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BAFT-IFSA Member Update - November

by User Not Found | Nov 22, 2013
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BAFT-IFSA Member Update

November 22, 2013

Table of Contents

News and Developments

Committee and Council Updates

Membership

Events

Education and Training

Global Trade and Finance Update

Upcoming Events

Thank You To Our Affinity Partners

jpmorgan - transparent -intl trade            Bank of America-web            PNC

Quote of the Week

"Strengthening bank capital is not simply about asking banks to hold more capital. Rather, it is a broader objective that involves ensuring the functioning of the entire capital regime. The Basel Committee's approach has therefore been to work extensively on the consistent implementation of the regulatory capital framework. The ultimate goal is to implement Basel III so that it strengthens the quantity, quality, consistency and reliability of bank capital ratios around the world."

Mr Stefan Ingves, Chairman of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and Governor of Sveriges Riksbank, in a keynote address to the Ninth High Level Meeting for the Middle East & North Africa Region, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, November 18, 2013

News and Developments

BAFT-IFSA Hosts Successful Annual Trade Conference

The BAFT-IFSA 23rd Annual Conference on International Trade, hosted from November 6 to 8 at the InterContinental Magnificent Mile Hotel in Chicago, was a successful event, boasting record attendance for Chicago. Sessions actively engaged attendees during both program days. Keynote speakers included the Honorable Patricia M. Loui from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, William Strauss from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and James Warren from the New York Daily News. For the first time, sessions were recorded and will be posted on www.baft-ifsa.com in a few weeks. Recorded sessions will be free to conference attendees, and a nominal fee will be charged to non-attendee members and non-members. Special thanks to the program committee, led by Gerry Scalgione from JPMorgan Chase, for organizing a high-caliber program.

“Congratulations on an excellent Trade Conference. Well organized, professionally presented and extremely good content and value for the attendees. There was an excellent vibe in the room, the constant theme being that this had been good value for money.”
– 23rd Annual Conference on International Trade Conference attendee and BAFT-IFSA member.

BAFT-IFSA Addresses FELEBAN Assembly on Regulatory Issues for Trade and Transaction Banking

On November 19, BAFT-IFSA addressed the 47th Annual FELABAN Assembly in Miami, Florida. The Assembly brought together leading bankers from the Latin American region and beyond and BAFT-IFSA engaged with the group on issues concerning Basel III implementation and advocacy. http://www.asambleamiami.com/

BAFT-IFSA Continues Global Outreach on Transaction Banking Regulatory Impact; APEC Releases Trade Finance Survey and Policy Recommendations

BAFT-IFSA continues to advocate on behalf of its members in the various regions concerning the impact of financial regulation on transaction banking services. In coordination with a meeting of the BAFT-IFSA Asia Council, BAFT-IFSA met with national regulators in Singapore and Hong Kong to follow up on issues regarding recent BAFT-IFSA letters on the Basel III leverage ratio and liquidity coverage ratio. This engagement coincides with continuing dialogue in Europe, the U.S. and through multilateral channels to represent the views of transaction bankers globally. Efforts are led by the BAFT-IFSA Regulatory Affairs Committee, in coordination with the our Liquidity Working Group and Global Trade Industry Council.
To read the letters, click here and here

Additionally, in October 2013, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) released a report on trade finance availability and regulatory hurdles in the Asia Pacific region. The report makes several policy suggestions as trade finance relates to Basel III that are in line with the recommendations of the trade finance industry. http://publications.apec.org/publication-detail.php?pub_id=1470

Extension to FACTA Deadlines Requested

On November 18, the American Bankers Association (ABA), of which BAFT-IFSA is an affiliate, along with three other trade groups, submitted a letter to the IRS and U.S. Department of Treasury requesting extensions of deadlines for withholding, withholding documentation, implementation of new account opening procedures, and reporting for calendar year 2014.
To read the letter, click here

BAFT-IFSA Holds Information Session with the Fed on Payment System Improvement Paper

BAFT-IFSA hosted a conference call on Monday, October 28th, 2013 with the New York Federal Reserve Bank on key issues from the "Payment System Improvement - Public Consultation Paper". More than 50 BAFT-IFSA members attended the call. BAFT-IFSA encourages individual banks to submit responses to questions posed in this paper. The Fed is seeking industry input on:

  • The Federal Reserve Banks’ perspectives on gaps, opportunities, and desired outcomes articulated in this paper;
  • Potential strategies and tactics to shape the future of the U.S. payment system; and
  • The Federal Reserve Bank’s role in implementing these strategies and tactics.

