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Welcome to the November 2023 issue of Credit Management News Digest. Chubb sponsors this month's issue.



Late Payment & Business Distress

Corporate Insolvencies

UK Economy

Global Economy & Trade

Credit Insurance News Digest

About this month's sponsor: Chubb

PLUS: Global Supply Chains: The current outlook for U.K. businesses, this month's featured article by Chubb

Late Payment & Business Distress

A quarter of UK firms lose nearly £5,000 each year chasing late payments. has discovered that 27.6% of UK companies waste at least £4,761.12 each year chasing late payments. According to's research, marketing and advertising firms fare the worst, receiving all their payments late — with 60% paid fifteen or more days after they were due. As a result, 40% of companies in these industries report spending seven or more hours chasing invoices. Construction businesses also receive all of their payments late, though just 36% end up being over fifteen days overdue — and only 30% say they spend seven or more hours per week on accounts receivable. Financial services firms follow, 85% of whom receive all payments late — and 31% of whom spend seven or more hours chasing invoices; and IT firms, who receive 81% of payments late and 31% of whom also spend seven or more hours chasing invoices. To read Moneyzine's article go to

A 25% rise in critical financial distress pushes almost 40,000 UK companies towards insolvency. Begbies Traynor's latest 'Red Flag Alert' report has found that stress in the UK economy can be seen in the growth in the number of companies in critical financial distress, up 24.9% to 37,722. The sectors driving this increase were the Construction, Real Estate & Property Services and Support Services, up 46%, 38% and 28% respectively. Construction and Real Estate companies account for almost 30% of all companies in critical financial distress. Additionally, there has been an acceleration in the number of companies experiencing significant financial distress, with 478,176 businesses now affected — up 8.7% on the prior quarter. The Construction and Support Services sectors accounted for nearly 50% of the quarter-on-quarter rise. To read Begbies Traynor's news release go to

The number of North West firms in 'significant' financial distress "teeters on 50,000". New data released by Begbies Traynor reveals that in Q3 of 2023, the number of firms in the North West in the UK operating in 'significant' financial distress was 49,856. This is a year-on-year increase of 7.43% (up from 46,408) and a quarterly jump of 9.38% (up from 45,579). A trio of key economic sector hubs in the North West region, Construction, Real Estate and Support Services, together made up 41% of the total (20,523) number of significantly distressed firms. In addition, the number of significantly distressed firms in the Bars and Restaurants sector increased by 10% (10.14%) compared to last year, and there are now 1,380 local companies, many family-owned, struggling to survive. To read Begbies Traynor's news release go to

UK small businesses experienced slow sales growth and increasing late payment in Q3. According to the latest data from Xero, despite tentative jobs growth, small UK businesses experienced slow sales growth and rising late payment times in the three months to September. Sales rose just 1.1% year-on-year in September and 2.1% year-on-year across the three months, a stark fall from June’s 8.9% rise and an average of 7.3% y/y in the first half of 2023. On average, small businesses waited 29.4 days to be paid by their customers in the three months to September  0.5 days longer than the average across the first half of 2023. This metric has continued to rise over recent years. Small businesses in the manufacturing sector were paid the latest in the three months to September, at an average of 10.1 days late. To read Xero's news release go to

Profit warnings from UK-listed companies have fallen year-on-year for the first time since 2021 — but the number of companies warning for a third time has increased. According to EY-Parthenon’s latest Profit Warnings report, 76 warnings were issued by UK-listed companies in Q3 2023 — marking a 12% fall compared to the same period in 2022. However, one-third of Q3 2023’s profit warnings cited tougher credit conditions, the highest level since 2008, and the number of Q3 2023 profit warnings remained 18% higher than the post-credit crisis quarterly average. In the last 12 months, EY found that 19% of companies have warned for at least the third time — up from 13% in the whole of 2022.

