Welcome to issue 103 of Credit Insurance News Digest. The industry newsletter 
devoted to the global trade credit insurance industry. This issue is sponsored by InfolinkGazette

PLUS: This issue's featured article: ‘Uncertain outlook for UK corporate earnings' 
             by Greg Connell, Managing Director of InfolinkGazette.
Credit Insurance News
Trade credit insurers in the UK are paring back the level of cover they offer to clients. The Insurance Insider has published an article which reports that amid a deteriorating claims environment in the UK, trade credit insurers - led by Euler Hermes, Atradius and Coface - are paring back the level of cover they offer to clients. It has been suggested that one credit insurer has cut around 2% of its book by cancelling policies, with the cancellations focused on troubled areas such as retail, food and construction. However, although according to market sources polled by The Insurance Insider prices are increasing marginally (one underwriting source said more than half of buyers would see rate increases of around 2% at renewal), an abundance of capacity in the market is stopping prices rising further. To read The Insurance Insider's article go to https://www.insuranceinsider.com/articles/122681/trade-credit-insurers-tighten-uk-appetite. (Subscription required)
A raw deal for unsecured creditors highlights the value of trade credit insurance. Analysis of two recent company failures by this issue's sponsor, InfolinkGazette, has underlined the vital protection provided by trade credit insurance. InfolinkGazette found that 238 unsecured creditors were left £9.4 million out of pocket when Calvetron Brands Ltd, the owner of JacquesVert, Precis, Dash and Eastex, went into administration for the second time in less than a year. Similarly, the failure of Poundworld Retail Ltd left 1036 unsecured UK based creditors with losses totalling £32.2 million. Greg Connell, Managing Director of InfolinkGazette, commented: ”With an uncertain outlook for UK corporate earnings and a raw deal for unsecured creditors in UK insolvencies, there has never been a better time for suppliers of goods and services to review their credit insurance cover.” Click here to read InfollinkGazette's full article for Credit Insurance News Digest.
Footasylum's trade credit insurance is cut. Drapers has reported that at least two credit insurers have withdrawn cover from Footasylum and another has placed it in “special measures” following the footwear retailer’s recent profit warning and concerns about its ongoing weak trading performance. According to Drapers, it is understood that credit insurers including Euler Hermes and Nexus have either withdrawn cover or are considering dramatically reducing their exposure. Meanwhile, Atradius is believed to have put Footasylum in “special risk measures”, following disappointing trading. One (unnamed) credit insurer told Drapers: “What underwriters want to see is a six-month period of stability in the business.” To read Draper's article go to https://www.drapersonline.com/news/footasylum-credit-insurance-cut/7032900.article.
Credit insurance claims in the UK construction sector are at an all-time high. Construction News has published an article in which Tom Rolfe, a construction credit insurance specialist at The Channel Partnership, notes that credit insurance claims in the construction sector are at an all-time high - in the case of one leading insurer 180% higher this year than at the same point of 2017. Carillion’s creditors alone reportedly received £31 million in credit insurance payment claims - "although the actual figure may be three to four times greater" - which Mr Rolfe warns could, when combined with a steady stream of high-profile insolvencies throughout the year, mean total trade credit insurance payouts for 2018 of well above £150 million. To read Construction News' article go to https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/analysis/expert-opinion/soaring-bad-debts-suggest-its-time-to-say-no/10036478.article.
Marsh warns that suppliers may be currently at higher risk of having insufficient trade credit insuranceInsurance Business has reported that amid fears that Brexit will lead to trade restrictions, retailers and manufacturers are said to be stockpiling - putting suppliers at risk of having insufficient trade credit insurance in the process. Tim Smith, Global Trade Credit Practice Leader at Marsh, warned that ramping up inventories in this way could prove problematic as buyers who normally use the revenue from goods purchased on credit to pay their suppliers, may be unable to generate enough revenue to cover the credit leading to payment delays. He advised: "If suppliers increase the quantity of goods sold to buyers in the UK, they should check they have adequate levels of trade credit insurance to protect them." To read Insurance Business' article go to https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/uk/news/breaking-news/the-trouble-with-stockpiling-marsh-lifts-the-lid-on-insurance-impact-114866.aspx.
Trade credit insurers cut cover on Oasis and Warehouse. Retail Gazette has reported that Oasis and Warehouse "face a new battle" as it is revealed a number of credit insurers have stopped offering cover to their suppliers. The article cites a recent article in The Evening Standard which named Atradius, Coface and Euler Hermes as having withdrawn cover to some of Oasis and Warehouse’s suppliers. “Credit insurers have tightened cover across the industry,” a spokesperson said. According to an unnamed source, the collapse of rival Coast last week has caused concerns amongst credit insurers over Oasis and Warehouse. To read Retail Gazette's full article go to https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2018/10/oasis-warehouse-dealt-another-blow-credit-insurers-cut-cover/.
