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Suppliers blast credit insurance move

UK suppliers have criticised initiatives by trade credit insurance providers to improve their dialogue with the industry.

Credit insurance giant Euler Hermes has altered its ratings procedure to give retailers and suppliers a two-week window in which to challenge any decisions to reduce cover.

Fellow insurer Coface has also decided to publish the suppliers’ credit scores for the retailers they supply. Ratings can then be challenged. The other major credit insurance player, Atradius, said it had implemented 30-day discussion periods several months ago.

Howard Ross, UK and Republic of Ireland country manager for womenswear brand Gerry Weber, said a two-week notice period was “insulting” and insufficient time to amend businesses structures.

Peter Lucas, chairman of both the UK Fashion and Textile Association and menswear supplier BMB Group, said: “[The measures are] a small move in the right direction,” but added that insurers needed to act responsibly and reduce cover if necessary but not withdraw all cover overnight.

He said that suppliers and retailers - hit hard by the reduction of credit insurance largely without warning during the recession - had formed closer relationships so they could learn to work together uninsured.

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