Welcome to issue 78 of Credit Insurance News Digest. This issue is kindly sponsored by Tinubu Square.
Credit Insurance News
Credit insurance is becoming key for businesses in all sectors. Insurance Business has published an article, 'Claims increase in trade credit insurance market', which reports that the rise in Australian business failures has led to increasing numbers of trade credit insurance claims throughout the last year, including claims from companies who have not had claims for three or four years. As a result, Mark Hoppe, Managing Director of Atradius, said that the cover is now becoming key for businesses in all sectors and advised that brokers should take a more active role in mitigation and awareness for trade credit insurance. Mr. Hoppe also noted that the trade credit market has been “a little bit tougher” throughout 2016 but the market has “levelled off” in the previous two to three months. To read Insurance Business' article go to http://www.insurancebusinessonline.com.au/au/news/breaking-news/claims-increase-in-trade-credit-insurance-market-224758.aspx.
How trade credit insurance can benefit US companies. Entrepreneur magazine has published an article, 'What to do when customers don't pay', which gives an overview of how trade credit insurance can benefit US companies. The article advises that the traditional way that companies in less risky trade sectors find out if a US-based company pays promptly - credit checks, contacting other vendors and so on - takes time which companies may not have to spare. As an example, Mitchell Compton II, the founder of San Diego-based company, Coconut Beach, comments that for the first five months of the company's existence they had no credit insurance in place, and consequently, "said no to a bunch of potential domestic customers because we didn’t know anything about them." However, with insurance now in place, saying yes is as simple as contacting his insurer: “A phone call and a couple of follow-up email . . . and I’m done.” To read Entrepreneur's article go to https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/282630.
Credit insurance appears to be more relevant than ever. An article in October's issue of Credit Management Magazine suggests that after "the mauling" that credit insurance and credit insurers took after the economic crash of 2008/9, the industry has spent the last few years rebuilding its reputation, relevance and its raison d’etre. As a result, "credit insurers are regaining their mojo and are cautiously optimistic about the future." In addition, the article advises that the UK's vote to leave the European Union, and the uncertainty this brings, may be good news for insurers who "understandably feed off such uncertainty to sell their wares." Sue Morley, Client Services Director at Nexus CIFS, advised: "We are seeing record levels of business retention this year and also a high percentage of new business that is new to market.” To read the article go to https://gallery.mailchimp.com/c023462ae3da5ae663725bee9/files/CM_October_2016_Trade_Credit.pdf.
Credit insurance cover is even more essential post-Brexit. StrategicRISK has published a report which cautions that although much of the "doom-laden" pre Brexit rhetoric was an exaggeration, there are still real risks to trade credit. “We are looking at a protracted period of uncertainty and volatility,” commented Neil Ross, AIG regional manager EMEA for trade credit. “We are likely to see a high level of insolvencies, of projects put on hold – and of losses. All of this will affect trade credit and firms need to manage this risk more proactively." Mr. Ross also advises that although the trade credit insurance market has moved on from the fallout of the 2008 banking crisis when insurers were accused of being “fair weather friends”, market penetration is still relatively low – around 20% in the UK. However, new products such as excess of loss and non-cancellable cover, offer greater protection and certainty to policyholders. In the aftermath of Brexit, credit insurance cover is even more essential, "both as a protector and a business tool providing a competitive edge." To read StrategicRISK's full report go to http://www.strategic-risk-global.com/special-report-do/1419956.article.
Weak economy triggers credit claims but Lloyd’s Asia boss remains bullish on potential. Intelligent Insurer has published an article in which Kent Chaplin, Chief Executive Officer of Lloyd’s Asia-Pacific, warns that the persisting economic uncertainty is leading to an increase in credit claims. He also notes two recent examples of large companies getting into difficulties (Swiber and Hanjin) which could lead to more claims. "At Lloyd’s there has already been a steady rise in claims among our credit risk portfolio in recent years. As commodity prices have fallen, most notably in oil, aluminium and steel, there has been a material increase in the number of claims notified to the market in trade credit insurance not seen since the 2008 financial crisis.” To read Intelligent Insurer's article go to http://www.intelligentinsurer.com/news/weak-economy-triggers-credit-claims-but-lloyd-s-asia-boss-remains-bullish-on-potential-9897.
Building awareness needs to be a key focus of the Australian credit insurance industry. Insurance Business has published an article, '‘No doubt’ brokers play important role in trade credit market', in which the recently announced Asia-Pacific CEO for Coface, Bhupesh Gupta, said that brokers offer value to the trade credit market. “If you are a good broker you are going to bring a lot of value which helps broaden awareness as well as deepen the ways in which the customer can use credit insurance.” Mr. Gupta also stressed that a key focus of the trade credit industry needs to be building awareness around the product. While some business owners look to their banks for credit cover, Mr. Gupta said it is important for the industry to highlight their own worth and the stability insurance can bring. To read Insurance Business' article go to http://www.insurancebusinessonline.com.au/au/news/breaking-news/no-doubt-brokers-play-important-trade-credit-market-225197.aspx.
