Small and medium-sized enterprise digital lending platform Bolstr has been bought by KeyBank. The Chicago-based fintech will help KeyBank provide SMEs with better access to both small business administration SBA loans as well as traditional financing.
Ant Financial's MYbank has unveiled its 'Star Plan' as it targets providing financing services to 30 million small and medium-sized enterprises and farmers in China over the next three years.
The bank says it will offer its artificial intelligence, computing and risk management capabilities to 1,000 financial institutions. Just 14% of China's small businesses have access to loans or line of credits, compared to 27% of smaller firms in G20 countries, according to a joint report published by the People's Bank of China and the World Bank.
BNP Paribas Asset Management has appointed Link Asset Services as the debt servicer for its new SME Alternative Financing platform. The platform, currently operational in the UK, will invest through direct loans to finance ambitious projects for small and medium-sized enterprises. Loans to be originated via the platform are likely to be between €500,000 and €5million. BNP Paribas Asset Management wants to roll out the proposition to other European geographies.
BBVA and Repsol have closed a revolving credit facility which uses distributed ledger technology for corporate finance. Negotiation of the long-term credit line worth €325 million was completed using BBVA's blockchain network, which the bank claims sped up and increased security and reliability throughout the process.
The negotiation was supported by private blockchain network Hyperledger, while the signed contract was registered used the Ethereum network.
Network Rail has unveiled a raft of changes that will ban tier one contractors from using retentions, and require them to pay suppliers within 28 days of work being carried out.
The company will revamp its terms and conditions for all tier one contractors that win work in the £48 billion Control Period 6, as part of a growing shift in public sector procurement.
It comes amid a growing industry debate over the payment of subcontractors in light of Carillion's collapse. Contractors that do not adhere to Network Rail’s terms will risk being in breach of contract.
Intra-Africa payments clearing and trade is increasing in importance, according to SWIFT's report, Africa Payments: Insights into African Transaction Flows. The paper points to an increase in the use of African currencies for cross-border payments and a decline in the dominance of North American clearing banks and the use of the US dollar. In the same period, there has been a reduction in the number of foreign correspondent banking relationships in most African regions.
While North America remains the main payment route of financial flows from Africa, its dominance is declining. Banks in North America - mainly the US - now receive 39.5% of all payments sent by Africa, down from 41.7% in 2013. Use of the US dollar has also decreased as a share of payments originating in Africa from more than 50% in 2013 to 45.1% in 2017.
Finacity Corporation has facilitated a €30 million receivables financing facility for Italian energy market group Green Network. The new facility provides additional financing for the growth of the company in the electricity and gas markets in Italy.
Bibby Financial Services (BFS) has appointed Aman Gill as head of trade services as it looks to offer additional support to small and medium-sized enterprises trading domestically and overseas. He most recently held the position of regional sales director at IGF Group. Aman's role as head of trade services is his third at BFS - with previous experience as a technical manager and relationship manager. He started his career as a relationship support manager at Barclays Corporate.
Morgan Goodwin has unveiled a new platform, called EdgeCTP (Combined Trading Platform), that enables small and medium-sized enterprises exporting goods from the UK to create an EC Certificate of Origin on-line free of charge. The new platform also cuts the cost to the 53 UK Chambers of Commerce in the UK, who are approved to authenticate and stamp the Certificate of Origin document.
Creditsafe has commissioned a study that ranked countries according to how quickly firms in each nation pay invoices - the Late Payments World Cup. Brazil came in first, with payments days beyond terms (DBT) at 4.3 days, followed by Iceland at 6.4 days. The top 16 is rounded out by Colombia at 8.9 days. Much beleaguered England comes in at 16 days, but ahead of the last place position taken by Portugal, at the back of the pack at 19.4 days.
Determining what individual bank requirements are for onboarding suppliers to supply chain finance or payable finance programs is not about reasonable expectations. Interpreting KYC regulation to onboard suppliers is all about a "principles-based" approach - the governments in different jurisdictions set the principles to follow and leave banks to determine how. Banks will often go above and beyond what is required for KYC in an effort to make sure all of their bases are covered.
This leaves practices that can be viewed as excessive and cost heavy. Regulators are also less concerned about going through a "compliance checklist" than about using resources to manage the risks a bank could face. If a bank is going to err in compliance, it will be on the side of having a high bar.
The £54 million of UK domestic trade credit insurance claims paid out in the first three months of 2018 was a record for the first quarter of a year, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has revealed.
