23rd October 2018

Standard Chartered joins forces with other banks to transform trade finance

Standard Chartered together with ANZ, Banco Santander, BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank and HSBC have announced a joint initiative to build a digital “Trade Information Network” by the end of 2018. The founding banks have signed a corresponding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and have agreed to work toward piloting the Network. They will introduce the Network at the SIBOS conference in Sydney, Australia. Once operational, it will become the first inclusive global multi-bank, multi-corporate network in trade finance.

The Network aims to address the unmet demand for financing earlier in the supply chain by enabling corporates to easily and securely communicate trade information directly with banks of their choice. In order to develop a new industry standard in trade finance, the Network’s approach has been validated with extensive corporate and bank engagement. In addition to the founding banks, more than 20 additional banks from around the world are actively participating in developing the Network and several corporates have already expressed an interest in participating in pilots. The Network has the potential to transform international trade.

Corporates will be able to submit and verify purchase orders and invoices to request trade financing from the banks of their choice. By providing those banks with access to trusted trade information, the Network will help to mitigate the risk of double financing and fraudulent trade information across the industry. This enables the relevant banks to better assess risks and provide trade financing earlier in the supply chain, including for small and medium-sized enterprises that have traditionally experienced difficulty in accessing trade finance. Banks will provide financing outside of the Network using their existing systems.

The Network has open architecture and standardised connectivity based on a governance model similar to SWIFT to achieve maximum adoption across the supply chain ecosystem. Corporates will use a simple one-time registration process which will allow them to connect with all banks on the Network.

Michael Vrontamitis, Head, Trade, Europe and Americas, Standard Chartered said: “The way in which international trade is facilitated by banks has to evolve. With changing client needs and the demand for greater connectivity and accessibility, banks need to set aside traditional models and co-innovate a new global standard for trade finance to reduce the existing $1.5trn trade finance gap and promote commerce globally. We firmly believe the initiative has this ability and are excited to be one of the founding banks.”