November 2018

How are geopolitical risks, including tightened US monetary policy, idiosyncratic activity in Russia, and rising trade tension between the US and China, affecting business for FIs and their clients in Asia? Nancy So, Head of Institutional Cash Management Sales and Client Management, Asia Pacific, shares her views of the critical issues facing Asian FIs in The Asian Banker

Geopolitical risk has been one of the dominant themes for FIs globally throughout 2018. In the run-up to this year's Sibos event, Nancy So, Deutsche Bank's Head of Institutional Cash Management Sales and Client Management, Asia Pacific, joined a panel of experts assembled by The Asian Banker to discuss what is affecting business for banks and corporates in the Asia Pacific region, how they are dealing with the themes and what their priorities are moving forward.

The consensus was that the US's tightened monetary policy, along with crisis in Turkey, idiosyncratic risk in Russia, and, of course, the continued tension surrounding US-China trade relations has taken the sheen off Asia's economic prospects. Growth and profitability are no longer a given and FIs are supporting their clients by offering efficiency-focused and cost-cutting solutions, and leaning on digital technology to drive improvement.

Digital transformation is often a challenge in itself, however, with So arguing that "both corporates and FIs need to invest in the new open platform business model - strategically, financially, technologically, culturally". Cybersecurity, meanwhile, continues to pose challenges in some countries - adding further to the workloads of those pursuing digitalisation initiatives.

That said, there are clear opportunities to be tapped through effective digitalisation, with application programming interfaces (APIs) one technology already demonstrating strong value. So highlights how APIs are already underpinning Deutsche Bank's euro and US dollar payments via SWIFT gpi, while other areas such as FX pricing are also set to benefit.

The key for FIs going forward, according to So, will be working out how (the entire industry) "work together to enable efficiency, reduce costs, and operate safely in an increasingly digitised and connected economy".

Nancy So

Head of Institutional Cash Management Sales and Client Management, Asia Pacific, Deutsche Bank

 Nancy So

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