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  December 6th, 2016 | Written by


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  • Best Banks For Global Trade
  • Top 25 Global Banks
  • Best Banks For U.S. Exporters

It’s a great time to be an exporter. The recent American Express Grow Global Survey found that 80 percent of U.S. businesses with $250,000 to $1 million in revenue, and who sell outside the U.S., report higher revenue than one year ago—and 26 percent of their revenue growth is, on average, linked to international sales.

But financing is critical to take advantage of export opportunities. To support exporters in identifying the best banks to help, we have named 25 that have strong export services and, in many cases, have some of the highest assets under management.

AMERICAN EXPRESS | HQ: New York City | Assets: $161 billion
AmEx’s Global Commercial Payments division offers a range of payment and lending products that assist exporters with travel and everyday business spending, cross-border payments, global currency solutions and business financing. Through its vPayment service, American Express also provides companies with single-use virtual account numbers that they can use to pay suppliers electronically. In addition, FX International Payments, an American Express online platform, lets businesses send, receive and manage their foreign currency wire payments. The company’s Buyer Initiated Payments let companies pay suppliers electronically, giving them more control over their payments, extending their days payable outstanding and adding to their working capital flexibility.

BANK OF AMERICA MERRILL LYNCH | HQ: New York City | Assets: $2.195 trillion
Bank of America Merrill Lynch has had a heavy focus in recent years on using technology to better serve exporters. “We are bullish about the future of trade and supply chain finance, particularly in the middle market space where eCommerce has leveled the global playing field for smaller companies,” says Percy Batliwalla, head of Global Trade and Supply Chain Finance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Among the bank’s innovations are a patent-pending technology to access document images on CashPro Trade, a platform that helps businesses in more than 50 countries more effectively manage trade flows around the world. With an interactive dashboard and innovative trade calendar, exporters can accelerate payment and reduce risk by tracking maturing invoices and discounting when it makes sense.

BB&T | HQ: Winston-Salem, North Carolina | Assets: $222.6 billion
BB&T, an Ex-Im Bank Delegated Authority Lender and U.S. Small Business Administration Priority Lender, offers products and services that enable clients access to export working capital, better manage overseas commercial and country risk, and render and collect international payments. Through BB&T’s online TradeAssist platform, exporters and importers can receive notice of letters of credit, initiate documentary and/or clean collections, track documents and payment activity, and receive and review international standby letters of credit. BB&T also provides web-based communication services to help importers and exporters execute real-time foreign currency trades.

(Bank of the West and First Hawaiian Bank) | BNP Paribas HQ: Paris | Assets: 1.087 trillion
Giant global bank BNP Paribas has a network of 100 trade centers in 60 countries and owns BancWest Corp., a holding corporation for Bank of the West and First Hawaiian Bank. Customers can use a Trade Finance App that lets exporters manage international standby letters of credit. It can also be used to keep up with trade finance transactions such as import or export letters of credit, import or export collections, shipping guarantees, financing requests and trade related banker’s guarantees. BNP Paribas is a member of factoring networks Factors Chain International and International Factors Group, which offer factoring in a buyer’s country for exporters. This financing comes from advances against outstanding accounts receivable.

BNY MELLON | HQ: New York City | Assets: $1.7 trillion
BNY Mellon has recently been expanding its FX business, as customers seek more assistance in managing their currency exposure. The bank, which has nine sales and trading centers around the world, has a global custodian network to provide local liquidity. Trade Technologies’ Global Trade Management platform offers automated global trade documentation presentation. BNY Mellon says it offered the first web-enabled trade front office with multi-language capacity, the first web-based letter of credit and purchase order reporting, and the first web-based imaging.

BOK FINANCIAL | HQ: Tulsa, Oklahoma | Assets: $33 billion
BOK Financial offers an extensive suite of services for exporters, including Exporter’s Plus, a full-service solution for export letter of credit document preparation, compliance assurance and presentment. Its online FX system, FX Advance, provides real-time rates, with audit and reporting tools to manage currency exposure. BOK Financial has an extensive network of correspondent foreign banks which U.S. exporters can use to their advantage when doing business globally.

CITIGROUP | HQ: New York City | Assets: $1.4 trillion
Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions offers clients a comprehensive suite of trade services and finance products to facilitate commercial flows and finance supply chains. Its expertise includes trade finance, trade services, export and agency finance, trade working capital finance and commodity finance. With hundreds of years of experience in trade finance, the bank has deep knowledge of structuring complex and unique transactions and a large international network of operating countries. The bank’s international network of dedicated trade professionals includes more than 600 worldwide in all major markets. Its syndication franchise has the ability to structure global and market leading trade finance transactions.

