We provide customised solutions of insurance, reinsurance, guarantees, bonding and financing related to domestic and international trade transactions or investments abroad. We protect companies, banks and insurance undertakings against credit and political risks, and facilitate the financing of such transactions. We act in a responsible and forward-looking way.
We turn uncertainties into opportunities.
Customer satisfaction is at the core of our values. We listen, we propose bespoke solutions, we are approachable, we explain our decisions and we deliver first-class service. Our people come up with smart solutions in response to specific business needs or complex risk environments.
You get bespoke solutions.
We show respect for our customers, our staff, our shareholders and all other stakeholders as well as for society and the environment. We act forcefully against any discrimination. We treat everyone fairly and honestly. We always try to do the right thing and apply high standards of ethical behaviour.
You can trust us.
We aim for best-in-class expertise of our businesses and risks. We strive for operational efficiency that underpins customer intimacy. We have a long-term view on our activities – we look through the cycle and aim for sustainable financial results.
You can count on us.
Four global trends reshaping our industry and our lives
Climate change is already affecting businesses around the world, with droughts and other natural disasters negatively impacting global supply chains. On top of that, social issues such as safety and health, labour rights, wages and cost of living have come into the spotlight.
Credendo wants to help build a better and sustainable future by improving our corporate behaviour as a company, as well as ensuring a reliable relationship with our customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders.
With Belgium having signed the COP26 Statement last year in Glasgow and joining the E3F coalition, Credendo has confirmed its willingness to improve its green credentials, and is adapting its policies to reflect those agreements.
Credendo is also set to launch its ‘Credendo Green Package’ in 2022 – a package of incentives that will help promote and stimulate ‘green’ business among our customers and prospects, and that will increase our support for environmentally friendly transactions and projects.
We became CO2 neutral a few years ago and we constantly strive to continue to reduce our carbon footprint. We regularly organise internal events aiming to increase awareness around ESG issues among Credendo employees. We will continue to develop our sustainable mindset.
We are also working on the development of sustainability criteria to guide our investment policy, so we can actively contribute to and support future-oriented projects.
Customer demand for personalisation, simplicity and speed
Fast and clear solutions are more important than ever due to the switch to the digital world that became apparent in previous years. The pandemic has only boosted this switch, leading to new expectations. On the one hand, the digital world creates new opportunities and allows companies to stay in touch with their customers despite distance and different geographies. On the other hand, it challenges companies to quickly adapt their internal processes and to provide tailor-made solutions.
At Credendo, we will continue to listen to our customers and go the extra mile to deliver the best service. We will improve our processes and regularly review our offer so we can provide flexible and versatile solutions that can be personalised for every customer’s needs.
We aim, for example, for open and transparent conversations with customers about their credit limit requirements – offering the possibility to temporarily increase limits if needed. This has been an important part of our offering in times of crisis – such as the Covid-19 pandemic – when companies might need to adjust their credit limits.
In order to provide such fast and personalised solutions, we are constantly upgrading our employees’ skills by offering various training possibilities, and we will continue to develop ourselves. That way we stay informed about new technologies and we are aware of the latest market developments, so we can guarantee best-in-class service for our clients.
Trade under pressure
Global trade flows have been under pressure in recent years, particularly due to the unprecedented impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Several major political conflicts around the world continue to perturb economies and create serious problems for production and consumption. In such a market environment, business development is needed more than ever, but it is also quite risky, as many companies are facing financial problems and reputational challenges.
We see more and more companies thinking about how to protect their business and their accounts receivable in such difficult times, and Credendo’s mission has never been clearer: we are here to support trade relations. We want to help our customers grow by taking care of the assessment of risk and by offering our credit insurance, reinsurance, guarantee and financing products. This in turn frees up our clients to focus on their task of developing their global customer base and increasing sales, while they know their financial balance is under control.
We are constantly monitoring our risk models to guarantee consistency and reliability, so we can react quickly and provide a timely response to any rising threat.
