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Swift success in global trade interoperability trials - Industry roundup: 11 December

Swift success in global trade interoperability trials

Swift has expanded its proof of concept (PoC) on delivering an interoperability solution for different electronic bill of lading (eBL) platforms. Earlier in the year, the first phase of the PoC saw Swift collaborate with eBL platforms edoxOnline and CargoX to test the use of a single ubiquitous API contract to open up a secure channel with Swift.  

The expanded PoC includes two additional eBL platform providers – TradeGo and WaveBL – and BNY Mellon and Deutsche Bank. Using the same API layer, participants could reproduce the end-to-end flow transfer process of an eBL in a simulated trade transaction.

The PoC successfully demonstrated that financial institutions could exchange eBL across multiple trade platforms using their existing Swift connectivity – instead of connecting to each platform individually. By reusing their connection to Swift, institutions would not need to develop custom point-to-point integrations with multiple, fragile, complex dependencies.  

Swift says the solution would offer the high security, legal and compliance standards that financial institutions require when managing transactions. As such, it has the potential to enable interoperability between participants while improving efficiency, reducing costs and reducing the risk of fraud. 

“Standards set with the industry – combined with global interoperability facilitated by Swift – can enable eBL providers and digital trade platforms to seamlessly interact with banks, corporates, and the wider trade ecosystem,” said Shirish Wadivkar, Global Head, Wholesale Payments & Trade Strategy at Swift. “Such industry-wide collaboration is essential to achieve a ‘zero paper trade’ future.”

While the solution has the potential to enable eBL interoperability over Swift, more collaborative work is needed before a production-ready solution can be developed. Swift says it will continue to engage with its members and the broader trade industry to address additional challenges in legal interoperability, technical accessibility, ecosystem-wide standards and adoption.


EBA consults on crypto draft technical standards 

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published a consultation paper on draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) specifying the requirements for policies and procedures on conflicts of interest for issuers of asset-referenced tokens (ARTs) under the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCAR). These draft RTS aim to strengthen the management of conflicts of interest by issuers of ARTs and ensure convergence of requirements across the European Union.

An EBA statement says that the issuers of ARTs shall implement and maintain effective policies and procedures to identify, prevent, manage and disclose conflicts of interest. The conflicts of interest policies and procedures should ensure that issuers of ARTs consider all the circumstances which may or may be perceived to influence or affect their ability or the ability of their connected parties to make impartial and objective decisions.

Against this backdrop, the draft RTS require issuers to pay particular attention to conflicts of interest that could arise concerning the reserve of assets. Furthermore, they encompass specific provisions related to personal transactions and also specify that the remuneration procedures, policies and arrangements of the issuer should not create conflicts of interest.

The draft RTS underline the critical role of the issuers’ management bodies, who are responsible to define and adopt the conflicts of interest policies and procedures. Finally, they set out the disclosure content, which the issuers of ARTs should make available to the public in the relevant languages on their websites. This publication is part of the third batch of MiCAR policy products.


BW Batangas secures US$145m facility

Standard Chartered has announced the successful closing of a US$145m senior secured term loan facility for BW Batangas, a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) owned by BW LNG, a wholly-owned affiliate of maritime group BW Group.

The FSRU, which will be deployed in the Philippines, will play a role in ensuring the country’s energy resilience and security as part of First Gen’s (a provider of clean and renewable power in the Philippines) Interim Offshore LNG Terminal in the city of Batangas, directly supporting the country’s ambition to become an LNG hub.

Standard Chartered played a role in the syndicated financing with a group of four lenders, where it acted as coordinating bank, facility agent, and security agent, as well as mandated lead arranger and lender.

Commenting on the deal, Abhishek Pandey, Global Head of Transportation Finance at Standard Chartered, said: “We are delighted to further grow our relationship with BW Group, supporting them in their efforts to deploy floating solutions for LNG as part of wider transition to a low carbon economy. The success of the facility not only demonstrates our strong credit offering and capabilities, it also aligns with the Bank’s commitment to direct capital to areas that can help drive sustainable development in energy, storage and transportation infrastructure across ASEAN markets.”


Trovata brings AI banking solutions to National Australia Bank

National Australia Bank (NAB) and Trovata have partnered to bring NAB Liquidity+, a product powered by Trovata, to the bank’s corporate customer base. Trovata's AI-based technology is designed to help its bank partners meet the demands of their customers, who are facing unprecedented pressures in a rapidly evolving economic environment.

“Finance teams have always been expected to continuously manage account data scattered across various banks and then manually build and maintain cash flow reporting and forecasting models in spreadsheets,” said Brett Turner, Founder and CEO at Trovata. “But this is slow and terribly inefficient. NAB acutely understands the need for automation in finance and treasury. With NAB Liquidity+, teams get bank balances and transactions data seamlessly integrated in a platform that automates a lot of their cash management workflows, that includes cash positioning, cash flow analysis, and forecasting.”

NAB Liquidity+ assists the bank's corporate customers with priorities like cash flow forecasting, liquidity management, and other cash management needs. Further details on the partnership include:

  • AI-powered solutions for account data matching, reporting and cash flow analysis.
  • An easily accessible, single sign-on (SSO) enabled integration, allowing customers to access both NAB and third-party bank accounts to consolidate cash flow data at a group level, improving visibility and control.
  • Additionally, Trovata AI, the first generative AI app for finance and treasury teams, will be made available for free to all NAB customers.


EY and Moody’s partner on risk management solutions

The EY organisation has allied with Moody’s Analytics to help financial institutions make better data-driven business decisions and manage risk. The coalition aims to help clients leverage data and analytics to understand their markets, customers and operations. This helps them to effectively measure and manage credit, market, liquidity, operational, actuarial and environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks.

The alliance combines EY teams’ consulting capabilities with Moody’s Analytics tools, models and data across risk domains. This should help clients with trusted and extensive data from technology solutions, data providers, and implementation support.

“Aligning EY US’ consulting capabilities with Moody’s… data and technology solutions will provide customers with a 360-degree view of their businesses, strengthening their ability to anticipate and manage risk,” said Helen Rider, General Manager of Global Sales at Moody’s Analytics. “We are confident that the alliance will create significant value for our business and look forward to working with EY US.”


Emburse and Mastercard partner on T&E tools

Mastercard is the new payments network for Emburse’s travel and expense (T&E) management cards. The partnership aims to help modern finance teams embrace the digital economy and make purchase transactions safe and accessible while automating traditionally manual reconciliation processes.

With Emburse Cards, finance professionals can issue and manage virtual and physical corporate cards from a centralised platform, with pre-approvals for employee budgets and automated reconciliation. The solution gives leaders a fuller view of their team’s spending while reducing the time employees wait for expenses to be approved and reimbursed. 

The Mastercard network should give Emburse customers added security and reach for physical and virtual cards. Customers will also receive MasterCoverage and Mastercard ID Theft Protection for fraud and identity protection, providing additional peace of mind to business leaders and employees who travel. Cardholders will also have access to Mastercard’s HealthLock benefit, an end-to-end analytics-driven platform designed to help protect cardholders' medical identities and data.

“As travel and expense management grows increasingly complex, it’s become imperative to provide a streamlined and digitised process for expense management,” said Marie Elizabeth Aloisi, US Commercial Solutions and Acceptance, Mastercard Healthcare Solutions. “From the security, flexibility and control that virtual cards provide, to the ease and familiarity of a physical card, we’re thrilled to work with Emburse to provide its corporate customers with a secure, end-to-end way to manage their T&E expenses, as well as choice in how they pay.”

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