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Industry roundup: 28 October

BNP Paribas sets up low-carbon transition team

France’s BNP Paribas announced that it has set up a dedicated advisory team of around 250 investment bankers and industrial experts to assist its corporate and institutional clients around the world in speeding up the decarbonisation of their exposures and deploying capital to low-carbon activities.

The Low-Carbon Transition Group, a new unit within the bank, will include 100 new recruits and be headed by Severine Mateo, who has more than 20 years’ experience in advising companies on their financing strategies. The new unit will also provide clients with access to banking and banking expertise across the BNP Paribas Group, including clean energy, mobility and built environments solutions.

“The fight against climate change implies massive investments on the part of corporates, institutions and public sector in terms of technologies, infrastructure and transformation of their organisation,” the bank stated in a press release. “BNP Paribas is committed to being the long-term partner for its clients, acknowledging the growing urgency of the climate crisis and embracing the shared objectives in moving towards a low-carbon economy.”

It added that the new team is dedicated to support BNP Paribas’ established corporate clients in their transition through the decarbonisation of their activities and the investment in new businesses; innovative
transition accelerators in their scale-up and development phases; and investors to channel their capital deployment towards low-carbon activities.

The bank “will work with its clients to advise them upon the acceleration of their business models’ evolution, align their capital structure to sustainability requirements and ambitions, help them compensate residual carbon footprint, and ultimately partner to support the transitioning of their day-to-day operations”.

BNP Paribas, which is a member of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance said that to support clients’ transition, its range of corporate and institutional banking solutions, the Group “will also rely on the competence in
mobility within Arval, Leasing Solutions and Personal Finance, the expertise in high performance buildings by BNP Paribas Real Estate, the sustainable and thematic funds of BNP Paribas Asset Management, the investment expertise of BNP Paribas Cardif and BNP Paribas Principal Investments, the advising expertise for individuals through BNP Paribas Wealth Management, and the climate and biodiversity expertise of BNP Paribas Company Engagement/CSR”. 

Apollo bank wire network to launch in January

Apollo Fintech has announced its bank wire network, Knox Wire, will be launched on 15 January 2022 and that registrations are now available for the platform, which can process same-day cross-border payments for almost 20,000 financial institutions around the world.

Knox Wire’s network can be used by central banks, commercial banks, credit unions, loan associations, investment companies, brokerage firms, insurance companies, mortgage companies and most other financial institutions to send payments down the block or around the world. It can also be a regional real-time gross settlement system.

Apollo says that Knox Wire uses bidirectional messaging and anti-money laundering technology to reduce the average international wire wait time of three to five days to as little as two seconds. It integrates most mainstream banking systems, using API, and the company’s development team can help with integration and maintenance.

It adds that Knox Wire requires no hardware or dedicated IT personnel and can be learned in a week of training with no cost to qualifying institutions and almost-instant transaction time within the network. The platform also offers same-day balance settlement and no pre-funding requirement for qualifying institutions.

Financial Institutions can sign up before the official launch date to integrate Knox Wire with no upfront or recurring costs.

Blockchain-based platform Partior goes live

Partior, the blockchain-based clearing/settlement platform set up in April as a joint effort between JP Morgan, Singapore’s state-owned investment firm Temasek and DBS, Singapore’s state bank, has begun supporting cross-border payments. 

At the time of its launch, Sopnendu Mohant, chief fintech officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore described the initiative as “a global watershed moment for digital currencies, marking a move from pilots and experimentations towards commercialisation and live adoption.”

According to digital media platform, Partior recently carried out end-to-end settlements with participating banks involving both US and Singapore dollars in under two minutes, in contrast to the days-long transactions typical in the past.  

Recent forecasts suggest that global cross-border transactions projected will reach US$156 trillion in 2022 and Partior – taking its name from the Latin to “distribute” or “share” – says it wants to ease payment pain points like slow settlements and costly transactions by using an “atomic” model that cuts the time needed to settle transactions, thereby freeing up liquidity, reducing settlement risk and cutting costs. The company adds that it wants to scale to new partners and currencies, including the euro, pound and yen.  

“Partior is wholly invested in the ideation and co-creation of the next generation of payments technology,” said Partior’s CEO, Jason Thompson, in a statement. “We’re supporting an increasingly connected world whilst speeding up the process of payment validation and settlement within cross-border transactions. That will take investments of resources, technology and concerted collaboration as we navigate the greatest disruption in the history of money and comes at a significant moment of inflection for the financial services industry.”  

He added that the popularity of cryptocurrency shows that customers want new payment alternatives. “We now have to bring the same level of transparency, cost and efficiency to regulated currencies,” Thompson said. “At the same time, by being regulated, the customer can be more protected.” 

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