Savings and investment banks have a lot of potential for improvement in the onboarding process for customers

24-11-2020 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting |

(Dutch Item)

Hoe digitaal en gebruiksvriendelijk verloopt het proces om klant te worden bij spaar- en beleggingsbanken? En wat kunnen zij opsteken van banken die een betaalrekening aanbieden? In een nieuw onderzoek van Enigma Consulting komt naar voren dat spaar- en beleggingsbanken hun onboardingsproces naar een hoger niveau kunnen brengen door te leren van de klantreis van banken die reguliere betaalrekeningen aanbieden. Wat vooral opvalt is dat de onboarding bij spaar- en beleggingsbanken nog hoofdzakelijk via de website verloopt, terwijl betaalbanken de onboarding via de app aanbieden en overduidelijk meer inzetten op innovatieve oplossingen. Een bijdrage van Marc Groot, Managing Consultant bij Enigma Consulting en expert binnen het onboardingsdomein.

Als expert in het klantonboardingsdomein publiceerde Enigma Consulting in juni 2020 een artikel over de onboardingsprocessen van de belangrijkste ‘betaalbanken’ in Nederland. Dit onderzoek heeft een vervolg gekregen, waarin naar de onboarding van spaar- en beleggingsbanken is gekeken, die worden aangeduid als ‘niet-betaalbanken’. Banken die  – onder andere – een betaalrekening aanbieden, noemen we betaalbanken.

Wanneer onboarding niet via de app mogelijk was, is de onboarding uitgevoerd via de website op de smartphone. Het onboardingsproces is per bank doorlopen en beoordeeld aan de hand van verschillende criteria. De onderzoekers hebben zich in het onderzoek geconcentreerd op de klantervaring, waarbij niet achter de schermen is gekeken bij de onderzochte banken. De klantreis is beoordeeld op basis van drie categorieën:

  • Innovatie: door handig gebruik te maken van innovatieve technieken, zoals een selfiefilm en de NFC-chip voor het uitlezen van legitimaties, kunnen gebruiksvriendelijkheid en fraudepreventie bij elkaar gebracht en versterkt worden.
  • Gebruiksvriendelijkheid: het gemak waarmee de klant het proces doorloopt, de doorlooptijd, de begeleiding van de klant door het proces en de aanwezigheid van technische barrières.
  • Veiligheid en fraudepreventie: alle banken hebben de verantwoordelijkheid om fraude te voorkomen en de klant correct te identificeren. De banken zijn beoordeeld op basis van hoe de klant wordt geïdentificeerd,  klantidentificatie- en verificatiemethoden en in hoeverre deze  aan de voorkant voldoen aan de geldende wet- en regelgeving.

De volgende afbeelding geeft weer welke spaar- en beleggingsbanken zijn meegenomen in het onderzoek en welke het beste zijn beoordeeld per categorie.

Niet-betaalbanken weinig innovatief

Allereerst is gekeken in hoeverre niet-betaalbanken innovaties gebruiken in het onboardingsproces en hoe dit zich verhoudt tot betaalbanken. Bij de identificatie van een klant gaat de bank af op de door de klant verstrekte gegevens. Een voorbeeld is een kopie of scan van het paspoort. Vervolgens verifieert de bank de identiteit door vast te stellen of de opgegeven identiteit overeenkomt met de werkelijke identiteit, bijvoorbeeld door een selfie-foto. Innovaties in het onboardingsproces zijn onder meer vernieuwende klantidentificatie- en verificatiemethoden en het uitlezen van de legitimatie via een foto in de app of via een NFC-chip.

Bij de niet-betaalbanken bieden alleen beleggersbanken DeGiro en Semmie de mogelijkheid aan om via een foto het legitimatiebewijs te delen met de bank. Bij de overige niet-betaalbanken dient de klant een scan van het legitimatiebewijs te maken en deze vervolgens te uploaden of te mailen. Daarbij moet de klant de persoonlijke gegevens handmatig invoeren op de website. Dit leidt tot een langer proces en kan leiden tot incorrecte invoer van de klant. Verder bieden de niet-betaalbanken geen van alle een selfie-foto, selfie-film of stemopname aan als middel voor klantverificatie.

Daarentegen gebruikt een meerderheid van de betaalbanken wel innovatieve identificatie- en verificatiemethoden. Vijf betaalbanken laten hun nieuwe klant een selfie-foto maken, drie kiezen voor een selfie-film en twee voor een stemopname. Verder worden bij vier betaalbanken de persoonsgegevens automatisch overgenomen in de app door middel van een scan van het legitimatiebewijs of door het uitlezen van de NFC-chip van het paspoort.

Onboarding via app bij niet-betaalbanken nog in kinderschoenen

Kijkend naar gebruiksvriendelijkheid is het bij vrijwel geen enkele niet-betaalbank mogelijk om de volledige onboarding te verrichten via de app. Dit kan alleen bij vermogensbeheerder Semmie. Deze jonge fintech-onderneming maakt in alle categorieën een goede indruk. Bij de overige gevallen gaat de klant grotendeels door het proces via de website. De klant vult de persoonlijke gegevens handmatig in via een webformulier. Bovendien heeft een deel van de niet-betaalbanken überhaupt geen app waarin zij hun diensten aanbieden.

Bij de niet-betaalbanken onderscheiden BinckBank, DeGiro, Lloyds Bank en Semmie zich positief qua doorlooptijd. De klant weet binnen een uur wat het spaarrekeningnummer is. Bij Semmie moet aangetekend worden dat het rekeningnummer nog niet direct actief is na de onboarding, vanwege de afhankelijkheid van de acceptatie door hun depotbank.  Bij de andere spaar- en beleggingsbanken varieert deze doorlooptijd van binnen een dag tot binnen een week.

Uit het onderzoek komt naar voren dat banken waarbij de onboarding via de app verloopt beter scoren op gebruiksvriendelijkheid en innovatie. Het grote voordeel van mobiele apps in vergelijking met mobiele websites is de betere klantervaring. Mobiele apps zijn geoptimaliseerd voor een grote hoeveelheid aan smartphones en schermresoluties, apps werken sneller dan websites en apps kunnen gebruikmaken van apparaat-eigenschappen, zoals camera of GPS. Bij onboarding via een website zijn deze apparaat-eigenschappen niet mogelijk.

Een belangrijk element van een goede gebruikerservaring is dat de klant zo snel mogelijk gebruik kan maken van de rekening en diensten. Bij een aantal betaalbanken is de rekening binnen een uur al actief en kan de klant transacties uitvoeren. Om dit te realiseren is een gedigitaliseerde klantreis noodzakelijk. Bij de meeste betaalbanken is het mogelijk de onboarding volledig te doorlopen via de app. Duidelijk is dat bij de niet-betaalbanken een flinke stap valt te maken in het aanbieden van de onboarding en dienstverlening via een app.

