Welcome to issue 60 of Credit Insurance News Digest, 15 September 2015. This issue is kindly sponsored by STA International.

Credit Insurance News and Reports
Trade credit insurers provide value for money for small businesses. New figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show that trade credit insurers are providing more cover to businesses than ever before, insuring turnover worth £315 billion in 2014 - 6.6% more than in 2013. However, the average premium for a trade credit insurance policy has fallen by more than 2% over the same period. Last year, businesses took out almost 10,600 trade credit insurance policies and made over 10,300 claims on their insurance - a 1.9% decrease from the previous year. As small businesses accounted for 38% of the number of credit insurance claims and payouts accounted for £30.2 million, the ABI point out that this indicates that trade credit insurance provides particular value for money for small businesses, who received 25% of the total value of claims received but paid just 12% of the total premium. To read the ABI's news release go to https://www.abi.org.uk/News/News-releases/2015/08/Trade-credit-insurers-cover-record-amount-supporting-exports-and-promoting-economic-growth.

Atradius to pay out millions in claims following the receivership of Irish Pride. Irish Examiner has published an article, 'Irish Pride suppliers set for compensation', which reports that the Irish division of Atradius is covering the compensation set to be paid to suppliers adversely affected by the recent receivership of leading bakery firm, Irish Pride. While Atradius hasn’t said how much it is paying out, according to the Irish Examiner a spokesperson has confirmed that it has paid out nearly €4 million in claims to Irish companies, across a number of sectors, this year, with Irish Pride suppliers “significantly contributing to this”. “We are able to confirm that we will be supporting claims to the value of several million euro in the wake of the Irish Pride receivership and are proud of our role supporting Irish businesses and protecting them from what would otherwise have been a substantial financial loss,” said Tony Gordon, head of risk at Atradius Ireland. To read the article on Irish Examiner's website go to http://www.irishexaminer.com/business/irish-pride-suppliers-set-for-compensation-347931.html.

Consolidation of Trade credit and Political Risk Insurance markets. GTR has published an article, 'Big fish, small pond', which reports that in the last year the insurance industry has been going through an unprecedented period of consolidation. The article advises that the headline deal was inarguably XL’s £2.5 billion takeover of Catlin, the largest purchase of a Lloyd’s insurer in history. Other deals included Hyperion Insurance Group's purchase of 100% of RK Harrison’s shares for around £400 million. Explaining this trend, GTR notes that merger and acquisition activity gives insurers more capacity – from both a financial and technical standpoint – to manoeuvre in a market that has become increasingly tough. In addition: "it also allows them the flexibility to keep up with future trends in terms of changing trade flows (such as south-south, or a shift to the east) and evolving financing requirements." GTR concludes: "2014 was said to be the biggest year for insurance consolidation since 2007. It looks as though 2015 will give it a serious run for its money." To read GTR's article go to http://www.gtreview.com/supplements/gtr-insurance-supplement-2015/big-fish-small-pond/.

Atradius advises which business sectors in Australia are poor performers when it comes to credit insurance. Insurance Business has published an article, 'Insurer reveals gaps in credit insurance market', which reports that Atradius Australia has revealed that companies in construction, metals, automotive, steel and textiles are experiencing the highest insolvency rates in Australia. Mark Hoppe, Atradius' Managing director in Australia commented: “Businesses in these sectors should seriously consider credit insurance. By taking out credit insurance, businesses can reduce their exposure to unnecessary trading risks and cover losses from non-paying customers, whether it is the customers’ fault or not.” Mr Hoppe also believes that businesses that take-up credit insurance benefit from a peace of mind that can lead to greater growth in an otherwise challenging market. To read Insurance Business' article go to http://www.insurancebusinessonline.com.au/news/insurer-reveals-gaps-in-credit-insurance-market-204166.aspx.

