Blue Chip Banks Opt for R3 Over SWIFT

  • JJ Hornblass
  • January 21, 2016
  • 0

canstockphoto27249809Banks with a combined market capitalization of nearly $600 billion have opted for the R3 CEV distributed ledger consortium over SWIFT’s global payment innovation initiative, introduced today.

There are 45 banks in SWIFT’s initiative, which aims to make more payments data accessible to corporate treasury departments. But R3 has scored a total of 42 members to date, and the following banks have signed on with R3 and not SWIFT’s new initiative:

  • BMO Financial Group
  • CIBC
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Macquarie Bank
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Nomura
  • Northern Trust
  • OP Financial Group
  • Scotiabank
  • State Street
  • U.S. Bancorp
  • Westpac Banking Corporation

Yes, R3 and SWIFT GPI, as the new program is called, are different, but it is interesting to compare the rosters of the two payments initiatives, especially as R3 inches closer to SWIFT’s business turf. Of course, SWIFT has some big names R3 doesn’t, most notably ICICB and Bank of China, but it is surprising that SWIFT’s chief marketing officer needs to tout the participation of prominent banks as “proof of the importance of this global payments innovation initiative.”

It should be pointed out that sources tell us R3’s cost for admission is, well, “nominal” at best. But there’s a laurel to just signing up a JPMorgan Chase or Bank of America, even if no check is written to R3.

Get more innovation insights at Bank Innovation 2016, Feb 29-Mar 1 in Seattle. Click here for details.

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JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at or 212-564-8972.

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