Current Issues

We serve as the industry’s voice before multilateral agencies, export credit agencies, finance ministries, central banks and legislative bodies. We collaborate around the world with other industry groups and trade associations. As a member of BAFT, we represent you in continually striving to:

  • develop international standards such as the “Master Participation Agreement” for trade risk
  • support the “national treatment” of financial firms in the markets where they do business
  • promote the harmonization of financial services regulation and supervision between countries
  • coordinate with private and public sector stakeholders to ensure that governments, multilateral agencies, and leading policymakers around the globe have substantive feedback and reliable data on market dislocations and industry trends
  • Advocate for the positive consideration of trade finance and transaction banking under the Basel capital and liquidity framework
  • Use common Trade Finance Definitions to standardize industry/regulatory terminology and facilitate prioritization of trade risk in sovereign events
  • Ensure the continuation of benefits afforded companies via ECA financing

Policy News

  • BAFT and ITFA Produce Trade Risk Participation Legal Opinion for New Regulatory Requirements

    by User Not Found | May 05, 2015
    WASHINGTON — The International Trade and Forfaiting Association (ITFA) and  BAFT, an international financial services association, announced today a joint industry standard legal opinion for banks to use in satisfying new regulatory requirements in the European Union.

    ITFA and BAFT, working through the law firm Sullivan & Worcester, jointly produced this legal opinion as a benefit for their member institutions to reduce the cost and complexity for banks subject to the EU rules and to increase the ease of doing business under the English law version of the BAFT Master Participation Agreement (MPA).  Input to the opinion came from working groups of both associations.

    Read the Legal Opinion and Guidance Note

    Under these new European regulatory requirements, credit risk mitigants, like the BAFT MPA, will need a legal opinion on whether their credit protection arrangements are legally effective and enforceable in all relevant jurisdictions. The legal opinion, issued by Sullivan & Worcester, is designed to facilitate this process for members of ITFA and BAFT.

     “Our members make wide use of the BAFT Master Participation Agreement as one of their tools for distributing trade risk in the broadly-based modern forfaiting industry,” said Paolo Provera, chairman of ITFA. “Reducing the expense of regulatory compliance is one of the tasks ITFA has set itself. This opinion reduces, at a stroke, the need to carry out much of the expensive and onerous groundwork in ensuring the agreement meets capital rules requirements.” 

    “The BAFT Master Participation Agreement facilitates distribution of trade risk using a common framework, thus enabling more liquidity to meet financing needs,” said Tod Burwell, BAFT president and CEO. “For both BAFT and ITFA, this legal opinion is critical to ensuring regulatory compliance while continuing to meet the needs of trade finance clients around the world.”

    The BAFT MPA is an industry standard for the transfer of trade finance related risk.  It’s English and New York law forms have been vital tools for the international banking industry for nearly 10 years. 

    About BAFT

    BAFT, the leading global financial services association for international transaction banking, helps bridge solutions across financial institutions, service providers and the regulatory community that promote sound financial practices enabling innovation, efficiency, and commercial growth. BAFT engages on a wide range of topics affecting transaction banking, including trade finance, payments, and compliance. The association website is


    About IFTA
    Founded in 1999, ITFA - The International Trade & Forfaiting Association (previously known as International Forfaiting Association – IFA), is the worldwide trade association for companies, financial institutions and intermediaries engaged in trade and the origination, structuring and distribution of trade debt. ITFA also represents the wider trade finance syndications and secondary markets for trade assets.

  • BAFT and FSR Support Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization

    by User Not Found | May 01, 2015

    BAFT and FSR Support Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization

    BAFT and the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) issued a joint letter to Senators  McConnel and Reid as well as Representative Pelosi and Speaker Boehner expressing a strong support for reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
    Key Points in Support of Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization Include:

    • Ex-Im Bank contributed to the recovery of trade finance markets during the economic crisis. It continues to increase the availability and affordability of trade finance.
    • Ex-Im Bank plays a vital role in international trade by filling the gaps in trade financing that cannot be provided in the private sector. Ex-Im Bank complements rather than competes with private sector lenders.
    • Ex-Im Bank leads to job creation and helps sustain global competitiveness in trade.
    Read the complete joint letter. For additional information, please email
  • BAFT Submits Comments on Basel Standardized Approach Consultation

    by User Not Found | Mar 31, 2015
    On March 27, BAFT submitted comments on the Basel Committee’s proposed revisions to the standardized approach to credit risk. 

    Read the full document here
  • Joint Association Letter Supporting U.S. Ex-Im Bank

    by User Not Found | Mar 26, 2015
    BAFT, along with a coalition of other industry associations submitted a formal letter of support for the long-term reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

    A full text of the document can be found here.
  • BAFT Submits Comments to EBA on Recovery and Resolution

    by User Not Found | Feb 05, 2015
    On February 5, BAFT submitted comments to the European Banking Authority (EBA) asking for clarification on the treatment of trade finance and other contingent obligations under implementation of the EU recovery and resolution regime: read the letter here.