The deadline for responses is December 13, 2013. Click here to access the paper

 

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Committee and Council Updates

Council Update

Global Trade Industry Council

The Global Trade Industry Council (GTIC) received updates on The London Group’s work on the Term Sheet and the Trade Loan Documentation Working Group’s next steps regarding the draft Bank to Bank Master Trade Loan Agreement and fact that they will engage borrowers in most active markets for input on the draft. GTIC discussed that BAFT-IFSA is responsible for the standard agreement and that the ICC will handle the accompanying Guidelines Document. The GTIC discussed the upcoming FATCA webinar and received regulatory updates, including updates on the consultative letters submitted by BAFT-IFSA on the Basel Liquidity Coverage Ratio Clarification, Basel Intraday Liquidity Standards, and the U.S. Supplementary Leverage Ratio Proposal.

North America Council

The BAFT-IFSA North America Council met on November 13 to discuss strategy and planning for 2014. In addition to moving forward with governance structure changes, the Council also finalized work-streams for the year including: consultant outreach, KYC/AML impact and regulatory issues, and education/training. The Council is now set to meet four times in 2014 with the next meeting scheduled for February 2014.

Asia Council

The Asia Council met on November 20 in Singapore. The discussion focused on the BAFT-IFSA strategy work that has been done across the regions and the key steps necessary to leverage work across the association, including ensuring that the London Group priorities are communicated and understood in Asia. The Asia Council discussed and endorsed the work plan for 2014, which includes collaboration with Asian Banker and GTR/Exporta, as well as the ASEAN Bankers Association and SWIFT. The Asia Council agreed that the LC workshops planned for Asia in 2014 may be best developed in concert with the ASEAN Bankers Association.

Global Regulatory and Legal Committees

Global Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy Committee

The BAFT-IFSA Regulatory Affairs Committee is engaging in follow up regarding recent BAFT-IFSA Submissions on the Basel III leverage ratio, liquidity coverage ratio and Basel Intraday Liquidity Monitoring. Efforts are underway, in coordination with the GTIC and the BAFT-IFSA Liquidity Working Group, on direct engagement with the Basel Committee and national regulators.

Trade Committees and Working Groups

Financial Supply Chain Committee

The Financial Supply Chain Committee focused on the compliance approach to BPO, including KYC and OFAC requirements related to BPO products. A best practices guidelines document addressing these issues is being considered for drafting.

Commercial Letters of Credit Committee

The Commercial Letters of Credit Committee reviewed educational materials drafted by the Southeast Regional Committee which will be presented at the Southeast Global Trade Workshop on February 13-14, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. The draft materials consisted of 20 game questions and a PowerPoint presentation covering ISBP745. An ad hoc meeting will be held in early December 2013 to finalize the review of the draft materials.

The London Group

The London Group continues its work on completing the requested Term Sheet for the GTIC to include an outline of a structure, an investor education program, and an indication of the financial commitment that would be needed to plan and attract institutional investors to trade assets.

Trade Finance Committee

The Trade Finance Committee received an update on the Trade Loan Documentation Working Group’s progress during its London meeting and its approach to engage borrower banks to obtain their input on the Bank-to-Bank Master Trade Loan Agreement. The committee also heard a presentation on the Banking Environment Initiative’s Sustainable Shipment LC.

Trade Loan Documentation Working Group

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) provided a second draft of the Bank to Bank Master Trade Loan Agreement to the Trade Loan Documentation Working Group members, who reviewed it at an in-person meeting in London on November 13-14, 2013. BLP is completing a third draft of the document to be circulated to the Working Group by November 22nd. The Working Group has assembled a list of recommended countries and an approach to borrowers to get input into this agreement from their perspective.

Oil and Commodity LC Working Group

The Oil and Commodity LC Working Group continues its work on developing the best practices for handling LC and Demand Guarantee transactions tied to oil and commodities and continues drafting a best practices document that will address industry commonalities, outline potential risks and best ways address them.

Risk-Purchased Letters of Credit Subcommittee

The Risk-Purchased Letters of Credit subcommittee is developing best practices regarding participations in Syndicated letter of credit facilities. Members reviewed a questionnaire and responses received from the subcommittee member banks on how those banks approach the process when they are not agent on the facilities.

