Welcome to July's issue of Credit Management News Digest, our new sister newsletter to  Credit Insurance News Digest. This issue is sponsored by Chubb

Late Payment & Cash Flow
Broad new measures to ensure UK small businesses get paid on time. Gov.uk has announced that as part of a robust package of new measures, for the first time large UK businesses could be fined for failing to pay smaller suppliers on time. The UK government will consult on strengthening the powers of the Small Business Commissioner to hold to account larger businesses who fail to make payments on time. New powers could also include compelling information and disclosure of payment terms and practices or imposing binding payment plans on large businesses found to have unfair payment practices. Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "Changing our business culture will boost the small business community, productivity and growth." To read Gov.uk's news release go to https://www.gov.uk/government/news/broad-new-measures-to-ensure-small-businesses-get-paid-on-time.
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UK SMEs owe their suppliers nearly £50 billion in unpaid invoices. Xero has published a report, 'The State of Late Payments', which discusses the impact of late payment on businesses in the UK. Xero's research found that in an average month, 48% of invoices issued by small businesses are paid past their due date - on average 14 days late. This means that on any given day, the average UK small business was owed £23,360 in late payments - a 17% increase from the same calculations made in February 2018. The research also indicated that small businesses owed their suppliers an average of £8,811 in overdue bills in December 2018 (a debt of over £50 billion) and that 50,000 businesses fail each year due to cash flow issues. Only 49% of UK SMBs were cash flow positive in any given month in 2018. To read Xero's report go to https://www.xero.com/content/dam/xero/pdf/state-of-late-payments/State-of-late-payments_report_2019.pdf.
Many UK businesses pay late or not at all due to difficulties in cash flow. An annual survey conducted by Onguard has found that almost half (44%) of UK businesses avoid or delay paying bills due to issues within their cash flow. Other commonly cited reasons for non-payment of invoices include receiving an incorrect invoice (21%) and corporate bureaucracy (20%). To combat this, finance professionals who responded to the survey said they are trying to offer a wide range of payment options (30%) to customers to speed up payment of outstanding invoices. However, there are still some companies (13%) which have no procedure in place to speed up payment of outstanding invoices. To read Onguard's news release go to https://www.onguard.com/media/news/many-uk-businesses-pay-late-or-not-at-all-due-to-difficulties-in-cash-flow/.
64% of European SMEs feel compelled to accept longer payment times than they feel comfortable with. Recent research by Intrum has indicated that more than six out of ten (64%) of European SMEs have experienced pressure to accept longer payment terms, with one in four reporting that the pressure is coming from large, multinational corporations. Mikael Ericson, CEO and President of Intrum, commented: "The impact of these late payments on SMEs is clear. 30% of SMEs state that late payments have a high impact on their business in terms of liquidity squeeze and 27% state the same regarding lost income. This has significant repercussions, threatening these businesses’ cash flow or their very existence." Despite this, the report also found that many European SMEs don’t take precautions to protect themselves against bad payment behaviour. To read Intrum's news release go to https://www.intrum.com/press/news-stories/un-international-smes-day-report-finds-smes-still-being-pressured-to-accept-longer-payment-periods/.
UK Economy & Brexit
Brexit stockpiling to hit UK economic growth in coming years. The British Chambers of Commerce's (BCC) latest economic forecast, has upgraded its growth expectations for the UK in 2019 to 1.3% (from 1.2%) driven by the exceptionally rapid stock-building early in the year. However, it warns that the immediate boost to UK GDP is forecast to come at the cost of more subdued growth in 2020 and 2021. As a result, the BCC has downgraded its growth forecast for 2020 to 1.0% (from 1.3%) and to 1.2% (from 1.4%) in 2021. However, these forecasts assume that the UK will avoid a messy and disorderly exit from the EU; another scenario would lead to downward revisions in the next forecast. To read the BCC's news release go to https://www.britishchambers.org.uk/news/2019/06/bcc-forecast-brexit-stockpiling-to-hit-economic-growth-in-coming-years.
UK GDP sees a notable weakening in recent months. New data from the Office for National Statistics has indicated that although UK GDP increased by 0.5% in Q1 2019, recent estimates show that there has been a notable weakening in recent months, as output fell by 0.1% in March and by 0.4% in April – the latter marking the weakest monthly figure since March 2016. The ONS also stress that the pickup in the first quarter is in part due to a relatively weak December 2018 which has fed through to Q1's figure, as well as some temporary factors. This includes a sharp 24% fall in car production in April (a number of car manufacturers brought forward their annual shutdowns as part of the contingency planning ahead of the UK’s original Brexit date). To read the ONS' news release go to https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/uksectoraccounts/articles/quarterlyeconomiccommentary/januarytomarch2019#main-points.
