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Welcome to issue 39 of Credit Insurance News Digest, 22 May 2014. This issue is kindly sponsored by Financial and Credit Insurance Services Limited.

Index
  • Credit Insurance News and Reports
  • Industry Events and Offers
  • Business Info: Recommended Reports 
  • Career Opportunities and New Appointments
  • About this issue's sponsor

Credit Insurance News and Reports
Only 37% of UK companies purchase trade credit insurance - down from 40% in 2013 and 53% in 2012. According to a report released by AIG in the UK, Trade & Export Finance Ltd and The Institute of Export (IOE), 69% of UK businesses expect to increase their dependency on exports over the next five years but many are ill-prepared to protect themselves against the risks they will encounter. Findings show that risk related to non-payment of goods & services is UK exporters’ biggest concern, cited by 42% of respondents. However, only 37% of companies purchase trade credit insurance (down from 40% in 2013 and 53% in 2012), while 49% of all companies rely on open account payment. The report also reveals that 70% of respondents are unaware of the concept of a single multinational insurance programme to cover their operations across multiple locations. Will Clark, Head of Trade Credit at AIG in the UK, said: “The fact that non-payment tops exporters’ list of concerns yet the number of companies buying trade credit insurance is in decline means that the insurance industry needs to respond by developing more innovative products which better address buyers’ needs and concerns.” To view the full report go to http://web.aig.com/2009/euk8791/International_Trade_Survey_2014_Report.pdf.

Berne Union celebrates its 80th anniversary and launches the Berne Union Annual Yearbook 2014 and an application for iPhone and iPad. During their recent annual Spring Meeting, members of the Berne Union launched the Berne Union Annual Yearbook 2014 and an app for iPhone and iPad detailing the business levels and trends experienced by members. Recent figures reported indicate that the volume of new exports and investments covered by members of the Berne Union increased by approximately 4% in 2013, mainly driven by short-term export credit insurance. Altogether, the total amount of cross-border transactions facilitated in reached US$1.9 trillion in 2013 - the highest level ever. Out of the total business volume, more than US$1.6 trillion represents short-term export credit insurance, while medium and long-term export credit insurance amounted to just over US$160 billion. To view the Berne Union's news release go to http://www.berneunion.org/berne-union-celebrates-80-years-of-supporting-trade-and-investment-and-nears-us-2-trillion-in-export-cover/.

Trade Credit Insurance in Major Global Markets. Finnacord has published a new report, 'Trade Credit Insurance in Major Global Markets', which estimates the value of GWP for trade credit insurance paid in the ten markets covered (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, the Middle East, Russia, South Africa and the US) at US$3.63 billion for 2013 (US$1.75 billion attributable to domestic trade credit insurance and US$1.88 billion to export trade credit policies). The total market was worth an estimated US$2.20 billion in 2009, meaning that it grew at a nominal compound annual rate of 13.3% between 2009 and 2013. Overall, China had the largest trade credit insurance market of these ten territories in terms of premiums, and accounted for an estimated 44.2% of the total in 2013. The second largest market in terms of value was the US - well ahead of Japan. Finaccord’s survey also found that small companies (i.e. those with less than US$5 million in annual revenue) contribute an unweighted average of 22.2% of all premiums across the ten markets while single-risk policies make up an unweighted average of 7.8%. Atradius, Coface and Euler Hermes accounted collectively for 50% or more of premiums in four of the ten geographies examined. The full report costs £2,995, with each report by territory available for £595. To purchase a report go to http://www.finaccord.com/order_trade-credit-insurance.htm.

Atradius: More than 1/3 of the total value of invoices unpaid after 90 days is uncollected. According to Atradius' latest Payment Practices Barometer of Western Europe, on average, 37.6% of the total value of respondents B2B receivables was defaulted on, with 4.9% remaining unpaid after 90 days past due and 1.7% written off as uncollectable. Respondents from Turkey, Spain, Great Britain and Italy struggled the most with overdue and uncollectable receivables, while respondents from Denmark, Sweden, Austria and surprisingly Greece seemed to have the firmest grip on collecting receivables. The Barometer also found that the primary reason for payment delays is insufficient funds, although domestic and foreign buyers often delay payment as a source of surrogate financing. To view the full Barometer go to http://global.atradius.com/images/stories/Publications/payment_pratices/Round13/ppb14_we_regional_fin.pdf.

Atradius warns that rising insolvencies and funding costs will beset Asia Trade. GlobalCapital has published an article which advises that a recent survey by Atradius found that 32% of the total value of domestic sales invoices and 29% of the ones for export were unpaid at the due date. In an interview with Asiamoney, Atradius also highlighted that Hong Kong companies had seen their days sales outstanding reach double the number of average days as the rest of Asia. Atradius' Country Manager, Matthew Cockerill, commented: "It either means that people are getting worse at collecting their money or that there is more financial distress in terms of their buyers". Mr Cockerill also warned that a lot of companies are currently being kept alive by the banks because the latter didn't want to "crystallise" the loss on the loans. To read the article go to http://www.globalcapital.com/article/l8xj4fzv03t7/rising-insolvencies-and-funding-costs-to-beset-asia-trade-says-atradius. (Subscription may be required. Free trials are available).

