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UK Big Bank NatWest to Leverage Syndicated Blockchain Loans

UK High Street Bank NatWest has announced that it plans to leverage DLT for the syndicated loans market within the next month.

Blockchain technology will be employed as a cost-effective way of streamlining communication between lenders in the loan market, according to the major retail and commercial bank.

Although syndicated loans around the world are worth 3.5 trillion pounds, NatWest has claimed that the process needs to be more efficient, suggesting that current practices are “inefficient, costly to operate and heavily reliant on manual processes.”

The Fusion platform due, to go live in November, was developed by blockchain consortium R3 and fintech company Finastra with its main focus to reduce the time it takes to set up syndicated loans, which require multiple lenders due to the large size of the loan.  Over recent years the risk-sharing nature of such loans has added to their popularity with lenders.

R3 has diversified its business lately and also works in a number of sectors outside of financial services. CEO David E. Rutter explained that the company’s open source blockchain platform Corda is the right one for this type of solution which needs a high degree of transparency:

“The syndicated lending industry relies on costly, manually-intensive processes, making it ripe for innovation with blockchain technology. Fusion LenderComm, powered by Corda, has been proven to address these issues.” Further adding, “We are investing in cutting-edge technologies and working with our suppliers and partners to deliver first class customer service and efficiency to a market that has not changed significantly in the last 20 years.”

From Fusion’s perspective, the whole process while now be far more efficient. Fusion VP Grant Jones expressed his assurance that the blockchain based solution would be able to clearly log lender-specific information on the blockchain and a make all relevant information available to lenders at the click of a mouse.

The United Kingdom has been somewhat a pioneer in the blockchain regulation space, with the Bank of England making significant strides having recently completed a DLT Proof-of-Concept. The UK is being touted as a nation with the capacity to lead the blockchain industry, which was a conclusion of a 960-page analysis from DAG Global, Deep Knowledge Analytics and the Big Innovation Center.

 

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