Veiligheid kan gebruikersgemak verlagen, innovatie is de oplossing

De derde categorie is ‘veiligheid en fraudepreventie’. Voor banken is het van groot belang dat zij op de hoogte zijn van de laatste wet- en regelgeving en de processen volledig compliant zijn in relatie tot KYC en AML.

Zowel betaalbanken als niet-betaalbanken gebruiken de identificatiestorting regelmatig. Bij niet-betaalbanken is het primaire doel van de identificatiestorting het moeten verifiëren van een vaste tegenrekening. Bij betaalbanken gaat het om afgeleide identificatie van de klant.

Bij de niet-betaalbanken komt de identificatiestorting acht keer terug. BinckBank, DeGiro  en Semmie maken het mogelijk om via iDEAL te betalen, terwijl de overige niet-betaalbanken nog steeds een handmatige overboeking hanteren. Deze handmatige overboeking is tijdrovend en gaat buiten de directe flow van de klantreis om. iDEAL is de oplossing hiervoor.

De betaalbanken hebben iDEAL nagenoeg standaard opgenomen in de klantreis. Bij zes betaalbanken die de identificatiestorting gebruiken, kan de klant bij vijf de storting uitvoeren via iDEAL en bij één gaat dit via een handmatige overboeking.

Innovatie en app zetten betaalbanken op grote voorsprong

Uit het onderzoek kunnen een aantal conclusies getrokken worden. Ten eerste lopen niet-betaalbanken ver achter op betaalbanken op het gebied van innovatieve  klantidentificatie- en verificatiemethodes. Ten tweede bieden niet-betaalbanken het onboardingsproces hoofdzakelijk aan via de website, terwijl de onboarding bij betaalbanken verloopt via de app.

Kortom, spaar- en beleggingsbanken hebben veel verbeterpotentieel als het gaat om klantervaring en digitalisering van het onboardingsproces. Tegenwoordig voeren steeds meer bedrijven een ‘app first-strategie’ waarbij alle diensten, en dus ook onboarding, via de app verlopen om zodoende een vlekkeloze mobiele online ervaring te kunnen bieden. We zijn immers tegenwoordig meer online via onze smartphones dan via andere apparaten.

Innovatie en gebruikersgemak zijn op een positieve wijze nauw met elkaar verbonden. Door gebruik te maken van innovaties, wordt de veiligheid van het proces bevorderd zonder dat dit ten koste gaat van de gebruiksvriendelijkheid.

TRAINING: PSD2 & Open banking: impact on the financial ecosystem and new challenges

| 23-11-2020 | Francois De Witte

On December 16th, our Expert Francois de Witte will present a Webinar in collaboration with Febelfin-Academy, regarding PSD2 & Open banking: impact on the financial ecosystem and new challenges.

This training program prepares participants for 2 major challenges of the upcoming years in banking: PSD2 & Open Banking. This will have a major impact on the financial ecosystem and will create new challenges.

The goal of this training course is to:

  • Make participants aware of the ways PSD2 & Open Banking affect banks and other players in Europe;
  • Understand the impact of the technical requirements with a focus on strong customer authentication;
  • Outline the risks and responsibilities of the involved parties within the new regulatory framework;
  • Understand the impact of Open Banking APIs (Application Programming interfaces;
  • Understand the impacts of the PSD2 & Open Banking the financial ecosystem;
  • Evaluate the risk and opportunities created by PSD2 & Open Banking the banks and the new players;
  • Determine action plan for your company.

Target Audience

This training course can be followed by multiple target groups:

  • Managers of a banks/PSP’s/Fintechs involved with the payments and digital strategy
  • Product Development Experts (payments)
  • Service providers involved with Open Banking
  • Corporate Treasurers
  • Compliance officers

Prior Knowledge

Advanced: offers practice-based applications to complement the theoretical knowledge already acquired through the “basic level” courses (in-depth learning).

There is no specific preparation required. For persons who are less acquainted with PSD2 and payments, some pre-course reading material can be made available.”

Program

This training program prepares participants for two key challenges of the upcoming years in banking: PSD2 and Open Banking.

Part I: PSD2 and Open Banking – overview:

  • PSD2: Scope and Basic Principles
  • XS2A (Access the Accounts)
  • New Players: AISP and PISP
  • SCA (Strong Customer Authentication)
  • Consent and SCA
  • Requirements for the Banks and TPPs
  • Timetable
  • Trends in Open Banking

Part II: Open banking architecture: Implications for banks and the New Players

  • XS2A: Risks, Responsibilities and obligations of the related parties
  • XS2A: Availability Requirements
  • Setting up the SCA in Practice
  • SCA: Optimization of the Exemptions
  • Security requirements ensuring consumer protection
  • Addressing the fraud and cyberattack risks
  • Technology: building interfaces – APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)
  • European initiatives to standardize the interfaces
  • Practical aspects – Role of Aggregators
  • Group Exercise

Part 3: PSD2: Potential impact on the market and next steps

  • Global impact on the market – New Players
  • Impact on the Payments Landscape
  • Impact on the Cards and Digital Payment Instruments
  • Impact on the Merchants and the e-commerce
  • Impact on corporates
  • FinTech Companies: ready to disrupt banks?
  • Implication on the Digital Banking Strategy
  • The new role of competition and cooperation
  • Action Plan for Banks and New Players
  • Group Exercise

Practical information

Duration: One day training

Date: December 16, 2020

Hours: 9AM-5PM (6 training hours)

Location: This training will be given online

Additional information: This training course will be given in English

Pricing: Members (€510), Non-Members (€610), Partner BZB (€510)

REGISTER HERE

Nomentia Webinar: Building the Bridge Between Treasury & Finance: Communication, Collaboration, Technology

| 18-11-2020 | treasuryXL | OpusCapita |

Finance & Treasury leaders are being challenged to become more engaged in driving results across the enterprise. This requires alignment across the Office of the CFO before these leaders can have success in impacting performance in HR, Operations, Marketing and Sales. How can treasury & finance leaders identify and mitigate barriers to effective communication and collaboration to maximize the value delivered by the Office of the CFO?

Join us to discover how to earn trust within and across departmental lines, and up and down the org chart at your company.

We will empower you to:

👉 Identify the skills you possess and/or need to develop to build deeper mutually beneficial relationships within and across departmental lines.

👉Leverage technology to communicate with impact in any business environment.

👉Raise your IQ relative to how and why treasury & finance work at your company.

👉Define opportunities to impact the performance of your colleagues in treasury & finance at your company.

REGISTER NOW

About Nomentia

Nomentia is a Nordic powerhouse for global cash management. We believe in a world in which businesses can make the right decisions no matter how unpredictable the times are. Our SaaS-based platform offers solutions for cash forecasting and visibility, global payments with bank connectivity, reconciliation, in-house banking, guarantees, and FX dealing. We serve 2,300+ clients in over 100 countries processing more than 200 billion euros annually. Cash is king!

Treasury Delta’s corporate treasury RFP platform: How does it work and why collaborate?

| 18-11-2020 | treasuryXL | Treasury Delta | Having a hard time dealing with complex and time-consuming RFP processes?

