| Welcome to issue 35 of Credit Insurance News Digest, 3 March 2014. This issue is kindly sponsored by UK Credit Insurance Specialists.
Credit Insurance News
Trade credit insurance usage is soaring - although the number of US companies using this insurance remains far less than in Europe. Global Finance has published an article which provides an overview of the global increase in the use of trade credit insurance products - especially in the US. Michael Kornblau, US trade-credit practice leader at Marsh, advises that while global trade credit insurance premiums tallied $9 billion in 2012, with a 13% surge in premiums in Asia (to reach $1 billion), and a 7% jump in the US (to $700 million), Europe retained the major share of policyholders at $6 billion - even with just a 3% hike in premiums in 2012. The article also examines the entrance of new players offering non-cancellable coverage, as well as the monoline insurers’ expanded array of products. To view the article go to http://www.gfmag.com/archives/184-february-2014/12912-risk-management-insuring-trade-credit.html#ixzz2scZo3TpH.
- Credit Insurance News
- Credit Insurance Reports
- Industry Events and Offers
- Business Info: Recommended Reports and UK Retailers: Who's UP/Who's DOWN
- Career Opportunities and New Appointments
- About this issue's sponsor
North American brokers are missing out on big opportunities in the Trade Credit Insurance market. MyNewMarkets.com has published an article, 'Brokers Missing Out on Big Opportunities in Trade Credit Insurance Market', which advises that agents and brokers who are not selling trade credit insurance are not only missing huge opportunities, but also opening themselves up to errors and omission (E&O) exposures. According to Mark Attley, president of the Receivables Insurance Association of Canada (RIAC), North America has a service-driven economy and most of these industries can benefit from trade credit insurance. "Our biggest challenge is not really a new one,” commented Kerstin Braun, executive vice president in the North America region for Coface. “It’s to make the agents and brokers and the business community aware of this product.” To view the article go to http://www.mynewmarkets.com/articles/182036/brokers-missing-big-opportunities-trade-credit-insurance-market.
Insurers are positive about new trade credit business in 2014 - although some concerns remain. TFR (Trade & Forfaiting Review) has published an article which advises that the trade credit insurance members of ICISA have reported that in 2013 new business growth was negatively influenced by the ongoing economic and political conditions around the world. However, they are optimistic of resurgence in 2014, with growth expected in Asia, NAFTA, southern Europe, Germany and Russia. Robert Nijhout, ICISA’s executive director, told TFR that while the main focus of its members markets has traditionally been OECD risk, the larger ones – spearheaded by the ‘big three’ in the form of Coface, Euler Hermes and Atradius – are turning to emerging markets where demand is buoyant. “There is a huge appetite in Asia, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe – we are seeing a lot of growth there,” he said. To view the full article go to http://www.tfreview.com/news/risk/insurers-positive-about-new-trade-credit-business-2014-although-some-concerns-remain. (Note: TFR is currently offering readers of Credit Insurance News Digest a 15% discount on its annual subscription).
Receivables Insurance Canada aims to double the size of the credit insurance market in Canada. Trade Financing Matters has published an article, 'Promoting Receivables Insurance – Interview with Mark Attley of Receivables Insurance Canada', in which Mr Attley discusses the aims of the Receivables Insurance Canada. He advises: "Our mandate is to double the size of the credit insurance market in Canada. Less than 1% of Canadian companies currently utilize receivables insurance as part of their financial planning – or less than 10,000 of Canada’s 1.1 million employer businesses. That compares to market penetration rates of up to 30% in European countries with long trading traditions, and 15% in the US. The perception is trade credit insurance is expensive." The article also reports that in 2012 GWP was $208 million and that right now the average policy premium is roughly $32,000. To view the article go to http://spendmatters.com/tfmatters/promoting-receivables-insurance-interview-mark-attley-receivables-insurance-canada/.
EFCIS launches a new collection service, ICBA TradePay. EFCIS has announced that it has launched a new service, TradePay, a collection solution which works using the creditor’s statutory rights in the late payment legislation (i.e. creditors are entitled to recover costs and interest from the debtor for debts incurred after 16 March 2013). In simple terms, if ICBA TradePay successfully collects both the debt and the costs and interest from the debtor the creditor has nothing to pay. If the debtor refuses to pay the costs and interest - and it is not financially viable to recover these through the Courts - the creditor pays ICBA TradePay 6% of any amount collected subject to a minimum fee of £25.00. For more information, please go to http://origin.library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1106567940320-415/TradePay+QA+final.pdf.
