Issue 45: QR Code 


Welcome to issue 45 of Credit Insurance News Digest, 16 October 2014.
This issue is kindly sponsored by PurplePatch.

Credit Insurance News and Reports
First-ever Broker Service launched for the Credit and Risk Industry. A new independent broker model for the credit risk industry has been launched by Nick Frazer and Nick Green, both seasoned credit risk professionals with 50 years’ experience in the credit risk information industry. The new service, PurplePatch (this issue's sponsor), acts as a broker between a business and the business information providers and offers customers a no cost consultancy on products and services across the whole of the market, with unbiased advice to help credit and risk managers find the most suitable products on the market and for the best price. Nick Frazer explained. “An explosion in the number of credit risk and information providers has brought about greater competition, rapidly falling prices and a bigger range of products and services. Yet, these benefits are not always being passed on to risk and credit managers." For more information, go to or click here.

Coface launches a new offering for SMEs. Coface has announced that it is introducing a new solution, SafeTrader, targeted at SMEs (up to a turnover of £3 million). For a fixed price payable up front or by instalments, Coface advises that SafeTrader monitors the quality of SMEs' customers, and provides collection of unpaid invoices or rapid indemnification in case of a claim. The service can be configured online "in a few minutes", and an integrated hotline is also available. Frédéric Bourgeois, Managing Director Coface UK and Ireland, commented: "With SafeTrader, companies have an easy way of protecting themselves against unpaid invoices at home or abroad”. To view Coface's news release go to To view Coface's new webpages dedicated to the service go to

Credit insurers to Sears Holdings Corp.’s suppliers seek to reduce coverage. An article by Bloomberg, 'Sears Vendor Said to Halt Shipments as Insurers Back Away', advises that some of the biggest credit insurance firms for Sears Holdings Corp.’s suppliers are seeking to reduce coverage. David Huey, the president and regional director of US, Canada and Mexico for Atradius in Baltimore, is quoted and confirms that his firm is decreasing its Sears supplier coverage. "We’ve reduced as we’ve seen the risk increase,” he said in an interview. "Though no policies have been canceled, it could happen. . . We’re reviewing it regularly.” Jochen Duemler, chief executive officer of Euler Hermes Americas, declined to comment to Bloomberg on Sears beyond saying his company was continuing to “closely monitor” the situation. Bloomberg reports that Coface and AIG also didn’t respond to requests for comment. To view Bloomberg's article, please go to

The ABI advises that the example of Phones4u going into administration shows exactly the reason why so many businesses rely on trade credit insurance. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has published an article,'Trade credit insurance keeps supply chain moving - Insurers covered £14.5m worth of goods at time of Phones4u administration,' which reports that when Phones4U made the unexpected announcement that they had called in the administrators, trade credit insurers provided cover worth up to £25.7 million for goods supplied to the phone company. The total amount of insured goods in the supply chain at the time of administration was £14.5 million. Huw Evans, Deputy Director General of the Association of British Insurers, said: "Trade credit insurers keep Britain’s supply chain moving and enable their customers to do business with much greater security than they would have if they were on their own. The all too real example of Phones4u going into administration shows exactly the reason why so many businesses rely on trade credit insurance to insure the value of goods they are supplying." To view the ABI's news release go to

Nexus CIFS comments on Phones 4u: "a textbook exposition of the case for credit insurance". CIFS has published an article which reports that on the face of it, Phone 4u’s profits – said to be £100 million+ – and its twenty-year track record suggested that it was a safe trading proposition. Consequently, its sudden demise and rapid disappearance from the UK High Street will have shocked many credit managers and left many unsecured creditors in limbo. "Here was a customer with seemingly significant profits and a long-term trading record. What could go wrong?" However, following Vodafone’s and EE’s unexpected decision to cease trading with the company, Phones 4u was suddenly left with no phone contracts to sell, and with no clear future had little choice but to call in the administrators. Overall, CIFS advises that the example provides "a textbook exposition of the case for credit insurance". The unexpected can suddenly happen  "– precisely the area where credit insurance is designed to provide protection." To view CIFS' article go to

African continent under-served in terms of credit insurance. GTR (Global Trade Review) has published an article, 'Africa underserved by insurers', which reports that a new agreement between the Lebanese Credit Insurer (LCI) and Nigeria’s IGI Group aims to better serve Africa with credit insurance. The agreement, with the largest insurance company in Nigeria and the largest underwriter in West Africa, will enable LCI to offer cover in eight countries in the region including Ghana and Uganda: economies that “are doing quite well”, according to managing director at LCI, Karim Nasrallah. Speaking withGTR during the International Factors Group annual meeting in Malta this week, Nasrallah said that “the African continent is really underserved in terms of credit insurance.” “There is credit insurance coverage of exports to Africa, but there is little credit insurance availability within the continent itself,” he added. To view GTR's article go to

HCC launches new underwriting systems to improve levels of cover for clients. HCC has announced the launch of a new ProActive Monitoring System (P.A.M) to enable policyholders to obtain cover on buyers where new information enables increased cover, where there had previously been a shortfall. HCC has advised that as part of the new service, it will provide brokers with a list, on a weekly basis, of policyholders who have buyers where improved levels of cover have become available. Brokers will then be able to contact their clients to inform them that cover or increased cover can be applied for. HCC advises that this proactive approach to monitoring will provide a winning result for all parties: clients will receive the benefit of additional cover, brokers will get the kudos for the improvement in their business opportunities and HCC get the benefit of an improved relationship with all. For more information on P.A.M. please contact HCC's Customer Relations team on 01664 424000.

