Thursday 5 April 2018


New platform-operated services and data-intensive processes were the highlights of the first IFTA FinTech event - London, April 2018. The ITFA FinTech Committee provides an educational forum to the ITFA membership to keep abreast of opportunities to collaborate with FinTech companies.

The ITFA FinTech committee held its first event on March 22nd in London at CBA's prestigious Innovation Lab located in Ludgate Hill, London. CBA, an ITFA member, kindly offered to host the gathering.

Attended by over 60 bankers, insurers and FinTech representatives, the event profiled leading FinTech companies focused on helping incumbent financial institutions grow their transaction banking business. The "bank - fintech" collaboration theme was thus high on the agenda.

Following a warm welcome by CBA's Gerry Gannon, both Sean Edwards and André Casterman of ITFA introduced the FinTech landscape that is increasingly offering opportunities for financial institutions to address key pain points and revisit business practices.

As per the BIS report entitled "Implications of Fintech developments for banks and bank supervisors", observation 8 on page 6 states: "The same technologies that offer efficiencies and opportunities for fintech firms and banks, such as AI/ML/advanced data analytics, DLT, cloud computing and APIs, may also improve supervisory efficiency and effectiveness".

Paul Coles, ITFA Board Member and Chair of ITFA Market Practice Committee and Global Transactional Distribution, HSBC GTRF explained the rationale to consider the FinTech developments as part of the emerging market practices.

A series of ITFA-registered FinTech companies had been invited to share their value propositions during 20-minute pitches. The hand-picked FinTech's were CCRManager, Tradeteq, LiquidX, Toredo, R3 Marco Polo and INTIX. Whilst some help banks offload their balance sheets, others focus on addressing banks and corporates by providing online credit insurance, blockchain infrastructure capabilities or data management.

#1 CCRManager - Expand your trade distribution network

Ka-Kit Man, CEO at CCRManager kicked off the pitches with an introduction to CCRManager, a new market place for originators. With CCRManager, banks can distribute trade assets digitally.

CCRManager which was launched in 2017 is a digital market place to distribute trade finance assets. The platform embeds a non-auction trading workflow as well as extended analytics and aggregated market reports for price discovery and market depth. See the May 2017 launch announcement.

#2 Tradeteq - Offload trade finance assets to capital markets

Christoph Gugelmann, co-founder and CEO of Tradeteq introduced the new Trade Finance marketplace that was launched in March 2018. Tradeteq eases the distribution of Trade Finance exposure to non-nank financial institutions. Christoph said: "There is a huge gap to be filled as banks intermediate about USD 9 trillion of trade finance whereas alternative funders only contribute to less than USD 0.025 trillion of financing. Such market failure must be solved." - check out the recent Euromoney interview for more as well as the recent GTR Ventures announcement.

Tradeteq aims to become the marketplace for banks to offload trade assets to non-bank financial institutions. The platform reduces transaction costs, operational friction, and time demands for funding trade finance exposures. Originators list opportunities, seamlessly share data, and negotiate transaction structure and terms. Investors can gain access to and evaluate new investment opportunities and conduct due diligence.

#3 LiquidX - A global network for trade finance and working capital assets

Jo Wissing, Director at LiquidX presented LiquidX which offers a one-stop solution for working capital, trade finance, insurance and technology solutions. LiquidX offers a single legal and technology infrastructure that enables corporates and financial institutions to transact more efficiently and effectively with each other. It covers origination, distribution, risk management and technology solutions delivered via a single legal framework.

LiquidX handles true-sale receivables finance, supply chain finance, dynamic discounting, investor financing and more such as L/Cs, insurance and blockchain support as from Q2 2018.

#4 Toredo - online insurance capacity for single situation non-payment exposures

Chris Hall, senior underwriter, global financial risks at Liberty Specialty Markets introduced Toredo as follows: "Whereas current market practices lead to inefficiencies in handling short-term, low premium, single situation trade credit risks for both customers, brokers and underwriters, Toredo will offer a fast, efficient and competitive online platform for all brokers and clients to access increased non-payment insurance capacity for short-term, single situation, trade finance and commodity related exposures. This will offer clients greater visibility, efficiency and transparency on market appetite, pricing and capacity."

