France launches new ECA: Bpifrance replaces Coface

(Global Trade Review, London, 18 January 2017) France has concluded the transfer of its export credit agency (ECA) from Coface to the Banque Publique d’Investissement (Bpifrance) and rebranded it Bpifrance Assurance Export. Coface’s 240 ECA-focused staff members have been transferred to Bpifrance to ensure continuity. Bpifrance Assurance Export teams will be led by Chritophe Viprey as general manager. The new agency is owned and controlled by the state, with Bpifrance managing all operations and export guarantees. This transition completes Bpifrance’s offering, and will simplify access to ECA products to make them available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It makes Bpifrance the only portal for all internationalisation-related public aid, including cross-border investment funds, loans for international expansion, export credit, credit, foreign exchange, investment and pre-financing guarantees. Additionally, all Bpifrance financing will now be automatically guaranteed by the state.

(jDSUPRA Business advisor, Sausalito, 17 January 2017) Coface export guarantees and insurance policies were previously granted on behalf of the French State but in Coface's name with the French State acting as Coface's reinsurer under a service agreement between Coface and the French Ministry of Finance and regulated under the French Insurance Code (Code des assurances). Under the new legislation export credit guarantees and insurance will now be issued directly by the French State through Bpifrance