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Brexit Stockpiling Leaves Suppliers At Risk Of Trade Credit Insurance Shortfall

London   |   25 October 2018

Suppliers are at risk of having insufficient trade credit insurance as some British firms, such as retailers and manufacturers, stockpile goods amid mounting concerns of a no-deal Brexit, according to Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and innovative risk management solutions.

Traditionally, buyers purchase goods on credit terms, sell these goods on to the consumer, and use some of the revenue to pay the supplier before the terms of payment expire. By stockpiling goods, buyers may be unable to generate enough revenue to cover the credit, which greatly increases the risk of non-payment. If suppliers increase the quantity of goods sold to buyers in the UK, they should check they have adequate levels of trade credit insurance to protect them against any payment default.

Concerns of a no-deal Brexit have led to industry groups to speculate on the requirements of stockpiling vital goods, such as non-perishable food produce, medical supplies, and vaccinations. Approximately half of all of the UK’s food supplies alone are imported, much of that coming from the European Union. Marsh notes that some firms are ramping up their inventories in preparation for any delays caused by potential trade restrictions.

Tim Smith, Global Trade Credit Practice Leader, Marsh, commented: “Stockpiling could reduce cash flow and tie up liquid funds that could otherwise be reinvested into growth, research and development. It also creates further financial burden by potentially forcing firms to increase their spending on storage, in order to house their growing inventories.

“Credit insurance is a proactive policy which not only pays out in the event of non-payment, but also allows suppliers to make informed decisions about their customers by drawing on the market and economic expertise that credit insurers hold.”

About Marsh

Marsh is the world's leading insurance broker and risk adviser. With over 35,000 colleagues operating in more than 130 countries, Marsh serves commercial and individual clients with data driven risk solutions and advisory services. Marsh is a business of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With annual revenue approaching US$17 billion and 76,000 colleagues worldwide, MMC helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment through four market-leading businesses: Marsh, Guy Carpenter, Mercer, and Oliver Wyman. Follow Marsh on Twitter @MarshGlobal; LinkedIn; Facebook; and YouTube, or subscribe to BRINK.