Quote of the Week
"Taking a step back, I have no idea whether virtual currencies will grow and thrive, or whether we are just witnessing a passing fad. The industry is still very young and there are many factors that will help determine its future. But one can imagine a world where virtual currencies achieve large-scale adoption. That world, however, is a fantasy unless we effectively combat illicit finance threats through thoughtful and firm regulation."
U.S. Treasury Under Secretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen on "Addressing the Illicit Finance Risks of Virtual Currency", March 18, 2014
News and Developments
Reminders about the 2014 BAFT North American Annual Conference and Regulatory Compliance Forum, May 4-7, 2014, La Jolla, CA
Hotel Reservation Ends April 4
Hotel reservation cut-off date is April 4. If you are planning to attend, you can reserve your room when you register for the conference. If you have already registered but have not reserved your room yet, please make sure you contact firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the April 4 cut-off date.
Are You A Golfer?
Don’t miss out to play at the PGA course at Torrey Pines. You can still register for a round of golf, $300 registration fee, by contacting email@example.com. Foursomes will be assigned shortly, and additional information will be sent out to all registered golfers. We have a great group of participants already registered. It’s a perfect opportunity to enjoy a round of golf with colleagues, peers and clients in a world class course!
Join the Fun Run/Walk
Kick off the conference by participating in our first BAFT fun run/walk at the Annual Conference. Choose from either a 5K run or 1K walk. Either way, it’s a great way to start the conference. Invite your peers and colleagues to join you to make it an even more fun event for all. Registration is still open for this event. $35 to participate.
Get Your Brand Recognized
Based on early registrations, we are expecting record breaking attendance at this year’s Annual Conference. This is the perfect opportunity to get your brand recognized and do business. Sponsorship opportunities start at $750. Contact Kathryn Hock at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-663-5536 for additional information.
To register for the Annual Conference and Regulatory Compliance Forum, click here.
To sponsor events, including BAFT’s Opening Dinner on Sunday, May 4, and BAFT’s First Annual Run/Walk on Monday Morning, May 5, click here or contact Kathryn Hoch at email@example.com, 202-663-5536.
New York Global Trade Finance Workshop Opens April
Registration for the second of three Letters of Credit Workshop series in the U.S. will open first week in April. The workshop provides practical applications related to trade operations using case studies and single issue discussions in a smaller group setting. PDU credits are available. Please watch out for detailed workshop information and registration via email and on the baft-ifsa.com website.
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Committee and Council Updates
Global Trade Industry Council
The Global Trade Industry Council reviewed the progress of the Trade AML/KYC Working Group and affirmed support of its project plan.
North America Regional Bank Council
The BAFT North America Regional Bank Council discussed FATCA, webinar topics, the upcoming RBC webinar presentation on April 29, 2014, and topics for the agenda for the roundtable meeting in May. The Council will meet next on Monday, May 7th, at the Hilton Torrey Pines in La Jolla, CA during the BAFT North America Conference.
BAFT Europe Council
The BAFT Europe Council met in Frankfurt the first week of March 2014. The meeting was kindly hosted by Deutsche Bank. The Council covered topics relating to bank liquidity risk management from the LCR and the NSFR, the introduction of intraday liquidity monitoring tools, and ongoing efforts of the association to address industry KYC/AML concerns.
Regulatory and Legal Committees
Global Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy Committee
The Liquidity Working Group of the Regulatory Affairs Committee is currently reviewing for comment the Basel Committee proposal on the creation of a Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) and is finalizing comments to the European Commission on a final calibration of the EU Liquidity Coverage Ratio. BAFT held meetings in March with the European Central Bank (ECB) to discuss LCR implementation and implementation of the intraday liquidity management tools. BAFT also met with the Co-Chairs of the Basel Committee Working Group on Liquidity (the Banque de France and the Bank of Canada) on March 27 to discuss their position on the NSFR in advance of the comment process conclusion (April 11). For more information on the BAFT Liquidity Working Group, please contact Matthew Ekberg at firstname.lastname@example.org
Trade Committees and Working Groups
Financial Supply Chain Committee
The Financial Supply Chain Committee met and received updates on BPO . The committee also discussed purchase cards. The committee is planning on holding an in-person meeting in May at the North America Annual Conference in La Jolla.
