Comment – This time is different

Feels familiar, doesn’t it? Seven months down the line and approaching another Brexit deadline with little to show for the delay. But while politics might seem static, the economic backdrop has moved on. The question is, will this time be different?

GDP growth

Casting our minds back to March, the situation looked reasonably good. Economic growth was holding up. Manufacturers were weathering the slowdown in global trade. Retail sales were robust. Even investment volumes were growing.

In Q2, the wheels fell off, and this morning’s Blue Book figures from the ONS confirmed the slowdown.

Revised growth numbers showed the UK economy contracted by 0.2% in the three months to the end of June 2019 as the effects of stockpiling waned and global trade concerns began to bite. Q1 growth was revised up slightly at the same time, from +0.5% to +0.6%, suggesting companies brought forward more activity than previously thought.

Consensus suggests this will be a blip and the economy will return to growth in Q3, avoiding a technical recession (defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth). However, the reasoning is shaky.

Jam today, jam tomorrow

According to the latest inventories data, companies have run down their stockpiles over the course of Q2. Manufacturers have been particularly good at reducing the overhang, retail and wholesale firms less so. A narrowing of the current account deficit seems to confirm this, with imports falling following the Brexit delay earlier this year.

This should have created headroom for renewed no-deal preparations over the course of Q3 and the inventory cycle can begin again, albeit probably to a lesser degree this time around.

While helpful in avoiding another soft quarter, it’s hardly an attractive growth driver and risks introducing an unwanted degree of volatility, just at a time when businesses and investors crave consistency.

Consumers to the rescue, yet again

Labour market strength and generous pay growth should offer more concrete hope.

We’ve become accustomed to low unemployment, high vacancy rates and comfortably consistent growth in real incomes for some time now. But the worry has always been that stretched consumers can only do so much to prop up weakness elsewhere.

In that context, a sizable two percentage point upwards revision to household savings rates is encouraging, suggesting capacity to better absorb any future shocks to income without cutting spending. Encouragingly, spending was also up 0.4% over the period, showing that it’s not a direct trade-off, and that gains in real wages are beginning to be felt in the wider economy.

Broader concerns remain

Much work has clearly been done in the last three years to better diversify the sources of UK economic growth. It’s been a stated objective of both Mrs May’s government and Mr Johnson’s to encourage growth outside of the services sector and wean the economy off its reliance on consumer spending.

Recent weakness, however, has revealed a return to type. A lot done therefore, but plenty left to do if the government wants to build a broader base for GDP.

By Richard Conway, Director at JCRA

Domestic agenda should be built around giving people more control of their lives, argues CPS

‘Take Back Control’ was the slogan that swung Britain behind Leave. But after Brexit, argues Robert Colvile, politicians should make giving back control the focal point of their efforts – via a policy agenda built around spreading ownership and opportunity.

In his new report ‘Popular Capitalism’, the Director of the Centre for Policy Studies – the most influential think tank among Conservative MPs, according to ComRes polling – explains how an updated version of the popular capitalism pioneered by Margaret Thatcher can show people how the free market can work in their best interests.

The report warns that the Conservatives – the party that has traditionally been the standard bearers for capitalism – have failed under previous leaders to develop policies that embody the voters’ values. Polling during the Theresa May era, cited in the report, shows that the Tories are no longer considered to support low taxes, home ownership, small businesses, pensioners or ordinary people who are working hard to get on, to the point where the only group they are viewed as being on the side of are “international bankers and billionaires”.

Colvile argues that it is capitalism which genuinely acts in the interests of the many not the few, by generating and spreading wealth – but warns that concerns about inequality and corporate concentration need to be met with a policy agenda that gives people more control of their own lives, and more of a stake in the economy.

This would include:

  • Reforming the tax system to ensure that work always pays, for example by raising the National Insurance threshold to let people keep the first £1,000 they earn tax-free (a policy proposed by the CPS and adopted by Boris Johnson)
  • Easing the burden on small businesses by offering them the chance to pay a flat tax on turnover in place of existing taxes and administration (subject of a CPS report launched by Sajid Javid in May)
  • Helping tenants into home ownership by offering them the opportunity to buy from their landlords (as championed in the CPS report ‘From Rent to Own’)
  • Addressing public concerns about the fairness of the welfare system by re-establishing the principle that those who have put in for significant periods should be treated more kindly by the system (the subject of an imminent CPS report)

Colvile also highlights alarming CPS polling to illustrate why any new policy agenda must include delivering on the Brexit vote.

