Cash management poll 2009: More power to the regions
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Cash management poll 2009: More power to the regions

Regional and multi-regional cash management banks have a chance to expand their markets and force global providers to rethink what they offer. Will they seize their opportunity? Laurence Neville reports.

UNTIL RECENTLY IT was essential for every article about trends in competition in cash management to be prefaced with the remark that consolidation of market share to a handful of global banks was inevitable. Now the nature of that consolidation might have changed. The unprecedented state of flux in the banking industry in the past two years has created an unrivalled opportunity for regional and multi-regional operators. This group of banks, which includes Santander, SEB and BNP Paribas, has always been a formidable challenger to global powerhouses such as Citi and HSBC in their domestic or regional markets.

Now the shifting concerns of corporate treasurers – not least about counterparty and concentration risk – offer this tier of banks the possibility of aggressive growth. The dramatic changes in perception of some of the world’s largest banks, and their requirement to be bailed out by their governments, has – for a brief time at least – created an exceptional window of opportunity.

This opportunity is unlikely to come at the expense of the big global participants that previously hogged the overall market share consolidation that has prevailed for decades. There are only sporadic reports of global banks withdrawing credit lines – and by default losing cash management business – as they reconfigure their global business.

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