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Advanced Trade Finance Masterclass

Considering the role of trade finance in the current market place at an advanced level

A variety of colorful glass sheets stacked together creating a rainbow effect

A two-day course

Advanced Trade Finance Course - Day One

The Current Market Place

  • Recent Evolution
  • Global Supply Chains
  • The challenge of emerging markets
  • The dominance of China - still?
  • Geo-political challenges especially protectionism
  • The traditional three bands of clients: Global and Large Corporate, MMEs, and the rest!
  • Understanding trade finance at a fundamental level
  • Typical users of Trade Finance products and services

Financial Crime Compliance & Sanctions – A Continuing High Priority For Regulators

  • Why does this matter? Why is trade finance considered high-risk?
  • Understanding the risk-based approach
  • TI CPI, FATF, Wolfsberg, ICC, OFAC and other influencers
  • CDD and the need to obtain a clear line of sight across the value chain
  • Money laundering methodologies – how is it done?
  • Documentary fraud
  • PEPS
  • Sanctions overview
  • Case Study: Delegates will be asked to consider a real case to identify FCC risks and suggest how they may have been managed and mitigated

Traditional Risks – The Critical Issues For Experienced Practitioners

  • Understanding, identifying and managing the additional risks
  • Credit risk, Market risk & Operational risk
  • Sovereign, Political / Country risk
  • Institutional risk / Bank risk
  • Corporate and other critical risks
  • Importer and Exporter’s risk
  • Other risks in the transaction and how to mitigate them (transport risk, warehousing, force majeure, etc.)
  • Risk mitigation, management and transfer
  • Case Study: An example using three different payment methods. Delegates will be asked to identify and explain what type of client would choose one in preference to the other two and why to illustrate risks in reality.

Review of Key Products – A High-Level Review

  • How does the customer analyse his risk?
  • Which products does he use and why?
  • Payment in Advance
  • Open Account
  • Collections – Outward & Inward / Clean & Documentary
  • Letters of Credit (covered in more detail below)
  • Risks and opportunities
  • Control possibilities
  • Case Study: Showing how clients sometimes see the world of risk differently than bankers.

Supply Chain Management & Finance

  • The Origins of SCM and what does it mean in practice?
  • Understanding the issues in SCM – “the tug of war” between supplier & buyer
  • Bringing about a “balance” between parties for effective processing
  • Understanding the movement of ‘information’, ’goods’ and ‘cash’
  • Supply Chain Finance Main SCF models: accounts payable - centric, accounts receivable, BPO
  • Review the risk aspects of SCF
  • CaseStudy: Showing how Reverse Factoring works and how both buyer-centric and seller-centric models are being employed.

Letters of Credit (L/Cs) Advanced

  • Traditional L/C’s The four contract concept
  • Confirmations
  • Red Clause
  • Green clause
  • Revolving L/Cs
  • Evergreen
  • Transferable L/Cs
  • Back to Back L/C structures
  • Case Study: Showing how different types of LCs are used, why this is the case and what difference it makes to the risk profile.

Standby Letters of Credit Advanced

  • History and origin
  • The dominant trade finance product
  • Uses
  • Risk management
  • Issue and assessment
  • Pricing
  • Understanding the applicability of ISP98 and UCP 600 for standbys
  • Fraud and unfair calling
  • Case Study: Using a standby in practice

Export Finance issues

  • Looking at the big picture
  • Understanding the purpose of borrowing
  • Country risk issues
  • The reality of title and control
  • Negotiation under letters of credit
  • Discounting of deferred payment L/C, acceptance credits (with or without recourse)
  • Case Study: Delegates are asked to consider how to fund an export order using different contract arrangements.

Controlling Credit Exposure – Formulating a Limit

  • Understanding and explaining the trade cycle
  • The use of timelines
  • Assessing and appreciating funding gaps
  • Case Study: Using timelines and facility plotting to spot double finance and identify the actual funding gaps and customer needs.

Advanced Trade Finance Course - Day Two


  • Reverse Factoring
  • Seller Centric Solutions
  • UPAS
  • Asset Based Lending
  • Case Study: An example of Reverse Factoring.

Structuring Finance for the Trader

  • Analysing the trade flows
  • Assessing facility size and structure
  • Specific lending with identifiable maturity dates
  • Appreciating and controlling sources of repayment
  • Case Study: An example of a medium-sized business using structured finance.

Effective Use of Collections for Short-Term Finance

  • Using collections as financing opportunities
  • Identifying and mitigating risks
  • Maintaining control

Supporting the Trader

  • Using the goods as collateral
  • Assessing the value of goods
  • The value of pledges and trust receipts
  • The need for structured lending
  • Case Study: How to use goods as security for a trade deal.

Warehousing of Goods

  • Warehouse location
  • Management assessment
  • Legal frameworks
  • Obtaining and retaining title and control
  • Risks and responsibilities of Collateral Managers
  • Cost versus control
  • Case Study: Warehousing in practice using a real example.

International Demand and Contract Guarantees / Bonds

  • Scope and Application – an introduction (suretyship v. demand guarantee)
  • Indemnities versus guarantees
  • Different types - Bid, Performance, Advance payment, Warranty and Retention bonds
  • Rules governing guarantees and bonds
  • Legal jurisdiction and expiry date issues
  • Value of using URDG 758 – ICC Rules for demand guarantees
  • Impact of non-bank competitors – COFACE, Euler Hermes
  • Case Study: Using these in practice.

Receivables Financing

  • Mechanics of Factoring and Invoice Discounting
  • Forfaiting – an important adjunct to the TF mechanism
  • Role of Credit Insurance
  • Mechanics of Securitisation
  • FCC risks
  • Case Study: A real example showing how this makes a huge difference to working capital.

