European treasurers face regulation, rising geopolitical risk and a changing market landscape. They want banking partners that can help them deal with this complexity. Only the best treasury and cash management banks can walk that road successfully.
Best Overall Bank for Cash Management
Confronted with a dramatically evolving political landscape, corporations in the European market face increasing challenges in managing cash and liquidity. Add to that new regulations and regulatory agencies, a low-interest rate environment and a vast, rapidly developing array of e-solutions and the result is that corporate clients drift toward market leaders. In addition, the transaction services marketplace is seeing some players leave while others enter the fray. In these conditions, BNP Paribas is one such leader that has benefited from these trends. The bank boasts over 40,000 corporate clients on a global basis. It has been rapidly growing its TCM footprint in recent years, and that investment has paid off. A recent survey by Greenwich Associates ranked BNP Paribas first in Europe in terms of corporate banking penetration, at 60%. The bank increased its Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) capital adequacy ratio in 2016 to 11.4%. In the nine months to Sep. 30, 2016 the bank reported revenue in its Corporate and Investment Banking division of $8.6 billion. In its third-quarter 2016 results, the bank cited continued expansion of transaction banking as a key driver of growth. BNP Paribas is also a leader in innovation in the treasury management and transaction services space. The bank was named one of Global Finance’s Innovators 2016 after launching a service aimed at making it easy for online marketplaces and e-commerce companies to meet regulatory approval and deliver transaction services to customers.
Best Bank for Liquidity Management
As Europe is a diverse, highly fragmented market with different payment and settlement services in each country, it can be difficult for corporates to manage their liquidity. Thanks to Societe Generale’s (SG) Sogecashweb multibank solution, treasurers can view all of their firm’s cash positions in any currency and any country, or by subsidiary or by bank counterparty. SG provides tailored solutions for corporate liquidity management that incorporate investments, strategic advisory services, capital raising and capital structure optimization. In the nine months to Sep 30, SG reported net corporate banking income of €1.2 billion, up 6.9% over the same period in 2015. Its contribution to overall Group income rose 20% over the previous period.
Best Bank for Payments and Collections
ING is one of the Top 3 providers of payments and collections services in the region by market share and that position rises to the Top 1 or 2 spot in a number of markets within the region. At a time when many banks are reducing their footprint and annual investment, ING is expanding both in terms of its footprint and services offered. The bank has fully embraced the “partner and invest” approach to new product development and boasts partnerships with 65 fintechs worldwide, having also taken a stake in 10 tech outfits. The bank is highly motivated to reduce complexity and increase efficiency and ease of use in its corporate banking and payments operations. As one example, it rewrote all of its banking and relationship contractual documentation and now has just one contract for clients across all core payments and cash management services. In addition, the bank made major additions to its corporate banking portal —InsideBusiness. As the bank notes: “In 2016 many new features have been added to the InsideBusiness portal like, Intercompany Loan Administration, ING Trade, Proof of Payments and client self-services like track-and-trace functionalities, customized dashboards, online support, etc.”
Best Provider of Short-Term Investments/ Money Market Funds
Deutsche Asset Management
Companies in Europe face severe challenges in managing short-term liquidity. Negative rates are still a key concern in the region and post-financial-crisis rules for European MMFs are still being finalized. At the same time, in order to comply with the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR), banks are relying less on short-term funding—putting pressure on short-dated supply. To deal with this complex environment, companies must partner with providers that excel in creating tailored solutions for clients.
The asset management arm of Deutsche Bank has €715 billion in assets under management worldwide, including €279 billion in Germany and €186 billion in the rest of EMEA with more than 60 years in the investment management industry. With resources on the ground in more than 40 countries worldwide and a team of over 900 analysts, economists and investment professionals, the bank is well positioned to provide best-in-class solutions for short-term investments. It has a broad range of money market funds and short-term investment products tailored to the changing MMF landscape in Europe and worldwide.
Deutsche Bank has been working hard to improve its risk profile, bringing its CET1 ratio up to 11.1% in the third quarter of 2016 from 10.8% in the second quarter. And in the first nine months of 2016, Deutsche Asset Management grew profits 7% over the previous year period to €549 million.
Best Bank for Working Capital Optimization
Deutsche Bank’s strong focus on developing its financial supply chain (FSC) management products enables its clients to support suppliers in their working capital needs while also maximizing efficiency of their own working capital cycles. Its FSC portal allows clients and their suppliers to closely monitor the procurement process. On the trade side, the bank offers pre-and-post-shipment finance, along with confirmed payable funding opportunities for suppliers.
At the other end of the cycle, Deutsche Bank supports clients’ distributors with financing to purchase finished goods. And for corporates themselves, the bank is increasingly focused on receivables finance programs. As the bank notes: “Corporate clients (sellers) increasingly choose to enter into revolving Receivables Purchase Agreements (RPAs) with Deutsche Bank to obtain access to alternative, attractively-priced funding.”