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Welcome to Issue 74 of Credit Insurance News Digest. This issue is kindly sponsored by InfolinkGazette.
Index
Credit Insurance News
Trade credit insurance results now exceed pre-crisis levels. The latest issue of the International Credit Insurance and Surety Association's (ICISA) ICISA Insider includes an article quoting recent ABI statistics that nearly £150 million (the equivalent of £3 million a week) was paid out to UK businesses in insurance claims for customer insolvency or late payment last year - an increase of 42%. In addition, 11,000 claims were made by UK businesses in 2015 - an increase of 19% on the previous year. For the global credit insurance industry, trade credit insurance results also continued to improve and now exceed pre-crisis levels of 2007, with 34.6% higher premium income and 29.1% higher insured exposure. However, members also experienced a drop in average premium rates, while uncertainty following Brexit continues to represent a significant uncertainty. Robert Nijhout Executive Director at the ICISA, commented before the UK's referendum: "what matters to credit insurers is how easy will it be to trade. The moment barriers are thrown up is a potential risk." Click here to read the article in Insurance Insider (p16).
The trade credit insurance sector looks set to bolster UAE trade. CPI Financial has published an article, 'Stimulating trade activity', which suggests that increased use of trade credit insurance and trade finance insurance could be a vital tonic for UAE companies’ flagging confidence and could help see the UAE economy securely through volatile times. According to a recent index from HSBC, trade confidence in the UAE fell by 19 points in the second half of 2015, with an increase in the risk of buyers and suppliers not honouring agreements cited as a key factor. In addition, a recent survey by Gulf Finance showed that one-in-three firms in the region are seeing worsening payment collections. The article also stresses that although some companies are now finding that their credit insurers are leaving them "high and dry" just when they need insurance most, the coming months could test these markets and shake out some bad practices. To read CPI Financial's article go to http://www.cpifinancial.net/features/post/36651/stimulating-trade-activity.
The implications of Brexit for the UK economy and credit insurers. As a part of this issue of Credit Insurance News Digest, Greg Connell, Managing Director of InfolinkGazette, has taken part in a Q & A session  in which he discusses the impact of Brexit and suggests that in the longer term Brexit should help the EU face up to its problems and declining share of global trade. However, in the short-term, the implications will be a less optimistic outlook for the stronger EU countries - "certainly until more is known about what kind of trade deal will be agreed with the UK", with the possibility of brief, shallow recessions in the UK and other European countries. For credit insurers, Greg predicts that the implications of Brexit will be requests for higher levels of credit due to the weakness of sterling, an increase in European sovereign risk and a generally increasing demand from UK customers for international credit insurance outside of the single market. To read Greg's Q & A please click here.
ICISA reports an increase in trade credit insurance policies amongst SMEs. Following its recent 74th Annual General Meeting, members of the International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA) reported that although an ongoing drop in the average trade credit insurance premium rate seems to have been halted during 2015, competition remains fierce and market conditions soft. Overall, insured exposure increased by + 2.5% to €2.3 trillion, premium increased by +6% to €6.4 billion and claims increased by 17% to €3.2 billion with a claims ratio of 50.4% (2014: 46.9%). Members also reported that the trade credit insurance sector’s involvement with the SME segment has increased by tens of thousands, countering a perception that this segment is underserved. Click here to read ICISA's news release.
The health of UK sectors is deteriorating and hinges on post-Brexit decisions. The latest Barometer of Sector Risks Panorama report published by Coface contains 6 sector downgrades, 5 of which are in emerging markets and has also found that the health of UK sectors is deteriorating and hinges on post-Brexit decisions. Coface reports that three sectors are now under surveillance in the UK: construction (6.1% of GDP), which will be weighed down by rising import prices due to the depreciation of sterling; the pharmaceutical and automotive sectors, which may be negatively impacted by entry barriers as goods from these industries are among the most heavily exported (7.8% and 11.3% of exports respectively). Overall, Latin America is still associated with the highest risk in the world, with its energy, steel and construction sectors all classified in the maximum risk category. The healthcare sector remains the least risky globally. To read Coface's news release with a link to the full Panorama and an infographic go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Sector-assessments-revised-in-6-global-regions.
Switzerland offers significant potential for credit insurers. Astreos Credit has published an overview of credit insurance in Switzerland which reports that the Swiss credit insurance market is not mature - many companies having never heard of credit insurance and affiliated services - and consequently represents significant potential to the credit insurance industry in classical portfolio credit insurance, as well as in single risk insurance. According to the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority in 2014, premium income for credit insurance in Switzerland amounted to CHF 185 million in 2014 (previous year: CHF 199 million). The claims ratio was 41% (previous year: 49%), corresponding to a combined ratio of approximately 70%. "As the premium income is very low, this represents an excellent ratio in comparison to other insurance industries in Switzerland."  To read Astreos Credit's article go to http://www.astreos-credit.com/#!Credit-Insurance-in-Switzerland-2016/ceze/577655670cf2f8d6d111b777.
World corporate risk reaches peak levels. Coface has advised that international growth prospects have deteriorated slightly since its forecasts last March, and now predicts that world growth will decrease by 0.2% to 2.5% in 2016 - remaining below 3% for the 6th consecutive year. A clear increase in corporate risk around the world has also been confirmed by Coface’s latest country risk assessments which calculated that the average assessment for all 160 countries now corresponds to B, "significant risk" level - a level unseen since the early years of the century, while increasing numbers of emerging markets are now included in the "extreme" and "very high" risk categories. In addition, three leading world economies have "become fragile": Japan downgraded to A2 last March, and now the US and China downgraded to A2 and B respectively. For the UK following on from the Brexit vote, Coface has revised its growth forecast for GDP by 0.6 points, to 1.2% for 2016 and warned that, if WTO rules are applied, the economic cost could be high for both the UK and Ireland, and, to a lesser extent, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden. To read Coface's news release with a link to the full report go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/World-corporate-risk-reaches-peak-levels.
