Welcome to issue 59 of Credit Insurance News Digest, 11 August 2015. This issue is kindly sponsored by XS Reserve.

Credit Insurance News and Reports
Atradius 'cautious' over cloud market. CRN has published an article, 'Credit insurer 'cautious' over cloud market', which reports that Atradius has told CRN that it is "open for more business" in the IT channel but has sounded a note of caution over companies operating in the cloud arena. Arwel Roberts, senior underwriter at Atradius, said his firm is increasing exposure to the sector, but added that telecoms and cloud are two sub-sectors on which Atradius is keeping a "close eye" - citing the recent collapse of Phones 4u – from which it sustained an eight-figure loss – and fears the cloud market has overheated. To read CRN's article go to http://www.channelweb.co.uk/crn-uk/news/2418086/credit-insurer-cautious-over-cloud-market. (Subscription required, free registration).

Credit Insurance could have protected Canadian retailer Target's suppliers. The Globe and Mail has published an article, 'What Target's suppliers wish they had known', which reports that the financial ruin suffered by many of Target's suppliers following the Canadian retailer's insolvency, could have been averted if those suppliers had been protected by trade credit insurance. “When investigating credit insurance and comparing it to other options, businesses would be wise to consider what amount of unrecoverable accounts receivable would seriously impact your company’s financial stability or annual profit,” commented Pascale Hansen, in the Vancouver office of Euler Hermes. She adds that businesses should calculate how much new revenue would be needed to break even, “if you suffered an unrecoverable debt of $50,000 or even $100,000.” To read the article on The Globe and Mail's website go to http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-money/targets-suppliers-wish-they-had-taken-out-this-type-of-insurance/article25593694/.

Credit insurers reported to be removing Toys "R" Us from some policies and declining to renew coverage. NorthJersey.com has published an article, 'Insurers of Wayne-based Toys ‘R’ Us said to cut policies after losses mount', which reports that unnamed sources have advised that Coface and Euler Hermes are removing Toys "R" Us or not renewing coverage from some policies. The article also includes a comment from Coface spokeswoman, Maria Krellenstein, who advises that the firm "maintains regular contacts with the Toys 'R' Us group in order to follow closely its development." To view the article on Northjersey.com go to http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/insurers-pulling-back-from-toys-1.1381746.

QBE launches two new services for its policyholders: a Binding Contracts Advice Service and a Commercial Terms & Conditions Review & Amend Service.
1. Specialist lawyers Simmons & Simmons will provide QBE Policyholders with a detailed professional review of all their commercial documents (including invoices, credit/account opening forms, order acknowledgements, purchase orders etc) and strengths and weaknesses of current terms of business with recommendations to strengthen where applicable. The service is priced at £950 + VAT.
2. The Binding Contracts advice service, which costs £100 + VAT, is designed to advise whether a client has a Binding Contract with an Insured Buyer and determine whether the client is contractually obliged to make shipments. The advice can also be used to support claims assessment should a claims situation arise. The service has been developed with and will be provided by specialist lawyers, Simmons & Simmons.
Click here to read QBE's news release.

Arthur J. Gallagher report finds that credit insurance has "a vital role to play". Arthur J. Gallagher has announced that it has published its latest Credit & Political Risk Report and Market Update - July 2015. In addition to summarising the changes in line structure and tenors available from commercial political risk insurers since the last report in January 2015, the Update advises that the trade credit insurance market has seen a number of large insolvencies resulting in significant claims payment to clients against a backdrop of plentiful capacity and softer pricing. Looking ahead, a key conclusion was the need for the credit insurance market to work more closely with the banks and trade financiers to hit the UK government’s target of GBP 1 trillion of exports by 2020. To download a copy of the report go to http://www.ajginternational.com/news-insights/articles/insights/cpri-report-july-2015/.

Coface: 160 countries under the magnifying glass. Coface has published its latest at-a-glance Country Risk Map for Q2 2015. Areas and countries are colour-coded into seven bands depending on the risk of businesses defaulting, and three countries (Portugal, Czech Republic, Vietnam) with improved ratings are highlighted. Only China has seen a downgrade to its rating (now A4/'Acceptable risk'). To download a copy of the Map go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Country-risk-map-2nd-quarter-2015.