Euler Hermes UK brochure and video explains the new 'SmartView' service. Following the launch of Euler Hermes' new service, SmartView, in Belgium and the UK (see Credit Insurance News Digest: 6 February 2014), Euler Hermes UK has published both a video and brochure to explain the new service. EH Smartview, which provides customers with a dashboard summarising their main credit insurance KPIs (e.g., buyer portfolio risk profile, total exposure by month, global acceptance rate for active credit limits), also allows information to be tailored and filtered so that customers can readily access the specific information they require. Policyholders can access EH SmartView through Euler Hermes’ customer portal, EOLIS. (Note: A free trial of EH SmartView is currently available). For more information go to http://www.eulerhermes.co.uk/Pages/EH-SmartView.aspx.
Credit Insurers' growth in traditional markets expected to be flat. ICISA has published an article which appeared in Insurance Day, 'Asia still at forefront of trade credit growth opportunities', which reports that Robert Nijhout, ICISA’s executive director, has advised Insurance Day that Asia remains at the forefront of the growth agenda for international trade credit insurers in 2014, with the market “cautiously optimistic” for the year ahead. He advised: "the most important growth markets for trade credit will be Asia, and in particular China, the US, Latin America, central and eastern Europe, which is booming, and Russia. . . In the traditional western European market – countries such as France, Germany, Ireland and the UK – we expect growth to be flat.” To view the full article on ICISA's website go to http://www.icisa.org/press-coverage-overview/1562/.
Coface to sell its credit insurance solutions directly in Columbia. Coface has announced that it has just obtained a license from the local regulatory bodies enabling it to sell its credit insurance solutions directly in Columbia. Jean-Marc Pillu, Chief Executive Officer of Coface, commented: “Coface continues its growth in the emerging economies. After Ghana in 2012 and Indonesia in 2013, we are focusing on Latin America as a region strategic for Coface and in which we have maintained our leadership position. Colombia has enormous growth potential: today only 500 companies use credit insurance." To view Coface's news release go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Coface-launches-a-direct-offering-in-Colombia.
Euler Hermes in partnership with Allianz Malaysia launches trade credit insurance for HSBC customers. Euler Hermes and HSBC have announced that Euler Hermes will become the exclusive supplier of trade credit insurance products to HSBC Commercial Banking customers in Malaysia. Policies will be issued by Euler Hermes’ local partner Allianz General Insurance Company (Malaysia) Berhad (“Allianz General”), a sister company of Euler Hermes within the Allianz Group. To view Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/partnership-with-Allianz-Malaysia-launches-trade-credit-insurance-HSBC-Malaysia-customers.aspx.
Career prospects in the trade credit market in 2014. The REED e-newsletter Insurance Connect has published a recent interview with Kerren Leach, REED's credit insurance recruitment specialist, in which Kerren advises that following a turbulent period over the last few years, there now seems to be a slow recovery taking place in the trade credit insurance sector. However, Kerren adds the industry has changed, becoming increasingly tailored to clients’ requirements: "customers are more discerning and look for more complex solutions as opposed to off-the-shelf packages, which were previously the norm." As a result, the outlook for the industry is now good (with 10% growth predicted until 2016), although Kerren cautions that this uplift may not feed into the credit insurance job market until 2015. To view the article click here.
Trade credit insurance claims picture differs widely per country. ICISA's latest update and outlook on the trade credit insurance industry has found that the claims picture in 2013 differed per country with average claims size decreasing in Western Europe, NAFTA and Brazil, while the average claim size was larger in Asia, Northern Europe, Spain and Portugal. Andreas Tesch, vice president of ICISA, also explained that: “currently the trend in insolvencies shows an increase in most European countries, as well as in some Latin markets, while decreasing insolvencies are reported for some EU countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Romania and the UK, and for main markets in Asia, North America, South Africa and Russia”. To view ICISA's news release go to http://www.icisa.org/press-releases/files_content/ICISA%20-%20PRESS%20RELEASE%20-%20OUTLOOK%202014%20(FEBR2014).pdf.
Euler Hermes increases its participation in Euler Hermes Hellas (Greece) from 80% to 100%. The minority interests had been held by Groupama Phoenix and Alpha Bank. “Euler Hermes’ strengthened presence in Greece reflects the openness of the country for business,” said Michele Pignotti, head of Euler Hermes Mediterranean countries, Middle East and Africa. “Greece has been one of the Eurozone countries that responded positively to a majority of the OECD structural reform recommendations. Vassili Christidis, CEO of Euler Hermes Greece, commented: ”While our underwriting approach is now moderately less restrictive for both domestic and export coverage, we remain cautious given the still-fragile economic situation.” To view Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/Euler-Hermes-increases-Greek-operations-shareholding-from-80-to-100-percent.aspx.
