Interview with Piet van Keulen
Group Treasurer at Informa Plc, a UK listed media company
How can we encourage further integration of the European payments sector?
I think we are well underway. Great progress has been made. The industry is moving in the right direction. From my perspective we just have to let that happen. We will take advantage of new developments and opportunities where they make sense to us.
What, in your opinion, are the new opportunities of the European payments landscape beyond SEPA?
The SEPA format is in XML. That format is rapidly becoming the global standard and it is already widely used (for example in the USA). As such, the move to high volume low cost payment methods from different regions over the world has become easier. Informa is currently working on XML files for payments from its USA based companies to different regions in the world. The payments to Europe will be in XML-SEPA. The payments to other regions will be prepared in XML alternatives.
How did Informa Plc implement in-house banking within their organisation?
It starts with a good plan that has obtained the support from CEO and CFO and other stakeholders in the company. With head office support the plan and its implementation can be explained and sold to the rest of the company.
Without a Treasury acting as In-house Bank, the banking and financing of a company can be chaotic, complicated and very costly. A good structure and strategy covering the central management of banking and finance can make sure that the group’s financial resources can be deployed optimally at reasonable cost.
The practical implementation of in-house banking will also require a good treasury management system and a treasury team with the right skills.
What are the international opportunities for in-house banking?
Being efficient with the group’s financial resources. Obtaining quality and reliability of financial and banking services. Coherent global cash management. A coordinated and at arm’s length approach of intercompany structures, including intercompany loans, intercompany accounts (with Treasury), intercompany netting and intercompany fx clearing. Altogether, structured and good quality banking at the lowest possible cost