Credit Management September 2023




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CM<br />

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




Can the ‘unsavable’<br />

companies still be saved?<br />

BNPL providers need to<br />

take more care in who they<br />

lend to and why. Page 22<br />

Will the new Consumer Duty<br />

really make a difference?<br />

Page 24

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Editor’s column<br />

Blowing the whistle<br />

on the new Consumer Duty<br />

ACCORDING to the recent<br />

Financial Lives survey by<br />

the Financial Conduct Authority<br />

(FCA), less than half<br />

of us have any confidence<br />

in our financial services<br />

providers, and only a third believe that<br />

banks, lenders, insurance providers etc are<br />

honest.<br />

I don’t know whether those figures surprise<br />

me based on my own experience of<br />

the financial services sector since becoming<br />

a grown-up 40 years ago, or whether<br />

they just depress me. Given that I’m not<br />

usually given to melancholy, I’ll stick to<br />

‘surprise’; actually, I thought the percentage<br />

would have been higher.<br />

I recall a hugely frustrating hour spent<br />

on the phone to NatWest a few years ago<br />

and steadily losing the plot, at which point<br />

I was told not to become ‘abusive’ for uttering<br />

the phrase ‘bloody hell’. Given the bank<br />

was a client of mine at the time I found this<br />

rather amusing, since I had written the<br />

script for its ‘abusive caller routine’ which<br />

I proceeded to trot out verbatim, much to<br />

the call handler’s consternation. I would<br />

have loved to have listened back to that<br />

interaction, assuming the bank had in fact<br />

carried out its threat of recording some<br />

calls ‘for training purposes’.<br />

But I digress. The FCA, in response to the<br />

slight upon its charge, has come up with<br />

the Consumer Duty which fundamentally<br />

requires firms to act in good faith towards<br />

retail customers, avoid foreseeable harm,<br />

and enable and support retail customers<br />

to pursue their financial objectives. The<br />

purpose, according to the FCA’s Sheldon<br />

Mills, is to build trust in the system, starting<br />

with basic customer communication<br />

(see article page 24). Under the Duty, firms<br />

will have to provide products which are fit<br />

for purpose, offer fair value and work as<br />

the customer expects. Brilliant.<br />

Some firms don’t know if the new Duty<br />

applies to them, and if it does, what they<br />

need to change. Others are much better<br />

prepared, and/or feel the latest initiative<br />

is little more than an extension of Treating<br />

Customers Fairly. My difficulty with the<br />

Duty is more fundamental than that.<br />

The FCA was created to protect consumers<br />

more than a decade ago. If consumers<br />

have less trust in the system than they have<br />

ever had before, then this has happened<br />

on the Authority’s watch. Trust evaporates<br />

very quickly and takes many years to rebuild.<br />

It should have been the very first<br />

thing on the FCA’s ‘to do’ list.<br />

But I doubt it will succeed. It will be<br />

much like the Football Association’s ‘Respect’<br />

campaign. They’ll tell you it has been<br />

a great success, but I have experienced its<br />

derisory failure first-hand and it was the<br />

reason I quit refereeing. They focus on the<br />

wrong things. It’s all smoke and mirrors.<br />

And history will repeat itself with the FCA.<br />

Expect in the next two years, a few minnows<br />

hung out to dry and made an example<br />

of, with much trumpet and fanfare to<br />

show how tough the FCA is being, while<br />

the big boys continue doing what they’ve<br />

always done. Plus ça change.<br />

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


<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> issue<br />

11 – PRE-PACKS<br />

How to protect against a second loss.<br />

12 – MAKING BETTER<br />

When the manufacturing sector is facing multiple<br />

headwinds, how do businesses invest and grow?<br />


The value of trade credit data in <strong>2023</strong> and<br />

the increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).<br />

22 – A BALANCING ACT<br />

BNPL providers need to take more care in who<br />

they lend to and why.<br />


Is the FCA’s new Consumer Duty a lot of fuss about<br />

nothing?<br />

26 – DOWN AND OUT?<br />

UK insolvencies reach highest level in 14 years.<br />


How the CICM trained the HMRC’s Fraud<br />

Investigation Service.<br />

34 – SCENIC BEAUTY<br />

Could the Philippines become a trillion-dollar<br />

economy?<br />

39 – QUESTION TIME<br />

Three important topics to ask your interviewer<br />

about.<br />


Unlocking corporate success by transforming credit<br />

and cashflow management.<br />


How the CICM Assessment Board is raising<br />

standards in the credit industry.<br />

26<br />


11<br />


Alexandra Davies discusses<br />

how to protect against a<br />

second loss.<br />

12<br />

MAKING<br />

BETTER<br />

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


President: Stephen Baister FCICM<br />

Chief Executive: Sue Chapple FCICM<br />

Executive Board: Chair Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad)<br />

Vice Chair: Phil Rice FCICM / Treasurer: Glen Bullivant FCICM<br />

Larry Coltman FCICM /Neil Jinks FCICM / Allan Poole MCICM<br />

Advisory Council: Caroline Asquith-Turnbull FCICM<br />

Laurie Beagle FCICM / Glen Bullivant FCICM<br />

Brendan Clarkson FCICM / Larry Coltman FCICM<br />

Peter Gent FCICM(Grad) / Victoria Herd FCICM(Grad)<br />

Andrew Hignett MCICM(Grad) / Laural Jefferies FCICM<br />

Neil Jinks FCICM/ Martin Kirby FCICM<br />

Charles Mayhew FCICM / Hans Meijer FCICM<br />

Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad) / Amanda Phelan MCICM(Grad)<br />

Allan Poole MCICM / Phil Rice FCICM / Phil Roberts FCICM<br />

Chris Sanders FCICM / Paula Swain FCICM<br />

Jamie Thornton MCICM / Mark Taylor MCICM<br />

Atul Vadher FCICM(Grad)<br />

16<br />

TAKING<br />


34<br />


Could the Philippines<br />

be a trillion-dollar<br />

economy in the<br />

making?<br />

View our digital version online at www.cicm.com.<br />

Log on to the Members’ area, and click on the<br />

tab labelled ‘<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> magazine.’<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> is distributed to the entire<br />

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as additional subscribers<br />

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Email: editorial@cicm.com<br />

Website: www.cicm.com<br />

CMM: www.creditmanagement.org.uk<br />

Managing Editor: Sean Feast FCICM<br />

Deputy Editor: Iona Yadallee<br />

Art Editor: Andrew Morris<br />

Telephone: 01780 722910<br />

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

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Joe Clarkson, Rob Howard, Melanie York<br />

and Alastair Bond<br />

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ISSN 0265-2099<br />

Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden without specific permission.<br />

Opinions expressed in this magazine do not, unless stated, reflect those<br />

of the Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>. The Editor reserves<br />

the right to abbreviate letters if necessary. The Institute is registered as a<br />

charity. The mark ‘<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>’ is a registered trade mark of the<br />

Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>.<br />

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

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

CMNEWS<br />

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

world of consumer and commercial credit.<br />

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM<br />

Survey highlights importance<br />

of the FCA’s Consumer Duty<br />

LESS than half of UK adults,<br />

or 21.9 million people, had<br />

confidence in the UK financial<br />

services industry and just<br />

36 percent agreed that<br />

most financial firms are honest and<br />

transparent in the way they treat them.<br />

These are the shocking findings of<br />

a report from The Financial Conduct<br />

Authority (FCA) which found that<br />

7.4 million people unsuccessfully<br />

attempted to contact one or more of<br />

their financial services providers in the<br />

12 months before May 2022, with the<br />

most vulnerable in society being most<br />

adversely affected.<br />

The FCA’s latest Financial Lives<br />

survey coincides with the introduction<br />

of the Consumer Duty which requires<br />

firms to act to deliver good outcomes<br />

for consumers and, in turn, help to<br />

improve trust and confidence in the<br />

financial services sector.<br />

Under the Duty, firms now have<br />

to provide helpful and responsive<br />

customer service – for example, it<br />

should be as easy to complain about or<br />

switch and cancel products or services<br />

as it was to buy them. They also need<br />

to equip their customers to make good<br />

decisions through communications<br />

people can understand, provided at the<br />

right time.<br />

Further duties include the need to<br />

provide products and services that<br />

meet consumers’ needs and work as<br />

expected, and an obligation to explain<br />

and justify their pricing decisions. This<br />

includes being able to demonstrate<br />

that rates offer fair value.<br />

Sheldon Mills, Executive Director,<br />

Consumers and Competition at the<br />

FCA said: “Times like this show why<br />

it is important people get the support<br />

they need as more people are likely<br />

turning to their financial services<br />

providers for help. Our Consumer<br />

Duty will guide our ongoing work<br />

to improve the way firms provide<br />

customer support - getting through to<br />

your provider is the starting point for<br />

receiving help, so we will be working<br />

with them to improve in this area.”<br />

The FCA claims that action since<br />

the start of the cost-of-living squeeze<br />

has already led to an increase in the<br />

amount of engagement lenders are<br />

having with their customers. Following<br />

conversations with firms and new<br />

guidance set by the FCA, lenders<br />

supported over two million mortgage<br />

customers to manage their finances<br />

in the past year, including through<br />

budgeting tools, access to debt advice,<br />

and tailored mortgage forbearance.<br />

The Authority admits, however, that<br />

there is still work to do: 4.9 million<br />

people who used firm communications<br />

to help them make a decision in the<br />

12 months before May 2022 found it<br />

did not help at all.<br />

The FCA’s survey also found that<br />

an increasing number of people<br />

are choosing to use digital banking,<br />

payments and other online services,<br />

with almost nine in ten adults (88<br />

percent or 42.9 million) banking online<br />

or using a mobile app in 2022, up from<br />

77 percent in 2017.<br />

While there is an increasing number<br />

of people regularly using digital<br />

services, the FCA recognises that many<br />

people are still heavy users of cash<br />

(six percent or 3.1 million) and reliant<br />

on face-to-face services. Through the<br />

Financial Services and Markets Act,<br />

the FCA will take on powers on access<br />

to cash and will expect firms to ensure<br />

that they meet all their customers'<br />

needs.<br />

See our article on page 22<br />

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


HMT hesitates in regulating<br />

BNPL amid consumer mistrust<br />

HM Treasury could be delaying plans to<br />

regulate the Buy Now Pay Later sector<br />

amid growing concerns from consumers<br />

as to the industry’s ethics.<br />

Research from NewDay suggests that<br />

only 16 percent of UK adults deem BNPL<br />

‘trustworthy’ and almost half worry that<br />

unregulated BNPL could get them into<br />

debt. More than three quarters say they<br />

would prefer a regulated BNPL option<br />

over an unregulated one even if that<br />

meant a longer application process<br />

Ian Corfield, Chief Commercial Officer<br />

at NewDay, says he is concerned that<br />

plans to regulate BNPL could be delayed<br />

even further: “Our research clearly<br />

shows that consumers would welcome<br />

TransUnion launches new<br />

paper on Consumer Duty<br />

TRANSUNION has published a new<br />

advisory paper, ‘Thriving in the Age of<br />

Consumer Duty: Strategies for Success,’<br />

to support businesses as they move into<br />

the new era of Consumer Duty.<br />

The new Consumer Duty regulation<br />

from the Financial Conduct Authority<br />

(FCA) requires firms within the financial<br />

services sector to prioritise customer<br />

needs and empower them to make<br />

informed financial decisions.<br />

TransUnion's report expands on<br />

four key areas of focus: Products and<br />

services outcome; Price and value<br />

outcome; Consumer understanding<br />

outcome; and consumer support<br />

outcome. In its spring <strong>2023</strong> survey,<br />

the FCA found that 64 percent of firms<br />

expect to be fully compliant with the<br />

new regulation by the 31 July, indicating<br />

that many companies are still in the<br />

process of amending their offering and<br />

will need ongoing support.<br />

The report is described as ‘delving<br />

into practical strategies, with data<br />

and insights at their core, to help<br />

ensure compliance, now and in the<br />

long-term’.<br />

Igniting CICMQ best practice<br />

THE Amey Group Services Ltd team, led<br />

by Hayley Earle ACICM, Head of <strong>Credit</strong><br />

& Collections, welcomed CICM Head of<br />

Accreditation, Karen Tuffs FCICM(Grad) to<br />

its iconic offices in Garston, Liverpool on<br />

18 July <strong>2023</strong> to receive its fourth CICMQ<br />

Best Practice Award. First accredited<br />

in 2015 and securing two subsequent<br />

accreditations in 2017 and 2019, Amey’s<br />

latest accolade was achieved with a new<br />

team, following relocation to Liverpool in<br />

2020.<br />

regulation to increase trust with BNPL<br />

products, expanding its appeal rather<br />

than stifling it. There is also consumer<br />

misunderstanding of BNPL as a form of<br />

credit, and its potential impact on credit<br />

scores.<br />

“At a time when consumers are facing<br />

increasing costs, consumer protections<br />

need to be strengthened not delayed.<br />

There are regulated equivalents to BNPL<br />

offering instalment finance out there<br />

already, proving that it can be done<br />

successfully without limiting options<br />

for consumers. Instead of delaying<br />

regulation, the roll-out should be brought<br />

forward, benefitting both consumers and<br />

the industry as a whole.”<br />

David Herd, Director of Amey Business<br />

Services and Samantha Vaughan,<br />

Head of Transaction Services, joined<br />

Hayley and the <strong>Credit</strong> & Collections<br />

team at the converted Mersey Match<br />

Factory, formerly used by Bryant and<br />

May, to celebrate the team’s successful<br />

re-accreditation, the first organisation<br />

to experience the refreshed CICMQ<br />

programme and receiving a Merit pass.<br />

Many congratulations to Amey Group<br />

Services.<br />

>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Government publishes<br />

review of personal<br />

insolvency<br />

THE Government has published a<br />

review of the personal insolvency<br />

framework, recognising shortcomings<br />

in the current regime and areas where<br />

it could evolve in order to better meet<br />

the needs of those who use and work<br />

with it.<br />

Nicky Fisher, President of R3,<br />

welcomed the need for reform: “It is<br />

clear from the many submissions<br />

to the Call for Evidence that this is<br />

a complex area, and we recognise it<br />

will take time to deliver a personal<br />

insolvency framework which works<br />

for everyone.<br />

“At a time when personal insolvency<br />

levels are rising and debt charities<br />

are reporting an increasing number<br />

of demands for their services and<br />

numbers of people in negative budgets,<br />

we need clear thinking and progress<br />

on this issue sooner rather than later.”<br />

Gayle Force<br />

BIBBY Financial Services, the<br />

invoice finance provider, has<br />

appointed Gayle Robertson as<br />

Business Development Manager as<br />

it continues to drive new business<br />

volumes throughout Scotland. With<br />

almost two decades of experience<br />

in banking and commercial finance,<br />

Gayle joins from Lloyds Banking<br />

Group where she spent 19 years<br />

supporting SMEs in both operational<br />

and sales roles. Her most recent<br />

role with the bank was Associate<br />

Director Invoice Finance.<br />

Benchmark CEO<br />

MICHAEL Crumpler has been<br />

appointed Chief Executive Officer of<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Benchmark, a global leader<br />

in the credit risk data and analytics<br />

space. Michael’s primary focus<br />

will be to guide <strong>Credit</strong> Benchmark<br />

through its next phase of growth by<br />

expanding its global client footprint<br />

in key strategic markets and further<br />

solidifying the company’s position<br />

as the provider of choice for unique<br />

and compelling credit risk products<br />

across capital markets. He will also<br />

be focused on building-out <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Benchmark’s analytics<br />

and product functions.<br />

Donal Smith, current<br />

CEO and Co-Founder,<br />

will be remaining<br />

on in his capacity as<br />

Executive Chairman.<br />

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

THE value of loans taken<br />

out from pawnbrokers has<br />

rocketed 41 percent in just a<br />

year, from £158m in 2021 to<br />

£223m in 2022 according to<br />

Mazars, the international audit, tax,<br />

and advisory firm.<br />

The figures also show that arrears<br />

on pawnbroker loans – high-interest<br />

loans secured with a personal item<br />

held as a guarantee - are also rising<br />

sharply, up 34 percent in 2022 to £57m<br />

from £42m in 2021.<br />

Mazars believes this means that<br />

many are at risk at forfeiting their<br />

personal items if they fall behind<br />

on payments. Interest rates on<br />

pawnbroker loans can typically reach<br />

120-160 percent APR.<br />

In pawnbroking loans, individuals<br />


Consumers turn to pawn as a<br />

short-term fix to money woes<br />

CICM teams up with TCN to help<br />

members improve telephone collections<br />

THE Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong> (CICM), the largest<br />

professional credit management<br />

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

new agreement with TCN, a leading<br />

provider of cloud-based call centre<br />

technology to enhance members’<br />

telephone collections capabilities.<br />

Through joint events, awards and<br />

content, the alliance will give CICM<br />

members access to valuable insights<br />

on the latest call centre technology for<br />

scaling their businesses effectively,<br />

as well as advice on best practice for<br />

maximising collections rates over the<br />

phone.<br />

give up their valuables in exchange<br />

for money with the option to reacquire<br />

the asset once the debt, plus interest, is<br />

paid. However, if the loan is not<br />

repaid in full on time, then the<br />

pawnbroker becomes the legal owner<br />

of the asset.<br />

Paul Rouse, Partner at Mazars, says<br />

the cost-of-living crisis has taken its<br />

toll, stretching people’s finances to<br />

the limit, and pushing an increasing<br />

number of people who can’t secure<br />

credit to scramble for money from<br />

high-interest options: “Spiralling<br />

inflation over the past year made it<br />

harder for people to stay on top of their<br />

bills, forcing some to take out shortterm<br />

loans to cover unexpectedly high<br />

costs,” he explains.<br />

“The cost-of-living crisis is taking<br />

TCN provides immediate access to<br />

robust call centre technology, including<br />

predictive dialling, IVR, call recording,<br />

and business analytics required to<br />

optimise operations and adhere to<br />

regulations. The company serves<br />

various Fortune 500 companies and<br />

enterprises in multiple industries,<br />

including the debt collection sector.<br />

Sue Chapple FCICM, Chief Executive<br />

of the CICM says the partnership will<br />

help enhance one of the Institute’s key<br />

offerings: “We’re delighted to partner<br />

with TCN whose products and services<br />

will greatly complement our extensive<br />

courses and webinars dedicated<br />

a big bite out of household finances.<br />

An increasing amount of people are<br />

finding that they need quick access<br />

to small loans to keep up with rising<br />

costs and are being forced to turn to<br />

pawnbrokers.”<br />

Paul says this upward trend should<br />

be concerning: “In the short term it<br />

is a sign that too many people are<br />

struggling. It’s even more worrying in<br />

the longer term, with no end currently<br />

in sight to the period of elevated<br />

interest rates.”<br />

The FCA has tightened its<br />

restrictions on high-cost consumer<br />

credit, such as doorstep lending. This<br />

has led to a surge in growth among<br />

pawnbrokers as many with weaker<br />

credit histories sought short-term<br />

loans.<br />

to improving members’ telephone<br />

collection techniques and skills.<br />

“TCN is widely recognised as one<br />

of the best technology providers in<br />

the credit industry for its industry<br />

specialised services. Its award-winning<br />

features, such as Manually Approved<br />

Calling and Predictive Dialler, have<br />

enabled collection departments to<br />

significantly improve their collection<br />

rates. We look forward to strengthening<br />

our resources with this expertise.”<br />

Spencer Taylor, Regional Head of<br />

Sales for TCN EU & Eire, says that the<br />

alliance enables TCN to promote the<br />

credit and collections industry and<br />

enhance CICM’s training programmes:<br />

"We are delighted to become Corporate<br />

Partners of the CICM and help it<br />

maintain its leadership position within<br />

the credit management industry. TCN's<br />

approach with clients has always been<br />

one of collaboration and education, so<br />

our values align well with those of the<br />

CICM and its services to its members.<br />

"We are supportive of the industry<br />

becoming more professional, and<br />

through this partnership, we hope to<br />

help highlight the sector as a good<br />

career choice. Dialler technology is<br />

now more commonplace, but many<br />

businesses are yet to use it to its full<br />

potential. We want to help change<br />

that, irrespective of which platform<br />

a business has chosen to deploy."<br />

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


>NEWS<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Think Tank hears ‘collusion’<br />

risk is on the rise.<br />

FRAUD is on the rise as a small number<br />

of businesses look to take advantage<br />

of ‘circumstances’ and a lack of<br />

enforcement to make off with their<br />

ill-gotten gains.<br />

Ant Persse, CEO of Optimum Finance,<br />

says that collusion is a particular risk:<br />

“Collusion – where the client and the<br />

customer are colluding or are even the<br />

same person and creating an entirely<br />

fictitious relationship – is on the rise,”<br />

he told a CICM Think Tank in August.<br />

“It means having to undertake a<br />

thorough review of a client’s customer<br />

portfolio including personal site visits.”<br />

Fraud resulting from ‘fresh air<br />

invoicing’ – where no goods or services<br />

have been provided – or payments<br />

into a client account as opposed to<br />

the Invoice Finance provider’s Trust<br />

account (a fraud known as ‘Direct<br />

Banking’) are also a problem, although<br />

Open Banking and enhanced debtor<br />

verification to confirm an invoice is<br />

accurate and fair are helping.<br />

Ant says that despite the challenge<br />

of fraud, the popularity of Invoice<br />

Finance as an essential cashflow<br />

“Spiralling<br />

inflation over the<br />

past year made it<br />

harder for people<br />

to stay on top of<br />

their bills, forcing<br />

some to take<br />

out short-term<br />

loans to cover<br />

unexpectedly high<br />

costs.”<br />

funding tool is on the rise and the<br />

future opportunity is significant: “We’re<br />

currently accepting around 90 percent<br />

of funding applications,” Ant says, “and<br />

the businesses we do decline is often<br />

because a potential fraud or irregularity<br />

has been detected.”<br />

He says industry growth could be<br />

higher if there was greater awareness:<br />

“Anecdotally at a recent business<br />

conference, only around 40 percent<br />

of those present knew about Invoice<br />

Finance. We could do more to raise<br />

awareness and help ourselves by<br />

reducing unnecessary complexity and<br />

jargon, with different providers using<br />

different ways of explaining the same<br />

thing.<br />

“Invoice Finance is not complex,<br />

neither is it a dark art, neither is it<br />

particularly expensive with costs being<br />

comparable to other lending products<br />

and with an additional portfolio of<br />

services available. If every firm eligible<br />

for Invoice Finance took advantage of<br />

the facility, something like £150bn in<br />

cash could be unlocked to support the<br />

economic recovery.”<br />

“It means having to undertake a thorough<br />

review of a client’s customer portfolio<br />

including personal site visits.”<br />

Missed payments<br />

THE number of people missing<br />

payments on essential household<br />

bills like energy, phone and water<br />

is as high as it was over the<br />

winter. According to consumer<br />

group Which? around 2.4 million<br />

households missed at least one bill<br />

payment in the month to mid-July.<br />

More than three quarters of a million<br />

(770,000) failed to make mortgage or<br />

rent payments, the group says. In a<br />

monthly online poll of around 2,000<br />

respondents, almost nine percent<br />

of households missed at least one<br />

bill payment in July; in January that<br />

figure was closer to eight percent.<br />

The figure for missed bill payments<br />

had fallen back slightly in May and<br />

June but rose again in July.<br />

Bullivant given lifetime<br />

achievement award<br />

GLEN Bullivant FCICM has been<br />

recognised by the Federation of<br />

European <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

Associations (FECMA) with a lifetime<br />

achievement award.<br />

Receiving the award at FECMA’s fifth<br />

annual conference in Athens in June,<br />

Glen told <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> magazine<br />

that his passion for his profession has<br />

not diminished with age or the passage<br />

of time: “The receipt of such prestigious<br />

recognition from FECMA only serves<br />

to reinvigorate my efforts to continue<br />

to promote the profession, CICM and<br />

FECMA,” he said.<br />

“I have long maintained that the UK<br />

leads the way and our friends across the<br />

Channel look to us for ideas, inspiration<br />

and support. The truth is more likely to<br />

be a recognition on their part that I am<br />

still breathing in and out. Nevertheless,<br />

it is an honour and I will fly the flag<br />

in Dusseldorf in October, Budapest in<br />

November and Malta next April.”<br />

The lifetime achievement award<br />

is given to members who have made<br />

a remarkable contribution to the<br />

development and implementation of<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> in Europe. The first<br />

