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Welcome to the April 2024 issue of Credit Management News Digest. Nexus Trade Credit sponsors this month's issue.



UK: Late Payment, Business Distress & Insolvencies

UK Economy & Exports

Global: Late Payment, Insolvencies & Economy

Credit Management: New Resources

Events & Professional Development

Credit Insurance News Digest

About this month's sponsor: Nexus Trade Credit

PLUS: Q&A with Danny Ismail, Head of UK New Business at Nexus Trade Credit.

UK: Late Payment, Business Distress & Insolvencies

Large companies should make their payment performance a board-level issue. According to the Small Business Index (SBI) for Q4 2023 published by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), small UK firms are hampered by late payments and have dampened growth expectations for 2024. The share of small firms experiencing late payments rose from three in five in Q3 (60.8%) to nearly two in three in Q4 (65.8%). Meanwhile, the proportion of small firms whose late payments worsened over the quarter rose from over one in four in Q3 (27.9%) to over a third in Q4 (34.9%). Martin McTague, FSB's National Chair, Commented: "Late payment is a scourge, and one that shouldn't exist – there's no excuse, with modern business banking methods, for large companies to hold onto money due to small suppliers . . . Large companies should make their payment performance a board-level issue and include it in annual reports to improve accountability and transparency." To read the FSB's news release, go to

On average, 51% of UK firms are paid after the invoice due date. According to research by Taulia, although late payments gradually declined between 2016 and 2019, that trend has now reversed. According to Taulia's Supplier Survey, this year over half (51%) of the suppliers polled reported that, on average, they receive payments late from their buyers – up from 50% last year and 36% in 2021. Over a fifth of suppliers receive payments more than thirty days late, and reports of buyers paying more than forty-five days late have also been increasing in recent years, from 3% in 2019 to 8% in 2023 – the highest level recorded since the survey began. At the same time, fewer suppliers are getting paid early by their buyers: The portion of suppliers receiving payment either early or on time has fallen from 56% in 2021 to 44% in 2023. To read Taulia's news release, with a link to the full report, go to

Cashflow remains a major challenge for UK SMEs. Data from Bibby Financial Services' (BFS) Q1 2024 SME Confidence Tracker reveals that ongoing interest rate levels and political uncertainty are holding back many businesses from investing in the long-term business growth the economy needs. UK corporate insolvency rates hit a 30-year high in 2023 as 25,158 businesses "fell foul of high costs and tough trading conditions." According to BFS, 54% of UK SMEs have experienced at least one supplier becoming insolvent or ceasing trading over the past six months, and a similar number (51%) have experienced one or more customers ceasing to trade in the same time frame. Cashflow is also being impacted by customers failing to pay invoices on time, or at all – 68% say it's taking longer for customers to pay invoices in full compared with a year ago. Meanwhile, 30% suffered a bad debt due to customer non-payment over the past 12 months, having to write-off £17,500 on average during this period. To read the full report, go to

The proportion of UK businesses struggling to manage their cash flow has increased from 19% to 21% in the last year. New data from Novuna Business Finance reveals that, for the second year in a row, market volatility is the top concern for UK small business owners. With 35% expressing worry about this in Q1 2024, the figure has slightly decreased from Q1 2022's peak; yet, it remains roughly double the level from eight years ago (18% in Q1 2015). The proportion of businesses struggling to manage their cash flow has also increased from 19% to 21% in the last year, making it one of the top three issues this year. Construction and real estate businesses were the most concerned about cash flow, with 84% and 87%, respectively, reporting "major worries" – the highest since records began in 2015. To read Novuna's news release, go to

The UK is turning a corner, but company insolvencies are still rising. Coface has published an article in which Andrew Share, Director of Business Information at Coface, explains why businesses can't afford to let their guard down. Andrew notes that there has been a welcome outbreak of positive economic news this month; according to the latest forecasts by the Office for Budget Responsibility, the UK economy will pick up to 0.8% in 2024 – slightly above Coface's prediction of 0.5%. However, company insolvencies are still rising, with more compulsory liquidations and administration proceedings – including big names such as Ted Baker and The Body Shop. The impact is also seen in the latest trade credit insurance statistics from the Association of British Insurers, which found that, in Q4 2023, the gross claims paid by trade credit insurers was £69 million (up £19 million on the previous quarter), with domestic gross claims paid up by 70%. To read Coface's article, go to