Atradius advises that the insolvency outlook for 2015 has weakened and difficulties are expected to continue into 2016. Although in the previous quarter it appeared that strengthening economic recoveries would finally start making it easier for French and Greek businesses to operate, with insolvencies predicted to fall in France (the first fall since 2007) and Greek insolvencies expected to remain unchanged, Atradius advises that the current situation is now less optimistic. Despite a strong economic performance in the first quarter in France, the number of insolvencies has actually risen, while in Greece the number of business bankruptcies is forecast to increase by 9% this year. Less positive forecasts can also be seen outside the eurozone, most notably in Switzerland, where business failures are expected to rise 12%, and Australia, which is now forecast to see insolvencies rise by 2% compared to a previous forecast of a 9% decrease. To read Atradius' report go to http://global.atradius.com/images/stories/economic%20research/Atradius_Economic_Research-Insolvency_Forecasts_August_2015.pdf.

Coface warns Australian businesses wishing to expand overseas to protect their businesses from the non-payment of debts. Insurance Business has published an article, 'Insurer warns of Asian over-reach' which reports that Coface has warned Australian businesses “to avoid overextending themselves in a bid to win business in Asia.” In its latest survey of corporate trends in the region, Coface warned that with businesses across the country clamouring to move into Asian markets, credit risk in the region could put a major dampener on business prospects. Chris Little, Coface commercial director in Australia, commented: “In speaking with Coface's clients in Australia that have traditionally focused on conducting business just in the Australian market, I’d say 70% of those looking to expand into offshore exporting are now looking to Asia." However, in China, for example, 30% of companies that offer credit terms experiencing ultra-long overdue payments which Coface call “unsustainable.” To read Insurance Business' article go to http://www.insurancebusinessonline.com.au/news/insurer-warns-of-asian-overreach-204228.aspx.

Company insolvencies in Western Europe: Coface predicts a drop of 7% in 2015. Coface has advised that company insolvencies in Western Europe have experienced two successive storms: the subprime crisis, which made insolvencies jump by 11%, followed by further shock waves which saw an +8% + and +5% increase in insolvency numbers in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Although Coface advises that the "skies have begun to clear" with "timid" recovery in ten countries (Italy and Norway being the only exceptions), the dynamics of improvement differ across countries and current insolvency levels are not yet comparable to pre-crisis levels. For 2015, Coface predicts an overall decrease of around 7% of company insolvencies in the twelve Western European countries analysed, with Spain and Portugal showing the greatest improvement and Germany and France showing the least improvement. To read Coface's news release go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Company-insolvencies-in-Western-Europe-a-drop-of-7-expected-in-2015-but-situation-is-contrasted.

Ireland's meat industry could lose out from Brexit. Irish Examiner has published an article, 'Premium tag will help agrifood sector grow', which reports that, according to Euler Hermes, improved domestic demand allied with Ireland’s strong export performance will push food and beverage output up 8% to €26 billion and agriculture output up to €8 billion by the end of 2016. Euler Hermes' Ireland country manager, Dean O’Brien said. “The situation is improved by Ireland’s positive net trade effect, notably its positioning as a premium food product exporter." However, Mr O’Brien also warned against the impact of Britain’s potential EU exit which could have particular effect on Irish meat producers. “In that scenario, the UK may possibly seek cheaper supply, possibly from South American alternatives like Brazil." To read the article on the Irish Examiner's website go to http://www.irishexaminer.com/business/premium-tag-will-help-agrifood-sector-grow-349215.html.

Euler Hermes Automotive Report: Emerging markets relinquish lead as car demand plummets amid economic tremors. According to a new report from Euler Hermes, 'Auto Market – a live wire', traditional automotive markets in Europe and the US are showing the most promising signs of growth and have taken a lead over struggling emerging economies. The report also warns that the economic slowdown across emerging markets is causing car registrations to tumble. In China, for example, sales are set to fall sharply to 3% growth in 2015 and 2016, compared to 10% expansion last year, while registrations in Brazil are expected to fall by 14% in 2015 to 2.3 million units, well below the 3 million units produced in 2013. Russia is also set to see its market shrink by over a third to 1.6 million vehicles. To read Euler Hermes' report go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-automotive-report-090915.aspx.

Coface warns that almost all major Latin American economies will decelerate in 2015. Coface's latest Panorama report, 'Latin America - What life after the commodity burst', has warned that growth in Latin America has been slowing down since 2011 and that 2015 has seen a further deterioration. As a result, regional GDP is expected to contract by 0.2% this year - the first recession since 2009 - and all major economies will see a deceleration in their growth, with the countries of the Atlantic performing most poorly. For example, Coface expects Brazil to contract to contract by 2.5% and Venezuela by 7% in 2015. Chile and Peru are the only two main economies, which should report a slight improvement this year. To read the Panorama go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Latin-America-what-life-after-the-commodity-burst.

