Standard Chartered Bangladesh has recently completed the transmission of the country’s first ever fully paperless and digital cross-border Letter of Credit (LC). The first client to complete a fully paperless application for Letter of Credit issuance is Heidelberg Cement Bangladesh Ltd.
The transaction was made possible by a recent amendment to the country’s Import Policy Order, advocated for by Standard Chartered. As per the new order, which was published on 24 April 2022 by the Ministry of Commerce, clients can now apply for a Letter of Credit online using their bank’s online portal. There is no requirement to submit a signed physical copy of the LC application. This change will facilitate international trade for the country by making the LC application process simpler, faster, and more efficient.
Naser Ezaz Bijoy Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bangladesh said, “Digitising trade is a critical lever to accelerate economic development and improve productivity. We would like to thank the Ministry of Commerce, the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports, Bangladesh Bank, and everyone involved with the Import Policy Order for this timely revision. The revised policy that now allows online LC application, is a milestone in the digital trade journey of Bangladesh. Digital LC application will increase operational efficiency for our clients, and we had previously placed requests to the Ministry for this revision. We are very grateful that they have granted our request through this amendment. Our clients can now fully benefit from all the features of our online banking platform, Straight2Bank and Digital Trade Counter.”
Jashim Uddin Chowdhury, Chief Financial Officer, Heidelberg Cement Bangladesh Ltd said, “We were informed by Standard Chartered about the recent change in the Import Policy Order, which now allows clients to apply for Letters of Credit issuance online. We welcomed this change, as it would reduce the time taken for forwarding an application to the Bank and would also reduce the dependency of our signatories being available at the office to physically sign the application. We were excited to apply for issuance of a Letter of Credit on Standard Chartered’ s online portal, Straight2Bank. The interface is very user friendly and easy to use. We were able to upload the needed documents and apply within minutes. There was no requirement to send any physical documents to the Bank. In addition, thanks to Standard Chartered’ s Digital Trade Counter, we could also track the transaction flow end to end on real time basis, which was also very helpful for us. This will certainly facilitate our daily work. We would like to thank the Ministry of Commerce, the Chief Controller of Import and Exports, Bangladesh Bank, and everyone associated with the introduction of this change for making our Import Policy aligned with the need of the times and making international trade simpler for all businesses in the country. We would also like to thank Standard Chartered for training our staff on digital LC application.”
Stanley Sia, Managing Director, Co-Head, Asia, Digital Channels & Data Analytics, Standard Chartered, said “Bangladesh has always been a top priority market for trade digitalisation in the Standard Chartered global footprint, given its immense potential. This revision in the Import Policy Order is a change we have long been waiting for and whole-heartedly welcome. We believe that this amendment in the policy is a big, positive step towards making Bangladesh’s trade more globally competitive. Our mission is to build a world class digital-first and data-driven financial services platform serving our clients around the world. We remain committed to keep innovating to make the digital trade journey for our clients in Bangladesh faster, simpler and a better overall experience.”
Standard Chartered offers a full range of digital solutions that simplifies a client’s trade experience. Clients may apply for trade products online and can also use the Bank’s online drop off counter, Digital Trade Counter, for their applications. Benefits of online trade include reduced document-handling time, real time transaction tracking and secure and transparent workflow.
– Press release