In February, corporate insolvencies in England & Wales were 73.3% higher than pre-pandemic levels in February 2019. The latest data from the Insolvency Service indicates that corporate insolvencies in England and Wales rose by 18.5% in February 2024 to a total of 2,102 (compared to January's total of 1,774) and increased by 16.7% (compared to February 2023's figure of 1,801). This means that corporate insolvencies in England and Wales were 38.5% higher than in February 2022 and  73.3% above pre-pandemic levels in February 2019. Nicky Fisher, President at R3, commented: "February's administration numbers were the highest level we've seen in February in more than four years, which is a sign that more and more businesses are at a point where a sale or a liquidation may be their only option." To read R3's news release, go to

UK company insolvencies in March 2024 were 17% higher than the same month in 2023. New data from Creditsafe has found that 2,598 companies in the UK became insolvent in March 2024 – a slight decrease compared to February and an increase of 17% compared to the same month in 2023. 17% of insolvencies in March came from within the UK construction sector. Creditsafe suggests that two sectors with traditionally high business failure rates are worth reviewing: "Wholesale and Retail" and "Accommodation and Food Services". The combined total of these sectors represents 29% of all insolvencies. To read Creditsafe's news release, go to

Around 31,000 UK businesses are expected to fail in 2024. According to Allianz Trade's latest Global Insolvency Outlook, ahead of an expected recovery in 2025, UK businesses must first navigate a year of geopolitical and economic uncertainty and a heightened risk of non-payment as insolvency rates peak at a 15-year record. Around 31,000 UK businesses are expected to fail in 2024, a 10% increase from last year. The predicted rise would mark the fourth consecutive year of increased business insolvencies for the UK (following a 15% year-on-year increase in 2023, 53% in 2022, and 9% in 2021) and would push business insolvency levels to 43% above 2019 levels, the highest in Europe alongside Ireland. To read Allianz Trade's news release, go to

UK Economy & Exports

The UK economy is emerging from the doldrums, but structural headwinds will constrain growth. Although economic activity has picked up since the start of the year, the UK's outlook remains weak by historical standards. According to KPMG's latest UK Economic Outlook, GDP growth is forecast at 0.3% in 2024, accelerating to 0.9% in 2025, with longer-term economic growth expected to reach just 1% this decade. Inflation is expected to return to its 2% target in the first half of the year, which should pave the way for interest rate cuts from the Summer. Yael Selfin, Chief Economist at KPMG UK, commented on the report: "The UK economy is recovering from the shallow recession registered in the second half of last year. . . However, persistent weakness in the economy's supply potential will prevent growth from exceeding 0.2-0.3% per quarter." To read KPMG's news release, go to

The UK Economy is on the road to recovery in 2024 following a mild recession. Following the Office for National Statistics latest figures, which indicate the UK monthly GDP grew by 0.2% in January (following a contraction of 0.1% in December), the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has advised that the "better than expected" return to growth could be a turning point after the UK's technical recession in the second half of 2023. NIESR is now forecasting that GDP will grow by 0.3% in the first quarter of 2024 – broadly consistent with the longer-term trend of low but stable economic growth in the UK. UK economic growth has now been near zero since 2022, and the outlook for economic growth is quite low by historical standards. To read NIESR's news release, with a link to the full Tracker, go to

The UK economy fell into recession in the second half of 2023. The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data estimates that UK GDP fell by 0.3% in Q4 2023. This follows a fall of 0.1% in Q3 2023 and reveals that, across Q3 and Q4 2023, the UK economy decreased by a cumulative 0.4% – revised from the ONS' first estimate of a 0.5% fall – indicating that the UK economy fell into a recession in the second half of 2023. ONS data also shows that, for the whole year 2023, GDP increased by just 0.1% (following growth of 4.3% in 2022). Excluding 2020, which was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the weakest annual change in real GDP since the financial crisis in 2009. To read the ONS' news release, go to

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UK goods exports have under-performed the G7 average by 15% since 2020. According to a new report, Global Britain, from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), in 2022, the UK is currently the sixth largest economy in the world and is ranked fifth globally for total value of exports – the latter adding roughly £900 billion to the economy and supporting around 300,000 businesses. However, the UK's goods export volume performance (excluding inflationary effects) has been weak in the past few years, underperforming the G7 average by 15% since 2020. The UK Office for Budget Responsibility found trade intensity in the UK economy had fallen by 1.7% by 2023 compared with 2019. In contrast, the average increase in trade intensity across the G7 over the same period was 1.9%. To read the BCC's news release, with a link to the Global Britain report, go to

