NatWest becomes first bank to launch revolutionary syndicated lending platform

October 18, 2018 – NatWest has become the first bank to integrate with a new blockchain-based platform that aims to dramatically transform and streamline the global syndicated loans market. In 2017 syndicated loan deals worth over £3.5 trillion were brokered globally. The new platform is set to go live from November 2018.  

A syndicated loan is where the size and risk of a loan cannot be accepted by a single lender and a ‘syndicate’ of two or more lenders is required to spread the risk. Complex syndicated loan deals involving hundreds of lenders are now common but the technology supporting this business has been slow to keep up and is outdated. This has resulted in a loans market that is inefficient, costly to operate and heavily reliant on manual processes.

The Fusion LenderComm platform aims to revolutionize communication between lenders and agents using blockchain technology to assure messages are secure and confidential. The platform has been built by Finastra and is underpinned by Corda – R3’s distributed ledger technology. The first phase has focused on real-time position reporting between lenders so all those involved can see their records at any time and there is a roadmap to transform all aspects of syndicated lending from deal set-up and syndicate building through to settlement.               

The platform aims to dramatically reduce the amount of time taken to set up syndicated loan arrangements for customers – currently complex arrangements can take months to finalise. It also aims to achieve significant reductions in the ongoing cost of administration for lenders and a massive improvement in transparency.

Commenting, Trish Arksey, Lending Programme Director for NatWest, said, “We are excited about the possibilities that this platform offers to transform the syndicated loan market. We are investing in cutting-edge technologies and working with our suppliers and partners to deliver first class customer service and efficiency to a market that has not changed significantly in the last 20 years.”

Commenting, Grant Jones, VP, Fusion LenderComm, Finastra said, “NatWest will now be able to specify and publish lender-specific deal information to Fusion LenderComm in real-time, while its lenders can view this data which was previously only periodically provided by fax from agents or through telephone or email queries from lenders. This not only brings improved operational efficiency for NatWest and its lenders but it also brings much needed transparency to the syndicated loan market.”

Commenting, David E. Rutter, CEO at R3, said, “The syndicated lending industry relies on costly, manually-intensive processes, making it ripe for innovation with blockchain technology. Fusion LenderComm, powered by Corda, has been proven to address these issues. The solution delivers immediate efficiencies and reduces costs for both agent banks and lenders. We have enjoyed working closely with NatWest and Finastra along with the many other leading institutions involved in this project. Now the focus shifts to the next phase as together we bring Fusion LenderComm into production.”

This news release was issued by NatWest on 18 October 2018.

For further information please contact:

Caroline Duff
Global Head of PR
T: +44 (0)20 3320 5892
E: caroline.duff@finastra.com
www.finastra.com

About NatWest

NatWest serves customers in England, Wales and Western Europe, supporting them with their personal, private, and business banking needs. NatWest helps customers from opening student accounts, to buying their first home, setting up a business, and saving for retirement.

Alongside a wide range of banking services, NatWest offers businesses specialist sector knowledge in areas such as manufacturing and technology, as well as access to specialist entrepreneurial support.

About Finastra

Finastra unlocks the potential of people and businesses in finance, creating a platform for open innovation. Formed in 2017 by the combination of Misys and D+H, we provide the broadest portfolio of financial services software in the world today—spanning retail banking, transaction banking, lending, and treasury and capital markets. Our solutions enable customers to deploy mission critical technology on premises or in the cloud. Our scale and geographical reach means that we can serve customers effectively, regardless of their size or geographic location—from global financial institutions, to community banks and credit unions. Through our open, secure and reliable solutions, customers are empowered to accelerate growth, optimize cost, mitigate risk and continually evolve to meet the changing needs of their customers. 90 of the world’s top 100 banks use Finastra technology.
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