The collapse of 2e2 shows that credit insurance is invaluable. The Channel has published an article, 'One year on: What exactly did the 2e2 collapse teach us?', which examines the collapse of 2e2 and advises that one of the many lessons that can be drawn from the high profile failure is that "Credit insurance is invaluable." Looking back at that time, the article's writer, 2e2's former director of Project Services, remembers that at the point of 2e2's administration the distributor Arrow ECS was owed £12 million. To view the full article go to http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2014/02/20/what_we_learned_from_2e2_collapse/.
Congratulations to our all our readers who were nominated or received awards at the recent ICM British Credit Awards. This year's winners included: Coface, who won the award for Credit Insurer of the Year; CoCredo, who were named Credit Information Provider of the Year; Oval Insurance Broking who won the Award for Credit Insurance Broker of the Year. For a list of all winners and photos of the night go to http://www.icmbritishcreditawards.com/static/2014-winners-gallery.
Congratulations to Euler Hermes. Global Banking and Finance Review has named Euler Hermes 'Fastest Growing Credit Insurance Company GCC' in 2014, for the second consecutive year. To view Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/award-Euler-Hermes-again-named-Fastest-Growing-Trade-Credit-Insurance-Company-GCC.aspx.
Credit Insurance Reports
Reducing ‘days sales outstanding’ is still considered the area with the greatest need for improvement by UK businesses. Tinubu Square has announced the findings of new research it has conducted with the ICM into risk management operations across UK businesses. The findings reveal that despite the huge efforts made by UK businesses in the years following the financial crisis, reducing days sales outstanding is still considered the area with the greatest need for improvement in their risk management operations at 24.3%. Gaining detailed intelligence on the credit worthiness of customers followed some way behind at 14.4%, while only 2% of those surveyed regarded improving their value with a credit insurer or bank as their greatest area for improvement. To view Tinubu Square's news release go to http://www.tinubu.com/tinymcefilemanager/file/2014-02-27_15-54-54_tinubu_icm_research_27_2_14.pdf.
Atradius' latest Market Monitor on the construction sector finds stark contrasts between the industries’ performance in different countries. For example, for the UK, the report shows cautious optimism – and refers to a ‘silver lining’ for the future of the industry, with building activity growing in many segments and falling insolvencies. A similar picture can be seen in the US, with visible growth in both residential and commercial building and insolvencies now at their lowest level since 2007. However, in contrast, in France and Belgium insolvencies are on a steep upward path. In France, the level of insolvencies in the construction industry is extremely high, while Belgium saw a 19% rise in construction bankruptcies in 2013. In the Netherlands too, the industry is dogged by low consumer demand and an overcapacity of non-residential buildings. To view the report go to http://global.atradius.com/creditmanagementknowledge/market-monitor/latest-market-monitor.html.
Euler Hermes' Payment Behaviour Survey finds that Chinese firms pay quickly by international standards and give longer credit to foreign customers than domestic buyers. Average days sales outstanding (DSO) did not exceed two months in most sectors (exceptions include the energy and construction sectors), and 6 out of 10 firms managed to reduce their DSO in 2013. The survey also found that even though domestic trade payment terms are generally relatively restrictive, Chinese corporates are more flexible when extending credit to overseas customers: while 75% of firms offered credit of less than two months to domestic customers in 2013, a much lower level (62%) did so for foreign customers. For 90% of firms surveyed, the main cause of overdue payments was their customers’ financial difficulties. However, use of credit insurance remains low compared to the export trade - although a growing number of Chinese companies are now turning to the product. To view Euler Hermes' survey, Economic Insight: Payment Behaviour in China in Feb14, please go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/Euler-Hermes-Chinese-companies-reduced-their-payment-terms.aspx.
Coface finds that French insolvencies are back to record high levels. Coface has published its latest Panorama report, which includes the Coface Barometer - a review of French insolvencies in 2013. The report finds that there were 63,452 insolvencies in 2013 (+5.3% compared to 2012), a return to the record high levels last seen at the peak of the crisis when 63,204 businesses failed. The financial cost of these insolvencies (€4.82 billion) also exceeds the 2009 level (€4.7 billion). A sector by sector analysis shows that risks related to retail, services to individuals, electronics and IT-telecoms worsened in 2013. Only chemicals improved, with a 3.3% fall in insolvencies. The Panorama also focuses on the French Road Goods Transport (RGT), a key sector of the French economy, which, despite specific improvements since 2008, cannot get out of stagnation. To view Coface's Panorama go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/Publications/French-Road-Goods-Transport-RGT-between-economic-difficulties-and-structural-problems.