Partner Interview SpendLab | Leaders in Spend Justification

17-11-2020 | treasuryXL | SpendLab |

SpendLab Recovery generates liquidity for clients by using their Accounts Payable Recovery Analyzer (APRA). APRA is a technology platform that combines over 400 algorithms, Big Data, AI, and machine learning, and audits all the raw Accounts Payable data in any ERP system to identify anomalies. Several examples of anomalies include but are not limited to: undue payments, double invoices, overpayments, and overpaid VAT. Over the past years, SpendLab has analysed over 321 million invoices and has recovered more than €200 million EUR for its clients.

We asked the company 10 questions, let’s go!

INTERVIEW

1. Can you tell something about SpendLab Recovery?

SpendLab is the Dutch market leader in spend justification and has grown significantly during the past years. The organization is a former spin-off of the Dutch government with a 98 year old heritage in procurement. SpendLab is specialized in generating liquidity for clients by analyzing- and identifying anomalies in raw Accounts Payable data. Besides the generation of liquidity as part of Treasury, we provide compliance reports that are used by our clients to achieve compliance objectives.

2. What was the main reason to start SpendLab Recovery?

During our analyses back in the day we identified that a significant number of invoices and payments were processed incorrectly in Accounts Payable departments of organizations. As a result of these incorrect processes, liquidity could be recovered over multiple historical years.

During the years we significantly invested in our technology in order to provide our clients with a value proposition that is comprehensible, covering all aspects of an Accounts Payable recovery audit. Despite the approval of financial years by Auditors and Accountants, we are able to recover liquidity from the Accounts Payable for our clients. Nowadays we provide liquidity, a 100% analysis of the administrative Accounts Payable processes, and compliance -and risk reports that can be used for compliance purposes.

3. What is, in your perception, the core issue that SpendLab Recovery solves?

Administrative departments within organizations consistently encompass irregularities that lead to the loss of liquidity, despite the level of automation that is adopted. There will always be a continuous flow of business operations inside an organization, and if there are any checks in place, then these checks are mostly reactive and are used as an add-on for a team or employee. SpendLab specifically focuses on the Accounts Payable and is able to identify any irregularity within the raw AP data. Thereupon, we recover rightful liquidity for clients that they can use for value-adding activities.

4. What are the biggest advantages of using SpendLab Recovery?

From our own perspective the generation of liquidity from the Accounts Payable of financial years that were audited and ‘’closed’’ is a great advantage for our clients. Specifically, we are remunerated for the amount of liquidity that we recover.

In terms of Procurement, the Procurement department is usually in the lead during the contracting phase. However, after this phase a lack of insights and active control exist in how suppliers perform in processing invoices. Through our approach and the methods that we use, you could say that we are educating the suppliers of our clients in processing invoices correctly. Besides, it creates awareness that our clients are performing Accounts Payable Recovery Audits on a structural basis.

5. How does the customer project phase looks like from start till actual results?

Our recovery analysis consists of six project phases and requires approximately four months to conduct. The first results will be visible after only eight weeks. Below the project planning can be found.

6. How fast can customers experience the impact of SpendLab Recovery after implementation?

The average lead time of a recovery project is four months. The first payments from suppliers, however, will be collected after just two months. SpendLab is only charged based on the payments that are received, on the basis of no cure no pay.

7. What is the biggest challenge you ever experienced with SpendLab Recovery?

In the very beginning of Account Payable recovery audits, research was done based on spreadsheets. In the past five years we have invested significantly in our IT-platform APRA®. Nowadays, we have a team of more than twenty employees in the Technology department that are continuously developing software for Recovery. The transformation from manual research to automated research in combination with Machine Learning and Artificial intelligence has been the biggest challenge within SpendLab, and could not have been possible without the team and the investments that had to be made.

It has been a challenging choice to completely focus on IT development. However, this choice has enormously helped our organization in optimizing our service, identifying anomalies in Accounts Payable data, and remaining thought leader in the field of Accounts Payable recovery.

8. What have been the latest successes around product development?

Remote and safe access to ERP systems. Whereas our Data Collections team used to literally fly all around the world to align data requirements and to safely collect the raw data of the Accounts Payable that we need for our recovery audit, we can now align and safely collect (ISO:27001; ISO:9001 certified) the data remotely with and from our clients. SpendLab is now able to conduct a complete Accounts Payable recovery audit on a remote and digital basis. Since March 2020, COVID-19 has only accelerated this level of digitization and the service that we provide for our clients.

Moreover, as an organization we have completely changed our way of working. We now work from our platform on a digital and remote basis. Just like every success, this could not have been achieved without challenges.

9. Can you give us an outlook on the product developments and tell us a bit more about your vision?

We have gone from subsequent recovery analyses over five financial years to periodical visualizations. Together with our clients we have developed a complete recovery service, which we can utilize several times a year over the current financial year. Instead of conducting subsequent recovery audits, we are now aiming to provide our clients with a subscription agreement in which some of our clients even take care of the recovery themselves.

Despite that organizations keep optimizing their internal -and external processes, there will always be errors in processes. Based on the collaboration with and input from our clients, we have invested in optimizing our compliance -and risk reports. We can now offer the visualization of these reports in Power BI, which allows our clients to have live and real-time insights in the Accounts Payable.

10. The world is always changing, how does SpendLab Recovery stays one step ahead of its competitors?

SpendLab has always chosen to conduct Accounts Payable recovery audits only, and we are now an absolute leader in spend justification. This leadership role allows us to partner up with top leading international organizations and to discuss the current and future capabilities that they require from our recovery service. By commencing structural dialogues with leading organizations and system suppliers we challenge tomorrow’s needs in Accounts Payable solutions.

 

Interested in a free SpendLab Recovery demo and see how your company can benefit?

Contact us!

 

Identity fraud, COVID-19 and the Pivotal role of Digital Identity

16-11-2020 | treasuryXL | Refinitiv |

Financial crime, including identity fraud, is growing as sophisticated criminals exploit the ever-expanding capabilities of emerging technology. The COVID-19 crisis has only served to increase opportunities for criminals to benefit from fear, uncertainty and desperation, but digital identity solutions offer banks and financial institutions (FIs) a chance to fight back.


Financial crime and identity fraud: fueled by the digital revolution

As digital connectivity continues to redefine every aspect of our lives, quick, seamless digital experiences have come to embody our new normal. This digital revolution is being driven by a host of interconnected factors, including a changing regulatory landscape and emerging technology that creates an environment with low barriers to entry. Other factors are also at play, including ever-increasing connectivity between entities, increased cross-border activity, and tech-savvy consumers who demand choice, fairness, flexibility, and an omnichannel experience across all areas of their lives. Consumers accustomed to digital retail experiences expect the same 24/7/365 digital experience in other areas of their lives, such as banking and wealth management. Moreover, they increasingly expect tailored, highly personalized experiences.

