Welcome to issue 38 of Credit Insurance News Digest, 6 May 2014. This issue is kindly sponsored by CBF.

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

Credit Insurance News
AIG Europe launches a spate of new products in the trade credit insurance market. GTR has published an article, 'AIG announces market firsts', which provides an overview of the new credit insurance products that AIG has recently launched. For example, 'AIGTrade+' (launched April), is a middle-market trade credit product which combines ground-up cover with non-cancellable buyer limits without the need for an aggregate deductible. The software is installed onto a client’s accounts receivable system, and allows credit limits to be automatically calculated based on real-time payment history, or set by an underwriter. Neil Ross, AIG trade credit regional manager for EMEA, told GTR that brokers: "feel that this is a product which could help to bring companies [that exited the market in the past five or six years] back into the credit insurance market.” Additional new products include a new web-based platform, Global Finance Manager (GFM), and a product to help companies fully eliminate defined benefit pension deficit from their balance sheets with no impact on their working capital. To view GTR's article go to http://www.gtreview.com/trade-finance/global-trade-review-news/2014/April/AIG-announces-market-firsts_11621.shtml.
Please note that AIG has published a video clip on its website to explain how AIGTrade+ works. To view go to http://www.aig.co.uk/_2538_588703.html.

Africa’s largest credit insurer sees 2013 claims increase by 119% compared to 2012. itinews.co.za has published an article which advises that credit insurance claims have soared in 2013, with South Africa’s largest credit insurer, Credit Guarantee reporting a 119% increase in claims paid in 2013 compared with 2012. Maria Teixeira, Trade Credit, Surety and Political Risks manager at Aon South Africa says that South Africa’s economic and trade environment remains tenuous and unpredictable at best, a key reason why trade credit insurance has become an imperative for businesses seeking to protect themselves against defaulting debtors. “Even defaulting companies battling to get credit insurance on themselves should protect their debtor’s book by obtaining credit insurance." To view the article go to http://www.itinews.co.za/companyview.aspx?cocategoryid=61&companyid=22416&itemid=EA6CB004-FFCE-4580-AF2E-25BDEA964EE2.

Coface launches CofaServe, an electronic data exchange solution. Coface has announced that it has launched a new electronic data exchange solution, CofaServe, targeted at the specific needs of larger companies who manage a significant number of credit limits. CofaServe provides an interconnection between the Coface database and clients’ in-house IT systems and, Coface advises, "goes beyond the usual Cofanet approach" (Note: Cofanet is Coface’s online credit insurance management platform), and aims to improve the simplicity, reliability and automation of managing credit insurance contracts. To view Coface's news release go to http://coface.com/News-Publications/News/CofaServe-an-electronic-data-exchange-solution-to-facilitate-day-to-day-business?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter.

CIFS launches a new logo. CIFS has launched a new logo which now appears on CIFS' website and in all CIFS' documentation. CIFS became part of the Nexus Group a little over a year ago, and the new logo shares a similar design to the parent company and incorporates the Nexus name. In a news release, CIFS advised: "the new Nexus CIFS logo aims to reflect and emphasise both the achievements of CIFS and the importance of Nexus to the business going forward." For more information go to http://www.creditindemnity.com/news-and-comment/detail/new-id-for-cifs.
Note: CIFS' new logo is now displayed in the advertising banner to the left of this page.

Euler Hermes publishes an interview with Wilfried Verstraete: "trade credit insurance helps to power the global economy, because it provides certainty". Euler Hermes has published a two-part interview with its Chairman of the Board of Management, Wilfried Verstraete, to explain how credit insurance works and provide an overview of Euler Hermes' services, outlook and performance. Mr Verstraete comments that trade credit insurance helps to power the global economy because it "provides certainty", and concludes that after nearly six years of economic crisis and uncertainty: "we believe growth opportunities are beginning to emerge, with increasing demand for trade credit insurance." To view the interview go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/credit-insurance-for-safe-sustainable-business-interview-Wilfried-Verstraete.aspx.

