Welcome to issue 56 of Credit Insurance News Digest, 9 June 2015. This issue is kindly sponsored by Credendo Group.

Credit Insurance News and Reports
The ABI stresses that credit insurance plays a vital role to help businesses manage new and increased risks that come with exporting. James Dalton of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has advised that businesses looking to expand into new markets or sell to new customers overseas can get peace of mind from trade credit insurance. Mr Dalton stresses that although trade credit insurance is often only in the media when there is a high profile insolvency, the insurance protects firms at all stages of the business cycle, including guidance and advice about credit risks and new markets and improved access to funding. ABI members alone supported businesses worth over £300 billion last year. To read the ABI's article go to http://blog.abi.org.uk/2015/05/ukti-export-week-how-trade-credit-insurance-facilitates-international-trade/#utm_sguid=152483,91c5e992-c2f9-1e4a-223e-d9952a707f16.

The Berne Union and Prague Club Members’ short-term credit insurance new business shows progressive increase. Following their recent Spring meeting, the Berne Union and Prague Club have advised that, driven by growing credit and insolvency risk, short-term credit insurance (credit terms of 1 year or less) has shown a progressive increase in new business in the past six years - rising from US$1.122.608 million in 2009 to US$1.709.579 in 2014. In contrast, medium and long-term export credit insurance remained almost stable. Overall, Berne Union and Prague Club members' new business in 2014 reached nearly US$2 trillion. To read the Berne Union's news release go to to http://www.berneunion.org/sm-2015-press-release/.

Credit Insurers are seeing more demand than before from OECD countries, though this does not mean demand in emerging markets has diminished. Insurance Day has published an article, 'Trade credit insurers enjoy OECD demand surge', which reports that demand for trade credit and political risk cover has increased in the OECD countries, and is, at present, outpacing interest in emerging markets. Part of this uptick could be attributed to an increased awareness of what is available and increasing claims certainty, while uncertainty surrounding European countries such as Greece has also driven a higher demand for trade credit and political risk cover. “Europe now ranks second in terms of growth for our trade credit members, behind only China and ahead of the Middle East and north Africa, North America and Africa,” commented Robert Nijhout, executive director of International Credit Insurance and Surety Association (ICISA). Click here to view the article on ICISA's website.

Companies urged to cover themselves against bad debt following construction failures. Gazette Live has published an article, 'More construction firm collapses likely, says insurance boss', which reports that UK Credit has processed £1 million worth of claims for clients across the country on the back of recent high-profile construction sector failures and is warning that more construction companies are likely to collapse. Firms that have gone into administration since January include: Southdale Construction Group, Anglo Holt Construction, GB Building Solutions, and Muirfield Contracts. Henderson director Jonathan Willett commented: "While it is too early to know the exact circumstances behind the failure of Southdale, the other companies appear to have had strong balance sheets and them calling in administrators was unforeseen by even the most experienced industry experts.” To read the article go to http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/business/more-construction-firm-collapses-likely-9384047.

Volatility across large MENA areas is acting as a form of marketing tool for political risk insurers. GTR has published an article, 'Insurers: Staying the course', which reports that the uncertainty that permeates much of the MENA region is triggering a growing use of risk mitigation products for political and credit risk. The article advises that particularly for political risk insurers, "the volatility across large MENA areas is acting as a form of marketing tool", and Hani Salem Sonbel, ICIEC (The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit) acting chief executive, confirmed that ICIEC is definitely now seeing increased demand. However, although usage of trade credit insurance is growing rapidly in the region in line with increased trade flows and increasing use of open account trading, according to Markel's Leroy Almeida, a significant portion of the region has yet to understand the benefits that trade credit insurance offers. As a result, the opportunities for trade credit insurers are substantial. To read the article go to http://www.gtreview.com/supplements/gtr-mena-supplement-2015/insurers-staying-the-course/.

Atradius describes the ‘new normal’ of structurally lower growth rates in both advanced and emerging markets. Atradius' latest Global Economic Outlook, 'Navigating a new world', advises that global economic growth remains tepid and weaker than expected, and, as a result, a ‘new normal’ of structurally lower growth rates in both advanced and emerging markets has become manifest. Atradius forecasts that global economic growth will remain modest at 2.7% in 2015 - the same rate as last year - and any growth in 2016 will be slight. Atradius' Outlook also reports that in 2014 insolvencies in the eurozone were still 87% above 2007 levels overall - despite falls in the number of insolvencies in many member states - and predicts that in 2015 insolvencies will fall by 7% in the eurozone and most strongly in Spain and the Netherlands. To read Atradius' detailed report go to http://global.atradius.com/images/stories/economic%20research/Atradius_Economic_Research-Economic_Outlook_May_2015.pdf.

Coface advises that business insolvencies in France continue to slowly improve. Coface has advised that year-on-year to end April 2015, the number of business insolvencies in France declined at a rate comparable to that at the end of 2014: -2.7% (following -2.9% in 2014). The sharpest declines in insolvencies were seen in businesses with turnovers between €2.5-10 million, and, in terms of the 100 biggest insolvencies by turnover, three sectors stood out: Metals (15% of the total), Construction (17%) and Services to Individuals (5%), which joined this ranking for the first time. These were also the three sectors out of the eleven examined that experienced increases in insolvencies. The 62,473 business insolvencies cost their suppliers €3.9 billion. To read Coface's news release go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Business-insolvencies-in-France-at-the-end-of-April-2015-The-numbers-continue-to-slowly-improve-at-2.7-on-a-year.

