While the arrival of the likes of Twitter, Facebook and YouTubein global treasury services is not likely to help fomentrevolution, banks' use of social media channels and features toservice corporate customers does promise to introduce profoundlymore interactive relationships. Banks have been reaching out toconsumers through social media for a few years now, but the uptakeat the business-to-business level has been slow. Security is aconcern, and the more experienced executives running corporatefinance departments—a polite way of saying the 50-plus crowd—tendto show less enthusiasm for adopting the latest technology.Nevertheless, at least a few national banks plan to launch socialmedia initiatives this year that are intended to facilitate theflow of ideas between the bank and its treasury customers as wellas among those customers.

Banks routinely engage in meetings with corporate clients inperson or through webinars to discuss initiatives and allow clientsto share their experiences. Such meetings are limited by space,time and the number of participants. Wells Fargo, for example,started up advisory councils in 2003 made up of more than 100representatives from treasury clients, including big and smallcompanies and governmental institutions. The councils meet once ortwice a year to talk about services and such issues as how tointegrate acquisitions most effectively.

However, the bank wants to harness the collective wisdom of thethousands of corporate customers that use its wholesale bankingplatform, Commercial Electronic Office (CEO), and eventually enableall of its CEO customers to participate. Wells Fargo will get morecustomer input, while customers will gain a broad array of peerswith whom to converse and consult.

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