Atradius reports that the UAE is stable in a crisis-ridden region. Atradius has published its latest Country Report on the United Arab Emirates which advises that the UAE economy’s recovery, which began in 2010, has gained momentum since 2011 with yearly GDP growth rates of about 4% and growth of 4.4% expected this year. This rebound has so far been broad-based: with higher oil prices/production, strong growth in trade, transport, manufacturing and tourism, and government spending on new construction projects coupled with a recovery of the real estate market. Dubai’s economy, which alone accounts for 30% of the UAE economy, grew by more than 4% in 2012 and 2013. To view Atradius' Country Report go to http://global.atradius.com/creditmanagementknowledge/uae/uae-overview.html.
Euler Hermes: The two faces of the Italian crisis - fewer non-payments but more severe. Euler Hermes Italy has issued its 2014 edition of the Non-Payment Report, which has found that a second consecutive year of recession in Italy (GDP in 2013 down by –1.9%, after -2.5% in 2012) contributed to the deterioration of trade transactions among businesses and increased the severity of non-payments. While the number of non-payments decreased (frequency -18% vs. 2012), the average outstanding amounts increased (severity +9% vs. 2012). Average non-payment amounts are currently 78% above pre-crisis levels, with the steel and commodities sectors the most severely impacted. To view Euler Hermes' press release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/Euler-Hermes-The-two-faces-of-the-Italian-crisis-fewer-non-payments-2013-but-more-severe.aspx.
Industry Events, Offers and Training
Africa Trade Finance Week 2014, 17-19 March 2014. Cape Town.
Incorporating the 8th Annual Africa Trade & Export Finance Conference, Supply Chain Masterclass, Association of Corporate Treasurers South Africa Breakfast Briefing, GTR Africa Roundtable alongside numerous networking events, Africa Trade Finance Week will take place in Cape Town on March 17-19. Now recognised as the world’s leading pan-African trade gathering, having established the reputation for bringing only the most senior corporate, bankers and global policy makers together under one roof, the event will highlight the latest developments and examine both the regional and international trade flows impacting on one of the world’s most lucrative markets. Click here for more information about this event. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.
8th Annual Turkey Trade & Export Finance Conference, 25-26 March. Istanbul.
After a record breaking meeting in 2013 saw over 370 delegates gather under one roof for two days of high-level discussion and networking, the 8th Annual Turkey Trade & Export Finance Conference will return to Istanbul on March 25-26. Enjoying full recognition as the premier annual event for Turkey’s leading businesses and those trade, export and commodity financiers and associated sectors tasked with supporting their international trade, the conference will again provide deep insight on the trends and challenges being experienced by those operating in this exciting market alongside extensive networking across an international audience that remains unrivalled throughout Turkey and the wider region. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.
Credit Summit 2014, 3 April 2014. QE11 Conference Centre, London.
The UK’s largest credit show is growing. Creditors can look forward to even more cutting edge free content including the Trade Credit Conference, Insolvency Conference and training workshops. Including more than 40 exhibitors showcasing their latest innovations across the entire credit and collections market with over 500 delegates to share ideas and gain crucial market knowledge. The FCA will be providing a timely comment on the transfer of consumer credit and how they will be supervising the consumer credit industry. All this is FREE to access for all credit professionals, just visit www.creditsummit.co.uk to find out more and to register for your place.
4th Annual Latin America Trade & Commodity Finance Conference, 9-10 April. São Paulo, Brazil.
Once again providing the definitive meeting point for those high level decision makers operating in or looking to do business in Latin America, this is the most comprehensive gathering of leading trade finance practitioners in the region, and is well placed to address the abundance of opportunities and challenges this exciting region holds. Simultaneous English/Portuguese translation at the conference will allow all delegates to fully immerse themselves in proceedings. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.
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 email@example.com or +44 (0) 1869 277523.
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, 10-11 April 2014 and 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 BASIC training seminars are on 10-11 April 2014 and are open to participants with up to 3 years of work experience. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call +31 20 528 5170.
Business Information: Recommended Reports and Business Shorts
ICM UK Credit Managers’ Index shows more signs of economic recovery. According to the latest ICM Credit Managers’ Index (CMI – Q4 2013), confidence levels among UK credit managers have shown sustained signs of improvement and companies are improving the speed with which they collect the cash. With a headline index of 58.5 for Q4, the index is 1.3 points higher than the third quarter of 2013 (57.2), a 9.1 point year-on-year increase and in line with the major economic indicators (GDP up 0.7%). Philip King, Chief Executive of the ICM, says that there is much room for optimism: “There are clear signs of a recovery but a danger that they are being hampered by a slow down in credit sales, new credit applications and order book across the board." To view the ICM's news release go to http://www.icm.org.uk/icm-uk-credit-managers-index-shows-signs-economic-recovery/.