Insolvency outlook deteriorates in NAFTA and Brazil. According to the latest edition of Atradius' Payment Practices Barometer for the Americas (NAFTA and Brazil), 92% of surveyed businesses experienced late payments from B2B customers over the past year compared to 84% in Europe. This translated into an average of nearly half of the total value of B2B invoices’ being paid late, with suppliers in Mexico being the hardest hit. In addition, Atradius found that due to late payment by customers, 2 in 5 businesses had to delay payments to their own suppliers causing a knock-on effect throughout the entire supply chain. David Huey, Regional Director of NAFTA commented, “The upward pressure on insolvencies that the US and Canada are currently experiencing makes their business environment more challenging, emphasizing the importance of due diligence and protection against payment defaults.” To read Atradius' news release with a link to the full report go to https://group.atradius.com/press/press-releases/payment-practices-barometer-americas-2016.html.
Uncertainty in the global economy is weighing on the financial health of companies. Coface's latest Panorama advises that two main factors are continuing to impact the global economy. First, the weak level of global trade means that a strong recovery in growth is unlikely. Among developed countries  (such as the Eurozone, where domestic demand remains lacklustre) stable growth is forecast for the near-term, 1.6% in 2016 and 1.5% in 2017. Second, despite the “historic” Algiers agreement, oil prices remain a key issue for emerging economies. In addition, Coface notes that although political risks prevail in Greece, Spain and Italy, Brexit remains Europe’s key issue. Even though UK growth could reach 1.9% this year, growth in 2017 is only expected to attain 0.9%. Coface has therefore downgraded its assessment of the UK to A3. To read Coface's news release with a link to the full Panorama go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Further-downgrades-triggered-by-the-Brexit-shock-and-falling-oil-revenues.
The UK Economy: The calm before the storm. Euler Hermes has warned that the resilience of the UK economy following the EU referendum is masking longer-term issues that are set to hinder GDP growth, corporate profitability and exacerbate late payment and insolvency issues once Article 50 is triggered. It has also identified the second quarter of 2016 as the tipping point at which UK corporate insolvencies started to increase following 16 consecutive quarters of decline. Ludovic Subran, chief economist at Euler Hermes, said: “The surprising resilience of the UK economy today is masking underlying issues, such as the decline in non-financial sector profitability since 2015, highly leveraged sectors and companies which are particularly vulnerable to external shocks, corporate late payment and insolvency issues." Euler Hermes has now lowered its 2017 UK GDP forecast to +0.7% (+1.0% previously). To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-uk-economy-101316.aspx.
Payment delays grow in the Americas. GTR (Global Trade Review) has published an article which reports that new research by Atradius has shown that, in the past year, insolvencies have grown in the US (3%) and Canada (4%), as well as in Mexico and Brazil. “This increase is driven by low commodity prices,” Atradius commented in a statement. “Low oil prices, slowdown in economic growth in the US and slow productivity growth in Mexico, and the recession in Brazil, are the primary reasons for the forecasts of rising bankruptcies in these countries. This challenging insolvency environment affects the way businesses protect themselves against payment risk by B2B customers.” The report also shows that respondents in the Americas are notably less inclined to offer credit terms to their international B2B customers, which may come from the perception that getting overseas customers to settle bills could be challenging. To read GTR's article go to http://www.gtreview.com/news/americas/payment-delays-grow-in-the-americas/.
Credit Insurance versus Credit Protection for US Consumer Electronics vendors. TWICE magazine has published an article, 'How to get paid all your owed', which reports that although a recent TWICE survey found that 32% of Consumer Electronics vendors have purchased credit insurance and another 37% have considered it, just as with any other kind of insurance there are requirements: "You have to pay upfront premiums and meet deductibles —and you only recover 85–90 percent of what you’re owed." The article also comments that "because the insurance company will make you jump through all the usual bureaucratic, legal, and paperwork hoops, there’s no telling when the insurance check will arrive." Furthermore, the article suggests the while Credit insurance can help salvage some of a loss, "a better option" might be Credit Protection. To read this article go to http://www.twice.com/news/ce-financial-strategies/how-get-paid-all-you-re-owed/63192
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Global growth remains too low to prevent corporate insolvencies from rising. According to Euler Hermes' updated risk analysis for Q3 2016, global growth should reach its lowest level in 2016 (2.4%) and will be below 3% for the 7th consecutive year in 2017. Euler Hermes warns that although insolvencies will decrease in Western Europe, such low global growth will not prevent insolvencies - including big ticket bankruptcies - from increasing in most emerging countries in 2016 and in the USA. As a result, global insolvencies are expected to increase for the first time since 2009. Payment terms are also not improving globally, with 1 in 4 companies paid after 3 months. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-global-growth-remains-low-101016.aspx.
Rising political risks in developed countries. Coface's latest Panorama advises that although Europe has been showing clear signs of increasing political risks since 2011, the political risk level moved up a notch following the UK referendum in June 2016. As a result, over the past year alone, political risks have risen by an average of 13 points in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK, with yet more uncertainties (the referendum in Italy, the risk of Spain’s third legislative election within one year, France’s presidential election and Germany’s legislative elections) set to follow in the next few months. Furthermore, if Donald Trump wins the US presidential elections, Coface warns that the impact of political uncertainty on European economies could be even greater. To read Coface's news release with a link to the full Panorama go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Rising-political-risks-in-developed-countries-the-sword-of-Damocles-hangs-over-Europe-s-major-economies.
