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Credit Management March 2024

The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals

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CREDIT MANAGEMENT<br />

CM<br />

MARCH ISSUE <strong>2024</strong><br />

THE CICM MAGAZINE FOR CONSUMER AND<br />

COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS<br />

Inside<br />

Winners of the<br />

CICM British<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Awards<br />

Pgs 35-55<br />

MOON SHOT<br />

What’s happening in the<br />

world of Invoice Finance?<br />

What does a good<br />

business look like?<br />

Page 12<br />

Building fair accessibility<br />

into essential services.<br />

Page 22


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SEAN FEAST FCICM<br />

MANAGING EDITOR<br />

Editor’s column<br />

NEVER TOO<br />

BIG TO FAIL<br />

THE smart people in the CICM Think<br />

Tank have been saying for some time<br />

that it is only a matter of weeks before<br />

some of the big industry names start<br />

falling. That’s not because they want it<br />

to happen or take any pleasure in seeing<br />

a respected business fail. It’s more that as<br />

credit managers and professionals they get to see what many<br />

outside of our credit industry do not – especially within the<br />

supply chain – and it’s getting a little scary.<br />

Of course, some sectors are being more affected than others.<br />

Construction doesn’t look very pretty. The construction<br />

industry saw more companies go bust than any other sector<br />

last year, with a record 4,371 building firms collapsing in<br />

England and Wales. And they keep coming.<br />

A few weeks ago, the Essex-based contractor Readie<br />

Construction entered into administration. Chairman Stuart<br />

Read attributed the financial failure to ‘inflationary cost<br />

pressures, numerous subcontractor failures and chronic<br />

tightening in the performance bond and trade credit insurance<br />

markets.’ Founded in 2007, the company saw massive prosperity<br />

in the warehouse and logistics sectors, increasing revenue<br />

between 2016 and 2020 by almost £100m.<br />

The retail sector also isn’t filling the markets with confidence.<br />

As we go to press, the news was filled with stories of recession<br />

and the failure of Body Shop, a business with a 40-year<br />

pedigree. Once the darling of the High Street, the business was<br />

said to have lost its way - and its soul if some commentators<br />

are to be believed - many years ago and its failure to attract<br />

new customers in a crowded market was key. That’s true up<br />

to a point. Bodyshop took its eye off the ball and what was<br />

once niche is now mainstream. Soul didn’t have anything to<br />

do with it; it had simply lost its competitive advantage and<br />

then failed to act accordingly.<br />

What’s happening now is not a shaking out of zombie<br />

companies or those kept alive artificially by COVID loans<br />

or banks’ forbearance. It’s more fundamental than that. And<br />

it’s not a lack of business that is always to blame, but rather a<br />

lack of cash. Some are pursuing business models that are no<br />

longer fit for purpose and haven’t been for some time. Others<br />

have agreed to contracts that have denied them any flexibility<br />

or wriggle room and should probably never have been agreed<br />

to in the first place. But then hindsight is a wonderful thing.<br />

There will be many more big names to fail before we<br />

reach the bottom. Best practice credit management and<br />

professional credit managers can certainly help, and that<br />

includes calling in help early if it is needed to protect<br />

their business, their employees and their creditors. Good<br />

businesses experiencing temporary issues can still be saved<br />

with intelligent restructuring and flexible funding. But it<br />

means ditching the egos and admitting there is a problem<br />

in the first place. Because no company, it seems, is ever too<br />

big to fail.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 3


CONTENTS<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> issue<br />

12 – SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST<br />

What does a good business really look like?<br />

14 – WAX AND WANE<br />

What’s happening in the world of Invoice Finance?<br />

18 – UNEVEN PRESSURE<br />

The rising costs-of-living is not being felt evenly<br />

across the whole income spectrum.<br />

20 – SUPERCHARGE YOUR CAREER<br />

Three steps to succeed in an era of skills-based<br />

hiring.<br />

22 – ACCESS ALL AREAS<br />

Building fair accessibility into essential services is<br />

key to improving financial outcomes for disabled<br />

customers.<br />

24 – Y VIVA ESPAÑA<br />

The Spanish economy is proving especially<br />

resilient.<br />

29 – EQUITABLE RESOLUTIONS<br />

What is the potential impact of the proposed<br />

abolition of no-fault evictions?<br />

62 – CLEAR THINKING<br />

Economic crime is driving higher requirements<br />

in corporate transparency.<br />

65 – WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS<br />

Late payments are up across the board.<br />

72 – BLOWING HOT AND COLD<br />

Employers should have clear strategies for dealing<br />

with changing weather patterns.<br />

Spain<br />

33<br />

INSOLVENCY<br />

Finding the right comparisons when<br />

trying to predict future outcomes is key.<br />

12<br />

SURVIVAL<br />

OF THE FITTEST<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 4


CICM GOVERNANCE<br />

24<br />

COUNTRY FOCUS<br />

President: Stephen Baister FCICM<br />

Chief Executive: Sue Chapple FCICM<br />

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

Vice Chair: Neil Jinks FCICM<br />

Treasurer: Glen Bullivant FCICM<br />

Larry Coltman 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 />

Laural Jefferies FCICM / Neil Jinks FCICM<br />

Martin Kirby FCICM / Charles Mayhew FCICM<br />

Hans Meijer FCICM / Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad)<br />

Amanda Phelan FCICM / Allan Poole MCICM<br />

Phil Roberts FCICM / Chris Sanders FCICM<br />

Paula Swain FCICM / Jamie Thornton MCICM<br />

Mark Taylor MCICM / Atul Vadher FCICM(Grad)<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 />

14<br />

WAX AND WANE<br />

What’s happening in the<br />

world of Invoice Finance?<br />

35<br />

BRITISH CREDIT<br />

AWARDS <strong>2024</strong><br />

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

UK and international CICM membership, as well<br />

as additional subscribers<br />

Publisher<br />

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

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

Peterborough PE2 6XS<br />

Telephone: 01780 722900<br />

Email: editorial@cicm.com<br />

Website: www.cicm.com<br />

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 />

Editorial Team<br />

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

Advertising<br />

Paul Heitzman<br />

Telephone: 01727 739 196<br />

Email: paul@centuryone.uk<br />

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<strong>2024</strong> subscriptions<br />

UK: £134 per annum<br />

International: £166 per annum<br />

Single copies: £14.00<br />

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>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 5


THE NEWS<br />

CMNEWS<br />

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

world of consumer and commercial credit.<br />

WRITTEN BY: SEAN FEAST FCICM<br />

Azzurro launches new<br />

consumer and commercial<br />

recoveries business<br />

AZZURRO Associates is<br />

launching a new business –<br />

Solaris Law – and creating<br />

one of the largest consumer<br />

and commercial collections<br />

and legal debt recovery businesses in the UK.<br />

The launch follows the agreed acquisition by<br />

Azzurro of Equivo’s Legal Services division and<br />

Shoosmiths’ Business-to-Business Recoveries<br />

division. Completion will take place as soon as<br />

regulatory approvals are obtained.<br />

The two teams will come together with<br />

Solaris Law staff to create a new specialist law<br />

firm focussed on market leading consumer<br />

and business/commercial debt recovery. It<br />

will initially employ more than 150 staff across<br />

three sites. Equivo’s Field Team and High<br />

Court Enforcement Business will not form<br />

part of the new business and will continue to<br />

operate under the Equivo brand with CEO,<br />

John Ingram.<br />

As well as creating a new business with more<br />

than 100 years’ combined consumer credit<br />

recoveries and commercial credit management<br />

expertise, Solaris Law will re-unite some of the<br />

sector’s most highly respected industry leaders:<br />

Karen Bulgarelli, Mel Chell and Jim Taylor.<br />

Karen and Mel will lead the new<br />

organisation as joint Chief Executive Officers,<br />

taking advantage of Karen’s commercial credit<br />

skills and Mel’s specialism in the management<br />

of asset-based lending and motor finance.<br />

Jim will act as an advisor to the business<br />

in managing its secured and unsecured<br />

consumer lending clients. All three worked<br />

together previously at Shoosmiths.<br />

As Co-CEOs, Karen and Mel have a shared<br />

vision to create better outcomes for all:<br />

“We share a single-minded focus on developing<br />

Solaris Law into a diverse, market-leading<br />

recoveries business, built on a data-driven,<br />

customer focused recoveries strategy that leads<br />

to good customer outcomes and in turn gives<br />

our clients a better service,” Karen explains.<br />

Mel says the business will be unique in<br />

providing complete service lines across the full<br />

credit lifecycle: “From early and live collections<br />

and recoveries to litigation and beyond, our<br />

teams will be able to deliver the full suite of<br />

services for creditors working across both<br />

consumer and commercial lending, secured<br />

and unsecured, and led by true sector experts<br />

and experienced legal professionals.”<br />

Upon the transition of the existing Equivo<br />

and Shoosmiths teams to the new business,<br />

client contacts will be maintained to ensure<br />

the highest levels of service continue. The case<br />

management platform is common across all<br />

parties, and further investment in additional<br />

systems and infrastructure is planned.<br />

Andrew Birkwood, Founder of the Azzurro<br />

Group, says the combined teams will be able<br />

to deliver significant economies of scale: “With<br />

the strength, agility and investment from the<br />

Azzurro Group, we have the appetite and the<br />

ability to build an even more formidable datadriven<br />

business in the recoveries space with<br />

a first-class, highly collaborative leadership<br />

team with a shared vision, and total alignment<br />

of culture and values.”<br />

The Azzurro Group is regulated by both<br />

the Financial Conduct Authority and the<br />

Solicitors Regulation Authority. Azzurro was<br />

also the first non-lender to sign up to the<br />

Lending Standards Board’s Code for Business<br />

Standards.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 6


CREDIT MANAGEMENT<br />

Senior appointment<br />

IAIN Hendry has been promoted to National<br />

Head of Sales for Invoice Finance specialist,<br />

Optimum Finance, in recognition both of<br />

his own contribution to the team and the<br />

exceptional performance of the business<br />

in introducing more small businesses to a<br />

critical source of cashflow funding. In the<br />

newly created role, all UK sales responsibility<br />

will fall within Iain’s remit. He will be<br />

responsible for the new business strategy,<br />

nurturing existing and identifying new<br />

introductory channels as well as recruiting,<br />

training and developing current and future<br />

teams to best serve the needs of customers<br />

across multiple sectors and regions.<br />

Cost-of-living forcing<br />

more consumer to borrow<br />

to make ends meet<br />

STEPCHANGE Debt Charity is urging<br />

the Government to reassess its cost of<br />

living support for households ahead of the<br />

Spring Budget as new polling finds that<br />

two in five (40 percent), 21 million people,<br />

are struggling to keep up with bills and<br />

credit commitments, and six million have<br />

relied on credit to make ends meet in the<br />

last 12 months.<br />

The polling, run by YouGov, shows<br />

that among UK adults one in eight have<br />

borrowed money to make ends meet in<br />

the last 12 month, two in five (40 percent)<br />

are finding it difficult to keep up with<br />

household bills and credit commitments,<br />

and one in four (24 percent) have rationed<br />

heating, electricity or water to meet credit<br />

repayments.<br />

People were also asked about their<br />

ability to cope should they be faced with<br />

an unexpected expense of £1,000. One in<br />

eight (12 percent) people said they would<br />

not be able to cover any without turning to<br />

borrowing, rising to one in five (19 percent)<br />

among single parents.<br />

StepChange, alongside other charities,<br />

has raised the alarm about the Household<br />

Support Fund ending this month, which is<br />

a vital lifeline for households experiencing<br />

financial hardship, particularly if they are<br />

faced with an unexpected expense, or are<br />

struggling to cover essentials.<br />

Elsewhere, while encouraging reports<br />

have emerged around energy bills<br />

dropping from April, energy prices remain<br />

significantly higher than two years ago,<br />

and according to estimations from Ofgem,<br />

energy debt has reached a record £2.9<br />

billion. StepChange has seen a similar<br />

trend of high energy debt among its own<br />

clients - between January and December<br />

2023, average energy arrears increased by 28<br />

percent per new StepChange client.<br />

Vikki Brownridge, CEO at StepChange<br />

Debt Charity, says that in an election year,<br />

tackling such widespread problem debt and<br />

improving households’ financial security<br />

should be at the top of the agenda for<br />

current and potential new governments:<br />

“We’re fast approaching a point where all<br />

measures brought in to support people<br />

with the cost of living crisis are due to end,<br />

yet as this research shows, managing the<br />

cost of essentials has become more difficult<br />

for people in recent months.”<br />

Elsewhere, as living costs rise, over<br />

450,000 people in the UK are now reported<br />

to be using credit builder, Pave, as they look<br />

to improve their credit scores and access to<br />

credit. There has been a 13 percent spike<br />

in Pave users over the last 12 months, from<br />

400,000 users in January 2023.<br />

Switching over<br />

BETWEEN October and December 2023, the<br />

Current Account Switch Service facilitated<br />

433,701 switches, the highest quarterly total<br />

recorded since the Service was launched over<br />

10 years ago. These figures take the total<br />

number of switches since September 2013 to<br />

10.2m. The elevated switching figures may<br />

indicate that both consumers and businesses<br />

are reevaluating their existing accounts amid<br />

ongoing economic uncertainty. Account<br />

holders may be exploring banks and<br />

building societies that provide more tailored<br />

services, attractive switching incentives, or<br />

promotional offers that better suit their<br />

needs.<br />

Dead reckoning<br />

A survey commissioned by finance experts<br />

ABC Finance, has cast a stark light on the<br />

nation's ability to cope with one of life's<br />

most painful inevitabilities: the cost of a<br />

funeral. The survey, involving a cross-section<br />

of 3000 Brits, lays bare a sobering reality:<br />

more than a third (38 percent) of Brits admit<br />

they would struggle to cover the expenses<br />

of a funeral for their next of kin.<br />

Falling down<br />

ESSEX-based contractor Readie<br />

Construction has gone into administration,<br />

Chairman Stuart Read attributing the<br />

financial failure to ‘inflationary cost<br />

pressures, numerous subcontractor failures<br />

and chronic tightening in the performance<br />

bond and trade credit insurance markets.’<br />

Founded in 2007, the company saw massive<br />

prosperity in the warehouse and logistics<br />

sectors, increasing revenue between 2016<br />

and 2020 by almost £100m. Elsewhere in the<br />

construction sector, Ardmore has blamed<br />

inflation, supply-chain failures and ‘some<br />

poor management’ as the reasons it suffered<br />

a £10.8m pre-tax loss for the year ending 30<br />

September 2023. Ardmore also plunged into<br />

the red after posting a £6.5m pre-tax profit<br />

12 months earlier.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 7<br />

continues on page 8 >


THE NEWS<br />

A fifth of UK SMEs want<br />

to re-join EU as new<br />

checks come into force<br />

UK SMEs trading abroad<br />

remain hamstrung by<br />

circumstances borne<br />

out of Brexit, as the<br />

UK's withdrawal from<br />

the European Union approaches its fouryear<br />

anniversary.<br />

New research from Bibby Foreign<br />

Exchange (BFX) suggests that more than<br />

half (55 percent) see the ongoing impact<br />

of Brexit as a significant challenge,<br />

ranking second only to inflation as the<br />

key issue hampering their growth.<br />

Michael McGowan, Managing<br />

Director of BFX, says that the burden of<br />

Brexit is growing, not shrinking: “Brexit<br />

is stifling the growth of thousands of<br />

UK exporters and importers who also<br />

face a myriad of supply-chain Issues as a<br />

result conflicts in Europe and the Middle<br />

East,” he explains. “Combined, such<br />

geopolitical events are placing further<br />

pressure on those trading overseas."<br />

BFX’s inaugural Trading Places<br />

report was published in 2017 during<br />

the aftermath of the EU Referendum.<br />

At that time, 41 percent of importers<br />

and 29 percent of exporters said Brexit<br />

was having a negative impact on their<br />

business. Today, this perspective is true<br />

for a third of importers (62 percent) and<br />

exporters (63 percent).<br />

Half (49 percent) of SMEs report<br />

that the cost of trading with customers<br />

and suppliers in the EU today is more<br />

expensive and less profitable today.<br />

Meanwhile, 40 percent cite tariffs,<br />

customs and trade barriers as key issues<br />

facing them, leading more than a fifth<br />

(20 percent) to say they would be in<br />

favour of a new government taking steps<br />

to re-join the EU.<br />

Findings come as new post-Brexit<br />

border checks for UK exporters come<br />

into force: “Despite the resilience of the<br />

UK’s SME population, many of those<br />

who trade abroad are clearly struggling<br />

to operate as effectively as they did<br />

before Brexit. Held back by increasingly<br />

complex customs and clearance processes,<br />

this research sheds light on the ongoing<br />

impact of Brexit on SMEs. With new<br />

post-Brexit border checks on goods set<br />

to be in place this month - starting with<br />

the Border Target Operating Model, and<br />

physical checks beginning in April - this<br />

problem only stands to intensify."<br />

Despite a challenging environment,<br />

Europe remains the primary trading<br />

bloc for UK businesses, with six in ten<br />

(61 percent) trading with EU member<br />

countries, rising to 69 percent for those<br />

with turnover of between £500,000 and<br />

£1 million.<br />

However, for a growing number,<br />

there has been a discernible shift away<br />

from trade with the EU. Since Brexit,<br />

40 percent trade less with companies in<br />

the EU and 21 percent trade more with<br />

customers and suppliers outside of the<br />

EU.<br />

Looking ahead to the <strong>2024</strong> general<br />

election, two-fifths (44 percent) say<br />

they’d like a new government to revise<br />

the current Trade and Cooperation<br />

Agreement between the UK and the EU<br />

to improve trading conditions with the<br />

bloc. Conversely, more than a third (36<br />

percent) would like a new government to<br />

establish more trading agreements with<br />

countries outside the EU.<br />

“The growing desire to trade with<br />

non-European partners suggests a<br />

‘needs must’ pragmatism adopted by<br />

UK businesses dealing with the ongoing<br />

impact of Brexit,” Michael onncludes.<br />

‘‘Yet SMEs’ appetite for closer ties with<br />

the EU couldn’t be clearer. If policy<br />

makers and government fail to listen<br />

to and prioritise the views of small and<br />

medium size businesses trading overseas,<br />

the subsequent losses could be dramatic<br />

both for individual businesses, and<br />

national economic growth.”<br />

“The growing desire to trade with<br />

non-European partners suggests a<br />

‘needs must’ pragmatism adopted<br />

by UK businesses dealing with the<br />

ongoing impact of Brexit.”<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 8


