New rules force up price of money

Published in Raconteur’s Corporate Treasury supplement in The Sunday Times 

Reform of the financial services sector was essential following the 2008 crisis, but how is new regulation affecting corporate treasurers? Sally Percy investigates

The torrent of financial services regulation unleashed since the 2008 banking crisis may not have been directly aimed at corporate treasurers, but it has still rocked their world.

“Regulation features high among treasurers’ concerns because banks, effectively, are being restricted in what they can and can’t do,” says Michelle Price, associate policy and technical director at the Association of Corporate Treasurers.

The string of rules that banks – and therefore treasurers – have to contend with relate to derivatives trading, money laundering, tax and sanctions, among other topics.

But, ultimately, the regulation that will probably have the greatest impact on banks and their corporate clients is the infamous (in the financial services world, at least) Basel III accord, which has already transformed the banking environment that treasurers operate in on a day-to-day basis.

As Bob Stark, vice president of strategy at treasury software provider Kyriba, puts it: “No one is immune to the direct or indirect effects of Basel III.”

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