The finding from the Treasury Verdict polling session shows that European treasurers are worried about a slip back into low or no growth as the economies in Germany, France and other key eurozone countries stall, but there is still a general expectation of some growth at their firms.
In response to the wider question, however, about how they feel about global economic prospects, only 34% of the treasury audience said they felt more confident than they did last year, with 37% responding they were less confident and 29% expecting no difference, reflecting the concerns about wider economic growth in Europe.
Responding to the live polling results in a concurrent panel session, Luc Vlaminck, group treasurer at drinks firm Financiere Remy Cointreau, said that the picture differs from country-to-country and around the globe. “There are regional variances and different paces of global recovery too,” he added, in reference to the stronger economic prospects in the UK, US and elsewhere at the moment.
Pierre Fersztand, global head of cash management at Treasury Verdict sponsor BNP Paribas, said that he expects to see a period of low growth, low interest rates and lots of liquidity in Europe in the coming years [as a stimulus to aid recovery]. “It’s not a good growth picture in Europe,” at the moment,” he admitted, “but Europe can cope and the picture is at least sustainable.”
When asked ‘Will cash visibility improve in 2015’, the treasury audience responded:
- Yes – 74%
- No – 26%.
Csaba Gulyas, head of treasury at the local Magyar Telekom corporate, responded to this finding by saying there is always some room for improvement and explaining it’s a question of technological proficiency how good your cash visibility is.
“Visibility helps cash forecasting and better decision-making, which is why you need to know your cash position fast, but it does differ from company to company [dependent on the technology installed] and regionally,” he said.
Other findings from the live treasury polling session on Day 2 of EuroFinance 2014 included:
Q. Have any if your clients asked to pay you, or you to pay them, using a cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin)?
- Yes – 7%
- No – 93%.
Other technology questions included: ‘Are you looking at the cloud for your treasury operations?’ …
- Yes – 48%
- No – 52%.
…and ‘Can you run your treasury from the beach?’ (i.e. remotely via virtual private networks, mobiles, etc)
- Yes – 63%
- No – 37%.
Responding to this finding, Vlaminck noted that with WiFi and mobile devices, it is possible to work remotely but – only for a temporary period. “I wouldn’t recommend it 365 days of the year,” he said.
Q. Do you know how much share of wallet each of your key relationship banks has?
- Yes – 57%
- No – 43%.
Q. Do you expect to spend more time on compliance in 2015 than you did in 2014?
- Yes – 73%
- No – 23%.
Q. Are your European payments more efficient after the introduction of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)?
- Yes – 75%
- No – 25%.
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