European markets note lower volumes of new trade credit insurance business, while the Americas and Asia report comparable positive increases. The Berne Union 2018 Yearbook reports that in the first half of 2018, its Members issued aggregate credit limits up to US$1.64 trillion in support of short-term trade credit insurance and are collectively on-course to maintain the 13% share of global cross-border trade supported in 2017. The highest volume of new business overall came from: Western Europe (28%), North America (11%), East Asia (10%), Southern Europe (9%), Eastern Europe (7%), South East Asia (6%) and South America (5%). However, despite claiming the overall highest share, all of the European markets saw lower new commitments than in the last period (ranging from -3%-7%), while the Americas and Asia saw positive increases. To download a copy of the Yearbook go to https://www.berneunion.org/Publications (p 32).
Increased trade credit insurance claims in the UK manufacturing sector. Manufacturing Global has published an article in which Shannon Murphy, Assistant Head of Risk Underwriting and manufacturing expert at Euler Hermes, voices his clients' concerns about payments risk in the sector. He advises that despite optimism in the industry, 2018 has still been a difficult year for the UK’s manufacturing firms. Euler Hermes, for example, has received 20% more claims from clients in the sector than the same period last year, and anticipate that the overdue payments trend will continue in 2019. The automotive industry - "the jewel in the crown of the UK’s manufacturing sector" - is expected to be hit particularly hard. To read Manufacturing Global's article go to https://www.manufacturingglobal.com/leadership/brexit-concerns-highlight-payment-risks-manufacturers.
Unlocking portfolio growth with Excess of Loss trade credit insurance. Jonny Carruthers, Assistant Director of BPL Global, has published an article in International Banker which examines how tapping into Excess of Loss (XoL) credit insurance could solve risk concerns and unlock significant business opportunities for banks operating in the trade-finance space. He notes that as it currently stands, XoL credit-insurance market capacity could be well over US$500 million depending on the transaction, with policy tenors stretching up to five years. Both digitalisation and the open culture of the bank-broker-insurer dialogue within the market are also providing a boost to this growth. To read International Banker's article go to https://internationalbanker.com/finance/unlocking-portfolio-growth-with-excess-of-loss-trade-credit-insurance/.
Late payments become the norm for British businesses. According to new research from Atradius, businesses in Britain have a higher proportion of overdue invoices compared to their counterparts across Western Europe. The annual Atradius Payment Practices Barometer for Western Europe found almost half of all British business invoices (48.7%) were overdue compared to an average across the region of 41.8%. Also, Britain faces the longest B2B payment delays with businesses receiving payments an average of 34 days late – 10 days longer than the average among the rest of Western Europe. The reason most cited for payment delays was an insufficient availability of funds, reported by 39.2% of British businesses, while more than a quarter of companies (28.8%) blamed delays on their customers using outstanding invoices as a form of financing. To read Atradius' Barometer for the UK go to https://atradius.co.uk/reports/payment-practices-barometer-uk-2018.html.
Increased UK profit warnings in October will concern trade credit insurers. New research released by this issue's sponsor, InfolinkGazette, has revealed that there were 26 London Stock Exchange Profit Warnings during October 2018 - an average of 1.1 profit warnings per day compared to the running average of 0.9. In an article for Credit Insurance News Digest, Greg Connell, Managing Director of InfolinkGazette, commented: “In the current economic climate, Credit Insurers are very closely monitoring profit warnings and are frequently slashing cover within weeks of a retailer issuing a profit warning.” Greg Added, “ Debenhams and Footasylum are classic examples of retailers where credit limits have been cut within weeks of a profit warning being issued.” Click here to read InfolinkGazette's full article for Credit Insurance News Digest.
Atradius and Kemiex launch the first online trade platform for human and animal health and nutrition industries. Atradius and Kemiex have announced the launch of a digital trading platform for raw materials in the pharma, vet, food and feed industries to enable buyers and sellers of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and additives to identify reliable trade partners and to trade safely. The platform has been designed as an alternative for existing trading procedures that "are often time-consuming, prone to errors and might be limited to personal networks." Kemiex estimates whether a company on the platform complies with quality standards, whereas Atradius analyses the creditworthiness of those acting on the platform. To read Atradius' news release go to https://group.atradius.com/press-releases/atradius-kemiex-launch-global-digital-marketplace.html.