one was awarded to Oswald<br />

Royaards in Budapest in<br />

2013. Other recipients have<br />

included Jim Logue in<br />

Brussels (2015), and Bernd<br />

Weiss in Malta (2018).<br />

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

AS households continue<br />

to grapple with the costof-living<br />

crisis, there is a<br />

rising risk of fraudsters<br />

targeting already vulnerable<br />

consumers looking to cover the cost of<br />

spending over the summer period.<br />

New research from the FCA has<br />

found that over half of UK adults<br />

(55 percent) are more worried about<br />

personal finances than they were last<br />

year. And it means there is a rising risk<br />

of fraud.<br />

Rising food (63 percent) and energy<br />

costs (53 percent) were cited as the<br />

biggest concerns. However, summer<br />

related spending is compounding this,<br />

with entertainment costs (24 percent),<br />

and summer holidays (22 percent)<br />

being the next most prominent<br />

financial worries. And while 46 percent<br />

of UK adults have gone or plan to go<br />

away this year on a summer holiday,<br />

more than a third (35 percent) are<br />


FCA warns against prevalence<br />

of Loan Fee Fraud<br />

worried about how they are going<br />

to pay for it. This is driving many to<br />

fund summer spending either through<br />

savings or credit. According to the<br />

research, 18 percent of consumers will<br />

use savings to fund summer spending,<br />

and 12 percent are turning to credit<br />

cards. With 24 percent of consumers<br />

turning to credit or loans to fund<br />

additional summer related spending,<br />

loan fee fraudsters could use this as<br />

an opportunity to steal money from<br />

consumers.<br />

When asked how they plan to fund<br />

their spending, 21 percent of parents<br />

responded that they either had already,<br />

or were planning to, take out a loan<br />

to cover cost. Other areas of concern<br />

included the costs associated of having<br />

children at home for the summer (32<br />

percent), funding summer related<br />

activities for children (24 percent) and<br />

back to school costs (24 percent).<br />

Loan fee fraud - where a consumer<br />

pays a fee for a loan they never receive<br />

– typically results in a £260 loss.<br />

This type of fraud usually peaks in<br />

the summer months and is growing<br />

year-on-year. The FCA’s data shows<br />

that last summer, there was a 26<br />

percent increase in complaints from<br />

consumers who had fallen victim to<br />

loan fee fraud compared to 2021.<br />

Steve Smart, Executive Director of<br />

Enforcement and Market Oversight,<br />

at the FCA says that summer<br />

spending comes at a time of enhanced<br />

vulnerability for many: “For fraudsters,<br />

this provides the perfect opportunity to<br />

take advantage of people considering<br />

how to make ends meet,” he explains.<br />

The FCA urges consumers looking<br />

for a loan to do the three-step check to<br />

protect themselves from scams: ignore<br />

cold calls or unsolicited emails; don’t<br />

pay upfront; and be dubious if asked<br />

to act quickly or unusually. In any of<br />

these scenarios, it could be a scam.<br />

UK’s hospitality businesses<br />

being let down by Government<br />

THE majority of the UK’s hospitality<br />

businesses believe the industry is<br />

overlooked by the Government.<br />

A survey by Peckwater Brands of 250<br />

decision-makers in senior management<br />

positions within UK hospitality<br />

businesses (restaurants, takeaways,<br />

cafés and bars). It found that over threefifths<br />

(62 percent) of UK hospitality<br />

businesses believe their sector<br />

receives less support and attention<br />

from the Government than other<br />

industries.<br />

This comes as many hospitality<br />

business struggle with rising overheads,<br />

staff shortages and falling consumer<br />

spending, leading 4,600 to close their<br />

doors in the 12 months leading up to<br />

March <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

When asked what support could<br />

be beneficial to the sector, 28 percent<br />

of businesses believe employment<br />

incentive programmes would make<br />

a positive difference, with 21 percent<br />

wanting additional visa opportunities<br />

for foreign workers who could work in<br />

hospitality.<br />

Two in five (40 percent) would<br />

welcome an extension of energy bill<br />

relief, while 36 percent would like to see<br />

the return of ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ or a<br />

similar initiative. In a move to cut costs,<br />

48 percent have renegotiated with or<br />

changed their supplier in the past year,<br />

with a further 44 percent planning on<br />

doing so in the next 12 months.<br />

Sam Martin, CEO of Peckwater<br />

Brands, says it’s no secret that<br />

the current economic climate for<br />

hospitality businesses is brutal:<br />

“Between skyrocketing costs, huge<br />

staffing challenges and lower demand<br />

as customers tighten their purse<br />

strings, many businesses feel they can’t<br />

catch a break following the hardship of<br />

the pandemic.<br />

“Signs that food price inflation is<br />

starting to fall may be welcome among<br />

business owners, but our research still<br />

shows they believe external support is<br />

the key to returning to their rightful prepandemic<br />

status.<br />

“While favourable taxes, support<br />

schemes and legislation would<br />

undoubtedly benefit hospitality<br />

businesses, such intervention is not<br />

guaranteed. So, decision-makers must<br />

remain prepared to seek out solutions<br />

themselves. Embracing innovation and<br />

optimisation could be the thing that<br />

separates the businesses which prosper<br />

in the future and those that don’t.”<br />

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




How to protect against a second loss.<br />

AUTHOR – Alexandra Davies<br />

WHEN a customer<br />

enters into an<br />

Administration,<br />

it is often a<br />

worrying time<br />

for creditors, but<br />

receiving a proposal explaining that<br />

a pre-packaged sale of the customer’s<br />

business has taken place, brings an<br />

additional dilemma. Should they<br />

continue trading with the new entity<br />

or not?<br />

In most cases, a trade creditor would<br />

find out that one of their customers had<br />

entered into an Administration when<br />

they receive a letter and set of proposals<br />

from the Administrator. If the insolvent<br />

business has completed a pre-packaged<br />

sale, with the same director or directors<br />

at the helm of the new company,<br />

creditors should receive a detailed<br />

explanation of why this course of action<br />

has been taken within seven days of the<br />

commencement of the Administration.<br />

Consider proposals with care<br />

The proposals received by the creditor<br />

should provide a detailed explanation<br />

and justification of why the prepackaged<br />

sale was undertaken and why<br />

other alternatives were not appropriate.<br />

They should also include information<br />

about the marketing campaign that was<br />

carried out and the sale price achieved.<br />

If a previously connected party has<br />

purchased the insolvent company out of<br />

Administration, then the Administrator<br />

must include Statement of Insolvency<br />

Practice (SIP) 16 disclosures, providing<br />

further details of why the business has<br />

been sold to them.<br />

For creditors, deciding whether or<br />

not to continue trading with the new<br />

company, and if so, on what terms,<br />

can present a real dilemma. On the<br />

one hand, if creditors are willing<br />

to cut their losses and accept that<br />

existing debts may never be paid in<br />

full, there could be an opportunity to<br />

protect future revenues by continuing<br />

to trade with the new entity. On the<br />

other hand, there is always the risk that<br />

the new entity could fail for a second<br />

time, driving up losses even further.<br />

Avoiding a second loss<br />

There are steps that creditors can<br />

take to mitigate the risk of a second<br />

loss, however. For example, if they<br />

decide to continue to trade with the<br />

new company, they may wish to ask<br />

the director for a personal guarantee.<br />

This would allow them to pursue the<br />

director personally for any money they<br />

were owed if the new company were<br />

also to be placed into an insolvency<br />

process.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong>ors could also consider<br />

requesting payment on delivery, so<br />

there would never be an outstanding<br />

invoice and no credit would be given<br />

to the new company. Alternatively, they<br />

could reduce the payment terms, so<br />

that the new company would need to<br />

pay all outstanding invoices within a<br />

shorter period than usually credit terms<br />

given. Therefore, if they fail to meet the<br />

reduce payment terms, the account can<br />

be placed on hold, mitigating the risk<br />

of large outstanding sums being owed.<br />

In summary, if a customer is involved<br />

in a pre-packaged Administration, it<br />

doesn’t have to be the end of your trading<br />

relationship. By taking the necessary<br />

precautions and seeking reassurances<br />

that the new company is doing things<br />

differently this time, it may be possible<br />

to protect future revenues and mitigate<br />

the risk of a second loss.<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 />

Alexandra Davies is a senior manager in<br />

the business recovery team at accountancy<br />

firm, Menzies LLP.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong>ors could<br />

also consider<br />

requesting payment<br />

on delivery, so there<br />

would never be an<br />

outstanding invoice<br />

and no credit would<br />

be given to the new<br />

company.<br />

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


Making Better<br />

When the manufacturing sector is facing multiple<br />

headwinds, how do businesses invest and grow?<br />

AUTHOR – Gareth Anderson<br />

BANKS and the lending<br />

community have a vital<br />

role to play in supporting<br />

the UK’s economic recovery,<br />

and this is especially<br />

true in the manufacturing<br />

sector. They need to continue to innovate<br />

and adapt products to match the needs of<br />

established small- to medium-sized enterprises<br />

(SMEs) and deliver levels of service<br />

and support to ensure customers maximise<br />

the leverage available to them.<br />

This support requires not only a proximity<br />

to the customers they serve, but<br />

also being able to demonstrate a deep understanding<br />

of the challenges their customers<br />

face. And the UK manufacturing<br />

sector currently faces a number of headwinds<br />

that show no immediate signs of<br />

abating.<br />

Heading backwards<br />

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI),<br />

compiled by S&P Global, gives a monthly<br />

figure to gauge the overall health of the<br />

economy by analysing GDP, inflation,<br />

exports, capacity utilisation, employment<br />

and inventories. Any score above 50.0<br />

shows an economy in positive health;<br />

under 50.0, and the economy is effectively<br />

heading backwards.<br />

Whereas the composite PMI score was<br />

positive (at 54.0), manufacturing was in<br />

the negative (47.1). Of greater concern,<br />

is that 47.1 represents a drop from the<br />

previous month (47.8) and trails a period<br />

of continual decline. It means that based<br />

on such vital measurements as new<br />

orders, output, employment, supplier<br />

delivery times, and stock of items<br />

purchased, the manufacturing sector is<br />

contracting. (Source – Markit/CIPS UK<br />

Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’<br />

Index May <strong>2023</strong>).<br />

The statistics lay bare the pressures<br />

that manufacturers are under. Weaker<br />

demand combined with mounting costs<br />

are creating a near perfect storm, and<br />

the economy is staring down the barrel<br />

of stagflation brought about by rising<br />

prices, a stubborn inflation rate and only<br />

sluggish growth. A full recession may<br />

be avoidable, but with expected growth<br />

only just hovering above 0.1 percent, it<br />

wouldn’t take much of a shock for the<br />

economy to go into reverse. Pressures on<br />

costs – not least the rising cost of energy –<br />

There will be those<br />

manufacturers, for<br />

example, who have<br />

yet to really think<br />

about investing<br />

in more energy<br />

efficient processes<br />

or buildings, and<br />

the positive impact<br />

this can have on<br />

their bottom line.<br />

are joined by other challenges conspiring<br />

to make a difficult situation worse. Whilst<br />

wholesale energy prices have come down<br />

from their peak in the summer, many<br />

businesses still find themselves paying<br />

considerably more for their electricity<br />

and gas than they were two years ago.<br />

Raw material supply challenges are<br />

also continuing, with a shift away from<br />

low-cost global supply chains towards<br />

regional and cluster-focused supply<br />

chains driven by the need for greater<br />

reliability: companies are near shoring,<br />

bringing manufacturing closer to the<br />

point of demand and localising supply.<br />

Vicious circle<br />

As manufacturers adapt their supply<br />

chains, the competition for resources<br />

and raw materials has intensified, and<br />

some materials continue to be in short<br />

supply. Resource shortages naturally<br />

push up prices and creates something of<br />

a vicious circle, obliging manufactures<br />

to secondary source where possible<br />

and find alternative suppliers. This is<br />

easier said than done, however, and in<br />

some industries – especially those that<br />

are tightly regulated – it is not a simple<br />

case of swapping out one material or<br />

product for another. There are also<br />

investments required in re-tooling and<br />

the re-engineering of processes that<br />

result.<br />

Global uncertainty has also brought<br />

about cost inflation. In the short term,<br />

this impact can only be mitigated through<br />

‘quick win’ productivity improvements<br />

or price increases. In the longer term,<br />

customers and consumers may have to<br />

accept that higher supply chain costs are<br />

a necessity to achieve greater reliability;<br />

and this will likely translate into higher<br />

prices.<br />

In the UK, growth will depend on the<br />

long-term impact of Brexit and future<br />

trade agreements, as well as having the<br />

right incentives in place. Lead times have<br />

slowed between the UK and mainland<br />

Europe since Brexit, making the UK a less<br />

attractive place to locate manufacturing.<br />

Those who do manufacture are frustrated<br />

by barriers and frictions that increase<br />

their cost to trade, making it harder to<br />

export the good they make, and import<br />

the materials they need to keep the<br />

production lines rolling.<br />

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

Manufacturers that<br />

have built resilience<br />

into their business<br />

models and who<br />

can flex and adapt<br />

with the challenge of<br />

uncertainty still create<br />

opportunities.<br />

Supply chain issues are not likely to<br />

disappear any time soon. Indeed, a State<br />

of Manufacturing Report by Essentra<br />

PLC earlier this year suggests that almost<br />

two thirds (60 percent) of manufacturers<br />

expect supply chain issues to last for at<br />

least another five years. Agile planning,<br />

it suggests, and effective processes to<br />

manage and respond to unforeseen<br />

supply chain challenges will need to<br />

become the ‘norm’, not the exception,<br />

and will become a driver of competitive<br />

advantage.<br />

Staff shortages<br />

To the material and supply chain<br />

difficulties are added the challenge of<br />

talent and recruitment. Put simply, a tight<br />

labour market is making the recruitment<br />

and retention of good people increasingly<br />

problematic.<br />

COVID prompted many to leave the<br />

sector, never to return, (some suggest as<br />

many as 200,000 have left manufacturing<br />

since 2010, down from 2.9 million to 2.7<br />

million today), and a new generation<br />

of employees simply don’t want to<br />

work in manufacturing. Partly this is<br />

because manufacturing has an image<br />

problem, but also the emergence of a gig<br />

economy has changed the way people<br />

work and their expectations for future<br />

employment. Those who are engaged<br />

can demand greater salaries, not only<br />

because their talents are in short supply,<br />

but also because inflation requires their<br />

salaries to increase so their wages don’t go<br />

backwards.<br />

Geo-political uncertainties also need<br />

to be factored into the general state of<br />

play: the UK/EU trading relationship,<br />

for example, is still unclear; China/<br />

US relations – notwithstanding recent<br />

meetings – are a challenge; and the<br />

Ukraine/Russia crisis shows no sign of<br />

being resolved any time soon. As one<br />

commentator recently wrote, the very<br />

benign days of the last 10 years are behind<br />

us, and to each of these challenges, all<br />

manufacturers can do is react.<br />

The need for certainty<br />

What all manufacturers need right<br />

now, however, is certainty. They want to<br />

see a formalised and agreed Industrial<br />

Strategy from the Government and they<br />

want to see decisive action in bringing<br />

inflation under control and interest rates<br />

to a more sustainable level. Whereas<br />

consumers have been alerted to interest<br />

rate hikes only comparatively recently,<br />

manufacturers have been sensitive to<br />

them for some time. When interest rates<br />

rise, investing in new plant, machinery or<br />

premises becomes far less attractive as the<br />

cost of borrowing increases, stretching<br />

the return-on-investment horizon to a<br />

place many don’t want to go.<br />

It would be wholly wrong, however,<br />

to characterise all of UK manufacturing<br />

as being in a state of stagnation or even<br />

decline. In any market, where there are<br />

those who lose, there are others who win,<br />

and the winners are especially those who<br />

have pivoted their businesses to focus on<br />

many of the ‘newer’ industries involving<br />

electrification and similar ‘Green’ technologies.<br />

Indeed, many of those businesses<br />

are in rude health, and will be key to<br />

returning the UK to more positive growth.<br />

Manufacturers that have built resilience<br />

into their business models and who can<br />

flex and adapt with the challenge of<br />

uncertainty still create opportunities.<br />

No SME ever says they want to stand<br />

still; every manufacturer is looking to<br />

grow, and for that they must have the<br />

confidence to invest.<br />

This is where the banks come in, not<br />

only to provide the money, but also the<br />

knowledge and the connections to help<br />

build a sustainable business.<br />

There will be those manufacturers, for<br />

example, who have yet to really think<br />

about investing in more energy efficient<br />

processes or buildings, and the positive<br />

impact this can have on their bottom line.<br />

There are others who have never borrowed<br />

in their lives, and perhaps even fear<br />

debt, and yet could benefit significantly<br />

from borrowing to invest in new energy<br />

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


AUTHOR – Gareth Anderson<br />

efficient technology that would not only improve their<br />

production capacity, but also reduce costs to such an<br />

extent that it delivers a timely and tangible return on<br />

investment. Debt is not for everyone, but for profitable<br />

businesses, with a healthy balance sheet, and a very<br />

clear plan of what that borrowing is going to fund and<br />

the return they can expect it can be a sound business<br />

decision.<br />

Shifting models<br />

As well as investing in plant and machinery,<br />

manufacturers may also be looking to shift their<br />

model of leasing their premises to acquiring their<br />

own. Again, it may not be for everyone, but taking on a<br />

commercial mortgage to acquire a new, more modern<br />

premises that has been built specifically with the<br />

purpose of being more energy efficient can similarly<br />

be transformative.<br />

Getting started can be a headache. Manufacturers<br />

may recognise a direction of travel towards a greener,<br />

more energy efficient future, but are not sure how to<br />

get there. Again, this is where banks can step in, not<br />

as ESG consultants, but rather by embracing their<br />

wider relationships and working collectively and<br />

collaboratively with their customers and partners to<br />

deliver more holistic solutions.<br />

It is not enough for banks simply to be order<br />

takers. The more successful banks are those with<br />

Relationship Managers in the field who take the time<br />

to better understand their customers, the people<br />

behind the business, their motivations and ideas, and<br />

their strategies for future growth. Then it is about<br />

connecting them to a wider ecosystem that can help<br />

them improve supply chain efficiencies, find new<br />

business opportunities, and deliver the funding they<br />

need to grow.<br />

Throughout COVID, many manufacturers stockpiled<br />

large amounts of cash – cash that is now sitting in a<br />

bank account, earning nothing and doing less. Whereas<br />

banks may have increased their interest rates on<br />

their savings products, current accounts and instant<br />

access accounts have remained flat.<br />

This has presented a huge opportunity for the<br />

challenger banks, and Allica Bank in particular, which<br />

recently launched its own business current account<br />

paying three percent interest without any penalties<br />

for early withdrawal, or limits on what can/cannot<br />

be taken out. For a manufacturer with £1 million in<br />

the bank, that’s £15,000 in interest earned while the<br />

money sits there, perhaps ring-fenced to pay a future<br />

HMRC bill or as a deposit for some new machinery.<br />

Even as recently as five years ago, we would not<br />

have been having conversations with manufacturers<br />

about their savings or excess cash balances. But times<br />

have changed, and the smarter banks have changed<br />

with them. Standing still is in fact going backwards.<br />

Supporting established SMEs with a comprehensive<br />

portfolio of asset finance, commercial mortgage, and<br />

current account products complemented by a network<br />

of Relationship Managers who truly get under the skin<br />

of the businesses they support will be key in moving<br />

the needle of a future PMI index in the right direction.<br />

Throughout COVID,<br />

many manufacturers<br />

stockpiled large<br />

amounts of cash –<br />

cash that is now sitting<br />

in a bank account,<br />

earning nothing and<br />

doing less.<br />

Gareth Anderson is Head of<br />

Business <strong>Management</strong> for Allica Bank.<br />

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

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08450 999 666<br />

www.hcegroup.co.uk<br />

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



The value of trade credit data in <strong>2023</strong> and<br />

the increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).<br />

AUTHOR – Craig Evans<br />

THERE are currently<br />

2,552,674 companies that<br />

have an account period end<br />

date in 2022, and 1,055,190<br />

companies have an account<br />

period end date in 2021.<br />

So it’s no wonder why the value of trade<br />

credit data is currently being questioned.<br />

Combining the statistics, with the<br />

fact that the latter is really showing the<br />

financial position of a company during<br />

the COVID years, then it’s value could well<br />

be argued against…or is it?<br />

Trade credit data plays a crucial role<br />

in assessing the risk associated with<br />

a particular business or entity. When<br />

evaluating the creditworthiness and risk<br />

profile of a company, financial accounts<br />

data still provides highly valuable insights<br />

into the trend and previous performance<br />

regarding financial stability and in terms<br />

of its weighting on most credit information<br />

providers score cards, remains the highest<br />

weighted value.<br />

Historical financial information<br />

provides insights into how a company<br />

has performed in the past and is used<br />

to predict future performance or risk.<br />

Risk assessment requires a forwardlooking<br />

perspective to anticipate potential<br />

challenges and opportunities that may<br />

impact a company's financial stability and<br />

credit worthiness.<br />

So what are risk assessment teams<br />

doing today to understand the current<br />

financial position of a company in order to<br />

underwrite credit lines?<br />

Future modelling<br />

In my experience, many teams have<br />

now made the leap toward forecasting/<br />

modelling, by using more current data<br />

obtained directly from the client, in order<br />

to forecast/model the latest financials<br />

against.<br />

Scoring models and their methodology<br />

should be robust enough to accurately<br />

predict risks regardless of the ingestion<br />

of data. The currency of the data just<br />

means that the outcomes are much more<br />

enhanced and predictive, due to the<br />

advanced age of the data being input.<br />

While current and historic financial<br />

information is important for analysing<br />

risk, there are several issues and<br />

limitations associated with relying solely<br />

on financial data.<br />

The business environment is dynamic,<br />

The future of<br />

AI in financial<br />

risk assessment<br />

holds immense<br />

potential for<br />

transforming the<br />

way organisations<br />

identify, analyse,<br />

and mitigate risks.<br />

and industry conditions, regulations,<br />

and market trends can significantly<br />

affect a company's risk profile. Historical<br />

data alone may not capture the impact<br />

of these external factors or the ability<br />

of the company to adapt to changing<br />

circumstances.<br />

Financial statements, while essential,<br />

do not provide a comprehensive view of<br />

a company's risk. Other non-financial<br />

factors, such as market reputation,<br />

management quality, competitive<br />

landscape, and legal or regulatory issues,<br />

also contribute to overall risk but may<br />

not be fully reflected in historic financial<br />

data.<br />

Also, financial statements can be subject<br />

to manipulation or misrepresentation,<br />

intentionally or unintentionally.<br />

Accounting practices, reporting<br />

standards, and auditing procedures may<br />

vary across companies and jurisdictions,<br />

leading to inconsistencies or inaccuracies<br />

in the financial data. Relying solely on<br />

historical financial information may not<br />

uncover such discrepancies, potentially<br />

leading to an inaccurate risk assessment.<br />

Historical financial data may not<br />

adequately account for extraordinary<br />

events or black swan events that can<br />

significantly impact a company's risk<br />

profile. Examples include natural<br />

disasters, economic crises, or global<br />

pandemics, which can have severe<br />

consequences on financial stability<br />

and disrupt traditional risk assessment<br />

models.<br />

However, it’s not all about just the<br />

financials. The latest accounts form<br />

a basis for risk assessment, but other<br />

indicators and factors also play a part.<br />

Further indicators<br />

Payment information includes<br />

information about a company's payment<br />

history with its suppliers and trade<br />

partners. It tracks how promptly the<br />

company pays its bills and whether there<br />

have been any instances of late payments<br />

or defaults. A consistent pattern of timely<br />

payments suggests financial stability and<br />

lower risk, while frequent late payments<br />

or defaults raise concerns about the<br />

company's financial health.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> utilisation is also a useful tool as<br />

