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Industry roundup: 15 June

BNY Mellon and Saphyre to leverage AI for client onboarding

BNY Mellon and Saphyre have announced the firms are working together to use AI technology to substantially automate and expedite client onboarding. This collaboration supports BNY Mellon's OMNISM strategy to work with best-in-breed fintech organisations to innovate and support clients investment objectives.

Saphyre's platform enables seamless communication between clients and priority stakeholders by augmenting traditional communication channels, such as email, fax and phone calls. This integration between the two organisations allows for more streamlined communication reducing fund launch time to market, enabling more efficient cross-border trading and enhancing client experience.

"BNY Mellon's work with Saphyre aims to create true savings for our custody clients and truly expedite the client onboarding process," said Caroline Butler, global head of Custody at BNY Mellon. "What once took days or weeks, is now near real-time. This is yet another example of the digitisation efforts BNY Mellon has undertaken in the past two years with a direct client benefit."

"By applying our patented technology to their leading asset servicing operations we've demonstrated the ability to intelligently pre-fill client custody packs, allow for digital signatures, auto-setup SWIFT Reporting, Trade Message Routing, and Corporate Action standing instruction - while intelligently and dynamically tracking market requirements and their respective document statuses," added Gabino M. Roche, Jr., CEO and founder at Saphyre. "In a post-COVID world where AI and digital is paramount, BNY Mellon is fully seizing the innovation mandate."


Bank of America launches EMEA ESG Strategic Council

Anne Finucane, vice chairman, and Bernie Mensah, president of International, have announced that Bank of America is launching an ESG Strategic Council for EMEA.

The Council’s activities will work to minimise BofA’s impact on the climate, assess and manage climate-related risks, support the bank's clients in their low-carbon transition, and help drive related public policy and advocacy activities.

The Council will be led by two of BofA’s most experienced bankers in the region: Fernando Vicario, CEO of Bank of America Europe DAC and Ireland country executive, and Julian Mylchreest, executive vice chairman, Global Corporate & Investment Banking, - and comprise a broad cross-section of regional and global leaders.

An internal memo from Finucane and Mensah noted that EMEA has led the development of many aspects of how the world is now responding to environmental, social and governance issues. It is home to the world’s largest ESG focused pools of capital, and has been in the front line in terms of bringing green finance into the mainstream. 

The EMEA ESG Strategic Council will report on a regular basis to the Global ESG Committee and to the EMEA Executive Committee. The Council will also act as a conduit to the Sustainable Markets Committee, co-chaired by Finucane and by Tom Montag, which was created in 2020 to ensure consistent perspective and focus on all the bank is doing in sustainable finance, from policy and research to the deployment of capital and investment products.


Uralkali signs US$1.25bn 5-year sustainability linked pre-export facility agreement

Uralkali, one of the world’s largest potash producers, has signed the largest in Russia and CIS sustainability-linked syndicated loan agreement worth US$1.25bn with 18 banks. With the initially launched loan amount of up to US$1bn, the company says that the supply from the banks was over US$1.5bn, demonstrating a high level of support for the its sustainable development strategy from international and Russian financial institutions.

Sustainability key performance indicators, to which the loan agreement is linked, cover ecological issues as well as the safety operations of the company. The base interest rate is LIBOR + 190 bps margin with a loan maturity of five years. The loan will be used for refinancing of Uralkali’s existing loans and for general corporate purposes.

Mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners of the pre-export loan facility are ING Bank, Societe Generale, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft Filiale Luxemburg, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Ireland PLC, Natixis, AO Alfa-Bank, Russian Regional Development Bank and Sberbank.

AO Unicredit Bank, Black Sea Trade and Development Bank and RCB BANK LTD joined the facility as mandated lead arrangers; Bank оf America Europe Designated Activity Company, Bank Zenit (PJSC) and Commercial Bank «Ak Bars» (PJSC) - as arrangers, and Deutsche Bank AG Amsterdam Branch, JSC OTP Bank (Russia), OTP Bank PLC and Bank ICBC (JSC) — as lenders.

ING Bank N.V. acted as the lead sustainability coordinator, facility coordinator and documentation agent. Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank and Société Générale/PJSC Rosbank acted as sustainability coordinators. Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank also acted as facility agent and security agent.

"Raising ESG financing is an important step in the development of the ESG strategy of the company and reflects our efforts in the development of production safety and the environment protection in the region of operation," commented Anton Vishanenko, CFO of Uralkali. "We highly appreciate the support provided by our long-standing partner banks in this transaction, and we are also glad to welcome new creditors and look forward to further mutually beneficial cooperation."

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