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Season 1, Episode 72

HostDeepesh Patel, Editor, Trade Finance Global

FeaturingTod Burwell, President & Chief Executive Officer, BAFT

We have just completed the marathon that is virtual Sibos – a festival of trade, treasury, and payments. So what better way to celebrate than to be joined by the CEO of the Banks Association for Financing Trade (BAFT), Tod Burwell. And this year, Tod is also celebrating another accolade…

Happy 100-year anniversary to BAFT, and congratulations! It’s quite the achievement for a trade association to survive an entire century!

Early beginnings of BAFT

BAFT is the leading global industry association for International Transaction Banking. It helps bridge solutions across financial institutions, service providers, and the regulatory community that promote sound financial practices, enabling innovation, efficiency, and growth.

BAFT delivers value through promoting thought leadership and best practices, conducting policy advocacy, providing training and education, and building a global community and forum for members to interact.

Key updates from BAFT this year

This year, BAFT celebrated its 100th anniversary, evolving from its humble founding to support the international business of 10 US mid-western banks, to its current global engagement serving members from over 60 countries on six continents.

  • LIBOR Transition – BAFT produced five white papers, a market study, and educational sessions outlining the impact on transaction banking and assessment of alternative reference rates. Its advocacy helped ensure trade finance is an authorised use case for forward-looking SOFR term rates.
  • Supply Chain Finance – Publication of the ‘Payables Finance Principles’, publication of additional standard definitions (through the GSCFF) for Corporate Payment Undertaking, and best-practice guidance. BAFT continues engagement with policymakers on accounting and disclosure treatment for Payables Finance.
  • Launch of new BAFT website – baft.org
  • Future Leaders Program – The Class of 2021 produced 36 graduates from 21 countries, the largest and most diverse class in the six-year history of the program. Projects covered: Sustainable Finance, DEI, Commodity Trade Finance, Faster Payments, and the Future of Transaction Banking (post-COVID-19).

You can find more BAFT-related updates in the newly released 2021 BAFT Annual Review Digest.

BAFT CONNECT

BAFT CONNECT, a new virtual transaction banking club for networking, shared problem-solving, and content exchange. Two Open House events on October 20, 2021 at 7AM ET and 12PM ET. Open to all members and non-members.

BAFT’s focus for the rest of 2021 and 2022

  • LIBOR Transition
  • Trade digitisation
  • Sustainability / ESG
  • De-Risking / Correspondent Banking
  • Supply Chain Finance accounting / disclosure
  • Basel III implementation