Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, National Australia Bank Ltd. and Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd. formed an alliance to develop technologies faster and cheaper amid an industrywide shift toward digital banking.
The three lenders agreed to share information, co-develop products and services and swap employees in areas of payments, digital banking, cyber security and emerging financial technology, according to Stephen Forbes, chief commercial officer at Canada’s fifth-biggest bank. An agreement was signed this week in Tel Aviv, CIBC said.
“We’re all going to be far more active and current on things that are happening globally that we simply can’t do on our own,” Forbes said in a telephone interview from Tel Aviv. “It really helps us look at where can we co-collaborate, co-develop, share costs, share infrastructure and share talent to get to market faster, cheaper.”
The idea emerged almost a year ago when CIBC Chief Executive Officer Victor Dodig approached National Australia Bank CEO Andrew Thorburn to explore a partnership because the lenders shared similar priorities around innovation, according to Forbes. At the time, Australia’s third-biggest bank by assets also was in talks to collaborate with Bank Leumi, Israel’s
Collaboration has already begun: CIBC and National Australia Bank spent the past two months testing Ripple Labs Inc.’s blockchain technology to move money between Canada and Australia, becoming part of a small group of banks that have done a cross-border blockchain transfer.