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Punjab National Bank scam shouldn't stop trade finance
23 February 2018

Some banks have reportedly clamped down on trade finance following the scam at the Punjab National Bank. Heightened vigilance is warranted, but restricting letters of credit and holding back letters of undertaking will hurt trade and the banks' own business. The RBI and Indian Banks’ Association should instruct the banking community not to disrupt trade finance.

XL Catlin appoints Claudia Thyme as Director Emerging Markets Development
23 February 2018

XL Catlin has appointed appoints Claudia Thyme as Director Emerging Markets Development. Her role will see her pay particular focus on Latin America. She has 20 years' experience in the insurance industry, ten years of which have been spent at XL Catlin. In her new role she transfers from the Communications & Marketing team, where she most recently held the position of Director Strategy & Business Groups.

Hapag-Lloyd freight receivables securitisation increased
22 February 2018

Finacity has facilitated an increase to $500 million of an existing freight receivables securitisation for Germany-headquartered Hapag-Lloyd Group. The increase was primarily as a result of integrating the freight receivables of United Arab Shipping Company, recently merged with the group.

MPs publish full report into RBS small business scandal
22 February 2018

The Treasury committee has published the full unredacted report into Royal Bank of Scotland's "disgraceful" treatment of struggling small businesses that came to it for financial assistance in the wake of the banking crisis. The 350-page document details "widespread inappropriate treatment" of small businesses by the bank's Global Restructuring Group (GRG), resulting in "material financial distress". Nicky Morgan, who chairs the committee, said: "The overarching priority at all levels of GRG was not the health and strength of customers, but the generation of income for RBS, through made-up fees, high interest rates, and the acquisition of equity and property."

UK bank lending to SMEs declines, fear of rejection rises
22 February 2018

Just 1.7% of the UK's 5.7 million small and medium-sized enterprises applied for a bank loan or an overdraft in 2017, according to the British Business Bank. Fewer small businesses applied for loans at big banks, and there was an increase in the number of SMEs fearing they would be rejected if they were to apply for a bank loan.

Ripple makes new connections to emerging markets
21 February 2018

Ripple has announced deals with two banks and three payment processors across India, Brazil and China, as the firm seeks to make good on a promise to transform payment flows into and out of emerging markets. Itaú Unibanco, Brazil's largest private sector bank, IndusInd in India and Singaporean money transfer outfit InstaReM have announced plans to use Ripple's enterprise-ready ledger product xCurrent to provide real-time cross-border payments to other financial institutions around the world. Two remittance providers, Beetech in Brazil and Zip Remit in Canada, have also come onboard, using Ripple's xVia API to open payment corridors for their customers.

If supply chain finance is to grow, where are the banks?
21 February 2018

Everyone going to supply chain finance conferences hears the stories of how popular SCF has become and how many lenders are looking to move downstream to provide SCF or payable finance beyond just the big rich corporates. But a number of regional banks have either downsized their SCF offering or have found it too problematic to develop a platform, build origination, and meet internal compliance standards.

CPMI urges faster cross-border payments
20 February 2018

The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) has released a paper pressing for faster cross-border payments at a global scale. Cross-border payments are often marred by greater risk exposure and logistical complexities, but the current technological landscape does not warrant the lack of speed and efficiency in global payments today, it said.

SME use of alternative finance on the rise
20 February 2018

Traditional bank loans still reign as the top financing target for small business borrowers, but a new report by Mercator Advisory Group suggests alternative lenders are gaining traction. It found 27% of SMEs in the US have already used an online alternative lending platform. It also found millennial small business owners are twice as likely than their older peers to have used an alternative funding solution (48% compared to 25% for business owners 35 and older).

UniCredit and Alibaba.com unite to boost Italian exporters
20 February 2018

UniCredit and Alibaba.com, the B2B marketplace of Alibaba Group, are working together to launch a series of marketing initiatives promoting Alibaba.com international website to Italian exporters. UniCredit will also launch a separate new product, Easy Export, which will be exclusively available for UniCredit's clients at the beginning of March.

Jan Kupfer to head UniCredit's CIB in Germany
20 February 2018

Jan Kupfer has been appointed head of corporate and investment banking (CIB) for Germany at UniCredit. He is currently global co-head of global transaction banking at the Italian-headquartered bank. Kupfer takes over from Michael Diederich, who was appointed country chairman for Germany after the departure of Theodor Weimer to become chief executive of Deutsche Boerse at the start of this year.