Payments Committees and Working Groups

Funds Transfer Product Management Committee

The Funds Transfer Product Management Committee received an update from the most recent SWIFT Cash & Trade meeting on the status of change requests for 2014, the PMPG survey on claims, sanctions messaging, and funds codes, and an update from the SWIFT trade finance group on change requests for 2015 and 2016 that also relate to payments. The committee received an update on the CFPB and the implementation of Regulation E; while it appears too early to assess the process, the CFPB is actively analyzing the legislation to ensure that it works. The CFPB is still exploring FFIEC reporting requirements. The committee discussed the FRB Consultation Paper on Payment System Improvement and collecting input from payments committees and the business case for the U.S. to adopt ISO 20022. The committee reviewed an “Ask the Expert” question on back valuation and Funds Transfer rules.

Regulation E Task Force Update

The Reg E Task Force discussed the implementation of Dodd-Frank 1073 Regulation E, the approaches banks were taking to change their fee structure to absorb Reg E costs, and that the CFPB wants to continue to improve how the regulation works as well as increase consumer awareness of Reg E. While members did not report any major issues with implementation, the Reg E Task Force will continue to monitor. The Red E Task Force discussed FFIEC reporting and the understanding that the CFPB will issue reporting requirements before the end of the year, which may be retroactive.

Payments and Compensation Committee

The Payments and Compensation Committee discussed the implementation of Dodd-Frank 1073 Regulation E on October 28th, and members did not report any issues with implementation at this time. The committee will continue to monitor. The committee received an update from SWIFT that the PMPG did not publish a formal market practice document for the use of CCT as a code word for these transactions. SWIFT also provided an update on 2014 standards release and the work SWIFT is planning for FATCA on setting direction for GIIN numbers. The committee received an update on the work of the PMPG to utilize header fields in specific message fields to identify fraud-related inquiries and discussed Ken Isaacson’s presentation of the Fed’s “Payment System Improvement” paper and recent survey circulated by KPMG for the development of the business case for U.S. adoption of ISO 20022. The committee also reviewed and responded to an “Ask the Expert” question about account file record field lengths, funds transfer rules and back valuation, and mapping payment details from an incoming Fed to fields on an outgoing SWIFT.

Information Reporting Subcommittee

The Information Reporting Subcommittee discussed the development of the business case for the adoption of ISO 20022 in the U.S.

If members have any "Ask the Expert" questions for a committee to review, please send them to Melissa Edwards at medwards@baft-ifsa.com. Names of members and banks will be removed to protect privacy. Please note that all comments are unofficial from a BAFT-IFSA perspective and are only member comments.

 

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Membership

Membership Update

A second dues invoice for Fiscal Year 2014 was emailed to all unpaid members during the first week of November. If you have any questions about the invoice or do not receive your invoice, please contact Channing Daniel, Senior Manager of Member Outreach, at cdaniel@baft-ifsa.com.

BAFT-IFSA would like to welcome the following new members of the association:

  • Akshay Software International Inc. – Princeton, NJ – Supplier Basic
  • Wintrust Financial Corporation – Chicago, IL. and its subsidiary banks – Lake Forest Bank & Trust Company, Lake Forest, IL and North Shore Community Bank, Wilmette, IL – Financial Institution

We would like to grow the BAFT-IFSA membership in FY2014. Please feel free to send an e-mail to membership@baft-ifsa.com with any recommendations about financial institutions, supplier companies or government agencies that you know and you feel would benefit from BAFT-IFSA membership. Your suggestions are always welcomed.

Thank You to Our New Affinity Partner

We would like to welcome our newest partner to the BAFT-IFSA Affinity Program, PNC Bank. If your institution is interested in becoming an Affinity Partner, please contact Kathryn Hoch.

PNC

 

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Events

Registration Now Open: BAFT-IFSA 2014 Global Annual Meeting – Europe "Driving Higher Standards"

The association’s premier conference, the Global Annual Meeting, returns to London from January 19 – 21, 2014 at the Landmark London.

