Puerto Rico based Stern Bank is expanding its operations by opening a trade finance operation in London.

Founded in 2017, the bank specialises in the issuance of documentary letters of credit (L/Cs), standby L/Cs and bank guarantees.

L/Cs for SMEs

Stern Bank was established to capture L/C and guarantee business for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that larger financial institutions are increasingly losing interest in serving.

The SME specialist bank is looking at transactions in the US$50,000 to US$100,000 range that some larger banks refuse to support because they carry relatively high compliance costs.

New appointment

Newly appointed vice-president of financial institutions and trade, Sunita Mehta, will head the bank's London operations. Mehta joins from Pakistan's second largest private bank, United Bank Limited.

Privately owned Stern Bank's London operations will commence in 2019.

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