COMERICA BANK | HQ: Dallas | Assets: $71 billion
A major lender in the Ex-Im Bank Working Capital Guarantee program, Comerica Bank is also one of the top providers of letters of credit in the U.S. It offers services to exporters through its International Trade Finance Group. The bank’s Global Capital Markets Trading Advisors advise clients on strategies to manage currency risk exposure. Services also include import/export financing, international payment solutions, foreign exchange, foreign receivable financing, foreign receivable discounting, foreign buyer financing, supply chain financing and working capital loans.

DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST CO. AMERICAS | HQ: Frankfurt | Assets: $1.5 trillion
Deutsche Bank has positioned itself to serve clients in increasingly global markets, with a presence in more than 70 countries and strong relationships with export credit agencies and private risk insurance companies. It has strong bases in major emerging markets such as the Asia Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America. Services include advisory and distribution services, documentary collection, documentary remittances, financial supply chain solutions, letters of credit, standard remittances, structured commodity trade finance, syndicated trade loans and trade receivables finance.

EAST WEST BANK | HQ: Pasadena, California | Assets: More than $30 billion (East West Bancorp)
An active lender in the Ex-Im Bank Working Capital Guarantee program, East West Bank was recognized as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2015 Export Lender of the Year. It won the award after providing $16.43 million in export financing to small businesses in 2014. Services include pre-export financing, export bill purchased, export acceptance, export finance through Ex-Im Bank, the Export-Import Bank of China, and the bank’s network of foreign credit insurance agencies, letters of credit, and RMB-denominated export trade settlement for exporters.

FIFTH THIRD BANK | HQ: Cincinnati | Assets: $142 billion
Fifth Third Bank provides access to government programs through which exporters can get loans against export-related inventory and work-in process, as well as direct loans to foreign customers of its exporting clients. It works with Ex-Im Bank, Export Development (Canada), the International Finance Corp., Inter-American Development Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Services include bankers’ acceptances, credit insurance, documentary collections, export financing, foreign exchange, Global Trade Direct secure internet portal for managing export activity, letters of credit and pre- and post-export financing.

HUNTINGTON BANCSHARES | HQ: Columbus, Ohio | Assets: $101 billion
Huntington is a very active lender with Ex-Im Bank and provides direct financing alternatives to foreign purchasers of U.S. made goods, up to 85 percent of the contract value. It offers credit facilities starting at $350,000. Huntington received the President’s “E Star” Award for Export Service in 2013. That was for its development of creative financing solutions for exporters and work with regional business and trade promotion groups. The bank is also known for its customer satisfaction. It just ranked highest in the J.D. Power U.S. Small Business Banking Satisfaction Survey.

HSBC BANK USA | HQ: London | Assets: $198.8 billion
HSBC is a big champion of overseas trading and an active Ex-Im bank lender. The bank has kept a keen eye on the opportunities globalization presents and offers exporters reports such as “Trade Winds: shaping the future of international business.” The bank has developed a Trade Forecast Tool that provides both a short and long-term view on trade for 20 markets which can be used from tablets and smartphones. Its services include currency exchange, documentary collections, Ex-Im Bank Working Capital Guarantee Program, export collections, FX trading, letters of credit, trade credit insurance, information management, wire transfers and working capital loans.

J.P. MORGAN CHASE AND CO. | HQ: New York City | Assets: $2.4 trillion
J.P. Morgan Chase has facilitated trade payments for clients for 200 years. The bank connects clients with trade, supply chain and export finance solutions. Supported by a global, multilingual and multicurrency platform, the bank’s supply chain finance solutions connects buyers to more than 12,000 suppliers. Services include bank-to-bank reimbursements, bank payment obligation, documentary collections, document preparation, escrow services, Ex-Im Bank Working Capital Guarantee program, export credit-agency-backed finance, letters of credit, open account processing, project-related finance structures, private sector insurance, purchase order management, structured receivables finance, supply chain finance and various trade-related loans.

KEYBANK | HQ: Cleveland | Assets: $135 billion
With offices nationwide and global banking relationships, KeyBank’s international trade services team is focused on helping clients manage and mitigate their international trade risk. The bank actively participates in Ex-Im Bank’s Export Working Capital Guarantee and Medium Term Foreign Buyer Finance programs. It was also selected as a partner bank in the pilot program of the U.S. Global Business Solutions Initiative in 2013, an interagency effort to add 50,000 small businesses to the nation’s base of exporters by 2017.

M&T BANK | HQ: Buffalo, New York | Assets: $124 billion
M&T Bank—awarded the Presidential “E” Award for excellence in international trade—is known for its creative solutions to exporters’ challenges. When a packaging machinery manufacturer in western New York suffered a cash flow shortage, it turned to M&T Bank, which offered a working capital loan guaranteed by Ex-Im Bank that came with expanded advance rates against export-related inventory and foreign accounts receivable. Services include export credit insurance, documentary collections, foreign deposited checks, letters of credit, revolving lines of credit and working capital financing.