Credendo Group reports that Africa's largest economy, Nigeria, is going through a rough patch. Credendo Group has published its latest Country Risk Assessment which advises that Africa’s largest economy is going through a rough patch having been hard hit by the dramatic fall in international oil prices while parts of the country are torn by violence and war. Credendo classify Nigeria’s commercial risk at the highest level (C) because of its track record of corruption, institutional weaknesses and exchange rate, and warn that unpopular austerity measures will have to be taken sooner or later to make up for loss of oil revenues. In terms of short-term political risk, Credendo Group rank Nigeria as 4 on a scale where 7 represents the highest risk. To view Credendo' full risk assessment report (which includes dedicated sections on Nigeria's risk drivers and outlook as well as well as facts and figures/pros and cons) go to http://riskreporter.credendogroup.com/risk-assessment/can-the-african-giant-overcome-its-trials-and-tribulations/.
Please note: Credendo Group (this issue's sponsor) can now be followed on both LinkedIn and Twitter.

77% of French businesses have suffered at least one external fraud attempt in the past twelve months. Euler Hermes and the French association of finance directors and controllers (DFCG) have carried out a major survey of 184 businesses of all sizes in France which has showed that 77% of businesses had suffered at least one external fraud attempt in the past twelve months. “This is a very worrying phenomenon that has intensified significantly in France over the past five years,” explained Eric Lenoir, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Euler Hermes France. "Given the present still relatively tense economic conditions, the losses resulting from such attacks can severely damage a company’s cash situation and profitability.” Identity theft tops the list of external fraud attempts, whether in the form of fake CEO, fake customer (through false payment orders) or fake supplier (by altering supplier contact details). To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/Euler-Hermes-DFCG-survey-2015-Fraud-consequences-issues-businesses-France.aspx.

Atradius notes that UK exporters first step into exporting may often be a leap. Business Money has published an article, 'Atradius supports British Businesses to export £22 billion of trade', which reports that at the recent annual UK Trade and Investment Export Week Atradius advised that it has enabled UK businesses to export more than £22 billion of trade. Marc Jones, head of sales for Atradius UK, said: “Exporting offers a very real opportunity for UK businesses - there is a whole world out there with new markets and new customers. In the past, businesses might have dipped a toe into the export market slowly and close to home, for example France and Ireland have been traditional trading partners. However, with significant improvements in accessibility and substantial growth in global markets such as China, South America and Africa, we are noticing that the first step may often be a leap." To read Business Money's article go to http://www.business-money.com/announcements/atradius-supports-british-businesses-to-export-22bn-of-trade#utm_sguid=152483,29aca8d4-db2d-2d12-c26d-0b82640a6171.

Gaining access to trade finance by leveraging trade credit insurance. Markel has published an article which reports that there is an increasing trend amongst SMEs in Gulf Corporation Countries to use credit insurance backed trade finance. Markel reports that the simplest form is where the bank is made a loss payee, which means if the insurer accepts liability of the loss, the claim will be agreed with the insured, but the claim will be paid to the nominated bank (loss payee). The bank in turn structures an invoice discounting facility, where funds are advanced on the invoices raised to insured buyers. Typically, advances of 80-90% of invoice values are provided. Other services gaining popularity in the region are factoring and securitisation. To read Markel's article go to http://www.markelinternational.com/regions/london-market/products-and-expertise/Extra/Cover-stories/Gaining-access-to-trade-finance-by-leveraging-trade-credit-insurance/.

Atradius forecasts that UK business failures will decrease by around 6% in 2015. Atradius has published its latest country report on the main Western European Markets. For each of the countries examined (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, the UK) an overview of main import sources, main export markets, key indicators and an industries performance forecast is given with more detailed sections on the insolvency environment and economic situation. For the UK, Atradius notes that the number of business failures has been falling since 2012, and in 2014 the UK Insolvency Service recorded a 6.3 % year-on-year decrease in compulsory liquidations and creditors’ voluntary liquidations in England and Wales (14,040 cases). Atradius expects this trend to continue in 2015, with business failures forecast to decrease by around 6%. However, this still puts the number of insolvencies slightly above 2007 pre-crisis levels at around 12,500 cases. To read the report go to http://global.atradius.com/images/stories/CountryReports/Western_Europe_June_2015_ENG.pdf.

Coface names the riskiest sectors in the Australian economy for company insolvency and overdue payments. Insurance Business has published an article, 'Insurer reveals ‘riskiest sectors’ for insolvency', which advises that although in 2014 Australia experienced a “marked improvement” across the occurrence of overdue payments, the picture isn’t as bright for some industries - notably the agro-food, retail and mining industries. However, the occurrence of overdue payments in Australia is improving, falling from 83% in 2012 to 74% last year, while the Asia-Pacific average over the same time rose from 67% to 70%. Australia also saw a massive drop in ‘ultra-long’ overdue payments, (longer than 180 days) which fell from 43% in 2012 to 17% in 2014. To view the article on Insurance Business' website go to http://www.insurancebusinessonline.com.au/news/insurer-reveals-riskiest-sectors-for-insolvency-199986.aspx.