Atradius' MD looks to raise awareness of the benefits of credit insurance. has published an article, 'Atradius MD looks to raise awareness', which reports that Mark Hoppe has been appointed MD of Atradius Australia. Previously, Mr Hoppe was based was regional director for Atradius Global, with responsibility for the US and Canada. Mr Hoppe told that Australia’s credit insurance market has experienced greater competition in recent years, which has contributed to pressure on rates. “The industry’s in good shape, it’s been growing, but not at the rate we would like. There’s still a lot of good business to be had.” To view the article on go to

Coface advises that the UAE has seen a remarkable recovery after the debt crisis. In its latest Panorama and country assessment, Coface has reported that after contracting by around 5% in 2009, the UAE’s economy has gradually recovered to register solid growth rates of 5.2% in 2013, with 5% growth expected in 2014. Massimo Falcioni, Head of the Middle East region at Coface, commented: "Our report confirms that the region’s economy has developed significantly over the past three years, establishing it as a leading global trading economy . . .The UAE represents an ideal business location and a safe haven in the Middle East Region." However, the report also cautions that growth in the region remains dependent on hydrocarbon revenues, mainly those of Abu Dhabi, which leaves the country vulnerable to the changes in global economic trends. To view Coface's news release go to a copy of Coface's full Panorama report go to

Atradius reports that Spain's economic rebound has gained momentum. Atradius latest Country Report on Spain reports that, after two years of contraction, the latest business indicators show that Spain‘s economic rebound is gaining momentum. In Q2 of 2014, GDP grew 0.6% compared to the previous quarter: the highest quarterly growth rate since Q1 of 2007. The Spanish economy has now grown for four quarters in a row and is currently recovering at a faster rate than its peripheral Eurozone peers. As a result, Atradius advises that Spain's growth forecasts have been raised to 1.2% in 2014 and 1.9% in 2015, reflecting successful economic reforms and rising domestic demand leading to a reduction in the large output gap. The IMF predicts that in coming years Spanish GDP growth rates will increase on a yearly basis, reaching 3% in 2017. To view Atradius' report go to

New report from Euler Hermes analyses French exporters’ intentions for 2015. Euler Hermes latest Barometer advises that French exports should record further gains, rising from €15 billion in 2014 to €30 billion in 2015. The renewed growth in imports of French goods and services will be strongest in Germany (+€4.4 billion), the US (+€2.9 billion) and European emerging markets (+€2.7 billion), making these markets the primary targets. The report also finds that the number of French exporters has indeed increased slightly (120,700 in 2013 compared with 119,300 in 2012), but remains small compared with such countries as Germany (250,000) and Italy (200,000). The risk of unpaid invoices remains at the top of the impediments mentioned by exporters, with 55% of companies surveyed expressing concern that their customers will not be able to honor their commitments. Only 5% of the companies surveyed expect their export payment deadlines to get shorter in 2015. To view Euler Hermes' news release go to

Shifting Gears: Increased consumer confidence boosts the automotive industry - in some countries. Atradius has published its latest Market Monitor on the automotive industry which, it advises, has seen a boost in some countries from increased consumer confidence. In the UK, the report finds that there has been a record number of new car purchases and huge investment pumped into UK production plants by luxury brands like Jaguar Land Rover and Bentley, as well as Nissan and Toyota. Car sales are increasing also rapidly in China, and the potential for further growth - there are currently fewer than 100 cars for every 1,000 people - is clear. In addition, Spain is seeing an increase in car sales, and both German and Czech car makers are enjoying healthy profits. However, elsewhere, fortunes are far less positive, with France, Italy Brazil all seeing subdued sales. To view Atradius' report go to

The broker perspective on how credit insurance reduces the cost of trade finance.TRF (Trade & Forfaiting Review) has published an article, 'Re-grading risk', which reports that with interest rates on the rise, longer credit is fast becoming a standard feature of larger ticket sales. "Buyers look to suppliers for extended credit, and suppliers need their bank to be on side to help." Aon's Susan Ross shares the broker perspective on how credit insurance reduces the cost of trade finance and examines how the insurance market is responding to make finance affordable for mid-cap and larger suppliers and, ultimately, their customers. To view the full article go to Subscription to TFR required.
(Note: TFR is currently offering readers of Credit Insurance News Digest a 15% discount on its annual subscription. For details, please email quoting reference TFR17-2).

