br />

if she was not its customer?<br />

AUTHOR – Peter Walker<br />

BREAK a leg!’ is a theatrical<br />

expression meaning good luck!<br />

but for one holiday maker there<br />

were financial complications<br />

too. In addition to the medical<br />

issues there was a combination<br />

of a consumer credit agreement, the Consumer<br />

Credit Act 1974, and an insolvent travel agent,<br />

all familiar stories for credit managers, and<br />

even Brexit made an appearance. The law issues<br />

had to be sorted out by the judges of the Court<br />

of Appeal in Cooper v The Freedom Travel Group<br />

Ltd [<strong>2023</strong>] 1 WLR 663.<br />

It started with a husband, who booked a<br />

holiday in Greece for him and his wife. He took<br />

out his credit card, and the result was a credit<br />

agreement regulated by the Consumer Credit<br />

Act 1974. This was used to finance the deposit,<br />

although the husband paid the remaining<br />

amount due by other means. He wisely obtained<br />

travel insurance but also separately.<br />

The couple went on holiday, but in Greece the<br />

wife unfortunately fell and suffered a fracture in<br />

her left leg. When she had returned to England,<br />

she commenced litigation against the travel<br />

company, the original defendant. The word<br />

‘original’ hints at forthcoming complications.<br />

Terms and conditions<br />

But there was firstly Regulation 15(2) of the<br />

Package, Travel, Package Holidays and Package<br />

Tours Regulations 1992. This states that a<br />

holiday company is liable to a consumer for any<br />

damage suffered either by failure to perform<br />

the contract, or by its improper performance.<br />

The definition of consumer is important,<br />

because the wife as claimant was not a party<br />

to the contract. Regulation 2(2) covered what<br />

it calls the ‘principal contractor, which in this<br />

instance was the husband. A consumer is also<br />

any person of whom the principal contractor<br />

agrees to purchase the package holiday. The<br />

claimant therefore asserted that the original<br />

defendant was the organiser, and that she was a<br />

consumer protected by the Regulations.<br />

All seemed to be well and clear cut, when<br />

the claimant accepted an offer by the original<br />

defendant to compromise liability. All that was<br />

needed was for a court to determine how much.<br />

There followed the first complication,<br />

because the original defendant was a wholly<br />

owned subsidiary of Thomas Cook Limited,<br />

which went into liquidation. Other subsidiaries<br />

followed suit, and the holiday insurance was of<br />

no help due to the excess of £5,000. The first<br />

defendant in any event was self-insured for a<br />

large amount, i.e., over £2m of any claim.<br />

There was, of course, the Consumer Credit<br />

Act 1974, particularly section 75. A debtor<br />

under a debtor-creditor supplier agreement,<br />

for example, with a claim against a supplier<br />

may have a like claim against the creditor. The<br />

wife however was not a party to the agreement,<br />

so she was strictly not a debtor, but could the<br />

definition of debtor be extended to encompass<br />

a claim by her against the credit card company?<br />

Court of Appeal<br />

Whatever the position, the lower courts threw<br />

out such a claim. It was now time for an appeal,<br />

which firstly stated that those courts were<br />

wrong to have rejected the section 75 claim. The<br />

District Judge, Simkiss J, was allegedly incorrect<br />

to reject such a claim by reason of the first<br />

defendant’s admission of liability. There was<br />

also the question of costs, but the first appeal<br />

was rejected. Simkiss J thought that the wife<br />

was not a debtor, because, for example, she was<br />

not liable to repay anything.<br />

The EU then appeared in the form of Package<br />

Travel Directive (Council Directive 90/314/EEC<br />

of 13 June 1990). Simkiss J referred to Marleasing<br />

SA v La Commercial Internacional de Alimentación<br />

SA (Case C-106/89) [1990] ECR, where there was<br />

a ruling that domestic law must be harmonious<br />

with EU law. This would include the definition<br />

of ‘debtor’ for the purposes of section 75 of the<br />

Consumer Credit Act.<br />

The judges of the Court of Appeal then became<br />

involved, and they started with basic principles.<br />

Section 8(1) of the Consumer Credit Act, for<br />

example, defined a consumer credit agreement<br />

as an agreement between an individual or<br />

‘debtor’ and a ‘creditor’ which provides credit to<br />

the debtor. Credit includes ‘a cash loan and any<br />

other financial accommodation’ (s9(1)). Apart<br />

from the obvious, the meaning of ‘creditor’ can<br />

be extended to the person to whom the rights<br />

and obligations have been assigned specifically<br />

or by operation of law.<br />

Regulations<br />

In addition to these consumer credit provisions<br />

there are the Package Travel, Package Holidays<br />

and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (SI<br />

1992/3288). Regulation 2(2) defines ‘consumer’<br />

as the person agreeing to take the package<br />

(‘the principal contractor’), or ‘any person on<br />

whose behalf the principal contractor agrees to<br />

purchase the package (‘the other beneficiaries’).<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 40

❝<br />

The judges of the Supreme Court noted that the purpose of the transaction<br />

was an enjoyable experience, so the contract should be interpreted broadly.<br />

The defendant had promised to provide a holiday of a reasonable standard, so the<br />

assault amounted to an improper performance of the contract.<br />

❝<br />

If they transfer the package, the recipient<br />

becomes a ‘transferee’. Regulation 15<br />

emphasises that ‘the other party’ is liable to<br />

the consumer for 'the proper performance<br />

of the obligations under the contract’.<br />

Regulation 16 adds that the other party must<br />

provide evidence of security for any refund.<br />

There is a complication in this case<br />

because of the overseas element, and this<br />

was discussed by the Law Lords a few years<br />

earlier in Office of Fair Trading v Lloyds TSB<br />

Bank plc [2008] AC 316. In the Freedom Travel<br />

Group case Nicola Davies LJ considered that<br />

the emphasis was consumer protection.<br />

European law passed the right of the husband<br />

as debtor to the wife as a consumer. The<br />

word ‘debtor’ was to be widely interpreted as<br />

an individual who receives credit.<br />

In relation to section 75 of the Consumer<br />

Credit Act Nicola Davies LJ pointed out<br />

that the word ‘debtor’ had ‘a clear and<br />

unambiguous meaning, namely the<br />

contractual debtor’. The judge in the lower<br />

court correctly found that the wife was<br />

not a debtor. But she was not pursuing a<br />

contractual debt – she was really making a<br />

statutory claim.<br />

Serious assault<br />

Nicola Davies LJ therefore considered a<br />

recent Supreme Court decision, X v Kuoni<br />

Travel Ltd [2021] 1 WLR 3910. A husband<br />

and wife went on holiday to Sri Lanka. The<br />

package included return flights to the UK and<br />

15 nights’ all-inclusive hotel accommodation.<br />

In the terms of the agreement the defendant<br />

agreed to accept responsibility should,<br />

because of its fault, the holiday arrangements<br />

be not as described in the brochure, or<br />

not up to a reasonable standard. It would<br />

also accept liability if the other person or<br />

member of his party is ‘killed or injured as<br />

a result of an activity forming part of those<br />

holiday arrangements’. It would not accept<br />

liability if such death or injury was not its<br />

fault or the fault of its agents or suppliers.<br />

The agreement purported to exclude liability<br />

for unforeseen circumstances, which the<br />

defendant, agents or suppliers could have<br />

‘anticipated or avoided’.<br />

These provisions were the background to<br />

the holiday, when in the early hours of one<br />

night the wife was in the hotel grounds. She<br />

met the hotel electrician, who was on duty<br />

and wearing his maintenance-staff uniform.<br />

She accepted his offer to show her a short<br />

cut to the reception area, but he lured her<br />

to the engineering room, where he seriously<br />

assaulted her.<br />

She subsequently claimed damages<br />

against the defendant alleging breach of<br />

contract. The cause of action was under<br />

the Package Holidays and Package Tours<br />

Regulations, which implemented the EU<br />

Council Directive 90/314/EEC of 13 June 1990<br />

on package travel, package holidays and<br />

package tours.<br />

The judges of the Supreme Court noted<br />

that the purpose of the transaction was an<br />

enjoyable experience, so the contract should<br />

be interpreted broadly. The defendant had<br />

promised to provide a holiday of a reasonable<br />

standard, so the assault amounted to an<br />

improper performance of the contract.<br />

The defendant furthermore was organiser<br />

of the package holiday. The electrician was<br />

an employee of the hotel, a supplier of<br />

services, so the defendant as organiser could<br />

not invoke the exemption from liability<br />

provided by Regulation 5(2), i.e., force<br />

majeure or an unforeseeable event.<br />

Debtor ruling<br />

This ruling was in the minds of the judges<br />

in the Freedom Travel Group case, but Nicola<br />

Davies LJ emphasised that the wife, the<br />

claimant, was not a party to the agreement,<br />

neither for the holiday nor for the credit. Her<br />

uninjured husband set up the transactions,<br />

so he was the debtor. In The Sussex Peerage<br />

Case [1844] 11 C1 & Fin 85, 143, Tindall CJ<br />

said: “If the words of the Statute are in<br />

themselves precise and unambiguous, then<br />

no more can be necessary than to expound<br />

those words in their natural and ordinary<br />

sense.” The provisions of section 75 did not<br />

apply to his wife, and she had no contractual<br />

rights. That provides certainty for providers<br />

of credit in these circumstances. That’s good<br />

news for credit managers of credit card<br />

companies.<br />

That is not good news for the injured<br />

claimant in the Freedom Travel Group<br />

case. There were, however, the Package<br />

Holidays and Package Tours Regulations<br />

1992 and Regulation 15 with the emphasis<br />

on consumer protection. She could make a<br />

statutory claim under this legislation.<br />

Peter Walker is a freelance finance writer.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 41

