EIU Perspective: Connected with financial services partners
Through a series of surveys and reports over recent years, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has taken the pulse of corporate treasury; recording its response to both day-to-day challenges and specific events from supply chain disruptions to Covid-19.
In its just-published Perspective, Connected with financial services partners, the EIU focuses specifically on how technology is increasingly defining the interaction between corporate treasurers and their financial partners. The accompanying survey identifies the top priorities that influence their choice of financial partner, from whom they seek a combination of security, cutting-edge technologies and agility.
The EIU is publishing its latest findings as survey responses show that two tasks have risen to top spot in treasury’s list of top priorities, at least in the near term – accelerating their company’s digital transformation and the optimising of payments. “Together, these priorities are shaping how corporate treasurers work with financial partners, raising expectations of traditional partners such as banks and driving them to work with financial technology (fintech) companies,” it comments. Encouraging the growing number of bank-fintech partnerships is the fact that corporate treasurers still appear to prefer banks for their traditional treasury activities but are ready to work with fintechs in areas such as cash forecasting and fraud prevention, particularly as advanced technologies from artificial intelligence (AI) to blockchain begin to demonstrate their full potential.
In addition to this main theme, the report shows that in much of the world corporate treasurers are looking forward to a strong post-pandemic economic recovery as mass vaccination progress begin to limit the impact of the virus. The US, China and Japan are all on course for robust growth in 2021 and the EU economies hardest hit in the first wave of the pandemic should be the best performers this year. The two main exceptions within the major economies are Brazil and India. The shifting economic winds are driving a change in treasury priorities as optimising treasury structures remains important, but apparently for fewer corporate treasurers than during the first quarter of this year.
A generally brighter economic outlook is not without its own challenges though, as manufacturers have ramped up production levels in anticipation of increasing consumer and business spending, shortages of key components and supply chain disruptions are emerging and are expected to impact on treasury over the months ahead.
To read the new EIU Perspective – which is supported by Deutsche Bank – click here.