2021 was billed as the year of returning to normality in the UK. While huddling around a patio-heater outside bars and restaurants in the Spring, within defined bubbles, it certainly felt more like the “new normal” than the old initially. As we saw a little consumer-spike across the Summer, and then some reopening of overseas travel after a little hokey-cokey with travel lists, there was a period of improved consumer and business confidence before the weather turned and the inevitable concerns returned around a further Covid-wave and likely resumption of a flu virus this winter.
At the time of writing this, we see some concerning increases in severe infections across Northern Europe and the emergence of a new mutation from Southern Africa – our hopes and thoughts are with everyone directly impacted.
Economically, the UK Govt Scheme supporting a number of trade credit underwriters over the previous 18 months expired in the Summer, and the much-predicted tsunami of insolvencies did not arrive. We seemed to arrive quite quickly thereafter as an industry at the counter-intuitive point of reducing premium rates and writing cover aggressively, despite everyone agreeing that insolvency levels are due to increase significantly in the coming months. We’ll see how that plays out in 2022 – we would hope that some people would share our desire for “normality” in insolvency levels and underwriter appetite to resume, for our government to worry less about the credit insurance industry and focus more on the primary economy, and for us all to continue the challenge of growing our market in an increasingly digital age.
The previous 18 months has seen a huge amount of credit experience leave the industry – we wish everyone well who is now enjoying their retirement, and we particularly welcome the notable number of new starters to our fascinating and rewarding industry. It cannot have been easy to start a new career while working from home – hopefully, 2022 can be a new start!
From the team at TMHCC, we wish everyone a wonderful and safe festive season. We thank everyone for their continued support and efforts during the year, and we look forward into 2022 positively for “normality” and more!
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