Welcome to the April 2021 issue of Credit Management News Digest. This issue is sponsored by InfolinkGazette.

UK Late Payment, Business Distress & Insolvencies
A deterioration in UK payment performance is anticipated in early 2021. Dun & Bradstreet's (D&B) Quarterly Industry Report for Q4 2020 warns that UK companies’ operating surplus in 2020 fell by 2.9% (the first annual drop since the global financial crisis), thereby limiting businesses’ ability to settle payments on time and likely to result in a further deterioration in payment performance in 2021. D&B notes that late payments have long been a major problem for UK-based SMEs, with larger businesses employing 1,000+ workers on average paying significantly more slowly (average prompt payment 10.9%) than their smaller counterparts with less than five employees (average prompt payment 48.6%). D&B's analysis also indicates that in Q4 2020, the average payment delay in the UK was 14.2 days and that UK lags far behind some of its neighbours, most notably the Netherlands (where the average payment delay stood at 4.1 days in Q4 2020), and Germany (6.6 days). Positively, the UK outperforms France (15.7 days), Spain (16.0 days), Italy (19.3 days) and Portugal (27.4 days). To download D&B's report go to https://www.dnb.co.uk/perspectives/finance-credit-risk/uk-quarterly-industry-report.html.
Over a third of UK freelancers have seen an increase in late payment during the pandemic. The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has welcomed Small Business Commissioner Liz Barclay's appointment and urged a clampdown on pandemic late payment. IPSE research has shown that over a third of freelancers (36%) have been affected by an increase in late payments during the pandemic. It also found that one in six (17%) freelancers were left with no money to cover work-related expenses or basic living expenses (15%) as a result. Derek Cribb, CEO of IPSE, commented: “Late payment is a challenge for freelancers at the best of times, but during the pandemic it can be a crippling problem. In fact, our research shows that over a third of freelancers have seen an increase in late payment during the pandemic, adding dramatically to their financial woes — especially those who have missed out on government support." To read IPSE's news release go to https://www.ipse.co.uk/ipse-news/news-listing/ipse-welcomes-business-commissioner-liz-barclay.html.
Liz Barclay is appointed small business commissioner. Smallbusiness.co.uk has reported that journalist and BBC broadcaster, Liz Barclay, has been appointed the UK's new small business commissioner and is due to take up the role on 23 June. Ms Barclay will take over from interim commissioner Philip King just as the office is expected to be given greater powers, potentially including the power to order payments, levy fines and open investigations based on third-party information. According to digital banking platform Tide, small businesses are currently chasing more than £50 billion of late payments, with the average UK SME tackling five outstanding invoices at any one time and an average of £8,500 owed. The UK government’s own figures are that £23.4 billion is owed in outstanding invoices to British businesses. In 2019, the Federation of Small Businesses estimated that 50,000 UK SMEs are forced out of business because of late payment every year. To read Smallbusiness.co.uk's article go to https://smallbusiness.co.uk/bbc-journalist-liz-barclay-appointed-small-business-commissioner-2552330/.
The number of UK small businesses in distress triples, but this is still "the calm before the storm". Smallbusiness.co.uk has reported that, according to figures from Mazars, the number of small businesses in distress has tripled compared with the pre-pandemic average, with almost 135,000 UK businesses showing strain. Businesses in the services and retail sectors accounted for almost three-fifths of those showing distress, while sectors allowed to reopen were faring better. Paul Rouse, Partner at Mazars, commented: “During more normal circumstances, we expect between 40,000 and 50,000 companies to trigger one of our negative health markers. Today, even with many Government support measures still in place, we are seeing roughly three times that amount." However, Mr Rouse noted that even these higher figures represented “the calm before the storm” as “significant amounts of business distress” would be felt once the Government withdrew its COVID-19 financial support. To read Smallbusiness.co.uk's article go to https://smallbusiness.co.uk/number-of-small-businesses-in-distress-triple-pre-covid-level-2552328/.
