NatWest starts quantum computing testing
NatWest has begun testing with quantum computing power to solve the efficiency demand of some of the issues the bank faces.
The bank says it is using “quantum-inspired” computing power, to execute tasks at 300 times the speed of a traditional computer – this meaning that quantum algorithms are used, but not qubits.
The quantum-inspired computing power can be used to help portfolio managers decide on the right composition for the bank’s £120 billion “high quality” liquid assets (HQLAs) portfolio.
HQLAs are assets such as cash and bonds that every UK bank must hold as a buffer in case it runs into financial trouble.
The hardware used in testing has been Fujitsu’s quantum-inspired Digital Annealer, whilst the quantum software is provided by 1QBit – of which NatWest is an investor and board observer.
“For the first time, we have the hardware and software necessary to apply our work to industry scale problems, and we look forward to seeing the far-reaching implications of the advancements enabled by these early collaborations,” says Andrew Fursman, CEO of 1Qbit.
The bank hopes to make some processes more efficient, like allowing portfolio managers to adjust the allocation of assets following a surprise movement in the market in a much shorter space of time than normal.
Quantum technology could also be applied to optimise the bank’s other portfolios and areas, like anomaly detection, AI, and software verification.
There are other quantum leaps.
Last year, Commonwealth Bank of Australia joined telco Telstra, the Federal Government, the New South Wales Government and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in an $83 million venture to found Australia’s first quantum computing company.
Atos is already ahead with a working computer to simulate 40 Qubits.