Photo of Barbara Harrison, Citi, Darsh Johal, Roland Peppink and Stuart Madell, Shell Treasury Centre Ltd.
This is a classic lesson in relationships driven by Shell’s incumbent bank at the time (RBS) announcing it would wind down its international cash management business. Shell fast-tracked a RFP, selected Citi and mobilised resources to migrate its cash management arrangements – projects of this scale would normally take up to three years to complete. Due to the relationship, this was all achieved in 18 months and many aspects of this project are now part of Citi’s best practice template for client implementations.
Head of Global Cash Management
Senior Project Manager
Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in the Netherlands and incorporated in the United Kingdom. It is one of the world’s leading oil and gas companies and among the largest companies in any sector globally. It operates in over 70 countries worldwide, has approximately 92,000 employees and produces 3.7m barrels of oil equivalent every day.
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How would you respond if your bank informed you they are exiting the business?
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was Shell’s primary cash management bank for Western Europe and its main currency bank for CHF, EUR and GBP.
In early 2015, Shell initiated a request for proposal (RFP) process for its cash management business in Western Europe. It was about to hear pitches from eight shortlisted banks at the request for information (RFI) stage when RBS announced plans to wind down its international cash management business. RBS’s deadline to close customers’ accounts and operations across the region was the end of 2016.
Shell needed a bank to help it manage a smooth transition of a large range of mature operational processes – across its business, treasury and IT landscape – in a short space of time.
As Darsh Johal, Head of Global Cash Management explains, “We decided on a like-for-like replacement; our selection criteria was speed of delivery, reach and capability, a clear legal framework, robust and reliable operations and service model, and the ability to migrate existing payments in Germany to a SEPA card clearing solution.”
The number one priority for the project team was to manage the transition on time and maintain the high level of operational and process performance to minimise any business impact. The scale of the project combined with the extremely tight deadline, encompassed numerous challenges:
- The mandate covered 16 countries.