ANNUAL SURVEY: DIGGING DEEPER
By Anita Hawser
Companies want ever-more-detailed information to better manage cash and liquidity. Those banks that are investing in best-in-class risk and liquidity management solutions are winning corporate clients.
Last year was a difficult one for most of the large global universal banks. Many experienced ratings downgrades and a more difficult operating environment for raising capital. Despite these challenges, these banks continue to dominate global treasury and cash management services provision.
There is good reason for that. With bank funding conditions constrained, now more than ever before treasurers are looking for greater visibility over their global cash and liquidity. And it is the large global cash management banks that have the resources to make the ongoing investment required to provide solutions with detailed real-time information across multiple bank accounts and currencies. It is also these banks that continue to plow money into more-sophisticated liquidity management solutions for sweeping that excess cash into consolidated accounts, where it can be invested or used by companies for capital expenditure.
Most of the current investment on both the bank- and treasury-management side in risk and liquidity management solutions is aimed at providing treasurers with the depth and breadth of information they need to make informed decisions regarding their exposures. Mobile corporate banking and payments also remain attractive areas of investment. Regional providers are also increasingly being used by both financial institutions and corporate clients—particularly in emerging markets like Africa and Asia, where they have an extensive on-the-ground presence and local market knowledge, which is often unmatched by the larger global providers.
For large corporates that are serviced by top-tier global banks, they differentiate solution providers based on level of sophistication and the ability to provide solutions that are consistent globally in terms of look and feel and can also be integrated seamlessly, masking the complexity that exists at the local market and local bank level.