Best Bank for Cash Management: Global Winner
Citi’s Global Transaction Services division invests $1 billion annually in technology in an effort not only to keep up to speed with customers’ needs but to preempt their future requirements, particularly when it comes to new payment types such as prepaid cards and mobile payments. Citi is piloting a mobile-payment collection solution, which reduces the need for retailers to pay for merchandise using cash. Toward the end of 2010 the bank introduced its Treasury Diagnostics online benchmarking solution to help companies improve efficiencies across a range of processes, including working capital and liquidity management. It also continues to build on the success of earlier innovations by adding an intercompany lending module to its award-winning TreasuryVision platform. “We are continuing to invest in new innovations as our clients around the globe rely on us to help them remain competitive and grow their business in the evolving global business landscape,” says Paul Simpson, managing director and global head of treasury and trade solutions at Citi Global Transaction Services.
Best Bank for Cash Management by Region
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
According to Greenwich Associates’ 2010 US Large Corporate Treasury Management Study, BoAML provides domestic or international cash management for 73% of large US companies. It is also highly active in the mid-tier market. BoAML boasts a wide range of paper-based and electronic banking capabilities including check-clearing, wholesale lockbox and remote deposit. Clients also benefit from the bank’s investment in its new CashPro Online portal, which provides customers with a “single sign-on” for treasury, debt, liquidity, investment, trade and foreign exchange solutions, as well as online chat and a range of tools for data analysis. “Our cash management business is driven by our vast array of clients, global footprint and tremendous industry expertise, which enables us to meet our clients’ evolving needs in North America or wherever they do business,” says Dub Newman, head of global treasury sales at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Today’s CFOs and treasurers take a much more holistic view of their financial needs, so we approach the relationship in the same manner. By fully understanding the linkages between the clients’ individual requirements, we’re able to develop solutions to match the spectrum of their goals.”
Deutsche Bank has cemented its position in the European market by investing in an array of new and improved solutions to help customers better manage their liquidity and foreign exchange, reducing the up-front investment associated with SEPA direct debits and expanding its on-the-ground presence in a number of key markets. It is also enhancing its liquidity management capabilities to provide customers with a single point of access for managing their cash positions, analyzing data, as well as executing short-term investments. “In today’s challenging environment, we have continued to win market share thanks to the high quality of our products and services and sustained investment in the business,” says Martin Runow, head of cash management, corporates, EMEA. “We have continued to increase our regional presence. For instance, in April last year we completed the takeover of 20% of ABN Amro’s domestic commercial banking franchise, resulting in us becoming the fourth largest domestic bank in the Netherlands. In addition, we increased our spending on products and platforms and have focused intensively on further improving the customer experience with the main objective of making it easier for clients to conduct business with Deutsche Bank.”
Competition for the coveted Best Overall Cash Management Bank Asia award is increasing year-on-year with local and foreign banks investing heavily in their regional capabilities as they seek to capture a share of the world’s fastest-growing economies. In that time, HSBC’s commitment to the region has never wavered, and the extensiveness of its network continues to be recognized by industry analysts. It continues to win mandates across the region, demonstrating the depth and breadth of its product offering and the growing complexity of its customer base. It remains at the forefront of efforts to further liberalize the Chinese renminbi by offering an array of RMB-based transaction services. It is also recognized as playing a leading role in extending Swift corporate connectivity to customers in the region.
Companies in Latin America are turning to Citi to provide them with a single-bank solution for gaining greater control over their regional cash flows. For firms looking to execute payments across the region, Citi is integrated with an increasing number of clearinghouses or ACHs. It is leveraging its investment in solutions, such as its TreasuryVision platform, to provide customers with the level of visibility and control they desire, as well as with its growing expertise in prepaid cards to ensure the faster and more secure delivery of funds. It is also helping companies with decentralized treasury operations in the region move to a highly centralized model using the latest technologies and integrated payment solutions. “Citi offers a consistent cash management platform across 24 Latin American markets, allowing clients to send both domestic and cross-border payments to multiple countries across the region in a single file,” says Carlos Castro, head of Citi’s Latin American treasury and trade solutions. “This is a key differentiator for Citi and a unique value proposition for our clients.”
“Citi offers a consistent cash management platform across 24 Latin American markets”
“Clients [can] send both domestic and cross-border payments to multiple countries across the region in a single file” – Carlos Castro , head of Citi’s Latin American treasury and trade solutions
Central & Eastern Europe
UniCredit UniCredit claims to have the largest international banking network in Central & Eastern Europe, with more than 9,500 branches. the regional powerhouse continues to invest in a wide range of liquidity, payments and collections solutions to assist its customers in the region in better managing their cash and liquidity. Given its extensive market coverage and knowledge, it is able to develop highly customized solutions for clients. “This award again proves that UniCredit is on the right path for the cash management business in CEE,” said Ernst Ohmayer, global head of cash management at UniCredit. “Thanks to our capability to offer strong cross-border services and our developing domestic solutions, we were able to win several new important international clients. Our local expertise combined with a strong network mirrors the effectiveness and the deep know-how of multifaceted regulations and restrictions in these countries.”
Size and geographical reach are important factors when assessing a bank’s ability to service customers on a regional basis, but increasingly customers are looking for more. SEB takes a different approach with its corporate financial value chain concept, which measures various aspects of a company’s financial supply chain against industry benchmarks. “SEB has a long tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship, and the past few years have been no exception, with the introduction of the financial community The Benche, leading the integration of cash management and trade finance, introducing the Corporate Financial Value Chain and being at the forefront of SEPA development,” says Patrik Havander, head of concept and packaging for global transaction services at SEB. “Being a regional bank with some of the most advanced treasury clients in the world has of course challenged SEB over the years. In order to stay in the race, we have been forced to be smarter and faster than our global competitors.”
HSBC’s extensive network in the region continues to win it new business across all market segments, including multinationals, SMEs and middle-market companies. HSBC secured a number of regional mandates encompassing payments, liquidity management, cash management, collections and single-window solutions leveraging its online platform, HSBCnet. In 2010 it enhanced its payment query capabilities across the region, launched a number of innovative liquidity management solutions including a “global liquidity engine” for clients, and piloted services such as electronic bank account management. “Our breadth of reach and depth of expertise in the Middle East give our customers confidence that our solutions will deliver best-in-class performance and functionality, resulting in a reduction of risk throughout the working capital cycle by improving payments and collection processes and providing global visibility and ready access to liquid funds,” comments Natasha Patel, head of payments and cash management at HSBC MENA.
In 2010, Standard Bank saw transaction volumes and cash management deposits increase in South Africa based on the success of its electronic banking platform. Using the platform, customers can view their relationship with the bank across the entire range of products, currencies and countries. With a presence in 17 African markets, Standard Bank is committed to expanding its reach within the region. With its home market being South Africa, Standard Bank is well placed to support corporate clients looking to develop Shared Service Centers to support their regional activities. According to figures published by the South African Reserve Bank, as of August 2010, Standard Bank had a 31% share of the South African corporate demand deposit market. Neil Surgey, head of global transactional products and services at Standard Bank, says: “Winning these Global Finance awards is particularly significant because they reflect our success in investing in the development of on-the-ground banking capabilities in many African markets.”