Brexit effect on European insolvencies.  Atradius has published an economic report following the Brexit referendum looking at the impact on the UK and wider European economies. Key findings include: insolvencies in the UK are predicted to increase by 4% as well as by 3.5% in Ireland, 2.5% in Belgium and 2% in Netherlands; corporates operating in the transport equipment, food, textiles, electrical equipment and chemicals sectors are most exposed due to close trade linkages; Brexit could trim 1% to 3% off UK GDP by 2018 and uncertainty will persist in coming years. However, Alun Sweeney Country Director for Atradius UK & Ireland, reassured policyholders: “There will be no short term impact on our underwriting stance for the UK market. . . The UK continues to be open for business and so do we. Businesses that choose to credit insure recognise that a robust risk management strategy enables trade and we remain confident that we can support our customers to grow their businesses, in the domestic market, in Europe and in other markets around the world.” For the full report, visit: https://atradius.co.uk/reports/economic-research---brexit-update.html.
Brexit risks and opportunities. In the wake of the UK's recent referendum Coface has published a brief, 'UK: What’s next after the vote?' which stresses that although UK businesses will undoubtedly be nervous about the consequences of Brexit, there could also be rewards for those who are inspired to access new markets. Coface UK’s Managing Director, Frédéric Bourgeois, advised  that although it might be easy to see Bexit as a reason to look inwards, delay investment decisions and take an extremely conservative approach to trading, the fall in the value of sterling means exporters can take advantage of the new opportunities. "However", he cautioned, in the current climate of financial uncertainty "information and protection is crucial.” To read Coface's news release with a link to the Brief go to http://www.cofaceuk.com/News-and-Publications/News/Brexit-Risks-and-Opportunities-says-Coface.
The UK retains its top 'AA1' risk rating, but recession is predicted. Although in a new post-Brexit UK country report from Euler Hermes the UK economy has retained its ‘AA1’ trade risk rating, Euler Hermes also predicts that the impact of Brexit on UK GDP will be significant: GDP growth of 1.3% this year, 1% in 2017 and 1.2% in 2018, compared to respective yearly figures of 1.9%, 1.8% and 1.7% if the country had voted to remain in the EU. In addition, Euler Hermes warns that British exports could fall by £30 billion by 2019 if a free trade agreement (FTA) cannot be secured with the EU, compared to a £9 billion loss with a replacement FTA in place, and warns that exit from without a FTA could lead to a sharp rise in the number of insolvencies in both the UK and a number of its key European partnersTo read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.co.uk/euler-hermes-UK-and-Ireland/mediacenter/news/Pages/UK-retains-top-%E2%80%98AA1%E2%80%99-risk-rating-in-country-report.aspx.
The USA and SMEs: potential for credit insurers remains untapped. The latest issue of the ICISA's newsletter ICISA Insider contains an article in which Xavier Durand, Coface's new Chief Executive Officer, shares his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities facing the trade credit insurance industry. “We all need to manage local risk volatility well and we all need to be able to maintain client trust while managing risk exposures in line with market and sector developments. In addition all players have to fund the investments we need to grow the market. Digitisation and big data are opportunities for the industry as a whole." Mr Durand also stresses that the international trade credit insurance market is currently very polarised between the old mature markets - especially in Europe, the riskier emerging markets and, in the middle, those "interesting" markets and sectors whose potential remains untapped. "I'm thinking of the USA, or SMEs, for instance.” Click here to read the article in Insurance Insider (p6).
The value of credit insurance post Brexit.  CMR Insurance Services has published a blog, 'Brexit – What’s next for Credit Insurance?', which advises that for many UK businesses the immediate impact of Brexit is determined by the weaker pound (down 10% against major currencies across the world). For exporters, for example, now is a particularly good time to pursue opportunities; foreign companies will be able to take advantage of their stronger currency and get a more competitive price from the UK. In contrast, companies in the UK selling imported goods face a severe depletion to their margins and will be under a lot of strain. Christian Hoy, Managing Director of CMR Insurance Services Limited, commented: “In the current climate of uncertainty, politically and inevitably economically, guaranteeing that you will get paid for your invoices has never been so important. With the relatively low cost of premium and proven worth of credit insurance, now is the time companies should secure theirs sales ledger by taking out a policy.” To read CMR Insurance Services' blog go to http://www.cmris.co.uk/blog/brexit-%E2%80%93-what%E2%80%99s-next-credit-insurance-world.
The example of BHS: A good example of why companies buy trade credit insurance. The latest issue of ICISA Insider has published an article in which Robert Nijhout Executive Director at the ICISA, comments that the recent failure of BHS in the UK is a good illustration of why organisations buy credit insurance. "80 per cent of the reason for buying credit insurance is the forward looking ability that ICISA’s insurance members have." He continued: “If you are a global credit insurer like Euler Hermes, Coface or Atradius you see suppliers from all over the world supplying to BHS and if BHS starts to delay payment to one or two suppliers it is a red flag. If they start delaying across the board then we can start to say hey there is something up." Click here to read the article in Insurance Insider (p19).
