Interbank payments network Swift is to run proof-of-concept trials of the use of distributed ledger technology for proxy voting in the Asia Pacific region.
The banking co-operative is working with securities software provider SLIB and the Singapore Exchange (SGX), along with Deutsche Bank, DBS, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank on the test run.
The PoC will explore whether DLT can help simplify the currently inefficient management of shareholder meetings and the associated voting processes that are often time-consuming and resource intensive.
Tony Lewis, head of securities services, HSBC, says: “Shareholder voice in corporate decision-making is stifled by the existing paper-based voting process. Technology is the solution to enhancing shareholder say. e-Voting using DLT has the potential to create greater efficiencies, transparency and participation. Through collaboration amongst key market players, the PoC has a real opportunity to revolutionise security services in Singapore.”
The proof-of-concept will be run in Swift's DLT sandbox, with Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank joining as participants, while DBS and SGX join as both participants and issuers.
For Swift, the trial will test Swift's capacity to host third party applications in its sandbox and re-use its security and interface stack. It will also onfirm the use of ISO 20022 as the foundation for standardising for Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that expose DLT node contents to parties with direct access to the ledger.
Lisa O’Connor, managing director, securities, treasury & standards, Asia Pacific at Swift says: “The expression of shareholders’ rights is often limited today by non-transparent, complex and inefficient paper-based processes. The emergence of blockchain technology is a new opportunity to look at improving these processes. It is also an opportunity for Swift to offer flexibility in the adoption of this new technology through the re-use of ISO 20022 based solutions together with a high level of security and resilience that our industry requires.”