Tipalti CEO Chen Amit on accounts payable automation
19 February 2018

Accounts payable automation lags, mired in manual processes and paper. Tipalti CEO Chen Amit believes automating AP functions can help shift cross-border supplier payments management from cost centers to revenue enhancers.

IDB Invest launches its largest bond in Mexican capital markets
19 February 2018

IDB Invest has issued a new MXN 1,500 million ($81 million equivalent) three-year bond in the Mexican capital markets. It represents IDB Invest’s fourth and largest bond issuance in Mexico to date, as well as the first one since reorganising its private sector operations as IDB Invest. The bond will allow IDB Invest to finance its growing pipeline of operations in Mexico.

C2FO: SMEs face challenges that accompany economic recovery
16 February 2018

C2FO has released its third annual Working Capital Outlook Survey, revealing that two-thirds of SMEs indicate an increase in need for liquidity from 2016 to 2017 - with India and China reflecting the highest demand, fuelled by their growing economies. Also, as the economy recovers, SMEs may be entering a new era of high growth and their need for liquidity may outpace access to funding, especially as rates increase Alternative sources of financing from fintech companies will be critical to meet increasing demand for affordable funding.

Allianz confirms Euler Hermes stake swoop
16 February 2018

Allianz has raised its stake in credit insurer Euler Hermes to 92.43%. The German group said it has "acquired an additional 29.43% of Euler Hermes share capital, representing a total investment of approximately €1.5 billion".

Deutsche Bank: How payables finance helps bridge $1.5trn trade finance gap
16 February 2018

Deutsche Bank has released a new publication, Payables Finance: A guide to working capital optimisation, which provides a guide to the past, present and future of payables finance- based on actual transactions and programmes. It also shows how payables finance has gone some way towards delivering on the UN General Assembly's Addis Ababa Action Agenda, a resolution designed to make financing more accessible for SMEs.

Citi and PNC invest in B2B payments outfit HighRadius
15 February 2018

Citi Ventures and PNC have made strategic investments in US business-to-business payments and receivables software provider HighRadius. The firm claims that its receivables platform optimises cash flow through automation of receivables and payments processes across credit, collections, cash application, deductions, electronic billing and payment processing.

BFS closes Q4 with over $35m in commercial financing
15 February 2018

Bibby Financial Services (BFS) provided over $35 million in commercial financing to 64 new clients across all of its North American product lines in Q4 of 2017. The company saw 7% more new clients in 2017 than in 2016 across all lines of business and nearly doubled its business in Bibby Transportation Finance. Additionally, the asset based lending funding lines closed in Q4 made up more than 50% of the funding for the quarter.

Integrating payments to help SMEs find success
15 February 2018

When it comes to getting paid, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a problem. With checks and cash remaining popular, getting invoices paid can take weeks. The solution, according to Mark Girvan, chief commercial officer at FreshBooks, is embedding payments into old-fashioned invoices, making payments a one-step process.

BPL Global releases first CPRI Market Insight report
14 February 2018

Credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) broker BPL Global has published its inaugural Market Insight report. The report provides an analysis of the CPRI market's capabilities, current worldwide risk exposures and a claims update, focusing on claims activity since the global financial crisis.

BFS launches invoice discounting for commercial trade finance
14 February 2018

Bibby Financial Services (BFS) has extended its trade finance proposition to include invoice discounting for commercial businesses with turnover of up to £5 million. It includes letters of credit provided within 24 hours to supplier banks, suppliers paid on the same day goods are shipped, and funding is available until end-customer payment is received.

Sberbank, Sovcomflot agree financing for Arctic shuttle tanker
14 February 2018

Russia's Sberbank and Sovcomflot have signed a new $106 million project financing agreement to finance the construction of a high ice class Arctic shuttle tanker (Arc7) for the Novy Port project, under a long-term agreement with Gazprom Neft. The loan has a term of up to 14 years.

Bachmann & Welser introduce range of bank instruments
13 February 2018

Bachmann & Welser Global Group & Subsidiaries have introduced bank guarantees, stand by letters of credit and letter of credit instruments to help clients in monetisation and working capital.

Everest Insurance hires Paul Sanders in head European role
13 February 2018

Everest Insurance has hired Paul Sanders as head of its European Credit and Political Risk insurance business. His most recent role was head of Aspen Insurance's credit and political risk business. Based in London, he will provide credit and political risk solutions to European-based customers in conjunction with Everest Insurance's Ireland-based underwriting platform.