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) urges its members to take advantage of a government-backed Trade Credit Scheme. Builder's Merchants News has published an article which advises that the BMF is urging its members to take advantage of a government-backed Trade Credit Scheme which gives member companies access to up to £50 million of government-backed guarantees. A number of BMF’s merchant members are actively using the scheme, but there is ample capacity for many more to join them as only £1.5 million has been signed off to date - supporting around 75 merchant customers. John Newcomb, managing director of the BMF, said: “The BMF Trade Credit Scheme is clearly working for some of our members, but I am astonished that more have not taken the opportunity to access these funds." To view the full article go to http://www.buildersmerchantsnews.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/9331/Merchants_must_take_opportunity_to_grow_business,_says_BMF.html.

Atradius: Businesses in Great Britain lose around 39% of the value of their receivables that are not paid within ninety days. Atradius has published its latest Payment Practices Barometer for Great Britain which shows that on average, 5.9% of the value of respondents receivables are unpaid within 90 days, and that 2.3% (Western Europe: 1.7%) of the total value is written-off as uncollectable. The report advises that this suggests that on average businesses lose around 39% of the value of their receivables that are not paid within ninety days. Requesting secured forms of payment appears to be the credit management practice used second most widely by respondents in Great Britain (45.7%). This compares to 36.7% for Western Europe overall. To view Atradius' Barometer on Great Britain go to http://www.atradius.co.uk/images/stories/PPB/ppb14_great-britain-en_fin.pdf.

Euler Hermes advises that UK businesses have the potential to unlock significant working and investment capital by using deductible guarantees. Andrew Potts, head of Euler Hermes Bonding commented: “Many firms remain unaware of the potential strategic financing alternatives . . . However, alternative financial instruments, such as deductible guarantees, could help unlock billions of pounds worth of funding lines for working capital and investment in growth." Mr Potts also stressed that given the prevalence of traditional letters of credit among UK businesses, deductible guarantees and similar products, could represent a significant untapped resource for financial managers: "For many companies the funds involved could be a game changer.” To view Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-Euler-Hermes-Financial-instrument-strategy-unlock-working-capital-UK-plc.aspx.

Increasing interest in trade credit and political risk cover in Asia. Speaking to Insurance Day following a visit to Asia at the end of last year, Robert Nijhout, executive director of the International Credit Insurance and Surety Association (ICISA), said that members of his association were reporting double-digit premium growth in the region. He also cited intra-Asia domestic trade as a driver, adding that ICISA members had identified China, Indonesia and India as the region's top three trade credit growth markets for 2014. However, industry commentators have also warned of evolving risks in the region. For example, Equinox Global's chief executive, Mike Holley, recently predicted that a new chapter in the credit crisis story was on the horizon, voicing concerns about corporates in emerging markets borrowing in dollars: "a lot of money has been trying to find a home in emerging markets and I can see problems ahead". To view Insurance Day's article go to https://www.insuranceday.com/specialty/political-challenges-help-drive-asia-buying-patterns.htm?origin=internalSearch. (Subscription required).

Credit Insurers pull back on trade credit coverage for Sears' suppliers. Insurance Journal has published an article, 'Insurers Pull Back on Trade Credit Coverage for Sears Suppliers', which advises that, following seven years of declining sales at the department-store chain, insurers such as Coface SA and AIG, have reduced the size of trade credit policies for existing Sears vendors or declined to provide protection for new suppliers. This is according to the article's sources - who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. AIG is said by one source to have cut the size of some new policies by as much as 50%. The cost for Sears' creditors to protect against a default by the retailer has surged in the past year in the derivatives market. To view the article on Insurance Journal's website go to http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2014/05/15/329298.htm.

Euler Hermes Switzerland supports the export activities of 'High-Potential SMEs'. Euler Hermes has announced plans to provide support, through guarantees and accounts receivable protection, to a collaboration, launched in 2012, between the Swiss Economic Forum (SEF) and UBS bank. As part of the existing initiative, SMEs with high growth potential are invited to review and optimise their growth strategy with experienced entrepreneurs and experts in an SQS-certified process, after which the companies receive an external assessment in a detailed report. Once the company demonstrates a promising business model, it is awarded the SEF 'High-Potential SME' quality label - something which 20 companies have received since 2012. To view Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-Euler-Hermes-Switzerland-supports-SMEs-with-growth-potential.aspx.

Euler Hermes and partners support award for Best SME Financial Communications. Euler Hermes, GE Capital, and Commerzbank have announced that they have partnered to support the seventh “Best SME Financial Communications” award 2014, in collaboration with the BDI and Ruhr University Bochum. Participation in the award is aimed at unlisted German small and mid-size companies characterised by exemplary and transparent communications with their lenders. The award, which comes with a prize of €30,000, is judged across three categories: start-up companies and companies with up to €10 million in annual sales; companies with €10-100 million in annual sales; and firms whose annual sales in excess of €100 million. The awards are open for entry until 9 July 2014. For more information about the awards and to view Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/German-Federal-Minister-Economic-Affairs-Sigmar-Gabriel-announces-patronage-Award-Best-SME-Financial.aspx.

