Santander is all in on blockchain technology. About a month after releasing a blockchain based mobile transfer app, the Spanish bank has announced it successfully conducted its investor voting in March using the blockchain technology.
The bank partnered with Broadridge Financial Services, a US data processing company to carry out the process.
Voting was done the traditional way but a shadow register was created using the blockchain technology.
JP Morgan, Northern Trust along with Santander’s Blockchain Lab also participated, a press release indicated. A proof of concept was done a year ago in collaboration with JP Morgan and Northern Trust.
Typically, the voting process takes several weeks and starts before annual general meetings. The vote counting process is often opaque and takes several days.
Blockchain can be used to tackle these problems and promote corporate democracy, Santander says. It will also allow more investors to take part in the process, the bank says. With blockchain, it is possible to count the votes instantly. About 21% of those who attended the conference participated in the pilot which ran parallel.
Enhancing Efficiency and Transparency
“The blockchain technology has enhanced efficiency and transparency upon the reception and vote tabulation process, which will result in bridging the gap between all in the process,” Antonio Perez said.
Santander is the largest bank in the Eurozone.
“In the case of Santander, having very fragmented capital, it is very important to ensure the participation by investors and shareholders, and this year using blockchain technology for the institutional vote has been a great help in terms of transparency and agility across the vote lifecycle,” Sergio Gámez, global head of shareholders and investor relations at Banco Santander said.
“The ability to confirm votes to final investors anticipates the updated European Directive on Shareholder Rights that will come into force in June 2019, which will require sharing information among intermediaries on the same business day,” the bank says.
Taking Blockchain to the Real World
This is just one of the few instances blockchain technology is being used in the real world. Blockchain has become synonymous with cryptocurrencies but its application reaches far beyond.
It has been tipped to revolutionise traditional industries like banking, removing the need for intermediaries, driving down costs and improving efficiency and integrity.
HSBC recently completed a traded finance transaction with Cargill, the agricultural giant using the blockchain technology.
Having been in existence for only a few years, much of the technology’s potential is only just being discovered.
Russia, for example, is planning to test it for local elections.