Lloyds Bank has partnered with Israel-based WaveBL to join the latter’s electronic trade documentation platform to enable new trade efficiencies and sustainability benefits for its clients by using electronic bills of lading (eBLs).

According to the British retail and commercial bank, it is the first UK bank to forge trade digitalisation partnership with WaveBL.

A bill of Lading is a significant document in international trade. It is issued by a carrier when a seller ships products to an end customer and acts as a receipt for the goods being dispatched, said the British lender.

Once payment or agreement to pay for the goods is received, the bill of lading is provided to the buyer, helping them to claim the product on arrival.

The new partnership will enable Lloyds Bank’s clients to securely and easily transfer fully digital, blockchain-based eBLs between organisations on the WaveBL network.

It is expected to eliminate the risk of forgery, loss and theft of paper versions and reduce the environmental impact of bills of lading.

WaveBL financial institutions vice president Ofer Bar said: “Corporates are looking to prioritise digital trade solutions, and financial institutions have been looking at how they can meet this demand.

“Our partnership with Lloyds Bank, an industry leader in trade digitalisation, represents a strategic leap forward for banks to support corporates as they digitalise, while enhancing customer satisfaction.”

Lloyds Bank said the new partnership comes as part of its continued commitment and innovation in driving trade digitalisation.

The collaboration also follows Lloyds Bank becoming a signatory to the Future of International Trade (FIT) Alliance’s electronic bills of lading declaration in October 2023.

The FIT Alliance was founded by the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO),  the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and Swift.

Lloyds Bank trade and working capital products head Rogier van Lammeren said: “Paperless trade is the future, with tremendous benefits on offer in terms of economic growth, increased efficiency, reduced risk and environmental sustainability.

“Collaboration and innovation are two of the key factors that will drive and support greater adoption. This new partnership with WaveBL is an example of both in action.”