Research shows the UK towns and cities with the highest levels of corporate financial distress. New research from Begbies Traynor has revealed that as the beleaguered south west struggles with severe weather and flooding, many of the region’s coastal towns are also topping the financial distress league table. Weymouth, Dorchester and Newton Abbott all appear at the top of the list for Q4 2013, with 14.0%, 12.4% and 12.2% of their business populations facing severe financial difficulty. Torquay also features in the top ten, with 11.5% of businesses in distress- significantly above the UK average of 8.8%. In contrast, London and the South East contain eight of the ten UK locations with the lowest levels of business distress.To view Begbies Traynor's news release go to http://www.begbies-traynorgroup.com/begbies-traynor/news/14-02-17/double_blow_for_flood-hit_south_west_as_coastal_towns_top_financial_distress_league_table.aspx.
UK retail and wholesale businesses report considerable rise in confidence, however an air of caution remains. Business confidence among retail and wholesale businesses in the UK has risen dramatically compared to the same quarter a year ago, according to the latest ICAEW/Grant Thornton UK Business Confidence Monitor (BCM). However, Trevor Griffith, Partner and Head of Food and Beverage at Grant Thornton UK, cautioned: "Though it's encouraging that general retail and wholesale businesses performed well, we must not forget that for some of the large grocery retailers, things were much more subdued. Therefore while there are signs of recovery, this isn't being felt by all retailers." The BCM Confidence Index for UK business as a whole stands at +37.2, up from +31.7 in Q4 2013, a new record high. Comparably, the BCM Confidence Index for retail and wholesale stands at +34.7, a continued high level of confidence from the sector, which re has risen by +22.3 over the past year. To view Grant Thornton's news release go to http://www.grant-thornton.co.uk/en/Media-Centre/News/2014/One-year-on-retail-and-wholesale-businesses-report-considerable-rise-in-confidence-however-an-air-of-caution-remains--/.
BDO's Business Trends report indicates that UK business optimism reached its highest level for 22 years in January. The BDO Optimism Index, which predicts business performance two quarters ahead, reached 103.8 in January, up from 103.4 in December. This is the highest reading ever recorded since readings began 22 years ago and sits well above the 100.0 mark, meaning the UK is expected to outperform its long-term historical growth trend. Peter Hemington, Partner, BDO LLP, commented: "UK business confidence has hit record highs as we enter 2014 and we expect the economy to grow rapidly in the first half of the year. Companies are raising headcounts in response to rising client demand and the data suggests that the unemployment rate is likely to fall below the Bank of England's 7.0% threshold for considering raising interest rates in the very near future." To view BDO's news release go to http://www.bdo.co.uk/press/bdo-business-trends-uk-business-confidence-at-record-high.
Index reveals strong SME manufacturing performance. The latest Business Factors Index produced by Bibby Financial Services has reported that small and medium-sized enterprises saw the highest level of business activity since the Index began in 2007. Echoing the official GDP figures announced by the Office for National Statistics on 28 January, the Business Factors Index indicates record levels of growth across the board and particularly strong performances in manufacturing – helped by a strengthening domestic market – transport and haulage, and more modest growth in business services. However, activity in construction remained at the same level as Q3 2013, which is possibly a sign of the sector levelling out following 12 months of high growth, coupled with some uncertainty in the market regarding the longevity of Government-backed schemes such as Help to Buy. To view Bibby's news release go to http://www.bibbyfinancialservices.com/meta/press/news/2014/2/New-Q4-Business-Factors-Index.aspx.
28% of UK private businesses claim better financial health than before financial crisis. The UK’s small and medium sized businesses are showing encouraging signs of recovery, according to the findings of a survey by PwC. Over half of private business leaders (52%) agree that positive economic news reflects their current experience while less than two in 10 (19%) disagree. Some 28% of private business leaders say they are in better financial health than before the financial crisis. London is the most positive region with more than half (53%) of the capital’s businesses agreeing they are better off. Businesses with revenues of over £2.5 million are most positive, but businesses in the £500,000 to £1 million annual revenue bracket have also fared well. The research suggests that, as a group, businesses established for 11-15 years have generally weathered the economic storms best. To view PwC's news release go to http://pwc.blogs.com/press_room/2014/02/uk-private-businesses-look-to-the-future.html.