War for talent
Recent years have shown that it is becoming ever harder to find – and keep – skillful employees. The widespread introduction of teleworking made people reassess their career needs. Some have developed a stronger desire for flexible time to enable a better work-life balance, some are looking for a different corporate culture, and others are interested in acquiring new skills, higher status or better pay. Many companies are competing for the best people and they are trying to accommodate these new expectations.
At Credendo, our people are our strength. We pride ourselves on our extremely diverse team, with employees from a wide range of backgrounds and ethnicities. Employing people from 32 different nationalities across our group, we speak a multitude of languages, which only enhances our ability to understand the needs of our customers who are operating all around the world.
We have worked towards achieving gender parity within the company, and at group level we have had an equal split between male and female employees for several years now.
We will further reinforce our efforts and practices to attract, retain and help develop the most skilled people. We aim to provide the necessary training and support programmes for our people so they can enhance their skills and grow within Credendo.
We want to maintain our high standards and keep our employees happy, motivated and encouraged to build a flourishing future together.
While the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020 was a violent and sudden shock for the world economy, the ramifications of the pandemic have proven to be less severe than first anticipated.
Due to EU and state support packages implemented in the early days of the pandemic, the number of bankruptcies in Europe was lower than the number recorded in the year preceding the Covid outbreak. The economic recovery was swift and happened much earlier than the market initially expected.
By 2021, the credit insurance market had stabilised and, in Belgium, the state-backed reinsurance support programme developed by Credendo was brought to a close at the end of June after having been extended at the end of 2020.
This programme had been set up in 2020 and involved Credendo acting as the reinsurer for private credit insurers to help them maintain the same credit limits they had in place in the year preceding the outbreak of Covid-19. The aim of this programme was to ensure trade would continue and companies would not face the same problems they did during the global financial crisis of 2008, when credit insurance dried up.
The Covid-19 outbreak proved to be an ‘asymmetric shock’, meaning that it had a significant detrimental impact on specific industries such as transport, tourism and hospitality. But these businesses are not typically insured by credit insurers. Following the first lockdowns, other industries were quick to recover by the end of 2020.
We have continued to pay attention to the safety of our employees, adhering to government recommendations on creating a safe working environment, promoting telework and taking a cautious approach when implementing any change in advice or policy.
While Credendo’s offices in Brussels remained open during the pandemic and offered a safe place to work, most of our staff were able to work remotely as well. Credendo’s Crisis Management Team met weekly to assess the impact of the pandemic and take appropriate measures.
We anticipate that while there will be more staff returning to the office in the coming year, there will not be a full-scale return to the pre-pandemic way of working and we will see remote working, less frequent business travel and teleconferences remaining a significant part of the way we operate.
2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Credendo.
The company was founded in 1921 to support Belgian international trade by providing guarantees and insurance.
It has become an international group with a presence in 14 European countries. It was formerly known as the Office National du Ducroire | Nationale Delcrederedienst, and adopted the name Credendo in 2017.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, sadly many of the planned activities and celebrations were cancelled. However, we ran a successful communication campaign and produced three new corporate videos for the occasion of our anniversary. We also published a special celebratory book commemorating our 100 years, which was released together with our annual report. And finally, we published our own Credendo comic book in 10 languages. All these publications are available on the specific separate website we created.
Improving market position
The merger of Credendo – Single Risk with Credendo – Excess & Surety was concluded in June 2021 to create Credendo – Guarantees & Speciality Risks. The merger was first announced in September 2020.
Credendo – Guarantees & Speciality Risks brings together three business lines: excess-of-loss and top-up cover, single-risk insurance and surety bonds. It has a paid-in capital of EUR 135 million. Its headquarters are in Brussels with a presence across ten countries.
The newly merged entity serves as a single gateway to a range of specialised insurance products, helping improve access for businesses looking for solutions to support their needs. It has helped strengthen Credendo’s market position as a provider of specialised insurance products.