This year's conference, "Driving Higher Standards", features topics such as know your customer (KYC), sustainability, cybercrime security, commodity finance, the future face of banking, liquidity, and much more. New this year, the annual Global Trade Finance Awards, given by Global Finance, will be presented during the Tuesday night dinner of the conference. Keynote speakers include:

  • Just Announced! John Winter, CEO, Barclays
  • Sharon Bowles, MEP, Chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, European Parliament

Early registration savings end December 10, 2013.
Register today and save!

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Learn more or email khoch@baft-ifsa.com for additional information.

Registration Now Open: Southeast Global Trade Finance Workshop

Do you work with letters of credit, reimbursements, and collections? Then this must-attend workshop on February 13-14, 2014 at the Citi Conference Center in Tampa, Florida is for you!

Find out more in a hands-on detailed discussion of these important topics and more at the Southeast Global Trade Finance Workshop (formerly known as the Letters of Credit workshop). Workshop highlights include:

  • Case studies and single-issue questions
  • Current industry topics like marine insurance, Incoterms, changes to ISBP745, commodity trade letters of credit, collections and more
  • CDCS attendees will receive up to 12 professional development units (PDUs)

Early registration savings end January 10, 2014. Register today to take advantage of early bird savings.

Save the Date: BAFT-IFSA North America Annual Conference – May 4-7, 2014, La Jolla, California

The BAFT-IFSA North America Annual Conference will be held from May 4-7, 2014 at the Hilton Torrey Pines in La Jolla, CA, just outside of San Diego. This year’s conference is a conference like no other! Check out a preview of what’s new and exciting about the conference:

  • Many C-level executives already lined up as keynote speakers
  • Networking, more networking, and even more dedicated networking times
  • New full day regulatory conference
  • World class, PGA course for the avid golfers

Mark Your Calendars:

New York Global Trade Finance Workshop
June 5-6, 2014
Deutsche Bank
New York, NY

West Coast Global Trade Finance Workshop
July, 2014
City National Bank
Los Angeles, CA

Global Payments Symposium
July, 2014
New York, NY

 

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Education and Training

Webinar Series

Are You Ready For FATCA?
Hosted By: BAFT-IFSA and the ABA
December 10, 2013
10:00am-11:30am EST/3:00pm-4:30pm GMT

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires - that by July 1, 2014 – a 30% U.S. withholding tax will apply to payments of certain U.S. source income (e.g., dividends, interest, insurance premiums) made to non-U.S. financial institutions (FFIs). How will you or your organization be affected? How does FATCA apply to payments and trade products?

Join BAFT-IFSA for an informative 90-minute webinar moderated by Steve Wojciechowicz, from Deutsche Bank, with industry consultants Laurie Hatten-Boyd, Principal at KPMG, Deborah Pflieger, Principal - Financial Services Organization at E&Y and Candace B. Ewell, Principal TCDR at PwC, and bank product experts Henry Pfeiffer of JPMorgan Chase and Brenda Santoro of SVB Financial Group as they:

  • Discuss the basic requirements of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”)
  • Provide information on the implementation deadline of the various facets of FATCA
  • Examine the impact of FATCA on payment clearing services and trade (treatment of rebates, revenue sharing, risk distribution, etc.)
  • Answer member questions on if and how FATCA applies to certain products and business models

Register for this webinar

Members – Free
Non-members - $99.00

Previously held BAFT-IFSA webinars, including “Trade Finance Compliance: Challenges and Opportunities in Today’s Global Economy” (November 14, 2013), “Non-Straight Through Payments to Banks in Europe” (August 7, 2013), "Trade Banks Taking a Leadership Position in International Trade" (April 2013), and Basel III Update (March 2013) can now be found on the website in the past webinars section of the BAFT-IFSA website. Please note: you will need to log on as a member to access these webinars.

 

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Global Trade and Finance Update

Multilateral

OECD: Moderate Pace of Expansion of Global Economy Over the Next Two Years

In its latest Economic Outlook, OECD notes that GDP growth across the 34-member OECD is projected to accelerate from this year’s 1.2% rate to a 2.3% rate in 2014 and a 2.7% rate in 2015. The world economy, by contrast, will grow at a 2.7% rate this year, before accelerating to a 3.6% rate in 2014 and 3.9% in 2015. The pace of the global recovery is weaker than forecast last May, largely as a result of the worsened outlook for some emerging economies.
Read More

IMF Statistical Forum Discusses the Role of Statistics for Global Economic and Financial Stability

