By Shanny Basar

Deutsche’s Jain Predicts Fintech Disruption

Anshu Jain, the former co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank, said financial services have been protected from disruptive technology by regulation but there will be big changes in the next five to ten years.

Jain, who stepped down in June, spoke at the Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit in London today. He said: “I am surprised by how undisrupted banking is and we have regulation to thank for that. There is a big fat moat around financial services but that period is now ending and the next five to ten years will see dramatic change.”

Jain predicted that the bespoke end of banking will not be disintermediated but technology will change loans and payment services.

Today Santander Group, the Spanish financial services firm, announced an investment in Ripple, which provides technology to securely transfer funds in any currency in real-time.  Santander InnoVentures, Santander Group’s $100m fintech venture capital fund, has joined Ripple’s recent Series A funding round bringing the round’s total to $32m. Other investors in Ripple’s Series A round include the venture arm of CME Group and Wicklow Capital, the investment vehicle for the co-founders of Getco (now KCG).

Mariano Belinky, managing partner of Santander InnoVentures, said in a statement: “Santander has long been an advocate for modernizing banking infrastructure. In our recent Fintech 2.0 report, we highlighted the $20bn opportunity available to the financial services industry, and many of the scenarios where distributed ledger technology will have a positive impact.”

Belinky added that Santander is actively exploring where and how best to apply Ripple technology inside the bank.

Oliver Bussmann, chief information officer at Swiss bank UBS, said at the Bloomberg summit that the potential benefits of blockchain, the shared ledger technology behind Bitcoin, are huge as settlement time for trades could be reduced from days to minutes.

“There are more than 100 software companies trying to optimise the public ledger for security and scale and the game is very open,” Bussmann continued. “We are in the very early phase and we are putting our eggs in different baskets and watching how the market evolves over the next 12 to 18 months.”

Richard Brown, chief technology officer of R3 CEV, said at the Bloomberg summit that blockchain had three main characteristics – a shared ledger that is the one source of true data, inbuilt cryptography for security and a record of all contract details.

Brown added: “Blockchain creates transparency and lowers systemic risk as regulators could also share the ledger. The Bank of England has started a digital currencies team and is asking questions such as what would happen if central bank money was issued on blockchain.”

R3 is a bank consortium formed last month to design and apply distributed ledger technologies to global financial markets. 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. An additional 13 banks joined R3 at the end of September to take the total partnership to 22.

Niall Cameron, head of markets, Europe, Middle East and Africa at HSBC, said in a statement: “This is an exciting partnership, and we’re very pleased to be involved. Innovative, open-source developments like distributed ledger technology require expertise to deliver but have huge potential, offering banks and their clients the prospect of enhanced security, lower costs and improved error reduction.”


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