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Industry roundup: 21 August 2020

ANZ issues sustainable development goal bond in Australia

ANZ has announced the issue of an A$1.25bn Tier 2 capital bond linked to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It says this is the first bank-issued SDG bond in Australia’s domestic bond market. The transaction marks ANZ’s return to the green, social and sustainability (GSS) bond market in Australia, having issued its inaugural green bond in June 2015.

“Investor demand for ANZ’s latest issue was strong following the maturity of our 2015 Green Bond earlier this year,” commented Adrian Went, group treasurer at ANZ.

The bond matures on 26 February 2031, with the first optional redemption date of 26 February 2026. The bond pays a floating rate of interest with a coupon of 3 month BBSW [bank bill swap rate] +185bps.

The bond is ANZ’s third issuance under its SDG Bond Framework, which has been in place since February 2018. The bank now has around A$4bn-equivalent of SDG Bonds on issue, having issued its first and second SDG Bonds in Europe, including its first Tier 2 Capital SDG Bond in November 2019.

ANZ has an A$50bn SDG-linked commitment to fund and facilitate sustainable solutions for customers by 2025, including initiatives to help improve environmental sustainability, increase access to affordable housing and promote financial wellbeing.


BondEvalue and Northern Trust collaborate to complete blockchain-based bond trade

Northern Trust and BondEvalue have announced the completion of the first trade of a fractionalised blockchain-based bond. The trade of a blockchain-based bond, known as BondbloX, was executed on BondEvalue’s platform with Northern Trust as the exclusive asset servicing provider. This comes after the two parties established a strategic partnership in November 2019 to deliver integrated asset servicing and digital solutions for fractional ownership of fixed income bonds operating from the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Sandbox Express.

BondEvalue’s platform uses distributed ledger technology (DLT) to enable enhanced transparency, liquidity and faster settlement, while making institutional grade investment opportunities available to new classes of investors.

Northern Trust is providing securities services for the wholesale bonds and will support receipt of investments and payments of redemptions for the platform in a wide array of currencies. In what the bank believes to be a first for the industry, Northern Trust has built the capability to communicate cash and securities settlement reporting directly to BondEvalue’s DLT platform via an application programming interface (API).


TransferWise and Mastercard expand global partnership

Mastercard and TransferWise have announced an expanded partnership to enable the issuance of cards in any market around the world where Mastercard is accepted and TransferWise is licensed. Mastercard has worked with the global technology company since its issuance of its first debit card in Europe in 2018. Since then TransferWise has issued over 1 million Mastercard’s globally.

TransferWise currently partners with Mastercard across the EEA, US, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, with Japan due to launch later this year. This expansion of the relationship will allow a route to market in nearly all countries around the world.

“Broadening TransferWise’s global reach will enable millions more people around the world to benefit from Mastercard’s worldwide acceptance footprint and TransferWise’s innovative multi-currency payment solutions,” said Andrea Scerch, president of Processing Services at Mastercard. 


NICE Actimize unveils AI-powered financial crime risk management platform

NICE Actimize has announced the launch of its newest platform, NICE Actimize Xceed, which integrates AI, data intelligence, behavioural analytics, and insights within a unified cloud platform designed to bring agility to financial institutions of all sizes, including community and regional banks, that are looking to modernise their financial crime risk management solutions.

The firm says that Xceed provides full coverage for both anti-money laundering and fraud prevention. With 'Always On' AI-based technology, the platform’s self-learning capabilities immediately and autonomously adapt to new threats, helping financial institutions meet dynamic risk management needs with accuracy, speed and simplicity, and without the need for a team of data scientists. The vendor says the platform offers simplified cloud deployments while optimising operational resource efficiency.

“Xceed is based on the proven AI models deployed at hundreds of Guardian Analytics and Actimize customers, leveraging the best innovations of both and bringing the industry its most advanced machine learning capabilities for complete financial crime risk management coverage,” said Craig Costigan, CEO at NICE Actimize. 

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