Euler Hermes: US steel industry global overcapacity causes major headwinds. According to Euler Hermes, the US steel industry will face three major headwinds – falling prices, oversupply and foreign steel dumping – in 2015’s second half. In its newly released Steel Industry Outlook, Euler Hermes expects 2015 steel prices to decline by 18% and annual production to decrease 3-4%, primarily due to global overcapacity. As a result, corporate consolidations and insolvency increases are likely, while smaller players that lack vertical integration and have fixed cost structures may become potential acquisition targets for big names looking to gain additional production capacity and market share. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-us-steel-outlook-230715.aspx.

Atradius reports that Russia's current recession is milder than expected. Atradius' latest Economic and Industry Outlook on Russia reports that the Russian economy has now entered into long expected recession, with a 1.9% contraction to GDP in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter in 2014 and a 3.5% decrease to GDP expected in 2015. However, overall the recession is somewhat milder than expected, due to a higher oil price and somewhat reduced international tensions, and the economy is forecast to grow again (by +0.5%) in 2016. However, despite some improvements in industry performance since early 2015, most sectors still face tough times ahead. To read Atradius' report go to http://global.atradius.com/images/stories/economic%20research/07212015_Atradius_Economic_Research-Russia_Economic_Industry_Outlook.pdf.

Euler Hermes advises that exports remain South Korea's growth driver. Although household spending and tourist arrival numbers have suffered as a result of the MERS outbreak, Euler Hermes has reported that South Korea’s export economy shows resilience and advises that its export base is expected to expand by an additional US$71 billion in 2015 and 2016 - i.e. 5% of its current GDP. In addition, business insolvencies at the end of 2014 stood at a record low, having decreased by 16% compared to a year earlier. However, average days sales outstanding, which had been relatively stable at around 70 days for the past four years, did witness a slight increase to 71 days in 2014. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-southkorea-exports-growth-driver-240715.aspx.

Coface reports that 3.6 million vehicles were produced in Eastern Europe in 2014 - 21% of total EU production. “The number of vehicles produced in the CEE region has more than doubled in the last ten years” commented Grzegorz Sielewicz, Coface Economist for CEE. “Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Romania were the most successful, where car production tripled, or even quadrupled." However Coface also cautions that the current high growth dynamics cannot continue endlessly due to eventual saturation of the market, while increased car sales do not automatically translate to an equal increase in car manufacturers’ profitability. To read Coface's news release with a link to the full report go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/The-CEE-automotive-sector-is-highly-dependent-on-foreign-investments-but-there-are-positive-dynamics-in-domestic-demand.

Atradius warns that the machinery industry is currently facing troubles in large emerging markets. Atradius' latest Market Monitor focuses on the machinery industry and advises that most machinery producers and markets like Germany, Japan, the US, the Czech Republic and Hungary continue to perform well, while machinery in France and Italy is helped by increased demand from automotive and domestic recovery. However, in contrast, the machinery industry is currently facing more troubles in the large emerging markets of Brazil and China, after years of high investment in engineering equipment. Atradius comments: "Given the fact that Chinese economic growth has been slowing down since 2014 and Brazil is on the brink of a recession this comes as no surprise . . ." To read the Market Monitor go to http://global.atradius.com/images/stories/Market%20monitor/MM_July_2015_ENG.pdf.

Cuba Report: Euler Hermes advises that US annual exports could grow by approximately $1 billion. According to a new report from Euler Hermes, with the end of the Cuban embargo potentially in sight, the US is positioned to become the main economic winner, increasing its Cuban exports by an average $1 billion per year. As a result, US export revenue could reach $6 billion by 2020 – or 25% of Cuba’s total imports - up from 3% today. “This new landscape will give a tangible boost to the Cuban economy,” said Daniela Ordonez, Euler Hermes economist. “Cuban GDP will accelerate from a five-year average of 2% to 5-6% per year from 2016 to 2020. This activity will largely be driven by foreign investment, which will grow 15-20% in the coming years.” To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-cuba-exports-060815.aspx.

AmTrust announces plans to acquire trade credit insurer. AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Amsterdam based, N.V, Nationale Borg-Maatschappij and its affiliates from Egeria and HAL Investments. Nationale Borg is a 120 year old, Amsterdam-based international direct writer and reinsurer of surety and trade credit insurance in over 70 countries. In 2014, Nationale Borg generated premiums of €91 million. To read AmTrust's press release go to http://ir.amtrustgroup.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=925766.

