Spanish banking giant Banco Santander announced on Wednesday that it intended to implement distributed ledger technology (DLT) for securities transaction processes, from issuance to trading and settlement. The blockchain will be used together with other innovative technologies, and the banking group came up with a separate team for this purpose. John Whelan, who is director of Santander’s blockchain lab, will also lead the new “Digital Investment Banking” unit, which is part of Santander Corporate & Investment Banking.
The new team will be responsible for making sure the bank is implementing innovative technologies to achieve the most efficient solutions to customers. The unit will explore several new approaches, such as the use of tokenized securities in its capital markets business.
José M. Linares, the bank’s senior executive VP and global head of Santander Corporate & Investment Banking, commented on the move:
“The wave of digitalization that is occurring in the financial industry is accelerating. 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.”
John Whelan has led Santander’s blockchain lab since 2016, exploring ways for DLT to be implemented in the financial industry. Previously, he also worked as co-chairman of Technical Steering Committee at Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) and president of International Ripple Business Association. Also, he founded and led Engage-a-Pro and Coinist.
Santander is one of the most active banks when it comes to adopting blockchain for financial services. The bank launched One Pay Fx solution that relies on the technology provided by Ripple. Santander is also part of several blockchain consortia, such as EEA, Spanish Alastria, we.trade, R3, and others. Last week, the bank announced that, together with we.trade, it carried out Spain’s first blockchain-based real-time trade transactions.
Elsewhere, the Shanghai Stock Exchange this week also expressed its intention to potentially use blockchain for securities transactions.