Political and economic uncertainty, coupled with cyber and data secu-rity, are uppermost in the minds of corporations that do business in Central and Eastern Europe.
CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE
Best Overall Bank for Cash Management
Commerzbank has a footprint on the ground in most countries in the region, backed by global cash management solutions. Global Payment Plus, the bank’s online multibanking application, provides global visibility of accounts and transactions, and its corporate mobile app offers best-of-breed functionality and services, including multibank visibility of accounts.
The bank has increased corporate lending by 12% since 2013 and holds a significant share of the trade finance market in the region and is a global leader in export finance. Its working capital solutions help companies benefit from faster flow of funds and increased transparency in the trade cycle.
Commerzbank has a CET1 ration of 13.6%, or fully loaded CET1 ratio of 11.8%.
Best Bank for Liquidity Management
UniCredit has one of the largest regional footprints in CEE, with an on-the-ground presence in 14 countries. It is a top-five bank in most of these markets. The bank provides multibank cash pooling across the region and offers both zero balancing and target-balancing pooling structures. UniCredit stands out for both its regional and its local-market solutions. For example, UniCredit Bulbank, based in Bulgaria, offers not just cash pooling and liquidity and interest optimization solutions, but also physical cash collection services across the country. In Romania, the bank offers zero-balance, target-balance and reverse-balance cash sweeps along with domestic and regional cash pooling. In Hungary, the bank offers cash pooling, along with a product called EuropeanGate, which is a multibank digital banking solution connecting accounts across CEE.
Best Bank for Payments and Collections
ING has a presence on the ground in all of the major markets of Central and Eastern Europe, and has been in most markets consistently for 20 years or more. It offers domestic and multinational corporates a full suite of solutions to supports their treasury and financing needs.
The past year saw the further development and roll-out of ING’s digital banking platform, InsideBusiness, which offers clients a single point of access to the bank’s products and services—including payments and collections, e-banking, financial markets and lending. Last year, the bank launched a single sign-on for all payment services.
But the biggest development in recent years is the ING Virtual Cash Management solution. VCM is a multibank self-service portal to manage group cash, which enables corporate in-house banks to provide both payments-on-behalf-of (POBO) and true collections-on-behalf-of (COBO) for subsidiaries.
The bank also holds annual internal 'innovation bootcamps,’ during which the best 100 ideas put forward by ING employees are presented, and winners receive a budget to develop and implement their idea.
Best Provider of Short-Term Investments/ Money Market Funds
Deutsche Bank Group
With a longtime presence in the region, along with its European and global solutions, Deutsche Bank is well positioned to meet the investment management needs of both local companies and multinationals.
Given the diverse markets and local banking systems, changing regulatory structures—plus the current investing climate—managing short-term investments can be challenging. And trying to eke out some earnings while focusing on capital preservation and ensuring necessary available liquidity is almost impossible.
Deutsche Bank also offers corporate clients a range of tailored liquidity management services, including automated cash concentration, pooling and intraday or overnight investment services. The bank’s products provide real-time information and offer a global view of cash positions, allowing companies to invest excess liquidity more strategically on an intraday, as well as overnight, basis.
In addition, Deutsche Bank’s asset management arm has Eu186 billion in asset under management in EMEA ex-Germany, is one of the top bank-owned asset management firms in the region and globally, and has a range of investment solutions catering to the current climate and investment needs of corporate clients.
The bank has a CET1 ratio of 11.1%.
Best Bank for Working Capital Optimization
Raiffeisen Bank International
The bank’s longtime presence in Central and Eastern markets have given the bank a truly regional outlook and product set, while also providing solutions tailored to specific markets in the region. On the working capital front, Raiffeisen has unique offerings that match its client base in each market, and enable suppliers—and corporates—to make their order-to-cash or procure-to-pay cycles more efficient and allow them to unlock trapped cash.
One of the big things that stands out about the bank is its focus on solutions that solve problems for clients. As an example, the Cash Management Billing System (an honoree in Global Finance's Innovators program) may seem like a simple solution, but it answers a longtime desire on the part of cash managers by providing transparency to the bank-corporate relationship.
The bank has a fully-loaded CET1 ratio of 12.3%.