Nexus CIFS' Single Situation Credit and Financial Risks team announce product enhancements. Nexus CIFS has published an interview with James Steele-Perkins, Director, and Ed Cornish, Senior Underwriter, of the Single Situation Credit and Financial Risks team, which explores Nexus CIFS' current product offering, new enhancements (introduced in 2016) and future strategies. James and Ed said that Nexus CIFS' plans include the addition of new tenors beyond the company's existing five-year capability, an expansion of the contract frustration side of the business into emerging markets and the addition of new risk codes. CIFS also advises that in the second-half of 2016, they successfully increased their UK country limit by a further 50% to cater for demand. To read the interview go to http://www.creditindemnity.com/news-and-comment/detail/10-minutes-with-james-steele-perkins-director-and-ed-cornish-senior-underwr.
Fierce competition, high energy costs and increased uncertainty due in the steel and metals industry. Atradius' latest Market Monitor on the Steel Industry reports that although, until recently, China was the driver of growth in the steel and metals industry  (having accounted for half of the world’s demand), since 2014 demand has deteriorated. At the same time, China’s steel exports have continued to increase (up 22% in 2015) and its steel surpluses have found their way to international markets, lowering steel price and putting pressure on prices worldwide. This has led to a decline of roughly 40% in metals prices and increased overcapacity over the past two years. For the UK, the market situation remains difficult. British steel and metals businesses are affected by on-going difficulties in the construction sector - a main consumer of steel. To read Atradius' news release on the UK with a link to the full report (which includes sections on China, Germany, India, Italy, Thailand, US, Brazil, France, Mexico, The Netherlands and Singapore) go to https://group.atradius.com/publications/market-monitor-steel-united-kingdom-2016.html.
UK construction sector: "sitting in the eye of the storm". The Construction Enquirer has advised that September's data highlighted an upturn in the construction sector for the first time since May - ending a four-month period of sustained decline. A survey by ISH Markit cited improving confidence among clients and a reduced drag on demand from Brexit-related uncertainty. However, Paul Trigg, construction specialist and assistant head of risk underwriting at Euler Hermes, cautioned against over-optimism, warning: "Construction is sitting in the eye of the storm. The sector has yet to feel the full brunt of Brexit as a healthy pipeline of work will carry companies through the next 12 to 18 months. Triggering Article 50 is likely to spark a significant change, and encouraging indicators could be false positives." To read The Construction Enquirer's article go to http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/purchasers-index-indicates-construction-has-returned-to-growth.
The UK predicted to experience a sharp contraction in the number of vehicles sold in 2017. Car Dealer magazine has published an article, 'Car sales set to fall by nine per cent next year', which reports  that according to Euler Hermes car sales in the UK are set to fall by 9% in 2017 due to a drop in household confidence and purchasing power. Euler Hermes also predicts that the UK will witness a sharp contraction of 205,000 in the number of vehicles sold in 2017 to just 2.4 million units, representing a 9% drop after a peak in new car registrations in 2016. The fall in the UK is in contrast to the rest of Europe where sales look set to remain flat at 15 million units in 2017. To read Car Dealer's article go to http://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/car-sales-set-fall-nine-per-cent-next-year-according-new-report/122742.
How to trade successfully with China 2016. Atradius has warned that China is experiencing something of an economic crisis. Although China's economy reportedly grew by "just" 6.7% in the first quarter of 2016 - its slowest quarterly growth in seven years, it has become the victim of its own past success as the "factory of the world". In addition, according to the latest World Bank ‘Ease of doing business’, report, China is also by no means the easiest country with which to do business (placed 84th out of the 181 countries assessed). Atradius advises that foreign suppliers need to understand the peculiarities of Chinese law and the practicalities of selling to customers in China when planning their export strategy, and has set out ten rules that can help exports make their trading relationships with China lasting and successful. To read Atradius' 10 principles go to https://group.atradius.com/publications/trade-successfully-with-china-2016.html.
Economic optimism among Polish CFOs is weakening. According to the results of a survey conducted among financial directors by Grant Thornton and Euler Hermes Poland, the mood among Polish CFOs has deteriorated since last year’s survey. In 2015, 55% of respondents had an optimistic view of the economic outlook for the next 12 months; in 2016 that declined to 32%. Nevertheless, there are still more optimists than pessimists (32%:19%). “Saying that the results of the survey among CFOs herald an economic crisis in our country is a bit far-fetched,” commented Tomasz Wróblewski, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton, Poland. “However, it is surprising that the number of pessimists is catching up with the number of optimists." To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-economic-optimism-polish-CFOs.aspx.
System Upgrades at Nexus CIFS. Nexus CIFS has announced the latest release of the CIFS system which enables brokers to manage limit processing. Policyholders can now make initial limit applications, apply for increases, process cancellations for unwanted limits and also have full First Limit access per client. CIFS has also reported that the procedure for email notifications has also been improved; all applications and limits changes will generate an email to the primary contacts on a policy, regardless of who processed the application, and clients will no longer be required to log into the system each day. For more information go to http://www.creditindemnity.com/news-and-comment/detail/important-system-upgrade.
Euler Hermes announces collaboration with Moody's and partnership with URICA.
