Businesses across the Middle East have voted HSBC the best bank in the region for trade finance service in the annual Euromoney trade finance survey.
“This international poll of thousands of companies around the world is the latest customer endorsement of HSBC’s commitment to keeping trade flowing smoothly, despite the disruption brought by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sunil Veetil, Head of Global Trade and Receivables Finance for HSBC in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT).
As Covid-19 swept across the world in 2020, HSBC worked closely with clients and responded quickly to minimise disruption to their supply chains by equipping them with the tools to use HSBC’s digital channels and maintain the flow of essential goods around the world.
More than 80% of HSBC’s trade transactions in the Middle East were completed digitally in 2020, with 75% processed in less than 24 hours.
“Our investment in digital solutions and close collaboration with clients meant we were able to deliver faster and more secure trade solutions. In times of heightened volatility, it is critical for banks to be on the front foot, anticipating changing market conditions to ensure continuity of trade for customers,” Sunil said.
Technology has been an investment priority for HSBC in MENAT. The bank is increasing the use of machine learning and robotics to automate manual processes, enabling HSBC turnaround the transactions quickly for its customers and allowing teams to focus more on providing direct support to customers. In 2020, HSBC launched the second generation of Cognitive Automation Technology, which allows more effective capture of details from trade documents with increased security and transaction speed. In 2021, the Bank is working on commercialising it Contour based Block Chain technology to process trade transactions.
Last month, HSBC successfully issued the first green trade finance facility in the region, with UAE-based Lamprell Energy raising $48 million to help it build the Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm project off the coast of Scotland. HSBC was the sole arranger for the innovative facility, which is also the first green guarantee in the MENA region.
HSBC was also voted the #1 trade bank globally in the Euromoney survey, while also being ranked #1 for domestic trade finance in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.