Sergio Ermotti, CEO of Swiss financial services giant UBS believes blockchain technology is “almost a must” for banking.
In an interview with CNBC on Monday, he revealed that he is convinced that the technology:
“will be as crucial and disruptive, and changing as regulation was in the last 10 years.”
Ermotti said the focus is on the future, as he sees the cost base of the banking industry transforming over the coming five to ten years, he stated:
“The only way you can stay relevant is not only by being strong in terms of capital, in terms of products, the quality of the people you have, advice you give to clients. You need also to be able to price it correctly.”
The UBS CEO, went on to explain that the banking industry is under continuous pressure in terms of gross margins. Ermotti highighted that blockchain is a great way of:
“freeing up of resources to become more efficient” adding that it will allow UBS to “reduce costs,”
UBS is currently part of a consortium of 5 banks that include Bank of Montreal (BMO), CaixaBank, Commerzbank and Erste Group, that are working with IBM developing a blockchain-based global trade finance platform entitled Batavia.
Although UBS believes blockchain is exciting, the CEO is still not a fan of bitcoin and retains the opinion that he is “not necessarily” a believer in cryptocurrencies. In a whitepaper published in October 2017, UBS stated:
“We think the sharp rise in cryptocurrency valuations in recent months is a speculative bubble,”