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Flexible Working<br />

How to improve your workplace productivity, wherever you are.<br />

AUTHOR – Natascha Whitehead<br />

❝<br />

Utilise the social<br />

aspect of working in<br />

the office to speak<br />

to your colleagues<br />

face-to-face; in<br />

the same breath,<br />

have boundaries<br />

to avoid being<br />

distracted by others<br />

in the workplace,<br />

especially when you<br />

have work to do<br />

that requires extra<br />

concentration.<br />

❝<br />

IT’S no surprise that a large majority<br />

of employers (74 percent) in the<br />

finance sector currently offer their<br />

employees hybrid working, as revealed<br />

in our UK <strong>2023</strong> Salary and Recruiting<br />

Trends guide. On top of this, a flexible<br />

approach, where professionals can decide how<br />

many days a week they spend in the office, could<br />

tempt almost two thirds (63 percent) of credit<br />

professionals to change jobs. However, with<br />

this sought-after freedom comes responsibility<br />

to remain productive and achieve positive<br />

results regardless of where you’re working.<br />

Ultimately, with hybrid work now a reality for<br />

most, and the possibility of fully remote roles<br />

on the rise, now is a great time to reflect on how<br />

to work effectively wherever you are. Here’s my<br />

four top tips to get going from both an officebased<br />

and remote setting.<br />

Create a to-do list<br />

Especially when it comes to credit management,<br />

being organised allows you to perform your<br />

critical role and is a key to success. Writing<br />

a to-do list is a trusty method, effective for<br />

both office-based and remote working, not to<br />

mention the satisfaction of ticking off what<br />

you’ve accomplished! Daily task lists help you to<br />

keep track of priorities and structurally frame<br />

the day ahead. If you lose focus working from<br />

home or feel detached from your professional<br />

purpose in a remote setting, listing what you<br />

need to get done can act as great guidance.<br />

Similarly, it’s easy to become distracted by a<br />

busy office, where more work may come your<br />

way, so referring to a to-do list can ground you<br />

in your current responsibilities and allow you<br />

to make a judgement on your realistic work<br />

capacity for the day.<br />

Take regular breaks<br />

Productivity is not the result of being glued<br />

to your screen; it’s important to take short<br />

but regular breaks from your work in order<br />

to maintain concentration and performance<br />

throughout the day. To monitor this, you could<br />

set alarms or reminders to step away from your<br />

professional responsibilities, whether you’re in<br />

the office or working remotely. Since attention<br />

to detail is crucial for roles within credit<br />

management, taking breaks is important to<br />

ensure you remain focused, meaning you’ll be<br />

less likely to make mistakes. Social breaks are<br />

also beneficial for boosting morale; set aside<br />

time for a coffee with your colleagues if you’re<br />

in the office or call a friend for a catch-up when<br />

working from home. Going for a walk is also<br />

effective for blowing off the cobwebs, allowing<br />

you to return to work refreshed and inspired.<br />

Communicate mindfully<br />

Communicating well with your colleagues<br />

and supporting one another can help create a<br />

sense of belonging and an openness to ask and<br />

answer questions can certainly facilitate career<br />

progression. This kind of positive environment<br />

lays the foundation for employee engagement.<br />

Whilst credit professionals benefit from being<br />

independent thinkers, able to make quick and<br />

confident decisions, it is also a people-oriented<br />

industry which requires active listening and<br />

great communication skills. When working<br />

remotely, regular communication through a<br />

virtual platform such as Microsoft Teams can<br />

enable you to feel connected from afar and<br />

still reap the benefits of interacting with your<br />

teammates.<br />

Utilise the social aspect of working in the<br />

office to speak to your colleagues face-to-face;<br />

in the same breath, have boundaries to avoid<br />

being distracted by others in the workplace,<br />

especially when you have work to do that<br />

requires extra concentration. You could put<br />

headphones on or politely express to your<br />

colleagues that you need to work uninterrupted<br />

at that time.<br />

Prioritise your set-up<br />

A suitable set-up is essential and ought to be<br />

prioritised regardless of where you’re working.<br />

If you are able to, sit on a comfortable chair,<br />

with your screen at eye-level, to avoid straining<br />

your back or neck. Natural lighting, whilst<br />

not always possible, is preferable and can<br />

even improve your mood and energy levels.<br />

Similarly, fresh air helps you think more<br />

clearly and has the power to reduce stress. An<br />

organised workstation is thought to translate<br />

to feeling more organised workwise. As well<br />

as this, having some framed words of wisdom<br />

nearby, or saved as your desktop background,<br />

is a nice way to spark motivation and self-belief.<br />

Ultimately, working in a physically comfortable<br />

and pleasant setting will positively impact your<br />

productivity levels.<br />

Whilst flexibility in terms of where we work<br />

has become the new norm, it’s not without its<br />

challenges, and fluctuating between officebased<br />

and remote work will have proved<br />

unsettling for some professionals. However,<br />

having these tools at your fingertips should<br />

help you to stay focused in the office and<br />

maximise productivity in a remote setting,<br />

so you can thrive on your credit career path<br />

wherever you are.<br />

Natascha Whitehead is Business<br />

Director of Hays Credit Management.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 43

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includes strategic risk-based collections, artificial<br />

intelligence, process automation, credit risk<br />

management, deduction and dispute resolution and<br />

cash application. FIS is a global leader in financial<br />

services technology, providing software, services<br />

and outsourcing of the technology that empowers<br />

the financial world.<br />

T: +447730500085<br />

E: getinfo@fisglobal.com.<br />

W: www.fisglobal.com<br />

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading<br />

provider of business information, analytics, insights<br />

and solutions. Graydon helps its customers to make<br />

fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to minimise<br />

risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities<br />

with their commercial relationships. Graydon<br />

uses 130+ international databases and the information<br />

of 90+ million companies. Graydon has offices in<br />

London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,<br />

Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of the world’s<br />

largest credit insurance companies.<br />

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400<br />

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk<br />

W: www.graydon.co.uk<br />

Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit<br />

intelligence for credit insurers and for corporate<br />

customers. The company’s B2B Credit Risk<br />

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk<br />

Management Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;<br />

the Tinubu Credit Intelligence service and the<br />

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250<br />

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their<br />

greatest assets: customer receivables.<br />

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /<br />

E: uksales@tinubu.com<br />

W: www.tinubu.com.<br />

Building on our mature and hugely successful<br />

product and world class support service, we are<br />

re-imagining our risk awareness module in 2019 to<br />

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists and<br />

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full<br />

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.<br />

Creditsafe), this makes Credica a single port-of-call<br />

for analysis and automation. Impressive results<br />

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also<br />

have an active input into our product development<br />

and evolution.<br />

T: 01235 856400<br />

E: info@credica.co.uk<br />

W: www.credica.co.uk<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 44

Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for<br />

their commitment to the profession, best practice in the<br />

Credit Industry and the quality of services they provide.<br />

We are delighted to showcase them here.<br />

They're waiting to talk to you...<br />

Hays Credit Management is a national specialist<br />

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of<br />

credit management and receivables professionals,<br />

at all levels, in the public and private sectors. As<br />

the CI<strong>CM</strong>’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we<br />

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’<br />

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on<br />

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,<br />

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign<br />

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,<br />

career and recruitment trends.<br />

T: 07834 260029<br />

E: karen.young@hays.com<br />

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Court Enforcement Services is the market<br />

leading and fastest growing High Court Enforcement<br />

company. Since forming in 2014, we have managed<br />

over 100,000 High Court Writs and recovered more<br />

than £187 million for our clients, all debt fairly<br />

collected. We help lawyers and creditors across all<br />

sectors to recover unpaid CCJ’s sooner rather than<br />

later. We achieve 39 percent early engagement<br />

resulting in market-leading recovery rates. Our<br />

multi-award-winning technology provides real-time<br />

reporting 24/7.<br />

T: +44 (0)1992 367 092<br />

E: a.whitehurst@courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

W: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work<br />

closely with credit teams to recover commercial<br />

debts as quickly and cost effectively as possible.<br />

We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt<br />

recovery, including:<br />

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and<br />

keep costs down • Litigation service • Insolvency<br />

• Post-litigation services including enforcement<br />

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to<br />

relate to your goals, and adept at advising you on the<br />

most effective way of achieving them.<br />

T: 03700 86 3000<br />

E: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Forums International has been running Credit and<br />

