Spanish bank takes Fujitsu’s Digital Annealer for a spin

Fujitsu is collaborating with BBVA, Spain’s second largest bank, on a proof of concept (PoC) of its quantum-inspired optimisation solution Digital Annealer.

BBVA wants to determine whether the Digital Annealer could outperform traditional computing techniques in optimising asset portfolios, helping minimise risk while maximising returns, based on a decade’s worth of historical data.

The bank is conducting multiple studies to determine how quantum technologies could represent an advantage over traditional tools in different financial use cases. In support, BBVA launched a strategy that involves forging alliances, strengthening its internal capacity around this technology, evaluating different available tools, and developing proof of concepts in collaboration with research centres, traditional businesses and startups.

In addition to portfolio optimisation, BBVA researchers are also exploring how the technology can be applied to areas such as the simulation of financial scenarios, currency arbitrage and credit scoring processes.

BBVA’s Research and Patents team wanted to explore how Digital Annealer could be deployed to optimise an investment portfolio by evaluating different assets based on information including historical market prices to determine the level of investment in each. The bank also intends to use Fujitsu Digital Annealer to also identify the best possible time to buy or sell assets, to maximise portfolio value.

The project is still in an exploratory phase, but early results point to a set of advantages for the Digital Annealer in comparison to tools currently used to resolve complex problems quickly, accurately, and efficiently.

Specifically, the PoC between BBVA and Fujitsu has determined that better results can be obtained for large-scale calculations involving more than 100 assets or factors.

“While true quantum computing as a technology is still in the laboratory testing phase, Digital Annealer represents a bridge to this future technology, thanks to its ability to evaluate multiple different combinations extremely rapidly,” said Carlos Cordero, CTO at Fujitsu in Spain. “Bringing this optimisation to the financial industry, for example to identify the optimal portfolio and the ideal time to acquire or offload assets can make a huge difference to the returns it delivers.”

Carlos Kuchkovky, BBVA global head of research and patents,  said that although this technology is still in an early stage of development, its potential to impact the sector is already a reality.