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Welcome to issue 82 of Credit Insurance News Digest. This issue is kindly sponsored by World Television.
Index
Credit Insurance News
Trade credit insurance premium was 41% higher in 2015 than in 2007. The International Credit Insurance & Surety Association's (ICISA) latest Yearbook 2016-2017, advises that its members have reported that credit insurance premium in 2015 increased by 5% compared to 2014, from €6.07 billion in 2014 to €6.36 billion in 2015, and was more than 41% higher than pre-crisis levels in 2007. In addition, members reported that the value of claims in 2015 decreased by more than 17% to €3.21 billion compared to 2014, but increased by 56% compared to 2007. Overall, the insured exposure figures for 2015 of €2.30 trillion were almost 35% higher than pre-crisis levels in 2007. To read a copy of the ICISA's Yearbook go to http://www.icisa.org/publications/files_content/ICISA_Yearbook%202016-2017_Digital.pdf.
Despite unprecedented challenges, 2017 should see trade credit insurance become more relevant than it has ever been. Insurance Day has published an article, 'Poised for a paradigm shift', in which Mike Holley (Managing Director of Equinox Global) suggests that current increased economic and political uncertainties present an opportunity for the trade credit insurance industry to experience a greater demand for its products than there has ever been. However, he cautions that assumptions based on the long-standing global infrastructure will not work anymore; to succeed in the new economic and political environment, credit insurers need to be "nimble and fleet of foot" in reassessing exposures and strategies. To read Insurance Day's article go to https://www.insuranceday.com/news_analysis/special_reports/poised-for-a-paradigm-shift.htm? (Subscription required/Readers can register for a free trial).
Trade credit insurance defies Brazil's recession. BNamericas has published an article which reports that credit insurance in Brazil has defied the country's recession and was among the fastest growing insurance lines in 2016. According to local insurance publication CQCS, data from sector regulator Susep shows that direct premiums totaled 295 million Reais (US$91.8 million) in January-November last year - a 56.2% increase compared to the same period in 2015. The research also shows that the volume of claims reached 24 million Reais in the first eleven months - an increase of 22.6% year-on-year. To read BNamerica's article go to http://www.bnamericas.com/en/news/insurance/credit-insurance-defies-brazils-recession. (Subscription required: 15 day free trials available).
Trump and Brexit fail to derail trade credit demand. Insurance Day has published an article which reports that the rapid slowdown in global trade and uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as US President has not dented demand for trade credit insurance, with an annual survey of members of the International Credit Insurance and Surety Association (ICISA) indicating that demand for trade credit insurance had been boosted by the increasingly volatile risk environment. Rob Nijhout, Executive Director of the ICISA, commented to Insurance Day: “On the one hand, data we see indicates trade is slowing, but at the same time, insured exposure and sales have increased." To read Insurance Day's article go to https://www.insuranceday.com/ece_incoming/trump-and-brexit-fail-to-derail-trade-credit-demand.htm?
Uncertain future or business as usual for the trade credit market? Insurance Day has published an article in which Trevor Williams, Head of trade credit and surety at QBE Europe and Chair of the ABI's trade credit committee, stresses that although the old order may be changing, the business of managing trade credit risk will continue to be based on established principles: quality of information, forward planning, robust protection and strong relationships with trusted partners. While insurers certainly face an increasing challenge to keep up-to-date and adapt to the needs of customers in the current rapidly changing economic and political environment, Mr. Williams stresses that credit insurers' raison d'etre is to protect businesses from the risks of trading; "global volatility is simply a risk to be navigated." To read Insurance Day's article go to https://www.insuranceday.com/news_analysis/special_reports/uncertain-future-or-business-as-usual-for-the-trade-credit-market.htm. (Subscription required/Readers can register for a free trial).
Global insolvency downward trend is coming to an end. After two years of substantial declines, Euler Hermes  has warned that 2017 will see an increase in global insolvencies. “The downward trend in global insolvencies is coming to an end,” said Ludovic Subran, chief economist at Euler Hermes. “This is happening because global growth is not accelerating and will linger below 3% in the coming years. Companies are therefore more vulnerable to external shocks.” Euler Hermes now predicts that global insolvencies will rise by 1% overall in 2017, with a greater than 3% increase in the UK. To read Euler Hermes' news release with a link to the full report go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-insolvencies-180117.aspx. For an infographic go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/economic-research/publications/Pages/insolvencies-to-increase-in-2017-map-.aspx?postID=953.
The most promising markets for business opportunities in 2017. New research from Atradius which lists the most promising markets for business opportunities in 2017, has found that reduced concern surrounding a hard landing of China’s GDP growth, and a stabilisation of commodity prices has contributed to a more robust outlook for emerging market economies in 2017. In particular, Atradius suggests that seven emerging market economies – India, Indonesia, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Peru, Chile and Bulgaria – should be able to weather global volatility in 2017. This is thanks to a combination of domestically driven growth, favourable demographics and supportive policies. To read Atradius' news release with a link to the full report go to https://group.atradius.com/publications/top-eight-most-promising-markets-of-2017.html.
Roundtable: Trade credit insurers face the unknown. Insurance Day has published a special report in which a group of trade credit insurance industry experts consider in detail the outlook for the sector following the Brexit vote and the recent inauguration of Donald Trump as US president. Well-known industry figures who gave their opinions included: Richard Marriage, Managing Director of Nexus CIFS; Rob Nijhout, Executive Director of the International Credit Insurance and Surety Association; Jeremy Shallow, Credit and Political Risk class underwriter at ArgoGlobal; Peter Sprent, Head of Global Financial Risk and Liberty Speciality Markets; Nigel Beatie, Political Risks and Contingency at Beazley. To read the article go to https://www.insuranceday.com/news_analysis/special_reports/roundtable-trade-credit-insurers-face-the-unknown.htm? (Subscription required/Readers can register for a free trial).