The strongest sales growth since March 2010. The latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor January 2014 has shown that UK retail sales were up 3.9% on a like-for-like basis from January 2013, when they had increased 1.9% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 5.4%, against a 3.0% increase in January 2013, the strongest growth since March 2010. Furniture was the top performing category, achieving its best growth since April 2006, while Other Non-Food was the key contributor to overall growth. David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: "These figures mark a strong start to the year for retailers. Most will take much from the positives and see genuine light at the end of the tunnel. However, behind the scenes some have had to discount heavily to secure these sales and will now be counting the cost of this strategy." To view KPMG's news release go to http://www.kpmg.com/UK/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/NewsReleases/Pages/BRC-KPMG-Retail-Sales-Monitor-January-2014.aspx.
Is the Tide Rising? Latest global data from the IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO). The IMF has published its latest WEO which advises that global activity strengthened during the second half of 2013. Global growth is now projected to be slightly higher at around 3.7% in 2014, rising to 3.9% in 2015. It also seems as though the euro area is turning the corner from recession to recovery (albeit an uneven one), with growth projected to strengthen to 1% in 2014 and 1.4% in 2015. In the UK, growth is expected to average 2¼% in 2014–15, although economic slack will remain high. To view the IMF's WEO go to http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2014/update/01/.
Company liquidations in England and Wales in Q4 2013 decrease by 7.4% compared to 2012. The Insolvency Service's latest statistics show that there were 3,552 compulsory liquidations and creditors’ voluntary liquidations in total in England and Wales in the fourth quarter of 2013 - a decrease of 7.4% on the previous quarter, and 7.1% less than the same quarter in 2012. This was made up of 692 compulsory liquidations (down 26.7% on the previous quarter and down 25.8% on the fourth quarter of 2012), and 2,860 creditors’ voluntary liquidations (which were down 1.1% on the previous quarter and down 1.0% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year). In total during 2013, there were 14,982 compulsory liquidations and creditors’ voluntary liquidations in total – a decrease of 7.3% compared to 2012. To view the Insolvency Service's news release go to http://www.insolvencydirect.bis.gov.uk/otherinformation/statistics/201402/index.htm.
The UK High Street: Who's UP/Who's DOWN
UP: LIBERTY, the upmarket department store owned by private equity house BlueGem, has reported a 7% (to £124 million) increase in sales for the year to February, with a 11.2% increase in sales at its flagship London store. Online sales leaped by 86%. The retailer said that trade benefited from the Channel 4 documentary 'Liberty of London' which was shown just before Christmas.
SOLID: NEW LOOK, the UK budget fashion retailer, posted a solid set of trading results for the 13 weeks to 28 December. Driven by strong online sales (up +50%), revenue rose by 5% to £452.1 million, although underlying operating profit and core earnings were flat at £64.8 million and £83.3 million respectively. The retailer now plans to open its first stores in Shanghai and Beijing in Spring 2014.
FLAT: ASDA has reported a tough Christmas and flat sales for the 12 weeks to 3 January. The supermarket saw its first fall in like-for-like sales for 3 years, reporting a 0.1% decline in comparison to a 0.3% rise in the third quarter of 2013. Although sales for the full year were up - by 0.5%, the Supermarket has lost marketshare to the discount retailers, and now holds (according to Kantar Worldpanel) 17.1% of the market compared to 17.7% a year ago.
IMPROVING: FRENCH CONNECTION. In a trading update, French Connection has announced that it has narrowed its losses during the last few months as a results of better than expected sales and a strong wholesale forward order book. Pre-tax losses are now expected to be around £4.7 million for the full year, down from a £7.2 million loss last year. The retailer's full-year results will be published on 12 March.
Credit Insurance Account Handler, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. £26,000 - £33,000 per annum.
Our Client is a leading independent insurance broker.They are looking for an experienced and client focused Credit Insurance Account Handler to join their Corporate Team.This is an office based role and you will be dealing with a wide variety of Credit clients assisting them with their requirements and broking a wide variety of related Insurance products. Key responsibilities include: Handling existing business for a portfolio of the larger end Corporate clients, Providing expert knowledge and advice to existing customers to determine the most appropriate insurance programme for their demands and needs, Negotiating terms, seeking alternative quotations with Insurers when necessary. Prospective candidates should have excellent technical knowledge, a minimum of 2 years recent credit insurance experience and excellent presentation skills. For more information please see the description on http://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/credit-insurance-account-handler/24245643?utm_campaign=agg&utm_source=workcircle&utm_medium=jobseeker_agg_workcircle_20130501&utm_content=generic or contact Colin on 0118 9533739. (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 email@example.com or call me on 0113 236 8957 to be considered. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).
