Ask the treasuryXL expert #5 What is Factoring in Trade Finance?

03-11-2022 | treasuryXL | Wim KokLinkedIn |

treasuryXL is the community platform for everyone with a treasury question or answer! A common question asked by treasurers is what Factoring means in Trade Finance. In today’s article Ask the treasuryXL Expert, Wim Kok defines factoring in trade finance for us.

Factoring in Trade Finance

Question: “What is Factoring in Trade Finance?”


Answer provided by Wim

What is Factoring in Trade Finance?

Well, there is a pretty good definition included in the Standard Definitions for Techniques of Supply Chain Finance, prepared by the Global Supply Chain Finance Forum and published by the ICC in 2016. It is currently being updated, but the definition is still alright.

There they give the definition of factoring in trade finance as: Factoring is a form of Receivables Purchase, in which sellers of goods and services sell their receivables (represented by outstanding invoices) at a discount to a finance provider (commonly known as the ‘factor’). A key differentiator of Factoring is that typically the finance provider becomes responsible for managing the debtor portfolio and collecting the payment of the underlying receivables.

Would you add anything to this definition? 

There are a number of things I would add to this to explain the terminology and make it more clear:

  • The term “factoring” is sometimes used as an umbrella term for all forms of invoice financing, including confidential invoice discounting. Strictly speaking, “factoring” refers to both debt management and debt purchase.
  • In the UK, factoring is usually communicated to the debtor, as the collection procedures are carried out by the funding provider (the “factor”).
  • Non-public factoring is usually more popular than full factoring. In this case, the customer retains control over the collection of the receivable.
  • In some markets, disclosure is required by law. Some even require the debt to be formally acknowledged before purchase.
  • In the UK, the standard practice is for the factor to purchase all debt – known as “whole turnover” – even if not all debt is eligible for financing. This gives the factor leeway to absorb any dilution or non-payment of individual invoices. Banks also take secondary security in the form of an “all-asset debenture”. This is registered at Companies House and notifies other potential lenders that debts have been transferred.
  • A subtle but important point is that a debt assignment can serve two purposes: it can mean that the debt has been bought or that the debt has been taken as security for a loan.
  • Many Fintechs offer single invoice/selected invoice/selected debtor solutions, but these are inherently riskier than whole turnover solutions. Large bank providers are generally reluctant to follow suit.
  • Factoring can be done with or without recourse. Even arrangements without recourse include provisions allowing the factor to require the customer to buy back the invoice under certain conditions (e.g. contractual dispute).
  • Factoring can possibly be “wrapped” in credit insurance.
  • In the UK, major finance providers tend to operate an “availability model” in factoring rather than funding individual invoices. The “availability” changes in real time as new eligible debts are purchased (within agreed counterparty limits etc) and existing debts are settled, defaulted or become ineligible. The customer can then draw down to “availability” at any time. This is similar to a “borrowing base” approach, albeit with frequent increases and decreases within the day. This model, combined with the “whole turnover” mandate, provides the factor with a secure source of repayment even if some invoices remain unpaid.

I trust this will be helpful and give more insight into this subject.

Wim Kok



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Digital rules (URDTT) for Trade Finance: Episode 4

25-05-2022 | Wim Kok | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

Episode 4 of a series of educational videos on URDTT (Uniform Rules for Digital Trade Transactions) is now available. Please take a look and let me know what you think.  Previous episodes 1 are, of course, still available on our YouTube channel.


 

 


Trade Advisory Network Limited and treasuryXL Trade Finance experts launched their fourth episode of a series of free, educational videos on URDTT. There will be 6 episodes in total covering all aspects of the development, interpretation, and application of URDTT in the context of a digital trade strategy. In the upcoming period, you can expect one educational video per month.

Duration: 16.42 min

WATCH NOW FOR FREE

Enjoy, explore and develop!

Interested to know more about this topic and the upcoming educational videos? Contact our Expert Wim Kok.

 

Wim Kok

International Business Consultant
Trade Finance Specialist

 

 

 

 

Digital rules (URDTT) for Trade Finance: Episode 3

17-03-2022 | Wim Kok | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

Episode 3 of a series of educational videos on URDTT (Uniform Rules for Digital Trade Transactions) is now available. Please take a look and let me know what you think. Episodes 1 & 2 are, of course, still available on our YouTube channel.


