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HSBC offers cash management advice for Singapore firms amid outbreak

HSBC Singapore will provide cash management advice and speed up the handling of urgent payments for Singapore businesses, among other measures to help firms manage cash and liquidity amid the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

"In the face of Covid-19, many Singapore businesses are facing payment disruption and challenges in transitioning to their liquidity management business continuity plans (BCP)," the bank said in a media statement on Friday.

"HSBC Singapore's measures are designed to ease the impact felt by corporate treasuries and support the ongoing collection, handling and deployment of cash," it added.

For instance, businesses may find themselves having to establish new services such as virtual cards and virtual accounts, or move procurement, expense claims and cash monitoring from paper-based systems to digital platforms quickly. 

To help address such issues, HSBC assembled a liquidity and cash management BCP advisory team that will help clients identify and solve gaps in their treasury BCP models.

In addition, the bank will prioritise clients that require expedited manual payment handling on a case-by-case basis. For example, businesses may require urgent support due to order cancellations.

HSBC will also allow documents to be submitted digitally, so that physical meetings will not be required. Given that there may be delays caused by the virus outbreak, the bank will also grant a 90-day moratorium for the submission of originally signed documents. 

Earlier, HSBC had joined a number of banks in Singapore in announcing initiatives to help businesses tide over the Covid-19 situation, by pushing out a series of trade support measures. 

Those measures, introduced last Friday, include maturity extensions to current trade loans amounting to S$600 million, and issuing shipping guarantees within an hour as opposed to the standard ‘same-day’ issuance.