Using the euro to cut costs
Having a single currency in Eur-ope, or part of it, should mean lower costs for financial institutions. Bankers Trust (BT) is launching two new products which it says will en-able clients to reduce costs and im-prove global cash management efficiency when the euro is introduced next year.
One, a cash management product called Euro Global Treasury Management (EGTM), will let clients hold balances in various independent Emu legacy currencies, but earn collective interest as it would on a single currency. Without actually transferring funds, the EGTM product notionally pools balances of ac-counts which are held at BT, wheth-er they are denominated in euro or a legacy currency. We do not co-mingle, therefore multiple legal en-tities can be pooled through the EGTM product providing maximum cash management benefit," says Andrew Woelflein, vice president of euro product management at BT. By concentrating balances in this way, clients can maximise re-turns on all their cash, he says. In some countries, cash account bank balances currently do not receive interest at all. "It's a self-funding mechanism as well," says Woelflein. If a client is in an overdraft position on one balance a long position on another, the long position will help cancel the short.
BT is also launching a cheque clearing product called Euro Priority Remittance Service (Euro-PRS). It provides a single point to remit cheques regardless of country or currency. For euro and legacy currency cheques, this will be the BT office in Frankfurt, which will clear them.
As things stand, within the euro zone, cheques usually have to be sent to the home country of the bank account they are drawn on, and clearing times vary from country to country. Clearing times will be standardised with Euro-PRS, says Woelflein.
BT still has a variety of other euro-linked cash and trade products under development and will be rolled out between 1999 and 2001, he says. Rachel Fixsen"