 

 


Trade Advisory Network Limited and treasuryXL Trade Finance experts launched their third episode of a series of free, educational videos on URDTT. There will be 6 episodes in total covering all aspects of the development, interpretation, and application of URDTT in the context of a digital trade strategy. In the upcoming months, you can expect one educational video per month.

What can you expect in the third episode?

In this session, we look at the parties involved in a Digital Trade Transaction (DTT). We start with the principal parties – the seller and the buyer – and then move on to the financial services provider, and finally cover any other parties that might be involved.

Duration: 14.46 min

WATCH NOW FOR FREE

Enjoy, explore and develop!

Interested to know more about this topic and the upcoming educational videos? Contact our Expert Wim Kok.

 

Wim Kok

International Business Consultant
Trade Finance Specialist

 

 

 

 

The Evolution of Legal Documents, The Next Step

22-02-2022 | Wim Kok | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

 

A fantastic end-to-end digital journey has begun to create a paperless supply chain ecosystem for the benefit of all parties concerned in the documentary (paper heavy) Supply Chain settlements of today.


EVOLUTION OF LEGAL DOCUMENTS, THE NEXT STEP

For this Enigo AB (www.Enigio.com) started at the basis of the current standard, the paper document. A clean sheet of paper!


A large share of the communication in a trade finance transaction is already digitalised. Banks structure customer communication through portals, negotiate via safe e-mail and sign using e-signatures, not to forget SWIFT which has already enabled the digitalisation of many products and process steps between banks. A major obstacle for achieving a completely digital trade finance world has been the requirements to be able to manage and present documents in their original form. Enigio’s focus has therefore been to create a digital document with the same properties as its paper equivalent. The trace:original document is designed to be able to hold all necessary data to execute a transaction and at the same time not being tied to any specific transaction infrastructure. More importantly it can also be managed by anyone with access to a computer and the internet.

 

How does the solution work? Watch below video:

 

Following the accelerating momentum (after and pushed by the Covid pandemic), we see changing environment in the banking landscape, which is becoming rapidly more adoptive for transformation, especially digitalisation of the paper heavy trade documentation evidencing import- and export transactions. Both infrastructures, paper and digital documents must co-exist. There will be countries being early digital adopters and others lagging. An infrastructure agnostic digital trade finance document of any type can serve all the aspects of the global digital ambition extremely well. Interoperability can be achieved on different levels and by using different tools. One of the most forceful ways of achieving interoperability is by standardisation of data definitions and data formats. Json Schemas and the trace:original document is a perfect connector to achieve digital interoperability not only between blockchain based trade finance platforms but for all trade finance platforms.

The banks’ lack of investment decisions for end-to-end digitised trade processes impacting their customers have created a large cost effect on corporations.

  • Banks additionally impose costs on their corporate customers as they lack strategic vision on operative and compliance issues. Still manual or dual processes that are partly broken and very costly for all parties
  • Banks also impose costs internally for front, middle and back-office and create compliance risks with manual or partly manual processes
  • Trade finance digitalisation is a strategic issue for a bank and its corporate customers and is undergoing rapid change
  • Many solutions and offerings to choose from but a lack of basic digital standards internally and when interacting with others
  • Cost and risk/AML issues for all parties
  • Bank’s role is to help to prioritise the trade finance short-term initiatives that will support corporate treasuries long-term objectives
  • Banks should be firm with their opinion about coherent direction and help corporates to reduce the uncertainty that comes with trade finance digitalisation.

 

Conclusion

 

 

Footnote: further detail to be found on the website: www.Enigio.com

  • Several whitepapers
  • Walkthrough gallery of (1min.) YouTube videos explaining product usage very clear
  • Modules for bank guarantees, Standby L/Cs, Prom Notes, Bills of Exchange and eB/Ls

 

Thank for reading and stay tuned!

 

Wim Kok

International Business Consultant
Trade Finance Specialist

 

 

 

 

Digital rules (URDTT) for Trade Finance: Episode 2

10-02-2022 | Wim Kok | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

Episode 2 of our series of educational videos is now available. Please take a look and let me know what you think. Episode 1 is, of course, still available on our YouTube channel.


 

 


Trade Advisory Network Limited and treasuryXL Trade Finance experts launched their second episode of a series of free, educational videos on URDTT. There will be 6 episodes in total covering all aspects of the development, interpretation, and application of URDTT in the context of a digital trade strategy. In the upcoming months, you can expect one educational video per month.