Atradius identifies the sectors and countries most vulnerable to Brexit. Atradius has published an Economic Research paper on the Brexit question which identifies the most likely outcome of the UK’s in-out referendum set for 2017 and the sectors and countries most vulnerable to Brexit. Atradius advises that this is more than a domestic issue as the UK economy is an open economy, especially connected with Europe (which accounts for 45% of the country’s exports and 53% of imports and 12-13% of UK GDP). "With such deep economic relationships, a UK exit would also impact the rest of Europe." Atradius advises that the most at risk sectors would be minerals, transportation and financial services, and the most vulnerable countries are Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany. To read Atradius' report go to https://group.atradius.com/reports-and-advice/economic-research-brexit-update-september-2015.html.

The impact of China’s slowdown is being felt across Pacific Asia. GTR has published an article, 'China slowdown sends waves through Asian trade', which reports that the impact of China’s slowdown is being felt across Pacific Asia, with Australia and South Korea’s trade sectors experiencing drastic slowdowns. These fears have been reflected in Korea’s exports, which fell by 14.7% in July – the biggest drop in six years - with an 8.8% drop in shipments to China and 20% falls in the exports to both Japan and the EU. Meanwhile Australia has reported its lowest nominal GDP growth since 1962, standing at 1.8% for the first half of the year. Mahamoud Islam, senior Asia economist at Euler Hermes told GTR: “Looking at the region, the impact of slowing demand in China will probably impact the demand in commodity-driven economies in the region but also the countries that are trade sensitive and highly dependent on China’s value chain.” To read GTR's article go to http://www.gtreview.com/news/asia/china-slowdown-sends-waves-through-asian-trade/.

Coface advises that worldwide economic improvement is reflected in the CEE region. Coface’s seventh annual study on the biggest 500 companies in Central and Eastern Europe has found that in 2014, the CEE Top 500 companies generated a turnover of €572 billion - an improvement of 2.1% compared to 2013. The upward trend was recorded by the majority of trade sectors in the CEE Top 500 as well. 9 out of 13 sectors increased their turnover in comparison to the previous year, with the highest rise achieved by textiles, leather and clothing with +29.4%. On the other hand the oil and gas companies struggled with prices that halved in 2014 and have to face difficult circumstances in 2015 as well. Overall, the forecast for the CEE region in 2015 is slightly better than for 2014 with an estimated average growth rate of 2.8%. To read Coface's study go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/Publications/Ranking-Coface-Cee-top-500-companies.

Euler Hermes launches new credit support and risk management solutions for the US energy industry. Euler Hermes US has announced the launch of Euler Hermes Energy to provide companies throughout the energy supply chain with credit support and risk management solutions. Offices are based in Houston, Dallas, Calgary and Stamford, Connecticut. In addition, Euler Hermes Energy has developed Spread Risk Loss coverage (mark to market) which ensures that when a buyer becomes insolvent, the energy provider is covered for the lost sale at the original contract value - regardless of market price. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-eh-energy-launch-180815.aspx.

Atradius urges businesses to continue exporting. Atradius is urging UK businesses to commit further resources and investment to exporting in spite of a low level of growth so far in 2015. Marc Jones, head of sales at Atradius said: “The UK has sadly lagged behind the European average for export growth and also carries a negative balance of trade, boosting export growth will have the dual benefits of improving both the economic environment and the investment environment." He added: “In the UK we have some very successful exporting industries and a reputation that keeps British goods in demand – people want to do business with us which means that the door is already open." Machinery and transport are two key examples of success with over 40% of all UK exports shipped from these sectors. To read Atradius' news release go to http://www.atradius.co.uk/corporate/press-releases/atradius-urges-business-to-continue-exporting-to-achieve-business-growth.html.

