Reflections on BAFT’s Europe Bank to Bank Forum
Written by Uzair Bawany
“A New Era of Challenges and Opportunities”
Late last month, BAFT held its first event of 2023 – Europe Bank to Bank Forum in London, UK. This is a signature regional event which highlights the pressing issues in the industry. The theme of this particular forum was “A New Era of Challenges and Opportunities”, where I held a talk titled, “Re-Imaging Trade Digitally”.
BAFT (Bankers Association for Finance and Trade) is a leading international banking association. An entity based out of Washington D.C., it is an authority in the areas of trade, payments, financial crime, regulation, innovation, and strategy. A key way that BAFT encourages progression is through various events that they hold internationally. These events provide platforms for industry leaders to convene, conference, and create.
If you are have been following us for a while, reading the forum’s theme should make you feel encouraged and positive! We work continuously to provide solutions to trade finance challenges whilst creating opportunities for expansion.
We live the mantra, breaking the barriers to trade through the power of people and technology. I
Reflecting upon the experience, it was a great way to set the pace of change as we start the year !
Being able to take the stage to discuss digitisation and trade, as well as Traydstream’s solutions to trade finance’s most pressing issues suited the theme well I felt.
The energy of a room full of enthusiastic innovators was motivating. I was truly impressed by the quality of the event – from the organisation and management, to everything in between. It really felt as though people were happy to be there in person, and there was a genuinely global crowd in attendance – so good to see the world’s diversity represented by the attendees.
Throughout conference, I had a number of takeaways that I thoughts may be worth sharing:-
1. The outlook on the trade industry as a whole was positive – more so than last year
2. Some very good insight into trends and overall market movement for the present and future, especially around the general acceptance that trade digitisation is now necessary
3. The temperature towards digitisation, automation, and technological tools to provide real-time solutions is HOT!
4. The appetite for change is becoming more apparent but banks work at their own pace and are mindful of current infrastructure and internal systems – so pace can often be slower than the original desire
5. That’s why it’s critical that solutions are adaptable to the needs of the client across countries and bank size.
6. Banks are recognising the role of innovative fintechs, with strong use cases / case studies and proven track records with other banks. This has been a welcomed view from our end as we gain traction globally.
The Forum was an engaging and exhilarating way for us to push the envelope for what is possible in re-imagining trade in the 21st century. Outside of presentation and panel times, we spent time conversing with representatives of the industry from all over the world. It was important to get global insights from Africa, Europe, the US, and APAC – as it allows us to drive region-targeted solutions and drive the agenda globally.
Some of my personal highlights included:
1. Understanding the MLETR and E-Docs Focus Trade Bill
2. A presentation titled, “A View from the Top with Transaction Banking Global Leaders” – the insights and views were invaluable and they conducted their panel with open dialogue that was thought-provoking
3. I received some very positive responses to the talk, “Re-Imaging Trade Digitally.” The discussions genuinely reinforced our believe that our value proposition really does cater to current market demands!
4. I was also encouraged to hear that many banks are undergoing transformation in their trade business in some shape or form , where each region has different banking systems, practices, and processes
The confluence of thought leaders under the BAFT banner continues to be at the forefront of what the finance and trade communities need. We are excited to see the industry blossom in the coming years and want to play an integral role in supporting the efforts globally within these communities, leading these conversations and sharing our experiences and innovation.
Thank you for allowing Traydstream to share the stage; we’ looking forward to BAFT’s next event!