Fewer business insolvencies for CEE countries. Coface's latest insolvency Panorama report for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) indicates that favourable economic conditions in the CEE region in the last year has led to decreases in the number of insolvencies in 9 out of 13 countries surveyed. However, the dynamics of insolvencies varied widely between economies; the strongest decrease, of almost -50%, was recorded by Romania - which benefited from significant fiscal stimuli, while the highest increase, of +20.8%, was recorded by Ukraine - which experienced another year of recession as a result of the conflict with Russia. Furthermore, for most countries the level of insolvencies has not yet returned to the pre-crisis levels. For example, in the Czech Republic insolvencies were almost 4 times higher than in 2008, in Poland 1.8 times higher and in Slovenia 2.2 times higher. To read Coface's news release with a link to the full report go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Coface-Insolvency-Panorama-for-Central-and-Eastern-Europe-Less-business-insolvencies-due-to-favourable-economic-conditions.
Atradius Collections releases its latest International Debt Collections Handbook. Atradius Collections has announced that it has released the 10th edition of its International Debt Collections Handbook, explaining the different stages of amicable settlement, laws around collections, legal proceedings and insolvency procedures in 42 countries. Two new countries were included in this edition: Indonesia and Croatia. For more information and to obtain a copy go to http://www.atradiuscollections.com/global/updates-publications/international-debt-collections-handbook.html.
After Brexit: What now for the UK and the global economy? Euler Hermes' Chief Economist, Ludovic Subran has published a blog, 'After Brexit: What now for the UK and the Global economy', in which he comments that investors will be quick to price the economic uncertainty which has come following Brexit and that the risk of recession in the UK in H2 2016 is high. In the longer term, he predicts that given the uncertainties related to the outcome of negotiations with the EU, a series of indicators, including GDP growth, exports and foreign investment may narrow. Company turnover and margins will also reflect the new reality and a hike in the number of insolvencies (from 1,500 to 1,700 cases between 2017 and 2019) is forecast. To read the blog go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/economic-research/blog/after-brexit-what-now-for-the-uk-and-the-global-economy-.aspx?post=67.
New European Football Championship industry 'match-up' reports. Atradius has published three new reports in its series of 'match-up' reports which analyse the industries performance forecast for countries which are paired together in the actual football tournament. The Germany v France 'match-up' on the chemical sector' playing field reports that the chemicals sectors in both Germany and France are scoring well and show robust performance. The Germany v Italy 'match-up' in the consumer durables retail sector playing field indicates that German non-food retailers struggle to cope with the fast growing market leaders, while the rebound for their Italian peers remains modest. The Wales v Belgium 'match-up' in the construction industry playing field shows that payment delays remain a major issue in the British construction industry, while in Belgium the payment behaviour of the public sector remains bad. These 'match-ups', as well as those reported in Issue 73 of Credit Insurance News Digest, can be found on Atradius Football Championship microsite (http://www.atradiuseuropeanchampionship.com/matches/) or at https://group.atradius.com/publications/?count=10&page=1.
The UAE: the most diversified economy in the Gulf region. Coface's latest insolvency Panorama report for the United Arab Emirates has reported that although the hydrocarbon sector remains the backbone of the UAE’s economy, the large contribution made by non-hydrocarbon activities to gross domestic product is mitigating the effects of lower energy prices on economic growth. “The UAE remains a very attractive economy for international investors” commented Seltem Iyigun, Coface MENA economist and author of the report. “Its favourable business environment benefits from high productivity, excellent infrastructures, strong connections to international markets and a dynamic private sector”. To read Coface's news release with a link to the full report go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/United-Arab-Emirates-A-new-era-of-slower-growth.
Euler Hermes and UniCredit announce the launch of a trade credit insurance partnership designed to provide tools and services for Italian SMEs. GTR (Global Trade Review) has published an article, 'Euler Hermes and UniCredit pair up for Italian SMEs' which reports that Euler Hermes and UniCredit have joined forces to provide a combined finance and insurance service for Italian SMEs.  Credit risk in Italy still remains high due to the sizeable number of overdue payments, long days sales outstanding (DSO) and a large number of companies initiating bankruptcy proceedings. According to Euler Hermes, average DSOs are currently 93 days, while 13,500 bankruptcy cases are expected for the year - twice the number of cases pre-crisis period. The partnership was initially launched as a pilot project a year ago and has so far seen 1,400 companies in Italy using the service. To read the article on GTR's website go to http://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/hermes-and-unicredit-pair-up-for-italian-smes/.
€400 million could be wiped off France's food exports during the period 2017-2019 as a result of Brexit. Just-Food.com has published an article, 'Brexit – How France's food market will be hit', which advises that France's food industry body, ANIA (Association Nationale des Industries Alimentaires) expects the country's wine, dairy and bakery-pastry sectors are likely to be those most impacted by the UK voting to leave the European Union. Its comments follow the publication of data by Euler Hermes, showing that up to €400 million could be wiped off France's food exports during the period 2017-2019 as a result of Brexit. To read the article on Just-Food.com go to http://www.just-food.com/news/brexit-how-frances-food-market-will-be-hit_id133659.aspx.
Despite persistent crises, sub-Saharan Africa presents opportunities in 2025. Coface's latest Panorama reports that although sub-Saharan Africa has posted its lowest level of growth - 3.4% in 2015 and 2.6% in 2016 - since 2008, 15 countries, including several that have been severely impacted by crises, show significant potential in terms of consumer spending - a sign that may become profitable markets in the medium-term. Coface comments: "Even though the trajectory of the "continent of the future" has been disrupted, and without denying the existence of weaknesses (infrastructure, governance, political stability, etc.), the Sub-Saharan Africa ship is far from sinking. Even the countries that have been weakened the most in the past few years have strong structural points. They could recover in the medium term, thereby providing attractive prospects for companies seeking for opportunities and which are prepared to cast off for an adventurous journey." To read Coface's news release with a link to the full report go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Despite-persistent-crises-sub-Saharan-Africa-presents-opportunities-in-2025-time-frame.