The merger has been welcomed by the market, with no cancellation of policies by clients. The rating agency S&P Global Ratings assigned Credendo – Guarantees & Speciality Risks with a rating of A- with a stable outlook in 2021.
S&P Global Ratings also assigned a rating of A with a stable outlook to both Credendo – Short-Term Non-EU Risks and Credendo – Short-Term EU Risks in March 2022. These are the first ratings granted to the two entities.
We opened a new office for Credendo – Short-Term Non-EU Risks in the Netherlands in 2021. This follows on from our expansion into Ireland in 2020, with the opening of a Credendo – Guarantees & Speciality Risks branch in Cork, offering surety bonds and guarantee facilities to Ireland-based companies.
New Board of Directors
In February 2022, the Belgian government appointed a new Board of Directors for Credendo – Export Credit Agency, with Vincent Reuter remaining the chairman of the board. Board members are appointed for five years.
Credendo also added new independent members to the boards of Credendo – Short-Term Non-EU Risks and Credendo – Guarantees & Speciality Risks. We wanted to bring in external board members that offered skills and knowledge in specific competencies such as IT or banking. The new appointments are in line with Credendo’s aim to improve gender equality throughout the organisation.
Credendo updated and simplified its forfaiting product in 2021 to make it more accessible to exporters.
Forfaiting works by allowing an exporter to grant a deferred payment to its buyer and sell its receivables to Credendo. Under the original product, exporters also had to take out insurance cover with Credendo to be able to apply for forfaiting for their transaction. This requirement has now been removed.
The forfaiting procedure has also been shortened, ensuring that Credendo can immediately send the exporting company a signed forfaiting agreement as soon as the transaction has been approved for financing.
In addition, we wanted to increase our support for sustainable projects, and one year ago we started to identify which incentives Credendo could implement in order to support the development of sustainable projects.
This exercise has been carried out for the following of Credendo – Export Credit Agency’s products: export credit insurance, financial guarantees and the funding activity. The ‘Credendo Green Package’ consists of lower thresholds with regard to the Belgian content of a transaction, a higher insured percentage, an extension to domestic transactions with export potential, higher participation in financial guarantees, more resources for own financing of transactions with an increase of the maximum amounts, and an extension of the repayment terms.
Launched as a pilot project in May, the ‘Credendo Green Package’ will be actively promoted on the market starting after summer. Besides these ‘hard’ incentives, it is also important to implement ‘soft’ incentives based on communication training and active prospection to promote the green economy.
Credendo continues to work on reducing its impact on the environment, both through its internal operations and via its clients.
We are currently developing an action plan to progressively reduce our support towards fossil-fuel projects. One measure already implemented is that we no longer support projects related to the coal industry.
Credendo has not supported any coal projects for the past three years, but we officially announced our stance in September 2021.
Furthermore, we anticipate a progressive phasing out of our support for other fossil-fuel projects, in line with the commitments Belgium took under the COP26 Statement on International Public Support for the Clean Energy Transition signed last year in Glasgow.
Belgium also participated in the Export Finance for Future (E3F) coalition, which aims to align export finance with climate change objectives. The coalition was created in April 2021 and signatories include the governments of France, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Belgium, Italy and Finland signed up to the coalition in November 2021.
How these two agreements will specifically impact Credendo is not yet finalised, and we have not committed to any deadlines.
Internally, we continue to reduce our CO2 footprint with the planned installation of solar panels at the Brussels headquarters starting in mid-March 2022, as well as ensuring all company cars in the car pool are now hybrid models.
These efforts will help ensure that we maintain our ‘CO2 Neutral®’ label granted by the environmental consultant CO2logic in late 2020 for the second time.
Innovation and future strategy
Credendo’s board approved a new three-year strategy in 2021. The strategy is called ‘Rise’ and follows on from our previous three-year plan named ‘Lift Off!’. The plan is to organise the company according to business lines with the client’s needs being prioritised.