The number of claims made by UK firms in the quarter to cover non-payment of debts was at its highest level since 2009. There were 3,966 notifications of new trade credit insurance claims up by 50% on the previous quarter as the insolvency of Carillion hit.
The ABI compiled the latest data from nine trade credit insurers: AIG, Atradius, Coface, Euler Hermes, Markel International, QBE, Tokio Marine HCC, XL and Zurich.
Coface has announced a €300 million syndicated loan agreement for its Polish subsidiary Coface Poland Factoring. The syndicated loan partly replaces existing bilateral credit lines. The Polish subsidiary is supported by seven banking partners: Crédit Agricole CIB, HSBC, ING Bank Slaski and Natixis, acting as Mandated Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners, Banco Santander, Commerzbank and Société Générale CIB, acting as Mandated Lead Arrangers. Natixis is acting as Documentation Agent and Crédit Agricole CIB as Facility Agent.
Traxia, the first crypto project to be built on top of the Cardano blockchain, has been listed on the KuCoin exchange.
Traxia – a ‘decentralized global trade finance ecosystem’ which aims to create a open marketplace for users and businesses to exchange invoices as short-term assets using Cardano’s smart contract technology – has launched following an initial coin offering that raised $15.1 million. The platform, developed by LiqEase, is scheduled to fully integrate with the Cardano platform by the end of this year.
Ethiopia’s Ayka Addis Textile & Investment Group, which has reported massive losses for the past four years, is to receive a pre-shipment credit from Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE). The company owes DBE ETB2.3 billion ($82 million) in project debt and working capital credit. DBE’s management had taken a strict credit stand against the borrower citing its outstanding loan, repayment history and loan portfolio, but the DBE board has opted to extend assistance to enable Ayka to continue importing and exporting.
Standard Chartered’s unique supply chain finance solution offers a win-win for both buyers and suppliers. By Michael Sugirin, Head of Open Account and Trade Implementation, Transaction Banking, Standard Chartered.
FCI members have unanimously voted to make Shariah compliant factoring a part of FCI’s group of supported business finance solutions. Changes to the general rules of international factoring will now ensure that this branch of factoring is facilitated within the FCI member network, allowing support for this type of business on a fully cross-border basis.
IFC and Dalus Capital are providing a $10 million capital investment to eFactor Network, a Mexican fintech company specialized in factoring and working capital. Through a multifunding and multicurrency electronic factoring marketplace, eFactor Network allows the connection between large buyers, suppliers and financial institutions (banking and non-banking) to optimise working capital by realising electronic discounts in real time. Proceeds from the capital injection will be used to develop new financial products for SMEs.
Regulation tech start-up kompany and Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) have signed a contract for the development and implementation of a group-wide next-generation business KYC solution. The KYC solution, which is nearing the implementation phaser, was developed by integrating multiple services into a cloud-based platform, thus streamlining the compliance steps in accordance with RBI’s structure and business demands. RBI customers will benefit from several new value-added functionalities such as real-time, automated and cross-border commercial register checks.
Amber Road has integrated Dow Jones Risk & Compliance’s Sanctions Ownership Research (SOR) list into its Global Knowledge database. The database helps automate RPS processes and vets customers, suppliers and other trading partners against 600-plus restricted and sanctioned party lists sourced from government institutions worldwide.
Timelio, an Australia-based online marketplace for invoice and supply chain finance, has surpassed $250 million in invoice funding. The group aims to improve cash flow for businesses and enable them to get paid immediately without waiting up to 90 days for customers to pay.
Customer non-payment continues to hamper the growth of small subcontractors working in the UK construction sector, according to a study by Bibby Financial Services (BFS) and The Vinden Partnership.
Sixty per cent of subcontractors have suffered from bad debt in the past 12 months, with the average firm writing-off £16,149 each year, the research - undertaken in the aftermath of the collapse of Carillion - found. Seventeen per cent said the most common reason for not receiving the full amount billed was due to a customer going out of business.
Specialist Finance Director at BFS, Kash Ahmad, said: "Bad debt is a serious issue for many construction businesses and, across the entire sector, more than £2.8 billion is written-off each year, representing a significant economic leakage."
Mumbai-based supply chain finance start-up CredAble has raised Rs 100 crore in series A funding from Alpha Capital. Of this, Rs 25 crore comes in equity and the rest is debt funding. The funds will be used to scale up operations and technology, as well as onward lending. The company has also applied for a non-banking financial corporation license and is expecting to get it within a month.