GSCF and Euler Hermes co-operate on SCF solutions sales. GTR has published an article, 'GSCF and Euler Hermes to co-operate on SCF solutions sales', which advises that Global Supply Chain Finance (GSCF) and Euler Hermes World Agency have jointly launched a global sales co-operation to expand companies’ use of supply chain finance solutions. “We believed that many of Euler Hermes’ clients would benefit from our financing solutions and Euler Hermes also knew that via GSCF’s financing programmes there would be additional opportunities to provide credit insurance cover to new names,” commented Kendall Stevens, CEO of GSCF. To view the article on GTR's website go to http://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/gscf-and-euler-hermes-to-co-operate-on-scf-solutions-sales/.

Atradius publishes new country reports for Middle East and North Africa. Atradius has published its latest Country Reports for Middle East and North Africa (countries covered include: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and UAE). Each country report includes an overview of main import sources, main export markets and key indicators as well as an industries performance outlook. In-depth sections follow on each country's political and economic situation. To read the report go to http://global.atradius.com/images/stories/CountryReports/MENA_July_2015_ENG.pdf.

And Finally . . . 
CBF is pleased to announce that its 12th annual Charity Golf Day at The Warren Golf Club near Maldon in Essex was a great success - with more than £3,000 raised for charities, The J’s Hospice, and Action Against Cancer. A photo of some of the day's winners is included on our Photo Gallery page.
If you’d like to join CBF for next year’s event, please email Laura Prime for more information.

A message from this issue's sponsor: XS Reserve - a new name in the market, and a wholly new idea in the world of credit insurance. Before the financial crisis, liquidity was abundant. Clients could rely on their relationship bank in the knowledge that sudden cash shortfalls could be dealt with. Now, the situation is different. XS Reserve allows clients to develop their own cash funded, bad debt reserves to cover their retained risks, such as the deductible in an XoL credit cover. Clients fund it by paying equal, monthly payments over a period of up to 3 years. The monies accumulate in their own bank account (and remain a secured asset) whilst the underwriter, AIG with its A+ Rating, will pay claims up to the full value of the reserve right from the outset. The reserve is monitored and marketed by XS Reserve Ltd for AIG. It can be assigned to a third party such as a funder or a captive to address a whole range of issues relating to advance rates, collateral and LOC’s. This new financial instrument is launched with AIG to support their XoL credit insurance covers. It is an innovative and adaptable new contract that bridges the gap between ground-up and catastrophe protection and is designed specifically to appeal to treasurers and finance directors to help them reduce their operating and funding costs. For more information go to http://www.xsreserve.com.

Events and Offers
GTR Asia Trade Finance Week 2015, 7-10 September 2015. Singapore.
GTR Asia Trade Finance Week 2015 will return to Singapore in September to further establish its standing as the largest trade finance gathering anywhere in the world. Enjoying full support and endorsement from IE Singapore, among many more of the market’s leading institutions, the event will bring together regional and global corporates, financiers, regulators and more to discuss trade priorities across the region. With 783 delegates in attendance in 2014, representing 31 countries, this should be a firm date in the diary for anyone looking to conduct trade in Asia. For more information go to http://www.gtreview.com/events/asia/gtr-asia-trade-finance-week-2015/.

Trade Credit Finance, Risk & Insurance, 23-24 September 2015. London.
The interface between asset-backed finance, credit governance & risk management. 10% discount with VIP Code FKW52969CRN– Register here.
In a world of ever-greater commerce and wider, faster communication, the landscape of traditional trade finance is experiencing disruption from a number of areas which have the potential to transform the industry permanently:
Top-down: Regulation and globalisation are driving a seachange in the capacity, risk appetite and margins for financial institutions, from global banks to insurance companies.
Bottom-up: Entrepreneurial fintech and open-account trading are also shifting the terms on which companies engage with their buyers and blurring the line between credit and finance.
IBC’s Trade Credit will bring together the worlds of: Asset-backed & receivables finance; Credit governance & cash management; Risk and trade credit insurance to explore how the way in which corporates are financing and managing risk with their buyers and suppliers is evolving and the major macro-factors changing the trade landscape. View the latest Trade Credit: Finance, Risk & Insurance agenda for more information.