‘No Deal’ Brexit would be a 'bad breakup' for businesses. Euler Hermes has warned that given the lack of unity in British Brexit policies, the likelihood of a 'no deal' has increased to 25%. In this scenario, Euler Hermes forecasts that Sterling would depreciate by 20%, WTO conditions would translate into 4% to 5% of mutual import tariffs and damage would be caused by deeply interconnected supply chains with the EU countries becoming obsolete. This would lead to massive investment stops and production relocations over time. UK GDP growth would also fall by -1% in 2019. Outside the UK, top EU losers in exports of goods would include Germany (€8 billion), the Netherlands (€4 billion) France and Belgium (€3 billion respectively). To read Euler Hermes' news release go to https://www.eulerhermes.com/en_global/media-news/news/brexit-a-blind-date-is-better-than-a-bad-breakup.html.
How the credit and political risk insurance market came of age after the financial crisis. Intelligent Insurer has published an article, 'Credit & political risk to grow', in which Sian Aspinall, Managing Director of BPL Global, noted that many insurers have shown a growing commitment to the credit and political risk space in recent years, creating more choice for clients as a result. This has been widely supported by reinsurers. She added that the credit and political risk insurance market came of age in many ways after the financial crisis when insurers paid claims quickly and illustrated the sector’s value to customers in a way that had not been seen before. This has led to more innovation and growth in the market. To read Intelligent Insurer's article go to https://www.intelligentinsurer.com/news/credit-political-risk-to-grow-16744. (Subscription required).
ECAs paid higher short-term trade credit insurance claims than their private counterparts in all regions - except for South and East Asia. The Berne Union 2018 Yearbook reports that overall, almost 50% of its short-term trade credit insurance commitments are for trade to buyers in European countries. South and East Asia account for a further 20%, North America 12%, Latin America 7% and MENA a bit less than 5.5%. Private market commitments are highly concentrated in Europe (60% of total), with the top 5 countries (Germany, USA, France, UK and Italy) accounting for 35% of the total. ECA business meanwhile is more widely disbursed, with top commitments (31%) for South and East Asia. Overall, Members paid claims of US€ 1.24 billion in total for short-term policies in the first half of 2018. 70% of this came from ECAs, who paid higher claims than their private counterparts in all regions, except for South and East Asia. To download a copy of the Yearbook go to https://www.berneunion.org/Publications (p 33).
Nearly 60% of Western European companies feel the impact of payment delays.  Atradius' latest Payment Practices Barometer for Western Europe indicates that the proportion of past due B2B receivables in Western Europe increased again this year and now stands at 41.8%. The main reason for payment delays is insufficient availability of funds. Atradius also found that the proportion of B2B credit sales in Western Europe decreased from an average of 38.8% in 2017 to 37.4% this year, with particularly steep decreases in Ireland (by 7.2%) and Great Britain (by 6.7%). Respondents in Denmark remain the most inclined to offer credit terms (56.2%), while respondents in Germany are the least inclined (25%). The majority of respondents in Western Europe (57.9%) said that payment delays affected their businesses. Of these, 18.0% had to take specific measures to correct cash flow, 16.8% reported that they lost revenue and 15.9% that they had to postpone payments to their suppliers. To read Atradius' news release go to https://group.atradius.com/publications/payment-practices-barometer-western-europe-2018.html.
Country specific barometer reports are available 
New credit insurance vehicle to bring more Lloyd’s insurers to Africa. Global Trade Review (GTR) has reported that the African Development Bank (AfDB) has concluded a US$500 million credit insurance deal with the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) and Lloyd’s of London reinsurers to free up space for new lending. The transaction is also expected to drive more private credit insurers to the African continent. While ATI is the direct insurer on the portfolio, a number of Lloyd’s and private reinsurers are taking part in the transaction and will share the risk on African financial institutions. Commenting on the deal, Akinwumi Adesina, President of AfDB Group, says it creates “new pathways for collaboration between private insurers and the bank in the development of the African continent.” To read GTR's article go to https://www.gtreview.com/news/africa/new-credit-insurance-vehicle-to-bring-more-lloyds-insurers-to-africa/.
Markel forms a strategic alliance with UAE's Etihad Credit Insurance. Markel International has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UAE export credit company Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI) The partnership will allow ECI, a federal government owned entity, to drive growth and trade activity while also reinforcing its commitment to support the country’s non-oil diversification strategy. Under the MoU, ECI and Markel will design bespoke, comprehensive conventional trade credit insurance solutions and services for business in the UAE. "The UAE is currently the largest market for trade credit insurance in the MENA region," said Ewa Rose, Managing Director of trade credit, political risk and surety at Markel International. "This has also been the strategic location where a majority of the credit insurers have their base and use it as a hub to support businesses in the region." Click here to read Markel's news release.