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of<br />

industry sectors and international trading. Attendance<br />

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums<br />

are not just meetings but communities which<br />

aim to prepare our members for the challenges<br />

ahead. Attending for the first time is free for you to<br />

gauge the benefits and meet the members and we<br />

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never<br />

intentionally be sold to.<br />

T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

Data Interconnect provides corporate Credit Control<br />

teams with Accounts Receivable software for bulk<br />

e-invoicing, collections, dispute management and<br />

invoice finance. The modular, cloud-based Corrivo<br />

platform can be configured for any business model.<br />

It integrates with all ERP systems and buyer AP<br />

platforms or tax regimes. Customers can self-serve<br />

on mobile friendly portals, however their invoices are<br />

delivered, and Credit Controllers can easily extract<br />

data for compliance, audit and reporting purposes.<br />

T: +44 (0)1367 245777<br />

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk<br />

W: www.datainterconnect.com<br />

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for<br />

organisations seeking efficient cash visibility<br />

and secure financial processes. As an SAP<br />

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies<br />

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience<br />

and thousands of successful customer projects,<br />

including solutions for the entire order-to-cash<br />

process, Serrala provides credit managers and<br />

receivables professionals with the solutions they<br />

need to successfully protect their business against<br />

credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.<br />

T: +44 118 207 0450<br />

E: contact@serrala.com<br />

W: www.serrala.com<br />

American Express® is a globally recognised<br />

provider of business payment solutions, providing<br />

flexible capabilities to help companies drive<br />

growth. These solutions support buyers and<br />

suppliers across the supply chain with working<br />

capital and cashflow.<br />

By creating an additional lever to help support<br />

supplier/client relationships American Express is<br />

proud to be an innovator in the business payments<br />

space.<br />

Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist companies<br />

across Europe with credit management. The<br />

service gives the end-user the means to make a<br />

payment when and how they choose. Key IVR also<br />

provides a state-of-the-art outbound platform<br />

delivering automated messages by voice and SMS.<br />

In a credit management environment, these services<br />

are used to cost-effectively contact debtors and<br />

connect them back into a contact centre or<br />

automated payment line.<br />

The UK’s No1 Insolvency Score, available as a<br />

platform to help businesses manage risk and<br />

achieve growth. The only independently owned<br />

UK credit referencing agency for businesses. We<br />

have modernised the way companies consume<br />

data, to power businesses decisions with the most<br />

important data taken in real-time feeds, ensuring<br />

our customers are always the first to know. Enabling<br />

them to deliver best in class sales, credit risk<br />

management and compliance.<br />

T: +44 (0)1273 696933<br />

W: www.americanexpress.com<br />

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000<br />

E: sales@keyivr.com<br />

W: www.keyivr.com<br />

T: +44 (0)330 460 9877<br />

E: sales@redflagalert.com<br />

W: www.redflagalert.com<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 45


Introducing our<br />


Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for their commitment to<br />

the profession, best practice in the Credit Industry and the quality of services<br />

they provide. We are delighted to showcase them here.<br />

VISMA | Onguard is a specialist in credit management<br />

software and market leader in innovative solutions for<br />

order-to-cash. Our integrated platform ensures an optimal<br />

connection of all processes in the order-to-cash<br />

chain. This enhanced visibility with the secure sharing<br />

of critical data ensures optimal connection between<br />

all processes in the order-to-cash chain, resulting<br />

in stronger, longer-lasting customer relationships<br />

through improved and personalised communication.<br />

The VISMA | Onguard platform is used for successful<br />

credit management in more than 70 countries.<br />

T: 020 3868 0947<br />

E: edan.milner@onguard.com<br />

W: www.onguard.com<br />

Our Corporate Partnerships give organisations<br />

a unique opportunity to work with<br />

us and demonstrate their commitment to<br />

professionalism and best practice in the<br />

Credit industry.<br />

We have combined a number of<br />

compelling features that will deliver<br />

great value through sustained exposure<br />

to our membership of over 7,000 credit<br />

professionals, decision-makers and key<br />

industry figures.<br />

For further information please contact :<br />

the Head of Strategic Relationships,<br />

luke.sculthorp@cicm.com<br />

The CI<strong>CM</strong> Benevolent Fund<br />

is here to support members<br />

of the CI<strong>CM</strong> in times of need.<br />

Some examples of how CI<strong>CM</strong> have helped our members are:<br />

• Financed the purchase of a mobility scooter for a disabled<br />

member.<br />

• Helped finance the studies of the daughter of a member who<br />

became unexpectedly ill.<br />

• Financed the purchase of computer equipment to assist an<br />

unemployed member set up a business.<br />

• Contributed towards the purchase of an orthopaedic bed for one<br />

member whose condition was thereby greatly eased.<br />

• Helped with payment for a drug, not available on the NHS, for<br />

medical treatment of another member.<br />

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

help. (Your application will then be reviewed by the CI<strong>CM</strong> Benevolent Fund committee<br />

and you will be advised of their decision as quickly as possible)<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 46


Keep On Moving<br />

Sectors and regions across the UK and Ireland<br />

continue to plug away at reducing late payments.<br />

AUTHOR – Rob Howard<br />

THE latest late payment<br />

data is, for the most part,<br />

positive, with a number of<br />

regions and sectors across<br />

the board continuing<br />

to make progress. The<br />

average Days Beyond Terms (DBT) across<br />

regions in the UK saw no change from<br />

the previous month, while the average<br />

sector figure decreased by 0.3 days. In<br />

Ireland, average DBT across the regions<br />

and sectors reduced by 1.2 and 6.6 days<br />

respectively. Average DBT across the<br />

four provinces of Ireland decreased by<br />

0.1 days.<br />


The UK sector figures can be split right<br />

down the middle, with 11 sectors on<br />

the up and 11 on the slide. Looking at<br />

the positives, the Business from Home<br />

sector saw the biggest improvement,<br />

with a cut of 9.5 days giving them an<br />

overall DBT of 4.9 days, moving them up<br />

to second place in the standings. Taking<br />

top spot, and now the best performing<br />

sector is Real Estate. A reduction of<br />

8.3 days giving it an overall DBT of 2.9<br />

days. Looking at the negatives, the<br />

Entertainment sector saw the biggest<br />

jump, with an increase of 7.5 days to its<br />

DBT. The Transportation, Storage, Water<br />

and Waste sectors are also moving in the<br />

wrong direction – both saw a rise of 5.9<br />

days.<br />

The outlook across Irish sectors is<br />

mostly a positive one, with only three<br />

of the 20 sectors going backwards. Of<br />

the trio, only the Manufacturing sector<br />

saw a significant jump: an increase<br />

of 13.3 days means it is now the worst<br />

performing sector in Ireland with an<br />

overall DBT of 31.1 days. Overtaking the<br />

Manufacturing sector is the Water and<br />

Waste sector, which made the biggest<br />

improvement, slashing its DBT by a<br />

hefty 40.0 days, taking its overall DBT to<br />

29.8 days. Also, very much on the up is<br />

the Business Admin & Support sector,<br />

with a reduction of 27.1 days to its DBT.<br />


Like the sector figures, the UK regional<br />

data is a tale of two halves, with five<br />

regions getting better and six regions<br />

getting worse, but the vast majority of<br />

changes either way are minimal. The<br />

South East and Wales made the biggest<br />

improvements, reducing DBT by 2.3 and<br />

2.2 days respectively. East Anglia saw the<br />

biggest increase, with a rise of 3.0 days<br />

taking its overall DBT to 17.8 days.<br />

Similarly, over in Ireland, things are<br />

split. 11 regions made improvements,<br />

while 13 saw increases to DBT. Focusing<br />

on the glass half full regions, it was a<br />

standout month for Monaghan, which<br />

saw a hugely impressive reduction of 76.0<br />

days to DBT, meaning it joins Limerick<br />

(-3.7 days) in the zero days overall DBT<br />

club. Louth also deserves an honourable<br />

mention, reducing its DBT by a sizeable<br />

35.1 days. At the other end of the scale,<br />

Wexford also deserves a mention, but<br />

for the wrong reasons, following an<br />

increase of 38.1 days. The rise means<br />

it slips way down the rankings with an<br />

overall DBT of 42.5 days. However, a 26.9<br />

days increase means that Westmeath is<br />

now far and away the worst performing<br />

region in Ireland with a worrying overall<br />

DBT of 87.9 days.<br />

Across the four Irish provinces,<br />

Connacht has overtaken Munster as<br />

the best performing province with an<br />

overall DBT of 7.5 days. Leinster remains<br />

the worst performing province, but is<br />

at least moving in the right direction<br />

thanks to a reduction of 3.7 days to its<br />

DBT.<br />

❝<br />

Transportation, Storage, Water<br />

and Waste sectors are also<br />

moving in the wrong direction –<br />

both saw a rise of 5.9 days.<br />

❝<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 47


Data supplied by the Creditsafe Group<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Region March 23 Change from February 23<br />

Wales 10.3 -2.2<br />

South West 10.5 1<br />

East Midlands 11.5 -1.2<br />

North West 11.6 -0.2<br />

South East 11.7 -2.3<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Region March 23 Change from February 23<br />

Northern Ireland 19.5 0.2<br />

East Anglia 17.8 3<br />

Scotland 15.7 1.5<br />

London 14 -0.6<br />

West Midlands 13.1 0.1<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Sector May 22 Change from April 22<br />

