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SEPA: From Compliance to Innovation

Mark McNulty, Citi - Edith Rigler, gtnews Freelance Consultant - 29 September 2014
The pressure to be compliant with the single euro payments area (SEPA) end date, originally 1 February 2014 before a six-month extension was granted, led many banks to adopt tactical rather than strategic solutions. Despite the addition of an extra transition period to bring credit transfers and direct debit payments into the SEPA format, some banks are still adopting a compliance-only approach.

Basel III: Why the Liquidity Coverage Ratio is a Game Changer

Dimitrios Raptis, Citi - 8 July 2014
In the aftermath of the liquidity crisis that financial markets experienced in 2008-09, the Basel Committee of Banking Supervision (BCBS) deployed an action plan to promote a more resilient banking sector. One of the most recent radical reforms was the recent recalibration of the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR). This key metric governs a financial institution’s ability to sustain a 30-day liquidity stressed scenario which will involve, among others, a three-notch downgrade in its public credit rating, partial loss of unsecured wholesale funding, larger collateral cutbacks and partial loss of secure short-term financing transactions for certain liquid assets.

ISO XML Messaging is the Answer - the Question is which Version?

Susan Boeri, GE - Amit Katyal , GE Capital - Mark Sutton, Citi - 26 June 2014
Just as sunset follows sunrise, messaging standards continually evolve to satisfy the financial industry’s needs and ISO XML messages are no different. This article offers a closer look at the versions currently available, considerations around possible adoption and asks whether there is any real business case around a version migration. In part I, Mark Sutton explores early challenges, the current landscape and explains Citi’s perspectives on ISO XML, while in part II, Susan Boeri and Amit Katyal focus on the experience and reasoning behind GE Capital’s decision to migrate from version 2 to version 3.

Taking Bank Statement Reconciliation to the Next Level - is ISO20022 XML the Answer?

Mark Sutton, Citi - Ed Barrie CTP, Itron - 9 April 2014
The adoption of ISO 20022 XML messaging in the payments and collections origination space has enabled the corporate community to enjoy the benefits of simplification through standardisation. For the multi-banked corporate, ISO 20022 XML provides the opportunity to establish a low-cost, low-maintenance cash management architecture that enables both financial and operational efficiencies. This article considers the challenges that currently exist in the bank statement reconciliation space and the experience of technology company Itron, which is one of the early adopters of the ISO 20022 XML statement message - known as camt.053.

The New Era of Money

Tomasz Smilowicz, Citi - 5 March 2014
Money is changing. As the technology revolution starts to impact all walks of life, the way money is sent, received and even regulated is also undergoing a transformation. Following the second annual Citi and Imperial College Digital Money Symposium held in January, this article discusses the benefits of digital money to corporates.

Why has Renminbi Liberalisation been Difficult to Navigate?

Emanuela Saccarola, Citi - 27 February 2014
Liberalisation of the Chinese currency, the renminbi (RMB), has inspired scores of articles in recent years - such as those in the recent gtnews focus - seeking to explain the global implications of its increasing global use. However, the process has been multifaceted and complex, making it difficult for international companies, financial institutions and public sector entities to understand the currency’s evolution and the potential opportunities it presents.

Emerging Trends in Straight-Through Reconciliation

Phil Hong, Citi - 6 February 2014
For an increasing number of payment factories and shared service centres (SSCs) that already achieve high rates of straight-through processing (STP), optimised expense savings and efficiency gains, this article asks what many organisations want to know across the cash management and liquidity spectrum: what’s next on the agenda?

Using SEPA to Drive Centralised Receivables

Carin Ly, Citi - 11 October 2013
With account portability and standardised rules for euro automated clearing house (ACH) and direct debit collections for 33 countries, the single euro payments area (SEPA) can be a catalyst for re-engineering cash management structures and using strategically centralised receivables management to make efficiency gains, whether through a shared service centre (SSC) or a collection factory.

Beyond Efficiency: Maximising the Value of Liquidity

Amit Agarwal, Citi - 2 October 2013
The need to improve the efficiency of liquidity processes is well known. Corporates now want to know how they can do more to maximise the value of their liquidity management - while supporting their business goals. Amit Agarwal, EMEA head of liquidity management services, Citi, discusses trends in corporate liquidity management and methods - such as notional pooling - that stand to further strengthen liquidity and treasury practices.

The Changing Banking Integration Landscape: Is Cloud Technology the Future Model?

Rene Schuurman, Citi - Mark Sutton, Citi - 9 September 2013
In the highly commoditised world of transaction banking two primary forces are providing the motivation to change; corporates wanting to achieve greater financial operational efficiencies and control, and to create a competitive advantage. In many cases the key to achieving these objectives lie within the integration models. This article considers the evolution in the corporate-to-bank integration space, including redefinition of the competitive boundaries and whether cloud technology provides all the answers.