Overview of trade credit insurance in Mexico. Astreos Credit has published an overview of trade credit insurance which advises that the main exposure for trade credit insurers in Mexico is default (invoice unpaid), as it is uncommon to have an insolvency or bankruptcy. The Overview also reports that the Mexican credit insurance market has grown significantly in the last 12 months, from 671 million Pesos in Q2 3015 to 877.5 million Pesos in Q3 2016. Atradius has by far the largest market share at 45.35% (increased from 39.5% in Q3 2015), followed by Coface and Solunion with market shares of 26.54% and 23.88% respectively. To read Astreos Credit's Overview go to http://www.astreos-credit.com/single-post/2017/01/13/Credit-Insurance-in-Mexico-2017.
A brief Country Focus on Mexico is available at http://www.astreos-credit.com/single-post/2017/01/13/Country-focus-Catching-up-with-Mexico
.
Global growth to remain below 3% in both 2016 and 2017. Euler Hermes has predicted that despite economic and political hurdles from China’s readjustment, Brexit and the unexpected US election results, global GDP growth should reach 2.5% by year-end 2016 - remaining below 3% for the seventh consecutive year. Ludovic Subran, chief economist at Euler Hermes, commented: "A series of unexpected events jeopardised global growth in 2016, defying all forecasts. In parallel with the rise in populist and protectionist votes, global trade volume growth only reached 1.9%, its lowest level since 2009.” Looking ahead, Euler Hermes forecasts that although 2017 will be another year of heavy politics weighing on economic performance, global growth should pick up to 2.8%. To read Euler Hermes' press release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Lists/NewsDocuments/press-release-macro-economy-180117.pdf. To read Euler Hermes' full report go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/economic-research/blog/EconomicPublications/the-superheroes-of-the-global-economy-economic-outlook-jan2017.pdf.
Payment delays pervade Polish corporates. Coface’s latest payment survey confirms that sales on credit are now offered by the majority of Polish companies. However, although on average short credit periods of up to 30 days predominate, Coface’s survey shows that nearly a quarter of Polish companies are faced with outstanding receivables that exceed due dates by at least three months. The longest overdues can be especially harmful, as Coface’s experience has shown that around 80% of outstanding receivables will not be fully paid at all, once the payment delay exceeds six months. Almost 4% of Polish companies report this type of long outstanding receivables. The survey also indicates that older accumulated outstanding receivables account for a visible share of companies’ turnovers. One in five companies indicated that these long-dated overdues equate to over 10% of their turnover. To read Coface's news release go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Poland-Payment-Survey-Payment-delays-pervade-Polish-corporates.
After a period of bumper growth, the British car industry could stall this year. Atradius' latest Market Monitor warns that the automotive sector is 'very susceptible' to global economic volatility and uncertainties following Brexit. With 57% of cars made in the UK exported to EU countries, any Brexit-linked European export tariffs would make producing cars in the UK more expensive. The sector would also lose benefits from EU funds for manufacturing research and development. On the brighter side, the Market Monitor hails diversity as a major strength of the British car manufacturing industry; with a mix of volume, premium and specialist producers. In addition, among the global manufacturers investing in UK production are Bentley, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover and MINI – all with new products - which Atradius reports should have a positive effect on the automotive supply chain segment. Click here to read Atradius' news release.
New trade credit insurance product launched in India. PYMNTS.com has reported that HDFC ERGO, India’s third-largest non-life insurance company and a joint venture between bank HDFC and insurance conglomerate ERGO, has announced the launch of a new trade credit insurance policy In India. “With the advent of globalization, trading opportunities have grown manifold, which, in turn, has made managing receivables even more complex,” explained HDFC ERGO Executive Director Anuj Tyagi. “No industry or company is immune from trade credit risk". HDFC ERGO noted that its newest product is available to businesses of all sizes in India. To read  PYMNTS'' article go to http://www.pymnts.com/news/b2b-payments/2017/hdfc-ergo-insurance-trade-credit-supplier-international-buyer-trade-non-payment-late-invoice/.
Don't delay, export today - the impact of the Brexit vote. Following the publication of its report, Enabling Exporting, (see Digest, 29 November 2015), QBE's Managing Director - Retail, David Hall, has published an article which stresses that with the drop in the pound, UK goods and services are an attractive proposition for international buyers. For companies, not yet exporting this makes now the perfect time to start. "Following Brexit, we will expect to witness a period of fluctuations, which will take some time to settle down. Even before that, between Article 50 being triggered and the actual exit of the UK from the EU, the UK will face an unpredictable marketplace. Businesses waiting to export products or services could miss out on years of potential opportunity." To read QBE's article go to https://qbeeurope.com/news-and-events/blog-articles/dont-delay-export-today-the-impact-of-the-brexit-vote/.
Solunion launches in Dominican Republic. GTR (Global Trade Review) has published an article which reports that Solunion (jointly owned by Euler Hermes and MAPFRE) has launched operations in the Dominican Republic, bringing the number of Latin American countries it can serve to nine. The firm will issue credit insurance policies to Dominican companies through MAPFRE BHD, MAPFRE’s subsidiary in the country, while Solunion Mexico will provide risk control and management services. “The Dominican Republic is a growing market where local companies are developing increasingly intensive commercial activity inside and outside the country,” commented Fernando Pérez-Serrabona, CEO of Solunion. To read GTR's article go to http://www.gtreview.com/news/on-the-move/solunion-launches-in-dominican-republic/.
