ICC Register on Trade Finance

Underscored by an unprecedented pace of regulatory change, stakeholders from across business, government and international organizations face a new imperative in understanding and managing risks in trade finance markets.

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It was in 2009 that ICC created a Register database of trade finance transactions to demonstrate to regulators and policy makers the low-risk nature of lending and guarantees that support imports and exports. During its initial period, the Register contained data from 5.22 million trade transactions conducted around the world by nine leading international banks.

The Register’s early information showed that most of the US$2.5 trillion worth of trade deals were short-term in nature, averaging 115 days. The banks participating in the project reported only 1,140 defaults in these transactions.

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Pilot phase


The pilot phase of the ICC Trade Finance Default Register was completed in September 2010 and the results obtained from the report were then discussed with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which was considering how to treat trade finance under its Basel III regulations on banks’ capital adequacy requirements. At the October 2010 meeting of the WTO Expert Group on Trade and Finance, ICC was requested to establish the Register on a permanent basis as the primary market intelligence tool providing much needed data to facilitate the assessment of the treatment of trade finance products under the Basel framework.

Continued commitment

The ICC Trade Finance Default Register Working Group (“ICC Register Working Group”) expressed its continued commitment to comply with such a request. Many members of the ICC Banking Commission have also expressed a desire to join and/or benefit from this project, and ICC is keen to make sure that we can provide such a service in the future.
The Banking Commission will continue to work to broaden and deepen the data in the Register to ensure that it is a comprehensive long-term tool that can be used by regulators and banks alike to assess the status of the trade finance market.

Past ICC Trade Register Reports

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