CREDIT MANAGEMENT<br />

Profit warnings may<br />

herald more failures<br />

in next 12 months<br />

THE percentage of UK-listed companies issuing profit warnings last<br />

year exceeded the levels seen at the peak of the financial crisis in 2008<br />

as more than 18 percent of public firms issued warnings, according to<br />

EY-Parthenon’s latest Profit Warnings report.<br />

In total, 294 profit warnings were issued in 2023, a small decrease of 11<br />

from 2022 when 305 warnings were given. But the percentage of companies<br />

warning was still exceptionally high and higher than at the peak of the<br />

global financial crisis in 2008. Last year, over a quarter of warnings (26<br />

percent) were attributed to delayed contracts or decisions, 19 percent<br />

were due to increased costs and a further 19 percent cited the impact of<br />

higher interest rates.<br />

In Q4 2023, 77 warnings were issued versus 76 in the prior quarter.<br />

Cost pressures appeared to ease towards the end of 2023, causing just 10<br />

percent of warnings in Q4 compared to 41 percent in the same period the<br />

year before. However, corporate spending delays and higher interest rates<br />

became an increasing issue in 2023, with the latter prompting 24 percent<br />

of profit warnings in H2 2023, compared with 14 percent in the first half<br />

of the year.<br />

Smaller companies, which are more vulnerable to demand and margin<br />

pressures, dominated warnings at the start of the 2023. However, by Q4<br />

pressure had broadened as a third of the companies warning (33 percent)<br />

had annual revenues of over £1bn, more than double the average number<br />

of warnings given by businesses of this size.<br />

In 2023, 39 listed companies issued their third or more consecutive<br />

profit warning in 12 months, representing 18 percent of all companies that<br />

issued a warning last year. This compares to 31 companies that issued their<br />

third or more consecutive profit warning over a 12-month period in 2022.<br />

To date, 13 percent of companies that warned over profits for a third or<br />

more time in 2023 have gone on to de-list.<br />

Smaller companies,<br />

which are more vulnerable<br />

to demand and margin<br />

pressures, dominated<br />

warnings at the start of<br />

the 2023.<br />

Jo Robinson, EY-Parthenon Partner and UK&I Turnaround and<br />

Restructuring Strategy Leader, says that pervasive uncertainty in 2023<br />

created major challenges for businesses around earnings and forecasting:<br />

“While pressure around costs eased somewhat toward the year-end, the<br />

uptick in warnings caused by delays to business decisions and weak<br />

consumer confidence indicates an ongoing reluctance to commit to<br />

discretionary spending.<br />

“In <strong>2024</strong>, businesses will hope for a quicker-than-expected fall in<br />

inflation and interest rates, but many moving parts need to slot into<br />

place before we can be sure of an economic ‘soft landing’. We expect to see<br />

increasing disparity between businesses that are positioned to capitalise<br />

on still limited growth and those that are hampered by the impact of<br />

recent earnings pressures or their access to and the cost of capital. It is<br />

shaping up to be an easier year for many, but not all UK companies.”<br />

Anxious times<br />

DATA from the Current Account Switch<br />

Service suggests that UK SME decision<br />

makers might be optimistic for the year<br />

ahead, but a considerable proportion (24<br />

percent) of those surveyed admit that they<br />

regularly feel anxious because of business<br />

worries. The poll of over 2,000 respondents<br />

found that continued and increased revenue<br />

(43 percent) and more work with new and<br />

existing customers and clients (45 percent)<br />

also featured high on UK SME decision<br />

makers surveyed list of goals for the next<br />

12 months. As part of their annual review<br />

processes, nearly seven in 10 (69 percent) of<br />

SME decision makers surveyed shared their<br />

openness to consider switching their bank<br />

account, which may signal an era of more<br />

efficient finance management.<br />

Open relationship<br />

TYMIT, the instalment credit card<br />

business, and leading credit reference<br />

agency Equifax have announced a new<br />

Open Banking partnership to support<br />

affordability decisions and transparency<br />

for Tymit’s credit products in the UK.<br />

This partnership, leveraging the power of<br />

Equifax’s Open Banking solutions, is said<br />

to allow Tymit to improve the accuracy<br />

of affordability decisions with real-time<br />

insights and more granular transaction<br />

data. This provides direct benefits to Tymit<br />

customers, helping those with ‘thin’ credit<br />

history to demonstrate their financial<br />

resilience and unlock access to finance while<br />

simultaneously helping to protect vulnerable<br />

consumers from unaffordable debt.<br />

Thick and thin<br />

FINTEX Capital, the innovative investment<br />

firm specialising in private debt, has<br />

expanded its mezzanine financing for<br />

ThinCats, the leading alternative provider<br />

of business loans to mid-sized UK businesses.<br />

As part of this transaction, Fintex Capital<br />

made a further £5m available to ThinCats,<br />

taking its total mezzanine exposure up to<br />

£12m. This is financed by Fintex Specialty<br />

Finance UK, the firm’s discretionary<br />

investment fund. ThinCats continues to<br />

successfully provide vital funds to mediumsized<br />

businesses across all sectors to support<br />

their growth ambitions.<br />

Personal challenge<br />

LUXEMBOURG is the most affordable<br />

European country to take out a personal<br />

loan, according to an analysis of Trading<br />

Economics data from loans business Lånea.<br />

Ireland was second, followed by Denmark,<br />

the Netherlands and Czechia. The United<br />

Kingdom was identified as the worst<br />

country to take out a personal loan.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 9<br />

continues on page 10 >


CICMQ<br />

CICMQ Setting the<br />

standard for Best<br />

Practice in <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong> and<br />

Collections<br />

Top of the class<br />

THE London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), one of the foremost social science<br />

universities in the world, welcomed Sue Chapple FCICM, Luke Sculthorp FCICM and Karen<br />

Tuffs (FCICM)Grad to one of its newest campus buildings in London in January. The CICM team<br />

were delighted to present Glenn Ruane, Head of the Fees, Income and <strong>Credit</strong> Control (FICC),<br />

and the members of the FICC team with LSE’s first CICMQ Best Practice accreditation award.<br />

CFO, Mike Ferguson and Assistance Director of Finance & Head of Financial Systems, Keith<br />

Adams joined 15 members of the successful team in celebrating receiving their well-deserved<br />

Merit pass. Securing such a score at The School’s first attempt is an impressive achievement.<br />

Due to office space restrictions and working practices meant it was a hybrid in-room/virtual presentation and I was asked<br />

to present virtually – Karen Tuffs FCICM(Grad).<br />

Legion of Merit<br />

THE Adecco Group UK & Ireland credit control team, led by Debbie Matthews MCICM(Grad),<br />

accompanied by Lauren Rogers ACICM, hosted its CICMQ award presentation in the Birmingham<br />

office in February. Debbie and Lauren were joined by Karen Tuffs FCICM(Grad), CICM Head of<br />

Accreditation, and their 40-strong team both in person and virtually to celebrate their impressive<br />

achievement of securing a fifth consecutive CICMQ accreditation with a Merit pass. A massive<br />

well done to the Adecco team, and onwards and upwards to CICMQ Award number six!<br />

Excellence in <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

CICM Excellence in <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> status is the Chartered Institute<br />

of <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>’s highest accolade.<br />

Stepping on the gas<br />

XOSERVE is the latest high-profile<br />

organisation to secure CICMQ<br />

re-accreditation. Not only did the <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Risk and Neutrality Team, led by Brendan<br />

Gill, Business Process Manager, secure their<br />

fourth consecutive accolade but they did it<br />

in style with a Distinction pass. Xoserve,<br />

which is central to Great Britain’s wholesale<br />

gas market, are the first organisation to<br />

be awarded the highest grade level in the<br />

refreshed CICMQ programme. Sue Chapple<br />

FCICM, Luke Sculthorp FCICM and Karen<br />

Tuffs FCICM(Grad) joined the team’s<br />

monthly meeting together with members of<br />

Xoserve’s Senior Leadership Team including<br />

CEO, Steve Brittan and Head of Finance and<br />

Support Services, James Spicer, to celebrate<br />

this impressive achievement.<br />

Rewarding talent<br />

CICM’s CEO Sue Chapple FCICM, Head<br />

of Strategic Relationships, Luke Sculthorp<br />

FCICM and Head of Accreditation, Karen<br />

Tuffs FCICM(Grad) were greeted by Eileen<br />

Bell MCICM, Head of Global <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Control, accompanied by Liz Whittaker,<br />

Director of Financial Accounting and<br />

Operations, and Aisling Miller ACICM,<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Control Manager at the Alexander<br />

Mann Solutions (AMS) London office to<br />

receive AMS’s CICMQ award. Following<br />

initial accreditation in <strong>March</strong> 2020, Eileen<br />

led the UK and Ireland team of this global<br />

provider of talent acquisition services to<br />

secure the <strong>Credit</strong> Control team’s second<br />

prestigious award with a Merit pass. Some 14<br />

AMS team members joined the celebrations<br />

remotely, enjoying time out of their busy<br />

collections schedules to reflect on their<br />

well-earned success.<br />

The professional body awards this accreditation only to organisations<br />

that can demonstrate they meet specific challenging criteria as<br />

confirmed by the Institute’s Executive Board. Successful applicants will<br />

achieve Excellence in <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> for a period of two years from<br />

the date the accreditation is granted.<br />

Organisations can apply for the award annually and up to five will be<br />

awarded at the British <strong>Credit</strong> Awards. Judging will be undertaken by<br />

members of the Executive Board.<br />

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


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Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 11


BUSINESS MANAGEMENT<br />

SURVIVAL OF<br />

THE FITTEST<br />

What does a ‘good’ business really look like?<br />

BY STEPHEN GODERSKI<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 12


CREDIT MANAGEMENT<br />

WE find ourselves in<br />

an uncomfortable<br />

position where<br />

there is widespread<br />

dissatisfaction with the<br />

Government but a lack<br />

of confidence in both<br />

the opposition and other political parties. This makes the<br />

run up to the next general election (to be held no later than<br />

December <strong>2024</strong>) potentially damaging in view of the inherent<br />

uncertainty of its outcome.<br />

Reading the excellent survey of owner managed businesses,<br />

published last year by The Association of Practising<br />

Accountants, the following points struck me:<br />

• 77 percent of businesses rated Government support as either<br />

poor or very poor – this in a post-furlough landscape where<br />

Government support for businesses could not be faulted.<br />

This makes me wonder whether businesses quite like being<br />

nannied – as long as they don’t have to pay for it of course.<br />

• Half believe that the Government could do more to tackle<br />

inflation – Only half! What do the other half think that<br />

governing entails?<br />

• One in three felt that a change of Government would be<br />

good for business – surprisingly low when you consider<br />

the previous points. Nonetheless the fact that we have had<br />

three prime ministers in the last four years (that after the<br />

turmoil of the Brexit years) may simply indicate that what<br />

businesses really want is stability.<br />

• Half believe they are in better shape than twelve months<br />

ago – dare I say the proactive ones?<br />

• Almost four out of five were confident that they could deal<br />

with further interest rate rises over the next 12 months –<br />

which again indicates a level of confidence in their ability<br />

to survive.<br />

• Almost 70 percent were unlikely or highly unlikely to make<br />

significant capital investment in the next 12 months – not<br />

surprising given the looming general election.<br />

The survey publishes a selection of very interesting quotes<br />

from business owners and is well worth a read.<br />

Challenging times<br />

As everyone realises, it is tough out there and has been for<br />

some time. Regardless of your feelings about taking control of<br />

our sovereignty, Brexit has not been good for the economy on<br />

a number of levels (loss of market, loss of workforce leading<br />

to wage inflation, increased bureaucracy in selling into the<br />

EU). To compound this, we have had COVID, the ongoing<br />

Russo-Ukrainian war, and conflict and increasing tension<br />

in the Middle East. The knock-on effects of these events for<br />

the UK include significant debt levels, leading to a reduced<br />

ability for the Government to invest in future-proofing the<br />

nation’s infrastructure, and increased energy costs, which affect<br />

all of us many times over. And yet 50 percent of the APA’s<br />

respondents believe they are in better shape than they were<br />

12 months ago. We live in Darwinian times, and it really is<br />

survival of the fittest, the fittest being those businesses which<br />

have vision, are strategic and who understand what is needed<br />

to drive their businesses forward.<br />

So what does that business look like? I would suggest that<br />

it incorporates many if not most of the following elements:<br />

Strong leadership<br />

Clear values<br />

•<br />

Operational flexibility<br />

Great systems and controls<br />

Recognition of what is important to their business<br />

Motivated workforce<br />

Accountability at all levels.<br />

Let’s dig a little deeper into some of these elements. Tone at<br />

the top is important and progressive leadership is essential;<br />

that means dismissing your leading sales person fee earner if<br />

they fail to adhere to the firm’s values – otherwise what is the<br />

point of having such values?<br />

Operational flexibility<br />

Operational flexibility speaks for itself, and great systems and<br />

controls allow for real time monitoring and are an effective<br />

early warning system for things going wrong (or right of<br />

course). What is important to a business may change over<br />

time. At the moment I would suggest that for professional<br />

services firms their employees are more important than their<br />

clients (please note that I am not saying that their clients are<br />

unimportant!). I know that within our own business we put<br />

considerable effort into making life as comfortable as possible<br />

for our teams in the context of delivering great service and<br />

results and I know that we are far from alone.<br />

Keeping all of your team, regardless of age or experience,<br />

motivated is clearly desirable for any business and is not<br />

something where one size fits all. What is important to trainees<br />

is not what is important to the director who has been with you<br />

for 30 years, but both need to feel valued and be kept happy.<br />

That can be challenging but is not impossible. A very simple<br />

way of gauging satisfaction levels is by regularly asking people<br />

how they feel and what would make their work life better.<br />

Some suggestions will be unworkable but as long as there is<br />

dialogue and the reasons for not taking up a particular idea<br />

are explained, you may be surprised at the number of good<br />

practical ideas that you receive and the engagement of your<br />

team when they are implemented.<br />

Finally, accountability. Who is responsible for what. Something<br />

about which, unlike the result of the next election, there should<br />

be no uncertainty. If everybody is clear on the direction of<br />

travel, their role in the journey and they believe that they<br />

have had some input into the route and means of transport,<br />

that should be a very happy and motivated workforce and<br />

great financial results should follow. And after all, that is<br />

predominantly why we all work in the first place.<br />

Author: Stephen Goderski is a Partner in the Restructuring Team<br />

at PKF GM The Association of Practising Accountants.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 13


INVOICE FINANCE<br />

WAX<br />

AND WANE<br />

What’s happening in the world of Invoice Finance?<br />

BY SEAN FEAST FCICM<br />

LOOKING at the data from UK Finance,<br />

the industry trade body, tells some of<br />

the story but certainly not all of it. In<br />

terms of turnover, at £313bn in 2022, the<br />

volume is high and is expected to reach<br />

a similar (though a slightly lower) figure<br />

for 2023. Client numbers, however, have<br />

fallen to around 35,000 – quite a distance from its peak a few<br />

years back when that figure was c15,000 higher.<br />

So what is that telling us? It’s difficult to know. It could be<br />

telling us that the popularity of Invoice Finance is on the<br />

wane. Given that the turnover values are still high, however,<br />

it may also be suggesting that it’s a smaller number of larger<br />

businesses that find it most useful. That would be a simple<br />

conclusion, were it not for the fact that within the client<br />

numbers, business volumes within the £0 - £1m turnover<br />

bracket have increased.<br />

Data can only reveal so much. The volumes and values captured<br />

by UK Finance do not represent the entire market – only its<br />

40 or so asset-based finance members. Some of the smaller<br />

providers’ data, for example, is not included. (Some may see<br />

the annual cost of membership as a barrier to membership.)<br />

Most if not all the data from a growing number of spot-invoice<br />

funders will similarly be discounted.<br />

Clients that are not clearly defined as ‘pure play’ IF clients<br />

may also not be included, in cases where large deals may be<br />

being struck, and have a receivables element to them, but<br />

would not be counted in ‘true’ IF performance. If the fall in<br />

client numbers is taken at face value, and the popularity of<br />

IF is in decline, then why might that be so?<br />

COVID hangover<br />

Certainly, there is a hangover from COVID; many businesses<br />

that may have previously benefited from IF had access to other<br />

forms of cheaper borrowing, and the Government was handing<br />

it out with alacrity. There is also a current disinclination for<br />

business to borrow; this is something that is not unique to IF<br />

but is impacting all areas of commercial lending.<br />

The challenge may also be, in part, of the industry’s own<br />

making. Invoice Finance should not be fundamentally difficult<br />

to understand. If a company is required to do business on<br />

credit terms, then it helps them bridge the gap between the<br />

work done and payment received. It is that simple.<br />

For some reason, however, it is perceived as being complicated,<br />

and seen as placing considerable responsibility on the<br />

part of the borrower. That’s not surprising given that its<br />

model has always been focused on managing and reducing<br />

risk, requiring proper security and collateral. It is more<br />

relationship driven, rather than a one-off interaction, and this<br />

scares some businesses away. Fintechs and other challenger<br />

funders, however, have seemed to make access to cash easier<br />

to understand and the process more straightforward, even<br />

though the discipline that Invoice Finance requires of the<br />

borrower helps more cash to become unlocked, which has to<br />

be a good thing all round.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 14


CREDIT MANAGEMENT<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 15<br />

continues on page 14 >


INVOICE FINANCE<br />

One of the reasons it is seen as complicated, however, is because there<br />

is no consistency in the language that IF providers use. Different<br />

providers use different ways to describe the same things. Sometimes<br />

a funder even uses different terminology within their own business:<br />

advance rate, pre-payment initial percentage and initial payment, for<br />

example, are three ways to describe the same thing!<br />

Notwithstanding these factors. UK Finance remains confident that the<br />

popularity of Invoice Finance will return, especially as the economy<br />

recovers, and acknowledges there is a huge appetite from its IF members<br />

to lend. While it may be in something of a holding pattern, in the<br />

context of other forms of commercial finance and lending products,<br />

it remains relatively resilient.<br />

It may be, also, that the figures from UK Finance regarding client<br />

numbers are an underestimate of what’s really going on. A recent<br />

review of debentures registered by Invoice Finance providers suggests<br />

the figure is closer to 50,000 rather than 35,000, but it’s not a given, and<br />