Insolvency measures supporting UK businesses are set to be extended until the end of June 2021. The Insolvency Service has advised that measures introduced in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act in March 2020, including protecting businesses from aggressive creditor enforcement, will be extended until the end of June 2021. This means that small suppliers will not have to continue to supply a business in insolvency, but larger suppliers will not be able to cease their supply or ask for additional payments while a company is going through a rescue process. Also, entry into a moratorium will remain relaxed, and a company will be able to enter a moratorium if they have been subject to an insolvency procedure in the previous 12 months. These measures will be extended until 30 September 2021. Minister for Corporate Responsibility, Lord Callanan, said: "With the threat of aggressive creditor action and insolvency eased, companies will be able to focus all their efforts on their recovery." To read the Insolvency Service's news release go to https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-extends-business-support-measures.
A sharp rise in UK insolvencies is expected later this year. New data from InfolinkGazette has demonstrated that UK insolvencies have, so far, remained well below normal levels and aren’t showing any signs of picking up in the near term. The extension of the statutory ban on commercial evictions to 30 June 2021, ongoing forbearance from HMRC, easy access to government underwritten loans and the furlough scheme have all combined to ensure that even the businesses that weren’t viable before the pandemic are avoiding insolvency. However, InfolinkGazette expects to see insolvencies begin to move upwards in July 2021 when landlords are able to resume enforcement action, but notes that the real surge may not begin until after furlough ends in October 2021. Greg Connell, Managing Director of InfolinkGazette, commented: "Even if post pandemic trading profits replaces the reliance on government stimulus measures for the majority, there are still between 5,000 and 10,000 companies with a pre-pandemic vulnerability to insolvency, where the reprieve has only been temporary." To read InfolinkGazette's news release go to https://www.infolinkgazette.com/?pid=6.
Businesses advised to be cautious amidst forecast surge in insolvencies. Atradius’ latest Insolvency Forecast reveals that UK business failures are expected to rise by 56% in 2021 - nearly double the global average. This increase follows a year of anomaly where governments, including the UK, introduced fiscal measures and bankruptcies regime changes to protect businesses from failure. As a result, insolvencies in the UK fell by 27%. However, as support is gradually unwound, a sizeable U-turn in failures rates is expected, and Atradius' analysis of cumulative insolvency growth demonstrates that UK bankruptcy levels at the end of 2021 will be 14% higher than in 2019. Atradius also notes that a strict lockdown and Brexit uncertainty contributed to a 9.9% drop in GDP in 2020 and forecasts the UK economy will expand 5.9% in 2021, covering around half of the GDP losses from the pandemic. To read Atradius' news release go to https://atradius.co.uk/reports/economic-research-2021-a-turn-of-the-tide-in-insolvencies.html.
More than half of the UK listed companies most at risk of insolvency have made a claim for government support. According to the latest EY analysis of profit warnings, more than half of the UK’s listed companies currently at heightened risk of insolvency made a claim for government support in December 2020 and could face a financial cliff edge when it comes to an end. Between March 2020 and March 2021, 63 UK listed companies issued at least their third profit warning within a 12-month period — almost double the 2019 total of 32. EY cautions that, statistically, up to one in five of these companies is likely to enter Administration within 12 months of the third warning. More than half (35) of these companies claimed furlough support from the Government in December, and one third (21) are also claiming at least one other form of government support. To read EY's news release go to https://www.ey.com/en_uk/news/2021/03/more-than-half-of-the-uk-listed-companies-most-at-risk-of-insolvency-made-a-claim-for-government-support.
UK construction insolvencies outstrip those in hospitality and retail. Building has reported that figures compiled by Business Rescue Expert (using data from the Office for National Statistics and Insolvency Service) indicate that the number of UK construction firms collapsing into liquidation in the past year has outstripped those in hospitality and retail – two industries previously thought to have fared worse since the pandemic began. More than 8,000 firms went bust in the 10 months between March last year and this January, of which 1,634 firms were in construction compared to 1,378 in hospitality and 1,355 in retail. Business Rescue Expert noted: “This might seem surprising given the historic damage experienced by the hospitality and retail industries, but these have been well publicised, and several were more visible to the public as an empty shop unit will be more noticeable than an empty building site.” To read Building's article go to https://www.building.co.uk/news/construction-insolvencies-outstrip-those-in-hospitality-and-retail/5110992.article.
UK Economy
The impact of COVID-19 on UK small business is set to exceed £126 billion. New research from Simply Business reveals that the impact of COVID-19 is set to cost UK small business owners £22,461 on average, with almost 1 in 10 expecting the pandemic to cost them over £50,000. Applying this figure to the six million small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, this amounts to a total cost of over £126.6 billion. Compared with research from May 2020, the latest report reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic and multiple lockdowns have cost the self-employed double what they initially projected. Furthermore, over 840,000 small business owners aren’t sure if their business will ever return to pre-pandemic trading levels. To read Simply Business' news release go to https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2021/03/impact-covid-19-small-business-one-year-on/.
