Global Update

March 31, 2016

Industry Updates

Register Now - North America Conference

Bridging Growth And Innovation
May 1 - 4, 2016
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Scottsdale, AZ

The BAFT North America Annual Meeting continues to deliver on its strengths of quality programming, leading industry speakers and networking opportunities all in one conference! Register Now!

Some Conference Highlights Include:
> A collection of innovation experts in the industry as event speakers -
    • Usama Fayyad - Yahoo!'s former Chief Data Officer, now at Barclays
    • Steve Ellis, EVP, Head of Innovation at Wells Fargo Bank NA
    • Raja Ramachandran, Managing Director, R3CEV
    • Guatam Jain, Global Head, Digitization & Client Access, Standard Chartered Bank
> Special bilateral/networking time carved out during the conference
> A dedicated day for deeper dive discussions on hot industry topics around payments, innovation and regulatory/compliance

View the Program
Register Now!

Submissions Accepted for the ICC Banking Commission Global Survey

The ICC Banking Commission Global Survey on Trade Finance 2016 is a leading market intelligence report for the benefit of our whole industry. Submissions are still accepted via the online questionnaire here until Wednesday, April 13. Meaningful input from bank trade finance professionals is anticipated and your support in the elaboration of this report is essential.

Should you have any questions in relation to the 2016 ICC Global Survey on Trade Finance or wish to receive the questions in Word version, please do not hesitate to email Kindly share this information with relevant people in your organization and wider network.

BAFT Members Receive 20% off Registration to ITBC at The Asian Banker Summit 2016

The International Transaction Banking Convention at The Asian Banker Summit 2016 provides a platform for senior practitioners in financial institutions, correspondent banking and the transaction banking business to maintain a continuous and interactive relationship with regulators, potential clients and peers, as well as to catch up with emerging opportunities whilst learning about the latest developments and best practices. BAFT members are entitled to a 20% discount off the registration rate to the International. Transaction Banking Convention during the Summit. Register online or mention code: BAFT_ABS16 to receive the 20% discount when you register. For more information, please contact Janice Chua at +65 6236 6532 or email at .


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March 2016 BIS Quarterly Review: Uneasy Calm Gives Way to Turbulence

Markets have been roiled since the start of the year by concerns about growth in China and other emerging market economies, and about the health of large global banks. "The tension between the markets' tranquillity and the underlying economic vulnerabilities had to be resolved at some point. In the recent quarter, we may have been witnessing the beginning of its resolution," said Claudio Borio, Head of the Monetary and Economic Department.
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IMF Publishes Work on the State of the Global Financial Safety Net

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) published the paper “The Adequacy of the Global Financial Safety Net,” which the IMF’s Executive Board discussed during an informal session as part of the Fund’s ongoing review of the international monetary system. The paper assesses the strengths, weaknesses and challenges of the Global Financial Safety Net (GFSN) –comprised of international reserves, central bank swap arrangements, regional financing arrangements, Fund resources (complemented by other multilateral and bilateral development partners), and market-based instruments.
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IFC and FELABAN Sign an Agreement to Promote Sustainable Financing in the Banking Sector in Latin America

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the Latin American Banking Federation Federación Latinoamericana de Bancos, FELABAN] announced an agreement to promote sustainable financing in the region’s banking sector and assist banks with identifying business opportunities related to sustainability.
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OECD: G20 GDP Growth - Fourth Quarter of 2015

Growth of real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the G20 area (see technical note) eased slightly to 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2015, down from a constant rate of 0.8% recorded in the four previous quarters, according to preliminary estimates.

GDP growth slowed markedly in Korea (to 0.6%, compared with 1.3% in the previous quarter), Australia (to 0.6%, from 1.1%), Canada (to 0.2%, from 0.6%), Mexico (to 0.5%, from 0.8%) and Japan, where GDP contracted by 0.3% in the fourth quarter following an expansion of 0.3% in the previous quarter. GDP also contracted in Brazil, for the fourth straight quarter, but at a slower pace (minus 1.4% after minus 1.7%).
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OECD: New Global Forum Peer Reviews Highlight Ever-Increasing Compliance With Tax Transparency Standards

The world’s leading forum on tax transparency published 10 new peer review reports today, pointing to ever-increasing compliance with the internationally-recognised standards to curb tax evasion through the exchange of information.

The new reporting from the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes demonstrates growing worldwide compliance with the international standard for exchange of information on request and deep engagement to push forward transparency objectives of the group, which brings together 132 countries and jurisdictions on an equal footing to tackle offshore tax evasion.
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Tougher Environmental Laws Do Not Hurt Export Competitiveness – OECD Study

Countries that implement stringent environmental policies do not lose export competitiveness when compared against countries with more moderate regulations, according to a new OECD study that examines trade in manufactured goods between advanced and emerging economies.

