Trade Services

Whether your aim is to streamline payment, protect your operations or form smooth supplier relations, we can help you trade across borders. Having the right type of financing in place, with the right financial provider, plays a big part in international business success.

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In practice, trade events involve a variety of activities, such as buying, selling, sourcing materials, manufacturing and distribution. Our international teams work with importers and exporters to provide a range of award-winning trade finance services to maximise the financial benefits of your global commerce securely.

Bonds and guarantees

To protect your business against loss in uncertain market conditions, we can help you arrange the most widely used forms of guarantees and bonds. This can help you secure major contracts. Bonds and guarantees support your ability to perform under a contract or meet payment obligations. They may also be used to underpin any bid to win new business. We also provide Standby Letters of Credit, which perform a similar function to bonds and guarantees.

As every commercial event is unique, we will work with you to centralise your trade activities and design a suite of guarantee solutions geared to your underlying business flows.

Documentary credits

Documentary Letters of Credit allow importers and exporters to deal in confidence with one another, secure in the knowledge that payment will be made if the transaction is carried out in accordance with the terms of the Letter of Credit. Crucially, Letters of Credit provide even greater risk protection by carrying the undertaking of the issuing bank or both banks in case of a confirmation; thereby eliminating country risk, counter party risk and bank risk for you.

As an exporter, you can ask your overseas customer to open a documentary credit, which guarantees payment provided you complete the transaction and submit the required documents. You can also ask us to confirm the credit, meaning we will also add our guarantee of payment.

As an importer, your overseas supplier may require you to open an import Letter of Credit. We can set that up and guarantee payment to the overseas supplier, provided the correct documents are submitted.

Documentary collections

We can help you simplify the way in which you make and receive payments with trusted trading partners. Using import and export documentary collection is a straightforward and cost-effective way to make international trade payments.

If as an exporter you’re comfortable dealing with your overseas customer without bank payment guarantees, you can still benefit from an increased level of security. You can do this by using documentary collections together with bills of exchange, where goods are only released to the overseas customer on payment or acceptance to pay the bill of exchange at a later date.

As an importer, your overseas suppliers may ask you to pay or accept bills of exchange on a similar basis and we can advise you on how best to protect your position.

Clean collections

We can process cheques and bills of exchange without any accompanying documentation. Please see the section on International Cash Management for details of how to obtain quicker payment of your US dollar cheques

Fast, secure online access

We’ve put key financial functions of international trade online. Our online trade services offer you a flexible way of accessing and controlling the financial aspects of your international trade with fast, secure, real-time capability to initiate and monitor trade service activities, whilst providing detailed, customisable reporting.

All applications for our products and services are subject to eligibility criteria.


Through our hubs in Europe, North America and Asia, we support our international customers with a range of services.

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For more information, contact your local relationship director or use our online directory.

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