Commercial Letters of Credit Committee
The Commercial Letters of Credit Committee reviewed and provided comments on the latest ICC Draft Opinions relating specifically to commercial letters of credit. The draft opinions will be discussed at the next ICC Banking Commission Meeting which will be held in Dubai from April 27-30, 2014.
Standby Letters of Credit Committee
The Standby Letters of Credit Committee hosted an ad-hoc meeting to review and provide comments on various new SWIFT messages as well changes to existing messages, in particular, SWIFT 760. The working group established to create a best practice document for supporting participation and syndications has completed their first draft. Several committee members have provided samples of standby letters of credit text required by various government entities for review by the committee as well as IIBLP ( Institute for International Banking Law and Practice). IIBLP has a special working group whose objective is to assist with the development of templates with standardized text for later presentation to these government entities. Finally, during March's regularly scheduled meeting, three drafted ICC Opinions were reviewed and comment was provided to the U.S. delegate who will disseminate and communicate to ICC.
Structured Trade/Export Finance Committee
Members of the Structured Trade/Export Finance Committee participated in the Quarterly Ex-Im Bank conference call on Monday, March 10th; Ex-Im Bank provided highlights on reauthorization, updates to the medium term guarantee program, new KYC /due diligence standards and opening for cover in Burma. A subgroup of the Committee is also finalizing an analysis of the impact on Ex-Im Bank Guaranteed Loans from Basel III leverage and liquidity requirements. A meeting of the Committee will be held on April 23 in Washington, DC in advance of the Ex-Im Bank Annual Meeting.
Trade Compliance Committee
Member banks discussed the compliance (AML/KYC) requirements related to the collections product, as well as those affecting an advising or confirming bank with respect to receipt of documents in foreign languages. The committee continues to look for volunteers to develop a working group for dealing with export licensing requirements.
Trade Finance Committee
The Trade Finance Committee continued discussion on "Ask the Expert" questions regarding the treatment of confidential information in the context of using insurance under a bilateral trade loan, as well as for bank-to-bank risk participations in documentary LC confirmations, and whether drawings under letters of credit are to be considered FATCA-reportable.
Trade Loan Documentation Working Group
Members of the Trade Loan Documentation Working Group are finalizing the English Law Master Bank to Bank Trade Loan Agreement (MLA), Guidelines document and the English Law Legal Opinion. Once English Law MLA is finalized, Moses & Singer will be drafting the New York Law version.
The London Group
The London Group is refocusing on identifying the building blocks and educational requirements to attract institutional investors to trade assets.
Oil and Commodity LC Working Group
The Oil and Commodity LC Working Group is reviewing a first complete draft of its Best Practices document. Regular monthly and ad hoc meetings are occurring during this review process. The finished document will be shared with the relative corporate entities for additional feedback and consideration.
Best Practices AML KYC Working Group
The Best Practices AML KYC Working Group is using the 2008 IFSA Guidelines for BSA AML for Trade Services as a baseline document and is initially focused on traditional trade products. The Working Group identified red flags and risk indicators highlighted by FFIEC, FATF, Wolfsberg and the FCA, and is now in the process of assessing the red flags and providing comments, with the aim of producing guidance by consensus.
Risk-Purchased Letters of Credit Subcommittee
The Risk-Purchased Letters of Credit Subcommittee is in the process of drafting the best practices document with plans to have the first draft out to the committee for their review/comments.
Bank-to-Bank Reimbursements Committee
The Bank-to-Bank Reimbursements Committee reviewed SWIFT message type 743 related to reimbursements, addressed an Ask the Expert question regarding explicit documentary requirements for Bank to Bank reimbursements, discussed enlisting new leadership for the committee and agreed to regularly cover collections questions related to reimbursements.
Payments Committees and Working Groups
Funds Transfer Product Management Committee
The Funds Transfer Product Management Committee reviewed the work of the Global Payments Symposium planning committee to date and discussed additional proposed topics. The committee reviewed the topics raised during the FATCA subject matter experts discussion group that addressed questions triggered by the BAFT FATCA webinar, specifically on Rebates and consultant responses. The committee discussed the NACHA IAT format change and what happens when a payment is rejected, international remittance payments and that some countries will no longer accept payments from money services businesses and will require additional details regarding the purpose of payments, and what banks were seeing regarding the implementation of Regulation E.
