Who We Are
BAFT is the leading international transaction banking association, providing advocacy, thought leadership, education and training, and a global forum for its members in the areas of trade finance, payments, compliance, and regulations. Formed by the merger of the Bankers Association for Finance and Trade (BAFT) and the International Financial Services Association (IFSA), BAFT has played a unique role in expanding markets, shaping regulatory and legislative policy, developing business solutions and preserving the safety and soundness of the global financial system for over 85 years.
On June 22, 1921, a group of 10 bankers from Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroit met at the Hotel Cleveland to adopt articles of association for the Bankers' Association for Finance and Trade. The original "objects and purposes" of the association included: "provide a medium by which its members may interchange opinions and establish uniform systems and methods for the conduct of foreign business"; "to urge the passage of wise and useful legislation and to oppose the enactment of prejudicial laws"; and "to aid the development and maintenance of foreign trade".
Today, BAFT's role is little changed from the objectives laid out by the founders. BAFT continues to provide an educational and networking platform for its members and remains a catalyst in the development of solutions in international banking legislation and regulation. BAFT's high-quality programs and conferences have allowed bankers from around the world to network, and to debate, discuss, and share issues of common interest and concern. Since the opening of its Washington, D.C. office in 1971, BAFT's international lobbying activity has contributed significantly to better treatment for all banks operating in global financial markets.