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Corporate Banking in Germany – but which bank to bank on?

by Georg Ehrhart, Partner, SLG

Every two years Schwabe, Ley & Greiner (SLG), the leading treasury consulting company, conducts the most comprehensive survey in Germany on banking relationships and corporate treasury management. It asks all corporations with sales between EUR 50 million and 10 billion and serves as an anonymous ‘multi-client study’ supported by major banks. It provides a lot of ‘food for thought’ and ideas for the banks´ product developments, organisational improvements and marketing strategies to offer what corporates are really looking for.

For the first time in a decade the number of banking relationships has remained unchanged compared to the previous studies.

The following article focuses on some banking aspects of those corporations with sales exceeding EUR 125 million. From this level onwards treasury management traditionally starts to ‘emancipate’ itself from the accounting department and justifies its own, more effective structures and responsibilities within the company to address the treasury affairs.

In Germany, about 75% of corporate treasury departments of this segment only have between one and three employees. This implies a high pressure on efficiency since the number of subsidiaries (usually handled centrally) has been constantly increasing due to increasing globalisation - but the number of employees in group treasury has scarcely risen. So where do savings or capacity gains come from? As well as increasing automation, the amount of time and money to be spent on banking relations is a key area.