Best Banks for Risk Management
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s substantial investment in platforms and solutions in the treasury and cash management space is helping its clients gain a clearer view of their cash and liquidity, enabling them to make better-informed investment and cash management decisions. Its online portal provides clients with a single view of their accounts with the bank as well as access to a range of tools that clients can use to view and analyze a wide range of data across all aspects of treasury, cash management, debt and investments. With most cash management banks striving to play more of an advisory role to their customers, BoAML advises companies on “process improvements” they undertake to make their their working capital do more for them.
Deutsche has invested in technology and solutions to give clients greater understanding of and control over cash flows and balances across Europe. In the wake of the credit crisis, counterparty risk is uppermost in the minds of treasurers, who want to work with banks that have the balance sheet and financial strength to continue to invest in solutions that deliver greater savings, cost efficiencies and transparency. Deutsche Bank is building a more unified solution that provides customers with a single view across all their treasury activities, including investments, as well as more robust cash forecasting tools to help companies gain greater control and visibility over their cash so they can make better-informed decisions.
Citi’s global reach and investment in technology enables it to deliver a creative mix of solutions that can be customized to the local, regional or global requirements of customers. In 2011 it will pilot its Cash2Mobile solution across a number of markets in Asia. The solution eliminates the risks associated with using cash, by enabling payment for merchandise to be collected using a mobile device. Citi has also beefed up its analytics capabilities with its treasury diagnostics product, which helps clients benchmark their performance against industry best practice.
While other global cash management banks have scaled back their Latin American operations, Citi remains committed to the region. It has integrated its payments platform with its supplier finance program to provide benefits both for buyers who want to extend payment terms and suppliers who want to access liquidity. In 2011, Citi plans to make its target-balancing solution more available in Latin America to help companies better manage their global cash and liquidity needs. It is also working with central banks and governments in certain markets to develop Real-Time Gross Settlement Systems and ACHs.
Central & Eastern Europe
With a presence across 17 markets in CEE and deriving a large portion of its revenues from the region, Raiffeisen Bank International is well placed to help clients address specific risk concerns they may have. It understands local market regulations well and has developed an innovative range of solutions and local market expertise to help clients overcome local restrictions on moving excess liquidity from within the region to accounts held somewhere else. In addition to providing a wide range of instruments for managing interest rate, currency and commodity risks, it also provides cash-pooling solutions to help companies optimize interest and liquidity.
When it comes to providing solutions and advice on helping companies gain greater insight into a wide range of processes that affect cash and liquidity, SEB sets itself apart from other Nordic banks. While other global cash management banks are only now introducing working capital analytics or benchmarking, for some time now SEB has promoted its corporate financial value chain concept, which looks across a financial supply chain encompassing purchasing, payments and collections, cash management and short-term investments, and looks for ways to improve all steps in the process and help companies benefit from industry best practice. It is also leveraging SEPA standards to help companies optimize their liquidity in Europe.
In markets such as Pakistan, Citi is helping companies reduce their days-sales-outstanding so they can gain access to liquidity more easily. It is also helping companies in the region exert greater control over their commercial spending with Virtual Card Accounts, which provide unique numbers that enable administrators to more flexibly control spending on each card. Virtual card numbers also reduce the opportunity for fraud. Global solutions it has developed to help companies analyze their performance across a range of industry benchmarks and optimize their liquidity are also available to companies in the region. In the UAE the bank has also developed a wages protection system solution in accordance with local regulations.
Citi believes maintaining its physical presence in South, East, Central, West and North Africa enables it to provide a more seamless cash management service to clients. The bank attributes its increased liabilities in the region to its ability to develop innovative solutions to overcome some of the challenges that come from operating across a region made up of disparate regulations and different levels of market sophistication. In Nigeria, for example, Citi spearheaded the development of online real-time banking. In Algeria it has delivered cash concentration solutions to help with the management of liquidity. And in Senegal it is automating the clearing of checks. Corporates in the region can also use its online banking platform to gain more control over transactions and reporting on accounts they hold with other banks.