The Commodity Sector and its Players

  • History and origins of the commodity industry
  • Understanding the nature of ’commodities’
  • Analysing the players – growers/producers; traders and end-users
  • Financing of commodities
  • Looking beyond the balance sheet
  • Available documentation – taking and retaining the title
  • Commodity futures, options and derivatives
  • Hedging – a critical process in commodity finance
  • Role and function of the exchanges
  • Main risks in the commodity trade (market, fraudulent practices, legal issues, recent legal cases)
  • Case study: A large-scale commodity deal and how it can be funded at an acceptable level of risk


  • Overview – when to use
  • Pitfalls and complications
  • Possible structures and Time management


  • When to syndicate
  • Lead or participant role
  • The completion from capital markets – high-yield bonds
  • Selling down exposure
  • Impact of quasi-governmental agencies
  • Risk/reward analysis
  • Case Study: A syndicated deal.

This advanced trade finance course will conclude with a review and feedback

Our advanced trade finance course trainer had a highly successful, long and varied “fast track” career in Lloyds Bank which led him to a very senior management position in the bank’s private banking and wealth management division at an early age. He was then “head hunted” to join a merchant bank at the main board director level. He now has over 40 years of trade finance experience.

Our trainer has been a freelance trade finance training consultant since retiring and is currently an external Master Trainer at HSBC, where he has delivered major trade and structured trade finance training courses. He has also taught similar programs at the Bank of China.

He is a highly adaptive, hands-on and highly sought-after trade finance trainer who always receives excellent feedback from delegates. He is comfortable training at any level of seniority and experience, from novices to “black belts”. In addition to his trade finance specialism, his expertise includes but is not limited to Risk Management, Trade Finance, Regulatory Compliance, FCC & AML and all aspects of Corporate, Private and retail Banking. He is also a highly experienced soft skills trainer and has completed numerous “train the trainer” assignments.

  • Understand what is happening in the global trade finance market right now and how institutions are responding.
  • Empower delegates to become better practitioners.
  • To demonstrate how trade finance works at an advanced level by going beyond just a list of payment methods and their features.
  • To gain a better understanding of how customers perceive risk and the paradoxes this can create.
  • Understand why open account trading dominates global trade despite the textbook definition of it being the most risky for the seller.
  • Appreciate why the letter of credit payment mechanism refuses to die, despite numerous predictions to the contrary.
  • Recognise that FCC & AML have placed significant burdens on trade finance as it is recognised – rightly – as being high risk for money laundering, especially layering.
  • Understand that when done well, trade finance is normally very low risk for credit losses and is usually very profitable.
  • Appreciate the trade finance cycle including break-even analysis.
  • Learn why sanctions are now mainstream considerations.
  • Understand the risk-based approach and its impact on trade finance.
  • Get to grips with DDD, FATF, TI, CPI and their impact.
  • Understand and identify the traditional risks.
  • Review the key products and how the customer analyses his risk.
  • Master an understanding of supply chain management and finance.
  • Learn about the traditional letters of credit and the four contract concepts.
  • Explore standby letters of credit that dominate bank-supported trade.
  • Learn about exporting finance issues and controlling credit exposure.
  • Explore the effective use of collections for short-term finance.
  • Get to grips with the international demand and contact guarantees/bonds.

  • We are acknowledged experts in trade finance training, having delivered it as a key curriculum topic for over 20 years.
  • Our trainer is a highly experienced trade finance practitioner who reached top management levels during his career and has delivered training on the topic to key global players like HSBC, Bank of China, Commerzbank, Rabobank, Standard Chartered and many others.
  • This advanced trade finance course is created from the viewpoint of a practitioner, not as an exam candidate. The main focus is on adding value to your knowledge base so you can “hit the ground running” when you return to your respective role upon completion of the course.
  • You don’t have to be a trade finance black belt as we will spend a short time (whatever is necessary to bring all delegates up to speed) considering the mechanics and characteristics of trade products and trade finance generally.
  • Our advanced trade finance course covers all the current and key core issues: trade finance risks, why clients should choose one method of trade over another, the underlying rationale for trade, who are the typical users of trade finance, global trends, innovations and any significant changes or trends globally (the Trump administration and Brexit to name but two).

Delegates are invited to consider how trade is financed from their client's perspective in the non-textbook real world.  This will help delegates understand the way the market works in practice. This holistic approach (which doesn’t ignore or undervalue the key analytics) also helps to better understand the key trading client’s actual funding and other needs and should enable delegates to serve them more efficiently and hopefully profitably.

For example, 85% of global trade by volume is conducted on open account terms which the textbook indicates carries the highest risk for the seller. Most sellers are content to live with this risk – this course explains why and how. Another example is confirmation of L/C’s. Many confirmations are now used to short-circuit the payment cycle rather than only for covering issuing bank risk. Again, the course explains why.

The major challenge to trade finance in recent times has been the impact of Financial Crime Compliance and Sanctions. Whilst credit losses and hence credit risk are low, FCC risk is very high because of the increasing tendency for global trade to pass through more than one country, use different modes of transport, use different currencies and transit through some regions where money laundering controls are not as strong as in others. This makes the audit trail very challenging. Unlike other courses that cover trade finance, this is not a course about FCC. But as trade finance is reckoned to be the main driver for money laundering, it needs to be understood.


At this stage, nobody knows what the medium and long-term impact on global supply chains will be other than severe shortages and large price rises in some areas, especially transport & shipping.

Our advanced trade finance training workshop will take full account of the impact of Covid 19 as the crisis unfolds and the way forward becomes clearer.


Have this course presented In-House

  • On a date, time and in a location of your choice
  • Topics expanded or deleted to your bespoke requirements

Have this course pre-recorded

  • Full course recording edited exclusively for your company
  • Files converted to enable housing on your LMS
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