National Grid selects SMA Financial for Swift connectivity

Source: SMA Financial

SMA Financial, SWIFT Regional partner for UK, Eire, Channel Islands and the Nordics today announced that National Grid plc (LSE: NG), an international gas and electricity company, has selected SMA's Service Bureau for outsourced SWIFT connectivity, and SMA Alembic to optimise cash and liquidity management. Together the solutions will help National Grid to improve Treasury payment processing efficiency and reduce operational risk.

National Grid has multiple banking relationships which made creating and processing payments an increasingly challenging task as it was manually intensive and required the use of separate ebanking platforms, none of which were linked to its Treasury Management System. It was also difficult to maintain an up to date view of cash balances as statements were received in multiple formats from different systems. Financial reporting required data to be entered into spreadsheets and manipulated which was time consuming to consolidate and analyse.

To overcome these challenges and make use of the ultra-secure and reliable SWIFT network, National Grid has turned to two solutions from SWIFT specialist SMA Financial. Mark Flawn, Assistant Treasurer at National Grid plc explained, "After speaking with our peers in the industry and our banking partners, it became clear that SMA was the leading provider of SWIFT services and consultancy in Europe. By connecting to our counterparties over SWIFT via the SMA Service Bureau we will greatly reduce the manual effort required in payments processing and minimise our operational risk. Additionally SMA Alembic will link our Treasury Management System to the payments process providing us with more straight through processing and greater visibility over our cash positions and enable us to optimise the use of our resources."

The implementation at National Grid is on schedule for completion in May. The SMA Service Bureau and SMA Alembic will enable the treasury team to quickly and easily create payment runs and communicate with multiple banks through a single portal. National Grid will also benefit from better reporting on statements and gain a near real-time liquidity view of aggregated cash positions across its multiple accounts.

Flawn commented, "We were attracted to SMA's Service Bureau because it has been implemented by many corporates and backed up by an experienced and fully accredited team of SWIFT consultants. SMA Alembic was embic was equally compelling as it offers a cost-effective solution that could be rapidly implemented to help us achieve better cash management and develop comprehensive reporting capabilities."

Simon Murby, Managing Director, SMA Financial said, "Optimising cash and liquidity management is more important than ever for corporates in the current economic climate. By using fully outsourced solutions from SMA it is possible to quickly achieve significant and sustainable improvements in cash management."

SMA Alembic is a modular software suite that can be customised to meet the demanding requirements of today's corporate treasury department. It is fully integrated with SMA's Service Bureau and simplifies the process of sending payments and receiving statements.

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