Euler Hermes has announced a collaboration with Moody’s Investors Service for new, tailored credit rating services that Euler Hermes Rating will provide to SMEs and mid-caps. The ratings services are expected to launch in 2017, initially offering coverage of German companies before being rolled out in additional European countries. For more information go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-Euler-Hermes-collaborate-with-Moody%E2%80%99s-provide-tailored-rating-services-European-SMEs.aspx.
URICA and Euler Hermes have signed a partnership agreement that offers French companies a new online financing solution. The partnership enables URICA to expand its French market offering, while Euler Hermes France will analyse the quality of invoices to be financed, recover unpaid debts and insure against the risk of default. Euler Hermes will also share its economic trends knowledge with URICA. For more information go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-urica-091916.aspx.
Iberinform acquires an 80% share in Ignios. Iberinform, the information services company of Credito y Caucion (the primary credit insurance company of Atradius in Spain, Portugal and Brazil) has announced that it has acquired an 80% share in Portuguese company Ignios and its subsidiary Gestifatura. Atradius advises that the acquisition, after years of partnership, will allow Iberinform and Ignios to consolidate a range of products and services in the Iberian market and strengthen their technical capabilities. Ignios was the first company in Portugal to offer commercial and financial information in Portugal. Its subsidiary Gestifatura is specialised in the recovery of domestic and international corporate debt. To read Atradius' news release go to https://group.atradius.com/press/press-releases/Iberinform-acquires-shares-in-Ignios.html.
AU Group and PhillipCapital announce joint venture to develop credit and political risk insurances in Asia. AU Group and PhillipCapital have announced the formation of a joint venture to develop credit and political risk insurances in Asia, and the opening of their subsidiary in Singapore. The joint venture (AU Group Asia) is chaired by Gerald Lim while AU Group Singapore is led by Don Low. Jean-Claude de Lassée, Chairman of AU Group, commented: “To support our future expansion we decided that AU needs to be strategically aligned with a major established organisation in Asia, and with experienced and skilled professionals, and we are fortunate to have found PhillipCapital as our partner”. For more information go to https://www.phillip.com.sg/images/articles/AU_GROUP_AND_PHILLIPCAPITAL_ANNOUNCE_12_oct_2016.pdf.
Trade successfully with China webinar. On 15 November 2016 at 10.00 CET, Atradius has announced that it will host a webinar that looks at the opportunities available for trade with China and how to safely transact business. A panel of experts will be led by the award winning financial journalist and broadcaster Adam Shaw. For more information and to register for the webinar go to https://group.atradius.com/publications/trade-successfully-with-china-webinar-2016.html.
And Finally . . .
Congratulations to Coface for winning the award for ‘Best trade credit insurer in Asia Pacific’ in 2016 by GTR. This the second time that Coface has won this award.
Congratulations to Xavier Durand, Coface's CEO since February 2016, who has won the 'First 100 Days' prize in the “Readers’ Award” category from KPMG and consultancy EIM in association with French business magazine, Challenges. The award, created in 2015, recognizes business leaders who were appointed within the last 24 months and who have succeeded in their first 100 days in the role.
Congratulations to Nexus CIFS' employees Natalie Pelczer, Wendy Matson and Ed Cornish who have all recently welcomed new babies to their families. In addition, Vicki Cambridge (Commercial Underwriter – Southern region), Victoria Bond (Risk Underwriter) and Lois Hudson in the new business team have all recently returned from maternity leave. Nexus CIFS have also announced the very sad news that Alison Biggar died at the beginning of September. Alison was formerly the Risk Director of CIFS and came on board when the company was first set up. Prior to joining CIFS, Alison was a well-known underwriter having worked at Pan Financial and HMU.
The Berne Union has announced that the departure of its Secretary General, Kai Preugschat, will take place in mid-November. Mr. Preugschat leaves to take up a position with the Asian Development Bank in Manila, where he has been appointed as Head of the Office of Cofinancing Operations. The process of recruiting a successor has already begun.
Business Information
UK businesses secure record amount through invoice finance. The Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) has reported that the total amount of lending UK businesses secured through invoice finance has passed the £20 billion barrier for the first time, hitting £20.3 billion this year - up 5% from last year. Overall, the amount of Invoice Finance and Asset Based Lending secured by UK businesses has risen by over a quarter (27%) over the last five years, up from £16 billion in 2011/12. The ABFA adds that the record high has been primarily driven by an 18% increase in the amount drawn down by the UK’s largest businesses (with a turnover above £100 million), up from £5.8 billion in funding last year to £6.9 billion this year. To read the ABFA's news release go to http://www.abfa.org.uk/news/125/UK-businesses-secure-record-amount-through-invoice-finance-breaks-GBP-20bn-barrier-for-first-time.
Seven once dominant US retailers that are now on the verge of bankruptcy. An article in Business Insider UK has reported that, according to a Fitch Ratings report, seven major US retailers have a high risk of going bankrupt within the next two years. The at-risk companies include: Sears Holdings, Claire's Stores, True Religion Apparel, Nine West Holdings, Rue21, 99 Cents Only Stores, and Nebraska Book Company. According to the report, retailers are almost three times as likely to be liquidated after filing for bankruptcy than companies in other industries. To read Business Insiders' article go to http://www.businessinsider.com/retailers-at-high-risk-of-going-bankrupt-2016-10.