The importance of up-to-date analysis and intelligence to guarantee favourable credit insurance terms. Michael Feldwick, Head of UK & Ireland at Tinubu Square, has published an article in Director of Finance Online, 'Software tools can help Finance Directors turn risk into opportunity,' which stresses the importance of up-to-date analysis and intelligence in helping Finance Directors identify the right customers to work with and how can trade credit management tools can help FDs to cautiously extend credit and still remain within safe limits. Mr Feldwick also advises that FDs who can leverage detailed information about their customers and their payment behaviour over the long and short term are most likely to guarantee favourable credit insurance terms, guarantees of bank credit and a reduction in borrowing costs. To view the article go to http://dofonline.co.uk/index.php/governance/166-governance-2010/12128-finance-director-risk-opportunity-546456.

A growing awareness of TCI in the UAE. Global Banking & Finance Review has published an article, 'Boosting Financial Flexibility', in which Euler Hermes GCC's CEO, Massimo Falcioni, advises that the GCC is underpenetrated in terms of insurance and even more so for trade credit insurance (TCI) - with a penetration of just 0.004%. He comments: “The reasons for this are culturally related because as of today, there is still not much awareness on TCI and the most common tool used is Letter of Credit, which will not be sustainable in the long run due to its high cost and time consuming procedure.” However, the situation is now changing, and increased levels of risks are now boosting the demand for trade credit insurance solutions. To view the article go to http://www.globalbankingandfinance.com/boosting-financial-flexibility/.

CIFS' provides an update on its Integrated Collections policy. CIFS has advised that a major review of its Integrated Collections policy has found that the value of policyholders’ debts recovered by CIFS’ collections partner, STA International, has risen to 68% of the amount placed – substantially in excess of the industry norm which currently stands at around 45% of debts placed by value. In addition, since 2011, when CIFS’ Integrated Collections policy was launched, the average value of debts placed with STA has risen by nearly 50% – from £6,300 to £9,370. To view CIFS' update go to http://creditindemnity.com/integrated-collections-the-proof-its-working/.

The Financial Times has published an article which readers may find interesting.
'Trade credit insurance to the rescue:
Humdrum mechanism could mitigate risk of securitising EU banks’ SME lending,' by John Dizard was published on 17 April 2014. The full article can be found at: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8df15eb0-bbdf-11e3-84f1-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2zhWM0vu5. © THE FINANCIAL TIMES LTD 2014.

Coface wins award for 'Best Credit Insurance Company in Italy. Coface has announced that it has won the award for The Best Credit Insurance Company in Italy in 2013 at the recent Milano Finanza Insurance & Previdenza Awards and are also particularly delighted to be recognised as Elite Credit Insurance Company 2014. To view Coface's news release go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Coface-named-Elite-Credit-Insurance-Company-at-the-Milano-Finanza-Insurance-Previdenza-Awards.

Credit Insurance Reports
Euler Hermes takes stock of the Construction sector in France. Euler Hermes has taken stock of the construction sector in France with a new report which analyses the problems and areas for potential growth for the French economy - provided the right support measures are in place. The report advises that the number of business failures in construction remains very high: 15,500 in 2013 - 25% of all failures - although the number of failures is now stabilising. Construction is a linchpin of the French economy, representing 5% of GDP and employing 1.3 million people - around 5% of the active population. To view Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/Construction-high-potential-sector-French-economy-need-targeted-support-measures.aspx.

Markel advises that the Russian-Ukrainian crisis highlights the importance of trade credit and political risk insurance. Markel International has published an article, 'Market reaction to Russian-Ukrainian crisis', which advises that while the outlook for the trade credit and political risk insurance market are, "as opaque as the outcomes for the diplomatic and political situation", Markel anticipates seeing some trends develop. This includes: increased pricing on Russian risks, possible payment delays or losses in Ukraine hitting the insurance market and US banks and other financial institutions taking a more cautious view on Russian risks compared to their European counterparts. The article also comments that the crisis exposes some of the risks of investing in emerging markets and consequently highlights the importance of trade credit and political risk insurance. To view Markel's article go to http://www.markelinternational.com/regions/london-market/products-and-expertise/Extra/Cover-stories/Market-Reaction-to-Russian-Ukrainian-Crisis/.

Euler Hermes advises that Italian wine production is holding firm in the midst of a dramatic transformation of the wine world. Euler Hermes has published an industry report on the wine industry in Italy which advises that Italy is still the number 1 wine producer in the world, despite a fast changing global panorama in which the centre of gravity of the "planet wine" keeps moving towards the New World (i.e away from the European countries traditionally associated with the wine culture). However, Italian wine production has dropped by 13% in volume between 2000 and 2013, a decline which contrasts strongly with that of Chile - which saw 92% growth in wine production between 2000 and 2012. Australia, South Africa and China also saw significant growth with increases in wine production of 67.5%, 57.6% and 41.7% respectively over the same time period. To view Euler Hermes' report go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/Lists/mediacenter-documents/Industry-Report-Italy-Wine-Industry-April14.pdf.