One year since lockdown: The £251 billion cost to the UK economy. New analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) suggests that, over the past year, COVID-19 has been the predominant cause behind a £251 billion reduction in the UK’s gross value added (GVA). This figure is worked out by comparing Cebr's final pre-COVID forecasts from the beginning of 2020 with the most recent data on actual economic output. To highlight the scale of this loss in activity, Cebr notes that this reduction is roughly equivalent in size to the entire annual output of the South East in pre-COVID circumstances, and nearly twice the output of Scotland. According to the Cebr, in absolute terms, the losses in London have been the highest, amounting to £51.4 billion of lost activity. This was followed by the South East and East of England, with losses of £34.7 billion and £26.6 billion, respectively. To read Cebr's news release go to https://cebr.com/reports/one-year-since-lockdown-the-251-billion-cost-to-the-uk-economy/.
The UK economy grew by 0.4% and exports to the EU recovered in February 2021. Latest data from the Office for National Statistics indicates that the UK's GDP is estimated to have grown by 0.4% in February 2021 following a revised fall of 2.2% in January 2021. February’s GDP level is 7.8% below its level before the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were seen (February 2020), and 3.1% below the initial recovery peak (October 2020). Overall, all main sectors of GDP remain below their pre-pandemic levels, but only Services remains notably lower than the initial recovery peak in October 2020. In a separate news release the ONS also noted that exports of goods to the EU showed some recovery in February 2021. Overall total exports of goods increased by 9.9%, partially recovering from the substantial January falls, with the increase driven by a 46.6% increase in exports to the EU. To read the ONS' news release go to https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/economicoutputandproductivity/output/articles/ukeconomylatest/2021-01-25#economy.
Spring sees green shoots of economic recovery in the UK. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) latest UK Economic Outlook's forecast for 2021 is for year-on-year growth of 3.4%. NIESR notes that GDP is likely to have fallen by around 1.5 % in Q1 quarter-on-quarter, but, assuming that the vaccination and re-opening programmes continue to run to schedule, estimates growth in Q2 of 4.6%. Rory Macqueen, Principal Economist - Macroeconomic Modelling and Forecasting, said: “Clearly much of the economy has adapted to cope with COVID-19 restrictions: while hospitality was down by over 50% in February on a year earlier, and the arts by over a third, both manufacturing and construction were only 4% smaller in February. If the vaccine programme and lifting of restrictions continue on schedule, this provides a firm basis for continuing growth in the second quarter and 2021 overall. ” To read NIESR's news release go to https://www.niesr.ac.uk/media/press-release-niesr-monthly-gdp-tracker-spring-sees-green-shoots-economic-recovery-14666.  
The UK economy showed resilience in Q4 2020, with GDP growth of 1.3%. EY ITEM Club has reported that the UK economy showed resilience in Q4 2020, with an upwardly revised growth of 1.3% quarter-on-quarter. Expectations had been for a lockdown-prompted contraction. Overall in 2020, the UK economy contracted by 9.8%, and in Q4 2020 GDP was 7.3% below its Q4 2019 peak. For Q1 2021, EY ITEM Club now forecasts that the economy has contracted by just over 1% q/q, compared to the 3-4% q/q GDP decline originally anticipated. This follows a less-than-forecast 2.9% month-on-month contraction in January and evidence that activity picked up in February and March. As a result, the EY ITEM Club predicts that it is likely to significantly raise its current 2021 GDP growth forecast of 5.0%. To read EY's news release go to https://www.ey.com/en_uk/news/2021/03/uk-economy-resilient-in-q4-2020-as-gdp-grew-1-3-quarter-on-quarter-ey-item-club-comments-on-latest-gdp-figures.