Payments and Compensation Committee
The Payments and Compensation Committee discussed developments in the agendas for both the upcoming BAFT Annual Meeting (May 4-7 in La Jolla, CA) and the Global Payments Symposium (July 10-11, 2014, at HSBC in New York). The committee received an update on the BAFT FATCA Subject Matter Expert meeting. Members discussed that most banks agree that interbank compensation is FATCA-eligible and the accompanying issue of how to keep W-9s on file for those banks to which banks are paying compensation. The committee discussed the status of LEI (Legal Entity Identifier) and the business case for the U.S. adoption of ISO 20022 and that a number of payments committee members submitted comments on the Market Practice for Sanctions Investigations document. The committee will hold an in-person breakfast meeting at the BAFT Annual Meeting on Tuesday, May 6th at 7:30am. BAFT members interested in attending this meeting and seeing the Payments and Compensation Committee in action should notify Melissa Edwards at email@example.com.
Information Reporting Committee
The Information Reporting Committee discussed how banks do memo posting – end-of-day and intraday - for real-time reporting. Members concurred that until the payment has been fully processed, it is not presented to the customer. The committee also discussed how banks handle the mapping of detailed transactions and the challenges one member faces including multiple platforms for accounts, transactions and creation of the SWIFT MT940/MT942 & MT950 statements. Members discussed the use of specific fields and X9’s mapping initiative for BTRS statements and X9’s mapping table with ISO 20022, BTRS, and SWIFT codes.
If members have any "Ask the Expert" questions for a committee to review, please send them to Melissa Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org. Names of members and banks will be removed to protect privacy. Please note that all comments are unofficial from a BAFT perspective and are only member comments.
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BAFT-IFSA would like to welcome the following new members of the association:
- Bank Audi SAL – Beirut, Lebanon – Financial Institution
- Banner Bank – Walla Walla, Washington – Financial Institution
- Currency Exchange International (CXI) – Orlando, Florida – Supplier Basic
- Ernst & Young – Chicago, IL – Supplier Partner
- First National Bank – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Financial Institution
- Susquehanna Bank – Lititz, Pennsylvania – Financial Institution
- Xangbo America Trading Corporation – St. Louis Park, Minnesota – Supplier Basic
BAFT conducted its annual membership satisfaction survey between February 24 and March 21. We received 355 responses. The survey results are currently being tabulated, and a summary will be available in the early summer. We thank all of those members who participated in the survey. Your feedback will help us improve the value of your membership in BAFT through better programs and services.
Please mark your calendar for the next BAFT Quarterly Member Call on Wednesday, April 16th for the following times**:
Call #1 for Asia at 6:30 AM Mumbai – 9:00 AM Beijing/Hong Kong/Singapore- 10:00 AM Tokyo – 11:00 AM Sydney (West Coast US: 6:00 PM – Tuesday, April 15)
Call #2 for the US, Europe, Africa, MENA and Latin America at 9:00 AM Eastern United States – 2:00 PM Lisbon/London – 3:00 PM Brussels/Frankfurt /Madrid/Paris/Rome/Cairo/Johannesburg – 4:00 PM Beirut/Istanbul//Tel Aviv – 5:00 PM Dubai/Moscow
** Please adjust for your time zone.
Join us for this informative call to learn about what is currently going on at BAFT in advocacy, education, membership, meetings and more. Dial-in instructions and the agenda will be emailed to you a few days before the call.
Affinity Sponsor Program
The BAFT Affinity Sponsor Program provides greater value for our member institutions’ marketing dollars. Sponsors receive year-long brand exposure and recognition in addition to specific marketing opportunities at targeted conferences and events. Opportunities range from various BAFT sponsorship events and webinars to logos and information available to all our members on our website and in newsletters and exclusive stand-alone emails to our members. Learn more about Affinity Sponsors at http://baft-ifsa.com/membership/affinity-partner or contact Kathryn Hoch.
