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Industry roundup: 8 July

Deutsche Bank and Google to form global, multi-year banking partnership 

Deutsche Bank and Google Cloud have agreed to join forces and form a strategic partnership that aims to redefine how the bank develops and offers its financial services. The partnership will deliver cloud services to Deutsche Bank and also enable co-innovation between the two companies to create the next generation of technology-based financial products for clients. Both parties have signed a letter of intent and plan to sign a multi-year contract within the next few months.

The partnership will enable Deutsche Bank to accelerate its cloud transition and build on the engineering capabilities of both companies. Together with Google Cloud, Deutsche Bank will transform its IT architecture, which is says will generate considerable value for its clients. The multi-year transformation and optimisation of the bank’s current systems will take place in a phased approach. Both parties are committed to compliance with privacy and data protection regulation to maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability of customer data and Deutsche Bank’s information assets

With this partnership, Deutsche Bank will also gain direct access to data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning that can be used to better serve customers. Potential use cases include helping treasury clients with day-to-day tasks such as cash flow forecasting, improved risk analytics, and advanced security solutions to protect clients’ accounts. For the private banking business, digital and intuitive solutions will be the focus, to simplify the interactions between customers and employees.

The decision follows intensive discussions and due diligence over the past five months. In February 2020, Deutsche Bank invited a number of major cloud service providers to propose a partnership as part of its multi-vendor cloud strategy. As part of this strategy, the bank will continue to work closely with its existing technology partners.

 

Moneycorp Americas plans expansion into Canada

Moneycorp Americas, a provider of global payments and currency risk management, has announced its expansion into Canada with operations to serve private and corporate customers. The firm's North American operations has served clients in the US for over two decades, focused on private clients’ money transfers, corporate risk management and global payments solutions. The extension into Canada marks a step in the company’s global expansion plans.

Moneycorp has liquidity relationships with over 20 financial institutions acting as a pricing aggregator to deliver an integrated pricing engine for clients. The firm offers its clients a banking group within its portfolio with banking licenses in Brazil and Europe.

For corporate clients, risk management hedging solutions are essential in these volatile currency markets. Moneycorp says it has a team of seasoned FX specialists ready to meet clients’ business objectives by providing strategies that mitigate foreign exchange exposure. A dedicated payments team will help companies access the intuitive trading platform, moneycorp online, which streamlines and integrates global payment processing.

 

ING invests in clean energy in Southeast Asia

ING has issued a US$75m loan to Singapore-based Cleantech Solar. The bank says this is the largest green loan in Asia Pacific to date in the commercial and industrial (C&I) renewables sector.

Cleantech Solar, one of the leading C&I solar photovoltaic (PV) developers in the region, will use the loan’s proceeds to finance its expansion across Southeast Asia. This financing will support more than 500 megawatts of solar power projects, which will benefit local and multinational companies across Southeast Asia with reliable and long-term cost-saving clean-energy solutions.

According to the International Energy Authority, the demand for electricity in Southeast Asia is expected to see an average growth rate of 6% annually, with renewable energy meeting just around 15% of the demand.

The Cleantech Solar announcement comes on the back of the first green loan for rooftop solar projects in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which was disbursed by ING to Singapore-based Sunseap. Completed in April 2019, ING acted as sole mandated lead arranger for the S$50 million loan, which will be used to finance an approximately 50-megawatt portfolio of rooftop solar projects.

 

Starling Bank launches tools for entrepreneurs 

Starling Bank has announced the launch of a digital banking Toolkit and a US dollar account that allows entrepreneurs to spend directly in UK pounds and US dollars with a single debit card.

The Business Toolkit can be added to Starling’s free business account for limited companies and sole traders for £7 a month. It includes tools that are designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises get back on track as the nation begins to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown. It allows them to do their bookkeeping and accounting direct from their Starling online bank account, including:

  • Creating, sending and tracking invoices.
  • Automating expenses
  • Recording VAT and connecting to HMRC to submit VAT returns.
  • Uploading bills and scheduling payments to manage cash flow.

Meanwhile, Starling’s US dollar business account will enable customers who regularly carry out international transactions to hold, send and receive in USD from the Starling app. They will be able to spend directly in pounds and US dollars with a single debit card. This will be the bank’s second foreign currency account following the launch of the euro business account, in October 2019.

Customers will have a full US bank account, which will include a US account number and sort code equivalent, known as an ACH routing number. The account will be available to Starling’s business customers for a £5 flat monthly fee. Customers will be able to transfer money from their GBP account to their USD account within the app. Alternatively, they can fund their account from an external USD account.

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