Trade finance gains traction with Western corporates

HSBC, Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas are leading the way when it comes to providing trade finance to large corporations in the West, according to new research by the market intelligence firm Greenwich Associates.

Called European Trade Finance: Global Banks Dominate While Corporates Tap Specialists for Expertise, the report describes the trade finance sector as “diverse and fragmented” and says that larger companies in Europe are increasingly looking to their banking relationships to help them access these new markets. This can even involve cutting across traditional sources of expertise altogether in favour of creating direct relationships with banks that are domiciled in favoured foreign markets.

European companies are engaging with trade finance opportunities more enthusiastically than those in North America or Asia, it adds. This suggests that banks that focus on Europe should think carefully about whether they can meet the demand for these services.

BNP has had the most success in this area, with a European market penetration of 32%. Deutsche Bank and HSBC follow with 29% and 27% respectively. Commerzbank, Nordea, RBS and UniCredit are also seeing significant growth in the sector.

Companies’ needs in specific countries and regions have expanded to the point at which many of them have begun to hire specialist banks with particular expertise and coverage within target international markets,” commented Greenwich Associates consultant Dr. Tobias Miarka.


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