The ability of corporates to efectively manage their cash is being compromised by their heavy reliance on Excel spreadsheets and manual processing, suggesting a bigger role for the banking community in providing added value advisory services, according to research from Aite.
The research, commissioned by Smartstream, finds that approximately 40% of the tier-one and tier-two Western European banks questioned plan to address corporate customer challenges by offering cash-flow forecasting tools by the end of 2009.
The enhancements will seek to address the difficulties faced by many corporate treasury managers as they attempt to bring together account information from multiple systems, spreadsheets, and e-mail, says the report.
Aite Group estimates that less than 15% of tier-one and tier-two European banks currently offer forecasting tools to their corporate customers. An additional 29% of large European banks are "very likely" to "extremely likely" to offer those tools over the next 24 months.
"While some banks feel very strongly that offering forecasting tools is not the responsibility of the bank, many do recognise it as a possible revenue generator and an additional added-value service they can offer to customers," says Christine Barry, research director at Aite Group. "Offering these tools creates yet another opportunity for banks to take on more of an advisory role with their customers, and provides a way to differentiate themselves from the competition."