The result of enhanced connectivity, convenience and increased consumer engagement is a real need to protect against highly sophisticated financial criminals who are harnessing the same digital capabilities to defraud both organizations and individuals. Put simply, the technological advancements that make our lives easier can also benefit criminals, making it easier for them to commit financial crime. According to the World Economic Forum, fraud and financial crime constitute a trillion-dollar industry, and private companies spent approximately US$8.2 billion on anti-money laundering (AML) controls alone in 2017.

Refinitiv’s own research, presented in our 2019 report, Innovation and the fight against financial crime, confirms that financial crime is indeed pervasive and costly. Our findings were collated from a survey of more than 3000 managers with compliance-related responsibilities at large global organizations. We found that nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents were aware of financial crime taking place in their global operations during the 12 months preceding the survey, even though the same companies spent an average of 4% of turnover on customer and third-party due diligence checks. Looking specifically at identity fraud, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has revealed that synthetic identity fraud – where criminals manufacture a new identity using both legitimate and false information – is the fastest growing crime in the U.S.2

COVID-19 has upped the ant

Following the rapid spread of the epidemic , financial crime has accelerated as criminals have found new opportunities to exploit fear, uncertainty and desperation. The FBI provides various innovative examples relating to how criminals are using COVID-19 to defraud individuals, including government impersonators who aim to extract personal information for illegal purposes. And work-from-home fraud, in which victims are asked to send or move money, effectively becoming money mules and enabling criminals.

Forward-thinking banks and FIs are already beginning to accelerate their existing digital transformation programs to mitigate the higher levels of risk anticipated during and after the pandemic. In particular, we expect a significant uptick in the use of digital onboarding and digital identity solutions as more consumers are forced to transact online as a result of lockdown and social distancing requirements; choose to do so for fear of contracting or spreading the virus; and/or are seeking better security when asked to prove their identity.

Even before the pandemic, many firms were increasingly using digital innovation to fight financial crime, including digital identity solutions in the client identification space. Digital identity solutions offer fast, reliable digital identity verification and screening; transcend geographies; boost operational efficiency; and remove the human error factor. Moreover, digital identity helps financial institutions optimize compliance models, improve risk mitigation and protect customers from identity fraud. As the world grapples with the effects of the pandemic, banks and FIs have a real and immediate opportunity to review their systems and controls, while simultaneously accelerating digital transformation and moving away from old-school manual Know Your Customer (KYC) processes.

The far-reaching effects of identity theft

Organizations across the financial services industry are facing a range of common challenges, including rising competition, tightening margins, strict regulatory expectations, the need for greater operational efficiency, and pressure to reduce costs. There is the added fundamental requirement to ensure that the client experience is positive. Customer abandonment levels remain unacceptably high, with over half (56%) of consumers in the UK abandoning bank applications in 2018. Our research suggests that traditional KYC and due diligence processes – which can be time-consuming, inefficient and costly – have contributed to this.

While firms are increasingly aware of the need to ensure better experiences for clients, they also need to consider the ever-growing security threats such as large-scale data breaches, phishing and social engineering attacks. These crimes have made it easier for fraudsters to assume the identities of legitimate account owners via account takeover fraud. The impact of identity fraud is far-reaching, with victims experiencing both financial and psychological damage that can severely impact their behavior and future brand loyalty.

There is therefore an urgent need for banks and FIs to prioritize customer identity protection alongside the accepted need to ensure a positive experience. Many banks and FIs are not moving fast enough to address this issue – and need to become more aware of the wider social risks of identity fraud.

On a more positive note, a highly encouraging finding from our survey was that technology, including digital identity solutions, is increasingly able to help organizations fight back against financial crime while improving client relationships. A significant 94% of survey respondents agreed that the technology they use to detect financial crime is also enhancing customer engagement.

Digital identity: who can benefit?

Digital identity solutions continue to grow in popularity and offer numerous benefits to different industry participants, including retail banks and wealth managers.

Retail Banking

Retail banks, for example, can benefit from enhanced speed, efficiency and security when using digital onboarding and digital identity solutions during customer account opening, where it is necessary to verify and prove the identity of new customers who apply for new bank products and services. Digital identity is also invaluable for customer re-verification and authentication in instances where existing customers seek to make changes to their personal information.

Wealth management

Turning specifically to the wealth industry, the benefits are equally clear. The wealth arena is operating against a backdrop of unprecedented uncertainty as wealth transfer from baby boomers to millennials brings far-reaching changes to business models, in line with the expectation that a new generation requires new strategies and alternative data.

We commissioned research from global research and advisory firm Aite Group, which collated the findings from executive interviews with leading wealth management firms around the globe. The research found that 100% of respondents consider wealth transfer to be one of their top-three concerns. This report also revealed that financial advisors are becoming less product-focused and more relationship-oriented. As the wealth industry continues to shift away from products and towards services, the role of financial planning is taking center stage in the client/advisor relationship. Advisors are increasingly shifting focus from administrative duties and investment selection to client service. Digital identities can enable the shift of work from financial advisor to less expensive parts of the value chain, enabling them to concentrate on areas of added value.

A strong belief in technology

Our research shows that firms overwhelmingly believe in the power of technology in the fight against corruption: 97% of all respondents in our innovation survey said that technology can significantly help with financial crime prevention. There are of course still challenges in adopting digital solutions – nearly three-quarters (73%) reported concerns or obstacles when harnessing technological advancements to reduce risks and costs.

Respondents revealed that only about half (51%) of the data and legal documentation needed to carry out due diligence is obtained, but creating more difficulties, only 54% of this is in a digitized format. While remedies will take time, the digitization outlook is positive with 60% of organizations prioritizing automation and digitization for investment. Respondents indicated that spending on customer and third-party due diligence checks was expected to increase by 51% in the year following the survey, with technology being the biggest investment area. This data was gathered prior to the onset of COVID-19 and is expected to accelerate further as a result.

Digital identity solutions deliver diverse benefits

Digital identity solutions tick many boxes, including:

  • Faster turnaround times. Using digital identity accelerates the pace of business, benefits all stakeholders, and means that banks and FIs can onboard and service more customers, more efficiently.
  • Improved accuracy. Human error is unavoidable in manual identity procedures, but digital equivalents reduce manual keying errors, ultimately leading to better compliance.
  • Better security. Old school security features, including passwords and knowledge-based authentication (KBA), not only cause high levels of frustration among clients, but are also often unsecure.
  • More streamlined operational costs. Digital identity solutions boost efficiency levels, leading to more optimal deployment of resources and cost savings.
  • A more favorable customer experience. Faster turnaround times, fewer touch points and a seamless digital experience all contribute to higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Refinitiv’s digital identification and verification solution, Qual-ID delivers in each of these areas. Built specifically for FIs, Qual-ID enables secure, digital identity verification and screening to boost compliance team efficiency. The solution focuses exclusively on consumer identity. Qual-ID helps with identity verification, document verification, enables anti-impersonation checks to be performed in a variety of robust yet consumer friendly ways.Qual-ID also leverages our market-leading World-Check Risk Intelligence Database to enable screening for financial crime risk within the same solution.

