Credit risk arises from the possibility that the counterparty to a transaction may be unable or unwilling to meet its obligations causing a financial loss to the Group. Trade receivables are sub- ject to a policy of active risk management, which focuses on the assessment of country risk, credit availability, ongoing credit evaluation and account monitoring procedures. There are cer- tain concentrations within trade receivables of counterparty credit risk, particularly in the U.S., due to the sales via wholesalers (Note 25 ).
For some credit exposures in critical countries, such as certain Southern European countries, the Group has obtained credit insurance.
In the U.S., the Group entered into a trade receivable financing agreement that qualifies for derecognition. According to the terms and conditions of the agreement UCB does not retain any non-payment or further late payment risk relating to the transferred trade receivables.
The exposure of other financial assets to credit risk is controlled by setting a policy for limiting credit exposure to high-quality counterparties, regular reviews of credit ratings, and setting defined limits for each individual counterparty. The criteria set by Group Treasury for their investment policy are based on generally considered high-quality long-term credit ratings and 5 years Credit Default Swap rate.
Where appropriate to reduce exposure, netting agreements under an ISDA (International Swaps and Derivatives Association) master agreement are signed with the respective counterparties. The maximum exposure to credit risk resulting from financial activities, without considering netting agreements, is equal to the carrying amount of financial assets plus the positive fair value of derivative instruments.