Unpaid bills are the biggest threat to Dutch company profitability. DutchNews.nl has published an article which advises that, according to a recent survey by Atradius, unpaid bills are biggest threat to company profitability. In total, 33% of Dutch company bosses said they think clients are too slow in paying their bills, compared with 38% in Western Europe as a whole. It appears that Turkey, Spain, Britain and Italy complain the most about slow payers. To view the full article go to http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2014/05/unpaid_bills_are_biggest_threa.php.

Atradius' webinar on the UAE: 'The pearl of the Middle East'. Atradius has released a recording of its recent webinar (held in April) in which a panel of experts on the economy, business culture and law of the United Arab Emirates cover the opportunities and the logistics of trading in the UAE. The discussion is led by award winning financial journalist and broadcaster Adam Shaw. To listen, go to http://global.atradius.com/uae-webinar.html.

Equinox Global now Lloyd’s Coverholder in the US. Equinox Global has announced that it has moved into a new office in New York and has been approved as Lloyd’s Coverholder in the US. The office is headed by Antje Seiffert-Murphy who has been with Equinox in America since 2011. Antje commented: “Equinox has grown significantly in North America and the opening of our new office along with the Lloyd’s Coverholder approval will enable us to get even closer to the market and our clients. We see many opportunities in the United States.”

Atradius reports that its participation in the Welsh Financial Services Graduate scheme is a great success. With funding and support from the Welsh Government’s Sector Priority Fund, Atradius and three other Welsh financial services companies, Admiral, GMAC and Composite Legal Expenses, have advised that their pioneering financial services graduate scheme has been a great success. The scheme offers graduates the chance to experience a professional career in financial services, with 2 year paid placements spanning all four of the businesses, culminating in a newly created post-graduate qualification, an MSc in financial services from the University of South Wales’ school of Law, Accounting and Finance. To view Atradius' news release go to  http://www.atradius.co.uk/corporate/press-releases/pioneering-welsh-graduate-scheme-could-be-adopted-elsewhere.html.

Coface releases a new corporate video. Coface has produced a new corporate English language video to demonstrate: "why choosing Coface ensures peace of mind, whatever the circumstances". The video shows a number of senior figures whose companies use Coface's services going about their day, at work and at leisure, with the confidence of knowing that their business risks have been assessed by Coface and their business transactions are insured. To view the video go to https://www.youtube.com/user/CofaceInFrance.

Atradius latest Market monitor characterises the Electronics/ICT sector as ‘fierce’ and even ‘cut-throat’. Atradius has published its latest Market Monitor: 'Focus on Electronics/ICT sector performance and outlook', which advises that the constant drive for change in this sector comes at the price of profit margin. For example, while Poland has earned a reputation as one of the fastest growing ICT markets in Central Europe, pressure on prices means that larger companies can only survive at the expense of the smaller one. Other countries examined in detail in the Monitor include France, Germany, The Netherlands and the US. An overview of the market in Belgium and India is also given. To view Atradius' report go to http://www.atradius.co.uk/images/stories/Market%20Monitor/MM_May_2014_ENG.pdf.

Risks and Rewards In The Pigmeat Business. CIFS has published an article in which Natalie Pelczer, CIFS food sector risk underwriting specialist, advises that the export outlook is strong for UK pigmeat producers but also presents credit challenges. Feed costs have reduced, margins improved and prices increased by between 6-9% last year. In addition, while North American producers – traditionally the primary source of supply to China – are reeling from the impact of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus, there is a major export opportunity for UK producers to meet the demand for high-value imports. However, Natalie also cautions that if UK producers and processors are to grow overseas sales further it’s likely to involve significant investment. There is also a heightened credit risk in trading on open terms with new outlets in unfamiliar geographies. To view CIFS' article go to http://www.creditindemnity.com/news-and-comment/detail/risks-and-rewards-in-the-pigmeat-business.

Euler Hermes publishes survey on DIY stores in Germany. Euler Hermes has published a survey which advises that DIY stores are Germany's third largest consumer goods segment after food and textiles - posting sales in excess of £18 billion. However, profit margins are low and the market is fiercely competitive. “There is still fierce competition among Germany’s DIY stores and hence strong pressure on margins,” said Thomas Krings, Head of Risk at Euler Hermes. “In 2014, suppliers in particular are dealing with the fallout from Praktiker’s bankruptcy. . .However, the sector is also seeing some positive developments,” Krings continued. ”Many stores have now been taken over by competitors and will reopen in the coming months. . . There are no signs of further bankruptcies at present. Initial surveys point to double-digit market growth in Q1 2014.” To view Euler Hermes' full release with a link to the full report go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Lists/NewsDocuments/EulerHermes_PR_Baumarktstudie_Deutschland.pdf.



