Your Last Call | International Treasury Management Virtual Week | September 27 – October 1

22-09-2021 | Eurofinance | treasuryXL |

It’s free, It’s Virtual…

International Treasury Management is the annual meeting place for 1000s of the World’s most senior treasurers to learn and share experiences in valuable peer to peer discussions. With a reputation for ground-breaking sessions and world-class speakers, our 30th anniversary event will explore the boundaries of the profession, take a glimpse into the future of business, treasury and working life as well as offer the practical case studies on the treasurer’s top agenda items.

Only one treasury event can deliver the comprehensive mix of big picture global insight and granular treasury knowledge you need to make the right choices for the future.


Back to the future, again

Over the past 30 years since EuroFinance’s inaugural conference on International Cash and Treasury Management, much has changed. Treasurers have firmly become business partners, technology experts, risk managers and opportunity spotters. They often lead fundamental change within the company as markets, business models and technology shifts.

What next? This event will delve into how treasury operations can gear up for the future, having learned the lessons from the past. Where, who, what and how will the corporate be in the coming years and what is treasury’s role?

Keynote sessions will offer big-picture insight alongside themed streams including:

  • Payments revisited
  • Risks and Rewards
  • Digital strategies
  • Practical solutions to day-to-day Treasury challenges
  • The power of partnership

What makes International Treasury Management the must-attend event of the year?

  • networking on a global scale – a significant rise in attendees in 2020 boosted the value networking with banks, providers and potential clients… all in one place
  • strategic insights and best practices – get solutions to the challenges you face from treasury and economic experts during keynotes, practical case studies, fireside chats, analytical panels and more
  • future trends – delve into the latest innovations and new technology driving change in treasury, and their practical applications
  • live Q&A with world-class treasurers – enjoy borderless networking and live Q&As with high-profile speakers directly after each session
  • cost and time-efficiency – tune in form anywhere in the world, at the click of a button with no long distance travel or accommodation costs
  • continued learning – catch up on any missed sessions and re-watch your highlights, on demand for up 2 months after the event
  • unite your international teams – as a free event, it offers an opportunity for your whole treasury team to attend. Perfect for encouraging learning and development at all levels

September 27th – October 1st | Virtual

Register Now for Free!

 

 

International Treasury Management Virtual Week | Celebrating 30 years as the world’s leading treasury event

| 19-05-2021 | Eurofinance | treasuryXL |

International Treasury Management is the annual meeting place for 1000s of the World’s most senior treasurers to learn and share experiences in valuable peer to peer discussions. With a reputation for ground-breaking sessions and world-class speakers, our 30th anniversary event will explore the boundaries of the profession, take a glimpse into the future of business, treasury and working life as well as offer the practical case studies on the treasurer’s top agenda items.

Only one treasury event can deliver the comprehensive mix of big picture global insight and granular treasury knowledge you need to make the right choices for the future.


Back to the future, again

Over the past 30 years since EuroFinance’s inaugural conference on International Cash and Treasury Management, much has changed. Treasurers have firmly become business partners, technology experts, risk managers and opportunity spotters. They often lead fundamental change within the company as markets, business models and technology shifts.

What next? This event will delve into how treasury operations can gear up for the future, having learned the lessons from the past. Where, who, what and how will the corporate be in the coming years and what is treasury’s role?

Keynote sessions will offer big-picture insight alongside themed streams including:

  • Payments revisited
  • Risks and Rewards
  • Digital strategies
  • Practical solutions to day-to-day Treasury challenges
  • The power of partnership

What makes International Treasury Management the must-attend event of the year?

  • networking on a global scale – a significant rise in attendees in 2020 boosted the value networking with banks, providers and potential clients… all in one place
  • strategic insights and best practices – get solutions to the challenges you face from treasury and economic experts during keynotes, practical case studies, fireside chats, analytical panels and more
  • future trends – delve into the latest innovations and new technology driving change in treasury, and their practical applications
  • live Q&A with world-class treasurers – enjoy borderless networking and live Q&As with high-profile speakers directly after each session
  • cost and time-efficiency – tune in form anywhere in the world, at the click of a button with no long distance travel or accommodation costs
  • continued learning – catch up on any missed sessions and re-watch your highlights, on demand for up 2 months after the event
  • unite your international teams – as a free event, it offers an opportunity for your whole treasury team to attend. Perfect for encouraging learning and development at all levels

September 27th – October 1st | Virtual

Register Now for Free!

