World's Best Trade Finance Banks 2001

Article excerpt

Leaders in credit, transaction settlement, trade logistics, and exchanges * By Gordon Platt and Adam Rombel

The global economic slowdown will mean reduced trade growth this year, as well as the heightened potential for new forms of protectionism.At the same time new opportunities are opening up as China gets ready to enter the World Trade Organization.

In this environment corporations everywhere need access to vital financing for their international transactions.

Global Finance has selected the best trade finance banks in each of the 30 top US trading countries, as well as globally and regionally, plus four leading institutions offering online trade finance services.

The winners were chosen with input from industry analysts, corporate executives, and technology experts. Criteria included transaction volume, scope of global coverage, ease of use, competitive pricing, and innovative technologies.

Citigroup took top honors in the United States, the Americas, and globally. It is by far the largest arranger of export finance under US Export-Import Bank programs and has the most extensive global network.

ABN-AMRO of the Netherlands, second to Citigroup in US Ex-Im Bank financing last year, is the winner in Europe. KeyCorp, based in Cleveland, Ohio, joined with the Dutch bank to expand its offerings and develop a shared processing platform. Users can initiate letter of credit applications and direct collections online, as well as track the status of letters of credit and export collections.

In Asia, Singapore-based DBS Group is developing into a regional powerhouse with aggressive acquisitions and advanced online systems.

The amount of international trade being financed online is small but beginning to grow rapidly. …