Welcome to issue 99 of Credit Insurance News Digest. The industry newsletter devoted to the global trade credit insurance industry.
This issue is sponsored by Canopius

Index
Credit Insurance News
Proposals set out in the PRA consultation paper could damage the ongoing use of trade credit insurance. Insurance Business has reported that the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has warned that the recent consultation paper by the Prudential Regulation Authority, 'Credit risk mitigation: eligibility of guarantees as unfunded credit protection', could damage the use of non-payment insurance as a robust and effective transfer of risk for banks. The LMA cautioned that reducing the efficiency of trade credit insurance in helping banks mitigate risks poses a threat to the UK financial services sector – to the tune of US$150 billion of exposure gap in credit risk cover. The LMA also stressed the importance of non-payment insurance not only in the banking industry but also in the wider UK economy and global trade. To read Insurance Business' article go to https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/uk/news/breaking-news/lma-issues-credit-risk-warning-100829.aspx.
Trade credit insurance policies may become more expensive and less readily available. Responding to the consultation paper published by the Prudential Regulation Authority, the International Underwriting Association (IUA) has warned that trade credit insurance policies are likely to become more expensive and less readily available if proposed new regulatory changes are pursued. The IUA notes that the proposed changes fail to recognise the importance, flexibility and effectiveness of credit risk insurance provided to banks and other financial institutions. “The credit insurance product has historically worked well, continues to do so and is valued by clients,” commented Chris Jones, IUA director of legal and market services. “Our research on this issue has revealed widespread concern that the regulatory proposals will make the market less attractive." To read the IUA's article go to https://www.iua.co.uk/IUA_Member/Press/Press_Releases_2018/IUA_warns_against_credit_risk_reforms.aspx.
Parker Norfolk enters the trade credit and political risk insurance sector. GTR (Global Trade Review) has reported that insurance broker Parker Norfolk and Partners has made a range of senior hires (see 'New Appointments' below) to build its expertise within its structured trade credit and political risk insurance team. Speaking to GTR, Parker Norfolk's CEO, Alan Wallace, advised that Parker Norfolk will not be looking to compete with the market’s big players, but rather take a specialist approach based on the specific experience of the new team members. “There is no sense in us attempting to have an enormous bandwidth and trying to slug it out with the likes of JLT, Arthur J Gallagher or BPL,” he commented. “There are lots in the herd and they are all queued up bumping into each other. So the idea is to try and be innovative, do something different and generate new revenue for the insurance market in London from our collective thought process and experience.” To read GTR's article go to https://www.gtreview.com/news/on-the-move/parker-norfolk-enters-trade-credit-and-political-risk-insurance-with-six-senior-hires/.
Opportunity in the US trade credit insurance market. Insurance Business (Canada) has published an article which reports that in today’s global marketplace, trade credit insurance has never been more important. However, only about 3% of suitable businesses in North America buy trade credit insurance, compared to a 15% penetration rate in Western Europe - mainly due to a lack of awareness about the product. The main alternative to trade credit insurance is self-insurance, a practice many US organisations opt for. However, James Daly, CEO and President of Euler Hermes North America and the Americas, commented that this is not a very capital efficient solution. “Rather than have capital in your balance sheet doing nothing but waiting for bad debt, why not purchase trade credit insurance and then invest that excess capital into growth or new products?” To read Insurance Business' article go to https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/ca/news/risk/huge-opportunity-in-trade-credit-insurance-market-100878.aspx.
PoundWorld's financial turmoil was bolstered by the withdrawal of its credit insurance. Retail Gazette has published an article, 'Poundworld officially enters administration risking 5100 jobs', which reports that Poundworld has confirmed the appointment of administrators after a failed sales process. Deloitte joint administrator Clare Boardman commented: “The retail trading environment in the UK remains extremely challenging and Poundworld has been seeking to address this through a restructure of its business. Unfortunately, this has not been possible." Retail Gazette noted that PoundWorld's financial turmoil had been bolstered by the withdrawal of its credit insurance, which subsequently led to suppliers demanding £6 million in payments immediately. To read the article go to https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2018/06/poundworld-prepares-enter-administration-rescue-talks-fail/.
Euler Hermes withdraws trade credit insurance cover for The Original Factory Shop. Drapers has published an article, 'Euler Hermes pulls insurance cover for The Original Factory Shop', which reports that Euler Hermes has withdrawn its trade insurance cover for suppliers of The Original Factory Shop. The news follows plans to close a raft of stores and negotiate cheaper rents, as part of a rescue deal. The Original Factory Shop, based in Burnley, reported a slight rise in turnover from £185 million to £190 million last year. However, profits fell by £3.1 million as a result of stock impairment. To read Drapers' article go to https://www.drapersonline.com/news/exclusive-euler-hermes-pulls-insurance-cover-for-the-original-factory-shop/7030658.article.