Atradius reports that global ICT sales growth will continue . . . with the exception of Brazil. Atradius' latest report on the ICT industry predicts that growth in ICT sales is set to continue in most developed economies as well as major emerging markets such as China and India. Only Brazil bucks the trend, with a 20% market contraction in 2014 and another 10% decline predicted in 2015. In addition, Brazilian ICT businesses’ profit margins have strongly deteriorated over the past 12 months, while both payment delays and insolvencies increased. To read the report go to http://global.atradius.com/creditmanagementknowledge/market-monitor/latest-market-monitor.html.

After the turbulent times of last few years, Coface reports that 2014 was a year of improvement for most Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) economies. The average pace of GDP growth increased from 1.3% in 2013, to 2.5% in 2014 and led a stabilisation in the number of insolvencies, with a modest decrease of -0.5% in 2014 (compared to +7% in 2013). However, according to Grzegorz Sielewicz, Coface Economist for Central Europe: “Improving domestic consumption was not a sufficient-enough factor to return insolvencies to their pre-crisis levels. With forecast GDP growth of 2.7%, we are positive that the downward trend in insolvencies will continue in 2015. Nevertheless, it will take time until companies can fully benefit from the economic recovery." To view Coface's news release with a link to the full report an 'at-a-glance' infographic go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Coface-Insolvency-Monitor-for-Central-and-Eastern-Europe-Economic-perspectives-improved-but-corporate-challenges-remain.

South Africa: Rainbow – after or before the rain? During the launch of its local operations and services for the South African market, Euler Hermes also presented its study “South Africa: Rainbow – after or before the rain?” which forecasts that South African GDP will rise to 2% this year and 3% in 2016. “The business climate for South African companies has improved: payment terms are relatively low and stable (50 days in 2014) and insolvencies posted a fifth consecutive year of decrease (-13%) in 2014,” commented Ludovic Subran, chief economist at Euler Hermes. “This declining trend has clearly softened in recent months. We now expect the overall number of insolvencies to decline by 3% in 2015 to roughly 2,000 cases and plateau (0% y/y) around this level in 2016.” To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-Euler-Hermes-opens-South-Africa-business-to-help-leading-companies-and-exporters.aspx.

Turkey: Challenges amid global changes. Coface has advised that after a decade of well-implemented reforms and high growth rates, the Turkish economy seems to be struggling to maintain the same growth performance. Coface expects a growth rate of 3.5% this year - still a solid rate, yet below the potential growth rate estimated at 5% and lower than some of the country’s peers. In terms of sectors, textile and clothing is among the most impacted by the developments in the global economy and, in consequence, Coface has increased the textile sector's risk assessment from medium to high risk. Regional tensions are also weighing on the export performance of Turkish textile and clothing companies. The pharmaceutical sector remains solid, despite heavy regulations and lower profit margins and Coface estimates the sector's risk level as low. To view Coface's news release with a link to the full report go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/Publications/Turkey-Challenges-amid-global-changes.

Euler Hermes is set to offer haulers customised protection in Germany with an insurance policy specially tailored to the requirements of the transport industry. The new Euler Hermes transport policy includes flat-rate cover for small orders up to €10,000 with reduced reporting obligations. For larger orders up to €25,000, the transport policy takes effect after a quick self-check by the logistics company. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-euler-hermes-germany-introduces-sector-policy.aspx.

Coface advises that the end of European milk quotas represents a new era for the French dairy sector. April 1st 2015 marked the end of milk quotas in Europe, a regulatory tool imposed in 1984 in response to overproduction, leading to the so-called 'butter mountain' and the 'milk lake'. For the first time in 30 years, the market alone will determine the quantities of milk produced. Coface has published a report which examines if French dairy farmers are ready for this? Is the abolition of milk quotas going to make it possible for milk producers to supply the rapidly growing markets in Asia? Or to develop to meet the high level of demand for organic products? To see Coface's news release with a link to the full report go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/The-end-of-milk-quotas-New-rules.

QBE targets Trade Credit growth in the UK and extends coverage. QBE has announced plans to expand its trade credit offering in the UK by increasing its penetration of mid-market and corporate clients and attracting businesses in the SME market. Premium thresholds have been lowered to £15,000 to open up access to the SME market and QBE will recruit four underwriters in the coming months to support growth plans. Click here to read QBE's news release.

And Finally . . .
A huge well-done to CBF's (Credit and Business Finance) intrepid team who all completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge within the 12 hour time limit. CBF’s own Emma Reaney, Simon Berry, Graham Green, Mike Lawrence, Mark Kennedy, Laura Prime and Trevor Price were joined by Trevor’s daughter, Lucy Price, James Krueger, former Marketing Manager, and Simon’s friend Dan Hatcher to raise money for The Liver Foundation UK – a charity which recently supported Graham and his family through his mother’s serious illness. The team raised over £3000. Take a look at our photo gallery to see some photos of the team!

