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Ahoy there_


Ahoy there!
amount for them! Atradius and us CMR are in a strong position as the only Appointed offers increased business opportunities for all parties. We benefit from improved buying power. Our customers benefit from our knowledge, experience and expertise at talking to people at all levels within

Spring 2006

Welcome to our third newsletter, designed to bring you inside information about CMR and the UK credit insurance industry. At the time of writing, we are about to pay our biggest claim ever – over £1 million. You can imagine the relief of our clients when we were able to recover that


Representative for Atradius in the UK. This arrangement

Atradius. A managed policy gives added comfort to banks, factoring companies and financial institutions when SMEs need security to raise finance from them. We provide valuable support to some 200 companies, which, in isolation, would find it difficult to command the same increased profile and status. Grouped together they can obtain a better deal in terms of credit limits and prices, and a loud voice within Atradius.

“CMR are in a strong position...with a loud voice within Atradius.”
The relationship between CMR and Atradius spans over 20 years and we were profiled recently in their magazine, ‘Compass’. Sarah Crawford, who has managed our portfolio, explained, “CMR add on policy management services and look after the policy on behalf of the customer. They visit the customer and talk through the policy, and make sure it is administered correctly, which gives added value to customers. Some customers have been with CMR since the beginning so they must be providing a service that works! We are happy to support them in providing credit insurance for small businesses, due to their unfailing professionalism, experience and knowledge.” How are we performing? The most important people at CMR are our customers and we value your feedback, be it positive or negative. Whether you have a suggestion for improving our service or a specific complaint, we want to hear from you. We will issue full details of our customer feedback process to every client during February. Christian Hoy, Managing Director P.S. Here is an updated list of the charities we are pleased to have supported recently, on behalf of staff and clients: BBC Children in Need, Ummah Welfare Appeal Trust, National Kidney Research Fund, Niger Crisis Appeal, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Trinity Fields School & Resource Centre, Tsunami Earthquake Appeal.
Appointed Representative of CMR Insurance Services Limited Central House 3-4 Chalice Close Wallington Surrey SM6 9RU Tel +44 (0)20 8835 2567 Fax +44 (0)20 8835 2568 Email Atradius’ Cardiff Offices

Giving your business the confidence to grow

11% increase in corporate insolvencies
You are probably aware that a number of UK household names went bust in recent months, including Allders, Courts, Furnitureland, Rover Group, LDV, Canterbury Foods, Golden Wonder, The Gadget Shop and Unwins. Check everything! This demonstrates the increasing importance of credit checking your buyers before they place an order with you. It can also be worthwhile to check key suppliers, as one weak link in the supply chain could bring down your whole process. Riskdisk Riskdisk Ltd has been providing credit reference information since 1994. Over 10,000 customers rely on the Riskdisk CD-based service and that number is growing steadily. As one of the top five commercial credit reference agencies, Riskdisk provides service to businesses in all industry sectors. Operating from new, custom-built offices in Nottinghamshire, Riskdisk now has 100 staff. All staff support the twin objectives of providing excellent value-for-money together with responsive customer service and support. Functionally, the Riskdisk product offers credit reports on all UK Registered Companies and Directors plus Non-registered Businesses. Unique features include the Monitoring of both Registered and Non-registered businesses and RADAR, which monitors the risk rating and credit limits of sales ledger outstanding balances. The credit limit provided with each report is accredited for use with selected Credit Insurance products.

Handy guides to help your business
Two new business guides have recently been published: In The Know: using business intelligence to boost your business This guide from Atradius is aimed at new and growing businesses, providing practical advice on how to fund, market and sell your products or services. It also explains how to understand all the business regulations from VAT to health and safety to liability insurance, and is packed with useful contacts. The British Exporters Association’s (BExA) Guide to Retention of Title Clauses in Export Contracts Atradius has sponsored this guide which offers in-depth advice to help exporters understand Retention of Title (RoT) and to incorporate effective RoT clauses in their sales contracts. It covers every aspect of the subject from the point of view of the lawyer, exporter, buyer, insurer, financier and insolvency practitioner and includes contributions from a host of experts in the field. Please contact us for your free copy of either or both business guides. If your policy includes a Retention of Title Endorsement check that the relevant wording within your terms and conditions of sale constitutes a correctly drafted, legally valid and enforceable ‘all monies’ clause. Even if it does, you still need to ensure that your terms and conditions of sale are properly incorporated into each contract of sale (sometimes referred to as ‘The Battle of the Forms’). In our Summer 2004 newsletter, we emphasised the importance of having an ‘all monies’ RoT clause in your contract of sale, but we are still experiencing problems with claims where clients haven’t taken this precaution.

Why Retention of Title (RoT) is so important!