The UK is well placed in the global digitalisation race. According to the new Euler Hermes Enabling Digitalisation Index, the UK is one of the most 'digital-ready’ economies in the world, ranking fourth out of 135 countries surveyed thanks to its ability to capitalise on digital business opportunities despite the uncertain global trade outlook. Overall, European countries took the top five spots with Germany in 1st position, followed by the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK and Switzerland. Global technology heavyweights Singapore, the US and Japan came in 6th, 10th and 15th place respectively. According to the report, digitalisation now accounts for 9.4% of annual global economic growth, of which 3.6% is due exclusively to cross-border flow of data. By 2020, digitalisation will account for 16.6% of global economic output with 7.4% attributed to cross-border activity. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.co.uk/euler-hermes-UK-and-Ireland/mediacenter/news/Pages/UK-WELL-PLACED-IN-GLOBAL-DIGITALISATION-RACE.aspx.
Allianz eyes takeovers in the US and Europe. Insurance Business UK has published an article which reports that Allianz is looking to make acquisitions. According to a report by Reuters, Allianz's company chief executive Oliver Bate told German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that Allianz would look for big companies in the US as well as companies in Europe with a focus including credit insurance. To read Insurance Business' article go to http://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/uk/news/breaking-news/allianz-eyes-takeovers--report-42600.aspx.
Atradius announces the completion of the merger of its two major European credit insurance carriers. Atradius has announced the completion of the merger of its two major European credit insurance companies Atradius Credit Insurance N.V. and Compañía Española de Seguros y Reaseguros de Crédito y Caución, S.A.U. into one single legal entity named as Atradius Crédito y Caución S.A. de Seguros y Reaseguros. Atradius N.V. remains the Dutch holding company of the international credit insurance, bonding, reinsurance, debt collection and information services companies across the world. To read Atradius' news release go to https://group.atradius.com/press/press-releases/merger-of-european-credit-insurance-companies-completed.html.
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New Appointments
Atradius has announced that it has appointed Marc Henstridge as its new Chief Insurance Operations Officer, following the retirement of Dominique Charpentier at the end of 2016. Mr. Henstridge has been with Atradius since 1997, most recently as Director of Risk Services in the UK and Ireland. In addition to his responsibilities at Atradius, he also sits on various external committees to represent Atradius and the credit insurance industry. He will be based in Amsterdam.
QBE has announced plans to further expand its trade credit offering in the UK with appointments in four newly created roles.
  • Dimitri Griek joins the team as a Commercial Underwriter from QBE’s Melbourne-based Trade Credit team. 
  • Louis Hemsley joined the team in December as a Credit analyst. Mr Hemsley previously worked at PWC as a Senior Associate. 
  • Ally Connolly joined the team in December as an Assistant Risk Underwriter having recently graduated in Economics. 
  • Chantelle Thomas joined the team in October as a Claims Assessor, having transferred from QBE’s Motor Claims team.
Graydon has announced the appointment of Gertjan Kampman as its new CEO. Mr. Kampman was formerly Director of Financial Control at Atradius, which acquired all shares in Graydon in September 2016. He will take over the role of Marcel van Es, who has been responsible for Graydon since the 1st of May 2012. A closer commercial collaboration will be developed between both companies.
Euler Hermes has appointed Alexia Parmentier and Tim Hoggarth as co-heads of its London-based excess of loss (XoL) unit. Ms Parmentier becomes head of XoL Northern Europe, while Mr. Hoggarth becomes head of special products and will focus on the development of new services, such as securitisation, and the insurance of portfolios of medium-term and leasing assets. Both were previously managers of XoL underwriting at Euler Hermes and helped build the XoL business since its creation in 2012.
Equinox Global has announced the appointment of Simon Jackson as a credit analyst based at its London office. Mr. Jackson previously worked at Euler Hermes, initially as a credit analyst and then as a risk underwriter specializing in Retail, Electronics, Media and Textiles.
Euler Hermes has announced that it has appointed Kamelia Popova as country manager for Bulgaria. Ms Popova was formerly Managing Director for Saranda distribution. She also has nine years of trade credit insurance experience as a country manager of Coface Bulgaria.
EFCIS has announced the appointment of its new Director of Sales, Marc Trathen. Mr Trathen joins EFCIS with 15 years senior sales experience working for large corporate entities within various sectors.
Business Information
UK High Street sees fourth poor December in a row. Figures released by BDO have revealed that the UK’s high street failed to rally at the end of a dismal year of trading. December’s like-for-like sales growth was -0.1% according to BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker, which means that the UK has now seen four consecutive Decembers with no high street sales growth. Furthermore, while December’s decline of -0.1% may appear marginal, it is coming off of a negative base of -5.3% for the same month last year - in itself the worst month since December 2008. Sophie Michael, Head of Retail and Wholesale at BDO LLP, said: “Coming at a critical juncture, this fourth negative December in succession highlights the magnitude of the challenge that lies ahead for 2017.” To read BDO's news release go to https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/news/2017/high-street-sees-fourth-poor-december-in-a-row.
Insolvencies start to creep up as currency pressures squeeze UK businesses. New analysis from KPMG reveals that 2016 saw the reversal of a six-year downward trend in levels of insolvency for British businesses. The numbers, taken from notices in the London Gazette, show that 1,174 companies, or groups of companies, entered into administration across the UK during 2016, compared with the 15-year low of 1,111 in the previous year. Looking at which sectors were most vulnerable in 2016, the figures reveal that the construction industry was particularly impacted as increasing costs for imported raw materials squeezed profit margins. In total, 174 firms within the construction sector entered into administration over the course of the year. To read KPMG's news release go to https://home.kpmg.com/uk/en/home/media/press-releases/2017/01/insolvencies-start-to-creep-up-as-currency-pressures-bite-uk-businesses.html.