Regional Director of Credit Insurance, Hong Kong. £110,000 per annum + Bonus + Benefits (Circa 12% income tax!)
My client a global leader in the Life & Health insurance space is currently looking for a senior actuary with a strong background in Credit Insurance. The development and growth of the credit lines business is a key strategic initiative and requires a senior actuary to lead the overall credit lines business covering the APAC region. The successful candidate will be responsible for all Pricing, Product Development and will play a key role in business development opportunities with external banks, F/S houses. For more information and/or to submit you CV please email Gary Rushton at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).
Still Recruiting . . .
Business Development Manager, Trade Credit. Melbourne, Australia. $75,000-90,000 plus bonuses and incentives.
Our client is a well-respected specialist trade credit insurer providing insurance services to a thriving book of clients ranging from SME to large corporates. They are currently looking for a highly motivated and sales focused individual to join their busy team to drive new business growth and contribute to the positive culture. Candidates should be passionate about building and maintaining long standing business relationships and have at least 3 years’ business development experience, with a background in trade credit insurance. The ability to build an extensive sales network with brokers and other key stakeholders and to communicate and negotiate at a senior level is a must - as is a high level of drive and enthusiasm to succeed. You will be rewarded with generous incentives that could see you earning as much as senior management, and will receive full support and training in the role to help you maximise your potential. This is a rare opportunity to join a company with a sociable and constructive culture. For a confidential discussion please call Daniel Marsh, Associate Director on 03 8640 5410, or for immediate consideration apply to email@example.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).
Credit Insurance Senior Account Handler, Kent. £29,000-31,00 (Ref:KL/111)
This is an exciting time for this Independent Insurance Brokers, and their team is expanding. They need a Credit Insurance Senior Account Handler who is professional, competent, strong and determined with tons of initiative and able to work unsupervised. This is a fast moving, fast paced working environment, so you will be kept on your toes, but never bored. This company is ranked in the top 20 Independent Insurance Brokers, with access to Lloyd's and years of experience of handling a variety of clients. The Credit Insurance Senior Account Handler should have a good knowledge of Microsoft Office applications, with a minimum of 4 years credit insurance knowledge and working experience in credit. You will have some sort of credit background, either as a Credit Controller, a credit insurer or insurance broker handling credit insurance. You will be a professional, with high standards and bags of confidence. As a Credit Insurance Senior Account Handler you should be good at client relationship building, be numerate, able to learn quickly with good attention to detail. The Credit Insurance Senior Account Handler duties will encompass providing a day to day technical, competent, responsible and efficient administrative service to clients. You will be expected to maintain good client retention levels, and comply with regulatory requirements, industry codes of practice and the company's own procedures and rules. Nova Search is working as an employment agency for this vacancy. For more information please contact Kristina@novasearch.co.uk M: 07931-371990. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).
Coface: Four Career Opportunities in Asia Pacific
Coface is a world leader in Credit Insurance and a leading provider of credit insurance solutions in Asia Pacific and has an extensive on the ground presence and coverage in all major markets. Asia Pacific is set to be a major growth driver for Coface and we wish to expand our teams with high calibre candidates for senior regional commercial and sales management positions plus a regional risk underwriting position based in Hong Kong:
We are looking for candidates who are dynamic, adaptable and quick to learn. Successful candidates will be used to working in a multicultural environment where teamwork and individual contributions are both valued highly. Prior knowledge of the region is not a prerequisite, but will be an advantage. All positions have an attractive remuneration and benefits package. Please go to http://www.coface.com.hk/About-Coface/Coface-in-Hong-Kong-Mainland-China-Taiwan/Join-Coface to view the full job descriptions, the requirements and key skills for these posts. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).
- Senior Regional Commercial Manager, Asia Pacific: Working with and through the country based sales and account management teams the successful candidate will bring strong sales management skills to drive performance and help increase our business in all our countries of presence. The role is key to strengthening our sales and account management capabilities at all levels, whether through brokers, partners or direct. In addition the successful candidate will guide, support and advise on closing deals where necessary.
- Regional Sales Manager, Global Solutions, Asia Pacific: Selling the full range of Coface credit insurance solutions to a target list of the top multinational companies in Asia Pacific, the successful candidate will bring in depth knowledge of and proven success in selling B2B solutions to complex organisations in a multicultural and multinational environment. He or she must be able to develop and execute strategic account sales plans, develop strong relationships at all levels within the target companies and be confident in discussing with and making presentations to senior management and boards of major corporations.