US small businesses are getting paid faster despite weak sales numbers. Xero's latest Xero Small Business Insights (XSBI) program, which tracks performance metrics from January 2017 to June 2023, shows that although overall sales across small US businesses have declined for five consecutive months (measured on a year-over-year basis), payment times have improved. The latest XSBI data demonstrates that June late-payment times were the shortest over the past 12 months, with US small businesses waiting an average of 27.6 days to be paid in the June quarter, down from 28.7 days in the three months to March. Late payments arrived an average of 7.7 days past due in the three months to June, which was 1.4 days shorter than the average for the three months to March (9.1 days). The June quarter result also is only 0.5 days longer than the 2022 average (7.2 days). To read Xero's news release go to


Corporate Insolvencies

December 2023's corporate insolvency figures for England and Wales are the highest recorded for this month in four years.  Latest data from the UK's Insolvency Service has found that corporate insolvencies for England and Wales decreased by 18.9% in December 2023 to a total of 2,002 compared to November's total but increased by 1.9% compared to December 2022's figure, by 34.4% compared to December 2021's total and by 78.9% compared to pre-pandemic levels in December 2019.​ Nicky Fisher, President of R3, commented: "The figures published today are the highest for December in four years . . . December was tough for many firms as they faced additional expenses at a time when margins were already tight . . . At the end of a tough year, these extra costs could have been the final blow for many businesses and may have led to their directors turning to an insolvency process to resolve their firm’s financial issues." To read R3's news release go to


Company insolvencies in England and Wales in Q3 reached the highest level in two decades. The latest data from the UK's Insolvency Service has found that corporate insolvencies for England and Wales decreased by 1.8% (to 6,208) in Q2 2023 compared to Q2 but increased by 10.2% compared to Q3 2022. Q3 2023's figures were also 54.8% higher than Q3 2021 and 41.3% higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2019.​ Christina Fitzgerald, Immediate Past President of R3, commented: "A perfect storm of economic issues has led to the highest Q3 corporate insolvency figures in more than two decades. . . The key driver of the numbers is the rise in CVLs, which have reached their second highest figure on record and the highest number ever recorded in Q3." To read R3's news release go to

The number of UK company insolvencies for 2023 now stands at 24,955 – a 16% increase compared to the same period in 2022. New data from Creditsafe has found that 2,563 companies in the UK became insolvent in October 2023 – almost unchanged compared to the previous month but an increase of 17% compared to the same month in 2022. 17% of insolvencies in October came from within the UK construction sector. According to Creditsafe, although the current economic challenges are pushing an increasing number of businesses into insolvency, the trends are still uneven. The total number of UK company insolvencies for 2023 now stands at 24,955 – a 16% increase compared to the same period in 2022 and a 63% increase compared to 2021. The Construction sector remains the most significant contributor to the insolvency numbers, representing 17% of all insolvencies in 2023. To read Creditsafe's news release go to

2023 is likely to see upwards of 2,300 retail insolvencies in Great Britain. The British Retail Consortium's (BRC) economist, Harvir Dhillon, has warned that business insolvencies are trending upwards in Great Britain; in Q3 2023, there were 6,306 business failures (on a non-seasonally adjusted basis) - though future revisions are likely to bring this number up. 546 insolvencies in Q3 2023 were in the retail sector, with one in two retail insolvencies accounted for by niche ('specialised') retail businesses. Harvir Dhillon estimates that if trends stay the same, 2023 will likely see upwards of 2,300 retail insolvencies in Great Britain.  To read BRC's news release go to

Business insolvencies in the UK will increase in the next few years. Insurance Business has reported that in its latest global report, Allianz Trade anticipates that business insolvencies in the UK will hover around 30% above pre-pandemic levels by 2025, with notable peaks expected in 2024 (29,850 cases, i.e. +5%) and 2025 (28,400 cases, i.e., 5%). The rise is primarily attributed to the hospitality, trade, and manufacturing sectors, contributing to an estimated increase of 16% in 2023, equivalent to 3,900 additional cases. The report projected that by the end of 2023, most advanced economies will have normalised business insolvencies, with three out of five countries expected to reach pre-pandemic business insolvency levels by the end of 2024. To read Insurance Business' article go to

