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BIBA’s Trade Risk Focus Group is forming a working group with the Export Credits Guarantee Department

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The British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s (BIBA) Trade Risk Focus Group is forming a working group with the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), the UK export credit agency.  The purpose of the group is to explore ways in which British companies can have improved access to export trade credit and finance.

Peter Staddon, BIBA’s Head of Technical Services, said:

“Exporters face difficulties accessing trade finance for many well-publicised reasons because of issues not strictly related to their business.

Brokers operate specifically in the interests of their clients overall needs and are more likely to assist clients with policy management, whereas the bank’s need is only to cover their exposure.

“For sometime brokers have felt that government has not appreciated the expertise they can bring to negotiations. We believe that ECGD and brokers can have a constructive dialogue which will benefit clients in handling their overseas trade risks.”

BIBA has set out the criteria for its Trade Risk Focus Group. At its last meeting the group welcomed Stuart Lawson, Director of Aon Trade Risks, as its chairman and Andrew Neill, Director of Newstead International, as his deputy, as well as agreeing to rename the group was previously Trade Credit Focus Group.

The group agreed its aims for 2011 to:

(a)   Be a unified voice in discussions with ABI, Government and ECGD on market challenges relating to trade credit

(b)   Raise awareness in the provision of brokers’ products and how these can protect exporters.

(c)   Encourage its members to enhance the awareness of what credit insurance can provide and how a specialist Broker can help businesses address their credit insurance needs.

Peter Staddon said: “We have seen some major changes to the trade risk market over the past 18 months and brokers have an important role by continuing to work with government to ensure that the UK trades it way out of this recession.”

Stuart Lawson added: “We are pleased to be part of this committee and I am confident that Brokers will play a more important part in this class of business going forward. “

BIBA recently held a meeting with ECGD chief executive Patrick Crawford, who said he recognised that brokers could play a helpful role.

Mr Crawford added: “Insurance brokers can arrange for the provision of valuable protection to exporters for payment risks, and I look forward to us working together to help UK businesses.”

Source : BIBA Press Release