As trade counterparty risk increased and liquidity became scarce during the global economic slowdown, many companies revamped their trade finance tools in order to better manage that risk and ensure the smooth flow of goods internally and externally for global operations. Traditional risk-mitigation tools, such as letters of credit (LCs) and agency guarantees, once again grew in popularity for trade within both developed and less-developed countries, as we pointed out here . In addition, corporates generally invested more in software tools to help control trade documentation and trade finance management.
But the biggest changes have been made on the banking side, as financial institutions increasingly recognize that trade finance desks can no longer operate in a silo. Many banks have reorganized their trade finance functions to integrate them with cash management, payments, and collections in order to help companies manage their supply chains from end-to-end.