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What do you know about the payment services directive?

The Payment Services Directive (PSD) should be in force across Europe by 1 November 2009. This directive is a very wide ranging piece of legislation and has even been adopted by the European Economic Area (thus including Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) and Swiss banks also plan to adopt the terms.

Who needs the “too big” banks?

In the ACT’s response (June 2009) to the Turner Review on the Global Financial Crisis, we touched on the question of who needs the super-large banks. Perhaps it is large companies. But we had doubts. So, we consulted the ACT Policy and Technical Committee and others, including some members at some of the large companies which might be most affected by the availability or otherwise of the largest financial institutions as well as more widely.

Stating the obvious?

You wouldn’t trust your key legal decisions to someone who isn’t a qualified lawyer, so whatever the size of your organisation – why entrust your treasury, risk and corporate finance to someone who isn’t a qualified treasury professional? Insist on ACT qualifications.

Most of you reading this statement will be members of the ACT so I hope you will endorse it and work within your own organisation to promote the rigour of professional qualifications for your profession.

Convertible bonds

The convertible bond market is one financing market that is currently enjoying boom times. Several UK listed companies have tapped this market recently and some commentators expect volumes to reach over USD 10 billion by the end of the year.

Regulation of derivatives

Now that the financial world seems a less scary place than a few moths ago, the attention of the authorities has shifted from fire-fighting to the prevention of future fires.

Extreme events have happened in the financial sector more often than would normally be expected and so the natural reaction of politicians has been to consider tighter regulation in many aspects of the financial markets.

Bank connectivity with SWIFT

With centralisation in treasury and other similar departments, such as Shared Service Centres or Payment Factories, a problem that very quickly shows itself is that of bank connectivity.

Staff end up spending a lot of time each day logging on to bank systems for information and to give payment instructions. While there might be a trend to reduce the number of banks dealt with in these departments, there is always a limit. No one bank can service all the countries now found in multinationals and the credit crunch has highlighted some of the risks in focusing on just a few banks.

Have the markets failed?

It may just be me, but it appears that the language of this credit crisis / recession has not only been mangled in the press and by commentators but at the same time entered public consciousness in ways that have not had the same impact as before. I’m thinking in particular of ‘market failure’.


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