The GTR Leaders in Trade awards highlight excellence in the trade, commodity, supply chain and export finance, and fintech markets, recognising pioneering institutions and top performers from around the world. Judging is based on submissions sent to GTR that outline institutions’ greatest achievements throughout the course of 2022.

Best Deals signed in 2022 were referenced as further substantiation for GTR’s decisions.

Congratulations to the winners!


Regional awards

Best trade finance bank in East Africa

Shortlisted nominees: MCB, Standard Chartered Kenya

Winner: Standard Chartered Kenya


Best trade finance bank in West Africa

Shortlisted nominees: BACB, Ecobank

Winner: Ecobank


Best trade finance bank in Southern Africa

Shortlisted nominees: Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), Standard Bank, Zanaco

Winner: RMB


Best trade finance bank in the Middle East

Shortlisted nominees: Arab Bank, ADCB, Bank FAB, Emirates NDB, HSBC

Winner: FAB


Best trade finance bank in North Africa

Shortlisted nominees: BACB, Ebank, QNB ALAHLI

Winner: BACB


Best trade finance bank in North America

Shortlisted nominees: Bank of America, BNY Mellon, TD Securities

Winner: Bank of America


Best trade finance bank in Asia

Shortlisted nominees: Habib Bank Zurich (Hong Kong), HSBC, Mizuho

Winner: Mizuho


Best trade finance bank in Eastern Europe

Shortlisted nominees: Raiffeisen Bank International, Ukrgasbank

Winner: Ukrgasbank


Best trade finance bank in Western Europe

Shortlisted nominees: Crédit Agricole CIB, ING, UniCredit

Winner: Crédit Agricole CIB


Best trade finance bank in UK

Shortlisted nominees: Barclays, Lloyds Bank

Winner: Lloyds Bank


Global awards: Other industry players

Best trade or supply chain finance law firm

Shortlisted nominees: Allen & Overy, DLA Piper, Sullivan

Winner: Allen & Overy


Best export finance law firm

Shortlisted nominees: Baker McKenzie, Norton Rose Fulbright, Sullivan

Winner: Sullivan


Best export credit agency

Winner: UK Export Finance (UKEF)


Best fintech in trade

Shortlisted nominees: Contour, Enigio, MonetaGo, Tradeteq, Traydstream

Winner: MonetaGo


Best fintech startup in trade

Shortlisted nominees: 360tf, Beacon,, SupplierPlus, TradeWaltz



Best trade finance software provider

Shortlisted nominees: CGI, China Systems, Finverity, LiquidX, Surecomp

Winner: Surecomp


Best alternative trade or supply chain finance provider

Shortlisted nominees: Demica, PrimeRevenue, Raistone, Taulia

Winner: Taulia


Best trade credit and political risk insurance underwriter

Shortlisted nominees: AIG, Allianz Trade, The Hartford

Winner: Allianz Trade


Best trade credit insurance broker

Shortlisted nominees: Aon, BPL Global, WTW

Winner: Aon


Best political risk insurance broker

Shortlisted nominees: Aon, BPL Global, Marsh, WTW

Winner: BPL Global


Global awards: Banks

Best development bank

Shortlisted nominees: Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Winner: EBRD


Best bank for ESG (trade or supply chain finance)

Shortlisted nominees: Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank

Winner: Deutsche Bank


Best bank for ESG (export finance)

Shortlisted nominees: BNP Paribas, SMBC

Winner: BNP Paribas


Best bank for digitalisation

Shortlisted nominees: Citi, DBS Bank, Lloyds Bank

Winners: Citi & DBS Bank


Best supply chain finance bank

Shortlisted nominees: Banco Santander, Bank of America, Citi

Winner: Santander


Best commodity trade finance bank

Shortlisted nominees: Société Générale, SMBC

Winner: Société Générale


Best export finance bank

Shortlisted nominees: Barclays, Standard Chartered

Winner: Standard Chartered


Best trade finance bank

Shortlisted nominees: BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC

Winner: HSBC




Best trade finance bank in East Africa: Standard Chartered Kenya

In 2022, Standard Chartered Kenya cemented its position as the best trade finance bank in East Africa. With a market share of approximately 12%, the bank provides a wide range of trade finance offerings, from documentary and flow trade to open account propositions, including structured trade solutions.

The bank’s innovative and pragmatic approach to supply chain finance under the banner of ‘banking the ecosystem’ has allowed it to support SMEs “like never before”, it says in its submission to GTR.

Today, Standard Chartered provides over 10 supply chain finance programmes in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, supporting over 50 SMEs with access to financing, with reduced or no collateral requirements and with better terms, including pricing, due to the bank’s engagements with corporate clients.

The bank’s commitment to sustainability is embedded in its trade and working capital business. To date, Standard Chartered has extended sustainable working capital financing to two local microfinance institutions that support women and underserved communities. It has also provided a sustainable trade finance facility to a company that provides renewable energy solutions to businesses across the continent.

In terms of innovation, Standard Chartered says it has made significant strides in making trade finance simpler and faster via its digital capabilities on its Straight2Bank online platform. It says its commitment to making it ‘Easy2Bank’ through technology has led to over 60% of its documentary trade transactions and 100% of its supplier finance transactions being initiated via its Straight2Bank platform.