Struggling UK retailers have been hit by the withdrawal of credit insurance. Recent research from RPC has shown that the number of UK retailers entering insolvency has increased by 7% in the past year from 999 in 2015/16 to 1,071 in 2017/18. RPC notes that struggling retailers have been hit by the withdrawal of credit insurance, which "is often an indicator of financial distress, and can be the final straw before a company enters insolvency." Additionally, Tim Moynihan, Restructuring and Insolvency Senior Associate at RPC, says that many high street retailers have a cost base that remains stubbornly high. To read RPC's news release go to https://www.rpc.co.uk/press-and-media/retail-sector-insolvencies-show-no-sign-of-slowing-with-7-percent-increase-in-a-year/.
Annual UK export losses of £125 million could result from US import tariffs. Euler Hermes has warned that tariffs imposed on 31 May by the US on global steel and aluminium imports could lead to yearly export losses of £125 million (US$166.6 million) for the UK and £5,570 billion (US$7,427.5 billion) globally. According to Euler Hermes' analysis, Canada looks set to be the biggest single loser as part of the latest wave of tariffs, suffering a £1.5 billion (US$2,030 billion) loss. In Europe, Germany could be the biggest loser with £300 million (US$400 million) in lost exports, while the European Union as a whole will lose around £800 million (US$1 billion). To read Euler Hermes' news release go to https://www.eulerhermes.co.uk/newsroom/180606-protectionism-steel-alum.html.
The impact of protectionism on the global economy. Global Trade has published an article, 'The Good News and the Bad News on Trade', in which Julien Marcilly, Coface's Chief Economist, notes that although protectionist measures in the US may be on the rise, they “are more than offset by fewer protectionist measures coming in from the rest of the world.” Furthermore, he argues that US protectionism may actually promote freer trade elsewhere in the world. For example, Mexico has updated its trade agreements with Brazil and Argentina to protect the levels of corn imports it requires, and the EU and Japan concluded the world’s largest FTA earlier this year. Mr Marcilly also suggests that US protectionist measures won’t necessarily work to curb imports, especially from emerging economies like China which has developed a robust export sector thanks to its lower labour costs. To read Global Trade's article go to http://www.globaltrademag.com/free-trade-agreements/the-good-news-and-the-bad-news-on-trade/.
The importance of trade credit insurance amid escalating global supply chain risk. In a recent article in StrategicRisk, 'Trade War and Peace', Frank Masteling, Head of Trade Credit at Equinox Global Netherlands, warns that the increasing globalisation of supply chains leaves businesses exposed when nations adopt protectionist economic measures. To mitigate risks, trade credit insurance can not only help to protect against the risk of a buyer going insolvent leaving bad debt in its wake but "can be a crucial source of liquidity to supply-chain heavy sectors, such as oil and gas, machine building or construction." Mr Masterling adds that an escalation of trade barriers between countries will not benefit the global economy in either the short or the long term. "In the meantime, it is better to have good protection in place." To read StrategicRisk's article go to https://www.strategic-risk-europe.com/trade-war-and-peace/1426965.article.
Asia Pacific exporters’ are urged to protect their cashflow as fears deepen over protectionist measures. Atradius has warned that a worsening of the global trade environment in the coming months, due to a surge in protectionism, could have severe repercussions in Asia Pacific. 45% of the exporters in the region surveyed by Atradius for its latest 'Payment Practices Barometer' expect their turnover to decline 10% to 20% due to uncertainty over and changes in trade agreements. The report also shows that 52% of the suppliers surveyed in China are pessimistic about potential export turnover losses. Andreas Tesch, Chief Market Officer of Atradius commented "US protectionism, including the threat of a trade war, a misguided Fed policy, China’s growth slowdown and geopolitical risks may severely hamper growth, lowering business confidence and triggering deterioration of the regional insolvency environment. It is therefore essential that suppliers take a forward looking approach to protecting their cash flow.”  The Atradius Payment Practices Barometer for Asia Pacific - May 2018. can be downloaded from the Atradius website at https://group.atradius.com (Publications section). It further provides in depth analysis of eight key markets in Asia Pacific.
Credendo sees opportunities in single-risk insurance. Credendo has announced a €40 million capital increase (from €25 million to €65 million) to its subsidiary Credendo – Single Risk. Michael Frank, General Manager of Credendo – Single Risk, emphasised that there is a growing demand among the company’s existing international clients, as well as its target clients, for insurance cover for single contracts, transactions and investments in the context of international trade and geopolitical risks. He also noted that there will be additional potential in seizing cross-selling business opportunities between the different entities of Credendo. To read Credendo's news release go to https://www.credendo.com/press/credendo-announced-eur-40-million-capital-increase-its-subsidiary-credendo-single-risk.
BPL Global opens a new office in Geneva. BPL Global has announced that it has established a new branch in Geneva to focus on developing new relationships with Swiss-based banks, traders, NGOs and other potential clients, as well as being a local point of contact for the broker’s existing clients. The new branch adds to BPL Global's existing network of offices in London, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai. Philippine de Villèle, who joins from UBS to head the office, commented: "While the trading environment remains challenging, the outlook is more positive in comparison to the past few years, with increasing market opportunities. As such, this represents a suitable time to open in Geneva, which provides proximity to existing clients to better understand their changing needs, while also allowing us to explore the potential with other industry players and Swiss-based exporters and investors." To read BPL Global's news release go to https://bpl-global.com/2018/06/04/bpl-global-opens-in-geneva-as-villele-rejoins-from-ubs/.
