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Cash management: Europe’s uncertain future

Corporate treasurers are keeping a close eye on the new regulations that will impact on cash management. The Payment Services Directive is due this autumn – another step forward – yet the timetable for Sepa is still vague. Even identifying the benefits of the changes is a matter of hot debate. Julian Marshall reports.

Olivier Brissaud, European Associations of Corporate Treasurers

"You have 25 different systems in Europe at least and they don’t speak to each other, which is completely nuts"
Olivier Brissaud, European Associations of Corporate Treasurers

THE PLANNED landscape for corporate treasurers in Europe, certainly for the bigger international players, looks good on paper. The introduction of the Payment Services Directive, due later this year, is a step towards the establishment of the Single European Payments Area. The proponents stress the potential benefits for corporations in such areas as electronic invoicing across borders. The trouble is the developments are still a long way off and there is still no clear sign of when things will really take shape.

Best guesses at the moment are for a timetable of anywhere between five and 10 years. However, corporates need to be thinking now about how they implement the new systems and work within the new framework.

Olivier Brissaud, chairman of the board of the European Associations of Corporate Treasurers, and also general manager for Volkswagen Group Services, says the developments will be very welcome when they finally come into being.

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