Christian Blind Mission (CBM) are a charity headquartered in Germany. They have a number of satellite offices - Member Associations (MA) who are responsible for fundraising in various G10 countries to support projects and engagements within the developing world.
Historically, Deutsche Bank has been the house bank for CBM: they provided the accounts, assisted in hedging the funds raised by the Member Associations, and helped the funds to be delivered to the head office throughout the year.
Additionally, CBM used INTL (an FX broker) and Deutsche Bank to make payments out to the projects and engagements they were currently working on.
Through partnership with Ebury, CBM realised a number of issues regarding the service received from their bank:
- Fees were being applied to foreign exchange twice to move funds from the fund raising entities to the projects and engagements they were intended for.
- The payment process was fragmented and operationally intensive: instructing payments, moving funds, reconciliation and reporting were all cumbersome.
- Hedges placed still left the organisation exposed to the very currency risk they were trying to mitigate as the price of EURs vs project currencies was left unprotected.
- Accounts provided by Deutsche Bank were normal bank accounts, meaning the large amount of funds held on account were at risk of being lost if Deutsche Bank’s credit was significantly stressed, leading to a default.
How Ebury supported CBM to develop more efficient processes
First and foremost, dedicated charities team at Ebury set out to provide a structure to CBM that facilitated a more Straight Through Processing model for them to make payments. This included taking funds directly from the fund raising offices and delivering them to the intended project or engagement overseas. Providing this structure involved the provision of Trust Accounts, thus safeguarding the funds of CBM during a default of all service providers (Ebury and Barclays).
In the process of helping the client to integrate their systems and processes, Ebury provided CBM with more efficient ways of instructing and making payments, as well as delivering the reporting and analytics back to CBM on the payments made:
Finally, Ebury assisted CBM and the 9 MA’s in drafting corporate treasury policies which focused specifically on covering currency risk hedging, and enabled CBM to set up everything they needed to place hedges. This resulted in:
CBM now only pay for one FX transaction as opposed to two - plus, Ebury does not charge for account maintenance or making payments. This has tangible impact for those CBM aims to help, as more money goes to where it’s needed.
Reduced currency risk
An account structure is made available so that hedging direct from funding currency to project and engagement currency is possible. CBM now has full visibility into their budget planning and cost structure.
Straight through processing
Ebury payment infrastructure is integrated into the systems and processes of CBM, helping payments to move seamlessly from initiation to execution.
Ebury provides a dedicated Single Point of Contact to CBM to deal with any queries around payments, technical issues etc. This significantly reduces their operational costs.
Reporting and reconciliation
As part of the solution Ebury now provides CBM with detailed reporting on each account and on payment status and rates received, which will also assist with reconciliation of funds to CBM’s internal systems.