Close to one in five
large corporates across the globe have walked away
from their preferred provider as a result of overly
stringent onboarding processes. The multitude of
documents needed, multiple touch points and
departments involved are leaving businesses feeling
frustrated and taking up valuable time and
In fact, during conversations with some 737
corporate treasurers of the world’s largest
companies, East and Partners uncovers that only
three banks had not lost additional business from
their transaction banking clients as they looked to
expand into other products. What has gone wrong with
the onboarding process?
Long Process Time is the Biggest Pain Point
Regardless of whether the businesses are being
onboarded by a new bank partner or are merely
venturing into new services offered by an existing
bank partner, time taken to process has been
identified as the biggest pain point with one in
four large corporates nominating it.
This is followed by technology compatibilities (20.9
percent), depth of information being sought (18.2
percent), extent of documentation (16.3 percent) and
lack of guidance (12.6 percent). A close look at
corporates in Asia reveals a similar pattern.
Asian Banks are
Outperforming Western Banks in Most Service Metrics
Interestingly, Asian banks are outperforming the
Western banks in Australia, Europe, the UK and US on
several fronts when it comes to onboarding. In
particular, timeliness, assistance during onboarding,
ease of meeting bank’s requirements, level of
documentation and ease of meeting KYC requirements
are all highlighted by these corporates as areas
where their Asian banks performed well.
By contrast, the Asian banks fall marginally short
of their Western counterparts in terms of clarity of
instructions and meeting regulatory requirements.
This may well be due to lower performance
expectations from the corporates in Asia, a
relatively lax interpretation of regulation or
“latecomer advantage”, but onboarding experiences
reported by businesses in the region are better.
Singapore Has the
Simplest Onboarding Experience
Even with the same bank, corporates often encounter
different onboarding experiences depending on the
geography. Singapore stands out as having the
simplest onboarding experience (cited by 13.3
percent of the large corporates globally), ahead of
Hong Kong (11.4 percent), Canada (9.8 percent) and
US (8.5 percent).