No-one can predict where the next crisis will come from, or what form it will take. It could be another wave of Covid-19, or a different challenge altogether. Regardless of the source of any future turmoil, treasury teams can build on lessons learned from 2020 to be better prepared. Here, three HSBC experts share their insights around making treasury ‘crisis-ready’ – from mining data and embracing real-time payments to upskilling team members and placing sustainability centre stage.
If a spider’s web were human-sized, it would be strong enough to catch an aeroplane. This is not only because spider silk is stronger than steel, and even kevlar, but also because it is flexible. During high winds, the strands of a web soften to allow it to flex without breaking.
This demonstrates that successfully weathering a storm is not just about having solid foundations; the ability to be nimble in response to events is just as important – as corporates discovered during the Covid-19 crisis. According to Jared Smith, Managing Director, Global Head – Corporates, Global Liquidity and Cash Management, HSBC, “Corporates have done an incredible job in responding to the pandemic and shifting their operational models, almost overnight”.
Digital ways of working have quickly become the norm, with treasury teams across the globe working from home. “Business models have also evolved, with companies exploring e-commerce and direct-to-consumer sales in a bid to overcome the logistical challenges of reaching consumers through traditional outlets during global lockdown,” says Smith.