UK manufacturing faces anaemic growth for the next two years. UK manufacturers are facing the prospect of two years of anaemic growth, with the latest forecasts suggesting the sector will remain flat this year (0.1% growth) and grow by just half the rate of the economy overall in 2025. However, although the Q1 Manufacturing Outlook survey published by Make UK and BDO suggests that the overall picture is weak, it masks stark sectoral and regional imbalances. Electronics, aerospace, food, and drink are powering ahead, whilst the South East and Wales are performing substantially better than other regions and devolved nations. Richard Austin, Head of Manufacturing at BDO, warned: "We have reached a tipping point where the ramifications of regional disparities may permanently affect the manufacturing sector, which could hamper future growth." To read BDO's news release, go to

UK retailers report six months of negative sales. According to new data from BDO's High Street Sales Tracker, total UK in-store and online sales fell by 2.2% in March, marking the sixth consecutive month of negative sales results – the longest consecutive period of negative growth outside of the COVID-19 pandemic. BDO's data, which looks at sales across discretionary spend categories, highlighted that in-store sales were negative for the fourth month in a row (-1.8%) and pulled down by sharp falls in both fashion and homewares sales. After three successive months of positive results, non-store sales were also negative (-2.3%). Fashion was the only non-store category to see positive results in March, but the growth of 1.5% failed to offset the negative in-store sales, which declined by 6.0%. The homeware sector also performed poorly, falling by 10.9%, the lowest monthly result for this category since May 2022. To read BDO's news release, go to

Acceleration in net store closures across Great Britain. PwC has launched its latest figures for stores' opening and closing across Great Britain, using research undertaken by Local Data Company. The research finds that the country has witnessed an increase in both openings and closures in 2023, compared with the previous year. There were a total of 14,081 store closures in 2023, averaging 39 closures per day. This figure is higher than 2022's total of 11,530 but lower than every year between 2017 and 2021. On a positive note, 9,138 new stores opened across Great Britain in 2023  the highest figure since 2019; this averages 25 new stores opening each day across England, Scotland and Wales combined. The net number of closures in 2023 sits at 14 per day (4,943 in total), a higher figure than in 2022 but lower than the 2018-2021 period. To read PWC's news release, go to

Accessing finance is becoming more difficult for UK SMEs. According to new data from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Insights Unit, accessing finance is becoming more difficult for a large number of UK SMEs. 49% of businesses surveyed who accessed finance felt that getting funding had become more challenging over the past three years. Only 13% said it was getting easier. The BCC's latest survey of business conditions also reveals that 70% of the 553 firms surveyed – mainly SMEs – have not accessed finance from an external provider in the past twelve months. Firms with more than fifty employees are more likely to have accessed finance (72%) compared to smaller firms (58%). The majority of respondents (51%) who sought finance said cash flow was the main reason. To read the BCC's news release, go to

Global: Late Payment, Insolvencies & Economy

Sluggish global economic momentum lies ahead. Allianz Trade's latest forecasts predict sluggish economic momentum, with global GDP expected to grow by less than 3% between 2024-25. Growth in advanced economies should remain stable at +1.6% in 2024, with the divergence in growth performance between the US and Europe from 2023 expected to narrow starting in H2 2024. The US is expected to grow by +1.7% in 2025 after +2.4% in 2024, while the Eurozone's growth should accelerate to +1.5% in 2025 after +0.7% in 2024. Although lower interest rates ahead mean the corporate debt-repayment wall "should be manageable", Allianz Trade warns that highly leveraged sectors could become increasingly distressed, keeping business insolvencies at high levels. Four out of five countries will see business insolvencies increasing in 2024 (+12% y/y on average), with the largest increases likely in the US (+28% y/y), Spain (+28%) and the Netherlands (+31%). To read Allianz Trade's news release, go to

Atradius predicts that global growth in 2024 will be at its weakest rate since the global financial crisis (excluding the COVID-driven downturn). Atradius' latest Annual Report predicts that global growth is expected to slow to 1.9% in 2024, which is the weakest growth rate since the global financial crisis (excluding the COVID-driven downturn in 2020). Major economics, such as the US, China, Eurozone and UK project weak GDP growth at the start of 2024, followed by a sluggish recovery in 2025, while emerging markets will also see a modest decline in growth. Insolvencies are expected to increase in the majority of markets, although the percentage increase will be generally lower, and the picture across markets will be more mixed than in 2023. Several markets are still likely to see a substantial rise in insolvencies. To read Atradius' news release, with a link to the Annual Report, go to

