Look to brokers as alternative to banks, firms told

YORKSHIRE businesses could boost their performance by seeking financial backing through surety bonds and credit insurance, rather than the banks, according to a leading insurance broker,

Experts at Henderson Insurance Brokers believe that too many people automatically turn to their banks when seeking financial security for their business.

Craig Stone, associate director of Henderson’s UK credit insurance business, believes more credit cover could have helped East Yorkshire firms in 2012, when the area recorded the UK’s highest insolvency rate.

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He said: “More than ever before, credit insurance is being taken out by companies that were previously not credit insured.”

Mr Stone will be one of two speakers at a seminar entitled A Fresh Look at Bonds and Guarantees, and Granting Credit with Confidence which takes place in Hull next month.

“Credit insurance is designed for two things,” he said. “Firstly, it protects the business from that unexpected bad debt: credit insurers get caught with those losses so it covers the business for the unexpected loss.

“It also helps the business to try and avoid the loss in the first place.”

He will be joined at the seminar by Phil Thornhill, a director of Henderson Surety Services, who will explain that going straight to a bank could restrict the working capital available to a business.

Mr Thornhill said that demand for bonds was rising, but it was important for businesses to plan ahead rather than look for surety at the last minute.

“At a time when company performance has deteriorated because of the recession, there’s definitely an increase in demand,” he said.

“We do find that there are a lot of companies that will call us and say they’ve never had to provide one of these before, and we’re having to arrange facilities for them,” he said.

Steve Fulsham, the head of technical services at the British Insurance Brokers Association, said that companies ought to consider brokers as an alternative to the banks.

The free seminar takes place at the De Vere Village Hotel on Thursday, September 5 from 9-10am, with registration from 8.30am.

To book a place, email [email protected] or call 01482 579800.