Between 2018 and 2019, the number of English voters saying they would have “no trust at all” in MPs if they had a reason to contact them with a problem rose from 40% to 54%. However, among Leave voters the figure rose from 43% to 69% – a hugely alarming sign of corroding faith in democracy. There were similar but slightly smaller rises in the proportion saying they would not trust their parish or district councils (or equivalent), showing that voters are increasingly distrusting not just of MPs individually but of every layer of government. The polling was carried out in the wake of the original extension to the Brexit process.

Robert Colvile said: “Many on the Left appear to believe – and are eager to tell the world – that they have a monopoly not just on compassion, but basic humanity. To be a capitalist, in their view, is to hate the poor and love the rich.

“This report argues that a popular capitalist agenda is not just rational, but deeply moral – not just because it generates and shares prosperity, but because it is about trusting people as well as helping them, by giving them more control of their lives.”

More than half of companies still use paper and spreadsheets to manage supply chain risk

A recent survey by independent survey firm Verdantix of environmental health and safety (EHS), procurement, operations and risk management executives in six global countries indicates a growing concern about how best to manage multiple contractors. The survey of 161 executives in nine heavy industry sectors finds more than half of the company representatives said they still use a mix of spreadsheets and paper to coordinate contractor prequalification and other vital records, which could lead to safety issues.

The survey was conducted in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany and UK by Verdantix and commissioned by Avetta. The results of the survey indicate the problems currently experienced will expand as only 12% of respondents believe contractor use will diminish during the next two years, while 38% expect growth, with 18% expecting greater than 10 percent growth in using contractors.

Managing contractors effectively is impacted by several challenges, including:

  • Multiple contractors performing simultaneous activities – more than 80% of respondents believe this is ‘a very significant’ or ‘significant’ management issue.
  • Myriad safety practices across an organization or industry – the chain of command related to safety is often unclear, 65% find this lack of clarity a significant challenge.
  • Multiple business unit involvement – 66% of respondents believe the likelihood of contractor information becoming siloed, and thus unusable to other business units, is a ‘very significant’ to ‘significant’ challenge.
  • High turnover rate among contractors – the result of high contractor churn can be a loss of visibility into how many workers are actually onsite, making it harder to manage their projects.

Old methodologies don’t fit the new world of contractor management

The survey further finds nearly half of respondents use spreadsheets for contractor reporting and analysis and 45% use them for job hazard analysis. Approximately 27% are using paper-based systems, making contractor information more likely to be lost or misplaced. Additionally, these methods do not capture standardized data for analysis and decision-making processes. Without a real-time view into contractor data, companies do not have the ability to use the information to drive better safety and compliance outcomes for their businesses.

A respondent in the oil/gas industry commented, “We lack centralization of the contractor data, which makes quantifying tough. Some use spreadsheets, some use databases. There is no central place for the data that we get.”

The survey finds 41% believe digital technology is valuable for managing contractors, while an additional 20% believe these new technologies are essential to the success of supply chain risk management.

Since March 2019 when ISO 45001 went into effect, employers are required to manage risk across the entire supply chain by expanding ‘workers’ to include both employees and contractors. The interviews show 69% of the executives support proper contractor certification to stay in compliance with these new rules.

The executives are also finding value in digital technology solutions for increasing overall visibility into performance metrics (83%) and eliminating administrative costs (62%).

A construction firm executive noted that “we established a soft ‘scorecard’ system to measure and track metrics of individual contractors…these were paper-based and consolidating every individual scorecard became a massive administrative burden. Paper systems don’t work.”

Technology solutions deliver greater efficiency

A total of 61% of executives believe digital technology is either valuable or essential to successful contractor management, with 21% of respondents saying they use it widely within their organization. The key drivers for investment in contractor management technology are:

  • Desire/requirement to avoid serious accidents and fatalities
  • Ability to identify and remediate issues in the case of a compliance failure
  • Ability to consolidate disparate IT systems across the organization

A telecommunications firm executive said, “The benefit of software is that it allows you to automate and improve the data collection process. The software is a repository of all the different contractor information. We have better data now.”