it reveals the extent to which a company<br />

utilises its available credit. High credit<br />

utilisation may indicate a heavy reliance<br />

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

This augmentation of human<br />

decision making with AI<br />

technologies enhances the<br />

accuracy and efficiency of risk<br />

assessment processes.<br />

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

continues on page 18<br />



AUTHOR – Craig Evans<br />

on credit, potentially straining the company's<br />

financial resources. It suggests that the<br />

company may have limited cash flow and<br />

could face difficulties in meeting its payment<br />

obligations, increasing the risk of default.<br />

Benchmarking and comparing a company's<br />

payment behaviour with others in the same<br />

industry, also helps assess how well a company<br />

performs relative to its peers, identifying<br />

potential risks or strengths. If a company<br />

consistently lags behind industry standards in<br />

terms of payment timeliness, it may indicate<br />

financial difficulties or operational challenges.<br />

To overcome these limitations, it is important<br />

to supplement historical financial information<br />

with other sources of data and analysis. This<br />

can include forward-looking projections,<br />

qualitative assessments, industry research,<br />

remodelling using current data, and real-time<br />

monitoring of a company's financial health<br />

and market conditions. Combining these<br />

approaches provides a more comprehensive<br />

and accurate understanding of the risks<br />

associated with a particular business entity in<br />

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

Artificial Intelligence<br />

Also, the advent of AI has started to transform<br />

the field of financial risk assessment. As AI<br />

continues to evolve, its potential to revolutionise<br />

and enhance financial decision-making is<br />

becoming increasingly evident. By harnessing<br />

the power of machine learning, data analytics,<br />

and predictive modelling, the future of AI holds<br />

immense promise in improving the accuracy,<br />

efficiency, and effectiveness of financial risk<br />

assessment.<br />

AI empowers financial institutions to analyse<br />

vast volumes of data in real time, enabling<br />

more comprehensive risk assessments.<br />

Machine learning algorithms can quickly<br />

identify complex patterns, relationships, and<br />

anomalies within financial data, providing<br />

valuable insights into potential risks. With AI,<br />

financial risk assessment can leverage a wide<br />

range of data sources, including structured and<br />

unstructured data, to obtain a holistic view of<br />

risk factors and make informed decisions.<br />

The future of AI in financial risk assessment<br />

lies in the development of sophisticated<br />

risk models. AI algorithms can learn from<br />

historical data to improve risk prediction,<br />

incorporating a broader set of variables and<br />

factors. By leveraging techniques such as deep<br />

learning and neural networks, AI models can<br />

capture nonlinear relationships and complex<br />

dependencies, allowing for more accurate risk<br />

modelling. This advanced modelling capability<br />

enables organisations to better anticipate and<br />

mitigate a wide range of financial risks.<br />

One of the significant advantages of AI<br />

in financial risk assessment is the ability to<br />

monitor risks in real-time. AI-powered systems<br />

can continuously analyse vast streams of data,<br />

including market conditions, news feeds, social<br />

media, and economic indicators, to identify<br />

emerging risks promptly. This proactive<br />

risk monitoring allows organizations to take<br />

immediate actions and implement timely risk<br />

mitigation strategies, minimizing potential<br />

losses.<br />

Complying with regulatory frameworks<br />

and maintaining adherence to complex<br />

financial regulations is a critical aspect of risk<br />

management. AI technologies, such as natural<br />

language processing and machine learning,<br />

enable automated monitoring and analysis<br />

of regulatory changes. AI-powered systems<br />

can help financial institutions interpret<br />

and implement compliance requirements<br />

efficiently, reducing the risk of non-compliance<br />

and associated penalties.<br />

Scenario analysis<br />

AI facilitates advanced scenario analysis and<br />

stress testing, which are essential in assessing<br />

the resilience of financial portfolios. By<br />

simulating various hypothetical scenarios<br />

and stress tests, AI models can evaluate<br />

the potential impact of adverse events on<br />

portfolios and identify vulnerabilities. This<br />

capability enables organisations to develop<br />

robust risk mitigation strategies, enhance<br />

portfolio diversification, and optimize asset<br />

allocation based on comprehensive risk<br />

assessments.<br />

Fraud, also, remains a significant concern.<br />

AI-powered predictive analytics can identify<br />

patterns and anomalies associated with<br />

fraudulent activities, helping organisations<br />

detect and prevent fraudulent transactions<br />

in real-time. Machine learning algorithms<br />

continuously learn from new data, improving<br />

the accuracy of fraud detection and reducing<br />

false positives, thereby safeguarding financial<br />

assets and maintaining trust.<br />

AI serves as a powerful decision support tool<br />

for financial risk assessment. By processing<br />

and analysing vast amounts of data, AI systems<br />

can provide insights and recommendations<br />

to financial professionals, enabling more<br />

informed and data-driven decision-making.<br />

This augmentation of human decision-making<br />

with AI technologies enhances the accuracy<br />

and efficiency of risk assessment processes.<br />

Combining current and historic data using new<br />

technologies is key to a greater understanding<br />

of risks. The future of AI in financial risk<br />

assessment holds immense potential for<br />

transforming the way organisations identify,<br />

analyse, and mitigate risks. Through advanced<br />

data analysis, predictive modeling, real-time<br />

monitoring, and automated compliance, AI<br />

empowers companies to make more accurate<br />

and timely risk assessments. By harnessing the<br />

capabilities of AI, organisations can proactively<br />

manage risks, improve portfolio performance,<br />

enhance regulatory compliance, and maintain<br />

a competitive edge in an increasingly complex<br />

financial landscape.<br />

Craig Evans<br />

CEO of Company Watch.<br />

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


Eviction Enforcement<br />

The effect of the recent suspension of County Court<br />

bailiff appointments on landlords and creditors.<br />

AUTHOR – Michael Jackson<br />

We are sourcing<br />

bespoke Personal<br />

Protective<br />

Equipment to<br />

ensure that all<br />

evictions can go<br />

ahead safely and<br />

securely.<br />

COUNTY Court users across<br />

the country are being<br />

left in limbo amongst<br />

growing concerns over<br />

the suspension of County<br />

Court bailiff appointments<br />

for Orders of Possession over inadequate<br />

personal protection equipment (PPE).<br />

The suspension began in London in<br />

early June but is now understood to be<br />

affecting other areas of the country.<br />

For every day that an Order for<br />

Possession cannot be carried out<br />

landlords are losing money, including<br />

the accruing costs associated with<br />

their properties such as mortgages or<br />

agency fees, or through lack of generated<br />

income while rent is unable to be<br />

collected.<br />

With the average time to complete an<br />

Order for Possession through the County<br />

Court reported to be 37.1 weeks (according<br />

to the Ministry of Justice report published<br />

on 18 May <strong>2023</strong>), further delays do not<br />

bode well for landlords hoping to reclaim<br />

their properties.<br />

His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals<br />

Service (HMCTS) has since indicated<br />

this could have a knock-on impact for<br />

creditors seeking possession through a<br />

Warrant of Control through the County<br />

Courts and other general services.<br />

With respect to Warrants of Control,<br />

Registry Trust reported that the number<br />

of commercial judgments had risen over<br />

27 percent in Q1 <strong>2023</strong> compared to Q3<br />

2022, a staggering figure considering the<br />

majority of businesses in England and<br />

Wales (99.9 percent) are SMEs that have<br />

been heavily impacted by the costof-living<br />

increases.<br />

While the number of judgments<br />

continues to rise, further delays in<br />

enforcement only highlight a broken<br />

system that is not working for the court<br />

user.<br />

Why are County Court bailiff<br />

appointments suspended?<br />

In a statement from HMCTS, a<br />

spokesperson said: “The safety of all<br />

bailiffs is of paramount importance.<br />

“We are sourcing bespoke Personal<br />

Protective Equipment to ensure that<br />

all evictions can go ahead safely and<br />

securely.”<br />

They added:<br />

• Following work with the bailiffs on Risk<br />

Training, it became apparent that some<br />

bailiffs did not have their own bespoke<br />

PPE. This equipment is now being<br />

urgently sourced.<br />

• We have effective health and safety risk<br />

monitoring systems, which are regularly<br />

reviewed, particularly in relation to<br />

sensitive activity such as the work of<br />

county court bailiffs.<br />

•Guidance is in place to continue critical<br />

services in the interim<br />

All bailiffs and enforcement officers<br />

should have adequate protection to<br />

allow them to carry out their work safely<br />

and responsibly. In fact, High Court<br />

Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) also<br />

have to undergo a rigorous procurement<br />

process for PPE but have not encountered<br />

any issues with supply, meaning<br />

service levels in the High Court are<br />

unaffected. So, while this reasoning<br />

is understandable, we can appreciate<br />

how disappointing this is to County<br />

Court users who have still been<br />

experiencing delays post-COVID and now<br />

have to wait even longer to secure their<br />

judgments.<br />

Is there another option for<br />

landlords and creditors?<br />

Using High Court enforcement to support<br />

with evictions has always been an<br />

alternative option for landlords.<br />

However, the situation for creditors<br />

looking to enforce a Warrant of Control<br />

is not as clear-cut. For creditors hoping<br />

to recover judgments for under £600, or<br />

Consumer <strong>Credit</strong> Act regulated debts,<br />

they have no other option than to wait for<br />

the County Court bailiffs.<br />

This is something we have been<br />

campaigning to change, so we can give<br />

court users freedom of choice in how<br />

their judgments are enforced.<br />

Meanwhile, landlords and creditors<br />

with judgments over £600 can choose<br />

a High Court Enforcement officer to<br />

support them and experience benefits<br />

including:<br />

• Dedicated points of contact and regular<br />

updates on your case<br />

• High success rates with motivated<br />

enforcement agents<br />

• Quick turnaround with significantly<br />

shorter wait times<br />

• Robust health and safety protocols with<br />

fully qualified enforcement agents.<br />

How do I transfer a judgment to the<br />

High Court?<br />

Transferring an Order for Possession<br />

obtained in the County Court to the High<br />

Court is similar in many respects to that<br />

of transferring a Warrant of Control, and<br />

most HCEOs will provide a service to<br />

facilitate the transfer.<br />

You can also apply to the court to<br />

transfer the judgment yourself. However,<br />

this process can be complex depending on<br />

the particular circumstances. We would<br />

recommend speaking with your HCEO<br />

before deciding to progress this yourself.<br />

Instructing High Court Enforcement<br />

Officers is easy, and they can assist<br />

with everything necessary to issue the<br />

appropriate writs to authorise them to<br />

act.<br />

Michael Jackson is Vice Chair of<br />

the High Court Enforcement Officers<br />

Association (HCEOA).<br />

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

Thursday 1st February 2024<br />

Royal Lancaster London<br />

FOLLOWING A RECORD-BREAKING <strong>2023</strong> EVENT<br />



BACK FOR 2024<br />

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

Entries open until<br />

Friday 22 <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


B2B Team of the Year Award<br />

Supplier of the Year Award<br />

B2C Team of the Year Award<br />

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion<br />

Project Award<br />

Best use of Technology Award<br />

Best Employee Initiative Award<br />

Risk <strong>Management</strong> Award<br />

Shared Services Team<br />

Provider Award<br />

Debt Collection Agency Award<br />

Insolvency <strong>Credit</strong>or Support Award<br />

Law Firm of the Year Award<br />

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Rising Star Award<br />

Sponsored by:<br />

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Innovation in <strong>Credit</strong> Award<br />

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Jenny Oldfield Supporting Women<br />

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Outstanding Contribution Award<br />

Sir Roger Cork Prize<br />

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

IT'S A<br />


ACT<br />

BNPL providers need to take more<br />

care in who they lend to and why.<br />

AUTHOR – Eddie Flanagan<br />

WITH reports of the Government delaying<br />

the regulatory crackdown<br />

on Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), all<br />

eyes are on BNPL providers to ensure<br />

that their users aren’t putting<br />

themselves in precarious financial<br />

situations. This is at a time when the ever-increasing variety<br />

of services and products continues to grow whilst<br />

being funded by BNPL providers.<br />

It’s a tricky time to be a credit provider, amidst<br />

charities warning that the cost-of-living crisis is pushing<br />

vulnerable people into buying food and other essentials<br />

through BNPL credit. Many look to short-term credit<br />

in times of financial hardship, and access to finance at<br />

this time is vital. However, providers must ensure that<br />

they’re not funding the day-to-day indulgent spending of<br />

young and vulnerable customers, as debt will threaten<br />

their long-term financial integrity. A balancing act is<br />

required and providers of BNPL services need to manage<br />

this carefully.<br />

Looking back<br />

Let’s wind back the clock. In February 2021, the<br />

Government made an announcement that the FCA<br />

would be given regulatory oversight over unregulated<br />

BNPL services. Subsequently, we’ve seen the launch<br />

of two consultations: one in 2022 to explore policy<br />

options, followed by the most recent consultation in<br />

<strong>2023</strong> concerning the implementation of the proposed<br />

legislative measures.<br />

The recent suggestions by the Government to delay<br />

or abandon the legislation aimed at regulating the<br />

BNPL market has sparked significant concern among<br />

consumer watchdogs. The decision to potentially shelve<br />

these plans stems from some financial service providers<br />

arguing that the proposed regulatory changes are overly<br />

complex and expensive. On top of this, the Government<br />

may also be concerned about regulation leading to<br />

an exodus of providers leaving the UK market altogether,<br />

with several BNPL companies seeing a reduction in<br />

their valuations after the initial regulatory warning shots<br />

in 2021.<br />

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


In difficult financial times, many individuals resort to<br />

short-term credit. However, BNPL firms must ensure<br />

that they aren’t contributing to funding non-essential<br />

day-to-day expenses for the young and vulnerable.<br />

– Eddie Flanagan<br />

The Government has previously emphasised<br />

the need to protect UK consumers using credit<br />

from ‘unconstrained borrowing’, by implementing<br />

stronger oversight on lenders’ products. We’re<br />

seeing consumer borrowing extend beyond the<br />

management of everyday living expenses, with<br />

struggling consumers needlessly taking advantage<br />

of the worrying number of takeaway delivery<br />

companies incorporating BNPL into their array of<br />

payment options.<br />

This development is regarded by numerous<br />

consumer analysts as carrying substantial risk,<br />

potentially encouraging individuals to spend<br />

beyond their means and steering them towards<br />

using BNPL for desires rather than necessities,<br />

where the ability to make repayments isn’t fully<br />

considered.<br />

Judgment call<br />

It's important to strike the right balance on this.<br />

On one side, it’s vital that consumers are protected<br />

with providers being fully transparent about the<br />

impact of using their products, therefore boosting<br />

consumer understanding of the debt they are<br />

incurring. Alternatively, the UK is keen on leading<br />

the charge for innovation in financial services.<br />

The UK wishes to develop a thriving market<br />

while simultaneously upholding the interests of<br />

consumers.<br />

In difficult financial times, many individuals<br />

resort to short-term credit. However, BNPL firms<br />

must ensure that they aren’t contributing to<br />

funding non-essential day-to-day expenses for the<br />

young and vulnerable.<br />

Providers must ask themselves: is the funding<br />

we provide used for essential and affordable<br />

consumer credit, or is it used for frivolities?<br />

BNPL was created to spread payments of larger<br />

purchases, not for accumulating daily spending.<br />

There is a need for the sector to keep itself in<br />

check in light of delayed regulation, it's imperative<br />

that providers assess affordability to ensure that<br />

vulnerable customers are not putting themselves<br />

at greater financial risk by accumulating debt they<br />

cannot repay. If providers remain on the same<br />

path, the sector will find itself facing increased<br />

scrutiny and distrust from responsible consumers<br />

and the FCA alike. This in turn could lead to more<br />

stringent regulation by a new government. Any<br />

future regulation is likely to then be prohibitive<br />

for the sector.<br />

Heightened expectation<br />

While not specific to the BNPL sector, the<br />

introduction of Consumer Duty this July has<br />

heightened what is expected of providers (and<br />

other consumer-facing financial services firms)<br />

in terms of ensuring that products offered to users<br />

won’t push them into further financial harm. The<br />

Duty is structured so it focusses on the outcome<br />

for consumers, as opposed to clearly setting out<br />

specific and prescriptive actions for firms to<br />

follow), meaning providers must be extra vigilant.<br />

In addition to the Consumer Duty, the review<br />

of the Consumer <strong>Credit</strong> Act should make BNPL<br />

providers take a serious look at the responsibilities<br />

expected of them (alongside other financial<br />

service firms catering to consumers), ensuring<br />

that the products offered to consumers do not<br />

exacerbate their financial vulnerabilities.<br />

The overall view is that over time, the provisions<br />

of the FCA/handbook/CCA will be applicable to<br />

BNPL credit agreements. The Government needs<br />

to adopt a careful and proportionate course of<br />

action to guarantee the availability of this vital<br />

credit format for those who need it.<br />

The capability to secure loans has been affected<br />

by growing interest rates and the economic<br />

difficulties faced in the UK for recent years. At<br />

the same time however, this form of credit cannot<br />

serve as a means to finance irresponsible lifestyle<br />

aspirations.<br />

Considering the forthcoming changes to<br />

Consumer <strong>Credit</strong> law, the financial services<br />

sector should subject itself to close scrutiny. The<br />

best solution is likely to align this in greater detail<br />

with the FCA's consumer duty, albeit with a less<br />

stringent regulatory approach.<br />

As for the incoming sector-specific regulation,<br />

this may have been delayed but this won’t be<br />

indefinite – particularly with campaigners like<br />

Martin Lewis calling for increased consumer<br />

protections surrounding Buy Now, Pay Later. Any<br />

regulation must ensure consumers are protected<br />

whilst at the same time continuing to foster<br />

market innovation, competition and consumer<br />

choice.<br />

Ensuring Consumers remain free from harm<br />

is also integral to the Consumer Duty, and this<br />

should be the primary approach when it comes to<br />

providing BNPL credit.<br />

Eddie Flanagan is a Partner at Shakespeare<br />

Martineau.<br />

The Government needs to adopt<br />

a careful and proportionate<br />

course of action to guarantee the<br />

availability of this vital credit<br />

format for those who need it.<br />

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


Stuff and Nonsense<br />

Is the Consumer Duty a lot of fuss about nothing?<br />

AUTHOR – Stephen Kiely<br />

RE you ready for it? After<br />

all, it has been coming<br />

for a long time now, noone<br />

could say that the<br />

A.<br />

industry has not been<br />

warned. There have<br />

been pages written about it, plans made,<br />

strategies put into operation. So, I ask<br />

again: are you ready for it?<br />

The ‘it’ in question is the Financial<br />

Conduct Authority’s (FCA) new rules on<br />

Consumer Duty, which came into force<br />

last month (31st July). The FCA intends<br />

that Consumer Duty will require firms<br />

to act to deliver good outcomes for<br />

consumers and, in turn, help to improve<br />

trust and confidence in the financial<br />

services sector.<br />

Under Consumer Duty, firms will<br />

have to:<br />

• Provide helpful and responsive customer<br />

service – for example, it should be as<br />

easy to complain about or switch and<br />

cancel products or services as it was to<br />

buy them.<br />

• Equip their customers to make good<br />

decisions through communications<br />

people can understand, provided at the<br />

right time.<br />

• Provide products and services that meet<br />

consumers’ needs and work as expected.<br />

• Explain and justify their pricing<br />

decisions. This includes being able to<br />

demonstrate that rates offer fair value.<br />

Indeed, Sheldon Mills, Executive Director,<br />

Consumers and Competition at the FCA,<br />

was eager to insist upon the importance of<br />

this new obligation. He says: “Times like<br />

this show why it is important people get<br />

the support they need, as more people are<br />

likely turning to their financial services<br />

providers for help.<br />

“Our Consumer Duty will guide our<br />

ongoing work to improve the way firms<br />

provide customer support - getting<br />

through to your provider is the starting<br />

point for receiving help, so we will be<br />

working with them to improve in this<br />

area.”<br />

The problem<br />

The difficulty, of course, is that such<br />

proscriptions are rather general, as<br />

the regulator prefers to set out general<br />

concepts and let the industry decide for<br />

itself on the details. This generality has<br />

given some businesses the impression<br />

that they do not really need to engage.<br />

“Times like this<br />

show why it is<br />

important people<br />

get the support<br />

they need, as more<br />

people are likely<br />

turning to<br />

their financial<br />

services providers<br />

for help.’’<br />

Rather, they can let others do the hard<br />

work of deciding on the details and then<br />

only take action, at a later date, if the need<br />

arises.<br />

This attitude could prove to be a<br />

recipe for disaster.<br />

As Michael McCormick, Managing<br />

Consultant at RSM UK, says: “While the<br />

majority of businesses are well on their<br />

way to implementing plans, businesses<br />

that have been less engaged, or are not<br />

sure whether the Consumer Duty applies<br />

to them, should consider getting some<br />

additional support to identify the biggest<br />

risks within their business, and prioritise<br />

those. Business leaders and board<br />

members need to consider their role in<br />

driving momentum with preparation<br />

and post-implementation responsibilities<br />

under the Consumer Duty.”<br />

The FCA’s own research has identified<br />

retail-finance providers and debt-advice<br />

firms as the sectors least aware of how the<br />

new Consumer Duty rules apply to their<br />

business.<br />

Mr McCormick adds: “The duty brings<br />

into scope all regulated products and<br />

ancillary services that are targeted at<br />

retail consumers. This means that, while<br />

financial services may not be their primary<br />

function, if businesses are distributing<br />

retail financial products, or conducting<br />

regulated activities that involve engaging<br />

retail consumers, they are in scope.”<br />

Lack of information<br />

There is clearly a need for additional<br />

information in some parts of the industry.<br />

Hodge Bank recently found that 61% of<br />

brokers want more information about<br />

Consumer Duty from financial providers.<br />

Strikingly, nearly half (49 percent) said<br />

they did not think Consumer Duty would<br />

change the products and services they<br />

offered, but, at the same time, a quarter<br />

(25%) did believe it would materially<br />

change the way they work.<br />

Emma Graham, Business Development<br />

Director for Hodge, says: “Many brokers<br />

have said to us, anecdotally, that<br />

Consumer Duty just feels like an extension<br />

of Treating Customers Fairly, while<br />

others are concerned about the extra<br />

administrative burden it puts upon them,<br />

especially those in smaller companies or<br />

independent IFAs.<br />

“What is clear is that brokers are keen<br />

to be educated on Consumer Duty, with<br />

three-quarters of those we surveyed going<br />

out of their way to learn more.”<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 24

