Trade credit brokers and insurers will have an audience with the Treasury

Brokers will tomorrow [Thursday] thrash out details of the £5bn state-funded trade credit scheme in a meeting with the government.

All the main trade credit brokers – Aon, Willis, Marsh and JLT – are expected to attend, as well as, representatives from the three main insurers – Coface, Euler Hermes and Atradius.

Biba arranged the meeting in the wake of the Budget announcement establishing a top-up insurance scheme to help businesses.

Experts who helped draw up the plan from both the Treasury and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) will give a presentation followed by a question-and-answer session at Biba’s London office.

Peter Staddon, Biba’s head of technical services, said brokers would want to discuss how it would affect 14,000 businesses that have credit insurance policies.

Staddon said: “It is a golden opportunity. This is an exercise not just to see where insurers and the government are coming from. It is also an exercise for them to understand where brokers and their clients are coming from.  

“I want brokers who are not afraid to come forward and say, ‘How are you going to deal with a client who cannot gain cover?’.”

The scheme works by topping up cover for firms that have their trade credit insurance cover scaled back between 1 April and December 2009. Cover will last for six months.

However, it has come under fire for not helping businesses that had their cover pulled completely before 1 April.

It also does not cover UK-based suppliers to foreign businesses.

An Atradius spokesman said both Kevin Parsons, head of London commercial trade credit, and Mike Holley, director of special products, would attend the meeting.

A BERR spokesman said: “We are delighted to be working with Biba and its members to ensure the detail of the trade credit insurance top-up scheme is fully understood and available to business across the UK.”

See analysis: Top-up scheme under scrutiny