Coface advises that insolvencies in Central and Eastern Europe 2013 have reached a new peak. Coface has published a new Panorama which shows that companies in the CEE region faced a challenging year in 2013. As a result nearly 70,000 companies in the region were insolvent in 2013, an increase of +5% compared with last year (itself a record year). Bulgaria recorded the highest increase in insolvencies:+39%, with 834 cases. The top-performing sectors were IT, education and Healthcare. Sectors lagging behind included construction, wholesale and retail trade. To view Coface's news release go to http://www.cofaceuk.com/News-Publications/News/Insolvencies-in-Central-and-Eastern-Europe-2013-New-peak-with-70-000-companies-affected. To view the full report go to http://www.cofaceuk.com/News-Publications/Publications/CEE-Insolvencies-Report-2013-was-a-challenging-year-for-companies-in-Eastern-Europe.

Euler Hermes Economic Outlook: Hot, bright and soft spots. Euler Hermes latest Economic Outlook advises that although advanced economies are picking up speed with an expected growth of +2.0% in 2014 - the fastest since 2010, expectations have dampened on the back of the sharp revision of Russia’s growth prospects (+0.7%) as well as slowing growth outlooks for Brazil (+2.0%), Turkey (+3.0%) and South Africa (+2.8%). The full report advises that Ukraine and Turkey are political "hot spots"; Brazil, India and South Africa are "soft spots"; the US, GCC, China, Southern Europe and the UK are "bright spots" - with the UK in 2013 growing at its fastest pace since 2007. To view the Outlook go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/Lists/mediacenter-documents/EH-Economic-Outlook-Macro-Hot-bright-and-soft-spots-March-April14.pdf.

Atradius: US corporate insolvencies are expected to decrease – but will still be above pre-crisis levels. Atradius has published its latest Country Report on the US which advises that the US is back on track to achieve robust economic growth of 2.8% in 2014 and 3.1% in 2015, based on consumer spending, investments and net exports (the latter is set to increase 5.5% in 2014 and by 6.2% in 2015). In addition, business insolvencies are expected to decrease by 5% in 2014 after falling 17% last year, although the number of insolvencies will still remain above pre-credit crisis levels. To view the report go to http://global.atradius.com/creditmanagementknowledge/usa/usa-overview.html.

Coface: Quarterly Credit Risks survey advises that emerging Asia presents a fresh source of concern. Coface has published its latest Credit Risk survey which analyses 14 sectors in three major regions of the world. In Western Europe, Coface has advised that while the recession appears to be coming to an end, it has not yet produced a significant improvement in sector risk - levels of credit risk remain particularly high in the metal, automotive and construction sectors. In North America the short-term outlook is favourable in several sectors, with the majority of sectors considered "medium risk". However, in contrast to stabilising risk in Western Europe and North America, emerging Asia presents a fresh source of concern, with the metal industry in particular downgraded to "very high risk". To view Coface's news release go to http://www.cofaceuk.com/News-Publications/News/Coface-quarterly-credit-risks-survey-14-sectors-in-3-major-regions-of-the-world.

Atradius advises how to trade successfully with the UAE. Atradius has published a report, 'Trade successfully with the UAE', which looks at ten principles that those seeking to expand their sales strategy into the UAE should follow to avoid the many pitfalls of trading in untried territory. The UAE currently ranks 23rd in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of doing business’ table and Atradius advises that the business environment is "vibrant and open". To view Atradius' report go to http://global.atradius.com/creditmanagementknowledge/publications/trade-successfully-with-uae.htmll.

Coface advises that the electronics industry in Asia shows clear dynamism but faces increased risks. Coface has published a new report which advises that although the electronics industry in Asia should now experience annual growth of over 3% to 2017, the dynamism of the sector faces new risks - confirmed by the gradual rise in unpaid invoices in the region noted by Coface. For example, in 2013, close to 3 out of 4 companies in the electronics & IT sector in Asia-Pacific experienced overdue payments, mainly in the sub-sector of electronic components and consumer electronics goods distribution. Coface provides an overview of the three main threats facing the sector, and advises that to emerge from this bad patch the Asian electronics industry must reinvent itself. To view Coface's news release go to http://www.cofaceuk.com/News-Publications/News/New-paradigm-for-the-electronics-industry-in-Asia-clear-dynamism-increased-risks.