Bank of China's Luxembourg branch has signed a $1.05 billion (€890 million) syndicated loan with a group of ten international banks. The facility is to be used for general corporate purposes. The deal pays a margin of 55 bps p.a. above USD LIBOR and has a bullet maturity with a two-year tenor, extendable by a further year. The deal was led by Wells Fargo Bank, London Branch, as sole co-ordinator and documentation agent, with ING Bank, London Branch being appointed to be facility agent.
Scorpio Bulkers has received a commitment for a loan facility of up to $30 million from ING Bank to refinance two of the company's Kamsarmax bulk carriers, SBI Zumba and SBI Parapara.
The loan facility has a final maturity date of five years from drawdown date and bears interest at Libor plus a margin of 2.20% per annum. This loan facility increases the company’s liquidity by about $8 million after repayment of the vessels' existing debt.
Vinay Mendonca, the global head of product and propositions for global trade and receivables finance at HSBC, has warned that 'digital islands' could inhibit blockchain trade.
He said in the best case, blockchains and other digital platforms should do for the global value chain what shipping containers did for the physical transportation of goods. Just as the standardized dimensions of containers allowed them to move around the world easily from ship to rail to truck, DLT with data standards and interoperability ought to create seamless flows of value. But without such standards, trade finance could end up on "digital islands", or silos disconnected from each other, he said.
Fourteen banks responsible for about half of India's internal trade have joined a consortium that aims to introduce blockchain technology in order to speed up processes and reduce hurdles to approving new loans.
The banks have signed up for the India Trade Connect consortium, which hired the Bengaluru-based software firm Infosys, to develop a blockchain platform for loans that back trade transactions within India.
Alternative lender BlueVine has secured $60 million in equity funding from Menlo Ventures. BlueVine said it will use the funds to expand its invoice factoring and business line of credit products, as well as to explore new products for small and medium-sized enterprise borrowers.
Large UK firms are using "supply chain bullying" to "squeeze their suppliers, delaying payments to improve their own cash flow", Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), wrote in a letter to the companies.
Cherry's letter called on companies to "personally shine a light" on how they pay suppliers, and to report on payment terms. The FSB has said that about 80% of members have reported being paid late, and a third of the membership said that payment terms had "deteriorated" over the past two years. Just 4% had reported improvement. A third of all payments are late and roughly 50,000 firms have failed each year, at least partially due to poor payment timeframes.
Spend management cloud provider Ivalua has announced the findings of a worldwide study of supply chain, procurement and finance business leaders, revealing that 55% of organizations are set to make a major investment in artificial intelligence over the next two years.
A further 25% also plan to make a minor investment in AI to determine its potential ROI over the next two years. The research, conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Ivalua, revealed that finance, supply chain and procurement business leaders believe that one of the biggest challenges to adopting AI is the poor quality of enterprise data.
Almost two-thirds of respondents (59%) said that poor data quality will make it impossible for AI to make accurate and informed decisions, undermining their ability to get value from any AI investment.
ING is working with Yolt, which it owns, and British fintech firm Funding Options on bringing new features to customers across Europe. The lender is launching a marketplace for small and medium-sized enterprise financing in the Netherlands, which will open to other external financing providers, becoming the first Dutch bank in doing so.
ING is also expanding its money management capabilities offered to consumers with the launch of Yolt in France and Italy.
As we move more and more into a digital and smart supply chain, initiatives to enable early pay for a broader segment of a company's suppliers is increasingly becoming a reality.
Key trends include managing multiple solutions - more companies are starting to take a wider integrated approach when it comes different early pay programs; and how from self-funding to hybrid models - the role of funding early pay programs is changing.
Marsh has launched the Aircraft Finance Insurance Consortium, a non-payment insurance product designed for banks and capital market investors that are funding new aircraft purchases from Boeing.
AFIC provides an alternative aircraft finance insurance product for new aircraft deliveries and is underwritten by Allianz, AXIS Capital, Sompo International, and Fidelis.
BPL Global has set up a branch office in Geneva via its French subsidiary BPL S.A. Philippine de Villèle joins from UBS to head the office. The branch will focus on developing new relationships with Swiss-based banks, traders, NGOs and other potential clients.
Villèle previously spent two years from 2011 in BPL Global's Paris office, working with commodity traders and key French banking clients on trade, structured, project and export finance. She rejoins from UBS, where she was head of its CPRI team within its Commodity Trade Finance department for five years.
London-based international payments company Moorwand has become the first fintech to offer its services to payment innovators through Open Payments Cloud. OPC enables users to connect the fintech services they need, such as issuing, processing and KYC, through a single platform.