Many UK export firms still need to take vital steps to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. According to Bank of England estimates, around 240,000 EU-only UK trading businesses will need an EORI (Economic Operator Registration & Identification) registration number from HMRC to make customs declarations in the event of a no-deal Brexit. However, there are tens of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses that are currently unprepared. In a recent interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday morning, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, suggested that only 40% of the firms expected to need an EORI number to trade had applied so far. For more information about EORI, go to https://www.gov.uk/eori.
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Seven in ten UK small firms hold back investment. According to the Federation of Small Businesses latest Q2 Small Business Index (SBI), small firms in the UK are struggling to expand, hire and raise productivity as political uncertainty leaves them increasingly hamstrung. 72% of small firms are not planning to increase capital investment in their businesses over the coming quarter - the highest figure since Q2 2017. According to the ONS, business investment fell for four straight quarters last year for the first time since the financial crash. FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “It’s impossible for small business owners to invest for the future when we don’t know what the future holds." To read the FSB's news release go to https://www.fsb.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/uk-productivity-gap-set-to-persist-as-seven-in-ten-small-firms-hold-back-investment.
Sharpest fall in UK private sector activity since 2012. According to the latest CBI monthly Growth Indicator, UK private sector activity in the three months to June 2019 contracted at the quickest pace since September 2012, with the balance of firms reporting growth at -13%. This follows other recent data which suggests UK economic growth has slowed noticeably in the second quarter of 2019, as the boost from stockpiling activities in Q1 fades. Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said: “There are some temporary factors pushing down activity at the moment, such as companies adjusting their stocks following the Brexit extension, interruptions to car production and poor weather. But underlying activity and confidence is clearly subdued." To read the CBI's news release go to https://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/articles/sharpest-fall-in-private-sector-activity-since-2012-cbi-growth-indicator/
The world’s biggest economies say they are on average now more likely to invest in the UK post-Brexit. According to a new survey from KPMG, despite uncertainty around Brexit a significant proportion of CEOs from the US, China and Japan – the UK’s top investor and the world’s second and third biggest economies – say they are on average now more likely to invest in the UK post-Brexit. However, closer to home, the uncertainty has taken its toll on investor sentiment in Europe. CEOs based in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands say they are on average now less likely to invest in the United Kingdom after the country leaves the EU. To read KPMG's news release go to https://home.kpmg/uk/en/home/media/press-releases/2019/06/confidence-dips-in-world-economy-but-global-ceos-say-they-will-b.htm.
Fewer than half of UK private businesses are optimistic about future growth. According to new research by PwC, optimism amongst UK private businesses fell to 49% from 69% in 2018 - a 20% reduction. In contrast, growth expectations amongst companies in the other 31 European countries analysed over the same period fell by only 8% from 65% in 2018 to 57% in 2019. PwC's survey also estimates that the absence of appropriate skills is costing the UK £29 billion annually in lost revenues - around 1.4% of UK GDP. To read PwC's news release with a link to the full report go to https://www.pwc.co.uk/press-room/press-releases/Fewer-than-half-of-uk-private-businesses-optimistic-about-future-growth.html.
UK Trade Sectors & Exports
UK manufacturing activity shows deterioration. The latest British Chambers of Commerce’s (BCC) Quarterly Economic Survey reports that the balance of firms reporting growth in domestic sales in the UK manufacturing sector in Q2 2019 fell for the third successive quarter and is now at its weakest level since Q2 2016. Similarly, the balance of firms reporting an increase in export sales also dipped to a three-year low. Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the BCC, said: “The manufacturing sector endured a challenging quarter with the downward pressure from the running down of excess stock, tougher global trading conditions and rising upfront costs driving a deterioration in a number of the key indicators." To read the BCC's news release go to https://www.britishchambers.org.uk/news/2019/07/bcc-quarterly-economic-survey-q2-2019-uk-growth-stalling-amid-manufacturing-slowdown.
UK Manufacturing confidence plummets to a six-year low. According to the latest Business Trends report from BDO, manufacturing optimism in the UK has "plummeted" to its lowest level since January 2013. In addition, the report shows that output growth is at its lowest point since February 2017 and close to contraction. However, by contrast, optimism in the services sector has seen its largest monthly increase since May 2009, when     companies started to regain confidence after the global financial crisis. To read BDO's news release with access to the full report go to https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/news/2019/manufacturing-confidence-plummets-to-six-year-low.