Change of approach<br />

In reality, the industry must appreciate<br />

where changes will be needed to existing<br />

practices. As Tim Hogg, Senior Consultant<br />

at Oxera writes, a traditional approach to<br />

segmentation would be to start with fixed<br />

hypotheses about what matters, and to<br />

compare the outcomes across these predefined<br />

clusters.<br />

More often than not, he considers, this<br />

approach resulted in crude demographic<br />

splits, for example, dividing the customer<br />

base into a handful of generic ‘life-stages’<br />

with expressive names such as ‘Young<br />

Aspirationals’, ‘Working Families’, or<br />

‘Empty Nesters’.<br />

Now, he warns: “It is safe to say that<br />

this approach rarely uncovered the true<br />

distribution of outcomes. It is not granular<br />

enough. It does not let the data speak for<br />

itself. While useful when defining the<br />

target market and for marketing purposes,<br />

it is insufficient for embedding the<br />

Consumer Duty. “Under the Consumer<br />

Duty, the FCA expects firms to do more<br />

sophisticated customer segmentation. Not<br />

least because of the focus on vulnerable<br />

customers in particular.”<br />

Meanwhile, Satrajit ‘Satty’ Saha, Chief<br />

Executive of TransUnion UK, adds:<br />

“Whilst firms will no doubt already have<br />

been working hard to achieve positive<br />

outcomes for their customers, this added<br />

regulatory focus will help reinforce just<br />

how pivotal it is that the consumer is at<br />

the heart of everything we are doing in<br />

financial services.<br />

“The long-term financial wellbeing of<br />

consumers is crucial, not only for their<br />

own prosperity, but also for the success<br />

and sustainability of the economy. It<br />

is imperative the industry proactively<br />

embraces conversations surrounding<br />

financial wellbeing, treating it with the<br />

same importance as mental and emotional<br />

wellness.”<br />

All a lot of fuss?<br />

The reality is that all the preparatory work<br />

being done by many – if not all – in the<br />

credit and collections industry has proven<br />

to be a significant task. When such new<br />

regulatory initiatives are advanced, we<br />

should never underestimate the level of<br />

investment and effort needed to comply.<br />

So, the questions come: has it all been<br />

a lot of fuss over nothing? Has change<br />

really been required, or could the industry<br />

simply keep doing what it long has been,<br />

in terms of other FCA initiatives such<br />

as Know Your Customer and Treating<br />

Customers Fairly?<br />

Stephen Cowan, Director of Yuill and<br />

Kyle considers that something important<br />

has changed. “The extent of the new duty<br />

illustrates a sea change in how the credit<br />

industry conduct their business which<br />

will probably have to be customer centric,”<br />

he says. “There will also be an impact for<br />

those involved in debt recovery. The word<br />

‘vulnerability’ features more than once in<br />

the FCA’s Ten Key Questions. Regulated<br />

firms will want to ensure conformity with<br />

the duty and in so doing will require those<br />

who are collecting their debts comply<br />

with the duty and are able to evidence<br />

this. The advice to the debt recovery<br />

sector should be to speak to their clients<br />

to discuss what measures to be put in<br />

place to both comply and to demonstrate<br />

compliance.”<br />

Conclusion<br />

To go back, then, to the original question:<br />

in many ways, the industry can never truly<br />

consider itself to be ‘ready for it’. Rather,<br />

Ten key questions<br />

As part of its strategy to ensure<br />

compliance, the FCA has highlighted<br />

10 key questions for firms to consider:<br />

1. Are you satisfied your products and<br />

services are well designed to meet<br />

the needs of consumers in the target<br />

market and perform as expected?<br />

What testing has been conducted?<br />

2. Do your products or services<br />

have features that could risk harm<br />

for groups of customers with<br />

characteristics of vulnerability? If so,<br />

what changes to the design of your<br />

products or services are you making?<br />

3. What action have you taken as a<br />

result of your fair value assessments,<br />

and how are you ensuring this action<br />

is effective in improving consumer<br />

outcomes?<br />

4. What data, MI and other<br />

intelligence are you using to monitor<br />

the fair value of your products or<br />

services on an ongoing basis?<br />

5. How are you testing<br />

the effectiveness of your<br />

communications? How are you<br />

acting on these results?<br />

6. How do you adapt your<br />

communications to meet the needs<br />

of customers with characteristics of<br />

vulnerability?<br />

7. What assessment have you made<br />

about whether your customer<br />

support is meeting the needs of<br />

customers with characteristics of<br />

vulnerability? What data, MI and<br />

customer feedback is being used to<br />

support this assessment?<br />

8. How have you satisfied yourself<br />

that the quality and availability of any<br />

post-sale support you have is as good<br />

as your pre-sale support?<br />

9. Do individuals throughout your<br />

firm – including those in control and<br />

support functions – understand their<br />

role and responsibility in delivering<br />

the duty?<br />

10. Have you identified the key<br />

risks to your ability to deliver good<br />

outcomes to customers and put<br />

appropriate mitigants in place?<br />

in an age of principles-based regulation,<br />

there is a need to constantly strive to offer<br />

a better service to all customers.<br />

Fundamentally, the Consumer Duty<br />

requires firms to act in good faith towards<br />

retail customers, avoid foreseeable harm,<br />

and enable and support retail customers<br />

to pursue their financial objectives. It is a<br />

project that the entire consumer industry<br />

will need to be working on for as long as<br />

it exists.<br />

Steve Kiely is a freelance business writer.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 25


UK insolvencies reach highest level in 14 years.<br />

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 26


“Business owners remain worried about customer demand,<br />

rising costs and the state of the economy, while high interest<br />

rates may affect access to rescue funding and could deprive<br />

savable firms of a lifeline.’’<br />

THE number of registered<br />

company insolvencies<br />

jumped 13 percent in Q2<br />

<strong>2023</strong> compared to Q2 2022,<br />

and reached the highest<br />

level since Q2 2009, according<br />

to figures released at the end of July.<br />

Q2 <strong>2023</strong> figures are also nine percent<br />

higher than in Q1. However, the number<br />

of insolvencies is expected to fall towards<br />

the end of <strong>2023</strong>, according to restructuring<br />

advisers at RSM UK.<br />

The figures show between 1 April<br />

and 30 June <strong>2023</strong>, there were 6,342<br />

company insolvencies, made up of<br />

5,240 creditors’ voluntary liquidations<br />

(CVLs), 637 compulsory liquidations,<br />

409 administrations and 56 company<br />

voluntary arrangements (CVAs). CVLs<br />

are at their highest since the time series<br />

began in 1960.<br />

Brendan Clarkson, Director of PKF<br />

GM, says that although the numbers of<br />

CVLs have increased, accounting for 83<br />

percent of all company insolvency in the<br />

quarter, there are currently materially<br />

fewer failures occurring in medium to<br />

large companies than was the case before<br />

the pandemic: “Redundancies nationally<br />

also remain at very low levels. British<br />

companies and the economy in general<br />

are exhibiting much more resilience than<br />

many were predicting last year. It remains<br />

to be seen whether this can continue,<br />

given increased borrowing and energy<br />

costs,” he says.<br />

Lindsey Cooper, partner at RSM UK<br />

Restructuring Advisory, believes the<br />

large rise in total insolvencies is not<br />

surprising: “Some 83 percent of them<br />

relate to small businesses entering into<br />

a liquidation process where directors of<br />

these companies have decided that they<br />

have exhausted all recovery options and<br />

have no alternative but to cease trading,”<br />

she explains. “Many of these businesses<br />

have high levels of debt on their balance<br />

sheets and little or no reserves. They have<br />

managed to hold on up until now with the<br />

help of the COVID support measures.<br />

“With the rise in interest rates and<br />

hikes in inflation, businesses that<br />

previously benefitted from cheap loans<br />

and ran on very small margins are now<br />

facing significant challenges especially<br />

when it comes to renewing bank facilities<br />

or refinancing. We expect the number<br />

of liquidations to continue to increase<br />

in the short term.” Lindsey says that the<br />

cost of finance is also impacting larger<br />

businesses and there is a steep rise in<br />

CVA and administration numbers in the<br />

quarter: “The number of administrations<br />

has increased by 95 (30 percent) over the<br />

last quarter and the number of CVAs by<br />

18 (47 percent). We expect this trend to<br />

continue as businesses make use of these<br />

corporate rescue procedures, including<br />

the new restructuring plan process, to<br />

restructure their balance sheets.<br />

“There is some good news that<br />

inflation is falling, however, whilst goods<br />

inflation is falling fast which is positive<br />

for manufacturers and construction,<br />

wage inflation is stickier, so it is likely<br />

that services industries where labour is<br />

a major cost, will find conditions more<br />

challenging.”<br />

Sustained pressures<br />

Samantha Keen, UK Turnaround and<br />

Restructuring Strategy Partner at EY-<br />

Parthenon, agrees that many businesses<br />

are struggling to contend with a sustained<br />

mix of pressures: “The current lowgrowth,<br />

high-inflation and relatively high<br />

interest rate environment has meant<br />

many businesses have faced building<br />

pressure over the last 12 months which is<br />

now translating into distress,” she says.<br />

The increasing cost of refinancing<br />

options available to companies in this<br />

higher interest rate environment are now<br />

having a direct impact on profitability.<br />

According to EY-Parthenon’s latest Profit<br />

Warnings report found that nearly one-infive<br />

UK-listed companies issued a profit<br />

warning in the last 12 months, with 20<br />

percent citing tighter credit conditions –<br />

the highest level since 2008.<br />

“As we’ve seen with previous economic<br />

downturns, an increase in restructuring<br />

activity traditionally comes after a peak<br />

in profit warnings with many businesses<br />

looking to implement restructuring<br />

plans as a rescue solution rather than<br />

insolvency,” she continues. “In Q2 there<br />

was a 34 percent year-on-year rise in<br />

Administrations and there’s likely to be a<br />

further uplift in restructuring in H2 <strong>2023</strong><br />

as businesses look at options to safeguard<br />

their long-term survival.<br />

“The tighter lending environment will<br />

have an ongoing impact on profitability<br />

so it’s imperative that businesses continue<br />

to build solid operational and financial<br />

foundations as well as conduct robust<br />

forecasting to ensure they are fully<br />

equipped to adapt to changing conditions<br />

in their market.”<br />

Nicky Fisher, President of R3, the<br />

UK’s insolvency and restructuring trade<br />

body, also agrees that more and more<br />

businesses are running out of road or<br />

rope: “Directors are choosing to close<br />

down their firms while the decision is<br />

still theirs, while an increasing number of<br />

creditors – including HMRC – are turning<br />

to winding-up petitions to recover the<br />

debts they’re owed,” she says.<br />

“When the pandemic ended, many<br />

directors thought and hoped things would<br />

improve, but instead they’ve faced rising<br />

costs, supply chain issues and a customer<br />

base that is tightening its purse strings to<br />

cope with the cost of living.<br />

“Business owners remain worried<br />

about customer demand, rising costs<br />

and the state of the economy, while high<br />

interest rates may affect access to rescue<br />

funding and could deprive savable firms<br />

of a lifeline. Unless the economic picture<br />

improves, it’s likely more businesses will<br />

need an insolvency process to help resolve<br />

their financial issues, and numbers will<br />

remain high throughout the rest of this<br />

year.<br />

Gary Brown MCICM, founder of Debt<br />

Register, thinks the uptick in insolvencies<br />

is easily explained: “The pandemic indeed<br />

brought about unique circumstances that<br />

led to an influx of new businesses. Many<br />

individuals were left jobless or with more<br />

time on their hands due to furloughs and<br />

the disruption of regular work routines.<br />

In response, some people ventured into<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 27<br />

continues on page 28<br />



AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM<br />

entrepreneurship. On the most recent<br />

data that I could find, a very quick search<br />

over 50% of incorporated UK companies<br />

have been incorporated under four years.<br />

“However, and if you review past<br />

statistics they indicate, a significant<br />

number of these new businesses were<br />

likely to fail within the first four years.<br />

Past trends have this at circa 50% will not<br />

celebrate their 4th year anniversary.<br />

“But given these 'furlough<br />

entrepreneurs' may not have had the<br />

experience, capital, grit or resources<br />

to navigate their business successfully,<br />

maybe in time, once the data is available<br />

it will show this spiking. I think that its<br />

plausible that this could be contributing<br />

to the increase in insolvencies we are<br />

seeing now.”<br />

Gary thinks that the decrease in<br />

companies dissolved in 2020/21 may<br />

also play a role: “During the pandemic,<br />

the UK Government put measures in<br />

place to protect businesses, including<br />

temporary restrictions on bankruptcy<br />

filings, subsidies, loans, and other types<br />

of financial support. A possible further<br />

contributor to delayed dissolution of<br />

some companies that maybe were already<br />

in financial distress before the pandemic.<br />

Now that these measures are being lifted,<br />

I would expect to see some levelling out<br />

and these companies contributing to the<br />

increase in insolvencies.<br />

“It's also important to consider<br />

other factors beyond the 'furlough<br />

entrepreneurs' hypothesis and the post<br />

Covid Lag,” he continues. “For instance,<br />

changes in market dynamics, financial<br />

policies, or global economic conditions<br />

could also be contributing to the increase<br />

in insolvencies. <strong>Credit</strong> managers that<br />

are rightfully concerned by the recently<br />

reported high number of insolvencies<br />

that it may not be as bad as it looks.”<br />

Meanwhile, and perhaps counterintuitively,<br />

the number of individuals<br />

entering a personal insolvency procedure<br />

has actually dropped to its lowest<br />

quarterly level since Q3 2020. This is<br />

heavily fuelled by a reduction in IVA<br />

registrations in the quarter.<br />

The seasonally adjusted figures from<br />

the Insolvency Service, reveal that there<br />

were 26,390 individuals entering either<br />

bankruptcy (1,826) a debt relief order or<br />

DRO (7,106) or an individual voluntary<br />

arrangement or IVA (17,458) in Q2 <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

IVA numbers were down 12 percent<br />

on the previous quarter and dropped<br />

22 percent when compared to the same<br />

quarter in 2022. For the second quarter<br />

running, DRO numbers broke the 7,000<br />

barrier, increasing one percent in the<br />

period and by 23 percent when compared<br />

to the same quarter in 2022.<br />

Interestingly however, bankruptcy<br />

numbers rose for the second successive<br />

quarter and recorded the highest number<br />

since Q4 2021.<br />

Nicky Fisher says that the fall in<br />

IVAs suggests that the ongoing cost of<br />

living crisis isn’t translating into more<br />

people requiring a personal insolvency<br />

process at present: “However, the rise<br />

in bankruptcies and Debt Relief Orders<br />

suggests that more people are unable to<br />

make almost any kind of contribution to<br />

repaying their debts this quarter, so have<br />

turned to these processes in an attempt to<br />

resolve their financial issues.<br />

“Making ends meet is still a key concern<br />

for many. People are living in a world<br />

where it costs more to keep a roof over<br />

their head, put food on the table and keep<br />

the lights on, so they’re only spending<br />

money on the essentials. Alongside their<br />

money worries, job security and the<br />

health of the economy are key concerns<br />

for many people – while rising interest<br />

rates could affect their ability to pay<br />

or secure mortgages in the future, and<br />

inflation levels will continue to push<br />

costs up.<br />

“An increasing number of people are<br />

turning to credit cards to pay bills or<br />

pay for the basics, which is concerning<br />

as people in this position are just one<br />

financial shock – like an unexpected bill<br />

or a cut in hours at work – away from<br />

becoming insolvent.<br />

The rise in the number of DROs is<br />

certainly causing angst within the debt<br />

advice lobby. Jane Tully, Director of<br />

External Affairs at the Money Advice<br />

Trust says the rise “is reflective of the<br />

impact that high costs are having for<br />

struggling households.”<br />

Breathing Space registrations also saw<br />

an increase, rising by 37 percent percent<br />

over the same period. In June <strong>2023</strong> there<br />

were 7,825 registrations for Breathing<br />

Space, of which 111 were on the grounds<br />

of mental health.<br />

Jane says the figures are a worrying<br />

sign of households under strain, with<br />

more people facing little option but to<br />

seek a solution for their debts: “Debt<br />

Relief Orders provide a vital route out of<br />

debt for people experiencing financial<br />

difficulty, while Breathing Space gives<br />

people who have fallen behind on<br />

repayments a much-needed pause on<br />

creditor action while they seek advice for<br />

their debts,” she explains.<br />

“But insolvency options should not be<br />

undertaken lightly and it is crucial that<br />

people receive free, impartial debt advice<br />

before deciding the best course of action<br />

to take.”<br />

‘‘Redundancies<br />

nationally also<br />

remain at very<br />

low levels. British<br />

companies and the<br />

economy in general<br />

are exhibiting much<br />

more resilience<br />

than many were<br />

predicting last<br />

year.”<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 28


Masters of Recovery<br />

How the CICM trained the HMRC’s<br />

Fraud Investigation Service.<br />

AUTHOR – Roshika Perera<br />

IN 2016, HMRC established the<br />

Fraud Investigation Service (FIS),<br />

which investigates tax evasion and<br />

criminal attacks on the tax system<br />

by seriously non-compliant<br />

individuals and organised<br />

criminals. Asset recovery specialists in<br />

the FIS Economic Crime team then look<br />

to recover their ill-gotten gains using the<br />

wide range of tools available.<br />

In mid-2022, HMRC, a Development<br />

Partner of the CICM, enrolled 21 members<br />

of the FIS onto the Level 2 Taking Control<br />

of Goods course. Grant English, who led<br />

on FIS civil asset recovery at the time<br />

before moving on to his current role at<br />

the HMRC’s Solicitors office and Legal<br />

Services, says that the training served two<br />

objectives: “First, we wanted to build the<br />

capability of our FIS officers and second,<br />

we wanted to make sure that they applied<br />

their powers properly.”<br />

With an average 86 percent pass grade,<br />

the training proved a great success,<br />

educating the officers on a range of topics<br />

including: the role of enforcement agents;<br />

relevant legislation; the practice of taking<br />

control of goods; the practice of removal<br />

and sale of goods; and customer care and<br />

how to manage conflict situations.<br />

FIS powers<br />

Many investigations conducted by the FIS<br />

result in a debt that requires collection.<br />

And, more often than not, money<br />

fraudulently obtained isn’t voluntarily<br />

returned. It is for this reason that FIS<br />

officers have many powers of enforcement<br />

enabling them to outsmart fraudsters and<br />

recover what was stolen. These powers<br />

derive from various legislation, including<br />

Proceeds of Crime Act, Civil Procedure<br />

Rules, Insolvency Act, Taxes Acts and, of<br />

course, taking control of goods regulations.<br />

“Taking control of goods is a very<br />

effective tool that we have in our bag,” says<br />

Grant. “It is one which has delivered great<br />

success in the past. We’ve gone in and<br />

seized all sorts of expensive goods from<br />

some not very nice people, often with a<br />

helping hand from the police to prevent<br />

a breach of the peace or tampering with<br />

controlled goods. These are goods that<br />

have been bought with the money that<br />

should have been paid to the exchequer<br />

as tax revenues for further spending on<br />

public services like the NHS.”<br />

“Everyone at FIS<br />

has an underlying<br />

motivation to<br />

tackle fraudsters,<br />

which is why we<br />

had many officers<br />

that were keen<br />

to take CICM’s<br />

course.”<br />

FIS, which handles both civil and<br />

criminal cases, must decide on the most<br />

appropriate method of recovering losses.<br />

“It’s not always necessary to use force,”<br />

explains Grant. “There have been cases<br />

in the past where we’ve undertaken a<br />

criminal investigation but also liquidated<br />

the company and worked with the<br />

liquidator to recover the assets. It depends<br />

on what approach has the biggest impact.”<br />

Abiding by the law<br />

Taking Control of Goods legislation<br />

and national standards are in place to<br />

prevent any abuse of power and breach of<br />

legislation. The CICM training educated<br />

the FIS enforcement officers on the<br />

powers and obligations conferred by acts<br />

and regulations, including aspects of the<br />

human rights legislation that are relevant<br />

to enforcement:<br />

“It’s important that our officers have a<br />

good knowledge of the Taking Control of<br />

Goods legislation, so that they can assess<br />

each situation appropriately and enforce<br />

effectively, making on the spot decisions,<br />

especially when challenged by the owner<br />

of the goods that they are looking to<br />

remove if payment isn’t received instantly.”<br />

When dealing with criminals willing<br />

to use every possible means to prevent<br />

the authorities from taking control of<br />

their goods, it is vital that the officers<br />

understand the extent of their powers:<br />

“Where lies, excuses, threats or even<br />

physical altercations are used to prevent<br />

us from removing goods, it’s important<br />

that we know what our rights are,”<br />

Grant continues. “For example, it’s an<br />

offence to interfere when we’re removing<br />

these goods and it’s important that<br />

our officers recognise when this is<br />

happening and get the police involved<br />

when needed. So, this training was also<br />

important for ensuring the safety of our<br />

officers, in particular, the ‘How to manage<br />

conflict situations’ module of the CICM<br />

course.”<br />

Effective enforcement<br />

Merely accumulating knowledge, however,<br />

isn’t enough. The officers also need the<br />

skills and confidence to act appropriately<br />

and tactfully when faced with the task of<br />

seizing and removing the goods. CICM’s<br />

course was designed to provide the officers<br />

with this rounded skillset:<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 30