UK start-up numbers suffer five-year fall. Start-up numbers have fallen significantly in the last five years according to Lloyds Bank analysis. The findings reveal that 19% fewer new businesses were started up in the UK in November 2016 compared to November 2011. Regionally, Wales has seen the largest decline in new start-ups falling by 26% between a rolling 12 months from November 2011 compared to November 2016. In contrast, the business climate appears to be more positive in Scotland with a much smaller decline in new business openings of just 3% over the past five years. England has also been hit hard, declining by 20%. As this is where the greatest volume of new start businesses are launched, this equates to nearly 100,000 fewer new businesses created in 2016 compared to 2011. To read Lloyds Bank's news release go to http://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/Media/Press-Releases/press-releases-2017/lloyds-bank/start-up-numbers/.
Ireland takes its place as Europe's fastest growing economy. According to a report from Vision-net.ie, 'Annual Review 2017 - Business Barometer', Ireland has undergone an extraordinary recovery and has taken its place as Europe’s fastest growing economy. In 2016, 20,997 Irish company start-ups were recorded in 2016, the second highest figure for new companies seen in Ireland in the last 36 years and 8% up on 2015's total of 19,501. Additional positive news is that the number of Irish companies that collapsed in 2016 decreased to 984 -10% less than the previous year. This is the first time fewer than 1,000 insolvencies have been recorded in a single year since 2008. To read the report go to http://www.vision-net.ie/news/2017-annual-review-report/.
Global growth is forecast to accelerate moderately in 2017. The World Bank report, 'Global Economic Prospects', has predicted that although the global outlook is clouded by uncertainty, global economic should accelerate moderately to 2.7% in 2017 after a post-crisis low last year. Growth in advanced economies is expected to edge up to 1.8%, while growth in emerging market and developing economies as a whole should pick up to 4.2% this year from 3.4% in the year just ended. “After years of disappointing global growth, we are encouraged to see stronger economic prospects on the horizon,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. To read the World Bank's news release with a link to the full report go to http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2017/01/10/global-growth-edges-up-to-2-7-percent-despite-weak-investment.
Global growth of 3.1% in 2016 was the weakest since 2008–09. The IMF's latest update to its World Economic Outlook (WEO) advises that its earlier projections that global growth would pick up in 2017 and 2018 from last year’s lackluster pace, looks increasingly likely to be realised. The IMF now forecasts that global growth will rise to a rate of 3.4% in 2017 and 3.6% in 2018. At the same time, it notes that uncertainty has risen with a wider dispersion of risks to this short-term forecast, with those risks still tilted to the downside. The WEO also reports that global growth of 3.1% in 2016 was the weakest since 2008–09, owing to a challenging first half marked initially by turmoil in world financial markets. To read the IMF's news release go to http://www.imf.org.
60% of UK SME's invoices are unpaid within the debtor period. According to a new report commissioned by Amicus Commercial Finance, 61% of invoices issued by UK SMEs remain unpaid within the debtor day period and 16% of invoices remain unpaid after 90 days. The study underlines the extent to which SMEs often rely on a small number of customers and delayed payments from these can have serious consequences; according to the findings, SMEs' top three customers on average account for almost half (49%) of their overall revenue. As well as the financial implications, Amicus Commercial Finance examined the psychological impact on business owners caused by lengthy payment delays: 28% said it has caused them considerable stress and anxiety and 10% admitted they became scared their business would go bust. To read Amicus Commercial Finance's news release go to https://amicusplc.co.uk/news-and-media/09-01-2017/six-in-ten-sme-invoices-unpaid-within-debtor-period.
UK retail administrations fall for fourth year in a row, but a rise in larger insolvencies reveals cause for concern.  According to Deloitte, the number of retailers entering administration fell from 96 in 2015 to 92 in 2016 - a decrease of 4%. However, for the first time in four years there has been an uptick in the number of large multi-site retail administration appointments, rising from seven in 2015 to 11 in 2016. Across all industry sectors, the total number of administrations in England and Wales fell from 1,147 companies in 2015 to 1,110 last year, down 3%. Four industry sectors reported an increase in administrations, with the greatest increase being Mining, Energy & Agriculture with a 22% increase, followed by Financial Services with a 16% increase in administrations. To read Deloitte's news release go to https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/press-releases/articles/retail-administrations-fall-for-fourth-year.html.
UK CFOs pessimistic About Brexit. A Brexit survey commissioned by D&B in November 2016 indicates that corporations in the UK will reduce future investment as they consider Brexit to be financially damaging for their companies’ growth models. The effects will be especially felt after the government invokes Article 50 in March 2017. 64% of survey respondents either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement that Brexit has negatively impacted business growth potential. Furthermore, 58% support the view that Brexit will eventually have financially damaging repercussions. To read D&B's news release go to https://www.dnb.co.uk/perspectives/economic-insights/why-uk-cfos-are-pessimistic-about-brexit.html.
Rising costs start to bite as UK SMEs look to tighten their belts. Over a fifth (22%) of UK SMEs signalled rising costs as their biggest concern going into 2017, findings from Bibby Financial Services’ Q4 SME Confidence Tracker reveal. The number of businesses that see rising costs as a significant challenge has doubled over the past 12 months, underlining the impact of a Brexit-driven rise in inflation and depreciation of the pound. These fears are of particular concern for manufacturers with almost a third (29%) citing this as their biggest challenge. Increasing competition (18%) and late payments (11%) were other key challenges that SMEs highlighted as impacting their businesses. To read Bibby Financial Services’ news release go to https://www.bibbyfinancialservices.com/press/news/2017/rising-costs-smes.
