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Using SWIFT to Create a Best Practice Treasury Infrastructure

by Julian Tasker, Deputy Treasurer, Johnson Matthey

We use IT/2 as our treasury management system (TMS) at Johnson Matthey, which supports the majority of our treasury activities. The solution has web-based access for subsidiaries to enable in-house banking, and we have an interface between IT/2 and our accounting system, JD Edwards. We also have links to an online dealing platform, FXAll, and we import market data from Reuters. There are five banking systems in place in group treasury for making payments and retrieving statements which are not generally integrated with our TMS, together with a further 80 banking relationships elsewhere around the group.

As an in-country solution did not give us sufficient scope to manage our international requirements, the logical solution was to implement SWIFT Corporate Access.

The business challenge

Each of our banking systems has its own user IDs, passwords and control features, which would not be a problem if we were using only one system; however, as the number of banking systems increases and the number of user names, passwords etc. proliferates, the level of complexity grows and the control could be compromised as users struggle to keep track of each system’s security requirements.

In addition to our security concerns, our daily processes for retrieving statements and making payments through multiple statements were manual and extremely time consuming for our treasury team, and this effort was further replicated amongst our business units, many of whom hold multiple bank accounts. We also felt that our electronic banking environment was constraining our ability to move accounts between banks to optimise our cash management.