The merger between the two main trade associations for those engaged in cash management and trade finance was confirmed on 19 january. In a joint statement, the bankers’ association for finance and Trade (BAFT) and the International financial services association (IFSA) said the new organisation would be called bafTIfsa and will take its place as the most significant pressure group in this area.
The statement went on to say: “The merger will ensure a balanced approach to leadership while providing a seamless transition of governance and committees. It will result in an association that is stronger financially as a combined entity and will provide an equitable assignment of dues among its member banks based on global asset size. a combined organisation significantly increases the ability to grow and expand membership and provide programmes and services to a broader global market.”
Looking ahead to how the new body would operate, it seems that operations will remain largely unchanged. The existing committees of both BAFT and IFSA will initially remain intact. during 2010 several committees that currently cover the same product areas may be combined. at this time, however, it is anticipated that there will be very few, if any changes.
BAFT currently operates out of Washington DC whilst the Ifsa has its headquarters in Parsippany, new jersey. both of these offices will remain operational while the integration goes ahead. a final decision on where the new body will be headquartered will then be made. The issue of dues was also addressed. bafT-Ifsa said: “for financial institutions, membership dues for the association will be based on the global asset size of the member. supplier members’ dues are based on the participation level of the individual supplier. We believe that this is the most equitable way of assessing dues.” for most financial institution members, the dues structure will be phased-in over a five-year period so that no single member will change significantly in any single year. for suppliers, due to the modest change, the new structure will be phased in over a three-year period. for many members who were members of both bafT and Ifsa they will see a decrease in dues. each member has received detailed information on the dues for their organisation, the amount of change for each year during the phase-in period and the amount of change over five years. Donna alexander, president of bafT, will become CeO of bafT-Ifsa, while dan Taylor, president and CeO of Ifsa, will become president and COO of BAFT-IFSA. alexander said: “The combined organisation yokes the unique strengths of BAFT and IFSA, increasing our ability to grow and expand membership and provide programmes and services to a broader global market. Members of BAFT-IFSA will benefit from a financially stronger organisation with greater influence around the globe.”