the fact that some charges are not satisfied and therefore incorrectly<br />

recognised adds a complication to clarifying a somewhat opaque picture.<br />

Some don’t hold with the idea that many hundreds of thousands of<br />

businesses could benefit from IF. It requires a business to be B2B, which<br />

instantly rules out a considerable swathe of SMEs, and some businesses<br />

(as stated previously) are simply not in the market to borrow. That<br />

said, IF isn’t borrowing and it’s more than ‘just’ funding; it provides<br />

a credit management service. If there are two million actual trading<br />

businesses and 44 percent of them are B2B (according to data from<br />

the Business Intelligence Group), then that still equates to 220,000<br />

potential beneficiaries which is a long way short of the 35,000 or so<br />

current users.<br />

Last resort<br />

Is the industry concerned that IF is still seen as something of funding<br />

of the last resort? On the one hand, this can be seen as a negative.<br />

Looked at differently, however, it shows that many different types of<br />

funding are available to support businesses at different stages of their<br />

own economic cycles and that has to be a good thing.<br />

When it’s considered that IF and Asset-based lending products support<br />

UK businesses which when combined represent in the region of 12<br />

percent of UK Gross Domestic Product, its place in the commercial<br />

lending spectrum is warranting of higher respect. The fact that the<br />

popularity of IF is growing within the mid-market, also, would suggest<br />

it is anything but ‘last resort’ but more accurately ‘early choice’.<br />

So what about the future?<br />

The receivables finance sector is far from black and white. New<br />

entrants are always appearing, such as those who fund credit card<br />

receivables, for example. IF providers may have to evolve their existing<br />

models; how companies pay and get paid is changing and the new<br />

payment architecture could transform the Invoice Finance industry.<br />

Artificial Intelligence, Open Banking and other digital tools will all<br />

play their part.<br />

And there is another challenge lurking around the corner: e-invoicing.<br />

To some it will be an opportunity; to others, a threat. In the European<br />

Union it will be mandatory; in the UK, it is more of a murky pond<br />

and the industry will need to be on the front foot or else it will be<br />

the large accountancy software providers who will be calling the tune<br />

and defining the future competitive landscape.<br />

Is the industry<br />

concerned that<br />

IF is still seen<br />

as something of<br />

funding of the<br />

last resort?<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 16


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE x


CONSUMER CREDIT<br />

UNEVEN<br />

PRESSURE<br />

The rising costs-of-living is not being felt<br />

evenly across the income spectrum, so what<br />

does this mean for debt anxiety and arrears.<br />

BY SARAH COLES<br />

It can be difficult to<br />

see the overall impact<br />

of rising prices when<br />

we look at today’s<br />

inflation figure.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 18


CREDIT MANAGEMENT<br />

LIFE got harder in 2023, dealing a<br />

real blow to our financial resilience.<br />

The new edition of the Hargreaves<br />

Lansdown Savings and Resilience<br />

Barometer, which is carried out in<br />

partnership with London Economics,<br />

found that overall resilience fell 0.5<br />

points to 60.9 (out of 100). It’s still above pre-pandemic<br />

levels, but a third of the pandemic gain has been<br />

wiped out.<br />

The Savings and Resilience Barometer is structured around<br />

the five pillars of financial behaviour that are fundamental<br />

in order to balance current and future demands, while<br />

guarding against risks. These are: controlling your debts,<br />

protecting your family, saving for a rainy day, planning for<br />

later life and investing to make more of your money.<br />

Relentlessly rising prices for well over a year have taken a<br />

toll. It can be difficult to see the overall impact of rising<br />

prices when we look at today’s inflation figure. However,<br />

the Barometer shows the cost of living has increased 18.4<br />

percent in the past two years.<br />

This hasn’t been felt evenly across the income spectrum,<br />

so the resilience gap between higher and lower earners is<br />

widening. For higher earners, life has actually been getting<br />

easier. The highest fifth of earners have seen the proportion<br />

scoring ‘good’ or ‘great’ for overall financial resilience rise<br />

from 77 percent in 2019 to 86 percent at the end of 2023.<br />

Meanwhile, lower earners are still being clobbered by the<br />

cost-of-living crisis. The lowest fifth of earners with ‘good’<br />

or ‘great’ scores fell from three percent to two percent.<br />

Debt crisis<br />

Lower earners were less able to build up lockdown savings<br />

during the pandemic. They were also less likely to have<br />

investments or own property – both of which increased<br />

in value – so by the end of the peak of the pandemic they<br />

were worse off.<br />

As we emerged from one crisis, we were then plunged into<br />

another, and the rising cost-of-living has taken a toll on<br />

the resilience of lower earners too. They already had less<br />

room in their budgets but were hit harder by rises in the<br />

cost of the essentials – including a 23.9 percent increase in<br />

the cost of food and non-alcoholic drink.<br />

Increasingly, they have spent any savings and cut every<br />

cost, and have run out of road. The debt position of lower<br />

earners has deteriorated since the onset of the pandemic,<br />

while for everyone else it has improved. The debt scores for<br />

those on lower incomes are significantly worse than they<br />

were before the pandemic, falling three percent - compared<br />

to a two percent rise in the debt scores of higher earners.<br />

Debt anxiety and arrears are a particular concern. More<br />

than a quarter (27 percent) of the lowest earners are in<br />

arrears, while 37 percent have debt worries. It’s easy to see<br />

why, because their debt repayments (excluding mortgages)<br />

are painfully high compared to their incomes. The lowest<br />

fifth of earners have average debt repayments of £168 a<br />

month, compared to £141 among the second lowest fifth,<br />

and £315 among middle earners.<br />

Forecast<br />

Overall resilience is expected to stay at the current level<br />

throughout <strong>2024</strong>, as National Insurance cuts and lower<br />

inflation are offset by smaller wage rises and frozen tax<br />

thresholds. However, when it comes to National Insurance<br />

cuts, lower earners benefit less. Once you subtract extra tax<br />

caused by frozen thresholds from the National Insurance<br />

cuts, the average earner is £13 better off, and those on<br />

lower-than-average incomes will actually be worse off. It<br />

means the resilience gap could widen further.<br />

Lower earners are also likely to suffer if there are no more<br />

cost-of-living payments announced after the last one in<br />

February <strong>2024</strong>. These have gone to lower earners and retired<br />

people and made a significant difference in boosting their<br />

resilience. It means there is a risk they will continue to<br />

turn to debt to make ends meet, and more people will fall<br />

into arrears as they can’t afford their debt repayments.<br />

Falling interest rates could ease the pressure as we go<br />

through the year, but these are far from guaranteed and<br />

rely on the market being right about its forecasts for<br />

interest rate cuts. If you’re holding out for this to solve<br />

your debt problems, it’s a risky strategy, so it’s far better to<br />

face it head-on and talk to a debt charity like Stepchange<br />

or National Debtline sooner rather than later.<br />

About the Barometer<br />

This is a huge piece of analysis we do every six months in<br />

partnership with Oxford Economics, bringing together<br />

16 separate measures from official datasets, and using<br />

statistical modelling to build an overarching picture of<br />

people’s financial resilience – from how much savings<br />

they have, to whether they’re on track for a reasonable<br />

retirement income. It gives us an overall picture of whether<br />

we are getting stronger or losing resilience, and tells us<br />

where people are vulnerable, and about the gaps in their<br />

finances.<br />

We can also use the model to see the impact of big changes<br />

in the world around us – like rises in mortgage rates and<br />

house price drops.<br />

It is structured around the five pillars of financial behaviour<br />

that are fundamental in order to balance current and<br />

future demands, while guarding against risks. These are:<br />

controlling your debts, protecting your family, saving for<br />

a rainy day, planning for later life and investing to make<br />

more of your money.<br />

Author: Sarah Coles is Head of Personal Finance<br />

at Hargreaves Landsdown<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 19


CAREERS<br />

SUPERCHARGE<br />

YOUR CAREER<br />

Three steps to succeed in an era of skills-based hiring.<br />

BY NATASCHA WHITEHEAD<br />

SKILLS-based hiring, where more emphasis is<br />

placed on the skills a candidate has rather than<br />

their experience or qualifications, has become<br />

a buzzword in the world of work, but how can<br />

we respond to this trend to boost our careers?<br />

Whether you’re looking for a new role, or striving<br />

to progress in your current organisation, tapping<br />

into the rise of skills-based hiring will allow you to enhance your<br />

entire career. Here are three ways you can prioritise your skillset<br />

to support your professional development:<br />

1. Keep upskilling<br />

It’s important to continuously build on your skillset to improve<br />

your employability and your chance of receiving promotions.<br />

Identify if there are any core skills you are lacking and research<br />

the training courses and qualifications that are out there to<br />

help you fill these gaps. As well as seeking out external courses<br />

to expand your knowledge, find out if your organisation offers<br />

internal learning and development opportunities, which are<br />

likely to be free of charge.<br />

You could set aside a couple of hours each week in your spare time<br />

to complete relevant training courses or speak to your manager<br />

about blocking out some time during your working hours. It’s<br />

crucial that you don’t just complete an additional qualification<br />

for the sake of putting it on your CV, but with the intention of<br />

upskilling yourself to move forward in the career you want.<br />

Having a learning mindset is a core skill that employers prioritise<br />

in their teams today, and you can demonstrate your willingness<br />

to progress by learning from your colleagues in your day-to-day<br />

working life. Whether members of your team can support you<br />

to improve your technical skills, such as feeling confident using<br />

a particular credit control software, or soft skills, such as being<br />

able to negotiate effectively with clients, the opportunities to<br />

learn are endless.<br />

2. Track your skillset<br />

Whilst qualifications on your CV can certainly enhance your<br />

credibility, what employers are really interested in nowadays is<br />

what you learnt during that experience and the specific skills<br />

you developed as a result. Keep track of the steps you took to<br />

acquire certain skills, so you can reflect on how far you’ve come,<br />

as well as demonstrate your proactive approach to upskilling<br />

to a current or prospective employer. You should also keep a<br />

record of times when you have pushed yourself out of your<br />

comfort zone to develop particular skills, such as getting involved<br />

in additional projects.<br />

Similarly, to thrive in an era of skills-based hiring, it’s important<br />

to keep a record of examples where you utilised your skills and<br />

how your skills have helped you overcome any challenges. For<br />

instance, your strong communication skills may have enabled you<br />

to solve a difficult dispute with a client, so make a note detailing<br />

this event and how your skills led you to a desired outcome,<br />

thus contributing to the success of the business. As you build<br />

an extensive list of examples, you can then include these on your<br />

CV, discuss them in an interview and use them to pitch to your<br />

employer why you deserve a promotion.<br />

You need to be able to illustrate your capabilities coming to<br />

life. Anyone can list an impressive set of skills on their CV for<br />

example, so having a record to hand that is specific to you and<br />

your skills journey is essential to stand out from the crowd and<br />

take advantage of skills-based hiring.<br />

3. The relevance of your skills<br />

Once you’ve acquired a toolbox of skills, it’s vital to ask yourself:<br />

how is my skillset invaluable for my career? When applying for a<br />

new role, always be specific about why the skills you have under<br />

your belt make you a suitable candidate. In any job application,<br />

emphasise each skill you’ve mastered and exactly why it is<br />

transferable to the position in question. Whether that’s managing<br />

your time well or having strong numeracy skills, be specific about<br />

the tangible ways you plan to put these skills to good use in your<br />

day-to-day responsibilities to facilitate success.<br />

When it comes to utilising your skills to enhance your career<br />

development, you could look at the job description for the role<br />

above you in terms of seniority and show that you tick lots<br />

of the required skills, to prove you are ready for that level of<br />

responsibility. Let’s say you’ve increased a business’ profits by<br />

reducing debt, use this as evidence of your skills and articulate<br />

that these skills lay the groundwork for you to continue meeting<br />

and exceeding targets in the role you’re striving to secure.<br />

Ultimately, as the skills-based approach to hiring is here to stay,<br />

skills are the fuel you need to supercharge your career in credit,<br />

so ensure you adopt a thirst for knowledge, illustrate your skills<br />

in practice and communicate why they matter.<br />

Author: Natascha Whitehead is Senior Business Director at Hays<br />

specialising in <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 20


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Probably thebest debt collection network worldwide<br />

Razvan-Costin<br />

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Semnat digital de Razvan-<br />

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Data: 2022.08.08 18:47:58<br />

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Moneyknows no borders—neither do we<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE x


CONSUMER CREDIT<br />

ACCESS<br />

ALL AREAS<br />

Building fair accessibility into essential<br />

services is key to improving financial outcomes<br />

for disabled customers<br />

BY PAUL LAMONT<br />

ACCESSIBILITY is something<br />

many of us take for granted,<br />

and something businesses<br />

of all shapes and sizes need<br />

to prioritise. There are 16<br />

million disabled people living<br />

in the UK, which is almost a<br />

quarter of the population (24 percent). For those with<br />

a disability, or in need of specific support, contacting<br />

essential service providers can be challenging. This leaves<br />

millions of people unable to engage with businesses<br />

when needing support or information.<br />

This is not just an isolated issue either. The Financial<br />

Conduct Authority (FCA) estimates that 7.4 million<br />

people have struggled to contact their service providers,<br />

with the most vulnerable in society facing the greatest<br />

challenges.<br />

Research conducted by Experian and Revealing Reality<br />

shows that some of the most significant barriers for<br />

consumers to disclose to their service providers are time<br />

and trust. The time, and stress, of having to engage with<br />

so many different service providers, often requiring long<br />

conversations with call centre staff, and the lack of trust<br />

in the way that information is used means consumers<br />

typically have no transparency in how their information<br />

is used once a disclosure is made.<br />

To address this issue, businesses must take a more<br />

proactive and informed approach to ensure their<br />

services are accessible. To do this, barriers to disclosure<br />

need to be removed so that consumers are empowered to<br />

notify service providers of their reasonable adjustments.<br />

Without this, disabled customers and those with<br />

additional support will, and do, struggle to engage with<br />

essential service providers in a way that suits them best.<br />

The psychological impact<br />

When everyday service providers – like banks, energy<br />

suppliers, mobile companies, or local authorities – fail<br />

to meet a disabled customers’ needs the experience can<br />

be psychologically distressing.<br />

Poor service accessibility can also result in disabled<br />

customers having to disclose sensitive medical<br />

information to the businesses. The process can be<br />

not only frustrating – with the discomfort of having<br />

to disclose private information – but mentally<br />

exhausting. When multiple service providers do not<br />

meet accessibility needs, disabled customers will have<br />

to explain these details – repeatedly.<br />

Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of disabled people<br />

have hesitated to contact essential service providers,<br />

because the process seemed too daunting. The<br />

consequences of these delays mean individuals are<br />

missing vital support and crucial information.<br />

Disabled people wait an average of 82 days before<br />

reaching out to essential service providers. The reasons<br />

behind this delay are extensive, with more than a third<br />

of feeling emotionally drained, 34 percent experiencing<br />

anxiety, and 27 percent left demoralised after interacting<br />

with companies.<br />

The repercussions of these delays are far-reaching,<br />

affecting every aspect of life. Over half (52 percent)<br />

said they would have spent this time resting or sleeping<br />

without anxiety if they could have it back, while 28<br />

percent said their finances had been negatively impacted<br />

due to difficulties in contacting essential services. Yet<br />

just 19 percent have requested support from service<br />

providers, which indicates the scale of the problem.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 22


CREDIT MANAGEMENT<br />

Successful collaboration<br />

Having identified this significant consumer challenge,<br />

Experian, in collaboration with some of the UK's largest<br />

companies, including HSBC UK, Nationwide Building<br />

Society, Tesco Bank, NewDay, Co-operative Bank, and<br />

Ovo, has developed, piloted and launched the Support<br />

Hub.<br />

Support Hub has been built via a collaboration of<br />

service providers, lived experience experts, charities<br />

and vulnerability experts. This stems from the fact<br />

that if we focus on the consumer problem, no one<br />

organisation can solve this and a ‘tell-us-once’ solution,<br />

by definition, requires service providers to design<br />

a solution that reduces the barriers to disclosing to<br />

multiple organisations.<br />

The service is the culmination of over three years of<br />

work and aims to provide a single one-stop portal for<br />

consumers to communicate their support needs to<br />

multiple businesses in a simple and standardised way.<br />

Businesses may not be aware of this impact, but it<br />

is crucial they do more to address the problem and<br />

advocate for their customers. It’s in every business’<br />

interest to ensure customers leave services feeling<br />

happy, visible and most importantly, understood.<br />

The financial impact<br />

Accessibility issues not only impact the wellbeing of<br />

disabled customers, but also their consumer choices<br />

and finances too. Disabled people are less likely to<br />

switch service providers across various sectors such as<br />

credit cards, savings accounts, energy suppliers, and TV<br />

subscriptions. Only 28 percent have switched credit<br />

cards, compared to 36 percent of those without access<br />

needs. So where other customers can make savings or<br />

earn interest by switching service providers, disabled<br />

customers could miss the best deals.<br />

In the worst-case scenario, if an individual cannot<br />

access important information, they can be financially<br />

penalised. For example, if a business bills a customer<br />

with the incorrect formats, they can unfairly incur late<br />

payment fees or damages to their credit score.<br />

Clearly more action needs to be taken to protect<br />

disabled customers from these issues, and ensure all<br />

customers have equitable consumer choice.<br />

All customers deserve confidentiality when disclosing<br />

potentially sensitive information; Support Hub<br />

provides this means, no longer forcing customers to<br />

disclose this information or leaving them hit with late<br />

payment fees from an inaccessible bill. Via a free simple<br />

sign-up process, people can share their support needs<br />

quickly, whether that be the need for communications<br />

in braille, or the need to have longer face-to-face<br />

appointments.<br />

It doesn't require consumers to disclose their disability<br />

or sensitive medical information; instead, it focuses on<br />

the support they require from the organisations they<br />

use - or more simply put the actions organisations<br />

need to take to ensure they can use their services. Users<br />

maintain complete control over what information<br />

is shared, and with whom, and they can update their<br />

support needs that are shared with organisations at any<br />

time.<br />

Full accessibility cannot be achieved without the<br />

collaboration and support of other businesses across all<br />

sectors, to help build a better, more inclusive way to<br />

treat all customers. Support Hub has seen the positive<br />

impact this type of collaboration can deliver to end<br />

users and lays a helpful blueprint for designing new<br />

consumers services in the future.<br />

Author: Paul Lamont is Support Hub Product Director,<br />

Experian UK&I<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 23


COUNTRY FOCUS<br />

Spain has a significant economy that has proven to be particularly resilient.<br />

