A five-star global partner for cash management
Bank of China’s powerful combination of global reach, quality service, and profound local and regional expertise has led to it triumphing as Asia’s most highly ranked cash manager.
Ask any treasurer or CFO and they will tell you that efficient and effective cash management is the cornerstone of success. Without it, the most brilliantly executed business plan in any market can flounder and fail.
In an increasingly complex global economy, where different markets sometimes require radically different solutions, there has been a gradual but marked shift in the kind of partners clients turn to for their cash management needs.
An established global name is no longer enough on its own: clients are looking for local and regional market expertise along with an ability to provide innovative, tailor-made solutions – and one bank stands ahead of the field as Asia’s number one choice.
Bank of China was ranked number one overall for cash management services in Asia in Euromoney’s 2016 Cash Management survey – and its triumph underscores a remarkable and effective new approach to cash management for the region.
With established relationships with more than 1,600 banks in 179 countries, there is no question that Bank of China has global reach. It is the world’s fifth-largest bank by market capitalization and has a network powerful enough to support multinational corporations worldwide.
However, its growing prominence as a cash management partner reflects a trend for companies to look beyond the status of established big banks and explore two important elements in making their choices: quality of service and local and regional expertise.
In last year’s Euromoney survey, clients were asked to rate cash management providers for quality of service in five different fields: infrastructure and connectivity, products, services, people and relationships, and risk and risk management.
Impressively, Bank of China scored a five-star rating in each of the five categories, outscoring every other bank. The bank’s emphatic, across-the-board victory belies an impressive reputation that has been burnished by a succession of highly effective partnerships with major multinational companies seeking unique expertise to deal with unique market situations.
Bank of China has innovation in its veins. Founded more than 100 years ago, it has lived through seismic social and economic changes in the world’s most populous nation to emerge as the most internationalized and diversified bank in China.
However, it is the bank’s pioneering spirit of innovation and its willingness to eagerly embrace information technology and science-based business management that have helped set it apart from other cash managers.
In recent years, its ability to create highly focused solutions for foreign multinationals doing business in China has been transformative and ground-breaking and has played a key role in the flourishing new era of cooperation between global enterprises and mainland China.
The bank offers multinational companies a one-stop comprehensive resource for efficient, safe and effective cash management within China and has forged key alliances with some of the world’s top brand names, including General Electric (GE), Airbus, Volvo, UTC and Bosch.
Each partnership has contributed to the bank’s flourishing global reputation for excellence. GE, for instance, picked Bank of China to manage its US dollar funds when it opened its new Asia Pacific Centre in Shanghai in 2014, resulting in a highly effective partnership for its operations across the region.
Bank of China quickly eliminated a host of potential complexities, providing GE with a basket of comprehensive FX management solutions, helping its Asia Pacific centre simplify its day-to-day receipts and payments and efficiently handle cross-border funds between the US and the region.
The bank’s cash managers simplified GE’s bank account structure, removing 37 accounts, introduced paperless FX receipts and payments for imports and exports, interlinked its local-currency and foreign-currency cash pools, and centralized foreign borrowing and lending.
The effects were almost instant and the system now used by GE is estimated to yield one million renminbi in aggregate proceeds for GE and its member companies every year, providing a powerful engine for GE’s continuing expansion across the Asia Pacific region.
The specific needs of each client are at the heart of Bank of China’s suite of services, which aim to simplify systems, boost efficiency, and leave clients as far as possible free to concentrate on their core business. Among the services the bank offers its clients are:
• Corporate Collection Management Solutions – guaranteeing efficient and secure collection channels and support transactions in different currencies to help clients save on collection costs and improve cash-flow efficiency
• Corporate Payment Management Solutions – consolidating and executing corporate payments as well as enabling easy account reconciliation by corporate customers with transaction details made available through its Corporate Internet Banking channels
• Corporate Liquidity Management Solutions - allowing clients to create a cash pool by concentrating the account balances of their treasury centre and subsidiary companies, thereby optimizing interest rate opportunities and enabling the client to seize investment opportunities
• Corporate Electronic Management Solutions – creating more efficient corporate cash flow management with Corporate Internet Banking and ERP Integration solutions.
Above all, however, the success of Bank of China’s cash management services is based on quality of service and the provision of outstanding local and regional expertise, all supported by the global network and resources of one of the world’s biggest banks.
Every client is given individual attention, and the cash management solutions the bank offers are as diverse as the growing number of multinational companies it now works alongside in its rising tide of global alliances.
Bank of China has a simple mission statement – to be the best bank – and its success in putting rival cash managers in the shade and setting new standards of service for the region has been hugely impressive.
What will encourage the treasurers and CFOs who rely on the bank as an ally in their Asian operations most, however, is the bank’s stated ambition to reach for new levels of excellence. For Bank of China and its multinational partners, that can only be good for business.
Quality of service rankings in Asia
Based on responses to the Euromoney’s 2016 cash management survey of over 30,000 CFOs, treasurers and cash managers
INFRASTRUCTURE & CONNECTIVITY
Bank score comprising: access to all applicable clearing systems; cash management network capabilities; compatibility with your own systems; treasury management systems; electronic banking applications/E-invoicing.
1. Bank of China 6.11
2. ICBC 6.02
3. DBS Bank 5.67
4. HSBC 5.42
5. Bank of Nanjing 5.37
Bank score comprising: implementing netting/in-house banking; liquidity/credit facilities; cross-border low value payments; multi-currency capabilities; payment collection/methods.
1. Bank of China 6.14
2. ICBC 5.99
3. DBS Bank 5.67
4. HSBC 5.43
5. Bank of Nanjing 5.42
Bank score comprising: advisory services; innovative/tailored business solutions; cashflow forecasting capabilities.
1. Bank of China 6.06
2. ICBC 5.93
3. DBS Bank 5.67
4. Bank of Nanjing 5.35
5. HSBC 5.3
PEOPLE & RELATIONSHIPS
Bank score comprising: industry expertise and knowledge; level of commitment to your cash-management business; quality of personnel; understanding of your business; quality of execution.
1. Bank of China 6.17
2. ICBC 6.02
3. DBS Bank 5.78
4. Bank of Nanjing 5.45
5. HSBC 5.44
RISK & RISK MANAGEMENT
Bank score comprising: counterparty risk; quality of electronic banking security.
1. Bank of China 6.18
2. ICBC 6.05
3. DBS Bank 5.76
4. HSBC 5.5
5. Bank of Nanjing 5.41
Euromoney’s five-star ranking methodology
The 20 qualitative categories from the 2016 Euromoney cash management survey were combined into five groups: Infrastructure & Connectivity, Products, Services, People & Relationships and Risk & Risk Management. The relevant granular scores across the 20 categories for every bank in each region are then compiled into an average score for each of the five groups. To qualify for a star in a group category, a bank had to achieve two things: it must have received a minimum of 3% of the votes in that region (if there were 5,000 votes in the region, at least 150 clients must have ranked the quality of its service there); and its score in each group must have been within 5% of the top score in that group (if the top score in the group was 6.00, to achieve a star the bank must have scored 5.70 or higher). Banks that achieve a star in all five categories are recognized as a 'Five-Star Cash Manager’ by Euromoney in that region.