HSBC is increasingly relying on blockchain technology to facilitate its foreign exchange trading services, reports in Financial Times said Monday (Jan. 14), with more than three million FX transactions having already been processed by the bank in the past year via blockchain. Now, the bank is reportedly planning to allow its own corporate customers to use its blockchain tool.
Worth more than a combined $250 billion, the FX trades are part of HSBC's FX Everywhere initiative, which deploys a shared ledger to align FX transactions with HSBC's internal balance sheet. More than 150,000 of the three million transactions HSBC said it has completed using blockchain were payments, according to reports.
In a statement, HSBC Acting Global Head of Currencies Richard Bibbey said the institution currently manages "thousands of foreign exchange transactions within the bank, across multiple balance sheets, in dozens of countries," illustrating the use case of blockchain to streamline that process. "FX Everywhere uses distributed ledger technology to drastically increase the efficiency of those internal flows."
While Financial Times noted that HSBC's FX volumes are a mere "tiny fraction" of the global FX market, the bank represents the rising success of using blockchain in this area of finance after years of the technology promising to disrupt a plethora of use cases.
In HSBC's case, blockchain enables a single view of the process of a single trade through to settlement, allowing all executives with access to the information to be on the same page at any given moment. According to reports, the bank plans to introduce its platform for use by its corporate customers, focusing on FX Everywhere's application in cross-border payments and treasury management.
Beyond FX management, trade finance is another popular use case for blockchain disruption, and one HSBC has been focusing on as well. Last May, the FI announced that it had completed its first trade finance transaction using blockchain technology as it continues to move away from paper and manual processes.