Global Commodity Trade Finance Conference 2015, 29 September 2015. Lugano, Switzerland.
GTR‘s Global Commodity Trade Finance Conference 2015 will return to Lugano in September to provide timely insight on the condition of the global trading market and the challenges faced, both in local markets and further afield. Reflecting Switzerland’s role as one of the world’s leading commodity trade hubs, the event will see high level business leaders come together to explore the possibilities of strengthening links and encouraging growth within the global commodity market. For more information go to http://www.gtreview.com/events/europe/global-commodity-trade-finance-conference-2015/.

Mauritius Trade Finance Conference 2015, 1 October 2015. Port Louis, Mauritius.
Benefiting from its strategic location between Africa and Asia, Mauritius is rapidly developing into the primary trade, distribution, re-export and logistics hub servicing intra-regional commerce between the two high-growth geographies, while providing a launching point for local and international companies looking to move into the African trade space. GTR’s Mauritius Trade Finance Conference will survey the opportunities offered to companies and traders by this unique market, assess efforts to further establish the island as an international financing hub, and highlight the key role of the trade finance sector in enabling further growth. For more information go to http://www.gtreview.com/events/africa/mauritius-trade-finance-conference-2015/.

Mexico Trade & Export Finance Conference 2015, 6 October 2015. Mexico City, Mexico.
Building on the success of a growing portfolio of conferences in the Americas, this event will bring Mexico’s leading trade bodies and companies of all sizes (multinationals, mid-cap and SMEs), as well as top financial institutions, together to explore trade and export finance opportunities available in the region in today’s economic climate. As always, huge emphasis will be placed on the importance of networking, with numerous opportunities provided throughout the event to engage with key decision makers and establish new business contacts. Delegates will also be given the opportunity to organise private meetings with fellow attendees via the GTR Members Area, our exclusive networking site. For more information go to http://www.gtreview.com/events/americas/mexico-trade-export-finance-conference-2015/.

Trade Credit & Risk Insurance Forum, 11-13 October 2015. Dubai.
Trade Credit & Risk Insurance Forum provides a platform for interactive debate, networking and learning between trade credit stakeholders. This year's forum will enable effective partnerships and dialogue for trade promotion, insurance and credit and risk management between ministries, regulators, corporates, SMEs, ECAs, insurers, banks and financiers.
What's In It For Insurers, Reinsurers and Brokers?  Gain first-hand knowledge of the changing criteria and requirements for trade credit insurance from leading regional corporates and SMEs to develop innovative products. Discover the evolution and adoption of standard TCI policies and other alternatives including top-ups, political risk, single buyer and top buyer in the region to access their potential and profitability. Drive market penetration and density by working with existing and potential clients, financiers as well as with other insurers through syndicates. Assess the market and improve business decisions through latest information on economic and political outlook and trends. Top tips to overcome the lack of information as well as drive transparency in claims and premium.
What's In It For Banks and Financiers?  Understand criteria and requirements for trade finance from leading regional corporates and SMEs to develop innovative products. Discover the evolution and adoption of factoring and other alternatives in the region to assess its potential and profitability. Increase sales and market penetration by providing extra benefits to existing and potential clients by working closely with insurers and other financiers. Learn proven strategies for leveraging insurance to attract new pockets of liquidity and alleviate pressures of credit exposures, capital adequacy and capital allocation. Make better risk adjusted decisions through latest information on economic and political outlook and trends.
Click here for more information.

Receivables Finance Masterclass. 13 October, London.
Effective cash management is essential for any business to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Receivables purchasing arrangements, in which companies sell their receivables for cash, is becoming increasingly important in providing solutions to cash flow management problems and provides a valuable supplement to loan finance. However, there are important differences between receivables purchasing arrangements and bank debt, and it is essential that both providers and users of this form of finance understand how it operates.
This masterclass is designed for people who already have a working knowledge of receivables purchasing arrangements. It focuses on legal, commercial and practical issues that arise in implementing these structures domestically and internationally. It is important that delegates come armed with questions and an enthusiasm to engage and share experiences. A clear understanding of receivables purchasing and its use in conjunction with loan financing has never been more important. This intensive one-day event will provide the information needed to exploit the opportunities provided by receivables purchasing. For more information go to http://www.bcrconferences.com/events/receivables-finance-masterclass.

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.