Securing a budget can be problematic

While the drivers behind companies choosing to invest in contractor management technology solutions are clear, the survey shows a significant barrier to acquiring a budget for it stems from the difficulty in building a business case. This barrier is largely financial, and executives should consider quantifying several areas of potential savings, including:

  • Value of cost savings from lowered administrative requirements
  • Cost of lost revenue or downtime associated with contractor management failures
  • Potential cost of fines and penalties deriving from contractor safety non-compliance
  • Potential cost of contractor workers’ compensation and/or legal fees
  • Potential business growth driven by improved brand reputation and productivity

Other barriers to funding range from lack of executive support to a general lack of knowledge about various technology providers.

“Companies know the significant value of supply chain risk management, but they aren’t implementing it,” said Malavika Tohani, principal analyst at Verdantix. “It’s time for companies to accelerate moving to new technologies like supply chain risk management software to improve their contractor safety processes to prevent future safety incidents.”

The Verdantix survey methodology included phone interviews with executives and asked the respondents about the challenges and risks associated with using contractors, as well as the tools currently in use, projected spending plans for contractor management software and the biggest barriers to investment.

Malavika Tohani, Verdantix’s principal analyst, and Danny Shields, Senior Director of Industry Relations at Avetta, will discuss the survey results at a webinar on Sept. 19 at noon eastern time.

Two thirds of financial institutions prepared for a no deal-Brexit

Senior leaders within financial institutions have become less optimistic about the prospects for their own sector as the outlook for the domestic economy deteriorates, according to a new report from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The Financial Institutions Sentiment Survey, now in its fourth year, canvassed the views of more than 100 senior decision makers at a broad range of organisations – from global banks and insurers to intermediaries, investors and asset managers – to explore the key themes shaping their sector.

The report found that more than half of firms (58%) are expecting growth in the UK economy to slow down in the next 12 months – twice as many as held that view in 2018 (29%). Two-thirds of them (67%) expect domestic growth in the coming year to be weaker than G7 peers.

These views were broadly mirrored in respondents’ expectations for the UK financial services sector with 55% forecasting that growth would deteriorate during the year ahead, up from 27% in 2018.

Similarly, most senior executives (54%) said they have become less optimistic about the future of their industry in the past 12 months, up from 40% in 2018.

Meanwhile, two-fifths of firms (40%) expect their own revenues to increase – albeit down from 64% last year – with only 17% seeing income falling next year.

More than half of firms feel they are prepared for the UK’s departure from the EU, with 59% stating they are ready for a ‘no deal’ Brexit with little or no dependency on a transition period and no further extension.

The remainder of firms surveyed are dependent to some extent on a transition period to complete their contingency planning, with almost a third (29%) saying that they have a limited dependency and 12% saying that they have a significant dependency.

Despite the focus these preparations require, the sector continues to invest in the UK, with a third (31%) expecting investment to increase during the year ahead (compared to 24% in 2018). Only 10% of respondents forecast a reduction in investment in their UK business over the next 12 months.

Top risks identified

The three most significant risks cited by survey respondents remained unchanged on last year, with the UK’s departure from the EU top (58%), followed by economic uncertainty (36%), and new regulation (31%).

Significantly, the risk posed by cybercrime (29%) has leapt from eighth place to fourth since 2018.

Last year 46% of respondents said one of their firm’s top three technology investment strategies for 2018 was to improve cybersecurity, behind improving customer satisfaction (49%) and reducing operating costs (48%). In 2019, cybersecurity moves to top of the tech agenda and with greater prominence – 70% are now prioritising it as an area for investment.

Robina Barker Bennett, Managing Director, Head of Financial Institutions, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The past year has presented many challenges for businesses. Against a backdrop of on-going global economic turbulence, it is unsurprising that sentiment among financial institutions towards the sector and the wider economy is lower than in previous years.

“That said, the responses to this survey show the sector’s resilience during difficult times and it is especially encouraging to see that firms plan to continue investing in the UK.

“In 2019, firms are arguably more dependent than ever on technology. With this rapid advancement, the risks from cybercrime are increasing, placing extra pressure on financial institutions to change the way they operate.”

Cifas research reveals false housing benefit claims are the third most prevalent fraud in UK

Recent research carried out by Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, has revealed that falsely claiming Single Person Discount is the third most prevalent type of fraudulent activity carried out by British adults.

Single Person Discount is where a person claims to live in a single-person household in order to receive a Council Tax discount from their local authority. In the 2017/18 financial year, detected single person discount fraud was estimated to be £15.8m – money that could have been used to support other services and individuals within the community.