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BAFT International Advisory Council
The BAFT International Advisory Council, a subgroup of the North America Council which represents foreign banks operating in the U.S., will hold an event in New York City on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. This event, sponsored by ING, features a regulatory update by Sullivan and Cromwell LLP on issues facing foreign banks operating in the U.S. market. This update will be followed by a panel of senior economists from BBVA, JPMorgan, and HSBC who will discuss the status of emerging market economies.
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This meeting is by invitation only, if you feel your institution should be present, please contact Patrick DeVilbiss at email@example.com.
Education and Training
Existing CDCS certificate holders are welcome to begin submitting their recertification documentation. Instructions and Activity Forms can be found on the BAFT website and in the Recertification Handbook, which is also located on the BAFT website. The official recertification period for this year closes on April 30th.
Please note: Registration for the 2014 CDCS Exam in now closed. The exam will be administered for all North American 2014 CDCS candidates from April 11th-April 12th.
New Training Initiatives
BAFT is meeting with members in an effort to develop training programs that best meet our members' needs. We are in the beginning stages of determining program content. If any member has any specific topic(s) of interest, please forward your ideas to Lynette Bertelmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Facing the Challenges of Regulatory Change"
Hosted By: The Royal Bank of Canada
Presenter: Gerrard Cassidy
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
11:00pm - 12:00pm ET/8:00am - 9:00am PT
Regulatory change continues to proceed at an unprecedented pace. How are U.S. regional banks impacted by increasing regulatory pressures? What's the scope of these changes? What are some of the things that banks need to know in order to meet these growing requirements? Gerard Cassidy, Managing Director, Equity Research, RBC Capital Markets, will provide an update on various financial regulations, including Basel III and Dodd-Frank.
Register for this webinar
Members – Free
Non-members - $99.00
Recap: SWIFT Integration: Getting the most out of your SWIFT system Return to Top
This most recent webinar, hosted by Akshay International Software, focused on the benefits and business considerations for SWIFT integration. If you missed the opportunity to attend this webinar, you can review it - and other previously held BAFT webinars, on the BAFT website in the Past Webinars area. Please note: you will need to log on as a member to access these webinars.
Global Trade and Finance Update
BIS Publishes Global Liquidity Indicators
On March 17, 2014 the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) published its update on indicators for global liquidity conditions, together with the underlying BIS data. Updates are issued twice annually. This initiative forms part of the Bank's support for G20 activities and follows up on earlier work by the BIS and the Committee on the Global Financial System (CGFS).
Azevêdo Reports “Excellent Start” on Efforts to put Doha Round Back on Track
Director-General Roberto Azevêdo reported to the General Council on March 14, 2014 that the chairs of the negotiating groups have completed the first round of consultations on Doha Round issues that might be taken forward. He said: “I have heard a lot of good feedback—and I think there is much which we can build on constructively. But, nevertheless, there remains a lot to do.”
OECD: G20 GDP Growth Slowed Slightly to 0.8% in Fourth Quarter of 2013
OECD Quarterly National Accounts shows that Quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the G20 area grew by 0.8% in the fourth quarter of 2013, down from 0.9% in the previous quarter, according to preliminary estimates. Compared with the same quarter of 2012, GDP for the G20 area expanded by 3.3% in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from 2.9% in the previous quarter. For 2013 as a whole, GDP expanded by 2.8% in the G20 area, compared with 2.9% in 2012.
FATF Meeting with Private Sector to Discuss Risk-Based Approach and Virtual Currency
The FATF will be meeting with private sector representatives in Brussels on March 25-26, 2014 to discuss the risk-based approach for the banking, money service business and legal sectors. Between 2007 and 2009, the FATF issued a series of guidance papers to assist different business sectors in the application of the risk-based approach. The FATF is now in the process of updating the guidance papers to reflect the changes in the 2012 FATF Recommendations. The meeting will also provide an opportunity to discuss issues concerning virtual currencies.
Risk Weight for the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF)
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has agreed that supervisors may allow banks to apply a 0% risk weight to claims on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). The ESM and EFSF will be included in the list of entities receiving a 0% risk weight set out in paragraph 56 of the document Basel II: International Convergence of Capital Measurement and Capital Standards: A Revised Framework - Comprehensive Version, June 2006.
