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Santander and Broadridge, in collaboration with JPMorgan and Northern Trust as custodian banks, have completed a test run of blockchain for investor voting at the Spanish bank’s annual general meeting (AGM).
The second blockchain-related first for Santander in just over a month, the bank partnered with US electronic data processing services company Broadridge Financial Solutions to facilitate an investor ballot at its annual general meeting March 23.
“The blockchain technology has enhanced efficiency and transparency upon the reception and vote tabulation process, which will result in bridging the gap between all in the process,” head of corporate services Luis Antonio Perez added in comments.
The investor move is the latest example of blockchain’s steady entry into the voting process, with government authorities principally examining how the technology could make an improvement over standard procedures.
Russia has plans to test local-level blockchain voting, while in March, Sierra Leone conversely hit the headlines after false rumors it had become the first country in the world to use blockchain voting in its nationwide elections.
Santander meanwhile launched a pioneering project of its own last month, teaming up with Ripple to offer a blockchain international payment service for customers in certain markets.
Sergio Gámez, global head of shareholders and investor relations at Banco Santander, comments: “The Annual General Meeting is one of the most important corporate governance events for any listed company. In the case of Santander, having very fragmented capital, it is very important to ensure the participation by investors and shareholders, and this year using blockchain technology for the institutional vote has been a great help in terms of transparency and agility across the vote lifecycle.”
As an additional benefit, the platform represents a new business opportunity for the bank’s corporate servicing business, which acts as issuer’s agent in AGMs of more than 50 large clients.