The UK ranks as the fourth most important country for growth. According to PwC’s 20th annual CEO Survey, 89% of UK CEOs say they are confident of their company’s growth in the year ahead, up from 85% in 2016, and above the 85% global figure and 77% in Germany. The bullishness of UK CEOs is not just in their short-term outlook; 95% are confident about their business’s growth prospects over the next three years (compared to 91% globally and 83% in Germany). The survey also found that business leaders from 16 countries see the UK as more important than last year for their short-term growth prospects. CEOs in the US, China, Germany and Switzerland are among those more enthusiastic about investing in the UK. Overall, the UK is seen as the fourth most important country for growth, behind the US, China and Germany. To read PwC's news release go to http://pwc.blogs.com/press_room/2017/01/uk-ceos-bullish-on-business-growth-but-bearish-on-global-economy-according-to-pwc-ceo-survey.html.
UK Retail Sales Monitor shows a strong finish to a roller-coaster year. BRC-KPMG's Retail Sales Monitor for 2016 indicates that UK retail sales increased by 1.0% on a like-for-like basis from December 2015, when they had increased 0.1% from the preceding year. Over the three months to December, Food sales increased 1.1% on a like-for-like basis and 2.4% on a total basis - the highest 3-month average Total growth since September 2013. Non-Food retail sales in the UK rose 1.1% on a like-for-like basis and 1.3% on a total basis - the lowest Non-Food 12-month average Total growth since October 2012. Online sales grew 7.2% while In-store sales declined 1.2% on a Total basis and 1.4% on a like-for-like basis. To read BRC's news release go to http://brc.org.uk/news/2017/strong-finish-to-roller-coaster-year.
UK business borrowing set for big increase in 2017. Recent research has shown UK SME borrowing is set to exceed £50 billion in 2017. Small businesses borrowed an average of £34,375 in 2016, but are set on borrowing up to one-fifth more in 2017 – with a survey of 1,000 SME owners revealing nearly two in five aim to borrow £100,000 or more, and one-quarter are planning to use £250,000 for fresh business investment this year. Furthermore, a significant proportion (one in fifty SMEs) are intending to borrow even larger amounts of £1,000,000, pushing the projected borrowing amount this new year beyond £50 billion. To read Hilton Baird's article go to https://www.hiltonbairdfinancial.co.uk/business-borrowing-set-for-big-increase-2017/.
Global business survey finds strong increase in optimism heading into 2017 - except in the UK. Research from the Grant Thornton International Business Report reveals that global business optimism at the end of Q4 2016 stands at net 38%. This is an increase of five percentage points from Q3 and the highest level since Q3 2015. In the US, optimism has increased from 43% to 54% - and the trend is repeated around the globe. The world’s two other big economic blocs, China (30% to 46%) and the EU (28% to 34%), have reported similar jumps. However, in the UK, business optimism remains substantially below levels seen this time last year, following a significant drop in confidence after the UK's vote to leave the European Union. EU countries with strong trading ties to the UK also reported significant drops in confidence this quarter. To read Grant Thornton's news release go to http://www.grantthornton.co.uk/en/news-centre/global-business-survey-finds-strong-increase-in-optimism-heading-into-2017new-page/.
UK's small business confidence bounces back to pre-referendum levels. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has revealed that UK small business confidence in the last quarter bounced back to the level reported before the EU referendum campaign began. The FSB’s Small Business Index has now moved into positive territory, which means that more small businesses feel confident than those that feel the opposite.  However, although confidence is positive and there are areas of strong performance, most small firms are not seeing this feeding through to profits. Profitability has dropped for the second quarter in a row. In addition, investment intentions remain subdued and have fallen compared to last year, with the cost of doing business continuing to rise. To read the FSB's news release go to http://www.fsb.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/small-business-confidence-bounces-back-to-pre-referendum-levels.
Career Opportunities
FEATURED VACANCY - Branch Director - Aon Credit International.
Aon are currently recruiting a Branch Director to join Aon Credit International team in Leeds. The Branch Director will be primarily responsible for drive performance excellence through effective and efficient management of business processes. Manage and develop the team so that they are equipped to meet team and Business Unit performance objectives.
About the Role 
As a Branch Director with Aon Credit International, some of your key responsibilities will involve:
  • Accountable for the delivery of the Leeds branch budget;
  • Drive the team to achieve budget and actively manage controllable costs; 
  • Accountable for building and maintaining high performance within the team; 
  • Be a role model for the team and consistently demonstrate and promote integrity, quality and professionalism; 
  • Effectively manage the performance of the team by providing regular feedback, having monthly one to one meetings and coaching the team; 
  • Promote a compliant culture within the team and ensure the regulatory learning modules are completed at the required times;  
 Additional Accountabilities:
  • Contribute to the team budget by achieving personal revenue targets; 
  • Accountable for team adherence to business processes, systems and procedures;
  • Contribute to the performance management cycle for the team; 
  • Continually strive to improve client satisfaction and ensure we deliver on our promises to the client; 
  • Responsible for supporting the effective delivery of global service through network relationships, where appropriate; 
  • Actively build relationships across Aon and exploit cross selling opportunities;
  • Role model the Aon Leadership (model) behaviours; 
  • Support the Head of ACI National in driving change and continuous improvement;
  • Responsible for working in accordance with the Aon UK Limited Risk Management Framework, and compliance with the Aon UK Limited policies, including participation in the management of risks (including completion of mandatory training) that may adversely affect the business, interests or reputation of any Group Company.