UK retailers see the fastest drop in sales since the financial crisis. According to the latest data from the CBI, UK retail sales volumes fell at their fastest pace since March 2009 in the year to June 2019. Grocers were the largest contributors to the fall in sales volumes, with the hardware & DIY and footwear & leather sub-sectors also reporting declines. Notably, the only sub-sector to see rising sales this month was non-store (i.e. internet and mail order) retailers. The CBI also found that Internet sales were broadly flat on a year ago (+3%), following growth in the previous month of 38%. To read The CBI's news release go to https://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/articles/retailers-see-fastest-drop-in-sales-since-financial-crisis-cbi/.
UK High Street sees 16 out of 17 consecutive months of no in-store sales. According to the latest UK High Street Sales Tracker (HSST) published by BDO, like-for-like in-store sales fell by -0.8% in June. The poor performance comes after an already weak benchmark of -1.7% for the same period last year and indicates that the UK high street that has now seen 16 out of 17 consecutive months of no in-store sales growth. Sophie Michael, Head of Retail and Wholesale at BDO, said: “June was another washout month for the high street. We saw retailers discount early on in June, adding further pressure to tight margins, yet they still weren’t able to salvage the month. To read BDO's news release go to https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/news/2019/june-a-washout-on-the-high-street.
New technologies could see UK trade more than triple to over £4 trillion by 2050. According to new KPMG UK research, the scale and type of investment in technology and connectivity will have a dramatic impact on trade outcomes, with the greatest gains coming from advances in mobility and communication technology. KPMG's analysis found UK trade with the rest of the world could increase to £1.8 trillion by 2030 and to more than triple to £4 trillion by 2050, from its 2018 volume of £1.2 trillion. However, under the same scenario that captures the impact of a no-deal Brexit, KPMG warns that UK trade could recover to £1.3 trillion by 2030, following an initial decline and then rise further to £2.8 trillion by 2050. To read KPMG's news release go to https://home.kpmg/uk/en/home/media/press-releases/2019/06/kpmg-predicts-new-technologies-will-see-uk-trade-triple.html.
G20 & EU News
GDP growth in G20 area picks up slightly in the first quarter of 2019. New provisional estimates from the OECD have found that GDP in the G20 area grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2019, slightly above the previous quarter’s 0.7%. The most notable results included Turkey, where GDP rebounded to 1.3% in the first quarter of 2019, following a strong contraction of 2.4% in the previous quarter. Growth also increased in Germany (to 0.4%, from 0.0%), in the US (to 0.8%, from 0.5%), the UK (to 0.5%, from 0.2%), Australia (to 0.4%, from 0.2% in the previous quarter), Italy (to 0.1% after a contraction of 0.1%) and, more moderately, in Japan (to 0.6%, from 0.5%). To read the OECD's news release go to http://www.oecd.org/newsroom/g20-gdp-growth-first-quarter-2019-oecd.htm.
EU export growth slumps as Brexit stockpiling “hangover” sets in. According to new research from BDO, EU export growth fell considerably between the first and second quarters of 2019, hitting its lowest level in almost two years. For the first time since Q3 2017, the UK’s export growth index (99.2) simultaneously exceeded that of France (98.0), Italy (97.0), Spain (95.5) and Germany (93.1). This is the weakest the index has been since Q3 2013 in the aftermath of the Eurozone crisis. Commenting on the findings, Peter Hemington, Partner, BDO LLP, said: “Industrial production in the Eurozone has contracted for two consecutive months, suggesting that the slowing growth in key markets, an escalation of global trade tensions, as well as the winding down of pre-Brexit stockpiling, have dampened activity." To download BDO’s New Economy report go to https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/news/2019/eu-export-growth-slumps-as-brexit-stockpiling-hangover-sets-in.
Credit Management News
New digital invoice-finance service offers an alternative to a business overdraft. NatWest has announced that following a successful pilot, its new working capital product, Rapid Cash, will be available to all its business banking customers who are Limited companies with an annual turnover greater than £100,000. The new digital service, which syncs with users accountancy platforms, provides its customers with a credit limit that is based on customers’ unpaid invoices, with approvals and funding within 48 hours of applying. Rapid Cash advises that, unlike factoring, its service is entirely confidential. Rates range from 4.5%-8.5% above Bank of England base rate, and there are no arrangement fees, fixed monthly fees or exit fees. For more information go to https://rapidcash.natwest.com/.
