Here Come the Winners… 2019 Awards for Innovation & Excellence
By Eleanor Hill, Editor
Digital disruption was one of the key drivers of treasury innovation in 2019. As this year’s Award winners demonstrate, banks, technology vendors and fintechs have leveraged digital innovation to move the corporate treasury profession forward – delivering excellence by helping treasurers to become more efficient, operate in real-time, and contribute to the wider business in a meaningful way.
Within the category of Cash & Liquidity Management, HSBC carried off the prize for Global Bank of the Year, with key developments during 2019 including a range of sophisticated technology solutions such as Next Generation Virtual Accounts Management (NgVAM). This allows clients to operate their day-to-day banking activities with fewer physical bank accounts, supported by multiple virtual accounts. The bank also successfully introduced new ways of working in the application programming interface (API) economy and rolled out its Beneficiary Self-Management solution, enabling a self-service environment via HSBCnet.
HSBC also won two Asia Pacific regional bank Awards for Cash & Liquidity Management and Trade & Financial Supply Chain Management. The first foreign bank in mainland China to launch an omni-channel solution to provide collections services across all major digital channels and payment types, HSBC has a strategy to provide leading-edge products and services to its diverse client segments across Asia Pacific. Another example is PayMe for Business, which was launched in March 2019, enabling merchants to download a mobile app, register using their business banking details and accept payments securely from over 1.7 million consumers in Hong Kong. And in the supply chain space, HSBC’s notable achievements included rolling out a sustainable supply chain finance programme for a leading global sports brand leveraging HSBC’s footprint in Asia. This provides financial benefits to key suppliers that meet relevant sustainability criteria.
Meanwhile, HSBC was also chosen as the Best Bank for Cash & Liquidity Management in Latin America, introducing - among other innovations - its Liquidity Management Portal (LMP) for clients in Mexico. This is an online service with customisable tools to self-manage liquidity, cash pooling and investment execution. A Corporate Travel and Expense card which offers greater cost control and savings on business travel expenses was also introduced as part of the bank’s LATAM strategy of putting clients at the heart of everything the bank does.
Another bank with multiple Award wins in 2019 was Citi – kicking off with Best Bank in North America for both Cash & Liquidity Management and Trade & Financial Supply Chain Management. The bank now has one of the most comprehensive liquidity management networks in the industry, with more than 9,000 liquidity management structures in place globally. And Citi’s transaction services business, which spans 90 countries and clears $4tr.a day across some 140 currencies, remains an industry leader. In addition, the bank’s new CitiDirect BE Cash Concentration portal enables treasurers to manage their cash concentration structures in real time and make changes online within minutes. This is the first offering of its kind in the marketplace. In the supply chain field, Citi’s recent achievements include the launch of a new Global Programme Dashboard, an integrated platform for holistic programme monitoring, and boosting Citi Supplier Finance with Citi WorldLink Payment Services, providing access to one seamless platform.
Citi achieved two further Awards, both in the category of Trade & Financial Supply Chain Management. In Latin America, more than one million domestic and cross-border flows were processed through the bank’s supply chain finance platform, an increase of over 20% year on year. Citi served more than 500 clients and over 12,000 suppliers across Latin America during the year and was the first bank to introduce a mobile application for supplier finance. While, in the Middle East and Africa, Citi opened new offices in Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia during the year, and implemented a range of improvements and enhancements to its onboarding digital platform across the region. Citi also hosted its first Treasury Leadership Forum for the Middle East in Dubai, raising awareness of key regional themes and highlighting how banks such as Citi serve as trusted advisors in trade and supply chain finance across the Middle East and Africa.
Recognising its hard work across the year, BNP Paribas received two Best Bank Awards in the Trade & Financial Supply Chain category. It was selected as Global Bank of the Year in recognition of its position as one of the world’s leading banks in this field, offering significant experience at global and local levels with an established track record in all supply chain management products garnered over more than a decade. It plays a leading role in several multi-bank networks such as the Trade Information Network which enables corporates to communicate trade information easily and securely with banks of their choice, aiming to establish an inclusive industry standard to enable multi-bank trade finance.