A Positive Year for Global Transaction Banking
by Marilyn Spearing, Head of Trade Finance and Cash Management Corporates, Deutsche Bank Global Transaction Banking
Marilyn Spearing, Deutsche Bank’s Head of Trade Finance and Cash Management Corporates, gives her views on 2008 and the prospects for the Global Transaction Banking division in 2009.
How did GTB fare in 2008 and how is it now positioned?
Despite the ongoing turmoil in the financial markets and a difficult year for banking generally, transaction services have been one of the few success stories. And with interest rates reaching record lows and ongoing concern about the integrity of some short-term investment vehicles, efficient cash management has taken on a greater importance for many corporates. Likewise, trade finance and financial supply chain management are also enjoying their day in the sun as an alternative source of working capital funding.
However, even in the context of a renewed focus on transaction banking, GTB fared particularly well in 2008. The end of the year was our 16th consecutive quarter of growth and we comfortably exceeded our publicly stated profit targets. Of course, despite a good year, there were significant challenges to be overcome for all financial institutions. By staying focused on our four key areas – clients, markets, solutions and talent – we negotiated the turmoil well and delivered for our clients.
Are you optimistic about 2009?
We are certainly well positioned to have another successful year and there are a number of factors that will stand us in good stead. We completed a significant level of investment in platforms and systems before the current crisis struck and, of course, budgets for this type of activity are likely to have been heavily curtailed in many institutions.
Deutsche Bank has not, as yet, taken any state money in the form of government support, so we are less constrained than some of our competitors. For example, expanding out global network remains a priority and we are free of public pressure to focus investment in our domestic market. Given the work that has gone into developing our state-of-the art transaction platforms, maximum value can be leveraged for clients by increasing our local presence in those markets that remain the most promising for the next few years and beyond. In this respect, Central and Eastern Europe will be a focus in 2009 and China, India and Latin America will also be areas where we seek to increase our number of branches.