We are continuing to progress with our AREA42 trade innovation ecosystem which brings together industry expertise to encourage the digitisation of trade. Marjory is a new company set up in early 2020, created via the AREA42 platform, and is set to grow in scale in the coming year.
Close monitoring of risks essential in uncertain times
Effective risk identification and management lies at the heart of Credendo’s business to ensure we can make wise underwriting decisions and support our customers’ needs.
Credendo’s business is all about risk and how to support our customers when operating in markets with varying degrees of uncertainty. In turn, we must also carefully manage our own risk exposure and make sensible underwriting decisions that ensure our company’s long-term financial sustainability.
Underwriting risk is the most material risk for Credendo, where the premium should be sufficient to cover our expected losses and our expenses. The technical provisions should be sufficient to cover our insurance liability vis-à-vis our policyholders. Underwriting risk also captures catastrophic risk linked to extreme or exceptional events taking place in a specific sector or country.
Besides Covid-19 uncertainty, persistent inflation pressures and a high risk of public debt crises among low-income and middle-income countries, and their sociopolitical consequences are dominant downside risks.
Italian family-owned industrial group Estral values setting its own credit limits for its customers – recognising that assessing risk is …
Legendre Group - Cash flow boost for major construction project near Paris
Unperturbed by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, family-owned construction and property development company Legendre Group has cemented its strong …
Miller Insurance - Strengthening broker’s ‘one-stop shop’ strategy
Insurance broker Miller wants to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for insurance needs throughout the global commodity supply chain, from cargo …
Recticel - A BOOST TO STRATEGIC GROWTH PLANS
In the midst of a strategic transformation of its legacy portfolio of polyurethane solutions, and with sustainable innovation at the …
Bosaq - STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP FOR SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE SME
Belgian SME BOSAQ’s mission is to provide the world with sustainable premium drinking water in a socially responsible way. The …
Casibeans - FLEXIBLE SUPPORT FOR FAMILY-OWNED TRADER
Casibeans, a family-owned Belgian SME incorporated in 1935 and now run by the third generation, is a global trader of …
Korado - PROVIDING ADDED VALUE AND EXPERT ASSISTANCE
A leading manufacturer of heating elements, Czech company KORADO has been making use of Credendo – Short-Term EU Risks for …
Banque Cantonale de Genève (BCGE) - FUTURE-PROOFING COMMODITY FINANCE
The global commodity trade finance unit of Banque Cantonale de Genève (BCGE), active in soft commodities, metals and energy, makes …
Floragard - TOPPING UP COVER TO BOOST INTERNATIONAL SALES
Having successfully established itself more than 100 years ago, German company Floragard is a leader in the development and marketing …
Townmore - HARNESSING LOCAL PRESENCE
Construction company Townmore has set its sights on becoming Ireland’s leading contractor for the sectors in which it specialises. It …
Credit insurance vital for contract wins
Dredging, Environmental and Marine Engineering (DEME Group) and Jan De Nul are Belgium’s leading maritime companies worldwide, specialising in dredging, land reclamation and offshore services. As long-standing clients of Credendo – Export Credit Agency, they have made regular use of credit insurance products to secure multiple international contracts.
I want to sleep at night and not be worried about a country or client getting into difficulties.
Paul LievensCFO of Jan De Nul
The environmental impact is constantly monitored during the execution of projects, with work instantly stopped if wildlife such as whales or dolphins are spotted in the vicinity of a dredging project.
Geert WoutersHead of Structured Finance & Treasury at DEME
Internationally renowned entertainment and gaming brand Nintendo saw its sales in the Benelux region flourish during the pandemic, with more people stuck at home looking for something entertaining to do. Nintendo Benelux’s existing partnership with Credendo – Short-Term Non-EU Risks proved to be essential in meeting this growing demand and the related increase in risk exposure, as well as helping the company continue to manage seasonal fluctuations in its business.
Nintendo, to a certain extent, was the choice of the consumer and we saw an increase in sales in lockdown in the home countries.
