Excellence Awards 2017 - Best International Financial Institution: EBRD

Awards | 1 August 2017


In an overwhelming show of support from the market, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) topped the poll both from the voters and TFR's editorial board as the 2017 Best International Financial Institution.

"This award is a huge recognition not only for the EBRD but also for our partner banks and co-financing partners all over the world that have used our facilities in 2016 for the financing of more than 1,300 foreign trade transactions," said Rudolf Putz, head of EBRD's Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP).

The TFP was developed to promote and facilitate international trade to, from and within the EBRD's countries of operation in Central and Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the southern and eastern Mediterranean. Under the TFP, guarantees are provided to international commercial banks (confirming banks) hence covering the political and commercial payment risk of transactions undertaken by participating banks (issuing banks) in the EBRD's countries of operations. More than 100 issuing banks in 27 countries participate in TFP, working with over 800 confirming banks and their subsidiaries throughout the world. Since it began in 1999, TFP has facilitated more than 20,000 foreign trade transactions worth €14.4bn.

One successful transaction covered by a TFP guarantee in 2016 was the import of electrical and mechanical equipment from France for the Dashbashi Power Plant project in Georgia, financed by a stand-by LC, issued by JSC Bank of Georgia and confirmed by Societe Generale in France. The new equipment will increase reliability, safety and efficiency of the hydroelectric power plant. Other examples of transactions facilitated by the programme are the import of a composite floating dock from Ukraine into Cyprus or the import of wind turbines from Germany into Ukraine.

TFP also helps smaller partner banks to grow their trade finance business to a level where they can attract trade finance facilities from foreign commercial banks. This is by using a range of tools such as tailored advisory services, training workshops and innovative internet-based training for partner banks' trade finance staff. The success examples of such transformation include banks in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Mongolia. A few years ago, banks in these countries still needed TFP support for most of their trade finance transactions, but now they can finance significant parts of their trade finance business with facilities provided by foreign commercial banks. All technical cooperation projects have been funded by international donors, including the governments of Austria, Canada, Germany, the EU, France, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Taipei, China, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Donor risk sharing funds have been provided by the governments of Austria, Germany, Norway and Switzerland.

Runners up: Asia Development Bank (ADB) and IFC (seven companies were nominated).

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