The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has accredited eight Nigerian banks to join its expanded trade finance intermediary initiative.
In all, the bank increased the number of its Trade Finance Intermediaries (TFIs) to more than 65 in 30 African countries.
The Nigerian banks listed were Access, FCMB, Fidelity, First Bank of Nigeria, Sterling, Union Bank, Stanbic IBTC and Zenith.
Some other financial institutions in the continent that made the list included Bank Gaborone, First National Bank of Botswana, Coris Bank International, Ecobank Cameroon, Banco Caboverdiano de Negócios S.A.’S (BCN), BGFI Cote d’Ivoire, Arab International Bank, Commercial International Bank (CIB), National Bank of Egypt, Export Development Bank of Egypt and Vista Bank Gambia, among others.
According to a statement, a key component of the bank’s business model, the TFI initiative enables a smoother delivery of Afreximbank’s initiatives and credit solutions.
It explained that in line with its charter and mandate, Afreximbank delivers its products and services with and through central banks, commercial banks and other eligible bank and non-bank financial institutions.
“The Trade Finance Intermediaries also act as Local Administrative Agents for Afreximbank’s facilities. The Bank has put in place the TFI initiative to establish lasting relationships with these partner financial institutions.
“New guidelines for appointing TFIs were introduced in 2017. As a result, Afreximbank has strengthened their role in assisting the Bank to reach eligible exporters and importers in Africa and beyond. Accredited according to rigorous criteria, Trade Finance Intermediaries are trained to understand Afreximbank’s mandate, strategy, process, and procedures.
“The further expansion of Afreximbank’s Trade Finance Intermediary initiative enlarges the accredited network of financial institutions that can work alongside the Bank to facilitate the transformation and development of trade across Africa,” the statement added.
Already this year, Afreximbank had on-boarded more than 35 additional Trade Finance Intermediaries and more were expected to be approved next year.
According to the statement, the local presence and knowledge of Trade Finance Intermediaries ideally positions them to play an important role in delivering Afreximbank’s credit solutions, adding that TFIs are also instrumental in helping to ensure the success of Afreximbank’s initiatives such as the newly launched MANSA repository platform – which provides a centralised pan-African source for Due Diligence and Know-Your Customer data – and the Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), which will enable intra-African trade and commerce payments to be made in African currencies in furtherance of the goals of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).