Industry Events, Offers and Training
Alternative and Receivables Finance Conference, 17 October 2014. London, UK.
At this timely one day conference, SMEs and their advisers will be meeting to discuss how alternative finance options are changing the funding landscape as well as how traditional and alternative finance can work together to help SMEs prosper. 20+ Speakers include the British Business Bank, Lloyds Bank, Marketinvoice, Platform Black, P2P CS, Bibby Financial Services and many more. The conference is actively supported by the British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Business as well as ACCA and ABFA. Click here for the programme. There is also a separately bookable Introduction to Receivables Finance Masterclass 16th October which covers credit insurance, invoice discounting and supply chain finance. A 10% discount is available forCredit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN10. In addition, we are delighted to offer 5 free delegate passes to the event for any B2B SMEs amongst our subscribers. Attendees must be chief executives or CFOs. For details, please email Sally at Credit Insurance News.

6th Annual West Africa Trade & Commodity Finance Conference. 22-23 October, Lagos, Nigeria.
GTR will be holding the 6th Annual West Africa Trade & Commodity Finance Conference in Lagos, Nigeria, for the first time. Given Nigeria’s rise to prominence and West Africa’s growing prosperity, the focus of the conference will look at the industries and sectors that have been instrumental in developing one of the most exciting regions in world trade. This two-day event will bring together delegates from corporate, banking and financial services organisations to discuss key market issues within agribusiness, hard commodities, risk mitigation and infrastructural development. Specialist speakers will engage with high level delegates through specific transaction case studies, roundtable discussions, onstage interviews, and live question and answer sessions. As the only dedicated trade, commodity and export finance conference in West Africa, this will be a networking opportunity not to be missed for anyone undertaking or looking to do business in the region. Meet with decision makers before the conference through theGTR online networking site, during the conference within dedicated networking sessions, and at an exclusive evening cocktail drinks reception. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Trade Credit Insurance Summit, 27-28 October 2014. Dubai, UAE.
With a volume of AED 1,329 trillion of foreign trade in 2013, Dubai achieved a AED 94 billion increase from the 2012 value of AED 1,235 trillion. New trade licences recorded an increase of 12% while container reached 13.6 million TEU. In response to this massive leap in economic performance, foreign trade tit a growth rate that exceeds the WTO's forecasted 2.5% global trade growth by twofold. Trade Credit Insurance Summit 2014 provides the regional trade community with critical updates on the latest commercial and political risk landscape, up-to-date coverage of regional and international market outlook and finance trends, as well as strategic insight and practical techniques to help improve business decisions for market entry, growth and access to trade finance by leveraging receivables insurance. It is the only platform where leaders share key strategies to leverage trade finance and insurance to grow domestic and foreign trade and take advantage of opportunities leading up to Expo 2020. The summit is the region's premier opportunity to meet and network with all stakeholders including C level corporate executives, government representatives, ECAs, Bankers, Factoring Companies, Trade Credit Insurers, Re-Insurers, Brokers, Lawyers, Credit Information Agencies and Consultants to evaluate the major opportunities in the region's booming trade credit insurance industry. Click here for more information.

Global Trade Finance & Industrial Developments Summit, 27 – 29 October 2014. Jumeirah Emirates Towers Dubai, UAE
This interactive leader’s programme addresses the key issues of Trade Finance & Industrial Development through a programme that is of value across Governments, Trade Agencies, Trade Finance Suppliers, Multinational clients & SME’S. Part of the programme covered on Trade Credit Insurance topic is on: Mitigating commercial and political risks and enabling growth in trade by employing robust Trade ~ Growth Potential for Trade Credit Insurance in EMEA Region ~ Exploring the roles of public insurers (multilateral agencies, ECAs) and private insurers in facilitating trade finance ~ Assessing political risk for the regions and leveraging trade credit insurance to gain access into emerging markets in the region ~ Overcoming challenges faced by trade credit insurance market (lack of information from the buyers, lack of transparency in claims & premiums, increased demand for product innovation, etc.) Credit Insurance News Digest Readers will enjoy 10% discount to quote discount code GTDW=CIN when registering. Click here for more information and to register.

Inaugural Romania Trade & Export Finance Conference, 30 October, Bucharest.
GTR’s inaugural Romania Trade & Export Finance Conference will take place in Bucharest in October 2014. Well timed to provide detailed insight on the opportunities offered to Romanian companies through tapping into high-growth emerging market trade flows, the gathering will showcase the trade finance sector’s role in providing risk mitigation and funding for cross-border business with non-traditional trade partners. Drawing on GTR’s global network and extensive experience in organising market leading trade finance events, the conference will feature an in-depth agenda outlining the full range of funding tools currently enabling the corporate financier to overcome the challenges posed by a post-crisis environment. Further providing numerous high-level networking opportunities across an international audience, the Romania Trade & Export Finance Conference constitutes a key diary fixture for all those seeking to build connections and get ahead in this exciting market. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

4th Annual China Trade & Commodity Finance Conference. 4-6 November 2014. Beijing China.
GTR’s China Trade & Commodity Finance Conference returns for its fourth year, now a highlight on the calendar having cemented itself as the only such event for the Chinese market. With over 200 of the region’s trade finance experts, business leaders and trade bodies expected in attendance, discussions will look to address the key issues affecting both the Chinese trade and export community and those seeking to do business with Asia’s prevalent industrial leader. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15. Click here for more information.