About you
As a Branch Director with Aon Credit International your skills and qualifications will ideally include:
  • Leadership capability (and commitment to developing leadership skills);
  • Trade credit experience preferred but not essential. 
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills;
  • Strong Client Management relationship skills; 
  • Strong influencing and negotiation skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to manage, motivate and coach direct reports; 
  • Understanding of client and industry strategic and financial drivers
  • Understanding of the client, their industry and their risks
  • Ability to understand client needs
  • Effective communication and presentation skills
  • Effective negotiation skills 
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills; 
  • Strong business acumen; 
  • Strong technical insurance knowledge; 
  • Ability to use insurance industry IT systems to efficiently deliver client service; 
  • Good understanding of compliance and FCA regulation.
Salary and Benefits
This role offers a competitive salary and bonus, plus a comprehensive benefits package and 25 days holiday. Through our flexible benefits, you will also have the opportunity to choose additional benefits, including healthcare, childcare vouchers and additional holiday. To apply for this position please email your CV with a covering letter to samantha.cook@aon.co.uk.
(Please mention that you saw this vacancy on Credit Insurance News' Job Board)
Euler Hermes - Senior Risk Underwriter (Transactional Cover - Asia Pacific)
Founded in 2011, Transactional Cover Unit (TCU) is EULER HERMES’ business line dedicated to single risk, structured credit and political risks insurance. TCU offers transactional cover on corporate/bank transactions, on sovereign/FI/corporate obligors mainly located in emerging markets and covering short to long-term tenors.
Summary of the role:
Based in Singapore, this team player will fill a newly set position part of the Transactional Cover Asia Pacific team. With a strong background in corporate credit analysis and a good understanding of credit risk as well as banks transactions (trade finance, corporate finance, and structured finance), he/she will be in charge to provide credit decisions and actively contribute to develop a profitable portfolio of transactions on Asia Pacific corporate/FI/sovereign obligors. 

Responsibilities
  • Be the representative of Euler Hermes Transactional Cover Risk Underwriting team in Asia Pacific. 
  • Carry-out in-depth obligor, sectorial, financial, structure and country risks analysis on transactions.
  • Review transactions and prepare credit application for decision within own authority limit or escalate for decision
  • Work in close cooperation with Euler Hermes Transactional Cover Risk team based in Paris, Euler Hermes Transactional Cover Asia Pacific commercial team based in Singapore and liaising with local Euler Hermes Risk & Information teams. 
  • Support TCU APAC commercial underwriters during client meetings or market presentations as the case may be. 
  • Portfolio monitoring function.
Requirements and Skills: Must haves
  • The candidate should have 5-10 years’ experience- preferably in Asia Banking Industry, in Multilaterals or/and in Single-risk Medium Term Credit Insurance Department. 
  • Very familiar with Asian corporates and economies -
  • Proven ability to make credit decisions 
  • Good understanding of bank products (trade finance, corporate finance, structured finance)
Preferred skills:
  • Strong ability in financial and sectorial analysis 
  • Flexibility and ability to work autonomously  
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment Fluent in English. A second or third language (preferably Mandarin) would be welcome.
  • Knowledge of credit insurance market and mechanisms would be a plus
  • Good geopolitical culture including emerging markets would be a plus
To apply for this position, please send your CV to sabine.lombard@eulerhermes.com
(Please mention that you saw this vacancy on Credit Insurance News' Job Board)
Committee Support Manager / Associate Director (focus Medium LongTerm Committee), London, England.
The Berne Union – International Union of Credit & Investment Insurers – is the leading international trade association for the export credit and investment insurance industry, giving its members a unique forum to connect and exchange business experience since its foundation in 1934. Its membership includes 82 private credit insurers and national export credit agencies worldwide. These member organisations support international trade and foreign direct investment by providing risk mitigation products to exporters, investors and banks.
Based in London and under the supervision of the Secretary General, the Committee Support Manager / Associate Director is a member of the Berne Union Secretariat team and will be responsible for managing meeting content and other supporting activities for, and in cooperation with, Berne Union members. The BU currently consists of four committees, primarily relating to line of business distinctions (e.g. short term business, investment insurance, etc.). The grading / positioning of this role (Committee Support Manager / Associate Director) will be subject to the successful applicants’ professional qualification and specific experience. 

Roles and Responsibilities:
  • Act as a Secretariat point of contact for Committee Chair(s) to ensure delivery of relevant and suitable meeting content at general and specialist member meetings; regularly and proactively communicate with a variety of stakeholders
  • Identify, develop, prepare and manage content related to export credit and investment insurance for member events and meetings; ensure content relevance and audience suitability
  • Actively contribute to planning, preparation and execution of member events and meetings; propose creative and innovative approaches to meeting programmes, including incorporating member feedback and recommendations as appropriate
  • Co-lead and/or lead events and meetings with a focus on technical and strategic issues
  • Facilitate active engagement from participants in advance and at member events and meetings
  • Work with industry colleagues to further promote the profile of the Berne Union and its member organisations
  • Develop and implement strategies to meet the needs of both established and new generation credit and investment insurers
Qualifications
  • Experience in the credit and/or investment insurance industry, preferably for at least 5 years, with experience in underwriting, claims or other related lines of business
  • Relevant degree of professional / academic qualification such as international affairs, business, finance and/or economics
  • Self-motivated, resourceful, and well-organised; proactive with an ability to multi-task, and manage priorities
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a small diverse team; strong written and verbal communication skills including public speaking abilities and experience
  • Fluent in written and spoken English; fluency in other languages are an asset
  • Proficiency with the standard office software word, powerpoint, excel as well preferably experience in using intranet communication platforms
  • Qualified to work in the United Kingdom and ability to travel internationally
Please apply by enclosing a curriculum vitae and a covering letter by email to President Topi Vesteri (topi.vesteri@finnvera.fi) by Monday 30 January 2017. All applications will be treated in confidence.  