The research, carried out in conjunction with WPI Economics, also showed that adults in London were twice as likely to believe that falsely claiming a Single Person Discount on Council Tax is reasonable (14%), as opposed to respondents in the East Midlands, West Midlands, or South East (7% each).

These figures are being used as part of the Cifas ‘Faces of Fraud’ campaign, which aims to challenge those seemingly harmless behaviours that are in fact, illegal.

To combat instances of Single Person Discount, Harrow Council has collaborated with Databank to identify fraudulent and erroneous applications for Single Person Discount, which has helped it save an estimated £3.6m in revenue. Harrow Council now has the lowest incidence of Single Person Discount fraud.

Fern Silverio, Head of Service – Collections & Housing Benefits for Harrow Council, said: ‘Like other Councils, Harrow is under pressure to maximise its income, particularly in the face of recent funding cuts. Our partnership with Datatank has helped us maximise our returns, through eliminating the loss of revenue we would have experienced otherwise. It has helped us keep fraudsters on their toes, at the same as future-proofing our own validation techniques.’

In addition to Single Person Discount, unlawful subletting also remains a key housing fraud issue for local authorities. According to the CIPFA Fraud and Corruption Tracker Summary Report 2018, housing fraud, a seemingly ‘victimless’ crime to many, is estimated to have cost local authorities over £216m in the 2017/18 financial year, and this includes fraud on right to buy and unlawful subletting.

Unlawful subletting in councils occurs when individuals let out their council housing without the permission of the council, meaning that in times of high demand for social housing, those in need may be denied the housing they require due to a seeming lack of available housing. Unlawful subletting is a criminal offence in the UK and can lead to criminal prosecution and the loss of the individual’s home.[1]

Kevin Campbell, deputy head of Internal Audit and Anti Fraud from Waltham Forest Local Authority, said: ‘Council housing is in huge demand, and when a tenant’s circumstances change – for example, where they may have married and moved in with a partner – a council property is vulnerable to subletting. Council tenants do not want to relinquish their tenancies, as they are aware they may never obtain a council property again. Due to extremely high private rental charges in the area, by subletting a council property at a similar market rate to privately-owned properties, the council tenant will make a huge profit.

‘Subletting has a huge impact on the Borough and local community, as the Council is unable to offer these properties to people in genuine need.’

Mike Haley, Chief Executive Officer of Cifas, said: ‘Unlawful subletting and fraudulent housing claims put huge financial pressure on local authorities and, more importantly, it means that families are missing out on the opportunity of a much-needed home.

‘The consequences of this type of fraud are very serious indeed, and could result in a criminal conviction and a prison sentence. I would urge anyone thinking of falsely claiming housing benefit to consider the real impact this can have on their future as well as that of the community at large.’

SmartSearch named in Sunday Times TechTrack100 annual list of Britain’s fastest-growing tech companies

Leeds Anti-Money Laundering (AML) firm SmartSearch is officially one of the fastest-growing tech companies in Britain after being named in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100.

The Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s 100 private tech companies with the fastest-growing sales over their latest three years. 

It is compiled by Fast Track and published in The Sunday Times each September; the 19th annual list will be revealed in full this weekend.

SmartSearch has been placed 86th in the list following average sales growth over the past three years of 56% to £8.1m.

The Ilkley based firm is one of just five companies from Yorkshire to make the list and the highest-ranked newcomer from the region.

To be included in the list, companies have to be registered in the UK and be independent, unquoted and ultimate holding companies. They are ranked according to the compound annual growth rate in sales over the latest three years; annualised sales have to exceed £250,000 in the base year and £5m in the latest year.

John Dobson, CEO at SmartSearch said: “2019 has been our most successful year to date; so far this year we have onboarded almost 300 clients, adding more than 3,700 new users to the platform – to take the total clients to over 4,000 and users to 38,000.

“We knew that we had grown significantly over the past three years, but to see just how well we have done compared to our peers is fantastic. The fact we are now officially the 86th fastest-growing tech firm in Britain and 4th in Yorkshire is a fantastic achievement.”

John concluded: “And, with the 5th anti-money laundering directive stipulating that identity checks should be electronic wherever possible, the demand for our services is only going to increase.”

Ultimate Finance announces strategic refocus to invest further in asset-based lending

Specialist asset-based lender, Ultimate Finance, today announces a strategic refocus of its product portfolio as it withdraws from the unsecured loan market to concentrate on further investment in its range of core asset-based solutions.