Best trade finance bank in West Africa: Ecobank

For the second year in a row, Ecobank has been voted the best trade finance bank in West Africa. With a strong presence in 15 West African countries, Ecobank’s trade finance solutions have been instrumental in promoting regional trade and fostering economic growth.

In its submission to GTR, the bank outlines that its market share in the region increased by 1.2 percentage points to 7.6% in 2022, with significant growth in countries like Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Niger and Burkina Faso.

Ecobank says that as of the end of November 2022, the total value of letters of credit it processed in West Africa grew 31.4% year on year to US$2.5bn.

Ecobank’s eTrade and e-FSC electronic platforms played a pivotal role in enhancing trade transactions in the region. As of November 2022, transaction volumes on these platforms grew by 25% year on year, reaching US$988mn, making it easier for importers, exporters, anchors and distributors to take control of trade transactions from any location.

Ecobank’s commodity finance solutions were equally impressive, with its affiliates in Burkina Faso and Benin leading syndicated pre-export finance facilities to fund the purchase of cotton seeds worth US$110mn and US$105mn, respectively. They also granted trade facilities to farmers to procure inputs required to sustain the cotton culture, the bank says.

Ecobank’s supply chain finance solutions also stood out. In Nigeria, it onboarded 203 distributors, and the total value of finance support and collections in this segment grew by 123% year on year to US$1.92bn. In Burkina Faso, it granted US$63mn to local cotton farmers on the back of its syndicated pre-export facility in favour of the national cotton ginning company.


Best trade finance bank in Southern Africa: Rand Merchant Bank (RMB)

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) has been named the best bank in Southern Africa yet again, due to its commitment to digitisation, sustainability and innovative solutions.

The bank also took the lead on one of the GTR Best Deals of 2022 – a documentary credit facility for South Africa’s Carbonado Energy, which enabled the independent fuel trader to enhance its trading ability and cash flow effectiveness without any balance sheet impact or need for additional layers of security typically associated with letters of credit.

In terms of its trade activity, RMB reports a significant rebound, both from a value and volume perspective, with revenues up just shy of 30%.

“Our differentiated client engagement model with a dedicated trade finance advisory team packed with industry specialists continues to bear fruit and ensure that our clients are receiving first-class advice on their trade activities to mitigate uncertain markets,” the bank says in its submission to GTR.

RMB is an active user of insurance markets to ensure it can solve for clients’ full requirements. It further enhanced its capabilities in this area by leveraging an insurance license within the wider FirstRand Group. The bank says that this market-leading innovation has resulted in a much more efficient and cost-effective solution for clients.

Elsewhere, RMB remains a leading provider of supply chain finance solutions in South Africa, experiencing significant growth in this area, with the number and value of invoices discounted growing 164% and 60%, respectively, in 2022.

RMB’s commitment to digitisation is evident in its implementation of pioneering solutions, such as the AI-enabled Traydstream platform. Additionally, the bank processed its first transactions using Komgo for one of its large global trader clients.


Best trade finance bank in the Middle East: FAB

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has emerged once again as the Middle Eastern region’s top trade finance bank. One of the main factors contributing to its ongoing success in these awards is the bank’s extensive global network, which spans 17 countries across Mena, Asia, Europe and the Americas. The bank says that this strong cross-border presence enables it to support the trade financing requirements of its clients in the UAE and those with a global presence.

In 2022, as part of its international growth strategy, FAB expanded into Saudi Arabia and Egypt with the completed acquisition of Bank Audi.

FAB offers an extensive suite of trade products and solutions designed to meet a variety of client needs, including counter-party risk mitigation, liquidity and working capital enhancements, as well as off-balance sheet solutions, inventory financing and Islamic financing. It claims to be the first regional bank to have a fully automated supply chain finance solution, which is live with major corporates and more than 50 programmes.

Through FAB’s web-based electronic banking portal, FABOnline, the bank’s corporate customers can initiate payments and trade transactions, monitor incoming funds, view remittance instructions and trade discrepancies, and create a statement for reconciliation purposes.

FAB was significantly involved in one of the GTR Best Deals of 2022, acting as a mandated lead arranger on the US$3bn syndicated facility for Trafigura, which saw the global commodity trader deliver “substantial volumes” of gas into the European gas grid.


Best trade finance bank in North Africa: BACB

BACB has been named the leading trade finance bank in North Africa. With representative offices in Algiers and Tripoli and a deep understanding of the unique financial sensitivities of the region, it is one of the few international financial institutions to operate in all six North African nations: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan and Egypt.

Headquartered and regulated in London, BACB specialises in facilitating trade flows to and from African markets and is committed to promoting regional financial integration and intra-African trade.

“As BACB celebrates its 50th anniversary, the bank continues its steadfast commitment to North Africa,” it says in its submission to GTR. “During the year, the bank strengthened relationships with partners across the region to ensure they maintain access to the international financial markets and have the support necessary in these difficult times.”

As outlined in its submission, in 2022 BACB was involved in over US$1bn of trade transactions from North Africa. The bank was instrumental in handling imports considered as a staple food for Algeria, including US$251mn-worth of soft wheat and US$66mn-worth of soybean oil.

