Insight & Analysis

Press release: Trade finance survey reveals business stress

Published: May 2022

12th May 2022Surecomp® today announced the results of a recent survey with CFOs and Treasurers focusing on trade finance processes in varying companies across the globe.

Newspaper press release

The survey found that only 6% of respondents are ‘entirely happy’ with their current trade finance process. Almost four out of ten are unhappy with their existing arrangements, noting that their current processes – many of which still involve spreadsheets – are error-prone (57%), time-consuming (41%) or too complicated (15%). Other challenges include a reliance on paper (10%) and the inability to use multi-banking options (10%).

Two thirds of respondents said that they currently communicate with their trade finance banks, financiers and trade counterparts by email, while 15% are using fax, and 14% communicate by post. With so much bank communication involving at least some manual processing, roughly half of the respondents (49%) cite using no digital channel at all. While one quarter (27%) considers spreadsheets and email as digital, another quarter (24%) uses bank portals or similar.

The survey also included findings about the time taken to secure finance. Sixty-three percent of respondents said it takes them at least three days to secure finance, while 7% said it takes two weeks or longer. Only 11% of respondents said they were able to secure finance in less than one day which is a clear sign of systemic inefficiency. this will directly benefit the liquidity situation of corporates.

“It’s clear from these findings that many companies are still struggling with outdated, error-prone processes in trade finance,” states Enno-Burghard Weitzel, Surecomp’s SVP of Strategy, Digitization and Business Development. “With so many still using time-consuming, manual tools, companies have much to gain with respect to improving their liquidity, reducing operational risk and increasing efficiency by adopting a single, digital hub that enables them to centralize communication with the necessary parties and access the information they need.”

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