Euler Hermes publishes its latest Country Risk Map for Q2 2016. Euler Hermes has published the latest issue of its Country Risk Map, which provides a review of an individual country's economic profile with sections on economic strengths and weaknesses, country ratings based on country grade and country risk level, main activity sectors and trade partners, economic forecasts and general information, such as GDP, population, and form of government. This Country Risk Map includes 3 changes in country risk ratings, with Finland upgraded from  AA2 - AA1, Romania upgraded from  B2 - B1,  and Serbia upgraded from D4 - D3. To view the map go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/Lists/mediacenter-documents/Infographic-country-risk-map.pdf.
Henderson Insurance Brokers acquires a new business. Henderson Insurance Brokers has announced that it has opened an office in Sheffield taking the number of branches it runs up to 12. The office will be under the directorship of Adrian Hiley, who has joined the company from Cooke & Mason. The company said in a statement: "The office has been combined with the group's recent acquisition, John Reynolds Group {acquired in February this year} and both services will operate from this office." In addition to the John Reynolds Group, Henderson also recently acquired Branch Insurance in June. To read the article on Insurance Age's website go to http://www.insuranceage.co.uk/insurance-age/news/2464123/henderson-opens-sheffield-office.
Free e-book downloads
BCR Publishing are delighted  to offer Credit Insurance News Digest readers free e-book downloads of the following BCR publications. Please click here to get your free ebook.
The World Factoring Yearbook 2015
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Receivables Finance Technology 2016
Receivables Finance Technology 2016 features expert analysis from technology providers on the ever-changing nature of an industry that increasingly relies on digitization. This report provides advice on ways in which you should choose and implement an effective technology service, making it an essential and informative booklet for receivables finance providers who are looking to improve their offerings through technology. 
World Supply Chain Finance Report 2016
The World Supply Chain Finance Report 2016 analyses markets from across the globe to give a comprehensive overview of developments in the supply chain finance market. using data and estimates from the end of 2015, this report suggests that the global supply chain finance market now totals up to €46 billion. Featuring specialist articles in addition to regional commentaries, this report also covers developments in areas such as reverse factoring and confirming, as well as regulatory issues.
And Finally . . .
STA International's Robert Tilley, Luke Pearson, Karl Hague, John Charlton are taking part in a 100 Mile Cycle ride (London - Surrey and back) on 31 July to raise as much money as possible for The Oliver Fisher Special Care Baby Trust which provides exceptional care for pre-term babies. Just one incubator costs a massive £15,000.  For more information and to offer your support to this hugely worthwhile cause please click here.
Congratulations to AIG and AIG's Head of Account Manager, Yvonne McCormack, for their outstanding fundraising and support of Bliss, the premature and sick baby charity. Yvonne inspired her City employers and colleagues to raise over £16,500 for Bliss after both her children were born prematurely and collected a special Bliss ‘thank you’ award. AIG were declared winner of the national 2016 Bliss Corporate Partner award. In addition to the £13,500 AIG raised for Bliss at a recent charity auction, last year, Yvonne and four AIG colleagues raised over £3,000 via a fundraising abseil, and a special Bake For Bliss cake sale. Yvonne attended the ceremony with AIG colleagues Terri-Louise Osborn, Steph Green and Oli Lambert. Click here to see a photo of the awards ceremony on Credit Insurance News' gallery page.
Business Information
UK economy faces short, sharp shock. According to the EY ITEM Club Summer forecast, the UK economy, post-referendum, will take a very different path to the one expected three months ago. While the fundamentals will not change in the short term, there are likely to be severe confidence effects on spending and business investment, resulting in anemic GDP growth for at least the next three years, The EY ITEM Club is now forecasting GDP growth of 1.9% this year (down from the 2.3% it predicted in April) and expects growth of just 0.4% in 2017 (down from 2.6%) and 1.4% in 2018 (down from 2.4%). Peter Spencer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, commented: “Longer-term, the UK may have to adjust to a permanent reduction in the size of the economy, compared to the trend that seemed possible prior to the vote." To read EY's news release go to http://www.ey.com/UK/en/Newsroom/News-releases/16-07-18---UK-economy-faces-short-sharp-shock-but-exports-offer-silver-lining-says-EY-ITEM-Club.
The worst June for retailers in ten years.  According to BDO's latest monthly High Street Sales Tracker (HSST), the UK’s decision to leave the EU in last month’s historic referendum vote had an immediate impact on the high street. The HSST recorded a -3.6% fall in overall year-on-year sales for June, making it the worst June in over 10 years. Sales of lifestyle goods for the month were down -0.2% compared to June 2015, and fashion dropped to -4.9% - the sector’s second lowest monthly figure so far this year. Sales of homewares were down -6% year-on-year and non-store sales rose just 15.8%. A strong start to June saw overall sales grow 3.8% year-on-year in the first week, but the ‘Brexit effect’ hit retailers with increasing severity as the month wore on. Sales reversed to a -3.1% drop in the second week and by the final week of June – two days after the ‘leave’ campaign declared victory – overall year-on-year sales had plummeted -8.1%. June’s results make it the fifth month in a row that the UK’s high streets have seen negative growth, and it was also the first time in almost a year that all three sectors – lifestyle, fashion and homewares – recorded negative growth in the same month. To read BDO's news release go to  http://www.bdo.co.uk/press/worst-june-for-a-decade-for-retailers-as-brexit-bites.
