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Germany’s LBBW joins trade finance blockchain consortium ‘Marco Polo’

Fri, 30 Nov 2018, 11:05 am UTC

German banking giant Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) has joined Marco Polo, a trade finance initiative run by enterprise software firm R3 and trade finance technology specialist TradeIX, as a founder member.

According to the official release, LBBW is the first member of the German S-Finanzgruppe to join the initiative. It joins other existing members including BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, ING, Standard Chartered Bank, Natwest, Natixis, Bangkok Bank, SMBC, DNB, OP Financial Group and Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank.

The Marco Polo Network leverages the TradeIX distributed platform technology and R3’s blockchain platform Corda, enabling banks to offer a superior customer experience with seamless data integration, while reducing costs, time and risks.

“Being a founding member [of Marco Polo] represents an important step for LBBW to offer innovative and customer-centric trade finance solutions,” Dr. Christian Ricken, Member of the Board at LBBW said. “Joining the Marco Polo Network also helps us expanding our trade finance solutions and collaborating with other bank members, allowing us to continue to help finance the growth of Germany’s industry sectors.”

LBBW said that it is working with its partners BayernLB, Helaba and S-Servicepartner on concepts for the S-Finanzgruppe to grow the ecosystem in international trade and supply chain finance. The S-Finanzgruppe’s blockchain trade finance initiative sees the membership of LBBW as a first milestone to deliver new ways of trade and customer experience to its clients.

“Easy access to trade finance is critical for industry growth and blockchain provides significant efficiencies over existing systems. Corda is the ideal blockchain platform for trade finance initiatives such as the Marco Polo Network as it ensures application interoperability, enabling data to be transferred seamlessly between applications, avoiding trapped assets and information silos,” said David E. Rutter, CEO of R3.

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