AGTB joins Marco Polo network to bridge $1.5tn trade finance gap

October 18, 2018
Chris Wheal

Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank (AGTB), a UK-United Arab Emirates financial services start-up, is aiming to leverage blockchain technology to speed up international trade finance deals.

The bank, which is a 51:49 joint venture between Britain’s AGTB Holdings and Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Company, is based in the UAE capital and its new platform will help facilitate trade between companies in the Middle-East, UK and Asia, the company said on Wednesday.

Marco Polo network

It announced on Tuesday that it had joined the Marco Polo Network, the largest network of commercial bank in the trade finance market powered by blockchain technology. The network uses the TradeIX platform and R3’s private blockchain Corda.

AGTB said it had made the move to “dramatically” reduce costs and risk, and to improve efficiencies in financing trade.

According to the company’s website, the company is still awaiting regulatory approval to operate and currently isn’t carrying out any banking services, but plans to launch in early 2019.

Daniel Gould, deputy chief executive at AGTB, said: “Our strategy is driven by our customer–centric approach on providing fully digitised trade finance solutions in the key trade corridors.”

$1.5bn global finance gap

Indeed, the company estimates that there is a $1.5tn gap in the global trade finance market. AGTB said it main aim would be to address this gap.

“Joining the Marco Polo Network allows us to offer competitive solutions with a strong impact on the costs and speed in delivering cross-border trade finance as well as facilitating the expansion of the trade ecosystem here in Abu Dhabi and beyond,” added Gould.

It joins a growing roster of financial services groups using the Marco Polo network. Other members include BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, ING, Standard Chartered, Natixis and DNB.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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