(Please mention that you saw this vacancy on Credit Insurance News' Job Board)
Commercial Account Handler. London. Salary £50,000 - £70,000.
One of the world’s leading trade credit insurance experts is looking to add to its growing team. This role would suit someone who has come from a Risk Underwriter background or Risk Analyst and looking to move into an account manager position. You should have a wealth of experience in Trade Credit and if possible in large multinational accounts. Your added experience of risk analysing is going to add value to the current team and a extra level of knowledge for the clients. You will have the backing of a strong and renowned brand as well as a great place to grow your career. For more details or to apply please email mark.keizner@reedglobal.com.
(Please mention that you saw this vacancy on Credit Insurance News' Job Board)
Account Manager, £30,000 - £35,000. Manchester, London, Birmingham or Bristol.
Do you excel in managing client relationships and have a background in Trade Credit?
Based in either Manchester, London, Birmingham or Bristol this is going to suit someone who wants to work for one of the global leaders in Trade Credit as an Account Manager.
Your main focus will be to ensure retention of your client base, ensure you are utilise the company’s products as best you can to ensure maximum income. You will also be responsible for working with broker teams and ensuring group compliance is adhered to.
You should be driven and someone who takes pride in delivering excellent customer service and a strong Account Manager focus.
For more information or to apply please contact mark.keizner@reedglobal.com
(Please mention that you saw this vacancy on Credit Insurance News' Job Board)
Business Development Manager, £35,000 - £40,000
Target driven Business Development Manager needed for global insurance company. Location is open dependent upon the right person and can include Manchester, London, Leeds or Bristol. Your background will be with in Trade Credit and a focus on the mid-market client base. Someone who understand managing client needs and a hunting for your next opportunity.
The focus on a day to day basis will be:
If a role as Business Development Manager in one of the leading trade credit insurers is what you are looking for feel you fit the bill as laid out above please contact me Mark.Keizner@reedglobal.com.
(Please mention that you saw this vacancy on Credit Insurance News' Job Board).
  • To deliver sales growth targets to meet individual and team target. 
  • To price and structure business taking joint ownership of the loss ratio in the Region with the Risk department and delivering a profitable result to the business. 
  • To develop strong client relationships and create a sense of mutual trust and beneficial reliance with new clients. 
  • To develop the relationship with Brokers. 
  • To maximise the opportunities for all product lines, thereby maximising contribution. 
  • To maximise conversion of profitable opportunities with strong probability of long term retention of client.
Account Executive: Salary £30,000-£40,000.
Do you have experience in Trade Credit and a background of developing new business and client relationships? If you are looking for that next move and want to work for one of the UK’s biggest network or Trade Credit brokers, then this role might be right for you. The opportunity can be based in Manchester, London or Essex and will need a proactive person who understands how to rely on the network to generate the right level of business and maintain the relationships year on year. Career paths are well laid out for the right person as is development of your skill sets, for more information or to apply please contact mark.keizner@reedglobal.com.
(Please mention that you saw this vacancy on Credit Insurance News' Job Board)
Forthcoming Events
Supply Chain Finance Summit. 1-2 February 2017, Frankfurt.
Brought to you by BCR, the leading publishers in receivables finance, the Supply Chain Finance Summit brings you the latest trends transforming supply chain finance. The supply chain finance environment is rapidly changing. A price slump has created new working capital issues for suppliers in commodity focussed regions. De-risking and stimulating institutional investor appetite is increasingly on the agenda of forward thinking banks. Find out how these market shifts as well as pressures in the EU political landscape are re-shaping the SCF climate and creating new challenges and opportunities. Not only does the Supply Chain Finance Summit offer valuable networking opportunities, it is a fantastic environment to share expertise with your counterparts and build business relationships. BCR are delighted to offer Credit Insurance News members a 10% discount on booking in addition to the early bird booking discount which expires on 27th October 2016. Use code CIN17 and register now at www.bcrconferences.com.
The CICM British Credit Awards 2017, 7 February 2017. London.
‘The recognised standard'. Now in its 5th year the event continues to grow and 2017 will once again, see the credit industry's leading figures gather to celebrate the very best performers. The annual CICM British Credit Awards is the recognised standard in the credit and collections industry and it's always a fabulous, glittering occasion. So make sure you get your entries in early, book your tables early, and join us for a fabulous night of celebration, entertainment and networking in London on 7 February 2017.
About the awards.  
As Europe's largest credit association, the CICM is the centre of expertise for credit management, and promotes excellence and best-practice achievement. The British Credit Awards is central to this, rewarding outstanding performance and innovation shown by individuals and organisations across the UK. For more information go to http://www.cicmbritishcreditawards.com/.
GTR Mena Trade Finance Week 2017, 12-14 February 2017.
Dubai With established links to the region’s primary trade bodies, financial institutions and regulators, GTR’s annual event in Dubai plays a vital role in fostering face-to-face dialogue between all sectors involved in Middle Eastern trade. The 14th edition of this series features an expanded focus, placing greater emphasis on corporate treasury matters and the issues facing treasurers today, in an ever changing global market. Furthermore, the newly extended format will incorporate a special ECA and infrastructure finance day, held in partnership and under the patronage of Dubai Economic Council, as well as a GTR Training seminar focusing on International Trade & Documentary Credits. Welcoming multinational companies, SMEs, financiers, insurers, risk managers, lawyers, consultants, government bodies and ECAs, this annual gathering of trade finance professionals provides unrivalled access to hundreds of companies and institutions engaged in regional trade. Click here for more information.