Payment delays in China continued to shorten in 2023. Coface's latest survey on payment behaviour in China shows that more companies are prepared to grant payment terms in 2023, and the average payment delay decreased to 64 days from 83 days. The survey also showed a continuous downtrend of ultra-long payment delays (ULPDs, above 180 days) exceeding 2% of annual turnover, which is a threshold for high non-payment risk – 80% of such delays are never paid based on Coface's experience. Only 33% of respondents reported such delays, the second-lowest level since 2014. The decline was led mainly by fewer respondents experiencing ULPDs of more than 5% of annual turnover, which decreased from 25% in 2022 to 12% in 2023. By sector, agriculture was the only one to report longer payment delays (+3 days). To read Coface's news release, with a link to the full report, go to

Atradius predicts a 16% increase in global insolvencies in 2024, with wide regional variations. Atradius' latest insolvency outlook advises that, after a 32% surge in global insolvencies in 2023, it expects a 16% global increase in 2024, followed by a minor decrease of 1% in 2025. However, there is a wide variation in the growth rates across markets, with higher increases in insolvencies in the markets where the adjustment from the artificially low levels of recent years has still to occur (such as Singapore, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the US) and decreases in markets where insolvencies have already overshot their pre-pandemic levels (such as South Korea, Ireland, Canada and Finland). Atradius foresees a relatively strong increase in insolvencies in North America (25%), driven by the US. For Europe, Atradius expects a somewhat smaller increase of 12% as the process of normalisation of insolvencies in most European countries is more advanced. To read Atradius' news release, with a link to the full report, go to

The EU's Late Payment proposal could curtail business flexibility and widen the financing gap. New research from Allianz has identified profit margins as the primary driver of payment terms, exerting a more significant influence than financing options or economic cycles. According to Allianz, a one-percentage-point decrease in profitability translates to an extension of over seven days in payment terms. However, while stressing that addressing the issue is of paramount importance, Allianz cautions that the proposed Late Payment regulation by the European Commission (which suggests reducing payment terms from 60 days to a mandatory 30 days, with the possibility of extending to 60+ days through mutual agreement or for specific goods) could curtail business flexibility and widen the financing gap, affecting over 40% of European companies currently paying after 60 days. To reduce payment terms to 30 days, Allianz estimates that European companies would need 2 trillion euros in additional financing. To read Allianz's news release, go to

Growth sectors 2024: Europe, Americas, and Asia-Pacific. Atradius has published an infographic that analyses the major industries across Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific, and identifies the opportunities for the current year and into 2025. Atradius finds that Europe's short-term outlook remains subdued. However, there are signs of sectors' weaknesses bottoming out, with some bright spots in the ICT and pharmaceutical industries. In the Americas, chemical output is forecast to rebound by 1.7% in 2024 and 2.1% in 2025, after a 2% contraction last year, while high-tech goods output is forecast to increase by 4.3% in 2024 and 3.3% next year. US transport and logistics output is also set to grow by about 3% in 2024. In Asia-Pacific, across most markets, the growth expectations of major sectors are favourable, with chemicals, ICT, food and transport standing out. To read Atradius' news release, go to

Supply chain snags cited as US bankruptcy filings pile up. S&P Global Market Intelligence has reported that supply chain issues continue to be blamed for pushing a number of US companies to file for bankruptcy in 2023. S&P notes that, while the stretch of "clogged ports, long backorders and scant raw materials supply that marked 2021 and 2022" has largely passed, troubled debtors in 2023 laid much of the blame for their financial woes on snags in their supply chains. For example, appliance parts manufacturer Robertshaw US Holding Corp., automotive parts retailer PARTS iD Inc. and coffee trader Mercon Coffee Corp. all cited supply chain issues in recent bankruptcy petitions. Corporate bankruptcy filings tracked by S&P Global Market Intelligence reached a 13-year peak in 2023 and are continuing at a steady pace. To read S&P's news release, go to

Credit Management: Resources

Between June 2023 and January 2024, 7115 phoenix companies were created in the UK. Company Watch has released a new report that explores the growing phenomenon of phoenix companies – businesses reborn from the ashes of their predecessors. These entities offer a potential path to recovery and continued employment but also raise concerns about ethical practices and financial responsibility. Between June 2023 and January 2024, 7115 phoenix companies were created. The retail and wholesale, construction, and professional services sectors saw the most phoenix company activity, highlighting vulnerability to economic fluctuations and competition. Phoenix companies offer insights into the resilience and risk profiles of various industries. By understanding these trends, financial experts can navigate the complexities of the modern business landscape and contribute to a more robust and adaptable marketplace. To read the full blog, please visit

CrewStudio enables businesses to create and publish high-impact videos quickly. CrewStudio is an innovative, award-winning mobile app that allows companies to publish low-cost, top-quality, high-impact videos quickly for internal communications, sales, marketing and social media amplification. The video is then edited according to the client's brief (and revised as necessary) by the CrewStudio team. A white-label version of CrewStudio can also offer clients a complete digital video production platform. Go to for details.