Sub-par UK economic growth even prior to EU Referendum. The latest British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Quarterly Economic Survey suggests that UK economic growth was uninspiring even in the run-up to the EU Referendum. For example, the services sector – the UK’s main driver of economic growth – saw domestic and overseas sales fall ahead of the referendum, and manufacturing sales remained at an historically low ebb. The results suggest that even before the uncertainty caused by the EU referendum, uninspiring growth rates would have required future action to shore up business confidence and promote investment. Commenting, Dr Adam Marshall, Acting Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Our latest survey results, captured just before the vote, suggest that many businesses have been operating in something of a holding pattern for some time." To read the BCC's news release go to http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/bcc-quarterly-economic-survey-sub-par-uk-economic-growth-even-prior-to-eu-referendum.html.
Sharp drop in small business confidence. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has reported that its Small Business Index (SBI) has found that small business confidence is at a four year low - the largest annual drop in the SBI since it started in 2010. The latest SBI, gathered before the EU referendum, also found that smaller firms are reporting falling profits and plan to cut jobs for a second consecutive quarter. Furthermore, despite improvements to both the availability and affordability of credit, just 12.2% of small firms now plan new capital investment in the next 12 months - less than half of the 31.9% planning the same a year ago. Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman commented: “Even before the EU referendum result, our members were reporting tough business conditions right across the country. While the referendum result has settled the question of UK membership of the EU – there are many questions left unanswered . . .For the first time since 2009, the UK economy faces a real chance of a recession." To read the FSB's press release go to http://www.fsb.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/fsb-reports-sharp-drop-in-small-business-confidence.
UK business optimism and business output at three year low. According to the latest Business Trends Report by BDO, the UK economy was already showing signs of slowing ahead of the European referendum, with business output and business optimism at three-year lows for the second month running. Peter Hemington, Partner, BDO, commented: “The uncertainty prompted by Brexit has disrupted investment in the UK economy, but the signs of a slowdown were already showing ahead of the decision . . . In all likelihood, whatever arrangements the UK eventually arrives at with the EU won’t look very different from what we have at the moment. So businesses cannot afford to get caught up in the hysteria." To read BDO's news release and three point Brexit plan go to http://www.bdo.co.uk/press/plan-of-action-needed-to-kick-start-uks-stuttering-economy. To read BDO's news release go to http://www.bdo.co.uk/press/plan-of-action-needed-to-kick-start-uks-stuttering-economy.
UK Export Finance supported 23% more exporters than a year ago. The UK Export Finance (UKEF) annual report and accounts show that the UK’s export credit agency is now supporting the largest number of exporters in 25 years, with a 23% increase since last year. 77% of the exporters were SMEs, and an estimated 7,000 companies in exporter supply chains also indirectly benefited. Altogether, UKEF supported more than £800 million in sales to 69 countries and issued £1.8 billion in export support. To view UKEF’s news release go to https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-government-announces-financial-support-for-record-number-of-exporters-in-2015-16.
Seven in ten UK SMEs report barriers to exporting outside the UK. According to new research from Hitachi Capital’s British Business Barometer, 69% of UK SMEs report coming up against hurdles when wishing to export outside the UK. The research (based on responses from 1,139 SMEs) found that paperwork was the top restriction for 26% of small business owners when it came to exporting goods, followed closely by legislative difficulties in foreign countries (24%) and lack of knowledge/ experience on exporting (23%). However, the research also stressed the significant earning that exporting offers SMEs (£44.9 billion in the month of June for the UK alone - the fastest growth since February 2010), and the potential that emerging economies such as India, China and the Middle East offer. To read Hitachi Capital's news release go to http://www.hitachicapital.co.uk/business-finance/newsplusinfo/seven-in-ten-uk-sme-s-report-barriers-to-exporting-outside-the-uk/.
Brexit vote creates uncertainty for businesses and UK insolvency regime. Commenting on the decision by the UK to leave the European Union, Andrew Tate, president of UK insolvency trade body R3, said: “There will naturally be uncertainty for UK businesses and the decision to leave could create immediate problems for some. Businesses should seek out informed, professional, and regulated advice to help them navigate any uncertainties they encounter, and the sooner they seek advice, the more options they will have.” He continued: “One key change is that it could become much harder to retrieve assets on behalf of creditors from across Europe. With some exceptions, once the UK leaves, a UK insolvency practitioner’s powers may no longer be automatically recognised elsewhere in Europe, nor will UK insolvency proceedings enjoy automatic recognition. New deals will need to be negotiated.” To read R3's news release go to https://www.r3.org.uk/index.cfm?page=1114&element=27153&refpage=1008.
European IPO proceeds predicted to be no more than €25 billion by the end of the year PwC’s latest IPO Watch predicts European IPO proceeds are unlikely to exceed €25 billion by the end of 2016 (less than half of 2015 when €57.4 billion was raised) following the UK’s vote to leave the EU, however, an uptick in activity towards the end of the year is expected if conditions improve. Total proceeds for H1 amounted to €14.4 billion, representing less than half of the activity observed during the highs of 2014-2015. Activity in Q2 however tripled compared to Q1 2016, despite the EU referendum in the UK impacting volume across the continent. Overall, 95 European IPOs raised €10.9 billion this quarter (50 IPOs raising €3.5 billion in Q1 2016). London was especially impacted, down 75% to €1.2 billion and representing only 11% of European activity, while the rest of Europe fared better with IPO proceeds only down 6% to €9.7 billion. To read PwC's news release go to http://pwc.blogs.com/press_room/2016/07/pwcs-latest-ipo-watch-predicts-european-ipo-proceeds-to-be-no-more-than-25bn-by-the-end-of-the-year.html.