Congratulations to all the winners at the GTR Asia Leaders in Trade 2015 Awards. Winners include Coface and Ace who won their respective awards for 'Best trade credit insurer in Asia Pacific' and 'Best political risk insurer in Asia Pacific'. The award for 'Best trade credit and political risk insurance broker in Asia Pacific' went to JLT. For a complete list of all winners go to http://www.gtreview.com/news/asia/gtr-reveals-asia-winners/.

New Industry Publication ‘‘A Guide to Trade Credit Insurance’ is a new hardback reference book, written by ICISA from an international perspective, which provides a comprehensive overview of trade credit insurance, including the history of trade credit insurance, trade credit insurance providers, the underwriting process, premium calculation, claims handling, case studies and a glossary of terminology. The book [ISBN: 978-1783084821], priced at £50 / US$80, is published by Anthem Press and is now available for sale from Amazon UK and Amazon USA and other retailers. Discounts are available on bulk book orders. Please contact orders@anthempress.com for further information.
A lower-priced e-book is now also available for sale from Amazon UK and Amazon USA and other retailers.

Events and Offers
North America Trade & Export Finance Conference 2015, 18 June. 32 Old Slip, New York.
GTR's North America Trade & Export Finance Conference 2015 will return to New York City for its third year, providing the key discussion forum for trade finance specialists across the United States and beyond. Over 200 business leaders are expected to attend to explore key issues and challenges involved in securing business with high-growth emerging markets as well as addressing concerns of those conducting cross border trade. Networking will form a crucial aspect of the event, offering access to key decision makers and ensuring delegates are able to gain new contacts and establish relationships with those serious about doing business in the region. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Insuring Export Credit & Political Risk Asia, 24-25 June 2015. Singapore, Venue TBC.
Insuring Export Credit and Political Risk Asia will bring together ECAs/DFIs, the private insurance sector, commercial banks and corporate exporters for 2 days of top-level industry insight and networking. Asia is the biggest growth market for credit insurance but it is also relatively underdeveloped. Building upon the success of our highly acclaimed London convention, Insuring Export Credit & Political Risk Asia will feature the same high-level content, providing: Insight into industry-specific developments and trends; Key commentary on the wider macro-political and economic environment; An ideal forum to meet and exchange views with leading figures and key stakeholders from the industry. 10% Discount available with VIP Code FKW52893CRN - Register here. View the latest agenda.

Asia Structured Trade & Commodity Finance, 30 June - 01 July 2015. Singapore.
CMT's Asia Structured Trade & Commodity Finance to be held on 30 Jun-01 Jul, 2015 in Singapore with its theme "Innovative Structures & Collateral Solutions for Importers, Exporters & Financiers€ ' will look in detail at challenges in China, developments in the metals, energy and softs/ag sector across the entire Asia region, bringing you the latest thinking and relevant case studies to show current techniques in a fast-changing marketplace. The key highlights will include the following: - Risk, collateral and structuring: what are the latest developments in SCTF in both the Asian and global context? - Trader Panel: international traders discuss financing needs and perspectives for 2015/2016 and beyond. - Africa panel: how is Asia shaping up in the competition for Africa's development challenges? Assessing the needs for continuing transformation in Africa. - Structuring supply chain solutions for working capital efficiency: where do traditional supply chain approaches meet innovation by banks to offer solutions across the value chain. - Risk management: how is the private insurance market shaping up to the Asian challenge? Where does that leave the ECAs? Please view the here http://www.cmtevents.com/eventschedule.aspx?ev=150629&.

Global Trade Development Week. 27-29th October 2015, Ritz Carlton DIFC, Dubai, UAE.
Organised in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Economy, GTDW 2015 will be an unprecedented gathering of 1000 trade leaders from government and the private sector coming to Dubai from over 100 countries. The event will be addressed by 150 speakers whom are some the most influential leaders driving world trade today. GTDW is the world largest trade facilitation event and features a series of specialized trade summits that link key sectors across international trade; including business, banking, customs, corporate real estate, infrastructure, specialized economic zones, supply chain logistics and transport. 'Innovation in Global Trade and Economic Development' is the theme for GTDW 2015, and innovation will underpin discussion in all of GTDW's six trade summits. For further information and to register as a delegate visit: www.kwglobaltrade.com.

The future for general insurance in the UK: regulation, competition and innovation. 2 December 2015. London.
Attendees at this conference will consider the future of the general insurance sector in the UK, and key challenges ahead for supporting competition and innovation across the sector. The seminar will present a timely opportunity to examine the industry's regulatory framework, in light of preparation for an operational Solvency II framework in January 2016. It is also timed to consider the impact of a wide-range of policy and regulatory developments impacting on the sector - including implementation of the recent Insurance Act, the Financial Conduct Authority's forthcoming consultation on competition remedies for insurance add-ons and the Competition and Markets Authority's Private Motor Insurance Market Investigation. Sessions will bring out latest thinking on contract law, tackling fraudulent claims as well as consumer protection, developing skills and attracting talent to the sector.
Chris Moulder, Director, General Insurance, Prudential Regulation Authority and Mary Starks, Director of Competition, Financial Conduct Authority have kindly agreed to deliver keynote addresses at this seminar. David Hertzell, Chair, Insurance Fraud Taskforce; Paula Jarzabkowski, Professor of Strategic Management, Cass Business School, City University London; Geraldine Quirk, Partner, Clyde & Co; Dr Alexander Scott, Chief Executive Officer, Chartered Insurance Institute; Max Taylor, Chairman, Islamic Insurance Association of London; Geoff White, Underwriting Manager, Cyber, Technology and Media, Barbican Insurance Group and a speaker confirmed from the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland have also agreed to speak. Lord Davidson of Glen Clova QC, Shadow Treasury Spokesperson has very kindly agreed to chair part of this seminar. Click here for more information.

