Bruno Mellado is responsible for payments and receivables at BNP Paribas and leads a competence centre in Belgium for cash management, where the bank collaborates across its entire group on solutions for corporates. A key part of his role is helping treasury teams solve concrete problems through best practice.
Mellado has prioritised staying close to clients over the last two years, ensuring his team is ready to help corporates solve key concerns around access to financing and supply chain management solutions particularly. “Some industries have been impacted more than others,” he says.
Moreover, he notes that over the past 18 months corporates have sent less RFPs for new cash management providers. “I think that's because clients are more concerned about making sure they can navigate through the pandemic as well as the systemic changes that have occurred in their industries,” he says.
To help clients, the bank compiles case studies of best practice in its ‘Journeys to Treasury’ publication, written with key partners including the European Association of Corporate Treasurers, SAP and PwC. “We hope that this will inspire other treasurers on solving real challenges”, says Mellado. It’s also a call to action to join the industry discussions and jointly create the future of treasury with all participants in the ecosystem.
Mellado says that BNP Paribas’ approach is centered on the knowledge the bank has of its clients’ business. “We can use the data we have to deduce the working capital health of a particular client or a whole industry. Through discussions and requests to our sales teams, we can address clients’ working capital issues through a particular set of solutions and advise on ways in which the bank can help them to improve their KPIs.”
Mellado looks particularly into how companies are using their working capital to support both their own business growth and their clients’ and suppliers’ capital needs at the same time, for example, offering extended payment terms for business to business sales with advanced payment platforms managing risk through instant credit scoring.
“In 2022, the discussion will be more about finding those solutions which enable firms to regain momentum in the economy and catch up on growth. The working capital challenges to solve will be different by industry, for example the airline industry will need to focus on liquidity whereas the auto manufacturing sector may need to focus on its supply chain financing.
Another theme for 2022 includes the distribution of products in new ways and settling payments via e-commerce sites. These are the things that our clients are asking us to help with. They want to build new ecosystems to help their own clients and suppliers, he concludes.