The findings suggest that emerging economies with strong manufacturing sectors like China could strengthen environmental laws without denting their overall share in export markets. High-pollution or energy-intensive industries like chemicals, plastics and steel making, whether in the BRIICS or in Europe or North America, would suffer a small disadvantage from a further tightening of regulations, but this would be compensated by growth in exports from less-polluting activities.
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Europe and Central Asia

European Commission publishes further TTIP documents in ongoing transparency commitment

The European Commission published further documents on March 21 from the ongoing negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), in line with its commitment to enhanced transparency in the ongoing trade negotiations with the United States.
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Financial Industry and International Organisations Take Stock of Banking Sector Stabilisation in Ukraine

The Ukrainian authorities, commercial banks, international financial institutions and advisors met in Kiev on Wednesday, 15 March, to take stock of key reforms in the country’s banking sector.

This was the third Ukraine Financial Forum hosted under the umbrella of the Vienna Initiative, utilizing the Initiative’s well-tested capacity to foster a regulatory environment conducive to bank stabilisation in key countries.
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EBRD: ‘The World Economy: the Way Forward’

EBRD President’s statement to the China Development Forum:

"That we should be gathering here in Beijing to talk about the world economy and its future strikes me as entirely appropriate.

In a way that would have been almost unimaginable only a few decades ago, the influence of China and its people on the global economy today is enormous. And it can only grow greater still. "
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Asia, Africa, and the Middle East

ADB Sees Pickup in Growth in 2016, 2017

The economy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) is expected to pick up in 2016 and 2017 due to an expansion of electricity exports, construction, and services. A better trade performance and investment inflows coupled with lower fuel costs will also help ease the trade balance and inflation, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report released on March 30.
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Global Uncertainties, PRC Slowdown Weigh on Asia’s Growth

Growth is slowing across much of developing Asia as a result of the continued weak recovery in major industrial economies and softer growth prospects for the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This will combine to push growth in developing Asia for 2015 and 2016 below previous projections, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.
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AfDB President Rounds up Asian Tour in Beijing With Firm Commitments for Support

The President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, departed Beijing on Tuesday night at the end of a three-nation Asian tour, which took him and his delegation to Japan (March 24-26), Korea (March 26-28) and China (March 28-29).

These visits have focused on consultation with influential public and private entities in these three important non-regional members of the Bank Group on the Bank’s mission and future development programmes.
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APEC: Bridges Key to Prosperity in Transitioning Asia-Pacific

Seismic shifts in economic and social conditions in the Asia-Pacific compounded by uncertainty in the world economy are contributing to unease about the future and raising scrutiny of globalization. But greater interconnectivity of people and markets, not less, is needed to mitigate emerging challenges to regional growth and human development, according to APEC Secretariat Executive Director Dr Alan Bollard.
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Chinese Renminbi to be Identified in the IMF’s Currency Composition of Foreign Exchange Reserves

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will separately identify the renminbi (RMB) in its official foreign exchange reserves database starting October 1, 2016. The change will be reflected in the survey for the fourth quarter of 2016 that will be published at the end of March 2017.
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The Americas

Treasury and Commerce Announce Significant Amendments to the Cuba Sanctions Regulations ahead of President Obama's Historic Trip to Cuba

On March 15, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced significant amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR). These changes, coupled with the arrangement recently announced by the Departments of State and Transportation allowing scheduled air service between the United States and Cuba, will significantly increase the ability of U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba to directly engage with the Cuban people. Additionally, these regulations expand Cuba and Cuban nationals’ access to U.S. financial institutions and the U.S. dollar from Cuba, and will expand the ability for Cubans legally present in the United States to earn stipends and salaries beyond living expenses. These amendments further the new direction toward Cuba that President Obama laid out in December 2014. The changes are outlined below and will take effect on March 16, 2016, when the regulations are published in the Federal Register.
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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Announces Appointees to Inaugural Digital Economy Board of Advisors

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced today the appointment of 17 distinguished leaders with a wide range of expertise on digital policy and economic issues to serve on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Digital Economy Board of Advisors, which will provide recommendations on ways to advance economic growth and opportunity in the digital age.
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Fact Sheet: Economic development in the wake of President Obama’s regulatory changes on exports and travel to Cuba

On December 17, 2014, President Obama announced that the United States would change its policies toward Cuba and move toward normalizing relations between the two countries. Since that announcement, departments and agencies have made a series of regulatory changes to allow for increased economic development in Cuba that will continue to empower the Cuban people and advance our enduring objectives of supporting human rights, improving the lives of the Cuban people, and promoting closer ties between our countries.
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CFPB Takes Action Against Dwolla for Misrepresenting Data Security Practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today took action against online payment platform Dwolla for deceiving consumers about its data security practices and the safety of its online payment system. The CFPB ordered Dwolla to pay a $100,000 penalty and fix its security practices.
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U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services - January 2016

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced that the goods and services deficit was $45.7 billion in January, up $1.0 billion from $44.7 billion in December, revised. January exports were $176.5 billion, $3.8 billion less than December exports. January imports were $222.1 billion, $2.8 billion less than December imports.
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