Bank Execs Want An 'Even Playing Field' For Industry Blockchains

Many banks are working on blockchain projects, but recent survey respondents expressed concerns about regulation and standards.

AccessTimeIconOct 23, 2016 at 7:01 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:34 p.m. UTC
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Ninety percent of banking executives surveyed earlier this year by professional services firm Accenture said that their institutions are investing time and money in blockchain projects.

Just 3% said that they weren’t doing so, with the last 7% telling Accenture that they were “uncertain” about their work with the tech, according to a report published today. The firm surveyed 32 bank executives in August and September.

Yet despite the high degree of interest, the survey also casts a portrait of a banking sector that is largely in a cautious test-and-see phase. Respondents expressed concern about regulation and the need for standards to help build a network effect, while also highlighting compliance and security concerns as factors holding any significant degree of investment or product development.

At the same time, respondents expressed support for shared approaches between banks in order to create what one survey-taker called “a level playing field”.

Another bank executive told Accenture in an interview:

“The lack of a universal standard could prove deleterious. There could end up being bilateral agreements and altered processes between banks, which would severely diminish any network effect.”

Respondents indicated that that applications focused on intrabank settlements and cross-border payments were the most attractive, with 44% of survey-takers highlighting the former as the most appealing use case.

Still, the report suggests that some banks are still figuring things out.

Accenture quoted one US bank executive who said his institution remains “bewildered” amidst its own internal investigation.

“We don’t even have enough information to have an opinion,” said another executive from Canada.

Image via Shutterstock

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