A 2% decrease in company insolvencies in England and Wales may be the start of a downward trend. Following the publication of the latest data from the UK's Insolvency Service, which showed that corporate insolvencies for England and Wales decreased by 1.8% (to 6,208) in Q2 2023 compared to Q2, RSM UK has predicted that this is the start of a downward trend and insolvencies will continue to fall in the second half of the year. RSM's Insolvency Predictor, which combines historic insolvency data with key economic indicators to accurately forecast insolvency trends, indicates that overall business distress will reduce by 10% by the end of the year to around 5,700 businesses – starting a gentle downward trend. Looking ahead, RSM predicts that overall insolvency numbers should fall by about 19% by the end of next year from their peak in Q2 2023 but will remain around 26% above the long-term average. To read RSM UK's news release go to

Three out of five countries will return to their pre-pandemic business insolvency levels by the end of 2024. Allianz Trade's latest Global Insolvency Report predicts that after a slight rebound in 2022 (+1%), global insolvencies are set to jump by +6% in 2023 and +10% in 2024. The report notes that at the end of 2023, the normalisation of business insolvencies will be complete in most advanced economies, with 55% of countries likely seeing significant double-digit increases. This includes the US (+47%), France (+36%), the Netherlands (+59%), Japan (+35%) and South Korea (+41%). Globally, three out of five countries will reach pre-pandemic business insolvency levels by the end of 2024, including large markets such as the US and Germany. In addition, payment terms are likely to lengthen, adding to the rise in insolvencies in the coming quarters. To read Allianz Trade's news release, with a link to the full report, go to



UK Economy

The UK should still avoid recession. The EY ITEM Club's new Autumn Forecast believed that although the UK should still avoid a recession, GDP growth is set to remain sluggish for the remainder of 2023 and into 2024. EY ITEM Club expects the UK economy to grow 0.6% in 2023, up from the 0.4% growth projected in July's Summer Forecast. However, GDP growth expectations for 2024 have been downgraded slightly from 0.8% to 0.7% as the impact of the recent interest rate rising cycle continues to feed through. Martin Beck, Chief Economic Advisor to the EY ITEM Club, commented: "While recent industry surveys have been fairly gloomy about the UK economy, there have been enough positive developments, including upward revisions to past data, to lift the mood music and reduce the danger of recession becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy." To read EY's news release, with a link to the full report, go to

UK economic downturn set to extend into Q4. S&P Global Market Intelligence has warned that, although the UK economy continued to skirt with recession in October, gloom about the outlook has intensified, boding ill for output in the coming months. Consequently, a recession, "albeit only mild at present, cannot be ruled out." At 48.6, up marginally from 48.5, the headline seasonally adjusted S&P Global/CIPS Flash UK Composite Output Index signalled an overall reduction in the combined output of manufacturing and services at only a slightly milder rate than seen in September. At its current level, the PMI is broadly indicative of GDP falling at a quarterly rate of just over 0.1%, having pointed to a 0.1% quarter-on-quarter GDP contraction in the third quarter. To read S&P Global Market Intelligence's news release go to

The UK economy will experience a moderate recession in 2024. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned that, although recent ONS statistical revisions paint a rosier picture, UK GDP is still 5.2% short of its 2012 to 2019 trend. This indicates a worse relative performance than both the US and the Euro Area (where the shortfalls range between 2% and 3%). The IFS now expects weak margins and policy headwinds to drive a moderate recession through the first half of 2024, with GDP set to fall by 0.7% by next year, followed by growth of 0.4% in 2025. This is more pessimistic than the Office for Budget Responsibility's forecasts from March – which suggest cumulative growth of 1.6% over 2023 and 2024 – and the Bank of England forecasts that suggest growth of 1.1% over the same period.  To read the IFS' news release go to

UK GDP is estimated to have grown by 0.2% in August 2023. The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicates that monthly GDP grew by 0.2% in August 2023, following a fall of 0.6% in July 2023. Looking at the broader picture, GDP increased by 0.3% in the three months to August 2023, with growth in all sectors. Services output grew by 0.4% in August 2023, after a fall of 0.6% in July 2023, and was the main contributor to the growth in GDP in July. Output in consumer-facing services fell by 0.6% in August 2023, following a fall of 0.2% in July. Production output fell by 0.7% in August 2023, following a fall of 1.1% in July 2023. The construction sector declined by 0.5% in August 2023, following a 0.4% decrease in July 2023. To read the ONS' news release go to

Licensed under the terms of Open Government. Licence v3.0.

