Career story: advancing in trade finance with QTFS

21 February, 2022Juno Baker

Hussain Haider has been working in trade finance for almost 20 years and, for the last year, has been the Manager of the Trade Finance Department at Alubaf Arab International Bank. Having completed three of our qualifications – CDCS, CITF and CTFC – he now holds the Diploma for Qualified Trade Finance Specialists (QTFS). 

Hussain HaiderIt was 2006 when Hussain registered for his first trade finance exam – the Certificate for Documentary Credit Specialists (CDCS). It was his first year in the trade finance team at HSBC and his manager suggested it. However work and life got in the way.

Five years later – in 2012 – he picked up his trade finance studies again, this time choosing the Certificate in International Trade and Finance (CITF).

He’d heard about from a colleague who was studying at the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) – one of LIBF’s partners.

“I was very excited and passionate about it immediately. I paid the full course fees and we both started attending the course in BIBF.”

Hussain got so much out of CITF he decided to have another go at CDCS, especially because he was able to get his studies funded.

BIBF has been instrumental in Hussain’s development and, because it’s a Tamkeen-approved training provider, he was able to get sponsorship. The Tamkeen is a semi-autonomous government agency in Bahrain that provides assistance and training to private-sector businesses and individuals.

“They’ve sponsored all my certificates,” says Hussain.

Studying trade finance qualifications

Despite having to fit it round work and family life, Hussain found the studying easy.

“The material is well written,” he says “The book explained clearly the document checking process and how discrepancies are raised, for example .”

Hussain also greatly valued the tuition from BIBF and the class group work.

“In CDCS, we were a mixed group of Bahrainis and expatriates from local and international banks in Bahrain. That made the discussion more interesting and very challenging. Our combined experience ranged from junior staff to senior staff and we made a lot of comparisons between practice and theory.”

Progressing a trade finance career

By 2013, Hussain had passed both CITF and CDCS. That really helped him advance his career.

“I got promoted in HSBC to Manager of the Export Team and then I moved to Habib Bank to lead the whole trade team in 2016.”

But Hussain still had an appetite to learn, so he embarked on the Certificate in Trade Finance Compliance (CTFC) in 2019. “The pandemic came and changed everything,” he says. Hussain had to postpone his exam and wasn’t able to sit it until September 2020.

However, he passed – successfully completing three of our qualifications in trade finance and transaction banking. That mean Hussain was awarded with a Diploma for Qualified Trade Finance Specialists (QTFS).

QTFS is a respected mark of professional achievement for anyone, but in Hussain’s case was especially distinctive as he became the first holder of QTFS in Bahrain.

Now the Manager of Trade Finance at Alubaf Arab International Bank, Hussain points out that his certificates are recognised all over the world.

“That’s helped me a lot to distinguish myself from other trade finance people.”

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More about QTFS

See all our qualifications in Trade Finance and Transaction Banking