Industry Events, Offers and Training
2nd Annual UK Trade & Export Finance Conference, 4 June. Birmingham, UK.
Following the highly successful inaugural 2013 event which welcomed over 250 delegates, GTR’s 2nd Annual UK Trade & Export Finance Conference will once again provide the ideal forum for high level discussion and debate between the UK’s corporate, government and financial sectors. Bringing together British companies of all sizes (MNCs, mid-cap and SMEs), the conference will focus on how best to increase UK export volumes. Themes discussed will include identifying new markets, tackling obstacles faced in terms of obtaining funding, highlighting the latest government initiatives and considering on the ground experiences from a range of UK businesses. As always, networking will form an integral part of proceedings, allowing delegates to make full use of their time by meeting all key stakeholders in one location on one day. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15. Click here for more information or contact gnaughton@exportagroup.com.

Coface UK and Ireland Country Risk Conference, 5 June. British Library, London.
Coface has opened registrations for their Country Risk Conference in June. The Coface UK and Ireland Country Risk Conference will be held on Thursday 5 June 2014, from 9am to 2pm at the British Library, London. The aim of the conference is to support companies in defining a strategy that will help both protect them against the risk of bad debt and maximise their domestic and export opportunities. Economists and sector specialists will look behind the headlines to give an insight into trading opportunities and risks for UK businesses, assessing key markets such as continental Europe, Brazil and the UK. Places are limited but those who wish to attend should register now on the Coface website - http://www.cofaceuk.com/News-Publications/Coface-Country-Risk-Conference.

Aon Insight Event, 10 June 2014. London, The London Transport Museum.
Aon Trade Credit's next Insight event "Paving the road to recovery" is being held on Tuesday 10 June at The London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. We would be delighted if you could join us for this event where our key speaker will be David Smith, Economics Editor of The Sunday Times. This complimentary seminar, sponsored by QBE Trade Credit, is an invaluable opportunity to gain insight from our keynote speaker on his economic view and forecast for the UK and Europe as well as get ideas and information on how to protect, finance and grow your business in such competitive times. Following the event, there will be an opportunity to network over drinks and canapés and take a tour of the historical London Transport Museum. For more information and to register to go to http://www.thehub-aon.co.uk/media-centre/events/449. Alternatively, call Lisa King on 0207 8820388 or email lisa.king@aon.co.uk.

Europe Trade Finance Week 2014, 11-13 June. Hamburg, Germany.
As the continent’s leading gathering for trade, export, commodity and supply chain finance professionals, Europe Trade Finance Week 2014 will once again take place in Hamburg on June 11-13, 2014. The event will incorporate the long running annual Europe Trade & Supply Chain Finance Conference, as well as the Supply Chain Masterclass, GTR Editorial Board Meeting and numerous networking events. With over 200 senior decision makers expected in attendance, the event is well placed to provide timely insight on the challenges faced in the local market as well as assess the opportunities available further afield. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

2nd Annual North America Trade & Export Finance Conference, 19 June. New York, USA.
Global Trade Review returns to New York City in June 2014 for the next instalment of the North America Trade & Export Finance Conference, where business leaders from across the US and Canada will gather to discuss the key concerns of those conducting cross border trade and the role of the financial sector in securing business with high-growth emerging markets. Marking the tenth gathering in a decade of consecutive events for the North American trade and export finance sectors, the conference’s focus continues to mirror the new challenges set by an evolving global business environment. An in-depth agenda featuring selected expert speakers will provide cutting edge insight on those innovations enabling optimal efficiency across emerging market trade flows, the latest trends and collaborations in export and agency finance and the funding options available across the full private sector spectrum. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Insuring Export Credit & Political Risk Asia. 23-26 June, Singapore.
This is the leading event for the export credit and political risk industry in Asia providing a unique opportunity to meet top executives from the region and internationally and hear the very latest industry news. Hear from 40+ speakers including representatives from WTO, KDB, ALCATEL-LUCENT, MIGA, DEUTSCHE BANK, SMBC as they focus on the latest issues in: trade, export & project finance; credit & political risk insurance; regional & global macro- economics & politics. For the latest brochure or to register, please visit: http://www.iiribcfinance.com/FKW52746CIN quoting VIP code: FKW52746CIN for a 10% discount.

Training
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 https://www.graydon.co.uk/understanding-international-credit-reports-CIN-members.

STECIS Trade Credit Insurance and Surety (BASIC & ADVANCED) Training Seminars, 19-29 June 2014. The Hague, The Netherlands.
The STECIS training seminars are two-day events and are highly interactive. They cover technical and practical knowledge on 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 ADVANCED training seminars are set for 19-20 June 2014 and are suited to participants who have attended the basic training seminars and/or have at least 4 years of work experience. 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 http://www.stecis.org or contact STECIS by sending an e-mail to info@stecis.org or call +31 20 528 5170.



Business Information: Latest Reports and Business Shorts
Intrum Justitia finds that the total bad debt loss for European businesses has risen to 3.1% of revenues. According to Intrum Justitia’s latest European Payment Index 2014 (EPI 2014), 55% of the 10,000 businesses taking part in EPI 2014 say they are suffering as a result of late or non-payment of bills and invoices. This is the highest percentage in the history of the European Payment Index, with 36% of business respondents believing that their very survival is being threatened by late payment and every second company saying that it prohibits growth. In addition, despite all the talk of an end to recession, the Index found that the total bad debt loss in Europe has risen further from 3.0 to 3.1% of total revenues, amounting to a total of €360 billion for all businesses in Europe. Every year for the past eight years, the bad debt loss percentage has risen for European businesses. To view Intrum Justitia's EPI go to http://www.intrum.com/Templates/Default/Pages/PressReleaseReport.aspx?ID=234660B4C53B90BD.