Euler Hermes launches a product tailored to the German textile industry. Euler Hermes has announced that it will offer textile companies coverage in Germany against payment defaults through a textile industry policy specifically designed to meet the industry’s needs. For example, the new policy takes into account the textile industry’s seasonal peaks through automatic 50% increases in the insurance coverages. It also offers covers manufacturing risks and extended payment deadlines up to 180 days, to allow for lengthy production and transportation cycles that often accompany overseas production and covers manufacturing risks. Finally, initial deliveries to new customers are insured with coverage of up to €10,000 per new customer. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-textile-germany-200815.aspx.

Australia's growth rate is expected to slow and business insolvencies to increase in 2015. Atradius' latest Country Report on Australia reports that compared to most advanced economies, Australia‘s economic performance has been remarkably good over the last few years, with GDP growth of 3.6% in 2012. This was mainly due to the ongoing mining investment boom, driven by high demand (especially from China), and high investment in the liquefied natural gas related sectors. However, as the economy faced headwinds from the onset of a decline in both mining and non-mining investment, lower growth in consumer spending and the high Australian dollar, Australia´s GDP growth declined and is now expected to be 2.4% in 2015. In addition, in 2015, Australian business insolvencies are expected to increase slightly - by 2%. To read Atradius' report go to https://group.atradius.com/reports-and-advice/country-report-australia-2015.html.

Atradius publishes its latest country Risk Map. Atradius has published its latest at-a-glance Risk Map which provides an overview of the level of risk associated with countries worldwide and includes a rating system for assessing country risk called the STAR (Sovereign Transfer and Arbitrary Risk) rating system. 1 represents the lowest risk and 10 represents the highest risk. To obtain a copy go to https://group.atradius.com/reports-and-advice/trading-advice/risk-map.html.

Euler Hermes' Irish Agrifood report: a successful mix and match export strategy. According to Euler Hermes' latest report, strong domestic demand and dynamic foreign trade will push Irish food and beverages output up 8% to €26 billion, and agriculture output up 12% to €8 billion by the end of 2016. Although the report also cauti Dean O’Brien, country manager, Euler Hermes Ireland, commented: “The situation is improved by Ireland’s positive net trade effect, notably its positioning as a premium food product exporter. This may reap future rewards too, with the continuing expansion of the global middle-class – forecast to nearly double to 40% of the world population by 2020 – and the shift towards finer foodstuffs as people become wealthier.” To read Euler Hermes' news release with a link to the full report go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-irish-agrifood-190815.aspx.

Atradius to host webinar on opportunities on how to trade in Russia. Atradius has announced that it will be hosting a webinar on 15 October 2015 (15:00 CET) to examine the opportunities available for trade with Russia and how to safely transact business in Russia. A panel of experts on Russia’s economy, business culture and law will be led by award winning financial journalist and broadcaster Adam Shaw. To register to listen in go to http://edge.media-server.com/m/p/4m9wdz87.

New Industry Publications
Cash Flow Management for Small Businesses. STA International has published a useful new free guide, 'Cash Flow Management for Small Businesses', which gives a detailed overview of the importance of cash flow management and common cash flow 'killers' (late payment, unexpected expenses, not wanting to offend etc), tips for cash flow forecasting and invoicing and a step-by-step guide to getting paid. A section on late payment legislation stresses that the legislation's aim, in addition to giving claimants protection against companies who don’t pay on time, is to encourage those companies to pay on time in the first place and resolve these issues before they occur. However, in those instances where debt collection is needed, this may be free: "A Debt Collection Agency can charge its collection costs to late paying customers and this provides a free-of-charge collection service when they are successful." To obtain a copy of the Guide go to https://www.stainternational.com/small-business-advice/cashflow-guide.

New hardback reference book offers an in-depth guide to credit insurance. ‘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 - click here for more information and to order your copy. Discounts are available on bulk book orders. Please contact orders@anthempress.com for further information.

And Finally . . .
Atradius and AIG have both redesigned their Group websites. To view the changes go to https://group.atradius.com/home.html and http://www.aig.co.uk/business.

Events and Offers
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 GTDWs six trade summits. For further information and to register as a delegate visit: www.kwglobaltrade.com.