Global trade growth slows to financial crisis levels. GTR (Global Trade Review) has published an article which reports that according to the WTO, global trade is growing at the slowest pace since the financial crisis, with the WTO revising its forecast dramatically down for 2016. World trade is now expected to grow at just below 1.7% this year (down from the 2.8% - the WTO forecast in April). Falling import demand and slow economic growth in major economies such as Brazil, China and North America are to blame, according to the WTO, which has also revised down its forecast for next year. For 2017, mindful of the volatility of the global economic picture, the WTO has been less exact with its forecast, predicting trade growth of between 1.8% and 3.1%, down from the 3.6% originally mooted. To read GTR's article go to http://www.gtreview.com/news/global/global-trade-growth-slows-to-financial-crisis-levels/.
Only 5% of UK SMEs have plans to start exporting in the next five years. A new report, 'Thinking Global: The route to UK exporting success', commissioned by World First (conducted by the Centre for Economics & Business Research) has found that only 5% of UK SMEs have plans to start exporting in the next five years.  The analysis also showed that the UK ranks in the bottom five across European economies when it comes to the share of SMEs among exporters. Between 2008 and 2015, UK exports grew by just 3% (to $486 billion). In comparison, had UK exports grown in line with the global average, they would have been 19% higher ($564 billion in 2014). Had they grown at the rate of German UK exports, the figure would have been 7% higher (or $508 billion). To read World First's news release go to https://www.worldfirst.com/uk/blog/international-business/uk-sme-export-shortfall/
New research finds huge liquidity imbalance, with billions in cash held by a small number of UK companies. New research from Grant Thornton has found that there is a huge imbalance in the liquidity of the UK economy and that, despite a 14% increase in cash on hand since 2010, the majority of this is held by a small number of companies. The study, 'The UK's cash conundrum', found that although cash reserves are up by 5% from last year, and 14% from five years ago, the balance is not evenly distributed to optimise growth across the UK economy. Just 10 companies hold 30% of the £244 billion - the equivalent to 13.5% of the UK GDP in 2015. To read Grant Thornton's news release go to http://www.grantthornton.co.uk/en/news-centre/new-research-finds-huge-liquidity-imbalance-with-billions-in-cash-held-by-a-small-number-of-uk-companies/.
SME investment in export activity almost doubles in past year. According to the latest SME Confidence Tracker from Bibby Financial Services (BFS), the number of UK SMEs investing in trading overseas has almost doubled over the past 12 months; findings reveal that 15% of SMEs invested in export activity in Q3 this year, compared with just 8% in Q3 2015, signalling an increasing appetite amongst smaller businesses to shrug-off Brexit concerns and search for growth beyond their domestic market. Research also reveals that over a third (37%) of SMEs say that the UK’s vote to leave the EU has not impacted their businesses. A further 37% believe it’s too early to tell. To read BFS' news release go to https://www.bibbyfinancialservices.com/press/news/2016/sme-investment-in-export-activity-almost-doubles-in-past-year.
Over 11,000 new Irish start-ups formed in Quarter 3 this year. According to latest data from Vision-net.ie, Irish start-ups remained strong between July and September this year and while insolvencies for the quarter were up on 2015, the figure for the year as a whole was more encouraging. Finance was one of Ireland’s fastest growing industries for new company start-ups during the quarter with 758 being formed - up 17% on Q3-2015 (647). Professional services remained the most popular industry for new companies and accounted for 18% of these, with finance and wholesale & retail in second and third place. While 232 insolvencies were recorded for the period 1st July to 27th September this year - up 14% on the same period in 2015 (204) - figures for the first 9 months of the year revealed that insolvencies were down 5% on the same period in 2015. For the latest data go to http://www.businessbarometer.ie/index/.
UK manufacturing confidence rallies as services sector stalls. According to the latest Business Trends Report by BDO, four months after the Brexit vote the UK’s two-speed economy appears to be undergoing a role reversal. After a difficult two years, manufacturers are feeling more bullish about their economic outlook; the weakness of sterling has made UK manufacturing much more competitive in overseas markets, giving an immediate boost to exports and order books. In contrast, the short-term confidence of the services sector has been dented by lingering uncertainty. To read BDO's news release go to https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/news/2016/manufacturing-confidence-rallies.
BCC Quarterly Economic Survey: Mixed picture emerges post-referendum. The British Chambers of Commerce's (BCC) latest Quarterly Economic Survey shows a mixed picture, with an improved short-term performance in the manufacturing sector set against a further slowdown in growth in the services sector. The survey – the first covering the period after the EU referendum – shows that manufacturers enjoyed improved domestic and export sales compared with the previous quarter, with some benefitting from Sterling's recent fall. Meanwhile, the balance of service sector firms reporting improved domestic and export sales was at its lowest level seen since 2012. The survey's results suggest that the UK economy is still growing - albeit at a lower level than before the referendum - and supports the BCC's forecast for growth of 1% in 2017. To read the BCC's news release go to http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/bcc-quarterly-economic-survey-mixed-picture-emerges-post-referendum.html.