Prospects for the UK economy. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has advised that after growing only very marginally in 2012, UK growth has accelerated rapidly with GDP growth of 2.9% forecasted for this year - an upward revision of 0.4 percentage points on its forecast published three months ago. This means that GDP will exceed its previous peak in 2008 in the next few months, although per capita GDP still remains well below its previous peak, and will not exceed it before 2017. NIESR has also lifted its GDP growth forecasts for 2015 through to 2017 to about 2.4%. To view NIESR's news release go to http://www.niesr.ac.uk/media/prospects-uk-economy-11849#.U3C--PldV8E.

Export sales and orders are at all-time highs. The British Chambers of Commerce has published new research in conjunction with DHL Express, the BCC/DHL Trade Confidence Index, which shows that confidence is continuing to improve, with export sales and orders at all-time highs. The volume of trade documentation issued by Accredited Chambers of Commerce also jumped in Q1 2014, demonstrating that UK businesses are willing to break into new markets. Commenting, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “There is much to be happy with in these results. Our exporters are selling more, and hiring more, showing ambition and willingness to export and grow their business. They are taking advantage of the opportunities on offer when breaking into new markets and it is great to see that the volume of exports is now at an all time high." To view the full news release go to http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/exporters-selling-more-and-hiring-more,-says-bcc/dhl-report.html.

Just 17% of UK businesses have a written credit policy in place. New research from Hilton-Baird has found that amongst the many different credit management strategies that businesses are using and considering implementing to protect their cash flows against late payment, a written credit policy doesn’t feature highly. Just 17% of businesses currently have a policy in place, with only 8% thinking about introducing one in the next 12 months. However, these figures do vary according to business size – for instance, they are used by 32% of companies with a turnover of more than £3 million but by only 6% of those turning over less than £1 million. To view Hilton-Baird's news release go to http://www.hiltonbaird.co.uk/Business-Finance-Blog/269/Why-a-credit-policy-should-be-at-the-core-of-your-credit-control/.

UK ranked alongside China as a sales growth country for global manufacturers. According to KPMG's latest Global Manufacturing Outlook, global manufacturing executives rank the UK in second place - ranked equally with China - as a country where global companies expect to derive the majority of their sales growth over the next two years. Only the US (45%) beats the UK (17%) and China (17%). The Global Manufacturing Outlook, which surveyed 460 executives globally, also reveals that in terms of a country where global companies expect profit growth in the next two years, the UK is ranked third (16%), only marginally behind China (18%), and marginally ahead of Germany (15%). To view KPMG's news release with a link to the full report go to http://www.kpmg.com/UK/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/NewsReleases/Pages/KPMG-Global-Manufacturing-Outlook-UK-ranked-alongside-China-as-a-sales-growth-country-for-global-manufacturers.aspx.

CBI upgrades UK growth forecast. The CBI has upgraded its forecast for UK GDP growth and is now forecasting growth of 3.0% in 2014, up from the previous forecast of 2.6%, and 2.7% in 2015, up from 2.5%. The economy grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2014 and quarter-on-quarter GDP growth of 0.7% is expected for the rest of this year and next. Yet while economic signs are encouraging, the CBI said political uncertainty remains a major risk to the recovery. The higher GDP growth forecast means the CBI is bringing forward its estimated date of an interest rate rise to the first quarter of 2015, when it is forecasting the first 0.25 percentage point increase. To view the CBI's news release go to http://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2014/05/cbi-upgrades-growth-forecast-but-warns-political-risk-could-hold-back-investment/.

45% increase in UK travel company insolvencies over the last year. According to research by Wilkins Kennedy, the number of travel companies going bust has jumped 45% in the last 12 months, with 77 travel agencies and tour operators becoming insolvent in the last year (to March 31st), up from just 53 in the preceding 12 months. Wilkins Kennedy explains that the economic recovery has provided the travel industry with surprisingly little protection from the challenges created by consumers building their own holidays over the internet. To view Wilkins Kennedy's news release go to http://www.wilkinskennedy.com/news-and-press/press-releases/45-increase-in-travel-company-insolvencies-over-the-last-year.

London steals New York’s crown for economic clout in PwC’s international Cities of Opportunity Index. London has claimed top spot as a centre for business, finance and culture for the first time, in Cities of Opportunity - PwC’s sixth annual index of 30 major cities internationally. London claimed the number one position (up from 3rd last time) with a considerable margin, ahead of New York, Singapore, Toronto, and San Francisco.  In addition, for the key indicator 'Ease of doing business', London came in 5th place (Singapore, Hong Kong and New York took the top spots). David Snell, partner, PwC in London, said: “London’s reputation as an economic powerhouse is well established, and reinforced when you consider it is the second most successful city in the Index for attracting foreign direct investment." To view PwC's news release go to http://pwc.blogs.com/press_room/2014/05/london-steals-new-yorks-crown-for-economic-clout-in-pwcs-international-cities-of-opportunity-index-.html.