World-Check delivers accurate and reliable information compiled by hundreds of specialist researchers and analysts across the globe, adhering to the most stringent research guidelines as they collate information from reliable and reputable sources, including watch lists, government records and media searches. Incorporating World-Check capabilities into Qual-ID means that customers can verify identity against trusted sources, proof legal documents and screen for regulatory and financial risk – all in one transaction, via one API.
This unique combination of elements delivers a holistic digital identity and screening solution that assists our clients to comply with their legal and regulatory requirements at the time of onboarding.

Technology’s significant and tangible impact

Only 53% of respondents in our innovation survey confirmed that they conduct KYC checks on client identity during onboarding but worse still, only 46% of these checks are considered successful. While these figures are alarmingly low, our research did reveal that those organizations that use technology are almost twice as successful at performing KYC checks on client identity (47%) as their counterparts who don’t use technology (28%). These findings are a clear indication of the significant, tangible impact that the right technology can have in the client identity space, and ultimately in thwarting financial crime.

What is certain is that the digital transformation will continue to gather momentum – digital commerce is expected to grow globally at more than a 20% CAGR by 2022, reaching nearly US5.8 trillion in value. Alongside this growth, another certainty is that sophisticated criminals will continue to exploit emerging technology to advance their illicit activity, both now and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Forward-thinking banks and FIs must therefore harness the power of the best available technology and solutions to prevent financial crime and protect their customers – and digital identity solutions offer an immediate opportunity for success in this critical area.

Miltenyi Biotec standardizes corporate payments and bank management with new payments platform

| 10-11-2020 | TIS |

Globally operating biotech company consolidates its banking landscape and creates more transparency and security in finance and international payments with TIS (Treasury Intelligence Solutions).

Walldorf, November 10, 2020. Miltenyi Biotec, headquartered in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, has selected the TIS payments platform to manage all its bank accounts, bank statements, payments and conduct detailed financial analyses. The decision for TIS was made after thorough market observation. Its usability, high security standards, and effective SAP integration clearly stood out.

Miltenyi Biotec has grown steadily in recent years, especially in international markets. The company was founded in 1989 in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, and specializes in products and processes for cellular research and cell therapy applications. Today, it has more than 3,000 employees worldwide, with 700 employees in research and clinical development. Miltenyi Biotec distributes its products through direct sales in 28 countries. The company’s ongoing growth, increasing number of affiliates, banking partners and accounts led to a need to standardize the company’s finance processes and to make them more efficient.

Besides accounts and payments consolidation, the company also wanted to make its payment processes more professional. In Germany, payment processes were structured with the Treasury Management System. Internationally, however, subsidiaries and affiliates used SAP and other ERP systems for payments and connected to banks via different online banking tools.

Daniel Pier, Group Leader Treasury at Miltenyi Biotec: “For our renewed banking landscape we looked for a centralized payments platform to make international payments more transparent and secure. With TIS, we can automate and standardize payments and monitor the processes from group treasury whenever necessary. For us, the core value of this solution is to enable us to follow closely the company-wide liquidity status at the push of a button.”

Jörg Wiemer, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at TIS: “For fast growing companies, it is especially important to manage resources efficiently and meanwhile also ensure security and transparency in corporate payments and liquidity management. With its effective SAP integration and extensive bank connectivity, TIS offers powerful benefits to its customers. We are happy to welcome Miltenyi Biotec, a leading innovator in biomedical research and cellular therapy, to the TIS community.”

About TIS

TIS (Treasury Intelligence Solutions GmbH), founded in Walldorf, Germany in 2010, is a global leader in managing corporate payments. The Financial Times named TIS as one of “Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies” for 2019 and 2020. Offered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the TIS solution is a comprehensive, highly-scalable, cloud platform for company-wide payments and cash management. The TIS solution has been successfully used for many years in both large and medium-sized companies, including Adecco Group, Hugo Boss, Fresenius, Fugro, Lanxess, OSRAM and QIAGEN. More than 25% of DAX companies are already TIS customers.

Your world of Payments. ONE Login.

https://www.tis.biz

Press contact

Treasury Intelligence Solutions GmbH

Liang Fang

Altrottstrasse 31

69190 Walldorf

Germany

If you want to know more about TIS, visit www.tis.biz

Read the complete press release also here

 

Partner Interview Nomentia | Best-of-breed cash & treasury management solutions

10-11-2020 | treasuryXL | Nomentia |

It has been a crazy year for OpusCapita with a lot of positive changes. OpusCapita recently joined forces with Analyste and merged into Nomentia.

Nomentia is a Nordic powerhouse for global cash management. By believing in a world in which businesses can make the right decisions no matter how unpredictable the times are, their SaaS-based platform offers solutions for cash forecasting & visibility, global payments with bank connectivity, reconciliation, in-house banking, guarantees, and FX dealing. Nomentia currently serves 2,300+ clients in over 100 countries processing more than 200 billion euros annually.

AN INTRODUCTION TO…

 

Meet Jukka Sallinen , Deputy CEO at Nomentia.

Jukka is a cash management domain expert with a strong hands-on background from international and complex payment factory and SWIFT projects. Previously Jukka had been working in various R&D roles, focusing on bank and ERP integrations and security topics.

” We are the bridge between finance and treasury ”

 

 

We asked him 9 questions. Let’s go!

INTERVIEW

1. Nomentia, what is the core business and what is its mission??

Our vision is to create solutions that make the life of modern CFO’s and Treasurers easier. We provide best-of-breed cash and treasury solutions that are the bridge between Finance and Treasury. Best-of-breed means that we focus on challenges that matter for modern CFO’s and treasurers to stay ahead of the curve and help their business to prosper.

We solve the challenges that professionals face in their daily work:

End-to-end & total visibility of cash flows is ever important. By visibility we of course mean visibility to cash flows, bank accounts, payments and future cash flows. But today, visibility is also more and more a risk & compliance related challenge. To whom I am going to pay? How do I mitigate the risk of fraud? Another visibility challenge is the whole topic of working capital where cash & liquidity forecasting & analytics solutions will play a role.

While visibility could be classified as internal challenge an example of external challenge Treasurers are facing is financial crime which is globally a trillion-dollar industry. Payment fraud and cybercrime faced by corporates remains significant and growing problem. To fight back corporates are mitigating these risks by harmonizing bank connectivity & payments into a centralized payment hub.

Finally, finance organizations seeking for return of investments from their Treasury or Finance solutions typically look increasing automation and efficiency in financial processes. Automating & harmonizing bank statement processing and accounts receivable reconciliation (automatic matching) holds typically largest savings potential.

By focusing on these challenges that matter to modern CFO and Treasurers, Nomentia is different. Monolithic finance and treasury systems are not quick and flexible enough to face the challenges of today and thus remain largely un-used.

2. OpusCapita recently formed a new company together with Analyste. What was the main reason for this? 

There is a growing need for choosing best-of-breed cloud solutions to solve particular business challenges today’s organizations are facing, which cannot be addressed by traditional monolithic tools. And treasury and finance organizations are no different. We are in a journey to create a leading cloud native cash management company as one.