In Libya, where BACB’s main shareholder is based, the bank handled over US$400mn of trade transactions, including strategically important imports of agricultural fertilisers, food products and pharmaceuticals into the country.

Additionally, BACB is the only UK bank issuing letters of credit for companies operating in Libya, which it says makes it the bank of choice for the Libyan energy sector as the country upgrades its infrastructure and works to diversify energy production.


Best trade finance bank in North America: Bank of America

With its comprehensive suite of ESG trade and supply chain finance (SCF) solutions, commitment to digitalisation, and focus on sustainability and inclusivity, Bank of America has demonstrated its leadership and earned the recognition as the best trade finance bank in North America.

The bank’s submission says its “range of ESG trade and SCF solutions is likely the broadest in the industry”, which enable clients to drive sustainability and inclusivity throughout their supply chains. It plans to deploy US$1.5tn in funding by 2030 to support sustainable finance and assist clients in achieving their ESG objectives.

“We’re harnessing technology and innovation to simplify, automate and digitalise trade processes, which would help reduce the carbon footprint associated with international trade,” the bank says.

The bank has won over corporates such as Flextronics Brazil and financial institutions like Bancolombia with its ESG-linked trade and SCF offerings, and has broadened the scope of its SCF programme for minority-owned enterprises to include women-owned businesses and extended SCF benefits to suppliers with lower transaction volumes.

Bank of America is commended for its bold ambition to become a 100% digital trade bank. Its commitment to digitalisation is evident through initiatives such as the Supplier Enablement Portal (SEP), which streamlines processes, drives automation and enhances trade digitalisation. First launched in the US in 2020, the bank rolled SEP out in all regions in Q1 2022.


Best trade finance bank in Asia: Mizuho

Mizuho Bank’s submission outlined its clear commitment to building out its ESG and digital capacities, cementing its position as the leading trade finance bank in Asia.

The bank launched Japan’s first sustainable supply chain finance solution, incentivising SMEs to adhere to environmental and social guidelines. By leveraging supplier ratings from EcoVadis, a sustainability ratings agency, Mizuho ensures the evaluation of sustainability performance in supply chains, encouraging carbon emission reduction targets and other environmental improvements.

Digitalisation is a key focus for Mizuho, which says it is constantly striving to provide “efficient and simple solutions to clients”, and the lender has partnered with a wide range of trade finance fintechs. In 2022 it introduced the RYTE trade finance application portal, an initiative of Singapore’s GUUD. It already collaborates with companies and initiatives such as Komgo, essDocs, Contour, LiquidX and Galileo.

The bank is also working on implementing Singapore’s SGTraDex platform and the city’s trade finance registry, aimed at thwarting double financing fraud.

Mizuho has also demonstrated a strong understanding of the intricacies of cross-border working capital cycles and has strong global credentials. Through expanding credit lines, especially to Asian banks, Mizuho says it has achieved an almost 50% year-on-year increase in transaction volume related to documentary credit business.


Best trade finance bank in Eastern Europe: Ukrgasbank

Maintaining a hefty trade finance transaction count, sizeable portfolio and active participation in international deals would be impressive under any circumstances. But considering the unique set of challenges facing Ukraine’s Ukrgasbank in 2022, there’s no doubt it is a deserving winner of this year’s Eastern Europe award.

Despite Russia’s invasion in late February and the enormous disruption to Ukraine’s economy and its trade links – its airspace is closed and shipping through the Black Sea is fraught with complications – Ukrgasbank says it still executed 563 transactions during the year and has a portfolio worth around US$552mn. It says its trade finance book is the largest of all Ukrainian lenders.

The bank, which has around 46,000 corporate and SME clients, participated in a diverse range of deals during the year, often in collaboration with international lenders.

In a transaction which won a GTR Best Deal award, it was the issuing bank for the importation of agricultural machinery from Italy to Ukraine, a major producer of agricultural commodities. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) provided a guarantee while ING funded the deal.

The EBRD, through its trade facilitation programme, also supported Ukrgasbank’s extension of a letter of credit for the import of Danish equipment to produce biogas from a poultry farm. The bank says it also facilitated the import of key inputs such as diesel and gasoline into Ukraine during the most difficult year in the country’s history.


Best trade finance bank in Western Europe: Crédit Agricole CIB

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB) marshals its immense resources and global network to work to deliver a strong service to its trade finance clients.

The French lender says it keeps its ear to the ground on client needs, both for corporates and financial institutions, by utilising around 100 local experts in trade finance origination, a central structuring team and global trade distribution team. The bank is assisted by regional platforms in Paris, India and Hong Kong and local presence in many more countries.

Crédit Agricole has demonstrated a willingness to engage and campaign on regulatory issues, such as the implementation of the Basel 3.1 trade reforms, with the bank noting in its submission that it took a lead role in lobbying the European Commission on the issue. The bank is also helping drive legal reform on trade digitisation in France and plays an active role in various International Chamber of Commerce initiatives.

Crédit Agricole is a frequent participant in major trade and commodity finance facilities and says it is “committed to accompanying our strategic clients in their most complex transactions thanks to a structuring team of experts centralised in Europe”.