Euler Hermes: German chemical industry faces increasing competition from Asia. According to the findings of the latest sector report by Euler Hermes, German chemical companies are still number 1 in Europe and the sector’s global leader in terms of exports. However, their lead is dwindling away: at 11%, Germany’s market share of global chemical exports means it is only 1 percentage point ahead of the US (10%) and 3 percentage points ahead of China (8%). In addition, the global market share of Chinese companies is growing at lightning speed and has tripled since 1992, while Germany’s chemical sector is steadily losing ground - down from 16% in 1992 to 11% in 2012. To view Euler Hermes' report go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Lists/NewsDocuments/Industry%20Report-Chemicals-Germany-April14.pdf.

Coface's latest Barometer: focus on the electronics industry in Emerging Asia. Coface has published its latest sector Barometer which focuses on the electronics industry in Emerging Asia: "a region that has become in a matter of years the world’s workshop for many electronic components." However, although Asian companies in the sector symbolise the success of emerging economies and are inevitably moving up the value chain, Coface asks if they have "what it takes to limit the associated increase in risks?" To view the Barometer go to http://www.cofaceuk.com/News-Publications/Publications/Electronics-in-Asia-Sector-Barometer.

Industry Events, Offers and Training
FCIB Annual International Credit and Risk Management Summit, 11-13 May 2014. The Marriott Hotel, Munich, Germany.
If you are looking to increase your company’s visibility and turn sales leads into profits, FCIB’s Annual International Credit and Risk Management Summit in Europe is the place for you. For two days, over 100 decision-makers gather for what is the premier international industry event of the year. The Summit will include a wide range of presentations and panel discussions on global risk issues, emerging markets, compliance policies and best practices in credit, with Atradius' Andreas Tesch and John Lorié delivering the keynote address. In addition, a relaxing dinner will facilitate plenty of networking opportunities. Discounts are available for FCIB members and/or registrations before 31 March 2014. For more information and/or to register go to FCIB Annual Credit & Risk Management Summit.

ICTF's International Credit Professionals Symposium, 11-13 May 2014. Hotel Princess Sofia, Barcelona.
This truly global conference will feature presentations by renowned experts from China, France, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, UK and the USA; including a Keynote Address from Ludovic Subran, Group Chief Economist & Director Economic Research Department with Euler Hermes and 'Hot in Asia' from Bart Poublon, Head of Risk Asia Pacific with Atradius. Other Conference highlights include 'Trade Finance and Credit Management - The Next Dimension!', 'The Journey to Creating a Best in Class Credit Function' and 'ICTF's Trade Creditors Global Forum'. For more information visit http://www.ictfworld.org/BlankCustom.asp?page=Barcelona2014 or contact Tim Lane at tim.lane@ictfworld.org or +44 (0) 1869 277523.

3rd Annual Mongolia Trade & Commodity Finance Conference, 13 May. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
GTR is delighted to announce that the Mongolia Trade & Commodity Finance Conference will return to Ulaanbaatar in May 2014 for the third edition of this annual series, the only such event for the Mongolian trade and commodity finance community. Building on the success of the 2013 conference, which welcomed 175 delegates from 13 different countries, the 2014 event will once again provide an unrivalled platform for discussion and debate with the region’s leading local businesses and trade finance practitioners. With its focus on Mongolia’s mining, minerals and vast commodity-led growth, this will be the key trade gathering for the country’s senior business leaders, providing timely insight on the challenges facing the local banking and private sectors, as well as offering perspectives from the industry’s key supporting actors. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Australia Trade & Export Finance Conference, 13-14 May. Sydney, Australia.
GTR (Global Trade Review), the leading trade, commodity and export finance media company, is delighted to announce that it will be holding the inaugural Australia Trade & Export Finance Conference in Sydney, Australia on May 13-14, 2014. Building on the success of GTR’s global event portfolio, the event will bring Australia’s leading trade bodies and companies of all sizes (multinationals, mid-cap and SMEs), as well as top financial institutions, together to discuss how best to increase Australian export volumes in light of the various economic challenges faced. Huge emphasis will be placed on the importance of networking, where an abundance of such opportunities will be provided over the course of the event. Delegates will also have the opportunity to plan and organise private meetings with fellow attendees prior to the conference via the pre-event networking website. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15. Click here for more information or contact gnaughton@exportagroup.com.

