Three local banks have been approved to be trade finance intermediaries of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) which makes them local administrative agents for the Cairo-headquartered financial institution, Business Times can report.
The trio—Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe, Nedbank Zimbabwe and CBZ Bank—joins 62 other financial institutions in 30 countries that have been accredited after a rigorous process.
Afreximbank this year on boarded more than 35 additional Trade Finance Intermediaries and more are expected to be approved during 2021.
“The local presence and knowledge of Trade Finance Intermediaries ideally positions them to play an important role in delivering Afreximbank’s credit solutions,” Afreximbank said.
“Trade Finance Intermediaries 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 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.”
New guidelines for appointing Trade Finance Intermediaries were introduced in 2017. This has seen Afreximbank strengthening the role of the intermediaries in assisting the bank to reach eligible exporters and importers in Africa and beyond.
The 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, Afreximbank said.
Afreximbank has a strong track record of supporting African economies during financial crises.
In 2015, the bank disbursed more than US$10bn through a Counter-Cyclical Trade Liquidity Facility to help member countries manage the adverse economic fallout of commodity price shocks.
In March 2020, a financial package, the Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility was launched by Afreximbank to support economies through the pandemic. Over US$5bn has been disbursed under the facility.