TXF Asia 2015: Export, Agency and Project Finance. 28 - 29 October, Hong Kong.
As the Berne Union/ Prague Club Joint Annual Meeting 2015 takes place in Shanghai the week after our conference, TXF Asia 2015: Export, agency and project finance will capitalise on the attendance of all the Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) already confirmed to visit the region. This will add to the international flavour of the event and maximise networking opportunities for all guests. Moving away from just theory, senior speakers and moderators will instead present real case studies, share best practice and always consider how the actions of today will affect the future of this industry.
New to 2015, we are introducing some brand new session types, including a corporate knowledge exchange. This corporates only workshop allows for sharing of best practice, advice and tips away from the hustle and bustle of the main conference area. To view the full agenda please follow this link: http://www.txfnews.com/Events/Event/30/TXF-Asia-2015-Export-Agency-and-Project-Finance.

TXF Trade and Treasury 2015, 12 - 13 November, Frankfurt.
From digitisation and disruptive innovation to regulation and reprioritisation, the worlds of trade finance and treasury management are changing rapidly. TXF Trade and Treasury 2015 will provide participants with an honest appraisal of the trade finance environment whilst ensuring content is always solution-driven and forward thinking. This years agenda has the confidence to take on the most difficult questions in the industry and tackle them with open and honest debate. Find out more by visiting our event page here: http://www.txfnews.com/Events/Event/35/TXF-Trade-and-Treasury-2015.

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.

GTR’s West Coast Trade & Working Capital Conference 2015. 19 November, San Jose.
San Jose is the host city for GTR’s West Coast Trade & Working Capital Conference 2015, once again providing a key meeting point for business leaders and trade experts on the West Coast and beyond. Exporters, importers, producers, financiers and service providers will all be in attendance, ready to explore solutions to trading in the current economic climate as well as discussing potential opportunities in emerging markets. Networking sessions will take place throughout the event giving delegates the ideal platform for establishing new business relationships with those keen to do business within the region. Click here for more information.

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. Click here for more information.

Supply Chain Finance Summit. 27-28 January 2016. Frankfurt, Germany.
The 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
Lovetts finds that a solicitor's letter prompts payment in 84% of cases. Lovetts has analysed the success rate of the Letters Before Action it has issued over the past year and has found that 84% of cases settle at the letter before action stage. Despite this, businesses are still slow to take action against late payers, and Lovetts found that on average, businesses are waiting 64 days from the date the invoice is due before sending a letter before action. Michael Higgins, MD of Lovetts said: "In some cases we have found that debtors intentionally wait until they receive a solicitor's letter before they make payment therefore, taking action quicker is vital to cashflow. While we understand the reluctance some firms may have enlisting the services of a solicitor and how this might be perceived by their customers, in the 22 years we have been in business, we are not aware of any client who has lost a customer by taking this action." To read Lovetts' news release go to https://www.lovetts.co.uk/news/For-the-cost-of-a-coffee-solicitors-letter-prompts-paymentaspx.aspx.

Strong growth remains a prospect for a number of manufacturing sectors. EEF has published an article, 'Which sectors are on track for growth this year?' which advises that its forecast for manufacturing now stands at 0.7% compared with expectations of 1.5% three months ago. However, EEF suggests that there is still some good news around and strong growth remains a prospect for a number of manufacturing sectors. For example, the transport sectors have long been a source of positivity, and this looks set to continue for both motor vehicles and other transport. Similarly, although UK construction growth slowed at the start of 2015 compared with 2014, longer term forecasts suggest the construction recovery should continue to broaden, providing a good grounding for growth. To read EEF's news release go to http://www.eef.org.uk/campaigning/news-blogs-and-publications/blogs/2015/sep/which-sectors-are-on-track-for-growth-this-year.

August was the worst month for the UK high street since the beginning of the global financial crisis. BDO’s monthly High Street Sales Tracker recorded a massive 4.3% drop in year-on-year sales for August – the biggest fall since November 2008 and the sixth monthly dip of 2015. All sectors suffered, with sales of fashion down 5.5%, homewares down 3.3% and lifestyle goods down 1.3% year-on-year for August. With retailers reporting falling footfall, problems have also been compounded by a sharp decline in online sales too. To view BDO's news release go to http://www.bdo.co.uk/press/high-street-hits-seven-year-low-in-summer-to-forget.