The decision enables a full focus on growing its market-leading Invoice Finance, Asset Finance and Bridging products, and aligning its depth of offering into bespoke structured solutions suitable for individual client needs.

Unsecured loans will no longer be provided on a standalone basis, although clients will continue to have access to cashflow loans alongside Ultimate Finance’s secured products. Ultimate Finance will continue to support and service existing unsecured loan clients until the end of their facility.

Commenting on the move, Josh Levy CEO of Ultimate Finance, said: “We are committed to ensuring that our structure and strategy allows us to be responsive to market conditions and positioned to capitalise on our growth potential.

“By no longer offering standalone unsecured loans and solely focusing on asset-based lending, we are prioritising our core strengths and ensuring that our market proposition is clear and concentrated on our specialist areas of secured lending. We are committed to continuing to provide our clients, including those with existing unsecured loans, with high levels of service enabled by technology.

“The strength of our people and our focus on serving the funding needs of our clients in a personal and flexible manner, returned H1 growth figures that we were all proud of. Now evolution is needed to reach our long-term aspirations and to capitalise on the huge opportunity in front of us.”

Comment – Is the ECB easing too early?

Euro interest rate markets are pricing in a rate cut by the ECB at its next policy meeting on 12 September.

The current Euribor forward curve suggests that the ECB will eventually take its deposit rate from its present level of -0.40% down to -0.75% over the next two years. In addition, it is widely expected that further monetary stimulus will follow, for example in the form of another lending programme and a new round of quantitative easing (QE). To underline its commitment, ECB officials have recently stated that rates will (once more) remain “lower for longer”. How long exactly? Markets seem to expect “very long” with the 20-year swap rate trading barely above 0%.

Looking purely at interest rates markets, one would get the impression that the Eurozone has turned “Japanese” and entered a prolonged period of low growth and deflationary pressures that call for indefinite accommodative monetary policy by the central bank. This is astonishing, given that only a few weeks ago markets were much less pessimistic about the economic outlook as evidenced by the development of the 10-year swap rate, which fell off a cliff at the start of August.

It is true that the economic picture has been worsening for a while now. Trade disputes remain unresolved, and Italy’s slow growth and indebtedness continually pose a large downside risk – as does Brexit. Moreover, Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is flirting with recession.

No Armageddon, just yet

However, Germany’s slowdown comes after a long expansion that has led to record employment levels. France, the Eurozone’s second largest economy, is growing at a decent pace. Having been cause for concern in the not-too-distant past, Spain and Portugal are now doing quite well. Overall, inflation in the Eurozone is running at 1% – in line with what inflation-linked bonds are pricing in for the future. Admittedly, this is still a good way off the magic 2%-inflation mark central bank’s target, but it is hardly on the cusp of deflation. Finally, unemployment in the Eurozone has now fallen to 7.5% – a level not seen since before the 2008 crisis. To sum up: while not necessarily in rude health and as vulnerable as ever, the euro area doesn’t seem anywhere close to the economic and financial Armageddon that beckoned in 2008 and 2012, when the Eurozone faced a real risk of disintegrating.

This begs the question why the ECB feels so compelled to provide additional stimulus at this moment. It seems as if the ECB is breaking the glass before an actual emergency has happened. I am the first to admit that the interventions in 2012 and the QE programme introduced in 2015 were necessary to preserve the common currency and ease the burden for highly indebted countries. However, to a casual observer it seems that the situation has greatly improved since, and hence I struggle to see the case for another bond buying programme. By announcing such wide-ranging measures in the absence of a full-blown crisis, one wonders what Mme Lagarde will do when faced with a real recession. It also provides another pretext for politicians to sit back and postpone fiscal reforms that address the fundamental flaws of the common currency.

How effective is cutting interest rates?

Even more contentions than another round of QE is the potential decision to take interest rates further into negative territory by cutting the central bank deposit rate. The effectiveness of interest rate cuts as an economic stimulus is contested. After more than four years of negative rates and not much to show for it in the way of growth, the adage that cutting interest rates is “like pushing on a string” rings very true. Recent research from the University of Bath contends that negative interest rates have reduced bank lending rather than encouraging it. Doubling down on a mostly exhausted toolkit, the ECB seems poised to inflate financial assets further while doing little to create actual growth and inflation. That said, if the European Central Bank was serious about creating inflation, it should resort to “helicopter money” and write cheques for Euro area citizens as recently suggested by a European think-tank.

