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Execution, consistency and advisory win the day for CFOs and treasurers
Beneath the Treasury Review Leaderboard rankings this week is an array of qualitative feedback shared with the Asset Benchmark Research team on how banks can improve their services
The Asset 10 May 2022

Over the past few weeks of The Asset’s weekly update of the Treasury Review Leaderboard 2022, CSIvalue rankings, CFOs and treasurers shared what’s considered when they are choosing a banking partner for their day-to-day transactional needs.

Areas such as the bank’s understanding of their business and the agility of its technology stack were popular responses to the Asset Benchmark Research (ABR) team.

Other comments from treasury management professionals focused on how service providers could retain the business amid growing competition from other providers all keen to win wallet share.

With the publication of the Treasury Leaderboard in its second to the last week, one important area that’s appreciated by CFOs and treasurers from ABR’s findings was delivering on what’s promised and not overpromising.

Beyond technology buzzwords of API connectivity and blockchain, corporates that ABR spoke with were most satisfied when their banking partner was able to showcase the promised tangible benefits in their operations.

Key to enabling this kind of client satisfaction is a comprehensive and standardized system of servicing clients in different markets. While many banks highlight the strength of their regional and global footprint in servicing MNC/LLC clients, consistency in servicing is often lacking, particularly when a corporate is not regarded a sizeable player in the market.

One CFO of a large state-owned corporation, for example, shared with ABR that in his home market he had a dedicated relationship manager, which he could speak to for his treasury needs, while in other markets he had to go through a general hotline if issues arose all with the same bank.

Consistency of service across multiple jurisdictions is thanks in part to robust banking operations. It is not necessarily about technology, but rational and streamlined workflows so that banks can reduce the amount of paperwork needed to execute finance requests, for instance.

In several calls by the ABR team, clients said they were appreciative of banks that were flexible with their internal processes. For example, when it came to supplier financing programmes, one treasurer praised her bank for crafting an online portal to make it easier for her suppliers to request for financing without having to fill physical forms or forcing her suppliers to open an account with her bank.

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Alongside delivering what was promised and maintaining consistency in client servicing, other corporates cite banks that were able to go the extra mile, providing timely advice on regulatory changes and how that might possibly impact their business.

Some examples shared with the ABR team included how one bank was able to speak with financial regulators in India to help one troubled company heavily affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic obtain offshore financing to stay afloat.

The same goes for other examples in mainland China where several banks were able to provide guidance on cross-border renminbi structures that would be best suited for corporate clients.

While the usual cost and technology expertise are still important considerations for CFOs and treasurers in their banking partner selection, to maintain a long-term relationship with corporate clients, banks need to demonstrate measurable value.

Publication of The Asset Treasury Review 2022 Leaderboard is in its penultimate week. The survey, however, which forms the basis for the weekly Leaderboard, will run through May 2022.

The Asset Treasury Review 2022 is a component of the annual The Asset Awards for Treasury, Trade, Sustainable Supply Chain, and Risk Management. In promoting industry best practices, your views are important. CFOs, treasurers, and treasury management professionals can participate in The Asset’s Treasury Review 2022 by clicking here.

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