Onboarding Experience in Asia: Are the Banks Starting Corporate Client Relationships on the Right Foot?

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 resources.

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).


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