Blockchain Research Team Formed By Banco Santander To Explore Blockchain’s Potential In Securities Trading

Blockchain, News | July 12, 2018 By:

Spanish banking giant Banco Santander has formed a new “Digital Investment Banking” team to explore blockchain’s potential in securities trading.

Banco Santander operates across Europe, Latin America, North America and Asia, partly due to its acquisitions. The company is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index. The bank has been exploring blockchain and has invested in a number of FinTech firms, including blockchain startup Ripple. It claims to be the “first bank to roll out a blockchain-based international payments service to retail customers in multiple countries simultaneously” with the launch of One Pay FX in April of this year. Santander is also a founding member of several blockchain groups, including Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Alastria, and Utility Settlement Coin.

Banco Santander is now planning to utilize blockchain and other new technologies within its capital markets business to change how securities are issued, traded and settled. The new Digital Investment Banking team will be tasked to ensure the bank is utilizing the latest technologies to bring the best possible bespoke solutions to clients, including exploring the use of tokenized securities in debt capital markets, derivatives and other products.

The Digital Investment Banking team will be headed by John Whelan, director of the bank’s blockchain lab. Whelan joined Banco Santander’s blockchain lab in 2016, leading a team responsible for exploring the application of the technology in the financial industry.

“The wave of digitalization that is occurring in the financial industry is accelerating,” said José M. Linares, Santander’s senior executive vice-president and global head of Santander Corporate & Investment Banking. “Our clients expect this to result in better solutions, lower costs and new categories of products and services that enable them to access capital markets more efficiently than ever before. We want to offer our clients what they expect from us.”

In March of this year, Banco Santander and FinTech firm Broadridge completed a test run of a blockchain solution for investor voting at the bank’s annual general meeting (AGM). During the bank’s AGM, institutional investors were able to see how their votes could be counted and confirmed instantaneously instead of having to wait two weeks in a process that includes manual activity by different intermediaries.