SWIFT for Corporates: Is it the Right Solution for Me?

Dmitry Simakov , Citi - Mark Sutton, Citi - 6 August 2013
SWIFT celebrated a milestone during the Corporate Forum at SIBOS, Osaka in October 2012, when corporate membership reached 1,000. While clearly the early adopters were primarily the large multinationals with a global footprint, the SWIFT corporate proposition has evolved since the original member-administered closed user group (MA-CUG) model was introduced back in 2001. This continued evolution has broadened the commercial appeal to a much wider corporate market, but one question continually asked by corporates around the world is “is SWIFT right for me?”  This article considers some of the drivers behind adoption, the adoption models being seen and finally, considerations around the total cost of ownership.

Digital Delivers for Payments and Receivables

Vikram Gupta, Citi - Emily Stern Arias, Citi - 13 June 2013
Companies and their corporate treasurers are benefitting from a move to digital payments and receivables. However there are still many corporates that have yet to reap the benefits of digitisation, which can maximise cost savings and enhance working capital. This article argues that corporates should now make the move to transform their supply chains.

The Emergence of Real-time Payments

Imran Ali, Citi - 6 June 2013
The rapid growth and development over recent years of real-time payments is examined in this article, which reviews specific national schemes, the advantages for corporate treasury and the next likely development of real-time cross-border schemes.

Making the Most of Renminbi Internationalisation

Camille Liao, Citi - Hugo Parry-Wingfield, Citi - 5 April 2013
China’s currency, the renminbi (RMB), is becoming internationalised, creating huge opportunities for multinational corporations (MNCs) that do business in the country. Treasurers can increasingly use RMB in trade finance and in other processes as the liberalisation of the currency continues, and this on-going process should be examined carefully. This article looks at RMB internationalisation, the challenges that remain and how they can be overcome.

Payroll: An Opportunity to Achieve Standardisation, Control and the Next Level of Efficiency

Merisa Lee Gimpel, Citi - 19 March 2013
Many organisations view payroll as sensitive and complicated, and are reluctant to reengineer related processes, adopting the attitude of ‘if it’s not broken, why fix it?’ for fear of causing disruption. Consequently, payroll operating models for multinational corporations (MNCs) are often fragmented and difficult to scale internationally, or even sometimes within domestic or regional markets. This article looks at why treasurers should take the risk.

Going Dutch: the Netherlands as a Location for Operations and Treasury Services

Bruin van der Sar, Citi - 23 January 2013
With advanced infrastructure, a skilled workforce, robust financial system, stable economy, and competitive tax regime, the Netherlands can meet the needs of any international company or treasury shared service centre (SSC). This article examines the practicalities of setting up in the country and provides a case study from LGC Electronics. To access the attractions of the Netherlands successfully it is important for corporates and their treasury teams to work with a trusted adviser that combines local knowledge with international capabilities.

SEPA: Standardise, Re-engineer and Rationalise Your Treasury

Karin Flinspach, Citi - Anupam Sinha, Citi - 5 December 2012
At the heart of the single euro payments area (SEPA) is the removal of barriers and requirements that previously restricted how euro payments and collections - and hence liquidity management - were conducted. With harmonised legislation and payment schemes, SEPA now provides organisations with flexibility to operate their cash management activities irrespective of the location of their counterparts, standardise their processes and rationalise their activities. While some barriers remain to complete portability of account location, SEPA can facilitate streamlined cash management and more efficient treasury processes.

Second Wind for Offshore RMB Market

Mathew Kathayanat, Citi - Jesse Kwon, Citi - 6 August 2012
In just one year, the internationalisation of the renminbi (RMB) has seen a thriving market in offshore RMB deposits, bonds and bond funds develop in Hong Kong, while the currency’s role in cross-border trade has expanded sharply. Now London is picking up the baton and more is expected in the coming year.

Leveraging Treasury to Support Working Capital Management: Payments on Behalf of

Declan McGivern, Citi - Anupam Sinha, Citi - 22 May 2012
Over the past 15 years, corporate treasurers have been on a quest seeking improved working capital management and operational efficiency and more recently increased co-operation with wider organisational process management. With the possibilities afforded by global enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, treasurers are increasingly influencing supplier management and advising procurement departments on corporate-wide mechanisms to discharge liabilities more efficiently in order to gain liquidity management, risk and process efficiencies. Today, through the establishment of payment-on-behalf-of (POBO) structures, treasurers are seeking the next level of corporate-wide treasury efficiency.