2014 Trade Credit, Bond & Political Risk Insurance Dinner. Thursday 6 November, London.
AIG are pleased to announce that tickets are now available for this year’s industry dinner taking place on Thursday 6 November at The Landmark London Hotel, Marylebone Road, NW1 6JQ. Tickets per guest cost: £155 + VAT, while a table for 10 guests costs £1,550 + VAT. To book please contact: AIG has also negotiated special rates, subject to availability, with The Landmark London Hotel and their sister hotel The Lancaster London. Please quote 'AIG Trade Credit Industry Dinner' when making your reservation.

3rd Annual Malaysia Trade & Export Finance Conference. 11 November 2014. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Malaysia’s business and banking leaders, primary trade bodies and supporting actors will again gather in Kuala Lumpur for the only such event for the Malaysian trade and export finance community. An in-depth agenda will focus on the challenges currently being faced by the manufacturing and commodities sectors in contributing to export-led economic growth, the impact of ongoing regional integration and implementation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) on international trade and financing, the key trade corridors and export markets offering opportunities to the region’s leading companies, and the latest financing and risk management techniques being employed by those financiers facilitating international business. A 15% discount is available forCredit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15. Click here for more information.

Warehouse, Cargo & Structured Commodity Finance. 12-13 November 2014. Singapore. 
CMT’s conference - Warehouse, Cargo & Structured Commodity Finance – Singapore, themed "Financing and mitigating risks for commodity cargoes in transit or in store in Asia, Africa & Europe” - a first in Asia, is designed by practitioners for traders facing huge challenges in financing commodities in warehouses or in transit inventory finance. An international panel of experts will share vital insights on overcoming challenges related to collateral risks as well as risk mitigation solutions within financing structures and overcoming issues related to fraud. To add value, the program also include a Post Conference Workshop on – What Could Possibly Go Wrong in Inventory Finance? The half day workshop is led by Dan Day-Robinson, Vice-Chairman, Swiss Futures & Options Association; John MacNamara, Global Head, Structured Commodity Trade Finance, Deutsche Bank and Matthew Cox, Partner, Dentons. Visit the event website or Contact Ms. Grace or call at +65 6346 9218.

7th Annual Nordic Region Trade & Export Finance Conference. 19-20 November. Stockholm, Sweden.
Building on its established reputation as the only trade and export finance gathering for the Nordic market, GTR’s 7th Annual Nordic Region Trade & Export Finance Conference will convene in Stockholm for the first time, bringing together business leaders from the corporate, banking and government sectors to debate current trends and discuss future opportunities. With strong support from institutions across Scandinavia, and with a proven track record of attracting representatives from the region’s leading multinationals, the conference will continue crucial dialogue between exporters and their providers, as Nordic corporates look to negotiate the many market challenges and take advantage of the many opportunities available both domestically and further afield. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15. Click here for more information.

Understanding International Credit Reports: New training course. Various dates throughout 2014.
Graydon has announced that it is introducing a new training course, Understanding International Credit Reports. The one-day course will examine: report content by region (MENA, North America, Latin America, Africa, Europe, Far East & 'Tax Havens'), sources of data (Credit Agencies, Public Registries, Local Agent in undeveloped markets & Law Firms), credit scoring/ratings and pricing. The course costs £599 + VAT (a 10% discount is offered to Credit Insurance News Digest readers) and will be held on various dates throughout the year. For more information, please go to

STECIS - The Trade Credit Insurance and Surety Academy has announced the dates for its training seminars in 2015.
The STECIS training seminars are two-day events and are highly interactive. They cover technical and practical knowledge on respectively Trade Credit Insurance and Surety Bonds, the theory of underwriting, in-depth analysis of industry developments, the terminology and the current market. In addition, participants are asked to review case studies. The BASIC training seminars are on 23 and 24 April 2015and are open to participants with up to 3 years of work experience. The ADVANCED training seminars are set for 9 and 10 July 2015 and are suited to participants who have attended the basic training seminars and/or have at least 4 years of work experience. All training seminars will take place in The Hague, The Netherlands.
As the International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA) strongly endorses the STECIS training seminar programme, ICISA member companies receive a 5% discount on the total seminar fee. Companies (ICISA members and non-ICISA members) registering three or more participants to one training seminar, receive a 10% discount on the total seminar fee. For more information, please visit the website or contact STECIS by sending an e-mail to or call+31 20 528 5170.

