DBS Bank and United Overseas Bank on Tuesday launched new advisory services to help their corporate clients.
DBS said its working capital advisory programme seeks to help companies free up cash flow by assisting them in analysing their physical and financial supply chains.
For example, the programme can help to identify if the firm has too much inventory on-hand where cash is tied-up or if the firm’s customers are behind in payments.
The bank can then recommend that the firm reduce its inventory to free up cash or put in place an automated payment reminder so that the firm’s customers can pay on time.
DBS estimates that there is US$2.7 trillion worth of “trapped cash” in Asia due to sub-optimal working capital management.
Its transaction banking business generates about S$1.5 billion in revenue annually and has delivered a 29 per cent compound annual growth rate over the last four years.
Meanwhile, UOB has set up a foreign exchange (FX) advisory and trading unit dedicated to help small businesses, defined as companies with an annual turnover of less than S$20 million.
UOB said a team of more than 40 FX specialists can advise firms on hedging solutions, conduct business cash flow analysis and provide insights on financial market trends.
The specialists are based in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.
According to UOB’s data, 14 per cent of small business customers currently use currency conversion or hedging solutions such as spot and forward contracts as part of managing their day-to-day operations.
The bank expects this to double to at least 30 per cent in three years.
Apart from the FX advisory and trading unit, UOB is also launching a new mobile app to provide real-time FX information, news and research reports to small businesses.
The mobile app, called UOB Business, was developed following a UOB survey done in 2013, which found that 70 per cent of small business owners work outside of their office.
Source : Channel News Asia | March 18, 2014