Raiffeisen Bank offers its corporate customers not simply products, but bespoke solutions. At the bank, groups of companies with a presence in several countries can open cash pooling accounts, while the Treasury service could benefit customers to the tune of tens of millions of forints every year. We spoke to head of business line Zoltán Kiss (on the right) and department head Gábor Liener.
What does Raiffeisen Bank’s Cash Management service offer?
Zoltán Kiss: It includes bank account management in forint and the major currencies – although there is also the option to manage an account in Chinese yuan, for example –, as well as the electronic banking channels that are indispensable today: the “Raiffeisen Expressz” software, which is compatible with most internal resource management systems, and the MultiCash system. These basic services are topped off by the most sophisticated part of the Cash Management service: the group account management service for medium-sized and large companies. This package of services, which includes automatic balance settlement, consolidated interest calculation and group coverage checking, is available in one form or another at most banks, but we, on the other hand – building on our international network – offer specific additional advantages to our customers.
What kind of advantages?
Z.K.: As one of the largest banking groups in Central and Eastern Europe, we have a presence in the same countries as our customers (including Hungarian multinationals). For example, if a company group has business interests in several countries, we can set up a group banking system, known as a Cross Border Zero or Target Balancing system. We pool the companies’ accounts, so that even if the account of one of the subsidiaries is overdrawn, if the account balance is positive elsewhere the company group will be capable of financing itself. Funding options are also available: all of our customers – depending on annual sales revenue and subject to a risk assessment – can be granted an overdraft facility and/or investment loan if they apply for it. Our customers also receive a 20-percent discount on the fee for euro transfers if they use our IntraGroup Payments service.
Does the Treasury service also help with liquidity management?
Gábor Liener: Yes. We recommend that all companies with revenues or expenses in a foreign currency make use of our Treasury service, which enables them to manage the risks arising from fluctuations in the exchange rates. With the right hedging strategy, companies can avoid having the profit from their core activity wiped out or even turned into an overall loss by an unfavourable change in the exchange rate.
All companies have different needs. How do you handle this?
Z.K.: We make an effort to map out our customers’ requirements as fully as possible, so that we can offer the financial solution best suited to the specific needs of the given customer. Each of our customers has a dedicated relationship manager, who can be reached at virtually any time and is immediately on hand to assist with any acute problem.
G.L.: We only provide our Treasury service to customers that we know in person. Although each customer is different, the needs and problems that arise are often similar, so the pool of knowledge accumulated at the bank allows us to offer a solution to any problem that a customer might have.
This presupposes a close relationship of trust between the bank and its customers.
G.L.: That is precisely where Raiffeisen Bank can offer more than others: we don’t offer a product, we offer bespoke solutions. At Treasury more than twenty relationship managers, more than twice the usual number, are on hand to take the calls of customers, so the amount of time and attention devoted to each customer is higher than average. Our relationship managers are available from eight in the morning until eight in the evening. This is rare, as most banks can’t be reached after five in the afternoon, although there are situations in the market (especially the currency market) in which these three hours mean a great deal: possibly as much as tens of millions of forints a year, as the markets often continue to move even after the close of business in Europe. The fee structure is transparent; customers know before each transaction how much they will pay.
Does the bespoke service come at a higher price?
Z.K.: We believe that today you cannot be successful through good prices alone. This is why we offer a bespoke service at favourable prices, and pay a great deal of attention to the quality of the service. These factors, together, make for a successful business.