Y Viva España<br />

ANYONE of a certain age might<br />

remember a song from the early<br />

1970s, Y Viva Espana. Written by a<br />

Belgian and recorded in Dutch, the<br />

song told of the anticipation of a<br />

long-wanted holiday in Spain. It was<br />

re-recorded some 21 times and in<br />

other languages. There was even an adaptation for Fulham<br />

Football Club ("Viva el Fulham").<br />

Spain is well known as a holiday destination – especially<br />

among Brits seeking sun, sea and sangria. However, there’s<br />

more to the country such as bullfighting, Granada’s Alhambra<br />

and La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, an almost religious<br />

fervour over football, tapas, and flamenco.<br />

Beyond these, not everyone remembers that General Franco’s<br />

Spain was a testing ground for the Third Reich’s military<br />

before the outbreak of World War Two, and that Spain gave<br />

us Julio Iglesias as well as the basis for Fawlty Towers’ waiter,<br />

Manuel.<br />

Background<br />

As the Spanish Government’s own website outlines, based<br />

on findings at Atapuerca in northern Spain, early man on<br />

the Iberian Peninsula can be traced back 800,000 years.<br />

From 1100 to 300BC, it came under the influence of the<br />

Phoenicians and Greeks and then Romans and Cathaginians.<br />

Following the collapse of the Roman empire, Visigoths ruled<br />

from the 5th to 8th centuries.<br />

However, Arab invaders came in 711 and ruled for the best<br />

part of eight centuries bequeathing the country sites such<br />

as the Great Mosque of Córdoba, regarded as the most<br />

important monument of the Western Islamic world, and the<br />

archaeological site of Medina Azahara.<br />

Next, in 1492, the Christian Kingdoms of Castile<br />

and Aragon conquered the Emirate of Granada, ending<br />

nearly 800 years of Muslim rule in the south and founding<br />

modern Spain as a single state. The 16th and 17th centuries<br />

witnessed a Spanish empire at its zenith; the 18th century<br />

saw the War of Spanish Succession that led to the loss of<br />

European possessions outside of Iberia; 1807-14 Napoleon<br />

occupying Spain; and during the 19th century Latin<br />

American colonies won their independence and Cuba,<br />

Puerto Rico and the Philippines were lost after war with<br />

the United States in 1898. 1931 saw an electoral<br />

backlash against the monarchy and a republic declared.<br />

Radical policies of land reform, labour rights, educational<br />

expansion and anti-Church legislation deepened a political<br />

divide. By 1936, a coalition of left-wing and liberal parties<br />

narrowly won parliamentary elections and sought to<br />

reintroduce the radical policies of 1931. A coup by rightwing<br />

military leaders followed, capturing only part<br />

of the country leading to three years of civil war<br />

with General Franco declaring victory and a dictatorship<br />

in 1939.<br />

Franco’s regime ended with his death in 1975; the monarchy<br />

was restored, and free elections were held in 1977. A rightwing<br />

coup in 1981 failed after King Juan Carlos addressed the<br />

nation. The country joined NATO in 1982, the EEC in 1986,<br />

and adopted the euro in 2002.<br />

Spain is now a member of the EU, WTO, OECD, OSCE and<br />

Council of Europe and permanent guest at the G20. It has<br />

a three-tier political system that makes it one of the most<br />

de-centralised states in Europe. While the centre sets the<br />

broad parameters, the country’s 19 devolved administrations<br />

are responsible for the provision of basic public services<br />

including health, education and social services, and have<br />

significant influence over the regulatory environment<br />

for business.<br />

Geography and demographics<br />

Spain’s land mass – including that of its island territories<br />

– measures some 505,370 sq. km. Excluding the islands, the<br />

mainland occupies 493,514 sq. km (Spanish government<br />

data). In comparison, mainland France has 543,940 sq. km<br />

and the UK just 242,495 sq. km.<br />

It’s squarish in shape – 1,085 km wide and 950 km tall, and<br />

varied in geology and geography and by a relatively high<br />

average altitude – over 600m above sea level. As such, it<br />

is the second-highest country in Europe, surpassed only<br />

by Switzerland where the average altitude is 1,300 metres.<br />

With its position adjacent to two large bodies of water<br />

it's not unsurprising that Spain’s Instituto Geográfico<br />

Nacional has defined eight climates – Atlantic, Continental,<br />

Mediterranean, Mediterranean Mountain, Cold Steppe, Hot<br />

Steppe and Subtropical.<br />

In terms of the population, the World Bank, cites various<br />

sources. In 1960 it stood at 30.45m. 30 years later in 1990 it<br />

was 38.86m. And by 2020 Spain’s population was 47.36m.<br />

2022 data from Instituto Nacional de Estadística reckons that<br />

by 2072, Spain will have 52.9m people.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 24


on Spain...<br />

According to data from the EU’s Eurydice (January <strong>2024</strong>),<br />

the average age is 44.07 years and increasing. In 2000, 14.5<br />

percent were aged 0-14. By 2022, that stood at 13.8 percent.<br />

Likewise, 23.1 percent were aged 15-29 in 2000, but only 15.6<br />

percent were in 2022. In 2000 23.2 percent were aged 30-44<br />

but in 2022 just 20.4 percent were. But between 45-59 years,<br />

in 2000 17.5 percent were aged so, but in 2022 23.6 percent<br />

were. And for retirees, in 2000 21.6 percent were aged 60 or<br />

over. But in 2022, that number stood at 26.40 percent.<br />

The population pyramids for 2022 and predictions for<br />

2052 and 2072 are very distinct. 2022 has a very defined<br />

bulge between the ages of 40-59. While for 2052, it can be<br />

described as more columnar and by 2072, even more so.<br />

Life expectancy is expected to increase according to the<br />

Instituto Nacional de Estadística. A male born in 2017 can<br />

expect to live to 80.37 while a female would reach 85.73<br />

years. By 2071 it’s thought that those figures will rise to 86.03<br />

and 90.05 years respectively.<br />

The population is highly urbanised with 81 percent living<br />

in towns and cities according to Statista. Wikipedia, citing<br />

data and calculations from three sources, offers a guide<br />

to the largest metropolitan areas. The data is around 10<br />

years old but nevertheless offers a guide: Madrid is placed<br />

first (6.1m), followed by Barcelona (5.1m), Valencia (1.6m),<br />

Seville (1.3m), Bilbao (987,000), Malaga (944,000), Asturias<br />

xAntoni Gaudí was a Catalan architect and designer from Spain, known<br />

as the greatest exponent of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí's works have a highly<br />

individualized, sui generis style. Most are located in Barcelona, including his main<br />

work, the church of the Sagrada Família.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 25<br />

continues on page 26 >


COUNTRY FOCUS<br />

(844,000), Alicante-Elche (793,000), Las Palmas<br />

(640,000) and Zaragoza (639,000). There are another<br />

18 with more than 200,000 residents and a further 28<br />

with fewer than 200,000 residents.<br />

Infrastructure<br />

Spain appears to be well connected. 2018 data from<br />

Invest in Spain claims that Spain's logistics are<br />

among the most competitive and reliable in the<br />

world. There are, it says, 50 airports (other sources<br />

cite more) served by 672 airlines, most with direct<br />

international connections; the largest network of<br />

highways and roads in the EU – over 17,000 km, and<br />

683,000 km if all roads are counted (worlddata.info);<br />

15,000 km of high speed and conventional railway;<br />

46 ports, including four major European ports that<br />

handle more than 560m tons of goods and over<br />

a million travellers a year; and 152 logistics parks<br />

covering more than 58.7m square metres.<br />

As for digital infrastructure, Invest in Spain<br />

reckons that Spain has the highest fibre to the home<br />

penetration rate in the EU and ultrafast broadband<br />

covers 87 percent of the country, compared to 60<br />

percent in Europe. Its chart places Spain third –<br />

ahead of Sweden, Belarus, Romania and Portugal<br />

but behind Latvia and Lithuania.<br />

Economy<br />

The UK Government has described Spain as: “the<br />

fourth largest economy in the EU and currently one<br />

of the fastest growing in the euro area. The economy<br />

has historically been boosted by UK tourists (18m<br />

visits in 2019 from the UK) and UK residents (over<br />

409,000 residents registered in Spain as of June<br />

2022), especially in coastal areas.”<br />

The country was hit hard by COVID-19, with 2020<br />

GDP falling 11.2 percent. However, the economy grew<br />

by 6.4 percent in 2021 and 5.8 percent in 2022 (World<br />

Bank), with the OECD projecting that growth will<br />

have slowed to 2.1 percent in 2023 and 1.9 percent in<br />

<strong>2024</strong>. Just as with other advanced economies recent<br />

inflation has been high, peaking at 10.8 percent in<br />

July 2022, but has since fallen back to 3.1 percent in<br />

December 2023 (Trading Economics).<br />

Current unemployment (using latest data to Q3<br />

2023 from focus-economics.com) shows a rate of 11.8<br />

percent. Despite it being much lower than the peak<br />

of 26.94 percent in Q1 2013, it was lower still in Q2<br />

2007 when it stood at 7.93 percent.<br />

Spain’s 2023 GDP stood at $1.58tn (IMF data)<br />

compared to the UK’s $3.3tn and the US’ $26.95tn.<br />

Wind the clock back 30 years and the relative figures<br />

were $529bn, $1.16tn and $6.86tn.<br />

Business sectors<br />

Spain, according to Invest in Spain, offers businesses<br />

ten key sectors worthy of attention.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 26


CREDIT MANAGEMENT<br />

Aerospace<br />

This sector employed 53,500 people in 2022.<br />

With a turnover of €12.35bn it exported 44<br />

percent of sales (80 percent of its space sales;<br />

Spain is a member of the ESA - European<br />

Space Agency – and a participant in its main<br />

programmes) in 2021. There are opportunities<br />

in unmanned commercial aircraft, air<br />

traffic management systems, carbon fibre in<br />

manufacturing, and aircraft satellite systems.<br />

There is manufacturing throughout but much<br />

is in a wide vertical stripe in the east.<br />

Agri-food<br />

Agri-food generates revenue of around €140bn<br />

and employs more than 440,000 – it’s the<br />

country’s main manufacturing activity. There<br />

are more than 30,000 companies in the sector<br />

that export. Organic foods are important to<br />

Spain; it’s placed second to France in terms<br />

of land deployed to organic products and the<br />

market value for organic produce is estimated<br />

at €2.75bn and employs 50,000 people. The<br />

more intensive areas are in the east and south.<br />

Agri-tech is growing in importance along with<br />

the need to be more sustainable; digitisation<br />

and technology are needed to increase<br />

productivity. Areas of interest include green<br />

biotech, soil regeneration, automated crop<br />

systems, and water management. And then<br />

there’s innovation around alternative proteins<br />

and more sustainable ingredients.<br />

Audiovisual<br />

Spain ranks sixth in the EU in the number<br />

of titles produced and fifth in production<br />

hours. According to data from the European<br />

Audiovisual Observatory, for 2019-2020, Spain<br />

is amongst the five main countries exporting<br />

pay-per-view films. As a result, its government<br />

approved the ‘Spain, Audiovisual Hub of<br />

Europe’ plan in <strong>March</strong> 2021 and is investing more<br />

than €1.6bn until 2025 to make Spain a leader<br />

for audiovisual production. The sector employs<br />

over 72,000 people with 6,700 companies; there<br />

are 45 film festivals. Opportunities exist in<br />

filming – there were more than 500 productions<br />

in the ten years to 2019, advertising through<br />

filming of adverts and photoshoots, animation<br />

and visual effects, and radio broadcasting.<br />

Automotive<br />

In 2022 there were nine multinational brands<br />

with 17 plants in Spain that manufactured<br />

2.2m vehicles (CEIC data). In 2021, automotive<br />

turnover represented 10 percent of GDP and 18<br />

percent of total exports. Around 2m jobs are<br />

tied to the sector with 300,000 direct assembly<br />

and 201,000 in parts. A total of 1.8m vehicles<br />

were exported. Opportunities lie in digital<br />

transformation and automation, reduction<br />

in vehicle weight, recycling materials used in<br />

vehicles, non-fossil fuel propulsion systems,<br />

new ways to market vehicles, and internet<br />

connected cars to improve, for example, traffic<br />

management, safety, billing and parking.<br />

Chemical industry<br />

This is what Invest in Spain calls a ‘strategic’<br />

industry as it generates much wealth and<br />

employment. In 2022 there were more than<br />

3,100 companies that turned over more than<br />

€89.86bn and provided some 234,200 direct<br />

jobs – €63.62bn of production was exported.<br />

It expects demand will see a 4.5 percent annual<br />

rise in production until 2030. There are many<br />

opportunities in biocatalysts (enzymes)<br />

especially in biofuels and food production,<br />

wastewater treatment and desalination (Spain<br />

has over 700 desalination plants), energy storage<br />

and the creation of new battery technologies,<br />

industry digitisation to improve efficiency,<br />

agrochemicals to improve yields, and recycling<br />

of plastics. Zones of interest lie generally in the<br />

south and east.<br />

ICT<br />

The Government has a Digital Spain Plan<br />

2025, which features technologies such as<br />

5G, cybersecurity, Big Data and Artificial<br />

Intelligence. It’s also receiving €140bn from the<br />

EU’s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience<br />

Plan between 2021 and 2026. The ICT sector<br />

turned over €120bn in 2019, 3.8 percent of<br />

Spain’s GDP – Mordor Intelligence reckons it<br />

was nearer $53.2bn in 2022. Along with science<br />

parks there are around 70,000 companies in<br />

the sector that employ nearly 530,000. Areas of<br />

interest are the growth in service centres, the<br />

Internet of Things (connectivity of devices),<br />

semiconductors (including manufacturing<br />

through a €12.25bn PERTE CHIP programme),<br />

smart cities, fintech (which in 2018 generated<br />

3.6 percent of GDP), cybersecurity, and 5G<br />

telephony.<br />

Life sciences<br />

There are more than 425 pharmaceutical<br />

companies in this sector including Bayer,<br />

Hartman and Boehringer Ingelheim, that<br />

employ over 40,000 people. In terms of<br />

biotech, there are 4,000 firms of which half<br />

are in healthcare. Key areas include R&D in<br />

healthcare technology, personalised medicine<br />

and the study of diseases, and biosimilar drugs<br />

that improve on drugs whose patents have<br />

expired.<br />

Logistics and Transport<br />

Given that Spain has very good infrastructure<br />

and it’s not surprising that this sector has a<br />

turnover of around €10.1bn and maintains<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 27<br />

continues on page 28 >


COUNTRY FOCUS<br />

nearly 1m jobs. Overall, there are around 218,000 companies<br />

in this business. Areas of interest include retail returns<br />

handling, green logistics, ecommerce and allied solutions,<br />

and increasing usage of rail for freight.<br />

Renewable Energy<br />

The government enacted the Law on Climate Change and<br />

Energy Transition to lower carbon emissions by 2050. There<br />

are two phases – the first to 2030 demands the generation<br />

of at least 74 percent of electricity from renewables and the<br />

improvement of energy efficiency by 35 percent. Phase two<br />

from 2050 demands 100 percent of energy from renewables.<br />

Latest data shows Spain generated 46.7 percent of energy from<br />

renewables in 2021. Opportunities lie, not unsurprisingly, in<br />

increasing photovoltaic generation from 4.8GW in 2015 to<br />

36GW by 2030 and wind power – there are presently 21,500<br />

wind farms. There are 237 industrial centres, 20 research<br />

centres and nine universities involved in wind power.<br />

Tourism and leisure<br />

This remains very important for Spain. According to the<br />

World Tourism Organisation and World Travel & Tourism<br />

Council, in 2019 Spain received 81.8m visitors who spent<br />

$6.81bn. The Instituto Nacional de Estadística reckoned that<br />

by 2022 it generated 11.6 percent of GDP worth €155.94bn<br />

and employed 1.95m people.<br />

Opportunities exist in travel tech such as cloud solutions<br />

(ecommerce and data mining), mobile technologies, the<br />

Internet of Things (automation of products and services),<br />

social networks and communication. Other areas of interest<br />

are culture, health and gastronomic tourism, and corporate<br />

tourism for conferences and exhibitions.<br />

Tax<br />

The general corporate tax rate in Spain is 25 percent, but<br />

other tax rates may apply, depending on the type of company<br />

that is taxed and its business. Resident companies are taxed<br />

on their worldwide income.<br />

Newly created companies are taxed at 15 percent for both the<br />

first tax period in which they make a profit and the following<br />

tax period. This only applies to companies that carry out<br />

business activity or newly created companies that are part<br />

of a national or international group. This reduced rate may<br />

not apply if the company's business activity was previously<br />

carried on by a related company or individual.<br />

Companies that qualify as start-ups may apply a 15 percent<br />

tax rate in the first tax period in which the company generates<br />

a taxable income and in the following three periods, if they<br />

still qualify as a start-up.<br />

There is a minimum taxation rule for companies whose net<br />

turnover in the 12 months prior to the date in which the tax<br />

period began was at least €20m, and for taxpayers who are<br />

taxed under the special tax consolidation regime for CIT<br />

purposes, regardless of net turnover amount.These taxpayers’<br />

net corporate tax will be at least 15 percent of the entity’s<br />

taxable profits before deductions and other tax credits.<br />

xMadrid, Spain's central capital, is a city of elegant boulevards and<br />

expansive, manicured parks such as the Buen Retiro. It’s renowned for its<br />

rich repositories of European art, including the Prado Museum’s works by<br />

Goya, Velázquez and other Spanish masters.<br />

Personal<br />

Residents in Spain are generally subject to income tax on<br />

their worldwide income, regardless of where it is generated,<br />

which is taxed, at progressive rates. Non-residents are subject<br />

to tax only on their Spanish-source income. Tax is not levied<br />

on employment income obtained by those who are tax<br />

resident in Spain for work carried out outside Spain up to a<br />

limit of €60,100 if certain conditions are met.<br />

There are six bands of income tax starting with a 19 percent<br />

band on the first €12,450. Between €12,451 and €20,200 the<br />

rate is 24 percent; between €20,201 and €35,200 it’s 30 percent;<br />

from €35,201 to €60,000 it’s 37 percent; from €60,000 to<br />

€300,000 the rate is 45 percent; and beyond €300,000 tax is<br />

charged at 47 percent.<br />

Summary<br />

Spain is on the UK’s doorstep and offers a great climate to<br />

do business in – both economically and meteorologically<br />

speaking. With a large economy that has coped with<br />

downturns and COVID, it’s worth investing some time there.<br />

Author: Adam Bernstein is a freelance<br />

finance writer for CM magazine.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 28


ENFORCEMENT<br />

EQUITABLE<br />

RESOLUTIONS<br />

What is the potential impact of the proposed<br />

abolition of no-fault evictions?<br />

BY MICHAEL JACKSON<br />

RECENTLY, Michael Gove has promised<br />

that ‘Section 21 evictions’, more commonly<br />

known as ‘no-fault evictions’ will be<br />

outlawed by the time of the impending<br />

general election. The abolition of Section<br />

21 evictions is a step forward for tenants’<br />

rights, which should absolutely be<br />

protected. However, many landlords in England and Wales are<br />

facing prolonged delays when trying to recover their property<br />

through the UK justice system when the tenant is at fault.<br />

Under the current system, landlords encountering issues with<br />

tenants can wait over eight months to resecure their properties<br />

with a Section 8 eviction, in which they must give a valid reason<br />

for pursuing enforcement action. This can include things like<br />

unpaid rent, damage to the property, breach or expiry of lease,<br />

amongst others. However, the court process following the expiry<br />

of the notice period currently can take up to five or more months<br />

due to the court delays, before being granted a Possession Order.<br />

Of course, landlords do have the option to transfer their evictions<br />

up to the High Court for enforcement via a leave to transfer (Section<br />

42). This can be initiated at the same time as the application for<br />

the Possession Order which can speed up the process slightly, or as<br />

a separate application once the Possession Order has been granted.<br />

While this does not alleviate wait times as the case goes through<br />

the County Courts, it can allow swifter enforcement once the leave<br />

to transfer has been granted. Whether this is permitted or not is<br />

through the discretion of the County Court Judge as to whether<br />

there is a justifiable reason for the transfer.<br />

Not only are these delays barring access to justice for landlords,<br />

but they are also extremely costly. When you factor in loss of rental<br />

earnings and court costs, as well as any mortgage repayments<br />

upkept during this time and future repair costs for damage, the<br />

financial impact on landlords is particularly discouraging.<br />

Anticipated impacts and challenges<br />

The process of securing enforcement through a Section 8 via both<br />

the County Court and transfer to the High Court is at present<br />

unjust and disappointing with the time taken to get to the stage<br />

of a judgment.<br />

While there is no shortage of tenants looking for properties to<br />

rent, without adequate legal recourse more landlords may choose<br />

to leave the sector and decrease their portfolios, leading to pressure<br />

on the rental market which in turn would create less availability<br />

and higher rent for tenants in the long term.<br />

Expediting access to justice<br />

Landlords need quicker access to justice through the courts and<br />

eviction process. Empowering landlords with the freedom to choose<br />

High Court enforcement as part of their Section 8 application and<br />

not as a separate transfer process to the High Court could alleviate<br />

some of the pressure on County Court Bailiffs and reduce eviction<br />

times for all involved.<br />

This could be done simply by adding a tick box to the Possession<br />

application process, or at the granting of the order stage, for<br />

landlords who wish to apply for a leave to transfer to the High<br />

Court. This would eliminate the further Section 42 application<br />

needed for the leave to transfer and would not be contingent on<br />

the digitisation of court processes.<br />

Although this would not impact the current delays in obtaining<br />

a Section 8 Possession Order, it would remove the additional<br />

time needed to transfer cases to the High Court and allow High<br />

Court Enforcement Officers to support landlords with faster<br />

enforcement action.<br />

The eviction process is the same through either system, whether<br />

landlords choose to transfer would be a personal choice based<br />

on the speed, service and cost for their evictions, which like the<br />

County Court Bailiff are paid for by the landlord rather than the<br />

tenant.<br />

Whether we see the withdrawal of Section 21 evictions or not,<br />

landlords need urgent support from government in cases where<br />

tenants are clearly at fault, with swifter access to justice through<br />

the courts and enforcement and a more equitable resolutions<br />

process.<br />

Author: Michael Jackson is Vice Chair of the<br />

High Court Enforcement Officers Association<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 29


