Trends & Vision

Sustainable by nature

Published on 21.04.2016

Why we believe that durability is inseparable from cash management.
A tribune by Jean-François Denis, deputy head of cash management.

Sustainability is probably the most important thing about cash management, whether you are the bank providing the service or the customer who gains from it. To understand the big picture, one must be familiar with the nature of our activity, which, if you are not in -or connected to- our line of business, will probably be somewhat of a challenge.

Choosing a cash management bank, namely a bank that can support your development over time, which in today’s world means accompanying a corporate’s growth strategy across the geographies and over the years, is no small decision.

Selecting a banking partner to manage the liquidity of an organisation, especially one that operates in a multi-country or global environment, is everything but a technical step. On the contrary, it is a very time consuming and risk-prone process that requires months of analysis, benchmarks, discussions, systems implementation, migration…

It is quite important to understand this, because there is still a widespread belief that cash management is essentially a technical activity. Like you would press a button, and the miracle collection factory of the 21st century would be here, right in front of you! Such perception is not entirely wrong –connectivity in our business is a very big thing; but it is undeniably partial and restrictive.

For my part, I never miss an opportunity to show how our business is driven by talent, by people, and therefore, by relationships.  And relationships are built on trust, which requires time and sustainability.

Another reason why building a sustainable relationship with customers is a must for a cash management bank is because the bank’s mission is to support corporates in a constantly changing world. This means that although banks must respond with the smartest solutions to the needs of their clients today, they must also reach forward and anticipate with and for them. Some banks are in a pole position to do this because they constantly watch how the market evolves and which technologies have the potential to change the game. And not only do they observe, but they get involved in leading initiatives with a range of players, from innovative newcomers to regulators, so they can be proactive and help their customers stay ahead.

Now, there is another prerequisite to sustainability, and that is for a business to be backed up at the highest level. Our organisation has been supporting cash management for a long time and is still today strongly and deeply committed to cash. In the words of BNP Paribas CEO, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, “Cash management plays an instrumental role… It is a key service we can offer to our corporate clients, that requires a continuous investment in systems and people.”

In these few lines are all the ingredients of sustainability. Today more than ever, we know that we can rely on a continuous investment in cash management to build the long-lasting, trust-driven relationship that is the key to success.

The Cash Management mantra

Cash management being inseparable from sustainability reflects our vision of what it means to be a leading global cash management bank. Here are a few insights on our philosophy.


  • It takes time to build trust, so the objective is for banks and customers to sail together for a good while.
  • Choosing a cash management bank is a time-consuming process, so once a bank and a corporate are in the same boat, the former must ensure that it is a worthwhile journey for the latter.
  • Cash management supports long-term growth strategies as well as daily operations, so whatever the journey to reach their goal, corporates must be reassured that their bank will be at their side.
  • Only banks with a longstanding and long term commitment to cash can serve corporates across the globe in an efficient, innovative and sustainable fashion.


Biography of Jean-François Denis

Jean-François Denis is deputy global head of cash management at BNP Paribas, in charge of payments and collections, strategic marketing, client advisory and communication. He is a graduate in civil engineering from the Université Catholique de Louvain.