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Blockchain 07 Nov 2018

BBVA signs world-first blockchain-based syndicated loan arrangement with Red Eléctrica Corporación

BBVA and Red Electrica Corporation have become the first businesses in the world to deliver a syndicated loan using blockchain. The €150m deal, granted by BBVA, BNP Paribas and MUFG, was reached in record speed using BBVA’s proprietary platform- which is powered by distributed ledger technology.

A global first, the transaction represents a major achievement within the slew of pilots that are being carried out in the market to explore potential applications of distributed ledger technologies. Although other companies have launched platforms that could enable this to happen, this is the first time a real life deal has actually been done. The whole facility’s negotiation process was closed over the blockchain network, which allowed a significant expediation of the process while ensuring full documentation tracking and negotiation transparency. For BBVA the use of blockchain is purely about using innovation to deliver a better client experience, automating the process for ease and minimising operational risk because of the underlying principles of the blockchain.

Blockchain technology offers advantages that are particularly tangible in processes that involve a substantial number of parties, such as in syndicated funding projects.  The transaction was arranged over a private blockchain network through which 6 highly prepared entities participated in an agile way in the process: Red Eléctrica Corporación; the three funding banks: BBVA, as sole bookrunner, BNP Paribas and MUFG; and the 2 legal advisors: Linklaters S.L.P. and Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Collaboration is undoubtedly essential in this type of deals, especially for the deployment of the different nodes that make up the private network. This transaction has allowed BBVA and the other participating parties to share and learn taking part in a real-life experience.

In a world-first pilot, BBVA was able to successfully arrange and sign the terms of a syndicated loan using blockchain’s distributed ledger technology (DLT)

All the benefits enabled by the blockchain technology translate into a better customer experience. Each step of the negotiation leading to the signing of the final agreement is recorded in the DLT network along with a user code and the timestamp that identifies the moment at which the event occurred. Thus, all nodes participating in the private blockchain network (Hyperledger) have access and share the same relevant information of the negotiation process, and thus can stay informed of the status thereof, guaranteeing the immutability of the information. Finally, once the contract is signed, a unique document identifier is recorded in Ethereum’s public blockchain network (specifically, in its test network, ‘testnet’) to guarantee its immutability against third parties while safeguarding its confidentiality at all times.

According to Teresa Quirós, CFO of Red Eléctrica, “this transaction is part of the our company’s initiative to push digital transformation and innovation as levers for growth and efficiency, enabling us to address the challenges that the changing energy environment represents to our company”.

Ricardo Laiseca, Head of Global Finance at BBVA said, “BBVA is simplifying the processes related to corporate financing and is betting on the use of new technologies, like blockchain, to digitize loan negotiations and contracting. We work with our corporate clients to be able to provide them with the most innovative financing solutions.”

“BBVA is simplifying the processes related to corporate financing and is betting on the use of new technologies”

Digital transformation, also in corporate loans

BBVA is a leading force in the transformation of the financial sector. In wholesale banking, BBVA is innovating both in its financing products and in the digitization of its solutions to enhance its business and corporate customers’ experience.

BBVA works with its corporate customers to offer, not only the most appropriate financial solutions, but also cutting edge innovation and technological capabilities, such as blockchain. 

BBVA’s wholesale banking unit is pioneering efforts to harness the advantages offered by the technology to increase the agility and transparency of its core products, such as corporate financing, and thus progress towards a Do It Yourself (or DIY) financing model for its business and corporate customers.

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