 

 

Global Treasury Americas | Planning the post-pandemic Treasury

| 12-05-2021 | Eurofinance | treasuryXL |

The leading virtual event defining today’s corporate treasury agenda

For the past year, treasurers have sweated the core stuff: securing short-term liquidity and longer-term credit; enhancing risk monitoring and hedging processes; and dealing with the implications of remote working. But in the complex and uncertain transition to a new ‘normal’, finance functions will have to resume the search for growth. Can treasury help identify where growth is most likely to come from and which parts of the business are most threatened by digital disruption? And can they do better – can they help build the business strategies needed to prosper as we emerge into the next phase of the pandemic.

This event will explore the practical steps treasurers can take to make enterprise and treasury digitalization a reality and look at varied case studies of transformation in the treasury. The event will look in-depth at new technologies in action as well as more strategic concepts including the sustainability agenda. We look at how treasury can make a difference. Finally, we look at what it takes to transform treasury wherever you are in your journey in order to increase efficiencies, protect the business and make a difference to the bottom-line.

Global Treasury Americas: Planning the post-pandemic treasury

2 days of actionable insights, plus real world case studies tackling the key issues facing treasurers in the region. Topics include:

  • The Great Bounce-back
  • Practical steps on the path to automated Treasury
  • Why sustainability matters for Treasury
  • Name that threat: What’s next
  • Building a true cash culture
  • Payments evolution – the Treasurer’s view

What makes Global Treasury Americas your must-attend event of the year?

  • Understand the practical steps towards making enterprise and treasury digitalization a reality
  • Gain actionable solutions and best practices from varied real-world case studies
  • Network with an unrivalled audience of 800+ senior treasury professionals across the Americas
  • Benchmark your operations against the regions most forward-thinking treasury teams
  • Explore how to support business growth whilst balancing the traditional role of treasury

June 9-10 | Virtual

Register Now

 

 

Update Digital Finance Summit 2020

| 02-12-2020 | François de Witte | treasuryXL |

After having worked for more than 30 years in banking, François launched his own consultancy activity, FDW Consult, specialized in finance and treasury consulting. From 2014 to 2016, he was also Solution Partner Treasury & Finance at USG Professionals. Since then he took up several assignments, including one in the automotive sector with Ginion Group and with Ibanity, part of Isabel Group in the area of PSD2 and open banking. He currently is Senior Project Manager Treasury at Gaming1 (part of Ardent-Group). 

Introduction

For the 5th year, Fintech Belgium organized its annual seminar, the Digital Finance Summit, this year with as main theme “The World After”.
Due to the current sanitary situation, this year’s edition went entirely ONLINE! It was attended by over 400 persons. There were also over 230 virtual stands of exhibitors; The organization was seamless. I perceived a participant experience which was not that far away from a physical gathering.

 Some messages

 Main Stage Sessions

During the general sessions, the main message was Digital becoming the new normal. Xavier Corman, Board Member of Fintech Belgium stated: “The Covid Crisis has also brought good thing. Years worth of Digital transformation.”.

Despite the virtual exchanges, which following on the COVID19 crisis, increased dramatically, in a digital worlds, People and trust become more important. We got also interesting testimonies of banks moving to disruptive models, such as Aion (e-bank providing full set of services for a fixed subscription fee and KBC (using AI models to improve its services in the insurance).

There is a large need for digital identity, like e.g. ITSME in Belgium, but more importantly of the interoperability of the digital identity solutions. Prof Bruno Colmant • highlighted that the creation of Digital currencies represent a new paradigm and a tectonic revolution in the monetary landscape.

Evolution in the cards Landscape

Within the cards busine, the tokenization of cards is increasing, reducing the friction, whilst keeping the security.
Tokenization is the process of protecting sensitive data by replacing it with an algorithmically generated number called a token. Often times tokenization is used to prevent credit card fraud. In credit card tokenization, the customer’s primary account number (PAN) is replaced with a series of randomly generated numbers, which ares called the “token.” These tokens can then be passed through the internet needed to process the payment without actual bank details being exposed. The actual bank account or credit card number is held safe in a secure token vault.

 

Evolution in the payments world

Following a three-month public consultation, the EPC (European Payment Council) has published on 30/11/2020 the first version of the SEPA  Request-To-Pay (RTP) scheme rulebook.  The Request to Pay (RtP) is an umbrella term for several scenarios in which a payee takes the initiative to request a specific payment from the payer.

