Santander have today announced that they have successfully used a blockchain voting system at their AGM. The meeting took place in March, with blockchain being used to create a digital register of all proxy votes. Santander completed this pilot with fintech firm Broadridge Financial Solutions, in conjunction with JP Morgan and Northern Trust, who acted as custodian banks.
The press release said:
The implementation of a solution that employs blockchain technology enhances global proxy vote transparency and increases operational efficiency, security and analytics, which is beneficial for investors, issuers, agent banks and custodian banks.
Previous voting verification processes have taken up to two weeks at Santander AGMs, and the process of voting itself has been somewhat arduous, which may have pushed down the total turnout. The hope is that institutional investors will view this step forward in security and speed – the turnaround time using blockchain is instantaneous – and be more inclined to vote. This second pilot follows on from a proof-of-concept trial that Santander and Broadridge conducted last year in a closed blockchain environment.
Patricia Rosch of Broadridge, said:
The successful completion of a second pilot along with the next phase of our blockchain-based proxy voting solution demonstrates Broadridge’s continued commitment to developing innovative technology solutions in the re-imagination and improvement of global proxy to help our clients get ahead of today’s challenges.
This collaboration between Santander and Broadridge creates something of a power couple, with Santander being the largest bank in the Eurozone, and Broadridge boasting global revenue in excess of $4 billion in 2017.