Business Information: Latest Reports and Business Shorts
QBE advises that 54% of businesses have gained exposure to ‘completely new’ risks in the last two years. QBE has published its latest Business Risk Sentiment report which advises that although the economic climate in the UK continues to how steady signs of progress, there are clear dangers for businesses that assume that the overall level of risk they face will necessarily follow a similar trajectory. 54% of businesses have gained exposure to ‘completely new’ risks in the last two years, and nearly three in ten (29%) businesses feel that the overall level of risk they are facing has increased over the last six months. There is an interesting breakdown of the most perceived risks to businesses on page 8 which includes Trade Credit Risk and a look at this by sector and region. To view the full report go to

Pace of UK retailers shutting up shop reduces in first half of 2014 – but gulf between openings and closures nearly doubles. According to PwC research compiled by the Local Data Company (LDC), from a peak of more than 20 store closures a day in the first six months of 2012 to 18 per day in the same period in 2013, the rate of store closures has fallen again to 16 per day in the first half of 2014. At first sight this appears positive, but deeper analysis reveals that year-on-year, the gulf between openings and closures has widened as withdrawal levels remain high alongside significantly fewer debuts. The study of 500 town centres across Great Britain shows that 3,003 outlets closed in a six-month period compared to 2,597 openings, a net reduction of 406 shops. This is almost twice as high as the net reduction in H1 2013 (209) when 3,157 stores opened and 3,366 stores closed. The H1 2014 gulf is also larger than the net closure rate of 371 for the whole of 2013 (6,033 closures vs 5,662 openings). To view PWC's news release go to

Experian’s SME Reputation Index reveals that the UK’s smallest firms are the most exposed to risk out of the UK business population. According to new research by Experian, more than half of SMEs are putting themselves at extra and unnecessary risk of cash-flow problems and insolvency by failing to run credit checks on customers or suppliers. By far the most common reason businesses run credit checks on their business customers is to ensure that they are dealing with firms that are financially secure, so they can be sure that they will be paid. Yet the latest research from Experian reveals that only 34% of SMEs currently run a credit check on new business customers before taking them on. Findings also show that microbusinesses (those with between one and nine employees and making up 88% of the UK’s business population) are the most exposed. To view Experian's news release go to

Does the EU directive on late commercial payments matter? Trade Financing Mattershas published an article which examines the impact of the EU Late Payment Directive and considers whether member countries are following the directive that all EU transactions must be paid within 60 days. Various member counties (including, France, Spain, the UK and Germany) are briefly reviewed. According to the National Association of Credit Managers: “the directive, by almost all admissions among credit professionals and economists polled, is having a minimal impact on B2B credit and collections. Minimal application of the directive could be traced, perhaps, to the slow implementation by the standard-bearing economy of Germany.” To view Trade Financing Matter's article go to

Late payment of bills by Europe’s public sector is hurting the construction, healthcare and education sectors. According to a new industry white paper focusing on Europe-wide payment indicators sector by sector by Intrum Justitia, construction businesses suffer most from late and non-payments, with some 53% of construction-related credit managers reporting that late payments have a high impact on their company’s business risks. A staggeringly-high 64% said that late and non-payments prohibit growth of their company. The average payment duration from public sector clients is 58 days, while private businesses pay after 47 days on average. Utilities, manufacturing and transport businesses are the industries suffering least from late payments and bad debt losses. The written off percentages vary between 2.1 and 2.3%, compared to 4% in the construction industry. To view Intrum Justitia's news release go to

D&B advises that the recovery from the 2008-09 recession remains the most challenging in the past century. D&B has published the mid-year update to its Global Economic Outlook to 2018 and has advised that although the recovery from the 2008-09 recession remains the most challenging in the past century, the global economy has now healed many of its wounds since the crisis. "As a result we are better positioned than at any point since 2009." However, the report also cautions that growth remains below long-term trend levels, with global growth in the period 2000-07 averaging 3.7% per year, compared with an average 2.2% per year in the period 2009-2014. D&B advises that in order to put this into context, of the 132 countries it assesses, 94 are rated worse than at the start of 2008, of which 56 are rated at least three quartiles lower. In contrast, only 16 economies have seen their rankings improve over this period, and only two are rated more than two quartiles better. To view D&B's report go to

UK export and manufacturing growth slows. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published the results of its Quarterly Economic Survey for Q3 2014, which shows that whilst the economy is still growing, it slowed in Q3. Balances for both manufacturing and service sector exports were down on the quarter, highlighting the challenges facing UK exporters. Commenting on the results, John Longworth, Director General of the BCC, said: “As we predicted in our economic forecast, the strong upsurge in UK manufacturing at the start of the year appears to have run its course. We may be hearing the first alarm bell for the UK economy, but this need not be the case." To view the BCC's news release go to

UK businesses' costs continue to rise. According to new research from the Forum of Private Business, despite the continued fall in inflation over the past year small business costs have continued to rise during 2014 - with energy costs still the most commonly seen increase. The results showed that 63% of businesses have seen an overall increase in their business costs. The report also identified that 38% of small business owners admitted to being unable to pass any rising costs onto customers, forcing them to cut their own costs to keep prices static. Just 3% were able to pass on costs in full. 81% of firms indicated that rising business costs have been detrimental to their business, with 73% experiencing cash flow issues as a result. To view the FPB's news release go to