Frank RittinghausGeneral Manager at Nintendo Benelux
Based in Nieuwegein and with an office in Antwerp, Nintendo Benelux – a branch of Nintendo Europe – dominates sales of physical software, representing 70% of the region’s total console market in 2021.
Czech steel producer benefits from large credit limits
Moravia Steel is one of the biggest producers of metallurgical products in the Czech Republic with a high level of exposure on debtors within the EU and beyond. Credendo has supported the business through the provision of large credit limits to help manage the company’s exposure, coupled with a flexible approach to problem-solving.
We currently see Credendo as a stable partner with whom we have built strong business relationships based on long-term cooperation and mutual trust.
Bohdan KožusznikReceivables Management Specialist at Moravia Steel
Moravia Steel is a major seller of metallurgical products in the Czech Republic and in many EU countries. The company’s history can be traced back to 1839 when Třinec Iron and Steel Works – also known as Třinecké železárny – was founded.
Italian family-owned industrial group Estral values setting its own credit limits for its customers – recognising that assessing risk is about getting to know the customer well and not just relying on commercial information available. Credendo has been supporting the company’s credit management processes, which is part of the reason why Estral’s partnership with the insurer has lasted for more than two decades.
We are a big boat, and it is obviously easier to turn in a smaller boat, so for us it will take time to turn. We must continue to move carefully day-to-day.
Michele CibaldiCEO of Estral
For 48 years, Italian family-owned industrial group Estral has been producing custom-shaped extruded aluminium profiles that are used by customers across Europe, active in construction, the automotive industry, the renewable-energy sector, and many other industries.
Cash flow boost for major construction project near Paris
Unperturbed by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, family-owned construction and property development company Legendre Group has cemented its strong position in France, remaining committed to building long-term projects within its domestic market while also looking at opportunities abroad. As a new client of Credendo, it benefited from a French retention money bond that supported a new arena project near Paris that will hopefully spark a pipeline of similar projects across the country.
Credendo is most relevant to us through its support for our complex operations with its ability to deal with complex business issues and to understand the particulars of a project. I am sure there will be more operations together in 2022.
Grégoire CharmetantFinance Director of Legendre Group
Legendre Group is a family-owned construction and property development group headquartered in Rennes and founded in 1946. Operating with three distinct business lines – construction and public works, property development and energy services – it is ranked within the top 15 largest players in the domestic market.
Insurance broker Miller wants to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for insurance needs throughout the global commodity supply chain, from cargo and marine cover to political risk insurance. Long-standing partner Credendo is playing a key role in supporting the broker’s ambitions through the provision of various products including single-risk and short-term whole turnover cover.
Credendo is one of the best and most reliable supporters of our business.
Arnaud de FroidevalHead of Credit and Political Risks in Europe at Miller Insurance
Miller Insurance is an independent specialist broking firm founded in 1902, and is headquartered in Lloyd’s of London with operations around the world.
In the midst of a strategic transformation of its legacy portfolio of polyurethane solutions, and with sustainable innovation at the heart of its strategy, Belgian multinational Recticel continues to build on its leading positions in its core markets. A Credendo client for 25 years, the company recently benefited from a Credendo – Export Credit Agency financial guarantee for a strategic acquisition intended to accelerate its growth.
Sustainable innovation is a key component behind all our research and development efforts and a key deciding factor in everything we do.
Jean-Pierre MellenChief financial officer of Recticel
A LEADER IN POLYURETHANE EXPERTISE AND SOLUTIONS, RECTICEL HAS BEEN A CREDENDO CLIENT FOR THE PAST 25 YEARS.
STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP FOR SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE SME
Belgian SME BOSAQ’s mission is to provide the world with sustainable premium drinking water in a socially responsible way. The company’s biggest challenges when rolling out its projects are often bureaucratic, and to that end its relationship with Credendo – Export Credit Agency provides useful support for winning over government clients.
The most important aspect of Credendo’s support has been that it helps build trust for our business with our clients.
