UK Export Finance expands exporter protection against non-payment


Adds background, other European schemes

LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) - Britain is expanding the scope of its export insurance policy to cover exporters against the risk of non-payment if customers become insolvent, joining other European countries that have provided insurance support for their supply chains.

UK Export Finance, a government department, on Friday said it has expanded the policy to cover transactions with the European Union, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United States.

The scheme is designed to help companies concerned about the impact of the coronavirus to export with confidence, offering insurance that can cover up to 95% of the value of an export contract.

Government export credit insurance schemes typically provide cover for countries where commercial trade credit insurance is less readily available.

European Union states are giving guarantees to credit insurers in an effort to keep coronavirus-hit companies afloat, as some cut cover for trade involving bloc members such as Italy and Spain, sources say.

In France, the finance ministry said credit insurers had vowed not to cut or curtail cover in return for a reinsurance backstop worth up to 10 billion euros ($10.8 billion), to be set up by the end of the week.

It also announced 2 billion euros in short-term aid as part of a package to help French exporters with credit insurance.

In Germany, Reuters reported this week that the government and the country's credit insurance industry have agreed to help to maintain insurance cover for trade, with the government guaranteeing up to 30 billion euros for the commercial credit insurance industry. L8N2BP596

($1 = 0.9256 euros)

(Reporting By Carolyn Cohn and Lawrence White Editing by David Goodman)

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