Afghanistan Banks Association (ABA) is a non – political, non-government, not for profit, and independent association established in September 2004 to meet the need of growing banking sector as a united body representing all banks to serve as their voice in dialogues with Da Afghanistan Banks (DAB), Government and other Stakeholders. ABA was initially founded by nine licensed banks, but membership has since grown to include 14 duly licensed banks.
ABA strives to promote a strong, healthy and competitive banking industry in Afghanistan and it represents the common interests of Afghanistan banking sector. ABA is funded primarily by its member banks, but is empowered to generate its own revenues and to accept donor funding.
ABA’s transformation was initiated in 2012, when the board of directors decided to implement ABA’s Strategic Plan and build its advocacy functions through financial, technical and infrastructure development assistance. Since then, ABA has undergone a significant revival, making major progress toward becoming a proactive association that can meaningfully act on behalf of its members.
ABA has been taking vital steps to expand financial inclusion in the country by arranging access-to-finance roundtables in provinces, and several yearly access-to-finance exhibitions covering businesses in all sectors of the economy operating in Afghanistan.
Moreover, ABA has conducted trainings, workshops, and arranged work groups on important banking sector related topics to its members, such as corporate governance, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) lending, purchase order finance, and value chain finance with the support from the Financial Access for Investing in the Development of Afghanistan (FAIDA) project of USAID. Future efforts of ABA will be directed more toward the implementation of the ABA Strategic Plan, the development of its institutional systems and processes, regular arranging of Access-to-Finance exhibitions to promote the formal banking sector, and working on banking sector legal issues, advocacy and policy research.
Over the life of the ABA, its most notable achievements have been creation of AIBF, elimination of the Business Revenue Tax for member banks, sizeable reduction of the mortgage deed registration fee, development of KYC forms, closely work with DAB and Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) , and large cash transaction reporting, short term training for its member banks on various topics, such as basic banking, trade finance, risk management, as well as its ability to gain consensus on most issues.