Treasury management

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Treasury management (or treasury operations) entails management of an enterprise's financial holdings, focusing on [1] the firm's liquidity, and mitigating its financial-, operational- and reputational risk. Treasury Management's scope thus includes the firm's collections, disbursements, concentration, investment and funding activities.

In corporates, treasury overlaps the financial management function, although the former has the more specific focus mentioned, while the latter is a broader field that includes financial planning, budgeting, and analysis. In banks, the function plays a slightly different, more integral [2] role, managing also the link between the institution and the financial markets. In both, there is a close relationship with the financial risk management area. [3]

A company's treasury operation, typically, is under control of the CFO or Vice-president / Director of Finance; and in larger entities is under a dedicated Treasurer. Operations are handled on a day-to-day basis by the organization's treasury staff, controller, or comptroller. [4]


For non-banking entities, the terms Treasury Management and Cash Management are sometimes used interchangeably, while, in fact, the scope of treasury management is larger (and includes funding and investment activities mentioned above). The significant core functions of a corporate treasury department include:[3]

Cash and liquidity management[edit]

Cash- and liquidity management is often described as treasury's 'primary duty.' Essentially, a company needs to be able to meet its financial obligations as they fall due, i.e. to pay employees, suppliers, lenders and shareholders. This can also be described as the need to maintain liquidity, or solvency of the company: a company needs to have the funds available that will enable it to stay in business.[5] In addition to dealing with payment transactions; cash management also includes planning, account organisation, cash flow monitoring, managing bank accounts, electronic banking, pooling and netting as well as the functions of in-house banks.[1]

Risk management[edit]

The aim of risk management is, generally, to identify, measure, and manage risks that could have a significant impact on the business' goals. In this context, [6] the focus is twofold, [3] ensuring that the company can meet its financial obligations, and ensuring predictable business performance. Treasurers are then tasked, more specifically, with managing:

  • Liquidity risk: the company is unable to fund itself or is unable to meet its obligations; overlapping the above
  • Market risk: changes in market prices (typically foreign exchange, interest rates, commodities) cause losses to the business
  • Credit risk: that a counterparty default causes loss to the business.

Operational risk - losses to the business due to fraud or error - will sometimes fall under Treasury, although as these risks are not directly financial in nature, they are often delegated to a dedicated team. In many sales- or lending-oriented businesses, credit risk is likewise not in direct scope. Re both, however, Treasury, will exercise some oversight.

Corporate Finance[edit]

Looking after contacts with banks and rating agencies, as well as discussions with credit insurers and, if applicable, suppliers concerning periods allowed for payment, in conjunction with the procurement of finance, also form part of the treasurer's core business.[1] See Treasurer § Corporate treasurers and Cash flow forecasting § Corporate finance.


The treasury function is, as outlined, an integral aspect of banking institutions. [2] [7] Its role arises, essentially, in that the bank [7] receives funding (its liabilities) through customer deposits and issuing senior unsecured debt, often bonds, in the wholesale market, and in turn deploys these funds to its various profit generating businesses (assets). Treasury is then responsible for managing financial assets and liabilities, ensuring sufficient liquidity, and "capitalizing on market opportunities" [2] to maximize profitability.

Most large banks thus maintain dedicated Treasury Management departments. These will, in turn, operate the following areas or desks:

Critically, Treasury maintains, also, an asset liability management (ALM) desk that manages any potential interest rate mismatch — in the specific context outlined — as well as liquidity risk more generally.

Here, Treasury is responsible for the key funds transfer pricing (FTP) function, that prices liquidity for business lines within the bank; i.e., where funds that go toward lending products (asset sales teams) are charged a term and risk-appropriate rate, whereas funds generated by deposits (and related) are credited similarly. (See similar re "risk pooling".)

Relatedly, the bank’s treasury is usually integrally involved in balance sheet management, suggesting which currencies and terms are favorable from a funding perspective and which assets are required to meet various regulatory targets. [2] Re the latter, treasury is tasked with monitoring regulatory capital under Basel III: more especially the capital adequacy-, leverage-, and liquidity coverage ratios, as well as [7] the bank's total loss absorbing capacity (TLAC).

Bank Treasuries will often also support their clients' needs in these areas, through Treasury Management "services" or "products"; depending on the arrangement, they may or may not disclose the prices charged here. Note that a number of independent treasury management systems (TMS) are available, allowing enterprises to conduct treasury management internally.

Smaller banks are increasingly launching and/or expanding their treasury management functions and offerings. This is because of the market opportunity afforded by the recent [clarification needed] economic environment (with banks of all sizes focusing on the clients they serve best), availability of highly seasoned treasury management professionals, access to industry standard, third-party technology providers' products and services tiered according to the needs of smaller clients, and investment in education and other best practices.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Degenhart, Dr. Heinrich (April 2009). "The Functions of a Corporate Treasury". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  2. ^ a b c d Aastha Tomar (2023). What is Treasury in Banking
  3. ^ a b c Permjit Singh (2021). "The Corporate Treasurer Serves as a Financial Risk Manager", Investopedia
  4. ^ Sean Ross (2023). "Treasurer: Career Path and Qualifications", Investopedia
  5. ^ Sanders, Helen. "Introduction to Liquidity Management". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  6. ^ Sanders, Helen. "Introduction to Managing Risk". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  7. ^ a b c Chris Blake (2023). Role of Bank Treasury