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Banks must get the basics right

On October 9 representatives from three of the leading international cash management banks sat down with treasury officials from three leading international corporations to discuss the key issues of the moment: reviewing contingency planning for any future disruption to the payments system, moving onto internet technology and reducing errors in simple payments processes. While the banks feel they must invest heavily in technology to stay in this game, the corporates can’t see why they don’t share these costs and concentrate instead on getting the basic services right.

Cash management banks face their customers
at London's Capital Club

How did the events of September 11 affect you all and how have they changed the way you think about the business?

Helen Glennie: I think it's had a profound effect on most people, what happened. We have offices in Manhattan, in Times Square, and we're very fortunate that was where they were. But everybody knows of somebody who was affected. I can imagine it's 10 times worse in the banking community.

I have to say our key banks were on the phone indicating whether or not everything was all right - we actually worked with them so we didn't actually make dollar payments. We have a treasury centre in New York and we basically phoned them and asked them did they need any back-up. But we were fine.

The participants
Anne Collard Head of EMEA treasury services consulting group, JPMorgan
Mark Davies Head of product management, corporate cash management, ABN Amro
Andrew England Managing director, global head of product management, global cash management, Deutsche Bank
Helen Glennie Assistant treasurer - international, Joseph E Seagram & Sons
Patrick Krähenbühl Group vice-president, group function corporate finance and taxes, ABB
Fiona Munro Commercial initiatives manager, Vodafone

I think in London we're one of the major financial centres - you have to be very aware of that.

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