Fast-Track to the Future
Expectations of the treasurer have never been higher. Treasury teams must adopt the latest technologies and payment methods, obtain instant visibility over cash, optimise liquidity, manage the ongoing impact of Covid-19, and embrace ESG throughout their activities. But how can all of this be achieved, especially when resources are stretched? Two experts from HSBC’s Global Liquidity and Cash Management business share their insights around transforming the treasury department into a future-fit centre of value creation.
As the saying goes, change is inevitable – growth is optional. In other words, to make the most of a shifting environment, and ensure future success, transformation is required. To this end, treasurers across Europe are currently leveraging the business and societal shifts of the past several years to embark on ambitious transformation projects.
Michèle Zaquine, Director, Head of Propositions and Commercialisation Continental Europe – Global Liquidity and Cash Management, HSBC Continental Europe, explains: “The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and global lockdowns forced companies to think differently almost overnight. Remote working became the norm, and e-commerce business models came to the fore, together with digital workflows. This was a huge change for treasury – and many departments addressed legacy processes to enable smooth and secure working from home practices.”
Inevitably, the health crisis also led to an intense focus on cash flow, with companies looking to build cash buffers to withstand shocks, while also shoring up supply chains. Arguably the most significant challenge, however, was not so much the pandemic itself, but the perfect storm surrounding it. Zaquine elaborates: “At the same time as Covid-19, treasurers were coping with low and even negative interest rates, together with regulatory changes, Brexit, technology developments, and an ever-increasing focus on the ESG agenda.”