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Industry roundup: 25 November

Contour aims to enhance trade digitisation with WAVE BL partnership

Contour, the Singapore-based global trade finance network, has announced its partnership with WAVE BL, a blockchain-based digital courier platform that mirrors the traditional process for transferring original paper documents electronically. 

Contour says that WAVE BL's solution enables instant, encrypted and authenticated transfer of unique digital documents, streamlining an otherwise cumbersome, manual process, without compromising security. Users retain exclusive and full control over their data, account access and account identity, combining the trustworthiness of traditional paper documentation with the efficiency of a digital solution.

Contour's non-partisan network, powered by R3's Corda blockchain technology, allows all banks, financial institutions, and corporates to improve access, communication, and transparency when conducting trade finance agreements. 

"Traditional paper-based processes are holding back the trade finance industry, as well inhibiting the development of global trade as a whole," said Carl Wegner, CEO at Contour. "However, there's no single path to digitising trade finance - a whole new ecosystem is required, and that can only be achieved through collaboration between banks, corporates and technology providers. That's what our partnership with WAVE BL seeks to achieve. Together, we're able to bring the benefits of digital transformation to a growing number of industries, while also increasing the accessibility of our network to more users."

"We are happy to bring world leading carriers such as ZIM and MSC and international companies such as OEC Group and Interglobo Group into Contour’s network," commented Gadi Ruschin, CEO at WAVE BL. "Our service, enhanced through being a part of Contour's network, helps bring international trade into the 21st century - documents that once took weeks to arrive can be delivered nearly instantly with much greater security. Accelerating these otherwise archaic processes is a key milestone towards realising our vision of a unified global network of B2B documentation exchange."


Barclays announces trade finance platform for corporate clients

Barclays Corporate Banking has announced that it is working with CGI to implement the CGI Trade360 platform. The platform is designed to provide an end-to-end global trade finance solution for Barclays clients in the UK and around the world.

With the CGI Trade360 platform, Barclays says it will provide clients with greater connectivity and visibility into their supply chains, allowing them to optimise working capital efficiency, funding and risk mitigation. By utilising cloud based functionality for corporate banking clients, the bank will also be able to offer real-time integration to important information, combined with the latest trade solutions as the industry-wide shift to digitisation continues to accelerate.

“We are delighted to announce our move to the CGI Trade360 platform and to have started the implementation process," said James Binns, global head of Trade & Working Capital at Barclays. "We have a longstanding partnership with CGI, and the CGI Trade360 platform will mean we can continue delivering the best possible trade solutions and service to our clients for many years to come."


FSB examines financial stability implications of climate change

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has published a report that examines the potential implications of climate change for financial stability. The report analyses how climate-related risks might be transmitted across, and might be amplified by, the financial system, including across borders. It also sets out next steps for the FSB’s work in this area.

Current central estimates of the impact of physical risks on asset prices appear relatively contained but may be subject to considerable tail risk. The manifestation of physical risks could lead to a sharp fall in asset prices and increase in uncertainty. A disorderly transition to a low carbon economy could also have a destabilising effect on the financial system.

Climate-related risks - physical and transition risks - may also affect how the global financial system responds to shocks. They may give rise to abrupt increases in risk premia across a wide range of assets. This could alter asset price (co-)movement across sectors and jurisdictions; amplify credit, liquidity and counterparty risks; and challenge financial risk management in ways that are hard to predict. Such changes may weaken the effectiveness of some current approaches to risk diversification and management. This may in turn affect financial system resilience and lead to a self-reinforcing reduction in bank lending and insurance provision.

The breadth and magnitude of climate-related risks might make these effects more pernicious than in the case of other economic risks. Moreover, the interaction of climate-related risks with other macroeconomic vulnerabilities could increase risks to financial stability. For instance, certain emerging market and developing economies that are particularly vulnerable to climate change are also dependent on cross-border bank lending.

There are various actions that financial institutions can take – and are taking – to reduce or manage their exposure to climate-related risks. However, the efficacy of such actions taken by financial firms may be hampered by a lack of data with which to assess clients’ exposures to climate-related risks, or the magnitude of climate-related effects. Robust risk management might be supported by initiatives to enhance information with which to assess climate-related risk. The FSB says it will conduct further work to assess the availability of data through which climate-related risks to financial stability could be monitored, as well as any data gaps.


Imaweb and Esker launch digital invoicing for the automotive distribution market

Imaweb, a provider of dealership management systems (DMS) and customer relationship management solutions (CRM) for the automotive industry in Europe, has announced the launch of digital invoicing in partnership with Esker, a provider of AI-driven process automation and cloud computing solutions.

Imaweb will integrate Esker's invoice automation solution within all its DMS products designed for automotive distribution networks. The company says this will guarantee trouble-free digital transformations with multiple advantages for dealerships, including:

  • Simplified invoice storage and secure access for up to 11 years.
  • Drastically reduced archiving and printing costs.
  • Improved operational profitability by eliminating issues related to manual processing.
  • Remote implementation with Imaweb’s DMS products thanks to Imaweb NextLane plug‑and‑play technology.
  • Improved end-customer satisfaction by offering easier access to all invoices through an online platform.

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