18% of US and UK companies had offered too much credit to a customer because of incomplete information about them. A study from Dun and Bradstreet, 'The Past, Present and Future of Data', has found that businesses in the US and UK are losing money because of a failure to share data internally and because of bad data. The research found that almost 20% of businesses had lost a customer because of incomplete or inaccurate information about them, while another 15% admitted they had failed to sign a new contract with a customer for the same reason. In addition, 22% of UK respondents said financial forecasts have been inaccurate, and 18% of US and UK companies had offered too much credit to a customer because of incomplete information about them, and they had lost money as a result. To read D&B's report go to https://www.dnb.co.uk/perspectives/master-data/data-management-report.html.
Blockchain startup goes live with supply chain finance platform. GTR (Global Trade Review) has reported that Factorin (a Moscow-based fintech startup), is now offering its blockchain-powered supply chain and trade finance platform to businesses in the EU. Co-founder Andrei Maklin told GTR: “When the supplier delivers the goods, as soon as the goods are scanned into a system we generate all the supporting documents that are needed on behalf of the buyer. The system allows us to prepare different sets depending on the requirements of the banks or other participants. A supplier can then select which invoices it wants to access financing for, via a mobile app." To date, the system has processed approximately 12,000 transactions and now now counts 13 banks among its participants. To read GTR's article go to https://www.gtreview.com/news/fintech/russian-blockchain-start-up-goes-live-with-supply-chain-finance-platform/.
Credit Management Training. 
Certificate & Diploma in Credit Management. The Association of International Credit Directors and Professionals (AICDP) Certificate & Diploma in Credit Management has announced that its next course begins in Dublin on Saturday 21st of September 2019. The course covers Collections, Introduction to Law, Credit Management and Credit Risk Assessment and runs for a full academic year. Information packs, workbooks and tests, are sent out each week for students to complete in their own time followed by weekly and fortnightly tests and assignments. Tutors (all of whom are experienced Credit Managers) are available either on email or by telephone. On successful completion of the Certificate, students can move into the second year and complete a Diploma. In simple terms Certificate level is designed for credit controllers who want a valuable qualification to boost their careers, the Diploma is for those who are looking to get into management. For more information, go to http://www.icmt.ie/ or click here.
Level 4 Diploma Course in Credit Management. CMT (Credit Management Training Ltd) has announced that its next level 4 diploma courses (five days on a one day a week basis), will commence on 10 September in Birmingham, 11 September in Manchester and 12 September in London. Topics covered include Understanding Credit Management, Managing Commercial Credit Risk, Powerful Collection Techniques, Legal Action and Insolvency, Export Overview and Developing Management Skills. There is an exam at the end of the course, and successful candidates will receive a Diploma – Pass, Merit or Distinction - and will qualify to use designated letters, CMT Dip after their name. For more information go to https://www.cmtltd.co.uk/level-4-diploma-course.
Advanced Diploma in Credit & Collections Management (Level 5). CICM's Advanced Diploma covers Strategic Planning, Compliance with legal, regulatory, ethical & social requirements, Advanced Credit Risk Management, Process Improvement, Strategic Communications & Leadership and Legal Proceedings & Insolvency. Additionally, the Advanced Diploma gives eligibility to Graduate Membership of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management and the right to use the professional letters MCICM(Grad). The qualification is aimed at credit controllers, analysts, department managers or team leaders who would like to move to more senior roles or experienced credit managers who need to consolidate their experience with qualifications. It usually takes around two years to complete and is regulated by Ofqual. For more information go to https://qualifications.cicm.com/explore/credit-management/level-5-diploma-mcicm/.
News Quiz 
We are delighted to launch July's News Quiz.
Just six short questions (all answers can be found in this issue and Credit Insurance News Digest, with the chance to win a £20 Amazon gift card or equivalent donation to the charity of your choice.
We will announce our next winner in the next issue on 11 September.
Click here to take part.

Thank you to readers who took part in June's Quiz. We are delighted to say that the prize went to Roy Stuart at Euler Hermes. Congratulations Roy!
Events & Offers
GTR Asia 2019, 3-6 September 2019, Singapore.
GTR Asia 2019 (formerly known as Asia Trade & Treasury Week) will return to Singapore September 3-6, 2019. Recognised as the world’s largest international gathering for the trade, commodity, fintech and treasury community, GTR’s annual event in Singapore last year welcomed a record-breaking total of over 1,100 industry participants from local and international banks to multinational corporations and SMEs, independent financiers, commodity brokers and traders, insurers and risk managers, lawyers, consultants, ECAs and multilaterals and more!
2019’s event is set to be even bigger and better! Participants will have the chance to hear over 100 of the world’s leading trade, treasury and fintech experts reflecting on developments in the Asian market and more globally, whilst also having the chance to network and discuss trade priorities with over 500 different companies.
Delegates will also benefit from the use of multiple streams with coverage at the event focused on a range of topics and markets, whilst a variety of formats (breakouts, workshops, debates, formal launches, speed-networking) will provide excellent opportunities for engagement and knowledge sharing.
