The Silicon Review
“We deploy the latest technology to ensure uninterrupted payment processing and issuance of trade finance instruments from a single point within a shorter period of time.”
Banks exist to make profit, and whilst current banking challenges broadly include liquidity, asset, liability and capital management, winners will be those able to adapt to meet the demands of unprecedented growth in trade volumes, values and rapid advances in technology.
Euro Exim Bank Ltd(EEB) is an innovative global financial institution with head Office in St. Lucia and a representative office in London. It holds a “Class A” international banking license from Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of St. Lucia. This license provides authorisation to conduct business with third parties across industries and geographies worldwide, exercising strong due diligence, full compliance and operational excellence in its processes. EEB is an associate member of the Caribbean Association of Banks Inc (CAB). Being a member of CAB offers EEB opportunities and knowledge sharing with industry leaders that are applied to modernise its operations and customer service.
Graham Bright, Euro Exim Bank Limited Head of Compliance and Operations, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Q. Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
The company was established from a small payment institution, however, in a crowded market, fierce competition, infrastructure costs and lean margins prompted us to review and re-direct our operating strategy.
We saw an opportunity in facilitating global trade, through issuance and relay of trade finance instruments, namely Letters of Credit, Standby Letters of Credit, Performance Bonds and Bank Guarantees. Where major banks were withdrawing from the market through de-risking and international trade policy due to complexity, fraud and legal action, we found a strong market niche, working with smaller SME’s and corporates needing to transact trade instruments supporting imports in often challenging jurisdictions across the globe.
Q. How successful was your first project roll on? Share the experience.
Once we had established our systems and suitable pricing model for the market, we were effective in providing tier2/3 corporates low collateral instruments when dealing with trades of less than 5m USD. Commonly buyers were hampered by large long-term deposit requirements which adversely affects cash flow. We were able to offer a cheaper alternative with apt collateral, rapidly preparing instruments in days rather than weeks.
Q. Building a culture of sustainability inside an organization is very important to maintain a reputation in the global market. How is it true for your company?
Sustainability can mean many things. In our context it’s about profits, planet, and people, ensuring that well-maintained resources today do not compromise the needs of future generations. Every business strives to make profit to survive. In our case, the pursuit of profit is measured in long term timelines rather than short-term quarter driven earnings. We are working with buyers in emerging countries changing from agricultural to industrial economies, mindful of emissions, low-energy usage, with a focus on free and fair trade, enabling global competition.
Q. A company’s behavior is as important as its economic performance or the quality of its products. How do you interpret this saying?
Doing the right thing and doing things right is a key principle of our business, and we strive to maintain corporate policies of treating our customers fairly and respectfully. With so many clients across the globe, we work with multiple jurisdictions, cultures, business principles and regulatory demands, many of which differ greatly. We are mindful of the individual requirements as well as national obligations, where we aim not only to satisfy client demand but to exceed expectations. This leads to follow-on business, mutual trust and confidence in our products and services.
Q. Is your company a leader or follower? Do you formulate your own core values?
A leader – in our innovative platform, blockchain enables trade transparency and immutability, for example, we are pioneering use of XRP cryptocurrency for payments and liquidity settlement, and working to radically optimize trade by embedding SWIFT messages inside Ripple real-time instructions.
Q. ‘Leaders cannot optimize results by themselves; they need employees’ support and assistance.’ How does your company interpret this saying?
By deed and action. Fortunately, we are still a small company, where we know our clients and our people very well. Running small agile teams, with cross-functional job roles ensures everyone is competent and confident to handle their roles diligently and in a timely professional manner. Teamwork is the key, led by astute, collaborative management who are not afraid or so remote to roll up their sleeves and actively assist and complement teams when required.
Q. Trust is a difficult attribute to measure and a delicate dynamic to maintain. How do you maintain this with your employees?
We carefully select staff and work in teams without multiple layers of management or bureaucracy. Whilst information sharing is important, staff are trusted and empowered regarding marketing, creating trade instruments and generally in their daily activities to complete tasks diligently without micro-management. Our staff are professionals and we recognize them as such.
Q. Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
Our strategy is to build the largest most professional sales team in the trade of any institution and be the pre-eminent trade finance issuers universally. We have already started recruitment in India, to be followed in other key locations. Whilst international trade is growing, opportunities still arise for our target market, and we are positioning to take advantage of new markets and areas where major banks are withdrawing their services.
Graham Bright: A Charismatic Leader
Graham Bright is the Head of Compliance and Operations; part of the original team. With a career in the finance industry spanning over 35 years (20 at SWIFT), he is recognized as a thought leader in trade finance and is a regular speaker at conferences and contributes articles to the international press. He has performed in amateur theatre and in TV and film as a supporting artist. Graham holds an Honors degree in Business Studies and is a serving Justice of the Peace.