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As the leading agricultural lender in the US, Wells Fargo combines its agribusiness expertise with a growing international presence to help US companies supply food and fiber globally. It supports companies in all areas of the energy business. International trade finance is one of the bank’s core strengths, with Hong Kong the hub for Wells Fargo’s trade-processing sites around the world. (The bank processes 10% of all letters of credit going through Hong Kong.) Its proximity to US clients’ vendors and Asian sourcing offices enables Wells Fargo to help US companies build strong trading relationships. Wells Fargo has more than 4,000 correspondent banks in 125 countries. It is the leading trade-outsourcing bank in the world and the largest originator of SWIFT trade messages in North America. For customers sourcing on open-account terms, Wells Fargo provides financing opportunities through its trade payables finance program. It also hosts the infrastructure for a Cloud-based global workflow engine.


BNP Paribas is the leading trade finance bank in Western Europe, with a market share of 36%, according to a 2015 Greenwich Associates study. The bank, known for competitive pricing and strong service, has a global network of more than 100 trade centers and 300 specialists in over 60 countries. Business Planet, BNP Paribas’s electronic banking tool for corporations to handle trade finance products like letters of credit and guarantees, shortens the processing time for orders and helps eliminate potential preparation errors. BNP Paribas offers integrated banking solutions with a single point of contact in Europe. BNP Paribas’s online Atlas provides information on cash management and trade finance requirements in 60 countries worldwide.


Nordea, the largest financial services group in the Nordic region, is also the leading trade finance bank, with a market share of about 33% in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Nordea uses a global operating model throughout its trade finance business that ensures a consistently high level of service across the network.Nordea is introducing a new online system, Trade Finance Global, to handle documentary collections, guarantees and standby letters of credit for importers and exporters. The system gives corporations a complete overview of all of their trade finance transactions globally. Automated processing supports quick and accurate transaction handling. Stockholm-based Nordea is part of international partnership, Distributed Ledger Group, comprising 25 leading international banks. Headed by financial innovator R3, the group aims to explore the use of blockchain technology in financial services.


Milan-based UniCredit is the largest international banking group in the CEE region with a network of 3,600 branches in 14 countries. Its export market share in the region is over 25%. The bank also has one of the largest European networks with more than 7,900 branches in 50 countries. UniCredit Bank Austria is the entry point for UniCredit’s 4,000 correspondent banks around the world, using the SWIFT message structure. The bank is a leader in the adoption of the bank payment obligation, where it is conducting its first tests with selected clients. UniCredit focuses on electronic banking solutions to meet the trade finance needs of large corporates as well as SMEs. Its trade finance portal enables companies to handle guarantees and letters of credit with all of their global banking partners through a single platform. UniCredit offers an umbrella agreement for guarantees, which reduces the time spent on negotiating the documentation for guarantee lines.


With nearly 14,000 branches, Santander boasts the largest international network of any bank. It has Latin America’s biggest franchise, with local banks in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay. The bank’s online trade portal, 10,000 pages covering 185 countries, helps companies identify markets for their products. Banco Santander Rio, Argentina’s largest private bank, joined the International Finance Corporation’s Global Trade Finance Program in November, 2015, which will help it strengthen relationships with banks in countries that want to trade with Argentina. In October, 2015, Santander signed an agreement with the International Chamber of Commerce to launch the ICC Academy, a training program in trade finance and international business and investment. The program will offer 70 online courses and two global certificates—the Global Trade Certificate and the Certified Trade Finance Professional.

CARIBBEAN | Scotiabank

Scotiabank has been part of the Caribbean banking scene since 1889, when it opened its first office in Kingston, Jamaica, to support international trade in rum, sugar and fish. Scotiabank now operates in 25 countries in the Caribbean and Central America. With more than 200 branches throughout the region, Scotiabank offers both retail and corporate banking services. Its Caribbean mobile app provides access to a client’s Scotiabank accounts in 20 countries throughout the Caribbean. TradeExpress, the bank’s online international trade service for importers and exporters, provides access to finance, as well as comprehensive online reporting. Scotiabank offers software that makes it easier for exporters to prepare shipping documents to support letters of credit, documentary collection or open-account transactions.


HSBC sits on both sides of the world’s top 15 trade corridors and has focused on capturing expected future growth in Asia, including in China’s Pearl River Delta and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It is the largest foreign bank in China and the market leader in renminbi services. In October, 2015, HSBC and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China arranged a $4.7 billion, renminbi-denominated bond sale in London for the People’s Bank of China, the central bank’s first debt offering outside China. A team of specialists in HSBC’s Hong Kong office handles the bank’s supply chain finance service in the region.


Amman, Jordan-based Arab Bank, with 600 branches in 30 countries, has an extensive network in the Middle East and North Africa and has made trade finance an integral part of the bank’s global business development strategy. Its online trade finance and cash management system helps corporates conduct international trade transactions efficiently. Arab Bank maintains close relationships with its customers and tailors solutions to meet their trade finance needs. It is a leading financial services provider for local importers and exporters, and also serves multinational companies. Arab Bank has been operating in the region for 85 years and has a well-established network that is strategically located to sync with regional trade flows.

AFRICA | Standard Bank

Johannesburg-based Standard Bank’s corporate and investment banking division has led the bank’s international expansion in 20 countries in Africa. Standard Bank maintains extensive trade lines with African and global financial institutions to support trade flows between Africa and the rest of the world. Its strengths are in commodities, telecom, food, manufactured goods and capital goods imports into Africa. Its niche focus on financial institutions and correspondent banking requirements gives it a client base representing a major share of the cash payments flowing into South Africa.


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