Transforming Factoring and Invoice Finance. 17 November 2015, London.
The event is open to all invoice finance, factoring and SME/lending professionals. A great opportunity to learn about the latest trends reshaping business finance and a chance to network with leaders in the industry.
Get ahead of the game by joining BCR in addressing the future prospects and opportunities for the traditional factoring and invoice finance market, as the challenges of the alternative funding providers with their plethora of new platforms, appear to threaten its very existence. For further information go to http://www.bcrconferences.com/events/transforming-factoring-and-invoice-finance.

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.

Supply Chain Finance Summit. 27-28 January 2016. Frankfurt, Germany.
he market for supply chain finance (SCF) is lighting up. For EMEA alone, the market size is estimated to be as high as €17 Billion with an estimated annual growth rate of between 15-30%. This two day event covers the rapidly growing interest in targeting both domestic and cross border opportunities in the SCF space, as well as the increased interest from mid-sized companies now looking to supply chain finance to increase profitability and strengthen supply chains.
Brought to you by BCR, specialist publishers in receivables, factoring and supply chain finance, the conference is open to all finance and supply chain professionals. It is a great opportunity to learn about the latest trends transforming the approach to supply chain management and a chance to network with leaders in the industry.
Treasurers/CFOs, heads of supply chain/procurement from corporates & SME directors attend free of charge. For more information go to http://www.bcrconferences.com/events/supply-chain-finance-summit.

Receivables Finance International - RFIx. 9-10 March 2016, Lisbon, Portugal.
This well established market leading two-day Convention brings together nearly 200 delegates from Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia, attracted by the quality of speakers, panel discussions and wide-ranging subject matter. The theme for 2016 is being developed now. To get involved, please contact Malou Lindholm, Director, BCR Publishing. For more information go to http://www.bcrconferences.com/events/receivables-finance-international---rfix.

Business Information: Latest Reports and Business Shorts
The UK is set to miss the government’s target of hitting £1 trillion worth of exports by 2020 by 14 years. The British Chambers of Commerce's annual International Trade Survey has revealed that the UK is set to miss the government’s target of hitting £1 trillion worth of exports by 2020 and predicts that if the UK continues at current growth rates it is not likely to reach this target until 2034. The BCC's survey also identifies ten export 'hot spots' for services - the countries UK services firms are most interested in exporting to over the next five years. The list is led by traditional favourites, the US (32%), Germany (30%) and France (29%), but China (24%) and the United Arab Emirates (24%) are now close behind. To read the BCC's news release with a link to the full report go to http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/uk-services-firms-hold-the-key-to-overcoming-trade-deficit.html.

Lloyds Bank report suggests that the UK's economic recovery is maturing. Lloyds Bank's latest issue of its Business in Britain survey has reported robust levels of economic activity in the past six months and predicts that this will continue in the second half of the year. Business confidence also remains near the post-recession high – a finding which is broadly replicated across industries, regions and firms of different sizes. Taken together, the survey advises that these results suggest that the economic upturn is enduring and maturing. In addition, a notable change compared with the last survey is the improvement in expected exports, particularly to Europe. To download Lloyds Bank's report go to http://resources.lloydsbank.com/economic-research/2015/business-in-britain-july-2015/.

21st century start-ups significantly change the shape of the UK economy. Experian has advised that ‘Generation Z’ companies formed in the 21st century have played a significant role in driving the incorporated business population from 1.5 million in 2000 to 3.4 million by the end of 2014. Overall, the business population has experienced two decades of almost uninterrupted growth, falling only in 2009 and 2010. A record 586,818 companies were set up in 2014, 27.5% more than the 459,967 created in 2007 when the economy was at its peak. East London was the home of 3.4% of UK start-ups created in 2013, the most in the UK, while London as a whole accounts for six of the top eight postcodes for business incorporations. To read Experian's news release go to https://www.experianplc.com/media/news/2015/21st-century-start-ups-significantly-change-shape-of-uk-economy/.

Global economic tremors hit UK business confidence. According to the latest Business Trends Report by BDO, UK business confidence fell to its lowest level – 103.9 – since November 2014. This reflects UK firms’ concerns that the continued Greek chaos and a potential slowdown in China’s economy, sparked by a plunging stock market, could soon affect their own prospects. Falling confidence is driven in particular by pressures in the manufacturing sector, with BDO’s Manufacturing Optimism Index plummeting to 98.5 (from 103.4) this month. It is now below the long-term trend rate for the first time in two years. To read BDO's news release with a link to the full report go to http://www.bdo.co.uk/press/global-economic-tremors-hit-uk-businesses.

