R3 still expanding despite big exits

R3 has been hit by confirmed departures from Santander and Goldman Sachs but said it is continuing to recruit new members.
By Paul Walsh
Blockchain working group R3 has continued to increase its membership despite a number of high-profile exits in recent days.

In a statement, R3 confirmed that it has added Dutch bank ABN AMRO, Cincinnati based Fifth Third Bank, insurance provider Suncorp Group and financial services company Synchrony Financial to the group.

The latest additions come following a number of prominent exits from the venture with Santander and founding member Goldman Sachs confirming their departures from R3 this week.

Morgan Stanley has also left the project according to reports in the Wall Street Journal.

“As with any project of this scale and scope, we always expected the make-up of the consortium to change over time,” R3 told Global Custodian.

“Developing technology like this requires dedication and significant resources, and our diverse pool of members all have different capacities and capabilities which naturally change over time.”

R3 was founded in 2014 by nine banks including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and others with the goal of applying blockchain technology to commercial markets.

Earlier this year, R3 revealed that Brazilian exchange group BM&FBOVESPA and China Merchants Bank (CMB) had joined its blockchain partnership.