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School of Trade Finance

Learn essential trade risk mitigation and financing techniques with this in-depth course
  • This highly interactive 5 day Euromoney Learning virtual classroom training course provides practical, in-depth coverage of international trade and commodity finance. The conflicting needs of buyer and seller are identified and how trade finance provides risk mitigation and working capital solutions for both exporter and importer.

    The training covers the importance of Incoterms® rules, the nature of trade documentation, how to maintain control over the goods, the risks faced by exporters, importers and banks, and detailed coverage of the key documentary trade and open account supply chain finance products to include the parties, mechanics, risk mitigating features, optimal structuring techniques, and funding solutions.

    Emphasis is placed upon risk assessment, problem solving techniques and deal structuring, through a clear understanding of a corporate’s trade cycle. Great attention is paid to the effective and appropriate use of structured financing techniques in meeting the corporate’s needs for optimal working capital solutions, whilst satisfying the bank’s requirement for controlled lending and credit support.

    The course uses extensive case studies1 and exercises to develop the understanding of participants in a practical and engaging way across a range of scenarios on the identification of risk, risk mitigation, structuring techniques, and optimal working capital solutions.

    This highly interactive practical virtual training course is conducted via Zoom comprising 20 separate training sessions (4 per day). Each session is of either 75 or 90 minutes duration. Training is delivered via presentational slides, interactive discussion, exercises, and case studies (risk appraisal and solution framing via virtual breakout syndicate sessions). Multiple choice polling is used throughout the programme to aid the learning process.

    1The case studies and exercises described are provided for indicative purposes only. The trainer reserves the right of discretion to vary the selection of case studies covered in the classroom depending upon the background, experience, and key learning objectives of the participants in attendance and virtual classroom time availability.


    By attending this virtual training course, the delegates will:

    • Appreciate the working capital needs of an importer and exporter.
    • Identify trade risk and how this can be mitigated.
    • Structure documentary credits, standby credits, and letters of guarantee to mitigate risk.
    • Construct a trade cycle timeline to evaluate type, amount, and duration of trade finance.
    • Structure a self-liquidating trade finance facility.
    • Appreciate why structured trade finance is an alternative to traditional lending assessment.
    • Understand the key aspects and structuring techniques of receivables finance.
    • Be aware of the key payables and supply chain finance solutions and when they should be used.
    • Appreciate the structures, products, and risk management in commodity trade finance.
  • Each day will consist of 3 sessions

    Session 1  (approx 2 hours)
    Start time 9am GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
    Session 2  (approx 2 hours)
    Start time Midday GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
    Session 3 (approx 2 hours)
    Start time - 2pm GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
    Day 1
    Session 1
    Key client drivers
    •  Conflicting requirements of seller and buyer
    • Importance and implications of trade credit: credit risk, liquidity risk
    • Working capital optimisation: cash conversion cycle, importance of DSO and DPO ratios
    Exercise: Calculation of DSO & DPO ratios and assessment
    Need for trade finance
    • Description of trade finance
    • Why trade finance is required: risk mitigation, finance, facility increase
    • Key benefits of trade finance solutions to the corporate and bank
    The trade cycle
    • Key stages: risk profile of each
    • Plotting the time flow of goods, documentation, and money
    Session 2
    Trade documentation: its importance to trade finance
    • Important role of trade documentation in trade finance
    • Bill of lading (working example): control and possession (shipping guarantee example)
    • Other modes of transport (document examples) and implications for control
    • Cargo insurance (example): key aspects and considerations for the financier
    • Inspection certification (example): mitigating risk of dispute
    • Negotiable documents: function and importance
    Exercise: Review of a bill of lading and identification of key areas of risk and control for the financier
    Session 3
    Trade transactional risk evaluation - identifying and managing trade risk
    • Financial: buyer credit risk, country, and transfer risk
    • Performance: supply chain, nature of goods, delivery, dispute
    • Liquidity: fulfilment of the purchase order
    • Political risk: contract and/or payment frustration
    • Commercial risk: debt instrument, method of payment, trade credit terms, currency, Incoterms®, contractual terms, sales leverage, quality management, goods rejection, dilutions
    • Documentary: trade instrument, export and import clearance
    • Legal risk: impact on ICC rules, trade products, control of goods, debt recovery
    Transactional risk evaluation (structured finance)
    • Transactional source of repayment: nature, quality, dependencies to payment
    • Seller risk appraisal: going concern, performance risk, supply chain
    • Goods risk appraisal: nature of goods, dispute risk, quality management, secondary market

