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IBOS member Banco Santander, along with Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., have completed a first practical use of blockchain for investor voting at an annual general meeting (AGM).

Santander and Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., a global FinTech leader, have collaborated and implemented a solution that employs blockchain technology that will enhance global proxy vote transparency and increases operational efficiency, security and analytics. This is beneficial for investors, issuers, agent banks and custodian banks.

Santander and Broadridge, in collaboration with J.P. Morgan and Northern Trust as custodian banks, conducted the pilot on 23 March for Santander’s AGM, with participation from Banco Santander Corporate Services as the issuer’s agent and Santander’s blockchain lab. The pilot was run in parallel to the AGM, with blockchain being utilised to produce a “shadow” digital register of the proxy voting taking place in the traditional model. The co-collaboration model was extended to additional global custodians participating during the Santander AGM.

The institutional investors had the opportunity to see how their votes could be counted and confirmed more efficiently (it will be possible to do this instantly) due to the blockchain technology, instead of having to wait two weeks. The participation for the new platform amounted to 21% of the total that participated in the AGM.

This could also help motivation to vote, which improves corporate democracy. This new technology is also a business opportunity for the Corporate Services of Santander Global Corporate Banking, the wholesale division of the bank, which acts as issuer’s agent in AGMs of more than 50 large clients.

Read the full press release, via Santander, here.