Coface and Tradeshift announce a strategic partnership. Tradeshift and Coface have announced that they have launched a new app solution on the Tradeshift platform which has been designed to provide "an innovative solution to guide companies through the complexity of global trade and to protect them against the risk of non-payment.” Christian Lanng, co-founder and CEO of Tradeshift, commented: “Risk management is such a critical component for cohesive global trade . . . This first step of bringing Coface into our integrated procurement platform will add another way for our users to be confident that their supply chain is safe and reliable, no matter where they are doing business.” To read Coface's news release go to https://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Coface-and-Tradeshift-announce-strategic-partnership.
Euler Hermes launches a new strategic plan for 2019-2021: 'Confidence to be Bold'. Euler Hermes has announced a plan to expand beyond its traditional and oldest business line, trade credit insurance (TCI), into complementary and innovative new products and lines of business. As such a new group website is now available which incorporates Euler Hermes' new brand identity and positioning, with a design that Euler Hermes intends to express its new brand promise “Confidence in Tomorrow”. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to https://www.eulerhermes.com/en_global/media-news/news/confidence-to-be-bold--euler-hermes-reveals-its-new-strategy-for.html.
The percentage of B2B credit sales in Eastern Europe decreases to 36.9%. Atradius' latest Payment Practices Barometer indicates despite experiencing fewer late payments, businesses in Eastern Europe still felt the impact of payment delays. 18.1% of respondents reported that they needed to postpone payments to suppliers while 14.1% experienced revenue loss. The proportion of uncollectable B2B receivables however is stable and bankruptcy remains the main reason for write-offs. The Barometer also found that the percentage of B2B credit sales in Eastern Europe decreased from an average of 40.3% in 2017 to 36.9% this year, mainly due to a decrease of almost 8% in Hungary. However, Hungarian businesses remain the most inclined to offer credit terms (on average, 57.6% of B2B sales). In contrast, respondents in Romania seem to be the least inclined to offer credit terms (on average, 17.7% of B2B sales). To read Atradius' report go to https://group.atradius.com/publications/payment-practices-barometer-eastern-europe-2018.html.
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 Quarter 4 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. Also, seven key indicators provided by the IMF Statistics Department give a view on the key trends and the level of risk per country. In this issue, downgrades include Nicaragua: (GDP growth was +4.9% in 2017 and expected to be -4% in 2018 according to the IMF), Argentina and Pakistan. Significant improvements this quarter are in the Balkans region: Croatia, Serbia and Armenia. To download a copy of AU Group's free report go to http://www.au-group.com/how-to-monitor-country-risks/
Global growth is forecast to moderate in 2019. Atradius latest Global Economic Outlook notes that the growth outlook it envisioned in May has proven correct in 2018, with even a mild GDP growth acceleration to 3.1% from 3.0% in 2017. The eurozone continues on a robust growth track and (with a few notable exceptions) emerging economies are continuing steadily. Next year, although global GDP growth is expected to moderate (to 3.0%), Atradius notes that this is not a surprise. Atradius also forecasts that the UK’s economy will slow to 1.3% this year, but should Brexit proceed in an orderly manner it should see 1.5% growth in 2019. The main downside risk is a global proliferation of the US-China trade war followed by "a misguided Fed policy" which would put a brake on US economic activity and cause financial turbulence. To read Atradius' news release go to https://group.atradius.com/publications/economic-research/economic-outlook-november-2018.html.
The Lebanese Credit Insurer launches a new insurance product for SMEs. The Lebanese Credit Insurer (LCI) has announced that it has launched TAJER, a new credit insurance policy for small and medium-sized enterprises operating across the MENA region. “SMEs make up a major part of the MENA region’s economy, and in Lebanon, they comprise an estimated 80% of companies. Yet, only a small percentage of them are covered against the risks of non-payment,” said Karim Nasrallah, General Manager of LCI. “As such, we want to support them in their expansion into new markets and in growing their client portfolios." To Read LCI's news release go to https://lci.com.lb/news/.
Halfway through its trade diversification process, the UAE is yet to be integrated into international value chains. Coface's latest Panorama reports that thanks to its strategic location, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) plays a central role in regional exports and re-exports, as demonstrated by its various economic and cooperation agreements with other countries. However, Coface notes that the country is still only halfway through its diversification process, and is yet to be integrated into global value chains, with only fuels, metals, minerals and stones rank - a very small portion of the manufacturing sector - currently being integrated. To read Coface's news release go to https://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Halfway-through-its-trade-diversification-process-the-United-Arab-Emirates-is-yet-to-be-integrated-into-international-value-chains.
