Learn more about our mission and history, who we are, what we do and meet some of the faces behind the industry’s preeminent international transaction banking association.
Who we are
BAFT is the leading global forum for bringing the financial community, its solution providers and stakeholders together to collaborate on defining best market practices that facilitate efficient delivery of trade and cash management products and service offerings for their clients.
BAFT celebrated its centennial anniversary in June 2021. Steve Bash, former BAFT Chairman of the Board & Senior Vice President and Manager, International Banking and Trade Finance, City National Bank, narrates the 100 year history of BAFT from its founding until today.
Celebrating 100 years of leadership in finance and trade.
The Preeminent Transaction Banking Association
BAFT provides unmatched advocacy, thought leadership, education and training, and a global forum for international transaction bankers across the industry.
Our expertise is focused on the areas of trade finance, payments, compliance and regulations.
For 100 years, BAFT has played an important role in expanding markets, shaping regulatory and legislative policy, developing business solutions and preserving the safety and soundness of the global financial system.
Founded in 1921 as the Bankers Association for Foreign Trade, BAFT brought together the international departments of 10 banks located in the Midwestern United States to collaborate on common issues and concerns of their international trade customers. When a group of bankers in New York met in 1924 to discuss ways to expedite the business transactions between themselves and their foreign correspondents, they ultimately formed the International Financial Services Association (IFSA). Since 2010, the two groups have operated as one and officially rebranded to BAFT, or the Bankers Association for Finance and Trade, in 2014.
BAFT took a major step forward in 2001 establishing its International Advisory Council to support interests of its growing community of global banks with a presence in the US market, and also established a European Advisory Council to organize efforts to support its European membership. In 2002, BAFT became an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of the American Bankers Association (ABA). With this additional support, the organization’s global growth continued, and BAFT now operates councils throughout the world.
What we do
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 commercial growth.
BAFT works to shape policy, establish best practices, and deliver education and training to its member institutions and the industry at large. Most importantly, BAFT continues to be a valuable resource for bringing together stakeholders across the transaction banking ecosystem to effectively collaborate in solving common issues.
Delivering Value Through
Board of Directors
National Bank of Australia
National Bank of Canada
First Citizens Bank
Bank of America
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