6th Annual East Africa Trade & Commodity Finance Conference, 22-23 May. Nairobi, Kenya.
GTR is delighted to once again return to Nairobi for the largest gathering of trade finance specialists in East Africa. The 6th Annual East Africa Trade & Commodity Finance Conference will bring together domestic, regional and international trade leaders to explore the latest developments, challenges and key issues facing this exciting and lucrative market. Huge emphasis will be placed on the importance of networking, where an abundance of such opportunities will be provided over the course of the event. Delegates will also have the opportunity to plan and organise private meetings with fellow attendees prior to the conference via the pre-event networking website. Be sure not to miss out on 2014’s only true industry meeting. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15. Click here for more information or contact gnaughton@exportagroup.com.

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.

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.

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 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
Late payment remains a concern for UK SMEs despite improving economy. According to the latest research from the Forum of Private Business, despite positive news on the UK economy the continuing culture of late payment remains a concern for many small businesses. In the organisation's latest banking and finance survey, 23% of members reported an increase in late payment over the past year compared with just 3% who reported a decrease. 29% have also seen an increase in the average number of days beyond the deadline that a payment is made late whilst 8% reported a decrease, and 19% have seen an increase in both elements of late payment. To view the FPB's news release go to http://www.fpb.org/news/2682/Late_payment_remains_a_concern_for_SMEs_despite_improving_economy_says_Forum.htm.

The number of Scottish companies failing has risen by 70.6% year-on-year. According to analysis of the latest figures by BDO, the number of Scottish firms failing in the first quarter of 2014 rose by 70.6%. The latest Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) figures show that 244 Scottish companies went bust during the first quarter, compared with 143 in Q1 of 2013. The numbers also increased by 6.6% compared with Q4 of 2013. Bryan Jackson, business restructuring partner with BDO, explained: "The rise in the number of corporate insolvencies in the first quarter is unwelcome, but predictable, news." He continued: "I believe that we will still be seeing elevated levels of corporate failure as a result of the recession for the next four to five years when increased interest rates take their toll." To view BDO's news release go to http://www.bdo.co.uk/press/number-of-scots-firms-failing-rose-by-70.6-year-on-year.

Power shift to the East. A radical shift in the league table of economies around the world. PwC has published a new report, 'Shift in global economic power', which advises that while the distinction between the E7 and G7 economies remains important, so are the divergences which are opening up within them. For example, Italy’s economy is the same size as it was in 2000 in real terms, whilst Canada’s has expanded by over 30%. China’s economy has tripled in size whilst Mexico’s has “only” grown by a third. As a result, the global economy will look very different in a decade’s time; and by 2030 PwC estimate that the E7’s purchasing power will overtake that of the G7, with China becoming the biggest economy in the world. To view PwC's news release go to http://www.pwc.co.uk/en_UK/uk/issues/megatrends/issues/shift-in-global-economic-power.jhtml.

94 days is the limit for late payers. Latest analysis from Lovetts indicates that UK businesses are waiting an average of 94 days post invoice due date before admitting defeat and using the threat of legal action through a Letter Before Action (LBA) issued by their solicitor to prompt payment on overdue invoices. Lovetts has also calculated that the average amount being chased through LBAs is £4,500. The news follows recent reports from the Forum of Private Business that SMEs spend 130 hours a year chasing payments. In 80% of cases an LBA or Late Payment Demand (LPD) prompts payment. To view Lovetts' news release go to http://www.lovetts.co.uk/news/94-days-is-the-limit-for-late-payers.aspx.

Business relations with suppliers are at five year low as payment terms lengthen. According to a new study by Bibby Financial Services (BFS), just 8% of UK businesses reported good relationships with suppliers in the final months of 2013, compared to 50% of firms in Q4 2009. At the same time, 9% said debtors were making prompt payments at the end of 2013, compared to 19% in 2009, putting a significant number of businesses in danger of falling through the ‘payment gap’. David Postings, UK CEO at BFS, said the data charted a five year decline in two key areas for SME firms; ensuring good terms with suppliers and being paid on time to help support a stable cashflow. To view BFS' news release go to http://www.bibbyfinancialservices.com/meta/press/news/2014/4/supplier-relations-worsen.aspx.