“It’s important that our officers have a good knowledge of the<br />

Taking Control of Goods legislation, so that they can assess<br />

each situation appropriately and enforce effectively, making<br />

on the spot decisions.” – Grant English<br />

“The course went through various different<br />

scenarios, and it gave people an insight into<br />

the types of situations they will encounter.<br />

Also, having the proper training protects our<br />

officers and it protects the public, because if<br />

we don’t take control of goods properly, we can<br />

breach the standards that have been set by the<br />

Ministry of Justice.”<br />

Taking control of goods falls outside the<br />

main remit of most people within the FIS,<br />

yet Grant saw great interest within the team<br />

to enrol onto the training, who recognised it<br />

as an effective tool that would enhance their<br />

capabilities:<br />

“The team consists of financial investigators<br />

and officers working in a range of areas<br />

including insolvency, civil recovery and antimoney<br />

laundering. Although taking control<br />

of goods isn’t a core part of their job, they<br />

were keen to sharpen their skills in this area;<br />

having an external qualification was a further<br />

incentive.”<br />

The social good<br />

The work done by FIS is underpinned by<br />

a mission to serve the larger social good.<br />

While it may be easier to discern the victims<br />

of a violent crime, tax crimes are far from<br />

victimless: “We deal with criminals that are<br />

involved in tax fraud, and at the end of the day,<br />

that’s money that should go towards funding<br />

public services. It’s not right that people are<br />

able to live a lavish lifestyle off the back of the<br />

tax that they’ve stolen.”<br />

FIS has made great strides in its mission:<br />

by December 2021, it had recovered more<br />

than £1bn from offenders, through over 1,200<br />

seizures of cash and assets ranging from<br />

£750,000 of gold bars to a £1.7m confiscation<br />

order imposed on a payroll fraudster. The<br />

amount recovered so far would be enough to<br />

fund at least 20,000 NHS nurses for an entire<br />

year.<br />

And the team is showing no signs of slowing<br />

down, eager to bring justice to those who<br />

cheat the system and steal from the public<br />

purse: “Everyone at FIS has an underlying<br />

motivation to tackle fraudsters, which is why<br />

we had many officers that were keen to take<br />

CICM’s course,” Grant adds.<br />

“We're dealing with people who are prepared<br />

to commit fraud; if they're evasive with their<br />

taxes, they will be evasive in terms of paying<br />

it back when they're caught. So, taking control<br />

of goods becomes an extremely powerful<br />

tool and the course has strengthened FIS’<br />

capability to do exactly that,” he concludes.<br />

Pictured left to right: Grant English, Insolvency Governance and Professionalism Lead, and colleague Gyp Walters,<br />

Fraud Investigation Service Enforcement Officer – Economic Crime Operations<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 31

International Trade<br />

Monthly round-up of the latest stories<br />

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.<br />

Check out Guyana<br />

GUYANA is not a country whose<br />

name springs to mind when it<br />

comes to wealth and oil, but the<br />

discovery of a number of new oil<br />

fields in the country, which is located at<br />

the top of South America, could make it a<br />

destination for British exporters.<br />

As the Wall Street Journal<br />

recently commented, “thanks to a<br />

transformational oil find, this tiny<br />

nation has built ties in recent years<br />

with the world’s most influential energy<br />

companies, financiers and governments.”<br />

Now Opec and Saudi Arabia want to<br />

connect with Guyana.<br />

Of course, if Guyana did join Opec its<br />

production could end up capped which is<br />

“thanks to a transformational<br />

oil find, this tiny nation has<br />

built ties in recent years with<br />

the world’s most influential<br />

energy companies, financiers<br />

and governments.”<br />

bad for the world’s economy. Fortunately,<br />

the country wants to maximise<br />

production – and profits – in the short<br />

term and will up its oil output by 1m<br />

barrels a day by 2028.<br />

A consortium including giant Exxon<br />

Mobil controls all offshore output in<br />

Guyana under a production and sharing<br />

agreement. Reuters says that the<br />

consortium has so far given the green<br />

light to projects worth more than $40bn.<br />

The government is hoping to attract other<br />

companies through an oil auction soon.<br />

The point is that if you’re in oil, make<br />

a line for Guyana. And if you’re not, still<br />

make tracks over to see what else the<br />

country needs now that it’s wealthier.<br />


AT ODDS<br />

ACCORDING to a report on Euronews,<br />

a two-day summit to discuss future<br />

relations between the European Union<br />

and much of South America was held<br />

in Argentina at the start of July but<br />

didn’t end spectacularly. The aim was<br />

to breakdown the last obstacles in a<br />

trade agreement between the EU and the<br />

South American trade block Mercosur<br />

which comprises Argentina, Brazil,<br />

Paraguay and Uruguay.<br />

However, Politico reported that the<br />

EU and Mercosur countries were “miles<br />

apart on Ukraine and a Mercosur trade<br />

deal… the two blocs don’t see eye to eye<br />

on whether to condemn Russia’s war<br />

in Ukraine.”<br />

Beyond that were concerns of<br />

some European governments about<br />

environmental protection, especially in<br />

the Amazon, that stalled the agreement.<br />

With Mercosur representing 62<br />

percent of South America’s population,<br />

67 percent of the continent's gross<br />

domestic product, and a market of 260m<br />

consumers, a deal is desired by the<br />

parties. However, such a deal would not<br />

be ideal for UK exporters in a post-Brexit<br />

world trying to forge new alliances.<br />

Institute of Export & International Trade export fund<br />

AT the end of June, the Institute of<br />

Export & International Trade (IOE&IT)<br />

launched a £5m Export Support<br />

Programme 'to help UK businesses<br />

accelerate their journey into<br />

international trade.'<br />

Those applying to the Export Support<br />

Programme will receive a bespoke<br />

package of training and consultancy<br />

services to reflect their particular<br />

circumstances and needs.<br />

The IOE&IT has said that the<br />

“importance of MSMEs (micro, small<br />

and medium sized enterprises)<br />

globally can’t be underestimated, as<br />

they account for over 90 percent of<br />

firms worldwide yet they surprisingly<br />

contribute to less than half of the<br />

volume of international trade.” In the<br />

UK this is even more pronounced. Of<br />

5.5m businesses registered, 99.9<br />

percent of these are classified as<br />

MSMEs and fewer than 10 percent of<br />

them export.<br />

Over the duration of the Export<br />

Support Package the IOE&IT expects to<br />

help up to 1250 businesses.<br />

Registration of interest is via the<br />

IOE&IT’s website at https://www.export.<br />

org.uk/page/export-support-package.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 32

Boom time in India?<br />

MONEYWEEK recently reported that<br />

many are seeing for themselves what<br />

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook commented on –<br />

that “India is at a tipping point... there are<br />

a lot of people coming into the middle<br />

class... the dynamism in the market. The<br />

vibrancy is unbelievable.”<br />

The story referenced Breakingviews<br />

which said that foreign firms used to<br />

complain about India’s “fondness for<br />

import tariffs” and complex taxation of<br />

multinationals. However, those same<br />

firms are moving to India as they seek an<br />

alternative to China. Indeed, JPMorgan<br />

forecasted that within two years one in<br />

four iPhones will be made in India and<br />

with a GDP per capita still less than a fifth<br />

of China’s, there is immense scope for<br />


EARLY July, <strong>Credit</strong> Insurer Coface published<br />

its Asia Corporate Payment Survey using<br />

data collected by the company between<br />

November 2022 and April <strong>2023</strong>. The<br />

survey sought to 'provide insights into<br />

the evolution of payment behaviour and<br />

credit management practices of about 2,300<br />

companies across the Asia Pacific region.'<br />

The survey found that overall, fewer<br />

businesses reported overdue payments<br />

in 2022; the share of companies reporting<br />

overdue payments fell to 57 percent in 2022<br />

– the lowest in 10 years – from 64 percent<br />

in 2021. That said, it reported that the<br />

duration of payment delays across Asia-<br />

Pacific increased markedly, as 'businesses<br />

were more restrictive with credit terms<br />

amid aggressive rate increases, tighter<br />


RISK: UAE<br />

THE Department for Business & Trade<br />

has updated its Overseas business risk<br />

page for the United Arab Emirates (UAE)<br />

on GOV.UK.<br />

In essence, the UAE is the UK’s largest<br />

trading partner in the Middle East,<br />

13th largest export market globally and<br />

19th largest trading partner. The Gulf<br />

Cooperation Council of which the UAE is<br />

a member, is now the UK’s third-biggest<br />

trading partner outside Europe. The<br />

Government here reports that in 2022,<br />

bilateral trade between the UAE and UK<br />

was worth £21.6bn including £14.3bn in<br />

exports. A target set in 2020 seeks £25bn<br />

in annual bilateral trade.<br />

The page notes that key UAE sectors<br />

for UK exporters include infrastructure,<br />

energy, defence and security, cyber,<br />

education and training, financial and<br />

professional services, airports and<br />

aerospace, creative industries, media,<br />

and technology. Over 5,000 UK-registered<br />

firms operate in the UAE.<br />

catch-up growth.<br />

Bloomberg agrees with Tim Cook – that<br />

he is right about Indian ‘dynamism’ -<br />

because two-thirds of India’s 1.4bn people<br />

are of working age and the median age is<br />

just 28 (compared to 38 in China). Such<br />

a demographic requires infrastructure<br />

and jobs to keep growth ahead of the<br />

expanding workforce. If not, mass<br />

unemployment looms.<br />

But if the former becomes true then<br />

the market potential for UK exporters is<br />

beyond huge. Already the world’s fifthlargest<br />

economy and could overtake<br />

Germany and Japan by 2028, India<br />

will soon become a global economic<br />

heavyweight alongside America, China<br />

and the EU.<br />

financial conditions and higher inflation.'<br />

The average payment delay lengthened<br />

from 54 days in 2021 to 67 days.<br />

Overdue payments increased the most<br />

in retail (+15 days), pharmaceuticals (+10.5<br />

days), and energy (+10 days). The energy<br />

and construction sectors posted the longest<br />

average payment delay at 77 days. On the<br />

other hand, agrifood and textile saw the<br />

shortest payment delays with a drop from<br />

60 days in 2021 to 52 days in 2022.<br />

According to Coface’s experience, 80<br />

percent of payments overdue by more than<br />

six months are never paid.<br />

So, fewer Asian firms are seeing trouble,<br />

but those that do are generally taking longer<br />

to pay. And with some sectors faring worse<br />

than others, UK firms need to be careful.<br />

KEYNA – A GOOD<br />


A post on Bloomberg commented that “of<br />

all the countries in sub-Saharan Africa to<br />

be optimistic about, the most promising is<br />

Kenya.” It noted that Africa is the “fastestgrowing<br />

continent” and is expected to<br />

be home to 25 percent of the world’s<br />

population by 2050 and international firms<br />

are seeking out a presence in the country.<br />

Bloomberg recognises that nations<br />

such as Nigeria and South Africa have<br />

experienced “major troubles” of late.<br />

However, Kenya has a population of 57m<br />

people, a long coastline, relatively easy<br />

access to the markets and capitals of<br />

China and India, and some of the most<br />

reliable internet access on the continent.<br />

It also is very keen on green energy with<br />

renewables already generating 80 percent<br />

of its electricity which is not surprising<br />

since its climate is ideally suited to solar<br />

power.<br />

That said, with corruption, regulatory<br />

barriers to entry, and political instability<br />

there are issues to counter.<br />

Export success 1: Pet<br />

supplements firm double sales<br />

ACCORDING to a post from the Department<br />

of Business and Trade, VetPlus – a firm<br />

involved in pet nutraceuticals – has<br />

more than doubled its sales in the Indian<br />

region a year after a bureaucratic trade<br />

barrier blocking exports of British pet<br />

feed supplements to India was lifted. The<br />

company now expects sales worth £1.4m<br />

over the next five years.<br />

Market researcher Market Decipher<br />

estimates that the Indian pet food industry<br />

was worth $498m in 2021 and is one of<br />

the fastest-growing markets, globally. It<br />

is expected to grow by an average of 19<br />

percent each year over the next decade.<br />

Export success 2: UKEF<br />

helps UK boat manufacture<br />

A Wirral-based specialist manufacturer of<br />

boats that serves the search and rescue,<br />

defence and security sectors – Marine<br />

Specialised Technology Group (MST) – has<br />

won major international contracts after<br />

receiving £5m in support through UK<br />

Export Finance (UKEF).<br />

As the story outlines, UKEF’s General<br />

Export Facility (GEF) scheme enabled<br />

a £5m loan from NatWest to MST. This<br />

working capital allowed MST to the bond<br />

lines and advanced payment guarantees it<br />

needed to win new, high-value contracts<br />

in Ireland and Italy, the latter of which is a<br />

new market for the manufacturer.<br />

Launched by UKEF in 2021, the GEF<br />

provides exporters with access to flexible<br />

financing. The body has stated that it’s<br />

'already unlocked over £180m of working<br />

capital loans to UK businesses – 92 percent<br />

of which has gone to small and medium<br />

enterprises like MST.'<br />

On top of this is a National Shipbuilding<br />

Strategy with a target of a 45 percent<br />

increase in UK marine engineering exports<br />

between 2022 and 2030. The strategy<br />

saw, in <strong>September</strong> 2022, UKEF similarly<br />

provide £3m in support to Parkol Marine<br />

Engineering, a family-owned shipbuilding<br />

business based in Yorkshire, to help it<br />

secure exporting opportunities in Ireland.<br />

For the latest exchange rates visit<br />

www.currenciesdirect.com or call 020 7874 9400<br />


GBP/EUR 1.17576 1.15035 Down<br />

GBP/USD 1.31387 1.26460 Down<br />

GBP/CHF 1.14082 1.10695 Down<br />

GBP/AUD 1.95560 1.88605 Up<br />

GBP/CAD 1.73299 1.68764 Down<br />

GBP/JPY 183.003 177.389 Up<br />

Currency Exchange Rates for the previous month: 9th July<br />

to 9th August. This data was taken on 10th August and<br />

refers to the month previous to/leading up to 9th August.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 33


Could the Philippines be<br />

a trillion-dollar economy<br />

in the making?<br />


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

LIFE passes us by at a rate of<br />

knots so what seems like a<br />

recent happening is but a<br />

blink of an eye. According<br />

to a 2018 paper from the<br />

Max Planck Institute of<br />

Geoanthropology, the earliest signs of<br />

human life in the Philippines occurred<br />

some 709,000 years ago with modern man<br />

first appearing 47,000 years ago.<br />

The ‘modern history’ of the Philippines<br />

might be said to have started with the<br />

Maritime Jade Road from 2000 BC to<br />

1000 AD, which was initially established<br />

between the peoples of the Philippines<br />

and Taiwan, and joined later by peoples<br />

from what are now Vietnam, Malaysia,<br />

Indonesia, and Thailand.<br />

Fast forward to the Spanish Era when<br />

in 1521 Magellan landed in the islands<br />

claiming them for Spain. Eventually<br />

named after Phillip II, the Philippines<br />

remained a Spanish colony for more<br />

than 300 years until 1898. Following the<br />

Spanish-American war, a republic was<br />

declared. However, the war led to Spain<br />

ceding the Philippines, Guam and Puerto<br />

Rice to the US in exchange for $20m. Thus,<br />

from 1898 the country was run by the US<br />

until independence in 1946 albeit as a selfgoverning<br />

commonwealth from 1935.<br />

As to what the country is known for,<br />

those aware of international events will<br />

remember the corrupt and extravagant<br />

rule of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos<br />

which ended in 1986. However, there is<br />

more to the nation such as it being the<br />

centre of catholic faith in Asia, having<br />

strong ties to the Spanish, Americans,<br />

Malays and Japanese, being the world’s<br />

largest supplier of nurses, and having a<br />

unique flag that can indicate if it’s either<br />

at war or peace.<br />

The Philippines, or rather, the Republic<br />

of the Philippines, is an archipelago<br />

comprising some 7,641 islands that are<br />

located in the western part of the Pacific<br />

Ocean. It has Taiwan 1,200km to the<br />

north, China 3,000km to the northwest,<br />

Vietnam and Brunei 1,465 km and 1,200<br />

km respectively to the west, and Indonesia<br />

1,750km to the south.<br />

Overall, including internal water bodies,<br />

the country has a landmass of some<br />

300,000 sq.km (compared to the UK’s<br />

243,610 sq. km). Being made up of so many<br />

islands, its coastline is long at 36,289 km.<br />

Placed on the western side of the Ring<br />

of Fire, the Philippines suffers from both<br />

seismic and volcanic activity. Indeed, it<br />

has 23 active volcanoes and experiences<br />

around five earthquakes a day, albeit each<br />

so weak that they aren’t noticed. It should<br />

be said that, according to UN-Habitat.org,<br />

“the Philippines is one of the most disasterprone<br />

countries in the world. Annually, an<br />

average of 22 tropical cyclones enters the<br />

Philippine Area of Responsibility of which<br />

around six to seven cause damage.”<br />

Demographics<br />

According to the CIA World Factbook, the<br />

estimated population in <strong>2023</strong> stands at<br />

116.4m. As a comparison, Macrotrends –<br />

using UN World Population Prospects data<br />

– reckoned that in 1980 the population<br />

stood at 48.4m, 77.9m in 2000, and 112.1m<br />

in 2020. Its current growth rate is though<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 34


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

dropping and over the same points in time<br />

fell from 2.68 percent, 2.24 percent, 1.64<br />

percent to the current rate of 1.54 percent.<br />

A plateau is expected around 2083 with a<br />

population of 180m and a dangerously low<br />

birth rate of 0.12 percent.<br />

The Philippines is quite diverse with<br />

seven distinct ethnicities and a multitude<br />

of ‘others’. In terms of language spoken,<br />

Filipino is the official tongue as is English.<br />

The CIA says that there are eight other<br />

major dialects.<br />

And in terms of religion, an estimate<br />

in 2015 suggested that 79.5 percent were<br />

Roman Catholic, 6 percent Muslim, 2.6<br />

percent Iglesia ni Cristo, 2.4 percent<br />

Evangelical, 1.1 percent National Council<br />

of Churches in the Philippines, 7.4<br />

percent other, and less than 0.1 percent<br />

were classed as ‘none.’<br />

Data from Statista shows that the<br />

country is becoming more urbanised<br />

as time progresses, albeit it as a slowing<br />

pace. In 2011 45.5 percent lived in urban<br />

environments. By 2016 that figure stood<br />

at 46.48 percent and by 2021 47.68 percent<br />

were urban dwellers. Interestingly, UN-<br />

Habitat offers different numbers from<br />

Statista suggesting that in 2015 51.2<br />

percent were urbanised. On top of that<br />

comes data from the Philippines Statistics<br />

Authority (PSA) which says that in 2020, 54<br />

percent of the population was urbanised.<br />

Who to believe?<br />

The Philippines is administratively<br />

divided into 81 provinces which are then<br />

sub-divided into cities and municipalities.<br />

As of December 2022, the PSA recorded<br />

148 cities and 1,486 municipalities. Of the<br />

cities, Quezon City is the largest with 2.96m<br />

residents, Manila is second with 1.84m,<br />

Davao City with 1.77m, and Caloocan<br />

with 1.66m. There are 16 other cities and<br />

municipalities with more than 500,000<br />

inhabitants, another 187 with between<br />

100,000 and 500,000, 363 with between<br />

50,000 and 100,000 and a further 1060 with<br />

between 193 and 50,000 population.<br />

Transport network<br />

At this juncture, given the island<br />

nature of the country, it’s natural to<br />

seek information about the Philippine<br />

transportation system. Data from 2019,<br />

The Project for Improvement Quality<br />

<strong>Management</strong> for Highway and Bridge<br />

Construction and Maintenance, Phase III,<br />

said that as a result of investment there<br />

were (then) 217,317 km of roads of which<br />

33,018 were national roads, 31,620 were<br />

provincial, 31,063 city and municipal, and<br />

121,702 rural. Notably, the Pan-Philippine<br />

Highway is a 3,517 km network of roads,<br />

bridges, and ferry services that connect<br />

the islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and<br />

Mindanao. It’s the Philippines' principal<br />

transport backbone. There are other<br />

similar multi-lane roads throughout the<br />

country along with the Philippine Nautical<br />

Highway System which links many of the<br />

islands' road networks through a series of<br />

roll-on/roll-off ferries, some rather small<br />

covering short distances and some larger<br />

vessels that might travel several hours or<br />

more.<br />

Rail is used presently only for passenger<br />

transport mainly within Metro Manila and<br />

the provinces of Laguna and Quezon, as<br />

well as offering a commuter service in the<br />

Bicol Region. There are 11 international<br />

gateway airports.<br />

The Philippines<br />

has issues that<br />

every exporter will<br />

need to counter –<br />

geography, low per<br />

capita incomes and<br />

corruption. But that<br />

doesn’t mean that it<br />

should be ignored.<br />

The economy<br />

S&P Global commented, in April <strong>2023</strong>,<br />

that “the Philippines economy grew at<br />

a pace of 7.6 percent in 2022, the fastest<br />

rate of economic growth recorded by<br />

the Philippines since 1976. With strong<br />

growth forecast over the medium-term<br />

outlook, the size of Philippines GDP<br />

measured in US dollar nominal terms is<br />

set to reach one trillion by 2033.” In S&P’s<br />

view the Philippines set to become one<br />

of the world’s fastest growing emerging<br />

markets. The IMF, in Press Release 23/148<br />

which was issued following a visit to the<br />

Philippines, thought the same. It said:<br />

“The Philippine economy achieved one<br />

of the highest growth rates in emerging<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com /<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 35<br />