The global economy to strengthen over the coming two years. According to the OECD’s latest Economic Outlook advanced economies are gaining momentum and driving the pick-up in global growth. GDP growth across the 34-member OECD is projected to accelerate to a 2.2% rate in 2014 and 2.8% in 2015, according to the Outlook, while the world economy will grow at a 3.4% rate in 2014 and 3.9% in 2015. Among the major advanced economies, recovery is best established in the US, which is projected to grow by 2.6% in 2014 and 3.5% in 2015. The euro area will also see a return of positive growth after three years of contraction: 1.2% in 2014 and 1.7% in 2015. The BRIICS are projected to see GDP growth of 5.3% this year on average and 5.7% in 2015. China will again have the fastest growth among these countries, with rates just below 7.5% in 2014 and 2015. To view the OECD's news release and link to the Outlook go to 'Global economy strengthening but significant risks remain, says OECD in latest Economic Outlook, OECD Newsroom, 06/05/2014. http://www.oecd.org/newsroom/global-economy-strengthening-but-significant-risks-remain.htm. © OECD, 2014.



Career Opportunities: New Opportunities
Political & Credit Risk Analyst, London. Attractive salary and benefits.
My client, a highly renowned Lloyds Insurer is looking for a Political & Credit Risk Analyst to join its underwriting team. This is due to continued growth, expansion and investment in supporting these. The role is based in their London offices and requires the individual to have right to work in the UK as well as availability to work in London full time. Your key duties will be to support the Political Risk Underwriters in the assessment of Credit Risk, Structured Credit, Sovereign Risk, Counterparty Risk and Country Risk when underwriting insurance policies provided by Banks and Commodity Traders. It's vital that you have experience in analysis of these types of transactions, ideally from a banking background, and have the ability to understand complex sets of financials and financial structures. This is an excellent opportunity to join a leading firm who can offer both personal and professional career development. Please contact me on kerren.leach@eamesconsulting.com to discuss. All conversations are treated in the utmost confidence. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Credit Claims Team Leader, HCC International, Rearsby, Leicestershire. Attractive salary and benefits package.
HCC International Insurance Co PLC is a specialist insurance company based in Rearsby, Leicestershire (10 miles north east of city centre) is seeking to recruit a Credit Claims Team Leader. This role in our Credit Insurance Division involves: working with a team of claims technicians to deliver an excellent claims service to our customers and brokers, managing the claims process, reviewing and implementing procedures, managing and training a small team of technicians, assessing claims and preparing reports. The ideal candidate is likely to be an experienced insurance claims assessor, preferably with experience of credit insurance but may be an experienced credit controller or similar looking for a new challenge. Previous supervisory experience is preferred. We offer an excellent working environment together with an attractive benefits package. If you would like to apply for this position, please telephone Jane Thorpe on 01664 423268 or email jthorpe@hccint.com for an application pack. Closing date for completed applications is 12th June. No Agencies please. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Business Development Manager (Trade Credit Insurance). Hong Kong.
Our client is an MNC and a leader in the credit insurance industry. As the Business Development Manager, you will have opportunities to contribute to the success of the Company by identifying new business opportunities and achieving portfolio targets through acquisition of new customers and nurturing of existing customer relationships. Key Responsibilities will include: acquiring new customers based on leads given by Market Management and generating own leads, renewing existing policies, identifying cross-and-up-selling opportunities and ensuring proper pricing. Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in any business-related discipline and five years’ solid experience as a successful salesperson with proven records. Previous work experience in financial services, for MNCs and in a multicultural environment is a definite advantage. A good command of English, Cantonese and Mandarin is also required. For more information and to apply please contact Amanda Tan at +852 2169 0878 or email amanda.tan.cv@searchasia.com.hk. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Credit Underwriter / Analyst - Trade Finance, Credit Insurance, London. Salary to £45,000.
Our client, a leading Trade Finance company is currently seeking candidates with strong analytical skills and communication skills to join their busy Credit underwriting team in London. Key requirements include first rate analytical and problem solving skills gained over a period of three years' within this market, combined with experience as a credit analyst or, as a relationship manager with extensive credit analysis exposure. Ideally candidates will come from a background in trade finance and/or credit insurance. Please contact Mark Patterson on 020 7763 7091 – mark.patterson@cornwalliselt.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Trade Credit Account Executive (Ref: SM/13765), Reading. Salary to £35,000 + car allowance, bonus and Benefits.
A national broking organisation is looking to recruit an energetic, driven and ambitious Trade Credit Account Executive to add to their already impressive client servicing team. The job holder will develop and service an account of Trade Credit business and deal with both SME and Corporate Trade Credit risks. To apply for this role, candidates should be self motivated, driven, organised and ambitious.and will be either an existing Trade Credit Account or Development Executive, or someone with excellent commercial insurance experience. Sound technical knowledge of Trade Credit Insurance is a must, while experience of political risks this would be advantageous though it is not essential. Experience in providing specialised sales advice in the insurance market thorough understanding of the insurance market and products and sound relationship building skills are also required. The salary is dependent on experience, but will be market-leading, and flexible to attract the very best candidates in the market. The bonus scheme is superb and uncapped, and is complimented by a comprehensive benefits package to include Pension, Group Life, PMI, Free Car Parking and generous holiday allowance. To apply for this position please email Stephen Mallaband at stephen@cavendishmaine.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Senior Underwriter, Atradius Trade Credit Insurance. Greater New York City Area. Competitive salary and benefits.
Working in a cross-functional team that includes colleagues experienced in policy structuring and relationship management, the key responsibilities of this position include: Overseeing risk underwriting activities relating to new business and customer retention in the New York office including the establishment of suitable underwriting decisions balancing our customer’s business objectives with sound risk management principles, meeting with customers and prospects to understand their business goals and credit philosophy in order to structure suitable policy structures that meet Atradius' growth and profitability targets, effectively communicating Atradius' risk underwriting strategies and limit decisions to customers, prospects, and their brokers. The ideal candidate will be self-directed, ambitious, and interested in building Atradius’ profile in the non-cancelable underwriting segment of Trade Credit Insurance. We are seeking someone with a bachelor’s degree in business, finance or economics; and at least 5 years’ underwriting experience in Trade Credit Insurance covering either cancelllable or non-cancelable policy structures. Our compensation package includes a competitive base salary commensurate with experience, bonus potential, and attractive benefits including healthcare & 401K plan. To apply, please email Doug.Collins@atradius.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Still Open
Credit Account Handler, Leeds. Competitive salary and benefits package.