It nominated its issuance of a standby letter of credit of some US$400mn to French energy giant EDF – later boosted to US$682mn – to secure gas payment obligations as an example of its leadership and expertise in complex European transactions.


Best trade finance bank in the UK: Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Bank has shown an enthusiasm for providing innovative trade finance products for both its small and large clients.

A dedication to customer support shines through in the bank’s submission, which describes its open account platform through which its clients can efficiently access supplier finance solutions and other tools.

The bank is also enhancing the ability of its clients to conduct supply chain due diligence, which it says “is a top priority for many businesses”, by collaborating with a third party to create a forthcoming “digital proposition that helps them to map and visualise their supply chain and keep a pulse on potential vulnerabilities”.

In the UK, Lloyds Bank is helping British businesses join the world of international trade with its freely available international trade portal, which assists companies in expanding into new markets, providing them with the right information and connections.

A customer focus has also been at the centre of Lloyds Bank’s digitisation efforts. The bank is not waiting for digitisation to happen at its own pace, instead partnering with Enigio last year to issue a pilot digital promissory note purchase, which it says proves “the viability of digital negotiable instruments ahead of UK law changes”.

2022 also saw Lloyds Bank launch an initiative allowing applicants and beneficiaries of its guarantees and standby letters of credit to request paperless issuance. A number of beneficiaries have agreed to move exclusively to accepting Lloyds Bank’s paperless guarantees.


Best trade or supply chain finance law firm: Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy had a strong year in 2022, acting on a range of deals and market firsts as well as supporting corporates looking to use trade and receivables finance products beyond their traditional scope to maximise working capital.

It advised broadband, video and mobile communications firm Liberty Global on a first-of-its-kind borrowing base facility for broadband connectivity solutions provider PCT International. Elsewhere, it advised leading Chinese development and co-operation funds on a loan to Trafigura, with a guarantee by Trafigura Group.

The firm has been at the vanguard of ESG lending as the market grows, including advising Swedish car maker Polestar on its inaugural £350mn green trade finance facility to support the import of electric vehicles to Europe and North America. It also advised Santander on a £450mn sustainability-linked supply chain finance programme for Tesco, a first among UK retailers.

The firm has been instrumental in helping market players understand the digital transition and respond to legal developments in trade digitisation, such as the UK Electronic Trade Documents Bill.

It has also built a platform to support clients in digitalising their contractual commitments, which will “help clients process a high volume of trade finance agreements across multiple templates and jurisdictions”, Allen & Overy says.

And amid tumultuous times for the commodities and export markets, the firm combined trade finance with restructuring expertise in the precedent-setting US$1.5bn restructuring for ED&F Man.


Best export finance law firm: Sullivan

Sullivan holds an imperious position in the export finance market. Its full-service trade and export finance practice advises more than 50 financial institutions involved in trade, as well as export credit agencies (ECAs), funds, insurers and corporate borrowers. This marks the fifth consecutive year the firm has won a GTR Leaders in Trade award recognising its achievements in trade, export and supply chain finance.

Sullivan’s expertise includes short, medium and long-term ECA and multi-source finance, and the firm covers a full range of trade, export and commodity finance structures.

During 2022, the firm had an integral role in several innovative or high-profile export finance deals. Sullivan advised Lake Resources, an Australian lithium developer, on export credit financing for a flagship project in Argentina, as well as Canada’s Nouveau Monde Graphite on financing for a combined mine and battery material production plant in Quebec Province.

In the ECA space, the firm advised UK Export Finance, along with JP Morgan Chase, on an £89mn facility for Brazilian aerospace giant Embraer.

It also advised on the implementation of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), an ambitious programme initially launched in 2020 to support eligible countries grappling with the financial burden of the Covid-19 pandemic. The DSSI freed up resources for social, health-related or economic spending, and the World Bank website shows that arrangements reached continue to provide debt relief to nations at risk of debt distress.


Best export credit agency: UK Export Finance

UK Export Finance is recognised this year as the best export credit agency (ECA) not only for its significant support for UK exporters but also for its widely recognised position as a leader in sustainability and the role of ECAs in the energy transition. The agency was the first to end support for fossil fuel projects and the new policy came into force in 2022.

UKEF says it has “raised the bar” among ECAs, including by introducing a “first of its kind” methodology on climate disclosure, which means the agency now reports on the emissions in its portfolio as if it had financed them. It is also the first ECA to introduce climate resilient debt clauses into its loan agreements.

But the limitation on fossil fuel financing has not dimmed its appetite for participating in large projects, with its submission noting its participation in a €2.1bn loan for the construction of a high-speed electric railway in Turkey. This project not only helps Turkey meet its Cop26 climate commitments but involves major contracts for UK companies.

UKEF’s evolution in providing general working capital support is noteworthy, with what it says is a record number of SMEs benefiting from the Export Development Guarantee and an increased number of deals below £30mn, among other milestones.


Best fintech in trade: MonetaGo

2022 marked an exceptional year for financial technology solutions provider MonetaGo, with several milestones that made it a stand-out in the crowded fintech space.