The UK economy shrank more than previously estimated in the pandemic's initial stages but recovered slightly more strongly later in 2020. Revised figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate that the UK economy, measured by GDP, shrank by 19.5% in Quarter 2 (April to June) 2020, 0.5% more than first estimated (19.0%). However, in Quarter 3 (July to September) 2020, GDP increased by 16.9%, an upward revision of 0.8% on the first estimate (16.1%). This means that both the decline and the recovery in economic growth were steeper than first estimated, although the fall in GDP in 2020 remains the largest annual fall on record. Over 2020 as a whole, GDP declined by 9.8%, slightly revised from the first estimate of 9.9%. The ONS notes that historical figures from the Bank of England point to this being the largest annual contraction since 1709. To read the ONS' news release go to https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/economicoutputandproductivity/output/articles/ukeconomylatest/2021-01-25#accounts.
UK economy to enjoy a Summer high, but question marks remain for the medium-term. According to the latest UK analysis in KPMG’s Global Economic Outlook, UK GDP growth of 4.6% is forecast for 2021, with the economy forecast to return to pre-COVID levels by the last quarter of 2022. However, while the UK economy is expected to bounce back strongly in the short-term, KPMG’s latest forecasts expect growth of only 5.6% in 2022, warning that rising taxes and lack of concrete economic plans put prospects for the medium-term in question. Yael Selfin, Chief Economist at KPMG UK, commented: “Post-COVID, we are likely to see major changes in the way people and businesses operate. More help is needed to prepare for those changes now so that the economy can gather full momentum once restrictions are lifted, so that fewer businesses are lost as they no longer have a viable market to operate in.” To read KPMG's news release go to https://home.kpmg/uk/en/home/media/press-releases/2021/03/uk-economy-to-enjoy-summer-high-but-question-marks-remain-medium-term.html.
UK Trade Sectors & Exports
UK business conditions remained historically poor in Q1 2021. The British Chambers of Commerce’s latest Quarterly Economic Survey has reported that UK business conditions remained historically poor in the first quarter of 2021, with all key indicators still well below pre-COVID-19 levels. Cash flow also showed little improvement from Q4 and Q3, following the historic lows in Q2 2020. Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the BCC, commented: “We are currently witnessing a two-speed services sector. Consumer-focused services companies, where activity is most limited by lockdown controls, suffering an especially damaging quarter. In contrast, business and professional services firms, where adapting to operate under restrictions is more straightforward, fared markedly better." To read the BCC's news release go to https://www.britishchambers.org.uk/news/2021/04/bcc-quarterly-economic-survey-q1-2021-firms-fighting-for-survival-but-more-see-a-route-out-of-crisis.
UK clothing retailers report a 50.4% fall in sales volumes compared with February 2020. The office for National Statistics' (ONS) latest data indicates that UK retail sales volumes only partly recovered in February 2021, with an increase of 2.1% compared with the 8.2% fall seen in the previous month. Overall, sales were still down by 3.7% compared to a year earlier. Non-food stores provided the largest positive contribution to the monthly growth in February 2021's sales volumes, aided by strong increases of 16.2% and 16.1% in department stores and household goods stores respectively. In contrast, clothing retailers reported the largest fall, of 50.4%, in sales volumes. Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, commented: “UK stores have now lost a whopping £27 billion from lost sales during the three lockdowns."  To read the ONS' news release go to https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/retailindustry.
UK retail woes continue in March, but improvement is expected in April. According to the CBI’s latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey, UK retail sales volumes remained well below seasonal norms in March. Sales volumes fell particularly sharply in sectors such as clothing, footwear, furniture & carpets and for department stores. Meanwhile, the grocery sector — which remained open to customers — reported the biggest year-on-year decline in sales since April 2020. Looking ahead, UK retailers expect sales to grow in the year to April — the first time expectations have been positive since December 2019. This reflects the anticipated reopening of non-essential retail from mid-April but is also due to the relatively low base for comparison (April 2020 saw the joint sharpest fall in sales since the start of the survey in 1983). Overall sales volumes are expected to remain poor for the time of year next month, albeit to a much lesser extent than in March. To read the CBI's news release go to https://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/articles/retail-woes-continue-in-march-but-improvement-expected-in-april-dts/.
UK manufacturers' expectations are at their strongest since August 2017. According to the CBI’s latest monthly Industrial Trends Survey, UK manufacturing output volumes in the three months to March improved to broadly flat, which marked their highest balance since May 2019. Growth in the electronic engineering and plastic products sub-sectors was largely offset by declines in paper, printing & media and aerospace in the headline balance. Overall, output increased in 8 out of 17 sub-sectors and total orders books improved to their highest balance since April 2019, surpassing their long-run average. Export order books also strengthened to broadly in line with their long-run average. Looking ahead, manufacturers expect output to pick up rapidly over the next three months, with expectations at their strongest since August 2017. To read the CBI's news release go to https://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/articles/manufacturing-outlook-improves-in-march-cbi-industrial-trends-survey/.