Central London boroughs top index as the toughest London boroughs for small businesses. A new index released by the Federation of Small Businesses and KPMG in the UK has identified the best and worst places for small business owners in London. Kensington & Chelsea Borough tops the index as the hardest place to run a small business in London, due to higher costs and greater local administrative burdens. The index also found Bromley, Barking and Dagenham stand out as the most attractive boroughs in the Capital for small business owners to operate in, by providing the least burdensome environment. In addition, Havering borough has the greatest infrastructure challenges, while small businesses in Westminster enjoy the most beneficial infrastructure. To view KPMG's news release go to

Construction is brighter than other UK sectors according to latest data. According to research from Bibby Financial Services, SMEs in the UK construction industry are the most confident about sales growth in the three months leading up to October. Statistics suggest that two thirds (61%) of construction companies expect sales to rise in the third quarter, up from 53% just three months ago. The sector bucks the trend as other SMEs have indicated a slight dip in sales confidence and differs from the Office for National Statistic’s first GDP estimate for Q2, which suggests construction growth fell-back 0.5% throughout the period. To view Bibby Financial Services' news release go to

Career Opportunities:
Account Handler (Trade Credit), Reading, salary negotiable.
I am currently working with one of the UK's leading brokerages, who are looking to recruit an Account Handler to work within their Trade Credit team. This is a fantastic opportunity to work for an excellent employer who encourage long term development. Duties will include: To project manage, applying a high degree of personal initiative, the service profile for multinational clients and prospects with particular responsibility for credit limits, contractual documentation, stewardship reports, sector research and marketing. To develop and maintain a deep understanding of clients and prospects and their trade sectors, leading to driving relationships with these companies. Make a strong contribution to the team through own ideas, initiatives and concepts.
Previous trade credit experience is required for this role, although project management experience in an insurance capacity will also be considered. For more information please contact Daniel Hurley on 02380 828 606, or via email to (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Account Handler / Client Service x3. Aon Trade Credit. Positions in Birmingham, Glasgow and London. Competitive salary + 25 days holiday, pension & benefits package.
An exciting opportunity have arisen for three Account Handlers / Client Service Advisors within Aon’s Trade Credit team based in various locations. The primary responsibility of these roles is to support client managers and directors in servicing large corporate and international trade credit insurance clients.
Main responsibilities include: Under instruction and direction of client manager/client directors, helping with renewal, retention and growth of existing accounts with effective client relationships and ongoing servicing needs. Working on a portfolio of accounts to ensure that relevant information is shared among client team and required actions are taken to meet clients' needs. Acting as a contact within a broking team for a portfolio of clients to ensure client needs and expectations are met. Dealing with Client and Insurer day to day matters arising e.g. chasing/questioning/broking credit limit decisions, following up progress on reported buyers overdue in making payment to client for goods sold and delivered on credit terms. Assist with preparation for Policy renewal e.g. gather and analyse relative statistical detail, chase potential Insurer for indications of cover, assist in preparation of Renewal Report. Assisting with Claim examination and broking process. Where appropriate liaise with Aon network on Global Client outward/inward business.
Skills and qualifications: Educated to Degree level or equivalent. Work experience in Credit Management, trade finance, and or international affairs would be of advantage. An understanding of and interest in the Insurance market. Understanding of the client including risks, strategic and financial drivers would be advantageous. For further information and to apply for one of these roles, please email your CV and a covering letter to (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Senior Underwriter - Trade Credit. AIG, London.
AIG is recruiting for a Senior Underwriter with strong financial analysis skills and knowledge of UK and International corporate risks / trade sectors and export risks. Ideally candidate should be known to Local market with good commercial skills.
Key measures/Dimensions: Assist in setting and delivery of Trade Credit London strategy and budget. Setting Buyer risk appetite and underwriting standards for Trade Credit London. Develop new products for local markets. Establishing London as Centre of Excellence for EMEA.
Main duties/Accountabilities/Key Performance Indicators: Underwriting and monitoring of key buyer risks to achieve or better budgeted loss ratio. Ensure compliance of AIG underwriting standards, Credit procedures and PC guidelines. Identify risk opportunities to drive new business opportunities in order to achieve PC budget. Develop and maintain broker and client relationships to increase client retention and new business levels. Support PCM in meet deadlines for reporting PC strategy and budget development to senior management.
Technical skills & knowledge: Strong knowledge of XOL Credit Insurance. Expert Financial analysis skills. Knowledge of trade finance. Country / trade sector knowledge - risk awareness. 
Experience: Insurance background. Awareness of Trade Credit Underwriting Practices.
For more information and/or to apply for this role, please go to (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Trade Credit Team Head x 2. AIG, London.
Successful candidates will have an Underwriting background with strong financial analysis skills and knowledge of corporate risks / trade sectors and export risks. Ideally candidate should be known and respected within UK market, perhaps internationally with good commercial skills. They will manage and enhance an existing portfolio of clients that are highly complex, Finance related and in excess of some £10 million of GPW as well as develop new markets including Continental Europe as well as Middle East looking to establish footprints in Germany, Scandinavia, Dubai amongst others.
Job Requirements include a degree or equivalent and strong knowledge of trade finance and expertise in Export and domestic Trade Credit underwriting. As well as Country / trade sector knowledge - risk awareness and a strong track record of underwriting corporate risk
For more information and/or to apply for this role, please go to (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Underwriter - Trade Credit. AIG, London.
AIG is recruiting for an Underwriter to join a growing profitable team and help manage key Bank relationships, underwrite credit risk, price and structure commercial risk. The successful candidate will also be the first point of contact for Bank portfolio clients with complex queries and ensure that SLA’s are maintained. The will also take ownership of complex credit risk applications, prepare internal and external presentations, partake in Portfolio Risk Management and contribute towards pricing and structuring of commercial underwriting.
Job Requirements: Business Studies or Accounting Degree 2:1 or equivalent with experience in the financial credit sector. Sound credit analysis skills (P&L, balance sheet, and cash flow understanding along with key ratio analysis and proven ability to write credit reports). A sound and demonstrable understanding of Risk Based Pricing. Client focused; can demonstrate that they are able to work on and maintain a portfolio of clients meeting day to day SLA targets. A German speaker would be advantageous. Excellent communication skills. Ability to work as part of a team or on their own in order to meet the client objective.
For more information and/or to apply for this role, please go to (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Communications Manager: Euler Hermes. Competitive salary and benefits.
Contributes to achieving profitable and sustainable growth targeted by the Euler Hermes NEUR/UK strategy by developing and implementing an integrated, region-specific communications program. Functional responsibilities are reputation management and protection, and thought leadership positioning in partnership with Marketing. Media activity includes targeted annual plan and metrics, agency management and budget, spokesperson development and management, the development of a network of journalist contacts, and social media. Leads employee communications, CSR, employee engagement support. Issues/crisis management expert that provides strategic counsel and tactical support at local, national and Group level.
Key Responsibilities: Manage key functional areas: external (including spokesperson function) and internal communication and serves as a Consultant to CEO, Executive Management Team and executives and peers locally. Development of UK and regional corporate communications plan, aligned to regional commercial goals and EH Group Communications. Set agenda and priorities. Develop communications guidelines and processes, ensure global standards and best practices. Ensure messaging and positioning consistency, and manage reputational risk. Development and management of an integrated media relations program supporting key objectives, external agency management. Optimize existing company initiatives, and materials. Foster cross-OE UK and regional collaboration with Allianz.
Key Requirements/Skills/Experience: Market knowledge: B2B and, ideally, financial services. Strategic corporate communications experience, internal and external. Excellent journalism and business writing skills. Proven reputational issues/crisis experience. Project management expertise. Proven presentation and public speaking skills. Effective with small-team building, ability to improve skills, standards and deliverables. Experienced with digital media management- inter/intranets, and social media. Excellent interpersonal skills, Executive and business peer coaching, and strong networking skills. Languages: English, excellent written and spoken.
If you are interested in the position above and think you have the right profile please follow the online application process at For more detailed information on career opportunities at Euler Hermes go to (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digestwhen applying).

