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Wolfsberg News

24 January, 2017

The Wolfsberg Group, The Banking Commission of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and BAFT jointly announce today the publication of The Wolfsberg Group, ICC and BAFT Trade Finance Principles. The guidance document updates the Wolfsberg Group's Trade Finance Principle's paper last revised in 2011. This broader industry edition now addresses the due diligence required by global and regional financial institutions of all sizes in the financing of international trade.

The document was updated to reflect the growing regulatory expectations, as well as the more stringent application of existing regulations faced by the industry today. The collaborative effort will help standardise the practice of financial crimes compliance for trade transactions.

The publication of this document is the culmination of more than two years of work undertaken by the organisations and their members.

"In keeping with the traditional work of the ICC Banking Commission this guidance on sound financial crimes risk management for the traditional trade products follows in the steps of the UCP, URC etc. in setting standards by which banks should conduct their trade business and to provide a sound basis for the continuation of the finance of international trade by banks," said Olivier Paul, Head of Policy of the ICC Banking Commission.

"When the leading industry associations work together, a stronger and universally acceptable standard of behaviours can be developed and adopted by all of the global trade finance community regardless of size," said Tod Burwell, BAFT president and CEO. "These principles take into account the difference in development, cultures and size of all banks involved in trade finance and are not specific to any one country."

"The extensive collaboration between the Wolfsberg Group, the ICC and BAFT to enhance the Wolfsberg Group's 2011 Trade Finance Principles paper will serve a much wider number of FIs and, as a result, ensure their applicability more broadly across the industry. This publication is particularly timely in light of the recent focus on international trade flows and correspondent banking. This effort demonstrates the impact that such joint work can have on the industry and will no doubt drive further efforts on other issues in the future," added Tracy Paradise, the Executive Secretary of the Wolfsberg Group.

PDFTrade Finance Principles-Wolfsberg Group, ICC and the BAFT, 2017

About The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the world's largest business organization with a network of over 6.5 million members in more than 130 countries. We work to promote international trade, responsible business conduct and a global approach to regulation through a unique mix of advocacy and standard setting activities—together with market-leading dispute resolution services. Our members include many of the world's largest companies, SMEs, business associations and local chambers of commerce. www.iccwbo.org

About BAFT
BAFT, the leading global financial services association for international transaction banking, helps bridge solutions across financial institutions, service providers and the regulatory community that promote sound financial practices enabling innovation, efficiency, and commercial growth. BAFT engages on a wide range of topics affecting transaction banking, including trade finance, payments, and compliance. The association website is www.baft.org.

Global Banks: Global Standards

The Wolfsberg Group is an association of thirteen global banks which aims to develop frameworks and guidance for the management of financial crime risks, particularly with respect to Know Your Customer, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing policies.

The Group came together in 2000, at the Château Wolfsberg in north-eastern Switzerland, in the company of representatives from Transparency International, including Stanley Morris, and Professor Mark Pieth of the University of Basel, to work on drafting anti-money laundering guidelines for Private Banking. The Wolfsberg Anti-Money Laundering Principles for Private Banking were subsequently published in October 2000, revised in May 2002 and again most recently in June 2012.

The Group then published a Statement on the Financing of Terrorism in January 2002, and also released the Wolfsberg Anti-Money Laundering Principles for Correspondent Banking in November 2002 and the Wolfsberg Statement on Monitoring Screening and Searching in September 2003. In 2004, the Wolfsberg Group focused on the development of a due diligence model for financial institutions, in co-operation with Banker's Almanac, thereby fulfilling one of the recommendations made in the Correspondent Banking Principles. More information is available by clicking on the "Due Diligence Repository" link above.

During 2005 and early 2006, the Wolfsberg Group of banks actively worked on four separate papers, all of which aim to provide guidance with regard to a number of areas of banking activity where standards had yet to be fully articulated by lawmakers or regulators. It was hoped that these papers would provide general assistance to industry participants and regulatory bodies when shaping their own policies and guidance, as well as making a valuable contribution to the fight against money laundering. The papers were all published in June 2006, and consisted of two sets of guidance: Guidance on a Risk Based Approach for Managing Money Laundering Risks and AML Guidance for Mutual Funds and Other Pooled Investment Vehicles. Also published were FAQs on AML issues in the Context of Investment and Commercial Banking and FAQs on Correspondent Banking, which complement the other sets of FAQs available on the site: on Beneficial Ownership, Politically Exposed Persons and Intermediaries.

In early 2007, the Wolfsberg Group issued its Statement against Corruption, in close association with Transparency International and the Basel Institute on Governance. It describes the role of the Wolfsberg Group and financial institutions more generally in support of international efforts to combat corruption. The Statement against Corruption identifies some of the measures financial institutions may consider in order to prevent corruption in their own operations and protect themselves against the misuse of their operations in relation to corruption. Shortly thereafter, the Wolfsberg Group and The Clearing House Association LLC issued a statement endorsing measures to enhance the transparency of international wire transfers to promote the effectiveness of global anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing programmes.

In 2008, the Group decided to refresh its 2003 FAQs on PEPs, followed by a reissued Statement on Monitoring, Screening & Searching in 2009. 2009 also saw the publication of the first Trade Finance Principles and Guidance on Credit/Charge Card Issuing and Merchant Acquiring Activities. The Trade Finance Principles were expanded upon in 2011 and the Wolfsberg Group also replaced its 2007 Wolfsberg Statement against Corruption with a revised, expanded and renamed version of the paper: Wolfsberg Anti-Corruption Guidance. This Guidance takes into account a number of recent developments and gives tailored advice to international financial institutions in support of their efforts to develop appropriate Anti-Corruption programmes, to combat and mitigate bribery risks associated with clients or transactions and also to prevent internal bribery.

Most recently, focus has expanded to the emergence of new payment methods and the Group published Guidance on Prepaid & Stored Value Cards, which considers the money laundering risks and mitigants of physical Prepaid and Stored Value Card Issuing and Merchant Acquiring Activities, and supplements the Wolfsberg Group Guidance on Credit/Charge Card Issuing and Merchant Acquiring Activities of 2009.

You may reach the websites of the individual member banks of the Wolfsberg Group via the links to the right.

For background information on the Wolfsberg Group and its work, you may find it useful to read the attached articles "The Wolfsberg Group" by Hans-Peter Bauer and Gemma Aiolfi and "The Private Sector becomes active: The Wolfsberg Process" by Mark Pieth and Gemma Aiolfi.