IFC Doubles London-Listed Renminbi Bond to Support Internationalization of Chinese Currency
On March 19, 2014, IFC increased by 1 billion renminbi (approximately $162 million) an outstanding three-year London-listed renminbi bond to support the internationalization of the Chinese currency and encourage foreign investment in China. The increase doubles the amount of IFC’s first London-listed renminbi bond, issued earlier this month. Over ninety percent of investors in the bond are from outside Asia; the order booked reached over 3 billion renminbi. The bond yields 1.95 percent. IFC will use the bond proceeds to support investments in China.
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Europe and Central Asia
EU – U.S. Summit EU28 Surplus in Trade in Goods with the U.S.
The U.S. remained the EU's largest trading partner for both goods and services in 2013. The EU28 trade surplus with the U.S. has increased since 2009, as exports rose more strongly than imports. In 2013, the EU28 had a trade surplus of 92 billion with the U.S., up slightly from 86 billion in 2012.
Eurostat Releases First Estimate for January 2014: Euro Area International Trade in Goods Surplus is 0.9 Billion Euro, 13.0 Billion Euro Deficit for EU28
The first estimate for the euro area (EA18) trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in January 2014 gave a 0.9 billion euro surplus, compared with -5.4 billion in January 2013. The first estimate for the January 2014 extra-EU28 trade balance was a 13.0 billion euro deficit, compared with -17.7 billion in January 2013. These data are released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
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Asia, Africa, and the Middle East
African Banks Need Focus on Risk Management to Navigate Growing, Complex Markets
African banks aspiring to rapid expansion can become more stable and profitable by increasing their focus on risk management systems that will meet the challenges posed by a globally integrated financial sector, said IFC Vice President and Chief Risk Officer, Saadia Khairi. African banks are facing greater risks because of rapid growth, increased lending, and new technologies and sectors, such as microfinance, mobile banking, and housing and agriculture finance.
Fifth Meeting of the Financial Stability Board Regional Consultative Group for the Middle East and North Africa
On March 20, 2014, the Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM), the central bank of Morocco, hosted the fifth meeting of the FSB Regional Consultative Group for the Middle East and North Africa (RCG-MENA) in Rabat. Members of the RCG-MENA were updated on the FSB’s policy priorities and work plan for financial regulatory reforms, which include building resilient financial institutions, ending the problem of too-big-to-fail, transforming shadow banking into a transparent and robust segment of the financial system, and making derivatives markets safer.
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Federal Reserve Issues Corrected Results for the 2014 Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test
On March 21, 2014, the Federal Reserve issued corrected results for the 2014 Dodd-Frank Act stress test. For 26 of the 30 firms, the correction led to either no change or at most a 0.1 percentage point change in the firms' minimum, post-stress tier 1 common capital ratios in the severely adverse scenario. The change led to a 0.3 percentage point increase at two firms, a 0.2 percentage point decrease at one firm, and a 0.5 percentage point decline at another.
FATCA: IRS Issues New Form W-8BEN
The IRS announced that for the first time in 2014, the Form W-8BEN has been split into two forms. The new 2014 Form W-8BEN (revision date 2014) is for use solely by individuals. It is posted under both the “Current Year Forms” tab and the “Prior Year Forms” tab. A new Form W-8BEN-E for use by entities is in the process of being finalized. While the final Form W-8BEN-E (revision date 2014) is not yet available, it will be released in its final version very soon and will be posted in the “Current Year Forms” section on irs.gov.
Remarks From Under Secretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen on "Addressing the Illicit Finance Risks of Virtual Currency"
David Cohen said, "That enthusiasm [for virtual currency] is based on its novelty, its tech roots, and its supposed distance from governments, central banks, and regulators. It also flows from a belief that virtual currencies have enormous potential to empower users, lower transaction costs, increase access to capital, and bring financial services to many unbanked individuals all around the world…But one way virtual currency is different from cash, and different from other established payment mechanisms, is that users of virtual currency today can transfer value in the blink of an eye with comparatively little or, in some cases, no regulatory oversight. This poses clear risks to consumers and investors alike."
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