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Global banks dominate cash and corporate services in Asia

Greenwich Associates has named HSBC, Standard Chartered and Citi as the three most popular banks for corporate banking and corporate cash management for large companies in Asia. HSBC provides corporate banking services for 58 per cent of the respondents in the Greenwich Associates Asian Large Corporate Banking Study, while Standard Chartered was a partner bank to 47 per cent and Citi to 45 per cent. ANZ Bank and DBS Bank both had business with around 33-34 per cent of the corporate respondents.

Quality providers

The study also found that HSBC was a cash management partner for 38 per cent of large corporates in Asia, followed by Citi with 34 per cent, Standard Chartered with 26 per cent, Bank of China with 21 per cent and DBS Bank at 18 per cent.

The Greenwich study also assessed banks in terms of the quality of services they provide. For corporate banking, ANZ Bank, Citi and DBS Bank shared the title 'Quality Leaders in Asian Large Corporate Banking'. BNP Paribas and Citi shared the title of quality leaders for corporate cash management.

Mix and match strategies

The report from Greenwich Associates says that, while many large Asian companies are working to preserve existing banking and treasury coverage by cementing their relationships with global and large regional Asian banks, many large Asian companies are taking the opposite approach and are taking advantage of the improved product and service offerings of local and domestic banks. The latter are “moving to capitalize on the opportunities created by the shifting strategies of global and regional competitors.”

Many global and leading regional banks are becoming more selective in their corporate partnerships and often only provide services to companies in a target group, which meet certain criteria. The Greenwich report explains that this has created new opportunities for local Asian banks to expand their own footprints by capturing new relationships with companies that fall outside the target markets of the global and regional competitors. Greenwich Associates' Paul Tan said: “Some of the most advanced banks in Asia have been successfully capitalizing on this opportunity. This is, in part, because they spent the past several years building and improving their capabilities, so they are now credible alternatives to foreign banks in certain domestic 'on the ground' banking. This has translated into a flatter competitive landscape: most prominently in the trade finance space, and also in the overall corporate or wholesale banking market.”

Perhaps because of this, companies are also using 'mix and match' strategies, according to the report. They use local providers for domestic banking needs and global or Asian regional players for international coverage. This has benefited banks such as Bank of China and ICBC, as well as HDFC in India and State Bank of India.

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