3. What constitutes this Nordic powerhouse?

We took the best practices of both companies and combined them into one integrated solution for Finance and Treasury professionals. Nowadays, companies need multiple tools and systems. Is anyone convinced that the trend would go backwards? I mean look at your mobile phone. More apps keep coming and we as consumers add more. As business consumers we don’t want to be different, right?

A modern company needs a sales and customer relationship management, marketing automation tools, billing systems, project management tools, HR systems and various business solutions – and Finance & Treasury are no different. Often at some point we fall into the trap of looking for one platform to solve all challenges. But there never will be one, because we cannot possibly know everything a platform needs to solve to adapt in changing business environment. You end up using only small fraction of such monolithic platform with a very high price tag or building very customized solutions.

4.You talk about best-of-breed, what does it mean and what is the customer benefit?

Now, what does this mean for treasury and cash? A one-for-all solution would be a single solution to solve all your finance & treasury & cash management issues. That at least used to be sort of IT’s dream come true. One can clearly see benefits such as having less systems to integrate or less business partners to deal with. Also, commonly heard argument is to claim you would have “all the data at your hand in one place” which often shrinks into a mere sales argument.

While choosing best-of-breed companies can build network of integrated products and solutions. Benefits are often ones like paying and implementing only what you really need, much quicker implementation time and thus quick payback time, more standard features and no customization and vendor locking. Even the integration – a classical tarpit in IT projects – is often surprisingly simple because best of breed providers works very well together

Treasury or Finance is not an island. It is not the treasury that really is changing but the world around it. How companies are purchasing goods, sales are becoming digital, buying journey shifting to marketplaces and technology and software connecting everyone and concerning almost any business will sure keep changing the work that needs to be done by Treasury and Finance teams. Our claim is that networks and best-of-breed is more adapted to change.

5. How does the customer journey look like from start till end? And how long does a project take?

This really depends on the customers and their needs and how their internal processes look as well. We adjust to our customers’ needs.

6. Can you give us an outlook on the product developments that are scheduled?

The most important achievement is that we’ve now released our first versions from next generation Nomentia products that are based on a modern cloud architecture. We have been working on for the last four to five years to come up with the next generation – which is by the way already fifth generation if we look how our products have evolved from 80’s. Our customers should expect a whole new user experience from all our applications as many modules have not only got a completely new front end in HTML5 but a backend and business logic as well.

One of the new developments our customers should be looking carefully is that we are bringing better productized analytics capabilities to our next generation product as we speak. With analytics capabilities we mean payment behavior analytics and statistics, performance analysis and working capital related key performance indicators.

7. What has been your best experience in your career at OpusCapita, now Nomentia?

Next spring shall mark me already fifteen years in the company. Both OpusCapita and Analyste had gone such an exciting journey first as an independent company and then as part of larger enterprises, and finally again independent but together. It’s hard for me to rank all the memories I’ve collected with such a fantastic team and individuals that have participated into this journey. However, I still do remember with warmth some of the early development projects that helped us to become more international, such as joining to SWIFT Lite 2 program as global early adopters in 2013. And of course, winning the hearts of first global customers for the new service back then.

I’ve always got inspiration from challenging projects, working with new technology, and working to productize something that no one has done before. I feel that our employees at Nomentia are in a privileged position, since we work with such an exciting customer base and deliver software for so critical processes.

8. What has been the biggest success story of OpusCapita, now Nomentia, so far?

Although both Analyste and OpusCapita  have their roots in early 80’s we’re truly living the moments of biggest success right now. The company has never been filled with such a talented people, have such great solutions, and finally a market position to grow and create a European (or rather global) Fintech success story.

9. The year is 2025, what have been the OpusCapita/Nomentia successes over the last years?

The world of CFO and Treasurer is changing probably faster than never. Our five-year plan is obviously to grow significantly, which means double-digit revenue growth year-on-year. Much of our growth comes from international markets where I would expect us to cement our positions in several new markets as a viable and market leading choice of a modern CFO.

We will be significantly larger and stronger European Fintech company than we are today. When it comes to successes, I believe it is all about the journey rather than single events. We must work hard every day to win our customers hearts, and to have an atmosphere where employees find it exciting to wake up every Monday and be a part of our success story. Work hard, learn something new every day, and do it with a smile, and the journey will reward you.

 

treasuryXL announces collaboration with Treasury Delta

| 5-11-2020 | treasuryXL | Treasury Delta | VENLO, The Netherlands, November 5, 2020 – treasuryXL, the community platform for everyone who is active in the world of treasury, and Treasury Delta, an Irish FinTech company, which has brought to market an innovative platform that uses digital technology to connect companies, banks and treasury management […]

Corporates: Caveat IBOR!

03-11-2020 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting |

Many of the world’s leading benchmark base rates are about to change; this could impact your business in unexpected ways.

Since Roman times, the phrase ‘caveat emptor’ – let the buyer beware – has been used in agreements as a warning that a lack of due diligence could come back to bite you. For today’s corporate treasurer it might instead be more relevant to use (with apologies to the linguists out there) ‘caveat IBOR’.

For the past 40 years, IBOR has been the benchmark used to determine the interest rates applied to a myriad of financial products. All this is about to change: starting on 31st December 2021 many of these rates will cease to exist and be replaced by ‘Risk-Free-Rates’ (RFRs).

The potential impact of these changes is often seriously underestimated. Corporate companies need to prepare today to be ready for banks wanting to discuss changes to existing contracts in the coming months.

 

The 4 to 6 months ahead of us are arguably the most critical period in the transition away from LIBOR. The time to act is now.
 – FCA July 2020

 

Why should I care about the IBOR transition?

It is highly likely that your organisation will be affected by the IBOR transition. Most corporate organisations underestimate the impact, thinking that the ‘only’ thing that will change is a base rate and its calculation method. Before you join their ranks, take some time to reflect on the following:

  • The IBOR will cease to exist, starting on the 31st December 2021 and be replaced by Risk-Free-Rates (RFRs) with a different basis for calculation
  • These changes will impact financial (e.g. bond, (intercompany) loan, (multi-currency) credit facility) contracts as well as commercial contracts with an IBOR related ‘late payment clause’
  • This in turn will impact processes in the Treasury functions, with knock-on effects to supporting departments, Legal, IT systems, accounting, and tax reporting to name just a few
  • IBOR transition is progressing at a different pace across jurisdictions and financial products (e.g. loans, bonds, and derivatives), adding to the complexity of managing the transition

In the coming months you are going to be approached by your bank(s) to discuss changes to contracts maturing after 2021. To be prepared for these discussions, it is essential that you have a solid idea of what the repercussions of these changes will be on your organisation.