What can you expect in the second episode?

Episode 2 of this series of videos focuses on URDTT (Uniform Rules for Digital Trade Transactions).  Subsequent episodes will focus on the use of electronic records, payment obligations and, the role of banks/non-bank financial service providers.

Duration: 11.38 min

WATCH NOW FOR FREE

Enjoy, explore and develop!

Interested to know more about this topic and the upcoming educational videos? Contact our Expert Wim Kok.

 

Wim Kok

International Business Consultant
Trade Finance Specialist

 

 

 

 

Digital rules (URDTT) for Trade Finance: What, How and When?

10-01-2022 | Wim Kok | treasuryXL | LinkedIn

 

Watch Episode 1 of a series of free, educational videos focusing on Uniform Rules for Digital Trade Transactions (URDTT)

 

 

Trade Advisory Network Limited and treasuryXL Trade Finance experts launched their first episodes of a series of free, educational videos on URDTT. There will be 6 episodes in total covering all aspects of the development, interpretation, and application of URDTT in the context of a digital trade strategy. In the upcoming 6 months you can expect one educational video per month.

What can you expect in the first episode?

This first episode focuses on the background to the decision to create a new set of rules for digital trade transactions and provides definitions of some of the most important terms. Subsequent episodes will focus on the use of electronic records, payment obligations and, the role of banks/non-bank financial service providers.

Duration: 19.20 min

WATCH NOW FOR FREE

Enjoy, explore and develop!

Interested to know more about this topic and the upcoming educational videos? Contact our Expert Wim Kok.

 

Wim Kok

International Business Consultant
Trade Finance Specialist

 

 

 

 

Trade Finance for Treasurers

23-11-2021 | Wim Kok | treasuryXL | LinkedIn

The current global trading environment has exposed new complexities and heightened risks associated with international trade, notably through Covid 19. Following the latest studies (* ADB) the global trade finance gap grew to an all-time high of USD 1,7 trillion. Especially for SME sector (being hardest hit) the availability of bank liquidity and credit is increasingly under pressure. As a result, the playing field of international trade needs greater focus on understanding and mitigating risks and making use of new opportunities in the accelerating digital world of Trade Finance.

“Following the latest studies (* ADB) the global trade finance gap grew to an all-time high of USD 1,7 trillion.”

The ability to quickly access cost-effective financing when and where it is needed is key for also treasury departments. The new challenges and rapid changing finance landscape prompts many Corporate Treasurers to re-educate themselves and/or seek specialized expertise from trusted advisors, identify new and reliable alternative funding sources, streamline their digital journeys and current (internal) processes to achieve additional efficiency, transparency and cost reduction.

The use of Trade Finance solutions via (mostly standard and “old”) banking products goes way back in history to the golden age (Bill of exchange and promissory note financing). Our TreasuryXL expert Wim Kok can guide and advise you on the roles of banks and other key players, including emerging Fintech providers, insurers and alternative providers. It is essential for the Treasury department to address the needs and or pain points of the company select the most appropriate solution or partner to solve the problems or make use of new opportunities.

To give you an idea of ​​the regular trade finance products that are available to facilitate trade, we list the instruments below.

Why is Trade Finance so Important to Corporate Treasurers?

  • Obtaining liquidity using risk mitigation and financing options from international trade transactions
  • The role of banks in trade finance products (risk mitigation / financing and transaction processing)
  • Obtaining insight into the various trading conditions (Incoterms), the additional securities (title of documents, warehouse warrants) and credit insurance principles

Below is a brief overview of the most commonly used trade finance instruments, i.e.

  • Documentary Letters of Credit (import, export), Stand-by LCs, Guarantees and Indemnities.
  • Documentary Collections (CAA, CAD) – Bills of exchange and Promissory notes. Obtaining liquidity through discounting the instruments (with or without recourse).

Besides the classical trade finance banking products liquidity techniques such Receivable Finance or the Factoring of complete debtor portfolios (with or without credit insurance) are also frequently in the industry.

Your TreasuryXL trusted advisor Wim Kok is available for advice on the use of the various trade finance products or techniques.

Whereas the majority of trade finance products are (mostly) standardized and in international accepted format that are subject and adhere to the various international rules issued by the ICC** to name a few: UCP 600, ISP98, URDG758 and Incoterms etc.