A forum organized by the Statistics Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) discussed the key role of statistics in support of effective policy actions taken by country authorities and policy advice provided by the IMF. The forum, the first of its kind, took place on November 12-13, 2013 in Washington providing a unique setting for policy discussions on cutting-edge statistics among a broad range of stakeholders. Participants discussed recent progress in closing data gaps exposed by the global financial crisis; risk exposures in international and sectoral balance sheets; cross-border linkages and spillovers; shadow banks and global contagion; fault lines in the public sector; and potential problems from capital flows.
Read More

FSB releases Guidance for More Effective Supervision of Risk Appetite and Risk Culture at Financial Institutions

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) published on November 18, 2013 two papers to assist supervisors in strengthening risk management practices at financial institutions:

  1. Principles for an Effective Risk Appetite Framework - finalized document; and
  2. Guidance on Supervisory Interaction with Financial Institutions on Risk Culture - for public consultation.

These papers form part of the FSB's initiative to increase the intensity and effectiveness of supervision, which is a key component of the policy measures to address systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs) that were endorsed by the G20 in November 2010 to address the problem of firms that are "too big to fail". Supervisory expectations for firms' risk management functions and overall risk governance frameworks are increasing, as these were areas that exhibited significant weaknesses in many financial institutions during the global financial crisis.
Read More

FSB Publishes Global Shadow Banking Monitoring 2013

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) published its third annual Global Shadow Banking Monitoring Report. The report includes data from 25 jurisdictions and the euro area as a whole; these jurisdictions represent about 80% of global GDP and 90% of global financial system assets. For the first time the report also incorporates estimates from a hedge fund survey by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
Read More

FSB Announces 2013 Update of Group of Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBs)

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) published its annual update of the list of G-SIBs, using end-2012 data and an updated assessment methodology, published by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision in July 2013.
Read More

Recap of November 8, 2013 Meeting of the Financial Stability Board in Moscow

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) discussed vulnerabilities affecting the global financial system and reviewed work plans for completing core financial reforms. The FSB discussed work plans to complete core financial reforms in 2014, specifically building resilient financial institutions and ending too-big-to-fail, shadow banking, and making derivatives markets safer, in addition to receiving updates on accounting and auditing, regional consultative groups, and FSB governance.
Read More

 

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Europe and Central Asia

EBRD: Modest Recovery for South Eastern Europe, Muted Economic Growth in the SEMED Region

In its latest Regional Economic Prospects report, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) says that growth in all South Eastern European (SEE) countries is expected to be positive, reaching on average 1.6 per cent this year and 2.2 per cent next year. SEE is benefitting from the positive signs in the eurozone.
Read More

The same report notes that growth in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region is expected to remain muted in 2013 and to pick up only in 2014.
Read more

EU28 Trade in Goods Deficit with Japan Decreased to 1.9 bn Euro, Deficit with China Down to 62 bn Euro in the First Half of 2013

Over the last decade, EU28 international trade in goods with Japan is characterized by a regular fall in the share of Japan in the EU28's total trade in goods, more significant for imports than for exports, and a continuous deficit. The share of exports to Japan in the EU28 total fell from 4.9% in 2002 to 3.3% in 2012 and the share of imports from Japan also dropped, from 7.9% to 3.6%. As a result, the EU28 trade deficit with Japan decreased from 30.3 bn euro in 2002 to 9.0 bn in 2012.
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Meanwhile, EU28 international trade in goods with China is characterized by a strong increase in the share of China in the EU28's total trade in goods and a continuous deficit. The share of exports to China in the EU28 total rose from 4.0% in 2002 to 8.6% in 2012, while the share of imports from China also grew, from 9.6% to 18.5% in 2010 and then declined to 16.2% in 2012. As a result, the EU28 trade deficit with China which had increased from 55 billion euro in 2002 to a peak of 171 bn in 2008, fell to 147 bn in 2012.
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Eurostat Releases First Estimate for September 2013 Euro Area International Trade in Goods Surplus

The first estimate for the euro area (EA17) trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in September 2013 gave a 13.1 billion euro surplus, compared with +8.6 billion in September 2012. The August 2013 balance was +6.9 billion, compared with +5.1 billion in August 2012. In September 2013 compared with August 2013, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 1.0% and imports by 0.3%. These data are released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
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EU and U.S. Conclude Second Round of TTIP Negotiations in Brussels