UK exporters halt EU sales. New research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) indicates that 23% of UK exporters have temporarily halted sales to European Union customers, and a further 4% have already decided to stop selling into the bloc permanently after new trading rules took effect at the start of this year. In addition, 11% of UK exporters are considering halting sales to Europe permanently, and the same proportion have established, or are considering establishing, a presence within an EU country to ease their exporting processes. A similar number (9%) are thinking about securing, or are already using, warehousing space in the EU or Northern Ireland for the same purpose. FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “Three months on from the end of the transition period, what we hoped would prove to be teething problems are in danger of becoming permanent, systemic ones." To read the FSB's news release go to https://www.fsb.org.uk/resources-page/one-in-four-small-exporters-halt-eu-sales-three-months-on-from-transition-end-new-study-finds.html.
Global Economy & Insolvencies
The global economy is projected to grow by 6% in 2021. The IMF's latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) has forecast that after an estimated contraction of 3.3% in 2020, the global economy is projected to grow by 6% in 2021, before moderating to 4.4% growth in 2022. The contraction for 2020 is 1.1% less than projected in the October 2020's WEO, reflecting the higher-than-expected growth outturns in the second half of the year for most regions. Similarly, the projections for 2021 and 2022 are 0.8% and 0.2% stronger than in the October 2020 WEO. Looking further ahead, global growth is then expected to moderate to 3.3% over the medium term. Overall, the IMF notes that the COVID-19 recession is likely to leave smaller scars than the 2008 global financial crisis. However, emerging market economies and low-income developing countries have been hit harder and are expected to suffer more significant medium-term losses. To read the IMF's WEO go to https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO.
COVID-19 recovery: The global economy is on the right track. Euler Hermes has published a report which suggests that the global recovery is on the right track. Global GDP is expected to rebound by 5.1% in 2021, with one-fourth of the recovery being driven by the US, which is predicted to recover its COVID-19 losses in H2. In 2022, Euler Hermes predicts that world GDP growth should reach 4.0%, although it cautions that the race to recovery will hinge on seven key obstacles, including speed of vaccination rollout, the effective phasing out assistance mechanisms, and global supply chain issues. For the latter, the report notes that bottlenecks in the global supply chain are currently as high as during the peak of the pandemic and look set to push global trade into a borderline recession in Q2 2021. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to https://www.eulerhermes.com/en_global/news-insights/economic-insights/Race-to-the-post-Covid-19-recovery-7-obstacles-to-overcome.html.
Global corporate insolvencies are forecast to increase by 26% in 2021 — despite an improved GDP performance. A new report from Atradius predicts that as pandemic support measures are phased out, global corporate insolvencies in 2021 will increase to a level 26% higher than in 2020. Atradius expects the highest increases in business failures to occur in countries that had strong government measures in place in 2020, most notably Australia, France, Singapore and Austria. Atradius also notes that although global growth in Q1 of 2021 is likely to remain modest, an acceleration of GDP will occur in the rest of the year with an overall growth of 6.0% expected in 2021 (compared to a 3.7% contraction in 2020). However, the pace of GDP recovery will vary significantly around the world, with countries that experienced the deepest recessions in 2020 generally set to witness the strongest expansion in 2021. To read Atradius' news release go to https://atradius.co.uk/reports/economic-research-2021-a-turn-of-the-tide-in-insolvencies.html.
US corporate bankruptcy tally spikes in March. According to new analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence data, US corporate bankruptcy filings surged in March to 61, a level not seen since the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic and nearly double the number seen in February 2021. The total includes public companies or private companies with public debt with a minimum of $2 million in assets or liabilities at the time of filing, in addition to private companies with at least $10 million in assets or liabilities. As of 31 March, 138 companies have announced bankruptcies so far in 2021, which although fewer than the 153 filings at the same time in 2020 and a slower pace than all but four of the prior 11 years, is due to US Government stimulus and easy access to capital. However, looking ahead, the article warns that bankruptcies are likely to pick up again later in 2021 as companies confront the aftershocks of the pandemic. To read S&P Global's article go to https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/us-corporate-bankruptcy-tally-spikes-to-61-in-march-63531930.