India Trade & Treasury Conference 2017, 22 February. Mumbai.
Bringing India’s trade community together for discussion, debate and networking for well over a decade, GTR’s annual conference in India returns for its 14th year, taking place at the Taj Lands End, Mumbai on February 22, 2017. An exciting development this year will be the inclusion of treasury and fintech aspects relating to trade. For Indian companies involved in exporting their goods globally; for international corporates looking to enter the Indian market; for financial institutions providing funding options; for insurers and lawyers involved in covering these operations; for any institution involved in international trade finance, this established annual event is a prime opportunity to meet face-to-face with market peers – a place to share expertise and experiences first-hand at the only event of its kind in India. Click here for more information.
ExCred27: Insuring Export Credit & Political Risk, 28 February - 1 March 2017. Hilton Tower Bridge, London.
The leading event for the global export credit and political risk insurance industry promises to provide you with a detailed and insightful analysis of global events and trends impacting the industry right now, including: current affairs, political shifts, the world economy and risk profiles of key regions.
300+ Attendees: join leading executives from ECAs, DFIs, Commercial Banks, Private Insurers & Corporate Exporters and Buyers.
90+ Speakers: learn from industry leaders on the current macroeconomic environment and geopolitical risk climate.
26+ Years: as the leading industry event for Trade, Export & Project Finance, Credit, Political Risk & Investment Insurance.
Essential industry topics covered: • Global Economic Insight - Will Trump & Brexit Reshape ECA/PRI Worlds? • The Future of Private Insurers & ECAs • Key Market Analysis & Geopolitical Risk • Trade, Export / Agency & Project Finance • A Focus on Africa.
Don’t miss out on your exclusive 10% Credit Insurance News discount – quote VIP code FKW53357CINL when registering. For more information and to register please visit the event website.
GTR Africa Trade Finance Week 2017, 9-10 March. Cape Town.
 Returning to Cape Town for its 11th year, the market’s premier pan-African trade finance gathering will take place at The Westin on March 9-10. Now also incorporating GTR‘s West Africa Trade & Export Finance Conference, for increased focus on developments in key markets such as Nigeria, Ghana and the Francophone region, the event will focus on the extensive trade, export, commodity and infrastructure financing opportunities available across the continent, providing unrivalled access to those companies and institutions currently doing business in Africa, including regional and global corporates, financiers and trade specialists. GTR’s ties to the market’s primary trade bodies, regulators and institutions allows on-stage discussion to focus on the latest challenges being experienced by those involved in African trade, as well as highlighting potential opportunities in a number of key countries and sectors. Click here for more information.
Malaysia Trade & Export Finance Conference 2017, 14 March. Kuala Lumpur.
Returning to Kuala Lumpur on March 14, 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. Click here for more information.
Receivables Finance International Convention, 15 - 16 March. London.
Over 150 receivables finance industry experts, government agencies, financiers, ‘Fintechs’ and alternative platforms, banks, insurers and corporates gathered in Lisbon at the 2016 Receivables Finance International Convention (‘RFIx’). In 2017 RFIX will be celebrating its 17th year in London and will continue to introduce attendees to new entrants to the market, update them on the latest regulation and compliance issues, evaluate new financing structures and much more. “RFIX is an excellent forum for sharing developments in receivables finance. I was especially pleased with how much the debates focused on the future of the industry.” Duncan Stevenson, Head of Legal, Fraud & Business Intelligence, RBS “Great initiative towards addressing industry issues through sharing of best practise.” Arup Roy, Head of Global Transaction Banking, Saudi Arabia British Bank BCR are delighted to offer Credit Insurance News members a 10% discount on booking in addition to the early bird booking discount which expires on 30th December 2016. Use code CIN17 and register now at www.bcrconferences.com.
Turkey Trade & Export Finance Conference 2017, 21 March. Istanbul.
For Turkish companies involved in international trade and investment, GTR‘s annual event in Istanbul has quickly become the primary industry gathering at which to meet and discuss their exporting and financing requirements with like-minded organisations, as well as with those institutions tasked with financing them. On March 21, over 350 delegates are expected to meet at the Swissotel the Bosphorus in this important city for global trade, a vital bridge between Europe, Mena and Asia. As the only event of its kind, and with established support from key industry associations, public bodies and institutions, 2017’s event features new and innovative content designed to foster maximum engagement between speakers and delegates. The event brochure will be released later in early 2017. Click here for more information.
Iran Trade Finance Conference 2017.
With discussions still ongoing, 2017 could be a monumental year for Iran, following the 2016 lifting of a number of international sanctions. This brings with it the potential for a new market economy within the international community, complete with the world’s fourth largest oil reserves and second largest gas reserves. GTR‘s inaugural Iran Trade Finance Conference will consider the implications of this new era, with a business environment ripe for investment and joint ventures and a mood of cooperation within the upper echelons of government. With Iran keen to benefit from external expertise in a range of key sectors, including transport, telecommunications, infrastructure, technology, real estate and financial services, the conference will provide first-hand insights on the latest developments, utilising a proven event model that incorporates original content, interactive formats and an unparalleled networking environment. Click here for more information.
About this Issue's Sponsor: World Television
We are a leading international video communications agency.
We provide professional video technology and content solutions – from the world’s most established webcast platforms to world-class production event management and content creation.
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We are one video communications agency with technology at its heart and a wide range of video platforms, products and services such as:
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We have three pillars within our business
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World Television has a range of product and services to cater to your every communication need. Find out more about our platforms and services at http://www.world-television.com, email us or call James on + 44 20 7243 7350.
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