New Era for the ‘Treasury Oscars’
by Helen Sanders, Editor
Over the sixteen years that TMI has presented its annual Awards for Innovation and Excellence, the awards have become an essential validation of the effort, innovation and achievement of banks, vendors and corporate treasuries globally. 2014 marked the next step in the evolution of our awards programme, by introducing a submissions process to add further auditability and confidence in the way that awards are made. In addition to the published list of award winners, we are delighted to outline below some of the reasons for recognising each award winner in the bank, technology and consultancy categories. Corporate awards are covered in a separate feature.
We have not announced awards in every category, preferring instead to offer awards only where the judges felt that the range and quality of awards was sufficiently high. We would like to offer our sincerest congratulations to all our award winners, and wish both award winners, and all those who submitted such high quality nominations, another highly successful year in 2015.
Bank Awards: Cash & Liquidity Management
These awards recognise depth of coverage, account opening and management services and liquidity management tools such as cash pooling. This was inevitably a hotly contested award, with strong entries across all regions. In the regional categories, Bank of America Merrill Lynch won both the North America and South America awards. Judges were particularly impressed by the degree of integration between liquidity and investment solutions. Furthermore, customers noted the degree to which Bank of America Merrill Lynch had been proactive in providing education and support on the impact of new regulations such as Basel III and the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR). In South America, successful solutions such as Brazil Auto-Invest (automated sweep into certificates of deposit), digital signatures in Brazil and cross-currency cash concentration in Mexico demonstrate a high degree of commitment to automation and efficiency in the region. The Auto-Invest is an early innovation that supports corporate liquidity and investment objectives whilst allowing banks to comply with LCR requirements.
Citi was successful in winning the Cash & Liquidity Awards in Middle East & North Africa (MENA) and sub-Saharan Africa. In MENA, the award was given on the basis of Citi’s regional coverage, and combination of both global connectivity, analytics and mobile solutions together with market-specific product innovation, such as prepaid and commercial/ virtual card solutions. In sub-Saharan Africa, Citi is driving the digital agenda in areas such as mobile banking and connectivity, together with significant success in supporting companies to optimise cash and liquidity through efficient liquidity solutions, such as cross-border interest optimisation.
In Europe, Nordea won the Cash & Liquidity award for the Nordic countries based on its innovative approach to solving customers’ liquidity challenges through investment in technology, skills and understanding of customers’ strategic as well as operational needs.
In Western Europe, the region in which we received the most nominations, Deutsche Bank was successful as a result of the depth, quality and innovation of its solutions, including the flagship Autobahn App Market, and the satisfaction expressed by customers. The award reflects not only the quality of experience amongst European companies, but also that of US and Asian multinationals doing business in the region. Similarly, Deutsche Bank’s success in winning the Cash & Liquidity award in both India and ASEAN reflects the growing success of its strategy to address the cash and liquidity management needs of both foreign and local corporations in these regions.
Societe Generale was successful in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) as a result of its breadth of coverage and commitment to providing customers with solutions that support industry best practices whilst meeting in-country specificities, such as dedicated, secure electronic banking services.
HSBC was recognised for innovation and excellence in China and Asia Pacific. The bank continues to be a leader in leveraging RMB liberalisation, with a series of ‘firsts’, including the first foreign bank to announce RMB cross-border two-way sweeping in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. The bank launched a series of new initiatives in 2014, including expanding its global liquidity solutions platform to enable tools that offer particular value to customers in these regions, including multi-bank cash concentration, and advanced intercompany solutions, complementing existing capabilities in domestic and cross-border cash concentration, single and multi-currency notional pooling and cross-border interest enhancement.
Despite the very high quality of submissions by a number of banks and their customers, the decision was finally taken to offer the Global award for Cash & Liquidity management to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Judges were impressed by the depth of coverage in countries in which it has a direct presence, but also the quality of its partnerships, such as Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in the UAE, offering customers a consistently high quality experience across regions. The bank has been proactive in educating and promoting discussion amongst customers on emerging issues such as LCR, and continues to invest in both global and regional solutions across its footprint, such as in Brazil and China.
Payments and Collections
This year, we made the decision to offer a separate award for Payments & Collections to reflect some of the specific initiatives in these areas in which banks and their corporate customers are investing. These include payment and collection factories, including payments/collections on behalf of group companies (POBO and COBO). In addition, the awards recognise banking innovation in areas such as mobile banking and card solutions. In the future, we may combine these awards with Cash & Liquidity.