A test of blockchain technology to track institutional shareholder voting at the latest annual general meeting (AGM) of Madrid-based Banco Santander S.A. demonstrates its ability to improve transparency, efficiency, and may enhance shareholder democracy, the Spanish bank says in a news release.
Santander, along with Lake Succes, N.Y.-based Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc, conducted a pilot test at the bank’s AGM on March 23, using blockchain technology for investor voting, alongside the traditional voting process.
The test gave the bank’s institutional investors the opportunity to see their votes counted and confirmed much more quickly using blockchain technology, instead of waiting weeks for results that involve manual activity, Santander says. “This could also help motivation to vote, which improves corporate democracy,” the bank says.
“The annual general meeting is one of the most important corporate governance events for any listed company. 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,” said Sergio Gámez, global head of shareholders and investor relations at Banco Santander, in a statement.
“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,” adds Luis Antonio Perez, head of corporate services at Banco Santander.