Real Estate 2.9 -8.3<br />

Business from Home 4.9 -9.5<br />

Energy Supply 6.8 -2.8<br />

Financial and Insurance 7.7 -0.8<br />

Education 8.2 -1.2<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Sector May 22 Change from April 22<br />

Mining and Quarrying 30.2 -2.1<br />

Manufacturing 17.2 0.4<br />

Business Admin & Support 16.4 -0.9<br />

Water & Waste 15.8 5.9<br />

Transportation and Storage 14 5.9<br />

Getting worse<br />

Entertainment 7.5<br />

Transportation and Storage 5.9<br />

Water & Waste 5.9<br />

Health & Social 3.5<br />

Hospitality 2.6<br />

Other Service 2<br />

Professional and Scientific 1.5<br />

Construction 0.8<br />

International Bodies 0.8<br />

Manufacturing 0.4<br />

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 0.1<br />

Getting better<br />

Business from Home -9.5<br />

Real Estate -8.3<br />

Dormant -5.9<br />

IT and Comms -3.4<br />

Energy Supply -2.8<br />

Mining and Quarrying -2.1<br />

Wholesale and retail trades -1.7<br />

Education -1.2<br />


1.5 DBT<br />

Business Admin & Support -0.9<br />

Financial and Insurance -0.8<br />

Public Administration -0.4<br />



0.2 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

WEST<br />

1 DBT<br />

WALES<br />

-2.2 DBT<br />

NORTH<br />

WEST<br />

-0.2 DBT<br />

WEST<br />


0.1 DBT<br />



0.7 DBT<br />

EAST<br />


-1.2 DBT<br />

LONDON<br />

-0.6 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

EAST<br />

-2.3 DBT<br />

EAST<br />

ANGLIA<br />

3 DBT<br />

Region<br />

Getting Better – Getting Worse<br />

-2.3<br />

-2.2<br />

-1.2<br />

-0.6<br />

-0.2<br />

3<br />

1.5<br />

1<br />

0.7<br />

0.2<br />

0.1<br />

South East<br />

Wales<br />

East Midlands<br />

London<br />

North West<br />

East Anglia<br />

Scotland<br />

South West<br />

Yorkshire and Humberside<br />

Northern Ireland<br />

West Midlands<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 48


Getting worse<br />


3.9 DBT<br />

KERRY<br />

xx DBT<br />


0 DBT<br />

CLARE<br />

2.8 DBT<br />


-3.7 DBT<br />


20.8 DBT<br />


2.9 DBT<br />


-76 DBT<br />


-6 DBT<br />


5 DBT<br />

ULSTER<br />

0.2 DBT<br />


-3.7 DBT<br />

LOUTH<br />

0 DBT<br />


-6 DBT<br />

Manufacturing 13.3<br />

Real Estate 1.3<br />

Entertainment 1<br />

Getting better<br />

Water & Waste -40<br />

Business Admin & Support -27.1<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers – Ireland<br />

Region March 23 Change from February<br />

Limerick 0 -3.7<br />

Monaghan 0 -76<br />

Tipperary 3.6 2.9<br />

Wicklow 5.5 -6<br />

Clare 6 2.8<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers – Ireland<br />

Region March 23 Change from February<br />

Westmeath 87.9 26.9<br />

Wexford 42.5 38.1<br />

Kildare 37.1 9.3<br />

Longford 36.6 20.8<br />

Kilkenny 24.2 5<br />

Region (IRISH PROVINCES)<br />

Region March 23 Change from February<br />

Connacht 7.5 0<br />

Munster 9.1 3.9<br />

Ulster 10.9 0.2<br />

Leinster 25.3 -3.7<br />

Other Service -17.9<br />

Agriculture Forestry and Fishing -13<br />

Wholesale and retail trade -12<br />

Construction -9.4<br />

Financial and Insurance -8<br />

Energy Supply -6<br />

Transportation and Storage -5.6<br />

Professional and Scientific -4.5<br />

IT and Comms -3.4<br />

Health & Social -1.3<br />

Hospitality -0.1<br />

Nothing changed<br />

Education 0<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers – Ireland<br />

Sector March 23 Change from February<br />

Education 0 0<br />

International Bodies 0 0<br />

Public Administration 0 0<br />

Financial and Insurance 2.7 -8<br />

Health & Social 3.9 -1.3<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers – Ireland<br />

Sector March 23 Change from February<br />

Manufacturing 31.1 13.3<br />

Water & Waste 29.8 -40<br />

Energy Supply 26 -6<br />

Hospitality 22.2 -0.1<br />

Wholesale and retail 17.1 -12<br />

International Bodies 0<br />

Mining and Quarryinhg 0<br />

Public Administration 0<br />

Across the four Irish<br />

provinces, Connacht has<br />

overtaken Munster as the<br />

best performing province<br />

with an overall DBT of 7.5<br />

days.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 49





Sunderland, £25k + superb benefits, 6 month contract<br />

Take advantage of an exciting opportunity to play an integral<br />

role in a public sector housing organisation. Initially offered as<br />

a 6-month contract, you’ll join the transactional finance team to<br />

ensure the income of the organisation is allocated correctly and<br />

collected in a timely manner from debtors. This role requires<br />

strong numerical and excel reporting skills, excellent customer<br />

service and strong interaction skills to liaise with external and<br />

internal stakeholders. Ref: 4381213<br />

Contact Andrea Organ on 0191 564 1662<br />

or andrea.organ@hays.com<br />


Oxfordshire, up to £35k<br />

Join a growing consultancy with the opportunity to be rewarded<br />

and progress in your finance career. You’ll focus on proactively<br />

reviewing and managing overdue debt, as well as raising<br />

and matching credit notes, resolving unallocated receipts<br />

and matching invoices. The successful candidate will be an<br />

experienced credit controller, with excellent communication<br />

skills and strong excel ability. Ref: 4384037<br />

Contact Luana Di Benedetto on 0186 572 7071<br />

or luana.dibenedetto@hays.com<br />


Remote, £35k-£45k<br />

Join a leading international pharmaceutical business that<br />

prioritises your wellbeing. You’ll be responsible for the credit<br />

control process across the Iberian region and take<br />

a proactive approach to risk management and relationship<br />

building with internal stakeholders and external customers.<br />

Fluency in Portuguese and Spanish is essential, and French<br />

is advantageous. You must have strong IT skills and be a<br />

confident SAP user. Experience with invoice factoring is<br />

highly beneficial. Ref: 4390031<br />

Contact William Plom on 0160 376 0141<br />

or william.plom@hays.com<br />


Wimbledon, up to £35k + benefits<br />

Immerse yourself in a newly created team of accounting<br />

professionals within a leading UK design and build consultancy.<br />

In your new role you’ll be responsible for payment allocation<br />

and ensuring that timely credit control processes are adhered<br />

to. The successful candidate will be experienced in accounts<br />

receivable, including credit control. You’ll have good systems<br />

and excel skills. High levels of organisation and prioritisation<br />

are also required. Ref: 4383062<br />

Contact Mark Ordona on 0756 580 0574<br />

or mark.ordona@hays.com<br />

hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 50<br />

© Copyright Hays plc <strong>2023</strong>. The HAYS word, the H devices, HAYS WORKING FOR YOUR TOMORROW and Powering the world of work and associated logos and artwork are trademarks of Hays plc.<br />

The H devices are original designs protected by registration in many countries. All rights are reserved. <strong>CM</strong>-1176661255


City of London, up to £40k + benefits<br />

A competitive new position is available in a specialist UK law<br />

firm offering clear opportunities for professional growth and<br />

career progression. Based within the credit control team, you’ll<br />

be dedicated to the reduction of aged debt, as well as building<br />

relationships with key clients. You’ll be a team-player with a keen<br />

eye for detail and some experience within the legal finance space.<br />

Ref: 4390393<br />

Contact Robert Johnson on 0203 465 0020<br />

or robert.johnson@hays.com<br />


North Manchester, up to £48k<br />

A reputable firm based in North Manchester is looking for a senior<br />

professional to join their team. You’ll have exceptional people<br />

management and enjoy leading a team day-to-day but can remain<br />

hands on. We’re looking for a candidate with strong managerial<br />

experience and a proven track record in the credit industry.<br />

Ref: 4389513<br />

Contact Luke Lontton on 0161 236 7272<br />

or luke.Iontton@hays.com<br />

This is just a small selection of the many opportunities<br />

we have available for credit professionals. To find out<br />

more, visit our website or contact Natascha Whitehead,<br />

Credit Management UK Lead at Hays on 07770 786433.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 51



