The prestigious annual GTR awards celebrate the achievements of the world’s leading trade finance service providers over the past year. According to GTR, Nordea’s win was an acknowledgment of the bank’s efforts to continue to advance the digital agenda in trade finance.
Patrik Zekkar, Head of Trade Finance & Working Capital Management at Nordea, says: “We really appreciate this award as it is provides very good recognition of the efforts we have been making. We are looking to take the lead in many areas in order to continue to be the preferred partner for trade finance in the Nordics and we feel we are on the right track. Our recent move from 4th to 2nd place in the Prospera survey ‘best Nordic trade finance provider’ is further evidence from our customers that we are moving in the right direction but we still have lots of work to do. We have realised that trade finance is a rapidly changing area and it’s important that we take the measures to continue to be relevant in the long term.”
Standardisation and Digitalisation
Nordea was recognised for further implementation of its trade finance strategy based on the dual initiatives of digitalisation and standardisation. To promote standardisation, Nordea was the first bank to digitalise SWIFT’s MT798 messaging (a SWIFT code which supports the processing of bank guarantees and documentary credits between banks around the world). This offers customers improved efficiency, lower costs and reduced operational risks. Nordea was also the first bank to enact SWIFT’s FileAct initiative within trade finance across the entire Nordic region. FileAct enables customers to send trade documents and images via SWIFT.
Nordea was also recognised for taking a leading role in the consortium developing the blockchain based trade finance platform we.trade. The first live pilot trades in we.trade will begin shortly. Other initiatives include Trade Finance Global, the IT system for back-end operations and up-front customer applications and the Nordea Trade Portal, a tool for companies to find new opportunities and information on expanding into global markets.
Leaders in Trade Finance
Patrik Zekkar adds: “This is a clear strategy for Nordea to be a leader in digitalisation, particularly in the area of Trade Finance. We will see a huge demand from our customers in the future for efficient digital solutions and we will need to continue our journey in order to provide the best offering to our customers. The initiatives we are introducing need to have real customer insight and it’s interesting to see this strategy already coming into fruition.”