Trade Finance Survey 2018: Globals don’t give way to locals

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By:
Kimberley Long
Published on:
2018_Trade-Finance
© 2018 Euromoney
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The results of the Euromoney Trade Finance Survey 2018 show the emergence of two very different trends: the sustained presence of the global trade finance bank, and the rising influence of regional institutions. 

HSBC emerges as 2018’s big winner, moving up to first place in the global overall best service rankings from second last year. The result pushes Deutsche Bank down into third place, with UniCredit creeping up from third to take second.

In the overall regional results, those three global trade finance leaders continue to dominate, each placing in the top five for every region covered by the survey. 

In Asia, Deutsche edges ahead of HSBC to take the top spot. The German bank also won its home market of western Europe. UniCredit dominates the table for central and eastern Europe. HSBC wraps up the other regions, winning the Middle East and Latin America. 

The number of respondents rose to over 7,200 for this year’s survey, an 80% rise over 2017. The increase in the numbers also saw far greater diversity in the banks nominated. While last year 198 banks were nominated, this year’s survey recorded rankings for 390 institutions. 

The results pick up on a trend across transaction banking: corporates looking to form more relationships with regional financial institutions. 

DBS jumps straight into the top 10, placing eighth in the overall rankings, boosted by its fifth-place ranking in Asia. 

In the top 10, BNP Paribas leaps from eighth place in 2017 to fourth this year. Citi rounds out the top five trade finance banks globally, with Standard Chartered steady in sixth place and Commerzbank dropping from fourth to seventh overall. 

Bank of America Merrill Lynch breaks into the top 10 overall for the first time. 

Among more specifically regional banks, Raiffeisen is the closest challenger to UniCredit in emerging Europe and Bank of China is just behind DBS in the Asia-Pacific region. 

This year’s rankings also include tables based on the quality of a bank’s service to trade finance clients at a country, regional and global level. While minimum vote thresholds are applied to these rankings, unlike the overall results they are weighted less heavily towards those banks with the highest vote counts or spread of business.

Clients were asked to rank their trade finance providers on a sliding scale of one to five, with one representing poor service, three, in line with expectations, and five, excellent quality of service. Negative ratings (one and two) were subtracted from positive ratings (four and five) to provide a net customer satisfaction rating. 

On this methodology, UniCredit ranks as best among the global banks with a net satisfaction rate of 41%, just ahead of Deutsche Bank by one percentage point. HSBC, the overall winner of the survey, ranks fourth globally by this measure. 

Regionally, Taiwan’s Cathay United Bank had the most favourable net ratings from clients in Asia; BNP Paribas won in the Middle East; and HSBC eased out Deutsche Bank in western Europe.