A pioneer in combating duplicate financing fraud, MonetaGo launched its Secure Financing system into full live production in 2018. Initially leveraged to underpin the world’s first trade finance deduplication registry for India’s Trade Receivables Discounting System, over the years, the solution has become a crucial tool in protecting trade finance from bad actors globally – and what made MonetaGo a winner this year is the progress it has made in scaling the solution for worldwide use.

Originally built on Hyperledger Fabric and later migrated to Corda, MonetaGo’s Secure Financing system represented what the company called the world’s first day-to-day use of blockchain in trade finance. 2022 saw the company replace blockchain with confidential cloud computing, enabling it to deliver the service with greater efficiency while lowering the technological barriers to entry for financial institutions everywhere.

Adoption of MonetaGo’s solution surged in 2022. In October, it launched into production the first-ever third-party service by a fintech on Swift’s global API. This followed its successful bid to build Singapore’s Trade Finance Registry, to prevent the recurrence of large-scale commodities trade finance frauds. MonetaGo was also selected as delivery partner for the International Chamber of Commerce UK’s project to eliminate fraud in domestic invoice and receivables financing – the first time a G7 country has undertaken an initiative of this nature.

In its submission, MonetaGo states it has now processed over 4 million transactions, preventing more than 30,000 duplicate financing fraud attempts.



Best fintech startup in trade:

Established in 2019,, the platform determined to “simplify banking”, takes home the best fintech startup in trade award for its exceptional work in addressing the challenges of automation in the complex and cumbersome sector of trade finance.

The company’s ClearTrade platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to streamline processes in collections and documentary credits. It classifies trade finance documents, extracts and validates relevant data, conducts critical sanctions screening and anti-money laundering checks, and ensures compliance with ICC rules such as UCP600, ISBP745 and URC522. It is also integrated with third-party proprietary databases, facilitating checks on important trade transaction aspects such as vessel tracking, involvement of sanctioned vessels or ports, presence of military or dual-use goods, and bill of lading verification.

“The uniqueness of our platform is its ability to integrate and automate both the processing aspects and regulatory checks associated with a trade transaction,” the company says in its submission.

This harmonised approach to processing and regulatory checks is unique in the industry, fostering up to 70% efficiency gains for banks while curbing the risk of fraud and sanctions violations. says live customers report an accuracy rate of over 88%, with no missed discrepancies.

In 2022, JP Morgan selected the ClearTrade solution to help digitise its trade finance processes. This big win saw the integration of ClearTrade into the bank’s systems, allowing for faster and more accurate document handling. It also enabled to incorporate over two years of JP Morgan’s discrepancy resolution into the service, thereby strengthening its value proposition and enabling it to reach a broader audience.


Best trade finance software provider: Surecomp

In a crowded field, Surecomp’s achievements in developing software for the trade finance market stand out. In 2022, the company launched Rivo, a digitised central hub that uses APIs to bring together importers, exporters, banks, insurers, shipping companies and other solution providers. By offering a streamlined and sustainable transaction process, Rivo seeks to stitch together the patchwork of disparate digital trade offerings on a single platform.

Surecomp says this offering will help make digital trade finance “accessible to corporates of every size”.

German-based DZ Bank’s head of documentary trade, Thomas Arendt, hails the effectiveness of the platform, saying it “perfectly meets our need to centralise and digitise our corporate communication channel”.

This award also recognises the wider potential benefits Rivo offers to participants in a trade transaction.

The platform improves security and trust by enabling users to deploy vessel tracking services and company identification validation. It also helps lenders mitigate the risk of double financing fraud, allowing them to assess whether a financing request has already been submitted.

Rivo has also introduced ESG scoring capabilities, helping participants reduce the risk of exposure to unethical activities and monitor the environmental and social impact of their business. With a growing number of financiers looking to provide preferential rates for sustainable finance, ESG scoring also provides necessary transparency across banks’ and corporates’ portfolios.


Best alternative trade or supply chain finance provider: Taulia

Taulia enjoyed a landmark year in 2022, kicked off by its acquisition by SAP. The Germany-headquartered tech giant was keen to add a provider of working capital finance to its portfolio, and as Taulia’s awards submission says, selected the company “because of its industry-leading technology, expertise and reputation”.

During the course of the year, Taulia launched two major products. Its accounts receivable financing offering provides customers an efficient and flexible way to free up capital from invoices that are yet to be paid. Its sustainable supplier finance product, launched in partnership with ESG ratings provider EcoVadis, allows customers to integrate ESG initiatives into working capital facilities. German consumer goods company Henkel has already announced the integration of Taulia’s ESG solution into its supply chain finance programme.

New offerings are complemented by upgrades to existing products, such as the introduction of a payables scenario planner that gives greater visibility into a customer’s liquidity position over time. In an environment characterised by inflation and high interest rates, maximising working capital is becoming an increasingly essential tool for buyers and suppliers.

Taulia has also strengthened its relationships with external lenders, agreeing a memorandum of understanding with Standard Chartered to collaborate on working capital finance solutions across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The move builds on partnerships already established with international lenders JP Morgan and UniCredit.

Going into 2023, Taulia has been fully integrated into the SAP Business Network, a business-to-business platform enabling customers to connect and transact by sharing processes and information.