Toredo has the capability to be used for c. 20 different product types. Current pre-agreed bank obligor capacity on the platform is $27.4bn. The London Market Credit Consortium (LMCC) will underwrite high volume, relatively low value, short term commodity and trade related risk for banks and commodity traders using a proven technology.

#5 R3 / TradeIX Marco Polo - re-wiring trade finance

Sophie Wiberg, Project Lead at R3 introduced Marco Polo as an open Trade Finance Platform built on an interoperable business network powered by open APIs and Distributed Ledger Technology. Marco Polo is an industry undertaking by 20 of the world’s foremost financial institutions supported by enterprise technology firms TradeIX and R3.

Marco Polo is offering two threads under one project for financial institutions and corporates to join and optimise their trade finance solutions. Marco Polo is the collaborative project umbrella supporting the delivery of both TradeIX's TIX Platform and the Universal Trade Network (UTN).

#6 INTIX - Monetise your transaction data

André Casterman, CMO, INTIX introduced the typical challenges faced by financial institutions to access and leverage transaction data: accessibility, visibility, infrastructure and delivery.

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Data management technologies help financial institutions access and use the client and transaction data being processed in various systems. INTIX makes this happen in a way similar to what Google does on the Internet. As data becomes available, it can be monetised.

The bankers' view - collaborating with FinTech's already a reality

Feedback and experience on the benefits of embracing FinTech propositions were shared during a panel featuring three trade practitioners and members of the FinTech Committee: Adeline de Metz, Global Co-Head of Trade and Working Capital Solutions, UniCredit; Farah Shaikh, Vice President – Trade Finance Operations, Crown Agents Bank; Daniel Rymer, Global Transaction Banking Department EMEA, Mizuho.

As bankers explained, the FinTech propositions make full sense and collaboration with various FinTech platforms is already a reality for some of them.

ITFA FinTech Committee to focus on key market-level themes

The gathering demonstrated the criticality of the four market-level themes that the ITFA FinTech Committee has chosen as priority areas to concentrate on and promote:

Discover more blogs developed by the FinTech Committee members on the above themes: Collaboration"Collaborating with FinTech drives transformation and accelerates change"Collaboration: "Trade Finance collaboration set to step up in the year head". Platforms"Online market places will help re-invent (and digitise) trade financing"Data Analytics"What are the Data Management challenges facing transaction banks?".

You can access the event presentations on the ITFA website at the following Member restricted page -

More info on "Trade as an Investable Asset Class" from TXF and EFA Group

Trade finance as an asset class is set for growth in the near term, according to 78% of respondents in a survey of investment professionals carried out by TXF in association with EFA Group. Download the recent investor market survey.

More info on "Trade as an Investable Asset Class" from TradeTeq and GTR Ventures

Francois Dotta, CEO of EFA Group says: “We wanted to get a deeper understanding into the factors that are driving investors to allocate into trade finance, as well as the reasons why they are not yet invested. And the insights we received make for good learning points that can help us further stimulate interest and investments in the asset class.”

In association with ITFA and GTR Ventures, the TradeTeq team looks at two elements that have been blocking the widespread distribution of trade finance as an asset class: one is the lack of reliable technological infrastructure to allow institutional investors to access trade finance portfolios, and the other is the need for standardised reporting to improve credit transparency. Filling these two gaps will push trade finance distribution from isolated one-off practices to an efficient, diverse and competitive marketplace. Download the recent Tradeteq white paper here.

Kelvin Tan, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer of GTR Ventures adds: “The supply of low risk trade finance assets, coupled with institutional demand for similar assets which are uncorrelated, should have made distribution common place by now."

Join us at the next ITFA events

Check out for more info on future events.

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