+44 (0)20 8835 2567

Rock on, Neal!
CMR seems to be a place where staff stay for a long period of time. In fact, we have over 150 years of credit insurance experience between us! We are proud to report that Neal Matley, our Sales Director, has recently completed 10 years’ service. “CMR is a friendly company with a good working environment,” he explains. “My role isn’t purely sales, I get involved with general duties as well. I have a large portfolio of my own clients, I deal with new business and am responsible for two other sales people. But I also help Chris and Kim develop the company, helped with the demerger from Intrum Justitia five years

ago, and have developed office systems to help with sales processing, pricing and policies. I enjoy the variety and using the old grey matter!” Most days, Neal works from his home in Leicestershire, but he could be out visiting clients for service, new business or renewals, spends “a fair bit of time” with brokers, and visits our office in Wallington a couple of days per month. He has been in the credit industry since his first job at age 17. He spent 11 years with Hogg Robinson, now part of Aon, nine years with Dun & Bradstreet and a brief spell with Infolink. Over the years he has seen a lot more competition, professionalism and technological advances in the industry. “The introduction of a broadband

link into the office has been a major benefit saving me at least 3 three journeys to Wallington per month.” Outside work, Neal is a keen sports fan who regularly plays golf. Other interests include maintaining and driving his 1974 Triumph TR6 and playing rock guitar. His message to readers: “The clients, brokers and other introducers of business I have dealt with personally over the past 10 years have given both me and the company a great deal of support over that time, which is greatly appreciated.”

“CMR has always strived to give good service as reflected in the loyalty we get from clients”

Simple guide to fraud detection
Some recommendations • Determine the high risk group among your potential buyers. Tighten payment terms to reflect risk – if necessary in extreme cases to ‘cash only’ • Be alert to abnormal patterns of behaviour, and when these are noted, switch to cash terms. • Set the guidelines for checking the identity of ‘takeaway’ customers who want to collect goods on credit terms personally. • Apply for a credit limit or information from CMR – we are experienced in spotting the tricks a fraudster will use. • Check the validity of large orders, especially if delivery is specified to an unfamiliar address

And some warnings • The buyer isn’t interested in the price tag (fraudsters don’t intend to pay anyway, so they don’t care about prices). • The buyer wants to come and collect the goods himself (he doesn’t want to give you his fake address for delivery). • You receive unsolicited telephone advice of a bank transfer (it could be an accomplice pretending to be your bank). • The buyer contradicts himself, tells an incoherent story or seems to know very little about his own company. • You are confronted with multiple changes of address, company management or activities, and exceptionally broad descriptions of these activities. • A new buyer puts your staff under exceptional pressure (by phone, fax or in person) to grant credit. • The buyer’s legal designation seems inappropriate – for example, societies or institutes with trading activities, or foreign company styles like ‘sa’ or ‘inc’ used in the UK.

• You’re given a telephone number for verification. Always look up this number yourself. Conclusion Ensure that your staff are trained in spotting potential fraud and how to deal with it. Give them clear guidelines and instructions, and share your success in combating fraud with your staff, for example through internal publications and incentives. Keep abreast of developments in fraud and where necessary tighten your internal procedures accordingly. Always inform the police when you have confirmed fraud or attempted fraud. Without such information an investigation can never start and the fraudster will always get away.

Industry watch
Euro zone news
The four largest EU members from Central and Eastern Europe – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – all aim to join the Euro zone in the medium term. Setting the central parity rate for each currency’s relationship to the Euro will be a crucial question, as it will determine the conversion rate when the country takes on the Euro. There are strong indications that at present the four are undervalued. Joining the Euro area at this rate would lock in long-term advantages for exporters based in the Central European four. Markets and central banks seem to be over-estimating the long-term productivity gap between the old EU-15 and the new members. Judgments would be rendered within six months. The process is designed to take place by correspondence, reducing the costs of processing. Hearings could also be held by conference call or videoconference, further saving costs. The directive must still be approved by the European Parliament, which is likely to take at least six months.

EU speeds small claims
Collecting claims for less than 2000 Euros will be easier and faster under a planned EU directive introducing a process for retrieving funds valid in all 25 member states. To take advantage of it, a creditor would petition the appropriate court, which would send an official notice to the debtor within eight days. The debtor would also receive a standardised answer form that must be returned to the court within one month. If the debtor makes a counter-claim, the creditor would have one month to reply.

Customer comments
“Thank you so much for the personal effort you put in...and your prompt and positive reaction to our panic!” Fruit and vegetable wholesaler “CMR have provided GMAC Commercial Finance with a global insurance policy since 2000. This policy has assisted in providing niche export products for our clients. As a company I have found them to be reliable, honest and extremely professional. The team are friendly and there is always someone available to deal with our business”. International Business “We have a very good working relationship with CMR. They are always looking for the best for our organisation. When we’ve gone for fairly big credit limits, they’ve managed to achieve them.” Mike Smith, manufacturer of sensor support equipment “Credit insurance from CMR really helps us run our credit department. It reduces the speed and cost of making tough credit decisions. I wouldn’t be without it.” Publisher, London
Written and designed by COMMS PLUS 020 8249 0590

Terms of payment relaxed PanEuropean collections
A new EU directive became valid in October 2005 throughout the European Union (with the exception of Denmark). It covers uncontested claims in both civil and trade matters, and provides for a writ of execution process that allows the creditor to work directly with the appropriate authorities in the country where the claim is due. From January this year, terms of payment have been relaxed so that open account terms are now possible in Benin, Colombia, Lebanon and Tanzania. Focusing on South America: Argentina, Ecuador, Guyana and Suriname remain subject to CILC terms, while Uruguay has eased slightly to ILC terms.

Yvonne Wedel-Anderson, Director,

Giving your business the confidence to grow

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