Supply chain insurance scheme needs review, says CBI

19 May 2009

20 May 2009 | Martha McKenzie-Minifie

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is calling for the £5 billion government-backed scheme to "top up" supply chain insurance to be broadened.

John Cridland, (pictured) deputy director-general of the CBI, said in an interview published on FT.com this week: "This is a step in the right direction but it does not go far enough. We'd like them [the government] to have another go at it."

Details of the measures Cridland would like introduced were not available today.

Trade credit insurance policies protect suppliers against the risk of customers failing to pay bills or of going bust.

The government unveiled a state guarantee scheme, capped at £5 billion, in April's Budget. It was designed to underpin supply chain insurance and provide "breathing space" for businesses to adjust to changing circumstances.

Under the government scheme, eligible businesses will be able to purchase "top-up" credit insurance cover from 1 May until the end of the year. It can be purchased in respect of reductions in cover that have occurred since 1 April.

The measures were cautiously welcomed by several business leaders. CIPS chief executive Simon Sperryn said in a statement: "It's extremely disappointing for those which have had their credit insurance either withdrawn entirely or have had their support significantly reduced before 1 April. Even strong businesses will be suffering."

An SM100 poll last month indicated credit insurance woes were hitting just a handful of buyers, but those affected were going through a "daily nightmare".

SMmay2009

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