From IBOR to RFRs: a brief history

For the past 4 decades, IBOR (interbank offered rates, including LIBOR and EURIBOR) have been the benchmark for lending, hedge contracts, current accounts, valuation models etc. The (L)IBOR is calculated by processing hypothetical borrowing transactions that are submitted by a few ‘panel’ banks.
In 2012, the LIBOR scandal came to light: it was discovered that since 2008, panel banks had been colluding to illegally manipulate the rates. This set in motion that regulators, central banks, and market participants started a search for a safer alternative to the LIBOR. In 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that it would not compel or persuade panel banks to make LIBOR submissions after December 31st, 2021.

As a direct result, LIBOR term rates (1m, 3m, 6m, 12m) for USD, GBP, CHF, JPY, EUR will cease to be published as per December 31st, 2021. Other benchmarks such as EONIA and EURIBOR are similarly subject to an interest rate benchmark reform and it was decided to also discontinue the submission of EONIA after December 31st, 2021. Additionally, other benchmarks, such as JIBAR (ZAR), SIBOR (SGD), SOR (SGD) and Euroyen TIBOR (JPY) are undergoing comparable reforms[1]. See the sidebar (at the bottom of this article) for additional IBOR related details.

To minimise the possibility of fraud in future, global working groups have defined a new reference rate and calculation system. As a result, IBOR will be replaced by secured or unsecured transaction-based alternative Risk-Free Rates (RFRs) by the end of 2021. These new interest rate benchmarks are determined on the basis of transactions[2] and are therefore significantly more robust and resistant to manipulation.

Covid-19 will not buy you any time

After the worldwide outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, the world has changed rapidly. Uncertain times have arrived with a looming global economic recession. While many expected the pandemic to postpone the deadline, this does not to appear to be borne out by reality.

UK regulators have indeed postponed the deadline for the cessation of new issuances of GBP LIBOR-referencing loan products maturing after 2021 to the end of Q1 2021, instead of Q3 2020[3]. However, it is widely expected that the deadline for migrating existing LIBOR related contracts to alternative risk-free benchmarks will remain unchanged. Indeed, the FCA even emphasised in July 2020 that the LIBOR deadline is not going to change and that “The time to act is now.”

ISDA agreements and IBOR transition

On October 23, 2020 ISDA (International Swaps and Derivatives Association) finalised the protocols and other documentation by which outstanding derivatives contracts which reference LIBOR can be transformed in order to work with the new RFRs[4]. The FCA has repeatedly urged market participants from all sectors – sell side, buy side, non-financial, to ensure they are ready for the end of LIBOR by adhering to the protocol that ISDA is producing[5].

How will the IBOR transition impact you?

At a basic level, your corporate organisation’s existing IBOR-based interest rates will be replaced by new RFR-based rates. As these depend on a different underlying valuation methodology, any place in the organisation that currently relies on or makes use of an IBOR-based rate could potentially be impacted:

  • Corporates have a variety of products with financial contracts that refer to an IBOR related benchmark. These can be bond agreements, loan agreements, cash pooling agreements, (multi-currency) credit facility agreements, derivatives, intercompany loan agreements and many other instruments. In particular, larger organisations active across multiple regions in the world with more complex non-Euro instruments will be impacted
  • Commercial contracts with e.g. ‘late payment clauses’ with charges involving an IBOR related benchmark will also be impacted
  • Processes and other aspects related to these agreements and contracts across the Treasury functions (such as Corporate Finance, Risk Management and Cash Management & Working Capital) will need to be reviewed, and changed if impacted: Legal, IT systems and interfaces, reporting, accounting (e.g. hedge-accounting), Tax, policies, procedures, valuation models will all require attention
  • Interim milestones intended to smoothen the IBOR transition will lead to a cessation of the issuance of new LIBOR referenced products maturing after 2021. (For example, this will be the case for GBP LIBOR referenced bonds, loans, and derivatives; from Q2 2021, new GBP denominated issuances for these products will already refer to the alternative RFR.)
  • An additional complication is that the IBOR transition is progressing in different stages across different jurisdictions and different financial products
  • And, quite simply, there are many aspects that are as yet unknown, amongst which:
    • what the impact of applying hedge accounting to IBOR referenced instruments will be
    • whether and when alternative reference rate term structures will be available and for which products
    • how compounding daily rates over time will be handled in the absence of a term structure for cash management purposes
    • whether fallback language will be available
    • how liquid the market for (L)IBOR rates will be towards the end date of 31st December 2021
    • whether and when EURIBOR and other IBOR critical benchmarks will be discontinued

The magnitude of change is well-recognised by banks and financial institutions, and they are demonstrating an increasing sense of urgency to address contracts maturing after 2021. Be prepared for a call from your bank in the coming months!

What should you do to prepare?

As the deadline approaches, you will need to know your level of exposure and impact in order to prevent surprises. What will the impact of the IBOR transition be on your TMS and ERP systems, your credit facilities, bank loans, cash pooling, bonds, ISDA agreements and intercompany agreements? What impacts will these have on your processes and supporting systems? Which complexities will need to be managed?

Having this information at hand will enable you to be a proper sparring partner for your banks when they renegotiate contract terms.

Depending on the complexity of your contracts, the IBOR phase out could substantially affect your corporate organisation. Prevent unnecessary loss by preparing yourself, following this three-step approach:

1. Assess impact

The first step you should take is to analyse the IBOR related contracts in use throughout your organisation. Determine which contracts have an IBOR related component and the size of the exposure. Once you have assessed the complexity of your IBOR related contracts, analyse the impact on related areas (ranging from Tax and Legal to IT systems, and procedures, reporting, accounting (e.g. hedge-accounting), and the like).

2. Plan actions

On completing your impact assessment, create a detailed action plan. Define a project team governance to manage this action plan and the status of the transition across different areas, business lines, and geographical locations. In particular, take care to ensure external resource availability regarding e.g. Legal counselling and system provider experts, as demand for these specialists will rapidly increase as the IBOR transition deadline approaches.

3. Act and implement

Step three is the implementation of your action plan throughout the affected areas of your organisation. In this ‘Act’ phase it is important to maintain the conversation with external parties, such as banks and system providers. It is also of vital importance to support the implementation across all relevant business lines and functions, maintaining support for go-live readiness in line with the defined action plan and deadlines.

 

A golden opportunity

The good news is that there is still time to assess the impact of the pending IBOR changes on your organisation and to act upon it if needs be. The sooner you have an idea of the potential consequences for your organisation, the sooner you will be able to mitigate these. This understanding will also give you more leverage in the coming discussions with your bank(s).

Moreover, the IBOR phase out may bring a golden opportunity for corporates to re-evaluate the current contract agreements and look for better deals. Consider this: during the IBOR migration contracts are in fact ‘renegotiated’ and banks will need to come up with a new offer. Will you take that offer as a corporate client? That all depends on your level of understanding and preparation.

IBOR may well be a golden opportunity, but it is up to you as a corporate treasurer to seize it by acting rather sooner than later! Corporates: Caveat IBOR!

