About the Berne Union

The Berne Union was founded in 1934 by private and state export credit insurers from France, Italy, Spain and the UK. Its first meeting was in Berne, Switzerland – which is where the name Berne Union came from.

Our aims have remained consistent since then:

  • To actively facilitate cross-border trade by supporting international acceptance of sound principles in export credits and foreign investment.
  • To provide a forum for professional exchanges amongst our members.

The growth of the Berne Union
The Berne Union has always been made up of both public and private companies.

By 1959 we had 22 members, including companies from outside Europe such as EDC (Canada), US EXIMBANK and EFIC (Australia).

In 1974 our mandate expanded to include members who insure foreign investments.

The export credit members formed two groups in 1999, focusing on short term and medium/long term export credit business.

More than 10 new members have joined since 2002, further increasing our geographical diversity. (Link to member list for BU)

The Berne Union Prague Club
The Berne Union established the Prague Club in 1993. The Prague Club aims to support new and maturing export credit agencies and insurers setting up and developing export credit and investment insurance schemes.

Find out more about the Prague Club.

The Berne Union today
Today, with 79 member companies from around the world as members of the Berne Union and the Prague Club, we have grown to be the leading global organisation for the export credit and investment insurance industry.

In 2012, members of the Berne Union collectively insured USD 1.8 trillion of exports and foreign direct investment – more than 10 percent of international trade.

Since the global financial crisis in 2008, Berne Union members have indemnified approximately USD 22 billion to exporters and investors, protecting them from losses suffered due to buyer defaults in all regions of the world.