TRADE FINANCE | Staff Reporter, Australia

Big Australian banks brace themselves for foreign competition in transaction banking

Corporate clients seek out new partners with trade finance capabilities.

As corporates look for cross border payment and international transaction banking capabilities in Australia, foreign companies such as HSBC Bank Australia and Suncorp are gaining ground as a preferred transaction banking provider, an East & Partners research shows.

HSBC expanded its primary relationship transaction banking market share amongst the corporate segment by 17% over the last five years, with the only bank surpassing it being Suncorp who has expanded 35% and is recording 2.3% of all primary transaction banking relationships amongst corporates. Those figures compare to just two percent cumulative market share increase across the Big Four, who have recorded changes of between -5% to 8% since 2013.

Here's more from East & Partners:

Australia’s major banks control 84% cumulative primary market share, with National Australia Bank the leading provider, accounting for 1 in 4 businesses (25.7%).

As Australia’s corporate segment looks to overseas markets for revenue growth opportunities, cross border payments and full service international transaction banking are increasingly “in demand” product lines.

Engagement with these products has increased by 32% and 23% respectively over the last five years. Currently, half of all corporates utilise cross border payments (51%) while just over a third (37%) use full service international transaction banking products. Further, one in three (33%) CFOs report that “pricing/fees” are their biggest challenge when executing cross border payments, while 29% nominated “currency forecast inaccuracy.”

The middle-market will be on the move more than ever through 2018. More than 2% of CFOs say the chances of them switching away from their primary transaction bank in the first half of the year is ‘highly probable’ or ‘definite.’

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