Business Information: Latest Reports and Business Shorts
Global trade growth will come close to its pre-crisis peak by the end of the decade. GTR has published an article, 'Advanced economies to spur trade revival', which reports that global trade growth will come close to its pre-crisis peak by the end of the decade, spurred on by recoveries in advanced economies. Between 2017 and 2020, Oxford Economics analysts expect trade to accelerate at up to 8% – well above the relatively anaemic 1.5% growth it has been enjoying in recent years – but slightly under the average 9% during the pre-crash halcyon days. A series of high-profile trade agreements are predicted to add hundreds of billions of dollars to trade volume over the next number of years. To read GTR's article go to http://www.gtreview.com/news/global/advanced-economies-to-spur-trade-revival/.

US post-recession start-ups have decreased by 44.7%. Experian has announced that the number of US businesses started each year after the recession has decreased by nearly 45%. According to an Experian analysis on business start-ups, in 2010 29.1% of all small US businesses were newly formed, while in 2014 just 16.1% were start-ups. “During the height of the recession, there was an influx of businesses opening, presumably due to layoffs and skyrocketing unemployment,” said Peter Bolin, Experian’s director of consulting and analytics. “While many of these consumers-turned-entrepreneurs may have started their own venture out of necessity as a way to bring in income, as the economy has improved the rate of new business start-ups has returned to a more consistent pace.” To read Experian's news release go to https://www.experianplc.com/media/news/2015/small-business-startups/.

Solid, steady and sustainable economic growth in the UK ahead. According to the CBI’s latest economic forecast, the British economy is on a firm footing, having grown faster than previously thought in 2014 and with solid, steady and sustainable growth predicted into 2016. The business group is forecasting 2.4% growth for 2015 and 2.5% in 2016, which is a slight downgrade compared with February’s forecast largely due to weaker than expected official GDP data for the first quarter of - which the CBI believes is a temporary blip. Following first quarter growth of 0.3%, the CBI predicts a strong rebound in the coming months with quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.8% in Q2, 0.7% in Q3 and 0.6% in Q4. This also follows the official upgrade of growth in 2014 as a whole to 2.8%, from 2.6%. To read the CBI's news release go to http://news.cbi.org.uk/news/cbi-sees-solid-steady-and-sustainable-economic-growth-ahead/.

The changing role of the UK credit manager. The results from the latest Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) for Q1 2015 have highlighted the changing role of the credit manager, with 78% of respondents saying that their role and responsibilities have grown in recent years. Of these, 41% said they not only had additional responsibilities, but were increasingly being called upon to make strategically important decisions. However, the CMI also found that tasks such as managing credit across multiple countries are only being successfully automated by just over half (57%) of respondents, while 30% still perform cross-country credit management as a manual task. To view the CICM's news release go to http://www.cicm.com/record-high-cicm-uk-credit-managers-index/.

UK late payment victims had almost one-in-six invoices paid late in the last six months. Latest research from R3 has found that UK business victims of late payment saw almost one-in-six (15%) of their invoices paid late in the last six months. This follows earlier research by R3 which found that late payment is a primary or major factor in one-in-five corporate insolvencies. John Allan, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), commented: “The weight of evidence showing the damage poor payment practices are having on the UK economy grows greater each day with the amount owed in late payments now at £41.5 billion. Once again we find it is sole traders and smaller firms which are facing the brunt of late payments, and this is putting viable businesses at risk of closure." To read R3's news release go to https://www.r3.org.uk/index.cfm?page=1114&element=21410&refpage=1008.

UK businesses paid their overdue bills a day faster on average in the last tax year. According to data from Experian, the national average of days beyond terms (DBT) it took companies to settle invoices dropped by 0.99 days to 24.29 between April 2014 and March 2015. The UK’s smallest businesses were the quickest to tackle overdue invoices, as companies with one or two employees settled bills 20.58 DBT. Businesses with three to five employees showed the greatest improvement, paying bills 1.3 days faster at 21.34 DBT. Although the largest businesses, those with a workforce of 501 or more, took the longest to settle bills at 34.18 DBT in the last tax year, they improved payment performance in line with the national average at 0.99 days. To read Experian's news release go to https://www.experianplc.com/media/news/2015/faster-bill-payments-smooth-cash-flow-for-uk-businesses/.

