Optimising flows and expenses by using a network of accounts opened with the foreign subsidiaries of a bank

This page was last modified on 30-01-2013

In order to facilitate the management of international payments, a certain number of banks make their international network available to businesses to allow them to centralise the management of funds placed in the different accounts of a group of companies.

The business has the possibility of opening an account with different foreign subsidiaries of an international bank and to ask for its foreign bank accounts to be linked up to the MultiLine electronic management system that it already has in Luxembourg. This allows the business to consult all domestic and foreign bank accounts via a single management tool.

Objective: allows for the management of cash flow and the settlement of all types of international invoices or contracts.

Who is concerned

Available to the self-employed and any type of business, the optimisation of flows and expenses with respect to the foreign subsidiaries of international banks is an advantage for companies:

  • that are active in more than one country in Europe or even beyond by having subsidiaries or simply suppliers or customers abroad;
  • that generate a substantial portion of their turnover abroad;
  • that make large payments.

Prerequisites

  • international activity or customers and/or suppliers abroad;
  • presence of the business’ bank in the target country;
  • use of the MultiLine system by the domestic business;
  • opening of accounts at subsidiaries of the same bank.

How to proceed

Description of the optimisation of flows and expenses

Application

MultiLine functionalities at international level: the functionalities of MultiLine allow a business to immediately view all bank accounts abroad using a single connection.

Expenses

  • cost of opening an account abroad: depends on the bank;
  • cost of subscribing to the MultiLine service: depends on the bank;
  • transfer fees: depend on the offer made by the bank in question.

Set-up times

The set-up time varies depending on different criteria including, for example, the structure of the group of businesses and its needs, the bank in question, the number of countries involved and also the bank’s local procedures in the different countries in question, etc.

Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages

  • simplified opening of accounts abroad as the domestic bank can provide its subsidiaries with information on the customer;
  • consultation of foreign bank accounts and initiation of payment orders with the same MultiLine tool;
  • payment transactions carried out abroad are subject to the local rates which, in principle (even despite the SEPA), are always more favourable than the rate applied to international payments;
  • reduction in transfer fees by repatriations of funds grouped together on the parent company’s main (domestic) account;
  • transfers are carried out between the different accounts on the same day without loss of value date;
  • favourable fixed rate for all transfers from one group account to another (possibly on transfers to third parties).

Disadvantages

Opening an account with a subsidiary of an international bank involves full identification and verification of the business’ data.