27 Sep 2017 08:53

SEB and Nasdaq to use blockchain in mutual funds

SEB has initiated a project with Nasdaq to test a new fund trading platform based on blockchain technology. The aim is to increase efficiency in the processing of purchases and sales of fund units – an area which today is largely characterised by manual routines, long lead times and orders (still) via fax.

“With the help of a blockchain we can create a faster, simpler, more effective and reliable handling of flows in funds,” says Göran Fors, acting head of Investor Services and in charge of the cooperation with Nasdaq.

SEB and Nasdaq have developed a prototype for a new fund platform. The basic idea is that,the various market actors, fund companies, distributors and others will be able to share a distributed database on which all transactions and changes are immediately registered and known by all participants.

Unlike the equity market, the fund market lacks a Central Securities Depository (CSD). Consequently administration of purchases and sales of fund units is handled manually between the various parties.

Since a transaction chain can consist of many steps – for example, when a customer via a Swedish bank buys units in a foreign fund company – a relatively large administrative process arises. This is handled today through a combination of different technical solutions, including orders placed by fax and follow-up calls by phone.

“This is a first prototype and it will benefit the market and, in the end, also fund investors, among other things through faster feedback from purchases and sales.” says Moritz Wendt, Head of Asset Management Sales.

”We will together with Nasdaq continue to develop the technology and we have also opened up for collaboration with additional interested parties. This is a matter of developing a uniform market infrastructure, and therefore we welcome collaboration with all actors working in the market,” says Göran Fors.