TFR Standards of Excellence Awards 2015 - place your votes NOW! Deadline 8th June...

Awards | 16 April 2015

The TFR Excellence Awards are a high point of the trade finance year and this is your chance to place your vote for the best trade finance organisation in our 31 key categories.
Each of these has some basic explanation of the criteria and all you need to do is name the organisation in the free text box provided. The number of times it comes back in the questionnaire results from genuine professional (and non-duplicated) addresses will key deciding factors in the final placings. To make things easier, the awards are grouped into six sections so you can vote for the categories you feel passionate about rather than fighting your way through ones less relevant to you before you get to an award at what used to be the end of a long questionnaire.
You do not need to make a nomination for every award, but please only vote once! If you vote in all six sections you will have to supply your contact details six times for the questionnaire to work and return your result. 
It would be helpful to the TFR team if you could also provide a short statement (around 50 words) about why you have made your choice and give an example of outstanding service and achievement. These statements, and the evidence of excellence described in them, will be improtant determining factors in this year’s line-up. But dont' worry if you would rather not!
Before you vote for the best organisations, could you please turn your thoughts to who you think is a very special individual in trade finance for our TFR Fellowship Award. This could be a banker, a regulator, or a finance professional in a corporate, or an adviser. You may recall that SWIFT’s Andre Casterman won this in 2014, former WTO director general Pascal Lamy won in 2013 and EBRD’s Rudolf Putz won it in 2012. The winner’s picture goes on the front cover of the Awards issue of TFR
A summary of previous years' winners along with further information about the awards can be found on with a complete list of winners at We are also exploring the feasibility of an actual event with trophies and more details on this will follow.
Closing date: 8 June 2015. Any votes received after this date will not be counted, sorry!


1. Votes must only be placed by participants in the trade finance sector
2. Only one vote for each user or subscriber will be counted
3. The awards placings will be determined by the results of the votes and represent the views of TFR readers, registered users of the website, paid subscribers and the editorial team. The weighting given to the voting is 75% and the remaining 25% to from members of TFR’s advisory board and Deals of the Year judging panel without conflicts of interest in the relevant categories
4. The TFR Excellence Award results do not represent the views or opinions of Ark Group or  Wilmington PLC  

SECTION 1: TFR Fellowship Award

1. The TFR Fellowship award
Please nominate your choice of winner of the TFR Fellowship Award


SECTION 2: Best trade bank and commodities

1: Best Trade Bank in the World
As global banks have been retreating from trade finance in response to tightening prudential and financial crime measures, which bank has shown resilience during challenging pricing times and kept lines open in all geographies and gone the extra mile to keep trade flowing?
2: Best bank in structured commodity trade finance
Which bank has dug the deepest to provide the best solutions in the commodities world, structuring and leading deals around the planet? And who is using brain and brawn in response to reduced liquidity, balance sheet regulation and commodity price volatility (don’t mention the oil), not to mention local difficulties in Russia and Ukraine?
3: Best bank in metals and mining
With the fall-out from the Qingdao metals scandal and export bans from Indonesia, financing metals and mining takes a nimble grounded approach to this specialist area of trade banking.  So who has led the way?
4: Best trade bank in oil and energy
With crude oil prices collapsing to sub US$50/bbl, it has been an importer’s rather an than an exporter’s market. Which bank has demonstrated its expertise in this continually evolving area of commodities finance?
5: Best trade bank in soft commodities
Weather patterns and shifting demands made 2014 just as much a challenge for soft commodities corporates as the previous year. So which bank has shown its resilience through the good and bad times?

SECTION 3: SME financing, innovation and online trade

1: Best SME financier
SMEs drive the real economy but it takes a special kind of provider to ensure they get the liquidity they need. So who is doing this really well and making a difference? Note this does not have to be a commercial bank and other providers of SME financing are eligible for this award
2: Most innovative trade bank
Which bank has displayed the most innovation in trade – for example through transforming platforms and technology or particular approaches to client service? Or coming up with new ways of generating trade finance liquidity?
3: Best online trade provider
With interoperable online banking tools such as trade services utility (TSU) and bank payment obligation (BPO) from SWIFT, together with  further investment into hand-held device compatible solutions  as providers are seeking more efficiency from their trade business, who has led the way with online trade banking provision?

