“When we started expanding, we actually only had two people in treasury. Even though that’s doubled, we’re still a very small team catering for a very large number of diverse countries,” explained Bonnett.
In addition, PageGroup’s regional SSCs weren't necessarily located in the business regions they support. The Latin American SSC deals with the Mexican business, for example, and the US business is supported by an SSC in the UK. They also have a mixture of global and regional support across the functions, so depending on what is required, they may even need to go to someone in Barcelona for a report about South America. It is a highly efficient model but quite unusual.
PageGroup wanted to have streamlined banking terms and criteria in place across all of its jurisdictions, offering the same notice period and pricing, the same agreement on accessing banking portals, and all signed off by the finance team at headquarters.
“We have four central signatures. We wanted them across every single banking document globally, just to make our life easier, so that when we need to update things, we don’t need to find the local director. We wanted to make sure that this worked from a group perspective,” explained Bonnett.
But, of course, regulations around that kind of documentation can vary enormously from region to region, occasionally requiring local notarization or local signatures. HSBC was able to communicate PageGroup’s requirements to local HSBC businesses, while also helping the treasury team navigate the local nuances.
“We were moving from an organisation that was very decentralized, that had decentralized processing, payroll, collections, etc. into a centralized organization and we wanted to ensure that we were able to retain full control,” said Bonnett.