• Track runner crossing the finish line

    How well are you doing? Benchmarking treasury

    Performance and efficiency in any aspect of treasury operations can only be reasonably evaluated when that function’s output has been measured. But in practice, how many treasurers use any form of benchmarking or system of key performance indicators? And how can they know they are measuring the right things?

  • Brass barometer pointing to change

    The challenges of cashflow forecasting

    Predicting the future is always going to be a struggle, and in reality a cashflow forecast is almost never 100% accurate – no surprise, then, that many treasurers view forecasting as one of the more problematic challenges of the job. Furthermore, when it comes to forecasting no two treasuries are alike and the differences extend to the crucial question of how accurate a forecast needs to be. However, by keeping a clear view of the objectives of the exercise and by managing subsidiaries’ reporting requirements, many of the difficulties treasurers face can be overcome.

  • Rugby players tackling

    Tackling FX risk: volatile is the new norm

    The start of the financial crisis marked an abrupt reversal in currency markets and the current volatility levels look to be here to stay. Treasurers are looking to re-evaluate their hedging strategies and in some cases are starting to revisit the types of structured product which fell out of fashion during the crisis. Meanwhile, the ways in which the largest multinationals hedge FX risk is increasingly diverging from the hedging strategies of smaller MNCs.

  • Thunder clouds and lightning over the sea

    Price hikes inevitable as Basel III looms

    The new requirements of Basel III are already forcing banks to reassess every aspect of their relationship with corporates. In core funding, trade finance and transaction services products will change and pricing will rise. It is possible that some relationships will not survive the turmoil.

  • Giant Trojan horse

    Banks bearing gifts

    A new banking tongue-twister is doing the rounds – ‘behaviouralisation’. In an effort to reconcile the needs of banks, which are focusing on longer term, stable deposits for regulatory reasons, and treasurers, who want the flexibility to move money about as and when needed, banks are encouraging desirable corporate deposit behaviour by developing products which may provide enhanced yield or other rewards for the ‘right’ deposits. Should treasurers be monitoring their own behaviour to make the most of this – or should they be wary of banks bearing gifts?

  • Photo of life buoy

    How safe are the banks?

    Although many on the world stage have begun to speak of the crisis in the past tense, there are some indicators suggesting the downturn, at least, is far from over. With efforts underway to stabilise the Irish banking sector, and with banks still failing every week in the US, it is critical for treasurers to keep vigilant when monitoring risk in the banking market and managing counterparty risk.

  • Hand with puppet strings

    Who’s pulling the strings? Treasury managed by funds

    Fund managers have a set agenda with a fixed timetable, so inevitably treasurers of companies that are acquired by these investors face specific challenges, often quite different to normal treasury practices. With funding costs and availability expected to be impacted by further regulation globally and private equity and hedge funds sitting on a substantial war chest, a treasurer might just find their company answering to a new boss with a different set of objectives. Are there any lessons to be learned from this style of management?

  • Two people fencing against each other

    Rules of engagement: show us the money

    Credit remains expensive and banks are reluctant to provide it without getting something in return. Corporates, on the other hand, often struggle to spread their business between enough banks to secure the credit they need. Despite this disconnect, in many cases those relationships that have survived the crisis are deeper and stronger than previously, with some new trends emerging in bank relationship management.

  • Can regional banks offer the ‘best of both worlds’ in cash management?

    Before the financial crisis, a single, international banking provider was the holy grail of cash management centralisation. But since the crisis, companies are wary of putting all their eggs in one basket and diversification of banks has become the norm. The result is that cash management for large MNCs is often being split with, or in a rare number of cases, turned over to, regional banks. With their crisis-proof balance sheets, the regional banks, like Standard Chartered, DBS Bank, RZB, or Santander among others, have been taking cash management market share from big networking banks. The result has impacted the cash management environment and is changing the way banks and corporates do business.

  • SWIFT – Getting more standardisation for your money

    Last month we looked at how companies are increasingly using the SWIFT network and the growing popularity of service bureaus as the means for connecting. This month we investigate where SWIFT is developing, and how its partners are offering new value added services for corporate customers. As companies demand more standardisation and straight through processing in the treasury – and at speed – can SWIFT and its partners deliver to make a difference to your treasury operations?