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LATEST FROM THE BLOG

A hub of news on current industry and technical issues, advice and career development support.

Treasury primer

Irrespective of the size of a company, its geographic location or its range of business, it needs to answer the following questions…

  • what treasury activities does it have?
  • who is responsible for them?
  • what are the limits of their authority?
If we accept that businesses need comprehensive risk management at their heart, then the education, experience and skills of a treasurer make him or her the most suitably placed business executive.

Regulation

Are we seeing the first ‘green shoots’ of banks entering the lending markets?

Managing currency risk

Companies across the board are finding the volatility in foreign exchange hard to deal with particularly in view of the reduced availability and variable pricing of hedging products.

FX divisions in banks are now highly profitable. About the only thing that we can forecast for certain this year is that any sort of FX hedging for corporates is going to be expensive and the advice is “shop around”. This month the links below focus on the prospects for sterling and also include reports on how certain companies are managing their currency risk in this environment.

Credit crisis and corporates – funding and beyond

The results of our credit crisis interviews with over 40 treasurers have recently been published and the report is available here.

This was a time consuming but hugely valuable exercise in assessing the effects of the credit and banking crisis on our members – we will be updating this work ahead of further discussions at the Annual Conference in April. As you can see there is some good news, some not so good news and a surprise or two!

Living without bank funding

Despite the Government’s attempts to kick-start lending to business, banks are not providing finance for business in anything like the volume that is required.

Surveys of companies and anecdotal evidence indicate that many companies expect this to continue for the foreseeable future and are cutting back hard on investment. Treasurers are looking at alternative sources of funding such as the bond markets.

Managing your own career: If you want promotion, avoid making yourself indispensable

Companies can find it hard to promote good people

Getting Global Process Owners – who really were the experts in their area – to train up staff with the skills needed to do the GPO’s jobs was really hard. The GPOs liked being the “go to see” and didn’t want to share that. But they never would be fully rewarded in their present jobs and needed to be moved or promoted to develop their careers. We couldn’t do that while they were indispensable.

Lord Turner on the crisis and the regulator’s job

Essential reading for treasurers The crisis, what went wrong, what the regulators need to change?

In any company where there is no banker or regulator or top economist, people turn to the treasurer to help them understand the current financial system crisis and what regulators need to do to prevent a recurrence.

Mending a broken market

So, 2009 has started off in a fairly turbulent way despite our wishes for a quieter time. The UK authorities have announced further action to support the banks. The extent of this additional and massive support indicates that the problems within some of the banks were much worse than was apparent in the autumn.

 

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