Euler Hermes and UniCredit have announced a trade credit insurance partnership designed to provide tools and services for Italian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that assist them in long-term business development.
Within the current modest economic recovery scenario foreseen by Euler Hermes, credit risk still remains high due to the sizeable number of overdue payments, long Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) (2016: 93 days on average) and a large number of companies initiating bankruptcy proceedings (2016: 13,500 cases expected, twice the number of the pre-crisis period). The growth of SMEs in Italy therefore requires both non-payment risk management and access to wide-ranging information, key factors for the sector as well as general domestic and foreign competitiveness.
“Our partnership with the UniCredit Group is a true market innovation, combining our risk assessment and management, indemnification and collection expertise with their extensive local presence,” said Luca Burrafato, head of the Euler Hermes Mediterranean Countries, Middle East and Africa region. “It is a robust starting point to better meet the new needs of the Italian entrepreneurial fabric. Together we can help domestic and exporting companies better manage cash flow and credit management processes, allowing them to focus on commercial growth. A cohesive relationship between a company, a bank and a credit insurer can create an advantageous credit chain that long-term can provide benefits across the Italian economy.”
“In addition to basic credit support, UniCredit has long provided companies with a wide range of supplementary services that help them increase efficiency and competitiveness,” added Gabriele Piccini, Country Chairman, Unicredit Italy. “Credit insurance is a proven tool that is especially valuable for small companies, as it enables them to conduct a deep analysis of their credit portfolio and optimally manage their trade strategies.”
One year after the initial pilot launch of the UniCredit and Euler Hermes partnership, 1,400 companies in Italy have taken advantage of credit insurance services including risk assessment, debt indemnification and collection. The services are offered on an easy-to-use digital platform that is also ideally suited to small and micro enterprise needs.