I for one am puzzled by the ECB’s intention to up the ante and provide further accommodation at this present moment. And I am equally bemused by markets pricing in below zero Euro rates for the next decade to come. It is a bet I wouldn’t take.

By Moritz Sterzinger, Director at JCRA

Small businesses set up plans for overseas expansion

Across nine UK regions, more than one in five small business owners (22%) are looking to expand into new markets overseas in order to achieve business growth.

The latest findings from the quarterly Business Barometer research by Hitachi Capital Business Finance comes at a time when the country is gearing up for the Brexit deadline. Set against warnings of an economic slowdown, the small business community is pushing forward with positive new initiatives over the next two months in order to secure growth.

Overall, 64% of small business owners polled said they were considering new initiatives in the three months to 30 September to help boost their growth prospects – and businesses working on such initiatives were significantly more likely to have an upbeat business outlook for the three-month period. Sectors where small businesses were most likely to be working on specific new plans included real estate (74%), IT/telecoms (71%) and manufacturing (70%). More seasonal businesses such as agriculture (60%), construction (59%) and hospitality (45%) were among the least likely to be working on new initiatives to achieve growth.

What are small businesses prioritising in order to achieve growth?

For the vast majority of small businesses, controlling costs and cashflow was a critical priority. For those looking to expand, the top consideration was looking at new markets overseas – a clear sign that small businesses are already adjusting to a worldview beyond the EU and the need to forge new business alliances.

A financial makeover was also a priority for many. Some business owners wanted to re-assess their current finance commitments whilst others were looking out for suitable finance partners beyond their high street bank. Investing in new equipment was a priority for around one in seven respondents – and it was a top consideration in agriculture (35%), media (21%), hospitality (21%) and construction (19%).

Which businesses are spreading their wings?

With the recently formed Government committed to helping British businesses to compete on the international stage, media IT/telecoms and manufacturing emerged as the sectors where small business owners were most likely to be considering overseas expansion. Regionally, pretty much across the UK, more than a fifth of small businesses were looking to grow their ventures overseas.

Gavin Wraith-Carter, Managing Director at Hitachi Capital Business Finance commentated: “The relative size and agility of Britain’s smaller businesses positions them well to react quickly to the post-Brexit landscape and adjust their plans to compete and grow. The relatively high number of business owners that is looking abroad to identify opportunities presents grounds for confidence and optimism.

“When considering the broader range of growth initiatives, access to finance was also an important consideration for many small business owners. Whether this be reviewing current commitments or investing in new equipment and assets, access to the right products at the right time is crucial to power growth. Hitachi Capital Business Finance is working hard to support small business growth at a critical time for the economy at large.”

A Leading Light In A Changing Industry

It’s been a busy few years in the alternative lending sector. FCA supervision of the sector in 2014 has been followed by a renewed focus on a few businesses whose practices threatened to harm the most vulnerable of consumers.

In the midst of these changes, we went through some significant changes of our own.  As the largest niche debt purchaser of alternative lending accounts, we received our FCA authorisation in August 2016 which coincided with more rigorous processes and a clearer vision of who we wanted to be.

This was followed in October 2017 by significant investment from Copper Street One – an entity of UK specialist investment firm Copper Street Capital LLP – which has strengthened our balance sheet and enabled us to make a greater number of purchases since the acquisition.


A new name for a new day
Despite these significant internal changes our public-facing brand has, up to now, remained largely unchanged. We knew it was time for the reputation we’ve built for industry-leading standards of customer care and regulatory compliance – for doing things the right way – to be reflected in our name.

Our choice of name for the rebrand which occurred on 8th March 2018 – Lantern – truly reflects an image that represents all of the changes undergone by the business.

Why ‘Lantern’? Because we wanted a name that captured our ambition to be more than simply a debt purchaser and collector. We wanted a name that would remind us of the high standards we set ourselves – to go beyond mere compliance for our lenders and to genuinely care for each of our customers.

As we step into the future with a new name and a renewed sense of purpose – we do so believing we are a leading light in a changing industry, one that will surely see more lights appearing in years to come.


Denise Crossley FCICM
Chief Executive, Lantern


To find out more, please contact:
Michelle Moore
Head of Sales & Client Relations, Lantern
Mobile: 07730 748153