ATFA conference – bigger role for forfaiting as financial markets retrench

The 11th annual ATFA conference confirmed that forfaiting is playing a bigger part in global supply chain financing in the wake of the credit crunch.

The annual conference of the Association of Trade and Forfaiting in the Americas that took place in Miami 21st to 23rd May was attended by 80 delegates. They were drawn from 14 countries including Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, UK and the USA.

Also featured were speakers from the US Government’s Department of Commerce as well as from US Export-Import Bank. ATFA President Greg Bernardi notes that this was a noteworthy development as it recognises our industry. He continues, “The Department of Commerce has recently produced a brochure for exporters and both ATFA and the ITFA appear in it as good sources of information on trade finance.”

Importantly for the current health of forfaiting Greg says, “The banking market has changed dramatically in the last six to nine months. The banks are less liquid and I think forfaiting is now playing a more significant role in the financing of trade. Businesses are looking for support from non-core bank sources.”

Meanwhile Greg was attending his last conference as ATFA President with his successor due to be elected at ATFA’s AGM scheduled for New York in November. He thanks everyone for their support over the three and half a years of his tenure of office. He adds that ATFA is contemplating holding next year’s annual conference in Latin America for the first time, to further broaden the membership base and gain greater exposure for forfaiting in the region. Members looking to attend next year’s conference can e-mail Greg at

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