continues on page 22<br />

continues on page 36 >


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

economies in 2022… in a challenging external<br />

environment.” According to Trading Economics,<br />

the inflation rate in May was 6.1 percent,<br />

down from 6.6 percent in April, while the<br />

unemployment rate over the same period fell<br />

from 4.7 to 4.5 percent.<br />

Main sectors of industry – Agriculture<br />

Part of the Philippines' economy is based on<br />

food processing. The PSA reported that the<br />

agricultural sector in Q1 <strong>2023</strong> contributed to 8.9<br />

percent of GDP and employed 24 percent of the<br />

labour force.<br />

In terms of produce, the PSA details palay,<br />

livestock, poultry and egg production, corn,<br />

coconut including copra, other animal<br />

production, and mango as all growing in<br />

importance. Beyond that is rice production<br />

and which accounts for 2.5 percent of world<br />

production. However, sugarcane including<br />

muscovado sugar-making, pineapple, forestry<br />

and logging, rubber and cacao all fell in<br />

production volumes over the same period in<br />

2022. But even though sugar volumes fell, the<br />

country is still one of the largest producers in<br />

the world with nearly a million acres under<br />

cultivation.<br />

A report from Lloyds Bank – from June <strong>2023</strong><br />

– notes that the Philippines’ agricultural sector<br />

suffers from low productivity, weak economies<br />

of scale and inadequate infrastructure. It added:<br />

“The government is working on restructuring<br />

and modernising the sector, and have been<br />

implementing policies such as converting<br />

government lands to agriculture use.”<br />

Mining<br />

As for mining, the Philippines is one of the<br />

richest countries of the world in terms of<br />

minerals.<br />

A January <strong>2023</strong> report from Chambers and<br />

Partners noted that the country is “the fifth<br />

most mineralised country in the world, with an<br />

estimated $1tn in untapped reserves of copper,<br />

gold, nickel, zinc and silver.” Recent statistics<br />

from the Philippine Mines and Geosciences<br />

Bureau indicate that there are only 49 operating<br />

metallic mines, employing around 196,000<br />

workers. However, in the first third of 2022,<br />

total exports of minerals amounted to almost<br />

$3,851bn, and the Philippine Department of<br />

Environment and Natural Resources placed the<br />

gross production value for large-scale metallic<br />

mining at PHP 101.1bn.<br />

Industry<br />

The industrial sector contributed 29.9 percent of<br />

GDP in Q1 <strong>2023</strong>, down from 30.6 percent in the<br />

same period in 2022 (PSA). Lloyds data suggests<br />

that it employed 19.1 percent of the workforce<br />

with industrial food processing being one of the<br />

Philippines' main manufacturing activities.<br />

Other sectors to note are production of cement,<br />

glass, chemicals products and fertilisers,<br />

iron, steel and refined oil products.<br />

Philippines<br />

Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is a densely populated bayside<br />

city on the island of Luzon, which mixes Spanish colonial architecture<br />

with modern skyscrapers. Intramuros, a walled city in colonial times,<br />

is the heart of Old Manila.<br />

In more detail, sourcinghub.io wrote – in May<br />

2020 – about key products made by the Filipino<br />

economy. This included clothing, textiles and<br />

apparel (much of which went to the US) such<br />

as activewear, formal wear, t-shirts, men’s clothing,<br />

women’s clothing, and accessories; electronics<br />

products, components and devices with<br />

Texas Instruments, Toshiba and Lexmark having<br />

bases; aerospace components from firms<br />

such as Moog to the tune of $3bn a year; and automotive<br />

with manufacturing by Volvo, BMW,<br />

Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan,<br />

and Suzuki. Data from Statista covering 2021<br />

states that the sector employed 18.68 percent of<br />

the workforce.<br />

Services<br />

The tertiary sector, according to June <strong>2023</strong><br />

PSA data represents 61.1 percent of GDP.<br />

Statista suggests that it employs 57.05 percent<br />

of the country’s workforce. Key features of<br />

the sector include telecommunications, call<br />

centres and finance. Lloyds states that the<br />

Philippine government’s goals for the sector<br />

include “attracting investments in human<br />

resource development, design, R&D, finance,<br />

and infrastructure; bolstering manufacturingderived<br />

services; and establishing new<br />

ecosystems linked with manufacturing.”<br />

Growth areas noted by PSA were wholesale<br />

and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and<br />

motorcycles; retail trade; and financial and<br />

insurance activities. Indeed, with 110m people<br />

it’s not surprising that these sectors have led<br />

the way to growth, helped by the development<br />

of e-commerce. In fact, Brittany.com.ph<br />

comments that “as part of its goal to become<br />

a global e-commerce leader, the Philippine<br />

government’s goal is to increase e-commerce<br />

revenue to $24.2 bn.”<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 36


AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein<br />

The Philippines<br />

is a highly<br />

visited country.<br />

An estimate from<br />

Brittany.com.ph<br />

suggests that there<br />

were over 8m<br />

visitors to the<br />

country before the<br />

pandemic.<br />

It follows – like elsewhere in the world – that<br />

the services sector was curtailed the most<br />

during the pandemic. However, it has shown<br />

a steady recovery in 2022, mainly driven by<br />

the wholesale, retail trade, information and<br />

communication, accommodation and food<br />

service activities, and human health and<br />

social work activities.<br />

Tourism<br />

The Philippines is a highly visited country.<br />

An estimate from Brittany.com.ph suggests<br />

that there were over 8m visitors to the<br />

country before the pandemic started; by 2021<br />

PSA thought the tourism industry accounted<br />

for 5.2 percent of GDP and employed around<br />

4.9m workers in 2021.<br />

Mordor Intelligence backs this view. It<br />

wrote on a page hawking its reports that<br />

“the Philippines' tourism sector increased<br />

by 129.5 percent in 2021, reaching $41bn.”<br />

Quite a feat considering the 80 percent<br />

drop in 2020 when the sector was worth just<br />

$17.8bn as a result of COVID.<br />

Other considerations<br />

It’s never easy to open up a new enterprise<br />

overseas and doing so in the Philippines is<br />

no different. A helpful briefing note from<br />

Viettonkin Consulting, Doing business in<br />

the Philippines in 2022, details that there are<br />

a few challenges to overcome. In particular,<br />

while it’s simple to register a new business,<br />

there are requirements for large amounts<br />

of paid-up capital and some sectors – retail<br />

and agriculture appear to be barred from<br />

receiving foreign investment. Further some<br />

industries appear on the Philippine Negative<br />

List (Executive Order No. 175, s. 2022) and<br />

must be 100 percent domestically owned.<br />

Other issues to counter are a low per capita<br />

income of around $3000 per annum with<br />

25 percent of the population considered in<br />

poverty, and patches of political violence in<br />

at least one location.<br />

Lastly, the Philippines still seems mired in<br />

corruption. The Transparency International<br />

2022 Corruption Perceptions Index placed<br />

the country in 116th place with a score of<br />

just 33. In comparison, the UK was highly<br />

placed in 18th position with a score of 73.<br />

Tax<br />

For domestic resident firms, Corporate<br />

Income Tax (CIT) is, in general, set at 25<br />

percent. However, on net income from all<br />

sources, domestic corporations with total<br />

assets not exceeding PHP 100m and total<br />

net taxable income not exceeding PHP<br />

5m, pay a rate of 20 percent. There is also<br />

Minimum Corporate Income Tax (MCIT)<br />

on gross income, which applies from the<br />

fourth taxable year following the year of<br />

commencement of business operations.<br />

MCIT is imposed where the CIT at 25 percent<br />

is less than 2 percent MCIT on gross income.<br />

For resident foreign businesses, the rate<br />

is 25 percent. The same applies to nonresident<br />

foreign businesses with the added<br />

complications of rates for interest on foreign<br />

loans, dividend income and rentals of<br />

aircraft, machinery, and other equipment.<br />

VAT<br />

The general rate of VAT is 12 percent with<br />

some goods zero rated (such as renewable<br />

power generation, international shipping<br />

and transport) or exempt – there’s a long list<br />

on Asean Briefing – search for A Guide to<br />

Taxation in the Philippines.<br />

Personal<br />

The Philippines taxes its resident citizens<br />

on their worldwide income. Non-resident<br />

citizens and ‘aliens’ are taxed only on income<br />

from sources within the Philippines. Rates<br />

of tax on income of aliens depend on the<br />

nature of their income, that is compensation<br />

income, income subject to final tax, or other<br />

income.<br />

From 1 January <strong>2023</strong>, the current rates<br />

of tax are nil on income to PHP 250,000; 15<br />

percent between PHP 250,001 and 400,000;<br />

20 percent between PHP 400,001 and 800,000;<br />

25 percent between PHP 800,001 and 2m; 30<br />

percent between PHP 2,000,001 and 8m; and<br />

35 percent on income above that level.<br />

For resident and non-resident aliens<br />

engaged in trade or business in the<br />

Philippines, the maximum rate on income<br />

subject to final tax (usually passive<br />

investment income) is 20 percent. For nonresident<br />

aliens not engaged in trade or<br />

business in the Philippines, the rate is a flat<br />

25 percent.<br />

Summary<br />

The Philippines has issues that every<br />

exporter will need to counter – geography,<br />

low per capita incomes and corruption. But<br />

that doesn’t mean that it should be ignored.<br />

If anything, as the country grows those<br />

who take a chance could gain first mover<br />

advantage. And with the UK joining the<br />

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement<br />

for Trans-Pacific Partnership it’s only a<br />

matter of time before the Philippines joins<br />

and the Filipino market opens up further.<br />

Adam Bernstein is a freelance finance writer.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 37

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 38



Three important things to ask the interviewer.<br />

AUTHOR – Natascha Whitehead<br />

WHILST coming up<br />

with questions to ask<br />

during an interview<br />

is often an afterthought<br />

for candidates,<br />

it’s important<br />

to remember that it’s a two-way street; you<br />

are deciding whether the role is right for<br />

you just as the interviewer is assessing<br />

whether you are a suitable match for the<br />

role.<br />

To create a flow of conversation, judge<br />

when the appropriate moment is to ask<br />

certain things during your interview. If you<br />

wait until the end when your interviewer<br />

invites you to ask any questions, you may<br />

have to rush, and some of the questions<br />

you had lined up may have already been<br />

covered. If you prepare five to six questions,<br />

whilst you don’t have to ask them all, you<br />

will at least have them up your sleeve to<br />

utilise as and when necessary.<br />

In this article, I suggest three important<br />

topics to address when planning which<br />

questions to ask: the role at hand, the<br />

people within the company and the<br />

opportunities up for grabs:<br />

1<br />

THE ROLE<br />

Whether you’re applying for a<br />

new role, or a role you’ve carried<br />

out before, every organisation<br />

will have their differences,<br />

meaning there is plenty of<br />

information to gauge during an interview.<br />

For instance, the responsibilities and<br />

requirements of a credit analyst working<br />

within healthcare will vary from a credit<br />

analyst working in technology.<br />

Asking questions during your interview<br />

is the perfect chance to get insights into<br />

the role that are not already detailed on<br />

the job description. Whilst this question<br />

could be considered cliché, it’s useful<br />

to find out so you know what to expect:<br />

what does a typical day in the role<br />

look like? If you’re someone who likes<br />

routine, you may want to know if each day<br />

or week will have a similar structure or be<br />

significantly different.<br />

If there are any responsibilities<br />

mentioned on the job description that<br />

you are unfamiliar with or you feel need<br />

clarification, ask about those. You could<br />

also enquire about how your time will be<br />

split between different tasks.<br />

Another topic to broach when asking<br />

questions in your interview is how to<br />

achieve success; what does success look<br />

like in the role, how is it measured and<br />

what skills are most important to thrive?<br />

This will demonstrate your ambition and<br />

enthusiasm to not only secure the role, but<br />

to be successful.<br />

2<br />


When assessing a new<br />

role, it’s important to<br />

consider not just the<br />

work itself, but who you’ll<br />

work alongside, as it’s<br />

predominantly the people who make up an<br />

organisation’s culture and environment.<br />

Being able to work independently but<br />

also collaboratively is crucial across many<br />

roles in credit; if at some point during<br />

your interview you give a clear example of<br />

when you’ve worked well in a team, that is<br />

a convenient time to ask about the kind of<br />

team you will be joining. You could enquire<br />

about how the department is organised<br />

and what its relationship with the rest of<br />

the company is like. It’s worthwhile asking<br />

who you will be reporting to, how long<br />

they have worked in their role for and who<br />

else you might be working closely with?<br />

The team dynamic can have a huge impact<br />

on your job satisfaction, so the interview is<br />

a great opportunity to review whether you<br />

feel you would fit in and be able to flourish<br />

there.<br />

3<br />


Another effective way to<br />

prove your determination<br />

and commitment to your<br />

career is to ask about the<br />

opportunities available<br />

to you. There are numerous training programmes<br />

out there for credit professionals;<br />

find out whether the organisation has<br />

training and development plans in place<br />

to see if they prioritise upskilling to help<br />

future-proof your career. Asking about<br />

training and development also shows your<br />

willingness to learn, grow and constantly<br />

improve.<br />

During your interview, you could discuss<br />

a training programme you’ve already<br />

completed and then mention any courses<br />

you’d like to undertake in the future<br />

and ask whether your employer makes<br />

learning and development opportunities<br />

openly available.<br />

Career progression is also an important<br />

factor to take into account when<br />

considering a new role and to further<br />

portray yourself as a driven individual<br />

who would make a positive addition to<br />

their company. You could find out whether<br />

there is room to progress and continue on<br />

your career path at the organisation by<br />

asking if the job offers opportunities to<br />

move up the ladder. If so, what is the next<br />

step up from this position? This shows<br />

you are interested in working for the<br />

organisation in the long-term.<br />

Ultimately, asking well thought out<br />

questions is a great opportunity to both<br />

find out the answers you want to know<br />

and showcase yourself as an engaged and<br />

enthusiastic prospective employee. Next<br />

time you go for an interview, why not<br />

use questions to your advantage and ask<br />

away!<br />

Natascha Whitehead is Business Director<br />

of Hays <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>.<br />

If you wait until<br />

the end when<br />

your interviewer<br />

invites you to ask<br />

any questions,<br />

you may have to<br />

rush, and some of<br />

the questions you<br />

had lined up may<br />

have already been<br />

covered.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 39

Towering<br />

above the<br />

competition<br />

At Wilson & Roe, our USP is our people. We are proud to have<br />

the strongest leaders in the industry.<br />

Our team of highly trained and passionate<br />

enforcement professionals work on<br />

behalf of law firms, businesses, lenders,<br />

local authorities and landlords to collect<br />

outstanding debt and regain control<br />

of property.<br />

We are driven by results and<br />

client service.<br />

Contact us today to discuss how we can<br />

help you with:<br />

• Enforcement of High Court & County<br />

Court Judgments<br />

• Residential & Commercial Evictions<br />

• Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery<br />

w<br />

Wilson<br />

eric.roe@wilsonandroe.com 0161 925 1800<br />

Wilson & Roe | 26 Missouri Avenue, Salford, Manchester M50 2NP wilsonandroe.com<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 40

In today’s economic landscape, it is more important than ever for businesses to ensure that they have<br />

solid credit control and debt recovery processes in place, which includes choosing the best way to<br />

enforce your Judgments.<br />

A winning team<br />

The senior leadership team of Wilson & Roe High Court Enforcement give their thoughts on the current<br />

shape of the enforcement industry and preparations for the future.<br />

n Andrew Wilson, Co-Founder<br />

We have always been involved in national developments<br />

concerning the High Court Enforcement industry. Over the<br />

years, I have taken on a number of roles within the High Court<br />

Enforcement Officers Association (HCEOA) and I am delighted that<br />

Eric has now joined me as a board member.<br />

Our work with the HCEOA means that we have recently been<br />

involved with the recent fee reform and discussions with the new<br />

regulator of the enforcement industry, the Enforcement Conduct<br />

Board (ECB) where I sit as part of their technical panel.<br />

We fully support the implementation of an independent regulator<br />

for civil enforcement. Our hope is that the Government will<br />

underpin the ECB with statutory authority in the near future.<br />

Wilson & Roe have been involved with the MoJ and HMCTS<br />

and their plans regarding an improved electronic method of<br />

issuing Writs – this will be the first step in the digitalisation of the<br />

enforcement process, which we are fully prepared for.<br />

We look forward to the future with confidence and will continue<br />

to offer a service, second to none, to our customers!<br />

n Sarah Roscoe,<br />

Chairman<br />

n Eric Roe,<br />

Managing Director<br />

The ongoing cost of living crisis<br />

is showing no signs of subsiding<br />

and everyone is feeling the pinch.<br />

Whilst the suggestion that Judgment<br />

creditors should be more lenient<br />

in their approach to debt recovery<br />

can be appreciated, in practice this<br />

approach is not feasible for the<br />

running of many businesses.<br />

The majority of creditors that we act for are small-tomedium<br />

enterprises who have also been impacted by this<br />

crisis. I see first-hand just how quickly a Judgment creditor can<br />

become a debtor if debts owed to them are not paid. It is clear<br />

from looking at cases that a substantial number of debtors<br />

never intended to pay.<br />

We understand the knock on effect that non-payers can<br />

have on creditors and we are as passionate as ever about<br />

doing everything in our power to recover as much money as<br />

possible on every case that is sent to us. Leaving no stone<br />

unturned is the essence of our business.<br />

r@wilsonandroe.com 0161 925 180<br />

& Roe. 26 Missouri Avenue, Salford, Manchester M50 2NP<br />

Wilson & Roe has long been<br />

regarded as a leading choice<br />

in the High Court Enforcement<br />

industry, as we work closely<br />

with our clients to ensure<br />

their businesses thrive.<br />

It is exciting to see how our<br />

company is developing. We<br />

are always looking for ways to continually improve<br />

our service offering whilst keeping our core values –<br />

transparency, personability and drive – central to our<br />

approach and at the heart of everything we do.<br />

With the instability in the economy, we have seen<br />

an increase in clients looking for the best way to<br />

enforce their debt. Ultimately, they choose us as<br />

they have confidence and trust that their cases will<br />

be enforced appropriately whilst achieving the best<br />

result. At Wilson & Roe, we offer a high quality service<br />

which is delivered by personable and understanding<br />

people, so what are you waiting for?<br />

eric.roe@wilsonandroe.com 0161 925 1800<br />

Wilson & Roe. 26 Missouri Avenue, Salford, Manchester M50 2NP


Positive synergy<br />

How AI and RPA can improve the O2C cycle.<br />

AUTHOR – Roshika Perera<br />

WE’VE long known<br />

that technology can<br />

mimic and even<br />

outperform humans<br />

in many tasks,<br />

already replacing a<br />

swathe of jobs in industries ranging from<br />

manufacturing to retail. But does the<br />

same fate await the credit management<br />

profession?<br />

Martyn Brooke, <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

Specialist at Esker, provider of AI driven<br />

business solutions, does not believe so:<br />

“We should not be afraid of robots and<br />

AI,” he says. “They may be able to replace<br />

repetitive, mundane, and non-valueadded<br />

tasks – but there’s nothing wrong<br />

with that.<br />

“It will make people’s jobs more<br />

satisfying, strategic, and interesting.<br />

Some roles within a job will disappear,<br />

but new roles will emerge. And I think we<br />

should embrace these new opportunities.”<br />

Speaking at a webinar hosted by CICM,<br />

Martyn outlines a future in which credit<br />

teams will combine smart technologies<br />

into their processes rather than compete<br />

against them. To make his case, he<br />

presented five ways in which Robotic<br />

Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial<br />

Intelligence (AI), two existing and salient<br />

technologies, are already improving the<br />

Order to Cash (O2C) cycle in the credit<br />

industry.<br />

Document retrieval<br />

RPA, a technology that records tasks<br />

performed by humans on a computer,<br />

and programs itself to then perform these<br />

tasks without human intervention, is a<br />

favourite among credit teams. Capable<br />

of performing repetitive tasks such as<br />

retrieving documents stored on client<br />

portals, RPA solutions can save credit<br />

managers the time and effort of posting<br />

and retrieving invoices, debit notes and<br />

other documents that affect the O2C<br />

process:<br />

“Nowadays, most parties want credit<br />

managers to send and receive documents<br />

via portals instead of directly sending it to<br />

you,” explains Martyn. “Although this isn’t<br />

a particularly difficult task, it can be timeconsuming<br />

when performed manually,<br />

which is why more and more businesses<br />

are automating this process using RPA.<br />

The technology can search for documents<br />

on portals by region, entity, date range<br />

‘‘AI now has the<br />

ability to read<br />

and recognise the<br />

documents that<br />

are coming in,<br />

especially from<br />

regular customers,<br />

and it can learn<br />

what it needs to do<br />

with each type of<br />

document.”<br />

and much more. It will then download<br />

the resulting files into Esker’s solution for<br />

processing.”<br />

The objective of RPA is to serve as an ‘an<br />

additional arm’, enabling credit managers<br />

to outsource tasks that are boring and<br />

require no intellect: “it is a rule-based and<br />

trigger driven technology that doesn’t have<br />

intelligence built into it. It’s repetitive and<br />

robotic.”<br />

Collections boost<br />

If RPA is an additional arm, AI is best<br />

described as ‘a second brain’, having<br />

the ability to mimic human cognitive<br />

functions. Its capacity to provide predictive<br />

data by analysing past behaviour, for<br />

example, has helped credit teams boost<br />

their collections process: “AI can predict<br />

when payments are going to arrive by<br />

analysing invoice status, past payment<br />

behaviour and other data,” he says.<br />

“Based on these payment predictions,<br />

the AI can determine a customer’s risk<br />

level, and suggest priority calls based<br />

on that risk level. It can also create<br />

collections forecasts based on past<br />

customer behaviour, making it easier to<br />

anticipate incoming payments.”<br />

These predictive and prescriptive<br />

capabilities of AI are designed to make the<br />

collections process simpler. But it is one<br />

thing to crunch large numbers very fast<br />

and quite another to be able to strategise<br />

and understand human intent:<br />

“Incorporating AI into the collections<br />

process will provide businesses with<br />

greater visibility of incoming cash and<br />

better forecasts,” says Martyn, “which<br />

allows them to adjust their strategies<br />

accordingly. It is a far more efficient<br />

system than having to do it manually.<br />

And although the AI can analyse and<br />

organise the data without any human<br />

intervention, it is up to the humans to<br />

use the information appropriately and<br />

effectively.”<br />

Easier decisions<br />

AI systems can also facilitate decisionmaking<br />

processes that have hitherto been<br />

the preserve of human intelligence. It can,<br />

for example, suggest credit limits based<br />

on customer behaviour and other internal<br />

and external data:<br />

“AI can offer smart suggestions that can<br />

help you make more informed decisions.<br />

For example, it will bring to your attention<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 42

“Incorporating AI into the collections process will provide<br />

businesses with greater visibility of incoming cash and better<br />

forecasts, which allows them to adjust their strategies accordingly.”<br />

– Martyn Brooke<br />

if a customer has received a derogatory report from a monitoring service that<br />

you may have with your CRA or if their payment behaviour has deteriorated.<br />

You can then use this information to set appropriate credit limits.”<br />

In today’s data-saturated world, credit teams are shifting aways from<br />

Excel spreadsheets, in favour of the advanced capabilities of AI, which is<br />

significantly more efficient at collecting and computing data to assess risk:<br />

