Rewriting the Treasury Rulebook in Europe
By Eleanor Hill, Editor
Deutsche Bank has consistently differentiated itself from other transaction banks by driving industry initiatives and new client solutions. In 2019, the bank helped corporate treasurers to embrace real-time treasury operations and worked with industry bodies towards harmonising cross-border payments. These achievements, among others, make Deutsche Bank the hands-down winner of TMI’s 2019 Award for Best Bank for Cash & Liquidity Management in Europe.
At the Sibos 2019 conference, Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank, said that he was “very optimistic for the transaction banking business”, a cornerstone of the new Corporate Bank division. In the face of headwinds, the Corporate Bank has consistently delivered strong results – and its success continued in 2019. Deutsche Bank remains the only provider in the market that is a substantial clearer of both euros and US dollars, which, combined, account for more than 75% of global payments. In addition, according to SWIFT Watch, Deutsche Bank continues to be the world’s largest euro clearer, with an 8.5% monthly market share of SWIFT euro volumes.
Other impressive achievements include the fact that Deutsche Bank is the largest sender of payments on Target2 connected via the Deutsche Bundesbank. The bank also provides corporate cash management services to 100% of the DAX 30 and more than 90% of the Euro Stoxx 50 constituent companies.
There are many reasons why such large numbers of corporates continue to choose Deutsche Bank for their cash management needs. One driver is the bank’s investment in its digital capabilities over recent years – facilitating the transition for its clients to run real-time treasury operations. This includes a number of proprietary tools, such as DB Maestro and FX4Cash, which facilitate smooth and transparent FX hedging and conversion respectively, as well as sophisticated account management solutions such as virtual accounts.
In 2019, the bank invested further in virtual accounts by partnering with fintech Tieto. The collaboration will see functionality expanded beyond account rationalisation to support highly complex operations such as managing multi-currency liquidity, intercompany funding and interest and margin allocations in new workflows.
Changing the game
Other examples of the bank’s recent technological innovation for the benefit of corporate treasurers include:
- Rapid processing through a digital signature solution. The document and contract signing workload between banks and corporates remains largely manual and therefore costly and inefficient. To help solve this, Deutsche Bank onboarded eSignature solutions provider DocuSign to integrate digital signing capabilities. The tool can be used to provide authorisation for opening new accounts or buying products from the bank, as well as signing any documents in the course of everyday banking operations.
- SEPA instant payments through corporate ERPs. While SCT Inst has brought significant benefits to corporates in recent years, there remain barriers to its efficient use. Key among these has been the lack of compatibility with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, which means that treasurers need to log out of their primary portal and into their banking one in order to execute a payment. In April 2019, Deutsche Bank and global B2B fintech software company Serrala launched the first API interface for SEPA instant payments in the market. The new interface sets the basis for an end-to-end automation of payment processes through integration with customers’ SAP ERP systems. The joint solution lays the foundation to accelerate and digitalise not only treasury processes but also end-to-end business workflows – with payments set to be processed within 10 seconds 24/7/365.
- Instant payments, real-time treasury and APIs. Deutsche Bank continues to fully support the development of instant payments solutions and is already live in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. More countries will follow – including Austria, France, Russia, Hungary and Thailand. Thanks to API technology, these rapid payments services can be combined with the bank’s virtual accounts, FX and other services to enable clients to make payments, check their balance, concentrate their cash, execute their FX and update their cashflow forecasts in real time.
- SWIFT gpi for Corporates. Since its inception, Deutsche Bank has been a champion of SWIFT’s global payments innovation (gpi) initiative since inception and rapidly rolled out the benefits to its customer base. Deutsche Bank is currently exploring the following gpi functionality for corporates:
- Pay & Trace: Deutsche Bank is part of the Pay & Trace pilot project, which went live within a closed user group in October 2018. The plan is for it to be expanded to additional message types (xml) and markets as the bank rolls out gpi.
- Inbound tracking: Deutsche Bank is part of the pilot group for tracking the status of inbound payments, which was only very recently initiated.
- gpi Link: Deutsche Bank is also part of a pilot group looking to extend access to gpi information to non-SWIFT-connected ecosystems, such as those run on blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies, by leveraging on the technology built for Pay & Trace.