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Carbonplace Announces New CEO; Secures USD 45 Million in Funding

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Carbon credit transaction network Carbonplace has raised USD 45 million in a strategic round of investment and formed its own entity, it was announced today.

Carbonplace, which connects buyers and sellers of carbon credits through their banks, secured the seed funding from the financial institutions which founded the fintech: BBVA, BNP Paribas, CIBC, Itaú Unibanco, National Australia Bank, NatWest, Standard Chartered, SMBC and UBS. Through the investment, each bank shares equal equity ownership in the new company which is expected to launch its platform later this year.

Headquartered in London, Carbonplace will be led by CEO Scott Eaton. Eaton, who has held a number of senior leadership roles in financial technology and capital markets, is joining from capital markets fintech Nivaura, where he served as CEO. Prior to Nivaura, he was CEO of Algomi from 2018 until its sale to BGC in 2020. From 2015-2018, Scott was COO at fixed income trading platform provider MarketAxess.

The capital injection represents a commitment from some of the world’s largest financial institutions, which account for nearly USD 9 trillion in total assets, to achieve Carbonplace’s vision of accelerating corporate climate action by providing transparent, secure and accessible carbon markets.

The new company intends to leverage this investment to scale the platform and its team to expand services to a wider client base of financial institutions and accelerate partnerships with additional carbon market participants, including registries and marketplaces around the world.

Scott Eaton: “With Carbonplace, we are transforming the way that carbon credits are bought, distributed, held and retired. I am excited to take this company to the next level of its evolution, and to help unlock its massive potential to drive significant economic and social value by opening the carbon markets up to the world.”

Carbonplace, which has been likened to the SWIFT of the carbon markets, has already piloted trades with a host of buyers, sellers, registries, and exchanges, including global payments technology company Visa, and Singapore-based marketplace Climate Impact X.

Robert Begbie, CEO, NatWest Markets: “Carbonplace creates an efficient and secure network for carbon credit transactions. According to McKinsey, global demand for voluntary carbon credits is likely to increase by a factor of 15 in the next seven years. To meet that demand, Carbonplace is delivering a reliable, secure and scalable technology that will form a crucial part of the infrastructure for carbon markets to drive climate action at scale.”

Building on its user banks’ highly regulated and standardized compliance frameworks, Carbonplace ensures transparent and simple customer-to-customer transactions by enabling frictionless counterparty due diligence and onboarding. Carbon credit buyers and sellers can also share information in real-time, ensuring traceable and streamlined settlement of carbon credit transactions, with the retirement of credits within minutes. Digital wallets enable owners to reliably demonstrate ownership to the market, reducing the risks of double counting and simplifying reporting.

* The closing of Itaú Unibanco’s acquisition of ownership shall occur following approval of the Central Bank of Brazil.

Fintech

Central banks and the FinTech sector unite to change global payments space

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The BIS, along with seven leading central banks and a cohort of private financial firms, has embarked on an ambitious venture known as Project Agorá.

Named after the Greek word for “marketplace,” this initiative stands at the forefront of exploring the potential of tokenisation to significantly enhance the operational efficiency of the monetary system worldwide.

Central to this pioneering project are the Bank of France (on behalf of the Eurosystem), the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Korea, the Bank of Mexico, the Swiss National Bank, the Bank of England, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. These institutions have joined forces under the banner of Project Agorá, in partnership with an extensive assembly of private financial entities convened by the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

At the heart of Project Agorá is the pursuit of integrating tokenised commercial bank deposits with tokenised wholesale central bank money within a unified, public-private programmable financial platform. By harnessing the advanced capabilities of smart contracts and programmability, the project aspires to unlock new transactional possibilities that were previously infeasible or impractical, thereby fostering novel opportunities that could benefit businesses and consumers alike.

The collaborative effort seeks to address and surmount a variety of structural inefficiencies that currently plague cross-border payments. These challenges include disparate legal, regulatory, and technical standards; varying operating hours and time zones; and the heightened complexity associated with conducting financial integrity checks (such as anti-money laundering and customer verification procedures), which are often redundantly executed across multiple stages of a single transaction due to the involvement of several intermediaries.

As a beacon of experimental and exploratory projects, the BIS Innovation Hub is committed to delivering public goods to the global central banking community through initiatives like Project Agorá. In line with this mission, the BIS will soon issue a call for expressions of interest from private financial institutions eager to contribute to this ground-breaking project. The IIF will facilitate the involvement of private sector participants, extending an invitation to regulated financial institutions representing each of the seven aforementioned currencies to partake in this transformative endeavour.

Source: fintech.globa

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TD Bank inks multi-year strategic partnership with Google Cloud

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TD Bank has inked a multi-year deal with Google Cloud as it looks to streamline the development and deployment of new products and services.

The deal will see the Canadian banking group integrate the vendor’s cloud services into a wider portion of its technology solutions portfolio, a move which TD expects will enable it “to respond quickly to changing customer expectations by rolling out new features, updates, or entirely new financial products at an accelerated pace”.

This marks an expansion of the already established relationship between TD Bank and Google Cloud after the group previously adopted the vendor’s Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) for TD Securities Automated Trading (TDSAT), the Chicago-based subsidiary of its investment banking unit, TD Securities.

TDSAT uses GKE for process automation and quantitative modelling across fixed income markets, resulting in the development of a “data-driven research platform” capable of processing large research workloads in trading.

Dan Bosman, SVP and CIO of TD Securities, claims the infrastructure has so far supported TDSAT with “compute-intensive quantitative analysis” while expanding the subsidiary’s “trading volumes and portfolio size”.

TD’s new partnership with Google Cloud will see the group attempt to replicate the same level of success across its entire portfolio.

Source: fintechfutures.com

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MAS launches transformative platform to combat money laundering

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The MAS has unveiled Cosmic, an acronym for Collaborative Sharing of Money Laundering/Terrorism Financing Information and Cases, a new money laundering platform.

According to Business Times, launched on April 1, Cosmic stands out as the first centralised digital platform dedicated to combating money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing on a worldwide scale. This move follows the enactment of the Financial Services and Markets (Amendment) Act 2023, which, along with its subsidiary legislation, commenced on the same day to provide a solid legal foundation and safeguards for information sharing among financial institutions (FIs).

Cosmic enables participating FIs to exchange customer information when certain “red flags” indicate potential suspicious activities. The platform’s introduction is a testament to MAS’s commitment to ensuring the integrity of the financial sector, mandating participants to establish stringent policies and operational safeguards to maintain the confidentiality of the shared information. This strategic approach allows for the efficient exchange of intelligence on potential criminal activities while protecting legitimate customers.

Significantly, Cosmic was co-developed by MAS and six leading commercial banks in Singapore—OCBC, UOB, DBS, Citibank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered—which will serve as participant FIs during its initial phase. The initiative emphasizes voluntary information sharing focused on addressing key financial crime risks within the commercial banking sector, such as the misuse of legal persons, trade finance, and proliferation financing.

Loo Siew Yee, assistant managing director for policy, payments, and financial crime at MAS, highlighted that Cosmic enhances the existing collaboration between the industry and law enforcement authorities, fortifying Singapore’s reputation as a well-regulated and trusted financial hub. Similarly, Pua Xiao Wei of Citi Singapore and Loretta Yuen of OCBC have expressed their institutions’ support for Cosmic, noting its potential to ramp up anti-money laundering efforts and its significance as a development in the banking sector’s ability to combat financial crimes efficiently. DBS’ Lam Chee Kin also praised Cosmic as a “game changer,” emphasizing the careful balance between combating financial crime and ensuring legitimate customers’ access to financial services.

Source: fintech.global

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