Best trade credit and political risk insurance underwriter: Allianz Trade

In 2022 Allianz Trade continued to capitalise on its role as the global leader in short-term credit insurance, and its specialisation in surety, structured trade credit and political risk, protecting around €1tn in commercial transactions worldwide.

The underwriter stands out for its use of data science and digital platforms as it is able to assess 83 million buyers in a single database, monitoring 240 countries and managing 22,000 credit decisions a day.

Last year saw the launch of two innovative products, including e-commerce credit insurance, which enables Allianz Trade to insure online B2B sellers through an API-based platform and provide instant decisions on credit requests from buyers. The product will expand its reach in the ‘buy now, pay later’ space, which allows companies to defer payment terms.

The underwriter also launched its mid-size multinationals credit insurance solutions, which caters to new market segments.

With the green energy transition gathering speed, Allianz Trade maintained strong sustainability credentials and has integrated ESG reviews into its analysis of country risks, sector risks and commercial underwriting, as well as systematically integrated ESG criteria through a scoring process for investment decisions on listed assets.

Alongside its Green2Green Single Risk product, which insures green transactions and invests premium in green bonds, Allianz Trade has adopted non-financial key performance indicators and sustainability targets, such as emissions per employee and sector restrictions.

Customer relationships remained at the heart of Allianz Trade’s business, particularly the relationship between client and buyer, the balance between risk, customer needs and profile, and policy specificities.


Best trade credit insurance broker: Aon

Aon’s credit solutions practice facilitated global trade in a number of key sectors last year, including energy, SME finance and agriculture.

The broker – which supported US$880bn of trade worldwide, with US$1.1bn in managed premium – ensured that an international energy company based in the region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa could continue supporting the European energy market and trade despite global energy shortages and the potential risk of blackouts.

Aon’s solution for a UK financier of SMEs, which was impacted by the forecasted increase in insolvencies, saw over US$12bn of receivables financed and protected, while also increasing working capital and enhancing export trade.

Another major deal included co-ordinating syndicated insurer capacity for an Asia-based provider of information and communications technology infrastructure, smart devices and solar power with a turnover of US$108bn.

The company had met with lack of appetite and a shortage of capacity to drive 5G rollout, but the single US$1.8bn programme brokered by Aon will enable solar technology to power 5G and support millions of business devices at ultrafast speeds.

Aon also supported the world’s leading integrated producer of concentrated phosphate and potash, solving the problem of limited insurer appetite due to the increased risk of missed payment obligations due to economic risk or natural disaster. The syndicated trade credit facility enables 3 million metric tonnes of goods to be shipped worldwide.


Best political risk insurance broker: BPL Global

Last year BPL Global weathered a challenging geopolitical environment with portfolio growth and diversification of its client base in credit and political risk insurance (CPRI).

It reported “exponential growth” in 2022 as its aggregate insured exposure swelled by almost a third, from US$54.02bn to US$71.71bn.

The broker attributed the rise to “increasing demand for CPRI coverage and client confidence in BPL as global market turbulence continues”, with clients growing more concerned about managing risks and country limits through specialist, comprehensive cover.

Diversification was also a key strategy last year, as the firm expanded its client base and widened its market exposure with a foray into the export credit agency (ECA) sector.

BPL Global was selected as the lead broker for a Middle East ECA and appointed to the panels of two other Europe, Middle East and Africa-based ECAs. In addition, the broker maintained its commitment to industry advocacy and driving positive developments in the market.

Last year also saw changes to BPL Global’s leadership team as it reaffirmed its “commitment to remaining an independent, employee-owned broker”.

In September the firm announced that its managing directors, James Esdaile and Sian Aspinall, would step into new roles, with Esdaile succeeding Charles Berry as chairman and Aspinall becoming group chief executive.


Best development bank: EBRD

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has played a vital role in supporting trade in war-torn Ukraine. Through its Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP), which provides international lenders with guarantees covering political and commercial payment risk, the development bank provided a lifeline to importers of critical goods during a period of unprecedented upheaval.

The TFP supported 111 trade transactions in Ukraine, with a total value of €437mn, between Russia’s invasion in February and the end of 2022, supporting imports of agricultural machinery, fertilisers and fuel.

As well as mitigating risks associated with physical disruption to land and transport routes, the TFP was also deployed on the financial side. With foreign commercial banks reluctant to take direct risk on trade finance transactions in Ukraine, the EBRD significantly increased the programme’s capacity to support Ukrainian banks.

The EBRD also helped address concerns over global food security, driven in part by the war in Ukraine, as well as wider supply chain disruption and soaring inflation. The TFP helped facilitate more than 400 food security-related transactions last year, totalling over €1bn, including supporting an Egyptian government entity in securing financing for importing wheat from Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the development bank also supported nearly 200 green trade finance transactions totalling more than €480mn.


Best bank for ESG (trade or supply chain finance): Deutsche Bank

Sustainability was an “imperative” for Deutsche Bank in 2022, as demonstrated by its target-beating performance. It exceeded its year-end 2022 goal of €200bn in ESG-related financing and investment volumes and reached a cumulative total of €215bn, calculated from the beginning of 2020.