Political & Credit Risk Underwriter.
This major insurer who has operations in all of the key global hubs is looking to recruit an additional underwriter into its London operation. Due to the dynamic within the team and present skill-set they would like to recruit someone who is presently working within the London market in either an Underwriting or Broking capacity and is already known to the local market. You’ll be working as part of a small team of Underwriters who are responsible for writing a profitable book of business across all key sectors with emphasis on bank led business, although traders and corporates do play their part too. Typically the bulk of risks written are CF/CR with some CEN/CCP. As the team is fairly well established and very technically capable, they can be fairly flexible as to the level of individual brought in, this could range from Assistant Underwriter through to Underwriter or even an experienced and technically capable broker. Regardless of level, its key that you bring an outgoing and social personality as you’ll be expected to network heavily with brokers and clients and represent the organisation at events (formal and informal). This is an excellent opportunity to work in a team who can offer excellent training and development, good exposure to a wide variety of trade related and non-trade products, outstanding risk support in-house and the ability to really develop your market profile. To be considered you should have previous experience within an underwriting team (e.g 3-5yrs) even if your scratch is relatively recent, or at least 5 - 10 years broking these risks with a solid technical understanding. Please don’t hesitate to apply as this opportunity is available immediately. Please contact Kerren Leach on +44 207 092 3283 or email for more information. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Trade Credit Account Executive, London, £40,000 - £60,000 plus benefits.
A new opportunity with a developing broker has arisen for an experienced individual with a track record of acquiring & developing new business. The successful candidate will have considerable knowledge within the credit space and will be a self-starter committed to providing a quality service. For a confidential discussion, please contact Nicole on 07931 808 349 or Ref:J9402. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Political and Credit Analyst - Lloyds Syndicate. London. Basic of C.£70,000 (negotiable) + Bonus + Benefits.
Following continued growth, and significant capital injection, this Lloyds Insurer has identified the requirement for a permanent Political & Credit Risks Analyst.
Your key responsibility is to support the underwriters in making prudent and profitable underwriting decisions on a wide range of insurance policies. Typically these policies will be to support major banks’ and commodity trading houses’ transactions. The analysis required will include country/sovereign, counterparty, credit worthiness, structure, project finance and various other categories on a worldwide basis.
Key responsibilities: Setting up and maintaining efficient credit metrics, models and tools for assessing and monitoring of counterparties, sectors, countries and sovereign risks. Analysing credit / structured credit / sovereign / political risks. Assist in research for pricing strategies and market rates. Maintain and develop pricing models for London Market business. Assist the underwriters in the use of models. Develop your market knowledge to aid your career progression, whether this be into Senior Analysis or Underwriting depending on your preference.
Desired Skills and Experience: Although this role is within an insurer they are willing to consider candidates with financial / risk analytical skills specifically around company financials and complex financing structures from a banking environment or rating house and Country / counterparty / sovereign risk analysis experience. However, it is essential that you have experience of analysing medium to long term transactions and overseas obligors; the client is specifically not seeking individuals who have solely been involved in the P&L/Balance Sheet analysis of UK Domiciled organisations for a traditional credit insurer.
If the above describes you and you’re looking for a challenging, but rewarding career within the Lloyds Insurance Market then please don’t hesitate to apply. Please don’t hesitate to contact Kerren Leach on +44 207 092 3283 or email for more information. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Political Risk Broker – London.
Do you want to work for one of the fastest growing broking houses in the Political Risk market? Do you want to become an expert in your field with the opportunity to manage some high profile accounts? Do you have 1-3yrs experience in broking Political & Structured Credit risks into the London market? If so then I might have the perfect opportunity for you. I’ve been exclusively mandated to recruit a dynamic and ambitious broker into the existing team of this broking house. Working with high calibre individuals and driven by a highly charismatic leader you can’t help but learn and grow. As well as a great working environment you’ll be rewarded with a competitive salary (to £55k for the right individual) as well a good benefits package. Opportunities to work overseas in the medium – long term also exist. If you want to discuss this opportunity in more depth then please call or email Kerren Leach on 0207 092 3283 or email (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