Euler Hermes predicts less than a 5% increase in world tariffs. Euler Hermes’ latest analysis on protectionism, 'Trade Games, Trade Feud or Trade War?' evaluates the impact of higher US tariffs on global trade in 2018 and 2019, and defines three scenarios based on the rise of the average US import tariff and different levels of retaliation by major trade partners. The baseline scenario called 'Trade Games', which Euler Hermes considers most likely, corresponds to a mild increase of the average tariff by +0.5% from 3.5% today for the US, with negligible retaliation. Other possible scenarios include 'Trade Feud' (which Euler Hermes describes as unlikely to occur) which would result in an increase of +2.5% for the US and rest-of-the-world import tariffs. Thirdly, 'Trade War' (Euler Hermes considers this very unlikely) would correspond to an 8.5% rise in tariffs globally. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/Protectionism-%E2%80%93-Euler-Hermes-expects-less-than-0.5pp-increase-in-world-import-tariffs.aspx.
Asia Pacific experiences a third consecutive year of declining B2B credit sales. Atradius' latest Payment Practices Barometer for Asia Pacific has found that with the exception of Australia and Singapore the use of trade credit in B2B transactions in Asia Pacific countries is lower in 2018 than it was in 2017 - the third consecutive of decline. This was mainly due to an almost 5% decrease in transactions on credit with foreign B2B customers. Atradius' report also found that the average frequency of late payment was highest in Indonesia, Singapore and India (91.0%, 91.1% and 94.7% respectively), while Japan remains the country with the lowest frequency of payment delays (on average, 70.2% of respondents reported payment delays). To read Atradius' news release go to https://group.atradius.com/publications/payment-practices-barometer-asia-pacific-2018.html.
China’s zombie companies see payment terms soar. GTR (Global Trade Review) has published an article which reports that research by Euler Hermes has found that days sales outstanding (DSO) in China rose by three days last year to 92 days – by some distance the highest average DSO among major economies. Payment terms increased in 12 of 18 Chinese sectors, with 25% of companies waiting 136 days to be paid. The Euler Hermes data correlates with that of other insurers analysing the Chinese market. For example, in April, GTR reported on Coface statistics which showed that increasing numbers of Chinese companies are experiencing payment delays of more than six months. Furthermore, the share of companies for which “ultra-long” payment delays form more than 10% of turnover rose from 11% to 21%. To read GTR's article go to https://www.gtreview.com/news/asia/chinas-zombie-companies-see-payment-terms-soar/.
The global metals industry remains one of the riskiest in Coface’s sector assessment. Coface's latest Panorama on the global metals sector reports that although growing protectionism in the US and Europe, along with retaliatory measures from China, have impacted business confidence and investments, they have not yet hampered economic growth. However, Coface notes that political interference and geopolitical disruptions have always been important factors which generate volatility and price hikes in the metals sector, and the metals industry remains one of the riskiest in Coface’s sector assessment, with a credit risk level evaluated as 'high'. To read Coface's news release with a link to the full report go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Global-metals-sector-prices-to-continue-to-rise-in-2018-ahead-of-a-possible-slight-decline-in-2019.
Australia: a sharp increase in DSO. Atradius latest Payment Practices Barometer for Australia has found that in 2018, Australian businesses noted a steep increase in days sales outstanding (DSO) to 34 days - 12 days longer than in 2017. B2B customers in consumer durables and the chemicals sector were some of the slowest payers, paying 28 and 12 days after the due date respectively. For the consumer durables sector, insufficient availability of funds, the complexity of the payment procedure and buyers using outstanding invoices as a form of financing were cited as the reason for payment delays. In the chemicals sector, disputes over the quality of goods delivered and services provided and buyers using outstanding invoices as a form of financing were primary causes. To read Atradius' news release go to https://group.atradius.com/publications/payment-practices-barometer-asia-pacific-australia-2018.html.
Markel launches 'Markellink', a new online product for credit managers. Markellink is a new online system which combines client's sales ledger data and credit limit/policy information from Markel's underwriting platform to aid credit managers in the administration of Markel policies and bridge the gap for companies moving from a whole-turnover to an excess-of-loss policy offering. Key features/benefits include the ability to aggregate data across ledgers, identification of credit limit breaches and overtrading, alerts identifying expiring temporary credit limits, key invoices due for payment etc, the automated calculation of discretionary credit limits and monthly reporting direct to the underwriters. Markellink is currently in the final stages of beta testing ahead of a rollout to UK and overseas clients. For more information on Markellink, click on the video link http://markelinternational.com/markellink.
A condensed view of country risk assessments published by Atradius, Coface, Credimundi and Euler Hermes. AU Group has released its latest AU 'G Grade' for Q2 2018. The AU 'G-Grade' is based on the individual assessment of a country by each of the four main credit insurers and is calculated according to the real risk taken by these major insurers collectively. In addition, 7 key indicators provided by the IMF Statistics Department give a view on the key trends and the level of risk per country. This issue's country risk analysis notes that the main concern in Q2 has been Tunisia which has been downgraded by three credit insurers. Other notable developments include Algeria, which has also been downgraded, while improvements are noted in the UAE and Kyrgyzstan.  To download a copy of AU Group's free report go to http://www.au-group.com/how-to-monitor-country-risks/. An infographic and video summary is also available.
