The Norwegian state owned guarantee system dates back to the 1920’s when the government decided to support the export of Norwegian salt fish, herring and aluminum to the Soviet Union.
The intention was to mitigate unemployment, especially within the fishing industry. By the 1930’s, the guarantees were expanded to include exports to Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain and Brazil; and the products guaranteed were extended to paper and cellulose, as well as ships and machine equipment.
Up to the year 2000
The post-war guarantee institute was mainly offering credit risk insurance including insurance against bankruptcy and transfer risk. This lay the foundation for the current Guarantee Institute for Export Credits (GIEK).
GIEK remained under the Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, and in 1975 it included an exchange rate guarantee scheme in response to a decade characterized by a crisis in the shipping and petrol industries.
The 1990’s saw the fall of the Berlin wall which brought with it an increased need for export guarantees, in order to maintain the export of traditional goods. In 1994 GIEK was established as its own public enterprise under the ministry of trade. The enterprise was given its own mandates as well as an independent professional board of directors.
In the year 2000, as a result of pressure from the EU to separate the commercial aspect of GIEK into a wholly-owned subsidiary, GIEK Kredittforsikring was born. The mandate given to GIEK Kredittforsikring was that it was to promote SME in Norway and ensure sufficient capacity in the credit risk insurance market.
2001 was the first operational year for GIEK Kredittforsikring, in which the company insured a volume of NOK 8 billion. In 2009 GIEK Kredittforsikring moved out of the offices of the parent company GIEK, and into its own location. In 2010, GIEK Kredittforsikring had more than five times the volume insured and premium income compared to 2001.
2011 marked the 10 year anniversary of GIEK Kredittforsikring’s operations. The first 10 years the company asserted itself as a heavy and serious contender in the Norwegian credit risk insurance market. In 2010 we were Norway’s largest credit risk insurance company, both in terms of staff employed and premium earned on our insurance.
In 2015 the ownership of GIEK Kredittforsikring was moved from The Guarantee Institute for Export Credits (GIEK) to The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries.
In 2020, GIEK Kredittforsikring has more than NOK 60 billion in annual insured volume, and more than NOK 100 million in premium income.
The state at the Ministry of Trade and Fisheries decided in February 2020 to sell GIEK Credit Insurance to one of the world's largest credit insurance companies, Coface.
The acquisition took place on July 1, 2020.
Thus, an era is ending and a whole new beginning. GIEK Kredittforsikring has been a relatively small, but a very important player in the Norwegian credit insurance market. At the time of acquisition, GIEK Kredittforsikring had a 22% market share in Norway. GIEK Kredittforsikring has now from 01.07.2020 changed name and is called Coface GK Forsikring AS.
Read more about Coface here.