The Bank of England lowers its growth forecast for the UK economy but notes that inflation is falling. In its November forecast, the Bank of England (BoE) reduced its Q3 2023 expectations for UK growth to zero, down from a previous prediction of 0.4%. GDP is now expected to grow by 0.1% in Q4, also weaker than projected previously and, looking ahead, [4-quarter growth] looks set to remain below 1% for the next four years – well below historical averages. However, more optimistically, although twelve-month CPI inflation remains well above the MPC's 2% target, the BoE notes that inflation fell back to 6.7% in Q3 and is expected to continue to fall quite sharply in the near term to an average of 4.6% in Q4 and then to 4.4% in Q1 2024 and 3.6% in Q2 2024. To read the BoE's forecast go to

D&B expects close to no growth in the UK this year, though a technical recession should be avoided. Dun & Bradstreet's (D&B) latest Global Economic Outlook October 2023 has reported that although it anticipates that the UK economy will avoid a technical recession, it expects close to no growth in the UK this year and about 1% next year. D&B also noted that its latest Global Business Optimism Insights (GBOI) expressing business optimism in the UK is at 50.2 in the Q4 2023 reading, indicating that sentiment is finely balanced around the 50 mark that separates improvement from deterioration. To read D&B's report go to


More UK business creations than closures for the first time in two years. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that in Q3 2023, the number of UK business creations exceeded the number of business closures - the first time this has happened since Q2 2021. A total of 78,655 businesses were added to the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) (business creations) in the UK in Q3 – 15% higher than in the same period in 2022. The most significant increase came in the professional, scientific and technical activities industries, where business creations were up by 34%. At the same time, the number of businesses removed from the IDBR (business closures) in the UK in Q3 2023 was 69,445 – 14% lower than the same period in 2022. To read the ONS' news release go to

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UK SME exporters are "treading water". The British Chamber of Commerce's (BCC) latest Trade Confidence Outlook has reported that 49% of all UK SME exporters saw no change in overseas sales, and 25% reported a decrease in Q3 2023. The UK's picture on exports has been broadly static since the pandemic, with the number of SMEs reporting decreased sales now regularly ten percentage points higher than in 2017/18. The situation is most volatile for SME manufacturers, with 28% reporting a decrease in exports, 27% an increase, and 45% no change. William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said: "The reality is if UK business is to thrive, then we must export more, it's as simple as that. If we want to remain one of the world's largest economies, then we need more firms selling goods and services internationally." To read the BCC's news release go to

UK retailers experience a grim start to the 'Golden Quarter'. According to new data from BDO, UK retailers have recorded a disappointing start to the crucial 'Golden Quarter, as total like-for-like sales in October have declined by -1.7%, compared to last year's positive base of +3.5%. BDO's latest High Street Sales Tracker also highlighted that in-store sales fell –1% from a base of +5.9% for the same month last year, marking the first negative in-store sales figures since February 2021. This was reflected in online spending too, with online sales falling for the third time in 2023, down -1.8%. Sophie Michael, Head of Retail and Wholesale at BDO LLP, commented: "These results make for a grim start to the run-up to the festive season for retailers, traditionally their best time of year." To read BDO's news release go to

Global Economy & Trade

The Global Economy is "limping Along". The IMF has suggested that "the global economy is limping along, not sprinting." According to the IMF's latest projections, world economic growth will slow from 3.5% in 2022 to 3% this year and 2.9% next year – a 0.1% downgrade for 2024 from July. This remains well below the historical average. The IMF notes that the slowdown is more pronounced in advanced economies than in their emerging market and developing counterparts, with many emerging market economies (with the notable exception of China) proving "unexpectedly resilient". The IMF also suggests that, although most countries aren't likely to return to their target inflation until 2025, headline inflation continues to decelerate – from 9.2% in 2022 on a year-over-year basis, to 5.9% this year and 4.8% in 2024. To read the IMF's blog go to

