Partior, the blockchain network for multicurrency interbank payments has signed Deutsche Bank and SMBC as members of its network, according to multiple Ledger Insights sources. They join co-founders JP Morgan, Standard Chartered and DBS Bank.
Additionally, there are unconfirmed rumors that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), one of the primary U.S. banking regulators, has provided a non-objection letter to JP Morgan, allowing it to proceed to use the Partior network. Ledger Insights has not seen the letter.
JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Partior declined to comment. We did not receive a response from SMBC at the time of publication. However, sources close to the German bank said the news is speculative and no decision has been made.
While JP Morgan is known for its JPM Coin, the solution is a blockchain-based bank account used for payments between JP Morgan bank customers. In contrast, Partior is a blockchain network for interbank cross border payments and is planning to support numerous currencies.
The Partior DLT network
The Singapore firm was co-founded by JP Morgan, DBS Bank and Temasek in early 2021, with Standard Chartered joining as an investor in November 2022. It followed on from Project Ubin, a central bank digital currency experiment by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. However, for now, the solution uses commercial bank money.
Partior’s initial offering is multicurrency cross border payments using instant settlement with FX payment versus payment (PvP) planned for later in the year and intraday FX swaps and DvP on the roadmap.
OCC non objection letters
When JP Morgan goes live on the Partior network, it will confirm the existence of the OCC non-objection letter. This will be a breakthrough at a time when U.S. regulators have been reticent about both cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
After Michael Hsu took over as acting Comptroller of the Currency in November 2021, he issued a letter requiring all banks to apply for a written non objection. This applies not only to cryptocurrency activities but also to any distributed ledger applications, including ones like Partior. Given Hsu’s prudent but tech-savvy approach, a non objection letter carries significant weight.
Deutsche Bank’s DLT interest
Turning to Deutsche Bank, the major German banking associations have been working on tokenized bank deposits called commercial bank money tokens. Four major German banks have started token trials, but Deutsche Bank was an obvious absentee.
Deutsche Bank’s Sabih Behzad, who Heads Digital Assets and Currencies Transformation, commented yesterday that a key interest of the bank is intraday liquidity, without mentioning Partior. He was talking at the FT Crypto Summit. Deutsche Bank has previously been involved with intraday FX swap trials with London startup Finteum.
Meanwhile, other high profile interbank payment networks include Fnality, which is planning to launch in the UK this year, and the Regulated Liability Network, which is conducting experiments with the New York Federal Reserve.
Update: added comments from additional sources close to Deutsche Bank stating no decision has been made