De-mystifying Africa: How the Game is Changing for Corporate Treasury Payments

Geoffrey Gursel, Citi - 1 May 2012
From shared service centres (SSCs) to XML to mobile payments, Africa is booming for the corporate sector. With one billion people, six of the world's 10 fastest-growing countries in the past decade, an impressive five-year GDP growth, and the significant emergence of the middle-class consumer, 2011 saw an explosion of corporate interest with changes in cash and treasury strategies never thought possible.

Rational Choices for Working Capital

Steven Elms, Citi - John Mousseau, Citi - 17 April 2012
Companies in the consumer and healthcare sectors are facing continuing macro-economic challenges and market changes. These drivers are causing treasurers to evaluate partnerships, review structures, leverage internal investments and look for ways of improving their working capital.

Trends in the Technology, Media and Telecom Sectors

Mark Tweedie, Citi - 27 March 2012
Forward-thinking global finance companies looking to make their mark in the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector are partnering with companies in this fast growing industry to advance the next generation of professional and consumer service models. In particular, treasury teams and their banks have come together to further the cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS) agenda.

A Practical Approach to Making ISO 20022 XML Messaging a Success in a Multi-banked World

Olivier Chasseau, Vivendi - Mark Sutton, Citi - 6 March 2012
While there have been many articles covering both the theory and perceived benefits of ISO 20022 XML messaging (XML), this article seeks to provide a more practical outlook around the path to adoption. For some customers, the adoption of this latest global messaging standard has unfortunately failed to deliver the real benefits around simplification through standardisation. This article focuses on the specific experience and current status of the Universal Music Group (UMG) Global Banking Communication project.

SEPA: A New Beginning?

Ruth Wandhöfer, Citi - 6 February 2012
This article will examine the single euro payments area (SEPA) end date regulation - in terms of the different requirements, timeline and the current state of play around taking on the challenges that will follow in the coming months and years.

The Impact of the Arab Spring on MENA's Trade Flows

Faraz Haider, Citi - 1 November 2011
The Arab Spring has brought conflicting pressures to the financing of trade flows across the Middle East and north Africa (MENA). Banks cut back on services, but companies are in need of the extra financial security brought by trade instruments, such as letters of credit (L/Cs). Basel III's capital allocation rules and global financial tremors are adding pressure to the system, so what is the future for trade financing in the MENA region?

Visibility: Excellence in Treasury and Liquidity Management

Colin Jones, Citi - 15 August 2011
This article focuses on visibility. It's not a new topic, but it is even more relevant today than it has ever been. The visibility of cash on its own is a small, essential step in the overall journey to design and implement solutions that cover the full end-to-end treasury process.

From Desirability to Practicality: Cross-border Liquidity Optimisation

Stephen Chan, Citi - 18 November 2010
Companies globally are seeking to achieve visibility and control over their cash, to reduce external borrowings, conserve credit lines for strategic activities as opposed to working capital, and maximise returns. In many countries, regulatory challenges, fragmented bank relationships and multiple accounts can make these objectives difficult to achieve.

SEPA: Happily Ever After?

Ruth Wandhöfer, Citi - 14 September 2010
Has the implementation of the Payment Services Directive (PSD) gone smoothly? Are we now heading rapidly towards the single euro payments area (SEPA) or back to national trenches? Will centralisation of payables and receivables under common standards become the new reality, or are we looking at prolonged co-existence of domestic formats and SEPA schemes?

A Strategic Approach to Cash

Mark Beard, Citi - Karin Flinspach, Citi - 31 August 2010
Good cash flow management can drive corporate financial performance. By taking a strategic approach to cash, liquidity and working capital, treasurers can directly influence the amount of cash available to enhance their company's competitive position.

A/P Shared Service Centres: Gaining Competitive Advantage

Arunav Das, Citi - 18 May 2010
Consolidation, standardisation, automation and improved regulatory reporting have been at the heart of all business cases for a shared services centre (SSCs) implementation. This article, based on a recent research paper, examines competitive advantages of accounts payable (A/P) SSCs and proposes 10 options to increase the benefits for corporates that have already implemented an A/P SSC.

Best Practices in Cross-border Payments to Support Globalisation Strategies

Merisa Lee Gimpel, Citi - 9 February 2010
Globalisation is a phenomenon most treasurers want to leverage to bring their organisation to the next level of success. This article examines the global payments solutions and best practices to provide the infrastructure to support the myriad of cross-border and cross-currency flows required by multi- and transnational corporates that have a worldwide footprint of vendors, employees, customers and shareholders.

Media: Banking on Recovery

Mark Tweedie, Citi - 6 January 2010
This article looks at the ways treasurers of media companies are increasingly working with their banks to counteract falls in advertising revenue and capitalise on innovation.

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