UK SMEs spend £10.8 billion a year chasing late payment. According to new figures from Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs), UK SMEs are facing higher costs than ever in chasing late payment debt. Research into the UKs late payment burden shows that SMEs are racking up a collective £10.8 billion a year in their attempts to recover overdue payments – that’s an average of almost £11,500 each, or £955 a month. That compares with a total cost of £8.2 billion in July 2014. However, the good news is that the overall late payment debt appears to have peaked, and is now on its way down – Bacs’ research shows that the total amount owed to both large and small UK businesses now stands at £31.3 billion, down from £41.5 billion this time last year. The SME share of that totals £26.8 billion, down from £32.4 billion in July of last year. To read Bacs' news release go to http://www.bacs.co.uk/Bacs/DocumentLibrary/PR_Late_payments_costing_SMEs_billions.pdf.

Late payment causing businesses cashflow problems – and expected to get worse.According to the latest in the Business in Britain series of reports from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, the problem of late or slow payments continues to cause cashflow difficulties for businesses, and almost a third expect it will only get worse in the next six months. While overall business confidence remains strong (at 43%) and may lead many businesses to consider investing in growth, those plans may be hampered by the fact that almost one in five (18%) businesses admit to experiencing cashflow problems. Late payment is cited by nearly three in five (59%) of those businesses as being a major cause. To read Lloyds Banks' news release go to http://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/globalassets/documents/media/press-releases/lloyds-bank/2015/150805-sme-cashflow-release.pdf.

UK growth steady but exports drag. According to the latest CBI SME Trends Survey, growth among UK SME manufacturers remained positive in the three months to July, but new export orders fell - having been broadly flat for the previous two quarters. Export prices also continued their downward trend, falling at the fastest pace since October 2003, and are widely expected to limit export orders in the next quarter. Anna Leach, CBI Head of Economic Analysis, said: “ . . the relative strength of the Pound against the Euro is hitting export orders and margins, while uncertainty regarding Greece threatens growth prospects in the Eurozone.” To read the CBI's news release go to http://news.cbi.org.uk/news/sme-growth-steady-but-exports-drag/.

Number of UK food suppliers experiencing ‘Significant’ financial distress increases 54% in 12 months. Begbies Traynor's latest Red Flag Alert Report for Q2 2015 has shown that UK food retailers have continued to experience rising ‘Significant’ financial distress, increasing by 38% to 5,258 businesses (97% of which are SMEs) over the past year. Overall, the UK’s food supply chain was by far the biggest loser; during Q2 2015, the UK Food and Beverage Manufacturers witnessed the highest year on year increase in ‘Significant’ distress of all sectors monitored, rising 54% to 1,622 companies. Julie Palmer, Partner and retail expert at Begbies Traynor, said: “The supermarkets have managed to successfully rebase their own models by reducing product ranges, moving away from bulk-buy offers and squeezing supplier margins still further, while failing to clean up their act on late payments." To view Begbies Traynor's news release go to http://www.begbies-traynorgroup.com/news/business-health-statistics/uk-food-supply-chain-on-the-brink-as-supermarkets-tighten-belts-still-further.

Manufacturing around the UK. EEF has launched a new publication, Regional Manufacturing Outlook, which examines the composition and performance of manufacturing across the different regions in the UK. The report compares key metrics from EEF's Business Trends Survey on business confidence, output, employment and investment patterns and combines these with official data on the sectoral make up of industry across the UK. For more information and to view the Outlook go to http://www.eef.org.uk/campaigning/news-blogs-and-publications/blogs/2015/jul/manufacturing-around-the-uk.

Career Opportunities:
CRS Manchester – Internal Client Support.
On 1st September we are opening a brand new office in Manchester city centre. This is a key development in our plans for continued growth of the company. Initially we are looking for an individual to work in an office based support role.
Activities will principally include: Handling credit limit, overdue account policy and claims enquiries; Regular telephone support for existing clients; Support for new business – collation of questionnaire details etc; Working with a broad range of clients and trade sectors.
Requirements include: Minimum 12 months experience in the credit insurance market; Competent with IT – word, excel, database skills; Good organisational ability; Committed to team approach in a hardworking but fun environment.
To apply, please email your CV and a covering letter to Mike Clark at m.clark@creditrisksolutions.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).