With the event once again enjoying unrivalled support from local government organisations and public bodies including the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Enterprise Singapore, as well as the world’s leading financial institutions, attendees will receive critical market insight, build business relationships and gain the inside track on the latest financing trends and techniques.
Use code: EBD10 for 10% early booking discount – expires August 2. Click here for more information.
GTR Europe 2019, 14 October 2019, Paris.
GTR Europe 2019 returns to Paris to welcome regional trade experts from across the continent. A key market gathering for European trade and export finance business heads and key relationship builders, the event will further expand on GTR’s unrivalled reach across the regional and global trade finance market.
Expected to welcome over 250 delegates from 15 countries, the conference will deliver a well-rounded outlook on Europe’s economic growth, trade concerns and priorities for the future, allowing representatives to share their insights on the most current topics.
This one-day event features sessions addressed by and for corporates and is one not to be missed by those looking to build trade relations across a range of exciting markets! 
Last year, the two largest sectors in attendance were corporates & traders (39%) and bankers & financiers (22%). Over 250 different companies from around the world were in attendance, 78% of all attendees held a senior to a c-level position. Use code: EBD10 for 10% early booking discount – expires September 20. Click here for more information.
Supply Chain Finance Summit, 15-16 October 2019, Singapore.
BCR’s Supply Chain Finance Summit-APAC in Singapore focuses on the growth of supply chain finance across the APAC region.
With local governments, international and regional banks; and investors all actively encouraging the development of local and cross-border SCF programmes, it is now, more than ever before, vital to review the latest developments in this market and understand how to capitalise on opportunities in this region.
Join us in Singapore to hear from the industry's thought leaders, engage in debate, network with your peers and help define the future of working capital.
As event partners, Credit Insurance News can offer their members a 10% discount on a delegate pass rate. To register please follow this link https://bcrpub.com/events/supply-chain-finance-summit-apac-0.
 The Credit Insurance News delegate discount code is CIN19 – please utilise the code upon booking.

Alternative & Receivables Finance Forum, 14 November. London.
Alternative & Receivables Finance Forum tracks the transformation of receivables and invoice finance; showcasing the most successful new entrants to the market, examining the future of technology-enabled funding models, and driving the conversation on alternative finance for SMEs. This is a unique gathering, where you can network with established receivables finance providers and ‘alternative’ SME funders and find out how the competitive landscape for commercial finance is changing.
The comprehensive programme provides insights into the priorities influencing SMEs’ financial choices and showcases the latest technology-enabled distribution models.
As event partners, Credit Insurance News can offer their members a 10% discount on a delegate pass rate. To register please follow this link https://bcrpub.com/events/alternative-receivables-finance-forum-1. The Credit Insurance News delegate discount code is CIN19 – please utilise the code upon booking. Alternatively you can contact yongmei.he@bcrpub.com quoting your discount code for payment via invoice.
Supply Chain Finance Summit, 30-31 January 2020. Amsterdam
The fifth annual Supply Chain Finance Summit is a great opportunity to learn about the latest trends, ideas and developments transforming working capital and supply chain management, as well as a chance to network with leaders in the industry.
This in-depth event tracks the transformation of supply chain finance (SCF); showcasing the latest innovations within the industry for both domestic and cross-border financing, examining the future of technology-enabled supply chain models, and driving the conversation on increasing access of SCF for SMEs and emerging markets.
As event partners, Credit Insurance News can offer their members a 10% discount on a delegate pass rate. To register please follow this link https://bcrpub.com/events/supply-chain-finance-summit-1.
The Credit Insurance News delegate discount code is CIN20– please utilise the code upon booking. Alternatively you can contact yongmei.he@bcrpub.com quoting your discount code for payment via invoice.
About the Sponsor: Chubb
Chubb Global Markets (CGM) is the London Market wholesale and specialty arm of Chubb, the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurer.
In addition to traditional political risk and trade credit products, CGM offers ‘Credit Complete’, a trade credit top up coverage that provides capacity excess of credit limits granted by primary insurers.
Initially developed for the German market, Credit Complete is now launching in the UK, Ireland and other selected countries. Designed to provide capacity across an existing portfolio of partially insured receivables to facilitate increased sales and optimise finance facilities, Credit Complete is entirely managed online via a dedicated user friendly portal and uses a simple, easy to understand wording that does not impact on the primary policy.
Credit Complete compliments Chubb’s core political risk and credit underwriting expertise and offers a solution for brokers and clients in times where capacity constraints are more prevalent than ever before. 
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