8 million companies in Europe would hire more employees if they got paid faster. According to Intrum Justitia's European Payment Report 2015 (based on questions about payment answered by 8979 companies in 29 countries), every third company in Europe would be able to hire more employees if they got paid faster. "There are 25 million companies in the countries included in our survey. If we relate this to the fact that there are 23 million people without a job in the EU, one can conclude that if every company employed one more the unemployment would be erased - a theoretical yet interesting assumption" commented Lars Wollung, CEO & President of Intrum Justitia. To read Intrum Justitia's news release go to http://news.cision.com/intrum-justitia-ab/r/8-million-companies-in-europe-would-hire-more-employees-if-they-got-paid-faster,c9778830.

Manufacturing exporters buck the trend despite exchange rate challenges. A quarterly report release by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and DHL Express shows that British manufacturing firms are rising to the global challenge, reporting increased export orders and sales in Q1 2015. The survey revealed that 46% of manufacturers reported increased export orders in Q1, compared to 36% in Q4 2014. Meanwhile, the proportion of service firms that recorded increased export sales remained steady at 33%. John Longworth, Director General of the BCC, commented: "Encouragingly, the increase in export sales and orders has come about in spite of the rise in the pound against the euro over recent months." To view BCC's news release go to http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/manufacturing-exporters-buck-the-trend-despite-exchange-rate-challenges,-says-bcc-and-dhl-quarterly-export-confidence-tracker.html. The full report is available from the BCC press office.

Insolvency profession helps rescue 2-in-5 insolvent businesses. According to research by ComRes and R3, the UK’s insolvency profession helped rescue approximately two-in-five insolvent businesses in 2013-14. The research found that R3 members helped around 6,700 businesses (41% of formal insolvencies) continue trading in some way after entering insolvency and, in total, around 10,400 businesses continued operating after working with the insolvency profession - either benefiting from support in a formal insolvency or working with the profession to avoid insolvency. To read R3's news release go to https://www.r3.org.uk/index.cfm?page=1114&element=21487&refpage=1008.

UK growth accelerates to 12-month high. The CBI’s latest Growth Indicator shows that growth quickened in all three main sectors. It was modest in the manufacturing sector, and strong in the retail sector, but business and professional services was the stand-out performer. It recorded its fastest growth in business volumes since early 2006, and was the main driver of the overall acceleration in growth. Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Director of Economics, said: “As we move through the second quarter, growth has cranked up several gears and businesses expect that faster pace to continue. This supports our belief that the weaker-than-expected GDP growth in the early months of 2015 will be short-lived." To read the CBI's news release go to http://news.cbi.org.uk/news/uk-growth-accelerates-to-12-month-high-growth-indicator/.

