Finding the right finance or insurance can still be a struggle for UK companies selling overseas.
Here’s a real-life example:
Blyth Workcats designs and builds bespoke catamarans from its base in Canvey Island, Essex. It recently won an order to supply a new scientific survey vessel to a German university. However, the university required an advance payment bond, guaranteed by Blyth’s UK bank.
Blyth’s bank did not have the capacity to take 100 per cent of the risk on the advance payment bond, jeopardising the export.
Fortunately Blyth knew about the government support available through UK Export Finance (UKEF). Working with Blyth’s bank and one of our regional export finance advisers, we unlocked the advance payment that Blyth needed by providing a credit guarantee on its behalf.
We have helped in hundreds of similar situations. Interventions vary from guarantees in support of working capital from banks, to guaranteeing or making loans directly to overseas buyers. We also offer insurance against failure to pay by the buyer, used recently by companies selling to Greece and Ukraine.
Beneficiaries of our support include exporters of all kinds of goods and services, from educational books to undersea cable systems. We can bring tangible pounds and pence support to UK companies. Our involvement can be transformative, helping them compete in the global marketplace. And we want to do more.
Insider fraud is a growing threat to today’s companies, big and small. Your staff can hold the solution.
○ The threat from insider fraud is growing and it can affect businesses of any size;
○ Educating staff against the risks can have a big impact;
○ Vetting staff is a crucial part of doing everything you can to prevent a known fraudster entering your organisation in the first place.
Are employees your greatest strength or greatest weakness? When it comes to insider fraud risks the answer is: both. Well trained staff who are supported to raise concerns around wrongdoing can be as effective as some of the most complex fraud prevention technology out there. But staff can also be the point in the chain where it all goes wrong, leading to significant financial and reputational loss for businesses.
The threat from insider fraud is growing and it is increasingly sophisticated. Recorded internal fraud cases up by 18 per cent last year, according to Cifas data. The types of fraud are changing too – theft of cash still happens, but data is the new gold. We know that criminal gangs are experienced at planting members into companies so that they can commit fraud from the inside, often by stealing lucrative data on customer details that can be used to engineer scams or commit identity fraud.
Sometimes employees are pushed into crime, often by a change in circumstance that has resulted in extreme stress, such as debt or blackmail. Others are seduced into it – perhaps they have stumbled across a weakness or loophole in internal controls and find it relatively easy to commit the fraud, or are targeted by gangs.
But it is crucial that businesses also realise that often there is no malicious intent of the part of their employees. A member of staff can become an accidental, innocent pawn in a fraudster’s game. We are increasingly seeing cases where seemingly genuine emails, websites, links, pages, attachments designed to be opened by staff and actioned, contain malware that attacks a company’s security systems or convinces the recipient to disclose confidential information or security details.
Fraudsters thrive on ignorance. This is good news for businesses, because it means that there are many cost effective steps that businesses of all sizes can do to train staff and communicate fraud policies clearly. Educating this honest majority of staff and equipping them to spot and report fraud will make a big difference.
As for how to avoid those who do not have honest intentions, start at the beginning. Vetting staff is a crucial part of doing everything you can to prevent a known fraudster entering your organisation in the first place. It can be avoided and it reduces risk.
For more information on how to protect your business, contact Cifas on cifas.org.uk
By working with the right partner organisations can implement a proportionate response to cyber risk
By Nigel Stanley, Director of Cyber Security Practice, TUV RHEINLAND OPENSKY LIMITED
○ The need to assess and understand your cyber risk
○ The need to put in place a proportionate response to the risk
○ The need to keep on top of evolving threats
Nowadays criminals have latched onto the power of the internet and are using the web to conduct their crimes. The reason? Simply that is where the money is. Much as being online is a way to conduct legitimate business, so it is being used to conduct criminal activities.
Information security, now dubbed cyber security, can be a complex subject as it can involve some very deep technical issues along with the complexities of people and processes. Key to success is ensuring confidentiality, integrity and availability of corporate data and systems.
Every business is obliged to ensure that its operations are run according to local and international rules, laws and governance requirements and, following recent high profile data breaches, chief executives should ensure that cyber risk is firmly placed in their risk register. Of course cyber security is more than compliance as it can help enable a business grow and develop safe in the knowledge that its intellectual property, customer databases and financial details are kept safe and secure.
The world is changing and so are cyber risks. We have already seen internet enabled baby alarms, medical devices, motor vehicles, mobile phones, TVs and fridges being subject to cyber-attack. While some of these attacks may seem trivial, some have had quite an impact on those affected. In a growing number of cases internet enabled “things” are being used as a backdoor route into corporate systems and data. No longer can corporate security finish at the factory gate.
OpenSky is part of a bigger testing and certification company called TUV Rheinland which has 150 years’ engineering experience across many diverse sectors. With this engineering expertise TUV Rheinland understands how things work and can apply that considerable knowledge to the world of cyber security.
Post-crisis regulations mandate the use of risk mitigation activities like portfolio compression, portfolio reconciliation, trade reporting, central clearing, and margin management to bring stability and transparency to the OTC derivative markets. Mireille Dyrberg, COO of TriOptima and Peter Weibel, CEO of TriOptima’s triReduce service discuss their firm’s network solution approach to solving the challenges of efficient and effective risk mitigation.
- TriOptima helps firms implement post crisis financial regulatory requirements
- triReduce portfolio compression and triResolve portfolio reconciliation are leaders in risk mitigation
- Look to TriOptima for future innovations and collaborations in the OTC derivatives market
TriOptima offers portfolio compression, portfolio reconciliation and margin management services for OTC derivatives that all rely on multilateral network solution platforms. Easy to join with no IT installations, participants meet their counterparties on the TriOptima platforms to eliminate unnecessary trades from their portfolios in triReduce or to reconcile portfolio differences on triResolve before these result in operational errors or costly collateral disputes.
TriOptima has embraced the new trend of collaboration both for its longstanding services and for its new innovations. This means implementing triReduce compression in clearing venues like SwapClear, JSCC, SGX, CME and CLS and similarly, offering reconciliation of data between newly-established trade repositories and the triResolve platform. Most recently, TriOptima announced a partnership of 13 major financial institutions, AcadiaSoft MarginSphere® and triResolve to offer an automated end-to-end margin management solution that addresses the new collateral requirements for uncleared OTC derivatives.
As both Dyrberg and Weibel point out, the need to move swiftly and efficiently puts a high value on flexibility, creativity and co-operation. By offering services and tools that will enhance liquidity, market participants will be able to effectively hedge their interest rate, credit and FX exposures and manage their businesses.