Australian trade finance platform Marketlend has filed a second lawsuit against insurer Tokio Marine and its Australian subsidiary the Bond & Credit Company (BCC), alleging they are refusing to pay the company for a default that was covered by an insurance policy.

Marketlend is seeking US$7.2mn from the two insurers after a Dubai commodities trader defaulted on eight invoices for goods it purchased from another trader which had passed on its rights under the transaction to Marketlend.

The claim, filed in Australia’s Federal Court, is the latest among several cases in which a trade finance provider is seeking a court to order BCC to pay out under an insurance policy.

Marketlend founder and chief executive Leo Tyndall previously told GTR that the company has made several claims, largely stemming from insolvencies in the Asian commodities trading sector, which BCC has so far declined to pay out and which it may take to court.

In the most recent case, Marketlend is seeking the payment from BCC through the receivers of an Australian subsidiary of Apies Ventures Pte Ltd, a Singapore commodities trader.

Marketlend provided a line of credit to another Apies subsidiary, Three Alps Pte Ltd, in 2019 under a debtor finance arrangement, according to a court document filed by Marketlend’s solicitors on March 16. In turn, Marketlend sold its rights, benefits and interest in the credit line to one of its securitised trusts and acted as the servicer of the receivables.

The arrangement also involved Marketlend becoming “the full proceeds assignee” for the purposes of the insurance policy with BCC, meaning it could be the beneficiary of a claim under the policy. The insurance policy was taken out by Three Alps, Apies and Zircon Australia Pty Ltd, the Australian Apies subsidiary.

In early 2020, Three Alps entered into several sales contracts with Dubai-based Green Trees General Trading, a commodities trader established in 2018, for goods such as lentils, cocoa beans and rice.

BCC had approved Green Trees as a buyer under the insurance policy and the trader confirmed to Marketlend that it did not dispute the eight invoices sent to it by Three Alps.

Marketlend purchased the invoices from Three Alps in March 2020 and in turn sought payment from Green Trees. But in August 2020, Green Trees asked for an extension of time to pay for two of the invoices and later defaulted on all of them.

The platform has since won a judgement of US$8.15mn from a court in Dubai due to non-payment of the invoices and is seeking further court orders to allow it to seize Green Trees’ assets in order to recover the money.

Green Trees did not respond to a request for comment from GTR.

The court document says that Marketlend first made a claim to BCC under the policy, which included coverage for defaults, in October 2020. Since then, Marketlend says it has responded to four requests for information and documents from BCC’s lawyers, Clyde and Co, but the insurer has so far not provided a final response to the claim.

A spokesperson for Tokio Marine and BCC declined to comment. The insurers must file a response to the claim by May 13, according to a court order published on March 24.

In another claim filed by Marketlend last year, concerning a default by a collapsed Singapore commodities trader, BCC put forward multiple defences, including that Marketlend did not “exercise reasonable care and prudence” when extending credit. The parties are now mediating in that case, with a further hearing expected in early May.

BCC is also being sued in the New South Wales Supreme Court by another Australian financier, Thera Agri Capital, in a dispute over defaults by Phoenix Commodities, another Dubai trader.

BCC’s defence in that claim is that the structure of the transaction and wording of the contracts mean the insurance policy it provided to Thera is not invoked. It has also suggested that documents underpinning transactions subject to the dispute were fabricated.

Tokio Marine’s Australian subsidiary acquired BCC in 2019. The insurer’s decision not to renew US$4.6bn of insurance cover for notes securitised by Greensill in early 2021 helped tip the then-supply chain finance powerhouse into insolvency.

Earlier this year Tokio Marine alleged that Greensill made fraudulent misrepresentations to BCC in order to obtain and maintain the coverage, arguing that “these policies and related obligations are void from inception”.