UK corporate insolvencies hit their lowest level since 2007. Graydon has published an article, 'Corporate insolvencies continue to fall – for now', which reports that UK corporate insolvencies fell by 7.5% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2015, and in England and Wales hit their lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2007. In addition, GDP growth per capita has returned to “broadly level with its pre-economic downturn peak in 2008”, according to Joe Grice, ONS' chief economist. In fact, the CBI anticipates UK GDP growth of 2.6% this year and 2.8% next year. To read Graydon's news release go to https://www.graydon.co.uk/blog/corporate-insolvencies-continue-fall-now.

178% increase in the number of UK food and beverage industry companies going into administration or liquidation in the first half of 2015. Grant Thornton's BiteSize quarterly analysis of M&A in the food and beverage sector indicate that in the first six months of 2015 the number of companies going into administration or liquidation increased by 178% to 131 compared with the last half of 2014. However, there has also been an upturn in the number of businesses acquired from administration, with four companies acquired in both the first and second quarters of 2015 - representing a 50% increase on the last six months of 2014. The most noteworthy deal in the second quarter in the bakery and confectionery space was the acquisition of ailing British chocolatier Thorntons. To read Grant Thornton's news release go to http://www.grantthornton.co.uk/en/news-centre/ma-robust--across-uk-food-and-beverage-industry-fuelled-in-part-by-rise-in-distress-levels/.

UK exports are on the increase, whilst imports take a dive. Baker Tilly has responded to the latest regional trade statistics published by HMRC which have shown encouraging signs for UK trade. Overall, the value of UK exports has increased by 1.2%, whilst imports decreased by 2.2% compared to the same period last year. Exports to the EU decreased by 6.5% during the last year, whilst of the top five export partners, the USA came out on top with the largest value increase in export trade - up 16% (£4.6 billion) on last year. Rob Donaldson, Baker Tilly’s Head of Corporate Finance, said: ‘It seems clearer by the day that the world economy is increasingly reliant on the developed world, and the US in particular to do the heavy lifting and support growth." To read Baker Tilly's news release go to http://www.bakertilly.co.uk/media/news/UK-exports-are-on-the-increase-whilst-imports-take-a-dive-Baker-Tilly-responds-to-latest-trade-figures.aspx.

Government scraps ban on invoice finance for UK SMEs. Hilton Baird has advised that new government plans to remove restrictions on invoice finance next year will, by allowing small companies to borrow against unpaid invoices from large customers, reduce the impact of late payment on small businesses. Currently, many large companies insist in their contracts that small suppliers do not use invoice financing. Small Business Minister Anna Soubry commented: “By scrapping [big companies’] restrictions on invoice finance, thousands of firms across the country could benefit from faster access to hard-fought funds. . . While invoice finance may not be right for everyone and is absolutely no excuse for late payment, I want small businesses to have the option of using it to increase cash flow.” To read Hilton Baird's news release go to http://www.hiltonbaird.co.uk/Business-Finance-Blog/482/Government-scraps-ban-on-invoice-finance-for-SMEs/.

Over a third of respondents to CICM Survey believe that they are exposed to greater trade credit risks than they should be. The latest results from the latest Chartered Institute of Credit Management Credit Managers’ Index, sponsored by Tinubu Square, for Q2 2015, show a continued renewal in business confidence with an all-time index high with the services sector, in particular, continuing its impressive rise - closing up to an all time record high. The survey also looked at how companies manage their own trade credit risk, finding that over a third (36%) believe they are exposed to greater risks than they should be. For those already using dedicated software for Trade Credit Risk Management, 76% stated reporting and analytics were the most important features to them. To read CICM's news release go to http://www.cicm.com/another-record-high-cicm-uk-credit-managers-index/.

Career Opportunities:
Senior Political Risk Underwriter, London, c.£125,000 + Excellent Bonus and Benefits.
This major Syndicate is looking to grow its Political Risk team with the appointment of an experienced underwriter to join the team. You will be working as part of a close knit team and will be acting in a “Deputy Head” capacity, covering for the “Head of” whilst they are travelling or otherwise engaged. The team have ambitious growth plans and to achieve these they wish to increase the amount of Credit business that is written, therefore experience in underwriting private obligor credit business for another syndicate or major company market is essential. You will be instrumental in continued growth and development of the book, including product development, business planning, key strategic decisions as well as day to day underwriting. In addition, supervision of a small team will be involved – jointly with the Head, to include day to day coaching and development. Presently the syndicate write a good mix of bank, corporate and trader business across all major Lloyds products. If you have the ambition and drive to help a team grow and reap the rewards associated, coupled with a strong network of supporting brokers in the London Market please don’t hesitate to contact Kerren Leach on kerren.leach@eamesconsulting.com / 0207 092 3283.