Brexit keeps UK CFOs on the defensive. According to Deloitte’s latest CFO Survey, despite an easing of some negative effects, risk appetite among the CFOs of the UK’s largest businesses remains subdued following the EU referendum. 88% of the CFOs surveyed say the level of uncertainty facing their business is above normal, high or very high, down from 92% in Q2 but still the second highest since Q4 2012. 82% say now is a bad time to take risk onto their balance sheet, down from 95% in Q2 but still the second highest level since Q4 2011. 47% say they are less optimistic about the financial prospects for their company, down from 73% in Q2. 24% of CFOs say they expect corporate revenues to decrease over the next 12 months, down from 63% in Q2, while 44% expect operating margins to decrease, down from 70%. To read Deloitte's news release go to http://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/press-releases/articles/brexit-keeps-cfos-on-defensive.html.
Third consecutive fall for overall UK economic confidence. According to preliminary results from the Chartered Institute of Credit Management’s (CICM) latest quarterly barometer, confidence in the UK’s economy has fallen again, driven primarily by a steady decline in manufacturing which is down 4% to 54.9. The results go against recent economic data as well as a survey prior to the referendum vote that concluded half of all credit professionals believed a Brexit vote would have little or no impact on their business. All favourable factors, credit sales, new credit applications and the order book, increased in Q1 and Q2, however Q3’s preliminary findings show all three have fallen. Four of the seven unfavourable factors have also worsened. To read the CICM's news release go to http://www.cicm.com/third-consecutive-fall-overall-economic-confidence/.
UK High Street fashion sales record the second worse set of figures in 2016. According to figures released by BDO, last month’s unexpected heatwave sparked chaos among fashion retailers, prompting the second worse set of sales figures for the whole of 2016. High street fashion sales recorded by BDO’s September High Street Sales Tracker (HSST) recorded a year-on-year drop of 5.9% - beaten only by April’s like-for-like fall of 9.2%. Sophie Michael, Head of Retail and Wholesale at BDO said September was always going to be tough when compared to a strong September 2015 (up 2.8%), but retailers should take the erratic weather as a lesson in the importance of flexibility. To read BDO's news release go to https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/news/2016/hsst-scorching-september.
Career Opportunities
Client Manager – Aon Credit International (London, UK)
We’re hiring! Aon are currently recruiting a Client Manager to join our Credit International team in London. The Client manager will be primarily responsible for maximising profitable retention revenue through the delivery of top class effective client service and satisfaction.
Headquartered in London, Aon Plc is the leading provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage and a global leader in human capital and management consulting. Our key advantage is our broad view of the insurance industry. With an employee base of 66,000 people working in 500 offices in more than 120 countries, we can anticipate how changes in one sector affect another.
As a Client Manager some of your key responsibilities will involve: Contribute to developing and leading assigned new existing sales and supports client director with other new existing opportunities. Lead, develop and improve the day to day client relationship.  Manage and co-ordinate all activities. Responsible for “client profile” risks and needs analysis. Produce high quality insurable risks analysis, marketing strategy, market risk presentation, wordings and policy documentation on time. Co-ordination and effective delivery of global service.  Maintain and improve client satisfaction, retention revenue and profitability. Responsible for articulating the value delivered by Aon and supports Client Director with fee negotiation where appropriate.  Represent the whole of Aon and support the Client Director and develop new business in conjunction with other business units. Responsible for adherence to business processes, systems and procedures (including usage of e.g. applicable client service model, SFDC, GRIP, Ri3k/applicable trading platforms and application of Aon insurer security policies where relevant).  Build effective teams by effectively sharing information and communicating with direct reports. Be aware of regulatory requirements, share knowledge of requirements with team and promote compliance within the client team. Effectively manage the performance of direct reports by providing feedback and having monthly one to ones and coaching the client team. Responsible for working in accordance with the Aon UK Limited Risk Management Framework, and compliance with the Aon UK Limited policies, including participation in the management of risks (including completion of mandatory training) that may adversely affect the business, interests or reputation of any Group Company.
As a Client manager your skills and qualifications will ideally include: Proven Account Management skills. Trade credit experience preferred but not essential.   Insurance credit market knowledge preferred but not essential. Finance and/or Banking sector experience (ideally within Account Management).  Consultative sales, business development skills.  Client Relationship Management skills.  Strong Business Acumen.  Understanding of client and industry strategic and financial drivers Understanding of the client, their industry and their risks.  Ability to understand client needs.  Effective communication and presentation skills.  Effective negotiation skills.  Analytical skills.  Effective problem solving skills.  Project management skills.  Ability to use industry IT systems to efficiently deliver client service.  High level of IT proficiency – Word, Excel & PowerPoint.
This role offers a competitive salary and bonus, plus a comprehensive benefits package and 25 days holiday. Through our flexible benefits, you will also have the opportunity to choose additional benefits, including healthcare, childcare vouchers and additional holiday. For further information and to apply for this role, please email your CV and a covering letter to samantha.cook@aon.co.uk. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest in your application).
New Appointments
Clearview Credit & Financial Risks has announced that Daniel Nixon has been appointed as Clearview's Associate Director. Mr. Nixon has previously worked with major Insurance Broking Houses in Birmingham and South East.
Nexus CIFS has announced the appointment of Gavin Moffat, formerly at Euler Hermes, to its claim team. Mr. Moffat has joined Nexus CIFS on a part-time basis while Wendy Matson is on maternity leave.
