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Industry roundup: 22 May

RMB performance as a global currency dips

The latest release from the SWIFT RMB Tracker  has shown that in April 2020, the RMB’s position dropped one position to the sixth most active currency for global payments by value, with a share of 1.66%. This exactly mirrors the currency's position and share from April 2018. Overall, RMB payments value decreased by 25.09% compared to March 2020, whilst in general all payments currencies decreased by 16.56%. 

In terms of international payments excluding payments within the Eurozone, the RMB ranked 8th with a share of 1.12% in April 2020. As a global currency in the trade finance market, the RMB ranked 3rd, with a 2.8% share of the market.


Co-operative Bank and Exela Technologies launch Confirmation of Payee service

Exela Technologies and Co-operative Bank have announced an expansion to their existing partnership to deploy Exela’s Confirmation of Payee (CoP) platform, an account name verification service as proposed by Pay.UK. The service is designed to provide an additional layer of security for customer transactions, ensuring that the money is sent to the intended bank account. In addition, it will complement Exela’s recently announced Request to Pay (RtP) solution, which enables customers to electronically receive payment requests, view bills, and make real-time bill payments, all in one place.

This additional layer of verification uses sophisticated algorithms and Open Banking, which enables financial information sharing and automating payment through an application programming interface (API), to check that the payer’s account name matches the ‘payee’ account details. This service provides the payer with additional protection by detecting fraud and accidental payment errors. The solution leverages Exela Technologies’ CoP platform, which is currently processing over five million verification requests a day for hundreds of banks and is built using Exela’s modern data analytics and workflow platforms. In addition to protecting payers against fraud and errors, CoP should make the back-office payment exceptions process more efficient and improves the end-to-end customer experience.


ECB publishes climate-related risk consultation guide

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published a guide for consultation that explains how it expects banks to safely and prudently manage climate-related and environmental risks and disclose such risks transparently under the current prudential framework. The ECB wants banks to account for these risks given that they drive existing prudential risk categories and can substantially impact the real economy and banks.

The guide specifies how ECB Banking Supervision expects banks to consider climate-related and environmental risks in their governance and risk management frameworks and when formulating and implementing their business strategy. It also outlines how the ECB expects banks to become more transparent by enhancing their climate-related and environmental disclosures.

The guide aims to raise industry awareness of climate-related and environmental risks and to improve the management of such risks. It is also intended that the guide will serve as a basis for the supervisory dialogue. Banks are expected to assess whether their current practices are safe and prudent in the light of the expectations and, if necessary, to start adapting them.


Iwoca approved for CBILS accreditation

Small business lender iwoca has been approved for accreditation by the British Business Bank under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). Existing customers affected by COVID-19 will be able to apply this week, followed gradually by new customers. Under iwoca’s CBILS, small businesses will be able to access loans between £50,001 and £250,000. There will be no interest (for the business owner) or capital repayments for the first 12 months and no personal guarantee on the loan.

From today, any small business can express their interest for a CBILS loan via iwoca’s website. Existing customers impacted by COVID-19 will be contacted immediately so that they can apply for CBILS loans this week.


BBVA launches online solution for equity and credit investment products

BBVA, in partnership FinIQ, has announced the launch of BBVA epricer, a website for its equities and credit linked structured products. The website is designed to help professionals structure and obtain prices for equity and credit linked investment products that aim to either provide an enhanced yield or exposure to the underlying investment. In the current environment, where remote work has become the new normal, the website provides a digital channel for BBVA clients to request from the simplest to the most exotic investment proposals.

As previously with cash equities, bonds and foreign exchange (FX), the structured products market is currently in the midst of a digitisation phase, with both buyers and sellers developing solutions to leverage new technologies for pricing purposes. With BBVA epricer, investors can find out the price for any given structured derivative investment in a matter of minutes, sometimes even seconds, instead of days as before. In this sense, this new tool is geared towards professional and institutional investors looking to digitally structure and price tailored structured investment ideas, either individually or in bulk, over the internet. On its initial release version, the web-based solution will allow investors to structure the main equity structured payoffs: autocalls, reverse convertibles and participation structures, as well as credit tranche structured products, all through a web-based front end that will also allow users to save their preferences and request pre-trade indicative documentation.


Finastra announces corporate banking solution

Finastra has announced the launch of its Fusion Credit Connect solution on Salesforce AppExchange and Finastra's FusionFabric.cloud. The technology firm says the solution re-envisions how relationship managers and borrowers connect and communicate from opportunity to origination, through to closing and booking. Corporate lending end users should therefore benefit from a better customer experience across the whole process of securing and drawing down a loan.

Built on the Salesforce Platform, the Fusion Credit Connect solution is currently available on the AppExchange and on Finastra's FusionFabric.cloud. The all-in-one solution will enable banks to identify opportunities, simplify complexity, reduce time to close, and increase revenues with an enhanced user experience from the origination through to decisioning of a loan. Greater efficiency and enhanced communication capabilities will boost customer experience for borrowers, ultimately helping to increase revenue.

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