Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

A Q&A with BAFT

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

A Q&A with BAFT

Article excerpt

As the leading global financial services association for international transaction banking, ABA subsidiary BAFT helps forge solutions across financial institutions, services providers and the regulatory community to promote sound financial practices enabling innovation, efficiency and commercial growth. We recently caught up with president and CEO Tod Burwell.

Q: December saw the successful renewal of the Export-Import Bank charter. To what extent was BAFT involved in the advocacy efforts in support of renewal?

A: Extensively. As with previous renewals, BAFT was part of an industry coalition that included hundreds of organizations supporting the need for the U.S. to maintain competitiveness in international trade and grow jobs through exports. BAFT and the Financial Services Roundtable were typically the organizations most out front in representing the role and interests of the financial services community in export financing. Our efforts included meetings with members of the House and Senate, testimony for congressional committees, articles, op-eds, press interviews and participation in round table discussions between members of Congress and the private sector on the practical realities of how trade is conducted, the role and limits of private sector banks and the gaps that the Ex-lm Bank fills.

Q: New payment technologies are evolving rapidly. What are some things BAFT is doing to stay on top of innovation?

A: The disruption of fintech has set off a wave of innovation within the banking community and a sense of urgency to understand new technologies--not just for payments, but for improving profitability, capability and service across multiple areas.

BAFT recently created an Innovation Council which brings together banks and fintech companies to provide market education and awareness of relevant new technology, examine how new technology is impacting payments and trade finance and drive ongoing dialogue with regulators to ensure that regulation evolves to fit the new digital world. We have also hired a new staff leader to drive our payments efforts, looking at interoperability of cross-border faster payment systems, and to oversee our emerging technology initiatives. …

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