This Handbook is an updated and expanded version of our 2011 publication of the same name. It is designed to provide corporate treasurers with detailed insight into cash management issues that companies might face when operating in the Nordic and Baltic regions, as well as ideas for overcoming these challenges.
We begin by discussing which countries fall under the ‘Nordic’ and ‘Baltic’ labels and then look at the business landscape in the Nordics and Baltics, discovering how the regions came to be seen as one market. We also look at the level of innovation that seemingly runs through the veins of the regions’ economies, whilst touching on trends such as the adoption of e-invoicing and the importance of co-operation between the Nordics and Baltics.
Cash management in the Nordic-Baltic region is complicated by the fact that there are still different currencies in use. In Section 2, therefore, we examine the impact that this multi-currency environment has on pan-regional cash management structures. And given that euro adoption among the nations seems to have come to a halt for now, we also examine whether cash management in the Nordics and Baltics will ever be harmonised with the rest of Europe. Section 2 also covers the intricacies of cash pooling, not least the Nordics’ own version of cash pooling, known as ‘single legal account pooling’. Naturally, cash management products do vary between providers in the region and we take a close look at distinguishing between the cash management banks in Section 3. This Section is new for the 2015 edition of this Handbook and also looks at technology vendors operating in the Nordic-Baltic region, whilst providing tips on preparing a successful RFP.
Variation of general business practices affecting treasury among the specific countries in the Nordic-Baltic region is an additional challenge that treasurers face. In Section 4, therefore, we explore each of the countries in the region on an individual basis, providing a macroeconomic picture, details of the banking sector as well as an overview of the payments and clearing landscape, investment instruments and tax considerations. Another new addition for 2015, Section 5 of this Handbook looks at corporate treasury benchmarking in the Nordics and Baltics. Drawing on data from Treasury Today’s own Benchmarking Studies and recent research conducted by Nordea, this Section outlines best practice in benchmarking, whilst highlighting the strategic priorities for forward-thinking treasurers.
Finally, in Section 6, we provide a brief checklist for those companies considering the expansion of their cash management structures into the Nordic and Baltic countries. This provides treasurers with a starting point for their further research into doing business in the region.