China and Singapore are the only countries in Asia Pacific to experience a decrease in payment duration. Atradius' latest Payment Practices Barometer for China indicates small improvements in 2018 – late payments were reported less frequently, there was a minor decline in the average proportion of overdue B2B invoices and a faster invoice to cash turn-around was observed. Next to Singapore, China was the only country in Asia Pacific to experience a decrease in payment duration, with the average falling to 47 days this year. This means that respondents in the country need a shorter time to convert B2B invoices into cash; on average, 10 days less than in Asia Pacific overall. To read Atradius' news release go to https://group.atradius.com/publications/payment-practices-barometer-asia-pacific-china-2018.html.
Working Capital Requirements increase throughout advanced economies and Asian markets. Euler Hermes has published a new report which analyses companies’ working capital requirements and notes that almost all advanced economies are seeing a rise in WCR, notably the US (+5 days), Germany (+7), Japan (+8) and France (+3). The picture is the same in Asia which has seen a rise in WCR in 7 out of 9 countries. This comes partly from a relaxing in payment behaviour, but more significantly from a surge in inventories (+5 days in average) - notably in Scandinavian countries, Japan and South Korea. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/Sound-inventory-management-pivotal-to-companies-working-capital-needs.aspx.
An interview with Milind Jain, Vice President, Regional Trade Credit Practice Leader at Marsh. The latest issue of Markel's newsletter, 'TCPRS Matters', contains a broker Q&A with Milind Jain, Vice President, Regional Trade Credit Practice Leader at Marsh. The questions explore Mr Jain's career path, most significant influences, best careers advice and the favourite aspects of his job. Mr Jain also touches upon what he was like as a teenager, his childhood ambition and his favourite sports. To read the interview go to http://www.markelinternational.com/regions/london-market/Markel-News-May-18/TCPRS-broker-qa/?dm_i=19BZ,5NAE4,C20B4B,LYKT6,1.
Congratulations to . . .
Export Development Canada for winning the Trade & Export Finance (TXF) award for 'Export Credit Agency of the Year'. TXF surveyed more than 200 exporters and users of export finance in their annual exporters' survey.
Topi Vesteri, Deputy CEO, Group CCO at Finnvera and President at the International Union of Credit & Investment Insurers (Berne Union) who has won the Trade & Export Finance (TXF) Industry Fellowship Award. This is in recognition for his exceptional service to the international export finance sector.
And Finally . . .
Nexus group are raising money this year for Starlight Children’s Foundation. On the 14th of June a large group are fundraising by walking from Winchester to Brighton, about 100 kilometres. Please see the link to the justgiving page, with more details on what they are about to undertake and more importantly information on the great work done by the chosen charity. Any donations are very much appreciated. Go to https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/nexus100kinaday.
Trade Credit Industry Dinner. Willis Towers Watson has announced that it is hosting this year's Trade Credit Industry Dinner at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, Piccadilly on Thursday 8 November 2018. Tickets will be on sale soon. As always, places will be limited! To register your interest for this event, please contact tradecreditdinner@willistowerswatson.com.
Note: Further details of this event are available in 'Events & Offers' - below.
New Appointments
Parker Norfolk and Partners has announced a number of senior appointments: 
  • Rupert Cutler and Richard Bishop joined the firm in mid-May as directors of financial and political risks. Mr Cutler previously worked in a similar role at Price Forbes & Partners. Mr Bishop was most recently an independent consultant. 
  • Rob Farquharson and Laura Ferguson will join Parker Norfolk on June 6 and 11 respectively, as directors of trade credit. Both come from Marsh’s trade credit team, where Mr Farquharson held the role of development executive and Ms Ferguson was practice leader. 
  • Peter Dalton will join as Parker Norfolk’s COO on June 19. He is currently chief risk officer at Besso. 
Gallagher has hired Daniel Stewart, Rachel Smailes and Colin Cunningham, according to Insurance Insider. (see https://www.insuranceinsider.com/articles/119475/gallagher-hires-marsh-trade-credit-trio (subscription required)). All three previously resigned from Marsh in March this year.
BPL Global has announced the appointment of Philippine de Villèle as head of its new branch in Geneve. Ms Villèle rejoins BPL Global from UBS, where she was head of its CPRI team within its Commodity Trade Finance department.
ArgoGlobal has announced the appointment of Daniel Byrne as credit and political risk underwriter effective immediately. Mr Byrne most recently served as acting global Head of Credit and Political risk at Aspen Insurance UK.
Munich Re America has named Sarina Puccio as team leader for credit, surety and political risk in the reinsurance division. Ms Puccio was previously vice-president and production underwriter for the credit, surety and political risk business. She has also worked for R+V Versicherunung and Coface.
