UAE: New Digital-Only Trade Bank Takes On The Establishment

Digital banks continue to evolve and grow.

Billed as the world’s first fully digital corporate trade bank, Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank (AGTB) has set out to disrupt the world of trade and address the global trade-finance gap, estimated to be worth $1.5 trillion.

Using a “transformative approach” based on cloud computing, blockchain-enabled platforms, API-driven architecture and advanced real-time data analytics, AGTB aims to simplify and supply accessible trade financing to segments of the market that are underserved by traditional trade finance providers.

Daniel Gould, deputy CEO at AGTB, says they stripped traditional trade banking down and rebuilt it from the ground up. “By focusing on how we can make our client’s banking experience simpler, more transparent and faster, we have achieved an overwhelming response from what some may view as traditional or even conservative clients,” he says.

ATGB has simplified the client journey in trade, replacing paper-based processes with standardized digitized documents. “Think of how often the same document template is reused by a company, day after day,” says Gould. “An invoice template is filled for each sale; a supplier form is filled for each order. By embracing a digital platform, companies can reduce accidental errors, lower cases of malicious fraud, speed up processing and unlock the benefits of information, which corporates often sit on without realizing its value. All in all, massive time and money benefits await.”

Gould says supportive regulatory environments that embrace transformative digital solutions are important for trade finance, which is one of the reasons the new digital trade bank is headquartered in Abu Dhabi Global Market, an international financial center on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi.

“Abu Dhabi Global Markets fosters an environment for digital innovation through a flexible and progressive regime,” says Gould. And thanks to its flexible operating model, Gould says AGTB can work with companies in jurisdictions where the level of digitization is low. “We can tailor the level of digitization of processes that clients can take on for regulatory or other reasons,” he explains.