It’s summer, and it’s back to school.<br />

AUTHOR – Melanie York<br />

STARTING in June, Cardiff &<br />

Vale College will welcome<br />

its third intake of students<br />

for the CI<strong>CM</strong> credit and<br />

collection training courses.<br />

Developed with the CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

and launched last October, these fully<br />

funded, online diploma courses provide<br />

formal training and practical skills to<br />

help individuals build the knowledge and<br />

confidence they need to progress in their<br />

careers. Ultimately, the training can lead<br />

to a nationally recognised qualification<br />

and CI<strong>CM</strong> Professional Membership. It’s<br />

an excellent way for those starting their<br />

careers to get free training and a good<br />

grounding in the credit and collections<br />

world.<br />

The entry-level and intermediate<br />

diplomas (Level 2 and Level 3) introduce<br />

individuals to the world of credit control.<br />

Students learn technical knowledge,<br />

including credit legislation, trade, export<br />

and consumer credit management,<br />

credit control/collections, taking control<br />

of goods, and telephone collections and<br />

skills, such as dealing with difficult<br />

situations.<br />

The CI<strong>CM</strong> advanced diploma (Level 5)<br />

is designed for people who have worked<br />

for a few years in the industry or have<br />

some qualifications in credit and collections<br />

and wish to advance their career.<br />

Students will learn advanced credit risk<br />

management, compliance with legal,<br />

regulatory, ethical and social requirements,<br />

strategic planning, legal proceedings<br />

and insolvency, strategic communications<br />

and leadership and process<br />

improvement. It also teaches business<br />

communications and personal skills,<br />

plus higher-level skills of team leadership<br />

and how to operate in complex business<br />

environments.<br />

At all stages, students have the<br />

opportunity to specialise. If they<br />

complete all three courses, they can<br />

gain a nationally recognised, official<br />

qualification leading to Professional<br />

Membership of CI<strong>CM</strong>, ultimately<br />

increasing their earning potential.<br />

Online with personal support<br />

The courses are delivered through<br />

online classes with a trainer, run in the<br />

daytime or evenings and supported with<br />

learning materials on a self-study portal.<br />

This blended, flexible approach allows<br />

students to fit their studies around work<br />

and home life. The online virtual sessions<br />

are typically two hours per week. Each<br />

course only requires five- to six- hours of<br />

additional personal study time.<br />

The courses are fully funded through<br />

the Welsh Government’s PLA (Personal<br />

Learning Accounts) programme for<br />

anyone living in Wales aged 19 or over<br />

(subject to a few eligibility criteria).<br />

No qualifications or experience are<br />

needed to enrol on the courses. CI<strong>CM</strong>'s<br />

open access policy encourages further<br />

education to upskill new entrants quickly<br />

and hopefully set them on the path<br />

towards a professional qualification.<br />

The PLA Programme was initially set<br />

up to help raise Wales's median income<br />

and currently focuses on those earning<br />

below £29,534 a year. The aim is to support<br />

young people across Wales to gain higherlevel<br />

skills, enabling them to access a<br />

broader range of job opportunities, gain<br />

higher-level employment, and improve<br />

their career and earnings potential.<br />

The CI<strong>CM</strong> and CAVC recognised<br />

that these courses are eligible for PLA<br />

funding. The PLA criteria includes highquality<br />

career advice and guidance for<br />

students from the outset to ensure they<br />

choose suitable courses. All PLA-funded<br />

courses must support key industry<br />

sectors and offer easily accessible<br />

learning modules so that participants<br />

can choose how and when they learn.<br />

The courses must also involve employers<br />

with job opportunities that can support<br />

students to enter employment or achieve<br />

a higher level. CI<strong>CM</strong> is keen to see its<br />

members support the employment of<br />

young people and their achievement of<br />

high-quality professional qualifications<br />

and, ultimately, CI<strong>CM</strong> Professional<br />

Membership<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> teamed up with Cardiff and Vale<br />

College as it is one of the largest colleges in<br />

the UK, delivering high-quality education<br />

and training. More than 30,000 learners<br />

attend full-time and part-time courses,<br />

university qualifications, apprenticeship<br />

programmes, and dedicated employee<br />

training each year. The college is proud<br />

of its student success rates – some of<br />

the best in the sector – and its focus<br />

on developing skilled and employable<br />

people – one of the reasons CI<strong>CM</strong> is so<br />

proud to work with them.<br />

Anyone interested in learning more about<br />

the courses can find more information on<br />

the CAVC website: https://cavc.ac.uk/en/pla/<br />

business.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 52

Another benefit<br />

for CI<strong>CM</strong> Members<br />

Download and view your digital<br />

membership card via the Folio app today!<br />

Download the app for your iOS or Android operating system


The North East Branch AGM<br />

OUR AGM was preceded by<br />

a CI<strong>CM</strong>Q presentation by<br />

Luke Sculthorpe FCI<strong>CM</strong>,<br />

Head of Strategic Relationships.<br />

The Branch is on a<br />

mission to regenerate local<br />

interest in this accreditation, which was<br />

certainly piqued on the night, and we’re<br />

looking forward to supporting Luke’s ongoing<br />

drive in this area.<br />

The sandwich between Luke’s<br />

presentation and our AGM was the happy<br />

task of presenting Phil Hodgson ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

with the Sir Roger Cork prize (which he was<br />

unable to collect in person at the February<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Awards ceremony). So, we – in only<br />

slightly less glitzy form – were delighted to<br />

finally deliver the award into his deserved<br />

safe keeping. Congratulations to Phil on<br />

this achievement!<br />

Our AGM was marked by Angie<br />

Deverick MCI<strong>CM</strong> vacating the Chair after<br />

what you might call a good innings. A<br />

bittersweet moment, but she is leaving<br />

it in the very capable hands of Nick Neal<br />

FCI<strong>CM</strong> (Grad), who together with the new<br />

Committee will be kicking on with planned<br />

events and initiatives for this year, including<br />

a new regular online forum to support the<br />

Branch’s studying members.<br />

It was worth the wait…thanks to everyone<br />

who turned out for our first (in person)<br />

business event of the year.<br />

Author: Angie Deverick outgoing<br />

Chair of the North East Branch.<br />


Do you know someone who would benefit from CI<strong>CM</strong> membership? Or have<br />

you considered applying to upgrade your membership? See our website<br />

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


Jane Morrey MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Nathan Bartlett MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Bhagyawatee(medha) Bhiwa MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Deian Pouriakov MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

VivianneJagar MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

Sharon Stevens MCI<strong>CM</strong><br />

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

Benjamin Scott MCI<strong>CM</strong> Zakia Khalid MCI<strong>CM</strong> Aida Issazadeh<br />


Katie Fawcett<br />

Alison Percival<br />


Congratulations to the following, who successfully achieved Diplomas<br />

Level 3 Diploma in Credit Management (ACI<strong>CM</strong>)<br />

Mitchel Cooper David Eastham Charlotte Griffiths<br />

Level 3 Diploma in Credit & Collections (ACI<strong>CM</strong>)<br />

Ulf Hansson<br />

Andrew Hills<br />

Level 3 Diploma in Credit & Collections<br />

James Aspden<br />

Pieter Benjamin Cloete<br />

Nils Gustav Isidorsson<br />

Janice Lawler<br />

Molly Crawshaw<br />

Julie Goold<br />

Level 3 Diploma in Money & Debt Advice (ACI<strong>CM</strong>)<br />

Hannah Martin<br />

Davide Masedu<br />

Alexander Parry<br />

Emma Rylance<br />

Erika Sams<br />

Tobias Vonk<br />

Sian Williams<br />

Kelly Farrar<br />

Richard Feely<br />

Level 5 Diploma in Credit & Collections Management MCI<strong>CM</strong> (Grad)<br />