On November 15, the EU and U.S. concluded the second round of week-long negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Continuing from where they left off in the first round in July, negotiators discussed investment rules, trade in services, energy and raw materials, as well as a range of regulatory issues, including regulatory coherence, technical barriers to trade and sectoral approaches. The next round of TTIP talks will take place in Washington DC in the week of December 16, 2013. meaning that, despite the postponement of the second round, the negotiations remain on track. A separate dialogue on financial services regulatory issues will take place on November 27 in Brussels.
Read More

United States – Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA)

On November 14, 2013, senior government officials from each of the TIFA Parties and Afghanistan met for the 8th United States-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council Meeting. This is the second consecutive year that the TIFA Council has met in Central Asia. The Parties reiterated their commitment to the United States-Central Asia TIFA as the key vehicle for trade and investment discussions between the United States and the countries of the region.
Read More

 

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Asia, Africa, and the Middle East

Regional Officials Assess the Future of APEC

The future of cooperation within APEC was the focus of a November gathering of regional officials and private sector representatives in Ha Noi, hosted on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Viet Nam’s ascension to APEC. Member economies are rethinking how best to achieve their goals to better support cross-border business and long-term growth, as APEC works towards greater free trade and market integration.
Read More

IMF: Mideast Faces Lower Growth Prospects, Needs Bold Policies

The near-term economic outlook for the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region has weakened, the IMF said in its latest regional assessment. The IMF’s Regional Economic Outlook for the region projects growth to decline to 2¼ percent this year and to pick up in 2014 as global conditions improve and oil production recovers.
Read More

 

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U.S. and Latin America

FDIC: Agencies Release a Regulatory Capital Estimation Tool for Community Banks

On November 19, 2013, federal regulators released a downloadable calculator to help bankers assess their capital needs under the Basel III regulations. The agencies’ calculator provides greater detail on determining changes to Tier 1 capital and charts out the phase-in timeline for the requirements. To access the calculator, click here.

U.S. Trade Deficit Increases, Exports Decline to $188.9 Billion, Imports Increase to $230.7 Billion in September 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced that total September exports of $188.9 billion and imports of $230.7 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $41.8 billion, up from $38.7 billion in August, revised. September exports were $0.4 billion less than August exports of $189.3 billion. September imports were $2.7 billion more than August imports of $228.0 billion.
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U.S. And France Agree To Combat Offshore Tax Evasion

On November 14, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that the United States signed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with France to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). With this agreement, 10 FATCA IGAs have been signed to date.
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OPIC Announces a Record Year: Setting New Finance and Renewable Energy Records and Generating Over $400 Million for U.S. Taxpayers

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) announced a record year for fiscal year 2013. A key highlight: OPIC's lending program committed an unprecedented $3.75 billion in support of U.S. businesses investing in sustainable economic development in fast-growing markets and regions around the world.
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United States and Caribbean Community Forge Stronger Relationship

On November 15, senior officials from the United States and from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) discussed enhanced cooperation in multilateral fora, an increased focus on intellectual property protection, the development of e-commerce infrastructure, and the removal of barriers to bilateral trade as important work to be done under the recently inaugurated U.S.-CARICOM Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
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U.S. Department of Treasury Releases Treasury International Capital Data for September

The Treasury International Capital (TIC) data reveals that the sum total in September of all net foreign acquisitions of long-term securities, short-term U.S. securities, and banking flows was a monthly net TIC outflow of negative $106.8 billion. Of this, net foreign private outflows were negative $101.4 billion, and net foreign official outflows were negative $5.4 billion.
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Latin American Companies Learn From Innovative Japanese Firms at Japan-LAC Business Forum in Tokyo

More than 400 businesspeople and government officials from Japan and Latin America and the Caribbean gathered Nov 7-8 in Tokyo for the Japan-LAC Business Forum, where they discussed ways that both regions can boost growth by engaging in greater trade, investment and knowledge sharing.
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FinCEN Guidance on Whether a Company is a Money Transmitter

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) on November 13 issued a ruling on whether a company that offers a payment mechanism based on payable-through drafts to its customers is a money transmitter. FinCEN concluded that the company is a money transmitter because the payment mechanism offered by the company is "based on accepting funds from its customers, storing such funds in an account the customer maintains at the Company, and transmitting such funds to participating merchants according to the customer’s instructions."
Read More

 

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