NatWest has begun trialling quantum computing power in an effort to solve some of its complex problems.
Using the new technology, which leverages quantum algorithms, the lender has already carried out a highly complex calculation that it needs to do on a routine basis.
The use of quantum computing is said to perform the calculation at a speed that is 300 times more compared to that of a traditional computer and with more accuracy.
For testing the technology, the bank used Fujitsu’s Digital Annealer hardware and 1Qbit’s quantum software.
Fujitsu program director of artificial intelligence David Snelling said: “The key strength of the Digital Annealer is its ability to calculate optimal solutions from an enormous number of feasible options. In practical terms, this means NatWest gets optimal returns from safe HQLA investment portfolios.”
Following the successful trial, the bank is now deploying the technology to enable its portfolio managers make decisions on the right composition for its high quality liquid assets (HQLAs) portfolio.
This portfolio holds £120bn in assets including cash and bonds that it requires as a buffer in the event of financial crisis.
NatWest now intends to harness quantum computing power for solving problems in other areas, such as enabling portfolio managers to adjust asset allocation after a surprise market movement.
The technology can also be used for fraud detection and software verification at the bank, and to empower the bank’s machine learning capabilities.
NatWest director of innovation Kevin Hanley said: “In the long run, quantum computing could completely change the way banks operate, making them much more efficient and cheaper to run, which in turn would mean customers benefit from better deals and improved service.”