QBE Trade Credit has announced several new appointments and staff changes. Chantelle Thomas has been appointed as a claims assessor in London. Chantelle previously worked for QBE's Motor claims team in Chelmsford, where she was a team leader. Chris Grubb, Senior Claims Adjuster has moved to QBE's Manchester office. Bruce shepherd is on a 3-month secondment in QBE's York office.
Forthcoming Events
Featured Event of the Month
Trade Credit, Bond and Political Risk Insurance Industry Dinner, hosted by Nexus CIFS. 3 November, London.

Nexus CIFS announces:
We are privileged to host this year’s Trade Credit, Bond and Political Risk Insurance Industry Dinner and what a memorable evening we promise you in the magnificent surrounds of The Grand Hall, Old Billingsgate.
On arrival at our sparkling Winter Wonderland we invite you to enjoy a glass of fizz and listen to the young, talented Marsh Trio performing chilled acoustic vibes before enjoying a sublime supper. Silent and live auctions through the evening will give you the opportunity to bid on some amazing items and at the same time support our chosen charity, The Royal Marsden.
Our famed auctioneer, Hugh Edmeades of Christies, will get things moving. Hugh certainly knows a thing or two about running a successful event having conducted more than 2,300 auctions, selling 300,000 lots for a total sum in excess of £2.2 billion!
We are delighted that Gyles Brandreth is joining us as our after dinner speaker to deliver his highly entertaining razor sharp wit. We know he’ll have you rocking with laughter in your seats before you take to the dance floor or kick back and relax whilst catching up with old friends and colleagues.
Places are always limited at this yearly event, so don’t miss out on the 3rd November 2016 and book your tickets early. Visit www.creditindemnity.com and follow the white rabbit to place your reservation.
Commodity Trade Finance Conference, 25 October. Lugano, Switzerland.
GTR’s Commodity Trade Finance Conference 2016 returns to Lugano in October to provide unrivalled insight on the condition of the global trading market and the challenges faced, both in local markets and further afield. With Switzerland being 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. Networking will form an integral part of this gathering, meaning valuable connections are guaranteed for anyone serious about doing business in the region. Click here for more information 
and to book (5% discount for Credit Insurance News Readers with CIN15).
Mexico Trade & Export Finance Conference 2016, 20 October. Mexico City.
GTR is delighted to return to Mexico City on October 20 for the Mexico Trade & Export Finance Conference 2016. The event will once again provide a platform for industry leaders to outline their priorities in the face of a changing domestic and global trading environment. The biggest gathering of trade, export and commodity finance specialists in Mexico will create ample networking opportunities, with dedicated sessions devoted to forging new relationships and creating new business contacts. This event should not be missed by anyone currently trading, or looking to begin trading, in Mexico. Click here for more information and to book (5% discount for Credit Insurance News Readers with CIN15).
Trade Credit, Bond and Political Risk Insurance Industry Dinner, hosted by Nexus CIFS. 3 November, London.
Nexus CIFS announces:
We are privileged to host this year’s Trade Credit, Bond and Political Risk Insurance Industry Dinner and what a memorable evening we promise you in the magnificent surrounds of The Grand Hall, Old Billingsgate.
On arrival at our sparkling Winter Wonderland we invite you to enjoy a glass of fizz and listen to the young, talented Marsh Trio performing chilled acoustic vibes before enjoying a sublime supper. Silent and live auctions through the evening will give you the opportunity to bid on some amazing items and at the same time support our chosen charity, The Royal Marsden.
Our famed auctioneer, Hugh Edmeades of Christies, will get things moving. Hugh certainly knows a thing or two about running a successful event having conducted more than 2,300 auctions, selling 300,000 lots for a total sum in excess of £2.2 billion!
We are delighted that Gyles Brandreth is joining us as our after dinner speaker to deliver his highly entertaining razor sharp wit. We know he’ll have you rocking with laughter in your seats before you take to the dance floor or kick back and relax whilst catching up with old friends and colleagues.
Places are always limited at this yearly event, so don’t miss out on the 3rd November 2016 and book your tickets early. Visit www.creditindemnity.com/ and follow the white rabbit to place your reservation.
Mauritius Trade Finance Conference 2016, 10 November, Port Louis, Mauritius.
Following the highly successful inaugural event which welcomed 220 delegates, GTR’s Mauritius Trade Finance Conference 2016 will return to Port Louis in November. Bringing together the local and international markets, the conference will explore the evolution of the business community in Mauritius, using its strategic location and rapid growth as key points for discussion. Topics will also focus on the role of the trade finance sector in developing the island into the primary trade and financing hub. Click here for more information and to book (5% discount for Credit Insurance News Readers with CIN15).
Egypt Trade & Export Finance Conference 2016, 15 November. Cairo, Egypt.
Building on its long-standing presence in the Mena region, GTR will hold the Egypt Trade & Export Finance Conference 2016 in Cairo on November 15. Bringing together senior business representatives and trade finance professionals from Egypt and the wider Mena region, this gathering will provide a key platform for those looking to increase trade within the country. Featuring influential speakers from across the trade finance community, including local and international banks, financiers, leading corporates, lawyers, insurers and more, this should be a firm date in the diary for anyone looking to develop trade relationships in Egypt. Click here for more information and to book (5% discount for Credit Insurance News Readers with CIN15)
BCR’s Alternative & Receivables Finance Forum 2016. 16 November, London.
