Last month, I was invited to attend an industry credit group meeting as a guest / prospective member. FYI, this group was not part of CMA. I was also invited to the group’s reception the night before, which is a regularly scheduled event because many attendees fly in for the group meeting the night before.
During the reception, I was introduced around, but as often happens I hung out for most of the evening with two members. After the reception, they invited me dinner. The only reason I declined was that I had filled up on appetizers.
The next morning, I joined my new friends for breakfast, and sat with them for the group meeting. Soon after the meeting started, I wondered if they worked for competitor companies. During the first break, I asked that question and I was told: “Our companies compete. We don’t. The only thing we want to accomplish is to reduced bad debts and delinquencies.”
Were they colluding? Were they doing anything unethical, unlawful or contrary to the credit group’s rules? Who can say. However, the amount of time they spent together might cause an impartial observer to wonder whether their discussions ever strayed outside of the lines that define appropriate conduct. I think each of us should try to avoid even the appearance of impropriety during credit group meetings.
Some might say I am being overly cautious, but everyone is entitled to their opinion… and this is mine. What’s your take on this?
Michael Dennis’ Covering Credit Commentary. Michael’s website is www.coveringcredit.com.
The opinions presented are those of the author. The opinions and recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views of CMA, or their Officers and Directors. Readers are encouraged to evaluate any suggestions or recommendations made, and accept and adopt only those concepts that make sense to them.