PNC BANK | HQ: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania | Assets: $361 billion
PNC has worked for more than 30 years with Ex-Im Bank to help foreign purchasers finance machinery, equipment or services from U.S. suppliers as well as working capital loans for export-related inventory and accounts receivable. The bank is a founding stockholder in the Private Export Funding Corp., which helps finance the sale of U.S. exports. PNC offers robust digital services through the Global Trade Excellence program, a secure web-based transaction service and reporting system, where exporters can automate their reporting capabilities for their letters of credit, documentary collections and bankers’ acceptance transactions.

REGIONS | HQ: Birmingham, Alabama | Assets: $125 billion
One of the top issuers of letters of credit in the U.S., Regions is part of the Export Working Capital Loan—Preferred Lenders Program run by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The bank’s Express Trade LC provides secure web access to letters of credit and collections applications from anywhere in the world. Other services include collections, foreign exchange, post-export financing, treasury management and global payments, and working capital financing.

SANTANDER BANK | HQ: Boston | Assets: $85 billion
With market presence in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom and Uruguay, Santander Bank offers both on-the-ground expertise and global services to exporters. It also offers a suite of market research and social networking solutions to support companies’ international expansion. The Santander Trade Portal provides corporates with access to trending market insights and business opportunities, while the Trade Club & Trade Network allow businesses to connect with users and local experts in a given country of interest.

SILICON VALLEY BANK | HQ: Santa Clara, California | Assets: $42 billion
When the largest sale in a California-based software company’s history was made to a British customer, the pound was losing value against the dollar. Working with Silicon Valley Bank, the software firm locked in an earlier, more favorable exchange rate and did not lose money on the contract. Calling itself the “bank of the innovation economy,” Silicon Valley Bank provides export related services such as currency hedging to the specific industries it serves. It has a network of banking partners to deliver global solutions in 60 countries in Europe, Asia and North America.

STANDARD CHARTERED | HQ: London | Assets: $660 million
Focused on Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Standard Chartered Bank offers a range of project finance solutions, among them financial advisory, structuring and underwriting. It brings clients relationships with more than 25 international export credit and multilateral agencies, such as Ex-Im Bank in the U.S. and The Compagnie Française d’Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur (COFACE) in France.

SUNTRUST | HQ: Atlanta | Assets: $205 billion
A preferred lender in the SBA Export Working Capital program, SunTrust offers services such as pre-export working capital, insured foreign receivables financing and buyer financing. For three consecutive years—2010-2012—the bank won the SBA’s Export Lender of the Year Award. SunTrust is a working capital delegated authority lender for Ex-Im Bank. Other services include currency exchange, documentary collections, global treasury management, international letters of credit and wire transfers.

U.S. BANCORP | HQ: Minneapolis | Assets: $429 billion
A robust array of trade finance services can be automated through U.S. Bank Global Trade, an online service that allows users to view a detailed transaction and communication history for each trade instrument, with email notifications in real time. U.S. Bancorp services also include approved payables financing, bank-assisted open account, banker’s acceptances, currency risk management, documentary collections, insured loans, letters of credit, pre-export finance solutions and receivables purchase facilities.

WELLS FARGO | HQ: San Francisco | Assets: $1.9 trillion
Wells Fargo has racked up numerous accolades for its services—winning Global Finance magazine’s “Best Trade Finance Bank in the U.S.” award for 2014, 2015 and 2016, as well as The Asian Banker’s “Best International Trade Finance Bank in Asia Pacific” for 2015-16. The bank’s services for exporters are increasingly digital. For instance, CEO Trade, an online trade service, allows users to manage letters of credit and documentary collections. The bank was named Lender of the Year by Ex-Im Bank in 2012. It is consistently among the top five most active users of Ex-Im’s Working Capital Guarantee Program.

WESTERN ALLIANCE BANCORPORATION | HQ: Phoenix | Assets: $17 billion
Western Alliance Bancorporation is one of the fastest-growing bank holding companies in the U.S. Its primary subsidiary, Western Alliance Bank, operates several full-service banking divisions: Alliance Bank of Arizona, Bank of Nevada, Bridge Bank, First Independent Bank and Torrey Pines Bank. Its local bankers offer a full spectrum of deposit, lending, treasury management, international banking and online banking products and services. Other services include documentary collections, Ex-Im Bank Guaranteed Working Capital Lines of Credit, foreign currency wires, foreign exchange hedging, standby and commercial letters of credit, pre-export financing and revolving lines of credit.

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