September 21, 2016 / 9:17 AM / 3 years ago

Canada's CIBC forms strategic alliance with NAB, Bank Leumi

A Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) sign is seen outside of a branch in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 26, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Canada’s fifth-biggest lender, has formed a strategic partnership with National Australia Bank (NAB) and Israel’s Bank Leumi to work on new innovations.

In a statement on Wednesday, CIBC said the partnership will enable the three banks to collaborate and share aspects of their product development and to facilitate the exchange of employee talent in the innovation space.

Stephen Forbes, CIBC’s chief commercial officer, said the arrangement would build upon CIBC’s work to encourage collaboration among teams in the bank and to work with outside financial technology firms.

“This alliance further strengthens our leadership position in innovation and broadens our access to global insights in this fast-moving space,” Forbes said.

CIBC and National Bank of Australia have worked together over the past two months to test blockchain technology from Ripple, a Google-backed start-up that enables banks to settle financial transactions, using it to move money from Canada and Australia and vice versa, CIBC said.

That has enabled them to become part of only a small group of banks globally to have successfully completed a cross-border blockchain transfer, CIBC said.

Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Paul Simao

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