Coface warns that 2020's insolvency figures are "a mirage". A new report by Coface has warned that, according to its model, insolvencies in 2020 should have grown by 19% in Spain, 6% in France, 6% in Germany, and 7% in Italy. That they instead decreased suggests that many insolvencies have been postponed rather than prevented, meaning 2020 has left a large number of “hidden insolvencies” that are taking much longer than usual to materialise. Coface warns that there is likely to be a “catch-up” process starting in 2021, which will directly correlate with the rate at which restrictive measures end. This, in turn, will be determined by the speed at which vaccinations are rolled out and countries’ willingness to continue providing support, as well as the extent to which policymakers are willing to let companies fail. To read Coface's news release, with a link to the full report, go to https://cofaceitfirst.co.uk/the-paradox-of-corporate-insolvencies-in-europemiracle-and-mirage/.
Free Business Resources
Free 30-day trial of InfolinkGazette's database. This issue's sponsor, InfolinkGazette, the only online provider of unsecured creditor lists in the UK, is offering readers a free 30-day trial of their service, with access to a database (updated weekly) of over 1,000,000 unsecured trade creditors from insolvent UK companies. A subscription-only service, online users can: 
  • View the most recent unsecured creditor data,
  • Search unsecured creditor data based on key search parameters, such as size of debt or geographic location, 
  • Download data in a delimited format, 
  • Save favourite searches, 
  • Set up alerts to be notified by email if a particular prospect becomes an unsecured creditor, or more general alerts such as losses over a specific figure, in a particular post code, 
  • View information about the debtor for each insolvency, 
  • Search by debtor and view all the unsecured creditors of a single debtor,
  • View and print additional business information. 
To receive a password go to https://www.infolinkgazette.com/?pid=4 or call Greg Connell, Managing Director, on 07753 739752.
Switch on your cash flow, an essential guide to credit management strategies. Karl Hague, CEO & Founder of Ko-bolt, has published 'Switch on your cashflow', a free, detailed guide to credit management strategies "which put business relationships first and help to mitigate bad debt risk." It contains information on a plethora of credit management related topics split into three pillars, risk prevention, risk management and risk mitigation; "from onboarding new clients and how to spot fraud to the merits of credit insurance and why use a broker" — it also contains a glossary of credit terms. The publication aims to provide a body of information relevant to readers at all levels within the credit profession, "from bookkeepers to credit managers and directors and owner/managers." To obtain a copy go to https://www.ko-bolt.com/credit-management-guide/.
Know your customer, protect your cashflow: The Prompt Payment Directory. The Prompt Payment Directory is a searchable database for current and historical payment notices all of which are posted and updated by its membership. Users can post payment notices relating to either late or timely payment of invoices. Importantly, users are encouraged to supply the reasons given for invoices that are paid late. The Directory seeks to reveal the context around individual instances of late payment and, by doing so, enables suppliers to make better informed decisions when considering new contracts and avoid writing off new business opportunities for the wrong reasons. Users are able to anonymously share their insight in return for free access to the Directory. They can also update and remove ratings that they have given. For more information visit www.thepromptpaymentdirectory.co.uk.
How much compensation can you claim for unpaid invoices? The UK Small Business Commissioner's website contains a useful and easy to use calculator to allow UK businesses to calculate interest on an unpaid invoice by entering the invoice's due date and amount. For example, for an unpaid debt of £100 due on 30 June 2020, the amount owing as of 8 November would be £142.62 (£2.62 in interest overdue, £40 in compensation). Compensation is £40 for invoices under £1000, £70 for invoices under £10,000 and £100 for invoices above £10,000. Compensation can be charged for each overdue invoice due from a debtor. To see the calculator go to https://www.smallbusinesscommissioner.gov.uk/deal-with-an-unpaid-invoice/how-to-chase-an-unpaid-invoice/interest-calculator/.
Free rapid lateral flow coronavirus tests for your employees. The UK government has announced that UK businesses with 10 or more employees can now order free rapid lateral flow tests that employees can collect at their workplace and use at home twice a week. Alternatively, businesses can get a private provider to run their government tests. This service is available to businesses registered in England whose employees cannot work from home. To register go to https://register-workforce-testing.service.gov.uk/.
