NatWest launches “revolutionary” syndicated lending platform
The platform is blockchain-based and “aims to dramatically transform and streamline the global syndicated loans market”, the bank says. It will go live in November this year.
In 2017, syndicated loan deals worth over £3.5 trillion were brokered globally, according to NatWest. Many of these are very complex, involving hundreds of lenders, “but the technology supporting this business has been slow to keep up and is outdated”, the bank explains.
“This has resulted in a loans market that is inefficient, costly to operate and heavily reliant on manual processes.”
Trish Arksey, NatWest’s lending programme director, observes that the syndicated lending market “has not changed significantly in the last 20 years”.
The Fusion LenderComm platform aims to revolutionise communication between lenders and agents using blockchain technology to assure messages are secure and confidential.
The platform has been built by banking tech vendor Finastra and is underpinned by R3’s distributed ledger technology (DLT), Corda.
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 our 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.