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BNP Paribas and EY explore private blockchain to optimize the bank’s global internal treasury operations

BNP PARIBAS ALM Treasury and EY today announced they successfully completed a pilot demonstrating the feasibility of using blockchain to optimize the global internal treasury operations of the bank. 

The ALM Treasury department, which manages the bank’s internal treasury, at the service of all three operating divisions of the Group, carried out a blockchain pilot, tested internally this summer. This pilot has highlighted how an internal, private blockchain could be used to improve operational efficiency by providing a more integrated cash management approach between businesses, allowing greater flexibility and a 24/7 capability.  

The pilot program, conducted with EY, marks a milestone in using blockchain-based solutions as a practical and innovative approach to respond to a business-driven need, in particular extending the working hours up to 11 hours.  This not only allows treasury optimization improvements, but also a common view of liquidity positions across locations globally. It also allowed the bank to boost the interoperability of the legacy systems combining the private blockchain with the existing IT environment via software robots and APIs.

This innovative and ambitious research project is part of a larger group of initiatives conducted by other entities of the bank regarding blockchain for example the Cash without Borders launched this year by our Transaction Banking business, and highlights how BNP Paribas is gaining on those technologies.

Emmanuelle Bury, BNP Paribas Chief Operating Officer for ALM Treasury, said: “We launched the initiative 10 months ago with a view to address the current constraint on cash transfer capabilities limited to a range of 7 to 10 hours a day and ways to enhance operational efficiency. It was also important for us to start exploring the blockchain possibilities, in particular given the interest Central Banks grants to those technologies.”

Xavier Toudoire, BNP Paribas, Head of ALM Treasury IT strategy and architecture, added: “When used in a private manner, Blockchain allows the development of different business and operational processes that previously were not possible due to the distribution of data or trust among the parties in the system.  Although it is still too early to determine how the technology will evolve and whether it is suitable for large-scale deployment, our pilot has demonstrated the clear strengths of private blockchain and its potential as one of the most effective ways to improve the existing internal processes between different businesses on an international level.”

Jean-Michel-Bouhours, Partner, EY Financial Services France, said: “Using an agile approach, this journey allowed the treasurers involved to break the current boundaries by reading an accurate cash position of another closed treasury location, and perform operations on behalf of these locations on several currencies.” 

Philippe Limantour, EY Chief Innovation Officer for Financial Services in France, added: “Designing and executing processes making use of new technologies like blockchain to simplify the payments, financing and insurance processes can ultimately result in clear business advantages. In doing so in the present case, we came to realise that the use of robotics would provide an even greater added value to clients, both internally and externally.”

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

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EY is dedicated to the goal of providing its clients with a strong edge on innovation and a constant focus on business solutions creation. BNP Paribas is currently considering whether to convert this innovative prototype and approach into a production system for its ALM Treasury Group activity.

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is a leading bank in Europe with an international reach. It has a presence in 74 countries, with more than 192,000 employees, including more than 146,000 in Europe. The Group has key positions in its three main activities: Domestic Markets and International Financial Services (whose retail-banking networks and financial services are covered by Retail Banking & Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking, which serves two client franchises: corporate clients and institutional investors. The Group helps all its clients (individuals, community associations, entrepreneurs, SMEs, corporates and institutional clients) to realise their projects through solutions spanning financing, investment, savings and protection insurance. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail-banking model in Mediterranean countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas as well as a solid and fast-growing business in Asia-Pacific.