Business Information & Reports
Misco to pay unsecured creditors just 2.7% of the debt owed. Channel Pro has reported that Misco's unsecured creditors will receive just £600,000 of the £2.18 million they're owed as the company goes into administration. Preferential creditors will be paid in full, so it's only the unsecured creditors that will miss out substantially. The £600,000 that administrators can pay these creditors will come from the sale of Misco's property, which has been valued at £8.3 million. "The company’s turnaround plans could not deal sufficiently with the rapid deterioration in cash-flow after the sudden tightening of credit insurance terms," administrator Geoffrey Rowley of FRP Advisory LLP said at the time it was announced Misco would be closing its doors. To read Channel Pro's article go to http://www.channelpro.co.uk/news/10851/misco-to-pay-unsecured-creditors-just-27-of-their-22m.
UK high street woes continue, with 43,000 retailers in financial distress. According to new research by Begbies Traynor, following an extremely challenging first quarter for the UK high street, plagued by high profile administrations, unseasonably poor weather, declining footfall and weak consumer spending, 43,000 retailers ended the period in a state of ‘Significant’ financial distress. This is a 21% increase compared to the same period last year (Q1 2017: 35,555). Of these businesses, General Retailers saw the largest increase in distress (up 25% year on year) with 30,668 companies ending the quarter in ‘Significant’ financial distress. According to the data, all sectors of the economy which are reliant on consumer spending experienced an increase in financial distress over the period. To read Begbies Traynor's news release go to https://www.begbies-traynorgroup.com/news/business-health-statistics/uk-high-street-woes-continue-with-43000-retailers-in-financial-distress.
UK mid-sized businesses fail to keep pace with EU counterparts. New research by BDO has found that in the last 12 months British mid-sized businesses have fallen off the top spot for revenue growth among the leading five EU economies and are now in fourth place behind their Italian, French and Spanish counterparts. The latest figures from BDO show that UK mid-sized businesses increased turnover by 7% to £1.3 trillion; lower than Italy (which grew turnover by 21%), France (15%) and Spain (14%). Germany’s equivalent mid-sized businesses – which still generate the largest combined turnover of £1.4 trillion – saw revenues shrink by 8%, falling from second to fifth place. The German mid-market also saw profits slump by 13%, while the UK continued to deliver comparatively strong profit growth of 19%. Referred to by BDO as the UK’s ‘economic engine’, British mid-sized businesses are the second largest by turnover size of the five economies analysed. To read BDO's news release go to https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/news/2018/uk-mid-sized-businesses-fail-to-keep-pace-with-eu-counterparts.
UK businesses are asked to raise their game in the fight to end late payments crisis. Big businesses in the UK have been warned by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) that they must do more to stop late payments, poor payment practice and supply chain bullying. A letter from FSB National Chairman, Mike Cherry, to all FTSE 100 companies urges Chairmen and CEOs to take immediate action and lead the way in stamping out poor payments and create a new payments culture in the UK. The letter follows the release of a Parliamentary Joint Select Committee report on the collapse of Carillion published last week which laid bare the substantial failures at the company including the squeezing of its suppliers. To read the FSB's news release go to https://www.fsb.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/fsb-calls-on-big-business-to-raise-their-game-in-fight-to-end-late-payments-crisis.
The worst May on the UK high street for 12 years. New figures released by BDO's High Street Tracker (HSST) reveal that UK high street sales declined -2.2% year-on-year in May - the worst May on the high street for 12 years. It is also now eight months since in-store like-for-like sales have shown any real growth. Sophie Michael, Head of Retail and Wholesale at BDO LLP, said the figures highlighted a volatility on the UK’s high streets. “Consumer spending patterns continue to be both volatile and unpredictable, making it increasingly difficult for retailers to identify trends and respond accordingly. Whether it’s falling discretionary income, unexpected weather or a growing preference to spend on experiences, the result is creating growing challenges on the high street which are clearly affecting retail performance." To read BDO's news release go to https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/news/2018/store-sales-fail-to-ring-up-as-confetti-falls-in-may.
UK subcontractors write-off £2.8 billion in bad debt each year. According to a study by Bibby Financial Services (BFS) and The Vinden Partnership, 60% of subcontractors have suffered from bad debt in the last 12 months, with the average firm writing-off £16,149 each year. 17% of subcontractors said the most common reason for not receiving the full amount billed was due to a customer going out of business. A change in the scope of work part way through a project (8%), queries over the quality of work (6%) and disputes over contracts (6%) were also among the top reasons firms would lose money. Helen Wheeler, Managing Director for Construction Finance at BFS, commented: “ Unless something more tangible is done, the growth of tens of thousands of small construction firms will continue to be stifled.” To read BFS' news release go to https://www.bibbyfinancialservices.com/about-us/news-and-insights/news/2018/subcontractors-write-off-2,-d-,8bn-in-bad-debt-each-year.
Britain now finds itself in the ‘slow lane’ for growth. According to the CBI’s latest economic forecast, the UK risks staying in the ‘slow lane’ as other developed economies motor ahead. The CBI now predicts UK GDP growth of 1.4% for 2018 and 1.3% in 2019, but warns that its outlook also remains subject to a high degree of downside risk – in particular, a disorderly outcome from Brexit negotiations could disrupt the economy and financial markets more than expected. Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said: "there’s no disguising that Britain now finds itself in the ‘slow lane’ for growth. Meanwhile, the global economy has continued growing strongly, with momentum expected to remain solid." The CBI expects the global economy to grow by 3.8% in 2018 and 3.6% in 2019 (in purchasing power parity terms), following growth of 3.7% in 2017. To read the CBI's news release go to http://www.cbi.org.uk/news/dynamism-needed-on-domestic-front-to-help-power-uk-economy/.