Our client is looking to recruit an experienced Account Handler to work within their Credit Insurance department. You will manage a caseload of Credit Insurance risks with premium spends ranging from £10,000 - £500,000. Working within a team you will support Account Executives with their day to day office duties including mid term amendments, pre renewals and attend any client visits when needed. A competitive salary and benefits package is on offer to attract the best candidates in the market. My client is a national company providing a comprehensive range of insurance advice to a broad cross-section of commercial and private clients. Working as part of a small team it is essential you possess strong interpersonal and communication skills and be looking to take your career on to the next level. You will be enthusiastic, a good team player and possess a good level of customer service skills. If you are keen discuss your suitability for this opportunity please contact Harry Perkin on 07738602632 or harry.perkin@irsrecruitment.co.uk. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Credit Insurance Account Executive, West Yorkshire. Generous basic salary plus a wide range of company benefits.
This prestigious broking firm has a branch network spanning much of the UK, with strong presence locally, seeks an experienced Credit Insurance Account Executive to join its Regional Head Quarters in West Yorkshire. This firm has a solid commitment to the Yorkshire region, with credit insurance very much recognised as one of its core business activities. As such, this role boasts an enviable level of job security in the current climate. As a Credit Insurance Account Executive, responsible for the day to day management of a diverse portfolio of clients, you will advise upon the most appropriate credit insurance programme to suit their requirements, using your influence with specialist credit insurers to secure comprehensive levels of cover, at a competitive premium. You will also work with colleagues in the marketing team to actively prospect and secure new business. Building a strong level of professional rapport with your clients, you will create a culture of credit control best practice, dealing with limit extensions and providing ongoing advice in relation to day to day enquiries. You will also oversee claims arising within your portfolio, supplying the relevant claims MI to insurers when preparing renewal reports. To assist you in the proactive management of your portfolio you will need to work in close conjunction with the in-house Credit Insurance Broking and Admin Teams.It is essential that you have extensive experience within credit insurance, ideally gained in a broking environment. Exposure to other products under the wider ‘Credit Risks’ banner, such as Political Risk or Surety, would certainly add weight to your application. In addition, our client is eager to hear from those individuals who have made progress, or can demonstrate a commitment to, gaining professional qualifications from the Chartered Insurance Institute or Institute of Credit Management. For more information and to apply please go to http://astoncharles.co.uk/opportunities/credit-insurance-account-broking-yorkshire-insurance/#sthash.eiLhxLE8.dpuf or contact Richard Jones at RichardJones@astoncharles.co.uk. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Senior Risk Underwriter. Salary £45,000 - £50,000, London. Good bonus scheme and benefits.
This long established credit insurer which has an outstanding reputation within the industry is looking to add a skilled Senior Risk Underwriter to its team. You'll be tasked with supporting the management and underwriting of a bonding portfolio, identifying opportunities to increase business including management of larger and more sensitive risks. To be considered you MUST have experience in the following: Bonding business including specific dynamics of business with emphasis on Risk Management. - Ability to build networks with close contacts to market players and opinion leaders, Business expertise: - In-depth knowledge in understanding of contractual situations would assist. - Demonstrate innovative thinking in proposal Risk solutions. Interpersonal skills:- Ability to interact with all levels, both internally & externally.- Ability to convince stakeholders in negotiations (Note: similar to the above - mortgage / payday loan / personal finance will NOT be considered). Please apply to Ben Wheaton on ben.wheaton@reedglobal.com or 0207 220 4777. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Credit Insurance Account Handler – West Yorkshire – Excellent Salary and Benefits
I’m currently recruiting on behalf of one of the UK's leading, privately - owned, independent Broking businesses in West Yorkshire. My client is looking for an individual who is able to administer client’s insurance requirements adhering to company policy to achieve targets, develop the business and deliver an excellent and comprehensive service. The role will be to develop strong relationships with clients. Deal with client renewals and mid-term adjustments as well as develop strong relationships with markets and to provide assistance in the creation of claims and broking documents. In order to apply for this Credit Insurance Account Handler role my client is looking for an individual who has 1 - 5 years experience working within Credit Insurance. To apply please contact Helen Spriggs on 0113 308035 or email your cv to helen.spriggs@search.co.uk. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Trade Credit Underwriter, London. Excellent salary and benefits. £45,000 - £55,000 DOE.
I'm working with an outstanding insurer for which growth is high on the agenda. They’re looking to recruit experienced underwriters into their Trade Credit team. Unlike most traditional insurers the Risk and Commercial functions are combined giving their underwriters complete autonomy and control. You'll be responsible for underwriting a portfolio of clients which will give you exposure to both domestic and international risks. Excellent package on offer for the right individual as well as the opportunity to work with a thriving, well renowned Insurer. Contact Kerren Leach at kerren.leach@eamesconsulting.com or call 0207 092 3283 for more details URGENTLY. (Right to work in UK essential). (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Risk Underwriter / Credit Analyst. Salary £35,000 - £40,000, London. Good bonus scheme and benefits.
This long established credit insurer which has an outstanding reputation within the industry is looking to add a skilled Risk Underwriter / Credit Analyst to its team. They work within a modern open plan office and have a very collegiate approach to the workload. You'll be involved in: Working on both new business submissions as well as portfolio analysis; Carrying out financial analysis through P&L, balance sheet, rating, credit agency, business information and any other available tools on clients' buyers to be able to offer credit limits; Reviewing a portfolio of buyers to ensure credit limits are reflective of their trading patterns; Identifying trends within your industry sector and advising your clients. To be considered you MUST have experience in the following: Credit analysis for a merchant acquirer / payment solutions provider; Credit analysis for a banking organisation with experience of UK markets; Risk underwriting for a credit insurer; Credit underwriting for asset based lending. (Note: similar to the above (mortgage / payday loan / personal finance will NOT be considered). Please apply to Ben Wheaton on ben.wheaton@reedglobal.com or 0207 220 4777. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Development Executive, Credit Insurance (Ref 24283634). Leeds. £25,000-£50,000 per annum.
Reed Insurance are working in partnership with a well respected and truly independent insurance brokers in West Yorkshire who are looking to appoint a Development Executive to help achieve their plans for growth within the field of credit insurance. This is a rare chance to join a unique business as they look to strengthen their presence within the market. The successful candidate will be responsible for developing a book of Credit Insurance clients through existing relationships and targeting new clients from a variety of industries. This is very much a client facing role and like any business development position, you will be responsible for generating leads as well as making and attending appointments to secure the business. You will work closely with the other members of the team to ensure that clients are always being offered an excellent level of service. In order to be successful in this role, you must have the ability to communicate effectively to all levels of people, be very passionate and enthusiastic about sales and have a proven track record in Credit Insurance from either a broker or direct insurer perspective. Please apply for this position if you have strong experience in broking/selling Credit Insurance policies. Email your CV to louise.kenyon@reedglobal.com or call me on 0113 236 8957 to be considered. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

