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There are ‘very tangible benefits' that come from digital currencies: Citi CEO

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Citi CEO Jane Fraser joins 'Influencers with Andy Serwer' to share her thoughts on cryptocurrency.

Video Transcript

ANDY SERWER: I want to ask you about another huge topic, and that is crypto--

JANE FRASER: Yes.

ANDY SERWER: --decentralised finance. And I guess I want to, as a CEO, if I can ask you the big strategic question-- How do you view this nascent, incipient world that is obviously affecting your bank and your business, and how do you plan and move forward?

JANE FRASER: We spend a lot of time discussing with many of our partners and clients, as well. So I think you start off with a premise. It's clear that digital assets will be part of the financial services and financial markets, the future of them. We already see clients very active in this space. Real time payments are both, in the sense of their frictionless, they'll become more global, they'll become ubiquitous. Real-time payments will be here in the near term, and digital currencies may be part of that future.

We see benefits from the digital asset space, instant processing, fractionalization, programmability, and transparency, very geeky words for a geek like me, I love them. But those are very tangible benefits that come from it. I would say we're proceeding thoughtfully and with appropriate caution here. Why is that?

There's still a lot of questions about how the space evolves around regulatory clarity, around some of the scalability, around resiliency, certainly around some transparency, and making sure that there are the appropriate guardrails in the system particularly for our retail clients. We don't want them participating in areas that they're not necessarily as well equipped to understand the risks of. So for me as a CEO, I'm working to connect our clients to wallets.

We're enabling our businesses and our corporate clients to accept consumer payments. We're building the infrastructure for real time payments, but we're doing so cautiously, because it's space is moving so quickly. And not all the guardrails that you would like to see are yet in place. And as a banking CEO, I do believe guardrails are important and necessary for the safety and soundness of the financial system, and so I like them there for resiliency.