International Trade<br />

Monthly round-up of the latest stories<br />

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.<br />

AN EU TOY STORY<br />

The Chinese way<br />

THE Economist recently commented on<br />

how Chinese president Xi Jinping and<br />

the Chinese Communist Party take a very<br />

serious world view of the importance of<br />

robots. In 2023, half of all industrial robot<br />

installations were apparently in China<br />

with the country producing more than six<br />

million ‘service robots’ to, for example,<br />

cook, clean, and move boxes. This, says<br />

the publication, is part of a deliberate<br />

push to increase productivity, noting that<br />

robots don’t get Covid.<br />

The story becomes more interesting<br />

when it’s considered that the working-age<br />

population in China is projected to drop<br />

by more than 20 percent by 2050; there<br />

are already labour shortages of which<br />

41 percent are in manufacturing-related<br />

positions. But many of the problems<br />

that factories are facing apply equally<br />

to agriculture as well and since China<br />

is “paranoid about food security and<br />

uninterested in immigration”, automation<br />

could be the solution here, too.<br />

There is also a shortage of care workers<br />

for 8.1m care-home residents and a<br />

recent state plan includes ‘smart elderly<br />

care’ from robots to help with movement<br />

or even just offer companionship.<br />

The Government wants the robotics<br />

industry to become more self-sufficient;<br />

in 2023, 36 percent of the industrial<br />

robots China installed were made<br />

domestically – up from 25 percent in<br />

2013.<br />

But the story is bigger than it appears.<br />

For exporters to compete with China, they<br />

too will have to automate. Robots require<br />

investment, but they don’t go on strike,<br />

don’t demand pay rises and as noted<br />

earlier, don’t fall sick. That gives Chinese<br />

manufacturers an advantage.<br />

In good spirits<br />

DEPARTMENT for Business and Trade, in<br />

an end of 2023 press release, said that UK<br />

food and drink exporters saw great success<br />

in the run up to Christmas as demand from<br />

consumers in CPTPP, the trade bloc in the<br />

Indo-Pacific that the UK signed up to in July<br />

2023, ‘boomed’.<br />

The department’s data shows that<br />

luxury British Scotch whisky, chocolate and<br />

sparkling wine were ordered en masse<br />

by CPTPP countries including Singapore,<br />

Japan, Mexico and Malaysia. In particular, in<br />

2023, UK chocolate exports to Singapore<br />

increased by 220 percent to over £26m<br />

while UK sparkling wine exports to Japan<br />

ACCORDING to the Evening Standard,<br />

UK parliamentarians sitting on the<br />

European Scrutiny Committee have<br />

raised concerns about proposed new<br />

rules from Europe that could soon<br />

require UK toys sold on the continent to<br />

come with such an electronic certificate.<br />

The changes, proposed by the<br />

European Commission, would amend<br />

EU rules governing toy safety. They<br />

would demand safety information on<br />

the toy, updating the current paperbased<br />

requirements.<br />

Regulations currently ban toys<br />

containing carcinogenic, mutagenic<br />

or reprotoxic chemicals (CMRs). Rules<br />

would be extended to cover further<br />

classes of harmful chemicals, including<br />

endocrine disruptors, which interfere<br />

with the body’s hormones, and<br />

respiratory sensitisers, which produce<br />

an irreversible allergic reaction. Any UK<br />

toy producer placing goods on the EU<br />

market would need to follow the new<br />

rules.<br />

It’s interesting that the requirements<br />

for products sold in Great Britain would<br />

not change, but the rules would apply<br />

in Northern Ireland under the Windsor<br />

Framework. Notably, the Committee<br />

noted that the UK Government had not<br />

consulted manufacturers in Northern<br />

Ireland on the likely impact of the new<br />

rules.<br />

increased by 140 percent to over £26m.<br />

It’s of note that Scotch whisky dominates<br />

the Singaporean market, with over £380m<br />

worth of the drink exported from the UK<br />

to Singapore in 2023 – an increase of<br />

31 percent (£90m) on the previous year.<br />

Similarly, it rose by 43 percent (£11m) in<br />

Malaysia accross the past year.<br />

The Indo-Pacific region may account for<br />

the majority of global growth and around<br />

half of the world’s middle-class consumers<br />

in future decades. Under CPTPP, which the<br />

UK is set to formally join in the second half<br />

of <strong>2024</strong>, tariffs on 99 percent of UK goods<br />

exports will drop to zero.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 30


Faster growth<br />

in port towns<br />

THE Government has a new action plan<br />

to ‘further accelerate the success of<br />

freeports’ in its drive to revive the UK’s<br />

coastal communities.<br />

Termed the Freeports Delivery Roadmap,<br />

the Government reckons that it will help<br />

freeports to go even further by laying<br />

out an action plan of over 50 crossgovernment<br />

measures.<br />

These include a £150m Investment<br />

Opportunities Fund to help freeports and<br />

investment zones respond quickly to land<br />

large investment opportunities as they<br />

arise, and extending the window to claim<br />

special tax reliefs in English freeport sites<br />

from five years to 10.<br />

Other forms of aid involve the UK<br />

infrastructure Bank working with freeports<br />

to finance upgrades to infrastructure,<br />

including through flexible loans to<br />

local authorities and debt, equity or<br />

guarantees to private sector investors;<br />

joint working between freeports, institutes<br />

of technology and local colleges, and<br />

linking local jobseekers to opportunities<br />

at freeports through Jobcentre Plus;<br />

and bringing government departments<br />

together for ‘targeted interventions where<br />

Freeports face barriers to investment.’<br />

There are currently 12 Freeports in Great<br />

Britain - eight in England, two in Wales and<br />

two in Scotland.<br />

The Government considers them a<br />

success with investments of £175m from<br />

Siemens Gamesa to expand offshore wind<br />

blade manufacturing facility in the Humber;<br />

£150m from ScottishPower to develop a<br />

project with Hutchison Ports exploring the<br />

development and construction of a multihundred<br />

MW green hydrogen production<br />

facility at Felixstowe; and £130m from<br />

Associated British Ports at Southampton<br />

for a shore power project and terminal<br />

operating system in support of the<br />

automotive sector.<br />

UK DEFENCE SUPPORT<br />

BRIEFLY, GOV.UK features a page,<br />

UKDSE events and exhibition support,<br />

which should be essential reading for<br />

anyone wanting to grow a defencerelated<br />

business as it maintains not<br />

only an exhibition event calendar that<br />

runs to April 2025, but also how the<br />

Government can help firms in the<br />

sector.<br />

In detail, firms can use showcase<br />

pods with HM Government branding,<br />

a ‘soldier on a stand’ with a serving<br />

member of the British Army,<br />

designated spaces at showcases,<br />

Defence and Security Industry Days,<br />

supply chain events, trade missions,<br />

and the Larkhill Exhibition Centre along<br />

with Larkhill capability showcase. Fees<br />

are payable but the government says<br />

that they are “small.”<br />

High LOW TREND<br />

GBP-EUR 1.17655 1.16435 Up<br />

GBP-USD 1.27685 1.25198 Down<br />

GBP-CHF 1.11835 1.09036 Up<br />

GBP-AUD 1.95238 1.91952 Flat<br />

GBP-CAD 1.72157 1.69484 Down<br />

GBP-JPY 190.038 185.417 Up<br />

Tariffs are self-defeating<br />

In an op-ed, the Wall Street Journal<br />

has rained on the parade of those who<br />

advocate for tariffs. The subject is going<br />

to crop up somewhat in the US as the<br />

presidential election process rises in<br />

temperature – especially as Donald<br />

Trump seems to want to apply 10 percent<br />

tariffs on all imports. However, the<br />

publication says that while some think it a<br />

good move, “it’s actually a weakling<br />

move, especially with US industrial<br />

capacity already near an all-time high”.<br />

This is because tariffs “misallocate<br />

capital and human resources by having<br />

entrepreneurs chase fake opportunities”.<br />

Often domestic manufacturers are in<br />

For the latest<br />

exchange rates visit<br />

www.currenciesdirect.com<br />

or call 020 7874 9400<br />

Currency Exchange Rates<br />

This data was taken on 20th<br />

February and refers to the month<br />

previous to/leading up to 19th<br />

February <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

favour of tariffs as they can raise prices,<br />

but that means that consumers overpay<br />

for goods. The writer says that “by my<br />

calculations, if all iPhone chips were made<br />

here, a phone would cost around $2,000<br />

and sales would fall by 50 percent.”<br />

He continues: “Margins matter. Capital<br />

flows to its highest returns. Trade-deficit<br />

figures don’t tell you how profitable<br />

manufacturing is.” Foxconn, which<br />

assembles iPhones, had an operating<br />

profit margin of 2.63 percent in 2022<br />

while Apple’s was 30.2 percent. So<br />

the question arises – where is it better<br />

to design and where is it better to<br />

build?<br />

“it’s actually a weakling move,<br />

especially with US industrial capacity<br />

already near an all-time high”<br />

COULD THE<br />

POUND HIT $1.35 IN <strong>2024</strong>?<br />

IF Daily Telegraph writers are correct<br />

when citing economists, holidaymakers<br />

and importers will have a great<br />

<strong>2024</strong> as sterling will likely hit $1.35.<br />

Exporters, however, will have a tougher<br />

time as their goods will increase in<br />

price.<br />

In summary, sterling is expected<br />

to rise in coming months as markets<br />

predict that the US Federal Reserve<br />

and the European Central Bank begin<br />

to cut interest rates – sooner rather<br />

than later. In comparison, the Bank of<br />

England is expected to start reducing<br />

rates much later in the year.<br />

As Goldman Sachs noted, $1.35 is<br />

a dramatic turnaround compared to<br />

just over a year ago when the Truss/<br />

Kwarteng mini-Budget sent the pound<br />

to its lowest on record at $1.0327.<br />

COMMODITY CODES<br />

AND HS CATEGORIES<br />

SMALLBUSINESS.co.uk has published a<br />

guide that gives background to the use<br />

of commodity codes when importing<br />

or exporting. The guide outlines,<br />

among things, what the codes are,<br />

the consequences of using the wrong<br />

code, the impact of Brexit on the code<br />

structure, and how to find the correct<br />

code. The guide is at http://tinyurl.<br />

com/2p8dbczk.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 31


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Aggregate Industries’<br />

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– Aggregate Industries<br />

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Barclaycard is a trading name of Barclays Bank PLC and Barclaycard International Payments Limited. Barclays Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority<br />

and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register number: 122702). Registered in England No. 1026167.<br />

Registered Office: 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP. Barclaycard International Payments Limited, trading as Barclaycard, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.<br />

Registered Number: 316541. Registered Office: One Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, Ireland, D02 RF29. Directors: Paul Adams (British), Steven Lappin (British), James Kelly,<br />

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Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 32


INSOLVENCY<br />

APPLES AND<br />

ORANGES<br />

Finding the right comparisons when trying<br />

to predict future outcomes is key.<br />

BY GIUSEPPE PARLA<br />

THE Insolvency Service published the<br />

Insolvency Statistics for 2023 on 16<br />

January <strong>2024</strong>, providing us with a<br />

snapshot of the economy. So where<br />

did 2023 take us, and does the future<br />

have in store?<br />

Insolvencies for December 2023 remained static with only<br />

a two percent growth for the same month in the previous<br />

year. However, this statistic only provides us with part of the<br />

picture. If we compare this statistic to the 2019 figure, before<br />

the introduction of any Covid support measures, we see an<br />

increase of 46 percent in companies entering an insolvency<br />

process – whether that be a <strong>Credit</strong>ors Voluntary Liquidation<br />

(“CVL”), a Compulsory Liquidation or others, such as an<br />

Administration or Company Voluntary Arrangement (“CVA”).<br />

Winding up petitions are on the up, with HMRC being the<br />

main petitioner – a clear demonstration that any patience<br />

they may have had, is now wearing thin. The majority of the<br />

insolvencies are CVLs, most of which are in the construction<br />

or hospitality sectors.<br />

What does this small yearon-year<br />

increase mean v the<br />

comparison to 2019?<br />

This demonstrates how significant the Government’s support<br />

schemes were during the pandemic and, now that the<br />

support has been removed, businesses that perhaps were in<br />

financial distress pre-pandemic, are now facing an inevitable<br />

– insolvency.<br />

We regularly hear the return of the term, ‘zombie company’,<br />

which by definition are companies that earn just enough<br />

money to continue operating and service debt but are unable<br />

to pay off their debt. How will these companies survive now<br />

that the Bank of England’s interest rates are no longer at a<br />

very low level?<br />

Inflation and bank base rates<br />

It has been largely publicised that the Government has been<br />

trying to bring inflation down to two percent - which at one<br />

point was over 10 percent. Their main tool for doing this was<br />

by increasing the bank base rate. This increase was paused<br />

at 5.25 percent whilst inflation had been dropping, but there<br />

was an unexpected increase in December 2023 that has made<br />

further economic predictions uncertain. There are many<br />

attributes that affect inflation, and the December increase<br />

could have been a blip meaning that the Government is<br />

still on course to achieve its aim of two percent. But when<br />

this will happen, and whether it will remain at this level, is<br />

anyone’s guess.<br />

Unemployment<br />

and job vacancies<br />

In 2023, it was widely reported that unemployment rates<br />

remained ‘down’, however, as the number of insolvencies<br />

increased, the number of job vacancies have inevitably<br />

reduced. Indeed, the Office for National Statistics reports<br />

that as of September 2023, vacancies were falling to similar<br />

levels recorded before the pandemic. If insolvencies stay at a<br />

two percent rate increase, then these unemployment figures<br />

are likely to rise further.<br />

Should we be concerned?<br />

We could be looking at a new Government in <strong>2024</strong>, so<br />

understanding what they may bring is an article in itself.<br />

However, the short-term economic outlook remains uncertain<br />

and difficult to predict.<br />

The cost of living crisis poses more questions than answers.<br />

If bank base rates remain close to 5.25 percent, whilst this is<br />

good for savers, it will mean many businesses and individuals<br />

will be unable to afford loan repayments at the higher rate<br />

when their current deals expire – whether that be loans for<br />

property or any other assets. Some experts are suggesting<br />

that bank base rates may drop a little, but the days of two<br />

percent or below seem to be a distant memory that may not<br />

return any time soon.<br />

As credit managers, it is more important than ever to keep<br />

your communication lines open with your customers and if<br />

you are faced with an insolvency or a debt that is becoming<br />

difficult to recover, seek advice early to consider all your<br />

options fully.<br />

Author: Giuseppe Parla is a Business Recovery Director<br />

and Licensed Insolvency Practitioner at Menzies LLP.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 33


BRITISH<br />

CREDIT<br />

AWARDS<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

THE CICM<br />

BRITISH CREDIT<br />

AWARDS <strong>2024</strong><br />

SUPPLEMENT SPECIAL<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 35


Fill your vacancy or find your next career<br />

move at www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

CONGRATULATIONS<br />

Abi Williams<br />

Weightmans’ Team Player of the year<br />

Above: Sean Walsh, Comedian; Abi Williams, Weightmans; Chad Vigano, Portfolio <strong>Credit</strong> Control<br />

Below: Portfolio <strong>Credit</strong> Control with some of our loyal clients<br />

Contact one of our specialist recruitment consultants to<br />

fill your vacancy or find your next career move!<br />

Scan with your phone to fill your<br />

vacancy or find your next career move<br />

at www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

LONDON 020 7650 3199<br />

1 FINSBURY SQUARE, 3 RD FLOOR, LONDON EC2A 1AE<br />

MANCHESTER 0161 523 5585<br />

THE PENINSULA, VICTORIA PLACE, MANCHESTER M4 4FB<br />

www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com<br />

recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com


BRITISH<br />

CREDIT<br />

AWARDS<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

Recognising<br />

the best in credit<br />

management<br />

What a night and what a celebration of the best in credit<br />

management. As the professional body for our industry, we<br />

understand what good looks like. And as the organisers of the<br />

foremost event in the credit calendar, supported by a team of<br />

highly-experienced judges from all walks of credit industry<br />

life, we also understand what excellence looks like. And<br />

here they are, in all their glory. The winners of the British<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Awards <strong>2024</strong> and the very best that our industry has<br />

to offer.<br />

Sue Chapple FCICM, CEO of the CICM.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 37


BRITISH<br />

CREDIT<br />

AWARDS<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

B2B Team of the year Award<br />

Winner<br />

SEFE Energy<br />

Sponsor:<br />

Judges' comment: Astonishing results that<br />

have evidently been achieved through great<br />

team work in the face adversit.<br />

Presenter: Mark McGill, Senior Partnership Manager, Barclaycard<br />

Collector of award: SEFE Energy Team<br />

Supplier of the year Award<br />

Winner<br />

Esker<br />

Judges' comment: Really good outcomes<br />

from a process automation, time saving and<br />

also solutions to positively impact the team<br />

members.<br />

Presenter: Allan Poole MCICM, Executive Board Trustee<br />

Collector of award: Martyn Brooke FCICM & Alistair Nicholas<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 38


BRITISH<br />

CREDIT<br />

AWARDS<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

BC2 Team of the year Award<br />

Winner<br />

London School<br />

of Economics<br />

Judges' comment: The company evidenced<br />

strong development in Self-serving, customer<br />

centric initiatives, with KPIs and savings in<br />

support.<br />

Presenter: Dr. Stephen Baister FCICM, CICM President<br />

Collector of award: Ade Oyewumi ACICM<br />

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Project Award<br />

Winner<br />

Saint - Gobain<br />

Limited<br />

Judges' comment: Outstanding performance<br />

in DE&I - clear ethos, goals and vision backed<br />

up by data and evidence.<br />

Presenter: Neil Jinks FCICM Executive Board Trustee and Vice Chair<br />

Collector of award: Saint-Gobain Team<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 39


BRITISH<br />

CREDIT<br />

AWARDS<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

Best Use of Technology Award<br />

Winner<br />

Aggregate<br />

Industries UK Ltd<br />

Judges' comment: For this particular sector<br />

this solution is a powerful and impactful data<br />

source. Great initiative to add support the risk<br />

assessment process.<br />

Presenter: Luke Sculthorp FCICM, CICM Head of Strategic Relationships<br />

Collector of award: Aggregate Team<br />

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

Winner<br />

SEFE Energy<br />

Sponsor:<br />

Highly Commended:<br />

Company Watch<br />

Judges' comment: A good example of Risk<br />

<strong>Management</strong> in the last 12 months based on a<br />

really difficult, sensitive market and economic<br />

situation.<br />

Presenter: Yvette Gray MCICM, Regional Manager, Atradius<br />

Collector of award: SEFE Energy Team<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 40


