Bank of America's Head of FIs GTS: Cash has increased in prominence as a security

Bank of America's Head of FIs GTS: Cash has increased in prominence as a security

Despite the assumption that the Coronavirus pandemic will prove the last nail in the coffin, Bank of America's head of financial institutions GTS believes demand for paper money as a security has in fact increased.

Paul Taylor tells Finextra TV how cash should be viewed two ways: as a means of payment and a security of tangible value.

"We of course have a fantastic global wholesale bank notes business, and we've actually seen an increase in demand from banks all over the world because their clients are looking to get their hands on cash," he says.

"As a security and bearer of value, cash has increased in significance because it's perceived by the man on the street to be a haven."

Taylor acknowledges that as a means of payment, the effect has been the exact opposite, with spikes in contactless payments and online commerce, which he believes may become the new norm.

"It is possible that behaviours change long-term as a result of this crisis, as people realise that digital wallets and other electronic means of payment are just as viable and come with the added bonus that they are not physical."

Asked about the effect of the Covid-19 crisis on sustainable finance, Taylor does not believe that ESG is necessarily becoming more of a priority for financial institutions, but rather the perception of what it is is evolving.

Rather than simply being theoretical and something used to enhance a bank's brand, Taylor believes that ESG has become practical and necessary.

He says: "For banks, that comes in lots of different way. The most obvious one is the way that a bank like ours is required to support the government programmes which are intended to get finance to consumers and small businesses.

"That's not the ESG that we're used to, but it is societal and it is very real."

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