The scheme covers the set of operating rules and technical elements (including messages) that allow a Payee to request the initiation of a payment from a Payer in a wide range of physical or online use cases. The scheme can be considered as a complement to the payment flow because it supports the end-to-end process and lies between an underlying commercial transaction and the payment itself. An RTP as such can be seen as an enabler for digital payments.

The first release of the SEPA RTP scheme is scheduled to go live on 15/6/2021. The SEPA RTP scheme, combined with the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer could be a challenger for card payments, being much cheaper for the merchants. It might take some time to take off.

Conclusion

This conference was a good forum to get an insight in the Belgian FinTech market. I saw a lot of interesting initiatives and consider that Fintech will bring a lot of added value in the payments and corporate treasury landscape.

If you want to learn more on this topic, I invite you to attend the one day training session, which I animate on the topic on 16/12/2020 “PSD2 & Open banking: impact on the financial ecosystem and new challenges

 

François de Witte
Founder & Senior Consultant at FDW Consult
Managing Director and CFO at SafeTrade Holding S.A.
treasuryXL ambassador

Digital Finance Summit | The World After | 24 November 2020

| 20-11-2020 | François de Witte | treasuryXL |

Only 4 days left for the Digital Finance Summit, the highly renowned conference focusing on the ever-increasing digitalisation of the financial industry, is back again this year to set the path for a bright and more dynamic future at the heart of Europe.

Digital Finance Summit is at the crossroads between Tech Talent, Regtech, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Blockchain, Crypto-assets, Artificial Intelligence, Crowdfunding, Cybersecurity and Banking. It gathers global innovators looking to get inspired by a unique blend of industry leaders and turboboost the whole European FinTech ecosystem!

ONLINE EVENT | NOVEMBER 24 | 2020

Due to the current sanitary situation, this year’s edition goes entirely ONLINE!

For the 5th year in a row, FinTech Belgium is preparing a creative programme spread over 3 stages with Keynotes, Workshops and the European FinTech Pitch Battle!  And, of course, be prepared for the most qualitative networking in Digital Finance in Belgium!

REGISTER NOW!

 

 

 

Only 5 days left until the International Treasury Management Virtual Week 2020

| 16-09-2020 | Eurofinance | treasuryXL |

Don’t miss the Treasury Event of the Year! If you haven’t signed up already, here is a reminder to join this great virtual event with incredible speakers and live sessions.

Virtual Event

Now more than ever, we need to learn and engage with other treasury professionals around the world, so that we can navigate and overcome the unprecedented challenges we are facing.

As the current situation unfolds, the role of the corporate treasurer is evolving and becoming more strategic than ever before. The complexities and function of treasury within the business is changing even more rapidly. The question is: What does the future of treasury look like and how will this affect my team? And where can I turn for world-class advice on building resiliency, supporting the business and addressing future challenges?

Look no further than EuroFinance’s International Treasury Management Virtual Week taking place 21-25 September. It will see world-leading treasurers and economists come together to address these issues, deliver big picture global insights and share the essential granular knowledge you and your team need for the path ahead. In the spotlight will be the latest on cash flow forecasting, supply chain finance, tech, liquidity and FX and payments plus much more.

Speakers and Live Sessions

The line-up of speakers is impressive with the likes of Shell, Alibaba Group, HP Inc., eBay, Finnair, Microsoft, Intel Corporation, Schlumberger, Booking Holdings Inc. and Rio Tinto holding centre stage in one of the 75+ live sessions. But don’t worry if you miss a session, they will be available on-demand for you to watch at a time that suits you.

The custom-built virtual conference platform will bring the experience of a live event to life in a virtual world. It offers plenty of opportunities to network and learn from your global peers, plus a smart calendar to build your schedule.

Free Registration

The great news is, the 2020 event comes without a price tag! It is free for corporate treasurers. So, you can get all the world-class expert knowledge and insights you expect from the leading treasury event without the costs of registration, flights, accommodation or even expenses.

What are you waiting for? Set your treasury team up to thrive not just to survive.

Register for free today!

 

EuroFinance International Treasury Management Virtual Week 21-25 September 2020

| 25-08-2020 | Eurofinance | treasuryXL |

The pandemic sent shockwaves through global financial markets and confronted businesses with extreme scenarios.

Virtual Event

Now more than ever, we need to learn and engage with other treasury professionals around the world, so that we can navigate and overcome the unprecedented challenges we are facing.