LCI Services officially launches a credit insurance program with ASKIA Assurances in Senegal. LCI Services, the Lebanese Credit Insurer’s servicing arm, has announced that, together with ASKIA Assurances in Senegal, it has completed the implementation of tailored trade credit insurance products and services for companies in Africa. The agreement entails the establishment of a partner operation in 7 African countries (Senegal, Ivory Coast, Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Togo and Benin), to develop local markets and assist ASKIA Assurances in extending trade credit insurance coverage. To read LCI's news release go to https://lci.com.lb/news/lci-continues-expansion-in-africa-launching-credit-insurance-program-with-askia-assurances/.
TRAINING: STECIS Training Seminars 2019
Training and education on Trade Credit Insurance and Surety is provided by STECIS, the educational foundation endorsed by ICISA. STECIS promotes knowledge and professionalism in the technical theory and practice (case studies) of trade credit insurance and surety underwriting. This includes in-depth analysis of industry developments, the terminology and the current market.
STECIS is happy to announce that it will, as usual, organize two-day training seminars on Trade Credit Insurance and Surety on both basic and advanced levels in 2019.
The STECIS training seminars are two-day events which are highly interactive. They cover technical and practical knowledge on respectively Trade Credit Insurance and Surety Bonds, the theory of underwriting, in-depth analysis of industry developments, the terminology and the current market. In addition, participants are asked to review case studies.
The basic training seminars are on 9 and 10 April 2019 and are open to participants with limited experience. The advanced training seminars are set for 11 and 12 April 2019 and are suited to participants who have attended the basic training seminar or have more experience. The seminar fee is €2200 - and includes all training material, the welcome cocktail & all meals (dinners & lunches). Travel costs and any additional expenses (e.g. hotel room, phone, (mini) bar) are not included.
Please go to the STECIS website for more information on the training seminars and to download the registration forms: www.stecis.org.
New Appointments
QBE European Operations has announced that Harry Bennion has taken up the new position of Trade Credit New Business Underwriter based in Birmingham. Mr Bennion joins from JLT, where he had worked on the Trade Credit & Political Risk team for over two years. In his new role, he will be responsible for brokered new business in the Midlands, South West of England, Wales and Ireland.
Euler Hermes has announced that Matthew Wells has become its new Regional Market Management Commercial Distribution Director for Euler Hermes Asia Pacific, based in Hong Kong. Mr Wells joined Euler Hermes in 2001 and has spent 17 years in various in market management, commercial and distribution roles, most recently as Director for Market Management and Distribution for the Nordic countries. He succeeds Gordon Cessford.
The Berne Union has announced two new appointments: Beatriz Reguero, Chief Operating Officer of State Account Business CESCE, has been appointed the President of The Berne Union; Zhiqiang Huang, Vice President of SINOSURE, becomes The Berne Union's Vice President.
Validus Specialty, a member of American International Group (AIG), has announced that it has hired Corina Monaghan to lead its US political risk and credit insurance team based in New York. Ms Monaghan was previously head of political risks for JLT North America.
Tinubu Square has appointed Offer Sadey as its new Chief Technology Officer. Mr Sadey will have responsibility for shaping the company’s IT strategy, overseeing its deployment throughout the international operation and managing all technical teams. He previously held the position of Vice President Engineering at the French SaaS solutions software provider Oodrive.
Business Information & Reports
The reduction in stores on Britain’s high streets reaches record levels New research compiled for PwC by the Local Data Company has found that a combination of growth in online shopping, shift to in-home leisure, heightened restructuring activity and ongoing digitisation of services has seen the half-year net reduction in stores on Britain’s high streets reach record levels. A net 1,123 stores disappeared from Great Britain’s top 500 high streets in the first half of this year (1,569 shops opened and 2,692 closed) compared to the same period in 2017 which saw a net loss of 222 stores. Also, although the rate of store closures in the first half of 2018 remained at 14 stores a day, store openings were down by a third year on year (Half 1 2018: 1,569 openings; Half 1 2017: 2342 openings). To read PwC's news release go to https://www.pwc.co.uk/press-room/press-releases/British-high-streets-weather-the-most-testing-retail-and-leisure-climate-in-five-years.html.
The UK fails to improve its standing in the World Bank insolvency rankings. New research from R3 has found that for the second year running, the UK is in 14th place in the 'Resolving Insolvency' table in the World Bank’s Doing Business report. This follows a fall from 13th to 14th in 2016’s rankings. R3 notes that as the UK stands still, many other countries have substantially improved their insolvency and restructuring frameworks to attract more international restructuring deals. For example, the Netherlands has climbed from 11th place in 2016 to 7th this year, and the Nordic countries are also performing well (Finland in 2nd place, Norway up to 5th, Denmark to 6th and Iceland to 12th). Belgium has also jumped up three places in the last year, from 11th to 8th place, and Slovenia is up one place to 9th. To read R3's news release go to https://www.r3.org.uk/index.cfm?page=1114&element=32646&refpage=1008.
