Letter of Credit transaction facilitated bulk shipment of soybeans for Cargill

HSBC and ING Bank have successfully executed a live trade finance transaction for international food and agriculture conglomerate Cargill using R3’s Corda scalable blockchain platform.

The blockchain transaction involved a bulk shipment of soybeans from Argentina, through Geneva’s trading arm of Cargill, to Malaysia, through Cargill’s Singapore subsidiary as the purchaser. A Letter of Credit was issued using Corda by HSBC to ING. The two banks were acting on behalf of the Cargill entities.

The transaction demonstrates that blockchain as a solution to trade digitisation, is commercially and operationally viable. Conventional exchanges for paper-based documentation related to letters of credit usually take between 5-10 days. This exchange was done in 24 hours.

The Letter of Credit transaction was an end-to-end trade between a buyer and a seller and their respective banking partners, completed on a single shared application rather than multiple systems.

“What this means for businesses is that trade finance transactions have been made simpler, faster, more transparent and more secure,” said Vivek Ramachandran, HSBC’s head of growth and innovation. “The need for paper reconciliation is removed because all parties are linked on the platform and updates are instantaneous. The quick turnaround could mean unlocking liquidity for businesses.”

“Cargill believes blockchain can help our company nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Therefore, it’s a key technology we are exploring and using with our own customers and, now, using for ourselves with the completion of this transfer on Corda,” explained Rani Misra, Regional Treasurer, APAC, Cargill. “Simply put, we took a highly manual, complex transaction and made it more secure and efficient. We see the exciting potential of extending this technology into other areas of our financial ecosystem.”

David E. Rutter, CEO of R3, added, “This transaction represents another major milestone for Corda as we work with the industry to make enterprise blockchain a reality in trade finance. Corda enables the development of applications like this one that bring all parties together on a single, shared infrastructure while ensuring the highest levels of privacy and security.”

Ivar Wiersma, Managing Director, Innovation Wholesale Banking, ING, said: “It’s exciting to see this transaction has been completed successfully with clear client benefits in speed and ease in execution. On top of that, it shows the power of collaboration. Collaboration with other ecosystems’ stakeholders like regulators, ports, customs and logistics providers such as large shipping carriers. And in particular, collaboration with other banks, even our peers.”

R3 and the group of 12 banks supporting the Corda application are seeking to expand the network on an open basis to drive adoption across the industry. They welcome engagement from banks and other ecosystem participants.

Media enquiries to:

HSBC
Paul Smith
+44 20 7991 4867
paul.a.smith@hsbc.com

ING
Diederik Heinink
+31 205762847
diederik.heinink@ing.com

Cargill
Rita Aspen
+65 6393 8293
rita_aspen@cargill.com

R3
Nick Warren
+1 917 4126009
nickwarren@chatsworthcommunications.com

Note to editors:

HSBC Commercial Banking
For over 150 years we have been where the growth is, connecting customers to opportunities. Today, HSBC Commercial Banking serves around 1.7 million customers across 53 markets, ranging from small enterprises focused primarily on their home markets through to corporates operating across borders. Whether it is working capital, term loans, trade finance or payments and cash management solutions, we provide the tools and expertise that businesses need to thrive. As the cornerstone of the HSBC Group, we give businesses access to a geographic network covering more than 90% of global trade and capital flows. For more information visit: http://www.hsbc.com/about-hsbc/structure-and-network/commercial-banking.

HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from approximately 3,900 offices in 67 countries and territories in our geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of $2,652bn at 31 March 2018, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

ING
ING is a global financial institution with a strong European base, offering banking services through its operating company ING Bank. The purpose of ING Bank is empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business. ING Bank’s more than 51,000 employees offer retail and wholesale banking services to customers in over 40 countries.

ING Group shares are listed on the exchanges of Amsterdam (INGA AS, INGA.AS), Brussels and on the New York Stock Exchange (ADRs: ING US, ING.N). Sustainability forms an integral part of ING’s strategy, evidenced by ING’s ranking as a leader in the banks industry group by Sustainalytics. ING Group shares are included in the FTSE4Good index and in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Europe and World), where ING is also among the leaders in the banks industry group.

R3
R3 is an enterprise software firm working with a network of over 200 banks, financial institutions, regulators, trade associations, professional services firms and technology companies to develop on Corda, its blockchain platform designed specifically for businesses.

R3’s global team of over 140 professionals in nine countries is supported by over 2,000 technology, financial, and legal experts drawn from its global member base. R3 is backed by investment of USD 107 million from over 40 firms.

Corda is the outcome of over two years of intense research and development by R3 and its members and meets the highest standards of the banking industry, yet is applicable to any commercial scenario. It records, manages and executes institu-tions’ financial agreements in perfect synchrony with their peers, creating a world of frictionless commerce. Learn more at www.r3.com.

Cargill Corporation
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and over 150 years of experience. We have 155,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work.