The Canadian financial industry may still be a long way from shifting to a blockchain-based system for issuing securities, but a successful pilot by BMO Capital Markets last week shows that the bank is committed to innovation, Moody’s Investors Service said Monday.
BMO announced last week that it successfully carried out a fixed-income issuance using a blockchain platform alongside the traditional clearing and settlement system. The transaction involved a $250 million floating rate deposit note that was issued to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which was settled through CDS and mirrored on a blockchain platform.
The test is a positive for BMO because it shows that the bank is making progress with significant fintech initiatives, the New York-based credit rating agency says. “Although we believe that this test is a long way from a fully functional blockchain capability and is unlikely to result in BMO gaining a sustainable competitive advantage in fintech, it indicates BMO’s commitment to innovation and early adoption of fintech initiatives,” Moody’s says in a news release.
Indeed, all of the big banks in Canada have the resources to invest in fintech and to capitalize on the potential efficiency gains that this could produce, Moody’s says.
“Canadian banks are pursuing multiple strategies to develop fintech applications , including establishing innovation labs, joint ventures, partnerships and acquisitions. We expect these initiatives to diminish the likelihood of significant fintech disruption in the Canadian banking system,”the rating agency says.