Jacob BossaerFounder and CEO of Bosaq
ESTABLISHED IN 2017, BELGIAN SME BOSAQ AIMS TO PROVIDE THE WORLD WITH CLEAN DRINKING WATER, ANYWHERE, AND AT ANY TIME.
Casibeans, a family-owned Belgian SME incorporated in 1935 and now run by the third generation, is a global trader of pulses. The company makes use of Credendo – Short-Term Non-EU Risks to cover the risk of non-payment of its clients based in market as far afield as Trinidad and Tobago.
We have chosen Credendo because of its strength in the so-called Zone 2 countries, such as Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico and Senegal.
Caroline SuyCEO of Casibeans
FOUNDED IN 1935, CASIBEANS IS A THIRD- GENERATION FAMILY-RUN SME THAT SPECIALISES IN THE TRADING OF PULSES AROUND THE WORLD.
A leading manufacturer of heating elements, Czech company KORADO has been making use of Credendo – Short-Term EU Risks for the last two decades, harnessing Credendo’s ability to monitor the financial health of its customers across Europe, and leveraging more than just essential insurance protection.
The long-term nature of our relationships with our customers means that the continuous monitoring of their financial well-being by Credendo is vital to our business.
Tomáš KollertHead of risk management at Korado
ČESKÁ TŘEBOVÁ-BASED KORADO HAS ESTABLISHED ITSELF AS ONE OF THE WORLD’S LEADING MANUFACTURERS OF STEEL PANEL RADIATORS.
The global commodity trade finance unit of Banque Cantonale de Genève (BCGE), active in soft commodities, metals and energy, makes use of the credit and political risk capacity offered by Credendo – Single Risk, demand for which may be growing within the commodities sector.
Our plan is to structure our portfolio in reflection of the industry's ongoing evolution. I’m positive about what this year, and the next, will bring.
Nicolas DervauxHead of distribution at BCGE
THE COMMODITY FINANCE BUSINESS OF BCGE IS FOCUSED PRIMARILY ON THE ENERGY, METALS AND SOFT- COMMODITIES SECTORS, AND BASED IN GENEVA, THE COMMODITY TRADING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD.
Having successfully established itself more than 100 years ago, German company Floragard is a leader in the development and marketing of premium earths and professional substrates. The company recently turned to Credendo – Excess & Surety for top-up credit insurance cover, which it says is a necessary component in achieving its sales objectives in some of the more complex markets to which it exports.
Our Credendo top-up cover has afforded opportunities both for us and our group companies in terms of generating additional business and revenues.
Ulrich von GlahnManaging Director of Floragard
ESTABLISHED IN 1919, GERMAN COMPANY FLORAGARD HAS GROWN INTO ONE OF THE LEADING MARKETERS OF PREMIUM EARTHS AND SUBSTRATES FOR PROFESSIONAL USE AND THE HOBBY SECTOR.
Construction company Townmore has set its sights on becoming Ireland’s leading contractor for the sectors in which it specialises. It recently established a relationship with the new Irish branch of specialised subsidiary Credendo – Excess & Surety, which issued the company with a performance bond for work it is carrying out on a new residential development.
With Credendo investing their time and resources within Ireland and building up their market share, naturally we want to be part of that from the onset.
Sean CorroonGroup financial director at Townmore
IRISH CONSTRUCTION FIRM TOWNMORE DELIVERS HIGH-END PROJECTS ACROSS IRELAND AND THE UK IN A WIDE RANGE OF SECTORS.
In the aftermath of the war economic activity picked up to meet the need for reconstruction and development in the countries that had been ravaged by the conflict. The Belgian Ministry of Economic Affairs established a Delcredere Committee to enable Belgian industries to resume their activities on foreign markets and to guarantee Belgian export transactions.
11 years after the Great War, Credendo became an autonomous public financial body (Nationale Delcrederedienst | Office national du Ducroire), with the mission to guarantee Belgian export transactions.