New Appointments
Euler Hermes has appointed Rodrigo Rincon Jimenez as chief executive officer of Euler Hermes Brazil and member of the company’s Americas region Executive Management Team. He reports to Jochen Duemler, CEO and head of Euler Hermes Americas region. Jimenez joins Euler Hermes from Mondial Assistance Brazil, both of which are companies within the Allianz Group.

Coface has announced that it is expanding its commercial organisation in the Asia Pacific Region. Abhay Narkar, Head of Banks, Financial Institutions and Structured Finance Asia Pacific, will be responsible for leading the relationship and developing business opportunities with Banks and Financial Institutions in Asia Pacific region. Eric Malterre, Vice President, Regional Head of Sales Asia Pacific will join as the Head of Sales of Coface Global Solutions in the region. Both will be based in Singapore and report to Gordon Cessford.

Equinox Global has announced that it has appointed Vicki Harrison as Finance Director and Duncan Davies as portfolio account manager, effective immediately. Both will be based in the London office. Vicki joins from Coface, where she has spent the last seven years as Director of Finance, Systems and Organisation for the UK and Ireland. Duncan joins from Atradius where he has spent the last eight years. He was most recently a senior business development manager targeting new opportunities in the middle market business.



About this issue's sponsor: Financial and credit insurance Services Limited.
Established in 1993 as an independent credit insurance broker, Financial and Credit Insurance Services Limited has grown successfully to become one of the UK’s leading specialist firms.

We employ experienced staff who are all dedicated to providing our clients with a full and professional service when reviewing risks, advising on suitable insurance products and managing our clients insurance programs throughout their life.

We work closely with the accountancy profession, banks and other professional advisors to help them to add value to the services they offer their clients in matters relating to receivables management and finance..

Contact details are available on our website or you can give us a call on 01732 749 750.



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