As the current situation unfolds, the role of the corporate treasurer is evolving and becoming more strategic than ever before. The complexities and function of treasury within the business is changing even more rapidly. The question is: What does the future of treasury look like and how will this affect my team? And where can I turn for world-class advice on building resiliency, supporting the business and addressing future challenges?

Look no further than EuroFinance’s International Treasury Management Virtual Week taking place 21-25 September. It will see world-leading treasurers and economists come together to address these issues, deliver big picture global insights and share the essential granular knowledge you and your team need for the path ahead. In the spotlight will be the latest on cash flow forecasting, supply chain finance, tech, liquidity and FX and payments plus much more.

Speakers and Live Sessions

The line-up of speakers is impressive with the likes of Shell, Alibaba Group, HP Inc., eBay, Finnair, Microsoft, Intel Corporation, Schlumberger, Booking Holdings Inc. and Rio Tinto holding centre stage in one of the 75+ live sessions. But don’t worry if you miss a session, they will be available on-demand for you to watch at a time that suits you.

The custom-built virtual conference platform will bring the experience of a live event to life in a virtual world. It offers plenty of opportunities to network and learn from your global peers, plus a smart calendar to build your schedule.

Free Registration

The great news is, the 2020 event comes without a price tag! It is free for corporate treasurers. So, you can get all the world-class expert knowledge and insights you expect from the leading treasury event without the costs of registration, flights, accommodation or even expenses.

What are you waiting for? Set your treasury team up to thrive not just to survive.

Register for free today!

 

Corporate Governance and Treasury | Embrace the Corporate Treasury Policy

| 18-02-2020 | François de Witte | treasuryXL |



Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance is a mechanism through which boards and directors can direct, monitor and supervise the conduct and operation of the corporation and its management in a way that ensures appropriate levels of authority, accountability, stewardship, leadership, direction and control.

The ultimate responsibility for Treasury management within an organization lies with the board of directors. Due to the practicalities and technical aspects involved in corporate treasury, the board typically delegates the daily management of risk to responsible individuals in each department. In the case of financial risks, many of these are delegated to the treasurer.

Whilst, due to its specific activities, the corporate treasurer needs to take a lot of actions and decisions independently, it is important that he does this within a framework and Governance. Quite a lot of corporates have formalized this in a “Corporate Treasury Policy”.

Corporate Treasury Policy

The Corporate Treasury Policy is the mechanisms by which the board, or risk management committee (RMC), can delegate financial decisions in a controlled manner. This document should be a summary of all the principles approved by the Board or the Financial Committee of the Board as a mandate of the Board to the treasurer (the Treasury Mandate).

The Corporate Treasury Policy is a framework document, which covers the following areas:

Organization of the Treasury Function

In most of the companies, the Corporate Treasury Reports to the CFO. The CFO is usually himself a Member of the Executive Committee, which itself reports directly to the Board of Directors. (Treasurer – CFO – Treasury Committee – Audit Committee – Board):

A policy should set out clearly which decisions are delegated to the treasurer and when the treasurer should refer a decision back to the board or other person within the organization. Within several corporate, the Board of Directors have delegated the decision process to dedicated committee, like the Risk Committee, and the Liquidity and Funding Committee.

Treasury Control Framework (including the Code of Conduct)

Procedures and controls to manage the risk should be put in place to provide an overall framework for decision-making by the treasury team.

Ideally, this should also include a code of conduct. The Corporate Treasurer should act as a Corporate Custodian. In other words, he is Protector of the company’s assets, and should act according to a strict Code of Conduct and Ethics. There exist examples of codes developed by professional organizations such as IGTA, ATEB, AFTE, ACT and ATEL.

Liquidity and funding

The board should be informed about funding possibilities to put currency, maturity, cost and equity/debt character into a wider context. The board should decide on the strategy but can delegate fund raising decisions and actions to treasury. However, I recommend that Treasury asks the final board approval for strategic decisions (e.g. major syndicated loans, bond issues, etc.).

The board should have an overall view on the liquidity risk of the company. The Board should also define the financial policy, covering the gearing and maturity issues, fixed and variable interest rate obligations, dividend policy and covenants.

Banking Relationship

Banks chosen by the treasurer must be able to meet the needs of the organization, both domestically and internationally. I recommend that the Board approves annually criteria for selecting the banks with whom it will work.

