01 Feb 2003

Credit Insurance in Europe – Impact, Measurment & Policy Recommendations

Amparo San José Riestra

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The report provides evidence of low protection of companies against the risks of the lack of payment from their buyers and the impact of bad debts in their financial situation, which is especially harmful for SMEs. While most of commercial trade is carried out on the basis of credit, the research shows that insured credit represents only around 14% of European GDP and 20% of exports, with important differences between the countries studied.
The report represents a first attempt to gather data on the number of companies insured by size in the EU, the geographical distribution of commercial credit insurance, the potential of credit insurance for the development of intra-EU trade and exports to third countries, its role in combating late payments and preventing the effects of debtors’ bankruptcies, and in the context of the implementation of the New Basel Accord. The report also makes an account of the obstacles for a higher penetration of credit insurance and its extended use by small and medium-sized companies.