Career Opportunities
Business Development Executive, Trade Credit, Midlands or London. Tokio Marine HCC.
We have a vacancy for a Business Development Executive within our well-established Trade Credit New Business team, to be based in either London or the Midlands.
You will help us to achieve our new business targets through closing good quality business with our valued broker partners, for which you will require:
  • An established track record in the industry in either broking or (ideally) underwriting
  • A good knowledge of the specialist broker network 
  • The ability to identify and close good quality new business
  • The ability to manage and develop strong relationships with brokers good presentation and interpersonal skills. 
We are offering a competitive salary and excellent benefits to the right individual, depending on knowledge and experience. In return, you will be part of a growing, exciting business that is offering a genuine career opportunity. Please click on the link below to our Careers Page to view the job description and to apply - http://www.tmhcc.com/careers/Searchjobs.
Regional Chief Financial and Administration Officer, Owning Mills, Maryland. US.
This is an exciting opportunity for a dynamic CFO to help lead an ambitious five year regional growth from $374 million turnover to $593 million turnover by 2020. You’ll work for the market leader in credit insurance and, long term; have international career development opportunities not only within Euler Hermes but also within our parent company, Allianz, the world’s largest insurance company. Your scope will also include operations.
Main Purpose: Coordinates financial functions across the Americas Region (US, Canada & Brazil) including accounting, planning and controlling, treasury, group and statutory reporting (US and Canada), tax and compliance. Also responsible for optimization of Operations (Policy Administration, Office Administration (facilities, cars, etc.), Organization (projects), and act as the point of contact for regional IT business needs with Group IT. Also in charge of risk management of the company as Chief Risk Officer.
Principal Accountabilities: Manage local financial and operation teams and supervise the regional finance team; Management of core financial functions: accounting, controlling, treasury, risk controlling, group and statutory reporting, tax and compliance; Ensure the compliance with EH Group Operating Model for the functions managed in the region;  Build up technical competence centers in accounting and controlling areas;  Ensure local compliance with statutory and group policies and requirements, especially for Solvency II as Chief Risk Officer; Support profitable growth Support local and Group projects;  Optimizing processes (OPEX) and finding efficient, cost-effective solutions in line with global policies with a focus on procurement and facility management;  Act as IT business partner for the Region; In charge of the business continuity plan.
Qualifications: Undergraduate degree in Finance, preferably Masters Degree in Business Admin / Finance / Economics; 10 years of senior level finance experience, with a good knowledge of the IFRS gaap and of Solvency II; Insurance industry experience is a must;  Ability to work in matrix environment across disciplines; Results orientation: execution and consequence management; Conflict management: arbitrage, independence; Represent company with local regulatory and finance authorities; Broad, strategic thinker with ability to think beyond cost cutting; Practical, team player;  Market knowledge: Proven, in-depth know-how in one core finance area (accounting, actuarial, investment, etc.); Business expertise: Know-how of finance best practices; Significant Insurance experience; Strong analytical thinker.
To apply go to http://www.eulerhermes.us/careers/Pages/job-search-application.aspx.
(Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).
Growth Market Speculative applications
Euler Hermes is investing in a number of growth markets as the key to success is through our staff. We want to invest in a number of growth markets to reduce our dependency on mature markets. One of the main roadblocks to faster growth market development is the struggle to attack local talent and build sustainable staff pyramids. Our own experience has shown that some of the best resources (in terms of competence and commitment to EH) are local people returning after a first experience in a mature market. Therefore we set up the Growth Market Talent Pool (GMTP) whereby we source promising talent in mature markets with a view to relocating them to growth markets after a few years.
 What we will offer you:
  • Subject to meeting the resident labour market test, we will sponsor Tier 2 general work permits for the UK where appropriate 
  • Competitive salary, bonus and benefits package 
  • Regional HR coaching by phone 
  • Mentoring by growth market mentor 
  • Support to ease transfer to growth market and transfer bonus 
We are always interested in hearing from talented people with the right to work in China, Poland, Russia, Romania, Turkey, South Africa, Nigeria, Middle East, Morocco, India and Brazil. If you have a background in a growth market country, are multilingual and want to relocate to a growth market country after gaining invaluable experience in the UK with the leading provider of Credit Insurance, please submit a speculative application. To apply go to https://jobs.allianz.com/sap/bc/bsp/sap/zhcmx_erc_ui_ex/desktop.html?company=43&hideHeader=true#/SEARCH/RESULTS. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).
Credit Insurance Account Handler, West Yorkshire £25,000 - £42,000, Dependent upon experience.
I am delighted to be working in partnership with a National Insurance Broker, who have a strong local presence, and are able to provide outstanding levels of service. Due to a period of growth my client is looking to recruit a new member to work within the Credit Insurance Team. If you are an individual who has previously had exposure to Credit Insurance and is looking for both career and salary advancement then this may be the role for you. My client will also consider employing individuals within a predominantly office based role, and / or within an external customer facing role. For an experienced Credit Insurance Account Handler or Credit Insurance Executive, it would be the opportunity to deal with some larger sized businesses and have the ability to deal with more technically advanced cases. My client will also look at individuals who are experienced Commercial Account Handlers, and are interested in moving into Trade Credit, and can demonstrate an awareness in this area.
As a successful candidate you will: Be responsible for a book of Trade Credit Clients; Deal with larger end businesses and more technically based cases; Support the Account Executives; Chase Credit limits; Monitoring Overdue payments; Liaise with Underwriters; Be reactive to the clients needs and take ownership of tasks.