Risk Management

The Treasurer must identify the various risks to which the company is exposed, quantify the impact, and should inform the Board thereof. He should estimate the size of these exposure risks and their impact on the he overall operations and financial performance of the company, and make recommendations in these areas

The board must approve the hedging policy, the company’s foreign exchange, interest rate and commodity risk management policy and its attitude to risk. It should define which part of the risks must be hedged and the hedging horizon. I recommend that the Treasurer submits at regular intervals to the Board the list of authorized instruments, the amount per instrument and their term

Investment Policy – Counterparty Credit Risk

The board should approve the treasury’s Investment policy including the choice of instruments, the list of counterparties used + the maximum amount/counterparty & maturity. It is recommended that the Board provides guidelines and limits per instrument.

It is recommended that the Board approves the guidelines for fixing counterparty limits, and maximum exposure per counterparty.

Authorized instruments and Arrangements – Authorized Approvers

The Treasurer should make sure that the board must understands and approve the strategies and instruments used and sets guidelines for the appropriate limits for their use. These guidelines need to ensure that treasury has not sacrificed long-term flexibility or

survival for short-term gain, especially in view of the volatile financial market’s situation.

Treasury Operational Risk

The treasurer should make the Board aware of the operational risks to which the company is exposed. He should provide recommendations in this area. Furthermore, the treasurer should also submit recommendations to the board on the treasury organization and the ways to reduce the operational risks.

Monitoring

A Corporate Treasury Policy has only sense, if there is a regular follow up and control framework; Hence procedures and controls to manage the risk should be put in place to provide an overall framework for decision-making by the treasury team.

It is also important to provide to the Board a regular update on the way the treasurer complies with the policy. The policy should also be regularly reviewed.

Treasury must alert the board to external changes and internal strategic developments, which may have long-term implications for the organization and make proposals for managing them.

The policy needs also to be reviewed at regular intervals each “Policy” in function of the market and of other internal or external developments. I recommend having treasury on the Board’s agenda on a quarterly basis.

Conclusion

Treasury is not an island in the company. It is closely linked to the corporate governance. Hence it is important to define the right framework.

I recommend to corporates to put in place a treasury policy validated by the Board of Directors and reviewed regularly. It is important to update the Board at regular intervals about strategic topics, such as strategic financing topics and risk management.

The treasurer has also an important educational role, as he must be able to make complex treasury topics understandable for the board members.

Hence there must be a good interaction between the treasurer, the CFO and the Board is key, where the Treasurer is the linking pin.

 

François de Witte
Founder & Senior Consultant at FDW Consult
Managing Director and CFO at SafeTrade Holding S.A.
treasuryXL ambassador

Basis Swap – how to convert your exposure

| 10-04-2018 | treasuryXL |

At the moment, there is a growing movement within interbank markets to replace all the existing interbank offer rates that are used to price a myriad of financial instruments. The motivation for this movement has been the revelation that these indices have been fraudulently priced by banks delivering inaccurate prices for the daily fixing. At the moment the markets are first looking at secured overnight lending indices – but these are not complimentary to all the existing instruments that regularly reference a longer tenor on an unsecured basis. These can lead to problems with the asset and liability management of a portfolio – not just for banks, but also for corporate clients.

So, what is a basis swap and how does it work?

A basis swap is an interest rate swap where both legs reference a floating rate – either in the same currency or on a cross currency. Examples would be a 3 month Euribor exposure against a 6 month Euribor exposure, or 3 month USD Libor versus 3 month GBP Libor. In a normal positive yield curve the interest rate for a longer tenor is higher than for the shorter period – 3 month USD Libor is 2.33746% and 6 month USD Libor is 2.47219%. There are 2 main reasons for the difference in price – the tenor is longer, therefore the risk of repayment is lengthened and the individual credit rating of the counterparty is also affected.

Before the financial crisis of 2008, basis swaps were traded, but not given much attention. Their primary function was for transforming the asset and liability management in the same currency. It was actively used in the cross currency market where a bank might raise long term funds in Japanese Yen, but needed to convert the proceeds into USD. Furthermore, the consensus at the time was that 1 master curve could be built to price all products – this used short dated deposits, 3 month interest rate futures and long date interest rate swaps to build the single curve.

This meant that a 6 month deposit was built on the basis of a 3 month deposit and a 3m v 6m FRA (Forward Rate Agreement) . In such an instance there would be no arbitrage possible and the market did not really look at the basis risk. But the basis risk was inherent and certain market players exploited this misconception – particularly banks that received fiduciary funding via Switzerland.