Now in its 3rd successful year, BCR's Alternative Finance & Receivables Forum is a unique event for established receivables financiers, insurers, fintechs and new SME lending platforms to analyse the rapid evolution of working capital finance. This Forum takes a closer look at corporates' funding requirements and how the current lending landscape is catering to them. The event is also a showcase of the latest technology and how it is enabling access to non-bank sources of funding. Register now to find out how the competitive market for working capital finance is changing in the long term. Credit Insurance News readers qualify for a 10% discount when using the code: CIN10 at the time of booking via this link: http://arf16-tickets.bcrconferences.com/.
Supply Chain Finance Summit. 1-2 February 2017, Frankfurt.
Brought to you by BCR, the leading publishers in receivables finance, the Supply Chain Finance Summit brings you the latest trends transforming supply chain finance. The supply chain finance environment is rapidly changing. A price slump has created new working capital issues for suppliers in commodity focussed regions. De-risking and stimulating institutional investor appetite is increasingly on the agenda of forward thinking banks. Find out how these market shifts as well as pressures in the EU political landscape are re-shaping the SCF climate and creating new challenges and opportunities. Not only does the Supply Chain Finance Summit offer valuable networking opportunities, it is a fantastic environment to share expertise with your counterparts and build business relationships. BCR are delighted to offer Credit Insurance News members a 10% discount on booking in addition to the early bird booking discount which expires on 27th October 2016. Use code CIN17 and register now at www.bcrconferences.com.
About this Issue's Sponsor: Tinubu Square
Tinubu Square stands out for delivering SaaS software and services across all parts of the credit sector and throughout the world.
  • Credit Insurer
  • Receivables financing organisations
  • Corporate organisations with several subsidiaries and multinational corporations 
The company has over 15 years of sustainable and profitable growth, and has an international footprint with 90% of its revenues outside its home country, France. It has a global team of over 100. 

The Tinubu Square platform, originally designed by a team of experts in the credit insurance business, has been approved by the world’s leading credit insurers and reinsurers. 

For the last fifteen years Tinubu has made it its business to deliver collaborative software that gives its customers greater visibility and management of their risks, improvements in their business agility and the ability to reduce financial, operational and technical costs by up to 30%.

The platform provides tactical value and strategic insight to organisations, improving operational efficiency, credit governance, decision-making and financial control across the entire acquisition and management cycle that incorporates best practice, speeds processes and delivers compliance.

Being cloud-based is one of the strengths of Tinubu Square’s solutions, eliminating the need for ongoing technical maintenance. It can also link efficiently with existing systems, including ERP and CRM, without any negative hardware integration impact. The flexibility of the solution means that companies with locations anywhere in the world have been able to leverage Tinubu Square Trade Credit Risk Management solutions. 

Who benefits?
  • Trade Credit Insurers – because they can increase efficiency at all stages of the credit insurance lifecycle through proven best practices and a consolidated 360° view. They can reduce their risk and risk management costs by up to 30%, reduce the time to deployment, and scale the architecture to allow for better adaptation within their businesses, enabled by Tinubu Square’s software, which is unique in the breadth of functionality that it offers the credit market. 
Take a look at what Tinubu’s credit insurer customers, including QBE, EDC and The Guarantee have to say about how their organisations have been supported. Click here (https://goo.gl/YVJaIT)

  • Corporate organisations – Tinubu has helped to provide an intuitive interface with trade credit insurers, whilst also making it easier for companies to self-insure if they choose to do so. Above all it has helped credit management departments to raise their profile and realise better value within their own organisations. 
The improved governance that is facilitated by Tinubu’s software brings operational improvements at all levels of the business and its subsidiaries, and can adapt to its client’s internal processes and structures, with a wide range of customised and on-demand tools to increase productivity, improve cash flow, and reduce management costs. 

  • Receivables Financing - The factoring sector benefits from the industrialisation of the platform, tailor-made tools and information which is essential to their decision-making processes.  

  • Brokers - Tinubu brings additional value to brokers, who, through a portal, can submit quotes and proposals to credit insurers for their clients and manage their insurance policies. 
Tinubu Square has built an ecosystem of customers in over 20 countries worldwide

In the credit insurance industry: ACE (UK), EDC (Canada), QBE (Australia), SACE (Italy) SBI General (India), The Guarantee (Canada), Tokio Marine HCC (China) – Amongst corporate and receivables financing organisations: Aldermore (UK), Barrett Steel (UK), Bibby (UK), Computers Unlimited (UK), Delachaux (France), Eurofactor (France), Eugène Perma (France), Fraikin (France), Kering (France) Linpac Packaging limited (UK), Samsung (France), Technicolor (France), etc. 

Industry Validation
  • Highly Commended at the Credit Excellence Awards 2016 (UK)
  • Recognised as a finalist in the Red Herring 100 Awards in 2013 amongst the most promising private ventures in technology
  • Top 5 finalist in the Financial Sector Technology ‘Risk Management Software of the Year’ Award in 2013
  • Named in PriceWaterhouseCoopers Global 100 Software Leaders (France)
  • Top 25 Accenture Innovation Awards for Best Financial Service
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