Atradius agrees with the WTO's recent prediction for trade growth in 2023 but diverges on details. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has downgraded its growth forecast for global goods trade by more than 50% and now forecasts global goods trade growth (in volume terms) of 0.8% in 2023, significantly lower than the 1.7% it predicted in April. However, there’s better news for 2024, with the forecast growth of 3.3% slightly higher than the 3.2% figure given six months ago. Atradius notes that its own figures support the WTO's interpretation, though it remains slightly more upbeat in the short term and expects global trade to grow by 1.1% this year and 2.5% next. "This year will be a disappointing one for global trade, with a modest but welcome recovery expected in 2024." To read Atradius' news release go to

Asia continues to fuel global growth, but economic momentum is slowing. The IMF has reported that strong consumer spending has supported growth in Asia's three largest economies this year, but there are signs that the region's recovery may now be running out of steam. For example, the economic boost that China enjoyed after its re-opening is now losing momentum earlier than previously expected. Consequently, the IMF expects growth of 4.6% this year, unchanged from its projection from last April. The IMF also notes that while Asia is still set to contribute about two-thirds of all global growth this year, this growth is significantly lower than projected before the pandemic.  To read the IMF's analysis go to

Leading indicators indicate a sharp economic slowdown in North America and the Eurozone. Coface's latest Country and Sector Risk Barometer notes that the good news at the start of 2023 quickly gave way to hints that the end of 2023 would be far less promising. All the leading indicators point to a sharp slowdown in activity in North America and the Eurozone towards the end of the year, and the recovery of the Chinese economy has rapidly collided with structural weaknesses and a lack of confidence among households and businesses. Coface has modified seven country risk assessments (two upgrades and five downgrades) and 16 sector downgrades in this context. To read Coface's news release, with a link to the full report, go to         

WTO issues new edition of Trade Profiles. The World Trade Organizations (WTO) has issued the 2023 edition of Trade Profiles, an annual publication providing key data on merchandise trade and trade in commercial services for 197 economies. Each two-page profile provides a breakdown of the economy’s major exports and imports and its main trading partners. For merchandise trade, top exports and imports are broken down by agricultural and non-agricultural categories. For trade in services, data is provided for transport, travel and other commercial services. The publication can be downloaded in EnglishFrench and Spanish. Printed copies are also available.

To read the WTO's news release go to


Events & Professional Development

SCHUMANN Connect, Network Event. 16 November, London.

You are invited to the SCHUMANN CONNECT! event! Be part of our exclusive networking event for trade credit & surety insurers, brokers and trade finance managers on 16 November in London!

Underwriting in trade credit insurance and surety business is undergoing change. We will discuss with experts what demands the market is placing on digitalisation. Speakers from Allianz Trade, Nexus and Gracher, among others, will be there to discuss with us the possibilities of future-oriented digital solutions that are urgently needed for the competitiveness and sustainability of modern insurance companies.

These will be our topics:

  • Intelligent Underwriting Assistance

  • Benefits of Automated and Lean Processes

  • Annual Financial Statement Analysis in the Digital Age

  • Actual Trends in the Surety Industry

Register now! Participation is free of charge.

Don't miss the opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues from the insurance and trade finance sectors.

  • Thursday, 16 November 2023, from 4 pm

  • citizenM Tower of London, 40 Trinity Square, London EC3N 4DJ

Become part of the SCHUMANN community and CONNECT!

Export & Project Finance Dealmakers Assembly 2023, 21-22 November 2023. Berlin, Germany.
After the resounding success of our seminal event last year, in October 2023, we head to Germany for the highly anticipated second edition of the TXF Export Finance Dealmakers Assembly, a conference turned upside down. The event's primary focus will be on securing those all-important meetings, strengthening ties with existing clients and forging new connections. The Dealmakers Assembly will be a conference like none you've attended before. A completely unique and innovative event format focused on deal origination, networking and meeting rooms galore. Discounts are available on bookings of 2 or more  — email to enquire. Click here for details.