Highest first quarter profit warnings since 2011 - despite the UK economy gathering momentum. According to Ernst & Young’s latest Profit Warnings report, the economy picked up speed in first quarter of this year but so did the number of profit warnings, with UK quoted companies issuing 74 warnings in Q1 - 1 more warning than the previous quarter and the highest first quarter total since 2011. Just over a quarter of warnings cited adverse exchange rates, against an average 3% in the previous four quarters, and nearly 20% companies cited "pressure on pricing’" in their profit warning, compared with a five-year average of 6%. FTSE sectors issuing the highest number of profit warnings in Q1 2014 were FTSE Support Services (12), FTSE Food Producers (5) and FTSE General Retailers (5). To view E&Y's news release go to http://www.ey.com/UK/en/Newsroom/News-releases/14-04-28---Highest-first-quarter-profit-warnings-since-2011-despite-economy-gathering-momentum.

UK economic optimism at all-time record high. New research from Grant Thornton's International Business Report (IBR), a survey of more than 3,300 businesses in 45 economies, reveals that UK business optimism is at its highest level since the report began in 1992. Globally all regions report a surge in optimism, despite a slowing of growth in some emerging economies. The data suggests that the recovery is moving onto a more sustainable footing and, with economic uncertainty declining, the hope is that businesses will renew investment in the coming months to ensure long-term growth. To view Grant Thornton's news release go to http://www.grant-thornton.co.uk/en/Media-Centre/News/2014/UK-economic-optimism-at-all-time-record-high-but-fears-remain-over-skills-shortage-/.

Liquidations in England and Wales increase by 4.8% on the previous quarter. The Insolvency Service latest statistics showing company liquidations in the first quarter of 2014 show that there were 3,721 compulsory liquidations and creditors’ voluntary liquidations in total in England and Wales. This was an increase of 4.8% on the previous quarter, and 4.9% more than the same quarter in 2013. In the 12 months ending Q1 2014, 1 in 167 active companies (or 0.6% of all active registered companies) went into liquidation, down from 1 in 165 in the 12 months ending Q4 2013. Overall, the liquidation rate remains low compared to a peak of 2.6% in 1993, and the average of 1.2% seen over the last 25 years. However, it should be noted that the number of active companies has changed considerably over this period: there were 2.7 million active registered companies in Q1 2014; this compares with only about 900,000 in the early 1990s and fewer than 800,000 in 1986. For more information go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/insolvency-statistics-january-to-march-2014.

The CBI advises that the economic outlook for the next three months is exceptionally strong and broad-based. According to the latest CBI Growth Indicator, the UK economy grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2014, with predictions of even stronger growth in the next quarter. Output rose from the eight-month low recorded in the previous month, and remains well above average, indicating that the UK’s economic recovery is steadily advancing. Growth strengthened across the retail and service sectors, while manufacturing output growth remained solid. The outlook for the next three months is exceptionally strong and broad-based, with growth expectations the strongest since the data began in 2003. To view the CBI's news release go to http://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2014/04/uk-recovery-remains-solid-cbi-growth-indicator/.