NatWest is looking for businesses to take part in the trial of a new system to help cut costs, improve productivity and boost cash flow. NatWest APtimise brings together invoice automation and intelligent payments in one cloud solution.
NatWest claims a small and medium-sized enterprise typically receiving 100 invoices a month will spend more than 20 hours manually keying invoices, matching them to purchase orders, responding to supplier queries, scheduling, approving and executing payments. APtimise cuts the time by more than half, it says.
The Kuwait Finance House has joined Ripple Net for international remittance payments. It is not known if the bank will use Ripple’s xCurrent, which allows settlements in fiat currency, or Ripple’s xRapid, which uses XRP for liquidity.
Dianrong, an online marketplace lending group in China, and R3 have announced Dianrong's next version of its supply chain finance solution will be made available on Corda, R3's blockchain platform for finance and business. Dianrong and R3 are now working to integrate Dianrong's established supply chain finance solution onto Corda.
Asia Pacific exporters fear turnover will decline due to the increase in US protectionist measures and their potential for triggering a trade war with the region, according to research by Atradius. Forty-five per cent of the exporters surveyed in the region expect their turnover to decline 10% to 20% due to uncertainty over and changes in trade agreements. Suppliers focusing on domestic trade, on the contrary, consider the introduction of international trade barriers to be a business growth opportunity.
Atradius' Payment Practices Barometer for Asia Pacific - May 2018 - available here - also revealed that payment duration increased from 55 days in 2017 to 57 days in 2018. All Asia Pacific countries surveyed, except for China and Singapore, have experienced an increase in payment duration over the past year.
In the context of international trade, vessel tracking - through the Automatic Identification System (AIS) - can be used to identify those seeking to evade sanctions. Several regulatory bodies have documented guidelines specifying that vessel tracking should form part of a bank's approach to compliance in trade finance, including the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority and the Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB).
For a bank or financial institution providing trade finance, the use of AIS software is increasingly becoming a key component of their compliance arsenal, enabling them to avoid inadvertently breaching sanctions.
Peter Mulroy, Secretary General of FCI spoke to Katharine Morton at the ICC banking commission annual meeting in Miami about how trust is helping factoring move beyond the ‘wild west syndrome’ and how transparency is vital for building trust in the future of reverse factoring
Jason Oakley, the former MD of Metro Bank, is readying his new small and medium-sized enterprise challenger bank to enter the UK market. The new entity will be called Recognise and aims to be trading under restriction by the middle of next year.
Money transfer operators InstaReM and BeeTech are to open up a new payments corridor between South East Asia and Latin America using Ripple's instant payment rails. The agreement will enable customers of the Singapore-based operator to send real-time payments into South America. BeeTech users will benefit from instant pay out services via xVia into the 60 markets across the world that InstaReM supports.
Ant Financial, the financial services spin-off of e-commerce group Alibaba, has has signed its third deal this month as a strategic technology supplier to the Chinese banking industry.
The agreement with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPD Bank) follows partnerships with Huaxia Bank and China Everbright Bank.
Ant Financial and SPD Bank will partner in online risk management, including fraud prevention, with the former providing technological support to help the latter prevent loan, transaction and marketing fraud. The partnership will also leverage Ant's financial-grade technologies in AI, supply chain finance, biometric identification and risk management.
ABN AMRO has appointed Christian Nolting and Nicolay Kuhnle as Directors in its Global Transportation & Logistics Asia-Pacific team. They will be based in Singapore and support Asia-Pacific Head of Transportation & Logistics Darryl Tan in expanding the bank's coverage, particularly with clients in its shipping segment.
Nolting joins ABN AMRO from NORD/LB, where he was Deputy Head of Ship Finance for Asia Pacific. Nicolay joins the Asia Pacific team from ABN AMRO's Transportation & Logistics office in Oslo, Norway, where he was involved in several milestone transactions with shipping and offshore clients.
French bank Natixis has joined the trade finance network Marco Polo, a joint undertaking with enterprise software firm R3, fintech firm TradeIX, and a network of financial institutions including BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, ING, and Standard Chartered.
Danish supply chain finance group Tradeshift has closed a $250 million Series E funding round led by Goldman Sachs and Public Sector Pension Investment Board.
HSBC, H14, GP Bullhound, and Gray Swan, a new venture company established by Tradeshift’s founders, joined the round which brings Tradeshift’s total funding to more than $400 million and gives it a $1.1 billion valuation.
Whether you’re an insurance buyer, provider or simply looking to learn more about political risk and trade credit insurance as a risk management tool, this event is a unique opportunity to network with senior decision makers and discuss the key issues impacting the private insurance industry.
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