AIG Trade Credit Team Head.
We are hiring a Trade Credit Underwriter for both Risk and Commercial.
Activities will principally include: Underwriting and monitoring of key buyer risks to achieve or better budgeted loss ratio; Ensure compliance of AIG underwriting standards, Credit procedures and PC guidelines; Identify risk opportunities to drive new business opportunities in order to achieve PC budget; Develop and maintain broker and client relationships to increase client retention and new business levels; Support PCM in meet deadlines for reporting PC strategy and budget development to senior management.
Requirements include: Good credit risk background with strong knowledge of international trade and emerging market risk; Financial analysis skills; Knowledge of trade finance; Country risk awareness; Competent in IT systems; Insurance background; Awareness of Trade Credit Underwriting Practices.
To apply please Click here. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).

Trade Finance – Regional Product Specialist (legal) (121837)
Manage all legal aspects of new and existing transactions for Trade Finance, including drafting insurance endorsements for Trade Finance transactions and contract drafting and review of documentation (Insurance and Financial) for insurance-backed receivable financing/ pre-export financing. The candidate will be expected to drive negotiation of transaction documents with banks/funders and other interested parties.
Activities and Requirements include: Two-year post qualified lawyer (an associate in a [London] law firm) with Structured Finance/banking experience; Managing the legal operational aspects of our new Supply Chain Finance initiative; Liaising with AIG internal legal department; Full working knowledge of Basel III rules on Capital efficient risk mitigants; Completing legal compliance for TF; Work in a team environment; Work on tight deadlines with variable work patterns; Mobile with a degree of international travel; Be conversant with Banking/Insurance compliance and audit requirement.
To apply please Click here. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).

Sponsorship opportunity for international individual to train in the UK. £35,000 and £40,000 plus a full benefits package and annual bonus.
Applicants must presently live or originally have lived in one of the following locations: China, India, Brazil, Middle East, Morocco, Turkey, Nigeria, South Africa, Russia, Poland, or Romania. This global financial services organisation is offering the rare opportunity to sponsor an international individual to move to the UK for a period of two to three years, undergo training on their product suite and processes, before returning back to your home country and work within a local office. The UK is often seen as the highest calibre office within the global network and therefore they are offering the opportunity to be trained by the best in the company.
The role you will be trained to carry out will involve; credit analysis of companies to determine whether the company wish to agree certain risk limits, whether they wish to increase or decrease limits, working with intermediaries and end clients, communicating decisions to various internal and external parties, monitoring a portfolio of companies, and various other tasks.
They are looking for individuals who have some experience of credit analysis from a banking, factoring, or credit insurance background and are looking to develop a long term career within financial services. As you will need to re-locate back to one of the company’s international offices following a two to three year, sponsored training period in the UK, you must presently live or originally have lived in one of the following locations: China, India, Brazil, Middle East, Morocco, Turkey, Nigeria, South Africa, Russia, Poland, or Romania.
You will receive a relocation package to include full UK visa sponsorship and relocation costs. Thereafter you will be paid a salary of between GBP35,000 and GBP40,000 plus a full benefits package and annual bonus. Once your initial training period has been completed, you will be relocated back to your originating country and work within the local office of this firm there, carrying out the role for domestic clients. This is a rare and exciting opportunity to work for one of the world’s leading firms who will provide an outstanding training package. Please provide a full CV in English to be considered either via this medium or direct to kerren.leach@eamesconsulting.com. Only individuals who meet the above criteria will be considered and contacted. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Atradius Australia, Senior Underwriter, Sydney.
An opportunity has arisen to join a dynamic Risk Underwriting Team in Australia as a T3 Senior Underwriter. The role will be based in Sydney reporting to the Underwriting Manager for Australia/New Zealand and will include team management responsibilities. Applications are invited from qualified/experienced candidates who are looking to expand their underwriting knowledge and horizons in a different country and absorb a new culture. The role will include being at the forefront in continuing the work we have done locally in Australia in moving Risk and Commercial teams  together and providing a united front in the market place; plus proactively supporting the business units in a pro business way whilst maintaining a balanced risk approach. The successful candidate will also be expected to drive their team forward and build upon the work already done across the wider RS3 Asia Pacific region in aligning process and driving efficiencies. The role will be offered on a Local Contract in the Australian Head Office in Sydney. This is a fantastic opportunity to join a diverse team in a vibrant city, where the good weather and beautiful location contribute to a positive culture and rewarding lifestyle. From a regional perspective the role will provide the opportunity to be part of the Asia Pacific Footprint; a growth area for Atradius and a region that is expanding its reach in 2015 from both a Business Unit and Risk Services perspective.
Qualifications: Candidates will need a minimum of three years risk underwriting, credit management or analytical experience and have a customer focused approach Team Management experience would desirable although not essential. Fluent written and spoken English will be essential.
The candidate will be expected to be able to take up the post in Australia in 3rd Qtr. 2015, to enable us to maintain our current service standards.
Please forward your CV and covering letter to Anthony Rasera – Senior Manager HR +61 2 9201 5763 anthony.rasera@atradius.com.  Applications must be submitted by Friday 21st August. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).

