French banking giant BNP Paribas has announced it is working on a blockchain solution, as part of the development of a new funds distribution system.
Working in partnership with investment managers AXA, subsidiary BNP Paribas Securities Services has said that the system will streamline onboarding, as well as smoothing the process of funds sales in future.
It represents one of the most ambitious deployments of blockchain technology from the bank so far, and one of the most definitive examples of output from its innovation subdivision, launched last year to examine potential applications of the blockchain.
The system, known as Fund Link, comes around a year after the bank first indicated its support for blockchain technology, and could be rolled out in the coming months, according to statements.
Jean Devambez, BNP Paribas’s head of client solutions, said he envisaged the platform reducing overall costs and inefficiencies for their clients.
"There are so many new and exciting ways technology can enhance the fund distribution process. With this platform, we aim to bring many of them together to streamline fund distribution, create efficiencies and ultimately lower client costs."
Fund Link follows on from other blockchain innovations developed by the in-house team, including a solution for issuing bonds, and a separate blockchain for handling cross-border payments.
It is hoped that by automating the onboarding process and storing transactional data across a distributed ledger, the system will allow more secure, efficient regulatory compliance during the funds sales process.
The news will be welcomed by banks and other financial services companies in particular, as a potential indication of how blockchain technologies can be used to streamline processes and reduce costs in a variety of regulated functions.
It will also be welcomed by blockchain developers, as a further indication of major corporate support for the tech.
With the solution expected to be rolled out on an unforeseen time scale over the second half of this year, all eyes will now turn to BNP Paribas to see whether the final solution lives up to its ambitious billing.