Is there a role for forfaiting within the ICC’s Banking Commission?

This is a question which was discussed between the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Forfaiting Association (IFA) on May 11 in Paris.
The IFA made a presentation of the association’s activities, especially the work on market practice guidelines, and answered questions. The IFA sent a small delegation, composed of the lawyers who have been involved in the drafting of the guidelines (Geoffrey Wynne of Denton Wilde Sapte and Sean Edwards of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp Europe (SMBC), together with acting IFA chairman Lucio Matassoni of SMBC and Credit Agricole Indosuez’s Daniel Vignial.

Matassoni recently replaced chairman Dino Skandalis as (acting) chairman of the IFA, as Skandalis has left his position as global head of forfaiting at Standard Chartered.

Matassoni says: “It is rewarding to see the ICC interested in us and we are happy to meet and talk with them. Before any agreements are made though we shall want to have a board meeting on the type of relationship we would want with the ICC and also to have the market practice guidelines published.”

The IFA is entering a final stage of approval for the market practice guidelines – a set of guidelines for forfaiters to use and relate to and which have been a few years in the making and refining.

“We are only one inch away from completion,” says Matassoni. “We’ve received every comment we can. We went out to the membership for their ideas and feedback as much as possible.” Updates on the very latest version of the guidelines are being discussed with the German regional committee and an agreement appears to be in. Saying this, however, Matassoni does admit: “The guidelines are not set in stone and the market practice committee will review them on an ongoing basis to ensure they reflect market practice.”