Risk Services Underwriter. Atradius, 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, the ability to work efficiently under pressure, an understanding of political risk and excellent communication skills.
Requirements: 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 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. Fo more information and to apply for this position please email Anthony Rasera at anthony.rasera@atradius.com. Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).

Business Development Manager / Trade Credit Insurance. Dubai.
Job Purpose/Role: To achieve new business targets and develop a portfolio of clients in Trade Credit Insurance; Call prospects from the CRM Database to establish levels of interest in Trade Credit Insurance and schedule meetings; Meet managers and educate businesses about Trade Credit Insurance and negotiate with top management and decision makers, CFO or GM/.
Key Requirements/Skills/Experience: English speaker; Energetic; Tenacity with charm; Positive attitude with a high desire to succeed; An ability to work autonomously and generate and convert leads An ability to close deals at the end of the sales cycle. A Bachelor or Master degree is required.
If you are interested in the position above and think you have the right profile please send your CV to paradis@au-group.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).

New Business Manager, South West, £40,000.
Reed Insurance are excited to be working with a leading Credit Insurer who are looking to recruit an experienced New Business Manager to cover the South West region of the UK. This role is responsible for the acquisition of new business for Credit Insurance. The sales model for this role is Direct to the end client.
I am looking for someone to deliver new business sales via individual targets. The ideal candidate must be motivated to pro-actively acquire business working via a number of internal and self-generated sources of business.You will help to continue to develop the market to secure profitable business for my client, whilst looking for opportunities for all product lines, thereby maximising contribution. You will target all market segments but this will predominantly be the SME market place.
The successful candidate will posses the following attributes: Excellent proven sales negotiation and communication skills; Be able to prioritise: Determine the importance of each task and allocate time accordingly; Have In-depth familiarity and knowledge of various contract structures in order to know how best to negotiate between price and risk; Possess excellent knowledge of current economic climate and how it affects the market. For more information contact Nicholas Morgan, 0121 237 5550, Nicholas.R.Morgan@reedglobal.com (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest)

Head of Trade Credit, London.
This global carrier who have a track record within the Trade Credit and Political Risk market are looking for a high profile individual to join the business to launch their products into the UK. You will be focusing primarily on larger clients and receivables transactions delivered through brokers and banks. Therefore it’s imperative you have a strong network with the UK brokers, a wider broker network would be an added benefit but isn’t essential in the short term.
The product suite will include, Excess of Loss Whole Account, Multi-Buyer, Single Buyer Top Up, Key Account, Receivables Purchase, Asset Based Facilities, Factoring/Discounting Programmes, and Off Balance Sheet Transactions. Whilst you won’t be directly responsible for the whole-turnover ground up products, you will be expected to work very closely with this team ensuring clients receive the best solution and the insurer presents “one message to market”, therefore a good understanding of this product would be beneficial. As first feet on the ground for this product in the region you will need to take a hands-on attitude to writing business, including carrying out commercial and risk review of potential policies, liaison with other offices on global programmes, networking and any client/broker events required. The business is already functioning in other territories, therefore you will be able to utilise the manpower in other offices to support on risk underwriting, administration, etc. In addition, full technical support exists to facilitate international business.
In the longer term you will be responsible for building out a team underneath you to effectively grow and service the business. Whilst the firm are ambitious and committed, they are realistic with the growth plans and prefer to underwrite for profit rather than premium.
This is an outstanding opportunity for a well-known market individual to branch out on their own, really make a name for themselves in a leadership capacity, and grow a book with the support of a major global organisation.
If the above appeals and you’d like to discuss in more depth, please contact Kerren Leach on kerren.leach@eamesconsulting.com or 0207 092 3283 for a confidential discussion. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).

