Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB), a Stockholm-based financial services firm with 1.7tn SEK ($202bn) in assets under management, announced yesterday that it was among 13 major banks that had joined the top-secret work underway at R3CEV.
Though public details about the project are relatively scarce, Rasmus Järborg, head of strategy at SEB, said that the bank saw the partnership as a way to further its ongoing research into blockchain technology, which it contends began in 2010 and intensified as the price of bitcoin spiked in late 2013.
Järborg identified payments, trading markets and securities settlements as the use cases SEB is most interested in exploring as a result of the partnership, telling CoinDesk:
According to its 2014 fiscal report, SEB's most successful product lines are in merchant banking, retail banking and wealth management, with the majority of its more than 1.5 million customers identifying as private individuals.
Järborg went on to suggest it is looking for R3 to "create an environment for rapid prototyping and testing" around the technology so it can yield solutions for its client base.
"We believe these technologies will impact our business by making a number of our processes radically more efficient and less costly for our customers," he added.
SEB has its roots in one of Sweden's first private banks, Stockholms Enskilda Bank, which would later merge with Skandinaviska Banken in 1972. Earlier this summer, the bank was notably involved in a controversy surrounding the sale of funds to retail investors.
In statements, Järborg provided insight into work at R3, suggesting the banks involved "regularly collaborate", and that they are sharing innovations and insights as a result of the deal.
Järborg also spoke highly of R3 and its facilitation of these processes.
"R3 has a very competent team with the right mix of experience, blending banking and markets with technology," he added.
SEB was also keen to highlight its status as one of the first banks in its region to announce a more concentrated effort in this sector of the FinTech space, while noting that the "level of interest" among its peers in Europe is high.
Järborg concluded by painting Europe as a market where conditions are ripe for an early stage technology, such as the blockchain, to be more widely adopted, concluding:
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