Support for You in Uncertain Times: Our Scores and Ratings

There’s no doubt the coronavirus pandemic will stand out in history as a world-changing event.  In this unprecedented time, businesses around the globe – regardless of industry, geography or size – are managing through the unexpected challenges presented.

Over our 179-year history, Dun & Bradstreet has helped clients to survive events such as financial crises, wars, pandemics and natural disasters and weather these storms using data and analytics. COVID-19 is no different. We are here to help you navigate this uncertainty and provide data to help you manage risk, and to support the road to recovery.

  • We have introduced several complementary resources to help our clients make informed decisions about challenges no one imagined six months ago.
  • We are actively helping government agencies understand the scope of economic impact due to COVID-19.  Our data provides relevant insights to prioritise emergency management and economic support for the industries, businesses, and communities with the most pressing needs. Examples include the assessment of supply chain risk, disruption to workforces, the identification of alternative suppliers, and modeling scenarios to aid in economic recovery.
  • Our data scientists are lending their skills and analytics capabilities to help organisations across both the public and private sectors. Our team of economists have adjusted around 70 country risk ratings since the virus took hold and continue to produce reports to support businesses operating on a global scale across multiple regions.

Our scores and ratings

Our scorecards use historical data to predict the future likelihood of slow payment and business failure to help businesses manage risk and make decisions e.g. extending credit. We know these decisions are tougher than ever in the current climate.

Our predictive scores use tangible factors like payment history and financial performance to assess the level of risk of doing business with a certain company, using data from over 30,000 sources. Key sources of data for our UKI scores and ratings include company accounts, trade payment data, corporate linkage, County Court Judgements (CCJs) and events signaling the onset of failure, such as meetings of creditors, administrators appointed, bankruptcies, receivers appointed, and petitions for winding-up. Our scores are also reviewed in response to relevant adverse news coverage and adjusted as appropriate.

COVID-19 and the furloughing of employees is having an impact on the availability of some source data such as company account filings and processing delays occurring with the courts. As a result, we expect a reduction in changes to our UK scores and ratings until business transactions and official filings return to normal again. We are still obtaining data from other sources but we expect scores to change less frequently until the lockdown is over and business activity starts to return to normal again. During this time, we recommend that clients should use our scores alongside additional factors such as existing levels of exposure and known impacts of Covid19 around current working practices when setting customer credit limits.

Changes to our score methodology could impact our clients and the businesses the scores relate to. We have made the decision not to make wholesale changes to our existing scoring and credit limit models, however we have made adjustments to ensure that businesses using the three month filing extension for their company accounts are not negatively impacted.

Scores will change as we receive updates through our data supply chain, and we will keep the situation under close review. Non–statistical events on individual businesses that cannot be accommodated in the automated scorecards can be subject to review, adjustment and override through our score review process. We are not changing our existing model for score overrides at this time. We will consider and action requests within the scope of our existing policy and normal course of business.

To complement our existing scoring models and processes, we have developed a COVID-19 Impact Index to support our clients through these uncertain times.