Several winners of the recently announced Global Trade Review (GTR) Leaders in Trade awards are credited for their ability to grow or improve their letter of credit (L/C) services.

GTR's annual rewards highlight excellence in the trade, commodity, supply chain and export finance, and fintech markets, recognising pioneering institutions and top performers from around the world.

Zenith and BACB

Adjudged best trade finance bank in West Africa based on submissions sent to GTR that outline institutions' greatest achievements throughout the course of 2019, Zenith Bank (UK) said it handled trade transactions worth between US$5,000 and US$40 million, while growing its L/C business by 30 per cent year-on-year.

Best trade finance bank in North Africa, British Arab Commercial Bank (BACB), is credited by GTR for being the sole UK issuer of L/Cs for corporates working in the Libyan oil sector. In 2019, the bank handled more than 900 L/Cs issued by banks across North Africa and saw transaction flows in excess of US$21.4 billion from the region.

Sberbank's pioneering L/C work

Russia's Sberbank, a first-time winner of a GTR Leaders in Trade award, wrote more than US$29 billion of trade finance deals during the first 11 months of 2019. That is a record not only for Sberbank, but also for any major competitor.

The best trade finance bank in Eastern Europe winner is credited for its pioneering technology work, adding new functionality to allow customers to initiate L/C openings, track the full details of a deal, send the necessary documents and seek financing through its Sberbank Business Online service.

NatWest and Sullivan

Winner of the best trade finance bank in the UK, NatWest is credited for handling more than 3,000 export L/Cs, while collecting more than 10,000 international trade payments for UK firms selling goods and services overseas.

Best trade finance law firm, Sullivan, is credited for its work with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) on the structuring and documentation of a variety of trade finance, asset finance and L/C facilities across Africa.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.