While many of the headlines on economic growth focus on emerging regions such as Asia, Europe remains at the heart of corporate strategy for the vast majority of multinationals. These include both Asian and US businesses looking for international expansion and European businesses seeking to shore up their regional presence by increasing market share and extending into new local markets. Regardless of how new or mature their activities in Europe may be, and wherever in the world they are headquartered, corporations need a banking partner with the capability and reach to meet their current and future challenges in Europe, one that understands and supports their corporate strategy at a global level.
Supporting corporate strategy
In the main, one of the treasurers’ key priorities is liquidity. The introduction of SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) and the Payments Services Directive has made this easier in Europe than in regions with diverse market and regulatory conditions. Even so, with very high levels of market volatility, such as in GBP and EUR, many treasurers are now revisiting and revising their account structures and use of liquidity management solutions. In many cases, treasurers are taking liquidity management to the next level, reviewing the corporate balance sheet in order to reduce pressure on working capital metrics. This is leading to new conversations with customers and suppliers, and renewed attention on supply chain solutions.
For the majority of HSBC’s clients, particularly those that work with a single bank in Europe, HSBC’s web-based communications platform, HSBCNet, is an online platform not only for cash management, but also FX and international trade, including letters of credit, guarantees and more sophisticated trade finance solutions. In a period of challenge and change, clients rely on HSBCNet to gain visibility over their cash across HSBC’s European footprint. Companies with business beyond this footprint are increasingly leveraging virtual account solutions to channel payments and collections to avoid the need to set up additional banking relationships and accounts. In other cases, clients choose to access third party bank information through HSBCNet to create a single, cohesive view over cash and risk.