469,000 UK businesses are in ‘Significant’ financial Distress. The number of UK companies rated as being in ‘Significant' financial distress during Quarter 3 2018 has increased by 5% compared to the same quarter last year, according to the latest Red Flag Alert research data from Begbies Traynor. The research data, which monitors the financial health of UK companies - shows that during Quarter 3 2018, 469,006 companies across the UK were in 'Significant' financial distress – an increase of almost 21,000 on Quarter 3 2017. Furthermore, although recent 'Significant' distress has fallen by 1% since Quarter 2, year-on-year figures show significant increases with real estate up 16%, utilities up 13%, hotels & accommodation up 10% and financial services up 9%. To read Begbies Traynor's news release go to https://www.begbies-traynorgroup.com/news/business-health-statistics/469000-businesses-in-significant-financial-distress.
UK construction failures up by almost 80% while UK retail failures decrease. New research from Creditsafe has found that the number of company failures across the UK Construction industry increased by 78.9% year-on-year - from 527 in Quarter 2 2017 to 943 in Quarter 3 of this year. In contrast, Creditsafe's research indicates that the retail sector saw an overall drop in company failures with 61 fewer companies going into administration in the last three months compared to Quarter 2 2018 - a fall of 14.7%. Chris Robertson, UK CEO at Creditsafe, commented: “the spending power of the UK consumer remains, and the sector overall is pulling through.” To read Creditsafe's news release go to https://www.creditsafe.com/gb/en/more/hub/newsroom/few-signs-of-progress-as-construction-failures-up-by-almost-80-percent.html.
For more info contact joshua.evans@creditsafeuk.com).
UK GDP grew positively in July but flat-lined for the rest of the quarter. The Office for National Statistics has published its latest data which shows that UK GDP in volume terms is estimated to have increased by 0.6% between Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2018 and Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2018. All four sectors of output contributed positively, with a 2.7% rise in imports contributing 0.8% to GDP growth in Quarter 3 2018. However, in a worrying indication of a recent slow-down and potentially tough times ahead, it appears that the Quarter 3's GDP figure was driven by relatively strong growth of 0.3% in July 2018, and there was no growth in either August or September. To see the latest data go to https://www.ons.gov.uk/releases/gdpfirstquarterlyestimateukjulytoseptember.
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
Disappointing start to the ‘golden quarter’ for UK retailers. According to BDO’s latest High Street Sales Tracker (HSST), UK high street in-store sales declined by -2% year-on-year as retailers struggled to reverse October 2017’s sales drop of -5.2%. It is now 13 months since the HSST recorded in-store sales growth in excess of 1%, and like-for-like sales of lifestyle goods and homewares have recorded negative growth in every month since January this year. Furthermore, neither sector recorded positive growth in a single week of October, falling by -2.9% and -4.1% respectively for the month as a whole. To read BDO's news release go to https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/news/2018/high-street-of-horrors-as-october-sales-tank-for-second-year-in-a-row.
Growth stalls for the UK manufacturing sector. New figures released today in Creditsafe’s quarterly Watchdog Report show that although the performance of the UK’s manufacturing sector has stalled over the last quarter (with total sales down 0.3% to £728 billion), total sales revenue increased by 7.5% compared to the same figures last year. However, further warning signs for the sector have emerged – for example, bad debt totalled £98.5 million in Quarter 3 this year - an increase of 206.3% when compared to Quarter 2. This significant increase can be attributed in part to the bad debt left by Flow Group UK after the firm become insolvent earlier this year, while the number of companies across the industry carrying bad debt also increased by 36.5% to 3,967. To read Creditsafe's news release go to https://www.creditsafe.com/gb/en/more/hub/newsroom/growth-stalls-for-uk-manufacturing-sector.html (For more info contact Joshua.evans@creditsafeuk.com).
UK corporate insolvencies jump as the Chancellor proposes changes to insolvency rules. A day after the Chancellor proposed new rules which could see lenders and trade creditors receive lower returns in the event of a company going bust, the Insolvency Service reported that company liquidations in Quarter 3 were up 20.7% and that administrations jumped 25.9% versus the same period in 2017. Companies in the construction and wholesale/retail sectors were the worst affected. Graham Bushby, head of RSM's restructuring team, said: 'in the briefest of mentions in his Budget, the Chancellor effectively wound back the clock, the result being that from 6 April 2020, HMRC will once again have preferential status for taxes collected and held by businesses on behalf of taxpayers. This will reduce the level of potential recovery for a lender under its floating charge and more than likely also reduce the level of funds made available for unsecured creditors." To read RSM Tenon's news release go to https://www.rsmuk.com/news/corporate-insolvencies-jump-by-almost-20-per-cent-as-chancellor-proposes-changes-to-insolvency-rules.