    Session 4

    Case Study and Solution
    : Risk appraisal on the funding requirement of a company for the manufacture and export of a machine (Part 1)

    Day 2

    Session 5

    Incoterms® rules 2020

    • Their relevance and importance to risk management
    • Examination of the most commonly used Incoterms®
    • Key differences to Incoterms® 2010

    Case Study and Solution: Evaluation of the needs of the seller, buyer and financier prioritising the Incoterms® rules in order of preference from a control and risk mitigation perspective

    Session 6

    Methods of payment

    • Payment “risk ladder” overview: key risk considerations for importer and exporter

    Documentary collections (import & export)

    • What a collection is: description, parties, when used, operation
    • An appreciation of ICC rules URC 522
    • Bank responsibility
    • Types: DP/CAD, DA
    • Bills of exchange (drafts) and promissory note (working examples)
    • Schedule of instructions (working example)
    • Risk, benefit, and control features
    • Dishonour: protest (protest example)
    • Financing collections
    • Advantages and disadvantages

    Session 7

    Case Study and Solution: Consideration of the risks and benefits of an advance against collections financing facility compared with bank overdraft

    Session 8

    Bank aval & forfaiting

    • What a bank aval is: description, parties, when used, operation
    • Avalising bank liability: bank requirements
    • Form of bank aval (working example)
    • Risk appreciation and benefit features
    • Financing avalised bills
    • Forfaiting: description, key characteristics, process

    Case Study and Solution:  Consideration of a request to purchase an avalised bill of exchange, identification of the risk features and further information required to evaluate the proposition

    Day 3

    Session 9

    Letters of credit (introduction)

    • What a letter of credit is: description, parties, when used, operation
    • Key aspects
    • ICC UCP 600, ISBP 745, URR 725 rules appreciation
    • Importance of documentation: standard for examination

    Import letters of credit

    • Issuing a letter of credit: bank undertaking, facility requirement, terms of sanction
    • Application form (working example): key bank terms & conditions
    • Availability: sight payment, acceptance, deferred payment, negotiation
    • Risk, benefit & control: goods, inspection, insurance
    • Sight and term credits: liability (contingent & actual), timing of debit to applicant’s account
    • Import letter of credit (working example)

    Exercise: Calculation of the letter of credit facility requirement for an importer

    • Discrepant presentation: risk implications
    • Discrepancy waiver and rejection: importance of timely notice of rejection
    • Structuring an import letter of credit: mitigation of risk
    Session 10

    Exercise:  Examination of a completed import letter of credit application form and identification of technical issues and non-compliance with the terms of credit approval

    Session 11

    Export letters of credit

    • Export letter of credit (working example)
    • Role of the advising bank (advising letter example)
    • Confirmation: description, risks, operation, bank liability
    • Silent confirmation: third party, commitment to negotiate, terms & conditions
    • Amendments (example): operation
    • Complying presentation: obligation to honour (example payment advice)
    • Exceptions to the payment principle
    • Discrepant presentation: risk implications
    • Options for handling discrepant documents (discrepancy notice example)
    • Risk appreciation: structuring the export letter of credit
    • Advantages and disadvantages of letters of credit

    Financing letters of credit

    • Financing import letters of credit: usance payable at sight (clause example), re-finance
    • Financing export letters of credit: discounting & negotiating (with & without recourse)
    • Assignment/allocation of proceeds (working example)