In return you will have the opportunity to be part of a successful firm of Insurance Brokers, as well as have the opportunity to carve out a career within this niche area of Trade Credit, should you desire. Modern offices and a whole host of benefits. 
Salary is very much dependent upon experience and ranges from £25,000 - £42,000.  
In return you will have the opportunity to be part of a massively successful firm of Insurance Brokers, as well as have the opportunity to carve out a career within this niche area of Trade Credit, should you desire. In order to speak further in confidence, please contact Helen Spriggs on 0113 2368957 or email your CV to helen.spriggs@reedglobal.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).

New Appointments
XL Catlin has announced that it has appointed Andrew Underwood as regional product leader for UK and Ireland, for political risk and trade credit. Mr Underwood joins XL Catlin with over 25 years experience in the insurance industry, most recently position  as partner at Hiscox
The International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA) has announced that it has elected Jos Kroon, CEO of Nationale Borg, as its 40th President and Richard Wulff, Group General Manager Credit & Surety at QBE, as its Vice President. In addition, Atradius and Euler Hermes were elected as members of the Management Committee, which now consists of Atradius, Coface, Euler Hermes, Lombard, Munich Re, Nationale Borg, QBE, and The Guarantee Company of North America.
Coface has announced the appointment of Thierry Croiset as Group Risk Director reporting directly to Carine Pichon, Chief Finance & Risk Officer. Mr Croiset joins Coface from GE Capital, where over the last year he led projects to ensure compliance with Basel and Fed regulations.
Coface has announced the appointment of Valerie Brami to the newly created position of Group Chief Operating Officer, in charge of information systems, organization and process enhancement. and to the Group’s Executive Committee and Management Board. Ms Brami joins Coface from Allianz France where she was employed as Transformation Programs Director and member of the Management Committee.
Coface has announced the appointment of Thomas Jacquet as Group Investor Relations & Rating Agencies Director. He succeeds Nicolas Andriopoulos, appointed Managing Director of Coface Re, who continues to manage the Group’s internal and external reinsurance. Mr Jacquet will report to Carine Pichon, Group Chief Finance & Risk Officer.
Forthcoming Events
Featured Event of the Month
Trade Credit, Bond and Political Risk Insurance Industry Dinner, hosted by Nexus CIFS. 3 November, London.

Nexus CIFS announces:
We are privileged to host this year’s Trade Credit, Bond and Political Risk Insurance Industry Dinner and what a memorable evening we promise you in the magnificent surrounds of The Grand Hall, Old Billingsgate.
On arrival at our sparkling Winter Wonderland we invite you to enjoy a glass of fizz and listen to the young, talented Marsh Trio performing chilled acoustic vibes before enjoying a sublime supper. Silent and live auctions through the evening will give you the opportunity to bid on some amazing items and at the same time support our chosen charity, The Royal Marsden.
Our famed auctioneer, Hugh Edmeades of Christies, will get things moving. Hugh certainly knows a thing or two about running a successful event having conducted more than 2,300 auctions, selling 300,000 lots for a total sum in excess of £2.2 billion!
We are delighted that Gyles Brandreth is joining us as our after dinner speaker to deliver his highly entertaining razor sharp wit. We know he’ll have you rocking with laughter in your seats before you take to the dance floor or kick back and relax whilst catching up with old friends and colleagues.
Places are always limited at this yearly event, so don’t miss out on the 3rd November 2016 and book your tickets early. Visit www.creditindemnity.com and follow the white rabbit to place your reservation.
GTR Asia Trade & Treasury Week 2016, Singapore. 5 -7 September 2016.
This year the award-winning conference series spreads its wings, featuring as GTR AsiaTrade & Treasury Week 2016. Centred around the annual conference, renamed the GTR Asia Trade & Treasury Conference, GTR Asia Trade & Treasury Week will also incorporate the GTR Asia Leaders in Trade Awards, GTR Training seminars and roundtables, plus various networking events and industry field trips. With this in mind, 2016’s event looks set to be the biggest and busiest yet!
 Building on its world-renowned reputation for attracting top-level trade and treasury financiers and business heads from across the globe, 2016’s expanded focus will place greater emphasis on the issues facing treasurers and the corporate treasury function, as well as highlighting exciting new developments in the fintech space and their potential impact on trade, including initiatives such as blockchain, while still covering the whole spectrum of trade, commodity and export finance that has made this event so popular in previous years. With this year’s broader scope, attendance figures are set to eclipse the 800 plus delegates of 2015, making this an essential place to be for anyone involved in international trade and treasury. 5% discount for Credit Insurance News Readers with CIN15- Click here.
West Coast Trade & Working Capital Conference 2016, San Jose, California. 5 October, 2016.
GTR will return to San Jose in October for its West Coast Trade & Working Capital Conference 2016, building on its reputation as a key networking forum for leading trade finance specialists from across the United States. Experts from various trade finance sectors will gather once again to discuss how global markets have impacted trade for both corporates and banks, an update on current capital needs and availability, and how the forthcoming elections are impacting exports and domestic trade. 2016’s conference will build on GTR’s respected format of networking sessions, providing delegates with an ideal platform for establishing new relationships with those keen to do business within the region. 5% discount for Credit Insurance News Readers with CIN15- Click here.
Insurance Analytics Europe. 5-6 October 2016, The Grange Tower Bridge, London.
The 3rd Annual Insurance Analytics Europe Summit will bring together 200+ insurance executives from across Europe to explore both innovation in the insurance industry and uncover strategies to fully utilise the ever-increasing analytics capabilities available to insurers. Featuring over 60 speakers including AIG, Aviva, Zurich, Generali and more, there is no other European insurance event that explores both the future of the industry including cutting-edge technology and innovative trends, as well as providing practical strategies to best use analytics across the core insurance business units including underwriting, pricing, claims and marketing.