Career Opportunities
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, Bristol. £28,000 - £50,000 per year plus additional benefits.
Cameron James Professional Recruitment are currently looking for an experienced Credit Insurance Account Executive now wanting to join a company which will allow you to meet you career ambitions in an environment which suits your style of working. This is an ideal role for an Executive who is experienced and competent in both development and servicing of accounts now wanting to make a careful move in the right direction. Our client is a reputable broker with a focus on quality, customer service and drive for results. The successful candidate will ideally have Credit Insurance experience, a good working knowledge of the industry and will be looking to work in a culture where the focus is on results through service. Experience with meeting new business targets is essential. To apply, please email jayne.moss@cameron-james.co.uk. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Credit Risk Analyst/Underwriter, Atradius. Hong Kong (for training purposes) before transferring to Taipei on a permanent basis. Excellent salary and benefits.
Atradius Credit Insurance N.V. is looking for a Credit Risk Analyst/Underwriter to join the Risk Services team for the North Asia team. The role will be initially begin in Hong Kong with a view to be relocated and based in Taipei, Taiwan within 12 months. Duties include: analyzing credit risk of listed corporations, large enterprises and SMEs in a number of Asian countries; setting appropriate strategies on companies and underwriting credit limit decisions; managing a number of trade sectors with the view to become an expert in those industries; presenting detailed review reports to the credit committee on large size cases. Candidates should be university graduates with a bachelor degree or above focusing in finance, accounting, economics or business administration and have 2 to 5 years of work experience in a relevant field. Flexibility in work travels, excellent writing skills and fluency in English and the ability to read Chinese and speak Mandarin are also required. An ability to understand and speak Taiwanese Hokkien will be looked upon favourably. You are invited to send in your application by email to Tommy Yu (tommy.yu@atradius.com). Please attach in your application: Resume, cover letter, salary expectations and academic transcript. (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 Trade Credit Underwriter, London. Salary to £85,000.
This trade credit insurer based in London is looking for an underwriter to join their commercial team. This role will be focusing on larger clients throughout the UK with some based in Europe through a network of brokers based in London and the UK. You will be responsible for developing broker relationships, marketing the products on offer, pricing and pitching to win the business as well as ensuring that existing clients get excellent service. In that respect you’ll be both account managing and generating new business through your broker relationships. Ideally you should have spent some time working within Risk Underwriting as the company align their Risk Underwriters very closely with their Commercial Underwriters, but empower their commercial underwriters to have full decision making autonomy. This firm have a very healthy risk appetite and are looking to continue to grow the book. If you’re interested in this opportunity please contact Kerren Leach on kerren.leach@eamesconsulting.com or 0207 092 3283 / 07841 917187. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Associate Director, Political Risk. London.
An exciting opportunity as arisen with a leading insurance brokers based in the city. My client are seeking an Associate Director to join their Political Risk team. Working with a new team Director on new business, planning, client development, presentation, enquiries and placements. You will be broking with both Lloyds and company markets, exposure will also likely to be gained with multilaterals. Utilising their political risk platforms to best client advantage. You will be assisting the team in managing new and existing policies, in particular premium endorsements. Ideally you will be a university graduate having gained 2.1 in Economics, Law or Social Sciences. Fluent in other languages will also be desired. You will have at least 5 years experience in the Political Risk Market from either a broking or underwriting in the banking and trading space. Strong negotiation and interpersonal skills with a commercial desire to develop in a hard working and dynamic team. If you feel you have the relevant skills and experience, please apply within. If you would like to discuss this further, please call Paul Hurrell on 0207 220 4777 or email paul.hurrell@reedglobal.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Political Risk Broker, London.
An exciting opportunity as arisen with a leading insurance brokers based in the city. My client are seeking a Political Risk Broker to join their ever growing team. Initially working with a new team on client development and enquiries. You will be broking with both Lloyds and company markets, exposure will also likely to be gained with multilaterals. Developing relationships with these markets will be key. Developing a feel for good risks and bad and benchmarking pricing in order to service client better. Ideally you will be a university graduate having gained 2.1 in Economics, Law or Social Sciences. Fluent in other languages will also be desired. You will have at least 2 years experience in the Political Risk Market from either a broking or underwriting background. Strong interpersonal skills with a commercial desire to develop in a hard working and dynamic team. If you feel you have the relevant skills and experience, please apply within. If you would like to discuss this further, please call Paul Hurrell on 0207 220 4777 or email paul.hurrell@reedglobal.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Client Manager, Aon Trade Credit. Reading. Competitive salary, plus a comprehensive benefits package.
Aon is currently recruiting a Client Manager to join our Trade Credit team based in Reading. As a Client Manager some of your key responsibilities will involve: Under instruction and direction of 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. Assisting with preparation for Policy renewals. Where appropriate liaise with Aon network on Global Client outward/inward business. Developing and improving the day to day client relationship and client experience. Providing advice to clients and colleagues on market developments and sharing knowledge of market trends to enhance the overall value proposition. As a Client Manager your skills and qualifications will ideally include: Educated to A Level standard or equivalent, with work experience in Credit Management, trade finance, and or international affairs. An understanding of, and interest in, the Insurance market. CII progress and an understanding of the client including risks, strategic and financial drivers would be advantageous An enthusiastic and innovative Team player, with the ability to handle significant workflow through efficient time management. To apply, please contact Samantha Cook at samantha.cook@aon.co.uk or call 0207 0860181. (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 are 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).

