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Corporate Trade Services Operations


International Commercial Bank


Corporate Operations


Head, Corporate Operations

Major Functions:

Trade Services


The client was experiencing problems due to a poorly organized trade processing environment:

  • No formal receipt or registration upon receipt of work.
  • No method of formal distribution of work to the various processors.
  • No order of dispatch of work back to customers upon completion.
  • No MIS tracking of daily work received or completed.
  • A lack of line balancing and work distribution.
  • A low staff skill level, particularly in key processing areas.
  • A poorly organized workplace.
  • No differentiation in processing of high revenue customers’ work.

LoBue Recommendation

Restructure organization and redesign processes to improve customer service and increase operating efficiency. Greatly reduce hand-offs, redundant processes and low risk verification procedures. For example:

  • All incoming documents are to be received and time stamped at the counter by the customer service representative.
  • Empower clerks to call customers concerning document checking issues and verify customer balances and process transactions within limit; Trade Manager to authorize debit to refunds/reversals up to a specified amount; and support to verify customer confirmation.
  • Eliminate preparation of manual proposal form and accept customer offering sheet as working document.
  • For non-finance payment bills, phone all ordinary customers if amount of payment exceeds US$25,000. Initiate program to obtain blanket guarantee from as many customers as possible to eliminate individual indemnity requirement.
  • No checking of documents relating to drawings valued at less than US$1 million, which have been negotiated and checked by Group Officer.
  • When client bank advises L/C’s issued by another branch, client is required to verify the signatures on the L/C if the amount exceeds US$15,000. Raise the amount to US$50,000.
  • Empower Signature Verification clerks to verify customer signatures up to US$100,000. Those transactions over US$100,000 and transactions to debit the customer’s account will be dual checked and initialed by an officer.
  • Elimination of Signature Verification for amounts below US$50,000, on export bill collection orders unless proceeds are being credited to a third party account.
  • Against a suitable indemnity, accept fax instructions for: Import L/C, L/C amendment, guarantee application, guarantee amendment and request for drawdown under pre-shipment finance.
  • Release Authority: empower designated clerks to check and initial import transactions which fall within staff officers authorized limits and to check and release LC Advising transactions up to US$10,000.
  • Amendment/Cancellation Authority: empower designated clerks to amend transactions for correction and empower team heads to sign/initial telex correspondence.

Real Results

Rationalization of all trade process flows, streamlining operations and improving timeliness and cost effectiveness of service delivery. A 30% productivity improvement and 99% same day service on all transactions was achieved based on:

  • Creation, approval and implementation of all process recommendations developed as “best practices”.
  • Creation of a new organization structure reflecting market requirements and customer service demands.
  • Identification of the requisite skills for each new position within the restructured organization and completion of a skills inventory of the current staff to match current skills to skills required; training of all staff accordingly.
  • Determination of management information needs, including review and evaluation of existing MIS and enhancement of reports.
  • Development of capacity/resource utilization plans and production standards based on product volumes and processing standards.
  • Creation of bank and customer service delivery standards.
  • Creation of “priority” services for high revenue “gold card” customers.

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