The Working Capital Forum Europe 2023, 28 November 2023. Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam. #WCFE23

Leading the way in Working Capital Management

The world’s largest specialist working capital event, Working Capital Forum Europe, returns to Amsterdam on 28th November 2023 at the Beurs van Berlage, with the prestigious Working Capital Awards taking place on 27th November at the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam.

The conference themes this year are Resilience, Innovation, and Growth.

The one-day event will bring you live demos, panel debates, workshops, keynote sessions and Q&A’s, covering every aspect of working capital and management and supply chain finance, including payables finance, inventory management, receivables finance, cash forecasting, liquidity strategies, FASB and IASB regulatory changes, and much more…

Attendees will have the unparalleled opportunity to meet, network and participate in panel discussions and debates with industry experts and professionals from the largest corporations across Europe and the world.

This is a must-attend event for: corporate treasurers, procurement directors, CFOs, finance directors/heads and senior leaders in large corporations.

Click here for information.

The 9th Alternative and Receivables Finance Forum, 28-29 November, London.

As the financial landscape continues to evolve, alternative receivables finance has emerged as a
crucial component of business operations. The 9th Alternative and Receivables Finance Forum
(ARF23) aims to bring together experts, innovators, and thought leaders from various sectors to
discuss and share insights on alternative receivables finance models, strategies, and best practices.
Join our partner BCR Publishing for this essential industry event on 28-29 November at the London
offices of Clifford Chance.

For the programme and registration click here.

Professional Development
STECIS, the Trade Credit Insurance & Surety Academy endorsed by ICISA, offers a range ofwebinars and classroom training courses.
Classroom training courses are organised once or twice per year or on demand while webinars
are organised multiple times per year or on demand for groups of participants.

For 2023 the following courses are scheduled.

  • 31 October & 1 November: The Trade Credit Insurance Foundation Course*

  • 2 & 3 November: The Trade Credit Insurance Advanced Course*

* Both course are confirmed to be run as the minimal number of participants has been reached already.

For 2024 the following courses have been planned in Q1:

  • 26 & 27 February: The Surety Bonds Foundation Course

  • 28 & 29 February: The Surety Bonds Advanced Course.

All classroom courses will take place in the Steigenberger Airport Hotel close to Schiphol Airport/Amsterdam the Netherlands. The courses include lunches and a dinner at the end of the first training day. The courses are hosted by very experienced experts from the industry and there is enough opportunity for asking questions, discussions and networking.

Also, there is the possibility of arranging in-house training: then there will be created a tailor-made outline for your staff based on the training demands of your company. The training will be effected at your own offices or at a venue of choice.

Detailed information about the webinar and classroom training courses is available on Stecis’ website: Also, further information can be obtained by sending an e-mail to

About this month's sponsor: Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded P&C insurance company and the leading commercial
lines insurer in the U.S. With operations in 54 co
untries and territories, Chubb provides commercial
and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance,
reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. As an underwriting company, we assess,
assume and manage risk with insight and discipline. We service and pay our claims fairly and
promptly. We combine the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft
and deliver the very best insurance coverage and service to individuals and families, and businesses
of all sizes.
Chubb has more than $200 billion in assets and reported $52.0 billion of gross premiums written in
2022. Chubb’s core operating insurance companies maintain financial strength ratings of AA from
Standard & 
Poor’s and A++ from A.M. Best. Chubb Limited, the parent company of Chubb, is listed
on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CB) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Chubb
maintains executive offices in Zurich, New York, London, Paris and other locations, and employs
approximately 40,000 people worldwide.
Chubb Global Markets operates through our syndicates at Lloyd’s and also through Chubb European
Group SE. This parallel distribution provides us with a unique platform that allows our experienced
and highly skilled underwriting team to offer insurance solutions globally.

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