Despite a marked upturn in global market conditions over the past year, the environment remains challenging for cash and risk management providers and their clients. But there are plenty of opportunities and some of the leading providers have excelled themselves during this period by continuing to invest in their business and develop innovative products and solutions.
One such provider is Deutsche Bank, the recipient of our 2010 Awards for Innovation and Excellence in Global Cash Management and Global Risk Management. Having won these awards in 2009, Deutsche Bank’s continued top billing shows it is getting things right in the eyes of treasurers at a time when many bank relationships have been tested due to tightened credit markets.
"We are delighted to receive this recognition of our efforts over the past year from the readers of TMI. Innovation and excellence are attributes we aspire to when delivering solutions to meet our clients’ cash and risk management needs,” says Marilyn Spearing, Global Head of Trade Finance and Cash Management Corporates at Deutsche Bank’s Global Transaction Banking. “Sustained internal investment and the strength of our balance sheet have helped us to continue to win market share during and after the crisis. We are well positioned to assist our clients in dealing with whatever the global economy throws at them in the coming months and years.”
Efficient cash management and risk management are crucial at all stages of the business cycle and the experiences of the past several years have certainly heightened awareness of the importance of these disciplines. Many corporates are now looking at cash and risk management in a different, more holistic light, taking a strategic approach to developing structures that will assist in driving growth but also in providing contingency arrangements should we again experience difficulties in short-term credit markets.
Deutsche Bank’s success in this area can be attributed to a number of factors. Aside from their strong track record in investment and innovation, their Global Transaction Banking (GTB) division enjoys excellent coverage in all key markets, as well as a reputation for hiring expert and experienced staff.“We seek to match our programme of expansion with the growth plans of our key clients, as well as continually reinforcing our offering in those markets where we already have a presence,” says Spearing. “For example, we have recently opened branches in Abu Dhabi and Ukraine, a fourth in China, as well as completing the acquisition of 20% of ABN AMRO’s domestic commercial banking business – making us the fourth largest bank in the Netherlands.”
Deutsche Bank is also differentiating itself through its customer service. This goes beyond simply having local language support to looking at the whole ‘client experience’ and ease of use. “We have overhauled our onboarding process and documentation, greatly simplifying both and taking a modular approach to the latter that is delivering benefits to both new and existing clients,” continues Spearing. “We are also in the processes of redesigning many of our online platforms and portals in order to develop new channels of communication with clients. In this respect, we are taking the usability of similar systems in the business-to-consumer space as our guide and are seeking to develop transaction banking systems that are intuitive and do not require large amounts of training or large manuals to operate.”
Alongside this enhancement of its online capabilities, Deutsche Bank has also continued to develop new products and solutions to meet changing client needs. For example, the FX4Cash platform, Deutsche’s cross-currency payments solution launched in 2008, has been enhanced over the past 12 months to include the addition of receivables functionality and the expansion of currencies it covers from 75 to over 120. And further enhancements are set to follow.
“The FX4Cash initiative is a collaboration between different areas of the bank – Global Transaction Banking and Global Markets,” says Spearing. “Bringing together expertise from both of these areas– in transaction processing and foreign exchange respectively – allowed us to develop a platform that addresses a previously neglected area of cash management, the handling of large numbers of low value cross-currency payments.”
Indeed, cross-business initiatives such as this are something we are likely to see more of from Deutsche Bank.
“We are looking at how internal bank structure affects the way we address client needs,” says Spearing. “In this respect, developing synergies between different areas of the bank will be a priority in the coming years and months. And we believe that this new approach to innovation, coupled with our revolutionary attitude toward client servicing, will contribute to ensuring we maintain our position as market leaders in the global provision of transaction banking services.”