Businesses typically use intermediaries like Ebury to complement their existing banking relationships. The reasons why businesses start looking for an additional provider include anything from them not getting particular products or services from their bank to requiring a faster, more flexible service. Or they simply want to check whether they’re getting value for money.

WHAT EXACTLY IS AN INTERMEDIARY?

Some would say it’s a “middle man” but that doesn’t accurately describe the role because rather than standing between two parties that would otherwise interact directly, an intermediary is more like a gateway to a much broader offering.

Instead of having a relationship with one bank only, through an intermediary you get access to several large banks, and hence various liquidity and pricing levels. As banks often have strengths in particular areas, as visualised below, intermediaries pool all those strengths together to offer clients a broad range of benefits.

Achieving economies of scale means that intermediaries can secure good rates on behalf of their clients.

SPREADING THE RISK

When you deal with a range of banks through an intermediary, you’re less dependent on any one bank. If one bank changes its terms or goes into liquidation, your business can easily be transferred onto the other banks.

ADDITIONAL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

At Ebury, for example, our global network allows us to offer a large number of emerging market currencies, such as CNY or ZAR, and we have in-house expertise in emerging markets, which helps our clients assess their currency management strategy. This is in addition to all the major currency pairs, of course. In total we offer over 140 currencies.

We also understand that mid-sized businesses can’t always plan months in advance and frequently have to grab opportunities as and when they occur. We use cutting-edge technology as well as our in-house knowledge to speed up processes. Therefore, we provide intra-day fund transfers, even to remote corners of the world, and fast lending decisions.

It’s not just about speed. Intermediaries may also be able to provide finance where banks can’t. That is because rather than grading clients and providing off-the-shelf solutions, intermediaries tend to assess business risk on an individual basis. At Ebury, we offer invoice financing, which many banks don’t, and we don’t require deposits.

UNDERSTANDING YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS

Intermediaries like us take pride in offering a personalised service. That’s especially important because many of the businesses we serve have grown very fast and they’re not always familiar with all the financial solutions available to them.

We can explain how cash-flow planning and setting budget levels support your currency management strategy. Or how trade finance can help businesses secure better deals with suppliers. When our clients call they’re straight through to their relationship manager and get the chance to also speak to their dealer or compliance - all in one call. Where we can, we even contact our clients and inform them about market moves that could affect their business, so that they can benefit from favourable foreign exchange rates.

If you would like to discuss any of the subjects mentioned above with us in more detail, get in touch with our team today.

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