Five-year study shows the changing fortunes of credit. A five-year study by the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) on the use and application of credit in driving the UK economy suggests that despite ongoing uncertainties over the economy and Brexit, credit managers are more confident now than in previous years. 'The Changing Fortunes of credit and the UK Economy 2011-2016', shows that the Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) started at 52.1 and ended more than seven points higher at 59.8 by the end of 2016 (any score above the 50.0 threshold is seen as ‘positive’). Furthermore, the CMI’s sector-specific results show that all but three of the 19 sectors met or exceeded the positive threshold. The three sectors that are struggling are Insurance (42.0), Basic Resources (48.0) and Chemicals (40.0). To read the CICM's news release with a link to the full report go to https://www.cicm.com/new-five-year-study-shows-changing-fortunes-credit/.
The majority of European businesses are reporting decreasing bad debt losses. Intrum has published its European Payment Report 2018 which finds that the majority of European businesses are reporting decreasing bad debt losses. On average, 1.7% of companies' yearly revenue had to be written off due to non-payments in the past 12 months; a decrease compared to the 2.14% reported by European companies in 2017 and even further below the 2.44% that was seen in 2016. 9,607 surveyed businesses around Europe have also indicated that payment timings are going down (from 37 days in 2017 to 34 days in 2018). However, the average payment time is still well above the desirable 30 days that is stipulated as a maximum in the directive covering all nations in the European Union. To read Intrum's news release go to https://www.intrum.com/press/press-releases/press-release-article/?id=99683C6B42D2DB41#Prospering_economy_shrinks_bad_debt_losses.
Global Economy to expand by 3.1% in 2018, with slower growth ahead. The World Bank's June 2018 Global Economic Prospects report has predicted that despite recent softening, global economic growth will remain robust at 3.1% in 2018 before slowing gradually over the next two years. Activity in advanced economies is expected to grow by 2.2% in 2018, before easing to a 2% rate of expansion next year. Growth in emerging market and developing economies overall is projected to strengthen to 4.5% in 2018, before reaching 4.7% in 2019. However, the World Bank has also cautioned that the outlook is subject to considerable downside risks. The possibility of disorderly financial market volatility has increased, and the vulnerability of some emerging markets and developing economies to such disruption has risen. Trade protectionist sentiment has also mounted, while policy uncertainty and geopolitical risks remain elevated. To read the World Bank's news release with links to the full report go to http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2018/06/05/global-economy-to-expand-by-3-1-percent-in-2018-slower-growth-seen-ahead.
Career Opportunities

Credit Risk Analyst 
Credendo - Short-Term Non-EU Risks
Reporting directly to the UK Country Manager of Credendo (Short-Term Non-EU Risk) in London and also to the Team Leader in Brussels. You will work closely with the account managers in the London branch and your colleagues at HQ in Brussels (and other branches).
As a Risk Underwriter your duties will include:
  • Gathering and analysing all relevant information for the assessment of short-term credit risks.
  • Making decisions on acceptance of credit risk within individual delegated authority or submitting proposals to Credit & Executive Committees.
  • Being the contact person for existing / potential clients / brokers and advising them on the decision making process & respond to their specific questions & queries. 
  • Following up of decisions and monitoring of credit risk within the portfolio.
  • Consult and monitor changes in macro and micro-economic conditions of countries & regions where clients of Credendo - Short-Term Non-EU Risk are active.
  • Ensuring that procedures, KPI’s and all ancillary information are maintained within the portfolio and kept up to date. 
Profile
  • Preferably a graduate with 2 years relevant working experience.
  • Excellent knowledge of English. An additional language would be an advantage.
  • Competent IT skills.
  • Clients oriented and have a commercial mind-set.
  • Excellent analytical skills and enjoy working with figures.
  • Great negotiation skills and be able to present your analyses and ideas both orally and in writing.
  • Dynamic and result-oriented; you take the initiative and have a sense of responsibility.
  • Be well-organised, accurate and able to work within deadlines.
  • Enthusiastic and have a broad interest in international economics and finance.
Our offer
  • Being part of a dynamic, high achieving London team.
  • A challenging career in a multilingual and international environment.
  • Continuous learning opportunities to develop your talent.
  • An attractive salary supplemented by excellent fringe benefits.
  • The role is based in the City of London.
To apply, please send your CV and a covering letter to mycareer-be@credendo.com

Commercial New Business Underwriter
Trade Credit London 
Competitive Salary
QBE’s European Operations, which accounts for over 27% of QBE Group turnover, is a leading specialist in London market and European commercial lines business. Active in both the Lloyd’s and company market, QBE offers considerable diversity to the broking community. We are a socially responsible company and give our customers the ability to invest a portion of their premiums in environmentally and socially beneficial projects.

The Opportunity:
We are looking for an Underwriter to join our team, this is your chance to create your career in an exciting environment where anything is possible. Are you ready to grow your career with us? As an Underwriter for QBE you will underwrite and develop business in accordance with the business plan. This is an excellent opportunity for you to work closely with key stakeholders to help grow the QBE Trade Credit book.