    Exercise:  Calculation of the net amount payable to an LC beneficiary on discounting a bank accepted bill of exchange pursuant to a complying presentation of documents

    Session 12

    Case Study and Solution: Evaluation of an export letter of credit and identification of risk for the beneficiary. Recommendations will be made for the restructuring of LC terms to mitigate risk for the manufacturer and to facilitate financing (Part 2)

    Day 4

    Session 13

    Other forms of letters of credit

    • Oil credits: key aspects, use of LOI (clause & LOI examples)
    • Transferable letters of credit (working example): transfer request (example)
    • Back to back letters of credit
    • Revolving letters of credit: (clause example)

    Session 14

    Standby credits

    • What a standby credit is: description, parties, when used, operation
    • Commercial standby letter of credit (working example)
    • Structuring standby credits (clause examples): risk appreciation and mitigation
    • UCP 600 and ISP 98 rule appreciation
    • Use of a commercial standby credit to support a working capital solution (case example)
    • How a standby credit differs from a documentary credit and demand guarantee
    Demand guarantees
    • What a demand guarantee is: description, when used
    • Key aspects
    • URDG 758: appreciation and use
    • Application form (example): key bank terms & conditions
    • Direct and indirect guarantees: parties and operation
    • Counter guarantee (example): nature, role, and risk implications
    • Types: bid, advance payment, performance, and payment
    • Text wordings: APG (working example)
    • Key clauses: guarantee text construction
    • Claim demand: operation, bank responsibility
    • Risk appreciation
    • Risk management: structuring guarantees (clause examples)

    Session 15

    Case Study:  Assessment of the risk profile of a middle-party’s request for a standby letter of credit and an increase in their overdraft in respect of the purchase of pre-sold goods. Construction of the trade cycle timeline, calculation of the facility requirement and formulation of an import and export trade financing structure to mitigate risk for the bank and middle-party

    Session 16

    Structured trade finance

    • When and why deal structuring should be used: bridging the ‘credit gap’
    • Key aspects of credit assessment in structured trade finance
    • Relevance of financial statement analysis in structured trade finance
    • Taking security over the goods: pledge, trust receipt, ‘lex situs’
    • Types of structure: self-liquidating, partially structured
    • Exercising control: goods, documentation, money
    • Trade loans: draw down documentation, labelling, determining due date for repayment
    • Managing risk exposure: identify exposures (by risk category), use of facility sub-limits

    Exercise: Identification of the funding gap and calculation of the facility requirement

    Payables finance

    • What payables finance is and when it should be used
    • Advance payment/prepayment to the supplier
    • Pre-shipment finance
    • Risk appreciation and structuring

    Day 5

    Session 17

    Approved trade payables finance (buyer-led supply chain finance)

    • What approved trade payables finance is: description, parties, when used, operation
    • Key aspects
    • Supply chain finance platforms: proprietary, third party (multi-funder)
    • Dynamic discounting
    • Implementation: onboarding, buyer agreement, supplier debt purchase agreement
    • Financing (supplier invoice debt purchase and prepayment)
    • Risk and benefit appreciation

    Receivables finance

    • What receivables finance is: description, parties, when used, operation
    • Nature of debt and implications for finance
    • Invoice: debt assignment (clause example)
    • Debt purchase versus advance
    • Importance of the Incoterms rule®: proof of delivery
    • Disclosed and undisclosed facilities
    • Recourse and re-purchase events
    • Risk assessment
    • Prepayment: determining the prepayment amount
    • Credit insurance: use, evaluation (schedule working example), joint insured, loss payee
    • Types of receivables finance: specific purchase (insured, uninsured), pool purchase, factoring

    Discussion: Structuring of an insured receivables finance solution for the sale of vehicles to a buyer in Africa on three years trade credit

    Session 18

    Case Study and Solution: Structuring of a payables funding solution for the manufacturer of a machine which mitigates the risks identified in the earlier session (Part 3)