SECTION 4: Best banks in regions

1: Best trade bank in Africa
Which bank has provided the best trade finance service in Africa – from farm gate to table through political unrest, issues of corruption and commodities theft – and helped this 54-country region realise its growth potential?
2: Best trade bank in Latin America
Which trade bank has risen above local bank competition in this area, dealt with significant credit and political risk issues in certain sectors and provided the best trade finance service in Latin America?
3: Best trade bank in North America
During 2014, America shipped  US$1.623trn worth of goods around the globe and behind China is the world’s second richest country.. Canada  is 15th and is also ramping up its exports having exported US$474.8bn in the same period. Which trade bank is helping this region realise its potential? Note this US and Canadian trade banks are eligible for this award.
4: Best trade bank in Western Europe
Which bank has seen its clients through the fall-out of the euro crisis, the Russian food imports ban and supported them in contributing to this region’s hesitant recovery? Note this award includes the Nordics.
5: Best trade bank in the CEE
The CEE has held up well during uncertain economic times with Poland and Turkey doing particularly well and seeing a lot of trade bank activity. Which trade bank has contributed to this performance?   
6: Best trade bank in Russia and the CIS
With the Ukrainian crisis firmly embedded, it is difficult to do business in these regions without tripping sanctions regulation and many banks have got out. Which bank has demonstrated intimate knowledge of the region, managed to do business where it is permitted, and sustained client trust in a tough political climate?
7: Best trade bank in Asia Pacific
Although China’s growth has slowed it is still the world’s richest country and a huge opportunity. And ModWhich bank has provided the best trade finance service in Asia Pacific (includes China, the Indian subcontinent, Australia and New Zealand) and responded best to the opportunities arising from the sustained growth in this region?
8: Best trade bank in the Middle East
Which bank has provided the best trade finance service in the Middle East as it seeks to reduce its dependency on oil exports and seems to be undergoing something of an Arab Autumn in certain regions (eg Egypt)? Your chance to pick a winner
9: Best Local Trade Bank in Country
While many global trade banks are retreating from trade finance around the world, indigenous banks are stepping up to the plate and supporting imports and exports. From Brazil to Africa or Russia to Asia, who has led the way on deal making, structuring, and making trade happen? 

SECTION 5: Export finance, ECAs, DFIs, specialist financing, receivables finance

1: Best bank for ECA-covered finance
Which banks are taking advantage of the increased activity from export credit agencies (ECAs) to boost national exports? Particularly now that non-OECD governments are ramping up their support.  And which is the cream of the export finance banking crop?
2: Best export credit agency
And now to the ECAs themselves. There are 40 listed on the OECD country list ( and many ECAs all around the world guarantee national exports within international ‘non subsidy’ guidelines.  But the ECA landscape is changing with ECAs outside OECD financing more exports than those within it and a new framework is being discussed.
So who do you think deserves an award?
3: Best development finance institution
DFIs do a huge amount to alleviate world poverty, support sustainable local trade and take risk that commercial banks are not able to do while encouraging commercial bank risk participation. Which one of these is really moving the needle in growing trade at all levels? And what about the new up and coming players from Africa and the Middle East?
4: Best specialist trade finance institution
As prudential and financial crime compliance costs rise, many banks are withdrawing from trade finance provision. This has generated demand for alternative sources of trade finance, but which provider leads the way?  Your chance to vote. Don’t forget this includes not only specialist institutions but trade finance funds.  
5: Best forfaiting institution
This without recourse form of receivables finance is enjoying a renaissance,  because of its originate to distribute business model and the fact that the institution does not have to fund the transaction. And URF 800 has provided some much-needed standardisation for the industry. Who is leading the way on forfaiting?
6:  Best factoring institution
Factoring is taking off and world factoring volumes stand at round US$3trn fuelled by Chinese demand, a burgeoning SME sector and liquidity shortages.  But which provider stands out? Time to place your vote.
7: Best bank trade services provider
With cross-border payment margins rapidly eroding, banks have to make their margins on other trade services while not competing directly with their own financial institutional clients. Which bank has got this down to a fine art and manages to juggle is white label and direct client business? Who is leading the way in treasury management and delighting financial institution and/or corporate clients? The clues will lie in their infrastructure and the efficiency of their back office systems.

SECTION 6: Trade services, supply chain finance, technology, insurance and legal 

1. Best non-bank trade services provider
Now in its second year, this popular award recognises the non-bank contributors to trade finance service provision and includes professional bodies, consultants and professional education providers
2.  Best provider of supply chain finance
Working capital strategies are increasingly turning to supply chain finance to bring better terms for both buyer and seller. Who has the most wide-reaching and transformative platforms? Who has made the most difference at home and abroad? This award is open to bank and non-bank providers.
3. Best technology vendor
Technology and trade finance platforms are continually evolving, with support for the key trade finance instruments becoming increasingly intuitive. Which vendor or service provider has sustained a reputation for outstanding product development and service provision and backed it up with sign-up evidence?
4: Best trade credit broker
More and more banks are turning to insurance brokers as part of their overall risk and balance sheet management strategy. Which broker has gone that extra mile to provide an integrated collaborative solution to managing trade finance risk with innovative trade credit and political risk insurance products and services?
5: Best trade credit underwriter
Many trade finance deals could not be done were it not for the insurance underwriter prepared to write the risk in the first place and these political risk experts provide a crucial service to the industry. This is your chance to nominate the leader of the pack.
6: Best law firm in trade finance
This is always a hotly contested award and 2014 saw a sea-change in the voting. So the voting for this award tests whether support and endorsement of a firm is about its lawyers or the firm’s overall reach and consistency of service provision. Place your votes here! 
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