Ex-Im Chairman to Bankers: ‘Our Job is to Help You Be Successful’

ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols and Ex-Im Bank Chairman Kim Reed

U.S. Export-Import Bank Chairman Kimberly Reed said today that she is currently in the process of working through $40 billion in applications that the bank received while it was awaiting reauthorization by Congress. “We are thoughtfully now going through those applications and starting to vote on those,” she said today in an interview with ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols at the BAFT Annual Conference on International Trade in Chicago.

With the Ex-Im Bank facing another lapse in authorization in mid-November, Reed also said she is working to educate lawmakers on the important role the bank plays in international trade in the hopes of securing a long-term reauthorization—a longstanding priority for both ABA and BAFT, ABA’s global transaction banking subsidiary. She debunked several myths about the Ex-Im Bank, including the myth that it competes with private-sector institutions, emphasizing to bankers that “our job is to help you be successful.”

Reed added that she is working to forge constructive relationships with critics of the bank on Capitol Hill, and has taken several steps to assuage concerns, such as re-opening for comment several of the bank’s policies and procedures. Looking ahead, Reed told bankers that “you’re going to see us be more transparent [and]shar[ing]more information. I also want to help us fulfill another mandate—making sure we’re competing around the world.”