What is the Berne Union?

The Berne Union is the industry association for export credit and investment insurance.

Our members include government-backed export credit agencies, private credit and political risk insurers and multilateral institutions who provide insurance products, guarantees, and finance in the support of cross-border trade – vital to ensuring the flow of goods, services and investment capital world-wide.

We provide a forum for professional exchange, sharing of expertise and networking among members and stakeholders from across the trade finance industry, actively facilitate cross-border trade through the acceptance of sound principles in export credit and foreign investment.

Collectively, members provide payment risk protection for approximately 13% of world annual cross-border trade in goods and services.

The Berne Union’s COVID initiatives

The sudden explosion of the COVID19 Pandemic in the first quarter of the year has presented a huge challenge for the export credit insurance industry. As our members and colleagues across the industry have been working incredibly hard to mitigate the economic damage, the Berne Union too as been busy working to keep our members informed and to promote positive industry engagement to tackle these issues.

In April we published a report on the initial industry response to the crisis, noting a remarkably quick reaction and good cooperation between public and private sector. We are currently working with our Members to build upon this work with the creation of a COVID-specific peer-to-peer information exchange and in due course plan to release some additional research assessing the impact of the various support measures introduced.

What are the key Berne Union updates this year?

In July we will publish our industry report and statistics for 2019 business, with a comment on the changed situation in 2020, due to COVID, oil prices and other issues. This report will feature more detailed information on industry sector and domestic credit products, collected for the first time since our multi-year project to improve the depth and quality of Berne Union data.

Our Legal and Regulatory Task Force has been busy working to educate and increase awareness of the role and impact of export credit insurance. In April, we contributed to a joint industry initiative (along with ITFA, BAFT, IACPM, IUA and LMA) to raise awareness amongst European policy makers of the complementary and comparable role of private credit insurance to public guarantees, relevant in their consideration of provisioning requirements for bank lending, in the context of the European policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Projects for the remainder of 2020

One practical implication of the COVID19 lockdown for the Berne Union is that we have been unable to hold any physical meetings. Despite this, we have already conducted several webinar and Q&A sessions online, and are currently preparing for a fully-digital AGM in mid-October.

Over the coming months we are holding a series of specialist webinars for Members’ claims and recoveries experts and towards the end of the year will hold specialist meetings on regulation and SME business.

In the Autumn we will continue our engagement with external stakeholders through a set of online gatherings of our Capacity Sharing Marketplace (CSM), which is our platform for promoting cooperation and innovation between the trade and development finance communities, as well as public and private sector.

With the current pace of evolution not just in our industry, but across international finance, it is more important than ever to engage with our counterparts in other spheres to learn and collaborate together and the Berne Union is dedicated to be at the forefront of these initiatives.

Find out all of the latest updates in trade and credit insurance in our latest edition of Trade Finance Talks, here.

Now launched! Summer Edition 2020

Trade Finance Global’s latest edition of Trade Finance Talks is now out!

This summer 2020 edition, entitled ‘Coronavirus & The Fourth Industrial Revolution’, is available for free online, covering the latest in trade, export credit insurance, receivables and supply chain, with special features on fintech and digitisation.