A new credit insurance division has been launched onto the market by OAMPS Special Risk.

The new division, OAMPS Credit, will specialise in trade credit, surety bonds and guarantees.

OAMPS Credit will leverage on the strength of its major shareholder, Australia’s Wesfarmers Group, to emulate the successes of the group’s existing trade credit insurer operating in Australia and increasingly in Asia.

The division will be headed up by Iain Maitland, who tells GTR: “With the knowledge of that success, we want to try and build something similar here. Clearly it is a niche [business] area, and the economy is still in a difficult place, so it has been identified as an area of potential growth.”

Maitland brings more than 25 years’ experience in trade credit insurance, after having run HSBC’s insurance broking business before it was acquired by Marsh in April 2009.

Joining Maitland is industry veteran Martin Fitzwater, who also has around 25 years of experience to draw on.

Fitzwater has worked with the UK export credit agency ECGD and also in HSBC’s insurance broking business.

Finally, Rob Coulter is part of the team and brings a decade of industry experience with him.

“The business of OAMPS in the UK is not insubstantial, we’re not starting from scratch.”

While the connection with Asia Pacific through Wesfarmers is a major benefit for the new outfit, Maitland is keen to highlight that the division has its strengths in Europe too: “The network has been built up over quite a few years now, and the business of OAMPS in the UK is not insubstantial, we’re not starting from scratch.”

“What we want is to be an alternative to the major broking houses, we are formulating ideas now and we are going to be making use of OAMPS and the wider Wesfarmers’ connections; that is critical.”