TD Bank’s Latest Survey Reveals Finance Professionals Are Split on Potential Economic Recession

U.S. banking group TD Bank announced on Tuesday its recent survey revealed that half of corporate treasury and finance professionals do not believe an economic recession is a threat in 2020. According to the survey, payments fraud and cyber security risk are high on the threat list, with 40% of respondents reporting this category as a top operational challenge for their organization this year. It was revealed that about one-in-three (34%) respondents said they are unconcerned by a potential economic recession, while 16% do not think that a recession is even imminent.

TD Bank also noted that of the 50% of respondents who did indicate some qualms about a recession, they are implementing the following to help safeguard their organization:

  • Increasing capital reserves (25%)
  • Holding off on large capital spending projects (18%)
  • Accelerating debt payoff (11%)
  • Refinancing debt to save cash (8%)

Rick Burke, Head of Corporate Products and Services at TD Bank,  further stated:

“Finance professionals clearly won’t be fretting much over the prospect of economic volatility in 2020, but cybersecurity is understandably a continued worry and the headlines show they are right to be concerned. The half of companies that report that they are preparing for turbulence in the economy report they have strategies to maximize finances to weather potential challenges.”

The TD report then took a look at opportunities to grow in the coming year and revealed:

“The largest opportunity for innovation in corporate treasury is faster or real-time payment use, according to 46% of respondents. With the increasing options for faster and real-time payments, the space continues to evolve. In fact, 30% of survey respondents already use faster payments, including RTPs for corporate treasury, and 18% expect to adopt one of these payment options before the end of 2020. Of those who responded that they don’t currently use or have a timeline to use faster and real-time solutions, 16% believe they need to implement them soon, while 14% revealed that they would love to use faster payments, but are waiting to move forward until they can reach all endpoints through a single solution.”

TD Bank then noted that as in previous years, however, the interest in using technology solutions does not match corporates’ ability to currently adopt them. About a third (32%) of respondents named the ability to adapt to faster electronic payments as a top operating challenge in the 2019 survey, while 37% named this same obstacle in a similar question in 2018. Burke added:

“Adoption of the newest payment standards will pay dividends for organizations over the long term. The cost to companies of not doing so will increase exponentially in coming years and inaction also presents operating risks. The best time to upgrade was yesterday, but today’s your next best bet.”

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