Career Opportunities:
New Business/Renewals Underwriter– The Midlands - Competitive Package including bonus - Ref 203.
Nexus CIFS, Credit Insurer of the Year is seeking an experienced New Business Underwriter to join our dynamic and high achieving team to cover the Midlands. With a target market of business with insurable sales of £15-£50 million turnover, the successful candidate will have a proven track record in “on target” / “over –target” new business success and also possess exceptional relationships with the broking market. The role will also extend to the management of a renewals portfolio over a broad range of sectors covering the Midlands area specifically. You can be based in the Midlands for this role, but candidates will also be considered that live a commutable distance to the Midlands.
Nova Search & Selection is acting as an Employment Agency in respect of these vacancies. All applications, without exception, should be forwarded to Kristina@novasearch.co.uk or M: 07931-371990. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Trade Credit Risk and Commercial Underwriting Opportunities at QBE. London and Manchester/Leeds.
Following continued success in attracting new business and to ensure continued excellence in management of the existing portfolio, we have opportunities in both commercial and risk underwriting roles.
QBE is looking to enhance its talented team with positions at all levels in both risk and commercial, based in London and Manchester/Leeds as it continues is continued growth plans in the UK.
A competitive reward structure together with excellent benefits and opportunities to growth your career with an established underwriter. A culture of high achievement, authority levels that allow you to make a difference, a client focused approach with an expectation of meeting both clients, brokers and risks. If you enjoy being part of a team, are confident in using your authority and want to be in the front-line with clients, please submit your CV to recruitment.uk@uk.qbe.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Opportunities at HCC International: Commercial Underwriting, Risk Underwriting and Claims. Various locations.
HCC International's Credit and Surety Division is looking for talented, experienced individuals to join its credit teams across the UK as part of its continuing growth strategy. We have opportunities in Commercial Underwriting (new business and client relationships), Risk Underwriting and Claims. With clients across the UK and Ireland, we are looking for people who could be based in our London, Leicester, Birmingham, Manchester and Dublin offices as well as mobile positions. HCC offers an attractive reward package and working conditions together with a superb culture and plenty of opportunity for talented employees to progress. As part of a global AA rated insurance company, HCC International is well-positioned in the market to maximise its potential for growth in the credit insurance market and you could be part of our team. If you have an excellent track record in one of these areas, submit your CV via our company careers page http://www.hcc.com/careers/Searchjobs. Closing date for applications is 23 June 2015. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Risk Underwriter, Atradius (Special Products Analyst team). Singapore.
The Underwriter is responsible for approving /acceptance of new requests for credit insurance cover from both new and existing customers. Includes financial and political risk analysis, applying underwriting principles and procedures to support a new risk or modify an existing strategy. Applicants must have: previous risk underwriting experience, the ability to analyse financial statements (essential), knowledge of relevant analytical techniques, the ability to work with MS office applications, an interest in worldwide current affairs, an understanding of political risk.
In addition, the ability to focus on service to customers is a key requirement and the successful candidate will be able to clearly demonstrate a positive attitude and proactive approach. Strong communication skills are essential to the role, including the ability to discuss complex risk issues confidently. The successful candidate will also be able to assimilate information and process workflow quickly and arrive at decisions promptly without detriment to quality. An ability to work within a team environment is essential, candidates should also be confident to work independently.
Candidates should be aware that the position would involve travel overseas. A flexible approach to work, including long working hours is essential. Candidates must be fluent English speakers, an additional language would be of benefit. The candidate will be employed on a local contract. To apply, please email anthony.rasera@atradius.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Senior Risk Underwriter, Atradius. Special Products Analyst team). Singapore.
The Senior Underwriter is responsible for approving /acceptance of new requests for credit insurance cover from both new and existing customers. Includes financial and political risk analysis, applying underwriting principles and procedures to support a new risk or modify an existing strategy. The Senior Underwriter will be responsible for a geographical area as well as being responsible for a trade sector.
The successful candidate will need to attend customer and broker meetings and present themselves in a knowledgeable and professional manner. Applicants must have: previous risk underwriting experience, an ability to provide comprehensive financial analysis (essential), knowledge of relevant analytical techniques, knowledge of political risk underwriting, an interest in worldwide current affairs.The ability to focus on service to customers is a key requirement and the successful candidate will be able to clearly demonstrate a positive attitude and proactive approach. Strong communication skills are essential to the role, including the ability to discuss complex risk issues confidently. The successful candidate will be able to assimilate information and process requests quickly and arrive at decisions promptly without detriment to quality. An ability to work within a team environment is essential, candidates should also be confident to work independently.
Candidates should be aware that the position would involve travel overseas. A flexible approach to work, including long working hours is essential. To apply, please email anthony.rasera@atradius.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Account Executive, Atradius. Sydney, Australia.
Responsible for ensuring business retention and developing existing customer portfolio with the aim of maximising customer profitability. Actively involved in the management of customer portfolios. Responsible for revenue generation, risk management and act as key customer interface for the Company. The level of client support is segmented in accordance with the client service required profitability and potential. Key aspects are product delivery, risk management and profitability. Requirements include: practical training or sales experience, basic understanding of business, service and/or product.
The successful candidate will provide customer service and support, manage and support broker/agents relationships, develop and retain existing customer relations with the aim of maximising income growth, identify and support development of business opportunities for additional sales of services and products, establish policy terms and conditions (including pricing and risk assessment) to ensure profitability of portfolios, apply an understanding, aligned to the appropriate competency level and business segment for policy structures, country requirements, legal aspects and where necessary, cultural sensitivities and manage credit amount enquires for the state’s customer base.
Applicants must be permanent residents of Australia. To apply, please email anthony.rasera@atradius.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Political Risk Underwriters, London, £50,000 - £95,000.
Major Political Risk & Structured Credit market in the City of London is looking to grow its team with the appointment of two underwriters. The organisation benefit from a very strong rating, significant track record and strong brand recognition. The key products underwritten will include Credit (Trade related), Contract Frustration, Confiscation, CCP, and all related products. They function as a lead market and expect high quality, diligent underwriting from their team to ensure a profitable account is written. You’ll be responsible for managing broker relationships, attending events, networking occasions, conferences and client / market presentations when relevant. Its key that you’ve got a solid understanding of the Political Risk & Structured Credit market, ideally from an underwriting perspective, however high calibre brokers will also be considered. Please contact Kerren Leach on kerren.leach@eamesconsulting.com or 0207 092 3283 to discuss. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Account Manager – Mid-Market – Manchester, Excellent salary.
One of the larger credit insurers is seeking an experienced client handler to join their team in Manchester. You will be responsible for overseeing a prestigious portfolio of clients in the Northern region all of whom fall into the Mid / Large category. Industries involve vary but lean towards heavier trades. On a day to day basis you will be responsible for regular liaison with risk managers and credit managers at the client’s office, liaison with the broking houses to ensure quality of service is maintained, responding to enquiries from broking houses and clients, managing the renewal process for each client to ensure the account is retained, ensuring commercial terms offered are acceptable to all parties, developing strong and long lasting relationships with the brokers and client to aid retention and service levels. To be considered you should have a good understanding of the credit insurance industry, solid experience of client liaison and management, a desire to really deliver outstanding service and personal ambition. If this describes you then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Please contact Kerren Leach on kerren.leach@eamesconsulting.com or 0207 092 3283 to discuss. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Client Advisor / Client Manager. Reading.
This well-known broking house is seeking an additional team member to oversee a portfolio of UK based clients. The role itself will see you in regular contact with both clients and underwriters dealing with policy queries, limit requests, as well as getting involved in annual renewals and any spot business that needs to be carried out. You'll be working within a friendly and social team who have a good deal of credit experience, therefore are well able to support you. Within the role there is a clear development path and progression is definitely an option, this could either be within the local office or with a move into London. To be considered you should have a minimum of 6 months credit insurance experience from either a broking house or underwriter. Alternatively outgoing, ambitious and dynamic individuals who work in a related field will be considered. Please contact Kerren Leach on kerren.leach@eamesconsulting.comor 0207 092 3283 to discuss. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Direct Sales/Business Development Manager Role. Manchester Up to £43,000 per Annum, plus a monthly commission scheme and company car.
Our client is one of the UK's leading Credit Insurance Specialists who are looking for a Direct Sales & Business Development Manager to join their dynamic and expanding team. The ideal candidate will have extensive experience and knowledge of Credit Insurance with a proven ability in a sales environment. The salary on offer is up to £43,000 dependant on your experience, with a monthly commission scheme and company car as part of the package. Your role will be based in the Northern region of the UK and you will be responsible for the acquisition of new business for Credit Insurance to achieve your own individual target. You will specifically target in particular the SME market to secure profitable business for our client, whilst continuing your search for opportunities for all product lines, therefore maximising your contribution. The ideal candidate will be generate and follow up on leads through their own networking, whilst being able to maintain relationships with prospects and internal stakeholders. You will have a high level of self-motivation, be able to display your excellent sales negotiation and communication skills and have a detailed knowledge of the current economic climate and how it affects the market. The successful candidate will be rewarded with a fantastic basic salary and benefits package, prospects and the opportunity to progress in a long and rewarding career with our client.To apply for this role, please send your CV as soon as possible to Michael Tillyer at michael.tillyer@reedglobal.com or call 0161 833 2033 to avoid missing this opportunity. Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Trade Credit Insurance Broker, Bradford. Salary £30,000+ negotiable (DOE).
A well established national Broker are looking for experienced Trade Credit Insurance professionals to join their Bradford office to aid them with their growth plans. The salary is negotiable, dependent on experience and balance of responsibilities, but on average, new starters earn around £30,000. They are looking for someone who have experience of developing new business within the Trade Credit Insurance industry whist also maintaining existing relationships and servicing client needs. You must have Trade Credit Insurance Experience in order to be considered. To apply, please call 0161 833 2033 and ask for Michelle Chalmers or email michelle.chalmers@reedglobal.com. Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

