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Industry roundup: 8 December

Adflex launches remote B2B transactions solution

B2B payments firm Adflex has announced the launch of its Payment Links service, which is designed to enable supply chain merchants to simplify and accelerate payment acceptance from corporate buyers. The solution enables suppliers connected to Adflex’s payment platform to send a payment link via email or SMS through which buyers can settle invoices quickly and securely from any geography, encouraging timely reconciliation and reducing cashflow problems caused by late payments.

Unlike legacy mail order and telephone order (MOTO) transactions, both of which are still widely used in the B2B payments space, Payment Links is designed for e-commerce. By following the received link, buyers are directed to Adflex’s secure, hosted payment page through which they can pay for orders and outstanding invoices by debit, credit or commercial purchasing card.

Using the Payment Links service, the company says merchant’s PCI compliance burden is reduced because the card entry is passed to the cardholder and details can be tokenised. For established trading partners, the payments experience is streamlined further since Adflex is authorised to securely store Cards on File (CoF). Together these features help save time and money for both parties by simplifying the ongoing job of managing their transaction processes.

The Payment Links service validates cardholders using 3D Secure 2.0, further reducing the merchant service charges while reducing risk of fraud and ensuring that the merchant is compliant with upcoming Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) regulations when accepting a payment. Individual links are deactivated once a payment is authorised.


ICC Sustainability Working Group reviewing sustainable finance in export finance industry

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Global Export Finance Committee’s Sustainability Working Group (ICC-SWG) has commissioned International Financial Consulting and Acre Impact Capital to develop a white paper, to be published in June 2021.

The paper will review the state of sustainable finance across the export finance industry and propose both product and policy recommendations aimed at increasing the flow of export financing towards sustainable activity.

Sustainability is an increasingly important topic for a wide range of public and private stakeholders globally, both in the developed and emerging markets. This project, convened by the ICC Global Export Finance Committee and supported by all 16 ICC Global Export Finance Committee banks and The Rockefeller Foundation, aims to engage the industry in a conversation on how the export finance community aims to collectively contribute to the global sustainability agenda and deliver greater volumes of sustainable export financing.

The ICC-SWG was established in 2018 with the objective of promoting discussion and exploring the potential for the export finance industry to be more pro-active in supporting the global sustainability agenda. Export finance is strongly suited to financing sustainable infrastructure and investments, leveraging many existing best-in class practices by Arranging Banks and Export Credit Agencies (ECAs). The 16 banks in the ICC Global Export Finance Committee are:

  • ANZ
  • Banco Santander, S.A.
  • BNP Paribas
  • Citi
  • Commerzbank AG
  • Crédit Agricole CIB
  • Deutsche Bank AG
  • DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank, Frankfurt am Main
  • HSBC
  • ING Bank
  • Investec Bank
  • P. Morgan
  • MUFG Bank, Ltd.
  • Standard Chartered
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  • UniCredit S.p.A


Deutsche Bank plans to link compensation to sustainability criteria

Deutsche Bank has announced annual growth targets for sustainable business activities covering the environmental, social, governance (ESG) space and plans to link them to management compensation from 2021. The volume of sustainable financing and client investments is set to reach more than €20bn in the current year and to rise gradually to the total announced in May of more than €200bn by 2025. The bank says it is confident of comfortably reaching the target for 2020.

“It is our ambition to be a leader on sustainability in the financial sector, and contribute to an environmentally sound, socially inclusive and well-governed world”, said Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank. “We see a great opportunity for us to transform ourselves as well as to support our clients in their transformation towards greater sustainability.”

The Supervisory Board and the Management Board are reinforcing this ambition by planning to tie the compensation of its top-level executives to sustainability criteria from next year onwards. The decisive criteria are to include the annual target volume for sustainable finance and ESG investments as well as a sustainability ratings index comprising five leading ratings agencies. Management performance is also to be assessed according to whether, in the coming year, the bank reduces its power consumption in its buildings by 10% compared to 2019. The bank plans to use 100% renewable sources of energy by 2025.

Another step towards implementing the strategy is the new Sustainability Committee of the Management Board, which Christian Sewing chairs. It began its work in October and besides Sewing there are 13 other members on the committee, including Management Board members and the heads of the four corporate divisions. The Sustainability Council set up by the bank in 2018 will continue its cross-divisional activities of devising proposals and doing preparatory work for the Sustainability Committee’s decision-making.

The bank is also breaking new ground in its sustainability communications with capital market participants: following the forthcoming publication of its Non-Financial Report on 12 March 2021, it will conduct its very first Sustainability Investor Deep Dive. The event will be dedicated to providing details of the bank’s strategic and operating progress in the environmental, social and governance space.


CBA granted banking licence for Dutch subsidiary

Commonwealth Bank of Australia says it is a step closer to providing better access to European markets for its institutional clients post-Brexit. From next year, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) will be able to grant its clients better access to European markets from its newly-licensed Dutch subsidiary, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Europe) N.V.

Once operational next year, CBA Europe N.V. will serve the bank's clients from newly fitted CBA offices in Amsterdam, providing its institutional clients based in Europe with better support through an EU presence. CBA Europe N.V. will also act as a gateway to Australia and New Zealand for the bank’s wholesale European clients, who are major contributors to Australia’s foreign direct investment, and provide a large investor base for the domestic bond market.

CBA expects the Dutch subsidiary to be fully operational in the first half of calendar year 2021. The Dutch subsidiary will help CBA to continue supporting European clients regardless of the outcome of Brexit, and will supplement the existing services provided to clients of its UK subsidiary.

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