Banking & finance

Five takeaways from the ICC Banking Commission’s Technical Meeting

  • 9 October 2019

ICC Banking Commission hosted its annual technical meeting in Paris covering digital rules, standards for trade finance and updates from key working groups and task forces.

The three-day meeting – organised by ICC and co-hosted by ICC France – gathered over 200 delegates from around the world to discuss the latest developments facing trade finance profesisonals to ensure that the industry’s rules and guidelines remain relevant.

Here are the key takeaways from the meeting:

  1. ICC is supporting Finance for Development

As part of its 100th anniversary, ICC has realigned its guiding principles and objectives to enable business worldwide to secure peace, prosperity and opportunity for all. The ICC Banking Commission Technical Meeting provided an opportunity to formally introduce this vision to the trade finance and banking community.

In his opening remarks to the meeting, Olivier Paul, Director, ICC Finance for Development, presented the organisation’s renewed strategy, including ICC’s five topline campaigns. Each campaign includes proposals for policy reform to inspire real action by business leaders and policy makers.

Under the “Lead for the long-term”campaign, the ICC Finance for Development hub will promote the alignment of financial regulations, investment decisions and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Finance for Development hub embodies ICC’s role as a rule-maker for trade finance banking products, by maintaining a strong, permanent dialogue with industry professionals, regulators and supervising bodies.

  1. Digital Rules and Standards for Trade Finance

The Technical Meeting provided delegates with an opportunity to learn more about ICC’s Digital Trade Standards Initiative (DTSI), which seeks to develop standards and protocols to enable the next era in digital trade. In line with this initiative, ICC provided an update on the New Uniform Rules for Digital Trade (URDT), a high-level framework outlining obligations, rules and standards for the digitalisation of trade finance.

Since December 2018, several Drafting Group meetings have taken place, resulting in the creation of an intial framework, which was shared with delegates at Technical Meeting. The URDT is the ICC Banking Commission’s latest effort to reduce barriers for those participating in today’s digitalised trade finance environment.

  1. Updates from ICC Working Groups and Task Forces

Each year, the ICC Technical Meeting allows delegates to learn more about the ICC Banking Commission’s upcoming plans and projects, including updates from various ICC Working Groups and Task Forces. During the morning plenary sessions, delegates received updates on key ICC Banking Commission initatives, such as the latest edition of the ICC Trade Register, the Global Supply Chain Forum, and the Working Group on Sustainable Trade Finance. Other important topics discussed included ICC’s participation at COP25, the release of Incoterms® 2020, and launch of ICC’s new Knowledge to Go e-commerce platform.

  1. ICC experts issue Official Opinions

In one of the most critical sessions of the Technical Meeting, ICC experts announced their official opinions on ICC rules related to letters of credit, including TA891, TA892, TA983, TA894, TA895 and TA896. These opinions are the approved interpretation of ICC’s universally accepted rules and guidelines for international banking practice.

  1. ICC France International Banking Summit

Following the conclusion of the Technical Meeting, ICC France will be hosting a partner event on “Trade Finance Rules and Practices in a Changing World” at HSBC France’s headquarters in Paris. The summit, which takes place on 10 October, will gather trade finance banking professionals from France and around the world.

Topics of discussion will include digital transformation across the trade finance industry, corporate responsibility and sustainability and customer expectations in transaction banking. Other agenda items will explore anti-money laundering, economic sanctions and anticorruption. Discussions will ensure that these vital trade finance tools remain relevant and fit for purpose in an increasingly digital and paperless environment.