Political and Credit Risk Brokers.
An exciting opportunity has arisen with a successful brokers based in the city. Due to expansion and company growth they are seeking Political and Credit Risk brokers to build and maintain their portfolio of business. Principal tasks would include: Preparing market submissions and placing documentation, maintaining clear, accurate and comprehensive files reflecting the transactions undertaken on behalf of clients and communicating with clients and responding to questions. Candidates should have sufficient knowledge and understanding of financial analysis, accounting statements as well as a good knowledge and understanding of political and economic developments globally. Applicants must also have a good working knowledge of the UK regulatory requirements as they affect the business of the Political and Credit Risk business, and an awareness of legal and jurisdictional requirements in relevant territories. Knowledge of foreign languages is a bonus. If you feel you have the relevant skills and experience, please call Paul Hurrell on 0207 220 4777 or email paul.hurrell@reedglobal.com if you would like to discuss this further. (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).

Credit Insurance Underwriter, Atradius Singapore. Excellent salary and benefits.
A position is available for a Credit Insurance Underwriter at Atradius' Singapore office. The role includes analysing credit risk of SMEs, large enterprises and listed corporations across Japan for domestic and Global clients. The underwriter will also be responsible for setting appropriate strategies on companies/groups and underwriting credit limit decisions, managing a number of trade sectors with the view to become an expert in those industries and building relationships with Brokers, customers and buyers in the region. Prospective candidates should be university graduates with a bachelor degree or above focusing in finance, accounting, economics or business administration; and minimum of 3 years of work experience in a relevant field; good knowledge of the Japan market would be considered an advantage. Excellent writing skills and fluency in English is a must, as is the ability to read and speak Japanese on a professional level. To apply, please email anthony.rasera@atradius.com. (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' Supervisory Board has announced two changes of responsibility for the Group board of management and a nomination that expands that board from five to six members. Gerd-Uwe Baden is appointed to a newly-created board position responsible for business development and partnerships. Frédéric Bizière, current chief financial officer, becomes responsible for risks, information and claims, as well as Euler Hermes Re. Clarisse Kopff, Euler Hermes Group head of finance, is nominated to the Euler Hermes Group board of management and is promoted to chief financial officer. All appointments are effective immediately.

Markel International has appointed Simon Philpin as underwriter and senior risk analyst in its trade credit division. Based in London, Simon will be responsible for servicing the existing client portfolio, business development and strategic planning. Simon joins from Equinox Global, where he was employed in 2013 following 11 years at Atradius, as a senior risk underwriter in the “intensive care unit”, at its UK Head Office in Cardiff. He has an MBA from the University of South Wales, where he lectures on credit analysis techniques.

Other Appontments. Crédito y Caución has announced that it has appointed Daniel Nobre as CEO of its Brazil operation. Aon’s credit and political risk team in Asia has advised that it has appointed Christina Chua as assistant regional director in Singapore.

About this issue's sponsor: CBF
Founded in the year 2000, Credit & Business Finance (CBF) has quickly gained a top position in the UK Independent Broking League for Trade Risk Solutions, thanks to the quality of its staff’s specialist credit insurance expertise.
Offering impartial advice and qualified guidance on Credit Insurance policies and risk mitigation to businesses in the UK and Ireland, CBF enables its clients to trade confidently in any economic climate, by providing access to the latest risk assessment and protection tools. Not only are policies tailored to clients’ specific needs, business objectives, strategy and risk philosophy, but the company’s experience in a wide variety of industries ensures valuable sector-specific knowledge is available to many different types of business.
CBF is well-known for its success rates in claims payments and increasing Credit Limits, while its portfolio of credit management options supports finance opportunities as well as generally improving credit control procedures.
To find out more about how CBF can add value to your business, contact the team on 01279 722555 or email info@cbfb.co.uk.

GTCA – Global Trade Credit Alliance
Founded by CBF along with a number of international credit insurance specialists, the Global Trade Credit Alliance (GTCA) exists to provide credit insurance specifically for multinationals, offering tailored policies for subsidiary companies – delivering all the benefits of specific local knowledge along with the ease, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of a single point of contact.
The GTCA network spans the UK, Ireland, USA, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Turkey, Poland, Argentina and Canada. Each member is an independent Credit Insurance broker at the forefront of their profession, with many years of experience and invaluable insight into their country’s financial systems and processes.
For more information on the GTCA’s portfolio of integrated risk management products for multinationals, visit www.gtca.co.

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