“AI is a far superior system compared to manually computing data using<br />

Excel spreadsheets. It can simply work in the background once plugged in,<br />

giving you the freedom to focus on more strategic tasks. However, you will<br />

need to exercise your own judgement in approving the payment terms, risk<br />

categories, and other suggestions offered by the AI. You will always have<br />

the final say.” Likewise, AI can also facilitate decisions within the customer<br />

payments process by automatically matching invoices to payments and<br />

suggesting allocations where there isn’t a match: “AI has the ability to<br />

compute many data sources that inform its recommended allocation.<br />

A human will always approve the recommendation and have the final<br />

decision.”<br />

Simpler communications<br />

With the development of technologies such as Natural Language Processing<br />

and ChatGPT, Martyn believes that AI can now also help credit managers<br />

with communicative tasks. With the intelligence to understand text and<br />

spoken words, and interpret tone, these technologies are capable of drafting<br />

standard communications that would help credit teams answer customer<br />

enquiries quicker: “AI technologies are now being employed to answer a<br />

range of customer requests and they are advanced enough to compose<br />

the type of reply that it thinks you want to send,” Martyn explains. “It can<br />

recognise the tone and sentiment of a message and can extract and retrieve<br />

data to generate a recommended answer. You can then choose to send, edit,<br />

or delete the reply.”<br />

The AI can also recognise keywords that enable it to reply with the<br />

appropriate action that the credit controller or collector will take in<br />

response to the customer request: “the AI can respond to requests for<br />

copy invoices, draft promise to pay messages and a range of other queries<br />

within seconds by picking out salient keywords within the message. And<br />

if the actions that it suggests are wrong, then the credit controller or<br />

collector can easily sort that out.”<br />

Accelerated processing<br />

Finally, Martyn showed how AI can speed up the O2C cycle by accelerating<br />

the speed at which documents are processed: “We can now use AI to<br />

classify emails into orders, remittances, claims and subsequently extract<br />

the relevant order data, remittance data, and claims data.<br />

“Another significant benefit of AI is its e-mail triage capabilities. Most<br />

companies will have a shared customer service mailbox that becomes<br />

overwhelmed with emails. AI now has the ability to read and recognise the<br />

documents that are coming in, especially from regular customers, and it<br />

can learn what it needs to do with each type of document.”<br />

Martyn brought the webinar to a conclusion by recalling a few of the many<br />

success stories from Esker’s customers. Rather than limiting or threatening<br />

human intelligence, it is becoming a source of empowerment to credit<br />

teams: “From my experience, businesses are accruing many benefits from<br />

integrating AI into their O2C cycle – job satisfaction has gone up, attrition<br />

has gone down, and credit teams are able to deliver a better customer<br />

experience.”<br />

To find out more about Esker’s RPA and AI solutions, please visit: https://<br />

www.esker.co.uk/cloud-business-solutions/order-to-cash/<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 43

Introducing our<br />


For further information and to discuss the opportunities of entering into a<br />

Corporate Partnership with the CICM, please contact luke.sculthorp@cicm.com<br />

My DSO Manager is an intelligent SaaS AR and<br />

credit management solution for SMEs to international<br />

enterprises, helping AR analysts manage risk,<br />

maximize cash collection and streamline the credit-tocash<br />

cycle, by a real-time insight to KPIs.<br />

Due to its inventive in-house IT teams and their tight<br />

collaboration with support staff, many of whom were<br />

credit managers at large firms, it can quickly integrate<br />

any ERP data and customize as needed.<br />

T: +33 (0)458003676<br />

E: contact@mydsomanager.com<br />

W: www.mydsomanager.com<br />

Quadient AR by YayPay makes it easy for B2B<br />

finance teams to stay ahead of accounts receivable<br />

and get paid faster – from anywhere.<br />

Integrating with your ERP, CRM, and billing<br />

systems, YayPay presents your real-time data<br />

through cloud-based dashboards. Automation<br />

improves productivity by 3X and accelerates<br />

collections by up to 34 percent. Predictive analytics<br />

provide insight into payor behavior and an online<br />

portal enables customers to access their accounts<br />

and pay at any time.<br />

T: +44 (0)7465 423 538<br />

E: marketing@yaypay.com<br />

W: www.quadient.com/en-gb/ar-automation<br />

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes<br />

the all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s<br />

businesses from collecting receivables in a<br />

timely manner. From credit management to cash<br />

allocation, Esker automates each step of the orderto-cash<br />

cycle. Esker’s automated AR system helps<br />

companies modernise without replacing their<br />

core billing and collections processes. By simply<br />

automating what should be automated, customers<br />

get the post-sale experience they deserve and your<br />

team gets the tools they need.<br />

T: +44 (0)1332 548176<br />

E: sam.townsend@esker.co.uk<br />

W: www.esker.co.uk<br />

Reduce or eliminate manual tasks, allowing AR<br />

teams to focus on actions that drive results, and<br />

strengthen decision intelligence to deliver significant<br />

value to the organisation. Cash Application / <strong>Credit</strong><br />

& Risk <strong>Management</strong> / Collections <strong>Management</strong> /<br />

Disputes and Deductions <strong>Management</strong> / Team & Task<br />

<strong>Management</strong> and AR Intelligence.<br />

Optimise working capital by driving world-class<br />

order-to-cash processes and leveraging decision<br />

intelligence to drive better business outcomes.<br />

To learn more visit www.blackline.com/solutions/<br />

accounts-receivable-automation/<br />

T: +44(0) 203 318 5941<br />

E: sales@blackline.com<br />

W: www.blackline.com<br />

Our <strong>Credit</strong>or Services team can advise on the best<br />

way for you to protect your position when one of<br />

your debtors enters, or is approaching, insolvency<br />

proceedings. Our services include assisting with<br />

retention of title claims, providing representation at<br />

creditor meetings, forensic investigations, raising<br />

finance, financial restructuring and removing the<br />

administrative burden – this includes completing<br />

and lodging claim forms, monitoring dividend<br />

prospects and analysing all Insolvency Reports and<br />

correspondence.<br />

T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London<br />

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff<br />

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services<br />

ContactEngine is a proactive customer engagement<br />

platform which connects organizations to its<br />

customers through AI powered digital conversations.<br />

ContactEngine enables collections treatment<br />

automation using conversational AI, dynamic<br />

engagement strategies, and easy-to-trigger payment<br />

transactions that help organisations collect debt<br />

faster. ContactEngine anticipates the need to interact<br />

with customers and fully automates personalized,<br />

multichannel, multi-day conversations to achieve<br />

specific milestones and trigger next steps.<br />

E: info@contactengine.com<br />

W: www.contactengine.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 />

T: +44 (0)1273 696933<br />

W: www.americanexpress.com<br />

Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit<br />

intelligence for credit insurers and for corporate<br />

customers. The company’s B2B <strong>Credit</strong> Risk<br />

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk<br />

<strong>Management</strong> Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;<br />

the Tinubu <strong>Credit</strong> 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 />

<strong>Credit</strong>safe), 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 / <strong>September</strong> <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 />

<strong>Credit</strong> 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 <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> 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 CICM’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 <strong>Credit</strong> 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 />

HighRadius provides a cloud-based Integrated<br />

Receivable Platform, powered by machine learning<br />

and AI. Our Technology empowers enterprise<br />

organisations to reduce cycle time in the order-tocash<br />

process and increase working capital availability<br />

by automating receivables and payments processes<br />

across credit, electronic billing and payment<br />

processing, cash application, deductions, and<br />

collections.<br />

T: +44 (0) 203 997 9400<br />

E: infoemea@highradius.com<br />

W: www.highradius.com<br />

FIS GETPAID solution is a fully integrated, webbased<br />

order-to cash (O2C) solution that helps<br />

companies improve operational efficiencies, lower<br />

DSO, and increase cash flow. The solution suite<br />

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 />

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 />

TCN is an industry leader in call centre technology<br />

with offices around the world including, the United<br />

Kingdom, the United States, Romania, Canada,<br />

India and Australia. TCN has met the global<br />

communication needs of its diverse customers.<br />

Utilising best-practice solutions and 24/7 technical<br />

support, TCN empowers clients to drive consumer<br />

interactions through omni-channel, inbound and<br />

outbound communications. TCN’s call centre<br />

platform is entirely web-based and available<br />

on-demand with unlimited capacity.<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) 1302 513 000<br />

E: sales@keyivr.com<br />

W: www.keyivr.com<br />

T: +44 (0) 800-088-5089<br />

E: spencer.taylor@tcn.com<br />

W: www.tcn.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 / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 45



A joined up approach to recovering debts<br />

with Shoosmiths and Menzies.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 46

Guiseppe Parla<br />

Lucy Sanderson<br />

Kim Achurch<br />

Paula Swain<br />

YOUR overdue debts are<br />

increasing, and you recognise<br />

that your credit control<br />

process needs some external<br />

support to try to unlock<br />

payment in these tough<br />

economic times and you are interested to<br />

know what Shoosmiths collaborating with<br />

Menzies can do to help and how they can<br />

work together to try to achieve a recovery.<br />

First Things First<br />

Shoosmiths start their relationship with you<br />

by understanding your business, exploring<br />

your processes, and how they can effectively<br />

plug in with their support. This will include<br />

giving you comprehensive advice in relation<br />

to your debt recovery options. Shoosmiths<br />

will look at previous engagements with<br />

debtors, average debt size, debt age and type,<br />

and categories of debtor.<br />

They will advise you on the best way to try<br />

to obtain payment. This will either be via<br />

court proceedings (for debt collection) or via<br />

an insolvency route.<br />

A Winding Up Petition (“Petition”) can<br />

be presented at court when a company is<br />

unable to pay debts as and when they fall due<br />

and when demanded. A Petition cannot be<br />

presented if there is any dispute, although in<br />

some circumstances it can be presented for a<br />

proportion of the debt.*<br />

Before a Petition is presented, Shoosmiths<br />

will check that there are no other active<br />

Petitions presented against the company. If<br />

it transpires that a Petition has already been<br />

presented, a Notice of Intention to Appear can<br />

be sent to the Petitioner. If the Petitioner later<br />

seeks to withdraw or dismiss, Shoosmiths<br />

can seek permission of the court for you to be<br />

substituted as the Petitioner allowing you to<br />

continue with the proceedings.<br />

Demand for payment<br />

Providing there is not an active Petition,<br />

Shoosmiths will either arrange to serve a<br />

Statutory Demand or send a written demand<br />

for payment.<br />

If the company can pay, then a demand<br />

is often an effective option for unlocking<br />

payment.<br />

It is not a requirement for a Statutory<br />

Demand to be served prior to presentation of<br />

a Petition, but it is a cheaper option as there<br />

is no Court fee. The Statutory Demand itself<br />

may prompt payment but if the company<br />

fails to pay within 21 days, the company is<br />

then deemed insolvent with practically no<br />

Before a Petition<br />

is presented,<br />

Shoosmiths will<br />

check that there<br />

are no other<br />

active Petitions<br />

presented against<br />

the company.<br />

defence to a Petition being presented. On<br />

the downside, it gives the company 21 days<br />

before further action can be taken.<br />

A demand for payment of any number of<br />

days can be used to support presentation of<br />

a Petition, however a company can dispute<br />

Petition proceedings if a demand letter is<br />

sent rather than formal service of a Statutory<br />

Demand. Shoosmiths will provide you with<br />

advice on the best option for your debt.<br />

If the debt remains unpaid following<br />

either demand, the company could apply<br />

to the court for an Injunction to prevent<br />

the presentation of a Petition to avoid the<br />

negative financial consequences.<br />

The Petition<br />

If a demand does not prompt payment,<br />

and no injunction restraining a Petition is<br />

granted, Shoosmiths will prepare and present<br />

a winding up petition to the High Court via its<br />

efficient online portal.<br />

Once a Petition has been presented,<br />

insolvency law has the effect of voiding any<br />

financial disposition of the company. The<br />

company’s bank account is likely to be frozen.<br />

This would have severe consequences for the<br />

company if they are seeking new finance as<br />

an advertised petition would come to the<br />

attention of their prospective lender.<br />

After presentation, the Petition will be<br />

listed for hearing to determine if a winding<br />

up order should be made. Shoosmiths will<br />

arrange service of the Petition and the<br />

hearing date on the company. At this stage,<br />

the company could apply to the court for<br />

an order restraining advertisement of the<br />

Petition, again to avoid negative financial<br />

consequences.<br />

Assuming no order has been made to<br />

restrain advertisement, details of the Petition<br />

and upcoming hearing will be published<br />

in the London Gazette, which Shoosmiths<br />

will arrange on your behalf. At this stage,<br />

other creditors might contact Shoosmiths<br />

to lodge notices of support for the petition.<br />

It is not uncommon for a debtor company<br />

to move forward with a company voluntary<br />

arrangement, administration, or voluntary<br />

liquidation at this stage.<br />

If no alternative insolvency process is<br />

proposed by the company and the debt<br />

remains unpaid, the Petition will proceed to<br />

its hearing date (typically 8-10 weeks from<br />

the initial demand). Shoosmiths will arrange<br />

an advocate to attend the hearing to seek<br />

that a winding up order is made against the<br />

company.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 47 continues on page 28 >


Statutory Demand<br />

served/ Demand for<br />

payment sent<br />

Petition presented<br />

in Court and served<br />

on company<br />

Petition<br />

Advertised<br />

Hearing<br />

Date<br />

Compulsory<br />

Winding up Order<br />

made<br />

Official Receiver<br />

appointed<br />

↘<br />

<strong>Credit</strong>ors’ report<br />

within 8 weeks<br />

↘<br />

↘<br />

<strong>Credit</strong>or’s nominate<br />

& appoint IP<br />

Investigation<br />

of antecedent<br />

transactions<br />

↘<br />

Return to<br />

creditors<br />

Winding up order<br />

If the order is made, your petition costs<br />

will be paid as a priority debt from any<br />

recoveries made from the insolvent<br />

company after the Official Receiver (“OR”)<br />

costs.<br />

The OR will open an Insolvency Service<br />

Account ** and will carry out initial<br />

investigations into company transactions<br />

and review the conduct of the directors.<br />

Menzies’ creditors services team can<br />

liaise with the OR on your behalf in<br />

order to ascertain progress made with<br />

interviewing the directors, collecting in<br />

the books and records and overseeing the<br />

recovery of assets in the liquidation.<br />

Menzies will collate information as to<br />

what the asset and liabilities position may<br />

look for the company creditors and report<br />

back to Shoosmiths and/or the client.<br />

Where necessary, Menzies will provide<br />

the OR with information to support them<br />

in their role.<br />

If an Insolvency Practitioner (“IP”) of<br />

Menzies can add value by securing the<br />

appointment as liquidator and there<br />

is sufficient creditor support, then the<br />

creditor services team will liaise with<br />

the OR to secure the appointment as<br />

liquidator of the company. The value add<br />

may be where suspected wrongdoing has<br />

occurred.<br />

The appointment will not incur any<br />

additional cost to the creditors. IPs<br />

are typically remunerated from the<br />

realisations made in the estate.<br />

IP appointed as Liquidator<br />

Once appointed, it is an IP’s duty to realise<br />

the assets of the company for the benefit<br />

of the company’s creditors. Assets are<br />

realised at best price achievable in the<br />

current marketplace. Investigations into<br />

the company’s dealings and the conduct<br />

of the directors will be continued by<br />

Menzies’ IPs and new lines of enquiries<br />

may be opened. The OR has the continued<br />

obligation of reporting on the director’s<br />

conduct, however the IP would always<br />

share information with the OR, so that<br />

their efforts are aligned.<br />

Investigations<br />

Apart from the automatically void<br />

transactions that occurred between<br />

petition and order dates, an IP will also<br />

look at transactions that occurred prior to<br />

the petition date and may fall under the<br />

following categories:<br />

• Payments made to one creditor in favour<br />

over others prior to insolvency (known<br />

as preference payments)<br />

• Transactions made at an undervalue<br />

(for no consideration or significantly<br />

less than assets value) and transactions<br />

defrauding creditors<br />

• Claims relating to the conduct of the<br />

directors and/or company actions prior<br />

to the insolvency, including:<br />

o Claims for the misapplication or<br />

retention of company money or<br />

property, or breach of director’s<br />

duties (referred to as Misfeasance);<br />

o Wrongful trading; and<br />

o Fraudulent trading.<br />

Shoosmiths will assist Menzies to gather<br />

and review evidence to support any<br />

potential claims which may result in<br />

returns to the company’s creditors. In<br />

a scenario where a claim is found, for<br />

example a director has paid out material<br />

company monies to pay a relative without<br />

justification, Shoosmiths will prepare<br />

and issue a letter of demand, or a letter<br />

before action (“LBA”) in relation to that<br />

claim. This may lead to payment from the<br />

parties involved, prior to the issue of legal<br />

proceedings.<br />

In the event that following a demand<br />

and/or LBA no payment is received,<br />

then an element of due diligence will be<br />

carried out on the personal wealth of the<br />

respondent to the potential claim (often<br />

a former director of the company) and<br />

a cost/benefit analysis will be carried<br />

out by Shoosmiths and Menzies before<br />

taking matters forward. A claim with<br />

good merits may be funded by, or<br />

sold to, a litigation funder to pursue.<br />

Shoosmiths would continue to act in these<br />

circumstances.<br />

In the event that it is not cost effective<br />

to pursue a claim, it is possible to refer<br />

director and/or company conduct back to<br />

the OR, who may pursue matters further<br />

at their cost if there are policy and/or<br />

public interest reasons for doing so.<br />

A successful claim by an IP will (subject<br />

to enforcement of a money judgement)<br />

result in a payment into the liquidation<br />

estate. Payments from liquidation will<br />

be made to creditors in the order set<br />

out by insolvency law, which means<br />

any secured and preferential creditors (<br />

such as employees and HMRC) will be<br />

paid out first following payment of the<br />

liquidation expenses. Unsecured creditors<br />

will be paid out equally thereafter. In<br />

these circumstances, you may not make a<br />

full recovery of your debt, but as set out<br />

above, your petition costs will be paid out<br />

in priority and, justice will be achieved<br />

in respect of any wrongdoing by the<br />

company and/or the directors.<br />

Tackling ‘ill-gotten gains’<br />

If you are aware of a director that has<br />

not been acting in the best interests of<br />

the company’s creditors and you want to<br />

ensure that their actions are adequately<br />

reviewed, then feel free to get in touch.<br />

* deminimus level is still £750<br />

** General Fee of £6,000 and Admin Fee of £5,000<br />

Shoosmiths will assist Menzies to gather and review<br />

evidence to support any potential claims which may<br />

result in returns to the company’s creditors.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 48


Modern Transformation<br />

Unlocking corporate success by transforming<br />

credit and cashflow management.<br />

AUTHOR – Bertrand Mazuir<br />

THE digital revolution is in<br />

full swing! Perhaps we are so<br />

engaged and invested on a daily<br />

basis that we fail to recognise<br />

how powerful the present<br />

developments are and how<br />

they transform firms and their connections<br />

with their business partners.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> management is involved in all aspects<br />

of a commercial relationship, from the initial<br />

contact with customer risk management<br />

to the final stages of the sales process with<br />

dispute management, cash collection,<br />

payment, and performance management.<br />

Throughout all stages, the entire relationship<br />

is becoming digitalised.<br />

Digitalisation represents a great opportunity<br />

to increase productivity, quality, and performance<br />

to the point that companies who<br />

are unwilling to invest in the appropriate<br />

digital technology risk slipping significantly<br />

behind, negatively impacting cashflow, profitability,<br />

and customer satisfaction. Worse,<br />

they overlook a significant opportunity for<br />

advancement that was previously undiscovered.<br />

Imagine a world where business relationships<br />

would be fluid and free of information<br />

gaps. A place where risk and potential<br />

evaluations are conducted instantly through<br />

interconnected tools, and where the seller’s<br />

accounts receivable remain continuously<br />

aligned with each of the buyers' accounts payable<br />

accounting thanks to efficient and comprehensive<br />

digital communication. Any encountered<br />

problem would be identified and<br />

resolved in real time by all parties involved,<br />

whether on the vendor or customer side.<br />

Picture an innovative credit collection<br />

system that was revolutionised by comprehensive<br />

follow-up media containing all the essential<br />

and critical information, such as PDFs<br />

of invoices, the most recent comments from<br />

concerned parties, and the online payment<br />

options. Any disputes would be promptly<br />

settled through online interactions between<br />

various actors. The performance would be<br />

evaluated instantaneously, establishing a<br />

link with the treasury through the real-time<br />

calculation of anticipated receipts based on<br />

the most tangible variables, such as each<br />

customer’s actual payment behaviour and<br />

collected payment promises.<br />

This is not just a pipe dream! For businesses<br />

embracing digital transformation in credit<br />

management, all of this has become a reality.<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> experts and decision-makers should<br />

This is not just<br />

a pipe dream!<br />

For businesses<br />

embracing<br />

digital<br />

transformation<br />

in credit<br />

management,<br />

all of this has<br />

become a reality.<br />

assess the software's capacity to include the<br />

following capabilities when considering<br />

integrating credit management software:<br />

- Being 100 percent real-time<br />

- Easy and fast setup, being flexibile that<br />

adapts to any ERP formats<br />

- Functional quality to reflect both the<br />

accounting and financial realities of<br />

credit management<br />

- Have a commercial dimension; and<br />

interconnection with a panel of services<br />

and platforms allowing interaction<br />

with customers, sales representatives,<br />

financial information providers, payment<br />

solutions, business intelligence tools, etc.<br />

Digitalised communication<br />

Cash collection between professionals is,<br />

above all, a matter of communication.<br />

To achieve high performance, the right<br />

information must be sent to the right people<br />

at the right time, often with a large volume<br />

of clients.<br />

What modern credit management software<br />

enables you to achieve is to customise<br />

interactive exchanges, including essential<br />

information such as balances (due, not<br />

due, potential late payment penalties, etc.),<br />

statements of accounts, links enabling clients<br />

to access their portal, invoices, and online<br />

payment options. In general, an extreme<br />

professional rendering, whether automatic,<br />

semi-automatic, or personalised by the<br />

customer, increases the confidence of your<br />

firm in the seriousness of its management.<br />

Real-time data consolidation<br />

It often happens for the different entities of<br />

a group to have different ERPs. The software<br />

should interface each of them, standardise the<br />

data and allow real-time data consolidation,<br />

natively managing multi-currency, multilanguage<br />

and multi-entity.<br />

In addition, the reports available in each<br />

entity should also be available at the Group<br />

level for Corporate views of each performance<br />

report, such as the anticipated cashflow, the<br />

aging balance, or the credit risk exposure of a<br />

significant multi-entity customer.<br />

Modern credit management software aims<br />

to democratise the implementation and use<br />

of credit management software by making it<br />

available to businesses of all sizes.<br />

Bertrand Mazuir is General Director<br />

of My DSO Manager.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 49





Crawley, £35k -£45k<br />

Reporting to the credit manager, you’ll support their workload<br />

and lead the team on a day-to-day basis. Remaining hands on,<br />

your duties include dealing with escalated queries, reconciling<br />

customer accounts, running credit checks and monitoring<br />

customers against agreed limits. CICM study support available.<br />

Ref: 4426440<br />

Contact Natascha Whitehead on 07770 786433<br />

or natascha.whitehead@hays.com<br />


Southampton, up to £40k + benefits<br />

You’ll be working within a growing credit control function,<br />

responsible for chasing payment of outstanding debt and<br />

managing circa 2,000 accounts as a team. Experience within<br />

a professional services environment is preferred.<br />

Ref: 4438748<br />

Contact Jack Bailey on 023 8202 0104<br />

or jack.bailey1@hays.com<br />


London, £30k-£35k<br />

A medical firm near Park Royal is looking for a sole charge AR<br />

officer. This is a newly created position as the credit function is<br />

being brought in-house. You’ll be responsible for maintaining<br />

the overall accuracy of the accounts, ledgers, and financial<br />

records within their remit. There is a high potential for the role<br />

to progress into a supervisory or management position.<br />

Benefits include study support and a 10% bonus.<br />

Ref: 4430403<br />

Contact Hussain Ahmed on 0333 010 7453<br />

or hussain.ahmed@hays.com<br />


Croydon, £30k-£33k<br />

Working alongside one other credit controller, you’ll be<br />

responsible for collecting payments in line with agreed terms<br />

and keeping aged debt levels to a minimum. You’ll build<br />

excellent working relationships with both customers and<br />

internal colleagues and work collaboratively to resolve queries<br />

and disputes. Aged debt reporting and month end duties will<br />

also form part of this role.<br />

Ref: 4434535<br />

Contact Natascha Whitehead on 07770 786433<br />

or natascha.whitehead@hays.com<br />

hays.co.uk/credit-control-jobs<br />

© Copyright Hays plc <strong>2023</strong>. The HAYS word, the H devices, HAYS Brave WORKING | Curious FOR YOUR | Resilient TOMORROW / www.cicm.com and Powering / the <strong>September</strong> world of work <strong>2023</strong> and / PAGE associated 50 logos and artwork are trademarks of Hays plc.<br />