The bank revised its ESG ambitions to include an annual target of €100bn in financing and investments from 2023 onwards, with the aim of reaching a cumulative minimum of €500bn by 2025.

Deutsche Bank also made “significant progress” in its ESG commitments, announcing net-zero aligned carbon footprint reduction targets for 2030 and 2050 in four carbon-intensive industries: oil and gas, power generation, automotive and steel.

The bank increased its oversight of supply chain risks to ESG goals, introducing tighter supply chain management rules and launching a revised supplier code of conduct.

Deutsche Bank also stepped up its focus on sustainable supply chain finance (SCF) solutions by rewarding strong ESG scores with preferential discount rates on corporate receivables.

In 2022 it became the first bank in Europe to convert an existing SCF programme to a sustainability-linked programme by connecting chemical and consumer goods firm Henkel’s SCF programme to the ESG ratings of its suppliers. And the bank worked with Knorr-Bremse to expand its SCF programme so that suppliers performing well on sustainability could benefit from more attractive financing terms.


Best bank for ESG (export finance): BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas accelerated its ESG commitments in 2022, with the bank’s export finance team leading on green transactions and the promotion of sustainable, inclusive growth.

The bank demonstrated leadership and expertise in the development of export credit agency (ECA) finance products, highlighting the importance of ECAs and development finance institutions (DFIs) in mobilising capital to support sustainability.

ECAs and DFIs play a key role in “developing low carbon infrastructure, such as renewable energy and EV batteries”, and “enabling clients in emerging and mature markets to realise their projects with a strong social development angle”, the bank says.

BNP Paribas was involved in a number of ESG transactions in 2022, including acting as the bookrunner and sole structuring bank of two green loan facilities for the National Grid, covered by Sweden’s ECA EKF and Denmark’s EKN, for an aggregate amount of US$271mn. The loan was to finance the laying of cables for the Viking Link interconnector joining the UK to wind power generated in Denmark.

Elsewhere, the bank structured three untied ECA-covered green loan facilities totalling an aggregate amount of US$1.7bn, to finance SK On’s electric vehicle battery plant in Hungary, a GTR Best Deal of 2022.

BNP Paribas also acted as MLA, bookrunner and sustainability co-ordinator for a €500mn syndicated loan covered by Spanish ECA Cesce to finance electric utility company Iberdrola’s investment portfolio in renewable projects abroad.


Best bank for digitalisation: Citi

Citi’s continued dedication to pioneering the digitisation of trade documents and processes make the bank a worthy winner of this award for the second consecutive year.

Citi made significant advancements to several of its product offerings last year, including integrating dynamic discounting onto its supply chain finance platform and deploying machine learning to analyse transaction data for fraud prevention purposes.

It has also introduced e-signatures on this platform, further smoothing its automated onboarding system and boosting the number of participants. E-signatures are active in 48 countries, and were used on average nearly 6,000 times a month per client last year.

Citi has also seen significant growth in its eLoans platform, which transforms the process of applying for a working capital loan into a “consumer-like” online experience. Promising just five clicks from logging on to submitting a request for borrowing, the bank processed transactions totalling US$13bn via the platform last year, a 175% increase from 2021.

Looking ahead, the bank is continuing to research embedded trade, including by linking parties within the value chain such as logistics and shipping providers, with a focus on bundling services to streamline transactions. This development aims to bridge gaps in funding, for instance by delivering deep-tier financing.

It has partnered with numerous companies and initiatives to enhance its digital offering, including Contour, Komgo, Stenn and the Trade Information Network.


Best bank for digitalisation: DBS

In the face of macroeconomic turbulence and the ongoing reversal of globalisation, DBS has strategically employed digitalisation as a resilience-building tool for its corporate clients, making it a winner of this year’s best bank for digitalisation award.

DBS’ continuous investment in technology through its Digital First for Trade strategy has yielded significant results. With a focus on quick digital onboarding and seamless integration with client systems, the bank achieved 97% digital adoption in supply chain finance and 32% in documentary trade in 2022, which contributed to a 33% rise in supply chain finance assets and an 11% rise in trade assets in the first three quarters of the year.

As a founding member of SGTraDex, a digital infrastructure that facilitates trusted sharing of data, DBS is also transforming supply chains by providing data-driven working capital financing support to clients.

Notable achievements for DBS in 2022 include the launch of its digital invoice financing offering, which enables clients to draw on a facility against the submission of a structured data set. The process, which is entirely digital, reduces payment turnaround times from one or two days to a matter of a few hours.

Other digital innovations during the year include the roll-out in China of the bank’s data-led credit modelling for alternative trade finance lending. An inaugural programme for supply chain logistics services provider JD Logistics (JDL) enabled SMEs that previously struggled to access traditional financing to draw funding based on inventory held in JDL’s warehouses.

Each of these initiatives exemplifies DBS’ commitment to harnessing digitalisation to streamline operations, mitigate risks and enhance customer experience.


Best supply chain finance bank: Santander

Santander secures this award not only for its success in landing major supply chain finance (SCF) mandates, but also for its ability to function as both a financial and tech provider, offering digitally delivered solutions to support businesses of all sizes.

