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Best Practice Handbook

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Cash Management in the Nordic and Baltic Regions

Contents

Section 1: Exploring the Nordic and Baltic Regions
Section 2: Pan-regional cash management considerations
Section 3: Nordic country overviews
Section 4: Baltic country overviews
Section 5: Regional checklist

Introduction

This revamped Handbook is designed to provide corporate treasurers with a detailed insight into the cash management issues that companies face when operating in the Nordic and Baltic regions.  We begin by discussing which countries fall under the ‘Nordic’ and ‘Baltic’ labels and then in Section 1, we 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 competitiveness of the regions’ individual economies, whilst touching on trends such as the adoption of e-invoicing and the importance of sustainability in the Nordics and Baltics.

Cash management in the region is complicated by the fact that there are numerous 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 provide an update on euro adoption across the Nordic and Baltic countries.  As the Baltic states grow closer to the Nordics and all eventually adopt the euro (so far only Estonia has adopted the single currency), it is possible that cash management in the Nordic and Baltic regions may not differ significantly from cash management elsewhere in Europe.

SEPA and its impact on the region is another topic covered in Section 2, together with the intricacies of cash pooling in the Nordics and Baltics.  Here we explain the most commonly used pooling structures, with a specific focus on the Nordics’ own version of cash pooling, known as ‘single legal account pooling’.  Naturally, cash management products do vary between providers in the regions and we also take a look at distinguishing between the cash management banks in the regions.

Variation of cash management services and general business practices affecting treasury among the specific countries in the region is an additional challenge.  In Section 3, therefore, we explore each of the countries in the regions 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.

Finally, in Section 4, we provide a checklist for those companies considering the expansion of their cash management structure into the Nordic and Baltic countries.  This provides treasurers with a strong starting point for their further research into doing business in the regions.

For more information on the topics covered in this Handbook, readers may also be interested in our Best Practice Handbook, European Cash Management: a practical guide in which we take a broader look at cash management issues.