LSM to launch new e-trading platform for trade credit insurance
13 February 2018

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM) is to launch launch Toredo, a web-based platform for transacting specialised trade credit insurance for banks, corporates, and commodity traders. It says the new platform will allow underwriters, brokers and clients to buy and sell insurance capacity with greater speed, visibility and efficiency.

White Oak buys Federal National Commercial Credit
9 February 2018

US-based White Oak Global Advisors has acquired Federal National Commercial Credit (FNCC), a specialized commercial finance company providing government receivable financing, commercial factoring and asset based loans to small and medium-sized enterprises. FNCC's senior leadership team of CEO Kwesi Rogers and Chief Credit Officer Kysha Pierre-Louis will continue to lead the business from Bethesda, Maryland. The company will be named White Oak Business Capital.

SME lending up in January
9 February 2018

Small and medium-sized enterprise lending among big banks continued to climb in January, reaching a 25.3% approval rate, according to the latest Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index. Small banks saw a slight increase in small business loan approvals from December to January, hitting a 49.1% approval rating last month.

Esme Loans joins NatWest's alternative finance panel
9 February 2018

UK SME digital lending platform Esme Loans is to join a group of leading alternative finance firms on NatWest's Capital Connections panel. NatWest set up Capital Connections in 2016 to help SMEs access alternative sources of capital after being unable to secure traditional financial backing.

XL Catlin promotes Tim Powell to Chief Underwriting Officer
9 February 2018

XL Catlin's insurance operations has promoted Tim Powell to Chief Underwriting Officer for International Financial Lines. He will be based in London and be responsible for the underwriting performance of XL Catlin's Financial Lines portfolio in all geographies outside North America. He joined Catlin Australia in 2009 after working at Allianz, AIG and Sedgwick.

Finacity launches IFRS off-balance sheet securitization for Ferroglobe
8 February 2018

Finacity has launched an IFRS off-balance sheet trade receivables securitization for Ferroglobe, a supplier of silicon metal, silicon-based specialty alloys, and ferroalloys. The transaction allows for up to $250 million in funding of the senior tranche from ING Bank NV, Sucursal en Espana.

MarketInvoice partners with credit insurer Euler Hermes
8 February 2018

Invoice finance and business loans platform MarketInvoice has partnered with trade credit insurer Euler Hermes to help customers safeguard against bad debt. MarketInvoice customers who use invoice finance solutions will be offered credit insurance which protects them if their customer becomes insolvent or fails to pay within the agreed terms.

ICC Trade Register confirms low risk profile for trade and export finance
8 February 2018

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Banking Commission has released its 2017 Trade Register report - Global Risks in Trade Finance. The report reveals the low-risk nature of transactions that support global trade, and confirms that trade finance products continue to present banks with low levels of credit risk.

Alan Beard appointed to US Department of Commerce Trade Finance Advisory Council
8 February 2018

US Department of Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross has appointed Alan Beard, managing director of Interlink Capital Strategies, to the Trade Finance Advisory Council to provide him advice and counsel on trade finance issues. He has 30 years of extensive public and private sector experience assisting small and medium-sized enterprises gain access to export financing.

SMEs oblivious to payment fraud consequences
8 February 2018

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the US are in the dark when it comes to the impact payments fraud can have on their company, a new report from Vocalink Analytics found. Research found 50% of SMEs think the impact from payment fraud will be minimal and that they will lose only a small fraction of their money as a result. It comes despite a warning from the FBI last year that business email compromise fraud is now a $5.3 billion industry.

The ai Corporation unveils three senior hires
8 February 2018

UK-based payments, fraud and risk management group ai Corporation has announced the appointment of Robin Whitehead, David Gilhespy and Natasha Westover, as Chief Technology Officer, Chief Operations Officer and Finance Director, respectively.

Talking trade tech
Talking trade tech
Oliver O'Connell
7 February 2018

TXF catches up with Kitt Carswell, vice president, senior offering manager, trade and supply chain, at CGI, a global information technology consulting company, to reflect on trade tech market themes for 2018.

Danske Bank rolls out digital credit tool 5-minute loan approval
7 February 2018

Denmark's Danske Bank has developed a digital solution that enables small businesses to get a loan within a few minutes - with access to the money on the same day. It previously took the bank more than five days to reply to a customer's credit application and more than ten days for the funds to reach the customer's account.