BRITISH<br />

CREDIT<br />

AWARDS<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

Best Employee Initiative Award<br />

Winner<br />

Biffa Waste<br />

Services Ltd<br />

Sponsor:<br />

Judges' comment: An innovative and highly<br />

structured approach which engages the<br />

employees in their own career development<br />

and planning to the benefit of the whole<br />

organisation.<br />

Presenter: Bertrand Mazuir, Founder & CEO, MYDSOMANAGER<br />

Collector of award: Biffa Waste Team<br />

Shared Services Team Provider Award<br />

Winner<br />

STERIS PLC<br />

Sponsor:<br />

Awarded Debt Collection Agency of the Year<br />

2023, Global <strong>Credit</strong> Recoveries Ltd are specialists<br />

in International Debt Collection with offices in<br />

London and the UAE, alongside a tried, tested<br />

and trusted global partner network.<br />

We have the ability, and network, to have<br />

Judges' someone visiting comment: your debtors offices, A solid entry noting good<br />

throughout EMEA, within 72 hours.<br />

collaboration Collecting International across Debt for over the 30 years business, managing<br />

a no-recovery, no-fee basis.<br />

ongoing growth of the AR portfolio with<br />

structured presentations and positive case<br />

Contact Global <strong>Credit</strong> Recoveries:<br />

studies.<br />

Charles Mayhew FCICM or Joshua Mayhew MCICM<br />

Email: info@globalcreditrecoveries.com<br />

U.K Telephone: +44 (0) 203 589 6655<br />

U.A.E Telephone: +971 (0) 4 8790 250<br />

www.globalcreditrecoveries.com<br />

Presenter: Joshua Mayhew MCICM, Director, Global <strong>Credit</strong> Recoveries<br />

Collector of award: Steris Plc Team<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 41


+1500 clients in +85 countries trust us<br />

My DSO Manager extends a warm welcome to credit managers<br />

worldwide. Responding to the increasing interest from diverse<br />

communities, we're thrilled to announce the addition of Polish,<br />

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CONTACT US FOR A<br />

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contact@mydsomanager.com<br />

www.mydsomanager.com


BRITISH<br />

CREDIT<br />

AWARDS<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

Debt Collection Agency Award<br />

Winner<br />

Flint Bishop LLP<br />

Highly Commended:<br />

STA International<br />

Judges' comment: Excellent submission<br />

demonstrating growth, innovative use of IT and<br />

commitment to clients.<br />

Presenter: Becki Sharpe ACIM, Marketing and Events Manager, CICM<br />

Collector of award: Pete Littlefair & Catherine Marksman<br />

Law Firm of the year Award<br />

Winner<br />

DWF Law LLP<br />

Highly Commended:<br />

Court Enforcement Services<br />

Judges' comment: We felt excited when<br />

reading this entry. Ranking on the Legal 500 is<br />

impressive!<br />

Presenter: Samuel Evans, Director of Business Development<br />

Collector of award: DWF LLP Team<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 43


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BRITISH<br />

CREDIT<br />

AWARDS<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

Supporting the Community Award<br />

Winner<br />

Midwich<br />

Sponsor:<br />

Judges' comment: A clear focus on giving<br />

back and a range of fundraising activities that<br />

have resulted in some fantastic donations to<br />

charities.<br />

Presenter: Duncan Groom, CEO, Quadient Accounts Receivable<br />

Collector of award: Midwich Team<br />

Rising Star Award<br />

Winner<br />

Chanelle Coppinger -<br />

Winterhalter Ltd<br />

Highly Commended:<br />

Gaynor Dayus - Reason - E H<br />

Smith (Builders Merchants) Ltd<br />

Sponsor:<br />

Judges' comment: Joining the business as a<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Control Apprentice and within a year<br />

managing a national account and helping to<br />

train new recruits. Clearly committed to a role<br />

in <strong>Credit</strong> and exceeding expectations at the<br />

start of their career in <strong>Credit</strong>.<br />

Presenter: Natascha Whitehead, Senior Business Director, Hays<br />

Collector of award: Chanelle Coppinger<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 45


Awarded Debt Collection Agency of the Year<br />

2023, Global <strong>Credit</strong> Recoveries Ltd are specialists<br />

in International Debt Collection with offices in<br />

London and the UAE, alongside a tried, tested<br />

and trusted global partner network.<br />

We have the ability, and network, to have<br />

someone visiting your debtors offices,<br />

throughout EMEA, within 72 hours.<br />

Collecting International Debt for over 30 years<br />

on a no-recovery, no-fee basis.<br />

Contact Global <strong>Credit</strong> Recoveries:<br />

Charles Mayhew FCICM or Joshua Mayhew MCICM<br />

Email: info@globalcreditrecoveries.com<br />

U.K Telephone: +44 (0) 203 589 6655<br />

U.A.E Telephone: +971 (0) 4 8790 250<br />

www.globalcreditrecoveries.com


BRITISH<br />

CREDIT<br />

AWARDS<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

Technology Development Award<br />

Winner<br />

NotifyNOW<br />

Sponsor:<br />

LUTIONS, Judges' TO comment: Innovative – A solution to<br />

R SATISFACTION.<br />

a very real and emotional problem for society –<br />

solves a real need and results seem good so far.<br />

Presenter: Martin Roseweir FCICM, Managing Director, Bill Gosling Outsourcing<br />

Collector of award: Notify Now Team<br />

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

Winner<br />

Hays Specialist<br />

Recruitment Limited<br />

Sponsor: Chaser<br />

Judges' comment: Results of automation<br />

are solid – Lovely change, clear results, well<br />

executed.<br />

Presenter: Sonia Dorais, CEO, Chaser<br />

Collector of award: Pavlina Mitchell ACICM & Mark Clowes ACICM<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 47


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BRITISH<br />

CREDIT<br />

AWARDS<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

International <strong>Credit</strong> Award<br />

Winner<br />

Skyscanner<br />

Sponsor:<br />

Judges' comment: An innovative and highly<br />

structured approach which engages the<br />

employees in their own career development<br />

and planning to the benefit of the whole<br />

organisation.<br />

Presenter: Luke Camille, B2B Director, Skyscanner<br />

Collector of award: Margaret Dunsmore FCICM<br />

Team Player of the year Award<br />

Winner<br />

Abi Williams -<br />

Weightmans LLP<br />

Sponsor:<br />

PORTFOLIO<br />

CREDIT CONTROL<br />

Judges' comment: She seems to step in to<br />

so many situations and scenarios and her<br />

unselfish attitude to taking on extra work/<br />

responsibilities makes her indispensible to the<br />

organisation<br />

Presenter: Chad Vigano, Business Manager, Portfolio <strong>Credit</strong> Control<br />

Collector of award: Abi Williams<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 49


BRITISH<br />

CREDIT<br />

AWARDS<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

<strong>Credit</strong> Professional of the year Award<br />

Winner<br />

Katherine Bailey FCICM<br />

- Valor Hospitality<br />

Europe Limited<br />

Highly Commended:<br />

Yvette Gray MCICM,<br />

Atradius Collections<br />

Sponsor:<br />

Judges' comment: A wonderful entry from the<br />

heart with evidence of achievements within her<br />

operational credit role.<br />

Presenter: Andy Lilley, Managing Director, Blackline<br />

Collector of award: Katherine Bailey FCICM<br />

Jenny Oldfield Supporting Women in <strong>Credit</strong> Award<br />

Winner<br />

Wendy Overton<br />

ACICM<br />

Presenter: Steve Round, Pancreatic Cancer UK Representative<br />

Collector of award: Wendy Overton ACICM<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 50


BRITISH<br />

CREDIT<br />

AWARDS<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

Outstanding Contribution Award<br />

mise<br />

Winner<br />

ctions<br />

ase your<br />

rofitability<br />

British <strong>Credit</strong> Awards 2023 winner<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> & Collections FinTech Supplier of the Year<br />

Phil Rice<br />

FCICM<br />

to your current processes,<br />

undreds of thousands a year,<br />

er and more efficiently,<br />

d-winning software is<br />

’s leading FTSE 100 and<br />

btregister.com/enterprise<br />

Sponsor:<br />

Maximise<br />

cash collections<br />

Presenter: Gary Brown MCICM, Founder, Debt Register<br />

Collector of award: The award was collected on Phil's behalf by Rachael Costello and Sarah<br />

Hicken FCICM<br />

16/01/<strong>2024</strong> 11:18<br />

Sir Roger Cork Prize<br />

Winner<br />

John Brooker<br />

ACICM<br />

Presenter: Dr. Debbie Tuckwood CICM, Chief Advisor (Professional Development)<br />

Collector of award: John Brooker ACICM<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 51


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© Copyright Hays plc <strong>2024</strong>.


CREDIT MANAGEMENT<br />

BRITISH<br />

CREDIT<br />

AWARDS<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

Excellence in <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong><br />

Winner<br />

Aggregate Industries<br />

UK Ltd<br />

Presenter: Debbie Nolan FCICM, Chair of CICM Executive Board<br />

Collector of award: Aggregate Industries UK Ltd<br />

Winner<br />

Biffa Waste<br />

Services Ltd<br />

Presenter: Debbie Nolan FCICM, Chair of CICM Executive Board<br />

Collector of award: Biffa Waste Services Ltd<br />

CICM British <strong>Credit</strong> Awards 2025<br />

For more information and details on how<br />

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Awards 2025, scan here...<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 53


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 54


Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 55


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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>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 56


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: 07759 122503<br />

E: s.evans@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 />

With over 45 years of experience in supporting<br />

organisations in the successful delivery of multichannel<br />

communications, CFH are the innovative<br />

and trusted partner for driving engagement and<br />

achieving measurable results. Combining proven<br />

expertise, the right accreditations and industry<br />

driven communication solutions including Docmail<br />

the leading hybrid mail solution, CFH have the<br />

perfect blend of solutions to help you engage offline,<br />

online or the perfect blend of the two.<br />

Top Service Ltd. The only credit information and<br />

debt recovery service provider specifically for the<br />

UK construction industry. Our payment experiences<br />

are the most up to date credit information available<br />

and enable construction businesses to confidently<br />

assess credit risk and make the best, most informed<br />

credit decisions. Coupled with our range of effective<br />

debt recovery solutions, quite simply our members<br />

stay one step ahead and experience less debt and<br />

more cash.<br />

T: +44 (0)1246 555055<br />

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk<br />

T: 01761 416311<br />

E: info@cfh.com<br />

W: www.cfh.com<br />

T: +44 1527 503990<br />

E: membership@top-service.co.uk<br />

W: www.top-service.co.uk<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 />

Invevo is a cloud-based platform specialising<br />

in credit management and accounts receivable<br />

process automation. It streamlines operational<br />

tasks, offers in-depth analytics via dashboards,<br />

and allows quick workflow adjustments at zero<br />

cost. Integrated with existing systems like ERP<br />

and CRM, Invevo serves as a single source for key<br />

insights, helping you make data-driven decisions<br />

to improve cash and operational performance.<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 7817 613 825<br />

E: info@invevo.com<br />

W: www.invevo.com<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 57


BRANCH NEWS<br />

SOUTHERN<br />

CREDIT DAY<br />

THE 2023 Southern <strong>Credit</strong> Day, held<br />

at the Twickenham Stoop stadium<br />

home of Harlequins Rugby Club<br />

brought together more than 70<br />

members of the Kent, Sussex and<br />

Surrey, London and Thames Valley<br />

Branches.<br />

The event began with Natascha Whitehead of Hays<br />

Recruitment and Karen Tuffs FCICM(Grad) of the<br />

CICM presenting on the ‘Stars of Tomorrow’, how the<br />

two organisations have collaborated on a joint initiative<br />

to attract, nurture and develop the talent of tomorrow.<br />

They shared some great tips both for interviewer and<br />

interviewee on preparing for and performing in an<br />

interview. Designing an attractive job advert and<br />

being flexible are also important in attracting<br />

candidates.<br />

Yvette Gray MCICM, of Atradius then shared an<br />

Economic Update, and how geopolitical events,<br />

inflation and the price of energy and materials are<br />

having an impact leading to an increase in insolvencies<br />

and a growing trend in non-payment. She also<br />

presented statistics on payment terms and trade on<br />

credit globally. On a positive note, she explained the<br />

opportunities such as AI and predictive collections<br />

could enable more sustainable trade.<br />

Joshua Mayhew MCICM and Charles Mayhew<br />

FCICM from Global <strong>Credit</strong> Recoveries gave some<br />

of their top collections tips and reminded attendees<br />

of the important of having the right contacts and<br />

information, including mobile numbers. They also<br />

focused on the importance of having local contacts<br />

and an understanding of local etiquette and culture to<br />

enable faster collection of debt.<br />

Attendees were then provided with a delicious<br />

Moroccan style lunch whilst networking and taking<br />

photos by the rugby pitch. Chris Sanders FCICM of<br />

O2C Lab presented on best practice in high performing<br />

teams. The main reasons people remain in a team is<br />

they get recognition, have a great team around them<br />

and a great boss. He summarised the main points<br />

as having a one-page credit policy that everyone can<br />

understand, having debt and dispute league tables,<br />

and the importance of understanding DSO drivers,<br />

how much a DSO day is worth, and the value of a<br />

customer to the business, as well as shifting thinking<br />

‘left’ upstream of the process.<br />

We then heard from Tim Annis from BlueChain who<br />

gave an interesting summary of payment methods used<br />

by businesses and customers. The use of cheques is<br />

reducing, the use of Faster Payments is increasing, and<br />

so too is the use of Buy Now/Pay Later. AI is also now<br />

being used to integrate multiple payment systems into<br />

one system. There was a discussion around security and<br />

fraud, particularly on Pay by Link, where a link is sent<br />

to the customer to make payment, and Confirmation<br />

of Payee, where payers can check who they are paying<br />

and QR codes are sent that customers scan to make<br />

payment.<br />

The final presentation of the day was a Legal Update<br />

from Phil Roberts FCICM and Kayleigh Cullis of<br />

Clarke Willmott. They explained the Civil National<br />

Business Centre is fully operational. This has resulted<br />

in processing times improving but there are still<br />

significant delays. There is now mandatory mediation<br />

for claims that are defended under £10,000. Their<br />

presentation also covered the Fixed Costs Regime<br />

which fixes the costs that can be claimed, depending<br />

on which stage the claim is concluded, but there are<br />

still some concerns around the bands of complexity<br />

and if a contract with provision of costs precedes this.<br />

Breathing space was also discussed with questions<br />

around whether it is being abused to challenge with the<br />

authorised debt advisor.<br />

Thank you to the organisers of the event, the speakers,<br />

and sponsors. The next <strong>Credit</strong> Day – for <strong>2024</strong> – is<br />

already being planned.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 58


CICM Elections <strong>2024</strong><br />

NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN - Do you fit the bill?<br />

The Advisory Council influences the future direction of the Institute and has a wide-ranging remit.<br />

Its members reflect the diverse range of skills and experience amongst the Institute’s membership, allowing them to:<br />

• Act as a true advocate and ambassador for the CICM<br />

• Ensure the CICM delivers the objectives stated in its Royal Charter<br />

• Engage with CICM members and the wider business community to promote the CICM, the benefits of membership and the<br />

Institute’s strategic direction<br />

• Act on behalf of all CICM members - and on behalf of future generations of members<br />

• Provide an objective environment for the CICM Executive Board to explore new ideas, opportunities and challenges<br />

There are up to 23 Advisory Council positions now open for nomination representing our 11 regions and the trade, consumer,<br />

international and credit services sectors.<br />

Please visit www.mi-nomination.com/cicm to step up and stand for Nomination or email<br />

elections@cicm.com to find out more.<br />

Nominations close 12 April <strong>2024</strong><br />

CM<br />

CREDIT MANAGEMENT<br />

THE CICM'S HIGHLY ACCLAIMED MAGAZINE<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong>, the magazine of the Chartered Institute of <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong> (CICM), is the leading publication in its field. The magazine<br />

includes full coverage of consumer and trade credit, export and company<br />

news, as well as in-depth features, profiles and opinions. To receive the free<br />

magazine you must be a member of the CICM or subscribe.<br />

SPECIAL<br />

FEATURES<br />

IN DEPTH<br />

INTERVIEWS<br />

ASK THE<br />

EXPERTS<br />

GLOBAL<br />

NEWS<br />

LEGAL<br />

MATTERS<br />

INTERNATIONAL<br />

TRADE<br />

CURRENCY<br />

EXCHANGE<br />

HR<br />

MATTERS<br />

MOBILE DIGITAL<br />

EDITION<br />

EDUCATIONAL<br />

STUDIES<br />

THE LEADING JOURNAL FOR CONSUMER AND COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS<br />

TO SUBSCRIBE CONTACT: T: 01780 722903<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 59


CICM TRAINING<br />

Training courses that offer high-quality approaches<br />

to credit-related topics and practical skills<br />

Now, more than ever, the <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> and Collections industry<br />

is seeing drastic changes and impacts that affect the day-to-day roles of<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> and Collections teams.<br />

CICM Training offers high-quality approaches to credit-related topics.<br />

Granting you the practical skills and necessary tools to use in your<br />

workplace and the ever-changing industry. A highly qualified trainer, with<br />

an array of credit management experience, will grant you the knowledge,<br />

improved results, and greater confidence you need for your teams to<br />

succeed in the <strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> profession.<br />

Get trained with your<br />

professional body and the only<br />

Chartered organisation that delivers<br />

<strong>Credit</strong> <strong>Management</strong> training<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 60


On-Demand | Online | Face-to-Face<br />

METHODS OF DELIVERY<br />

CICM Training courses can be delivered through a variety<br />

of options, ensuring a range of opportunities for your<br />

teams to be trained on the most up-to-date methods in<br />

CICM On-Demand<br />

Training<br />

CICM Online<br />

Training<br />

CICM Face-to-Face<br />

Training<br />

On-Demand training can be viewed anytime, anywhere with our downloadable<br />

training videos.<br />

Online training will be for those who find it easy to learn from the space<br />

of their home or office.<br />

Face-to-face training It’s been a long time coming but now you can mingle and<br />

learn together in the same room as your colleagues and peers.<br />

TRAINING COURSES<br />

CICM have a collection of training courses to meet the needs of your <strong>Credit</strong> and<br />

Collections’ teams. Take a look at the courses below and start training towards<br />

the CICM Professional Standard.<br />

Advanced Skills in Collections • Best Practice Approach to Collections<br />

Best Practice Skills to Assess <strong>Credit</strong> Risk • Collect that Cash • <strong>Credit</strong> Bootcamp<br />

Effective Communication in the <strong>Credit</strong> Role • Emergency Guide to <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Harness your leadership Style • Know Your Customer • Managing Insolvency<br />

Reflect and Develop • Set Targets that Work<br />

For more details, visit our website, scan the<br />

barcode or contact us at info@cicm.com<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 61