Events & Professional Development
The impact of digitalisation on trade. Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at 9am (CET).
Join us at our Virtual Events Series, 'From crisis to opportunity what's the future of trade?'
As the Covid-19 crisis sent the world into recession, a decade’s worth of unexpected – and at times unprecedented – changes to the trade landscape occurred within months. Amongst these are the long-term impact of the pandemic on the world’s supply chains, the continuous renegotiation of trade tariffs, the rebalancing of world trade relationships, and the growing trends towards trade digitalisation and de-globalisation.
And now, as the world strives to turn the page on the crisis, where do opportunities for business growth lie?
Join us at our series of four virtual interactive events designed to help your business understand the new international trade environment, navigate trade credit risks and identify business growth opportunities. Do not miss the chance to hear from our speakers, and the additional insight they will provide when answering questions from our audience.
Event #3
The impact of digitalisation on trade
In response to the Covid-19 crisis many businesses have accelerated their adoption of digital technology and some have undergone complete digital transformations years before initially planned. With digitalisation now at the top of many boardroom agendas, we have invited a panel of experts to tell us more about how digitalisation is impacting trade.
Technology has certainly affected the way we communicate, but how are digitalisation trends changing the way we trade around the world? Can AI or big data analytics bring business opportunities? How can digitalisation support user experience to increase trust, improve efficiency and transform business models? In addition, we will invite questions from the audience and give you the opportunity to gain expert knowledge from business leaders at the forefront of digitalisation.

Daisy McAndrew (former Economics Editor and Chief Political Correspondent for ITV News) will moderate a panel discussion on this subject as part of our Virtual Event Series. This event features:
  • David Rowan – Founding editor of WIRED’s UK edition and early-stage investor in technology start-ups, 
  • Jean-Marc Noël – Co-founder and CEO of Trusted Shops,
  • Frédéric Wittemans – Executive Director International Credit at Ingram Micro,
  • Dirk Hagener – Atradius Director of Strategy and Corporate Development.
Date: Wednesday, 5 May 2021
Time: 9 AM CET
Duration: 45 minutes panel discussion, followed by 15 minutes live Q&A
Click here to register.
GTR East Africa 2021 Virtual. 12-13 May 2021.
Following the success of the inaugural virtual event in October 2020, GTR East Africa will return once again in a digital form for 2021, taking place on May 12-13, 2021. Utilising GTR’s bespoke virtual event platform, this online gathering promises expansive networking and an extensive and comprehensive programme of live and on-demand content, welcoming the leading practitioners in trade, agribusiness, supply chain and commodity finance. Join industry experts from across the region to explore the latest developments, strategies and solutions employed to drive East African trade growth. LINK: https://bit.ly/3gphJ0x.
Receivables Finance International Convention, 18th – 20th May 2021 - Virtual.
BCR’s 21st annual Receivables Finance International Convention provides an essential update on the latest invoice financing trends, market challenges and innovations.
The receivables finance sector continues to evolve rapidly. Covid-19 has meant a significant shift in market attitudes. Some of these will be permanent; some will disappear over time. Many expect a rapid rise in receivables finance business coming out of the pandemic as government-imposed restrictions are eased. But navigating to that point could be tricky as the financial support provided by governments will expose many SMEs to terminal positions.
RFIx 2021 will take a deep dive into the impact of the pandemic and global geopolitics on market trends and risk. It will explore how practitioners can become fitter, leaner, and better in this new world through innovative product development, technology and new markets, and discover the new challenges around ESG, regulatory and legal issues.
This flagship event for the receivables finance industry attracts delegates from across the globe, bringing together both market experts and new entrants. Being a virtual event, it provides a chance to network with an even wider circle of industry peers.
Join senior receivables finance executives at the 21st annual RFIx Convention and ensure the right direction for your business.
As event partners, Credit Insurance News can offer members a 25% discount on a delegate pass rate. To register please follow this link. The member discount code is rfix21-med.
Alternatively, you can contact yongmei.he@bcrpub.com quoting your discount code for payment via invoice
National Credit Awards 2021. 21 October 2021. The Waldorf Hilton, London.
New for 2021, MoneyAge is proud to present the National Credit Awards.
The awards are designed to honour the outstanding professionals and firms in the many varied fields of the credit industry, to recognise, celebrate, and promote best practice, to support continuing development, and to contribute towards raising the standards within the credit arena.