Infor and Integration Point unveil partnership
7 February 2018

New York City-headquartered Infor, which provides industry-specific cloud applications, has unveiled a partnership with Integration Point, a provider of global trade management solutions. They will provide global trade management on a shared information network that integrates logistics, trade finance, trade compliance, trade content, customs filing, and duty optimization.

YES BANK raises $600m for five year tenor
7 February 2018

YES BANK, India's fourth largest private sector bank, has successfully completed issuance of its maiden $600 million bond issue in the international debt markets. The bond issuance is for a tenor of five years and is rated Baa3 by Moody's Investors Service.

Saudi Arabia looks to refinance $10bn syndicated loan
7 February 2018

Saudi Arabia is working with HSBC, JPMorgan and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group on the refinancing of its existing $10 billion syndicated loan. The three lenders have a leading role in the refinancing, which will involve a much larger group of banks. Loan syndication is expected to be completed by mid-February. The loan refinancing will include a repricing of the debt facility and a maturity extension, to 2023 from 2021. It will include an Islamic finance tranche using a murabaha structure.

IBM-Maersk blockchain project adds logistics provider agility
7 February 2018

Agility, a global third-party logistics provider, has joined IBM and Maersk's blockchain collaboration. Agility will share and receive information about individual shipment events through the blockchain in a bid to cut the cost of administration and documentation.

SMEs sceptical over future of Brexit despite phase one deal
6 February 2018

More than a third (37%) of SMEs trading overseas believe that Brexit will be bad for their businesses, according to Bibby Financial Services. Just 11% of SMEs trading internationally believe that Brexit will benefit them in the next three years, and 36% say they have already been negatively impacted since the EU referendum. Importers have been hit the hardest, with 40% stating that Brexit has negatively impacted them, compared with 29% of exporters.

Kashflow extends SME options with Global Payments integration
6 February 2018

KashFlow is to work with payment technology services provider Global Payments to expand its range of payment technology solutions for its 57,000 UK customers. The partnership will provide KashFlow customers the ability to choose the way they accept payments - whether it is in person, online or over the phone.

Basware sells off two business units, refocuses on procure-to-pay
6 February 2018

Finland-headquartered procure-to-pay and eInvoicing solutions provider Basware is reportedly selling off two business units - its Financial Performance Services and its banking operations - to private equity company Verdane Capital, which will turn the two units into separate companies. Tomi Lod, currently based at Basware's Finnish operations, will step in as CEO of both companies.

Why supplier acceptance rates still struggle with traditional bank funded SCF
6 February 2018

Know Your Customer has been a big inhibitor for banks in providing both supplier financing and commercial card solutions to companies they do not bank.

Gil Karni is new CEO of Bank Leumi (UK)
5 February 2018

Bank Leumi (UK), the London-based subsidiary of Israel's international bank, has appointed Gil Karni as its new CEO. Karni moves from Bucharest, where since 2016 he had headed up Bank Leumi Romania. From 2011 to 2015, he was CEO of the bank's subsidiary in Luxembourg.

Pay360 turns to AI in fight against late payments
5 February 2018

Payment service provider Pay360 is enhancing its accounts receivable services through a collaboration with incoming artificial intelligence firm collectAI, a subsidiary of Otto Group. Pay360 is working with collectAI to enable it to enter the UK market and support the fight against late payments

Previse: Retail and political heavyweights boost board
5 February 2018

Previse, the AI supplier payments decision making company, has announced four additions to its advisory board. Sainsbury's Chairman David Tyler, Macron adviser Alexandra Prigent-Labeis, British Land Chairman John Gildersleeve, and The Data Lab CEO Gillian Docherty.   Meanwhile, Previse CEO Paul Christensen will be speaking at TXF Singapore 2018: Trade, Treasury & Commodity Finance, which takes place from 28 February to 1 March.

Wyelands Bank unveils two new appointments
5 February 2018

London-headquartered Wyelands Bank, set up to help small and medium-sized enterprises, has appointed Neil Sawbridge as chief financial officer and Sarah Burkill as a director supporting origination, strategic and product development.

UK businesses leave $150bn in payments unreconciled
2 February 2018

More than $150 billion in B2B payments remain unreconciled within UK corporate systems, according to new research from YouGov, conducted for FinTech company Soldo. Nearly a tenth of small and medium-sized enterprisess (SMEs) surveyed said 10% of monthly spend is unreconciled, and more than a third admitted they must take on burdensome administrative processes to identify and reconcile company spend.