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Industry roundup: 21 May

Siam Commercial Bank uses Surecomp to support trade finance growth 

Surecomp, a provider of global trade finance solutions for banks and corporates, has announced that Siam Commercial Bank - Thailand’s third largest bank - is deploying the IMEX and allNETT solutions for integrated, straight through digital trade finance processing into Myanmar and Vietnam.  

The Bangkok-based bank - which has been a Surecomp customer since 2011 - is now deploying both solutions in Myanmar and Vietnam to support the bank’s increased demand for trade finance in these markets.

Using the SWIFT-certified IMEX solution to digitise and optimise the back-office trade finance transaction workflow - coupled and fully integrated with Surecomp’s front-office, multi-corporate-to-multi-bank platform allNETT - Siam Commercial Bank will also continue to leverage the solutions in Thailand and Cambodia for the streamlined processing of letters of credit (LCs) and collections for reduced costs and increased profitability.

 

Phixius adds three participants to payment information-sharing platform

Nacha has announced Phixius, a platform that facilitates the trusted exchange of payment-related information, has onboarded three participants so far in 2021. The new participants have begun using Phixius and collectively reach hundreds of businesses that annually process more than US$400m in payments and more than 2 million transactions.

Phixius went live in November 2020 and was built in response to industry calls to improve payment-related data exchange. Nacha is now seeing this in action as more organisations sign up to use the platform to exchange and validate payment-related information.

"We are excited to see companies move from the early adopter phase to using Phixius for their businesses; and this year, we expect to accelerate the pace of onboarding companies as Phixius platform users," said George Throckmorton, Nacha managing director and executive director of Afinis API Standards. "Participants’ feedback and ideas have helped to shape the Phixius platform and the promise of improved interoperability is being realised."

Phixius is a subscription-based data service platform that facilitates the trusted exchange of vendor information, as well as other pre- and post-payment information. It connects two parties securely, easily, and effectively using a model built on established rules, technology, and core principles of security, privacy, standardisation, authentication, trust and auditability. The platform uses distributed ledger technology, Afinis interoperable and standardised APIs and ISO 20022.

 

Report highlights importance of ESG to banking 

Despite a growing and significant body of thought leadership on environmental, social and governance (ESG), it remains an area many executives are grappling with, according to a new report from Strategy&, part of the PwC network. Banks must assess their strategies in the context of ESG and its impact on revenues and risk, to transform themselves and reaffirm their purpose in society 

Driven by factors such as climate change, social inequality and the impact of COVID-19, and amplified through social media, ESG has become front of mind for all. PwC UK’s 24th Annual CEO Survey shows that organisations are increasingly focusing on purpose and sustainability. This year, a PwC survey found 70% of CEOs say they were now concerned about climate change, compared with just 44% in 2019. And there are already positive signs of change, with 60% of UK CEOs increasing their investment in sustainability and other ESG initiatives over the next three years. Around a third also noted that they should be doing more to report on their purpose and values, and their organisation’s impact on its wider communities. 

Leaders should consider their level of ambition, overall and for each sub- element, against the expectations of those stakeholders who matter most to the long-term viability of their businesses, the report says. Some banks may choose to be only minimally compliant with ESG, requiring them simply to adapt to a new layer of regulation, while others may view it as an opportunity to re-align their market- participation strategy with major long-term customer trends, for example supporting the transition to a low carbon economy. The report states that how ambitious a bank is on ESG will determine whether they develop an ESG strategy that complements their existing corporate strategy, on the side, or develop a new, ESG-aligned corporate strategy. 

The report also suggests the following three steps for banks wanting to take action on ESG: 

  • Agree an ESG ambition.
  • Assess strategic opportunities.
  • Roll out initiatives, supported by robust ownership, governance and culture.

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