If you are interested in how we can help you to assess your IBOR related contract complexity or if you want to understand how we can support your corporate organisation in the IBOR phase out transition, you can contact us on:

dpluta@enigmaconsulting.nl or look at www.enigmaconsulting.nl

Daniel Pluta

 

 

 

[1] A more extensive overview of IBOR benchmarks and related alternative risk free rates can be found on the website of The Investment Association (in cooperation with Linklaters): Table Interbank Offered Rates (IBORs) and Alternative Reference Rates (ARRs), version September 24, 2020

[2] Source: Interest rate benchmark reform – overnight risk-free rates and term rates, Financial Standards Board, July 12 2018

[3] Source:  Further statement from the RFRWG on the impact of Coronavirus on the timeline for firms’ LIBOR transition plans, Bank of England, March 25 2020

[4] Source: ISDA launches IBOR fallbacks supplement and protocol October 23, 2020

[5] Source: LIBOR transition – the critical tasks ahead of us in the second half of 2020, Financial Conduct Authority, July 14 2020

SIDEBAR

Selected Highlights of IBOR Phase Out Related Facts[1]

General

  • LIBOR term rates (1m, 3m, 6m, 12m) for USD, GBP, CHF, JPY, EUR will cease to be published per December 31st, 2021
  • Overnight, transaction based “alternatives” for these currencies are already live: ESTER (EUR); SONIA (GBP); TONAR (JPY); SARON (CHF) and SOFR (USD)[2]
  • EONIA is based on Ester + 8.5 basis points (since October 2nd, 2019). EONIA will cease to be published per December 31st, 2021
  • As of October 2019, EURIBOR is published as a hybrid rate (mix of actual transactions + panel consultation) and will continue to be published. EURIBOR is expected to be continued into the foreseeable future, however discontinuation is still a possibility. At the time of writing, it is uncertain if and when this will happen
  • Various consultation groups are assessing reform proposals and alternatives, such as:
    • Working Group on Sterling Risk Free Rates regarding GBP LIBOR
    • Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) regarding USD LIBOR
    • Working Group on Euro Risk Free Rates regarding EONIA and EURIBOR
  • Financial institutions have performed a global impact assessment on their financial contracts and have created IBOR migration teams
  • Across different jurisdictions and different financial products, the IBOR transition is progressing in different stages
  • Calculation methodologies across different alternative RFRs could differ and a term structure is still missing for most of the alternative benchmarks

ISDA (International Swaps and Derivatives Association)

  • On May 14, 2020 a summary of the response to the “ISDA 2020 Consultation on How to Implement Pre-Cessation Fallbacks on Derivatives” was published. The majority of market participants support a combination of pre-cessation and permanent cessation fallbacks without optionality or flexibility in the IBOR Fallbacks Supplement and IBOR Fallbacks Protocol[3]
  • On July 21, 2020 Bloomberg and ISDA announced that Bloomberg Index Services Limited (BISL) had begun calculating and publishing fallbacks that ISDA intends to implement for certain key interbank offered rates (IBORs)[4]
  • ISDA launched the IBOR Fallbacks Protocol and the IBOR Fallbacks Supplement to implement the new fallbacks for legacy and new derivative contracts on October 23, 2020. From effective date January 25, 2021, all new cleared and non-cleared interest rate derivatives that reference the definitions will include the fallbacks[5]

SIDEBAR

Central Counterparty Clearing houses

  • On July 27, 2020 LCH, Eurex Clearing and CME Group implemented a discounting switch from EONIA to Ester for cleared OTC EUR denominated derivatives related to Price Alignment Interest (PAI[6]) and Price Alignment Amount (PAA) regarding Settle-to-Market collateral[7]
  • On October 19, 2020 LCH, Eurex Clearing and CME Group implemented a discounting switch from EFFR to SOFR for cleared OTC USD denominated derivatives related to Price Alignment Interest (PAI) and Price Alignment Amount (PAA) regarding Settle-to-Market collateral

USD LIBOR transition and Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC)

  • The ARRC issued a deadline on September 30, 2020, in order to establish RFP processes to facilitate the eventual publication of (a) forward-looking term SOFR rates and (b) the ARRC’s recommended spread adjustment for transition of legacy contracts[8]
  • From September 30, 2020 onwards, new syndicated business loans must include ARRC hardwired fallback language
  • From October 31, 2020 onwards, new bilateral business loans must include ARRC hardwired fallback language
  • From December 31, 2020 onwards, no new Floating Rate Notes referring to USD LIBOR and maturing after 2021 should be issued

GBP LIBOR transition and Working Group on Sterling Risk Free Rates

  • New bonds issuances maturing after 2021 and referring to GBP LIBOR should be ceased after Q1 2021[9]
  • New loans issuances maturing after 2021 and referring to GBP LIBOR should be ceased after Q1 2021
  • Initiation of new linear derivatives linked to GBP LIBOR that expire after 2021 should cease after Q1 2021

 

[1] The list of highlights does not have the intention to give a complete overview of all events and only reflects recent developments

[2] A more extensive overview of IBOR benchmarks and related alternative risk free rates can be found on the website of The Investment Association (in cooperation with Linklaters): Table Interbank Offered Rates (IBORs) and Alternative Reference Rates (ARRs), version September 24, 2020

[3] Source: Summary of Responses to the ISDA 2020 Consultation on How to Implement Pre-Cessation Fallbacks in Derivatives. A pre-cessation announcement would be an announcement that the IBOR benchmark is no longer representative of the interbank lending rate. A cessation announcement would be a public announcement that the administrators of different IBOR benchmarks have or will cease to provide IBOR benchmarks

[4] Calculations published by BISL include the adjusted RFR (compounded in arrears), the spread adjustment and the ‘all in’ IBOR fallback rates for the following IBORs across various tenors: the Australian Dollar Bank Bill Swap Rate (BBSW), the Canadian Dollar Offered Rate (CDOR), Swiss franc LIBOR, EURIBOR, Euro LIBOR, Sterling LIBOR, HIBOR, Euroyen TIBOR, Yen LIBOR, TIBOR and US Dollar LIBOR (see https://www.isda.org/2020/07/21/bloomberg-begins-publishing-calculations-related-to-ibor-fallbacks/ )

[5] Source: ISDA launches IBOR fallbacks supplement and protocol October 23, 2020

[6] PAI is the overnight cost of funding collateral. It is debited from the receiver and transferred to the payer to cover the loss of interest on posted collateral. Imagine an Interest Rate Swap, cleared through a CCP such as LCH, Eurex Clearing or CME Group. At the beginning of the life of the swap the PV is close to zero, so worth little to either party. Over the life of the trade the value of the floating leg will vary leading to an NPV to one of the parties. The change in this NPV from day to day is what Variation Margin is, calculated and moved by a CCP on a daily basis.

[7] LCH Discounting Switch Ester and SOFR

CME Discounting Switch Ester and SOFR

Eurex Clearing Discounting Switch Ester and SOFR

[8] ARRC USD LIBOR Transition Timelines, New York Fed, version September 9 2020

[9] UK RFR Roadmap | 2020-21 intermediate update, Bank of England, September 2020