Even with a soft Brexit, the UK is predicted to become the slowest-growing economy in the EU. The European Commission's latest Economic Forecast predicts that growth in the euro area will ease from a 10-year high of 2.4% in 2017 to 2.1% in 2018, before moderating further to 1.9% in 2019 and 1.7% in 2020. The same pattern is expected for the EU27, with growth forecast at 2.2% in 2018, 2.0% in 2019 and 1.9% in 2020. The Forecast also predicts that even with a soft Brexit, the UK (with Italy) will become the slowest-growing economy in the EU with GDP growth of 1.2% in 2019 and 2020, but stresses that "as this purely technical assumption implies a relatively benign scenario," the risks to the UK's 2019 and 2020 baseline forecast are "large and predominantly to the downside." To read the European Commission's Forecast go to https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/economic-performance-and-forecasts/economic-forecasts/autumn-2018-economic-forecast_en.
New business start-ups remain strong in Ireland in 2018. New research by Vision-net has found that so far this year, over 19,000 new company start-ups have been set-up in Ireland. This is in line with the record levels of new companies formed during the same period last year. Dublin remained the most popular location for start-ups with over 45% of new companies being formed there, followed by Cork (10%) and Galway (4%). One in five new companies operates in the professional services sector, with the second and third most popular industries being finance (14%) and social & personal services (11%). To read Vision-net's news release go to https://www.vision-net.ie/Business-Barometer/.
Career Opportunities
Trade Credit Account Executive. Sevenoaks, Kent. Competitive salary - depending on the level of skills & knowledge.
A leading independent trade credit insurance broker is seeking an Account Executive to assume responsibility for the management and quality servicing of customer accounts working in tandem with the Associate Directors. 
You will be responsible for a portfolio of existing live accounts, working directly with enterprises domiciled in the UK who transact business across the globe and therefore require a range of specialist trade credit insurances. 
This is a full Account Executive role and you will work closely with existing and new clients to understand risk profile, obtain accurate information, identify suitable cover and place the business with insurers. 
During the life cycle of the policy you will address any queries, visit clients and offer guidance and support.
You will take over an existing portfolio of client accounts, but the company will support your initiatives to develop new business and grow the account. 
It is essential that applicants show specific experience (minimum of 2 years) within the trade credit insurance sector. 
The ability to build, manage and develop relationships, plan and manage your time, strong problem-solving and analytical skills and professional communication skills are all essential. In addition, our client is seeking a team member who can bring enthusiasm, energy and new ideas. 
This role will suit an individual who is looking for a long term career opportunity in an environment where they can grow, where your voice counts and where your efforts will be recognised and rewarded. To apply for this role, please email your CV and covering letter to Robin Stafford at robin@mwappointments.co.uk. For more information, call Robin on 0207 280 0601. REF : 6573.
Events & Offers
TXF Asia 2018: Export, Agency & Project Finance, 14 & 15 November. W Hotel, Hong Kong.
TXF Asia is your largest flagship event for export & project finance in the Asia-Pacific! We will be bringing together more stakeholders than ever, with 400 borrowers, exporters, project sponsors, developers, financiers, government representatives, insurers, law firms, ECAs and more set to take part.
  • Hear from over 15 ECAs on the latest products they are offering to help grow your business. Already confirmed: NEXI, Sinosure, ECGC, EFIC, SACE, Export Development Canada, EKN, Bpifrance Assurance Export, Finnvera, Credendo… with more to join!
  • Pick the brains of some of the biggest borrowers, including: Adaro Power, CLP Holdings, PT PLN Persero, Agritrade International and UPC Renewables
  • Get the development angle from DFIs working in Asia, including Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF) , International Finance Corporation, Asian Development Bank, OPIC and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
  • With our dedicated Project Finance Stream, get all the information you need on the latest infrastructure and power projects in Asia.
  • Meet with some of the most influential exporters in Asia, including: Alcatel Submarine Networks, Chiyoda Corporation, Danieli & C. Officine Meccaniche S.p.A , GE China, Nokia, Huawei and Ferostaal
Visit the website for full details
Readers of Credit Insurance News can now book at a 15% discount. Please book online here and enter the discount code CIN15. This offer expires Friday 5th October.

Bridging The Trade Finance Gap, Delivering Paperless Trade,15 November 2018. London.
