by Heinz Hilger, Head of Corporate Banking, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Nordic Region, and Andrej Ankerst, Senior Vice President, Global Treasury & Liquidity Sales, EMEA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
With uncertainty and a lack of trust continuing to impact the banking market in Germany, corporate treasurers are seeking a real alternative: a global bank with a proven track record, expertise and a commitment to delivering not only cash management capabilities, but a full banking product suite. With the acquisition of Merrill Lynch, Bank of America gained strong relationships with many of the most innovative and well-respected companies in the world, in addition to the bank’s existing European client base. As a combined company, we have the confidence to put capital behind groundbreaking services to benefit our clients. Since the recent expansion of our Germany-based Corporate Banking team, there is now an even greater opportunity for treasurers based in, or operating in Germany, to leverage these opportunities and access investment and transaction banking solutions from a single bank.
Cohesion in a fragmented market
At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, we continue to expand the breadth and depth of our geographic foot print.
The banking landscape in Germany was transformed during the crisis. With high-profile bank mergers and a weakening of the local Landesbanks, the banking environment was destabilised and clients became uncertain about the future strategy and investment capability of their banks. Today, although the situation is calmer, we are seeing banks increasingly re-evaluate their strategy for delivering treasury and payment services, with many smaller banks considering outsourcing these activities. We anticipate this trend continuing, particularly as the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is rolled out, together with further consolidation in the banking industry.
At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, we continue to expand the breadth and depth of our geographic footprint, and provide stability and commitment to companies that are seeking a bank with which they can have a long-term relationship. In Germany, Merrill Lynch had a strong investment banking client base in addition to Bank of America’s corporate banking client base. These companies have welcomed the ability of the combined business to deliver a broader range of services. As the boards of international companies have increasingly recognised the importance of the treasury management function, and seek greater visibility over liquidity and risk globally, an even larger number of corporate treasurers in Germany are approaching Bank of America Merrill Lynch seeking integrated, worldwide solutions to their cash and liquidity management challenges. In the past, these companies have had to work with multiple banks to satisfy their requirements in all the regions in which they do business. Today, the global, cohesive approach to corporate banking solutions, services and technology offered by Bank of America Merrill Lynch is becoming increasingly attractive as treasurers seek to centralise cash flow and rationalise banking partners.