The world’s leading credit insurance and surety insurers and their reinsurers met in Barcelona from June 8-10 under the banner of the International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA) where they discussed the main issues that affect this industry following the economic, regulatory and political developments of the past 12 months.

The many changes and challenges following proposals for new accounting rules and capital allocation requirements were one of the main topics for discussion. Discussions further focused on high-level professional and technical issues. Experts from Towers Perrin Tillinghast, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and others joined ICISA members during these debates.

Representatives from the Berne Union, the Pan-American Surety Association (PASA) and the Surety Association of America (SAA) were also present, and it was further confirmed that ICISA would reinforce its collaboration and coordination with these professional associations.

Francois David, president of ICISA, highlighted the importance of this collaboration by saying: “Representing the interests of our industry towards regulatory and other bodies is one of the most important aspects of our association. By joining forces where possible with kindred organisations such as the Berne Union, PASA and the SAA we assure the widest possible representation, from which each member of every association will benefit.”

Thanks to an improved trading environment ICISA members insured substantially larger volumes of trade, resulting in increased premium, while claims declined. However, the poor performance by most of the euro-zone and the imbalances in global trade continue to be a cause of concern.

Robert Nijhout, ICISA’s executive director, stated: “Strong profitable growth underlines the sound financial state our sector enjoys. Recent expansion into Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia demonstrates the ability of our industry to offer its products where our customers need them.”

ICISA members re-elected David (chairman and chief executive, Groupe Coface) for his second term as president for the period 2005-06. John Rumpler (group general manager, QBE) was also re-elected for a second term as the association’s vice-president for the same period.

Luis Santamar­a Campuzano (CEO and general manager, Mapfre Caucin y Crdito) and Peter Schmidt (head of credit solutions, Swiss Re) were elected as members of the management committee.

This, the 63rd general meeting of the association, was hosted by Cesce, Coface Iberica, Crdito y Caucin, and Mapfre.