 

Wim Kok

International Business Consultant
Trade Finance Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

*The global trade finance gap grew to an all-time high of $1.7 trillion in 2020, a 15% increase from two years earlier, as the pandemic heightened economic and financial uncertainties and devastated global trade, according to the latest Trade Finance Gaps, Growth, and Jobs Survey, released today by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

**ICC Headquarters 33-43 avenue du Président Wilson 75116 Paris, France Tel: +33 (0) 1 49 53 28 28 Fax: + 33 (0) 1 86 26 67 44 Email: [email protected]

 

Top 5 most read articles at treasuryXL.com and LinkedIn of 2020

31-12-2020 | treasuryXL | Kendra Keydeniers

The last day of 2020 is here. The whole world experienced a ‘year not to forget’. I can imagine that when you popped the champagne last year you had other thoughts and plans in mind for 2020.

To make sure you don’t miss out on the pieces that made the most impact this year, we sifted through the data to uncover the articles our readers loved most in 2020 on our website and LinkedIn. (Treasury Topic ‘What is’ articles excluded).

Top 5 treasuryXL website articles of 2020

  1. Corporate Governance and Treasury | Embrace the Corporate Treasury Policy

    by Francois De Witte

  2. Top 5 most common pain points in Treasury

    by Michael Ringeling

  3. Corporates: Caveat IBOR!

    by Daniel Pluta, Enigma Consulting

  4. Exclusive interview with FX specialist Arnoud Doornbos about FX Risk Management

    by treasuryXL, Arnoud Doornbos

  5. How to simplify Procurement and Finance in the Supply Chain

    by Wim Kok

Top 5 treasuryXL LinkedIn posts of 2020

  1. Nomentia (former OpusCapita) makes Liquidity Management free for all customers!

    by Nomentia

  2. What is the difference between Treasury and Accounting?

    by TreasuryXL

  3. The missing part of a Treasury Job Description

    by Aastha Tomar

  4. An introduction to Forwards, Futures and Options Part 1

    by Aastha Tomar

  5. Partner Interview Series | The deeper dive with TIS (Treasury Intelligence Solutions)

    by treasuryXL, TIS

Within two weeks we will post a full recap of 2020 with an overview of the partners and treasury experts that have joined us, together with some interesting treasuryXL facts!

Thank you for being part of the treasuryXL community. Now it’s time to pop the champagne! Let 2021 begin…

 

Kendra Keydeniers

Director, Community & Partners treasuryXL

Recap of the first ‘Meet the Expert’ interview series and full overview

| 04-08-2020 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

A couple of months ago, we started the ‘Meet the Expert’ interview series with experts from the treasuryXL community with different treasury expertise.

Treasury needs to deal with an increasing availability of alternative financial products, intensifying risk management requirements, regulatory and compliance constraints.

What do our experts think about this rapidly growing movements within the treasury world? What developments do they expect in the future? What opportunities do they see?

We interviewed 10 experts over the last 10 weeks and asked them about their treasury career, experiences, the future of treasury and of course how COVID19 impact treasury from their perspective.

Did you miss an interview? No worries, here is a full overview of the ‘Meet the Expert’ series:

 

 

 

Bertus van de Kamp

Senior Business Consultant & Cash Management Specialist

read interview

 

 

 

 

 

Wim Kok

International Business Consultant & Trade Finance Specialist

read interview

 

 

 

 

 

Aastha Tomar

FX & Derivatives | Debt Capital Markets | MBA Finance | Electrical Engineer | Sustainability

read interview

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Ringeling

Corporate Treasury, Corporate Control and Banking

read interview

 

 

 

 

 

Olivier Werlingshoff

Cash- and Treasury management

read interview

 

 

 

 

 

Ger van Rosmalen

Trade Finance Specialist

read interview

 

 

 

 

 

Francois De Witte

Owner at FDW Consult | Sr. Project Manager at Gaming1 | CFO at Safetrade Holding

read interview

 

 

 

 

 

Arnoud Doornbos

Interim Treasury & Finance | Consultant | FX & Interest Derivatives | Treasury Outsourcing| Risk | Fintech | TMS

read interview

 

 

 

 

 

Vinzenco Masile

Treasury Expert/Credit Risk Manager

read interview

 

 

 

 

 

Arnaud Béasse

Debt Management Specialist

read interview

 

 


A big thank you to everyone that worked with me on this series, to everyone that selflessly shared their knowledge and experience with all of us! You guys rock.

