Mizuho, Nordea and UniCredit join R3

Financial innovation firm R3 says that three additional major banks have joined its consortium to design and apply distributed ledger technologies to global financial markets. It says that interest in the initiative amongst the international banking community has continued to grow at a rapid pace since its launch in September.

Mizuho Financial Group, Nordea and UniCredit join Barclays, Bank of America, BBVA, BNY Mellon, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Citi, Commerzbank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Morgan Stanley, National Australia Bank, State Street, Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Scotland, SEB, Societe Generale, Toronto-Dominion Bank and UBS, bringing the total number of banks on the project to 25.

Led by R3, these institutions will form joint working groups to focus on developing commercial applications for this emerging technology in the global financial services industry. The project will also seek to establish consistent standards and protocols for the technology in order to facilitate broader adoption and gain a network effect.

“We have been inundated with interest in this project from banks across the world since launching with an initial nine institutions just over a month ago,” said R3’s CEO David Rutter. “An emphasis on working with the market has always been a key differentiator of our project from day one, and so we are delighted to broaden the network once again and grow the resources we have to research and develop this exciting technology.”

“Distributed ledger technologies might become the next disruptive technology that has the potential to innovate everyday banking activities,” said Mr. Toshitsugu Okabe, deputy president & executive officer in charge of Incubation Project Team, at Mizuho Financial Group (MHFG).

Said Erik Zingmark, deputy head of Nordea Transaction Products: “Being the largest bank in the Nordics, we always strive to explore new technology to make banking easier and more efficient for our customers. The distributed ledger technology has the potential to reshape the banking industry, and that is why this partnership fits very well with our ambitions for the future.”

Paolo Fiorentino, deputy general manager of UniCredit, stated: “Participation in the workgroup will have a strategic relevance for UniCredit as it will ensure a long-term vision and competitive advantage on innovative methodologies and technologies, which are opening a new era in the financial and capital markets. This will allow UniCredit to play a leading role in the upcoming revolution of the financial products and payment services, as well as in the overall banking industry proposition”.

R3 says the 25 bank partners represent a broad spectrum of companies drawn from around the world, with expertise covering sales and trading, retail, payments, trade finance, corporate banking, wealth and asset management, and custody services. As part of this initiative, they will make available their own internal resources to help design and develop a financial-grade distributed ledger solution incorporating various open source technologies and standards.