Risk Underwriters, City of London, £40,000-£60,000.
We are working on behalf of a number of credit insurers in the City who are seeking experienced Risk Underwriters / Credit Analysts, either from a credit insurance background or a financial services credit analysis background. You should have experience in carrying out detailed analysis of UK obligors either focusing within a couple of industry sectors or across a broad range. Experience of international obligors would be an advantage but wouldn’t be essential. As part of your role you’ll be expected to work closely with the commercial underwriters and advise them on potential risk issues whilst also helping them renew and close new business by offering the best possible credit limits to clients. Regular client, broker, buyer meetings will be expected to ensure you are communicating risk decisions effectively. For a confidential discussion please contact Kerren Leach on 0207 092 3283 /kerren.leach@eamesconsulting.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).

New Appointments
Tinubu Square has announced the appointment of Stephan Mignot as VP for North America. Mr Mignot began his career in Baltimore as a credit risk analyst at Euler Hermes ACI and in 2000 he joined the New York-based CBM Group, a financial services consultancy specialising in risk management, where he held a number of positions, before becoming Managing Director.

RKH Specialty, part of the Hyperion Insurance Group, has announced that it has appointed Gert Schlossmacher as co-managing director of its financial risks division from January 2016. Mr Schlossmacher will work alongside Neil Galletti, focusing on developing RKH Specialty's international trade credit business. He joins from Euler Hermes.

Coface Global Solutions in Asia Pacific has announced that Andrew Ross has been appointed senior vice-president, reporting to Thomas Yong, chief commercial officer, Asia Pacific. Mr Ross will lead the regional team as well as being responsible for business development and account management of international clients.

About this issue's sponsor: XS Reserve
XS Reserve’s idea is very simple; to support a company’s cash flow and improve its access to financing. Greater certainty is achieved by enabling them to build cash reserves through regular, monthly instalments into their own designated bank account over a term of up to three years, but, importantly with the full term value available on day one. We achieve this by arranging insurance cover up to the value of the proposed reserve. This insurance will respond to a claim on the reserve from day one, even though the insured’s bank account balance may be less than the claim. By cash funding a significant part of the risk exposure, this skin-in-the-game approach can help companies reduce their insurance spend and hence their operating costs whilst also helping treasurers reduce their WACC. As the reserve isn’t a sunk cost unless and until there is a claim, the process improves cash flow management and forecasting. This has considerable benefits for many companies in uncertain and volatile economic times.
This brand new product better supports Treasury needs for consistent and predictable cash allocation, whilst the reserve, and any Excess of Loss cover sitting above it, can respond to an unexpected event. The cover protects against credit defaults on the sales ledger and overcomes the difficulty of negotiating standby lines of liquidity from banks who are already under severe pressure with capital constraints imposed by Basel regulation. It can also help companies – both financial and non-financial – release precious cash collateral they may be required to post, restricting cash flow.
The full value of the reserve can be assigned to a third party, such as a trade financier, and provide a valuable form of cash collateral. XS Reserve can therefore be seen as an economic alternative to a Standby Letter of Credit at a time when banks are increasingly reluctant to provide such LoCs.
The XS Reserve product is now being purchased by major corporations as part of their receivable financing collateral, and is expected to become an integral part of the receivables finance and credit insurance landscape in the future.
For further information: www.xsreserve.com.

Credit Insurance News Digests: Sponsorship
Sponsoring an issue of Credit Insurance News Digest is a great way to promote your company or brand to a committed audience of trade credit insurance professionals.
If you are interested in sponsoring an issue in 2015 see our sponsorship page for further information.
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