- Regional Commercial Underwriter, Asia Pacific: Acting as the ‘Center of Excellence’ for all credit insurance products in Asia Pacific, the successful candidate must have comprehensive knowledge in the perspectives of documentation, standards and tariffications, as well as related markets of the credit insurance products in the Asia Pacific region. This role also requires strong capability to coordinate internally plus the excellent communication, negotiation and presentation skills.
- Regional Risk Underwriting, Asia Pacific: Apart from underwriting of credit limits and review of exposures in Asia Pacific, the successful candidate is expected to proactively identify high or deteriorating risk as well as to identify resource gaps and requirements within the AP Underwriting team. To succeed in this role, the candidate should be well versed in rules and regulations related to financial institutions plus the excellent analytical, communication, and project management skills.
Trade Credit Account Executive (Ref; 23582378). London. £35,000-£70,000 per annum, negotiable.
An opportunity which now exists within the growing Trade Credit team of a major UK broker. You will have specialised in the field of Trade Credit insurance and have a broker based client facing/servicing background. You might also have experience/knowledge of Political Risks business although this is by no means essential. Our client's accounts are corporate although they will also consider individuals with SME Trade Credit account experience. Salary will be dependent upon experience and what you have to "bring to the party". For more information go to http://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/trade-credit-account-executive-london/23582378#/jobs/leslie-james-associates/p3230?keywords=credit%20insurance. If your background/experience genuinely matches this vacancy requirement, you should call Leslie James Recruitment directly on 0207 8732271 to highlight your application. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).
Structured Credit and Political Risks Account Handler (Ref: 23387236), London. £30,000 - £45,000 per annum, negotiable.
This is an opportunity which is available now with a leading London Market broker. The role will entail all aspects of the account handling of Structured Credit and Political Risks business. You will need to have had specific experience in the field of Structured Credit and Political Risks, be technically proficient and have good knowledge and relationships with insurers in the sector. Excellent training and prospects are available for the right candidate along with superb career prospects. For more information go to http://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/structured-credit-political-risks-account-handler-london/23387236#/jobs/leslie-james-associates/p3230?keywords=credit%20insurance. If your background/experience genuinely matches this vacancy requirement, you should call Leslie James Recruitment directly on 0207 8732271 to highlight your application. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).
Senior Credit Insurance Account Handler (Ref: DSCJ602), London, Kent. £27,000-£33,000 plus benefits.
A prestigious broker in the London area is seeking a professional candidate who has previous credit insurance experience. Responsibilities will include consultation on credit insurance, claims, probable losses, credit limits and policy issues, as well as assessing, adjusting and submitting claims to credit insurers – negotiation to settlement. The successful candidate will also meet with clients and insurers to discuss claims to achieve satisfactory settlement. This is a great company to work for with fantastic training, working environment and benefits. Only candidates who have previous specific experience of working within credit insurance will be considered. For more information contact Darren Stone Darren.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01634 673156. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).
About this issue's sponsor: UK Credit Insurance Specialists
UK Credit Insurance Specialists Limited, “UK Credit”, is one of the UK’s leading specialist trade credit insurance brokers. The company was established in 1988 and the founder directors of the company still manage the business. We have grown significantly over the years, building on the strength of our knowledge and expertise as well as recommendations from clients, financiers, underwriters and other professional introducers. The company’s portfolio of clients includes most insurable trade sectors, from family run businesses to quoted public companies and multinationals.
In 2009 UK Credit became part of Henderson Insurance Brokers Limited, a national insurance broker with a strong presence in the North of England, as well as offices in the South East and a Lloyd’s Broker, in the form of Contractsure. Henderson has specialist divisions in construction, real estate, retail/wholesale and haulage, as well as strong expertise in risk management and manufacturing. Our positioning within the UK credit insurance market and the presence of the founding directors has allowed us to enjoy the benefits of a large broking group together with the flexibility enjoyed as an “independent”. This unique position has allowed us to continue recruiting some of the best talent in the trade credit sector. In 2013 the specialist credit insurance team from OAMPS (UK) Limited joined UK Credit under an agreed transfer of business, bringing additional expertise in multinational programmes and syndicated risks.
Due to the increased demand for international broking capability UK Credit became a founding member of Credea, an international network of specialist credit insurance brokers. Credea has representation throughout Europe, the USA and Latin America with plans to include Asia and Australia in the near future.
UK Credit is a leading provider of Trade Credit Insurance solutions with excellent relationships with the underwriting market. Our highly experienced support team ensures that our clients receive comprehensive policy support and claims management assistance.
Credit Insurance News Digests: Sponsorship
Sponsoring an issue of Credit Insurance News Digest is a great way to promote your company or brand to a committed audience of trade credit insurance professionals.
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