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The Great Leap Forward: community co-operation for corporates in uncertain times

by Elie Lasker, Head of Corporate Market, SWIFT

Our conversations with corporate treasurers in recent months have highlighted three main concerns: firstly, global cash visibility. How much cash do you have and where is it? Secondly, you may be re-examining your approach to risk diversification. Over recent years, many corporates have tried to reduce the number of banking relationships they maintain, but today’s uncertain times may call for diversifying risk across a larger number of banks again. Thirdly, you may be looking to maintain access to credit as individual financial institutions tighten their lending criteria.

Today, more than 400 corporates globally use SWIFT, with more than 900 banks in over 100 countries.

In partnership with banks and application providers, SWIFT connectivity is one way in which corporate treasurers and finance managers can effectively address these concerns, with many companies achieving a significant return on investment. One SWIFT connection gives direct access to a broad number of banks across multiple geographies and allows you to exchange information in a standardised way. You can leverage SWIFT to receive regular statements and intraday updates in a consistent way across all your banks, thereby providing better cash visibility and enabling you to better manage risk. Ensuring appropriate access to credit may require an expansion in the number of banking relationships. Here too, a single standardised gateway performs a valuable function.

Today, more than 400 corporates globally use SWIFT, with more than 900 banks in over 100 countries. Air France, Chevron, eBay, Google, Nokia, LG, Samsung, Siemens, Tesco, UPS and mid-size companies such as Alten, Belcorp and Décathlon are among those adding their names to the list of corporates on SWIFT. These corporates range in size and stretch across multiple industries and regions.