Liberty’s Jesse van Cleef, head of MBTC Europe, and James Goodliffe, head of MBTC North America, outline the ways in which the insurer continues to adapt and offer reliability, innovation and steadfast support for businesses in the global economy.


Multi-buyer trade credit (MBTC) insurance is one of Liberty’s newest offerings in Europe and an exciting development in our product range.

Since its launch, it has evolved significantly. As we look forward to new opportunities and brace for emerging challenges, it’s essential to consider the political and macroeconomic factors shaping this segment. What has driven the surge of this product, and how is Liberty adapting to the shifting landscape?

Why the market is shifting

The past few years have been characterised by recurring periods of volatility, especially in the commodities sector. This inherent unpredictability drives the acquisition of trade credit insurance (TCI). TCI offers clients the opportunity to use insured accounts receivables (AR) as collateral for bank loans, supporting their financing arrangements; for example, credit-insured accounts receivable allow insured access to asset-based lending (ABL) financing. TCI is also important in turbulent periods as it not only protects businesses’ accounts but can also support their financial health and provide confidence to weather the ups and downs of cycles.

According to the Berne Union, around 90% of all global trade today relies on some form of credit, insurance or guarantee issued by a bank, insurer or other financial institution.1 By giving confidence to businesses when they trade and to public entities when they invest, TCI plays a vital role in enabling global economic activity.

In spite of geopolitical events and their impacts on people and industry, the TCI market is currently going through a soft phase of the cycle because the level of claims has been historically low since the pandemic, albeit now returning to regular levels as central bank support tapers off.

However, there are signs the TCI industry is in the process of turning from a soft to a hard market, with premiums and terms & conditions shifting at different paces. Within a changing cycle, it is vital for insurers to understand businesses’ risks and have a deep understanding of their industry.

Adapting to opportunities and challenges ahead

In the modern TCI landscape, syndication and co-insurance are becoming more common and are a way to mitigate volatility by increasingly spreading the risk across multiple co-insurers on a particular policy. While the approach is fairly commonplace in the UK, the trend towards syndication and co-insured programmes is increasingly common in Continental Europe, North America and Asia, particularly for large corporate and bank AR purchase programmes, where the clients are keen to put together structures with several carriers. Having multiple carriers on a programme allows for greater capacity to support larger line sizes while mitigating drastic reductions in capacity that can occur by a single carrier when credit conditions deteriorate.

In such a dynamic landscape, it’s also crucial to explore the factors that allow insurers to remain competitive in the market. Liberty’s approach to TCI provides a compelling case study as it has focused on providing tailored solutions in a complex market.

To remain competitive when evaluating potential clients, insurers like Liberty consider multiple variables, including the client’s reputation, competitive position within their industry, market share as well as their size and financial position.

Rather than focusing heavily on one-size-fits-all credit insurance, Liberty takes a considered approach. This means strategically identifying and engaging in niche markets and sectors where Liberty can add the most value. It’s about quality over quantity, a philosophy that distinguishes Liberty in the market.

Furthermore, Liberty’s mutual structure enables it to approach business decisions with a long-term perspective by focusing on its policyholders and partners rather than on shareholders and stock markets. This contrasts with the typical quarterly-driven approach of public companies. Liberty’s method provides consistency and reliability in its services, instilling confidence in its clients and partners.

Liberty Specialty Markets: A hidden gem in trade credit insurance

While Liberty Specialty Markets’ multi-buyer trade credit insurance might be relatively new to the European market, Liberty’s history in trade credit is longstanding. Its trade credit team is part of its global financial risk solutions business, a successful business that has deep roots. Its size, balance sheet and experienced credit solutions and political risk solutions teams make it instantly a formidable player in the trade credit field.

This historical background underpins the company’s well-established expertise in this specialised domain.

Liberty’s historical involvement, commitment to relationships and ability to thrive in both a soft and a hard market are important in an evolving political and macroeconomic environment. As the industry shifts and evolves, Liberty remains dedicated to serving its clients and partners in innovative ways.

With a focus on long-term reliability, consistency and unique solutions, we continue to shine in the trade credit insurance world, supporting the resilience of businesses and the global economy.