International credit insurer Atradius extends its participation in the Dutch government's EUR 12 billion supplier credit reinsurance programme.
Amsterdam, 28 December 2020 - As a member of the Dutch Association of Insurers, Atradius, together with other Dutch credit insurers and the Dutch government, has agreed to continue the measure until 30 June 2021. With the extension of the state guarantee, the credit insurers and the Dutch government jointly want to maintain important flows of goods and reduce the risk of non-payment for Dutch suppliers in the corona crisis, which has once again reached a peak. This applies, in particular, to doing business with buyers who were economically healthy before the coronacrisis, but who got into difficulties as a result of the pandemic. Credit insurers and the Dutch government reached agreement on the reinsurance programme for the first time in April this year. It was initially valid until 31 December 2020.
"The agreement between the government and the credit insurers has significantly contributed to the stabilisation of Dutch business in recent months. However, with the second lockdown, the situation for many businesses has become even worse. In this very difficult situation, we continue to take responsibility for the Dutch economy and, together with the Dutch government, we help Dutch companies to do business safely," said Tom Kaars Sijpesteijn, Managing Director Atradius Nederland.
Risks of bad debts will increase significantly
In particular, the relaxation of bankruptcy law and a large number of other public support measures have meant that the number of company bankruptcies has so far not increased to the extent feared in the course of 2020. Nevertheless, the risk of irrecoverable debts for Dutch companies has increased considerably since the outbreak of the pandemic. For example, the latest Atradius Payment Practices Barometer shows that an average of 10 percent of total turnover for Dutch companies surveyed was irrecoverable and had to be written off after March this year. This is more than a sevenfold increase compared to the results of last year's survey, when the figure was 1.3%. Atradius expects the number of bad debts due to business failures to increase significantly in the coming months. "At this stage, good protection against non-payment is more important than ever for companies. The likelihood of bad debts is very high. The money that companies have to wait very long for, or at worst do not get at all, is unavailable for other purposes, for example to meet their own obligations. Against this background, the extension of the Dutch government's credit reinsurance programme helps to stabilise supply chains, provided that companies cover their losses on bad debts with credit insurance," says Kaars Sijpesteijn.
Joint protection of the Dutch government and credit insurers
In the agreed six-month extension, the scope and function of the reinsurance programme shall remain unchanged with respect to the supply chains concerned. The EUR 12 billion guarantee from the Dutch government will allow credit insurers to continue to provide credit limits totaling more than EUR 200 billion to their customers. "It is the intention that from July 2021 onwards Atradius will assume the trade credit risks for its customers as usual again", concludes Kaars Sijpesteijn.