New Appointments
Garant has announced that Louis Habib-Deloncle is to step down as its CEO at the end of the year. Habib-Deloncle, who has led the political and trade credit insurance provider over the last 12 years, will be replaced by Michael Frank. In addition, Christian Hendriks, Garant’s current head of underwriting, has been appointed as a new member of Garant’s managing board. Both will assume their new roles from 1 January 2015.

About this issue's sponsor: PurplePatch.
First-ever Broker Service launched for the Credit and Risk Industry. Price transparency and independent product selection comes to market.
PurplePatch, the first-ever broker service for the credit and risk information market has been launched – to help credit and risk managers find the most suitable products on the market, for the best price.

Replicating the credit insurance industry, the new independent service will act as a broker between those that use information and the credit and information providers themselves. PurplePatch will provide a ‘no cost’ consultancy and unbiased advice on products and services from across the whole of the market, and has already picked up a number of new clients.

PurplePatch has been launched by Nick Frazer and Nick Green who between them have over 50 years’ experience in the credit risk information industry with Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian.

Nick Frazer, director of PurplePatch, said: “It is about time our industry called for better price transparency and have the advantage of a service that goes beyond just comparing credit risk information products and providers.

“Today risk managers have many providers and products to choose from but little time to consider the whole market. There is also doubt that the price offered to the customer is not as keen as that offered to others using the same products and volumes. It’s a common problem and not surprising that the service is being received really well.”

Katie Woodiss-Field, Credit Manager, Amari Plastics Plc., commented: “Having just completed a review with PurplePatch, I can highly recommend this excellent service. Time saving, unbiased and a great idea – can’t believe no one has come up with it before!"

“We recently worked with PurplePatch to review our credit agency suppliers. Using our ‘wish list’ they were able to give us insight into the current market options available as well as considering new opportunities that we hadn't previously considered – saving us a considerable amount of our own time and effort to narrow down our selection.” Bryony Pettifor, Credit Manager, Anixter Ltd.

Nick Frazer has served over 30 years’ in the credit risk information industry working from sales management to board positions at Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian. Together with Nick Green, a credit risk specialist with over 20 years’ experience, including leadership positions with both Equifax and Experian, they have launched PurplePatch to ensure that the credit and risk industry has access to the best advice on products and services available across the credit risk information marketplace.

For more information about PurplePatch please contact Nick Frazer, Telephone 01564 792956.

About PurplePatch -
PurplePatch offers independent, genuinely impartial and unbiased advice in the credit risk information marketplace. Its risk information model provides choice that goes beyond product comparison and offers a smarter alternative to dealing direct, where the holistic view is missing and there is no incentive for best pricing.

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