Experienced Risk Underwriter. London. Salary DOE.
The successful candidate will be responsible for Underwriting credit limits on risks within primary delegated authority (UK and/or Ireland) and in accordance with group underwriting guidelines, and on export risks through use of secondary delegation in accordance with delegated authority and group underwriting guidelines.
Monitoring and reporting on exposures will be required using reactive (automated messaging) and proactive methodologies.
For part of this role the job holder will support the Commercial Department in the acquisition of new credit insurance business and the retention and renewal of existing policies. They will also represent the business clients, channel partners and professional bodies at the highest levels.
The ability to read and interpret audited and management accounts is essential along with the ability and confidence to make risk decisions and provide explanations (both orally and in the form of internal report writing).
Knowledge of company funding, turnaround, and buy-out situations is essential. Proven experience (5+ years) in a similar role from within the credit insurance is also necessary.
To apply, please contact: Mark Keizner on 0207 220 4777 or email Mark.keizner@reedglobal.com. (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).

New Appointments
Trade Credit – UK has announced the appointment of Dominic Matthews on 1 September as Graduate Trainee. Dominic will be based in the London office where his role will be to support the Country Manager in working closely with a portfolio of clients and brokers. John Carter, Country Manager Trade Credit UK and Ireland commented: “I am delighted to have Dominic join the team. He has worked with me over the last two summers during his time at University and demonstrated that he has the skills and ability to develop within our company. I am confident that he will build great relationships with our clients, brokers and colleagues in his role providing support to the UK branch.”

Nexus CIFS has announced that it has appointed Daniel Ismail as business underwriter and Callum Matthews as underwriting assistant. Mr Ismail joins Nexus CIFS from Euler Hermes UK, and will report to James Steele-Perkins, director, single situation credit and political risks. Richard Marriage, managing director of Nexus CIFS said:“ Danny is well known to many of our brokers and he will be focusing on new business in the £15 million - £50 million turnover bracket.”

Coface has announced that it has appointed Yoshihiro Suchi as country manager of Coface in Japan, effective from September 28, 2015. Mr Suchi joins Coface from AIU General Insurance in Tokyo, where he was the general manager of the specialty lines department. He replaces Bruno Tavernier.

Markel International has announced that it has appointed Savita Mascarenhas as underwriter for its expanding trade credit operations in Dubai. Savita will work alongside Leroy Almeida, senior underwriter and head of trade credit in the Middle East, and assistant underwriter, Michael Gardner, to develop business in the region and grow Markel’s Dubai trade credit and contract frustration portfolio.

JLT Specialty USA in Chicago has announced that Matthew Strong has left the UK to take up his new position as head of its credit, political and security risk practice (CPS). The CPS practice was set up by JLT in June this year and provides brokerage and advisory services to clients in the credit, political and security risk sector.

About this issue's sponsor: STA International
STA International is the recommended debt collection partner to four credit insurance underwriters. Systems alignment provides a secure and transparent service to reduce protracted default (PD) claims, and increase policyholders’ cash flow.
When UK and overseas accounts are referred at the end of the Maximum Extension Period (MEP) to STA, Late Payment Act interest and collection cost is added to the principal debt, and immediate contact made with the buyer.
This early intervention results in the majority of accounts being paid quickly, the policyholder receiving prompt remittance of the principal sum and interest, with STAs costs covered by the buyer paying the collection costs.
The underwriter has online access to each and every action taken by STA, including a consolidation of a single buyer across multiple policyholders. Simultaneously, the policyholder sees every STA action on each buyer it places for collection, along with collection success dashboard and recovery cost details.
With PD claims reduced for the underwriter, cash flow and premium protection maximised for the policyholder, STA provides a win-win solution to the challenges ofcash collection.
To find out more, please contact Karl Hague on 01622 600921or via email: karl.hague@staonline.com or visit www.stainternational.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.
Copyright © 2015 Credit Insurance News, All rights reserved.
Reproduction or redistribution in whole or in part, in any manner, without the express prior written consent of the copyright holder, is a violation of copyright law.
If you, or your organisation wish to redistribute, republish or link-to all or any part of any Credit Insurance News Digest Digest, you must first contact sally.brown@creditinsurancenews.co.uk o

Terms and Conditions                         Privacy and Cookie Policy                    © 2014 Credit Insurance News