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Treasury

UniCredit: Nenci sees recovery in trade finance volumes despite stimulus withdrawal

Francesca Nenci, the recently appointed global head of trade finance at UniCredit, talks to Euromoney about the bank’s trade finance business and the client trends that will shape her approach to her new position.

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A revamp of UniCredit’s corporate and investment banking executive structure in August saw Francesca Nenci take sole responsibility for the Italian bank’s trade finance business.

Having joined the firm as a political analyst in 2004, she is now the sole head of this business segment, having previously shared the role with Raphael Barisaac. Barisaac will now focus on his position as global head of cash management.

UniCredit enjoyed mixed fortunes in Euromoney’s latest trade finance survey, where it was ranked number one for CEE, but surrendered third place in the overall rankings to Citi. Nenci emphasizes the need to recognize that trade finance is a flow business, in that it does not only generate direct revenues in its business line but also provides a cross-selling boost for other parts of the bank.

“Amongst European banks, we are one of the biggest providers of trade finance,” she says. “We have a strong presence in our core markets of Italy, Germany and Austria, and access to a network of over 4,000 correspondent banking partners, which enables us to support clients in more than 175 countries.”

Pandemic impact

While the shocks that the pandemic caused on both the supply and demand side severely impacted the bank’s trade finance business last year, Nenci observes that volumes have enjoyed a strong recovery since the final quarter of last year and are now back to pre-Covid levels.

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