Trade Finance
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Unlocking Liquidity Through Supply Chain Finance

by Ben Poole, Editorial Consultant, Ben Poole Editorial Services

In early December 2011, the 5th annual Cash Management University, organised by BNP Paribas, took place at Le Pré Catelan near Paris. Over 160 corporate delegates from across the globe came together to discuss how to use cash and treasury management to improve business performance. The emphasis was on peer-based learning, particularly in the workshop sessions. On the first day of the event, a workshop on supply chain finance (SCF) captured the imagination of many.

Growth in SCF popularity

The growth of SCF popularity among corporates has been driven in a large part by the financial crisis of 2008, as it offers a new source of external liquidity. If the image of SCF before 2008 was that it was only a source of financing for smaller corporates, the credit crisis inspired many larger corporates to examine the benefits of SCF from either a buyer or supplier perspective. The current economic situation means that corporates of all sizes are looking to SCF to boost their working capital position and unlock additional liquidity. As such, it was unsurprising that a workshop entitled ‘Exploiting the New Business Opportunities from Financing the Supply Chain’ should prove so popular with attendees of the Cash Management University.