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Mitigating risk amid disrupted supply chains:

A guide for businesses

At Tech City Labs, we emphasise to our customers that "every business is a data business."
This statement is especially true for credit risk practitioners. The industry excels in leveraging data sources and statistical models to assess risk and predict the likelihood of default events.
Almost all credit experts will have access to services from credit reference agencies (CRAs). Each CRA employs its unique data sources and scoring models. Sometimes, however, it's beneficial to delve directly into the primary data sources for additional context on a customer. Let's summarise the most useful primary sources, along with how we can help you turn them into insights.

Credit Risk Data Sources: Everything You Need to Know

Companies House Accounts Filings

Data: All UK corporates are mandated to file their accounts at Companies House, ideally in a machine-readable format such as XBRL or iXBRL. XBRL can contain granular tagged data, with very detailed information about financial statements, enabling precise analysis of a company's financial health. As a form of XML, there are many software tools available to extract XBRL data, for example, the open-source "Arelle" ( or Altova's Raptor product (

Challenges: iXBRL can be challenging to parse, and some major businesses, like British Airways, may not file in this format (see their annual report here). In addition, although XBRL is considered a 'standard', the tags may not align with what you're accustomed to. Different companies will tag in slightly different ways, necessitating the mapping of data into a standardised balance sheet and P&L even after extraction. The sheer volume of data can also be confusing, with documents containing hundreds of tags, not all of which will be relevant to your research.

Solution: Our solution Real-Time Financials allows fully automated processing of Companies House filings, extracting all the data and mapping to standard balance sheet and P&L formats. What's more, it does this in real time - we can have financials available within ten minutes of filing at Companies House. Here are our extracts for today: 13th March 2024.

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Annual Reports

Data: The largest businesses don't just file the standard accounts required by Companies House; they also produce glossy annual reports. These are often filed at Companies House in the same way as financials, although some of the largest PLCs will publish their results via the relevant stock exchange or on their website, with only statutory accounts filed at Companies House. These reports are full of useful information, not just financials, but also management commentary, risk factors, and other valuable insights. For a risk professional, details of exposure and supply chain risks can be incredibly useful.

Challenges: The reports can be hundreds of pages long and packed with information, both informative and irrelevant. The most interesting nuggets for a risk professional can be buried behind pages of sustainability statements and marketing material - a cynic might say some businesses would rather the information weren't easily accessible! Manually going through all the relevant reports and compiling the information can be time-consuming and costly. Many companies still file scanned reports, making it even more difficult to extract information.

Solution: Our Real-Time Reports product acts as your AI analyst. It can read hundreds of pages as soon as they are filed, and produce a custom summary. Using the latest in AI and data extraction, you can have a report on your desk while your competitors are still waiting for the printer to warm up.

Here's our summary of the British Airways 2022 Report.

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Court Filings

Data: HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) is the government agency responsible for the administration of the courts and tribunals in England and Wales. They publish a range of data, available here: HMCTS Hearing Lists. This data can provide crucial early warning signs where the creditors of a business have petitioned to wind it up, or even where the business has decided to enter administration voluntarily. More widely, being involved in legal action can be a sign of challenges ahead and potential financial distress an insurer needs to be aware of.

Challenges: There are many different courts and processes, and it's not always easy to know which case will be heard where. There are also a lot of cases - finding cases on the customers or debtors you're interested in can be very challenging.


Solution: Our Infolink Legal product provides a complete view of court filings, extracting all the key information and providing you with a clear summary of the key points.

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Statements of Affairs

Data: This is another document filed at Companies House. Whenever a business is involved in insolvency proceedings, the administrators are required to file a statement of affairs (different insolvency types will file different forms). This document contains many pieces of information about the business - not just the financials, but also the assets and liabilities, and the creditors. In particular, unsecured creditors are set out in a schedule, along with the amounts owed to them. This data is particularly useful where there are potential knock-on effects - if a business is in trouble, then its suppliers may also be in trouble.

Challenges: The documents can be long and complex, and it's not always easy to know which creditors are most important. As with other Companies House documents, they will often be scans of printed forms, making it hard to read, let alone automatically process the information.

Solution: Infolink Gazette provides a complete solution. We process all filed statements of affairs, extracting complete creditor data and make it available in a single, easy-to-consume file.

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The Gazette

Data: As the publisher of record, The Gazette issues notices for almost everything official that happens in the UK, from the appointment of High Sheriffs to the seizure of criminal funds. For credit risk, the most relevant notices concern companies and insolvency proceedings. These include notices of administration, liquidation, and other crucial legal steps that could indicate a company's financial distress or operational changes.

Challenges: The first challenge can be delay: there can often be a delay between a risk event happening and it being published in The Gazette. This can mean that while The Gazette is the source of record, other signals such as court filings (discussed above) need to be monitored to get full early warning. The second challenge is the sheer amount of data and the differences in data published, which mean that a lot of data transformation work is required to get something usable.

Solution: Our Infolink Notices product does the hard work for you. We stream Gazette notices in real time and transform them into a single, standardised format. Custom feeds are available in whatever format your team requires, providing access to the official record however you need to consume the data.

While Companies House and the other official sources receive their share of criticism, they fulfil a crucial role in the financial ecosystem. The UK leads the world in making data available, with very few other jurisdictions offering such comprehensive access to information.

However, as with all information sources, the utility of this data hinges on timely access and presentation in an accessible format. Our Infolink Solutions range is designed to meet these needs, ensuring you have everything required to make informed decisions.

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