How it all began - throwback to 200815.03.2018

In 2008, Mark Runiewicz, an experienced banker was working in Yorkshire Bank, Birmingham and was getting increasingly frustrated at not being able to help as many clients (SME’s) as he believed he could.  He felt that ‘his hands were tied behind his back’ as he knew he could help more customers. To experiment with the idea of helping clients himself, he decided to leave the bank and set up a consultancy at home. He felt happy as he had had experience of doing this successfully before. Consequently, Trade and Export Finance LTD (TAEFL) started life in the front bedroom in Sutton Coldfield. It was to become a specialist trade finance group.

During this time, several clients approached Mark, asking for help to optimise their funding. Mark advised them on their international trade and banking difficulties. He was able to source the most cost-effective funding solutions, while simultaneously working on the 10th edition of the annual International Trade Survey, in conjunction with his partner Mary.

One interesting client springs to mind from that time, -a company in Bicester who was shipping goods to Libya just as the Gadhafi regime was collapsing. A Letter of Credit (LOC) was being used, the LOC had to be paid, otherwise the client and their suppliers wouldn’t be paid, and the company could have folded. Mark worked closely with the client, ensured that the documents were accurate so that the client got paid under the LOC. The goods were held in Malta because it was too dangerous to ship them into Tripoli. Good news! -two months later, Mark had a call from the buyer in Tripoli to say that Tripoli was ‘open’ and he was now requesting the documents so that he could clear the goods.

That was the success story of 2008. Mark’s skills ensured that this company remained in business and in fact, they are still trading today, having been taken over by a major Asian entity.

Mark, being an expert on LOC’s, emphasises that is a good example of the benefit of using an ‘irrevocable LOC’ confirmed by a London-based bank, because when there is a political problem, as there was in this case, it was the London bank that took the risk and paid against compliant documents.

If you need any business advice, call us today at 0121 7940 280!