Plan ahead to avoid missing important payments in 2024. Bacs has advised that Pay has published a free-to-download processing calendar.UK, which outlines all of the UK public holidays throughout next year. The calendar also highlights the dates when Bacs payments should be submitted to avoid non-processing days. To download a copy, go to

Events & Professional Development

Trade and Investment Forum, 16 April 2024. London.

The second annual Trade and Investment Forum, hosted by our partner BCR together with ITFA, will
discuss how the sector is currently interacting with investors, whether the Electronic Trade
Documents Act, passed this year, has succeeded in becoming a catalyst for trade finance turning into
a desirable asset class, how modern technology has become a transformative tool for institutional
and private investors’ perception of trade finance. In addition, it will also look at the latest and
future initiatives aimed at closing the trade finance gap by establishing a much wider market for
trade assets.
Join asset managers, insurers, fund managers, trade finance banks, fintechs, and all who are
interested in alternative investment with risk/return profiles that align with the character of trade
finance portfolios, at TIF24, 16 April, SMBC Bank, London. Save the date!
For more information, go to

The RFIx24 Awards 2024, 22 May. London, Hilton London Canary Wharf.

The BCR RFIx Awards are back for the sixth year of celebrating professional excellence in receivables
and payables finance. The RFIx Awards 2024 looks to acknowledge the players and individuals whose
notable accomplishments are leading the industry towards agile, sustainable growth, innovation and
customer satisfaction.

These prestigious awards are international in scale, and entries are open to all
companies involved in the receivables and payables finance ecosystem, including banks,
non-banks, fintechs, trade credit insurance providers, consultancies, and legal advisors.
Apply for one or more Receivables Finance Industry Awards today, and let us salute your

TXF Global 2024: Export, Agency & Project Finance,11-12 June. Athens, Divani Caravel

The most distinguished export finance event around returns and this year to Athens! With over 1000 in-person attendees, a stellar speaker list and a networking opportunity that is crucial if you work in this industry. 

Special offers available – email to enquire,

For more information go to

Professional Development

STECIS, the Trade Credit Insurance & Surety Academy endorsed by ICISA, offers a range of
webinars and classroom training courses.

Classroom training courses are organised once or twice per year or on demand, while webinars
are organised multiple times per year or on demand for groups of participants.

The following courses have been planned in Q2 2024*:

  • 23 & 24 April: The Surety Bonds Foundation Course

  • 23 & 24 April: The Surety Bonds Advanced Course

  • 18 & 19 June: The Trade Credit Insurance Foundation Course

  • 20 & 21 June: The Trade Credit Insurance Advanced Course.

In planning: 4 & 5 June: Two-day seminar, Introduction to Trade Credit Insurance. Dubai – United Arab Emirates

* Note: Stecis’ courses will only be executed when enough participants have enlisted.

Except for the seminar in Dubai, all classroom courses will take place at a location in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The courses include lunches and a dinner at the end of the first training day. The courses are hosted by very experienced experts from the industry and there is plenty of opportunity for asking questions, discussion and networking. There is also the possibility of arranging in-house training (at your own offices or at a venue of choice) with a tailor-made program based on the training needs of your company.
Detailed information about the webinar and classroom training courses is available on Stecis’ website: Also, further information can be obtained by sending an e-mail to

About this month's sponsor: Nexus Trade Credit

Nexus Trade Credit protects businesses against losses from non-payment of commercial trade debt. Our clients range from manufacturers, subcontractors and service providers to importers and exporters. We aim to provide certainty of coverage to enable our clients to trade confidently at home or overseas. Whether you are new to trade credit insurance or a long-standing client, we go the extra mile to support your growth and provide peace of mind.

Our team of specialists offer a variety of structures to suit the risk appetite and needs of the client. We also offer a range of enhanced coverage including, for example, applications by sub-contractors, pre-delivery costs incurred by manufacturers and timesheets used by labour providers.

We currently operate from offices in the UK, Germany, Netherlands, France, and the US — specialising in Whole Turnover, Non-Cancellable Cover and Top-Up. We work closely with the broker and the client to fully understand their needs and management policies.

In addition, we provide products that enhance companies’ credit management including First Limit, a service offering real-time credit opinions and 24/7 monitoring and First Place, a highly regarded debt collection service in partnership with STA International which is reinforced by further policy enhancements.

To get in touch or to learn more, visit our website at

UK Economy
Late Payment & Business Distress
Global Economy
About the sponsor
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