The ICC Academy, which provides courses in trade and trade finance, has attracted five banks as its founder signatories.

It was announced at Sibos in Singapore this week that Commonwealth Bank of Australia, DBS, OCBC Bank, Banco Santander, and Standard Bank will offer its employees access to the academy’s initial trade finance programmes.

There are currently 70 online courses, resulting in two global certificates in trade finance: the Global Trade Certificate and the Certified Trade Finance Professional.

IE Singapore, the governmental body which was involved in the academy’s establishment, has described it as a “key pillar Singapore’s talent development stage.

Gina Lim, group director for trade services and policy at the organisation, tells GTR: “With trade and finance growing ever more global and complex, we believe that the ICC Academy has an important role to play in the training and distribution of talent globally. Providing access to education and training from experts all around the world by removing traditional classroom barriers can only contribute to greater growth of trade and finance. IE Singapore looks forward to the next milestone with the Academy.”

At a drinks reception in Singapore on Tuesday (October 13), optimism was high among attendees that the course would result in a better rounded professional community, and that its initial member base of early adapters would soon grow.

The ICC’s secretary general John Danilovich said: “We hope our initial trade finance offering will help bridge skills gaps as regards trade finance instruments, both within the banking sector and wider industry. Academy courses have a key role to play in enhancing the supply of trade credit and ensuring that corporates understand the financing options open to them.”

The courses have been designed by drawing on the experiences of the ICC Banking Commission, which has some 600 member banks across 110 countries. They feature tutorials and insights from policymakers and financiers from global institutions and care accessible by entrants at professional or academic level.