The International Chamber of Commerce in the United Kingdom is delighted to invite you to the conference“Bridging The Trade Finance Gap, Delivering Paperless Trade”in London on November 15th. For the first time this conference will bring trade and supply chain finance ‘under one roof’ for a discussion on how to foster more collaboration and innovation to bridge the trade finance gap and deliver paperless trade. Join ICC, Falcon Group and a number of world class speakers for this great event! For further information and full agenda click here: earlybirdtickets.
Supply Chain Finance Summit, 24-25 January 2019. Amsterdam.
Now in its 4th year, this in-depth event tracks the transformation of supply chain finance (SCF); showcasing the latest innovations within the industry for both domestic and cross- border financing, examining the future of technology-enabled supply chain models, and driving the conversation on increasing access of SCF for SMEs and emerging markets.
As event partners, Credit Insurance News can offer their members a 10% discount on your delegate pass rate. To register please follow this link https://bcrpub.com/events/supply- chain-finance-summit-0. The Credit Insurance News delegate discount code is CIN19– please utilise the code upon booking.
ICC Academy’s 8th Supply Chain Finance Summit. 27-28 February 2019. Singapore.
Enjoy 20% off the original price with our Early Bird Discount using the code scf2019-earlybird valid until 3 December 2018. REGISTER HERE
Now in its 8th edition, the ICC Academy will host its next Supply Chain Finance Summit from 27-28 February 2019 in Singapore.
As Asia's principal trade and financial hub, Singapore has the potential to shape the development of regional supply chain financing. After the year on year marked success of the ICC Academy's supply chain finance summits - 2016 & 2017 in Singapore, 2017 in London and 2018 in Dubai - it is no wonder that the event would return to the island city-state in 2019, confirming its global status and marked industry growth.
The high-level event will serve as a global platform to exchange insights and ideas on the latest developments and challenges in the supply chain process. Over 200 top trade and supply chain finance specialists are expected to attend the flagship event. The two-day agenda will cover a wide range of issues: ranging from impact of protectionist on physical supply chain to the corporate treasury aspect of SCF; from the scope of alternative finance to supply chain innovations within the global regulatory environment; the belt and road initiative and digitalization of trade and SCF.
Participants will be able to gain valuable knowledge from in-depth panel discussions and examine key case studies. In addition to the formal sessions, this summit will also be a valuable platform for informal dialogue among the fellow delegates and experts to share ideas and experiences and enjoy an array of dedicated networking opportunities. 
 We look forward to welcoming you in Singapore! For more information go to https://whova.com/portal/registration/tfet_201811/.
Receivables Finance International Convention. 6-7 March 2019, London.
Receivables finance industry experts, government agencies, financiers, FinTechs, alternative finance platforms, banks, insurers, and corporates will be gathering in London for the 19th annual Receivables Finance International Convention (“RFIx”).
RFIx is the receivables finance industry's flagship event, which brings together market leaders and new entrants, providing an essential update on the latest invoice financing trends, market challenges, and financial innovation, as well as excellent networking opportunities. The 19th event will also include an Awards Gala Dinner to celebrate the RFIx Awards 2019.
As event partners, Credit Insurance News can offer their members a 10% discount on your delegate pass rate. To register please follow this link https://bcrpub.com/events/19th-rfix- receivables-finance-international-convention. The Credit Insurance News delegate discount code is CIN19– please utilise the code upon booking.
About the Sponsor: InfolinkGazette
InfolinkGazette, a trading style of Connell Data Ltd was established in 2012 to collect and digitise all of the information available on UK Insolvencies, with the original aim of helping Credit Insurers, Brokers, Debt Collection Agencies and Risk Managers to find the optimum time to call commercial prospects, and present their company's solution; the time when the prospect has the greatest propensity to purchase a Credit Insurance or Credit Risk Management solution, which is shortly after the prospect has incurred an unsecured credit loss, following one of their customers going out of business.
In an average quarter period, ILG data quality editors process 3,000 insolvency files, with total unpaid/unsecured credit losses of over £1 billion, resulting from an average 45,000 ordinary unpaid trade creditors, who have each lost an average of more than £30,000.
The information is available via our website 24/7, with extensive search, viewing & download facilities; the database of over 0.9 million records, increases at the rate of almost 15,000 unsecured creditors per month, which means we are constantly refreshing the supply of quality new business prospects and risk management data for credit professionals.
InfolinkGazette take data from print media, or other analogue sources, aggregate it with other relevant information from commercial registries, and supply it in a structured digitised format, to support risk, opportunity and compliance decision making.
Our information services include: UK & ROI Insolvency data; London Stock Exchange Profit Warnings & Acquisitions; Deliberate Tax Defaulters; IRS Registrations; Crown Dependency Registration Information.
We also provide bespoke product development, and application hosting services for our data customers, including: Case Management Systems; Credit Scoring & Decisioning Systems; API’s and online web portals.
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