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Manchester, £27k-£30k<br />

We’re working with a reputable company in the North<br />

Manchester area that needs a stand-alone credit controller.<br />

The main responsibilities include managing a ledger, chasing<br />

overdue or outstanding invoices, allocating cash, dealing<br />

with customer queries as well as building and maintaining<br />

relationships. This role is being recruited on a temp to<br />

perm basis. Ref: 4441650<br />

Contact Luke Lontton on 01612 367272<br />

or luke.Iontton@hays.com<br />


Birmingham, £25k-£28k<br />

We’re supporting a fast-growing manufacturer that’s looking<br />

for a credit controller on a permanent basis. You’ll be part<br />

of a small, growing team and will manage up to 200 accounts.<br />

In this role, you’ll be responsible for processing the day-to-day<br />

transactions within the sales ledger and will report to<br />

the organisation’s financial controller.<br />

Ref: 4437192<br />

Contact Henry Brook on 0333 010 7517<br />

or henry.brook@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 />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> UK Lead at Hays on 07770 786433.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 51


High Standards<br />

How the CICM Assessment Board is raising<br />

standards in the credit industry.<br />

AUTHOR – Roshika Perera<br />

DESPITE operating behind<br />

the front doors of CICM,<br />

the Assessment Board<br />

plays a crucial role<br />

in ensuring that the<br />

Institute maintains its<br />

status as the world’s largest professional<br />

body for the credit management<br />

community.<br />

Following his appointment as Chairman<br />

of the Board in November 2019, Stephen<br />

Allinson FCICM and his fellow Board<br />

members have been on a mission to raise<br />

the professional standards of the industry<br />

and expand the Institute’s global reach.<br />

With nearly 40 years of experience as<br />

a licensed insolvency practitioner and<br />

a solicitor specialising in commercial<br />

litigation, with a focus on debt recovery<br />

and insolvency, Stephen has a deep<br />

understanding of the opportunities and<br />

challenges within the credit industry.<br />

He has also been an active CICM<br />

member since his early career, serving as<br />

Vice Chairman of the southwest branch<br />

for several years, delivering lectures at<br />

legal conferences, and writing study texts<br />

for legal modules.<br />

It’s his extensive experience as a lawyer,<br />

working with credit controllers, paralegals<br />

and other legal professionals, that has<br />

shown him the value that CICM brings to<br />

the industry: “Having been steeped in the<br />

credit and debt world for a long time, I’ve<br />

seen first-hand the positive influence of<br />

CICM as an organisation,” he says.<br />

“I’m determined to expand the Institute’s<br />

influence around the world and improve<br />

the standards of the credit profession.”<br />

Board duties<br />

The Assessment Board serves as the<br />

independent arm of CICM’s educational<br />

services, a requirement for any regulated<br />

chartered institute providing education. It<br />

is the responsibility of the Board to ensure<br />

that CICM is performing its educational<br />

duties to a high standard and complying<br />

with the rigorous regulations of Ofqual,<br />

Qualification Wales and CCEA (Northern<br />

Ireland) which carry out regular checks<br />

and balances. It also falls on the Board to<br />

decide on appeals and deal with any issues<br />

around the assessment or examination<br />

process.<br />

“But that’s just the technical side of what<br />

we do,” explains Steven. “I believe that our<br />

job is much bigger than that. We need to<br />

ensure that CICM is guiding young people<br />

into the profession, preparing them to<br />

excel in their credit careers. We need to<br />

ensure that our education is very much fit<br />

for purpose and at the cutting edge.”<br />

To that end, Stephen and the Board<br />

are focused on expanding the resources<br />

and reach of CICM, having recognised<br />

new ways of impacting the next<br />

generation of credit professionals. “Since<br />

becoming Chairman, the team and I have<br />

implemented a great deal of change,” he<br />

says.<br />

Good Progress<br />

In particular, Stephen prides himself with<br />

the innovative and quick thinking that<br />

the CICM staff showed during the COVID<br />

crisis: “We needed to adapt very quickly<br />

and expand our online examinations,” he<br />

says.<br />

“We had to look at new qualifications<br />

that might be needed and we brought in<br />

further external educators and assessors<br />

“The end goal of<br />

the Assessment<br />

Board and CICM<br />

as a whole is<br />

to develop and<br />

encourage the next<br />

generation of credit<br />

professionals. If<br />

that’s my legacy, I’ll<br />

be very pleased.”<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 52

We need to ensure that CICM is guiding young<br />

people into the profession, preparing them to excel<br />

in their credit careers. We need to ensure that our<br />

education is very much fit for purpose and at the<br />

cutting edge. – Stephen Allinson FCICM<br />

onto the Board who understood the<br />

education sector. We now try and bring<br />

in new people every three years or so,<br />

to ensure that we’re exposed to a wide<br />

range of perspectives.”<br />

And with more and more young<br />

people looking for opportunities outside<br />

of university, Stephen believes that<br />

the Board should be more involved in<br />

marketing CICM’s offerings, encouraging<br />

students and businesses to invest in their<br />

professional development:<br />

“We want to highlight the benefits for<br />

both students and organisations to have<br />

qualifications to their name. Companies<br />

that become CICMQ qualified, for<br />

example, can market their business by<br />

being a part of that programme. And<br />

with more qualified credit professionals,<br />

the standards within the credit industry<br />

will be greatly improved.”<br />

Education evolution<br />

Stephen is also a visiting lecturer at<br />

the University of Law and Chairman of<br />

another exam board. Since he began<br />

his role as an educator, he has observed<br />

how education has evolved over the<br />

years, providing young people with more<br />

opportunities while also creating more<br />

challenges:<br />

“I’ve always been quite passionate<br />

about education. And I think what<br />

younger people have to go through<br />

now in any educational environment is<br />

much more stringent. I see education<br />

now as fitting you for the role you’re<br />

going to undertake in your workplace.<br />

The training is much more practical<br />

and outcome-based rather than just rote<br />

learning, which is fantastic in my view.”<br />

Although exams are becoming more<br />

stringent, Stephen believes that it is<br />

positively impacting the industry by<br />

raising the standards of professionalism.<br />

“There is clear pride in passing our<br />

assessments,” he says. “I think there’s<br />

much more focus now on seeing the<br />

credit management industry as having a<br />

proper pathway to progress.”<br />

The Board’s mission is to reach as<br />

wide an audience as possible, educating<br />

the public on what credit managers do.<br />

And while there is a strict Chinese wall<br />

between the assessment Board and the<br />

rest of the Institute, the Board is doing<br />

its part to provide the opportunities and<br />

professionalism within the industry to<br />

young people:<br />

“I believe that the Assessment Board<br />

needs to play a more central role in<br />

CICM. Although assessors can’t interact<br />

with students, we do encourage tutors<br />

to go to open days at sixth form colleges<br />

and universities. I’m passionate about<br />

giving back to the younger generation<br />

and I want CICM to show young people<br />

that they can have a great career in credit<br />

management.”<br />

A diverse industry<br />

Another of the Board’s objectives is to<br />

ensure that CICM is promoting diversity<br />

within the industry. The Institute has<br />

already made great progress in recent<br />

years, attracting more women, ethnic<br />

minorities, and younger people into the<br />

profession:<br />

“I feel strongly about removing<br />

the barriers of entry for people from<br />

different backgrounds and I think we’re<br />

moving in the right direction.”<br />

Last year, there was a good overall<br />

gender balance and a good number<br />

of younger people willing to take<br />

the exams. Stephen thinks this is a result<br />

of the introduction of apprenticeships<br />

and a change in attitude among<br />

employers.<br />

“Companies are increasingly prepared<br />

to invest in their employees’ education,”<br />

he says, “and there is a steady progression<br />

up to Level 5; young people are being<br />

given the choice to continue through<br />

the whole panoply or stop after a certain<br />

level.<br />

“<strong>Credit</strong> management is a universal<br />

profession, and although CICM delivers<br />

training globally and has candidates<br />

from over seventeen countries taking<br />

CICM qualifications, the Board would<br />

like to see more international <strong>Credit</strong> &<br />

Collection professionals qualifying.”<br />

And Steven wants further progress to<br />

be made.<br />

“So, one of our goals is to expand<br />

further our education and qualifications<br />

in other countries along similar lines<br />

to the Institute’s partnership with The<br />

School of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> in Sweden.<br />

The world is shrinking, and CICM has<br />

a huge opportunity to offer tailored<br />

training and development to different<br />

cultures and countries, improving<br />

standards internationally.”<br />

A Global institute<br />

The Board is facing its fair share of<br />

challenges in achieving these ambitions:<br />

“We are a relatively small organisation,<br />

but we have the same regulatory<br />

requirements that are required of much<br />

larger, regulated-chartered institutes.<br />

“And the way that companies are<br />

operating is also changing and becoming<br />

more global. Many large companies have<br />

dedicated credit management functions,<br />

but companies are also increasingly<br />

outsourcing these roles and that is<br />

also creating more opportunities and<br />

challenges.”<br />

Stephen believes that these changing<br />

trends are a further reason why the<br />

Board needs to be more proactive in<br />

encouraging more budding credit<br />

professionals to get CICM qualified:<br />

“The end goal of the Assessment Board<br />

and CICM as a whole is to develop and<br />

encourage the next generation of credit<br />

professionals. If that’s my legacy, I’ll be<br />

very pleased.”<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 53


Take it, don’t leave it<br />

A case of avoiding unwanted conduct and<br />

another of a claim for a holiday pay shortfall.<br />

IN a first instance decision,<br />

Fahmy v Arts Council England,<br />

the Employment Tribunal has<br />

upheld a claim for harassment<br />

relating to an employee's<br />

protected gender critical belief.<br />

In the case, the claimant attended<br />

a virtual drop-in session for all staff.<br />

The drop-in session had been arranged<br />

following the suspension of a grant<br />

due to the alleged transphobia of the<br />

recipient charity. During the session,<br />

the claimant challenged the view that<br />

the charity had been anti-trans, and<br />

queried how gender critical views were<br />

protected.<br />

Following the session, the deputy<br />

chief executive sent an email stating that<br />

it was important to treat all colleagues<br />

with respect and dignity, indicating his<br />

personal solidarity with the council's<br />

trans and non-binary staff. In addition,<br />

another member of staff sent an 'all<br />

staff' email about a grievance raised by<br />

the LGBTQIA+ working group, referring<br />

to homophobic and anti-trans views<br />

expressed in the drop-in session. The<br />

email contained a link to a document<br />

referred to an 'allies support sheet'<br />

and other comments responded to the<br />

email referring to gender critical beliefs<br />

as bigoted and anti-trans, amongst<br />

THE Employment Appeal Tribunal<br />

(EAT) has confirmed that an agreement<br />

governing pay in lieu of accrued, but<br />

untaken holiday, cannot result in lower<br />

pay than would be paid under the Working<br />

Time Regulations.<br />

In the case of Conner v Chief Constable<br />

of the South Yorkshire Police, the claimant<br />

was dismissed after a period of ill health.<br />

On the termination of his employment,<br />

he was owed pay in lieu of accrued<br />

but untaken holiday. His contract of<br />

employment contained a clause providing<br />

that this would be calculated at the<br />

accrual rate of 1/365.<br />

As a salaried employee, had the<br />

claimant taken this holiday during his<br />

employment, he would have received the<br />

same amount of pay for time spent on<br />

holiday as he would have received had he<br />

been at work. However, when the 1/365<br />

contractual accrual rate was used, the<br />

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards<br />

EAT Rules on untaken holiday<br />

value of this accrued holiday was less than<br />

his salaried rate of pay.<br />

The claimant brought a holiday pay<br />

claim to recover the shortfall. The tribunal<br />

rejected his claim, holding that the 1/365<br />

contractual accrual rate was a 'relevant<br />

agreement' for the purposes of the Working<br />

Time Regulations (WTR). The WTR deals<br />

with pay in lieu of accrued holiday where<br />

the claimant leaves part-way through the<br />

leave year. It provides that the amount<br />

due in these circumstances will either<br />

be provided under a 'relevant agreement'<br />

(which can include a contractual clause),<br />

or will otherwise be calculated according<br />

to a statutory formula.<br />

The claimant appealed to the<br />

Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).<br />

The EAT upheld the appeal. For a<br />

worker with normal working hours and<br />

pay that does not vary, the usual approach<br />

will be to divide their annual salary into<br />

other comments. The claimant's line<br />

manager and another colleague raised<br />

concerns about the email and the<br />

document that had been circulated, and<br />

the link was removed a day later.<br />

The claimant made a complaint under<br />

the dignity at work policy which resulted<br />

in disciplinary proceedings taking place<br />

against the employees involved in the<br />

email. The claimant then brought<br />

tribunal claims including a claim for<br />

harassment related to religion or belief.<br />

The tribunal found that whilst it<br />

was inappropriate for the deputy<br />

chief executive to express his personal<br />

views, his actions did not amount to<br />

harassment. They did, however, prompt<br />

the subsequent email that was sent.<br />

The actions of the colleague who sent<br />

the email were held to be harassment,<br />

being unwanted conduct which had<br />

the purpose and effect of violating<br />

the claimant's dignity and creating<br />

an intimidating, hostile, degrading,<br />

humiliating or offensive environment.<br />

This is a first instance decision so<br />

it is not binding on other tribunals.<br />

However, it is a useful demonstration<br />

of the practical challenges employers<br />

may encounter in protecting<br />

competing views or beliefs within a staff<br />

body.<br />

52 in order to calculate the amount of a<br />

week's pay. This will be the amount paid<br />

during both working time and holiday<br />

time. A relevant agreement can alter the<br />

approach to calculating accrued holiday<br />

pay. However, a relevant agreement must<br />

provide for a calculation method that is in<br />

keeping with the rights provided for in the<br />

WTR. It cannot provide for a calculation<br />

that makes the employee worse off than<br />

had they worked instead of taking, or<br />

being paid for, the leave.<br />

This case reinforces the key underlying<br />

aim of our holiday pay law framework –<br />

workers must not be disincentivised from<br />

taking their leave. If they are paid less<br />

than their normal remuneration during a<br />

period of leave, they are less likely to take<br />

holiday.<br />

Gareth Edwards is a partner in<br />

the employment team at VWV.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 54

CICM East of England<br />

Branch webinar on 12<br />

July <strong>2023</strong> was delivered by<br />

Monica Kapur, a Partner<br />

in the Restructuring and<br />

A. Insolvency team at Harrison<br />

Clark Rickerbys Solicitors who has<br />

over seventeen years experience as an insolvency<br />

solicitor.<br />

Monica detailed the benefits and<br />

drawbacks of the options to recover debt,<br />

summarised the legal processes available,<br />

talked through a case study, and suggested<br />

steps to best utilise debt recovery processes<br />

and minimise risk. Slido.com was used for<br />

immediate audience feedback.<br />

Negotiating with the debtor yourself to<br />

understand the reason for non payment,<br />

resolving queries etc; was the first step<br />

and the best way to obtain payment, but<br />

mediation was an option that could bring<br />

satisfactory results, with payment being<br />

received on the day, or soon afterwards, in<br />

70 percent of cases.<br />

Apart from reviewing your credit control<br />

processes (including whether your terms<br />

of payment reflected the contract) Monica<br />

suggested looking again at key contracts<br />

or agreements with customers; checking<br />


Navigating the Legal Landscape<br />

East of England branch<br />

whether your terms of payment could be<br />

tightened; or whether retention of title<br />

clauses could be added.<br />

It was a good idea to audit customers’<br />

health by checking credit ratings, seeking<br />

guarantors, or trying to obtain security that<br />

you could enforce, and to consider credit<br />

insurance. Supply chain mapping of your<br />

business suppliers, and their suppliers was<br />

also recommended.<br />

Litigation should not be undertaken<br />

lightly without regard to the chances of<br />

success, and the costs and delays of CCJs<br />

and enforcement were also emphasised. In<br />

Monica’s opinion the insolvency processes<br />

– statutory demands, winding up petitions<br />

and bankruptcy petitions –was a last<br />

resort.<br />

Monica welcomed, and answered,<br />

many questions. CICM East of England<br />

Branch would like to thank Monica for her<br />

outstandingly comprehensive webinar;<br />

Branch member Andy Moylan of EFCIS Ltd<br />

who mediated the webinar; and Branch<br />

committee member Steve Walsh of RSM<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Solutions who arranged it.<br />

Richard Brown, CICM East of England<br />

Vice Chairman.<br />

The CICM Benevolent Fund<br />

is here to support members<br />

of the CICM in times of need.<br />

Some examples of how CICM 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 CICM Benevolent Fund committee<br />

and you will be advised of their decision as quickly as possible)<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 55

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CICM 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 />

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 />


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 <strong>Credit</strong><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 <strong>Credit</strong> Awards since 2014.<br />

We provide award-winning customer service which is reflected in<br />

our client retention rate of 99%.<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 />


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 <strong>Credit</strong> 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 <strong>Management</strong> 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 />

<strong>Credit</strong> 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 />

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 />

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 />

<strong>Credit</strong> & Risk <strong>Management</strong><br />

Collections <strong>Management</strong><br />

Disputes & Deductions <strong>Management</strong><br />

Team & Task <strong>Management</strong><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 />

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 />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 56



paul@centuryone.uk 01727 739 196<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. <strong>Credit</strong> 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 />


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 />


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 <strong>Credit</strong> Services Association (CSA) for the past 22<br />

years, and the Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> 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 />

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 />

TCN<br />

T: +44 (0) 800-088-5089<br />

E : spencer.taylor@tcn.com<br />

W: www.tcn.com<br />

TCN is a leading provider of cloud-based call centre technology<br />

for enterprises, contact centres, BPOs, and collection<br />

agencies worldwide. Founded in 1999, TCN combines a deep<br />

understanding of the needs of call centre users with a highly<br />

affordable delivery model, ensuring immediate access to robust<br />

call centre technology, such as SMS, email, predictive dialler,<br />

IVR, call recording, and business analytics required to optimise<br />

operations while adhering to callers’ requests.<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 <strong>Credit</strong> and Industry<br />

Forums since 1991. We cover a range of industry sectors and<br />

International trading, attendance is for <strong>Credit</strong> 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 />


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 />

CICM Directory of Services<br />




paul@centuryone.uk 01727 739 196<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 />

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 <strong>Credit</strong>or 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 <strong>Credit</strong>or 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 />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 57

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CICM Directory of Services<br />



paul@centuryone.uk 01727 739 196<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 •Litigation service •Insolvency<br />

•Post-litigation services including enforcement<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 CICM 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<br />

growth within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional<br />

lever to help support supplier/client relationships American<br />

Express is proud to be an innovator in the business payments<br />

space.<br />


25 Canada Square, 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 />





paul@centuryone.uk<br />

01727 739 196<br />

Hays <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><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 <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> is working in partnership with the CICM<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 CICM. We offer CICM members a priority service and<br />

can provide advice across a wide spectrum of job search and<br />

recruitment issues.<br />



Portfolio <strong>Credit</strong> 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 <strong>Credit</strong> Control, a 5* Trustpilot rated agency, solely<br />

specialises in the recruitment of Permanent, Temporary & Contract<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Control, Accounts Receivable and Collections staff<br />

including remote workers. Part of The Portfolio Group, an awardwinning<br />

Recruiter, we speak to <strong>Credit</strong> Controllers every day and<br />

understand their skills meaning we are perfectly placed to provide<br />

your business with talented <strong>Credit</strong> 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 />

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 />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>’s Corporate partnership scheme. The<br />

CICM 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 CICM 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 />

A specialist and dedicated<br />

debt collection<br />

service<br />

020 8080 2888<br />


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 58

UK CREDIT &<br />


CONFERENCE <strong>2023</strong><br />

IN<br />


WITH<br />

FEATURING...<br />



EDITOR<br />











UKCCC<br />

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





THURSDAY 14 SEPTEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> / PAGE 59<br />

AWARDS<br />


Fill your vacancy or find your next career<br />

move at www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />


YOUR OFFICE...<br />

Portfolio <strong>Credit</strong> Control, part of<br />

the Portfolio Group, are proud<br />

to be the only true specialist<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Control recruitment<br />

agency in the UK.<br />

Specialising in solely recruiting for <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Controllers and <strong>Credit</strong> professionals since<br />

2008. We place permanent, temporary and<br />

contract credit professionals at all levels.<br />

Our expert market knowledge & industry<br />

experience is trusted by SME’s through<br />

to Global Blue Chip businesses including<br />

FTSE 100 companies across the UK for all<br />

their <strong>Credit</strong> Control hiring needs.<br />

We recruit for: <strong>Credit</strong> Manager / Head of <strong>Credit</strong> Control; (Senior)<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Controller / Team Leader / Supervisor; <strong>Credit</strong> and Billing<br />

Manager; Sales Ledger / Accounts Receivable (Manager);<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Analyst.<br />

...OR<br />


Contact us to hire<br />

the best <strong>Credit</strong> Control talent<br />

Scan with your phone to fill your vacancy or find your<br />

next career move at www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

Contact one of our specialist recruitment consultants to fill your vacancy or find your next career move!<br />

LONDON 020 7650 3199<br />


MANCHESTER 0161 836 9949<br />


www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

theportfoliogroup<br />

portfolio-credit-control<br />

portfoliocredit<br />

Rated as Excellent

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