Swiss banks collaborate for blockchain asset management compliance

Several Swiss banks have joined WeCanComply, a blockchain platform that enables private custodian banks and external asset managers to exchange compliance documents. Last October, it announced it signed up Lombard Odier, Pictet, Edmond de Rothschild and others. 

This week an independent non-profit was set up for governance by the users of the platform, the Blockchain Association For Finance. Other members include the Alliance of Swiss Wealth Managers, representing firms with more than CHF 100 billion ($112 billion) in assets under management.

In the wealth management sector, external asset managers or independent asset managers are not private banks themselves but rather portfolio managers and investment advisers. Custody of the assets is usually taken care of by Private Custodian Banks. This custodial relationship involves quite a bit of compliance, particularly because asset managers typically deal with several custodial banks.

The WeCanComply platform enables an asset manager to create the necessary onboarding documents once and submit them to multiple custodian banks. Likewise, for any changes.

We wondered about the need for a separate association for governance purposes. WeCan explained a key goal is to agree on data standards. So far, they have the standard for onboarding and are planning a know your customer (KYC) standard. The plan is to roll out the standard internationally with local adaptations for each jurisdiction.

The blockchain solution uses Hyperledger Fabric.

Meanwhile, there are several regtech solutions exploring blockchain, including for KYC. The UAE Know Your Customer platform uses norbloc technology for KYC and went into production last year. Sri Lanka is exploring a similar solution.

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