The awards are free to enter and you can enter as many categories as you like.
Head over to the website to find out more.
SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY: https://www.moneyage.co.uk/creditawards/index.php.
Deadline for entries: 25 June 2021
Stecis is getting back on track with Webinars, Classroom courses and Masterclasses.
As we all hope that the Covid-19 pandemic is under control after the summer, STECIS has planned again a number of classroom courses in November 2021. For Trade Credit Insurance and Surety Bonds, at each Foundation and Advanced courses will be offered in the vicinity of Amsterdam Schiphol. In case still necessary, all applicable Covid-19 restrictions will be in place during the classroom training courses. During the classroom trainings real, practical cases will be discussed. Additionally, various webinars on both Trade Credit Insurance and Surety Bonds have been already scheduled throughout the year. These webinars are interesting to all individuals who are starting their career in the TCI and/or Surety Bonds industry, but also for all other interested parties like brokers, re-insurers´ employees, lawyers, credit managers etc.
To expand our offering STECIS is currently developing three masterclasses on Trade Credit Insurance that will address the following topics: TCI and Digitalisation, Non-traditional TCI products and TCI and Finance. These masterclasses will be hold by top experts from the TCI industry presenting the recent developments and trends in the field of TCI. Joining these masterclass will be not only be an excellent way to keep up to date with important developments in the TCI world. The courses are also an excellent means to increase your professional network as you will meet other participants and top experts from the industry.
When the outlines of the three masterclasses are available, they will be shared via Credit Insurance News and the website of Stecis.
More information can be found on the Stecis’ website: www.stecis.org.
All courses will run at the Steigenberger Hotel at Amsterdam-Schiphol.
Further information can be obtained by sending an email to: info@stecis.org.

About the Sponsor: InfolinkGazette
Connell Data Ltd t/a InfolinkGazette, collect and structure business data that falls in to three broad categories: credit risk management, business opportunity identification, and compliance management. And we deliver the data to our subscription clients on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.
Data distribution is primarily through information re-sellers, such as Credit Reference Agencies and Data Aggregators. And to a small extent, we also supply to end users of information in the Credit Insurance, Debt Recovery, and Insolvency sectors.
We’d be known best for our unsecured creditor and insolvency databases, which help Credit Insurers, Brokers, Debt Collection Agencies and Credit Reference Agencies identify the optimum time to call commercial prospects, and present their company's solution. This is the time when the prospect has the greatest propensity to purchase a Credit Insurance or Credit Risk Management solution, which is shortly after the prospect has incurred an unsecured credit loss, following one of their customers going out of business.
In an average quarter, InfolinkGazette data quality editors process 3,000 insolvency files, with total unpaid/unsecured credit losses of over £1 billion, resulting from an average 45,000 ordinary unpaid trade creditors, who have each lost an average of more than £30,000.
The information is available via our website 24/7, with extensive search, viewing & download facilities; the database of over 1 million records, increases at the rate of almost 15,000 unsecured creditors per month, which means we are constantly refreshing the supply of quality new business prospects and risk management data for credit professionals. 
Apart from unsecured creditors data we provide all types of business information, throughout the entire business cycle, literally any business event from the registration of a debenture to the issuance of a profit warning.
There is nothing unique about any of our data sources, everything comes from public registries or official gazettes, using either web extraction techniques, OCR, or traditional data entry; what is exceptional about what we do, is the timeliness of the information, and the structured ready to load format of the delivered files. The timeliness is best illustrated by the work of our court correspondents, who identify upcoming Administrations and CVAs weeks before the information is published at Companies House, or the Gazette’s.
We provide: Unsecured Creditors; HMCourts filings; London Stock Exchange (LSE) Profit Warnings; UK Corporate Acquisitions; Deliberate Tax Defaulters; UK & ROI Business Reference Files; New Company VAT Registrations; UK Offshore Foreign Financial Institutions; and numerous bespoke commercial data files.
We are essentially, a data capture bureau; we identify data that will be useful for risk, marketing, or compliance purposes and if it isn’t already in an easy to consume format, we collect and structure it. We’ll take data from print media, or other analogue sources, aggregate it with other relevant information from commercial registries, and supply it in a structured digitised format, to support risk, opportunity and compliance decision making.
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