Trade wars & technology - A new era for trade finance
After a steady run towards globalisation for 20 years, world trade is potentially facing serious protectionism for the first time in the 21st century. Trade finance revenues at top banks saw further decline recently despite higher interest rates and commodity prices. Faster payment settlements are bringing down working capital needs and emergence of alternative trade finance providers presents new challenges for banks. At the same time, compliance and fraud risks remain a threat.
With this challenging background, what are the key focus areas for banks as we progress towards a more digitised world of trade finance. Will higher regulation make trade a less lucrative product for the industry going forward? How are banks dealing with the growing threat of trade wars? Is technology helping them grow business or is it primarily a cost focused drive towards digitisation?