Today, there is far more awareness of the basis risk. 3 month Euribor is -0.329% and a 3v6m EUR FRA is -0.33/-0.31%. However the 6 month Euribor is 0.270% (we will leave you to do the calculation)

As a longer tenor has a higher interest rate (in normal market conditions) a basis swap referencing a 3 month versus 6 month payment would see the 3 month period being quoted as flat rate plus a premium, and the 6 month period being shown as a flat rate. A typical quotation for a 1 year EUR basis swap referencing a 3 month against 6 month Euribor would be priced around at about 5 -6 basis points premium. This means if you were to pay the shorter period of 3 months you would pay the base of 3 month Euribor plus 5-6 basis points every 3 months for 1 year, against receiving the 6 month Euribor flat every 6 months.

This product allows you to transform your position, but also gives insight into how the market sees the continuous 3 month and 6 month curves, together with their inherent basis risk.

An interest rate swap curve that references a 6 month floating leg, will normally be built from an interest rate swap curve built off a 3 month floating leg, with an adjustment for the 3m v 6m basis swap to reflect the higher price on a 6 month curve.

 

Davos, interest rates and secular stagnation

| 08-02-2018 | Lionel Pavey |

 

Two weeks ago there was the annual meeting of more than 2,000 politicians, business people, economists etc. at the World Economic Forum. For 4 days the most pressing and urgent topics facing the world were discussed. Sifting through all the speeches and press statements, I saw a lot of articles relating to a rather old theme of secular stagnation.

What is it?

It is a theory dating back to the 1930s stating that developed countries can suffer from a period of too small investment and too large savings. This can be the result not only of an economic recession but, more importantly, as the result of changes in the underlying demographics within a country. This would in turn imply that growth would be low to negligible within the economy. As growth slows down, so demand for investment would also slow down, leading to more savings etc.

Normal theory would demand a reduction in interest rates (the cost of money) leading to an increase in long term investments by companies, a comparative feeling of wealth amongst the people and a kick start to the economy.

Since the crisis of 2008, we have experienced an extended period of low interest rates and low inflation. The expected increase in investment, leading to improved production processes and new goods does not appear to have materialised. Furthermore, the effect that the crisis has had on individual people – job losses, house repossessions, insecurity – has made them reticent to indulge in large bouts of consumer spending.

Even with negative interest rates there has been no rush to invest in productivity. Instead funds are invested in financial assets – shares, bonds etc. Whilst offering goods returns, such investments do not add to potential economic productivity and growth in the industries that provide it.

Furthermore, when consumers tighten their belts – restricting spending and increasing savings – they are not actually directly providing funds for investment. Banks operate as intermediaries and extend credit – individual investors do not in the present system.

The economy is growing – GDP forecasts are all up among the major developed countries and inflation appears to be restrained. So have we broken the long existing chain of recognised monetary theory – could we see a prolonged period of steady growth, backed by low interest rates and low inflation?

At this stage of the proceedings an added element was thrown into the debates – demographics.

Europe is experiencing a period of shifting demographics. The long term replacement fertility rate is 2.1 children per woman. There has been a steep decline of this rate within Europe, with the rate in Germany being as low as 1.4 children. At the same time people are living longer, which means they are retired for longer. In 2006 there were 4 active workers for every retiree – by 2050 this could be down to only 2. The median age in Europe is expected to rise from 37 to 52 by 2050. EU studies have forecast that by 2050 there will be a reduction of 48 million in the working age population and an increase of 58 million in the retirees.

At the same time other studies suggest there will be a 14% decrease in working population against a 7% decrease in total population. All these projections are based on the current situation and that the trend continues.

If this was to continue, then there would be significant challenges for Europe. The expectation of governments to be able to finance the existing outstanding debt by increases in national GDP will stall. Increased burdens will be placed on the state to provide the necessary facilities to an ageing population whilst the pool of available workers is shrinking, leading to lower productivity per capita. Within the last 10 years the distribution of wealth has been skewed – there is more inequality with the super rich having proportionally even more of the total wealth than before the crisis.

New technology has the ability to change the existing concept of productivity. However, if this could be more than enough to offset the expected developments caused by an ageing population is unclear. It could mean that we are entering a prolonged period of low interest rates, low inflation and low growth. If so, all the economic models – even within companies – will need to be reappraised and a new long term policy initiated.

Lionel Pavey

 

 

Lionel Pavey

Cash Management and Treasury Specialist