Your responsibilities for this role may include, but are not limited to:
  • Cultivating and maintaining positive relationships with agents and brokers
  • Research and project work to support the new business process - identifying opportunities for growth
  • Minimising risk and maximising efficiency by adhering to underwriting standards, instructions and good practice
  • Properly recording and measuring insurance risks
  • Working with brokers and customers to negotiate rates, terms and conditions on new business opportunities
  • Presenting to prospects and brokers on QBE’s products and offering
  • Producing and issuing contract certainty documentation
  • Ensuring compliance with internal and external regulations and guidelines
  • Reviewing and analysing the broker performance to identify progress toward business objectives
  • Contributing to the peer review processes to encourage and develop excellence 
You will need to be able to display you have the following qualifications and experience:
  • Experience in Underwriting
  • Knowledge of the UK Trade Credit market
  • Intermediate level understanding of relevant software, including Powerpoint, Excel and other departmental software packages
  • Knowledge of legal and regulatory requirements (specific reference to FCA / Lloyds regulation)
  • Experienced in the use of risk profiling and pricing tools and loss models
  • Cultivate and maintain positive relationships with agents and brokers
  • Strong technical underwriting skills and sales acumen
  • Strong negotiating skills
  • Degree certification or equivalent 
At QBE, we view our people as our most precious asset. We understand the importance of fostering a work environment that is responsive to the changing needs of today's workforce. QBE aims to build a workplace that is fair and inclusive because we want to attract and retain the best people to do the job. Search for QBE on Vercida to learn more about our Diversity and Inclusion programmes and policies.
To apply for this position send your CV and a covering letter to Alex.Yates@uk.qbe.com.
Events & Offers
ExCred Singapore, 26 June 2018. Novotel Clarke Quay Singapore.
Following the successes of London and New York, ExCred is extremely excited to be docking in Singapore this coming June. We’ll be providing you with a forum that puts credit & political risk insurance centre stage.
Join senior representatives of corporates, traders, banks, insurers, ECAs & DFIs to discuss how credit & political risk insurance is facilitating international trade & investment.
We are pleased to be able to offer a 10% discount off the delegate fee to all Credit Insurance News readers. To receive the discount, please quote VIP code FKW53683CIN when registering. Download the conference brochure here: https://get.knect365.com/excred-singapore/.
6 REASONS TO ATTEND EXCRED SINGAPORE:
  1. The one and only entirely Insurance Focused Event in Asia Pacific
  2. Gain insight into role of insurance in supply chains, structured commodity & project finance
  3. Get the latest update on key markets & opportunities in Asia Pacific
  4. Get the insurance buyer perspective
  5. Join an unrivalled networking opportunity 
  6. Get the latest on innovative products and partners 
 JUST IN 1 DAY, HEAR DIRECTLY FROM 30+ EXPERT SPEAKERS, INCLUDING:
  • Ashish Makhija, Standard Chartered Bank
  • Domenico Ambrosino, Danieli Asia
  • Evert-Jan Zondag, Deutsche Bank
  • Gergely Abraham, Nokia 
  • Kevin Khoo, Westpac 
  • Pallav Moona, Louis Dreyfus Company 
  • Rohit Goyal, Efa Group
  • Samuel Fong, Agritrade International 
A limited number of free places are available for traders and corporates. Contactanne.thormann@knect365.com to apply,
EARLY BIRD PASSES AVAILABLE UNTIL 18 MAY
There are three easy ways to register:
Please quote VIP code: FKW53683CIN to benefit from a 10% discount.
Commodity Trade Finance Conference 2018, 27 September. Lugano.
GTR’s annual Commodity Trade Finance Conference, organised in partnership with the Lugano Commodity Trading Association (LCTA), returns to Switzerland on September 27. Set to gather over 200 commodity trade experts from multinationals, trading companies, financial institutions and service providers, the event will assess the key trends impacting global commodity markets and trade, from geopolitical volatility to commodity financing appetite and liquidity. 
Established as the ultimate networking and learning platform for the industry’s key players, attendees will receive critical market insight, build business relationships and gain the inside track on the latest commodity financing trends and techniques.
Click here for more information and to register, or contact Judith at jmulhausen@gtreview.com. Note, Credit Insurance News readers enjoy a 15% discount to all GTR events. Quote code CIN15.
Supply Chain Finance Summit – APAC, 3-4 October 2018, Singapore
BCR’s inaugural Supply Chain Finance Summit-APAC in Singapore focuses on the growth of supply
chain finance across the APAC region.
With local governments, international and regional banks; and investors all actively encouraging the
development of local and cross-border SCF programmes, it is now, more than ever before, vital to
review the latest developments in this market and understand how to capitalise on opportunities in
this region. Join us in Singapore to hear from the industry's thought leaders, engage in debate,
network with your peers and help define the future of working capital.
BCR are delighted to offer Credit Insurance News members a 10% discount on booking. Register now using code CIN18 at www.bcrpub.com/events.
https://bcrpub.com/events/supply-chain-finance-summit-apac.