    Session 19

    Commodity trade finance
    • What commodity finance is: description, when used, parties
    • Using structured commodity finance to look beyond the balance sheet
    • Key characteristics
    • Pre-export and prepayment: risk appreciation and mitigation
    • Warehouse financing: risk appreciation and mitigation
      • Control of goods: warehouse receipt (working example), warrant, deed of attornment
      • Financing ratio
      • Role of collateral managers
    • Borrowing base: operation, risk appreciation

    Session 20

    Case Study and Solution: Construction of a trade financing solution across the commodity cycle to include pre-shipment payment, financing goods held in a warehouse and receivables finance on goods call-off

    Summary and close


  • Our Tailored Learning Offering

    Do you have five or more people interested in attending this course? Do you want to tailor it to meet your company’s exact requirements? If you’d like to do either of these, we can bring this course to your company’s office. You could even save up to 50% on the cost of sending delegates to a public course and dramatically increase your ROI.

    If you want to run this course at a location convenient to you or if you want a completely customised learning solution, we can help.

    We produce learning solutions that are completely unique to your business. We’ll guide you through the whole process, from the initial consultancy to evaluating the success of the full learning experience. Our learning specialists ensure you get the maximum return on your training investment.

  • We have a combined experience of over 60 years providing learning solutions to the world’s major organisations and are privileged to have contributed to their success. We view our clients as partners and focus on understanding the needs of each organisation we work with to tailor learning solutions to specific requirements.

    We are proud of our record of customer satisfaction. Here is why you should choose us to help you achieve your goals and accelerate your career:

    • Quality – our clients consistently rate our performance ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’. Our average overall score awarded to us by our clients is nine out of ten.
    • Track record – 10/10 of the world’s largest banks have chosen us as there training provider and we have delivered training across the largest banks and have trained over 25,000 professionals.
    • Knowledge – our 100+ strong team of industry specialist trainers are world leading financial leaders and commentators, ensuring our knowledge base is second to none.
    • Reliability – if we promise it, we deliver it. We have delivered over 25,000 events both in person and online, using simultaneous translation to delegates from over 99 countries.
    • Recognition – we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council and the CPD Certification Service. In an independent review by Feefo we scored 4.2/5 on service and 4.7/5 on Coursecheck
This course can be run as an In-house or Tailored Learning programme


  • Stephen Jones


    Stephen Jones is a highly experienced trade finance practitioner with over 45 years of trade finance expertise (35 of which was gained in the corporate banking environment). He has held senior trade positions in Lloyds Bank, NatWest and RBS in trade operations, risk, sales and relationship management.Stephen was the first in NatWest Corporate to win, structure and execute a multi-million pound limited recourse receivables finance structure for a new to bank major client. The structure used a syndicate of private insurers to transfer buyer and political risk. This resulted in the successful provision of 3 years trade credit to a buyer in Africa and off balance sheet receivables finance to the exporter.During his time as Regional Head of International Trade, Stephen overviewed and structured his team’s trade finance submissions to the credit department achieving a 97% credit approval success rate over a 4-year period.In 2014 Stephen was appointed Consultant Head of Risk for a new alternative market trade finance provider focused on helping small and medium sized businesses which are not able to obtain trade finance facilities from the banking market. During his term of office Stephen formulated the trade finance credit risk policy and operational instructions for the financier and headed up its credit risk committee.Stephen regularly provides training globally to banks (relationship managers, credit risk managers, sales teams, operations, and audit) on trade and receivables finance, risk mitigation, AML and sanctions compliance.He continues to work as a trade finance practitioner, consultant trade advisor, handles letters of credit for his corporate clients (to include structuring, preparation and presentation of documents to banks), and arranges finance; this helps to ensure his material is both relevant to today’s market and highly practical.Stephen is the author of ‘Trade and Receivables Finance: A Practical Guide to Risk Evaluation and Structuring’ (Nov. 2018) which is endorsed by The London Institute of Banking & Finance and ‘The Trade and Receivables Finance Companion: A Collection of Case Studies and Solutions’ published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2020.