Background

The ICC Commission on Banking is a leading global rule-making body for the banking industry. It produces universally accepted rules and guidelines for international banking practice.

About the commission

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The ICC Banking Commission's rules on documentary credits, entitled the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP), were first issued in 1933, and are the most successful privately drafted rules for trade ever developed, forming the basis for more than US$1 trillion in trade each year. Their recent revision, UCP 600, has been broadly welcomed by practitioners worldwide.

In addition to the UCP, the Banking Commission has produced other widely used rules as well. The Uniform Rules for Collections (URC 522), revised in 1995, covers changes in collection procedures, technology and laws and regulations, both national and international.

The Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees (URDG 758), which came into effect in 2010, are the most reasonably balanced code of practice available for international independent guarantees, and were endorsed by UNCITRAL in 2011. The Uniform Rules for Bank-to-Bank Reimbursements under Documentary Credits, (URR 725), revised in 2007, are the first rules to provide a more structured basis for processing these reimbursements.

The ICC Trade Register shows the low-risk nature of trade finance to support imports and exports and contains data reflecting no less than 60-65% of traditional global trade finance activity, worth approximately US$2-2.5 trillion. Financial regulation requires a solid understanding of the critical issues by all sides - government, regulatory, industry, and multilateral institutions. The 2013 Register report entitled 'Global Risks - Trade Finance 2013' is an indispensable tool for both policymakers and financial executives.

Building on its leverage in rule-making, the commission has expanded into other areas. In cooperation with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, SWIFT, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the International Finance Corporation - the commission provides vital market intelligence for regulators with its annually produced ICC Global Survey of Trade and Finance .

The commission has been engaged in a joint effort with SWIFT to develop the Uniform Rules for Bank Payment Obligation to support SWIFT's Bank Payment Obligation (BPO) initiative. Official launch and adoption in 2013 was met with 100% adoption from ICC national committees the commission's bi-annual meeting in Lisbon. The aim is to offer banks the foundation to provide their corporate customers with multi-banking services for global trade operated on open account.


Other services include the Commission's International Standard Banking Practice for Examining Documents under Documentary Credits ( ISBP 2013 Edition ); the new set of Uniform Rules on Forfaiting (URF) for the primary and secondary markets - adopted in November 2012 and which took effect in January 2013; a Task Force on Anti-Money Laundering; and a Counter-Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Working Group.


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