CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE – Sean Edwards, ITFA Chairman / Head of Legal and Special Adviser to The Global Trade Finance Department At SMBC, Nov 2021

Dear Members and Friends,

I cannot but start with the commitment made by the UK government during the COP26, to make the UK the world’s first ‘net-zero aligned financial centre’, which will eventually make it compulsory for companies to publish their plan setting out how they will decarbonise and transition to net zero. An interesting and bold, dare to say, well needed pledge, made by the British Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, in an attempt to make the world a better place.

With the fitful recovery from Covid, the rise in consumer prices largely owing to energy price increases and the supply chain crisis leading to shortage of manufactured goods, we sometimes forget other, more serious, crises. For example, the civil war that has been going on in Ethiopia has recently spread further south, leaving no choice to the country’s government but to declare a state of emergency. Concern is now that the current conflict, which has forced over 400,000 people into famine, is entering a new phase making it much harder to control and wind down prompting further actions which could be even more devastating for the faith of the country.

On a happier note, we are pleased to report that we have had an overwhelming response to our Christmas Party which will be held in London on the 6th December.  As customary, we will be organising an early afternoon seminar, starting at 14:00hrs, where we will be discussing Credit Insurance; Trade Finance Funds; Ecosystems, Open Banking and Platforms; and Financing Trade in Emerging Markets. The party will follow, at 18:30hrs at the Savage Garden Rooftop Bar. This event is open to ITFA members only.

We already have over 100 guests registered for the educational seminar and over 200 guests attending the party and will soon be reaching capacity limits.  If your institution has not yet approached us, we urge the respective main delegate to send an email to

In this month’s edition of the newsletter we have an interesting read which takes us back to the ITFA annual conference; an article written by Katharine Morton – Head of Trade, Treasury and Risk at TXF titled: ‘’Giddiness and stoicism on world trade and ESG at ITFA.’’ Naura Hussain, Chair of ITFA MERC, shares a summary write-up of ITFA’s Middle East Regional Committee Annual Trade Finance Distribution Webinar entitled: ‘’Understanding the blueprint for Regional Trade Finance Distribution.’’ Andre Casterman, ITFA Board Member and Fintech Chair, writes a post Bristol conference fintech article titled: ‘Collaboration at its best – how our strategic trade finance market initiatives put it to work.’’

ITFA is pleased to announce that the following two institutions have joined our ever growing association: Cope Ehlers P.C. and Sterling Bank PLC.

We look forward to hearing from you with any feedback you may want to share with us by sending an email to myself, any of the Board Members or to our general email,

Best wishes,

Sean Edwards

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