The International Forfaiting Association has added “trade” to its wider remit to become the International Trade and Forfaiting Association (ITFA) in a bid to continue its development into a professional trade body and facilitator of global trade.

In line with this broader duty, the association has appointed an additional three board members, bringing the total number to nine.
The move, which was revealed at the association’s annual conference in Barcelona last week, is in recognition of the fact that all ITFA members participate in business that extends beyond the traditional definition of forfaiting.

“The forfaiting market is continually evolving: it was the buying and selling of promissory notes, but has evolved to the risk mitigation of trade finance,” says IFA board member Silja Calac.

“As forfaiters, we originate and distribute short-term trade risk in the form of receivables in the primary and secondary markets,” explains ITFA deputy chairman Sean Edwards.

“The distinctive part of what we, as ITFA, are doing and the reason why we’re not throwing out forfaiting – and rather trying to rehabilitate the word – is that we are a very distinctive, but changing, part of trade receivables financing. That is what makes us distinct from other trade bodies. It’s the more commoditised, shorter tenor end of the market that is really important at the moment. This is what we do and this is where forfaiting has always worked,” Edwards adds.

The ITFA board now consists of the following individuals:
Paolo Provera, ABC International Bank: chairman
Sean Edwards, SMBC: deputy chairman and responsible for market practice and rules
Luiz Simione, HSBC: institutional relations
Paul Coles, Bank of America Merrill Lynch: education and itec (the association’s technical committee)
Lorna Pillow, London Forfaiting Company: communication
Damian Austin, Barclays: regions
Lixin Guo, Bank of China: Asia
Silja Calac, UniCredit: insurance and will deputise Paul Coles in education
Daniel Schaer, Zurcher Kantonalbank: treasury

The list includes three new board members (Simione, Austin and Coles), voted in at the association’s AGM in Barcelona, as well as two new positions: insurance and institutional relations.

“With regards insurance, which was previously not covered, we want to increase relations with private insurers, ECAs and brokers,” says ITFA chairman Paolo Provera. “For institutional relations, we have brought in Luiz Simione, who has the knowledge and expertise to open doors to these associations.”

Provera explains that the increase in board members is down to the greater number of projects that the association has in the pipeline. Among these include advocacy work in co-operation with other associations such as the ICC, Baft and EBRD and assisting members in getting up-to-speed with new regulatory requirements. As an example, ITFA is currently seeking a legal opinion for all members to comply with CRD IV.

In addition to these new responsibilities, the association will continue its educational training courses, workshops and networking events.