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Record amount of trade credit insured by Berne Union members

Members of the Berne Union – International Union of Credit & Investment Insurers – saw the value of credit and investment insured in 2012 grow by 2.4 per cent, reaching in excess of US$ 1.8 trillion. This matches the 2.4 per cent growth in exports for 2012 according to the United Nations Statistics Division. Collectively, Berne Union members insured more than 10 per cent of international trade in 2012.

Of the total business volume, about US$ 1.5 trillion represented short-term (ST) export credit insurance with credit terms up to one year, while medium and long-term (MLT) export credit insurance for periods in excess of one-year amounted to more than US$ 180 billion. New transactions covered in investment insurance (INV) reached a record US$ 94 billion. Claims paid in ST export credit insurance rose again in 2012, following a drop in 2011, largely due to higher insolvency rates in Europe. Claims paid in MLT export credit insurance stayed at the same, relatively high, but sustainable level experienced in 2011. The combined claims paid to exporters and investors in 2012 in all lines of business totalled US$ 4.7 billion.

Since the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2008, credit and investment insurers have paid in excess of US$ 20 billion to their clients to compensate them for losses suffered due to defaults by buyers or other obligors.

“The high level of trade and investment covered demonstrates the commitment of our members to support trade, and trade is key to sustained economic recovery and growth” said Johan Schrijver, President of the Berne Union. Peter Jones, Secretary General of the Berne Union also commented: “The risk environment is expected to remain volatile, but despite these challenges Berne Union members will continue to support their customers with ample insurance capacity.”

The 2012 results were announced at the Berne Union Spring meeting in New York from 22-24 April 2013 which were hosted by the Union’s North American private market members AIG, FCIA, HISCOX, SOVEREIGN and ZURICH.

Note to editors:

About the Berne Union

The Berne Union (International Union of Credit & Investment Insurers) is the leading international association for the export credit and investment insurance industry. It works for cooperation and stability in cross-border trade by supporting the international acceptance of sound principles in export credits and foreign investments and by providing a forum for professional exchange among its members.

The 76 members of the Berne Union, including the Berne Union Prague Club, covered over US$1.8 trillion worth of business in 2012, which was10.40% of the world's total cross-border trade. Members are both private companies, offering worldwide risk management solutions, and state backed export credit agencies, focusing on the support of national exports and outward investments.


Members benefit from quality information exchange through several yearly meetings, seminars and workshops, and interactivity online. Exchanges focus on technical aspects of international trade, as well as developing and promoting best practices.


The Berne Union has well established links with other organisations that play important roles in world trade including the ICC, IMF, OECD, World Bank, WTO and regional development banks.

See www.berneunion.org for more information.


Mr Peter Jones


Berne Union

27-29 Cursitor Street

London EC4A 1LT

United Kingdom

t +44 20 7841 1110

e pjones@berneunion.org