In 2022, Santander expanded the scope of its proprietary digital SCF platform with a suite of solutions, including investment confirming, dynamic discounting and purchase order financing.

It also became the first bank in the European Union to join SAP’s cloud-based Multi-Bank Connectivity network, enabling it to embed its offering within corporates’ enterprise resource planning systems. Under a strategic partnership, Santander and SAP are collaborating to improve

client-to-bank connectivity, as well as providing financial tools to help corporates navigate supply chain disruption and accelerate the decarbonisation of their industrial activities.

Another differentiating factor is what Santander calls its “strategic hybrid model”. Combining a global approach with local expertise, the bank is present in 73 countries, operating in more than 26 currencies and providing client support in 10 languages.

The bank says it achieved double-digit income growth in 2022, with notable achievements including a pioneering regional sustainability-linked supply chain finance programme with Henkel LatAm.

Leveraging its local platforms, Santander was able to deliver financing in local currencies to the multinational’s suppliers in Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina, with terms linked to their performance against ESG metrics.


Best commodity trade finance bank: Société Générale

In a turbulent year for global commodity flows, Société Générale provided crucial financing to keep fuel, metals and agricultural goods moving. The bank responded nimbly to what it describes as “extraordinary market conditions and increased price volatility” driven in part by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Soaring gas prices in Europe prompted Société Générale to take unprecedented underwriting roles to address a crunch in liquidity and huge margin calls.

This included several transactions co-underwritten and arranged for Vitol, including a US$5bn-equivalent initial margin revolving credit facility linked to LNG futures positions, a US$7bn back-up facility and a US$9.6bn working capital arrangement. The bank also under-wrote sizeable deals for trading houses including Singapore’s Trafigura and US-headquartered Six One Commodities.

Beyond energy, Société Générale supported significant metals deals, including as co-ordinator and sole underwriter of an ECA-backed US$800mn untied loan enabling Trafigura to supply strategic commodities to Germany. It was also fronting bank and mandated lead arranger in facilitating the highest amount ever raised by Traxis, a US$1.57bn multicurrency revolving credit facility focused on trade in battery metals and industrial minerals.

Despite being faced with having to balance energy security with sustainability goals, Société Générale continued to support traders in meeting energy transition targets, including backing a pledge from Mercuria to commit the majority of new investments towards renewable and transitional energy.

The lender also inked sustainability-linked facilities with ESG-related KPIs for soft commodity traders.


Best export finance bank: Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered’s prowess in export finance makes it a worthy winner of this year’s award. Over the course of 2022, the bank closed more than 34 landmark transactions worth over US$20bn. Its engagements spanned various sectors, including transport infrastructure, telecommunications equipment, hospitals and solar power, with each transaction benefitting the borrower by enabling access to new pools of liquidity at low interest rates and long tenors.

The bank has been particularly innovative in applying export credit agency (ECA) cover in several bespoke structures, employing techniques such as ECA re-insurance, green loans and Islamic financing. Meanwhile, its strong distribution capabilities have enabled borrowers to access insurance companies and institutional investors in addition to banks.

By leveraging untied solutions including UK Export Finance’s Export Development Guarantee programme, Standard Chartered has also excelled in providing borrowers with flexibility in allocating funds to priority projects, irrespective of the underlying project sourcing.

Notable transactions include a €1.2bn Euler-Hermes supported financing for Angola’s finance ministry – which was named as a GTR Best Deal – to finance the construction of solar-powered electricity generation solutions. In its submission, Standard Chartered says the facility constitutes the largest Euler Hermes-supported sovereign financing, and the biggest renewable project in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The bank also secured a US$2.2bn Atradius-supported financing for the San Miguel Corporation in the Philippines, marking the largest-ever Atradius commitment.


Best trade finance bank: HSBC

HSBC continues to solidify its position as a global leader in trade finance with the facilitation of a staggering US$862bn of trade in 2022, surpassing its previous record and underscoring the strength and reach of its operations.

The bank’s trade transformation initiative continued apace last year, with the co-creation of new solutions in partnership with corporates. Stand-out achievements include the launch of HSBC Trade Solutions, which seeks to redefine the client experience through intuitive, self-service digital interfaces. Developed in partnership with CGI, the new platform allows clients to originate and manage all their trade finance products online, and was rolled out to over 14,000 clients in the UK and Hong Kong in 2022.

Meanwhile, its multi-jurisdictional asset-based lending solution has enabled clients to unlock crucial working capital, particularly in light of increased inventory hold following supply chain disruptions.

Other advances include its integrated supply chain finance proposition, which includes a multi-tier supply chain finance offering in China, as well as a new mobile trade tracker, which enables users to track documents, finance and shipments.

By leveraging its extensive API catalogue and infrastructure, HSBC has been able to bring financing to the point of need, servicing clients directly within their own platforms and ecosystems.

In 2022, the bank demonstrated leadership in supporting corporates to transition to sustainable supply chains, with US$2bn of funding in the first half of the year through its sustainability-linked trade finance. It also entered a partnership with the International Finance Corporation, making US$600mn available for trade finance in emerging markets, with a portion specifically allocated for sustainability.