Yet more public information about credit insurance package to be announced in tomorrow's budget.
From today's FT:
"The state will provide guarantees worth up to £5bn, backed by an equal figure from the industry...companies will have to pay a levy of 2 per cent on the assets they want to insure for six months, which could cover most of the losses made on the programme.
The scheme will come into effect on May 1 and will take applications until December 31. It will only be available for companies which have seen their cover cut after April 1 this year. Those whose cover has been withdrawn entirely will be ineligible because they are seen as too much of a risk. “This is a case of topping up credit insurance where it has been reduced, not covering total losses,” said one government source.
Officials estimate that the scheme will provide cover for up to £8.3bn of trade. The maximum cover offered by each insurer will be £1m between a single buyer and supplier."
Like we've said previously, this will not be a panacea for all credit insurance problems.
Because the scheme is temporary, many contracts will not be covered - but that's okay because credit insurance is a only problem because of the credit crisis and the weak economy. Once the economy revives, credit insurance will be less of an issue.
Because it is targeted at reduced coverage, any company that has cover completely withdrawn will not benefit - but, agian, that's okay, because its simply too much to ask taxpayers to cover contracts with customers that, in all liklihood, aren't going to honor their contracts.
The one problem is the timliness of the scheme. We're happy that the money will be in place quickly, but credit insurance has been a problem since last Autumn. The real damage has already been done. The French put in place a scheme last November and have been running it for months.
Manufacturers are asking themselves why has it taken so long to get a very similar scheme up and running in the UK...and at what cost?