Trade Finance Survey 2016: Overall results show value of quality of service and share of client business

Deutsche Bank retains its position as the leading global trade-finance bank in this year’s Euromoney survey. The German bank and overall runner-up UniCredit also dominated the results by region and by product.

  Trade Finance Survey 2016 full results
While the top-five rankings overall, rounded out in order by Citi, HSBC and Commerzbank, remain unchanged from last year, there were big changes in the global top 10. Notable among these was the rise of Société Générale, from 14th place to sixth; RBS, jumping from 12th to seventh despite plans to unwind its global transaction services business; and ING, the biggest riser, from 20th place last year to ninth this year. BNP Paribas is the notable casualty, dropping out of the top 10 globally from seventh place last year. 

What stands out from the results is that simply having the biggest global trade-finance network – which both Citi and HSBC can lay claim to – does not make you the best trade-finance provider. Some of the reasons for this can be found in two data sets also produced during the survey process.

The first is the share of business that banks receive from each client. We asked survey respondents to state what percentage of their trade finance business they conducted with their top three providers globally and regionally.

How much business do the top trade finance banks get?
Average share of business by client [where bank is a top three TF provider either reginally or globally to that client]
Global ranking Entity %
1 Deutsche Bank 56.37
2 UniCredit 69.7
3 Citi 53.99
4 HSBC 35.45
5 Commerzbank 42.57
6 Société Générale 36.49
7 RBS 70.74
8 Standard Chartered 28.95
9 ING 25.82
10 Santander 27.55

UniCredit, for example, does almost 70% of trade finance for its top clients (a figure only surpassed by RBS among the top 10 overall). HSBC, on the other hand, gets just half this amount, 35%, where it is a top-three counterparty.