Extracts from the introductory speech given by Baudouin Prot, Chief Executive Officer, BNP Paribas, at the 2010 Cash Management University
Encouraged by feedback from previous years, BNP Paribas is, once again, delighted to host the Cash Management University (CMU) as a forum for corporate treasurers and finance managers to debate industry issues, share experiences, and tackle common challenges. This year’s CMU, the fourth that we have hosted, boasts over 250 delegates from around the world, including Asia, Europe and the Gulf.
Baudouin Prot delivered the welcome address at the 2010, 4th Cash Management University in Paris, France, to over 250 delegates. This article is based on his presentation.
Resilience and reliability
BNP Paribas successfully weathered the financial crisis, remaining profitable and solvent throughout, whilst consolidating and expanding its presence in Europe and beyond. Our return on equity and profitability over the first three quarters of 2010 tops the industry, with a bolstered tier 1 capital ratio of 9% up from 6% two to three years ago. This financial strength has enabled us to continue lending to our growing customer base, with our corporate clients increasingly recognising the range and quality of services that we are able to offer at a time when not all banks were ‘open for business’. We have, furthermore, ensured balance across our activities with around half of our business in retail, one-third in corporate and investment banking, and one-sixth in investment solutions. This business mix not only provides the bank with robust revenues but enables us to offer our client community, be they corporates, financial institutions or retail customers, a full service offering.
Local, regional, global
The integration of Fortis into the BNP Paribas family was a major step for us, and has enhanced our ability to service the needs of our corporate customers, particularly in Cash Management, which is an important part of our business. We were already very active servicing corporate clients in Europe and beyond, notably in our two domestic markets in Europe (Italy and France), however we needed to develop our footprint and depth of offering, which Fortis enabled us to do.Over a year ago, leveraging Fortis’ expertise, we set up four global competence centres in Brussels, namely Corporate & Transaction Banking Europe, Cash Management, Global Trade Solutions and Global Factoring. ‘One Bank for Corporates in Europe’, our offering officially launched in February 2011 this year, embodies this expertise and our ability to serve the needs of corporates via our network of 150 business centres across 23 countries.