ECONOMIC CRIME<br />

CLEAR<br />

THINKING<br />

Economic crime is driving higher<br />

requirements in corporate transparency<br />

BY NATALIE QUINLIVAN<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 62


CREDIT MANAGEMENT<br />

THE Economic Crime and Corporate<br />

Transparency Bill received Royal<br />

Assent at the end of October 2023<br />

and will have implications for<br />

businesses trying to navigate an<br />

already complex landscape when it<br />

comes to combatting fraud.<br />

Heralded as a sledgehammer for prosecutors to wield<br />

against the business community in its efforts to tackle<br />

fraud and corruption, the Act introduces what the<br />

Government describes as world-leading powers which<br />

will allow UK authorities to “proactively target organised<br />

criminals and others seeking to abuse the UK's economy.”<br />

Time will tell if they can achieve this aim but there are<br />

few disagreeing that the Act will add significantly to the<br />

ever-increasing burden on risk and compliance teams.<br />

Key changes include a wider remit of powers for<br />

Companies House, a new Failure to Prevent Fraud<br />

offence, and reforms to the so-called Identification<br />

Doctrine, in an overhaul of corporate criminal liability<br />

in the UK.<br />

Key changes<br />

Companies House<br />

In the wake of much commentary on the issues with<br />

Companies House, the Act contains important reforms<br />

giving the registry a larger role to play in investigations<br />

and enforcement. Whilst the existing remit of Companies<br />

House (per the Companies Act 2006) is to act as a register<br />

for company information and make that information<br />

available for public inspection, the Act introduces new<br />

objectives for Companies House which aim to improve<br />

the accuracy and integrity of the information on the<br />

register and give new powers to support this role.<br />

These include, amongst others, certain powers to:<br />

1. Require identity verification for all new and existing<br />

registered company directors, people with significant<br />

control, and those who file on behalf of companies.<br />

2. Remove inaccurate or unverified material from the<br />

register and require inconsistencies to be resolved,<br />

failing which a company can be struck off.<br />

3. Share information in line with requests from criminal<br />

enforcement agencies.<br />

4. Analyse their data to prevent and detect crime.<br />

5. Protect personal information to protect individuals<br />

from fraud and other harms.<br />

While increased transparency obligations regarding<br />

company ownership progresses at pace in the UK, it is<br />

in marked contrast to developments in the EU where<br />

the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights is posing<br />

challenges to corporate transparency in EU member<br />

states’ registries. It is increasingly the case that UK<br />

and UK overseas territories companies will have much<br />

higher transparency obligations than their European<br />

counterparts.<br />

Failure to Prevent<br />

Fraud Offence<br />

A decade after the proposal was first mooted by Sir David<br />

Green, and after a few false starts, the Act introduces a<br />

new failure to prevent fraud offence. Following in the<br />

footsteps of the failure to prevent bribery (Bribery Act<br />

2010) and the failure to prevent tax evasion (Criminal<br />

Finances Act 2017), the failure to prevent fraud offence<br />

covers core fraud offences, such as fraud by false<br />

representation, fraud by failing to disclose information,<br />

and false accounting.<br />

Key elements to note are:<br />

It applies only to large companies and LLPs<br />

Despite a series of debates between the Houses of<br />

Commons and Lords on the scope of the offence,<br />

the failure to prevent fraud offence will only apply to<br />

companies and incorporated public bodies qualifying as<br />

large under the Companies Act 2006, i.e. those that meet<br />

at least two of the following criteria: (a) turnover of more<br />

than £36m; (b) balance sheet total of more than £18m;<br />

(c) more than 250 employees. This is a marked difference<br />

from the earlier failure to prevent offences which apply<br />

to all companies, regardless of their size.<br />

The role of an 'associated person'<br />

Organisations will be liable if an 'associated person'<br />

commits a fraud offence for the benefit of the company.<br />

For these purposes, an associated person includes<br />

employees, agents, subsidiaries and intermediaries who<br />

perform services for or on behalf of the company.<br />

No liability if company is a victim<br />

The Act provides an important exemption where the<br />

company was or was intended to be a victim of the<br />

fraud offence. This means a corporate will not be liable<br />

where an associated person commits a fraud offence<br />

for their own benefit, rather than for the benefit of the<br />

company.<br />

Extra-territorial effect<br />

Extra-territorial effect.<br />

Importantly, the offence will have extra-territorial<br />

effect. This means that where conduct occurs abroad,<br />

which would constitute fraud under UK law, or targets<br />

UK victims, the company could still be liable. Similarly,<br />

where conduct occurs in the UK, but the company is not<br />

based in the UK, the company could still be caught.<br />

Defence<br />

The principle defence available to a corporate is to show<br />

that the company has reasonable prevention procedures<br />

in place to prevent the conduct from occurring. It is<br />

expected that the Government will issue guidance on<br />

what they consider reasonable prevention procedures to<br />

comprise early in <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 63<br />

continues on page 64 >


ECONOMIC CRIME<br />

Penalties<br />

If a corporate is found liable, they face an unlimited<br />

fine, loss in shareholder value and reputational damage,<br />

alongside the risk of civil litigation.<br />

This new offence, which will come into effect when the<br />

guidance is published in <strong>2024</strong>, will require businesses<br />

to conduct updated fraud risk assessments across<br />

their operations to establish their risk profile. Once<br />

established, appropriate systems should then be<br />

implemented, or existing ones can be finessed, to ensure<br />

the business is safeguarded against future criminal<br />

enforcement.<br />

Identification Doctrine<br />

The amendments to the identification doctrine have been<br />

on the wish list of prosecutors for a very long time. Up<br />

until now, corporate criminal liability was determined<br />

according to the common law identification doctrine,<br />

which attributed the actions of an organisation’s<br />

“directing mind and will” to the organisation itself.<br />

Prosecutors have struggled to satisfy this test<br />

when applying it to large companies with complex<br />

management structures whose directing minds are not<br />

readily identifiable. The Act has sought to reform the<br />

Identification Doctrine to make it easier to prosecute<br />

companies for economic crimes committed by senior<br />

managers. An organisation will now be criminally<br />

liable when part, or all, of a specified economic crime<br />

(including fraud, bribery and tax offences) is committed<br />

in the UK by a senior manager of that company or<br />

partnership.<br />

The new doctrine took effect from December 2023 and<br />

covers instances where the senior manager is a person<br />

who plays a significant role in the making of decisions<br />

about the whole or a substantial part of the activities<br />

of the organisation. If the senior manager is guilty, the<br />

business will also be guilty. This change alone will mean<br />

the risk profile of many companies needs revisiting.<br />

Unlike the failure to prevent fraud offence, this applies<br />

to all companies regardless of their size. That said, the<br />

impact will be reduced for smaller and less complex<br />

companies by virtue of the fact that senior managers<br />

will be more easily identifiable. Multinationals and<br />

other corporates will need to take steps to identify who<br />

their senior managers are for these purposes and assess<br />

economic crime risk falling within the scope of their<br />

authority. Consideration can then be given to how best<br />

to manage these risks.<br />

The aim of the changes to the identification doctrine is<br />

to put the common law principle of the 'directing mind<br />

and will' on a statutory footing in relation to economic<br />

crime. It should make prosecutions of corporate<br />

defendants for economic crimes more successful by<br />

accounting for the practical shortfalls of the common<br />

law principle. Many high-profile prosecutions have<br />

collapsed in recent times due to failures in corporate<br />

criminal attribution, therefore this lowering of the<br />

threshold signals a new era of exposure for organisations.<br />

The matter of effectiveness<br />

Fraud is by no means a new player in the corporate<br />

crime arena. However, with high corporate transparency<br />

requirements, and multiple routes through which an<br />

enforcement agency can investigate and prosecute<br />

corporates, the Act will likely make it easier for<br />

corporates to be held accountable for fraud within the<br />

business or perpetrated by associated persons of the<br />

business.<br />

Although the failure to prevent fraud offence is limited<br />

in its application to large businesses, the attribution<br />

of liability for corporate crime through the action of<br />

senior managers applies to businesses of all sizes. This<br />

means there is homework for risk and compliance teams<br />

regardless of the size of the business to ensure they are<br />

fully compliant with the Act.<br />

When an issue does arise, given fraud's prevalence<br />

both internally and through third party engagement,<br />

businesses should seek advice at as early a stage as possible<br />

regarding whether the offence is engaged. The risks here<br />

are significant. Long before a criminal prosecution<br />

takes place, the business facing criminal allegations will<br />

need to manage an internal and external investigation.<br />

These are time and cost intensive processes and early<br />

intervention can make all the difference.<br />

Author: Natalie Quinlivan is Commercial Crime Director<br />

at Fieldfisher.<br />

Fraud is by no<br />

means a new player<br />

in the corporate<br />

crime arena.<br />

However, with<br />

high corporate<br />

transparency<br />

requirements, an<br />

enforcement agency<br />

can investigate<br />

and prosecute<br />

corporates<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 64


EXCLUSIVE PAYMENT TRENDS<br />

WHEN IT<br />

RAINS IT POURS<br />

Late payments are on the up across the board.<br />

BY ROB HOWARD<br />

AFTER a solid yet unspectacular start<br />

to the new year, that saw a number<br />

of improvements, the latest late<br />

payment statistics show more cause<br />

for concern, with the figures on<br />

the rise across the majority of UK<br />

and Irish regions and sectors. The<br />

average Days Beyond Terms (DBT) across UK regions and<br />

sectors increased by 1.4 and 0.8 days respectively. In Ireland,<br />

the average DBT figure rose by 3.8 and 2.3 days respectively.<br />

Average DBT across the four provinces of Ireland increased<br />

by 8.6 days.<br />

Sector Spotlight<br />

The UK sector standings are pretty one sided, with 17 of the<br />

22 sectors seeing increases, only five made improvements.<br />

Although the majority of the 17 sectors in the red saw<br />

moderate increases to DBT, so perhaps it is not time to panic<br />

just yet. The Business from Home sector saw the biggest rise,<br />

with an increase of 6.2 days taking its overall DBT to 14.6<br />

days. The two biggest movers in the right direction are the<br />

Financial and Insurance and International Bodies, cutting<br />

DBT by 7.1 and 6.0 days.<br />

The latest sector figures for Ireland are similarly skewed by<br />

increases, with more than half (11) of the 20 sectors seeing rises<br />

to late payments. Some five sectors did make cuts to DBT,<br />

with the remaining four seeing no change. Of those going<br />

backward, the Construction sector saw the biggest leap, with<br />

an increase of 9.7 days taking its overall DBT to 18.0 days.<br />

Elsewhere, the Water & Waste (+8.8 days), Energy Supply<br />

(+7.5 days), Hospitality (+7.2 days) and Public Administration<br />

sectors all saw sizeable increases to DBT.<br />

Regional Spotlight<br />

The UK regional data shows nine of the 11 regions going<br />

backwards. Northern Ireland (-3.3 days) and the South West<br />

(-1.3 days) are the only sectors improving, with the latter<br />

moving to the top of the standings as the best performing<br />

region with an overall DBT of 10.9 days. On the flip side, East<br />

Anglia saw the biggest increase in late payments and is now<br />

the worst performing region, with a jump of 5.2 days taking<br />

its overall DBT to 17.3 days.<br />

Things aren’t much better in Ireland, with 16 of the 26<br />

counties seeing rises in late payments, some of which are<br />

rather significant. For example, no county saw a bigger rise<br />

than county Clare in western Ireland, with an increase of 26.6<br />

days taking its overall DBT to 28.1 days. Elsewhere, Donegal<br />

(+24.3), Cavan (+18.9 days), Longford (+14.4 days) and Laois<br />

(+10.3 days) all saw steep increases to DBT.<br />

All four of the Irish provinces saw increases to DBT. Connacht<br />

takes over as the best performing province with an overall<br />

DBT of 8.5 days, despite a rise of 3.2 days. Leinster faired<br />

marginally better, with an increase of 3.1 days to its DBT,<br />

but is well behind overall with a DBT of 18.5 days. Ulster and<br />

Munster, however, saw the biggest increases to late payments,<br />

rising by 17.2 and 11.0 days respectively.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 65


*<br />

STATISTICS<br />

Data supplied by the <strong>Credit</strong>safe Group<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Region (UK) January 24 Changes from December 23<br />

South West 10.9 -1.3<br />

South East 11.8 0.3<br />

North West 12.6 0.5<br />

Northern Ireland 12.8 -3.3<br />

Yorkshire and Humberside 13.1 1<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Region (UK) January 24 Changes from December 23<br />

East Anglia 17.3 5.2<br />

Scotland 15.5 2.3<br />

East Midlands 14.5 3<br />

Wales 14.4 4.1<br />

West Midlands 13.9 2.2<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers<br />

Sector (UK) January 24 Changes from December 23<br />

Entertainment 5.6 -0.9<br />

Hospitality 7.9 -3.6<br />

Water & Waste 9.6 3.4<br />

Education 10.1 1.5<br />

Real Estate 10.7 2.1<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers<br />

Sector (UK) January 24 Changes from December 23<br />

International Bodies 23 -6<br />

Dormant 18.2 2.3<br />

Manufacturing 17.2 0.5<br />

Public Administration 16.3 -0.5<br />

IT and Comms 15.6 0.1<br />

Getting worse<br />

Business from Home 6.2<br />

Water and Waste 3.4<br />

Other Service 3.3<br />

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 3.2<br />

Energy Supply 2.4<br />

Mining and Quarrying 2.4<br />

Construction 2.3<br />

Dormant 2.3<br />

Real Estate 2.1<br />

Education 1.5<br />

Professional and Scientific 1.4<br />

Transportation and Storage 1.2<br />

Business Admin and Support 0.9<br />

Health and Social 0.6<br />

Manufacturing 0.5<br />

Wholesale and Retail Trade 0.5<br />

IT and Comms 0.1<br />

Getting better<br />

Financial and Insurance -7.1<br />

International Bodies -6<br />

SCOTLAND<br />

2.3 DBT<br />

Hospitality -3.6<br />

Entertainment -0.9<br />

NORTHERN<br />

IRELAND<br />

-3.3 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

WEST<br />

-1.3 DBT<br />

WALES<br />

4.1 DBT<br />

NORTH<br />

WEST<br />

0.5 DBT<br />

WEST<br />

MIDLANDS<br />

2.2 DBT<br />

YORKSHIRE &<br />

HUMBERSIDE<br />

1 DBT<br />

EAST<br />

MIDLANDS<br />

3 DBT<br />

LONDON<br />

1.8 DBT<br />

SOUTH<br />

EAST<br />

0.3 DBT<br />

EAST<br />

ANGLIA<br />

5.2 DBT<br />

Public Administration -0.5<br />

Region<br />

Getting Better – Getting Worse<br />

-3.3<br />

-1.3<br />

5.2<br />

4.1<br />

3<br />

2.3<br />

2.2<br />

1.8<br />

1<br />

0.5<br />

0.3<br />

Northern Ireland<br />

South West<br />

East Anglia<br />

Wales<br />

East Midlands<br />

Scotland<br />

West Midlands<br />

London<br />

Yorkshire and Humberside<br />

North West<br />

South East<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> / PAGE 66


EXCLUSIVE PAYMENT TRENDS<br />

MUNSTER<br />

2.1 DBT<br />

CLARE<br />

26.6 DBT<br />

DONEGAL<br />

24.3 DBT<br />

CONNACHT<br />

3.2 DBT<br />

ROSCOMMON<br />

-0.7 DBT<br />

MUNSTER<br />

11 DBT<br />

SLIGO<br />

-7.3 DBT<br />

MONAGHAN<br />

0 DBT<br />

ULSTER<br />

17.2 DBT<br />

LEITRIM<br />

0 DBT CAVAN<br />

0.2 DBT<br />

LEINSTER<br />

3.1 DBT<br />

LAOI<br />

2 DBT<br />

WATERFORD<br />

-6.5 DBT<br />

WESTMEATH<br />

0 DBT<br />

WEXFORD<br />

10.3 DBT<br />

DUBLIN<br />

-0.1 DBT<br />

Getting worse<br />

Construction 9.7<br />

Water and Waste 8.8<br />

Energy Supply 7.5<br />

Hospitality 7.2<br />

Public Adminstration 6.5<br />

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 5.5<br />

Business Admin and Support 3.4<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers – Ireland<br />

Region January 24 Changes from December 23<br />

Monaghan 0 0<br />

Waterford 0.5 -6.5<br />

Sligo 1.3 -7.3<br />

Leitrim 2 0<br />

Roscommon 6.2 -0.7<br />

Financial and Insurance 1.4<br />

Manufacturing 1.2<br />

Professional and Scientfic 1.2<br />

Real Estate 0.8<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers – Ireland<br />

Region January 24 Changes from December 23<br />

Westmeath 120 0<br />

Donegal 29 24.3<br />

Clare 28.1 26.6<br />

Wexford 27.3 10.3<br />

Dublin 27 0.1<br />

Top Four Prompter Payers – Irish Provinces<br />

Region January 24 Changes from December 23<br />

Connacht 8.5 3.2<br />

Munster 18.3 11<br />

Leinster 18.5 3.1<br />

Ulster 19.2 17.2<br />

Getting better<br />

IT and Comms -3.8<br />

Health and Social -1.2<br />

Wholesale and Retail Trade -0.9<br />

Other Service -0.5<br />

Entertainment -0.1<br />

Top Five Prompter Payers – Ireland<br />

Sector January 24 Changes from December 23<br />

Education 0 0<br />

International Bodies 0 0<br />

Mining and Quarrying 0 0<br />

Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair<br />

of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles 5.7 -0.9<br />

Public Adminstration 6.5 6.5<br />

Nothing changed<br />

Education 0<br />

International Bodies 0<br />

Mining and Quarrying 0<br />

Bottom Five Poorest Payers – Ireland<br />

Sector January 24 Changes from December 23<br />

IT and Comms 20.9 -3.8<br />

Business Admin and Support 20 3.4<br />

Financial and Insurance 19.6 1.4<br />

Construction 18 9.7<br />

Water and Waste 17.8 8.8<br />

Transporatiomn and Storage 0<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 67


LOOKING FOR<br />

YOUR NEXT<br />

CAREER MOVE?<br />

CREDIT CONTROLLER<br />

Hampton, Southwest London, £32K + annual bonus<br />

A leading southwest London-based consultancy is in a period<br />

of growth and needs a <strong>Credit</strong> Controller to join them at their<br />

offices based in Hampton. This is an excellent opportunity for<br />

an experienced credit controller who lives in the local area and<br />

can work in the office 5 days a week. This is a varied role that<br />

covers all aspects of the order-to-cash process. Ref: 4499259<br />

Contact mark.ordona@hays.com<br />

or 07565 800574<br />

E-BILLING MANAGER<br />

(FTC OR PERM CONSIDERED)<br />

Fully remote, up to £50k<br />

Due to restructuring, an international law firm is looking for<br />

an E-Billing Manager who’ll report to the Finance Operations<br />

Manager. You’ll support the team, identify issues and drive<br />

improvement, showing immediate impact whilst considering<br />

long-term solutions to ongoing issues. They’re looking for<br />

someone with strong team management skills and experience<br />

working in a law firm in an E-billing capacity. Ref: 4525405<br />

Contact sejal.hampson@hays.com<br />

or 07816 406959<br />

CREDIT CONTROLLER<br />

Birmingham, £28k-£30k<br />

A company based in Birmingham is currently recruiting a <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Controller permanently. You’ll join a well-established credit<br />

team and will be responsible for liaising with customers<br />

regarding overdue invoices. You’ll be managing a ledger of<br />

over 500 accounts. Ref: 4496321<br />

Contact henry.brook@hays.com<br />

or 0333 010 7517<br />

CREDIT CONTROL/ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE<br />

North Acton, £35k<br />

We’re exclusively working with a food wholesaler who supplies<br />

top hotel chains and restaurants based in North Acton. This<br />

business is currently experiencing rapid growth. In this role,<br />

you’ll work in a team of 3 AR/ <strong>Credit</strong> controllers, you’ll be<br />

responsible for their ledger and required to chase debt via<br />

telephone/ email. Manual invoicing experience is critical.<br />

Ref: 4454627<br />

Contact hussain.ahmed@hays.com<br />

or 0333 010 7453<br />

hays.co.uk/credit-control-jobs<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE xx<br />

© Copyright Hays plc <strong>2024</strong>. The HAYS word, the H devices, HAYS WORKING FOR YOUR TOMORROW and Powering the world of work and associated logos and artwork are trademarks of Hays plc.<br />