If you’ve enjoyed our series so far, don’t worry, this is just the beginning! We are looking into more perspectives to share with you later this year when we will start the second ‘Meet the Expert’ interview series.

Take care and thanks for reading,

Kendra Keydeniers
Community & Partner Manager at treasuryXL

Meet our Experts – Interview Wim Kok

02-06-2020 | Wim Kok | treasuryXL

This week you will meet Wim Kok, a Trade Finance Specialist with decades of experience.

Wim started his financial advisory company recently after a long career in the banking industry (> 40 years). During his banking career his interest and focus was always connected to the commodity & trade finance industry both in sales and product innovation. Activities in various senior roles, including relationship management, head of department, change management and start up business (internationally).

Nowadays Wim is involved as independent advisory in supply chain management and digitalisation of the logistic industry. Building bridges, simplifying (trade) finance and logistics. Closing the gap between procurement and finance (treasury).

We asked him 11 questions, let’s go!

1. How did your treasury journey start?

I started working in Treasury (assistant treasurer) during the late 70 ties i.e. my 1st job was with Continental Grain  a New York based grain trading company with a strong foothold in Europe.

The Rotterdam Harbour, at that time, was the physical entry point for US grain coming to Europe.

I worked with 3 merchant banks (Slavenburg, Bank Mees & Hope & Albert de Bary) pooling and netting bank accounts (manually) to optimise currency and debit/credit interest positions for the Rotterdam company.

2.  What do you like about working in Treasury?

I see the treasury operations as a pivotal function within an organisation meaning that you have to know the cash generating mechanics of the company inside out. Seamless use and coordination of cash contributes to a seamless treasury function and an added value for the company.

3,  What is your Treasury Expertise?

I started my career in the late 70ties as assistant treasurer with an American global grain trading company in the Netherlands – My main task was to streamline and optimise the money flows in 8 different main currencies between 3 banks. This was the early start of the cash management development. Later on I moved into the trade and commodity structured finance direction.

4.  Do you have examples of risk mitigation, creation of opportunities and/or cost savings?

Very simple netting and pooling arrangements (interest risks). Discounting receivables, Bills of Exchange, Documentary L/C’s or insurance arrangements, making use of swaps and FX derivatives (currency risks) etc. on the payable side – supplier finance structures making use of the rating of the corporates.

5.  What has been your best experience in your treasury career until today?

That’s difficult to mention as my treasurer career was rather short, but I have seen the position and function grow over the years bridging the silo’s within a company (especially within the bigger corporates).

6.  What has been your biggest challenge in treasury?

At my time with Continental Grain is was the perception of the people. Hugh silo’s between booking /audit and sales / marketing we started to change the perception and managed to bridge the different worlds of finance and commerce by showing that a good treasury function earned additional income.

7.  What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned as a treasurer?

My most important lesson learnt (and that seems a bit odd having worked within banks for almost 40 years) is: as a larger corporate always make sure you keep your independence in other words select more providers to support you.

8.  How have you seen the role of Corporate Treasury evolve over the years?

Very much in such way that in the bigger Corporates you see nowadays a lot of inhouse banks and for mid & large corporates a treasury function is more or less the standard.

9.  The coronavirus is undoubtedly an unprecedented crisis. In general, can you elaborate on the impact this virus has on treasury from your perspective?

In this respect I would like to refer to the article I recently wrote for TreasuryXL: ”How to simplify procurement and finance in the supply chain” – I think a lot of companies will have to reconsider their current (disrupted) supply chains and financial systems. Companies going into 2021 will have to adopt to the fast changing pace in any discipline or a combination be it digitalisation, IoT, Blockchain, AI, robotics or the Cloud

10.  What developments do you expect in corporate treasury in the near and further future?

Definitely transparency, efficiency and speed will improve dramatically due to interconnectivity of systems and transactions, data protection (and use) and cybersecurity will become a more important factor.

11.  What is your best advice for businesses without a Treasurer?

Try one because a good treasurer will always earn (at least) himself back for the company.

 

Wim Kok

International Business Consultant

Trade Finance Specialist

 

 

 


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