Join CCRInteractive: the Big Debate – from just £200!

CCRInteractive – The Big Debate:
11 October 2018, The Grange St Pauls Hotel, Central London

As you will hopefully be aware, CCRInteractive: the Big Debate will shortly be bringing us a Revolution In Events on Thursday 11th October at the Grange St Paul’s in central London.

The world is changing and so are we. We have listened to the industry and some key issues have arisen from your the feedback on events in the credit industry:

♦ Tired of hearing the same speakers.
♦ Tired of listening to the same subject matters.
♦ Tired of sitting in a room waiting to hear the one good speaker that interests you.
♦ Tired of not getting an opportunity to ask real questions.
♦ Tired of not having a real discussion.
♦ Can’t take a full day out of the office.
♦ Not enough opportunity to network.
♦ Too expensive.

So this is why we are changing to an entirely new format: giving you the opportunity to debate the key issues with your peers, to work towards a solution. 

To find out more about attending CCRInteractive, please contact Alison Lucas at alison@ccrmagazine.co.uk.

CCR has always been about networking, bringing people together, and over the last 3 years we have run over 30 Round-Tables with more than 500 attendees, which have been a great success. So this year we are running a conference which is a series of Round-Tables.

It promises to be an outstanding day of networking and learning, where You will be able to raise the issues and questions that You want, to make sure that You have all the questions answered that You need.

The day will be split into a series of round-table debates (subjects listed below) which will run just like our successful range of debates that we hold throughout the year: each debate will have a Chair and a list of Guide Questions, but you will also  be very welcome to raise any comments or issues that you want to the group.

You can buy any number of debate-sessions that you choose – if you want to come to 1, 2, or 3 yourself; of if you want to buy 5 or 6 debate-sessions and share them around yourself and your colleagues.

The more debate-sessions that you buy, the better the price is  The day is intentionally being set at an affordable price, to encourage participation:

♦ For a Creditor, 1 debate-session is just £200, 2 just £300, 3 just £400, 4 just £500, and so on.
♦ For a Supplier, 1 debate-session is just £275, 2 just £375, 3 just £450, 4 just £575, and so on.

I really hope that you will want to join us. Please do let me know if you would like further information. As promised, here is a list of Round Table debate areas that we will be covering, just book the one or ones that are of interest to you and your colleagues:

1, Data sharing: credit circles and agencies.
2, Analytics and technologies.
3, SMEs, export and credit insurance.
4, Fraud and cybercrime
5, Control or Commercial
6, Preparing a Credit team for Brexit
7, Vulnerability
8, Having the collections policies and technologies you need.
9, What role does risk-assessment play
10, Ensuring your DCAs share your values.
11, Working with the regulators.
12, The big compliance debate.
13, When to sell debt and who to choose.
14, Collecting public sector tax and debts.
15, Marrying internal and external data.
16, The role of technology.
17, Establishing and renewing procedures.

Come and have your say, discuss issues that matter to You, with people You want to meet: Your peers, ready to share their Knowledge with You!

If you want to run your own Round-Table Debate where you choose who comes and the key discussion points, then please call Gary 07785 268404 or email him at gary@ccrmagazine.co.uk.

ASTL quarterly results steady

Figures compiled by the ASTL’s auditors from its bridging lender members for Q2 2018 are slightly down on the exceptional figures for Q4 2017 and Q1 2018, but annual completions continue to rise and are now £3.87 billion.

The value of loans written for the quarter ending 30 June 2018 revealed a decrease of 6.6% compared to the previous quarter. However, annual completions rose by 27.2% compared to the year ended 30 June 2017. In comparison to the same quarter last year, the value of loans written in the quarter has increased by 10.3%.

Total loan books are continuing to climb, with a rise of 13.1% compared to Q4 2017. Compared to the end of Q2 2017, the value of loan books has decreased slightly, but is still over £4.2 billion.

The pace of increases in applications reversed the massive jump in Q1 and decreased by 2.9% (compared to an increase of 28.9% in Q4 2017) compared to Q1 2018. On an annualised basis applications are up by 16.3% on the year ended June 2017; making up a total of £20.2 billion. Although applications do tend to be unreliable indicators and are dependent on how many lenders are offered the same deals, this trend shows how large the sector has become.

Benson Hersch, CEO of the ASTL says: “Although figures for Q2 2018 are down on the two previous quarters, they remain high. Our members continue to provide flexible and useful services to customers who require finance. The property market may be difficult at the moment, but responsible bridging lenders continue to prosper.”

These figures are taken from the responses from ASTL members, which include most of the key lenders in the bridging market.