Ryan Kerr<br />

Robert Green<br />

George Holmes<br />

Emily Thomas<br />

Trudy Woolley<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 54


Shifting Definitions<br />

The elements of an employment contract and<br />

the cost of avoiding pension scheme pay-outs.<br />

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards<br />

THE Employment Appeal<br />

Tribunal (EAT) has offered<br />

guidance on how to interpret<br />

a Supreme Court judgment<br />

in a recent case in the<br />

context of an employment<br />

status dispute.<br />

Considering Uber BV v Aslam and Others,<br />

the case of Dr Mark Ter-Berg v Simply Smile<br />

Manor House Ltd and Others, involved<br />

a dentist who worked under a standard<br />

British Dental Association agreement<br />

under which he had to provide dental<br />

services at specified places. The agreement<br />

stated it was not an employment contract.<br />

It contained a substitution clause requiring<br />

Ter-Berg to provide a locum to cover any<br />

absence of 20 days or more.<br />

Ter-Berg brought an Employment<br />

Tribunal claim for automatic unfair<br />

dismissal, alleging he had been unfairly<br />

dismissed because he had made a<br />

protected disclosure. The facts of the<br />

alleged disclosure and the subsequent<br />

termination of the agreement were beyond<br />

the scope of the EAT judgment.<br />

In order to be able to bring his<br />

Employment Tribunal claims, Ter-Berg<br />

needed to show he was an employee at<br />

the relevant time. He accepted that he<br />

was initially engaged as a self-employed<br />

contractor. However he argued that the<br />

nature of the relationship had changed<br />

over time so that he ended up being an<br />

employee.<br />

The Employment Tribunal disagreed. It<br />

found that Ter-Berg was not an employee,<br />

because it said that none of the elements<br />

of an employment contract were present.<br />

Ter-Berg appealed to the EAT, which<br />

allowed the appeal in part. It disagreed<br />

with the tribunal’s interpretation of the<br />

substitution clause and remitted the case<br />

to a new tribunal on that basis. However,<br />

the EAT remarked that it was acceptable<br />

for the tribunal to start its analysis by<br />

looking at the agreement between Ter-Berg<br />

and the practice.<br />

In the Uber case, the Supreme Court<br />

had said that the question of whether an<br />

individual is a worker will turn on the<br />

statutory definition of worker rather than<br />

on what is written in the contract. The EAT<br />

has now confirmed that this does not mean<br />

that the tribunal cannot use a contract as a<br />

starting point in its analysis.<br />

A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal<br />

decision acts as a reminder for employers<br />

to consider pension scheme implications<br />

at the earliest possible stage when<br />

planning redundancies.<br />

In Cook v Gentoo Group Ltd, the claimant<br />

was made redundant just short of his 55th<br />

birthday. He was a member of a pension<br />

scheme. According to the rules of the<br />

scheme, when a member reaches 55 and<br />

is either made redundant or is terminated<br />

on the grounds of business efficiency,<br />

they are entitled to immediate payment<br />

of their retirement pension without<br />

actuarial reduction. In practical terms,<br />

this can trigger a significant cost to the<br />

employer.<br />

In Mr Cook’s case, the employer<br />

curtailed the redundancy procedure in<br />

order to ensure he was made redundant<br />

before reaching the age of 55. After an<br />

initial consultation at the beginning of<br />

May 2019, Cook went off sick. He did not<br />

attend subsequent consultation meetings<br />

and was dismissed on 16 May 2019.<br />

Age, pensions and redundancy<br />

Had the redundancy procedure not been<br />

curtailed, Cook would have been made<br />

redundant after his 55th birthday, costing<br />

his employer £80,000. Cook claimed that<br />

he had been unfairly dismissed, and that<br />

the curtailment of the redundancy process<br />

constituted direct age discrimination.<br />

A tribunal agreed Cook had been<br />

unfairly dismissed; it found that the speed<br />

of the curtailed redundancy consultation<br />

procedure was unfair, and that there had<br />

been no real attempt to identify suitable<br />

alternative employment.<br />

The tribunal also found that if the<br />

employer had run a fair process, Cook<br />

would have still been made redundant,<br />

but this would have been after his 55th<br />

birthday.<br />

However, the tribunal dismissed<br />

Cook's claim that the curtailment of the<br />

redundancy procedure was directly age<br />

discriminatory. It found that he had<br />

identified inappropriate comparators,<br />

and that in any event it would have found<br />

any age discrimination to be justified as<br />

a proportionate means of achieving a<br />

legitimate aim.<br />

Cook appealed to the Employment<br />

Appeal Tribunal (EAT). The EAT upheld<br />

the appeal. The tribunal had not<br />

considered why the detrimental treatment<br />

was a proportionate means of achieving<br />

a legitimate aim. The tribunal had an<br />

opportunity to explain its reasoning<br />

before the EAT reached its decision and<br />

identified the employer's aim as being<br />

to save the costs that would have been<br />

incurred by paying into the pension. It<br />

also said the detriment caused to Cook<br />

would have been proportionate in light of<br />

other payments he had received, such as<br />

redundancy and notice pay amounting to<br />

£47,000.<br />

The EAT was not convinced that this<br />

was part of the tribunal's reasoning at<br />

the time of the original decision. It has<br />

remitted the claim to a new tribunal for<br />

reconsideration.<br />

Gareth Edwards is a partner in the<br />

employment team at VWV.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 55

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Directory of Services<br />




Controlaccount<br />

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,<br />

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD<br />

T: 01527 386 610<br />

E: sales@controlaccount.com<br />

W: www.controlaccount.com<br />

Controlaccount has been providing efficient, effective and<br />

ethical pre-legal debt recovery for over forty years. We help our<br />

clients to improve internal processes and increase cashflow,<br />

whilst protecting customer relationships and established<br />

reputations. We have long-standing partnerships with leading,<br />

global brand names, SMEs and not for profits. We recover<br />

over 30,000 overdue invoices each month, domestically and<br />

internationally, on a no collect, no fee arrangement. Other<br />

services include credit control and dunning services, international<br />

and domestic trace and legal recoveries. All our clients have<br />

full transparency on any accounts placed with us through our<br />

market leading cloud-based management portal, ClientWeb.<br />

BlaserMills Law<br />

High Wycombe | Amersham | Marlow | Silverstone<br />

Rickmansworth | London<br />

Jackie Ray : 07802 332104 | 01494 478660<br />

jar@blasermills.co.uk<br />

Daria Stepien : 01494 478674<br />

das@blasermills.co.uk<br />

Edward Bible : 07766 013352 ceb@blasermills.co.uk<br />

www.blasermills.co.uk<br />

Commercial Recoveries & Insolvency<br />

Blaser Mills Law’s commercial recoveries team is internationally<br />

recognised, regularly advising large corporations, multinationals<br />

and SMEs on pre-legal collections, debt recovery, commercial<br />

litigation, dispute resolution and insolvency. Our legal services<br />

are both cost-effective and highly efficient; Our lawyers are also<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> qualified and ranked in the industry leading law firm rankings<br />

publications, Legal 500 and Chambers UK.<br />

identeco – Business Support Toolkit<br />

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,<br />

Worcestershire B60 4FD<br />

Telephone: 01527 386 607<br />

Email: info@identeco.co.uk<br />

Web: www.identeco.co.uk<br />

identeco Business Support Toolkit provides company details<br />

and financial reporting for over 4m UK companies and<br />

business. Subscribers can view company financial health and<br />

payment behaviour, credit ratings, shareholder and director<br />

structures, detrimental data. In addition, subscribers can also<br />

download unlimited B2B marketing and acquisition reports.<br />

Annual subscription is only £79.95. Other services available<br />

to subscribers include AML and KYC reports, pre-litigation<br />

screening, trace services and data appending, as well as many<br />

others.<br />


Global Credit Recoveries<br />

GCR 20-22 Wenlock Road,<br />

London N1 7GU<br />

Charles Mayhew FCI<strong>CM</strong> or Joshua Mayhew ACI<strong>CM</strong><br />

T: +44 (0) 203 368 8630<br />



Winners of the Debt Collection Agency of The Year at the British<br />

Credit Awards <strong>2023</strong> - Global Credit Recoveries are specialists in<br />

Global Arbitration & Debt Collection.<br />

We specialise in the UK, Europe, The Middle East and the U.S.A,<br />

working as an extension of many CI<strong>CM</strong> members companies for<br />