Here's what to expect in 2016:
Relevant and Targeted Insights for Different Roles & Priorities: With tracks that explore business department analytics PLUS tracks exploring new insurance tech and innovation. 
Practical Tools to Wield Your Analytics Capabilities as a Competitive Advantage: Get insider knowledge on how to ensure your analytics is fulfilling its potential in underwriting, pricing, claims, fraud, marketing and more. 
Unparalleled Speaker Line-Up: Bringing together the innovators, blue sky thinkers and industry leaders to provide delegates with best-practice tools and innovative strategies.
Turbocharged Networking: In the largest European gathering of insurance analytics executives, this is THE best place to meet your peers and build your network Relevant for the C-Suite, analytics, data and IT executives as well as heads of business departments, in 2015 attendees included AIG, Allianz, AXA, Zurich, Groupama, Generali, Direct Line Group, If P&C, LV=, Vitality, Admiral, 1st Central Insurance, Towergate, Universal Life and more. For more information, see http://events.insurancenexus.com/insuranceanalyticseu.
GTR Africa Trade & Infrastructure Finance Conference 2016, London, England. 5 -6 October 2016.
London will once again play host to GTR Africa Trade & Infrastructure Finance Conference on October 5-6 2016, bringing together high-level participants from across the trade finance community for topical discussion and unrivalled coverage of the African trade, export and commodity finance markets. The event will offer timely updates through analytical conversations and insightful case-studies with the aim to develop strategies for growth across different parts of the region. Dedicated networking sessions will be held through-out the two days allowing delegates the chance to become re-acquainted with old contacts and foster new working relationships with those keen to do business across Africa and beyond. 5% discount for Credit Insurance News Readers with CIN15- click here.
Malaysia Trade & Export Finance Conference 2016, Kuala Lumpur. 19 October 2016.
Returning to Kuala Lumpur for the 5th instalment, GTR’s Malaysia Trade & Export Finance Conference will once again provide a key discussion forum for the region’s trade experts. Decision makers within the market will convene to hear timely updates on topical issues such as government initiatives to increase international trade & investment, the primary business challenges facing the commodity sector and the knock-on effect of the Chinese economic slowdown on Malaysian growth. Dedicated networking sessions positioned throughout the day will give delegates the opportunity to become acquainted with those looking to establish and grow their trade connections within the region. 5% discount for Credit Insurance News Readers with CIN15- click here.
Trade Credit, Bond and Political Risk Insurance Industry Dinner, hosted by Nexus CIFS. 3 November, London.
Nexus CIFS announces:
We are privileged to host this year’s Trade Credit, Bond and Political Risk Insurance Industry Dinner and what a memorable evening we promise you in the magnificent surrounds of The Grand Hall, Old Billingsgate.
On arrival at our sparkling Winter Wonderland we invite you to enjoy a glass of fizz and listen to the young, talented Marsh Trio performing chilled acoustic vibes before enjoying a sublime supper. Silent and live auctions through the evening will give you the opportunity to bid on some amazing items and at the same time support our chosen charity, The Royal Marsden.
Our famed auctioneer, Hugh Edmeades of Christies, will get things moving. Hugh certainly knows a thing or two about running a successful event having conducted more than 2,300 auctions, selling 300,000 lots for a total sum in excess of £2.2 billion!
We are delighted that Gyles Brandreth is joining us as our after dinner speaker to deliver his highly entertaining razor sharp wit. We know he’ll have you rocking with laughter in your seats before you take to the dance floor or kick back and relax whilst catching up with old friends and colleagues.
Places are always limited at this yearly event, so don’t miss out on the 3rd November 2016 and book your tickets early. Visit www.creditindemnity.com/ and follow the white rabbit to place your reservation.
BCR’s Alternative & Receivables Finance Forum 2016. 16 November, London.
Now in its 3rd successful year, BCR's Alternative Finance & Receivables Forum is a unique event for established receivables financiers, insurers, fintechs and new SME lending platforms to analyse the rapid evolution of working capital finance. This Forum takes a closer look at corporates' funding requirements and how the current lending landscape is catering to them. The event is also a showcase of the latest technology and how it is enabling access to non-bank sources of funding. Register now to find out how the competitive market for working capital finance is changing in the long term. Credit Insurance News readers qualify for a 10% discount when using the code: CIN10 at the time of booking via this link: http://arf16-tickets.bcrconferences.com/.
About this Issue's Sponsor: InfolinkGazette
InfolinkGazette was established in 2012 to help Credit Insurance companies, brokers and other Risk Management businesses find the optimum time to call commercial prospects and present their company's solution; the time when the prospect has the greatest propensity to purchase a Credit Insurance or Risk Management solution, which is shortly after the prospect has incurred an unsecured credit loss following one of their customers going out of business. 

Your sales producers might have unsuccessfully prospected a potential client, the week before, but the propensity to buy credit insurance can change overnight, following a letter from a liquidator notifying them of their loss. 
During an average quarter, the InfolinkGazette team process over 2,500 insolvencies, with total unpaid/unsecured credit losses of approximately £1 billion, resulting from an average 45,000 ordinary unpaid trade creditors with losses of over £20,000. 
The information is available via our website 24/7, with extensive search, viewing & download facilities; the database of over 0.5 million records, is increasing at the rate of almost 15,000 unsecured creditors per month, so we are constantly refreshing the supply of quality new business prospects for Credit & Risk Management professionals.

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