Credit insurer Euler Hermes has withdrawn cover for suppliers to the UK arm of McCain Foods after it failed to provide up-to-date financial accounts.

Speaking to just-food today (7 April), the insurer would not confirm the move, but managing director Fabrice Desnos said that in the current climate it is now asking buyers to disclose “far more information” and to be “far more transparent” than a year ago.

“Whereas in the past we may have given them the benefit of the doubt, today we need more information to accurately assess the risk on behalf of our clients. So we are asking our client’s customers to share information and not shy away from entering into a constructive dialogue,” Desnos said.

In a letter seen by The Sunday Telegraph, the insurer said McCain’s most recent accounts to June 2007 were “too old for underwriting purposes” and that it would only review its decision if it saw audited accounts for the year to June 2008 and management accounts up to December.

Euler Hermes is understood to have had attempted to contact the company on “several occasions” in order to obtain the financial information but to date the request had been “refused”.

A spokesperson for McCain said: “McCain Foods has worked with many of its suppliers for a number of years, some for over three generations, and has an exemplary record of the settlement of bills and this remains the case.

“In line with our statutory requirements, we always submit audited accounts for our GB business to Companies House on time at the end of April each year. We will submit our 30 June 2008 accounts within the next few weeks as normal and we are confident they will show a continued strong performance in Great Britain.

“We are disappointed that Euler Hermes could not wait until the end of the month before going to the media with this story.”