over 30+ years.<br />

Speak with us today in our London or Dubai offices, to see how<br />

we can assist you.<br />

We have the ability, and network, to have someone visiting your<br />

debtors offices, throughout EMEA, within 72 hours.<br />

Recovering funds globally, on a No-Recovery, No-Fee basis.<br />

Guildways<br />

T: +44 3333 409000<br />

E: info@guildways.com<br />

W: www.guildways.com<br />

Guildways is a UK & International debt collection specialist with over<br />

25 years experience. Guildways prides itself on operating to the<br />

highest ethical standards and professional service levels. We are<br />

experienced in collecting B2B and B2C debts. Our service includes:<br />

• A complete No collection, No Fee commission based service<br />

• 10% plus VAT commission for UK debts<br />

• Commission from 22% plus VAT for International debts<br />

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

• Direct online account-to-account payments, to speed up<br />

collections and minimise costs<br />

If you are unable to locate your customer, we also offer a no trace, no<br />

fee, trace and collect service.<br />

For more information, visit: www.guildways.com<br />

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Directory of Services<br />

Lovetts Solicitors<br />

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway,<br />

Old Portsmouth Road,<br />

Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR<br />

T: 01483 347001<br />

E: info@lovetts.co.uk<br />

W: www.lovetts.co.uk<br />

With more than 25yrs experience in UK & international business<br />

debt collection and recovery, Lovetts Solicitors collects £40m+<br />

every year on behalf of our clients. Services include:<br />

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

of cases)<br />

• Advice and dispute resolution<br />

• Legal proceedings and enforcement<br />

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

CaseManager<br />

Don’t just take our word for it, here’s some recent customer<br />

feedback: “All our service expectations have been exceeded.<br />

The online system is particularly useful and extremely easy to<br />

use. Lovetts has a recognisable brand that generates successful<br />

results.”<br />


CoCredo<br />

Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD<br />

T: 01494 790600<br />

E: customerservice@cocredo.com<br />

W: www.cocredo.co.uk<br />

For over 20 years, CoCredo, as one of the UK's leading Credit<br />

Report companies, has helped protect thousands of customers<br />

from bad debt. Our data is compiled and constantly updated from a<br />

variety of prominent UK and international suppliers, encompassing<br />

230 countries, so that our clients can access the latest available<br />

information in an easy-to-read report. We offer tailored products<br />

and service solutions, from market-leading Dual Reports and<br />

integrated XML solutions, monitoring and delivering flexible 'data<br />

on the go' package options that reduce costs and boost cash flow.<br />

Our clients feel valued that we are a part of their customer journey<br />

and we have consistently been finalists and winners of numerous<br />

Small Business and Credit Awards since 2014.<br />

We provide award-winning customer service which is reflected in<br />

our client retention rate of 99%.<br />

HighRadius<br />

T: +44 (0) 203 997 9400<br />

E: infoemea@highradius.com<br />

W: www.highradius.com<br />

HighRadius provides a cloud-based Integrated Receivable<br />

Platform, powered by machine learning and AI. Our Technology<br />

empowers enterprise organisations to reduce cycle time in the<br />

order-to-cash process and increase working capital availability by<br />

automating receivables and payments processes across credit,<br />

electronic billing and payment processing, cash application,<br />

deductions, and collections.<br />

Tinubu Square UK<br />

Holland House, 4 Bury Street,<br />

London EC3A 5AW<br />

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /<br />

E: uksales@tinubu.com<br />

W: www.tinubu.com<br />

Founded in 2000, Tinubu Square is a software vendor, enabler<br />

of the Credit Insurance, Surety and Trade Finance digital<br />

transformation.<br />

Tinubu Square enables organizations across the world to<br />

significantly reduce their exposure to risk and their financial,<br />

operational and technical costs with best-in-class technology<br />

solutions and services. Tinubu Square provides SaaS solutions<br />

and services to different businesses including credit insurers,<br />

receivables financing organizations and multinational corporations.<br />

Tinubu Square has built an ecosystem of customers in over 20<br />

countries worldwide and has a global presence with offices in<br />

Paris, London, New York, Montreal and Singapore.<br />

Credica Ltd<br />

Building 168, Maxell Avenue, Harwell Oxford, Oxon. OX11 0QT<br />

T: 01235 856400E: info@credica.co.uk W: www.credica.co.uk<br />

Our highly configurable and extremely cost effective Collections<br />

and Query Management System has been designed with 3 goals<br />

in mind:<br />

•To improve your cashflow • To reduce your cost to collect<br />

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business<br />

Evolving over 15 years and driven by the input of 1000s of<br />

Credit Professionals across the UK and Europe, our system is<br />

successfully providing significant and measurable benefits for our<br />

diverse portfolio of clients.<br />

We would love to hear from you if you feel you would benefit from<br />

our ‘no nonsense’ and human approach to computer software.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 56



paul@centuryone.uk 01727 739 196<br />




Blackline<br />

33 Charlotte St, London W1T 1RR<br />

T: +44 (0) 203 318 5941<br />

E: sales@blackline.com<br />

W:www.blackline.com/solutions/accounts-receivableautomation/<br />

Transform and modernize your accounts receivable processes.<br />

Release cash from customers using next-generation intelligent<br />

AR automation. Optimize working capital by driving world-class<br />

order-to-cash processes and leverage 'decision intelligence' to<br />

drive better business outcomes.<br />

Cash Application AR Intelligence<br />

Credit & Risk Management<br />

Collections Management<br />

Disputes & Deductions Management<br />

Team & Task Management<br />

Reduce or eliminate manual tasks, and enable AR teams to<br />

focus on actions that drive results. Strengthen decision<br />

intelligence to deliver significant value to the organization<br />

by harnessing BlackLine’s ground-breaking AR Intelligence<br />

module - unlock hidden data in Accounts Receivable processes<br />

and understand customer behaviours in real time.<br />

For more information and a free instant ROI calculation for AR<br />

visit https://www.blackline.com/solutions/accounts-receivableautomation/<br />

Data Interconnect Ltd<br />

45-50 Shrivenham Hundred Business Park,<br />

Majors Road, Watchfield. Swindon, SN6 8TZ<br />

T: +44 (0)1367 245777<br />

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk<br />

W: www.datainterconnect.com<br />

We are dedicated to helping finance teams take the cost,<br />

complexity and compliance issues out of Accounts Receivable<br />

processes. Corrivo is our reliable, easy-to-use SaaS platform<br />

for the continuous improvement of AR metrics and KPIs in a<br />

user-friendly interface. Credit Controllers can manage more<br />

accounts with better results and customers can self-serve on<br />

mobile-responsive portals where they can query, pay, download<br />

and view invoices and related documentation e.g. Proofs of<br />

Delivery Corrivo is the only AR platform with integrated invoice<br />

finance options for both buyer and supplier that flexes credit<br />

terms without degrading DSO. Call for a demo.<br />

ContactEngine<br />

A NICE Company<br />

Email: info@contactengine.com<br />

Website: www.contactengine.com<br />

ContactEngine is a proactive customer engagement platform,<br />

which connects organizations to its customers through AI<br />

powered digital conversations, ​enabling fully automated<br />

customer journeys. The game changer for collections?<br />

Companies can now talk directly with tens of thousands of<br />

people simultaneously. This enables collections treatment<br />

automation using intelligent, natural language conversations,<br />

dynamic engagement strategies, and easy-to-trigger payment<br />

transactions that move the needle and help organisations collect<br />

outstanding debt faster. ContactEngine anticipates the need<br />

to interact with customers and fully automates personalized,<br />

multichannel conversations that engage customers over days,<br />

weeks, months and years to achieve specific milestones or<br />

trigger next steps based on customer responses.<br />

For more information, visit www.contactengine.com/solutions/<br />

collections or email info@contactengine.com<br />

ESKER<br />

Sam Townsend Head of Marketing<br />

Northern Europe Esker Ltd.<br />

T: +44 (0)1332 548176 M: +44 (0)791 2772 302<br />

W: www.esker.co.uk LinkedIn: Esker – Northern Europe<br />

Twitter: @EskerNEurope blog.esker.co.uk<br />

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes the all-toocommon<br />

obstacles preventing today’s businesses from collecting<br />

receivables in a timely manner. From credit management to cash<br />

allocation, Esker automates each step of the order-to-cash cycle.<br />

Esker’s automated AR system helps companies modernise<br />

without replacing their core billing and collections processes. By<br />

simply automating what should be automated, customers get the<br />

post-sale experience they deserve and your team gets the tools<br />

they need.<br />


Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road<br />

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham<br />

Berkshire RG41 5RB<br />

E: r.hammons@serrala.com W: www.serrala.com<br />

T +44 118 207 0450 M +44 7788 564722<br />

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for organisations<br />

seeking efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes.<br />

As an SAP Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies<br />

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience and<br />

thousands of successful customer projects, including solutions<br />

for the entire order-to-cash process, Serrala provides credit<br />

managers and receivables professionals with the solutions they<br />

need to successfully protect their business against credit risk<br />

exposure and bad debt loss.<br />

My DSO Manager<br />

22, Chemin du Vieux Chêne,<br />

Bâtiment D, Meylan, FRANCE<br />

T: +33 (0)458003676<br />

E: contact@mydsomanager.com<br />

W: www.mydsomanager.com<br />

My DSO Manager is an all-in-one intelligent SaaS accounts<br />

receivable and credit management system that provides realtime<br />

insight and scalability from SMEs to international multientity<br />

companies. It helps AR analysts, accounting or finance<br />

managers, and any client-facing employee, manage risk and<br />

maximize cash collection.<br />

It can swiftly integrate any kind of data from any ERP and<br />

implement any customization due to its creative, competent IT<br />

teams that are headquartered inside the firm and collaborate<br />

closely with support employees, many of whom were formerly<br />

credit managers at big corporations.<br />

The feature-rich functions, automated reminders, alerts, and<br />

numerous services connected to the solution, such as EDM/<br />

CRMs/insurance/e-payment/BI platforms etc., along with a<br />

reasonable pricing system, have simplified the credit-to-cash<br />

cycle by monitoring daily KPIs like DSO, aging balance, overdues/<br />

past-dues, customer behavior, and cash forecast.<br />

My DSO Manager's worldwide clientele are its real ambassadors,<br />

who assist the company in expanding on an ongoing basis.<br />

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Directory of Services<br />

Court Enforcement Services<br />

Adele Whitehurst – Client Relationship Manager<br />

M: +44 (0)7525 119 711 T: +44 (0)1992 367 092<br />

E : a.whitehurst@courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

W: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk<br />

Court Enforcement Services is the market leading and fastest<br />

growing High Court Enforcement company. Since forming in 2014,<br />

we have managed over 100,000 High Court Writs and recovered<br />

more than £187 million for our clients, all debt fairly collected. We<br />

help lawyers and creditors across all sectors to recover unpaid<br />

CCJ’s sooner rather than later. We achieve 39% early engagement<br />

resulting in market-leading recovery rates. Our multi-awardwinning<br />

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

close partnership to expertly resolve matters with a fast, fair and<br />

personable approach. We work hard to achieve the best results<br />

and protect your reputation.<br />

High Court Enforcement Group Limited<br />

Client Services, Helix, 1st Floor<br />

Edmund Street, Liverpool, L3 9NY<br />

T: 08450 999 666<br />

E: clientservices@hcegroup.co.uk<br />

W: hcegroup.co.uk<br />

Putting creditors first<br />

We are the largest independent High Court enforcement company,<br />

with more authorised officers than anyone else. We are privately<br />

owned, which allows us to manage our business in a way that<br />

puts our clients first. Clients trust us to deliver and service is<br />

paramount. We cover all aspects of enforcement – writs of control,<br />

possessions, process serving and landlord issues – and are<br />

committed to meeting and exceeding clients’ expectations.<br />


Gravity Global<br />

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

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

W: www.gravityglobal.com<br />

Gravity is an award winning full service PR and advertising<br />

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the<br />

best in its field. It has a particular expertise in the credit sector,<br />

building long-term relationships with some of the industry’s bestknown<br />

brands working on often challenging briefs. As the partner<br />

agency for the Credit Services Association (CSA) for the past 22<br />

years, and the Chartered Institute of Credit Management since<br />

2006, it understands the key issues affecting the credit industry<br />

and what works and what doesn’t in supporting its clients in the<br />

media and beyond.<br />

FORUMS<br />


T: +44 (0)1260 275716<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

Forums International Ltd have been running Credit and Industry<br />

Forums since 1991. We cover a range of industry sectors and<br />

International trading, attendance is for Credit Professionals of all<br />

levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities which<br />

aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead. Attending<br />

for the first time is free for you to gauge the benefits and meet the<br />

members and we only have pre-approved Partners, so you will<br />

never intentionally be sold to.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 57