Tenants set to take their first steps to home ownership

Housing association tenants will be given access to the finance they need to get a foothold on the property ladder following the launch of a new £200million Government scheme.

The pilot, in the Midlands, comes after an historic voluntary agreement between the National Housing Federation (NHF) and the Government which will eventually give 1.3million tenants the chance to achieve their property-owning dreams.

The scheme, which was launched on Thursday (16th August), gives large discounts of up 50% on price of their home, for individuals and families who’ve been living in the property for more than three years.

Pete Ball, personal finance CEO at the specialist lender Together, said there was a demand from housing association tenants who would be eligible for the new scheme.

He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for hard-working families – many who have rented their homes from housing associations for years – to be able to own them outright for the first time.

“We can help by providing right to buy mortgages for those who are often underserved by mainstream banks and building societies. For example, borrowers may be self-employed or reaching retirement; they may want to buy a house made of concrete or a flat more than six floors up and could struggle to get a mortgage in such situations.”

He added: “Home ownership plays a vital role in social mobility, and the financial security needed for people to build a future. We’re excited to be helping housing association tenants do this under the voluntary Right to Buy scheme to give them the opportunity to realise their dreams.”

Guidance was issued in May by the NHF to associations taking part in the latest pilot and a House of Commons briefing document about voluntary RTB was published last month.

Nearly 20 housing associations in areas including Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester and Stafford have already signed up to the voluntary scheme, which follows an earlier pilot of five associations in 2016. The government has said that any properties bought under the scheme will be replaced like-for-like.

Who is eligible?

Tenants may be eligible to buy under the new scheme if they have lived in a property owned by a social or affordable housing association for at least three years. They can also apply with up to three family members, if the property is their main home and they have lived there for 12 months or more.

Those who meet the government’s eligibility criteria will be entitled to a Right to Buy discount. Tenants living in houses will get a 35% discount (50% discount for flats) on the price of the property, if they have been a public sector tenant for three years. After five years the discount increases by 1% for every year up to a maximum of 70% or £80,900, whichever is lower.*

For example, Mr Smith has lived in a two-bedroom flat, valued at £110,000, for 25 years. He will be eligible for a 70% discount – or £77,000 – meaning he will pay just £33,000 for the property.

Mortgage borrowers can use their discount as a deposit, so they can borrow up to 100% of their purchase price, excluding non-refundable mortgage fees.

BFS appoints new Commercial Director for Europe and Asia

Bibby Financial Services (BFS) has appointed Paul Stack as Commercial Director for Europe and Asia.

Paul started his new role on 1 August and will oversee product, pricing and commercial strategy implementation across the regions, reporting into Richard Carter, CEO for Europe and Asia.

Paul joined BFS in April 2015 as UK Product Director, tasked with driving the development, management and innovation of the UK product portfolio. Following his success in the UK, Paul’s remit was extended in 2017 when he became Global Product Director.

Prior to his appointment at BFS, Paul spent over 20 years as a Commercial Development leader with The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), comprising senior leadership roles across Europe, North America and Asia.

Richard Carter, CEO – Europe & Asia, said: “Paul’s contribution to the product and marketing teams during his time as Global Product Director has helped develop BFS as a market leader, supporting the business in growing its product portfolio to include ABL, Stock Finance and Foreign Exchange.

“He has a demonstrable track record of leading strategic success and growth across the SME and Corporate sectors, and there is no doubt that he brings with him both the enthusiasm and experience of doing business internationally to help him to succeed in this role.”

Commenting on his appointment, Paul Stack said: “Since joining BFS in 2015, the business has gone from strength-to-strength. Today we’re a truly global financial services provider, supporting the growth of more than 10,000 businesses and I look forward to contributing to BFS’s success throughout Europe and Asia over years to come.”

Paying by card? You’re less likely to remember the amount paid

Accurately remembering how much money you spend depends on whether you pay by card or cash. Research by the University of Cologne and the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt has shown that the recall accuracy regarding the amount spent is lower for payments by card than it is for payments by cash.

Researchers Dr. Rufina Gafeeva, Prof. Dr. Erik Hoelzl and Prof. Dr. Holger Roschk carried out a field study to determine recall accuracy in relation to recently made payments. By gathering data in cafeterias at a German university during the summers of 2015 and 2016, they analyzed interviews with 496 students that were conducted immediately after the act of paying.

“We were able to show that individuals who pay by card have a less accurate recall of the amount paid than individuals who settle their bill with cash”, the authors summarize, who say that the results are relevant for the financial wellbeing of everyone. “A precise recollection of past spending has an effect on the willingness to spend money in the future.”

