Insights

Making blockchain real for payments and settlements

Deloitte has invested in SETL, a start-up providing blockchain solutions for post-trade activity in financial services

Deloitte has furthered its leadership in blockchain with an investment in SETL, a start-up focussing on the provision of financial grade blockchain technology for settlement and payment activities. This investment is key to our commitment to be the architect in building the future of capital markets through new technologies like blockchain.

It's what we do that makes the difference

The rise of distributed ledger technology (DLT), or blockchain, offers the financial services industry transformational opportunities to reduce process complexity, lower costs and increase transparency. It will also promote innovation, deepen customer relationships and allow risk to be more accurately priced. At Deloitte we recognised this very early on and have since been investing in identification and development of real-world applications for blockchain. What began in the form of research projects progressed to hackathons and then into the development of prototypes such as our smart identity platform. We now take the next step and announce an investment in emerging blockchain start-up SETL.

An introduction to SETL

SETL has created a multi-asset, multi-currency institutional payment and settlements infrastructure based on blockchain technology which will streamline post-trade administration activity, reduce costs per trade, simplify processes and reduce inefficiencies.

SETL’s team has extensive experience in building and deploying market infrastructure. Chairman Sir David Walker is a former Executive Director of the Bank of England and previously chaired Barclays Bank plc and Morgan Stanley International. SETL’s CEO, Peter Randall is the former CEO of Chi-X Europe, an operator of global equity exchanges. 

Find out more at the SETL website.

Industry impact

As identified in research Deloitte conducted in conjunction with the World Economic Forum into blockchain, “DLT is a technology that could transform the very infrastructure of financial services. It offers a chance to reimagine the industry, rebuilding financial processes into something simpler, more efficient and often altogether new.”

The use of SETL’s technology offers the potential to dramatically transform how 389 billion non-cash payments are made globally each year by:

  • Making settlement and payments processes more efficient; 
  • Reducing the costs per trade, saving institutions up to US$80 billion in associated costs; 
  • Reducing the need to have multiple systems involved in asset ownership transfers; 
  • Streamlining and standardising the process across asset classes, saving time and cost; 
  • Providing more complete and accurate data on asset movement and transactions available in the industry; and, 
  • Offering a single source of post trade data that will enable efficient and low-cost analysis of historical trades and transfers.

Find out more about the other transformative opportunities blockchain presents the financial services industry.

Why is Deloitte investing in SETL?

At Deloitte we work with financial services companies from across the globe and have identified the cost challenges they face as a result of the disaggregation and extension of their value chains.

Vimi Grewal-Carr, Head of Innovation at Deloitte, said of the investment “SETL is only the latest of our efforts to innovate, and diversify our business model beyond the typical bread and butter of professional services firms. We know that things are changing, and no one can afford to stand still. We have been rapidly growing Deloitte Ventures, which looks at both incubating start-ups, and investing in external start-ups, giving us access to a diverse range of innovation.”

David Myers, Head of Capital Markets at Deloitte, commented “the SETL investment further demonstrates Deloitte’s commitment to helping our clients build the future of financial services by leveraging powerful emerging technology like blockchain. By using blockchain for identity verification via our Smart ID Platform or for processing trades on SETL’s blockchain, we can provide our clients with practical use cases for a disruptive technology."

Deloitte Financial Services Partner John Da Gama-Rose explained, "SETL is able to traverse the value chain and dramatically reduce overall operating costs, thereby allowing banks to return to growth and alleviate pressures from stakeholders and analysts”.

Deloitte’s investment is coupled with a strategic partnership in which Deloitte will support SETL in deploying its blockchain technology across the financial services industry. The partnership aims to help Deloitte’s established clients transform their settlement and payment operations, alongside creating new opportunities for growth, product innovation and collaboration.

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