New Appointments
Equinox Global has announced the appointment of Nick King as Head of UK and Ireland. Mr King will join Equinox on July 6th 2015 and will be based in London. Mr King has 30+ years of experience in credit management, in both the UK and internationally, and was latterly, Group Credit Director of Travis Perkins Plc.

Euler Hermes has announced the appointment of James Daly as head of region for the Americas and president and chief executive officer of the US operations of Euler Hermes North America Insurance Company. Mr Daly succeeds Jochen Duemler, who is retiring from the company after a career spanning nearly 35 years.

Euler Hermes has announced the appointment of Arjan van de Wall as regional head of MMCD for the Americas, reporting to James Daly from July 1, 2015. Mr van de Wall was previously regional director for the World Agency organization serving multinational clients in the Americas.

About this issue's sponsor: A HOUSE OF SPECIALISMS: CREDENDO GROUP.
Uncertainties can be transformed into opportunities through effective credit insurance. This common principle federates all business units in Credendo Group. Each has its specialist strengths, but all are committed to providing European exporters with the risk protection and service support they need to grow their trade activities around the world.

The parent company Delcredere | Ducroire was founded as a Belgian autonomous body in 1939, with roots back to 1921. But over the past decade Delcredere | Ducroire has developed into a group present in 14 European countries.

Medium- and long-term trade credit insurance cover is the metier of Delcredere | Ducroire, the official Belgian export credit agency. With its cover capacity of EUR 30 billion and its AA rating from Standard & Poor’s, it underwrites major projects worldwide and capital goods sales, to a wide range of markets, largely outside OECD.

Besides trade credit and foreign direct investment insurance, Delcredere | Ducroire also offers direct financing for limited amounts and financial guarantees.

Short-term trade credit insurance, underwritten on a commercial market basis, is provided by Credimundi, KUPEG and INGO-ONDD. Their on-the-spot presence in key exporting markets ensures that they are close to their clients and able to tailor solutions to their local needs.
  • Credimundi, headquartered in Brussels, has branches in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy and underwrites trade activities worldwide. This business is noted for its expertise in emerging and developing market risk. Credimundi has a strong capacity for political as well as commercial exposures. It also issues surety contracts for bonds and guarantees.
  • KUPEG is based in Prague, with a presence in Slovakia and Poland. Its expert focus is on the increasingly important Central and East European economies.
  • INGO-ONDD, in Moscow, is the specialist underwriter in the Russian and CIS markets, a fast evolving region where credit insurance plays a growing role.
Bespoke single-risk cover is required for some individual transactions; the specialist underwriter Garant, located in Vienna and Geneva, structures insurance to meet the specific circumstances of an individual deal. Its experience in this specialist field is reflected in the independent A- ratings from Fitch and AM Best.

Certain exporters develop strong risk management structures of their own. However, they still require excess-of-loss insurance or top-up cover to ensure an adequately high level of protection against unexpected risks. This is provided by Trade Credit. Trade Credit has its head office in Brussels and subsidiaries in eight countries: France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland and the United Kingdom.

All businesses across Credendo Group are committed to customer focus and risk appetite. Credendo Group tailors solutions to the needs of each client and the challenges they face.


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