Smart cards are multifunctional and may also include further non-payment functions such as bonus programs or user identification. These functions play a critical role: “Individuals who use the non-payment functions of the multifunctional card are less likely to remember the transaction details accurately.” Moreover, this multifunctionality also applies to other digital devices such as smartphones or smart watches which can integrate the payment function with other non-payment functions.

“To heighten our awareness, we need designs that separate the payment function from other functions, or that visualise the act of spending money, such as immediate payment information or transaction summaries.”

These findings were published in the Journal Marketing Letters.

Summer late payment epidemic hits majority of UK’s small businesses

More than three in five small businesses (63%) are dealing with late payment issues – and the smallest businesses are those most at risk of dealing with non-payment – according to new research from Hitachi Capital Business Finance.

With reports that 50,000 SMEs a year close their doors as a result of late payment – and with calls for legislation to protect Britain’s SME community – Hitachi Capital’s new research looked to quantify the seriousness of the late payment epidemic across UK regions and sectors. A representative sample of 1,201 business decision makers were asked to report on the invoices they had sent customers and suppliers that were due for payment at the start of June 2018.

Only three in ten small businesses (30%) said all their invoices had been paid on time.

63% were dealing with late payment: 48% of respondents reported having invoices paid a week late, 46% had invoices paid a month late and 35% said they were having to wait for more than a month to have some invoices settled in full.

Alarmingly, 29% of business leaders surveyed were dealing with non-payment issues from their clients and customers.

Who is most affected by late payment?

Smallest businesses on the edge
The old chestnut of the big firms paying small firms late appears to ring true and for small ventures it could be more than just a short-term cash flow issue. Hitachi’s research found that the smallest businesses (those with an annual turnover or less than £1 million) were those most at risk of serious non-payment. They were most likely to have invoices paid more than a month late (26%) and most likely to have bad debt risks from non-payment (25%). In total 20% of the UK’s smallest businesses said they were living with non-payment for 20% of their invoices.

Sectors most affected by late payment
The sector most affected by late payment was manufacturing, followed by small businesses in the legal sector – a sector where one might expect customers to pay on time. In contrast, decision makers in hospitality and agriculture reported the lowest levels of late payment.

Regional late payment hotspots
Regionally, small businesses in London were most affected by late payment (70%), followed by those in the South East (67%) and both the East and West Midlands (67% respectively). The urban heartlands of London and the North West were also the regions where small businesses were most likely to be facing non-payment issues (36% and 33% respectively).

Millennial entrepreneurs
In the digital age with a new generation of young people starting up their own businesses, the Hitachi Capital Business Finance research revealed that younger bosses were more likely to be experiencing late payment issues. 70% of small business decision makers under the age of 35 reported late payment issues with some invoices (70%) compared to 61% of those aged 55 or over. A sign perhaps that despite advances in technology and immediate payments that the problem of late payment could in fact be getting worse.

Gavin Wraith-Carter, Managing Director at Hitachi Capital Business Finance, commented: “At a critical moment in the economic cycle we need to ensure that small businesses continue to be the engine room to our country’s growth and prosperity. Late payment directly threatens this. We estimate there is around £50 billion of cash locked up in late payments and this disproportionately affects the small business community, not to mention the valuable time and resources small business divert from the production line to needlessly chasing late payments. It’s time for change and we fully support policy changes that protect the welfare and economic growth of small businesses – and by implication – the country at large.”

Experian launches powerful analytics solution to help businesses harness the benefits of big data

Experian has launched a new analytics solution in the UK to help organisations make fast, reliable decisions with deeper insight than ever before. Experian Ascend Analytics on Demand is an integrated data and analytics platform which offers cutting-edge insights to businesses of all sizes.

The UK launch follows a successful introduction in North America. Ascend allows Experian’s clients to access a full range of Experian’s anonymised trended data, delivering results securely in real time in a range of formats to suit the user’s preference.

Enabled by open-source technology, the platform allows users to build their own predictive models to develop business strategies, including machine learning and Artificial Intelligence techniques, and make decisions.

The Ascend launch marks the first time this level of tailored self-service and instant analysis has been available to in-house analytics teams.

Tom Blacksell, Managing Director of B2B at Experian, said: “Businesses must be able to call upon and understand a range of data assets to compete in today’s economy. Ascend brings the very latest in analytical innovation to help them turn vast quantities of data into actionable insights. Leading in turn to more accurate and well-informed decisions, and ultimately bringing better services to market, more quickly, and increasing their revenues.”

Experian’s combination of data, technology and analytics helps businesses unlock insights and take decisive actions in the moments that matter. Bringing unique scale, speed and intelligence that deliver the best results for both businesses and their customers.

