The BSB File Format and Global Availability

Over the last 12 months, Redbridge Debt and Treasury Advisory in conjunction with the CGI Workgroup 5 has conducted one of the most extensive surveys of BSB availability and scope of Global AFP code usage to date. While 16 known banks can currently produce the BSB file in a variety of countries, the survey reveals that there is still a long way to go for truly global coverage, even among the top global money center banks.

09.01.2017

Introduction:

Within the U.S., corporate treasury teams have had access to their bank fee billing information for decades via the EDI 822 statement. This format, offered by over 100 banks in the US has become the de-facto method for providing treasury staffs with detailed information on bank services by leveraging the AFP Codes. The demand for the same information has increased in the last several years with continued globalization. That need has been met with the TWIST BSB file (Bank Services Billing) format. The file format came into existence with help of several large global banks, corporations and providers coming together to lay the foundation for international bank fee data. This group formed TWIST, a non-for-profit industry group that continues to maintain and expand this XML based standard. There are two main versions of the BSB file – the TWIST BSB V 3.1 and the newest iteration, the ISO 20022 camt.086. While EDI 822 statements require AFP Service Codes (Association for Financial Professionals), not all BSB files will utilize the AFP Global Codes. This may pose a challenge for some corporations, but just getting the bank service data is a step in the right direction.

Global Availability – Results of our Survey:

Over the last 12 months, Redbridge Debt and Treasury Advisory in conjunction with the CGI Workgroup 5 has conducted one of the most extensive surveys of BSB availability and scope of Global AFP code usage to date. While 16 known banks can currently produce the BSB file in a variety of countries, the survey reveals that there is still a long way to go for truly global coverage, even among the top global money center banks.

The long established corporate relationships between Europe and the US has helped develop this region into the largest footprint for BSB files. Currently 11 surveyed banks can produce either a TWIST BSB or camt.086 file in Europe for their clients. Within that group, two of the banks can produce files in all of the European countries, four can provide them in most countries, and five banks in at least some European countries.

This very broad coverage in Europe stands in stark contrast to South America. On the continent, no banks can provide BSB files in all countries due to a variety of factors, including banking and technology hurdles. Two banks can provide BSB files in most counties in the region, and one can furnish them in some of the locations.

Between these two extremes lay the remaining regions from our study – Africa, Asia-Pacific and North America (outside USA).

Of the three, Asia-Pacific is better developed than the other regions, with two banks claiming to provide BSB files in all countries. Three banks responded that they could produce BSB files in most countries, while another provider has limited coverage in some countries. Given the amount of activity in the Asia-Pacific region, it is surprising there is not more BSB availability. If the corporates continue to request the file format, the banks should respond over time and increase BSB file output.

Within the Middle East region, our survey finds two banks claiming to provide the files in all countries. Two additional banks can produce files in either most or some of the countries. A variety of constraints in the Middle East, from geo-political parameters in which banks and corporation operate to lack of demand has limited the BSB file.

Finally in North America (outside the USA), our survey finds that three banks are capable of producing the BSB set in all countries, two banks can in some countries, and one can provide them in some of the countries. A few banks offer an EDI 822 for operations in Canada.

“It is important to remember that even though a bank has the capability to provide a BSB file in a specific country, the banks maintain internal rules that help determine which clients qualify to receive this advanced reporting,” reminds Bridget Meyer, Senior Director at Redbridge. “The best way to determine the availability of statements in a specific region for your company is to ask the relationship manager. The banks are physically counting requests from customers as a metric to drive internal funding for further BSB development.”

Summary:

Since its inception, the BSB file has been steadily gaining acceptance and can become an integral part of your international treasury operations. By leveraging this data, corporations gain visibility into their bank services allowing them to properly purchase services and control costs across the globe.

As mentioned earlier, coverage is not complete across the global but significant progress has been made in the past 2 years. Redbridge is currently receiving electronic files representing 68 different countries across the globe. Work still needs to be done to get to the level of the USA (in both acceptance and statement detail). Continued growth of this standard will be driven by banks, corporates and providers working together to create awareness and demand within the treasury space.

If you wish to learn more about our survey, and how BSB files can play a role in your international treasury operations, please email us at contact@redbridgedta.com.