Category Archives: Servicing

Accenture develops two blockchain integration solutions

Accenture announced it developed and tested two blockchain solutions that enables integration between two or more blockchain-enabled ecosystems.

The development in the growing area of blockchain technology solves what Accenture calls “a critical challenge” for the broad adoption of blockchain.

According to a news release by the company, the two solutions show integration capabilities with blockchain platforms from Digital Asset, R3, Hyperledger Fabric and Quorum to securely orchestrate business processes. 

The company’s announcement explained that the solutions could actively share data and information across distributed ledgers, proving that integration is possible across the growing number of blockchain and distributed ledger platforms in the market.

Accenture explained that the solution enables integration between different blockchain platforms two ways. 1. It allows the transfer of a tokenized asset on two blockchain platforms. And 2. It allows data mapping to different blocks that exist in two different blockchain platforms simultaneously with the reference data kept in constant sync.

“This is a game-changer that can help accelerate adoption of blockchain technology. The key challenge was to develop the ability to integrate without introducing ‘operational messaging’ between distributed ledger technology platforms in order to stay true to the principles and benefits of blockchain technology,” said David Treat, Accenture’s managing director and global blockchain lead.

“Applying this capability with our clients is already unlocking new opportunities to bring ecosystems together, mitigating key concerns about picking the ‘wrong’ platform or having to re-build if one partner uses something different,” Treat added.

As the popularity of blockchain and other ledger technology applications grow, so does the need for widespread integration with other similar ledgers. Accenture explained in its press release, they have included an interoperability node, which includes “embedded business logic that contains the business standards, policies and guidelines by which the different blockchain platforms have agreed to work together.”

“We have said right from the beginning that interoperability is key to avoiding the trapped assets and silos of the past. We made specific design choices when building Corda to ensure that applications built on our platform can interoperate without friction,” said Richard Gendal Brown, chief technology officer at R3. “The successful testing of these technology solutions is a significant step forward for blockchain development and validates our approach.”

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Wells Fargo to pay $65 million for allegedly lying to investors about fake accounts

Wells Fargo‘s had a rough last few years, and it doesn’t appear be getting any better.

The San Francisco-based megabank has been hit with one scandal after the next, ranging from fraud, layoffs and even protests.

These events have deeply impacted their business, resulting in a loss of consumer trust and weakening mortgage origination levels.

Unfortunately for the bank, things just got a worse.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced Monday that the bank has been ordered to pay a $65 million penalty, following an investigation into the bank’s controversial “cross-selling” tactics, in which the bank offered different financial products to its customers. The cross-selling craze eventually led to the bank opening millions of accounts in customers’ names without their permission.

But the issue at the heart of this settlement is not that the bank opened up the fake accounts, but rather that the bank allegedly lied to investors about it.

“Today’s settlement notes that Wells Fargo made numerous misrepresentations to investors over many years, and failed to disclose its knowledge of systemic problems pervading the bank’s sales practices,” Underwood’s office said in a statement.

According to Underwood’s office the bank’s “cross-sell” business model, led employees to create millions of accounts without authorization from customers, costing New York investors millions of dollars. 

“The misconduct at Wells Fargo was widespread across the bank and at every level of management – impacting both customers and investors who were misled,” Underwood said. “State securities laws are vital to protecting the hard-earned savings of working families and Main Street investors from financial fraud, and my office will continue to do what’s necessary to protect the public and the integrity of our markets.”

Although, Wells Fargo’s board of directors were made aware of sales misconduct as early as 2011, the bank still failed to disclose to investors that the success of its cross-sell efforts was built on fraud.

“Wells Fargo represented to investors its ability to increase revenues and better serve customers by pursuing its purportedly superior cross-sell strategy; it also regularly reported cross-sell metrics that supposedly reflected the success of that strategy,” Underwood said.

Underwood’s office noted that it is continuing to investigate Wells Fargo in connection with opening those millions of unauthorized accounts and enrolling consumers in services without their knowledge or consent. “Today’s settlement has no impact on that ongoing investigation and other pending investigations of Wells Fargo,” Underwood’s office said.

On Monday, Wells Fargo issued a statement, declaring it is pleased to reach the agreement.

“Wells Fargo did not admit liability, and we believe that putting this matter behind us is in the best interest of all of our stakeholders, including customers. The settlement costs have been previously accrued,” the bank said in a statement.

“We are making strong progress in our work to rebuild trust, and this represents another step forward,” the bank continued. “Over the past two years, we have made fundamental changes to retail sales practices, and the claims in this settlement relate to past product sales goals that were eliminated in 2016. We remain focused on transforming Wells Fargo into a better company for our customers and other stakeholders.”

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Zillow is now buying and selling homes in Denver

Zillow flipped the real estate industry on its head when it announced plans to join the home selling business, launching “Zillow Instant Offers,” an industry gamechanger.

Today, the company announced in addition to serving the Phoenix, Las Vegas and Atlanta markets, the platform will now be available in Denver.

Zillow Brand President Jeremy Wacksman said the company is excited to empower Denver-area homeowners with more control in one of the largest financial transactions of their life.

“The Denver housing market is changing quickly, and many homeowners are trying to time the sale of their home with the purchase of a new one,” Wacksman said. “Rising inventory can make the timing of a sale more uncertain, making Zillow Offers even more desirable,” Wacksman continued. “Zillow Offers aims to alleviate some of that stress, giving sellers the ability to customize their selling experience, and we can’t wait to get started today in Denver.”

The company has selected 8z Real Estate, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Innovative Real Estate and RE/MAX, to represent them as their preferred brokerages in the Denver area.

Through Zillow’s platform, homeowners looking to sell their homes will be able to receive comparative market analysis from local real estate agents, and then receive cash offers from selected investors interested in buying their properties.

Atlas Real Estate Group will be representing Zillow in all Denver transactions, according to the company.

“At Atlas, we have always been forward thinking; constantly evaluating opportunities, market trends and exploring new ways real estate can serve as a long-term investment vehicle,” Atlas Real Estate Group Co-Founder Jason Shepherd said. “We are excited to use our entrepreneurial mindset in our partnership with Zillow Offers to help improve the consumer experience of buying and selling a home.”

“Zillow Offers is a unique and needed service for home sellers in Denver and will solve a huge problem that exists in the market right now – homeowners want convenience and certainty when selling their home,” Shepherd said. “We are always looking to add value at Atlas, and this not only adds value to our clients and consumers, but to the entire real estate industry, and that’s a fun and exciting thing to be a part of.”

Notably, Zillow also announced plans to expand to Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, this winter.

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