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Directory of Services<br />



paul@centuryone.uk 01727 739 196<br />


Menzies<br />

T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff<br />

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services<br />

Our Creditor Services team can advise on the best way for you<br />

to protect your position when one of your debtors enters, or<br />

is approaching, insolvency proceedings. Our services include<br />

assisting with retention of title claims, providing representation<br />

at creditor meetings, forensic investigations, raising finance,<br />

financial restructuring and removing the administrative burden<br />

– this includes completing and lodging claim forms, monitoring<br />

dividend prospects and analysing all Insolvency Reports and<br />

correspondence.<br />

For more information on how the Menzies Creditor Services<br />

team can assist, please contact Bethan Evans, Licensed<br />

Insolvency Practitioner, at bevans@menzies.co.uk or call<br />

+44 (0)2920 447 512.<br />

Red Flag Alert Technology Group Limited<br />

49 Peter Street, Manchester, M2 3NG<br />

T: 0330 460 9877<br />

E: sales@redflagalert.com<br />

W: www.redflagalert.com<br />

The UK’s No1 Insolvency Score is available as platform<br />

designed to help businesses manage risk and achieve growth<br />

using real-time data. The only independently owned UK credit<br />

referencing agency for businesses. We have modernised the<br />

way companies consume data, via Graph QL API and apps for<br />

many CRM / ERP systems to power businesses decisions with<br />

the most important data taken in real-time feeds, ensuring our<br />

customers are always the first to know.<br />

Red Flag Alert has a powerful portfolio management tool<br />

enabling you to monitor all your customers and suppliers so<br />

you and your teams can receive email alerts on data events<br />

i.e. CCJ, Petitions, Accounts, Directors, amongst 84 alerts<br />

produced and tailored to your business.<br />

Red Flag Alert works towards growing and protecting<br />

businesses using advanced machine learning and AI technology<br />

data to provide businesses with information to deliver best in<br />

class sales, credit risk management and compliance.<br />

LEGAL<br />

Shoosmiths<br />

Email: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Tel: 03700 86 3000 W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit<br />

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly and cost effectively<br />

as possible. We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt<br />

recovery, including:<br />

•Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and keep costs<br />

down<br />

•Litigation service<br />

•Post-litigation services including enforcement<br />

•Insolvency<br />

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to relate to your<br />

goals, and adept at advising you on the most effective way of<br />

achieving them.<br />


American Express<br />

76 Buckingham Palace Road,<br />

London. SW1W 9TQ<br />

T: +44 (0)1273 696933<br />

W: www.americanexpress.com<br />

American Express is working in partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong> and is a<br />

globally recognised provider of payment solutions to businesses.<br />

Specialising in providing flexible collection capabilities to drive a<br />

number of company objectives including:<br />

• Accelerate cashflow • Improved DSO • Reduce risk<br />

• Offer extended terms to customers<br />

• Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive<br />

growth • Create competitive advantage with your customers<br />

As experts in the field of payments and with a global reach,<br />

American Express is working with credit managers to drive growth<br />

within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional lever<br />

to help support supplier/client relationships American Express is<br />

proud to be an innovator in the business payments space.<br />

Key IVR<br />

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000 E: sales@keyivr.com<br />

W: www.keyivr.com<br />

Key IVR are proud to have joined the Chartered Institute of<br />

Credit Management’s Corporate partnership scheme. The<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> is a recognised and trusted professional entity within<br />

credit management and a perfect partner for Key IVR. We are<br />

delighted to be providing our services to the CI<strong>CM</strong> to assist with<br />

their membership collection activities. Key IVR provides a suite<br />

of products to assist companies across the globe with credit<br />

management. Our service is based around giving the end-user<br />

the means to make a payment when and how they choose. Using<br />

automated collection methods, such as a secure telephone<br />

payment line (IVR), web and SMS allows companies to free up<br />

valuable staff time away from typical debt collection.<br />

Quadient AR by YayPay<br />

T: +44 20 8502 8476<br />

E: r.harash@quadient.com<br />

W: www.quadient.com/en-gb/ar-automation<br />

Quadient AR by YayPay makes it easy for B2B finance teams<br />

to stay ahead of accounts receivable and get paid faster – from<br />

anywhere. Integrating with your existing ERP, CRM, accounting<br />

and billing systems, YayPay organizes and presents real-time data<br />

through meaningful, cloud-based dashboards. These increase<br />

visibility across your AR portfolio and provide your team with a<br />

single source of truth, so they can access the information they<br />

need to work productively, no matter where they are based.<br />

Automated capabilities improve team efficiency by 3X and<br />

accelerate the collections process by making communications<br />

customizable and consistent. This enables you to collect cash<br />

up to 34 percent faster and removes the need to add additional<br />

resources as your business grows.<br />

Predictive analytics provide insight into future payer behavior to<br />

improve cash flow management and a secure, online payment<br />

portal enables customers to access their accounts and pay at any<br />

time, from anywhere.<br />


25 Canada Square<br />

London, GB E14 5LQ<br />

T: +447730500085<br />

E: getinfo@fisglobal.com.<br />

W: www.fisglobal.com<br />

The award-winning FIS GETPAID solution is a fully integrated,<br />

web-based order-to cash (O2C) solution that helps companies<br />

improve operational efficiencies, lower DSO, and increase cash<br />

flow. GETPAID provides process automation, artificial intelligence,<br />

and workflow across the O2C cycle, with detailed analysis and<br />

reporting for accurate cash forecasting. FIS is a global leader in<br />

financial services technology that empowers the financial world.<br />

For more information visit https://www.fisglobal.com/en/cashflowand-capital/credit-and-collections<br />

or email getinfo@fisglobal.com.<br />


Hays Credit Management<br />

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN<br />

T: 07834 260029<br />

E: karen.young@hays.com<br />

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol<br />

Hays Credit Management is working in partnership with the CI<strong>CM</strong><br />

and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs and<br />

credit management jobs. Hays understands the demands of this<br />

challenging environment and the skills required to thrive within<br />

it. Whatever your needs, we have temporary, permanent and<br />

contract based opportunities to find your ideal role. Our candidate<br />

registration process is unrivalled, including face-to-face screening<br />

interviews and a credit control skills test developed exclusively for<br />

Hays by the CI<strong>CM</strong>. We offer CI<strong>CM</strong> members a priority service and<br />

can provide advice across a wide spectrum of job search and<br />

recruitment issues.<br />



Portfolio Credit Control<br />

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE<br />

T: 0207 650 3199<br />

E: recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

W: www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

Portfolio Credit Control, a 5* Trustpilot rated agency, solely<br />

specialises in the recruitment of Permanent, Temporary & Contract<br />

Credit Control, Accounts Receivable and Collections staff<br />

including remote workers. Part of The Portfolio Group, an awardwinning<br />

Recruiter, we speak to Credit Controllers every day and<br />

understand their skills meaning we are perfectly placed to provide<br />

your business with talented Credit Control professionals. Offering<br />

a highly tailored approach to recruitment, we use a hybrid of faceto-face<br />

and remote briefings, interviews and feedback options.<br />

We provide both candidates & clients with a commitment to deliver<br />

that will exceed your expectations every single time.<br />

FOR<br />





paul@centuryone.uk<br />

01727 739 196<br />

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CI<strong>CM</strong> Directory of Services<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 58

View our digital version online at www.cicm.com<br />

Log on to the Members’ area, and click on the tab labelled<br />

‘Credit Management magazine’<br />

Just another great reason to be a member<br />

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

CI<strong>CM</strong> membership, as well as additional subscribers<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient<br />

www.cicm.com | +44 (0)1780 722900 | editorial@cicm.com<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / May <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 59

Ethical and efficient debt recovery solutions to<br />

help organisations improve cash-flow, increase<br />

productivity and reduce overheads<br />

Debt<br />

Recovery<br />

Customer<br />

Care<br />

Receivables<br />

Management<br />

Business Support<br />

Services<br />

IT and Application<br />

Services<br />

Software<br />

Solutions<br />

01527 386 610<br />


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