Supply Chain Finance Masterclass, 16 October 2018, London
Attend this advanced and comprehensive workshop to gain a practical understanding of the characteristics of the market and sector, an appreciation of the challenges of working capital management in the supply chain, the various forms, and how supply chain finance can operate to the benefit of all parties. Covering an in-depth insight into the market drivers, types, operations and benefits of SCF, this masterclass enables participants to: 
  • Understand the decision drivers & financial benefits for Buyers and Suppliers
  • Determine the decision drivers for Banks in offering SCF Programs
  • Explore how to genuinely make a success out of a SCF Program
  • Held ahead of the Supply Chain Finance Forum in London, the masterclass will provide your company with a comprehensive overview of unlocking liquidity through supply chain finance 
BCR are delighted to offer Credit Insurance News members a 10% discount on booking. Register now using code CIN18 at www.bcrpub.com/events/.
https://bcrpub.com/events/supply-chain-finance-masterclass.
Supply Chain Finance Forum, 17 October 2018, London 
BCR’s inaugural Supply Chain Finance Forum in London focuses on the industry’s emerging evolutionary trends and in particular the move towards targeting the largely untapped mid-cap buyers market. The forum will showcase innovations within supply chain finance for the mid-market, new arbitrage opportunities this market can provide, and review developing markets such as Asia and other high interest rate regions.
BCR are delighted to offer Credit Insurance News members a 10% discount on booking. Register now using code CIN18 at www.bcrpub.com/events/.
https://bcrpub.com/events/supply-chain-finance-forum.
Trade Credit Industry Dinner, 8 November, London.
Willis Towers Watson is honoured to announce that we are hosting this year's dinner at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, Piccadilly on Thursday 8 November 2018 (TIME 19.00 to 01.00) at the Sheraton Grand, London Park Lane, Piccadilly, London, England, W1J 7BX . DRESS CODE Black Tie.
"For our inaugural hosting of the dinner, we promise you a memorable evening and would be delighted if you would join us for a glass of bubbles on the Balcony, before dining in the Ballroom. Dinner will be followed by music, entertainment and fundraising.
An important part of the evening is the opportunity it provides to support worthwhile causes through our charity raffle and silent auctions. This year Willis Towers Watson has selected an outstanding charity, The Silver Line https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/ to receive the full benefit of that support.
Don't miss your opportunity to join us at this special event. Tickets will be on sale soon. As always, places will be limited!
To register your interest for this event, please contact tradecreditdinner@willistowerswatson.com.
Alternative & Receivables Finance Forum, 14 November 2018, London
Alternative & Receivables Finance Forum tracks the transformation of receivables and invoice finance; showcasing the most successful new entrants to the market, examining the future of technology-enabled funding models, and driving the conversation on alternative finance for SMEs. 
This is a unique gathering, where you can network with established receivables finance providers and ‘alternative’ SME funders and find out how the competitive landscape for commercial finance is changing. 
The comprehensive programme provides insights into the priorities influencing SMEs’ financial choices and showcases the latest technology-enabled distribution models. 
BCR are delighted to offer Credit Insurance News members a 10% discount on booking. Register now using code CIN18 at www.bcrpub.com/events.
https://bcrpub.com/events/alternative-receivables-finance-forum-0.
About the Sponsor:  Canopius
Canopius writes global specialty (re)insurance.
We are one of the top 10 insurers in the Lloyd's insurance market and across the group wrote in excess of $1.2 billion premium in 2017. Our group was formed via a management buyout in December 2003, with £25m equity capital. Since then we have achieved significant growth through a mix of organic expansion and acquisition. We are privately owned, backed by private equity funding.
Canopius is domiciled in Zurich and operates in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Bermuda, US and Singapore. At Lloyd's, Canopius operates through Canopius Managing Agents Limited, which manages Syndicate 4444.
We offer a variety of insurance and reinsurance lines, covering Credit & Political Risk, Property, Marine, Energy, Engineering, Casualty, Accident & Health and Specialist Consumer Products.  Our Trade Credit insurance team provides a world-class receivables and payables solution for businesses and banks. We are experts in offering bespoke cover across trade credit, supply chain finance and trade finance and across a wide number of sectors and markets. The team writes comprehensive cover for:
  • Excess of loss insurance, covering both private and public buyers across the globe.
  • Single risk or named buyer insurance.
  • Captive solutions.
  • Cover for non-honouring of letters of credit, either individually or on a facility basis.
  • Supply chain finance solutions.
  • Supplier default insurance.
  • Structured trade finance solutions in conjunction with major banks.
  • Non-cancellable or cancellable buyer limits, depending on structure.
With close to 100 years’ combined experience, we take a tailored approach while always maintaining the highest of service levels.
The Canopius group is known for its superlative claims service, with a number of recent awards wins bearing testament to our reputation.
And finally…our name: Nathaniel Canopius was a Cretan scholar studying at Balliol College, Oxford, who is reputed to have brewed the first cup of coffee in England in 1637. Then in the 17th century, Edward Lloyd's coffee house became recognised as the place for obtaining marine insurance in London. Our name thus provides a strong association with the Lloyd's market, which remains at the core of our operations.

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