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Publicis Sapient, Microsoft support launch of fully digital trade finance bank in UAE

Tue, 30 Jul 2019, 11:19 am UTC

Tech titan Microsoft and Publicis Sapient, a digital business transformation hub of French advertising giant Publicis Groupe, are supporting the launch of Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank (AGTB), which claims to be the world’s first end-to-end digital trade bank.

According to the Asian Development Bank’s 2017 Trade Finance Gaps, Growth, and Jobs Survey, there is a significant trade-financing gap for SMEs who cannot access it, which is estimated at US$1.5 trillion. It is estimated that the global gross deficit product (GDP) could increase to nearly 5 percent and trade by 15 percent by overcoming barriers to conventional trade finance and banking.

AGTB, founded as a joint venture between AGTB Holdings Limited and Mubadala Investment Company, aims to deliver a revolutionary digital banking solution that will help bridge this trade finance gap by facilitating the required access to trade-related banking to underserved businesses. By leveraging blockchain technology, it offers clients control over simple, streamlined and highly transparent processes while analyzing data to mitigate risk effectively.

According to the press release, Microsoft and Publicis Sapient have aided in the creation of this new bank, providing it with implementation strategy, technology and client experience from the outset.

“Trade finance, unlike consumer banking, has not been reimagined in the context of a digital world. The slow pace of progress has meant that only a small proportion of businesses could access trade finance due to the associated administrative and financial barriers. We sought to address this. What’s more, we’ve proven that it was possible in a matter of months,” Nigel Vaz, Global CEO of Publicis Sapient, said.

Publicis Sapient will function as a digital partner, utilizing the best of Microsoft’s intelligent Cloud-based security and data solutions, making the entity the very first trade bank that is fully digital from the outset and built on data to provide a single view of the client and all banking operations, the release said.

“We set out to build a transformative trade finance bank that provides superior client experience, mitigates risk and delivers an integrated, real time offering to clients,” Daniel Gould, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank, added.

“By choosing market-leading partners such as Publicis Sapient and Microsoft, we are able to collaborate and take advantage of their best-in-class capabilities to harness the latest technological advances. In building a fully cloud-based and data-driven enterprise we aim to improve cross-border trade finance and stimulate collaboration within a growing trade ecosystem. Together we are fixing trade finance.”

AGTB aims to offer client-centric trade banking services to a broad range of corporate clients to dramatically reduce costs, risks and improve efficiencies in the financing of trade. Headquartered in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) financial centre, it will facilitate trade between the Middle East, Asia and the UK.

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