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Prime Bank first in BD to execute blockchain LC

Partners with HSBC Bangladesh and Contour for digital LC

December 04, 2020 00:00:00

High officials of Prime Bank , Ananta Group, HSBC and Contour seen at a virtual event recently

Prime Bank has become the first Bangladeshi Bank to execute an interbank blockchain Letter of Credit (LC) transaction improving speed, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the transaction, says the bank in a statement.

The transaction was conducted with HSBC, which is the first bank in Bangladesh to conclude cross-border trade transaction through the network.

The pilot transaction was completed through Contour, the global trade finance blockchain network, whereby an inland LC was opened by Prime Bank on behalf of Ananta Group for import of raw materials for the ready-made garments industry from Tamishna Group, a customer of HSBC Bangladesh.

The end-to-end process of pre-negotiation and drafting of LCs by Importer and Beneficiary, approval, issuance of LCs and presentation of documents were all concluded digitally through Contour's network. The transaction required no paperwork or need to physically visit banks. Instead, all parties involved in the process-buyers, banks and beneficiaries -logged into Contour's network to carry out any activity.

"Despite advancement in technology, trade has still remained heavily dependent on paper-based process in many parts of the world. As Bangladesh is fast becoming a leading trading country, Prime Bank as a leading trade finance bank in Bangladesh, is exploring ways to get most benefits of digitization in trade frontiers. We are elated to offer our client blockchain LC transaction with support from HSBC and Contour that is real-time, hassle-free, paperless and at the same time low-cost. Today's success will inspire us and banks in Bangladesh to adopt automation in trade finance to provide seamless services to their valued clients," said Faisal Rahman, Managing Director and CEO (Current Charge) of Prime Bank.

Kevin Green, Country Head of Wholesale Banking, HSBC Bangladesh, said, "After completing the first successful execution of a cross-border Blockchain Letter-of-Credit (LC) transaction recently, this partnership with Prime Bank solidifies our strong commitment to take Blockchain forward in Bangladesh. This is the first inter-bank Blockchain LC transaction for Bangladesh and we believe this will be a major movement towards paperless trade within country."

"We welcome adoption of blockchain technology in trade to simplify the process connecting all stakeholders on a single secured platform of Contour. Compared to paper-based LC system, it took very short time to complete the entire process of LC initiation to document submission to acceptance, ensuring all the standard formalities of trade," said Sharif Zahir, Managing Director of Ananta Group.

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