By Anita Hawser
Citi is the leading provider of export-credit-agency–backed transactions, and in 2011 in conjunction with the US Export-Import Bank it launched its second ECA–guaranteed supply chain financing with participation of up to $1 billion to support US SMEs. Supplier finance mandates the bank signed in 2011 span a range of industry sectors, including pharmaceuticals, technology, industrial and retail. Citi’s US programs are expanding into Canada and programs it supported in Asia and Latin America are now being implemented in the US.
Leveraging its Banamex subsidiary in Mexico, Citi says it is able to further enhance its presence in key markets. Its trade network encompasses more than 20 countries, and it maintains a number of hubs to assist with supplier on-boarding. Citi says it enjoys significant market share in such countries as Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. It continues to roll out its Web-based Supplier Finance platform, which includes the ability to track and discount receivables, to additional countries in the region. It also says it has launched the first supplier finance solution in Venezuela and Ecuador.
Royal Bank of Scotland
RBS’s network encompasses 36 countries in Western Europe, Scandinavia, North America and the Asia-Pacific. Its expansive European footprint convinced Danish brewing company Carlsberg to partner with the bank to implement an ambitious supply chain finance program across a number of countries. RBS is also expanding its network in Central and Eastern Europe. One of the main selling points of its SCF offering is its ability to integrate with other platforms and support customers that want to work with multiple banks. It continues to invest in its MaxTrad platform to provide companies with enriched information, revenue forecasting, faster supplier on-boarding and automation of trade documentation.
The Swedish bank’s supply chain business unit has a 70% market share in the Nordic region. It is also seeing growth in Germany where it maintains a portal and a hub as part of its effort to establish itself as a Northern European leader in supply chain finance. Its integrated approach to supply chain finance, encompassing cash and trade, delivers greater working capital benefits to customers. In an effort to free up even more working capital, it also offers solutions to help finance suppliers’ inventory of finished goods. SEB is broadening its horizons beyond Scandinavia and the Baltic to North America and China, and plans to enter the South American market this year.
CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE
With a presence in 19 countries in the region, UniCredit provides a comprehensive range of supply chain financing solutions starting from the bidding process through to the final payment. Its end-to-end offering is part of its Global Trade Management business solution, which includes its Trade Purchase platform for receivables. UniCredit says it has a strong presence in the discounting and purchasing of receivables and is working with banks and export credit agencies in such countries as Turkey and Russia to help support exporters. The trade support system of its Polish subsidiary, Bank Pekao, processes all transactions pertaining to receivables financing and can be integrated with third-party systems.
As south-south trade volumes increase, Standard Chartered is well positioned to service the financing needs of buyers, suppliers and distributors. More often than not it backs both the buyers and suppliers, particularly in markets where other foreign banks are less well represented. It is able to meet the financing needs of most counterparties along the supply chain thanks to its credit risk model, which gives more weight to the trading history and relationship between buyers and suppliers than it does to the suppliers’ balance sheet. The bank has devised innovative cross-border solutions to help businesses overcome the high funding costs in China. Its financing solutions help companies in the region better manage their cash flows and liquidity and reduce funding costs.
Across Africa, Standard Chartered offers its vendor prepay solution, which can be accessed via its Straight2Bank platform. Buyers provide a postdated file for future payment obligations to selected vendors, many of which are small and medium-size companies. The vendor can then select to sell its receivables to Standard Chartered. The bank is also playing a leading role in syndicated structured commodity finance facilities for a number of African companies.