The H devices are original designs protected by registration in many countries. All rights are reserved. CM-1393210074


CREDIT CONTROLLER<br />

Trafford (hybrid), £26k-£28k<br />

A large manufacturing company based in Trafford are seeking<br />

an experienced <strong>Credit</strong> Controller to join their team. You’ll work in<br />

a team of 5, reporting to the <strong>Credit</strong> Manager. You’ll manage your<br />

own B2B ledger (circa 500 accounts), contacting customers<br />

by telephone, allocating cash and deadling with daily query<br />

resolution. Proficiency in Excel is required (Pivot tables and<br />

V-lookups), with SAP experience being advantageous.<br />

Ref: 4443894<br />

Contact joanna.taylor-coburn@hays.com<br />

or 01619 268605<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 786 433.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE x


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Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 70


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Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 71


HR MATTERS<br />

BLOWING<br />

HOT AND COLD<br />

Employers should have clear strategies for dealing<br />

with changing weather patterns.<br />

BY GARETH EDWARDS<br />

THE climate can play havoc with the<br />

workplace and the wrong temperature<br />

can affect productivity. But with extreme<br />

weather apparently becoming more<br />

common, employers need to understand<br />

the impact that different conditions can<br />

have on their employees and take steps to<br />

ensure that employees are protected where necessary.<br />

Temperature<br />

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)’s Code of Practice<br />

suggests a minimum temperature of 16 degrees Celsius in an<br />

indoor workplace (13 degrees Celsius if the work involves<br />

rigorous physical effort). In addition to bearing in mind the legal<br />

minimum, employers should also carry out risk assessments to<br />

identify any specific issues that might arise from working in cold<br />

conditions.<br />

MP’s have previously called for a limit to be introduced. In 2016,<br />

a motion was called in parliament calling for the Government to<br />

limit temperatures to 30 degrees Celsius, or 27 degrees Celsius<br />

for more strenuous work. The motion suggested that employers<br />

would have to introduce control measures, such as breaks,<br />

access to water or air conditioning in the event that the above<br />

thresholds might be met or exceeded. The motion has not found<br />

its way into statute, however.<br />

In the meantime, employers should be aware of the effects of<br />

heat stress on employees and look to reduce the risks where<br />

possible by removing or reducing sources of heat. Practical steps<br />

suggested by the HSE include controlling the temperature;<br />

providing mechanical aids; preventing dehydration; providing<br />

PPE; training; acclimatisation; identifying those at risk; and<br />

monitoring health.<br />

Identifying those at risk is likely to be important. In particular,<br />

employers need to be aware of their obligations in the Equality<br />

Act 2010, particularly with reference to the obligation to make<br />

reasonable adjustments in respect of any elements of a job which<br />

places a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage compared<br />

to someone who is not disabled. It may be that additional<br />

measures or actions need to be put in place to combat the<br />

challenges posed by working in hot conditions. Again, a risk<br />

assessment would be appropriate in order to recognise risks and<br />

identify measures to reduce or avoid those risks.<br />

More generally, employers must be careful to consider health<br />

and safety issues. Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996<br />

gives employees and workers the right ‘‘not to be subjected to<br />

any detriment by any act, or any deliberate failure to act, by his<br />

employer done on the ground that:<br />

• in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to<br />

be serious and imminent and which he could not reasonably have been<br />

expected to avert, he left (or proposed to leave) or (while the danger<br />

persisted) refused to return to his place of work or any dangerous part<br />

of his place of work; or<br />

• in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed<br />

to be serious and imminent, he took (or proposed to take) appropriate<br />

steps to protect himself or other persons from the danger.’’<br />

This protects employees against, amongst other things, being<br />

subjected to a detriment (such as losing pay) when they leave<br />

the workplace or propose leaving the workplace where they<br />

reasonably believe there to be serious and imminent danger.<br />

This might include circumstances where an employee reasonably<br />

believes that the temperature in the workplace is so low or high<br />

as to create serious and imminent danger.<br />

Employers should be aware of the effects of heat<br />

stress on employees and look to reduce the risks where<br />

possible by removing or reducing sources of heat.<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 72


CREDIT MANAGEMENT<br />

“The handling of bad weather and travel<br />

disruption can be an opportunity for an<br />

employer to enhance staff morale and<br />

productivity by the way it is handled.’’<br />

IT is important for all employers to have a strategy in place to<br />

deal with the effects of a reduced workforce on a bad weather<br />

day, as well as HR and payroll issues that follow on.<br />

Employers should adopt a policy which makes expectations clear.<br />

It might confirm that it is the responsibility of all employees to<br />

make every effort to attend work – even in exceptionally severe<br />

weather conditions or where other unusual travel difficulties<br />

arise such as rail strikes. These efforts may include taking a<br />

different route to work or using alternative transport, such as<br />

lift sharing, public transport, or walking.<br />

Policies might also state that employees should listen out for<br />

information about local conditions and transport services;<br />

detail the circumstances in which working from home will be<br />

authorised; and when absences will be paid or unpaid.<br />

To manage risks, the policy should be clear that it does not<br />

expect employees to put their own or others' safety at risk.<br />

Where severe weather is forecast or other travel difficulties are<br />

expected, employees should (if possible) make suitable plans for<br />

travel and work in advance.<br />

There is no automatic right to payment for time lost due to severe<br />

weather conditions or other travel difficulties - the terms of the<br />

employment contract should be reviewed to understand the<br />

specific position. Generally, employees who find it impossible to<br />

reach the office and who cannot work from home will usually be<br />

expected to take annual leave. Employers may also suggest that if<br />

an employee does not want to take annual leave or unpaid leave<br />

that they make up the lost time on other days.<br />

Where employees are faced with childcare issues due to school<br />

closures, this is likely to constitute a domestic emergency<br />

entitling the employee to take unpaid leave in order to look after<br />

their children or other dependents. Employees are entitled to a<br />

reasonable amount of time off to deal with the emergency. There<br />

is no obligation on an employer to pay an employee during<br />

emergency leave.<br />

Employers should risk assess the workplace, paying specific<br />

attention to risks that arise from employees working in hot or<br />

cold conditions.<br />

Employers should develop a strategy for dealing with travel<br />

disruptions. It is important that a bad weather policy is finalised<br />

and made available to employees prior to the event. In this way,<br />

employees will understand in advance their employer's approach<br />

and the consequences of their absence.<br />

Wherever possible it is advisable to collaborate with employees<br />

and they should be appreciative of those who have made the<br />

journey in and seek to agree alternative working arrangements<br />

with those who cannot attend. Such arrangements could include<br />

remote working, making up hours at another time, or working<br />

from another location.<br />

Author: Gareth Edwards is a partner<br />

in the employment team at VWV.<br />

That said, careful consideration should be given to what<br />

payments should be made to employees who do not attend work<br />

because of bad weather. Reducing pay may create animosity<br />

between employees who were able to work from home and still<br />

be paid and those who were not and lost out. There may also be<br />

a risk of creating negative publicity by reducing pay for reasons<br />

outside of an individual's control. In its guidance in relation to<br />

this issue, ACAS says “the handling of bad weather and travel<br />

disruption can be an opportunity for an employer to enhance<br />

staff morale and productivity by the way it is handled.”<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 73


Cr£ditWho?<br />

CICM Directory of Services<br />

COLLECTIONS<br />

CREDIT DATA AND ANALYTICS<br />

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE<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, one of the UK's leading <strong>Credit</strong> Report<br />

companies, has helped thousands of business customers minimise<br />

their bad debt. Our data is compiled and constantly updated from<br />

various prominent UK and international suppliers, encompassing<br />

235 countries, so our clients can access the latest information in an<br />

easy-to-read report. Our product and service solutions are tailored<br />

to meet our clients' needs, including market-leading Dual Reports<br />

and integrated XML solutions, monitoring, and our D.N.A. <strong>Credit</strong><br />

Risk <strong>Management</strong> tool that reduce costs and boost cashflow.<br />

Since 2014, we have been finalists and winners of Small Business<br />

and <strong>Credit</strong> Awards. Our clients appreciate our involvement in their<br />

customer journey, resulting in a 99% client retention rate.<br />

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE<br />

Cedar Rose Int. Services Ltd<br />

Tel: (+357) 25 346630 (Cyprus Office)<br />

(+971) 4 374 5758 (UAE Office)<br />

E: info@cedar-rose.com W: www.cedar-rose.com<br />

Follow us on LinkedIn<br />

Cedar Rose stands at the forefront of global leadership in the<br />

provision of premium compliance, due diligence investigations,<br />

and identity verification services for both individuals and<br />

companies. As a distinguished recipient of numerous awards, its<br />

reputation is founded on unparalleled excellence and precision.<br />

Originally specializing in the Middle East and North Africa,<br />

Cedar Rose has now expanded its horizons, offering insights<br />

on entities and persons across the globe. With its innovative<br />

CRiS Intelligence Platform, clients gain immediate access to an<br />

expansive database of over 384 million companies.<br />

Cedar Rose offers a holistic range of data-driven solutions tailored<br />

to meet diverse needs. Its offerings range from automation<br />

solutions that streamline onboarding and monitoring processes,<br />

to in-depth compliance investigations, and advanced electronic<br />

identity verification for KYC and KYB requirements.<br />

MIL Collections Ltd.<br />

Palace Building, Quay Street, Truro,TR1 2HE<br />

M: 07961578739 E: GaryL@milcollections.co.uk<br />

W: www.milai.co.uk<br />

From our dedicated office in Truro, Cornwall, our team of over 50<br />

staff work tirelessly to ensure our clients expectations are not just<br />

met but exceeded.<br />

We offer clients an experienced, dedicated and regulated<br />

collection service. From small sundry invoices through to complex<br />

property cases and overseas jurisdictions we can help our clients<br />

recover what is due to them in a fair and timely manner.<br />

Added to the ISO certification, MIL is a pioneer bringing AI to the<br />

collections world with a platform dedicated to ensure customers<br />

are treated fairly and clients work is managed effectively.<br />

COLLECTIONS LEGAL<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 />

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 />

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 />

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 />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 74


FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION OPTIONS<br />

AND PRICING CONTACT<br />

paul@centuryone.uk 01727 739 196<br />

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE<br />

CLOUD-BASED SOFTWARE<br />

ENFORCEMENT<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 />

SERRALA<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 />

Top Service Ltd<br />

Top Service Ltd, 2&3 Regents Court, Far Moor Lane<br />

Redditch, Worcestershire. B98 0SD<br />

T: 01527 503990<br />

E: membership@top-service.co.uk<br />

W: www.top-service.co.uk<br />

The only credit information and debt recovery service provider<br />

specifically for the UK construction industry. Our payment<br />

experiences are the most up to date credit information available<br />

and enable construction businesses to confidently assess credit<br />

risk & make the best, most informed credit decisions. Coupled<br />

with our range of effective debt recovery solutions, quite simply<br />

our members stay one step ahead & experience less debt & more<br />

cash.<br />

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CICM Directory of Services<br />

FOR ADVERTISING<br />

INFORMATIONOPTIONS<br />

AND PRICING CONTACT<br />

paul@centuryone.uk 01727 739 196<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 />

Its “always-on” cloud-based delivery model provides customers<br />

with immediate access to the latest version of the TCN solution, as<br />

well as the ability to quickly and easily scale and adjust to evolving<br />

business needs. TCN serves various Fortune 500 companies and<br />

enterprises in multiple industries, including newspaper, collection,<br />

education, healthcare, automotive, political, customer service, and<br />

marketing. For more information, visit www.tcn.com or follow on<br />

Twitter @tcn.<br />

Invevo<br />

Daniel Gregory<br />

T: 07843591646<br />

E : daniel@invevo.com<br />

W: www.invevo.com<br />

Invevo is a fully integrated, cloud-based provider of credit<br />

management and accounts receivable automation solutions,<br />

offering dynamic features to optimise operational efficiency and<br />

improve cash performance.<br />

Our flexible platform empowers organisations to:<br />

- Automate the manual and repetitive work allowing your team to<br />

focus on the value-added activities<br />

- Discover financial and operational insights through beautiful,<br />

data-rich dashboards<br />

- Test and adjust workflow strategies immediately through zero-cost<br />

configuration<br />

- Mitigate customer global risk through integrated credit reporting via<br />

credit agencies or open banking<br />

Invevo integrates with your existing systems (ERP, CRM, accounting,<br />

billing) to present the insights you need to make strategic decisions<br />

through one system that acts as a single source of truth. Access<br />

the undiscovered analytics and improve performance across your<br />

portfolio through data-driven actions.<br />

ENFORCEMENT<br />

Court Enforcement Services<br />

Samuel Evans – Director of Business Development<br />

T: 07759 122503<br />

E : s.evans@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 />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 75<br />

High Court Enforcement Group Limited<br />

Client Services, Helix, 1st Floor, Edmund St, 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 />

ENGAGEMENT<br />

CFH Docmail<br />

T: 01761 416311<br />

E: info@cfh.com<br />

W: www.cfh.com<br />

With over 45 years of experience in supporting organisations in<br />

the successful delivery of multi-channel communications, CFH<br />

are the innovative and trusted partner for driving engagement<br />

and achieving measurable results.<br />

Combining proven expertise, the right accreditations and industry<br />

driven communication solutions including Docmail the leading<br />

hybrid mail solution, CFH have the perfect blend of solutions to<br />

help you engage offline, online or the perfect blend of the two.<br />

FINANCIAL PR<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 />

FORUMS INTERNATIONAL<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 />

continues on page 76 >


Cr£ditWho?<br />

CICM Directory of Services<br />

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION<br />

OPTIONS AND PRICING CONTACT<br />

paul@centuryone.uk 01727 739 196<br />

INSOLVENCY<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 />

INSOLVENCY<br />

Red Flag Alert Technology Group Limited<br />

49 Peter Street, Manchester, M2 3NG<br />

T: 0330 460 9877<br />

E: sales@redflagalert.com<br />

W: www.redflagalert.com<br />

The UK’s No1 Insolvency Score is available as platform<br />

designed to help businesses manage risk and achieve growth<br />

using real-time data. The only independently owned UK credit<br />

referencing agency for businesses. We have modernised the<br />

way companies consume data, via Graph QL API and apps for<br />

many CRM / ERP systems to power businesses decisions with<br />

the most important data taken in real-time feeds, ensuring our<br />

customers are always the first to know.<br />

Red Flag Alert has a powerful portfolio management tool<br />

enabling you to monitor all your customers and suppliers so<br />

you and your teams can receive email alerts on data events<br />

i.e. CCJ, Petitions, Accounts, Directors, amongst 84 alerts<br />

produced and tailored to your business.<br />

Red Flag Alert works towards growing and protecting<br />

businesses using advanced machine learning and AI technology<br />

data to provide businesses with information to deliver best in<br />

class sales, credit risk management and compliance.<br />

LEGAL<br />

Shoosmiths<br />

Email: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Tel: 03700 86 3000 W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk<br />

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit<br />

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly and cost effectively<br />

as possible. We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt<br />

recovery, including:<br />

•Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and keep costs<br />

down •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 />

PAYMENT SOLUTIONS<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 />

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 />

Cr£ditWho?<br />

CICM Directory of Services<br />

RECRUITMENT<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<br />

CREDIT CONTROL<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 />

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION<br />

OPTIONS AND PRICING CONTACT<br />

paul@centuryone.uk<br />

01727 739 196<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 76


Exclusive CICM<br />

member benefits<br />

We told you we’d have more exclusive member<br />

benefits coming this year, and we are so excited to<br />

share our partnership with Parliament Hill, a<br />

money-saving benefit discount organisation.<br />

Exclusive<br />

Rewards<br />

As a CICM Member, you will have access<br />

to a wide range of discounts from Retail,<br />

Travel, Food & Drink, Well-being and Tech,<br />

plus many more at your<br />

fingertips!<br />

Exclusive<br />

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Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE x


BRANCH NEWS<br />

AGM REPORT:<br />

CICM EAST OF<br />

ENGLAND BRANCH<br />

THE CICM East Of England Branch<br />

held is AGM on 17 January, and used<br />

the opportunity to invite presentations<br />

from Annabel Gray, director of<br />

RSM <strong>Credit</strong>or Solutions and Robert<br />

Norman, CICM Head of Project<br />

Delivery (Digital Transformation).<br />

Annabel gave a detailed overview of the current insolvency<br />

landscape covering Personal insolvency and Corporate<br />

insolvency. The update prompted a lively debate and several<br />

questions which Annabel dealt with fully and in depth.<br />

Robert provided an update on the new CICM website,<br />

outlining the reasons for the change, and the benefits for<br />

members and HQ. He was pleased to hear positive feedback<br />

about the new website’s look, feel and content.<br />

Branch events<br />

During the AGM an overview of 2023 events which included<br />

eleven virtual committee meetings and three well attended<br />

webinars, as well as the Branch’s first live conference since<br />

the pandemic – “Establishing the New Norm of <strong>Credit</strong><br />

<strong>Management</strong>”, which was held in central London and<br />

hosted by CICM’s premier partner Hays. The conference<br />

was well attended by members of six CICM Branches: East<br />

of England, London, Surrey & Sussex, Kent, Thames Valley<br />

and North West.<br />

Atul said that the Branch intended to continue to deliver<br />

free of charge physical and virtual events for members of<br />

our Branch, of every Branch, and prospective new members.<br />

We planned to increase and deliver useful information on<br />

our Branch LinkedIn group and to invite others. The group<br />

already has 1,193 members. Some 235 articles had been<br />

posted in 2023, with 7,069 views.<br />

The first two virtual events in <strong>2024</strong> under heading of ‘Lunch<br />

and Learn’ had confirmed dates:<br />

• Demystifying the Impact of A1 on <strong>Credit</strong> and Collections<br />

by Jamie Wroe, Chief Technical Officer of Invevo, would<br />

be hosted by Branch committee member Daniel Gregory<br />

on 28 Feb <strong>2024</strong><br />

• B2B E-Commerce - The Gold Rush, by Branch committee<br />

member Andy Moylan, CEO of EFCIS Ltd to be held on<br />

20 <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

Committee changes<br />

Mark Maynard, Liam Hastings and William Plom had left<br />

the committee in 2023 and Atul thanked them all for their<br />

contributions. Daniel Gregory had joined the committee.<br />

The AGM re-elected Katherine Bailey, Richard Brown, Sean<br />

Frisby, Daniel Gregory, Naimesh Khetia, Andy Moylan,<br />

Steve Walsh, Atul Vadher and Lorna Westgarth-Pearce,<br />

and they were joined by new member Lee Tyers. The <strong>2024</strong><br />

committee members were then elected to posts.<br />

Atul Vadher again thanked the two speakers Annabel Gray<br />

and Robert Norman, and everyone who attended. He also<br />

thanked the Branch committee for their drive and devotion<br />

in making these events happen. This included subject<br />

matter for our members’ benefit, their time in giving<br />

back to the industry, their passion for all things <strong>Credit</strong>,<br />

their creative ideas and concepts, their support of him and<br />

each other in challenging times – without losing the fun<br />

factor.<br />

Author: Richard Brown,<br />

Branch Vice Chairman and Secretary<br />

We want your branch news!<br />

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

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

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE 78


Ethical and efficient debt recovery solutions to<br />

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controlaccount.com<br />

Brave | Curious | Resilient / www.cicm.com / <strong>March</strong> <strong>2024</strong> / PAGE x

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