Ascend is an integral part of a suite of market leading Experian innovations, all of which will accelerate the ability of UK businesses to harness the full potential of big data.

Experian Ascend Analytics on Demand is being rolled out across UK&I and EMEA in the Autumn. Organisations can register interest here.

The launch comes as research shows organisations are struggling to extract the full potential of the data available to them despite the variety of advanced analytics available. Experian’s Business Review found only one in three businesses currently use advanced analytics techniques and technologies to develop a deeper, more meaningful understanding of their data.

Just 29% combine both traditional and non-traditional data sources to gather more insight. Two in five businesses still rely on instinct and subjective opinion to make decisions.

However, 78% of organisations have made investments in advanced analytics to ensure they can deliver better business outcomes, while 71% plan to enhance analytics capabilities in the next 12 months – making it one of the biggest priorities overall.

Experian’s Credit Search Barometer reveals latest trends on consumer spending habits

A third of loan searches carried out through Experian’s comparison services are for debt consolidation loans, new analysis has revealed.

These type of loans can help consumers with outstanding debts from various lenders to roll their monthly payments into one to reduce their costs.

And latest figures from Experian show that 33%* of all loans searched for in the last two years are for debt consolidation loans, as consumers try and take more control over their finances.

On average, shoppers are looking to borrow £11,000 over five years. Typically, these consumers are 37 years old, and have an average Experian Credit Score of 749.

This score is in the “good” band category and indicates that while these consumers have taken on debts through their 30s, they have been able to meet their monthly repayments and sustain a healthy credit history.

Meanwhile analysis of the type of mortgages potential buyers are looking for shows a jump in consumers shopping for fixed-term deals.

A third (33%)** of searches carried out in July were for fixed-term deals, up from 27% in June and 24% in May.

The trend suggests that potential homeowners have been looking to tie themselves in to a fixed deal to protect themselves from an increase in interest rates and mortgage payments, with the Bank of England recently raising interest rates to 0.75% .

Amir Goshtai, Managing Director, Experian Marketplace & Affinity, said: “The latest look at our data reveals that even consumers who are able to service their various debts are looking to take even more control and roll their monthly payments into one to reduce their costs. The rise in those looking at fixed-term mortgages indicates people have been reacting to the speculation of a potential rate rise. If and when there are further rises is yet to be seen, but in the meantime a priority for homeowners should be to take some simple steps to plan ahead.”

Rise in inflation shows pressure on squeezed households remains

The Office for National Statistics has today published its latest UK consumer price inflation figures. The figures show the Consumer Prices Index was at 2.5 percent in July 2018, up from 2.4 percent in June 2018, the first rise since November 2017.

Figures published today also show that regulated rail fares are also likely to increase by 3.2 percent.

Jane Tully, director of external affairs at the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said: “This first rise since November shows that the pressure on household finances continues and offers little respite for those people with already squeezed budgets.

“And with the recent interest rate rise and a likely increase in transport costs on the horizon many households are facing a combination of budget challenges.

“From what we hear at National Debtline, one small increase in costs can be all it takes to push some households into difficulty.

“I would encourage anyone struggling to cope to contact National Debtline or another free debt advice agency as soon as possible.”

Major revision of international standard for auditing management systems

BSI, the business standards company, has published the revised international standard for auditing management systems, BS EN ISO 19011:2018. The document provides comprehensive guidance on all types of audits, whether internal or external. It covers everything from the management of an audit programme, to the planning and conducting of audits, and the competence of audit teams.

ISO 19011 is applicable to all organizations that need to plan and conduct internal or external audits of management systems, with guidance that can be used by large audit teams or scaled down for smaller organizations wishing to learn more about how to effectively audit their own management systems.

The main differences between the 2018 edition and the previous edition are:

Addition of the risk-based approach to the principles of auditing
Expansion of the guidance on managing an audit programme, including audit programme risk
Expansion of the guidance on conducting an audit, particularly the section on audit planning
Expansion of the generic competence requirements for auditors
Adjustment of terminology to reflect the process and not the form it takes (e.g. ‘reporting’ rather than ‘report’)
Removal of the competence requirements for auditing specific management system disciplines
Expansion of guidance on auditing new concepts such as context, leadership and commitment, virtual audits, compliance and supply chain

Anne Hayes, Head of Governance and Resilience at BSI, said: “Audits are integral to the effective use of management systems and play an important role in identifying improvements for the business. ISO 19011 provides comprehensive guidance for any organization wishing to audit professionally and effectively for the good of their business.”